Mutants of the Eclipse Part V – The Gadgeteer

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here’s the fourth set of power packages for Class I and higher Mutants – The Gadgeteer at +1, +2, and +3 ECL modifiers. As usual, their powers are built using Unlimited-Use Use-Activated Innate Enchantments – at an effective “Cost” of (Spell Level x Casting Level x 2000 GP x Modifiers).

   In a team of super-beings, the Gadgeteer is the party Wizard. They carry around an assortment of strange components, use them in mysterious secret ways that no one else really understands, and somehow cause unlikely – but extremely convenient – things to happen.

   In fact, anyone with enough skill can do reasonable things with technology. Anyone with enough skill and the Mad Science (a.k.a. “Occult Ritual”) feat can do incredible and bizarre things.

   It’s the people who can – in mere minutes – throw together a gravity-wave manipulator to speed up the internal clock that will open the indestructible, impenetrable, time-locked vault containing the Cosmic Crown that are the serious gadgeteers.

   They’re also pretty obvious superhumans. There simply is no possible level of skill which will account for abilities like that.

   A Class-I Gadgeteer normally possesses:

  • Intelligence +4 (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter, Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  • A +7 Competence Bonus on all Technical and Knowledge Skills (Skill Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter, Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP). The Gadgeteer is a natural computer programmer, vehicle driver, lockpicker, scientist, etc, etc, etc…
  • Gadgeteering. That’s Greater Invocation, produces any second-level or lower technological effect, Level Four Spell x Casting Level Seven x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x modifiers of…
    • .8: A gadgeteer must have physical foci, and be free to manipulate them, to use his power.
    • .7: A gadgeteer may only use the Greater Invocation to produce (Int Mod) different effects during each game session, each requiring a separate focus.
    • .7: It requires several minutes to assemble a focus for a particular effect, some vaguely-related parts must be available, and the gadgeteer may not have more than (Int Mod) foci pre-assembled.
    • .7: It requires an appropriate skill check, with a DC set by the Game Master, to assemble or use a focus. The focus burns out and fails before the effect takes place on a roll of a natural “1” and burns out afterwards on a roll of a natural “2”.
      • That comes to a total of 15,366 GP.

   That use of Greater Invocation actually stretches things a bit; there aren’t that many effects that CAN’T be considered technological. On the other hand, there are certainly enough other limitations being applied to keep the user’s abilities from dominating the game – most especially that “DC set by the Game Master” but. If you don’t want your gadgeteer producing a particular effect, simply set the DC to build such a focus impossibly high. After all, trying for an effect and finding it beyond him or her doesn’t cost the Gadgeteer anything but a minute or two of time; it’s only effects that he or she actually produces that count against the second limitation there; failed attempts to build foci don’t count against anything.

   A Class-II Gadgeteer uses the Class-I package, but…

  • Upgrades their Gadgeteering to allow them to produce fourth level effects, requiring a sixth level Greater Invocation at caster level eleven. That costs an additional 20,855 GP.
  • Can, given a minute or two, ane even working without tools, repair almost any device or mechanism (Technical Mastery from the Hedge Magic list on this site, with the Ambient Magic limitation, reducing it to an effective level of one. Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 2000 GP).
  • Can, given a minute or two, get devices which should work in theory and which the player can describe the operation and construction of, to work in practice. (Macgyver, from the Hedge Magic list on this site, with the Ambient Magic limitation, reducing it to an effective level of one. Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 2000 GP).
  • Can always rig up a power source for his or her creations – or for whatever is lying around. (Generator, from the Hedge Magic list on this site, with the Ambient Magic limitation, reducing it to an effective level of zero. Level Zero (½) Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 1000 GP).
  • Can get devices, vehicles, and other mechanisms to start instantly, without the usual delays (Jumpstart, from the Hedge Magic list on this site, with the Ambient Magic limitation, reducing it to an effective level of zero. Level Zero (½) Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 1000 GP).
  • Personal Equipment: A gadgeteer will normally come up with a few pieces of unique “personal gear” – innate enchantments with a x.8 “focus required” limitation and a total value of some 5000 GP. For a few possibilities consider:
    • Chameleon Clothing (+10 Circumstance Bonus to Hide Checks, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Dazzler (Color Spray, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.8 Focus Required = 1600 GP).
    • Exotic Energy/Mutant Power Detector (Detect Magic, Level Zero Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 560 GP).
    • First Aid Kit: Cure Light Wounds (three uses per day), plus Relieve Poison and Relieve Disease (once per day each) (1600 GP).
    • Gravity Modulator (Feather Fall, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Holomask (Disguise Self, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.8 Focus Required = 1600 GP).
    • Insulated Gear/Resistance 5 to all forms of energy save infernal and divine (Lesser Energy Resistance, from The Practical Enchanter. Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Light Amplifier/Low-Light Vision (Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Mobility Suit/+30 Movement (Expeditious Retreat, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Oxygen Mask/user need not breathe (Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Personal Force Field/Mage Armor (Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Personalized Tools (+1 bonus to relevant skills and halves the time normally required, Level One Greater Invocation/any level zero “enhance tools” spell, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Reflex Enhancer /+2 Dexterity. (Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only x.8 Focus Required = 1120 GP).
    • Shock Guantlets (Shocking Grasp, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.8 Focus Required = 1600 GP).
    • Shockstaff (Shillelagh, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.8 Focus Required = 1600 GP).
    • Wrist Force Shield (Shield, Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.8 Focus Required = 1600 GP).
      • Once selected, a character’s personal gear becomes something of a trademark, and will not change.

   A Class-III Gadgeteer:

  • Upgrades their Gadgeteering to allow them to produce sixth level effects, requiring a eighth level Greater Invocation at caster level fifteen. That costs an additional 29,635 GP.
  • Can keep large amounts of equipment concealed about themselves with no apparent sign of it’s presence – although a sufficiently careful search will reveal most of it. (Void Sheathe, Level Zero Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.8 Objects can be located and removed by a search, although each one is checked individually = 800 GP).
  • Gains a +3 Competence Bonus on an additional group of skills of their choice (Skill Mastery from The Practical Enchanter, (Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 for Personal Use Only = 1400 GP).

   For a few examples of “Magic as Technology”, try…

  • L1: Spotlight (Light), Hologram Projection (Silent Image), Energy Discharge (Shocking Grasp), Flare (Color Spray), Hunter/Seekers (Magic Missile), and Circuit Disruption (a variation on Shocking Grasp),
  • L2: Fire Extinguisher (Pyrotechnics), ECM (Obscure Object), Tangler Netgun (Web), Energy Blasts (Scorching Ray), Holographic Duplication (Mirror Image), Scaling Systems (Spider Climb), Taser (Hold Person), Smoke Grenade (Darkness, 20′ R), and Recoilless Shell (Force Bolt, 1d6/level to single target, ranged touch attack, no save).
  • L3: Plasma Blast (Fireball), Nightsight (24-hour Darkvision), Absorption Systems (Protection from energy, 12/CL), Tear Gas (Stinking Cloud), Neural Disruptor (Hold Person), Dimensional Rotation (Blink), Jet Pack (Fly), Life Support (need not breathe, etc), and Medkit (Cure Serious Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Remove Disease).
  • L4: D-Field Static (Dimensional Anchor), D-Jump (Dimension Door), Cloaking Field (Invisibility, Greater), Biodisruption (Enervation), Sonic Blast (Shout), Bioenergy Scanner (Locate Creature), and EMP (wide-area “explosion” versus electrical and electronic devices only).
  • L5: Gas Shell (Cloudkill), Dismissal, Teleport, Comlink (like Telepathic Bond, but limited range, targets must be given a communicator focus to wear, lasts for 24 hours), Heavy Taser (Hold Monster), Energy Cone (Cone of Cold), Wall of Force, Overland Flight, Magnetic Control (Telekinesis), Foamcrete Dispensor (Wall of Stone), and the infamous Dimensional Vortex Generator (Plane Shift, requires Shadow Walking skill check but can be used to play various special tricks).
  • L6: Mustard Gas (Acid Fog) and Disintegration Beam (Disintegrate).
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Mutants of the Eclipse Part IV – The Strongman

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here’s the second set of power packages for Class I and higher Mutants – The Strongman at +1, +2, and +3 ECL modifiers. As usual, their powers are built using Unlimited-Use Use-Activated Innate Enchantments – at an effective “Cost” of (Spell Level x Casting Level x 2000 GP x Modifiers).

   The Strongman – or Bully – is another very common archetype in the comics. Pretty much every group has at least one, and most have two or more. The often show peculiar cosmetic physical changes. Class-I Strongmen are usually hulking brutes with bulging muscles, and usually claim that a large part of their mighty strength is purely physical. Class-II Strongmen usually go beyond the point where that’s even remotely plausible, and so ascribe their great strength to some exotic power and can look how they please. Class-III Strongmen usually go back to the bulging muscles again, indicating that a normal body is too small to contain the raging power within them – but it’s not mandatory

   Strongmen are inhumanly strong, and at least tough enough to survive the side-effects of their own strength. Most of them start showing other powers later on – the ability to absorb some form of energy and use it to increase their own strength or to heal themselves is especially common – simply because “I am very strong and tough!” isn’t that interesting a power when you come right down to it, no matter how practical and useful it is.

   Comic-Book Strongmen are noted for their ability to life incredible weights without necessarily gaining the ability to instantly crush opponents in combat. Why is that? It’s because they may have vast strength, but they don’t swing their limbs all that much faster than a normal person – and it’s the speed of the impact an the mass of the limb which matters, not the power of the muscles behind it.

   Yes, that’s over-simplified, but these are comic books we’re talking about here.

   Now, d20 does a reasonable job of representing relatively normal characters – but the strength bonus to melee attacks and damage continues to accumulate in a linear progression as a character’s strength increases. That makes representing creatures with tremendous strength, but not tremendous speed, pretty problematic.

   In basic Eclipse, that could be solved by buying an Immunity to the normal restraints on lifting objects, or a specialized berserker, or in any of several other ways. In this case, however, we’re wanting to keep everything in the Innate Enchantment templates – in large part because that allows everyone to easily mix-and-match power sets, simply adding up templates or borrowing bits of them for their own designs. Ergo, the Strongman has several minor effects that allow him or her to lift much greater weights than usual without adding to the damage he or she can inflict.

   The Class-I Strongman Package:

  • +4 Str (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  • +2 Constitution (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).
  • Enlarge Person (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP). Note that this is version from The Practical Enchanter, and defaults directly to the size chart.
  • Rock-Hard Fists: 1d8 Crit 20/x2 Fists as Natural Weapons. May make a full attack using both at full BAB. (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).
  • +(24 + 4 x Con Mod) HP (Immortal Vigor II, from The Practical Enchanter) (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  • +2/- Damage Reduction against physical attacks. (Flesh Ward, from The Practical Enchanter) (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).
  • Mage Armor (usually as some form of natural aura) (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).
  • Powerlift (L1, user is considered two size categories larger for calculating carrying capacity only) (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).
  • The Feather Touch (reduces the weight and mass of objects that the user touches, effectively multiplying his carrying capacity by five. However, since the effect persists for a few moments after the user releases an object it does not increase the amount of damage the user can inflict with weapons or by throwing things; it simply makes it more dramatic) (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).
  • Ignore Leverage (allows the user to ignore minor mechanical principles, allowing him or her to lift unbalanced objects without toppling over or breaking them, as well as to catch people who are falling without injuring them and similar stunts) (Level One Spell x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).

   The Class-I Strongman also gains any three of the following enhancements. All of these are (Level One Spells x Casting Level One x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).

  1. Charisma +2. (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter).
  2. Competence Bonus/+1 to all Saving Throws. (Sidestep, from The Practical Enchanter).
  3. Dexterity +2. (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter).
  4. Endure Elements: The character is immune to ordinary weather effects.
  5. Energy Resistance 5 to all forms of energy save divine and infernal. (Lesser Energy Resistance, from The Practical Enchanter)
  6. Fast Healing I, up to a total of 90 points per day or 18 points/level/day, whichever is better. (Fast Healing I from The Practical Enchanter at five times or once per level/day, since unlimited healing effects are not allowed). This allotment can be doubled if the user must be exposed to some sort of energy or other trigger first.
  7. Inner Fires: The user need not breathe.
  8. Jump: +10 Enhancement Bonus to Jump Checks.
  9. Magic Fang: The user’s fists and other natural weapons become +1 weapons.
  10. Natural Armor +1. (Hide Like Ox, from The Practical Enchanter).
  11. Produce Flame (or another energy type):
  12. Rage: +2 Morale Bonus to Str and Con, +1 Morale Bonus on Will Saves, and -2 to AC while active. (Wrath, from the Practical Enchanter)
  13. Resistance to Poison: +4 Enhancement Bonus on Saves versus Poison and a -2 on the damage resulting from failed saves (Relieve Poison, from the Hedge Magic spell list on this site).
  14. Resistance to Disease: +4 Enhancement Bonus on Saves versus Disease and a -2 on the damage resulting from failed saves (Relieve Illness, from the Hedge Magic spell list on this site).
  15. Resistance Bonus/+1 to all Saving Throws. (Warding Rune, from The Practical Enchanter)
  16. Restoration, Lesser: The Strongman may regain temporary attribute damage or fatigue five times per day.
  17. Shattering: The user can score critical hits against constructs and inanimate objects.
  18. Skill Mastery/+3 Competence Bonus to all Strength-Based Skills. (from The Practical Enchanter).

   The Class-II Strongman uses almost exactly the same package plus…

  • Giant’s Wrath (Level Three Spell x Casting Level Five x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 21,000 GP). This boosts them up by two size categories, with all relevant modifiers. This replaces the Enlarge Person effect from the Class-I package.
  • Cloak of Mortality (L2): Reduces the user’s size by two categories for the purposes of squeezing through tight places, fitting into vehicles, and otherwise avoiding the inconveniences of size. The user’s reach, base damage, and weight are reduced accordingly, all other game statistics remain unchanged. (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  • Three additional Minor Enhancements from the list of options given above (2800 GP plus replacing the Enlarge Person effect). That’s six in total.

   Class-III Strongmen simply add a few things to the Class-II Strongman Package.

   Select one from among:

  1. Adamant Creation (you may create objects made of adamant or some equivalent substance or energy within close range. These weigh up to twenty pounds and last for ten minutes. If used to try and catch someone or some such they get a reflex save to avoid the material) (Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP = 12,000 GP).
  2. Energy Blast (As per Scorching Ray, Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP).
  3. Personal Flight (Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP = 12,000 GP).
  4. Select one item from the next list, an additional two basic enhancements from the Class-I Strongman list of optional enhancements, and gain a continuous Mending effect on your costume (so that it is never damaged, Level One-Half Spell x Casting Level One x 2000 GP x .7 Personal Only = 700 GP) (11,900 GP)
  5. Sphere of Strength (the user’s strength may affect anything up to a 20′ radius or a 40′ cone via a concussion wave, striking the ground, mighty exhalation, or any similar effect. This also multiples the amount of material which the user can lift by a factor of five) (Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP).
  6. Web (or any other sort of entangling effect) (Level Two Spell x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP).

   Select two from among:

  1. Animalistic Strength (gain the physical modifiers appropriate to an animal as per Aspect of the Beast, from The Practical Enchanter). (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x 2000 GP x .7 (cannot be turned off = 8400 GP).
  2. Charisma +4. (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter). (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x 2000 GP x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  3. Constitution +4 (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter). (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x 2000 GP x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP). Since this replaces the +2 Constitution in the basic package, the user should pick another optional enhancement from the Class-I strongman package to replace that power.
  4. Dexterity +4. (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter). (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x 2000 GP x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  5. Heroism (+2 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Saves, and Checks) (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x 2000 GP x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  6. Resist Energy (provides resistance 10 to all forms of energy other than divine and infernal) (Level Two Spell x Casting Level Three x 2000 GP x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).

   And select an additional two optional abilities from the Class-I Strongman List (2800 GP). That’s eight in total.

   The Strongman possesses massive physical power, but isn’t really all that versatile compared to the Feral, the Element Master, or quite a lot of the other heroes out there. It’s also a progression that normally stops at Class-III. You could go higher – devoting yourself to buying ever-more massive bonuses to Strength – but it’s rarely worth it. After a certain point you’re better off taking actual levels.