Mutants of the Eclipse Part X – The Healer

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here are the power packages for Class I and Class II Healers – that is, at +1 and +2 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).

   Healers are always a bit problematic. They allow characters to enter battle casually, to disregard wounds, and to endanger bystanders without worrying about it. They eliminate a lot of tension, spoil the drama of dying words, and make a lot of classical menaces more or less meaningless. Questions like “will he survive his injures?” really should provoke some tension, rather than phrases like “of course he will stupid!”.

   In superhero worlds, where most characters have unlimited use of their abilities, things are even worse. With a super-healer running about, no one will remain injured for more than a minute or two – and hospitals become redundant. Who needs them when a single healer can cure a thousand people or so a day?

   The standard solution in the comic books material is to drastically limit healers, sometimes by saying that healing drains their own strength, sometimes by saying that it drastically stresses the target, and usually by saying both.

   Thus we have:

  •    “Subjects cannot benefit from more than (Con/3) levels of healing effects per day. Healing effects which are partially in excess of this limit will cause Fatigue if the target has relevant injuries to be healed and will take time – until the next day, when they will fit within the target’s healing allowance – to take full effect. Healing effects in excess of this limit will cause the subject to become Exhausted if the subject has relevant injuries to be healed; applying – say – a “cure blindness” effect will not exhaust a target who has no blindness to he healed. Applying healing effects to a character who has already been Exhausted by excess healing attempts requires a Fortitude Save against the effect to avoid a total collapse and possible (GMO) death or long-term disability that CANNOT be repaired by healing effects.” That’s about (x .4), since it makes unlimited-use healing a great deal less useful.
  •    Secondarily to represent the personal limit on the Healer’s powers, lets say that “A healer must expend his or her own strength in healing. Each healing effect applied requires a Fortitude Save to avoid fatigue (the Arcanum Minimus life energy limitation from The Practical Enchanter, reducing the effective level of the user’s healing spells by one) that cannot be removed by supernatural powers. No matter how good the user’s saves are, he or she cannot use more than (twice his or her Constitution) total levels worth of healing effects in any one day (x.3).

   Now, normally you aren’t allowed to create unlimited-use healing abilities anyway. Enchantments are normally limited to a maximum of five uses per day or once per day per level, whichever is better, but those are pretty restrictive even on top of those limitations. A high-constitution healer can get away with more “Relieve Illness” or “Cure Light Wounds” effects under those two limitations than he or she could as a normal character – but he or she would be giving up all use of most of his or her other abilities to do it. That will work nicely.

   So, our Class-I Healers abilities will look something like this:

  • Level One Effects (Effectively Spell Level Zero x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 120 GP each). Effects in this group include Cure Light Wounds, Dentistry (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), Expel Parasites (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), Lesser Restoration, Relieve Illness (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), and Surgery I (makes minor cosmetic changes and corrects minor problems, including small congenital defects). That’s a total of 840 GP.
  • Level Two Effects (Effectively Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 240 GP each). Effects in this group include Calm Emotions, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Remove Paralysis, and Surgery II (makes notable changes or corrects moderate problems, including most congenital defects). That’s a total of 1200 GP.
  • Level Three Effects (Effectively Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 1440 GP each). Effects in this group include Cure Serious Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, and Surgery III (makes major cosmetic changes and corrects major problems, including massive congenital defects. That’s a total of 8640 GP.
  • Level Four Effects (Effectively Spell Level Three x Caster Level Five x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 3600 GP each). Effects in this group include Cure Critical Wounds, Genetic Correction (undoes troublesome genetic damage or malign mutations), and Restoration for a total of 10,800 GP
  • Level Six Effects. These come with an additional Arcanum Minimus minus one level modifier – Ambient Magic, which means that they take a good deal of time to invoke (Effectively Spell Level Four x Caster Level Seven x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations =3600 GP each). Effects in this category include Heal and Revival (a spell to possibly bring back the very recently dead, from The Practical Enchanter), for a total of 7200 GP.
  • Finally, lets give him or her unlimited use of a set of three cantrips from the Hedge Wizardry list – Check Health, Contraception, and Painkiller. None of those actually heal anything, so truly unlimited use is appropriate – at a net cost of 3000 GP (three spells, each Spell Level Zero x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 1000 GP each).

   That’s a grand total, for our Basic Class-I healing package, of 31,680 GP.

   Class-II Healers – also sometimes known as Messiah Class Healers – can do even more, although their three major abilities come with an additional Arcanum Minimus minus one level modifier – Ambient Magic. These effects require a good deal of time to attempt.

  • They can bring back people who have been dead for several days. That’s Raise Dead – but Raise Dead has a very expensive material component. ([Effectively Spell Level Three x Caster Level Five x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated + 5000 GP Material Component x 50 for Restricted Use] x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations x.3 Tends to attract the attention of supernatural beings that embody death, creatures that are involved with the dead, and various spirits = 10,080 GP.
  • They can regenerate limbs and organs. That’s Regenerate (Effectively Spell Level Five x Caster Level Nine x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 10,800 GP).
  • The can restore almost any other negative effect, although this costs the target some 500 XP. That’s Greater Restoration (Effectively Spell Level Five x Caster Level Nine x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 10,800 GP).

   That’s an additional total of another 31,680 GP.

   That does leave enough left over for a Class-II healer to have another unlimited-use cantrip. Personally I’d suggest Touch of Fatigue; that’s about as dangerous as a healer’s powers are really likely to get in the comics.

   Healers can be vitally important when you need one, but they really aren’t very exciting; they tend to help after battles, not during them. Now, if a healer is operating in a non-superhero world – where people are far less durable, medical treatment is usually more limited, and most special powers are limited-use anyway – they become far more important figures, and – like most of the other “Mutant” packages – their abilities would be a definite abuse of Innate Enchantment.

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Mutants of the Eclipse Part IX – The Stealth Expert

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here are the power packages for Class I and Class II Stealth Experts – that is, at +1 and +2 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 Stealth Expert makes for an uneasy superhero on several levels. First off, of course, is the simple fact that comic books, movies, and cartoons are visual mediums – and characters whom you can’t SEE don’t really work very well in them. If that wasn’t bad enough, sneaking around has negative connotations with a lot of people – and a character who’s sole talent is stealth often has little to do in a superhero group. When a giant monster is smashing its way down main street, being able to hide really well doesn’t help a lot.

   Of course, the source material usually patches these problems.

   In the comic books, “stealth experts” can usually be described as characters who appear and disappear mysteriously, who possess considerable skill with weapons or martial arts, and are very agile and evasive. How they appear and disappear may or may not be explained. Once in a great while there may be a brief shot of them sneaking around, similar to the few moments that were spent on Ben sneaking around the Death Star in Star Wars. More often, no explanation is offered at all; the character simply appears when convenient. Almost as often, the character has some power like short-range teleportation, invisibility, or intangibility, giving them both a defense that will let them participate in super-powered conflicts and an excuse for the way they just pop up out of nowhere.

   The Class-I Stealth Expert gets:

   Choice of two Major Abilities from among:

  • Darkness (Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP).
  • Ethereal Phase (From the Speedster list, Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP).
  • Invisibility (Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP). Note that this will allow a Stealth Expert to render a small group invisible as long as they remain in contact with him or her.
  • Dimension Door with Formula Modifiers “Powers of Chaos” and “Life Energy”. The character must make a DC 12 Will save when teleporting more than his or her normal movement; on a failure he or she becomes Fatigued. On a “1” something really odd happens, on a “2” there are minor side effects (Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP). (For a serious comic-book hero, I’d buy some luck rerolls on that).
  • Wind Dance (From the Speedster list, Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 12,000 GP). The effect may be evasiveness, blink teleportation, simple martial arts evasions, or some other effect selected when the character is created.

   Choice of six Minor Abilities from among:

  1. Breakfall (Feather Fall): The user is not harmed by falls.
  2. C’hi Healing: Cure Light Wounds three times per day and Lesser Restoration twice per day.
  3. Camouflage: +10 Circumstance Bonus to Hide Checks.
  4. Draining Touch (Ray of Enfeeblement, not Personal Only, but x.7 Must be used as part of an unarmed attack or touch attack instead).
  5. Enhance Attribute: +2 Enhancement Bonus to an attribute (most commonly dexterity).
  6. Eyes of the Night: You may see normally in magical darkness.
  7. Lethal Strike: Gain +2d6 Sneak Attack.
  8. Light Foot (From the Speedsters spell list, +30 circumstance bonus ground movement speed a +10 circumstance bonus on jump checks, and DR 10 versus Falling Damage only).
  9. Low-Light Vision: See twice as far as a normal human under low-light conditions.
  10. Martial Mastery: +4 Competence Bonus to BAB with Unarmed Strikes (or with another specific weapon) (Weapon Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter).
  11. Martial Arts: The user’s hands and feet are as effective as a +2 Hand Axe.
  12. Mental Map: The user can instinctively retrace his or her steps and never becomes lost.
  13. Nerve Strike: Add Chill Touch effects to one of your unarmed melee attacks each round.
  14. Predatory Mind: +3 Morale Bonus to Initiative, Spot and Listen Checks, and saves versus Fear.
  15. Serpents Strike: Gain one additional attack at your full BAB which may be taken off-action.
  16. Skill Mastery: +3 Competence Bonus on a particular group of skills.
  17. Sure Step: The user gains a +10 enhancement bonus on Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble and retains his or her Dexterity bonus to AC when balancing or climbing for one minute per level of the caster.
  18. Toughening Exercises: +(12 + 2 x Con Mod) HP (Immortal Vigor I, from The Practical Enchanter).
  19. Unbreakable Grasp: Gain a +10 Enhancement Bonus to Climb checks and to rolls to hang onto things.
  20. Weapons Mastery: +2 Competence Bonus to BAB with a particular group of weapons.

   All Minor Abilities are (Level One Spell x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x.7 Personal Only = 1400 GP).

   The Class-II Stealth Expert gains:

  • +4 Dexterity (Enhance Attribute from The Practical Enchanter, Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  • +7 to a group of skills (Skill Mastery from The Practical Enchanter, Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Personal Only = 8400 GP).
  • Greater Nerve Strike (Hold Person, Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 Must be used as part of an unarmed attack or touch attack = 8400 GP). Similar spells, such as Blindness/Deafness work as well.
  • An additional four choices from amongst the Class-I Minor Abilities list.

   There are no pure Class-III or higher Stealth Experts – unless someone wants to create a custom build or wants to upgrade to Improved Invisibility or some such (not very heroic at all that). Once you’re obscenely good at sneaking about, or can become intangible, or pop around via short-range teleportation, where do you go from there? You either have those powers or you don’t, unlike strength, or psychic constructs, or manipulation powers, all of which you can steadily step up. Most Stealth Experts prefer to take actual levels, skills, and martial abilities – or to take abilities from some other type of hero if they really want to take more template levels.