Mutants of the Eclipse Part XVI – The Channeler

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here we have Class-I through Class-V (+1 to +5 ECL) Channelers – “mutants” with the ability to take on animal powers or even those of supernatural creatures.

   OK, that’s more than a little weird really. A really plausible mutation would only change a single characteristic or – at most – a modest group of developmentally-related characteristics. Realistic mutations are usually either very subtle or have major downsides as well.

   Of course, comic-book mutations tend to provide bizarre powers, and either a smorgasbord of random personal upgrades or a selection of “themed” abilities. Worse, sometimes they change or upgrade themselves thanks to some odd experience. As a kicker, the offspring of mutants are usually mutants – but they also often wind up with either near-duplicates of their parents abilities or entirely different powers from those of their parents.

   Just as importantly, in the comics, “mutant power negators” work on all kinds of mutant powers.

   Whatever genetic factor creates mutants seems to operate in a simple on/off mode and produces abilities that – while wildly different on the surface – all share a common mechanism. Mutant powers also seem to run to themed sets of abilities, which are very often closely related to the personalities of their user’s.

   Ah. There we have something. A “Mutants” unconscious attitudes and beliefs shape their powers. Ergo, “Mutants” only have one basic power, although it may (perhaps) vary in strength between individuals; they can tap into some cosmic or psychic force which can do virtually ANYTHING – but unconsciously channel that power into personalized suites of abilities. That’s fair enough. “I can do ANYTHING” sounds good, but unconscious impulses, the tendency to try to wipe away traumatic (or merely disappointing) memories and characteristics, and the vagaries of self-image will soon either destroy such a character or transform them into a transcendent quasi-deity with little or nothing in common with humanity. Whether depowered, warped, comatose, or ascended, characters who can do anything are not long for the world.

   A Channeler can temporarily infuse himself or herself with either a specific set of abilities or with themed sets of abilities – powers that are shaped by their own beliefs and cultural archetypes. In game terms, that’s usually built by giving them access to some summoning effects with the “channeling” (also known as “possession”) modifier applied.

   As usual, “mutant powers” are built using Unlimited-Use Use-Activated Innate Enchantments – at an effective base “Cost” of (Spell Level x Casting Level x 2000 GP x Modifiers).

   Summoning/Channeling spells are one level higher than usual (two levels if you can summon things into other characters), but one that summons a specific creature is one level lower than usual. On the other hand, despite the unlimited-use, “resummoning” a creature – or summoning a new one – doesn’t renew the extra hit points a channeling spell bestows – and they’ll get subtracted from the user’s pool when he or she dismisses his or her channeled entity (x.7). The channeling variant usually means that you can only have one creature at a time too, which takes a lot of the point out of “unlimited use” (x.6). Ergo…

  • A Class-I Channeler can use either the equivalent of a third level Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally spell OR pick a specific creature from the fourth-level list to summon. That has a net cost of (Level Four Spell x Seven Caster Seven x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 for the hit-point limitations x .6 for the “one at a time” limitation = 23,520 GP). That leaves 8480 GP to buy additional enhancements – most often from the “Paragon” list.
  • A Class-II Channeler can use either the equivalent of a fifth level Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally spell OR pick a specific creature from the sixth-level list to summon. That has a net cost of (Level Six Spell x Caster Level Eleven x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 for the hit-point limitations x .6 for the “one at a time” limitation = 55, 440 GP). That leaves 8560 GP to buy additional enhancements – most often from the “Paragon” list.
  • A Class-III Channeler can use either the equivalent of a sixth level Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally spell OR pick a specific creature from the seventh-level list to summon. That has a net cost of (Level Seven Spell x Caster Level Thirteen Caster x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 for the hit-point limitations x .6 for the “one at a time” limitation = 76,440 GP). That leaves 19,560 GP to buy additional enhancements – most often from the “Paragon” list.
  • A Class-IV Channeler can use either the equivalent of a fifth level Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally spell OR pick a specific creature from the sixth-level list to summon. That has a net cost of (Level Eight Spell x Caster Level Fifteen Caster x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 for the hit-point limitations x .6 for the “one at a time” limitation = 100,800 GP). That leaves 27,200 GP to buy additional enhancements – most often from the “Paragon” list.
  • A Class-V Channeler can use either the equivalent of an eighth level Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally spell OR pick a specific creature from the ninth-level list to summon. That has a net cost of (Level Nine Spell x Caster Level Seventeen Caster x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 for the hit-point limitations x .6 for the “one at a time” limitation = 128,520 GP). That leaves 31,480 GP to buy additional enhancements – most often from the “Paragon” list.

   Channelers can be quite powerful; high-level creatures often have a plethora of abilities which don’t usually come up much in battle – but a Channeler is certain to take full advantage of them. Just as importantly, on top of their abuse of Innate Enchantment (a common factor in all our “Mutants”) they’re investing almost all their allotment of power into a single, overwhelming, ability – something which would usually call for an ECL penalty, In a superhero universe, that may be a bit less important however.

   Most “Mutant Heroes” don’t fit into standard d20 games all that well – and Channelers are worse than most.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: