Having just set up Panzer II – a Champions character who absorbs vehicles and uses their powers – here we have an Eclipse character built around the same general idea. Of course Champions is an off-the-chain freewheeling superhero setting, so young Thomas Gelman will be set up for the Federation-Apocalypse setting, where almost anything goes, the technology is high, and base attributes are normally very good.
That gives us 5d6, keeping the best three, for attributes – and base attributes of Str 18, Int 10, Wis 15, Con 14, Dex 16, and Cha 15. That’s slightly above average for the setting.
Available Character Points: As a first-level build, Thomas gets 48 CP (Base) +10 (Disadvantages) +12 (Human and L1 Bonus Feats) +2 (Duties) = 72 CP. Superhero games usually start at higher levels, but then Panzer was a low-point total starting-out superhero, so it fits well enough.
Package Deal: Kadian Werewolf (0 CP). This is amusing, but it isn’t really a big deal; Kadian werewolves use a bit of innate enchantment and a handful of first-level spell effects to approximate the “Minimum Hollywood Werewolf”.
Kadian Werewolves exist mostly because Marty imported – and Kevin Enthralled for him – a number of young werewolves. Secondarily, Kevin rather likes werewolves (he thinks they’re cute and fuzzy and tends to hand out the package as a present to kids), Marty thinks they’re fun to party with, and Limey thinks they make excellent pets.
- Innate Enchantment. All enchantments Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated, and Personal-Only. Specialized/comes with wolfish instincts (and the need to make occasional will checks to resist such impulses), pack loyalty, and the traditional signs of being a werewolf. 7000 GP inherent value (4 CP).
- Wolf-Shift. A lesser, specific, variant on Alter Self that provides +2 Natural Armor Fur, d6 Claws/Fangs, and a wolfish or full-wolf appearance without other game-mechanic alterations (1400 GP).
- Speak with Animals (1400 GP).
- Enhance Attribute/+2 Wisdom (1400 GP).
- Wrath. +2 Str, +2 Con, +1 Will, and -2 AC when in use (1400 GP).
- Rugged Metabolism Package: Fast Healing I – for 18 Rounds – 2/Day, Relieve Illness 1/Day, Relieve Poison 1/Day, and Lesser Restoration 1/Day (from the Hedge Wizardry list on this site and The Practical Enchanter, 1400 GP).
- Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover their Werewolf abilities, 1 CP).
- Immunity to Dispelling, Antimagic, and Countermagic (Common/Minor/Great. Specialized in protecting innate enchantments only, Corrupted/only covers powers in this werewolf package (4 CP).
- DR 2/-, Specialized versus physical attacks only, Corrupted not versus silver, both for Increased Effect. +6/Silver to base DR, if any (3 CP).
Besides, it lets me label him a “Warewolf”.
Basic Abilities (36 CP):
- Hit Points: 1d20 (16 CP). A physically-oriented superhero needs to be pretty tough.
- Skill Points: 5 (5 CP) + 8 (Fast Learner) = 13 SP
- BAB: +0. We need to save a few points here, and this can be bought up later.
- Saves: A base of +2 Fortitude (6 CP). Another thing to buy up later.
- Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).
Special Abilities (36 CP):
- Upgrade Human Fast Learner to Double Effect for +2 SP/Level (3 CP).
- Privilege/Thomas is a member of the Gelman family in Kadia – putting his father at (literally) the next rung below the realms creator god. Things like “money”, “practicality”, or even “common sense” have never been much of a consideration in his world. For that matter he has the Fenris Wolf as a father-in-law, which adds it’s own level of complications to things (6 CP).
- Immunity/Cyberware: Items taken via the Gadgetry (“Cyberware”) (Dex Based) skill cannot be taken away without major surgery or transformation magic (Common/Minor/Major, 6 CP)
- 1d6 (5) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect/only to install, uninstall, and maintain his “cyberware” (6 CP).
- Immunity/Size Restrictions on what can be taken as Cyberware (Common/Minor/Epic Specialized and Corrupted/coretech only, reliant on reality editing, only items paid for with “gadgetry” points. 6 CP)
This, of course, is a natural-law immunity – and, like all such immunities, needs to be carefully considered before allowing it. Am I really willing to allow someone – however magical they may be – to install any kind of personal weapon or armor from a knife on up through a giant mecha as cyberware?
Well, this IS the Federation-Apocalypse setting, where pretty much anything goes. Lets smack common sense over the head with a hammer and get on with it.
Now in the setting Giant Mecha are hopelessly primitive things, and are treated as upgrades to the ubiquitous Smartclothes. You buy Smartclothes, upgrades thereto, and other personal gadgets by alloting points from the Gadgetry skill. So lets see how high we can get that before we run out of points…
We’ll want Skill Emphasis for Gadgetry, gaining a +2 for (3 CP). Skill Focus would be nice too, but there just aren’t going to be enough points yet. Maybe in a level or two.
We’ll also want Augmented Bonus – call it ”Built like Adonis” /add (Str Mod) to (Cha Mod) for Charisma-based skill purposes, Specialized for Double Effect/for Gadgetry only (6 CP).
We’ll invest all four permitted skill points and – a bit cheaply – take a Skill Speciality in Gadgetry (Mechas) for +1 SP. That will get us a net skill of +4 SP +2 Charisma +4 Reality Editing +2 Skill Emphasis +3 Mecha Speciality +8 (2 x Str Mod) = +23
That ought to be enough to upgrade a top-quality suit of Smartclothes into quite a mecha. Lets call it the…
Arioch Class Mecha (60 Tons):
- Basis: Special-Forces Smartclothes (3). These provide +6 AC, DR 6/-, Energy Resistance 6, +6 to Climb, Disguise, Listen, Spot, Stealth, and Swim, +4 Unarmed Damage, +4 on saves versus sensory overloads and chemical exposure, and a +4 bonus with ranged attacks with built in or “smart” weapons.
- Augmented Life Support (1): Equipped for Space Operations for up to one week.
- Augmented Life Support (1): Indefinitely comfortable at temperatures from -120 to +180 degrees Fahrenheit, can handle forest-fire and similar temperatures for many hours.
- Amplifier Exoskeleton (1): +4 Str, +2 Dex, +10′ Movement.
- Growth III (3): Gargantuan Mecha: +24 Str, -2 Dex, +12 Con, +12 Natural Armor, +60 HP.
- Flight III (3): Breaks falls, +30 to Jump, limited flight (like an ultralight).
- Sensors and Communications III (3): 5 Mile base range increment for active scans and transmissions.
- Military-Class Effector Module (1). Provides stacking DR 6/Energy, +6 Shield Bonus versus physical attacks, 4d6 base damage, and 100% Fortification.
- Weapons Base (2): All weapons Heavy, Enlarged Magazine +1, 1 Improvement, +2 points for Quintuple Range.
- Heavy Plasma Cannon x2 (2): Heavy Energy Small Arm, Increased Damage 1, Explosive 3. 50 Shots/Cannon, 4d10 Damage in a 10′ Radius, 480′ Range Increment, Critical 20/x2.
- MicroFusion Missile Launcher x5 (5): Heavy Gyroc Small Arm, Reduced Magazine (counters free improvement), No Criticals, Increased Damage II, Explosive III, Battery. 25 Shots/Launcher, 5d20 damage in a 10′ Radius, 480′ Range Increment. Fire 5 for choice of +4 To Hit, hitting 1d4 targets in a group, or double damage (vrs double DR).
- Machine Gun (1): Heavy Slugthrower Small Arm, Enlarged Magazine 2, Selective Fire, Increased Critical. 250 Shots, 2d10 Damage, Range Increment 480, Critical 18-20/x2.
That comes to a grand total of 23 gadget points – just what Thomas can afford.
The Arioch Mecha thus provides
- Defense Bonuses: +6 Armor Bonus, +6 Shield Bonus, +12 Natural Armor, DR 12/-, Energy Resistance 6, 100% Fortification, +4 on saves versus sensory overloads and chemical exposure.
- Attribute Bonuses: +28 Strength, +12 Constitution, +60 HP.
- Movement: +10′ ground movement, +30 to Jump, eliminates falling damage, Flight.
- Skill Bonuses: +6 to Climb, Disguise, Listen, Spot, Stealth, and Swim
- Attack Bonuses: +4 Unarmed Damage and a +4 bonus with ranged attacks with his built in or “smart” weapons.
-And the assorted weapons (Force-Blades, Micro-Missile Battery, Plasma Cannons, Machine Gun). He’ll usually reload with a bit of reality editing; he can’t do that very often given that his mana only recovers at one or two (with rest) points a day – but he has enough ammo that that shouldn’t matter all that much.
Overall, Thomas – as with Panzer II – is pretty much Iron Man. While this precise build is only possible in the Federation-Apocalypse setting, you could do much the same thing in any high-tech setting by using a tank, attack helicopter, or similar vehicle. In that case the Privilege would be in having access to such things without paying for them and you’d put the points invested in boosting the Gadgetry skill into something else. You wouldn’t get some of the minor boosts that the Smartclothes provide, but that immunity will still let you pull off some absurd stuff. (It’s far less impressive in a medieval setting though; the functions of a cart aren’t really very dramatic – even if “I can haul along a ton or so of gear with no problem” would have it’s uses.
Thomas has made a number of appearances in the Federation-Apocalypse game – starting as a baby with his attempts to escape his crib and at a number of important stages during his life. Like most of the Gelman’s offspring, his primary role is to provide complications for his parents – who long ago graduated from “occasional NPC interaction for the PC’s” to “secondary PC’s” (although that’s pretty common in the game).