For today, thanks to a request that seemed appropriate for Halloween, it’s Queen Chrysalis from My Little Pony; Friendship Is Magic.
Of course, the problem here is that Queen Chrysalis appears in only two episodes, spends most of what little screen time she gets in disguise, and even then is mostly either being rude (and grossly out of character for Candace), singing, or gloating. That means that she only displays a handful of powers, some of which are very plot-specific. What’s more, for a shapeshifting infiltration expert she didn’t do much research on her target. Not knowing about Shining Armor’s sister? Really? Isn’t that like trying to infiltrate Microsoft without being able to recognize Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office?
OK. I’ll assume that Chrysalis is normally a lot more competent than that and was simply in a big rush or something. I think it’s also reasonable to assume that she’s had a rough and adventurous life, that she’s several centuries old, and that she’s a fairly potent mentalist. Still, while Chrysalis is a major villain, in a generally low-level world like Equestria, that doesn’t really imply being of a very high level. Luna’s build only required level eight, and Alzrius built Celestia at level nine. Moreover, Chrysalis had to be hopped up on love to beat Celestia, so level seven seems fair – and she gets the Low-Level Adventurer Template, just like everyone else.
To summarize the low-level adventurer template, those affected get:
- A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
- Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
- The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
- A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
- Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
- Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Queen Chrysalis we’ll take Hard Training (Constitution) (a +2 bonus to her constitution) and Enduring (gaining a +1 bonus on saves) – useful, if subtle and unspectacular, bonuses.
To summarize the Changeling Racial Template Modifiers:
- Quadruped: Changelings lose half their ground movement if they can’t use all four legs and take a -4 penalty on anything requiring two hands.
- Attribute Shift: -2 Dex, +2 Con
- Limited Shapeshift: A physical version of Disguise Self. It does not affect clothing or gear. This is not detectable by psionics or magic.
- Virtual Equipment: Changelings do not need to actually have basic tools, simple melee weapons, mundane light or medium armor, or clothing to gain it’s benefits and/or relevant appearance. As a side effect they are considered proficient with all such “manifested” items.
- Innate Enchantments (Spell Level One, Caster Level One): Goo Splat, Goo Mastery, Greater Mage Hand, Sustenance, and one other of choice which may be swapped out given a couple of weeks. Innate enchantments stack with external effects.
- Changelings may buy four skills (Bluff, Disguise, Sense Motive, and Speak Language) for half cost and gain a +4 Racial Bonus to all those skills.
- Flight, 30′, with perfect maneuverability. Will not function if the user’s wings are entangled, damaged, or otherwise restrained (although, weirdly enough, as long as the user’s wings are free to move, it doesn’t matter if they are actually moving), is subject to dispelling, antimagic, and similar effects, and makes the user magically conspicuous
- Love Drain 5/Day: As per Bestow Curse – but the target must be experiencing the emotion of Love or Friendship and the effect fades over the next few days whether removed or not. Victims do get a save, but do not notice making it and the “curse” leaves no traces beyond emotional draining. Each time she “feeds” by successfully cursing someone, she gains 3d “love points”. If the qualifying emotion was true romantic love use d12’s, for true friendship or familial love use d8’s, for crushes and abstract love (groups, comic books, whatever) use d6’s, and for casual affection or lust use d4’s. She can store up to (Chr x Con) Love Points. In general, staying alive costs two points a day – one for their innate Sustenance effect, one for simply functioning. If they’re trying to heal up, it’ll cost another one. Changing forms costs one, as does holding a form for a few hours (three for a day). Finally, using their Innate Enchantments other than Sustenance costs one per five minutes or part thereof.
- Physical and Magical Hysteria. These run on “Love Points” and only work when the user is at at least 80% of their “love capacity”.
- Changelings do NOT gain the benefit (a constant supply of Mana) of the Superheroic World Template.
Changelings are a +0 ECL Race – but a version of the “Alicorn” part of the “Alicorn Template” seems fairly appropriate; Chrysalis is pretty blatantly a corrupted/evil alicorn.
Changeling Alicorn Template (32 CP / +1 ECL Acquired Template)
- Metamagical Theorems: Amplify (3 CP), Elemental Manipulation (3 CP), Lacing (3 CP), and Stabilize (3 CP), all Specialized: only usable with love-powered magic, makes the user a primary target, makes you bigger and more conspicuous,
- Streamline x4, Corrupted, no more than four levels worth of metapsionics in total may be applied to any one power unless the user has fused their powers with another Alicorn, in which case four levels from each Alicorn involved may be applied, Specialized as above (8 CP). Chrysalis has an even distribution of +2 levels worth of each available, up to that maximum total of four.
- +2 Constitution (12 CP).
There really isn’t much of any information at all available here. Chrysalis is a pretty good singer, is presumably fairly tough, and doesn’t show any startling disabilities – but neither does she show any particularly fabulous intelligence, alertness, strength, or speed. Those holes in her limbs look like a weakness when it comes to physical strength though. Ergo, Constitution and Charisma are her best attributes and Strength her weakest, with the others splitting up whatever’s left over. So, using 32-Point Buy Base Attributes, that gives here a base of: Str 8, Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16, Dex 12, and Chr 16. After her racial and template modifiers that gives her.
Attributes: Str 8, Int 12, Wis 12, Con 22, Dex 10, Chr 16. That also gives her a “Love Capacity” of 352 Love Points – a rather impressive amount!
Available Character Points: 168 (Level Six Base) + 12 (Duties as the Changeling Queen) + 10 (Disadvantages: Compulsive/Villainous gloating and explaining, Irreverent, and Outcast) + 18 (L1, L3, and L6 Feats) = 208 CP
Basic Purchases (76 CP):
- Warcraft (BAB): +3 (18 CP).
- Hit Points / Dice: 12 (L1, d12, 8 CP) + 26 (L2-6, d8, 20 CP) +12 (Template) + 48 (8x Con Mod) = 98 HP.
- Armor Class 10 (Base) + 0 (Dex) +5 (Armor) + (Martial Art) =
- Initiative +0 (Dex)
- Movement: 40′
- Save Bonuses:
- Fortitude: +1 (3 CP) +6 (Con) +1 (Template) = +8
- Reflex: +2 (6 CP) +0 (Dex) +1 (Template) = +3
- Will: +3 (9 CP) +1 (Wis) +1 (Template) = +5
- Skill Points: 12 (Purchased, 12 CP) +9 (Int) +18 (Fast Learner at level minus two) = 39 SP.
Other Abilities (132 CP):
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Skill Points for Double Effect (6 CP). Taken with disadvantage points at birth to maximize the benefits.
- 10 Levels of Spontaneous-Caster Adept (Mentalist), Specialized for Increased Effect (All spell / power knowledge slots are treated as one level higher and powers may be powered with Love Points – but the list comes with no Power or Spell Slots) (60 CP).
- Available Spells:
- 6 L1: Energy Ray (A), Inertial Armor (A), Force Screen (A), Entangling Ectoplasm, Attraction (A), Disable (A).
- 4 L2: Elfsight, Body Equilibrium, Knock, Cloud Mind.
- 3 L3: Dismiss Ectoplasm, Body Adjustment (A), Dispel Psionics (Magic).
- 2 L4: Dimension Door, Power (Love) Leech (A).
- Available Spells:
- 10 Levels of Spontaneous-Caster Adept (Mentalist) with No Caster Levels, Specialized for Increased Effect (All slots are treated as one level higher and may be powered with Love Points rather than Power)/comes with no Power, Corrupted for Reduced Cost/telepathic powers only (20 CP).
- Available Spells
- 6 L0: Mindlink (A), Charm (A), Conceal Thoughts, Daze (A), Demoralize (A), Empathy (A).
- 4 L1: Brain Lock (A), Suggestion (A), Read Thoughts, Aversion (A).
- 3 L2: Major Image (Special), Emotion (Special), Psionic Blast
- 2 L3: Dominate (A), Modify Memory.
- Available Spells
Combined with her innate metapsionic enhancements, this makes Chrysalis a formidable psionic adept – at least as long as her supply of Love holds out. Unfortunately, while her potential output is higher than ordinary ponies can manage, ponies draw on a limitless flow of power. A minute or two at her peak power output will exhaust Queen Chrysalis, while ponies can keep spending mana indefinitely. If she’s going to fight ponies… she has to strike hard and win fast.
- Ritual Magic (Psionics) (6 CP) with Power Words, Specialized for Increased Effect (can store psionic rituals and ONLY psionic rituals, at a “cost” of 1, 2, or 3 “spell levels” worth of capacity for minor/major/grandiose rituals (6 CP). That gives her a storage capacity of seven “levels” of rituals – enough for her to haul out the occasional very-specialized effect with little difficulty.
“Sink through the ground until you land in the Underdark” seems like an awfully specific and fairly high-level effect to learn – but it would be a simple enough ritual. Personally, I’d assume that Chrysalis prepared it as a backup plan to deal with Cadance if taking Shining Armor’s form and saying “Dear? I’d like to show you something down this way!” didn’t work. It did – so she had the effect in reserve to use on Twilight. I’d peg “Send to the Underdark” as a Major ritual, calling for two of her storage slots.
- Leadership, with Strength in Numbers and Horde, Specialized/normal changelings never get beyond level one unless they’re fed MASSIVE amounts of Love to enable them to hit level two (6 CP). Chrysalis may have a few level two types (the ones with helmets) in her entourage, but for the most part she just has a swarm of fairly generic first level changelings.
- +8 daily Bonus Uses on her Bestow Curse / Feed on Love ability (4 CP).
- Arcane Block with Riposte (12 CP). This – with a little luck – will allow her to intercept Celestia’s shot with her own and strike back.
- Luck with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP).
- Create Relic, Specialized/only for points from Enthusiast, must work in a magical location (3 CP), Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (3 CP worth)/only for creating relics, two-point relics maximum (3 CP).
There really isn’t any justification for this, but it’s a convenient way to allow Chrysalis to prepare for missions; she can forge a relic to give herself a few extra powers, to protect herself against a specific threat – or to cover some new power that pops up on the show if she should happen to reappear.
Skills (39 SP):
- Bluff +9 (4 SP) +3 (Cha) +4 (Racial) +3 (Template) = +19
- Disguise +9 (4 SP) +3 (Cha) +4 (Racial) +3 (Template) = +19
- Sense Motive +9 (4 SP) +1 (Wis) +4 (Racial) = +14
- Speak Language +9 (4 SP) +1 (Int) +4 (Racial) = +14
- Concentration +6 (6 SP) +6 (Con) +3 (Template) = +15
- Perform/Sing +2 (2 SP) +3 (Cha) = +5
- Martial Art / The Adaptive Way +8 (8 SP) +6 (Con) +3 (Template) = +17
- Known Techniques: Toughness IV (DR 4/-), Blinding Strike, Mind Like Moon, Sneak Attack II, and Vanishing.
- Intimidate +5 (5 SP) +3 (Cha) +3 (Template) = +11
- Spot +2 (2 SP) +1 (Wis) = +3
Chrysalis usually relies on the massed efforts of her minions to gather information for her rather than trying to get it herself – but every once in a while (such as “how Candace acts) they get it all wrong.
Chrysalis is a superb spy, an expert infiltrator, and a decent assassin – but she isn’t really a combat monster. Of course, given that she was going up against thoroughly peaceful ponies, she didn’t really need to be. Pumped up on love, she could easily boost her caster level up to sixteen – well above Celestia’s.
This is all pretty speculative of course – there’s no help for it when there’s so little actual information to go on – but it does cover what we do know and the rest ought to be reasonably plausible. Until there’s an episode which goes into more detail on Chrysalis and her Changelings this is probably about the best I can do.