Apex – Prince Blueblood Escapes From My Little Pony

And today… I’m going to turn Prince Blueblood of Equestria into a hero in the Apex setting – mostly because the thought amuses me.

Equestria… `is a patchwork nation. Why not? It’s inhabited by a species of instinctively-harmonious, spontaneously-helpful, extremely mobile, rather high powered, and incredibly productive creatures that exercise an astounding level of control over it’s environment. It’s rather gently ruled and guided by a very powerful, prophetic, several-thousand-years experienced, and incredibly tolerant and kind, near-immortal. Equestria doesn’t really NEED efficiency, large-scale organization, or to iron out the wrinkles in their government. The country works just fine as a collection of geographically-organized city-states that just let the magic of harmony manage their public affairs.

After all, if Harmony can organize dozens of ponies, and the local wildlife, and weather, into spontaneous, intricately choreographed, musical numbers… organizing a gathering, or traffic patterns, or a rescue operation, is no great task.

Thus every local system – and silly title that ponies have used to try and impress each other over the last couple of millennia (not counting the confused length of time spent in the Age of Discord) – has continued through the centuries because there’s no reason to change the traditions.

And so we have Blueblood the 42’nd, Prince of Canterlot and Environs (and thus City Administrator and Gala Organizer, as if either of those jobs actually calls for him to do anything), Commander of the Canterlot Guard (all eighty-odd of them; ponies aren’t big standing armies so they mostly function as city staff), distant relative of Celestia and Luna (inevitably, after several millennia, sharing that honor with most of the rest of the country – although his bloodline is close enough to show some minor enhancements), Duke of Burgandneigh, Keeper of the Sapphire Keys, Supreme Mugwump, and a half a dozen other meaningless titles. He’s a competent mage (in a city hosting dozens of brilliant mages, Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, and the Royal Sisters themselves), a decent tactician and military commander (in a society that generally has no wars or even border disputes), a fair diplomat (although any important ambassador deals with Celestia and Luna directly), a magical scout and pathfinder (in the center of civilization in a well-explored and thoroughly pegasi-mapped world), a reasonably good manager (in a world that needs no management) – and generally entirely useless. He can’t even organize fire services (pegasi make rain to do that) or the rescue of cats from trees (any unicorn can do that). About his only real “task” is pointing the occasional stray kid back to where they’re supposed to be, playing crossing guard (which means a lot less in a world where most deliveries are by air, there are no riding animals to act up, and there are no powered vehicles), soothing the occasional upset or drunk pony, and tossing pies at the Flim-Flam brothers until they go away.

Blueblood spent a lot of time stewing in his own juices, getting drunk, indulging his vanity, and making fools of pests (Sadly, he automatically assumed that Rarity was a status-seeking pest) for his own amusement. Why is he a arrogant, entitled, snob? What else is his job FOR? His only ACTUAL function is to be annoying and thus ensure that everypony will be thankful that Equestria is run by Celestia and Luna instead of the traditional nobility. Utopia doesn’t NEED governmental competence. It just needs enough petty annoyances to maintain a proper emotional balance.

Then, during yet another pointless day, he sensed a NEW Path. A crack in the barriers for him alone, a way… from imagination into reality.

And Blueblood walked that path – and on Apex he found a realm where there was finally a USE for his talents. A world where people actually NEEDED guidance, and organization, and rescue, and negotiations, and patrons. A realm where he was a powerful mage with rare abilities, where his wealth genuinely meant something – and where he could antagonize people simply by existing.

In fact, his ability to find any desired route soon made him a valuable pilot for Cronus, A.K.A. “The Doctor”, since he can usually get the TARDIS to where they actually want to go.

He’s still a douche though.

Bluebloods talents include being a wealthy aristocrat (for him that’s actually a power – a basic part of his portfolio as a Titan; he has wealth, fine houses, local contacts, and contacts with various magical forces everywhere he goes), a selection of minor abilities that go with being a Titan and a Cartoon, and his Unicorn Magic – Telekinesis, the ability to enhance himself that goes with his strong Alicorn Bloodline, Pathfinding, and a selection of cartoon magic spells capable of causing many silly effects.

Blueblood is pretty powerful for the setting; he’s using a bunch of cheap “aid” powers to squeeze in a bunch of perks, his cartoon spells, and some attribute boosts without paying much for them. On the other hand, he’s got a fair number of points sunk into things like High Society, “”Bureaucratics, Immunity to Hair Damage, Always Looking Good, Background Music and Sound Effects, exotic languages to snub people in, being resistant to attempts to get rid of him, and so on. He’s an adventurous socialite, not a combat specialist.

Princeps Augustus Blueblood II

Value Characteristic Points
18/30 STR 8
14/18 DEX 12
18/24 CON 16
8/14 BODY -4
8/20 INT -2
8/14 EGO -4
18/30 PRE 8
8/32 COM -1
6/12 PD 0
4/10 ED 0
3/4 SPD 6
10/16 REC 0
24/48 END -6
32/44 STUN 0
Total 33

 

Points Powers END
0 Minor Titan Racial Package
(20) Physical Limitation: Shaped By Belief. Titans may be powerful in their fields, but they are limited to a single, and invariably fairly straightforward, domain. A Spirit of Invention makes gadgets and – possibly – provides grants and teaches. Similarly, the spirit of Memorial Day is a formidable soldier, has lots of weapons, and can operate military vehicles – but that’s about it . (Frequently, Fully)
(20) Mental Characteristic Maxima of 15 (-20 Points). People never really think that their “gods” are really much smarter, or more perceptive, or whatever, than they are – no matter what their theme is. The God of Knowledge may have a lot of knowledge skills, but he or she normally won’t actually be much smarter than the average person. If there’s any one thing that the Titans find annoying about their relationship with mortals… this may be it. (All the Time, Greatly)
(20) Psychological Limitation: Themed. Titans aren’t even CAPABLE of getting seriously off-theme. A war god won’t be negotiating, the healing goddess won’t be building gadgets, and the god of justice won’t be letting criminals go, no matter how necessary it may be (Common, Total)
(12) Regeneration (1 BODY/week); Regenerate: From Death, +20
(3) Immune to Aging
15 Domain: 15 Points worth of abilities appropriate to their domain.
(10) Money (Wealthy)
(5) Member of Aristocracy
7 Elemental Control: Cartoon Powers (15-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (Cartoon Pony Powers Only): -½; Always On: -½
a-10 Armor (12 PD/12 ED)
b-7 Regeneration (1 BODY/Turn); Regenerate: From Death, +20

Note that – with two DIFFERENT forms of regeneration from death – it’s almost impossible to make Blueblood STAY dead.

c-4 Images: Background music and sound effects (Hearing, 16″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; No Conscious Control: -2 0
d-7 Life Support (total)
e-7 Power Defense (30 pts)
f-7 Cartoon Immunities
(1) Looking Good: Immunity to being messed up for more than a few seconds; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) What Gravity? Immunity to Falling until lack of support is brought to his attention; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) In My Pocket, Why? Immunity to having to have pockets to carry stuff in.; Frequency: Common
(1) Sure I’m Perfectly Normal (Immunity to Species Prejudice)l: Gets treated as just another human in most non-comedic ways; Frequency: Common
(1) Clothing? Immunity to being considered insufficiently dressed; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) Rated G: Immunity to Indecent Exposure; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) The Sounds of Harmony: Immunity to the need to compose or practice topical songs; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) I Can Handle That: Immunity to not having normal hands; Frequency: Common
(0) All Devouring: Immunity to reasonable limits on how much they can swallow at one time.; Frequency: Rare
(0) There’s A Hole: Immunity to solid matter provided that it LOOKS like there is a hole in it and the user is not responsible for that.; Frequency: Rare
(1) Yes, It’s Suitable: Immunity to having to wear appropriate clothing to stay warm, dry, etc.; Frequency: Fairly Common
(0) It’s a permanent: Immunity to hair damage save by bladed weapons; Frequency: Rare
(1) Immunity to Over-Indulgence, Hangovers, and Similar Consequences; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) Immunity to Communications Problems (Can be understood in any language provided he speaks slowly, gestures, etc) ; Frequency: Common
(1) Immunity to Paradox; Frequency: Fairly Common

Often a necessity when traveling with Cronus.

(1) Immunity to Not Getting His Messages; Frequency: Common

Blueblood gets his mail. texts, and email wherever and whenever he goes!

(1) Immunity to not having tickets; Frequency: Fairly Common

Blueblood can always get into nightclubs, shows, concerts, and theater performances.

g-5 2d6 Aid to Equipment Allowance (Fade/week, Max. 30); Range: 0; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Generic Limitation (Only to pay for role-appropriate, provided, or generally available gear): -1; Activation: 11-, -1; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Generic Limitation (Only GM-Approved Equipment): -1 3
25 Multipower: Cartoon Unicorn Magic (50-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (Unicorn Pony Magic Only): -½; Generic Limitation (Easily disrupted by a blow to the horn, horn restraints, or similar): -½
Basic Telekinesis
u-2 Telekinesis (STR 15); Range: 240; Manipulation: Fine, +10; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-2 8d6 Energy Blast: Telekinetic Blast; Range: 250; Versus: PD; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
u-2 Force Field Dome (8 PD/8 ED); Area Effect (Radius): 3″ radius, +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-2 Hand-to-Hand Attack (12d6, Total 18d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
Arcane Aristocrat
u-1 2d6 Important Personage: Aid to Local Contacts, Favors, Followers, and Privileges (Fade/week, Max. 24); Range: 0; Active Points: 48; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 min., -1½ 1
u-1 2d6 One Of The Best People: Aid to Local Perks, Vehicles, Languages, Local Knowledges, and Bases (Fade/week, Max. 24); Range: 0; Active Points: 48; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 min., -1½ 1
u-1 Detect Social Events and Appropriate Behaviors (+12 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
u-2 2d6 Royal Lineage: Aid to All Attributes (Fade/hour, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 2
Pathfinder
u-1 Detect Route (+6 to PER); Variable Special Effects: Certain Group, +¼; Time Required: Half Phase, +0; Range: Ranged, +5, Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1
u-1 Detect Distance and Direction to desired item (+3 to PER); Time Required: Half Phase, +0; Range: Ranged, +5; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1
u-2 Change Environment: Manipulate Direction and Distance (16″ rad.); Champions Advantage (Limited Variable Effect): +¼; No Range: -½; Trigger: Set, +¼; Reduced END: Half, +¼

While employing his signature spell Prince Blueblood may, once per segment, gratuitously either expand or reduce the distance between two things within his area of effect by up to 8″. For example, he could decree that a character was 8″ further from the center of that fireball that had just gone off, or that the evasive martial artist was 6″ closer (and thus effectively adjacent) to his friend the brick, or that someone was off to the side of that attack that would have otherwise hit them.

2
u-2 10″ Teleportation (Long Range 160″); Increased Range: ×16, +20; Long Range: 160″; Long Range (miles): 0.20; Mass Multiplier: ×4, +10; Fixed Locations: 0; Floating Locations: 0 2
Advanced Arcana
u-1 Atherium Lens; Detect Magic (+5 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Addition (Discriminatory): +5
u-2 13d6 Dispel Magic; Range: 245; Affects: Any Single Power of Special Effect, +¼ 5
u-2 6d6 Suppress Magic; Range: 225; Affect: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Reduced END: Half 2
u-2 2d6 Student of Magic: Aid to Multipower Slots (Fade/week, Max. 24); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼ 1
Common Cartoon Magics:
u-1 +45 Hammerspace Mallet: PRE; Generic Limitation (Only for Presence Attacks): -½; Charges: 12, -¼

As a rule, the “mallet” provides +3d6 for Exhibiting a Power and Extremely Violent Action, but only works on small groups. He can also try to induce a song-and-dance number, but this often takes negative modifiers even after he gets a couple of bonus dice for his personal background music and special effects.

u-1 Portable Hole: Extra-Dimensional Movement; Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Continuous: +1; Side Effects (Opens both ways; things can climb out of the hole just as easily as they go in.): 60/All, -1; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.

Yes, this is classic, inconsistent, cartoon; things go in, sometimes they come back out at full speed with no time passing when the hole is put down again, other times you can hide. It mostly depends on what’s funniest at the moment.

5
u-1 Picture Travel: Extra-Dimensional Movement; Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Continuous: +1; Side Effects (Opens both ways; things can climb out of the hole just as easily as they go in.): 60/All, -1; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½

Yes, this spell allows the user to run into paintings, television programs, and similar artistic creations.

5
u-1 Pocket Palace: Extra-Dimensional Movement (Wonderland); Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Continuous: +1; Side Effects (Opens both ways; things can climb out of the hole just as easily as they go in.): 60/All, -1; Generic Limitation (Side effects cannot be avoided.): -½

Well, you wouldn’t expect him to travel without a comfortable bed and a place to keep his stuff would you?

5
u-1 I’ll Hide In Here: Shrinking-5 (DCV +10, Height 4.125 cm/1.62″); Mass: 0.0022583 kg/0.00 lbs; Knockback Increase: 15; PER Bonus: -10; Charges: +6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Generic Limitation (Only allows the user to hide in absurdly silly ways – putting on a lampshade and pretending to be a lamp, ducking behind small trees or into boxes, or even just draping a tarp over themselves. It has no other effects. ): -2

This is “The Life Of Brian” hiding. The mechanical effect is becoming tiny and ducking behind a chair leg or some such. The Special Effect is more “hang a lampshade over his horn, strike a pose, and pretend to be a lamp” – whereupon everyone overlooks him.

0
u-1 Emigrate To Equestria: Extra-Dimensional Movement; Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Area Effect (Radius): 8″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×4, +½; Generic Limitation (Only works on living creatures): -1; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½

The “Defense” is not wanting to get out. This is very good for rescue work and such though. Two hundred kids trapped in a burning nightclub? Spend +10 endurance to push this to a 64 meter radius and everyone who doesn’t want to burn winds up in a happy cartoon utopia until brought back to safety.

5
u-1 Making Camp: Change Environment / Comfortable Habitable, Power On, Etc (8″ rad.); Effect: Fixed, +0; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1 0
u-1 2d6 Pie In The Face / Flash (Normal Sight); Range: 200; No Normal Defense (Versus vision able to see through pie): +1; Charges: 6, -¾ 0
u-1 1d6 Toonification Transform (Cosmetic, Limited Class); Range: 250; Cumulative: +½; Area Effect (Radius): 8000000″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×4000000, +5½; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½

This transform gives things a cartoonish aspect. People often become funny animal people, buildings get silly floor plans, and EVERYTHING looks like a cartoon. This is basically appearances-only, and has a big “based on personality” factor, but it can transfer up to 5 points to a relevant ability – either set by the user or by the nature of the transformation. Thus if someone becomes a raven-person, they may trade around a few points to pick up 5 points worth of Gliding.

This is also often used to “adopt a pony”…

0
u-1 10d6 Described Reality / Mental Illusions; Visible (Mental Illusions can be seen by others): -¼; Charges: +12, -¼; Generic Limitation (Illusions must be described verbally, and will not work on targets outside the range for such or who are unable to hear.): -¾; Generic Limitation (Requires a Persuasion skill check at it’s base rank.): -¼

This is a classic “modify reality around the target” effect – imposing a bit of the malleability of a cartoon on reality. Unfortunately, the effect is very fragile; a strong will can easily overcome it.

0
u-1 1d6 High Speed Work; Transform (to finished project) (Major, Limited Class); Range: 0; Cumulative: +½; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; No Range: -½; Charges: 120, +¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½

This, of course, allows him to build small projects, board up windows, rebuild car engines, and so on at incredible speeds.

0
u-1 Summon Balloon Animal (1 50-point creatures); Range: 0; Summon: Limited Group, +¼; Charges: 12, -¼; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½; Extra Time: full phase, -½; Visible (Loud Squeaky Noises): -¼

This basically covers any kind of normal animal, even if they are cartoonish and summoned by making balloon animals at high speed.

0
u-1 1d6 Raiding The Thought Bubble / Transform Thought-Images to Supplies (Major, Limited Class); Range: 0; Cumulative: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +1; Autofire: 5 shots, ½; No Range: -½; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Activation: 14-, -½

Someone envisions what they need – and Blueblood reaches into their thought bubble and pulls it into reality.

0
u-1 On Every Channel: High Range Radio Hearing; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1; Armor Piercing: 4, +2; Focus (Lapel Microphone): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Charges: +4, +¼; Continuing Charges: 1 Hour, -5 lev, Concentrate: ½ DCV, -¼

Yes, this allows him to get on every display and speaker within a nigh-unlimited radius that isn’t quadruple-hardened against interference or behind a force wall that blocks mental effects.

u-2 Change Environment: Genre (16″ rad.); Effect: Fixed, +0; Charges: 6, +¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Champions Advantage (Those who do behave in accordance with the new genre suffer a -2 to their rolls and DCV): +½; Champions Advantage (Limited Range of Variations): +¼

Yes, it can become a musical, and everyone must sing and engage in spontaneous choreographed dances, or you can make it a western, or various other genres.

0
u-2 5d6 Unluck / Murphy’s Law of Commentary; Ranged: +½; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Charges: +16, +0

“Oh yeah, like THAT’S going to work…” – and then, of course, things go terribly wrong.

0
u-2 11″ Umbrella Transport / Flight (NC: 88″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×8, +10; Non-Combat (MPH): 131; Charges: 8, +½; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; OAF (Umbrella (Produced with each casting, but must be held to fly)): -1

You unfurl an umbrella, grasp it firmly, blow into it – and are carried off into the heavens. periodic further puffing is expected.

0
u-2 10d6 Unicorn Healing 5
u-2 Cartoon Violence / Tactile Images (Normal Sight, Unusual Senses, 1″ radius); Range: 250; Observer PER Penalty: 10, +30; Charges: 6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev

This produces an illusory energy attack and makes the target thereof FEEL like they’ve been horribly injured or maimed. That goes away a few minutes later. The usual effects are things like being run over by a truck, having a huge rock fall on you, or being exploded.

0
13 Running (+4″, 10″, NC: 40″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×4, +5; Non-Combat (MPH): 24

Well, he IS an equine.

2
118 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
10 +2 level w/With Multipower
3 High Society 15-
3 Conversation 15-
3 Bureaucratics 15-
3 Persuasion 15-
3 Seduction 15-
3 Tactics 13-
3 Bump of Direction
1 Singing 8-
1 Dancing 8-
1 Time Machines
0 English (Imitate Dialects); Literacy: Standard, 0
24 Common Important Personage Perks
(0) Followers: Assorted Minor Staff (1, 0 pts, 0 Disad.); Number: 1, +0
(3) Well-Connected
Primary Contacts
(3) Chronus; Usefulness: Extremely, +2 11-
(2) Purity; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 7, +0; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(2) Healing; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 7, +0; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(2) The Arts; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 7, +0; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(2) Wealth; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 7, +0; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(2) Construction; Usefulness: Very, +1 11-
Secondary Contacts
(2) (The) Authorities; Usefulness: Very, +1; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(1) Occultists; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(1) (His) Cult; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(1) Corporate (Investor); Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(1) Business Community; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(1) (The) Upper Crust; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
(1) Celebrity; Usefulness: Normal, +0; Champions Advantage (Organizational or Conceptual Contact): +1; Charges: 3, -¾; Recoverable Charges (Must do return favors): -2 lev 11-
24 Common One Of The Best People Perks
(5) Diplomatic Immunity / Considered A Minor Divinity
(5) Splendid Mansion: 25
(3) Impressive Mode of Transport

Depending on the current era, this may be a fine carriage, a splendid yacht, a chauffeured limousine, or any of a dozen other conveyances. There’s always at least a minibar though.

(2) Private Investigator License
(1) Press Pass
(3) Linguist
(1) French (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) German (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) Japanese (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) Spanish (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
(1) Mandarin (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
34 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
18 Lucky Charms (Luck) (10d6); OAF (Assorted Good Luck Charms): -1; Fragile Focus: -¼; Linked (With Unicorn Magic): -½
2 Telescopic Sense (Sight, +2 to PER) ; Focus (Monocle): Obvious Inaccessible, -½
2 Elemental Control: Enchanted Royal Armor (5-pt reserve); OIF (Symbolic Barding): -½; Visible (Magic Armor): -¼; Generic Limitation (Passive Protective Effects Only): -½
a-2 Armor (4 PD/3 ED)
b-2 Mental Defense (13 pts) ; Add to Total
c-2 Flash Defense (Sight, 10 pts)
1 High-End Smartphone (0kg)
29 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
5 1d6 Unluck
5 2d6 Unluck (Only for being spotted by children and dogs); Generic Limitation (Only to be noted by children, dogs, etc.): -1
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
15 Vain Snob (Common, Strong)
20 Code Against Killing (Common, Total)
10 Distinctive Features: Cartoon Character; Concealability: Concealable, 10; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
18 Half Value Due To Temporal Restrictions; Generic Limitation (Only applies in some time periods): -1
(8) Considered a walking blasphemy against most of the worlds major religions. (Common, Strong); Situation: Common, +10; Intensity: Strong, +5; Generic Limitation (Only applies in some time periods): -1
(5) Public Identity; Generic Limitation (Only applies in some time periods): -1
(5) Hunted: Fans who dislike him (8-); Capabilities: Less Powerful, 5; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0; Generic Limitation (Only applies in some time periods): -1
88 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
33 + 152 = 185 188 = 88 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 / 16 5 13 28/16 25/15 3, 6, 9, 12

It is a law of nature, known since ancient times. There can be but one Titan to one Concept. Myths and tales may speak of a hundred different Thunder Gods, but all of them are aspects of the Storm Titan. There may be some subordinate entities – the Spirit of the Alps may maintain it’s independence of Towering Stone, the Titan of Mountains, for the moment – but it is local, lesser, and all too likely to be soon absorbed. Once a role is filled… there is no space for another to enter in.

Thus the others could not come. Sun, Moon, Love, Scholarship, Magic, Honesty, Strength, Loyalty, Speed, Kindness, Mercy, Generosity, Art, The Trickster, even Greed, Darkness, Jealousy, Illusion, Nightmare, Chaos, Ambition, and even Jealousy… all those roles are long since claimed. There are no openings for them to use, no cracks for them to use to pour themselves out of the realms of the imagination and into reality. Such roles… are merely taken up by the existing Titans.

And thus I have surpassed the others at last.

Until now there has never been a Titan of Arrogant, Entitled, Wealthy, Assholes. No sizeable group of people has ever found it necessary to join together to imagine a magical embodiment of such folk – perhaps because blatant examples are all too common in reality. Even today, many of them appear in tales, books, radio broadcasts, movies, and television programs, but most of those reach limited audiences – or have a real actor playing them to bar the way for any would-be taker of the role.

But now that I am here… as a Unicorn I have more associations than just arrogance, wealth, and a touch of Noblesse Oblige. I am a Guardian of the Innocent, an Avatar of Purity and Healing, and a Channel for the Magic of Light – and Cartoons.

Regardless of how annoying I am… You Shall Not Harm Them.

Princeps Augustus Blueblood upsets quite a lot of people. While more than a few “My Litttle Pony” fans are pretty upset that, of all the characters from the show, HE is the only one who has managed to manifest – and that that situation is all too likely to continue.

Far more fundamentally however… most of Apex’s major religions revolve around the worship of various Titans – and Bluebloods mere EXISTENCE says some pretty blasphemous things about where Apex’s gods have come from, how they have developed, and the sources of their power. While Blueblood may not actually be at fault for dragging all that into the open, there’s still a good bit of “shoot the messenger and forget the message” going on.

Height: 132cm (4’4″), Weight: 74kg (163 lbs), Sex: Male, Race: G4 Unicorn Pony

Appearance: Blueblood normally – and not at all surprisingly – looks a LOT like the stock images of Prince Blueblood from My LIttle Pony because that’s who he is. He has, however, added a monocle, just to be contrary.

 

Advertisements

Eclipse – The Dabbler

Since Christopher West’s site is still among the missing – he may have a new one, but, if so, either he hasn’t put his Eclipse builds on it or them or Google hasn’t found them – so here’s another one, albeit as adapted for my notions and updated since 2012.

The Dabbler isn’t a blaster, or master of metamagic, or even particularly good at being a wizard – but he or she is astoundingly flexible.

The commoners don’t say anything unpleasant about the nobles. No matter how egregious their behavior or how much you may resent their privileges and extortionate taxes… to defy or insult one is to defy or insult the crown, and can lead to execution. To assault one almost certainly will. Even their important servants enjoy some of that protection, since they represent their masters.

Their lower-ranking men-at-arms, lesser servants, local tax collectors, inspectors, and so on are, however, fair game for insults – and their positions are not hereditary, so their kids and relatives have to scramble like everyone else. If their parents are unpopular enough… it can be rough. If their kids also happen to be awkward, overweight, and intelligent enough to find most village pastimes less than fascinating… it can be very rough indeed.

Harkin had been an excellent tax collector. Intelligent, enough to identify every taxable item, to keep track precise track of every coin owed, and to know better than to ever cheat, take bribes, or short the local Lord on his due. Not surprisingly, however, that had made him wildly unpopular throughout the manor.

When his wife died producing his second child – a stillborn daughter – he never remarried. In his bitterness his young son was given (more than enough) food and care by the house-servants, but was emotionally starved – and so young Berne grew into an overweight, socially awkward, and isolated youngster. He ate, he played, he did some reading with the local priests, the local farmers kids saw that he was smarter and had more time for book-learning than they did, he got beaten up on his way home from class, and he ate some more. He complained to his father sometimes, but the old man just said “Are they cheating on their taxes? No? Then what do you want me to do about it? If you want lessons in fighting, go train with the militia!”

That was no help at all, and only made him feel like a fool. Not to mention that being overweight and out of shape made training with the militia very awkward indeed.

When Berne was thirteen he was poking around in the attic. There might be rats, bats, and spiders up there, but there was no one to hit him – and there was all kinds of interesting junk in dirty worm-eaten boxes that had been left as tax-surety and – for one reason or another – had never been picked up.

This time, buried in the bottom of a box of rubbish… he found a dusty old book. Some sort of personal journal, filled with pages and pages of sketches of monsters, arcane symbols, carefully drawn maps, notes about creatures and places in several languages, sketches of tombs and ruined temples and caverns, and more. A handwritten adventurer’s journal, and one full of secrets. Berne took it back to his room and studied it for days – tracing the strange symbols, marveling over the maps and other images, and sounding out cryptic words and hidden names.

And he felt POWER in those words, and names, and symbols. Power enough to defend himself, to rise above his birth, and perhaps even enough to accomplish great deeds. When the other children cornered him in an alley to beat him up again a few weeks later… he laid his hand across the journal in his pouch of oddities and stood firm, even if his voice trembled.

Stand back you fools! I am a Wizard!

They laughed, and closed in – and Berne screamed, and thrust out the hand that wasn’t clutching the journal – and fell back as ill-shaped magic flared. When his eyes cleared the brick walls were blackened, pieces of trash were burning, one of his assailants was down with severe burns, and the rest had fled – scorched and screaming.

Berne reached down to make sure that the unconscious boy did not die – that might get him into serious trouble! – and, once again, the magic answered.

This time his once-hesitant voice was certain.

I AM a Wizard!

Berne left the alleyway with a newly-confident stride and returned home to gather some supplies from the attic and the pantry – and then to set forth. Adventure, Wealth, Fame, and perhaps even Destiny awaited!

So as for the actual build:

Berne… isn’t a Wizard, Sorcerer, Bard, Cleric, Druid, or any other kind of formal spellcaster. He simply has a good deal of Mana, a vivid imagination, and a surprisingly strong will – making him a user of Unskilled Magic. Since that’s rather stat-dependent, he’ll need an attribute array – in his case 14, 14, 14, 14, 12, and 8. So… Str 8, Dex 12, and everything else 14 (20 point High Fantasy Pathfinder attribute buy). So…

  • 3d6 (11) Mana with the Unskilled Magic option, Specialized for Increased Effect (only costs 1 Mana per Spell Level) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / Only usable for unskilled magic, calls for Gestures (limiting him to light armor, , Incantations (although incoherent screaming works), and a spell component pouch (although light or medium armor and one free hand is acceptable), and a Spell Component Pouch (12 CP). That will let him use any Arcane Spell (fortunately for the burned kid Cure Light Wounds is on the Bard list) at the cost of 1 Mana per Spell Level.
    • His Casting Level equals his Level or (Mana Spent + Int / 3), whichever is less.
    • His maximum level of effect is his base Will Save Bonus or (Wis / 3), whichever is less.
    • Keeping the side effects (normally of the same level as the spell attempted or one level less) down to inconvenient effects rather than dangerous ones requires a Cha check at a DC of (6 + 2 x the Mana Used). The side effects are always up to the game master.
    • He MIGHT (GMO) gain “free” mana to use if under great emotional stress.
    • He may invest an extra one mana point per level of the spell in a spell he’s cast that has a duration to keep it running until he drops it, something dispels or negates it, or he chooses to recover that mana. This is, however, limited to a maximum of (Con/3) levels of spells.
      • This function is actually only loosely defined in the Unskilled Magic section – which means that it’s got more than a bit of “negotiate with your game master” built in. This is his variant – and while it’s ultimately limited, it will let him keep several minor boosts running once he has a little more Mana. At the moment… Force Armor and Force Shield might be good.
  • Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Reduced Cost / only recovers at 1d6 per half-hour of rest or sleep (6 CP).
  • +2 to his Base Will Save (6 CP).

That’s a total of 24 CP – and is actually pretty effective at first, although it will drop off rapidly at higher levels unless he’s very clever. Given that the “level” for natural magic like this is based on the user’s hit die, it might be worth buying an extra hit die or two – boosting his caster level and potentially allowing him to use second level spells. Our Dabbler doesn’t get unlimited cantrips though – even if he can cast two per point of mana used.

What else do we need?

  • At a minimum… probably a d4 Hit Die (0 CP), +0 BAB (0 CP), +0 on Reflex and Fortitude Saves (0 CP), and Proficiency with a Limited Set of Simple Weapons (he probably did get some minimal training from the militia, 2 CP). That’s only 2 CP. With Int 14 he has eight skill points to spend – and I’d put at least one into a Specific Knowledge of what’s in the Journal. That gets him all kinds of clues and pointers to adventures to go on. A bit of a defensive Martial Art (to represent practice in avoiding getting hit) wouldn’t be out of line either. Otherwise… he’s likely got a point or two in Profession: Clerk or Profession: Tax Collector since he’d have been expected to assist his father to at least some degree
  • Given that he got beaten up a lot… I’d give him two bonus d4 hit dice (16 CP) – getting his basic caster level up to three and his spell usage up to level two spells. That also lets him start off with at least eighteen hit points, which isn’t bad at all for a “Wizard”.
  • That leaves him with 6 CP to spend, even before taking a package deal, using his first level bonus feat, or applying modifiers for whatever race we give him. That can go to six skill points, buying a +1 BAB, getting some DR to make him REALLY tough, picking up proficiency with light armor and shields, getting some Luck with Bonus Uses specialized in Saves, or getting some handy Innate Enchantments. You could even buy him some Contacts and Social Privilege since the local nobles may well invest a little time and effort in cultivating a good relationship with an up-and-coming spellcaster showing that much raw talent.

Further development? More Mana, more Rite of Chi, and more Will Save Bonus. Boosting his attributes (and possibly buying Augmented Bonus on those Cha Checks) will be in order too. He could even add a second mana pool with similar limitations devoted to Divine Magic in order to add in more healing and support powers. Perhaps Reflex Training to let him throw up defensive spells to block incoming attacks?

In any case, our Dabbler has enormous flexibility, but also has those bothersome backlashes to deal with – and will start falling behind the raw magical power of a full caster at higher levels. Still, a Dabbler’s magic doesn’t require the point investment of a full caster, allowing them to readily develop other abilities, such as mystic artist talents, physical combat skills, shapeshifting, or roguish abilities, to supplement their spellcasting.

As Christopher noted, “this was a character idea I had way back in early stages of 3.0 d20… but it works kind of well in Eclipse though.” I rather like it too; a purely intuitive mage with backlash problems can be all kinds of fun – and if you don’t want to fool around with spellbooks, and lists of spells known, and having a mentor, or spell research, or metamagic… then here you have a spell caster who can be effectively played with a very limited knowledge of the spell list and no preparation at all.

Underlying The Rules Part IV, Commandment The Fourth: Setting Over Rules

The request was for an article on what I thought of the social dynamics of gaming groups before you get to looking at particular sets of rules. I’m still not sure that I was the best one to direct it to, or whether there will be more – but here’s part IV anyway.

  • Part One in this series – The Social Contract – can be found HERE.
  • Part Two – Adjusting The Spotlight – can be found HERE.
  • Part Three – Making A Group Effort – can be found HERE.

This entry has taken a lot of time (admittedly, mostly spent awaiting inspiration), and is once again more than a bit rambling – but here it is at last; Part IV – Setting Over Rules.

A part of the social bargain that’s specific to role playing games is a tacit agreement that the game master will present a reasonably coherent setting and that the players will accept that their characters live in it. A part of this pretense is normally pretending that the setting exists beyond the player characters; it has a long history before they arrived and that things go on in it that they are not involved with. That is only a pretense of course – but it’s very important for the role-playing part. Good characters need cultures, traditions, and regions to come from, histories to give them depth, and events to react to and to make it seem like the world is alive when they’re not watching it.

Sadly, the fact that this is specific to role-playing games means that a lot of players aren’t very clear on it – and so this bit probably causes more arguments than anything else so far.

The first step in accepting that your characters live in the setting is making one who could plausibly have come to exist in it. Unfortunately… there are a lot of ways to refuse to do this.

  • There’s “I want to be of a species that doesn’t exist in the setting/is always the enemy/cannot communicate/makes no sense as a player character”.

For example, thirty years ago it was fairly common to hear “I want to play a Predator!”no matter what the game setting was. Now I did allow Ri’al The Huntsman – who was pretty much the same thing (albeit with a detailed racial and technological background) – but that game was an open setting with creatures and items potentially being brought in from across the multiverse. That character – and his starship and support staff – really wouldn’t fit into, say, The Forgotten Realms. Similarly, a cheerful singing whale-bard will not work in Dark Sun. We managed to squeeze a Runequest Elven Mage and a Barbarian with a magic sword into Call of Cthulhu – but that was because the game master wanted to swap from Runequest to Call of Cthulhu and the final Runequest scenario involved some of the characters staying in the Call of Cthulhu setting to seal the gate through which Lovecraftian Horrors were oozing into Glorantha. (hey had some reliable magic and were used to monsters, but needed sanity checks for things like high-speed car chases and didn’t understand all the technology… they did give the party a much wider range of options than usual in Call Of Cthulhu though).

But if you’re playing Legend Of The Five Rings… somebody who insists on playing a pistol-packing cowboy, or a Star Trek Gorn with a phaser rifle will not fit in. If you’re playing in the Atheria setting or World Tree – where the universe is entirely made up of structured magic – then demanding to play a totally nonmagical character simply will not work. Some of those players got quite upset when told that it simply was not possible to play such a character, but that they could be delusional if they wanted to – but what they were asking for simply did not work in the setting.

The setting does not have to accommodate any creature you want to play – and you should not be asking it to do so. Asking that the setting to be redesigned just to suit your idea… is being a greedy, selfish, !@#$%^&*. You’re demanding that the game master devote a lot of extra time to fitting everything around YOU.

On the personal-background level there’s “I want to be from a culture that doesn’t exist in the setting/I have been psychotically murderous and have dealt with every situation by charging into battle to the death since I was a small child (or am otherwise suicidally insane)”/”I insist on being hunted by enemies who do not exist for reasons that would not apply in the setting“/”I wish to build my character around being trained from youth to in an ancient art using equipment that does not exist on the setting”/and even “I am a force-sensitive who goes into berserker rages at the drop of a hat, but have made it to age forty without a problem” (but who falls to the dark side without managing to get through an entire in-game week in actual play).

That’s another “no”. Admittedly, in the case of the Star Wars game it became “you may not make force-sensitive characters any longer” since the player was more or less incapable of showing any trace of restraint and had his characters respond to any frustration by going berserk (You! Street Merchant! I need clothing!” “Ur… I sell fruit drinks… There’s a shop that sells used clothing two blocks dow… Ow! AAAAGGHHHHHH!!! Burble…. Die” (character falls to the dark side, player has them try to kill the entire population of the planet in a mad rampage through the streets, gets overwhelmed and killed by the rest of the party) – but your character history needs to make sense in the setting too.

On the other hand, it’s up to the game master to try and accommodate the unusual. Player characters are OFTEN lost heirs to ancient kingdoms, have stumbled across mysterious bits of ancient lore, possess strange powers and talents, have mysterious mentors, are the subjects of cryptic prophecies, and employ strange arts – and that’s just fine. Game settings really should be large and varied enough to have plenty of room for all kinds of oddities lurking in the corners. The more of this stuff that the players some up with, the more fodder for adventures, discoveries and plot twists the game master will have.

The trick here is that it the players shouldn’t demand that this sort of thing have any game effect. So the character is actually a young dragon, utterly transformed by some powerful curse and with amnesia? And the transformation is so powerful that only a game master plot device can detect or undo it and – barring that – the character is in all ways a normal elven child? And no one knows about this?

That’s interesting, and can inspire odd plots and strange mysteries – but it only matters if the game master feels that he or she can fit it in. Most game masters will fit those weird details into the game given time. Juicy plothooks like that are hard to pass up. Still, if the party never goes on the proper quest, and so never finds the ancient crypts that will open only to the hand of the lost heir… than that bit won’t make any difference either, and no one should be upset about that.

Step two is accepting the setting around your characters.

The most blatant form of this is insisting that rules from elsewhere apply to the setting.

The most stubborn examples of this that I’ve ever encountered were (and are) weapons enthusiasts of one kind or another – although the players who want to bring in secondary sources from things like the Star Wars Expanded Universe (all the books and such) come in a close second.

Yes, you may have build a crossbow expert who specializes in sniping for the d20 game – but d20 is intentionally designed to avoid easy, repeatable, one-hit-kills against major targets (such as player characters), to allow characters to confront their attackers, and to have all kinds of countermeasures to various attacks. Insisting that your sniper should be able to pretty much control a battlefield, take out opponents instantly with headshots, and that crossbow bolts are extremely lethal because you think that’s “realistic”… is attempting to apply an only-in-your-head version of real-world rules about sniping (and not even a very good model of those rules) to a setting where they simply do not apply – and rage-quitting because other people said “Wall”, “Wind Wall”, “Protection from Arrows”, “There are no rules for called shots and I’ve got enough hit points to take twenty of your shots”, “Invisible”, and so on… gets you nowhere.

OK, it produced a very dramatic (if totally irrational) rant, but it still got nowhere.

Similarly, in a setting where Dragons were spirit-beings who reinforced and animated convenient masses of rock as “bodies” like a puppeteer – and so could only be briefly inconvenienced by mere physical force, no matter how enormous – complaining that “This is bull! The hydro-static shockwave from that missile hit will have turned that dragons insides to mush even if it’s scales are some kind of handwavium super-tough stuff!”meant absolutely nothing.

The outbursts along those lines from that particular military-enthusiast player got quite tiresome. It was his privilege to have his characters dislike “magic”, or “psionics”, or whatever reality-bending was called in the settings that he played in, but it was NOT his privilege to insist that his opinions about how destructive weapons were override the rules of the setting. Similarly, the rest of the game was NOT obligated to relegate the settings special abilities to a ghetto of “a few guys can do weird shit, but I don’t have to pay attention to it” just to oblige him

The players who insisted that – because an expanded universe book said so – forensic analysis would not be able to tell a hundred small explosions from one big one, or that they wanted to use the Sun Crusher, or that the Ancients sourcebook for Traveler said that “Black Globe Generators” existed and that therefore they could buy one, were being just as silly. No you may not have Stormbringer just because it was listed in the first edition Deities and Demigods book (even if I do have a copy with it in there), Similarly, you may not have psionics in a no-psionics setting just because it has a section in the SRD.

There are a lot of other ways – ranging from dragging in political, economic, or military ideas that do not work in the setting, refusing to admit the existence of pre-human intelligences in settings that feature such histories, refusing to admit the existence of problems with your favored plans, insisting that you can so make gunpowder (and that it will be revolutionary) in settings that either don’t include it or use locally more-effective methods, but they’re all the same basic strategy. They’re “I don’t like some feature of this game – so rather than running my own game, or asking “why” and accepting the answer, or trying actual persuasion, I’m just going to try and blackmail the rest of the group into changing it by being as disruptive as possible until I’m placated” – one of the most direct possible ways of being a greedy, selfish, !@#$%^&*.

You have to play the same game that everyone else is playing. Of course, that’s incumbent on the game master too. If the game master has some group of non-player characters doing something that is popularly believed to be impossible – and which the players were not offered the opportunity to be able to do – then the game master MUST give the players enough clues to let them figure out how it’s done within the rules of the setting – and must also provide BOTH a chance for the player-characters to learn to do it if they wish AND a reason why the trick, whatever it is, isn’t commonly known or used. Suddenly solving the problem with a super-invention, or dropping a Green Lantern into your Call of Cthulhu game, or revealing that the reason that Sherlock Holmes and Company could not solve the case was because the murder was committed with a voodoo doll… is just as much a cop-out as “it was all a dream!”.

Sure, you can do that sort of thing once in while, but you need to set it up in advance. “One gift I can give… Once every century the Dreamstone of Ithlia can grant a Questing Dream. If you can accomplish your task in the dream… then it shall become real. If you fail… then you will re-awaken here, and may attempt the task waking. Beware though! This gift I cannot grant again until the full century has passed!”.

Then send them to the Tomb Of Horrors. Maybe they can get far enough in the dream to help them pull it off on their second, “real”, try.

The other major form of this particular problem is extreme gamism – often known as “breaking the game”. It usually appears when someone wants to “win”(despite the fact that – in a RPG – this is actually losing) instead of socializing and cooperating on building a narrative. In Stormbringer it may manifest in creating a Noble Melinobonean character with massively powerful demon armor, a demon weapon, and a dragon steed while everyone else is making young kingdom mercenaries. In d20 you find infinite wish loops, hulking hurlers doing more damage than there are atoms in the universe, and – thanks to their being so many sourcebooks – hundreds of other “I Win!” buttons.

Sometimes it’s accidental. In Nephelim I gave my character loads of past lives (an idea I found irresistible, given how many time periods I found fascinating) – and found that that meant having most of your skills at “master” and knowing almost all the spells and systems of magic in the game. Sure, you lost raw magical power and host quality with each life and so she was a weak caster with a lousy social position to start with – but you got to roll for a power increase with each relevant casting and the character had spells for pretty much everything. Her power grew at a monstrous rate with no need to even adventure, while characters who started off with fewer lives, but much more raw magical power, gained strength very slowly since they rarely had a relevant spell to use and didn’t have a lot of skill with either magic or mundane abilities.

The game didn’t last very long anyway (no one could really find a reason to go out and do things instead of sitting in the library doing magical research) – but the game was obviously broken by the third session, even if no one really cared.

The principle here is pretty simple. It’s Setting Over Rules. If the setting says that Dragons are terrible avatars of destruction and almost unstoppable – but the rules say that a combination of three cheap and common items/powers/spells/whatever (likely from three unrelated sourcebooks since that sort of rules interaction accumulates as more stuff is published) can, if combined cleverly, take out any dragon with ease… then either those items do not exist or their interaction does not work that way. If the setting has a lengthy “history”, then – no matter WHAT the rules say – there are no quick and easy routes to infinite personal power or vast wealth or other silliness because they would be in common use. Similarly, you cannot accidentally destroy the world with common effects or it wouldn’t be there to adventure in.

Sure, the player characters are always special – but if they really want to achieve cast cosmic powers, or destroy the world, or defeat evils that were old when the current universe was young, or some such… they will, at the very least, have to work on very hard within the setting. If it was EASY they wouldn’t be the first.

This one applies to the game master and the players equally; if some application of the rules would leave the setting making no sense… then it doesn’t matter what the “rules” (or an optimization thread or handbook) says; the game does not work that way. There won’t be any special exemptions for the villains, just as there won’t be for the player characters. EVERYONE has to work for things.

If there is a fifth installment on this… it may be devoted mostly to examples. This is approaching the point at which things start to get game-specific – which is a bit beyond the intended scope of this series. On the other hand, if I think of something, or someone asks a question that requires extensive explanation… then there may be a fifth segment yet.

Champions – Junior Lt. Ulrich “Firestorm” Grant

Junior Lt. Grant is a bit of an odd case; he’s very talented with personal boosting “C’hi Powers”, deadly accurate, as fast as greased lightning, able to manage a flight harness, and can handle a more-than-maximum equipment loadout – but he’s got a woeful tendency to follow his own judgement, jumps into situations, and the usual special forces powers and training are beyond him. He simply doesn’t fit into most of the usual Afrikans military slots.

On the other hand, being assigned as a glorified babysitter to weird idiots seems a bit beneath him – not that he’ll open his mouth about THAT.

Lt. Grant is a splendid example of “I have things that go BANG” as a character concept – a fairly normal, if well-trained and fairly high end special forces, human with a plentiful supply of military gear. He’s built as a starting character for the Apex setting, and thus at the peak end of what you can expect any normal organization to field. He doesn’t do much except combat of course, but – for his job – he doesn’t really need to. He’d be right at home in a lot of action movies. He’ll usually be running at OCV and DCV 9, with three levels to switch between them in ranged combat. Of course, since he wears a flight harness, he can usually avoid hand to hand quite readily. 

Junior Lt. Ulrich “Firestorm” Grant

Value Characteristic Points
18/38 STR 8
18 DEX 24
13 CON 6
10 BODY 0
10 INT 0
11 EGO 2
15 PRE 5
12 COM 1
6 PD 2
6 ED 3
4 SPD 12
7 REC 0
16 END -5
26 STUN 0
Total 58

 

Points Powers END
0 Afrikans Racial Package
(20) Physical Limitation: Elemental Powers Only. Afrikans can create and maintain advanced “conventional” technologies (which do indeed require a bit of magic to keep working in the face of supernatural resistance) and can manipulate the various elements, the states of matter, and the elemental forces of life and death (Frequently, Fully)
20 Normal Characteristic Maxima
(20) Psychological Limitation: Pyramidal Psychology. Afrikans form large organizations easily, but have difficulties handling internal feedback within those organizations and with understanding systems involving it. Dominant leaders thus tend to hear only what they want to – and so less-dominant subgroups resort to factional infighting to advance their ideas. Groups of Afrikans have been known to obey obviously stupid orders simply because they came from the top – and may select very poor leaders and then follow them blindly. (Very Common, Strong)
(15) +3 level w/Ranged Combat
(15) 30-Point Equipment Allowance; An equipment allowance is spent on more-or-less conventional gear; each point invested in the equipment allowance allows the purchase of two points worth of equipment, bases, or vehicles – up to a normal maximum of 15 points invested. Beyond that, you can use an Aid effect to boost your equipment allowance and Afrikans characters get a racial boost.

Atlantean characters with an equipment allowance normally have at least half of it invested in weird magical stuff, but the effects are much the same.

Titans and Demi-titans normally cannot buy an equipment allowance.

18 Advanced Afrikans Warrior Multipower (40-pt reserve); Variable Limitations: -1½, -¾; Generic Limitation (All powers must be 0 End Cost and work on Charges): -½
u-1 2d6 Packing A Full Kit: Aid to Equipment Allowance (Fade/week, Max. 24); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power, +0; Extra Time: 1 min., -1½; Charges: 12, -¼ 0
u-1 2d6 Second Wind: Aid to All Damaged Attributes (Fade/turn, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Restore Only Lost Characteristics and Powers: -½; Charges: +8, -½; Trigger (4 Body or less): Set, +¼; Trigger (Unconscious): Set, +¼; Generic Limitation (Only works for the user, not others): -½ 0
u-1 Lightning Reflexes: +4 Speed; Only for taking extra movement in each phase, -1.5.; Charges: 6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Activation: 15-, -¼
u-1 Forced March: +4 Speed; Only for making an extra attack each phase, -1.5. The Special Effect is usually a weapon in each hand; Charges: 6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Activation: 15-, -¼; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼
u-2 Adrenaline Rush; Charges: 6, +0; Must allow at least an hour to pass between uses.: -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev
(8) +20 STR; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½; Generic Limitation (Only for combat purposes; cannot life massive weights, rip apart entangles, etc.): -½ 0
(13) Force Field (5 PD/5 ED); Invisible (Sight and Hearing. Detectable by Medical and Mystical Senses): Two Sense Groups, +¾; Hardened: ×1, ¼ 0
15 Equipment Allowance (30 + 24 Boost +30 Race = 84)
9 Hard Training: Modified Characteristic: STR; Reduced END: Half, +¼
6 Marathon Running (+2″, 8″, NC: 16″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 6; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
9 Enhanced Perception (all) (+3 to PER)
63 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
15 +3 level w/Equipment Multipower
9 +3 level w/Flight Harness
1 French (Basic Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
1 German (Basic Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
3 Combat Driving 13-
2 Professional Skill: Military 11-
5 Stealth 14-
3 Professional Skill: Bodyguard 12-
5 Tactics 12-
1 Active Duty Military ]Passport
3 Basic Strike (OCV +1, DCV +0, 9½d6)
4 Martial Block (OCV +2, DCV +2)
4 Martial Dodge (OCV –, DCV +5)
3 Martial Grab (OCV -1, DCV -1, STR 48)
59 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
15 Equipment Multipower (45-pt reserve); Variable Limitations (Various Obvious Accessible Foci): -1, -½; Conventional Equipment Only: -1; Full Power Only: -¼; Gestures (Must be able to use gear): Instant Power, -¼
Heavy Pistols
u-1 9d6 Physical Energy Blast (Rubber Bullets) 0; Range: 225; Versus: PD; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4
u-1 4d6 NND Energy Blast (Gas Pellets) 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; No Normal Defense (Vrs Need Not Breathe): +1; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4
u-1 4d6 Entangle (Glue Pellets) (DEF 4) 0; Range: 200; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4
u-1 3d6 Killing Attack (RKA) (Depleted Uranium Slugs) 0; Range: 225; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4
Grenades
u-1 6d6 Incendiary Grenades: Fire Energy Blast 0; Range: 225; Versus: ED; Explosion (Extended Area +0″/DC): +½; Charges: +16, +0
u-1 Smoke Grenades: Darkness (Radar, Sight, 1″ radius) 0; Range: 225; Area Effect (Radius): 4″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; Charges: +6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev
u-1 2d6 Fragmentation Grenades: Killing Attack (RKA) 0; Range: 225; Explosion (Extended Area +0″/DC): +½; Charges: +16, +0
Flare Pistols
u-1 Fired into Air: Change Environment/Light (2″ rad.) 0; Effect: Fixed, +0; Area Effect (Radius): 250″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×250, +2; Charges: +6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev
u-1 9d6 Fired Into Something: Flame Energy Blast 0; Range: 225; Versus: ED; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4
u-1 3d6 Fired into a Hex: Visual Flash (Normal Sight) 0; Range: 225; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4
Other Devices
u-1 Extending Staff: Hand-to-Hand Attack (5d6, Total 12½d6) 0; Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½
u-1 1d6+1 Combat Knife: Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 2½d6) 0; Range: 0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Armor Piercing: 1, +½;
u-1 Bugs/Tracers: Radio Listen and Transmit ; Ranged: +½; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Charges: +8, +1½; Continuing Charges: 1 week, -8 lev; Transmits Only: -1
u-1 Binoculars: Telescopic Sense (Sight, +7 to PER) ; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1; Extra Time Required: Only At Startup, ½
u-1 Demolitions Kit 19-
u-1 Survival Pack (Survival Skill) 17-; Charges: 1, +¼; Continuing Charges: 1 week, -8 lev
u-1 Lockpicking Kit: Lockpicking 19-
u-1 Security Systems Kit 19-
u-1 Breaching Charges: Tunneling (2″ through DEF 12) 0; Charges: +8, -½; Tunnels: Left Behind, +0
u-1 4d6 Thermite Pencils: Energy Blast/Fire 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; Explosion: +½; Time Delay: +¼; Trigger (Radio Signal): Set, +¼; Charges: +8, -½
u-1 2d6 Knockout Drugs: Energy Blast 0; Range: 200; Versus: ED; No Normal Defense (vrs not ingesting or being injected with it, alien metabolism.): +1; Continuous: +1; Charges: +12, +1; Continuing Charges: 1 Hour, -5 lev; Extra Time: full phase, -½
u-1 Wrist Grapnel and LIne: Swinging (+23″, NC: 46″) 2; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 68; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Reduced END: Zero, +½
8 Flight Harness Multipower (30-pt reserve); OIF (Flight Harness): -½; Requires a minute or so to strap the thing on: -¼; Limited Fuel Reserve: 2-3 hours straight flight, half that much dogfighting. No long-range flights.: -¼; Restrainable: Must have room to extend the wings: -½; Will not work underwater, in vacuum, etc.: -¼; Flight powers only: -1
u-1 12″ Flight (NC: 24″) 1; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 36; Reduced END: Half, +¼
u-1 5″ Flight (NC: 160″) 1; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×32, +20; Non-Combat (MPH): 238
2 Elemental Control: Advanced Uniform (5-pt reserve); Focus: Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Conventional Technology Only: -1
a-8 Armor (8 PD/8 ED) ; Hardened: ×1, ¼; Always On: -½
6 Sensory Enhancements
(5) Infrared Vision
(5) Ultraviolet Vision
(5) Radio Listen and Transmit
4 Shielded Senses
(5) Flash Defense (Sight, 5 pts)
(5) Flash Defense (Hearing, 5 pts)
67 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
10 No Code Versus Killing (Common, Moderate)
15 Always Obeys Orders of Superiors (Very Common, Moderate)
20 Honorable (Common, Total)
10 Public Identity
10 Reputation: Special Forces Soldier (11-)
15 Watched: Superiors (14-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
15 Active Service Duties (Common, Strong); Situation: Common, +10; Intensity: Strong, +5
10 Phys. Lim. Terrible Liar (+5 bonus to anyone trying to spot it) (Frequently, Slightly)
15 Phys. Lim. Only good at personal boosting magic, nothing else. (Infrequently, Fully)
120 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
58 + 122 = 180 220 = 120 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 4 0 19/13 19/13 3, 6, 9, 12

Height: 179cm (5’10”), Weight: 64kg (141 lbs), Sex: Male, Age: 22, Race: Afrikans

 

Champions – Professor Moriarty

Creator of Americas Unlimited, Engineer of a dozen freeware secure peer-to-peer encrypted communications networks, Enabler of Social Protest, Father of Spam, Inventor of the Pop-Up Ad, Patron of LOLCats, Financier of TVTropes, Designer of Denial Of Service Attacks, Data Harvester, Hacker Extraordinaire, Trans-humanist…

The charge was Computer Hacking. Many people thought that it should have been an awards ceremony instead. Others felt that the charge should have been Crimes Against Humanity.

But when they came to take him to trial, Professor Moriarty was dead in his cell – smoke rising from where some sort of implant in his skull had turned itself into a piece of slag.

Despite the ever-multiplying rumors of murder, and coverups, and thefts of the Professor’s secret technologies… the death was ruled a suicide, and most of Moriarty’s secrets apparently died with him.

But within the digital seas, Professor Moriarty’s uploaded consciousness swam, riding the datastreams around the world.

Special orders were placed. Backups were created. Automated systems hummed to life – and soon enough the Professor had a new “body” – and opened his now-digital eyes upon the physical world once again.

Professor Moriarty’s Digital Wizardry is no stronger than it ever was – but now he can make all of it work in the physical world and he possesses the flashing speed of a computer to back his skills. His spells may be weak, but he can unleash five of them every phase – and can take an extra phase to cast defensive spells up to twice a turn whenever he needs it. If some massive attack is coming in… well, five layered Force Walls can often take a lot of the sting out of it. Personally, he’s hard to hit anyway, since a lot of attacks will go right through his holographic “body” (if the +6 DCV for “shrinking” would cause them to miss) without causing him any trouble at all.

Professor Moriarty is seriously stretching the rules in a number of places. As far as the setting goes, his Digital Wizardry might fall under “technology” – but it might be necessary to consider him a “priest” of a rather strange Titan. Similarly, he’s really pushing the limits of what fits into an Equipment Allowance; those are supposed to be for more-or-less “normal” equipment – and his Holoemitter is pretty obviously not very conventional. Duplication is not supposed to be set up to completely cover it’s own cost,  allowing an endless stream of duplicates. Finally, of course, putting “autofire” on a multipower so as to use a bunch of extra effects each phase – and buying triggered extra phases to use with it – is a pretty weird build.

On the other hand, his spells are fairly weak and ARE explainable. The setting – where even stone knives are partially products of magic, gadgets quit working in the hands of people who haven’t got a large enough “equipment pool” to empower them, and major weapons and systems are limited by their operators abilities – hasn’t really got a good definition of what “normal” equipment is. He’s only using the “duplication” to build the classic computer-character “if you don’t get all my backups, I’ll be back!” ability – which is not only very classic (just ask Ultron/Mechannon) but is also fairly useless since comic book characters rarely die or stay dead anyway. The triggered actions is to build another classic comic wizard bit – throwing up a shield before the big attack hits, even if it was by surprise (writers let them do this because otherwise comic book magicians tend to be normal humans – so if a big surprise attack actually hits, they’ll be a smear on the wall and the story will be over) – and if it’s good enough for Dr Strange, Dr Fate, and Zatana, it’s good enough for Moriarty. Finally, the autofire multipower… The effect makes sense, but the only other way I can think to build it is to buy an enormous boost to speed (well above what the game allows) and throw all kinds of limitations on it – creating a convoluted mess.

Overall, I think he’d be fun – which is, of course, the entire point of playing, and so what’s really important.

 

Professor Moriarty

Value Characteristic Points
13 STR 3
18 DEX 24
13/25 CON 6
10 BODY 0
18 INT 8
14 EGO 8
15 PRE 5
13 COM 1
3 PD 0
5 ED 0
4 SPD 12
8 REC 0
16 END -17
30 STUN 0
Total 50

 

Points Powers END
0 Afrikans Racial Package
(20) Physical Limitation: Elemental Powers Only. Afrikans can create and maintain advanced “conventional” technologies (which do indeed require a bit of magic to keep working in the face of supernatural resistance) and can manipulate the various elements, the states of matter, and the elemental forces of life and death (Frequently, Fully)
20 Normal Characteristic Maxima
(20) Psychological Limitation: Pyramidal Psychology. Afrikans form large organizations easily, but have difficulties handling internal feedback within those organizations and with understanding systems involving it. Dominant leaders thus tend to hear only what they want to – and so less-dominant subgroups resort to factional infighting to advance their ideas. Groups of Afrikans have been known to obey obviously stupid orders simply because they came from the top – and may select very poor leaders and then follow them blindly. (Very Common, Strong)
(15) +3 level w/Ranged Combat
(15) 30-Point Equipment Allowance; An equipment allowance is spent on more-or-less conventional gear; each point invested in the equipment allowance allows the purchase of two points worth of equipment, bases, or vehicles – up to a normal maximum of 15 points invested. Beyond that, you can use an Aid effect to boost your equipment allowance and Afrikans characters get a racial boost.

Atlantean characters with an equipment allowance normally have at least half of it invested in weird magical stuff, but the effects are much the same.

Titans and Demi-titans normally cannot buy an equipment allowance. Not being material beings to start with, they have problems with material gadgets.

101 Digital Wizardry
(13) Multipower (30-pt reserve); Variable Limitations: -½, -¼; Requires Skill Roll: -½; Side Effects (Usually a 3d6 Stun Drain, but all sorts of weird things can happen.): 30/Half, -½
u-1 1d6 TVTropes / Transform Air to Steel (Major, Limited Class); Range: 130; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Dazzling Graphics / Energy Blast; Range: 150; Versus: ED; No Normal Defense (Flash Defense 6+, Blindness): +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Pop-Up Ad / Flash (Normal Sight); Range: 150; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Firewall / Force Wall (2 PD/2 ED); Range: 150; Width: 6″, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Variable Special Effects (PD, ED, MD, PD, FD): Certain Group, +¼; Uncontrolled: +½; Hardened: ×3, ¾ 0
u-1 3d6 Restore Function / Standard Healing; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Lolcats / Entangle (DEF 2); Range: 150; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Antivirus / Force Field (6 PD/6 ED); Usable By Others: Power Lost, +¼; Hardened: ×1, ¼; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 Computer Graphics / Images versus Sight (Normal Sight, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 Denial Of Service / Superleap (+5″, versus clinging, not being mobile); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×4, +5; Non-Combat (MPH): 30; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 10″ IP Masking / Teleportation (Long Range 10″); Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Virtual Reality / Images versus Physical Sensations (Detect, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 Images: The Primary Target (Mental Awareness, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 IP Tunneling (3″ through DEF 3); Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Tunnels: Left Behind, +0

This makes instant pits. Sadly, it only works where the ground is reasonably soft.

0
u-1 1d6 Echo Chamber / Transform: Air to Whipped Cream (Minor, Single Object); Range: 150; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Area Effect (Radius): 4″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×4, +½ 0
u-1 ½d6 Script Kiddie / Transfer: Body to End Battery (Returns 5/turn, Maximum: 3); Range: 150; Affects: Single Power, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Ranged: +½; Penetrating: +½; Armor Piercing: 1, +½
u-1 1d6 Wyrm / Transform (Modify Behaviors / Programming, Minor, Limited Class); Range: 110; Cumulative: +½; Active Points: 22; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Virtual Machine / Need Not Breathe; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½; Ranged: +½
u-1 Bot Flood / Darkness (Normal Sight, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Uncontrolled: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

This can effectively put a sphere of darkness around someone’s head and eyes.

0
u-1 2d6 Encryption / Suppress Language; Range: 150; Affect: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½; Invisible (To Hearing and Sight): Two Sense Groups, +¾

Yes, this changes it so that everything the target tries to say or write is gibberish, but at the same time fixes it so that no one can see or hear this. They will say apparently-reasonable things, but those things will have nothing to do with what they intended to say. Don’t think about that too hard.

0
u-1 2d6 Spam / Ego Attack; Reduced END: Zero, +½

Only Moriarty can defeat his foes with ads for cheap viagra, penis enlargement, and Nigerean Princes…

0
u-1 2d6 CPU Hog / Aid to All Physical Attributes (Fade/turn, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2 3
u-1 2d6 Ebay / Aid to Equipment Allowance (+36 net Points) (Fade/day, Max. 18); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power, +0; Charges: +16, +0 0
u-1 Computer Programming; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Demolitions; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 17-
u-1 Google Maps / Combat Driving; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

It is really annoying to have Moriarty take control of your vehicle during a high-speed chase.

19-
u-1 Autopilot / Combat Piloting; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Cryptography; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Electronics; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 17-
u-1 Forgery (Digital); Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

Want to swamp Youtube with forged videos of your enemy doing something reprehensible? Here’s how!

17-
u-1 Gambling (Online); Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

The “Good” Professor is quite capable of bringing internet gambling directly to you! Complete with the horrendous house odds and ability to charge your credit card directly.

17-
u-1 Professional Skill: Internet Research; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 24-
u-1 Security Systems; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Systems Operation; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
(10) Autofire on Multipower; Variable Limitations: -½, -¼; Requires Skill Roll: -½; Side Effects: 30/Half, -½
(8) +2 Computer Reflexes / SPD; Trigger (Only to respond to an attack): Set, +¼; Generic Limitation (Only to use Multipower): -1; Generic Limitation (Only for defensive applications): -1

Twice per turn, Moriarty can interrupt an incoming attack to cast five defensive spells – most often Force Walls, but sometimes life support, or force fields which will persist for a while to boost him and his allies, will be a better choice.

(12) +8 level w/Multipower Attacks; Generic Limitation (Only to allow each multipower use in an autofire burst to be rolled independently, without penalty.): -1
(7) Duplication: Reloading From Backup (1 180-point forms); Generic Limitation (Only one duplicate actually exists at a time): -4; Extra Time: 1 week, -4; No Conscious Control: -2
(5) Mind Link (The Internet); Minds: One Specific Mind, +5; Number of Minds: 1, +0; Distance: Single Planet, +0; Dimension: Current, +0; Link with: Anyone, +0
(13) Digital Wizardry (Control Skill). In general, each slot requires a check at -3 – although his focusing crystal generally makes up for that. 18-
101 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
10 +2 level w/Multipower
10 Money (Wealthy)
6 +2 level w/Flight
3 Conversation 12-
29 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
6 Elemental Control: Holoemittter (12-pt reserve); Always On: -½; Focus: Inobvious Accessible, -½

The Emitter is usually concealed within Moriarty’s “body”.

a-25 Shrinking-3 (DCV +6, Height 19¼ cm/8″) 0; Mass: 0.1210938 kg/0.27 lbs; Knockback Increase: 9; PER Bonus: -6; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Invisible (Sight): One Sense Group, +½; Generic Limitation (Does not modify perception checks).

The holoemitter is fairly small. The quasi-physical “body” it creates is not. This leads to many apparent hits on him going right through with no effect.

b-6 Buy off “No Physical Body” Limitation
c-6 Armor (8 PD/8 ED). It’s a tough little gadget.
d-12 12″ Flight (NC: 24″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 36; Reduced END: Zero, +½
e-6 +12 CON
5 +3 level w/Focusing Crystal: Digital Wizardry; Focus: Inobvious Inaccessible, -¼
66 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
25 Phys. Lim. No Physical Body (All the Time, Fully)
10 Public Identity
10 Reputation (11-)
15 Distinctive Features: Hologram Traits; Concealability: Not Concealable, 15; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
10 Prankster (Common, Moderate)
85 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
50 + 130 = 180 185 = 85 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 / 12 5 0 11/8 13/8 3, 6, 9, 12

Original Attributes: Height: 154 cm (5’1″), Weight: 62 kg (136 lbs), Sex: Male, Age: 42, Race: Afrikans

All right; Professor Moriarty here wasn’t at all what I was intending to post – but for some reason I just couldn’t get him out of my head until I put him online. Maybe he’s a bit more “real” than I originally intended…

 

Apex – The Playable Races Part II; Ethereals, Titans, Priests and Titanspawn, Monsters, and Relics

The Ethereals – popularly, if possibly wrongly, classified as Australopithecus Astralus – apparently rose to full sapience on the minor continent of Mu (the remains are now known as New Zealand) roughly 1,100,000 years ago. Less than 150,000 years later Mu was obliterated in a catastrophe of unknown nature* – leaving behind only ghostly astral echoes of its people and lands to haunt thousands of square miles of unstable reality. Given that the nature and appearance of those traces seems to be highly observer-dependent, the Ethereals may remain something of a mystery for a long time to come.

*Despite it being popularly described as an “explosion”, whatever the Ethereal Catastrophe was it apparently obliterated most of a minor continent. While there were undoubtedly explosive elements, a simple explosion large enough to do so would have been at least as catastrophic as the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event – and would not have left the matter in the area infused with reality-altering astral forces (they must be anchored to the planetary crust somehow, since the area moves with the planet). More importantly, in the less than one million years since the Ethereal Catastrophe at least four species (even if two are presumed extinct and one nearly went extinct) have risen to full sapience – yet there is no apparent evidence of sapience during the previous three hundred million years. Evidently something changed – and the obvious dividing line was the Ethereal Catastrophe. Whether that disaster it was the result of an attempt to expand the borders of an overly-restrictive astral overlay (they never managed to expand much beyond Mu), an attempt by the Ethereals to transcend into some facsimile of immortal godhood or to merge astral and normal space into a more “obliging” configuration, or some sort of an experiment that went out of control, it seems likely that it changed the rules for sapience somehow. After all, the Hyperboreans achieved full sapience less than two hundred thousand years later – an eyeblink in evolutionary time.

(Minor) Titan Racial Package

The Titans are primarily astral entities, and are known to be simultaneously empowered, limited, shaped, and bound to the physical world by the stories, beliefs, and wills of the various material sapient races. As such, they commonly appear as “Gods”, “Nature Spirits”, and similar mythic entities. Their abilities are wide ranging, and they may possess both massive personal power and the ability to manipulate events on a wide scale – but Titans vary greatly in both their individual power level and in their individual themes.

Thanks to their astral nature and the resulting lack of physical traces, the earliest known evidence of the Titans existence comes from the quasi-mindful artifacts of the Hyperboreans – and at that point the two were already hostile. It is widely speculated that the Titans origins are tied to the Ethereals or the Ethereal Catastrophe – whether they are transformed (“ascended”?) Ethereals, creations of the Ethereals (perhaps their talents allowed them to create astral entities to focus their powers and carry out their wills?), simply survivors, ascended ideas given independence in the catastrophe, or accidental creations of the disaster depends on who is speculating today and how drunk they are.

Given the widespread worship of the Titans it’s very impolitic to point it out – but the Titans fought the Hyperboreans and apparently drove them to extinction, say very little about the fate of the Lemurians but certainly didn’t help them out, apparently encouraged or caused the geological disasters which nearly exterminated the Atlanteans, and have created a variety of monsters to plague the Afrikans species. It’s actually pretty difficult to avoid concluding that a lot of them are downright hostile towards sapient material life forms. Whether that is something innate, because they dislike being shaped and bound by a bunch of mortals, or because of any of a thousand other possible reasons, remains unknown.

  • Physical Limitation: Shaped By Belief. Titans may be powerful in their fields, but they are limited to a single, and invariably fairly straightforward, domain. A Spirit of Invention makes gadgets and – possibly – provides grants and teaches. Similarly, the spirit of Memorial Day is a formidable soldier, has lots of weapons, and can operate military vehicles – but that’s about it (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points).
  • Mental Characteristic Maxima of 15 (-20 Points). People never really think that their “gods” are really much smarter, or more perceptive, or whatever, than they are – no matter what their theme is. The God of Knowledge may have a lot of knowledge skills, but he or she normally won’t actually be much smarter than the average person. If there’s any one thing that the Titans find annoying about their relationship with mortals… this may be it.
  • Psychological Limitation: Themed. Titans aren’t even CAPABLE of getting seriously off-theme. A war god won’t be negotiating, the healing goddess won’t be building gadgets, and the god of justice won’t be letting criminals go, no matter how necessary it may be (Common, Total, -20 Points).
  • Divine Immortality: Regenerate From Death (Requires one week, 12 Points) plus Life Support/Immune to Aging (3 Points). Titans are basically living ideas; their physical forms aren’t especially vital to them. Barring very special violence inflicted with astral weapons (or personal weaknesses) they are functionally immortal.
  • Domain: +15 points worth of abilities appropriate to their domain. Most will have a multipower with assorted special abilities in it. Larger-scale influence is usually best represented as a Fringe Benefit or Contact, since it tends to be both subtle and to have very little effect on actual play.
    • Half-Titans are all too common – but given the “shaped by belief and expectations” nature of the Titans, are generally simply members of the other parents species (always Afrikans or Atlantean as far as is known) with “Shaped by Belief” (basically limiting their special powers to a particular theme) replacing the usual racial power-type restriction.

It is theorized that a major driving force in the war between the Hyperboreans and the Titans was that the Hyperboreans wanted to “obtain the power of the gods” – who were effectively massive foci of pure mental energy – enough to fuel any kind of artifact that the Hyperboreans could possibly want.

Major Titans use the same basic package, but have a lot more points to play with. They aren’t playable characters simply because most of them are thousands of years old and you can’t afford to build one on a starting characters point allowance.

The Titanspawn and Priests are fundamentally much the same; they’re what happens when a Titan infuses a bit of its power into a material lifeform. Interestingly, this is hereditary if it’s done to non-sapients, but is not in sapient beings. Presumably their existing astral link interferes somehow.

  • A Priest simply replaces their racial power restriction with Physical Limitation: Patrons Powers Only. A priest may have take up to three domains as contacts – perhaps “Battle”, “Rage”, and “Storms” – and work magic within those domains and request large-scale, if relatively subtle, favors of them. On the downside, they must offer regular worship, sacrifices, and service to their patrons (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points).
  • A new Priest may convert any previously-existing racial magical abilities into magics that suit his or her domain, and may, optionally, gain ten extra points worth of such abilities. These probably come with 20 points worth of strings though.

Titanspawn vary wildly, from unique monsters to minor races. In general, an animal infused with a Titan’s power gains sapience, magical powers derived from the Titan who granted them their power and an extended lifespan.

  • Physical Limitation: A Titanspawn may use magic (or have special powers) drawn from up to three domains, at least two of which must fall within their species creators purview (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points).
  • Psychological Limitation: Animal Instincts. Titanspawn are very strongly driven by the instincts of the original animal – and are further driven by mortal stereotypes of monsters and the role for which they were created (Very Common, Strong, -20 Points).
  • Distinctive Features: In general, not concealable and with a strong reaction. As a side effect, any character who recognizes their type is likely to know a good deal about their abilities (Always Notices and Major Reaction, Not Concealable, -20 Points).

Sample: Centaur Package

Centaurs were a joint project of Hera and Zeus, and are the results of infusing their powers into horses. They were apparently meant to be fast skirmishers (and occasional kidnappers) to harass Afrikans settlements and traveling groups. Thanks to their access to the Family domain they are one of the more prolific Titanspawn types, and have a number of actual tribes. Modern centaurs mostly exist on the fringes of society and are more or less at peace with the Afrikans-Atlantean alliance – if only because, at this point, they would be readily exterminated otherwise.

  • Elemental Control: Equine Powers. 5 Point Reserve, -.5 limitation: equine powers only.
    • Growth x 3, 0 End Cost, Always On, Physical (-.5) = 7 Points
    • Running +3″, Noncombat x4, Half End Cost, Four Legs; Not usable if ground obstructed (-.5) = 4 Points.
    • 4d6 Hand To Hand Attack (Hooves) = 5 Points.
    • +4 to All Perception Rolls = 5 Points.
    • Hardened Damage Resistance, 10 PD and 10 ED = 5 Points.
  • All Centaurs have an instinctive familiarity with the Survival skill = 1 Point.
  • Base Attributes: Str +3, Dex -2, Con +3, Ego -2 (0 Points).

Centaurs may select three domains from among Archery, Wind, Stars, Strength, Speed, Family, and Knowledge – an unusually wide array of choices for a Titanspawn (five options to choose from, or just having three fixed domains, is more typical).

Monsters are modified members of the basic sapient species – these days, they almost exclusively have an Afrikans base. The Atlantean (and the presumed Hyperborean and Lemurian) monsters are pretty much extinct – although there could always be a survivor hanging on somewhere even after hundreds of thousands of years. Magic is like that.

Werebeast (Afrikans Variant) Racial Package:

Werebeasts were meant to lurk within Afrikans tribes and disrupt the unity that was their major survival mechanism. Unfortunately for the Werebeasts, this turned out to be a poorly chosen tactic; the Afrikans tribes proved to be quite good at detecting the predators in their midst (So mortals weren’t pretty much indistinguishable after all! Who knew?) and rapidly pushed the uncooperative ones out into the wilderness – or at least to the fringes of society. Even worse in some ways, the same instability that let them shapeshift led to some Werebeasts adapting to function socially and to others becoming linked to animal types that were quite unsuitable to their intended role. Werecervines and Werebeavers simply were not very threatening compared to the original wereleopards, weretigers, werewolves, etcetera. (Modern tales of weredinosaurs have yet to be confirmed as anything more than an urban legend – thankfully).

Modern Werebeasts tied to larger predators still lean towards their original terroristic purpose, although a few (for example, many werefoxes) do function socially – but when serial killers or multiple disappearances pop up the local Afrikans populace and authorities are quick to become suspicious that a werebeast is involved.

  • Physical Limitation: Shapeshifting and Life/Death Powers Only. Werebeasts have lost their connection to most of the Elemental Powers – and to Technology – in favor of the ability to enhance and transform their physical bodies. This was a better deal back before technology because so prevalent and so powerful, but can still be passed down to offspring. It tends to be a bit random however, and a Werebeast may unexpectedly appear in a family that merely has a werebeast as a distant ancestor (Frequently/Fully, -20 Points).
  • Normal Mental Characteristic Maxima (-10 Points).
  • Psychological Limitation: Animalistic Instincts. While these depend a good deal on the Werebeast’s animal affinity, they’re always troublesome – and may require checks to avoid reacting instinctively. They also mean that Werebeasts are never found in groups past the pride/pack/flock/whatever – and thus cannot develop any form of civilization (Common, Strong, -15 Points).
  • Physical Limitation: A Werebeast shows more and more signs of whatever his or her animal affinity is as he or she uses more of his or her special powers (Frequent, Slightly, -10 Points).
  • Accidental Change: Circumstances vary, but all Werebeasts show at least an 8- chance to change under some circumstances even if they aren’t using their special powers (-5 Points).
  • Elemental Control: Werebeast Powers (5-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (All powers involve some shapeshifting, and will give away the user’s nature. ): -½ (3 Points).
    • Regeneration (1 BODY/Turn) (3 Points). Many Werebeasts are more powerful than this – some can even rise from the dead unless slain by silver – but even at it’s base this is a major advantage.
    • Damage Resistance (10 PD/10 ED), Not versus silver weapons: -½ (2 Points).
    • +8 STR; Reduced END: Half, +¼ (3 Points)
    • +4 DEX; Doesn’t Affect Figured: -½ (Basically only for calculating OCV and DCV) (3 Points)
    • +5 CON; (3 Points).
    • Enhanced Perception (all) (+4 to PER) (5 Points).
    • 2d6 Aid to an Animal-Based Martial Art (Fade 1 Point/5 minutes, Max. 24); Personal Only -1/2, Increased Endurance x2 (4 Endurance) (8 Points). This ability allows a werebeast to draw on the instinctive combat skills of its animal aspect – picking up a “martial art” specific to its animal type given a few seconds to shift. At least for the predator affinities that often includes Killing Strike (4 Points), +2 DC (8 Points), +1 Level with Killing Strike (2 Points), Fast Strike (4 Points) and six points worth of maneuvers of choice. (Yes, Werebeasts generally take a several-second long transformation sequence to reach their full power).

This is actually a pretty cheesy elemental control – half the things in it really don’t belong in that structure – but “boosted hand to hand fighter” is rather less important than it used to be in the face of modern military technology.

Vampire (Afrikans Variant) Racial Package:

Like Werebeasts, Vampires are pretty classical; they are undead corpses which have returned to feast on the blood/flesh/life force/souls/whatever of the living. They are cold, ruthless, predatory, and quite uncooperative. A few old and powerful ones may control lesser vampires, but for the most part the natural size of a coven of vampires is one. As Afrikans “tribal” groups have grown to absurd size, vampires – with their tendency to fight with each other over territory and to haunt lonely wilds between cities – have become less generally menacing. Still, an elder vampire can perform feats of magic that few can match.

  • Physical Limitation: Sorcerous Powers Only. Vampires display a wide variety of mystical abilities, but all of them are active effects, drawing on energy stolen from others. While they are cut off from natural sources of power, vampires are thus capable of some unusually potent effects (Frequently/Fully, -20 Points).
  • Psychological Limitation: Deathly Predator. Vampires are severely anti-social, predatory, have an extremely hard time with social relationships, and tend to view everyone else as being beneath them – perhaps because it makes it easier to act as a ruthless predator. They generally do not tolerate rival vampires (Common, Strong, -15 Points).
  • Normal Mental Characteristic Maxima (-10 Points).
  • Physical Limitation: Undead. They do not heal naturally (they need to use a healing spell on themselves), cannot eat, and so on (Frequent, Slightly, -15 Points).
    • Many Vampires are vulnerable to Sunlight and Silver or to other classical problems, but they vary a great deal beyond the basics. Such vulnerabilities seem to be based on their own beliefs. They all have at least -20 points worth of such problems however – usually paying for a selection of multipower slots, invariably including the aforementioned healing spell.
  • Elemental Control: Basic Vampire Powers. 10 Point Reserve, all powers Visible and Well Known (-.5 total) (7 Points).
    • Sorcery Multipower Reserve: 20 points. This may be added to to exceed the usual setting limits by 20 points – raising the basic forty point limit to sixty points or even sixty-five for very old and experienced vampires (7 Points).
    • Endurance Reserve, 220 Points (8 Points). This powers everything in the Multipower and their Life Support ability.
    • 1 Pip HKA (1/2d6 with strength) linked to 2d6 Aid (restores 4d6 End to the reserve if the user’s attack inflicts at least one point of damage), both at 0 End Cost (8 Points). Note that this is not always painful; being drained of vital energy by a Succubus can be extremely pleasurable – but it is still death by vampirism.
    • Total Life Support: Requires 4d6 End per day to maintain activity despite this power, if it is not maintained the Vampire will sink into a coma for many years (-,5) (10 Points).

That Elemental Control is also a bit cheesy – but I suppose that’s a defining characteristic of monsters.

“Relics” are archaic non-sapient Hominidae species ancestral to the genera Homo found in various locations around the world – most notably Australopithecus and Paranthropus. While they do possess such advanced skills as use of fire, boat making, and limited language, these all appear to be largely instinctual behaviors on some level and not evidence of true sapience (which, at least in the setting, involves mental access to the Astral Plane). It is theorized that, while sapience is dependent on intelligence, intelligence does not appear to be dependent on sapience. Relics – like other primates such as Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Gorillas – are not playable. Occasional crossbreeds have been created however (usually thanks to a Titan meddling). Those which survive, and are truly sapient, can simply be treated as members of the other parents species, albeit likely ones with a few odd knacks, an odd attribute distribution, and an excuse for any number of disabilities.

Apex – The Playable Races Part I; The Hominidae

Apex is an experimental setting focused on exploring very different types of intelligence – races which simply do not think like humans do. That’s somewhat awkward – it’s hard to properly play characters who don’t think like you do – but it seems worth considering. The game is set up using Hero System Rules (4’th Edition) for the moment because Spellweaver – who’s been writing it up – finds that easier to work with.

Afrikans – the youngest of the current fully sapient races – evolved in Africa, and spread to the rest of the world with surprising speed. They’re currently dominant because most of the other races became extinct or near-extinct long ago and are basically the local version of Homo Sapiens – as Homo Sapiens might be if full sapience was dependent on a link with the Astral plane that limited the spread of sapient species but which can also be tapped into to power magic. Unfortunately, the nature of the magic available to any given race is strictly limited by the underlying structure of the minds using it – meaning that each race can only use a limited selection of abilities.

  • Physical Limitation: Elemental Powers Only. Afrikans can create and maintain advanced “conventional” technologies (which do indeed require a bit of magic to keep working in the face of supernatural resistance) and can manipulate the various elements, the states of matter, and the elemental forces of life and death (Frequently/Fully, -20 Points).
  • Normal Characteristic Maxima (-20 Points). As fairly normal humans, Afrikans characters have attributes in the normal human ranges.
  • Psychological Limitation: Pyramidal Psychology. Afrikans form large organizations easily, but have difficulties handling internal feedback within those organizations and with understanding systems involving it. Dominant leaders thus tend to hear only what they want to – and so less-dominant subgroups resort to factional infighting to advance their ideas. Groups of Afrikans have been known to obey obviously stupid orders simply because they came from the top – and may select very poor leaders and then follow them blindly. (Very Common, Strong, -20 Points)
  • +3 Levels with Ranged Combat (15 Points). Afrikans have explored a unique evolutionary niche as projectile predators (originally rock-throwers) – hunting considerably larger and stronger prey while remaining out of their effective reach. This has driven a massive evolutionary expansion in their brain, simply because the precise timing required for accurate throwing requires averaging across extremely large numbers neurons – since, as individuals, neurons are extremely inaccurate timers.
  • Basic Equipment Allowance: 15 Points (15 Points). Even if they start with nothing at all, an Afrikans character will very soon have at least the basics – being easily capable of turning rocks, sticks, hides, and fiber into weapons, protective armor, and other gear. That isn’t that hard even without their natural magic, and is remarkably easy with it.
  • Afrikan NPC’s have baseline attributes of 8, for -25 Points. This pays for basic skills and things.

Atlanteans are closely related to the Neanderthals, and reached full sapience amidst the World Tree forests on the subcontinent of Atlantis (an uplifted section of the mid-Atlantic ridge). As melee pack hunters and gatherers, their drive to intelligence was slower and more erratic than that of Homo Sapiens; improved pack tactics have a less direct link to increasing brain capacity. Their development of full sapience was thus a genetic quirk amongst a rather small isolated group. With their new access to psionic abilities, including the generation of energy weapons and personal protections, these “True” Atlanteans rapidly assumed near-total control of their subcontinent – but their relatively small and concentrated population remained extremely vulnerable to natural (and unnatural) disasters. After narrowly evading extinction, the remnant Atlantean population is expanding rapidly in partnership with Afrikans.

  • Physical Limitation: Symbolic Powers Only. For Atlanteans, names, symbols, and concepts carry a reality of their own, rather than, as they are for the other races, being something who’s “reality” exists strictly within their heads. As such, they may employ psionic abilities, manipulate symbols to empower rituals and sorceries, and employ memetic and nymic effects – most famously, altering the properties of materials by naming them. Sadly, this leaves them unable to effectively work with “independent” forces that lack symbolic aspects. (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points)
  • Normal Mental Characteristic Maxima, Physical Characteristic Maxima are increased by 50%: (-15 Points). Thanks to subtle psionic enhancement of their physical forms, Atlanteans can achieve routinely achieve levels of strength, speed, and durability that Afrikan individuals can only reach with the aid of powerful boosting effects – and can use their own temporary boosting effects to go well beyond those levels.
  • Psychological Limitation: Patterned Mentality. Atlanteans think in complex interacting patterns, rather than linearly. They organize themselves in complex networks of semi-independent clans and – amongst may other social effects – this leaves them unable to clearly separate products from their creators, making the idea of an assembly line or multistage manufacturing incomprehensible to them. This effectively limits their technology to what can be personally crafted (peaking at about the level of Imperial Rome) and their large-scale organizations to being personally run by unusually dominant groups. Worse, persistently disruptive elements are considered existential threats, rather than annoyances, leading to genocidal wars (Very Common, Total, -25 points).
  • Pattern Dance: When working with systems that involve many interacting factors – and ONLY when working with such systems – Atlanteans gain the benefits of two Overall Levels (EG: Not for Acrobatics – unless, perhaps, to make up for penalties from trying to perform in a ships rigging in a storm – or for breakfall, climbing, computer programming, concealment, contortionist, etc. They are, however, generally usable in melee (but rarely ranged, and certainly not for target shooting or sniping) combat, Oratory (and other performing arts), and for things like ecosystem dynamics, weather prediction, medicine, genetic manipulation, magneto-hydro-dynamics, neural network tuning, and other similarly complex or chaotic systems that prove to be difficult to adequately model with a reductionist mindset (-.25 limitation, 16 Points).
  • Attribute Bonuses: Str +5 (5 points), Con +3 (6 points), plus Damage Reduction 3/3 on PD/ED (3 points).
  • Atlantean/Afrikans Crossbreeds are possible (especially with a bit of Atlantean genetic meddling). Such individuals may swap out the physical limitation in their package and one of their two secondary benefits, but otherwise lean towards one race or the other. Such individuals are usually sterile with either parental species barring additional genetic meddling (which generally results in offspring typical of the other parent’s species, if often with genetic flaws), may face racism from both parental species, and are very, very, rare, with the oldest just now coming of age since it took some decades to work out how to make it possible in the first place.

Lemurian Racial Package (Reconstructed, Presumed Extinct):

The semi-aquatic Lemurians appeared on “Lemuria” (the exposed, and somewhat larger, Kerguelen Plateau) during an active uplift event and a severe global sea level minimum. Their rise to sapience was apparently triggered by a pressing need to adapt to a very rapidly changing landscape and shifting climate, favoring active thought over instinct. Unfortunately, with most of the Kerguelan Plateau currently deep under the arctic ocean and only a few of what would have been the most desolate peaks exposed as arctic islands, information on the Lemurians is very hard to come by. It is generally believed that the Lemurians went extinct when rising sea levels and subsidence left their microcontinent underwater and uninhabitable.

  • Physical Limitations: Harmonic Manipulation Only. Lemurians possessed the ability to gradually mold the world to their desires, patiently reshaping it’s landscape and species to suit their needs. While this is a broad-ranging and potent ability, it is anything but fast. Secondarily, it allows the user of Megalithic Magic, shaping the ley lines of the Earth into potent effects via massive stone constructs (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points).
  • Normal Physical Characteristic Maxima (-20 Points). The Lemurians were apparently fairly normal primates physically and did little or no “hunting” – unless you count fishing, clamming, and other forms of riverine and shoreline aquiculture.
  • Physical Limitation: Asymbolic. Lemurians are incapable of even comprehending advanced symbolism; they do not and cannot have a language as the current races understand them, They view their world as a series of unique events, rather than by sorting things into categories and narratives. For them, “consistency” was a feature of personalities and of their own works, not of the natural world (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points).
  • Harmonic Shaping: 1d6 Cumulative Minor Transformation, to any (natural-seeming) variation desired, affecting up to a 4″ radius, no range, requires one week per die roll (7 Points).
  • Telepathy, 3d6, Half (0) End Cost (+.25), Only to communicate images, emotions, and gestalt impressions (-1) (9 Points). An augmented function of already-enhanced mirror neurons, the Lemurians possessed empathy at the telepathic level.
  • Swimming, +3 (3 Points).
  • Immunity/Needing to Breathe more than once every few minutes (2 Points).
  • Immunity/Penalties for functioning in water (2 Points).
  • Immunity/Requiring basic implements. Lemurians were capable of giving temporary form to liquids, allowing them to serve as effective tools (3 Points) – making it easy to fish without nets, fish spears, lines, or even coracle-like “boats” since such things could simply be shaped from the water around them. (This could also be bought as a highly limited transformation ability, but it really isn’t worth the trouble).
  • Immunity/requiring records to transmit their cultural information. The Lemurians possessed a limited “racial mind”, and needed little education to function (2 Points).
  • Whether the Lemurians are actually extinct remains unknown; given their abilities, it is entirely possible that some decided to adapt to the ocean depths, or escaped into artificially-generated pocket dimensions or environments. Similar abilities have occasionally been observed in “defective” Afrikans specimens, although never to the full extent of the abilities listed here. Unfortunately, such individuals are invariably incapable of effective communication.

Hyperborean Racial Package (Reconstructed, Presumed Extinct, A.K.A “Giants”, “Jotun”, “Golden Lords”, “Bridge Builders”, etc):

The Hyperboreans (possibly a derivative of Paranthropus Robustus?) arose on the arctic landmass of Hyperborea (corresponding to the Lomonosov and Alpha Arctic Ridge systems, with some elements of the Mendeleev Ridge and the Chukchi Plateau, mostly forming a ring around the Makarov Basin) when geothermal activity gave rise to a local northern temperate climate. They had a morphology resembling a gracile gorilla, but were far more massive – averaging between ten and twelve feet tall. Socially, they were apparently extensively influenced by their instinctive competitiveness, uniting only under particularly dominant individuals and operating in roving bands when not under such control. Oddly enough, a Hyperboreans effective mental capacity is highly variable: while they can use their connection with astral space to “supercharge” their neural structure – potentially gaining vast intelligence in short bursts – their neural structure is poorly organized when not so supplemented, leaving them somewhat apelike much of the time. If a Hyperborean declares that “The Time For Debate Is Passed!” he or she probably really, REALLY, means it.

  • Physical Limitation: Materialism only. Hyperboreans are capable of manipulating the physical properties of matter and of imbuing it with mental energy (given a sufficient source), but they cannot access other powers. Such imbued constructs range from simple talismans imprinted with knowledge, energy, and possessing minor powers based on the material up to full-scale golem-style automatons – something well beyond the abilities of the other races. Secondarily, they can create and maintain midlevel technologies, such as steam engines (Frequently, Fully, -20 Points).
  • Mental Characteristic Maxima of 25, Physical of 15. Their great size provides some inherent benefits, but it also places considerable stress on their biological systems (-15).
  • Physical Limitation: For Hyperboreans mental energy is a very limited resource that they must spend to theorize, engage in complex debates, design structures, or otherwise perform mental labors – and their supply is relatively limited and slow to recover. Treat this as an Endurance Reserve, with a maximum reserve of (Con x 10) endurance and a recovery rate of 5/hour, 10-20 per hour in the presence of a Titan, depending on power level. The exact cost of various mental labors is up to the game master, but their mental energy is always a resource that must carefully managed. As a side effect, Hyperboreans tend towards very direct and simple solutions (regardless of how much physical effort they may involve) and their mere presence is troublesome for Titans, who find them quite draining. More skillful Hyperboreans can focus their energy reserves into simple astral blasts, shields, and weapons – making them quite effective (if very swiftly exhausted) when fighting astral entities.
    • This may in fact be a self-protective adaption, developed after the Ethereal cataclysm – allowing a Hyperborean to shut down vulnerable higher mental processes in the face of astral disruptions and to operate effectively outside of the areas with the astral overlays that allow full sapience.
  • Growth, 3 Levels, 0 End Persistent Always On and Physical (-.5); it cannot be turned off, means needing a lot of food, creates massive physical stresses (as noted above), and so on (15 Points).
  • Materials Manipulation Variable Power Pool (12 Points), Only to take on the properties of various materials or to imbue them with psychic energies (-5), must have a source for psychic energies (-.25), must touch the material to be affected or to copy its properties (-.5). requires a full phase to change (-.25) (14 Points), +1 Point towards the Control Skill (8- Base. 1 Point).
  • It is quite possible that some Hyperboreans are still around – whether having transferred their minds into golems, having taken on the nature of stone and entered stasis until conditions improve, or still surviving clustered around deep sources of geologic heat. Given their tendency to suppress thought and curiosity in the areas about them, they would be extremely easy to overlook.