Channeling Mysterious Spirits – The Discordant Powers and the Seven Deadly Sins Part II – Pride/Cruelty, Sloth, Deception, Envy/Treachery, and Chance.

And for today (and Halloween) it’s the second half of the Seven Deadly Sins and Discordant Powers – a set of spirits/forces which can be channeled by Bokors / Binders and Equestarian Dragons. As usual, these spirits / forces build on the basic Bokor package.

If you haven’t looked at Part I (Gluttony, Lust, Greed, and Wrath) it’s over HERE.

Pride / Cruelty:

Pride and Cruelty are two faces of a single thing – placing oneself above others and believing that that self-appointed placement gives you the right to use, abuse, and torment those “beneath you”, displaying your “superiority” for your own amusement. Classically, Pride was often considered the fundamental sin, the gateway through which corruption entered the soul. It was the updated version of Hubris – taking credit for the gifts that god had given, as Satan had tried to do at the beginning. And given how little of life was under human control at the time… there was some truth to that. One might more or less rightfully take credit for working hard with what you had, but birth rank, inheritance, health, strength, dexterity, and many other factors depended a great deal on your heritage and circumstance.

D20 kind of limits the possibilities here. The d20 system doesn’t really acknowledge “pain” (or hunger, or thirst, or much of any other bodily need), damage, injury, and illness are totally abstract, and attitude problems are pretty common for adventurers even when they aren’t simply murder hobos (homeless wanderers with little personality or motivation other than greed who kill everything and everyone who gets in their way and then loot the corpses). That really takes a lot of the point out of classical cruelty. Egotism? These characters battle dragons and rule nations. Gluttony already covered dark arts and “perfection” (using Luck to “take 20”). Actual personal godhood is a bit much for a spirit to bestow. Something could be done with Augmented Bonus – perhaps using Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for increased Effect (only for Augmented Bonus, 6 floating CP, five or six times) to justify incredible pride by simply getting a bunch of statistical bonuses, but that’s boring. Innate Enchantment could stack up a whole slew of minor enhancements, but that’s both boring and involves massive checking for stacking issues each and every time.

No, in this case we’ll lean towards Hubris – setting yourself above the very gods.

  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (each mana spent counts as three) / only for Reality Editing, blatantly calls on unholy and blasphemous forces (12 CP). There are few things more arrogant than to simply bend reality to your will.
    • Note that those channeling Pride usually like to pretend that they’re using their personal power, rather than just bending reality. It’s cheaper too; bringing that sixty-ton stone idol to life as an oversided Stone Golem and sending it out to crush your foes is a Grandiose (4 Mana) Edit, picking it up and hurling it down the steps is pretty Major (3 Mana) Edit – but making a mighty effort and toppling it down the temple steps in an avalanche of rubble that sweeps away your foes? That’s actually somewhat plausible, and so counts as a mere Notable (2 Mana) Edit. Go ahead, when the very gods have stacked the deck against you… demonstrate that the will of the gods themselves is no match for your defiance!
  • Rite of Chi with +12 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to restore Mana for Reality Editing, user must demonstrate his or her superiority, be a sneering bastard, or indulge in a cruel and vicious act to activate it (8 CP).
  • Dark Words: Innate Enchantment, Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 1800 GP (Unlimited-Use Command Word Activated). Doom, Wrack (like Doom, but the target becomes Sickened, Fortitude Negates), Thorn (like Doom, but target takes 1 Damage per Round and a -2 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks as magical needles agonizingly stab into his or her joints, Reflex Negates). Total: 5400 GP (6 CP).
    • Yes, this lets someone channeling Pride be an obnoxious bastard for free all the time. What did you expect?
  • Opportunist: The channeler may use the powers of Pride once per round as a free action (6 CP).
  • Privilege: The channeler is always treated as at least minor nobility, everywhere that he or she may go (3 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Someone channeling Pride can never admit to being in the wrong or apologize. He or she will, at most, offer justifications (no matter how insane) for his or her actions.


Sloth goes beyond simple laziness. It is a lack of interest, it is despair, and it is what we would now classify as clinical depression – the belief that all that awaits you in life is misery and that nothing is worth attempting. It is a lack of feeling and empathy, it is the refusal of joy and grace. It is turning away from life and the divine to embrace the void.

Unfortunately, unlike most of the other Deadly Sins or Discordant Powers… The standard notion of Sloth does anything BUT drive you to action. That’s spectacularly uninteresting in terms of the game. On the other hand, the desire to embrace the void is something that I can work with.

To a channeler of Sloth… reality is pain. All of life and consciousness is but the drawn-out scream of the universe uselessly protesting it’s inevitable slide down the entropic slope into the endless, futile, void. That Void is the only true surcease, the only true panacea. To help others pass into the void is the only true kindness.

  • Channeling: 1 + (3 x Cha Mod) uses, Specialized / only for Conversion (9 CP).
  • Conversion to a set of four sixth level spells (9 CP):
    • Entropic Caress (as per Bestow Greater Curse).
    • Entropic Cone (Short Range Cone effect, otherwise as per Bestow Curse).
    • Inevitable Night: As per Call The Void, but affects up to (Level) creatures of the user’s choice who are within short range of the user each round.
    • Welcoming Void (as per Disintegrate).
  • Access to an Occult Skill (Dream-Binding, 3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus, Adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating first level skill points, Specialized for Increased Effect / the skill points go exclusively into Dream-Binding (6 CP).
  • This gives the channeler an effective Dream-Binding Skill Bonus of (Cha Mod x 9) – in effect allowing him to pull three items, each with an effective value of up to (Cha Mod x Cha Mod x 900 GP) back from the edge of the void to use during each summoning. Sadly, only permanent items are eligible.
  • “It really doesn’t matter” Damage Reduction 8, Specialized and Corrupted / Physical Damage Only, can be negated by hitting the user with “good hope” or similar morale-boosting effects (8 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Those channeling Sloth simply do not care. They receive no save against effects that produce morale penalties.

Sloth… is sort of a casual, generic, impersonal evil. It isn’t that it CARES, it’s just vaguely of the opinion that both you and the universe would be better off if you were ground down into a fine powder and annihilated – and if there’s nothing more interesting (not that ANYTHING is very interesting) going on it might as well take care of that. Someone channeling Sloth will kill a small child just as casually as you might straighten up a crooked picture and for much the same reason; it’s untidy, it’s vaguely annoying, and it’s very little trouble to fix that situation.


Deception is – to no one’s surprise – one of the most subtle sins or “Discordant Powers”, and creeps in everywhere – from the stealthy tendrils of falsehood that slip in when one exasperatedly fails to correct some minor misapprehension to the grand deceptions that send myriads off to die. Perhaps worse… the bitter venom of falsity can spread itself, reaching out across time and space through the veins and arteries of news, rumor, and gossip to infect, to fester, and to corrupt persons far beyond the original deceivers reach. There is a REASON why so many dark and malevolent powers have borne the title of “Lord of Lies”.

The Serpents Tongue:

  • Augmented Bonus, Adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating first level skill points, Specialized for Reduced Cost / the skill points go exclusively into Bluff (3 CP).
  • Mystic Artist, Specialized for Increased Effect (Double skill level for acquiring abilities) / the user can only purchase Manipulation abilities, and Corrupted for Modified Effect (Greater Summoning is replaced by Deceive Reality – a version of Bestow Greater Curse with Medium Range and Puppet Master is replaced by LieSmith – the ability to spread rumors, slanders, and baseless accusations which will rapidly spread through the target population, gaining a great deal of credence as they go) / only usable for malevolent purposes (6 CP).
  • +4 Bonus Uses of Mystic Artist, above (6 CP).

With this combination you gain you gain Fascinate and Hold Audience at (Cha Mod +1), Suggestion, Emotional Auras, and Freedom at (+2), Mass Suggestion at (+3), Deceive Reality at (+4), Alter Attitudes at (+5), and Liesmith at (+6 or more).

Gluttony grants personal power. Lust grants powerful agents. Greed grants items, or the equivalent. Wrath destroys everything nearby. Pride twists the world to demonstrate personal superiority. Sloth brings the final silence. But Deception… Deception shatters the bonds of faith, of friendship, and of alliance. It breaks down the trust which is the foundation of society. The other Sins and Discordant Powers may inflict horrors on those in the immediate vicinity and taint areas – but only Deception will leave a trail of cities in chaos, countries at war, and once-friends and allies at each others throats – and the Serpents Tongue, the terrible power of subtly twisted words lies at the core of that power. You do not need powerful magic, or combat prowess, or great authority, or an army, to destroy.

  • Witchcraft III (6 CP):
  • The Adamant Will, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to resist or present false results to mind-reading, detection, and “truth” effects at no cost. There is no simple and reliable way to determine if the user is lying or twisting the truth.
  • Shadowweave, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / May spend two power to create a Major Image effect.
  • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect: Only to imbue papers and related items with an aura of authenticity and authority. The user may spend one power to gain a +20 bonus on a Forgery check and a second to reduce the time required to a single action.
  • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect: You may spend two power to create a Glibness effect.
  • Master of the Sabbat: Corrupted for Increased Effect (Can lay curses without the Elfshot ability), Specialized for Reduced Cost / Only works for laying curses, user must gather at least seven foul and suspicious ingredients (things like graveyard mold, toxic fungi, the tongue of a hanged man, blood from a virgin child, whatever) and brew them together to create the curse and apply the mixture to the target to complete it. All in all, you can generate a level 3 Curse for 12 Power, level 4 curses for 24, level 5 for 48, 6 for 96, 7 for 192, 8 for 384, and 9 for 768 (and so on if even greater curses are allowed). Fortunately, you do have up to 28 days to provide the required Power total (4 CP). Equivalents of the various “Curse Terrain” Pathfinder spells are favorites.
  • False Flesh: Apparition, Corrupted for Increased Effect, Specialized for Reduced Cost: the user must design a single, specific, psychic construct, specify its general appearance, and can only summon it around himself or herself, but it automatically has the Class-C “Enveloping” ability (3 CP).
  • Shaping, Corrupted and Specialized for increased (level one and possibly weak level two) effects/can only produce the effects for which the user has the appropriate foci ready, can only support a limited number (seven and three) of minor charms and more notable talismans at one time, charms and talismans are modestly expensive (and thus limited by wealth and lifestyle) and take some time to attune for use (6 CP).
  • Specific Knowledge: How to create foci for Black Magic Charms and Talismans (1 CP). Charms and Talismans – including those of black magic – are discussed in The Practical Enchanter.
  • Disadvantage: Deceivers cannot help but spread misinformation, gossip, misery, and deceptions, slowly twisting any realm they visit towards darkness.

Envy and Treachery

Envy… is not so much wanting something for yourself. It is the little whispering voice that says “Why should they have what I do not?”. It is a jealous desire to deprive others of happiness in an attempt to fill your own misery and emptiness. When active it directs it’s greatest malice at those about you – your family, friends, and neighbors whom you can easily reach – and becomes Treachery. The desire to betray and to thus share your misery.

Treachery is perhaps the most feared of the Sins and Discordant Powers. Wrath? Greed? Lust? For all the evil that such powers can unleash, they are but natural, necessary, things expressed without Temperance. But to betray… to betray is always personal. To betray you must first gain trust – and then shatter that precious gift. No simple failure of control will easily lead to the outer darkness; but to truly embody Treachery… you must cast out the light from your heart.

Surprisingly enough though… Treachery is one of the least interesting sins. It takes real talent to Deceive well, skill, wealth, and fame or power to make the most of Lust, a willingness to abuse yourself and wealth to make the most of Gluttony, and so on… but for Treachery all you need to do is go behind the backs of people who (foolishly) trusted you and attempt to screw them over. Half your coworkers in any office job are usually doing THAT.

Even worse, when it comes to d20, basic Treachery is really pretty pointless. Like it or not, the characters are generally the functional equivalent of a small army. They may go back on deals, or backstab their patron – but they tend to define “subtle” as “single target spells and the Barbarian not using rage”. When it comes to NPC’s betraying each other the details are going to be up to the game master’s plot and don’t need game statistics. When it comes to NPC’s betraying PC’s… well, many PC’s don’t really trust anybody anyway, will automatically assume that they’re going to be betrayed if there is the slightest sign of it, and – if there isn’t – the players will get pretty cross about it, which is no good for the game.

Like it or not, the only form of treachery that will both work and be any fun when it comes to player characters is the flamboyantly treacherous kind – the sort of “treachery” you get from a villain who twirls his fu-manchu mustache, strokes his villainous goatee, and tells one and all that they would be fools to trust him and that he is a master of poisons – and then offers them tea and snacks.

And as long as they are useful to him… drinking the tea and eating the snacks will be entirely safe. Betraying people at random simply isn’t conducive to future operations.

The Dark Chancellor

  • Access to an Occult Skill (Foresight, 3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus, Adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating first level skill points, Specialized for Reduced Cost / the skill points go exclusively into Foresight, providing an effective base of (4 x Cha Mod + Int Mod -3) in the skill (3 CP).
  • Witchcraft III (6 CP).
    • Hyloka, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user is immune to poisons. This is a constant effect with no cost.
    • Witchfire, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 3 power to make an immediate Craft / Alchemy check.
    • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / Aura of Honesty. The user may (in fact must) be an blatantly obvious villain, but no one with a base Will save below +6 will recognize this and he or she may spend 2 power actively to get a +10 Sacred (OK, Unholy) bonus to Diplomacy and Bluff for the next hour – as long as he or she makes it obvious that they cannot be trusted. After all, “only a fundamentally honest man would tell people the limits of his trustworthiness up front!”.
    • The Inner Eye, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 2 Power to make a Gather Information check with a +10 bonus as a Standard Action.
  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (each Mana point spent counts as three) / only for use with Reality Editing, only for a specific set of edits (12 CP):
    • Quickly Producing poisons (1), drugs (2), “scrolls” of dark magic (1 for spell levels 1-2, 2 for 3-4, and 3 for 5-6. Uncopyable, but always usable by the summoner), suitable bribes (3), or various potions (2) – all of which must be used fairly quickly or they will lose their power.
    • Ritually Summoning dark spirits, undead, and demonic aides – although such entities will never have s CR of more than one-half the user’s level or serve for more than twenty-four hours unless the Mana used to summon them is left committed to them (usually 1/2/3 for minor/notable/major creatures).
  • Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to recharge the Reality Editing pool above, requires at least ten minutes of meditation and/or relative inactivity per die (3 CP).
  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (four floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (4 CP). Points may only be used in conjunction with Create Relic, below, all relics created are products of dark magic, are limited to two points, must be approved by the game master, and carry at least one three-point disadvantage – although this does add to their point totals.
  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with points from Double Enthusiast (above), all relics created are products of dark magic, are limited to two points, must be approved by the game master, and carry at least one three-point disadvantage – although this does add to their point totals (2 CP)
  • Specific Knowledge: Handbook of Poisons (1 CP).
  • +3 Specialty in Craft: Alchemy (see Haagenti, the Five Alchemical Catalysts, 1 CP).
  • Disadvantage: The channeler must be flamboyantly and blatantly criminal and untrustworthy, even if few others will ever notice this (-3 CP).

It’s boring, but if you really want classic simple-and-functional treachery instead, take…

  • Traceless Treachery (6 CP): When you send vital information to the enemy, open the gates to assassins in the night, or slip poison into a child’s supper… no evidence can be found, and no one will ever be able to prove that it was you.
  • Double Damage, when striking from behind or in treacherous attack (6 CP).
  • Cloaking (6 CP): Any form of magical or psychic detection will not reveal the user’s treachery.
  • Presence (Charm Person) (6 CP). Anyone who comes near a channeler of Treachery will find themselves trusting and liking them, regardless of how irrational that may be. (Alternatively, the user may radiate a mono-suggestion – “you want to take whatever bribe I’m offering” – but that overlaps with the Witchcraft functions below).
  • Witchcraft III (6 CP).
    • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 1 Power to generate a Suggestion Effect.
    • Dreamfaring, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may store his or her gear in his or her dreams – duplicating the effect of a Handy Haversack without cost or the Call Item psionic power by expending power.
    • The Inner Eye, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 2 Power to make a Gather Information check with a +10 bonus as a Standard Action.
    • Hyloka, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user is immune to poisons. This is a constant effect with no cost.
  • Grant of Aid with +6 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / can only be recovered when the user commits some major act of treachery (5 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Those channeling Treachery are unable to stop scheming to advance themselves at the expense of others. While useful companions may be bypassed in the interests of using them in the future, everyone else they interact with for long is likely to suffer.



Chance – or Chaos – differs from the other Discordant Powers. It isn’t really regarded as a “Sin”. It’s a FEAR. Civilization, and even simple survival are, ultimately, utterly dependent on the patterns of nature. Did the caribou take a different route in their migration? Did the rains not come and the crops fail? Did the river flood and sweep away your village in the night? Any little disruption of the pattern may spell doom. All of civilization… represents little more than a long struggle against the vagaries of chance.

And always… a fault in a dam, a wave from the depths, a shaking of the earth, Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, or any other chance bit of bad luck that you weren’t prepared for (and no one can prepare for EVERYTHING) – may being it all tumbling down.

Even those who channel chaos do not wish to be consumed by it. They too are seeking some measure of control – to harness and ride what they see as an unstoppable tide, the deep currents of chaos that life and civilization rides atop of like a raft of soap-bubbles drifting on an ocean. Beautiful perhaps, and seemingly stable – but ultimately effervescent and doomed.

And there is more than a bit of uncomfortable truth to that vision.

Those who channel chaos really have only two abilities – to twist what is happening NOW and to shift the probabilities of the future.

A Fortunate Twist:

  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized for Increased Effect (each points spent counts as two, points may be spent at any time without requiring an action, the user is automatically aware of what events are reasonably likely and their costs (IE: the user may consult the game master at any time) / only for Reality Editing, only to affect the environment, only for triggering reasonably likely events or affecting the outcome of events that occur naturally (12 CP).

For example… if a roof is caving in, manipulating who it hits is a minor (1 Mana) edit. Causing an old, unmaintained, roof to cave in where you need it right NOW is a notable (2 Mana) edit. Causing a solid roof to cave in is a major (4 Mana) edit IF the game master thinks it’s likely enough to allow at all. Steering a lightning bolt from a storm? 1 Mana. Having a gust blow down a house? 2 Mana. Steering the storm to destroy the business district? 4 Mana IF possible at all (and it probably won’t be). Need a sudden gust of wind to deflect an incoming flight of arrows? 1 Mana if there is already wind to work with, 2 if there isn’t – because there always could easily be a little wind.

  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Unskilled Magic, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Effects cost only one point per level with the side effects subsumed into the effect, the Caster Level is equal to the User’s Level. Maximum level of effect = (User’s Base Will Save Bonus) or (Wis/3), whichever is less) / only for Destiny Magic (12 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +6 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / Onlyto recharge the fate-twisting pools above, recharges a maximum of one die per minute, user must behave in a throughly chaotic manner (5 CP).

Twisting Fate:

Destiny Magic manipulates the probabilities of the future. The level of destiny magic spells depends on two basic factors: the level of effect you want and how much you want the spell to consider your desires. This can be very, VERY, dangerous. For some samples:

  • “We will have good luck in this battle”. This one is safe enough; you and your friends get some luck bonuses. You can simply use some of the appropriate spells.
  • “She will look over this way and notice me”. Also pretty safe unless you’re a wanted criminal, or a werewolf who will start her screaming or some such. People look around and notice things all the time. There probably won’t even be a save.
  • “They will drop the charges and let me out of jail in the morning”. Less safe, but unlikely to get you really hurt. One character tried this with a low-level spell; the locals concluded that he was mad – or “god-touched” – and shipped him off to an asylum where the monks would listen to his ravings in search of prophecy. This was awkward, but he WAS out of jail with the charges dropped.
  • “A diversion will come up during the trip that will give me a chance to escape”. This turned out a lot better; a diversion wasn’t unlikely and the destiny mage made it a higher level spell to avoid the diversion turning out to be a major monster attack or something and wound up with a few falling rocks, one of which knocked the transport wagon open. He then made his escape under his own power.
    • He didn’t even consider trying “The Daimyo will pass by along the way, recognize me as foreign but not mad, and give me an excellent job!”. THAT would call for a very high level spell indeed unless events along those lines were already in the works.
  • Thus “You will soon be badly injured” is pretty easy. “You will be hit by a runaway cart tomorrow and badly injured” is harder, but still plausible. “You will be hit and badly injured tomorrow by a runaway cart driven by your drunken son who will be crippled in the accident” is WAY up there, and may well be effectively impossible – if, say, the kid is currently several hundred miles away. Trying to force an event that unlikely into existence is also likely to have all kinds of unlikely side effects which may well endanger the caster and his or her party. Worse, it usually allows a save.
  • For an example from the more disastrous side… The party was hunting a colossal river serpent. They obtained flying steeds and attacked it at long range. The serpent promptly dove to the bottom of the river and burrowed into the mud where they could not reach it. One of the characters then tried to use first level Destiny Magic to make the serpent to come back up and fight. What was easiest? A lure. Where was he? Hovering directly over the river where the serpent was. He’d used a spell of such low level that it didn’t consider anything but what he’d asked for. Ergo… a biting bug bit his steed in a sensitive spot, he got bucked off, he landed in the river, and the serpent came back up to eat him – instigating the desired fight, but at close range rather than the desired sniping contest. He asked for a specific, and not unreasonable, event – but lacked the power to constrain his spell to more acceptable methods. A slightly higher level spell might have brought a cow by to drink and had it fall in.
  • If you try to directly affect someone else… they get a save. So “May your bowstring break!” is simple, and not implausible (bowstrings do break) – but it allows a save, and if the save is made normal probabilities continue in their course. Of course, twisting destiny to tell an Orphan that “you will soon be adopted by a fine set of parents!” is not too likely to provoke a save, even if the easiest way to arrange that does affect the kid. He or she won’t WANT to resist that destiny.


The deadly sins provide a great deal of power for little more than behaving very badly indeed. Sadly, that is – perhaps – appropriate enough. Chance is an interesting choice for a player character though.


Banishing The Darkness

And for today it’s a bonus post – responding to a question from Alzrius

One thing I’ve noticed in most d20 games is that banishing – as in, sending a creature from another plane of existence back to its realm of origin (or at least, removing it from the plane it’s currently on) – has no ability to enforce the banishment after the initial act of removal.

Spells like dismissal or banishment will send a creature back to its home plane, but most such creatures that warrant that level of magic being thrown at them have the ability to plane shift and greater teleport, meaning that if they want to come back, it will take them 2 rounds to do so (one to plane shift back, with the 5d100 off-target roll, and then one to greater teleport back to the exact place they were before).

Given that there’s no standard metric (other than local world laws) that formalizes the whole “demons and devils cannot enter the mortal world unless called by local residents,” this really seems to leave banishment options without any teeth. Even most exorcism options (which are a variation, to my mind, of banishment) simply expel the possessing spirit; they don’t stop it from simply trying again (e.g. a ghost can just use malevolence again). Since summoned creatures go back to their realm of origin anyway when “slain,” and called outsiders apparently die permanently when slain regardless of where they are when killed, it seems like it’s always going to be a better idea to just go ahead and kill extraplanar enemies, unless they’re summoned (not called) creatures of extraordinary power and are there for a long duration (such as a Pathfinder summoner’s eidolon).

To bring this to a question: how would you fix this? Adjust local world laws to change how extraplanar creatures can get to a particular world? Or come up with better banishing spells and effects? Or something else entirely?


Well, in the wild days of first edition, putting together some widely scattered bits, it looked like an outsider who was forcibly cast out of the material planes could not return for a year and a day, while one that was slain on the material planes took a very long time (normally a century, although it was shorter for really powerful creatures) to reform on their home plane (often including a temporary or permanent demotion to a lesser form). One slain on it’s home plane was gone for good. Still… first edition; there were plenty of special exceptions and even likely some contradictory rules.

Third edition was originally pretty straightforward; if a creature was actually there and was killed, it was dead. If it was summoned, and was thus basically a copy, puppet, or construct, then no matter what happened to it there was no effect on the original creature (if there even was one). If it was Dismissed or Banished… It was sent home if it was really there while a summoning simply ceased to exist. Speculatively, perhaps you used a spark or your own vitality to help maintain the effect – and that linking to extraplanar energies was what gave those spells an alignment and potentially affected yours.

Then, of course, the Fiendish Codex I turned up. It focused on Demons, but I’d assume that the same general ideas applied to most outsiders.

According to it, if a demon was killed outside the Abyss, it’s body would dissolve in spectacular and horrific fashion and return to the abyss (unless magically restrained) while its “essence” fell back into the raw chaos of the Abyss, there (barring the direct intervention of a a god-tier entity) to be reformed as a new, and generally much lesser, demon.

Summoned demons, of course, weren’t really there, and couldn’t actually die; they were just spiritual puppets (barring the use of optional rules), so the demonic essence just come unanchored when the construct-body was “slain” and returned home to it’s real, undamaged, body if they were even real creatures in the first place.

If a demon was killed within the Abyss it was annihilated, both body and essence. Divine intervention could restore such a demon, but nothing else could. Thus most demons were FAR more cautious on their home plane.

In Pathfinder this sort of thing was addressed in Pyramid Of The Sky Pharaoh, according to which a dead Outsider either merges with its plane or has its essence escape into the planes. In either case it’s eventually drawn into the Maelstrom and wiped clean, to be born again at some point in the future – which is pretty much the eventual fate for everybody else too.

Unlike Death, Dismissal and Banishment do seem to be strictly temporary inconveniences. Of course, they are only 4’th and 6’th level spells respectively. They’re also potential one-shot encounter enders, given that an awful lot of Outsiders do not have the ability to plane shift on their own.

One-shot encounter enders are usually targeted for easy encounters, simply because the baseline “encounter” is supposed to use up about 25% of a parties resources. If an encounter is reasonably likely to be ended by one character with a single spell… it probably isn’t much of a challenge. Ergo, Dismissal (becoming available at level seven) is probably balanced for use against creatures of around challenge rating six or less. Banishment, which becomes available at level eleven and can handle multiple targets, is probably balanced for use against creatures with an individual challenge rating of eight or less.

Are creatures combining Plane Shift and Teleport to come right back after being Dismissed or Banished a common problem? Well… searching the Monster Manual turns up only seventeen creatures with access to Plane Shift as a standard thing. Those are:

  • Angels (Astral Deva, Planetar, and Solar), none of whom have Teleport – although a few have a once a day Wish. They probably have better things to do with it though.
  • Genies (Djinni, Efreeti, and Janni* (Janni are listed as having a Plane Shift special quality, but that is apparently referreing to Ethereal Jaunt. As natives, they’re not appropriate targets anyway)) have Plane Shift, but – once again – not Teleport.
  • Nightshades (Nightcrawler, Nightwalker, and Nightwing) also have Plane Shift but not Teleport.
  • A few individual creatures also have access to Plane Shift. These include the Trumpet Archon (which also has teleport! We have a winner!), Couatl* (no teleport and native anyway, so not a valid target), Bebilith (no teleport), Githyanki (1/day Plane Shift at at ninth level or higher, but no innate Teleport), Githzerai (1/day Plane Shift at eleventh level or higher but no innate teleport), Marut (Plane Shift 1/Week, but no Teleport), and Mind Flayers (Not generally appropriate targets, no innate teleport).

That leaves the Trumpet Archon (CR 14) as the only creature in the Monster Manual that can just pop back after being Dismissed or Banished.

The Monster Manual II only provides four creatures with Plane Shift – Ethereal Doppelganger, Ethereal Slayer, Glimmerskin, and Spell Weaver – none of whom normally teleport.

So against the intended targets, and most of the more powerful targets if they work, both Dismissal and Banishment are pretty much “out of the game” buttons. Evidently third edition pretty much handled the problem by making most creatures that you had any reasonable expectation of being able to handle with a mid-level spell unable to come back – and handled the “dimensional invasion” problem by simply not giving most of the more obnoxious creatures direct access to the material planes. I’m not sure if Pathfinder continued that offhand, but it seems fairly likely.

Now if you are plagued by evil spirits that keep returning… that’s likely to be a homebrew or third party rules problem, and so homebrew and third party rules solutions are in order.

  • In Eclipse the simplest thing to do is to build a little Metamagic into the spell formulas – most likely Compact (Using an expensive focus, taking 1d4 points of attribute damage from the casting (most likely Charisma) on the grounds that exorcising dark spirits is not easy) and +2 levels of Infliction (Ignorance: victims will remain unaware of the specific plane from which they were banished for a century to come. A fairly trivial effect really, given that there are myriads of prime material planes. I could easily justify cutting it down to +1 level of infliction).

World laws are more interesting though. “Extraplanar creatures must be summoned by natives of the plane they’re summoned to” puts an interesting limit on Conjuration, as well as preventing most demonic invasions. It does keep extra-dimensional beings from summoning allies though, unless you refluff that ability as “splitting off bits of their own essence”. Similarly, “Once banished, an outsider may not return to the plane of banishment for a hundred years” would work well. That might cripple a Summoner of course, but I rather suspect that Eidolons are constructs anyway, and not really subject to being Dismissed or Banished for very long.

For an interesting change of pace, take a leaf from “A Personal Demon”; In that book summoning demons was actually quite easy, and they didn’t really want your soul – but when one failed to come when called, you had to ritually bar it from again entering your world to keep it from using the portal later, Over the millennia… demons had failed to answer because they had currently been summoned by someone else – and so when they returned to the Abyss, they could not return. Over thousands of years… the supply of demons had been exhausted until no one believed that they existed any longer.

And then one middle-aged professor did his demon-summoning routine at a party, using the name of a trivial lust-demon from a newly translated clay tablet from a recent dig – a demon that no one had ever heard of because the ancient priests had noted her existence, but had ignored her and failed to pass on her name because she was too trivial to bother with.

And thus the Professor became “Master” of the last summonable demon on earth – basically “I Dream of Jeanie” long before that show came along. In a world similar to that… magicians might command the services of a single demon, with a very specific set of powers, and be frantically trying to steal other mages demons and searching for lost names.

And I hope that helps with the question!

Eclipsing Magma

Magma – Amara Juliana Olivians Aquillav or possibly Allison Crestmere – was originally set up as a youthful citizen of a lost roman colony in South America who had been sent out into the jungle to keep her safe from Selene. That was weird, but between magic, alternate timelines, dimensional rifts, teleportation, mutants, Gods, Eternals, Celestials, and so on… hardly anything can be said to be implausible.

In any case, Selene eventually caught her, drained her life-force, and threw the corpse into a lava pit – whereupon she promptly rose from the dead as a volcanic avenger. Selene was forced to skip out and the New Mutants got a new member – taking the “Blaster” slot to provide some much-needed firepower. Shortly after that, however, she left to join the Hellions and hooked up with Empath – showing a taste for “bad boys” that would be a continuing theme.

Shortly thereafter the whole “roman colony” was revealed to be kidnapped-and-brainwashed British citizens (a reveal which is sometimes respected and sometimes ignored depending on the writer). Since then, Magma has appeared here and there, but never for very long. She’s also had (and apparently enjoyed) a date with Mephisto, including dinner in hell next to a lake of fire. She later dumped him. I don’t know whether that’s foolhardy or the most gutsy relationship ploy in history, but it’s certainly SOMETHING and will SURELY never come back to haunt her.

Magma is actually pretty simple to build in Eclipse because she’s a standard fantasy archetype; a youngster with a powerful talent for a particular type of magic (“mutant power”) and poor control of it. Given it’s limited applicability, she backs it up with some basic weapons and survival skills. If she was in a fantasy world where such things are usually limited use, she’d be part of a party of adventurers looking for treasure hordes. In a setting where the power flows freely she’s a superhero – or possibly a public menace (if it’s possible to tell the difference).


Basic Attributes:

  • According to THIS BUILD… she’s pretty much a straight-fourteens kind of gal. I’ll be bumping her Constitution up by +2 though to get her more Mana to work with.
  • Net Attributes: Str 12 (+2 Enh, 14), Int 14, Wis 13 (+1 at L4, 14), Con 14 (+2 Enh, 16), Dex 14 (+2 Pathfinder Human, 16), and Cha 14 (Pathfinder 25 point buy). The +1 from her level… probably goes to her Constitution. It will be handy there later.
  • BAB +5, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (20 CP). +1 BAB, also Specialized in Swords (2 CP).


According to the build, these are Acrobatics 3, Athletics 2, Close Combat (Sword) 2, Deception 2 (+4, +6 Attractive), Expertise (Politics) 2, Expertise (History) 4, Expertise (Survival) 4, Insight 2, Intimidation 4, Perception 3, Persuasion 2 (+4, +6 Attractive), Ranged Combat (Magma) 3, and Unarmed Combat 3. As usual, I’m not sure what the point of many of those are. Like it or not… the basic variability of a d20 swamps small bonuses and you only need a +1 to use skills that cannot be used untrained.

Of course, this build will need more skills than THAT.

  • Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (Purchased at L(-2) with human bonus feat points, 3 CP). With her Intelligence, this will provide her with 16 SP at L1 and 4 SP/Additional Level. At level four that gives her at least 28 SP to spend.
  • Adept / Living in a a “lost colony in a jungle” (Initial half purchased at L(-2) with remaining points from Human Bonus Feat, then at L0; pays half cost for Expertise / History, Expertise / Survival, Martial Arts / Legionary Skirmisher Combat, and Intimidation, 6 CP). For simplicities sake, I’m going to assume that she’s keeping these skills maxed out. At level four, that costs 14 SP and gives them a base bonus of +7.

Geomantic Mastery:

  • Instinctive Volcanology: Fast Learner (Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level, Corrupted/may only be used to keep this set of Adept skills maxed out, 4 CP), Adept/(pays half cost for Rune Magic / Wisdom-Based Geomancy, Casting and Mastery, Martial Art/Vulcanism, and Expertise/Geology, 6 CP). This keeps these four “instinctive” skills at (Level +3) automatically.
  • Skill Emphasis (Geomancy Casting, 3 CP).
  • Her +10 Casting and +9 Mastery of Geomancy is Specialized for Increased Effect (Effective total bonus of +20/+18 (Caster Level 10, up to fourth level effects maximum) / use causes earth tremors and other unwanted geological disturbances, effective skill decreases by one each time it is used when the user is not in contact with the ground or a solid surface connected to the ground or by two per use in space, may lose control of her powers when emotionally stressed. It’s important to note that Amara doesn’t yet actually have the Mana for anything beyond third level effects – but that with the Four-Color Package she can affect considerable areas.

It’s worth noting that “dangerously uncontrollable power” is a lot more of a limitation in Eclipse than in Mutants & Masterminds (or even the original comics) because Eclipse acknowledges that people die. In fact, they OFTEN die. You caused an earthquake? In Mutants & Masterminds and in the comics… you will never hear about the infant who was sliced to ribbons by a descending rain of broken glass from a shattered window or the frail grandmother who was crushed beneath a falling bookcase. In Eclipse, as in most of the more “realistic” systems, that sort of thing will happen. Similarly… the “good guys” are NOT guaranteed to win in the end and uncontrollable powers can (and WILL) get companions killed. Fortunately, however, that aspect will not translate over.

  • That leaves Acrobatics 3, Athletics 2, Deception 2, Expertise (Politics) 2, Insight 2, Perception 3, and Persuasion 2. She also speaks English, Portuguese, Latin, and – I’d presume – at least one or two of the local tribal languages of Brazil, so I’m adding +2 SP in Speak Language to cover that along with a couple of +3 Specialities: Deception (tricking people who find her attractive, 1 SP) and Persuasion (persuading people who find her attractive, 1 SP). That requires that she buy 6 SP (6 CP).

Unusually for someone who’s a primary blaster, Amara has two martial arts – so here they are.

  • Legionary Skirmisher Combat (Dex based): Total Bonus +13
    • While the Roman Legions were famous for their tightly-organized formations, they weren’t blind to the value of variegated, loosely-organized skirmishers – and they efficiently trained them as well, teaching them to move in and out, to strike hard and fall back, and to take any cheap shot with a foot, offhand, elbow, or other body part that they could get in hopes of setting up for a finishing blow with their actual weapon.
  • Requires: Weapon Specialist (+1 BAB specifically with Swords).
  • Basics: Attack 4, Defenses 4, and Strike.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Unarmed Kata (also usable unarmed), Sunder, Improved Disarm, and Expertise (trade AC Bonuses for Attack Bonuses or Vice Versa)
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, Healing Hand, and Light Foot.
  • Known Techniques: Attack 3, Unarmed Kata, Sunder, Inner Strength, and Healing Hand.
    • The Roman Legions were eminently practical; if it offered an advantage, then so be it! In a universe where the martial arts really can can provide strange power… the upper levels of their combat training will surely include at least a few useful tricks.

  • Vulcanism (Magma Blast Attacks) Dex-Based Martial Art: Total Bonus: +13
    • This is the inherent art of volcano spirits. Most elemental spirits don’t have an instinctive martial arts style, but Volcano Spirits are just a bit more violent than most spirits.
  • Requires: Ability to regularly project blasts of magma.
  • Basics: Attack 4, Toughness 4, and Synergy/Expertise (Geology).
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Lava Bomb (Improved Critical), Flowing Magma (Instant Stand), Pyroclastic Cloud (Whirlwind Attack), and Earth Awareness (Mind Like Moon).
  • Occult Techniques: Leaping Fire (Vanishing), Earthfire Heart (Inner Strength), Entomb (Paralyze), and Stoneskin (Iron Skin).
  • Known Techniques: Attack 3, Lava Bomb, Pyroclastic Cloud, Earthfire Heart, and Entomb.

Superhero systems aren’t big on skills. Save for the Martial Arts, skills aren’t visually exciting – and they are often easily supplanted by fairly trivial powers (especially in a buy-what-you-wish RPG. Lets see. I can replace acrobatics, breakfall, climbing, jumping, parachuting, and swimming with just a bit of a highly-limited Flight power that I won’t have to roll to use and can use all I wish to. Is there any reason why I WOULDN’T do that? Or just hitch a ride with my flying teammate? Or teleport?). Mutants & Masterminds kind of painted itself into a corner here; the writers wanted combat skills to work like other skills. Sadly, in almost every superheroic setting, combat skills are much more important and useful than other skills – so combat skills set the price and non-combat skills became seriously overpriced. Eclipse, on the other hand, makes skills cheaper, and pretty much an automatic part of a character, so as to keep them more competitive with other powers since skill-users needed a boost anyway.

Geomantic Affinity:

  • Innate Enchantment, all Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP Unlimited Use Use Activated x .7 Personal Only where applicable. 9000 GP net value, 10 CP.
    • Earth Power: +2 Str (1400 GP).
    • Bones of Stone: +2 Con (1400 GP).
    • Heart of Fire: Fire Resistance 20 (1400 GP).
    • Pulse of the World: Geology Sense (2000 GP). This allows the user to detect faultlines, tremors, caverns, veins of exotic minerals, ley lines, and similar features of the earth with basic perception checks as if looking for normally-visible geological features of similar scale.
    • Magma Manipulation: Weapon Mastery: Magma Bolts (+4 to BAB) (1400 GP).
    • Earthwarding: As per Mage Armor, +4 Armor Bonus to AC, (1400 GP).

Volcanic Transformation:

  • Mana-Powered Shapeshift with Elemental Forms, Specialized and Corrupted/Magma Elemental Form Only, no attribute shifts (3 CP). As Magma Elemental: Darkvision 60, +7 Natural Armor, vulnerable to cold, immune to Bleeding, Paralysis, Poison, Sleep, and Stunning, not vulnerable to Critical Hits or Flanking, Immune to Precision Damage, does not Breathe, Eat, or Sleep, Burrow 20′, Earth Glide, Burn, Tremorsense, Immunity to Fire, Lava Pool 1/Day.
  • Opportunist / may automatically shift to Elemental Form when she would be injured by fire, earth, or stone (thrown into a blast furnace, buried in an avalanche, breathed on by a dragon with fire breath, etc, Specialized/has no control over this, 3 CP).
  • Opportunist / may automatically switch to Elemental Form when invoking a Geomantic effect of level two or above, Specialized / has no control over this (3 CP).
  • Returning, Specialized and Corrupted/her body must be exposed to really extreme heat, such as a pool of magma, a blast furnace, or a rocket exhaust (2 CP).
  • Mana Powered Grant Of Aid, Specialized / only usable when directly exposed to sources of extreme heat other than her own powers (3 CP).


  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +17 (L2-4d8, 12 CP) +12 (Con Mod x 4) = 41. In Mutants & Masterminds that gives her a base Toughness of 7.4, rounding to 7.
  • Saving Throws: Fortitude +2 (6 CP), Reflex +1 (3 CP), Will +2 (6 CP) all +1 Resistance = Fort +6, Reflex +5, Will +5,
  • Proficiencies: Light Armor, all Simple and Martial Weapons (12 CP).
  • Armor Class 10 (Base) +4 (Armor) +3 (Dex) +7 (Natural, Magma Form Only) = 17 (Human), 24 (Magma Elemental). (Mutants & Masterminds Dodge/Parry DC 24.
  • Attacks: Geomancy (Lava Attacks +5 BAB +3 Dex +3 Martal Art +4 Competence for +15 to attacks where relevant (area effects and such do not require attack checks, usually about 10d6). (In Mutants and Masterminds… +15, Effect Rating 10). Sword or Unarmed +11 (+6 BAB +2 Str +3 Martial Art), Damage 1d8+2 (Str) for Sword, 1d4+2 for Unarmed, Mutants & Masterminds +11, effect rating 5 for Sword, 3 for Unarmed). As a magma elemental, anyone she attacks in HTH or who attacks her unarmed or with a natural weapon suffers 1d4 fire damage and may catch fire (In Mutants & Masterminds Flame Aura 2, may be boosted with her Geomancy).

Minor Items:

  • Favors from Mephisto (3 CP). Note that a GREAT deal of caution is advised here.
  • Expertise: Trade attack bonus for damage (6 CP).

Overall Point Costs:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • BAB: 22 CP.
  • Skills: 28 CP.
  • Geomantic Affinity: 10 CP
  • Volcanic Transformation: 12 CP
  • Hit Dice: 20 CP
  • Saving Throws: 15 CP
  • Proficiencies: 12 CP
  • Minor Items: 9 CP.

Total: 152 CP.

  • Available Character Points: 120 (Level Four Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Hunted, Compulsive/drawn to “Bad Boys”) +18 (Human Bonus, L1 and L3 feats) +4 (Restrictions on Metal Armor / she can’t manage to shapeshift it, and so it tends to burn up when she takes her magma elemental form) = 152 CP.

For remaining details… we have a minor effect or two to add from the Four Color Package and her Wealth-By-Level equipment.

  • For her minor effect, her geomantic knacks allow her to ignore movement penalties for difficult terrain (Feather Stop, L1). She usually uses this when traversing the rubble she throws up, but used to use in in the jungle a lot
  • At level four she’s entitled to 6000 GP worth of personal gear. For that she has…
    • Solar Talisman of Resistance +1 (1000 GP). (A from her father gift in token of her resistence to Selene).
    • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP). OK; they don’t actually show all the characters carrying these, but they SHOULD. I shall presume an asbestos pouch to help it survive touching her in magma elemental form.
    • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
    • Unfortunately, the usual armored costume is of little use to her and the usual reactive contact lenses tend to burn up given that wrapping them up in asbestos is quite impractical. Ergo… she doesn’t use as much equipment as most of the others do.

Amara is powerful, but suffers from poor control, relative fragility when she gets hit effectively, and being incredibly conspicuous – as well as a nasty tendency to set everything around her on fire when she uses her powers. Worse, with the four-color package in play… losing control of her powers can easily result in major earthquakes or worse. Finally, of course, she’s made relatively few major appearances, has never stuck with a team for very long, and even got her history gratuitously written out of existence. Given all that, it shouldn’t be at all surprising that she’s the lowest level New Mutant so far.


Eclipsing Wolfsbane

While a bit of instability is natural enough in comic book characters as new writers take over, Rahne Sinclair – Wolfsbane – is a bigger victim than most. She’s a “mutant werewolf”, and so was not only subject to the usual power-level instability and shifting authorial opinions on “what powers a werewolf actually has” but – to add confusion to uncertainty – was also subject to “and how is a mutant werewolf different from the usual variety anyway?”. In addition to THAT, she also gained and lost Dagger’s “Living Light” powers, had her powers neutralized and restored on more than one occasion, was subjected to weird magics by Loki and others, was genetically modified, was subjected to casual death and resurrection at the hands of the Beyonder, and had her body genetically and/or mystically modified to handle gestating a half-asgardian lupine baby with magical resistance and some sort of really nasty destiny.

Originally she was an audience-empathy character; a friendly fuzzy cuddly cute puppy-girl with deep emotional conflicts, massive shyness, and lots of self-doubt who obviously needed massive doses of hugs and sympathy.

On the team…

  • She had some incredible senses – being able to pick up ultrasonic and subsonic noises, see into the infrared and ultraviolet, detect magnetic fields and unidentified “energy fields”, follow trails that would baffle a blood hound, catch scents from miles away, detect pheromones, emotions, illnesses, mental disorders, and various chemicals and toxins, and may have been able to sense supernatural qualities as well. She could hear your heartbeat and tell when you were nervous (and likely lying) and potentially pull off far more hypersenses tricks then were ever really explored.
  • On the more combative side, she had a slight healing factor and was a bit tougher than usual – but was otherwise basically as formidable as a normal wolf. She was slightly stronger, faster, and more agile than a human, with good jumping ability and a nasty bite, but “has the powers of a large dog” was not much as a combative superhero went. She DID have dangerous claws / talons in her transitional form (which didn’t make a lot of sense since neither dogs nor humans have effective talons), but somebody apparently thought that she should. When it came to fighting… she’d have been far more dangerous with a sawed-off shotgun and a little practice.
  • She also got a psychic link with a teammate and was commonly overlooked as an inconspicuous and irrelevant pet.

Obviously enough, Wolfsbane was the team Scout. She could slip in and out, send all kinds of useful information back to her teammates, drag people out of danger, find people who were lost or hiding, follow trails, handle a normal guard or two, and heal quickly if she couldn’t hide or run away fast enough from anything more dangerous than that. She wasn’t even likely to be targeted – which was a good thing since she could be seriously hurt by having a bookcase fall on her.

It wasn’t long, however, before a new creative team (during the “Demon Bear” saga) took her “transitional form” from a “a girl with some canine features, modest (and still unexplained) claws, and slightly enhanced strength and agility” and made it a combat form – giving her more strength and durability as well as much nastier claws (able to tear through “most substances”) and instinctive combat skills. From there on out… her abilities varied even more wildly than usual for a comic book character. Most of her enhanced senses other than being able to catch scents were commonly ignored (they were difficult to work into many storylines), and her combat skills, strength, and durability freely ranged from slightly-above-human on up to Asgardian levels when she took the stops off.  – easily defeating Feral and even allowing her to defeat Wolverine once (even if he WAS handicapped to some extent that time around).

Who knows, maybe her actual “mutant power” was a link with the Asgardian Wolf Gods that allowed her to channel their power into the world. It would explain why her powers suddenly improved when she started hanging out with people who poked holes in the barriers between the dimensions, why (when teleported randomly into Asgard) she landed pretty much on top of the ONLY eligible handsome prince wolf-shapeshifter god in Asgard at just the right moment for a mutual rescue and bonding experience, why they were instantly drawn to each other, why Loki found it easy to transform her into Grimfang, why having kids with Prince Hrimhari was fine in Asgard (in a What If story) but caused such a lot of trouble on Earth, and why it was so easy for Elixir to grant her typical Asgardian levels of strength and durability.

Plus, of course, it answers “Why is there both a magical curse AND a mutation that are so much alike?” with something other than “Because a writer wanted to put a young female werewolf into a mutant book”.

So we’ll want the basic Four Color Package (24 CP) , the Pathfinder Package Deal (Free), and being a Pathfinder Human (Free) as a start. I’ll be ignoring the Pathfinder skill bonus since I’m not bothering to convert the skill list.

Her original official FASERIP Marvel Super Hero stats didn’t even cover everything she did on her very first appearance – so (as requested) the comparison and basis will be THIS writeup, what I remember, and what I find online. According to the writeup she has basic attributes of Str 14 (Wolfish 22), Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16 (Wolfish 26), Dex 12 (Wolfish 16), Chr 12 – costing 23 points out of 25. Taking it up to 25 and adding her Pathfinder Human Bonus gives us…

Basic Attributes: Str 14 (Wolf 16, Dire 22), Int 12 (14 Racial), Wis 14 (16 Enh), Con 16 (18 Enh, Dire 24, Wolf 22), Dex 12 (Wolf and Dire 16), Chr 11 (12 with +1 for Level Four) (Pathfinder 25 Point Buy)

+4 BAB, Specialized in Melee Attacks (12 CP).

Fighting 10 could translate into BAB +10 – But Wolfsbane is a pure melee character, and will normally be getting +2 (Human, +3 (Wolf) or +7 (hybrid from Str, +1 in hybrid form, +2 from her Martial Art, and +2 from her enhanced claws – so she’s STARTING at +10 or +12.

For her actual powers:

Feral Instincts (Innate Enchantment, 14,000 GP net value, 15 CP). All effects Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated and Personal Only (1400 GP Net Cost) unless otherwise noted (15 CP).

  • Acute: +3 Competence Bonus to all Wisdom-Based Skills.
  • Agile: +3 Competence Bonus to all Dexterity-Based Skills.
  • Alert: +2 Enhancement Bonus to Wisdom.
  • Enduring: +2 Enhancement Bonus to Constitution.
  • Evasive: +1 Competence Bonus to all Saving Throws. (Sidestep, from The Practical Enchanter).
  • Rage: When used +2 Morale Bonus to Str and Con, +1 Morale Bonus on Will Saves, and -2 to AC. (Wrath, from the Practical Enchanter)
  • Resistant: +1 Resistance Bonus to all Saving Throws. (Warding Rune, from The Practical Enchanter)
  • Scent: The user gains Scent. If he or she already has scent, they gain a +3 Enhancement Bonus on any rolls made using it.
  • Strike: The users “unarmed: attacks are equivalent to a +2 hand axe (1d6, Crit 20/x3). If the user already has effective natural attacks use the largest of the two die sizes +1 point.
  • Vigor: Immortal Vigor I: Add (12 + 2 x Con Mod) HP.

As usual for X-characters, these are “Mutant Powers”, not “Magic” – and so are subject to mutant detection, power neutralizers and dampening fields rather than detect/dispel/anti-magic. This has no cost since it’s really just the “Eldritch” modifier at 0 CP.

Mana-Powered Shapeshift with Growth, Dire, Attribute Modifiers, and Hybrid with Clear Speech, Specialized / Full Wolf and Dire Wolf Hybrid Only (15 CP). Opportunist: Can switch forms as a part of a move action (6 CP).

  • Dire Wolf Hybrid: Str 22, Dex 16, Con 24, Scent, +3 Natural Armor, 1d8+Trip Natural Weapons, Speed 50′, Skill Focus (Perception +3), +1 to Natural Attacks. +5 to tracking by scent.
  • Full Wolf Form: Str 16, Dex 16, Con 22, Low-Light Vision, Scent, +2 Natural Armor, 1d6+Trip Natural Weapons, Speed 50′, Skill Focus (Perception +3), +4 to tracking by scent.

Listed Skills: Acrobatics 3, Athletics 2, Deception 2, Expertise (Theology & Philosophy) 8, Expertise (Survival) 4, Insight 4, Investigation 5, Perception 4, Persuasion 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Stealth 4, and Treatment/Medicine 4 for a total of 48.

Personally, I REALLY doubt that Rahne is a world-class theologist and philosopher. She was always earnest and believing, but she was taught by a hypocritical nut and was readily outargued about theology by Samuel Guthrie – who proclaimed “my minister would say different”. I’d say a +4 at most, even as an adult.

Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level at Level (-2), Corrupted/only to keep Adept skills maxed out (1 CP). Add a second instance using disadvantage points at L(-2), 4 CP). Add Adept (Acrobatics, Athletics, Expertise (Survival) and Perception, 6 CP) and Adept (Insight, Intimidation, Stealth, and a wolfish Martial Art (Corrupted for Increased Effect/cannot take Occult Techniques but gets +2 Master Techniques and a wider selection), 6 CP) using her remaining disadvantage points and her human bonus feat. That keeps those skills at (Level +3) automatically. Add Skill Focus (Martial Art) (3 CP).

This makes her a skill monster, with all eight of those skills at a base of +8, a +3 Competence Bonus to Dex and Wis based skills, a +3 Enhancement Bonus to Perception rolls based on Scent, Skill Focus (Perception, for a +3), and a +5 to tracking by scent. Her equipment provides a +5 bonus on Perception as well. So that’s Perception +19 (+22 Scent, +27 Tracking by scent) with yet another +3 if she’s currently being a hybrid.

Moon’s Howl Martial Art (Dex-Based) (Level 5 +3 (Base) +3 (Wolfen Dex) +2 (Skill Focus) +3 (Competence) = +16. That’s eight choices, plus her two bonus Master Techniques. Sadly, this style requires active shapeshifting, so it’s not usable in human form.

  • Basic Abilities: Attack +2 (to Attack, Throw, Grapple, and Trip opponents), Defense +2.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Damaging Escape (May make a bonus melee attack when attempting to escape from a Grapple), Improved Grapple (No AOO, +4 to Grapple Checks), Fast Grab (may initiate a Grapple with a normal melee attack), and Prone Combat (no penalties for fighting while prone or on all fours).
  • Bonus Master Techniques: Expertise x2 (May reduce AC by up to 5 to add the same amount to a rounds Attacks OR similarly reduce Attacks to add to Damage).

That leaves 2 SP/Level from her Intelligence (18 SP) and listed skills of Deception 2, Expertise (Theology & Philosophy) 2, Investigation 5, Persuasion 4, Sleight Of Hand 4, and Treatment/Medicine 4 for a total necessary purchase of 3 skill points (3 CP).

  • Minor Healing Factor: Mana Powered Grant of Aid with Regenerative (Slow Regrowth option), Specialized and Corrupted/may not spend more than 3 Mana per hour on Grant of Aid (4 CP).
  • Immunity/The Normal Limits of Senses (Very Common, Minor, Great, Specialized / only works in Hybrid or Wolf Form, 12 CP).
    • Wolfsbane can see and hear far beyond the normal visual and auditory spectrums, sense various energy fields, analyze things by scent better than the best laboratories, and pick up all kinds of physiological and psychological data – among her other tricks – with simple perception checks, reducing any penalties by eight along the way. This is, however, limited to expanding on her natural senses; she may be able to detect the faint blue glow of cherenkov radiation, or scent the ozone from ionizing radiation, or otherwise indirectly pick up on the presence of radiation – but she can’t directly sense radioactivity; neither humans nor wolves have a sense for that. (Whether or not they do for magnetic fields is debatable).


  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) + 19 (L2-6d6, 10 CP) +12 (Im. Vigor) + (7 x Con Mod) = 71 (Human), 85 (Wolf), and 92 (Hybrid). In Mutants and Masterminds that’s Toughness 9 (Human) or 10 (Wolf and Hybrid).
  • Saves: +2 Fort, +4 Ref, +4 Will (30 CP) +1 (Competence) +1 (Resistance) = Fort +8 (+10 Wolf, +11 Hybrid), Ref +7 (Wolf and Hybrid +9), and Will +9.
  • Proficiencies: Wolfsbane has never learned to use weapons and armor, and would suffer the full effects of the armor check penalty of her X-Man costume if it had one.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Armor, Human or Hybrid) +1/3 (Dex Mod, Human/Wolf or Hybrid) +2 (Martial Art, Wolf or Hybrid) +2/3 (Natural, Wolf/Hybrid) = 14 (Human), 21 (Hybrid), or 17 (Wolf).
  • Attacks
    • Human: Honestly, I can’t recall her ever fighting as a human, so “Negligible” would work just fine – but she does have +4 (BAB), +2 (Str), and +2 (Enh) for +8 and 1d6+4 (Crit 20/x3) damage that counts as being armed and magic. If you want, spend few points (even one will help) on a human-style martial art and upgrade this a bit (One point in a Str-based art could get her up to a +10 attack) (M&M, +8/+5, Enhanced Critical, +2 damage versus magical defenses)
    • Wolf: +11, 1d8+5 (Crit 20/x3) Damage, counts as magic. (M&M: +11/+6, Enhanced Critical, +2 damage versus magical defenses)
    • Hybrid: +16, 1d8+9 Damage (Crit 20/x3), counts as magic. (M&M: +16/+9, Enhanced Critical, +2 damage versus magical defenses).

Wolfsbane simply isn’t a really big damage-dealer; she’s accurate – but she really hasn’t done anything to improve her damage-dealing ability since fairly early on. Of course, dealing damage really isn’t her primary job.

Minor Notes:

  • Improved Initiative: +4 (6 CP), total +5 (Human) or +7 (Wolf or Hybrid). As a scout, initiative is fairly important to her. Surprise is better though.
  • Minor Favors: The various X-Groups. Wolfsbane gets along pretty well with most of her her ex-teammates. (Guido / Strong Guy is a bit of an exception, but he DID murder her son) (3 CP).
  • Immunity/the normal limits of Intimidation. Wolfsbane may opt to inflict a Dazed condition for one round with a successful Intimidation check (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2 CP).
  • Immunity/Fear (Common, Minor, Major, 6 CP).
  • Split Movement (Attacks) (6 CP).
  • Survivors Benefits / Minor Privilege (Trust Fund): In the course of going from 13 to about 20, Rahne has gone from being an orphan being raised by an abusive religious maniac, to losing her first love (who died saving her), to being adopted, to being orphaned again, to finding out that the abusive man who raised her was actually her father, to being shot by, and then eating, her father due to mental programming (inflicted by him), to finding her true love, to losing her true love, to finding him again, to having him die to save her and her child-to-be after one evening, to having the kid murdered by an ex-teammate and friend. Along the way she’s been enslaved at least three times and had loads of other horrible experiences, most of them while underage. On the upside… it seems likely that Moria made financial provisions for her underage adopted kid, Hrimhari may have left her something (I’m unsure of the mechanics of his being reborn as an adult on Earth, but he was supposed to be an honorable type), and she presumably drew a substantial salary and hazard bonuses when she was a part of an official government team. Ergo, she’s independently well off (3 CP).

Wolfsbane had a mindlink with Dani, but that was a result of Dani’s psionic powers rather than being an ability of hers – so she doesn’t have to pay for it.

Point Totals:

  • Four Color Package: 24 CP.
  • BAB: 12 CP.
  • Feral Instincts: 15 CP.
  • Shapeshifting: 21 CP.
  • Skill Bonuses: 23 CP.
  • Base Skills: 3 CP
  • Minor Healing Factor: 4 CP.
  • Sensory Boosts: 12 CP.
  • Hit Points: 18 CP.
  • Saves: 30 CP.
  • Minor Items: 26 CP.

That comes to 188 CP.

Available Character Points: 144 (Level Five Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Emotionally Unstable, Wild Instincts in canine forms) +10 (Duties: both religious and as a hero) +10 (Restrictions on Armor and Weapons) +24 (Human, L1, L3, and L5 Bonus Feats) = 198 CP.

That leaves 10 CP left over – as well as quite a lot of Mana which is currently going unused. There’s nothing wrong with leaving that for those sudden new capabilities heroes are notorious for pulling out, or just leaving it to cover any math errors (there are probably some since I’m juggling multiple systems at once here) – but if neither of those are needed and the “mutant priestess” explanation works for you, then go ahead and buy:

Rune Magic (Dexterity Based), Specialized for Double Effect (she is not consciously aware that she can cast spells, and only uses it unconsciously for limited number of tricks): +1 each to Mastery and Casting for Wolf Totem Magic, Sensory Enhancement Magic, Parental Magic, Death Magic, and Healing Magic (10 CP), Can use spells of up to second level at caster level four. Known Tricks: Summon Wolf Pack, Detect Magnetic Fields, Control Fertility (may either ensure or prevent pregnancy), Perceive Spirits, and Cure Moderate Wounds. If she has any more kids she’ll be able to keep track of, and protect them, a lot better as she will certainly develop more tricks for it (or just buy off the specialization).

For remaining details… we have a minor effect or two to add from the Four Color Package and her Wealth-By-Level equipment.

  • Her “minor effects” are three personal-only cantrips/minor mutant powers: Stabalize (she always stabilizes when dying), Sift (she can effectively search small areas with a glance), and Purify Food and Drink (as a canine she can eat all sorts of things that would really do a number on a human being, although she’d only do so if desperate).
  • At level five her equipment allowance would normally only be 10,500 GP – 2500 GP short of the cost of the standard X-Man equipment package. Fortunately, she has a Wealth privilege, so that’s not a problem even before bringing up ideas like “issued gear” or “sponsors”.
    • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Throwing that into her HP total for the purposes of calculation in M&M provides Toughness of 11 (Human) or 12 (Wolf or Hybrid). Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps. Note that her armor vanishes, and becomes ineffective, in full-wolf form (special effect: “becomes a collar”) according to the standard rules for shapeshifting.
    • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP). OK; they don’t actually show all the characters carrying these, but they SHOULD.
    • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
    • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
    • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).

Wolfsbane is nowhere near as versatile as Magick, and doesn’t have Cannonballs raw power and nigh-invulnerability – but she’s a decent melee combatant, a stealth expert, and capable of getting an appalling amount of information with a quick glance. She’d be an incredible asset to a stealthy and/or investigative team, but – while she’s certainly still worth having on one – she’s not really at her best as a part of a tactical strike team.

She is, however, lower level than either Magick or Cannonball. Like it or not… she never really matured as much or starred in as many major plotlines. Of course, in Eclipse, that’s also because the “Shapeshifter” power package is a classic fantasy trope, and so is rather cheap for it’s effects.

So for our Mutants and Masterminds comparison / conversion… her attacks, damage, and toughness are a little bit better, but her human AC is worse – but the difference really isn’t that big. Her senses and her skills, however, have improved drastically.

  • Acrobatics 8 +3 (Comp) +(Dex Mod) = +12 (Human), +14 (Wolf or Hybrid).
  • Athletics: 8 +(Str Mod) = +10 (Human), +11 (Wolf). +14 (Hybrid). This covers jumping of course.
  • Deception 2 +1 (Cha) = +3
  • Expertise (Survival): 8 + (Int Mod) = +10. Extra +7/8 to scent-based tracking in Wolf or Hybrid forms.
  • Expertise (Theology & Philosophy): 2 +2 (Int) = +4
  • Insight: 8 + 1 (Cha) = +9. May substitute Perception for many checks.
  • Intimidation: 8 +1 (Cha) = +9. Often qualifies for a Circumstance Bonus.
  • Investigation: 5 +2 (Int) = +7
  • Moon’s Howl Martial Art: 8 +3 (Comp) +2 (Skill Focus) +(Dex Mod) = +16 (Wolf or Hybrid). Provides +2 Attack, +2 AC, trading AC for Attack and Attack for Damage at up to +/- 5 each, Damaging Escape, Improved Grapple, Fast Grab, and Prone Combat.
  • Perception: 8 +3 (Comp) +5 (Eq) +3 (Wis) = +19. Extra +3 when a Hybrid, additional +3 with Scent, additional +4/5 to tracking with scent. Note that, in combination with the Four Color Template and her immunity to normal sensory limits… very, VERY, little will escape her notice.
  • Persuasion 4 +1 (Cha) = +5
  • Sleight Of Hand: 4 +3 (Comp) +(Dex Mod) = +8 (Human), +10 (Wolf or Hybrid).
  • Stealth: 8 +3 (Comp) +(Dex Mod) = +12 (Human), +14 (Wolf or Hybrid).
  • Treatment/Medicine 4 +2 (Int) = +6.

Eclipsing Cannonballs

Samuel Guthrie / Cannonball is a pretty typical “hometown country hero”. He’s serious, very mature and responsible for his age, a reluctant – but fairly effective – leader, shows high intelligence in the form of common sense and reasonableness rather than “book-larnin”, has a “country” accent, took over looking after his mother and (many) younger siblings after his father died, has been known to reach for a shotgun when “something is going on out there”, and is honest, dependable, and all the rest of the boy scout oath.

He’s also a much more typical hero than Magick. He’s only got a few major special abilities, but they’re quite flexible and very powerful.

  • Rocket Blasts: He can release blasts resembling a high-powered rocket exhaust from his skin – strong enough to drive him through the ground at fair speed.
  • Blast Shield: He can generate and manipulate a powerful force field, capable of absorbing and rechanneling great quantities of kinetic energy, around himself. This also seems to protect him against most environmental complications. Unfortunately, like many comic book (and few RPG) characters, his power level varies wildly to suit the story.
  • Immortality: As a secondary mutation he heals very rapidly, and can heal from death. Some writers have ignored this, but it’s hard to just write it off considering that he has indeed been killed and regenerated himself.
  • He also has excellent psychic defenses, thanks to his training by Professor Xavier – basically a good Will save.

His basic, instinctive, combo is to shield himself and whoever he might be carrying with the blast shield and rocket away, ramming into (and often through) anything in the way. Thus “Cannonball”.

Finally, at least according to THIS build. he’s got a VERY nice attribute array – Str 16, Int 14, Wis 16, Dex 14, Con 18, Chr 14, and BAB +7 – as an adult. Personally I don’t really see it – Cannonball always struck me as a “straight 12’s” kind of guy – but I suppose the points for being power level nine or ten had to go SOMEWHERE.


Available Character Points: I’ll assume Level Seven to match Magick. That’s 192 CP (L6 Base) +30 (Human, L1, L3, L5, and L7 Bonus Feats) +10 (Disadvantages; Obligations to his large family, History, and Outcast (Mutant)) +14 (Duties: As a good guy, Sam will not use poisons or other dishonorable weapons, keeps his promises, will avoid endangering civilians if at all possible, places a high priority on rescues, and so on) = 246 Points.

To spend these buy…

The basic four-color character package (24 CP).

Attributes: Starting with an array of 16/16/14/12/10/8 (25 Point-Buy Base) we have a total of 76. We need to get up to 92, so we need sixteen more attribute points. Two of those (getting his Con up to 18) come from being a Pathfinder Human.

  • Berserker with Odinpower, Odinmight, Controlled, and Enduring, powered by Mana. That gets us a total of +18 in bonuses to his attributes and things to play with – four of which can go to BAB (21 CP). Keep his base intelligence and (especially!) constitution high; he can use the skill and mana points. That gets him up to
  • Str 16 (20 when blasting, see below), Int 14, Wis 16, Dex 14, Con 18, and Chr 14.


  • Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP). Assume Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills at level One (6 CP).

Skills as Listed: Acrobatics 2, Athletics 1, Close Combat (Unarmed) 1, Close Combat (Blast Field Ram) 3, Deception 4, Expertise (Pop Culture) 5, Expertise (Farming/Mining) 2, Insight 5, Investigation 2, Perception 3, Persuasion 5, Stealth 2,Technology 2, Vehicles 5.

That’s a total of 42 SP. Of course with Int 14 and Fast Learner (once from birth, once from level -1) he gets a minimum of 20 SP at level one and +6 per additional level. Presuming level seven… that’s 56 SP as a base. More than enough, even figuring that his “Close Combat” skills get merged into an Unarmed Combat skill and upgraded

Unarmed Combat Style (Str-Based): 10 SP = +13, +15 when blasting. 7 or 8 techniques. +2 to Attacks (2), Strike (can do stun or lethal, always considered armed, 1), Power 1 (1d6 damage, 1), Mighty Blow (1), Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes (1), Expertise (May reduce AC by up to 5 to add a similar bonus to attacks, 1), and – only when “blasting” – Improved Critical).

  • +4 BAB (24 CP). With his attribute boosts, that’s +8. His attacks are usually at (+8 BAB, +3 (5 when blasting) Str +2 Martial Art = +13 (+15 when blasting). Usually 1 attack for 7d6 + Str Mod damage, Crit 19-20/x2 and knockdown. (Mutants and Masterminds that’s usually damage +10, +12 when blasting).

His flight and “blasting” capabilities are mana-powered inherent spells.

  • Inherent Spell I: Rocket Blast / Master Air (L2 Druid, Flight 90, Good Maneuverability), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (very high speed, greatly increased lifting capacity) / has horrible maneuverability, must make acrobatics checks to turn or perform even basic maneuvers (6 CP). Does not get a second base use, but does cost only 1 Mana to activate. Sam was originally very noisy, but has since bought off that limitation.
  • Inherent Spell II: Blasting Touch (L3. The user may add +6d6 damage to his or her melee attacks each round. If making multiple attacks, it may be devided as desired, but the amount used on each attack must be specified before the roll is made and damage added to missed attacks is wasted. This lasts for (Caster Level +2) Rounds). This is normal physical damage, but may cause knockback. 2 Mana to activate (6 CP).
  • Inherent Spell III: Shockwave Blast (L4): Cast as a part of a move action this spell turns your normal melee attack into an area effect – a 30′ radius, a 120′ line, or 60′ Cone, set off at some point along your path. This costs 2 Mana. (This also lets him blast through a line of thugs to reach someone, then stop and have a standard action to help them) (6 CP).

His basic “while blasting” defense is…

  • Innate Enchantment, Specialized for Double Effect/only while “Blasting”. The first three automatically extend to anyone he’s carrying (7400 GP effective value, 8 CP). Note that, as a “mutant power”, this is subject to power neutralizers and supressor fields, not “dispel magic” and “antimagic”.
    • Force Armor I: +4 (8) Force Armor Bonus to AC. (2000 GP).
    • Force Shield I: +4 (8) Force Shield Bonus to AC. (2000 GP).
    • Resist Energy: 10 (20) Point Resistance to All Energy Attacks (2000 GP).
    • Enhanced Strength: +2 (4) Enhancement Bonus to Strength, Personal-Only (1400 GP).
  • This results in AC 15 (+2 Dex +3 Armor, see Equipment, below) normally, AC 28 (+2 Dex, +8 Armor, +8 Shield) when “blasting”.

Converting Sam’s Force Field in full is awkward because it’s a plot device power. Sam, and anything he extends his field around, is pretty much invulnerable and nigh-unstoppable – until, whenever it’s convenient for the story, he gets hit with some effect that bypasses it (psychic attack, sensory disruption, teleportation, induced suspended animation, magical bindings, whatever) or gets hit when his protection is weakened or down – when he has to stop to help someone, or gets distracted, or hits the ground (or a target) and has to reorient himself, or simply has turned off his power to twist around and make a sharp turn. Then he goes down.

So… High AC? That would fit most of it, but won’t protect against area effects or hitting things. Damage Reduction and Energy Resistance? But it’s going to be really expensive to buy that much and would make him take ages to take down – and Sam doesn’t usually last all that long in a fight. Damage absorbing effect? Maybe – but Sam seems to have no reasonable upper limits up until the point where he just goes down.


  • Blasting Stunts: 2d6 Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / Only for Reality Editing, only for edits related to his powers, only for a list of specific edits and up to (Wis Mod) “stunts” during any single combat, must be “blasting” (IE: no giving medical care, working on defusing bombs, etc) to use this ability. In any case, his tricks usually cover himself and anyone he’s carrying (12 CP).
    • 1 Mana (Minor): Ignore a minor physical attack, blast free of chains or similar restraints. project his blasting touch as a ranged attack, use his field as temporary life support, pull off a “bootlegger reverse” or similar maneuver (and thus leave himself briefly vulnerable), survive a high speed crash only briefly dazed.
    • 2 Mana (Notable): Ignore a serious physical attack, protect a small area against minor attacks, blast free of being held by moderate superhuman strength, disperse a mist or “cloud” type effect.
    • 3 Mana (Major): Ignore a major physical attack or protect a fair sized area against notable physical attacks, collapsing buildings, and similar, blast out of the grip of a major superhuman, drill through the ground at high speed, carry a giant robot into orbit with him.
    • 4 Mana (Grandiose, always count as “stunts” as above): Protect an area against a major physical attack, absorb and redirect a massive attack, contain a strategic nuclear weapon, catch a space ship entering FTL flight.
  • Reflex Training with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Reduced Cost / no more than three actions may be used during any one fight (6 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to renew the pool above, only restores one die per ten minutes of downtime (6 CP).

That makes Sam pretty nearly invulnerable – but only while “blasting”, not if too many attacks hit at one time, and not against non-physical attacks. Moreover, if he’s busy making fancy maneuvers. he’ll have to shut down his major defenses, even if only briefly.


  • Grant of Aid with Spark of Life, Mighty, and Regenerative, Powered by Mana, Specialized/maximum of 1 Mana every three turns (9 CP).
  • Returning (6 CP).
  • Immunity to Aging (Uncommon, Severe, Major, 6 CP).

Sam has fairly low-grade immortality – more or less “Highlander” style. You can kill him – although it takes a while – and if you then burn him to ashes in a blast furnace or something, he’s dead until a normal comic-book resurrection pops up. Still, destroying his heart, or pulling his guts out, or a lot of other usually-fatal injuries won’t slow him up for long.

Other Basics:

  • Hit Dice: 10 (L1d10, 6 CP) +17 (L2-L7d4, 0 CP) +49 (( Con Mod + Str Mod) x 7)) = 86, 100 when “blasting”. In Mutants and Masterminds, that’s a base Toughness of 10 (11 when “blasting”).
  • Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus: Adds (Str Mod) to (Con Mod) for determining HP (18 CP).
  • Saves: Fortitude +4, Reflex +2, Will +4 (30 CP).
  • Proficiencies: Sam knows how to use various weapons, but isn’t especially well-practiced with any of them. In game terms, he is not proficient with weapons or armor and will just have to live with the -4 penalty on weapons and the armor check penalty (fortunately, his uniform does not have such a penalty to worry about).

Minor Notes:

  • Improved Initiative +4 (6 CP). +7 Total.
  • Opportunist: May take an attack for any target within normal movement range once per round (6 CP).
  • Leadership: Mystic Artist / Oratory, Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only to use Inspiration abilities, only positive effects are possible, only through Skill 18, Costs 2 Mana per use (4 CP). Sam’s style of leadership shows up early – in the “Demon Bear” storyline in The New Mutants – and seems to mostly revolve around “Common sense, stick to what’s important, and invoke people’s finer qualities to inspire them”. Ergo a bardic-style knack.
  • +10 to Oratory (10 CP). This isn’t one of his listed skills, but – looking at the Demon Bear storyline again – I think he showed a knack for it early on.
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Initiative for Reduced Cost (6 CP). Maybe it’s only having one basic approach to things (Charge!), but Sam is very, VERY, often first to act.
  • Major Favors (The various X-Groups) (6 CP). Good old reliable Sam gets along just fine with pretty much everyone he’s EVER worked with. That… isn’t bad for a christian country boy who’s just found out that someone is a demon-witch.

Total Costs:

  • Four-Color Package (24 CP)
  • Attribute Boosts (21 CP)
  • Skill Boosts (9 CP)
  • BAB (24 CP)
  • Inherent Spells (18 CP)
  • Innate Enchantment (8 CP)
  • Blasting Stunts (18 CP)
  • Immortality (21 CP)
  • Hit Dice (24 CP)
  • Saves (30 CP)
  • Minor Items (38 CP).

That comes to 235 CP – which leaves 11 CP left over. I’m going to save those in case I forgot about something (or there’s something in later books that I haven’t seen).

For the remaining details… we have a minor effect or two to add from the Four Color Package and his Wealth-By-Level equipment.

  • For the minor effect, we’ll pick up Air Bubble (Sam has had no trouble operating at extremely high altitude).
  • Equipment is basically the same as Magick’s – as is his 13,000 GP equipment allowance.
  • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Throwing that into his HP total for the purposes of calculation in M&M provides Toughness 12 normally, 13 when “blasting”. Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps.
  • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP).
  • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
  • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
  • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).

And I’ve accidentally carried over the reading-the-wrong-table mistake from Magick; like her, Sam should have 23,500 GP worth of gear – leaving some 10,500 GP worth. And just like her, he doesn’t really use much more gear. In his case, I’m going to assume that most of his extra funds are going to owning a car, someplace to live, and supporting his large collection of responsibilities.

Sam comes out significantly more powerful than the linked Mutants and Masterminds build. He’s tougher (+13, even before just bending reality to ignore attacks), he’s stronger (+5), he’s more accurate (+15), he hits harder (+12 Damage, with various area-effect options), and he’s a LOT harder to hit (Dodge/Parry only +5 when not blasting but +18 when blasting). Fortitude +8, Reflex +4, Will +7 (but access to Protection From Evil through the four-color package), he has more skills, and he regenerates faster. At least his +7 Initiative is the same.

That’s actually fair enough; Sam’s had a high-powered (if focused and fairly clumsy) ability set in the first place, has lots of experience under his belt, and has beaten more than a few major opponents such as Gladiator – and Gladiator’s basically a Superman knockoff. (Of course, Sam too is a down-on-the-farm flying, nigh-indestructible, hits-super-hard boy scout…).

On the other hand, Sam pretty well defines “straightforward”. Throw him up against a telepath, or an illusionist, or a demon-possessed child, or pretty much anyone who isn’t in the “trade mighty blows” club, and there isn’t a whole lot he can do.


Eclipse – The Golden Ones

The “Priests” of “Uncle Richie” (also known as King Midas, The Almighty Dolla, The Golden One Who’s Hands Drip With Jewels, He Who Teaches Men To Fish, God of Wealth and Self Help Books, The One Who’s Infallible System Will Start You On The Way To Prosperity) are often known as “Favored Nephews”.

Uncle Richie doesn’t grant his priests / salesmen SPELLS. Spells are expensive! They cost a lot of magical power! Instead he grants them self-help books.

And, at least for his “priests”… they work.

Disregarding economic consequences that d20 generally ignores anyway, the major problem with characters who start off with lots of money and have ways to readily get more is pretty simple; why are they risking life and limb in reckless adventuring? You CAN get experience points in other ways too. There are ways to do it with schools, and bards, and even by hiring some ex-adventurer who has defined “leadership” as “teaching” and is gradually leveling up his or her students by releasing their higher-level followers and promoting lower-level ones (at whatever rate the game master is willing to accept as reasonable) – so what is your motive for becoming a long-term adventurer?

Really, I suspect that such characters work best in fairly limited scenarios – the cultists have snatched your young granddaughter to sacrifice, and there is no TIME to hire reputable professional adventurers, so you grab a pile of equipment and go yourself – but if you want to keep playing the character you’ll soon have to find another reason.

That’s not all that difficult (after all, Batman is simply out to stop evildoers and comes fairly close to this style of character) but it may not fit into the standard party very well. It may be best to get a little help from the game master and be destined to go on a mighty quest to save the world or some such.

The best example of this sort of character that comes to mind was an elderly elven Jeweler / Gemcutter who, after hundreds of years of business success, wanted to shake things up in his final years and go out with a bang – so he pulled out his collection of dangerously-enchanted jewelry and unstable magical gems that it would have been grossly unethical to sell, bought some books that promised quick (if insanely dangerous and erratic) magical power, and went forth in search of near-terminal levels of excitement. “Heh-Heh-Heh! BY THE ACCURSED SAPPHIRE SEAL OF FALLEN RIOCHA COME FORTH SPAWN OF THE DARK BETWEEN THE STARS!!!!… (to the party) “Command them? I can’t do THAT! WHY AREN’T YOU RUNNING LIKE ME?!?!”.

For this “build”… think Yuppie, Junior Aristocrat, Rich Kid – or even Rich Old Man.

Available Character Points: 48 (L1 Base) +6 (First Level Bonus Feat) +10 (Disadvantages of choice) = 64 CP.

Package Deal: Usually the Pathfinder Package Deal.

Basic Attributes: Int, Con, and Chr 12+ is recommended. Str is usually unimportant.

Basics (22 CP): d8 HD (4 CP), +6 Skill Points (6 CP), +2 Will (6 CP), Proficiency with Simple Weapons and Light Armor (6 CP).

Other Abilities:

  • Adept, Corrupted for Increased Effect / At least three skills of the six selected must be practical, non-adventuring skills – Appraise, Craft, Profession, Etc (6 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (+3 CP/Level) / Only for Skills, only to keep Adept skills maxed out (6 CP).

That covers being reasonably competent and having some useful skills and still leaves 30 CP with which to buy stuff. For this theme… we’ll want Wealth, Equipment, and Skill Enhancements.

So here’s a selection of things you could buy.

Among The 1% (6+ CP):

  • Create Item, Specialized and Corrupted/only as a prerequisite (2 CP)
  • Harvest of Artifice, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with Transmutation, only provides cash, user must specify plot-hook sources for his or her funding (2 CP). This provides 100 XP a month that can only be used for “transmutation”. (+1 CP per +50 XP)
    Transmutation, Specialized and Corrupted/only to produce money, never actually occurs on screen (2 CP).
  • Net Result: 6 CP: 200 GP/Month for 6 CP, 400 for 8 CP, 800 for 10 CP, 1200 for 12 CP, 1800 for 14 CP. and +300/Month per additional CP. A character who starts with this ability (whether at level one or not) adds ten times his or her monthly income to his or her starting cash. (If you want to convert to dollars, multiply by twenty – so this starts off at about $50,000 per year).
  • I wouldn’t really recommend going above 12 CP worth of income for a first level character, but there’s no actual upper limit. This is also pretty basic for this kind of character; they’ve ALL got money.

The Keys To Heaven’s Vault (6 CP):

  • Access to the Occult Skill Dream-Binding (3 CP) at normal cost (3 CP).
  • This is less useful at low levels, but can rapidly build up to cover some very handy gear.

Great Tracts Of Land (3 or 6 CP, best at higher level):

  • Privilege / Landlord: You have assorted local, non-liquid assets – ownership of, or shares in mundane or magical businesses, lands, or structures with a net value of one-half/three-quarters of the base wealth of a PC of the your level for 3/6 CP. Sadly, these cannot (for whatever reason) be converted to cash. You may either use something like Pathfinder’s downtime holdings system or – for the sake of simplicity – get a 5% yearly return on whatever portion of your holdings you devote to getting cash or use 10% (whether in amount or time) of whatever facilities you own. Thus, if you own a shipping company with three ships, you could reasonably divert one for three and a half months (10% of the 36 they will have available this year) to take you and your friends on an expedition – or use 10% of the space in the ships holds to transport your own cargo or some such. Similarly, you can use an office and some of the space in their warehouses.
  • In general, this is best used to gain access to various facilities or (if lifestyle costs are in play) to pay for those. Like it or not, 5% of 50% (or even 75%) of your wealth by level each year will not greatly increase your power – but at higher levels it will pay for a nice lifestyle and get you some social influence.

Imperial McMansion (6 CP). May be upgraded to A Mighty Fortress (+6 CP).

  • You control a mighty castle or other base, complete with troops, servants, useful facilities, and possibly even things like political connections.
  • This is obviously immobile, but the advantages of having a base with various facilities and employees should be fairly obvious.

Lord Of The Manor (6 CP, Minimum Level 15).

  • This package gets you a pocket-dimension full or architecture and people that you can carry around with you. You can use a minor variant if you want to bring some tigers or something. This is convenient, and can be a good money-maker, but isn’t a game breaker at this level.
  • Siddhisyoga, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect (can buy mundane items and creatures that can be manifested into reality) / Only for purchasing “rooms” and “teams” according to Pathfinder’s Downtime System, the maximum value that can be used at any one time is equal to the user’s (Knowledge; Architecture and Engineering x 500) GP, once a structure is “brought out” it cannot be dismissed or modified for at least one minute, user must gesture dramatically to produce and place structures within short range, structures must be appropriately placed (no, you cannot drop houses on the wicked witch), creatures that would be within a structure may make a DC (16 + Cha Mod) Reflex save to pick where in the structure they wind up. Sadly, any external items left “inside” when a room is not manifested count against the user’s encumbrance (3 CP).
  • Imbuement. The pocket-dimension facilities gain a Ward Major (from The Practical Enchanter), Specialized for Reduced Cost / never improves past the “+4″ equivalent that it starts at (which, coincidentally, covers the cost of an appropriate level four ward – and is why the minimum level to purchase this power is fifteen, 3 CP). Four Minor Powers:
    • Enduring. The eldritch structures have triple their normal hardness and Spell Resistance 30.
    • Non-Euclidean. The village has many local portals and can be put into places that are completely unreasonable and far too small. Up to one ton of material can be kept in it with no effective encumbrance.
    • Industry: Variant; production is only 5x normal, but anyone working within one of the buildings is presumed to have a relevant set of masterwork tools for the user of their skill(s) and an appropriate workspace.
    • Sustenance: Residents need not eat, sleep or breathe while within the village. Those who get tired and hungry outside it will still need to sleep and eat to fix that, but they will not get hungrier or sleepier while they wait.
  • This can be very convenient and very profitable – but it can also be something of a headache for the game master if the character starts dropping architecture into fights. Use with caution.

In Realms Of Fantasy (6 CP):

  • Shaping, Corrupted and Specialized for increased (level one and possibly weak level two) effects/can only produce the effects for which the user has the appropriate foci ready, can only support a limited number (seven and three) of minor charms and more notable talismans at one time, charms and talismans take some time to attune for use (6 CP).
  • This isn’t an especially powerful option, but Charms and Talismans (From The Practical Enchanter) can be quite convenient – and are nicely flavorful for starting off a game with less awesome powers than the later options.

That Will Cost You (6 CP):

  • Presence, Specialized and Corrupted/for Increased Effect/Only works on people who strike the user in melee combat, only once per round per individual / invokes Talons Of The Magpie (User may make a touch attack (automatic in the this case) to steal something from a victim – 2d6 HP (gained as temporary HP and lasting a maximum of one hour), or 4d6 GP (or equivalent in other valuables), or to swipe a random, loose, small item from the target.
  • OK, this is silly – but who could resist?

A Doctorate In Philosophy (6 CP):

  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only for making a Philosophers Stone (2 CP).
  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect and corrupted for Reduced Cost / only for making a philosophers stone (4 CP).
  • This allows the user to produce a plentiful supply of first level scrolls and potions, as well as assorted supplies, trade goods, and cash.

The Words Of Creation (2 CP):

  • This is expensive, but powerful; it allows you to get services and supplies, accomplish labors, and have henchmen – although this does cost a great deal.
  • Siddhisyoga, Specalized and Corrupted / only to purchase and upgrade a Supply Pouch, Rod Of The Imperator (or one of the many variants thereof), or a “Gangsta Wrap” (2 CP)

Genre Savvy (6 CP).

  • Access to the Occult Skill Stealing The Scene (3 CP) at Normal Cost (3 CP).
  • This is actually quite impressive, as it allows the user to pretty much ride the plot – exploiting the cliches that are inevitably going to appear.

The Luck Of El Diablo (6 CP):

  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Skills. If you opt to go with the “devices not personal power” theme and corrupt this to require some obvious device, just raise it to eight bonus uses.
  • Sinple, straightforward, and incredibly useful when something just HAS to work.

The Luck Of El Diablo II (6 CP):

  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saves. If you opt to go with the “devices not personal power” theme and corrupt this to require some obvious device, just raise it to eight bonus uses.
  • Another one of the incredibly convenient, if less than dramatic, abilities to have.

Always On Guard (6 CP):

  • Reflex Training (Three Extra Actions Per Day variant) with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Defensive or Evasive actions only (6 CP).
  • This allows the user to get out of the way, use a protective device, throw a defensive spell, or otherwise get a free chance to save themselves when it hits the fan. A MAJOR survival mechanism.

Those Who Have, Get (12 CP):

  • 1d6 (4) Mana with Reality Editing Specialized for Double Effect (Each point counts as two for Reality Editing) Half Cost, Corrupted for Increased Effect (effects may be built up over time via ritual behaviors) / only to produce effects associated with Skills, requires a minimum skill bonus of +5/+10/+15/+25 to make Minor / Notable / Major / Grandiose edits (6 CP)
  • Rite of Chi with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / requires five minutes to work, only to restore the Mana pool given above (6 CP).
  • This ability allows the user to pull off remarkable feats with simple skill checks – crafting a magical blade with Craft (Blacksmith), steering a ship through a hurricane and into another world with Profession (Sailor), and various similar stunts. If you want to take full advantage of this at higher levels you’ll need a few more dice of Mana.

Talking Your Way Through (6 CP):

  • Opportunist / If the character has a relevant skill at +5 or more he or she gets to make an immediate skill check if an appropriate attempt to resolve a situation descriptively fails (6 CP). Thus, if the user was describing how he or she would disarm a bomb by freezing the mechanism with liquid nitrogen, but wound up triggering it… he or she would get an immediate “disable device” check to get it right after all. If he or she was beating it with a hammer, he or she would not get a check at all; that wouldn’t be an appropriate attempt in the first place.

The Mystic Martial Arts (12 CP):

  • 2d6 Mana as 4d4 (10) Generic Spell Levels, Specialized and Corrupted / only usable to power mystical martial arts, below (4 CP).
  • Immunity/The normal limits of Martial Arts Skills: (Very Common, Severe, Minor, Corrupted / such effects must be powered by the expenditure of either (effect spell level + 1) generic spell levels or a similar number of ranks from the relevant skill (add +1 for an Swift Action or use during an Attack of Opportunity, +2 for an Immediate Action). No skill may be reduced below +0 in this fashion,. Expended skill ranks will return after a days rest, effective casting level equals character level (8 CP).
  • This can produce a wide variety of supernatural “martial arts” effects approximating spells of up to level three. Unfortunately, such effects must be in-theme for the martial art skill so employed. Thus the Tiger Style can be used for feats of strength, sprouting or upgrading claws, to make great leaps, to roll with and negate massive blows, to survive falls, to see in the dark, and for other cat-style effects. The Godfire Palm Style offers control of Fire and rapid movement, but few other options.

Words Of Power (Varies):

  • Immunity/the normal limits of Knowledges (specifically, having to take physical actions to get results from applying them, although a form of fatigue still applies to the skill, just as it would apply if you used your muscles): A Nymic Master may use his or her Knowledge and Concentration skills to directly manipulate reality, creating spell-like effects upon the things that the knowledge skill covers (Very Common, Severe, variable effect level, see below). Sadly, the more a Nymic Master uses this ability, the greater the distorting backlash against his or her mind – and the more confused he or she will become on the aspect of the universe being manipulated, reducing his or her effective knowledge skill rank.
    • The possible manipulations include Control (Ward Off, Move, Command, Summon), Destroy, Create, and Transmute (Heal, Reshape, Transform). The maximum level of effects which can be produced is set by the lesser of the user’s (Caster Level / 3) or the level of immunity purchased. Nymic Magic is normally a standard action, affects a single target within medium range and has a verbal component, but may be reduced to a swift action for +2 on the cost or to an immediate action for +3, expanded to Long Range for +1 on the cost, affect a 20′ radius for +2 on the cost, or be performed silently for +1 on the cost. Their equivalent of other “metamagic” effects must be built into the effect; it may not be added later. Their effects must also be built without modifiers for XP costs or expensive components, which may increase the levels of their equivalents of spells that normally require such components. Save DC’s are (10 + Effect level + Int Mod).
    • The extent of the confusion / cost in Knowledge Skill Ranks depends on how closely the user is pushing his or her current abilities – dependent on the level of immunity purchased – to their limit.
      • Trivial Immunity (06 CP): L0 spells cost 3 Knowledge Skill Ranks and L1 spells cost 4KSR. Effects of higher level are not yet possible.
      • Minor Immunity (12 CP): L0 spells cost 2KSR, L1 spells cost 3KSR, and L2-3 Spells cost 4KSR. Effects of higher level are not yet possible.
      • Major Immunity (18 CP): L0; spells cost 1KSR, L1 spells 2, L2-3; 3, L4-5; 4. Effects of higher level are not yet possible.
      • Great Immunity (36 CP): L0-1 spells cost 1KSR, L2-3 spells cost 2, L4-5 spells cost 3KSR, and L6-7 cost 4KSR. Effects of higher level are not yet possible.
      • Epic Immunity (54 CP): L0-3 spells cost 1KSR, L4-5 spells cost 2KSR, L6-7 spells cost 3KSR, and spells of L8-9 (generally only available at epic levels) cost 4KSR. Effects of higher level are not yet possible. They might be achievable through Legendary Resistance (and very high caster levels) however; but whether or not to allow this is up to the game master.
    • Unfortunately, only the targets permanent base skill score (purchased ranks plus attribute bonus and feat-based enhancements) can be used to power magic – and the total base score cannot be reduced below +1. The user may, however, expend Concentration Skill Ranks in the place of any other knowledge skill and may also drop plusses from any actual true names that he or she happens to know (Eclipse, Pg 10, upper right column; normally a +4). A single reduced skill may be restored per hours sleep or quiet study and meditation.

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys? (6+ CP):

  • This package turns various limited-use innate magical abilities into charms, fetishes, potions, dusts, bags that “contain” spells, strange crystals, and even quasi-technological gadgets. This is a VERY powerful effect, and is likely to be a major sources of a higher-level “Nephews” special abilities.
  • Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make limited-use items (Apply “Specialized / Does Not Recover to the items created, only select abilities that normally offer a limited number of daily uses) costing a maximum of 3 CP each, only using points from Enthusiast (2 CP).
  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (provides four floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / points may only be used with Create Relic, limited as above (4 CP).
  • Expanded: Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted (+1 CP for Relic Creation per CP).
  • The basic package gets you 4 CP worth of relics to start with – with the various limitations, enough to get you quite a few gadgets to play with. Another 6 CP worth will get you a small magical arsenal.

For some examples:

Spell Talismans:

  • Innate Spell with Multiple Uses:
    • Two L1 Effects: 6 Uses Each (1 CP), 14 Uses Each (2 CP), 22 Uses Each (3 CP).
    • L2 Effect: 6 Uses (1 CP), 14 Uses (2 CP), 22 Uses (3 CP).
    • L3 Effect: 5 Uses (1 CP), 13 Uses (2 CP), 21 Uses (3 cp).
    • Related L3 and L4 Effect (1 CP), either 5 Uses of Each or a Related L5 and L6 Effect (2 CP), 9 Uses Each of a related L3 and L4 effect (3 CP).
    • Related Set: One effect of each level 3-7 (3 CP).
  • Unfortunately, this doesn’t bypass the level requirements for using innate spells, so low-level artificers must wait a while before using the high-level stuff. On the other hand, there’s nothing at all wrong with taking along a plentiful supply of Multiplying Shuriken (Magic Missile), Rainbow Crystals (Color Spray), Healing Draughts (Cure Light Wounds), and Origami Golems (Unseen Servants) on your early adventures.

Curative Ointment.

  • Healing Touch with Bonus Uses (enough to cure (5 x Chr Mod x Level HP) and Improved/Switch/Empower with Bonus Uses to provide (4+Level/3) total uses of Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Cure Serious Wounds, Remove Curse, Neutralize Poison, and Restoration (3 CP).
  • Curative ointment isn’t all that level-dependent, so a low-level party may find having a pot along very VERY helpful.

Sorcerer’s Bag:

  • Improved Occult Talent, Corrupted for Increased Effect (spell level) / slots must be preset. provides 5L1 and 3L2 charms/fetishes/scrolls/whatever with whatever you like in them for (1 CP).
  • That’s not as many uses as you can get from Innate Spell, but you do get a wide variety of effects. This is taking cheesy advantage of the rounding rule, but Improved Occult Talent is not likely to break the game.

Ring of Whispered Wishes:

  • 6d6 Mana with Reality Editing, Corrupted / cannot be used for other purposes (3 CP).
  • This useful little item answers small wishes – that there be something solid to catch onto when you’re sliding towards the cliff, that an opponent suffer some brief disadvantage, that a spell operate in a way it really shouldn’t or pierce that spell resistance. There’s usually enough power for none or ten very minor requests, but larger boons expend the rings power far more rapidly.


  • Someone with this package makes a wonderful seller of potions and items that provide more uses of your own abilities, rather than independent abilities. Even better, they don’t need expensive ingredients, or to spend experience points, or to have all kinds of spell formula available. If you kill them, their stock ceases to work. If you steal their stock, it will soon cease to work as they invest their Enthusiast points in making some new stock. You can’t even accumulate it, because unused purchases will lose their power after some agreed-on date (when they make new stuff). On the other hand, buying from them can be quite inexpensive.

Channeling Mysterious Spirits – The Discordant Powers and the Seven Deadly Sins Part I: Gluttony, Lust, Greed, and Wrath

And now for something completely different!

Most of the previous power-package “Spirits” (and virtually all the actual character writeups) so far have been for people of one kind or another, with independent personalities of some sort. These, however – like Ansitif or the Exemplars of Magic – are forces rather than creatures, and extremely unpleasant ones at that. Still, it’s coming up on Halloween again, so it’s time for some evil powers.

As usual, all of these Mysteries build on the powers of the basic Bokor Package – although that is cheap enough that it’s normally well worthwhile. They’re all 32 CP / +1 ECL Acquired Templates  as usual.

Gluttony – and it’s sibling Lust – get a bad rap. Both are the result of perfectly natural, healthy, and necessary drives; if people did not eat, drink, and breed, there would very shortly not be any people. What has long placed them on the list of “sins” is a combination of the idea that enjoying yourself is inherently bad and humanities tendency to pursue pleasure beyond all reasonable limits (which is probably what led to the first idea). Eating is not bad. Eating well is not evil. Eating “Sinfully Delicious” deserts isn’t especially wicked either – although the phrase itself says that at least some people find it inherently morally dubious.

On the other hand, gathering the ingredients for a fabulously expensive banquet by working a dozen poor farmers to death and then feasting while the people outside your gates starve isn’t all that different on the personal level from having an extra brownie that you know you shouldn’t eat (you can only eat so much after all) – but even if the exact line is impossible to identify, most of us would say that you have crossed it SOMEWHERE.

Similarly, simply feeling lustful isn’t terribly important. Even a private sexual romp between two consenting, adult, and socially-acceptable partners stirs few objections beyond “They’re having fun and I’m not! No fair!”. After all… King Solomon didn’t get into serious trouble for lusting after foreign women, or even for having a thousand concubines in his harem until he started to worship their gods. David apparently wasn’t thought to be going totally overboard until he had a loyal man killed so that he could add his wife to his harem. Once again, there’s definitely a line somewhere in there between “just fun”, “mildly naughty”, and the kinds of things people like Wu Zetian, Prince Sado, Justinian II, or some of the crazier Roman Emperors got up to. I can’t say exactly where it is – but it can probably be found somewhere between “enthusiastic participation” and “pleading to be let go”.

Of course, in d20, where even the “good guys” routinely burst into other creatures homes, massacre them, and steal their stuff, even really serious cases of “selfish exploitative individual who is grossly fat because they eat too much” and “shallow and egotistical individual who considers everyone they meet a potential sexual conquest to be ogled because they want to have a lot of sex” aren’t really that impressive. Even in medieval reality the “deadly sins” were usually considered to have a lot more depth than eating too much turkey or a couple of teenagers setting themselves up for a shotgun wedding. Still, d20 also offers some darker options.


When you slay, or sometimes even when you merely defeat, an opponent in d20 you may absorb a portion of it’s energies – those oh-so-precious “Experience Points” – a magical force that can transform and enhance the user in all kinds of ways. Some few, however, learn the dark art of true gluttony – becoming a literally demonic force that takes not only a portion of the energy that is released naturally, but actively draining parts of the victims very soul as well.

  • Major Privilege: Gains access to a Wealth Level Template from The Practical Enchanter, with the level depending on the number of hearts of worthy enemies or sacrifices the user has eaten in proportion to his or her current level. Specialized and Corrupted / you must eat your enemies hearts or drink their blood, you will be haunted by fragments of their souls, and anyone seeking to raise or resurrect those you’ve so slain must seek you out and defeat you to make it work (2 CP).
  • Grant of Aid with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / The user is blatantly drawing upon foul and evil powers, uses may only be regained by eating the heart or drinking the blood from a ritually sacrificed sapient being (6 CP).
  • Luck with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / The user is blatantly drawing upon foul and evil powers, uses may only be regained by drinking the blood from a ritually sacrificed sapient being (6 CP).
  • 2d6 Mana (Resilience Option), plus Rite of Chi with +12 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / The user is blatantly drawing upon foul and evil powers, Mana is only regained via Rite of Chi, uses may only be regained by drinking the blood from a ritually sacrificed sapient being (12 CP).
  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (four floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (4 CP). Points may only be used in conjunction with Create Relic, below, all relics created are
  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with points from Double Enthusiast (above), all relics created will carry at least one 3-point disadvantage since they are created using unwilling soul-fragments (2 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/ Adds (Con Mod) to Charisma-Based skills, Specialized for Reduced Costs and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Counts as being Skilled) / only for Rune Magic skills, only for terrible black magic (3 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Bloodlust, a boundless desire to consume the lives and souls of others, and being pretty obviously evil on a level that even most evil people will want nothing to do with (-3 CP).

While it’s certainly foul enough, even this version of cannibalistic spiritual gluttony isn’t all that far beyond the usual d20 conventions: after all, the characters usually kill a lot of things. Still, it is only the first sin on the list.


Lust is born of the urge to breed, to produce offspring – although, in this corrupted version, this is not for their own sake but as tools of your own power – things to be used and exploited at your whim, not children to be nurtured and loved (although you get extra style points if the other parent is protective, nurturing, and loving and you let them see what happens to their offspring).

  • Presence / Aura of Seduction. This rather resembles “Charm Person”, but it induces lewd, lavicious, and sexual thoughts and urges in those affected (6 CP).
  • Perform (Sexual Acts) +1 SP (1 CP). That’s not a very high skill base, but most people have no actual skill in the field at all.
  • Dominion: Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / only to organize, and collect Dominion points from, orgies, drunken debauchery, gang-rapes, sexual conquests, and similar activities (6 CP).
    • Path of Valor:
      • Voice of Command, Specialized and Corrupted / only to suggest lechery, turn normal gatherings into outbreaks of sexual depravity, and induce sinful behavior (2 CP).
      • The Rightful King, Specialized and Corrupted / only to establish yourself as a lord of parties, persuade authorties to overlook your utter immorality, and become a sex symbol (2 CP).
      • Heroism, Specialized and Corrupted / only to counteract the effects of excessive self-indulgence, cure the venereal diseases you catch, and otherwise enable horrible behavior (2 CP). Yes, this is a minor variant on the ability. Eclipse explicitly allows this – especially when it’s not a lot of use in actual play.
      • Epic Heroism (Half-Infernal Template). You may spend 8 Dominion Points to take on the half-infernal template for twenty-four hours or 2 to pass it on to one of your children (6 CP).
  • Channeling, one use per day, Specialized/only for use with Dark Awakening (1 CP).
    • Hatred’s Weal Path:
      • Dark Awakening, Specialized / only to rise as an undead monstrosity if slain (3 CP).
      • Shadow Casting, Specialized and Corrupted for increased effect (disregards the ECL of the half-infernal template, uses dominion points instead of experience points; each point spent grants the shadow one level up to a maximum of two-thirds the user’s ECL) / each shadow is inherently linked to a single creature, which must a child of the user’s less then six years old. The shadow devours the child’s mind and enslaves it’s tormented soul, turning it into a mere extension of evil and the user’s will. This is most effective, of course, if done shortly after a child is conceived (6 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Being obsessively sexual, mistreating children on a level that most normally evil people would hunt you down for, and having to make will checks to avoid trying to seduce people and turn every situation into a depraved orgy (-3 CP).

There are few darker evils than this, even among the Deadly Sins. This gets you the betrayal of family, the torture-damnation of children, the corruption of innocent souls, lust for power, the intentional spreading of supernatural evil, blatant abuse of sexuality, and (almost certainly) forcing heroes who resist you to slaughter abused children all in one tidy little package.


Greed – or Avarice – is especially troublesome in d20, for not only does d20 virtually enshrine Greed above all other goals, but it tells us that there really is always more to get – and that getting it brings ever-increasing power. In d20 even the greatest Paladins, the exemplars of Law and Good, focus on upgrading their equipment and going forth in search of still more plunder and power rather than on – say – caring for orphaned children, building temples, or healing the sick. Such is the nature of Greed – forever unsatisfied, demanding more and yet living in desperate fear of what it has already claimed being plundered. As befits the nature of wealth in d20, Greed is one of the few “spirits” which can make lasting changes in a summoner.

Unfortunately, it isn’t really one of the most effective ones. d20 characters are generally already getting many of the benefits of unbridled greed already. Still, investing your time in Greed brings ever more bonuses.

  • Stipend (12 CP) 1200 GP/Month. Those channeling Greed will become known as ruthless moneygrubbers, usurers, and corporate raiders. Each day that you do so, you gain a base income of 40 GP. If you do so as a starting character, add 12,000 GP to your starting funds. Note that this is actual cash; it does not vanish when you cease to channel Greed.
  • Landlord I, Specialized for Double Effect / you gain your funds from slumlording, usury, rackets, illegal gambling, and many similar activities, and gain an appropriate reputation and legal problems (3 CP). During the times that you are not channeling Greed, this money is tied up in legal problems, protests, and similar difficulties.
  • Siddhisyoga with the Efficient, Fey, and Inner Whispers modifiers, Corrupted / to keep your Siddhisyoga powers working you must maintain a horde of unused treasure worth at least 25% of the effective cost of those abilities hidden away (16 CP). Note that the Siddhisyoga powers remain even when you’re not channeling Greed; they were paid for with real money and are quite permanent.
  • Occult Sense / Sense Valuables, Specialized / only to maintain an awareness of the user’s horde (3 CP). As long as you continue to channel Greed, you will remain aware of your horde and of anything that disturbs it.
  • A +1 bonus to Appraise (1 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Those channeling Greed must make will checks to turn away from opportunities for profit, to refrain from taking bribes even if they have no intention on following through on their promises, and will show no consideration for others (-3 CP).


Wrath is more than flying into a simple rage. It is swearing revenge on entire bloodlines for minor offenses, it is the slaughter of a village lest you miss a rebel, it is blindly sacrificing what you hold precious in pursuit of destruction.

Anger is natural. Hatred is natural. Violence is natural. Wrath… is when those things are without temperance. When nothing – not pain, not love, not survival itself – restrains the urge to destroy your target. It is all too easy for the urge to resist injustice and evil, the defiance of those who have injured you, and even the heroic desire to defend others to lead to Wrath.

Wrath is, not surprisingly, probably the least subtle of the Deadly Sins or Discordant Powers, as well as one of the least devalued. Most people are still aware that genuine Wrath goes somewhat beyond yelling at annoying people or even punching a hole in the drywall simply because random shootings due to “road rage”, people killing their spouses and children in a fit of anger, and similar human tragedies are still all too common.

Little can stand against a Wrath-channeler in a rage – but at least Wrath does nothing but destroy.

  • Birth of Fire, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Use 9’th level base and double it) / the constructs only exist when the user is in a berserker rage and he or she has little actual control over most of them. They will tend to defend the user, if only so that they will not be dispelled too early, and will prefer to attack his or her enemies – but inanimate or precious things, buildings, allies, and anything else in the area is on the target list (6 CP).
  • +6 Bonus Uses on Birth of Fire, with the same limitations as above (9 CP).

The Minions of Destruction are Huge, have 38d10 + 80 (289) HP, Initiative +0, Spd 80, AC 60, 6 Attacks at +58 for 6d6+33 damage, all Saves +12, Str 76, Dex 10, Cha 10, Wis 11, Int 10, 152 Skill Points and 12 destructive feats. Special abilities:

  • Class-A Options: Damage Reduction 10/Magic, Fly, Knockdown (those hit must make a DC 46 Str check or fall), Semisentient (+18 to Intimidate, Spot, Jump, and Listen), Swim, Tunneling..
  • Class-B Options: Extra Attacks, Fast Healing 4, Sentient (you can usually just treat them as having the summoners feats and skills), Trample, and Warding.
  • Class-C Options: Natural Invisibility, Noncorporeal at Will, Spell and Power Resistance 48, Dimension Slide 90′ as a move action, has True Seeing and 60′ Blindsight.

When the channeler goes berserk, the Minions of Destruction manifest themselves and start smashing up the area. They will make some effort to protect the channeler, simply because if he or she falls their rampage will come to an end. They don’t really have the foresight to try to avoid collapsing structures or setting off explosions though. If someone can see them… they can be presumed to look like a bunch of monstrous giant beasts suitable for monster movies.

  • Berserker with Odinpower, Odinmight, Enduring, and +3 Bonus Uses (20 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Must make will checks to avoid flying into blind rages when insulted or defied or to avoid to avoid undertaking absurd levels of retribution for minor offenses (-3 CP).

Simple. Straightforward. Insanely Dangerous. More than a little rules-abusive. When someone channeling Wrath flies into a rage, and seven invisible forces start destroying everything in the area… very little is likely to survive. The best way of dealing with such a situation is probably to run like mad and wait for the channeler to either burn through his or her rage or to self-destruct by bringing down the roof of causing a massive collapse or something.

And now I feel sort of slimy…