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).

Basics:

  • 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.
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One Response

  1. […] Wolfsbane (L5) winds up here thanks to her wide range of abilities. A basic wolf-shifter – and even one that gets to use a Dire Wolf transitional form in combat – isn’t that formidable as superheroes go, but when you throw in an array of enhanced senses and being good at stealth and infiltration, she can be pretty effective. If you accept my speculation that her powers are based on tapping into the power of the Asgardian wolf gods she may continue moving up the scale if she ever learns to really use the Rune Magic that opens up to her. […]

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