Eclipsing Mirage

Danielle Moonstar or “Dani”, A.K.A. Mirage (or, briefly, “Psyche”)

Level Six Psychic Illusionist with a +1 ECL Valkyrie / Vakyrja Template, for ECL 7.

Mirage was fairly straightforward: originally she could manifest images of things that you feared or desired and thus either frighten / distract you or make you happy / confused. As she gained control, she could get more subtle about it. She also had some rapport with animals and soon developed a mental link with Wolfsbane.

And that was well and good. She had no actual offensive abilities outside of being decent (for a teenager) with a bow and knife, but she revealed secrets, confused targets, created diversions, got an overview of things through animal eyes, and scared groups of minions quite well. She worked very nicely in an investigative team.

Later on she developed the ability to manifest other images as well, becoming a useful general illusionist.

Still later she became a Valkyrie / Valkyrja (getting herself a flying horse, high resistance to soul- and death-related magic, the ability to sense death coming, and the ability to “fight off death” (basically being able to keep people alive if she “won a duel with death”. Usually she did, but sometimes she lost – and sometimes Death arrived peacefully and told her that it would be a bad idea to fight because the injuries were beyond mending). That still wasn’t much of a tactical power though.

Eventually a power-altering device upgraded her illusions to be able to manifest as quasi-real things – although she’d been stated to have that potential very early on. That didn’t last that long since it made a bunch of plotlines awkward, but she had fun with it for a bit.

Currently she’s had her mutant powers removed – although, in fact, looking at some current pictures… she seems to have simply traded in her illusions for membership in SHIELD (giving her access to advanced tech and spy gadgets) and the ability to have more weapons on her than a dozen heavily armed men could normally carry.

Anyway, we’ll be seeing how the Eclipse version (using the Superheroic World Template) stacks up to the Mutants & Masterminds version over HERE.

First up, it’s the elephant in the room. Becoming a Valkyrie / Valkyrja is actually a very big deal. Sure, they were only minor goddesses – but they traditionally had some fairly major powers, even if Marvel’s writers only bring them up on rare occasions.

Valkyrie / Valkyrja (32 CP / +1 ECL Acquired Template):

Classically the Valkyrja CHOSE the slain, shaped the course of battles and the destinies of men, granted health and fortune, or brought misery and death. They were spirits of Death, War, and Battle – servants of Odin and Freyja, yes, but extensions of their power and powers in their own right. In the Marvel Universe the Valkyrja tap into the Odin-Power – and, as a group, have been shown (in “What if the New Mutants stayed in Asgard?”) stripping Hela of her power and status and empowering Danielle Moonstar as the Asgardian goddess of death in her place. Going by that and by the old stories… being a Valkyrja offers a lot more power than Mirage has ever really used. It’s too bad that she doesn’t really know that.

  • Occult Sense/The Forces of Death: May sense the coming and presence of Death (both the entity and the process), and communicate with Death and the Dead (6 CP).
  • Grant Of Aid, Mana Powered, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Uses mana at one point per use, works up to three rounds after death has technically occurred) / Only for “doing battle with Death”, only to get those affected to stable condition (not good health), occupies the user during the rounds it’s used (6 CP). In effect, if a Valkyrja is near someone who has just been mortally injured or slain, she can fight death for their life – spending up to the next three rounds (and probably all the mana she gets during that period) on Grant of Aid. If she can “heal” them enough for them to reach normal stability during that time, they will live. If not… she loses her duel with death, and they die (although she is unharmed save for the waste of time). Technically, Valkyrja can also do battle for their OWN lives – making them pretty tough to kill.
  • Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted/only to allow the use of Grant of Aid on others (2 CP).
  • Privilege: May arrange a peaceful and easy passing and a smooth transition into a the afterlife or into a suitable reincarnation for those under their (3 CP). Valkyrja can escort the dying into the realms of death, making their passage easy and offering a choice of destinations.
  • Weave of the Norns: Adept (Wisdom-Based Death Rune Magic and Destiny Rune Magic, both Mastery and Casting in Each, 6 CP). +4 in each Adept Skill (8 CP). Valkyrja can, of course, build this up – but even the least skilled start with some abilities along these lines, even if they never use them much.
    • In Mirage’s case that’s +7 all around – enough for first level spells and caster level three if she was really aware of those powers. At the moment, any use of these powers is likely to be unintentional.
  • Spell Resistance, Specialized for Increased Effect / only against Death and Soul Magic (6 CP). This provides a resistance of (10 + 2 x Level). It can be upgraded with a further +10/+20 at the cost of another 6/12 (3/6 after the template specialization) character points.
  • Bearers Of The Dead: Immunity to Dimensional Barriers (Very Common, Severe, Major, Specialized and Corrupted / only to interact “physically” with spirits and move between the realms of the living and the dead (instead of all dimensions), costs 2 Mana to activate for one minute) (5 CP). Valkyrja in non-superheroic settings will need to modify this slightly or buy some mana.
  • Spectral Stride: Shapeshift with the Shape of Death and Incorporeal Forms enhancements, Specialized and Corrupted/only to take Incorporeal Form, costs 2 Mana per round maintained. Note that if the user opts to remain incorporeal and on the edges of the realms of death, he or she will be effectively invisible, just like any other unmanifested spirit (6 CP). Valkyrja in non-superheroic settings will need to modify this slightly or buy some mana. Classically this was mostly used to remain unseen while awaiting the outcome of duels and such, but the Valkyrja could get in pretty much anywhere; no place in the mortal realms was barred to the handmaidens of Death.
  • Immunity to Aging (Uncommon, Major, Minor, 4 CP). While not truly immortal, Valkyrja can expect to live for many centuries with little sign of the passing years.
  • Companion: A Mystic Mount with a +2 ECL Template, 12 CP): Typically an Asgardian Horse with a variant on the Spirit Fetch template (less Favors, more Wings and Flying).
  • Contact: Death (2 CP). Valkyrja get to know Death the Entity – and it hasn’t got many friends. It’s usually quite willing to talk. It also rather approves of people putting up a good fight, and bears no ill-will for being “defeated”. After all, that’s really only “Just a moment, OK?” from its prospective.

At 64 CP this would normally be a +2 ECL template, but Valkyrja are…

  • Drawn to death. They will often find themselves called to attend and escort heroes to their rewards, to guide those dying untimely, to shape the course of fights, to teach lessons to young warriors, and to help calm the unquiet dead.
  • Automatically entangled in the various Asgardian, Death-God, and Demonic disputes over the Dead and intervention in the material plane.
  • Expected to be highly skilled in combat, A Valkyrie must be skilled in several different weapons and must maintain a BAB of at least 3/4’th their level to use their powers.
  • Generally regarded as servants and harbingers of death. Most people will NOT be happy to see a Valkyrja and often blame or attack them for things that are in no way their fault.

This counts as a Specialization that reduces the cost to 32 CP – a +1 ECL Acquired Template.

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (in her case, +2 Charisma).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 12 (+2 Totem = 14), Int 13 (+1 Level = 14), Wis 14 (+2 Human = 16), Con 14 (+4 Totem +2 Enh = 20), Dex 14 (+4 Totem = 19), and Cha 14 (+2 Four-Color Minor Power = 16). Pathfinder 25 Point Buy.

Danielle needs an attribute booster, mostly because she’s almost always been either lacking in effective offensive powers (especially when she’s fighting robots) or powered down – and so the writers have usually given her the “badass normal” treatment (making her skilled enough to hold her own against millennia-old asgardian warrior women). Since it works when she’s powered down this can’t be a “mutant” ability – but she is Amerindian (and proud of her heritage), spent years training with a Shaman with significant magical ability, and showed an immediate rapport with a wolf-shapeshifter – declaring her her “soulmate”. Ergo, she’s channeling her spirit animal – in her case, obviously, a wolf. That’s Shapeshift, with the Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form, Clear Speech, and Variants (human appearance) modifiers, Specialized/a single animal form only and Corrupted/cannot actually Change Forms, for a net cost of 9 CP. This, of course, is one of the cheapest exploits in Eclipse – but is most helpful to physical-combat focused characters of races that don’t get a lot of bonuses to their physical attributes and fits into a superhero setting very readily indeed given the number of animal-themed characters running about in them. Her Wolf Totem grants her Str +2, Con +4, Dex +4, +2 Natural Armor, Trip (automatic attempt with a melee attack), Track, and Move +10.

Skills:

  • Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP). Net Skill Points: (Int Mod + 2) x (Level + 3) +12 (12 CP) = 48 at Level Six.
  • Tribal Heritage: Adept, pays half cost for Athletics, Expertise (Cheyenne Heritage), Intimidation, and Martial Art / The First Rays Of Heavenly Fire, 6 CP). All at a base of +9 (18 SP). Totals of Athletics +13, Expertise +11, Intimidation +12, and First Rays +12
  • Other Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+6), Deception 3 (+6), Expertise (SHIELD Agent) 3 (+6), Insight 5 (+8), Investigation 4 (+6), Martial Arts (Generic Hero Style, Str) 2 (+6), Perception 5 (+8), Stealth 4 (+8), and Vehicles 2 (+6). (30 SP).
    • Bow Techniques (6): Attack +3, Instant Stand, Rapid Shot, and Inner Strength.
    • Unarmed Techniques (3): Attack +2, Improved Disarm.

Mutant Powers: Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level, Corrupted / only to keep this set of Adept skills maxed out (4 CP), Adept (Wisdom-Based Rune Magic, both Casting and Mastery for Beastmastery and Illusion, Beastmastery Specialized for Increased Effect / telepathic effects only, no summonings/transformations/etc, 6 CP). Augmented Bonus (Add Con Mod to Wis Mod for skill purposes, Specialized for Double Effect/Only for Rune Magic, 6 CP). Total: 9 (Level + 3) +3 (Wis) + 10 (2 x Con Mod) = +22. Caster Level 11, Effect Level 5 for Illusions, x1.5 for Beastmastery.

  • Her Illusions were originally mostly Figments based on strongly-emotional memories pulled from her target’s memories. These days she can give them a certain degree of reality with shadow magic and create illusions that can bring joy, induce potentially lethal levels of fear, and pull off a wide variety of other tricks.
  • Her Illusions were originally Corrupted for Increased Effect (sometimes “cast themselves” when she didn’t want them to), but she’s since bought that off – so her actual upper limits haven’t changed that much.
  • When “Depowered” this turns into Rune Magic: Weapons (mostly guns, knives, and various trick arrows) and Rune Magic: Spy Gadgets (Corrupted/only small and subtle stuff, she does not rate “James Bond” spy cars and such).

Soulmates: Mindspeech with Mindlink and Sense Sharing, may be established at any range with Rahne Sinclair / Wolfsbane (+1 CP), Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / ONLY with Rahne, only really works well in her Hybrid or Full-Wolf form, does not extend past death (or didn’t; now that Dani is a Valkyrja, who knows?), relies on her mutant Beastmastery and stops working if that does (4 CP).

This was the second half of a wonderful scouting combination; Mirage gets the general layout from mice, rats, birds, pets, and the other small animals that are found everywhere humans are, Wolfsbane slips in inconspicuously and gets any needed details, and Mirage relays them to the rest of the team. The fact that it was almost never used was kind of disappointing.

Basics:

  • BAB +7 BAB (Corrupted, does not contribute to iterative attacks, 28 CP), +1 BAB with Bows (2 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +14 (L2-6dd, 0 CP) +30 (Con Mod x 6) = 56 (Mutants & Masterminds: Toughness 8, 11 with Costume).
  • Saving Throws: +3 Fort (9 CP), +4 Ref (12 CP), +5 Will (15 CP). Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +8, all +2 Resistance (see Equipment) for +10 Total.
  • Proficiencies: Proficient with all Simple and Martial Weapons and Light Armor (12 CP).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dex) +3 (Armor) +2 (Natural) +5 (Enduring Combatant / Improved Augmented Bonus: adds (Con Mod) to (Dex Mod) for calculating AC, 12 CP) = 24.
  • Attacks
    • Bow: +8 (BAB) +4 (Dex) +3 (Martial Art) -2 (Rapid Shot) = +13/+13, 1d6+4 (+1 Magic +4 Str) +1d6 versus Evil Outsiders, Crit 20/x3.
    • Unarmed: +7 (BAB) +4 (Str) +2 (Martial Art) = +13, 1d4+4, plus automatic improved trip attempt.

Minor Items:

  • Martial Arts I: May inflict 1d4 damage in HTH, is considered armed when “unarmed” (3 CP).
  • Expertise x2: AC and Attack, Attack and Damage/Effect (12 CP).
  • Immunity/the normal limits of Intimidation. Mirage may opt to inflict a Dazed condition for one round with a successful Intimidation check (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2 CP).
  • Minor Favors: SHIELD (3 CP), X-Groups (3 CP).
  • Immunity/Fear (Common, Minor, Major, 6 CP).
  • Track (Wilderness, using Cheyenne Heritage, 3 CP).
  • Privilege: Unlike most heroes, Mirage actually has access to magical gear (3 CP).
  • Privilege: Salaried (Secret Agent, Hero Team Member, Etc) (3 CP).

Total Costs:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Wolf Totem: 9 CP
  • Skills & Mutant Powers: 19 CP
  • 12 Extra Skill Points: 12 CP
  • Mindlink with Rahne: 4 CP
  • BAB: 30 CP
  • Hit Points: 18 CP
  • Saving Throws: 36 CP
  • Proficiencies 12 CP
  • Armor Class: 12 CP
  • Minor Items: 38 CP

Grand Total: 214 CP.

Available Character Points: 168 (Level Six Base) +24 (Human, L1, L3, and L5 Bonus Feats) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Enemies (Originally the Demon Bear, later various), Vows / Cheyenne honor code) +12 (Duties; superhero, agent) = 214 CP

For the remaining details:

  • Four Color Minor Power: +2 Charisma (as previously noted).
  • With a +1 ECL Template on top of being Level Six, she’s entitled to 23,500 GP worth of gear. In Mirage’s case she has the standard “X-Man” package (13,000 GP):
    • 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 some individual items with the remaining 13,500 GP: +1 Composite Longbow (Str +4) (2800 GP), Medicine Pouch (+2 Constitution, 4000 GP), Least Fiendslayer Crystal (1000 GP), +2 Vest of Resistance (4000 GP), and Boots Of The Mountain King (1500 GP).
  • That leaves some 200 GP (about four thousand dollars) for minor supplies – although her salary covers a rather good lifestyle.

Mirage is still primarily a team booster and illusion-crafter – a very useful member of a team, but not the one you turn to to defeat a rampaging menace. Oddly enough, in her “Depowered” mode, she’s actually a lot more destructive (capable of pulling out all kinds of guns, grenades and other explosives, missile launchers, and advanced energy weapons as well as various “spy gadgets” as needed) – if far less sneaky.

The fact that she can almost always save a dying teammate if she can devote a few rounds to it – being able to pull them back to stability from an average of negative 150 hit points, 40 points of Constitution (or other attribute) drain, or being energy drained to level (-14) – is pretty handy too.

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6 Responses

  1. A tiny bit of errata here: Mirage is getting +10 CP for disadvantages, but only seems to have two listed.

    • Ah, I left out her Cheyenne honor code! Thank you for pointing out the error; it’s been inserted now.

      And I hope you’re having fun with these! I thought that it was a good time to illustrate some superhero builds anyway.

      • I’m having quite a lot of fun with these. I always enjoy reading what you write, and I’m quite partial to conversions of characters from other media, so these are great to read. Though I’ll admit I was expecting to see some use of the “Mutants of the Eclipse” templates here.

      • That’s another setting-based difference really. The “Mutants of the Eclipse” templates were mostly meant to fit into more-or-less “standard” games – the theory being more or less that a sixth level character with a +4 ECL “mutant” template could go adventuring with a tenth level party of fantasy dungeon explorers on reasonably equal terms, rather like a Warlock might. The Marvel characters, however, operate in a full-blown superhero universe – where the endless supply of Mana lets them have a good deal of power as low-level starting characters.

        I have used some chunks of the “Mutant” templates in the four-color package and the various characters innate enchantment packages though. Those bits cover a lot of the minor, constant, boosts quite nicely.

        I’m pleased you’re having fun though!

  2. […] & Masterminds combat skills are discussed in the Magma writeup, the Valkyrie Template is in the Mirage writeup, the Technorganic Template and buying advanced technology is covered in the Warlock […]

  3. […] ECL Valkyrie / Valkyrja Template. For when you want to be an emissary of […]

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