Apex – Prince Blueblood Escapes From My Little Pony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He’s still a douche though.

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

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

Princeps Augustus Blueblood II

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

 

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

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

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

Often a necessity when traveling with Cronus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, he IS an equine.

2
118 Total Powers  

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

And thus I have surpassed the others at last.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Eclipse – The Dabbler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stand back you fools! I am a Wizard!

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

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

This time his once-hesitant voice was certain.

I AM a Wizard!

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

So as for the actual build:

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

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

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

What else do we need?

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

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

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

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

Champions – Junior Lt. Ulrich “Firestorm” Grant

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

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

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

Junior Lt. Ulrich “Firestorm” Grant

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Champions – Professor Moriarty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Professor Moriarty

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Champions – Jann Shadowborne

Jann Shadowborne (well, James Anders, but that would never do for a stage name) always saw things a bit… differently. Even more so than a knack for small magics could explain. His imaginary friends occasionally did things, and one taught him a handful of songs from a hundred and twenty years ago – and then one autumn day led him down a dirt lane which wasn’t there, to a burning farmhouse where his suddenly-vanished friends voice was calling frantically from inside as someone else inside screamed and pounded on the door.

The charm seven-year-old James used for getting into the pantry to get sweets sufficed to unjam the door – but the scene faded away as his soot-covered coughing friend and his mother stumbled out.

James never saw that particular “imaginary” friend again – but in a crumbling nearby graveyard, the blurred inscriptions on two century-old graves shifted, one adding three and the other six decades to the date of death – and one changed from a simple child’s stone to a memorial to a long life, well lived.

James is fundamentally a channel. He is drawn to unbalanced energies, the restless dead, and similar disruptions of the natural order to draw their energies into focus, bind and regulate them – and ultimately restore balance. Wherever he goes, those forces flood into him – filling his mind with strange lore and ancient imperatives and his body with echoes of powers long faded He (and even his companions) can even be drawn into the pocket-realms of those echoes – or across time to intervene in the originating events. A small part of that excess power amplifies his knack for music – expressing and offering catharsis for the unbalanced concerns or sorrows of a crowd, releasing the lingering echoes of an ancient battle in a martial pean and perhaps bringing peace, and easily learning and performing music long lost. The rest he has learned to control by focusing it into a “medicine bag”, which allows him to control how it is released – making him a mid-level spellcaster as well, even if his magic is more than a bit unstable. Perhaps most importantly, he can earn and claim occasional favors from the spirits of the Land, Sea, Sky, Beasts, Plants, and the Dead – although this is a very limited resource and may have it’s own exotic consequences, given their tendency to see him as an odd-jobs contractor.

By the time he was eleven, his musical career was well underway – although his (primary?) career as an occult investigator attracted far less public notice.

James is one of my favorite character types; he comes with a limitless number of built-in plot hooks, is an open channel for games master exposition, may be called on by mysterious forces for all sorts of exotic jobs, lets the entire party be sucked into all kinds of weird situations that they need to solve before they can easily leave, and – while he is a fairly powerful and versatile mage – can easily be shut down temporarily and has the potential for causing magical accidents when you need a bit of a complication. He has a reason to travel, and can have a comfortable lifestyle anywhere – but can’t just throw money at problems (in his case because he’s underage, and so it’s held in trust for when he becomes a legal adult). He does want to improve the world – but doesn’t have overriding specific goals because characters with goals like that tend to get a bit focused on them when they see a chance to move towards them (which is often pretty awkward in group play).

Jann Shadowborne

The Voice Of Ancient Sorrows

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
17 DEX 21
23 CON 26
10 BODY 0
10 INT 0
14 EGO 8
15 PRE 5
10/36 COM 0
6 PD 3
6 ED 1
4 SPD 13
8 REC 0
36 END -5
30 STUN 0
Total 77

 

Points Powers END
8 2d6 40-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 40); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 40 CP worth of customized gear. 30
15 Bardic Talents
(3) Well-Connected
(2) Immunity to looking less than marvelous.; Frequency: Fairly Common
(2) Immunity to the need to compose or practice his music; Frequency: Fairly Common
(2) Immunity to the need for fellow performers and staff to have backup vocals, instrumentals, and basic special effects.; Frequency: Fairly Common
(2) Immunity to not having Groupies and a Butler around.; Frequency: Fairly Common
(2) Immunity to not being heard when singing. He needs no amplifiers and cannot be drowned out.; Frequency: Fairly Common
(1) Immunity to being out of style; Frequency: Rare
(1) Celebrity Legal Privileges
3 Elemental Control: Bardic Powers (6-pt reserve); Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼; Generic Limitation (Dimensional Vulnerability: User can be attacked from the Astral Plane without any special modifiers.): -½; Generic Limitation (User will attract spirits with problems and will be expected to undertake various missions for the great spirits): -½
a-3

2d6 Aid: Channel Of The Unsettled Past (Fade/week, Max. 12); Range: 0; Generic Limitation (His knowledge generally comes in the form of symbolic visions, odd prophecies, and vague warnings.): -2; No Conscious Control: -2; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Generic Limitation (Visions and premonitions are often rather overwhelming.): -1; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼; Generic Limitation (Dimensional Vulnerability: User can be attacked from the Astral Plane without any special modifiers.).

In most places, the past lies quiet.The distant echoes of a farmers tread, of a tryst in the orchard, of a mighty storm… all blend quietly into the song of the earth. Even death and violence fade. A man slain in a duel, the blood of both predator and prey… echo but faintly.

But sometimes the past stirs. Where things are undone, and might reawaken. Ghosts who yet attempt to accomplish some task, echoes of terrible powers, those slain with lives unlived… may stir, and rise, and walk. Things, places, and times may all host such forces.

Jann Darkborne is a channel for those echoes, a call to awaken, and a chance for them to speak and discharge the forces that hold him. Through him come final farewells, ancient warnings and calls to battle, and the final flowering of powers that cannot rest.

And even channeling a lot of the raw power into his Spirit Pouch, that can be quite a bother – and a chance to offer rest.

3
b-6 2d6 Aid: / Spirit Favors (Fade/month, Max. 36); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 day, -3½; Increased END: ×4, -1½; Generic Limitation (May only accumulate six points worth of favors each with the spirits of the Land, Sea, Sky, Beasts, Plants, and the Dead. ): -½; Generic Limitation (Must do favors for the spirits – making small offerings, spending time playing or singing at appropriate locations, etc. ): -1; Generic Limitation (Spirit Favors cost a base of three points each. With the Well-Connected modifier, this means he can have three with each group): -1; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼; 12
c-2 Mental Defense (15 pts); Add to Total; Always On: -½; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼;
d-3 Detect Occult Phenomena (+1 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼.
e-5 Astral Senses; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼
(4) Astral Sight (+0 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Always On: -½; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼
(4) Astral Hearing (+0 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Always On: -½; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼
f-2 Power Defense (12 pts); Always On: -½; Generic Limitation (Only versus magical and spirit attacks): -½; Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼
g-2 Extra-Dimensional Movement; The Astral Plane; Dimensions: One, +0; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Extra Time: 1 turn, -1 10
h-3 +26 COM (Ethereal Good Looks); Visible (Very obvious to any mage): -¼
52 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
30 +3 level w/Overall Level
4 Musician 13-
2 Gaelic (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
2 Area Knowledge: The Spirit Realms 11-
3 Scholar
1 Knowledge: Magic 11-
1 Knowledge: The Astral Realms 11-
1 Knowledge: Literature 11-
1 Knowledge: Spirits 11-
1 Knowledge: Psychic Phenomena 11-
1 Knowledge: History 11-
1 Knowledge: Occult Literature 11-
1 Knowledge: Music 11-
1 Professional License: Occultist
1 Passport
51 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
22 Pouch of Echoes; Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1; Generic Limitation (Removing the pouch will soon cause him to start generating weird magical effects as his excess power discharges through him at random. ): -½
(3) END Reserve (60 END, 2 REC/turn) ; Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1;

The power of the restless past channels itself through Jann – but the energies of minor disturbances and unsettled nature need little attention; they need merely be stored, to dissolve into pure power once more.

(18) Multipower (80-pt reserve); Activation: 15-, -¼; Side Effects (Weird Stuff Happens – or Drain 3d6 Stun and apply 6d6 healing to an opponent who is attuned to whatever unbalanced forces are in the area.): 60/All, -1; Generic Limitation (No spell may exceed 40 active points): -½; Variable Limitations: -½, -¼; Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1
u-1 2d6 Aid: Adding Multipower Slots (Fade/day, Max. 24) 2; Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼
Commonly Added Multipower Slots
Offensive Spells
u-1 1d6+1 Athame: Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 2d6); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Affects Desolidified: +½ 1 End
u-1 3d6 Chains Of Sythil: Entangle (DEF 3) 1; Range: 185; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 1 End
u-1 4d6 Invoke The Storm: Energy Blast 4; Range: 200; Versus: ED; Variable Special Effects: Any, +½; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½ 4 End
u-1 4d6 Psychic Blast: Ego Attack  4 End
u-1 11d6 Word Of Dismissal: Dispel Magic 4 End
u-1 2½d6 Lance of Winter: Killing Attack (RKA) 4 End
Defensive Spells
u-1 Ward of Gaia: Force Wall (10 PD/6 ED) 4 End
u-1 Air Sphere / Need Not Breathe ; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Uncontrolled: +½
u-1 Feywarding: Force Field (15 PD/15 ED); Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Trigger (Appropriately attacked when not up): Set, +¼; Charges: +6, +0
u-1 Invisibility (Hearing, Sight); Reduced END: Half, +¼ 1 End
u-1 Deep Trance; Charges: 1, +1; Continuing Charges: 1 year, -11 lev; Generic Limitation (You cannot do anything save astral projection and meditation and such while maintaining the effect.): -2
(2) Doesn’t Eat, Excrete or Sleep
(1) Immune to Aging ; Charges
(1) Immune to Disease
(3) Need Not Breathe
Mobility Spells
u-1 10″ Eagles Wings: Flight (NC: 320″); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×32, +20; Non-Combat (MPH): 476 2 End
u-1 Lightning Speed
(7) Running (+10″, 16″, NC: 32″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 30; Reduced END: Zero, +½
(2) Clinging (Clinging STR +0)
Utility Spells
u-1 Atherium Lens; Detect Magic (+5 to PER) ; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5; Addition (Discriminatory): +5
u-1 Sorcerer’s Will: Change Environment (8″ rad.); Effect: Variable, +1 4 End
u-1 The Deep Lore: Change Environment (2″ rad.) 0; Increased Area: ×1, +0; Effect: Variable, +1; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Uncontrolled: +½; Difficult to Dispel: ×2, +¼; Increased Area (Maximum radius of 4″): ×2, +¼

Common uses for this include illumination and air conditioning, keeping off the rain, and minor effects – but they can also include things like shutting all the doors and windows and turning on the alarms (or the reverse), making the area holy, or even “Casting The Circle”.

“The area within the ritual circle is set apart from the world. Within it the world is no longer a place of science (or the normal rules of Champions and it’s predictable, calculated, power). It is a place of wonder and wild magic, where runes, herbs, mantras, and all the rest of the occult paraphernalia actually have power. Within the circle… the wild magic of intuition and guesswork reigns, true love’s tears may wake the dead, omens and visions appear, and spirits move through dreaming realms. Here, where wonder and horror lurk at every turn and a child’s illness is not influenza but his spirit gone wandering, is an animalistic world of spirits, not of logic. In short, it’s magic driven by roleplaying rather then character points. It’s never the same twice – but it is fairly easy to get away with little stuff.”

u-1 Lesser Phantasm: Images (Hearing, Sight, 4″ radius); Range: 175; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 1 End
u-1 Hand Of The Mage: Telekinesis (STR 15); Range: 200; Manipulation: Fine, +10; Reduced END: Half, +¼ 1 End.
u-1 8d6 Grace of The Waters: Healing 4 End
u-1 Deep Sight
(4) N-Ray Vision (Not through force barriers)
(4) Detect Traps (+5 to PER) ; Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5
u-1 2d6 Lesser Conjuration: Transform (Major, Limited Class) 4; Range: 185 4 End

This produces a large variety of minor tools and items – a crowbar, a bundle of torches, some rope, and so on.

Vocal Powers
u-1 1d6 Song Of Catharsis: Transform: Induce spiritual catharsis and release (Minor, Limited Class); Range: 200; Area Effect (Radius): 16″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×16, +1; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Cumulative: +½ 2 End
u-1 2d6 Tongue Of Angels: Aid to Acting, Conversation, Oratory, Persuasion, Seduction, and Musician (Singing), (Fade/hour, Max. 12); Range: 0; Reduced END: Half, +¼; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2 2 End
u-1 2d6 Song of Sleep: Energy Blast; Range: 200; Versus: ED; No Normal Defense (Deafness, Earplugs, Hard Helmets): +1; Area Effect (Radius): 32″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×16, +1 4 End
8 Armor / Tough Leather Clothing (4 PD/4 ED) ; OIF (Leather Clothing): -½
9 1d6+1 Automatic Pistol: Killing Attack (RKA) 0; Range: 100; Charges: +8, +0; Clips: 4; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Focus: Obvious Accessible, -1
1 High-End Smartphone (0kg)
40 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
10 Public Identity
15 Reputation: Boy Band Bard (14-)
10 Underage (Infrequently, Greatly)
10 Dependent NPC: Current Girlfriend (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
15 Feels compelled to help out restless spirits (Very Common, Moderate)
15 His presence occasionally triggers the formation of vortex-gates, pulling him and anyone in the area into some historical situation, pocket-world echo of reality, or astral plane that makes it hard to escape back to normal reality without undertaking some sort of fix-it quest. (Infrequently, Fully)
10 Watched: The Authorities (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
100 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
77 + 103 = 180 200 = 100 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 5 15 25/19 25/19 3, 6, 9, 12

 

Height: 165 cm  (5’5″), Weight: 54kg (119 lbs), Sex: Male, Age: 15

Appearance: Jann is an late adolescent young man, slightly thinner and shorter than average for his age, and with an ethereal, idealized, quality. He usually wears fringed leather, for a slightly wild-boy look.

 

The Battle Sage

Christopher West – or at least the Australian gamer Christopher West that had a gaming store and blog – seems to have disappeared from the internet, and even the wayback machine doesn’t have most of his Eclipse builds. It does have some though, and I have a few more – so, as time permits, I’ll see what I can reconstruct. Since there was a request for the Battle Sage, this build is up for reconstruction first – even if I do only have partial notes on it and so will be filling in quite a bit.

The Battle Sage is a medium-duty combatant who can call forth a weapon designed to work against a particular opponent – presuming that he or she knows enough about said opponents history to summon the appropriate opposing powers. Secondarily, he or she can help his companions coordinate their tactics against particular opponents.

That wasn’t a bad idea at all; a scholar built as something other than a primary spellcaster is a lot of fun – and, according to his notes, Mr West was indeed enjoying himself with it.

Our sample Battle Sage is level three, and is thus built on 96 (L3 Base) +6 (Duties to his order) + 6 (Disadvantages) +12 (L1 and L3 Bonus Feats) = 120 CP.

Basic Abilities (64 CP Total): BAB +3 (18 CP), Hit Dice: 3d8 (12 CP), Saves Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +2 (15 CP), Proficient with Light Armor (3 CP), Shields (3 CP), all Simple Weapons (3 CP), and a limited set of Martial Weapons (Longsword and Bows, 3 CP), and 7 Skill Points (7 CP).

Special Abilities (56 CP):

  • Vengeance Of The Long Fallen: Ranged Spirit Weapon with Exotic Appearance (Yaun-Ti Serpent Bow, appearance varies with the opponent), Specialized for Reduced Cost/Requires a History Check at DC 15 (+2 for each additional time it is called forth in a day), and only lasts for one minute per level when summoned (6 CP).
  • Breath Of Legends: Focused, Versatile, Improved, Imbuement, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effects (Gains an extra +1, the effects of a weapon crystal of choice (although this does not decrease the enhancement bonus necessary to use more powerful crystals), and may use Versatile to reallocate the plusses each time the weapon is summoned). Requires it’s own History check after the “Vengance Of The Long Fallen” is called forth to empower it, can only be used with the spirit weapon, not with a normal Yaun-Ti Serpent Bow – and so cannot be used very often. So when a battle sage summons his or her weapon it has an effective bonus of (1 + Level/3) (12 CP).
  • Armor of Myths: Innate Enchantment: Specialized for Reduced Cost/only active when the Spirit Weapon ability is active. 6600 GP effective value, 4 CP.
    • Master’s Touch (x.5, only for Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow and the Armor in this package, 1000 GP).
    • Force Shield I (x.7 Personal Only, 1400 GP).
    • Mithril Breastplate (+5 AC, Max Dex +5, ACP -1, ASF 15%, Move 30, 4200 GP).
  • Ward Of Legends: Focused, Versatile, Improved, Imbuement, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effects (Gains an extra +1, the effects of an Armor or Shield crystal of choice (this does not decrease the enhancement bonus necessary to use more powerful crystals), and may use Versatile to reallocate the plusses each time the armor is called upon). Requires it’s own History check after the “Weapon Of Legends” is called forth to empower it, can only be used with the Armor of Myths above and so cannot be used very often. So when he summons his armor he gets a bonus on it of (1 + Level/3) (12 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for Double Effect, Corrupted / only to keep Adept skills maxed out (4 CP).
  • Adept: Knowledge/History, most likely a Martial Art, and two other skills of choice (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Psychometry. This effectively combines Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions, Object Reading, and Blood Biography (Pathfinder) (6 CP).
  • Rally the Legions/Presence. The user and all allies within 10′ gain the Legionary Feat, but if they leave that radius they loose the beneft and cannot regain it for the rest of the encounter. (6 CP).

At this point the Battle Sage’s primary advantage is fairly obvious. When your third level party desperately needs a +1 Undead Bane Ghost Touch weapon they are not likely to have one handy – unless the group contains a Battle Sage. At which point said Sage can spend a round making knowledge checks, and suddenly be wielding one – along with some armor with just the right protective effect on it. While a Battle Sage is still a one-trick pony at this level, many third level characters are – and it is a fairly good trick.

What to buy at higher levels? Well, here are some possibilities:

Classics Of War (12 CP): Mystic Artist (Knowledge / History) with Echoes, Specialized for Double Effect, Corrupted for Reduced Cost: Only to employ the inspiration abilities that grant positive levels, only to provide bonuses in combat against specified enemies, requires that the player provide some tolerably plausible directions. Unfortunately, such device is always fairly specific; the user cannot simply provide directions against “orcs”, it must be something like “They are fighting in a version of the Keldian Style! Such variants are weak against…”.

“Serinican Iron Golems? Strike at the joints in the legs: they are weakest there and have a hard time defending them!”

Giving some of your allies two positive levels for the purposes of fighting those iron golems provides them with 2d10 (+2 x Con Mod) hit points, +2 to their BAB, AC, and Saves against them, and 12 CP worth of special benefits. At the simplest… how does Augment Attack (+4d6 damage versus Iron Golems, 12 CP) sound?

This does require a +9 or higher (Skill + Attribute Bonus) in Knowledge/History – but that shouldn’t be any problem by level four or five.

Chains Of History (12 CP): 1d6 (4) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (Minor Edits cost 1 Point, Notable Edits cost 2, Major ones cost 3, and Grandiose ones cost 4). Requires a History Check at DC 15/18/24/36 for Minor/Notable/Major/Grandiose Edits, only for Reality Editing, only to “recall” convenient “facts” that can be used against a particular enemy, allows a Will save at a DC of (14/18/22/26 + User’s Int Mod) to resist, may only spend 4 mana on Chains of History per encounter. Plus Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only to refill the Chain of History Mana Pool.

  • Minor: “Call upon the Light of Ixion when you cast! She will empower your spells to pierce his cloak of darkness!”. Reducing an opponents effective Spell Resistance can be quite helpful.
  • Notable: There is a bare patch on his left breast! Aim there and your arrows will sink deep!” At this level… you get a bonus to hit and extra damage. As a minor edit, you might just get a small bonus to hit.
  • Major: “His Crown! Much of his power lies within his Crown! If you destroy much of his magic will fail!”
  • Grandiose: “But I know your true name, Ramthonosiderin Of The Seventh Abyss, and by it I command you to return to the Darkness from which you came!”

With this trick you can make an enemy vulnerable to particular types of attacks, force them to engage specific enemies (he goes berserk if you insult his…), and hamper them in many other ways. Of course, there is always the dreaded “I made my save!” “Foolish Scholar! Did you think that I would not have taken measures to counter such attacks when I knew that my weakness against them had been discovered?”.

Voice Of History (12 CP): This one is simple: take Breath of Legends to Specialized for Double Effect instead of Half Cost (12 CP) and double up the bonuses.

Armor of Inevitability (12 CP): Take Ward of Legends to Specialized for Double Effect instead of Half Cost (12 CP) and double up the bonuses.

Digging Up The Dirt (6 CP): Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect/only for Favors, may cause serious resentment if used incautiously. Given a few hours to check around, the Sage can find enough blackmail material on individuals or groups to extract two Minor or one Major favors from them – and need not ask about being asked for favors in return since the connection will soon cease to exist.

Unleash The Hounds Of War (6 CP): Inherent Spell/Summon Nature’s Ally III with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Reduced Cost / can only summon Dire Wolves and Wolves. Later Inherent Spells can include things like Legend Lore and other divinatory or battlefield effects.

March Of History (6 CP): Advanced Blessing (Affects up to (Cha Mod individuals plus the caster), Specialized for Reduced Cost / can only “share” the benefits of Vengeance Of The Long Fallen, Breath Of Legends, and Master’s Touch abilities – allowing much of the party to share in the benefits of suddenly having a nifty weapon customized to suit the opponent.

Overall, the Battle Sage is reasonably effective – and often very convenient to have around – in a fight. Unless they broaden their ability set, however, their out-of-combat options are a bit thin. Still, the real fun in playing one lies in being able to make stuff up, be a know-it-all, and have it actually work. Even just their basic weapon-and-armor setup invites you to add names, a history of mighty battles, and tales of enemy defeats to things – all justified because those things are now empowering your weapon!

Granny – Skills, Skill Tricks, and Skill-Related Abilities

Skills are very important to Granny; so she’s spent a fair chunk of points – in fact, 111, well over a third of her total and more than any normal class – on acquiring and enhancing them.

Skill Enhancements:

  • Upgrade Pathfinder Package Deal Fast Learner to Triple Effect (4 CP). This is cheesy, but NPC political figures can usually be allowed a little cheese – and a handful of extra skill or hit points really isn’t all that important.
  • Fast Learner, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (+3 CP/Level): Only for buying Skill Enhancing Abilities, must buy at least one “skill trick” per level (6 CP). This provides +3 CP / Level to buy skill-enhancing abilities with.
  • Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus (adds Cha Mod to Int Mod for Skill Point purposes, Specialized and Corrupted/only adds to skill points through level five, 6 CP). Over several centuries, Granny has had a lot of time to let helpful people show her how to do things – but that’s gotten less and less effective as fewer and fewer of them have anything to show her.
  • Available Skill Points: 136 (L1-5: 8 x [Int Mod + Cha Mod]) + 21 (L6-8 3 x Int Mod) +3 (Purchased, 3 CP) +6 (Favored Class) = 166 SP.
  • Augmented Bonus; adds (Int Mod) to (Cha Mod) for skill purposes (6 CP)
  • Augmented Bonus: adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) for skill purposes (6 CP).
  • Access to three Occult Skills – Foresight, Legendarium, and Dream-Binding (9 CP)
  • Adept: Foresight, Knowledge/Engineering, Legendarium, and Spellcraft (6 CP)
  • Adept: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Perception (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost, Only for Skills, only to “take 20″ in advance (no rerolls) (4 CP).
  • Skill Emphasis (3 CP) and Skill Focus (6 CP) (both in Legendarium).
  • Given that Granny has a lot of built-in “equipment” thanks to her Legendarium skill, a suitable “masterwork tool” (or tools) for all her skills may be more or less assumed.

This gives all of her Int or Cha Based skills a base of +7 (Int) +10 (Cha) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +27 Base. Ergo, that will be the assumed base below.

Intelligence and Charisma Based Skills:

  • Bluff +11 (5 SP*) = +38
    • Skill Trick/Spinning a Whopper: Mystic Artist (for Bluff), Specialized and Corrupted / provides the Manipulation options of Fascinate and Hold Audience only (2 CP). This isn’t nearly as important to Granny as is used to be – her other powers far surpass this sort of trivia anyway these days – but it was fairly useful early on.
    • This is something of a stretch – Bluff is not usually considered a suitable skill for Mystic Artist – but convincing your listeners that they really do want to keep listening to this insane story does seem right in line with the Bluff skill.
  • Craft; Alchemy +2 (2 SP) = +29
    • Skill Trick/Touch of the Philosophers: +4 CP worth of Innate Enchantment, Spell Level 1 x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated. Dexterous Fingers (Trickster Magi list. Reduces the time required to use a skill by three rounds. If this results in zero time or “less” it becomes a free action. If applied on a continuous basis throughout a skill-based crafting project, it reduces the required time by 75% or allows a project to proceed at normal speed while only taking up a couple of downtime hours per day, so that it, like studying spells, can proceed while adventuring) (2000 GP) and Alchemical Tinkering (Pathfinder), both Specialized for Reduced Cost (requires a DC 20 Alchemy check, only for Alchemy, tinkering only works on alchemical bases and catalysts (under Haagenti), not on guns or existing items) (2 CP).

Granny is mostly a herbalist, but at this point – after centuries of refining her will – she is easily capable of imposing temporary structure on alchemical raw materials with little more than a touch – both producing items as needed and accomplishing her projects very quickly indeed. That isn’t actually much use given her current abilities – an extra 25 GP per day, even if the cost is no more than a little casual dabbling that she’d probably do anyway, means very little to her now – but having people come to her for medicines for their children, and special supplies, and so on, is a useful window into the community to keep open.

  • Craft; Foodstuffs +3 (3 SP) = +30
    • Note that Specific Knowledge/the recipes and procedures for up to (Int) basic meals or complex dishes comes with each skill point invested in Craft/Foodstuffs – and that cooking has a base DC of 5. Thus “taking 10″ normally gets you 25 at DC 25 – allowing a cook with basic skills to ready a good meal for two, a common meal for four, or a poor meal for twelve, in about an hour. Having done quite a lot of cooking… that’s much more reasonable than the roughly one day per common meal figure that
    • Skill Trick/Good Eats: +2000 GP Innate Enchantment/Good Meal (as per Good Berry, but works on freshly-prepared meals, snacks, or candies). Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP (2 CP). This handy talent allows the user to greatly stretch short supplies or provide a days meals to a (size) small child in the form of a single candy.
    • OK, so Granny has learned how to cook most of her favorite dishes. After all, in some cases she’s the only one who remembers what they are.
  • Craft; Image +5 (5 SP) = +32

Craft; Image is the art of adding sensory impressions to your works. Do you want your Flash Powder to provide a fireworks display? Make your cheap wine taste like the finest vintage? Cause smoke to take on a monstrous form? Make your sonic blast into a celestial song? Play Gandalf and make your alchemical firework take the form of a stooping dragon? Make a stage seem like a window into a great city for your play? Make a thin mattress more comfortable? Make your Fireball into a skull blazing with green fire that explodes? When you want to play with your special effects, than Craft Image is the skill for you. It‘s DC 5/10/20 to add Minor/Notable/Major impressions to something:, +5/10 for Large / Colossal targets, and +5 if you want the impression to linger beyond the duration of the item or effect it’s applied to. Since sensory impressions have no actual value, this counts as a part of the same activity that produces or prepares the item to be modified. Thus the check could be made while casting a spell, building a stage backdrop, or preparing food or drink to be served. As a side effect, the user may add (Skill Check / 15, rounded down) to the DC’s of saves against his or her relevant (those that generate actual detailed images to deceive people) illusion effects.

Craft Image doesn’t really change the game mechanics much, but it does let you describe your stuff as dramatically as you like. Go ahead. Build two identical castles, describe one as a “dark and ominous mass, crouching atop the hill like a ravenous beast poised to descend on the hapless villages below and wreck havoc” and the other as “a shining citadel, a beacon of protection offering a place of refuge to the hapless villages below” and see which one attracts valiant heroes to defend it and which one attracts would-be minions and valiant heroes who want to attack it.

  • Craft; Policy +11 (11 SP) = +38
    • Craft Policy was covered in a prior article, HERE.
  • Diplomacy +11 (5 SP*) = +38
    • Skill Trick/Snare of Words: Immunity/The distinction between Diplomacy and a Martial Art equal to the total value sans tools (Uncommon, Major, Minor, Specialized and Corrupted/only works against creatures of types who could normally be affected by Diplomacy but who are arbitrarily immune (IE; being player characters/”destined heroes” or plot requirements) (2 CP). Even those who are somehow impervious to persuasion can be distracted, affected by guilt, and otherwise troubled by skilled words. Against such opponents the user gains +2 to Intimidate, +2 to Bluff, +4 to AC, DR 4/-, 8d6 of (nonlethal damage) Sneak Attack, Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Light Foot, and Resist Pain. All of this can, however, be bypassed by engaging in conversation, listening to her monologues, spending time trying to persuade her to turn away from her evil ways, and rationally responding to her arguments before starting a fight.
      • Skill Trick/Heraldic Privilege: Upgrade Snare of Words to Specialized for Increased Effect (gains +4 to Intimidate, +4 to Bluff, +8 to AC, DR 8/-, 8d6 of Sneak Attack, and double-strength Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Light Foot, and Resist Pain (+2 CP).
        • Skill Trick/Diplomatic Immunity: Upgrade Heraldic Privilege to Triple Effect (+2 CP). The user gains +6 to Intimidate, +6 to Bluff, +12 to AC, DR 12/-, 12d6 of Sneak Attack, and triple-strength Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Light Foot, and Resist Pain (+2 CP).

With these tricks about the characters WILL politely let the villain monologue, and offer them a chance to reform and make their own heroic speeches, or they will make their “boss fight” a great deal harder (and perhaps near-impossible; Triple-Strength Iron Skin and Resist Pain will get the AC boost up to +24 and the DR to 24/-). I’ll pay for Granny to have the full 6 CP package I think.

To be sensible, Granny really ought to have a normal martial art that would help her deal with monsters and other NPC’s rather than a special ability designed to justify cinematic “confronting the villain” tropes. I suppose she could get one though a relic if she really HAD to have one – but if it comes down to a direct fight that she can’t weasel out of Granny has basically lost already. Her goal is to be the invisible chessmaster and the power behind the throne. From her point of view… if you know enough to actually be coming after HER instead of her “Dark Enchantress” decoy persona her schemes are collapsing already – and her last hope is to get you to LISTEN TO HER and consider whether or not she’s a net benefit to have around, evil or not. Ergo, a last-ditch ability to try and force negotiations.

  • Disguise +11 (11 SP) = +38
    • Skill Trick / Method Acting: Immunity to Gather Information, Sense Motive, and Alignment Detection (Very Common, Minor, Trivial, Specialized/Only if the user’s Disguise skill check equals or exceeds the opposing Skill Check or Caster Level Check, in which case the opponent using the ability will detect the user’s cover, rather than the underlying reality, 2 CP).

Like it or not, if spells like “know alignment” are at all common, public figures are going to be hit with them regularly – and getting no answer will be seen as them having something to hide, no matter how many reasons are given for maintaining their privacy. They’re going to HAVE to have some ability along these lines to function at all.

While this is partially overridden by her Mind Shielding effect, that simply blocks detection, while this trick allows the user to create a false result – which is far less suspicious than getting no result. 

  • Dream-Binding +11 (11 SP) = +38. +3 Specialty in Caer Hunleff (1 SP).
    • Smith of Dreams: Granny’s Dream-Binding is Specialized for Increased Effect (she simply treats her total skill bonus – including any permanent personal magical bonuses – squared x 100 GP as her budget to “buy”things with, although she still can’t dream up expendable items) / she cannot use the magical items that she “creates” herself; she can only use them to equip others – although if she creates downtime structures she can live or work in those. With a total value of 144,400 GP (plus 23,700 for Caer Hunleff), Granny can readily equip lower-level parties or maintain a fair amount of infrastructure all by herself.

Yes, this means that Granny can, if she wishes, be a load-bearing boss; if and when she dies, her dreams, including any structures that she has dreamed into being, will go with her.

  • Skill Trick/Forge of Dreams. Immunity/having to go shopping or build (Common, Minor, Major, Specialized and Corrupted/items to be rendered permanent must be “created” with dream-binding and then made permanent – expending alchemical components with a cost equal to the normal cost of the item (2 CP).

And here we have another handy trick; Granny can get you supplies, various permanent magic items, and create buildings, overnight – but there’s no point in trying to rob her; she hasn’t got stockpiles of stuff (save, perhaps, for basic herbs). She may have a supply of Alchemical Catalysts (covered in more detail under Haagenti in THIS article), but at 100 GP per ounce she can carry 48,000 GP worth in a thirty pound bag – and that will be safely tucked away in a personal extradimensional space. No more “magic item shop” problems. Instead the ancient hag in the woods can supply you with the magical items you need for your quest – and when those same items vanish, are depleted, or are sacrificed at the end of the quest, there’s nothing to complain about; they have simply returned to the realms of dream from which they were temporarily drawn.

  • Foresight +11 (5 SP*) = +38
    • Foresight is basically made of skill tricks. Granny, not being a spellcaster, usually uses it for her political maneuvering, to just “happen” to have the relics she’ll need at any given moment be the ones that she’s using, and to just happen to have convenient items dreamed into existence at any given moment.
  • Handle Animal +5 (5 SP) = +32
    • Skill Trick/Tyrant Master: Immunity/the distinction between animals and other creatures for skill purposes (Uncommon, Major, Minor, Specialized and Corrupted/only covers “domesticating” and “training” monsters and slaves) (2 CP).
  • Intimidate +11 (5 SP*) = +38
    • Skill Trick/Sonorous Iron Voice (Cha Based Martial Art): +2 (2 SP) +17 (Cha + Int) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +29 (+22 for buying abilities). Sonorous Iron Voice focuses on the throat chakra, imbuing the user’s voice with supernatural power – generating sonic blasts and vibratory effects – it can also add subtle, manipulative, overtones to the user’s words.
      • Granny’s eleven current abilities include +2 Synergy to Diplomacy, +2 Synergy to Intimidate, +2 Synergy to Bluff, +2 Synergy to Sense Motive, Battlecry (Variant: may make an Intimidate check against all opponents within 30 feet as a standard action once per encounter), Mobility, Mind Like Moon, Inner Strength x2, Ki Focus (+4 Sacred Bonus to Charisma), and Wrath (Sonic Damage) (2 SP for a net +20).
      • Granny will usually use this form in noncombat situations, but – since she may or may not be doing so in at any given time – it’s benefits have not been included in her skill totals.

Technically this isn’t a “skill trick” since it’s really a separate skill instead of a power that builds on an existing skill – but it’s set up to cost two skill points and the primary function is to provide the effects of the classical “never outnumbered” skill trick in allowing a mass intimidation check. That seems quite close enough to throw it into the category. Secondarily, it only works cheaply thanks to Granny’s absurd boosts to Charisma and Intelligence based skills, but there’s no reason not to take advantage of that if you can persuade the game master that such an art should exist. Given that she’s had centuries in which to get someone to invent and develop it for her, I’d say that it’s justified.

 

When it comes to Knowledge skills, Granny originally studied engineering and architecture because she wanted a palace and didn’t want to trust someone else to design her secret passages and escape routes. She picked up a fair knowledge of the Nobility and Local Information while ruling, of History while living through it, and of Arcana by dabbling across the centuries – but she’s not really a scholar. On the other hand even the rule-of-thumb knowledge of basic principles (putting in a skill point or two) will get you a long way when your effective “intelligence” (a +17 modifier?) puts you well beyond most comic book super-geniuses.

  • Knowledge; Arcana +5 (1 SP) = +32
  • Knowledge; Dungeoneering +1 (1 SP) = +28
  • Knowledge; Engineering +11 (5 SP*) = +38. +3 Specialty in Mystic Architecture. Base (for Mystic Artist abilities) = +37.
    • Mystic Artist with Seeking for Engineering (Architecture) (12 CP).
      • Inspiration Abilities: Emotion, Competence, Excellence, Mass Greatness, Mass Excellence, and Heroism.
      • Synergy Abilities: Block, Group Focus, Harmonize, and Serenity.
      • Manipulation Abilities: Hold Audience and Suggestion. Granny can access Emotional Auras and Freedom, but needs to be using one of her Relics to do so.

Granny is a formidable mystic architect. What’s more, she’s fully capable of using Dream -Binding to create a citadel and a fortification around a settlement overnight (even if she does tend to have the locals do enough work to disguise the fact that she doesn’t actually need them. Its better for their morale that way). That’s a pretty massive defensive advantage.

It also means that if you attack and destroy the Dark Enchantresses castle… she’ll just make a new one someplace else a day or two later. She may even move it from time to time just to make it harder to find.

  • Knowledge; Geography +1 (1 SP) = +28
  • Knowledge; History +5 (5 SP) = +32
  • Knowledge; Local +5 (1 SP) = +32
  • Knowledge; Nature +1 (1 SP) = +28
  • Knowledge; Nobility +5 (5 SP) = +32
  • Knowledge; Planes +1 (1 SP) = +28
  • Knowledge; Religion +1 (1 SP) = +28

The Celeano Manuscripts: As per a Mask of a Thousand Tomes, but consists of several hundred massive tomes (basically immobile, x .5), requiring a DC 20 Linguistics check (x.8) and at least 1d4 hours of intense study and concentration in a suitable library to use (x.8) = 3200 GP. If you have the time to use the Manuscripts they provides a +10 competence bonus to any Knowledge skill check – for Granny, a net +8 over the competence bonus that’s already included in the values above.

  • Ritual Magic (Atherian Variant). Atherian Ritual Magic allows knowledge skills to be used to generate magical effects, in much the same way that – in magic-free reality – knowledge can be used to create technologies, solve problems, and accomplish goals rather than simply allowing the game master to provide some exposition and offering clues as to how to fight monsters. In effect, Atherian Ritual Magic is sort of a generic “skill trick” for all knowledge skills. To keep things under control, Granny’s abilities are Corrupted: even with the time-saving trick below, she may enact no more than (Cha Mod) rituals per day – and major rituals count as three minor ones (4 CP)
    • Skill Trick/Words of Creation: Immunity / the time required to use Atherian-type magical rituals (Uncommon, Minor, Minor, 2 CP). This reduces the time requirements by two steps. A normally ten-minute ritual to get the household drains working would thus be reduced to one full action (Tens of Minutes to Minutes, Minutes to Full Actions) – although she must still get the relevant components from her Ritual Chest or Supply Pouch. Of course, the three-day ritual of Planar Transference would only be reduced to to hours (three days to one day, one day to hours).

In general, Granny can perform an immense variety of useful, albeit non-combative, rituals with relative ease – warding cottages against fires, chasing pests out of the fields, tracing bloodlines, predicting the weather, immunizing a village against a horrible disease, insulating and warming households during a bad winter, dowsing for the best place to dig a well, locating lost children, laying restless spirits, and so on. She can summon demons, raise a swarm of skeletons, or make it rain holy water too – but those are much bigger projects, and are likely to call for rare ingredients, considerably more time, and very high DC’s.

  • Legendarium +11 (5 SP*) +7 (Int) +10 (Cha) +2 (Skill Emphasis) +3 (Skill Focus) +3 (Path) = +36. Sadly, Granny’s usual +7 in magical and equipment bonuses is irrelevant here – but her massive attribute bonuses and skill-boosting feats still turn this into 388,800 GP worth of “gear”.
    • Specialized for Double Effect; “Items” purchased with Legendarium must be purchased as slot-free items at double cost. Granny’s items take up slots under the normal rules (and may have stacked effects under the normal rules), but are purchased at normal costs.  In effect, she just “spends” her Legendarium funds to purchase her “panoply” normally.
    • This also means that Granny has, over her extended lifetime, accomplished at least eighteen great deeds and seen them become a part of her legend. While her Dark Veil (from her Channeling powers) keeps those tales focused on “The Dark Enchantress” instead of on “Granny”, anyone who spends some time on Gather Information or research will be able to pick them up and get a pretty good idea of the Dark Enchantress’s capabilities. Specialized for Double Effect / items “purchased” with Legendarium must be bought as slot-free items for double cost. In Granny’s case they take up item slots normally regardless, and the stacking enchantments rules must be applied – so while her items may be powers derived from her legend, they are built just like normal items. Legendarium is a pretty major power for Granny – but then, one way or another, she’s invested quite a lot of character points into boosting her skills.
  • Linguistics +1 (1 SP) = +28
    • Skill Trick/Polyglot: Immunity/Awkward Linguistics Mechanics (Uncommon, Minor, Minor, 2 CP). Granny knows her base racial languages plus a number of languages equal to her total permanent Linguistics score. That will include Common, Sylvan, Infernal, Abyssal, Dwarven, Elven, and at least twenty-one more. In general, as an NPC, just assume that Granny knows all the tolerably common languages in the setting.
  • Perform; Acting +5 (5 SP) = +32
    • Skill Trick / Rumored Fame: Immunity to the distinction between Charisma and Reputation scores (Uncommon, Minor, Major, Corrupted/only uses 2/3’rds of the users Charisma score, 2 CP). Given her 30 Charisma this gives her an effective 20 on her Reputation score – which means that pretty much everyone in the country and nearby countries will have heard of her. That’s usually worth a substantial bonus on social interaction rolls.

This would be more expensive – but it can generally be assumed that any time the game master has the characters interacting with a V,I,P, he or she will be making a point of bringing it up anyway. There’s no point in having an NPC be famous or important if you don’t tell the player characters about it. Characters will develop reputations whether they buy one or not – but buying one offers them control. This option boosts one, but offers little control. Just allowing one to develop is a very hit-or-miss proposition – much more appropriate to wandering adventurers than to political figures.

  • Perform; Oratory +5 (5 SP) = +32 (+25 Base)
    • Mystic Artist/Oratory (10 abilities) with Echoes (12 CP):
      • Manipulation Abilities: Fascinate, Hold Audience, Emotional Auras, and Freedom.
      • Synergy Abilities: Block, Group Focus, Amplify, Harmonize, Serenity, and Rule the Horde.

Granny’s oratory has been polished across the centuries. She can weave suggestions, inspire overpowering emotions, break enchantments, enhance magic, renew her targets daily abilities, and more, selecting any two of those at a time and allowing those powers to echo back up to three times during the next two weeks.

This ability makes Granny’s tall tales pretty much redundant – but they’re cheap anyway and it never hurts to have a backup method of doing things. If this was an ultra-efficient build (instead of just exploitative) she’d probably have retrained those 2 CP – but Granny prefers to know that she can still tell a wild story with the best of them.

  • Perform; Strings +1 (1 SP) = +28
  • Perform; Sing +1 (1 SP) = +28
  • Qilin QiGong (Int): +3 (3 SP) +17 (Cha + Int) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +30 (+23 for buying abilities).
    • Qilin QiGong is a discipline of breath control and drifting movements to focus and channel C’hi, focusing on internal alchemy, the development of the Embryonic Pearl (a focus and reservoir of life force), and the amplification of the user’s inner strength. While it falls under the broad umbrella of the Martial Arts, it has only minor combat applications, and relatively few bother to develop them. Sadly, while truly skilled practitioners can maintain health and vigor into extreme old age, it does nothing to extend the user’s maximum lifespan. It can make it a lot easier to reach it though.
      • Granny’s twelve current abilities include: Synergy: +2 Craft/Alchemy, +2 Heal, +2 Fly, and +2 Perception, Toughness IV (a minor variant that protects against attribute drain and damage rather than physical injuries), Inner Strength II, Healing Hand, and Vanishing. These bonuses have not been included, since Granny is not always using this style.
  • Spellcraft +11 (5 SP*) = +38
    • Chaos Magic: 3d6 (12) Mana with Unskilled Magic, Specialized for Double Effect (costs only 1 Mana per level of the effect produced), Corrupted for Reduced Cost/only for unskilled magic, requires verbal and somatic components, Arcane or Hedge Magic effects only, requires a spellcraft check at a DC of 5 x the effective level of the effect being produced, commonly (and quite correctly) seen as a dangerous and unskilled use of magical energies (12 CP). In general: Charisma-based, Caster Level (7 + Effect Level, 10 Max), maximum effect level 6 (going above Caster Level/2 risks losing control at the option of the game master), requires a Charisma Check at DC (6 + Mana Used) to avoid dangerous side effects of one-half the level of the spell used. Success on this check still produces awkward and inconvenient side effects.
    • Fires of Creation: Rite of Chi with +(2 x Cha Mod) Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted: only to regain Mana in the unskilled magic pool above, requires at least five minutes of rest per die (6 CP).

This is an extremely cheap way to cast some fairly powerful freeform spells – but it’s rarely an attractive option for adventurers. Even disregarding the need for being of fairly high level, having very high attributes, a high spellcraft skill, and a high base will save just to make it work, few adventurers like risking random side effects. After all, casting Scorching Ray and having the party hit with Burning Hands, or being abruptly outlined with Faerie Fire even if the would-be magus makes the charisma check to avoid actively dangerous side effects, can really mess up your plans. There are reasons why Wild Mages have never really been popular – and why the Eclipse versions usually roll to see what kind of effects they have to work with this round and then have to figure out a way to use it rather than letting the game master do whatever he or she finds amusing at the moment.

Other Skills:

  • Fly (Dex) +2 (2 SP) +0 (Dex) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +12
  • Heal (Wis) +5 (5 SP) +5 (Wis) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +20, +3 Specialty in Pregnancy, Birthing, and Babies (1 SP).
    • With a +23 base, and access to Witchcraft, Rituals, and various Spells, Granny is capable of handling pretty much any childbirth. Given the number of kids she’s delivered over the centuries, this makes it even MORE awkward to confront her.
  • Perception (Wis) +11 (5 SP*) +5 (Wis) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) +5 (Gear) = +31
  • Profession (Lawyer) +6 (6 SP) +5 (Wis)+3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +21
    • You’re a part of the government, you get involved in legalistic disputes.
  • Ride (Dex) +2 (2 SP) +0 (Dex) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +12
  • Sense Motive (Wis) +11 (11 SP) +5 (Wis) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +26
  • Sleight Of Hand (Dex) +2 (2 SP) +0 (Dex) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +12
  • Stealth (Dex) +5 (5 SP) +0 (Dex) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +15
  • Survival (Wis) +2 (2 SP) +5 (Wis) +3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = +15
  • Swim (Str) +3 (3 SP) +0 (Str)+3 (Path) +1 (Luck) +4 (Comp) +2 (Tool) = + 13

This may need a few tweaks later – working in sections makes it easy to forget a detail here and there and I very well may have misadded a few skill points in that enormous list – but next up it will be some skill applications – Granny’s Legendarium abilities and some Mystic Architecture (along with yet another approach to practical schools in d20).