Eclipsing Shatterstar

Shatterstar is an “I has swords” rebel guy with bonus points for his swords being ridiculously impractical. He also has a mane that looks like it could out-slice a chainsaw, a broad flat face made for running into walls, and (in many of his appearances) enough muscles and upper body mass to make at least two professional football players. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had turned out to be a battlemech made for gnomes in disguise. There were a lot of attempts at making Shatterstar look like a reasonable human being – really, he changed looks more often than the shapeshifters did – but nothing that left him recognizable worked (literally so; the artists did make him look like a human being eventually, but – not having been following the character – I had to double-check to confirm that the human-looking version was actually supposed to be the same character). His origin apparently involved other dimensions, alternate timelines, mojoverse television productions, time travel, merging with some guy in a coma who looked just like him to “become whole”, mutation, genetic engineering, magic, Mephisto, and becoming his own grandfather. He had a random grab bag of exhausting, incredibly limited, and almost useless, powers – being able to generate vibratory blasts (his requisite mutant power to get into a mutant book), open portals between dimensions (more vibratory stuff, requiring lots of time and with horrible side effects and almost never done), move his internal organs around (er, what? To WHERE?) to avoid attacks, and heal quickly (although not really any more quickly than most superheroes) – but they mostly got mentioned once or twice each and then were forgotten. Similarly, he went from complete disinterest in sex of any kind to polyamorous bisexuality whenever one of the writers needed a relationship complication.

So basically a strong, tough, fast, swordsman and otherwise an amorphous, undefined, blob onto which was projected pretty much anything that the current storyline required.

Oh well. I’ve only got a passing acquaintance with this character and he apparently had a lot of appearances after I quit reading about him, so I’m mostly going with THIS build as a basis, plus some internet references.

Shatterstar

Level Three Mutant Swordsman

Four Color Package (24 CP):

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

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (22 Genegrafts), Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16 (18 Minor Four-Color Boost, 24 Genegrafts), Dex 11 (19 Genegrafts, 21 Enh), Chr 10. That’s straight Pathfinder 25-point buy as a base.

Genegrafts:

I’m giving him some Big Cat Genegrafts, simply because that’s a common fictional way to create a super-soldier (wolves are also common) even if it makes no scientific sense. That’s Str +6, Dex +8, and Con +6, +1 Natural Armor, Scent, +8 to Athletics, and +4 to Acrobatics and Stealth. To buy genegrafts take…

  • Shapeshift, with Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form, Clear Speech, and Variants (Almost entirely human appearance), Specialized/a single animal form only and Corrupted/cannot actually Change Forms, for a net cost of 9 CP. This, of course, is one of the cheapest long-term to permanent attribute-boosting effects in Eclipse and won’t be allowed in many games – but is most helpful to physical-combat focused characters of races that don’t get a lot of bonuses to their physical attributes and fits into a superhero setting readily enough.

Mutant & Martial Powers:

  • Innate Enchantment (12 CP). All effects Spell Level 1/2 or 1, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated (x2000 GP) x.7 Personal-Only where relevant. (12 CP)
  • Vibratory Powers:
    • Adamant Strike (1400 GP): Expend a swift action to make your weapons act like Adamantine for one minute.
    • Blood Wind (1400 GP): Expend a Swift action to give your melee attacks a 20′ range increment for a round.
    • Lesser Vigor, 1/Level/Day (1400 GP).
    • Nerveskitter (1400 GP): Spend an immediate action to gain +5 on your initiative.
  • Martial Talents:
    • Dance of War (1400 GP): You may use Acrobatics to Feint as a Move Action.
    • Enhance Dexterity I (1400 GP): +2 Enhancement Bonus to Dex.
    • Evaluate Stance (2000 GP): Make a Perception Cceck with a +5 Insight Bonus against an opponents Deception skill as a Free Action. On a success you get a rough idea of how their combat abilities compare to yours (very poorly, weaker, about equal, better than you, FAR better than you), if you succeed by 5+ you also gain a description of their general abilities, if you succeed by 10+ you gain a description of their usual tactics. If you lose by 5+ they may present false information.
    • Stabilize: Automatically stabilizes when below zero hit points (700 GP).

Advanced Vibratory Powers: Action Hero with Stunt, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (12 CP bonus, increase available Action Points by 50%) / vibratory power effects only, using stunts is fatiguing; they may be used once per fight scene without penalty, each further use after that causes Fatigue (6 CP).

Legendary Resistance Leader:

  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell / Greater Warding Rune (The Practical Enchanter, +4 plus Caster Level / 6 Resistance Bonus to Saving Throws, Corrupted for Increased Effect / Personal-Only, but can be renewed without taking an action as long as enough Mana is available (6 CP).
  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell II / Stone Ox (The Practical Enchanter, +4 Bonus to Natural Armor), Corrupted for Increased Effect / Personal-Only, but can be renewed without taking an action as long as enough Mana is available (6 CP).
  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell III / Greater Heroism (The Practical Enchanter, +4 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Saves, Checks, and Weapon Damage, Immunity to Fear Effects, and +(Level) temporary hit points. Corrupted for Increased Effect / Personal-Only, but can be renewed without taking an action as long as enough Mana is available (6 CP).

Skills:

  • Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Fast Learner Specialized in Skills (6 CP), Adept (Acrobatics, Blade Mastery, Intimidation, and Perception, 6 CP).
  • Available Skill Points: 24 (Fast Learner) +6 (Int) = 30.
  • Purchased Skills (All +4 Morale):
    • Acrobatics 5* (+5 Dex = +14)
    • Athletics 2 (+6 Str = +12)
    • Blade Mastery (M, Art) 5* (+6 Str = +15)
    • Cadre Unarmed Combat (M. Art) 3 (+6 Str = +13)
    • Expertise (Military) +5 (+1 Int = +10)
    • Intimidation 5* (+0 Cha = +9)
    • Perception 5* (+1 Wis = +10)
    • Stealth 3 (+5 Dex = +12)
    • Technology 5 (+1 Int = +10)
    • Vehicles 1 (+5 Dex = +10)
  • Skill Specialties: Expertise (Military) (Cadre Alliance) (1 SP),
  • Languages: English and Spanish (Free).
  • Blade Mastery Techniques: +2 Defenses, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Sunder, Expertise (Armor Class and Attacks),
  • Cadre Unarmed Combat Techniques: Strike, Attack +2, Battlecry, Instant Stand

Basics:

  • BAB: +1, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (4 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1 2d4, 8 CP) +5 (L2-3d4, 0 CP) +12 (Immortal Vigor) +42 (Con Mod x 6) +2 (Heroism) = 69 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +9. With X-Man Outfit Toughness +11).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +0 (0 CP) +7 (Con) +4 (Res) +4 (Mor) = +15
    • Reflex +0 (0 CP) +5 (Dex) +4 (Res) +4 (Mor) = +13
    • Will +0 (0 CP) +1 (Wis) +4 (Res) +4 (Mor) = +9
  • Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +5 (Dex) +3 (Armor) +5 (Natural) +2 (M. Art) = 25
  • Attack:
    • Longswords: +12 (+1 BAB +6 Str +4 Morale +1 Masterwork), 1d6 +9 (Str, “Two Blades” is simply a special effect for “Two Handed” in his case) +4 (Mor), Critical 19-20/x2. (Mutants & Masterminds damage +10, Improved Critical II with his existing improved critical ability below). 20′ Range Increment with Vibratory Blast / “Blood Wind”.
    • Unarmed Strike: +13 (+1 BAB +6 Str +4 Morale +2 Martial Art), 1d4+6 (Str) +4 (Mor), Crit 20/x2 (Mutants & Masterminds damage +8).
    • Desert Eagle: +11 (+1 BAB +5 Dex +4 Morale +1 Mastercraft), 2d8+4 (Morale), Crit 20/x2, 40′ Range Increment, 8 Round Magazine (Mutants & Masterminds Damage +6).
      • While I can’t remember Shatterstar using a gun, blaster, or similar weapon, his vibratory blasts are a bit short-range, he has a military background, and he worked with Cable. I really can’t see him leaving that weakness unpatched when picking up a basic gun will give him something to do if his powers are negated or a target is too far away for his swords and vibratory blasts. Some grenades would fit in too, but they draw a lot more attention and are a lot harder to get a permit for.

Minor Abilities:

  • Expertise (Attack Bonus and Damage, 6 CP)
  • Reflex Training (Quick Draw Variant, 6 CP).
  • Privilege: Receives the X-Man equipment package for free (3 CP).

Standard “X-Man” package (13,000 GP):

  • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps.
  • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP).
  • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
  • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
  • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).

.

  • Minor Favors: The various X-teams (3 CP).
  • Improved Critical (Longswords, 6 CP).

Point Totals:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Genegrafts: 9 CP
  • Mutant Powers: 18 CP
  • Resistance Leader: 18 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 15 CP
  • Purchased Skills: 0 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 4 CP
  • Hit Dice: 8 CP
  • Saving Throws: 0 CP
  • Proficiencies: 9 CP
  • Minor Powers: 24 CP

Net Total: 129 CP

Available Character Points: 96 (level three base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Hunted, and Alien (a variant on Uncivilized; he just doesn’t know how to operate in Earth’s society) +6 (Duties; hero on Earth, Resistance Leader in the Mojoverse) +18 (Human, L1, and L3 Feats) = 130 CP.

This leaves 1 CP left over. Personally, I’d put it into speaking the mojoverse resistance battle language or something like that. It’s true that that will be generally useless – but it’s only one character point, it’s certainly appropriate, and if you buy it a good game master will make sure that it comes up sometime.

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Ability: Immortal Vigor
  • Equipment: as a third level character Shatterstar is entitled to 3000 GP worth of gear.
    • Minor Items: Duracable (1 GP), Smartphone (5 GP), Miniaturized Camping/Survival Pack (45 GP),
    • Desert Eagle with Mastercraft +1 (90 GP), Laser Sight (25 GP), and Sound Suppressor (10 GP).
    • Good Motorcycle (600 GP).

That leaves most of his money unspent – which is fair enough, it’s not like Shatterstar is known for carrying a lot of gear OR for shopping. If you want, you can upgrade his gun. I didn’t because giving one at all is a stretch, but if he’s being used as a player character… you can’t expect a player to refrain from looking for the best deal.

Shatterstar is a reasonably effective guy-with-swords, part of a long comic book tradition of guys with swords (Black Knight, Swordsman, Etc, Etc, Etc…). They’re rarely fabulously mighty heroes, but they’re reasonably effective against the smaller-scale opponents.

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Shigure’s L5R: Organization

   For today’s entry, we have the next of Shigure’s works-in-progress – some notes on how he intends to reorganize military and governmental activities in Rokugan, at least if he can get away with it. Once again, these are notes only, and subject to revision, so they’re going on their own page. I can see some – OK, quite a few – potential difficulties with these intentions and reorganizations, but that’s what makes it interesting. If it was all easy, why bother to play?

Shigure’s L5R

   For today we have Shigure’s essay on his philosophy of warfare. Since this is – of course – a work in progress, it’s on its own sub-page for easy editing.