Eclipse and Skill-Based Partial Casters

And for today it’s the answer to another question…

I notice that you don’t have a ton of examples of the dweomer system, and no examples of a partial caster using a skilled based one. What might say, a version of a paladin or bard using the dweomer system look like?

-Jirachi

In Eclipse, of course, a “Partial Caster” is just a character who buys some magic but who doesn’t really focus on it. Gratuitously, I’m going to assume that less than 60 points over twenty levels is “dabbling”, and that 181 points or more is “a full caster” – leaving Partial Casting as any spellcasting package with a total cost between 60 and 180 points over twenty levels. On the “practical details” side, a partial caster usually has a fairly limited range of effects, is limited to mid-level effects at best (levels 4-6 depending on style), and may have a lower-than-maximum caster level.

So first up it’s Thaumaturgy or Dweomer based Paladin/Ranger/Assassin/Etcetera Spell Casting. To build the basics for that we’ll want…

  • Access to Thaumaturgy/Deweomer, Specialized/only provides access to four skills (3 CP).
  • +15 Base Caster Levels, Specialized and Corrupted / Thaumaturgy or Dweomer Only, do not support effects of above the “Difficult” level (30 CP). That’s five more than a 3.5 Paladin or Ranger gets, two less than a Pathfinder Paladin or Ranger gets – but in Eclipse they can buy a few more if they want to easily enough.
  • Adept (Their four Thaumaturgy/Dweomer Skills, 6 CP)
  • Augmented Bonus / Adds an attribute modifier to the base for Thaumaturgy or Dweomer skills, Specialized/only for the four Adept skills, above (3 CP).
  • Mastery (At least three of the Adept skills, 6 CP). This lets them “take 10″ instead of rolling when casting using at least three of their skills.
  • 10d6 Mana (as 20d4 (50) Generic Spell Levels), Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / Only to power Thaumaturgy or Dweomer, cannot power effects of above the “Difficult”” level (20 CP). Fortunately, generic spell levels return daily without need for Rite of Chi.
  • Unity (6 CP). This avoids the need to split their pool between Power and Generic Spell Levels. Trivial Effects cost 1/2 Spell Level, Easy Effects cost 2, Average Effects cost Four, and Difficult Effects cost 6. “Difficult” effects equate to spells of levels 5-6, and are beyond the usual range for Paladins, Rangers, Assassins, and such, but are possible here.

At a total of 74 CP this costs the same as Pathfinder Paladin Spellcasting. It will require a further investment of 10-20 skill points (or other boosters) to reach it’s full potential of using sixth level equivalent spells (in Eclipse there’s almost always a slight surcharge for creating your own style of themed spellcasting) – but it has the side benefit of boosting some checks and saves and is extremely flexible. It’s also worth nothing that – while it will use up the second permitted use of Adept – adding a second field will only cost 38 CP (totaling 112) since there’s no need to buy the Caster Levels or Unity again. You could even go for a third dip, for a mere 32 CP more (totaling 144 CP) – but you’d need to boost your skill points since you couldn’t take Adept again.

So what skills? Well, for some quick examples, lets say you are building a…

  • Battlerager: Self-Enhancement (personal boosting spells), Armory (summon / boost armor and weapons), Lightning (Page 103), and Physical Healing (Page 105). Avatars of War and Thunder, Battleragers are direct and powerful warriors and reasonably effective healers after a battle. They possess a fairly well balanced mix of abilities and can play many roles on the battlefield.
  • Berserker: Self-Enhancement (personal boosting spells), Shapeshifting (Page 105), Armory (summon / boost armor and weapons), and Speed (haste, rapid travel, accomplishing tasks as great speed). Berserkers are capable of taking deadly forms, equipping themselves in an instant, and rampaging across a battlefield with vastly enhanced physical abilities.
  • Demonologist: (Evil) Monster Summoning (Monster Summoning, Planar Binding, Etc), Hellfire (evil fire magic), Maledictions (from The Practical Enchanter), and Demon Channeling (summon monster channeling variant, from The Practical Enchanter). Commanding deadly and corrupting infernal powers, a demonologist tends to summon a few monsters to help him or her carry the fires of hell into the depths of an enemy line.
  • Healer: Life Transference, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Healing (all from Eclipse, the Healing List, Page 105). There are lots of ways to heal people at higher levels, but a backup healer can still be pretty handy to have around. Healing is rarely the first option selected, but it’s a fairly common second or third choice.
  • Kineticist: Animation (obvious), Pyrotics, Reconstruction, and Telekinesis (Mostly from Psychokinesis, Eclipse page 104). As direct blasters Kineticists are not the most effective at magical battle, but they have an immense variety of utility effects, ranging from repairing items to opening locks to extracting breathable air from the water that’s filling a room. Whether you need to fly, temper metal, or haul masses of treasure, the Kineticist has a spell for you.
  • Planeward: Dimensional Warping, Stabilization, Transference, and Warp Detection (all from Eclipse, the Warping List, Page 105). A Planeward’s magic is dangerous, and often of fairly high level (commonly leading them to buy more Generic Spell Levels to work with), but the ability to teleport, shunt in matter and energy from other dimensions, detect and banish summonings, resist dimensional and temporal effects, and otherwise counteract a lot of the best high-level effects can make them quite vital in the right situation.
  • Radiant Master: Electrokinesis and Nucleokinesis (Eclipse, Psychokinesis, Page 104), Amplification (Eclipse, Mysticism, Page 106) and Stabilization (Eclipse, Healing, Page 106). The master of atomic energy is an odd fit in most fantasy settings, but they can work there just fine. After all, how many fantasy creatures have defenses against hard radiation, cannot profit from a boosting spell transmuting that hard radiation into raw magical power, or have no use for shifting their metabolism over to nuclear sources to avoid having to breathe for a time?
  • Ranger: Animalism (take on animal powers), Plant Control (animate plants, hurl volleys of spears, grow spikes, make plants let you through, etc), Mobility (boost movement, haste, boost missile fire, dimension door, boost stealth, etc), and Physical Healing (Page 105). Rangers are classic hedge-magi, capable of a wide variety of nature-related spells. It can be quite handy to have a tree pick you up out of a battle and put you safely up in its branches to let you do some sniping.
  • Solar Guardian: Celestial Radiance (holy light and purification), Armory (summon / boost armor and weapons), Inspiration (prayer, bless, other bonuses for the group), and Shielding (Stasis Fields, page 104). As fairly classic “Paladins”, Solar Guardians are radiant servants of the higher planes, defending others and striking down creatures of darkness.
  • Stalker: Darkness Mastery (Page 103), Venom Mastery (poisons and antidotes, toxic clouds, etc), Shadowwalking (moving in and out of the plane of shadow, blinking, etc), and Shadow Magic (the illusion-based variety). While the powers of darkness are usually seen as evil and corruptive, with determination they can be used for a variety of purposes. Similarly, slipping through the shadows to strike down opponents with deadly poisons may not be a pleasant or common way to do good – but it can be used that way.

Now, if you want to create a Spellblade or the equivalent of a Psychic Warrior you’ll want to buy Opportunist and Evasive to let you cast boosting effects as you fight,

For a Godling, advanced Adept, or Bardic type…

  • Upgrade the Access Feat to a full list (3 CP).
  • Take Mastery Again (if necessary, 6 CP).
  • Upgrade to 100 Generic Spell Levels (20 CP)
  • Upgrade to 20 Base Caster Levels (10 CP).
  • Include about +60 skill points (60 CP). Normally I’d take Fast Learner and another level of Adept to help with this, but Bardic types are normally already using those to get their other skills.

That raises the cost by 99 character points – up to a total of 173 CP. Of course, a Pathfinder Bard normally spends 174 CP on his or her magic, so that – once again – fits well enough.

As for skills… Well, at this point you can take any one of the full Thaumaturgy or Dweomer lists from Eclipse or you can invent your own list. Either can be a very effective option. If you want to be a fairly classical bard, you might want a list like:

  • Illusion, Presence, and Projection (Eclipse, Telepathy, Page 104), Physical and Spiritual Healing (Eclipse, Healing, Page 105), Vibration (Eclipse, Psychokinesis, Page 104), Auric Sight (Eclipse, Extra-Sensory Perception, Page 106), and Dimensional Warping (Eclipse, Warping, Page 105).

That won’t cover every spell on the Bard list – but as a freeform system it will cover more of them than any normal Bard with a limited number of spells known will get to have. If it doesn’t cover something you desperately want… well, trade out one of those skills that you don’t want for what you think fits well into a “Bardic Powers” theme.

For the next option:

Substituting Theurgy for Thaumaturgy/Dweomer is straightforward, although you will want an Intelligence of at least 12.

  • +15 Base Caster Levels, Specialized and Corrupted / Theurgy Only, do not support effects of above level six (30 CP).
  • Adept x2 (the six Theurgic Verbs and two Nouns, 6 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus / Adds an attribute modifier to the base for Theurgy skills (6 CP).
  • Mastery (At in 12+ covers all six of the Verbs, 6 CP). This lets the user “take 10″ instead of rolling to use Theurgy. (This is cheap, and may not be permitted – but it’s an obvious modifier to take if the game master allows it).
  • 6d6 Mana (as 12d4 (30) Generic Spell Levels), Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / Only to power Theurgy, cannot power effects of above level six (12 CP). Fortunately, generic spell levels return daily without need for Rite of Chi. Also fortunately, Theurgy is less expensive than Thaumaturgy or Dweomer,
  • Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus (Adds a second Attribute Modifier to their Intelligence Modifier when calculating Skill Points Per Level, 18 CP).

That’s 78 CP – but investing even a modest handful of additional skill points will let you work freeform magic within a speciality. If you invest more… you can wield a wide variety of spells indeed. The Bard/Godling/Etcetera version mostly simply needs more generic spell levels (another 36 CP worth will probably do), and a LOT more skill points – probably about 60 CP worth again. That gets them up to 174 CP – a precise match for what a Pathfinder Bard spends on their magic progression and approaching the limit for a “Partial Caster”.

So what nouns should these characters study?

  • Beguilers master the Mind and Illusion elements, weaving deceptions and influencing minds to subtly bend the world to their will. Suggestion, Charm, Glamours, Phantasms, and more lie within their purview. If a campaign involves stealth or intrigue, they can be most effective.
  • Deathlords study the Spirit and Illusion elements, wrapping the dead in quasi-real shells of undeath, speaking with or raising the dead, imbuing inanimate objects with life, and peering into the planes beyond all fall within their purview.
  • Healers study the Body and Spirit nouns (although they often dabble in the Mind as well) – offering them access to a wide variety of enhancements, the ability to repair injuries of all kinds,
  • Seers study the magic of the Mind and Time, peering into the future to learn a myriad secrets and subtly enhancing their allies and hindering their enemies. Perhaps fortunately, only those few seers who have surpassed all normal limitations may actually travel though time or manipulate it to any great degree.
  • Stormweavers study Air and Fire, two of the most volatile and easily-stirred elements. They may manipulate storm and lightning, channel energy, manipulate the winds, and employ the destructive power of fire. They are easily amongst the more violent Theurgists.
  • Treemages study the Earth and Plant nouns, creating barriers and earthquakes, hurling spikes of wood and stone, entangling victims, dropping them into pits or quicksand, growing useful herbs, constructing fortified campsites, and more. There is rarely a time when mastery over the land and the things that grow upon it is not useful.
  • Voyagers study the magics of Space and Water, allowing them to navigate their crafts through the barriers between dimensions, exploring strange worlds, pocket realms, and the depths of the sea. While they may wield the forces of ice, acid, and banishment in emergencies, their magic is perhaps best used to reach their desires rather than to blast opponents.

Even taking only two elements at a time, there are 66 possible combinations. Add a few more elements to the mix and there are – thanks to the joys of permutations – thousands.

Overall, both systems allow freeform casting within particular themes at a cost close enough to more conventional spellcasting to allow them to be plugged in to “standard” character builds with little or no difficulty.

And I hope that helps!

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Eclipse – Entreaty Magic, Superheroics, and Tricksters

This power package request is for a “Doctor Strange” style Sorcerer – albeit perhaps one with more limited use of their abilities so as to fit into a standard fantasy universe.

Well, while comic book mages tend to have a variety of minor powers that they use all they want to, their forte is the well-chosen and highly specific spell, usually involving gestures, peculiar incantations, and calling on various magical entities. Has a swarm of demonic horrors gotten loose? The Mage throws the protective circle which gives everyone a few moments to get things organized, his or her companions hold back the demons while the mage works on the grand spell of sealing, and the demonic horde is sealed away again just barely in time. They’re powerful, but it generally takes a few moments for them to bring that power to bear – and it’s at least implied that major magic is not to be thrown around indiscriminately. Spider Man may punch out dozens of thugs and wrap them all up in webbing, but the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are reserved for major situations.

So how can we build that kind of magic? I shall call it…

Entreating The Infinite

The user may call upon the aid of supernatural beings, channeling their powers into the physical world. Sadly, this is subject to some major limitations:

  • The user may only develop links with a limited [(Cha Mod + Level)/2] group of mystical entities, each of which only grants effects related to it’s field of influence. In addition, the user must pick a reasonably coherent group of entities to invoke:
    • For example, a Cthulhu Mythos mage who gained his powers from the Necronomicon might call on…
      • Azathoth for chaotic spells of transformation and destruction.
      • Cthalpa for powers of vulcanism and the deep earth.
      • Cthulhu for telepathic and mind-manipulating effects.
      • Nyarlathotep for divination, dark knowledge, and curses.
      • Shub-Niggurath to summon monsters, induce mutations, and manipulate fertility,
      • Ubbo-Sathla for healing and shapeshifting.
      • Yog-Sothoth for spells related to teleportation, gates, and dimensions,
    • An ancient, mummified, priest of the Old Kingdom might call upon…
      • Anhur for battle enhancements, hunting, and combat.
      • Anubis for spells of Death, Creating/Controlling/Destroying the  Undead, and communicating with the Dead.
      • Imhotep for spells of healing, construction, and architecture.
      • Isis for spells of Force (Magic Missile, Shield, Etc) and Magical Manipulation (Dispel Magic, Antimagic Sphere, counterspells, etc).
      • Khonsu for lunar magics, such as shapeshifting.
      • Ra for spells of solar might and rulership.
      • Shu for magics of the Air and Winds.
    • A Marvel Comics mage apprenticed to Doctor Strange might call upon…
      • Agamatto for spells of truth, light, and the manipulation of raw magical energy.
      • Cyttorak, for spells of force and binding.
      • Denak to summon monsters and constructs.
      • Ikonn for illusions.
      • The Seven Suns of Cinnibus for blasting and light effects.
      • The Seraphim for spells of protection.
      • Watoomb for spells of air and transport.
  • Each such entity grants a pool of (Cha Mod + Level/2) spell levels worth of magic to draw on. Unfortunately, renewing those pools is a slow process: the user may make an appropriate Knowledge skill check once per day to gain (check result/2) spell levels through some means (meditation, prayer, study, minor rituals, ceremonies, chanting names of power, or whatever suits the user’s style). Gaining points faster requires serving one or more entities. Minor services will half-fill a pool, major ones will fill it entirely – although no one entity will do more than completely refill the associated pool in any one day no matter how many services the user performs. For some examples….
    • You could serve Isis by regularly teaching magic. That’s a minor service when it comes up (even if you may often need to dispel some students mess). It’s a major service if you have to rescue your students from dangerous witch hunters. If it’s more than a few days between adventures your Isis pool will automatically start full.
    • You could be protecting some relic, gate, or place of power. That’s minor if you’ve just got to keep an eye on it and regularly take precautions, major if there’s a serious assault on it.
    • You could just undertake missions. Perhaps Anubis wants you to hunt down some undead? This kind of thing is usually major every day for the duration. Minor missions tend to be future setups… “go to this address and leave 10 GP in a bag stuck to the door with a silver nail before you depart”.
    • You could commit yourself to advertising your patron. Do you regularly talk about how wonderful it is and try to get other mages to call on it? Probably minor, unless this sort of thing is likely to get you hunted down or killed.
    • Do you adhere to an oath to hunt down monsters which threaten children? Minor when you need to investigate, major when an actual fight comes up.

Thus, for example take Erebus Herensuge, an eighth level magus of the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh with Charisma 18. He can call on six different Lovecraftian Horrors, each of which can provide him with eight levels of spells (for a total of 48) – but his Knowledge Arcana skill of +12 will only get him back an average of 11.25 spell levels per day. Fortunately, a Minor service will get him four spell levels in the appropriate pool and a Major one will get him eight – and he is…

  • Responsible for recruiting more Cultists for Azathoth. Basic recruiting activities are a Minor service, but recruiting an influential or powerful person is a Major service.
  • The organizer for ceremonies honoring Cthalpa, tossing sacrifices into any convenient volcano, apparently bottomless sinkhole, or the depths of an abandoned mine. That’s Minor whenever he can get together with the cult, or Major when they can offer a truly worthwhile sacrifice.
  • Aiding Nyarlathotep by slipping eldritch tomes and disturbing occult lore into libraries and other locations. Minor if it’s something people have to hunt for, major if it’s blatant – such as adding terrible mystic secrets to an “ornamental” public mural.
  • Helping monsters interbreed with humanity to honor Shub-Niggurath. Minor if it’s just making it easier, such as by covering up an odd birth, Major if it’s enabling a serious horror to create some dark spawn.
  • Breeding slimes and oozes in honor of Ubbo-Sathla. Minor if they lurk in the depths, major if they come out for a major attack. They also help get rid of anyone who survives being dropped into a sinkhole…
  • Encouraging the installation of Teleportation gateways in the city in honor of Yog-Sothoth – Minor for enabling, Major for finding a way to use them to summon horrors from beyond into town.

Erebus is going to be making a lot of trouble just to keep the magic flowing. He’s also quite likely to try to toss any player characters who happen to be investigating his activities into a sinkhole or old mine he’s filled with slimes, oozes, and other monstrosities, and thrown various treasures into – but then dungeons need to come from SOMEWHERE. Similarly, he leaves mythos tomes about to drive people mad (while also stocking the libraries with the dangerous lore needed to defeat him) and turns monsters loose in town. He’s very handy for a game master to have around!

A player character is more likely to take things like teaching, guardianship, and missions – but that sort of thing will automatically provide them with motivations, connections, reasons to go on missions, and involvement with the setting. I usually consider that a good thing.

  • Entreaties can be interrupted like any other form of spellcasting, although the user is perfectly free to throw in metamagic (Still, Silent, etc) to avoid such issues. They can even throw in an extra +1 to make an effect swift or +2 to make it Immediate (thus allowing comic book mages to throw up those reflexive shields they love to use).

So to actually build this, take:

  • Path of the Dragon/Shaping (Specialized, only as a prerequisite, 3 CP)
  • Pulse of the Dragon (Summons Magical Energy), Specialized and Corrupted (involves Entities, Limited Pools, Knowledge Checks, Services, and Interruptions as above) plus Heart Of The Dragon (Shapes Magical Energy provided that it under the user’s control). While the number of entities, and the pool size, is always limited as above, the ability to cast higher level spells costs increasingly more. To summarize the calculations, the ability to make entreaties of level…
    • One requires Pulse (Corrupted for Increased Effect, Specialized for Reduced Cost, 3 CP) plus Heart II (Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost, 6 CP), for a total cost of 12 CP and a minimum level of one.
    • Two requires Pulse (Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect – automatic control and 2 spell levels, 6 CP) plus Heart II (Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost, 12 CP), for a total cost of 21 CP and – as per the general rule on controlling magical effects – a minimum level of three.
    • Three requires Pulse II (Specialized for Increased Effect – automatic control and 3 spell levels, Corrupted for Reduced Cost, 12 CP) plus Heart II (Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect, 18 CP) for a total cost of 33 CP and a minimum level of five.
    • Four requires Pulse II (Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect – automatic control and 4 spell levels, 18 CP) plus Heart III (Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost, 28 CP) for a total cost of 49 CP and a minimum level of seven .
    • Five requires Pulse III (Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost, 28 CP) plus Heart III (Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect, 42 CP) for a total cost of 73 CP and a minimum level of nine.
    • Six requires Pulse III (Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect – 6 Spell Levels and Automatic Control, 42 CP) and Heart III (Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect, 42 CP) for a total cost of 87 CP and a minimum level of eleven.

Unfortunately, Pulse III is as high as it goes. While it is possible to take Heart higher (at ever greater expense), it would probably be simpler to take Mana with the Spell Enhancement option to allow for the occasional really powerful spell at higher levels. Still, if somebody wanted to commit to paying for this package at 8 CP per level through level eleven – basically converting it into a limited spell progression – that would be entirely reasonable.

For comparison, this really resembles a specialized version of Sorcery. Eleven levels of Sorcerer Spellcasting with similar Specialization costs… 88 points instead of 87. The sorcerer will have less flexibility, but doesn’t have to divide his or her spells into a bunch of specialized pools. That looks like it’s going to be reasonably well balanced.

  • In any case, the caster level of such effects is equal to the user’s level, the saving throw DC’s against them are based on the level of the spell and the user’s Constitution, and they overcome magic resistance with a roll of (1d20 + caster level + Con Mod). If the user is casting counterspells they will tend to be specifically tuned, requiring a spell of only (target spell level – 2) – but he or she can only counterspell things with appropriate themes.

And that gives us the standard comic-book mage: debonair, knowledgeable, personable (high charisma), and very tough (high constitution) for a more-or-less-normal human being with flexible magic that they nevertheless rarely use for anything minor.

If you want to be the Sorcerer Supreme, you’ll also want the Superheroic World Template and the Four-Color Superhero Package (24 CP). If you want to have a special relationship with a particular patron or group, a few more points in Augmented Bonus (Add a second characteristic modifier to your Charisma modifier with respect to a particular entity) will do it nicely.

For the minor powers? I’d go for a bit of Witchcraft. After all, a level eleven character will have at least 288 CP, and this magic system will cost less than a hundred of them even with a special modifier or two. Twenty or thirty points worth of Witchcraft can provide a wide variety of minor tricks to use when you don’t want to expend your limited supply of Entreaties.

Now, if you just want to be a trickster… don’t bother going past second or third level spells. You’ll still get decent-sized pools and more entities to call on as you go up in level, but it will be pretty cheap – and still gets you some built-in involvement in the game.

Ponies Of The Eclipse – Rockhoof, the Pillar of Strength

Faced with a dreadful emergency, a scrawny, youthful newspaper boy farmers son threw himself into attempting to save those who were endangered – refusing to stop or give up despite his having no chance whatsoever to actually handle the problem. In the face of the onrushing mortal peril his sacrifice – however willing – seemed doomed to fail. Then, in a bolt of lightning flash of light, Billy Batson the boy became the mighty Captain Marvel Rockhoof, gifted with fabulous strength, speed, and durability as long as he remains morally upright doesn’t party too much. With the strength of Hercules, the endurance and durability of Atlas and the speed of Hermes, Captain Marvel Shazam Rockhoof went on to become a mighty hero,

OK, there are some nods to Norse Runes and “Viking” motifs in there too, but Rockhoof is pretty blatantly a four-color superhero character like The Mighty Thor rather than some sort of fantasy barbarian. Classic fantasy strong men are huge, strong, and tough because they are the scions of long lines of hulking mighty men who grew up in the wilds among other great warriors, often had divine blood, eat and burn off tremendous amounts of food, and get absurd amounts of healthy outdoor exercise. They run around leaving trails of bloody corpses as they smite their opponents with massive deadly weapons because they are mighty warriors and that is what they do. Enkidu, Hercules, Conan… they didn’t suddenly become powerful out of moral authority or self-sacrifice. Neither did they start their heroic careers by digging a big ditch with a shovel or by performing any other bit of basic engineering. They battled other heroes, strangled snakes when they were mere infants, and slew great enemies as kids. Rockhoof… simply isn’t a mighty warrior. Even if Rockhoof is fairly good at fighting when he must, ponies just do not tend towards the “charge in and kill them all” style of combat. There’s a distinct absence of “Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne!“, “Blood and Souls for my Lord Arioch!“, “Lava quod est sordium!” (Cleanse that which is unclean!), “Jai Mahakali!” (Glory to Great Kali!”), or even “CROOOMMMM!!!“. Instead… you get a lot more “nice young man who made eagle scout and is currently out helping the neighbors!”.

So it’s a good thing for Rockhoof that Equestria is a superheroic world where characters get (Con Mod) points of mana to spend every round isn’t it?

As for his specific powers… Rockhoof can move a lot of earth and stone very quickly (including throwing boulders), hit really hard, jump a long ways, run very fast, and withstand major attacks. He also acquired – or at least activated – most of his power in a single moment of heroism as an adolescent or young adult rather than developing it over time like Starswirl, so it probably isn’t based on him being high level. Fortunately, with the Superheroic World Template in play, it can be based on Mana-fueled specialization at level one.

He probably got another level or two while out adventuring, but there’s not a lot of information on that – so here he is at the start of his heroic career.

Secondarily, considering the abilities displayed by Maud Pie, Big Macintosh, and various other Earth Ponies in what looks like a considerably more densely populated equestria… Rockhoof very likely isn’t actually the “strongest earth pony of all time”. While he may have been known as such in the distant past and in legends, that was without actual testing, after centuries of story-polishing, in comparison with a rather modest sample size, and (perhaps most importantly) not in a RPG full of players who dabble in character optimization. For, if you put stats on it, they will find a way to outdo them.

In any case, it’s on with the game statistics!

Rockhoof, the Pillar of Strength, Strong Man of Old Equestria

Starting (Level One, ECL 2) Athletic Superhero.

To summarize the low-level adventurer template, those affected get:

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Rockhoof we’ll take Might (a +2 bonus to his Strength) and Enduring (providing him with a +1 bonus on his Saves).

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

  • Quadruped. In general ponies are slow and have trouble moving while using tools or weapons.
  • Attribute Modifiers: -2 Dex, +2 Con. An additional +2 Con and +2 Chr are dispellable magical bonuses.
  • Damage Reduction 9/- versus both Physical and Energy Attacks, only DR 2/- versus melee attacks by living creatures.
  • Endure Elements. Ponies pretty much ignore the weather.
  • Ponies heal 1d8+1 damage per round for a round three times per day.
  • Ponies are always treated as having lots of pockets, even in the nude.
  • Ponies get minor cartoon effects, such as hair that responds to moods, blushing through fur, and so on.
  • Ponies may begin or participate in spontaneously choreographed musical numbers that provide bonuses for group tasks.
  • Have a base pool of 1d6+3 Mana, regaining 1d6 with an hours rest up to three times a day and 1-2 points per day regardless.
  • Get a +2 Racial Bonus to Perform/Sing

To Summarize the Earth Pony Modifiers:

  • Mana-Powered Berserker (+8 Str) with no fatigue. In effect, an Earth Pony with a Con of 14+ (their average) can run a continuous +8 bonus to their Strength.
  • Nature Sense (very vague save for items related to agriculture).
  • +4 to resist bull rushes and knockdowns
  • Pays half price for Rune Magic (Homesteading) Casting and Mastery, Knowledge/Nature, and Survival. (Yes, Homesteading Magic covers digging ditches, plowing fields, and so on via magic. Some appropriate spells for use with Homesteading Magic can be found under Hedge Magic – such as Plow and The Laborer’s Word). These skills also receive a +3 Racial Bonus.
  • Immunity to Fatigue and Exhaustion.
  • A +3 bonus on any one hoof-based Martial Art.

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (+18 Ber +2 Knack = 36), Dex 16 (-2 Pony = 14), Con 14 (+2 Pony, +2 M = 18), Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10 (+2 M = 12). (Pathfinder 25-point point buy).

Available Character Points: 48 (L1 Base ) + 6 (Disadvantages; History and Obligations (Pillar of Equestria)) +2 (Duties to his Village – or to wherever he adopts now) +6 (level one bonus feat) = 62 CP. Rockhoof started off Blocked – unable to spend Mana on anything but Rune Magic – so he couldn’t use his Berserker strength boost, making him pretty feeble in comparison to other Earth Ponies. But then in a desperate situation, he spent his last four character points buying that limitation off at a dramatic moment, thus activating his strength enhancement, innate enchantments, and four-color reality editing.

Basic Abilities (29 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +20 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +4 (1 x Con Mod) = 36 HP.
  • Skill Points: 12 (Purchased, 12 CP) + 0 (Int) = 12 SP

Skills:

  • Acrobatics: +1 (1 SP) +2 (Dex) +3 (Tem) = +7 (Jump +45).
  • Profession/Farmer +1 (1 SP) +0 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +4 (Includes making basic farm tools, such as replacement shovels – since he’s specifically noted as having had his destroyed many times).
  • Knowledge/Nature +2 (1* SP) +3 (Race) +0 (Int) = +5
  • Survival +2 (1* SP) +3 (Race) +0 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +8
  • Homesteading Rune Magic Casting 4 (2* SP) +3 (Race) +1 (Cha) = +8
  • Homesteading Rune Magic Mastery 4 (2* SP) +3 (Race) +1 (Cha) = +8
  • Martial Art / Jade Mountain Stance Style: 4 (SP) +3 (Race) +13 (Str) +3 (Tem) = +23.
  • Perform (Sing) +0 (0 SP) +2 (Race) +1 (Cha) -3 (Tem, Unskilled) = +0

The Jade Mountain Stance Style (Str):

  • Requires: Hooves
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Power 3, Strike, and Toughness 4.
  • Advanced Techniques: Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Improved Disarm, and Weapon Kata (Any one simple weapon or farming implement, with a preference towards pruning hooks, shovels, hand axes, and similar items).
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Ki Focus (Str), and Focused Blow.

Known Techniques (12): Attack 1, Power 1, Strike, Toughness 4, Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Weapon Kata (Shovel), Healing Hand and Inner Strength.

  • BAB +1, Specialized /Ranged Combat Only, Corrupted/Throwing stuff with shovel only (2 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +0 (0 CP) +4 (Con) +1 (Tem) = +5
    • Reflex +2 (6 CP) +2 (Dex) +1 (Tem) = +5
    • Will +0 (0 CP) +0 (Wis) +1 (Tem) = +1
  • Proficiencies: Earth Pony Reinforced Shovels (1 CP).
  • Initiative: +2 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs) +30 (Light Foot) +30 (Haste),= 100 (50 on two or three legs).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 2 (Dex) +4 (Shimmermail) = 16

Usual Weapons:

  • Unarmed: +14/+14 (+13 Str +1 Martial Art, Personal Haste), for 1d6+13, Crit 20/x2, lethal or nonlethal. 3 Attacks of Opportunity, see “Concussive Parry” below.
  • Shovel: +14/+14 (+13 Str +1 Martial Art, Personal Haste), for 1d8+13, Crit19-20/x2, lethal or nonlethal, B or S, Trip, usable as a shovel. 3 Attacks of Opportunity, see “Concussive Parry” below.

New Weapon (Pathfinder Design System): Earth Pony Reinforced Shovel. Simple, One-Handed (mouthed), Melee Weapon (6 Design Points), Additional Design Points (+1 Point, +15 GP. Earth Pony shovels need to be heavily reinforced to stand up to earth pony strength), B or S damage (1 Point), Improved Critical Threat Range (19-20, 3 Points), Improved Damage II (2 Points), Tool (Shovel, 0 Points), Special Feature (Trip, 1 Point). Net Result: Simple Weapon, Medium-Sized. Damage 1d6, Crit 19-20/x2, inflicts B or S damage, Trip Weapon, freely usable as a shovel, 20 GP.

  • Shovel-Thrown Rocks: +4/+4/+4 (+2 Dex +3 Competence -1 Rocks), 1d6+13, Crit 20/x3, Range Increment 80′. He’ll probably want to learn Finesse to base this on Str instead later on.

Other Abilities (33 CP):

  • Add Odinpower and Odinmight to his basic Berserker ability, for a total of +18 strength (+6 CP).
  • DR 2/-, versus both physical and energy attacks (3 CP).
  • Upgrade his racial Mana Pool with a form of Natural Magic (Reality Editing), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to support the user’s heroic narrative and let the user’s abilities function without normal scaling restrictions (2 CP). This is great for engineering and digging massive trenches, but so-so otherwise.
  • Concussive Parry: Opportunist (6 CP): Rockhoof may make an attack of opportunity against any attack that enters his threatened area. If his attack roll exceeds that of the attacker he can subtract the damage he “inflicts” on the attack from the damage IT would normally inflict, reducing it to a minimum of zero. If this completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates any other effects it might have, such as requiring a saving throw.
    • This is a powerful defense, but this IS a superheroic setting, so why not? In other settings it might get defined as an Inherent Spell to limit it’s uses – but a superhero will just fuel it with mana and get exactly the same result anyway.
  • Reflex Training: Can spend Mana to maintain his “Berserker” strength enhancement and his Innate Enchantments without it requiring an action of any kind – even while asleep or unconscious. Corrupted for Reduced Cost / he must do so as long as he has Mana available. (4 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment, Specialized for Increased Effect (effects are considered extraordinary abilities and cost no experience to acquire) / Requires two mana to activate for one minute. Is blatantly obvious in operation since he bulks up a lot (11,310 GP Value, 12 CP).
    • Lob (L1: The user may hurl three items at his or her full BAB and with no need for getting out or loading ammunition or for a physical weapon (or proficiency therewith). This is otherwise treated as if the user was using a medium-sized Halfling Staff Sling. Only while wielding a shovel (x.8), only for throwing rocks (x.8) = 1280 GP.
      • In general: 1d6+Str Mod bludgeoning damage and a -1 to hit for using rocks instead of bullets, Crit 20/x4, Range Increment 80 feet, requires a normal roll to hit. In combination with his Reality Editing he could also throw lots of dirt and junk to make clouds of dust and difficult terrain if he wanted to.
    • (Weapon) Mastery (Halfling Sling Staff, Cantrip): +3 Competence Bonus to BAB with a Halfling Sling Staff (or magical simulation thereof). x.7 Personal-Only (700 GP).
    • Thousand Pound Stance (Target gains a +8 versus Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, Overrun, being lifted or thrown, or similar situations, for one minute. x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP). Note that this changes the -4 Penalty for Light Foot to a +4 Bonus.
    • Resist Energy (Provides resistance 10 to all energies), x.7 Personal-Only = 1400 GP
    • Personal Haste: User gains a +30′ enhancement bonus on all movement rates and +1 attack at his or her full BAB when making a full attack (2000 GP).
    • Light Foot: User becomes very light, gaining a +30 circumstance bonus on his or her ground movement spee and, a +10 circumstance bonus on jump checks, as well as DR 10 versus Falling Damage [only]. The user is, however, considered one size category smaller in a Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, or Overrun situation. x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP.
    • Heroic Will: Protection From Evil, Personal Only (x.7), 3/Day Only (x.6), Only when the GM feels that the user is being compelled to do something against their personal code or otherwise is likely to summon a mighty surge of will to throw off possession/mind control/etc (x.25) = 210 GP.
    • Heroic Rally: Remove Fear, 2/Day Only (x.4), user must make an adequate inspiring speech (x.6) = 480 GP.
    • Coincidental Catch: Feather Fall, 2/Day Only (x.4), activates automatically (x1.5), but only works 50% of the time (x.4) = 480 GP. When a hero falls off a roof or gets dropped, there is a substantial chance that SOMETHING will happen to break his or her fall.
    • Heroic Health: Relieve Illness (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP. Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP, Lesser Restoration 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7) = 560 GP. Fast Healing I (from The Practical Enchanter, for 18 rounds, 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7)) = 560 GP.

To summarize his various defenses, he can attempt to parry incoming attacks. If he’s still hit, he has DR 6/- versus physical attacks, DR 16 versus Falling Damage, and Energy Resistance (All) 12. If damage still gets through, two points of any melee damage inflicted by a sentient being and nine points of any other damage is converted to nonlethal damage.

Rockhoof really doesn’t need a high level. Being a fairly generic good guy and using the constant flow of mana provided by the superheroic world template to fuel strength, durability, and being able to swiftly accomplish huge amounts of work makes him about the most classical type of superhero there is. He’d still be pretty dangerous in a standard game – but he’d need to spend some levels on buying mana and the ability to quickly recover it to fuel his abilities with, which would make him a fairly powerful warrior, but not a superhero.

Faster than a speeding pegasus! More powerful than an avalanche! Able to leap small hills in a single bound! Look! Up on the mountain! It’s Rockhoof!

Ponies Of The Eclipse – Starswirl The Bearded

And for today we have a special request from Alzrius…

Star Swirl The Bearded. Pillar of Sorcery. A pony who invented more spells than anyone else in history.

So what do we know about his various abilities? He…

  1. Is stated to be “the father of the amniomorphic spell”. While this implies that it’s a thing that he invented but left to others to develop fully, all we really know about the spell is that it might be a pun. (Amnio = Pot, Morph = Shaping, ergo “pot shaper” – making Starswirl the Bearded a Hairy Potter).
  2. Created a Dimensional Travel spell and device that apparently risks destroying the world if overused. Putting it into a mirror with very limited access apparently helped, but still made quite a mess later – at least until Twilight fiddled with it.
  3. Created a Destiny Switching spell that really messes up peoples lives and needed revising by someone who understood what they were doing to work properly. It MIGHT have been designed to combine ponies powers or to allow him to ascend into alicornhood or for any of several other things. Who knows?
  4. Created a Time Travel spell that was very limited use, apparently only caused closed casual loops, and which didn’t work very well. It was left to Starlight Shimmer to turn it into something more useful.
  5. Dumped the Sirens into another world for the people there to deal with. This has been shown in two versions – one involving several unsuccessful musical battles against the Sirens, the other apparently simply using his dimensional portal spell. In either case, it made a lot of trouble later.
  6. Is stated to be more powerful than Twilight – although how they’re measuring “power” is never defined.
  7. Generated a pretty good shield bubble, although the Pony Of Shadows seemed to readily shatter it.
  8. Taught various students. Whether or not he taught them WELL is quite another question.
  9. Was an arrogant insensitive jerk and really messed things up with Stygian.
  10. May have moved the sun and/or moon (there are some serious problems with the accounts), but this too apparently did not go very well.
  11. Used a candle to light the way in a cavern. Why he didn’t just make magical light is unknown. Even presuming that it was early in his career… making light seems to be a basic part of being a Unicorn.
  12. Apparently managed to turn the Changelings loose by monkeying with things that he should have left alone (something of a personal theme there).
  13. Apparently became friends with Scorpan (despite not really understanding friendship). That’s a bit weird, but maybe they had some mutual hobbies or something.
  14. He probably had a high constitution, since he seemed pretty enduring and didn’t seem to slow down much with age.

Secondarily…

  1. Given that Twilight is a fan and that Starswirl made a lot of spells, it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to guess that some of the spells she’s studied were his creations. So he might have made one or more of the Mustache, Musical Breeze, or other minor spells that she’s learned. Sadly, we’ve no further evidence on this front – and even if we did, it’s not like most of those are fabulously impressive spells. Perhaps they were early efforts?
  2. Twilight Sparkle stated that “everypony knows that Star Swirl was an expert at everything from transfiguration, [to] dimensional calibration, [and] teleportation”. On the other hand, most ponies have never heard of Starswirl, so this goes wrong in the first two words. Given that Starswirl is a legendary figure and that Twilight is a blatant fan, this statement needs to be regarded with some skepticism.
  3. In Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Forgotten Books of Autumn (a decidedly secondary source), Moon Dancer mentions the spell “Star Swirl’s Seven Safeguards”. Perhaps he felt a need for a lot of safety precautions? Of course, we’re never told what this spell did or if it worked properly. It could have been pretty much any set of defensive spells.

So… Starswirl The Bearded. Amazingly powerful magical genius? Or sloppy jerk of a magician who consistently fouls everything up? Perhaps both? After all, they’re hardly mutually exclusive – and there is something that connects them. We are explicitly told that Starswirl never understood friendship. And isn’t “Friendship is Magic” a bit of a theme on the show?

In Equestria, failing to understand Friendship is failing to understand Magic.

And with that we have consistency; Starswirl had experience. He had raw power. He had intelligence. He was experimentative and inventive – but he was a solitary medieval-style wizard. He used rules-of-thumb, ill-understood and unconnected theorems (some doubtless quite wrong), and intuitive leaps to design his spells – so it’s not surprising that his forays into designing major spells had considerable problems. It’s the same reason why so many cathedrals collapsed (often more than once) while they were being built; the architects were trying to scale up from smaller buildings by rule-of-thumb, rather than really knowing what they were doing.

So:

Starswirl The Bearded.

ECL 7 (including +1 ECL racial template) Unicorn Pony Sorcerer.

Starswirl was unlucky. While he was born with an enormous well of magical power, it was actually too much; it overwhelmed the instinctual spells that Unicorns usually had available and left him unable to do anything EXCEPT have wild surges long past his early childhood. As a foal, Starswirl was forced to study magic intensively, and explore exotic methods of casting spells, simply to keep up with other Unicorn foals and get some use out of his power. Still, while he wound up socially isolated, that intensive focus allowed him to eventually learn to harness his raw power – and to channel it into an ever-expanding array of powerful effects, far beyond what any normal unicorn could ever be expected to master.

As an adult, Starswirl found himself respected, but still isolated and without friends. Worse, his somewhat erratic greater abilities often frightened those around him. Unsurprisingly, he took to wandering – exploring foreign lands, meeting people that he hadn’t frightened, seeking out ever more exotic magic, and cultivating his power.

He would return to Equestria more than a century and a half later, to find the population arguing and the realm under siege by various perils. He helped move the sun and moon, took apprentices, taught a youthful Celestia and Luna, and eventually passed on his celestial duties to them – and when they took charge took to wandering the land helping to drive back the monsters. He would eventually be recruited by Stygian as one of the Pillars of Equestria – but his old inability to deal with people fouled up that relationship as well, leading to him and the other pillars being quite unnecessarily trapped for somewhat more than a thousand years (timekeeping was sort of difficult while Discord was in charge: various accounts place the duration of his reign at anywhere from “about an hour” to “several thousand years”. He apparently saw no need for the passage of time to be at all consistent).

To summarize the low-level adventurer template, those affected get:

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Starswirl we’ll take Evasive (a +2 bonus to his AC) and Enduring (providing him with a +1 bonus on his Saves).

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

  • Quadruped. In general ponies are slow and have trouble moving while using tools or weapons.
  • Attribute Modifiers: -2 Dex, +2 Con. An additional +2 Con and +2 Chr are dispellable magical bonuses.
  • Damage Reduction 9/- versus both Physical and Energy Attacks, only DR 2/- versus melee attacks by living creatures.
  • Endure Elements. Ponies pretty much ignore the weather.
  • Ponies heal 1d8+1 damage per round three times per day.
  • Ponies are always treated as having lots of pockets, even in the nude.
  • Ponies get minor cartoon effects, such as hair that responds to moods, blushing through fur, and so on.
  • Ponies may begin or participate in spontaneously choreographed musical numbers that provide bonuses for group tasks.
  • Have a base pool of 1d6+3 Mana, regaining 1d6 with an hours rest up to three times a day and 1-2 points per day regardless.
  • Get a +2 Racial Bonus to Perform/Sing

Here we have a small problem: a Basic Pony’s Mana is “Specialized/only usable with innate racial talents” and “Corrupted/no natural magic option”. The Unicorn Template buys off the Corruption, but Starswirl needs to be able to use his Mana with learned abilities – so he needs to replace that racial specialization with with Corrupted / Only usable for Spell Enhancement” at a net cost of 2 CP.

To Summarize The Unicorn Subrace Modifiers:

  • Occult Talent provides their usual minor spellcasting – but in Starswirls case this is Blocked.
  • Immunity/Being unable to Concentrate on more than one thing at a time (covering up to three tasks and/or spells of up to level three at any one time).
  • Upgrade their basic Mana supply with the Spell Enhancement Natural Magic option.
  • Metamagic: Amplify / Only applies to Occult Talent abilities.

This is another item that needs upgrading. In Starswirls case it needs to apply to both his Path Of The Dragon effects and Inherent Spell – but since he’s taking them to build his own magic system that’s allowable. It will, however, cost another 4 CP.

  • A +2 Racial Bonus to Knowledge/Arcana (2 CP).
  • +2 Intelligence/-2 Strength.
  • One Bonus Feat.
  • Executive, Corrupted for Increased Effect (add the user’s Int Mod to his or her effective level of use)/requires 2 Mana/hour to power. Unicorns are good at coordinating groups, and can provide substantial bonuses.

Basic Attributes: Str 8 (-2 Unicorn = 6), Dex 12 (-2 Pony = 10), Con 18 (+2 Level +4 Pony = 24), Int 16 (+2 Unicorn +2 Age = 20), Wis 10 (+2 Age = 12), Chr 8 (+2 Pony +2 Age = 12). (Pathfinder 25 Point Buy).

Starwswirl is Old, even with his extended lifespan. He thus would normally suffer –3 to Str, Dex, and Con while gaining a +2 to Int, Wis, and Cha. Fortunately for him, he is capable of casting Greater Age Resistance daily – effectively negating his aging penalties.

Available Character Points: 168 (Level Six Base) +10 (Disadvantages: Incompetent (-3 on all Social Skills), History, and Blocked (Starswirl does not get the usual innate Unicorn spells; he had to develop them), Compulsive (defender of Equestria)) +30 (Unicorn and L1, L3, L5, and L7 Bonus Feats) = 208 CP.

Basic Abilities (95 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +29 (L2-L6d6, 10 CP) +26 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +49 (7 x Com Mod) = 116 HP.
  • Skill Points: 17 (Purchased, 17 CP) + 45 (Int) + 18 (Fast Learner) = 80 SP
  • BAB +3 (18 CP), +2 BAB Specialized (only with spells and rays, 6 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +4 (12 CP) +7 (Con) +1 (Tem) = +12
    • Reflex +3 (9 CP) +0 (Dex) +1 (Tem) = +4
    • Will +3 (9 CP) +1 (Wis) +1 (Tem) = +5
  • Proficiencies: Light Armor (3 CP) and Simple Weapons (3 CP).
  • Initiative: +0 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs, 20 on three or less).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 0 (Dex) +2 (Tem) +4 (Armor; Chain Shirt Equivalent) +3 (Martial Art) = 19

Normally I’d note some of his usual attacks here – but Starswirl is very much a primary caster, so they really don’t matter much.

Other Abilities (113 CP):

  • Racial Ability Upgrades (Noted Above, 6 CP).
  • Block (Arcane) with Master (DC reduced to 15) (12 CP):
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
  • Adept (6 CP): Half Price for Craft (Alchemy), a Ray Mastery Martial Art, Spellcraft, and Survival.
  • Adept (6 CP): Half Price for Knowledge/Arcana, Geography, History, and the Planes.

Skills:

  • Craft (Alchemy)+9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +17
  • Heal +4 (4 SP) +1 (Wis) = +5.
  • Intimidate +3 (3 SP) +1 (Cha) -3 (Incompetent) = +1
  • Knowledge/Arcana +9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +17
  • Knowledge/Geography+9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) = +14
  • Knowledge/History+9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +17
  • Knowledge/Nature +9 (9 SP) +5 (Int) = +14
  • Knowledge/The Planes+9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) = +14
  • Linguistics +9 (9 SP) +5 (Int) = +14
  • Perception +9 (9 SP) +1 (Wis) = +10
  • Perform (Singing) +5 (5 SP) +1 (Cha) +2 (Pony) -3 (Incompetent) = +5
  • Profession (Sailor) +4 (4 SP) +1 (Wis) = +5
  • Ray Master+9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +17
  • Spellcraft+9 (4 SP*) +5 (Int) +2 (Unicorn) +3 (Tem) +2 (Syn) = +21
  • Survival+9 (4 SP*) +1 (Wis)
    • Specific Knowledges: Equestria In The Pre-Discordian Era (1 SP), Races Of The Pre-Discordian Era (1 SP).
    • +3 Skill Specialties: Spellcraft/Spell Research (1 SP), Spellcraft/Celestial Manipulation (1 SP), Knowledge/Arcana/Exotic Magical Systems (1 SP).
    • Martial Arts Abilities (9): Attack +2, Defenses +3, Synergy/Spellcraft, Mind LIke Moon, Inner Strength, and Healing Hand. Starswirl isn’t much of a healer, but in an emergency he can do a bit of it. It is extremely draining if he does too much though.

This comes to 80 skill points.

  • Occult Contacts x 3 (Celestia, Luna, Scorpan, 6 CP). Starswirl may be a cranky old man, and has had is arguments with all three of these folks – but they know him, will listen to him, and generally feel that he’s owed something. Note that, if Scorpan is no longer around, Starswirl will soon pick up a new powerful contact – most likely Twilight Sparkle.
  • Privilege: Crown Stipend (3 CP). Starswirl is effectively retired, and his (reasonable) expenses are covered by the Equestrian Crown.
  • Create Artifact (6 CP). Starswirl is capable of creating potent magical devices, but it usually involves quests and enormous amounts of trouble.
  • Mystic Link with Communications, Specialized and Corrupted/his notes and journals automatically record a great deal of information about his adventures, notes on his various spells, and other information. Even when he has little time to update them, they are generally quite complete. Sadly, there is no direct communication, they tend to require extensive study to decipher, and important bits may be scattered all over the place – although as long as any fragment of his journals survives, the rest can always be found and recovered (2 CP).
  • Life Extension: Immunity / Age (Uncommon, Major, Minor, 4 CP). Starswirl has lived a great deal longer than the average pony, and has a good long time to go.
  • Action Hero / Invention, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / only to invent spells, spells with base levels beyond what a Unicorn could use “naturally” (via Occult Talent) are invariably flawed – with dangerous environmental side effects, being partially uncontrollable, or other similar problems, spells are very difficult for others to study and learn (20 CP). At level six this means that he’s had a total of 510 action points to spend on creating spells.
  • Shaping and Pulse Of The Dragon, both Specialized / only as prerequisites (6 CP).
  • Heart Of The Dragon, may cast L0 and L1 spells (powered by Mana), Specialized and Corrupted / can only cast spells that he has personally researched (at a cost of 1 Action Point per L0 spell and 2 per L1 Spell), while he may use additional Mana to boost the effects as Unicorns usually do, each additional boosted spell in the sequence must also be researched – albeit as a L0 (if starting with a L0 effect) or L1 (if starting with a L1) effect (6 CP). As usual for a Unicorn, he needs to have his horn free to cast his spells.

Known Level Zero Spell Sequences (0-3 Mana, 4 AP per sequence, 13 sequences – 52 AP).

  1. Message. (Boosted: L1) Enhance Backround Music, L2) Whispering Wind, L3) Gust of Wind).
  2. Dancing Lights. (Boosted: L1) Light, L2) Scorching Ray, L3) Fireball).
  3. Daze. (Boosted: L1) Daze Animal, L2) Daze Monster, L3) Daze 1d4 Monsters),
  4. Detect Magic. (Boosted: L1) Identify, L2) Greater Detect Magic, L3) Witness).
  5. Spellcraft Mastery (+3 competence bonus for ten minutes per level). (Boosted: L1) Ray Mastery (+3 Competence Bonus to hit with Rays for one minute/level), L2) Sidestep (+2 Competence B0nus to all Saves for 10 minutes/Level), L3) Celestial Intervention (+30 Competence Bonus to Spellcraft rolls to manipulate the heavens in realms where this is possible)
  6. Moustache. (Boosted: L1) Disguise Self, L2) Disguise Other, L3) Adjustable Disguise).
  7. Drench. (Boosted: L1) Hydraulic Push, L2) Flurry Of Snowballs, L3) Hydraulic Torrent).
  8. Alter Scent. (Boosted: L1) Cleansing Sphere, L2) Instant Campsite, L3) Nauseating Trail.
  9. Breeze. (Boosted: L1) Alter Winds, L2) Gusting Sphere, L3) Wind Wall).
  10. Lullaby. (Boosted: L1) Sleep, L2) Calm Emotions, L3) Deep Slumber).
  11. Virtue. (Boosted: L1) Phantom Blood, L2) Heroism, L3) False Life (Lasts up to one day).
  12. Sift. (Boosted: L1 Detect Chaos, L2) See Invisibility, L3) Arcane Sight).
  13. Dust Cloud, (Boosted: L1) Grease, L2) Glitterdust, L3 Ash Storm).

Known Level One Spell Sequences (1-4 Mana, 8 AP each, 9 Sequences = 72 AP):

  1. Dispelling Touch (Boosted: L2) Dispelling Ray, L3) Dispel Magic, L4) Ruin Delvers Fortune).
  2. Greater Mage Hand. (Boosted: L2) Telekinetic Volley, L3) Telekinetic Maneuver, L4) Mass Unseen Servant).
  3. Obscuring Mist (Boosted: L2) Fog Cloud, L3) Stinking Cloud, L4) Hallucinogenic Smoke).
  4. Benign Transposition (Boosted: (L2) Baleful Transposition, L3) Dimension Step, L4) Dimension Door)
  5. Stand (Boosted: (L2) Dimension Hop, L3) Swipe (Pathfinder), L4) Dream Walk).
  6. Wizard’s Pack (The Practical Enchanter) (Boosted: L2) Knights Move, L3) Blink, L4) Dimensional Anchor).
  7. Barrier (Immediate Action, 5×5 Force Wall absorbs up to 20 damage, similar to Stone Shield). (Boosted: L2: Barrier Dome (As per Barrier, but protects a small group), L3) Greater Barrier Dome (as per Barrier Dome, but up to 40 damage), L4) Lesser Globe Of Invulnerability.
  8. Magic Missile (Boosted: L2) Spiritual Weapon, L3) Force Punch, L4) Resilient Sphere).
  9. Spell Focus (+3 to Caster Level for next spell), (Boosted: L2 Alchemical Tinkering, L3, Amplify Elixir, L4: Silent Arcane Concordance).

Starswirls Greater Magics are bought as Mana-Powered Inherent Spells. While these can be boosted as usual for Unicorn Ponies, each effect costs one mana per level of the effect (instead of 2 + 1 to 3 for boosts). must be researched at a cost of (2 AP per level of each spell in the sequence), and becomes unstable and dangerous once he exceeds what he can safely cast (ECL / 2, Rounded Up – currently 4). His Inherent Spells are thus considered Specialized.

Amniomorphic Magics (6 CP, 80 AP):

  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell I: L3) Cosmetic Shift (permanently alters minor details, such as hair color). (Boosted: L4) Elemental Body I, L5) Geniekind, L6) Sonic Form).
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell II: L4) Aspect of the Wolf. (Boosted: L5) Baleful Polymorph, L6) Extended Polymorph (lasts 10 minutes/level), L7) Greater Age Resistance.

Dimensional Magics (12 CP, 192 AP):

  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Corrupted/costs 1 Mana per spell level, not just 2 (4 CP): L3) Dimensional Grotto (The Practical Enchanter, Spacewarp with the Supportive modifier). (Boosted: L4) Greater Blink (this version costs 1 extra Mana), L5) Teleport, L6) Baleful Teleport)
  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell II, Corrupted/costs 1 Mana per spell level, not just 2 (4 CP): L4) Bard’s Escape (Pathfinder, costs +1 Mana). (Boosted:, L5) Precipitate Minor Breach, L6) Mass Planar Adaption (Pathfinder), L7) Greater Teleport).
  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell III, Corrupted/costs 1 Mana per spell level, not just 2 (4 CP): L5) Plane Shift, (Boosted: L6: Tactical Teleportation, L7) Teleport Object, L8) Maze).
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell IV: L6) Tides Of Time (Limited Time Travel; Creates Closed Casual Loops only), L7) Gravatic Sphere (60′ Radius), L8) Destiny Exchange (the cutie-mark exchange spell). L9) Time Stop.

Starswirls spell lists cost a total of 396 AP and contain some 112 spells. He has enough AP left to have created another 64 cantrips and additional 25 first level spells (albeit with no further boosted versions unless you buy him some more action points), for a total of 201 spells (“More than two hundred spells!”). It also contains a number of spells at the higher end that are beyond what he can safely control even if he didn’t have that limitation already built in – which makes them very likely to go wrong indeed. Personally, I’d assume that he has the full list of level zero and level one Hedge Magic spells, another 31 assorted Cantrips, and four more first level spells of choice.

Equipment: Equestria is normally considered to be a world of Literary Magic Items – allowing the use of Charms, Talismans, and Relics. Starswirl doesn’t seem to use any Relics – and Charms and Talismans are kind of redundant for him; he doesn’t need minor magical conveniences, he has an immense array of magical powers with no real usage limitation. A few bits of normal equipment (most notably the pony equivalent of a Chain Shift and various basic supplies) can be presumed, but Ponies usually aren’t too big on equipment either. I could make his Bells minor relics of some sort – perhaps they’re relics that provide protection from particular major threats – but there’s really nothing to justify it.

In Equestria, with the Superheroic World Template in play, Starswirl is on the boundary of demigodhood. Sure, his most potent spells cost him some of his personal Mana to cast (and so can’t be used very often even if they DID work reliably) – but he’s a powerful, experienced, superheroic mage. He’s not quite up to competing with Dr Strange, Dr Fate, the Dread Dormammu, Black Adam, or the superheroic versions of Merlin and Morgan Le Fey – but he’s definitely up there with Magick, Agatha Harkness, Mordred The Mystic, Shaman, Zatanna, and the other second-tier types. About all he needs is the four-color template and a couple more levels and he’d break into the top tier.

Without the Superheroic World Template this build really will not work unless you tack on three to five levels devoted to building up a nice big Mana Pool and lots of Rite Of Chi to recover it – at which point you have a rather specialized mage who mostly uses lower-end spells but who has access to a few higher-level and quite expensive spells in emergencies. That’s not even a particularly exotic build.

Adventurers Of The Anomaly – oAllandras Rasil de’Radoen Van Des-Prosium de’Taliaemente’ ip Carthoran

And here we have an extremely complicated character – an Eclipse conversion of a higher-level character from an old Continuum II campaign exported to the Anomaly setting – which is, in itself, probably far too complicated. Allowing characters from virtually any setting to interact will get that way.

I would probably have recommended something simpler for a first Eclipse character – but who am I to argue with nostalgia?

The open road. Fresh air and soaring birds. No walls, just limitless skies and distant horizons. The sound of the wheels turning over the bumps in the road, urging the horses onward, the dogs rushing through the brush,leaving irate parents yelling threats as they discover what you’ve been doing with their cuter daughters, a belly full of good food, and a purse full of coin. There was no better feeling for a wanderer – or at least not for him. Something about the open road had always called to him, it felt like home. Besides, the customers were out there. He might no longer need to rely on scams, but there was only so much of a market for magical trinkets in any one place.

It felt good to finally be on the road again. He’d spent far too long apprenticed to the mages guild and spending all his time in one city – but (in the time that wasn’t spent with friends or frantically avoiding marriage) there had been so much to learn. Runes and sigils, the dragonlore, anchoring, crafting, and mastering his knack for opening the doors between realms, to link distant places, and to bind energies together. Well, OK, maybe master was a bit strong a word – but at least he’d learned and practiced enough to significantly reduce the chances of accidentally killing himself, or the local countryside, whenever he messed around with his dimensional magics.

And linking had come in really handy that time he accidentally gated to the desert instead of the arctic. Or when Chandra’s father came home early. Or when the guards showed up while he was selling those spices that totally fell off a wagon somewhere on a dusty road well outside of town and that nobody else had come across before he did, honest. And when Sharae’s husband didn’t stay out drinking as long as expected. And… well, a good escape route was a great thing. Plus, being able to woo women and find lost property to sell in places outside your base of operations made it much easier to keep a good reputation at home, as well as not have to drop out of school.

Anyway. The road. A new wagon, recently made to his specifications. Months carving in all the runes to strengthen it and make sure it was anchored to him so he could always access it and find his way back to it. Plenty of cargo to sell: he’d spent a fair bit of time turning standard open air market vendor trash into magical trinkets that even worked as advertised. Charms to keep clothes clean, fit, and well-mended. Amulets to keep youngsters from becoming young parents. Pitchers that kept beverages cool, plates that kept food warm, brooms with cleaning charms, sponges that actually removed stains. Enough to keep him fairly respectable.

Mind you, it didn’t count his supply of fireball darts, sleeping powder, lock picks of opening, soft soled boots of climbing, delayed alarm buttons, illusory fireworks, and various other gadgets – but only adventurers usually wanted those, and they were never a reliable market. He’d used some himself though – such as when Isabel’s father put his daughters art studio at the top of a tower – but it was better not to need to!

Anyway, up ahead was the nexus he’d come to find. A shortcut to bypass some of the open road that was known to be a bit more, problematic for lone travelers. He had defenses of course, his rod of force, and wand of light, a few fireball darts (not too potent, but enough to scare off the easily discouraged), a bag of pepper, some minor combat skills if they got in close, and of course as a last resort, he had a crossbow and dagger (even if he had little idea of how to use htem). But why risk it if this bit of the old roadways would get him over to the other side of the mountains immediately? The crops had been poor over there this year, and his load of grain and vegetables should fetch a pretty good price. And lumber. After all, he’d had some space left and the forest was just sitting around and wouldn’t miss a few trees.

Right, there was the nexus… push on those energies there, right, portals open. And in we go…

Allandras is something of an oddity, having left the clan to study in the Mageocracy of Cisnaud. While he could always return, his time amidst the great magi and the merchants guilds have fanned the flames of both ambition and greed. Seeing the raw power of the Arch-magi, and the chests of gold – and even promissory notes, when so much gold would be difficult to carry – has shown him that he wants those things as well. Power and Wealth are there for the taking; the streets teem with tales of adventurers gaining both – and both shall be his as well!

He hasn’t much direct power-handling capacity – but Allandras has a knack for using rituals involving dimensions/gates, and binding/linking,which has served him well. He plans to use it to short circuit a lot of travel time that his competitors have to take. He’s not above a bit of larceny, and there’s not much he wouldn’t consider selling, depending on local rules/mores/and black market availability – but he isn’t in such a rush as to take stupid risks. His training in the guild rapidly focused on his gifts as a crafter, but he rapidly because unsatisfied when he realized that he did best with relatively minor enchantments. Still, that has allowed him to make a host of different items so that he almost always has what he needs with more to sell.

Naturally enough, when adventuring he relies on his items – his Wand of Light, Rod of Force, Fireball Darts, Lockpicks of Opening, Boots of Climbing, and a wide variety of spell tokens in one form or another. A Caravan means that he doesn’t have to walk – and makes pulling out heaps of goods look a lot more plausible (and reduces suspicion of illusion).

Some of the talents from his upbringing still serve him well though. An ear for languages that turned into an ability with tongues, great for a traveling merchant. From Esmelia an appreciation for dance, and song. And while his voice doesn’t yet influence people the way hers did, it’s enough to help attract customers and put them at ease in the market place.

So, a wagon more full of good than can reasonably fit in a couple of them, some gear that looks finer than it is, an assortment of trinkets for sale and use, an ability to start crafting more valuable items, both artistic, useful, and magical, which will get stronger over time.


Characters in the Anomaly setting all get the Low-Level Adventurer Template, 24 CP worth of abilities drawn from their home dimension, a racial template that spends most or all of the points available for a baseline species, 25-point Pathfinder Point Buy attributes, and a starting level of two. That’s enough to make them pretty formidable in their own ways.

The Low-Level Adventurer Template provides:

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active psionic or magical skills. These are, however, considered to be natural skill ranks.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents or “knacks” appropriate to their home universe – one Class-A (roughly equivalent to the effects of a first level spell or power) and one Class-B (roughly equivalent to the effects of a cantrip).
  • In his case these are Enduring Health (+2 Constitution) and Mage Sense (Detect Magic).

Characters will be using the Condensed Skill List, complete with the various skills special functions. These may, however, be adjusted for world or origin; Sci-fi characters rarely spellcast, but often have other special talents. Skill Checks are normally made on 3d6, and characters may “take 15″ instead of “20″. They are normally assumed to get a “5″ for passive checks, such as to notice something in passing.

Malavon (His Dimensional Origin and Birthright) World Laws grant him…

  • Flux Tapping: Characters from Malavon do not need sleep or rest to replenish their abilities: they can tap into the energy flux from hyperspace, or into subspace, that occurs at dawn or dusk. They tend to be limited by how much power they can store and handle, rather than by how much is available to tap into. In d20 that’s Immunity/The need to sleep or rest to recover “daily uses” of powers and abilities (Common, Minor, Grand, 12 CP).
  • Use of Charms and Talismans: Shaping, Corrupted and Specialized for increased (level one and possibly weak level two) effects/can only produce effects for which the user has the appropriate foci ready, can only support a limited number (seven and three) of minor charms and more notable talismans at one time, charms and talismans are modestly expensive and take some time to attune for use (6 CP).
    • Usual Charms: Alchemists Flask (easily fractionate or extract chemical), Contraceptive Charm, Dust of Illusion (produces minor illusions), Ice Chest (keeps things cold), Mandarin’s Pin (stay fresh and clean), Merasian Vapors (instant makeovers), and a Vanishing Cloak (grants a few seconds of invisibility up to (3 + L/3) times daily. .
    • Usual Talismans: Bracers of Hurling (throw small items with the speed and accuracy of a light crossbow), Preserving Chest (Closet, keeps thins from spoiling), and Shimmermail (+4 Armor Bonus to AC, no encumbrance or penalties).
  • Use of Relics: Double Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics for Increased Effect, may use up to 4 CP worth of relics at any one time (6 CP).

As an adventurer with some history – but without the skill to make major relics – Allandras has one minor item (The Favor of the Rom: Provides Fortune (Reflex Saves) and Luck Specialized in Saving Throws – allowing him to take no damage on a successful Reflex save and to either reroll a save or “take 20″ in advance once per day. The other three points are usually used with his Artificer ability to get more limited-use gadgets.

Racial Template: Fantasy Human (31 CP / +0 ECL).

  • Highly Adaptable: Racial Bonus Feat (6 CP).
  • The Quick And The Dead: Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP)
  • Narrative Skills: May roll a skill check without a penalty if an attempt to describe how he or she is resolving a relevant situation does not work out (Opportunist, 6 CP).
  • Pacts and Blessings: Double Enthusiast, Specialized in Innate Enchantments for increased effect (up to 3500 GP effective value) and Corrupted for Increased Effect (the user need not worry about the XP cost of these innate enchantments) (6 CP).
    • 3500 GP isn’t very much – but it does suffice for a couple of first level effects and a Cantrip. Due to the dangers of the road, Allandras is currently maintaining Force Shield I (+4 Shield Bonus to AC), a +2 Enhancement Bonus to Wisdom, and Resistance (+1 Resistance Bonus to Saves).
  • Social Ties: Fantasy Humans come in tightly-knit clans, guilds, gangs, and other organizations. Hermits… are rare, generally considered insane, and highly vulnerable. Ergo, these humans get 7 CP worth of social benefits – privileges, contacts, favors, and reputation, or similar items (7 CP). He has…
    • Minor Privilege: Allandras is an obvious wandering merchant, and will be accepted as such pretty much anywhere he goes (3 CP).
    • 1 Contact with the Well-Travelled Modifier. Given 1d4 days Allandras can find a standard level Contact of his choice somewhere in the local area (4 CP). This also applies to the three bonus contacts from his Socialize skill.

Available Character Points: 72 (L2 Base) +6 Disadvantages (History, Compulsive / sees pretty much everything in terms of business, always looking for a potential profit) +12 (Human and L1 Bonus Feat) = 90 CP. Currently has 4 CP as experience, and so is considered to have started L3.

Basic Attributes (Pathfinder 25-Point Buy): Str 9, Dex 14, Con 12 (+2 Knack = 14), Int 18, Wis 10 (+2 Enh = 12), and Cha 12

Known Languages: Tradetongue (“Common”), Elvish, Aeran, Draconic, and one of choice.

Basic Abilities (23 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 6 (L1d6, 2 CP) +6 (L2d6, 2 CP) + [12 +4 (2 x Con Mod), Template] +6 (3 x Con Mod; he hasn’t put points into his L3 HD as of yet, so it starts as a d0 – but still counts) = 34 Hit Points.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 2 (Dex) +4 (Shimmermail) +4 (Force Shield) +2 (Martial Art) = 22
  • Initiative: +2 (Dex).
  • Move: 30′
  • Proficiencies: Staves (1 CP).
  • Skill Points: 24 (Int Mod x 6) + 12 (Fast Learner) + 6 (Purchased, 6 CP) = 42 SP.
  • BAB +0 (0 CP)
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +1 (3 CP) +2 (Con) +1 (Res) = +4
    • Reflex +1 (3 CP) +2 (Dex) +1 (Res) +1 (Per) = +5
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +1 (Wis) +1 (Res) = +4

Special Abilities:

  • Adept (Appraise, Deception, Persuasion, and Socialize, 6 CP)
  • Adept (Local Knowledge, Perception, Perform, and Scholar, 6 CP).

Skills:

  • Appraise +6 (3* SP) +4 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +13. Effectively gain +20% on treasure.
  • Craft +4 (6 SP) +4 (Int) = +8
    • Covers: Armorer, Carver, Etcher, Jeweler, Smith, Tailor, and Wainwright.
  • Deception +6 (3* SP) +1 (Cha) +3 (Tem) = +10.
  • Local Knowledge +4 (3* SP) +4 (Int) = +8
  • Martial Art (Unarmed) +6 (6 SP) +2 (Dex) = +8
    • Covers Strike, Defenses 2, and Versatility.
  • Perception +6 (3* SP) +1 (Wis) = +7. Provides +1 on Reflex Saves.
  • Persuasion +6 (3* SP) +1 (Cha) +3 (Tem) = +10
  • Perform +6 (3* SP) +1 (Cha) = +7
    • Covers: Dance, Oratory, Seduction, Singing, Strings, +2 Additional.
  • Profession/Merchant +6 (6 SP) +1 (Wis) = +7
  • Scholar +6 (3* SP) +4 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +13. Provides +2 levels worth of any one Favored Foe or Favored Enemy variant. Since this is likely to provide bonuses to various forms of crafting or merchandising, this will be determined in play.
  • Socialize +6 (3* SP) +1 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +10. Provides +3 Bonus Contacts.
  • Use Magic Device +4 (6 SP) +1 (Cha) = +5

Allandras is just below the threshold to get special abilities from several of his skills. He should achieve it for several of them next level.

  • Intuitive Linguist: Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only for languages, but allows two, languages can be changed at a moments notice with a use of Comprehend Languages (3 CP).
  • Dimensional Ritualist: Inherent Spell, Specialized for Increased Effect (Level Six Base) / requires a 15-30 minute ritual. (Level Six Greater Invocation of Dimensional Manipulation, produces any arcane dimension-warping effect of up to level five. 6 CP), plus Four Bonus Uses, Specialized the same way but for reduced cost (3 CP).
    • Normally he maintains a small pocket dimension linked to his caravan or to an unfolding pouch or some such – Spacewarp (L2, +1 for 1 Day/Caster Level, +1 for Mobile, and +1 for Furnished. His space is about 50 x 60 x 10, and comes with racks, tables, a magical workshop, and so on. Other ritual applications include keying gates, plane shifting, joining dimensional caravans, putting a similar pocket dimension in his wagon (if he doesn’t feel like carrying it, the same modifiers apply), setting up a Dimension Door escape on a delayed trigger, and similar tricks.
  • Linking Ritualist: Inherent Spell, Specialized for Increased Effect (Level Six Base) / requires a 15-30 minute ritual. (Level Six Greater Invocation of Linking Magic, produces any arcane linking effects of up to level five. 6 CP), plus Four Bonus Uses, Specialized the same way but for reduced cost (3 CP).
    • Linking magic is a bit of a specialized field, but it’s good for locating things, establishing local dimensional overlays, communications, binding things together (whether that means holding a rockslide stable or causing an opponent to split incoming damage with you), and tapping into various power sources. His most common use is to toughen his Caravan – and to link himself to it so that he can always find it again.
  • Dragonfire Forgemaster (24 CP): Path Of The Dragon: Shaping (allows endless Prestidigitation, 6 CP), Way Of The Artificer: Charmsmith (allows the crafting of very trivial magic items, as well as Charms and Talismans for those who can use them, with sales prices of 20-50 GP, 6 CP), SpellForging (allows the crafting of items with a cost of up to 4000 GP, 6 CP), and Harvest Of Artifice (the first 100 XP worth of item crafting each month does not cost any XP, 6 CP).
  • Expert Artificer (10 CP). Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make limited-use items (Apply “Specialized / Does Not Recover to the items created, only select abilities that normally offer a limited number of daily uses) costing a maximum of 3 CP each, only using points from Enthusiast (2 CP) and Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (provides four floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / points may only be used with Create Relic, limited as above. Taken twice (8 CP).

This package turns various limited-use innate magical abilities into charms, fetishes, potions, dusts, bags that “contain” spells, strange crystals, and even quasi-technological gadgets. At the moment, his stockpile consists of

  • Fireball Darts (5 uses of Fireball, 1 Point). Sadly only 3d6 and prone to malfunctions.
  • Lockpicks of Opening (6 uses of Knock, 1 Point). .
  • Boots of Climbing (6 uses of Spider Climb, 1 Point).
  • Dusts of Vision and Sleep (6 uses of Minor Image and 6 uses of Sleep, 1 Point).
  • Dusts of Earth and Fire (6 uses of Entangle and 6 uses of Produce Flame, 1 Point).
  • Wand of Light (14 uses of Cure Light Wounds and 14 uses of Color Spray, 1 Point).
  • Rod of Force (6 uses of Magic Missile and 6 uses of “Hydraulic Push”, 1 Point).
  • Pouch of Tricks (6 uses of Grease and six uses of Magic Mouth, 1 Point)
  • A pot of Curative Ointment (3 Points).

Yes, this comes out to 11 CP worth of items instead of 8. That’s because he’s using the three points left over in the personal relic allotment that comes from his Malavon Birthright.

Major Equipment:

As a traveling merchant with a multitude of ways to make money, Allandras gets to start off with level three wealth-by-level instead of level two – and so gets 3000 GP worth of gear. In addition, since he can make items of up to 4000 GP value, qualifying magic items are half cost.

  • Prehensile Cloak (Original): Can act as a third arm or be used with any “unarmed” martial art without having to take a special ability to do so (1000 (500) GP).
  • Healing Belt (MIC, 750 (375) GP) 3 charges/ day, spend 1/2/3 as a standard action to heal 2d8/3d8/4d8 and +2 to Heal checks.
  • Phantom Mill (The Practical Enchanter, 2000 (1000) GP) Provides a small legion of Unseen Servants.
  • Two-person furnished Caravan (Horse or Mule-drawn). Includes built-in seats, cabinets, and wardrobe, a two person bunk in the rear, chest of drawers (the top serves as a table), larder, wine rack, glass-fronted china cabinet, and shelves with bars to keep things from falling off (these are on hinges, and can serve as a door for his extradimensional warehouse). Small windows and a skylight allow for light in the daytime, at night there are brackets for oil lamps. There is a small porch on each end. Racks and cases along the outside fold out to provide storage for trade goods, a set of masterwork artisans tools and a workbench, a small forge, and a wide variety of storage spaces and barrels. An assortment of minor items – pots and pans, water tank, supply of foodstuffs (about a months worth for one), clothing, bedding, an (average) door lock, soap, and similar miscellany – is included at a net cost of 350 GP (Caravan 250, Tools 55, minor goods 45).
  • Minor Adventuring Gear: explorers outfit (and a spare), rope, grapples, a couple of flasks of oil, staff, light crossbow and bolts, a lantern, small metal mirror, ritual pouch, small prybar, a pair of mules, sacks, two knives, twine, wire, paper, pens, and ink, wax, chalk, etc. 175 GP.
  • Materials and trade goods: 600 GP.

Allandras hasn’t much of any direct spellcasting (picking up Power Words to store his ritual effects might be a good idea), but he does have an extensive arsenal of magical gadgets – and can easily provide gadgets, transport, and support for an entire party. That’s well worth investing his first couple of levels in. Direct magic – or whatever else he chooses to do – can come later.

For some examples of things that you can make with the Expert Artificer package:

  • Spell Talismans:
    • Innate Spell with Multiple Uses:
      • Two L1 Effects: 6 Uses Each (1 CP), 14 Uses Each (2 CP), 22 Uses Each (3 CP).
      • L2 Effect: 6 Uses (1 CP), 14 Uses (2 CP), 22 Uses (3 CP).
      • L3 Effect: 5 Uses (1 CP), 13 Uses (2 CP), 21 Uses (3 cp).
      • Related L3 and L4 Effect (1 CP), either 5 Uses of Each or a Related L5 and L6 Effect (2 CP), 9 Uses Each of a related L3 and L4 effect (3 CP).
      • Related Set: One effect of each level 3-7 (3 CP).
    • Unfortunately, this doesn’t bypass the level requirements for using innate spells, so low-level artificers must wait a while before using the high-level stuff. On the other hand, there’s nothing at all wrong with taking along a plentiful supply of Multiplying Shuriken (Magic Missile), Rainbow Crystals (Color Spray), Healing Draughts (Cure Light Wounds), and Origami Golems (Unseen Servants) on your early adventures.
  • Curative Ointment:
    • Healing Touch with Bonus Uses (enough to cure (5 x Chr Mod x Level HP) and Improved/Switch/Empower with Bonus Uses to provide (4+Level/3) total uses of Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Cure Serious Wounds, Remove Curse, Neutralize Poison, and Restoration (3 CP).
    • Curative ointment isn’t all that level-dependent, so a low-level party may find having a pot along very VERY helpful.
  • Sorcerer’s Bag:
    • Improved Occult Talent, Corrupted for Increased Effect (spell level) / slots must be preset. provides 5L1 and 3L2 charms/fetishes/scrolls/whatever with whatever you like in them for (1 CP).
    • That’s not as many uses as you can get from Innate Spell, but you do get a wide variety of effects. This is taking cheesy advantage of the rounding rule, but Improved Occult Talent is not likely to break the game.
  • Ring of Whispered Wishes:
    • 6d6 Mana with Reality Editing, Corrupted / cannot be used for other purposes (3 CP).
    • This useful little item answers small wishes – that there be something solid to catch onto when you’re sliding towards the cliff, that an opponent suffer some brief disadvantage, that a spell operate in a way it really shouldn’t or pierce that spell resistance. There’s usually enough power for nine or ten very minor requests, but larger boons expend the rings power far more rapidly.

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

More Gryphon Species Affinities for Eclipse and Equestra

And today it’s the answer to a question…

I wanted to request a few more gift packages: what would Owl and Snow Lion Gifts look like? (I figured we needed one mythological cat in there, to balance out the phoenix.)

-Alzrius

Well, now that I’ve gotten to it… here is the owl, one mythological bird, and two mythological cats, with a refresher on how these packages are built first.

Many gryphons have secondary species affinities, most often powered by Mana – but that’s about the limit of their instinctive channeling. Beyond that point, they generally need to learn to use it consciously, from scratch.

Secondary Species Affinity: Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect: only to buy abilities related to the users feline OR avian species morphology (not both), can only be changed to a total of [(Con Mod x 2) + 2], 2 minimum) specific abilities or combinations of abilities. (6 CP). While this does not inherently bypass the minimum level requirements for full control of spellcasting (inherent or not), reducing those spells to level three by spending mana on them means that even the most powerful effects require a maximum level of five to fully control – so it isn’t much of an issue. Given that a gryphon will normally only have one or two such effects it can usually be excused. If it matters, however, buy a small Immunity (+4 on your effective level for controlling inherent spells (Common, Minor, Minor, Specialized and Corrupted / only to cover the minimum level requirements for the two possible secondary species affinity spells) for 1 CP and drop it later. A Gryphon may purchase a Secondary Species Affinity twice: once for each of the user’s contributing species.

The Owl is noted for silence, seeing in the dark, and striking suddenly from that darkness to bring sudden, violent, death.

Possible Owl’s Gifts Include:

  • Con Mod 0-: Either a +6 Racial Bonus to Stealth or +2d6 Sneak Attack.
  • Con Mod +1: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Specialized for Decreased (Mana) Cost / only allows a single first level spell. Either Low-Light Vision or Instant Search
  • Con Mod +2: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, either Blindsight or Wraithstrike
  • Con Mod +3: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Four Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 3 Mana to activate. Either Implacable Pursuer or Heart Ripper.
  • Con Mod +4: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Five Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 4 Mana to activate. Either Doomtide or Summon Undead V (rather grotesquely, the owl-gifted vomits up a wad of bones which turns into the summoned undead).
  • Con Mod +5: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Six Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 5 Mana to activate. Either Aura Of Terror or Disintegrate.

The Pard is a beast of legend, a thing of mystery, known only by rumor and tales of cunning. It cuckolds lions, evades hunters, and vanishes like a mist before the dawn.

Possible Pard’s Gifts Include:

  • Con Mod 0-: Either a +6 Racial Bonus to Stealth or Favors (The Spirits of the Land) and Favors (The Spirits of the Sky) (6 CP).
  • Con Mod +1: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Specialized for Decreased (Mana) Cost / only allows a single first level spell, either Obscuring Mist or Camouflage.
  • Con Mod +2: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, either Personal Greater/Improved Invisibility or Freedom Of Movement.
  • Con Mod +3: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Four Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 3 Mana to activate. Either Shadow Form or Dimension Door.
  • Con Mod +4: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Five Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 4 Mana to activate. Either Phantasmal Thief orJungle Mind.
  • Con Mod +5: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Six Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 5 Mana to activate. Either Superior Resistance or Transport Via Plants

The Snow Lion is an emblem of Tibet, representing – among other things – glaciers, the element of earth, snowy mountain ranges, strength, fearlessness, the joy of creation, east, and (magical?) power. It’s roar is courage and truth, the sound of emptiness that breaks the bonds that hold one to the illusion of reality. It is a guardian and guide upon the path to becoming a Buddha. White, with a turquoise mane, it ranges over the mountains, bounding joyfully from peak to peak – never flying, yet it’s feet never touching the earth. Not a creature, but a personification of concepts and a symbol of Buddhism.

This one… is a bit awkward. Sorting out a set of “tiger powers” calls for a bit of stretching since tigers are actual creatures, and we needed to dip into what they’re usually taken to symbolize to find enough items. The Snow Lion, however, is a symbolic creature to start with, and has the opposite problem; there are thousands of powers that can easily be said to fit a demi-deity and how should it be narrowed down?

So I won’t. Any Gryphon with a Snow Lion aspect is a pretty obviously some sort of destined avatar or something – and certainly should be a full-blown spellcaster. Ergo… they will need an intuitive knowledge of the spells and powers they will need to fulfill whatever their destiny is.

  • The Snow Lions Gift – at each level – has the same structure: it’s knowledge of 12 CP worth of Spell Formula, Specialized / such spells are intuitive, they cannot be taught to others, recorded in spellbooks, of put into scrolls or other items. Only the person with the gift can cast them. Those who prepare spells will get 6 formulas at each level of this gift, but will need no spell books or similar items to prepare them. Those who cast spontaneous spells will get 4 spells added to their list. While such spells must have something to do with the Snow Lion, and each level accessed will be a specific set unique to the individual user, there are still many, MANY, options.

The Thunderbird is an avatar of storms, bringer of rain, and controller of winds. It is a fury which sweeps down upon the land.

Possible Thunderbird’s Gifts Include:

  • Con Mod 0-: Either Resistance to Electricity 12 (Immunity; Common, Major, Minor, 6 CP) or Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
  • Con Mod +1: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Specialized for Decreased (Mana) Cost / only allows a single first level spell, either Commune With Birds or Shocking Grasp.
  • Con Mod +2: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, either Call Lightning or Thunderous Roar
  • Con Mod +3: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Four Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 3 Mana to activate. Either Ball Lightning or Eye Of The Hurricane.
  • Con Mod +4: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Five Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 4 Mana to activate. Either Control Winds or Fickle Winds
  • Con Mod +5: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Level Six Effect reduced to Level Three by costing 5 Mana to activate. Either Summon Elder Air Elemental or Summon Storm (as per Control Weather, but simply summons a storm, offering no further control).

Halfbreeds and Ponyfinder in Equestria – Kirin in Eclipse

And here we have another Ponyfinder type – the Kirin.

In Ponyfinder the Kirin are strongly dragonblooded ponies from distant lands. They have scaly coats, vaguely draconic features, and colors based on their elemental affinity – red, orange, and yellow for fire, blue, green, and white for water/ice, deep greens, browns, stony colors for earth, and the many colors of the sky for air. It’s implied that their cultures are basically eastern asian (with no particular reason given for that), but I’m having to rely on online sources here; I don’t have that particular book and they seem to be purely a fanon creation as far as the actual program goes.

Personally, I’d see a Dragon-Pony crossbreed – or race thereof – as creatures of great internal contradictions.

  • Dragons: Arrogant. Solitary. Predatory. Violent. Touchy. Hoarding. Hot-Tempered. Dominating.
  • Ponies: Sociable. Gregarious. Friendly. Mostly Nonviolent. Herbivorous. Generous. Enthusiastic. Group Oriented.

One could assume that a lot of those traits cancel each other out – but a lot of the point of playing a hybrid is to combine dissimilar traits and see what you can make of them. So trying that for Dragon-Ponies I see…

  • Generosity versus Hoarding. Kirin want stuff – and also see the value in being liked, owed favors, and impressing others. Thus they exchange gifts, especially when greeting others. Whoever gives the most impressive (but still reasonable for the recepient) gift will gain a substantial social edge, and the more impressive the gift, the greater the edge.
  • Solitary and Gregarious. Kirin DO live in tightly-packed groups, but they’re relatively small groups and they try to create an appearance of privacy and solitude through careful etiquette, privacy screens, thin “walls” that do little more than block line of sight, and similar stratagems. Many things are simply carefully “not seen”.
  • Nonviolent and Forgiving versus Touchy and Violent. Kirin are capable of savage violence and are easily offended – but are also well aware that violence is problematic and that most offenses are quite unintentional. Thus their social interactions tend to be filtered through layers of social rules, etiquette, and formality.
  • Herbivorous versus Predatory: This one is pretty simple. Kirin cusine tends to mix a bit of pretty much everything – a little meat, some gems and minerals, and simple vegetable fillers and sauces that let the exotic flavors shine through.
  • Arrogant and Enthusiastic: Kirin tend to throw themselves into their projects – but rarely, if ever, spend much time thinking about potential failure modes or whether or not whatever they have in mind is a good idea.
  • Sociable versus Hot-Tempered: Kirin like to share their projects and interact with each other – but criticism, rivalries, and even minor arguments tend to lead to contests to “settle the issue”, rather than to any kind of rational debate. Admittedly, having two fruit-growers involved in a heated, high-stakes, jam-making competition is a bit weird by most other races standards, but it works tolerably well.
  • Dominating (Me First!) versus Group-Oriented: Kirin want a hierarchy (SOMEONE needs to be in charge!) – but while anyone will enjoy the social status and rewards of leadership, any sane Kirin leader knows that the way to earn those rewards is to promote the welfare and goals of the group – not to simply exploit your followers. Kirin leaders thus focus on wisdom – knowing how to effectively promote those goals – rather than power. Their leaders tend more towards scholars, wise elders, teachers, and problem-solvers rather than warlords, demagogues, and combatants. A respect for age tends to go with that.

Ergo, we can reasonably say that many “eastern” elements of their culture and behavior are more or less rational social systems for dealing with their natural tendencies rather than an arbitrary way to reflect Earth’s mythology. That also means that they might reasonable appear in (surviving) relatively isolated kirin settlements without being a part of a greater culture. And that’s a good thing, because Dragon-Pony crossbreeds are likely to be scarce.

As for their abilities…

In Ponyfinder they get:

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and -2 Dexterity, to be Fingerless Quadrupeds with a boost to ground movement while on all fours, and Low-Light Vision just for being ponies. I personally don’t agree that ponies have Low-Light Vision – I see little evidence of it in the show – so that isn’t included in the Eclipse basic pony package, but a lot of other stuff is.
  • Fast Healing II whenever they take at least 1 Damage from the type of energy they’re resistant to to a maximum of 2 hit points per level per day. Honestly.. that’s over complicated and not very useful. Fortunately, basic Eclipse ponies get boosted healing (averaging 16.5 points per day) anyway. If you really must specialize for double effect / only work when exposed to appropriate elemental energies go right ahead.
  • 60′ Darkvision from having the Dragon type. I don’t think I’ll put this in though; at least judging by Owl’s Well That Ends Well, Spike can’t see well in the dark; we can’t be seeing as he does in the green dragon’s cave since there are shadows, Twilight needs Owlowiscious to guide her in the dark, rather than getting directions from Spike, and she wants a night assistant. Ergo it looks to me like Equestrian Dragons don’t have Darkvision.
  • Immunity to Spells and Psionic Effects causing Sleep or Paralysis from having the Dragon type again. Again, there’s little evidence of this from the series, although there is some evidence for general magic resistance – such as Greed-Growth Spike being immune to most magical attempts to stop him.
  • +1 Natural Armor. Well, that’s reasonable enough.
  • Resistance 5 to one energy type and “a corresponding elemental vulnerability”. Whether that means double damage or merely +5 damage or a penalty to saves or something is not entirely clear. Fortunately this can be ignored, since basic Eclipse ponies come with Resistance 9 to all kinds of energy straight out of the box.
  • Once per day they can spend a swift action to add +1d6 of the appropriate elemental damage to their melee attacks for up to one round per level. A modest, but worthwhile boost.

In Eclipse…

Kirin tend to be found in small clusters and villages, tucked away on mountain peaks, or in hidden valleys, or distant islands – wherever a dragon or two and some ponies had kids without too many others about to dilute the bloodlines before they settled into a reasonably stable culture. Unfortunately, this means that there are no mighty kirin empires out there; there simply aren’t enough kirin. Instead they tend towards isolated settlements, wizened elders who have settled down to meditate on a mountaintop for a few years (perhaps the equivalent of a draconic long nap), and wandering adventurers. Following their natural tendencies, Kirin are among the few ponies who have extensive inherent combat talents backing up their focus on formal etiquette and contemplative wisdom. Mucking about in a Kirin settlement is all too likely to trigger an “everyone’s a martial artist” episode. In Eclipse Equestria they get the following racial abilities:

Kirin (+32 CP, 63 CP Total with the Basic Pony Template for a +1 ECL).

  • Bonus Language: Draconic (1 CP).
  • Adept, Specialized for Increased Effect (+4 to the skill per SP) / only to determine the cost of their racial skill bonuses (6 CP). Their adept skills are:
  • Any one (Elemental) (Air, Death, Earth, Fire, Life, Spirit, Void, or Water) Dragon Style Martial Arts (Con Based), Specialized for Increased Effect (normally double the effect of each ability purchased, but variations – such as combining two base abilities – are possible) / only if the user is unarmored and unencumbered, user radiates elemental magical energies and is easily sensed by other elemental martial artists.
  • The same style, without the Specialization, for use when armored, Corrupted for Reduced Cost / must take the same abilities (or only one of the two options of “mixed” abilities) as the specialized version.
  • Rune Magic (Same Element) Casting.
  • Rune Magic (Same Element) Mastery.
  • Racial Skill Bonuses: +12 each to their two innate Martial Arts (5 CP), +12 Rune Magic Casting (3 CP), +4 Rune Magic Mastery (1 CP).

This means that a Kirin starts off with at least six, and more likely seven or more, martial arts selections and can start with one or more advanced techniques – and gets double effect out of them when unarmored and unencumbered. Thus, for example, an Earth Dragon Stylist could start off with DR 4/- (8/-) over and above their basic pony DR, a Weapon Kata (perhaps with a damage boost), and an Occult Technique (or two).

  • +2d6 (7) Mana with the Resilience Natural Magic Option, Specialized / only for use with their racial branch of rune magic and Resilience (6 CP). Note that, in Equestria with the Superheroic World Template, they may spend up to (Con Mod) Mana each round to fuel their Elemental Magic or Occult Martial Arts Powers without having to draw on their pool.
  • Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / requires one hour of rest or meditation per die, only to refill the mana pool above (4 CP).
  • Spell/Power Resistance. Either Generic or Specialized for Increased Effect / only Spells and Psionic Effects causing Sleep or Paralysis (6 CP).

This type of Kirin – like half-orcs in a more conventional game – are always a bit of a sideshow even in an Equestria game. After all… if they even EXIST, they’re going to be pretty rare. Still, making an exotic character is another large part of the point of playing a hybrid in the first place. After all, this is Eclipse; any special power a hybrid gets can be developed in some other way if you want them.

Of course, this power package can be applied to other races as a +1 ECL level adjustment – a handy way to start off as an expert elemental martial-artist mystic if you so desire.