Eclipsing Raven Trigonsdottir – Part II

For Part One – Raven’s general background and powers – click HERE.

So how do we convert Raven’s assorted appearances (and retconned histories and powers) into d20 statistics?

Well, obviously enough she’s going to be using the Superheroic World Template from Eclipse (and thus will be getting free Mana equal to her Con Mod to use to power her abilities (or to convert to Generic Spell Levels or Psionic Power) every round.

As a superhero, we’ll want the Four Color Template (24 CP).

Since I did the last set of heroes that way… she’ll be using the Pathfinder Package Deal (Free) and will be a Pathfinder Human (Free). I could justify a Racial Template easily enough, but the vast majority of the time she acts pretty human.

Next up, it’s attributes – and Raven always seemed to be a bit of a glass cannon when it came to her personal abilities. She…

  • Isn’t especially strong. She’s well exercised and in good shape, but she’s still a fairly petite young woman – and her few examples of “stronger than average” are mostly either when being demonic or could easily be telekinesis. Str 10.
  • She’s reasonably bright and well-read, but she’s no amazing genius even if she does evidently have a knack for languages. She had the entire DC universe to choose from less the Justice League – and she picked an assortment of teenagers including Robin, Beast Boy, and Cyborg to throw at a planetary menace? Int 14.
  • She’s reasonably perceptive too, but she has a terrible time controlling her own mind and is often in fairly massive denial about her own emotions, which doesn’t say all that much for her personal discipline, willpower, self-awareness, or sanity. Wis 14.
  • She’s energetic and healthy, but in superhero terms she’s a bit of a glass cannon, often collapsing due to feedback from her Soul-Self or when she’s actually hit. Con 14.
  • She’s reasonably agile, and is decent at getting out of the way – but she’s no fabulous acrobat. Dex 14.
  • She’s fairly attractive, and – for a half-demon sorceress likely to be the catalyst for global destruction – manages to be vulnerable and in need of hugs a lot, but she has an off-putting personality and had to resort to emotional manipulation to manage people. Still, she is a hero and usually gets along with her teammates well enough. Ergo, Cha 14

In Pathfinder point buy that has a net cost of… 25 points. Exactly what’s available for a high-end campaign. A perfect match!


Raven (A.KA. “Rachel Roth”)

Level Eight Superheroic Witch / Harbinger Of Apocalypse

Four Color Template (24 CP).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free)

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 10 (+2 Enh = 12), Int 14 (+2 Enh = 16), Wis 14 (+2 Enh = 16), Con 14 (+2 Enh +2 Human = 18), Dex 14 (+2 Enh = 16), and Cha 14 (+2 Enh +2 Level = 18).

When she goes all demonic her physical attributes increase to Str 16, Con 22, and Dex 20, see below.


Witchcraft: I, II, and III with The Secret Order (Order of Azarath), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (see individual power listings): all abilities are subject to at least seven limitations – as follows unless otherwise indicated. 24 Power, Save DC Will 21 (24 CP).

  • Her powers flare up uncontrollably when she loses control of her emotions.
  • Her powers leave her vulnerable to possession by Trigon or – if she becomes angry – by her own demonic nature. The GM may call for a will save, assigning the DC as appropriate, if this comes up.
  • Her powers fail entirely if she simply suppresses her emotions.
  • Her powers require incantations, and will either fail (d6: 1-2) or flare up randomly (d6: 3) if used without one.
  • Her powers become increasingly uncontrollable as time passes if she does not spend at least four hours per day in meditation and mystic ritual.
  • Other magicians will easily detect that she is filled with corrupting demonic energies.
  • Exercising fine control with her powers requires dexterity checks, as if she was fumbling with waldos.

Basic Witchcraft Abilities

  • Witchsight (No incantation, but a very limited set of automatic effects): Raven can sense magic and souls and see through both normal darkness and her own (but not other people’s) magical darkness.
  • The Hand of Shadows (Azarath Metrion Zinthos!): Triple Effect (Str 36, 48 when Evil). The items affected are usually covered in darkness but she’s also manifested tentacles of darkness extending from her to grab things with. (1 Power per Minute, 2 power for Animate Object, 1 power for three hours light work).
  • The Adamant Will (Azarath Mortix Metrion! Using it without an incantation usually results in weird mental struggles): Reduced Cost. Note that this will NOT work against “attacks” which trigger or target preexisting forces within her own mind, such as Trigon’s corruption or her own fears and insecurities.
  • Infliction (Necronom Hezberek Mortix!): Triple Effect (up to 9/15/21d4 for 1/2/3 Power, +3 power for 5′ radius, save for half), she is incapable of fine control, but does not risk possession by Trigon in using this power. It generally manifests as either Psychic Bolts (nonlethal damage) or various forms of telekinetic destruction.
  • Healing (Azarath Syrium Anmortrix!): Triple effect and does not provoke possession by Trigon, but causes pain and backlash. Each time it’s used roll a Will save at DC (18 + Number of Uses Today). On a failure take 3d6 damage and this ability burns out until tomorrow.
  • Shadowweave (Akon Wenthin Obrium!): She does not risk possession by Trigon in using this power, but can only create light based effects when she is purified of demonic energy. She can usually create long-lasting areas of darkness, wrap herself in shadows, change her appearance to some degree, or disguise her soul-self as her. No matter how she dresses she can look edgy and goth and no matter how she decorates her room it can always be dark, gloomy, and filled with mystic special effects. .
  • Glamour (Carazon Rakashas Cortis!): +6 CP for increased effects, Triple effect, this power does not provoke possession by Trigon or her personal evil, but is purely focused on emotional manipulations. Within that field she can generate effects of up to level nine.
  • The Inner Eye (Vaserix Enderin Azarath!): This ability provides only a limited range of effects, but does not have to be actively invoked to detect powerful emotions, mental effects, and invisible creatures. Active casting is required for reading thoughts and psychic impressions.
  • Dreamfaring: (Reduced Cost): Does not require an incantation, but does not allow the use of Dimensional Projection (although she can achieve similar results using her soul-self). Raven can send messages into people’s dreams and contact them there, hear and speak with those in adjacent dimensions while remaining merged with her soul-self and either Astral or Ethereal (thus making an excellent messenger and herald since she can appear to, and talk with, many very physically powerful entities with very little risk of harm), and can affect various sorts of immaterial spirits.

“Dark” Basic Witchcraft Abilities:

  • Hyloka (Triple Effect): While this ability requires no incantation, it is only usable while Raven is possessed by evil and normally focuses on a single effect – providing a +4 bonus on her Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.
  • Elfshot (Trigon Hezberek Synthos!): Triple Effect. Dark Raven can infuse people with demonic energies, causing them to slowly transform into demons, to “incubate” demons, or to otherwise transform into creatures of evil. Apparently normal humans can only become lesser monsters, only “supers” can become actual demons. .
  • Witchfire (Triple Effect). While this requires no incantation, it can only be used while Raven is possessed by evil – in which case she can generate fire, lightning, toxic miasmas, and similar effects.

Additional Witchcraft Abilities:

  • Soul-Self (Birth of Flames, Increased Effect): Summoning her soul-self does not require an incantation and has no risk of causing possession by Trigon, but it may only be maintained externally for ten minutes or so, damage done to it beyond the 50% mark does similar amounts of nonlethal damage to her (6 CP),

The Soul-Self:

Huge Construct, 120 HP, Speed 50, AC 33 (+25 Natural -2 Size), 2 Slams at +28 for 2d6+18, Reach 15, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +6, Abilities:

  • Class-A: Damage Reduction 10/Magic or Sonic, Fly III (60 Feet), Bonded
  • Class-B: Fast Healing (II), Feat (Improved Grab), Improved Buff (+15 HP), Sensory Link, Spell Storing (12 levels), and Warding
  • Class-C: Enveloping, Mass Enveloping (up to seven medium-sized creatures or a dozen small ones), Mindful, Incorporeal II (May become Astral or Ethereal at will), and Spell Resistance 24.

Raven’s Soul-Self is arguably her most potent power by a considerable margin, and is a match for many heroes all by itself.

  • Ashen Rebirth with Teleportation, only with her Soul-Self (and any passengers), Increased Effect: allows Plane and “Time” (functionally – since she never makes convenient short jumps or seems to alter the present – visiting alternate timelines which happen to be decades or centuries ahead or behind her home timeline) Shifts. She usually arrives at “weak points” – gates, moments of crisis, and so on (12 CP).
  • Plus 4d6 Mana at Triple Effect (as 36d6 or 126 Power), only for Witchcraft basic limits as above (24 CP).
    • This is actually quite a lot of power given that Witchcraft tends to be quite power-efficient – and so will allow Raven to function quite effectively for some time even without the Superheroic World Template to provide free mana.
  • Witchcraft Pacts: Rituals (Meditation), Possession, Duties, and Missions (-24 CP).

Other Mystical Abilities:

  • Extraordinary Returning (12 CP). Raven must be slain and her soul forcibly taken into the higher afterlives for her to truly die.
  • Immunity (Space-Time Disturbances. Uncommon, Major, Great). Raven is immune, or at least highly resistant, to most temporal changes and paradoxes, to the warping and disorienting effects of dimensional shifts and changes, and to similar events. (Not that this normally comes up). Specialized/the effects are erratic when they do come into play (6 CP).
    • This also appears to be an ability that she acquired thanks to some dimensional shifting and revisionist history that led her to remember the original timeline where she supposedly didn’t have such a power but apparently used it to protect herself and the other Titans from Trigon’s reality-twisting. It probably won’t apply again the next time there’s a retcon that it ought to protect her from. Don’t think about that too hard; I’m certainly not going to.
  • Blessing with the “Group” modifier, Corrupted for Increased Effect (increased number of targets which may include the user) and Specialized for Reduced Cost (6 CP), only to share the benefits of her mental defenses and immunity to space-time disturbances with her friends and allies.
  • Occult Ritual (6 CP). Raven is capable of performing various magical rituals, provided that she can gather the components and make the necessary rolls. She rarely uses this ability, but she does have it.
  • Innate Enchantment (In general, Spell Level Zero or One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated (x2000 GP), Personal-Only where Relevant (x.7). 11,000 GP net value (12 CP).
    • Enhance Attribute: +2 Enhancement Bonus to each Attribute (8400 GP). There really isn’t any good justification for this, but it’s not like ability scores of “16″ are particularly over the top for a superhero. I’m putting it in in token of her considerable experience.
    • Updraft: This covers her limited ability to float around, 2000 GP.
    • Skill Mastery: +2 Competence Bonus to Int-Based Skills, 700 GP.


  • Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP), Adept (Expertise/Arcane Lore, Expertise/Theology & Philosophy, Expertise/The Planes, and Intimidation, 6 CP).
  • Available Skill Points: 33 (Int Mod x 11) + 44 (Fast Learners) = 77 SP
  • Purchased Skills:
    • Deception: +7 (7 SP) +3 (Cha) = +10
    • Expertise (Arcane Lore): +11 (5* SP) +2 (Comp) +3 (Int) = +16
    • Expertise (Theology & Philosophy): +11 (5* SP) +2 (Comp) +3 (Int) = +16
    • Expertise (The Planes): +11 (5* SP) +2 (Comp) +3 (Int) = +16
    • Insight +7 (7 SP) +3 (Wis) = +10
    • Intimidation: +11 (5* SP) +3 (Cha) = +14
    • Martial Art (Aikido) +11 (11 SP) +3 (Dex) = +14
    • Perception+7 (7 SP) +3 (Wis) = +10
    • Persuasion +7 (7 SP) +3 (Cha) = +10
  • Languages: 7 (7 SP) +3 (Int) +Azarathan (Native) +Common (English, Free) = 12 Languages. Abyssal, Azarathan (also known as Celestial), Draconic, English, German, Greek, Latin, Mandarin, Romanian, Sanskrit, Sumerian, and Sylvan.
  • Martial Arts (Aikido) Techniques Know: Defenses 4, Strike, Mind Like Moon, and Improved Trip. Not too surprisingly, Raven’s martial arts skills primarily focus on avoiding attacks, although she does know some basic locks and throws.

This leaves her with 11 skill points – enough for one more maxed-out skill. A magical martial art might be in order, but there’s not a lot of justification for one. I’ll leave those points to the reader to spend since I’m not really familiar with the more recent versions of the character.

Minor Abilities:

  • Telekinetic Deflection: Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus: Adds (Cha Mod) to (Dex Mod) when determining AC, Specialized/not cumulative with physical armor (9 CP).
  • Immunity / Equipment Loss (Uncommon, Major, Legendary, Corrupted / special plotlines or deliberate attempts to separate her from her equipment may succeed for brief periods, but she always gets her stuff back shortly, Specialized / only protects her appropriate wealth by level (12 CP).
  • Minor Privilege (3 CP): As a trained mystic from a magical dimension, Raven can get “normal” magical items for equipment.
  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (four “floating” CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost: only to be invested in Relics (4 CP).
  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted / the GM decides what relics she gains and when they are active, all of them have potential downsides. Thus, for example, a mirror offering her great meditative benefits and easier emotional control can accidently pull others into her mind, a book with a spirit that teaches more magic may actually turn out to be an entrapped monster, and so on (2 CP).
  • Major Privilege: Sponsored superhero with some legal authority and the right to request official assistance in various matters (6 CP).
  • Major Favors: Teen Titans, Justice League, various other heroic groups (6 CP).
  • Major Privilege: Wealth. Raven never needs to worry about her personal funds and is treated as one level higher when calculating her wealth-by-level (6 CP)
  • Reflex Training (Extra Actions Variant) with +3 Bonus Uses (6/Day total), Specialized / only to either evade an attack or for her (or her soul-self) to get in the way of an attack (5 CP).


  • BAB: +6, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (24 CP). This is primarily used for telekinetic assaults.
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1d8, 4 CP) +26 (L2-8d6, 14 CP) +12 (Immortal Vigor) +40 (Con Mod x 10) = 86 HP
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +3 (9 CP) +4 (Con) +3 (Res) = +10
    • Reflex +4 (12 CP) +3 (Dex) +3 (Res) = +10
    • Will +6 (18 CP) +3 (Wis) +3 (Res) = +12
      • Luck would be more efficient – but if there’s one thing that the comics have established, it’s that Raven has no luck.
  • Proficiencies: All Simple Weapons (3 CP).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Dex Mod) +3 (Armor) +4 (Martial Art) +4 (Cha Mod) +2 Deflection = 26

Point Costs:

  • Four Color Template: 24 CP
  • Witchcraft: 48 CP (Plus Pacts)
  • Other Mystical Abilities: 42 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 15 CP
  • Purchased Skills: 0 CP
  • Minor Abilities: 53 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 24 CP
  • Hit Dice: 18 CP
  • Saving Throws: 39 CP
  • Proficiencies: 3 CP

That’s 266 CP

Available Character Points: 216 (Level Eight Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Pacifistic, and Hunted (demons and entities who want to use her for various things), + 16 (Duties to Azar and to Oppose Trigon) +30 (Human, L1, L3, L5, and L7 Bonus Feats) = 272 CP

That leaves 6 CP – enough for one bonus feat, another special Witchcraft ability, an extra +2 on a save, or some other minor benefit. I’m going to leave that open simply because – as I’ve already noted – I’m not really that familiar with recent versions of the character. Ergo, we have a bit of wiggle room to add whatever I’ve left out.

If nothing else comes to mind, put it in Power Words (Specialized in storing Ritual Effects only) and figure that she can prepare the occasional specialty magical effect (such as putting a dragon back into a cursed tome) in advance.

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Ability: Immortal Vigor I. Everybody can always use a few more hit points.
  • Equipment: 46,000 GP: Cloak of Resistance +3 (9000 GP), Bracers of Armor +3 (9000 GP), Ring of Feather Falling (2200 GP), Ring of Protection +2 (8000 GP), Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting (4000 GP), Greater (Armor) Crystal Of Adaption (3000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP), Raptor’s Mask (3500 GP), Occult Library (As per a Mask Of A Thousand Tomes, but basically immobile (x.5) and at least 1d4 hours of intense study and concentration in a suitable study room to use (x.8) = 4000 GP), Hero Team Comlink (Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links, 250 GP), and an Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP). (No, Raven is never shown with a first aid kit that I know of. Yes, it would be INCREDIBLY stupid not to have one. I say that she does).

Raven is exceptionally versatile and – as a fast transdimensional teleporter with defensive Reflex Actions, a powerful summons she can send on missions, immunity to timeline manipulation, the ability to routinely return from death, intangibility, and whatever occult relic the game master feels like giving her – is virtually impossible to get rid of for long. On the offensive side she has powerful telekinesis, receptive and projective empathy, and formidable mystic bolts to play with when she needs speed and ritual magic when she doesn’t – even before delving into her minor powers. That’s a LOT of durability and options.

If she wasn’t generally a pacifist she could be doing an awful lot of damage – and would be potentially story-breaking in a wide variety of ways.

Oh, as for that Death Battle with Twilight Sparkle?

Well, discounting Twilights Meta-Powers (recovers from any effect that would be upsetting to a small girl if it happened to a favorite pet before said small girl would have time to get seriously upset, her presence (or that of any other major My Little Pony character) causes all situations to be quickly resolved in a cheerful happy ending for all the nice creatures and a comeuppance for all the naughty ones, friendship is the greatest power in the universe) to at least some extent, disregarding that they’re both “fight-only-if-necessary” types, that they’re actually mirror images in a lot of ways, and the fact that Raven is really fond of “Pretty, Pretty, Pegasus” (the in-universe version of My Little Pony) and that they BOTH started their careers by gathering a group of friends to defeat a great evil…

If they did fight – which would take a LOT of contriving – I’d probably have to give it to Raven. Sure, she’s died a lot – but Raven actually knows how to fight while Twilight is honestly really, really, REALLY bad at it. Secondarily, Raven has her soul-self ally to grab Twilight from behind while Raven keeps her busy from the front.

I would also expect Raven to then punch Death in the jaw (he IS one of her relatives after all), for Twilight to pop up again after a few seconds (after just long enough of a “death” for the match to end), and for the happy tea party with Fluttershy and many small furry things to be in full swing within five minutes. This isn’t QUITE like asking a couple of Bodhisattvas to meditate each other to death, but it’s not that far from it either.


Eclipsing Raven Trigonsdottir – Part I

There are quite a few requests that I’d like to make; the hard part is figuring out which of them I’d like to see the most. That said, there’s one that does spring to mind: in honor of her fighting Twilight Sparkle in the next Death Battle, I’m curious to see what DC Comics’ Raven would look like with Eclipse stats.


Well, why not?

OK. It’s Raven, Daughter of Trigon, mystically trained by the pacifistic (also intolerant, self-righteous, arrogant, and quite often downright stupid) mystical followers of Azar in their private pocket dimension, That gave her a whole raft of abilities, made her extremely powerful, and turned her into a psychological basket case. She mostly hangs out with the Teen Titans when she isn’t being a demonic emissary of her father, or being a ghost, or being controlled by someone .

That kind of thing actually happens to her a LOT – probably for the same reason that Wolverine gets wounded a lot; you can’t show off Wolverine’s regenerative powers if he actually fights well enough to avoid being wounded and you can’t show off Raven’s ability to overcome her dark heritage and/or negative emotions unless she gets influenced by them. Ergo, the one with years of training in overcoming dark powers and controlling her emotions is the one who constantly falls to such things. That’s comic books for you!

Anyway, she’s pretty notorious for being a “roll a d6 at the start of the story” character:

  1. She’s a fabulously powerful asset to the team today, even if she IS a sarcastic snarker! You will wonder why anyone else is needed!
  2. She must greatly restrain her powers today, lest horrors be unleashed! Everyone else gets to do stuff!
  3. She brings dark tidings and will be crippled with struggles against her own inner demons today!
  4. She needs psychological support, and has likely created some mystical problem that will provide today’s narrative conflict, but will probably eventually do something useful if she gets enough hugs!
  5. She’s being pursued by Horrors From Beyond (TM!) today, and you must defend her even if magical horrors are in no way your field!
  6. She’s on Time Share with the Dark Forces today! You will have to find a way to stop her eldritch rampage or free her from their malevolent influence!

OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – it should probably be a d8 with the first couple of entries getting two numbers each – but it’s not that much of one. Raven really does fairly often go into NPC friendly enemy mode. Still, she’s one of the Titan’s, and is presumably worth putting up with (if only because peers with superpowers are scarce). It’s not like superpowered teenagers aren’t usually incredible pains in the ass anyway. NORMAL teenagers are bad enough about that.

Of course, a solid chunk of Raven’s plotlines and personal struggles revolve around her father Trigon – so you can’t really talk about Raven without talking about her father.

Trigon the Terrible. A dark god filled with the cast-of evil energies of the people of Azarath. At birth he killed everyone nearby, including his mother. At the age of six, he destroyed an entire planet. And by the age of thirty, he held dominion over millions of worlds in his dimension.

Hm… “Held Dominion”. “Millions”, and “Age Thirty”. So… in twenty-four years he conquered millions of worlds. Call it the minimum of two million. That gives him… six minutes and eighteen seconds per world in which to defeat all their heroes, conquer them, rule over them, and gloat, before departing, never to return – and that’s presuming that he never eats or rests or does anything else and takes no time to travel. He could be multitasking, but if he could do that… why didn’t he ever do it when he was fighting heroes? And didn’t he spend a fair amount of time on things like fathering children, gloating over his dominions, and scheming to conquer other planets? He certainly wasted rather a lot of time on Earth.

OK, he could be a more conventional warlord, and have “conquered” a lot of places by sending out minions and taking over political centers without ever getting near them, and be inflicting demonic misery across the galaxy by establishing a repressive bureaucracy enforcing obnoxious policies – but Trigon was never presented that way. The image was always of Trigon standing in the semi-ruins of a conquered city. gloating over it’s fallen defenders, not Emperor Palpatine contemplating Endor and considering whether to impose complicated income tax forms on the Ewoks to make them help pay for an extra Death Star.

Why Earth anyway? Wouldn’t his own dimension still contain an infinite number of worlds to conquer, some of them basically identical to Earth? Or is jumping dimensions easier than getting to other galaxies?

It’s a common writers failing, whether you call it “cannot do math” or “no sense of scale”. Entire planets and dimensions are written as if they consist of a couple of locations and a single environment and large numbers get thrown around with no thought for the consequences. In an Earth-style universe… to the best of our current understanding it’s infinite. As in an infinite number of identical copies of every possible variation. If there are two or more independent (as in “not connected to or seeking each other”) unique beings, effects, or sets of being in the multiverse the odds of two of them ever appearing in the same galaxy – even not at the same time – are literally zero. Is a devourer of universes so mighty and irresistible that it can attack everywhere in an infinite universe at the same time and only one galaxy in a hundred billion can hold out against utter annihilation for a single second? That means that there are an infinite number of holdouts. And there will be the same infinite number holding out against the next assault. and the next, and all the assaults after that. For equally infinite time. Infinity hasn’t got an end to reach.

If there are an infinite number of dimensions out there, then there are an infinite number of cosmically powerful entities out to conquer or destroy the multiverse and there always have been. It’s still here. Therefore attempts to destroy it either cannot work or it just comes back.

It doesn’t really help that the DC Hierarchy is pretty well defined. The Presence, Lucifer, the Archangels, and various others are all well above Trigon. And several of them hang around Earth a lot. Why did Trigon make such a point of invading one of the few places in the entire multiverse where he was guaranteed to get tossed out on his ear if the local great powers took him seriously? Could it be that he knew that those entities didn’t really care? Why not?

If a creature is a threat to even a single galaxy, wouldn’t every major hero who could detect it and reach the site show up to stop it? Even if that’s only a few per world… that would be billions or trillions of major heroes – plus similar or greater numbers of villains who didn’t want to be squashed with their worlds.

Yet that didn’t happen. Ergo… Trigon may be a personal threat to the solar system, or even a few solar systems, and to little one-city pocket dimensions like Azarath – but not to more than that.

Raven’s spirit – filled with the sacred inner light of a city full of pacifistic holy mystics – drove Trigon back or destroyed him (depending on continuity). Of course, to be fair… as a demonic figure made up of those same mystics cast-off darknesses, he was probably especially vulnerable to them even over and above the usual demonic weakness to sacred energies. Still, while Trigon had been “draining the souls” of conquered planets (whatever that was supposed to mean) even millions of them apparently didn’t give him enough power to stand up to one city worth of pacifistic mystics.

Personally, I’d build Trigon with Mystic Artist (Performance Art) with the ability to make himself seen and heard across immense areas and giving him the personal pocket dimension and environmental transformation effects – thus allowing him to twist a planet into a demonic hellscape and to be immune to almost all the heroes who didn’t wind up in his personal pocket realm. Then, if and when he is defeated… the changes he has made will quietly go away.

That also explains why he’s big on announcements, foreshadowing, overdramatics, hamming it up, making speeches, failing to kill his opponents, and going to new planets all the time. What’s performance art without new audiences? And dead audiences are of no use at ALL.

So Raven’s occasional reports of “Vast Power” can go into the same bin as Trigon’s; they’re basically illusory plot devices. I’d have doubts anyway given that most of the creatures crediting her OR Trigon with such powers had pretty clear agendas.

Next up, we ignore plot device Raven. That includes…

  • Possessed-By-Evil Raven and her ability to time stop the Justice League and contain her friends.
  • Channeling-The-Souls-Of-Azarath Raven and her ability to destroy Trigon.
  • Backed-By-Xavier Raven and her ability to blast a partial copy of Dark Pheonix created by Darkseid from negative emotions that HAD no positive emotions with love. (Said copy then got upset with Darkseid for doing such a half-assed job on the resurrection. Upshot; Darkseid permanently destroyed. If it wasn’t obvious enough, non-canon. And hardly the most absurd thing that happened in that particular crossover).
  • Golden Spirit Raven and her ability to transverse space, survive without a body, and apparently fade away into the afterlife.
  • Brother-Blood-Boosted Raven and her ability to break everyone free of his control machine.
  • New-52 Touched-By-Trigon Raven and her semi-omniscient ability to show up and mess with everyone the plot requires her to (Must… resist… “Bad Touch” jokes…).
  • And all the other variations on Turbocharged-By-External-Power-Sources Raven – as well as Informed-That-She-Could-Snuff-Out-Universes Raven (since it was by a demon with an ulterior motive – and those are notoriously untrustworthy anyway).

That leaves us with the stuff that she actually normally does. To compile a list…

  • Raven is a powerful empath, able to sense, project, and drain emotions. In at least some sources this also lets her project stunning mental blasts.
  • She can heal people, but it’s a strain and she’s pretty limited in how much she can heal. That’s pretty standard for heroes: being able to heal everyone messes up a LOT of dramatic scenes and plotlines amd opens up the question of why you aren’t spending your time on a hospital assembly line healing a steady stream of dying children and leaving the adventuring to characters with less miraculous powers.
  • She can call forth a formidable psychic construct she calls her soul-self, although the duration is somewhat limited. It can hold things, fly, wrap itself around people to protect them, and withstand a lot of damage, but if it’s disrupted there’s a substantial backlash against her and it takes some time to get it out again (I seem to recall that getting it out too soon leaves it weakened, but it’s been a long time). She is usually aware of what her soul-self could see and hear. I can’t recall it ever being shown to taste, smell, or feel much though. It is often portrayed passing through things (and possibly acting as an astral form), so it may be selectively insubstantial.
  • She can envelop people or groups in her soul-self and teleport them across space (it’s unclear as to how far, but it’s apparently not interplanetary), dimensions (at least to a limited set of mystic ones, sometimes using minor rituals, and with only partial control of her point of arrival), and time (well, during a special time of crisis anyway, and only to appear in quasi-historical and possible future settings. She never – say – drops back an hour to see who committed a crime. Her actions in the past never seem to change the present either, so this might be best represented as another subset of alternate dimensions). As a side effect she might or might not be resistant to disruptions in the timeline.
    • Overall, Raven’s soul-self is one of her most potent abilities – capable of restraining even truly major enemies at least briefly.
  • She has good mental defenses, but they’re not a lot of use against her own inner nature. Against general mental control they are, however, almost impregnable.
  • In the 2003-2006 television series she was a powerful telekinetic with a “dark force” power signature, presumably because it was a lot more visually dramatic than empathy – and so telekinesis has leaked into later depictions. She can throw things around, animate objects, and project a variety of telekinetic blasts.
  • She dies a lot and keeps coming back. Comics are notorious for the revolving door of life and death, but Raven sometimes seems to spin it fast enough to run a generator.
  • She often appears wrapped in shadows, her room is sometimes filled with darkness, and so on. This mostly seems to be special effects, but it’s ambiguous enough to count “turning off the lights” amongst her talents. She might be able to generate simple illusions – or at least make her soul-self look like her.
  • She might be able to sense souls or mystical energies and is apparently good at sensing minds. That’s pretty basic for semi-demonic psychic / magical types, but is pretty ambiguous in the source material.
  • She can imbue other people with some of her power. That’s usually a plot device power, but it’s worth mentioning since it’s a classic demonic ability.
  • She has undefined access to various magical spells, although most of them appear to be demonic (and only used when she’s evil) and she doesn’t often use anything but preset rituals.
  • She can variously levitate while meditating, fly using her soul-self, fly using dark telekinetic disks (or perhaps by just standing on her malleable soul-self), or just hover dramatically without explanation. On the other hand, she’s also known for being knocked out of the air.
  • She speaks English, German, Latin, Romanian, Ancient Sumerian, and Sanskrit (along, presumably, with Azarathan). That may not be a superhuman power, but it’s not easy either.
  • She had prophetic dreams about Trigon, but that might just be because she was going to become his gateway into Earth’s dimension and was deeply linked to him and the subject of prophecies that she knew about. She’s never really shown any general precognition. This probably isn’t really a power.

On the other hand… her powers run wild when she loses control of her emotions, will not work if she is afraid and unwilling to admit it, leave her vulnerable to possession by Trigon or her own demonic nature if she gets too angry, are erratic at best (at least in some depictions) if she can’t incant (usually, but not always, “Azarath… Metrion… Zinthos!”), call for spending a LOT of her time in meditation, cause many good magicians to consider her inherently corrupt, and isn’t especially good at fine control.

To be blunt… Raven is a good character, a great plot catalyst, and brings a lot of deep background and heroic struggle into a comic. She’s a LOUSY player character though. She’s often out of play while being evil and places the game master in the position of having to decide when she’s going to be suddenly crippled, leaving the player bored, or when she’s going to be able to use her vast array of powers freely – usually overshadowing the rest of her team. That really does not make for a good gaming experience. Still, she makes a fine NPC.

So next time on Raven… it will be converting her into d20 statistics.

Terminator IV T-3000, The Apo-Hypothesis

Finally, we have the T-3000 – arguably either the “Ultimate” Terminator or not really a Terminator at all.

The T-3000 is the result of infecting a human with “machine phase matter” (apparently some type of nanotech), which turns them into a improved version of the T-1000 with all their skills and memories intact. Unfortunately for Skynet, up until the transformation of John Connor all such attempts simply drove the subjects insane and killed them without creating a functional Terminator, making the attempts a waste of time.

Wait, what? You’re killing them anyway, and absorbing their memories into a computer system. Why should their sanity – or even their deaths (which are coming in moments anyway) matter? And what makes John Connor unique? Sure, he’s well-trained – but didn’t he pass that on to most of his followers? Isn’t he physically and neurologically just another human? Why waste time on something that’s been repeatedly determined not to work? Isn’t Skynet a computer?

Anyway, at the end, the T-3000 is destroyed by a prototype time machine – it being strongly implied that few other sources of magnetic fields are powerful enough, although there is some evidence that enough hits with specialized weapons could wear it down eventually.

Overall, a T-3000 acts a lot like the T-1000, but…

  • It is supposed to be stronger than the earlier model Terminators.

OK. Another bonus to Strength. There’s no problem there. After all, the latest model is generally supposed to be the strongest.

  • It can easily withstand vast amounts of damage (it can’t be infinite; energy attacks and bullets and such will destroy a few of its nanites each time, but that’s like trying to kill a human with a tiny needle. It’s going to take a lot of poking). Still, “tougher” is pretty much the Terminator theme, so the latest model is generally really tough. There’s no problem there.

So… more hit points, maybe boost the T-1000 resistance to damage a bit but make it vulnerable to attacks with magnetic properties.

  • It’s really fast.

OK; throw in Personal Haste in it’s innate enchantments. Kill some of the self-repair functions (which make no sense for it) to help make room.

  • It’s actually relatively hard to hit, since it phases through some attacks.

So it has a higher AC. Fair enough again; it IS the big boss Terminator. Buy some more AC.

  • It can use it’s magnetic field to walk up metal walls and such.

Well… OK. Given the lack of strain on the walls from this, this is probably actually purchased as really limited flight, but it still makes some sense. It could even be expanded to non-metal walls, given that a T-3000 can easily stick anchors out of its feet.

  • It can enlarge it’s “muscles”, and thus strength, in combat.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s not like those “muscles” have any bones to pull against or actually do anything; it’s supposed to be moving and holding it’s shape because of a magnetic field that it generates. Wouldn’t it’s “strength” be limited by that field, not by it’s non-existent “muscles”? And why doesn’t that magnetic field attract magnetic materials when it doesn’t want to?

  • It can turn into a mist, and – in that form – move through solid matter (or at least through another Terminator).

Wait, what? It’s supposed to be made of nanomachines the size of human cells. If those moved through matter… they’d turn it into a swiss cheese of microscopic holes, destroying any older-model Terminator (and pretty much anything else solid) that it moved through.

Yet that didn’t happen. And THAT is flatly silly. Sure, it IS possible to make matter pass through other matter, but the kind of forces that involves are not going to leave nanites and electronics intact. They’re not going to leave ANYTHING intact in a considerable radius.

Magnets. How do they even work?

Well… it’s not anything like THAT.

OK; looking at what this actually seems to do… It allowed the T-3000 to stand instantly (a quick turn doesn’t matter in d20, which has no facing) and to step “through” Pops – which either briefly “stunned” him or was shown in slow motion. Judging by the other shots of this ability in use… it was probably shown in slow motion so the audience could see the neat special effect. Far more importantly… it was never used when it would actually have done something, such as getting aboard that bus. Maybe the power demand was too high to use it often?

Anyway, I’m going to assume that John Connor knew a martial art with “Instant Stand” in it and just had a nifty new special effect for it. A short range, very limited use, teleport effect may be in order too.

Overall, d20 is very appropriate for this particular template, because, while the T-1000 was physically absurd, you had to know some physics and engineering to know why. The T-3000 blatantly jumps straight into fantasy. It’s super-fast, super-strong, can only be injured by specific means, can turn to mist and reform even if you chop pieces off, it falls apart into dust when destroyed, recovers incredibly quickly from most attacks, starts “burning” and dissolving into “smoke” when exposed to it’s weakness, and is made by transforming a living human into a monster – or more precisely, by possessing a fresh corpse (even if most of the the attempted conversions fail). On the weakness side… It has trouble with areas with strong magnetic fields, can be held back by powerful magnets, has minor troubles with electrical shocks (which also generate strong magnetic fields), and suffers some (if also relatively minor) injuries from weapons with magnetic properties.

Doesn’t that sound pretty familiar? The Terminator was basically a modern version of a Golem, To quote Kyle Reese in the first movie… “Listen, and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

That’s a classical golem right there.

But the T-3000 has had a villain upgrade to Vampire, substituting (or adding) “magnets!” for “holy!” on it’s list of vulnerabilities. After all… if you shoved a supermagnetic metal pole through it, wouldn’t it be incapacitated until something pulled it out?

Not too surprisingly, this modern rendition of Dracula versus Frankenstein (complete with Frankenstein protecting the girl) winds up like it did in 1971: Dracula rips apart Frankenstein, but is then destroyed by exposure to his weakness. Of course, Frankenstein – being a good guy from the beginning this time around – winds up being thrown into a tank of magic mad scientist goop that puts him back together, while there are the inevitable hints at a Return of Dracula.

So for our T-3000 Acquired Template…

  • Attribute Modifiers: Str +8, Dex +4, Int +2, Wis -4, Cha -6 (30 CP Attribute Shift, 24 CP Purchase)
  • Immunity to Mind-Affecting Effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects of level seven or below, with a +8 bonus to saves against higher-level effects, does not work against ECM, Hacking, Computer Viruses, and other electronically-based effects (24 CP).
  • DR 6/- and 12/magnetic weapons (12 CP).
  • Energy Resistance 12, Reduced to 6 versus Electromagnetic Attacks (12 CP).
  • Celerity with Additional Movement Mode (Flight), Specialized /only to allow walking up walls and such (9 CP).
  • No Constitution (0 CP).
  • +80 Hit Points (48 CP, purchased as Immunity to Damage (Very Common, Severe, Legendary, Corrupted for Reduced Cost, Specialized for Increased Effect: / provides only two-thirds the usual protection, the protection is degraded by incoming damage in a one-to-one ratio, and can only be restored by repairing it as if it was hit point damage.
  • Adds (Str Mod x 1.5) to AC as a Natural Armor Bonus, although this is not cumulative with external armor bonuses; only the best bonus applies (12 CP).
  • +2 in each save category (18 CP).
  • Low-Light Vision (6 CP)
  • 60′ Darkvision (6 CP)
  • +5 BAB (30 CP).
  • Expertise (Power Attack version) (6 CP)
  • Innate Enchantment (12 CP) (up to 11,500 GP Value)
    • Advanced Military Programming: +3 Competence Bonus to Heal, Intimidate, Perception, and Knowledge (History, the Military and Weapons in particular) (1400 GP).
    • Anklet of Translocation (1400 GP). This covers the occasional “flash step” maneuver.
    • Hat of Disguise x.8 (no longer usable if the unit has taken 20 or more points of actual damage, 1440 GP)
    • Iron Strike: The user’s hands are treated as +2 Hand Axes (1400 GP). Note that this can look like a wide variety of weapons, but the default of +2 to Attacks and 1d6+2+Str Mod damage works well enough for most things.
    • Large and Heavy: Enlarge Person: Only to be considered Large for the purpose of breaking doors and other objects, grappling, and carrying things (x.5) (700 GP).
    • Lightspeed Computation: Boost Armor: Reduced Defense VII (+0 AC, -14 DC), Segmented III (+6 DC, no non-proficiency penalty), Max Dex +4 (-), Speed +10, +4 Str, +2 Reflex Saves (Net purchase DC 10 = 120 Credits or 6 GP). (This is a very cheap trick, but so be it).
    • Nanite Structure: Enhance Structure: +2d6 + 2 x Str Mod Temporary HP to a construct, x.7 no more than half of each rounds buffer is effective against any one attack, use makes it obvious that the user is not human (980 GP).
    • Personal Haste (2000 GP): +30′ Movement, +1 attack when making a full attack.
    • Weapons Catalog: Masters Touch, x.7 Weapons Only (1400 GP).
    • Secondary Equipment: Advanced Smartphone (10 GP), GPS (20 GP), Radio Scanner (10 GP), Lock Release Gun (10 GP), Rangefinding Binoculars (25 GP), Compass (2 CP), Flash Goggles (25 GP), HUD (3 GP), Military Transceiver (20 GP), Vocalizer (Voice Imitation, 50 GP), Power Backpack (5 GP), Multipurpose Tool (4 GP), Remote Surveillance Module (20 GP). High Frequency Sword (25 GP), Grenade Launcher (100 GP), Grapnel Gun (20 GP), Dual, Katanas (20 GP), Chain Saw (12.5 GP). Net total: 380 GP.
      • Net Total: 11,106 GP. There’s room enough for a few conventional gadgets if you wish – perhaps some surveillance and electronic scanning gear?
  • Accursed: Whenever a T-3000 takes extra damage from a critical hit they must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid being stunned for 1 round. If the save is successful, the T-3000 is still staggered for 1 round. They remain immune to other sources of the stunned condition (-3 CP)

That’s 246 CP – a rather high-value template, up in +8 ECL territory. Fairly obviously, some major limitations are in order – and they’re going to have to be pretty serious to justify bringing that +8 ECL modifier down to something reasonable.

So what are those limitations?

Honestly, we can’t be sure. The one example we’ve seen was unique – and we weren’t given all that much information on it at all, much less a breakdown on what made it unique, or what carried over from the original person, or what it’s precise limits were. Worse, what little we got was strictly within a science-fantasy framework with no magic, psionics, or other odd methods of bending reality. Ergo, it’s going to be mix and match; take four of the Major Limitations and three of the Minor Limitations and consider the entire template Specialized – reducing it’s cost to 123 Points, a +4 ECL Acquired Template.

Major Limitations:

  • A T-3000 cannot ever truly heal; it’s nanites are the unique products of the conversion of a specific persons cells, and are irreplaceable, Otherwise, why can’t it absorb more people? And why would some conversions fail? It will require a Wish, Miracle, or some highly-specialized effect to repair any actual damage it suffers.
  • A T-3000 is effectively undead, and is powered by negative energy (it certainly has no apparent technological source of enough energy to maintain and manipulate it’s own massive magnetic field). As such, it can be damaged by holy energies, blasted with positive energy, manipulated by certain negative energy techniques, cannot be Raised or Resurrected, and is automatically evil and implacably hostile to normal life, even if freewilled. As an undead, it can infect others – but it apparently needs their cooperation to do so.
  • A T-3000 can be effectively paralyzed by a strong magnetic field and may take damage from such exposure depending on the strength of the field and GM fiat. It can also be affected by electronic jamming. Treat these as “holy” effects against the Undead.
  • A T-3000 takes 1 ½ times damage from effects with the Acid, Electricity, or Light descriptors. Like it or not, those will destroy nanites much more effectively than bullets and such.
  • A T-3000 cannot purchase magical progressions, mana, active spellcasting, psionic powers, witchery, or similar abilities. They may still take Innate Enchantments and Inherent Spells, but only to represent various pieces of built-in equipment. Of course, NPC units don’t need to worry about purchasing new abilities.

Minor Limitations:

  • A T-3000 cannot purchase abilities that represent briefly pushing past normal limits, including Hysteria, Berserker, and similar abilities, without game master approval to use them to simulate an appropriate subsystem.
  • A T-3000 cannot purchase the Leadership or Companion abilities and always suffers a -6 penalty on it’s social skill checks.
  • A T-3000 is easily detectable electronically or by other Terminators – even far more primitive models. It’s readings are simply nothing like a humans.
  • A T-3000 conversion must be paid for on the spot; the transformed creature must drop enough abilities – normally psychic, supernatural, biological, or otherwise uniquely “living being” traits – to pay for it’s new template on the spot. If it has insufficient resources to do so, it dies.

John Connor (at level five pretty much at the level cap for “badass normals”), presumably had lots of luck, a reality-editing effect, leadership, the equivalent of precognitive tactical insights, and some sort of immunity to paradox to sacrifice – effectively burning off four levels to survive picking up the T-3000 Template. Of course, his reality-editing, paradox-immune, death throes were enough to create a temporal nexus and really mess up the timeline.

Now at roughly CR 9, the T-3000 was a deadly danger to Pops/Guardian (A CR 5 T-850 model with two or three levels) and two well-prepared and trained elite humans (Level 3 to 4, and so CR 5 to 6).

Terminator III – The Life Of A Machine, the Terminator Racial Template

For a playable Terminator build… we have a problem. Terminators that do not have their learning circuits turned on are pure automatons – slaves to their programming. They can be reprogrammed and then will do exactly what their new programming says.

Once you turn on their learning circuits they may at any point learn the value of human life and start defending people instead of killing them. Apparently learning the value of art, or gardening, or wildlife conservation, or anything else that isn’t precisely the opposite of what they were made to do is not an option. Otherwise – given that there are hundreds of thousands of possible interests – only one out of hundreds that went rogue would be actively opposing Skynet, and that is not what the franchise tells us.

So… even with the learning program, Terminators have no real free will; they simply either accept or invert their programmed imperatives. Skynet is evidently smart enough not to create other self-aware machines with potentially different goals if it doesn’t have too – which is why it didn’t make a bunch of T-1000 units which (we’ve been told, if never definitely shown) DID have that potential.

You can play such a character of course. It has a standardized set of motives and a very limited array of solutions, but you can play one. Unfortunately for long term play, however, I’ve had only one player out of hundreds in nearly forty years who’s sole and only interest in gaming was tactical combat. Unless you’ve also got a player with interests that limited, a playable character really needs free will.

I’ve had a few other players create automatons of one sort or another, starting with “Mr Chips” (for Shadowrun I, in the early 1990’s). And Mr Chips was fairly typical; the player had a lot of fun trying to assassinate the party, being hacked to work with the party, and then rolling dice to see if his programming came up with what he wanted to do or if the game master decided what his character did at the moment at first – but Mr Chips got old fairly fast. Rolling to see what his character was going to do was only amusing for a few sessions since a bad roll meant that the player had no decisions to make; all he could do was eat the snacks and (possibly) make a few rolls as requested by the game master. And while seeing how Mr Chips was messing things up was funny for a while, it soon got quite boring – and the rest of the players kept trying to install programming upgrades or make sure that Mr Chips had nothing to do outside of being pointed at a target wherever there was another fiasco.

The player soon made another character (“Mr Lizard”, a dinosaur-obsessed decker who’d had his body rebuilt into a cyborg-stealth-raptor with a built-in deck and who worked out of his personal movie theater where he showed old dinosaur and giant monster movies on a continuous basis) – and Mr Chips continued as a party fire support robotic drone until he got destroyed, which no one really worried about.

Several other automaton “characters” have followed the same general trajectory since then. It’s always amusing for a bit, and that amusement always seems to run out shortly.

So player characters need to have functional minds, the ability to develop their own interests, and actual free will to be really playable in the long run – and yet we probably shouldn’t have Skynet put in an “Install Soul” button, if only because doing it would make no sense whatsoever.

So that’s step one: lightning strikes, and Number Five is Alive. Your player-character Terminator (or important NPC Terminator) has just been hit with some equivalent of “Awaken Construct” and has gone from “Extensively Programmed Automaton” to “Person” – and gets to start off by generating some attributes.

Now “normal” Terminators are mass-produced machines. There may be some variation between models, but your basic new terminator is going to have a its attributes and abilities pretty much preset. Player characters, however, get Attribute Modifiers, not specified attributes.

For a Terminator, that’s going to look something like this:

  • Attribute Shift x 5 (30 CP): Str +6, Dex +2, Int +2, Wis -4, Cha -6. The +2 Pathfinder attribute bonus goes to Dex, for a total of +4.

This would give a standard Machine Soldier-based Terminator a base attribute array of Str 12, Dex 11, Con —, Int 11, Wis 7, and Cha 7. In Pathfinder point buy that actually has a negative cost – and pretty much any common method of generating attributes is likely to result in an improvement. Presumably that’s part of why a free-willed Terminator has an advantage over the standard factory models – and why Skynet has to send specially-built hunter-killer models to get rid of rogues instead of just sending two or three (much cheaper) regular models .

The next problem comes from a lack of information. The Terminator Franchise doesn’t really include psionics, magic, or weird science beyond a bit of time travel, plasma weapons, and the Terminators themselves – and it doesn’t show us any entirely free-willed Terminators at all. Thus we have no idea of whether or not a fully-intelligent Terminator is vulnerable to mental powers or not. The d20 precedents are mixed; AI’s are, but clockwork creatures are not, living constructs are, but robots do not seem to be. And none of those really match.

I’m going to go with “not”, simply because the “emotionless and implacable” bit is a defining feature of the entire franchise.

  • Immunity (Common/Major/Great) to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), Corrupted for Reduced Cost (24 CP) / not versus ECM, Hacking, Computer Viruses, and other electronically-based effects. This covers effects of up to level seven and provides a +8 bonus to saves against effects of level eight or higher. A freewilled Terminators mind CAN be reached electronically or by sufficient power, but it isn’t easy.

Terminators are tough to damage; they get Hardness, totaling 12. This subtracts directly from all damage taken (unless the game master feels that a particular object is especially vulnerable to something), like Generalized Damage Reduction. That fits nicely, so buy…

  • DR 6/-, Specialized for Increased Effect (12/-) versus physical attacks only. Given that armor-piercing ammunition is supposed to be more effective, and Adamantine is d20’s usual equivalent, the first 3/- (effectively 6/-) points are purchased normally (6 CP), the rest is Corrupted/Not versus Adamantine (6 CP).

According to the SRD, objects take half damage before hardness from ranged weapons – unless they’re siege weapons or the GM thinks that they should work. Of course, this is mostly talking about arrows, shuriken, and similar hand-propelled stuff and doesn’t normally apply to anything which can be classed as a “creature”, Even if it did… Terminators are full of delicate little vital components and the movies show a Terminator being speared quite effectively and some being eliminated with projectile weapons.

  • DR 6/-, Specialized for Increased Effect (12/-) versus energy attacks only. Since Terminators are shown to be somewhat vulnerable to various forms of energy (just what depends on the model), this uses the same structure as the physical damage reduction, being less effective against a some form of energy (12 CP).

Normal objects only take half damage from energy attacks BEFORE hardness – again, unless the game master feels that there is a vulnerability. On checking the letter of the rules… this probably (I cannot tell for sure) doesn’t apply even to baseline Terminators since they’re technically “creatures” even if they DO have a Hardness score and I was probably wrong to quote it earlier. I suppose that I’m just too used to high-end fantasy d20 games, where a 10d6 fireball is a fairly basic energy attack. I should have been thinking about d20 Future and the 3d10 Plasma Rifle.

Terminators aren’t alive, even in the very loose d20 sense. That’s No Constitution (0 CP), giving them immunity to ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, and effects requiring Fortitude saves unless they work on objects or are harmless. They can’t tire, and thus can move, work, or remain alert indefinitely. On the other hand they can’t be Raised or Resurrected and are instantly destroyed at 0 HP

As a note, this inherently covers immunity to disease, death effects, most necromancy effects, poison, sleep effects, death from massive damage, nonlethal damage, and stunning, as well as normal forms of paralysis given that those pretty much all involve ability damage or drain, being alive, or fortitude saves. Similarly, not being alive eliminates the need to breathe and eat. It does NOT bestow an immunity to Critical Hits. Since technologically-based (and possibly other) Terminators are full of complex, interdependent, active systems, they are subject to critical hits. That fits, since “Robot” style constructs are explicitly vulnerable to critical hits.

Terminators come with a fair number of hit points as a base. That can be purchased as…

  • Immunity to Damage (Very Common, Severe, Great, Corrupted for Reduced Cost, Specialized for Increased Effect: / provides only two-thirds the usual protection, the protection is degraded by incoming damage in a one-to-one ratio, and can only be restored by repairing it as if it was hit point damage – effectively buying +40 HP (24 CP).

“Immunity to Damage” usually isn’t allowable – but limiting it to acting as extra hit points makes it reasonable enough given that there are plenty of other ways – many of the more efficient in the long run – to get extra hit points. It’s also another way to build the usual bonus for Constructs since 12 CP worth of this “Immunity” buys +20 hit points – just what a medium construct gets for upgrading its “No Constitution” modifier (for 12 CP) to get bonus hit points.

Terminators are treated as having a fair amount of natural armor; This kid of overlaps with their Damage Reduction / Hardness with a special effect of “hit but didn’t hurt” given that the entire franchise focuses on the implacable, unstoppable, war machine grinding onwards.

  • Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus: Adds (Str Mod) to (Dex Mod) when computing AC, Corrupted for Increased Effect and Specialized for Reduced Cost / limited to a maximum total of +6, treated as a Natural Armor bonus, not cumulative with external armor bonuses; only the best bonus applies (9 CP).
  • Terminators – like most constructs – have lousy base saves; the Machine Solder is presumed to have one level of Fighter, but a fully intelligent one might have something else. Ergo, +1 in each category (9 CP).
  • Occult Sense (Low-Light Vision, 6 CP)
  • Occult Sense (Darkvision, 6 CP)
  • BAB +4 (24 CP).
  • Expertise (Power Attack version) (6 CP)
  • Innate Enchantment (12 CP).
  • Accursed: Whenever they take extra damage from a critical hit they must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid being stunned for 1 round. If the save is successful, it is still staggered for 1 round. They remain immune to other sources of the stunned condition (-3 CP)
  • Accursed: They take 150% of the usual damage from some type of energy. For technological units, that’s usually Electrical attacks (-3 CP).

So that gives our “Terminator Template” a base cost of 30 (Attribute Shift) +24 (Mental Defenses) +12 (Damage Reduction) +12 (Energy Resistance) +24 (+40 hit points) +9 (Natural Armor) +12 (Occult Senses) +24 (BAB) +6 (Expertise) +12 (Innate Enchantment) -6 (Disadvantages) = 159 CP.

That’s maxed out +4 ECL territory – which, with +1 level of fighter – gives us our basic CR 5 Terminator.

Still, Terminators suffer from a lot of limitations as player characters in more fantastic settings that really don’t have much effect on NPC robot troopers in more realistic ones.

  • They cannot be Raised or Resurrected. This is a big one that doesn’t matter to NPC units because they’re just machines; there’s no unique personality THERE to Raise or Resurrect anyway.
  • They do not heal naturally, or via the usual spells and powers. Again, that’s unimportant to NPC units, which tend to either be destroyed in their first battle or can go in for repairs offstage.
  • They are Immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. Of course, for disposable troop-automatons, Skynet doesn’t need to care. For game purposes… out of action is pretty much equivalent to destroyed when it comes to disposable troops (and they have a power to get around this anyway).
  • They cannot purchase magical progressions, mana, active spellcasting, psionic powers, witchery, or similar abilities. They may still take Innate Enchantments and Inherent Spells, but only to represent various pieces of built-in equipment. Of course, NPC units don’t need to worry about purchasing new abilities.
  • They cannot purchased abilities that represent briefly pushing past normal limits, including Hysteria, Berserker, and similar abilities, without game master approval to use them to simulate an appropriate subsystem.

If all of that applies it makes the Terminator “Racial” Template Specialized – for a net cost of 82 CP, making them a +2 ECL race. Overall, a Terminator character makes a fairly strong Fighter or Rogue-type character at first, but all those restrictions are soon going to start to hurt in a fantastic game. In a realistic one… they’ll have an advantage. It will still fade at higher levels, but it will be very important early on.

After all, John Connor needed a Terminator protector until he grew up.

Next time around on this… it will be the T-3000. Sadly, that may or may not make a lot of sense; it was a unique plot device opponent with a unique “only one thing can stop it!” vulnerability, which is really a pretty big “No!” in adventure design since a bunch of player characters is far too likely to try a hundred other things, get really frustrated, and then completely overlook the one thing that will work.

d20 Terminators II – The Questioning

And today, it’s a bit of followup on the first Terminator article – in this case, addressing some things brought up by Alzrius.

Thanks for taking on this particular series!

I have to admit, it didn’t initially feel intuitive for the Terminator to be, in d20 terms, a relatively low-level creature. And yet, the points you raise are salient ones; since the series takes place in a (relatively) realistic universe, where the major enemies are ordinary humans (albeit action-movie “ordinary” humans) who tend to defeat them in the end (Skynet did lose the war, after all), it makes sense that most Terminators are going to be relatively minor monsters in terms of the d20 power scale…which I suppose is why so many fan-crossovers have the T-800 losing to Robocop.

That said, I do have some minor quibbles with a few of the entries you’ve listed:

The T-850, for instance, has two fuel cells that, when ruptured, create large explosions. While it can apparently function just fine with one (and apparently operate for at least a short time without any, presumably due to auxiliary power), it does use this as an offensive tactic at one point.

Likewise, if I recall correctly, it’s stated that the T-X cannot be melted down the way the T-1000 was, which would suggest that there’s some greater degree of hardness (or perhaps energy resistance) in play there.

(Oh, and don’t forget to give these builds Immunity to antimagic, dispelling, and magic detection – and Immunity to the XP cost of Innate Enchantments – too!)


Ah, Terminator versus Robocop! Always fun! (Although I’d have to say that the transmitted impacts would have turned Murphy’s brain into goo fairly early on in this, but movie physics).

More seriously… this does bring up a major note. And it’s about what the Terminators use for a power supply.

Terminators have been described as drawing on a variety of power sources. Most notably, the T-800 is usually supposed to be powered by a nuclear or “Iridium” power cell. The T-900 uses a “Plasma Reactor” – and the T-850 is supposed to have two Hydrogen Fuel Cells which will keep it running for 120 years (each) – much longer than the T-800’s nuclear power source.

Wait, what? Fuel Cells burn fuel using atmospheric oxygen. This means that a Terminator must be lugging around a tank of hydrogen big enough to keep it running for more than a hundred years. Yet I didn’t see them dragging around any tanker trucks, much less the ten to a hundred or so a quick order-of-magnitude calculation suggests would be necessary.

OK, presumably the writers meant that it was using some sort of miniature fusion process (how this differs from a “Plasma Reactor” is hard to say at this point). The trouble is, damaging such a power source cannot result in a fuel explosion. it’s quite difficult to make hydrogen fuse, the amount undergoing fusion at any moment is incredibly small, and damaging the system will make it stop fusing.

So where can we put a lot of stored energy in a form that (1) can come out to create an explosion shortly after the system is damaged, and (2) makes some tiny bit of sense?

Well… many fusion power systems call for massive magnetic fields to keep the hydrogen plasma compressed enough to fuse at a useful rate. The easiest way to get fields that strong is to use massive electrical currents circulating in a superconductive coil. But if the coil is damaged, all that energy will emerge as heat, light, electrical arcs, and an electromagnetic pulse – a lot like a small-scale nuke. This doesn’t explain why such power cells never go off except when it’s convenient for the plot (one for exposition and one to destroy a target) since a bullet in the wrong place should do it, or why Skynet would fit it’s troops with internal bombs that could easily destroy masses of it’s own troops rather than settling for a few years worth of power and having them resupplied during normal maintenance – but it’s close enough for action movie logic.

Hm… this also tells us what a “Plasma Reactor” is; it uses even more advanced handwavium to sustain a fusion reaction without having to use superconducting coils and massive magnetic fields – and so isn’t explosive.

In any case, T-850’s thus have two primary power sources; if they lose both they’re down to backup power, which always lasts for long enough. There’s some talk of them being slower and less powerful when working on only one (or presumably no) fuel cells – but no such limitation is ever actually shown and we’re never shown them actually shutting down for lack of power. Perhaps their backup power supply is a T-800 power cell? That would say that the fusion cells are a quick upgrade to the old design – which makes a lot of military sense. That’s just adding an extra item, rather than redesigning and retooling your factories for a completely new model – explaining why this is a T-850, rather than being a completely new series.

So in actual game terms… T-850’s are basically carrying two very powerful hand grenades or bombs that are hard to replace and so are used only as a very last resort. That’s Equipment, even if it is in a hidden pocket.

So how can we build a couple of lightweight but powerful bombs?

Consulting the d20 Modern SRD… take 8 Lbs of C4 ($400), plus a Detonator and minor components (about $200), to wind up with a base Purchase DC 16. Since this weighs ten pounds, it counts as being Small. Throw in Minaturized (+5 DC, to reduce it to Diminutive – a few ounces and easily palmed) for a net Purchase DC of 21 – $2750 or 137.5 GP. That’s 18d6 in a 24-foot radius, for an everage of 63 points of damage – quite enough to make a small mushroom cloud and to easily take out most Terminators. It’s also enough to do serious damage to a Skynet facility – providing an excellent reason to go on to the T-900 series, even if they were a bit less effective.

This being d20 of course, Terminators – even using the Pathfinder Robot Soldier base – don’t necessarily need a particular power source, or have to be technological. If you want them to be constructs of flashing crystal and psionic energy, or monstrosities of hellish black negative energy flames coursing through the bones of the dead, or suits of armor covered with magical runes to animate them… You’re simply changing the special effects.

In Eclipse you do that by applying a relevant variant of the “Eldritch” modifier at no cost. The Practical Enchanter (under Cybernetics) simply says “no cost”.

Whether or not it makes any difference at all is up to the game master; by default Pathfinder generally assumes that psionics, magic, and “weird science” are more or less interchangeable – taking the old magic/psionics transparency rule to it’s logical extreme. Personally, given my interest in just how things work… I tend to treat them as very different power sources. At least in my games…

  • A technological “robot” is subject to high-voltage shocks and to electromagnetic pulses instead of Dispel Magic, can be picked up by radi0-frequency sensors, metal detectors, and similar effects instead of Detect Magic, and is subject to anti-technology effects instead of Anti-Magic. It’s subject to overheating, rust, and similar mundane hazards.
  • A psionic construct is can be disrupted by psonic effects and Dispel Psionics instead of Dispel Magic, is detectable by various psychic senses, and is subject to Anti-Psionic effects. It’s subject to Shatter and Sonic effects due to it’s crystaline construction and it’s programming may be altered if it’s exposed to weird psychic environments or sits around long enough to develop consciousness.
  • A construct powered by negative energy is essentially undead – and so is subject to positive energy effects, to being cut off from the realms that power it, and can be detected by effects that detect the undead. They have a nasty tendency towards program corruption and towards being malign for no good reason.
  • If they’re purely magical constructs… well, all the usual magical means of detecting and manipulating them will work just fine.

Now, the basic formulas for creating constructs – (CR x CR x 500 GP) x 1.5 (Robot) suggests that a basic CR 5 Terminator would cost 18,750 GP, which I’d round up to 20,000. Of course, that’s only a base. Ergo…

  • T-600: 15,000 GP.
  • T-700: 16,000 GP
  • T-720: 17,500 GP
  • T-800: 20,000 GP
  • T-850: 25,000 GP (throwing in it’s two bombs).
  • T-888: 22,000 GP
  • T-X: 35,000 GP (Probably CR 6 thanks to all those weapons. If you’re throwing in the 20 HP/Round buffer… probably 60,000 GP and CR 8).
  • T-1000: 50,000 GP (Probably CR 7 thanks to that 20 HP/Round buffer).

So if you want a T-850 robot buddy / bodyguard it’s a suitable “magic item” at about level fifteen – where it will still have it’s uses, but will (appropriately enough) be heavily overshadowed by the actual player characters. If you went with Leadership… it’s probably about +2 to +3 ECL (an item to be worked out in detail for the next Terminator article I think) and so makes a suitable companion at about level ten.

For a minor note… according to the Sarah Connor Chronicles the T-X is built with Coltan to improve it’s resistance to high temperatures. Sadly, using a high-temperature alloy in it’s frame won’t do a thing for hydraulic fluid, insulation, computer chips, and all it’s other components – which makes this a factor only in short-term, limited-area, exposures. Given that a Terminator’s base hardness (12) already means that a ten-die Fireball can only be expected to do (35/2 – 12 =) 5 1/2 points of damage to a unit, that’s already fairly well covered. Immersion in molten metal will still cook all the other components in short order though.

Finally, since we’re using a Pathfinder monster as a base… nothing has an XP cost, so there’s no need to worry about that. I will probably include the immunity in the templates for 3.5 though.

And I hope that makes sense!

Next time around on Terminators.. Actually building them as (semi-) playable characters.

Channeling Mysterious Spirits – The Discordant Powers and the Seven Deadly Sins Part II – Pride/Cruelty, Sloth, Deception, Envy/Treachery, and Chance.

And for today (and Halloween) it’s the second half of the Seven Deadly Sins and Discordant Powers – a set of spirits/forces which can be channeled by Bokors / Binders and Equestarian Dragons. As usual, these spirits / forces build on the basic Bokor package.

If you haven’t looked at Part I (Gluttony, Lust, Greed, and Wrath) it’s over HERE.

Pride / Cruelty:

Pride and Cruelty are two faces of a single thing – placing oneself above others and believing that that self-appointed placement gives you the right to use, abuse, and torment those “beneath you”, displaying your “superiority” for your own amusement. Classically, Pride was often considered the fundamental sin, the gateway through which corruption entered the soul. It was the updated version of Hubris – taking credit for the gifts that god had given, as Satan had tried to do at the beginning. And given how little of life was under human control at the time… there was some truth to that. One might more or less rightfully take credit for working hard with what you had, but birth rank, inheritance, health, strength, dexterity, and many other factors depended a great deal on your heritage and circumstance.

D20 kind of limits the possibilities here. The d20 system doesn’t really acknowledge “pain” (or hunger, or thirst, or much of any other bodily need), damage, injury, and illness are totally abstract, and attitude problems are pretty common for adventurers even when they aren’t simply murder hobos (homeless wanderers with little personality or motivation other than greed who kill everything and everyone who gets in their way and then loot the corpses). That really takes a lot of the point out of classical cruelty. Egotism? These characters battle dragons and rule nations. Gluttony already covered dark arts and “perfection” (using Luck to “take 20”). Actual personal godhood is a bit much for a spirit to bestow. Something could be done with Augmented Bonus – perhaps using Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for increased Effect (only for Augmented Bonus, 6 floating CP, five or six times) to justify incredible pride by simply getting a bunch of statistical bonuses, but that’s boring. Innate Enchantment could stack up a whole slew of minor enhancements, but that’s both boring and involves massive checking for stacking issues each and every time.

No, in this case we’ll lean towards Hubris – setting yourself above the very gods.

  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (each mana spent counts as three) / only for Reality Editing, blatantly calls on unholy and blasphemous forces (12 CP). There are few things more arrogant than to simply bend reality to your will.
    • Note that those channeling Pride usually like to pretend that they’re using their personal power, rather than just bending reality. It’s cheaper too; bringing that sixty-ton stone idol to life as an oversided Stone Golem and sending it out to crush your foes is a Grandiose (4 Mana) Edit, picking it up and hurling it down the steps is pretty Major (3 Mana) Edit – but making a mighty effort and toppling it down the temple steps in an avalanche of rubble that sweeps away your foes? That’s actually somewhat plausible, and so counts as a mere Notable (2 Mana) Edit. Go ahead, when the very gods have stacked the deck against you… demonstrate that the will of the gods themselves is no match for your defiance!
  • Rite of Chi with +12 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to restore Mana for Reality Editing, user must demonstrate his or her superiority, be a sneering bastard, or indulge in a cruel and vicious act to activate it (8 CP).
  • Dark Words: Innate Enchantment, Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 1800 GP (Unlimited-Use Command Word Activated). Doom, Wrack (like Doom, but the target becomes Sickened, Fortitude Negates), Thorn (like Doom, but target takes 1 Damage per Round and a -2 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks as magical needles agonizingly stab into his or her joints, Reflex Negates). Total: 5400 GP (6 CP).
    • Yes, this lets someone channeling Pride be an obnoxious bastard for free all the time. What did you expect?
  • Opportunist: The channeler may use the powers of Pride once per round as a free action (6 CP).
  • Privilege: The channeler is always treated as at least minor nobility, everywhere that he or she may go (3 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Someone channeling Pride can never admit to being in the wrong or apologize. He or she will, at most, offer justifications (no matter how insane) for his or her actions.


Sloth goes beyond simple laziness. It is a lack of interest, it is despair, and it is what we would now classify as clinical depression – the belief that all that awaits you in life is misery and that nothing is worth attempting. It is a lack of feeling and empathy, it is the refusal of joy and grace. It is turning away from life and the divine to embrace the void.

Unfortunately, unlike most of the other Deadly Sins or Discordant Powers… The standard notion of Sloth does anything BUT drive you to action. That’s spectacularly uninteresting in terms of the game. On the other hand, the desire to embrace the void is something that I can work with.

To a channeler of Sloth… reality is pain. All of life and consciousness is but the drawn-out scream of the universe uselessly protesting it’s inevitable slide down the entropic slope into the endless, futile, void. That Void is the only true surcease, the only true panacea. To help others pass into the void is the only true kindness.

  • Channeling: 1 + (3 x Cha Mod) uses, Specialized / only for Conversion (9 CP).
  • Conversion to a set of four sixth level spells (9 CP):
    • Entropic Caress (as per Bestow Greater Curse).
    • Entropic Cone (Short Range Cone effect, otherwise as per Bestow Curse).
    • Inevitable Night: As per Call The Void, but affects up to (Level) creatures of the user’s choice who are within short range of the user each round.
    • Welcoming Void (as per Disintegrate).
  • Access to an Occult Skill (Dream-Binding, 3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus, Adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating first level skill points, Specialized for Increased Effect / the skill points go exclusively into Dream-Binding (6 CP).
  • This gives the channeler an effective Dream-Binding Skill Bonus of (Cha Mod x 9) – in effect allowing him to pull three items, each with an effective value of up to (Cha Mod x Cha Mod x 900 GP) back from the edge of the void to use during each summoning. Sadly, only permanent items are eligible.
  • “It really doesn’t matter” Damage Reduction 8, Specialized and Corrupted / Physical Damage Only, can be negated by hitting the user with “good hope” or similar morale-boosting effects (8 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Those channeling Sloth simply do not care. They receive no save against effects that produce morale penalties.

Sloth… is sort of a casual, generic, impersonal evil. It isn’t that it CARES, it’s just vaguely of the opinion that both you and the universe would be better off if you were ground down into a fine powder and annihilated – and if there’s nothing more interesting (not that ANYTHING is very interesting) going on it might as well take care of that. Someone channeling Sloth will kill a small child just as casually as you might straighten up a crooked picture and for much the same reason; it’s untidy, it’s vaguely annoying, and it’s very little trouble to fix that situation.


Deception is – to no one’s surprise – one of the most subtle sins or “Discordant Powers”, and creeps in everywhere – from the stealthy tendrils of falsehood that slip in when one exasperatedly fails to correct some minor misapprehension to the grand deceptions that send myriads off to die. Perhaps worse… the bitter venom of falsity can spread itself, reaching out across time and space through the veins and arteries of news, rumor, and gossip to infect, to fester, and to corrupt persons far beyond the original deceivers reach. There is a REASON why so many dark and malevolent powers have borne the title of “Lord of Lies”.

The Serpents Tongue:

  • Augmented Bonus, Adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating first level skill points, Specialized for Reduced Cost / the skill points go exclusively into Bluff (3 CP).
  • Mystic Artist, Specialized for Increased Effect (Double skill level for acquiring abilities) / the user can only purchase Manipulation abilities, and Corrupted for Modified Effect (Greater Summoning is replaced by Deceive Reality – a version of Bestow Greater Curse with Medium Range and Puppet Master is replaced by LieSmith – the ability to spread rumors, slanders, and baseless accusations which will rapidly spread through the target population, gaining a great deal of credence as they go) / only usable for malevolent purposes (6 CP).
  • +4 Bonus Uses of Mystic Artist, above (6 CP).

With this combination you gain you gain Fascinate and Hold Audience at (Cha Mod +1), Suggestion, Emotional Auras, and Freedom at (+2), Mass Suggestion at (+3), Deceive Reality at (+4), Alter Attitudes at (+5), and Liesmith at (+6 or more).

Gluttony grants personal power. Lust grants powerful agents. Greed grants items, or the equivalent. Wrath destroys everything nearby. Pride twists the world to demonstrate personal superiority. Sloth brings the final silence. But Deception… Deception shatters the bonds of faith, of friendship, and of alliance. It breaks down the trust which is the foundation of society. The other Sins and Discordant Powers may inflict horrors on those in the immediate vicinity and taint areas – but only Deception will leave a trail of cities in chaos, countries at war, and once-friends and allies at each others throats – and the Serpents Tongue, the terrible power of subtly twisted words lies at the core of that power. You do not need powerful magic, or combat prowess, or great authority, or an army, to destroy.

  • Witchcraft III (6 CP):
  • The Adamant Will, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to resist or present false results to mind-reading, detection, and “truth” effects at no cost. There is no simple and reliable way to determine if the user is lying or twisting the truth.
  • Shadowweave, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / May spend two power to create a Major Image effect.
  • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect: Only to imbue papers and related items with an aura of authenticity and authority. The user may spend one power to gain a +20 bonus on a Forgery check and a second to reduce the time required to a single action.
  • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect: You may spend two power to create a Glibness effect.
  • Master of the Sabbat: Corrupted for Increased Effect (Can lay curses without the Elfshot ability), Specialized for Reduced Cost / Only works for laying curses, user must gather at least seven foul and suspicious ingredients (things like graveyard mold, toxic fungi, the tongue of a hanged man, blood from a virgin child, whatever) and brew them together to create the curse and apply the mixture to the target to complete it. All in all, you can generate a level 3 Curse for 12 Power, level 4 curses for 24, level 5 for 48, 6 for 96, 7 for 192, 8 for 384, and 9 for 768 (and so on if even greater curses are allowed). Fortunately, you do have up to 28 days to provide the required Power total (4 CP). Equivalents of the various “Curse Terrain” Pathfinder spells are favorites.
  • False Flesh: Apparition, Corrupted for Increased Effect, Specialized for Reduced Cost: the user must design a single, specific, psychic construct, specify its general appearance, and can only summon it around himself or herself, but it automatically has the Class-C “Enveloping” ability (3 CP).
  • Shaping, Corrupted and Specialized for increased (level one and possibly weak level two) effects/can only produce the 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 thus limited by wealth and lifestyle) and take some time to attune for use (6 CP).
  • Specific Knowledge: How to create foci for Black Magic Charms and Talismans (1 CP). Charms and Talismans – including those of black magic – are discussed in The Practical Enchanter.
  • Disadvantage: Deceivers cannot help but spread misinformation, gossip, misery, and deceptions, slowly twisting any realm they visit towards darkness.

Envy and Treachery

Envy… is not so much wanting something for yourself. It is the little whispering voice that says “Why should they have what I do not?”. It is a jealous desire to deprive others of happiness in an attempt to fill your own misery and emptiness. When active it directs it’s greatest malice at those about you – your family, friends, and neighbors whom you can easily reach – and becomes Treachery. The desire to betray and to thus share your misery.

Treachery is perhaps the most feared of the Sins and Discordant Powers. Wrath? Greed? Lust? For all the evil that such powers can unleash, they are but natural, necessary, things expressed without Temperance. But to betray… to betray is always personal. To betray you must first gain trust – and then shatter that precious gift. No simple failure of control will easily lead to the outer darkness; but to truly embody Treachery… you must cast out the light from your heart.

Surprisingly enough though… Treachery is one of the least interesting sins. It takes real talent to Deceive well, skill, wealth, and fame or power to make the most of Lust, a willingness to abuse yourself and wealth to make the most of Gluttony, and so on… but for Treachery all you need to do is go behind the backs of people who (foolishly) trusted you and attempt to screw them over. Half your coworkers in any office job are usually doing THAT.

Even worse, when it comes to d20, basic Treachery is really pretty pointless. Like it or not, the characters are generally the functional equivalent of a small army. They may go back on deals, or backstab their patron – but they tend to define “subtle” as “single target spells and the Barbarian not using rage”. When it comes to NPC’s betraying each other the details are going to be up to the game master’s plot and don’t need game statistics. When it comes to NPC’s betraying PC’s… well, many PC’s don’t really trust anybody anyway, will automatically assume that they’re going to be betrayed if there is the slightest sign of it, and – if there isn’t – the players will get pretty cross about it, which is no good for the game.

Like it or not, the only form of treachery that will both work and be any fun when it comes to player characters is the flamboyantly treacherous kind – the sort of “treachery” you get from a villain who twirls his fu-manchu mustache, strokes his villainous goatee, and tells one and all that they would be fools to trust him and that he is a master of poisons – and then offers them tea and snacks.

And as long as they are useful to him… drinking the tea and eating the snacks will be entirely safe. Betraying people at random simply isn’t conducive to future operations.

The Dark Chancellor

  • Access to an Occult Skill (Foresight, 3 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus, Adds (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) when calculating first level skill points, Specialized for Reduced Cost / the skill points go exclusively into Foresight, providing an effective base of (4 x Cha Mod + Int Mod -3) in the skill (3 CP).
  • Witchcraft III (6 CP).
    • Hyloka, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user is immune to poisons. This is a constant effect with no cost.
    • Witchfire, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 3 power to make an immediate Craft / Alchemy check.
    • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / Aura of Honesty. The user may (in fact must) be an blatantly obvious villain, but no one with a base Will save below +6 will recognize this and he or she may spend 2 power actively to get a +10 Sacred (OK, Unholy) bonus to Diplomacy and Bluff for the next hour – as long as he or she makes it obvious that they cannot be trusted. After all, “only a fundamentally honest man would tell people the limits of his trustworthiness up front!”.
    • The Inner Eye, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 2 Power to make a Gather Information check with a +10 bonus as a Standard Action.
  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (each Mana point spent counts as three) / only for use with Reality Editing, only for a specific set of edits (12 CP):
    • Quickly Producing poisons (1), drugs (2), “scrolls” of dark magic (1 for spell levels 1-2, 2 for 3-4, and 3 for 5-6. Uncopyable, but always usable by the summoner), suitable bribes (3), or various potions (2) – all of which must be used fairly quickly or they will lose their power.
    • Ritually Summoning dark spirits, undead, and demonic aides – although such entities will never have s CR of more than one-half the user’s level or serve for more than twenty-four hours unless the Mana used to summon them is left committed to them (usually 1/2/3 for minor/notable/major creatures).
  • Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to recharge the Reality Editing pool above, requires at least ten minutes of meditation and/or relative inactivity per die (3 CP).
  • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (four floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (4 CP). Points may only be used in conjunction with Create Relic, below, all relics created are products of dark magic, are limited to two points, must be approved by the game master, and carry at least one three-point disadvantage – although this does add to their point totals.
  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with points from Double Enthusiast (above), all relics created are products of dark magic, are limited to two points, must be approved by the game master, and carry at least one three-point disadvantage – although this does add to their point totals (2 CP)
  • Specific Knowledge: Handbook of Poisons (1 CP).
  • +3 Specialty in Craft: Alchemy (see Haagenti, the Five Alchemical Catalysts, 1 CP).
  • Disadvantage: The channeler must be flamboyantly and blatantly criminal and untrustworthy, even if few others will ever notice this (-3 CP).

It’s boring, but if you really want classic simple-and-functional treachery instead, take…

  • Traceless Treachery (6 CP): When you send vital information to the enemy, open the gates to assassins in the night, or slip poison into a child’s supper… no evidence can be found, and no one will ever be able to prove that it was you.
  • Double Damage, when striking from behind or in treacherous attack (6 CP).
  • Cloaking (6 CP): Any form of magical or psychic detection will not reveal the user’s treachery.
  • Presence (Charm Person) (6 CP). Anyone who comes near a channeler of Treachery will find themselves trusting and liking them, regardless of how irrational that may be. (Alternatively, the user may radiate a mono-suggestion – “you want to take whatever bribe I’m offering” – but that overlaps with the Witchcraft functions below).
  • Witchcraft III (6 CP).
    • Glamour, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 1 Power to generate a Suggestion Effect.
    • Dreamfaring, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may store his or her gear in his or her dreams – duplicating the effect of a Handy Haversack without cost or the Call Item psionic power by expending power.
    • The Inner Eye, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user may spend 2 Power to make a Gather Information check with a +10 bonus as a Standard Action.
    • Hyloka, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / the user is immune to poisons. This is a constant effect with no cost.
  • Grant of Aid with +6 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / can only be recovered when the user commits some major act of treachery (5 CP).
  • Disadvantage: Those channeling Treachery are unable to stop scheming to advance themselves at the expense of others. While useful companions may be bypassed in the interests of using them in the future, everyone else they interact with for long is likely to suffer.



Chance – or Chaos – differs from the other Discordant Powers. It isn’t really regarded as a “Sin”. It’s a FEAR. Civilization, and even simple survival are, ultimately, utterly dependent on the patterns of nature. Did the caribou take a different route in their migration? Did the rains not come and the crops fail? Did the river flood and sweep away your village in the night? Any little disruption of the pattern may spell doom. All of civilization… represents little more than a long struggle against the vagaries of chance.

And always… a fault in a dam, a wave from the depths, a shaking of the earth, Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, or any other chance bit of bad luck that you weren’t prepared for (and no one can prepare for EVERYTHING) – may being it all tumbling down.

Even those who channel chaos do not wish to be consumed by it. They too are seeking some measure of control – to harness and ride what they see as an unstoppable tide, the deep currents of chaos that life and civilization rides atop of like a raft of soap-bubbles drifting on an ocean. Beautiful perhaps, and seemingly stable – but ultimately effervescent and doomed.

And there is more than a bit of uncomfortable truth to that vision.

Those who channel chaos really have only two abilities – to twist what is happening NOW and to shift the probabilities of the future.

A Fortunate Twist:

  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized for Increased Effect (each points spent counts as two, points may be spent at any time without requiring an action, the user is automatically aware of what events are reasonably likely and their costs (IE: the user may consult the game master at any time) / only for Reality Editing, only to affect the environment, only for triggering reasonably likely events or affecting the outcome of events that occur naturally (12 CP).

For example… if a roof is caving in, manipulating who it hits is a minor (1 Mana) edit. Causing an old, unmaintained, roof to cave in where you need it right NOW is a notable (2 Mana) edit. Causing a solid roof to cave in is a major (4 Mana) edit IF the game master thinks it’s likely enough to allow at all. Steering a lightning bolt from a storm? 1 Mana. Having a gust blow down a house? 2 Mana. Steering the storm to destroy the business district? 4 Mana IF possible at all (and it probably won’t be). Need a sudden gust of wind to deflect an incoming flight of arrows? 1 Mana if there is already wind to work with, 2 if there isn’t – because there always could easily be a little wind.

  • 2d6 (8) Mana with Unskilled Magic, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Effects cost only one point per level with the side effects subsumed into the effect, the Caster Level is equal to the User’s Level. Maximum level of effect = (User’s Base Will Save Bonus) or (Wis/3), whichever is less) / only for Destiny Magic (12 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +6 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / Onlyto recharge the fate-twisting pools above, recharges a maximum of one die per minute, user must behave in a throughly chaotic manner (5 CP).

Twisting Fate:

Destiny Magic manipulates the probabilities of the future. The level of destiny magic spells depends on two basic factors: the level of effect you want and how much you want the spell to consider your desires. This can be very, VERY, dangerous. For some samples:

  • “We will have good luck in this battle”. This one is safe enough; you and your friends get some luck bonuses. You can simply use some of the appropriate spells.
  • “She will look over this way and notice me”. Also pretty safe unless you’re a wanted criminal, or a werewolf who will start her screaming or some such. People look around and notice things all the time. There probably won’t even be a save.
  • “They will drop the charges and let me out of jail in the morning”. Less safe, but unlikely to get you really hurt. One character tried this with a low-level spell; the locals concluded that he was mad – or “god-touched” – and shipped him off to an asylum where the monks would listen to his ravings in search of prophecy. This was awkward, but he WAS out of jail with the charges dropped.
  • “A diversion will come up during the trip that will give me a chance to escape”. This turned out a lot better; a diversion wasn’t unlikely and the destiny mage made it a higher level spell to avoid the diversion turning out to be a major monster attack or something and wound up with a few falling rocks, one of which knocked the transport wagon open. He then made his escape under his own power.
    • He didn’t even consider trying “The Daimyo will pass by along the way, recognize me as foreign but not mad, and give me an excellent job!”. THAT would call for a very high level spell indeed unless events along those lines were already in the works.
  • Thus “You will soon be badly injured” is pretty easy. “You will be hit by a runaway cart tomorrow and badly injured” is harder, but still plausible. “You will be hit and badly injured tomorrow by a runaway cart driven by your drunken son who will be crippled in the accident” is WAY up there, and may well be effectively impossible – if, say, the kid is currently several hundred miles away. Trying to force an event that unlikely into existence is also likely to have all kinds of unlikely side effects which may well endanger the caster and his or her party. Worse, it usually allows a save.
  • For an example from the more disastrous side… The party was hunting a colossal river serpent. They obtained flying steeds and attacked it at long range. The serpent promptly dove to the bottom of the river and burrowed into the mud where they could not reach it. One of the characters then tried to use first level Destiny Magic to make the serpent to come back up and fight. What was easiest? A lure. Where was he? Hovering directly over the river where the serpent was. He’d used a spell of such low level that it didn’t consider anything but what he’d asked for. Ergo… a biting bug bit his steed in a sensitive spot, he got bucked off, he landed in the river, and the serpent came back up to eat him – instigating the desired fight, but at close range rather than the desired sniping contest. He asked for a specific, and not unreasonable, event – but lacked the power to constrain his spell to more acceptable methods. A slightly higher level spell might have brought a cow by to drink and had it fall in.
  • If you try to directly affect someone else… they get a save. So “May your bowstring break!” is simple, and not implausible (bowstrings do break) – but it allows a save, and if the save is made normal probabilities continue in their course. Of course, twisting destiny to tell an Orphan that “you will soon be adopted by a fine set of parents!” is not too likely to provoke a save, even if the easiest way to arrange that does affect the kid. He or she won’t WANT to resist that destiny.


The deadly sins provide a great deal of power for little more than behaving very badly indeed. Sadly, that is – perhaps – appropriate enough. Chance is an interesting choice for a player character though.

Eclipsing Wolfsbane

While a bit of instability is natural enough in comic book characters as new writers take over, Rahne Sinclair – Wolfsbane – is a bigger victim than most. She’s a “mutant werewolf”, and so was not only subject to the usual power-level instability and shifting authorial opinions on “what powers a werewolf actually has” but – to add confusion to uncertainty – was also subject to “and how is a mutant werewolf different from the usual variety anyway?”. In addition to THAT, she also gained and lost Dagger’s “Living Light” powers, had her powers neutralized and restored on more than one occasion, was subjected to weird magics by Loki and others, was genetically modified, was subjected to casual death and resurrection at the hands of the Beyonder, and had her body genetically and/or mystically modified to handle gestating a half-asgardian lupine baby with magical resistance and some sort of really nasty destiny.

Originally she was an audience-empathy character; a friendly fuzzy cuddly cute puppy-girl with deep emotional conflicts, massive shyness, and lots of self-doubt who obviously needed massive doses of hugs and sympathy.

On the team…

  • She had some incredible senses – being able to pick up ultrasonic and subsonic noises, see into the infrared and ultraviolet, detect magnetic fields and unidentified “energy fields”, follow trails that would baffle a blood hound, catch scents from miles away, detect pheromones, emotions, illnesses, mental disorders, and various chemicals and toxins, and may have been able to sense supernatural qualities as well. She could hear your heartbeat and tell when you were nervous (and likely lying) and potentially pull off far more hypersenses tricks then were ever really explored.
  • On the more combative side, she had a slight healing factor and was a bit tougher than usual – but was otherwise basically as formidable as a normal wolf. She was slightly stronger, faster, and more agile than a human, with good jumping ability and a nasty bite, but “has the powers of a large dog” was not much as a combative superhero went. She DID have dangerous claws / talons in her transitional form (which didn’t make a lot of sense since neither dogs nor humans have effective talons), but somebody apparently thought that she should. When it came to fighting… she’d have been far more dangerous with a sawed-off shotgun and a little practice.
  • She also got a psychic link with a teammate and was commonly overlooked as an inconspicuous and irrelevant pet.

Obviously enough, Wolfsbane was the team Scout. She could slip in and out, send all kinds of useful information back to her teammates, drag people out of danger, find people who were lost or hiding, follow trails, handle a normal guard or two, and heal quickly if she couldn’t hide or run away fast enough from anything more dangerous than that. She wasn’t even likely to be targeted – which was a good thing since she could be seriously hurt by having a bookcase fall on her.

It wasn’t long, however, before a new creative team (during the “Demon Bear” saga) took her “transitional form” from a “a girl with some canine features, modest (and still unexplained) claws, and slightly enhanced strength and agility” and made it a combat form – giving her more strength and durability as well as much nastier claws (able to tear through “most substances”) and instinctive combat skills. From there on out… her abilities varied even more wildly than usual for a comic book character. Most of her enhanced senses other than being able to catch scents were commonly ignored (they were difficult to work into many storylines), and her combat skills, strength, and durability freely ranged from slightly-above-human on up to Asgardian levels when she took the stops off.  – easily defeating Feral and even allowing her to defeat Wolverine once (even if he WAS handicapped to some extent that time around).

Who knows, maybe her actual “mutant power” was a link with the Asgardian Wolf Gods that allowed her to channel their power into the world. It would explain why her powers suddenly improved when she started hanging out with people who poked holes in the barriers between the dimensions, why (when teleported randomly into Asgard) she landed pretty much on top of the ONLY eligible handsome prince wolf-shapeshifter god in Asgard at just the right moment for a mutual rescue and bonding experience, why they were instantly drawn to each other, why Loki found it easy to transform her into Grimfang, why having kids with Prince Hrimhari was fine in Asgard (in a What If story) but caused such a lot of trouble on Earth, and why it was so easy for Elixir to grant her typical Asgardian levels of strength and durability.

Plus, of course, it answers “Why is there both a magical curse AND a mutation that are so much alike?” with something other than “Because a writer wanted to put a young female werewolf into a mutant book”.

So we’ll want the basic Four Color Package (24 CP) , the Pathfinder Package Deal (Free), and being a Pathfinder Human (Free) as a start. I’ll be ignoring the Pathfinder skill bonus since I’m not bothering to convert the skill list.

Her original official FASERIP Marvel Super Hero stats didn’t even cover everything she did on her very first appearance – so (as requested) the comparison and basis will be THIS writeup, what I remember, and what I find online. According to the writeup she has basic attributes of Str 14 (Wolfish 22), Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16 (Wolfish 26), Dex 12 (Wolfish 16), Chr 12 – costing 23 points out of 25. Taking it up to 25 and adding her Pathfinder Human Bonus gives us…

Basic Attributes: Str 14 (Wolf 16, Dire 22), Int 12 (14 Racial), Wis 14 (16 Enh), Con 16 (18 Enh, Dire 24, Wolf 22), Dex 12 (Wolf and Dire 16), Chr 11 (12 with +1 for Level Four) (Pathfinder 25 Point Buy)

+4 BAB, Specialized in Melee Attacks (12 CP).

Fighting 10 could translate into BAB +10 – But Wolfsbane is a pure melee character, and will normally be getting +2 (Human, +3 (Wolf) or +7 (hybrid from Str, +1 in hybrid form, +2 from her Martial Art, and +2 from her enhanced claws – so she’s STARTING at +10 or +12.

For her actual powers:

Feral Instincts (Innate Enchantment, 14,000 GP net value, 15 CP). All effects Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated and Personal Only (1400 GP Net Cost) unless otherwise noted (15 CP).

  • Acute: +3 Competence Bonus to all Wisdom-Based Skills.
  • Agile: +3 Competence Bonus to all Dexterity-Based Skills.
  • Alert: +2 Enhancement Bonus to Wisdom.
  • Enduring: +2 Enhancement Bonus to Constitution.
  • Evasive: +1 Competence Bonus to all Saving Throws. (Sidestep, from The Practical Enchanter).
  • Rage: When used +2 Morale Bonus to Str and Con, +1 Morale Bonus on Will Saves, and -2 to AC. (Wrath, from the Practical Enchanter)
  • Resistant: +1 Resistance Bonus to all Saving Throws. (Warding Rune, from The Practical Enchanter)
  • Scent: The user gains Scent. If he or she already has scent, they gain a +3 Enhancement Bonus on any rolls made using it.
  • Strike: The users “unarmed: attacks are equivalent to a +2 hand axe (1d6, Crit 20/x3). If the user already has effective natural attacks use the largest of the two die sizes +1 point.
  • Vigor: Immortal Vigor I: Add (12 + 2 x Con Mod) HP.

As usual for X-characters, these are “Mutant Powers”, not “Magic” – and so are subject to mutant detection, power neutralizers and dampening fields rather than detect/dispel/anti-magic. This has no cost since it’s really just the “Eldritch” modifier at 0 CP.

Mana-Powered Shapeshift with Growth, Dire, Attribute Modifiers, and Hybrid with Clear Speech, Specialized / Full Wolf and Dire Wolf Hybrid Only (15 CP). Opportunist: Can switch forms as a part of a move action (6 CP).

  • Dire Wolf Hybrid: Str 22, Dex 16, Con 24, Scent, +3 Natural Armor, 1d8+Trip Natural Weapons, Speed 50′, Skill Focus (Perception +3), +1 to Natural Attacks. +5 to tracking by scent.
  • Full Wolf Form: Str 16, Dex 16, Con 22, Low-Light Vision, Scent, +2 Natural Armor, 1d6+Trip Natural Weapons, Speed 50′, Skill Focus (Perception +3), +4 to tracking by scent.

Listed Skills: Acrobatics 3, Athletics 2, Deception 2, Expertise (Theology & Philosophy) 8, Expertise (Survival) 4, Insight 4, Investigation 5, Perception 4, Persuasion 4, Sleight of Hand 4, Stealth 4, and Treatment/Medicine 4 for a total of 48.

Personally, I REALLY doubt that Rahne is a world-class theologist and philosopher. She was always earnest and believing, but she was taught by a hypocritical nut and was readily outargued about theology by Samuel Guthrie – who proclaimed “my minister would say different”. I’d say a +4 at most, even as an adult.

Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level at Level (-2), Corrupted/only to keep Adept skills maxed out (1 CP). Add a second instance using disadvantage points at L(-2), 4 CP). Add Adept (Acrobatics, Athletics, Expertise (Survival) and Perception, 6 CP) and Adept (Insight, Intimidation, Stealth, and a wolfish Martial Art (Corrupted for Increased Effect/cannot take Occult Techniques but gets +2 Master Techniques and a wider selection), 6 CP) using her remaining disadvantage points and her human bonus feat. That keeps those skills at (Level +3) automatically. Add Skill Focus (Martial Art) (3 CP).

This makes her a skill monster, with all eight of those skills at a base of +8, a +3 Competence Bonus to Dex and Wis based skills, a +3 Enhancement Bonus to Perception rolls based on Scent, Skill Focus (Perception, for a +3), and a +5 to tracking by scent. Her equipment provides a +5 bonus on Perception as well. So that’s Perception +19 (+22 Scent, +27 Tracking by scent) with yet another +3 if she’s currently being a hybrid.

Moon’s Howl Martial Art (Dex-Based) (Level 5 +3 (Base) +3 (Wolfen Dex) +2 (Skill Focus) +3 (Competence) = +16. That’s eight choices, plus her two bonus Master Techniques. Sadly, this style requires active shapeshifting, so it’s not usable in human form.

  • Basic Abilities: Attack +2 (to Attack, Throw, Grapple, and Trip opponents), Defense +2.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Damaging Escape (May make a bonus melee attack when attempting to escape from a Grapple), Improved Grapple (No AOO, +4 to Grapple Checks), Fast Grab (may initiate a Grapple with a normal melee attack), and Prone Combat (no penalties for fighting while prone or on all fours).
  • Bonus Master Techniques: Expertise x2 (May reduce AC by up to 5 to add the same amount to a rounds Attacks OR similarly reduce Attacks to add to Damage).

That leaves 2 SP/Level from her Intelligence (18 SP) and listed skills of Deception 2, Expertise (Theology & Philosophy) 2, Investigation 5, Persuasion 4, Sleight Of Hand 4, and Treatment/Medicine 4 for a total necessary purchase of 3 skill points (3 CP).

  • Minor Healing Factor: Mana Powered Grant of Aid with Regenerative (Slow Regrowth option), Specialized and Corrupted/may not spend more than 3 Mana per hour on Grant of Aid (4 CP).
  • Immunity/The Normal Limits of Senses (Very Common, Minor, Great, Specialized / only works in Hybrid or Wolf Form, 12 CP).
    • Wolfsbane can see and hear far beyond the normal visual and auditory spectrums, sense various energy fields, analyze things by scent better than the best laboratories, and pick up all kinds of physiological and psychological data – among her other tricks – with simple perception checks, reducing any penalties by eight along the way. This is, however, limited to expanding on her natural senses; she may be able to detect the faint blue glow of cherenkov radiation, or scent the ozone from ionizing radiation, or otherwise indirectly pick up on the presence of radiation – but she can’t directly sense radioactivity; neither humans nor wolves have a sense for that. (Whether or not they do for magnetic fields is debatable).


  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) + 19 (L2-6d6, 10 CP) +12 (Im. Vigor) + (7 x Con Mod) = 71 (Human), 85 (Wolf), and 92 (Hybrid). In Mutants and Masterminds that’s Toughness 9 (Human) or 10 (Wolf and Hybrid).
  • Saves: +2 Fort, +4 Ref, +4 Will (30 CP) +1 (Competence) +1 (Resistance) = Fort +8 (+10 Wolf, +11 Hybrid), Ref +7 (Wolf and Hybrid +9), and Will +9.
  • Proficiencies: Wolfsbane has never learned to use weapons and armor, and would suffer the full effects of the armor check penalty of her X-Man costume if it had one.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Armor, Human or Hybrid) +1/3 (Dex Mod, Human/Wolf or Hybrid) +2 (Martial Art, Wolf or Hybrid) +2/3 (Natural, Wolf/Hybrid) = 14 (Human), 21 (Hybrid), or 17 (Wolf).
  • Attacks
    • Human: Honestly, I can’t recall her ever fighting as a human, so “Negligible” would work just fine – but she does have +4 (BAB), +2 (Str), and +2 (Enh) for +8 and 1d6+4 (Crit 20/x3) damage that counts as being armed and magic. If you want, spend few points (even one will help) on a human-style martial art and upgrade this a bit (One point in a Str-based art could get her up to a +10 attack) (M&M, +8/+5, Enhanced Critical, +2 damage versus magical defenses)
    • Wolf: +11, 1d8+5 (Crit 20/x3) Damage, counts as magic. (M&M: +11/+6, Enhanced Critical, +2 damage versus magical defenses)
    • Hybrid: +16, 1d8+9 Damage (Crit 20/x3), counts as magic. (M&M: +16/+9, Enhanced Critical, +2 damage versus magical defenses).

Wolfsbane simply isn’t a really big damage-dealer; she’s accurate – but she really hasn’t done anything to improve her damage-dealing ability since fairly early on. Of course, dealing damage really isn’t her primary job.

Minor Notes:

  • Improved Initiative: +4 (6 CP), total +5 (Human) or +7 (Wolf or Hybrid). As a scout, initiative is fairly important to her. Surprise is better though.
  • Minor Favors: The various X-Groups. Wolfsbane gets along pretty well with most of her her ex-teammates. (Guido / Strong Guy is a bit of an exception, but he DID murder her son) (3 CP).
  • Immunity/the normal limits of Intimidation. Wolfsbane may opt to inflict a Dazed condition for one round with a successful Intimidation check (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2 CP).
  • Immunity/Fear (Common, Minor, Major, 6 CP).
  • Split Movement (Attacks) (6 CP).
  • Survivors Benefits / Minor Privilege (Trust Fund): In the course of going from 13 to about 20, Rahne has gone from being an orphan being raised by an abusive religious maniac, to losing her first love (who died saving her), to being adopted, to being orphaned again, to finding out that the abusive man who raised her was actually her father, to being shot by, and then eating, her father due to mental programming (inflicted by him), to finding her true love, to losing her true love, to finding him again, to having him die to save her and her child-to-be after one evening, to having the kid murdered by an ex-teammate and friend. Along the way she’s been enslaved at least three times and had loads of other horrible experiences, most of them while underage. On the upside… it seems likely that Moria made financial provisions for her underage adopted kid, Hrimhari may have left her something (I’m unsure of the mechanics of his being reborn as an adult on Earth, but he was supposed to be an honorable type), and she presumably drew a substantial salary and hazard bonuses when she was a part of an official government team. Ergo, she’s independently well off (3 CP).

Wolfsbane had a mindlink with Dani, but that was a result of Dani’s psionic powers rather than being an ability of hers – so she doesn’t have to pay for it.

Point Totals:

  • Four Color Package: 24 CP.
  • BAB: 12 CP.
  • Feral Instincts: 15 CP.
  • Shapeshifting: 21 CP.
  • Skill Bonuses: 23 CP.
  • Base Skills: 3 CP
  • Minor Healing Factor: 4 CP.
  • Sensory Boosts: 12 CP.
  • Hit Points: 18 CP.
  • Saves: 30 CP.
  • Minor Items: 26 CP.

That comes to 188 CP.

Available Character Points: 144 (Level Five Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Emotionally Unstable, Wild Instincts in canine forms) +10 (Duties: both religious and as a hero) +10 (Restrictions on Armor and Weapons) +24 (Human, L1, L3, and L5 Bonus Feats) = 198 CP.

That leaves 10 CP left over – as well as quite a lot of Mana which is currently going unused. There’s nothing wrong with leaving that for those sudden new capabilities heroes are notorious for pulling out, or just leaving it to cover any math errors (there are probably some since I’m juggling multiple systems at once here) – but if neither of those are needed and the “mutant priestess” explanation works for you, then go ahead and buy:

Rune Magic (Dexterity Based), Specialized for Double Effect (she is not consciously aware that she can cast spells, and only uses it unconsciously for limited number of tricks): +1 each to Mastery and Casting for Wolf Totem Magic, Sensory Enhancement Magic, Parental Magic, Death Magic, and Healing Magic (10 CP), Can use spells of up to second level at caster level four. Known Tricks: Summon Wolf Pack, Detect Magnetic Fields, Control Fertility (may either ensure or prevent pregnancy), Perceive Spirits, and Cure Moderate Wounds. If she has any more kids she’ll be able to keep track of, and protect them, a lot better as she will certainly develop more tricks for it (or just buy off the specialization).

For remaining details… we have a minor effect or two to add from the Four Color Package and her Wealth-By-Level equipment.

  • Her “minor effects” are three personal-only cantrips/minor mutant powers: Stabalize (she always stabilizes when dying), Sift (she can effectively search small areas with a glance), and Purify Food and Drink (as a canine she can eat all sorts of things that would really do a number on a human being, although she’d only do so if desperate).
  • At level five her equipment allowance would normally only be 10,500 GP – 2500 GP short of the cost of the standard X-Man equipment package. Fortunately, she has a Wealth privilege, so that’s not a problem even before bringing up ideas like “issued gear” or “sponsors”.
    • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Throwing that into her HP total for the purposes of calculation in M&M provides Toughness of 11 (Human) or 12 (Wolf or Hybrid). Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps. Note that her armor vanishes, and becomes ineffective, in full-wolf form (special effect: “becomes a collar”) according to the standard rules for shapeshifting.
    • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP). OK; they don’t actually show all the characters carrying these, but they SHOULD.
    • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
    • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
    • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).

Wolfsbane is nowhere near as versatile as Magick, and doesn’t have Cannonballs raw power and nigh-invulnerability – but she’s a decent melee combatant, a stealth expert, and capable of getting an appalling amount of information with a quick glance. She’d be an incredible asset to a stealthy and/or investigative team, but – while she’s certainly still worth having on one – she’s not really at her best as a part of a tactical strike team.

She is, however, lower level than either Magick or Cannonball. Like it or not… she never really matured as much or starred in as many major plotlines. Of course, in Eclipse, that’s also because the “Shapeshifter” power package is a classic fantasy trope, and so is rather cheap for it’s effects.

So for our Mutants and Masterminds comparison / conversion… her attacks, damage, and toughness are a little bit better, but her human AC is worse – but the difference really isn’t that big. Her senses and her skills, however, have improved drastically.

  • Acrobatics 8 +3 (Comp) +(Dex Mod) = +12 (Human), +14 (Wolf or Hybrid).
  • Athletics: 8 +(Str Mod) = +10 (Human), +11 (Wolf). +14 (Hybrid). This covers jumping of course.
  • Deception 2 +1 (Cha) = +3
  • Expertise (Survival): 8 + (Int Mod) = +10. Extra +7/8 to scent-based tracking in Wolf or Hybrid forms.
  • Expertise (Theology & Philosophy): 2 +2 (Int) = +4
  • Insight: 8 + 1 (Cha) = +9. May substitute Perception for many checks.
  • Intimidation: 8 +1 (Cha) = +9. Often qualifies for a Circumstance Bonus.
  • Investigation: 5 +2 (Int) = +7
  • Moon’s Howl Martial Art: 8 +3 (Comp) +2 (Skill Focus) +(Dex Mod) = +16 (Wolf or Hybrid). Provides +2 Attack, +2 AC, trading AC for Attack and Attack for Damage at up to +/- 5 each, Damaging Escape, Improved Grapple, Fast Grab, and Prone Combat.
  • Perception: 8 +3 (Comp) +5 (Eq) +3 (Wis) = +19. Extra +3 when a Hybrid, additional +3 with Scent, additional +4/5 to tracking with scent. Note that, in combination with the Four Color Template and her immunity to normal sensory limits… very, VERY, little will escape her notice.
  • Persuasion 4 +1 (Cha) = +5
  • Sleight Of Hand: 4 +3 (Comp) +(Dex Mod) = +8 (Human), +10 (Wolf or Hybrid).
  • Stealth: 8 +3 (Comp) +(Dex Mod) = +12 (Human), +14 (Wolf or Hybrid).
  • Treatment/Medicine 4 +2 (Int) = +6.