Ponies Of The Eclipse – Mistmane, Pillar of Beauty

Mistmane – or at least her role as the “Pillar of Beauty” – is a bit awkward. After all, beauty isn’t really a quality that you have. It lies in other people’s perceptions.

Checking some definitions… “A set of qualities in a person or thing that pleases the senses or exalts the mind or spirit”. “An especially graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality”. “An exceptionally good example of something, regardless of whether or not it is a “good” thing.”.

There is physical, mental, and spiritual beauty, the dagger-like beauty of a deadly stratagem, the beautiful elegance of a brilliant mathematical proof, the bloody beauty of a tiger pulling down its prey, and even a warped beauty in a scene of utter carnage. There is beauty in friendship, love, and sacrifice – and in the maniacal purity of obsessive hatred.

There have been people who have thought that torturing children was pleasing to the senses, exalting to the mind and spirit, and an excellent example of the finer things in life – a thing of marvelous beauty. Thankfully, most people do not agree – but that alone shows that there is no consensus on what is “beautiful”.

I personally would say that there is more beauty in a scarred, crippled, and elderly, but still enduring, survivor of war, loss, and suffering, than there is in any vain supermodel – but that is merely MY perception.

Mere appearance often has little to do with beauty. Beauty lies in the mind that perceives it, not in the outside world.

And if Mistmane (who struck me as rather physically ugly to start with and seemed to gain some character from her magical “aging”), had somehow given up what most of us would describe as her inner “beauty” – some or all of the positive elements of her personality and perhaps a part of her ability to relate to others (the primary function of Charisma in d20 terms) regardless of the motive – she wouldn’t be hero material. She’d be Granny at best, or more likely Hydia from the Volcano of Gloom, or the Wicked Witch of the West.

Damaging her physical appearance was a side effect. Mistmane’s aspect is not mere physical “Beauty”, but a much deeper and far greater Beauty. Her aspect is Accord – forgiving wrongs and overlooking conflicts to come together to solve greater problems. Cooperation – not quite Harmony, but perhaps the best that could be expected of a relatively new federation of once-quarreling tribes. Still, in Accord… there is the seed of Harmony.

Perhaps quite literally.

That is why (at least in my version) she has that moving magical mane, an effect she shares with Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, King Sombra, and the Pony of Shadows – all individuals channeling a power beyond themselves.

So, Mistmane was a pretty young mare with high-end magical talent, an excellent spellcasting education (if only fair by modern standard since there have been advancements over the last thousand years) , and a good deal of natural power (in superheroic d20 terms a high constitution). She returned home from school on being informed that one of her best friends had become the local ruler, only to find that said friend had gone a bit mad with jealousy as well. She defeated and cured her old friend, restoring beauty, prosperity, and good government to the area in the process, before wandering off across Equestria to look for further adventures in being nice to people.

So what is Mistmane seen to do? Well – presuming that Rarity’s campfire-tale version of a story from a thousand years ago has all the details right (which honestly seems pretty unlikely) and throwing in what the Wiki’s say she does in the comics, she is seen to…

  • Escape an entangling/grappling effect. That’s L0) Untie, boosted up to L1) Liberating Command, with the usual Unicorn option to power it up further to escape other forms of confinement, dogpiles, and similar restraints. .
  • Communicate with Animals and Plants That’s L0) Influence Animal, powered up to L1) Speak with Animals, L2 Speak with Plants, and L3) Influence Animals (lets you try to persuade groups of animals and grants a +10 enhancement bonus on social skills against them).
  • Attempts to Purify a Timberwolf. That’s probably L0) Purify Food And Drink boosted up to L3) Remove Curse. She might also be able to manage L3) Neutralize Poison.
  • Cause a plant to suddenly grow and grapple someone. Similarly, she can fix up a sick tree and – for a short time thereafter – a trail of flowers sprouts where she walks. So… L1) Enhance Plant (prettier, stronger, more fruit, stronger medicinal effect – double something at CL1+, 3x effect at CL4+, quadruple something at CL 7+), L2) Plant Strike (cause a nearby plant – even if small – to execute up to (Cha Mod in total) combat maneuvers on those targets adjacent to it – such as a Grapple, followed by a Hold/Pin), and even L3) Plant Growth or L3) Diminish Plant. She has a slight disadvantage on this particular set of effects – they cause her to leave an obvious trail of flowers for a bit – but that’s really too minor to worry about in game terms.
  • Project multiple magical blasts – although they might be representing telekinesis. I’ll presume an actual combat spell – L1) Magic Missile – although she can power it up to provide a variety of secondary or enhanced effects.
  • Summon a Flying-Serpent Psychic Construct (Water versus Fire) that defeats a similar construct and then either grapples an opponent, ties them up in vines, or dissipates while Mistmane casts a spell to tie an opponent up in vines. Probably L1) Summon Psychic Construct, powered up to get higher level ones.

OK, up to this point this is Improved Occult Talent (three level zero and three first level effects plus standard unicorn boosting effects) – the standard unicorn bonus feat option for having an advanced magical education. Given a high constitution and the superheroic world template (or a reserve of Mana) to work with and boost those effects, you get a versatile mage with a wide selection of fairly low-level effects.

  • She’s also seen to clean up, and make minor repairs on, an entire village and it’s landscaping – including possibly removing a curse of ugliness -albeit at a significant, and apparently permanent, personal cost. Of course, in game terms… none of that has real effect save, perhaps, acting as a large-area Mending spell. Whether or not things look nice just isn’t a major element in the d20 rules. This is a powered-up version of Mending, Prestidigitation, or an effect that does cantrips. I’ll call it Cantrip Mastery (L2, produces up to three arcane cantrip effects targeting any desired target in a 20′ radius within short range. Thus you could Mend a lot of stuff, apply a Ray Of Frost to six opponents, and Drench all the torches in the area. A L3 version produces four effects in a 30′ radius within medium range. That’s useful, and fairly versatile, but still… I bet that most casters would prefer something like Fireball, Fly, or a nice battlefield-control effect).

So that’s Mana-Powered Inherent Spell (L3 Cantrip Mastery, 6 CP). Her grandiose effect was achieved by spending more Mana (+3 points), using the Compact Metamagic to pay for another +3 (by accepting a permanent curse of damaged appearance), and +2 levels worth of the Magic Of Accord (Below), to achieve an Amplified effect across a massive area.

And, of course, she has the standard unicorn racial Occult Talent package – all of which can be boosted as usual.

  • L0: Dancing Lights (in many trivial variants), Daze (with various special effects), Detect Magic, and (Skill) Mastery (provides a +3 competence bonus on a particular skill for ten minutes per level, +6 if it only covers a limited aspect of a skill. In her case it’s Craft/Landscaping).
  • L1) Greater Mage Hand.

The Magic Of Accord:

  • Metamagical Theorems, all Specialized/only for use with Occult Talents and no more than three inherent spells, no more than two Amplify (only +1 CP since Unicorns get part of it already), Area (3 CP), Compact (3 CP), and Sculpting (3 CP),
  • Streamline III (two levels of each of the above Metamagics save Compact), Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/no more than two levels in total may be applied to any one effect, only when acting on behalf of others or working in a group endeavor, shows a tell-tale physical sign (moving ethereal mane) (6 CP).

The Magic of Accord is, in fact, a lesser, and somewhat unbalanced, version of Alicorn Magic – but it’s about as much of that power as is available to a Unicorn who lacks Earth Pony and Pegasus Magic. It does, however, give Mistmane exceptional flexibility and control over her magic when acting in Accord with others – a trick that Starswirl the Bearded (who is something of an anti-social loner) has never mastered. That alone makes her a renowned sorceress and allows her to make a substantial magical contribution to a group that contains a more powerful spellcaster in Starswirl and a more versatile healer/item crafter in Mage Meadowbrook.

Mistmane The Enchantress, Pillar of Beauty Accord.

ECL 5 (including a+1 ECL racial template) Unicorn Pony Enchantress

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

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

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

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

To Summarize The Unicorn Subrace Modifiers:

  • Occult Talent provides their usual minor spellcasting.
  • Immunity/Being unable to Concentrate on more than one thing at a time (covering up to three tasks and/or spells of up to level three at any one time).
  • Upgrade their basic Mana supply with the Spell Enhancement Natural Magic option.
  • Metamagic: Amplify / Only applies to Occult Talent abilities.
  • A +2 Racial Bonus to Knowledge/Arcana (2 CP).
  • +2 Intelligence/-2 Strength.
  • One Bonus Feat.
  • Executive, Corrupted for Increased Effect (add the user’s Int Mod to his or her effective level of use)/requires 2 Mana/hour to power. Unicorns are good at coordinating groups, and can provide substantial bonuses.

Basic Attributes: Str 8 (-2 Race = 6) (+3 for one level of Self-Development = 9). Dex 14 (-2 Race = 12), Con 16 (+4 Race +2 Knack = 22), Int 12 (+2 Race = 14), Wis 14, Cha 14 (+2 Race = 16). (Pathfinder 25-Point Buy).

Available Character Points: 120 (Level Four Base) +10 (Disadvantages: Blocked (Polymorph Magic), Compulsively Nice and Forgiving, and History) +12 (L1 and L3 Bonus Feats) +8 (Duties: Pillar of Equestria) = 150 CP.

Basic Abilities (50 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 20 (L1-4, d6, 8 CP) +22 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +24 (4 x Com Mod) = 66 HP.
  • Skill Points: 12 (Purchased, 12 CP) + 14 (Int) + 14 (Fast Learner) = 40 SP
  • BAB +2 (12 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +0 (0 CP) +6 (Con) +1 (Knack) = +7
    • Reflex +2 (6 CP) +2 (Dex) +1 (Knack) = +4
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +2 (Wis) +1 (Knack) = +5
  • Proficiencies: All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Oriental Weapons “Suitable For Women” (3 CP).
  • Initiative: +1 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs, 20 on three or less).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 1 (Dex) +4 (Shimmer Mail) +3 (Martial Art) = 18

Other Abilities (100 CP):

  • Magic Of Accord (Above) (16 CP).
  • Inherent Spell (as above, 6 CP)
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for Double Effect (6 CP).
  • Adept (Atheric Dance, Craft/Landscaping, Perception, and Knowledge/Engineering, 6 CP)
  • Mystic Artist (Landscaping) (6 CP), with Composition (Specialized, only as a Prerequisite, 3 CP), Influence (6 CP), Mass Influence (6 CP), Acclaim (6 CP), Song of Power (Specialized, only as a prerequisite, 3 CP), and Touch The Soul (6 CP).
    • At a net cost of 36 CP this is pretty expensive – but Mistmane’s magical landscaping can deeply influence cultures, illustrate philosophical points, empower her to achieve remarkable things, and – at it’s peak and once every thousand years – change the world. Mistmane never fully understood it (or she might have completed her ascension to Alicorn)- but her beautiful Gardens of Accord would help bring the suspicious tribes, insular villages, and local leaders of Equestria together as one nation and would, in the end, usher in the Age of Harmony (and likely Discord, since he put in an appearance soon after the Tree of Harmony did).
    • At +20, this allows her to incorporate Inspiration (Emotion, Competence, Greatness, Excellence) and Synergy (Block (prevents weeds and minor changes in her gardens), Amplify, Harmonize, and Serenity) functions into her gardens – over and above her ability to influence the wider world with them.
  • Luck with +8 Bonus Uses (18 CP).
  • Privilege (Fabulous Beauty, 3 CP).
    • Mistmane sacrificed this ability to empower her grand spell of renewal – which is why her high charisma currently manifests itself as looking like everyone’s cheerful grandmother. The points wound up accidentally being invested in the flower she used as a focus, giving it Returning (the flower is essentially indestructible, 6 CP), a Mystic Link (with Power Link, 6 CP) to her, and Grant of Aid (6 CP) with +2 Bonus Uses (3 CP) – the net cost of 21 CP making the flower a three-point relic.
  • Skill Emphasis (Craft / Landscaping, 3 CP).
  • Skill Focus (Craft / Landscaping, 6 CP).

Skills:

  • Aetheric Dance Martial Art +7 (3* SP) +3 (Tem) +6 (Con) – +16
  • Craft (Landscaping) +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) +5 (Feats) +3 (Enh) = +20
  • Diplomacy +4 (4 SP) +3 (Cha) = +7 (Specialized in Animals for Double Effect, +10 Enh = +24).
  • Escape Artist +4 (4 SP) +1 (Dex) = +5
  • Handle Animal +2 (2 SP) +3 (Cha) = +5
  • Knowledge / Arcana +4 (4 SP) +2 (Int) +2 (Race) = +8
  • Knowledge / Engineering +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Knowledge / Nature +2 (2 SP) +2 (Int) = +4
  • Perception +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Perform (Sing) +2 (2 SP) +2 (Race) +3 (Cha) = +8
  • Sense Motive +3 (3 SP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +8
  • Spellcraft +4 (4 SP)
  • Swim +2 (2 SP) -1 (Str) = +1
    • Specific Knowledge: Oriental Cultural Arts (1 SP).

Aetheric Dance Style (Con):

  • Requires: Unicorn Magic
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 4, Synergy/Knowledge/Arcana, Synergy/Spellcraft, Toughness 2 (Variant, +2 on saves made during magical duels), Attack 2 (Specialized for Increased Effect / with spells during Magical Duels).
  • Advanced Techniques: Mind Like Moon, Weapon Kata (Shuriken or Chakram), Deflect Arrows, and Improved Initiative (Specialized, only during Magical Duels).
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Serpent Strike, and Vanishing.

Known Techniques (8): Defenses 3, Toughness 2, Improved Initiative, Inner Strength, and Healing Hand.

Equipment:

  • Charms: All-Weather Cloak, Automatic Writer (Uses Loaded Brush), Bracers of Force, Druid Boxes, Grace of Miravor, Sands of Time, and Stunstone.
  • Talismans: Loaded Brush, Shimmer Mail (Mages Kimono), and a Sunstone.

Mistmane is a powerful – if rather subtle – force for cooperation, cultural change, and peace – but isn’t really much for fight scenes and is best off sticking with someone who can block incoming attacks. As a more conventional adventurer she’d be well advised to acquire a damage blocking effect as an Innate Spell or to find a way to upgrade her Psychic Constructs so that she can “wear” one and let it absorb the damage. Worse, as usual for superheroic mages, she’d need several levels worth of Mana and Rite of Chi to get it back with to function effectively in more conventional settings.

Still, she’s an excellent example of a standard superheroic mage; she’s got a rather limited list base effects that she can use all she wants. She can vary them to fit the situation and boost them to some extent – but most of the game-breaking powers (easy long-range teleportation and that kind of thing) are basically out of her reach. 

Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in a Freeware PDF Version, in Print, and in a Paid PDF Version that includes Eclipse II (245 pages of Eclipse races, character and power builds, items, relics, martial arts, and other material) and the web expansion. Here’s a Featured Review of it and another Independent Review.

The Practical Enchanter can be found in a Print Edition (Lulu), an Electronic Edition (RPGNow), and a Shareware Edition (RPGNow).  There’s an RPGNow Staff Review too.

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Ponies Of The Eclipse – Rockhoof At Level Four

For this particular request, it’s an upgrade to Rockhoof – basically “what he might be like after some experience” with specific reference to his past adventures and “A Rockhoof And A Hard Place”.

There’s another good reason for doing that. Given that Equestria is a low-level superheroic world (providing a constant supply of Mana for it’s heroes to work with); Rockhoof is an excellent example of the standard “Super Strongman” type. He lacks only Flight to be a splendid example of what PS238 calls the most common super-power package of all – “FISS”, or “Flight, Invulnerability, Super-Strength”. Even as he is… he’s a pretty fair approximation of what Superman was like in his early adventures, back when he was just leaping around rather than truly flying – and he could always work his way up to true flight in another level or two.

So why not? For those who want to play such a character (and are playing in a superheroic setting where it’s possible), he’s a general example of the build.

While, we don’t have much information on most of Rockhoof’s historical adventures, the Legends of Magic series does indicate that there were a fair number of them. Looking at the “A Rockhoof And A Hard Place” episode, we basically have a long string of “too strong and breaking things” jokes (which was a bit hard to swallow: there was plenty of fragile stuff in the past and apparently Rockhoof wasn’t a walking disaster area back then) along with a few “socially clueless” jokes (also kind of hard to swallow; he spent his youth as a scrawny weakling who presumably did not want to be kicked in the face; he should know better. Perhaps something happened?). Still, Rockhoof does demonstrate a very physical style of storytelling – and has presumably picked up a few levels with his historical adventures. It’s pretty arbitrary, but I’ll peg him at level four.

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

Level Four, ECL 5, Experienced Earth Pony Athletic Superhero.

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

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

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

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

To Summarize the Earth Pony Modifiers:

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

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (+18 Ber +2 Knack +12 Enh = 48), Dex 16 (-2 Pony = 14), Con 14 (+2 Pony, +2 M  +1 Level = 19), Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10 (+2 M = 12). (Pathfinder 25-point point buy).

Available Character Points: 120 (L4 Base) + 6 (Disadvantages; History and Obligations (Pillar of Equestria)) +8 (Duties to his Village – or to wherever he adopts now) +12 (level one and level three bonus feats) = 146 CP.

Basic Abilities (69 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +20 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +18 (L2-4d8, 12 CP) +20 (5 x Con Mod) +114 (Str Mod x 6, see “Divine Physique” and “Belt of Strength”, below) = 184 HP.
  • Skill Points: 18 (Purchased, 18 CP) + 28 (7 x Con Mod substituting for Int Mod) = 46 SP

Skills:

  • Acrobatics: +7 (7 SP) +2 (Dex) +3 (Tem) = +12 (Jump +50).
  • Bluff +1 (1 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str), Specialized for Double Effect (Combat Only) = +42
  • Diplomacy +1 (1 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) = +21
  • Intimidate +1 (1 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) = +21
  • Knowledge/Nature +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +0 (Int) = +10
  • Perception +2 (2 SP) +1 (Wis) = +3
  • Perform (Storytelling)  +5 (5 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) = +25, +30 when telling tales of heroism. Corrupted for Increased Effect (listeners find his tales inspiring no matter how absurd they are, but he often accidentally breaks things while telling them).
  • Profession/Farmer +4 (4 SP) +0 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +7 (Includes making basic farm tools, such as replacement shovels – since he’s specifically noted as having had his destroyed many times).
  • Profession/Sailor +4 (4 SP) +0 (Wis) = +4. Rockhoof picked up the basics after he joined The Mighty Helm, since they used a ship. He’s no great expert, but he is an able-bodied seaman. Unfortunately, his knowledge of Navigation is long out of date.
  • Survival +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +0 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +13
  • Swim +2 (2 SP) +19 (Str) = +21
  • Homesteading Rune Magic Casting +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +1 (Cha) = +11
  • Homesteading Rune Magic Mastery +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +1 (Cha) = +11
  • Martial Art / Jade Mountain Stance Style: +7 (7 SP) +3 (Race) +13 (Permanent Str) +3 (Tem) = +26.
  • Perform (Sing) +0 (0 SP) +2 (Race) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) -3 (Tem Unskilled Penalty) = +19
    • Specific Knowledge/Heroic Tales, Sagas, and Chants (+15 to knowing them, +5 to telling them) (1 SP).

The Jade Mountain Stance Style (Str):

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

Known Techniques (13): Attack 1, Power 1, Strike, Toughness 4, Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Improved Disarm, Weapon Kata (Shovel), Healing Hand and Inner Strength.

  • BAB +2 (12 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +2 (6 CP) +4 (Con) +1 (Tem) +19 (Str) = +26
    • Reflex +2 (6 CP) +2 (Dex) +1 (Tem) +19 (Str) = +24
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +0 (Wis) +1 (Tem) +19 (Str) = +22
  • Proficiencies: Earth Pony Reinforced Shovels (1 CP).
  • Initiative: +2 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs) +30 (Light Foot) +30 (Haste),= 100 (50 on two or three legs).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 2 (Dex) +4 (Shimmermail) = 16. Rockhoof is still not so good at not getting hit. Fortunately, he does not really need to be.

Usual Weapons:

  • Unarmed: +22/+22 (+2 BAB +19 Str +1 Martial Art, Personal Haste), for 1d6+19, Crit 20/x2, lethal or nonlethal. 3 Attacks of Opportunity, see “Concussive Parry” below.
  • Shovel: +22/+22 (+2 BAB +19 Str +1 Martial Art, Personal Haste), for 1d8+13, Crit19-20/x2, lethal or nonlethal, B or S, Trip, usable as a shovel. 3 Attacks of Opportunity, see “Concussive Parry” below.

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

  • Shovel-Thrown Rocks: +23/+23/+23 (+2 BAB +19 Str +3 Competence -1 Rocks), 1d6+19, Crit 20/x3, Range Increment 80′.

Other Abilities (77 CP):

  • Add Odinpower and Odinmight to his basic Berserker ability, for a total of +18 strength (+6 CP).
  • DR 2/-, versus both physical and energy attacks (3 CP).
  • Upgrade his racial Mana Pool with a form of Natural Magic (Reality Editing), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to support the user’s heroic narrative and let the user’s abilities function without normal scaling restrictions (2 CP). This is great for engineering and digging massive trenches, but so-so otherwise.
  • Concussive Parry: Opportunist (6 CP): Rockhoof may make an attack of opportunity against any attack that enters his threatened area. If his attack roll exceeds that of the attacker he can subtract the damage he “inflicts” on the attack from the damage IT would normally inflict, reducing it to a minimum of zero. If this completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates any other effects it might have, such as requiring a saving throw.
    • This is a powerful defense, but this IS a superheroic setting, so why not? In other settings it might get defined as an Inherent Spell to limit it’s uses – but a superhero will just fuel it with mana and get exactly the same result anyway.
  • Reflex Training: Can spend Mana to maintain his “Berserker” strength enhancement and his Innate Enchantments without it requiring an action of any kind – even while asleep or unconscious. Corrupted for Reduced Cost / he must do so as long as he has Mana available. (4 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment, Specialized for Increased Effect (effects are considered extraordinary abilities and cost no experience to acquire) / Requires two mana to activate for one minute. Is blatantly obvious in operation since he bulks up a lot (11,310 GP Value, 12 CP).
    • Lob (L1: The user may hurl three items at his or her full BAB and with no need for getting out or loading ammunition or for a physical weapon (or proficiency therewith). This is otherwise treated as if the user was using a medium-sized Halfling Staff Sling. Only while wielding a shovel (x.8), only for throwing rocks (x.8) = 1280 GP.
      • In general: 1d6+Str Mod bludgeoning damage and a -1 to hit for using rocks instead of bullets, Crit 20/x4, Range Increment 80 feet, requires a normal roll to hit. In combination with his Reality Editing he could also throw lots of dirt and junk to make clouds of dust and difficult terrain if he wanted to.
    • (Weapon) Mastery (Halfling Sling Staff, Cantrip): +3 Competence Bonus to BAB with a Halfling Sling Staff (or magical simulation thereof). x.7 Personal-Only (700 GP).
    • Thousand Pound Stance (Target gains a +8 versus Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, Overrun, being lifted or thrown, or similar situations, for one minute. x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP). Note that this changes the -4 Penalty for Light Foot to a +4 Bonus.
    • Resist Energy (Provides resistance 10 to all energies), x.7 Personal-Only = 1400 GP
    • Personal Haste: User gains a +30′ enhancement bonus on all movement rates and +1 attack at his or her full BAB when making a full attack (2000 GP).
    • Light Foot: User becomes very light, gaining a +30 circumstance bonus on his or her ground movement speed and, a +10 circumstance bonus on jump checks, as well as DR 10 versus Falling Damage [only]. The user is, however, considered one size category smaller in a Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, or Overrun situation. x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP.
    • Heroic Will: Protection From Evil, Personal Only (x.7), 3/Day Only (x.6), Only when the GM feels that the user is being compelled to do something against their personal code or otherwise is likely to summon a mighty surge of will to throw off possession/mind control/etc (x.25) = 210 GP.
    • Heroic Rally: Remove Fear, 2/Day Only (x.4), user must make an adequate inspiring speech (x.6) = 480 GP.
    • Coincidental Catch: Feather Fall, 2/Day Only (x.4), activates automatically (x1.5), but only works 50% of the time (x.4) = 480 GP. When a hero falls off a roof or gets dropped, there is a substantial chance that SOMETHING will happen to break his or her fall.
    • Heroic Health: Relieve Illness (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP. Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP, Lesser Restoration 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7) = 560 GP. Fast Healing I (from The Practical Enchanter, for 18 rounds, 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7)) = 560 GP.
  • Hard Training: Finesse (substitutes Con Mod for Int Mod when computing skill points, 6 CP). Thanks to Pathfinders ruling that changes like this are retroactive, this gets him quite a few skill points.
  • Double Damage against inanimate objects, Corrupted/also applies when he accidentally damages stuff (4 CP).
  • “Muscular Spectacle” / Augmented Bonus, adds Str Mod to Cha Mod when using charisma-based skills (6 CP).
  • Finesse, Uses Str Mod in place of Dex Mod for Ranged Combat, Specialized / only for throwing rocks with his shovel (3 CP).
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell/Trebuchet Special (L3 Transmutation). You can grab an unresisting individual (or adjacent group of up to four if you have sufficient strength to lift them) and throw them to any location within medium range accessible via a normal parabolic trajectory. The landing is harmless and, during the trip, they are considered to be stationary while the world moves by them (6 CP).
  • Divine Physique: Advanced, Improved, Augmented Bonus: Adds (Str Mod) to (Con Mod) when calculating Hit Points. Specialized and Corrupted/only works for levels 1-5 (6 CP). This gets him an extra 78 HP, or 114 when his Belt of Strength is active
  • Divine Endurance: Improved Augmented Bonus x3 (Add Str Mod to all three saving throws), Specialized / only while being noble, helpful, charging in to face the foe, standing between others and danger, and otherwise being a big boy scout or Superman/Captain Marvel expy, Corrupted / Costs 2 Mana per Use. That’s +13 to all saves, or +19 when his Belt of Strength is active (12 CP). Note that this means that he can normally only boost two saves a round.
  • Minor Privilege (3 CP). Rockhoof gets invited to all the parties and has lots of willing female companionship.

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

Equipment:

  • Charms: Captain’s Torc, Conjurer’s Tattoo (His Shovel), Contraceptive Charm, Foothold “Boots” (hoofwrappings), Impervious Glue, Resounding Horn, and Tinkerstone.
  • Talismans: Ditty Bag, Helm Of War, and Shimmer Mail.
  • Relic: Thur’s Belt Of Strength (Inherent Spell, L3 Personal-Only Enhance Strength/+8 Str for one minute per level, Corrupted for Increased Effect / uncontrollably drains mana to renew itself, makes the user clumsy and prone to breaking things as well as removing any sense of tact or awareness that maybe you should take the thing off sometimes. Net +12 Strength and a lot of environmental and social damage (1 CP Relic).

Rockhoof is now capable of withstanding enormous amounts of damage, bouncing arrows from his skin, resisting minor energy bolts, partially blocking fairly serious attacks with his shovel, dishing out rather a lot of damage, and will be unaffected by most poisons, diseases, or other special effects – although he can be overloaded if he’s hit with more than two a round and has moments of vulnerability (when he’s spending some of this rounds mana keeping his strength boosted). Still, at this point… he’s your basic Colossus, fully capable of going toe-to-toe with massive elementals, lesser giants, and similar menaces. In comparison to normal characters… the Superheroic World Template adds at least +3 CR, a high-efficiency Eclipse build is about +2. and he has a +1 to start with – making him roughly equivalent to a normal character of level ten or higher.

He also has his full allotment of Charms and Talismans and has picked up one minor Relic on his adventures.

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

Healing Magic in Classical Fantasy and Ponies of the Eclipse – Mage Meadowbrook

Healing in Classical Fantasy Worlds

Healers aren’t especially uncommon. A lot of people like to help others – and being one of the people who makes it stop hurting, saves lives, and delivers babies comes with social respect, a certain amount of authority, and good-to-excellent pay.

Or at least it does if you’re good at it – and magical healers tend to be very, VERY, good at it.

That’s a problem with ponies, or any other setting, class, or effect which offers both access to healing magic and near-unlimited use of spells. If one of the local casters has “Cure Light Wounds”… then long-term injuries are not going to exist unless you make up special rules for them. If they know a few more spells – “Lesser Restoration”, “Cure Disease”, “Neutralize Poison”, and perhaps a few others along those lines (even if they’re lesser variants which have to be cast several times to obtain the same effect) then there won’t be hospitals, epidemics, or much in the way of medical problems outside of congenital defects (if there’s no spell for those) and the infirmities of extreme old age.

But Equestria DOES have hospitals. So even the most gifted healers are going to be limited to natural cures, alchemy, special-purpose items and potions, and the following spell list:

  • Cantrips: Check Health#, Congenital Cure* (fixes a congenital defect over the next month), Contraception#, Know Usage (identifies the medicinal potential of various substances and plants)*, Painkiller#, Stabilize (Standard), Transfuse#, and Wake Up (gets a living but unconscious or even a brain-damaged target awake and coherent for one minute/caster level)*
  • Level One Spells: Dentistry#, Expel Parasites#, Healing Lorecall (SC, Note that this works with the Healthful Rest spell, even if you don’t take the time to complete the rest), Healthful Rest (SC) (or the Restful Sleep Pathfinder version), Lesser Restoration, Pharmacist* (+10 to making medicines), Relieve Poison#, and Relieve Illness#.
    • #: From the Hedge Magic spell list. *: Original Spell.

The rarely-required Regeneration can be induced with a Dao Sigil Talisman (Charms and Talismans can be found in The Practical Enchanter), but takes a very long time. Instant Healing is available through the Sovereign Ointment Charm or the Rubydraught Talisman, but those are very limited use.

Mage Meadowbrook, Pillar of Healing

Level four (ECL 5) Earth Pony Physician and Artificer.

As a filly, Meadowbrook learned her mother’s healing skills – but when an epidemic of Swamp Fever (a magical disease with no known cure that turned its victims into trees) swept through the village and her mother fell ill, she surpassed her training to find a cure. With her village safe and it’s ponies recovering, she set forth to cure other stricken villages – and continued on to find and administer cures for many other magical ills, as well as learning to use the magical properties of the natural world to brew powerful potions and forge useful enchantments. In her travels across Equestria she, and her curious healers mask, became legendary while she was still quite young.

Mage Meadowbrook is principally noted for her Eight Enchanted Items, for her ability to make Magical Potions, Dusts, and Brews and other “:alchemical” concoctions, and for her Healing Skills. Secondarily, she’s quite agile and – as befits an earth pony – is quite tough and strong.

Eight Enchanted Items… Isn’t it pretty odd that the number is so definite but there’s no actual mention of what any of those items were? Wouldn’t there have been a time when she only had seven, and wouldn’t it have been possible for her to have picked up a ninth? Even Twilight didn’t seem to know what any of the eight items were – although she was sure that there were only eight. Even more puzzling… when Mage Meadowbrook actually made an appearance, she didn’t seem to need or use any items besides her potions and her mask.

Evidently her eight enchanted items were legendary, but (outside of her mask) they weren’t actually a part of HER panoply and legend – and that’s downright weird. When you read about King Arthur, you’ll read about Excalibur, it’s sheath, the Siege Perilous, and the Holy Grail, (among other items). If you listen to the legends about Thor you will hear about his chariot and goats, his belt and gauntlets, and his mighty hammer. And yet we don’t hear about Meadowbrooks Eight Enchanted Items or see her use any of them. Why not?

Perhaps because they were tools instead of independent items like Starswirls Mirror? Did she keep changing them out so they varied from story to story? Maybe she only used her Mask and loaned out the other seven items? Or perhaps all of those? Because I have a power package for that. Meadowlark was probably a Houngan Conjurer,

  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only usable to make one-point relics, only usable with points from Enthusiast, requires that the user come up with a neat ritual, and all relics carry a disadvantage – although this does help reduce their cost (2 CP).
  • Enthusiast x3, Two Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect, one Specialized for Double Effect and Corrupted for Decreased Cost (8 CP to get 8 “floating” CP to be made into temporary relics) / points may only be used to create relics (known as “conjures”), relics have a maximum cost of one point and no one can use more than one at any one time. This will let her have eight conjures at any one time.
  • Adaption, with the same limitations (+1 CP) so that she can change them around in a day if she needs to instead of requiring a week or so.

There: for a mere 11 CP Mage Meadowbrook can provide a customized two-feat boost – albeit with an accompanying disadvantage – to each member of any party she is associated with. She can thus be famous for her Eight Enchanted Objects, and still have no one having any idea of what they actually were because they’d change from story to story.

Similarly, Mage Meadowbrooks “potions” do a lot more than what d20 potions can do. They can produce active, external, magical effects rather than being limited to things that affect the drinker. Fortunately, there is a power package ready for that too.

  • Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make limited-use items (Apply “Specialized / Does Not Recover to the items created, only select abilities that normally offer a limited number of daily uses) costing a maximum of 3 CP each, only using points from Enthusiast (2 CP).
    • Mage Meadowbrook tends to talk about requiring rare ingredients and such – but this rarely actually seems to limit her, so it’s basically flavor text.A list of sample items that can be created can be found HERE, under “where does he get these wonderful toys”.
  • Double Enthusiast x2, Specialized for Increased Effect (provides four floating CP per instance) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / points may only be used with Create Relic, limited as above (8 CP).
    • This provides Mage Meadowbrook with a small magical arsenal. It will take quite some time – days or weeks – to rebuild it if she exhausts it, but she can stockpile or create quite a few things. The game master may allow her to use her base relic allotment in this way as well, substantially increasing her arsenal.

So…

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

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Meadowbrook we’ll take Plague Survivor (+4 on saves versus illnesses, -2 on any attribute damage taken) and Sensitive Nose (Can easily detect the scent of poisonous substances).

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

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

To Summarize the Earth Pony Modifiers:

  • Mana-Powered Berserker (+8 Str) with no fatigue. In effect, an Earth Pony with a Con of 14+ (their average) can run a continuous +8 bonus to their Strength.
  • Nature Sense (very vague save for items related to agriculture).
  • +4 to resist bull rushes and knockdowns
  • Pays half price for Rune Magic (Homesteading) Casting and Mastery, Knowledge/Nature, and Survival. (Homesteading Magic covers cooking, cleaning, making and mending basic clothing, helping make tools, agriculture, and general pioneering. Earth ponies can get lots of work done and raise crops in extremely dubious locations. Some appropriate spells for use with Homesteading Magic can be found under Hedge Magic). These skills also receive a +3 Racial Bonus.
  • Immunity to Fatigue and Exhaustion.
  • A +3 bonus on any one hoof-based Martial Art.

Basic Attributes (Pathfinder 25-Point Buy): Str 12 (+8 Ber = 20), Dex 14 (-2 Pony = 12), Con 14 (+2 Pony +2 M = 18), Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 13 (+2 M +1 Level = 16)

Available Character Points: 120 (L4 Base ) + 6 (Disadvantages; Obligations (Pillar of Equestria) and History) +8 (Duties as a Healer) +6 (First and Third Level Bonus Feats) = 140 CP.

Basic Abilities (68 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 10 (L1d10, 6 CP) +20 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +14 (L2-4d6, 6 CP) +16 (4 x Con Mod) = 60 HP.
  • Skill Points: 25 (Purchased, 25 CP) + 14 (Int) +10 (Fast Learner) = 49 SP

Skills:

  • Acrobatics: +7 (3* SP) +1 (Dex) = +8 (Jump +12 due to speed).
  • Craft/Alchemy +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Diplomacy +1 (1 SP) +3 (Cha) = +4
  • Heal +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Iron Hoof Skirmisher Style +7 (3* SP) +5 (Str) +3 (Race) = +15
  • Knowledge/Geography +4 (4 SP) +2 (Int) = +6
  • Knowledge/Local +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Knowledge/Nature +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Linguistics +5 (2* SP) +2 (Int) = +7
  • Perception +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Profession (Swamp Rat) +1 (1 SP) +2 (Wis) = +3
  • Perform (Sing) +2 (2 SP) +3 (Cha) +2 (Race) = +7
  • Rune Magic (Homesteading) Casting +5 (2* SP)+3 (Cha) +3 (Race) = +11 (Effective Caster Level Five)
  • Rune Magic (Homesteading) Mastery +5 (2* SP) +3 (Cha) +3 (Race) = +11 (Can use second level effects)
  • Spellcraft +2 (2 SP) +2 (Int) = +4
  • Stealth +7 (3* SP) +1 (Dex) = +8
  • Survival +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) = +9
  • Swim +1 (1 SP) +5 (Str) = +6

Specific Knowledges: Equestrian Diseases (1 SP).

Skill Specialties: Making Medicines, Natural Remedies,and Knowledge/Local/Where to find natural remedies (3 SP)

The Iron Hoof Skirmisher Style (Str):

Requires: Str 16+, Hooves

  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 4, Strike, Toughness 1, and Synergy/Acrobatics.
  • Advanced Techniques: Blinding Strike, Crippling Blow. Improved Disarm, and Mobility.
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Light Foot, and Vanishing.

Known Techniques (8): Defenses 4, Strike, Crippling Blow, Inner Strength, and Light Foot.

  • BAB +2 (12 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +2 (6 CP) +4 (Con) = +6
    • Reflex +2 (6 CP) +1 (Dex) = +3
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +2 (Wis) = +4
  • Proficiencies: Throwing Vials/Bottles (1 CP).
  • Initiative: +1 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs)
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 1 (Dex) +4 (Martial Art) +4 (Shimmermail) = 19
  • Usual Weapons:
    • Kick: +7 (+2 BAB +5 Str), 1d4+5 (+4d6 with Thunderhoof Strike), Crit 20/x2. May inflict lethal or nonlethal damage without penalty.
    • Thrown Container/Rock: +3 (+2 BAB +1 Dex), damage depends on contents, range increment as per Light Crossbow thanks to Bracers.

Other Abilities (72 CP):

  • Houngan Conjurer Package (As above, 11 CP).
  • Magical Brewing (As above, 10 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP).
  • Adept: Acrobatics, Craft/Alchemy, Heal, and Knowledge/Local (6 CP).
  • Adept: Iron Hoof Skirmisher, Perception, Stealth, and Linguistics (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Skills (6 CP)
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell: Thunderhoof Strike (L3, cast as a part of an attack action, adds 1d6/Level, 10d6 maximum, to the damage inflicted by a blow, 6 CP). At the moment this is only 4d6 with her single attack – but an extra 4d6 on your kick is actually pretty good.
  • Mana-Powered Occult Talent, Specialized for Increased Effect (Double Spell Formula: 8 Cantrips and 2 First Level Effects) / requires messing about with assorted herbs and medicines and a DC 20 Craft/Alchemy check – although she may “take 20” on this (6 CP).
  • Mana Powered Occult Talent, Specialized for Increased Effect (L0 slots count as L1, the L1 slot counts as two L1 Slots for a total of six level one slots) / requires messing about with assorted herbs and medicines and a DC 20 Heal check – although she may “take 20” on this (6 CP).
    • These two occult talents give her access to the full list of Equestrian Healing Spells (above), although she channels her magic through medications and skill instead of direct spellcasting.
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
  • Privilege: Mage Meadowbrook is recognized as an expert healer, a plaguebreaker, and a master of potions and brews throughout the land, and – as such – enjoys a welcome and local support everywhere she goes (3 CP).

Equipment:

  • Healers Mask: This is her personal Conjure, and provides two six-point Immunities – to swarms and to the side effects of magical plants – allowing her to gather her ingredients in relative safety. It’s unfortunate side effect is a -5 penalty on Perception rolls, since wearing it makes it difficult to see, hear, or smell properly.

Unlike most of the other Pillars, Meadowbrook is something of a specialist in enchanted items – and so it should be no surprise that she makes use of a full set of Charms and Talismans (from The Practical Enchanter).

  • Charms: Blemish Cream, Bracers of Hurling, Cleansing Wand, Druid Boxes, Ice Chest, Ring of Mist, and Sovereign Ointment.
  • Talismans: Dao Sigil, Rubydraught, and Shimmermail

By normal d20 standards Mage Meadowbrook isn’t an especially powerful healer. She can relieve illnesses and some conditions, accelerate healing, and fix a variety of minor problems all day long – but she can’t instantly heal massive wounds or wipe away major conditions without an appropriate potion or brew – and her brew-and-potion resources have to be split between healing, defensive, offensive, and utility effects. She can fight reasonably effectively too, but is no match for a dedicated warrior. She can provide basic boosting items for her friends, but cannot produce major enchantments for them.

And really, that’s about what you’d expect from healers apprentice who went adventuring as early as she possibly could. She did a lot of minor adventuring on her own, dabbles in pretty much everything you need for undertaking minor adventures / ingredient-gathering fetch-quests, and can take care of herself – but her skills are best used as party backup.

Ponies Of The Eclipse – Rockhoof, the Pillar of Strength

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starting (Level One, ECL 2) Athletic Superhero.

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

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

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

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

To Summarize the Earth Pony Modifiers:

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

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

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

Basic Abilities (29 CP):

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

Skills:

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

The Jade Mountain Stance Style (Str):

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

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

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

Usual Weapons:

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

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

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

Other Abilities (33 CP):

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

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

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

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

Ponies Of The Eclipse – Starswirl The Bearded

And for today we have a special request from Alzrius…

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

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

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

Secondarily…

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

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

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

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

So:

Starswirl The Bearded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

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

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

To Summarize The Unicorn Subrace Modifiers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basic Abilities (95 CP):

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

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

Other Abilities (113 CP):

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

Skills:

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

This comes to 80 skill points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amniomorphic Magics (6 CP, 80 AP):

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

Dimensional Magics (12 CP, 192 AP):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Low-Level Adventurer Template provides:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basic Abilities (23 CP):

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

Special Abilities:

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

Skills:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major Equipment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Anomaly – Wealth, Religion, and Obols.

The primary high-end currency of the Anomaly is not a fiat currency, or credits backed by some sort of political unit, or precious metals and gems, or anagathic drugs, or magically-imbued feathers, or souls, or shells, or packets of herbs, or potion-coins, or any of the hundreds of other exotic currencies used in one location or another.

It’s the Obol.

Obols appear to be moderately sized coins or tokens, usually embossed with some strange sigil or image – although the exact nature of that symbol does not matter in the least (it appears to be determined by the unconscious beliefs of whoever or whatever initially created a particular Obol or by the people who have carried it since). Most commonly there are…

  • The black, “tarnished gold” Obols, of Death, Destruction, and Endings.
  • The glittering sunlight-silver Obols of Life, Creation, and New Beginnings.
  • The opaline crystal Obols of Destiny, Chaos, and Transformation.
  • The deep red-iron Obols of Order, Preservation, and Spirits.

Far more rarely are found the translucent star-filled Obols of Time, Space, and Memory, the Ruby Obals of Will-Working, the various tints of Mind-Obol Diamonds, or several other exotics.

Obols are not made of matter. They are links to the realm of the power they represent and a reserve of unfocused energy operating under that realms rules. Unless they are being interacted with by a being capable of interacting with other realities – a quality associated with higher life forms – they are essentially inert. They can be moved about, but cannot be damaged, show no chemical properties, are usually impervious to radiation or other energies (although some types transmit particular energies as if the Obol did not exist at all), have no temperature (although each type and value produces the sensation of a characteristic temperature to the touch), and chime when struck with distinctive tones – although no one two observers quite agree on what they “really” sound like. They can be clearly seen in the dark (although they do not photograph well in the dark), since the sensation of their appearance seems to transmitted directly to the minds of observers, rather than being primarily reliant on their eyes. Their mass appears to be derived from the boundary effect that defines their surfaces (or so say some scholars who have spent a lot of time fiddling about with and spinning Obols of various shapes).

If handled by a creature that is capable of other-dimensional interaction, Obals are somewhat more mutable. The sigil they bear can be changed with a period of concentration (although few bother). Multiple Obols can be combined into a single, higher-value Obol – and higher-value Obols can be divided into multiple lower-value Obols, down to a minimum value of one.

And any intelligent creature will recognize their value. Obols can be spent at full value anywhere at all. The guards at the gates of death may have no regard for ordinary treasures, but they – like elemental beings, demons, aliens, and spirits – will accept Obols in payment.

For Obols are the very stuff of magic. Anyone who holds one can expend it as a standard action, leaving behind nothing but whatever bits of dust were stuck to it’s surface at the time, to invoke a magical / psionic / occult effect suited to the type of Obol they are expending.

  • One Obol is worth one first-level effect, with a caster level equal to the user’s (Wis Mod + Base Will Save).
  • Larger numbers of appropriate Obols can be expended to produce higher level effects. Provided that the user’s effective caster level is at least (twice the level of the effect to be created minus one) it costs 3 Obols for a L2 effect, 5 for a L3 effect, 12 for L4 effect, and 25 for L5 effect – the usual maximum.
  • It is possible to add special components, or amplification circles, to increase the effect – but if the user is duplicating a specific effect that calls for such things already, they must either be provided or the base level of the effect used must be increased to compensate for their absence.

If you wish to give a delirious dying man a few minutes of painless clarity to say his farewells and a quick, clean, passage into death… a Deathly Obol will suffice. An easy childbirth, saving a child dying of some injury, or a conception when there seemed no chance of such a thing? A Life-Obol will grant your desire. A blessing for a farm to avoid accidents during the harvest? An Order-Obol can meet your needs. Giving a newborn a true name and a destiny? A Chaos-Obol can weave your will into the fabric of reality (Often with greater success than another type of Obol would grant, although (with Chaos) success is never guaranteed. Still, Chaos Obols are one of the few types that can bend the odds of the future, rather than affecting the present).

Carrying such links to powers and principles does have it’s side effects however.

  • Carrying more than six Obols of a particular type will bring the bearer into closer touch with the powers that the coins represent. They will touch his or her dreams, or even sometimes whisper to the bearer when he or she is awake. They may attempt to manipulate the bearer for their own ends. Still, at the end… a few will be expended on the bearers dying whims. Thus do death-words gain their power.
  • Carrying more than twenty-seven Obols of a particular type will bring the forces that that represent into play in your daily life and make the bearer disquietingly aware of their presence. Obols of Life might cause any contraceptive measures you take to fail, lead to encounters with life-spirits, inspire artists to create new (and sometimes terrible) things, or attract predators or other nuisances – as well as allowing the bearer to detect new pregnancies, some illnesses, and tell whether or not an artwork is truly original. Obols of Death might reveal the approach of death in the injured and ill (attempting to play a double-or-nothing game with Death is a classic tradition, but very risky), stir unquiet spirits, cause someone to become sick, or something similar. Sometimes… when the powers of a particular realm manifest most powerfully (and usually inconveniently), another Obol of that type will be found in the vicinity. Few consider such “interest” worth the trouble.
  • Carrying more than 280 Obols of a particular type will link the bearer to the force they embody quite directly – weakening the user’s ability to do things opposed to the nature of his or her horde. Carrying many Obols of Death will make it difficult to heal others or be healed, while Obols of Life may make it difficult to inflict harm. On the other hand, the user may now expend Obols of the appropriate type as an Immediate Action until his or her horde drops below the critical value.

Despite these dubious flaws / advantages, Obols are in many ways an ideal coinage. They are, after all, impossibly durable, have an inherent value that is easily recognized by anyone, are as fungible as entries in a bookkeepers tome, are easily converted into other valuable things, and are easily concealed and transported.

For conversion purposes, an Obol can be roughly valued at 25 GP, and can be expended in lieu of 5 XP in games which feature XP costs for various enchantments or spells. Unfortunately, since Obols function both as money AND a source of magic, it’s much easier to convert Obols into lesser currencies than it is to do the reverse. You can sell an Obol almost anywhere, but most people will prefer to keep their money in the form of Obols if they can (at least up to the point where the weird effects start happening). After all, mere gold will not help much when you need some magic in an emergency situation.Thus Obols are rarely traded for mere gold and trinkets.

Still, since Obols are far TOO valuable for minor purchases, lesser currencies are actually much more commonly traded.

So where do Obols come from?

  • They can be created as Wondrous Items.
  • They are fairly common gifts from otherworldly visitors. For example, according to tales of the lands of Leros and Nilander…

On the day of dead, when tombs and graves open as the mouths of the underworld, and the spirits of the long-deceased walk the lands of the living, those daring enough to open their doors to such wandering shades – and who welcome their cold and spectral guests with the warmth that only the living can muster – may be paid for their hospitality with the imperishably tarnished black coins of the underworld, where even gold is touched by decay.

How much of that is truth, and how much is fancy distorted by thousands of miles of distance and travelers tales is difficult to say.

Priests of the Powers get some regularly, for they have:

  • Create (Wondrous) Item, Specialized for Increased Effect (time spent on religious affairs and obligations counts towards item creation time) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only to create a particular type of Obol (4 CP).
  • Harvest of Artifice, Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only for use with Transmutation to create Obols, user must act as a priest of the powers he or she is tapping into and must spend a good deal of effort displaying the benefits of aligning yourself with such powers to the local populace (4 CP). This provides 200 XP a month that can only be used for “transmutation”.
  • Transmutation, Specialized for Increased Effect (Produces Obols instead of normal valuables) and Corrupted / only to produce a specific type of Obols (4 CP).

The net result? For 12 CP and a fair amount of time spent on being a priest of a particular set of powers you get a divine “salary” of 16 Obols per month. That’s pretty good for a non-adventurer, even if you’re likely to “spend” at least half of them performing your duties. Priests with more personal power do usually get to keep more of their Obols for emergencies though, so abilities such as ritual magic, shamanic magic, healing touch, and so on, are quite common among them.

Obols are also convenient in games for several reasons; they give non-casters more access to magic, they discourage the looting of villages (since the people are likely to use up their Obols defending, healing, and fighting back if they’re attacked), they are a highly versatile but temporary source of magic for particular missions, and they are an excellent incentive for characters to undertake missions that aren’t likely to yield a lot of cash otherwise.