Mechanics & Metaphors: JDRook's Rules Rants and Character Conversions

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slade the sniper
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Re: Mechanics & Metaphors: JDRook's Rules Rants and Character Conversions

Post by slade the sniper » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:49 am

Just want to tell you that I have stolen all of your magic conversions :)

-STS

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JDRook
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Re: Mechanics & Metaphors: JDRook's Rules Rants and Character Conversions

Post by JDRook » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:59 am

slade the sniper wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:49 am
Just want to tell you that I have stolen all of your magic conversions :)

-STS
Thanks! That's what they're for. The average Rifts Magic OCC starts with 12 invocations, not to mention all of their specialized abilities, so hopefully this can make that process simpler. It's a bit of a slog, but an interesting exercise overall.

slade the sniper
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Re: Mechanics & Metaphors: JDRook's Rules Rants and Character Conversions

Post by slade the sniper » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:03 am

Well, it does showcase the fact that Rifts PCs are super-heroic in capability starting off. That is usually difficult for long time D&D players to understand that a first level Palladium PC is NOT equivalent to a first level D&D PC.

-STS

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JDRook
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Re: Mechanics & Metaphors: JDRook's Rules Rants and Character Conversions

Post by JDRook » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:46 am

catsi563 wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:47 am
Theres this also in regards to MDC vs SDC

MDC is explicitly stated to be an ENTIRELY different scale of damage compared to SDC. each MDC is = to 100 SDC in damage or health

An SDC weapon CANNOT damage MDC armor it would take very high powered weapons IE artillery or superpowers to even try

MDC damage basically overpowers any SDC armor it just vaporizes it entirely. so a single MDC blast that only does 1 MDC damage would automatically kill any target with 100 sdc or less due to basically vaporizing the target

its one of the trickier things to convert in some senses though M&Ms system doesn't make the scale distinctions barring impervious or the like
As I see it, there are easy ways to simulate some aspects of MDC with what I've laid out so far if you really wanted to.
- You could use 2e Impervious applied to either all Toughness ranks or up to the PC's PL, to make an MDC defenses that are unaffected by SDC attacks. This includes anything rank 6 or below on my chart and would also includes Mulitattacks and Power Attack maneuvers with those same attacks.
- MDC weapons would be at least rank 7 and have 3e Penetrating at full rank. Of course, this doesn't cover the "one-shot-kill" that MD weapons have on most SDC creatures; M&M isn't big on 1-shots for non-minions, but a Takedown built into MD weapons could make for some good SDC goonsweeping and gives almost the same effect without casually annihilating named characters

I also came up with an Armor-Piercing Extra to replace Penetrating I've never had a chance to playtest. Basically it's the equivalent of a Linked Weaken with Instant Recovery. Before the target rolls their Toughness check, Toughness is Weakened by the attack rank in points, removing Impervious first. Actually, if you remove ranks "bottom to top" so to speak, the shot behaves exactly like 3e Penetrating. However, if there's no Impervious, or less than the Weakening rank, it takes off Toughness ranks and makes the Damage Check tougher. This allows the attack to be more powerful against armored and unarmored targets, but only for that shot; the Toughness "instantly recovers" after the check.

The big problem with it of course is that it throws a wrench in PL. If you have a rank 10 attack with Armor-Piercing vs an unarmored Toughness 10 opponent, it essentially lowers them to 0, equivalent to doubling your effect rank and breaking PL. Of course, that assumes no defense against the Weaken; if that was set against an appropriate defense like Parry for Close and Dodge for Ranged, that might make it less abusive and more on par with Multiattack in terms of PL-breaking.

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Rifts Invocations Levels 6-7

Post by JDRook » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:39 am

Continuing with the spell statting. I will be adding Activation (Move) to all of these spells (unless I forget) to follow the Magic Combat section in the Ultimate Edition describing how higher level spells require more attacks. 6-10 is "mid-level" and require 2 attacks each, which I'll just cover with the Move Activation and Standard Action for the spell itself. Note that some spells may have Sustained on them when not necessary; this is a trick I use in Hero Lab to have those powers in an Array and make it offer a checkbox so I can effectively flip them on and off for easier tracking.

I'm still using rank 2 as a base, although most of these spells would be acquired by higher level mages, likely with a greater spell strength.

Level 6

. . 6 Call Lightning: Damage 10 (DC 25; Extras: Increased Range 2: perception; Flaws: Activation: move action) [29]

This is roughly a 3rd level Call Lightning by my scale. Used Perception Range, but could also be Ranged plus a No Attack Check custom Extra for the same cost and fit the Rifts range limits. Since damage increases with experience, this spell will generally be pushing up against a mage's PL (if not defining it) unless they're already monstrously powerful.

. . 6 Compulsion: Affliction 10 (3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 20; Extras: Custom: No Attack check, Ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action, Diminished Range, Limited: One Suggestion, Limited Degree (third only)) [8]

Full mind control isn't common in Rifts, but there are a bunch of limited versions of it. This one is essentially a single command you can't get out of your head. I'm trying out a high-rank 3rd degree only effect with this one, but it should be limited to PL since it doesn't have an Attack check; otherwise it should be equal to the mages Spell Strength.

By Rifts rules if you don't save Compulsion last 24 houts; under M&M if a PC gets hit with one of these and fails to resist, they should probably get a Hero Point to make it last instead of rerolling every minute. Essentially it becomes a temporary Obsession Complication.


. . 6 Cure Illness: Nullify 2 (Counters: common diseases, DC 12; Flaws: Activation: move action, Reduced Range: close) [1]

Another "household" spell, this does not heal damage or work against magically induced sickness, so not very in-party useful unless your GM likes giving your team the flu. OTOH, helping NPCs with this is an excellent way to endear the locals to you, or make a little money or barter.

. . 6 Fire Ball: Damage 10 (DC 25; Extras: Accurate 4: +8, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action, Diminished Range) [22]

About a 4th level FB. Similar to Call Lightning, but dodgeable and with shorter range. Similar PL issues as well, but since it can be dodged it also allows for tradeoffs in M&M, so one could make it a lower rank and just use Power Attack, especially with that high accuracy rank.

. . 6 Impervious to Energy: Immunity 20 (Very Common Descriptor: Energy; Extras: Feature: others by ritual; Flaws: Activation: move action) [20]

Mostly simple, but worth clarifying: ALL energy, including magically sourced, full immunity. 2 minutes/level should outlast most direct combat. Note that Telekinesis and TK weapons should be considered physical force. Vibro-blades and Neural Maces? Ask your GM, and if you are GM, pick one and stay consistent.

Others by Ritual is basically a shorthand AE. Same build with Affect Others +0 and Slow -1.


. . 6 Magic Pigeon: Auditory Communication 4 (Flaws: Activation: move action, Custom 2: Must travel at Flight 4; can be magically captured or dispelled) [7]

There should probably be a lot of radio-hacking in your campaign to make spells like this worth the trouble. The pigeon can last months but can travel to any point on Earth in under 2 weeks unless captured or dispelled.

. . 6 Mask of Deceit: Illusion 6 (Affects: Two Sense Types - Visual, Area: 60 cft., DC 16; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited: Head only, Reduced Range 2: close) [1]

Basically a magical Mission:Impossible mask, I made it 6 ranks since it still costs 1p with all of the flaws. A Flawed Morph would also work, being slightly more expensive but covering more senses, although the spell doesn't change voice, scent, or anything but the head's appearance. 10 minutes/level will cover most encounters; should fail as a Complication.

. . 6 Reduce Self (6 inches): Shrinking 12 (-3 STR, -6 Intimidate, +12 Stealth, +6 active defenses, -3 size ranks, -1 speed ranks; Extras: Feature: Affects clothes and possessions; Flaws: Activation: move action) [24]

Weapons also shrink, but are too small to hurt. For conversion purposes, you could subtract the Shrinking rank 12 from the Effect rank of your weapon. Only lasts 2.5 minutes/level; again, failure as Complication is probably best.

. . 6 Sheltering Force: Create 6 (Volume: 60 cft., DC 16; Extras: Continuous, Selective, Feature: Stays dry, Temp control; Flaws: Activation: move action, Diminished Range) [23]

Magic Tent. Mostly a household spell, although it does provide slight MDC protection. Full translation requires some handwaving: tent provides full cover but only partial concealment, and only soaks part of any MDC attacks (-1d6). Lasts 1 hour per level which might wait out a storm or a rest period but isn't much of an overnight rest until higher levels. Added Continuous so the caster can sleep in it, too.

. . 6 Teleport: Lesser: Teleport 5 (Carry 50 lbs.; Extras: Affects Objects Only, Extended: 30 miles in 2 move actions; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited to Extended) [9]

Only teleports objects. Build is for 6th level range. Success rate is over 80% so it could have a Check Required, but probably should only fail on a Complication. Potentially an easier and more reliable way to send messages than the communication spells.

. . 6 Tongues: Comprehend 2 (Languages - Speak All, Languages - Understand All; Flaws: Activation: move action) [3]
. . 6 Words of Truth: Mind Reading 7 (DC 17; Extras: Custom: No Attack Check, Feature: Spoken, not psychic, Reach (ranged): 5 ft.; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited by Language, Reduced Range 2: close) [5]

Rather than using Mind Control or interaction skills, I went straight to Mind Reading to get truth out of someone by adding a Feature that makes them speak what you ask for out loud. This allows others to hear (or overhear) what's being said and also means the target could try speaking another language to avoid answering directly, so Tongues is a good one to use in combination with this. Bought at 7 ranks to get 2nd degree Personal Thoughts, although speaking Surface Thoughts aloud should be fun. At 1min/lvl and 1 question per round you're bound to get everything you need in time.

Level 7

. . 7 Agony: Affliction 7 (1st degree: Dazed, Impaired, 2nd degree: Stunned, Defenseless, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 17; Extras: Custom: No Attack Check, Extra Condition, Reach 4 (melee): 20 ft.; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited Degree) [17]

Range is for level 4: more than that and you might want to switch to Diminished Range. Pain is the descriptor so there's no actual damage happening. It lasts 1 minute and does NOT increase with experience, although it effectively drops to 1st degree for another minute when recovering.

. . 7 Animated & Control Dead: Summon 1 (Extras: Controlled, General Type: Available Corpses, Horde, Mental Link, Multiple Minions 3: 8 minions; Flaws: Activation: move action, Custom 2: Requires available corpses, Must have LoS) [9]

Minions! This is for a 6th level caster (basically Lvl +2), but with all the limitations it's not expensive to raise the rank.
Animated Dead - PL 1
STR 1, STA -, AGL 0, DEX 0, FGT 0, INT -, AWE 0, PRE -
Powers: Human Size 2 (+2 Toughness), Immunity 37 (Critical Hits, Bullet Damage, Fortitude Effects; Flaws: Limited - Half Effect [Bullets only]), Simple Weapon 1 (DC 17).. Offense: Init +0, Grab +0 (DC Spec 11), Simple Weapon: Strength-based Damage 1 +0 (DC 17), Throw +0 (DC 16), Unarmed +0 (DC 16). Defense: Dodge 0, Parry 0, Fort None, Tou 2, Will None. Totals: Abilities -28 + Powers 37 + Advantages 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 10
This is the general build for human-sized dead. For bigger or smaller you can either add or subtract a rank of Toughness, or you can get a little more complex and add the appropriate Shrinking or Growth. There's room for 2 ranks of either in the build, use Extra Effort to stunt larger bodies. They are relatively tough with all their immunities but still SDC creatures and not great in combat. Can potentially wield Vibro-knives but not any kind of gun or complex weapon. Last 5 minutes/level, so easily long enough for combat but not enough to, say, carry all your equipment on a hike for more than an hour.

. . 7 Ballistic Fire: Damage 9 (DC 24; Extras: Accurate 5: +10, Extended Range, Increased Range: ranged, Multiattack, Selective; Flaws: Activation: move action) [41]

Range is 1000' +10' per level which is insignificant change for our puproses. The caster also gets 1 missile per level, which might be a reasonable Quirk for a limited number of targets each turn.

This is the goonsweeper spell, "an anti-infantry spell designed to mow down large numbers all at once." I'm showing what I think would be the most popular option first, but there are a few other ways to do it:
- drop Multiattack, Extended Range and Accurate 5 and add Burst Area 2 and you can rain fireballs down on a 120' wide circle while still avoiding hitting allies. [44]
- drop Multiattack and Selective and add Takedown 2 because Takedown is designed to mow down hordes of goons all at once. [25]
I like the last one largely because it's the most point-efficient, but also because in M&M it would be far more likely to work like it's described with minion rules as opposed to doing minimal MDC damage to multiple MDC targets. Admittedly, it would turn SDC targets into mist in Rifts, but any kind of armored for would shrug it off, while M&M minions could potentially be incap'd in droves. There is an option to focus fire on a single target, though, which is most tempting to do with Multiattack, but could also just be Power Attack on the same Effect. Ultimately you could use any two or all 3, but for the budget-conscious I will always favour the last one.


. . 7 Constrain Being: Cumulative Burst Area Affliction 7 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 17; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 17, Cumulative, Custom: No Attack Check, Selective; Flaws: Activation: move action, Custom: Passive - attacks break control, Custom: One Command "Get Back!", Limited: lesser supernatural creatures) [13]

"Control" is a strong word to describe this. The caster is basically holding the creature at bay for 2 min/level. It's intended for a single target but it came out so cheap I added Burst and Selective partly to match range and partly to make it more useful.

This would probably be a distraction to allow allies and innocents to get out of the way or prepare a counterattack. I'd be tempted to make it more interesting by removing 3rd degree and maybe even dropping Cumulative to have this battle of wills every turn, although even with one-minute saves the caster has to make sure nothing gets within the creature's reach and that no one attacks it, breaking the spell.


. . 7 Dispel Magic Barriers: Nullify 2 (Counters: Magic Barriers, DC 12; Flaws: Activation: move action) [1]

Super simple, super cheap. May want to set it higher or tie it to level or something.

. . 7 Fly as the Eagle [28]
. . . . Defensive Boost: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Dodge +2 (-1), Parry +2 (-1); Extras: Affects Others, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited: in Flight) [8]
. . . . Flight 5 (Speed: 60 miles/hour, 900 feet/round; Extras: Affects Others, Increased Range: ranged) [20]

Flight is easy, the defensive boost is a bonus. Making it Affect Others at Range more than doubles the cost. At 20min/lvl the caster and allies could fly for a few hours over a hundred miles.

This spell and several others have a "one by range or two by touch" mechanic that only really matters when you're counting PPE, so I've ignored it for now. It could easily be a Feature that allows a no-loss Split at close range as an AE if your GM okays it.


. . 7 Globe of Silence: Cloud Area Concealment 2 (All Aural Senses; Extras: Cloud Area: 15 feet radius sphere, DC 12, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action, Diminished Range) [6]

The Globe can either be fixed in place or moved by the caster while inside the globe, meaning they're unable to cast while doing it. Again, this is only an issue when limited to PPE since you can always cast it again at range outside the Globe.

. . 7 Heal Self: Regeneration 1 (Every 10 rounds; Extras: Persistent; Flaws: Custom: Trance) [1]

Like most self-healing, this requires a trance, and in practice most damage is not going to be more than 10 Conditions, so most PCs can heal completely in 10 minutes. There are few creatures that justify higher regen; maybe Dragons or Vampires or something, and even then likely not that high.

. . 7 Invisibility (Superior): Concealment 8 (All Aural Senses, All Olfactory Senses, All Visual Senses; Extras: Affects Others; Flaws: Activation: move action, Passive) [15]

The "better" invisibility, this one hides you very effectively but you can't fight, while the "simple" version kept you invisible to at least normal vision unless you started bleeding.

. . 7 Life Drain [19]
. . . . Cloud Area Affliction 2 (Linked; 1st-3rd degree: Dazed, Impaired, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Cloud Area: 15 feet radius sphere, Cumulative, Extra Condition, Increased Duration: Sustained; Flaws: Activation: move action) [11]
. . . . Cloud Area Weaken 2 (Linked; Affects: Stamina, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Cloud Area: 15 feet radius sphere, Increased Duration: Sustained) [8]

This is an area cast by a 4th+ caster; lower levels would just drop the area for a single target. Dazed & Impaired are at all 3 degrees, but are 1 minute between saves at 3rd. Keep in mind that Cloud would last one more round after the caster stops sustaining it. It's not clear if the spell area is visible, but I have to assume it is.

The spell is supposed to have lingering effects for six hours as the target rapidly (for Rifts) heals back up, so this may need some additional adjustment.


. . 7* Lightblade: Damage 12 (DC 27; Extras: Accurate: +2, Feature: Treat hits as daylight, +1 Damage vs vampires and other light sensitives; Flaws: Activation: move action)

The Mage's Psi-blade! I've rambled all I need to about it in Jabroniville's Rifts thread. Keep in mind it's PL7 not counting whatever combat skils the mage has.

. . 7 Metamorphosis : Animal [38]
. . . . Animal Abilities: Variable 3 (Extras: Feature: Other by Ritual)
. . . . Animal Forms: Morph 3 (+20 Deception checks to disguise; Broad group; Extras: Feature: Other by Ritual)

The Variable may need to be bigger, but a smart player may want to prep a few animal builds ahead of time to have ready when needed. Probably a combat creature like a tiger or bear, a stealth animal like a mouse or snake, and something for mobility like an eagle or horse. Keep in mind your mind is unaffected, so you still have all your mental abilities, skills and can even speak, so there's nothing stopping you from also casting spells in animal form.

. . 7 Purification: Transform 6 (Affects: Broad > 1 Thing - Food & Water > Clean Food & Water, Transforms: 50 lbs., DC 16; Flaws: Activation: move action, Permanent) [17]

More household spells that will help you in your travels.

. . 7 Wind Rush [38]
. . . . Knockdown: Affliction 8 (Linked; 1st degree: Dazed & Hindered, 2nd degree: Prone & Immobile, Resisted by: better of Athletics or Acrobatics as per Trip, DC 18; Extras: Extra Condition; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited Degree) [23]
. . . . Wind Rush: Cone Area Move Object 8 (Linked; 6 tons; Extras: Cone Area 2: 120 feet cone, DC 18; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited Direction: Away, Reduced Range: close) [15]

Some good ol' fashioned Knockback! The Affliction is basically a high-powered trip attack while the Move Object handles the distance. The rank is based on the unexpected Dodge save in the book. The wind can be a wide attack, but only 20', so I went further and jsut made it a Close Cone that reaches the full range. Also, by the book the wind can be directed at individuals, so you could add or swap Selective for a rank of Cone, or make an AE feature with Ranged.


That's it for now. I'll try to get the rest out this week.

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