Mechanics & Metaphors: Device Damage Houserules

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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 :)


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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 :)

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.

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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.


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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^ Apparition

The next level up of Horrific Illusion that also did not make it into UE, it makes an illusory creature that can inflict illusory damage and even knock out characters who don't see through it.

. . 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? I'd probably also go physical since they are relatively low-end anyway, but 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^ Memory Bank

Implants data in another mind. A whole 1000 words' worth, or about half a page of text. Like an email. This kind of shows the age of the books, since it was published in 1990. Storing less than a gigabyte of data with what is basically a USB key spell seems positively quaint for a sci-fi setting; after all, Johnny Mnemonic came out in '95. Might make an interesting plot point but a lame spell; a Feature at best.

. . 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^ Time Slip: Affliction 7 (3rd degree: Paralyzed; Extras: Burst Area, Insidious, Subtle 2, No Save; Flaws: 3rd only, Instant Recovery
. . 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.
Last edited by JDRook on Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rifts: Psychic Potential Energy in M&M - worth it?

Post by JDRook » Wed May 08, 2019 9:53 am

Another intermission from magic statting, although certainly in the same theme.

Quick Overview

Rifts Magic is based around Psychic Potential Energy, a concept introduced (I believe) in Palladium's Beyond the Supernatural. Instead of a D&D/Vancian magic system of so many pre-prepared spells in a day, mages used this energy to fuel their spells and rituals. PPE is present in all living things to some degree, and mages can cultivate it in themselves as well as share it with other mages, pool it from followers or even get it from sacrifice, which doubles the PPE available (and gives a mechanical reason for cults and blood sacrifice beyond pure evil). Ley Lines and Nexus points were also geological features with PPE, so you had places of magic like Stonehenge as well.

This was only the second time I'd seen magic used in an RPG and I absolutely thought it was vastly superior to Vancian magic, and honestly still do. However, in the same way I like how M&M can turn the grind of whittling down hundred of Hit Points/SDC/MDC/whatever into a series of Toughness Saves, I think managing PPE (and psionic ISP for that matter) could be streamlined as well.

The Houserules

Magic as a Trait: The PPE point pool can be treated similarly to how I've been treating Hit Point conversion, with a doubling scale for the points translating into a Magic Rank. I was using 2^n rounded down, but for the less math-inclined I realized you get basically the same effect using the Volume column on the Ranks & Measures table in the Handbook.

PPE in Rifts PCs varies greatly, but for normal humans and nost D-Bees it's usually equal to the PE attribute (3d6) so about 10 PPE, or rank 4 for most non-mage humanoids. Most mages start in the 75-125 PPE range and go up slowly per level, so rank 7-8 is good for most starting mages. Certain things can modify that number: bionic implants can cut you PPE down to 10%, so about -4, Cyber-Knights and Crazies get roughly double normal, so +1 rank, etc.

Spell costs would be figured out the same way. Blinding Flash at 1 PPE is 0 ranks (still an effect; see below), Call Lightning (15ppe) is rank 4, Superior Metamorphosis (100ppe) is rank 7 and Dimensional Portal (1000ppe) is rank 10. This can be applied to Techno-Wizard devices as well and other things that cost PPE to operate.

The How-To

Basically treat spellcasting as Damage and your Magic Trait as Toughness and you're nostly there. Spells "hit" automatically on casting and give a difficulty class of DC15+spell rank, so casting Call Lightning is DC19, Dimenional Portal DC25 abd Blinding Flash DC15. The caster does a Magic Check with d20+Magic rank, with degrees similar to Damage

Success : The spell requires so little energy it is negligible. No effect om Magic Checks.

Failure (one degree): Small but noticeable PPE drain. The mage has a –1 circumstance penalty to further resistance checks against spellcasting.

Failure (two degrees): Half Empty - Sizeable drain; reserves are more or less at half and the mage has a –1 circumstance penalty to further checks against spellcasting.

Failure (three degrees): Almost Gone - Big drain! PPE is almost gone and the mage has a -1 circumstance penalty to further checks. If drained to 3rd degree again, apply the fourth degree of effect. The Almost Gone condition remains until the Mage recovers

Failure (four degrees): Completely Drained - The mage has no PPE reserves left and cannot cast any spells until they recover. The spell that caused this degree of failure does not properly activate.

This might beed some testing and tweaking, but the basic structure allows for a mechanical PPE value that can be manipulated by other spells and effects instead of leaving everything to Complications.

In practice, spellcasting can be done routinely, so PPE usage is fairly predictable. Combat or other stressful situations would make die rolls necessary; characters should have some kind of "Combat Mage" training or other reasonable justification to have Skill Mastery: Spellcasting and use routine checks in combat.

The default DCs should work well. Low PPE ranked normals (5 ranks or less)( with magic access (like a TW device) are going to drain practically every time they use even a low-rank spell: a City Rat with 19 PPE (rank 5) has Blinding Flash built into a TW glove to use as a distraction. A routine check of DC15 with PPE rank 5 will succeed every time unless the Rat gets into combat or drains PPE with something else, like a more expensive spell. A typicla Ley Line Walker with PPE rank 8 can routinely cast rank 3-or-less cost spells (most of level 1-3) without draining, but a Call Lightning spell at rank 4 would start draining, and combat might make those rolls go all over the place.

There are various situational modifiers that would work on the PPE rank. IF the mage can draw from a Ley Line, +1 to PPE check; at a Nexus, +2. The mage can use the PPE of others (volunteers or sacrifices) to aid as well, although I should come up with some guidelines to make it work.


Recovery of PPE in Rifts is slow and involved compared to M&M damage recovery. Most PCs recover PPE at 5 per hour or twice that if they meditate, which is fine for most normals but the average mage can potentially take days to fully recover from a complete PPE drain from spellcasting or a drain attack like a Psi-Stalker feeding. To match some of the intention but make it a little more manageable, just remove 1 Condition per hour (2 with meditation), starting with the worst. So for a fully drained mage, conditions would be removed in order of Completely Drained, Almost Gone, Half Full and then the -1s.

Note that only Completely Drained and the -1s have any real effect; the others are mainly placeholders, although they still count as a condition to heal. (I could see removing the Half and shifting everything up one as a test.) In practice this should allow full recovery after a full night's rest or a long meditation session; if there are somehow still some conditions left come morning with this system, a GM may opt to just remove them all for simplicity or possibly keep some on as a Complication.

Psionics and ISP

The same rules can be used for Inner Strength Points (ISP) ro power psionics. In the Rifts lore, ISP is a refined version of PPE, so non-psychics don't have any, but most Psychics are in the 5-8 rank range, with minor psychics on the lower end and Major and Master Psychics on par with mages at the high end.

ISP and PPE are not interchangeable, although a few cases like TW devices can use both. ISP for TW is twice that of PPE, so this could either mean +1 DC for psychics operating TW or just ignore it.

ISP Recovery is slightly different, coming back a little faster than PPE, with 2/hour of activity or 12/hour of meditation or sleep. This is somewhat easier to recover in a day, but for conversion purposes I don't see any need to make it different from the PPE Recovery above.

Mechanical Incorporation

The PPE trait should be treated similar to Fortitude; based on Stamina (to reflect Physical Endurance connection in Rifts) and 1p/rank to improve. Similarly, ISP should be analogous to Will.

Skill Mastery: PPE or ISP can be considered automatic, although I favour requiring it as a 1p "combat feat". Techno-Wizard device operation should also be a Feat/Advantage.

Spells and Psionics are activated by their respective casting checks; this can be a ranked flat Flaw, with a value equal to the PPE/ISP rank of the power. So the Call Lightning spell built as Perception Range Blast with Activation would have Casting 4 added to it, subtracting 4p for a total of 25p for the spell. This could allow for a GM to replace the varied PPE values for spells and just make their casting rank equal to their level, simplifying the whole system as well as making the highest level spells harder to cast solo.

Continued . . .
Last edited by JDRook on Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rifts Invocations Levels 8-9

Post by JDRook » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:18 am

And back to it. I have most of the spells done, but now I have that houseruled PPE, so I may go back and fit that in later.

Level 8

. . 8 Commune with Spirits: Comprehend 1 (Spirits - Communicate; Extras: Custom: Others by Ritual; Flaws: Activation: move action) [2]

Simple stuff; reminder that Others by Ritual is basically an AE with the same effect only with Slow and Affects Others Only (at Range when necessary) for only 1p. Also note Rifts has specific definitions for Spirits or "Entities" that can be communed with.

. . 8 Exorcism [13]
. . . . Banish: Affliction 6 (Linked; 3rd degree: Banished, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 16; Extras: Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited Degree (third only), Slow: Ritual) [3]
. . . . Expel (Ritual): Nullify 6 (Linked; Counters: Possession, DC 16; Extras: Custom: No Attack Check; Flaws: Custom: Slow for Ritual) [6]
. . . . Resist Possession: Immunity 2 (Linked; Uncommon Descriptor: Possession; Extras: Affects Others, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited - Half Effect) [4]

Exorcism is a two-stage process: expelling the posssesing entity and banishing it to its source dimension. Possession in M&M is usually a descriptor for Mind Control with the controller somehow inhabiting the controlled. Banishment is a 3rd Degree Affliction, which is my personal preference to using something like an Attack modified Dimensional Travel; might want to increase the rank to compensate for that. The caster and host both get a bonus to save vs repossession as part of the spell, which feels a bit clumsy; the whole thing would probably be better as an Area Linked Effect.

. . 8 Expel Demons: Progressive Burst Area Affliction 8 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 18; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 18, Custom: No Dodge Save, Progressive; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited 2: Demoms only, One Commnad: Leave) [23]

. . 8 Eyes of the Wolf: Senses 7 (Acute: Detect Poison. Visual, Counters Concealment: Invisible, Detect: Identify Plants & Fruits, Poison 2: ranged, Low-light Vision, Tracking: Visual 1: -1 speed rank; Extra: Affect Others; Flaws: Activation: move action) [13]

The Plants & Fruits aspect is really the only difference from what might be expected from such a power; likely better as an Enhanced Skill or just folded into some kind of Survival Expertise.

. . 8 Forcebonds: Affliction 12 (1st degree: Hindered and Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Defenseless and Immobilized, Resisted by: Dodge, overcome by Damage or Sleight of Hand, DC 22; Extras: Extra Condition; Flaws: Activation: move action, Custom: Target already Restrained, Limited Degree) [4]

This spell does NOT actually snare a target but just reinforces the restraints already in place on a subdued subject, effectively making the bonds MDC material. This may actually be better built as a Create that is limited to reinforcing restraints, although since there is also the 4th level spell Magic Net, presumably easier to acquire and about 1/3 the PPE cost, this seems a little redundant.

. . 8 Greater Healing: Healing 5 (Flaws: Activation: move action) [9]
. . 8a Ley Line Tendril Bolts: Burst Area Damage 10 (DC 25; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 20, Selective; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited: Must be on Ley Line) [19]
. . 8b Ley Line Tendril Bolts: Damage 12 (DC 27; Extras: Accurate: +2, Multiattack, Reach (ranged) 6: 30 ft., Split: 2 targets; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited: Must be on Ley Line) [19]

Two possible interpretations for this spell, not unlike Ballistic Fire. Obviously inspired by the Ley Line Walker cover art

. . 8 Lightning Arc: Damage 11 (DC 26; Extras: Accurate 2: +4, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action) [23]

A more powerful, less limited Electric Arc.

. . 8 Locate: Senses 7 (Detect: Owner of Focus Object, Mental 2: ranged, Extended: Locate 4: x10k, Tracking: Locate 1: -1 speed rank; Extras: Custom: As Ritual, +6 Perception; Flaws: Activation: move action), Instant Duration -2 [3]

A very long range (tens of miles) tracking sense. The duration is Instant so each casting is effectively one "ping" of the target's location, which is only a big deal if you have limited pings or they use up something like PPE.

. . 8 Luck Curse: Progressive Affliction 2 (1st degree: Impaired, Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Disabled, Defenseless, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Custom 2: No Attack Check, 3rd Degree is 1 hour saves, Extra Condition, Progressive, Reach (melee) 2: 10 ft.; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited Degree) [11]

Essentially zeroes out most combat traits for 24 hours.

. . 8 Magical-Adrenal Rush [107]
. . . . Damage 6 (Linked; DC 21; Extras: Affects Others, Increased Range: ranged, Penetrating 6)
. . . . Enhanced Trait 12 (Linked; Traits: Stamina +2 (+7), Agility +1 (+1), Dexterity +1 (+1), Fighting +1 (+1), Awareness +1 (+1); Extras: Affects Others, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action)
. . . . Immunity 16 (Linked; Fatigue Effects, Poison, Uncommon Descriptor: Mind Control, Uncommon Descriptor: Illusion, Uncommon Descriptor: Possession, Uncommon Descriptor: Pain, Uncommon Descriptor: Horror Factor; Extras: Affects Objects, Increased Range: ranged)

Temporary transformation into a "Magic Juicer". Like the Superhuman Strength spell, very expensive, particularly when usable on others at range.

. . 8 Metamorphosis : Human: Morph 3 (+20 Deception checks to disguise; Broad group; Flaws: Activation: move action, Quirk: Does not change voice) [13]

Human Disguise spell. Impersonation is not as reliable as full Morph unless performed as a ritual with the subject to be copied present.

. . 8 Negate Magic: Nullify 2 (Counters: Magic, DC 12) [2]

Mechanics are similar enough to M&M Nullify that it works fine by default. The UE spell has a lot of specific exceptions though, which a GM may want to look over and either use as a Flaw or a Complication.

. . 8 Power Weapon: Damage 6 (DC 21; Extras: Penetrating 6; Flaws: Quirk) [11]

Either turns an existing SDC weapon to MDC or improves MDC weapon damage 25%. In practice this would add about 6 ranks to small weapons or 1 to anything over 6 ranks. Only works on MELEE weapons.

. . 8 Shockwave [33]
. . . . Burst Area Affliction 2 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Prone, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere, DC 12; Flaws: Instant Recovery, Limited Degree)
. . . . Burst Area Damage 10 (DC 25; Extras: Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere, DC 20)
. . . . Immunity 1 (Custom: Choose Immunity 1; Extras: Affects Others Only)

A Knockdown burst with some MDC damage. Knockdown resistance could be changed to STR & Acrobatics as a +0 Alternate for a more accurate translation; raise rank to 4 in this case.

. . 8 Sickness: Affliction 12 (1st degree: Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, 3rd degree: Transformed, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 22; Extras: Reach (melee) 4: 20 ft.; Flaws: Activation: move action) [15]

Similar to Bio-Manipulation, but sickness symptoms are meanr to last days (12hr/lvl).

. . 8 Spoil: Transform 6 (Affects: Broad > 1 Thing, Transforms: 50 lbs., DC 16; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous) [24]

The equal opposite of Purification. If a player has both or a GM just wants to keep it simple, add a 1p Feature to make the spell work both ways.

. . 8 Wisps of Confusion: Progressive Affliction 2 (1st degree: Dazed, Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, Disabled, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Extra Condition, Increased Range: ranged, Progressive; Flaws: Limited Degree) [8]

Group Befuddle

Level 9

. . 9 Desiccate the Supernatural: Damage 14 (DC 29; Extras: Increased Range: ranged, Incurable; Flaws: Limited: Only Water-dependemt Supernatural Beings, Quirk: cancel Incurable with enough water) [14]

Powerful spell, if limited with a strange descriptor. Does Boom-Gun level damage to supernatural creatures ONLY by drawing moisture out of the target and leaving a dry husk. The writeup details how "creatures of magic" and "supernatural creatures" are different categories, and it only works on the latter; a GM should decide if this arbitrary distinction serves their game, since this comes up a few times.

. . 9 Dragon Fire: Damage 11 (DC 26; Extras: Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action; Quirk: don't cover mouth) [21]

Firebreathing or "spitting" as I prefer to imagine it for single targets. Effectively a +6 Attack bonus which can be bought as Accurate or considered part of overall ranged bonus, so at least PL8.5 by itself

. . 9 Familiar Link
. . . . Bond: Senses 1 (Communication Link: Choose Medium; Extras: Custom: Sensory/Emotional Link; Flaws: Feedback) [1]
. . . . Enhanced Stamina 1 (+1 STA, Advantages: Sidekick) [varies]

It doesn't seem like you can have more than one Familiar and losing one in death means waiting 18 months(!) to try again, so in practice it probably shouldn't be a spell so much as a ritual to bond with an animal (mechanically bought as a Sidekick to survive fights better). Animals are small (mass rank -1 or less) and ordinary (non-MDC) with maybe an extra rank of Toughness due to the link. The Commlink includes all senses, so it's essentially like Remote Sensing but also tranfers damage; GM may adjust power if cost considered too cheap). Sidekick cost will of course depend on the animal.

. . 9 Mute: Affliction 12 (1st degree: Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, 3rd degree: Transformed, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 22; Extras: Reach (melee) 5: 25 ft.; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited: Voice only) [10]

This can be considered a powerful effect in a magic-heavy campaign. I have a custom Mute Condition for 2nd Degree which is good for things like throat punches or choking gas, but since the spell lasts 5min/level, Transformed (Mute) works well. Attempting to cast with Impaired or Disabled voice should lower the rank of the spell being cast; another option is to temporarily impose a Check Required (Magic Expertise) Flaw on all spoken spells at DC12 and DC15 respectively, with the rank equal to the amount succeeded by.

. . 9 Protection Circle : Simple [9]
. . . . Burst Area Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fortitude +2 (+7), Will +2 (+2); Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 14; Flaws: Limited: Only vs psychic & magic attacks) [4]
. . . . Repel Supernatural: Burst Area Affliction 2 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 12, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited: 1 command: Stay Back, Limited Degree) [5]

Requires an actual drawn circle, although a previously active circle can be reactivated by anyone.

. . 9 Speed of the Snail: Shapeable Area Affliction 2 (1st degree: Dazed, Hindered, Vulnerable, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 12; Extras: Affects Objects, Shapeable Area: 30 cft., DC 12, Extra Condition 2, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited Degree 2) [8]

Designed to slow down groups. Works on robots and vehicles as well.

. . 9 Water to Wine: Transform 7 (Affects: 1 Thing > 1 Thing, Transforms: 100 lbs., DC 17; Extras: Reach (melee) 2: 10 ft.; Flaws: Activation: move action) [15]
Last edited by JDRook on Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nightspawn/bane Conversions

Post by JDRook » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:05 am

Digging through my old books and actually playing a Guardian in a contemporary magical setting has got me wanting to go deeper into poking the mechanics of CJ Carella's Nightspawn (changed to Nightbane due to Todd McFarlane believing it impinged on his SPAWN IP.)


This is the cover of my copy,* bought in 1995 when it first came out. I was reading Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry and Charles deLint's books at the time, so magic and magical creatures in a modern setting was really tickling my brain at that point, so this fit really well in my life.

*actually this is taken from an Amazon image of someone trying to sell the original book for US$100, claiming it's "out of print," although you can still buy Nightbane for $25, so good luck with that.

The whole Spawn/Bane issue is probably the first time I was aware of intellectual property being such a big deal. I was kind of pleased to have the original, but I'm mostly over it. I will probably still go back and forth between the names, but try to stick to -bane since that's the one that most people are going to find or use. Ironically, I noticed that there's an NPC named Nightbane in World of Warcraft, but I don't think Palladium is going to bother Blizzard about it.

The Nightbane setting is largely post-Dark Day, a day in 2000 (keep in mind this is all written in 1995) where the sun vanishes and the sky is dark for 24 hours, causing worldwide panic. This panic is exacerbated by a percentage of the population turning into nightmarish monsters, the Nightbane, who are the central "reluctant heroes" of the setting. It turns out that monsters are real, as are psychic powers, magic, vampires, and most government conspiracies, all in a shadow war that been going on for millenia with Dark Day just being the most noticeable aspect.

Nightbane are mostly ordinary people who had a monstrous form manifest in a time of stress or on Dark Day, not unlike most X-men style mutant stories of discovering powers. The moment is called the Becoming, the monster form is the Morphus and the human form is referred to as the Facade. Nightbane can change between forms relatively easily, so they can maintain their normal identity, but can only use most of the powers in Morphus form. The Facade is basically a normal human with a little more toughness, nightvision, and a Highlander-like sense to detect other Nightbane.

Nightspawn (template) - PL 6

Strength 5/2, Stamina 4/2, Agility 3/0, Dexterity 0, Fighting 5/0, Intellect 0, Awareness 1, Presence 0

Daze (Intimidation), Defensive Roll 2, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 5

Morphus "True" Form (Activation: Move Action)
. . Enhanced Trait 41 (Traits: Strength +3 (+5), Stamina +2 (+4), Agility +3 (+3), Fortitude +3 (+7), Fighting +5 (+5), Dodge +2 (+5), Will +3 (+4) Advantages: Daze (Intimidation), Power Attack, Ranged Attack 5)
Nightspawn Physiology
. . Immunity 10 (Alteration Effects, Custom: Mind Control 5)
. . Mirrorwalk: Movement 1 (Dimensional: Nightlands 1, 100 lbs.; Custom: Medium - Mirror w/counterpart, Increased Mass)
. . Regeneration 4 (Every 2.5 rounds)
. . Senses 4 (Detect: Nightbane (mental), Ranged, Extended; Low-light Vision)

Initiative +3
Grab, +5 (DC Spec 15)
Throw, +5 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +5 (DC 20)

Monstrous: Character has a bizarre or frightening form. They can hide it, but can't use most powers without it and can sometimes take a while to change.

Dodge 5/0, Parry 5/0, Fortitude 7/4, Toughness 6/4/2, Will 4/1

Power Points
Abilities 10 + Powers 60 + Advantages 2 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 72

:arrow: A few notes about Palladium system: Attributes (their Abilities) are rolled randomly with 3d6 and a bonus d6 on 16+, but there are no inherent bonuses (or, at the time, even penalties) for any value less than 17, so they feel kinda same-y to start. It's possible to get training skills for physical attributes to a point, but mental attributes are basically stuck unless you get some interesting (usually randomly rolled) bonus from whatever powers. Because there's such a large "mundane range", though, even bonus attributes can have no noticeable effect if you roll too low, so cheating is rampant and occasionally encouraged. This sample Nightbane is based on having 15s for all attributes, so any bonuses will have some noticeable effect.
:arrow: Still, the only two attribute that can be objectively measured are the same in both systems: strength (Physical Strength[PS] vs STR) and speed. PS 15 is capable of carrying 150lbs or lifting 300lbs, but cannot throw more than they can carry, so equivalent STR is effectively 2. True average rolls of PS 9-12 straddle the range of STR 1-2, but a greater dependence on gear keeps me leaning toward the heavy side. Spd is also rolled on 3d6 and works out to roughly 15mph for every 22 Spd. This initially looks like Speed 3, with a near-average 11 Spd equal to Speed 2, but I prefer assuming there are Athletics checks and double-moves in there when translating from a completely different action economy, so Speed 0 is still average for both systems.

The basic Morphus of most Nightbane is supernaturally strong, equal to STR 5, and can often be stronger depending on aspects of their Morphus. It also gives several other attribute bonuses that translate into various traits above, making them more resilient and even giving them natural combat ability. Transformation is "horror-based" so it normally takes 1 melee round (15 seconds) or 2.5 M%M rounds, unless the PC makes the equivalent of a DC12 Will Check in which case it take 3 seconds (Move Action). This could be another 1p Flaw on the Alternate Form, but since it's more of an issue in maintaining secret ID, I would keep it a Complication.

The Morphus also has a Horror Factor (HF) which starts at 6 and increases depending on appearance. The mechanical effect is essentially a 1 round Stun/Defenseless Affliction vs Will when an opponent first sees the Nightbane's Morphus. Since this requires no action on the Nightbane's part, I have a 2p/rank Perception Area Reaction Affliction that covers this, however it doesn't really work until the PC's HF is at least 11, otherwise it may as well be a Feature or just a function of Daze (Intimidate) and a few ranks of Intim.

Other powers include Immunity to any transformation effects or mind control, regeneration, "breaching the Mirrorwall" (more later) and some specialized Nightbane powers known as Talents that are chosen and purchased with PPE. Nightbane do not get psionics and do not get magic by default, although they can learn it (more later on that).

Skill sets are basic with some variety. The "Suddenly Nightbane" theme fits very well with teen or young adult heroes, and lends itself to a relatively basic skill set equivalent of Bystander with a few more ranks of Tech. Other variants are based on the seven secret factions of Nightbane:
Resistance/Spook Squad (also cop/military/agent types)
Tech 4, Vehicles 4, Treatment 2, some combat & weapon training
Nocturne/Seeker/Lightbringer (scholarly types)
Tech 6, 2 more Languages, Expertise: Nightbane Lore 4
Warlord (street gang/criminal types)
Tech 2, Expertise (Streetwise) 4, Stealth +2. Expertise (Burglary) 4, +1 Speed & +1 STA (running), some combat & weapon training

The rest would be based on Talents and Appearance. I will probably do a breakdown on all the Talents later, but Appearance is several random tables of various weird looks involving animals, insects, stigmata, biomechanicals, and weird beauty/face/limb features in endless combinations. I'll do a sample random build on my character thread.

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

Post by catsi563 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:55 pm

Nightbane was a fun game to run and play in, It was Palladiums attempt to do World of Darkness basically it had vamps Mummies werewolves fae and ghosts and so on and so forth all set in the backdrop of the world going to crap because of an alien invasion of supernatural horrors

I had 1 NB who was basically an angel who was terrifyingly beautiful, One who was basically a Were shark, and one called Blackwing a humanpanther with wings and a dragon like tail and thorn like horns

some fun times
Dr. Silverback has wryly observed that this is like trying to teach lolcats about Shakespeare

Showdown at the Litterbox

Catsi stories

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Rifts Invocations Levels 10

Post by JDRook » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:49 am

And the last of the mid-level spells. It should be noted that all spells level 7-10 can be performed as 10 minute rituals with a spell strength of 16. For Rifts, you need to know the spell to do the ritual, but I could see allowing the Ritualist Advantage to access any of these spells using the usual ritual mechanics of M&M, with a possible shortcut to use known spells without design and with only the 10 minute performance time.

Level 10

. . Banishment: Cone Area Affliction 12 (3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 22; Extras: Cone Area: 60 feet cone, DC 22, Custom: Ritual (Slow, rank 16), Custom: No Dodge Save; Flaws: Activation: move action, Limited 2: Lesser Supernatural beings, One Command: Leave Immedaite Ares, Limited Degree (third only)) - 6p
. . Control & Enslave Entity: Burst Area Affliction 12 (3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 22; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 22, Custom: No Dodge Save; Flaws: Limited: supernatural beings, Limited Degree (third only)) - 12p
. . Alt - Control & Enslave Entity: Summon 6 (DC 16; Extras: Heroic, Horde, Multiple Minions 2: 4 minions, Type (General): LSBs; Flaws: Limited: Must be presemt amd in range, Resistible: Fortitude) - 48p

Banishment and C&E are so similar that they could easily be one effect with a Feature to make LSBs just go away. The PPE costs are similar, ranges comparable, Ban lasts for several weeks while C&E lasts several days. Because of the long duration, C&E might be better as the Alt version Summon above. Expensive, but more in keeping with the power of the spell

. . Deathword - 48p
. . . . Coma: Affliction 12 (Linked; 3rd degree: Transformed, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 22; Extras: Increased Range 2: perception; Flaws: Limited Degree (third only)) - [24]
. . . . Damage 12 (Linked; DC 27; Extras: Custom: Can Power Attack on Close Attack check with at least 2nd degree success, Increased Range 2: perception; Flaws: Activation: move action, Sense-dependent: Hearing) - [24]

So metal! The powerful and unmemorable Deathword damages and knocks into a coma any single target that hears it. There's even a dramatic critical strike if the caster can whisper the word in the target's ear, which I simulate with a Feature; it's ultimately easier to do with a defenseless target or out of combat, but possible if difficult to do in the middle of a fight.

. . Giant - 21p
. . . . Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+1)) - [2]
. . . . Growth 5 (+5 STR, +5 STA, +2 Intimidate, -5 Stealth, -3 active defenses, +1 size rank, +5 mass ranks; Extras: Affects Others) - [15]
. . . . Regeneration 4 (Every 2.5 rounds) - [4]

Most details of the described effects of the spell can be handled by regular M&M Growth, and with a duration that only lasts minutes. Related Complications: clothing, armor and form-fitting spells are "shredded" when the size change hits, so the target is now presumably 16' tall and naked (or wearing improbably stretchy purple pants). Also, the ability to draw PPE is suspended, so spellcasting, Techno-wizard weapons and similar options are temporarily unavailable.

. . Metamorphosis: Superior: Morph 4 (+20 Deception checks to disguise; Any form; Extras: Custom: Ritual: Slow on Others, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Activation: move action) - 24p

Almost an unmodified Morph 4. Form must be a real living creature in the setting, gaining no abilities; duration is a few hours.

. . Meteor: Burst Area Damage 12 (DC 27; Extras: Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere, DC 22, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Activation: move action) - 47p

Big Bada-BOOM! Descriptors indicate this should probably be done outside, although it could also be used to assault buildings and fortifications.

. . Mystic Portal - 37p
. . . . Pass through solid walls: Movement 3 (Permeate 3: full speed; Extras: Custom: Tunnel is 15' Wide, Portal; Flaws: Activation: move action) - [12]
. . . . Teleportation: Teleport 5 (900 feet in a move action, carrying 50 lbs.; Extras: Accurate, Custom: 15" Portal, Portal; Flaws: Activation: move action) - [25]

. . Plane Skip: Movement 3 (Dimensional 3: any dimension, 50 lbs.; Extras: Affects Others; Flaws: Activation: move action, Uncontrolled) - 5p

This is a specialized power, since it actually only works when already being sent to another dimension, and it only redirects to a dimension familiar to the caster 30% of the time AT BEST. If you really want this spell, you'd probably want to add a Limit and a Trigger.

. . Speed Weapon (Extras: Multiattack 10, Variable Descriptor 1 (melee weapons)) - 11p

Basically just doubles the attacks of a nonmagic melee weapon; Multiattack is the simplest way to simulate. Only lasts a few minutes. Rank is high enough to cover even a large Vibro-Sword.

. . Summon and Control Rodents (Ritual): Summon 5 (Extras: Heroic, Mental Link; Flaws: Slow (Ritual)) - 21p

This requires a pentacle to be drawn out and control is done while standing in it. It summons 30 rodents/lvl, so hundreds, so it's built based on a Rodent Swarm.

. . Summon Shadow Beast: Summon 8 (Extras: Heroic; Flaws: Activation: move action) - 31p

The summon last a few minutes if for combat, or several hours for other missions. The Shadow Beast is most effect in the dark and most vulnerable in the light.
Shadow Beast - PL 6/10
Strength 5/3, Stamina 3, Agility 8/2, Dexterity 2, Fighting 8/2, Intellect -1, Awareness -1, Presence -1
Improved Disarm, Languages 1
Expertise: Survival 1 (+0)
Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+5 ([Stacking ranks: +5], DC 26)
Hulking Beast: Growth 3 (+3 STR, +3 STA, +1 Intimidate, -3 Stealth, -2 active defenses, +3 mass ranks; Extras: Innate; Flaws: Permanent)
Immunity 12 (Common Descriptor: Heat & Cold Damage, Disease, Poison)
Mega-Damage Hide: Protection 5 (+5 Toughness)
Shadow Strength (Activation: Free Action)
. . Concealment 4 (All Visual Senses)
. . Enhanced Trait 36 (Traits: Strength +2 (+5), Fighting +6 (+8), Agility +6 (+8), Ranged Combat +4 (+6), Stealth +3 (+8), Athletics +1 (+6), Will +4 (+8))
. . Protection 1 (+1 Toughness; Extras: Impervious [8 extra ranks])
. . Regeneration 4 (Every 2.5 rounds)
. . Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)
Supernatural Strength: Strength-based Damage 5 (DC 25; Extras: Stacks with: Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+5)
Initiative +8
Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+5, +8 (DC 26)
Grab, +8 (DC Spec 15)
Supernatural Strength: Strength-based Damage 5, +8 (DC 25)
Throw, +6 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +8 (DC 20)
Power Loss: Loses all of the Shadow Strength powers when deprived of shadows
Dragonese, Summoner's Language
Dodge 9/3, Parry 9/3, Fortitude 3, Toughness 9/8, Will 8/4
Power Points
Abilities 6 + Powers 89 + Advantages 2 + Skills 1 (1 ranks) + Defenses 11 = 109

This build based on the description makes for a very tough shadow-based minion, PL 9.5 offensively, 9 defensively and completely invisible in shadows (even avoids the infrared loophole common to Palladium Invis). Takes a big hit in the light, although still pretty tough and damaging. Obviously best summoned at night or set on indoor/underground missions.

. . Super-Healing: Healing 10 (Flaws: Activation: move action) - 19p

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Re: Rifts Invocations 11-12

Post by JDRook » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:44 pm

The high-level spells are yet another beast. Technically they can be cast in combat using 3 attacks, however they all require well over 100 PPE to cast, far above most lower level mages, so most situations are more likely to be performed as rituals (taking 1d6x10+15 miuntes), or at least have something set up as a supplemental PPE source (ley line or nexus events, followers, blood sacrifices, etc). Conversely, M&M point costs are all over the map since things like instantaneous travel and making enchanted objects are prohibitively expensive in the Rifts setting but really cheap to build in M&M.

I'm attempting to incorporate my custom PPE checks with this set. PPE cost is converted to X where Cost = 2 ^ X rounded up (which happens to be equal to Volume on the Ranks & Measures Table), with the option of using a lower rank of the spell where appropriate to require a lower check. calculated as a Flaw similar to Check Required. There's also a time element for ongoing effects of spells: any spell over Instant Duration is bought to Sustained plus 1p/time rank to act as Continuous for a set period.

I've also discovered that a lot of the spells in the original Rifts book didn't make it into the Ultimate Edition possibly due to being incorporated in other "schools" of magic. Around 2006 Palladium put out a Rifts GM Guide and a Book of Magic companion due (according to Siembieda's notes in the BoM) to there being too much magic to include in the guide. The did manage to compile enough material to fill a 352 page book with 24 different magic styles plus a ton of artifacts, techno-wizard devices and tips on how to play/GM mage characters, so making it separate was probably a good idea. The Invocation set is the "general purpose" magic accessible to most mages, with a few crossover spells from Ley Line and Rift magic as well as some Elemental spells; it seems like in the revamp for UE they trimmed out some of those crossover spells, so the Invocation list is only about 80-90% similar. Since I now have access to the Book of Magic, I may stat those out later, but I definitely want to fine-tune my custom PPE system first.

Level 11

. . 11 Anti-Magic Cloud: Burst Area Nullify 8 (Counters: Magic, DC 18; Extras: Burst Area 6: 900 feet radius sphere, DC 18, Broad, Custom 9: Continuous for 1 hour (time rank 9), Effortless, Feature: Caster is Immune, Increased Duration 3: continuous, Simultaneous; Flaws: Activation 2: standard action, Check Required 8: PPE Check, Reduced Range: close) - 96p

A legendary spell that makes a cloud that stops all magic under it except the caster. Technically also ignores all bonuses to magic save and is only resisted on a natural 18-20 roll, with half effect on those who do save.

. . 11 Create Mummy (Ritual): Summon 10 (Extras: Heroic, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE, Custom: Slow (Ritual)) - 32p

A strangely weak although nearly indestructible minion. Only STR 3, SDC creature but can only be hurt by fire or explosion, or sunlight once the bandages come off. Essentially an immortal servant/guard.

. . 11 Firequake - 97p
. . . . Clouds of Sulfur: Cumulative Burst Area Affliction 4 (1st degree: Dazed, Impaired, 2nd degree: Stunned, Disabled, 3rd degree: Incapacitated, Incapacitated, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 14; Extras: Burst Area 3: 120 feet radius sphere, DC 14, Cumulative, Extra Condition, Increased Duration 2: sustained) - [32]
. . . . Gouts of Fire: Burst Area Damage 11 (DC 26; Extras: Burst Area 3: 120 feet radius sphere, DC 21, Custom: Continuous for 2 minutes (time rank 4), Increased Duration 2: sustained; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE check) - [59]
. . . . Moving Earth: Environment 3 (Impede Movement (2 ranks), Radius: 120 feet) - [6]

A cinematic spell of earthshaking, venting gases and flaming blasts that lasts for a few minutes. Technically does triple damage to vehicles and robots, and the actual area resets to normal when the duration ends.

. . 11 Re-Open Gateway (Rift): Movement 1 (Dimensional: Last Dimentsion Accessed 1: one dimension, 50 lbs.; Extras: Custom 4: Time Rank 4, Portal; Flaws: Activation: move action, Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE, Limited: Must reopen pre-0existing portal) - 1p

Very specific spell that only reopens existing gateways to their last dimension. On the plus side, it ends up costing 1p to have, but still has a high PPE requirement.

. . 11 Remove Curse: Nullify 12 (Counters: Curses, DC 22; Extras: Reach (ranged) 2: 10 ft.; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE Check, Reduced Range: close) - 1p

Another very specific and surprisingly cheap spell, this only removes curses, although most have been removed from the UE Invocation list (only Compulsion and Luck Curse remain).

. . 11 Rift Teieportation: Burst Area Teleport 11 (Carry 25 tons; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 21, Extended: 2000 miles in 2 move actions, Increased Mass 10; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE, Limited to Extended, Medium: Nexus Points) - 24p

Basically a Ley Line Teleportation that can potential move hundreds of people and/or tonnes of equipment and vehicles.

Level 12

. . Amulet: Variable 1 (Removable; Flaws: Check Required 9: DC 18 - PPE) - 1p

Another 1p-after-PPE-check, this spell makes Artifacts that have defensive effects. As written, most are under 5p, so a Removable Variable 1 works. Mechanically, a mage could probably do that same thing using the Artifact rules and a Hero Point to whip these up without the PPE cost; with Jury-Rig rules, it would take less than 30 seconds and require less than a DC20 Magic check, easy enough for any halfway decent mage.
Power Settings
Charm (Traits: Fortitude +1 (+1), Will +1 (+1))
Protectio n Against Insan ity (Powers: Enhanced Trait 4)
Protectio n Against the Supernatural (Traits: Will +2 (+2))
Protection Against Sickness: (Powers: Immunity 2)
See the Invisible (Powers: Senses 2)
Sense the Presence of Spirits (Powers: Senses 3)
Turn the Undead (Powers: Act as Holy Symbol vs Undead: Feature 1)

. . Calm Storms: Burst Area Weaken 6 (Affects: Weather, Resisted by: Will, DC 16; Extras: Burst Area 8: 0.5 miles radius sphere, DC 16; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE) - 46p

Yet another spell dependent on specialized pre-existing conditions, this one is designed to lessen but NOT eliminate heavy weather, natural or magical; hence using Weaken vs Nullify. Environment could also be used to counter weather, which works out to roughly the same cost.

. . Create Zornbie (Ritual): Summon 12 (Extras: Heroic, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE Check, Custom: Slow (Ritual)) - 40p

Similar to the mummy, with a slightly more detailed and gruesome ritual. The Zombie is slightly smarter and more capable, different vulnerabilities plus Immortality, continuously coming back from the dead.

. . Ensorcel - 41p
. . . . Fear of Rebellion: Affliction Attack 10 (1st degree: Dazed, Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Stunned, Defenseless, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 20; Extras: Attack: Parry, Custom 6: Time 6 (8hr), Extra Condition, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Check Required 10: DC 19 - PPE Check, Instant Recovery, Limited Degree) [26]
. . . . Minion Protection: Immunity Attack 15 (Common Descriptor: Mind Control & Possession, Custom: Illusion 5, DC 25; Extras: Attack: Parry) [15]

An interesting alternative to true mind control, this spell fills a target with fear (HF check) if they do anything against the wishes of the caster. It also blocks out other controlling influences, which can potentially make it desirable for certain situations. It's the kind of mind control that could be usable on PCs for special occasions.

. . Summon & Control Entity (Ritual): Summon 12 (Extras: Broad Type (Entities), Custom 18: Time 18 (2 weeks), Heroic; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE check, Custom: Slow (Ritual)) - 70p

A broader ritual that allows for different kinds of entities to be summoned. The description is unclear on the limits of what kind of supernatural creatures can be summoned, so it should be limited to a point value, PL or GM Fiat.

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Rifts PPE Custom Rules con't

Post by JDRook » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:12 am

Back to part 1

While I like the abstracted, imprecise nature of having a PPE pool that is "damaged" similar to Toughness to simulate draining reserves, it does have a problem with the top end issue. That is, it shouldn't be possible for a mage to cast a spell that needs more PPE than they have available, but a PPE 7 mage can still cast a PPE 10 spell and still only take 2nd degree "damage" on routine checks. This would allow the mage to potentially cast the spell multple times before draining out. With this in mind I add a few modifiers:

1. If the spell's PPE rank is higher than the mage's, the spell cannot be cast. The mage can, however, use things to boost their PPE until it is equal or greater than the spell rank, including ley line and nexus bonuses, PPE batteries, group ceremonies and blood sacrifices. The GM may also allow the spell to be used at a lower rank when appropriate.

2. If the spell's PPE ran k is equal to the mage's, the mage can attempt to cast the spell but with another +10 added to the DC, pushing it to DC25 + spell rank. So a spell of PPE rank 7 cast by a Ley Line Walker with rank 7 is DC32, which would be 3 degrees of failure on a routine check, and 4 degrees on a second routine check without recovery or aid, although they could theoretically still handle lower level spells.

3 The penalty drops off in stages, so if the spell is 1 rank less than the mage's pool, the penalty is +5 and 2 less ranks is +2. Anything at mage pool -3 or lower is the normal DC15+PPE rank.

Routine checks should always be allowed out of combat and may require a Skill Mastery for use in combat or stressful situations, although the PC may opt to roll normally and potentially finesse the spell without using as much PPE; Luck and Hero Points can also be used. Keep in mind that spells with PPE ranks at Mage Pool - 5 or less can be routinely cast for effectively no cost.
Last edited by JDRook on Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rifts Invocations Levels 13-15

Post by JDRook » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Level 13

. . 13 Protection Circle: Superior
. . . . Burst Area Enhanced Trait 10 (Traits: Fortitude +5 (+5), Will +5 (+5); Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 20)
. . . . Repel Supernatural: Cumulative Burst Area Affliction 5 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 15, Cumulative, Custom 14: Time 14 (1 day, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Check Required 9: DC 18 - PPE check, Limited: Stay Back, Limited Degree)

Slightly better than the simple circle. Lasts 24 hours; can also be reactivated by anyone with the will and 20 PPE (equal to PPE rank 5).

. . 13 Sanctum
. . . . Hidden from Magic: Concealment 10 (All Senses; Extras: Extended Range, Increased Duration: continuous, Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Limited: Only Magic Senses)
. . . . RepelSupernatural: Burst Area Affliction 6 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, Resisted by: Will, DC 16; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 16, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Check Required 9: DC 18 - PPE check, Instant Recovery, Limited Degree)

Similar to the circle with a monster repellant, it also protects the area from being sensed by magical means. It can apparently be cast up to 200 miles away, although it's not clear how that's targeted. In practice, it would be easiest to build it as a HQ Feature, but making any room a Sanctum on the fly can be useful, too.

Level 14

. . 14 Close Rift: Nullify 14 (Counters: Rifts, DC 24; Flaws: Check Required 8: DC 17 - PPE Check)

Like it says on the tin. Also requires a permanent loss of 2 PPE, but this is too small an amount to translate without feeling overdone.

. . 14 Restoration: Healing 14 (Extras: Persistent, Restorative, Stabilize; Flaws: Check Required 10: DC 19 - PPE Check)
. . 14 Resurrection: Healing 9 (Flaws: Check Required 10: DC 19 - PPE Check, Limited: Only to Ressurrect)

Restoration can reattach limbs/organs if they haven't been severed more than two days and if you still have them around. Resurrection apparently doesn't, but brings people back to life! . . . with a 45% success rate. Could probably make it all one spell.

Level 15

. . 15 Dimensional Portal (Rift): Movement 3 (Dimensional 3: any dimension, 50 lbs.; Extras: Custom 6: Time 6 (8min), Portal; Flaws: Check Required 10: DC 19 - PPE Check)

Rift can be opened for several minutes. Usual warning about things slipping through.

. . 15 Teleport: Superior: Burst Area Teleport 12 (Carry 6 tons; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, Extended: 4000 miles in 2 move actions, Increased Mass 8, Selective; Flaws: Check Required 9: DC 18 - PPE Check, Limited to Extended)

Can Teleport several people and/or a couple tons of stuff several hundred miles. Can target anywhere the mage has seen, has a picture of, and even has a 58% chance of working from a detailed description. Failure can be appearing hundreds to thousands of miles off-course, mid-air drops or INSTANT DEATH from 'porting into stuff. Probably should be a Complication.

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Re: Nightbane Talents

Post by JDRook » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:31 am

Nightbanes get a variety of powers as a base (suoernatural strength, regeneration, nightsight, etc) plus what they get from appearance (horror factor. ability boosts or other traits) and can even study magic. They can't have psionics, but they do get a specialized set of powers unique to Nightbane called Talents.

Talent are essentially the superpowers for Nighbane. They are similar to magic spells in that they use PPE as a power source, but most of the similarity ends there. They cannot be learned like spells and they don't have consistent casting times. They are acquired by "instinct" (ie chosen by the player) as the PC levels up; they can choose one at 1st level and then roughly every third level after that at no cost. They can also choose to pick two more Talents every level in exchange for permanent PPE loss, which is a kind of power balance since PPE also powers the Talents, so you can have a Nightbane with a few Talents and a large pool of PPE to run them, or a wide variety of Talents but less PPE. meaning less use overall.

These are just the Talents from the main book. but of course there are more in each supplement that comes out. They also mention using powers from other Palladium books and very basic guidelnes to adapt them, mainly regarding PPE costs. Making your own Talents using the M&M system would be pretty simple and more a matter of flavour than anything else.

Nightbane Talents

. . Anti-Arcane: Immunity 20 (Very Common Descriptor: Magic; Extras: Custom 3: Time 3 (1 minute); Flaws: Custom 5: PPE check, Limited: Not vs Dodgeable or no saving throw spells) - 8p

A powerful anti-magic field, although it's specifcally limited to spells that save vs magic; spells that can be dodged or with no save still work. Arbitrarily limited to PCs at 5th level or higher.

. . Borrow Morphus - 31p
. . . . Copy Talents: Variable 3 [21]
. . . . Otherès Morphus: Morph 2 (Linked; +20 Deception checks to disguise; Narrow group) [10]

A basic Mimic power limited to Nightnane Morphi, also limited to 5th+ level. Takes on both appearance and Talents, but nothing else, and loses access to own Talents: mechanically this could use the Talents as a point pool for the Borrowed Talents, similar to how Variables sometimes use ponts from Abilities.

. . Darksong: Affliction 10 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 20; Extras: Feature: Alternate Perception Area at -rank -4, Perception Ranged; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE check, Limited Degree, Sense-dependent: Hearing) - 5p

A sonic attack with two settings: a perception ranged (distance never defined) single target attack that stund the target for 1d4 melee rounds, or an area attack that is easier to resist by 4 ranks (which I made a Feature, kind of an internal AE). Makes a point of matching Descriptor (although not using that term) to the Morphus.

This is also one of the powers that is "infinitely boostable" - that is, the PC can use more PPE than required to improve the power somehow with no defined limit save havning enough PPE. For Darksong, the "save number" (the Effect Rank) can be increased by +1 / 3 PPE, so an average Level 1 Nightbane with 120 PPE could potentially dump it all into a rank 40 Stun Affliction! . .. but then be empty until they recover their PPE, which takes hours. Using my PPE houserule, I defined the power at about 60 PPE (rank 6) with the option to be scalable to lower ranks, allowing for most of the same range without using the whole pool in one shot.

. . Darkwhip - 6p
. . . . Elongation 3 (Flaws: Limited: Whips Only) [2]
. . . . Whip: Damage 7 (DC 22; Extras: Custom 3: Time 3 (1 miunte); Flaws: Custom 6: PPE check) [4]

The basic version, it allows an extended close attack up to 60' away. Could also be doen with Reach 12, but used Elongation for cost reasons, and it fits the descriptor. Another Infinite Boost Talent, this one is kinda clunsy in that it use 1 PPE for every PS point and then uses the Supernatural PS table to define damage. Again, could potentially use all PPE and have over PS 100, but that's literally off the charts which only go to 60, so I calculated to 60 PPE just like Darksong.

The power technically also allows Disarming and Entangling (essentially Palladium's Grab/Hold maneuver, although it can be used as a defense against an attack), which could either be a Feature or a Fiat on the above build. Alternatively, you could use this build which is more expensive but more flexible:

. . Darkwhip II: Burst Area Move Object 7 (3 tons, DC 22; Extras: Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere, DC 17, Custom 3: Time 3 (1min), Damaging, Selective; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE Check, Limited Direction: Toward User, Reduced Range: close) - 25p

This is built around a power I had for Doctor Octopus and actually allows attacks against multiple opponents in one round. A GM might want to Flaw it down or increase PPE or other requirements. Keep in mind both builds only require the one PPE activation to last a full minute.

. . Doorway - 4p
. . . . Door to Nightlands: Movement 1 (Dimensional: Nightlands 1: one dimension, 50 lbs.; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE check) [1]
. . . . Teleport 6 (Carry 50 lbs.; Extras: Extended: 60 miles in 2 move actions; Flaws: Activation 2: standard action, Custom 7: PPE Check, Limited to Extended) [3]

Sounds like a portal, but can only be used by the Nightbane casting it; limited to 5+ level. Ostensibly made for long ranges, it take a full melee of concentration (hence Acivation[Standard] and Extended) and the Infinte PPE sink on this one is distance: 2PPE/mile. Used 60 as a base again, but more likely used at smaller scale; ranks scale well, with 1 PPE rank for every Teleport Rank, so anything under a mile would be a PPE 1 check. Can also port to Nightlands.

. . Infectious Control - 29p
. . . . Mind Control 7 (3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 17; Extras: Custom 2: Mental & Sensory Link, Progressive; Flaws: Limited Degree (third only)) [28]
. . . . Mind Reading 8 (DC 18; Flaws: Custom: Slow, Custom 3: PPE check, Limited: Controlled Subject) [1]

Horrific Mind Control! The "infection" takes a melee round, which I'm simulating with Progressive, but it's unclear what the actual range of the attack is, so I'm treating as Close based on the descriptors like drilling into or force-feeding their blood to the target. The saves are much farther apart than M&M (every 10 mimutes vs 1min) so I increased the rank over most magic saves. No Infinite PPE sink on this one unless you count pumping PPE in every 30 minutes to maintain control.

Controller can also sense through the subject, which I"ve done with a +2 Extra rather than build a limited Remote Sensing. Can also read the subjects mind, but very slowly (1d6 minutes per inquiry).

. . Lightning Rider - 12p (Activation: Standard Action)
. . . . Electrical Attack: Damage 6 (DC 21; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE Check) [1]
. . . . Teleport 14 (Carry 50 lbs.; Extras: Custom 3: Time 3 (1min), Extended: 16000 miles in 2 move actions; Flaws: Custom 4: PPE Check, Limited to Extended, Medium: Electtrical Lines) [13]

Starts off saying the Nightbane turns into a "being of pure electrical energy" but described mostly as a way to travel through wires, even mentioning that if wires aren't available the NB becomes a small "pool of sparks" or "crackling lightning ball" that moves slower than any average PC. Also talks about using network and hacking skills in conjunction with this power but makes no attempt to explain how. Distance is calcualted as anywhere on earth with a phone. Keep in mind the PPE activation is to take the lightning form and maintain it (once per miunte); can teleport as much as you like in that time, although the form has no inherent damage. Ininite PPE sink is Damage in "spark" form, although damage is only described in terms of damaging equipment, so it's unclear whether this can be used as an attack.

. . Mirror Sight/Search: Remote Sensing 15 (Affects: Visual Senses, Range: 120 miles; Extras: Custom 2: Locates closest mirror to subject, Feature: Can also see into Nightlands through Reflections for same PPE check; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE Check, Medium: Mirrors) - 12p

Mirror Search is a nice indirect way to help PCs find plot w/o having any investigative skills. Basically it finds a mirror closest to what or who you are looking for and displays it like the other side of a window; this won't necessarily reveal exactly what you want, but at least gets you in the general area unless a) there are no mirrors nearby or b) they are covered up. Base search radius is within 10 miles and the Infinite PPE sink is increasing that radius. Note you can't travel through the mirror with this Talent, but it could be used to target another travel power. Scaling down could be a little different to match up with the book: drop 2 ranks of Remote Sensing range for every 1 rank of PPE check.
Mirror Sight allows seeing through any mirror or reflective surface into the Nightlands, which is a Feature at best and a prereq for Mirror Search, so I just combined the two.

. . Nightbringer - 42p
. . . . Burst Area Immunity 10 (Linked; Common Descriptor: Energy; Extras: Burst Area 4: 250 feet radius sphere, DC 20; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE Check, Limited: not vs Shadow) [34]
. . . . Environment 4 (Linked; Visibility (-5), Radius: 250 feet) [8]

Basic Obscure-style Talent, although it also absorbs non-Shadow-based energy attacks, which makes it a little more expensive. The Sink for this one is darkness radius, while the Energy Immunity is kind of a free add-on costing no additional PPE to activate. Gives no Duration. In short, very poorly edited.

. . Premonition: Senses 4 (Precognition; Flaws: Custom: PPE Check, Uncontrolled) - 1p

Standard Precog plus a PPE check for 1p, probably best bought outside of any arrays.

. . Reshape Facade: Morph 2 (+20 Deception checks to disguise; Narrow group; Extras: Custom 9: Time 9 (1hr); Flaws: Custom 3: PPE Check) - 16p

Perfect Disguise shapeshift talent, although like most Palladium shapeshifting, impersonation is difficult (less than 50% effective unless highly trained). Must be 3rd+ level, PPE only makes the disguise last longer.

. . See Truth: Senses 0

The See Aura of Nightbane Talents, it reveals both forms of any Nightbane in 300' range, as well as vampires and other undead, magic emanations, illness, emotion and even alignment. So even more of a grab-bag of info than See Aura. Unlike SA, it's also Resistible with a save vs magic, and PPE can crank up that check. There's also no defined duration, so it's either instant or poorly edited. Probably best to just use See Aura with a few other features.

. . Shadow Blast: Damage 7 (DC 22; Extras: Increased Range: ranged; Flaws: Custom 5: PPE Check) - 9p

Basic Blast using 1 PPE/1d4 damage, which you'd expect to allow Infinite PPE into damage, but apparently someone thought about this and put a limit of 4 PPE/lvl on it. Build is calculated based on about 8th level.

. . Shadow Shield - 14p
. . . . Immunity 3 (Disease, Environmental Condition: Heat, Poison) [3]
. . . . Protection 5 (+5 Toughness; Extras: Custom 11: Time 11 (4hr); Flaws: Custom 5: PPE Check) [11]

Slightly embellished force field with a similar Sink to Shadow Blast with 2PPE/20SDC and a 4PPE/level limit. Immunities could be removed or expanded to full life support depending on interpretation of the description. Duration is 30min/lvl, so calculating at 8th level gives 4 hours or until the field is used up.

. . Sharing the Flesh: Healing 10 (Flaws: Custom 3: PPE Check, Empathic) - 7p

Empathic Healing feels like it was made with this Talent in mind. Since all Nightbane have great regeneration, this shouldn't be a huge deal, but they do go into a lot of detail about comas.

. . Soul Shield - 30p
. . . . Immunity 10 (Common Descriptor: Mental Effects; Extras: Custom 10: Time 10 (2hr); Flaws: Custom 5: PPE Check) [15]
. . . . Mind Trap: Affliction 5 (3rd degree: Incapacitated, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Extras: Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Limited Degree (third only)) [15]

Ya gotta have a Mind Block. This one has a trap for mind readers in it to make them stare vacantly into space until they break out.

. . Splittin ' Image - 31p
. . . . Summon Facade: Summon 5 (Extras: Controlled, Custom 10: Time 10 (2hr), Heroic, Mental Link; Flaws: Custom 5: PPE Check )

Allows the Morphus and Facade to appear together, although the player can only control one at a time effectively, with the other essentially Impaired in combat (-2) and Disabled on skills (-5). Since it's the human "Facade" being summoned, not likely to be that expensive. More PPE extends duration.

. . Storm Maker: Environment 9 (Other: Varied Ranks 6, Radius: 1 mile; Extras: Custom 9: Time 9 (1hr), Selective; Flaws: Custom: Slow, Custom 6: PPE Check)
. . The Shroud: Concealment 10 (All Senses; Extras: Custom 3: Time 3 (1min), Precise; Flaws: Custom 4: PPE Check, Passive)

Horrific Invisiblity. Precise Concealment allows the PC to hide from selected targets, for the classic "Can't you see it?" horror trope. It definiltely covers sight and sound, but it's unclear whether it conceals scent; I erred on the side of completeness and did the full spectrum, although "where's that smell coming from?" and suspicious animals are other horror tropes worth playing with. Duration cost is 10PPE/minute, so you can't do it too long.

Elite Nightspawn Talents

The Elite Talents are somewhat more restricted than other Talents, requiring a particular Appearance or Characteristic to hook into. Despite the name, they aren't necessarily more powerful.

. . Bloodbath - 14p
. . . . Choking: Affliction 5 (Linked; 1st degree: Impaired, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 15; Extras: Increased Duration 2: sustained; Flaws: Limited Degree 2) [5]
. . . . Damage 3 (Linked; DC 18; Extras: Increased Duration 2: sustained) [9]

Requires Stigmata so the target can be choked by their streaming blood. There's a side-effect of 1d6 damage (Damage 2) that is insignificant since all Nightbane regenerate every melee. The choking penalty is a little light as well, although there's a modifier if the target is unfamiliar with the attack and "panics" vs HF 12.

. . Deus Ex Machina (Machine Control): Burst Area Move Object 1 (100 lbs.; Extras: Burst Area 4: 250 feet radius sphere, DC 11, Custom 3: Can Conttp; (INT+3) machines, Custom 3: Time 3 (1min), Precise; Flaws: Custom 3: PPE Check, Limited: Operating Machines, Reduced Range: close) - 8p

Requires a Biomechanical aspect. Machine Control is relatively cheap, and multiple control is only limited by INT ability. Keep in mind machines can't do anything they couldn't normally do. Can sink PPE into extra Duration or extra range.

. . Lord/Lady of the Wild - 24p
. . . . Animal Control: Cumulative Affliction 2 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 12; Extras: Cumulative, Increased Range 2: perception) [8]
. . . . Summon 5 (Extras: Multiple Minions: 2 minions, Type (General): Morphus creature type; Flaws: Custom 4: PPE Check, Self-Powered) [16]

Summons and Controls animals of the same type as the Nightbane's animal characteristic. Small animals should be summoned in swarms. Mulitple minions might need to be higher. PPE usage is based on the complexity of control, so a GM could allow scaling to simple control.

. . Swarm Self - 21p (Activation: Free Action)
. . . . dozens of tiny creatures: Insubstantial 2 (Gaseous; Extras: Custom 4: Time 4 (2min), Innate, Precise; Flaws: Custom 4: PPE Check) [12]
. . . . Swarm Attack: Damage 5 (DC 20) [5]
. . . . Swarm Movement: Movement 1 (Slithering) [2]
. . . . Swarm Perception: Senses 2 (Danger Sense: Vision, Radius: Vision) [2]

Similar to "of the Wild" above, but instead of summoning swarms of creatures, the Nightbane turns into a swarm of creatures. The swarm type matches the 'Bane's characteristic, which can be either animal or insect. The mechanics aren't as clean as just using the M&M Swarm rules. although it does allow for the swarm to break into several separate swarms, which could be another Summon similar to duplication.

What I like most about it is actually the potential to subvert the horror of the setting. While swarms of insects or reptiles or vermin would definiltely be horrific, you could totally have a big pile of kittens or puppies or even 80 tiny reindeer with the right Morphus.

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

Post by Sidious » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:38 am

I had Nightspawn set in a Marvel Earth setting, once upon a time. There were a few characters that could be Nightspawn but the majority were low powered (Street level) heroes and mutants. The idea that the Nightlords invaded and had either taken out or replaced already active heroes kept people on their toes. I even had one or two "heroes" switch sides.

It was fun watching the team take on the Doppleganger of Captain America.

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