Mechanics & Metaphors: Device Damage Houserules

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JDRook
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Nightbane Vampires

Post by JDRook » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:15 am

You can't have a contemporary horror setting without vampires, right? In the Nightbane setting, vampires are all connected to an extra-dimensional alien vampire intelligence, more Cthulian than Stoker. The Intelligence send fragment of their essence around the Megaverse searching for those willing to be their servants (and dimensional anchor) in exchange for power (not unlike classic witches or Shifters in Rifts). These vampires spread through their world to give the Intelligence a greater hold on that world and can eventually manifest directly there.
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Master Vampire - PL 7

Strength 5, Stamina 4, Agility 3, Dexterity 0, Fighting 4, Intellect 2, Awareness 4, Presence 6

Advantages
Fearless, Jack-of-all-trades

Powers
Metamorphosis: Morph 2 (+20 Deception checks to disguise; Narrow group; Extras: Metamorph 3; Flaws: Activation 2: standard action)
Summoning
. . Summon Canines: Summon 3 (Extras: Multiple Minions 3: 8 minions, Type (General): Canines)
. . Summon Fog: Environment 8 (Visibility (-5), Radius: 0.5 miles)
. . Summon Vermin: Summon 5 (Extras: Type (General): Vermin Swarm)
Vampire Physiology
. . Horror Factor 14: Perception Area Affliction 4 (1st degree: Dazed, Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Stunned, Defenseless, Resisted by: Will, DC 14; Extras: Perception Area: DC 14 - Visual, Extra Condition, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Instant Recovery, Limited 2: Once per Target per encounter, Limited Degree)
. . Immortality 17 (Return after 30 seconds; Flaws: Limited: Vampire Vuilnerabilities)
. . ISP Pool: Feature 7 (Flaws: Custom 4: ME Bonus)
. . Limited Invulnerability: Immunity 101 (Aging, Common Descriptor: Mind Control, Sleep and Paralysis Attacks, Common Descriptor: Spell MAgic (half), Toughness Effects; Flaws: Limited: not vs Wood, Silver or Magical creatures and weapons [80 ranks only], Limited - Half Effect [10 ranks only])
. . PPE Pool: Feature 6 (Flaws: Custom 4: PE Bonus)
. . Regeneration 4 (Every 2.5 rounds)
. . Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)
Vampire Psionics: Wide Array 1
. . Alter Aura: Illusion 12 (Affects: One Sense Type - Aura, Area: 4000 cft., DC 22; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check, Quirk: 1 hr / lvl, Reduced Range 2: close)
. . Deaden Pain: Immunity 2 (Uncommon Descriptor: Pain; Extras: Affects Others, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: Slow (Trance), Custom 2: ISP Check, Quirk: 1 hr / lvl)
. . Death Trance: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Trance; Extras: Feature 2: +10 to all Trance checks, Standard Action to enter Trance, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check)
. . Empathy: Mind Reading 5 (DC 15; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check, Limited to Emotions)
. . Hypnotic Suggestion: Cumulative Affliction 5 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Extras: Cumulative, Increased Range 2: perception; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check, Limited: Simple Suggestions & Calming, Sense-dependent: eye contact)
. . Induce Sleep: Affliction 5 (3rd degree: Asleep, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check, Limited Degree (third only))
. . Mind Block: Immunity 10 (Common Descriptor: Psionics; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check, Quirk: 10 min / lvl)
. . Presence Sense: Senses 3 (Acute: , Detect: Supernatural Creature 2: ranged; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check)
. . Sense Evil: Senses 4 (Detect: Supernatural Evil 2: ranged, Radius: Choose Sense, Tracking: 1: -1 speed rank; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check)
. . Super-Hypnotic Suggestion: Progressive Affliction 5 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Extras: Increased Range 2: perception, Progressive; Flaws: Custom 5: ISP Check, Noticeable: Glowing Eyes, Sense-dependent: eye contact)
Vampire Senses & Knowledge (Advantages: Jack-of-all-trades)
. . Attacks per Melee: Strength-based Damage 2 (DC 22)
. . Family Link: Senses 4 (Acute: , Detect: Vampire 2: ranged, Radius: )
. . Telepathic Link to Minions: Mental Communication 3 (Flaws: Limited 2: Created Minions only, Simple commands)

Offense
Initiative +3
Attacks per Melee: Strength-based Damage 2, +4 (DC 22)
Empathy: Mind Reading 5 (DC Will 15)
Grab, +4 (DC Spec 15)
Horror Factor 14: Perception Area Affliction 4 (DC Will 14)
Hypnotic Suggestion: Cumulative Affliction 5 (DC Will 15)
Induce Sleep: Affliction 5, +4 (DC Will 15)
Super-Hypnotic Suggestion: Progressive Affliction 5 (DC Will 15)
Throw, +0 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +4 (DC 20)

Defense
Dodge 4, Parry 4, Fortitude 4, Toughness 4, Will 9

Power Points
Abilities 56 + Powers 166 + Advantages 1 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 6 = 229

- The Master Vampire is the top tier, contacted directly by the Intelligence. It's the most powerful and the only one that chose to become a creature that feeds on its own kind, so they're assumed to be pretty evil and not recommended as PCs.
- As the Master Vamps. the have several powers just for vamp creation and management. Slow Kill bites to transform people into vamps, special mental links to keep track of and control their created vamps, and the ability to sense vampires and their respective "bloodlines".
- Their powers are ridiculously varied: besides the obviously supernatural strength and endurance, they have a suite of psionics; they can change into bats, wolves or a mist form; summon vermin, canines, and fog; they resist damage from all kinds of attack and regenerate rapidly. They can even have magic, but only if they were mages before the change and they can't learn more or accumulate more PPE.
- On the flip side, there's a lot of downsides besides the loss of humanity. The transformation wipes most of the mind, leaving a few skills and memories. The vampire becomes vulnerable to sunlight and water, needs to sleep on soil from their home continent, and can be repelled by holy symbols and protective herbs. A stake through the heart will hurt anyone of course, but it also paralyzes the vamp and keeps them from regenerating.
- Technically PL7 defensively, although they have a lot of Immunities and vulnerabilities to make that number very situational. Offensively around PL6; there's no option to improve combat or physical skills, but you can gain some weapon proficiecies. A sword-trained vamp could be surprisingly devastating.
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Master Vampires create Secondary Vampires, and can do so by force unlike the Intelligence. This allows the "2Vs" to occasionally resist treating humans like cattle, giving the potential to even be PCs. Nothing stops them from needing blood, though.
- 2Vs are a little weaker mentally and on a few other traits (+3 vs Mind Control instead of immune), but otherwise have all of the powers and weaknesses of the Masters.
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Secondary vampires can make other 2Vs, but it's actually slightly more likely for the Slow Kill process to make a Wild Vampire. Wilds are again not as mentally capable, often falling below human average, and are too "diluted" to make anything other than more wilds, if they even bother with the long process. Otherwise they still have all the other powers of vampires, although lacking in skills; they even lose all magic spells if they knew any.

Wampyr - PL 6

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

Advantages
Daze (Intimidation), Fearless

Skills
Intimidation 6 (+6), Perception 1 (+3)

Powers
Wampyr Physiology
. . Horror Factor 11: Perception Area Affliction 1 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, Resisted by: Will, DC 11; Extras: Perception Area: DC 11 - Visual, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Instant Recovery, Limited: Once per Target per encounter, Limited Degree)
. . Immunity 81 (Aging, Toughness Effects; Flaws: Limited: Only vs Metal Weapons [80 ranks only], Limited - Half Effect [80 ranks only])
. . ISP Pool: Feature 7 (Flaws: Custom 2: AWE 2)
. . Regeneration 4 (Every 2.5 rounds)
Vampire Psionics: Wide Array 1
. . Alter Aura: Illusion 12 (Affects: One Sense Type - Aura, Area: 4000 cft., DC 22; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check, Reduced Range 2: close)
. . Deaden Pain: Immunity 2 (Uncommon Descriptor: Pain; Extras: Affects Others, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: Slow (Trance), Custom 2: ISP Check)
. . Death Trance: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Trance; Extras: Feature 2: +10 to all Trance checks, Standard Action to enter Trance, Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check)
. . Empathy: Mind Reading 5 (DC 15; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check, Limited to Emotions)
. . Hypnotic Suggestion: Cumulative Affliction 5 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Compelled, 3rd degree: Controlled, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Extras: Cumulative, Increased Range 2: perception; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check, Limited: Simple Suggestions & Calming, Sense-dependent: eye contact)
. . Induce Sleep: Affliction 5 (3rd degree: Asleep, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check, Limited Degree (third only))
. . Mind Block: Immunity 10 (Common Descriptor: Psionics; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check)
. . Presence Sense: Senses 3 (Acute: , Detect: Supernatural Creature 2: ranged; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check)
. . Sense Evil: Senses 4 (Detect: CSupernatural Evil 2: ranged, Radius: Choose Sense, Tracking: 1: -1 speed rank; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check)

Offense
Initiative +1
Empathy: Mind Reading 5 (DC Will 15)
Grab, +2 (DC Spec 15)
Horror Factor 11: Perception Area Affliction 1 (DC Will 11)
Hypnotic Suggestion: Cumulative Affliction 5 (DC Will 15)
Induce Sleep: Affliction 5, +2 (DC Will 15)
Throw, +0 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +2 (DC 20)

Defense
Dodge 3, Parry 2, Fortitude 3, Toughness 3, Will 8

Power Points
Abilities 26 + Powers 64 + Advantages 2 + Skills 4 (7 ranks) + Defenses 8 = 104

- The Wampyr is a sort of mutant variant of the vampires. Maybe they were psychic or unactivated Nightbane or some other undefined reason, but when they were changed it didn't allow them to be controlled by vampires. They're still supernatural,with minor psionics, blood dependency, sunlght vulnerablility, rapid regen and an immunity to metal weapons, so not quite as tough as vampires but on par.
- Mechanically a little more balanced and probably easier to play as a PC.

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JDRook
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Rifts & Nightbane: Ley Lines

Post by JDRook » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:35 pm

I've mentioned Palladium's use of energy points (PPE and ISP) as an interesting alternative to Vancian magic. Another aspect of it that makes it more complex is the use of Ley Lines.

Ley Lines (hereafter referred to as LL) and Ley Line Nexuses (just Nexus) were introduced in the Palladium Megaverse (before that was a thing) way back in 1988 in Beyond the Supernatural, a book that focused on horror and mysterious powers in a modern setting. LL are a real-world if pseudo-scientific concept that defines them as a geographic feature linking places of mystical or religious significance. BtS took this further and actually imbued LL and Nexus (points where LL cross) with psychic potential energy (PPE), which had several properties useful to the setting:
- it increased magic and psychic power in anyone possessing those powers
- it attracted creatures of magic that can feed on that energy
- it created sites at Nexus that could even open doorways to other dimension during times of high energies (ie planetary alignments) or deliberately with ritualistic magic.

Narratively, LL allows for "bad neighbourhoods" of mystical activity, with higher risk and reward for anyone who wants to go there, like a party of PCs. (EDIT: See also Batgirl III's descriptions of Ley Lines and PPE in Jab's Rifts Thread)

The influence of LLs are localized, of course, but the range is pretty impressive, although it's hard to find precisely how big affected areas are. After combing through PDFs that say "Ley Line" literally hundreds of times, I found a table that describes the actual size of LLs. They are listed as being about a half-mile wide and several miles long, with a random table that gives lengths from 3 miles to 300 miles; no height is given. The only other specific reference is in the Rifts Ultimate Edition under the LL Walker, specific their LL Teleportation power, where LL are described as 1/4 to 1 mile wide and a half to 2 miles tall; it seems a little counterintuitive to me that LLs are typically taller than they are wide, but hey, it's magic!

I bring this all up since it can be problematic in practice if taken literally for conversion purposes, requiring a few setting-specific houserules:

1) Sensing LL: this is a common power for any PC with magic or psychic ability, and the range is usually measured in miles, which technically requires at least 2-3 ranks of Extended. However, the thing being sensed is objectively huge: LLs as described are higher than any man-made building and stretch for miles, so they're essentially geographic features larger than most small cities and therefore would be visible above buildings and/or treelines miles away for anyone with the power to see it. (LLs are invisible in contemporary settings like BtS and Nightbane but actually glow blue in Rifts, making them obvious at night and almost detectable during the day with normal vision.) For this reason, LL Sensing should be considered to have the equivalent of 2 ranks of Extended for free, taking -1 penalties to perception for every thousand feet and spot it as DC0. Particularly attuned characters like LL Walkers, Psi-Stalkers and dragons would buy 1-2 more rank of Extended, as they can sense at ranges in the tens of miles.

2) Bonus Energy from LL Influence: Even if they can't sense it, many magic or psychic characters get a power boost from being in or close to a LL or Nexus. There's some variation between the settings, but there is some general consistency:
- being within 1 mile of a LL gives a 50% bonus to range and duration (NOT damage) to most magic or psychic powers. Since Range is tricky, duration is weird and 50% isn't even a whole rank, this might be ignored for simplicity.
- being on a LL OR within 1 mile of a Nexus doubles range, duration AND damage, so a circumstantial +1 rank to magic or psionic effects would be appropriate. Mages and Psychics can also use PPE or ISP from the Nexus, which varies based on OCC and level, but could be easily simulated with a circumstantial +1 rank to their respective energy pool, allowing for the casting of more powerful spells with less energy loss.

3) Special times - Nexus energy will surge at certain times of day and year, giving even more bonus energy:
- Double energy available at dawn, noon and midnight (strangely not dusk/sunset, but make your own ruling) for a few (1d4) minutes. In practice, add another +1 for a total of +2 circumstantial ranks to energy pools
- Triple energy available during the daylight hours of the Spring Equinox and the night hours of the Fall Equinox (12 hours each) for a total of +3 circumstantial ranks to energy pools
- Solstices (Summer or Winter) provide a x10 increase, which I convert to a +4 pool bonus for their 12 hours.
- Lunar eclipse is a x12 increase, so close enough to Solstice for our purposes, but only lasts 90 minutes and happen maybe once a year. There's also a chance of a Rift opening spontaneously: odds vary with setting.
- Minor Planetary Alignments of 3-4 planets also function just like Solstices and last 15 minutes, occurring once every 8 years.
- Partial Solar Eclipses are the most powerful with 30x energy increase, which is a +5 pool bonus for 2d4 minutes once every 10 years. Major Planetary alignments of 5+ planets have the same effect, last 8 minutes and occur every 22 years.
- as much fun as all the specific stuff is, for simplicity a GM might ditch the granularity and give a +2 minor circumstance to energy pools for Nexus proximity and save the +5 major circumstance bonus for special occasions like astronomical events.

This sets up some very specific places and times that can result in a whole pile of magical shenanigans, but because they are somewhat predictable you can count on competition and a lot of preparation for fully utilizing these high-power moments.

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Nightbane NPCs - Ashmedai

Post by JDRook » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:17 pm

Nightbane - Ashmedai.jpg
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Ashmedai lvl 6 - PL 7-10

Strength 2/4*, Stamina 3/5*, Agility 7, Dexterity 7, Fighting 7, Intellect 4, Awareness 3, Presence 2

Advantages
Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Fearless, Improved Grab

Skills
Athletics 5 (+7), Close Combat: Unarmed 2 (+9), Intimidation 3 (+5), Perception 4 (+7), Ranged Combat: Throw 2 (+9)

Powers
Ashmedai Physiology
. . Horror Factor 14: Perception Area Affliction 4 (1st degree: Dazed, Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Stunned, Defenseless, Resisted by: Will, DC 14; Extras: Perception Area: DC 14 - Visual, Extra Condition, Reaction 3: reaction; Flaws: Custom 2: Once per target per encounter, Instant Recovery, Limited Degree)
. . Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)
. . Supernatural Senses: Senses 4 (Counters Concealment: Invisible, Darkvision)
. . Tentacles
. . . . Extra Limbs 4 (Linked; 4 extra limbs, Advantages: Improved Grab)
. . . . Strength-based Damage 1 (Linked; DC 18)
Psionic ISP Pool: Feature 7 (Flaws: Custom 3: AWE Bonus)
Psionics: Wide Array 1
. . Alter Aura: Illusion 12 (Affects: One Sense Type - Aura, Area: 4000 cft., DC 22; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom: ISP Check, Quirk: 1 hour / lvl, Reduced Range: ranged)
. . Empathy & See Aura
. . . . Heightened Intuition: Enhanced Trait 5 (Traits: Insight +10 (+13))
. . . . Senses 6 (Acute: Arcane Energies, Detect: Emotions 2: ranged, Detect: Arcane Energies 2: ranged, Radius: Emotions, Advantages: Assessment, Benefit: Insight Check instead of Percepton for Psioncs; Extras: Custom 3: 1 min; Flaws: Custom 3: ISP Check, Resistible: Will)
. . Mind Block: Immunity 10 (Common Descriptor: CMind Attacks; Extras: Increased Duration: continuous; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check, Quirk: 10 min / lvl)
. . Telepathy
. . . . Mental Communication 1
. . . . Mind Reading 5 (DC 15; Flaws: Custom 2: ISP Check)
Shapeshifting
. . Animal Form Powers: Variable 4 ([0 active, 0/28 PP, 7/r])
. . Down to Mouse-size: Shrinking 6 ([0 active, 0/28 PP, 2/r], -1 STR, -3 Intimidate, +6 Stealth, +3 active defenses, -1 size rank)
. . Up to Elephant-size: Growth 6 ([0 active, 0/28 PP, 2/r], +6 STR, +6 STA, +3 Intimidate, -6 Stealth, -3 active defenses, +1 size rank, +6 mass ranks)

Power Settings
Elephant Form (Powers: Trunk: Extra Limbs 1, Tusks: Strength-based Damage 2)
Mouse Form (Powers: Rodent Bite: Strength-based Damage 1, Rodent Tracking Scent: Senses 3)

Offense
Initiative +7
Grab, +7 (DC Spec 12)
Horror Factor 14: Perception Area Affliction 4 (DC Will 14)
Mind Reading 5 (DC Will 15)
Rodent Bite: Strength-based Damage 1, +7 (DC 18)
Strength-based Damage 1, +9 (DC 18)
Throw, +9 (DC 17)
Tusks: Strength-based Damage 2, +9 (DC 19)
Unarmed, +9 (DC 17)

Complications
Imperfect Copy: The Ashmedai can transform into any living form from mouse to elephant and almost any humanoid, although mimicking a particular person is only done with a +5 Deception check instead of +20. Can also imitate Nightbane aspcts, although biomechanical and inorganic forms are beyond their ability.
Monstrous Form: The true form of the Ashmedai is a worm-like, fleshy giant, with no apparent eyes and four long tentacles protruding from the sides of his serpentine trunk. The head is dominated by a gaping maw filled with sharp teeth and four main fangs in each comer. This form is equal to Growth 2.

Defense
Dodge 8/7*, Parry 8/7*, Fortitude 7/9*, Toughness 5/3/7*, Will 7

Power Points
Abilities 70 + Powers 80 + Advantages 4 + Skills 8 (16 ranks) + Defenses 10 = 172
*True Form

The Ashmedai are the full-on shapeshifters of the Nightlands. Higher ranking than most, but still independent so as not to be utterly obedient to the Nightlords, they are still "too evil" to be playable characters, and are more likely to selfishly screw up the scheme to hide the supernatural from humans than take the human's side.

The build is a little tricky to get as specific as the books, but as soon as I made their base size a Complication it got a little simpler. Their stats are based on either a human form or their true form, which are presumed to be the most common ways they would be encountered. However, they can take any animal form from mouse to elephant (sample powers included in the Variable) and even take on Nightspawn appearances, although they can't read as Nightspawn to special senses without very rare artifacts.

Combat-wise, they are about a PL 7-8 across the board without using any size or Variable tricks, but can easily get to PL10 with them. With a little trimming, this could easily be a RtP PL10 Shapeshifter archetype.

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JDRook
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Nightbane NPCs - Namtar "Hollow Men"

Post by JDRook » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:06 pm

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Namtar - the Hollow Men - PL 5

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

Advantages
Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 3

Skills
Athletics 4 (+6), Expertise: Government Agent 3 (+6), Intimidation 4 (+4), Investigation 6 (+9), Perception 3 (+5), Ranged Combat: Firearms 4 (+5), Technology 2 (+5), Vehicles 4 (+5)

Powers
Hollow Man Construct (Activation: Free Action)
. . Demonic Insect Form: Shrinking 12 (Alternate; -3 STR, -6 Intimidate, +12 Stealth, +6 active defenses, -3 size ranks, -1 speed ranks; Flaws: Permanent)
. . HTH Expert
. . . . 6 Attack per Melee: Strength-based Damage 2 (Linked; DC 19)
. . . . Enhanced Trait 10 (Linked; Traits: Fighting +2 (+3), Parry +1 (+4), Dodge +3 (+4), Advantages: Defensive Roll 2)
. . Immune to Illusion: Senses 4 (Counters Concealment: Visual, Counters Illusion: Visual)
. . Tough Skin like burlap: Protection 4 (+4 Toughness; Extras: Impervious)
Namtar Natural Abilities
. . Comprehend 2 (Languages - Speak All, Languages - Understand All)
. . Immunity 2 (Disease, Environmental Condition: Cold)
. . Senses 1 (Low-light Vision)
. . Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)

Equipment
Submachine gun

Offense
Initiative +1
6 Attack per Melee: Strength-based Damage 2, +3 (DC 19)
Grab, +3 (DC Spec 12)
Submachine gun, +5 (DC 19)
Throw, +1 (DC 17)
Unarmed, +3 (DC 17)

Complications
Broken Shell of a Man: The Hollow Man shell can be shattered if Incapacitated, releasing the Namtar within. The Namtar can also choose to leave the body, but it takes hours to repair or replace the body in any case.
Weakness: Both the construct and the Namtar themselves take double damage from magical attacks and physical attacks from other supernatural creatures.

Defense
Dodge 4/1, Parry 4/3, Fortitude 0, Toughness 6/4, Will 6

Power Points
Abilities 20 + Powers 33 + Advantages 3 + Skills 15 (30 ranks) + Defenses 4 = 75

Nightbane has their own take on the Men In Black (pre-movies, post-Malibu comic) with these demonic insects that use a combination of blood magic and papier mache to create humanoid shells to ride around in. They can also make other creatures, but the Nightlords want the human focus to infiltrate the Earth's governments. They're convincing enough to pass, but are largely unexpressive and cold, looking fearless although the bug inside is still freaking out.

The shell takes several (4d6) hours to build, so even though I've built the two forms as an array, it's not easy to change back and forth. The bug form is about 6' long and has +13 Stealth, so it's likely to sneak away if not immediately destroyed once "unshelled".

At PL 5, they make a good low-level goon threat for PCs, although they can be made tougher with the addition of agency kit like flak jackets and machine guns. Their skill sets aren't very fleshed out in the NB book, so I added some from the Government Agent minion archetype in the Deluxe Handbook.

Note that this is one of several character classes that hits a weird hiccup in the "Supernatual PS" category. Besides having a completely separate damage system, supernatural strength also has a different carrying capacity: normal capacity is PSx10 in pounds up to PS 16, with PSx20 after that, while supernatural has PSX10 up to PS 17 and then jumps to PSx50 for PS18+. So for the 1pt jump from PS 17 to 18 carrying goes from 170lbs to 900lbs, which is a huge difference for characters that presumably roll randomly. For consistency, a GM might want to bump up Hollow Men STR a few ranks or at least add some Enhanced Lifting.

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

Post by catsi563 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:19 pm

the faceless men were awesome badguys when I ran nightbane, Id basically throw them matrix style at the heroes

first the cops and Swat would show up and of course the PCs had to be careful because theres no real way to know which ones are just guys doing their jobs and which ones are doppelgangers

when the PCs started winning to up the ante and emphasize the terror the AGENTS would show up. the Faceless men the namitars who could go toe to toe with them. IF the Namitar fell then the Hounds Showed up shortly after and the crap really hit the fan

because the Hounds would usually be accompanied by a Shape Shifted Ashmedi or 2 (using MIB looking form or the like) then things would get fun
Dr. Silverback has wryly observed that this is like trying to teach lolcats about Shakespeare

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JDRook
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Nightbane NPCs - Night Squires & Princes

Post by JDRook » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:19 am

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Night Prince lvl 7 - PL 8

Strength 5, Stamina 6, Agility 1, Dexterity 1, Fighting 3/1, Intellect 3, Awareness 2, Presence 4

Advantages
Accurate Attack, Accurate Attack, Close Attack 2, Daze (Intimidation), Defensive Roll 3, Fearless, Improved Critical 3: Stun Punch, Improved Disarm, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Languages 4, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 2

Skills
Deception 4 (+8), Expertise: Occult Lore 4 (+7), Perception 3 (+5), Persuasion 4 (+8)

Powers

HTH Assassin Level 7
. . 6 Attacks / Melee: Enhanced Trait 4 (Advantages: Close Attack 2, Ranged Attack 2)
. . Combat Bonuses: Enhanced Trait 19 (Traits: Fighting +2 (+3), Parry +1 (+5), Dodge +3 (+6), Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Improved Critical 3, Improved Disarm, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Power Attack)
. . Stun Alternate
. . . . Stun Punch: Affliction 5 (Alternate; 1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, 3rd degree: Incapacitated, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 15)

Masters of Illusion
. . Illusion 7 ([0 active, 0/36 PP, 5/r-2], Affects: All Sense Types, Area: 125 cft., DC 17; Extras: Custom 3: Time rank 3 (1 min), Precise; Flaws: Custom 6: PPE Check)
. . Illusory Affliction: Affliction 8 ([0 active, 0/36 PP, 5/r-4], Resisted by: Will, DC 18; Extras: Increased Range 2: perception, Reversible, Subtle: subtle, Variable Condition (All); Flaws: Custom 6: PPE Check)
. . Illusory Concealment: Burst Area Concealment 10 ([0 active, 0/36 PP, 3/r+1], All Senses; Extras: Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 20, Precise, Selective; Flaws: Blending)
. . Illusory Damage: Damage 7 ([0 active, 0/36 PP, 3/r+2], DC 22; Extras: Alternate Resistance: Will, Increased Range 2: perception, Variable Descriptor 2: broad group - illusionary effects; Flaws: Resistible: Will)
. . Illusory Disguise: Morph 4 ([0 active, 0/36 PP, 4/r], +20 Deception checks to disguise; Any form; Flaws: Resistible: Will)

PPE Pool: Feature 9 (Flaws: Custom 6: STA bonus)

Supernatural Physiology
. . Immunity 9 (Aging, Custom: Mind Control 5, Starvation & Thirst, Suffocation (All))
. . Regeneration 1 (Every 10 rounds)
. . Senses 6 (Awareness: Ley Lines, Counters Concealment: Invisible, Counters Illusion: Visual, Low-light Vision)
. . Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)

Offense
Initiative +1
Grab, +5 (DC Spec 15)
Illusory Affliction: Affliction 8 (DC Will 18)
Illusory Damage: Damage 7 (DC Will 22)
Stun Punch: Affliction 5, +5 (DC Fort 15)
Throw, +3 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +5 (DC 20)

Complications
Energy Vampires: Like their masters , the Night Princes are energy vampires who need to feed on the life force of other living beings. Not getting enough energy slowly erodes PPE and eventually STA until they hit 0 and crumble to dust.
Weakness: Night Princes take double damage from the attacks and Talents of the Nightbane, and from the energy powers of the Guardians.

Languages
Choose any 7 languages, Native Language

Defense
Dodge 6/3, Parry 5/4, Fortitude 6, Toughness 9/6, Will 5

Power Points
Abilities 46 + Powers 89 + Advantages 7 + Skills 8 (15 ranks) + Defenses 6 = 156

Also known as the Ba'al-Zebul, the Night Princes (or "Squires" for lower-ranked BZs) are a separate Racial Character Class, although it's kept vague whether Princes are actually some pre-Nightlord form or valued servants imubed with power by the Nightlords. They are the chief lieutenants, so higher ranking than almost any other creatures that aren't actually Nightlords.

Their power is almost completely based on illusion, but for a one-trick pony, it's a pretty good trick. They use their powers primarily to fool humans since most other supernatural creatures are resistant or completely immune to illusions. They often take high-level, high visibility positions like celebrities and CEOs, and also use their influence to funnel other highly positioned humans into supporting the Preserver Party or secretly joining the Cults of Night.

Despite being highly placed, Night Princes are not overly physically powerful and are even considered candidates as PCs. As a character build they have a lot of potential as a PL8 Illusionist, with physical attacks at about PL5. NPCs can of course have access to extensive resources including equipment and minions.

This build can still use some tweaking. I've made the Illusion Array Dynamic and added a few AEs that aren't actually listed in the book but would be logical extensions. The book has a system for Illusion that basically has several levels of complexity (a few senses to full immersion) with varying costs in PPE, all of which I feel is too problematic to directly translate. Another option could be to have all the illusions in a rank 8 Variable, with a PPE check at rank every minute or every time the Variable is reconfigured. I also switched my Attacks/Melee bonus from Damage to Attack (both Close and Ranged, actually more similar to 2nd Edition Attack), similar to how Jabroniville treats it. I feel it does work better, but only when Effects are 5+ ranks so it can take full advantage of tradeoffs.

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JDRook
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Location: The Calgary Rift - City of Monsters

Device Damage Houserules

Post by JDRook » Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:50 am

I don't usually focus on Device-based characters, but when I do, I want a better system to break their stuff. I asked about this on the RA boards and got some decent answers, if not precisely what I was looking for, but since RA has been crossing the veil like Brigadoon I thought I'd copy a few things over here.
hypervirtue wrote:A device can be disabled if it fails a toughness save by 4 or more degrees, or suffers 2 toughness saves by 3 degrees. A device has Toughness Equal to 1/4 the (pre-adjusted) power points placed in it, or the campaign power level, or the character wielding it, whichever is higher. Devices roll toughness (1d20+toughness) as normal. Devices are not subject to critical hits unless unattended, at which case they are considered defenseless.

Degree of Failure:
1 Degree: -1 cumulative penalty to all future damage saves until repaired. No other effects.

2 Degrees: -1 cumulative penalty to all future damage saves until repaired. No other effects.

3 Degrees: -1 cumulative penalty to all future damage saves until repaired. The device cannot use any non-passive powers in the next round of combat. So armor would still be armor, but a force field, or an energy blast would be unusable while the device "reboots" as it were.

4 Degrees: The device is knocked off-line, the magic in the amulet is disrupted, the zord loses connection to the morphing grid. Whatever the case it is unusable until repaired. Further attacks can destroy the device. A second failure by 3 or more degrees destroys the device. It may be able to be repaired, GM's option, but such a repair would take time. If the device cannot be repaired the player is refunded the cost of the device at the end of the adventure and may re-spend them however they wish.

This is a perfect opportunity for characters to gain non-device powers, "When the quantum field power generator was ruptured I was bombarded with inter-dimensional radiation and it changed me!" "When the Amulet of Zardax shattered, its power was lost, my close connection to it for so long, however, seems to have imbued me some of its power."

Or simply to rebuild it, better than before:
"The White Star Armor was destroyed, yes, but I had recently come up with ideas to improve on the design... I give you... The White Star Mk. II!"
badpenny also had a version based on their own M&M2.5 homebrew so it's mostly 2e with some elements from 3e and other systems. This is from the Devices section:
badpenny wrote:Devices
Devices play an important part in the superhero genre, and need to be uniquely addressed. It's practically the only Flaw that's more like a Complication than any other. When (and if) the player's Device gets taken away or broken is up to the GM. If the GM fails to account for it, the player can have a significant edge (in their point total) over other players.

Extra Effort, when applied to a Device, imposes a loss of 2 points from all effects for the Fatigued condition, and a 6-point loss from all effects for the Exhausted condition. An Unconscious condition for a Device means it stops working altogether.

Devices are subject to reduced function as they are damaged. They have a Toughness equal to PL. Damaging the Device is as per the rules on Damage to Objects, M&M pg. 167. Third degree Damage takes systems offline randomly. Attackers can Take 10 on their Damage checks against the Device and even spend HP to roll with Advantage.
Indestructible is a +1 Extra.
The Restricted Power Feat has one rank: only you can use it.

In lieu of Damaging the Device, you can make a called shot (roll with Disadvantage) to target a Device's obvious functions, e.g. boot jets, armament, etc. Non-obvious functions, e.g. sensors, various Immunities (e.g. Suffocation, Environmental conditions), etc. can be targeted with the addition of an appropriate-to-descriptor DC 15 Knowledge check (e.g., Arcane Lore, Technology) or the use of an appropriate Super-Sense, otherwise should be collateral damage from a third degree hit against the Device.

Targeted System Degrees of Success:
The system goes offline until the PC can take a Standard action to "reboot" it
The system goes offline until the PC can make the appropriate skill check, DC 10 + [ranks in effect], which takes at least a Full Round. Roll with Disadvantage to reduce the time to a Standard action. Attacks against the afflicted PC are made with Advantage for the next round due to their distraction, unless they seek Total Cover or can make a DC 10 + [ranks in the attacking effect] Concentration check.
The system goes offline for the rest of the scene and will need repair that takes 4 hours per point in the effect. The PC has to make a DC 20 Concentration check or attacks against them are made with Advantage for their next round.
As per 3rd degree and the PC takes Feedback as a Side Effect (Stun) Flaw if they fail a second DC 20 Concentration check.
I will hopefully post my own rules or find the elusive ones I really liked. Sound off if you have your own favorites.

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