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

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

Post by JDRook » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:19 pm

Sidious wrote:
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.
Cool, so like a supernatural Skrull swap.

I thought it would be cool for a campaign to change tones into something like that: start out as a relaitvely standard light 4-color or street level supers game, take out an apparent Big Bad, and then either have a reveal of a larger supernatural conspiracy going on that was only hinted at throughout, or just have Dark Day hit and have these established characters in their established setting adapt to the new normal.

Kind of like a season tonal change on a tv show. (Just binging iZombie now, so thinking about widespread world effects).

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

Post by Sidious » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:50 am

JDRook wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:19 pm
Sidious wrote:
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.
Cool, so like a supernatural Skrull swap.

I thought it would be cool for a campaign to change tones into something like that: start out as a relaitvely standard light 4-color or street level supers game, take out an apparent Big Bad, and then either have a reveal of a larger supernatural conspiracy going on that was only hinted at throughout, or just have Dark Day hit and have these established characters in their established setting adapt to the new normal.

Kind of like a season tonal change on a tv show. (Just binging iZombie now, so thinking about widespread world effects).
I'd wrap it into a Heroes Unlimited game. Do an adventure or two, then have them fail miserably at some mission then boom Dark Day hits, and they think it's all their fault. Have some trusted people come out as Cultists or replaced with Dopplegangers. Make them fight their own Doppleganger. Have them hunted by hounds all night and kill off some NPC heroes so they get the idea that this is "for keeps". Then afterward have them hunted and framed by the NSB. I like imprisoned and break out stories. They may even take a few villains with them (nice time to switch up characters that have died.)

Thing is you want to have the threats be of corresponding power. I figure Avatars are in the Silver Surfer/Herald class, where as the actual Nightlords vary from Odin to Galactus (Moloch) levels. NSB Hollow Men are around standard SHIELD agents. Hounds, and Flyers low tier supers, with the others filling in as needed. Cultists should always be mooks but make up for it in numbers.

The point of Dark Day is... the should not win. Give them a small victory here and there (They survive. They rescue Aunt May, etc) But have all the good stuff taken from them. Their Reputations, their Base, their contacts. Pretty much what Stargate did when they started killing off Earths allies.

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

Post by JDRook » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Sidious wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:50 am
I'd wrap it into a Heroes Unlimited game. Do an adventure or two, then have them fail miserably at some mission then boom Dark Day hits, and they think it's all their fault. Have some trusted people come out as Cultists or replaced with Dopplegangers. Make them fight their own Doppleganger. Have them hunted by hounds all night and kill off some NPC heroes so they get the idea that this is "for keeps". Then afterward have them hunted and framed by the NSB. I like imprisoned and break out stories. They may even take a few villains with them (nice time to switch up characters that have died.)
...
The point of Dark Day is... the should not win. Give them a small victory here and there (They survive. They rescue Aunt May, etc) But have all the good stuff taken from them. Their Reputations, their Base, their contacts. Pretty much what Stargate did when they started killing off Earths allies.
Hadn't thought that far with it, but yeah, I can see that you'd want that failure to help with the tonal change. Respected heroes would need to be discredited, turned or replaced to keep them from just revealing the conspiracy and having the authorities and general public believe them. And I like flipping villains to allies or vice versa; you could find out your arch-nemesis knew what was happening and has been acting logically with that info the whole time even though it looked like almost random criminal acts.
Thing is you want to have the threats be of corresponding power. I figure Avatars are in the Silver Surfer/Herald class, where as the actual Nightlords vary from Odin to Galactus (Moloch) levels. NSB Hollow Men are around standard SHIELD agents. Hounds, and Flyers low tier supers, with the others filling in as needed. Cultists should always be mooks but make up for it in numbers.
I have been tinkering with the Nightbane baddies. With straight across conversions like I've been attempting, Avatars are around PL12 and near 400p, while Hounds and Hunters are near PL8. Haven't hit the "alphabet soup" of agents yet, but figure they'll all be 5s and 6s.

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

Post by Sidious » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:37 am

JDRook wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:12 pm
I have been tinkering with the Nightbane baddies. With straight across conversions like I've been attempting, Avatars are around PL12 and near 400p, while Hounds and Hunters are near PL8. Haven't hit the "alphabet soup" of agents yet, but figure they'll all be 5s and 6s.
I've been thinking of FASERIP stats for them. My biggest difficulty is getting the Hounds (and Masters and Flyers) damage resistance "right". There's no mechanic in the game for half of all damage. The "Except magic & Nightspawn talents" part is easy enough.

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

Post by Spectrum » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:26 pm

I recently discovered that there was a book for Nightbane that I haven't picked up yet. Any thoughts on book 6?
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Re: Mechanics & Metaphors: JDRook's Rules Rants and Character Conversions

Post by Sidious » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:02 pm

I just got it yesterday and read it. There's a lot of things that had been reprinted from previous books. It pretty much collects the morphus tables, talents and such from the previous 5 books and puts them into one.

Not much if anything on setting changes or updates.

It does have new common talents and new elite talents, new morphus tables with a bit of info on the Ancient Nightbane with a few plot hooks for them

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

Post by Spectrum » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:39 pm

Has potential, has potential.

I am kinda curious if they are actually new or Palladium 'new' and collected from various issues of the Rifter.

I've picked up a book or two from them that did just that.

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

Post by JDRook » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:40 pm

Sidious wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:37 am
JDRook wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:12 pm
I have been tinkering with the Nightbane baddies. With straight across conversions like I've been attempting, Avatars are around PL12 and near 400p, while Hounds and Hunters are near PL8. Haven't hit the "alphabet soup" of agents yet, but figure they'll all be 5s and 6s.
I've been thinking of FASERIP stats for them. My biggest difficulty is getting the Hounds (and Masters and Flyers) damage resistance "right". There's no mechanic in the game for half of all damage. The "Except magic & Nightspawn talents" part is easy enough.
The Palladium mechanics for the Hounds is interesting to me: they have that half-damage from all non-magical attacks but double damage from magic weapons, spells and Talents, so they're extra-resistant against conventional attacks but most PCs are going to cut through them like butter. I currently have the weakness as a Complication (extra degree of failure), but I'm wondering if just keeping them as Minions under Minion rules is all you really need. In P's system, a PC like Burger-Face wielding a Darkblade does 9d6+22 damage normally, or about 50-60 damage per hit, so assuming Darkblades count as magic weapons (which is never made clear AFAIK) that's over 100 points per hit against Hounds and will take one down in 2-3 hits easily, which is only slightly more resilient than just "be a minion."

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

Post by catsi563 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:49 am

I suggested this earlier base dona s imialr question for me in FASRIP since not everything translates well I go with Any non magical or nightbane based damage to a hound suffers a -1 to -2 Column shift in effectiveness

any magical ot nightbane based damage gains a +1-+2 CS in effectivness
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Palladium to M&M Character Conversions

Post by JDRook » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:12 am

I wanted to add another idea for character conversion and realized I"ve only mentioned a few things in passing, so I thought I'd add something more complete here.

As I have mentioned before, Palladium and M&M both use a d20 for most of their mechanics, although Palladium is not a d20 system game. Palladium is probably more similar to original D&D, and has not done nearly as much to improve over the decades. Still, there are a few things that can make for reasonable translation guidelines.

Attributes vs Abilities

Palladium has 8 Attributes, the same as M&M 3e, although they don't usually map straight across. Palladium's attributes are usually rolled on 3d6 plus a bonus d6 for 16+ rolls, and then can be modified by powers, training, occupational or racial characteristics, etc, with the final total giving some kind of game bonus if it's over 16, all listed on various charts. M&M simplifies slightly with average Abilities equal to zero and ranks above or below being direct bonuses to other traits.

IQ = Intelligence Quotient ~ INT
I find Palladium's skills much clumsier than M&M's. Every P-skill has its own base and progress rate as a percentage, with most being close to 30%+5%/level, which means unless you have bonuses in the skill you're more likely to fail than succeed using it until about 4th-5th level, while all of M&M's skill as based around a base 10 Difficulty class, which is equal to a 55% success rate. The IQ Attribute provides a percentage bonus equal to IQ minus 14, so a super-genius IQ of 24 equates to a 10% skill bonus, which is equal to 2 ranks of INT, although to be fair IQ benefits almost all skills in Paladium while INT only helps INT-based skills. For this reason I usually calculate INT based on OCC bonuses or INT skills the PC would have.

ME = Mental Endurance ~ AWE (Will)
ME bonus is vs psionics and insanity, so it definitely fits the Will mode. There are no AWE skills as such in Palladium, although Perception was introduced in Nightbane as a kind of standalone save/skill.

MA = Mental Affinity ~ PRE

MA gives a percentage to Trust or Intimidate, so if you equate Persuasion and/or Deception with Trust, you've got most of what PRE does. The rest is kind of covered by PB below.

PS = Physical Strength = STR
The most obvious one, it can still be tricky to figure out the equivalent STR if you actually try to match up things like carry capacity or damage. That's why I built some charts, but in practice Palladium PCs are rarely if ever going to be outside the STR 1-6 range.

PP = Physical Prowess ~ {FGT/AGI/DEX}

PP is probably the most desirable attribute in Palladium since it covers most of the combat bonuses that aren't damage. It gives a bonus to Strike (Attack), Parry and Dodge as defined in that system, but is mostly close enough to use the same terms in M&M. There's no apparent distinction between ranges for Strike, so it covers ranged attacks, too. For simplicity you can have the PP bonus used for all 3 Abilities, but for precision and point efficiency I usually keep AGI equal to the Initiative bonus (unless it's higher) and leave DEX at zero unless the PC has DEX skills or other compelling reasons to have more, using Dodge and Ranged Attack (or Ranged Combat: Throwing) respectively. FGT is easiest, but will usually increase with hand to hand training and other traits.

PE = Physical Endurance = STA (Fortitude)
The PE bonus is used for saves vs disease, poison, and Magic, so it's closest to Fortitude. I'm undecided if I want to keep Magic saves as Fort Saves or make it a specialized new trait, but will probably stick to the former for simplicity. Stamina's Toughness would go back to SDC, which has so many potential sources, although it usually ends up equal or less than Fort.

PB = Physical Beauty ~ Attractive?
PB gives a percentage to Charm/Impress, which could be used as the Attractive Advantage, but since I find Attractive problematic I rarely even worry about this, folding it into PRE.

Spd ~ Speed
Spd is pure ground speed travel (ie running) at 22 Spd ~ 15mph ~ M&M Speed 3. However, an average Pal roll for Spd is closer to 11, while average M&M Speed is 0; I justify this discrepancy by assuming double moves and Athletic checks. The difference in time and action treatment in both systems makes this weird, so keeping average = average is the simplest move.

Hit Points/SDC ~ Toughness
I've been using the chart I made for Rifts damage to equate the HP/SDC total with the Damage column x10 rounded up, so a Hound with 200 SDC and 72 HP falls between rank 4 (160) and rank 5 (320) for Toughness 5. This can scale up to thousands of SDC or even MDC in a Rifts setting.

AR = Armor Rating ~ Impervious
AR and Impervious are conceptually similar but mechanically opposite. Essentially AR blocks shots that don't get a high enough Attack roll while Impervious ignores hits without a high enough Damage/Effect rank. This makes AR a kind of skill-based armor defense which you could try to simulate but seems like more trouble than it's worth.

HF = Horror Factor ~ Intimidate
Horror Factor was a mechanic Palladium introduce in Beyond the Supernatural, a contemporary precursor to Rifts. It momentarily stuns an opponent when they see how scary you are, basically, with a Save vs the HF value using your ME bonus. I've built this as a Perception Area Reaction Affliction w/Instant Recovery vs Will, but HF values 10 and below don't really register, so I came up with an additional effect. Horror Factor can be as low as 6 and generally tops out at 18, but since there's no Intimidation skill equivalent (except maybe Interrogation which is difficult to get), I houserule HF +5 for your Intimidation DC, which I think works out since that actually uses up an action. So Burger-Face, who has HF 10, would therefore not be ugly enough to stun people on sight but would have 5 ranks of Intim and probably Daze(Intimidate) or Startle as well as the Demoralize option, operating at a DC15.

Attacks per Melee ~ MOAR DAMAGE!!
Palladium uses 15 second combat rounds called "melees" compared to M&M's 6 second rounds. However, the action economy is completely different, with Pal PCs getting several attacks or actions per melee (usually 4-5 for a starting character, potentially can be 10+), although they may need to use actions for defensive purposes depending on training and other factors. Ultimately, though, more action = more effect which usually mean more damage from attacks; additional attacks also come most often from hand to hand combat or other physical training, so it's easy to equate this with a Martial Arts Damage bonus.
I haven't actually tried this yet, but I'm thinking ApM / 2.5 rounded down = Damage Bonus. This gives a +1 for just about any character with hth training (almost all of them) with a little extra for particularly quick characters with 5 or more attacks. Anything 8+ is basically in Speedster/Martial Artist territority and might be better served with matching effects, like a floating Multiattack or physical Quickness.

Hand to Hand ~ growth potential
HTH comes in a few different flavours, but basically all of them are used as a way to get more attacks per melee, better combat bonuses and a few other tricks that are probably best simulated with Advantages or very simple powers. A few examples:
Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact = Defensive Roll, but not too many ranks. I use square root of bonus :geek: Maybe limited Safe Fall
Pull Punch = Accurate Attack, when you want to do less damage without the embarrassment of not hitting at all
Various Attacks or Damage bonuses = Power Attack, since too much Damage Bonus can be unbalancing
Critical Strike = Improved Critical
Paired Weapons = Split, or All-Out Attack and/or Defensive Attack
Body Throw/Flip = Improved Trip
Knockout/Stun = Stun Affliction AE on STR
Entangle = Improved Grab/Disarm/Hold
The annoying part with these is finding the PC's level and looking at the list for what bonuses to apply.

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More Nightbane Character Classes

Post by JDRook » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:17 am

The Nightbane are central to the game (hence the name) but there are other options for characters concepts that fit the setting.

Psychic PCC
Psychic Abilities: Presence Sense, See Aura, Sense Evil + 2 Sensitve + 2 Physical + 2 Healer plus one more power every level after first.
ISP Rank: 6 ranks at low levels, 7 in the mid levels and 8 at around 10+
Master Psychic equates to a +5 vs psychic attack or a full Will 5. No other specific bonuses.

- These are basically ordinary people who suddenly have psychic power thanks to Dark Day, or possibly had low latent powers increased. Skill sets are based on ordinary high school/college/blue-collar jobs with a few general bonuses; figure 20 ranks of skills as a guideline. High INT and ME are recommended, but there's nothing keeping their Abilities from being as high or as low as you like.
- Psychic powers in Nightbane are not as powerful as in the Rifts setting, with no "Super" category, getting up to PL5 with attack powers like Bio-Manipulation or Empathic Transmission, so they'd generally be more of a support/utility character.
- I actually missed seeing the page this was on for a long time because it was buried at the beginning of the Psychic section.

Sorceror OCC - PL 5
STA 1, INT 1
Magic Bonuses Fortitude +4, Will +4
Sense Ley Lines and Nexus Points 2 (Detect: Ley Lines (sight), Ranged) - 2p
Spells: Initially 12 spells (3 per levels for spell levels 1-4) plus one more every earned experience level. Can also learn or purchase new spells any time. UPDATE: I'm coming around to thinking that Wide Array is not as good as a Limited Variable, particularly at higher levels with more spells. A good start for the Sorceror is
Magic Spells: Variable 4 (Free Action +2, Pre-defined List of Spells -1) - 32p
PPE Rank: 6 ranks at low levels, 7 in the mid levels and 8 at high levels
Equipment: Custom Headquarters, Audio Recorder, etc
Tou 6, Size Small Features: Computer, Library, Living Space.
Skills: Expertise: Magic 6, Treatment 4, couple languages plus at least another 16 ranks of skills

- Slightly more focused than the Psychic since sorcerors have been studying magic for years. Studies could have started before Dark Day in secret, or afterward when it's more prevalent if still secretive.
- Spells are roughly as varied as psychic powers and arguably moreso. In terms of combat, Energy Bolt and Fire Bolt are about Damage 4-5, on par with larger guns, and Magic Armor is about Toughness 4.


Mystic OCC - PL 5
Psychic Abilities: Clairvoyance, Exorcism, Sense Evil, Sixth Sense + 3 Sensitve + 2 Healer plus one more power every other level after first from those two categories
ISP Rank: 6 ranks at low levels, 7 in the mid levels and 8 at the high end
Major Psychic equates to a +3 vs psychic attack (included below)
Spells: Initially 6 spells from spell levels 1-2. 2nd level they get 3 more from 1-3, 3rd level 3 more 1-4, then 2 more every level after that.
Magic Spells: Variable 2 (Free Action +2, Pre-defined List of Spells -1) - 16p
PPE Rank: 5 ranks at low levels, 6 in the mid levels and 7 at high level
Bonuses: Will +4 , Fortitude +1-+4 as levels increase
Equipment: Custom Headquarters, Audio Recorder, etc
Tou 6, Size Small Features: Computer, Library, Living Space.
Skills: Expertise: Magic 6, Treatment 4, another language plus at least another 16 ranks of skills

UPDATE: Sample Mystic Falcon Red from World Book 2
- The Mystic is less book-learning and more intuitve attunement; the book goes into dated language of "primitive peoples" and has a stereotypical Native American drawn in.
- Mystics get a combination of psychic and magic powers. They start with fewer spells than the Sorceror but match and overtake by 5th level, although the sorceror can potentially learn or purchase spells anytime.
- Strangely, the Mystic has increasing Spell Strength as levels go up, but Spell Strength isn't even mentioned for the Sorceror, so either sorcerors don't get stronger spell magic while mystics do, or the editor missed it. Twice.
UPDATE: I found some NPCs in World Book 2 for comparison and sorcerors may increase in spell strength, but it's still unclear. There's an 8th level Doppelganger "Sorceror" with a Spell Strength 14 but also has a psionics package just like the Mystic. The 5th level Nightbane Sorceror still has the base SS 12; no plain human sorcerors seem to be in use.

These are all standard human characters with a little more oomph, but then they give the same classes to Nightbane with very little adjustment.

The Nightbane Sorceror seems to have most of the same stuff, but it seems to be poorly edited. For instance:
At first level, the Nightbane sorcerer may select three spells from each magic level one to four, for a total of twelve spells (two from each).
which probably means that it's only supposed to be 8 spells, but who can tell? Also it's unclear whether the NB Sorceror bonus saves stack with the Nightbane's since the magic save is lower for the magic-NB than the vanilla and there's no difference between the Facade and Morphus bonuses like the vanilla. (UPDATE: The NB Sorceror NPC does still seem to start with 12 spells [unless he "acquitred" the precise number to match up with non-NB sorcerors], and all bonuses do indeed stack.) The only clear compensation is that the NB sorceror only gets 1 free Talent at level 1 and that's it; of course PPE expenditure on Talents would mean less for spells. And a couple fewer skills.

The NB Mystic is a little more balanced; they're not psychic, have 1 less spell to start with and accumulate less spells past level 3. They still get Talents but only 1 free one every couple levels. And a few less skills.

Ultimately there's no real advantage to being a human mage when you could just have a mostly-human looking Nightbane with glowing eyes or something.
Last edited by JDRook on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Post by JDRook » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:29 am

Nightbane -  Doppleganger.jpg
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Doppleganager RCC - 5p + Magic/Psionics
Equal to normal human or copy of human counterpart plus:
+1 Toughness - 1p
Immunity to Starvation/Thirst, Aging - 2p
Supernatural Strength: +1 Damage - 1p (possibly more depending on base PS)
+2 Will Lmited to vs Horror Factor if Awakened - 1p
Magic & Psionics same as counterpart, with less PPE and/or ISP, effectively -1 rank for each.
Awakened dopplegangers have a 40% of developing 2 psionics from any one category (no Super in Nightbane)

Dopplegangers are reflections of humans in the normal world that exist in the Nightlands. They normally walk around in a daze, mocking the daily routines of their counterparts, needing no food or water and aging very slowly. In theory there should be billions of them but estimates put them around 20%-30% of that (about 1 biillion in 1995), partly owing to the fact that minions in the Nightlands often use them for target practice.

Dopplegangers can be used as PCs, but there are a few caveats. Doubles can exist with their counterparts in the real world for only a short while ("less than 2 days") before the Double dies, so one of the two must either leave this dimension (even temporarily) or DIE! So being hunted and killed by your Doppleganger is a real concern, but can be worked around. Doubles of existing humans can be either identical in terms of skills or have a few skills lower or missing; personality and alignment can also be the same or twisted/opposite, and there's a completely random mechanic to determine those if you want. This can allow for evil duplicates of PCs or allies, potential replacement of dead PCs or allies, "good" versions of human enemies. spies for the Nightlords, etc, opening up a lot of story opportunities.

The Hounds
Covered most of this in the link to my other thread.
Nightbane - Hound Master.jpg
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Hound Masters
Identical to Hounds with a few extras:
+1 to INT, AGI, FGT, STA, Speed & HF, +3 Dodge/Parry, Improved Disarm/Grab/Hold
Psionics: Empathy, Mind Block, Illusionary Shells
ISP Pool: 7
Can actually speak

The Hound Master is basically a promoted Hound, acting as a squad leader for the other Hounds: usually 20+ groups or small undercover groups. The promotion comes with psionic powers, twisting horns and the ability to speak in all languages instead of just understanding them. One of the psi-powers is a disguise effect that works on up to 5 Hounds plus the Master, perfect for undercover missions on Earth.

H-Masters have slightly more agency than the Hounds, so they can potentially betray their superiors. It also means they can even be PCs although they'll be "evil or, at best, a ruthless anarchist." Like the regular Hounds, their Darkblade is their biggest PL asset, pushing up to PL9.5, while most of the other attacks are PL6. Defensively, they are mostly PL8. Skills-wise still a little basic, mostly based on tracking.


Hunters
Identical to Hounds with a few extras:
+1 to INT & +2 HF, -2 Fort
Flight 4 (Winged), +2 AGI while flying

Hunters are basically flying Hounds. Still no speaking, slightly more nimble in the air and slightly scarier with that vulture-like appearance. There are about 10% as many Hunters as Hounds, and Hunters often fly in flocks of 4-16. They carry similar but slightly smaller Darkblade scimitars that do maybe 1 rank less of damage, but can still use the full spears and also use their beaks as weapons
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Nightbane Spells 1-5

Post by JDRook » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:13 am

While there is a core of spells common to most of the Palladium books, there are a few Nightbane-specific spells, some of which are only appropriate for this particular setting. Below is a full list of the spells from levels 1-5; the ones I haven't already statted are bolded in italics.
Nightbane Spells 1-5.jpg
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Level 1
Sense Nightbane: Senses 2 - Detect Nightbane, Radius, Ranged, Continuous. PPE Check -2p, Quirk -1p 1min/lvl - [3]
Sense PPE: Senses 3 - Detect PPE, Acute, Radius, Ranged, Continuous. PPE Check -2p, Quirk -1p 1min/lvl - [5]

- Both sense powers, obviously Nightbane sensing is more setting-specific, although Nightbane can already sense each other as a default power.
- PPE sensing could be used in any of the modern or post-apocalyptic magic settings in Palladium. It's actually a pretty useful detector of almost any creature since PPE is common to all humans and even animals, not just supernatural creatures. The "Acute" aspect allows for detecting the level of PPE but not the actual containing creature: translating to my system, anything below rank 3 would be little, 4 would be typical, 5 is medium, 6 is a lot, 7-9 is vast and 10+ is incredible. Keep in mind it does not detect spells or magic items, but does sense objects possessed by living forces.

Level 2
Ritual: Call Creature of Light: Summon 10 - Heroic +2, General Type +1, Attitude (Indifferent) -1, Self-Powered -1, Slow (15 minutes), Uncontrolled -1, PPE Check -4p - [6]

- This is a ritual meant to call "Creatures of Light", although the only CoL in the first book are the Guardians and I haven't seen any others referenced in the other books I have. It's pretty limited since it takes 15 minutes to cast, only calls CoLs in a 10mile/level radius, and they'll only show up if they want to. The CoL also gets an instant impression of the summoner so you can't summon them with bad intentions.

Level 3
Impression: Senses 4 (Postcognition; Flaws: Source: Personal Objects, PPE Check -3p) [1]

- Essentially a magic Object Read, although technically with much shorter duration (one melee) giving an impression of the last owner of a particualr object. Does not seem to give information like appearance, but aspects like alignment, age, gender, health, human or not, and importance of the object.

Magic Armor: Impervious Protection 5, Immunity 15 (Fire, Lightning, and Cold Damage; Half Effect), Feature: Alternate to Affect Others Only for same cost, PPE Check -4 - [15]

- basically the Armor of Ithan spell slightly better defined.

Ritual: Call Nightlands Denizen: Summon 10 - Heroic +2, General Type +1, Attitude (Indifferent) -1, Self-Powered -1, Slow (1 hour), Uncontrolled -1, PPE Check -4p, Quirk -1 (requires mirror or reflective surface) [5]

- Like the other Call, only it uses a mirror or reflective surface to call a ND (Doppleganger, Hound, Hunter, Ashmedai, or Nemtar) from the Nightlands through the mirror. There's still no guarantee of getting anything in particular, and it's not under anyone's control. The Call can also Awaken a Doppleganger.

Level 4
Astral Projection: Remote Sensing 12 (Affects: 2 Types, inc. Visual - Vision & Hearing, Range: 16 miles; Extras: Feature 3: Can See Invisible and AE for Dimension Walk to Astral Plane, Subtle: Mental; Flaws: Side Effect 2: always - Physical Body is Defenseless; PPE Check -3p) [13]

- this allows the Astral Form to fly around in the real world at Mach One (about Flight 8) and See the Invisible, or move to the Astral Plane, just like the psionic ability.

Nightvision: Senses 3 - Darkvision, Extended Vision; Continuous Duration, Quirk (5min/lvl per activation), PPE Check -3 - [2]

- Pretty straightforward, however what's strange is making a simple but useful spell like this 4th level instead of say 1st or 2nd, especially when most non-human PCs including Nightbane already have nightvision.

Level 5
Charm Weapon: Damage 10, Continuous, Quirk -1p (12hr/lvl), Slow (1 hour Ritual), Limited to Supernatural Creatures, PPE Check -4 [1]

- The upshot of this power is double damage to supernatural creatures, or doing normal damage to creatures who normally can't be damaged. It can be applied to melee or ranged weapons. For translation purposes it should add ranks to weapons equal to double or up to +5, whichever is lower. Ranged weapons should technically cost more, but there's so many flaws on the spell it's already at 1p.
- Could also be done as a ritual, possibly with a few ranks of Quickness, instead of a spell.
- Depending on the GM, this could also just be a Feature added to a weapon than triggers a Complication for supernatural creatures.

Horrific Illusion: Horror Factor 14 Linked to Illusion 4 [27]
This one is tricky because I'm trying to maintain the described reactions of PCs in the book. It's an illusion of a specifically common "horrible sight" like bugs or animals or fire that does a standard 1 melee Horror Factor 14, plus keeps failed savers from passing through it. In short, the illusion is designed to block a way through and force the PCs to find another way around unless they save and walk through it. After fiddling with various Controlled Afflictions limited to "Go Around" I figure it's best just to use the Illusion Effect and RP from there. The Horror Factor is effectively the initial "jump-scare", but If the caster picks an Illusion that isn't scary to the group (ie fire against fire-proof PCs), that's the caster's problem.

Midnight Wind: Environment 3 (Cold, Visibility -2), Ranged Damage 4 Limited to within Enviro area. [9]
A very cinematic spell, darkening the skies and dropping the temperature, plus giving a wind-based Ranged Damage Attack for the duration (which is only 1 melee/level, so rarely long enough to require Cold Checks). Could add some Knockdown as a custom Trip extra on the Damage, or even make it a Damaging Move Object.

Swim as a Fish 11p
. Immunity 1 (Suffocation: Drowning; Continuous, Quirk: 10min/lvl) [1]
. Movement 1 (Environmental Adaptation: Underwater, Favored Environment: UW) [3]
. Swimming 4
. Affects Others +6; Feature: affects 2 per cast; PPE check -4

Technically the "superior" version, although in practice I'd probably just use this as the only version. Makes a point of saying the swimming is not fatiguing, but since there's no real rules for movement fatigue or encumbrance I ignored it; probably a Feature at best. The Affects Others Feature covers casting on 2 people at once in any combo of caster or others.

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JDRook
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Re: Nightbane Spells 6-10

Post by JDRook » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:00 am

Level 6

Apparition: Perception Ranged Damage 4, Alternate Resistance (Will), Resistible by Will (removes damage),
Variable 2 (illusionary effects) + Illusion 4 [28]

Similar to Horrific Illusion, but swap out Horror Factor with Illusory Damage.

Memory Bank: Feature? w/PPE Check -4

A data storage spell to keep information hidden in another person's mind, like Johnny Mnemonic. Surprisingly energy-intensive, it costs more than a Fire Ball but it does last several months. The amount of data kind of dates the book: the data can be anything under 100 words, which in 1995 is a short letter or a dense 3x5 index card, while today it's a few tweets or a 1kb email. We think of useful portable data now in terms of at least Megabytes and more often Gigs, so it seems almost laughable to store less than the equivalent of an entire book of text or an MP3 or a high-def picture or quick video. Still, it's not a bad system for hiding or transporting data like incantations or passwords securely, and it can potentially make for some interesting courier-style missions. In practice, this might be better as a relatively fast ritual, since there's no conceivable way it should cost more than 1p.

Ritual: Call Nightlord: Mental Communication 3, Dimensional (Nightlands), Slow, Limited to 1 Nightlord (nearest or named in range), PPE Check -5 [1]
Similar to the other Calls, of course, but Nightlords are the primary Big Bads of the setting and worth several hundred points, so we can't just Summon them up. All the Calls can be ignored, so it's really more of a request anyway. Rarely used outside the Cults of Night.

Time Slip: Quickness 2; Speed 2; Concealment 10, Passive; Limted to 7 seconds; Feature: no time, PPE Check 5 [5)
Basically gives the caster one round of free, invisible non-combat actions. Good for quick escapes, stealing stuff, and other uses.

Level 7
Paralysis: Superior - Affliction 8 (Dazed/Stunned/Paralyzed), Perception Ranged, Activation Move, PPE check -5 [18]

Another "superior" spell that is also far simpler than the lesser version.

Ritual: Eye for an Eye: Perception Range Damage 7, Reaction (take damage) +3, Custom: Duration 15 minutes +7p, Slow (1 minute) -1, Limited to rank of attacks that actually affect the caster, PPE check -5 [30]

Somewhat like House of Glass, this spell causes the attacker to suffer any damage the caster takjes from them. It does nothing for defenses, and it requires that the mage take some Condition to bounce back the attack. It's a 1 minute ritual that's a little expensive point-wise, so it would take much longer to cast even using the jury-rigged ritual rules. It could still be prepped before a fight, but you better have something that can heal your mage.

Second Sight: Remote Sensing 13 (Vision/Hearing), Medium (Known Person), Custom: Duration 30 sec +2p, Reversible, Activation Move, PPE check -4 [24]

Basically lets the mage spy on anyone they've met for 30 seconds per activation, as long as they're in range (5 miles/lvl). Can also transmit the mage's current situation to a known associate, which is an excellent way to call for help; rather than figure out how that should work, I figure Reversible for 1p is fine. It's all one-way communcation, though; theoretically you could talk back and forth in 30 sec increments, but that would burn a lot PPE.

Level 8
Hallucination: Affliction 13 (Immersion), Progressive, 3rd Degree Only, Activation Move, PPE check -5 [10]
OR Illsuion 8, All Senses, Limited to One Subject, Touch Range, Activation Move, PPE check -5 [10]

The Immersion Condition is from the Illusion Power Profile as one of the optional Illusory Conditions for Affliction. The Affliction and Illusion versions end up costing the same, but the Affliction would require more rolls, so it's really a preference thing. The power technically lasts for 3min/level, but I'd be fine with either til end-of-scene or breakout as per normal.

Minor Curse: Affliction 8 (Resisted by Fort, Variable +2, Progressive +2, Limited to 1st degree Conditions, Activation Move, PPE check -5 [26]

The "curse" is usually a 1st degree Condition that lasts for days (24hr/lvl). There are 10 different curses in the book, all with slightly varying penalties: Fever, Gas, Headache, Hiccups, Ingowrn Toenail, Itching Rash, Pimples, Nausea, Runny Nose & Cough, and Vertigo. Conditions like Hindered, Fatigued, and Impaired in varying capacities can cover most of them. Making them last for days makes them a good source of Complications, which can also be used to cover other details like not being able to sneak very well with hiccups or gas.

Negation: Broad Nullify 8 (Magic), Activation Move, PPE check -5 [10]

Defined more by what it doesn't do. It's a standard Nullify MAgic but doesn't affect most Mind Control or Summons, and is only 25% effective against curses.

Nightlands Portal (Ritual): Dimensional Movement 1, Portal, Continuous, Quirk (1min/lvl), Slow (1hr), Activation Move, PPE check -6 [1]

Similar to the Nightbane Mirrorwalk power, but requires no mirror and has no mass limits, so it may take longer but is ultimately a much better way to get several people (like a PC group, or 100 Hounds) into or out of the Nightlands all at once.

Oracle: Senses 4 (Precognition), Quirk (1 min), Activation Move, PPE check -5 [1]

Specified to work identically to the psychic's Clairvoyance.

Sickness: Affliction 8 (Impaired/Disabled/Transformed), Resisted by Fortitude; Extras: Progressive +2, Reach (melee) 4: 20 ft.; Activation Move, PPE check -6 [21]

Similar to the Minor Curse in that it potentially lasts days.

Spoil/Purify Food & Water: Transform 6 F&W> Spoiled F&W, Permanent, Reversible, Activation Move, PPE check -6 [12]

Temporary Enchantment: identical to Charm Weapon but with a longer duration (weeks instead of days) and a higher PPE Check of 7.

Level 9
Curse:Phobia - Affliction 14 (Transformed), Will Resisted, 3rd Degree only, Activation Move, PPE check -6 [1]

Brings the Phobia Table in the Insanity Section into use. The random table has over 30 possible phobias, but the caster can also select one or make a new one. Again, this best works as a Complication that either goes away after several days or is cured with Remove Curse.

Familiar Link
Already covered this, but I have to comment on the picture in the book above this spell, which is a full-size lion roaring next to a Pugsley Addams-looking kid.
Lion-Pugsley.jpg
Lion-Pugsley.jpg (140.94 KiB) Viewed 84 times
A) the arbitrary limit on familiars is 25lbs maximum, or about a tenth of what an average lion weighs, so don't get our hopes up to have a cool or powerful familiar, Misleading Art.
B) unless Pugsley is an NPC or there's some OCC for chunky prepubescent mages, I'm not sure what this 3/4 page filling picture is doing in the middle of the magic section. It would be better if it was more random and not actually inappropriate in context.

Metamorphosis: Insect - Shrinking 12; Wall-Walking 2; Variable 3 (Insect Powers), Activation: Move, Feature: Others by Ritual, 20min/lvl, PPE Check -6 [45]

Can turn into a bug: insect or spider from 1/2" to 6". Variable allows for changing into a particular bug form (slightly cheaper than a separate Morph) and various bug powers including Flight 4, Water-Walking, non-lethal poison bites, additional Shrinking, etc. It mentions that in bug form no human skills are possible,but fails to mention that Prowl/Stealth should be vastly improved. Also points out that the sorceror will be naked when the spell elapses or is cancelled, because transforming clothing is just too much.

Summon & Control Canines: Summon Canine 4, Multiple Minions 3 (8 canines), Requires Pentacle, Activation Move, PPE check -6 plus Mind Control 3 Limited to Canines, Must be Standing in Pentacle [27]

Not quite a ritual, but it does require drawing a pentacle that must be stood in to summon 1D4+1/lvl canines (dogs, wolves, etc) and also allows control of any other canines that show up as long as the mage is in the pentacle (although the summoned dogs still listen if the mage steps out of the pentacle). Duration is 5hr/level, so probably about a day or two for the average user. Didn't bother adding Horde since summoning 1 dog every 6 seconds up to max doesn't seem so bad if you're already drawing a pentacle.

Curse: Temporary Insanity
Mechanically identical to Curse: Phobia but has access to the full glory that is the Insanity Tables.

Transferal: Morph 1, Metamorph (Non-magical form), Subtle, 1hr/lvl, Activation Move, PPE check -6 [1]

Somewhat similar to Memory Bank, a mage can "hide" his magic essence in another person so that the mage appears completely nonmagical, with only a little PPE (rank 2 by my houserule) and no apparent mystic power visible to See Aura or other magic senses. The mage still has all their knowlege but can only cast at 1st level and of course has very little PPE, but can still theoretically draw PPE from other sources.
This "container" person is not detailed much, but can apparently be anyone and be completely unaware of the process since the spell can be cast up to 10' away. The essence stored in the other person is inaccessible to them and completely undetectable, but can go back to the mage either by touch or waiting for the time to elapse (1hr/lvl).
Seems to me this would be the exact thing a familiar would be good for, but it doesn't seem to allow for that.

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Nightbane - The Waste Creatures

Post by JDRook » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:18 pm

In the Nightlands there are nightmarish city-states reflecting the cities in our world, populated with Dopplegangers. Outside the cities is referred to as The Waste, populated with various creatures. The first Nightbane book describes three of them, with a suggestion for GMs to create more demonic beasts or use ones from other Palladium books.

All of these creatures are instinctive hunters, although most don't need to hunt since they feed on ambient magic energy, which is a weird continuing theme with a lot of these supernatural creatures.

Waste Coyote - PL 5
STR 4, STA 4, AGI 1, FGT 4, INT -2, PRE -1
Advantages: Daze (Intimidation), Tracking
Skills: Intimidation +6, Perception +4
Powers
Arcane Resistance: Enhanced Trait 8 (Traits: Fortitude +4 (+9), Will +4 (+4); Flaws: Limited: vs Magic & Psi)
Attacks Per Melee: Strength-based Damage 1 (DC 20; Extras: Stacks with: Retractable Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+1)
Growth 2 (+2 STR, +2 STA, +1 Intimidate, -2 Stealth, -1 active defenses, +2 mass ranks; Extras: Innate; Flaws: Permanent)
Feed on Magic Energy: Immunity (Stravation & Thirst)
Retractable Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+1 ([Stacking ranks: +1], DC 21)
Senses 2 (Acute: Scent, Tracking: Scent 1: -1 speed rank)
Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)
Offense
Initiative +1
Retractable Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+1, +4 (DC 21)
Bite/Unarmed, +5 (DC 20)
Defense: Dodge 3, Parry 5, Fortitude 5, Toughness 4, Will 0
Power Points: Abilities 12 + Powers 15 + Advantages 2 + Skills 5 (10 ranks) + Defenses 6 = 40
Complications - Disability: Amimalistic. No hands or common language.

- Waste Coyotes are the pack predators of the Waste. The name is actually from the yips and howls they use to communicate, sounding much like coyote. Their appearance is a little more frightening, with a snout like a crocodile, body like a bear and retractable claws. They travel in packs of up to a dozen.
- Offensively PL5 with the Claw attack, a little lower on defenses. Not too powerful but nasty in groups.

Snake Bird
- A winged rattlesnake that can fly, speak and even cast spells. A supernatural creature that seems to be a transplant from another dimension (ie the original Palladium Fantasy RPG), possibly a magical experimental creature. They have a full range of alignments available and while they usually don't trust "bipeds" there's enough variation to allow for some to become friends with magicians or Nightbane or even Nightlords. I imagine them being like a combination of a large parrot and Salacious Crumb.
- the book says they can also be "familiars" (quotes included), which is confusing; they are actually within the arbitrary weight limit, but having sentient spellcasting familiars seems a little overpowered. So it's probably just bad editorial oversight.

Lizard King - PL 7
Lizard King.jpg
Lizard King.jpg (79.86 KiB) Viewed 83 times
STR 6, STA 6, AGI 1, FGT 5, INT -3, AWE 2, PRE -1
Advantages: Daze (Intimidation), Tracking
Skills: Intimidation 6 (+8)
Powers
Arcane Resistance: Enhanced Trait 8 (Traits: Fortitude +2 (+8), Will +6 (+9); Flaws: Limited: vs Magic & HF)
Armored Skin: Impervious Toughness 6 (Flaws: Limited: not vs magic/supernatural attacks)
Attacks Per Melee: Strength-based Damage 1 (DC 22; Extras: Stacks with: Retractable Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+1)
Feed on Magic Energy: Immunity (Starvation & Thirst)
Growth 6 (+6 STR, +6 STA, +3 Intimidate, -6 Stealth, -3 active defenses, +1 size rank, +6 mass ranks; Extras: Innate; Flaws: Permanent)
Regeneration 1 (Every 10 rounds)
Retractable Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+1 ([Stacking ranks: +1], DC 23)
Senses 4 (Acute: Scent, Extended: Nightvision 1: x10, Low-light Vision, Tracking: Scent 1: -1 speed rank)
Offense
Initiative +1
Attacks Per Melee: Strength-based Damage 1, +5 (DC 22)
Grab, +5 (DC Spec 16)
Retractable Claws: Strength-based Damage 1+1, +5 (DC 23)
Throw, +0 (DC 21)
Unarmed, +5 (DC 21)
Defense
Dodge 1, Parry 5, Fortitude 6, Toughness 6, Will 3
Power Points: Abilities 8 + Powers 28 + Advantages 2 + Skills 3 (6 ranks) + Defenses 7 = 48
Complications - Disability: Animalistic. No hands or common language.

- basically a mutant spiny Komodo Dragon that's bigger than a horse. It would theoretically make a great mount, which is actually referred to as the stuff of legend, but L-Kings are too ferocious and/or stupid to be tamed, hunting everything even though they don't need to eat.
- Mechanically almost identical to the Waste Coyote except bigger and a higher PL.

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