Mechanics & Metaphors: Palladium HTH Reassessment

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JDRook
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Mechanics & Metaphors: Palladium HTH Reassessment

Post by JDRook »

While following Jabroniville's Rifts China Martial Arts conversions, I got the urge to delve deeper into turning all of the bonuses from slowly leveling up hand-to-hand skills into M&M traits with my own interpretation. The biggest difference is Jab converts Attacks Per Melee into bonuses for Close/Ranged Attack/Defense at a rate of +2 ranks per ApM, while I've decided that 1 rank per ApM feels right for my conversions, particularly since I'm focusing more on modern-era settings like Nightspawn instead of the gonzo OP of RIFTS.

I've already entered the 5 HTH types (Basic, Expert, Martial Arts, Assassin, Commando) into Hero Lab, using the RIFTS Ultimate Edition (RUE) as the base since it's the most recent version I have access to and it's much more clear on how many attacks you start with. I'll summarize each one based on what it would do for a PL0 character with all zero (ie average) traits, but it should be noted that a 1st level standard human Palladium PC with all average attribute rolls (ie 10-11) would still start with Str 1 or 2 and at least Sta 1 by my charts, so they could easily be a PL higher in most cases, even before adding Physical Skills, OCC/RCC bonuses, Weapons and Armor and whatever else you use to trick out your PC.

Notes:

Attacks Per Melee (ApM): My original choice for conversion with ApM was extra Damage, since more attacks means more hits, but it's actually far more interesting to think of it as more options per round, and the best way to simulate that is with more Attack and Defense bonuses, especially with the tradeoffs and other maneuvers available in M&M. The RUE addressed how tricky it was to figure out if you were adding attacks from HTH bonuses or just using the initial number as a base, so it was made clear; all HTH start with 4 ApM (except Assassin with 3 but you get +2 at level 2) and untrained PCs have 1 ApM. I've calculated based on the first ApM as "free" and having no bonus, so essentially getting +3 Close/Ranged Attack and +3 Parry/Dodge at first level for most HTH, plus other bonuses; this is usually written as +X FGT, +X Dodge, +X Ranged Attack.

Back Flip: A clear sign of combat Acrobatics. I add Agile Feint, Skill Mastery: Acrobatics and ranks of Acro in various combinations, but I'm always switching them around. Palladium describes Backflip as a Dodge (uses no dodge bonuses and has no advantage outside of some movement, so why?), as an Escape (moving out of melee range, "forcing" your opponent to close and giving you initiative; neat but unprecedented in M&M), and an Attack (hitting someone behind you on your way down).

Critical Strike: should be either used as Improved Critical on Unarmed or a signature melee weapon, or at GM Fiat applied to all attacks and/or bought several times to cover all attacks.

Critical Strike or knockout from behind: This is a sneaky Power Attack on a Surprised opponent. Give them Power Attack if they don't already have it. LOL

Damage: Because my Damage conversion from Palladium to M&M is based on a doubling of Palladium damage for every rank of M&M Damage, most increases in Pal damage are going to increase +1 rank at best, and often not at all. Also consider that even a poor to average random roll for PS is going to be at least STR 1 and can very easily be bumped to STR 2 or more with Physical Skills for most characters, and combined with the free tradeoffs it's easy enough to Power Attack a Damage 4 (on par with a 4d6 SDC attack) for even the least optimized PCs. A GM might allow for Str-based Damage bonuses or even a STR increase but only if the PC is already pretty weak (or needs to really power up his PCs), otherwise it shouldn't increase over a total of Damage 5.

Disarm: not many bonuses for disarming; Improved Disarm covers it, possibly also with Weapon Bind to include using it defensively.

Judo-style body flip/throw: Improved Trip; damage is generally negligible

Kicks & Karate: occasionally there's a level bonus of a new kind of attack that does slightly more damage, although this can be just as easily simulated with a free Power Attack maneuver (see Damage).

Knockout/stun: Best built as an Alternate Effect on STR. For most Palladium-y flavour, make it a Fort-Based Affliction with Dazed/Stunned Limited to 2 degrees and at double STR rank; add Inaccurate if it's over PL, add more ranks if it's under, definitely NOT Cumulative.

Levels: For Hero Lab display purposes, I listed the levels in hexadecimal format (nerrrrrrrrrd!!!), otherwise the list starts at 10. Honestly, I kind of like it this way, and while I did play various Palladium games back in the day, I never got that high level anyway.

Pull Punch: not really necessary for M&M as it's assumed you can attack with fewer ranks if you want without penalty or a check roll. I just include it as Accurate Attack. (I did make a houserule for choosing your maximum degree of Condition for attacks, but probably more complex than it needs to be.)

Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact: I convert this into Defensive Roll, although strictly speaking it mostly only works vs Bludgeoning Attacks if you want to be a Palladium Purist. It's also relatively easy to get from HTH and Physical Skills, so you probably don't want to convert 1:1 with it unless you want super-nimble lowbies taking on MegaDamage Powerhouses.

HTH Basic
. . Level 1: Enhanced Trait 14 (Traits: Fighting +3 (+6), Dodge +3 (+9), Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll, Ranged Attack 3)
. . Level 2: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Dodge +2 (+9), Parry +2 (+9))
. . Level 3 - Kick Attack: Strength-based Damage 1 (DC 18; Sustained)
. . Level 4: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+9), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level 5: Enhanced Trait 3 (Advantages: Close Attack, Improved Disarm, Ranged Attack)
. . Level 6: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Improved Critical)
. . Level 7: +2 Damage: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Strength +1 (+2))
. . Level 8: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Improved Trip)
. . Level 9: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+9), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level A: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Defensive Roll)
. . Level B: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Dodge +1 (+9), Parry +1 (+9))
. . Level C: Enhanced Trait 2 (Advantages: Close Attack, Ranged Attack)
. . Level D: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Power Attack)
. . Level E: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Strength +1 (+2))
. . Level F: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+9), Advantages: Ranged Attack)

In total all 15 levels cost about 46p, significantly less than all the others that hover around sixty. At Level 1, PC is PL2 with +3 in all attacks and active defenses, plus a Defensive Roll. This quickly builds to PL4 defensively by Level 4, and probably PL3 offensively if that Kick Attack is all they have to work with. By Level 11(B), they're PL5 defensively and PL4 offensively. Offense does eventually catch up and by Level 15(f) they're PL6 offensively. (Keep in mind this is unarmed and unarmored.)

HTH Expert
. . Level 1
. . . . 4 ApM and +2 pull/roll: Enhanced Trait 14 (Linked; Traits: Fighting +3 (+6), Dodge +3 (+11), Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll, Ranged Attack 3)
. . . . Kick Attack: Strength-based Damage 1+1 (Linked; [Stacking ranks: +1], DC 18)
. . Level 2: Enhanced Trait 6 (Traits: Dodge +3 (+11), Parry +3 (+11))
. . Level 3: Enhanced Trait 5 (Advantages: Close Attack 2, Improved Disarm, Ranged Attack 2)
. . Level 4: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+11), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level 5: Strength-based Damage 1 (DC 17; Stacks with: Kick Attack: Strength-based Damage 1+1, Sustained)
. . Level 6: Enhanced Trait 2 (Advantages: Improved Critical 2)
. . Level 7: Paired Weapons and backhand strike: Enhanced Trait 0
. . Level 8: Body flip/throw: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Improved Trip)
. . Level 9: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+11), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level A: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Strength +1 (+1))
. . Level B: Knockout/stun: Enhanced Trait 0 (Feature: AE Stun Affliction on STR)
. . Level C: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Dodge +2 (+11), Parry +2 (+11))
. . Level D: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Power Attack)
. . Level E: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+11), Advantages: Ranged Attack)

Expert starts off similar to Basic with slightly better offense thanks to Kick Attack at Level 1, but is still PL2 on O&D, although both are capped this time. Defenses jump right to PL4 by Level 2, with offense catching up by Level 4. Both hit PL5 by Level 9, with defense reaching PL6 by Level 11 and offense catching up by Level 14.


HTH Martial Arts
. . Level 1: Enhanced Trait 16 (Traits: Fighting +3 (+6), Dodge +3 (+13), Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Improved Trip, Ranged Attack 3)
. . Level 2
. . . . Enhanced Trait 10 (Linked; Traits: Dodge +3 (+13), Parry +3 (+11), Advantages: Close Attack 2, Ranged Attack 2)
. . . . Karate: Strength-based Damage 1+1 (Linked; [Stacking ranks: +1], DC 18)
. . Level 3
. . . . Enhanced Trait 2 (Linked; Traits: Agility +1 (+2))
. . . . Foot Strikes: Strength-based Damage 1 (Linked; DC 17; Stacks with: Karate: Strength-based Damage 1+1)
. . Level 4: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+13), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level 5: Enhanced Trait 4 (Advantages: Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Power Attack, Weapon Bind)
. . Level 6: Enhanced Trait 2 (Advantages: Improved Critical 2)
. . Level 7: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Improved Disarm; Feature: Paired Weapons (Split))
. . Level 8: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Acrobatics +2 (+6), Advantages: Skill Mastery)
. . Level 9: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+13), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level A: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Acrobatics +2 (+6), Advantages: Agile Feint)
. . Level B: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Strength +1 (+1), Agility +1 (+2))
. . Level C: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Dodge +2 (+13), Parry +2 (+11))
. . Level D: Enhanced Trait 0 (Feature: Stunning AE on STR)
. . Level E: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+6), Dodge +1 (+13), Advantages: Ranged Attack)

Martial Arts climbs similar to Expert but again slightly faster, favouring Defense early on until reaching PL7 at Level 12 and offense staying on par with Expert at PL6.

HTH Assassin
. . Level 1: Enhanced Trait 12 (Traits: Fighting +2 (+7), Dodge +2 (+10), Advantages: Close Attack 2, Ranged Attack 4)
. . Level 2: Enhanced Trait 9 (Traits: Dodge +2 (+10), Fighting +2 (+7), Advantages: Improved Initiative, Ranged Attack 2)
. . Level 3 - Karate: Strength-based Damage 1+1 ([Stacking ranks: +1], DC 18, Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll; Sustained)
. . Level 4 : Karate Kick: Strength-based Damage 1 (DC 17, Advantages: Power Attack; Stacks with: Level 3 - Karate: Strength-based Damage 1+1, Sustained)
. . Level 5: Enhanced Trait 5 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+7), Dodge +1 (+10), Advantages: Ranged Attack 2)
. . Level 6: Enhanced Trait 7 (Traits: Dodge +3 (+10), Parry +3 (+10), Advantages: Weapon Bind)
. . Level 7: Knockout/stun: Enhanced Trait 0 (Feature: Stunning AE)
. . Level 8: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Dodge +1 (+10), Fighting +1 (+7), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level 9: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Acrobatics +2 (+2), Advantages: Skill Mastery)
. . Level A: Enhanced Trait 1 (Advantages: Improved Critical)
. . Level B: Enhanced Trait 4 (Advantages: Agile Feint, Close Attack 2, Ranged Attack)
. . Level C: Enhanced Trait 0
. . Level D: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+7), Dodge +1 (+10), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level E: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Strength +1 (+1), Advantages: Chokehold, Improved Hold)
. . Level F: Enhanced Trait 3 (Advantages: Close Attack 2, Ranged Attack)

Assassin goes a completely different direction than the others and develops offense first and always, starting PL2 O&D at Level 1 despite starting with one fewer attacks. By Level 5 they're at PL5 O but still PL3 D. Both O&D reach parity by Level 6, but by Level 11 offense hits PL6 and never looks back, climbing to PL8 by Level 15.

HTH Commando
. . Level 1: Enhanced Trait 15 (Traits: Fighting +3 (+8), Dodge +3 (+11), Will +1 (+2), Advantages: Fearless, Improved Trip, Ranged Attack 3)
. . Level 2: Enhanced Trait 8 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+8), Dodge +2 (+11), Parry +1 (+10), Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll, Improved Initiative)
. . Level 3 - Karate: Strength-based Damage 1+1 ([Stacking ranks: +1], DC 19, Advantages: Improved Disarm; Sustained)
. . Level 4
. . . . Enhanced Trait 4 (Linked; Traits: Dodge +1 (+11), Fighting +1 (+8), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . . . Kicks: Strength-based Damage 1 (Linked; DC 18; Stacks with: Level 3 - Karate: Strength-based Damage 1+1)
. . Level 5: Enhanced Trait 6 (Traits: Agility +2 (+3), Close Combat +2 (+10), Advantages: Improved Defense)
. . Level 6: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Fighting +1 (+8))
. . Level 7: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Strength +1 (+2))
. . Level 8: Enhanced Trait 5 (Traits: Dodge +1 (+11), Fighting +1 (+8), Advantages: Defensive Roll, Ranged Attack)
. . Level 9: Enhanced Trait 0
. . Level A: Enhanced Trait 3 (Traits: Will +1 (+2), Advantages: Close Attack, Ranged Attack)
. . Level B: Enhanced Trait 0
. . Level C: Enhanced Trait 5 (Traits: Strength +1 (+2), Agility +1 (+3), Parry +1 (+10))
. . Level D: Enhanced Trait 4 (Traits: Dodge +1 (+11), Fighting +1 (+8), Advantages: Ranged Attack)
. . Level E: Enhanced Trait 2 (Advantages: Chokehold, Improved Hold)
. . Level F: Enhanced Trait 3 (Advantages: Improved Critical 3)



Bonus! All Physical Skills! - PL 6

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

Advantages
Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll 3

Skills
Acrobatics 5 (+6), Athletics 5 (+9)

Powers
Speed 2 (Speed: 8 miles/hour, 120 feet/round)

Offense
Initiative +1
Grab, +1 (DC Spec 14)
Throw, +1 (DC 19)
Unarmed, +1 (DC 19)

Defense
Dodge 4, Parry 4, Fortitude 5, Toughness 8/5, Will 0

Power Points
Abilities 24 + Powers 2 + Advantages 4 + Skills 5 (10 ranks) + Defenses 6 = 41

For additional perspective on how you can build your Palladium PC up, here is a sample character built with nothing but Physical Skills. This is based on the RUE Physical Skills list and mostly just the ones with attribute bonuses. STR (PS) and Toughness (SDC) are incredibly easy to increase, especially if they start low, but things like Physical Prowess are tricky, which isn't suprising since PP gives the most useful bonuses of any attribute. In any case, with enough skills available and some careful choices, it's not hard to make any character PL5 or 6 immediately and then add on a HTH skill, weapons and you're well on your way to a superpowered-level PC.
AtomicSamuraiCyborg
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:48 am

Re: Nightspawn/bane Conversions

Post by AtomicSamuraiCyborg »

JDRook wrote: 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.)

Image

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.


UPDATE (2022-09-29): This is a new conversion interpretation using a different (better) way to translate Attacks per Melee into combat traits. The old one is at the end of the post for reference purposes.


Nightspawn (new template) - PL 8

Strength 5/2, Stamina 5/3, Agility 3/0, Dexterity 3/0, Fighting 9/0, Intellect 0, Awareness 1, Presence 0

Advantages
Accurate Attack, Daze (Intimidation), Defensive Roll 2, Improved Trip, Ranged Attack 6

Powers

Nightspawn Physiology
. . Horror Factor: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Intimidation +2 (+2), Advantages: Daze (Intimidation))
. . Immunity 11 (Aging, Alteration Effects, Custom: Mind Control 5)
. . Innate Combat (HTH MA 1st lvl): Enhanced Trait 34 (Traits: Fighting +6 (+9), Dodge +6 (+9), Fortitude +3 (+8), Will +3 (+4), Advantages: Accurate Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Improved Trip, Ranged Attack 6)
. . Mirrorwalk: Movement 1 (Dimensional: Nightlands 1: one dimension, 100 lbs.; Increased Mass; Custom: Medium - Mirror w/counterpart)
. . Morphus Attributes: Enhanced Trait 28 (Traits: Strength +3 (+5), Stamina +2 (+5), Agility +3 (+3), Dexterity +3 (+3), Fighting +3 (+9))
. . Morphus Speed: Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round)
. . Regeneration 4 (Every 2.5 rounds)
. . Senses 4 (Detect: Nightbane (mental), Ranged, Extended; Low-light Vision) *note: usable in both forms

Offense
Initiative +3
Grab, +9 (DC Spec 15)
Throw, +9 (DC 20)
Unarmed, +9 (DC 20)

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

Defense
Dodge 9/3, Parry 9, Fortitude 8/5, Toughness 7/5, Will 4/1

Power Points
Abilities 12 + Powers 86 + Advantages 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 98


: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. UPDATE: Note that since M&M is less granular than Palladium, STR ranks can cover a wide range on PS; generally Nightbane PS30 and under would be STR 5 and over 30 would be STR 6, with STR 7 being the practical maximum in roughly the 41-60 range, but only when using the Supernatural Damage rules in the Nighhspawn book. Weaker Nightbane might be as low as PS13 at minimum which still works out to STR 2, but I wouldn't recommend anything lower than STR 4, possibly with a rank or two of Str-based Damage to cover the supernatural damage rules.

:arrow: Figured out a quicker and easier way to translate speed. Spd is calculated as Spdx20 = yards/minute, which means Spdx60 = feet/minute, so Spd=feet/second. Assume a Move Action at 3 seconds, and Spd 10 (an average roll) works out to 30'/move action, which is Speed 0 in M&M. So Spdx3 in feet can easily be checked against the Distance column on the Ranks and Measures chart.

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.



Nightspawn (old template) - PL 6

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

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

Powers
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 11 (Aging, 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)

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

Complications
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.

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

Power Points
Abilities 10 + Powers 61 + Advantages 2 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 73
Hey JDRook!

I've been using your conversions to run a Nightbane campaign, and had an idea I wanted to get your feedback on.

The players are all totally new to Palladium stuff, so PPE and such didn't make much sense to them. I gave them a free Talent because they had all spent all their pp to make the Facade and Morphus, I'm not worried about it being too powerful. When they use Talents and forget to make PPE checks, and ask why they have to, it gets annoying. So I was thinking of just lifting the PPE mechanic from Nightbane and bolting it on to M&M3e. I was gonna treat PE as their Stamina but converted back to the d20 Attribute values, so Stam 3 is PE 15 or 16. And then just having them roll for PPE from there. I want to let them boost and scale their Talents as Nightbane describes with increased PPE costs and the like. I am not sure if I should make them pay for extra Talents with PPE and pp or not, so would love your opinion on that.

The accompanying idea I had is having them just build their Talents as an array, which seems like a not terrible idea. I'd love for them to get more interested in the Talents, only one is right now. One has a very powerful Morphus and Lightning Rider so isn't that concerned with Talents right now, but they're so varied and interesting I really want them to show off what they can get.
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JDRook
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Re: Nightspawn/bane Conversions

Post by JDRook »

AtomicSamuraiCyborg wrote: Wed Oct 26, 2022 12:05 am Hey JDRook!

I've been using your conversions to run a Nightbane campaign, and had an idea I wanted to get your feedback on.

The players are all totally new to Palladium stuff, so PPE and such didn't make much sense to them. I gave them a free Talent because they had all spent all their pp to make the Facade and Morphus, I'm not worried about it being too powerful. When they use Talents and forget to make PPE checks, and ask why they have to, it gets annoying. So I was thinking of just lifting the PPE mechanic from Nightbane and bolting it on to M&M3e. I was gonna treat PE as their Stamina but converted back to the d20 Attribute values, so Stam 3 is PE 15 or 16. And then just having them roll for PPE from there. I want to let them boost and scale their Talents as Nightbane describes with increased PPE costs and the like. I am not sure if I should make them pay for extra Talents with PPE and pp or not, so would love your opinion on that.
I haven't actually tested any of my ideas yet, so I wouldn't recommend taking my advice over anything that actually works for your table. That said, I don't know if you're using the PPE test concept I mentioned here. Using those parameters, Nightspawn roll their PPE as their Facade's PE + 3d6x10 + 20 + 3d6/level; that's pretty wide-ranging, potentially anywhere from 60-200, but on average it's going to be around 150 PPE, and on my scale that gives a Magic Pool Trait of 8 ranks (anything between 125-250). With that rank, any Talent with that costs less than 8 PPE (rank 3) to activate could effectively be free as a routine check, and most of the smaller non-combat Talents are in that range. Bigger Talents like Lightning Rider would be trickier: it takes 10 PPE and a full melee round of concentration to activate (which I'd translate to a Standard Action and a rank 4 check or DC19) with another check every minute (which is FOREVER in M&M time), while the electrical damage I would just make check vs the rank of Damage used up to the Magic Pool rank. If they have only one Talent each, though, it would probably be difficult for them to use up all of their PPE/Magic Pool anyway, so under those circumstances missing some checks is NBD.
The accompanying idea I had is having them just build their Talents as an array, which seems like a not terrible idea. I'd love for them to get more interested in the Talents, only one is right now. One has a very powerful Morphus and Lightning Rider so isn't that concerned with Talents right now, but they're so varied and interesting I really want them to show off what they can get.
A Talent Array isn't necessarily a bad idea, although if you want two or more Talents to be simultaneously active you may want those to be standalone (you can try Dynamic Arrays but that way lies madness IMHO).

Trading PPE for more Talent would probably be best done using the Palladium numbers but converting over for play, althought that would mean keeping track of their PPE and adding more every experience level (depending on how you might be doing that), subtracting up to 2 talents per level and then calculating your Magic Pool from that. For example if you had a first level Nightspawn who rolled a total of 150PPE, they could get Doorway as their first Free Talent and spend 5PPE and 7PPE for Shadow Blast and Shield respectively, bringing their new PPE total to 138, which is still in the rank 8 range. Another 1st level NS might get even flashier and get Lightning Rider, Doorway and the Elite Swarm Self, spending a total of 30PPE, dropping their total to 120PPE on the upper edge of rank 7, which they'd likely push back up to 8 after gaining a level.

Ultimately, I figure that unless they buy tons of Talents it's not going to be a big hit on their Magic Pools. And unless they use them all a lot, it would take some effort to run out of PPE. Honestly, I can't seem to find where it says how fast Nightspawn regain their PPE (I think it's like 5 per hour in Rifts, but narratively it should be less on contemporary Earth, even if there are some magical beings running around) but saying your Magic Pool regains at 1 per hour seems pretty reasonable to me in either setting.
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