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knasser2

Magic and Druids and Bears (Oh My!)

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I need help! I'm trying to build an equivalent to the D&D Druid for my Heroic, low-CP (at least to start) fantasy game. We're starting gritty. I plan to progress to more epic levels as the campaign goes on.

 

One thing a D&D druid can do is turn into a wildform. E.g. a bear / wolf / etc. I'm good with just picking a single form right now - not looking to have infinite shapechanging. I'm stumped by how to do this right.

 

I want the character to have actual different physical statistics and abilities in bear form. I've therefore picked Multiform over Shapechange as this seems the appropriate power. I will pick the character's human form as their True Form in the power's parlance. It seems to me that currently the Bear form will have more points in characteristics however (the character is a sort of half-way warrior / magic user, so they're something of an even spread of powers and abilities). Though I haven't fixed everything yet, let us say that the Bear form currently costs around 130 points when I've calculated in all the characteristics and powers and complications (look ma - no hands!). That's more than their human form (I'm not entirely sure what powers I should and should not count towards their human form's cost, however). So as I understand it, this is a 26 point power for the character payable by the True Form. I want to put some Limitations on the power as well. For example, can only be used twice a day.

 

A couple of the things that are stumping me - does the power itself count towards the cost of the True Form points total for comparision? I presume not or I'd enter a death-spiral of recursive calculations, but checking. Secondly, are the powers used by the True Form restricted from use in an alternative form? E.g. if the druid character has the power to shoot a lightning bolt in human form, is that power still available in bear form? The power description seems to imply no unless I also buy them separately for the bear. This actually suits me well as I want there to be a downside to being a bear. But again, double-checking my understanding. Finally, and this is the trickiest one unless any of the former I have misunderstood, is what happens if and when the True Form becomes the more expensive? With ever increasing stats and powers, I can see it happening. Do I then have to recalculate the cost of the alternate form? Wont it become increasingly more expensive to have this power even as it becomes progressively less useful (due to the alternative now being weaker than the True Form).

 

This last one seems problematic. Thanks a lot for any replies.

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Ok simple rule about multiform. If you want powers in both forms, then both forms pay for it. For example the lightning bolt spell, if you want both forms to be able to use it, there is nothing inherently in the rules saying no just mechanically.

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A reply on bears, by a bear. :)

 

Thanks. So that confirms what I thought which is good. Any comments about the issue of one form becoming more expensive than the other over time?

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First:  In Fantasy Hero Complete​, the True Form must be constructed on more points than any/all Alternate Forms. So your Low-CP Druid cannot purchase a 130-point Multiform until they are 130-point characters themselves. Generally speaking, the point of Multiform isn't for the alternate form to be that much "better", it is to have access to game elements the true form does not. For example, a gnome druid who can turn into a dire bear becomes a far more formidable melee combatant at the cost of their skills and ability to perform druidic magic. Likewise, one who becomes a small bird (built on far fewer points than themselves), will be unlikely to draw attention from enemies, and can fly; making it ideal for scouting.

 

Second: The True Form pays for Multiform, not any of the Alternate Forms. The cost of Multiform is based on the point value of the Alternate Forms, not the True Form (so you don't have to recalculate its cost when the druid gains Experience)... However, Alternate Forms do not gain experience themselves, the True Form has to pay to improve them.

 

Third:  An Alternate Form has an entirely separate character sheet, with all the benefits and drawbacks that entails. The Alternate Form does not inherit anything from the True Form; including skills, perks (even social perks like Contact), powers.

 

Finally:  Bear in mind that Druids were considered the single most powerful class in 3rd edition D&D. You may not be able to afford all the neat little gimmicks that Druids get on the number of points you are providing your Heroic Characters. Don't get too hung up on simulating the D&D Druid if you are building to a fixed point level... you'll just end up with lack-luster characters who're spread too thin to function. 

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First:  In Fantasy Hero Complete​, the True Form must be constructed on more points than any/all Alternate Forms. So your Low-CP Druid cannot purchase a 130-point Multiform until they are 130-point characters themselves. Generally speaking, the point of Multiform isn't for the alternate form to be that much "better", it is to have access to game elements the true form does not. For example, a gnome druid who can turn into a dire bear becomes a far more formidable melee combatant at the cost of their skills and ability to perform druidic magic. Likewise, one who becomes a small bird (built on far fewer points than themselves), will be unlikely to draw attention from enemies, and can fly; making it ideal for scouting.

 

Second: The True Form pays for Multiform, not any of the Alternate Forms. The cost of Multiform is based on the point value of the Alternate Forms, not the True Form (so you don't have to recalculate its cost when the druid gains Experience)... However, Alternate Forms do not gain experience themselves, the True Form has to pay to improve them.

 

Third:  An Alternate Form has an entirely separate character sheet, with all the benefits and drawbacks that entails. The Alternate Form does not inherit anything from the True Form; including skills, perks (even social perks like Contact), powers.

 

Finally:  Bear in mind that Druids were considered the single most powerful class in 3rd edition D&D. You may not be able to afford all the neat little gimmicks that Druids get on the number of points you are providing your Heroic Characters. Don't get too hung up on simulating the D&D Druid if you are building to a fixed point level... you'll just end up with lack-luster characters who're spread too thin to function. 

 

Thanks. That's useful background and answers the question. Regretably I'm stuck with the concept. I'm trying to convert my D&D 5e campaign to Hero because I think it's a much better system. The game has already started however and characters are created. The player in question basically picked the druid class so they could be a bear. If there were a bear class, I have no doubt they would have bypassed druid and proceeded directly to bear. 1st level was merely something they endured with gritted teeth till they got to the Bear stage. In short, bear must happen! :)

 

I will finish up more of the druid and design the bear part later on - maybe I can balance it. There are a lot of limitations that can be placed on a bear, I would think (no hands, can't speak, low intelligence, must balance on a ball, etc.). Possibly I can do a progressive version of the power that gets better with level - black bear, brown bear, dire bear and spread it out a little.

 

I don't know if the player saw Brave or The Revenant or Jungle Book recently or something, but to sell my alternative system to the D&D group, I must find a way to turn him into a bear! :)

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The alternative to using the whole multiform thingummymajig is to purchase the key powers each form represents.

 

So bear might have additional STR and some PD, limited by being unable to speak or use other physical skills and magic. The special effect would be turning into a bear (including the size and weight as long as that wouldnot be seen as too advantageous). A robin would have flight with the same limitations and SFX of being a robin.  It avoids a lot of the complications.

 

Just in case you wanted an alternative.

 

 

Doc

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This is Fantasy Hero... you can let him play a talking bear, or a were-bear (or a bear-were); magic using or otherwise. One of Hero systems selling points is that you don't have to jump through hoops to play the concept you have in mind. If the player had to jump through the hoops of being a humanoid druid until they got Wild-Shape, you might be able to sell them on the idea that this system lets them skip those hoops entirely and just be what they want right from the start.

 

Otherwise, you might find the following templates helpful in your conversion from 5th edition to Fantasy Hero. The example Druid's VPP will fit a 150-point Multiform... Though you may want to adjust the modifiers they used some of them look kinda jenky.

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I'd like the bear to knock people prone with its big shaggy paws. I think that would help differentiate the bear in combat vs., say the paladin which it is looking similar-ish to in battle.

 

I've looked at the Knockback and Knockdown rules and am not quite sure how to do this. I see that it can trigger when someone does an Impairing Wound but I wasn't actually planning to use that optional rule. I really just want the bear to have a chance of knocking people over / away. Possibly when doing a Move Through.

 

Is there any recommended way of doing this? It'll make a nice tactical decision as to whether to bite someone or knock a few goblins sideways.

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Purchase increased knockback as a naked avantage.  If the player wants to push is opponent away then he uses the naked advantage with his attack and that makes it more likely an opponent will fall over or be pushed back when struck.

 

If you want it always to be a feature of the strike, then simply buy the advantage on the attack.

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I'd like the bear to knock people prone with its big shaggy paws. I think that would help differentiate the bear in combat vs., say the paladin which it is looking similar-ish to in battle.

 

I've looked at the Knockback and Knockdown rules and am not quite sure how to do this. I see that it can trigger when someone does an Impairing Wound but I wasn't actually planning to use that optional rule. I really just want the bear to have a chance of knocking people over / away. Possibly when doing a Move Through.

 

Is there any recommended way of doing this? It'll make a nice tactical decision as to whether to bite someone or knock a few goblins sideways.

If you are running a heroic campaign, Attacks which cause body also have a chance of causing Knockdown (FHC 186-186). Normal Damage tends to be significantly more likely to cause Knockdown (Normal Attacks typically only need 7 DCs to reliably cause Knockdown, Killing Attacks & Martial Maneuvers require 10 DCs).

 

The best way to increase the chance of causing Knockdown is to purchase Double Knockback (+1/2) as an independent advantage for the bear's Strength (as Doc Democracy also suggested) or to give them a Hand-To-Hand Attack with Double Knockback (+1/2); In either case, Added DCs will be prorated against the value of the advantage (see FHC 183). For example 15 STR will only add 2d6 Normal Damage to a 2d6 HA with Double Knockback (+1/2). You will need at least 4d6 of Double Knockback Normal Damage to reliably trigger knockdown.

 

Alternatives to the Knockdown rules include using the Trip maneuver (FHC 179), or the Legsweep Martial Maneuver (FHC 181).

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It might be that in a low starting point game, the character may just need to wait to pick up the bear form.  A first level druid in D&D 5 is limited to CR 1/4 nonflying beasts, which are basically rats, squirrels, rabbits, and the like.  It takes a few levels to get to bear.

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Knasser2 I woild talk to the GM about "true" form. Back in 4th Iirc you had base form and extra forms. The base form was the most expensive however it was suggested you could pick which one was the "true" form regardless of points.

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Also remember you can get 2x the forms for 5 points and 1 point gives non-base form 5 points.  this is all of the added forms too, so if you have 4 added forms one point and each of them gets the 5 points  this can mean the PC can soon have a form for any type of fight.

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You did that on purpose.

Yes... yes I did. I'm so glad somebody appreciates my horrible sense of humor.

 

I am having a tough time seeing the problem. In a 175 point game (assumed, of course), a 130 point bear form should not be overwhelming in combat. No reason he can't have the bear right out of the gate.

Your assumption would be incorrect, the original poster claimed that the 130-point bear form is greater than the character's point total... although to be fair that information was buried pretty much right in the middle of the paragraph, and the OP hasn't stated how many points our intrepid heroes are being built on.

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I am having a tough time seeing the problem. In a 175 point game (assumed, of course), a 130 point bear form should not be overwhelming in combat. No reason he can't have the bear right out of the gate.

What about giving the bear stealth and he can steal picnic baskets?

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I am having a tough time seeing the problem. In a 175 point game (assumed, of course), a 130 point bear form should not be overwhelming in combat. No reason he can't have the bear right out of the gate.

Now why keep the bear at 130 points? and high level druids of the circle of the moon get elemental wild shape too...

some of the players in past groups where min/maxers and there is a fine line from keeping up with the other PCs and being a bit OP.

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Instead of a power, make it a spell. 

 

According to the text:

 

However, in animal form he retains his own intelligence, memories, and the like, and he does not risk personality loss for staying in that shape for long periods of time.

 

 

It also seems to imply that you do not have to worry about the max point total of the animal form you take, since it is a spell and not a power. The example in the book is for a 250 pt. form. 

 

 

here is another example:

 

Bearform (115 Character Points in the most expensive form) (23 Active Points); OAF (-1), Spell (-1/2), Costs Endurance (Only To Change; -1/2), Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Requires A Magic Roll (Skill roll; -1/2), Gestures (Requires both hands; -1/2), Incantations (-1/4), 2 Continuing Charges lasting 1 Hour each (-0) Total Cost: 5

 

And here is the bear form:

 

 
VAL...CHA...Cost...Total...Roll......Notes
30....STR.....20...30......15-.......HTH Damage 6d6  END [6]
10....DEX.....0...10......11-.......
20....CON.....10...20......13-
15....BODY....5...15......
10....INT.....0...10......11-.......PER Roll 11-/14-
10....EGO.....0...10......11-.......
10....PRE.....0...10......11-.......PRE Attack: 2d6
 
9....PD......3...9.............9 PD (4 rPD)
9....ED......3...9.............9 ED (4 rED)
3....SPD.....10...3.................Phases:  4, 8, 12
5....REC.....1...5
30....END.....2...30
30....STUN....5...30
12....RUN......0...12m................END [1]
2....SWIM.....-1...2m................END [1]
2....LEAP.....-1...2m................2m forward, 1m upward
 
CHA Cost: 62
 
Cost...POWERS
12.....Claws HKA 1d6 (3d6 w/STR) (15 Active Points); Reduced Penetration (-1/4) - END=1
4.....Bite HKA 1 point (2d6+1 w/STR) (5 Active Points); Reduced Penetration (-1/4) - END=1
12..... Thick Fur Resistant Protection (4 PD/4 ED) - END=0
10.....Powerful Double Knockback (+1/2) for up to 30 Active Points of STR (15 Active Points); Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2) - END=1
6.....+3 PER with Normal Hearing and Normal Smell - END=0
5.....Tracking with Normal Smell - END=0
4.....Charge Running 8m (8 Active Points); Increased Endurance Cost (x3 END; -1) - END=3
 
POWERS Cost: 53
 
 
 
 
 
Base Pts: 115
Exp Required: 0
Total Exp Available: 0
Exp Unspent: 0
Total Character Cost: 115

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Instead of a power, make it a spell. 

"Spell" is simply a special effect, not a type of Game Element. Regardless of how you define the special effects of the ability, you are almost certainly going to have to use one or more Powers to accomplish the desired result.

However, considering the relatively minor differences between a human and a bear; you might be able to represent "Bear-Form" as a level of Growth with a few other Powers Linked to it (such as Resistant Protection for thick fur, or Hand-Killing Attack for claws). That construct makes it simpler to represent the fact that in D&D Druids can often retain their skills and spellcasting ability while in Wild-Shape.

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The problem with animal shapeshifters in FH is that, by and large, mundane animals are just not that fearsome. This bear is about as badass as a regular beast gets, and the best it can do is 2d6+1K with an OCV of 3 and a whopping rDEF of 4. Most starting FH warriors have that beat.

 

Admittedly, it may be better at melee than a druid's normal form, and if it's one of multiple forms the druid can toggle through (hawk, fish, stag, wolf) for movement and recon, then that's a lot more useful. But if this bear form is supposed to wade into melee on a regular basis it probably needs to be upgunned.

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To be fair, if you compare the 3rd edition system of calculating Encounter CRs (where CR is roughly equal to Player Character level, and x2 creatures equals +1 CR) to the costs for Summon (where 25 CP equals 5 APs and x2 creatures equals 5 APs) you can estimate that a 175-point Standard Heroic Character is roughly equivalent to a 7th level D&D Character. Very few 7th level characters are afraid of bears anymore. Meanwhile a 50-point Skilled Normal (who is roughly equivalent to a 2nd level D&D character), is quite likely to be slaughtered by a CR 4 (roughly 100-point) Grizzly Bear.

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To be fair, if you compare the 3rd edition system of calculating Encounter CRs (where CR is roughly equal to Player Character level, and x2 creatures equals +1 CR) to the costs for Summon (where 25 CP equals 5 APs and x2 creatures equals 5 APs) you can estimate that a 175-point Standard Heroic Character is roughly equivalent to a 7th level D&D Character. Very few 7th level characters are afraid of bears anymore. Meanwhile a 50-point Skilled Normal (who is roughly equivalent to a 2nd level D&D character), is quite likely to be slaughtered by a CR 4 (roughly 100-point) Grizzly Bear.

 

The problem with animal shapeshifters in FH is that, by and large, mundane animals are just not that fearsome. This bear is about as badass as a regular beast gets, and the best it can do is 2d6+1K with an OCV of 3 and a whopping rDEF of 4. Most starting FH warriors have that beat.

 

Admittedly, it may be better at melee than a druid's normal form, and if it's one of multiple forms the druid can toggle through (hawk, fish, stag, wolf) for movement and recon, then that's a lot more useful. But if this bear form is supposed to wade into melee on a regular basis it probably needs to be upgunned.

 

So I'm wondering, wouldn't density increase be an important aspect of becoming a bear? I don't have the rules handy, but a grizzly bear would be about 5 times denser than a human, which would offer a great deal of advantage in terms of what Knasser2 was suggesting, such as plowing through a group and knocking them down. 

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Growth also increases mass appropriately, and provides most of the same mechanical benefits as Density Increase. I would have to do research to be sure, but I don't think bear meat is much denser than human meat they are mostly just bigger and furrier than us. However if I am wrong you could fairly easily Link Growth and Density Increase in a compound power, and simply list the total benefits of the "spell" in its description for ease of use.

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