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Era Scarecrow

Cosmetic transform... on the universe?

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Made a character with a decent VPP, one of those powers is a cosmetic transform... (65AP to work with, so we're talking 21D6 effect available)

 

Anyway... the idea popped in my head if you could cast a transform on the universe itself. Being cosmetic it won't affect the game in any major way, and in reality the scope is well defined...

 

So here's my idea. Make it so when this particular character's name is written down (book, screen, scroll, or in someone's dreams or imaginations) the name is garbled; The effect being different versions of how it's spelled phonetically, larger/smaller, backwards, even different types of fonts, etc, constantly changing so it's mostly a blur to everyone (unless someone can keep up with it fast enough to see what's happening).

 

Anyways... would that work? If not, how would you build the power? Keep in mind it's not when he writes his name down, it's when ANYONE writes his name down... (although if it was someone with the same name/spelling it doesn't happen).

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I don't think the cosmetic transform would handle that on it's own... if for no other reason than the universe has infinite Body to overcome, so you'd need to find a way to scale the transform down to something more selective.

 

I think what you'd be looking for is a really weird targeting detect bought to sense with a universal range compounded with a small cosmetic transform line of sight fully indirect triggered attack.

 

Or a follower with such if the character doesn't want to know when their name is written down.

 

It sounds expensive and unwieldy, but may be possible.

 

Alternatively ....  Anonymity (3 points) played as this special effect with the GM's co-operation.

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I don't think the cosmetic transform would handle that on it's own... if for no other reason than the universe has infinite Body to overcome, so you'd need to find a way to scale the transform down to something more selective.

Yeah, kinda wondered what the BODY of the universe, the earth, or even a city in which to scale it up would do that.

 

On the other hand, let's say it's city scale, which is oh say 5 square miles, and if we go with Change Environment. PER roll for one sense, let's say -5 (10pts), AOE +1, Megascale +1 1/4, 0 END +1/2, would give us a target of 38pts, so the city might be qualified to have 38 BODY for these purposes.

 

Going planet-wide (megascale +2) you'd get 45 pts...

 

If we go to solar system +3 1/2 (which more or less is a universe unless you have extreme FTL in effect), is 60 pts.

 

 

 

Although I do like the Anonymity perk idea.

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Well, the universe has a rough SIZ of 100 as a "base". That would include all the constituent matter therein. One hex of earth is 16 body. Ultimate base rules would give the universe 1600 body for purposes of destruction/transformation.

Basically, you'd need 1000d6 KA to destroy it, or 1000d6 transform to change it. Probably better to try a different approach for a fairly minor in game effect.

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Well, the universe has a rough SIZE of 100 as a "base". That would include all the constituent matter therein. One hex of earth is 16 body. Ultimate base rules would give the universe 1600 body for purposes of destruction/transformation.

Basically, you'd need 1000d6 KA to destroy it, or 1000d6 transform to change it. Probably better to try a different approach for a fairly minor in game effect.

oohhh much better of an idea of how to estimate the effect. So...

 

1000 / 21 = 48 consecutive transformations (assuming they can stack, which I assume they can since it's not 'all or nothing', 5E I think you needed 'cumulative', but 6E1 p.305 doesn't state a max effect the power can give, unlike say aid or something). Now if that's SPD2, that's 24 turns, or approximately 2 minutes to complete... Then it's a matter of how quickly the universe 'heals' to remove the effect.

 

Now as I don't know what the REC of the universe is, let's assume 10% so said effect would last for probably nearly a year before needing a recast...

 

So a 65pt cosmetic transform would use a 2 minute 'ritual' to effectively make it work.

 

edit: although even if you gave it a 100x body for everything to simulate affecting everything, that's only 200minutes, or approx 3Hrs. Still workable... for what's a very minor limited effect.

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Unless your setting is a cosmic one, the affected area can be much smaller. Present day settings would only need the Earth.

 

But I'd go with Anonymity. 

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Unless your setting is a cosmic one, the affected area can be much smaller. Present day settings would only need the Earth.

 

But I'd go with Anonymity.

Hmmm...

Anonymity means no official or police records exist regarding the character — or if they do exist, they don’t contain any truly useful information.

Doesn't quite seem to be the same thing. Though including what I wanted 'for free' might work too.

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Exactly. It could easily be a special or expanded effect - the reason no official or police records exist is that your name keeps get garbled whenever it's recorded in any way.  Hence 'with the co-operation of the GM' caveat.

Well the character in question is a fairy... from another universe... although I wasn't going to point to the fairy in question for the the cosmetic effect in general...

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Somewhat related...I am musing over how best to simulate Reality Alteration/Manipulation, Miracles and Wishes.  Probably a suitably limited VPP, with appropriate limitations on area subject to power, limits on types and magnitudes of effects, and some kind of good faith/bad faith interpretation for wishes.  It's tough to simulate because almost any game mechanic/power/effect can be done, and can be quite powerful and potentially unbalancing.  

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Context is everything. "Fairy from another universe" would clearly be good candidate for regular Anonymity anyway.

 

I dunno. It seem to me that as with most magic there will be a way around it. Using a euphemism, for example.

 

"Chief... I'm trying to write out the report on Magic Elf but every time I write their name down it just looks like garbage. What do I do?"

"Just put 'Suspect Alpha' and link in the mugshot. We've hit that wall before and all the agencies know who that is."

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"Chief... I'm trying to write out the report on Magic Elf but every time I write their name down it just looks like garbage. What do I do?"

"Just put 'Suspect Alpha' and link in the mugshot. We've hit that wall before and all the agencies know who that is."

Oh believe me that's exactly what I was hoping for :) But unless specific people are working for workarounds they can't do it. Then again in theory they could break down the name while writing two of other people and combine them together. Say the name was Arther Bell, they could start writing Arther Pendragon, then stop and skip Taco while thinking Taco Bell and write Bell... the name would be exposed but not originally intended to the character in question. Or write two different names, cut the names off from different portions and tape them together...

 

There's plenty of workarounds for those who try :P

 

edit: Although possibly going also with an invisible (only to clairvoyance/electronic devices -1, fringe -1/4) would make linking a picture impossible... unless someone was a good artist and had a photographic memory and manually drew them... but seems like too much trouble...

Edited by Era Scarecrow

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Does it really matter if they can't write down the true name? Most supers are known by an alias, and new aliases can be assigned if needs be.

 

I'd have thought it much simpler not to let the true name be known in the first place.

 

This is starting to feel more and more like a special effect/unusual background thing.

 

Or even:

 

Social Complication: Name cannot be written (Infrequent, Minor) 5pts

 

It occurs to me that it's as much if not more of a hindrance than a benefit. Especially if the writer isn't aware of the effect.

 

"And who shall I say the booking is for, Sir?"

"Fill out these forms."

"At the tone leave your name and number and we will call you back later."

"I'm sorry, we have no record of an Arther Bell."

"Roll call!"

"I'm sorry. Only the next of kin can enter."

"And that concludes the reading of the will. All efforts will be made to locate this 'Rotha Hail', but in the mean time the two million dollars will be held in trust."

"Gother Bowl - come on down!!!"

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Off hand, possible solutions include

 

Extradimensional Movement

 

Cosmetic Transform with Area Effect and lots of Megascale

 

Images with lots of Megascale.

 

Probably the last in my opinion.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Megascale palindromedary

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Hmm, is the effect supposed to be specific to the name of the character?  Since it sounds more like a 0 point cosmetic effect rather than an effect that does something.  For example, if someone assembling information about them just calls them 'John Doe #15' then they may never even be aware that the effect exists.

 

If it's supposed to scramble any 'name'  that people attempt to write down to refer to your character, that sounds like a justification for the anonymity perk and a distinguishing feature.  Since your character could be 'identified' under a pseudonym by having someone try to write down the name you just gave them.

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Cosmetic effects/transforms are things that don't affect the mechanics. Turning someone's hair blue, or making someone's special effect using water instead of fire, etc... These are commented in the transform, which makes it 3pts per 1d6 effect. (one of the differences if I remember right vs 5E, where cosmetic was 5pts, minor was 10 and major was 15, there was no severe).

 

This was more or less an idea that popped in my head and how to implement it. Regardless it was intended only to scramble his (or someone else's) true name. Could simply be a cosmetic transform mixed with perhaps the effect of using ciphers, which just makes the name scrambled unless someone descrambles it, or gets used to the scrambled form, although the new 'scrambled' form could be another legal name causing quite a bit of confusion.

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Does the transform always give the same result?  That is, If one person tried to write the name, and another tries to write the name, would they both get the same result?

 

If it's also meant to be useable on other people, then you could try doing it as a cosmetic transform that is vs EGO or PRE and gives them some sort of 5 point paperwork related disadvantage.

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Somewhat related...I am musing over how best to simulate Reality Alteration/Manipulation, Miracles and Wishes.  Probably a suitably limited VPP, with appropriate limitations on area subject to power, limits on types and magnitudes of effects, and some kind of good faith/bad faith interpretation for wishes.  It's tough to simulate because almost any game mechanic/power/effect can be done, and can be quite powerful and potentially unbalancing.  

 

If it's for a PC, yeah, probably that. Balance is pretty much going to be in the hands of the GM and the player needs to accept that from the outset.

 

If it's an NPC, the GM has full control of power design to start with. And often won't need to bother with details like points cost, really.

 

Genie Wish: VPP 3 charges, IAF Lamp, as many active points as required, must obey the literal wording of the wish.

 

Wrath of God: VPP, all the active points.

 

If we're getting into divine power, it could even be run as a Contact, or some kind of Summon (especially suitable for a Genie or spirit).

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Does the transform always give the same result?

 

If it's also meant to be useable on other people...

As a blurry ever changing effect or a ciphered result (not necessarily the same sequence) yes.

 

hmmm I'd assume the effect could be usable on others (with a VPP simply redefining the specific effect/target would do it).

 

Although if it's an advantage on a particular person, the transform alone would probably do it. A minor transform can give/remove 10pts worth of complications (Major can do 20), so having a complication added to them would probably deal with it.

 

Probably...?

 

Social Complication: Name on papers/databases is corrupted; very frequently +15, Major+5: 20pts

 

Assuming it's an ability perk, 3pt anonymity would be from a major transform granting abilities/powers (although over time that anonymity would fade probably, nothing afterall lasts forever).

 

Or if EGO/PRE is involved, adding a required skill roll in order to write the name properly... on a per person basis probably....

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Social Complication: Name on papers/databases is corrupted; very frequently +15, Major+5: 20pts

 

 

That 20 point complication is going to dominate play a bit. You're basically asking the GM for it to be an extreme inconvenience every other play session. Fine if you want that to happen, but I'd cost it cheaper in most cases.

 

It is, however quite context sensitive. If the setting is a light fish-out-of-water comedy about a displaced Elf and their struggles to fit in with the human world and deal with everyday dramas, 20 points might be spot on. If it's a Dark Champions game with everyone operating in the shadows and trying to stay off the radar anyway it's not going to inconvenience the character very much at all. In any setting, if the character just doesn't interact with paperwork or human stuff anyway, it won't be a big complication.

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That 20 point complication is going to dominate play a bit. You're basically asking the GM for it to be an extreme inconvenience every other play session. Fine if you want that to happen, but I'd cost it cheaper in most cases.

It will occur a lot, it won't necessarily dominate... Consider...

 

---

"Let's order takeout... Yeah I want fried rice, and dinner #9... Arther Bell... yeah see you in 30..."

 

Arriving at the scene Arther goes to pick up his meal. "Huh? What do you mean I don't have an order? I just called it in..."

 

"Sorry sir, but we don't have an order with your name on it."

 

"Fine, I'll wait here. I want fried rice and Dinner #9..."

---

 

A major... inconvenience mostly... Real problems might appear when you start getting letters of final notices and banks can't cash your checks. Although I'm sure long before that point someone else would have picked up the tab temporarily and be doing the orders, letting the effect linger until it just goes away on it's own.

 

Although if it only occurs rarely then it could be reduced easily down to a mere 5-10 pts in that case. Could make a session by itself where they go to get it dispelled at a shady gypsy who can remove it... for a fee...

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Right. (Cheques? Really? But any form of bank interaction is going to be tricky). How much that will effect the character is tied up with how they're fitting in with the mundane world in the first place. Do they need food or shelter? Sleep? How are they making money at all? There's a Social Complication in itself for just being an Elf from another dimension. 

 

But if you find yourself in a supergroup with a robot, a space alien, several mutants and various other weirdos, and all live together on the super base with all necessities provided by the billionaire playboy... the name thing may not be such a big deal.

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If I were GM (we should have an acronym for that - IIWGM?),

 

I’d just let you get away with a perk and complication rather than have you buy a huge power.

 

Question: what happens if they purposely misspell your name? Example: If your name was Superman, what would happen if I spelled it as Superrnan?

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I’d just let you get away with a perk and complication rather than have you buy a huge power.

Agreed. But there's still the question of the what why and how.

 

Question: what happens if they purposely misspell your name? Example: If your name was Superman, what would happen if I spelled it as Superrnan?

I suppose that's up to the GM.

 

Although I commented about the workaround of writing two different names and clipping them together thus indirectly naming (yet directly referencing with a full name) that would work; However I'd think if it was intended for the person when originally being written then even misspelled it would be blurred/affected.

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As a GM, and i doubt I'm exceptional in this regard, I'd probably never require you to roll those 21d6, and then the next question I'd have is "how valuable is this ability?" I have a hard time seeing it worth more than 5-15 points at most, so handling it as a talent (like a limited form of luck) with a magical sfx would probably be simpler, cheaper and easier. Sometimes we get too wedded to elaborate mechanics when a simpler approach also works.

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