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  1. Well, thanks for that! I just was sort of frustrated for a moment with the normal stance of Alien = Human + Thing. So, I thought about why that bothers me, and got that ramble. And then made the Alien of the definition of Human + thing.
  2. I don't quite know how to answer this. Being an alien... being a being from somewhere else. What it looks like is important, as what it can do, but that's... Tangential? A defining feature not on them, but that helps define a culture. A world. The cosmos where they came from. How it's society developed, what was norms and what wasn't. Privacy, policy, family, life and what it means to live a good life, death and whether it's a part of it or not, what it means to be powerful and weak, legends and lore and the line of reasoning for it all... All of this changes when the baseline isn't human. It's why so many aliens are "Human and psychic" or "Human and can fly" or "Humans but super strong, and can fly" or just "Human plus... something." And those that reach outside of it tend to just shrug and go, "Weird and scary, go!" And you get Junji-Ito esk fleshy blobs that don't have clear creation or definition. The explanation being, "They exist, how horrifying" and never why they exist as they do. I don't have the same cultural lexicon. I don't have the same history of comics and media to help me simplify my answer to just a single point with a name of a known alien type. Sure there's the archetypes. Strong Alien. Psychic Alien. Warlike Alien. Scavenger Money Loving Alien. Emotionless Hyper Intelligent Alien. But to be alien is to be other. Fundamentally. Not Human with a new slap of paint and an extra power or two. It is to be different. Then there is the condition question. Are we one of these Aliens in their own world? Where what is said is presumed to be the norm? A Stranger in a strange land on Earth? Would we be as the people they are from, or some strange aberration even among the Alien? There is a difference between someone being super strong, and a society of super strong people after all. Sorry, this is probably wildly overthinking this, but you started to get me thinking about it less as "What alien would you be," and more, "If you had to design aliens that you would be one of, what would you make?" Sorry, will answer your question now. The alien, Snivs for lack of a better name, would be short as a baseline. Four foot high considered rather tall by their standard. Pale, bluish white skin that's thick and tough, large yellowed eyes peering out on a blunted face with mangled teeth. Hairless to a one, and a short bipedal structure to their walk, the flesh on the small of their back warped by their parentage. But only the children would look this way. In a supernatural bent, they would see in the dark, and sleep once a week, and retain some low level regeneration, perhaps at most one Body a day if it were in stats. The only thing that defines them as being abhorrently strange is their adaptability. Consecrating in ritual as much as mysticism a bowl containing their own blood and something else, they would take on it's characteristics. Seven times this could be done in one's life, and no more. Further use would distort and rend the body into an unusable and wrenched beast of a thing, considered the greatest sin there is. For this reason the ritual, a simple matter all said and done, is a guarded secret from the children, whom upon the first usage of this rite they are considered an adult. Each usage of it would warp and wrap their body in dizzying and concerning ways, each use mixing and intermingling the constituent parts. Flesh could distort into stone, scales, razors, iron, and any number of things. Arms could grow or be lost, hands blunted or grown long and gangly. Even but two usages and the average Sniv would look nothing like the race they once came from with but one exception. A razor thin margin upon the small of their back retaining the pure element that they took in, both oneself and one's linage. One's history and past carried at all times. To be stripped of this marker, the Neff, is to be without a family, to be without a past. Exiled for all time. One usage of this transformative ability often saved for matrimony, the pair set to share for then and ever more their blood. Those who forewent this application considered brave or foolhardy, or driven to ends beyond family. For without such a bond, no child would be possible, the body and dna so warped and distorted from one another. Children raised below ground, hidden away from the sun's harmful rays that would scour their flesh, adults working and living above, descending for family and home. Only in the last few hundred years have they left planet, out to seek and find new planets, abusing this transformative ability to settle and habitat planets otherwise considered unusable. Mechanically, I'd probably stat that as a Transform, Self into Any One Improved Self, limited charges that never recover, each usage granting about fifty points worth of abilities linked to the material component used.
  3. You could go with Mirrors. They are emblematic of reflections and gateways, so for a cosmically invading force, something like that might work. Each Mirror it's own gate to some time and place, to grant access to a wealth of information or material or space or so on to be used and manipulated as seen fit. Associate each with some sort of force or concept, wrap that Mirror in bringing it forth and to bear, or residing within it. And you can have them all be different sizes and shapes too. When all are gathered, overlayed on one another, they let you reach forth through time and space, all the cosmos in your grasp in a very literal sense. Dunno for name though. Call it... The Celestial Lens or Crucible of the Cosmos. Foundation of the World or so on.
  4. I can tell you personally from experience, I and my GM for Shadowrun had wildly different views on what was Common Sense. Every character I made purchased that Merit simply to help ease the understanding gap between us. Still died due to cleaning roomba, but it helped at least. For the groups I run in, Googling an answer will help you know some of the names and where you might need to start to look for information, but nothing more. Finding information may be a bit easier, but a lot of it will be wrong and contradicting. Using that information is a whole other matter. That's what skills are, knowing not just about something, but how to use it.
  5. The closest reasoning I can think for it's pricing is that it provides both mobility and "immunity" to the effect in one. The target of the effect doesn't suffer from the effect is what I mean by the "immunity." As for the mobility, the other Area of Effect options require the Mobile Advantage to move, and that even requires one to use their Attack Action to move it. Surface instead just... coats something. Provides a Shell of some sort. If that something is a person, they can move of their own will and "Impact" others with the Power. While that may be an explanation for why it is useful on it's own, it doesn't explain the scaling issue for it though. No matter the size of the person (GM Fiat not withstanding) you only need the +1/4 for it to effect the whole of a person. Any specific thought I have for Surface Area of Effect is often done better or more uniformly with Any Area Area of Effect, with the exception of the Shell and Damage Shield like effects. So, not certain why. I treat it more as an Area of Effect Option than a Type all its own.
  6. I've run into a conundrum and while I think I have my answer for how I'd handle it, I'd like to see how others would as well. Some skills have near necessary items built into them. Hacking without a interface, lockpicking without tools, driving without a vehicle is beyond difficult but not impossible. Supers, after all, are built upon doing incredible feats. While building the skill or item is easy enough, I'm curious how people interpret these design principles in use. Do you consider the tools to be part of the skill? Do you consider the skill to be knowledge of how to use the tools? Do you consider the skill knowledge of how to perform the act, but tools a benefit to it? For example: Phil the Player is wanting to build Bill the Burglar. Phil thinks Bill should be able to pick locks, and buys Lockpicking the skill. In game Phil has Bill try to pick a lock. Gilbert the GM, imposes a penalty for lacking the correct tools. Phil is confused and asked for clarification. Gilbert realizes the confusion, and waves the penalty to discuss it after the session. Afterward, Gilbert explains, "Bill has the skill Lockpicking. That means he knows how to pick locks, but without the right tools, it would be harder. Since Bill didn't have lockpicks, it was a harder check. I should have mentioned it, but it slipped my mind, so I waived it for now." Phil says, "I thought that Lockpicking the skill meant you could use Lockpicks. That you couldn't try to without them. So, the fact that I had the skill means I have the tools to use it." After a discussion, Phil realizes that he wants Bill to be better at Lockpicking and move past the issue, and offers a compromise. "I'll buy a Skill Level in Lockpicking for Bill, with the OIF Limitation as Lockpicks. That way, he has them on hand so we don't have to worry about this next time." Personally, I'm of the opinion that having the skill imparts having the item to perform the skill barring something like a strip search or equivalent. Functionally, it's the SFX of how they perform the check. But, I'm curious how others think of it.
  7. Call me curious and interested. Never done Email based gaming before, but I'm always down to learn.
  8. And I'm not. It was even called out in the very first paragraph of explaining the idea that the character's own abilities would likely be bought via a Mulitpower set. And Shapeshift is a whole different hill to die on that I'm not touching right now.
  9. My recommendation is to narrow down what the player wants to try and do a bit more. Simply effecting the world on the quantum level and changing reality is... broad. Very broad. Worse yet, it's not the sort of broad request that the game handles well. "I want to be big," "I want to shoot fire from my hands," "I want to be as strong as a tank." All of those are very broad, and can be handled any number of ways. So too can your request. Manipulating reality at a quantum level... As far as science jargon goes, means nothing. And unfortunately, in comic science jargon, it is also unhelpfully broad. Anything from Matter Creation to Time Travel to Teleportation to Entanglement. So the SFX, Quantum Manipulation, isn't helping narrow down the want. The, "Make Reality Completely Different" is also heedlessly broad. Does that mean they can simply Slip through the ground with Tunneling? How about making Objects disappear and reappear with Transform? Or just having people become wrapped up in space, and thrown elsewhere with Teleport? Or maybe simply solidifying space as a Barrier, or Entangle. Or Transmute a wall into a cannon with Blast/Transform? Narrow the scope. Figure out what the player is trying to do with the character. A Reality Warper is a a tried and true concept in Comics, but very... expensive and irritating in HERO. A Variable Power Pool is what it sounds like you are trying to describe though. Reality biting back at them is simple to do though. That's Side Effects for a basic Damage Tick. It even already has No Defense Applies.
  10. Good Evening! I've a trio of very simple and annoying question! The first is easy. How would you handle a Player or Foe who's main method of attack was using Transform: Abilities? The other two require context. I was kicking around the idea of a character, player or foe, would be nifty in my eyes either way, who's main gimmick was Transform. Build them pretty average for a character, probably pulling from Metamorphic examples and have most of their Standard Abilities as small Multipowers. This would represent that they have Transformed themselves in whatever appropriate way. They've grown Wings, or Flippers and Fins, or extra Legs for Running, or a Snake like body to slither on up something, ect. A small multipower for movement, one for appropriate Life Support, and one for average Defensive options. They adapt to the situation by changing themselves, but aren't as awesome as they would be if they were built for the situation. That's the character, but their main attack or... well, Threatening thing, would be a Transform Attack. Specifically, I was seeing somewhere about... Major Transform: 6d6 Underlying Power Change, Expanded Result Group (Any Power +1/4 or +1/2), Limited Target (Sapient Beings -1/4), Powered Glove OIF (-1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Healing Method (3 Month Timer): AP: 75/90, RP: 33/40 This, if I've built it appropriately, provides the character with a Magic/Tech Glove that they can fire at a foe, and change the nature of an opponent's ability. It is hard to take away, but can be targeted, and if someone grabs that arm, can't be used. While I could simply have that Major Transform simply remove whatever ability, that's not very fun and engaging. Providing the foe with different and, at the moment, unhelpful options though, seems way more... curious and provides nifty options. Transforming the points in Running into a Retrainable Flight or, if I'm feeling particularly cruel, a boatload of Swimming. Transforming an Electrical Absorption into an Electrical Power Aid. Transforming a Fire Blast into a Temperature Increasing Change Environment. Transforming a Brick's Damage Negation to Damage Reduction... of the other type of Force! There are some fun options provided by this. However, such a character, regardless on which side of the board they are on, is... challenging to run to say the least. The other two questions deal more in how Transform properly works. With Major Transform as described, could I: A: Convert Strength as a Characteristic to another appropriate Characteristic? Or just modify Characteristics in general? B: Target multiple powers at once to change? Converting both Blast and Change Environments into a Darkness for example. Or Running and Flight into Swimming. SO! Long story short, 3 questions. 1: How would you handle a Character that Transform's others regularly? 2: Can Major Transform target Characteristics? 3: Can Major Transform target multiple powers at once?
  11. Wait, TMNT 3's there? But it's full of such stupid silly moronic moments. A good time for a laugh. Though, less at the movie, and more at the movie. Actually, yeah. Makes sense it wouldn't be received well. And the "highest" I remember watching was some scene from Underdog. Beyond the fact it exists though, I can't recall it.
  12. Whether it is x16 Active Points, or x16 Applications of Difficult to Dispel, the effect in practice is the same. A Unbreakable focus cannot be dispelled, and thus, rendered inert. A far better way would seem to be to use a Severe Transform: Focus to Broken Focus. Which is... Expensive, but likely closer.
  13. @dialNforNinja Hmm. I was not aware that each magical spot or foe could only funnel to a specific type of spell/foe. Specific magical spots to restore spells I would probably have as Campaign ruled Locations. Base them off of Aid with an increased return Delay, so they last for like, an hour before returning. Running the Spells off of the Casting from Stats version, that's easy to do. But, if each foe can only give "Energy" to a specific Spell, in this case that translates towards increasing the amount of "Energy" in each Stat that is being boosted by not using that Spell. So... You could run it as an Aid. However, it seems that with the exception of Magical Spots, the uses of that Spell don't go away. You have them till you use them up. That seems more along the lines of a Persistent Buff and thus Boost, or maybe Heal if you are below normal. Hrm. Alright, so in that case, I'd drop the Endurance Battery altogether. I'd wind up with... these. Spell El Generico Formula: Side Effect: Drains 1d6 (3) or 2d6 (6) of [INSERT CHARACTERISTIC HERE], No Normal Recovery, Average Roll. (-3/4 or -1), Limited Power: Cannot be cast with [INSERT CHARACTERISTIC HERE] below X amount (-0 or -1/4) Multipower: Drawing: Variable Effect: Any One Characteristic (+1/2), Requires an attack Roll on An Appropriate Target(-1/2), Limited Power: Only works on Appropriate Characteristic (-1/4 to -1/2) Recovering Draw : 2d6 Healing Improving Draw : 2d6 Aid. Delayed Return rate: 1 Hour (+1 1/2) You'd have to buy your Characteristics to whatever Maximum you may wish when boosted. Your Spells will drain that Characteristic down to your "Normal" level, and at that point, be unable to cast the spell anymore. You can recover your Characteristics by "Drawing" on a foe, if that foe is of the appropriate "Type" to recover that Spell's Associated Characteristic. If there is a Energy Source, you should be able to Aid your Appropriate Characteristic for the Spell, and have it last a while. Is that something close to what you are intending?
  14. Several points of note before I dig into this with blind uncertainty. Firstly, I have never played FF VIII. As such, I will have to be re-explaining what I think you are aiming for, before trying to answer that. Secondly, as Thia Halmades made note of, it feels like a fair bit of this would be under Campaign rules rather than anything else. But with that out of the way, let's try this. So firstly! From what I am gathering, the magic system you are wanting to build is as follows: Magic Energy is gained via Specific Locations, or using "Draw" on a Foe Magic Energy can be converted to Spells that can then be used These "Held" Spells contribute to stats while not being used. Now, if this is what you are meaning, the following might be of use. If not? Well, consider the rest of this response a curious mental exercise. Option 1: The first and the third part are the easiest with how I am considering it, believe it or not. It's that middle conversion that makes my brain hurt. So let's start with the first part. Gaining Magic Energy via Specific Locations is pretty well bog-standard magical fair. Only able to recover charges/endurance at Leylines, or in points of Fung Shuai, or so on. Personally I would write it up as a Endurance Battery for reasons to be explained later. But whether it is done via Charges or an Endurance Battery, slap on the Limitation (Can only recharge at Magical Sources and from "Draw") which I'd put likely at a -1/4, potentially higher on how Draw is built. Draw is weird. It seems up above that you have to target a foe for it, but it doesn't cause any negative effect on them when done so. If that is the case, Draw is Healing. Healing END for the Endurance Battery, requiring an attack roll on a foe. That's just Healing with Requires a Roll. If it does infact impact the foe, it's a Drain END with a Linked Healing. Boom, easy, done. The third part is easy in concept, but really bothersome in practice. What you are describing sounds like Characteristics bought with a Reverse Proportionality to the whatever Spell they end up linked to. The easy way to handle that would be a Power Framework for Multipower where both the Spell and Characteristics are Variable. But, that isn't what you are looking for, as you are wanting the... Umpfh of the Spells adding to Characteristics, and drawn away when cast. Or at least that's what I think is described. But the fact that you can buy Characteristics with a Limitation (Only in Reverse Proportion to the use of the Spells) is "easy" or at least as easy as this gets. I'd call it -1/2 if I had to guess. Haven't done extensive math. Then the hard part of Magical Energy into Spells. I'm gonna pull a number out of the air. I'm gonna say 5. You can have 5 charges of each spell held at a time. In theory, you can have any number, but I'm using 5 because I like the number. But yes. Each Spell is built with Charges. These charges are not recharged with time, but with the Magical Energy Endurance Battery. This is the reason I recommended Endurance battery rather than Charges earlier. Each Charge costs... some amount from the Endurance Battery. Balance to be wiggled depending on spell, active point cost, how hard it is to recharge the Endurance Battery, ect. This in total would have an END Battery that you charge with Draw, let you convert that Energy into Spell Charges, and have Characteristics boosted from having those Charges, but not using them. Option 2: I was about eighty percent of the way through writing up the first option when I realized I was being dumb. Very dumb. Here's a much easier way to do it. Part 1 is the same. You still build "Draw" to either effect the foe or not, and have a Magical Energy Endurance Battery. Heck, I realized if you wanted to not add additional things to it, have "Draw" built into the Magical Energy Endurance Battery. Have the Recovery have the Limitation (Requires an Attack Roll against a Foe) and boom. All in one, baby. Part 2 and 3 get amalgamated into your Spells. Your Spells? They now just take Endurance from the Magical Energy Endurance Battery. No charges. And each of the Spells now has a handy dandy Side Effect. Drain Characteristic, Extended Recovery time. Likely that will use the Average Effect Rule, so each cast drains the same amount. Either in the same Side Effect, or in a separate Limitation, have it that you can't cast XYZ Spell without X amount of Characteristic. Then? Well, you still technically have two options. The first option is the easiest. Just buy more Characteristics to represent what you will be at when "Magically Charged." Pick a point on the "Magically Charged" characteristics where it would no longer be Magically Charged. Decide how many castings of the spell you have before it is drained out. Adjust the Side Effect to Drain accordingly. The second option, or as I like to think of it, if you feel like making math cry, work to change the Drain Side Effect above to target the Linked Characteristic that is bought with the Spell. IE: Buy a VPP for X amounts of Points for Characteristics, allocable as you so choose. The Spell is then bought as a Linked Power to the VPP, that the Side Effect Drain then targets the Characteristics bought from the VPP. The first option ends up with a Magical Energy Endurance Battery that you can charge by "Drawing" from a foe, and you Cast from your Stats. It's like Vatican Magic but punishing. The second option ends up with a Magical Energy Endurance Battery that you can charge by "Drawing" from a foe, and you Cast from a pool of boosted stats. But, you can choose which stats the Spells are "Boosting." Potential Complications If you decide to use the Second Options' Second Option (The repeat is intentional) your GM may have reason to give you a stink eye. Likely, you are purchasing your spells either through a VPP or more likely, a Multipower. That would have a Multipower drawing from a Endurance Reserve, linked to a VPP. It's ripe for potential abuse. Don't. Conclusion If this is like I think it is? You either need to do a lot of house-ruling to determine how much a Charge Costs, and build several peculiar Limited Power Limitations. Or, build it like you are Casting from your Stats.
  15. Multiform is what you are looking for for the boss. At least, I think so. If you are having the Boss able to take on the essence of a Character and he himself transform into that Character, Multiform. If you are worried your players might decide to Off your Reoccurring Villain first, you could flavor it that the Boss absorbs and Recreates the Character to lead his forces, ala Duplication. Add to it Can't Recombine and so on, and you're golden. Think Mega Man for a boss like that. As for your gang members... A Variable Power Pool on them with the "Only in Appropriate Costume" and "Only within X meters of Boss" could work. If you are wanting the gang to actually gain those superpowers, Major Transform is more appropriate. If you are looking for the powers to come from the Costume, Build up a basic stat block for a gang member, and construct a few power sets for "Only in Alternate ID" cosplays. If you are considering the gang to actually gain those superpowers, but only while wearing the costumes, and only by act of the Boss, Major Transform is still the way to go. Just the powers they are gaining will have appropriate limitations.
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