Unisystem Conversions: Willow and Tara

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Unisystem Conversions: Willow and Tara

Postby WebWarlock » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:42 pm

Hello!

My name is Tim, but seperate my fun game stuff from my "pro" (not fun??) game stuff, I usually just go by Warlock online.

I am still very new here, but I have been lurking for some time. I am new to M&M, but not to RPGs. Been playing for 26+ years, write for another company (I bet you can guess who) and playtested dozens of other games.

I hope this post is fine, any comments, please feel free to contact me.

Here are a set of conversion notes I have created for M&M and Eden's Unisystem system found in their "WitchCraft RPG", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG", "Angel", "All Flesh Must Be Eaten", "Army of Darkness" and "Ghosts of Albion".

You can see my detailed analysis for all d20 games here, http://p205.ezboard.com/fedenstudiosdis ... =311.topic . I'll just focus on the M&M details here.

Thanks!

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Last edited by WebWarlock on Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Basic Conversions

Postby WebWarlock » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:43 pm

Mutants & Masterminds d20

M&M bills itself as the “World’s Greatest Superhero RPG”. A very bold statement, but it is certainly a heck of a lot of fun to play; fun enough that I gladly own both the 1st and 2nd Editions. I have had no trouble coming up with pretty much any superhero I can think of and trouble teaching it to my super-hero obsessed son.

The rules are very simple (not as simple as Unisystem, but that is fine) and based on the very popular d20 mechanic. In fact they are streamlined enough to almost be considered “Cinematic d20”. Add in some elements of Green Ronin’s other very fine product “Blue Rose” and you pretty much have exactly what Green Ronin did with their “True 20” system, a “Cinematic” d20. Despite my fondness for both M&M and Blue Rose I have not checked out True 20 other than give it a casual glance.

Now, my heart belongs to Eden. No question.
But let’s be perfectly honest here.
Mutants and Masterminds is a damn fine game.

Right now I am only playing Unisystem (“WitchCraft” and “Ghosts of Albion”) and Mutants and Masterminds. In fact I have a few games going now where my M&M characters are the children of my Unisystem characters. There are some tweaks I have had to make yes, but all and all very enjoyable.

But can I play a modern supernatural horror/action game that Unisystem does so well?
To be blunt, can I play “Buffy” or “WitchCraft RPG” with these rules?

Well. It’s not a perfect fit, but it’s not bad at all.

Power Level
One of the biggest issues with creating a d20 conversion of a character regardless of source is “what level are they?” This is the issue that plagued me in the d20 Modern conversions. M&M uses an interesting approach in Power Level. Like Armageddon the Game Master sets the Power Level of the game and characters start from there.

The average (and suggested default) is PL 10. This seems to mimic most comics very well and agrees with most of the conversions I have seen online. A good level for a teenage supers game is PL 5 and one can do legendary and epic levels at PL 15 to PL 20 or more. Again, not too different from Armegeddon.

Once the Power Level has been set, then character creation is the same as any Unisystem game. Get points and buy abilites, skills and powers. M&M pools all their points, Unisystem divides them; both have their advantages and disadvantages. In M&M for example, Batman just buys a bunch of skills and gadgets. In Unisystem he is a “Mundane” or “Champion” with a bunch of skills and spends his qualities on resources and superscience gadgets. Both work about the same way and get the job done nicely.

Conversions: Side by Side by Side
It would disingenuous of me to talk about conversions and not mention the major conversions done by the fan communities of both games.
On the Mutants and Masterminds side we have the two big ones, MDSnowman’s http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?t=11587 and BARON’s http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?t=11800 .
On Unisystem’s side we have TheRedFear’s superhero conversion thread, http://p205.ezboard.com/fedenstudiosdis ... =655.topic and LordWolvesHead’s conversions, http://p205.ezboard.com/fedenstudiosdis ... 1373.topic

If there is character in not here, chances are you don’t need them.

But reading these threads makes a few points very clear.
1. Both groups have a desire for conversions of favorite characters. Moreso than other games I have played.
2. There is not a lot of overlap, but there are overlapping ideas.

There is not one idea I directly used from these threads, but more of a gestalt. After comparing various versions of Batman, Ash and others, some ideas jelled a bit better. It gave me a good feel how things should run between the games.

Converting to/from Unisystem
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To convert from one game to the other I needed a key. Normally I’d use skills (as per my d20 mod conversions) but here I found something that suited my needs much better. After all, my thing is witches. I don’t need to convert the Batmans of the world, I know there are people better than me that will do that. But witches are something I do well.

The secret is in understanding M&M’s Magic power. This would be “Magic” from 2nd Ed. M&M, not the “Sorcery” power of 1st Ed. M&M.

Like CineUnisystem’s “Sorcery” (Buffy/Angel) or “Magic” (Ghosts of Albion), but NOT Classic Unisystem’s “The Gift” (WitchCraft), M&M’s Magic is leveled and the effect of those “spells” are based on this level. It is in many ways similar to BESM’s magic system (magical girl or dynamic sorcerery) and has me curious as to whether “BESM d20 Advanced Magic” would be a good aid for this game (I’ll update this once I go through it).

In the end it is the simplest conversion that works the best. M&M is based on a d20 mechanic (and 20 effective levels of magic), CineUnisystem is based on a d10 mechanic (and 9 effective levels of magic), so one is half of the other.

M&M Magic = 2x(CineUnisystem Magic or Sorcery)

So Willow, with her Sorcery score of 8 in CineUnisystem would have a Magic PL of 16 in Mutants and Masterminds. This easily makes her one of the more power magic using people out there. In M&M 10 is good and 15 is way powerful. In Unisystem 5 is considered the best with Willow at 7 during her season 6 run. (Note: I do not use magic draining effects. It’s stupid.)

Feats and Powers can be converted to Qualities, either supernatural or as “demon” qualities. Normally again these are done on a 2 (M&M) points to 1 (Unisystem) point basis, with some adjustments.

Feats convert to Qualities on a 1 to 1 basis as per AFMBE-R, with some changes.
M&M has ranked feats, which makes them closer to Qualities. In the case of Attractive it is once again treated the same in both games (an M&M Attractive level 2 is a Unisystem Attractive level 2). Many Feats match up to Qualities of the same name; Attractive is a good example. Others are very similar, Nerves of Steel and Fearless for example. Others are split up or combined. M&M’s Ritualist is split into the various Rituals of WitchCraft (Wicce, Rosicrucian, Legban) while M&M’s Contacts and Connected fold into Unisystem’s Contacts. I’ll convert some specific examples below.

Powers are little different. Most Metaphysics and Supernatural Qualities will convert as powers. Magic (as previously described) works on a 2 PL (M&M) for 1 level (Unisystem). For Magic we double the point cost (2 per level, M&M) to get Sorcery (5 per level, Unisystem). It’s not perfect, but it works well over 20 Power Level or 9 Quality Levels. M&M Telekinesis is 2 pts/level and Unisystem’s is 3 pts/level.

Skills convert on a 2 for 1 basis. The vast majority use the same name. Allow AFMBE-R to be your guide, but common sense usually works just as well.

Once that is determined then adjust the power levels accordingly, with an eye towards PL 10-15.

What’s In It For the Fans?
There is a lot either game offers the players of the other.

M&M players can get a wide variety of new power choices; most obviously from the Magical, Psionic and elemental realms, but also voodoo, necromancy and powers of beings beyond this plane of existence; gods, spirits and demons. Even grabbing a copy of WitchCraft the M&M player can get a ton of new ideas of how to power their Magic using characters. Grab Armageddon to add new types of demons and angels to the game. And let’s not forget the game that literally wrote the book on zombies in RPGs, All Flesh Must Be Eaten. Baron Samedi leading a zombie hoard attack on Freedom City? It could happen. But before you players get too cocky, check to make sure your GM does not have a copy of AFMBE (for zombies) and WitchCraft’s Abomination Codex (for Voodoo powers) laying around.

Unisystem players can now add new and exciting powers to their games. Zombies, vampires and demons now challenge the Cast with strange new powers. New metaphysics based on M&M’s powers. Ultra-powerful gods can be defined in new ways.

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Conversions

Postby WebWarlock » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:49 pm

New for Unisystem
For Unisystem there are the wealth of M&M powers and feats that can be converted to Qualities. I will not attempt to do that here. But here are some examples.

Artificer
1-Point Quality
Prerequisite: Sorcerery or Magic
The artificer make create “solid” spells in the form of temporary magical devices. This involves two steps, making the device and charging it. To create the device the artificer must make an Intelligence + Occultism + d10 check. The number of Successes indicates the quality of the device.
SL Quality
0 Useless, must start over with new materials
1 Passible, -1 to the charging roll.
2-4 Good
5-6 Superior, +2 to charging roll.
7-8 Quality, +4 to charging roll.
9-10 Legendary, +6 to charging roll.

The artificer must then know the spell in question and still make a successful spellcasting roll to “charge” the device. The number of success levels indicates the number of uses the device has.

Beginner’s Luck
1-Point Quality
You are lucky and have a natural aptitude for new things.
Once per game session you may add 4 levels to any skill that you have 2 or less levels in. This done the first time the skill is used regardless of the situation.

Blast
2-Point Quality
You can “blast” a target with a specialized bolt of energy or matter. This energy can be anything (fire, mystic energy, bones) and come from any type of source (magic, demonic heritage, bad karma, dumb luck). The blast does d4(2) Life Points of damage per hit.

Sidebar: Blast
This can be a very powerful weapon. More so the magic bolt of WitchCraft, Blast has no prerequisites and never misses. Directors with an eye for lower powered versions could reduce it to a 1-Point quality and require a roll to hit of Dex + Marksmenship + 2.
More powerful versions can be leveled at 2 or 4 points per level and causing d4(2) LPs of damage per level per hit.

New for Mutants & Masterminds
What Unisystem has in abundance are ways to add drawbacks (same word for both games) to characters. These drawbacks are scaled the same as feats or powers from Qualities, typically 2 to 1. Here are some examples

Drawback: Strict Code of Honor
-1 to -2 Points
All heroes have a code of honor, something they will not break. Not taking a life, protecting the innocent, upholding the public trust. These are as important to being a hero as the mask and cape, maybe more so. But there are those that go beyond this, those that live by a rigidly defined code.
-1 or -2 on social roles. Need to make a Wisdom check at DC 15 or 20 to violate their code.

Drawback: Minority
-1 to -2 Points
Your character belongs to minority group that is treated inferior due to the color of their skin, sexual orientation, or beliefs. Characters are treated as if they had the effects of a -1 on all social rolls.

Under the Hood: Minority
Why Minority? Well, to begin with it is not covered well under the current rules, for a good reason I’d guess: Superheroes should not be racist jerks. But villains are and so can the public at times. One only needs to look at a posting board dedicated to comic heroes to see that an openly gay superhero is still something some people don’t like. Comics have been dealing with these issues for years, some have done better than others yes, but they are working on them. They have dealt with topics of racism in the 60’s and 70’s (“what about the black skins Mr. Green Lantern?”) and sexuality today. While some are still done for pure titillation factor, others represent a significant leap forward, i.e. lesbians Purgatori vs. Det. Renee Montoya.

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Hades for Unisystem

Postby WebWarlock » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:51 pm

Unisystem Conversion
So how would this work then convert a nice big villain from M&M to Unisystem. Well based on a suggestion, let’s try Hades from the Freedom City (2nd Ed) sourcebook.

This is an example of a direct translation. Of course the character of Hades could be tweaked to go either with a more Classical/Mythological version or a more comic book version.

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Hades

Quote: “Ultimate Knowledge. Ultimately all man will know is pain and suffering.”
- Hades, Justice League “Paradise Lost, Part 2”

Drama Points 20
Life Points 264

Attributes
Strength: 15
Dexterity: 5
Constitution: 16
Intelligence: 5
Perception: 18
Willpower: 17

Useful Information
Initiative: 1d10 + 5
Perception: 1d10 + 20
Additional Actions: 3
Fear Modifier: 38
Survival: 43
Speed: 105
Armor (Plate Mail) 14/14/7

Qualities
Age 40+
Attractiveness 5
Hard to Kill 10
Immortal
Increased Life Points 10
Invisible (helm, at will) 20
Natural Toughness 2
Nerves of Steel 3
Occult Library * (Every spell known)
Resources 10
Sorcery 10
Teleport (effectively move anywhere)

Drawbacks
Adversary (Numerous)
Cruelty, Deranged
Cursed, Bound to Tarttarus
Violence, Severe

Skills
Acrobatics 16
Art 8
Computers 8
Crime 9
Doctor 6
Driving 6
Getting Medieval 9
Gun Fu 8
Influence 9
Knowledge 10
Kung Fu 6
Languages 20
Mr. Fix-It 2
Notice 2
Occultism 9
Science 6
Sports 6
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Sword +14 64 Slash/Stab.
Two-handed, can be wielded one-handed
Punch +11 30 Bash
Head Butt +9 30 Bash
Dodge +11 - Defense maneuver
Magic +31 by spell
Pyrokinesis +27 17 Damange x Success Levels
Telekinesis +26 var SL = Strength

Notes: Hades is a bad-ass. He can easily mop the floor with Cast, use their dead shells to populate his undead army and torment their souls for the rest of eternity. There should be no end of uses for him in any Unisystem game.

This is the Cinematic Unisystem build for Hades. For a better picture I would start with this base and then use Armageddon. Give him Essence Draining and a bunch of Metaphysics.

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Willow and Tara for Mutants and Masterminds

Postby WebWarlock » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:54 pm

Willow and Tara: M&M Conversions

I have been toying around with the idea of them teaching at a school for “gifted youngsters” for some time. I honestly thought though I’d do it in BESM. Since by 2005 they were already living in or near Boston (for many reasons that seemed to converge at once) the idea firmed up when I saw that MDSnowman (from the Atomic Thinktank) had put his version of Freedom City in Massachusetts (his is much farther south).
So it was settled, Willow and Tara are teaching or working at Claremont Academy. It’s possible I could still work in my BESM storyline with this. I’ll know more after my BESM d20 conversions.

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Willow Rosenberg “The Witch”
Quote: “Wow. And here I thought my high school was weird.”

PL: 11 (165 pp)

Abilities: STR: 9(-1) DEX: 11(0) CON: 11(0) INT: 18(+4) WIS: 16(+3) CHA: 17(+3)

Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+8) , Bluff 4 (+7), Climb 4 (+3), Computers 15 (+19), Concentration 10 (+13), Craft(Chemical) 9 (+13), Craft(Electrical) 6 (+10), Craft(Mechanical) 2 (+6), Diplomacy 1 (+4), Disable Device 4 (+4), Disguise 0 (+3), Drive 2 (+2), Escape Artist 2 (+2), Gather Information 9 (+9), Handle Animal 1 (+4), Intimidate 4 (+7), Investigate 7 (+11), Knowledge (Arcana/Magic) 15 (+19), Knowledge (Chemistry) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Math) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 8 (+14), Language (English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin) (4), Medicine 4 (+7), Notice 7 (+10), Perform (Ritual) 7 (+10), Pilot 0 (0), Profession (Computer Analyst) 2 (+5), Ride 0 (0), Search 0 (+4), Sense Motive 0 (+3), Sleight of Hand 0 (0), Stealth 0 (0), Survival 0 (3), Swim 0 (-1)
Saves: Toughness +11 Fortitude +5 Reflex +5 Will +6

Feats: Attractive, Ambidexterity, Ritualist

Powers: Magic 16 (Telekinesis 16, Telepathy 11, Astral Projection (dimensional only) 11, Lightning bolt 11, Force Field 32, Magical Sight 32)

Combat: Attack +9 (Meele +9, Ranged +9) Defense +19 (+13 Flat-footed) Init +0

Drawbacks: Minority (Lesbian Jewish Wicca)

Real Name: Willow D. Rosenberg
DOB: August 1, 1981 (Age 25 in 2006)
Identity: Public, but unknown as a witch
Occupation: Part time computer instructor at Claremont Academy; Private Computer Security Systems Analyst.

Height 5’3”, Weight 110lbs, Eyes Green, Hair Red


Tara A. Maclay “The Sorceress”
Quote: “I am not teaching defense against the dark arts. I know they don’t have it, I am just saying.”

PL: 11 (165 pp)

Abilities: STR: 12(+1) DEX: 9(-1) CON: 12(+1) INT: 16(+3) WIS: 18(+4) CHA: 16(+3)

Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+3), Bluff 4 (+7), Climb 2 (+3), Computers 4 (+7), Concentration 6 (+10), Craft (Alchemical) 4 (+7), Diplomacy 6 (+9), Disable Device 0 (+3), Disguise 0 (+3), Drive 3 (+2), Escape Artist 1 (0), Gather Information 4 (+7), Handle Animal 4 (+7), Intimidate 4 (+7), Investigate 2 (+5), Knowledge (Arcana) 15 (+18) , Knowledge (Theology/Philosophy) 8 (+11), Knowledge (Art) 4 (+7), Language (Greek, Japanese, Latin, Spanish), Medicine 4 (+8) , Notice 6 (+10), Perform (Rituals) 4 (7), Perform (Painting) 4 (7), Perform (Song and Dance) 4 (7), Pilot 0 (-1), Profession (HS Teacher) 5 (+9), Ride (Horses) 6 (+5), Search 6 (+9), Sense Motive 6 (+10), Sleight of Hand 2 (1), Stealth 4 (3), Survival 6 (+10), Swim 0 (+1)
Saves: Toughness +11 Fortitude +5 Reflex +5 Will +6

Feats: Attractive, Fearsome Presence (to Demons and Vampires only), Ritualist

Powers: Magic 14 (Telekinesis 14, Magical Sight 14, Astral Projection 2), Healing 5 (by touch).

Combat: Attack +9 (Meele +8, Ranged +10) Defense +18 (+12 Flat-footed) Init -1

Drawbacks: Minority (Lesbian Wicca)

Real Name: Tara A. Maclay
DOB: 11/07/1980 (25 in 2006)
Identity: Public, but unknown as a witch
Occupation: Youth Counselor and Art instructor at Claremont Academy

Height 5’5”, Weight 125lbs, Eyes Blue, Hair Blond

Notes:
As usual, I am going with “The Dragon and the Phoenix” versions of these characters.
Briefly: Tara is back, Season 7 never happened, they defeated Leviathan. This would be the start of my Series 3 with Willow and Tara.

Neither are strong physical fighters, here or in Unisystem, so that converts well enough.

No dynamic Powers. I opted, for a couple of reasons, not to give Willow and Tara dynamic magic powers. Partially because they start this series as semi-retired but mostly I have something in mind for them later and dynamic magic plays a role in that.
Tara has healing separate from her Magic array same as her Unisystem counterpart. This plus her fearful presence to vampires and demons are the remains of her divine power as a Keribum (Kerubim). Tara also Magical Sight to cover her Empath and Sight qualities from Unisystem, but to better emulate it I might pull it out of her Magic array.

To mimic the Cinematic Unisystem magic better you can add Fade to the magical effects.

Casting together. In my games Willow and Tara can cast together to produce phenomenal effects via Anamchara Quality. In M&M this would be a special power or a special feat. In either case the results would be the same, Willow and Tara add their Magic levels together when casting together.

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Comments and questions welcome
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Postby uruz » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:40 pm

More lesbian love art, please. kthx.

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Re: Willow and Tara for Mutants and Masterminds

Postby mdauben » Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:32 pm

Very interesting series of postings, WebWarlock, and an interesting take on the characters. I'm make no claims at being an expert with M&M 2e (being relatively new to the system myself) of the Buffyverse (being only an occasional watcher), but I have a few comments and questions that I hope may be helpful (if not, feel free to ignore me!) :wink:

WebWarlock wrote:PL: 11 (165 pp)

While not a world-class powerhouse, in M&M terms PL11 is still pretty potent. While I am not real familar with the "late season" episodes that you characters seem to be modeled on, I would say that in general M&M terms I would expect it to require a relativley high level vampire or supernatural creature to be a real challange to either of these characters. Is that what you are shooting for? A lot of this is dependant on the relative power level of opponents in your compaign.

Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+8) , Bluff 4 (+7), Climb 4 (+3), Computers 15 (+19), Concentration 10 (+13), Craft(Chemical) 9 (+13), Craft(Electrical) 6 (+10), Craft(Mechanical) 2 (+6), Diplomacy 1 (+4), Disable Device 4 (+4), Disguise 0 (+3), Drive 2 (+2), Escape Artist 2 (+2), Gather Information 9 (+9), Handle Animal 1 (+4), Intimidate 4 (+7), Investigate 7 (+11), Knowledge (Arcana/Magic) 15 (+19), Knowledge (Chemistry) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Math) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 8 (+14), Language (English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin) (4), Medicine 4 (+7), Notice 7 (+10), Perform (Ritual) 7 (+10), Pilot 0 (0), Profession (Computer Analyst) 2 (+5), Ride 0 (0), Search 0 (+4), Sense Motive 0 (+3), Sleight of Hand 0 (0), Stealth 0 (0), Survival 0 (3), Swim 0 (-1)

Most people only list the Skills that they have paid for in their write-ups, but for actual in-game use listing all of them (with the associated modifiers) looks like it would be very helpful. I did have a couple of comments on your choices (high lighted in red above). You listed Chemistry, Mathmatics and Physical Science as three separate Knowledge skills, but in game terms Knowledge (Physical Science) includes knowlege of both chemistry and mathmatics so you don't need to pay for that skill three times. Also, the skill Perform in M&M terms refers only to the "performing arts" like music, dance, acting, etc. I think what you want is encompased in Ritualist that you have included as one her Feats.

Powers: Magic 16 (Telekinesis 16, Telepathy 11, Astral Projection (dimensional only) 11, Lightning bolt 11, Force Field 32, Magical Sight 32)

Magic is a tricky Power that I am not totally expert on, but I think you may have made a few errors here. A Rank 16 Magic Power would give you a total of 32 power points total to spend (Rank x2) on the other Powers in the array. You seem to have wildly exceeded this total with your array. Telekinesis 16 alone would cost 32 power points! I think you may have to either significantly increase the rank of your Magic power, or radically reduce some of the powers in the array. :(

It is not quite clear what you are paying for with Astral Projection (actually Astral Form). Did you mean Rank 11 or 11 power points? If you want to be able to travel to several "spiritual" dimentions, but not be able to travel around the "normal" world with this power, you would probably want something like:

Astral Form (Power Feat: Dimentional +2, Limited (Dimentional only) -1)

The Feat: Dimentional adds 2pp to the total cost of the Power, while the Flaw: Limited reduces the per rank cost by -1. Note that Rank in Astral Form is only related to the distance you can travel, so if you just wanted to step into a congruent area of anther dimention you would only need Rank 1 (total cost of 6 using the above example). Increasing the Rank would allow you to travel specific distances in the alternate dimention as indicated in the Extended Range table.

Did you mean a Rank 32 Force Field or are you referring to the point cost? Since Willow is not getting any sort of Toughness bonus from her Consititution I assume the total Toughness bonus (+11) is coming from her magical Force Field? If that is the case, it would only be a Rank 11 Force Field which would normally only cost 11 power points. If you are including a lot of Extras and Feats its possible that a Rank 11 Force Field could cost 32 power points, but in this case it is customary to list the Rank rather than the point cost, and also to include the Extras, etc. Something like this:

Force Field 11 (Extras: Range +2, Power Feats: Effects Insubstantial) = 34pp

Would give you a Force Field that could protect others in addition to the caster (Force Field starts off as a personal only power. To allow it to protect others, too, you need to step the Range up by 2. Range +1 would include people she was touching, while Ranged 2 would allow for a
"bubble" over a number of people). The Effects Insubstantial would allow the Force Field to be effective against things like Ghosts or Spirits that could pass through a normal Shield.

Finally, for the power you list as "Magical Sight" I think what you want is some form of the Super-Senses power. Its not quite clear from your write-up if you are trying to refer to the ability to see magic (which would probably be best represented by the Awarness additional sense) or if you mean magically enhanced sight, which could include any number of things (Darkvision, Danger Sense, Precognition, etc.). Assuming you mean the ability to acutally see magic, you would probably want something like:

Super-Senses 1 (Magical Awarness - Vision).

In this case, I am not quit sure what you inteded with the 32, as spending that many Ranks or Points on Super-Senses would pretty much enable you to see just about anything, anywhere! :roll:

Combat: Attack +9 (Meele +9, Ranged +9) Defense +19 (+13 Flat-footed) Init +0

Well, Attack +9 is pretty good for a PL11 character, and would seem to indicate someone with some pretty good (although not exceptional) combat training. Is this what you are shooting for? In order to get the defence 19 you need to be spending 38 power points to achieve this, and the only way to legally do it would be to use an Toughness/Defence trade-off. For a PL11 character to have a Defense +19 bonus (Normal PL11 limit of +11, with an additional plus 8 ), you would have to limit yourself to a +2 Toughness modifier (Normal PL11 limit of +11, minus 8 ). Not that the Magical Force Field bonus applies to her Toughness bonus, so there really isn't any way to give her such a high Defense bonus, without breaking the rules (Some people have no problem with that for NPCs, so its up to you to decide). I hope that was clear? If not, check out the section on ATTACK/DEFENSE TRADE-OFFS (p24) in the rulebook.
Drawbacks: Minority (Lesbian Jewish Wicca)

I would probably consider this as a Complication rather than a Drawback, although this can be a kind of fuzzy distinction. In you campaign world, does being a lesbian jewish wicca have a real negative impact on the character's ability to function as a witch (as in preventing her from using some of her skills, feats or powers)? If so, that would be a Drawback. If its only real impact would be present in the roleplaying of the character, personal interactions, etc, then it would be Complication.

I hope that at least some of that was helpful! :D
Mike

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Postby Dirigible » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:44 pm

Very comprehensive.

I would probably consider this as a Complication rather than a Drawback


I agree. M&M already has a way for handling this disadvantage.

Is that what you are shooting for? A lot of this is dependant on the relative power level of opponents in your compaign.


Seems about right for Willow - she did almost kill the planet and all. Tara's PL seems rather high, unless something happened to really soup her up in the comics Webwarlock is referencing.

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Re: Willow and Tara for Mutants and Masterminds

Postby Pampero » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:20 pm

WebWarlock wrote:Real Name: Willow D. Rosenberg
DOB: August 1, 1981 (Age 25 in 2006)


Actually, 24 until Aug.

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Postby WebWarlock » Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:27 am

Hey everyone, thanks for the comments!

mdauben: I'll have to go through your post again to give it the attention it deserves, but thanks for spending so much time on it. I am also rather new to M&M. Anytime I pick up a new game one of the first things I do is try to find what is familar to me.

But let's talk power level. I thought PL 11 was a good place to start.
Actually what I did was I converted them both from Unisystem, filled out their skills a bit more, calculated the number of points and ended up with 167. So I figured PL 11 was a good place to be. I have another "witch" that is a personal character (a thus no real point in posting it) that I did the opposite. I started at PL 11 and tried to get as close to the Unisystem version I could. Both methods were very satisfying.

Now about Tara.
If you have not guessed, Tara is alive and well in my games. Without getting into too much detail, Tara came back as a Keribum, a type of ascended human. She helped out the gang defeat some fallen angels and was supposed to go back to Heaven. Instead she took exile and lost all her "divine" powers. She still had the power to heal by touch, her magic was still boosted and demons and vampires still feared her. Turns out she was doing exactly what the powers had planned all along.
She is powerful in her own right but does not have the firepower of Willow. She can last much longer in a fight.

I am also basing these write-ups on conversations I have had with Christopher Golden (who wrote Buffy novels) and Amber Benson (who was Tara), I wrote the Ghosts of Albion RPG based on their novels. BOth felt Tara was more powerful and there were clues in the scripts that suggested that. Plus Amber herself told me "You know Tara better than I do now anyway!" ;)

So the characters I know well. It's M&M I am still learning!

I knew I could expect some good comments here. Thanks for not disapointing!

Now to go back over my characters.

OH: The comic images above are from various Willow and Tara comics written by Amber Benson and Christopher Golden.

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Re: Willow and Tara for Mutants and Masterminds

Postby WebWarlock » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:35 am

mdauben wrote:Very interesting series of postings, WebWarlock, and an interesting take on the characters. I'm make no claims at being an expert with M&M 2e (being relatively new to the system myself) of the Buffyverse (being only an occasional watcher), but I have a few comments and questions that I hope may be helpful (if not, feel free to ignore me!) :wink:


No. This is very helpfull! I am glad you liked them and hope someoen can get some enjoyemnt out it.

mdauben wrote:
WebWarlock wrote:PL: 11 (165 pp)

While not a world-class powerhouse, in M&M terms PL11 is still pretty potent. While I am not real familar with the "late season" episodes that you characters seem to be modeled on, I would say that in general M&M terms I would expect it to require a relativley high level vampire or supernatural creature to be a real challange to either of these characters. Is that what you are shooting for? A lot of this is dependant on the relative power level of opponents in your compaign.


PL11 seemed to work well for me. In a Unisystem game this would be fairly high powered. I would guess that your average "Buffy/Angel" game would end up being about PL 8. I am currently playing a PL 5 game now and it feels like a startup Unisystem game.

mdauben wrote:
Skills: ... Knowledge (Chemistry) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Math) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 8 (+14), Language (English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin) (4), Medicine 4 (+7), Notice 7 (+10), Perform (Ritual) 7 (+10), Pilot 0 (0), Profession (Computer Analyst) 2 (+5), Ride 0 (0), Search 0 (+4), Sense Motive 0 (+3), Sleight of Hand 0 (0), Stealth 0 (0), Survival 0 (3), Swim 0 (-1)

Most people only list the Skills that they have paid for in their write-ups, but for actual in-game use listing all of them (with the associated modifiers) looks like it would be very helpful. I did have a couple of comments on your choices (high lighted in red above). You listed Chemistry, Mathmatics and Physical Science as three separate Knowledge skills, but in game terms Knowledge (Physical Science) includes knowlege of both chemistry and mathmatics so you don't need to pay for that skill three times. Also, the skill Perform in M&M terms refers only to the "performing arts" like music, dance, acting, etc. I think what you want is encompased in Ritualist that you have included as one her Feats.


I considered what you said before about the skills. What I am attempting to do here is not make the best version of Willow I can, but rather see if I can do a good M&M translation of the Unisystem Willow that still makes some sense. I think I'll re-allocate her points all the same with these skills.

The feat Ritualist might be a hold over from my d20 mod conversions. I'll have to check.

mdauben wrote:
Powers: Magic 16 (Telekinesis 16, Telepathy 11, Astral Projection (dimensional only) 11, Lightning bolt 11, Force Field 32, Magical Sight 32)

Magic is a tricky Power that I am not totally expert on, but I think you may have made a few errors here. A Rank 16 Magic Power would give you a total of 32 power points total to spend (Rank x2) on the other Powers in the array. You seem to have wildly exceeded this total with your array. Telekinesis 16 alone would cost 32 power points! I think you may have to either significantly increase the rank of your Magic power, or radically reduce some of the powers in the array. :(


I'll admit I am not the best on what magic does in M&M. So I am still trying to find my Rosetta Stone to help explain it too me. I was heavily motivated by MDSnowman's writeup of Raven. What would be great is a supplement on just magic. I'd snap that up in a heartbeat.
Hell. If I can get better grip on the power and how it works maybe I'll write it myself! Witches after all are my thing and I have written a few RPG books on magic/witchcraft.

With TK in particular, well here is the issue. In "Buffy" TK is free as part of the Magic quality. So I have to figure out the best way to go about that.

mdauben wrote:It is not quite clear what you are paying for with Astral Projection (actually Astral Form). Did you mean Rank 11 or 11 power points? If you want to be able to travel to several "spiritual" dimentions, but not be able to travel around the "normal" world with this power, you would probably want something like:

Astral Form (Power Feat: Dimentional +2, Limited (Dimentional only) -1)


Typically I mean Rank 11.

mdauben wrote:The Feat: Dimentional adds 2pp to the total cost of the Power, while the Flaw: Limited reduces the per rank cost by -1. Note that Rank in Astral Form is only related to the distance you can travel, so if you just wanted to step into a congruent area of anther dimention you would only need Rank 1 (total cost of 6 using the above example). Increasing the Rank would allow you to travel specific distances in the alternate dimention as indicated in the Extended Range table.

Did you mean a Rank 32 Force Field or are you referring to the point cost? Since Willow is not getting any sort of Toughness bonus from her Consititution I assume the total Toughness bonus (+11) is coming from her magical Force Field? If that is the case, it would only be a Rank 11 Force Field which would normally only cost 11 power points. If you are including a lot of Extras and Feats its possible that a Rank 11 Force Field could cost 32 power points, but in this case it is customary to list the Rank rather than the point cost, and also to include the Extras, etc. Something like this:

Force Field 11 (Extras: Range +2, Power Feats: Effects Insubstantial) = 34pp

Would give you a Force Field that could protect others in addition to the caster (Force Field starts off as a personal only power. To allow it to protect others, too, you need to step the Range up by 2. Range +1 would include people she was touching, while Ranged 2 would allow for a
"bubble" over a number of people). The Effects Insubstantial would allow the Force Field to be effective against things like Ghosts or Spirits that could pass through a normal Shield.

Finally, for the power you list as "Magical Sight" I think what you want is some form of the Super-Senses power. Its not quite clear from your write-up if you are trying to refer to the ability to see magic (which would probably be best represented by the Awarness additional sense) or if you mean magically enhanced sight, which could include any number of things (Darkvision, Danger Sense, Precognition, etc.). Assuming you mean the ability to acutally see magic, you would probably want something like:

Super-Senses 1 (Magical Awarness - Vision).

In this case, I am not quit sure what you inteded with the 32, as spending that many Ranks or Points on Super-Senses would pretty much enable you to see just about anything, anywhere! :roll:


Again thanks for all this detail! I'll have to go over it all again with my corebook, character sheets and calculator! ;) IT might take me a bit to polish it all they way I would like.

Compare this to my Unisystem version of Hades from the Freedom City book. He has all those magical powers, but in Unisystem I gave him an astounding Occult Library (cost 11 character points) and 10 levels of Sorcery/Magic (cost 50 character points), with that there really is no spell he could not cast or magical effect he could no do.

mdauben wrote:
Combat: Attack +9 (Meele +9, Ranged +9) Defense +19 (+13 Flat-footed) Init +0

Well, Attack +9 is pretty good for a PL11 character, and would seem to indicate someone with some pretty good (although not exceptional) combat training. Is this what you are shooting for? In order to get the defence 19 you need to be spending 38 power points to achieve this, and the only way to legally do it would be to use an Toughness/Defence trade-off. For a PL11 character to have a Defense +19 bonus (Normal PL11 limit of +11, with an additional plus 8 ), you would have to limit yourself to a +2 Toughness modifier (Normal PL11 limit of +11, minus 8 ). Not that the Magical Force Field bonus applies to her Toughness bonus, so there really isn't any way to give her such a high Defense bonus, without breaking the rules (Some people have no problem with that for NPCs, so its up to you to decide). I hope that was clear? If not, check out the section on ATTACK/DEFENSE TRADE-OFFS (p24) in the rulebook.


Ok now that is a bit clearer! I'll go back and look that over.
Again, I have been roll to hit ACs and subtracting hitpoints for the better part of 26 years, the new combat system takes a bit to get used to. Sure it is similar to Eden's Unisystem, but I still have LifePoints there.

mdauben wrote:
Drawbacks: Minority (Lesbian Jewish Wicca)

I would probably consider this as a Complication rather than a Drawback, although this can be a kind of fuzzy distinction. In you campaign world, does being a lesbian jewish wicca have a real negative impact on the character's ability to function as a witch (as in preventing her from using some of her skills, feats or powers)? If so, that would be a Drawback. If its only real impact would be present in the roleplaying of the character, personal interactions, etc, then it would be Complication.

I might be getting my words confused. In Unisystem it is a Drawback.
This is not something related to their powers, but rather how society as a whole treats them.

I have them teaching at Claremont now. But could you imagine who a parent, even a super-hero parent, would act if they thought a homosexual was teaching their children? Yes it is stupid, yes it should not happen that way, but often times it does. While sexuality does not play a big part in my games, the drama of how people react to them does. but my games also tend to focus on some mundane matters as well, with a supernatural twist.

For example, this is the kind of thing I mean. I ran a game with Willow and Tara. They were living in Boston at the time and Willow's parent's were coming to visit to have diner and basically give their blessing on their daughter's relationship (so a good source of drama here). Of course that is not how things progressed. I had Vampire Tara come over from the other reality looking for Vampire Willow. She holds Willow in thrall while Tara gets the needed items to bring back the other Willow. All of this while her parents were there. So the players got a chance to play both characters (good and evil) and a chance to explore what might be considered "adult themes". I am making it sound awfuly dry, but it was really fun.

With these versions of the characters I want to have characters that "seem" normal (just two normal young teachers at Claremont) that really aren't (just two really FREAKING powerful witches in semi-retirement). How would the other characters react when these suddenly "out" themselves by smaking down a rampaging bad guy with a few quick spells. It could be fun. Either way it is something my normal (and again I use that word loosely) would like.

mdauben wrote:I hope that at least some of that was helpful! :D


A lot of it was. Too bad it means I have to go back to work on tweaking them! ;)

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Postby WebWarlock » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:45 am

Thanks Pampero!

I can convert between two different RPGs, but simple subtraction.... ;)

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Appendix: d20 Silver Age Sentinels

Postby WebWarlock » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:53 pm

A while back I was dying for a new Supers game. In the past I had played TSR Marvel, Villains & Vigilantes and was even dusting off my Mayfair DC Heroes game. But I wanted something new and I set out looking for the best super hero game to play with my son.

I bought Mutants and Masterminds and Silver Age Sentinels. I got M&M first and really enjoyed it, put it down and picked up SAS.

Now I was a HUGE fan of BESM and BESM d20. I picked up both the d20 and Tri-Stat versions (had some birthday money from my kids to blow!)

Well…I wasn’t that pleased with it.

Don’t get me wrong SAS (either version) is fine, it’s just not M&M. Plus there is a lot of duplication between SAS and M&M. No surprise really, same source material and Stephen Kenson is the author for both books. So no big deal there.
But having said that I wish there was one Omnibus edition of SAS that had both Tri-Stat and d20 rules. I figured I bought the same 200 pages twice in both versions of SAS.

Given that here are the things that are good in SAS d20 for the M&M player.
- Nice history of comic books. Really a good history that is game-neutral (it’s the same in both versions of SAS) and a great read for the M&M player.
- There are some Powers not in M&M. Not many, I can count them on one hand, but they are there. I’ll work on converting them, but really conversion is really easy in this case.
- SAS d20 has more defects (drawbacks, flaws) for characters than does M&M, these could easily be added to a game to give characters a grittier feel.
- The Heroes and Villains of SAS work great as a supporting cast to the ones in M&M (and visa versa). Freedom City can be on one coast with Empire City on another. After all we have a Gotham and Metropolis in the same world too. Course ths leads to some confusion; which voodoo dude came first The Baron (SAS) or Baron Samedi (M&M), but I guess Captain Cold and Mr. Freeze have the same arguement.

If you are in area that plays both games then my advice is to check out the BESM D20 SRD, or buy a copy of SAS d20, and dual stat your characters.

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Re: Appendix: d20 Silver Age Sentinels

Postby mdauben » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:31 pm

WebWarlock wrote:ADon’t get me wrong SAS (either version) is fine, it’s just not M&M.

I totally agree with you there, WebWarlock.

I picked up SAS d20 with the intention of staring a Superhero game with some of the local d20 D&D players, but I just never really got my head around the rules. Becasue of that the game never happened. Later, I picked up M&M and was really impressed with how much better (in my opinion, at least) they handled the genre and how much clearer (to me, at least) the rules were. I'm right now busy putting together a supers game using M&M that I hope to kick start with the local players soon. :D
Mike



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Postby grahf » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:47 pm

One main thing to keep in mind is the Power Level limits. For example if Willow is PL 11, she can typically have up to +11 Defense and +11 Toughness. Defense bonus adds to the 10 base defense that all characters have, so a +5 defense bonus would be equivalent to 15 Defense for example.

However she can trade them off on a 1-for-1 basis, so since your version presumably has +9 defense (11-2), she can have up to a +13 Toughness save bonus (11+2). She can get it from Constitution bonus, Defensive Roll, equipment or devices (body armor), or powers such as Protection or Force Field, so long as the total is +13 or less. If she gets it entirely from the Force Field power, that means she can have Force Field rank 13 but not above. If she wants she can take extras like Impervious, which would mean that no attack of +12 damage or below could penetrate the field.

The same general rule applies to the attack bonus and save DC (how hard they are to resist) of your attacks. A PL 11 character could have 11 in each, or 13 in one and 9 in the other, or 16 in one and 6 in the other, or any other combination. However keep in mind that certain attacks aren't influenced by tradeoffs. Area attacks and Perception attacks don't make attack rolls, so they aren't affected by tradeoffs in either direction. A PL 11 character could have a fireball (area blast) with a maximum rank of 11, no matter what her normal attack/DC tradeoffs were.

Another important point is understanding how powers and Alternate Powers work. The Magic power isn't a power in and of itself so much as a descriptor that ties together a variety of alternate powers. For example, a character might have something like:

Blast 10 (20 pp)

as their base power. Now for 1 pp they can add an alternate power, which is any power of 20 pp or less, and use either it or the blast in any given round. Magic is nothing more than simply taking a base power and a variety of Alternate Power feats for it. For example:

Magic (25 pp)
Blast 10 (20 pp)
AP: Impervious Force Field 10 (1 pp since it's an alternate power of the Blast)
AP: Telekinesis 10 (1 pp)
AP: Telepathy 10 (1 pp)
AP: Astral Form 4 (since it has a base cost of 5 pp/rank instead of 2) (1 pp)
AP: Super-Senses 15 (you don't have to make APs with as many points as the base) (1 pp)

What this gives is a character who can either zap someone, or shield themselves, or astrally project etc. each round, but only one at a time. The player will just call that array of alternate powers "Magic", but a psionic character for example might have the exact same array and call it "Psionics". Obviously there are disadvantages to having both a character's main attack power and their main defensive power in the same array, since they can't use both at the same time. Buying them separately means they can both be used simultaneously but increases the total cost.


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