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 Post subject: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:08 am 
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This barebones template idea came about after watching this particular Mass Effect video clip and this little exchange in the first game that made me think that there should be at least an attempt to make a similar kind of Elderich Abomination, or at least the Lovecraftian version, in OVA2e to give a kind of ominous presence, that a character had stepped into a realm they are woefully unprepared for both mentally and spiritually.

Granted, the right soundtrack works, but one can find the point I'm getting. Especially useful if one wanted to create an anime version of "The Call of Cthulhu".

No, Nyaruko-san doesn't count.

Anyway, here's the bare-bones template that one could add or subtract to any similar NPC (no way any sane GM would make this a PC option) that one would wish to incorporate into any campaign with a similar atmosphere. It should be noted that the image here is a placeholder, it doesn't have to look like a squid, though Cthulhu and others would say otherwise....

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Elderich Abomination – Lovecraftian-Type(5 Points)
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An ancient, unfathomable being beyond the scope of mortal understanding; to the point that the mere sight of them is enough to induce madness into the minds of all but the strongest of souls. Even then it would not last long under prolong exposure. To battle them is an exercise in futility and to go against them is to go against the very forces of nature itself, though there is nothing natural to these beings within the realm of the corporeal or ethereal. They are nigh timeless, infinite, and have the patience that equals their near immortal lifespan. Even in defeat, it is not certain that it will end their monitions, but rather a pause in the greater scheme of a cosmos onto which they are the apex species in the same scale as a human is as apex onto worms.

They cannot speak the tongues of mortal languages, but with their psionic abilities, there is no need. Their psycho-manipulative touch is able to reach what they need into the depths of any mortals soul, though often enough at the cost of the poor victims sanity if they are not made into thralls of these elderich abominations. Thralls that are easily made legion to further their alien stratagems, heedless of the casualties it would cause the “lower” species. They see themselves as above the petty concerns of mortals, and they would be justified in that they are the closest a being could get to become divine in their own grotesque, impossible visage. This breeds arrogance and overconfidence, but it is not without warrant for they existed before mortal species and will more than likely continue to exist long after the last have returned to the dust from whence they came.

HEALTH: 1000
ENDURANCE: 1000
TV: 52 (57 Scaled)
DX[END] - Attack
  • 25[0] - “Touch of Madness” (Continued Effect; No Gesture; Stunning; Will Attack. No Damage; Requirement, Psychic)
Level - Ability
  • +3 - Armored *
  • +3 - Fluency (Requirement, Psychic)
  • +5 - Intimidating
  • +3 - Longevity
  • +3 - Minions
  • +3 - Monstrous Durability
  • +3 - Monstrous Vigor
  • +3 - Monstrous Yield
  • +5 - Psychic
Level - Weakness
  • -3 - Arrogant
  • -3 - Awkward Size (Large)
  • -3 - Bizarre Appearance “Elderich Abomination”
  • -3 - Emotionless “Elderich Abomination”
  • -3 - Infamous “Elderich Abomination”
  • -2 - Mute
  • -3 - Overconfident
  • -3 - Rude
  • -3 - Stubborn

* Indicates that Character Ability/ies are of higher value than human norm, thus applicable for Scaled Advantage

Now, I used the same system Malancthon's Monstrous Scale system for lack of a better name. The only difference is the change in terminology: Monstrous Yield for Monstrous Damage, and Monstrous Vigor for Monsterous Drive. It's largely a preference, nothing more.

As for Longevity, it's another custom Ability (Yeah, I know, I really need to stop doing that) to fit the being in question. Here's the detail in full so far:
Quote:
Longevity – You have lived a very long life, or at the very least have the potential to live a very long life. As such, you are able to utilize that fact to your advantage in mental skills, physical prowess, or even know how to navigate politics and diplomacy to your advantage just by knowing the right person. Add your Longevity dice in any applicable dice check such as combat, healing, knowledge, or whatever the GM deemed appropriate.

Optionally, your level in Longevity may be measured and compared to real world values using the following table:

Longevity Level - Value
  • 1 - Centuries
  • 2 - Millennia
  • 3 - Ages
  • 4 - Eras
  • 5 - Aeons

So then, thoughts on the above?

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Last edited by Sabersonic on Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:47 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:20 am 
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Cool, you really get the gist of the idea with My idea.

Couple of things: Health should be 1000, as should Endurance be 1000. You have 80 and 40 each. The damage multiplier for level 3 would be x25- I don't see any Attack or Strong there to increase the base damage multiplier. If either was there at +1, then the dX would be correct at 50. It doesn't really affect Touch of Madness since it's not a damaging attack, though.

All in all, though, looks great!

Quote:
As for Longevity, it's another custom Ability (Yeah, I know, I really need to stop doing that) to fit the being in question.


I really don't think there's any harm in adding new Abilities all the time. There is a reason why Unique Ability exists, to pop in anything that the current abilities don't fit in.

As for Longevity. The Ability itself seems fine. At first it looked like it was an indication of how long one could live, but taking a second look, I see it's more of how long one has lived. That's.... actually pretty cool. Kudos. I might use this idea on something.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:33 am 
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Sabersonic wrote:
As for Longevity, it's another custom Ability (Yeah, I know, I really need to stop doing that) to fit the being in question. Here's the detail in full so far:
Quote:
Longevity – You have lived a very long life, or at the very least have the potential to live a very long life. As such, you are able to utilize that fact to your advantage in mental skills, physical prowess, or even know how to navigate politics and diplomacy to your advantage just by knowing the right person. Add your Longevity dice in any applicable dice check such as combat, healing, knowledge, or whatever the GM deemed appropriate.

Optionally, your level in Longevity may be measured and compared to real world values using the following table:

Longevity Level - Value
  • 1 - Centuries
  • 2 - Millennia
  • 3 - Ages
  • 4 - Eras
  • 5 - Aeons

So then, thoughts on the above?


As for longevity, if it helps for some additional reference ideas, I had asked Clay a similar question before regarding long-lived characters:

The Reddest Mage wrote:
7) How many Levels would it be worth for a Unique Ability that basically reflected the character as being ancient or ageless? That is, being an Immortal in the sense that they won't die of natural causes like age or illness, but they can still die from injury like anything else? Basically things like vampires, elves, robots, etc. that don't get old and don't get sick. Or is this already covered by the Life Support Ability, or perhaps even the Resistance (Aging) Ability?


Clay wrote:
7) I don’t think that’s really worth statting. Any knowledge or experience they gain by being old as dirt will already be reflected by Abilities like Knowledge and Smart. And since they’re no harder to kill, it has no real combat advantage either. If you want it on the sheet just so it’s THERE...make it a +1 or +2 Unique Ability.


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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:41 am 
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I initially thought the same, that there was no need for a mechanical value for being long-lived (unless it was something unnatural).

However, Saber here has presented it more as a reflection of a being's long age, something above and beyond what Smart or Contacts or Wealth normally represents, since it's related to what the being has built up over the ages, beyond what normal mortal limits can make.

Kind of like how Agile is more than just the quickie Attack Roll modifier.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:48 am 
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Malancthon wrote:
Couple of things: Health should be 1000, as should Endurance be 1000. You have 80 and 40 each. The damage multiplier for level 3 would be x25-

*Looks at profile* BAH! Stupid copy and paste.....

Corrected.
Malancthon wrote:
I don't see any Attack or Strong there to increase the base damage multiplier. If either was there at +1, then the dX would be correct at 50. It doesn't really affect Touch of Madness since it's not a damaging attack, though.

If I recall the rules correctly, each character has a base DM of 1 regardless if one had Attack or Strong with said character, so that was my logic.

As for Touch of Madness, I recall one of the perks requiring the DM to calculate the full effect an attack would have on a character inflicted. Can't recall which one off the top of my head though....
Malancthon wrote:
As for Longevity. The Ability itself seems fine. At first it looked like it was an indication of how long one could live, but taking a second look, I see it's more of how long one has lived. That's.... actually pretty cool. Kudos. I might use this idea on something.

Glad that you like the idea. I figured that having the potential to live long is rather pointless unless one has a long history to take advantage of that fact. That it's less innate ability that allows one to succeed in tasks and more for having experience and memory of having done the same or similar task to succeed.

As for The Reddest Mage's own ninja post, Longevity use wouldn't be limited to just mental-based abilities. Rather it reflects just how formidable such a character is in a straight-up confrontation. It may not add any more endurance, health, or DX than the average character, but it does help increase the chance of success in any dice check such a character would have since it has been through a few battles within their long life and it wouldn't be their first rodeo as Malancthon's own ninja post suggested.

Now that I think of it, Longevity on its own does seem rather powerful. Perhaps too powerful. Probably something that a GM should keep their eye on if placed on a PC. On an NPC? Not so much. It would probably be prudent for a GM to mandate a certain level of Weakness either Unique or Ineptitude centered around recalling a memory just to keep balance between PCs.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:23 am 
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Sabersonic wrote:
Malancthon wrote:
I don't see any Attack or Strong there to increase the base damage multiplier. If either was there at +1, then the dX would be correct at 50. It doesn't really affect Touch of Madness since it's not a damaging attack, though.

If I recall the rules correctly, each character has a base DM of 1 regardless if one had Attack or Strong with said character, so that was my logic.


You are right. 1x25 is 25. With Attack or Strong +1, the DM would be 2, 2x25 is 50.

Maybe you were thinking of the original draft, which had a progression of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500. I had revised the progression to 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 for the damage ability, then on the final version of the abilities used that progression for all three of them.

Sabersonic wrote:
Now that I think of it, Longevity on its own does seem rather powerful. Perhaps too powerful. Probably something that a GM should keep their eye on if placed on a PC. On an NPC? Not so much. It would probably be prudent for a GM to mandate a certain level of Weakness either Unique or Ineptitude centered around recalling a memory just to keep balance between PCs.


I agree, this is probably more of an NPC type ability, and the normal Abilities would suffice to represent a PC's own history. It's still pretty neat.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:33 am 
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Actually I think it's just me getting my numbers mixed up again. I do recall looking at the x25 when writing the template so I have no idea where the x50 came from....

And Longevity does sound more like a naked, exclusive NPC ability with heavy GM oversight for PCs.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:29 am 
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Out of curiosity, how did you calculate the TV? I haven't really looked at what changes the Monstrous Modifier Abilities would cause to the Threat Values (TVs are a bit of a headache with normal characters as it is).

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:37 am 
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I just calculated the TV through the DX increase but did the others the same. I figured that Monsterous Scale doesn't require any extra hoops to jump through in addition to the usual calculations.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:31 am 
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Sabersonic wrote:
As for The Reddest Mage's own ninja post, Longevity use wouldn't be limited to just mental-based abilities. Rather it reflects just how formidable such a character is in a straight-up confrontation. It may not add any more endurance, health, or DX than the average character, but it does help increase the chance of success in any dice check such a character would have since it has been through a few battles within their long life and it wouldn't be their first rodeo as Malancthon's own ninja post suggested.


However one chooses to represent their experience is up to them, and any way is fine as long as it's cool with the the GM, so this is just my personal opinion and nothing more, but to me the above description just sounds like the Combat Expert Ability since it not only adds to the Attack Roll when attacking, but can also be used to show off your combat expertise as well as to analyze an opponent's combat expertise. I have grown to agree that I think the benefits of having a long lifespan are best represented by what other Abilities and Weaknesses the character has, as well as at what Levels they are at.

For example, if I wanted to make a 500-year-old kung-fu master monk, I'd probably give him Abilities like these to represent his advanced age:

Attack (Shaolin Kung-Fu Techniques)
Combat Expert (From an Extended Lifetime of Battle)
Connected (Family Members of those Helped by the Shaolin Temple over the Centuries)
Famous (For Being a Legendary Kung-Fu Master Monk)
Knowledge (Shaolin Kung-Fu)
Minions (Loyal Shaolin Monk Disciples)
Position of Power (Head Monk of the Shaolin Temple)
Smart (From an Extended Lifetime of Study and Learning)

On the other hand, a long-lived character such as 500-year-old kung-fu master monk might have Weaknesses such as these to show his age:

Ageism (If he actually looks really old)
Ineptitude (Modern Technology)
Quirk (Old-Fashioned Speech, Clothing, Habits, etc.)

Anyhow, again, however one chooses to represent longevity is fine. This is just how I might do it.


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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:40 am 
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Regarding longevity I very much agree with the Reddest Mage.

I see you folks really dig Malancthon's "Monstrous Scale System". More power to you. Me, I'd have a different idea...

No normal combat.

That's the gist. For instance, I'd give abilities & weaknesses to different parts of the Leviathan (or other boss monsters). Extra Boss health bars (Health Reserve, right?) would always be applicable, as would Scale.

Then, I'd play it like a whole session.

I don't remember a lot about these nasty creatures, but for instance, first the party has to descend, with powered exoskeletons or submarines, down to the level where the Leviathan nests. It notices their descent. One of the spherical blue artifacts starts shining right next to one of them, encased in the rock of the abyss. They have to resist the mental influence, no mean feat, and if they don't they'll start fighting among themselves. If someone survives, they'll reach the bottom... and the Leviathan will come out of its hole and attempt domination again. If they resist, ginormous tentacles will slide around their submarines. Now they have to flee using powered exos, all of them. Maybe one wants to shoot as many torpedoes as they can against a tentacle. Each tentacles has Scale & 2 Health bars, but can't defend, so roll for damage. Chances are it's only damaged now, and the submarine is literally exploding around the lone gunner, who opts to flee towards one of the exos, and has to roll to make it and might take damage from the fires and debris before they manage to get into it, while the nearest swimmers have to roll to avoid being violently pushed by the blast, and the debris will most certainly inflict damage on them.

So now the party is all scattered, wearing powered, armored & weaponized exos (some of them at least slightly damaged) - and the Leviathan tries to dominate their minds again, so they have, again, to roll to resist the impulse to attack each other. So probably at least someone will direct the missiles & guns of their exo against each other, someone will try to make them come back to their senses, and someone will instead direct their weapons against the alien, finally. So, where to aim? Each part, each weak point has health bars and armor and scale, and the tentacles now are trying to grab them, so they have to get outta dodge, and those who can't will have the most gigantic tentacle ever shattering their exos and their only chance will be to get out of it - but the pressure would kill them - or inflict just enough damage to it that it retracts even just momentarily, affording them to dodge again - if their rockets are still functioning...

... and this is sounding more and more like a disaster movie and less like an epic battle, but you get what I mean. Such huge creatures, like the Reapers, and Dragon Dogma's Grigori and assorted gigantic climbable beasties, or D&D oldest dragons, Tarrasque etc, they're not just combatants in a fight, they're terrain, and hazards, and whole catastrophes all in one. It's no normal fight, it's a whole adventure. The round by round combat sequence can be followed and indeed should be for consistency, but they have multiple actions and many targettable components, and they can be climbed, or even, god forbid, entered (maybe they swallow some unlucky character), and so on.

Whereas, if a huge dragon fought another huge dragon, scale wouldn't apply, for instance, and the whole duel could be solved pretty much by RAW.

And if a PC were one of these huge beings? No probs, just go with the punches, abilities, weaknesses and costs are the same, it has scale of course (which can help or hinder, depending on the circumstances) and if faced with human-size morsels I mean, opponents, the player will have the same options - dropping buildings over them, launching boulders like a damn trebuchet, swallowing them, trampling them, stomping on them... it's no mere sword & buckler face-to-face, at all.

So, personally, IMVHO, the OVA rules are robust enough to handle much of what you can throw at them, kaiju included. It takes no new rules, just a little creativity on the part of the players - and hell, we roleplay, if we don't have creativity then who does?

XOXO :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:59 am 
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Been meaning to reply to Reddest Mage's own counter for a while now. But basically the above Elderich Abomination template is just that, a template. Something meant for someone to customize to make it more memorable and fit that particular campaign in question but essentially fit in with the bare nature of an Elderich Abomination or even a species of them. Granted, a "immortal" character can be specialized as with the kung fu master monk, but they're limited in such knowledge and abilities. Elderich Abominations, by their very nature though bizarre, are not so limited. Or at least in the mortal sense. That it has witnessed so many events that there is very little that they have not seen already, have not anticipated countless times before.

As for the Monstrous Scale, well it's suppose to indicate just how much of a bad idea it is for one to face off one of these things on an even battlefield if one is ever that lucky or unlucky depending upon one's point of view.

Granted, the above Template is using the Base Zero character creation rules and I was trying to keep it within those limitations since I'm not a hundred percent sure what is the official rule would be for, well, Apex NPCs for lack of a better word.

Still, the idea of making such an encounter an actual Adventure rather than as a single combat scene does have its own, unique charms that tickle my sadistic, vindictive GM side.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:10 pm 
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Roswynn d'Cannith wrote:
I see you folks really dig Malancthon's "Monstrous Scale System". More power to you. Me, I'd have a different idea...

No normal combat.

Rosie-


That'd still be the way a normal character or a group of normal characters would have to approach a "Monstrous Scaled" encounter. I imagine in a standard OVA game, such an encounter would not have any stats- as you say, it's more terrain or hazard based than boss battle fight.

But just like D&D of ye old who had stats for gods and the Terrasque, the "Monstrous Scale" provides an option to stat these hoary abominations with respect. There is a tangible awe with having numbers in the high hundreds or in the thousands. A good GM certainly can with good storytelling and roleplaying build up an encounter or scenario involving a gigantic or godlike threat without needing stats (Call of Cthlulhu, for example, says don't bother statting an Elder God), but having stats does solidify the encounter. Or helps a less skilled GM with context. Godzilla, for example, I think shines more accurately as a 2500 Health creature than a 100 Health creature. Same with the Abomination, it shines more as a 1000 Health creature than a 40 or 70 Health creature. You can take a quick look at it and know you will need to change to brown pants.

Then, going back with a normal group. Head on combat is going to be idiotic. With just a single success, Godzilla's tail would flatten even the hardiest of characters. So they'd have to fight smart, use the terrain to hunt down a weak spot, maybe work to set up a psychic transceiver on the big G, all sorts of little things that could take up an entire session- just as you suggested as the way to approach the fight. Because the players can see just how much damage would be inflicted or how tough Godzilla himself is, and they'd be straight up doomed to try to take it on normally.

This actually is a reason why I separated out the abilities into Strong/Tough/Vigor equivalents. If the normal scaled characters do decide to take on such behemoths, not using the Monstrous Damage/Destruction/Yield/whatever Ability or having it at a lower level would allow normal characters to survive the monster's attacks. However, since a normal character would only be able to chip away at such high HP that though with luck or tactics the characters could win, the encounter would take forever or the characters would still likely succumb to attrition, it would behoove the players to think outside the box and for the encounter to play out session long without normal combat- just as you say. It would then depend on how lethal the encounter the GM wants it to be.

But then! Mecha G is a go! Jaeger protocol activates! We got DinoZord Power now! The characters win or survive or something that gives them a chance for equal fighting. Mazinger Z rises up and with a burning fire and a rocket punch is ready to end the fight!

And you do like 15 points of damage. Way to undervalue the impact. But at 75 points, 150 points, or 375 points (Monstrous Ability x5, x10, x25 respectively), now you got the numbers to back up just how cataclysmic, how monstrous, how epic the fight is. A win for the monsters, and a win for the players.

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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:21 am 
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Quote:
Elderich Abominations, by their very nature though bizarre, are not so limited. Or at least in the mortal sense. That it has witnessed so many events that there is very little that they have not seen already, have not anticipated countless times before.

I get the point, Sabersonic, but why does something need the Ability "Eldritch Abomination" when you can give it any other ability you want in any case? I would give the Leviathan, for instance, Charismatic (b/c persuasion out the wazoo), Illusionist (it keeps building realities in Shepard's head), Intimidating @ +5 no questions asked, Iron-Willed, all manners of Knowledge (I'd actually like to come up with what exactly a Leviathan would know... galactic history, psychic abilities, various cultures...), Life Support 3, Passion (being left alone would definitely count as a passion for these guys), Perceptive, Performer (just kidding :lol: ), Psychic +5, Resistance to a crapload of things, Sixth Sense, Smart, and of course stuff like Strong and Tough etc, and a bevvy of mega-powerful attacks...

... and a Unique, Fast Swimmer, modeled after Flight, b/c that thing can close distances real fast in water, dammit :shock:

To me, Eldritch Abomination sounds a little like the Unusual Background advantage from GURPS: there to justify other abilities... but you don't really need to justify anything in OVA. Anything goes, that's the beauty of it. As long as it makes sense to the players, there's no problem. How cool is that? 8)

At least, that's my impression. Maybe I'm just distracted, or a little dense, wouldn't be the first time! :wink:

Quote:
As for the Monstrous Scale, well it's suppose to indicate just how much of a bad idea it is for one to face off one of these things on an even battlefield if one is ever that lucky or unlucky depending upon one's point of view.

Unlucky :D Definitely unlucky!

Quote:
Granted, the above Template is using the Base Zero character creation rules and I was trying to keep it within those limitations since I'm not a hundred percent sure what is the official rule would be for, well, Apex NPCs for lack of a better word.

See, that's my problem too. I tend to err on the side of caution, though, b/c I'm not sure how unbalancing a new Ability might be and I'm a little scared of "breaking" the game. It's something that "haunts" me in every RPG, I almost never go for homebrewed rules (homebrewed settings, sure, but rules... I have this distinct feeling someone has labored for a long time to make sure things are at optimum capacity & if I change something it's like throwing a wrench into the "perfectly oiled machine", and don't get me started on how I hate ruining good machinery, I'm a Cannith artificer after all :wink: )

I too would really like feedback from Clay regarding these Uniques. On one side, if the game allows for Uniques then it means you're expected to homebrew something, and I totally can get behind that. On the other hand, I'd stick as close to already present Abilities & Weaknesses as possible... but again, maybe that's just me :roll:

XOXO :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: When the stars are right.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:15 am 
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Actually the new Ability is Longevity, not Elderich Abomination. The latter's just a basic template if one wanted to create something unique to their game, like say the Flying Invisible Spaghetti Monster as a foe for Paladins for example. The other abilities are just to make it more unique and add character, for lack of a better phrase, for what is a bare-boned character template.

Speaking of which, all those Abilities for the Leviathan from Mass Effect 3? I mentioned that said image was a place holder for the broader zoology of Elderich Abomination such as Lovecraft's Cosmic Horror setting for example. Though I'm pretty sure without Monsterous Scale or Longevity, the levels needed in that sample list alone would potentially make said creature break nearly all other Character Creation Rules that Clay had put in the book just to make it formidable enough to be a threat to starting PCs, let alone veteran ones.

That and I already have a Swimming Ability made for another campaign of mine.

Also, Clay has often noted that the Unique Ability/Weakness/Perk/Flaw is there to give players and GMs the ability to create rules for a setting or character that the others don't cleanly apply, if any. So homebrewed rules aren't shunned away so long as everyone else within the group agrees with them and they have fun with it.

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