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Random Notes

Bestowed Power: Make the Strong even Stronger!

I grant that it may be ironic to play a character with no special attributes that can transform into a powerhouse superhero, but I don't think that this is always the most appropriate background possible. A mystical being, having decided to bestow power upon a mortal, would likely find a mortal best suited for the task at hand. History and mythology are filled with contests of strength and skill intended to determine the worthiness of champions. If the mystical being is interested in finding a mortal with outstanding morality, intelligence, cunning, or mental toughness, so be it. It doesn't have to be a choice based on pure physical stength or skill, but it should be based on something.

My conception of bestowed power is that the mystic being finds what it wants in a mortal, and augments the remaining attributes to prevent the would-be hero from being killed on his first day. The character receiving bestowed power should be special in some way, probably having high ME and MA. If all the mystic being wants is a powerhouse they would probably pick a physically powerful mortal, and augment them further. The mystic being might want to find a mortal who has proven himself in combat or by triumphing over adveristy/evil.

In the end, I think one obvious extension is that a new class of Mega-Hero is born. Characters with a set OCC, who prove themselves worthy to whatever being may be watching, may find themselves approached with an offer of great power. This seems especially appropriate for previously "unpowered" characters like Physical Training and Ancient Master. Through determination and skill they have fought evil, and would make great choices for a mystic being looking to create a super-duper hero. One character that seemed feasible as I thought about this is Floating Dragon. On first inspection it seems like he's completely unreasonable, but on close inspection you'll see that almost all of his blatant power comes from the Growth power. I was conservative in choosing minor abilities and in rolling bonuses.

Of course, a character receiving an Enchanted Weapon should probably have previous weapons training. Handing a sword to an untrained average joe is like handing an MDC pistol to a twelve year old. Not really a good idea.... In this day and age a person with Ancient Weapon Proficiencies is a rarity, and makes it likely that the character is already somewhat physically oriented. This might be a good criteria for a mystic being's choice of mortals, as well.

"Enchanted Objects" are pretty underpowered for use as a player character. It seems like these objects are appropriate for character augmentation as campaigns continue. Palladium (Fantasy) campaigns always had piles of special enchanted objects. Of course, one weakness of that game was the rapid development of juggernaut PCs solely through completing adventures in the books.... I think HU can appropriately dole out enchanted/special objects to existing characters, especially to NPCs.

Combination of Some Alter Physical Structure Powers

I don't like the outright ban (HU2 pg 74) of combinations of powers that alter the character's physical form. It makes sense that many of them can't be combined, but some of them could be combined to make some great characters. If one can logically conceive of a combination of some of these powers, I think it's fair game.

The one that bothers me most is the Body Weapons power. I think it's a great addition, but it shouldn't be restricted in this way. A character with Alter Physical Structure: Stone can turn his hands into large blunt objects or sharp forearm protrusions. A character with Bio-Armor can form the armor into blades (like TMNT's Shredder). Lots of possibilities come to mind that wouldn't provide an unfair advantage, nor would they defy logic.

Most combinations of the standard Alter Physical Structure powers are silly, but could be created by developing your own new power. Instead of using both Alt: Fire and Alt: Stone, create a new power called Alter Physical Structure: Lava. Combine Alt: Metal and Alt: Liquid to make Alt: Terminator2! As long as you and the GM agree on the rules before you start, your powers are just as good as the ones in the book.

One combination that I think is pretty cool belongs to a character I made: Breakdown.

Magic and Melee Attacks

The way Palladium deals with magic, in terms of melee attacks, is very strange. It doesn't make use of the Palladium combat rules, the leveled approach to spell classification (which itself seems pretty random), or the level advancement of its experience system. The old PFRPG system was better, giving a number of magic attacks per melee that increased with experience, but still didn't greatly reward experienced mages. Even that has been completely thrown out in favor of a blanket rule.

My Rule:
The number of melee attacks it takes to cast a spell is equal to the experience level of the spell caster subtracted from the level of that particular spell. This means that a mage can cast spells less than one level greater than his own with just one attack, but higher level spells will require more time and concentration. Spells of a level less than the mage's experience level can be cast defensively (like a non-automatic Parry); they require an attack but can be cast almost instantly.

As a side rule, I would allow spellcasters to spend a skill selection on a very basic magic Combat skill that increases their number of magic attacks per melee but not physical attacks. For the cost of one Secondary skill they receive one extra magic attack plus one per third level of experience (for a total of 3 at first level, 4 at third level, 5 at sixth level, etc) but their physical melee attacks stay at two. For an entire skill selection, they should also get a bonus of +1 to strike and defend with a spell at every third level of experience....

MegaDamage Conversion (for the Faint of Heart)

For those who don't like the MegaDamage completely overpowers SDC, but want to incorporate MDC items in their games, I've worked up an MDC-SDC conversion that works well. It reduces the dominance of MDC, but maintains whatever existing balance there is between MD weapons and MDC items.

Basically, SD weapons can inflict damage 10% of the time, doing ten times the normal damage each time. This is statistically equivalent to giving items SDC equal to one hundred times their MDC, which means that on average they inflict the same damage to SDC and MDC objects. MD weapons will be up to 85% as threatening to Nat AR powerhouses as before the conversion, but will only inflict 10% the normal damage to non-NatAR SDC characters.