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Thread: New player, starting characters validation

  1. #1
    Inceptor
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    Question New player, starting characters validation

    (Long) Disclaimer: Hello, I'm a long time Dungeon master for a small group (2-4 players). I recently started to learn the rules of this (great) rpg, and decided to give it a try. Problem is, 2 players are only interested in fantasy games, and all of them are quite busy irl, so i'm the only one who has read the rulebook. I've already bought the herolab license to help me make some starting characters and some villains, but since my experience untill now has only been with dungeons & dragons i'm not sure that my creations are adeguate, and i would be grateful if someone with more experience could point out my errors.
    TL/DR: let me know what žs wrong with these fantasy characters please.

    Creation rules: PL 4, 60 bp

    Cleric
    Strength 0, Stamina 1, Agility 1, Dexterity 1, Fighting 1, Intellect 2, Awareness 5, Presence 5
    Advantages
    Speed of Thought
    Skills
    Expertise: Theology 8 (+10), Insight 2 (+7), Persuasion 3 (+8)
    Powers
    Holy aura: Protection 5 (+5 Toughness; Impervious [4 ranks only], Sustained; Noticeable: light "bubble" around him)
    Heal the faithful: Healing 4 (Persistent)
    Undead destruction: Burst Area Damage 7 (Alternate; DC 19; Affects Insubstantial 2: full rank, Burst Area 3: 120 feet radius sphere, DC 17; Fades, Limited 2: only against undead)
    Punish the faithless: Damage 4 (Alternate; DC 19; Affects Insubstantial: half ranks, Increased Range: ranged)
    Offense
    Initiative +2
    Undead destruction: Burst Area Damage 7 (DC 19)
    Grab, +1 (DC Spec 10)
    Punish the faithless: Damage 4, +1 (DC 19)
    Throw, +1 (DC 15)
    Unarmed, +1 (DC 15)
    Languages
    Native Language
    Defense
    Dodge 1, Parry 1, Fortitude 1, Toughness 6, Will 6
    Power Points
    Abilities 32 + Powers 19 + Advantages 1 + Skills 7 (13 ranks)+ Defenses 1 = 60

    Fighter
    Strength 3, Stamina 1, Agility 1, Dexterity 2, Fighting 3, Intellect 0, Awareness 1, Presence 1
    Advantages
    All-out Attack, Daze (Intimidation), Defensive Attack, Diehard, Equipment 1, Fearless, Great Endurance, Interpose, Minion, Takedown 2
    Skills
    Acrobatics 3 (+4), Athletics 5 (+8), Insight 5 (+6), Intimidation 5 (+6), Ride 4 (+6)
    Powers
    Halberd (Removable)
    Thrust: Strength-based Damage 2 (DC 20; Reach (melee): 5 ft.)
    Sweep: Affliction 3 (1st degree: Hindered, Impaired, 2nd degree: Prone, Defenseless, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 13; Extra Condition; Limited Degree)
    Parry: Deflect 3 (Subtle: subtle; Reduced Range: close)
    Infaticable: Immunity 5 (Fatigue Effects)
    Equipment
    Chain-mail, Small Wooden Shield
    Offense
    Initiative +1
    Thrust: Strength-based Damage 2, +3 (DC 20)
    Sweep: Affliction 3, +3 (DC Fort 13)
    Grab, +3 (DC Spec 13)
    Throw, +2 (DC 18)
    Unarmed, +3 (DC 18)
    Languages
    Native Language
    Defense
    Dodge 2, Parry 4, Fortitude 5, Toughness 4, Will 2
    Power Points
    Abilities 24 + Powers 9 + Advantages 11 + Skills 11 (22 ranks) + Defenses 5 = 60

    Rogue
    Strength 0, Stamina 1, Agility 3, Dexterity 3, Fighting 2, Intellect 1, Awareness 2, Presence 1
    Advantages
    Defensive Roll
    Skills
    Acrobatics 5 (+8), Athletics 5 (+5), Close Combat: Pugnali gemelli: Strength-based Damage 3 2 (+4), Deception 5 (+6), Insight 5 (+7), Investigation 5 (+6), Perception 5 (+7), Sleight of Hand 5 (+8), Stealth 5 (+8)
    Powers
    twin daggers: Strength-based Damage 3 (DC 18;Multiattack)
    throw dagger : Strength-based Damage 3 (Alternate; DC 18; Increased Range: ranged, Multiattack; Unreliable (5 uses))
    Offense
    Initiative +3
    Grab, +2 (DC Spec 10)
    throw dagger : Strength-based Damage 3, +3 (DC 18)
    twin daggers: Strength-based Damage 3, +4 (DC 18)
    Throw, +3 (DC 15)
    Unarmed, +2 (DC 15)
    Languages
    Native Language
    Defense
    Dodge 4, Parry 4, Fortitude 2, Toughness 2/1, Will 3
    Power Points
    Abilities 26 + Powers 7 + Advantages 1 + Skills 21 (42 ranks) + Defenses 5 = 60

    Shadow wizard
    Strength 0, Stamina 2, Agility 1, Dexterity 2, Fighting 1, Intellect 4, Awareness 1, Presence 2
    Advantages
    Eidetic Memory, Equipment 2, Speed of Thought
    Skills
    Insight 5 (+6), Sleight of Hand 2 (+4), Stealth 5 (+6)
    Powers
    Shadow power
    Shadow eruption: Progressive Burst Area Affliction 4 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, 3rd degree: Unaware, Resisted by: Will, DC 14; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, DC 14, Progressive, Reversible, Selective; Distracting)
    Shadow step: Teleport 5 (Carry 50 lbs.; Extended: 30 miles in 2 move actions, Portal; Limited to Extended, Medium: Shadow)
    Summon: Summon 2 (Controlled, Horde, Multiple Minions 2: 4 minions, Sacrifice; Concentration)
    Equipment
    Crossbow, Knife, Leather Armor
    Offense
    Initiative +4
    Crossbow, +2 (DC 18)
    Grab, +1 (DC Spec 10)
    Knife, +1 (DC 16)
    Shadow eruption: Progressive Burst Area Affliction 4 (DC Will
    14)
    Throw, +2 (DC 15)
    Unarmed, +1 (DC 15)
    Languages
    Native Language
    Defense
    Dodge 2, Parry 1, Fortitude 2, Toughness 3, Will 5
    Power Points
    Abilities 26 + Powers 19 + Advantages 4 + Skills 6 (12 ranks)
    + Defenses 5 = 60

    Shadow minion
    Strength 1, Stamina -2, Agility 2, Dexterity 0, Fighting 4,
    Intellect -1, Awareness 0, Presence 0
    Advantages
    Evasion, Hide in Plain Sight
    Skills
    Acrobatics 2 (+4), Stealth 2 (+4)
    Powers
    Damage: Damage 2 (DC 17; Affects Insubstantial 2: full rank)
    shadow body: Concealment 4 (All Visual Senses; Increased
    Duration: continuous; Partial)
    Offense
    Initiative +2
    Damage: Damage 2, +2 (DC 17)
    Grab, +3 (DC Spec 11)
    Throw, +0 (DC 16)
    Unarmed, +3 (DC 16)
    Languages
    Native Language
    Defense
    Dodge 6, Parry 6, Fortitude -2, Toughness -2, Will 0
    Power Points
    Abilities 8 + Powers 12 + Advantages 2 + Skills 2 (4 ranks) +
    Defenses 6 = 30

  2. #2
    Keeper of Secrets
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    Re: New player, starting characters validation

    Some of the other posters have some similar stuff. Personally, I'm a fan of Icarus's work, who also has some PL4 Fantasy Builds. I'll do an analysis in a while.

    -----

    Overall - I assume you'll be playing with more advancement in mind than a supers campaign, starting them at PL 4 and working up somewhat quickly. Most of the characters seem workable, although it can get tricky at low PL. Generally, any PC shouldn't have traits at more than 150% rank of PL, so at PL4, I wouldn't recommend traits over 6, maybe 7-8 for noncombat skills but it should be rare. With rapid advancement, this shouldn't be a huge problem.


    Cleric - Speed of Thought is reasonable, although not very point-efficient at this level.


    For Holy Aura, powers made Sustained are automatically Noticeable, so the Flaw isn't valid. One the other hand, using the halving of standard 3e Impervious, 3 ranks is as good as 4.


    Undead Destruction is an Area Attack, which means it's PL7; you should probably drop it to 4, but allow it to rise with character PL. Fades is reasonable, but since you should drop to rank 4, Unreliable (5 uses) might be better, with a similar recharge condition. The area radius is a little extreme, although may be less expensive at lower ranks. -2 limited on Undead should mean that Undead are quite rare, likely less than once per session; it's going to depend on your campaign, but I'd recommend it at -1.




    Fighter - Fearless as an absolute immunity to fear effects is arguably underpriced. A similar feat was suggested in one of the fantasy supplements; I think it was called "Lionhearted" and gave a +4 or +5 vs Fear attacks, which would be particularly useful at low ranks.


    I assume the Minion is a horse, normally a 9p build. As a minion it would go down fast in combat with the first failure to resist damage, which is probably somewhat realistic. I might recommend adding a little Protection and/or Impervious in the form of barding to get it up to PL4 and be battle-ready a little longer with the extra points. It could also have a little training as well.


    I don't recommend Takedown 2 for any PC; Takedown 1 is usually more than sufficient for most situations and TD2 can be bought temporarily with a Heroic Feat using a Hero Point.


    The Halberd is bought as Removable, but not Easily Removable, so it technically can't be disarmed in combat (unlees a Complication), Not sure if this was intentional; the diffence is 1p, and it's not an unreasonable feature for a weapon bought as a Device.


    The Sweep AE is similar to a trip maneuver. You could just make it an Improved Trip Advantage as part of the Thrust build; the greatest advantage of this is using the Athletics check as the Trip's Effect. Alternatively, you could make the Sweep more like a trip, giving it an Alternate Resistance to Dodge, adding Instant Recovery and increasing rank to 5 for no additional cost.


    Not sure why (or how) Parry would be Subtle; maybe you meant to make it Reach? In any case, you could increase it to rank 4 for no added cost.


    Great Endurance already gives a +5 bonus vs fatigue. You could either remove immunity to use those 5p elsewhere, or split the difference and get Half Effect for 3p.


    I'd recommed making Stamina higher instaed of depending on Chainmail For toughness. You'd think a fighter would have a STA at least equal to a wizard. Chaimnail could be built as Impervious Defense using Device as Equipment.




    Rogue - This one has a lot of high skills that I mentioned before.


    I find Multiattack problematic, particularly at this level. I favour using Split, Takedown and improved Critical instead. Also, Unreliable doesn't seem right for this either. OTOH, I do like that you have daggers as a power so that the can't be disarmed or run out. I'd recommend making running out of knives a Complication.




    Shadow wizard - Shadow Eruption is a little weird: Dazed/Stunned/Unaware is a strange progression since the first two take away actions but the 3rd degree takes aways senses. This may be a typo.


    The Shadow minions are also completely solid (if hard to spot) and bvery fragile. I'm not sure if that is thr intent. The standard build uses Immnity t Fortitude and Insubstantial 4, which is too expensive at this rank. You might be able to use those with Summon 3 and some careful budgeting. Alternatively, you could use Life Support and Insub 2 to make something very similar to a shadow creature.


    Hopefully that's useful to you.
    Last edited by JDRook; 04-14-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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  3. #3
    Inceptor
    Join Date
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    Re: New player, starting characters validation

    Quote Originally Posted by JDRook View Post
    Some of the other posters have some similar stuff. Personally, I'm a fan of Icarus's work, who also has some PL4 Fantasy Builds.
    Thanks a lot for the reply and for the url, that and Prodigyduck bestiary will be very usefull.

    Overall - I assume you'll be playing with more advancement in mind than a supers campaign, starting them at PL 4 and working up somewhat quickly. Most of the characters seem workable, although it can get tricky at low PL. Generally, any PC shouldn't have traits at more than 150% rank of PL, so at PL4, I wouldn't recommend traits over 6, maybe 7-8 for noncombat skills but it should be rare. With rapid advancement, this shouldn't be a huge problem.
    Yes, my idea was to start at PL 4, quickly grow till PL 8-10 then slow down, up to a max of 11-12.

    Cleric - Speed of Thought is reasonable, although not very point-efficient at this level.

    For Holy Aura, powers made Sustained are automatically Noticeable, so the Flaw isn't valid. One the other hand, using the halving of standard 3e Impervious, 3 ranks is as good as 4.

    Undead Destruction is an Area Attack, which means it's PL7; you should probably drop it to 4, but allow it to rise with character PL. Fades is reasonable, but since you should drop to rank 4, Unreliable (5 uses) might be better, with a similar recharge condition. The area radius is a little extreme, although may be less expensive at lower ranks. -2 limited on Undead should mean that Undead are quite rare, likely less than once per session; it's going to depend on your campaign, but I'd recommend it at -1.
    Speed of thought is less useful than improved initiative, but as you said it will become better later, so I think I will stick to it.

    Thanks for spotting the error with Holy aura, this kind of thing is why i posted here.

    About undead destruction: my idea was a power usable 3-4 times at max power, then weaker and weaker. Don't know how to do that in this system, but i will probably follow your advice and make it rank 4, unreliable 5 uses. The area is taken from a similar power in dungeons & dragons, so it's easier to explain to my players. Since undead are present in 2 encounter out of the 11 i have prepared untill now (and will probably mantain a similar ratio in the future), do you think limited should be -1 or -2?

    Fighter - Fearless as an absolute immunity to fear effects is arguably underpriced. A similar feat was suggested in one of the fantasy supplements; I think it was called "Lionhearted" and gave a +4 or +5 vs Fear attacks, which would be particularly useful at low ranks.

    I assume the Minion is a horse, normally a 9p build. As a minion it would go down fast in combat with the first failure to resist damage, which is probably somewhat realistic. I might recommend adding a little Protection and/or Impervious in the form of barding to get it up to PL4 and be battle-ready a little longer with the extra points. It could also have a little training as well.

    I don't recommend Takedown 2 for any PC; Takedown 1 is usually more than sufficient for most situations and TD2 can be bought temporarily with a Heroic Feat using a Hero Point.

    The Halberd is bought as Removable, but not Easily Removable, so it technically can't be disarmed in combat (unlees a Complication), Not sure if this was intentional; the diffence is 1p, and it's not an unreasonable feature for a weapon bought as a Device.

    The Sweep AE is similar to a trip maneuver. You could just make it an Improved Trip Advantage as part of the Thrust build; the greatest advantage of this is using the Athletics check as the Trip's Effect. Alternatively, you could make the Sweep more like a trip, giving it an Alternate Resistance to Dodge, adding Instant Recovery and increasing rank to 5 for no additional cost.

    Not sure why (or how) Parry would be Subtle; maybe you meant to make it Reach? In any case, you could increase it to rank 4 for no added cost.

    Great Endurance already gives a +5 bonus vs fatigue. You could either remove immunity to use those 5p elsewhere, or split the difference and get Half Effect for 3p.

    I'd recommed making Stamina higher instaed of depending on Chainmail For toughness. You'd think a fighter would have a STA at least equal to a wizard. Chaimnail could be built as Impervious Defense using Device as Equipment.
    Fearless as +5 against fear, that's very nice. Added to my home rules.
    Takedown lowered to 1.
    I initially thought the halberd as easily removable, but wanted the master fighter to be immune to disarm as an advantage, so i went simply with a removable weapon (that can be stolen when he is distracted, but not while he is wielding it).
    Sweep as improved trip is much more elegant that my way of buildin it, changed.
    yea, parry should have reach, not subtle, don't know how i missed it
    Removed immunity to fatigue (the +5 from great endurance should be enought), improved stamina to 4 and shifted some points to mantain the same defenses without the equipment. Chainmail built as a device for impervious toughness 3.
    Minion is a horse, mainly to get a speed boost in combat:
    Code:
    Horse - PL 4
    
    Strength 4, Stamina 4, Agility 2, Dexterity 0, Fighting 0, Intellect -4, Awareness 2, Presence -2
    
    Advantages
    Equipment 1
    
    Skills
    Athletics 6 (+10)
    
    Powers
    Gallop: Speed 2+1 ([Stacking ranks: +1], Speed: 16 miles/hour, 250 feet/round; Tiring)
    Growth: Growth 4 (+4 STR, +4 STA, +2 Intimidate, -4 Stealth, -2 active defenses, +1 size rank, +4 mass ranks; Innate; Permanent)
    Trot: Speed 1 (Speed: 4 miles/hour, 60 feet/round; Innate, Stacks with: Galoppo: Speed 2+1)
    
    Equipment
    Leather Armor
    
    Offense
    Initiative +2
    Grab, +0 (DC Spec 14)
    Throw, +0 (DC 19)
    Unarmed, +0 (DC 19)
    
    Languages
    -
    
    Defense
    Dodge 0, Parry 1, Fortitude 4, Toughness 5, Will 2
    
    Power Points
    Abilities -4 + Powers 12 + Advantages 1 + Skills 3 (6 ranks) + Defenses 3 = 15
    Rogue - This one has a lot of high skills that I mentioned before.


    I find Multiattack problematic, particularly at this level. I favour using Split, Takedown and improved Critical instead. Also, Unreliable doesn't seem right for this either. OTOH, I do like that you have daggers as a power so that the can't be disarmed or run out. I'd recommend making running out of knives a Complication.
    Added split instead of multiattack, it do what i want it to do without the problem of extra damage. Removed unreliable, the idea is that he always has at least a couple of hidden daggers somewhere.

    Shadow wizard - Shadow Eruption is a little weird: Dazed/Stunned/Unaware is a strange progression since the first two take away actions but the 3rd degree takes aways senses. This may be a typo.


    The Shadow minions are also completely solid (if hard to spot) and bvery fragile. I'm not sure if that is thr intent. The standard build uses Immnity t Fortitude and Insubstantial 4, which is too expensive at this rank. You might be able to use those with Summon 3 and some careful budgeting. Alternatively, you could use Life Support and Insub 2 to make something very similar to a shadow creature.
    The idea was to solidify the shadows, making them hard to detect (it's only a shadow) and target, but easy to disrupt. I'm not sure about being able to affect incorporeal, but i didn't knew how to spend the remaining points.

    Hopefully that's useful to you.
    A lot, thanks again for the time spent and the patience in correcting all the errors (especially on the fighter).

  4. #4
    Keeper of Secrets
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    Re: New player, starting characters validation

    Quote Originally Posted by Sbrotfl View Post
    Thanks a lot for the reply and for the url, that and Prodigyduck bestiary will be very usefull.
    Those are all collected in the Super Powered Bestiary if you want to get the official builds. Great art, too.

    About undead destruction: my idea was a power usable 3-4 times at max power, then weaker and weaker. Don't know how to do that in this system, but i will probably follow your advice and make it rank 4, unreliable 5 uses. The area is taken from a similar power in dungeons & dragons, so it's easier to explain to my players. Since undead are present in 2 encounter out of the 11 i have prepared untill now (and will probably mantain a similar ratio in the future), do you think limited should be -1 or -2?
    I'd still recommend Undead Destruction built this way:


    Undead destruction: Burst Area Damage 4 (DC 19; Affects Insubstantial 2: full rank, Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere, DC 14; Limited: only against undead, Unreliable (5 uses))


    The area is a little smaller and of course the rank is lower, but otherwise it should be functionally the same. I kept the Undead Only Flaw at -1; my take is that even if they are somewhat rare, battling undead are what clerics are known for, just like silver is a rare material but "everyone knows" to use it on werewolves. As GM, it is your choice, though; you could take it to -2 and increase the Area up to 3 ranks again if you like.


    If Undead encounters are going to be rare, I might recommend giving a boost to the damage with Extra Effort. The Fire Power Profile outlines a Nova Burst similar to the Human Torch that includes a Feature to have Extra Effort add +2 to the effect. The power is also Tiring, so it's actually double-Tiring when used at full, but as GM you could allow a single use of Extra Effort to give a few more ranks of effect. I wouldn't recommend going too wild with this, and you should probably to tone it down or remove it at higher ranks, but that might give a little more power to that spell without making it too abusive.



    Added split instead of multiattack, it do what i want it to do without the problem of extra damage. Removed unreliable, the idea is that he always has at least a couple of hidden daggers somewhere.
    When I use Split to simulate paired (or more) weapons, I usually make the Damage equal to either twice the single weapon damage, or single weapon + 5, similar to a Multiattack or Team Attack. Not using the Split basically equal to using both (or more) weapons on a single target.


    thanks again for the time spent and the patience in correcting all the errors (especially on the fighter).
    I had a lot of time over the weekend.
    My old Atomic Think Tank thread

    I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me your finished design or even your original concept!

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