Setting Rules: Running the Game Rules: Character Creation Character Sheet Years ago, there was a war. Spaceships started disappearing at the edge of known territory. A few eventually managed to send cut off distress signals, and eventually, some returned, at least partially intact. All stories spoke of horror and madness, brought by a monstrous enemy which offered no quarter and refused all attempts at communication. Somehow, though, this enemy was still given a name: Bydo. As the war progressed, the fronts were pushed back considerably, humanity’s forces losing ground at every turn. The Bydo, a bizarre conglomeration of machine and organic life, implacably advanced, consuming and subverting almost everything in their path. The key to their defeat, however, was simple. Magic was extremely effective against them, as as more magically-inclined troops and weapons made it to the front lines, the tides of battle quickly turned. The long, difficult battles are over and mankind has earned its peace. When one man’s ambitions resurrect an evil thought destroyed, will you be able to stop it? Lyonesse Magic and technology have advanced side by side and intertwined, to the point that the two are often quite literally indistinguishable. The general level of magitechnology is fairly advanced, often leaning towards scifi standards, more than anything. Spacecraft are commonplace, although space travel is less so. Primarily, getting around is managed strictly, although if one is free to travel, one can get to several planets. The characters will belong to the Lyonesse Civil Enforcement branch. While it is in many ways military, the overall focus is more on peacekeeping, and working on any major cases or events of a magical nature. General organization is in small squads. Lyonesse itself is also the central planet of humanity’s little empire, and seat of the government. Civil Enforcement is something of a starting point for mages, giving them a broad look at just about everything before they choose an area they’d like to focus on. It is, strangely enough, the branch with the greatest concentration of dedicated maes at any given time, and often thus called upon to deal with a variety of incidents in which mages’ skills are most needed, which may mean cooperating with the more conventional military branches. On Magic: There are three primary magical styles, described below. Characters are encouraged to focus on a specific style, although there is some overlap between them. It's certainly fine to have a few tricks that might seem like they'd belong elsewhere, as suits your personal approach to magic, but anyone trying to do all the things and know all the magics would be spreading themselves extremely thin, compared to a more focused character. Kahr-Ithaca: Focused primarily on ranged combat and striking foes from afar. The newest style by far, it developed from ideas that it's better to strike an enemy before they can get close to you, rather than mix it up in melee entirely. It is now very widely practiced, and often what is popularly associated with mages due to an accessible and codified nature of its spells. Those who truly favor the old ways may find it a bit utilitarian or inelegant at times, however. Characters who provide good examples of this school of magic are Nanoha Takamachi and Chris Yukine. Sephira Knights: Focused on close combat, dueling, and magically-enhanced physical strikes. Includes some personal buffs of various sorts. The front-line fighter to the Khar-Ithaca’s long-ranged blaster. Originated from those who fought to defend support casters or support casters of a martial bent who chose to focus their magic upon themselves, rather than a group of allies. This style has a long and storied history, steeped in Romance and knightly tradition, and continues to be both popular and effective. Good examples of characters who would follow this style include Signum, most Precure, and Hibiki Tachibana. Sil’Idunn: Focuses less on direct combat strength and more on supporting allies. Generally has area of effect spells that can buff allies or inconvenience enemies, healing, and so-on, but little in the way of direct damage. Damaging effects are probably battlefield control area of effect things with some sort of rider. Considered by many to be the oldest style of magic, from which the later popular schools originated. Sil'Idunn practice often involves the use of hymns or chants to produce magical effects which last as long as they are performed. Examples of characters who would use this style include any reyvateil in Ar tonelico, and Shamal. Generally speaking, any mage will know some form of flight spell, and possibly other movement techniques such as teleportation, walking or standing on air, and so on. Most modern mages use some form of device to channel their magic, whether that be a traditional staff or some sort of weapon is generally up to them and their particular style. All mages manifest a special, magically-armored vestments to protect themselves (and if they didn’t this would hardly be magical girl anything). Such magical outfits, commonly called barrier jackets, are easily as strong as more conventional forms of armor, and project a defensive magical field around their wearers. This game will be using the 3rd edition Mutants and Masterminds rules (SRD available here). If you happen to be familiar with them, great! If not, don't worry too much, I'll do my best to explain them thoroughly, although it may not be all at once. A lot of the heavy rules crunch is in character creation, and I will do everything I can to ease that burden and help people make the characters they want to play. Characters will be Power Level 8 (with 120 points to spend to create their character) at the start and may grow in power during play. I am not sure yet how much this will be, though. To give an example of character ability, at power level 8, a character could easily wield more firepower than a rocket launcher and expect to survive similar punishment. With effort, they could probably level buildings or destroy large monsters. The actual game play rules are fairly straightforward. When one has to roll a check, or otherwise roll a die, it's a single d20, plus usually whatever skill or other modifier adds to your roll, and you need to beat a static target number. For example, a skill check would be 1d20+your rating in the skill, and attacking someone would be 1d20+your attack bonus (which may, itself, be a skill). A defense "save" would be 1d20+that defense, and so-on. Combat Because this is generally a big deal, it gets its own section. An attack check is 1d20+attack bonus versus the target's defense class (relevant defense+10, as a static value). Perception range attacks do not have an attack check, and neither do area effects. When you're hit by a damaging effect (or other effect) you need to make a save against it. Toughness saves are used agaisnt damage, and are 1d20+Toughness versus 15+damage ranks (for a rank 8 damage effect, the Toughness save DC is 23. I'll be sure to post the relevant save DCs along with the attack itself, and encourage everyone to do the same, to streamline things). The DC for other effects (Afflictions, etc) is 10+power rank, and the save used will be specified by the power in question. Area attacks offer a Dodge check to avoid some of their effect. Anyone caught in the area rolls 1d20+Dodge versus 10+the attack's rank. If they succeed, they must only save against half the effect's ranks. If they fail, they're subject to the full effect. (For example: a rank 8 area attack has a Dodge save Dc of 18, and characters would save against either 4 or 8 ranks of the effect, depending on whether they pass or fail their dodge save.) Critical hits: If you roll a natural 20, you get a critical hit. You automatically hit, and if the check result is still higher than the target's defense, special things happen. Generally, you can increase the difficulty to resist the attack's effects by +5. Critical misses: If you roll a natural 1, you automatically miss. I will also generally offer your a hero point in return for something going further wrong. The above critical rules only apply to attacks. You cannot critically succeed or fail a skill check, save, or any other d20 roll, although the results of a natural 1 or 20 will still likely be spectacularly good or bad. I will, however, still offer hero points on natural 1s to interject some new and unusual complication. Taking Damage So you failed your Toughness save? If you failed by less than 5, you take a Bruise, which causes you to take a -1 penalty on later toughness saves. Characters can have multiple bruises and they all stack. If you failed by 5 or more, you are Dazed until the start of your next turn, and suffer a bruise. If you fail by 10 or more, you are Staggered and suffer a bruise. You remain Staggered until you have recovered somehow. If you fail a second check by 10 or more, you are incapacitated. If you fail by 15 or more, you are incapacitated. So, basically, the more you get hurt for a little bit, the more likely you'll suffer a more severe consequence. I actually like this system quite a lot, because it handles the sort of cinematic feel one tends to see in anime, cape comics, and so-on quite well. Characters are PL 8 with 120 PP to spend. A few things on creating characters: 1. No stacking point discounts to try to really stretch out what you can get. 3rd edition generally quashes most of it, but it does need to be said. Devices and alternate powers are generally OK, however. 2. No "variable" powers. Such broad abilities may be expensive, but they're also a bit too free. I'd prefer characters to have a more narrow set of abilities overall. 3. Abilities which summon minions or otherwise create multiple characters under your control are forbidden. If you want to fluff your other stuff as summoning or using minions, however, I will allow it. 4. In general, the aim of M&M is not to make the best or most broken character, but to best represent the character you want to play. If you're making your own character, consider someone you'd want to see a show or comic about, not just about being the strongest. 5. Generally speaking, you may describe your abilities however you'd like, because the underlying rules will take care of balance. If you wanna shoot black holes or 10K degree plasma, be my guest, but don't expect it to do anything it isn't statted up to do. In other words, over the top descriptions are great, I probably won't even say it's OP and you need to tone it down, because we've got other ways to measure how powerful something is. 6. You may create one power which goes above the usual power level limits, up to at least PL+2 (so, from 8 to 10, for this), as a Finisher-style attack. This would be your Starlight Breaker or similar big, flashy, but costly effect. Using it will leave your character fatigued afterward, and possibly worse, depending on how powerful you want it to be. 7. Hero Points are a big deal. Everyone starts with one. If you've spent all your hero points, you'll get one back at the start of any major "mission" so you have at least one to play with in any big situation. Get more by taking complications and letting me use them to inconvenience you with them. Alternatively, I'll give you a hero point just about any time I feel you've done something interesting to earn one, or as a bribe to take particular negative consequences or otherwise play along with certain things. You can generally spend hero points to be more awesome, and do things like reroll a roll with a bonus, remove fatigue, or otherwise do some nice things. I'll try to hand these out like candy. Complications are little story or roleplay things which can inconvenience your character. Like, maybe you have a rival, family obligations, or a crippling fear of fire. Generally speaking, you'll want a few of these, because any time a complication could inconvenience you somehow, and you let it do so, you get a hero point. Generally, this will be in the form of "I'll give you a hero point if....blah blah complication-related bad thing." Drawbacks, on the other hand, are disadvantages with mechanical consequences. These give you a couple more PP to play with overall, but can't simply be ignored, because they actually affect die rolls or otherwise limit you in game-mechanics ways, rather than simply roleplay or story ones. Power Modifiers: Powers have a lot of ways you can modify them. They can have extras which increase the cost per rank and can do things like change the range over which the power works (from, say, a melee attack to a ranged attack) or make an effect target everything in a certain area, or otherwise broadly change how the power works. There are also flaws, which decrease the power's cost per rank, and apply some sort of general negative effect. Some modifiers add or subtract a flat amount from the entire cost of the power as well. Generally, it's through power modifiers that you can make things work exactly the way you want them to. It's also the trickiest business. This will likely get pretty long, so bear with me. Appearance: Art is fine. Written descriptions are also fine. Please just put any images right at the top. Name: Age: Personality: I'm going to go ahead and leave this optional. It's something you should think about, but you shouldn't need to just spell it out, since it's what you're roleplaying. Personal history: Your character comes from somewhere. So, give a couple paragraphs on where they're from and what they've done so far. Also anything unusual about them. Magic: A description of your character's magical abilities, in general terms. Again, anything unusual in particular (elemental conversion affinities, etc.) should be noted here. If you'd like to grab some theme songs for your character, feel free to do so. I'll probably bring music around for various boss encounters, when they happen. M&M Character Sheet This is the big one. If I can figure out a prettier format using tables, or someone else does, it will probably replace this. Feel free to put this in its own tab or a spoiler, to save some space. Characters are Power Level 8 and have 120 points to spend. Attributes: Pretty much all attributes also add to some skills. All attributes start at 0 and cost 2 points per level you increase them. You also gain 2 points per level you decrease them below zero. Strength: Determines your character's physical strength, and tends to improve their damage in melee. Agility: Grace, speed, and physical coordination. Adds to initiative and dodge defense Fighting: How good you are at melee combat. Adds to melee attack and parry defense. Awareness: Your base ability to get a clue. Wisdom by another name. Adds to Will defense. Stamina: Toughness and endurance. Adds to Toughness and Fortitude defenses. Dexterity: Hand-eye coordination and fine manipulation tasks. Adds to Ranged attack. Intellect: How smart you are. Mostly improves skills. Presence: Force of personality. Improves social skills and so-on. Defenses: Defenses cost 1 point per level to increase, past their bases from attributes. Toughness CANNOT be bought in this manner, but can be increased through powers. Dodge: Defense versus ranged and area attacks Parry: Defense agaisnt melee attacks Fortitude: Defense against disease, poison, and things which affect the body. Will: Defense against mental attacks. Toughness: The equivalent of HP in other systems. How resistant you are to being injured by attacks which hit you. Skills: Skills cost 1 point per 2 skill ranks/levels. I'm not going to list them all, but this is where a character's skills would go. Advantages: Each one costs 1 point. Feats. List them and give a sentence to describe what they do. Powers: Costs depend on the base power/effect and any modifiers, so I can't give a quick and easy rundown for these, sorry. The big section. This is where all the fun stuff goes, because this is pretty much all your magic and other superhuman abilities. You ca give the base powers fancy names, but please also say their actual base power, name, and what they do rules-wise. Also, describe them however you'd like, of course.