Saturday, April 30, 2011

A to Z - retrospective

Well, I did it.  Wasn't certain if I would be able to, to be honest, but in the end I'm pleased to say that I did indeed make my way through the A to Z April blogging challenge in a timely fashion.

On the upside, I had a lot of fun doing this, even if it was at times rather hectic.  I enjoyed the challenge of creating various supercharacters using the V&V rules.  I wanted to hit a wide range of characters; some good, some bad, some in-between, with a decent variety of powers and motivations, that other gamers could drop into their own V&V games with a minimum of fuss and effort.  I like to think I succeeded in this.

It doesn't hurt, I suppose, that I got a bit of an increase in traffic (almost a 50% boost from the previous month), and the number of people willing to risk social scorn by actually being willing to publicly follow this blog almost tripled; in Old School blogging terms I jumped from 2nd to 4th level (clearly, much XP was earned).

On the downside, unfortunately, some of the stuff I normally post about (Trollslayers, comic book and Rush reviews) kinda went on the back burner a bit during the last month.  That wasn't entirely because of the A to Z challenge - it's been an odd month, in not so good ways - but I would be lying if I said or implied that it wasn't a factor.  I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove with my regular stuff in May.

Overall, I think it was a positive thing, even if I'm not certain I would do so again next year. If nothing else, I showed to myself that I had the discipline needed to follow through on it. And hey, creating all those characters was a lot of fun; I just might continue to do so, if at a less-hectic pace...

V&V A to Z: Zarthwyn

Character Name: Zarthwyn     Secret ID: "Mark Fisher"     Side: Evil
Gender: Male     Height: 5'9"     Weight: 175lbs     Age: unknown
Physical Description: A dour looking male with blue eyes and black hair with the occasional wisp of gray, appearing to be either in his late 30's or early 40's.  As a businessman, he favors classic three-piece suits with a conservative flair to them.  If he is expecting trouble of a magical nature, he will be wearing a dark blue ceremonial robe inscribed with various yellow magical sigils.

STR: 11     END: 15     INT: 23     AGL: 13     CHA: 21

Level: 11th     XP: 66,334     Basic Hits: 4     Hit Points: 14     Healing Rate: 1.6/day
Movement: 39"     Power: 62     Carrying Capacity: 248 lbs     HTH Damage: 1d6
Damage Modifier: +3     Accuracy: +1     Detect Hidden: 16%     Detect Danger: 20%  
Inventing Points: 3.3     Inventing: 69%     Reaction Modifier: -4 good/+4 evil
Training: INT  

Unaging - although susceptible to normal injury, Zarthwyn is immune to the ravages of time, and does not age (or at the very least, ages very slowly); as a side benefit of this, his END is effectively doubled when resisting disease
Eldritch Bolt: Damage and range as per Power Blast, but attacks as per Paralysis Ray
Eldritch Shield: Acts as the Force Screen aspect of the Force Field ability; 1” radius circle, range 1”
Heightened Charisma A: +8
Heightened Intelligence A: +10
Heightened Expertise: +4 to hit with all magical attacks
Animal Control (cats)
Astral Projection
Darkness Control
Emotion Control (fear, radius attack)
Flame Power (attack only ("fireball"), PR 2, 26", 1d12 damage)
Heightened Senses: Feline Clairvoyance (can see through the eyes of any cat within 42" (CHR x 2) range)
Heightened Senses: Magic Awareness (21” range, automatically works in most cases (unless somehow shielded), PR 1)
Illusions (type A, visual/audible/odor/taste, PR 4)
Noxious Cloud (attacks as Chemical Power, 2d8 damage, range 22", PR 8, 4" radius)
Weather Control

Animated Servant
"Molly" (iron golem, appears as a young woman due to permanent illusions cast on her form, does not speak, follows Zarthwyn's verbal commands and will otherwise attempt to protect him at all costs, STR 15, END 15, AGL 9, weight: 1200 lbs, basic hits 24, CC 2,925 lbs, HTH Dam 1d12, HP 61, Invulnerability: 10, 4th level)

Ring of Protection (grants Invulnerability: 12 and Heightened Defense: -4 to be hit to the wearer of the ring)
Cloak of Flight (flight 165" - 38 mph) 

Areas of Knowledge
Magic/Occult, History

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: Very little is known about the background of the wizard known as Zarthwyn.  It is believed that he was born somewhere in Europe at some point during the Middle Ages, but more than that is unknown except to the wizard himself, and he prefers to give as little information about his past as possible (partially not to give his arch-enemy Khronos any more information, and as a wizard he is reluctant to give out his true birth name anyways).  The first known historical documentation concerning the magician is a passing reference in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in which it is implied that by that point he is already a few centuries old.

Occasional glimpses of Zarthwyn have occasionally been noted throughout the following centuries, but they have been relatively rare; he is/was a solitary figure for the most part, willing to spend years, if not decades (not to mention Invention Points) in search of learning and perfecting a new spell.  He has occasionally been seen battling the time-traveling Khronos; the nature of their feud is unclear to everyone else, but the loathing these two have for each other is palatable.

The 20th and early 21st century has seen more changes than Zarthwyn would have liked, but he has adapted reasonably well.  Thanks to the wonders of long-term investments, he is quite wealthy, and his current persona as "Mark Fisher" is that of a somewhat reclusive businessman who lets others handle the day-to-day work of running his various business interests.

Zarthwyn isn't a cackling, malicious sort of evil, but rather an amoral sort who thinks nothing of destroying lives to obtain some rare or obscure bit of magical knowledge.  He prefers to avoid dealing with superhumans directly, and will rather hire third parties to deal with any superhuman threats that challenge his interests. 

Campaign Use: PCs are not likely to encounter Zarthwyn directly, at least not at first.  If they are in search of some sort of magical knowledge or information, the PCs may encounter mercenaries hired by Zarthwyn to obtain that same information for him.  Zarthwyn may also discreetly manipulate the PCs to obtain something for him, and of course, he may try to trick them into attacking his hated foe Khronos.  Likewise, Khronos, or perhaps some other magician of great power, may try to have the PCs attack, and weaken (or even hopefully destroy) the centuries-old wizard.

Should the PCs ever knowingly face Zarthwyn directly, it most likely means one of two things: that they have managed to track him down, bypassing any misdirections and false trails along the way, to face a deadly (but not undefeatable) foe... or that they have become enough of a nuisance that he chooses to deal with them personally, at a time and place of his choosing, in which case their chances of survival and escape are somewhere between slim and none.    

Friday, April 29, 2011

Photodump Friday 4/29

Something I'll be doing periodically, clearing out the hard drive a few hundred kilobytes at a time...

V&V A to Z: Yōkai

Character Name: Yōkai      Alternate I.D.: Yukiko Yamashita     Side: Good
Gender: Female     Height: 5'2"     Weight: 120 lbs     Age: 14
Physical Description: A young Asian-American teenage girl with purple skin, black hair, green eyes, and small horns on her forehead . 

STR: 24     END: 26    INT: 12     AGL: 15    CHA: 14

Level: 2nd     XP: 2,034     Basic Hits: 3     Hit Points: 32     Healing Rate: 2.1/day
Movement: 65"      Power: 77    Carrying Capacity: 985 lbs     
HTH Damage: 1d10 Damage Modifier: +1    Accuracy: +2   
Detect Hidden: 10%     Detect Danger: 14%  Inventing Points: 2.4     Inventing: 36%
Reaction Modifier: +1 good/-1 evil     Training: Heightened Expertise in HTH combat  

Heightened Endurance B: +15
Heightened Senses: Magic Detection (range 12”)
Heightened Strength B: +15
Invulnerability: 20 pt

Prejudice (demon)

Areas of Knowledge
Inheritor, Religion/Occult, Student

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: Sadao Yamashita was worried. The behavior of his wife Izanami had grown increasingly erratic during her pregnancy; whenever he tried to talk to her about it she became distant and withdrawn. Finally, as the birth of their child was only weeks away, Izanami broke down and confessed to many terrible things, not the least of which was consorting with demons. Izanami feared that her unborn child would be a yōkai (demon).

Sadao was not certain if he actually believed this, but he had not become a multi-millionaire by ignoring potential risks needlessly. He called in both a local priest, and a retired hero-magician, to help oversee the birth of his daughter. As it turned out, this had been a wise move; dark forces had shown up at the child's birth to claim the girl. Both the priest and the mother died during the conflict before the magician could banish away the demons, and it is believed that their sacrifice helped to purify the soul of the newborn girl. Her non-human appearance had clearly been the result of demonic influence, and yet the magician could find no trace of demonic energy on the child.

Sadao was determined that the sacrifice of his wife and the priest would not be in vain, and vowed to raise the girl, whom he named Yukiko, as his own. Out of necessity the girl would be raised away from other children for the most part, home-schooled by private tutors. Sadao did his best to instill his daughter with a strong sense of ethics and morality, all the while trying to allow her to, as much as possible, grow up a normal girl.

His efforts would seem to have paid off. In terms of personality, Yukiko is not unlike other young girls her age; she worries that her clothes are horribly out-of-date, spends way too many hours a day on Facebook, and obsesses constantly about the Jonas Brothers and Justin Beiber.

Unlike most other girls her age, Yōkai (as she is sometimes called) has had to deal with multiple attempts to either kill her, or kidnap her to be used for dark purposes. Yukiko doesn't go looking for trouble, but when it shows up, she doesn't run away from it; she's learned the hard way that such threats are best faced head-on.

Campaign Use: Yōkai should hopefully prove to be a sympathetic ally for the PCs – she would love nothing better than to have a 'normal' life, but that is not to be. Younger PCs might find her friendship a welcome thing, as someone their own age who can hear of their various adventures without weirding out about it.

Out of necessity, Yōkai has learned a great deal of occult lore, and could prove a useful ally if the PCs have to deal with demonic foes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy birthday, Ken St. Andre

Just wanted to wish a happy birthday to the Trollgod himself, Ken St. Andre.

If it wasn't for Ken's work on Tunnels & Trolls, I wouldn't be writing Trollslayers, and as a result I probably wouldn't be bothering with this blog.

So happy birthday, Ken, and hopefully you'll roll lots of doubles today!

V&V A to Z: Xonox

Character Name: Xonox     Alternate I.D.: n/a     Side: Evil
Gender: Male     Height: 6'4"     Weight: 260 lbs     Age: 39
Physical Description: An alien humanoid with orange skin, purple hair, and an equine-looking face . 

STR: 15     END: 23    INT: 26     AGL: 21    CHA: 13

Level: 5th     XP: 15,291     Basic Hits: 6     Hit Points: 73     Healing Rate: 3.6/day
Movement: 109"    Power: 85    Carrying Capacity: 738 lbs     HTH Damage: 1d8 
Damage Modifier: +4    Accuracy: +4   Detect Hidden: 18%     Detect Danger: 22%  
Inventing Points: 0.5     Inventing: 78%     Reaction Modifier: -1 good/+1 evil     
Training: INT  

Animal Powers (Mammal)
     Heightened Agility A: +11
     Heightened Endurance A: +11
     Speed Bonus +50"
Heightened Intelligence A: +13
Vibratory Powers (range 42:, 2d8 damage, 30% chance to destroy devices on special attack, PR = 5, PR =2 to walk through walls and use as a defense)
Willpower (type A)

Diminished Senses – like all of his race, Xonox is color-blind, seeing his surroundings in a gray-ish monochrome.

Areas of Knowledge
Research/Technology, Science (physics)

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: Far from Earth, on the planet Sionneq, there evolved a race known as the Keltarrians.  Physically impressive, they are on the whole a fairly gentle and non-violent people (if also a bit xenophobic).  Xonox was a great scientist among their people, a physicist who was studying the intricacies of kinetic motion.  One day, a short-circuit in his lab caused an explosion with the machine he was using to study kinetic energies.  The explosion somehow granted him the ability to project waves of kinetic force, as well as the ability to alter his own personal molecular pattern, allowing him to walk through physical objects without effort.  Unfortunately, the explosion also altered his brain chemistry, and eventually drove him quite mad.       

The killing spree that Xonox went on was unlike anything Sionneq had seen in recent memory. Over time, Xonox realized that even he could not stand against an entire world by himself. Stealing a starship, he did not entirely manage to escape the wrath of his people – a shot from a pursuing starfighter damaged the computer of Xonox's ship, and when he attempted to enter warpspace, the navigation system was destroyed.

Several harrowing days later, the ship came out of warpspace, and proceeded to crash into Earth's atmosphere. The ship itself was destroyed by the uncontrolled entrance into the atmosphere, but Xonox managed to escape the craft's demise via a small emergency escape vessel.

Landing in a small, secluded town on the Atlantic coast of Canada, Xonox gleefully killed several dozen of the soft, ugly inhabitants of this primitive world, torturing some while learning the local language. He soon learned that while functional starcraft weren't exactly common on this world, neither were they completely unknown, and that other starfaring races had on occasion visited this mudball of a planet. He wanted to acquire such a craft and to leave this pitiful world, but he knew such a task would not be an easy one.

Shortly thereafter, Xonox was contacted by representatives of Intercrime, who made him an offer. He would be able to use the organization's substantial resources to pursue his goal, in exchange for working as a science adviser and inventor. Xonox agreed.

Now, Xonox works for Intercrime, working on whatever pet project they assign him to, while he closely monitors any sign of non-terrestrial starships (fully aware that Intercrime would also greatly value such a prize, and that they are in no hurry to lose his technical skills). He greatly despises these smelly, repulsive 'humans', but then, these days he's not that enamored with his fellow Keltarrians either, so its kind of relative. When he is able to leave Earth, he plans to leave several 'gifts' behind, which he hopes will severely depopulate this hated planet.

Campaign Use: Xonox can fit many roles in a superhero campaign; walking plot device for high-tech toys that the bad guys may have, a complication in dealing with a downed alien spacecraft, and last but not least, a superpowered psychopathic mass murderer. He's good at multitasking that way.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trollslayers - Experience Points

Experience Points can be gained in Trollslayers in four different ways:


Exploring new and unknown lands, or areas unknown in an otherwise civilized area, will grant a character 50 EP x the difficulty level of the area. For a classic 'dungeon', this corresponds to the level of danger, which ofter increases the further down the dungeon one goes. For example, entering a 4th level dungeon and poking around nets you 200 EP. Going from the 1st level to the 4th progressively would gain you 50+100+150+200=500 EP (but you would need to explore something new at each level). For wilderness lands, the difficulty level should be based on the types of monsters and other threats that might be encountered; the outer edge of the Dreadwood might count as 3rd level for this purpose, with the level increasing depending on how far one goes into dark forest, facing greater foes and dangers.


Foes fought (not necessarily defeated, as one can learn from loss as well as gain), as well as other hazards encountered, or other dangers faced (or perhaps even bypassed, if handled well enough), grants EP based on the difficulty of the threat, multiplied by the Average Party Level (APL):

Minor Threat: the PCs are expected to win easily enough, although they may suffer a few injuries, or deplete a few resources along the way - base 25 EP

Serious Threat: the PCs should win, although it is not quite a sure thing, and injuries and lost resources are probably a given - base 50 EP

Major Threat: a fairly even fight, could easily go either way, and the winning side is sure to have serious injuries (if not fatalities) and a serious loss of resources - base 75 EP

Grave Threat: the PCs will almost certainly lose this fight, no doubt suffering serious injuries, fatalities, and much loss - base 100 EP, and they should probably pick their foes more carefully in the future, should any of them survive

Example - Two 4th level characters, a 3rd level character, and a 1st level character (APL=3) encounter three lightly armed goblins. For most of the group, the goblins represent a Minor Threat, and they get 75 EP each for dealing with them. However, the GM might rule that the level of danger is greater for the 1st level character; for him, the fight is a Serious Threat, and assuming he survives he gets 150 EP.

Example - The same party encounter a small swarm of bat-like creatures that also create a hypnotic field, one which is easily resisted by those with magical training. The 1st level character and one of the 4th level characters are spellcasters, the other 4th level character and the 3rd level character are not. For the two spellcasters, the threat is Minor, and they get 75 EP each for the encounter. For the two non-spellcasters, the encounter is more Serious, and they get 150 EP each, assuming they can manage to break free of the hypnotic effect.


A PC gets 10 EP per hour of actual gaming time spent. For example, if a gaming session last six hours (not counting rest breaks, pauses to eat, etc), everyone involved gets 60 EP.

Money Spent

Characters can gain EP based on monetary funds spent in ways that do not directly compensate them (i.e. no EP for spending money on equipment, as that is its own reward). The most common means of doing this are tithing, studying, and carousing:

Tithing - Representing money donated to the church/temple of your choice. This doesn't include any tithings you are obligated to make (for whatever reason). It also doesn't count if you run the temple in question, since you can still access the funds if needed. If a temple of your faith is not nearby, you can also possibly sacrifice the wealth in a manner appropriate to your god, in a manner that means the wealth is no longer usable (i.e. tossing a golden statuette into a lake of lava to appease the fire god). You can gain 1 EP per SP tithed/sacrificed in this manner, with a maximum of (10 x character level x PRE) in EP per week.

Studying - Whether bribing an elder wizard to let you rummage through his various magical tomes, or paying a retired swordsman to show you a few moves, you're exchanging money (and time) for knowledge and skill. Assuming you can find an appropriate teacher, of course. You can gain 1 EP per SP spent on such training/studies, with a maximum of (10 x character level x KNO) in EP per week.

Carousing - What good is money if you don't spend it? Preferably on the fun stuff? This is the advanced art of partying, spending money on booze and whores, and picking up some hard-earned experience along the way via the school of hard knocks. Of course, you need to be in or near some sort of civilization to use this option, preferably a place that doesn't mind getting a little rowdy at times. You can gain 1 EP per SP spent on such debaucheries, with a maximum of (10 x character level x END) in EP per week.

A character can choose either Studying or Carousing in a given week, but not both. They can make Tithings separately during that same week.

Also, because TS is designed to support an 'endgame' of characters building their own keeps, temples, etc., they can also gain 1 EP per GP spent on building/renovating/maintaining such buildings (2 EP per GP if said building is in otherwise uncivilized lands, away from safe, civilized areas.

V&V A to Z: Windwitch

Character Name: Windwitch     Secret I.D.: Nadia Al-Salah     Side: Evil
Gender: Female     Height: 5'4"     Weight: 110 lbs     Age: 22
Physical Description: A very attractive female of Arabic descent. Her costume consists of a light blue bodysuit, with dark blue boots, gloves, and cape.  Her civilian clothes are quite expensive, and always of the latest fashions. 

STR: 11     END: 13     INT: 12     AGL: 16     CHA: 16

Level: 3rd     XP: 5,722     Basic Hits: 3     Hit Points: 8     Healing Rate: 0.9/day
Movement: 40" ground, 629” flight      Power: 52    Carrying Capacity: 145 lbs     
HTH Damage: 1d4 Damage Modifier: +1    Accuracy: +2    
Detect Hidden: 10%     Detect Danger: 14%  Inventing Points: 0.6    Inventing: 36%     
Reaction Modifier: -2 good/+2 evil     Training: STR  

Flight - 143 mph (629”)
Heightened Expertise: +4 to hit with Wind Blast
Heightened Senses (can perceive air currents within a 12” (based on INT) radius, acts similar to radar sense)
Wind Blast (range = 22” (STR x 2), 3d6 damage, PR = 3, attack as Vibratory)

Areas of Knowledge
Inheritor (former), Business, Government

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: When one is young and wealthy, there is much that one can acquire that might be out of reach of the common man. Some might purchase expensive jewelery, others might seek to obtain a private jet.

Nadia Al-Salah bought herself superpowers.

Born in Saudi Arabia the daughter of a wealthy businessman who would go on to be part of that country's Council of Ministers, Nadia was attending college in the United States when her father died. She used the opportunity to reroute some of her father's business holdings into her private account – she needed the money to pursue a vision that had consumed her for years.

As a child, Nadia had wanted for nothing. However, it galled her that, for all her family's wealth, she was still a normal mortal being, unlike the various superhumans in their colorful costumes that could be found across the globe. It seemed to her a great unfairness that she was denied such glorious power.

And so, when she was in the U.S. as a student, Nadia had discreetly made contact with Intercrime, in hopes that they could (for the right price, of course) grant her the power she desired. Having obtained sufficient funds after her father's death, she subjected herself to Intercrime's scientific cabal, who had for years sought a method of creating their own superhumans.

As it turned out, the experiment was a success. Nadia quickly learned how to control her air-based powers, just in time for CHESS to attack the Intercrime facility. Windwitch, as she now called herself, was barely able to escape capture. The facility was mostly destroyed in the raid, and much of the fine details of the experiment that gave Nadia her powers was lost.

To her chagrin, her theft of her father's funds was discovered, and her finances were frozen. She now had to steal, not only to survive, but to keep herself in the lifestyle that she was accustomed to. As a solo villain, she prefers high-wealth robberies and thefts, and has a weakness for targeting fine jewelry. She will consider joining a villain group, if their operations can consistently pay off well enough for her to live in continued luxury. Long used to getting her way, she can grow petulant and irrational if things do not go as planned.         

Campaign Use: Windwitch can work decently well as a solo villain, although her obsessive need for wealth and luxury, and her dislike for the occasional need to lay low, can work against her. A smart PC could easily set a trap for her if they know taste for fine jewelry. She could be an effective team member, but this would require a strong leader who would be able to keep her ego in check.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V&V A to Z: Volt

Character Name: Volt     Secret I.D.: Victor Washington     Side: Evil
Gender: Male     Height: 5'11"     Weight: 190 lbs     Age: 25
Physical Description: A black male of average build with short-cut hair. His costume is dark blue, with yellow lightning bolt symbols on his wrists, the tops of his boots, and diagonally across his chest. 

STR: 13     END: 30     INT: 14     AGL: 15     CHA: 14

Level: 6th     XP: 23,214     Basic Hits: 4     Hit Points: 33     Healing Rate: 3.6/day
Movement: 58"      Power: 72    Carrying Capacity: 494 lbs     HTH Damage: 1d8 Damage Modifier: +1    Accuracy: +2    Detect Hidden: 10%     Detect Danger: 14%  
Inventing Points: 1.4     Inventing: 42%     Reaction Modifier: -1 good/+1 evil     
Training: INT  

Absorption: Electrical Energy (2 pt of Power per pt of electrical damage absorbed)
Heightened Endurance: +18
Heightened Expertise: +4 to hit with Lightning Control
Heightened Senses (can sense electrical patterns in his immediate vicinity, including bio-electrical energies given off by living beings)
Lightning Control (range = 60”, 2d8 damage, PR = 4, 60% chance to short out electrical items)

Areas of Knowledge
Electronics, Science (electricity), Crime

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: Victor's mutant abilities didn't surface until fairly late into his adolescence. When his electrical powers did manifest, he knew they were his ticket out of the orphanage, and into an easier, more profitable way of life. He soon graduated from a petty criminal into a full-blown supervillain. He's very mercenary about his actions, and will hire on for pretty much anything if the price is right. He's not one to hold a grudge, for the most part; as far as he's concerned, “it's just business.”         

Campaign Use: Volt functions reasonably well both as a solo villain, and as a member of a supervillain team. As a solo villain, he's fairly intelligent and adaptable, but his crimes will be fairly basic (usually monetary in nature), unless he is being hired for some specific task. As part of a group, he's smart enough to work well with others, and his ego doesn't get in the way of taking orders when necessary

Monday, April 25, 2011

Music Monday: "Everybody Wants You"

Something I'll be throwing out for fun, every Monday (give or take) - perhaps something to help kickstart your week.

Starting off with the Unband's cover of Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You":

V&V A to Z: Ulsyllia

Character Name: Ulsyllia     Alternate I.D.: n/a     Side: Neutral
Gender: Female     Height: 4'10"     Weight: 90 lbs     Age: ???
Physical Description: A diminutive female of slight build, fey-ish features, and unearthly beauty. She wears wispy robes of light cloth colored with earthy hues (greens and browns). 

STR: 8     END: 10     INT: 15     AGL: 27     CHA: 26

Level: 7th     XP: 28,734     Basic Hits: 2     Hit Points: 6     Healing Rate: 0.5/day
Movement: 75"      Power: 60    Carrying Capacity: 68 lbs     HTH Damage: 1d3 Damage Modifier: +4    Accuracy: +5    Detect Hidden: 12%     Detect Danger: 16%  
Inventing Points: 0.5     Inventing: 45%     Reaction Modifier: -5     Training: INT  

Animal Control (all)
Draw From The Earth (takes one minute to perform, in an unspoiled woodland or glade may gain +3d6 extra Power Points, which last one hour, any excess Power after hour's end is lost)
Emotion Control (love)
Heightened Agility: +15
Heightened Charisma: +16
Heightened Senses (Detect scores are x4 in woodland areas)
Heightened Senses (automatically sense all magic with 26” (CHR) range)
Illusions A (all physical senses, PR=4)
Invisibility (only in woodland areas, blending into colorization of nearby trees and other foliage)
Plant Control
Speed Bonus: +30”
Wind Blast (1d8 damage, PR=2, range 16” (Sx2), attack as Vibratory, knockback figured as if damage is doubled)

Vulnerability – takes x2 damage from fire, iron-based attacks (such as most swords), and modern chemical pollutants; also takes 1 pt of damage per turn simply be being in contact with iron or modern pollutants or chemicals (i.e. just touching motor oil on her finger would trigger this)

Areas of Knowledge
Woodlore, Magic

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: There are many lands beyond the ones we know. In days long past, the faerie lands wold occasionally intersect with our own mortal plane. As our own world has turned away from the old ways, and become more dependent upon technology, this crossing of worlds between the Earth and the lands of the Fey have become increasingly rare.

Still, there are those of the faerie lands who would occasionally peer into the mortal realms, for as mortals in ages past would often become enchanted by the Fey, so likewise the inhabitants of faerie would sometimes become enamored with mortal men or women. One such being was Ulsyllia; not among the youngest of her people, but neither by any means among the elders of the Fey (although it is difficult to determine age among such beings, for time passes differently in the faerie lands than they do on Earth). She was old enough to remember when, as a child, the lands of Fey and Earth crossed more frequently, and the mortal world was not yet corrupted by machines and foul stenches in the air above their cities.

And so, when there was a rare opening between the two worlds, Ulsyllia gleefully went exploring into the mortal lands; unfortunately for her, she misjudged the nature of the rift between the two realms, and found herself stranded on Earth, unable to return to the faerie lands.

Now Ulsyllia uses her abilities to survive among the humans, while trying to discover a way back to her home. She is not deliberately malicious or cruel in her treatment of humans, but she has little understanding or concern for the mores and ethics of humanity.         

Campaign Use: Ulsyllia could easily be either a friend or a foe to the PCs, depending on how hey approach her. If treated kindly, she might over time learn to respect the treatment of humans in return. If the PCs can help her return to the lands of the Fey, they will have gained a steadfast ally. However, if they are unable or unwilling to do so, Ulsyllia will ally herself with anyone, good or evil, who can (or at least, says that they can) return her to the faerie lands.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"But never, ever, NEVER... touch this button!"

Sadly, my wife and I were not able to go to the local Rush concert when they came through Atlanta last September during their Time Machine tour (in which they played "Moving Pictures" in its entirety); finances and other circumstances just didn't allow for it.  That said, coming across the following video (which the band used as the intro for said tour) recently gave me a good chuckle:

V&V A to Z: Talos the Tester

Character Name: Talos the Tester     Alternate I.D.: n/a     Side: Neutral
Gender: Male     Height: 6'0""     Weight: 210 lbs     Age: ???
Physical Description: A winged humanoid with pale blue skin, wearing garments (skintight bodysuit with weird spacial designs + a funky Kirby cape) of the same color (power effects such as Illusions B and Telekinesis also share this same colorization).  Facial features, and to a lesser degree the rest of the body, have a somewhat insectoid aspect to their appearance. 

STR: 21     END: 27     INT: 25     AGL: 27     CHA: 22

Level: 15th     XP: 119,911     Basic Hits: 5     Hit Points: 129     Healing Rate: 4.0/day
Movement: 75" ground, 1013" flight     Power: 100    Carrying Capacity: 1,256 lbs     
HTH Damage: 1d10    Damage Modifier: +5    Accuracy: +5    
Detect Hidden: 18%     Detect Danger: 22%    Inventing Points: 7.5     Inventing: 75%
Reaction Modifier: -4     Training: INT  

Animal Powers (Insect)
     Heightened Agility A: +10
     Heightened Endurance A: +13
     Heightened Strength A: +10
     Wings: 1013" flight (230 mph)
Cosmic Awareness
Dimension Travel (type 3)
Illusions (type B)
Telekinesis (3,150 telekinetic capacity, range 405", PR 1)

Sword of Talos (+2 to hit, +1d6 damage, Power Blast (15" range, 1d20 damage, PR 1, can add to HTH damage as carrier attack), Automatically Returns to Wielder as desired (as per Telekinesis, range 60", PR 1), Revivication (PR 25), grants wielder 1 pt of Invulnerability per character level)
Universal Translator

(the GM should feel free to add whatever bizarre Kriby-like technology strikes his or her fancy to Talos' collection)

Areas of Knowledge
Technology, Science

Character Notes/Origin/Personality: Little is known of the extra-dimensional entity known as Talos.  There are indications that this being is not the first to call itself by that name and/or follow the same modus operandi

For reasons of his own, Talos appears to different beings (usually, but not always, superhumans) and will arrange and observe a 'test', seeing and judging how they respond. Sometimes he operates secretly, not letting the subject know that they are being tested.  At other times, he may make his presence known to the subject.  In the latter case, the stated goal may not be the real criteria for the test, or at least not the only one.  Talos does not divulge to the subject whether or not they have passed or failed the test, but instead usually gives a vague indication that he may visit the subject again at a later time.  On rare occasions, he may offer a reward for those who have perform well on the stated part of a test, as a form of incentive; this usually takes the form of information that is desired, as opposed to a material object.

His overall criteria for judgement is his own.  Standard values of human morality do not appear to play a factor in his tests, as he has tested both heroes and villains; in both cases, some have passed, and some have failed.  It is believed by some that he is cataloging individuals that can be gathered at a later time to face some sort of 'Great Test'.            

Campaign Use:  Need an excuse to bring a PC or PCs into a one-shot adventure that they might otherwise not logically fit in?  Talos can bring anyone to anyplace, and the reasons don't have to make sense to anyone else (this can be useful for one-shot adventures when the entire group hasn't shown up, and the GM needs to run something for a solo or small group of PCs).  Of course, at some later date, the GM might want to run the PCs through the 'Great Test' (whatever the heck that might be), as they have to work together with several other heroes and villains, crossover-style.