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Creative Transformations (updated)

 
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Creative Transformations (updated) Reply with quote



Characters who change from a "normal" form to a super-powered one are a classic theme not just for Superheroes but also in Fantasy and even in Science Fiction. Here are various manners of handling this gimmick in BASH.

Obviously there are Powers that already allow changing form, like Mimic and Shape-Shifting. But those are too varied for what we want here (unless you give them a Limitation on the number of forms taken, of course.)
Note: Remember that Shape-Shifting cannibalizes the character's Brawn or Agility points to buy Powers. To avoid this, you can use the Enhancement (ADEL File, pg 7, 1-6 pts) which provides a reserve of up to 6 points to buy Powers for the new forms.

First, there's the fact that most Powers have a visible effect (Mental Powers are a notable exception). This effect is up to the player to design. Nothing in the rules says that a change in form cannot be part of that effect. If all you want is a cosmetic change, go this route. Example: DC's Halo has six powers, one for each color of the rainbow, and her body glows according to which one she is using.

Obviously, there are also Powers that cause a physical change when used, like Growing or Stretching.

And then there's the "Instant Change" method. This Advantage says: "You can instantly transform from your secret id/normal mode to super mode." But what do these mean?

For most characters, "secret id" just means a change into costume (which begs the question, how long does it take to change into costume without this advantage- my guess is one Panel.) This does not prevent the use of the character's Powers unless it also has the Normal Disadvantage.

Super mode on the other hand, suggests a form with superhuman traits, such as Powers and Weaknesses. A player who gives its character this Advantage should be free to design such a form by buying such traits for it. Note that normal traits are still shared by both forms.

Presumably, you can also buy this Advantage more than once, with each giving you access to a different costume or super mode. In this case, the player can decide which form has which supertraits. He or she must still pay those traits' point costs of course.

Other traits that can be used for this purpose include:

Involuntary Change (UE pg 13) As above, but the change to and from super modes is triggered by something besides your will. The Narrator may give you a Mind Check to stop it.

Multiple Suits / Bodies (AP #2, pg 12) You can switch between them in-between Issues, assuming you have time to go back to your base. You can change suits / bodies during an issue, but doing so costs you a Hero Die. Each suit or body can have different powers, and when you put on a fresh one, it starts at 100 Hits.

Onerous Change (ADEL File, pg 6) You must roll a D6 when trying to change into Super mode; a 1-2 result indicate failure this Panel. Even if you succeed your powers will not activate until next Page.

Characters with the Obtrusive Disadvantage (ADEL File, pg 5) only suffer its effects in Super Mode.

A note on Alter Ego: This Advantage provides a second personality for the character, who may be helpful or unhelpful, may have separate skills, and even separate memories. The change between personas may also be intentional or triggered by something. It may be combined with any of the other options to create various form of shared-body characters.
Taking this Advantage more than once provides another extra personality each time.

Fusion: This variation, in which 2 or more characters combine to form a single one, is a popular option these days, thanks to shows like Dragon Ball and Steven Universe. To simulate it, simply add the Limitation "Requires X characters" to the appropriate Power, or specify the trigger for an Advantage or Disadvantage to be 'fusing with X persons'. Don't forget to give the super mode Alter Ego if the Fusion has more than one persona in control at a time.



Last edited by Sijo on Fri May 26, 2017 5:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fairytalejedi
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking recently about how to do a character like Wolfsbane. Is there an Awesome Powers entry I'm forgetting/missing that would be appropriate?

The problem basically involves characters whose alter ego is not Normal (per the disadvantage) such as Wolfsbane having her hybrid form and full wolf form.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this too recently.
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of the options I address above. Wolfsbane basically has Instant Change x2, providing a normal, werewolf, and full wolf forms. Each form's abilities must be paid separately- the Advantage only allows the Transformations to take place.

If your character has powers in all forms, you could go the Multiple Bodies route- you must pay a Hero Die to change, but OTOH your Hits go back to 100 in the process.
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Wolfsbane I'd just give her Shape-Shifting with a limitation because she can only assume Lupine features with the power.

Actually when Awesome Powers gets to the Animal / Plant powers Volume, we will introduce a more limited (and cheaper) alternative to Shape-Shifting that might be even more suited (basically because you can only turn into one thing, you get a discount). I think the only real mechanics difference between the two would be one form is physically a little stronger and the other is more agile; which I'd just use Shape-Shift to swap 1 point of Brawn and Agility for that part. Otherwise, the powers of both wolf-forms seem just about the same.

I'd build her statblock for whatever powers / stats she needs, keeping in mind that Brawn / Agility will swap sometimes, and then take Instant Change as an Advantage for her to resume normal human appearance. (actually you could probably get away without taking that, just say she shape-shifts into her human shape, but doing so means she volunteers to have no powers and lowers her stats). You could also give her the Normal Disad to represent her non-lupine forms.

(She has 3 forms; wolf form, hybrid form, and normal human form).
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would only give her Shape Shift if she could use could Powers in Human form (ex. turn only one hand into a claw) but then maybe she can, it's been years since I read a comic with her in it.
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you take the "Normal" Disad it means you have a form that has no powers and normal stats. If I were to build Beast Boy, I'd give him Normal for when he reverts back to his regular form (even though he's green).
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just remembered to include the CP Proxy Enhancement for Shape Shifting. Will edit the OP now.
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fairytalejedi
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was basically thinking about this in conjunction with a character idea that's kind of like Wolfsbane but without the normal human form. So she basically would have only the hybrid form and the full animal form, both of which have powers.

I didn't flesh out the idea, it's just something that got me thinking.
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