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Adapting Characters to BASH

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Joined: Aug 02, 2012
Posts: 387
Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:25 pm    Post subject: Adapting Characters to BASH Reply with quote

Adapting Characters to BASH

BASH Ultimate Edition provided some ideas on how to convert characters from other sources for use in the game’s campaigns. However translating characters is tricky; for example, sometimes what appears to be a specific power is actually a Power Stunt in BASH rules. The following is a method I developed for my personal use, and I’m sharing it here for those who might find it useful.

The steps of adaptation, in the order I found most practical, are:
-Advantages and Disadvantages
-Mental Malfunction

Research: The best sources of information are of course, where the characters appear- the actual comics, TV shows, etc. However it can be hard to track down every relevant fact, especially for old characters or ones that have been adapted in several media. Fortunately we live in the Internet era, and you can find sites dedicated to virtually anyone. I recommend Wikia.com.

Powers: Super-powers are usually the most obvious part (for those characters who have them.) However, In BASH, a character’s superhuman abilities can be described in several ways: as Powers, Stats with a score of 3 or higher, certain Advantages, or Super-Equipment. You’ll have to pick whichever comes closest in effect.

Telling Powers apart from Power Stunts (and Power Tricks) can be tricky as well. By using Hero Dice (or Hero Points for Power Tricks) almost any Power can be simulated. The best way to determine if this is the case is to see how often a character uses a power. Powers used without much care (such as flight) are probably ‘real’ but ones that the character seems to save for special occasions (without having a defined limit on their use) are probably Stunts of another Power.

Once you have determined the Powers, you need to set their level (if applicable). Compare any feats done with the power to the Power’s effect description. The usual BASH scale goes up to 5, which covers most characters well (use the Cosmic Powers rules for characters more powerful than that.) Sometimes it’s hard to decide because sources can be vague (or inconsistent). Use examples found in the books (such as Archetypes) for help.

Finally, decide if the Power has any Enhancements and/or Limitations. Sometimes these are explicitly stated (ex. “My powers have no effect on anything yellow!”) but don’t forget to read the Power’s description in case something is needed; for example, a character who seems to need no concentration when using her Force Field would probably need the Second Nature enhancement.

Weaknesses: In BASH, Weaknesses either do damage or temporarily nullify the character’s powers; however sometimes what are called weaknesses elsewhere are actually Power Limitations or even Disadvantages such as Susceptibility. As with Powers, you must set their severity based on examples of its effects.

Equipment: Next to Powers and Weaknesses, Equipment is the easiest category to discern, because they are visible. However telling them apart from Powers with the Gadget Limitation isn’t that easy. In fact, you can have Powers that look like equipment, but are not. If an object cannot be damaged or lost, it’s not really Equipment. Here’s how to determine the right BASH equivalent:
-First, check the Equipment lists and look for the anything that has the same properties (even if it looks different). Remember also that you can modify any piece of equipment with Enhancements.
-If you cannot simulate the object this way, it must be a Power (or possibly the Relic Advantage from the ADEL File.)

Advantages and Disadvantages: These may be the easiest Traits to ascribe, because they are descriptive. Just reading their names is often enough to decide whether the character has them or not. The only problem is that there is no guarantee that their numbers will be balanced as required by the standard BASH rules. But you can use Alternate Rules: there’s the “If there’s more Advantages than Disadvantages, the difference is gained as Setbacks, and if there are more Disadvantages than Advantages, the difference is gained as Hero Points” which is the most “official” one, and there’s also another where you can buy Advantages for 1 Character Point each, and gain 1 Character Point for every Disadvantage.

Note also that some Advantages and Disadvantages are actually Stats! Someone described as “Very Strong” (but not superhumanly so) should have a Brawn of 2; Similarly, “Very Agile” is Agility 2 and “Very Smart” is Mind 2. Conversely, “Weak” is Brawn 0, “Klutz” is Agility 0, and “Dumb” is Mind 0.

Mental Malfunction: I usually figure this out after the Advantages and Disadvantages, because they help define a character’s motivations. For example, suppose a character is On The Run: how does he feel about his situation? Does he hate his life? Joke about fate? Not care at all? Additionally, you can use the list of Villain motivations (Ultimate Edition, pages 68-69) for inspiration.

Skills: Here’s where things start getting fuzzy. Most characters don’t openly say, “I’ll use my Skill of _, in which I have a level of _, to do this!” He might be using a Skill or just ‘taking a crack at it’ (what is called Defaulting in BASH.) Usually the best thing to do is look at the character’s background and assign Skills (and their Specializations) based on the training or life experiences the character has had. As for level, assign a bonus of 1 to 5 (which I believe is the maximum?) according to how the character’s mastery of the skill is described.

Note that in BASH combat skills are considered Powers instead- look under the Intense Training Power Category for those.

Stats: I saved these Traits for last because, as you have seen, they can be interpreted in many other ways in other sources: as Powers, Advantages, Disadvantages or Skills. For a character who has none of these that might affect a Stat score, just assign a 1 to it.

Note that in BASH, characters earn a number of Skill Slots equal to their Agility and Mind scores. If this number does not fit with the number of Skills selected above, you have two options. If you need more slots, you can get them via the Skillful ‘Power’ (which can be known by Normal people); it gives 2 slots per Level that can be used for extra skills or to raise a Skill’s level. If you need less slots, you can assign the Unskilled Disadvantage, which reduces the number by half, but note this also gives the character a -2 penalty when Defaulting and prevents the use of Skillful or Jack of All Trades.

Hits: This might seem superfluous, given that Heroes and Villains have 100 Hits by default in BASH. However, not every character called a Hero (or a Villain, for that Matter) actually is one! Sometimes they are Minions (which in this game refers to anybody from an elite mook to an innocent bystander) so make sure to assign the correct level from the following list:
Hero or Villain: 100
Powerful Minion: 50
Dangerous Minion: 40
Tough Guy: 30
Grunt: 20
Normal Person: 10

Note that Minions use different combat rules than full Heroes or Villains.

In addition, certain Disadvantages, such as Age, affect the character’s starting Hits.

Breakdown: To find out what the character’s point value is (and thus decide what Campaign Level it is best suited for) just add together the cost of the Stats (remember that every Stat point costs two CP), Powers, Advantages (if you’re using the rule in which they can be bought with CP) and any Equipment with a Point Value, and Subtract any points from Weaknesses (and Disadvantages, again if you’re using that rule).

Note you can use a character on a campaign with a lower Character Point level, but if so, you should apply the difference to it as Setbacks, to maintain balance. Similarly, you can use a character on a campaign with a higher level, and it earns the difference as Hero Points.

Last edited by Sijo on Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: Dec 09, 2010
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice little guide. What I like about BASH is that you can start however you want on character creation. You can start with stats, weaknesses, advantages/disads and so forth.
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Cosmic Hero
Cosmic Hero

Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Trenton, Ont. (Canada)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice breakdown guide for character conversions, Sijo. This will be a great help!
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