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Chimerical Player Characters

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  • Chimerical Player Characters

    For those players who cant always make games, or who like something a little different, I sometimes allow Chimera as player characters. This is the formula I followed in the past:

    Chimerical Companions
    These are those self-willed dream persons that turn up in dream realms or peopling the landscape of the Dreaming. Often, these chimera are imaginary friends, idealized dream girls or boyfriends, or otherwise exaggerated people. As player characters, these persons are considered “Orphan” chimera, and realize their own dream nature. Chimerical people can appear as any age or racial type, with some having outlandish characteristics such as blue skin, giant noses, claws, scales, tails or other features.
    Attributes: 6/4/3
    Abilities: 11/7/4
    Backgrounds: 5
    Redes: 3
    Base Glamour: 5
    Base Willpower: 3
    Freebie Points: 21

    These may be selected with build points and freebie points at a point my point basis.
    Armor (1pt per armor, 4 max), Befuddle (3pts), Enchantment (3pts), Ensnare (2pt), Fear (2pt), Fester (3/5/7pts), Gulp (3pt), Healing (5pts), Hide (5/7), Possession (3pts), Sense Banality (2pts), Steal Glamour (3pt), Venom (3 pts), Wyrd (7pts).

    Other redes may be found below:

    The symphony of odors, the spectacle of sensation, therich epics told by every passing breeze or warm surface —humans sense these things but dimly. Virtually every landanimal and every creeping thing, however, knows and under-stands the language of smells. For two points, you can smell water on the wind, tell thespecies of an unseen stalker (or target), recognize a familiar smelland find hidden food or aromatic treasure (like spices, wine,potions, etc.). This is the level at which deer, horses and bearssmell. The three-point version of this Advantage is the levelenjoyed by hounds and wolves. At this level, you can track anyoneby scent, recognize individuals by smell (both human and ani-mal), tell who (or what) has been in a room or handling an object,smell powerful emotions on creatures whose kind you know (asdogs can smell fear), find hidden water and predict the weather.In game terms, two points earn you an additional twodice for Perception rolls involving scent. At three points, youadd three dice to your Pool. At this level, smell is your dominant sense, and virtually all Perception, Alertness,Awareness, or similar rolls will involve it.

    The leopard may not be able to change his spots, but theAethiopian parandrus-deer can change his skin. Similarly, thechameleon blends into his background, and the ptarmigandisappears against either sky or snow. Some magical beasts maydarken their pelts to blend in with shadows; this so-calledShadow-walking talent costs four points. For six points, youmay change hues within the range of a single color (green, red,brown, etc.); for eight points, you may change to fit any colorbackground. Perceiving a creature the same color as its back-ground requires a Wits + Alertness roll (difficulty 7).

    Nature grants weapons to her favored warriors: greatmaces in the shape of claws to the bear, mighty daggers in theguise of lions' teeth, and chivalric lances on the brows of unicorns. Even the lowly scorpion has a poniard in its tail.You have such weapons, and wield them with pride and skill(or, at least, desperate valor). For three points, you may buyone type of attack; for five points, two. Seven points allows
    you to buy three.
    Some creatures (usually beasts of exceptional puissancelike dragons, lions or gryphons) may do aggravated damagewith their natural weapons. If the Storyteller allows it, youmay purchase the ability to do aggravated damage for doublethe usual cost (6/10/14).
    Maneuver Difficulty Damage
    Bite 5 Strength + 1
    Claw 6 Strength + 2
    Gore 7 Strength + 2 (Strength + 4 after acharge if you have just moved 10 yards or more)
    Tail Strike 6 Strength (possible bonuses for aspiked or poisonous tail)

    Beasts that exceed the traditional number of heads are notcommon, but they do exist, at least in the Mythic Ages. Theamphisbaena has two heads, the chimera three, and the hydra anextravagant nine!Having extra heads makes you harder to surprise (roll twoextra dice on Alertness rolls against surprise for each extra head).It also makes you harder to kill, and can have other advantages incombat. For each head, you may add two dice to your Dexterity+ Brawl attack Dice Pool. To attack with more than one head ata time, divide the Pool by the number of heads.
    Example: Jess triple-headed dragon could choose to bite with all three heads. If Jess wants him to do so, the player would add four dice to the dragons usual Dice Pool. If that Pool was originally seven dice,
    Jess would have a total of 11 dice to divide three ways. Jess can attack three different magi in one turn, so long as they're all within reach.
    This option only applies to biting attacks which include more than one head. If Jess's dragon attacked with one head andhad the others watch, he would roll only seven dice, not 11. If theextra heads are severed, the bonus is lost. If all heads are destroyed,the creature dies.

    Travelers bring tales out of India of men with more than onepair of arms, and sailors have stories of krakens and other beastswith eight, 10 or even 20 grasping tentacles. Like these far-flungbeasts, you have more than two grasping limbs (the humanstandard). This extra limb might be a trunk, a prehensile tail, oran actual extra arm.Each extra limb costs three points, and allows you to makeone additional melee attack each turn (by splitting your DicePools). This Advantage applies only to limbs which can be usedto grab and hold things. Extra legs are either purely cosmetic, orshould be bought as Extra Speed.

    The race is not always to the swift, but it often seems thatway. The leopard among beasts, the hawk among birds andthe dolphin among sea creatures can outdistance any of their fellows. For each five points, you may take one additionalaction per turn without splitting your Dice Pool. When moving, this Advantage allows you to multiply a normal human's speed by 1.5 for each five points spent. Fast-swim-ming beasts need not purchase this Advantage, but fast-flyingbeasts should. Check the description of your character's kindelsewhere in The Bygone Bestiary to find the appropriatelevel at which to purchase this Advantage.
    Points Walk Run Fly
    Opts (Human) 7 20 NA
    3 pts 9 25 25
    5 pts 11 30 30
    7 pts 12 33 35
    9 pts 13 37 40
    10 pts 14 40 45

    The serpent twists and coils like a rhetorician's argu-ment. You, too, can bend your body double, loop aroundlimbs and squeeze your opponents until their breath leavesthem. You add one die to Dodge rolls, and add two dice toGrapple attacks.

    Like a cat, you can see in the dark as long as even a dimlight source (starlight, one candle, etc.) exists. Even in totaldarkness, a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 8) revealsthe outlines of your surroundings. The Storyteller may alsorequire rolls (at varying difficulties) if you want to seethrough conditions like fog, smoke, etc. Despite its name,this Advantage reflects all kinds of sensory "mapping," fromdolphin calls to cat's whiskers. Depending on the sense andcircumstances, you might suffer some additional penalty if that "sight" is blocked. Sharp noises confuse the dolphin, andno cat can sense distant things with his whiskers.

    For each two points you spend on this Advantage, you recover at the rate appro-priate for one Health Level lower. For instance, you only takethree days to recover from being Injured (rather than thenormal one week), as if you were merely Hurt. If you areBruised, you regain that Health Level in one (noncombat)turn, rather than one day. For four points, you only take oneday to recuperate from being Injured, as if you are merely Bruised, and so on.

    SIZE (3/5/8/10 PTS)
    If your size is roughly human (wolf, great ape,leopard), then you need not purchase this Advantage, al-though you might consider either the Merit: Huge or theFlaw: Short (from The Book of Shadows, page 45) to reflectyour personal size.If you're considerably larger or smaller, the following Advantage levels apply:
    3 pts A bit larger (lion,.pony, condor) or smaller(mastiff, cheetah, eagle) than human.
    5 pts A lot larger (horse, boa, crocodile, bear) or smaller(cat, pike, falcon) than human.
    8 pts Considerably larger (gryphon, great shark, buffalo)or smaller (pigeon, mouse, carp) than human.
    10 pts Immensely larger(elephant, roc, whale) or smaller(spider, hummingbird, minnow) than human.
    Each size level adds (or subtracts) one Health Level tothe amount of damage you can withstand, and gives (ortakes) one additional point of either Strength or Stamina. If you have two levels of increased size, subtract one from youropponents' difficulty to spot you (and to hit you); add one tothose difficulties for each level of reduced size. At three levels, subtract or add two from those difficulties; at fourlevels, subtract or add three.The physical advantages of increased size are at least somewhat negated by the inconvenience of maneuvering incramped quarters (like buildings, city streets, shipboard orforests), just as the disadvantages of being small are redressedby the ease with which tiny creatures can slip through cracksand spy on unwary prey.

    This Rede allows chimera to travel to the mortal world from the Dreaming, or to enter the Dreaming
    from the mortal world. Chimera can travel only through established trods and portals, though some travel chimerical trods known only to their kind. Traverse Dreaming requires rolling five dice against the local Banality rating, and spending a point of Willpower.
    Successes Passage
    Botch Failure, lose Willpower point (or get stuck!!)
    None Failure, try again
    One Three turns to pass through
    Two Takes two turns
    Three or Four Takes one turn
    Five or more Instant passage

    Like the spider, you canwalk on walls or ceilings as eas-ily as if they were floors (and atnormal walking speed). A naturaltalent, this feat requires no rollunless some force (strong wind,slippery surfaces, grasping hands, etc.) is trying to separate you from the wall. In the latter case, a successful Strength + Athletics roll (difficulty 7) is enough to secure your footing.

    As fishes and frogs do, you may breathe water as easily as
    air. For five points, you need not bother to breathe at all. If you cannot breathe air normally, you may buy this Advan-tage to be able to live as a fish out of water. (Being able to breathe only water costs no points.) This Advantage helpsyou withstand the rigors of deep or rapid diving, up to a point.

    The spider's web traps the unwary fly — the more itstruggles, the more certain is its doom. Like the spider, youcan entrap your enemies in webbing, a magical beard, stickysaliva or some other substance.
    Although this Advantage is innate, complex web-weaving must be learned; consider Webworking a Skill, one thatonly silk-spinners can purchase. A good Dexterity +Webworking roll will allow you to.
    Difficulty Feat
    5 Travel up, down or across distances on your web
    6 Craft large webs
    7 Snare foes
    8 Grab objects at a distance, or block entrances
    Standard webbing has six soak dice and three Health Levels.To escape your trap, a victim must make three or more successeson a Strength roll with an 8 difficulty (or, for more complexity,make a resisted roll pitting the character's Strength against aStrength 8 web. At the Storyteller's discretion, weaker (orstronger) webbing may lower (or raise) the difficulty of escape.

    WINGS (3/5)
    The simplicity of this Advantage's name is exceeded only bythe simplicity of its nature: You may fly. Most flying beasts possessphysical wings, although some fabulous creatures need nothingbut their own innate magic. For three points, you may fly at up tonormal human jogging speed (13 yards/turn); for five points, youmay cover 20 yards per turn. To fly faster than human runningspeed, you must purchase the Advantage: Extra Speed.
    Last edited by MythAdvocate; 07-12-2017, 07:59 AM.

    “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
    Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

  • #2
    Neat idea. How does this work in your games when the changelings are interacting with the autumn world? How are chimerical characters better for sporadic players than typical characters? Doesn't this system make the PC chimera far more powerful than NPC ones? Honest questions as I like this idea.

    Visit my freehold for Changeling links, settings, art, and other goodies.
    The Shepherd's Freehold


    • #3
      Originally posted by Shepherd View Post
      Neat idea. How does this work in your games when the changelings are interacting with the autumn world? How are chimerical characters better for sporadic players than typical characters? Doesn't this system make the PC chimera far more powerful than NPC ones? Honest questions as I like this idea.
      Chimerical player characters made with this system are about even with Chimera Companion NPC's, though being player characters they are more diverse in their abilities. Normally these beings are not anymore effective in the Autumn world than you would expect an invisible, mostly intangible being to be. However they are excellent in the Dreaming.

      These characters are best for those players who cannot always make the game, new role-players who love fairy tales, or for players wanting something different. For instance; In a home game, a players girlfriend played a Never using this system (Enchantment (3), Size (8) Max Strength of 2, Health Levels OK, ,-2,-5, Inc, Wings (3)), and she was very helpful to the group though she had never roleplayed before.

      A PC I ran in a Dreaming Space campaign I was involved in. A smallish snuffler taken to adventure.

      Fred (Snuffler)

      A "monster under the bed" that was dreamed up by a little boy some years ago. That little boy has since grown up and forgotten poor old Fred, but this monster still remembers those good old days. Now fred is on a constant quest for adventure and exploration, with a particular hate for bullies.
      Image: A walking carpet with big glaring eyes and a mouth full of teeth the size of jumbo crayons. Fred is about the size of a troll, but wider (built kind-of like grimace). He wears only a belt and gun holster and a pair of pants (the Baron insisted), with his handy lightning gun.
      Legacies: Paladin/Grotesque
      Attributes: Strength 5, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4, Charisma 2, Manipulation 1, Appearance 2, Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
      Abilities: Alertness 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 4, Kenning 3, Drive 2, Firearms 3, Survival 2, Gremayre 2, Lore 2
      Backgrounds: Contacts (2), Lightning Gun (3),
      Special Abilities: Enchantment (3), Fangs (3), Gulp (see below) (3), Size (3) +1 Str, +1 OK Health Levels.
      Glamour: 5, Willpower: 3, Banality: 0
      Merits & Flaws: Hatred (bullies) (3pt flaw), Vulnerability (repulsed by Spinach) (4pt flaw)
      Health Levels: OK, OK, -1, -1, -2, -2, -5, Inc
      Last edited by MythAdvocate; 07-12-2017, 08:16 AM.

      “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
      Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy


      • #4
        Pretty cool! I'm going to have to save those rules. And thanks for the example!

        Visit my freehold for Changeling links, settings, art, and other goodies.
        The Shepherd's Freehold


        • #5
          This is a cool idea and I've actually ponder this for similar reasons, players that can only sometimes show up.

          It is a time for great deeds!