Boost Transforms

One of the goals which NERO characters pursue is Character Transformations. These enchantments essentially allow your character to change into some flavor of powerful creature, but only under certain circumstances. Transforms can be expensive, generally they are something pursued by high level characters and teams. Most Transforms add substantial power to an already powerful character.

Our game makes it difficult to design an appropriate challenge for a group of people with widely different levels of power, so we segregate our players into bands based on level — even though this does not necessarily reflect the real social groups they’d like to hang out with.  It’s very frustrating to be told that you haven’t been playing long enough to join your friends on the adventure into the mummy’s lair.  This is another possible use for Transforms – allowing low level players to participate in more of the game.

A Boost Transform is designed to allow a lower level player to go on a higher level module. Because they’re designed for newer players, these types of transforms  are not complicated; they don’t add wacky powers or complex abilities.

These don’t necessarily have to be enchantments cast on a specific character. The transform can be conferred by an item or other artifact that players may pass around. It might also be bestowed as a Curse of Transformation by an NPC.

Boost Transforms can be treated as a team resource. Perhaps the team has a spare golem back at the manor, or an enchanted mantle they can throw on a newcomer. It allows them to bring an extra person on a module, as long as that person is under a certain level.  The team will be on the lookout for low level players to bring along so they can use their resource. This is an opportunity to give a new player a taste of the high level game and get plugged into the weekend’s plotlines.

Boost Transforms could also be granted to a specific player through their character concept or history. This makes that player an attractive choice to bring on a module.

Boost Transforms may also be linked with a plotline. For example, whenever characters visit the forest of Fae, they are greeted by a Trickster Riff who wishes to tag along and assist somebody. Consider giving Boost Transforms a power or ability which is necessary to complete one of that plotline’s challenges. This insures that a newer player gets the opportunity to be in the spotlight as the hero of the adventure.

Boost Transforms may only be used when an event director says it’s okay. Often, they simply do not work or are “recharging”. If an NPC is acting as a module hook, check with the NPC in advance if it’s alright to bring along an extra body with a Boost Transform.

Sample Boost Transforms

Here’s a few examples of Boost Transforms. If you have ideas for how they could be improved, or other ideas for Boost Transforms, hit up the comments!

Clockwork Harness

(Designed to support a 20th level team. Can be placed on a character of 10th level or lower once per day, for the duration of a module)
Description: A clockwork harness is a device worn under the clothing. It pushes and pulls in a way which reinforces certain muscular movements. Clockwork harnesses are most useful for melee-oriented characters.
Stats: 
  •  +10 Physical Armor
  • +6 strength
  • 1 Parry/Slay       or    (Steam Jets) 100 point pool of elemental flame. (May throw in bursts of 10)

Mirror of Destiny

(Designed to support a 20th level team. Can be given to a character of 10th level or lower once per day, for the duration of a module)
Description: A novice character may gaze into a Mirror of Destiny and see a glimpse of a future version of himself. The character will be temporarily inspired by this hint of his real potential.

Stats:
  • +10 Dex Armor
  • The character is granted an extra usage of each times-per-day skill     or    the character’s number of weapon proficiencies and backstabs are multiplied by 1.5 (rounded down).

Trickster Riff

(Designed to support a 30th level team. Can be placed on a character of 15th level or lower once per day, for the duration of a module) 
Description: A Trickster Riff is a tiny fae spirit that lives inside of a gemstone. Once per day, they can bond with somebody of level 15 or under. They whisper advice into that person’s ear at just the right time to make that person more effective.
Stats:
  • +15 Dex Armor
  •  2 Assassinate/Dodges    or    (Quickling’s Trick) 150 point pool of elemental lightning. (May throw in bursts of 10)
  • Magic Inspiration x 2

Apprentice’s Mantle

(Designed to support a 35th level team. Can be placed on a character of 15th level or lower once per day, for the duration of a module) 
Description: An Apprentice’s Mantle can be worn by a character of level 15 or under. It confers powers meant to support allies and debuff enemies.
Stats: 
  • +15 Arcane Armor
  • 150 points pool of elemental healing (may touch cast in bursts of 10)
  • Magic Curse x3
  • Magic Dispel Magic x3
  • Magic Purify Blood x3
  • Magic Remove Physical Affliction x3
  • Magic Shield Magic x3
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  1. #1 by Daniel Burke on June 16, 2011 - 12:44 pm

    I would also say that rather than limiting this to Transforms, a chapter could use LCO artifacts as well. By means of having that ‘artifact’ or family of artifacts the chapter could have them ‘choose’ new people each event, cycling through modules (like hte ones above) or things which could stay with someone for the weekend like:

    Shield that grants Cap 1
    Wand that allows a spell pyramid reset 1x per period
    Immunity to (carrier) type
    etc etc

    The goal being then if its this mystical thing, there is no ‘human’ intervention or ability for other players to attempt to make a grab for these items.

    Overall I like the idea of light transforms that attach to the ‘spirit’ or artifacts that bind to the ‘right person’ for the event and let them kick around with either a nice boost for the long term or a heavy boost for the short term.

  2. #2 by Daniel Burke on June 16, 2011 - 12:49 pm

    Thinking about this further I realised you could tailor them to be ‘Boons’ from specific archtypes:

    Fae – (trickery, charms, resistance to such)
    Wild Kin (trolls, orcs, wild elves, etc – str and survival based)
    Undead (metabolism, gaseous form, ect)

    There’s a lot of potential there…

  1. Building a Boost Transform « Nerology

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