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Supplement SP: Supernatural Powers
Copyright ©1995-2003 Mike Rayhawk.
For more information and the complete rules, please visit http://www.brikwars.com.
Cover image by Mike Rayhawk
Text design and layout by Wayne McCaul (email@example.com)
© 2003 All rights reserved.
This is a modified version of the Supplement SP: Supernatural Powers Disclaimer The concepts, rules, information, and general philosophy presented or linked to in this text (which material shall hereafter be referred to as “This Stuff”) are completely unauthorized and unsanctioned by anyone, anywhere, with the possible exception of Mike Rayhawk, who pledges to authorize and/or sanction them only half-heartedly and on a very occasional basis. This Stuff is especially unauthorized by the LEGO Group, TYCO, Ritvik, or by any producer of any type of plastic construction toys, or in fact by anyone even remotely connected with any producer of any type of toys, plastic or construction or otherwise.
The original edition of BrikWars was largely based on the games Lego Wars and Lego Wars II, copyright © 1991, 1995 Eric O’Dell and R. Todd Ogrin (which persons shall hereafter be referred to as ‘Our Divine Ancestors’). A small and ever-decreasing amount of material in This Stuff is still based on ideas and philosophies presented in these games. Any such material may still be under the copyright of Our Divine Ancestors, and is used without their explicit permission (our apologies to you two guys, but you stopped responding to e-mail six years ago). Lego Wars and Lego Wars II were not authorized or sanctioned by the LEGO Group. The word ‘LEGO’(R) is a registered trademark of the LEGO Group, and its inclusions in the titles of Lego Wars and Lego Wars II were quite specifically protested and prohibited by the Lego Group.
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Contents SP.1 The SP System 1 SP.1.1 Buying SP Points 2 SP.1.2 Using SP Points 3 SP.1.3 When Supernatural Effects
In every age, there are those who are gifted with abilities that defy natural explanation. Some can attribute their powers to arcane magical knowledge, inborn psychic ability, divine favor, access to higher dimensions, or affinity with the Farce. Others have gained their powers through mastery of a long-forgotten kung-fu style, an unforeseen reaction to the rays of a yellow sun, or by complete coincidence and dumb luck. These individuals do not hesitate to grab the laws of Physix by the ears and subject them to a sound thrashing.
SP.1 The SP System Rather than come up with endless lists of prayers and spells, psychik abilities, super powers, and so on, all supernatural abilities in BrikWars have been lumped into a single generic and flexible system. It takes a little while to learn at first, so players may want to wait until they’ve got a few battles under their belt before introducing SuperPowered units into their armies.
A supernaturally powered unit measures its power by a SuperPower rating (SP). Usually, the SuperPowered unit will be a minifig. However, machines, animals, and even inanimate objects can occasionally have supernatural powers, through enchantment, possession, haunting, the channeling of divine power, alien teknology, interdimensional manipulation, or some set of even more outlandish circumstances.
SuperPower points are generic, and can be used to create any supernatural effect. However, every SuperPowered unit is limited by its “Aspect,” which describes the kinds of effects the unit can use its SP points to create. One unit might be a Wizard of Horticulture, using SP points to create effects that grant control of plants and explosive vegetable growth. Another unit might be a Telekinetik, using SPs to create the effects of powerful psionik abilities. The most commonly-seen Aspects are listed here, along with a few examples of abilities that a
unit aligned to that Aspect might employ:
• Fire—ignite objects, throw fireballs, shoot flame jets, shape fire;
• Water—ice storm, turn earth to mud, firehose, cleanse dirty units;
• Earth—summon BURPman, create Blox, meteor strike, earthquake;
• Air—call tornado, flight, sonic boom, asphyxiate, levitate objects;
• Life—heal, cure poison, resurrect, strengthen, increase skill;
• Death—create zombie, curse, poison cloud, summon Dimmy;
• Animals—summon, communicate with, and control animals;
• Plants—create, grow, and control plants
• Weather—lightning bolt, hurricane, fog, tornado, blizzard, he;at wave;
• Energy—power devices, cure exhaustion, force fields, energy blades;
• Telepathy—read minds, control minifigs, implant illusions;
• Motion—animate object, super-speed, teleportation, immobilize;
• Lightside or Jeteye—telekinesis, precognition, communicate with dead;
• Darkside or Syph —electrocute, mind control, rule Galactic Empire;
• Martial Arts—fly around, dodge bullets, punch through mountains.
There are of course an unlimited number of Aspects that players might come up with; they should use these examples as a guide for how specific a new Aspect should be.
A SuperPowered unit with a broader range of abilities will have to buy SPs in several Aspects (e.g., an Elemental ArchMage would buy four sets of SPs in the aspects of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air). The unit may only use each set of SP to create effects of the associated Aspect, although SPs from different Aspects can be combined for effects that combine multiple Aspects somehow (for instance, a molten lava attack could combine both Fire and Earth SPs).
At the opposite end of the scale, a SuperPowered unit with only a very few specifically defined abilities (as with most SuperHeroes) will not choose an Aspect at all, but buy the abilities as Indexed or Single Abilities.
A unit’s SP rating indicates the maximum number of SPs it can spend in a single turn to create one or
more supernatural effects. A unit always has its full SP recharged at the beginning of its turn unless:
1. It is Exhausted or Stunned (3.4.4: Getting Stunned), in which case its SPs are halved (round down) until it recovers.
2. The unit uses SPs on an opponent’s turn to react to an enemy action (3.3.2: Responding to an Opponent’s Actions) or to hinder their movement, in which case those SPs are still considered to have been used on the unit’s next turn.
3. The unit does nothing for an entire turn, standing perfectly still and concentrating. On the following turn, the unit’s SP rating is increased by one half (round down). Further consecutive turns of meditation increase the SP by an additional one quarter, one eighth, one sixteenth, and so on. Meditating in this fashion will never increase the SPs to more than double their original rating.
SP.1.1 Buying SP Points The cost of an SP point depends on how many kinds of things for which the unit can use it. A SuperPowered unit may have separate sets of SP points for different groups of abilities. It can combine SPs from different groups for a single effect that fits into multiple group categories.
Indexed Ability SP 2 CP per Ability, 3 CP per SP The unit’s abilities have been carefully indexed, and the unit may only use SPs for the abilities on its specific list. It costs 2 CP for every entry on the list, and 3 CP for every SP available to spend on effects recorded on the list.
Example: SuperFig is a comik-book hero who stands for truth, justice, and playing well. Besides his considerable assortment of super powers, he collects a super income from publishing and merchandizing deals for his
image, character, and adventures. His list of powers is accounted as follows:
1. Super Strength 5. X-Ray Vision
2. Super Speed 6. Heat Vision
3. Flight 7. Super-Sharp Senses
4. Invulnerability 8. Super Cold Breath 8 Super Abilities, +16 CP SP available to Super Abilities: 20 SP, +60 CP Total: +76 CP It is questionable whether he has some Super Disguise ability or whether Lois Laygo is just so dim that a pair of glasses is all it takes to fool her completely.
Single Ability SP 3 CP per SP These SP are earmarked for a single specific effect and can be used for no other. Example effects include Tossing Lightning Bolts, Flying at SuperSpeed, Spawning JawJaws, or Creating Doughnuts from Nowhere. There is a small amount of leeway in the exact use of the Single Ability; a unit Creating Doughnuts from Nowhere could vary the amount, size, and type of doughnuts created, but could not use the SP to create even a single croissant.
Example: A player decides to buy a Dragon (9.3.4: Cave Monsters) with a more versatile Fire Breath weapon.
A normal Dragon’s breath has a Range of 8", a 2d6 Fire Damage Rating, and full-auto capability. The player decides to give his particular Dragon four SP to augment this weapon. Because the SP are limited to this purpose, they can be purchased as Single Ability SP, costing 3 CP each, for a total of 12 CP. The SP could be used to increase the Range, Fire Damage, or theoretically even the Area Arc (saving the Dragon from arcrelated Skill Penalties for Automatic Fire (3.3.4: Automatic Fire)). The Dragon could not use his SPs to (for instance) change the damage type from Fire to Poison, because that effect wouldn’t fall under the Single Ability of Augmented Fire Breath.
SP.1.2 Using SP Points
Supernatural effects have a number of attributes that determine their ability to affect objects in the world.
These include factors such as Range, Area of Effect, Duration, and Damage. Pumping up an individual attribute costs a certain number of SP; the specific amount varies by the attribute in question. It may seem complicated at first, but an experienced player will get the hang of it pretty quickly.
When a unit tries to create a supernatural effect, it must decide in advance how many SP points it is going to spend. This can be risky—with all the die rolls involved, it’s impossible to predict how many points will be necessary to achieve a given effect. However, once the unit has decided on the total number of SPs to spend on a given effect, it can roll each die and allocate each SP separately.
If the unit tries for a certain effect and the die rolls don’t come out the way it wants—for instance, a Fire Mage creates a powerful explosion and gets such a high roll for Area of Effect and such a low roll for Range that he catches himself in the blast—that’s the way it goes! Once he rolls the dice it’s too late to abort.
Compounding the issue, the more powerful the effect, the more difficult it is to control—for every SP spent to create the effect, the Usage Rating goes up by one (i.e., a wizard attempting a spell with 8 SP would BrikWars: Supplement SP 4 have to make a Skill Roll of 8 or higher to be successful). All normal Skill modifiers (for range, etc.) apply. For more difficult effects, an SP-user may wish to spend an SP or two to boost its own Skill for that single roll; this
ability is available to all SP-users regardless of their Aspect. If the SP-user fails this Skill Roll, refer to SP.1.3:
When Supernatural Effects Fail.
SP-users can buy boosts to Supernatural Skill (+SS) at a cost of +1CP per +1d6SS. Similar to a Close Combat Bonus, Supernatural Skill adds to any Skill Roll used to create a supernatural effect, but does not improve any other type of Skill Roll. The Supernatural Skill bonus can never be higher than a unit’s regular Skill rating (including if the regular Skill is augmented or diminished by a supernatural effect, a Stun attack, etc.).
A SuperPowered unit can use its powers as Opportunity Fire (3.3.2: Attacking on an Opponent’s Turn) or as Opportunity Actions (3.3.3: Responding to an Opponent’s Actions), taking the standard −2 Skill Penalty.
As with more conventionally-armed units, a SuperPowered unit can take −1MP" to prepare itself for Opportunity Fire or to Focus on specific enemy units, allowing it to avoid the Skill Penalties associated with acting out of turn.
SP.1.3 When Supernatural Effects Fail When a player’s attempt to create a supernatural effect goes awry, his opponent gets the lucky task of deciding his fate. (If there are multiple opponents, choose the opponent whose units were the target of the effect, or otherwise the opponent most opposed to the effect succeeding.) There are three possibilities, depending on the type of effect created. (On critical failures, choose one of these possibilities and try to think of funny ways to make it even worse.)
Much to the embarrassment of the supernatural unit, his efforts fail to produce any effect whatsoever, apart from a possible loud pop, a puff of smoke, or a nasty lingering odor. The unit is at −2 to produce any subsequent effects in that turn.
Appropriate for: cast spells, martial arts moves, use of the Farce Inappropriate for: inherent abilities (such as dragon’s breath or superhero powers), except on a critical failure.
The effect is treated as a normal ranged attack that missed, using normal NearMiss rules (3.1.2: NearMiss Rules). The target of the attack is limited by the Range as purchased with SP, and by whether Pass Obstacles was purchased (SP.2.1: Range/Area). The unit is at −2 to produce any subsequent effects in that turn.