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BASHing Dragons!

Using Basic Action Super Heroes in a Dungeons & Dragons game

Hero vs Dragon

Crossing over Super Heroes and Fantasy is an old idea; there been have comic stories where modern-day supers get somehow displaced to magical worlds. Similarly RPG adventure modules based on the same concept have been occasionally produced over the years. So I thought, why not write an article for a possible BASH/D&D crossover?

The Situation

For whatever reason -Dimensional Teleportation, a Cosmic Being etc.- the Heroes (and possibly some Villains) are transported to one of the Prime Material Plane worlds, such as The Realms.

They will of course, immediately stick out like sore thumbs, what with their bizarre skintight clothing. If they use their powers in public, they will be assumed to be spellcasters of some sort (real spellcasters will notice they are not using spell components though.) For their part, the new arrivals will assume that they have been transported to the Middle Ages, until they spot a nonhuman race such as an elf (and it will definitely be obvious when they run into monsters!)

If they don’t want to attract much attention, they will need local clothing (their modern clothes will not cut it). These can of course be bought… except Earth money will be worthless here. At best they might pass off pennies as copper coins. They will have to find jobs or go adventuring for treasure. (Smart players will figure out they can use their powers as street performers, earning a few coins and explaining their costumes in the process.) Villains of course, either won’t care or will just steal anything they need.

Once properly equipped, the next step is finding where they are and how to get home. Just ask around. NPCs will likely tell them to go ask a sage. The sage, after they find one, will instruct them about planar travel and that they need a spell, a magic item or help from a wish-granting being. This will be the other half of the quest. (Villains might just decide this ‘primitive’ world is easier to plunder or conquer than Earth and remain there. Heroes aware of their presence must collect them first.)

Conversion

Superhumans should use the rules for monsters rather than those for Player Characters, first because of their superhuman abilities, and second because they (usually) do not advance in level. The GM can use them for an encounter (as friends or foes) or even allow them to be playable for a short campaign while they get back home.

SUPERHUMAN

Size: Medium, unless they have the Size (Large) Power (these are Large at Level 1, Huge at Level 2, and Gargantuan at 3 or Higher). Those with the Size (Small) Power are Small at size -1, anything less is Tiny.

Type: Humanoid (though other Tags might apply on an individual basis)

Alignment: Any. Heroes will Always be Good. Conversely, only the truly cruel villains are Evil; Most are Neutral, as are all Anti-Heroes. The Mental Malfunction can suggest more details such as whether they are Lawful or Chaotic.

Armor Class: 10 + DEX bonus + any Armor worn (note that the Armor Power provides no bonus, but Deflect does)

Hit Points: use Hits.

Speed: 30’. Super Movement Powers allow additional movement modes. Speed is 5’ per Square.

Ability Scores: Brawn is Strength and Constitution; Agility is Dexterity; and Mind is Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. A 0 is 5, 1 is 10, 2 is 15, 3 is 20, 4 is 25 and 5 is 30.

Saving Throws: Any Power or Advantage that provides a Stat Check bonus for resisting a Power’s effects also provides the equivalent Saving Throw bonus.

Skills: All BASH skills are retained, though some (Pilot, Computer, Technology) are useless. Use the Skill Multiplier as the skill bonus.

Vulnerabilities, Resistances and Immunities: These are all retained. Note that some Weaknesses might no longer matter (or become crippling) for the duration, depending on whether their “trigger” exists in the campaign; for example, a Hero who is weak to radiation does not have anything to worry about, but one who must recharge his powers with radiation will soon lose them!

Senses: All supersenses still work, though their targets might not exist. Range and Area is the same (expressed as 5’ per square where needed). Those that require Mind Checks use Perception Rolls. Keen Senses get a +3 bonus.

Armor, Weapon, and Tool Proficiences: Assume a Superhuman is proficient with any equipment they normally carry. They will suffer penalties from anything else they pick up.

Languages: It’s best to assume that the characters’ Native Language is the same as Common for convenience. The Omni-Linguist Power will also allow communication in unfamiliar languages (to read them they will also need Omni-Reader). Telepathy 3 can also be used.

Challenge: Mystery Men are CR 4; Street Level Heroes are CR 11; World Class Heroes are CR 18; and Cosmic Beings are CR 25. Minions are CR 0 to ½ depending on Hits and Powers.

Special Traits

Powers are treated as Innate Spellcasting. They still work as in BASH except as follows:

*Range and Area are 5’ per square.

*Powers that require a Defense Check use an Attack roll to hit.

*Other effects require a Saving Throw (GM decides which) DC is equal to the Power’s Intensity Level x 4.

*Damage is the same amount (including multiplier) Type is whatever is closest to the Power’s Special Effect.

*For effects with no duration given, assume it is 3 rounds.

Spellcasting: Treat characters with the Grimoire Advantage (or the Wizardry Power) as Sorcerers for purposes of casting spells. Level is equal to their Occultism Multiplier.

Psionics: All Mental Powers should have this Tag.

Advantages: All are retained, with the exception of Social ones such as Celebrity or Resources.

Disadvantages: Similarly Disadvantages still apply except Social ones. In Particular, neither Secret nor Public Identities can be used- the character better come up with a new name for the duration!

Actions: As for PCs. Certain Intense Training Powers allow Multiattacks.

Limitations on number of uses for a Power still apply.

Characters with Martial Arts Mastery (Grappling Style) should be given the Grappler Feat (if Feats are used in the campaign)

Equipment: Modern Equipment like phones will either be useless, or soon run out of charges, bullets etc. For more simple things like Armor, Hand To Hand Weapons and Utilities use the closest equivalent’s game stats. Powers with the Gadget Limitation should be treated as Magic Items.

Legendary Actions: The Quick-Thinking Advantage (and the Valiant Defender Power) qualify.

Regional Effects: Use of high Levels of the X-Mastery Power may cause these.

Conversion Test

American Wonder

Medium Humanoid, Lawful Good

Armor Class 17

Hit Points 100

Speed 30 ft., Jump 450 ft.

STR 20 (+5) AGL 20 (+5) CON 20 (+5) INT 20 (+5) Wis 20 (+5) CHA 20 (+5)

Skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Persuasion

Vulnerability to Radiation (not applicable )

Senses: Danger Sense (+2 to AC (already figured in) It also reduces penalties when fighting blind or fighting an invisible foe by half, rounded down)

Languages Common

Challenge 11

Leadership: This provides 5 points that can be used to positively modify the rolls of allies, but only if acknowledged as their leader. Once spent they are gone until the next session.

Never Surrender: Once per session, if unconscious, paralyzed, charmed or stunned, he can snap out of it. His hit points are also restored to 20 (if they were below that).

Actions:

Star Bolt. Power: range 150 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6 x 6 Radiant damage.

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BAFF! Basic Action Final Fantasy

david-adhinarya-lojaya-combs

Those who follow my blog know that I love crossovers and conversions- and have in fact already converted concepts such as Pokemon and the Steven Universe characters to the BASH (Basic Action Super Heroes) role-playing system. And given that Final Fantasy is one of the greatest science fantasy franchises ever -which incidentally is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary- the time seems right to try a BASH conversion of it as well.

Of course, given that nearly every FF game, series or movie takes place on a different world, it is impossible to describe all of them here. But we can discuss the themes that keep recurring; you can go from there. You’ll of course need a copy of BASH Ultimate Edition as well.

The Elements

These are forces or substances that provide powers to certain monsters, characters or items. There’s always at least four- Earth, Wind, Water and Fire– and often Ice, Lightning, Holy and Dark. Sometimes Poison is considered an Element as well. In BASH terms these are considered damage types. Powers or attacks that do not use any of these are referred as Non-Elemental.

Affinities

Creatures and objects often have Elemental Affinities, so that they take less (or more) damage from certain Elements. This is usually based on which elements are “opposed” in the setting. See a typical list of opposites below:

Earth vs Wind

Water vs Lightning

Fire vs Ice

Holy vs Dark

Poison has no opposed element, but its damage may still be resisted or increased by certain abilities.

The affinities, and their corresponding BASH traits, are:

Absorb – Absorption Power

Immunity – Immunity Power

Resistance – Resistance Power

Vulnerable – Damaging Weakness* (double damage)

Weakness – Devastating Weakness (triple damage)

* = not the BASH Vulnerability Weakness

The Summons

Known by many different names -Espers, Eidolons etc.- most Final Fantasies include these- creatures of enormous power from a far realm that can be summoned for help in combat. In some versions, they just appear, deliver a magical effect, and vanish- making them no more than a vision that takes place during an otherwise-normal spell. But in some settings, they actually materialize and take part in the battle. To simulate this, use the Summoning Power with the Limitation: Summons Only. All Summons are creatures with 60 Hits and at least one Power that fits their “theme”. For example, Shiva The Ice Goddess always has Diamond Dust, a Special Attack that does ice-based damage. The basic form of this Power gets you a specific Summon; for 1 extra character point you can call three of them, and for 2 extra points you can summon any of them. Note that Summoning often requires Magic Points to use (that is, it has the Energy Cost Limitation.)

Limit Breaks

Most main FF characters can use these: abilities that can exceed their personal limits, usually in dire circumstances. Typically they are attacks, but they can be any Power, even Healing. A Limit Break must be high in Level -at least 4 or higher- and always has the <Situational> Limitation (Usually, Only when Hits are below 25% maximum).

Spells: As in most classic Fantasy, FF spells always have the Limitations <Casting> and <Energy Cost>.

Spell names: traditionally, level 2 spells have the suffix “a”; 3-level spells have the suffix “ga” and 4th level spells have the suffix “ra”. Example: Fire, Fira, Firaga, Firara. 5th Levels spells have unique names.

Status Effects: These effects are caused by certain abilities, spells and items. There are two types: “negative” statuses that hinder the target, and “positive” status that are beneficial. These are some of the most common:

Negative Statuses

Status – BASH equivalent

Berserk – Boost (Brawn, only while berserk) [Usable on Others] Linked to Mind Control <Only to cause the target to attack using only physical attacks>

Blind– Confusion

Charm– Mind Control

Confuse- Confusion [Friend from Foe]

Fear– Daze [repels enemies]

Transform- Shape Shifting [Usable on Others] <Only into a harmless animal such as a frog>

Petrify- Immobilization [Target Only] Linked to Increased Density 1 [Usable on Others]

Poison– Continual Damage (Poison)

Seal– Nullify

Sleep– Daze

Slow– Slow [Lethargic]

Stop– Immobilization [Target Only]

Stun– Daze <one Page only>

Zombie– Shape Shifting [Usable on Others] <Only into a zombie>

Positive Statuses

Status – BASH equivalent

Auto‐Life– Healing [Usable on Others] <Delay (only when target reaches 0 Hits)>

Flight– Flight [Usable on Others]

Haste– Super Speed [Usable on Others]

Invisible– Invisibility [Usable on Others]

Protect– Armor [Usable on Others] <Physical Attacks Only>

Reflect– Deflect [Double-Maker] <Spells only>

Regen– Healing [Usable on Others, Regenerative]

Shell– Resistance (Spells) [Usable on Others]

EquipmentWeapons, Armor, Shields, Accessories and other Items are considered Standard Equipment unless they have magical or technological properties- in that case they are Special Equipment, possibly boosted with Equipment Enhancements (see Awesome Powers #6.) Particularly powerful items might be Powers with the Gadget Limitation.

Leveling Up– If you are planning on running a FF campaign rather than just a few sessions, you should use the Optional Experience Points rules (UE, page 130) to allow the PCs to level up. Preferably, use Method 2 to simulate the games more closely.

Credits: My thanks to the Final Fantasy Wiki and the fan-made Final Fantasy D6 role-playing game for providing inspiration and ideas for this article!

Art by david-adhinarya-lojaya-combs.