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Aberrant RPG - Homunculus


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Hi, one of my player has bought Humunculus. I've looked at the power and it seems a bit underpowered for level 3, particulary if compared to Clone.

Homunculi does not have powers, are bound to a certain distance from the player, etc.

He now wants to buy multiple arms, because the rules don't say if there is a maximum on the number of organs you can detach.

I'm wandering to permit him to buy multiple arms and use it with homunculus, or lowering homunculus to level 2.

What do you think?

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If you look about on the WW forums for Aeonverse, you may be able to find a post by our own ProfPotts that goes into detail about how cool Homunculus can really be if done correctly.

Maybe Prof could pop in on this one to explain further, but after reading his explanation on the WW forums, I'm sold. ::smile

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Ok, I'll see if I can recall what I said (which was just an interpretation of the text on p.202 - 203 in any case):

Homunculus is basically two (three at 4+ dots) powers in one - each sub-power has different rules.

Power #1: Detach body parts - each body part has the full Attributes & Traits (defined on p.106 as, "... Attributes, Abilities and quantum powers...") of the character, acts independently (no need for multiple actions), & is stunned / KO'd independently as well. Unlike 'small creatures', detached body parts can access the character's powers (the text stating that small creatures can't do so comes later & appears specific to that application of the power). Detach your arm & it can use your Flight & Quantum Bolt, & even remains to fight after you've been KO'd yourself! Not bad, but you also get to use...

Power #2: Small creatures - no quantum powers, half other Traits, & a free Lethal attack. Seems less powerful that #1 above, but has it's advantages. Firstly, if the small creature is wasted, you just loose a Lethal Health Level (as opposed to the body part in question - all characters with Homunculus really should take the Regeneration Enhancement for Mega-Stamina ::wink ). The big bonus is how customisable the little blighters are - you can shift all those Trait dots around (& place then in different things for each small creature you produce too). Need a medic? Give the lil' tyke five dots in Intelligence & Medicine & let him leap into your wounds to perform expert surgery with his scalpel-like claws. Need a spy? Boost his Dexterity, Stealth, Perception, & Investigation or Awareness. Who cares if his other Traits suffer - it's a disposable agent, right? With small creatures you basically have access to any agent for any task.

The range limit for #1 & #2 isn't as bad as people appear to think either - it's just the limit for direct control. Past that range they keep going until their tasks are completed - & there's no listed limit on how complicated those tasks can be (e.g. "Follow that guy, observe all he does, & return to report to me - all without being seen if possible. If cornered, attack those who have you trapped until you can get away. If unable to return to me, try to find a 'phone & call me, otherwise keep following & observing until you can 'phone or return to me." - a pretty simple 'task' for a small creature spy).

Power #3: Swarm-form - the ultimate in Homunculus power. This one also doesn't list an inability to use quantum powers or other Traits - so you're a swarm, but can also use all your other abilities at the same time! It's like super-charged Density Decrease - you can go pretty much anywhere, take a maximum of a single HL of damage from most attacks, & can even inflict automatic levels of Lethal damage against enemies (devastating if used against baselines - who lack a Lethal Soak at all).

Not only do you get all this, but Homunculus can be maintained indefinitly for no extra QP cost, & you can mix & match which features of the power you're using (e.g. detach a limb & create a creature - if you've got 2 dots or more).

The Detachable Organs extra from the APG offers even more bonuses - remove all your vital organs (which need very little instruction on their assigned 'tasks' - so range is no problem), place them in an impregnable vault, then laugh at your enemies' attempts to kill you! Sure they could find your stashed heart or lungs, but it's gonna' be one heck of an effort compared to jusy being able to Q-Bolt all those guys who didn't buy the Homunculus power...

Even without Detachable Organs you can be close to immortal - make sure you can Regenerate, & keep at least one Health Level worth of your body (e.g. part of your swarm-form) stashed somewhere at all times. Everytime they think they've got all of you, you just Regenerate from the last bit left, & hunt down the guys who attacked you in the first place!

Homunculus-based power blocks are also a possibility (it'll take your entire action for a turn - but if you're aborting anyway, what the heck, right? ::sly ) - they blow you into little pieces, & you're fine - your bits now moving about indepenent of each other! You too can be the guy from Terminator 2, or any Vampire / Zombie / Mummy film you may care to name!

Homunculus is definitely worth it's Level 3 status. It's very cool. ::cool

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OK, homunculus is a good power, stating that a detached part has your powers (and stating that the quantum pool is in common as in Clone), but how many body parts can one detach? I think the rules implicitly states only one.

And, my player isn't interested in the small creatures or creature swarm parts of the power, so he asked me a limited version that is only level 2. Do you think it can work?

And in this case, why he would purchase more than one point in the power?

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The number of body parts you can detach is the same as the number of small creatures you could make - they both count as 'homunculi' in that part of the text:

"At two dots or higher, a character can create more than one homunculus. At two dots he can create two homunculi; at three dots, four homunculi; at four dots six homunculi; at five dots, 10 homunculi." (p.202)

Those totals are for detached body parts + small creatures. So with two dots you could remove both your arms, or create two small creatures, or remove one arm & create one small creature - you couldn't remove both your arms & create two small creatures, since that'd be 4 homunculi total, & your limit at two dots is two.

Taking just the ability to detach body parts, if you have less than 4 dots in the power, halves it's effectiveness (you have access to only one of two options). That's a 2 level 'target restriction' Weakness (APG, p.141). If you've got the power at 4 or 5 dots, then only being able to detach body parts reduces the power to one third it's usual effectiveness (one option out of a possible three). That'd most likely be worth about a 3 level Weakness. Neither reduces the power to a level 2 power. To do that the power would need to be restricted to a single 'target' - e.g. you can remove your left arm, & that's it - that'd be a 5 level target restriction & lower the power to level 2.

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