Borderlands/Druidic Alternate Forms

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Thoughts/brainstorming about how to turn Druid powers into a series of Alternate Forms for DF, using my alternative Alternate Form rules...

Ground Rules

Alternate Form, with Druid PM (-10%), and usually some variety of Costs Fatigue/Take Extra Time/Absorptive Change thrown in. Possibly also/instead Accessabilities based on time of day if the Druid is a "cleric" of an Olympian or Cthonic god.

The druid should always take enough limitations to bring AF cost down to 15 points each. Remember that for the listed cost, Costs Fatigue is charged only when changing forms, not to maintain the form.

For a starting character, I'm aiming for a base form of 50 points each (total cost 15+45 = 60 points for the first form, 15 for each subsequent).

General themes: Air, Earth, Water, Plant, Animal. Each form must be upgradeable in a mix of 20 to 50 point chunks. when the druid upgrades the primary form, all other forms must be upgraded. All forms must be the same point value +/- a very small number of points.


Basic Form of Air

The druid transforms into a storm of rushing winds, his clothing and equipment dropping through his vaporous new body to the floor. This is an aerial scouting and "controller" form, offering excellent mobility and good toughness along with area shoves and stunning attacks. The Form of Air is not subtle. Form of Air may never be bought with Absorptive Change.

Air druids should take the Innate Attack (Beam) skill.

The basic Form of Air template, 50 points

Body of Air meta-trait; DR 2 (Physical Only); Hard of Hearing; Lightning Bolt 2d-1; Noisy -5; Vapor Blast 2d+4 (alternate attack to Lightning Bolt).
Tentative: Add Oxygen Absorption to Doesn't Breathe and the Disturbing Voice disad. Come up with +15 points of advantages.

Lightning Bolt 2d-1, 23 points

The Form of Air can fire small lightning bolts at its enemies. Roll Innate Attack (Beam) to hit. Treat conductive metal armor as DR1, regardless of its actual DR. If any damage penetrates DR, the victim must make a HT roll (at -1 per 2 points of penetrating damage) or be stunned; roll vs HT once per turn at the same penalty to recover.

Burning Attack Lightning Bolt: 2d-1 bu sur stn. Range 10 yd/100 yd. RoF 1. Rcl 1. Acc 4.

  • Details: Lightning Bolt (Burning Attack 2d; Accurate +1; Arcing Surge; Side Effect Stunning; Partial Dice -1) [23]
Vapor Blast 2d+4, 15 points.

This is a 10 yard long cone, 5 yards wide at the end. Roll Innate Attack (Beam) to land the cone dead-on, roll for Scatter on a miss. Anyone in the area is subject to this attack. This attack does full damage for knockback purposes, but only half the rolled damage is applied as crushing damage - this crushing is Large Area injury, and does Blunt Trauma as normal for crushing. Note that targets thrown back into solid objects may take collision damage. The Druid may choose to "pull his punch" and roll any lesser amount of dice but cannot adjust the bonus/penalty.

This attack is very inaccurate and cannot be Aimed, nor targeted at specific hit locations on anything smaller than SM +8. Its effect is completely blocked by any air-tight barrier, air-water transition, etc. and cannot be used at all in an airless environment, should adventurers find one.

Crushing Attack Vapor Blast: 1d+2 cr/2d+4 dbk. Range 10 yd (5 cone). RoF 1. Rcl 1. Acc 0.

  • Details: Vapor Blast (Crushing Attack 1d; +12/die; Cone 5 yd; Double Knockback; Increased Range: 1/2D Range only, x10; Variable; Elemental: Air; Inaccurate -3; Reduced Range x1/10) [15 points/1d+1]
Zero Point Feature: Instead of rolling 1d+2/level and doubling for knockback, roll 2d+4/level and halve for damage.
Zero Point Feature: This attack cannot be Aimed.

Example Form of Air upgrades

  • Further levels of Lightning Bolt (23 points, but remember this is an Alternate of Vapor Blast - make sure to take 1/5th of the cheaper) up to 3 levels. Each level adds 2d-1 to Lightning Bolt damage.
  • Further levels of Vapor Blast (15 points each, but remember this is an Alternate of Lightning Bolt - make sure to take 1/5th of the cheaper) up to 3 levels. Each level adds 2d+4 to Vapor Blast damage.
  • 1-3 levels of Whirling Fury, from DF9:Summoners page 27. [15-45]
  • 1-3 levels of Enhanced Dodge [15-45]
  • Buy off Noisy and Hard of Hearing [20].
  • And then add Silence 1-4 [5-20]
  • Damage Resistance 3-6 (Limited: Physical attacks only) [4-12]
  • Add Infiltration to Injury Tolerance: Diffuse [40]

Basic Form of Earth


A headless stout quadruped made of stone. It is covered in broken shards of rock and has blunt clawed feet. It perceives the world through strangely elemental means, but is limited to sight and hearing. The senses are concentrated at the "front" end of the creature's squared-off torso.


DX -2 [-40]; Move -2 [-10]; Basic Speed -0.5 [-10].

Templates and Meta-Traits

Quadruped (p. B263) [-35].


Blunt Claws [3]; Damage Resistance 5 [25]; Doesn't Breathe [20]; Earthwalk [7]; Extra Hit Points 7 [14]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Injury Tolerance (Homogenous; No Blood; No Eyes; No Face) [52]; Lifting ST 7 (Size) [21]; Long Spines [3]; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (Immune) [30].

Earthwalk: 7 points
Terrain Adaptation (Mud) [5]; Terrain Adaptation (Rocky/Broken Ground) [1]*; Terrain Adaptation (Sand) [1]*.

* Alternate ability of Terrain Adaptation (Mud)


Cannot Speak [-15]; No Sense of Smell/Taste [-5]; Numb [-20].


  • Downside: slow and clumsy, no ranged attacks, not very fancy melee attacks. No Hands.
  • Upside: General DR, HPT, Homogeneous, extra HPs, Lifting ST, and no major elemental vulnerabilities. Unhindered by bad ground. Probably the "please stop picking on the controller and go away now" form, plus bonus (but slow) stuff-haulage.

Basic Form of Water

  • Downside: vulnerable to fire, sloppy/easy to track, generally squishy and lacking direct striking.
  • Upside: Homogeneous, amphibious, hard to spot in water, squishy, engulfing constriction, DR vs crushing.

Basic Form of Plant

  • Downside: flammable and vulnerable to fire!
  • Upside: Unliving, bark DR 2 or 3, Binding and hindering terrain area-control powers or bursts of pollen/leaves, stealthy in undergrowth, unhindered by undergrowth, healing?

Basic Form of Beast

  • Downside: No special Injury Tolerances at all. No special ranged attacks?
  • Upside: Werewolfy? ST, DX bonuses? Still has usable hands, unlike any other type? Bite attack + Extra Attack (bite attack only)?
Brainstorming: Extra Attack(s), Striker limbs, striker "bite", + toxic bite attack? Form of Beast is a flurry of activity! No hands, runs on all fours, gets enhanced ground move?

See Also