Superdupernatural

I recently got Netflix, and I have to say that overall I’m quite pleased with the service. While it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the movies that are available, it’s an excellent resource for watching TV shows. I’m currently using it to catch up on my favorite show: Supernatural.

The best hunter since the dog in Duck Hunt.

Best hunter since the dog in Duck Hunt.

Supernatural is a television series of the “urban fantasy” genre. Set in contemporary America, it follows two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who are “Hunters.” That is, they are among the few people who know that monsters are real, and so dedicate their lives to hunting and killing the creatures that prey on humanity. There is a larger plot, of course, but that’s the essence of what the show is about.

I discovered the show during the summer of 2009, when the fourth season had just ended. I managed to catch several of the just-concluded season’s episodes during the summer re-runs, and from the fifth season onward I haven’t missed an episode (though that sometimes entails going back and finding ones whose initial airing I had missed). While wikis and synopses helped to fill in the gaps, there were still a lot of blanks from my having missed the earlier seasons.

Now I’m almost totally caught up, and I’m enjoying the show even more thanks to having a deeper understanding of the show’s progression. Armed with that knowledge, I decided that it was once again time to mix chocolate with my peanut butter, and stat out a character from the show using the brilliant d20 supplement Eclipse: The Codex Persona.

As such, allow me to present Sam Winchester, as he appears during the fourth season, for your Pathfinder game.

SuperNatural 20

The world of Supernatural is a quintessentially low-fantasy world, even taking into account it’s set on an Earth where most people have no idea that monsters and magic are real. While later seasons do turn up the proverbial dials a little bit, the show is one where the battles between monsters and those who fight them are confined to the shadows; this is a world of guns and ghosts, not fireballs and tarrasques.

In other words, this is a setting where the E6 rules are the order of the day; there’s more about what E6 is at that link, but the main idea is that characters can’t gain more than six levels. Given that, and that we don’t want to necessarily assume that Sam (the main character, alongside Dean) has already hit the limit of how far a person can advance this early in the show, I’ve decided to set him at 3rd level. Given that the show is currently in its eighth season, and has been renewed for a ninth, if we presume that the characters go from 1st to 6th level throughout the life of the show, then this seems reasonably accurate.

We’re also going to use a very conservative point-buy for Sam’s ability scores: 10 points only. Since this is the value listed for “low fantasy,” it seems to go with the theme of keeping the character – and, by extension, the game representation of the show – fairly well grounded (and it certainly helps to explain why Sam and his brother lose so many fights).

Available Character Points: 96 (level three base) + 10 (disadvantages) + 6 (duties) + 12 (levels one and three feats) + 6 (human bonus feat) = 130 CP.

Sam’s disadvantages are Accursed (he’s the chosen vessel for Lucifer), History (his family’s history of fighting evil, as well as the tampering Azazel did to give Sam his psychic powers), and Secret (his “job” as a Hunter, as well as his demon-given psychic powers; revealing his secret causes him to suffer the Hunted and Poor Reputation disadvantages).

Sam’s duties represent his life as a Hunter, which he doesn’t want to live but can’t ignore due to familial obligations and the consequences of what happens if he tries (e.g. a lot of people die).

Ability Scores (10-point buy): Str 10, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 15. These include Sam’s +2 racial bonus.

Human Traits

  • Bonus feat (6 CP).
  • Fast Learner, specialized in skills (3 CP).
  • Humans get to pick which attribute enjoys the Pathfinder Package Deal bonus – buying off a Corruption worth (4 CP).

I’ve referenced the Pathfinder Package Deal virtually every time I’ve posted a character. While I usually link back to where it was originally posted, or simply refer to a previous post with such a link, I’m going to repost it in full here, for ease of reference. To make sure that credit is given where it’s due though, I’ll reiterate that the material below was originally written over at the Emergence Campaign Weblog.

The Pathfinder Package Deal is actually a small template, which provides… .

  • +2 to an Attribute, Corrupted/the attribute is fixed by race (8 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized and Corrupted/only works as long as the user sticks to a particular archetype and relatively narrow plan of development chosen at level one at each level, points may only be spent on skills and additional hit points (2 CP).
  • Immunity/not being allowed to buy up their (normally maximized) level one hit die later on. Uncommon/Minor/Major (3 CP). There are several ways to get more hit points which are more effective – but Pathfinder effectively equates skill points and hit points as far as “favored classes” go, and this is the easiest way to go about that.
  • Pathfinder normally grants immunity to the experience-point cost of making magic items on the grounds that “experience isn’t something you use up”. Unfortunately this means that a long-term, campaign – where years may pass between major adventures – destroys the magic-item economy. It also misses the fact that “experience points” – some sort of magical energy that accumulates in you until it transforms you – have nothing at all to do with experiences or memories. Ergo, I’m going to substitute Action Hero (the Crafting option), Specialized and Corrupted/the user still has to spend the time, and money, and may ONLY create items by spending action points (2 CP). That will let characters use their item-creation feats without spending XP, but will limit item creation during any long stretches of downtime.
  • Pathfinder provides a +3 bonus to “Trained In-Class Skills”. This isn’t properly part of Eclipse, it’s simply an option attached to the skills system – “Characters get a +3 bonus on skills that fit their character concept”. The awkwardness in Eclipse comes in deciding which skills qualify as “In-Class” given that Eclipse doesn’t really HAVE classes. The simplest option is simply to let the character consider Craft, Profession, and their selection of a dozen other skills “in-class”. No cost.

The Pathfinder Package Deal thus has a basic cost of 15 CP – three more than you can normally get out of a package deal. Fortunately, all Pathfinder characters suffer from a major disadvantage; Accursed (must use the Pathfinder versions of spells even where those have been downgraded, may not take “overpowered” feats, -3 CP).

That gives us a net cost of 12 CP for the Pathfinder Package Deal – and it gives Eclipse-style builds an option; they can accept the Pathfinder Package Deal, or they can use another one, or none at all.

Basic Purchases (69 CP)

  • 3d10 Hit Dice (18 CP).
  • Simple Weapons Proficiency (3 CP) and Small Arms Proficiency (6 CP).
  • +3 Base Attack Bonus (18 CP).
  • Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +1 (15 CP).
  • 9 skill points (9 CP).

Between the 9 skill points he’s purchased directly, plus 3 for being human, plus 3 for his 13 Intelligence, plus 3 from his “favored class bonus” (see the second bullet point in the Pathfinder Package Deal), Sam has a total of 18 skill points.

Sam’s twelve class skills (see the last bullet point in the Pathfinder Package Deal) are Bluff, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Sam’s skills are mostly drawn from the standard Pathfinder skills list; a few, however, are from d20 Modern.

Skills

Ranks

Ability Bonus

Class Bonus

Other

Total

Acrobatics

1

+1 Dex

+2

Bluff

1

+2 Cha

+3

+6

Climb

1

+0 Str

+1

Computer Use

1

+1 Int

+2

Diplomacy

1

+2 Cha

+3

+6

Disable Device

1

+1 Dex

+3

+5

Drive

1

+1 Dex

+2

Escape Artist

1

+1 Dex

+3

+5

Gamble

1

+0 Wis

+1

Heal

1

+0 Wis

+1

Intimidate

1

+2 Cha

+3

Knowledge (arcana)

1

+1 Int

+3 class

+5

Knowledge (history)

1

+1 Int

+3 class

+5

Knowledge (local)

1

+1 Int

+3 class

+5

Knowledge (nature)

1

+1 Int

+3 class

+5

Knowledge (religion)

1

+1 Int

+3 class

+3 Skill Focus

+8

Perception

1

+0 Wis

+3 class

+4

Sense Motive

1

+0 Wis

+1

Sleight of Hand

1

+1 Dex

+3 class

+5

Stealth

1

+1 Dex

+3 class

+5

Survival

1

+0 Wis

+1

Swim

1

+0 Str

+1

A close look at the above table will show that Sam has gained 22 skill ranks from his 18 skill points. How? It’s due to his having taken Adept twice (see below). He’s spent a half-point in each of his Adept skills, which gains him a full rank in them. This is technically cheating, as skill points are treated as indivisible units, but it’s minor enough that we’ll overlook it.

Much to my chagrin, working on the above made me realize that I had forgotten to take the “favored class bonus” into account for all of the previous Eclipse Pathfinder characters I’d posted here. Given that, it’s best to presume that for each of them, any favored class bonuses are applied to their hit points.

Man of Learning (24 CP)

  • Adept/Bluff, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Escape Artist (6 CP).
  • Adept/Knowledge (history), Perception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth (6 CP).
  • Skill Focus/Knowledge (religion) +3 with the Stunt option (12 CP). 

This last ability is how Sam – as with many other characters – can chant incantations that can summon someone’s ghost, draw a sigil that traps demons who move through it, exorcise demons possessing someone with some words of Latin, etc. Presumably these would have DCs somewhere in the upper teens to low twenties. Likewise, Supernatural most likely doesn’t have Knowledge (planes), replacing it instead with Knowledge (religion) where required.

Hunter’s Training (12 CP)

  • Block/melee (6 CP).
  • Improvise Weapon (3 CP).
  • Martial Arts (3 CP).

As alluded to previously, given that Sam needs to make a DC 20 Reflex save for his block to be successful, this seems very apropos for how things often turn out on the show.

Dark Blessing of Azazel (22 CP)

  • Witchcraft II (dreamfaring, hand of shadows, infliction)/specialized (requires rite of chi to restore lost power), and corrupted, dreamfaring may only be used uncontrolled, showing only futures related to Azazel and those tainted by him; hand of shadows may only exert force equal to what Sam could physically handle; infliction may only be used to inflict damage to demons (not harming their human hosts) (4 CP).
  • 3 levels of wilder, no caster level/corrupted, provides power points only (6 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +4 bonus uses/specialized, requires drinking the blood of a demon (6 CP).
  • Immunity to demonic powers (uncommon/minor/major) (6 CP).

As mentioned above, these stats represent Sam during the fourth season; the powers above drive this home. At this point, Sam’s previously-displayed visions have gone dormant, though he could reactivate them if he wanted to. By this point, he’s completely focused on his ability to attack demons with his powers, without harming the person they’re possessing.

The last bullet point bears some further explanation. This is an aggregate of two things: Sam’s immunity to the psychic powers of the other children tainted by Azazel, and his immunity to demonic possession via the protective sigil tattooed into his skin. While the latter can be defeated by anything that would mar the tattoo (e.g. scarification), that doesn’t happen to Sam at any point in the show once he acquires it, and so we can overlook that here.

Finally, since we still have 3 CP left over, let’s add…

  • Contacts (3 CP).

These are Sam’s connections with other Hunters. Given how often these others die over the course of the show, these points are reallocated among new contacts fairly often.

Until next time readers, may you know the proper chant to exorcise all of your demons!

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3 Responses to “Superdupernatural”

  1. Eclipse d20 – The Soul Knife | Emergence Campaign Weblog Says:

    [...] Superdupernatural (alzrius.wordpress.com) [...]

  2. Eclipse – Sample Races, Templates, and Characters | Emergence Campaign Weblog Says:

    […] Sam Winchester, a level three paranormal investigator from the Supernatural television series. […]

  3. Eclipse Builds by Alzrius | Emergence Campaign Weblog Says:

    […] Sam Winchester, a level three paranormal investigator from the Supernatural television series. […]

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