By this time it should come as no surprise to anyone that Doug Sangnoir (aka "Looney Toons" and "The Loon") was originally created as a character for a Villains and Vigilantes game. (Specifically, V&V 2nd Edition.) And as most gamers know, a character from one game system can often be successfully translated into another, reasonably compatible system.
Despite the fact that there is very little in common between the two, R. Talsorian's Bubblegum Crisis Roleplaying Game is reasonably compatible with V&V. There is a sufficient level of detail in both systems to allow the conversion of key elements from one to the other with little loss. (I'll go into some of the specifics later.)
When I finally decided to put pen to paper and actually write the bizarre little adventure that had been boiling in my brain, I took advantage of this to provide myself a way to "reality-check" Doug against the Sabers and their world. I think it's one of reasons the story has come out as well as it has.
Some time later, in the second half of 2002, DW reader and Fuzion player Logan Darklighter decided to take my half-baked conversion and revise it -- both to eliminate some of my ignorant mistakes and to make it compatible with later BGC RPG publications, which scaled back the Sabers' own writeups somewhat. I want to thank Logan for all his effort, and his willingness to put up with my interminable "Oh, wait, we forgot this!" emails.
So here is Douglas Sangnoir, more or less the way he was the moment he initially appeared in MegaTokyo on June 28, 2036. Fuzion GMs are welcome to make use of him, with the following caveats: One, please email me and let me know you're using him and how; two, please don't make him a villain unless you change him into someone unrecognizable; and three, realize that this permission is limited solely to your personal use for your campaign, and that you cannot publish or print a version of him in any forum, be it print, electronic or whatever. Thanks.
Also, gamemasters, please note that this conversion was not built using a point budget, but by converting attributes and calculated abilities over directly. He will never be a legal player character in a Fuzion game because his point total works out to something well above "Cosmic", and his "Rule of X" number seems to be somewhere around 22... (One wonders what the more powerful Warriors, like Hexe and Silverbolt, would come out to...)
Douglas Sangnoir, AKA "Looney Toons" and "The Loon"
Fuzion Conversion from Villains and Vigilantes 2nd Edition
CP: 90 OP: 224 PP: 61 INT 10 LUCK 22 WILL 9 RES 27 PRE 9 TECH 6 REF 12 SPD 6 DEX 12 CON 8 SD 16 ED 16 END 80 STR 4 REC 12 BODY 11 STUN 65 HITS 45 MOVE 9 RUN 18 SPRINT 27 SWIM 9 LEAP 9 COST COMPLICATIONS (BASE: 50) 5 Stubborn 15 Code of Honor 10 Overconfident 15 Protective of Innocents 15 In Love with Shadowwalker (Maggie) 8 Sense of Duty 3 Various Minor Annoyances produced by Improbability Field 5 Public Figure (Drunkard's Walk Complications Only) 10 Outsider 10 Secret Identity COST SKILLS, TALENTS & PERKS AV/DV 20 Martial Arts - Basic Strike, Breakfall, Killing Strike, Martial Block, Martial Disarm, Martial Dodge, Martial Escape, Martial Grab, Martial Throw, Offensive Strike 3 *Perception: +5................15 2 *Concentration: +4.............14 E *Persuasion: +2................11 4 *Education: +6.................16 E *Local Expert: +2..............12 E *Teacher: +2...................12 4 *Hand-to-Hand: +6..............16 4 *Melee Evade: +6...............16 4 *Athletics: +6.................18 6 Ranged Evade: +6...............16 3 Melee Weapons: +3..............15 3 Magical Theory: +3.............13 8 Acrobatics: +8.................20 9 Computers: +9..................19 4 Detective: +4..................14 2 Disguise: +2...................11 5 Driving: (Motorcycles) +5......17 6 Expert: International Law & Enforcement: +6................16 3 Expert: UN: +3.................13 10 Expert: American/British Pop Music: +10.....................20 5 Expert: Movies & TV: +5........15 6 Electronic Warfare: +6.........16 4 Espionage: +4..................14 3 Firearms: +3...................13 6 English: +6 (Mimic any Accent).16 3 French: +3.....................13 5 Japanese: +5...................15 5 Valdemaran: +5.................15 4 Gambling: +4...................14 1 Gravitics: +1..................11 10 Hacking: +10...................20 4 Leadership: +4.................13 4 Mechanics: +4..................10 3 Pilot: +3......................15 3 Research: +3...................13 5 Stealth: +5....................17 6 Electrical Engineering: +6.....12 3 Handsome 9 Membership: Warriors 9 9 License Warrior: 9 9 Renown: 9 15 Combat Sense: 5 COST POWERS Improbability Field: 18 Acts as +10 DEX, +10 WILL Activation 8+, for defensive rolls only. Special Effect: Random strange things alter or divert the attack. Mage Sight: 4 Discriminatory sense: detect meta-human; Discriminatory Detect Magic with Range Song Power: 30 Power Framework: 22 pt VPP w/11 pt control cost (-1 pt Burnout (8- on 3d6), -2 pt attached focus, -2 Requires simple skill roll (8 +1 pt per VPP), +1 pt wide SFX)) Polykev armor: 7 1 kill each of ED and PD. Armor radiates damage away as heat, 1 round per D6 intercepted, giving +(dice left to radiate) to any heat-or IR-based perception used against him. Hard Punches: 2 HA +2d6; Hand-to-Hand Attack (Total w/STR: 7d6)
4 December 2002: Many of the following notes are no longer entirely accurate, thanks mainly to Logan Darklighter's efforts, and the extended dialogues that we pursued about conversion issues on my discussion board. I fully intend to annotate these original notes at a later date with the justifications for the changes Logan (and in some cases I) made.
Not all aspects of the original V&V character have been translated over, for lack of system equivalents. These are few, however. Also, some additional abilities he has demonstrated during play sessions but which don't have explicit V&V system equivalents have been added as Skills, Talents or Perks. (In V&V, anything that's not a power or an attribute is pretty much a freebie situation -- say you have it, and you have it, no game mechanic required.)
The DW version of Doug has a few other things different from the V&V version, mainly for dramatic effect or for convenience of storytelling. Primary among these is "the usual mutant life-extension genes", which is a dramatic device that lets me give him several stops measuring years in length without him being ready for social security when he gets home...
Scaling: For those unfamiliar with the systems involved, V&V uses a 3-18 scale for the normal human range of attributes, with absolutely average being 10.5. It's a bell curve, with the majority of scores clustered between 9 and 12. (Of course, super powers can push an individual's scores well above the top end of human normal, at which point the bell curve no longer applies...) Fuzion uses a pseudolinear scale of 0 to 10+, with 1-2 being defined as "Everyday" (average), 5 as "Exceptional" and 10 or more as "Superhuman". I call this scale "pseudolinear" because it only looks like a straight-line measurement. It's actually a more complex function than that, not quite a logorithmic progression but certainly far from flat: Everything below average is covered by a score of 0 (and sometimes 1), average is 1 or 2, and above average to almost superhuman is the range of 3 through 9. Not exactly a flat, smooth curve, and for this reason it makes converting ability scores more of an art than a science. Here is the rough table of equivalencies that I used as the base for conversions when nothing else was applicable:
|V&V Score||Fuzion Score|
Individual V&V scores were converted as follows:
Strength: V&V carrying capacity was compared to Fuzion lift weight, and the corresponding Str score taken. However, because of the disparities in how combat works out, this initial Str score was upped a bit to get his hand-to-hand damage range (among other things) a bit closer to the original. (See below.) In the writing, I've ignored the fact that this makes him the equivalent of an Olympic weightlifter.
Agility: Became the Fuzion Refl and Dex attributes. Because no other factors lent themselves to the conversion, I initially multipled a Fuzion 9 by 2.6 (V&V 47 divided by human maximum of 18). However, the resulting score of 23 (rounded down) seemed so excessive for Fuzion (not to mention the purposes of the story) that I lopped it down to an admittedly arbitrary 16.
This is the main point where the awful unevenness of the Fuzion scale really screws up the conversion. Doug is 4.7 times as agile/dextrous/whatever as a theoretically average human -- in V&V. In Fuzion, though, to get some of the same combat effects, he had to be 8 or more times as fast... <sigh>
Endurance: Became Fuzion Con. Doug's Endurance is not quite normal human maximum. I could have made a case for Con 9 anyway because of the granularity of Fuzion's scale, but decided to set it at 8.
Intelligence: Similarly to the initial Agility calculation, I pegged Doug's Fuzion Int at (30 / 18) * 9, i.e., 15. This is, admittedly, a bit excessive-looking. An alternative scheme -- 3 * average Intelligence -- would yield a Fuzion score of 6. This, it could be argued, would be just as valid, but for the granularity of the Fuzion scale -- 6 is high, but not uncommon, and not beyond the usual range of humanity. Doug's V&V intelligence is explicitly superhuman. As such, it needs to be 10 or more in Fuzion. So I let the original calculated value stand.
Charisma: Became the base for his Fuzion Will and Pers scores. Since V&V Charisma is a combination of appearance, force of personality, and the kind of press you receive, I did not use the full value that the rough equivalencies chart suggested I use. However, V&V Intelligence applies in situations where Will and Pers would be used in Fuzion, so I added a couple of points back into the Fuzion scores to reflect this.
Other stats: The rest of the Fuzion scores had no corresponding Attributes in V&V and had to be determined in other ways. Tech was a WAG based off his Agility and corresponding "to hit" bonuses. Bod was back-generated from his hit points, also arbitrarily. Move was determined by converting his average ground movement into the same units as Fuzion and from there into a Run distance; then the closest corresponding Move was back-calculated from Run. (In V&V, Doug averages around 16 MPH/26 KPH but can, because of the way movement is handled in the system, explode into a momentary burst of speed that lasts a second or two and tops out at 81 MPH/131 KPH. I've made a couple of references to this in the story, but didn't add a game mechanic to handle it here.)
Calculated stats were generated normally, as far as I can recall. The optional ratio between Hits and Stun was selected to reflect a similar ratio between his V&V Hit Points and Power Points.
July 8, 2008: Most of these scores were revised to reflect a change in scales used in later BGC RPG books, usually downward.
Other Character Traits:
Skills: I tried to be reasonable about his skill levels, but I really didn't get a good feel for how they work in play. Feel free to reduce them if they seem excessive.
About his field: Doug's improbability field is represented in V&V terms by Heightened Defense X 2, which imposes a -8 penalty to all "to hit" rolls made against him. Because of the differences in the combat resolution systems, the best Fuzion equivalent appeared to be a huge defense increase which would guarantee a miss by the attacker, but only when it kicked in. The simplest way to implement that was buying extra Dex for defense only, with an activation. It's not perfect, but it works.
July 8, 2008: I'd somehow managed to go several years without noting that Doug's field is also a psychic defence; this is quantified by buying extra Will with the same limitations.
About his armor: It's a little exaggerated here. In V&V he has 23 points -- about half a Kill (see below) -- of Invulnerability as a device. This applies against both energy and physical attacks. I raised this to 1 Kill each of PD and ED in the conversion, mainly for dramatic purposes. The radiated heat effect is not in the original V&V design, but added to partially counter the increase in the protection.
Conversion and Play Notes:
On damage: In V&V, absolutely average humans can withstand 43.5 points of damage before they must die (as opposed to simply being in a coma and fading fast): 3 or 4 hit points, based on body weight, plus 40 power points. I've thus equated 43 points of V&V damage to 1 Kill in Fuzion.
Doug's V&V hand-to-hand combat damage is 1d6+15. The max and average from that, translated into Fuzion, both are about half a Kill per punch. Only the d6 in the original is from his Strength; the rest comes from his martial arts training ("Natural Weaponry" superpower), plus the bonuses his Agility and Intelligence give him in hand-to-hand combat. Because such bonuses don't exist in Fuzion, and Martial Arts doesn't provide the same benefits as Natural Weaponry, I chose to raise his Str to a point where he could do approximately the same order of damage with his bare hands. (July 8, 2008: In the revision, his strength was returned to a more normal level, and the extra damage represented with the Hard Punches power.)
While on the subject, Doug's most powerful damage-causing song in V&V allows him to do 3d8, +9 points (ranged) or +15 points (as a payload -- see below). This also averages out to just over half a Kill either way, so that became the damage ceiling for his metapower-based attacks (although his maximum rollable damage is actually almost a full Kill).
Carriers and Payloads: V&V has a curious and fun rule that allows you to "piggyback" one attack on another if they have similar delivery systems. If the first ("carrier") attack hits, then the second ("payload") subsequently gets a chance to hit. While this rule is intended for such things as claws that inject poison, Doug makes good use of it; many of his damaging effects are defined as coming from his hands -- and thus can be payloads on ordinary punches. (See Chapter 8 of DW2 for an example of this in action -- hammering the boomer with a bolt of lightning waiting in each fist.)
Aside from cool special effects, this stunt can push his average damage to just over a Kill per punch. His maximum damage would be almost a Kill and a half, in fact, but I don't use this as it would violate the "ceiling" I set above.
Songs: I won't try to quantify all of his songs here. I will, however, give guidelines for effects so GMs can improvise their own.
Range/Area of Effect: Unless the effect can be aimed at only a single target (like a lightning bolt), or is inherently shapeable (force fields or illusions), or affects only Doug (flight, shape-shifting), or the song has some other really bizarre result, it automatically affects an area. The radius for area effects is a little bit more than 110 feet/39 meters. This is a spherical radius, but unless he's in mid-air, it will appear to be a dome. It's centered on his head, in case you were wondering.
Doug can turn an area-effect song into a targetable song by playing Seals and Crofts' "I'll Play For You" immediately beforehand. This is shown in the scene in Eriko's Diner right before the "Sailor Loon" sequence in DW2.
Ranged single-target attacks often can reach two to four times this distance.
Defensive capabilities: Many attack songs also allow defensive use. Most of the time this is "point defense", shooting down incoming attacks, but a few songs also provide a "passive" defense that doesn't require his attention. Again, the example from the story would be lightning, which allows him to electrify his body with a shield of crawling sparks. How this would work in Fuzion I haven't quite figured out, as V&V uses a attack type/defense type matrix to determine a "to hit" number. I'd probably handle it the same way as I did the improbability field, as a Dex bonus for defense only, but without an activation. Other defenses -- like his "iceman" armor -- are simply temporary PD and ED.
Mental abilities: Many songs act as emotion or mind control. Long-standing examples include "Total Eclipse of the Heart" from Bonnie Tyler, and Billy Joel's "Pressure". These and other mental abilities which adversely affect the target would probably be handled as a contest between Doug and the target's respective Wills, unless there's a better Fuzion mechanic not found in the BGC RPG book. Oh, and his one telepathy song is not a global effect, although like all V&V telepaths, he can switchboard multiple minds into a single mental communications grid.
Other: Some effects are not classifiable in terms of attack and defense -- at least for him. Several, as noted in the story, manifest magical simulacra of other people. Some shapechange him -- or at least appear to; there's been no explanation, though, for why they continue to work for their full duration when his helmet vanishes in the transformation. A very few songs let him give powers to other people temporarily, again as shown in the "Sailor Loon" sequence. Some songs have meta-power effects, like "I'll Play For You," mentioned above.
Determining what a song does: This is a hard one, but it's the game everyone loves to play. <grin> I try to avoid picking a power just because of a title. I'd rather work with either the entire gist of a song or, at the very least, a repeated chorus or phrase. Songs that say "I do this thing" are often the easiest to quantify. It is permissible (and fun!) to take a metaphor or simile and treat it literally -- for instance, he may well some day use Madonna's "I'm Burning Up For Your Love" to turn himself into the Human Torch...
Don't make a song too powerful. No manifesting Godzilla. No more than half a Kill of damage per shot. No automatic nasty effects on an enemy -- anything harmful to another person must allow some means of defense, if only dodging or running. A good example of "too powerful": 3.5 minutes of timestop (which I managed to talk a GM into once). But you can often take a ""too powerful" idea and make it work: A 3.5 minute song that lets him stop time -- within his normal radius of effect, of course -- for 5 to 10 seconds at a shot (from his point of view), every 15 or 20 seconds. (This is my fix for the problem I caused with the J. Geils Band's song "Freeze Frame"...)
Finally, divine interactions like those which appear in the story are rare and dangerous -- most of the time a god will want an outrageous and/or exorbitant price for a favor done. (Before DW2, Doug had only used his power to invoke a god once in fifteen years -- and despite the positive results he still got slapped down for it by the Being which manifested.)
And it's okay if a song looks a lot more powerful than it really is -- his subconscious really plays up the impressive special effects.
Backfires take the intended power(s) of a song and turn them into something inconvenient and/or painful to him, but not deadly. An example from play: He tried once to use Peter Gabriel's "Big" to turn into a giant; it backfired, and he ended up helplessly floating over the combat as a human Macy's Parade balloon. No one attacked him, but if they had, he probably would have popped. Or so the GM hinted to me.
Thanks are due to Arthur Hansen, who did the work to put Doug's "song power" into Fuzion terms. The original intent of this document was simply to let me compare speeds, strengths and other physical attributes for the purpose of determining relative abilities. Arthur was kind enough to take my vague specs and turn them into a precisely-defined Fuzion Variable Power Pool.
Thanks also to Morgan Walter Champion, who along with Arthur provided the quantification of Doug's magesight.
Last but not least, as noted above, many many thanks to Logan Darklighter, who brought it all together, fixed the problems and smoothed it all out.