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Bat Combat

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I was contemplating a character that can pull off something akin to the bat swarm fighting that Drac did in Dracula Untold. (I hardly use Polarity because I'm not fond of her and looking at her sheet I feel I can do better)  What I figure I might be able to pull off is a toned down mix of Dracula from that movie and Alucard's bat shape-shifting in Hellsing. 


So basic concept is a character that can discorporate into a particle/energy/pseudo bat swarm form. Her matter breaks down (magically) into a sort of particle/energy form that manifests in the shape of a small swarm of bats. For this I am looking at Insubstantial because of how it interacts with the physical form. Not sure on it though and trying to see if I can figure out other ways to model it but hitting a wall as to if I can get it to work.


Information from the book:





You can assume a less solid form, with each Insubstantial rank becoming progressively less solid. You do not gain the ability to assume lowerranked Insubstantial forms, but you can acquire a lower-ranked form as an Alternate Power feat of a higher-ranked one (see page 108). You can switch between normal and an Insubstantial form at will as a free action once per round.


Rank 1: You become fluid. You can flow or squeeze through any sort of opening, under (or around) doors, through keyholes and pipes, and so forth. You cannot pass through watertight seals. You can automatically flow out of any restraint—such as a snare or grapple—that is not watertight (you automatically succeed on Escape Artist checks). You cannot flow out of a bubble completely enclosing you, for example, but anything less cannot hold you. You can exert your normal Strength and can still carry objects, although your manual dexterity may be limited (at the GM’s discretion).


Rank 2: You become a cloud of gas or fine particles. You have no Strength in gaseous form, but you are immune to physical damage. Energy attacks still affect you normally, as do area effects (see page 159). You can flow through any opening that is not airtight.


Rank 3: You become coherent energy. You have no Strength, but you are immune to physical damage. Energy attacks (other than the energy making up your form) damage you normally. You can pass through solid objects, but energy resistant barriers, like heavy shielding or force fields, block your movement.


Rank 4: You become incorporeal. You can pass through solid matter at your normal speed and you are unaffected by physical and energy attacks. Mental and sensory effects still work on you, as do powers with the Affects Insubstantial power feat. Choose one other reasonably common effect that works on you while you are incorporeal. You have no Strength and cannot affect the physical world unless you purchase the Affects Corporeal modifier on one or more of your abilities or powers. Your mental and sensory effects still work normally.


Of them I feel that 1 rank or 2 ranks are the closest. However, the bats wouldn't be able to squeeze through cracks around a door or further discorporate small enough to flow like air. It would be nice to keep a strength score but the idea of not being able to shoot the bats or hit them with a physical weapon makes sense to me (maybe the energy automatically reofrms as bats if interrupted with a regular attack).


I was contemplating if it would be worth a flaw to make it so that she couldn't flow through cracks or airtight spaces.


Or even if it would work best to go with Incorporeal 3. Take away passing through solid objects and downgrade that to being able to go through small spaces?


I have other ideas and thoughts swirling on the build but it all kinda depends on how I end up using the bats. If it's more of an alternate form or if the energy/particle bats are just how her power manifests. I am also looking at maybe just having her use a short range teleport and maybe a conceal or something and having the bats be less of an alternate form. Though maybe she can have an actual bat swarm form that allows her to fly or something.


Any thoughts, suggestions?

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You want Insubstantial 2 for this.  It makes sense that area attacks like grenades would work against a flying swarm, but swinging around a baseball bat isn't going to do enough against the swarm as a whole to be reflected in game mechanics.  The inability to squeeze through smaller openings can be a Power Loss drawback or a Complication, depending on whether you need Power Points or Hero Points more.


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That is kind of what I was thinking. I posed a query in chat and Ecal suggested I put it up here. 

When I build the character I'm thinking I will go broad rather than tall. Maybe make the bat form more of a travel form. Probably gonna fight in a way that she doesn't stay in one place very long. Short distance teleporting (turns to bats to quickly moving through the battle field, attacking perhaps in her human form and using turnabout to get back out of the way again.

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Ok, so I'm thinking about giving my character a device. A weapon. Sort of a family heirloom that she took with her. The idea is that it's a Sword Cane. The blade it's self is enchanted and silver to do more damage to supernatural and demonic creatures. In cane form it is also formidable because of the enchantments, but allows her not to kerstab every baddy she runs across. Can you put Alt forms on a Device?

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People usually use the +Subtle feat, and/or a Feature, on the outside of the container, for a device that can change into something else.

If you want to be able to use it as either a sword or a bludgeon, the easiest way is to put the Variable Descriptor feat on the Damage effect, so that you can switch it up on each use between Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing damage.

The Incurable feat on Damage will prevent Regeneration or Healing from taking away the damage, forcing the monster to rest normally to recover.  That's the first thing I'd give to a magic sword.  Maybe another 1PP feat on the Damage effect to reflect that the blade is silver, just to make sure no one can argue with you when Vulnerabilities come up.


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VARIABLE DESCRIPTOR: You can change the descriptors of an effect with this power feat, varying them as a free action once per round. For one rank with this feat, you can apply any of a closely related group of descriptors, such as weather, electromagnetic, temperature, and so forth. For two ranks, you can apply any of a broad group of descriptors, such as any mental, magical, or technological descriptor. The GM decides if any given descriptor is appropriate for use with a particular effect and this feat.

It's like turning a single power into an array.  A wizard could just put Variable Descriptor 2 on a Blast spell, declaring with every use whether it's a "Fire spell" or an "Ice spell" or a "lightning spell," instead of buying all of those as Alternate Powers.  Arrowhawk has Variable Descriptor 1 on his bow's Damage effect to represent that he can choose every time he fires whether it's a bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing arrow.  The same shouuld work for a swordcane that can either be used as a club or as a sword, depending on whether or not you have it unsheathed.  Like switching APs, switching descriptors is a free action.

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