So, some friends of mine are giant tabletoppers, and because of this they’ve played quite a few tabletops that I hadn’t gotten to play. One of these games was Anima: Beyond Fantasy, a very, well, anime sort of game. The sort of game that, at higher levels, lets you break all of the physics in the name of Rule of Cool. Now, I’ve played a few other tabletops, World of Darkness, 3.5, Pathfinder, to name a few, but I had never really seen something as crazy as this game.
I had never played this game, so the DM let me join in as the party’s healbot. Literally, she was a soft-spoken android named “Tilt”, with a shit-ton of Zeon (Mana), and her magic up most of the way through the Magic Tree known as Creation, superficially the best healing tree there is in the game. The DM sort of threw that character together without looking too in-depth about what everything was, so she had basically no skills, and all she could do was Creation magic.
Now, being a new player to this game, and being handed a core rulebook, I decide to look over many things about this character I’ve been handed. The DM told me that Tilt was in the party because, mechanically, the group needed somebody to heal them, and story-wise, she had a thing for the main character, a Psychic Warrior dude who had some prophecies and stuff about him, who also wielded a BFS because he could mentally make himself stronger. There was another girl in the party, a melee-oriented fighter who also fawned over the main character. Considering Tilt was an android, it was a sort of jilted-lover situation. They frequently ignored what Tilt was doing because she was “just a robot.”
While looking over this character, the party managed to get into combat while we were camping inside of a small dead-ended valley. Basically, we snuck ourselves into a recessed cove, and there was only one way in or out, so we could easily guard ourselves in case things like this happen. So, a bunch of demonic wolves and this large demonic ranger dude show up and try to ruin our S'mores Time.
The first round of combat happens, and I start charging up Zeon, not knowing who I’m going to inevitably end up healing next, while the Psychic Warrior slashes a shit ton of wolves in one swipe, though it doesn’t end up killing them. The wolves get a bit of an attack in, doing a small amount of damage, though they’re starting to overwhelm the main dude.
About this time is when I find something in the Creation Tree, to which Tilt has almost full access: an interesting mid-level spell known as “Acquire Powers.” Reading the description, I find out that, in short, lets you pick out some powers temporarily from a minor god table for as long as you’re willing to burn your Zeon at a rather high rate. Looking at some of these powers, some of them include getting a bunch of speed, getting resistances and higher armor, getting flight capabilities, and getting a bunch of at-will large AoE destruction powers.
Now, as I’ve said before, I never really played this game, and I’d never gotten into combat, so I was a little confused when combat started and the rolls happened. With this new discovery, however, I looked up from my book, and said, with a bit of confidence, “Guys, I don’t really know how combat works, but… I think I can kill all of them.”
Absolute silence. Everyone at the table looks at me incredulously, and I show, not tell, the DM this fancy spell I found, which he told me that, yes, Tilt has access to it. So, then I show him the charts and tables that the spell gets access to (Anima is just a game of tables and charts. So many tables), and again, I show, not tell, him what I’m picking so as to not alert the other party members. He laughs, and waves me a “Very well. Proceed.”
With querulous looks from the rest of the party, my turn comes up, and, explaining rationale, that the main dude was in danger, Tilt snagged some minor god’s powers for a bit, and commenced throwing a small, 80-foot diameter meteor at the wolves and the large ranger to protect him.
The DM allows the Psychic Warrior to make the equivalent of a Spot check to see that this meteor is coming from behind him, but not the source. Since I planned to make it hit the wolves, but hadn’t specified how it was coming in, the DM assumed it was coming from me, from about 10 feet behind the Psychic Warrior. He sees this, and, with flavor-text, reflexively cuts the meteor in half with his BFS (DM still allowing the full damage to hit the group behind him. As I said: Anime and Rule of Cool. *jazz-hands*).
As the very few remaining wolves and the evil Demonic ranger get a sudden case of the NOPES and flee from this meteor-and-sword-swinging group, the rest of the group looks at Tilt and realizes that the healbot has suddenly become a temporary godbot. One that they’ve been ignoring for the longest time.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should be careful about desigining NPCs that you give to your players, and why you should never, ever underestimate the healer.