Smallville: Avatar the Last Airbender Hack

September 17, 2010

Picked up Smallville after hearing tons of good things about the design in the game and it looks like the system would be perfect to do Avatar the Last Airbender, mostly with some minor tweaks of names/terminology for abilities and Pathways. I’ll list the renames with parentheses for the original terms.


For the Pathways, I’ve relabeled many of the the Pathway options- the new term is listed followed by the original in parentheses. The stat blocks stay the same for each, though you’ll note that some of them are shifted around on the chart. I’ve put them in order, left to right, so you can just re-do the chart accordingly.

Origin: Noble (RIch), Ordinary, Gifted, Orphaned, Destined

Orphaned are kids who not only were separated from their parents, but any adult community to raise them; ie Jet. Destined are those poor kids who get imbued with the spirit of the Moon or are the reincarnation of the Avatar, etc.

Youth: Warrior (Jock), Average, Inquisitive (Geek), Outsider, Paragon

Focus: Control (Money), Happiness (Tech), Family (Life), Freedom (Paranormal), Honor (Status)

Control can be political power, control over your life, others, etc. Happiness – drink tea, go ride the otter-penguins, etc., Family can be blood family or chosen family, Freedom is freedom to control your life free of obligations, duties, destiny, and Honor is pretty self explanatory.

Road: Treacherous (Risky), Straight and Narrow, Lofty, Underground, Ethical.

Life Changing Event: Favored (Advancement), Strange Discovery (First Contact), Rite of Passage (Destiny), Personal Breakthrough (Power Manifestation), Exiled (Tragedy)

Favored means earning favor with nobility of some type. Strange Discovery includes finding the Avatar after a century, Magical Spirit Libraries, trips to the Spirit World, etc. Rite of Passage includes a test and official recognition from your community. Personal Breakthrough is some form of epiphany or realization – possibly about oneself, the universe, a new form of bending, etc. Exiled includes being literally exiled from one’s community, but also stuff like getting frozen in an ice bubble for a 100 years.

Priority: Duty (Work), Fun (Looking Back), Mastery (Performance), Ambition (Looking Forward), Friends & Family

Duty is the obligations your family, clan, nation, or role place upon you. Fun is the opposite- escaping responsibility for self. Mastery is about the quest for perfection- bending, sword fighting, Pai-sho. Ambition is pretty self explanatory, but can also include stuff like developing new technology or freeing your land.

Modus Operandi: Responsibility/Loyalty, Secrecy (Shady Business), Against the Grain, Influence (Outside Normal Channels), Special Gifts

Secrecy includes folks like freedom fighters, White Lotus members, manipulative princesses and similar folks who are good at keeping their cards close. Influence is pretty much the same as Outside Normal Channels.

Motivation: Others, Self, The Cause, The Job, The World.

Identity: Sidekick, Foil, Rebel, Specialist, Hero

– Remove Hacker completely
– Change Extraterrestrial Knowledge to Spirit World Knowledge
– Change Military Brat to Noble Connections
– Change Soldier to Warrior

Bender Heritage Distinctions

Water Bending

D4: Earn a Plot Point when a lack of nearby water forces a Shutdown of your Bending
D8: Add a D6 to the Trouble Pool to use a special effect from a connected ability you don’t have
D12 Spend a Plot Point to reroll any die in a Water Bending Roll.

Connected Abilities: Hydrokinesis, Swimming, Cyrokinesis, Regeneration, Healing, Claws (Ice claws!), Blast, Plant Control (Swampbending), Bloodbending (Paralysis + TK, only usable on things with blood)

Limits: Nearby water, moon cannot be eclipsed, must be able to move limbs

Earth bending

D4: Earn a Plot Point when being surrounded by metal forces a Shutdown of your Earth bending
D8: Add a D6 to the Trouble Pool to use a special effect from a connected ability you don’t have
D12 Spend a Plot Point to Decrease your opponent’s Injured or Exhausted Stress Pool when you encase yourself in stone.

Connected Abilities: Earth Control, Tunneling, Super Strength, Blast, Wall Walking (limited to Earth), Magnetism (cannot affect blood), Super Senses (earth vibrations, what’s underground)

Limits: Cannot bend metal (unless Magnetism is taken), must be able to move limbs.

Air Bending

D4: Spend a Plot Point to reroll a die when you redirect an opponent’s momentum
D8: Add a D6 to the Trouble Pool to use a special effect from a connected ability you don’t have
D12 Spend a Plot Point to reroll any die in any Air Bending Roll.

Connected Abilities: Wind Control, Superspeed, Gravity Control, Blast, Flight, Gravity Control (can only make things lighter, not heavier)

Limits: Need to be able to move limbs… or blow air out your mouth

Fire Bending

D4: Earn a Plot Point when your firebending goes out of control, hurting yourself, allies, or things you didn’t want damaged.
D8: Add a D6 to the Trouble Pool to use a special effect from a connected ability you don’t have
D12 Spend a Plot Point to into increase your Injured or Afraid Stress Pool.

Connected Abilities: Pyrokinesis, Claws (firewhips, fire knives), Blast, Electrokinesis, Flight, Combustion (cannot delay explosions)

Limits: Sun cannot be eclipsed, must be able to move limbs

(common ones, I’m sure more can apply)
Sifu (Motivator), Bounty Hunter (Govt. Agent), Sage/Fortuneteller (Mage), Healer (Doctor), Scientist, Soldier, Criminal, Pirate (Ninja!)

Some common locations + Specializations. Since Avatar tends to be more of a globe-trotting story, characters aren’t as tied to locations as Smallville is. Broaden the definition from a single location to any of that type – White Lotus Branch 2D8 would be useful at -any- White Lotus Branch – the rating indicates a familiarity rather than a specific connection.

Village – Rumors, Anonymity, Socialize, Supplies, Oppressed
Cave – Safe and Dry, Hidden, Ancient Lore, Sharing Stories
Temple – Ruined, Ancient Lore, Spirit World, Flashbacks
Hideout – Hidden, Planning, Tactics, Comfort
Boat – Mobile, Cargo, Water, Armed
Tea Shop – Socialize, Rumors, Wisdom, Contacts
Laboratory – Experiment, Science!, Explosives, Inspiration
White Lotus Branch – Hidden, Pai-sho, Secret Escape, Contacts
Military Base – Prison, Defensible, Reinforcements, Armory
Dojo – Learning, Rivalry, Friendship, Duelling
Spirit World- Creepy, Dangerous Knowledge, Placating Spirits, Evil Spirits
Festival- Crowded, Anonymity, Spectacle, Delicious Foods

Characters and Pathways

Aang- Destined, Paragon, Freedom, Ethical, Exiled (trapped in ice for 100 years!) Fun, Loyalty, Others, Hero.

Katara- Gifted, Average, Happiness, Straight & Narrow, Strange Discovery (Found the Avatar!), Friends & Family, Special Gift, Others, Sidekick.

Sokka- Ordinary, Inqusitive, Family, Straight & Narrow, Strange Discovery (Found the Avatar!), Friends & Family, Loyalty, World, Sidekick.

Zuko- Noble, Warrior, Honor, Ethical, Exiled (Banished to find the Avatar), Ambition, Against the Grain, The Cause, The Foil

Iroh- Noble, Warrior, Happiness, Straight & Narrow, Exiled (Banished to watch over his nephew). Friends & Family, Loyalty, Others, Sidekick.

Toph- Noble, Paragon, Freedom, Underground, Personal Breakthrough (I can leave my family and live a life of adventure!), Mastery, Against the Grain, Self, Sidekick.

Azula- Noble, Paragon, Control, Intrigue, Favored (Given the honor of hunting down the Avatar… and her brother). Duty, Secrecy, Self, Foil.

Jet- Orphaned, Paragon, Control, Intrigue, Exiled (My freedom fighters broke up!). Ambition, Against the Grain, The Cause, Rebel.

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