Soul in the Machine

135040898_325272961932288_1869102093447730526_nWe can’t wait for Wandavision to premiere today, and you may already know it because we said so when we turned Wanda Maximoff into a D&D character a few days ago. Well, the second half of the brand new Disney+ show is Vision, the android that defies physics and fights as an Avenger with the power of density manipulation and his flawless computer brain. From all the characters we’ve seen making an appearance in the MCU, Vision is probably the one with the most key differences in powers and origins, as it has been both revered hero and feared villain to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

“Declarative: rhetorical response > WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME?”

Vision is the trickiest character we’ve wanted to convert into a D&D character. Join us to analyze why this article is going to be very different from the rest in this series.

  1. First, we have the racial issue. Vision is a synthezoid, which is a special type of android. They are empowered by synthesizing solar energy and are replicas of the human body, containing analogues to virtually all human organs, brain, blood, and tissue, composed of a synthetic organic-like substance, Horton Cells. This substance mimics all the functions of human tissue, but is several times as strong, durable and resilient. This of course makes us think of Eberron’s warforged. So far, so good.
  2. Second, we have the background. We went totally blank here, as Vision’s origins are linked to Ultron both in the comics and the MCU, although with some very different approaches. We could fit soldier or even outlander as a stretch, but definitely this is not satisfactory.
  3. Third, and the hardest, we have the class. Vision is unique and seems to be on a journey to explore his nature and purpose. At first, that sounds like someone who would be inclined to play a cleric. However, for Vison this seems like more of a personal journey – to explore the limits of his unique gifts through an inward journey, which mkaes us consider him a monk. The problem here are the mechanics, which don’t reflect Vision’s powers at all.

visionYou see, built by man, but forged by fate, the amazing android Vision commands unearthly powers and abilities to fight for humanity: He is able to increase and decrease his density, allowing him to become intangible, increase his strength and even make him able to take flight. Besides that, the Vision can shoot an energy beam from the gem placed within his forehead, and since he is able to interface with computers, he has tremendous knowledge and, at times, can control other systems. In the movies, these powers are very similar, but they have the Mind Stone as their origin.

Little worse than a man

So we have ended up with a warforged… and not much more than that. And since it’s so hard to fit him into one of the thirteen classes (being monk the closest one) we have decided to make a plot twist. After all, comics are our source most of the time.

Instead of turning Vision into a D&D character, we will create a way to turn any warforged into the Vision no matter their background or class. Intrigued? Let us introduce the 5e version of… the Mind Stone.

In the comics, the blue-colored Mind Gem (yellow in the MCU films) allows its user to enhance their mental and psionic abilities and access the thoughts and dreams of other beings. At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Mind Gem can access all minds in existence simultaneously. Its pocket universe, the Mindscape, allows the user to bring anything they imagine or dream of to life.

The Mind Stone
Artifact (requires attunement)

Physically reminiscent to an Ioun stone, the Mind Gem is also the manifestation of the universal subconscious. The Stone’s intelligence is powerful enough to enhance and spontaneously grant sentience to the artificial beings Ultron and Vision. As implied by this intelligence, the Stone itself also possesses a form of sentience, with the Stone directly communicating with Vision in order to warn him of the coming threat of Thanos. When contained within a Scepter capable of harnessing its power, the Mind Stone’s power can dominate the minds of others on contact, placing them under the control of the wielder and loyal to their commands indefinitely. By placing the blade tip of the Scepter against a person’s heart, energy is released from the Stone, which flows into the person’s body and spreads upwards to their head, turning their eyes a fluorescent blue color.

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  • Control of the Mind. You can use an action while holding the Mind Gem to cast charm person with a DC of 19. People put under the Stone’s control will see you as their rightful authority, but will often regain their individuality after receiving a significant blow to the head (as with Hawkeye), since a temporary loss of consciousness will allow their normal mental state to “reset” and return.
  • Telepathy Projection. The Mind Stone is also able to project the consciousness of its wielder, in order to mentally view and communicate with beings in faraway places. This ability works as the sending spell, but without the chance of the message not arriving to other planes.
  • Open the Mind. The Stone is also capable of granting great knowledge and greatly increasing the intelligence of whoever it is used on, as it “opened the eyes” of Clint Barton and Erik Selvig, showing them visions and granting them special knowledge they can use. While holding the Gem, every Intelligence check is made with advantage.
  • Matter Manipulation. Notably, the Stone appears to also grant the ability to directly manipulate physical matter to an extent. Under the control of Vision, the Stone grants him unparalleled control over his own Vibranium physiology, with the ability to shape-shift his form and manipulate his own density. While attuned to it, you can cast alter self as an action.
  • Energy Blast. Conventionally, the Mind Stone is also able to simply unleash its pure energy in blasts or targeted beams for offensive and destructive purposes, as seen by how it was used by both Loki and Vision. While attuned to it, you can cast scorching ray as an action, but with a single attack that deals the whole force damage on a hit.
  • Destroying the Gem. The Stone itself is also nigh-indestructible by conventional methods, and wanton physical trauma to the Stone could also cause a potentially devastating release of its energy. Only an extremely powerful energy source similar to that of its own, such as the incredible powers granted to Wanda Maximoff, is capable of potentially destabilizing its molecular integrity.

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Little better than a beast

And that’s why we decided to not make Vision a D&D character, but give the chance to any living construct to become Vision. We can guess there are many versions around there, so let us know and share some links in the comments below!

#CountdownTo300 Two more articles and we’ll be there…

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom H says:

    It is interesting how, in this case, character creation is constrained by D&D’s class/origin system. I wonder how often players have an “I really want to play this…” character that they just can’t make work?

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