Inspired by Steven Universe, this page describes rules for multiple characters
fusing together into one stronger being. As with everything in Arpeggio, feel free to play
around with these rules and change up the details as much as you like, but these will be my
personal preferences for how the mechanics should work. I will say that different games of
Arpeggio may have different base requirements for how characters can achieve
fusion, as I could see it being accomplished with a necessary item (either single-use or
held, or even a weapon like a
Digivice), tied to
support levels, or having its own meters that need to be filled like
in Steven Universe: Save the Light. Alternately, it could simply have a VP or MP
cost, presumably with each of the fusing characters having to use up that amount, or perhaps the
Maestro could merely have full control over when fusion occurs. However it is activated, fusion
as a concept treats the fused character as, to some extent, its own character
separate from the fusers, if having its qualities determined by them (and perhaps particularly by
their relationship with each other). That being said, when player characters fuse, all of
the players who normally control the component characters have some degree of control
over the fusion. These players must therefore agree with each other on what
actions the fusion should take, and if they cannot come to an agreement, then the fusion
forcibly ends, with the characters unfusing even against any of their own
protests. Fusion therefore requires player harmony in order to be used effectively, although
agreement will allow a fusion to function even if that agreement is begrudging. Too much inner
turmoil may allow the Maestro to take control of the fusion, making the fusion representative of
a toxic relationship which may need to be resolved by role-playing, and this may
affect support levels, but things like that will again be dependent on the specific story of an
individual Arpeggiated game. Complicated as it is, don't feel obligated to use fusion in a given
game; it's honestly the kind of thing that a game needs to be built around,
rather than being hastily tacked on.
More than two characters can fuse, but this gets more complicated the more there are. I personally have no strict limit, but don't feel bad about setting one. Also note that generic enemies may fuse, which is a good way to provide stronger enemies for a player fusion to fight. A player character could conceivably fuse with an enemy character if the requirements are met, but the results of this would be questionable; put this fusion in the Other Team until its allegiance is otherwise determined.
A fusion, being a single character, only gets one action per turn. Because of
this, in some cases, it may prove more advantageous for characters to remain separate, allowing
each to take a separate action per turn.
Either fusing or unfusing in mid-battle would generally use up a character's turn, but since fusions are made up of more than one character, this must be clarified. If a fusion unfuses, whether by choice or by above-noted inner turmoil, this would use up the turns of all of the characters involved. Inner turmoil may force a fusion to unfuse after it has already acted, or similarly an enemy's action may unfuse a player fusion during the Enemy Phase; in such cases, the unfused characters don't need to suffer some sort of additional turn use penalty, they are just treated as having already acted at that point, and if that point is not during their own Phase of battle, then they can act normally once their Phase rolls back around.
If the requirements for fusion have been met, then any character capable of fusing can use their turn to fuse with one other character, and doing so does not use up that other character's turn. This means that that other character may act first before fusing, or else the fusion may still act that turn after fusing if that second fuser had not yet acted. However, since one character's action can only fuse two characters, additional character actions are required to create fusions of more than two characters in the same turn. But if the final of these characters still has not acted, then this multi-fusion may still act in that same turn. Fusing or unfusing outside of battle does not take significant time, so fusing before battle is a viable way to avoid the necessary turn usage.
When characters fuse, the stats of their fusion will be equal to their own stats added
together, with the fusion's stats being allowed to exceed the player character
stat maximums by way of this addition. This goes for max and current HP, VP, and
MP; Attack, Magic, Defense, and Brain Powers; field
stats (yes, these can exceed 9); item and weapon inventory slots;
Weapon Levels (this is in terms of the individual weapon use points for player
characters, but will be a bumping up by full levels for enemies), although these still cannot
exceed the maximum level of A since there simply isn't anything higher; current blood
alcohol level; and current money carried. In this way, a fusion will be
stronger than the fusers, and will continue to get stronger along with them without the need for
any separate mechanism to achieve this. A fusion therefore has no distinct Level or XP
pool of its own, with these still functioning separately for each fuser. (All
fusers receive XP for any battles that a fusion wins, and defeating a fusion yields an
XP reward equal to those of the fusers added together.)
Since HP, VP, and MP are combined when fusing, when the characters unfuse, the fusion's current values for these stats should then be evenly distributed between each unfusing character. For example, say that Bob has 7/10 HP, 4/10 VP, and 5/5 MP, while Fred has 5/10 HP, 5/5 VP, and 1/10 MP. If they fuse, the fusion would have 12/20 HP, 9/15 VP, and 6/15 MP. So then if they unfuse, they would each be left with 6 HP, 4 VP, and 3 MP. Notice that they effectively lost 1 VP due to rounding down. However, as long as a fusion is still alive (above 0 HP), if the characters unfuse, each will emerge alive as well, so with at least 1 HP remaining. VP and MP may be left at 0.
If characters fuse who have different amounts of max HP, VP, and/or MP, distribution upon unfusion may be a bit wonky. Say that this time Bob has 50 max HP, Fred has 40, and Jim has 10, and the three of them fuse, producing a fusion that has 100. Their fusion then takes 40 damage over the course of a battle, and they unfuse afterward. The 60 remaining HP, divided by the three of them, gives them 20 each. But Jim only has 10 max, so 10 HP is effectively lost. If you like, you could split this 10 HP between Bob and Fred for 5 more each, since they actually have room for it, or you could even give it all to Bob as the one with the highest max HP. I'd rather not get into complicated calculations like ratioing 60/100 to result in Jim having 6/10, Fred having (getting out the calculator now) 24/40, and Bob 30/50, but I suppose you can do that if you prefer, as that way no points are lost. On the other hand, if a two-person fusion has only taken 2 damage, it seems pretty fair to just give each fuser 1 damage without worrying about how their max HPs compare. It would also be possible, if the fusers desire, for them to choose who gets how much of the fusion's remaining HP, VP, or MP upon separation (but each must get at least 1 HP).
A character can fuse with another character who is currently dead, but naturally the dead character will contribute 0 HP to the fusion's total. Once fused, the dead character is effectively revived, and if the fusion ends, all fusers will emerge with at least 1 HP as per usual. Because a dead character cannot exactly consent to the fusion, if any other requirements are met it may be executed regardless of what would be the dead character's feelings on the matter; however, as soon as the fusion is formed, the previously-dead character can begin to form an opinion about it, and if this opinion is too negative, the fusion may forcibly unfuse, even within the same turn of battle. Such things may result in the loss of support points.
The formula for the Danger Zone is (maxHP/5)+1, so apply this to a fusion's combined HP to find its Danger Zone.
Insane characters will have negative Brain Power stats, and so when they fuse with sane characters (who of course have positive Brain Power stats), the negatives will subtract from the positives, as per, y'know, math. In these cases, if a fusion ends up with 0 Brain Power or higher, it is treated as sane, but if the total is negative, then the fusion is insane.
While blood alcohol level is added upon fusing, if a fusion consumes alcohol while already fused, the fusion's combined Weight stat is used to calculate alcohol tolerance, with any Weight stat above 9 giving the fusion essentially infinite alcohol tolerance, adding no points to the blood alcohol level no matter how much alcohol is consumed. Such a fusion could still get drunk or alcohol poisoned from the initial fusion event, however, and so is not immune to those conditions.
If fusing characters have Unique field abilities, then the fusion may end up with more than one Unique ability, or these may combine into a single, conceptually fused Unique ability. If more than two characters are fusing, it would even be possible for some of their Unique abilities to combine while others do not. This will all be handled on a case-by-case basis, and for my own convenience, on sheets for fusions of generic enemies I'll often list multiple Unique abilities in the single provided field even when they aren't properly combining into something new.
Since a fusion has one combined item inventory and one combined weapon inventory, the items and weapons will generally go back to whichever fuser contributed them upon unfusing, but there is potential for sneaky inter-team theft, and if the fusion acquired any new items or weapons while fused, the fusers will have to debate about who gets to keep these. Disagreements about such things may lead to the kind of inner turmoil that would cause a fusion to forcibly unfuse, at which point the items being argued over will land in a pile in between everyone.
By default, a fusion can perform any and all of the special attacks (whether
physical, psychic, or magical) known by all of the fusers, but these attacks are
unchanged from their normal form. Since the fusion's combined stats are higher,
these attacks will generally be more potent when performed by the fusion, and thus do not need to
be altered. In terms of player characters, the fusion will have twice (or whatever the number of
fusers) the total number of AP as a single player character, but since it literally is multiple
people, this isn't a problem.
However, players may want to essentially fuse their special attacks along with their characters, creating more powerful fused attacks that the fusion can then perform. This would probably take the form of going through each character's special attack list, picking out pairs of attacks to conceptually combine, and writing up the combined attacks, leaving the fusion with only the same total number of special attacks as a single player character, but with those attacks being more potent by design, and doubly so thanks to the combined stats. This is fine for player characters or even bosses, but the previous, "default" version is handy for regular enemies, allowing them to be fused without the Maestro needing to go through and write up their fused attacks.
It would also be possible for a fusion to have unique special attacks that can only be performed while fused. However, what to do with player characters' AP in this case, I'm not sure. If it were only one super special fusion attack per fusion, I could allow that existing outside the bounds of AP. Otherwise, I think the fusion would have to give up one of the attacks of one of the fusers per each super special fusion attack, or perhaps even give up one attack from each fuser. If you're dead set on letting the fusion use all of the attacks of all fusers and have multiple new attacks, then you could give the fusion its own set of AP, harking back to the idea of the fusion being its own character. But since a fusion has no Level, this works best if all fusers are at the same Level, as you can just use that number of AP; if they're at different Levels, I'm honestly not sure what to do, but I guess you could go with either the highest or lowest Level, or average it out. Giving the fusion a number of AP equal to those of all the fusers added together (as in, on top of already having all those fusers' special attacks) seems quite a bit too much to me, but I suppose it could also be done.
Weapons and Armor
In Steven Universe, the characters can fuse their weapons as well as themselves. However, in
Arpeggio, this wreaks havoc on the Weapon Triangle, not to mention the actual stats of the
weapons. By default, I would say that neither weapons nor armor can be fused,
and only one suit of armor may be worn by a fusion. If multiple fusers were wearing armor, they
must choose together which suit of armor the fusion ends up wearing (with
disagreement being grounds for immediate unfusion), and the others go into the fusion's
inventory. If the fusion's inventory is full, they just fall on the ground,
becoming discarded items (which are grabbable by anyone in
Since a fusion will have the combined Weapon Levels of the fusers, it will be able to use any of their weapons. By default, it would still be restricted to having only one weapon equipped at a time, though its weapon inventory will be bigger than that of an unfused character. If players are creating fused special attacks, then they may want to create fused weapons to be used in conjunction with these. Once again, the "default" version of not doing this is for generic enemies.
Fusing weapons of different weapon types would generally produce a weapon that falls outside of any Weapon Triangles, while fusing weapons of the same type will of course just produce a stronger weapon of that type. Fusing a melee weapon with a projectile weapon would produce a hybrid weapon, and fusing a magic weapon with a non-magic weapon would produce a weapon of the latter type that can also be used to cast spells. In general, special properties of each component weapon will be retained in the fused one, but you may be left scratching your head about how to combine incompatible aspects. A lot of this will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, which, since that's also true of the special attacks that these will probably be used for, is just kind of coming with the territory.
The best way that I can think to calculate damage for a fused weapon is just to take the powers of the component weapons and add them together. This will make your damage calculation something like ((x2 +1) + (x1) + (x2 +4)), which I find overly complicated, and which tends to produce excessively high numbers when combined with the fused character's added stats, but like the concept of the fusion's added stats, it has the benefit of allowing you to use the numbers already provided on the weapon sheets instead of having to write up custom ones just for the fusion. Of course, if you have a projectile weapon, the damage will still be determined by the ammunition, unless you're fusing the ammunition, which... I mean adding together the powers is simple enough, but as for the number of rounds in a clip... say that one clip had 12 rounds left and another had 30. If you fuse them, you could fire 12 fused rounds, after which the remaining 18 would just be normal, non-fused rounds of the latter type. So firing a fused round consumes one round from each fusing clip all at once. Special properties like defense piercing or Elementality would carry over into the fused rounds, but again some combinations may have no obvious resolution, so work it out as best you can. (Fusing multiple Elemental properties may just result in non-Elemental damage.)
If you also want to fuse armor, then much like with the characters themselves, simply add together the max and current HP values and Defense values of the individual suits of armor that you're fusing, and distribute damage evenly between them when they unfuse. Additional effects of special types of armor may get complicated, but usually it's not nearly as bad as with weapons. For some examples of this, watch me fuse Koopa Shells on my fused Mario enemies.
Whenever one fuser has an Elemental Modifier of "--" (in other words, no
modifier), if another fuser has any other modifier for that same
Element, then that other Modifier overrides the "--", giving the fusion that
second character's weakness or resistance. This is true even for super-weaknesses and immunities.
If one fuser has a +2 weakness in an Element and another fuser has a -2 resistance in that same Element, the resulting fusion will be neutral to that Element, with a modifier of "--". The same goes for if one character has a +5 super-weakness while the other character has a x0 immunity (or even if one has some manner of absorption and the other has the Instant Death modifier of "XX").
If two fusing characters both have a +2 weakness to the same Element, the fusion will have a +5 super-weakness. If both fusers have a -2 resistance, then the fusion will have a full immunity.
If one character has an immunity while the other character has a +2 weakness, the resulting fusion will have a -2 resistance to that Element. Similarly, if one character has a +5 super-weakness and the other has a -2 resistance, the fusion will have a +2 weakness.
If two characters who both have +5 weaknesses to the same Element fuse, the fusion's modifier for that Element will be +10. If one had a +5 while the other only had a +2, then it's +7. However, if more than two characters are fusing, and several of them have weaknesses to the same Element, prioritize combining two +2s into +5s before adding them together. Following this, simply add +5s together, along with a possible remaining +2. But alternately, if at any point the weakness number gets too high for your liking, or if it would seem more appropriate, you can instead give the fusion the "XX" modifier, which adds the Instant Death effect to attacks of that Element. Just be aware that Instant Death can be blocked by Neutralize or Safeguard, at which point the fusion will only take the normal amount of damage from attacks of that Element (as if the modifier were "--").
If two fusers are both immune to the same Element, or if one is immune and one is resistant, you can either just keep the fusion immune, or you can offer absorption. The fusers can choose whether damage should be absorbed into HP, VP, or MP, making the fusion's modifier for that Element "HP", "VP", or "MP". However, this must remain consistent; the first time that these characters fuse (or even in a planning stage beforehand), the absorption type is chosen, and from then on it will always be the same for that particular fusion, just as an individual character's Elemental Modifiers will never change. That being said, for an even higher level of resistance than absorption, you could have damage restore points into multiple pools at once, such that a fusion with enough resistance is simultaneously recovering HP, VP, and/or MP when being hit by attacks of that Element. But if you've gotten to the point where all three are being healed, then you've capped out, and adding further fusers with resistances to that same Element will have no notable effect on that modifier.
If a fuser already had absorption and another had a weakness, you could bump the absorption down to an immunity. Vice versa, if one had "XX" and another a resistance, you could drop it back down to +5, or whatever. When many characters fuse, the back-and-forth of their modifiers can get very confusing. Try to combine all the bits here as best makes sense, feeling free to slap on absorption or XX in order to cap out on one end or the other and no longer have to count it out.
Because Affinities cannot really be "added," a fusion
gets its own Affinity, which may and/or may not bear any resemblance to the
Affinities of the fusers. This somewhat emphasizes the idea of the fusion being its own character;
however, because the goal here is for a fusion to be mechanically derivable from the sheets of
the fusers rather than needing its own separate sheet, a fusion does not build support
separately from the fusers. Instead, the fusers' support levels determine whether or not
support bonuses are triggered, but then, when fused, the fusion's Affinity determines support
Say that Bob has a Fire Affinity, Fred has an Earth Affinity, and their fusion (Bred?) has a Thunder Affinity. If the two of them have built support with each other, then normally when they enter battle, they would both receive support bonuses based on the Fire and Earth Affinities. However, if they fuse before entering battle, then for a support bonus, the fusion will receive that of the Thunder Affinity. It will receive this even if it has no teammates, because the fusers are still present within the fusion and have support with each other. But if Bob and Fred have both also built support with Jim, who has a Plant Affinity, then if Jim entered battle along with Bred, they would both receive the Thunder and Plant bonuses, while without fusion Bob, Fred, and Jim would receive those of Fire, Earth, and Plant.
This being the case, earning of support points is essentially unchanged whether anyone is fused or not. The actual act of fusing is likely to award support points to the fusers the first time that it happens, but it would not continue to do so every time, as that would make earning support too easy.
If any characters have any Status Problems and/or
Status Benefits when they fuse, those conditions are passed on
to the fusion. If different fusers have different Status Conditions, these will
all be present on the fusion, with normal interactions occurring such as Burns
and Freezing canceling each other out, and turns of the same condition will combine consecutively
or concurrently according to their norms. If different fusers are in
Fire, Ice, or
Raccoon States when fusing, the players controlling those
characters must decide only one of these mutually exclusive States to retain as
the fusion, and disagreement on this point is grounds for immediate unfusion. When a fusion has
any Status Conditions and unfuses, all of those Status Conditions are passed on
to all of the component characters, full turn counts remaining for all of them.
In this way, by fusing and unfusing, Status Conditions can be duplicated onto teammates, at the
cost of the number of turns that fusion and unfusion takes.
If a character is Fast, then they may take a different action in the same turn before fusing, or they may fuse first and allow the resulting fusion to retain the second action. Once the fusion is complete, if it is still Fast, it gets two actions per turn (but not during that first turn of having already used one to fuse), and can take one to do something before taking the second to unfuse.
A character capable of taking an action in a given turn can fuse with a character who is currently Slow and unable to act, but naturally in this case the resulting fusion does not then get to act that turn, not to mention retaining the Slowness.
Damage to the 5-HP mechanism of a Fire, Ice, or Raccoon State is retained through fusion or unfusion; if more than one fuser is in the same State, the State's HP does not combine like the characters' HP, but it does get fully restored to 5 upon fusion, regardless of exact point totals.
A character attempting to fuse with another character who is currently Electrified will take damage from the Electrification, but will not be prevented from fusing, with the fusion, of course, retaining the Electrification.
Instant Death works just fine on a fusion, potentially turning into a one-stroke full-party kill. Fusions do not necessarily unfuse upon death, and so they could be revived later and still be fused, but this would vary.
If one character participating in a fusion has a special condition such as being
Spiky or Made of an Element, then
this condition would generally be retained by the fusion. A fusion therefore may
end up with multiple such conditions, which isn't too confusing until you fuse
characters who are made of different Elements. By default, what happens in that
case is that the fusion counts as simultaneously made of all of the relevant
Elements, which, along with getting all of their minor benefits such as effects from Weather
Conditions, will deal contact damage to direct attackers using all of those
Elements. These are dealt in separate but simultaneous hits, so if we're talking
about Fire, Thunder, and Poison, then pretty much just run through and first deal 1 Fire damage,
then 1 Thunder, and 1 Poison, applying Elemental Modifiers (halved, of course) and such to each.
Elemental immunities may therefore prevent some of these, but as long as at least one still
causes damage, then any attack that would be blocked by contact damage is still blocked. If
multiple characters fuse who are made of the same Element, however, there is
no increase to the effect, so direct attackers will still only take 1 contact
Player characters may want to have more unique combined effects, like say a Fire character fusing with an Ice character producing a Water-based fusion, or indeed increases to contact damage when the same types fuse. These must be written up on a case-by-case basis, but are allowed for players or even bosses.
Like with Electrification, conditions like Spikiness or being Made of an Element will damage fellow fusers if they are not immune to these, but will not prevent the fusion from working.
Forced Fusion or Unfusion
An enemy (or a player character for that matter) may have a special attack that forcibly
cancels a fusion. This is somewhat similar to attacks that
remove all Status Benefits, in that it just does so at
the moment of use and that's the end of it.
In a game where fusion is a thing, there may also be additional Status Conditions in the form of forced fusion and fusion prevention. Fusion prevention, if inflicted on a fusion, would cause a forced unfusion like the simpler above ability, but would then also apply a turn count to all of the resulting unfused characters, and those characters would be unable to fuse again for that number of turns (unless the condition is healed away). It could also just be applied to someone who hasn't fused yet in order to prevent that.
A forced fusion would, well, first of all require more than one target, and would then force those targets to fuse and to remain fused, again for a specified turn count. Despite fusion generally being beneficial, this forced fusion would still count as a Status Problem, and would therefore also be healed by items and abilities that heal Status Problems. If the characters who were forced to fuse are eager to unfuse, then they would automatically unfuse upon the condition being healed or upon its turn count ending. However, if they agree to remain fused even after the turn count ends, then they can do so. They can even do so if they would not normally meet the requirements for being able to fuse in the first place.
Fusion may not be used to cheat BP requirements. The individual fusers must wear their own badges separately and meet the necessary requirements, and nothing about this changes when they fuse. The fusion does get the effects of all badges worn by all fusers, and if two fusers wear the same badge and that badge features enhanced effects when multiple copies are worn, then the fusion does get the enhanced effects. But by the same token, if the effects of badges worn by different fusers would cancel each other out when worn by the same character, then they will cancel out for the fusion. The fusion's max HP, VP, and MP are equal to those of the fusers added together after individual BP extraction. Basically, treat the characters separately in terms of BP costs, but treat the fusion as a single character wearing all of their badges in terms of the badges' effects.