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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

No joke but to continue on This Mitchell and Webb Tangeant, The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caeser would be a great little side addition for Unknown Armies.

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LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

It was mentioned earlier that Varg Vikernes' MYFAROG is both hard to get and that nobody here really wants to give their money to a white supremacist on the off-chance that they could laugh at his game design. But fear not, a review finally exists: http://www.metalsucks.net/2015/08/21/advanced-discrimination-dragons-critical-look-varg-vikernes-myfarog-rpg/ so you can see for yourselves just what MYFAROG is like.

It's written entirely in Papyrus.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
I remember that I looked at some sample pages that Varg posted on a blog. I had expected the game to be a lame sort of OSR game, i.e. a version of AD&D1e or B/X Basic with a few house rules. What I saw gave me the impression that no, it was actually more like one of the games from the first generation of fantasy heartbreaker--still essentially based on AD&D, but with a ton of rules hacks and charts. Varg's particular obsession seems to be with a ton of "realistic" situational modifiers for every loving thing the PCs attempt.

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!
I cannot but read everything in that font that means for a T as written with, I mean, what is that, nordic symbols?, as a p.

So, welcome to Pule, Home of the sprongesp vikings! Bwahaha...it´s like that Trex with the missing lower lip thingy meme...bwahah..I can´t stop laughing, by Vecpron.....xD

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

The "Þ" is called a "thorn" and is pronounced like "th". It used to be part of English, but was eventually dropped. Typographers often lacked thorns in their kits, leading them to often substitute it with a "y"; this lead to many signs that would otherwise read "the" or "þe", reading "ye". For example, as in "Ye Olde Tavern", which is simply "The Old Tavern" with a "Y" replacing the "Th".

In Papyrus it looks ridiculous though, and only Icelanders and the biggest linguistic nerds use the thorn these days.

Edit: For extra hilarity, "pule" means "to gently caress" in Norwegian. So it's "Welcome to gently caress, population: growing fast!"

LatwPIAT fucked around with this message at 22:20 on Aug 21, 2015

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.
Speaking of the thorn, it's the letter whose omission from the English language is solely to blame for ren fair people and roleplayers referring to stuff as Ye Olde X. See, the capital form of the thorn looked sort of like a Y, so signs that were supposed to be read as The Olde Pub came to be read as Ye Olde Pub and it's terrible.

pkfan2004 posted:

No joke but to continue on This Mitchell and Webb Tangeant, The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caeser would be a great little side addition for Unknown Armies.

:agreed:

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.


Chapter 3: Colleges and Departments

There's three major components of Illuminati University- the colleges, the administration, and the semi-independent organizations associated with the university (such as research labs, and hell, IOU probably owns shopping malls and poo poo). This chapter focuses on the first group, and the next chapter on the administration, while the third group is left for the GM.

The School of Weird and Unnatural Sciences and Engineering (WUSE) (that's "wooz", not "wuss"), also known as the School of Anti-Social Sciences (SASS) (the name attracts mad scientists and confuses students in the School of Social Anti-Sciences) is one of the university's biggest (and most explosion-prone) schools, encompassing a large portion of the STEM spectrum. Want to be a mad scientist who holds the world hostage with your Cyclotrode? WUSE will teach you the skills necessary to invent it (though you'll want to take some COUP classes to learn how best to leverage it). Among its projects is THE computer, which is implied at turns to have a large presence in a cyberpunk dimension and also to be Friend Computer. Your typical WUSE student has a high IQ, no social skills, supernatural talents, or physical ability, and a somewhat casual attitude toward property destruction. Buildings range from incredibly expensive high-tech digital research labs to uber-cheap cracker boxes for the more... energetic research fields. Due to the school's proclivities and field of study, the Arch-Dean spends more time leaning on WUSE's dean to explain the cost overruns that go along with replacing half the buildings in use by the department each semester. Fortunately, WUSE runs largely on government grants, for who else has that kind of money and that kind of accessibility to lobbyists?



Departments
WUSE's Chemistry department is a bit more boring ever since Recreational Biochemistry broke off on its own, but they're still highly skilled at making things that go boom. This is a natural place to learn Chemistry, and also Demolitions. Courses include CHEM 112: Basic Pollutants, CHEM 445: Covert Toxic Waste Disposal, and CHEM 756: Mutagens for the Common Man.

Students and Faculty of the Department of Genetic Engineering are known as the Frankies, and in addition to Biochemistry and Genetics, it's also wise to pick up some Gunner (Tank Cannon), because sometimes the big ones get away. Courses include GE 100: Bringing Good Things to Life and GE 577: Making Friends: Do-It-Yourself Sentients.



The Department of Computer Wizardry is contested with the College of Metaphysics, and teaches Technomancy and the creation of increasingly arcane operating systems. Skills to learn here include Astrology, Computer Programming, Occult, and Electronics (Magical). Courses include CW 364: Semiconductor Metaphysics, CW 431: Operating System Upgrades for Profit (hey, that was a pretty good joke in 1990), and CW 742: Operating System Daemon Summoning.

The Department of Military Science and Cost Overruns is contested by the College of Obscure and Unhealthy Professions (who covet it for profit-skimming purposes) and is all about making huge weapon systems that blow poo poo up real good and cost way, way more than is reasonable to produce. Courses include MSCO 211: Counting Megadeaths: Statistics for Generals, MSCO 304: Applications of Military Overkill, and MSCO 715: Finding a Cushy Job in Industry.



Recently spun off from MSCO is the Department of Military Biology, because just teaching Marine Biology would exclude the Army, Air Force, and Navy, researching all kinds of materials useful to militaries such as harsh soaps and inedible MREs. Courses include MB105: Hygiene is Your Friend and MB390: Combat Uses for Toxic Waste.

The Department of Physics has a running rivalry with MSCO over who can create the most per-capita explosions each semester. The ability to absorb some stray alpha particles with minimal harm is definitely a plus. Courses include PHY110: Radiation is your Friend and PHY642: The Speed of Light: It May Be the Law, But You Can Always Cheat.

The Department of THE Computer Science teaches not only the standard CS curriculum but also psychology, diplomacy, and intimidation- all useful when dealing with THE Computer, the machine that runs all of IOU's computer systems. Mathematical ability and Electrokinesis are fairly popular advantages. Courses include TcS128: Virtual Breaking and Entering, TcS225: Programming Languages, TcS226: Deprogramming Languages, and TcS512: Using Flashy Graphical Interfaces to Hide Grungy Old Code.



Minor Departments

IOU's Botany department is housed in an enormous tree, complete with dryads. All students must be carnivores, as vegetarianism pisses off some of the more aggressive specimens...



The Department of Temporal Engineering is strictly about building time machines- actually operating them may only be done under the supervision of C.T.H.U.L.H.U. Since Time Travel isn't officially known to exist outside the University, job opportunities are limited for the legitimate-minded.

The Department of Weird Science and Culinary Studies cooks up some bizarre stuff that's making the College of Metaphysics suspect that it's a backdoor Alchemy department. The only commonalities to the subjects the Department studies are that they always involve some sort of fresh produce and that the theories involve strike even IOU's staff as being a bit... out there.

The Department of Political Science is another one that's contested by COUP, but hey, it's got "Science" right in the name! Take classes here if you want to learn how to get funding for building the death ray that you learned to construct in your MSCO courses.

Other Departments include Deforestry (strip-mining for fun and profit!), Computer Mythology, Earth Sciences, Martian Sciences, Recreational Biochemistry, Rude Engineering (building really obnoxious androids), Synthetic Nutrition (that is, hazardous materials handling), Ultramarine Sciences (scientific wetwork), and Zoology (capturing, classifying, and assigning blame for creatures that escape from other departments' labs).

Next time: the College of Obscure and Unhealthy Professions!

Pope Guilty fucked around with this message at 02:30 on Aug 22, 2015

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Rifts Dimension Book 3: Phase World Sourcebook Part 4: T’zee what I did there




The t’zee were mentioned last post as a heavily overpopulated race of libertarians that the rest of the CCW thinks of as dirty immigrants who will outbreed everyone else to take over the galaxy. Also, and the text says this, they are untrustworthy because they are ugly.


meanwhile the eight foot fanged redskins are bee-ootiful

Apparently the t’zee evolved from marsupials on their homeworld, so they are like space opossums I guess. That’s the only non-cute marsupial I can think of. The females gestate for like 3-4 months and then have 4d4 babies, which then have to fight to be fed and cared for because mama only got so much titty. This has lead to their dominant cultures being very competitive and treacherous, today’s ally being tomorrow’s force reduction consultant. As they developed technology their child mortality rate fell and they rapidly overpopulated their world completely. They shed no tears for all the tigers and owls they destroyed, if the other life forms couldn’t compete, they didn’t deserve to live. They destroyed their ecosystem so thoroughly that they have to use ‘nanomachines’ to do stuff like restore oxygen to the atmosphere because there are no forests left.

Despite being blighted by overpopulation, the t’zee sciences were able to develop nanotechnology far in advance of most of the Three Galaxies. The wealthy few exploit this knowledge. The rest live in slums and crimes against property are considered as heinous as crimes against people. The rich buy their way free, the poor die. The wealthy class of the t’zee have even worked with the Naruni, and two t’zee sit on the NE board of directors.

The CCW investigates the t’zee and Dellian-4 constantly. They’ve found some evidence of plots to overthrow the CCW and other galactic powers (a tall order for one planet, no matter how many opossums are on it) to eliminate all those competing races and make living space for the t’zee. This conspiracy calls itself the Survival Society and I don’t recall it ever being mentioned again. Anyway, the t’zee are mostly self-serving jerks and the nice ones who manage to escape for a better life face relentless prejudice.

Statwise they only get 2d6 MA but 3d6+6 PP which more than makes up for it, and 4d6 PE. They have normal psi-abilities and magical capability, but as usual they mostly don’t learn magic because why bother with a useful, limitless source of energy. They aren’t naturally MDC creatures and can take any OCC for which they qualify.

The Gun Brother OCC is next. These are the...space-Asian? competitors for the Oni Ninjas in the realm of super-assassin brotherhoods. They are totes evil because they use magic tattoos and bio-wizardry which implicates splugorth involvement. Their true purpose is undermining all truth and justice in the Three Galaxies and their order is secretly sponsored by a sixth splugorth intelligence working from another dimension. It’s named Lord Norrek which is by far the simplest and least-dumb splugorth name we’ve seen so far.

Most gun brothers don’t know about the high-level agenda though. They’re mostly poor orphans raised by the order and turned into superbeings with immense power and access to money and stuff so they aren’t too stuffed about some stupid extradimensional plan. Others do get pissed about being manipulated to do...assassin work? But with an agenda I guess. Anyway they betray the order and help the CCW, and there’s also a third group of those who just wanted to work independently and wander around freely, presumably with a sign that says ‘assassin for hire’. Gun Brothers tend to have extensive tattooing on torsos and arms which seems like it’d make hiding difficult.


symbiotic?

Statistically, they have 75 MDC if they were squishies to start with, or +50 MDC if they weren’t. Supernatural PS with +6, +2 PP and +30 to Spd. 20% of them get 1d4 extra bio-borg appendages (which generally suck and/or are traps IIRC), 20% of others get 3-6 magic tattoos, and 10% get a symbiote (again, suck), and 6% get genetic reconstruction as detailed in Mindwerks, some kind of Kreeghor engineering, or just good old radioactive-spider experimentation to create mutants. So like, 56% of them get something besides natural MDC, the rest are just told to gently caress off I guess. They get a smattering of bonii and a fair number of skills, body armor with 60+ MDC, an energy weapon (usually Kittani), a computer/radio, a vibro-sword and 2d4x1000 credits. Take on the world, kid!

It also suggests that again you might consider using Ninjas and Superspies martial arts for these guys but I am not sure that is a good headache to have. That’s it for that crew, next we’ll look more closely at the Transgalactic Empire.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

PSIONIC TALENTS AND YOU: Burn it, move it, think it!

Every talent has a level, and every level adds another power or expands on a further one. You can overcome previous restrictions the more power you get. You can also choose to use a power at a lower level and the previous standards will need to be enforced.

TELEKINESIS


Telekinesis 1:
Remote Manipulation: Lift something within line of sight that weights a pound or less. You can use items lifted to do specific things, like knock something off a counter with a lifted glass or try and pick a lock. If it requires a skill to do, make a Skill test. If it doesn't have a specific skill, it's a Telekinesis test. Held items can't be thrown at enough force to hurt people. After the first turn, it costs 1 PP a turn to maintain the hold. You can't take held items also.

Telekinesis 2:
Remote Manipulation: You can lift up to 2 items at once and each item can be up to 10 pounds. This costs an attack action to do. Now you can fling stuff as an attack roll; swinging it while held is an attack, throwing it is a movement roll. If it's a weapon, normal damage applies. If it isn't, the GM is encouraged to come up with stats and hazards following a later chart with sample thrown items.

Telekinesis 3:
Remote Manipulation: Lift up to 3 items with a max of 100 pounds each. This doesn't include people. You can also fling up to 3 items at once now.
Telekinetic Disarm: Using a Telekinetic attack roll and a Will vs. Strength contest if it hits, you can use your telekinesis to take stuff people are holding or wielding. You can also take jewelry and backpacks but not clothes. Yet.
TK Gunslinger: You can hold a gun with your mind, giving you 3 weapons max if you're dual-wielding. This lets you make an extra Firearm attack per turn at the cost of 1 PP per shot. Reloading all held weapons (either with hands or TK) can be done with TK at the cost of 1 PP.
TK Push: Use your mind powers to deal TK Leveld6 damage per strike and push the target yards equal to half damage rounded down. The push may cause environmental damage to result from hitting walls, objects or the ground.
TK Barrier: Spend 2 points to reflexively increase your Defense by 2 against one attack.

Telekinesis 4:
Remote Manipulation: Lift up to 4 objects, 400 pounds each including people.
TK Grab: Hit someone with a TK attack to grab them and stop them from moving. They can still act, so it's dangerous if they have a ranged weapon, but you're holding them in the air off the ground. Dodge is important because declaring Dodge in response makes the grab automatically fail.
You can do some real nasty stuff to a person held with a Grab. Specifically:
Throw: Fling them Willd6 in a direction of your choice. Damage depends on what they hit at the end of their flight, going through weak obstacles without stopping along the way. But at the end of the throw, they're no longer grabbed.

Crush/Rend: Willd6+(Willx2) damage. Target is still held.
And the last is Choke/Squeeze: Willd6 nonlethal damage.
Levitation: Use your powers to pick yourself up and fly up to Willx4 yards per turn. Costs a move action to activate, but every turn maintained after is 2 PP regardless of TK level. You count as one of your held things when you fly and can't be TK Grabbed by another Esper whose level is less than or equal to your own.

Telekinesis 5:
Remote Manipulation: Hold up to 5 things at a max of weight of 2000 pounds each.
TK Gunslinger: Hold 2 guns with your mind now, but each shot still costs 1 PP.
Improved TK Barrier: spent up to 4 PP to raise your Defense by up to 4 extra points to reflexively defend against an attack.

Telekinesis 6:
Remote Manipulation: Hold up to 6 things that can weigh up to 20,000 pounds each. You can easily use this power to destroy buildings.
TK Blast: Directed AoE TK Push that deals Willd6 damage to everything in Will radius. Calculate the same knockback damage as Push but in a random direction.
Improved Crush/Rend: Up the damage to (Will x2)d6+Willx2.
Improved Seize: Grab can now grab two people as per normal Grab or grab one person and they can't act at all.


PYROKINESIS
Just a reminder: this all also applies to cooling down as much as heating up. The game treats Pyrokinesis as a form of offensive temperature control and elemental manipulation. Whenever I say fire you can just sub in ice with no real problem.

Pyrokinesis 1
Ignite: make a flame the size a lighter would produce in the palm of your hand or line of sight. It doesn't need a source to manifest and doesn't hurt you. It hits a target for 1d6 damage, and all future variations on Ignite has a rule for extra damage. If the target fails a Speed check, they are set aflame and deals 1d6 per round until they spend a move action to put themselves out with another Speed check. How does it work with ice? Well, I have to imagine that it splatters and sticks to the skin and they're wiping the ice and snow off to get circulation going.

Pyrokinesis 2
Ignite: 2d6 damage and creates a source of fire the size of a fist. If they catch, it deals 2d6 a turn.
Temp, Temper, Temperature: the Esper can start to manipulate the temperature of people and inanimate things within line of sight but can only be focused on one thing at a time. Succeed a Pyrokinesis test and you can change their temperature Pyrod6 Celsius degrees for every turn spent concentrating. It costs an Attack Action to begin, but maintaining is a move that costs 2 PP each time.
Now, this says it directly affects the temperature of the subject. But frankly that's kinda nonsense; you could easily give people fatal fevers as a result. Here's how I'd spin it: you're upping the temperature of the air or area around the target, making it hot and sweaty or cold and uncomfortable.
For people, every 3 degrees above/below 37 deals 5 damage that can't be reduced by environmental protection armor. When the power stops, they return to normal 1 point a turn. Raise their temperature to 100 degrees and the target instantly dies. Lower it to 0 and for every single point of environmental change below the target takes 5 damage.
For inanimate objects, roll Pyro Leveld6 as per normal and then multiply the result by 50 because otherwise it would take forever to melt metal. The lowest an object can be chilled is -100 Celsius because Psionic Talents can't reduce any temperature below -100.
Heat Shield: the Esper now automatically reduces all heat/cold damage by 10 points to a minimum of 0 and automatically ignores the first 10 degrees of temperature changed inflicted on you each turn.

Pyrokinesis 3
Ignite: 3d6 hits and 3d6 if ignites and the fire is now a small campfire.
Melt Aura: Spend 2 PP to convert any incoming bullets and projectiles into fire damage by melting the bullets/projectiles. The damage is automatically reduced by your Heat Shield. This power is automatically on when Overloading. Plus, if Pyrokinesis is your highest Talent, this works against all[attacks that hit you when Overloading. This is not an effective power against tranq darts or injection bolts. They either hit the skin and still deliver their payload before melting or the payload ends up becoming aerosolized and inhaled. No matter what, if you're shot with a drug bolt, you still feel the full effect. You could try to do the same thing with ice but...well, it doesn't do anything, I suppose.

Pyrokinesis 4
Ignite: Sling a 4d6/4d6 bon-fire sized fireball.
Conflagration: Fireballs now have an AoE explosion of Pyro Level yards. Make an attack against a person. If it hits, the ball explodes and anyone around them needs to make a Speed check to avoid getting hit too. If they fail that test, they make a second test to avoid catching fire/getting deep chills and sustaining continued damage.
Improved Heat Shield: It now reduces 20 points of fire damage and resists 20 points of change per turn.

Pyrokinesis 5
Ignite: A 5d6/5d6 inferno of flames or blizzard of ice.
(In)flammable: The speed check for the primary person targeted by a fireball to put themselves out or not catch fire is upped to a Hard Speed Check.
Temp, Temper, Temperature: After rolling the initial Pyro Leveld6, multiply the total result by 2 to double the amount of degrees of change you can control.

Pyrokinesis 6
Ignite: Deal 6d6/6d6 per giant flaming hell ball/giant frozen ices of hell ball.
Inferno: Radius of exploding fireballs increases to Will yards for hitting secondary targets. Secondary targets now must succeed a Hard Speed Check to not catch fire or put themselves out.
Master Heat Shield: Reduces 30 points of fire damage. You can't have your temperature altered against your will.


PSYCHOKINESIS



Psychokinesis has one big limitation: it can't affect animal minds, alien minds or inhuman minds. But that's fine, tricking and changing people is the important part.

Psychokinesis 1
Read Surface Thoughts: Concentrate as a move action, spend 1 PP and make a PK test to read the surface thoughts of people in line of sight. Requires 1 PP per extra minute of use but doesn't need further tests. Blocking thoughts requires the target to be aware of Psychokinesis and make a Hard Will Check every turn. Thoughts are blocked by language barriers and also are just surface thoughts, memories and emotions are off limits.
Telepathy: You can talk to any person you intimately know anywhere they are, or with any person in line of sight. This is a free action that costs 1 PP per message. If they don't have any Psychokinesis, this is a one way conversation that is also limited by the language barrier. Multiple conversations can be maintained at the cost of 1 PP per channel.

Psychokinesis 2
Read Memories: Limited to the last 24 hours. This costs a test and PP per each piece of info you read and what defines a piece of info is up to you and the GM to discuss.
Telepathy: Thoughts, feelings, senses and memories can be shared with a willing subject. The language barrier is gone. The cost is still just 1 PP per message and is one way if they don't have any ranks in Psychokinesis.
Psychokinetic Immunity: you're immune to the Talent if it's used against you by someone with a power level less than or equal to yours. This doesn't apply to the Psychic Scream power.

Psychokinesis 3
Read Deep Thoughts: Make tests to find information in their brain up to 1 year ago. You can also dig up parts of their personality, principals, deep thoughts and buried memories.
Improved Telepathy: Now it's two-way.
Psychic Scream: gently caress with a target by broadcasting psychic static at them by making a Psychokinetic attack against their defense. If you succeed, they suffer a negative difficulty modifier equal to your Psychokinetic Level-1 for PL turns. It also increases their Overflow Gauge by 3d6 points.

Psychokinesis 4
Master Thought Reading: nowhere is off limits to you now in someone's brain. Difficulty modifiers depend on how old/buried that bit of info is.
The Push: Trick or Command.
A Trick fools a person's eyes if that person is in line of sight, giving them a mental illusion to alter their perception. For example: make a stick of gum look and feel like a flash drive, spin a revolver's chamber and make them see that only one chamber is loaded.
A Command is a sentence that is short and has no permanent consequences. 'Don't shoot' or 'wave your hands in the air like you just don't care' are sample Commands.
The Push can only be used on people you're making eye contact with and who can understand what you're saying. For a normal person, it has a normal cost and is just a Psychokinetic attack. Against other Espers, it's a Will vs. Will contest.
Memory Alteration: Remove, change or add memories to the last 24 hours. This requires 1 minute of unbroken line of sight with unfettered access. Every change requires a Psychokinetic test but doesn't have a cost beyond the activation cost. The target can make a Will check that depends on the plausibility of the change per each change to disbelieve or remember the real memory.

Psychokinesis 5
Dominate: Push but meaner. Make a Psychokinetic attack against a normal person's defense. Then make a Will vs. Will contest. Win and they're dominated. A dominated target must do everything the Esper says until line of sight is broken or either party passes out. The complexity of commands can either require Free, Move or Attack actions on the part of the Espers.
Dominated targets get a Hard Will check for every command against their nature or harmful to them. If it's a suicidal/dangerous command or one that would hurt their loved ones, the Will check might be Regular or Easy. But you can absolutely tell a Dominated target to kill themselves.
Remote Control: Pop out of your body, subjugate the mind of a target and pilot them while you take a nap. Requires an Attack followed by a Will vs. Will contest. Each turn in combat costs 2 PP to maintain control or it's 2 PP every minute out of combat. Giving up the target returns you to your body, your target is knocked out or your target is killed. However, if your target is killed, you receive 5d6 nonlethal damage and 5d6 Overflow.
Improved Memory Alteration: Works the same as normal alteration but requires a hour of access to alter in a span of time up to a year.
Improved Psychic Scream: Shoots your scream out in a cone from you that extends Will yards and is PL wide at the edges.

Psychokinesis 6
Effortless Telepathy: There is no longer a cost or strain on your body to use telepathy.
Improved Remote Control: You control your body and your target at the same time but everything has a -2 DM and you both have -2 Defense.
Mass Push: Push can now be used on Wits people within line of sight to give them all a single trick or single command. Make 1 roll and compare to each target's defense, costs 1 extra PP, Drain and Overflow.
Psychic Surgery: Change any memory, add or remove any in a victim's life. You can also use this power to brainwash people, alter their moral code and beliefs, implant triggers and commands or create dependant slaves. Psychic surgery has a high possibility of abuse! It can also be used to get the same effects as Dominate that won't wear off when the victim sleeps or leaves your sight. Psychic Surgery requires 1+ hours to use.


So, every Primary Psionic Talent has 3 Secondary Talents. They are:
Telekinesis: Biofeedback, Somakinesis, Necrokinesis.
Pyrokinesis: Entropy, Synchronicity, Magnekinesis.
Psychokinesis: Osmoses, Scrying, Technokinesis.

NEXT TIME: Pick a Secondary Talent Group and I'll review it.

Hairy Right Hook
Sep 9, 2001

Hee to the ho

pkfan2004 posted:

NEXT TIME: Pick a Secondary Talent Group and I'll review it.

Since I bought this at your suggestion and I like it a lot, let's talk about killing people with your mind: necrokinesis.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

You know, when I hear the term "Gun Brother", I don't exactly think "lovechild between Wolverine and a fairy dragon". You got me there, Rifts.

Jawdins posted:

Since I bought this at your suggestion and I like it a lot, let's talk about killing people with your mind: necrokinesis.

Does this one age people to death, or is that how the art of headsplosions is called?

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Doresh posted:

Does this one age people to death, or is that how the art of headsplosions is called?

Nope, that's the one where you just stop a person's heart, instakilling them. It's one of the more boring TK powers.

Also voting for Telekinesis, since Somakinesis is insanely good for a melee character and I can't wait to talk about it. Want to do more damage on average with your bare fists than with an AK47? Go for itI

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Doresh posted:

You know, when I hear the term "Gun Brother", I don't exactly think "lovechild between Wolverine and a fairy dragon". You got me there, Rifts.

Gun Brother sounds like it should be a religious order of gunslingers, a la Tetragrammaton Clerics from Equilibrium, or the disciples of Fury Road's Bullet Farmer.

Hairy Right Hook
Sep 9, 2001

Hee to the ho

Falconier111 posted:

Nope, that's the one where you just stop a person's heart, instakilling them. It's one of the more boring TK powers.

Which one explodes heads? I thought that was it. Changing my vote then to the pyrokinesis one that disintegrates things.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

Osmoses can explode heads if used for prolonged periods of time on another Esper. You gotta really commit to poppin' skulls though. Psychokinesis does it in general when you Overflow.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

PSIONICS: PSIONIC TALENTS CONTINUED

So here are some cool facts about the Secondary Psionic Talents. First, they only go up to Rank 4 and you can only start taking levels in them when you’re at least Rank 3 in their parent Talent. On the plus side, once you reach TK/PK/Pyro 3, you can choose to focus on your Secondary Talents as much as you want. Second, they’re very specific in their uses but equally good at what they do. Each group is definitely built to compliment their Primary Talent by, generally, offering you a buff, a utility ability and an offensive ability. This is a pretty big generalization, though; Psychokinesis’ Secondary Talents are a lot more buffing/utility and honestly Pyrokinesis’ feel like a bunch of powers found in the back of a closet.

There is also the question of “just how rare is a Talent”? Well, the main reason that PK, TK and Pyro are considered primary is because they’re the three most common talents. Excluding those and in order from common to rare, the ranking is Osmoses, Scrying, Biofeedback, Somakinesis, Technokinesis, Synchronicity, Entropy, Magnekinesis and finally Necrokinesis. Should this affect your choices of giving them to PCs or availability? Well, honestly, no. For starters, they’re the Player Characters; they’re supposed to be special psychic chosen ones capable of manifesting power greater than their Esper equals. Second, doing that might not really be as fun as giving the players a whole mess of tools and tricks to wield. Talk it over with your players but know that statistics ain’t poo poo when you’re the GM.

We’ll start with the three Secondary Talents that are well-rounded and pretty handy across the board: the Telekinesis Talents of Biofeedback, Necrokinesis and Somakinesis.

Biofeedback is control over your own body. You are master of your own domain. This gives you healing abilities and some very nice passive buffs. An important thing about Biofeedback: talk to your GM about whether or not you can heal other people with it and if being able to do so would make things less dangerous for the other characters.



Biofeedback 1:

Regeneration: Make a Bio skill check as an attack action and if you succeed, you regain 2d6 health.

Life Support: The human body generally can’t go longer than 3 days without water or 3 weeks without food. This power is passive and changes the duration to 3+Bio Level days for water and 3+Bio level weeks for food. Doesn’t sound that hot, but consider how often an Esper is on the run and how often a conspiracy’s secret testing facility is in the middle of loving nowhere.

Biofeedback 2:

Regeneration: Still costs an action but regenerates 4d6.

Detox: You can make a Bio test as a full turn action to delay the effects of poisons, drugs, toxins, alcohol, sickness, etc. for Biod6 minutes.

Biofeedback 3:

Fast Regeneration: 5d6 but as a move action now.

Biofeedback Trance: fake your death by controlling your heart and breath. A Biofeedback test can trick an observer but it requires a Bio vs. Wits test in case that observer is a doctor or a mortician really looking at you.

This sounds like a pretty useless ability, but it carries a very handy side effect. Because you can control your heartbeat, you are completely immune to the effects of Necrokinesis.

Biofeedback 4:

Ultimate Regeneration: Regain 6d6 as a free action with a test or spend a full turn to regenerate with no test.

Advanced Detox: As an attack action with a Bio test, you can completely purge the effects of things from your body on a success.

Restorative Trance: Regain extra Power Points when you sleep equal to your Bio Level and lose Overflow points per minute of rest equal to your Bio Level. This is a passive ability.

Necrokinesis

Necrokinesis is the ability to kill with a touch or a look. It’s a deceptive, subtle power. The Esper uses their psychic powers to simply tell a heart to stop beating and it takes effect immediately. Granted, there are certain people immune to this power: other Necrokinetics and Espers with Biofeedback 3 for starters, but I would think anyone with a Pacemaker would also be immune unless a Technokinetic told their Pacemaker to stop working (which I would argue is the same thing). Necrokinesis is the holy grail of offensive power to some Espers and conspiracies, but it does have a drawback: all Drain and Strain sustained by the Esper is lethal damage, not nonlethal.



Necrokinesis 1

Touch of Death: For the cost of 6 PP (3 Drain, 6 Overflow) the Esper can make a brawling attack within melee range to touch the target. Because it requires as little as a poke, the target takes -2 defense. Should this hit, the Esper makes an Esper’s Will vs. their Strength contest roll. If the Esper succeeds, the target is instantly killed and drops dead immediately.

Systemic Paralysis: Instead of telling the heart to stop beating, the Esper can tell the brain to lock the target’s muscles to paralyze them for Will turns. This can be used for any Necrokinetic attack at no extra cost as a ‘nonlethal’ option. This isn’t a completely nonlethal one, though. A paralyzed subject can fall to their death or what if they’re driving a vehicle or in a bathtub or myriad other things that their body can do to them from being paralyzed.

Undying: You are immune to the Necrokinesis of other Espers whose level is not greater than yours. This scales and is passive.

Necrokinesis 2

Improved Touch of Death: The Esper can add their Necro Level to their Will vs. Strength rolls at the cost of making the power cost 10 PP (5 Drain, 10 Overflow).

Necrokinesis 3

Gaze of Death: kill anyone within line of sight, but only one person. Power functions like Improved Touch of Death otherwise for 15 PP (7 Drain, 15 Overflow).

Necrokinesis 4

Wave of Death: Target up to Will targets in line of sight at the cost of 8 PP (4 Drain, 8 Overflow) per target. Doesn’t need an attack roll to bypass defense but requires a separate Will vs. Strength test for each target. You can’t add your Necro Level if you’re targeting multiple people.

Somakinesis

Somakinesis is the act of using your Telekinesis passively on your own body to increase gravity on your muscles and tissues to keep them toned and fit. You can also alter gravity minutely around your body to give you bursts of speed and strength. A Somakinetic could exist in a 0 G environment indefinitely with no muscle decay or be in perfect bodily health and never get off the couch. You should still eat right, though. Proper nutrition is important.



Somakinesis 1

Muscle Growth: Add your Soma Level to your Strength and Speed. This is a passive ability that scales with levels, can increase your physical abilities up to and beyond the Hollywood Human threshold, and you recalculate your derived attributes every time (increase health, initiative, KO threshold, etc).

Special: the Somakinetic can buy the Bullet Time, Matrix and Too drat Fast Advanced Techniques.

Somakinesis 2

Power Boost: As an attack action, the Somakinetic can make a test and increase either their Speed or Strength by 2. The power costs 2 PP to activate and requires 1 PP per turn after to maintain, and you can boost one stat then the other next turn, but can’t double down on the same attribute. This can be used to boost your Speed and Strength beyond human limits.

Killing Hands: Your punches can inflict lethal damage if you want. Normally this is passive, on it if you want it to be, but if you’re boosting Strength or adding extra damage from another ability (Lethal Strikes) the damage is automatically lethal.

Somakinesis 3

Improved Power Boost: Boosting is now a Move action as a test, but can only be done on one attribute at a time.

Lethal Strikes: add +1d6 damage per unarmed attack at the cost of 1 PP per attack and the damage automatically being lethal.

Special: the Somakinetic can purchase the Blade Dancer, Impaler and Neck Snapper Advanced Techniques.

Somakinesis 4

Master Power Boost: boosting now ups Strength and Speed at the same time at the cost of 2 PP per round maintained.

Improved Lethal Strikes: Add another +1d6 of damage to your unarmed attacks for 1 extra PP per attack.

Dipping into a little bit of everything if you’ve got high enough Telekinesis makes for a pretty rewarding experience, giving your Esper some well-rounded buffs and benefits complimenting their ability to throw poo poo with their mind. It really feels like it’s the most square of the Secondary Groups but is also stable and does nothing but add easily accessible benefits to an Esper’s retinue of powers.

Next up, we’ll take a look at the tools of a Psychokinetic because people want to see heads explode more often.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 22:46 on Aug 22, 2015

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!
Through luck or some fell curse, I happen to have a nearly complete run of both Dungeon and Dragon magazines (and some sundry related things) during their years offering 100% OFFICIAL DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS material for the 3.5 era. There's... rather a lot of content here, ranging from pretty cool to terribly ill-considered, and almost all hobbled by the official stance that, out of the box, a druid and a monk were totally going to be equally powerful and competent. There's a lot of it, though, and it varies from very good to ill-considered and badly balanced (in both directions), so rather than any sort of linear read, I figured I'd just start with something I eagerly devoured as it was released:

Age of Worms, The Whispering Cairn


Age of Worms is an adventure path, the second one Paizo published for Dungeon magazine (although plenty of material also appeared in Dragon to assist it), and the first to have been written for D&D 3.5 out of the gate.

My plan is to present this as the hypothetical experience of a group actually playing through it, taking the campaign as completely out-of-the-box as possible, including advice on what sort of characters to make. So let's meet the cast:

  • Dom the literal DM
  • Cleo, LG Cleric of Heironeous with Good and War domains. She may have snuck a peek at the magazine while Dom was paying the pizza guy.
  • Wally the gnome wizard, who is totally not the main character with story ties to important NPCs. That's a lie; he's the apprentice of the most powerful local wizard.
  • Roger the half-elf rogue. This is Roger's first game, so he's made a character exactly as the PHB suggested and is very excited to play a cool, dashing swashbuckler.

Going through all the provided material, we have a ton of material about the setting (Diamond Lake, a run-down mining town three days away from the big city), local notables, and so on. There's tips on how to tie in various races and classes and how to get people involved. There's sixty guards (how many bandits are in the area?), a group of three rival adventurers, churches and more. The four-page giant map of the town suggests it's going to be a lot more important than it actually turns out.


The three members of the rival adventurer team: Love Interest, He-Man With a Shirt, and Evil Wizard

So, as the campaign begins, the three players stare at Dom for a few minutes as he reads the background material helpfully provided for this first adventure: thousands of years ago, demons led by Miska the Wolf-Spider and Wind Dukes of Aaqa mumble mumble rod of seven parts, fields of Pesh, map discrepancies, and... eventually we get to anything useful for, you know, play. Also, Wally's master's master is the most important wizard in the setting and it's not like Wally is the main character just because of that sort of connection.

After some discussion, it's determined that the three rival adventurers have been announcing their intent to raid a nearby cairn that had been thought to be well-picked-over, but after some mysterious hints have come to light, there might be something left, after all. Roger gets to enjoy a quick high point as the one who misled the rival adventurers to check out the wrong cairn, the Stirgenest Cairn. Meanwhile, our heroes go check out the Whispering Cairn. A ten-minute walk from home and a DC 10 Search check (thanks, Roger!) and they're inside the tomb.

In a weirdly accurate detail, there's already an old bedroll here because, let's face it, horny teenagers and a nice quiet place ten minutes away from the parents. This one belonged to a girl who went missing six years ago and no one was in since. There's some eerie scene-setting, then a quick fight with three wolves, who probably get minced pretty quickly thanks to Sleep.

And... then we've won! Adventure over. No? Roger seems puzzled. They were here to get wealth, and they've already recovered a couple hundred GP of loot, which is quite a lot in most D&D economies, if not in magic item terms.

They walk a little further. There's a fresco that tells the PCs the clue to get past the next section. As they press on, they find a sarcophagus. Roger pokes it, then fails the DC TWENTY SIX check to avoid getting burnt by it. The hell's that doing in a first-level adventure? It only does 1d4, at least.



Finally, we get to the meat of this particular dungeon. There's a series of seven colored lanterns that need to be arranged by ROY G. BIV rules to let you go any further. Some are handy, others we'll have to Zelda our way to. There's some elevators, a couple of which are in good working order, and one of which Cleo for some reason decides not to ride on but Roger explores. A second combat encounter ensues after Roger narrowly avoids falling sixty feet to certain death: a swarm of acid beetles and a four HD aberration boil out and attack. Age of Worms is going to be a bit of a "meatgrinder", if you're not catching on.

There's also a false elevator trap with 85 more GP on it, but if you try to ride it you get crushed to death instead of taken somewhere. This would be kind of cruel if it weren't a DC 0 check to find it, which leads the question of why it's a check in the first place.

The point of all these lantern huntings is to stop a pretty blatant trap. In the next room, there's a long corridor and a screaming angry face done up in stone at one end of it. Roger saunters towards it, and gets hit by a paralyze and a windstorm that knocks him away and towards a pit. The trap is set up to not be particularly lethal in practice. You just get ten minutes of hurricanes and try again later... oh, but look, it has seven eyes and the colors that DON'T appear are the ones that have lit lanterns where they should be. I wonder what the solution is. We still haven't found all the lanterns at this point, so let's check down those elevators.

Down the first one, the corridor has a stone slab blocking the way, and it takes the entire party to knock it over. If the party can't summon a DC 25 Strength check or everyone managing DC 25 Escape Artist, this whole area is stymied. As soon as they do, Cleo books it out of the area, and the boys follow her. What a stroke of luck! There was a strength-damaging gas that triggers by knocking over that block. Yeah, let's do ability damage to our first-level party. And then how about a CR 2 beholder variant that strangles people! Yeah! It only has 11 HP, though, so the party can handle that one.

Past that, there's a room infested by brown mold, so the party takes a night to nap so Wally can prep some Rays of Frost to poke them to death. Brown mold is one of those threats that only really works once ever. The brown mold is protecting a magical (but immobile) gravy fountain, and behind that a squashed corpse who disabled that trap that killed him. He has a +1 chainmail shirt! First magical loot, score! That's a thousand GP, there, certainly that's enough money to get us out of Diamond Lake and into the Free City, right? Shut up, Roger. There's also 600 gp in art pieces, two partially-charged wands, and Goggles of Minute Seeing, which gives Roger some search bonuses.

Another chamber houses an evil earth elemental that only speaks Terran. It attacks the party if they can't talk to it. Once it's dead, there's some loot! One bit is a masterwork quarterstaff and another is a pedestal of unknown red metal that's worth 300 gp but weighs 200 lbs. This part remains un-looted.

Meandering back to another elevator branch, there's another selection of acid beetle swarms to deal with, this time in less disadvantageous situations, who are guarding three potions of cure light wounds, a 1st level pearl of power, and a ring of feather falling. Another room has more beetles to fight, along some stone slab 'beds' placed oddly directly beneath stone statues that have giant greatclubs held threateningly above them. If that wasn't clear enough, there's a corpse on a slab with a smashed-in head. I'm not even sure that qualifies as a 'trap' if it's that blatant. And, no, you're not compelled to sleep there beyond being fatigued while in the room.

Pressing on, there's a partially-underwater section, where an insane water elemental lives. Why is it insane? Well, while the tomb was being worked on, it was in charge of 'sanitation'. It's probably not surprising. There's also a ghoul, who has a ring that identifies its wearer as a member of a wizardly order called the Seekers. Wally, as someone who is not the main character, takes this.

Gathering all the lanterns is proving a little rough on Wally and Roger, and Cleo doesn't recall where the lantern they missed was in all that, so after the group gets thoroughly annoyed, a powerful ancient sorcery solves the room for the PCs anyway. No, that's actually in the adventure.



So on we press. A grick attacks the party as they walk along a path above a ball pit, like this is a McDonald's but with cast iron balls, and some ghostly voice shouts encouragement and/or disparaging remarks as they fight it. Oh, and the walls shoot out more balls if you try to just walk along the path, so into the ball pit for you. This is a weird room. When the grick is dead, the ghostly voice reveals itself: it's a ghost of a kid who died here, named Alastor Land. The ghost first tries to possess Roger, then tries to talk with the party, but it would only use Roger to talk to the other two anyway so... good planning, ghost. See, the door ahead can only be opened from the inside, so if the party will properly bury him, he'll open the door before he's laid to rest.



So the PCs grab the kid's skeleton and go to bury him with his family. They go to the Land's lands, and discover, welp, someone has dug up his family's bones just a bit ago, so they can't bury him with them until they go get another set of skeletons. An owlbear attacks them on the way. It has a chick with it that bonds with whoever--Cleo interrupts here and tells Dom that if he finishes that sentence she's going to smack him. So the party doesn't get an owlbear chick that's impossible to domesticate and wildly aggressive. Dick move to have that there.

Anyway, the non-mother owlbear has a human arm with it, that it tore off of the grave robbers. The arm is tattood with the symbol of a local gang who drink at a certain local bar, and so the PCs head there. A really thorough investigation would have turned up that the arm belonged with someone named Skutch, and the rest of him is in the owlbear.

The party finds the remaining grave robbers and tries to find out where the Land bodies were taken. Either Roger convinces them or Wally Charm Persons one, but either way the party finds the name and location of the guy who currently has these new bodies in exchange for nothing but promising to bring back his eyes. The alternatives here are 200 gp in bribes or trying to fight a group of 4 who are a level or two above our PCs. So, yeah, we're friends with grave robbers now.

Off to the tower of the necromancer who got the bodies. It's sort of a fixer-upper tower, because he's a necromancer who's just getting started. Quickly, the heroes chew through the undead thanks to Cleo, who's rather prepared for this. They also pick up various coins scattered around because... well, there's coins scattered around, silver to platinum. Also the silverware. That's worth money, too. They pick up some nice clothes for Wally, because the necromancer has some nice clothes on a mummified goblin that serves as a noble's outfit for small characters. And Wally also gets the necromancer's spellbook. Some rooms are more like scene-setting, like a dining room of zombies that just hang around and give sychophantic compliments to whoever sits at the head of the table, which is a scene I genuinely like and appreciate its hint of our necromancer's character.

Also here is a plot hook! Seems our erstwhile necromancer host was invited here by a local mine boss named Balabar Smenk, who is the sort of fat villain you immediately thought of when you heard the name "Balabar Smenk", because there's some unkillable zombies and weird worms around.



As you'd expect, the climatic fight with the necromancer is in his workshop. He has some undead with him (including the last Land who hadn't already faced the heroes), and is willing to trade information for his life if he's not killed first. He'll give the PCs information about his deal with Smenk, the Ebon Triad who are behind this, and the Age of Worms. Basically, the Age of Worms is something prophesied, and some guy named Kyuss will arise and usher it in. The Ebon Triad are a cult that worships three evil gods at once. Hey, heroes, go stop Smenk and this evil cult. He'll try to betray the party if given a chance or let escape, so any smart party finds a way to end him here, whether or not they talk first. Luckily, there is an excuse for the lawful: they do sort of owe his eyes to a drinking buddy of theirs.

That's it for the errands, at least. Laden down with bits and pieces of corpses new and old, the party returns to town to dispense them like ghoulish party favors.

Finally. Back to the Whispering Cairn. The ghost is gone, but he did open the door first, at least. The heroes get to see some frescoes that depict the history mentioned in Dom's notes way back when, then as they approach the true tomb, two dual-wielding warrior elementals pop up as a boss fight.



These guys are kind of a nasty fight, too: lots of HD, pretty good damage, elemental typing. At least by this point the PCs should be second level. Once completed, the PCs are challenged by a sculpture to name the guy buried in the tomb, which they might have picked up from previous hints. Doing so lets them get a circlet of Wisdom +2, with hinted-at extra story relevance, and a talisman of the sphere, to control spheres of annihilation.

Well, now our heroes have thoroughly looted the last un-looted bit of the last tomb near Diamond Lake, made deals with the undead, killed countless beetles, redistributed many body parts, and dealt with a necromancer who might have been slightly more vile this week than they have. Off to interfere with this Smenk fellow at his mine next time, for... well, the sheer joy of loving with people, I guess. We're pretty clearly not in it for the money any longer.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

Who the hell let the point-and-click Sierra devs write a module like that?

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E
Hey pkfan, do you mind if I go into the system a little bit to show off something from the TK secondary powers? I'd have to explain some of the basics of combat to do so, and I don't want to step on your toes. e: or should I save it for after you cover combat?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

Sure, go ahead.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

pkfan2004 posted:

Somakinesis

Somakinesis is the act of using your Telekinesis passively on your own body to increase gravity on your muscles and tissues to keep them toned and fit. You can also alter gravity minutely around your body to give you bursts of speed and strength. A Somakinetic could exist in a 0 G environment indefinitely with no muscle decay or be in perfect bodily health and never get off the couch. You should still eat right, though. Proper nutrition is important.

Isn't this Superboy's power?

ZeeToo posted:


The three members of the rival adventurer team: Love Interest, He-Man With a Shirt, and Evil Wizard

Love Interest over here looks like a Green Arrow villain.

quote:

Another chamber houses an evil earth elemental that only speaks Terran. It attacks the party if they can't talk to it. Once it's dead, there's some loot! One bit is a masterwork quarterstaff and another is a pedestal of unknown red metal that's worth 300 gp but weighs 200 lbs. This part remains un-looted.

Now that's silly. Everyone knows Common.

ZeeToo posted:

Well, now our heroes have thoroughly looted the last un-looted bit of the last tomb near Diamond Lake, made deals with the undead, killed countless beetles, redistributed many body parts, and dealt with a necromancer who might have been slightly more vile this week than they have. Off to interfere with this Smenk fellow at his mine next time, for... well, the sheer joy of loving with people, I guess. We're pretty clearly not in it for the money any longer.

Man, I wonder if this early Adventure Path follows the typical Pathfinder adventure tradition of "Now here's how the lifes of the NPCs the heroes met went all downhill and grimdark after they've left."

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


poo poo, I actually bought one of the Dragon issues that had part of the Age of Worms in it- Issue 5, according to Wikipedia. In the letters section, one DM had a player (Described as a burly construction worker) break down in tears when a love interest NPC betrayed them.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Doresh posted:

Love Interest over here looks like a Green Arrow villain.

Love Interest looks like she's got some severe horseface going on.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

ZeeToo posted:

Age of Worms, The Whispering Cairn

That's a cool way to walk us through the adventure, I have to say. I enjoyed the post.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

PSIONICS: POWERS CONTINUED
Psychokinetic Secondary Talents


Osmoses
Osmoses is the ability to drain. Specifically, an Esper can drain the power and strength of other human beings and Espers, taking their mental energy and Power Points for your own. Osmoses is notable in that none of the following abilities require a PP cost to drain people but there's still a Drain and Overflow cost.

Osmoses 1
Power Scavenging: you can devour the lingering mental energy of a recently deceased body as long as it's O-Level hours fresh. An Esper can only get O-Leveld6 points from the corpse before it's empty and nobody else can tap into that body. It's a bit of a gross power and you're probably asking 'why the hell is this a power?'. Well, let's be honest: people are going to die in this game and it's on par with a FPS protagonist chowing down on a whole sandwich left in a trashcan in Rapture.
Power Vision: making a Wits test as a free action will let you see what people around you have PP and roughly how charged they are.

Osmoses 2
Brain Drain: Make a melee attack (0 PP, 2 Drain, 5 Overflow) against another Esper and you can attempt to grab them and take their PP for your own use. Unless they're unaware, the target gets +2 to their Defense. If you succeed, the target is helpless unless they succeed a free Hard Will check at the beginning of their turn to break free.
The first round of success gives the attacker O-Leveld6 PP and drains the target of that proportional amount. Every round after doesn't require another attack to continue; the attacker can continue until the target is empty of Power Points. However, every round maintained delivers 2 Drain and 5 Overflow to the attacker. Maintaining a Brain Drain longer than you need to can pretty easily result in the Esper Overflowing if they keep rolling low.
If you drain an Esper to 0 PP, their head explodes. The whole process looks pretty much like that picture of Big Boss eating Carrot Top's energy.

Osmoses 3
Distance Absorption: You can now Brain Drain a single target up to Will yards away. The target no longer gets a Defense bonus because it's just a ranged Osmoses Attack, but the Drain the attacker suffers is doubled to 4 as long as it's sustained.

Osmoses 4
Consumptive Field: Your draining powers can now effect up to O-Level targets within range. You have to roll to beat each of their Defenses separately, but you only suffer 4 Drain and 5 Overflow each turn maintained no matter how many targets are being drained.

Scrying
Scrying is a grab-bag of powers like clairvoyance, psychometry and remote viewing. Instead of reaching into other brains, scrying is reaching into your own brain and tuning and adjusting it to view things.

Scrying 1
Clairsentience: You can choose to scry on a location you have already visited as long as you're Will miles nearby. Sight or sound alone costs 1 PP (1 Drain, 1 Overflow) per minute to maintain. Both senses cost double that. It takes a Scrying (Wits) Test to view the location and initiating it is a full round action. Awareness can be used to spot specific things while viewing, but accuracy and acuity relies on your own sensory limitations and ability to understand what you're seeing or hearing.

Scrying 2
Psychometry: Sometimes when objects are at ground zero for an event, they pick up residual energy from strong emotions making intangible impressions. Espers with Scrying 2 can automatically see the auras of items that carry these impressions and they can view these auras to see what they are recordings of. Touch the item or part of the location you want to get a playback from and make a Scrying (Wits) Test. Then roll Scryingd6 and consult the following chart to find out what you see.


Scrying 3
Improved Clairsentience: You now can see a place you visited at a maximum distance of Wits x Scrying Level miles away. You can also use Telepathy or Thought Reading on targets you see or hear while viewing.
Precognition: Whenever you sleep, the GM will make a Hard Scrying test for you. If you succeed, you get vague visions of things to come that may or may not make sense. If you fail, no visions or maybe you might get misleading visions (but not regularly; an outright omission of visions is less annoying to the players than fake information every time). This power is passive and costs nothing and will happen whether you want it to or not.

Scrying 4
Epic Clairsentience: You can now view a place you've visited at a maximum range of (Scrying Level x Wits)x 100 miles away.
Mind Scan: You can either find any mind you've previously communicated with telepathically/read the thoughts of, or you read the thoughts of anyone within Clairsentience range. This requires a Hard Scrying (Wits) test and a minute to complete. If successful, you can pin-point the location of this mind or attempt to use Psychokinetic powers on them. You can passively track and locate up to Wits minds within range at the same time.
Prescient Dodge: +1 Defense to any attack of any kind because you've got a permanent spider sense giving you a gut feeling. A handy passive ability.

Technokinesis
Technokinesis is the ability to use your mind to interface with machines and technology. This ability can target any electrical system network or computer of significant complexity. If you're after a network, you need to touch something connected physically or wirelessly to the network, like a computer or a router. In addition to using your brain's electrical impulses to manipulate electric signals and machinery, you are also Magneto.

Technokinesis 1
White Noise: with an attack action and a Techno (Wits) Test, an Esper can jam all unshielded communication devices within Will yards for Techno Level+1 rounds. You can keep maintaining this jam for the activation cost for each round past the first.
Magnetic Field: make a Techno (Wits) Test and an attack action, the Esper can create a magnetic field that attracts, repels and manipulates metallic objects up to 1 pound, as per TK Level 1. This lasts Will turns.

Technokinesis 2
Improved White Noise: Jamming now affects all relevant items within line of sight and lasts Techno Level minutes. You have to pay the activation cost as upkeep for each minute after the first.
Improved Magnetic Field: Field now extents to line of sight for 10 pound items. Behaves like TK Level 2.
Psionic Hacking: You can use your mind to hack certain electronic things as long as you're in contact with it. Examples include smart phones, computers, scanners, electronic locks, air conditioners, televisions. Even partially mechanical things like a payphone can be hacked as long as it has electronic components. Succeeding a Techno (Wits) Check against the device's security and spending an attack action lets you break the security to get inside, but telling it what you want it to do might take longer depending on what you want.


Technokinesis 3
Passive Jamming: Jamming is now a move action that extends up to Techno Level miles around the Esper. It lasts for Techno Level hours unless dismissed early and you have to pay for each hour past the first it's maintained.
Powerful Magnetic Field: Manipulate metallic things around you like TK Level 3 but now it's a move action to activate. If you set the field to repel, gain +Techno Level points in defense against physical projectile attacks that involve metal (throwing knives, ninja stars, bullets).
EMP Blast: With a Techno Attack vs. a target's defense, the Esper can permanently fry any one unshielded electronic device that target has. This doesn't apply to cybernetic implants.

Technokinesis 4
Chaff Storm: Jamming field now extends up to (Techno Level x 10) miles.
Master Magnetic Field: You can now manipulate up to 100 pounds of metal items like TK Level 4.
Remote Hacking: You can now Psionic Hack any electronic device in line of sight.
Penetration: Your EMP Blast and jamming now affect shielded items. This includes cybernetic implants. Fun fact: EMP Blasting cybernetic implants will cause a failsafe to activate and they'll explode for 5d6 damage inside of their host.

Osmoses is a pretty good way to keep yourself topped up without having to nap all the time or use drugs, but it's also a good way to Overflow. Scrying is great for bypassing clue-hunting and getting the straight dope faster. Technokinesis is great for being Magneto and the greatest hacker alive. Do they add a heck of a lot to Psychokinesis? Sort of. They add a lot more versatility to find out information and control things, and Osmoses is handy as a defense power, but really part of me hoped for a straight-up Epidiromancer type powerset to inflict some psychic body horror on people. But they're still handy abilities nevertheless.

NEXT TIME: the oddball assortment of Pyrokinesis' Secondary Talents.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Chaff Storm could potentially affect millions of people. Does it affect wired communication as well, or only wireless?

The Iron Rose
May 12, 2012

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:
Oh man i remember reading the latter half of age of works just for the narrative as a teenager and I thought it was rad. So I'm very very cool with you doing this.

E: also osmosis seems kinda underpowered

The Iron Rose fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Aug 23, 2015

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

The Lone Badger posted:

Chaff Storm could potentially affect millions of people. Does it affect wired communication as well, or only wireless?
I'm going to assume that it also affects wired communications and yes, it could theoretically affect millions of people at once and create a gaping communications blackout. I mean, hell, 'communications' in itself is a vague wording. If it affects smart phones, it probably affects computers too.

But, consider two things. First, yeah it's gonna be a drat powerful power because it requires the experience to sink into 3 levels of Telekinesis and then 4 levels of Technokinesis. And second, have you ever been up at night and out of the drat blue your wifi and phones don't work but your TV still might? And you call the cable company the next day and they give a vague explanation like 'maintenance' or 'high winds'? Who's to say that someone at the Institute didn't tell a crony to get them to lie to the public, that your inconvenience is the result of rogue Esper activity?

e: also it's just controlling the upper limits of your power. You really don't need to bust out the full extent of your powers every time, most of the time you'll still probably just be using a lower level power. But when you absolutely, positively gotta cause a blackout, Chaff Storm is there for you.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 01:24 on Aug 23, 2015

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!

Kavak posted:

poo poo, I actually bought one of the Dragon issues that had part of the Age of Worms in it- Issue 5, according to Wikipedia. In the letters section, one DM had a player (Described as a burly construction worker) break down in tears when a love interest NPC betrayed them.

As I recall, this doesn't narrow things down much. :v:

Young Freud posted:

Love Interest looks like she's got some severe horseface going on.

People tend to forget, but that's how 3.x elves really do look.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

pkfan2004 posted:

Sure, go ahead.

So. Somakinesis.

Let's say we have Angelina diCaprio, spoiled celebrity teenager turned telekinetic runaway. She has a standard stat spread for a beginning character - 6 Strength, 6 Speed, 8 Wits, 7 Will - as well as a bunch of skills that don't matter except for Brawling (Expert). She's also decided to gimp herself a bit in the long run by choosing only Telekinesis talents, TK 3 and Soma 3 specifically. As pkfan said, you get a flat bonus to your stats equal to your Soma, so she effectively has 9 Strength and Speed - according to the book, all four of her stats are now beyond real world human potential. Meanwhile, due to her strength, her Brawling skill is now at 11, which effects her accuracy; to hit in combat, you add 2d6+(skill bonus).

Now, base damage for an unarmed strike in Psionics is 1d6+Strength, so she's already doing an average of 12.5 damage or so with every swing. She has a couple of things she can add to this; first, by using Power Boost, she can boost her Strength again by 3, then she can use Lethal Strikes to gain +1d6, making her total unarmed damage 2d6+12 damage (19 average). For comparison, in this game an AK has a base damage of 3d6+3 (14.5 average). Since the lowest to-hit score she can roll in combat is a 16 while even powerful Espers have Defense values lower than that, she can then consistently deal greater damage every turn than an AK-47 without missing while unarmed. Granted, automatics like an AK-47 can use automatic fire to close the gap, and she has to take 2 Strain and 2 Overflow every turn to support her abilities, but she can still go for around 20 turns like this before she overflows, dealing an average of 380 damage over that time. For comparison, a dirt-average human in this system? Has maybe 30 or 36 health.

I might have read the rules wrong here - lord knows I've done it before - but I just want to make the point that Espers are really, really powerful in combat.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

An interesting bit of number-crunching, but just remember: you are not fighting those 20 rounds in a vacuum. Boosts don't affect health (to my knowledge) but the flat Soma boosts would give someone with Strength 9 54 health. If she's taking 2 Drain a round, and she's not up against one combatant, your Power Points don't matter so much as a resource as plain health does.

Here's a big problem with the Dicepunk engine: they don't really explain if nonlethal damage is tracked separate from lethal damage or if they heal differently. As it's written, it looks like it's the same thing and drawing from the same pool of health points. So from round 1 she's down to 52 to boost and then from there on out she's got 26 rounds to keep her power going until she passes out.

But again, we're not fighting in a vacuum. Her boosts don't affect her defenses any. Any time she gets hit, rules as written she's losing health points that can support drain and strain (or maybe I just really, really need to reread the sections on health. This is also possible). On paper she has 26 rounds, ish, but in practice the more hit she gets the less time she has to damage-race opponents into submission.

Could she? Yes. It's also a good way to get your character beat to a pulp because she was elbow-dropping a hole through a federal agent while every other agent tried to shoot her. Espers are absolutely capable of these stunning displays of power and overkill, but that doesn't always mean they aren't going to get seriously hosed up while doing it.

I appreciate this example and you doing the math for it, though. And yeah, it's not even hard to create an Esper who can just run a drat roughshod on everyone, but part of the fun is using your glass cannon effectively.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten
It sort of makes sense though, because if you could toss piles of agents everywhere like Neo then you don't need to be scared of the Agency.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

wdarkk posted:

It sort of makes sense though, because if you could toss piles of agents everywhere like Neo then you don't need to be scared of the Agency.
Yup. Espers are glass cannons. Every shot weakens them and any damage sustained makes them more prone to misfiring or running only on self destruction. Plus if they can't just bag and tag you or kill you, the conspiracies will do what they can to make your life a living hell by the standards of a normal citizen. They're not above painting rogue Espers as spree-killers or terrorists who are on the loose. Push them to the fringe and go after them when they're weakened and separated from any allies.

CISscum
Nov 15, 2014

Falconier111 posted:

Now, base damage for an unarmed strike in Psionics is 1d6+Strength, so she's already doing an average of 12.5 damage or so with every swing. She has a couple of things she can add to this; first, by using Power Boost, she can boost her Strength again by 3, then she can use Lethal Strikes to gain +1d6, making her total unarmed damage 2d6+12 damage (19 average). For comparison, in this game an AK has a base damage of 3d6+3 (14.5 average). Since the lowest to-hit score she can roll in combat is a 16 while even powerful Espers have Defense values lower than that, she can then consistently deal greater damage every turn than an AK-47 without missing while unarmed.
Yeah, she does slightly more damage than an AK-47. While guy with TK5 shoots 3 of them at the same time and girl with nekrokinesis just stops hearts and minds left and right. I think all of them are overpowered in their own way.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.
I kinda want to retool Psionics to run an Earthbound RPG.

What would be the stats for a New Age Retro Hippie?

(Phobia: Chemtrails)

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Simian_Prime posted:

What would be the stats for a New Age Retro Hippie?

I'd say they use the machinegun-punch trick because guns are bad.

Other Dust


A Post-Apocalyptic Bestiary


What's up with the sky?

Other Dust creature creation follows the same rules as Stars Without Number: Pick a generic stablock based on the creature's role and then tweak and reskin it to your liking. The statblocks in question are the same as in SWN - except that the "Party-Butchering Hell Beast" (10 HD, AC 2, three 1d8 attacks at +12, unshakable morale) is now called "Eater of Tribes", which is a clear downgrade in my book.
The only new stuff found involves guidelines for how many rations and parts (for very primitive tools, weapons and clothing) you can get out of a dead creature.

Since the setting is centered around a single planet this time around, the list of premade critters is larger and offers more fluff, and they seem to take more liberties from the statblocks (or change more stuff around).

Beastfolk

These guys are the result of Highshine nanites running their wildlife preservation routine on humans, creating a whole line of animal/man hybrids. They still retain human intellect and culture, but their perception is heavily warped by their animal instict, leaving few groups of Beastfolk to develop beyond a primitive tribal structure.

It is perfectly possible for a PC to be one of the Beastfolk, and each of the types of Beastfolk described in this section list the combined worth of their racial abilities in mutation points. They also have attribtue modifiers, though those change the attribute bonus, not the actual score.

The example Beastfolk are Antmen, Boarmen, Bullmen, Crowmen, Fishmen and Wolfmen, all falling between 1 and 2 HD (though PCs from a 2 HD Beastfolk still only start with 1 HD) and having one natural attack and hands to carry proper weapons.
The Crowmen might sound OP since they can fly freely, but the book explains that flight requires too much concentration to attack at the same time. They also can't hover and have to continously move to stay in the air. And flying while encumbered or wearing power armor is of course right out of the question. They are also no Tengu and therefore aren't master swordsmen.

Black Dust

Black Dust is a general term for any nanite swarm that wasn't as lucky as the Higshine, usually taking on the appearance of a black cloud or faint shadow moving through the air. Exposure to Black Dust can have a variety of nasty effects, from damage to radiation up to direct mutations.

Blinder Bird (HD 1-1)

Heavily-mutated owls with nanite-sharpened beaks and talons, these pesky little buggers are particularly good at surprising potential prey, chipping away at its health with 1d4 damage attacks.

Cultists of the Crazed

This section comes with two statblocks for a typical Cult Warrior and Adepts. Both are your typical 1 HD humanoids, though Adepts have a rather beefy +6 to attack.

This section also finally lists who the Crazed are:

  • The Defiler, She Who Remains: Also known as the Still Lady (and formely known as Fujiko Nakagawa), she's pretty talented in biopsionics and has created herself a floating island out of her living worshippers (which the Bright Mirror defensive system doesn't shoot down because its not programmed to go against flying organic "creatures"). There's a free supplement with more detail on her and her cult, but it seems she's the go-to address for gross Japanese body horror.
  • The Usurper, He Who Commands: He is Jason Williamson, a telepath who believes that everyone is actually dead and in hell. He tries to create some kind of order in this supposed afterlife, but his own followers tend to disappoint him quickly.
  • The Bender, She Who Ruins: Aka Letitia Somoza, master telekinetic and nano-hacker. She is single-handedly responsible for all the nasty mutations going on. She believes that the Maestros (and AI in general) caused the Scream and will stop at nothing to finish her "ethnic" cleansing.
  • The Saltatrix, She Who Dances: Leelavathi Chandrasekhar, a teleporter obsessed with movement. Her cultists never stay in one place and a constantly travelling and pillaging across the wasteland.
  • The Wraith, He Who Sees: Solomon Nkwame was a criminal before the Scream, and his prison cell's psionic-dampening field seems to have either protected him from the Scream's effect completely, or at least shielded him from its worst effects. In any case, he is the most sane psychic on the whole planet, and he's actively training potential psychics to help him take out the above lunatics for control over Earth. Whether he does this for selfish reasons or for the Greater Good is anyones guess.

The standard mode of operation for the Crazed and their cult involves offering protection to neighboring communities and enclaves, after which things typically go down the shitter. There is also no real global cult network, and most cultist cells operate on their own without their Crazed particularly caring what they're doing.

Flaysnake (3 HD)

A man-sized rattlesnake whose mutation left it without scales and in a constant state of torment. Its poison forces a Saving Throw each round for 2 rounds, dealing 1d6 CON damage per failure.

Ghoul Bear (4 HD)


Large and highly-intelligent bears with a somewhat humanesque head. Their name stems from their preference for rotten meat, though they go for fresh meat first if given the choice.
To help them in their hunt for fresh food, they have a mutation that allows them to perfectly mimic the voices of their former victims. This power has a slightly hypnotic effect and can Daze their prey.

Glow Turtle (5 HD)

Very aggressive, man-sized turtles that eat any organic substance they can come across. They are completely immune against radiation, poison and Black Dust, allowing them to accumulate enough radiation to actually glow (hence the name) and become a walking source of radiation.

Gore Hound (1 HD, 3 HD for the alpha)

Wild dogs intelligent enough to troll their prey in sadistic ways. It is unclear whether they are actually mutated or just savage denizens of Old Terra's advanced dog breeds.

Grinder Worm (5 HD)

These are pretty much Graboids with a more realistic worm head. I hope you have explosives.

Gut Weasel (3 HD)

That's one mean weasel.

These lovely critters are wolverines on steroids, digging into prey with their diamond-hard claws (2 attacks +6 with 1d6 damage each) to get themselves nutrients their own body can't produce. Good thing they don't appear in packs.

Heritor Bug (1 HP)

Large cockroaches living in radiated regions. What they lack in endurance they make up for with numbers (a typical group consists of 3d6 of them, and the entire lair has 1d20 x 20).

Humans

Just your typical collection of combat and non-combat post-apocalyptic dudes. Humans with class levels are called Wanderers.

Manscorpion (5 HD)

The dude from the opening picture. Their poison causes DEX damage, which can paralyze its victim.

Psychics (3 or 8 HD)

Since proper psychic training is hard to come by these days outside of a cult, a lot of people with psychic potential actually refuse to use their powers, as they run the risk of brain damage that can either kill them or drive them insane.
The book recommends to look up SWN for the full psychic rules, but you can also just use mutations and abilities presented in this section.

Redhorn (3 HD)


This breed of killer cattle is the result of a more useful strain of the Higshine, which adapted and improved its target for the post-apocalyptic landscape. Redhorns are carnivorous, intelligent and very mean-spirited bovines with fangs and claws (giving them 4 natural attacks). They love hiding among ordinary cattle and are known to actually herd them like humans do.

Robot (8 - 60 HP)

Typical robot bodies ranging from a Companion Bot to the mighty Warbot. They are either controlled by an AI or an Expert System (aka software that is kinda dumb and helpless in situations that are not part of its programming). There are also rules for building them yourself.

Skewman (1 HD)

"Hi~..."

Skewmen are the product of a very persistent mutation strain that leaves the joints twisted and unable to support upright movement, in addition to a cosmetic mutation or two. They usualy can't use weapons other than a primitive club, and they have deep hatred for the "upright".

Whiskered Devil (2 HD, 5 HD for alphas)


Savage walruses roaming the coasts of New Earth, usually led by a much more intelligent alpha. Rumors persist of packs that have developed some kind of culture and keep humans as slaves.

Next Time: I dunno. Next chapter's about "The Bonelands" aka "The Post-Apocalyptic Northeast" (or rather a possible version; the book doesn't hardcode it as canon), and after that we have the typical SWN-style charts and tables for the GM. Should I tackel the Bonelands, or should I start with The Dark Eye already?

Doresh fucked around with this message at 18:17 on Aug 23, 2015

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

That bear is rad. Also take us to the Bone Zone.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003



Young Freud posted:

Gun Brother sounds like it should be a religious order of gunslingers, a la Tetragrammaton Clerics from Equilibrium, or the disciples of Fury Road's Bullet Farmer.
Or at least somebody who gets a gun as part of their starting gear rather than a sword.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Just a misspelling of Gon Brothers, or guys who all venerate the little manga dinosaur.

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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

PSIONICS: SECONDARY TALENTS FINISHED

Entropy
Pyrokinesis by itself is the manipulation of temperature by speeding up and slowing down molecules to bring heat or cold. Entropy is the logical extension of that power by using psionic abilities to force molecules to destabilize and break apart. An Esper with Entropy is a dangerous force, capable of manipulating controlled radioactive decay, radiation and systematic destruction. All Entropy powers inflict lethal Drain and Strain when used.

Entropy 1
Dust to Dust: An Esper can destroy anything they touch by making an Entropy Test. If they succeed, the object's durability is reduced by 1 Durability per turn the touch maintained at the cost of 1 PP to maintain the decay. They can also cut it off early to leave the object brittle and fragile to break the old fashioned way with a Strength test. Dust to Dust can affect up to 1 Entropy Level cubic foot of material and if the durability is reduced to 0, it crumbles and falls to pieces. With enough time and power, an Esper can destroy nearly anything unless the object is something that doesn't naturally decay or just takes a while to decay (gold, plastic, glass, styrofoam). However, use your head: you've still got your Pyrokinetic powers to fall back on if the government traps you in a room made of plastic, just don't breathe the fumes.


Entropy 2
Irradiate: an Esper can use an attack action to use an Entropy attack. If they succeed, the target has to make a Hard Strength test to avoid being irradiated. Irradiation debuffs the target's Strength and Speed by Entropy Level for a hour, changing their health and other derived stats and penalizing any non-psionic attack or skill rolls. The target gets blisters, headaches, singed skin, nerve damage, temporary blindness just like real radiation poisoning, but if they make it a hour the symptoms will fade and there won't be any long term effects.

Entropy 3
Improved Disintegration: Dust to Dust is now anything in line of sight, up to Entropy Level cubic yards. Everything else is the same.
Improved Irradiation: the test to resist for the target is now Crushingly Hard.

Entropy 4
Atomize: for the cost of 20 PP (10 Drain, 20 Overflow), the Esper can make a ranged Entropy attack against a living person. If that succeeds, they can make an Entropy test. If that succeeds, the target has to make a Crushingly Hard Strength check. If that fails, the target is dealt Entropy Level x 100 damage and is atomized instantly into an ashy smear, residual molecules flying off like smoke in the wind. It's quite spectacular, like a firework, but incredibly obvious.
Also, if you're capable of Atomizing someone, you can't be Atomized. You know how to hold yourself together.

Magnekinesis
Magnekinesis is using your powers to control electromagnetic fields...but you're not Magneto. That's Technokinesis. No, Magnekinesis is the ability to control the ambient fields around everyone and everything to change pressure fronts and temperature.

It's weather control. Why is this here under Pyrokinesis and under that name? I have no answer. But hey, weather control, fun for the whole family and supervillains too.

Magnekinesis 1
Minor Weather Control: 4 PP (2 Drain, 4 Overflow) can let you lightly adjust the weather in a mile around you for 10 minutes with a Mag Test. Raise or lower temperature by 5 degrees Celsius, increase/decrease wind speed by 10 MPH, choose wind direction, make drizzles, flurries, nothing major. It takes a minute to happen.

Magnekinesis 2
Weather Control: 6 PP (3 Drain, 6 Overflow) ups the control to 4 miles for a hour. 10 degrees of temperature change, wind by 20 MPH, create or disperse moderate precipitation like fog or snow or mist. It takes 30 seconds to change.
Acute Wind Control: Magnekinesis is all about abilities that can be complimented or enhanced by plain weather control. When an Esper is outside and the wind speed is 20 MPH, you can control gusts of wind precisely up to 60 MPH. This is a move action and costs 2 PP (1, 2) per gust. People targeted by the wind can make an Easy Strength test to stay on their feet or hold onto what's in their hands. Unattended stuff might go flying, period.
Gust Shield: When the wind is 20 MPH hour, you can use the wind as per TK Barrier with a normal activation cost to protect you from physical attacks.

Magnekinesis 3
Greater Weather Control: 10 PP (5, 10) for control up to 25 miles for 6 hours. 20 degrees of temperature change, alter the ambient wind up to 50 degrees faster or slower, create violent storms or weather conditions like pouring rain or a blizzard. Takes 10 seconds to manifest.
Gust Control: Works just like Acute Wind Control but the Strength check to oppose gusts is now a normal test.
St. Elmo's Fire: When the Esper is outside in a storm they created, they can paint targets for lightning to hit. To call down lightning, it costs 5 PP (2, 5) and requires a Mag Attack. If it hits, the target is knocked prone, they drop everything and get dealt 10d6 damage from getting struck by lightning.
Windrider: Fly the winds when you make a storm. You can move Will x 4 yards per move action. Every move action costs 2 PP (1, 2).
Stormbound: The Esper no longer suffers penalties from Weather Conditions.

Magnekinesis 4
Legendary Weather Control: 15 PP (7, 15) for 24 hours of created weather within 100 miles of your creation. Change the weather by 40 degrees, make winds up to 100 MPH or reduce them, do whatever the gently caress you want. Hell, create hail that hurts your enemies. This degree of weather control can destroy buildings, bury towns in floods or snow, kill people from environmental exposure you're immune to. It starts to get the ball rolling the moment you succeed a Mag test but fully manifests after a minute.
Improved Gust Shield: Use Improved TK Barrier with the wind when the wind is 60 MPH.
Ride the Lightning: summon a goddamn tornado when you're in a storm you made as long as winds are higher than 75 MPH. Costs an attack action and a Mag test to make the tornado and can be controlled and moved as a move action. The tornado lasts Will turns and anyone near it has to make a Crushingly Hard Speed or Strength check to not get sucked in. People in a tornado are held and unable to do anything for 1 round before they're ejected 10d6 yards in a random direction. Damage falls on the TK Fling chart and tornados can also fling vehicles. You can also fly around in your own tornado with full control.


Synchronicity
So. We had weather control and the ability to force things to decay to powder. How about the ability to control fate, that kinda...makes sense too, right? At least the book fully admits that Synchronicity doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense as a Pyrokinesis talent but who knows, maybe it's because the Esper is using their power to influence and destabilize a system too. Sync can't reroll Psionic Attacks or Tests or any damage unless the power says otherwise.

Synchronicity doesn't have a picture. :shrug: Frankly the power feels like a last minute addition.

Synchronicity 1
Good Luck: With a Sync (Wits) Test, the Esper can cause a minor random or pseudo random thing to resolve in your favor if it's in line of sight. Whatever it is, it's small, like a car stopping for you or a light holding for longer or someone stepping in the way of the people chasing you. It can't save your life, save the day, hurt people or do anything remarkable or amazing.
Probability Sense: the Esper can, as a Free Action to make a Wits Test with no PP cost, know the exact probability of any given event. The GM can calculate an answer for you or just give you an indication if it works but you have to be able to directly or indirectly observe some of the determining factors for the event's resolution.

Synchronicity 2
Lucky Break: as a Non Action, the Esper can make a Sync (Will) Test. If they succeed, they can reroll one test, check or attack that missed. You can only reroll one per turn and only reroll one thing once, ever.

Synchronicity 3
Improved Lucky Break: You can now use your Lucky Break on allies as a non-action and cause an amount of rerolls up to your Sync Level per turn, but any test can only be rerolled once.

Synchronicity 4
Master of Chance: You don't need to make a test to reroll any of your failed rolls, just pay the PP cost to reroll.
Twist Fate: as a Non Action, the Esper can use Lucky Break on an enemy...but to make them reroll a successful test, attack or check. This eats into the same pool of rerolls for you and your allies. If an enemy fails the reroll, some wild, contrived coincidence causes them to fail. An enemy can only reroll one given roll once.

So destruction, destruction...and rerolls. Not a very even bunch of Secondary Talents, compared to the flexibility of the other groups and the investment cost into Pyrokinesis. But they're far from useless. Even normal weather control can be used to help put the environment in between you and your enemies by controlling the playing field.

And, of course, atomizing people is rad as hell.

NEXT TIME: the equipment chapter. Or, more specifically, I will be ignoring pretty much most of the mundane equipment and focusing on all the drugs. So get your rasta hats and your Sum 41 mix CDs because everyone must get stoned.

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