ZeroSpace 3e EN:Esoteric Orders

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Living creatures may tap into and utilize an esoteric form of energy (Psi, the Empyrean, the Lifeweb, the Source, etc.) which permeates the physical universe, including hyperspace. This energy is known by different names, and is used in different ways, depending on the philosophy and metaphor used by those seeking to harness it. The ease with which this energy may be sensed and controlled varies depending on the physiology and training of the would-be user; most sentient creatures are aware of this energy, if only unconsciously, but very few are capable of manipulating it.

Each power costs from one to three character points per rank in the power. The cost per rank of each power is listed in the power's description.

Expertise

A character who has expertise with a power possesses extraordinary competence, above and beyond the skill a character with that power may reasonably be assumed to possess. Expertise in a power costs one character point in addition to the cost of the power itself, and it grants the character a +3 bonus to the task roll to use the power.

Villainous Expertise

Only very unusual villains have expertise with an esoteric power. Expertise can have a powerful effect in combat, and it tends to be more powerful in the hands of the GM than in the hands of the players because the GM rolls more dice over the course of the game than any of the players do. For this reason, it is best to restrict villainous expertise to only those villains that truly do have an exceptional amount of control over their powers and abilities. If the Game Moderator is concerned about a villain's ability to pose a challenge to the heroes, remember that the GM can give villains any attribute or power at any rank. If the villain isn't putting up enough of a fight and the game feels like the characters are going through the motions, then the GM should boost the villain's abilities or give them some henchmen to help out. Be creative.

Typical Powers

This is a list of typical esoteric powers found in a ZeroSpace game. This list is not exhaustive. A character may well have a power not listed here, using the guidelines under New Powers and subject to GM approval. However, any new powers should be approximately as useful as these powers, in order to maintain a sense of fairness with other characters.

Activation

The Activation column indicates when or if the power must be turned on. Powers listed as "Always On" are assumed to be active at all times. Powers listed as "Activated" must be turned on by the character using a free action, but will remain on as long as the character is conscious. "Attack" powers require a task action to use, while "Reaction" powers can be used at any time, as often as the GM deems reasonable. See Actions for more information.

Task Roll

The Task Roll column indicates which attribute is used for task rolls to use the power. For most attacks, this is also the attribute used to determine the difficulty modifier. For example, for hand-to-hand attacks, both the task roll and the difficulty modifier are based on Prowess. Ranged attacks are the exception. If the Task Roll column says "Accuracy", the power is a ranged attack: the task roll is based on Accuracy, while the task difficulty is based on the target's Agility.

Target

The Target column indicates who or what is affected by the power. Many powers affect only the character with the power, such as XXX. These are indicated as "Personal". Other powers affect either a single target, an area defined by the character, or an area centered on the character with the power.

Range

The Range column indicates the useful range of the power. Many powers only affect the character with the power, such as XXX. These are indicated with a dash (--). Powers which only work hand-to-hand are indicated as "Touch" powers, while powers which may be targeted at range are indicated as "Ranged". A few powers have ranges based on the specific type of power chosen, or on some other circumstance. These are indicated as "Varies".

The maximum effective distance of "Ranged" powers is based on the Willpower of the character with the power. In some cases, the power may be used at greater range, but with severely diminished accuracy. See Range Bands for more information.

Villain Powers

Powers can sometimes work quite differently for villains than it does for heroes. For example, a character with Mind Control XXX will rarely be able to maintain their control over a target for more than a few minutes, but a villain might have an NPC under their control for weeks or even years. Story-based powers can accomplish things that are simply beyond the capabilities of player characters. However, do not overuse this technique, or the players will grow tired of it.

Cost

The Cost column indicates the cost per rank to purchase the power.

Table: Typical powers
Power Activation Task Roll Target Range Cost
Absorption Always On -- Personal -- 1
Alternate Form Activated -- Personal -- 1
Amazing Movement ★ Activated -- Personal -- 1
Animal Control Attack Power Radius Ranged 1
Attack Reflection Reaction Power Single Target Ranged 2
[Attribute] Boost Activated -- Personal -- 1
[Attribute] Drain Attack Prowess Single Target Touch 1
Attribute Invulnerability Always On -- Personal -- 1
Barrier Attack Power Radius Ranged 1
Blast Attack Accuracy Single Target Ranged 1
Blindness Attack Accuracy Single Target Ranged 1
Clinging Activated -- Personal -- 1
Combination Activated -- Personal Touch 1
Communication ★ Activated Perception Personal Varies 1
Damaging Aura Activated Prowess Personal Touch 1
Danger Sense Reaction Varies Personal -- 1
Duplication Activated -- Personal -- 3
[Element] Form Activated -- Personal -- 2
[Element] Mastery Varies Varies Radius Varies 3
Element Mimicry Activated -- Personal Touch 2
[Element] Resistance Always On -- Personal -- 1
Emotion Control Attack Willpower Single Target Ranged 1
Extra Attacks Activated -- Personal -- 1
Flight Activated -- Personal -- 2
Force Field Activated -- Personal -- 1
Growth Activated -- Personal -- 1
Healing Attack Accuracy Single Target Ranged 1
Hold Attack Accuracy Single Target Ranged 1
Illusion Attack Power Radius Ranged 1
Immortality Always On -- Personal -- 1
Immunity ★ Always On -- Personal -- 1
Increased Density Activated -- Personal -- 1
Intangibility Activated -- Personal -- 1
Invisibility Activated -- Personal -- 1
Invulnerability Always On -- Personal -- 1
Life Drain Attack Prowess Single Target Touch 1
Machine Control Attack Power Single Target Ranged 1
Mind Blast Attack Willpower Single Target Ranged 2
Mind Control Attack Willpower Single Target Ranged 2
Mind Hold Attack Willpower Single Target Ranged 2
Mind Shield Always On -- Personal -- 1
Object Animation Attack Power Single Target Ranged 1
Plant Control Attack Power Radius Ranged 1
Possession Attack Willpower Single Target Ranged 2
Power Drain Attack Prowess Single Target Touch 1
Power Invulnerability Always On -- Personal -- 1
Power Mimicry Attack Prowess Single Target Touch 2
Power Suppression Attack Power Single Target Ranged 1
Power Theft Attack Prowess Single Target Touch 3
Probability Control Activated -- Single Target Ranged 2
Regeneration Always On -- Personal -- 1
Shapeshifting Activated -- Personal -- 2
Shrinking Activated -- Personal -- 1
Stretching Activated -- Personal -- 1
Strike Attack Prowess Single Target Touch 1
Super-jumping Activated -- Personal -- 1
Super-running Activated -- Personal -- 1
Super Senses ★ Activated Perception Personal Varies 1
Super-speed Activated -- Personal -- 1
Super-swimming Activated -- Personal -- 1
Telekinesis Attack Accuracy Single Target Ranged 1
Telepathy Attack Willpower Single Target Ranged 1
Teleportation Activated -- Personal -- 2
Time Control Attack Power Single Target Ranged 2
[Transformation] Ray Attack Accuracy Single Target Ranged 1
Tunneling Activated -- Personal -- 2
[Ultra-power] Varies Varies Varies Varies 3


Power Descriptions

Animal Control

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Power
Target: Radius
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Animal Control allows a character to communicate with and mentally control animals. To successfully communicate with and control all animals within range of the power, the character must succeed at a challenging (task difficulty 12) Animal Control task roll. A character's Animal Control might be limited to a specific type of animal, such as cats or sea creatures. If this is the case, the character gains a +3 bonus on their Animal Control task rolls.

Animated animals have the same actions as a normal character (free actions, movement action, task action, reaction), and operate independently of the character that animated them. Giving a new mental command to the controlled animals requires a free action.

The attributes of the controlled animals are equal to the normal attributes those kinds of animals would have. However, controlled animals are highly resistant to mental powers, having Mind Shield equal to the rank of the Animal Control power. If the character rolls an extreme success, then the animated animals are significantly smarter (+1 Reason and +1 Perception). Controlled animals have the normal movement and attack types that those kinds of animals would have.

The character can control animals in an area around themselves based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the value in the "Affects" column.

Attack Reflection

Activation: Reaction
Task roll: Power
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 2 character points per rank

Attack Reflection permits the character to reflect an attack back at the attacker. Using this power requires an Attack Reflection task roll against the Accuracy of the attacker. If the Attack Reflection task roll fails, the character is struck by the attack and must endure the normal effects of being hit. If the Attack Reflection task roll succeeds, the attack is reflected back and strikes the attacker. If the reflecting character rolls an extreme success, then they may choose one of the standard benefits of extreme success, either overwhelming, smashing, or staggering the attacker.

Barrier

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Power
Target: Radius
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Barrier permits the character to create walls and simple geometric shapes made of a particular force or substance. The specific type of force or substance must be chosen when this power is purchased. Some typical examples are air, earth, fire, water, light, darkness, force fields, electricity, magnetism, gravity, cloth, and plants. The player can pick any force or substance, subject to the GM's approval. "Energy", for example, would be much too broad.

Creating a simple shape with Barrier (a wall, dome, cube, and so on) requires a challenging Barrier task roll (task difficulty 12). Creating more complex shapes requires a more difficult task roll, with the task difficulty set by the GM based on the complexity of the desired shape. For example, a "T" or "W" or other angular shape would require a demanding Barrier task roll (task difficulty 15), while an intricate labyrinth would require a frustrating Barrier task roll (task difficulty 18).

The maximum length or circumference of the barrier is based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the value in the "Affects" column. This is the maximum length or circumference of the barrier the character may create.

The Barrier has Endurance and protection value (PV) equal to the rank of the power. If the character rolls an extreme success, then the Barrier created is significantly tougher (+1 Endurance). If the damage rating of an attack is less than or equal to the protection value of the Barrier, the attack bounces off harmlessly and the Barrier is undamaged. If damage from an attack exceeds the Barrier's protection value, the remaining damage is subtracted from the Barrier's Endurance, and the attack makes a hole in the barrier large enough for a normal person to walk through. If the Endurance of the Barrier is reduced to zero, the Barrier is destroyed: it crumbles, dissolves, or fades away, as appropriate.

A Barrier may also be used to support weight, as a bridge, support column, or other such structure. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the value in the "Lifts" column. This is the maximum weight which the Barrier can support. If the load on the Barrier exceeds this weight, the Barrier loses 1 Endurance each round that the weight on it exceeds its lifting capacity.

If a Barrier is not attacked or damaged, it will normally remain in place until the end of the scene, after which it crumbles, dissolves, or fades away, as appropriate.

Blast

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Accuracy
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Blast is a ranged attack which inflicts Endurance damage. The Blast could be radiation, fire, cold, arrows, or even darkness or light, and this must be chosen when the Blast power is purchased. The Blast has a damage rating equal to the rank of the power.

Using Blast requires an Accuracy task roll against the Agility of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the attacker may choose one of the standard benefits of extreme success, either overwhelming, smashing, or staggering the target of the Blast.

Any power or equipment that provides protection from Endurance damage, such as Invulnerability and Force Field, reduces the amount of damage the target takes from the attack. The protection value (PV) of the protection power is subtracted from the damage rating (DR) of the Blast. The remaining damage is subtracted from the target's Endurance.

Blindness

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Accuracy
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The Blindness power renders the target unable to see. The mechanism which causes the blindess must be specified when this power is purchased. For example, the target might not be able to see because they have a layer of glue across their eyes, they might be forced to close their eyes due to a painful chemical spray, or they could literally be blinded by a bright light. Alternately, Blindness could affect a sense other than vision. For example, the target could be rendered deaf, or unable to smell. It is also possible to use Blindness against a Super Sense, such as Danger Sense, Detect Magic, or ESP. If so, this must be specified when this power is purchased.

Attacking a character under the effects of Blindness provides a +6 attack bonus (the standard task roll bonus for attacking a blind target).

Using Blindness requires an Accuracy task roll against the Agility of the intended target. To recover from Blindness, the target must make a successful Perception task roll against the rank of the Blindness. If the character succeeds at this task roll, they may use their remaining movement action.

If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the rank of the Blindness is increased by 1 for the purpose of the target recovering from it. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 4 Blindness, and the attacker rolled an extreme success, the affected character would need to make a Perception task roll against task difficulty 13 (5 + 8) to recover from the Blindness.

If the blinded character gets an extreme success on the Perception task roll, then they recover as a free action. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Blindness, they would need to make a Perception task roll against task difficulty 14 (6 + 8). If they roll a 17 or more, they achieve an extreme success, and recovering is a free action rather than a task action.

If the character has not recovered from the Blindness by the end of the scene, then they recover from it shortly thereafter.

Clinging

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Clinging allows the character to move at their normal ground speed along walls, ceilings, and other surfaces as if they were level. The strength holding the character to the surface is equal to their Brawn plus their rank in Clinging. If the surface is slippery or unstable, the GM might require the player to make a successful Clinging task roll to keep from sliding or falling.

Communication ★

Activation: Activated
Task roll: Perception
Target: Personal
Range: Varies
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Communication permits the character to communicate with others in ways that people normally can't. Communication does not imply control: being able to speak with animals, for example, does not permit the character to control them, but it allows the character to use a Manipulation or Social skill. Also note that being able to speak to something does not grant it any additional powers, such as movement. A building might be able to tell you where the vault is, but it can't unlock the vault for you. To manipulate and control an object, the character must buy the appropriate power, such as Plant Control.

Each rank in Communication provides the character with a different form of communication chosen from the list below.

  • Animals: The character can understand animals, and can speak to them in a way they can understand. A character's Animal Communication might be limited to a specific type of animal, such as cats or sea creatures. If this is the case, the character gains a +3 bonus on Manipulation and Social task rolls when interacting with that animal type.
  • Buildings: The character can understand buildings and other man-made structures, and can speak to them in a way they can understand.
  • Computers: The character can communicate with any computer they can perceive, accessing it as if logged in and typing into a keyboard.
  • Machines: The character can understand machines, and can speak to them in a way they can understand.
  • Mind Link: Two characters who both have Mind Link can communicate telepathically over any distance.
  • Plants: The character can understand plants, and can speak to them in a way they can understand.
  • Radio: The character can send and receive signals over any standard radio frequency.
  • Roads: The character can understand paths, roads, and highways, and can speak to them in a way they can understand.
  • Stones: The character can understand rocks and stones, and can speak to them in a way they can understand.
  • Universal Translator: The character can understand and speak any language after being exposed to it for a brief period of time. If the character has access to written information, they can read and write the language as well.

Danger Sense

Activation: Reaction
Task roll: Varies
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Danger Sense permits the character to attempt a Danger Sense roll to avoid being surprised even if there is no way for the character to see the attack coming. The Danger Sense task roll is based on either the rank in Danger Sense or the character's Perception rank +1, whichever is greater. If the character rolls an extreme success, then they know the exact source and nature of the attack.

If the character's Danger Sense has a higher rank than their Prowess, the rank in Danger Sense may be used in place of Prowess to avoid being hit in hand-to-hand combat. If the character's Danger Sense has a higher rank than their Agility, the rank in Danger Sense may be used in place of Agility to avoid being hit in ranged combat.

Emotion Control

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Willpower
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The Emotion Control power allows a character to influence a target's behaviour by controlling the target's emotional state. The character can only instill one emotion at a time in the target, but may instill in the target any emotion the character desires. A character's Emotion Control might be limited to a specific emotion, such as fear or loyalty. If this is the case, the character gains a +3 bonus on their Emotion Control task rolls.

Using Emotion Control requires a Willpower task roll against the Willpower of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the rank of the Emotion Control is increased by 1 for the purpose of breaking out of it. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Emotion Control, and the attacker rolled an extreme success, the affected character would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 15 (7 + 8) to break out of the Emotion Control.

To break out of the Emotion Control, the target must make a successful Willpower task roll against the rank of the Emotion Control. If the character succeeds at this task roll, they may use their remaining movement action. If the target of the Emotion Control gets an extreme success on this roll, then they break out as a free action. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Emotion Control, they would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 14 (6 + 8). If they roll a 17 or more, they achieve an extreme success, and breaking out is a free action rather than a task action.

If the character has not broken out of the Emotion Control by the end of the scene, then they break out of it shortly thereafter.

Extra Attacks

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

A character with the Extra Attacks power can gain additional attack actions at the end of a round. The character may use these additional attack actions to attack multiple targets, or they may attack the same target multiple times. All of the character's additional attacks are resolved after all other task rolls are resolved that round. In other words, everyone gets a turn during a round before anyone may use Extra Attacks. If more than one character has the Extra Attacks power and is using additional attack actions, they should alternate their additional attack actions.

During each game session, the number of additional attack actions the character may use is equal to the rank of the Extra Attacks power. The character may only use half of their total additional attacks in any one round, and once an additional attack action has been used, it may not be used again in that game session. The player may wait until the end of the round before deciding whether their character will use any of their Extra Attacks.

Force Field

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Force Field provides protection against most forms of direct damage: anything which inflicts Endurance damage. A character with Force Field subtracts the rank of the power from the damage rating of attacks that strike them. The remainder of the damage is subtracted from the character's Endurance. As always, this protection does not stack with Invulnerability or other forms of protection -- only the highest protection value applies.

A character with a Force Field may extend their force field to another person (or person-sized object) by touching them. The Force Field then protects both characters, but only as long as the character with the Force Field is touching the second character. However, multiple forms of protection do not stack: only the greatest protection value applies. For example, a character with rank 6 Invulnerability would not benefit from having a rank 5 Force Field on top of it.

Unlike Invulnerability, a Force Field must be activated: if the character is staggered or goes unconscious, the power turns off. The character may also turn off their Force Field voluntarily, of course. A staggered character may attempt a challenging Willpower task roll (task difficulty 12) to keep their Force Field activated while staggered.

Healing

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Accuracy
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Healing is a ranged power which heals Endurance damage. The specific mechanism which permits the Healing (accelerated time, life energy, advanced medicine, medical nanobots, etc.) must be chosen when the Healing power is purchased. The Healing power heals a quantity of Endurance equal to the rank of the power.

Using Healing requires an Accuracy task roll against the Agility of the intended target. If the character with the Healing power rolls an extreme success, then the target of the Healing gains one additional point of Endurance.

The Healing power can remove diseases, pathogens, and poisons from the target. They character with Healing may attempt a challenging Healing task roll (task difficulty 12) to cure a single disease or purge a single toxin from the victim's system. If the character with the Healing power rolls an extreme success, then all damage caused by the disease is healed as well as the disease itself being cured. +1 character point

Illusion

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Power
Target: Radius
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The Illusion power permits the character to create realistic three-dimensional phantasms, complete with all associated sensory accompaniment. An illusory lion will roar, illusory snow will feel cold and wet, and so on.

Creating a simple, immobile illusion (a wall, a bridge, and so on) requires a challenging Illusion task roll (task difficulty 12). Creating more complex shapes requires a more difficult task roll, with the task difficulty set by the GM based on the complexity of the desired illusion. For example, a windmill, a lion, or other moving shape would require a demanding Illusion task roll (task difficulty 15), while a city square with moving cars, bicycles, and dozens of people would require a frustrating Illusion task roll (task difficulty 18).

The maximum size of an illusion is based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the value in the "Affects" column. This is the maximum size of the illusion the character may create.

While the illusions created by this power are completely convincing, they don't actually exist. The bite of an illusory dog will not break the skin, the touch of illusory liquid nitrogen will not cause frostbite, and an illusory bridge will not support the weight of anyone. The tactile aspect of an illusion will only be convincing if the contact is fleeting or feather-light: any significant physical interaction with an illusion provides an observer with a good reason to suspect that the apparition is not the genuine article.

Anyone who observes an Illusion and who has a good reason to suspect its true nature may attempt a Perception task roll against the rank of the power. If the Perception task roll succeeds, the observer sees the Illusion for what it is, and may respond appropriately. If the character with Illusion rolls an extreme success, then the Illusion created is significantly more realistic, and the Perception task roll to see through the Illusion incurs a +1 task difficulty penalty.

Immunity ★ XXX environmental immunity

Activation: Always On
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Immunity permits the character to survive in environments and conditions that would impair or even kill normal people. Each rank in Immunity permits the character to endure one additional condition from the list below. These must be selected when the power is purchased, and may not normally be changed thereafter.

The protection provided by Immunity is ambient and highly plot dependent: it does not normally protect the character from attacks or from direct forms of damage. Being able to withstand extreme heat and exposure to the blazing desert sun does not mean that a character is immune to a fire blast or can relax in a pool of molten lead. However, Immunity provides protection equal to one-half of its rank against attacks related to some form of Immunity that the character possesses (Exposure (Cold), Exposure (Heat), and Radiation being the most common types of direct damage). As always, this protection does not stack with Force Field, Invulnerability, or other forms of protection -- only the highest protection value applies.

  • Asphyxia: The character does not need to breathe at all; alternately, they may breathe in a single unusual environment.
  • Exposure (Cold): The character is comfortable in environments of extreme cold, such as in the Antarctic.
  • Exposure (Heat): The character is comfortable in environments of extreme heat, such as noon in the Rub' al Khali.
  • Pathogens: The character is unaffected by infectious viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.
  • Poisons: The character is unaffected by chemical and biological poisons, toxins, and venoms.
  • Pressure: The character is comfortable in environments of extremely high pressure, such as in the ocean depths.
  • Radiation: The character is immune to the effects of environmental ionizing radiation.
  • Sleep Deprivation: The character may sleep if they want to, but suffers no ill effect from lack of sleep.
  • Starvation: The character does not need to eat, drink, or excrete; alternately, they can eat virtually anything.
  • Vacuum: The character is comfortable in environments of extremely low pressure, such as in outer space.

By default, immunity to "Asphyxia" permits the character to survive without needing to breathe at all. However, if it makes more sense for the character to be able to breath in just one unusual environment, such as underwater or in methane, they may choose that option instead.

By default, immunity to "Starvation" permits the character to survive without needing to eat, drink, or excrete at all. However, if it makes more sense for the character to be able to eat or drink virtually any nontoxic substance, such as mud or styrofoam peanuts, they may choose that option instead.

For immunity to aging, see Immortality.

If a character dies from an attack related to some form of Immunity that the character possesses, there is a good chance the character might come back. This is highly dependent on the background of the character and how much sense it would make in the context of the story.

For more details on the effects of the environment on a character, see Environment.

Invisibility XXX Distraction

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The Invisibility power allows the character to become difficult to perceive. For example, the character might be transparent, they might bend light around them, or they may blend into their surroundings using camouflage. However the invisibility is achieved, the character is hidden from normal sight unless someone is actively looking for them or there is some environmental circumstance that might reveal the character's location.

If someone is actively looking for the character, perhaps by isolating their heat signature or tracking them by scent, the person trying to locate the invisible character must make a successful Perception task roll against the rank of the Invisibility. If an environmental circumstance might reveal the character's location, anyone in the area may attempt a Perception task roll against the rank of the Invisibility in order to notice the character. For example, fog might reveal the invisible character's outline, or fresh snow might reveal their footprints.

A character with Invisibility may make another person (or person-sized object) invisible by touching the other person and then activating the Invisibility power. The Invisibility then affects both characters, but only as long as the character with the Invisibility is touching the second character.

Invisibility must be activated: if the character is staggered or goes unconscious, the power turns off. The character may also turn off their Invisibility voluntarily, of course. A staggered character may attempt a challenging Willpower task roll (task difficulty 12) to keep their Invisibility activated while staggered.

Invulnerability XXX psiblade defense

Activation: Always On
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Invulnerability provides protection against most forms of direct damage: anything which inflicts Endurance damage. A character with Invulnerability subtracts the rank of the power from the damage rating of attacks that strike them. The remainder of the damage is subtracted from the character's Endurance. Invulnerability does not need to be activated, nor can it be deactivated: it is always on. As always, this protection does not stack with Force Field or other forms of protection -- only the highest protection value applies.

Life Drain

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Prowess
Target: Single Target
Range: Touch
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Life Drain is a hand-to-hand attack which inflicts Endurance damage. The Life Drain could be radiation, disease, cold, extreme age, toxic gas, or even darkness or light, and this must be chosen when the Life Drain power is purchased. Life Drain has a damage rating equal to the rank of the power.

Using Life Drain requires a Prowess task roll against the Prowess of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the attacker may choose one of the standard benefits of extreme success, either overwhelming, smashing, or staggering the target of the Life Drain.

Life Drain ignores all normal forms of protection such as Invulnerability and Force Field. The damage from Life Drain is temporary. It all comes back after the fight is over, when the target has had a chance to rest and recuperate.

Machine Control

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Power
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Machine Control allows a character to mentally control electronic and mechanical machines. To successfully mentally control a machine, the character must succeed at a challenging (task difficulty 12) Machine Control task roll.

A controlled machine has the same actions as a normal character (free actions, movement action, task action, reaction), and operates independently of the character that animated it. However, it will continue to perform the last instruction it was given even if that instruction no longer makes sense, as it has no will of its own. Giving a new mental command to a controlled machine requires a free action.

The Brawn and Endurance of the machine is based on its physical structure and durability (see the "Breaks" column on the Benchmarks table), while the Agility, Prowess, and Accuracy of the machine is equal to the rank of the power. If the character rolls an extreme success, then the controlled machine is significantly tougher (+1 Endurance). Controlled machines are not actually alive or aware, so they have no Reason, Perception, or Willpower. The specific details of the how the machine moves and attacks vary depending on the machine itself: an animated soda machine can hop very slowly and shoot out 12 ounce cans of soda, a bulldozer can roll and demolish buildings, and so on.

Controlled machines can also be made to perform their ordinary purpose, such as making an automatic teller machine spit out money, or making a computer terminal display information from a database. If there is no significant security in place, no task roll is necessary for this, but if the character is trying to circumvent security or break into a computer system, the character may attempt a task roll using their power rank in place of the Computing skill, or their normal Computing skill +1, whichever is greater.

The most massive machine the character can control is equal to the power's rank in the "Lifts" column in the Benchmarks table.

Mind Blast

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Willpower
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 2 character points per rank

Mind Blast is a ranged attack which inflicts Endurance damage. The Mind Blast is typically some form of psychic attack, but it could also be sound, electricity, cold, or even bacteria, and this must be chosen when the Mind Blast power is purchased. The Mind Blast has a damage rating equal to the rank of the power.

Using Mind Blast requires a Willpower task roll against the Willpower of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the attacker may choose one of the standard benefits of extreme success, either overwhelming, smashing, or staggering the target of the Mind Blast.

Mind Blast ignores all normal forms of protection such as Invulnerability and Force Field. However, any power or equipment that provides protection from mental attacks, such as Mind Shield, subtracts the rank of the protection power from the damage rating of the Mind Blast. The remainder of the damage is subtracted from the character's Endurance.

Mind Control XXX Suggestion

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Willpower
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 2 character points per rank

The Mind Control power allows a character to control a target's behaviour, forcing the target to follow the character's commands.

Characters under the influence of Mind Control are not as effective as those whose wills are their own. Any task roll attempted by a character under the influence of Mind Control incurs a +1 difficulty modifier, and a mind controlled character is not able to spend plot points.

Using Mind Control requires a Willpower task roll against the Willpower of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the rank of the Mind Control is increased by 1 for the purpose of breaking out of it. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Mind Control, and the attacker rolled an extreme success, the affected character would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 15 (7 + 8) to break out of the Mind Control.

To break out of the Mind Control, the target must make a successful Willpower task roll against the rank of the Mind Control. If the character succeeds at this task roll, they may use their remaining movement action. If the target of the Mind Control gets an extreme success on this roll, then they break out as a free action. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Mind Control, they would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 14 (6 + 8). If they roll a 17 or more, they achieve an extreme success, and breaking out is a free action rather than a task action.

If the character has not broken out of the Mind Control by the end of the scene, then they break out of it shortly thereafter.

Mind Hold

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Willpower
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 2 character points per rank

The Mind Hold power prevents a character from moving, thinking, or taking any actions. While affected by Mind Hold, only a moment seems to pass for the target, but after they break out of it, they are aware that something unusual has happened, and that they have "lost time". For example, the "lost time" might appear as a brief "white out" of the target's vision, or perhaps the target simply falls asleep for a time. The mechanism which causes the Mind Hold must be specified when this power is purchased. For example, the target might be frozen in time, commanded to "Sleep!", or they could be knocked out by some form of toxic gas.

Attacking a character under the effects of Mind Hold provides a +6 attack bonus (the standard task roll bonus for attacking a helpless target).

Using Mind Hold requires a Willpower task roll against the Willpower of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the rank of the Mind Hold is increased by 1 for the purpose of breaking out of it. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Mind Hold, and the attacker rolled an extreme success, the affected character would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 15 (7 + 8) to break out of the Mind Hold.

To break out of the Mind Hold, the target must make a successful Willpower task roll against the rank of the Mind Hold. If the character succeeds at this task roll, they may use their remaining movement action. If the held character gets an extreme success on this roll, then they break out as a free action. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Mind Hold, they would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 14 (6 + 8). If they roll a 17 or more, they achieve an extreme success, and breaking out is a free action rather than a task action.

If the character has not broken out of the Mind Hold by the end of the scene, then they break out of it shortly thereafter.

Mind Shield

Activation: Always On
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Mind Shield provides protection against most forms of direct mental damage: any mental attack which inflicts Endurance damage, such as Mind Blast. A character with Mind Shield subtracts the rank of the power from the damage rating of mental attacks that strike them. The remainder of the damage is subtracted from the character's Endurance.

Mind Shield also adds to the character's Willpower for the purpose of shrugging off the effects of mental powers such as Emotion Control or Mind Hold. To break out of Emotion Control, for example, the target must make a successful Willpower + Mind Shield task roll against the rank of the Emotion Control.

Finally, Mind Shield acts as a limited form of Attribute Invulnerability, providing protection against attacks which inflict damage to Reason, Perception, and Willpower. A character with Mind Shield subtracts the rank of the power from the damage rating of attacks that strike them. The remainder of the damage is subtracted from the character's Reason, Perception, or Willpower.

Mind Shield does not need to be activated, nor can it be deactivated: it is always on. As always, this protection does not stack with other similar forms of protection -- only the highest protection value applies.

Object Animation

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Power
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Object Animation allows a character to animate and mentally control inanimate objects. To successfully animate and mentally control an object, the character must succeed at a challenging (task difficulty 12) Object Animation task roll.

An animated object has the same actions as a normal character (free actions, movement action, task action, reaction), and operates independently of the character that animated it. However, it will continue to perform the last instruction it was given even if that instruction no longer makes sense, as it has no will of its own. Giving a new mental command to an animated object requires a free action.

The Brawn and Endurance of the object is based on its physical structure and durability (see the "Breaks" column on the Benchmarks table), while the Agility, Prowess, and Accuracy of the object is equal to the rank of the power. If the character rolls an extreme success, then the animated object is significantly tougher (+1 Endurance). Animated objects are not actually alive or aware, so they have no Reason, Perception, or Willpower. The specific details of the how the object moves and attacks vary depending on the object itself: an animated chair can walk, a carpet can slither, and so on.

The most massive object the character can control is equal to the power's rank in the "Lifts" column in the Benchmarks table.

Plant Control

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Power
Target: Radius
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Plant Control allows a character to animate and mentally control plants. To successfully communicate with and control all plants within range of the power, the character must succeed at a challenging (task difficulty 12) Plant Control task roll.

Animated plants have the same actions as a normal character (free actions, movement action, task action, reaction), and operate independently of the character that animated them. However, they will continue to perform the last instruction they were given even if that instruction no longer makes sense, as they have a very rudimentary form of intelligence. Giving a new mental command to the controlled plants requires a free action.

The Brawn, Agility, Prowess, Accuracy, and Endurance of the plants is equal to the rank of the power. Animated plants have a very limited form of intelligence, with Reason, Perception, and Willpower of rank 1. However, controlled plants are highly resistant to mental powers, having Mind Shield equal to the rank of the Plant Control power. If the character rolls an extreme success, then the animated plants are significantly smarter (+1 Reason and +1 Perception). Animated plants can bend, twist, and reach in order to attack, but they generally can't move from where they are planted.

The character can control plants in an area around themselves based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the value in the "Affects" column.

Possession

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Willpower
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 2 character points per rank

The Possession power allows a character to seize control of a target, overriding the target's control and effectively making the target a passenger in their own body. While the character is using Possession on another person, their own body collapses into a trance-like state.

A possessed character is not able to spend plot points, but the possessing character can spend their own plot points while controlling a target.

Using Possession requires a Willpower task roll against the Willpower of the intended target. If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the rank of the Possession is increased by 1 for the purpose of breaking out of it. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Possession, and the attacker rolled an extreme success, the affected character would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 15 (7 + 8) to break out of the Possession.

To break out of the Possession, the target must make a successful Willpower task roll against the rank of the Possession. If the character succeeds at this task roll, they may use their remaining movement action. If the target of the Possession gets an extreme success on this roll, then they break out as a free action. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Possession, they would need to make a Willpower task roll against task difficulty 14 (6 + 8). If they roll a 17 or more, they achieve an extreme success, and breaking out is a free action rather than a task action.

Probability Control

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 2 character points per rank

A character with Probability Control can influence the odds, playing fast and loose with the laws of chance. Probability Control does not allow the character to break the laws of physics or make impossible things happen, but a character with Probability Control can make unlikely events likely and likely events unlikely.

Using Probability Control requires the player to describe a favorable or unfavorable circumstance and how that circumstance might have come about. If the GM agrees that the circumstance is possible (however unlikely it might be), then the GM will decide how this unlikely event impacts the characters. The simplest way to translate this favorable or unfavorable circumstance into game terms is to grant a +3 bonus on a task roll if the circumstance is favorable for the character attempting the task or imposing a +3 difficulty modifier on a task roll if the circumstance is unfavorable for the character attempting the task. The use of Probability Control could also influence events in a less straightforward manner, and the GM should encourage players to be creative with the power. Each use of Probability Control should be roughly as useful as a +3 modifier: significant, but not game-breaking.

During each game session, the number of times the character can influence probability is equal to the rank of the Probability Control power. Probability Control may be used to influence a task roll either before or immediately after the roll has been made.

Defects

Conservation Of Probability (major defect): Normally, there is no karmic debt incurred by a character with Probability Control. A character with the Conservation of Probability defect must maintain parity between events so that the ledgers of karma remain balanced. If the character uses their power to grant a +3 bonus on a task roll, for example, they must balance this out with a compensating +3 difficulty modifier on another task roll before the end of the scene. If they don't, the balance will re-assert itself in the following scene in a way that is inconvenient for the character with Probability Control, and the character will be unable to use their power to prevent it. -1 character point

Regeneration XXX Meditation

Activation: Always On
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The Regeneration power accelerates the healing process and allows the character to recover from injury more quickly. Normally, an injured character recovers half the Endurance they have recently lost after they have had a chance to rest and recuperate for half an hour or so. After that, injuries normally heal only with extended rest or with medical care. With this rest or medical care, the character will regain one Endurance per day; without it, they will regain one Endurance per week.

The Regeneration power drastically reduces this recovery time. However, the best results are still obtained with rest and medical care.


Table: Regeneration
Rank Recovers Half Recovers 1
With Care Without
1 15 minutes 16 hours 4 days
2 8 minutes 8 hours 2 days
3 4 minutes 4 hours 1 day
4 2 minutes 2 hours 16 hours
5 1 minute 1 hour 8 hours
6 30 seconds 30 minutes 4 hours
7 12 seconds 15 minutes 2 hours
8 6 seconds 8 minutes 1 hour
9 3 seconds1 4 minutes 30 minutes
10 --2 2 minutes 15 minutes
11 --2 1 minutes 8 minutes
12 --2 30 seconds 4 minutes
13 --2 12 seconds 2 minutes
14 --2 6 seconds 1 minute
  1. At rank 9, the character may recover half of the damage from an attack with a task action.
  2. At rank 10 and above, the character may recover half of the damage from an attack with a free action. In effect, they heal half of every attack as soon as it hits them.

Super-jumping

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The character can leap impossibly far and fast, either innately or by using some type of equipment. For example, the character might have legs like a grasshopper, they might wear rocket-propelled shoes, or they may just have massive and powerful thighs. The height and distance of the character's long jump are based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the value in the "Base Move" column. This is the height and the distance that the character can standing long jump in a single round.

If a character has Super-jumping, then they move at the speed indicated by the power rather than at the speed indicated by their Brawn. Super-jumping does not add to a character's natural (Brawn-based) jumping distance.

Super-running

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The character can run impossibly fast, either innately or by using some type of equipment. For example, the character might have wings on their feet, they might wear rocket-powered roller skates, or they may just move their feet really quickly. The character's base move, double move, and all-out move are based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the values in appropriate columns. Rank 2 is as fast as a cheetah, rank 4 is faster than the speed of sound, and rank 7 is as fast as a rocket.

If a character has Super-running, then they move at the speed indicated by the power rather than at the speed indicated by their Agility. Super-running does not add to a character's natural (Agility-based) ground movement speed.

Enhancements

Defy Gravity: The character runs so fast that they can run up or down vertical surfaces without falling and run across bodies of water without sinking. If they stop running, of course, gravity takes over. +1 character point

Moving Target: The character may substitute their rank in Super-running for their Agility or Prowess for the purpose of avoiding attacks. +1 character point

Super Senses ★

Activation: Activated
Task roll: Perception
Target: Personal
Range: Varies
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Super Senses grants the character the ability to perceive in ways unavailable to ordinary people. Each rank in Super Senses grants the character one additional sense from the list below. These must be selected when the power is purchased, and may not normally be changed thereafter.

  • 360° Vision: The character can see equally well in every direction simultaneously.
  • Blindsight: The character can sense shapes and textures as clearly as with ordinary vision, but without the ability to perceive color; this could be a form of sonar, radar, sensitivity to air currents, or some other form of alternate perception.
  • Detect [Element]: The character can perceive, locate, and analyze a substance, material, or energy. The player must choose the specific type of detect: detect magic, detect metal, detect temporal anomalies, etc.
  • ESP: The character can attempt to make a challenging (task difficulty 12) Perception task roll to perceive things at a distance.
  • Hyperacuity: The character can attempt to make a challenging (task difficulty 12) Perception task roll to sense details far too small or faint for ordinary human perception to detect. They can taste the number of salt grains on a pretzel, read printed text by touching it, see fingerprints on surfaces, identify a person by the sound of their heartbeat, track someone through a city by their cologne, and so on.
  • Infrared Vision: The character see in the infrared spectrum. They are able to see an image in the darkest of nights as though it were twilight, and they can see through light fog, rain and smoke. They can detect small temperature differences by looking at them.
  • Night Vision: The character can see in pitch darkness as clearly as in daylight.
  • Postcognition: The character can see into the past, or can "read" the history of items and people by touching them. Seeing into the past is never completely reliable: Postcognition is primarily a roleplaying power under the control of the GM.
  • Precognition: The character can see into the future, or can "read" the destiny of items and people by touching them. Seeing into the future is never completely reliable: Precognition is primarily a roleplaying power under the control of the GM.
  • Ultraviolet Vision: The character see in the ultraviolet spectrum. They are able to see an image in the darkest of nights as though it were twilight, and they can perceive patterns and colors invisible to normal human vision.
  • Vibration Sense: The character can perceive, locate, and analyze things touching the ground (or water, with the GM's permission).
  • X-ray Vision: The character can see through objects. The player must define a reasonably common substance, material, or energy that the character can't see through.

Using Super Senses requires a Perception task roll against a task difficulty set by the GM. This is typically a challenging (task difficulty 12) Perception task roll, but it may be higher or lower depending on the ambient "noise" and how obvious the thing being perceived is. If the thing being perceived is relatively obvious (to someone with the appropriate senses), no task roll should be necessary.

Super-swimming

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 1 character point per rank

The character can swim impossibly fast, either innately or by using some type of equipment. For example, the character might have a powerful tail like a dolphin, they might wear turbo-jet boots, or they may just swim really fast. The character's base move, double move, and all-out move are based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table, and look up the values in appropriate columns. Rank 2 is as fast as a sailfish, rank 3 is as fast as the Spirit of Australia speed boat, and rank 5 is faster than the speed of sound (which is approximately 3,489 mph in sea water).

If a character has Super-swimming, then they move at the speed indicated by the power rather than at the speed indicated by their Agility. Super-swimming does not add to a character's natural (Agility-based) swimming speed.

Telekinesis

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Accuracy
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Telekinesis permits a character to move objects at range. The maximum mass the character can lift with their Telekinesis is based on the rank of the power. Find the rank of the power in the Benchmarks table and look up the corresponding value in the "Lifts" column. Telekinesis is not normally able to inflict damage directly (to do so, use Blast), but it may be used to squeeze a target or hurl a target against unyielding surfaces.

Telekinesis may be targeted using either Accuracy or Willpower. The attribute used by the attacker to hit the target must be chosen when the power is purchased, and may not normally be changed thereafter.

Using Telekinesis requires an Accuracy (or Willpower) task roll against the Agility of the intended target. Grabbing inanimate objects with Telekinesis is generally automatic, unless the GM wants to make it difficult for some reason. To break free of the Telekinesis, the target must make a successful Brawn task roll against the rank of the Telekinesis.

If the attacker rolls an extreme success, then the rank of the Telekinesis is increased by 1 for the purpose of breaking free of it. For example, if a character is being held by a rank 6 Telekinesis, and the attacker rolled an extreme success, the affected character would need to make a Brawn task roll against task difficulty 15 (7 + 8) to break free of the Telekinesis.

If the defender succeeds at the Brawn task roll to break free, they may use their remaining movement action. If the character being held with Telekinesis gets an extreme success on this roll, then they break free as a free action instead of a task action. For example, if a character is affected by a rank 6 Telekinesis, they would need to make a Brawn task roll against task difficulty 14 (6 + 8). If they roll a 17 or more, they achieve an extreme success, and breaking free is simply a free action. If the defender has Telekinesis, they may use the rank of their own Telekinesis in lieu of their Brawn to break free.

Characters being held by Telekinesis are considered "restrained". A restrained character is not helpless, but they can't use normal movement until they break free of the Telekinesis. Attacking the held character is easier (attackers gain a +3 attack bonus when attacking the held character), and their attacks are easier to avoid (defenders gain a +3 defense bonus when the held character attacks them).

A character with Telekinesis may either squeeze or move what they are holding with the power.

If the character with Telekinesis wishes to exert strength in an attempt to hurt the held character, the compression causes Endurance damage, and the damage rating (DR) of this attack is equal to the attacker's rank in Telekinesis. Any power or equipment that provides protection from Endurance damage, such as Invulnerability and Force Field, reduces the amount of damage the target takes from the attack. The protection value (PV) of the protection power is subtracted from the damage rating of the Telekinesis. The remaining damage is subtracted from the target's Endurance.

If the character with Telekinesis wishes to move the held character, the distance an attacker may move the defender is based on the Telekinesis of the attacker and the mass of the defender. First, look up the mass of the defender or object to be moved in the "Lifts" column of the Benchmarks table (rounding to the nearest weight value), and find the corresponding rank for that weight. Subtract that rank from the Telekinesis of the attacker, and look up that resulting rank in the Benchmarks table. Find the corresponding distance in the "Throws" column. This is how far the attacker could move an object of that weight in one round. This rank is also the damage rating (DR) of the impact if the attacker makes the defender hit a solid object such as a wall or the ground. Particularly soft or yielding surfaces can reduce the impact damage by as much as half.

Telepathy

Activation: Attack
Task roll: Willpower
Target: Single Target
Range: Ranged
Cost: 1 character point per rank

Telepathy permits a character to communicate directly with the mind of another person. If the target of Telepathy is willing, then no roll is needed. With a willing target or a successful Willpower vs. Willpower roll, the telepath may mentally communicate with the target and may read their thoughts.

The highest Willpower the character may overcome with Telepathy is equal to the telepath's Willpower or the rank of the Telepathy, whichever is greater. For example, a character with rank 3 Willpower and rank 2 Telepathy could attempt to read the mind of an unwilling target with Willpower rank 3, but would be unable to read the mind of an unwilling target with Willpower rank 4. However, if the telepath rolls an extreme success, the highest Willpower the telepath may overcome increases by 1.

Teleportation

Activation: Activated
Task roll: --
Target: Personal
Range: --
Cost: 2 character points per rank

Teleportation permits a character to travel from one point to another without traversing the intervening space. The range the character may travel is based the rank of the power. The character may double-move and all-out move using Teleportation, and incurs the normal penalties when doing so. A teleporter may carry with them whatever they can carry, based on their Brawn. This may include equipment or even other characters.

A teleporter cannot use Teleportation to teleport into a solid object, or into any area that has a Power Suppression in effect which would be sufficient to prevent the character from teleporting out of it; other than this, objects in the physical generally have no effect on a teleporter in transit. If a teleporter unknowingly attempts to teleport into a solid object, they are staggered and shunted to the nearest unoccupied space, or the teleportation attempt fails entirely, at the GM's discretion.

New Powers

You might not have found the power you want in this chapter. After all, the page count of this book is limited, while your imagination is not. If the power you want is very similar to one already listed, the easiest thing to do is just change the name and description slightly, and get on with the game. Talk to the GM and the other players about it, and see if they agree. If they do, your problem is solved.

On the other hand, not everything that works in a story works in a game. It's entirely possible to create an invisible power that can attack anyone, anywhere, at no risk to the character -- but where's the fun in that? If the power you have imagined is significantly more powerful than anything in this chapter, then maybe you should go back to the drawing board.