ZeroSpace:Esoteric Orders

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Living creatures may tap into and utilize an esoteric form of energy which permeates the physical universe, including hyperspace. This energy is known by different names (Psi, the Empyrean, the Lifeweb, the Source, etc.), and is used in different ways, depending on the philosophy and metaphor used by those seeking to harness it. Most sentient creatures are aware of this energy, if only unconsciously, but very few are capable of manipulating it.

Organization

Although esoteric orders are cohesive in theory, in practice the amount of control the order has over its members and the amount of influence members have on the order itself vary a great deal.

Would you like to randomly generate the organization of an esoteric order? You can!


Table: Random esoteric order organization type
Roll 1d6 Type
1 Confederacy
2 Democracy
3 Kratocracy
4 Meritocracy
5 Monarchy
6 Oligarchy


  • Confederacy: Members of the order are organized into numerous small, self-governing groups. Each group participates in overall governance of the order.
  • Democracy: All members of the order participate in governance. Senior members of the order may have more influence than junior members.
  • Kratocracy: The order is governed by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning. The specific methods permitted may be circumscribed by law or tradition.
  • Meritocracy: Responsibility for governance is granted to members of the order based on their demonstrated talent and ability.
  • Monarchy: Supreme power over the order belongs to an individual, often for life or until abdication. The extent of the monarch's power may be circumscribed by law or tradition.
  • Oligarchy: Governance of the order rests with a small elite segment of the order distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military, or religious hegemony. This hegemony tends to be self-perpetuating.

Doctrines

While the individual members of an esoteric order will vary in their behaviour, the order itself generally has an accepted canon and official doctrine. Individuals who violate the order's rules may suffer anything from mild criticism by their peers, to censure, to expulsion. In rare cases, an order may issue a warrant of execution for heretics and apostates.

Would you like to randomly generate the doctrines of an esoteric order? You can!


Table: Random esoteric order doctrines, Table 1
Roll 2d6 Complexity
2 Roll twice on Table 2
3-7 Roll three times on Table 2
8-11 Roll four times on Table 2
12 Schism: roll on table 1 again, and see the note below

Schism: The esoteric order is divided into two or more opposing and mutually antagonistic branches. Roll on Table 1 again to determine the complexity of the order's doctrines. When rolling on Table 2, make a note of the first roll and its opposite. The majority of the order has the first doctrine rolled (and all successive rolls), but a splinter group has the opposing doctrine (the rest of their doctrines are all the same). For example, the opposing doctrine of "adventure" is "security".


Table: Random esoteric order doctrines, Table 2
Roll 1d6 Roll 1d6 Motivation
1 1 Adventure
2 Asceticism
3 Audacity
4 Community
5 Compassion
6 Courage
2 1 Curiosity
2 Detachment
3 Enlightenment
4 Exploration
5 Freedom
6 Idealism
3 1 Justice
2 Mercy
3 Nobility
4 Passion
5 Pride
6 Rebellion
Roll 1d6 Roll 1d6 Motivation
4 1 Security
2 Materialism
3 Subtlety
4 Individualism
5 Wrath
6 Fear
5 1 Faith
2 Responsibility
3 Secrecy
4 Isolation
5 Control
6 Pragmatism
6 1 Vengeance
2 Ruthlessness
3 Fellowship
4 Serenity
5 Humility
6 Traditionalism


Esoteric 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. Each power costs one character point. We suggest spending no more than 5 character points total on alien traits, gifts, and esoteric powers.

Would you like to randomly generate a character's esoteric powers? You can! Consult the "Number of esoteric powers" table.


Table: Number of esoteric powers
Roll 1d6 Powers
1 Roll once on Typical esoteric powers
2-3 Roll twice on Typical esoteric powers
4-6 Roll three times on Typical esoteric powers


Count the number of esoteric powers, and subtract that number from your pool of character points.


Table: Typical esoteric powers
Roll 1d6 Roll 1d6 Power Benefit
1 1 Acceleration Power adds to Agility for the purpose of walking and swimming speed
2 Ambient Awareness Can see equally well in every direction simultaneously
3 Animal Control Can communicate with and mentally control non-sentient animals
4 Assimilation Move through solid matter as though through water
5 Barrier Can use esoteric energy to create walls and simple geometric shapes
6 Blast A ranged attack using esoteric energy
2 1 Clairvoyance Can attempt to perceive things at a distance
2 Cloak Become difficult to perceive by living beings and machines
3 Conflict Meditation Enhance allies' morale, coordination, and precision
4 Deflection Use a a psiblade or psistaff to divert or avoid ranged attacks
5 Dissonance A Close Combat attack which ignores all normal forms of protection
6 Harmony Survive in environments and conditions that would impair or even kill normal people
3 1 Healing Revitalize a character who has lost Endurance in combat
2 Illusion Create realistic three-dimensional phantasms
3 Instill Emotion Influence a target's behaviour by controlling their emotional state
4 Leaping Leap impossibly far -- more than a mere jump, but not quite flying
5 Life Extension Never grow old nor die from "natural causes"
6 Meditation Focus esoteric energy to heal much faster than the typical humanoid
4 1 Mind Shield Resistant to mental attacks and unnatural coercion
2 Object Animation Animate and mentally control an inanimate object
3 Override Communicate with and mentally control an android or other sentient machine
4 Plant Control Animate and mentally control a non-sentient plant
5 Possession Seize control of a target, effectively making them a passenger in their own body
6 Premonition Avoid being surprised even if there is no way to see the attack coming
5 1 Probability Influence the odds, playing fast and loose with the laws of chance
2 Rapport Communicate with inanimate objects in ways that people normally can't
3 Reflection Use a psiblade or psistaff to reflect a ranged attack back at the attacker
4 Selective Gravity Move at normal ground speed along walls, ceilings, and other surfaces
5 Sensory Deprivation Render a target unable to see or hear
6 Shadow Walk Travel from one point to another without traversing the intervening space
6 1 Stasis Put a target into a fugue state, unable to move, think, or take any actions
2 Suggestion Influence a living creature's behaviour, forcing the target to obey the character's command
3 Telekinesis Mentally grapple a character or object without touching them
4 Telepathy Communicate directly with the mind of another person
5 Torment A mental Ranged Combat attack which ignores all normal forms of protection
6 Ward Use a psiblade or psistaff as protection against most forms of direct damage


Acceleration

Acceleration allows the character to run and swim impossibly fast. The character's Power is added to their Agility for the purpose of determining their walking and swimming speed. If the character's Agility + Power is greater than 10, the character's walk, run, and sprint movement speed can be found in the GM Resources chapter.

Ambient Awareness

Through their connection with the esoteric energy suffusing the universe, a character with Ambient Awareness can perceive equally well in every direction simultaneously. The character can sense shapes and textures as clearly as with ordinary vision, but without the ability to perceive color. Ambient Awareness can be activated with a free action.

Animal Control

Animal Control allows a character to communicate with and mentally control a non-sentient animal within medium range (50 m). The attack value (AV) of the Animal Control is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. To successfully communicate with and mentally control a non-sentient animal, the character must succeed at a Manipulation (Presence + Power) roll. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence: as a rule of thumb, the Presence of a domesticated animal is usually 2, and the Presence of a wild animal is usually 6.

Controlled animals have the same actions as a normal character (free actions, movement action, task action, reaction), and operate independently of the character controlling 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 resistant to further mental manipulation, having Presence equal to the character controlling them. Controlled animals have the normal movement and attack types that those kinds of animals would have.

Assimilation

Assimilation allows a character to move through solid matter as though through water, leaving no trace of their passage. The movement speed of a character using Assimilation is equal to their swim speed. The character may make a double-move or swim sprint using Assimilation.

A character using Assimilation cannot pass through a force field or other energy shield; other than this, objects in the physical world generally have no effect on a character using Assimilation, or vice versa. However, Assimilation itself provides no protection against attacks.

Barrier

Barrier permits the character to use esoteric energy to create walls and simple geometric shapes within medium range (50 m). The attack value (AV) of the Barrier is equal to the attacker's Agility + Power.

Creating a simple shape with Barrier (a wall, dome, cube, and so on) requires a moderately difficult (DV 3) Ranged Combat (Agility + Power) roll. Creating more complex shapes is more difficult, with the difficulty set by the GM based on the complexity of the desired shape. For example, an intricate labyrinth would require a remarkably difficult (DV 6) Ranged Combat (Agility + Power) roll.

The Brawn and Endurance of the Barrier is equal to the Power of the character creating it. The Brawn of the Barrier is used both for its defense value and to support weight as a bridge, support column, or other such structure. If the load on the Barrier exceeds the maximum mass it can support, or if the Barrier's Endurance is reduced to zero, it fades away.

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

Blast

Blast is a short range (10 m) attack of pure esoteric energy which inflicts Endurance damage. The attack value (AV) of the Blast is equal to the attacker's Agility + Power. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Agility, plus the rating of their armor or energy shield, or a power which provides protection against Endurance damage (such as Ward).

Clairvoyance

With Clairvoyance, the character can attempt to perceive things at a distance. The action value (AV) of the Clairvoyance is equal to the attacker's Reason + Power. This is typically a moderately difficult (DV 3) Perception (Reason + Power) roll, but the difficulty may be higher depending on the ambient "noise" and how subtle the thing being perceived is. If the thing being perceived is relatively obvious (to someone with the appropriate senses), no roll should be necessary. The range of Clairvoyance is essentially unlimited (remote range), but it is never completely reliable: it is primarily a roleplaying power under the control of the GM.

Cloak

Cloak allows the character to become difficult to perceive, by both living beings and machines. The character is hidden from normal senses unless someone is actively looking for them or there is some environmental circumstance that might reveal the character's location. The action value (AV) of the Cloak is equal to the character's Presence + Power.

If someone is actively looking for the character, the person trying to locate the cloaked character must make a successful Perception (Reason) roll against the action value of the cloaked character. A character with Clairvoyance or Hyperacuity may add their Power to their Reason when attempting to notice a character using Cloak. If an environmental circumstance might reveal the character's location, anyone in the area may attempt a Perception (Reason) roll against the action value of the cloaked character in order to notice the character. For example, fog might reveal a cloaked character's outline, or fresh snow might reveal their footprints.

The character may cloak another person or person-sized object, but only as long as the character with the Cloak power is touching the second character or object.

Cloak can be activated with a free action.

Conflict Meditation

Conflict Meditation allows a character to enhance their allies' morale, coordination, and precision. Each of the character's allies in the current battle, no matter how large or small the conflict, gains a bonus die on all rolls for so long as the character maintains their Conflict Meditation. However, multiple uses of Conflict Meditation are not cumulative: if more than one character is using Conflict Meditation, their allies only receive a single bonus die.

A character may take no other actions while using Conflict Meditation, even free actions and roleplaying actions.

Deflection

During their turn, or as a forced action, a character with Deflection armed with a psiblade or psistaff may divert or avoid a successful ranged single-target attack. The action value (AV) of Deflection is equal to the character's Agility + Power. To successfully deflect an attack, the character must roll against the attack value of the original attack.

If the roll fails, the character is struck by the attack, as usual. A character who is using their action to deflect attacks may continue to attempt to deflect attacks until they take their next turn.

Dissonance

Dissonance is an unarmed Close Combat (Power) attack which inflicts Endurance damage. The action value (AV) of Dissonance is equal to the attacker's Power, and the target's defense value (DV) is equal to their Brawn. Dissonance ignores all normal forms of protection such as armor and energy shields.

Harmony

Harmony permits the character to survive in environments and conditions that would impair or even kill normal people. This includes unusual or even poisonous atmospheres, such as underwater or in methane. It also includes environments of extreme cold, extreme heat, and intense ionizing radiation. The character may sleep or eat if they want to, but they suffer no ill effect from lack of food or sleep. Furthermore, the character is unaffected by infectious viruses, bacteria, chemical and biological poisons, toxins, and so on.

The benefit provided by Harmony 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. A good rule of thumb is that if someone else is using it as an attack, the character is not immune to it.

Harmony does not need to be activated: it is always on, as long as the character is alert. For more details on the effects of the environment on a character, see Hostile Environments in the GM Resources chapter.

Healing

Healing is a close range "attack" which restores lost Endurance. The character with Healing may use a task action to attempt a moderately difficult (DV 3) Medicine (Power) roll to heal the victim's injuries. If the character succeeds at this roll, then one Endurance is restored to the victim (or more, if using the optional margin of success rules).

Healing can remove diseases, pathogens, and poisons from the target. The character with Healing may attempt a moderately difficult (DV 3) Medicine (Power) roll to cure a single disease or purge a single toxin from the victim's system.

Illusion

The Illusion power permits the character to create realistic three-dimensional phantasms anywhere within medium range (50 m), complete with all associated sensory accompaniment. An illusory lion will roar, illusory snow will feel cold and wet, and so on. The action value (AV) of the Illusion is equal to the creator's Presence + Power.

Creating a simple, immobile illusion (a wall, a bridge, and so on) requires a moderately difficult (DV 3) Deception (Presence + Power) roll. Creating more complex shapes requires a more difficult roll, with the 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 remarkably difficult (DV 6) Deception (Presence + Power) roll, while a city square with moving cars, bicycles, and dozens of people would require an extremely difficult (DV 9) Deception (Presence + Power) roll.

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 (Reason) roll against the creator's action value. If the Perception (Reason) roll succeeds, the observer sees the Illusion for what it is, and may respond appropriately.

Instill Emotion

Instill Emotion is a short range (10 m) power which allows a character to influence a target's behaviour by controlling their 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. The attack value (AV) of Instill Emotion is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. To successfully instill an emotion in the target, the character must succeed at a Manipulation (Presence + Power) roll. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence.

To break free of the Instill Emotion, the target must make a successful defense value roll against the attack value of the attacker. For example, if a character is affected by Instill Emotion from a character with attack value 5, they would need to make a Presence roll against 2d6 + 5.

If the target has not broken free of the Instill Emotion by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.

Leaping

A character with Leaping can leap impossibly far -- more than a mere jump, but not quite flying. The distance the character may move with a Leap is equal to their Agility-based walking speed per round. If the character also has the esoteric power Acceleration, the character's Power is added to their Agility to determine their walking speed, and thus the distance they may move with a Leap. It is not possible to jump or leap using a double move (run) or all-out move (sprint), but with a running long jump, the character's ground movement is added to their long jump distance (effectively doubling their Leap distance).

Life Extension

A character with Life Extension has mastered the use of esoteric energy to forestall the ravages of time. The character will never grow old or die from "natural causes", until they choose to do so. (Everyone does, eventually.)

Meditation

Meditation accelerates the healing process and allows the character to recover from injury more quickly. Normally, an injured character may recover half of their lost Endurance (rounded down) by resting for about half an hour. After that, a character may only recover additional Endurance by getting a good night's sleep (or its equivalent, for characters who don't sleep). Barring some gruesome disfigurement, a character's Endurance will be completely replenished after a solid night's rest.

Meditation drastically reduces this recovery time: the character recovers half of the Endurance they have lost (rounded down) after they have had a chance to rest and recuperate for one full minute. After that, the character will regain the rest of their lost Endurance by meditating for about half an hour. Most characters with Meditation can even regrow lost limbs or damaged organs.

Mind Shield

A character with Mind Shield is resistant to mental attacks and unnatural coercion. When targeted by an attack which bases the target's defense value (DV) on the target's Presence, the character's effective Presence is doubled.

Mind Shield does not need to be activated: it is always active, as long as the character is alert.

Object Animation

Object Animation allows a character to animate and mentally control an inanimate, nonliving object within medium range (50 m). The action value (AV) of the Object Animation is equal to the character's Presence + Power. To successfully animate and mentally control an object, the character must succeed at a moderately difficult (DV 3) Manipulation (Presence + Power) 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 task action.

The Brawn of the object is based on its physical structure and durability: as a rule of thumb, the Brawn can be based on the Brawn it would take to lift the object. The Agility and Presence of the object are equal to the Power of the character animating it. Animated objects are not actually alive or aware, so they have no Reason or Power. 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 animate is based on the character's Power.


Table: Power
Power Maximum
Mass
1 45 kg
2 65 kg
3 90 kg
4 125 kg
5 180 kg
6 250 kg
7 350 kg
8 500 kg
9 700 kg
10 1,000 kg


Override

Override allows a character to communicate with and mentally control an android or other sentient machine within medium range (50 m). The attack value (AV) of the Override is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. To successfully communicate with and mentally control an android, the character must succeed at a Manipulation (Presence + Power) roll. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence.

Sentient machines under the influence of Override are not as effective as those whose wills are their own. Any roll attempted by a character under the influence of Override (other than trying to break out of it) incurs a roll penalty (-3), and a sentient machine under the influence of Override is not able to spend plot points on anything other than trying to break out of it.

To break free of the Override, the target must make a successful defense value roll against the attack value of the attacker. If the affected machine succeeds at this roll, they may use their remaining movement action. For example, if a machine is affected by Override from a character with attack value 6, they would need to roll against 2d6 + 6.

If a machine under the influence of Override is voluntarily released by the character who controlled them, the Override ends, and the machine affected by the Override will go on their way none the wiser. Similarly, if the machine has not broken free of the Override by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.

Plant Control

Plant Control allows a character to animate and mentally control a non-sentient plant within medium range (50 m). The action value (AV) of the Plant Control is equal to the character's Presence + Power. To successfully animate and mentally control a plant, the character must succeed at a moderately difficult (DV 3) Manipulation (Presence + Power) roll. To successfully animate and mentally control all plants within medium range (50 m), the character must succeed at a remarkably difficult (DV 6) Manipulation (Presence + Power) roll.

An animated plant 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 plant requires a task action.

The Brawn of the plant is based on its size and physical structure: as a rule of thumb, the Brawn can be based on the Brawn it would take to lift the plant. The Agility and Presence of the plant are equal to the Power of the character animating it. Animated plants are not actually sentient, so they have no Reason or Power. The specific details of the how the plant moves and attacks vary depending on the plant itself: an animated tree can walk, a mass of vines can slither, and so on.

Possession

Possession power allows a character to seize control of a target, suppressing their volition and effectively making them a passenger in their own body. The attack value (AV) of Possession is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. To successfully seize control of a target, the character must succeed at a Manipulation (Presence + Power) roll. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence. Possession is a short range (10 m) power, but once the target is possessed, they will remain possessed even if they leave this range.

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.

To break free of the Possession, the target must make a successful defense value roll against the attack value of the attacker. If the possessed character succeeds at this roll, they may use their remaining movement action. For example, if a character is affected by Possession from a character with attack value 8, they would need to make a Presence roll against 2d6 + 8.

Premonition

Premonition permits the character to sense danger and avoid being surprised, even if there is no way for the character to see the attack coming. The action value (AV) of the Premonition is equal to the character's Reason + Power. To perceive a source of danger, the character must succeed at a moderately difficult (DV 3) Perception (Reason + Power) roll. If the character succeeds at a remarkably difficult (DV 6) Perception (Reason + Power) roll, then they know the exact source and nature of the attack. Premonition is a reaction: a character with Premonition may attempt to predict as many attacks as they like, as often as they like.

The character may also be able to see into the future, or "read" the destiny of items and people by touching them. Seeing into the future is never completely reliable: this aspect of Premonition is primarily a roleplaying power under the control of the GM.

Probability

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

Using Probability 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 character. The simplest way to translate this favorable or unfavorable circumstance into game terms is to grant a bonus die if the circumstance is favorable for the character attempting the task or to impose a penalty die if the circumstance is unfavorable for the character attempting the task. The use of Probability 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 should be roughly as useful as a bonus or a penalty: significant, but not game-breaking.

Probability can be used as a free action or as a reaction: a character with Probability may attempt to influence the odds whenever they like. During each game session, the number of times the character can influence probability is equal to the character's Power. Probability may be used to influence a roll either before or immediately after the roll has been made.

Rapport

Rapport is a short range (10 m) power which permits the character to communicate with inanimate objects in ways that people normally can't. For example, a character with Rapport may communicate with buildings and other artificial structures, non-sentient machines, non-sentient plants, paths and roads, and rocks and stones. The action value (AV) of the Rapport is equal to the character's Presence + Power. To communicate with an inanimate object, the character must succeed at a moderately difficult (DV 3) Diplomacy (Presence + Power) roll.

Inanimate objects, not truly being sentient, do not generally lie or withhold information. However, 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.

The character can see into the past, viewing or "reading" the history of items and objects by touching them. Seeing into the past is never completely reliable: this use of Rapport is primarily a roleplaying power under the control of the GM.

Reflection

During their turn, or as a forced action, a character with Reflection may use a psiblade or psistaff to reflect a successful ranged single-target attack back at the attacker. The action value (AV) of Reflection is equal to the character's Agility + Power. To successfully reflect an attack, the character must roll against the attack value of the original attack.

If the roll fails, the character is struck by the attack, as usual. If the roll succeeds, the character with Reflection may use a free action to make a ranged attack against the original attacker, using the reflecting character's attack value or the original attacker's attack value, whichever is greater. A character who is using their action to reflect attacks may continue to attempt to reflect attacks until they take their next turn.

Selective Gravity

Selective Gravity 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. If the surface is slippery or unstable, the GM might require the character to attempt a moderately difficult (DV 3) Athletics (Agility) roll to keep from sliding or falling.

Selective Gravity can be activated with a free action.

Sensory Deprivation

Sensory Deprivation is a medium range (50 m) power which renders the target unable to see or hear. The attack value (AV) of Sensory Deprivation is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence, or their Presence + Power if the target has Ambient Awareness. A successful Sensory Deprivation attack renders the target unable to see and unable to hear. If an attacker can't see the defender, the attacker incurs a penalty die. Conversely, if a defender can't see the attacker, the defender incurs a penalty die.

To recover from Sensory Deprivation, the target must use a task action to make a moderately difficult (DV 3) Perception (Presence) roll.

If the character has not recovered from Sensory Deprivation by the end of the scene, then they recover their senses shortly thereafter.

Shadow Walk

Shadow Walk permits a character to use a movement action to travel from one point to another without traversing the intervening space. The distance the character may travel before re-appearing is equal to their Agility-based walking speed per round. If the character also has the esoteric power Acceleration, the character's Power is added to their Agility to determine their walking speed, and thus the distance they may move with a Shadow Walk. The character may run or sprint using Shadow Walk. A character using Shadow Walk may carry with them whatever they can carry, based on their Brawn. This may include equipment or even other characters.

A character using Shadow Walk cannot re-appear inside of a solid object, nor into any area that is completely enclosed in a force field or other energy shield; other than this, objects in the physical world generally have no effect on a character using Shadow Walk. If a character using Shadow Walk unknowingly attempts to re-appear inside of a solid object, they lose half of their Endurance (rounded down) and are shunted to the nearest unoccupied space, or the Shadow Walk attempt fails entirely, at the GM's discretion.

Stasis

Stasis is a short range (10 m) power which prevents the target from moving, thinking, or taking any actions other than trying to break out of it. The attack value (AV) of the Stasis is equal to the attacker's Agility + Power. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Agility.

While affected by Stasis, 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". The Brawn and Agility of a character under the effects of Stasis are zero for the purpose of defense rolls.

To break free of the Stasis, the target must make a successful defense value roll against the attack value of the attacker. If the character succeeds at this roll, they may use their remaining movement action. For example, if a character is affected by Stasis from a character with attack value 4, they would need to make a roll against 2d6 + 4.

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

Suggestion

The Suggestion power allows a character to influence a living creature's behaviour, forcing the target to obey the character's command. The attack value (AV) of the Suggestion is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence. Suggestion is a short range (10 m) power, but once the Suggestion is successful, it will remain so even if the target leaves this range.

Characters under the influence of a Suggestion are not as effective as those whose wills are their own. Any roll attempted by a character under the influence of Suggestion (other than trying to break out of it) incurs a roll penalty (-3), and a character under the influence of Suggestion is not able to spend plot points on anything other than trying to break out of it.

To break free of the Suggestion, the target must make a successful defense value roll against the attack value of the attacker. If the character succeeds at this roll, they may use their remaining movement action. For example, if a character is affected by Suggestion from a character with attack value 6, they would need to make a roll against 2d6 + 6.

If a character under the influence of Suggestion completes the task that was Suggested to them, the Suggestion ends, and the character affected by the Suggestion will go on their way none the wiser. Similarly, if the character has not broken free of the Suggestion by the end of the scene, then they break free of it shortly thereafter.

Telekinesis

Telekinesis is a medium range (50 m) Ranged Combat (Agility + Power) attack which permits a character to grapple a character or object without touching it. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Agility plus the rating of any normal defenses such as armor, or defensive powers such as Force Field. Grabbing inanimate objects with Telekinesis is generally automatic, unless the GM wants to make it difficult for some reason.

If the attacker's Ranged Combat roll is equal to or greater than the defender's roll, the defender is restrained. A restrained character is not helpless, but they can't use normal movement until they break free of Telekinesis. Attacking a restrained character is easier, and a restrained character's attacks are easier to avoid: a restrained attacker incurs a penalty die on all attack rolls, defense rolls, and skill rolls while restrained by Telekinesis.

The maximum mass the character can lift with their Telekinesis is based on the character's Power.


Table: Telekinesis
Power Lift Throw
0 25 kg 0 m
1 45 kg 1 m
2 60 kg 2 m
3 90 kg 3 m
4 125 kg 4 m
5 180 kg 6 m
6 250 kg 8 m
7 350 kg 11 m
8 500 kg 16 m
9 700 kg 23 m
10 1,000 kg 32 m


Telekinesis is not normally able to inflict damage directly (like a punch), but the attacker may attempt to squeeze or slam a held target by making another attack with their Telekinesis on one of their future turns.

Breaking Free Of Telekinesis

To break free of the Telekinesis, the restrained character must use a task action to roll their Agility or Brawn (whichever is greater) against the attacker's Agility + Power. If the restrained character has Telekinesis, they may use their Agility + Power for this roll. If the restrained character's roll is equal to or greater than the grappling character's roll, the restrained character has broken free of the Telekinesis, and they may use their movement action for that turn. Alternately, the attacker may release the restrained character at any time, without using an action.

Hurting A Held Target

If the attacker wishes to exert telekinetic strength in an attempt to hurt the restrained character, they must use an action to make another Ranged Combat (Agility + Power) roll against the restrained character.

Moving A Held Target

A character with Telekinesis may move what they are holding with the power. If the attacker wishes to move or throw the held character, the distance an attacker may move the defender is based on the Power of the attacker and the mass of the restrained character. First, look up the mass of the defender or object to be moved in the "Lift" column (rounding to the nearest mass value), and find the corresponding Power for that mass. Subtract that from the Power of the attacker, and look up that resulting value in the "Throw" column. This is how far the attacker can move or throw the held character.

Telepathy

Telepathy permits a character to communicate directly with the mind of another person. The attack value (AV) of the Telepathy is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power. To communicate directly with the mind of another person, the character must succeed at a Diplomacy (Presence + Power) roll. The defense value (DV) of the target is equal to their Presence. Telepathy is normally a short range (10 m) power. However, if the target of Telepathy also has Telepathy, the maximum distance between the telepath and the target is effectively unlimited.

With a willing target or a successful attack roll, the telepath may mentally communicate with the target and may read their thoughts and memories.

To break free of the Telepathy, the target must make a successful defense value roll against the attack value of the attacker. For example, if a character is affected by Telepathy from a character with attack value 7, they would need to make a defense value roll against 2d6 + 7.

Torment

Torment is a short range (10 m) mental Ranged Combat (Presence + Power) attack which inflicts "stunning" Endurance damage. The action value (AV) of Torment is equal to the attacker's Presence + Power, and the target's defense value (DV) is equal to their Presence. Torment ignores all normal forms of protection such as armor and energy shields. However, Torment is completely ineffective against non-living objects, even if they are sentient.

Damage from Torment is temporary. Record it separately; it all comes back after the fight is over, when the character has had a chance to rest and recuperate.

Ward

Ward permits a character to use their psiblade or psistaff as protection against most normal single-target attacks: anything which inflicts Endurance damage and is aimed at the individual character. The defense value (DV) of a character with the Ward power is equal to their relevant defense attribute (Brawn for close combat, Agility for ranged combat) plus the rating of their psiblade or psistaff. As always, this does not stack with armor, energy shields, or other forms of defense -- only the highest defense value applies.

Ward does not need to be activated: it is always on, as long as the character is alert and has a psiblade in their possession.

New Powers

You might not find 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.

Villain Powers

Powers can sometimes work quite differently for villains than it does for heroes. For example, a character with Possession will rarely be able to maintain their control over a target for very long, 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.