Alchemy: An Elucidation

The practice of alchemy is almost as old as civilization itself. Having its roots in ancient metallurgy, known to have been utilized over 7,500 years ago, alchemy is the sorcery of substance. While the physical sciences may have served more practical, immediate concerns, the traditions of alchemy lent a more spiritual air to the process of transforming a given substance into another.

The goal of alchemy has always been the transmutation of mundane material into that which is far more valuable. Sure, there's the obvious factor of greed, in that alchemists have obsessed over transforming lead into gold for centuries, but men and women of alchemy strive for far more than just that. They have also sought to discover - or create - substances which can cure disease and render mankind immortal!

While numerous purges have cost alchemists valuable knowledge over the millennia, both practical and spiritual, the art persists to this very day. Sure, modern society would have you think alchemy has been swept into the dustbin of history, but in the obscure corners of society, where the rational fear to tread, alchemists work their magic. And rest assured, what alchemists do is quite magical, indeed.

The Alchemist

Strictly speaking, an alchemist is like most other sorcerers. They are constantly on the lookout for knowledge that is new to them, if not new altogether. While modern science can bolster their work, the truth is that alchemists don't really need it to ply their trade. Where they differ from most other wielders of magic, however, is that it is rare to happen across an alchemist casting actual spells.

While most magicians will wave their fingers, speak obscure words, and think mystical thoughts to release magic, an alchemist will do so by literally working magic into an item, which when utilized will release its sorcery as intended. Alchemists thus prepare their magic well in advance, needing only to eat a snack, or smoke a cigar, or pop a pill, or pour oil onto something, or scatter dust into the wind, to deploy it.

Thus, alchemists carry various containers on their person with which to transport their alchemical concoctions, readily accessible for use if circumstances require they do so. This grants alchemists a powerful advantage in relation to other magicians, in that spellcasting restraints aren't quite as effective against them - assuming that one doesn't prevent them access to their alchemical creations, that is.

Portability

On the other hand, alchemical effects that are the end result of some item's expenditure, as opposed to a cast outcome, are subject to the Portable limitation. Something of a double edged sword, portability means that an alchemist can share the effects of their magic with others simply by handing over that which contains it - quite a boon, when you're talking about a batch of cookies that, say, heal injuries.

Of course, those cookies can be stolen by others, whether they be allies, enemies, or even random passersby. And then, regardless of who has those concoctions now, that person isn't the alchemist who made them! While it is presumed that whipping up magical snacks, oils, dusts, cigars, potions, or whatever else can be done without too much hassle, replacing them on the spot simply isn't feasible.

In other words, magical spell effects that are provided by the consumption of an alchemical product are considered weakly limited. Thus, an alchemist may add a +1 CS to their functioning rank when acquiring magic of this type, whether during character generation or later on in their career. Spells they can cast normally do not receive this bonus - but then again, someone can't walk off with them, either.

Affordability

In a strictly mechanical sense, a major benefit of studying alchemy is that one masters new abilities in this school of magic on the cheap. Sure, there's the Column Shift bump due to being subject to the Portable limitation, but alchemical effects are mastered at a discount. To wit, a character purchasing a new alchemical spell effect (whatever form it ultimately takes for them) does so at a twenty-five percent discount.

This discount applies whether one is developing a new recipe for regular consumption or a more permanent item. While the latter also requires an alchemist master the Universal spell of empowerment, it nonetheless gives him or her access to a magical ability that needn't be reformulated on a regular basis - even if it is still bound by the Portable limitation - this time, in a strong sense, being more difficult to replace.

Either way, between the discount for purchasing new magical effects and the effects of the Portable limitation on them, an alchemist is primed to advance quickly in the game. Assuming they play their cards right, and manage to keep their creations out of their enemies' hands, an alchemist can quickly master this school of magic, thus allowing them to either adopt an all new school or dig in, and improve their alchemy even further!

The Shepherd of Sorcery: A Sample Alchemist

One can talk about alchemy all day, but without an actual alchemist to look at, it's hard to really get a proper feel for this school of magic. To better illustrate what one can do with it, a sample character is provided for your gaming use. This individual will be built using the random character generation method, thanks to a handy set of percentile dice held within reach for just such a necessity.

Determining the Shepherd of Sorcery's Basic Abilities

To start with, we'll roll up this new alchemist's abilities, and wind up with 56, 91, 24, 12, 99, 68, and 04. Quite the spread, and not necessarily the best, but we'll make do with what we've got. Plugging those into each table, we see a Fighting of Excellent (20), an Agility of Remarkable (30), a Strength and Endurance of Poor (4), a Reason of Amazing (50), an Intuition of Incredible (40), and a Psyche of Excellent (20).

Feeling awful about this new character's survivability, I decided to apply the two free gambles provided to their Endurance and Psyche. I opted to use the Easy gambling table despite its low ceiling, and roll 57 and 88, granting a +2 CS to Endurance (boosting it to Good (10)), and a +3 CS to Psyche (boosting it to Incredible (40), since that's where the Easy table caps out).

This allows our theoretical alchemist a Health score of 64, and a Karma score of 130. For Resources, I roll an 84, which gives him or her an Excellent (20) livelihood, though Popularity remains zero for a beginning character lacking an abnormal appearance. Despite my initial misgivings, this makes for a respectable starting character, who probably just needs to work out a bit more to even out their capabilities.

Determining the Shepherd of Sorcery's Magical Abilities

As we've already decided upon building an alchemist, we can skip table 3 and roll for the initial number of spells our new sorcerer will have mastered. A result of 64 makes that four initial spells, so we can roll up the spell category and individual spell for each in turn, though the last I will reserve for a school spell. I wind up with Rotting (55, 84), Animal Hybridization / Self (16, 05), Platforming (49, 75), and Object Projection (80).

To give these the appropriate feel, let us describe our new alchemist's magic in material terms. To activate Rotting, a touch-based power, we can say that this mage simply rubs a special lotion on their hands, one which causes organic tissue other than their own to rapidly die and decay. For Animal Hybridization / Self, perhaps the alchemist must consume animal-shaped cookies infused with the essence of the creature invoked.

As for Platforming, maybe the alchemist pours a vial of oil on a solid surface below them, which allows it to defy gravity and move as he or she sees fit. Finally, for Object Projection, this may require a specially ensorcelled incense to be lit, a compound which attunes their mind to the inanimate object their consciousness will momentarily transplant itself into. That seems evocative of alchemy, doesn't it?

Determining the Shepherd of Sorcery's Magical Appliance

As with all characters who wield magic, our nascent alchemist benefits from the possession of an additional source of power, a permanent magical object that ostensibly shores up any weak points they might have in their spell roster. This character is actually well balanced, however, having an offensive property, a movement power, the ability to act at a great distance, and minor shape changing capabilities.

Thus, I will simply roll randomly to determine another spell effect, and incorporate that into some sort of fitting implement. Having the results of 21 and 50, I wind up with a second school effect, this one being Dissolution. This being the alchemical ability to permanently disenchant an object, yet being an object itself, I decide perhaps that this will be a decanter of some sort, one which is continually filled with Alkahest.

This substance, a legendary universal solvent sought by alchemists of yore, seems a great way to break down magic woven into material objects. That sounds like a good way for our budding alchemist to clean up the mystical messes left behind by others of his or her ilk, which means that this character concept is thus far lending itself to be of a more heroic bent. Or at least doesn't want others getting their hands on magic.

Quantifying the Shepherd of Sorcery's Magical Arsenal

Next, we must determine the ranks that our alchemist's magical capabilities will function at. Rolling five times on table D, I received the following results: 35, 85, 19, 07, and 46. Thus, this alchemist starts with Remarkable (30) ranked Rotting, Amazing (50) ranked Animal Hybridization / Self, Excellent (20) ranked Platforming and Object Projection, and Remarkable (30) ranked Dissolution.

Allowed two gambles, having access to between three and six spell effects, this character opts to utilize the Lenient table this time, and rolls 38 and 94. One of those rolls does not allow for any improvement at all, but the other offers a +3 CS bonus. Running with the idea of being the janitor of the magical world, I'll go ahead and add that bonus to the Dissolution, raising it to Monstrous (75).

Keep in mind, however, the effects of the portable limitation. The first four are weakly limited by it, while the Decanter of Dissolution (just making this up as we go, here) is strongly limited. Thus, the alchemist's four magical compounds benefit from a +1 CS to the ranks listed above, while the magical item can be boosted as far as Shift X (150) in rank, if that doesn't exceed the campaign's power ceiling.

Determining the Shepherd of Sorcery's Background Information

Just to give this character a bit more spice, we'll now determine what quirks, talents, and contacts he or she will have. Rolling randomly, I wind up with 15 and 50 for quirks, which gives me Hardiness, thus raising this person's Health total by twenty percent - from 64 to 77 (well, 76.8, but I'm rounding up). I should balance this out with a bad quirk, and rolls of 91 and 04 give me Attitude, which I guess I'll take at level 2.

A roll of 40 says this person will have four talents, and since we've gone random so far, why stop now? Rolling for talent categories and then individual talents, I wind up with 20 and 22 (Leadership), 27 and 69 (Survival), 47 and 19 (Astral Combat), and 97 and 06 (Blunt Weapons). I would've rerolled Astral Combat, but then I realized that just might fit well with the character's Object Projection, so I let it stand.

A handy roll of 93 give us six contacts, one of which will automatically be the character's mystic mentor - because who needs that awful penalty for not having a proper tutor in the arts arcane, anyway? Taking them at level two, that leaves four distinct contacts, which I believe I will leave floating for the nonce, as we don't really have this character's story yet. Which, of course, brings us to...

Determining the Shepherd of Sorcery's Origin Story

Considering this character's quirks and talents, I decided that Yasmina Abboud was orphaned and left to her own devices as a youth, which forced her to learn how to survive on her own, no matter the situation. Tough and charismatic, Yasmina quickly grew to a position of power on the streets, and would've eventually evolved into a minor crime lord had she not been discovered by a wandering man of means.

Seeing a spark in this youth, one far beyond the pale, Professor Au felt that he might have found his successor. An alchemist by trade, he worked tirelessly to keep magic out of the hands of the unwashed masses, a task that grew harder by the day. Requiring aid, he thought he would recruit this girl to help, though Yasmina mocked him when he offered her a job - until he demonstrated that magic was no joke, anyway.

Wanting to learn all she could from this oddball, Yasmina indeed studied the alchemical arts, and grew to respect and appreciate her mentor and his work over time. After all, he'd ultimately saved her from more than one poacher, villains who thought to enslave her nascent skills for their own ends. After years of hard work, Yasmina was set loose to continue the Professor's work on her own, doing so as the Shepherd of Sorcery!

Alchemical Spells

Material magic all, alchemy uses physical objects to produce sorcerous outcomes. Thus, school spells dedicated to the idea of alchemy will all heavily involve the manipulation of matter to some extent. While these might be the few magical effects an alchemist manifests through actual spellcasting, it's quite possible that the outcomes of these, too, result from the usage of some archaic, alchemical formula or another.

Perhaps transmutation requires the use of a Philosopher's Stone of the alchemist's manufacture, or dissolution cannot work without the application of Alkahest, as described above. Or maybe something simpler is in store, such as a potion that allows the alchemist to communicate with inanimate objects, or eating an ensorcelled sample lets them conjure more of that substance to their person.

That sort of thing. Anyhow, these are thirteen known alchemy school spells:

A D F M O T

A

Aggregation
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Aggregation is the ability to summon forth materials from far and wide, collecting them in a single location. Said materials can be just about anything the character desires - as long as they actually exist, at least - ranging from a glass of water to a pile of gold to a mountain of gophers! In lieu of matter generation or transmutation, aggregation is a great way to assemble materials for a given project - and fast!

This power can draw forth any number of items or substances, within a few constraints. The first is that aggregation can only aggregate a finite amount of material at a time. Each turn aggregation is used, it may collect its power rank number in pounds from the surrounding environment. If a character wishes to aggregate a larger amount of material, he or she simply has to spend the appropriate number of turns.

For example, let us say Carl the Constructor is attempting to gather materials for a new project he has in mind with his Excellent (20) ranked aggregation. He wishes very much to build a gleaming skyscraper out on his vast plot of land in Arizona. To start with, Carl aggregates the readily available materials required to create the concrete foundation - and can summon forth twenty pounds of it each turn, until he has what he needs.

Aggregation's second constraint is that the substance in question must actually be present within range of this power's wielder for it to function properly; aggregation works on the desired items or substances within Middle range of its possessor. If there isn't enough of whatever the character is looking for, the power will 'only' collect every last scrap of their desired substance within range.

As Carl's construction proceeds apace, he finds himself thinking that an osmium alloy frame for his building would be awesome. The problem is that there isn't that much osmium on the earth - particularly within his nominal twenty area (half mile) range. Making a ruling, the Judge decides that he collects every last bit of osmium within a twenty area sphere, and generously dumps a few grams of the metal at Carl's feet.

The third limitation of aggregation is that it cannot summon parts of (i.e., disassemble) a continuous object. This can be a problem if the only source of whatever the character is aggregating is in a chunk larger than they can manage in one turn. In order to agglomerate larger objects, the possessor of this power must focus it on them for a number of turns equal to their weight divided by the power rank number.

When the osmium idea fell through, Carl decided to go with an ordinary steel frame for his modern tower. Luckily, the land he bought was relatively well populated with iron ore, and he gained a large amount of it somewhat quickly. However, the final chunk of available iron was all lumped together in one solid mass. In order to aggregate this lump of metal, Carl had to focus his power on it for one hundred turns!

The complexity of what the character is attempting to aggregate will determine the difficulty of the required FEAT roll. A green FEAT can conjure forth simple substances, ranging from atomic gold to A+ blood. Yellow power FEAT rolls are necessary when collecting manufactured items, whether they be a pile of pennies or the latest smartphones. Red power FEATs can even summon living beings, if the character wants!

Most of the materials Carl was attempting to aggregate for the eventual construction of his tower were inert, mundane compounds, so he only required green power FEATs when drawing them forth. However, that last bit of metal was surprisingly difficult to collect, requiring a yellow power FEAT. Imagine Carl's shock when, upon the execution of this power, that lump of metal turned out to be an alien probe buried on his land!

Alchemical Analysis
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wielding this utility spell, an alchemist can analyze a compound and determine just what it's made of. When used against 'mundane' concoctions, an alchemist can determine what went into making it with a mere green spell FEAT. This allows an alchemist to easily break down the ingredients list of almost anything, even if the spell doesn't explain the process used to produce the final result.

On the other hand, if used on magical formulae, the alchemist must pass their FEAT against the rank that compound provides upon consumption. This is never an automatic FEAT, as magic alters the very nature of a thing it is mixed into, and deciphering what went into a magical recipe is always a bit tricky. If this FEAT is successful, the alchemist will at least know what was used to make a magical formulae.

Even if, again, he or she doesn't know how a substance's component materials were enchanted beforehand, much less the specific instructions to reproduce it. However, this often underrated ability makes it a lot easier for alchemists to produce new magical compounds on their own - namely, by seeing how others are already doing it.

Antimatter
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 3 points per rank

A specialized form of matter generation, the antimatter power allows its wielder to create minute amounts of antimatter (hence the name). The amounts created are small because of the tremendous energy consumed in performing this feat, and each turn this ability is used, its possessor loses one Health point in exchange. But once the cost is 'paid', the wielder of this power will have some antimatter for their own, personal use.

The problem with this is that antimatter annihilates spectacularly upon contact with conventional matter. This annihilation involves an explosive discharge of energy in the form of gamma radiation, which blankets the detonation area fully. This blast inflicts power rank 2x AP Energy damage, and carries an SD radiation effect, which inflicts Metabolic damage as long as it persists.

In order to generate significant amounts of antimatter, one must make use of protective, vacuum-sealed force fields, which prevent antimatter from coming into contact with ordinary mass of any stripe. This allows one to build up enough antimatter to perform more practical tasks with it, ranging from a study of the properties of such bizarre matter to creating fuel to power reactors or even to serve as the payload for weapons!

For every doubling of time used to generate antimatter, one can improve the intensity of such (for the purposes of explosive annihilation) by +1 CS. Each turn this is done, however, the area affected by such a blast is increased by one area. For example, making antimatter in a protective vacuum bubble for eight turns increases the damage caused upon its collapse by +3 CS, and said blast would cover eight areas!

The difficulty in doing this, however, is that the force field must match the intensity of the potential resultant explosion in order to contain such large amounts of the volatile antimatter. One with a Feeble (2) ranked antimatter power could conceivably generate enough material (with time) to produce a Shift Z (500) intensity blast, but they would require a force field of like power to contain it all in order to do so.

The creation of such force fields is not an inherent function of this ability, and must be wielded separately - either as a technological aid or a distinct super power. Antimatter itself only functions within Very Near distance of its wielder, making it difficult to use offensively without negatively affecting oneself - particularly when creating very large amounts of the material for destructive purposes.

Assimilation
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of assimilation allows its possessor to physically absorb a device into themselves. When absorbing items, an assimilator can take an amount of techno matter into his or her body that is equal to their own weight, storing the material in the spaces between their own atoms. If one attempts to absorb more devices (whether by a little or a lot), the excess mass will protrude from their body in an obvious fashion.

In addition to serving as a great way to stow items when not in use, assimilation allows its wielder to use any absorbed item as if it was an extension of their own body. This works whether a device is digital in nature (like a smartphone) or mechanically triggered (like a Zippo ™ lighter). All one needs to do to wield assimilated devices thus is to extrude them from their body - while retaining physical contact.

If an opponent attempts to forcefully remove an assimilated item while it is in an extruded state, he, she, or it must pass a FEAT roll, with whatever ability or power they are using against the assimilator, opposed by this power's rank first. Once an assimilated device is no longer in contact with its assimilator, it is no longer considered to be assimilated, and will behave normally.

A sentient device may be assimilated by this power, but it is allowed an Endurance (res) or Psyche (will) FEAT to resist such an affront. It is allowed another such resistance FEAT roll each time it is extruded for use by the assimilator, though it is by no means inert in the interim; assimilated sentient objects are fully aware of their predicament while being 'stowed away' inside someone, and can plan accordingly.

As an example of this power in action, let us look at the Swiss Army Arsenal, a technopsi who weighs in at 165 pounds. For convenience, he stores all manner of tools, weapons, and other miscellaneous devices (like his 3DS ™) in his body, which is handy for preventing theft. He carries about ninety pounds of stuff within him, and may thus add seventy-five pounds more before the excess begins to 'stick out'.

While adventuring, the Swiss Army Arsenal happens upon a more powerful beam weapon than one he absconded with last month; ejecting the older, weaker model, the Swiss Army Arsenal simply assimilates the new one and calls it a day. He could've kept both objects, of course, but he likes to retain a versatile roster of equipment on (or rather, in) his person at all times, in order to live up to his assumed name.

Later on in his adventuring career, the Arsenal finds himself on an alien craft, his only means of escape being to take it over. Not trusting the shifty aliens to take him home after defeating them, and lacking the ability to control technology from a distance, he decides to assimilate it. As it weighs several hundred tons more than he, he cannot absorb the ship, so his body merges with the ship's frame only to his ankles.

Even though he sticks out of it like a sore thumb and lacks mobility, he can control the craft as if it were a natural part of his body, using it to fly himself home. Were the craft intelligent, it could attempt to resist the Swiss Army Arsenal's assimilation of it with a Psyche FEAT (since ships usually lack an Endurance score), but if this FEAT failed, it would have to do his bidding until he released it from his grasp.

Atomic Sense
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Atomic sense is an ability which allows its wielder to 'sweep' a given area for atoms. It works within a space as described on the Middle range table, giving the character with this sensory ability a very wide radius with which to find what he or she is looking for. For example, a hero with Excellent (20) ranked atomic sense can scan anywhere within 20 areas of his or her person for all kinds of matter.

Finding pure, uncombined elements simply requires a green atomic sense FEAT roll, while locating a specific kind of molecular compound takes a yellow FEAT. Red FEAT rolls are usually only necessary when trying to uncover matter of a non-standard sort, such as campaign-specific uber-materials, or those which behave differently due to being saturated by magical, psionic, or deionic energies.

D

Device Sympathy
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Device sympathy is the ability to mentally communicate with non-sentient artificial devices. One can usually tell whether or not this power will work on a given item by the presence or absence of a Karma score - Karma denotes free will, the presence of a soul, and all that business. The target of this power, then, can include anything from a wrist watch to a smartphone, though the more complex it is, the better.

Mentally communicating with items driven by complex electronics (personal computer, industrial robot) requires a green power FEAT, devices controlled by simpler electronics need a yellow FEAT roll (digital alarm clock, stun gun), and machines that are mechanically programmed but lack electronics (player piano, music box) can be spoken with on a red device sympathy FEAT.

In many ways, this power is similar to object sympathy. Both interact with non-living objects and materials, after all, which means one must work with the personality (such as it is) of an item in order to squeeze any information out of it. On the plus side, the items this power can speak to generally enjoy being used - function follows form, after all!

Thus, it's usually not all that hard to redirect a conversation with a wrist watch from telling the time to, say, describing unique details about its surroundings a few hours ago. This still requires at least a little bit of clever role play, however, lest one wind up with a chatty wrist watch going on and on about how it kept its owner on schedule for years...!

Generally, one must be within Near range of a device in order to communicate with it in this fashion, though handling a device, or even wielding it, may offer the best results.

Dissolution
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The means by which an alchemist can neutralize mystic items of power, dissolution allows him or her to permanently remove the magic inherent to an object. In the event that an alchemist wishes to annul the magic invested into a transient, one-shot magical item, such as a potion or pill or cigar, they need only roll a spell FEAT against the intensity of the magic held within; success indicates that it has been neutered.

Successfully disenchanting a more permanent magical item is a bit more difficult, though. This involves the alchemist first studying the object to be neutralized for 1d100 turns, at which point he or she will discover how the sorcery within it can be deactivated. In the event of lesser magical items, this can merely involve rolling a FEAT against the intensity with which it was enchanted in the first place.

More powerful magical objects and artifacts may also require special steps or ingredients to safely disarm them, however. This can be the impetus for an entire adventure, or alternately just an 'excuse' to relieve the alchemist of something rare and/or powerful they have been hoarding. Usually details of this nature will be up to the Judge, but should be of a level of difficulty / hassle equal to their relative power.

Why go through all this effort when you can just smash the blasted thing, you ask? The problem with physically destroying enchanted objects is that doing so can explosively release the sorcery within, which may cause considerable damage to both the alchemist and the surrounding area. And that's before you even consider the inevitable Probability Fallout that results from unshaped magic lingering in an area.

It can be more of a pain to dispose of an item in this fashion, but it's a definite means of safely removing it from the 'playing field', without it coming back to haunt the alchemist at a later date (which can happen if they, say, simply pitch it through the nearest dimensional portal...).

Drones
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The Essence, fount of all life force, intersects with every known point in space and time. As such, it technically overlaps with objects both animate and otherwise. While the living are usually the recipients of the Essence's boon, the truth is that there's always a bit of life force permeating everything to some extent. By using this ability, one can amplify that life force in inanimate objects, giving them seeming life!

By granting non-living objects life, the possessor of this power allows them to act - usually as he or she wishes. This at first sounds similar to the object animation ability, but the difference is that this power does not allow conscious control over an item. No, while the wielder of drones can instill life into a thing, and even tell it what to do, the item operates under its own discretion while so infused with such energy.

Each drone created by this power can be given general directions, and will carry those directions out to the best of its ability. A character with drones can generate a large amount of this power's namesake, namely, an amount equal to its power rank number. They will remain animate for a like number of hours - unless one specifically concentrates on keeping them going longer.

Drones created by this power have all the sensory abilities their creator possesses, despite lacking the proper organs for such, which can be accessed by their maker. Such access, as is the case with creating a drone in the first place, requires physical contact with the object in question. This acts like a momentary sensory link, replaying anything of interest the drone experienced to their life giver.

Though animated by life force, the drones created by this ability are not actually alive - or even sentient, really. When the power wears off, a drone will revert to its original state. If destroyed, it will be neutralized prematurely of course, the only additional effect of such being that the creator of a wrecked drone will immediately know of that destructive act - and may come running!

F

Fuel
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A highly specialized form of matter generation, the fuel power allows its wielder to supply an item all the consumable materials it needs to function. When activated, fuel will attune the mind of its possessor to the item in question, allowing him or her to determine what expendable material it requires in order to work as designed. Then, the power will fabricate it on the spot - loaded in the device and ready to go!

Fuel can generate any kind of expendable material for an item, whether one needs paper for a printer, gasoline for an airplane, or even bullets for a firearm. Thus, one can really drive forever on a single tank of gas, or can endlessly fire a revolver like a Hollywood action star! In order to do this, however, one must be in physical contact with the item to be reloaded with whatever supplies it needs.

Like other matter generation powers, fuel costs its wielder one Health point per turn of use. Similarly, it can only generate so much consumable material on a given turn - an amount, in pounds, equal to its power rank number. If one needs to generate more matter at once than they can in a single turn, they simply need to use fuel for multiple turns - whether making many discrete items or a large, singular mass.

The amount of time spontaneously generated supplies persist depends on variables present when the power is used. A white FEAT makes them last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets fuel exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows consumables to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

Finally, a red power FEAT creates supplies from nowhere that last indefinitely.

Fuel of a transient nature may or may not be beneficial to the wielder of this power. Bullets that fade quickly would be very hard to trace by a crime lab, while temporary paper would make it difficult to keep records. At the same time, jet fuel (or whatever) that has been burned for energy will simply see its remnants return to their original state of nonexistence - making for a truly 'low emission' engine!

M

Matter Generation
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: instantaneous (unless building particularly large items)
Cost: 3 points per rank

The highly versatile ability of matter generation allows its possessor to create a wide variety of items, from a wide variety of materials, at will. Such items are manufactured using ambient subatomic particles, countless numbers of which permeate the environment around oneself at any given moment in time - the trick is that one can only generate one item with each use of this incredible ability.

One can generate an amount of mass that is equal to their power rank, in pounds, each turn. If one wishes to construct something larger, they must spend more than one turn generating it. For example, a character with Excellent (20) ranked matter generation can produce twenty pounds of material per turn. In order to make something that weighs one hundred pounds, they would have to spend five full turns creating it.

The other thing to keep in mind is that generating matter is extremely stressful on one's body. Wielding this power will cost a character one Health point each turn it is used, Health that must then be recovered normally. This strain can be alleviated entirely with the use of the disintegration power, using it to transform external matter into fuel for matter generation in order to bypass the extreme physical costs involved.

The amount of time such spontaneously generated matter will persist depends on variables present when the power is used. A white FEAT makes it last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets a substance exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows an object to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

Finally, a red power FEAT creates matter from nowhere that lasts indefinitely.

Matter generation functions within Very Near distance of its wielder, and then only within his or her direct line of sight. Wielding this power at Remarkable (30) ability, for example, allows its possessor to generate matter anywhere within 30 yards of their person - assuming nothing lies between them and where they would like to create it. Such items have no inherent velocity, but gravity definitely affects them immediately.

When creating matter with this ability, one can generate general shapes easily. However, creating (and recreating) specialized items with specific characteristics requires memorizing said properties and measurements. One can recall an amount of particular designs that is equal to their Reason (mem) score. Remembering more requires one to forget an older design, though the eidetic memory power bypasses this limitation.

Typically, a 'to hit' roll is not required when wielding this ability - it just makes something, approximately where one would like it to manifest. However, if attempting to create matter in a fashion that is opposed somehow, such as generating sudden cement shoes on someone trying to run away, an Agility roll is required. Targets who are aware of such attempts may do everything in their power to avoid them.

The materials one can generate an item out of are generally unlimited, but the more complicated they are, the more difficult a power FEAT is required when the item is created. A simple elemental material or molecular compound (such as iron or bronze) requires a green FEAT roll. Yellow FEATs are necessary when producing complex chemical compounds or artificial elemental material (such as buckyballs or mendelevium).

A red power FEAT is only required when attempting to generate items out of fictional elements or compounds - these are most often materials that are campaign specific, or exist only within one's preferred fictional setting (things like Unobtainium, featured in several different motion pictures, for instance). Generating items out of such substances is incredibly hard, but not entirely impossible.

Matter generation is an expensive power, but may be taken with a variety of limitations to reduce that cost somewhat - on top of those that are already indicated above, that is. One can easily limit it by reducing the kinds of matter it can generate; limiting matter generation to one kind of material (metals, stone) is a weak limitation, while reducing it to a specific substance (titanium, or uranium) is a strong limitation.

Similarly, allowing a body to only build one item with this power - perhaps a trusty weapon or some such - counts as a very strong limitation, extreme if it can only be made out of one substance, as well. Finally, removing permanence from the power also counts as a weak limitation; this reduces a red FEAT roll to a duration equal to the power rank number in days. This is still quite a while, but can be inconvenient nonetheless.

O

Object Projection
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The curious ability of object projection allows its wielder to separate his or her consciousness from their body. This consciousness then moves into any one item the character is currently in physical contact with. Such objects may be of any nature, whether comprised of a single piece, many mechanical components, or even electronic circuitry - as long as the item is solid inanimate matter, it may be used by object projection.

While inhabiting an item, the consciousness of the character using this ability may control it as if they were using power rank object animation. In other words, if inside a gun they can fire or hop around, if inside a chair they can walk or be exceptionally comfortable, and so on. If the item is of a higher material strength or mass than similarly ranked object animation could control, it cannot be manipulated - but may still be inhabited.

The character inhabiting an object possesses all their normal sensory abilities; despite being disembodied, they can sense whatever is going on around them. This makes object projection a great ability for espionage or other clandestine activities. They may also 'speak', and can use any knowledge-based abilities available to them, though some abilities may or may not be applicable to the character's current existence.

When an object projector is inhabiting an item, their consciousness may only move into other inanimate objects that it is in contact with. Via this ability alone, an object projector cannot inhabit or manipulate an animate object or living being. A consciousness projected by this ability can move though solid matter (like a stretch of highway) at a respectable pace, doing so with a velocity as determined by the space speed table.

Object projecting is an action which must be maintained consciously, but it may be done for quite a while; object projection has a maximum safe duration equal to its rank in hours. For example, a character with Amazing (50) object projection may shed their consciousness and let it wander around in nearby objects for just over two days at a time. Food and water only become an issue after several days, however.

This is because, while object projecting, the character's body remains in a coma-like state, burning little energy (per the Trance talent). It must have air to breathe, but it is otherwise inert, and need not consume food or water until the projection is complete. At this point the object projector, if they've been gone for a good long time, may need to consume large amounts of food and water to recover.

Deactivating object projection (whether willingly or because of the destruction of something the power is being used on) will immediately recall the mind of its wielder - even if no solid objects are readily available to 'conduct' it back to its point of origin. This recall mechanism works no matter how far an object projector's mind has wandered from its point of origin with the use of this ability (it has no effective range limits).

Object Sympathy
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Object sympathy is the power to mentally communicate with inanimate matter. Inanimate matter includes pristine mass untouched by mankind, formerly living materials, or even non-functional objects of any stripe. As long as an object or mass cannot operate under its own power, and cannot be defined as alive by any other means, object sympathy may be used to communicate with it.

This ability works by attuning one's consciousness to the matter involved, in order to facilitate communication with it. Object sympathy is similar to psychometry in that both abilities allow a conversation of sorts between the wielder of the power and the item to be queried, but differs in that one cannot really gain complex information with it. This is because they are working with the item itself, not psychic residue left on it by others.

This assumes one can get past the very nature of an object in order to communicate with it - the simpler an item is, the harder it is to dredge information from. Complicated artificial objects (clothing, safes) can be spoken to with a green power FEAT, relatively simple manufactured items (swords, tools) will talk on a yellow FEAT, and natural items (bones, branches, rock) only release information on a red power FEAT.

Once communication is established, items communicated with via object sympathy will display a surprising amount of personality for inanimate objects. They may well take pride in their usage, and will expound on it in great detail. This intense personality comes at a price, however. An axe may be exuberant about chopping down trees, but it will have little information about anything else that has occurred in its vicinity.

For example, consider a meeting between two spies that takes place near the axe mentioned above. The axe simply didn't 'ponder' such a meeting enough to pay very much attention. And why would it? Those spies weren't cutting wood or each other, much less with it, so who cares? This is the inherent difficulty when using this ability. It'll know about its owner, and perhaps its function - but most everything else is irrelevant.

Convincing an item to shed data only tangentially related to its function may require careful role play - and even then, may only be vaguely useful. But ask that old, broken down television about the good times it used to have watching I Love Lucy ™, and you may be in for a long, long talk!

Generally, one must be within Near range of an object in order to communicate with it in this fashion, though handling something may offer the best results.

T

Transmutation
Type: Alchemy Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 3 points per rank

Transmutation is the ability to alter the very molecular structure of a material. A transmuter may take any substance, regardless of its chemical composition, and transform it into another of his or her choosing. This new chemical structure may consist of pure elemental matter, simple or complex chemical compounds, or even artificial and/or fictional substances seemingly in defiance of known science!

A green transmutation FEAT roll is typically required for somewhat easy transformations. They are most often called for when changing a substance into relatively simple materials comprised of natural elements. This can include anything from pure elemental materials (like gold or hydrogen) to common chemical compounds (like water or carbon dioxide). Green FEATs can only produce one chemical outcome at a time.

More complicated actions with transmutation generally require a yellow FEAT roll. This involves the production of materials that incorporate artificial elements (such as americium), as well as more complicated chemical compounds (such as sugar). A yellow FEAT is also needed when producing two substances simultaneously (such as a solution of one material suspended within another, like salt water).

Extremely complex transmutations require a red power FEAT. These involve transformations related to 'fictional' materials (those which exist solely in the current game campaign) or are incredibly complicated in nature (anything from nanomaterials to strands of deoxyribonucleic acid). Red FEATs also cover instances of transmuting more than two ingredients at once (like the formula for Red Bull ™).

The character with transmutation may transmute an amount of material equal, in pounds, to their rank number each turn, and do so on mass within Near range.

It's important to keep the basic properties of matter in mind when using this ability. Transforming five hundred pounds of scrap metal into oxygen is an easy way to blow up a house, as that much unpressurized air won't stay in a volume the size of a pile of scrap metal for long. Similarly, changing all the air in a room into lead is a great way to neutralize a bunch of targets - and yourself, if you lack environmental independence!

Transmutation is generally permanent when used on inanimate objects, assuming its wielder can make the proper FEAT roll for the complexity of the desired change in their composition. On the other hand, living beings can only be transmuted if the wielder of this ability can successfully target them (or alternately, overcome their resistance to metabolic attacks if they have that).

The effects of transmutation on the living last for a duration dependent on variables present when the ability is used. A green transmutation FEAT will make this ability last for a number of turns equal to the power rank number; a Remarkable (30) rank with this skill causes it to last for three minutes (30 turns). A yellow transmutation roll will change a target for a number of minutes equal to its rank number.

A red transmutation FEAT will change the target's molecular structure for a number of hours equal to this ability's rank number (thirty hours for our Remarkable (30) ranked friend, above). The latter assumes an unwilling target; if a target is willing to be transmuted for some reason (possibly to stave off imminent death), they can be transmuted permanently - at least, until the transmuter reverses the change they've wrought.

Transmutation can easily be limited by constraining its potential output. Limiting transmutation to converting things into only one kind of substance (metals or liquids, for instance) is considered a weak limitation (+1 CS or -3 points), while restraining it to changing things into just one specific material (like the old-time alchemists' favorite, gold) would be a strong limitation (+2 CS or -6 points).

Speaking of gold, a strong consideration regarding transmutation is its potential effects on the character's wealth - and by proxy, the economy around them. Transmutation is an easy way to justify one's current Resources rank, much less any increases in such. This assumes that the character is working intelligently with their mammoth financial power, making wise investments to hide the fact that they're literally making money.

Such 'intelligent' work assumes the character is spending Karma on raising their Resources. If such Karma is not paid, people will eventually take notice of the fact that they're flooding world markets with gold or diamonds or iridium or whatever. Such notice may come in the form of a visit from a suspicious IRS agent, or perhaps some sort of cartel or syndicate who doesn't like their new competition at all.

As with unaccounted for devices and powers, ill-gotten Resources gains are subject to the vagaries of Plot.

Return to the Book of Magic!