Elementalism: An Elucidation

Across countless worlds, throughout endless planes of existence, magical schools arise wherein sorcerers study and manipulate the mystical building blocks of the entirety of reality. While there are only so many such blocks to incorporate, differing traditions recognize differing combinations of elements when their school forms, much like geomancy did when it came into being on earth.

These schools often die out or adopt additional elements over time, ultimately becoming what is recognized as elementalism. Elementalism is a practice that recognizes thirteen distinct, mystical elements that comprise all of creation. It is a study that is dedicated to the control of these elements, in order to manipulate one, several, or every facet of all that exists.

The school of elementalism, wherever it occurs in the multiverse, recognizes the mystic elements of antimagic, death, energy, faith, fluid, life, magic, philosophy, quintessence, rock, time, unity, and vapor. Even with knowledge of one of these elements, a sorcerer can manipulate their environment with ease. But upon mastering several, if not all of them, there is almost nothing an elementalist cannot do!

The Elementalist

Those sorcerers who study elementalism strive to understand the inner workings of reality itself. Regardless of which element or elements they choose to pursue mastery of, elementalists have a tendency to travel far and wide in order to glean the secrets of their manipulation. While their mystic masters aren't necessarily holding them back, the simple truth is that they don't know everything.

Elementalism is a school that is generally recognized throughout the multiverse, after all, unlike its more provincial counterparts. Thus, elementalists can often be found just about anywhere in their search for greater understanding, whether in remote locations on earth, the farthest depths of interstellar space, or even in planes of existence alien to mere mortals and their ilk.

In their travels, elementalists often locate areas that act as a nexus of elemental power. In other words, these locales are imbalanced in their elemental composition, and have more of certain elements than the others. Such focal points are ideal locations to forge a lair, or to at least perform magical ceremonies, for increased elemental composition in an area provides a +1 CS to related elemental spells.

Elemental Mastery

In the course of their study of elementalism, wizards progress by mastering the mystic elements their school recognizes. This process entails learning a variation on the Elemental Control spell that calls upon the element in question, as well as three distinct spells that draw upon said element to fuel its effects. Elementalists who accomplish this benefit from a +1 CS when casting spells fueled by that element.

Spell stunts also count for the purposes of elemental mastery. A mage who masters an Eldritch Bolt of psychoturgic, philosophical energies, for instance, can count that same spell towards their mastery requirement for rock if they master a stunt to produce a jagged stream of stones with it. While spell stunts don't improve a character's mystic mastery rank, they nonetheless assist them in conquering their own school.

Elementalists need not necessarily master one element before beginning work on another, however. One may learn another iteration of the Elemental Control spell before mastering an element, if desired - all of them, in fact, if this is what they want. This costs elementalists the elemental mastery bonus until they get around to it, of course, but provides them unmatched spellcasting versatility in exchange.

Elemental Specialists

While the previous details the standard form of elementalism, the school lends itself to offshoots that further emphasize specific facets of such magic. In other words, an elementalist may specialize in a single element, eschewing access to the other twelve in order to focus their attention exclusively. Elemental specialists are afforded a +1 CS bonus to all such spells, on top of that offered by elemental mastery.

The Thirteen Elements

While the Elemental Control spell details what one can do with it at least in regards to each individual element, it is important to document the scope of each of the elements recognized by elementalism. This is to assist players in the manipulation of each one, giving them a proper idea what can be done with them, and perhaps point them towards spells they can use to develop each further.

The thirteen elements recognized by the school of elementalism include the following:

Antimagic: strictly speaking, this element involves the manipulation of improbability particles, which act to dampen or neutralize concentrations of the probability particles which allow most spells to be cast in the first place. This is a powerful, but dangerous ability; mishaps may neutralize one's own magics as well. On the other hand, it's one of the few ways to counter probability-manipulating powers.

Death: elemental forces of death include those strange forms of energy which exist in the planes of the afterlife, as well as those encountered on the way to such. These can include hellfire, celestial light, and spectral flames. Additionally, there are the more direct ways to interact with death, including the inducement of premature death, the forestalling of looming doom, and communion with deceased souls.

Energy: the element of energy is a versatile one, as almost everything contains energy of a sort. This element involves the manipulation of conventional energies, from light to heat to sound to electricity, and its controllers can shape this power in any way they see fit. Keep in mind that unconventional energy forms (those which inflict Deionic, Karmic, or Sorcerous damage) are beyond the scope of this element.

Faith: the forces that the element of faith represent are astoundingly powerful. They are the energies wielded by priests of their respective deities, as well as the raw power generated by the veneration of such. These energies can be produced to perform truly staggering feats, and can even be turned against the so-called gods themselves when wielded properly (if one chooses to do so).

Fluid: fluid elements are those which are of a liquid nature. This can include anything from water to high fructose corn syrup to the most toxic of sludges. If a material is currently liquid, this element holds sway over it. Keep in mind that temperature can alter the state of matter; what was untouchable stone one moment ago can be turned fluid with the application of enough heat.

Life: the flip-side of death, the element of life involves the manipulation of life forms and the life force that animates them. This element can be used to control the behavior of creatures sentient and unintelligent, change their very bodies, or alter the flow and quantity of life force they contain. It is great for healing others, but can just as easily be used to kill.

Magic: the raw aspect of sorcery itself, elemental magic involves the manipulation of probability particles. As can a paraprobabilitist, a master of elemental magic may twist and change the very core of magical effects, though usually those cast by others. This element can also be used to alter and manipulate any form of energy which inflicts Sorcerous damage (which may overlap with other elements slightly).

Philosophy: the forces of philosophy are those which govern morality. Good, evil, chaos, order, and balance are the five primary cornerstones of this element, though they can combine with each other to form a total of thirteen different philosophical forces. Masters of this element may amplify or dampen the effects of such, or shape the raw energies they represent to drastically alter their environment.

Quintessence: the element of space, quintessence is the universe all around us. One can use quintessence to shape said space, whether tinkering with gravity or altering the trajectories of objects moving in one's vicinity. Space can alter our own dimensions or the higher ones, allowing one to connect incongruent locations in our universe to one another - or even to places on other planes of existence!

Rock: the simply named element of rock involves the control over all material currently in a solid state. This can be anything from the eponymous rocks in one's environment to the building he or she occupies. Whether natural or man-made, the element of rock may shape all solid materials, either when simply destroying them or using them to create new objects entirely.

Time: the element of time represents both motion and entropy. One can use it to manipulate such to a variety of ends, whether accelerating or decelerating the flow of time around oneself or another, engaging in time travel, or possibly even rapidly aging or de-aging something. The element of time also allows control over temporal static, an energy form generated by those outside of their correct space-time coordinates.

Unity: unity is the convergence of elements, a combination of forces to produce a singular effect. This element allows for the blending of any other elements an elementalist holds sway over, in order to create all new effects. With enough elements in tow, one can use unity to alter reality itself - or at least a small portion of it - as enough elements working together can truly represent our universe in its entirety.

Vapor: the element of vapor is similar to rock and fluid, in that it is used to manipulate one entire form of matter. Vapor, of course, is used to control all gases and vaporous materials, from oxygen to smoke to methane to helium. One with control over vapor can shape and move gaseous matter as they see fit, and can even expel it from an area if they wish, creating a true vacuum.

Enderbiter: A Sample Elementalist

Sure, elementalists are just like geomancers, save for the fact that they don't have any of the religious connotations that those world-mages tie into their wizardry. That and the fact that they simply have more elements to draw upon than their mystical forebears. Nonetheless, it seemed prudent to include at least one example of generating an elementalist character, and so I shall.

Using my teensy, tiny, 5mm percentile dice!

Determining Enderbiter's Basic Abilities

Starting out with a flurry of rolls, my baby dice give this new elementalist Excellent (20) Fighting (a roll of 65), Poor (4) Agility (a roll of 04), Excellent (20) Strength and Endurance (rolls of 87 and 85), Incredible (40) Reason and Intuition (rolls of 56 and 55), and Excellent (20) Psyche (a roll of 10). Aside from this individual's Agility, it seems like we're off to a good start!

With the goal of ironing out that one kink in this character's basic abilities, I perform an Agility gamble on the 'easy' table, and a roll of 82 grants a +3 CS bonus to that score, raising it to Excellent (20). I attempt the same for this individual's Psyche, but a result of 09 means that this arguably more important ability score (for a sorcerer) will be staying right where it is for now.

Adding up the character's Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance scores, I find they have a Health sum of 80 (they're all Excellent (20), so that's pretty simple), while the sum of this person's Reason, Intuition, and Psyche scores gives them an initial Karma total of 100. I leave Resources and Popularity at their base values of Typical (6) and Shift 0, respectively.

Determining Enderbiter's Magical Abilities and Appliance

Skipping table 3 as always, a roll of 72 on table 4 determines that this person will begin play with five spells - not bad! Their first spell will be an iteration of Elemental Control, and I opt to start with Rock, and rolls of 05 and 21 point towards the personal spell of Contact Absorption - which costs two spell slots. I could reroll, but as it so happens, I like the sound of that spell.

Rolls of 43 and 76 provide Resistance, which I will take to Blunt Attack and Edged Attack damage (as they each count as half a spell), and 04 and 42 offer Flaw Sense. These four spells together make for what could be a truly dangerous physical combatant, especially when coupled with this character's impressive physical ability scores. So, I think I just might run with that from here on.

That just leaves a mystic device for them to adventure with. Rolls of 59 and 63 point me towards the group spell of Scrying, which seems like a perfect fit for this person. Scrying offers a few more sensory abilities to assist them in their heroic career, and I opt to place the power in a fist-sized crystal orb, which will be carried about on a convenient staff during their travels.

Quantifying Enderbiter's Magical Abilities and Appliance

With rolls of 54, 97, 40, 67, and 89, I secure the ranks each of this character's magical abilities will function at. Their Elemental Control / Rock has an Incredible (40) rank, their Contact Absorption has an Amazing (50) rank, their Resistances have a rank of Remarkable (30), their Flaw Sense has a rank of Incredible (40), and their Scrying item has a base rank of Amazing (50), raised by +2 CS due to its portable limitation.

That leaves two gambles to bolster any holes in the character's magical arsenal, both of which I attempt on the 'traditional' table (one for Elemental Control / Rock, and one for Contact Absorption). A 67 raises the former by +1 CS, to Amazing (50), while a 40 leaves the latter right where it is (though with a spell rank of Amazing (50), it's considered pretty tough).

Bear in mind that these are the 'base' scores for Enderbiter's magical spells. With four spells revolving around the element of rock, all of them will receive an effective +1 CS to their rank. Thus, Elemental Control / Rock and Contact Absorption are raised to Monstrous (75), their Resistances are increased to Incredible (40), and that Flaw Sense functions at Amazing (50) rank.

Determining Enderbiter's Background Information

Going out of order, I roll a 67 on table 30 to come up with four initial talents. Rolls of 35 and 16 point to the environmental talent of Climbing (nice), 50 and 26 provide for Martial Arts type A (also nice), 14 and 65 offer up Service (okay?), and 74 and 24 grant Boating (er). The first two fit the character's current life, while the second pair offer hints at a mundane background. That works.

Moving back to quirks, a 65 and an 86 point towards the deleterious mental quirk of Rudeness, while 36 and 23 provide for a Cybernetic Aptitude - which may come in handy should the character get brutalized over the course of their up close and personal mystic combat. And though I hadn't considered it yet, maybe the character already has some kind of robotic replacement parts. Hmm.

A result of 51 on table 40 gives this character five starting contacts. The first two will be their elementalism instructor, for a level 2 placement. The next will be their level 2 cybernetics connection, also costing two contact slots, to showcase that person's role in their life. Finally, the last contact slot will be floating in nature, with a roll of 53 making them an informant of some kind.

Determining Enderbiter's Origin Story

Bob Ziegler hates people. Always has and always will. But somehow, he always found himself working in jobs where he not only had to deal with them, but had to play nice with his fellow humans. Hating existence in general, he was plodding his way through life as a cruise ship captain (thanks to a childhood spent boating) when he was mutilated in a battle between superhuman combatants.

Feeling guilty, the heroic half of that conflict arranged for Bob to receive replacement bits for his lost arm and leg. Nothing special, mind you, mere stand-in extremities. Nonetheless annoyed at the loss of his humanity, Bob quit his job to walk the earth in search of a means to center himself, which ultimately saw him joining a small troupe of elementalists down in Antarctica.

Though he had his doubts about them, Bob ultimately came around after successfully casting his first spell, one which let him shape the forlorn mountains surrounding his camp site! After this, he threw himself into his mystic studies, developing numerous spells related to rock and pulping those who offend his sensibilities, and now adventures as the Enderbiter!

Elementalism Spells

As their mystic school involves exerting influence over one or more of the thirteen elements they believe comprises all of existence, adherents of elementalism have developed specialized spells involving this principle. Above and beyond standard magic that can be developed or fueled using elemental power, elementalist spells specifically involve the manipulation of elements or their interaction with one another.

The thirteen known elementalism school spells include the following:

A B C D E J P

A

Aura
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

An aura is a protective sort of shell that a character may produce around their body. It can be comprised of either matter or energy, as is desired, but a character typically only begins play with one form of aura. In order to acquire more auras, a character must either purchase them as weak enhancements to this power during character generation, reduce its power rank by -1 CS for each, or develop them later as power stunts.

If material, an aura can consist of any form of matter desired, though the power cannot produce a protective coating of a material strength greater than its own power rank. For example, a Typical (6) ranked aura could readily concoct an ice or wood cocoon around its possessor, but could not do so with titanium steel. An aura can simulate materials of a higher m.s. than its power rank, but its m.s. is capped at this intensity.

An energy aura, on the other hand, can be of any form of such extant in the Universal Heroes system. An energy aura can be comprised of anything, from lightning to darkness to spectral flames to antideionic life force! Such an aura will inflict its power rank in damage, of the appropriate type, upon direct physical contact with others - which makes an energy aura a great aversive defense.

The form of matter or energy that comprises an aura will determine any additional effects the power can provide, if necessary. Fire, for example, will have a tendency to cause things in the character's vicinity to ignite, while buckyballs will make someone almost impossible to grapple. Effects that would neutralize or commandeer an aura (a fire extinguisher, or perhaps the appropriate matter control) must defeat its power rank to work.

Characters with an aura can move normally while it is active. The possessor of this power subconsciously shapes their aura around their body when movement is required, preventing it from harming them (if applicable). Alternately, the power can produce uncontrolled, 'jointed' auras, resembling a suit of armor made out of whatever the aura is comprised of, though this creates holes in the protection it provides (weak limitation).

If made of energy, an aura will offer its possessor power rank protection from assault per a personal force field (possibly modified by its energy type). On the other hand, a character with a solid aura will receive like body armor - if their aura is at least two inches thick. If one's aura is smaller in thickness, it cannot fully protect its possessor from injury, and thus provides -1 CS protection from attack instead.

If an aura is destroyed, the character must simply make another one, which takes up a full action. This may not be immediately possible if the cause of the previous aura's demise is still present (a character with an aura of fire being doused in fire retardant foam). If taken over by other powers, one must either rebuild their aura anew or reclaim control of it from whoever stole it.

B

Between
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

The seventh dimension is a bizarre place, a location that is both everywhere and between everywhere else simultaneously. At the center of the multiverse and yet seemingly outside it at the same time, this place is the undiluted source of higher principles that are distilled into distinct planes of existence. Such realms include the astral plane, the essence, and various other mindspaces both transient and permanent.

Colloquially known as the Between, this level of reality is the absolute blender of creation. One can find all things within the Between, if they look hard enough, as the seventh dimension is a realm of the mind as much as it is of the body. A mishmash of space, time, matter, energy, and thought, the Between is an ever-changing maelstrom that is never the same from one visit to the next - much less from moment to moment!

The reason for this chaotic existence is that everything that is, was, and ever will be is present in the Between in some capacity or another - since every point in lower, sixth dimensional space is represented here. Also, as these points are all present and simultaneously occupied when in the Between, it can be used to reach a specific location in lower dimensions - assuming one has the proper abilities to do so.

Thanks to its unique properties, one can extend the range of non-adjacent movement abilities while in the Between to an infinite degree. Teleportation can reach anywhere in the universe. Time travel can reach any moment in existence. Dimensional transit can move a body to any reality that exists - and possibly some that don't yet. In this fashion, Between is something of a meta-power, enhancing others considerably.

But this infinite utility comes with infinite risk. One might find the Between a pleasant park on their first visit, and overrun with incomprehensible tentacular horrors the next. Alternately, one might be whisked away to unknown locations in the multiverse upon arriving in the Between, events there overcoming even the most seasoned traveler and stranding him or her somewhere they can't escape from before they know it.

This is where the actual power rank for this ability comes in. A successful power FEAT is required to access the Between. Then, a second FEAT roll is made - this time, by the Judge. If this supplemental power FEAT is successful, nothing directly untoward will happen to the player - or anyone he or she brought along for the ride. If it fails, however, get ready for the time of your (possibly very short) life!

This power is a doorway to infinite adventure, you see, whether one wants it or not. Thus, it is the ultimate 'use at your own risk' ability - though sometimes the staggering advantages of using between almost make up for the risk such use poses to one's body and soul. Sometimes.

C

Catalysis
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

In chemistry, catalysis is a change in the rate of a chemical reaction due to the participation of, that's right, a catalyst. A character with this power may act as a substitute catalyst for chemical reactions, whether increasing the rate at which they happen or by inhibiting them in part or in full. Anything that has active chemistry can be subject to this power, ranging from a car battery to a human body.

When manipulating endothermic and exothermic chemical reactions, one can increase or decrease the heat or cold such generate by an amount equal to this power's rank number. Similarly, a battery can either be neutralized or have its output greatly increased, putting out an amount of electricity equal to this power's rank number. Bear in mind that the destruction of items involved in such manipulations might occur!

Living targets can resist the use of this power by passing an Endurance (res) FEAT roll against its power rank. But if affected, their chemical reactions can be halted, simulating stasis or suspended animation, or increased, improving their Strength and/or Endurance by +1 CS. One can also reduce (or accelerate!) the effects of poisons within a body when present, either saving a life or ending it rather quickly!

Alternately, items can be temporarily proofed against rotting and corrosion while this power is applied to them... or subjected to the same forces instead, if desired.

Catalysis functions within Very Near distance of its targets.

Color Control
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Color control is the ability to alter the hue of anything in one's environment. Surprise!

The color control power works by transforming the properties of a thing such that its coloration changes, whether it is matter or energy that is being affected. The basic nature of things altered by color control remains unchanged, though how they interact with the environment may not be. For example, a lake of blood red water might be refreshing to swim in, but most people wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

In addition to inducing color changes, the wielder of this power can also affect the transparency of its subject. Such changes involve making a wall completely see through or turning the air positively opaque. This opens up the possibility of performing all manner of misdirection with color control, usually because people so readily believe what their eyes tell them - instead of what their other senses are saying.

The power can even work on colors that others cannot readily see. Transforming ambient infrared light into ultraviolet light, for example, might just stymie those who can track others via infravision. Such efforts are considered to function per transduction, reducing the intensity of photonic energies by -1 CS, but otherwise allowing them to behave in the fashion that they were before being affected.

Color control automatically functions against inanimate matter and energy, regardless of either its material strength or intensity. Using this power against living targets requires an Agility (dex) FEAT, however, as they are allowed to avoid the effect with defensive maneuvers such as a dodge. Mind you, those with resistance to metabolic attacks can apply such against the use of this power.

The difficulty of changing something's color depends on how complicated a change one wishes to induce. Singular color changes (making an object neon pink) requires a green power FEAT, while introducing multiple color changes (making a tie-dye shirt without the dye) necessitates a yellow FEAT, and intricate alterations of color (giving oneself 'natural' eye shadow) would demand a red power FEAT.

The duration of a color change is determined with a second power FEAT, made after a change is successfully completed. A white FEAT makes a color change last for 1d10 turns, while a green FEAT will allow it to last for a number of turns equal to the color control power rank number. Yellow duration FEATs extend this amount of time to a like number of minutes, while a red duration FEAT expands the time involved to that many hours.

Though in the case of inanimate objects, red results can generally be considered permanent in nature.

Color control operates within Near distance of its wielder.

Corrosion
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Corrosion is the ability to induce rapid degradation in the chemical structure of primarily inorganic matter. This can work through a variety of mechanisms, the end result being damage to or the destruction of such substances. Matter affected by corrosion, whether living or dead before the power is used on it, will show signs of advanced wear. Metals will rust, paint will fade, and so on.

Against living entities comprised of such matter, this ability will cause power rank SD Metabolic damage, which its targets may avoid by preventing physical contact (it requires such to function). When used against unliving substances (which is usually the vast majority of the time), whether glass or steel or uranium, this ability will destroy them if they fail a material strength check against this power's rank.

This power can be avoided with resistance to metabolic attacks - or just resistance to rotting or corrosion. Corrosion inflicts -3 CS damage against organic targets (it works, just less effectively). On the other hand, it is less limited when used on organic substances that have been heavily processed in some fashion. Plastics are such a material, and corrosion can affect them at a mere -1 CS.

Cyclone
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Upon activating cyclone, a character spins the air (or any other matter) in their immediate vicinity at reckless speeds. Though he or she stands at the eye of this artificial micro-tornado, and is at no risk from it at all, the area around someone using cyclone is subject to intense destruction. Loose objects will easily fly into the character's whirling matter stream, and anyone touching them will take considerable damage.

An aversive power more than anything else, cyclone does not provide direct protection from injury like body armor or a force field. However, it does reduce the intensity of incoming damage slightly, offering 1 CS of damage reduction against all physical and energy attacks. The true defense that cyclone offers, though, is that it readily discourages others from closing into melee range of its creator.

Anyone within reach of a character wielding cyclone will suffer power rank Blunt Attack, Edged Attack, or Force damage, depending on what, if anything, is suspended within their whirlwind at any given moment. This damage can be used in either a passive (against anyone entering the cyclone generator's personal space) or an active (by walking into someone or something and chipping away at them) fashion.

The materials one can draw into a cyclone are generally somewhat small. Normally, it can support objects with a maximum weight equal, in grams, to its power rank number. Even at a relatively low rank, cyclone can readily pick up enough refuse to scour an area, ranging from dirt to pebbles to glass to needles to anything else scattered about. Such material in an area is usually drawn into a cyclone if remotely unsecured.

On the other hand, the wielder of a cyclone can expel the items floating around him or her as a devastating attack on everyone within their current area. Such items will fly out at considerable velocity, inflicting damage equal to either the cyclone ability's power rank or the material strength of the items in question - whichever is less. Carrying thrown weapons for such purposes can be particularly deadly.

D

Disintegration
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

Disintegration is the ability to transform matter into energy, and to subsequently disperse that energy into the environment - utterly destroying it in the process. This is easiest against inanimate matter, as it (rarely) fights back against a disintegrator. In practice, the possessor of this power may disintegrate an amount of matter, in pounds, equal to its power rank number squared each turn.

Disintegration functions within Near distance of its wielder. When this ability is first acquired, the player may alter the mass limit or the range of the power, raising one by +1 CS by lowering the other by -1 CS, within an overall limit of 6 CS in either direction. This allows one to either disintegrate small amounts of matter at a ludicrous range or to eliminate large masses at a very close distance... or somewhere in between.

Wielding this ability against inanimate matter is a relatively simple process, only requiring a FEAT roll if one attempts to disintegrate an amount of matter in any one instance that is close to their weight limit. Animate targets are a bit trickier, however. For one thing, they can move to avoid the power's effect entirely. A disintegration beam is easy to avoid, as it eliminates all gaseous matter between its wielder and the target.

Unless used in a vacuum, this will create a highly visible energy trail.

The other difference when using this power on living matter is that its mass isn't what limits its effects, so much as the Health score of its target. Disintegration will inflict power rank Metabolic damage against its target, which may or may not be enough to vanish them in just one shot. However, even one point of disintegration damage is considered a lethal attack, and the victim must make a Kill check against its intensity.

Surviving such an attack means that the disintegrated matter was spaced evenly across one's volume, but the more one suffers such assaults, the faster their structural integrity will fail. Once one's Health and Negative Health are destroyed in this manner, whether by Endurance loss due to successful Kill results or simply by multiple successful applications of damage, the target is vaporized.

Disintegration can be readily resisted by force fields, which prevent the disintegration beam from contacting the target matter - even if at only Feeble (2) strength. Similarly, resistance to Energy or Metabolic damage (or perhaps disintegration in particular) will blunt or potentially neutralize disintegration effects entirely. This on top of the ability to dodge a disintegration beam, that is.

E

Elemental Control
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: special (see below)

Core of the elemental school of magic, elemental control allows its caster the ability to manipulate the thirteen elements that school recognizes. Upon first learning this spell, the elementalist may only wield control over one such element, though he or she may acquire additional forms either as power stunts or as new spells (player's choice, since mystic mastery is affected by such).

Note: some versions of elemental control are much more potent than others, and are subsequently more expensive to purchase... either during character generation or later in a character's life. The cost of each form of elemental control is provided, below, along with its description, in order to give players an idea just how dangerous it can be - both to themselves and to others.

Antimagic (1): this unique element allows a mage to control those energies that negate or dispel ordinary magics. Energies that level out the probabilistic outliers that allow for spellcasting, such as netherchill, are quite rare. Nonetheless, elemental control of antimagic allows for the direct manipulation of such, as well as access to spells that provide for the creation of raw antimagic.

Death (1): control over the forces of death and spiritual energies, this element is powerful and dangerous indeed. In addition to the direct manipulation of antilife forces, elemental control of death allows an elementalist to tinker with various spectral energies that occur in afterlife planes, such as hellfire, celestial light, and spectral flames - to name but a few.

Energy (2): allowing a mage to control raw energy, this elemental form consists of shaping energy in all kinds of ways. Elemental control of energy functions per the psionic Energy Control power, at least where mundane, everyday forms of energy are concerned. Note that unconventional energy forms (those inflicting Deionic, Karmic, or Sorcerous damage) are beyond the scope of this spell.

Faith (2): this element allows a mage to tap into and utilize the psychic energy generated by a belief in deific beings. Elemental control of faith allows a mage to manipulate divine powers, whether invested in a deity or their followers, thus functioning like a parallel Deionic Control ability. Of course, it also allows access to clerical spells that would make sense for the elementalist in question to know.

Fluid (1): representing liquids of all types, elemental fluid magic is used to alter anything from water to toxic sludge. Elemental control of fluid functions exactly as does the Fluid Animation power, which makes this spell something of a parallel ability. Elementalists learning spells to manipulate fluid may also select from geomancy spells that offer related capabilities, if they so choose.

Life (1): this magical element involves the manipulation of any life form, as well as the life forces that sustain them. The elemental control of life spell, in and of itself, acts per the Essential Control power, making this something of a parallel ability. However, it also grants access to spells that can be used to manipulate almost any aspect of living beings, not just their life force.

Magic (2): the raw aspect of magic, this element involves changing and twisting the very core of magical effects. This is essentially the Spell Control power, which makes this spell something of a parallel ability, and justifies it counting as two spells (or costing two points per rank). Mind you, it also functions per the psionic Energy Control ability, where sorcerous energies are concerned.

Philosophy (2): order, chaos, and everything in between, this element offers control over the multifarious manifestations of morality. Learning elemental control of philosophy grants an elementalist access to spells from that school, as well, which is why it counts as two spells (or costs two points per rank). On the other hand, the ability to impose one's morality on the multiverse at large is a compelling one.

Quintessence (3): this element involves space and the effects that matter within has on it. Elemental control of quintessence is something of a combination power, as it merges Antigravity, Gravity Control, and Space Control into a singular ability. This is why, like time, this particular elemental control spell counts as three (3) spells during character generation (or costs as many points per rank).

Rock (1): representing solid matter of all types, rock magic can control anything from buildings to mountains. Elemental control of rock functions exactly as does the Solid Animation power, which makes this spell something of a parallel ability. Elementalists learning spells to manipulate rock may also select from geomancy spells that offer related capabilities, if they so choose.

Time (3): this is the element of motion and entropy, representing the fact that nothing truly ceases to move or change. Elemental control of time functions exactly as does the Time Control power, which is why it counts as three (3) spells during character generation (or costs as many points per rank). While expensive, this ability unlocks access to spells which tamper with various aspects of cause and effect.

Unity (4): the junction of other elements, this element allows for comprehensive manipulation of reality itself. Elemental control of unity costs its wielder four points per rank, or counts as four spells, for it can be used to combine other elements its caster has access to on the fly. A singularly dangerous ability, this elemental control almost functions like a variant form of Causality Control.

Vapor (1): representing gaseous matter of all types, mastering this element allows a mage to manipulate all gases. Elemental control of vapor functions exactly as does the Vapor Animation power, which makes this spell something of a parallel ability. Elementalists learning spells to manipulate vapor may also select from geomancy spells that offer related capabilities, if they so choose.

Whichever element(s) an elementalist holds sway over, he or she can use them in play to inflict spell rank damage with each attack, assuming enough of an element on hand to work with. The exact form of damage this attack will inflict depends on the element in question, and can really be almost anything present in the Universal Heroes game - from simple Blunt Attack damage to outright Deionic harm!

On the plus side, elemental controls easily lend themselves to power stunts that can duplicate other spells - or serve as a good reason for having them. Any of the various eldritch attack spells mesh well with elemental controls (and serve as a source of material in a pinch), bands work well with all elements, and so on. The only real limitation in this regard is one's imagination!

Elemental Sense
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

An elemental sense is just that, the magical ability to detect elemental energies or masses in one's vicinity. Elemental sense functions on the Near range table, allowing its user to detect the presence and/or use of elemental quantities within a considerable radius of oneself. Nominally, detecting such elemental mass (or power) requires naught but a green spell FEAT, unless it is masked somehow.

If this is the case, roll a spell FEAT against the intensity of whatever agency is masking the elemental source. Occasionally, just detecting an element may not be enough information; an elementalist may detect how much of an element is present with a yellow spell FEAT, while a red FEAT can be used to determine odd trivia such as how long it has been there, as well as if it is naturally occurring or present artificially.

Energy Projection
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

When activating energy projection, the possessor of this ability creates an energy matrix for his or her consciousness to inhabit, and projects their very mind into it. This energy packet in and of itself is not potent enough to inflict damage upon contact; all of its power is initially focused towards housing the consciousness within. Unencumbered by mass, this energy field can fly at speeds determined by the space speed table.

Regardless of its actual energy composition.

Generally, it is assumed that this energy field is visible, typically resembling the character who created it. This is not always the case, however, depending on the form of energy used to create this energy packet that houses one's mind. An energy projection may actually look like anything one wishes, though changing its form (from its original appearance) often requires the mastery of a power stunt to achieve just that.

Similarly, it is assumed that, even if one isn't using sound to house their consciousness, that one has the ability to create such. This allows the energy projector to communicate with others while this ability is active. One can learn to generate more intense levels of sound, as well as other forms of energy (likely that which their energy projection is comprised of) as power stunts of this ability as well.

Energy projection is an action which must be maintained consciously, but this may be done for quite a while; energy projection has a maximum safe duration equal to its rank in hours. For example, a character with Shift X (150) energy projection may shed their consciousness and let it wander the earth for almost a week at a time. Food and water only become an issue after several days, however.

This is because while energy 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 energy projector, if they've been gone for a good long time, may need to consume large amounts of food and water to recover.

While projecting, the character's mind effectively has no mass, which may cause complications in the event of combat. One's ability scores mostly remain the same, though the energy projector has no Strength (being comprised of energy, and intangible). Any magic, psionic, or deionic items a projector possesses will 'make the trip' with them, as a part of their self-image, though they function for the energy projector at a -2 CS.

Finally, energy projection has no range limits to speak of. Its wielder's mind may wander far and wide while the power is active, traveling as far as the energy which comprises it can carry them.

Environmental Pocket
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

An environmental pocket is a safe zone that exists as a sort of encapsulated habitat around its creator. When invoked, an environmental pocket will transform the area within Very Near distance into a space more hospitable to its creator's form of life - regardless of prevailing conditions outside. An environmental pocket only lasts as long as one actively concentrates upon its continued existence.

Sort of a 'group' version of environmental independence, this power allows its wielder to share his or her ability to survive in alien surroundings with friends - or anyone else that's close. A combination of transmutation and various 'control' powers, environmental pocket is an entirely involuntary affair; its user cannot control aspects of the environment created - it simply changes things to make it survivable to him or her.

How the power works is that it first encloses the area of effect in a sphere that normalizes the pressure within, and prevents harmful energies from entering, with power rank ability. Such energies can consist of any environmental calamity, from intense heat to radiation to crushing gravity. The power then transforms the matter within into something its possessor can use to breathe, extending his or her life.

If conditions outside the environmental pocket are able to overwhelm its power rank, they are at least diminished by its intensity. Thus, a Good (10) ranked environmental pocket could cut ambient radiation of Excellent (20) intensity by half - which is at least something of an improvement. Hostile energies that erupt inside an environmental pocket (such as a sudden energy attack) are not defended against, however.

While active, an environmental pocket constantly refreshes the air (or whatever) its wielder must breathe to survive, and actively resists the effects of matter animation and transmutation used by others to disrupt its habitat with power rank ability as well. Thus, this ability can be used to avoid such powers as well as inherently hostile environments or situations, making it quite handy to the adventurer on the go.

An important consideration with this power, however, is that an ideal environment for one being might be anathema to another. Using this power on a world full of methane gas might allow its wielder to survive, but any natives wandering into its area of effect will immediately begin to suffocate. As such, the power can be used offensively as well, even if completely unintentionally!

J

Jelling
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

A peculiar movement aid, the power of jelling allows its wielder to stiffen an otherwise liquid or gaseous medium in order to travel upon it. Jelling works by binding material below the feet (or whatever) of its possessor with an energy matrix that makes it momentarily solid. Such a matrix can 'solidify' a plane of material within a maximum radius of this power's possessor as is determined by the Very Near range table.

The matrix created by jelling will 'roll' with its wielder, making a solid surface of new material as it comes into range and returning other matter to normal as it passes out of range. When using jelling, a character can move as fast as he or she otherwise could normally while on foot - the jeller simply has more options about where they actually do their walking.

Material jelled by this power is suspended in place with power rank ability, and can always support the weight of its possessor. Jelling, when treated as an equivalent Strength score, can support additional mass if said Strength value exceeds the weight of its wielder. A hero weighing in at one ton who possessed this power at Amazing (50) rank, for example, could support up to forty nine additional tons!

A character with jelling can either maintain the same altitude while walking, or can climb up or down as desired. This is done by inducing an angle into the jelling process, which can have as severe a slope as one wishes. Thus, one can leisurely stroll from the ground into the sky, or even create a makeshift slide in order to descend to a surface incredibly fast.

Jelling can be customized in several fashions. The power may be limited such that it can only support its possessor, for one thing. This reduces its operating radius to the span of its wielder's stride (whether walking or running) as a weak limitation. Similarly, it can be curtailed such that it only works on either a liquid (such as water) or a gaseous (such as oxygen) medium as a strong limitation.

On the other hand, jelling may be enhanced by giving the possessor of this power the ability to consciously move the jelled matter. This allows him or her to 'ride' on it instead of having to manually walk wherever they are going. This is a strong enhancement to the power, and provides a velocity as determined by the air speed column - though jelling is usually capped at a maximum velocity of Remarkable (30) speed.

Unless the jelling character (and anything riding along with him or her) is sufficiently resistant to air friction and can breathe at such high speeds, that is.

P

Power Dampening
Type: Elementalism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A highly specialized form of energy control, power dampening allows its possessor to reduce the intensity of any ambient energies in their environment. With a successful power dampening FEAT roll against the intensity of the energy to be affected, the wielder of this ability may reduce it in intensity as much as he or she likes, whether completely negating it or just throttling its power a little bit.

If such energy is under the influence of someone with an energy control power of some sort, this FEAT must be made against that power rank, instead. This skill may be used to affect any form of energy, even those with psionic or magical components, as long as they are active within Near distance of its wielder. Power dampening immediately works on all energy forms, not needing a separate power stunt for each.

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