Paraprobabilitism: An Elucidation

Men and women of magic have always sought to make sense of the phenomenon. These intrepid explorers of magic's lubricious potential are determined to harness it, no matter how capricious and squirrelly it may be. In other words, for as long as there have been wielders of magic, the practice of paraprobabilitism has existed - even after its discoveries are utilized to forge other schools of magic.

The opposite of prudent, paraprobabilitists bend and warp magical energies with glee, often discovering secrets heretofore unseen. Just as often, however, their innovative tinkering with the forces of causality catastrophically backfire. These two facets of paraprobabilitists are what make them simultaneously admired and reviled, for the cost of knowledge they uncover is more often than not paid by others.

But, when it comes down to it, you've got to start somewhere. Whether they are pioneers of the usage of magic in their society or irresponsible rebels who reject the shackles of others' insights about sorcery, paraprobabilitists are consistently at the forefront of arcane developments. When they're not busy destroying themselves upon pushing the limits of probability too far beyond the pale, at least.

The Paraprobabilitist

Eschewing parochial customs, paraprobabilitists forge their own path. Sure, they often benefit from the aid of a like-minded master of the mystic arts, but even such stalwart supporters are often content to let young paraprobabilitists make many, many mistakes. Every attempt to reshape magic is a learning experience, after all - even those which end in tragedy. Or comedy. Or both!

The result of mistakes made when attempting to reshape sorcery on the fly often mark paraprobabilitists for what they are, unlike most other wielders of wizardry. While a paraprobabilitist frequently bears at least one temporary alteration to their morphic field at any given time, it is possible that they suffer permanent changes as well - and such changes may go far, far beyond the cosmetic.

The enhancements, limitations, and quirks that a paraprobabilitist possesses may be a result of failures to reshape sorcery. Furthermore, due to the unique nature of their school, paraprobabilitists may choose to have any of their initial spells instead take the form of a permanent, magical powers. This makes mastering the school take longer, but gives paraprobabilitists ascendant abilities they need not cast to actualize!

The Potentiality of Plausibility

The singular benefit a paraprobabilitist possesses is that, when casting a spell, they may attempt to transform it into any other. Doing so requires a successful spell FEAT roll at a penalty determined by just how different the intended spell effect is from the original. A minor change may incur a mere -1 CS penalty, but transmogrifying a spell into something completely different may impose a -6 CS penalty - or worse!

Furthermore, the difficulty of this FEAT depends on how prepared a paraprobabilitist is to produce this particular effect, and is determined as if they were attempting a spell stunt... which they sort of are. The first attempt imposes the need for a red spell FEAT, the second through fifth attempts call for a yellow spell FEAT, and further attempts beyond that merely require a green FEAT roll.

Assuming the paraprobabilitist can succeed in their efforts despite the color difficulty and Column Shift penalties, they can produce the desired spell effect. What's more, having done so once, they may develop said effect into a regular spell, if they wish. While this may cost them a large amount of Karma, it behooves a paraprobabilitist to do so, in order to avoid the effects of failures in such efforts.

The Costs of Chaos

When attempts to change the nature of a spell in the midst of casting it fail, a paraprobabilitist neither produces the original spell effect nor the one they intended to. No, something else happened, and it's rarely good for anyone. The Judge may be as merciful or as terrible in this regard as they see fit, though it's generally poor sport to outright kill players when spell manipulations fail.

Horribly inconveniencing them is fine, though, as they have inundated the vicinity with Probability Fallout. This may simply produce a third spell effect, or instead it might... alter things nearby. Failing a Psyche (will) FEAT or material strength check against the intensity of this unshaped magic induces changes that are generally temporary in nature, but circumstances may render them permanent.

The severity, duration, and very nature of sorcerous radiation alterations are ultimately a crapshoot, depending on variables present when anomalous energy exposure occurs. Again, the Judge is the final arbiter of such things, though the rank of the modified spell, along with the Column Shift penalty applied to the paraprobabilitist's effort, may help to inform them of what damage to reality has been wrought.

Though dramatic license is also consideration, because magic is irrational that way.

Aristarch: A Sample Paraprobabilitist

Paraprobabilitists are weird. Their magic is designed to manipulate or take advantage of the bizarre properties of magic itself, and the unique ability provided by their school lends itself to bedlam. One can go any number of ways when putting together a paraprobabilitist, so it only seemed fitting that the generation of one be detailed, if only to give players at least an idea how they can work.

To generate this sample paraprobabilitist, I am primarily utilizing random dice results, using the site's d100 generator. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I have a few ideas how I would like her to manifest, so I will likely be choosing a majority of her spells. This, of course, assuming I manage to secure more than one for her to begin play with!

Determining Aristarch's Basic Abilities

Though I know where I want her spell roster to sit, approximately speaking, her ability scores will be determined randomly. Rolling a 33 gives her Good (10) Fighting, a 63 grants her Excellent (20) Agility, a 29 provides her Typical (6) Strength, an 83 allows for Remarkable (30) Endurance, 17 offers her Excellent (20) Reason, an 87 showcases her Amazing (50) Intuition, and a 17 bequeaths upon her Excellent (20) Psyche.

The opposite of my usual dice rolling exercises, this sorceress is powerful in body, but not so much in mind. Thus, I will utilize her two ability score gambling attempts on Reason and Psyche. Dice rolls of 50 and 74 on the 'traditional' table allow no bonus and a +2 CS bonus, respectively, the latter of which was luckily scored on her Psyche, which will help her when butting heads with other spellcasters.

As her Psyche is now Incredible (40), this allows our nascent paraprobabilitist a Health total of 66, and a Karma sum of 110. Not bad at all, for a starting character nobody has (yet) heard of! Finally, she requires Resources and Popularity values. A roll of 85 allows her Excellent (20) on the former, and since I'm going with the relatively unknown where she is concerned, Popularity stays at zero (0).

Determining Aristarch's Magical Abilities

Ignoring table 3, since we know what school of magic this character will have, the number of initial spells will be determined next. A result of 68 grants her five spells, which means I lucked out where my somewhat fuzzy mental picture of her is concerned. For her first, I will choose Roulette, a school spell which costs two spell slots, leaving her with three more to be revealed.

Dice rolls of 14 and 58 point us towards a personal spell, Kinetic Absorption, which also costs two spell slots, leaving only one more to choose. Wanting another school spell, but finding myself lacking the spell slot for my target, I choose Fallout Absorption instead of the originally intended Flux. Though not what I originally had in mind, this spell is a sufficiently potent stand-in.

While versatile, three spells aren't all that many to begin play with. Luckily, new spellcasters are also allowed a magic item!

Determining Aristarch's Magical Appliance

Though this character didn't quite wind up with the spells I conceived for her, my initial pick got things off on the right foot, at least. So, since things work well enough, I have no agenda where the power invested within her free mystic device is concerned. Thus, I rolled a 25 and a 99, and this points us towards the universal spell of Xenoglossy. Ah, Xenoglossy!

A handy utility power, Xenoglossy fills a deficiency with this character that I didn't previously perceive. While I like the spells I came up for her, it does occur to me that they are all directly combat related, unless you consider Fallout Absorption more of a clean-up ability. So, I will stick with that random roll, apply it to an earring, and consider it good. Because it is!

Quantifying Aristarch's Magical Arsenal

The capabilities our new paraprobabilitist has access to have been sorted out, thus it is time to quantify them! Rolling a 69 gives her Roulette at Incredible (40) rank, a roll of 59 provides a like rank for Kinetic Absorption, a 96 grants her Amazing (50) ranked Fallout Absorption, and a roll of 27 provides her Jewel of Words a base rank of Remarkable (30), raised +2 CS to Amazing (50) by a strong portable limitation.

Since her spell ranks are already high, her two gambles bear a serious risk of inflicting a negative shift if they are to potentially provide any serious augmentation to her power. I opt to roll one on Roulette and Xenoglossy, the former of which will utilize the 'traditional' table while the latter will make use of the 'crazy' table, and the dice give me a 61 and a 97, respectively.

The first gamble raises her Roulette by +1 CS, to Amazing (50) in rank. The second bolsters her Xenoglossy by +3 CS, to Shift X (150) rank - which is as high as that table allows for. This makes all the magical effects she initially has access to particularly effective, which is a good indicator that she may very well go places in her sorcerous career!

Determining Aristarch's Background Information

My overall agenda / mental picture of this character has already been sufficiently fulfilled, so I am content to determine everything else randomly, for the most part. Rolls of 16 and 86 point me towards the beneficial physical quirk of Strong Bones, while rolls of 28 and 28 indicate the character is color blind. An odd mix, but just about any physical characteristic can be rationalized via paraprobabilitism.

Our paraprobabilitist has four talents, thanks to a roll of 38 on table 30. Her specific skills include Oriental Weapons (99, 43), Manipulation (17, 33), Theology (81, 95), and Military (08 and 64). As Military occupies two talent slots, I must drop one of the others to keep it. As Military includes Guns and Martial Arts type B, I figure I'll throw Oriental Weapons out. Sorry, Oriental Weapons!

Wrapping up the portion of character generation where die rolls are applicable, a result of 41 on table 40 means that our beginner paraprobabilitist may have four contacts at the start of her career. Choosing a level 2 mentor contact, in the form of her magic tutor, I roll randomly to receive a military (71) and scientific (92) contact. The former is quite fortuitous, and the latter, well, we'll figure it out later.

Determining Aristarch's Origin Story

When her extremist parents caught young Francine Richey playing Dungeons and Dragons ™ one fateful night, they punished her severely. Being one of many gullible families who still bought into the ginned-up panic regarding role-playing games and their occult nature, they beat her half to death to 'save her soul', and then shipped her off to a religious school of dubious scholarly value.

Immediately upon graduation, Francine enlisted in the Army, intent on never relying on, or setting her eyes on, her family ever again. Going with what she knew, she ultimately became a Chaplain's Assistant, and served in that position for several years. Upon her honorable discharge after twelve years of service, Francine prepared to go to college for a real education, when fate felt the need to intervene.

Caught amid a battle between a paraprobabilitist and several creatures from Beyond one day, Francine managed to save the former from the latter thanks to her Army-gained ability to keep her cool in a crisis. Thankful for this, and feeling guilty for damaging her vision when a failed spell improvisation blasted Francine, this mage offered to take her in, and train her in her obscure, dangerous arts.

Thinking this the ultimate revenge on her parents, Francine agreed, and in time became the heroic Aristarch!

Paraprobabilitic Spells

While a lucky enough paraprobabilitist can do just about anything, even if they've mastered but one spell, the truth is that most are not so fortunate. Furthermore, the task of delving into the very core of magic itself is difficult work, which is why paraprobabilitists have developed numerous spells that allow them to manipulate the forces underlying such power, to various ends.

There are thirteen known spells tied to the paraprobabilitism school of magic, including the following:

D F P R S T U

D

Dimensional Static
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

This potent power allows its wielder to generate waves of mystical force, waves which act to distort the probabilities inherent to the casting of dimensional magic spells. These waves can extend out into the space within Very Near distance of this ability's wielder, thus acting to prevent the use of spells and spell-like powers which wield dimensional energies while they are present.

In order for such abilities to work, they must pass a spell or power FEAT roll against the dimensional static power rank. If they cannot manage this, such powers are impossible to use while dimensional static is active, making this ability a great way to curtail the most dangerous tricks in a spellcaster's arsenal - entreatists in particular are especially vulnerable to dimensional static.

Curiously, dimensional static also has the effect of preventing access to an area via powers which breach the dimensions - it can act as a stabilizing agent in regards to the local space-time. Powers such as dimensional transit, portal, and even planar control must pass the FEAT described above in order to acquire access to an area in which dimensional static is active.

F

Fallout Absorption
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A specialized and limited form of thaumaturgical absorption, fallout absorption allows its wielder to draw lingering Probability Fallout (PF) from a person or object into themselves. This requires a successful power FEAT roll against the intensity of PF present in the contaminated target of this power. If successful, said target will be cleansed of the magical contamination that it was previously subjected to.

In addition to removing the rather sticky PF from something, fallout absorption will also reverse any changes the magical contamination caused in it - if those changes were not permanent in nature. Living beings are rarely affected by permanent PF, but inanimate items are not so lucky. If something has been permanently altered by PF exposure, this ability will merely prevent it from spreading PF onto others.

A character with fallout absorption can store an amount of PF within his or her body that is equal to its power rank times five. Unlike most other energy absorption powers, however, it is not recommended that one use the absorbed energies upon themselves. This is because such use of the absorbed PF will immediately subject oneself to whatever amount of PF they have channeled into their body's functionality!

Sometimes this can be a great way to escape a seemingly impossible situation, but most often it winds up with the fallout absorber turning into angry mayonnaise or the like. On the other hand, a fallout absorber can emit absorbed PF back into the environment as a devastating and transformative attack without direct danger to themselves... assuming nothing he or she changes comes in contact with them.

If absorbed Probability Fallout is not channeled into oneself or released back into the environment, this power will metabolize it in time. Each turn, fallout absorption will 'eat' one point of absorbed PF, thus preventing this causal contamination from altering the world, for better or worse. Though, when you get down to it, most PF alterations fall under the 'worse' category!

Flux
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 2 points per rank

The flux ability is not for those who prefer an ordered, structured view of causality. What it does is unleash uncontrolled probability particles upon a hapless person, place, or thing. Flux itself functions within Very Near range, meaning that its wielder must get very close to whatever it is they wish to inundate with magic. The target always gets a resistance roll, whether sentient (Psyche FEAT) or not (material strength check).

If this FEAT is successful, nothing happens; there's just a puff of smoke or flash of light, signifying nothing. If this FEAT roll fails, however, the target will be flooded with raw, unshaped magic. This is quintessential Probability Fallout (PF), and can do quite literally anything to whatever is exposed to it. Whether good or bad, nothing suffers from PF without being altered, either temporarily or permanently.

Non-sentient targets are most often drastically transmogrified, their shape and form twisted beyond recognition. A singular object may split into several, inanimate objects might become animate, things may transform from one thing into another, all of which may defy reason or possibility - that's the whole point, after all! Sometimes, all of the previous may occur simultaneously, for better or worse.

Sentient targets, they're in a similar boat. While the core sameness of a sentient target usually won't change (one entity will usually remain such, for instance), any number of things might occur to them. They may suffer a minor or major change in appearance or form, they could develop (or lose) some sort of special ability, or they might just disappear in a most spectacular manner, likely leaving little behind but shoes.

The duration of a flux-induced alteration depends primarily on conditions present when the power is invoked. A green flux FEAT will make the effect last for a number of turns equal to its rank number; a Good (10) ranked flux causes it to last for one minute (10 turns). A yellow flux roll will multiply this value by ten, meaning that Good (10) ability mentioned above will change a body for ten minutes, instead of just one.

A red flux FEAT will render the target different for a number of hours equal to this ability's rank number (ten hours for our Good (10) ranked friend, above). The latter assumes an animate target; inanimate objects are altered permanently on a red roll unless the wielder of this ability chooses otherwise - or later extracts the flux he or she subjected it to in the first place, somehow.

The real problem with anything affected by flux is the fact that Probability Fallout is sticky. Whenever something is affected by PF, it will maintain a 'charge' of such. This build-up of PF will discharge through others, doing so in an SD fashion. This charge, once imparted upon another target, can spread it to still more at the lowered intensity, and so on and so on, until all of the PF is 'used up'.

As an example, say someone with Remarkable (30) ranked flux has struck a foe's car. It fails an m.s. check and is transformed into, say, a tiger, a Vespa ™ scooter, various squirming light bulbs, and three hundred gallons of mayonnaise. Its wielder rolls a yellow power FEAT, so this change is only temporary, but if any of the animate items created by flux wander off, they may return to normal in a disassembled state.

All of this material is probability radioactive, in an SD sense. When any of it touches something (or is touched), this material will discharge -2 CS PF, prompting successive FEAT rolls for the new victims (including the driver of the transformed car) at this lower rank. Once they emit this PF, the 'ground zero' items' PF will lower by another -2 CS, which will discharge upon subsequent contact, and so on - until it's all gone.

This ability is likely the single greatest reason paraprobabilitists and psychoturges have such a bad reputation. Things they dose with flux often wander off and spread the probability contagion far and wide (particularly if one of them can fly). A highly charged 'patient zero' who can disperse the charge all over the place, both directly and indirectly, is especially havoc-inducing.

Flux Analysis
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Flux analysis is a means by which one can look at the residue left behind by the use of magic, and determine a variety of things about it. It's sort of a past tense version of magic sense, but the retrospective nature of this ability allows it to glean more information from the magic involved than that sensory ability ever could. But then again, it doesn't really work on active sorcery, so there's that.

When inspecting the residual Probability Fallout on a person, place, or thing, the possessor of this ability can determine a variety of information with a mere green power FEAT roll. This information includes whether or not the magic involved was due to natural phenomenon (environmental effects) or artificially induced (magic spell or power), and what form of energy was used (personal, universal, et cetera).

A yellow flux analysis FEAT roll gives a bit more information about the magic in question, such as which school of magic was involved (if applicable), and what the spell (or spells) brought to bear actually was (or were). The singular/plural is necessary as each spell used on something will leave a trail of PF back through time, one which the possessor of this power can unravel when using it effectively.

Finally, a red flux analysis FEAT roll will reveal additional information, not readily apparent simply by the effects the magic caused. This gives the wielder of flux analysis situational awareness regarding the use of the observed magic, including what may have prompted its wielder to bring it to bear... which is possible since each mage puts his or her own 'spin' on magic, affecting it much like it affects others.

P

Personal Static
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

This dangerous ability allows its wielder to generate waves of mystical force, waves which act to distort the probabilities inherent to the casting of personal magic spells. These waves can extend out into the space within Very Near distance of this ability's wielder, thus acting to prevent the use of spells and spell-like powers which wield personal energies while they are present.

In order for such abilities to work, they must pass a spell or power FEAT roll against the personal static power rank. If they cannot manage this, such abilities are impossible to use while personal static is active, making this ability a great way to curtail the more physical abilities of spellcasters - physiomancers in particular are especially vulnerable to personal static.

R

Reprise
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell, Psimantic Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

The reprise power builds on the logic behind the very nature of magic. Essentially, the idea with magic is to modify probability until something that is astoundingly improbable occurs. Reprise adds to that notion, however, by positing that if something can happen once, no matter how improbable an event it may seem to be, what's stopping it from happening multiple times?

When reprise is active, the power can modify the alterations in the laws of probability that enable the casting of spells in the first place, possibly causing the end result to occur more than once. This result can be anything from the emission of an eldritch bolt to the summoning of a demon! Each time a spell is cast while reprise is active, it has the possibility of repeating itself several times.

How this works is that, at the beginning of a turn in which he or she maintains reprise, a character who cast a spell on the previous turn must make a power FEAT roll. If the color of this FEAT is green or better, the spell effect will occur again. This doesn't automatically produce the exact same result, mind you; the spell is simply cast a second time under the auspices of the reprise ability.

Thus, that eldritch bolt must be aimed at one's target anew, while the second summoned demon may or may not be under its summoner's control - whether or not the first one was. And so on.

But as stated above, reprise can echo a spell more than once. On a turn where reprise is being maintained, it can echo a spell that has already been repeated once on a yellow power FEAT roll, or it can even echo a spell that has been repeated two or more times on a red power FEAT roll. This process can continue until either the character with this power deactivates it or the reprise FEAT rolls finally fail.

In this fashion, one can get more 'bang for their buck' out of the casting of a single spell. This helps a spellcaster to perform multiple actions even if he or she has a particularly low Fighting score, as the reprise occurs despite whatever actions they are currently taking - even if that means they are casting a completely different spell while this power is giving an encore presentation of one previously cast.

Each spell running through the cycle of echoes that reprise induces has a separate power FEAT roll to see if the effect occurs again. A freshly cast spell might echo on the same turn that one four turns previous did, assuming the wielder of this power has particularly lucky dice... or a considerable amount of Karma banked to ensure that he or she can loop their spells in such a fashion.

Roulette
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

Unpredictability personified, roulette allows its wielder to manifest a new super human capability every time it is invoked. The difficulty is that roulette's wielder has no control over what power they will develop when doing so. In other words, the likelihood of a character playing roulette acquiring an ability precisely applicable to their current situation is slim - but predicting how they will perform in battle is similarly unlikely.

How roulette works is that each time it is used, the player should randomly determine a new power, using the character generation tables. The Textbook Character Treatise works best for this, though a player can utilize any they feel fits their character - as long as they stick to the same one over time. Alternately, the Judge can whip up a large batch of such abilities in advance, and tick through them as roulette is activated.

Abilities gained via roulette will operate at its power rank, or at a minimum value determined by the power in question - whichever of the two is higher. They will generally 'stick' with the wielder of roulette for 1d10 turns, though this can be bolstered to 1d10 minutes as a weak enhancement, 1d10 hours as a strong enhancement, 1d10 days as a very strong enhancement, or 1d10 weeks as an extreme enhancement.

On the other hand, if a character manifests a roulette power that they dislike, they need only invoke the power again to change it out for another!

S

Sorcerous Amplification
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Sorcerous amplification allows its wielder to enhance the effectiveness of another person's magical abilities (either natural or learned) for a small amount of time. When triggered, sorcerous amplification will raise the rank of any one spell or spell-like power another person possesses, increasing it either to this power rank or the spell or spell-like power's rank +1 CS, whichever of the two is higher.

This power works within Very Near distance of its wielder, and it may only affect one magic ability at a time. It lasts for 1d10 turns, unless the effect is specifically maintained longer.

Once it wears off, sorcerous amplification may not be used on the same target again for one hour - without degrading its relative utility, that is. For each additional use on a single target without a one hour 'cool down', sorcerous amplification loses -1 CS of its overall effectiveness for them. This is enough to neutralize its use upon magic more potent than itself, while more gradually reducing its use in other instances.

Sorcerous Attenuation
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Sorcerous attenuation is the ability to stifle the operating rank of one or more magical powers, natural or learned, in one's vicinity. This power works on targets within Near range of its possessor, and the effects of the power last for only 1d10 turns, unless specifically maintained on a target for a longer period of time - which may be required to prevent them from vigorously retaliating against this power's wielder.

This power works by deciding which magic ability to dampen, and then activating it. The targets of sorcerous attenuation may attempt a FEAT with the magic to be attenuated; if they can match the intensity of sorcerous attenuation, they successfully resist it. If victorious, attenuators may apply one negative Column Shift to the targeted sorcery for each rank they have in this ability, negating it when reducing it to Shift 0.

For example, let us consider a sorcerous attenuator who has this power at Amazing (50) rank. He's fighting an opponent with the destructive tendency to freeze everything in the area with his Monstrous (75) ranked eldritch bolt (cold). When using sorcerous attenuation on this foe, our hero can mostly negate his eldritch bolt if the target cannot pass a green power FEAT roll against this lesser assault on his spellcasting.

A versatile power, sorcerous attenuation can be wielded against multiple magics - whether they belong to one character or many. The trick, though, is that each doubling (always rounding up) of spells so dampened will reduce the effective rank of sorcerous attenuation by -1 CS - both for the purposes of overcoming the magic it is used against, and the maximum number of Column Shifts attenuation can inflict upon it all.

Returning to our example, say the foe of our attenuator has five spells - and will readily use the others on our hero if his eldritch bolt is neutered. The attenuator instead uses his ability against his foe's other four spells, which will each (assuming he fails to resist) suffer a -6 CS penalty on their rank. His foe can still use that eldritch bolt, but his other spells are now much less dangerous.

An attenuator can reduce this penalty somewhat by attempting to hamper less of a spell's ranks than their maximum. For each -2 CS he or she chooses not to apply to the magic they are attacking, an attenuator can prevent the operating rank of this power from losing -1 CS of its overall effectiveness. This may not completely neuter their foes, but allows an attenuator to knock their mystic enemies down a peg or two.

In time, a coven of evil mages gang up on our sorcerous attenuator, sick and tired of him meddling in their plans. He may dull one spell on each of his four foes, though this reduces his power's effectiveness by -2 CS, allowing him only -6 CS of attenuation. By reducing his overall effect to only -4 CS, our heroic sorcerous attenuator can attempt this action with but a -1 CS penalty.

Splitting one's focus to attenuate multiple spells in this fashion tends to make this ability fail more often than not, unless they have it at a particularly high rank - which may just make it easier to go with some other sorcerous countermeasures, instead. This power is the most readily available to curtail the use of magic temporarily, however, without inflicting permanent harm on others.

Spell Control
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Spell control is the potent power to actively manipulate the very form and function of magical abilities. It only works on magic spells or magical powers inherent to the body of its target, not other talent-based abilities (psionics) or non-magical super powers (mutations). Furthermore, spell control can only affect the magical abilities of others - not those wielded by its possessor.

If a mystically inclined individual or the effects of their abilities are present within Near range of the spell controller, he or she can attempt co-opt such. If attempting to use this ability on a magic effect free of its creator's body, this only requires a FEAT against its intensity. If the magical ability is not in use or is otherwise internalized to its target, its possessor is also allowed a Psyche (will) FEAT to resist.

Once the possessor of spell control has taken control of the magic of another, they can do any number of things with it. However, spell control actions require a second FEAT roll, based on how complicated its wielder's intentions are. Redirecting the target of a magic power or spell (pointing an eldritch bolt away from oneself, or 'borrowing' the body armor of another) requires a green spell control FEAT.

Activating or inactivating magic already in play requires a yellow FEAT. This can range from being a nuisance to downright lethal, depending on how vital the wizardry being tinkered with is to the survival of its possessor. Yellow FEATs also allow one to change minor details of the magic's nature somewhat (perhaps, say, changing that eldritch bolt into something the spell controller is more resistant to, like a beam of feathers?)

A red FEAT grants the spell controller the ability to drastically alter the nature of magic, being able to transform it from any one ability into any other they desire. This might turn a body armor spell into shrinking, or teleportation into dimensional transit, causing its wielder to blip off into parts most unknown. Such applications are by far the most dangerous uses of spell control - and the most lethal.

Luckily for the opponents of a spell controller, the effects of this ability are highly transient in nature. They only last as long as the spell controller is actively concentrating upon his or her changes. Furthermore, each turn someone is subject to spell control (perhaps the spell controller is 'borrowing' their abilities for a while), they may attempt another FEAT to resist its use on their person.

Static Shield
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

A static shield is a defensive construct its wielder may build around themselves or another, which protects against the effects of Probability Fallout. Once erected, a static shield vigorously defends the current form of its occupant's existence, absorbing and nullifying all PF of its rank or less that it comes in contact with. This is a great way for a paraprobabilitist or a psychoturge to protect allies from their 'mistakes'.

If overwhelmed by PF, a static shield will collapse, but the PF that actually broke the shield will not affect its former occupant - not this turn, at least. If a static shield is broken, it may behoove its creator to build another one as soon as possible, in order to avoid the effects of PF contagion. While the 'main' threat of PF may have been diffused by the shield during its collapse, the stuff is notoriously sticky.

A mostly useful side effect of the static shield is that it prevents anyone from manipulating the probability field of its occupant. While so warded, a person has the static shield's rank in resistance to luck controlling abilities - whether beneficial or harmful. While it may prevent good luck from helping the shield's occupant (even their own!), it will similarly protect them from being 'jinxed' by others when active.

T

Thaumaturgical Vampirism
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

Thaumaturgical vampirism allows its wielder to feed upon the magic contained within various items, phenomenon, or persons in the environment, mainly to recover lost Health. As do other forms of this ability, thaumaturgical vampirism requires contact with its would-be victim. Upon touching the target, a thaumaturgical vampire may drain amount of magic from it equal to this power's rank - assuming a target has that much within.

The target of thaumaturgical vampirism can be one of three separate sources of magic. The first is spells encountered in the environment. A power FEAT roll made against the intensity of such magic allows a thaumaturgical vampire to feast upon the magic before him or her, draining its intensity by this power's rank number with each use. Such spells may either be in transit to their target or already in place.

The second target of thaumaturgical vampirism comes in the form of magical items - inanimate objects which contain magic, either of a temporary or permanent nature. Temporary magical items can be drained as can ordinary spells, per the above, but a permanent object can be drained only if the thaumaturgical vampire can pass an ACT roll against the magic used to create that item in the first place.

The third source of magic for a thaumaturgical vampire is, of course, magical beings. For the purposes of this power, a magical being is defined as any entity which possess magical abilities, whether natural or trained. On contact with a thaumaturgical vampire, such a being must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT roll, against the intensity of this power, in order to avoid being drained of their magical capabilities.

Each turn it is used, thaumaturgical vampirism will drain the mystic powers and/or magical spells a hapless target possesses, assuming the target cannot shrug the thaumaturgical vampire off; a subsequent resistance FEAT roll is allowed upon each new turn. This draining can affect all of a target's magical abilities equally, or can instead work against declared target abilities, as the thaumaturgical vampire desires.

If a resistance FEAT is successful at any point during the feeding process, the target will immediately repulse the thaumaturgical vampire, gaining immunity from further assaults with this power from this thaumaturgical vampire (though not from other characters with this ability or any other vampiric powers the assailant may possess). Upon managing this, the target should note this resistance in the event of future assaults.

If a thaumaturgical vampire is at full Health when they drain their power rank in magic, they receive a +1 CS to their Strength, Endurance, Psyche, and all power ranks save for this one (additional drains do not enhance them further). This boost lasts for 1d100 turns, after which point the character with thaumaturgical vampirism will return to normal. Gaining another, like boost requires another feeding.

The danger in using this ability against the living is twofold. First off, there's the risk of contagion. Draining someone of their magic completely is a lethal attack. If the victim of such an attack fails their Kill check, they begin to lose Endurance ranks until either first aid is administered or they die. Soon afterwards, they will rise again as an undead creature, a thaumaturgical vampire that requires magic to survive.

Secondly, if a thaumaturgical vampire kills with this ability (accidentally or intentionally), they must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT against the intensity of this power. If this FEAT fails, the thaumaturgical vampire becomes addicted to the magic of the living, and requires it to function. While addicted, the character with thaumaturgical vampirism suffers a loss of power each day they do not feed upon large amounts of magic.

This loss comes in the form of a -1 CS to their Strength, Endurance, and Psyche scores, as well as all their power ranks (save for this one). In order to avoid this loss, the addicted thaumaturgical vampire must drain an amount of bodily magic equal to their thaumaturgical vampirism rank each day, and if at a penalty, a like amount to recover each -1 CS lost. The only way to shake this addiction is to go cold turkey.

And that's not easy.

Withdrawal from the magical powers of the living causes the CS penalties to mount, until the character's indicated ability scores and power ranks reach Shift 0. This prompts an Endurance FEAT, per a Kill result. If this FEAT fails, the character immediately dies, and will eventually rise as a thaumaturgical vampire themselves. If it succeeds, they may attempt a Psyche (will) FEAT to overcome their addiction.

If this Psyche FEAT succeeds, the character is 'cured', and may begin to recover lost ability and power ranks at a rate of +1 CS per day. If the Psyche FEAT fails, however, the character must wait another day, and repeat the Endurance FEAT to see if they live long enough to attempt another Psyche FEAT to beat the urge. This continues until the character either dies or gets clean.

If a character with thaumaturgical vampirism has ever been addicted to the magical energies of others, using the ability against others again may cause a relapse - even if they've physically recovered from the ordeal. Every time the character uses thaumaturgical vampirism on the living afterwards, they must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT, the failure of which indicates an immediate relapse into magic addiction.

If they pass this FEAT they'll be fine - at least, until next time!

Naturally, an undead creature dependent on the magical power of others to live cannot shake this requirement. This process only applies to still-living wielders of thaumaturgical vampirism, and not its many victims.

U

Universal Static
Type: Paraprobabilitism Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

This potent power allows its wielder to generate waves of mystical force, waves which act to distort the probabilities inherent to the casting of universal magic spells. These waves can extend out into the space within Very Near distance of this ability's wielder, thus acting to prevent the use of spells and spell-like powers which wield universal energies while they are present.

In order for such abilities to work, they must pass a spell or power FEAT roll against the universal static power rank. If they cannot manage this, such abilities are impossible to use while universal static is active, making this ability a great way to curtail the more explosive abilities of spellcasters - elementalists in particular are especially vulnerable to universal static.

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