Personal Spells

Personal spells are supernatural effects that augment their caster in various fashions. They can amplify the extant faculties of those who wield them or provide entirely new capabilities, either of which greatly bolster the odds of a wizard's success in his or her endeavors. While some can affect others directly, spells of a Personal nature are those which are primarily centered upon their caster.

On the other hand, Personal spells may be cast on others. Unless specifically prohibited, most often by having the word 'self' in their name, mages can share the benefits of Personal spells. Doing so involves tapping into additional power to transfer their outcome from their caster to another recipient, however, thus making them for all intents and purposes Universal spells in such instances.

In keeping with their basic nature, Personal spells require the least amount of external energy to function. While their output is not directly extracted from the caster, the shaping of the energies utilized to produce Personal spell effects is nonetheless draining on their wielder. This is why a Personal spell represents the largest exertion possible, where the optional fatigue rules are concerned.

At the same time, Personal spells require the least amount of time to collect the energy necessary to work in the first place. Regardless of the means a sorcerer utilizes to actualize a Personal spell, whether it be a conceptual, phrasal, gesticulate, or even consumptive trigger, they are generally activated the fastest. This is why a Personal spell executes the quickest, where the optional initiative rules are concerned.

In short, Personal spells can seem the most like psionics, at least to the untrained observer They tend to be unobtrusive in their usage, and may very well betray no physical proof that they were wielded in the first place. While there are several exceptions to these trends, of course, Personal spells are the perfect tool for characters attempting to maintain a low profile, either for themselves or the use of their sorcery.

At any rate, herein lies the descriptions of all fifty known Personal spells, collected for your convenience:

A B C D E F G H I K M N P R S T

A

Ability Boost
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Ability boost allows its possessor to temporarily augment - significantly - any one ability score of their choice. When activated, its wielder can choose either their Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition or Psyche, and enhance it to a value that is equal to this power in rank - or the value of the enhanced ability +1 CS, whichever is higher. An ability boost of any kind lasts only for 1d10 turns.

Once it wears off, ability boost may not again be used for an hour - at least, not without degrading its overall capability. For each additional use without a one hour 'cool down', ability boost loses -1 CS of its overall effectiveness. This is enough to neutralize its use upon abilities greater than its own rank, while gradually reducing its power in all other instances, if used too frequently.

One's Health or Karma score should be temporarily recalculated to account for the character's new prowess; this can cause problems if he or she takes severe damage before the power wears off, as a negative Health total upon the power's termination affects a body per a Kill result.

Ability Boost may easily be limited by reducing the number of abilities it can temporarily enhance. Constraining it to either physical or mental ability scores is considered a weak limitation (+1 CS or one point cost reduction), while allowing ability boost to enhance but one ability score is instead a strong limitation (+2 CS or two point cost reduction). Fighting can count as either a physical or mental ability for this purpose.

Similarly, one may enhance ability boost by allowing it to boost more than one ability score at once (enhancing the power by one step for each additional ability score so boosted), or with each doubling of duration (2d10 turns of boost would be a weak enhancement, and so on.)

Age Control / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The curious ability of age control allows its possessor to, for all intents and purposes, alter his or her apparent age. One may do so (in either direction) by a number of years equal to this power rank number. There is no upper limit to the age a character can assume, though certain extremes can be increasingly dangerous; advanced age makes one particularly injury-prone, while a prenatal state makes one helpless.

While at a differing age, one gains all the benefits and penalties of such a change. One might receive a senior citizen discount while roaming around as a centenarian, but they'd be rather likely to fall and break their hip. Similarly, being incredibly young might let someone get away with things that an adult otherwise couldn't - though they're also less physically capable at the same time.

If a character possessing longevity uses this ability, their age will be altered as if they did not have that ability in the first place (otherwise, the two powers would be mutually exclusive).

Animal Hybridization / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Animal hybridization is the process of transforming oneself into another creature. This involves an innate familiarity with the biological processes of said animal, which lets the character with this ability mold their bodily functions and anatomy until it changes from its original state into the new one. Such transformations may be partial (adopting some traits of the animal) or complete (adopting the full form of the animal).

Complete transformations allow the wielder of this ability to use all of the creature's ability scores and special powers - including its Health points. Visually, the character will appear to be a perfectly normal specimen of the animal species, though they'll retain the same scent, still being genetically human (or whatever their original form is). Of course, the character will also retain their original intellect while transformed.

Even if this power involves changing one's form into a non-sentient creature as a general matter of course.

Partial transformations allow the wielder of this ability to pick and choose which facets of his or her anatomy are changed. One might simply want the claws of a lion, instead of changing into one outright. This allows one to use animal hybridization more discreetly if desired, either adopting specific physical capabilities or simply changing one's appearance for purely cosmetic reasons (like wearing a mane).

When this ability is first gained, its possessor may originally only transform into one specific kind of animal, but may adopt additional transformations (into different animals) as a power stunt - for each - at their leisure. Typically, 'powers' gained by the use of this ability are limited to the animal hybridization rank in effectiveness - save for powers such as physical weaponry, which have no specific rank.

Animal Sympathy
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Animal sympathy is the ability to mentally communicate with non-sentient animal life forms. One can usually tell whether or not this power will work on a given creature by the presence or absence of a Karma score - Karma denotes free will, the presence of a soul, and all that business. The target of this power, then, can include beings ranging from amoebas to dinosaurs, though the more complex they are, the better.

More empathic than telepathic in nature, animal sympathy lets its wielder get 'inside' the head of its target, in order to have a conversation of sorts with it. Since they aren't intelligent, animals will generally prove to be somewhat simplistic in communication. They can definitely share their impressions of the world and everything in it (such as they are), as well as pass on information about things they've experienced.

The quality of such recollections depend on how advanced an animal form is. Mammals of any stripe, being similar to one's own biology, can be communicated with on a green power FEAT. Yellow FEAT rolls are necessary to speak with somewhat different life forms, whether they're birds or reptiles. One can even talk to insects and amoebas and the like, though such 'alien' life forms require a red FEAT with this power.

Animal sympathy generally functions within Near range of its wielder. Furthermore, it usually requires that the wielder of this power and its target can sense each other through mundane means as well. This is not necessary if the character with animal sympathy knows the target of this power, and its range is extended to Middle distance in the event of communications with a trusted animal partner.

Astral Projection
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

This potent ability allows a character to separate his or her consciousness from their physical body. This consciousness then moves into the astral plane, a realm of the mind adjacent to most other dimensions. From there, the character's mental projection, or astral form, can move about freely at great speed. Unencumbered by mass, a consciousness moves through the astral plane as if it were interplanetary space.

This allows a body to rapidly project their mind anywhere on earth - and often far beyond - in order to observe events. As it is adjacent to our reality, the astral plane can be used to spy upon others with ease, doing so invisibly; unless a body has the ability to see into the astral realm or otherwise sense minds in their vicinity, he or she won't be aware that they're being observed from another plane.

Projecting astrally is an action which must be maintained consciously, but this may be done for quite a while; astral projection has a maximum safe duration equal to its rank in hours. For example, a projector with Amazing (50) astral projection may shed his or her consciousness and let it wander the earth for just over two days at a time. Food and water become an issue during longer projections, however.

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

While astral, the character effectively has no body - a seemingly obvious fact - which may cause complications in the event of astral combat. While astral, one's Fighting remains the same, though they must substitute Intuition for Agility, Reason for Strength, and Psyche for Endurance when necessary. Any magic, psionic, or deionic items a projector possesses will 'make the trip' with them, as a part of their self-image.

Mind you, unless sentient themselves, such implements function on the astral plane at a -1 CS.

While astral bodies can fight each other directly, they cannot exert physical force on the 'real' world. They may wield abilities of the psionic sort against those on the material plane, such as telepathy or mind control, and they can control magic, psionic, or deionic items on their person from afar if necessary. But working against the physical world directly requires the use of the dimensional interface ability.

This allows astral effects to be wielded against physical targets normally, though the reverse is also true; an astrally projecting character who has interfaced his mind with normal reality can attack targets within, but they can attack back as well.

Augury
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: encounter
Cost: 1 point per rank

By performing an augury, characters can gain limited insight into the immediate future. After studying a target (or targets) for a total of three turns (not necessarily sequential), the augur can invoke this ability. He or she will then gain a solid inkling regarding the actions of said target(s). What this allows them to do, then, is to put off deciding on their actions until his or her opponents have declared their own.

This benefit functions regardless of who has the initiative, and for the duration of a fight, thus giving the augur a significant advantage as he or she never has to worry about changing actions. After all, they already knows what's going to happen... at least, unless a foe changes his or her actions after declaring them. The only time the augury rank comes into play is if two augurs are duking it out against each other.

A player character must pass a FEAT roll against the intensity of an NPC opponent's augury ability in order to gain the normal benefit. If two player character augurs are slugging it out, go with the higher rank of the two to determine the advantage, and if they are equal, have each roll a d100. Whoever gets the higher die roll wins and gains the benefit of augury for the duration of that fight.

B

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

This sensory ability allows its possessor an awareness of other life forms in his or her vicinity. Unless entities are cloaked somehow, this sense will automatically pinpoint every living thing within its range, as determined on the Middle range table. This use of the biological sense does not discriminate at all, and while it requires no roll it also provides no specific information about the huge amount of life forms so noted.

Attempting a FEAT allows the wielder of this power to fine tune what they're perceiving, however.

A green biological sense FEAT indicates the types of biological forms present, such as plants, animals, and fungi, and allows the character to 'screen out' unwanted forms of life. A yellow FEAT roll allows the inspection of individual life forms, determining particular and specific data about each one and how it functions. A red biological sense FEAT even allows the character to pick out a specific entity amongst similar life forms.

Blending
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of blending allows its possessor to match his or her coloration to that of their surroundings - to a precise degree. By matching one's hue to perfectly reflect that which is directly behind them, a blender can achieve a makeshift form of invisibility. While completely motionless, a character with blending will appear to be a perfectly normal component of their surroundings, disguising themselves with power rank skill.

Unless, of course, the background itself decides to move.

Whether the blender or the background shifts, a discontinuity between the character's appearance and the background will arise, allowing an Intuition (alt) FEAT roll at +2 CS to detect the blended individual. Thus, it's ideal to use blending against walls and other flat surfaces, where movement is unlikely - as is something passing behind the blender to betray their presence.

A variant form of blending allows its possessor to instead make their body almost entirely transparent, instead of merely sinking into the background of a vista. While the outline of a character rendered translucent is still visible if one looks for it, the power allows 'live' updates to the appearance it generates, since the light behind a character passes right through them while blending is active.

A character may adopt one form of blending or the other when beginning play, but may develop the other as a power stunt later on, if desired.

Naturally, blending works better in some environments than others, but a character can limit the power to functioning under only one such condition as a limitation. Only functioning at night or while cloaked in shadow counts as a weak limitation, for example. Similarly, a strong limitation of blending prevents its possessor from applying the power to his or her possessions - only their body blends in with one's environs.

Body Armor
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

An inherent protection from damage, body armor serves to prevent injury to characters. Body armor comes in a variety of forms, whether it involves hardened skin that deflects damage from the soft tissues beneath, a fluid physiology that lets damage pass through instead of tearing it apart, or any number of other permutations on this theme. All forms of body armor, regardless of their nature, work in the same way.

Body armor works best against direct physical damage. This includes anything which inflicts Blunt Attack, Edged Attack, Blunt Throwing, Edged Throwing, Force, or Shooting damage, as well as subtler physical attack forms like crushing pressure. Against such assaults, body armor will provide its full rank in protection. On the other hand, other forms of attack are more effective against 'basic' body armor.

Body armor is -2 CS effective against Energy attack (fire, electricity, etc.), -4 CS effective against Sorcerous (magical) damage, -6 CS effective against Karmic (psionic) assault, and -8 CS effective in the face of Deionic (godly) forces. The idea is that these damage forms are less deterred by mere material protections such as body armor, and operate on an increasingly higher (and/or dangerous) level.

This variation in protection can be represented as a simple line beneath body armor in power listings, showcasing the individual resistances body armor provides. Most defensive powers in the Universal Heroes rule system list the protections they offer in the order of physical attack, energy attack, magical attack, psionic attack, and deionic attack. The basic format body armor follows is shown here:

Power Rank / Power Rank -2 CS / Power Rank -4 CS / Power Rank -6 CS / Power Rank -8 CS

For example, a Remarkable (30) ranked body armor would provide the following protections:

Rm 30 / Gd 10 / Pr 4 / Sh 0 / Sh 0

For the most part, conventional body armor provides minimal, if any protection against psionic or deionic assault, but this matches up with the vast majority of fiction that involves such things. Protection from psionics most often comes in the form of one's own training or special devices / powers which act to counter such, and usually only the gods themselves possess defense against their own assaults.

On the other hand, 'special origin' armor covers its own type of damage differently. Were that same, Remarkable (30) ranked body armor produced by magic instead of, say, a physical mutation, it would defend against Sorcerous damage at its full power rank, not the -4 CS described above. In other words, the protection that mystical body armor offered its possessor, likely thanks to a potent spell, would break down like so:

Rm 30 / Gd 10 / Rm 30 / Sh 0 / Sh 0

Body Armor can be limited in any number of fashions. While the 'ideal' body armor is indistinguishable from ordinary skin, one can make theirs clearly visible. One can appear to have rocky skin, bubbly burnt flesh, an elephantine hide, or whatever else. Another option is to have the armor transient in nature; while the 'default' body armor is always on, the transient armor will only function when consciously maintained.

Each of these count as weak limitations, and thus add a +1 CS to the power's final value (random generation) or subtract 1 point from its cost (point generation). Both limitations can be taken at the same time, if desired (and if one's armor makes them particularly monstrous, this may in fact be preferred). Body armor as a spell or psionic is inherently transient in nature, and thus so limited 'out of the box'.

C

Combat Edge
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: encounter
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

By means of this ability, a combatant can gain an uncanny insight into the actions of his or her foes. Once invoked, combat edge will begin to 'read' its target, and after three turns of combat in an encounter, its wielder will have a 'good idea' just what their opponent will be planning at any given moment. Once the target is read, the combat edge ability will provide its wielder a +1 CS on all FEAT rolls made against said enemy.

This particular bonus only lasts for one combat session, but if the character using combat edge has wielded the ability on an antagonist in a previous encounter, he or she can 'read' them after only one turn on subsequent activations.

Contact Absorption
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

This powerful spell allows a wizard to imbue his or her very body with the properties of anything they touch. With a successful spell FEAT roll, their body will attempt to assume a Strength, Endurance, and body armor rating that is equal to the material strength of whatever it is they're touching when casting contact absorption. While the first two are limited to this spell rank for an upper limit, the body armor provided is not.

Furthermore, any characteristics of the material being touched will also be adopted by the wizard casting this spell. Grabbing a red hot, spiky steel ball will imbue the caster with spikes as well as a searing temperature. Superfluous energies absorbed along with everything else will last for up to 1d10 turns before dissipating into the environment around the caster, for good or ill.

On the other hand, operating at an excessive material strength has a deleterious effect on one's speed; absorbing the properties of a Shift Y m.s. material may make you nigh-invulnerable, but you'll be nigh-immobile. For each rank of body armor a character using contact absorption has above this spell's rank, reduce their Strength (vgr) for motion purposes and Intuition for initiative purposes by 1 CS, with a minimum of Feeble (2).

Furthermore, when in such a hardened state, a sorcerer cannot cast more than one spell per turn, no matter how many extra actions he or she would otherwise have.

D

Danger Sense
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Vastly improving one's performance in combat, a danger sense automatically alerts its possessor to imminent harm. While the wielder of a danger sense may not be aware just what kind of threat awaits him or her, they will usually know the direction it is coming from, and about how long they have until it strikes. Danger sense can 'see' a number of seconds into the future equal to its rank number.

This allows for a number of useful effects in battle - whether in melee or ranged combat. For one thing, a character using his or her danger sense may substitute its rank for Intuition when determining initiative and surprise, their Agility for dodging or weaving attacks, their Fighting while evading or feinting, their Strength for the purposes of escaping holds or blocking attacks, and their Endurance if attempting bracing maneuvers.

If one's danger sense is possessed of a smaller power level than the rank of these abilities, it will nonetheless improve them by +1 CS for the purposes of the above uses.

Deflection
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 4 points per CS (or one power slot per 2 CS)

Deflection is a powerful ability which allows its wielder to casually shrug off attacks to a small extent. How exactly it works depends on the character described; it may involve slippery force fields, carefully crafted angular design, or any other number (or combination) of special tricks. The idea is that deflection tends to 'bounce' incoming attacks off of its possessor at oblique angles, acting as an always-on minus to hit.

Unlike most super-human abilities, deflection is rated not in ranks, but in Column Shifts. For every CS of deflection a character has, he or she will inflict a -1 CS upon other characters attempting to hit their person with an attack. As long as said attack requires a roll to hit (instead of providing, say, a resistance roll), deflection will affect that incoming attack no matter what form (or origin) it takes.

On the other hand, deflection does nothing for an attack which does connect with its wielder. While it acts to keep incoming attacks from hitting a body, deflection doesn't attenuate their damage any if they do manage to strike him or her.

While the cost of deflection is great (four points per CS worth of such), it can be reduced with limitations. Every category of damage that deflection does not affect (per Greater Resistance or Invulnerability) will reduce its cost by 1/8. Similarly, if deflection is provided in a non-permanent fashion (as is the case with talent-equivalent abilities like spells or psionics), reduce the cost by 2.

For example, let us look at Gunter the Hunter. He opts for 2 CS of deflection with no 'holes' in its defense, and wants it to be always on. This inflicts a constant -2 CS penalty on anyone ever trying to strike him, at a base cost of 8.

On the other hand, Samuel the Sorcerer wants a spell giving him 4 CS of deflection. He gives it vulnerability to metabolic and vampiric attacks. Since it's a spell, it counts as 'temporary' protection. 4 CS of deflection unaltered would have a base cost of 16, but his missing resistance categories reduce that by 4, and his 2 point limitation for its transient nature, reduces Samuel's final cost to a 'mere' 10.

During character generation, this may wind up being his only spell, but if learned later, it may simply cost him an arm and a leg (figuratively speaking) in Karma rewards. Better head out on patrol more!

Density Control / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

This versatile ability allows its possessor to manipulate their body's mass. One does not gain or lose volume as a result of this power, but their apparent density will dramatically change when it is in play. Wielding density control, a character can either increase or decrease their total mass; limiting it to either counts as a strong limitation, while making the power permanent (in either direction) is an extreme limitation.

When increasing one's mass, treat the power rank of this ability as a multiplier. For example, a man with this ability at Amazing (50) rank who weighs 200 pounds can increase their weight to ten thousand pounds - five tons! This allows a character to readily pin almost anyone down who lacks super human Strength, and can often be enough to immobilize some vehicles - or at least slow them down dramatically.

A character with increased mass may move normally despite their added weight. This ability cannot be used to inflict more damage with weaponry and the like, but it can substitute its rank for Endurance when charging. Similarly, in a state of heightened mass, a character with this ability develops body armor of the equivalent rank, their seemingly denser frame acting to shrug off damage much better than before.

On the other hand, the character has a deleterious effect on their environs. Concentrating this much mass into the size of a human being (or whatever) often does a number on artificial structures, most of which are not designed to withstand such weight. If at a state of increased mass, the surface one is standing on, if artificial, must pass a material strength check or the character just might fall through it!

When decreasing one's mass, treat the power rank of density control as a percentage to subtract from one's weight. The above, Amazing (50) ranked power could reduce that two hundred pound man's weight by half! Once a character reaches Unearthly (100) rank with this ability, he or she effectively has zero mass while the power is active, and higher ranks actually apply a negative mass to their person, allowing them to float.

The advantages of lowering one's mass are numerous. This ability can dramatically improve travel efficiency, causing one to expend less energy when walking, improving one's jump height, and so on. Furthermore, one can approach the speed of light more easily with a decreased mass, eventually reaching it with this power at Unearthly (100) rank, and even exceeding it if at all possessed of negative mass!

Disguise
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

A specialized form of shape change, disguise allows characters the heightened capability to assume the forms of other, similar beings. A human could, for instance, take on the appearance of other humanoids, while a dog with this skill could imitate other quadrupeds. Any similarly sized being can be replicated by this ability, within the limits of one's own volume - this power alone can only shift such by fifty percent either way.

When using disguise, one can imitate all the physical characteristics of another being, from raw physical appearance (including textures) to their voice, their scent, and even their very mannerisms! This requires a bit of study first, equal to 1d10 turns of intense scrutiny, during which time the entity to be duplicated must be seen, heard, and smelled, all while in action to some extent, no matter how minimally.

Fooling others requires a power FEAT roll against their Reason, Intuition, or Psyche, whichever is less (or their nonapparent vision). Disguise is excellent for a variety of clandestine purposes, from gathering information to appropriating favor and resources on the fly. Of course, the person so imitated may eventually figure out that they've been copied, and investigate just who was tarnishing their image!

E

Eldritch Palm
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

A powerful tool for melee combat, the eldritch palm spell encases part of the caster's body in an offensive mystic aura. This aura inflicts spell rank damage upon successful contact with its target, and can take the form of almost any material or energy attack in the Universal Heroes game. A mage begins play with one form of eldritch palm, and can learn more as a power stunt or new spell.

The kind of damage it inflicts depends entirely upon its nature. An electric eldritch palm will inflict Stunning Energy damage, while an eldritch palm made from pure philosophical evil will instead inflict PF Sorcerous damage. An eldritch palm can even inflict conventional damage, if comprised of matter of any kind (such as elemental air (Force damage) or sharpened rock (Edged Attack).

Eldritch palms can be focused on any location the caster chooses - not just the palm - though they are usually consistent in their execution; fist auras normally remain fist auras, after all. Changing their focal point under special circumstances requires a successful yellow spell FEAT.

Empathy
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

This potent ability allows one to read the surface emotions of other life forms. Though not as immediately direct as telepathy, empathy functions through a completely different process, interacting with the life force of a living being instead of their consciousness. This allows an empath to read the 'feelings' that others experience instead of their thoughts - which is arguably a more honest expression of their subjects.

Empathy functions on the Middle range table. For example, an Incredible (40) ranked empath can read the emotions of others within two miles. An empath may attempt to read multiple targets simultaneously, but this reduces the ability's range by -1 CS for each doubling of targets, to a minimum of Feeble (2). No matter how many people they try to read, an empath always has at least a one area range.

In addition to reading the emotions of others, an empath may also broadcast his or her own emotional state. This is not emotion control (the feelings are not imposed upon others) so much as a simple notification. This can be to a single person with a green power FEAT, or a crowd with a yellow FEAT roll. Those receiving the empath's message will know who's sending it if they're at all familiar with him or her.

Energy Absorption
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

This potent ability makes its possessor something of a sponge, capable of soaking up ambient energy for a variety of different purposes. When this ability is first acquired, its wielder may only absorb one form of energy to start with, though he or she can acquire additional energy forms as power stunts when desired. By soaking up this energy, the absorber can prevent it from harming either themselves or others.

An absorber can internalize an amount of energy equal to this ability's rank number each round; superfluous amounts inflict damage normally. Of course, the character can store more than they can absorb at any one point; energy absorbers can fill a 'tank' of energy equal to their power rank number times five. If one attempts to absorb more than they can contain, this power will function normally, but the excess energies will be lost.

Wielding this pool of power, an energy absorber can produce a variety of useful effects whenever the need arises. He or she can use it to replenish lost Health, doing so on a point per point basis. In fact, if one's Health is at its normal maximum, an energy absorber can 'pad' it with absorbed energy, doing so until their Health is at up to twice the sum of their Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance scores.

Likewise, one can use absorbed energy to bolster their physical ability scores, shunting purloined energies into their Fighting, Agility, Strength, or Endurance on a point per point basis, raising them either to this power rank in might (if less than the energy absorption rank) or by +1 CS (if equal to or greater than the energy absorption rank). Such enhancements will only last for 1d10 turns.

Finally, absorbed energy can be directly released back into the environment - as a devastating attack! One can emit absorbed energy as power blasts, doing so at an intensity equal to this ability's rank, and consuming that much power with each use. This energy will be the same kind that was initially absorbed, or a mix of them all when multiple forms of energy have been collected, and thus have the same side effects.

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

This super-human sensory capacity allows its wielder an inherent awareness of the energies that permeate his or her environment. With a range as is determined on the Middle range table, characters with this ability can see all active energy sources within a generally considerable distance of their person. The thing to keep in mind is that this sense can detect energy in use, but not potential energy.

In other words, energy sense will be able to detect things such as the electricity in a wire beneath the ground or the radio signals floating above - but not the potential energy stored in, say, a gallon of gasoline. Once that fuel is burned to perform work its energy will be apparent, but while dormant it, and other such things, will be 'invisible' to this sense.

F

Familiar
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

A familiar is a magical companion that aids a sorcerer in whatever it is that he or she does. The familiar can take most any form, really, typically manifesting either as a 'pet' of some sort (like a cat or an owl or a large toad), a mount (like a horse, or maybe a camel) or even a fantastic creature (like a pixie, or perhaps a wee elemental entity). All familiars will share the same general abilities, regardless.

So how does this spell work? When a sorcerer casts the familiar spell, most often something from his or her nearby environment will answer. This will usually be an exceptional version of the local fauna, but if a player wants something truly unusual, they can travel to a far off land to find it. The creature will come to them within a short amount of time after the familiar spell is cast, and then the deal is struck.

This deal is nothing sinister, mind you, but an offer of service in exchange for mutual power. Upon deciding which creature to take under their wing (this may involve multiple castings until the right partner answers), the sorcerer will bond with their new found friend, at which point the creature will gain special characteristics (as outlined below) - unless a fantastic entity answers the sorcerer's call.

This sometimes happens when a non-human sentient notes the casting of the familiar spell, and decides to show up instead of an ordinary beast. At this point, the sorcerer may opt to bargain with this entity for its service. It may be bored, it may want something from the sorcerer in particular, or it may just be seeking companionship (or a patsy). But, once it agrees, it will be bound to the sorcerer as per an ordinary creature.

A familiar typically shares the same basic mindset of their sorcerer, for it volunteers to serve his or her interests - or else, why would it have joined forces with them in the first place? Furthermore, if a familiar was not actually sentient before a sorcerer enlists its aid, it will be afterwards; that's one of the things a familiar gets out of the deal. This allows the two to communicate verbally, even if the creature couldn't normally.

On top of this verbal communication, a sorcerer shares an empathic link with their familiar, and each will know what the other is feeling at any given time. This link functions on the Very Far range table, for the bond between the two is not easily sundered. Naturally, this makes a familiar a great companion for its sorcerer, and it can also serve as a foil for them in a pinch (or at the very least, great comedy relief).

Finally, a familiar will have two additional special powers - one that benefits it personally, and one it shares with its sorcerer. These powers can come in almost any form, really, from letting the sorcerer see though the familiar's eyes in a sort of sensory link or giving the sorcerer the power of flight while they ride atop it. Players should work with the Judge to determine these, if they're not readily obvious.

All the abilities described here function at the familiar spell rank. For example, say we're building a sorcerer with this spell at Good (10) rank. She opts for an Amazonian giant centipede for her familiar. It will be fully intelligent, having a Reason of Typical (6), as well as a Good (10) ranked empathic link with the sorcerer (with a range of 2,500 miles). Now it just needs two more magical powers - on top of what nature has already given it.

So, in addition to the bonus limbs and the Feeble (2) ranked poison, we need to come up with something, and working with the Judge our sorcerer decides upon intangibility for the centipede's 'personal' power (great for avoiding damage and for nabbing prey) and regeneration as a shared power (for when neither the sorcerer nor the familiar defend themselves fast enough). These powers both work at Good (10) rank.

Fantastic creatures may be an exception to the above, for they often have their own power sets which work at different power ranks. Also, being sentient to begin with, they might want something special from the sorcerer before agreeing to serve him or her. This may be assistance in some goal or another, or perhaps an exchange of power at some point (demons are particularly dangerous in this regard).

As another example, let us look at a sorcerer who chose a pixie familiar. This creature will offer the empathic bond as do all other familiars, but pixies already have their own abilities, which come in the form of diminutive stature, minor spellcasting in their own right, and a blindingly quick skill with a blade. The pixie will have no special powers above and beyond its normal fare, but may know magic beneficial to its sorcerer.

This might sound like a lot of benefit for just one spell - and it is - but there's a down side, should harm befall the familiar. Being responsible for its well-being, a sorcerer will lose all of his or her Karma if their familiar is slain - whether or not it was due to their own negligence. As such, most sorcerers worth their salt will do their best to protect their familiar - unless they're trying to get a new one, that is.

Typically, a sorcerer may only have one familiar at a time. If he or she wishes to acquire more, they must master this spell again, as if it were a completely different spell. Each familiar spell can only support one companion, but a sorcerer can (if they wish) learn this spell any number of times in order to acquire a large number of followers. Even if protecting them all becomes increasingly more difficult!

Flaw Sense
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The flaw sense is an uncanny knack for finding the inherent weakness(es) of a person, place, or thing. A green FEAT roll will determine a physical weakness or stress point, a yellow FEAT can showcase mental shortcomings or problems, and a red flaw sense FEAT roll will reveal weak points of almost any nature - whether physical, mental, or metaphysical (and how to exploit them).

Having this knowledge doesn't necessarily mean you can take advantage of it. But if you can, the benefit is that if you can strike with a yellow result in whatever manner will best affect a given target's flaw, you can inflict considerably more damage. Against inanimate objects, one's damage will be increased up to an amount equal to their flaw sense's rank, representing a devastating blow (minimum +1 CS damage).

Against the flaws of a living target, one's damage will be increased by +1 CS - whether physical, mental, or whatever other form it will take (again, with at least a yellow 'to hit' result). Furthermore, the target must pass a red Endurance (res) FEAT roll in order to avoid being Stunned for 1d10 turns.

Flight
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Flight is the ability to move in three dimensions unaided. In defiance of gravity, the character possessing flight may move left, right, forward, backward, up, or down as he or she sees fit. How exactly this works depends on the character involved; it may be an ability granted by large wings, rocket boots, tinkering with the laws of gravity, or even something like telekinetically pushing one's body about.

Flight itself is rather flexible, and can easily be 'explained away' by any number of origins or mechanisms. This opens up the character for weak limitations if he or she desires; boot-jets can be clogged, for instance, or wings can be immobilized. Such limitations reduce the cost of the power by 1 point (in the point-based character system), or increase its power rank by +1 CS (in the random roll generation system).

Flight allows the character to move at a number of areas equal to those listed on the air speed column, though accelerating to that point may take a few turns, depending on his or her Endurance (res). A hero with Shift X (150) ranked Flight and only Poor (4) Endurance (res) can move at 50 areas per turn - but it will take them five full minutes to accelerate to top speed.

This assumes a gaseous medium with which to fly through. If the character with flight finds themselves submerged under water, they can 'only' fly according to the land/water speed column, while in a vacuum they can advance onto the space speed column. Our Shift X flier above would then be 'limited' to 180 MPH under water, whilst they'd move at .1% light speed in the inky depths of blackest space.

The ability to fly generally assumes the capability of surviving at high speeds, despite the difficulty of breathing and the friction caused by motion. Such capability can either come from equipment or from bodily modifications, though having it be removable can also be grounds for a weak limitation (as described above). Moving safely under water or in space is not covered by flight alone, however.

G

Growth / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Growth is the ability to increase one's effective volume dramatically. This power functions relative to the normal human size, which is approximated in the Universal Heroes system as six foot tall (it makes for easier math). All characters are assumed to be at this height (give or take a few inches, obviously) unless they possess quirks to the contrary, or some sort of ability (like this one) to change their size.

Much larger entities will possess this power as a sort of explanation for their size; say our heroes encounter a race of giants, all of whom are twenty four feet tall! Such individuals would have this power as a permanent, always-on ability, one that cannot be 'neutralized' by powers which affect super-human skills. These particular giants would have Good (10) ranked 'growth' at all times to showcase their size relative to normal beings.

A character that is at a larger than normal size may very well be subject to size factors. For every doubling of human height an entity possesses, they shall receive a +1 size factor (our giants, above, would have a +2 size factor). This size factor entails a combat adjustment to an enlarged foe when facing off against normal-sized opponents - and one for normal-sized opponents when tackling a being possessed of super-human volume.

How this works is that a normal-sized foe attacking a much larger opponent gains a +1 CS to hit for every +1 of size factor his or her foe possesses. Alternately, a giant-sized foe receives a -1 CS to hit normal-sized foes for each +1 size factor they possess - but they also receive a +1 CS to the damage they inflict, as well as 1 CS of damage reduction versus normal-sized foes for each +1 of size factor, as well.

For example, say a hero is facing off against a giant, extra-terrestrial robot that is forty eight feet tall. Since it is eight times a normal human's size, this robot has a +3 size factor. It is at -3 CS to hit the hero, but benefits from a +3 CS to its damage when it does connect with him in battle, as well as 3 CS of damage reduction against his (effectively) smaller attacks. The hero, on the other hand, gains a +3 CS to hit his giant foe.

Similarly, each increment of size factor a character possesses adds an effective +1 CS enhancement to their lifting ability. Such characters have more 'muscle' to lift or otherwise apply force to objects, even after taking their own increase in mass into account. This isn't an actual Strength increase (it does not raise Health in and of itself), but better simulates a larger character's effects on their environment.

For instance, a hero with Good (10) rank growth and Good (10) rank Strength can quadruple their height, giving themselves a +2 size factor. While so enlarged, this hero benefits from a +2 CS to their Strength for lifting purposes, allowing them to heft up to one ton when necessary. Note that this does not further increase the damage an enlarged character inflicts in melee; that bonus was already described, above.

When dealing with characters who both possess a size factor, simply subtract the smaller character's size factor from the larger one to determine a net difference. If we pitted our alien robot against our giants, we'd have a size factor of 3 (the robot) versus the size factor of 2 (the giants) for a net difference of 1. The robot would deal with the giants (and vice versa) as if its size factor compared to them was but +1.

Growth by Rank
Growth
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Growth
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Feeble1.5x0Monstrous24x+4
Poor2x+1Unearthly32x+5
Typical3x+1Shift X64x+6
Good4x+2Shift Y128x+7
Excellent6x+2Shift Z256x+8
Remarkable8x+3Class 1k512x+9
Incredible12x+3Class 3k1024x+10
Amazing16x+4Class 5k2048x+11

The standard explanation for growth is that its wielder acquires the mass necessary to expand their volume from an extraplanar source. This simply means there's more of them than there was before, as this generic 'mass' is used to fill in the blanks to expand the growing character to their new volume. This allows a character using growth to function normally, immense size notwithstanding, in their environment.

Being 'stuck' at the size offered by growth is an extreme limitation, allowing for a four point reduction in the cost of this ability (point-based character generation) or a +4 CS in the overall power rank (random character generation). This is 'extreme' because it means the character cannot interact with human-sized objects at all, and must have all gear (including clothing!) made for someone of his or her immense volume.

Also: so much for that secret identity!

H

Healing / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This ability infuses a character's body with essential, recuperative energies, which allows them to recover lost Health. Regardless of the nature of the harm, from minor scuffs to severed limbs, healing will undo the damage inflicted upon one's body. Each application of healing allows a character to recover their rank number in lost Health points, up to their usual maximum amount.

While healing is good for a body, at least in practical terms, it is nonetheless taxing on the system. This vast pulse of regeneration should be used sparingly - only once per day - or else it may push one's system too far. For every additional healing a character attempts upon themselves within a twenty four hour period, they will lose one rank of Endurance due to metabolic overload - which must then be recovered normally.

But when you're bleeding to death, that doesn't sound all that bad, now, does it?

I

Imaginary Doubles
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

This curious ability allows its wielder to create transient doubles of themselves, false images that spring forth from his or her imagination! These images are constructed of audible sound and visible light, and as such may be perceived by electronic sensors as well as sentient beings. They are immaterial, and may not be affected by attacks that do not directly manipulate light or sound.

Characters with this ability may produce numerous duplicates at a time, the amount of such being equal to this rank number; for example, a character with Excellent (20) ranked imaginary doubles could manifest up to twenty doubles simultaneously. These are not actual doubles of their creator, and observers know for a fact that most of them are illusory in nature, but the trick is figuring out which one is 'real'.

If any.

Determining which version of the character is real requires passing an Intuition FEAT roll against this power rank; if successful, an observer can tell which one is the 'real' character. If not, he or she must identity the creator of the imaginary doubles through trial and error. This involves repeatedly picking one and hoping for the best; this is 1 in 21 odds for our Excellent (20) friend, above.

When first generated, imaginary doubles will manifest in the area their creator currently occupies, but can wander out from that location with Near range; this allows them to move about and fulfill their other purpose. In addition to befuddling would-be opponents, imaginary doubles serve an additional role as extensions of their creator's senses. Said creator can see and hear anything one of their duplicates can!

This provides the wielder of imaginary doubles a limited form of both clairaudience and clairvoyance. While limited in both range and in the fact that their observation can be detected, it means their creator can use them for a variety of purposes, including reconnaissance and search and rescue. While their creator can only actively follow one at a time, they can keep an 'eye' out for something specific through all their doubles.

While imaginary doubles typically will resemble their creator exactly (assuming an accurate self-image at the moment), their creator can make one different than the others if he or she chooses. This requires a red FEAT roll, and can be used to make an intentionally 'off' looking imaginary double (to fool people looking for the odd man out in a set) or to even provide oneself an impromptu wardrobe change.

This works by literally manifesting the double on top of oneself. Of course, if the doubler is wearing little (if anything) beneath, this can be particularly awkward if their power cuts out at the wrong moment!

Individual Shield
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

A basic and arguably essential spell, the individual shield is a small magical barrier that a wizard may produce in front of his or her person. This barrier is a transparent mystic construct that hovers before the mage, which they can mentally move around to intercept incoming attacks. Doing so is a standard shield maneuver, but keep in mind that only one attack can be countered at a given moment in time.

An individual shield can counter more than one attack in a turn, but if two come in simultaneously (at the same initiative), the shield's creator must choose which of the two their shield will block.

The individual shield harmlessly absorbs the damage from attacks equal to or less than its spell rank, subject to the adjustments below for damage type. If damage greater than its spell rank strikes the individual shield, it will dissipate - but no damage from that specific attack will affect the shield's creator. An individual shield offers protection against attack in the following manner:

Rank -1 CS / Spell Rank / Spell Rank / Rank -6 CS / Rank -8 CS

Intangibility
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Laughing at conventional physical boundaries, this ability confers the power to actually pass through other solid objects! While intangible, a character can walk through walls, other people, and even the ground if he or she feels the need. They can pass through any solid object, though the stronger it is (or the more powerful a force field is) the more difficult passing through it may prove to be.

This works by attempting a FEAT against its m.s. (or power rank of a coherent energy field) upon attempting to pass through it. Failed FEATs simply cause a seemingly intangible character to deflect off of the item as if they were not in such a state, while success indicates they may pass through it normally. The automatic FEAT rule should be in effect here, or the intangible character will have to roll every turn they use this power.

On the other hand, objects attempting to pass through an intangible character will automatically do so, no matter how great their material strength may be. This makes intangible characters invulnerable to physical and energy attacks, though they are still affected by the other six attack vectors (magic, psionics, and so on).

A character in an intangible state may not breathe, and must either bring a supply of air with them or hold their breath; if no air supply is available, the time they can hold their breath determines the duration of this ability.

One of the dangers of intangibility is re-materializing within a solid object. If this occurs, the character must immediately roll a Kill check; failure indicates that they fall unconscious, and begins to lose one Endurance rank per turn. Furthermore, they suffer damage equal to the m.s. of the object they materialized inside, and may cause it to break or, worse, be trapped in their own molecular structure!

Intangibility lends itself to power stunts. They include rendering others intangible (whether inside them or not at the time), making only part of one's body (in)tangible (usually requiring a red FEAT each time), disrupting energy fields by passing through them (a separate stunt for each type), and lightning strikes, becoming tangible only long enough to attack (only attacks attempted at the same initiative connect).

Invisibility / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Invisibility is the ability to render oneself completely transparent to the standard, visible light spectrum. While this ability is active, the character who wields it reflects no light at all, one hundred percent of such harmlessly passing through him or her. This has the added benefit of making one immune to light-based damage, which typically comes in the form of laser fire.

It is assumed that a character may make anything he or she is touching or wearing invisible as well, so that they may carry accessories and wear clothing. One could assume otherwise when first acquiring this power as a weak limitation; this doesn't cause difficulties with the power so much as a variety of awkward situations involving disrobing and redressing.

This ability can render invisible an amount of mass outside its wielder's body equal to their own weight, but any more requires use of invisibility / others.

While invisibility is highly advantageous, it is important to note that it does not render one immune to detection in and of itself. While the invisible cannot be seen as a general matter of course, it can still be heard or smelt (or tasted or felt). Similarly, an invisible character can be doused in rain or paint or the like, and be seen in that fashion (before their power 'absorbs' such into the invisibility effect).

Another consideration is that invisible characters are subject to viewing in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum - infravision in particular is the bane of the invisible. Invisible characters may extend their optical transparency into additional portions of the spectrum as a power stunt for each kind. Complete EM invisibility may take some time but is definitely worth it in a world where some people can see all photonic wavelengths.

Other stunts one can develop with invisibility involve making only a portion of one's body invisible, or alternately making invisible objects in contact with the character visible (requiring a power FEAT against the intensity of whatever else is making the invisible object or person invisible).

The power rank for invisibility otherwise only comes into play when faced with another ability that can defeat it somehow (say, light control, or against another invisibility power which is trying to make one visible). Striking an invisible individual you know is present (but still cannot see) is done at a -4 CS to the applicable ability score or power.

K

Kinetic Absorption
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

This dynamic ability allows its wielder to absorb direct physical damage, and to subsequently wield the purloined energy in several different fashions. Physical damage, as defined by this power, is any attack which inflicts Blunt Attack, Blunt Throwing, Edged Attack, Edged Throwing, Shooting, or Force damage - any attack form which inflicts these kinds of damage may be affected by kinetic absorption.

Using kinetic absorption, its possessor may attempt a power FEAT each time he or she is struck by one of the above attack forms, against the intensity of the damage inflicted. If this FEAT roll is successful, the character may funnel the energy of this attack into a pool of power. This power pool can hold an amount of energy that is equal to the kinetic absorption power rank multiplied by five.

For example, wielding this ability at Excellent (20) rank allows one to store a one hundred point power pool. This pool of purloined energy is depleted with each special use of the power on a point per point basis, no matter how said power is being wielded. If one attempts to absorb physical attacks when their pool is full, the power will work normally but this excess energy is lost.

But what can one do with such absorbed damage? Its main use is to recover lost Health points, quickly healing inflicted damage (if any). It can also be used to 'pad' one's Health score with excess energy. When used in this fashion, kinetic absorption can up to double one's Health score. This energy may also be released as a force blast, inflicting power rank Force damage with each devastating attack.

Alternately, the energy purloined by kinetic absorption may be used to enhance one's physical ability scores, raising their Fighting, Agility, Strength, or Endurance. This boost lasts for 1d10 turns, after which point one's enhanced capabilities will return to normal. Enhanced abilities may be raised to the kinetic absorption power rank (if less than it in might) or by +1 CS (if equal to or greater than it in rank).

M

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

A magic sense is the ability to perceive sorcerous energies in one's vicinity. This sense functions on the Near range table, allowing its user to detect the presence and/or usage of anomalous probabilities within a considerable radius of their person. Accomplishing this requires a simple green FEAT roll, unless its user is taking active steps to mask its use. If so, spotting it takes a FEAT of an intensity equal to the masking power.

Other than detecting magic in one's proximity, a magic sense also has additional uses. A yellow FEAT roll allows the possessor of magic sense to determine whether or not magic in play is a result of 'normal' environmental activity (this can be the case on other planes) or what school of magic was used to produce it. A red FEAT can be used to pinpoint exactly which spell is being used on a person, place, or thing.

Mesmerism
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Mesmerism is an advanced form of the hypnotism talent. Instead of being made manifest through simple training, mesmerism is an actual super human capability, both in the speed and power of its effects. For one thing, normal hypnotism usually cannot affect a body who is unwilling to be hypnotized in the first place, but mesmerism can inflict a hypnotic state if the target fails a Psyche FEAT against the mesmerism rank.

Bear in mind that one must be within Very Near distance of their target to mesmerize them.

Once this state is achieved, the target can be forced to do something in regards to their immediate behavior (put out that cigarette) or have a post-hypnotic suggestion implanted (give up smoking altogether). If in the form of a command, mesmerism will last only as long as it takes its target to complete their action (bleary eyed, the victim tries to remember why he put his freshly lit cigarette out in the first place).

On the other hand, the effects of a mesmerism-delivered suggestion will last for a number of days equal to its rank number, and can even override the target's ethics on a red mesmerism FEAT roll (the target, having stopped smoking for a full month thanks to a Remarkable (30) ranked mesmerism suggestion, may resume his habit if he chooses at this point - or continue to enjoy his extra pocket change).

N

Nonapparent Vision
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wielding this facility, a character may peel back the layers of deception and intrigue that may hide any person, place, or thing, and see them as they truly are. This works by passing a nonapparent vision FEAT against the rank of something's disguise. If this FEAT is successful, nonapparent vision will allow the character using it to see the object of his or her study in its true form.

It doesn't matter if their target is physically shape changed, masked by illusions, psionically trying to convince you they are not what they appear, or anything else - nonapparent vision can 'see' through all of these efforts if it can beat the intensity of said disguise.

P

Plant Hybridization / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Plant hybridization is the process of transforming oneself into flora of any type. This involves an innate familiarity with the biological processes of said plant, which lets the character with this ability mold their own bodily functions and anatomy until it changes from its original state into the new one. Such transformations may be either partial (adopting some traits of the plant) or complete (adopting the full form of the plant).

A partial transformation allows the wielder of this ability to pick and choose which facets of their anatomy are changed; one might simply want the redolence of the carrion flower, instead of changing into one completely. This allows one to use plant hybridization in a more exacting fashion if desired, either adopting physical capabilities or simply changing one's appearance for purely cosmetic reasons (like assuming leafy 'hair').

A complete transformation, on the other hand, lets one totally change their body into the desired plant form. In this state, the character with plant hybridization may wield any of the inherent 'powers' a plant possesses (such as poisonous personal weaponry, or damage resisting bark). The transformed character typically won't possess physical statistics, but will retain their mental characteristics.

Despite having adopted the form of something that, as a general matter of rule, lacks a brain entirely.

When first gained, this ability's possessor may originally only transform into one specific kind of plant, but may adopt additional transformations (into different plants) as a power stunt - for each - at their leisure. Typically, 'powers' gained by the use of this ability are limited to the plant hybridization rank in effectiveness - save for powers, such as personal weaponry, which have no specific rank to speak of.

Plant Sympathy
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of plant sympathy is the skill to communicate with non-sentient floral life forms. The vast majority of plant life falls into this category, though one can be sure if the given plant has a Karma score - the presence of such demonstrates sapience, or at least free will. As long as it's not intelligent, any plant can be the target of this power - though the more complex a plant is, the better.

Speaking (after a fashion) with trees, or perhaps a large area of vegetation, requires but a green FEAT. A yellow power FEAT roll is necessary when one tries to communicate with smaller specimens, such as bushes, vines, mushrooms, or most agricultural products. One must usually roll a red power FEAT only when attempting to talk with incredibly simple plant life, such as single-celled plants or fungi.

Conversing with plant life is somewhat difficult no matter how complex the specimen is, considering that plants lack a nervous system entirely. Thus, in order to communicate with plants, one must attune their minds to working at the plant's 'speed', as it were. Once this is achieved, the plant sympathizer must then talk to the plant in such a fashion that he or she can actually gain useful information from it.

The difficulty in doing so is usually directly proportional to how relevant the question is to the plant's existence. For example, a tree may not normally 'notice' or 'see' much about someone who simply walked by it in the recent past, but if that individual broke a tree branch or split its bark at all, the flora might have a vivid recall of both the event and who was responsible.

Power Boost
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns
Cost: 1 point per rank

Power boost allows a character to enhance the rank of their super human powers for a short duration. When triggered, it raises the rank of one power either up to the power boost rank or to its normal rank +1 CS, whichever is higher. For example, a Feeble (2) ranked power affected by an Incredible (40) ranked power boost would be enhanced to Incredible (40) rank, while a Shift X ranked power would be enhanced to Shift Y.

It doesn't matter the origins of the power to be enhanced, whether it is a physical mutation, magical spell, or psionic talent. Power boost can even affect its wielder's technological items! However, power boost cannot affect one's ability scores. It may only affect one power at a time, and the enhanced rank it provides will only last for 1d10 turns - which may or may not be long enough to achieve what the power booster had in mind.

Once it wears off, power boost may not again be used for an hour - at least, not without degrading its overall capability. For each additional use without a one hour 'cool down', power boost loses -1 CS of its overall effectiveness. This is enough to neutralize its use upon abilities greater than its own rank, while gradually reducing its power in other instances (that Shift X power, above, would gain no further benefit).

Psychometry
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Psychometry is the ability to read the psychic impressions left on an inanimate object. This can be any sort of object, whether digital, mechanical, organic, or inert, as long as it is not currently alive. Upon a successful power FEAT roll, the psychometrist can hold an active conversation with an item, interpreting the residual psychic energies left upon it in order to learn anything desired about the object.

The item will readily give up information about how it works and how it was made (if applicable), who its current or most recent owner is/was, as well as various important (to it, at least) things that have occurred in its past. Psychometry can also be used to reveal information about others who have previously touched the item, and what they did (or did not do) with it while touching it.

Using this information, a psychometrist can wield other abilities which allow him or her to learn more about those who have handled the item, such as finding or postcognition. This makes psychometry a 'gateway' of sorts for digging up information about a wide variety of individuals, some of which may not seem relevant when psychometry is first used, but give additional clues upon being probed with these other powers.

A -1 CS is applied for each subsequent individual back in time that handled the item, at least until this power dips below Shift 0. After this point, this particularly psychometrist can't make further sense of the impressions. Other than this, there is no temporal limits on psychometry; if an item has been left idle in a crypt for ten thousand years, psychometry doesn't care, treating this period as if it were but a fleeting moment.

R

Reformation
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

A variant form of regeneration, reformation is an ability that may be used to reconstruct oneself in the face of serious injury. With reformation, a character absorbs inanimate material in the environment, using it to replace missing parts, fill in or patch up various holes, or even to repair damaged tissues. Such individuals can ultimately do this because their life force does not require a specific body.

Even if their frame is seemingly damaged beyond repair, a reformer can typically rebuild it (or an all new one) to house their consciousness. Materials collected to reconstruct oneself will eventually change in both shape and composition in order to more closely resemble the anatomical features they are appropriated to replace, until they are ultimately indistinguishable from the character's body.

The amount of time this requires depends on the reformation power rank. Each minute of elapsed time will allow a reformer to replace a number of lost Health points equal to their power rank number; divided by ten, this amount can determine how much Health one can recover each turn. As lost Health points are regained, materials absorbed to replace lost or damaged tissues more seamlessly integrate into the character's form.

Usually.

However, reformation can be limited such that one's composition does not return to its initial state. This is considered a strong limitation, as a reformer will eventually resemble a patchwork being, assembled from a variety of different materials. In time, the character may be unrecognizable compared to his or her original form, or even from day to day, depending on how much damage they regularly suffer!

A similarly curtailed form of reformation limits the materials a character can draw upon to repair their body. Common examples of this include metal, rock, or even fresh tissue. This form of the power requires that the substance be present in the environment in order to use the power at all. Thus, reformation limited to plant matter would be hard pressed to heal its possessor in a skyscraper - or even a cave.

An extremely limited variety of reformation would combine these two limitations into a whole new constraint. This reformation variant ultimately produces a body for the reformer made entirely out of the designated substance, whatever that happens to be. Such instances grant abilities and vulnerabilities relevant to the character's composition, per the transformation ability - as that's essentially what has been accomplished.

A character made solely out of homogenous or random matter due to long term use of these limited kinds of reformation benefits from a maximized environmental independence ability. Lacking an actual metabolism to speak of, something has to prop the reformer up and allow him or her to otherwise function normally despite generally lacking cellular activity, after all!

Resistance
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1/2 point per rank, plus 1 point for each additional resistance

A character with this ability has its rank in resistance to an attack form of their choice. This resistance can oppose any kind of assault within the Universal Heroes game, from edged attacks to electrical damage to mind control. When subjected to the chosen form of attack, a character with this ability may subtract its rank number from the incoming effect's intensity or damage, which may be enough to negate it entirely.

If a character has a resistance that 'defaults' to a standard ability score (e.g., Intuition versus emotion control), this ability will have a minimum rank equal to that ability score +1 CS - otherwise, determine a rank for this resistance normally.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional, specific resistances as he or she sees fit, each increasing the cost of this ability by 1. For instance, a character with resistance to fire attacks may wish to add a resistance to, say, cold, blunt attacks, poison, and disease. This adds four to the final cost of the 'base' resistance, instead of the normal cost for five distinct resistances.

Also, players may choose a form of this ability that they can share with their allies. A field effect resistance functions with a range determined on the Very Near range table, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within that distance. This counts as an extreme enhancement to resistance, and either adds 2 to the cost for each shared resistance or subtracts -4 CS from its final rank (for all ranged resistances).

As an example, let us look at our friend with five resistances, as described above. In order to gain the broadcast version of their resistances, they must either increase the total cost of their resistances by ten (before the actual rank of said resistances), or reduce the final effective resistance to all five attack forms by -4 CS.

Characters who acquire resistances as wizardry or psionics can master even more, doing so as power stunts off of the original source of such. The thing to keep in mind is that each resistance counts as one power for the purposes of maintenance. So, our hero with the above resistances could activate all five resistances if desired, but this would require being able to maintain five spells or psionics simultaneously.

S

Screened Senses
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

The character with screened senses enjoys protection from sensory attacks of one or more varieties. This is often the result of technological innovation, but can be inherent as well - perhaps a built-in input 'cut off' to sensory organs to prevent overload, or special properties that prevent excessive input from reaching the receptive nerves in the first place - it all depends on the nature of the sense(s) to be screened.

The thing to keep in mind is that there is always a trade-off with screened senses. While this ability provides power rank protection to the sense(s) indicated against sensory assault (blinding flashes, painful sound pulses, noxious odor, etc.), screened senses invariably dull the normal function of said sense(s) somewhat. Senses screened by this ability will function at a -1 CS to the character's Intuition (alt) score.

Or alternately, at a -1 CS to the rank of a super sense or other super-sensory ability, if applied to it.

One benefit of screened senses is that one need not screen all of their senses with it. For every sense subtracted from the protection of screened senses (either normal senses or super sensory abilities), reduce the cost of screened senses by 1.

Sending
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A sending is a psionic construct, a sort of semi-sentient package of mental energy that its creator can insert a message within. Once this message has been instilled within the sending, it will then make its way from its creator to the recipient of said message. After the message is delivered, the sending will dissipate, its purpose complete. In a way, sendings serve as a sort of one-way telepathic messaging system.

The difference between sending and telepathy, however, is the range involved. While telepathy itself has a respectable range (functioning on the Far range table), sending can operate over a much greater distance. You see, a sending has a sort of built-in version of finding, and can locate the recipient of its cargo anywhere in reality. Furthermore, it has the ability to get to its target no matter where he or she may be.

A sending can travel anywhere, its energies being self-sustaining while it's about its appointed task. Being comprised of mental energy, it can move at relativistic speeds, but it cannot teleport, dimensionally transit, or time travel. Instead, if it needs to do so, a sending will seek out the nearest rift in space and/or time in order to move from where it is to where it needs to be.

Sendings are immaterial by nature, able to pass through most objects with ease (unless they are strong enough to possess psi resistance), and usually the only way to stop one from doing its job is to wield power over the psionic energy that makes it up, or to douse it in antipsions (both of which must overcome the sending rank). This is easier said than done, however, as the things do move at the speed of thought.

Shape Change
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The shape change ability allows a character to radically alter their very form. A shape changer can assume the form of literally anything they can think of, whether this is an abstract geometric shape, a plant or animal of any sort, or all manner of inanimate objects. This ability is bound by four major constraints, each of which can be worked around with the liberal use of power stunts or other super human abilities.

Of course, the main consideration while shape changing is that of relative accuracy. A white FEAT will allow a shape changer to assume the general form they were aiming for, though they're clearly not the 'real deal' (a television covered in flesh). A green FEAT gets them near the target shape, though a close inspection will reveal the truth (those knobs on the television look like toes). A yellow FEAT allows for a perfect duplication.

Nominally, a character who has changed shape will retain that form indefinitely. It only takes a few seconds to actually change one's shape (one action), but the results are permanent - at least, until the shape changer wishes to return to their normal form. They can do this automatically... unless this ability is negated somehow. If this happens, one may be 'stuck' in their new form until shape changing capability is restored.

Shape change is a gateway of sorts to acquire a large variety of physical powers, but each of these must be mastered as a separate power stunt. Learning how to harden one's bits so they can function as physical weaponry - without breaking and causing oneself injury upon use - isn't easy. But a shape changer can 'learn' how to simulate anything from natural weapons to flight to body armor to whatever else makes sense.

The second constraint of shape change is that its wielder is bound by their own volume. They can transform into a perfect replica of a Giganotosaurus carolinii, but will still be about human (or whatever) sized. Shape change alone cannot alter one's volume by more than fifty percent either way, but growth or shrinking (as either power stunts or separate abilities altogether) can ignore this limitation.

Shape change's third constraint is a matter of anatomical cohesion. They can turn into a mess of clockwork gears, but a shape changer cannot actually separate into distinct bits; the gears will actually be one solid piece, though the illusion of motion can be created with a constant application of shape change. This limitation can be bypassed with the detachable parts ability (as either a power stunt or a separate power).

Finally, shape change cannot, by itself, transform the nature of one's biology. One can turn into a maple tree but that tree will still bleed upon being pierced, instead of oozing sap. Animal and/or plant hybridization can cover gaps such as these, while transformation / self allows a shape changer to literally turn into a specific material instead of just faking it (as with body armor, above).

These abilities, as per the previous, can be learned as power stunts of or be used with shape change, if a character has them as independent powers.

Shrinking / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Shrinking is the ability to decrease one's effective volume dramatically. This power functions relative to the normal human size, which is approximated in the Universal Heroes system as six-foot tall (it makes for easier math). All characters are assumed to be at this height (give or take a few inches, obviously) unless they possess quirks to the contrary, or some sort of ability (like this one) to change their size.

Entities that are naturally smaller will possess this power as a justification for their size; say our heroes encounter a race of pixies, all of whom are four inches tall! Such individuals would have this power as a permanent, always-on ability, one that cannot be 'neutralized' by powers which affect super-human skills. Pixies in particular have Good (10) ranked 'shrinking' at all times to showcase their size relative to normal beings.

A character that is at a smaller than normal size may very well be subject to size factors. For every halving of human height an entity possesses, they shall receive a -1 size factor (our pixies, above, would have a -4 size factor). This size factor entails a combat adjustment to a shrunken foe when facing off against normal-sized opponents - and one for normal-sized opponents when tackling a being possessed of such small stature.

How this works is that a normal-sized opponent attacking a diminutive foe (or one that's naturally small) suffers a -1 CS to hit for every -1 of size factor that foe possesses, but they also receive a +1 CS to whatever damage they inflict. Conversely, a tiny-sized foe receives a +1 CS to hit normal-sized foes for each -1 size factor they possess, but suffer a -1 CS penalty to the damage they might cause.

For example, say a hero is facing off against a swarm of super-powered, inch-long Australian bulldog ants. Being about 1/64th of a normal human's 'height', the ants possess a -6 size factor. The hero is at -6 CS to hit them, but benefits from a +6 CS damage boost upon striking them. They, on the other hand, may strike the hero at a +6 CS to hit. They may inflict -6 CS damage, but there's lots of them...

Similarly, each decrease in a character's size factor applies an effective -1 CS reduction in their lifting ability. Such characters have less 'muscle' to lift or otherwise apply force to objects, even after taking their own, decreased in mass into account. This isn't an actual Strength decrease (it does not lower Health in and of itself), but better simulates a smaller character's effects on their environment.

For instance, a hero with Poor (4) rank shrinking and Good (10) rank Strength can quarter their height, giving themselves a -2 size factor. While so diminished, this hero suffers from a -2 CS to their Strength for lifting purposes, allowing them to lift only one hundred pounds (instead of one ton). Note that this does not further reduce the damage a shrunken character inflicts in melee; that penalty was already described, above.

When dealing with characters who both possess a size factor, simply subtract the smaller character's size factor from the larger one to determine a net difference. If we pitted those pixies against our bulldog ants, we'd have a size factor of -4 (the pixies) versus the size factor of -6 (the ants) for a net difference of 2. The pixies would be treated as if they were of a normal size, and the ants as if they had a 'mere' -2 size factor.

Shrinking by Rank
Shrinking
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Shrinking
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Feeble1/2x-1Monstrous1/512x-9
Poor1/4x-2Unearthly1/1024x-10
Typical1/8x-3Shift X1/2048x-11
Good1/16x-4Shift Y1/4096x-12
Excellent1/32x-5Shift Z1/8192x-13
Remarkable1/64x-6Class 1k1.048 million x-20
Incredible1/128x-7Class 3k1.073 billion x-30
Amazing1/256x-8Class 5k1.099 trillion x-40

Fun Fact 1: the smallest thing the human eye can see is .1 millimeters in size, or approximately .004 inches. Shrinking beyond Shift Z rank will reduce a normal human below this size, and anything this small or smaller is not directly visible. Of course, if they're glowing with energy this may mitigate the problem some, but foes that are effectively invisible because of size are at a further -4 CS to be hit.

Fun Fact 2: shrinking of Class 1000 rank reduces a normal human to 1.8 micrometers in size, smaller than most cells. Class 3000 shrinking makes a human about 1.7 nanometers in height, enabling interaction with individual molecules, and Class 5000 shrinking reduces one to 1.6 picometers, allowing them to rest easy inside the structure of an atom. Further shrinking shifts someone into a 'femtoverse'.

The standard explanation for shrinking is that its wielder contracts his or her volume by storing their mass in an extradimensional space of some sort. This simply means there's less of them than there was before, as their bodily mass is stowed away to reduce the shrinking character to their new volume. This allows a character using shrinking to function normally, tiny size notwithstanding, in their environment.

The loss of mass and atoms will not be readily apparent at first, at least until a character is reduced to Class 1000 size, at which point their very form will become simpler as far fewer molecules are left to represent it. At Class 5000 rank, the character will consist of a single remaining particle, and further shrinking will blip them off into a random femtoverse, a subatomic space where physics may be bizarre indeed.

Being 'stuck' at the size offered by shrinking is considered an extreme limitation, allowing for a four point reduction in the cost of this ability (point-based character generation) or a +4 CS in the overall power rank (random character generation). This is 'extreme' because it means the character cannot interact with human-sized objects at all, and must have all gear (including clothing!) made for someone of their tiny volume.

Keep in mind that justifying 'permanent' shrinking as a spell would be especially tricky, and possibly involve a 'booby trapped' source of the power. It would absolutely require immunity to normal annulment or subsequent growth, or else it wouldn't be all that much of a limitation to speak of. Without such 'immunities', this condition would be semi-permanent at best, and only count as a 'strong' limitation.

Spiritual Link
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 2 points per rank

The spiritual link spell serves to literally tie the essence of another spellcaster to oneself. This spellcaster is usually no longer among the living, and has plenty of time with which to guide the wielder of the spiritual link spell in whatever way it feels helpful. In rare instances, the spiritual link spell may instead link the caster to multiple such essences, or even to a still-living sorcerer on another plane of existence.

When first cast, spiritual link will seek out such an essence. The caster of this spell will be given a menu of sorts, showcasing potential candidates nearby (within Far range) for creating such a link. Most often, these will be (former) members of one's school of magic, or at the very least individuals who share the same basic goals as the caster. But sometimes, a candidate will arise who fits neither of these criteria.

This candidate may require the caster's services for some task or another - or vice versa - and the two may otherwise be at cross purposes. This can lead to trouble down the road for the caster of spiritual link, but might be just what they need to resolve their current crisis. Either way, once the caster has decided upon the candidate (or candidates, in the event of a tight-knit group of like-minded souls), the bond is made.

Once a spiritual link is established, the caster has the benefit of several special abilities while said link is active. Being of literally two minds, the caster gains a +1 CS to resist any mental control or attack powers. Furthermore, the caster has at least partial access to the knowledge and memories of their spiritual ally, which they will readily share under most circumstances (unless particularly embarrassing).

In addition to knowing strange and ancient secrets, this gives the caster access to additional spells! These spells are those which the spiritual entity itself knows, and should be determined by the Judge (as with all the other details of the linked essence). The caster can wield these spells at the spiritual link rank, instead of their original ranks, which gives one quite an edge in battle.

The downside to a spiritual link is that, under certain circumstances, a linked essence may try to co-opt one's body for its own purposes. This may come about as a result of direct mortal peril to the spellcaster, if the caster commits an action opposed to the essence's morality, if the caster encounters an area or person directly tied to the essence's past, or when using spells the essence knows that are not of one's own school.

Or, if the essence isn't particularly fond of the caster, it might try to take over 'just because'.

The essence linked by this spell may do this with a contest of wills, pitting the character's Psyche (will) against its Psyche (pre). If the caster fails against this action, they lose control of their own body for 1d10 turns, at which point another contest may be attempted, pitting the caster's Psyche (pre) against the essence's Psyche (will). And so on. How this affects the relationship between the two depends on the personalities involved.

Spiritual Link itself generally assumes the linked spirit is resident in the head of the caster at all times. However, the spell can be limited somewhat, enhancing its power considerably. If the link is dependent on the presence of a talisman of some sort (the skull of an elder, or the wedding ring of a fellow mage), add a +1 CS to the spell rank (or reduce its cost by 2 points). Alternately, it can be location dependent.

In this case, the caster only benefits from the link while in a special kind of area or a specific location (faerie circles are an example of this, as is the remote grave of the dead spellcaster). The more specific and inconvenient a location, the greater the benefit (+2 CS / -4 points for the circles, for instance, while +3 CS / -6 points for the grave). While the link is only active under these conditions, it's much more powerful in effect.

Stasis
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

The ability of stasis allows its wielder to place their body in a state of suspended animation. What this means is, while so suspended, the character with this ability need not eat, drink, sleep, or breathe, as their body is doing literally nothing at all. While in stasis, the character is physically inert, and will thus appear dead for all intents and purposes - however freshly so their body may seem.

While this ability is active, its possessor will have a vague awareness of conditions outside their body, but won't be conscious, per se. This means that one can enter stasis if the situation in their vicinity has become life-threatening, and then end their stasis when the coast is clear. Similarly, one can 'program' the ability to wake them up after so much time has passed, though this process is never quite exact.

There is no ultimate, terminal duration tied to this ability. One can conceivably put themselves under for years, if not centuries at a time, if they wish. Mind you, this may put a serious crimp in one's social life, having to make up for lost time over and over. But sometimes, when the world is falling apart all around you, simply going to sleep until it fixes itself just might seem like a good idea.

Super Senses
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

Super senses are just what they sound like - a human's ordinary sensory ability heightened to a super-human degree.

How this works is that Intuition FEATs based on sensory input will be made at either a +1 CS or super senses rank, whichever is higher. Furthermore, the effective sensory range of a character with super senses is improved by one area; in other words, they wait one more area before applying negative Column Shifts.

Of course, that's not all. Each super sense provides additional abilities above and beyond their heightened range.

These extra abilities function at the super senses' rank. The only real down side to super senses is that they make their bearer more subject to sensory assault. Blinding attacks, piercing sounds, and even noxious odors can easily flatten a character with super senses, as they suffer a -2 CS to resist such assaults. This can be overcome with the screened senses ability, but it inflicts a -1 CS on all enhanced senses.

One thing to keep in mind is that one need not have all of their senses function at a super human level. Each 'super' sense one removes from this power counts as one step of limitation, either adding a +1 CS to its operating rank or reducing its cost by two points. For example, a character who only wanted super vision would subtract eight points from the cost of this power, or would add a +4 CS to its effective rank.

T

Telepathy
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Telepathy is the art of achieving direct, mind to mind contact with another sentient being. Achieving contact is automatic with a willing target, though an unwilling target may resist telepathic contact by passing a Psyche (will) (or any protective psionic, whichever is higher) FEAT roll against the rank of the imposing telepathy. Telepathy functions with Far range, giving its wielder a wide berth to contact others.

The basis for a vast array of mental powers, many of which are often learned as power stunts, telepathy in and of itself is somewhat limited in scope. This ability allows one to communicate with other sentients, whether linguistically or visually, once contact has been established. Those in telepathic contact are aware of each other's surface thoughts, but digging deeper requires the use of other psionic abilities.

Telepathy can achieve contact with numerous individuals, but each doubling of people linked via telepathy (not counting the telepath initiating the link) inflicts a -1 CS to both the effective rank and range of telepathy. For instance, an Unearthly (100) ranked telepath could conceivably link the minds of 128 individuals in their vicinity, but would do so at a -7 CS (or at Typical (6) rank), and then 'only' with people within a ten mile distance.

Transduction
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

Transduction is the ability to transform one form of energy into another. It functions on the Very Near range table, but allows its wielder to transform any form of energy within that distance as they see fit. This is done by making a FEAT roll against the intensity of the ambient energy to be altered; if successful, the transducer will absorb the energy, process it into its new form, and then emit it at -1 CS intensity.

If this FEAT roll fails, the power to be transformed is too great, and its intensity is not lowered appreciably (at least on this attempt). Used defensively, transduction can make a character incredibly hard to defeat - though overwhelming them is always one distinct tactical possibility; transduction is an active action, and the character using it can only wield it so many times per turn, after all.

Transduction can affect the nature of any physical or energy power source, either ambient or directed, but cannot alter or emit Sorcerous, Karmic, or Deionic energies - unless its wielder specifically has access to such. For example, a sorcerer could add energy forms which inflict Sorcerous damage to those they can transduce, while a psi could instead transduce Karmic attacks into something more mundane. Or vice versa.

While versatile, transduction can readily be limited in order to make it much more powerful. Limiting a transducer to either being able to convert or emit just one form of energy is a strong limitation (either adding +2 CS to the power rank or reducing its cost by 4), while limiting the transducer to being able to convert and emit just one form of energy is an extreme limitation (either adding +4 CS to the power rank or reducing its cost by 8).

Transformation / Self
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

Transformation is the ability to radically change the molecular makeup of one's body. When this ability is first gained, the character possessing it may transform into any one material or energy of their choice. Additional forms, if desired, must be acquired either as power stunts or as additional 'versions' of the transformation ability. Transformation gives a character the physical characteristics of whatever they transform into.

Transforming into a solid material gives one an effective material strength (and thus, body armor) equal to either its m.s. or the transformation rank, whichever is less. While in a solid state, the character may move about and behave normally, even though they're made from an otherwise rigid material. They may have unanticipated effects upon the environment, however (a person made of lead is very, very heavy).

A character who transforms into a liquid can flow like a fluid, easily moving through tight spaces and around objects as is necessary. Characters in a liquid state can readily change their shape, approximating a human form or pooling up however else they wish. While liquid, a character gains the benefit of 1 CS damage reduction against physical attacks, as much of the energy of such will flow right through the character.

Transforming into a gaseous material allows one to move through tight spaces much like a liquid can, with the added option of flight. A gaseous character can fly at any speed, with a maximum equal to this power rank. Gaseous characters benefit from 2 CS of damage reduction against most physical attacks (see below). They can billow out to fill an entire area, or condense their bodies into a generally human size.

Finally, a character may transform into a coherent energy field. When energetic, a character may wield a transformation rank -2 CS version of the appropriate energy generation power, no matter what kind of energy is transformed into. An energy state has the benefit of being able to fly as if moving through space, and possesses 3 CS of damage reduction against physical attacks of any variety.

While transformed, a character may also possess special abilities based on their new form's composition. Ice is brittle, but the character in an ice form can emit waves of numbing cold. Acid can dissolve many materials, particularly metallic ones. Uranium is inherently radioactive, and the character can release it in battle. Poison gas can easily kill a room full of people. Light can fly at light speed. And so on.

These abilities work at the transformation rank or their 'usual' rank, whichever is appropriate (one cannot rationally reduce light speed, for instance). The other benefit to transformation is that, while transformed, the character so changed has nothing even close to a standard biology, and thus may forego eating, drinking, breathing, and even sleep as if they wielded similarly potent environmental independence.

On the other hand, a transformed character is also vulnerable to attacks that would easily damage their new form's composition. An ice man would wilt before a blast furnace, while one made of metal would easily buckle against a splash of acid, and another made of air would be blown asunder by strong winds. Such attacks affect the character as if they possessed a level 1 allergy against them (they inflict +2 CS damage).

When taking damage in a transformed state, a character can visibly show serious damage, and even be shattered, but can transform back to a normal state as long as they're not slain. They may be a bit worse for the wear upon changing back (Health point loss, and so on), but such damaged characters will otherwise be fine. A transformed character's 'core' usually rests with the largest mass of their material.

One trick transformers can attempt is to only partially transform their bodies. This is considered a power stunt, but allows the character to pull off certain maneuvers when a full transformation would otherwise be inconvenient. Making one's fingertips change into flames is a great trick at parties, and a way to start minor fires without completely igniting oneself, for example.

Translation
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Providing something akin to an instant common ground, translation generates a telepathic field which allows everyone within Near distance of its possessor to understand each other implicitly. The form of communication those affected utilize is irrelevant, as long as it is immediate; translation wouldn't work on written words, for example, unless said words were being written down in front of those affected by it.

Translation doesn't give its wielder the ability to communicate in other languages, so much as it simply allows others to comprehend whatever it is he or she is trying to convey to them. And vice versa.

Turnabout
Type: Personal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Turnabout is the ability to reflect incoming damage away from oneself. It doesn't matter what form this damage takes, whether it be Blunt Attack, Deionic, or anything else. The easiest way to use this skill is to not aim it in any fashion; when something hits you, you simply bounce it off at a random angle. This requires but a green FEAT roll, and is the only way one can use the power while otherwise doing things.

The only problem with this use of turnabout is that while the character wielding it shrugs off the damage, someone else might not be so lucky. Keeping that in mind, one can attempt to bounce an attack back at its source, instead. This requires a yellow turnabout FEAT roll, and the character can't be engaged in any other action at the time (one can be moving, but they cannot change speed or direction at all).

On the other hand, a character with turnabout can make incoming damage work for them, instead of random victims or its source. With a red turnabout FEAT, the wielder of this ability can redirect an attack towards anyone they choose. This new target will have the same range category of the original attack (bullets can't reach into orbit, for example), but can otherwise be anyone the character can perceive.

Turnabout works in this fashion with any damage form that is equal to or less than its own rank; an Incredible (40) ranked turnabout can easily shrug off conventional bullets, flamethrower blasts, psi bolts, or even the deific attacks of an immortal being, as long as they're of this rank or less. The problems begin to arise when turnabout is used against attacks of greater intensity.

When this happens, the character can only reflect an amount of damage equal to their power score, and anything exceeding that affects them normally. Furthermore, this reduces the effective rank of turnabout by -1 CS each time it happens for the purpose of FEAT rolls (but not the amount of damage it can deflect). Once this penalty lowers a character's turnabout below Shift 0, it cannot be used again for 24 hours.

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