Universal Spells

Spells of a Universal nature are those primarily designed to affect targets other than their caster. A few of these abilities do function on their wielder, to be sure, but for the most part Universal spells are deployed against something in their casters' vicinity. This can be another living being, an inanimate object, or even a specific chunk of geography, and their nature has several consequences during play.

To begin with, all Universal spells draw upon power external to he or she who invokes them in order to work. One must manipulate these outside forces to pull off the casting of a Universal spell instead of their own, Personal power. This means casting a Universal spell generally takes longer than casting a Personal spell, a fact that is reflected in the Book of Magic's optional initiative rules.

The flip side of this is that wielding Universal spells is less taxing on a wizard than Personal spells. Since one is not expending their own, innate energies to bend probability enough to trigger magical effects, a mage may wield more such sorcery before requiring rest. As is the case with the duration of spell casting, this lesser energy requirement is also reflected in the Book of Magic's optional rules for fatigue.

There is no mistaking the use of Universal spells during play. While a few effects produced by Universal energy may be subtle, there is rarely any doubt that something occurred as a result of their casting, whether revealed by the outcome of the spell itself or the process used to invoke it. This is because Universal spells require at least two triggers to activate, whether conceptual, phrasal, gesticulate, or even consumptive in nature.

Thus, it is more likely that a thaumaturge making use of Universal spells will be subject to efforts to curtail such wizardry. Though the specific triggers for a given spell will vary from caster to caster, at least one must be more than merely conceptual in nature. In other words, efforts as simple as tying up a mage, or even just gagging him or her somehow, may prevent them from manifesting some Universal magic.

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

A B C D E F G H I K M O P R S T W X

A

Admittance
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This convenient universal spell allows a thaumaturge to focus his or her will upon any lock, door or container and cause it to open, no matter how complex it may be. Whether it is simply a mechanical padlock or some fancy electronic gewgaw, the impediment to the caster's desire will cease to be such. All that is required to make this happen is a successful FEAT roll.

Keep in mind that this spell will only unlock a lock, and open up what it was protecting to the outside world. Any traps or sensors set to trigger upon the opening of said lock or door are not sidestepped by this spell. The wizard using admittance may need an additional spell or capability to bypass them - or simply have a patsy absorb the potential damage, instead.

Animal Hybridization / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This potent ability allows its wielder to modify other life forms, namely by combining their inherent characteristics with that of animal life! When this power is first gained, one can only add the characteristics of one form of animal to others. This represents a deep familiarity with the physiology of said animal type, and additional familiarities (i.e., animal forms) can be obtained as power stunts.

Any living creature can be the recipient of such hybridization, whether it is a human, a dog, or even a tree. Such a transformation can be either partial or total, depending on the whims of this power's possessor. This can either give an affected life form the abilities of the new animal type, or change them fully into the chosen animal form (altering their physical ability scores, if applicable, appropriately).

Abilities gained by the target of this power will typically function at a maximum rank that is equal to its own. They may operate at less, depending on the nature of the transformations it can cause, but are limited in such a fashion to represent the ability of this power's possessor to emulate their chosen form of animal life. Physical weaponry isn't normally affected by this limitation, however, since it usually uses set modifiers.

A vital consideration is the both the size of the target and the nature of a transformation, if it is complete. Turning a redwood tree into a fly would make for an immense fly, while transforming a cricket into a tyrannosaurus rex would create an absolutely tiny dinosaur. This problem cannot be bypassed without use of the growth / others and shrinking / others abilities (either as separate powers or as power stuns).

Another thing to bear in mind is that the target will retain whatever cognitive abilities it usually possesses, even if such a characteristic would normally be different in its final form. A tree transformed into a dog will be quite clueless about almost everything, at least at first, while a dog given opposable thumbs may take some time to figure out how to properly use them.

Wielding animal hybridization / others requires physical contact with the target. The target can avoid the effects of this power by preventing physical contact with its wielder - or having resistance to metabolic attacks. The effects of changes, whether partial or complete, take place almost instantly; the target of this power can be an attack dog one second and a sheep the next - which may confound it considerably!

Generally, the transformative effects of this power are transient in nature. On a green power FEAT, it will last for a number of turns equal to its power rank number. Yellow successes raise this to a number of minutes equal to the power rank number, and a red FEAT roll will extend the time such a transformation lasts a number of hours equal to the power rank number!

On rare occurrences, this power's effects can be permanent. The wielder of animal hybridization / others has no control over this; it's simply something that just 'happens' sometimes. Perhaps something occurred to that fern you turned into a rodent that caused it to remain in that state, or the tusks you gave that kid to amuse yourself agreed with their physiology so well that they just sort of 'stuck'.

The Judge is the final arbiter of such instances, which occasionally gives him or her a tool to introduce quirky additions or alterations to the campaign.

Annulment
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This handy enchantment allows a sorcerer to negate the effects of a spell, disrupting the matrix of energies that keep it active and causing it to fail. This is not an explosive failure, at least not directly; by annulling a spell, a wizard simply causes it to stop functioning. Of course, if said spell was preventing something calamitous from occurring, well, explosions may then result.

Annulment works by comparing its spell rank against the spell to be canceled. This functions per the normal intensity rules, though no annulment will ever be automatic - negating sorcery is always a bit complicated, no matter its strength. Whether or not this FEAT is successful, the thaumaturge whose spell was attacked by annulment will know what happened, if it is a spell they are actively maintaining.

While this effect is permanent on ordinary spells, it is not so on magical objects. An annulment spell can temporarily prevent the magic portions of items from working for 1d10 turns, a duration that applies to both regular items and alchemical concoctions. If an annulled potion (or whatever) is imbibed, its effects cannot start until the annulment expires.

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

Attenuation is the power to reduce one or more ability scores of another, often a great means of containing whatever damage they can cause. Attenuation works within Near range of its wielder, and an application of attenuation lasts for 1d10 turns, unless the power is specifically maintained on a target for longer periods of time - often a good idea with particularly powerful opponents.

A character with attenuation can reduce a targeted ability score by 1 CS for each rank of attenuation they possess, to a minimum of Feeble (2). For example, consider the Wet Blanket, a villainess who makes herself seem more impressive by dampening the capabilities of others in her presence. Having Monstrous (75) ranked attenuation, she can reduce an ability score by -9 CS - which can seriously ruin someone's day!

Attenuating an ability score works if said ability fails a resistance FEAT against this power's intensity.

The Wet Blanket's foes, then, would find themselves automatically attenuated if the ability score she targets is of Incredible (40) rank or less, could resist with a red FEAT if of Amazing (50) rank, on a yellow FEAT if of like (Monstrous (75) rank, and with a green FEAT if ranging from Unearthly (100) to Shift Y (200) in rank. Shift Z (500) or higher ability scores could shrug her power off automatically, without dice.

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

Returning to our Wet Blanket of an example, let's say she likes to always be the smartest person in the room. Upon entering her night classes, she uses attenuation against all twelve of her fellow students, targeting their Reason score. This reduces her effective attenuation power rank by -4 CS (one doubled four times is sixteen), to Excellent (20). However, she can still reduce the Reason of her 'foes' by -5 CS.

An attenuator can reduce this penalty somewhat by attempting to hamper less of an ability score than their maximum. For each -2 CS he or she chooses not to apply to the ability scores they are attacking, an attenuator can prevent the operating rank of their power from losing -1 CS of its overall effectiveness. This may not completely neuter their foes, but allows an attenuator to 'even the playing field' considerably.

Later that night, when attempting to extend her territory, the Wet Blanket is faced with a rival's thugs. Attacking the four physical ability scores of her eight foes, she would suffer a -5 CS penalty (one doubled five times is thirty two), which would reduce her to Good (10) in rank, and allow for -4 CS in ability score attenuation. By choosing only -2 CS of such, the Wet Blanket can force resistance FEATs against Excellent (20), instead.

One can limit attenuation by tying it only to physical abilities (Fighting, Agility, Strength, or Endurance) or mental abilities (Fighting, Reason, Intuition, or Psyche). Note that Fighting, being both a physical and a mental ability score, shows up in both lists. Doing this is considered a weak limitation, raising the rank of attenuation by +1 CS (or lowering the cost by one point).

Attenuation can alternately be limited such that it works on just one ability score (for example, Strength). Doing this is considered a strong limitation, raising the rank of attenuation by +2 CS (or, similarly, reducing the cost by two). A similarly potent limitation involves allowing attenuation to work on only one person at a time.

B

Bands
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: encounter
Cost: 1 point per rank

The bands spell is used as a means of containing a foe. Bands themselves do not inflict damage upon their target, instead wrapping around it to keep it in place - and from being able to act. They need not take the form of actual bands, however; the spell can manifest as rope, thread, nets, rings, vapors, chains, or anything else the caster desires, as long as it is consistent in general.

Bands function with an equivalent Strength (or m.s.) equal to the bands' spell rank. This is the rank a target must dodge against to avoid the bands spell, or alternately to escape against if already contained by the bands. If the spellcaster has achieved a red result when attacking with their bands, they will have inflicted one means of spellcasting restraint (if those optional rules are in play), depending on their nature.

Bands in the form of rope can tie a target's hands to prevent the casting of spells with gesticular components, for example, or vapors of thick, ashen smoke may blind a foe to prevent them targeting others with spells.

The use of bands do not actually require maintenance, in that a mage need not concentrate on keeping them active. This allows a sorcerer to contain multiple targets with this spell. However, they do require his or her active will in order to continue functioning. If the wizard who generated a set of bands is knocked unconscious or leaves the area, the bands will dissipate - possibly leaving them vulnerable to further retaliation.

Bilocation
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Bilocation is the ability to appear in two locations simultaneously. This power does not involve actually splitting oneself in two so much as engaging in rapid-fire teleportation, hundreds of times each second, so that it looks like the wielder of this power is occupying two different spaces at once. This process occurs quickly enough that, like the frames of a television image, the character seems to be fully present at each.

When bilocation is activated, the character's 'other self' can initially manifest anywhere within Far distance of his or her original location. When the power is terminated, the bilocator may rest at either their original location or the area their 'other self' was last in when deactivating this ability. This makes bilocation a great power stunt off of teleportation - or vice versa, really.

A bilocated character may act in one location primarily, or alternate actions between the two, depending on the situation(s) at the time. Either way, he or she does not receive additional actions simply due to being in both areas simultaneously - there's still just one of the character. Without other abilities added to the mix, the bilocator is merely allowed the same amount of actions they would normally be allotted.

When engaging in bilocation, a character will perceive sensory input from both locations simultaneously, the two (usually) differing forms of data overlapping and allowing the character to multitask. If things are particularly hectic in one (or both) locations, a bilocator may need to pass an Intuition (alt) FEAT roll in order to keep events at the two different places distinct in his or her head.

Multitasking is difficult enough to begin with, even before adding the specter of deadly combat into the mix.

C

Charm
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

A charm is a powerful, aversive psychic aura that its wielder may use to avoid undue harm. It works by generating a field of 'good will' towards the wielder that affects everyone within range of this ability, as is determined on the Near range table. Those within the area effect of this power will become positively disposed towards the charmer, if they fail a Psyche (will) FEAT against this ability's rank.

What this means is, though they can't quite put their finger on the reason why, affected targets will find they have a deep liking for the charming individual. This prevents them from harming or acting against the character maintaining a charm in any fashion. Furthermore, they will remain unconvinced that they have been affected in any manner, and will actively resist arguments to this effect.

Charm counts as one spell or psionic for the purposes of maintenance. It has no 'grace period' like some abilities do; once cast, the character producing the charm must actively keep it going or it will cease. Of course, maintenance may not be necessary; affected targets will remain charmed until they can eventually pass a Psyche (will) FEAT against charm's power rank, which they may attempt each turn.

This FEAT is never 'impossible', but if the power rank is high enough, it can usually keep charmed individuals 'friendly' most of the time. Once charmed targets have shaken off the charm, they may then behave normally, but will not be aware that their behavior has been modified. Subsequent attempts to charm a target in a given encounter, once a charm wears off the first time, are at a -2 CS.

All of this assumes that the charmer has not, in turn, harmed those affected by this ability. If a charmed target is attacked by the person who charmed him or her, the power will no longer affect them for the duration of this encounter - and the target so attacked will be keenly aware that their mind has been tinkered with!

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

Clarity is a tool that allows its possessor to free others from various effects that prevent clear thinking. When invoked, clarity can cleanse the effects of emotion or mind control, or even possession - if it affects how a target might behave, clarity can usually help. When attempting to clear the head of a target, the wielder of clarity must pass a FEAT roll against the intensity of the outside influence.

If successful, clarity will remove the taint of such powers, and will protect the target from further manipulations, at its power rank, for 1d10 turns. Optionally, the user of clarity can maintain this ability, providing a target (say, an ally) with continuing protection from external influence if desired. Clarity only works within Very Near range of those it would help.

Confusion
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A powerful means of sowing chaos in the ranks of an enemy, the confusion spell has unpredictable effects on everyone it affects. When cast, confusion will blanket an area with chaotic energies, energies which will affect every target who fails a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against its spell rank. Those who fail will be affected as follows (roll a 1d10) for 1d10 turns:

  1. The target has a seat, and contemplates his or her current existence.
  2. The target has an extreme emotional response. Uncontrollable laughter, inconsolable tears, etc.
  3. The target is seemingly lost. He or she wanders about, not knowing how they got there, or why.
  4. The target becomes obsessed with one action or item, which consumes him or her for the duration.
  5. The target attacks the nearest person - whoever it is.
  6. The target attacks everyone - one different person per turn.
  7. The target attacks the nearest object. Whether a car or building, they'll try to destroy it utterly.
  8. The target becomes enamored with the nearest person, and can't help but go on about how great he/she/it is.
  9. The target is disoriented; he or he can act as they wish, but suffers a -2 CS penalty.
  10. The target's mind is overloaded, and he or she falls asleep.

Conjuration
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

Conjuration is a specialized form of teleport others that summons forth an object - whether it be an inanimate item or a living entity - to the caster's location. Conjuring forth simple things, plants, or animals (such as a coin, a tulip, or perhaps a gopher) requires no actual FEAT roll under most circumstances; the thaumaturge simply casts the spell and the desired item(s) appear in a puff of smoke (or whatever).

If attempting to draw forth something more complicated or dangerous (a firearm, a television, or even a wolf), the conjurer must pass a spell FEAT roll against the highest rank the target possesses. A conventional handgun would require a FEAT against Typical (6) intensity, then, while that wolf would require a spell FEAT versus Excellent (20) rank - a wolf's highest ability score, which is its Fighting.

On the other hand, if an item to be conjured is complex but has no apparent rank available (such as our television in the above example), a mere green FEAT is necessary to make it manifest.

All of this assumes no sentience in the object to be conjured forth. If it possesses a Psyche rank, the spell must defeat this in order to function, instead. When a sentient being is the subject of a conjuration spell, they will know what is going on and who is casting the spell, and may choose to resist or not as they see fit; if masked somehow, the identity of a conjurer is subject to an Intuition FEAT by his or her target.

The odd thing about conjuration is that it has a restorative effect on the things it summons forth. For instance, if one attempts to summon an item that is broken somehow, the conjuration spell will reassemble it in the midst of transport from one location to another. This can be used to instantly repair broken devices or other items, and can even restore or recreate the bodies of the dead!

Conjuration will not actually return a dead person to life; it merely brings forth their (seemingly freshly) deceased body, and does not provide the 'spark of life'. Of course, if the astral form of the decedent (or someone else for that matter) is still available, they can make use of the fresh, perfectly good body.

Conjuration works on anything within Far range of its caster.

Curse
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

A curse is a means by which a thaumaturge may indicate his or her distinct displeasure with another. By creating a special magical weave around their target, the wielder of the curse spell will apply a probability field around them that acts to hinder everything they do. This hindrance most often comes in the form of a -1 CS to every FEAT or action the target attempts, though the specific form it takes may vary.

This penalty may come from the effects of temporary aging, painful warts and boils, and so on.

A curse will last for a number of days equal to the spell rank number; for instance, an Incredible (40) ranked curse spell may zap its target with ill will for up to forty days. Every day the target is affected (including the first, upon its application), the target of a curse spell may attempt a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against this spell rank to shake off the curse prematurely.

No matter the nature or duration of a curse, its target will not inherently know who cast it on him or her. The cursing wizard may reveal themselves if obvious in its application, however, say by binding the target before them while casting it, or when leaving a taunting note after the fact. This allows the wizard behind a curse to be as discreet (or as overt) about his or her actions as they like.

D

Damage Reduction
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 4 points per CS (or one power slot per 2 CS)

Damage reduction is a potent super-human skill that allows its bearer to easily shrug off large amounts of damage. How it actually works depends on the character described; damage reduction may be a result of kinetic dampening, a negative energy field, complex composition, or any other number (or combination) of traits. The trick is that it tends to blunt the impact of incoming attacks by a serious margin.

Unlike most super-human abilities, damage reduction is rated not in ranks, but in Column Shifts. For every CS of damage reduction a character has, he or she will impose a -1 CS upon incoming damage before it even affects their person, regardless of its type. As long as said attack inflicts damage to any extent, damage reduction will affect it negatively, no matter what form (or origin) it takes.

For example, let us say that Gunter the Hunter has 2 CS of damage reduction. When being struck by an attack that would otherwise inflict Remarkable (30) Blunt Attack damage, he instead suffers that damage -2 CS, only taking Good (10) Blunt Attack damage instead. Note the subtle, yet startling difference in function and effect between damage reduction and body armor (or a force field).

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

Let us look at Gunter the Hunter again. His 2 CS of damage reduction has no 'holes' in its defense, and it is always on. This causes all incoming damage that affects him to suffer a -2 CS penalty, at a base cost of 8.

On the other hand, Peter the Psi wants a power giving him 4 CS of damage reduction. He gives it vulnerability to deionic and warping attacks. Since this is a psionic, it counts as 'temporary' protection. 4 CS of 'base' damage reduction has a base cost of 16, but both his missing resistance categories reduce that by 4, and his 2 point limitation for its transient nature, reduces Peter's final cost to a 'mere' 10.

During character generation, this may wind up being his only initial power, 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 / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance plus 1d10 turns
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wielding this ability, a character may alter the density of other individuals or objects, either by increasing or decreasing their effective mass - all while retaining their volume. Contact is not required to achieve this effect, but targets of this ability are allowed a FEAT roll to resist unless, of course, they're willing. This is an Endurance (res) FEAT for living targets, or an m.s. check regarding inanimate objects.

Increasing the density of a person or object increases its weight by a multiple equal to this power rank number. Weapons may become too heavy to lift or hold, while individuals will find themselves pinned down by their own, sudden bonus weight. A living entity must pass an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to remain conscious in the face of their increased density, the failure of which prompts a second FEAT - against a Kill result.

Even if one can remain conscious under their staggeringly increased weight, movement may be impossible. This is because, in order to even move, one must pass a Strength (vigor) FEAT roll against their own weight. This FEAT must be passed every turn the target is subjected to increased density if said target wishes to move at all. On the plus side, a higher density gives the target power rank body armor for the duration.

Decreasing the density of a person or object can be resisted in the same manner as a density increase - with an Endurance (res) or m.s. check against this ability's intensity. Failure causes the target to lose a percentage of their total weight that is equal to this power rank number. An Unearthly (100) rank density control / others power can render things weightless, while greater ranks can cause them to float off!

Persons in a state of lesser density can move easier than normal, though with a negative mass they have the problem of drifting away. Similarly, such characters are far more susceptible to Slam results, rolling against the density control / others rank to resist such or the actual attack rank that scored one, whichever of the two is higher.

Density manipulations (either way) last for 1d10 turns after the ability is no longer maintained, and can work on anything within Near distance of its wielder.

Disease
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This dreadful power allows its wielder to create and transmit microscopic organisms. It works similar to organism generation, though on a much smaller scale; one isn't creating pounds of pathogenic bacterium, for instance - just enough to achieve the desired effect. As such, wielding disease does not cost its possessor Health points when in use, as (relatively) little energy is consumed while doing so.

In order to craft such diseases, one must study the organisms to be created. This process is similar to the memorization of blueprints one must perform with matter generation; one can 'memorize' an amount of microscopic life forms equal to their Reason (memory) rank number. This can be done either academically (learning about them via reading) or empirically (learning about them by drawing them into oneself).

Once a character with the disease ability has 'learned' a plague, they can transmit it at will. This requires physical contact for the most part; while some diseases can be transmitted through the air, this power is only effective on touch. Upon contact with others, the disease carrier can infect their target if said person fails an Endurance (res) FEAT roll against this power rank. The effects of such failure are immediate and dramatic.

While in real life the symptoms of disease take time to manifest, this ability bypasses all of that inconvenient time, and inflicts the full force of a plague upon its victim instantly. This causes power rank Metabolic damage, as well as whatever problems said plague inflict (a nasty cough when infected with whooping cough, for instance). Similarly, such plagues will quickly run their course, and 'burn out' within 1d100 turns.

This has the effect of preventing further contagion. You see, the diseases created by this power are for all intents and purposes the real thing, but only have a transient existence. They, and any additional microorganisms that are created through their reproduction, will simply die off when the allotted time has expired. Even if one victim manages to infect another somehow, the disease is limited to the 'clock' set when first administered.

A curious side effect of this power's use is that there is a chance that the target, as a result of being exposed to the character's version of a plague, can develop immunity to the 'regular' variety of such. This can be achieved with a red Endurance (res) FEAT roll against the disease power rank, though such immunity can only come after the disease has run its course.

Speaking of immunity, the benefit of this power is that its wielder acquires power rank resistance to disease. Its very nature entails the character analyzing microorganisms and figuring out how they work. As long as he or she can wield this power on any disease they're exposed to, they can make themselves immune to it - though if caused by another disease power, this may require passing a FEAT roll against its power rank first.

E

Eldritch Barrier
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Eldritch barriers are large constructs a caster can produce to surround or block off an area of their choosing. They are transient in nature, only existing as long as they are maintained, but while present they will either bar passage to (or from) an area or inflict spell rank damage upon anyone crossing through them, depending on the form they take. And they can take the form of almost anything in the Universal Heroes game.

While the nature of an eldritch barrier must be determined when the spell is first learned / generated, it can come in any form the player desires, though his or her school and their other spells may help to shape this some. For instance, a geomancer may produce a giant wall of solid rock, while an entreatist might summon forth mystic hellfire with which to surround an area (albeit with possibly serious consequences).

The maximum amount of space an eldritch barrier can cordon off is determined by the Very Near range table. For example, a wizard with an Excellent (20) ranked eldritch barrier can produce one that can surround a radius of space twenty yards wide, or can otherwise contain some of the area in that space as is desired. This is great for either keeping people out or keeping people in!

Eldritch Blast
Type: Universal Spell
Type: Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The eldritch blast spell allows the caster to detonate with magical power, affecting everyone within his or her area equally. An all-encompassing explosion, the eldritch blast will strike everyone present (friends and foes alike) unless they engage in a covering maneuver, and even then, this may only partially mitigate the damage caused. This damage inflicted is equal in power to the eldritch blast spell rank.

An eldritch blast can take the form of almost any attack in the Universal Heroes game, though its specific nature must be determined when the spell is first obtained or generated. This means it can inflict damage in almost any manner, ranging from mere Edged Attack damage (a shower of sharpened, elemental earth) to PF Sorcerous damage (a burst of deleterious, philosophical chaos).

The form it takes is limited only by the player's imagination, though his or her school and other spells may help to shape this some. When this spell is first mastered, its wielder can only produce one form of eldritch blast - additional forms of destruction must be learned either as 'duplicate' spells or as stunts off of the original. Finally, an eldritch blast only affects targets within Very Near distance - it cannot reach further.

An eldritch blast will typically issue forth from the caster's entire body - mostly to prevent him or her from being caught up in their own explosion. Changing its emission point under special circumstances (say, to one's fist for dramatic effect) requires a yellow spell FEAT... and may possibly expose its caster to harm of their own devising.

Eldritch Bolt
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

An eldritch bolt is a focused, applied attack generated by the caster. Eldritch bolts inflict their spell rank in damage upon successfully hitting their target. An eldritch bolt can take the form of almost any material or energy attack in the Universal Heroes game, though its specific nature must be determined when this spell is obtained; multiple forms of eldritch bolts can be learned as power stunts or separate spells.

While eldritch bolts will function almost universally within the Near range table, the kind of damage they inflict depends entirely upon their nature. A fiery eldritch bolt will inflict SD Energy damage, while bolts of pure psychic energy will instead inflict Karmic damage. An eldritch bolt can even inflict conventional damage, if it is used to project matter of any kind (such as elemental water (Force damage) or earth (Blunt Attack)).

Eldritch bolts can issue forth from any location the caster chooses, though they are normally consistent in their execution; eye beams usually remain eye beams, after all. Changing their emission point under special circumstances requires a successful yellow spell FEAT.

Eldritch Wave
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The eldritch wave spell functions similar to the standard eldritch bolt in many fashions. It inflicts its spell rank in damage upon striking something, and can take the form of almost any attack in the Universal Heroes game - though each iteration of the eldritch wave can only take one attack form; multiple eldritch wave forms can be learned as either new spells or stunts on the existing, 'original' eldritch wave.

The difference is the number of targets an eldritch wave can hit. You see, an eldritch bolt, by design, will only strike one target. An eldritch wave, on the other hand, is a cone-shaped attack that can strike multiple targets. They only function within a range which is determined on the Very Near range table, but eldritch waves can strike anything within a sixty-degree arc in front of the caster, friend or foe.

The normal accuracy penalty for multiple targets (-4 CS) applies to everyone in the path of this attack, but the damage penalty does not; it is designed to strike more than one person, after all.

The kind of damage an eldritch wave inflicts depends entirely on its nature, as determined when the spell is first acquired. A wave of sonic energy will inflict Stunning Force damage, while a stampede of elemental animals will inflict Blunt Attack damage, and possibly incur knockback per a charging maneuver. The limit is really the player's imagination - though his or her school and other spells may shape this some.

Eldritch waves can issue forth from any location the caster chooses, though they are normally consistent in their execution; fire breath usually remains fire breath, after all. Changing their emission point under special circumstances requires a successful yellow spell FEAT.

Emotion Control
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: 1d100 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

While empathy merely lets one broadcast their own emotional states, emotion control actually allows its wielder to impose specific emotions upon other life forms. This ability functions on the Near range table, which is less than the scope of empathy, but then it's a much more active skill. Emotion control works against the Intuition of its targets, as opposed to Psyche (as is the case with mind control).

If the would-be target cannot pass an Intuition (awareness) FEAT against the rank of this ability, its wielder may invest any emotion he or she desires within said target, from hate to love to greed or whatever else turns their crank. Emotions tend to simmer, and an artificially imposed emotion will last for 1d100 turns after this ability is applied, unless extreme circumstances act to change this emotional state.

Emotion control is otherwise versatile by design, but it may be taken in a limited form if desired. Restricting the character to but one emotion to manipulate (say, fear) is a strong limitation, adding +2 CS to the final power rank (or reducing its cost by 2 points).

On the other hand, a broadcast form of this power can be taken. This is considered a strong enhancement to the power, since it normally only affects one person at a time, and adds two points to its cost (or subtracts -2 CS from the final rank). The broadcast version of emotion control can affect multiple targets simultaneously, but each doubling of victims applies a -1 CS penalty to the FEAT to control them all.

Empowerment
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: permanent
Cost: 2 points per rank

The process of empowerment is rather similar to that of investment, for it involves installing super human abilities into something besides its wielder. It differs, however, in that empowerment does not work on living beings - in fact, it only works on inanimate objects. As long as it is not currently considered alive under any normal definition of the term, empowerment can give an object access to super powers!

One can begin the task of empowering an object by deciding which object is to receive super human powers in the first place. It is generally a good idea to go with something that is of high quality workmanship, so that it does not easily break or malfunction. While the powered portion of it may retain usefulness, the mundane portion being non-functional reduces its overall effectiveness. And just looks silly.

Secondly, the bearer of this power must decide which super human abilities he or she wishes to impart onto the device. In the same vein, they must determine whether the abilities instilled within an item apply to the item or its wielder. As an example, an invulnerability the item possesses might make it immune to being broken by Blunt Attack damage - but if applied to its wielder, would instead make them very hard to defeat.

Powers to be embedded into an item will function at a rank that is equal to that of empowerment itself - or less, if desired.

Third, there is the matter of special requirements. Permanent powered objects require a special requirement for each ability it will be empowered with. An empowerer may embed an entire super arsenal into an object, but this might take some doing beforehand. Each requirement will be related to the nature of the power to be added somehow, and one should work with their Judge to determine the nature of such.

Finally, there's the matter of actually empowering the device. This begins when the character with empowerment uses it on the item, which prepares it for the process of acquiring power. This often involves a period of special treatment both before and after, in order to attune the item to the power(s) to be installed within. Then, the power to be imparted within the item must be used upon it.

In the case of passive powers that cannot target others, such as regeneration, they must simply be in use while touching the soon-to-be empowered object.

If the empowerer lacks access to an ability he or she wishes to install within an item, they can usually acquire it temporarily through the use of the link ability, or can have someone else use the desired power on the item to be empowered instead. Once this is done, the new powers of the item must be 'sealed' within with a red empowerment power FEAT.

Sealing super powers into an item will consume the special requirements (if applicable), and catalyze the creation of the ascendant object from the formerly mundane materials involved. This act also requires 500 Karma points from the empowerer. Additionally, if an item is graced with super powers that the empowerer cannot access themselves, they must pay the Karma cost for each one.

This cost is the equivalent to purchasing the power at the rank the item possesses it, -2 CS. This represents the empowerer gaining the super power with a potent limitation (that it's embedded within an item, with all the advantages and disadvantages this entails). This, of course, assumes the creator of a super powered item is not simply giving it to someone else; if this is the case, the Karma cost is then their concern.

If neither is done, the item is subject to the vagaries of Plot, as is normal.

In addition to super human abilities, an empowerer may install the following special item powers into any object they empower:

* Enhanced Material Strength: an empowerer can infuse an item with an enhanced m.s.; after all, a glass sword with seven powers is neat, but is still only a Feeble m.s. item. An empowerer can increase the m.s. of their new item by acquiring a special requirement of the desired m.s.; while this requirement is consumed upon the item's creation, it imparts its m.s. into the newly created ascendant item.

* Psychic Bond: an empowerer can install this power within the new super-powered item, which allows the device (sentient or not) to psychically link to its owner. This link allows the owner to sense whenever the item is being used, and to know the approximate direction the item lies in relation to themselves (if they are not currently wielding it). Doing this requires something enjoyed by the empowerer as a special requirement.

* Sentience: an empowerer can install a true sentience in the ascendant item they are creating. The item's Reason, Intuition, and Psyche ranks are rolled up randomly on table D. The personality of an item will generally reflect that of its creator, although this is not always the case (particularly if a link was involved in its creation). Anything representing intelligence can serve as a special requirement for this item power.

Environmental Adaptation
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

A specialized, reflexive capacity, environmental adaptation will directly and physically alter the body of its possessor when it is subject to a new, abnormal environment. When immersed in a new location that is hostile to his or her existence, this ability can adapt a character's physiology to survive - if not thrive - no matter how antithetical to life it may be.

The exact nature of the resultant changes depend on the environment a character finds themselves in. When finding oneself at the bottom of the ocean, a body could definitely use gills in order to extract oxygen from the water - though the intense pressure, low temperatures, inability to see, and relative lack of mobility are serious concerns to keep in mind as well.

This is where one's environmental adaptation rank comes in. While it determines how potent powers temporarily acquired through the use of environmental adaptation are, its rank also determines how many adaptations a character can manifest at once. For each rank in environmental adaptation above Feeble (2), a character can add an additional adaptation which allows them to function in their new locale.

So, if our hero possesses Feeble (2) environmental adaptation, he or she may only be able to develop those gills, but is otherwise out of luck on the ocean floor. Alternately, with Excellent (20) environmental adaptation, they can gain gills, denser cellular structure to better withstand the pressure, thick body fat to avoid the cold, webbed digits to move about more freely, and finally a sensory replacement for vision - perhaps sonar?

Adapting to a new environment requires from one to ten turns, depending on how severe a change is required to keep the character functioning.

If stuck on an earth-normal world with a hostile atmosphere, it may simply be a matter of altering one's lungs to process the different gases available - and perhaps a small biochemical modification. On the other hand, persisting in space might take a whole bevy of biophysical alterations, alterations which may render a character unrecognizable as a human being... or even as an organic life form!

Keep in mind that this ability is primarily reflexive in nature, and the player has little control over what changes environmental adaptation will inflict on his or her body to keep their character alive. Such changes are normally within the realm of Judge's fiat, but players can override a given change with a red FEAT roll, if they think they have a better idea regarding what can keep them going.

Of course, they could prove to be wrong. Fatally wrong!

F

Force Field
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Force fields are powerful, coherent energy barriers. They can come in a variety of configurations, whether wrapped tightly around one's body, in a large bubble surrounding an area, or perhaps just a specific wall or plane. The creator of a force field may generate this barrier in any shape desired, though he or she can limit their force fields to the production of just one as a weak limitation to this ability.

Force fields are primarily defensive in nature, and being comprised of energy (however coherent and seemingly solid it may be), work best against energy-based assaults. Such attacks are anything that inflict Energy or Force damage, ranging from fire to electricity to radiation to lasers to force blasts to sound to heat to cold. All attacks of this stripe are resisted by a force field at its full intensity.

On the other hand, a force field offers -1 CS resistance against physical attacks; while it may feel quite solid to the touch, a force field is simply a highly coherent energy field. Such attack forms are anything which inflicts Blunt Attack, Edged Attack, Blunt Throwing, Edged Throwing, or even Shooting damage. Though slightly disadvantaged against them, force fields still work quite well against physical attack.

As is the case with other conventional defenses, such as body armor, a force field is increasingly less effective against more esoteric damage types. Force fields provide -4 CS protection against Sorcerous damage, -6 CS protection against Karmic assault, and -8 CS against attacks of a Deionic nature. This is representative of the idea that such attack forms are further and further out there on the probability curve.

The exception to this is if a force field is generated by a like power source. A magical force field will work just as well against Sorcerous damage as it can against Energy, while a psionic force field is equally protective against Karmic damage as it is Energy. This exception applies whether the power is a 'base' magical spell, psionic power, or deionic ability, or a power stunt off of another such skill.

Generally, the protection a force field offers is abbreviated as follows, in the order of physical attack, energy attack, sorcerous attack, psionic attack, and then deionic attack - keeping in mind that 'special origin' fields will cover their own type differently:

Power Rank -1 CS / Power Rank / Power Rank -4 CS / Power Rank -6 CS / Power Rank -8 CS

As stated in the beginning, a force field can be generated in a variety of different configurations - if not limited to but one to begin with. When protecting any space up to one area in size or less, the force field will offer its full protective qualities. For every additional area so shielded, a force field will suffer from a -1 CS to its effective power rank, affecting the above resistances accordingly.

When struck with damage, a force field will absorb and deflect any amount equal to or less than its listed rating of protection. Whenever any damage in a single attack exceeds this rating, however, the force field will fail - unless its creator can pass a power FEAT roll each time the field is punctured. If this FEAT is successful, the force field will hold, its creator being able to patch up the damage before the field collapses.

In addition to their mainly defensive purpose, force fields can be used more aggressively, usually as a power stunt. A wall or bubble style of field can easily be used to contain others, who cannot escape the area so warded unless they can overcome the power rank of the force field with attacks of their own. Expanding a small force field inside something (or someone!) can be used to inflict power rank damage.

Force fields can also be used to simulate a variety of other powers, making them a great 'shell' for other abilities to work around.

Forgetfulness
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power to forget can be a good thing - and the power to make others forget even more so. Forgetfulness allows a character to selectively edit the memories of others, removing their ability to recall something. This works by simply passing a power FEAT against the Psyche (will) rank of its target, unless he or she is implicitly willing (it happens).

The effect of forgetfulness is permanent, unless a character is affected by the power of clarity, or perhaps some sort of psionic surgery. A small amount of memories may be edited by forgetfulness, equal in duration to the power rank in minutes. Thus, a body with Remarkable (30) ranked forgetfulness could cause a target to permanently forget up to a half hour of his or her life - possibly sparing them from sanity-bending knowledge!

This is incredibly handy for protecting one's secret identity or for covering up one's activities, whether heroic or villainous. It's also great for sowing confusion, for in addition to permanently altering one's memories of a short period of time, forgetfulness may be used to temporarily block access to far-reaching memories, such as important talents, motivations, or even one's identity!

Using forgetfulness in this fashion causes memory loss for an amount of time equal to the power rank in minutes, but can completely block one's access to whatever they were made to forget during that time. While memory blocked, one could be duped into performing all manner of 'out of character' activities, including making a villain want to do heroic deeds or even the reverse. But when forgetfulness wears off... watch out!

However it is used, forgetfulness only functions within Very Near distance of its wielder.

G

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

The glow spell allows a wizard to temporarily imbue matter with energy. This energy is not directly harmful to that which it is imbued within, but the matter so charged will nonetheless emit the energy placed within it while the spell is maintained. The most obvious use of this spell is to imbue something with light, thus causing it to glow - and making for an excellent source of illumination in a pinch.

Of course, the glow spell is not limited to such. Any form of energy desired, usually chosen when the spell is acquired, can be imbued into matter by a glow spell. Fire can make a great source of heat (or light) without destroying the torch (or whatever) it's placed within, electricity can power electronic devices or motors when needed, and mystic darkness can be placed within an object to render everything in the area nigh-invisible!

While mages begin with but one form of energy when they first acquire the glow spell, they can gain additional energies as power stunts (or new spells) as desired. Imbuing a target with energy merely requires a green spell FEAT, unless it's a) living and b) unwilling; at this point, the target is also allowed an Endurance (res) roll to avoid the effect. Glow won't hurt them even if they fail to resist, but their belongings may not be so lucky.

The energy to be emitted can be of any intensity, up to the spell rank (caster's choice).

Greater Resistance
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank, plus 4 points per additional resistance category

A greater resistance is similar in function to a standard resistance, in that it provides its rank in resistance to injury. Instead of providing protection against one specific form of attack, however, greater resistance offers its rank in resistance to an entire category of attack forms. There are eight categories of attack in the Universal Heroes game, and a character with a greater resistance may defend against any one of their choice:

* Physical Attacks: these kinds of attack are those most commonly experienced by characters. They include all forms of Blunt Attack damage, Blunt Throwing damage, Edged Attack damage, Edged Throwing damage, Force damage, and Shooting damage, as well as specialized effects that involve related phenomena (such as extremes of pressure and falling damage).

* Metabolic Attacks: metabolic attacks are the sort that assault a character's bodily structure, either directly or indirectly, and often invisibly. They include corrosion (acid), disease, poisons, rotting, and unusual phenomena which can either alter or destroy one's form or molecular structure, such as aging, disintegration, or even shrinking.

* Energy Attacks: these are many and varied, and include a large array of different phenomenon. Energy attacks include cold, electricity, fire, heat, light, magnetism, radiation, sound, and a whole lot more. If it inflicts Energy damage or Force damage (note the slight overlap with physical attacks), resistance to energy will blunt it.

* Warping Attacks: this category of resistances allows a character protection against capabilities that act to alter or negate their own super human skills. These include most of the 'power control' powers. This class of resistance will also protect a character against abilities from the (admittedly small) 'reality control' power block, which is used to alter the very rules of the game!

* Magical Attacks: magical attacks are those which inflict Sorcerous damage, and include the majority of special, campaign-specific thaumaturgical forces; ask your Judge about these. This also covers non-damaging magic effects; if one's Intuition or Psyche may be used to resist such, this ability functions against them at a minimum of that rank +1 CS.

* Vampiric Attacks: these attack forms all act to drain a character of something, whether it be wielded by the classical blood-drinking vampire or the 'sanitized' psychic vampire seen in more recent fiction. This resistance provides its rank in protection to all the forms of vampirism, both in the up-front damage as well as the transformative power of those abilities.

* Psionic Attacks: this form of resistance protects from attacks which inflict Karmic damage, such as an empathic hammer or psi bolt, as well as odd forms of psionic energy like spectral flames. This resistance also covers non-damaging psionic effects; if one's Intuition or Psyche may be used to resist such abilities, this resistance works against them at a minimum of that rank +1 CS.

* Deionic Attacks: deionic attacks are the staggeringly overwhelming abilities of immortal beings! Strictly speaking, this resistance offers protection against any attack which inflicts Deionic damage, but it can also affect the special abilities of the gods themselves. These may range from observation by deific abilities to dread curses from on high.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional greater resistances as they see fit, each increasing the cost of this ability as a whole by 4. For instance, a character with resistance to energy attacks may wish to add like resistance to, say, physical and metabolic assaults. This adds eight points to the cost of the first resistance, instead of the normal price for three distinct greater resistances.

Similarly, characters who learn greater resistances 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. Thus, a sorcerer could conceivably acquire power stunts to cover all eight forms of assault, but could only maintain, at once, an amount equal to their normal simultaneous spell maximum.

Finally, a player may take a ranged form of greater resistance. A field effect version of a resistance functions within Very Near distance, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within this area of effect. This counts as an extreme enhancement to greater resistance, and adds 4 to its cost for each category of shared resistance (or reduces the net resistance intensity of each by -4 CS).

Growth / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

This curious ability is a means by which one can physically increase the volume of anything in his or her environment, living or otherwise. A character possessing it may dramatically increase the volume of a target, doing so by applying a multiplier to its current size as if the target suddenly acquired an equivalently ranked growth / self ability (which details the specifics of growth rules).

Targets can be grown with but a green roll, but unwilling targets are allowed an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to avoid the effect. The effects of growth / others lasts for a duration dependent on variables present when the power is used. A green growth / others FEAT will make it last for a number of turns equal to the power rank number; for example, an Amazing (50) rank with this skill causes it to persist for five minutes (50 turns).

A yellow growth / others roll multiplies this value by ten, meaning that Amazing (50) power will make a body grow for fifty minutes, instead of five. A red growth / others FEAT will expand the size of living entities for a number of hours equal to the rank number (fifty hours for our Amazing friend above). The latter assumes an animate target; inanimate objects are grown permanently on a red FEAT unless the grower chooses otherwise.

Or later deactivates the growth he or she subjected it to.

But how does this work? Growth is generally assumed to acquire the mass necessary to expand something's volume from an extraplanar source. This simply means there's more of the target than there was before, as this generic 'mass' is used to fill in the blanks to expand the growing item to its new volume. This allows things subject to growth to function normally, immense size notwithstanding, in their environment.

H

Healing / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This extremely popular talent infuses the body of another with essential, recuperative energies, energies which allow them to recover lost Health. No matter what form the lost Health may take, from severe burns to brain damage, healing will undo the damage inflicted. Each application of healing allows its recipient to recover this rank number in lost Health points, up to his or her usual maximum.

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 on someone sparingly - only once per day - or else it may push its target's system too far. For every additional healing a character receives in a twenty four hour period, they will lose one rank of Endurance due to metabolic overload - which must then be recovered normally.

Alternately, healing / others may instead be limited so that the Endurance loss comes from the healer instead of the target. This assumes a more intimate, direct tie between the metabolism of the healer and the healed, and allows the former to take the brunt of the system 'shock' instead. This means a healer can only do their thing a minimal amount, lest they quickly work themselves to death, but what they can do is miraculous.

Having this limited form of healing is considered an extreme limitation, and enhances this power's level by +4 CS (or reduces the cost by four points).

Either way, a target may resist being healed if desired (if they've already been patched back up once already) by passing an Endurance FEAT against this ability. Keep in mind that if someone's Health is full, healing / others has no effect (the daily penalty doesn't kick in).

I

Illusion Projection
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

This potent ability allows its wielder to input false sensory data from his or her mind directly into that of another. This information is wholly imaginary, and invisible to the sensors of inanimate electronics. This data may come in the form of any of the target's senses, from sight to sound to taste to smell to touch - including false information to waylay any superhuman senses they may possess.

Illusion projection itself functions within Near range, though effective use of the power is really limited to the area the wielder currently occupies; any further away and you run into limits of human vision, as well as unanticipated oddities of perspective such as the curvature of the earth. For each area an illusion 'wanders' away from its creator, apply a -1 CS to the effective intensity of its believability.

Speaking of believability, characters subject to an illusion have no real reason to disbelieve what they are subjected to unless something tips them off to the fact that what they're perceiving isn't, in fact, real. This is no issue with non-realistic illusions, but if something looks right (say, a brick wall), there's no reason to assume it's fake unless something rings false (such as someone walking through said illusory wall).

Disbelieving an illusion requires an Intuition FEAT roll against the rank of this ability, which may be easier with long distance illusions (as stated earlier). If this FEAT is successful, the target can successfully shake off the illusion, while a failure indicates the illusionist was able to maintain the charade somehow. Mind you, having mixed things up once, it's possible that other illusory phenomenon may be disbelieved as well.

It's important to note that illusions are just that - not real. They have no direct effect on the environment, and cannot actually cause characters damage... which is sort of the point. Illusions can be used to trick others into hurting themselves (walking over a cliff while believing a bridge was there), or to steer people in a direction of the illusionist's choosing, but the images themselves are not harmful.

Unless combined with other abilities. Of course, one can be made to believe that they have been injured by an illusion. This is something of a psychosomatic response to a perceived attack, and is especially tricky for an illusionist to pull off. Each instance of illusory damage offers the possibility of disbelief, and no one can die from imaginary damage; anyone passing out or 'dying' from such will simply awaken in 1d10 turns.

An illusion lasts for as long as its creator concentrates on it - no more, no less. Full concentration on one's illusions is required to maintain a sense of believability (if this is, in fact, the intent). If this concentration wavers, subtle errors will creep into the illusion temporarily, possibly prompting Intuition checks to verify if the charade is maintained or not.

Illusion projection is similar in function to image projection, but has a much more difficult time affecting a large group of people. For every doubling of people the illusionist tries to affect simultaneously, apply a -1 CS penalty to the power FEAT, as well as the intensity required to disbelieve an illusion. This reflects the difficulty of mentally keeping tabs on what so many people are perceiving at a given moment.

Image Animation
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of image animation allows its wielder to seemingly imbue two-dimensional images with life! These images may be of any type, ranging from stick figure drawings to comic book line art to photography to television frames. When the power is activated, the image seemingly steps off whatever surface it was affixed to, and quickly swells in size to become a lifelike representation of its former, two-dimensional self!

This is done thanks to the amazing properties of the imaginary form of matter known as psychoplasm. How image animation works is that its possessor subconsciously draws forth a mass of psychoplasm from higher planes of existence, and uses their mind to shape it into the form of the drawing. The drawing will generally 'live' at an appropriate size; a stick figure man will usually manifest as approximately man-sized.

Furthermore, details from the animated image that are missing or obscured in its original form will be filled in when it is given a semblance of life. This is how historical figures can 'step out' of an old photograph, even if their legs are outside the area captured by the image, and so on. These may not resemble the 'actual' version of the image so animated, as absent details are supplied by the subconscious mind of the image animator.

When so animated by this power, an image will behave as directed by its wielder. These images will possess effective Fighting, Agility, and Health scores that are equal to this power's rank, along with whatever 'special' abilities the image possesses. An animated image of a dragon might have flight, claws, and fire generation, all of which would function at the image animation power's rank.

An animated image will last in a 'living' state for 1d10 turns, unless one specifically concentrates on maintaining it further. Generally, an image animator can only keep one image 'alive' at a time, due to the mental strain of dynamically animating the summoned psychoplasm. Of course, animated images last a shorter amount of time if destroyed, immediately returning them to wherever their animator 'borrowed' them from.

This power can function at a +1 CS if the image so animated is something its possessor created themselves. Similarly, the power is considered strongly limited (costs two points less, or improved by +2 CS) if it is constrained to a small class of images to animate. This can include only television images, or photos from mail order catalogs, or even the tattoos one has had inked onto their own body.

Invisibility / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

This curious ability allows a character to render objects in his or her environment invisible. Most often wielded with invisibility / self, invisibility / others can function on anything within Very Near range of the character who wields it. Non-living targets can be rendered invisible with but a green roll, but living targets are allowed an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to avoid the effect (if unwilling).

The effects of invisibility / others will last for a duration dependent on variables present when the ability is used.

A green invisibility / others FEAT will make this ability last for a number of turns equal to the power rank number; an Unearthly (100) rank with this skill causes it to last for ten minutes (100 turns). A yellow invisibility / others roll will multiply this value by ten, meaning that Unearthly (100) power, mentioned above, will make a body invisible for one hundred minutes, instead of just ten.

A red invisibility / others FEAT will render the target invisible for a number of hours equal to this ability's rank number (100 hours for our Unearthly friend above). The latter assumes an animate target; inanimate objects are made invisible permanently on a red roll unless the wielder of this ability chooses otherwise - or later deactivates the invisibility they subjected them to.

Once invisible, an object or living target is undetectable by ordinary vision (that's the whole point). The invisible can easily be tripped over or ran into, often causing considerable damage to both the invisible target and whatever runs into it - or, at the very least, poses a significant obstacle. People unaccustomed to being invisible suffer a -2 CS to their Agility for 1d10 turns, until they adjust to their new state of being.

On the plus side, they're immune to laser or light attacks for the duration.

Power stunts of invisibility / others include rendering only part of an object invisible, or rendering invisible objects in the area visible (those not made invisible by the user of this ability). The latter requires a power contest between the character's invisibility / others and the agency which rendered the object to be made visible invisible in the first place.

K

Knowledge
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of knowledge embodies the very heart of technology - the skills and talents developed since the human race first achieved sentience! Knowledge is power, or so they say, and when invoking this ability one can make use of any applied know-how that anyone anywhere has ever evinced. This know-how is transient in nature, however, only staying resident in one's mind as long as the knowledge ability is active.

How it works is that, when a character needs to know how to do something, he or she simply activates their knowledge power. When doing this, the character may develop one talent for each power rank in knowledge they possess. For example, an adventurer with Excellent (20) ranked knowledge finds herself in a bind she can't talk her way out of. With knowledge, she can immediately manifest five (5) fighting talents!

Any talent in the Universal Heroes system may be adopted, however temporarily, by the use of this power. It readily lends itself to talent stacking, allowing a character to gain up to +3 CS on a FEAT roll if they can manifest enough talents applicable to the FEAT in question. This works great whether the character with knowledge intends to build something or to deliver an unholy beat-down on an opponent!

Alternately, a character might want to wield an 'enhanced' version of an ordinary talent. Adopting a level 2 talent (for an additional +1 CS on a given FEAT) may be done by counting it as two separate talents for the purposes of talent adoption, and a level 3 talent (for an additional +2 CS on the FEAT du jour) may be adopted by counting it as four distinct talents (minimum rank of Good (10) to do this, then).

Furthermore, it is a great avenue for a character to learn a talent in the normal fashion. By training extensively in the use of a talent over time, one can actually use this self-education to master the talent in question. This may or may not be cheaper than simply adding a +1 CS to the operating rank of the knowledge power through Karma rewards, but 'normal' talents don't count against the skills knowledge can grant a character.

Thus, the more talents a character with knowledge possesses normally, the more they're capable of when they actually bring this ability to bear!

M

Mind Control
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Mind control is a means by which one can take direct control over the actions of another. While mesmerism is somewhat subtle in nature, mind control allows for an extensive manipulation of the target's activities. When the power is activated, its target immediately gains a Psyche (will) FEAT roll to resist the effect, rolled against the intensity of the mind control ability. If this FEAT fails, the target is in the mind controller's thrall.

While the victim of mind control must initially be within Very Near distance, the range at which he or she can still be controlled is increased to Middle distance once domination of their mind has been achieved. A mind controller must deliver commands directly in order for them to be obeyed, either verbally (in person or by telephone) or telepathically (if the mind controller also has that power).

Once control is established, the victim may not attempt to resist again, unless ordered to do something diametrically opposed to their moral structure. While so controlled, the victim of this power may not spend Karma on any FEAT, unless their own existence is in direct jeopardy (which allows another resistance FEAT). Similarly, Karma gains or losses incurred while mind controlled are passed onto the controller.

Though Popularity losses for actions taken while mind controlled are entirely the problem of the victim.

Mind control lasts for a number of minutes equal to its rank number, or until control of the target is given up (voluntarily or otherwise). While under the effects of this ability, the victim may or may not be aware of what is going on - this is entirely up to the mind controller. Similarly, whether or not the target remembers anything done while under mind control depends on the whims of the wielder of this power.

O

Object Animation
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: while maintained (for each animated object)
Cost: 1 point per rank

Object animation allows a character to temporarily imbue an inanimate object with spectral energies, giving it a strange semblance of life. Objects so imbued become animate, and are under the direct control of their animator. An animator may imbue any object within Near distance with 'life' - but once an object is activated, the animator can continue to control it as long as it is within his or her line of sight.

Objects to be animated must have a material strength equal to or less than the object animation rank; animating a diamond ring is more difficult than animating a refrigerator. Furthermore, they must be of a weight equal to or less than this rank as if it were an equivalent Strength score. A Remarkable (30) ranked animation ability, then, can bring 'life' to any object of up to one ton in weight.

Other than that, the only limitation on object animation is the object itself. The nature of object animation requires that an object to be animated function and move in a manner that is consistent with its design (if applicable). Ropes will slink and slither, chairs will walk on their legs, balls and boulders will roll, that sort of thing; this can be somewhat subjective, depending on the item in question.

Animated objects function as if they had a Fighting and Agility score equal to this rank, while the damage they can inflict (if any) will be determined by either the objects' material strength or this power rank (whichever is lower). A character may animate any number of objects at once, though they can only concentrate on directly commanding one animated object with finesse at any given moment.

Opposition
Type: Universal Spell
Cost: 3 points per rank

Opposition is the power to, well, oppose the powers of others. When using this ability, the possessor of opposition can study another person's super human ability, and synthesize within themselves a counter to it. This process takes one turn and a simple green power FEAT, but when done opposition will grant them a power that will serve as a foil to the ability so analyzed, functioning at the opposition power rank.

With the exception of other power control powers, the new capability can be just about anything else in the game - as long as it directly counters the analyzed power. Mind you, this result need not be the same each time; when attempting to oppose fire generation, one might come up with fire control, cold generation, resistance to fire attacks, or even something as novel as air control, to render the flames inert via oxygen loss.

The possessor of opposition can decide which specific counter they wish to adopt for a given situation, and may even switch between them in the event that more than one is available - though this requires another turn, as if freshly analyzing a power to oppose in the first place. A capability granted by opposition lasts for as long as the opposing power menaces the possessor of this ability, plus 1d10 turns.

With the exception of lingering opposition abilities, this power is primarily useless against normal humans. Since ordinary folks have no powers to speak of, opposition can't really do anything about them - which might be a pain if a mob of them approaches with torches and pitch forks. In the event of an angry mob (or police, or the IRS, or whatever), the hope is that one can get away before their opposition power fades on them!

Organism Generation
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 3 points per rank

Organism generation is the power to create life itself - from seeming nothingness! Weaving one's personal energies together with ambient subatomic particles, a character with this power can actually generate fully formed organisms. The creations of this power can be alive or dead, as the organism generator desires, with each state of being having its own, particular uses in the grand scheme of things.

Characters with organism generation can use it to manifest a number of pounds, each turn, which is equal to their power rank number. In order to build a creature that is of greater size than this amount, an organism generator must spend multiple turns bringing it into existence. With Excellent (20) organism generation, for example, creating a one hundred and fifty pound clone of oneself would take eight turns.

When building a new life form from scratch, an organism generator generally need only make a green power FEAT roll initially, upon spending the required time to do so. This assumes a conventional life form, however. If 'making up' an entirely new life form, this FEAT is yellow in hue, and if attempting to create life using a strain of chemistry unknown to modern science, the required FEAT roll is of red difficulty.

One problem with this power, such as it is, is that its use is highly strenuous on the body. The personal energies lost with each turn of organism generation's use is equal to one Health point per turn, which isn't such a big deal when one is building small life forms, but can add up fast when you're trying to make a humpback whale. This Health loss must be recovered in whatever fashion is normal for the organism generator.

Another difficulty posed by organism generation is the potential transience of its creations. A white FEAT makes them last for a number of turns equal to this power rank number, a green FEAT lets an organism exist for a number of minutes equal to this power rank number, and a yellow FEAT allows a created being to persist for a number of hours equal to this power's rank number.

If one makes a red power FEAT roll upon the completion of a life form, it is considered a permanent entity - it will not discorporate at any point in the future - at least, not due to circumstances extant when organism generation brought it into existence. Such life forms can be slain normally if brought into existence in a living state, or can decompose if manifested in a freshly deceased state.

Organism generation functions within Very Near distance of its wielder, and then only within his or her direct line of sight. Wielding this power at Typical (6) ability, for example, would allow its possessor to generate life anywhere within six yards of their person - assuming nothing lies between them and where they would like to make it. Such beings have no inherent velocity, but gravity definitely affects them immediately.

In order to generate an organism, this power's wielder must generally understand its biology. This requires 'memorizing' a life form, each form of such counting as one 'slot' in an organism generator's memory (of which he or she has a number equal to their Reason (mem) score) - unless they possess eidetic memory, that is. If one's memory is 'full' when trying to memorize a new form of life to create, they need only drop another.

Entities created by this power will generally behave as a normal member of their species should, though they will lack any memories to speak of - unless their creator has a mind handy to copy or transfer into it. Doing this requires the requisite powers involved with such; otherwise, the creations of organism generation are a 'blank slate', who only possess knowledge gained after their manifestation in the world.

Organism Generation is an expensive power, but may be taken with a variety of limitations to reduce that cost somewhat - on top of those that are already indicated above, that is. One such (extreme) limitation involves preventing the power from making more than one kind of creature - say, it can only make bats (or whatever). Another (weak) limitation might remove the potential of permanency from one's creations entirely.

P

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

This powerful ability allows its wielder to completely neutralize the actions of a single target. If its victim fails a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against this power rank, the wielder of paralysis can completely block their ability to act consciously. In other words, a paralyzed foe can still breathe, and retains full sensory awareness of his or her surroundings, but they cannot move or activate any super-human abilities.

Paralysis lasts for 1d10 turns, unless the effect is specifically maintained by its wielder, or neutralized by effects such as clarity. It can affect any one target within Near range of its possessor.

Plant Hybridization / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This potent ability allows its wielder to modify other life forms, namely by combining their inherent characteristics with that of plant life! When this power is first gained, its wielder can only add the characteristics of one form of flora to others. This represents a deep familiarity with the physiology of said plant type, and additional familiarities (i.e., floral forms) can be obtained as power stunts.

Any living creature can be the recipient of such hybridization, whether it is a human, a dog, or even another plant. Such a transformation can be either partial or total, depending on the whims of this power's possessor. This can either give an affected life form the abilities of the new plant type, or alter them fully into the chosen floral form (changing their physical ability scores, if applicable, appropriately).

Abilities gained by the target of this power will typically function at a maximum rank that is equal to its own. They may operate at less, depending on the nature of the transformations it can cause, but are limited in such a fashion to represent the ability of this power's possessor to emulate their chosen form of plant life. Physical weaponry is normally not affected by this limitation, however, since it usually uses set modifiers.

A vital consideration is the both the size of the target and the nature of a transformation, if it is complete. Turning a humpback whale into a rose bush would make immense flowers, while transforming a beetle into an oak tree would create an absolutely tiny oak. This problem cannot be bypassed without use of the growth / others and shrinking / others abilities (either as separate powers or as power stuns).

Another thing to bear in mind is that the target will retain whatever cognitive abilities it usually possesses, even if such a characteristic would normally be different in its final form. Changing a man into a weeping willow might make for a very panicky plant, while giving a corn stalk poisonous thorns wouldn't cause much of a net change (save for those 'talking' to the corn via plant sympathy).

Wielding plant hybridization / others requires physical contact with the target. The target can avoid the effects of this power by preventing contact with its wielder - or having resistance to metabolic attacks. The effects of changes, whether partial or complete, take place almost instantly; the target of this power can be a human resources representative one second and a fern the next - which might be an improvement.

Generally, the transformative effects of this power are transient in nature. On a green power FEAT, it will last for a number of turns equal to its power rank number. Yellow successes raise this to a number of minutes equal to the power rank number, and a red FEAT roll will extend the time such a transformation lasts a number of hours equal to the power rank number!

On rare occurrences, this power's effects can be permanent. The wielder of plant hybridization / others has no control over this; it's simply something that just 'happens' sometimes. Perhaps something occurred to that rat you turned into a tiny orange tree that caused it to remain in that state, or the flowers you imparted on someone for romantic inclinations agreed with their physiology so well that they just sort of 'stuck'.

The Judge is the final arbiter of such instances, which occasionally gives him or her a tool to introduce bizarre additions or alterations to their campaign.

Platforming
Type: Universal Spell
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of platforming is a specialized form of several different ascendant abilities, depending on how one wishes to define it. In essence, platforming involves its wielder imparting momentum into matter, and subsequently riding atop it. In this fashion, a platformer can achieve flight through the air, whether high in the sky or just above the surface, even if he or she is not the one actually flying.

A platform impelled by this power will move at power rank velocity, as is defined by the air speed table. A platformer may maintain such speeds indefinitely, though it's important to note that at higher velocities, air friction and an inability to easily breathe might become a concern. Thus, without the ability to resolve such issues, one might cap platforming at a safe top speed of Remarkable (30) - 225 miles per hour.

A platformer may automatically lift their own weight with a platform. The power can support additional mass as if the power rank were an equivalent Strength score - though this amount must also include the weight of the platform to be impelled. Thus, an Incredible (40) ranked platforming power could bear its wielder and ten tons of material - which can be up to a ten-ton platform or a light platform with a lot of 'cargo'.

In its standard form, platforming can be used on any solid matter, though living beings could presumably attempt an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to resist its use on their person. However, the power can be limited to increasingly specific forms of matter as limitations, ranging from 'natural earth' as a weak limitation to an old hubcap with sentimental value to the power's wielder as an extreme limitation.

Poison
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The insidious power of poison allows its wielder to secrete chemical compounds that are antithetical to most organic life. When this ability is first gained, its possessor may exude any one form of poison the player chooses. Additional forms of poison may be gained either as power stunts or as additional versions of the poison power - this only matters if one wants differing forms of toxicity now or later.

Each form of poison will affect its target at this power's rank, usually prompting an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to resist. There are a wide variety of poisons, however, and a character with this ability must develop their own customized poison power based on three variables: the delivery mechanism, the effects the poison has on the biological processes of its target, and the onset time.

An inhaled poison is one that the target must breathe in to be exposed to its effects. The poisoner can typically emit poisonous particles from his or her body, whether the skin, their own lungs upon exhalation, or some specific body part. This form of poison can be avoided by not breathing it in, though a colorless and odorless poison may be difficult to detect - at least, until it is too late.

A contact poison is one that is absorbed through the skin to work its 'magic'. Such a toxin is typically issued forth from one's skin or a physical weapon of some sort. This form of poison can be applied directly to the target or something they might touch, though in the latter case such a poison will lose effectiveness over time, as the elements, circumstance, or even its own molecular structure conspire to dilute its strength.

Injected poisons are those which must enter the bloodstream somehow to affect the target. This form of poison is often delivered through a hypodermic needle or perhaps a bladed object. Swords, arrows, and even natural weaponry excel for these purposes. An injected poison usually has a very rapid onset time, since it need not pass through the lungs or digestive tract on the way to its final destination.

Poisons of the ingested sort are those which must be consumed by the target in order to affect them. These can be the hardest to deliver in a combat situation, as one must generally force their ingestion, possibly with surprise. At the same time, one can most readily use this power on a foe when they are caught unawares, dosing the target's food or water supply when they're not looking.

The inhaled form of poison is considered the default mode of this power, and functions within Very Near range of others. Wielding a contact form of poison is considered a weak limitation, an injected form of poison is a strong limitation, and a poison that must be ingested counts as a very strongly limited power. This allows one to build a very deadly toxin, depending on how difficult it is to deliver.

Of course, one must determine what their poison will do once it affects the target. The simplest form of poison is one which inflicts non-specific, SD Metabolic damage. This is representative of a chemical that does damage to the target's organs and tissues in the course of moving through their body, though it isn't very detailed - which is on purpose, for those without a biochemistry degree.

If a player wishes to devise a specific poison, modeled on real life compounds, these can be researched and built appropriately. Such 'realistic' poisons will usually trade some of the previously described damage for different effects, as determined by the player and the Judge. Cyanide might cause suffocation, while nerve gas will cause paralysis - these toxins and many more are possible using the poison power.

Finally, a player must determine the onset time of their poison. The standard mode of the poison power calls for an immediate effect. However, the power can be limited by delaying the onset time for 1d10 turns as a weak limitation, 1d10 minutes as a strong limitation, or even 1d10 hours as a very strong limitation. Such delayed onset times aren't very applicable to combat, but are great for harming others without notice!

Proxy
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

A proxy is someone whom you may cast magic spells through.

They act as a living, breathing conduit, allowing you to perform your magic well beyond the usual range of most spells (for the most part). One must be willing to serve as a proxy to another, though there's nothing stopping a mage from intimidating somebody until they submit to the use of this power. The only other limitation is that one must be close to begin serving as a proxy.

The would-be proxy must be within Very Near range before being made into such, which occurs when this ability is invoked. Once this is done, the proxy may wander almost anywhere, this power functioning on the Very Far range table. Spells cast through a proxy treat him or her as if they are the origin point for whatever magic the person maintaining the proxy power wields, for as long as it is maintained.

In order to make the best use of this capability, the proxy power also includes a limited form of sensory link, as well. This lets the wielder of proxy experience whatever sensory input their surrogates are exposed to. This does not include the proxy's thoughts, surface or otherwise - at least, not without the spells to investigate such things directly.

Psychic Probe
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

While telepathy can only be used to sense the surface thoughts of a sentient being, a psychic probe may delve further into their mind - much further. The target of a psychic probe automatically gains a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against the psychic probe intensity to resist it, even if they're unaware of its use beforehand. If this FEAT is successful, the target cannot be probed (by this particular psychic prober) for twenty four hours.

If this FEAT fails, the prober may seek out whatever information he or she wishes from the target. This power cannot be used to randomly root around in something's mind - the wielder must have a basic idea what they're looking for. The target can only reveal knowledge they actually know, but it's possible that they have secrets locked up in the back of their mind that they're not even aware of in the first place.

Once the use of psychic probe is complete (whether successful or not), the target must attempt a second Psyche (will) FEAT roll. If this FEAT fails, he or she will suffer a -1 CS to their Psyche rank for 24 hours, due to the extreme strain that a psychic probe causes. This may make the target more susceptible to other people with the psychic probe power - or any other psionic powers, for that matter.

Psychic probe functions on the Near range table.

R

Rotting
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power to rot involves inducing organic matter to die and rapidly decay. A variety of mechanisms can produce this effect, the end result being damage to or the destruction of organic materials. Against living entities, this ability will cause power rank SD Metabolic damage each time it is applied, which its targets may avoid by preventing physical contact (it requires such to function).

When used against non-living organic matter, whether clothing or rope or a corpse, rotting will destroy it if it fails a material strength check against this power rank.

Matter affected by rotting, whether living or dead before the power is used, will show signs of advanced decomposition. This may confound physicians when used against the living, and wounds inflicted by it will heal - though they might leave gnarly scars. Products made from organic materials appear to be much older than they should be when affected by rotting, if they're not destroyed outright by this ability.

This power can be avoided with resistance to metabolic attacks - or just resistance to corrosion or rotting. The entropic effect of this power inflicts -4 CS damage against inorganic targets (it works, just less effectively).

S

Shrinking / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

This curious ability is a means by which one can physically decrease the size of any target in his or her environment, living or otherwise. The character possessing it has the ability to reduce the volume of their target, doing so by applying a multiplier to its current size as if the target suddenly acquired an equivalently ranked shrinking / self ability (which details the specifics of shrinking rules).

Non-living targets can be shrank on a green roll, but living targets are allowed an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to avoid the effect (if unwilling). The effects of shrinking / others will last for a duration dependent on variables present when the power is used.

A green shrinking / others FEAT will cause the effect to last for a number of turns equal to the power rank number, a yellow shrinking / others roll will do so for a like number of minutes, and a red shrinking / others FEAT will contract the size of living entities for a number of hours equal to the rank number. The latter assumes an animate target; inanimate objects are shrank permanently unless the shrinker chooses otherwise.

Or later deactivates the shrinking they subjected it to, at any rate.

But how does this work? The standard explanation for shrinking is that its wielder stores the mass necessary to contract their target's volume in an extradimensional space of some sort. This simply means there's less of it than there was before, as its mass is stowed away to reduce the shrinking target to its new volume. This allows a shrunken character 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 by Class 1000 shrinking, 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.

Sleep
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The sleep ability allows its user to rapidly neutralize a large number of people - without directly harming them. When invoked, sleep shuts down the conscious minds of all sentient beings within Very Near distance, if they fail a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against its power rank. Those affected will usually lose consciousness within a second or so, having just enough time to lie or sit down before passing out.

The effects of sleep last for 1d10 turns, though unlike a lot of mind altering powers, the targets do not gain an additional FEAT roll to resist each turn. This is because a state of sleep is somewhat fickle, and can be readily interrupted by external forces. Such interruption can come in the form of sudden stimulus (loud noise, a slap, noxious odor) or even something as simple as vigorously shaking the sleeping individual.

T

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

'Mind over matter', telekinesis is the ability to handle objects in the environment with the power of one's mind. Telekinesis is essentially Strength at a distance, functioning with power rank ability upon any external matter within Near distance that its wielder desires. This can involve a variety of feats, including heaving a Buick ™ at someone, holding back rushing water, or even suspending random matter in the air.

A telekinetic character may manipulate numerous objects simultaneously, but each doubling of items handled reduces the effective power rank, both for its effective range and total lifting strength, by -1 CS. For instance, a Monstrous (75) ranked telekinetic could grab thirty two objects and have them orbit their body, but doing so would reduce the total weight they could lift by -5 CS (limiting it to Good (10) rank - or 400 pounds).

Telekinesis can be the basis for an immense variety of other powers, many of which are often learned as power stunts. Several telekinetics learn how to affect their own body in addition to external mass, in order to acquire flight. Others compress their telekinetic might into force blasts, and even more learn how to create protective force fields with the power of their minds alone.

And that is the real strength of telekinesis - its staggering versatility.

Teleportation
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Using the power of teleportation, a character may move from one point in space to another without actually crossing the intervening distance. Teleportation functions on the Far range table, allowing a staggering freedom of movement for its wielder. For example, just possessing teleportation at Typical (6) rank lets its wielder cross up to ten miles in the blink of an eye!

And a teleporter can bring more than just themselves along for the ride. Teleportation allows its wielder to carry with him or her an amount of additional mass equal to their power rank number, as if it were an equivalent Strength score. The Typical (6) teleporter used as an example above could carry along two hundred bonus pounds of material - either a whole lot of gear or possibly another person if they're light enough.

Teleportation works by momentarily 'lifting' its wielder (and any cargo) out of their current space-time and 'bouncing' them off a higher dimension. Upon returning, the teleporter (and whatever they brought with them) materializes at the desired coordinates, no worse for the wear - that is, unless something was physically occupying the space that was teleported into.

Usually, gaseous and liquid matter will simply displace upon the appearance of teleported matter, but the solid stuff is where problems arise. If one teleports into a solid object, he or she must immediately roll an Endurance FEAT against the material strength of the object teleported into (or, if one manifested inside a living being, their Strength score instead). Success means the character teleported back out.

They and their cargo will return to their point of origin, rendered unconscious for 1d10 turns but otherwise all right. Should this FEAT fail, however, the teleporter will take an amount of damage equal to the object's material strength or victim's Strength score, and fall unconscious. Trapped within the object, the teleporter will begin to lose Endurance ranks as if subject to a Killing blow - which they were.

If the teleporter is helped in time, he or she may be just fine, though this may be tricky if they manifest deep within a solid object, such as a building foundation or moon. Being teleported into prompts much the same action, and if this FEAT fails the person unwittingly teleported into will suffer like damage and may potentially die as well - even if the person who teleported into them makes it to safety.

Topological Control
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 3 points per rank

Characters may use this ability to alter the very shape of an object. This is similar to the solid animation power, but can affect anything - living or otherwise. It works automatically on inanimate objects, but something that is alive (or at the very least mobile) requires a to-hit roll on the part of this ability's wielder. Topological control may be opposed by resistance to either energy or warping attacks.

Topological control does not alter the strength of a material, at least as far as its molecular structure is concerned. If something is shaped to extremes it may not have the same effective m.s., however. Instances of such include stretching a boulder until it is paper thin, or alternately compacting the concrete on a city street into a massive lump.

The actual difficulty of morphing one object into another depends on how complex the end result is. Making simple objects or just stretching an object like taffy requires a green FEAT. An example of a green FEAT roll would be warping a light pole until it wrapped around a foe, holding them in place. While the shape of the light pole has changed, it's essential function and homeomorphism has not. It may even still work!

Reshaping matter into complicated shapes, or altering the homeomorphism of one or more items requires a yellow FEAT. For example, imagine that light pole instead being morphed into a ladder. This is a much more serious change to the object, as it now has several holes (its homeomorphism has been altered). Whether or not the light at the top still functions (or if it has become two, or is still there) is up for debate.

Finally, a red FEAT is necessary when forming very intricate or moving items, or when radically altering the nature of something's form. Such changes may involve transforming that light pole into moving clockwork machinery, or concocting an internal combustion engine from piles of scrap metal. Such actions also include any drastic change to the configuration of living entities.

The latter is because topological control, by its very nature, will preserve the functions of a living being as its topology is shifted. Thus, keeping a human being alive when warping their body into the shape of a portable toilet requires a lot of finesse - and serious knowledge of how biological systems actually work. Warping such into a table or dog is much simpler, relatively speaking, and thus requires a lesser FEAT roll.

Topological control can alter an amount of matter equal to an equivalent Strength score each turn, doing so within Near distance.

Generally, changes to an inanimate object wrought with topological control are permanent, unless reversed by the perpetrator. This requires no FEAT roll unless the object has been altered (whether by accident or design) since they themselves changed it. Alterations to living beings last for a number of turns equal to the topological control rank - unless its wielder specifically concentrates on maintaining them.

Then, it can last until the topological controller releases their hold on the altered living being, at which point its morphic resonance will restore it to its original shape. While being reshaped by topological control does not cause physical damage to a target, strictly speaking, the target's mind may be damaged by sadistic use of this power. Being abused by this ability can lead to the development of strange phobias and other quirks!

Transformation / Others
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

The power to transform others is the ability to drastically alter the physical makeup of living beings. It works on them in the same way transmutation does, and usually involves an atomic or molecular change in the target. The difference is that said living beings are not changed into an inert mass of material; instead, they are altered such that they can function despite their brand new composition!

When this power is first gained, its wielder will know how to change a living being such that it can act in one new form. This can be any one kind of matter, regardless of its state, or even energy if desired. He or she can acquire the ability to transform others into additional substances either as a power stunt of this ability or by acquiring this ability again (player's choice).

To transform another living being in this fashion, physical contact with the target is required. The target can avoid the effects of this power by preventing contact with its wielder - or having resistance to metabolic attacks. The effects of changes, whether partial or complete, take place almost instantly; the target of this power can be an ordinary human one moment, and made out of titanium the next!

Transforming others into a solid material gives them an effective material strength (and thus, body armor) equal to its normal m.s. or this power's rank - whichever is less. While in this solid state, characters so transformed may move about and behave as they normally do, even if constructed of something especially rigid. However, if one's m.s. is higher than their Strength, they can only move as if such were only Feeble (2) rank.

A fluid transformation allows the target of this power to flow as can any liquid, easily working their way through tight spaces and around objects as is required. A character in a liquid state can readily alter their form, pooling up in any shape desired. Furthermore, this molecular configuration allows its recipient the benefit of 1 CS of damage reduction against physical attacks, as their energy partially passes right through such beings.

Characters transformed into a vaporous state gain the movement benefits of the liquid form, along with the power of flight. While in the form of a gas, characters can fly at an air speed equal to this power rank. Gaseous bodies can either condense their form to an approximately human size and shape, or extend their mass out to cover an entire area. They receive 2 CS of damage reduction against physical attack.

Transforming others into a coherent field of energy is also possible. This allows a being so changed to generate energy at this power rank -2 CS, matching that which they've become. Possessing little or no mass, an energy being also has the power to fly like a gas form, but can do so on the space table instead of at air speed. Finally, energy life forms benefit from 3 CS of damage reduction against physical attack.

In addition to the above, transformed characters possess special abilities derived from their new composition. A bird made from plutonium would rapidly contaminate a wide area with radiation, while a rat made from hydrochloric acid would wreak havoc in a foundry. Powers granted due to a being's new chemical composition are generally limited to this power rank in effectiveness, unless physics would override such.

Light generally doesn't slow down for anyone, after all.

On the other hand, characters so transformed are similarly hamstrung by their chemistry. While they may gain the power to emit cold after being transmogrified into a block of ice, the target is suddenly quite vulnerable to fire and heat. Any sudden 'weakness' the character has due to a state of chemistry should be treated as a level 1 allergy quirk (or, in other words, affects them at a +2 CS).

When taking damage in a transformed state, a character can visibly show serious damage, and even be shattered, but can be transformed 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.

If not changed back by the wielder of this power, a transformed entity will last in his or her altered state for an amount of time determined when the power is used upon their body. A green power FEAT allows transformations to last a number of turns equal to its power rank number, while a yellow FEAT will extend it to a like amount of minutes, and a red FEAT roll allows a transformation to last a similar number of hours.

While biological processes may or may not function in this altered state, the benefit to its target is that they are not necessary, strictly speaking. While transformed, the character so changed may go without eating, drinking, breathing, and even sleep as if they wielded environmental independence for the duration of their change. This makes the power a great emergency life support mechanism in a pinch!

W

Warding
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Wards are a defensive magic, designed to protect an object or area from tampering. A sorcerer may cast the warding spell to protect anything they wish, covering a maximum area as is determined by the Very Near range table. For example, wielding an Incredible (40) ranked warding spell, a mage could almost cover an entire area (which is 44 yards square) with their ward of choice.

Such wards can be set to trigger under a variety of conditions, though usually depend on someone (or something) either entering a warded space or touching a warded object. When triggered, the ward will unleash the energies contained within, usually directed at whatever set it off in the first place. Most often, this will be an explosive discharge of an intensity equal to this spell rank (Force damage).

On the other hand, the creator of a ward may instead invest any of their spell effects into the defensive construct. This causes said spell to be held, as if cast with the contingency spell, until the ward is triggered. Variant wards may involve anything from a different deleterious effect (a burst of fire, instead of raw explosive power), to something such as teleportation to a predetermined location, or even banishment!

Not that a ward need be so direct. Curses are popular wards to set upon tombs, some more virulent than others. Enough cursed wards applied to a body can really ruin their day, and the worst part is that they won't even know what has happened to them... possibly until it is too late. One could even rig beneficial spells into a ward if they wanted, though that sort of defeats the purpose of a ward in the first place.

The trick is that a spellslinger may only create a limited amount of wards at any given time. This number of wards is equal to the caster's spell rank number; that Incredible (40) ranked warder, above, could maintain up to forty at a time. Attempting to make more will cause the oldest ward active to dissipate - and unless the caster has an exhaustive list of what they warded, and when, this might be cause for alarm.

One can bypass this limitation with permanent wards. This requires the use of the enchantment spell, as it involves weaving the ward (and any additional spell effect chosen) into something to be warded, such as a 'trick' cobblestone or protective casing. Luckily, since the creator of the ward knows both the warding spell and any other spell(s) to be installed in the booby-trapped item, the Karma cost for this is relatively light.

A permanent ward has the benefit of not counting against the limit of one's active wards, thus letting them protect an additional object or area. Furthermore, it is regenerative; permanent wards, once discharged, will renew themselves in twenty-four hours (one day). This means its creator need not continually refresh the ward if burglars or other intruders have a bad habit of checking the area out for fresh loot!

X

Xenoglossy
Type: Universal Spell
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

In lieu of taking the time to learn a language naturally, mastering the ability to effectively read, write, and speak using it, the character with xenoglossy can simply acquire the means of doing so instantly. Upon a successful power FEAT with this ability, a xenogloss can adopt any one language of his or her choice, wielding it with a fluency equal to that of their original, native tongue.

This suddenly developed tongue is transient in nature, lasting for an amount of time equal to its power rank number in turns. A xenogloss may either repeat the use of an artificially acquired language, switch to a different language before the first has expired, or end the power's effect entirely, simply by passing another power FEAT roll whenever one of these situations comes to pass.

One means of weakly limiting xenoglossy is by having it replace the character's other language(s) while it is active, raising such a limit to strong if it cannot be aborted during its usual duration. Similarly, one can enhance this power by providing additional languages that can be temporarily acquired by it, adding one step of enhancement for each additional tongue that xenoglossy provides simultaneously.

Return to the Book of Magic!