While there are many unique skills scattered across the near-infinite realms of the Quantum Manifold, relatively few of them deal with the nature of the realms themselves – or are especially vital to most characters. Here are two of the ones that are:
Wealth (Specify Realm) (broad if core, narrow otherwise, charisma based, may be used unskilled): Wealth is pretty straightforward. When you want to buy something, make a wealth check using your local wealth level (if you don’t have one in a particular world, the game master will either assign one according to your current role or have you make an unskilled check if you’re especially broke). The wealth skill roll normally subsumes bargaining, persuading people to accept installment payments, strange gold coins, credit checks, and similar options – although skills such as Negotiation, Bargaining, or Intimidation may be used for complimentary rolls. Wealth is a commonly purchased as a part of an Identity, above.
Characters with Reality Editing, or other abilities which can be used to provide funds, can exert their abilities to gain bonuses on their wealth checks. In general, if your abilities can provide minor profits you gain a +5 bonus to wealth checks. If they can provide large profits, you get a +10.
Identities (broad, charisma based, skilled use only): People can establish role’s for themselves in the manifold – whether by adopting a role that they’ve been dropped into and making it their own or by establishing their own role. Sadly, well-established “public” roles – whether they’re Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings or Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip – are almost impossible to establish an exclusive claim to unless you manage to slip into that role and never leave it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t establish a strong link with it though – which is commonly enough for those familiar with the character to recognize “your identity” and to get you back into the role when you revisit the relevant world. Of course, if the role happens to be occupied at the moment, you may wind up being shunted into a prequel, sequel, or closely-related role in some variant of the world you actually wanted. For an example of this Ryan O’Malley once wound up with the role of Slytherin in a visit to a “Harry Potter” prequel world – and found that it followed him about thereafter…
Regardless, Identities are always limited to a specific, non-core, world – but they may include contacts, properties, and even powers. They won’t provide non-local skills, upgrade subtle personal abilities (tapping into local power sources is quite possible), let you suddenly learn to craft magical devices, or anything like that. Still, each level of the Identities skill provides +8 CP worth of abilities – but these must be assigned to a particular world, follow the rules of that world, cannot be corrupted or specialized based on being limited to a particular world, and must be approved by the game master. Just as importantly, no more than (Cha Mod +1, 1 minimum) levels of the identity skill can be assigned to any one role and characters can only have one established role in any one world. Secondarily, major roles tend to come with responsibilities, major difficulties, and require maintenance time. They’re useful tools, but only in specific realms.
Characters with the Reality Editing ability gain a +4 bonus on their Identity skill level.
Old roles can be traded out for new ones: this takes at least one month of game time per level of the skill being reassigned, you must spend time establishing the new identity and stay out of the old one, and the game master must approve. If you upgrade your “real” identity to include some of the features of a roll, those points can be reassigned freely.
Sample Identities: Kevin Sanwell
The Fifth Circle Roman Imperium is a surprisingly popular destination. You can engage in the guilty pleasures of watching the games (knowing that the vast majority of the victims are just phantoms), sample a little decadence, and enjoy the spice of danger – since every year a small percentage of the tourists offend someone important, wander into the wrong place at the wrong time, or break the local laws and wind up taking a starring role in the arena or the slave markets themselves. Admittedly, the percentage is tiny – but with 123 inhabited human core worlds, and 150 billion inhabitants, there are still several hundred cases a year. There aren’t many other “real” (ensouled) people on the Imperial slave markets any more; despite the general lack of aging in the Imperium, its been 2000 years since the major influx of the dead from the core waned with the fall of the Roman Empire. Most ensouled slaves have long since met with accidents and incarnated elsewhere, the trouble-prone adults have been weeded out, few ensouled children are born, and even fewer wind up enslaved.
As Titus Decius Aquilla, a supplier of rare beasts (via transformation) and slave-trader, Kevin owns a sizable estate outside of Rome – and has his agents out to purchase any core earth youngsters who come up on the markets or whom can be bought out of the arena. Some will take his bargain. Some will be sold back to worried relatives, to people who come to rescue them or – depending on how demonic he’s feeling today – be quietly returned to core (especially likely if they’re very young), put to work around the estate, resold – or even (if they’re especially troublesome, prone to escape, refuse to acknowledge that they’re being rescued from worse fates, don’t respond to punishment, and he’s in a really bad mood) be returned to the arena (or at least to a shitty job – although there have been one or two who wanted to fight in the arena to win their freedom). That’s very , very, rare – but he makes sure that there are rumors. He usually leaves at least one Thrall here (one with an improved ability to detect souls) to manage things in his frequent absences.
Titus is a Rank-3 role: Privilege / Wealthy Landowner-Noble (6 CP), Major Favors / Lower-level Imperial Bureaucrats and Managers (6 CP), Wealth / Imperium +17 (3 CP), Leadership / Strength in Numbers (numerous servants, +3 CP), Immunity / Legal Problems (as a prominent citizen, Kevin is effectively immune to most legal problems in the empire: Uncommon / Minor / Major, 3 CP), and 3 Contacts: the Arena Manager, the Commander of the City Guard, and the Slave Market Manager (3 CP) – for a total of 24 CP.
Crusader, a realm spawned of a full-sensory computer game, allows visitors to take on the roles of super-heros and super-villians – complete with some minor powers (most often purchased as Innate Enchantment). Oddly enough, this often includes some Charisma enhancements – allowing people to invest more skill ranks in their characters and accounting for why so many super-types are so impressive – and either generically good-looking or incredibly repellent.
In Crusader, Kevin takes on the role of Arpherion, an ambiguously dark mage who appears in the role of an antihero, wielding his terrible dark magics against other evils – and the occasional foolishly-interfering hero.
Arpherion is a Rank-4 role: Immunity/Recording and Remote Detection (Common / Minor / Major, 6 CP), Advanced Blessing Specialized in his Immunity (up to Cha Mod + 1 others and any Thralls in the area, 6 CP), can cast spells of up to L3 using his Dark Magic (+10 CP), Action Hero / Stunts (Corrupted: only Magical Stunts, 4 CP), Contact/The Dark Rider (very powerful, 2 CP), and Reflex Action (3 actions/day variant, specialized in magical actions, 3 CP), and Wealth +15 (this evades the need to suffer the -5 exchange rate with core earth, 1 CP).
The Wylds of Faerie are the domain of the Seelie and Unseelie courts – and it was to the Unseelie that Kevin was drawn. In the Wylds Kevin usually goes by the name Arpherion, appears as a handsome anthromorph (most often staglike), and has his Thralls take the form of horses, hounds, and assistant knights.
Arpherion, the Knight-Huntsman of Exeter, is a Rank-4 role: Blood of the Dragon (Specialized, only as a prerequisite, 3 CP), The Dragon’s Bones (May sustain up to (Int Mod) spells without effort, 6 CP), the Emperor’s Star (Thralls get an additional positive level, the +6 CP go to adding the ability to take large forms and +2 bonus uses of Shapeshift, 6 CP), Innate Enchantment (+4 Competence Bonus to All Skills, 8400 GP, +2 Luck bonus to All Skill and Attribute Checks, 1400 GP, +1 Luck bonus to AC and Saves, 1400 GP, +1 Resistance Bonus to All Saves, 700 GP, Personal Haste, 1400 GP, Expeditious Retreat, 1400 GP, and +12+2xCon Mod HP, 1400 GP, total 16,100 or 17 CP), and Luck (6 CP) with +2 Bonus Uses (3 CP), and Wealth/Faerie +15 (1 CP). All abilities Corrupted: they force him to take an anthropomorphic form and allow cold iron to bypass his innate strength-based damage reduction. Net cost: 32 CP.
The Colonial Era was Kevin’s first experience with the far-flung British Empire – and he found the intrigues and colonial excesses of interest. It was also his first experience in working as an English special agent.
In his Rank-2 role as a Player of the Great Game, Kevin gains” Witchcraft / The Secret Order (6 CP), Witchcraft / Divination (6 CP), Enthusiast and Adaption / Specialized in Contacts (3 CP), and Wealth / The Colonial Era +15 (1 CP). Net cost: 16 CP.
The Abyss – also known as Hell – is a realm of evil and suffering, pain and darkness. Kevin has never visited more than briefly – but the realm of the Fey borders upon it, it still has a hold on him, and there is a place waiting for him if he should turn wholly to the darkness and seek to claim it. As Belramos, he is a minor princeling of the abyss – one of the few demonic entities human enough to freely walk the core and recruit there…
As a minor demon, this Rank-1 role offers only a few benefits: Privilege/may enter and leave hell relatively unmolested (3 CP), Favors/minor gifts from the powers of hell (mostly as a lure, 3 CP), and a Powerful Contact – whichever demon lord opts to try and gain his loyalty or exchange favors (2 CP).
Kevin still has one more minor role left to create: his Identities skill isn’t well developed, but he still has 15 skill ranks (1 SP +6 Int + 4 Chr + 4 Reality Editing) and has only 14 ranks worth of roles.