First up for today, it’s the second half of the Metamagic abilities for the Enhancement (better known as the “Adept”, “Physad”, or “Physical Adept”) abilities for Shadowrun Penumbra. I’ll update the original post with them as well, this is just in case somebody missed that one in the last few days. In this case, it’s the advanced applications of the abilities listed in the character-creation handout, as well as a little more information on what the basic ones do. If you really want details, either ask about specific abilities or take them and see what you get.
Advanced Enhancement Abilities:
Adaption allows the user to modify his or her magical abilities given one week per magic point so redirected. Further upgrades can reduce this time (3 Days, 1 Day, 8 Hours, and 1 Hour at a minimum). Other upgrades allow the user to adapt “on the fly” to problems like being underwater (making a magic roll to reduce environmental penalties), to remain comfortable in any normally-survivable environment, to (1) modify his or her linguistic skills to match the surrounding culture, (2) modify etiquette skills similarly, and (3) adapt to common cultural weapons.
Containment allows the user to entrap a spirit inside himself. This normally leads to occasional side effects and reduced aging. Upgrades include the ability to become dual-natured, to use one or another of the spirit’s powers, to entrap spirits which are stronger than you are, and (1) the ability to contain other magical energies, (2) to release them in a controlled fashion, and to (3) attempt to absorb magical attacks.
Empathic Healing allows the user to slowly take on other peoples wounds. Unlike most methods of healing, this will work after other forms of magical healing have been applied. Upgrades can allow the user to (1) slowly shift his or her own wounds to a willing recipient, (2) to do it fairly quickly, (3) to do it very quickly, (4) to give them to an unwilling victim. Other upgrades can be used to speed up taking on wounds, to allow the user to affect more than one target at the same time, and to allow the user to provide life support on the cellular level.
Focus Use allows enhancement-users to use power foci. Unfortunately, at its base level, the abilities brought out by power foci are fixed – and the user must buy them next, so that the foci can bring out more. Upgrades allow the user to buy other powers, allow differing foci to bring out different powers rather than activating a specified list of upgrades, and allow the user to imprint particular powers on power foci, transforming them into ace power foci.
Heroism is quite simple: the more the user becomes known as a noble hero, widely respected and looked up to, the stronger he or she becomes. In practice, the user may gain up to +3 Magic Rating when so admired per level of Heroism (although the current upper limit of MR 30 continues to apply). More unusual upgrades for Heroism include Always in the News (which causes your legend to feed on itself), An Inspiration to Others (which causes “excess” points of MR [anything over 30] to manifest themselves through other people who support your goals), and Champion of the People (which lets other people spend points from their karma pools on your behalf: note that, whether or not NPC’s are supposed to have one, for this purpose it should be assumed that they do, just like the PC’s – if usually only one or two points).
Imbuement allows the user to bond an item like a focus, thus reducing the target numbers for using it. Named upgrades include Cargo (the user may consider items within his or her personal aura a part of himself – hiding them from astral scans, allowing them to share his defenses, allowing them to be brought into astral space with him or her, and so on) and then Persistence (this allows items to remain affected by the user’s powers for a brief time after being separated from him or her, thus allowing – for example – astral ranged attacks). Other upgrades can reduce the karma cost, improve the target number reduction, allow the user to repair the item through force of will (sharing his own healing with it), allow the user to bond himself to more than (Initiate Level) items at a time, or increase the objects innate attributes and defenses.
Inspiration allows the user to draw information from astral space; once per session per level the player may ask the game master to supply some Sherlock-Holmes-style deduction, decide to make a missed perception check, gain some useful fact, be reminded of something relevant which has forgotten or overlooked, or be asked a leading question. Upgrades may provide additional uses of this ability, (1) provide the user, and (2) his companions with an extra two points in their karma pool for use in each session, allow the user to spend good karma on knowledge skills without having to have any source for the information, allow the user to add “roll his magic rating as a knowledge skill” to the list of available effects, or allow a use of this ability to substitute for a point from the user’s karma pool.
Given that I tend to run mystery-based games, I don’t really recommend relying on this much: it will tend to make things boring.
Metabolic Control allows, at it’s basic level, the kinds of tricks found in Yoga, or available through a Biocontrol Program of a rating equal to the user’s MR and with two specific functions included. Upgrades may add additional specific functions (+2 per upgrade), the ability to enter deep hibernation (in which state the user can survive total airlessness, freezing, and lack of food or water indefinitely), the ability to accelerate healing (including stun damage and regenerative powers, to one half, one-third, or even one-quarter of the base time), to survive normally-mortal injuries for hours (missing heart, etc), the ability to (1) neutralize poisons and counter diseases, (2) secrete designer enzymes, (3) to secrete designer antibodies, (4) to secrete designer biochemicals, (5) to modify the genes being passed to your offspring, (6) to modify your own genes, (7) to grow your own cultured bioware, and (8+) to reduce the effective bio index of doing so.
Mindlink lets the user imbue a creature with a bit of his or her essence, creating a permanent communications link; the creatures involved can communicate and share sensory information at an indefinite range. Upgrades can allow those involved to (1) share memories, (2) communicate extremely rapidly, (3) share skills (albeit at a -4 penalty), (4) share skills at a -2 penalty, (5) share skills at a -1 penalty, and (6) share skills at no penalty. The ability to share 20/40/50/60/70/75/80% of the user’s basic supernatural enhancement/and any one other skill/and any three other skills abilities (metamagics cannot be shared) with one other with a specified/group of/all linked creatures constitutes another array of upgrades, as does establishing firmer control over animals or granting them full sapience.
Stunts allows the user to use his or her powers in really bizarre ways. Not just the use-your-firebolt-power-to-weld-a-door-shut (or cook some eggs, or heat a freezing room or such) that the regular Superheroics skill covers, but in those once-in-a-blue-moon irrational ways that you see in comic books – using your fireblast that never shows any sign of action-reaction at any other time as a rocket to blast yourself higher or cushion a fall, selectively tuning it to burn poison out of someone’s system without otherwise injuring them, using it as a catalyst to cause a specific chemical reaction, or whatever. If a hard-and-fast rule is needed, a Stunt provides +3 MR for a single round once per session which the user may “spend” on any enhancement power that he or she likes as long as he or she can think of SOME way – however unlikely – in which the effect purchased is related to the user’s existing powers. Purchasing stunts more than once provides one additional use per day, other upgrades can be purchased to allow the use of two stunts at a time or to provide an additional +1 round of duration for your stunts per upgrade invested.
Touch of Life allows the user to tap into the life force of the earth as whole. The user can heal damage with a touch and a few turns of concentration, sustain his own life in the face of gross damage (add +20 physical damage boxes), and gains a bonus karma pool equal to his or her initiate grade when opposing threats to the earth. Upgrades include the ability to (1) vastly accelerate growth and the spread of life in an environment, (2) to cause lifeforms to rapidly adapt to their environment, (3) to direct such rapid evolution, (4) to create new forms of plant and bacterial life, (5) to create new forms of animal life, and (6) to raise the dead. Other possible upgrades include the ability to temporarily infuse nonliving matter, to (1) strengthen and enhance life forms by touch, (2) to extend the duration of such enhancements, (3) to permanently modify existing organisms (similar to adding bioware), (4) to induce genetic modifications in existing organisms (making such enhancements hereditary), and (5+) to learn to reduce the biological impact of such alterations. Yes, there is a reason why this metamagic is only available to level twelve initiates.
Transference allows the user to transfer his or her powers to someone else with a touch as long as he or she continues to touch the intended target and concentrate on them. Upgrades can allow the user to split his or her powers between multiple targets, allow the transfer to persist after he or she ceases to touch the subject(s), reduce the need for concentration, pass on minor powers to his or her offspring, allow the initial transfer to be at a short range, or simply make the transfer last for a few minutes. Further upgrades can allow the user to (2) maintain the transfer with no concentration at all, to (3) pass on his or her powers permanently (they will remain even if the donor dies), or even to (4) make them an independent effect, that can continue to be passed on.