Thera: Channeling The Primal Powers

   On Thera, Channeling goes a bit beyond the ability to influence the Undead.

   Channeling focuses primal energies through the user’s life – or unlife – force. It’s the oldest of all mystical techniques, by far the most erratic – and is the province of those who have the faith and will to open themselves to the high powers of the cosmos and accept that randomness.

   There are, of course, eighteen “fields” of channeling, sixteen of which are available to mortals (The fields of Light/Word and Darkness/Void are only available to the Celestial Host and the Spawn Of Apophis respectively). Each can be used to simply generate a burst of raw power or – with a successful save to maintain control – to produce more “advanced” effects. Sadly, failing that save means losing control of the powers which you’re channeling through your life force. It’s not a good idea.

   Character’s with Channeling normally get a base of (3 + ChaMod) attempts daily, and access to one field. Those with “special affinities” or cross-training may gain access to a second field at the price of permanently dividing up their daily allotment of attempts between the two fields. Such fields may not, however, be polar opposites in the Eye Of Thoth.

The Primal Powers:

   Creation, A.K.A. “Positive Energy”, can be used to repel those attuned to Destruction or “Negative Energy”, to heal, and to create new things. It’s probably the most common of all fields. A burst of positive energy is used to “Turn Undead”. More advanced effects include:

  • “Turning” the Spawn Of Apophis (DC 15. Works just like turning undead).
  • Blessing items (DC 15. Allows one to create holy water and so on).
  • Healing (Cure Light Wounds DC 12, Cure Moderate Wounds DC 15, Cure Serious Wounds DC 18, Cure Critical Wounds DC 21, and Heal DC 27).
  • Lifegiving (Raise The Dead DC 28, Ressurrection DC 32, True Ressurrection DC 35) and
  • Creation (Of mundane items up to 25 GP DC 18, +3 DC per additional 25 GP).
  • “Exorcisms” usually fall under “Turning”.

   Destruction, A.K.A. “Negative Energy”, can be used to Awe or Command entities attuned to negative energy, to injure, and to destroy… While it’s not inherently evil it’s very easy to abuse – and is the aspect of Thera through which the power of Apophis enters in. It does not have a good reputation. A negative energy burst can be used to Awe/Command undead. More advanced effects include:

  • Aweing or Commanding the Spawn Of Apophis (DC 14).
  • Disintegrations (DC 25).
  • Disrupting other Energies (Generally incoming spells and such, DC 11 + Spell Level).
  • Death Spells (DC 18 + SL).
  • Granting temporary Spell or Power Resistance (DC = desired level +10).
  • and Inflicting Injuries (Inflict Light Wounds DC 12, Inflict Moderate Wounds DC 15, Inflict Serious Wounds DC 18, Inflict Critical Wounds DC 21, and Harm DC 27).
  • If perverted, it can be used to create undead of various types, at a DC of 20 + the Challenge Rating of the undead to be created.

   Transformation can be used to repel beings of order and to influence those attuned to it’s power – but it’s primary function is to alter the world… Attempting to use it on yourself is suicidal; the most subtle items – thoughts and memories, your control of the power flow, your biochemistry, and so on – are the first to go. Advanced effects include:

  • Reshaping Matter (Stone Shape et al, DC 15).
  • Alchemical Manipulation (restructuring substances, DC 18-24).
  • Polymorph (others only, DC 21).
  • Transmutation (DC 28).
  • and Polymorph Any Object (DC 32).
  • The power of transformation is extremely flexible – but it’s also very easy to go disasterously wrong using it. Undesired transformations can make life pretty miserable.

   Preservation can be used to bind creatures of chaos – shapechangers – into stable forms, at least temporarily, and to ward off various disruptive forces. More advanced applications include:

  • Fortification (Boosts the hardness of materials and grants DR to creatures. DC 12 + [+to Hardness/2] or [DR +2]).
  • Creating Stasis Fields (force constructs and Walls Of Force, DC 15-21 depending on size).
  • Induced Hibernation or Paralysis (DC 14).
  • Suspending or Resisting Poisons, Diseases, or Aging for a day (DC 18, or as the effect -4).
  • Armor Of Eternity (Mage Armor effect, +6 AC and +4 to saves).
  • Resisting Death (DC 10-Negative HP/5) and
  • Temporal Stasis (DC 35).

   The use of the four Primal Powers requires Fortitude saves.

The Elemental Forces:

   The Elemental Powers – Fire, Air, Earth, and Water – can be used to repel or disrupt those entities attuned to opposing forces or to awe or command entities attuned to them. Advanced effects relating to the elements are normally fairly straightforward; they involve:

  • Creating (Bolts DC 14, Sphere DC 16, Stable Wall/Shape DC 18).
  • Commanding (“Telekinetic” control of, DC 16-24 depending on scale).
  • Manifesting (infusing inanimate items, or yourself, with, elemental power; assume an Elemental Subtype DC 16, Elemental Form DC 20, Elmental Infusion 1/2/3 D6, DC 12/16/22), and
  • Counters (“Blocking” an oposing elemental effect – only DC 10-16 as a rule, but requires a readied action).

   The use of the Elemental Powers requires a Reflex save.

The Governing Forces:

   Space can be used to create a wavefront or “ripple” of expanding space, that sweeps away unrestrained matter and energy in it’s path. In essence, everything the user “targets” within 60′ will be moved (2x[2D6+User’s Level + Cha. Mod)] feet away. More advanced uses include:

  • Storing Items in an extradimensional “pocket” (DC 10+LB/20)
  • Teleportation (Dimension Door, DC 14, Teleportation, DC 18, Circle Of Teleportation, DC 24 and Gate/No summoning, DC 30) and even
  • Creating a Pocket Dimension (DC 35 – sometimes used as a prison or trap).
  • “Telekinetic” Effects also fall into this field – with a DC dependent on the scale of the desired effect. Micro-scale telekinetics aren’t possible.

   Chaos can be used to repel and disrupt those beings attuned to order, but can’t be used to influence chaotic entities; they tend to just do as they please. It can be used to disrupt spells and complex structures, but it’s primary use is allow the user to briefly “bend” basic laws of nature – allowing users to accomplish things otherwise impossible. Advanced uses include:

  • Dispelling (Dispel Magic DC 14, Break Enchantment DC 18, Greater Dispelling DC 21),
  • Disruption (Shattering DC 16, “Rusting” Grasp DC 18, 2D4/1D4 Attribute Damage DC 20), and
  • Breach Reality (Getting something to work which shouldn’t. Walking thru a wall DC 18, bypassing SR / DR for an attack DC 14, breaking a Wall Of Force DC 18, using a “cure light wounds” spell to reattach a limb / head within a few rounds of it being severed DC 16 /20, breaching an antimagic/antipsionic field DC 35 and releasing imprisioned spirits DC 30).

   Time can be used to generate haste or slow effects – and grants a natural sensitivity to disturbances the flow of time. More advanced applications include:

  • Readings (Object Reading DC 12, Determine Ages DC 14, Postcognition DC 18, Augury DC 16 and Possibility Scan DC 24),.
  • Ending or Extending Spells with durations (by Rounds DC 14, Minutes DC 16, Hours DC 20, and Days DC 24, can affect [Turning Damage] spell levels),.
  • Temporal Manipulations (Preservation DC 16, Timeslip [Forward jump, DC 18], Induce Hibernation DC 12, Reroll Once DC 18, Take an Extra Action [Off Initiative] DC 22, Enhanced Haste DC 24, Fugue [Mentally stretching a few seconds into minutes to observe and consider] DC 18, Time Stop 32, Age Victim/Entropic Bolt DC 18, Temporal Hold DC 18, Restore Youth [an effect which costs lots of EP] DC Varies) and
  • Timeshifting (The GM may – or may not – allow this. Alter Immediate Past DC 26, Restore To Past State DC 30, Call The Past DC 35, and Gate To The Past DC 40).

   Ordercan be used to repel / bind entities of chaos or to spontaneously organize things – ranging from disorderly meetings and crowds to messy workshops. Advanced applications include:

  • Controlling the vagaries of chance (“Prayer” DC 16, Forcing a “1” or a “20”, DC 18, manipulating “destiny”, DC 24).
  • “Channeling” the forces of nature (DC Varies, but can only be used to steer events, not to create them – although diverting a tornado can be quite effective).
  • Temporarily Reinforcing, or Imposing, Structure (Imposing rigidity, or solidity, on liquids or gases, DC varies with the volume affected, toughening materials, or creating exotic alloys, DC 16).
  • Reversing the ravages of time is quite straightforward – at least in nonliving objects (DC 14).

   The Governing Forces – Chaos, Space, Time, and Order – require Willpower saves to use.

The Mental and Spiritual Elements:

   Mind governs thoughts and memories – ranging from subtle suggestions thru insight and logic. A burst of mental power can be used to create a mental gestalt with selected targets within 60′ – allowing for “instantaneous” discussion and development of plans, rapid explanations, and conveying hours worth of information. Such plans grant a +2 Circumstance Bonus to Skill, Attack, Damage and Saves for one minute. More advanced applications include:

  • Mental Control (Suggestion DC 14, Erasing Minor/Major/Vital/ Fundamental parts of your target’s memory (or Implanting New Memories) DC 14/16/20/24.
  • Domination (of Ordinary/Weird/Alien Minds DC 18/ 24/30).
  • Insight (Boost Int or Wis based skill by +5/10/15/20/25 DC 12/14/18/24/32).
  • Flash Of Brilliance (Get a clue from the GM. DC 20).
  • Instantly “Swapping Out” a Spell Formula (Up to 1/3/7, DC 14/18/24).
  • Projection (Send a “burst of data” to someone far away, DC 22), and
  • Invention (The user may bypass several weeks of time – and the associated expenses – when doing research, DC 32 – once per project maximum).
  • While skills can be bestowed by granting relevant memories no single individual can gain more then (Int) skill points in this fashion.

   Note that emotions are in the realm of the Spirit, below.

   Spirit controls emotions and astral beings – those entities who still carry too great an emotional “charge” to peacefully reincarnate. A “burst” of raw emotional energy carries any desired emotion to those within a group (this may include mindful undead) within it’s area. More advanced applications include:

  • Laying The Unquiet Dead (DC Varies).
  • Laying Wards (Block astral intrusion, and emotionally deter others, DC 18).
  • Emotional Blasts (Panic, Infatuation, Etc, DC 18).
  • Astral Projection (DC 32).
  • Boost Charisma (+4/6/8, DC 16/20/24).
  • Oration (Sway or inspire large groups, QV; Bards), and
  • Astral Blast (Bolt DC 18, Sphere DC 21, 60′ Burst DC 28. Damages spirits – or EVERYONE).

   Mind and Spirit energies require a Willpower check to control.

The Corporeal and Transcendent Elements:

   Body governs the control and manipulation of living tissue – flesh, blood, bone, and wood. It can be used to shapechange, to resist most injuries, to control plants, and to enhance the physical attributes, but can not be projected sufficiently to affect the bodies of anything more complex then plants. An internal burst of such power can be used to shapechange (EG; “Wild Shape”) or to expel parasites and toxins. More advanced applications include:

  • Enhancement (Adds a +2/4/6 divine bonus to your Str, Con, or Dex for an hour DC 12/14/18).
  • Turn/Command Plants (DC 14, requires a “turn” check).
  • Self Healing (DC 10 + [number of D8 desired]), and
  • Sculpting (Subtly reshaping yourself to alter appearance, DC 12, to remove aging penalitiesDC 18, to add natural weapons/armor for a but DC 21, and to enhance attributes permanently DC 25 plus 1000 EP/point of inherent bonus).

   Soul governs both higher and lower instincts as well as the link between the world and the eternal realms. A burst of Soul energy grants serenity, damping the excesses of the spirit, calming emotions, and awing/commanding animals. Advanced applications include:

  • Communing with or Summoning the Celestial Powers (DC 24/28).
  • Offering Guidance and Comfort (DC 12).
  • Speaking with Departed Spirits (DC 18).
  • Reincarnations (DC 22).
  • Making a Concentration Check (or any similar roll).
  • Dispelling External Influences (DC 16).
  • “Manifesting” your Inner Darkness or Light (As an Aura of Purity or Fear DC 14, as raw energy DC 18, as an entity embodying your essence or a part thereof, DC 22).
  • Shattering Soul-Bindings and Demonic Magic (DC 30), and even
  • Redeeming Demons and The Fallen (DC 35).

   The energies of the Body and/or Soul require a Fortitude check to control.

   As noted earlier, the remaining two fields – Light And Word / Darkness And Void – aren’t normally available to ordinary characters.

   The Light and Word is the exclusive province of the Celestial Hosts, themselves extensions of Dhaos. It’s command infused with the first light of creation, as much of the true divine as the world can bear.

   The light dispels darkness, illusions, the power of the darkness and void – and madness. Focused into commands it allows Celestials to issue simple, preemptory, commands to objects and creatures. The most powerful Celestials can make a command – including those which change creatures, such as “be strong” – permanent by repeating it successfully three times, and thus making it a part of reality.

   The Darkness and Void is the exclusive power of the Spawn Of Apophis. It can be used to counter virtually any force, to transform any willing mortalinto a demon, to entrap souls, to curse, enervate, and weaken living things, and to disintegrate matter. While Darkness is no match for the Celestial Light, there are a lot more wielders of it, and they’re far more likely to do so uninvited.

   The High Powers of Light and Darkness can be controlled, or at least directed, with reflex checks. Given that both effects are generally the province of NPC’s, mechanical details are intentionally vague.

Channeling Failures :

   These occur whenever a channeler’s save is not made, their effect depends on how much it is missed by.

  • Natural 1, but bonus equals or exceeds the difficulty level : May not retry for at least 24 hours. This cannot be mitigated.
  • 1-2 : The attempt is wasted. An immediate retry is possible, but costs two attempts. As a GMO alternative, it may succeed with “minor problems”, such as misteleportation.
  • 3-5 : The attempt is wasted. The channeler may not attempt this particular “stunt” again for 24 hours and takes 2D4 damage.
  • 6-9 : The attempt is wasted. The user may not attempt to channel again for 24 hours and takes 1D4 Temp. damage to a random attribute.
  • 10+ : The attempt goes disasterously wrong somehow. The user may not attempt to channel again for 24 hours and suffers some side effect appropriate to the channeling field – such as HP or attribute damage, effect backlash, or a mistargeted/incorrect effect.
  • 16+ : 1D4 level drain. 18 DC to regain.

   Failures can be mitigated by expending EP. 50 EP buys a retroactive “+1” on the relevant save, up to a maximum of +5.

Other Notes:

   The DC of unspecified effects is up to the game master. As a rough guide, use DC (12+2xSL) and add +5 if the target is distant or the effect seems to stretch the nature of the field.

   In general, when a random number is needed for a channeling effect it’s equal to; (2D6 + Charisma Modifier + BCL).

   Channeling – drawing on the energies which make up the fundamental structures of Thera – is an “Extraordinary Ability”. It’s effects can be countered by some opposing effect, but cannot be surpressed, blocked out, dispelled, or otherwise nullified without tearing a hole in the structure of the universe.

   While the reason and mechanisms behind the phenomenon are unknown, occasional “deposits” of materials linked to the primal energies are found scattered across Thera. They have quite extraordinary properties – and are extremely valuable, since they are useful in an amazing variety of ways. Such substances are used in the best enchantments and the most impressive alchemical feats.

   This version of Channeling was not directly covered in Eclipse: The Codex Persona – although it could easily be created using Channeling, Spell Conversion to an appropriate “Anyspell” effect, and some “Corrupted” and “Specialized” modifiers for requiring a save to control the power and for the possible side effects of failure. A specialized Immunity to convert it into an Extraordinary Ability. If you want to purchase it directly, it would probably be about 12 CP, plus the initial expense of purchasing the Channeling ability to start with. In normal d20, which is considerably less flexible, it’s probably worth two Feats for the basic abilities plus a one-Feat surcharge for the flexibility.

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