Godlike: Regers Tallman

   Next up for today, we have another character for Godlike or Wild Talents. Why? Because the idea struck me long ago – but when the inherent pun occurred to me in passing, it was just too bad to resist.

   The training gliders were much lighter and smaller than the real things of course – which meant that they were even more vulnerable to crosswinds and downdrafts. He wasn’t going to be able to clear the damned trees by pulling up and trading speed for height, which would bring him down in the tangle of smaller trees, hillsides, and ravines, around them. It was going to be rough if it didn’t kill him outright.

   Unconsciously Regers shoved his feet against the kickboard: Newtons third law made it impossible to actually push the plane from the inside of course, but the instinct was strong – and it would brace him against the impact anyway.

   Something CHANGED – and beneath the pressure of his feet, the half-ton glider reached for the sky at ten gravities. Three seconds later, it was approaching the speed of sound – and, as it was starting to shake itself to pieces, it vanished in blast of light that was seen in the daylight miles away*.

   There was no appreciable air resistance four hundred miles up. For the first few minutes, Regers was too intoxicated by the view and the speed he could somehow sense to realize that he really ought to be having trouble breathing. There was a moment of panic when he did – but it passed soon enough. Evidently what was (pretty obviously) his Talent took care of that detail.

   Regers experimented for a bit: It looked like when he pushed or pulled on the inside of his ship, it simply went where he was pushing or pulling. Fast. That didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, but then he’d just become the first human to take a training glider into orbit, which made even less sense. It also looked like his normal “jumping” range with the Glider at the moment was only about five hundred miles – but it felt like that would improve with practice. Still a hell of a good way to do takeoffs and landings however.

   Regers teleported himself and his craft back to base about twenty minutes after he’d vanished – and first realized that he’d changed physically when he saw the reactions of the people on the ground. Hm. Hooves for feet and hooflike fingernails, digitigrade legs, fur, staglike head, antlers. Yep. That was him. What was… Wait. Hadn’t he used to look pretty much like the rest of them? Oh well. He was much better-looking now.

   There was some discussion as to what to do with Regers. He was so absurdly conspicuous – and so blithely unaware of it – that he’d be hopelessly awkward on most missions. Besides, his talents would be utterly wasted in direct combat.

   Regers was assigned to special operations (occasionally cargo delivery, more often publicity operations), where he was often preempted for scientific operations. He could – quite easily – teleport himself, a two-ton armored air-tight craft and four tons of cargo into orbit*. Once there, thanks to his reactionless superhuman strength, he could maneuver at 1.5 gravities simply by pushing on the inside of it. He could land such a vessel and cargo on the moon in less than one minute, and could achieve a high earth orbit with a single jump – where it would take him less than five minutes of pushing to achieve a steady orbital velocity. He did not need to breathe and was mildly superhuman in a number of ways, including possessing a modest resistance to small arms fire.

   *Regers second action as a talent was to spend a point of will buying +1D of Teleportation. making 6D. Naturally enough, his first bit of downtime involved spending 6 will buying up to 8D and 2HD; thereafter he bought up his Light Armor and other Hyper-Attributes. Thanks to his No Upward Limit modifier on his teleportation, he can make jumps of 512 times as far 9 times every three minutes (60 rounds, gaining .8 will/jump, spending 45 to allow 9 jumps of 512 times as far once in that three-minute period, for an average of: 2,250,000 miles per minute – sadly, only 20% of lightspeed, unless the actual upper limit on a 10D teleporter is more than 12,000 miles or he can buy dice above ten).

Regers Tallman

  • Attributes: Body 3 (10), Coordination 3 (4), Sense 1 (2), Brains 1, Command 2 (3), Cool 2 (3).
  • Skills (20):
    • Body:
    • Coordination: Dodge 2, Driving 1, Mounted Weapons 1, Pilot (Aircraft) 3, Pistol 3, Rifle 2
    • Sense: Sight 1
    • Brains: Astronomy 1
    • Command: Intimidation 2, Seduction 2
    • Cool: Mental Stability 2

   Apparently immune to the ravages of age, Regers is still active in space exploration today, making regular runs to the moon and even to mars – although that takes him some hours on the average. According to at least one precognitive, Regers is doomed to be accidently lost in space – somehow frozen in suspended animation by a collision with a comet – for many centuries, after which he will be revived and signal the beginning of the next heroic age of mankind. This seems unlikely, but – with Talents – you never really know.

  • Talent Basics:
    • Quirks: Sees nothing strange about his current form (2), Womanizer (1).
    • Will Base: 2 (Command) + 3 (Cool) + 3 (remainder of base 25) + 3 (quirks) = 11. Starts at 10 will due to spending one point before play.
  • Talent Powers:
    • Hyper-Body (7D, 7) (Base 2/5/10): No Leverage (+2/4/8), Can’t Interfere (-2/4/8), Blatantly Weird (Anthro-Stag Transformation, -1/2/4).
    • Hyper-Cool (1D, 1) (Base 2/5/10): Blatantly Weird (Anthro-Stag Transformation, -1/2/4).
    • Hyper-Command (1D, 1) (Base 2/5/10): Blatantly Weird (Anthro-Stag Transformation, -1/2/4).
    • Hyper-Coordination (1D, 1) (Base 2/5/10): Blatantly Weird (Anthro-Stag Transformation, -1/2/4).
    • Hyper-Sense (1D, 1) (Base 2/5/10): Blatantly Weird (Anthro-Stag Transformation, -1/2/4).
    • Teleport (5D, 5) (Base 5/10/20): No Upward Limit (+2/4/8), Forced Attendance (-1/2/4), Go Last (-2/4/8), Only works when comfortably seated in a confined place surrounded by any cargo to be affected (-2/4/8). Glow (-1/2/4): Net (1/2/4). Side Effect: Radiates an extremely-conspicious burst of light instead of making noise.
      • Fortunately for Regers, teleportation normally automatically matches the target’s momentum to the local reference frame – otherwise, for example, any mass that was teleported a long distance would arrive with a rather large velocity relative to his, her, or it’s surroundings.
    • Life Support (4) (Defends, Robust, and Useful Outside of Combat, 4 points): Extras; Intuitive Navigation (+1), Unshakable (never turns off involuntarily, +2), Unaffected by disease, age, fatigue, and toxins, +1), Immunity to Acceleration Effects (+1), Still needs to eat and drink periodically (-2), Drops into hibernation if exposed to long-term severe cold (-1), Required Focus/Saint Christopher Medallion (-2).
    • Light Armor 1 (2).

   OK, Regers is blatantly exploiting the obvious bit of weirdness in the “No Leverage” extra: after all, if you have it, you don’t exert any extra force on the surface supporting you when you pick something up – making the old “lifting yourself by your own bootstraps” routine possible. Other than that, he’s capable of shuttling large amounts of supplies around, of enabling the exploration of space – and the construction of orbital facilities and lunar colonies – to begin pretty much immediately, and of allowing the effective exploration of the solar system by a craft with no engine. He’s not that hot in serious combat of course, although – once he gets his hyper-attributes up – he’ll certainly be able to take care of himself.

   Oh, the dreadful pun? Do I really need to explain the pun involved in a staglike anthropomorphic space pilot?

   Just in case someone misses it, this is the character sheet for “Buck” Regers.

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Thera: Magical Basics

   Theran Magic involves three basic factors; raw mystical energy, the occult lore to forge and maintain psychic spell-constructs through which to channel it, and the skill to direct it properly. Since everyone uses magic to some extent in daily life, each class provides a contribution to a characters Base Caster Level, as listed under BCL. That works like a character’s Base Attack Bonus or Saving Throws: you simply add up the contributions from each class. Each class also provides independent access to spells – although, for classes that do not deal much in magic, such access is fairly limited. For that, use the “Spells” column, the first number indicates the maximum level of spell which can be used, the number after the slash indicates the total number of spells which the character may keep readied at any given moment. Class-A spellcasters include Clerics, Druids, Shamans and Sorcerers. Class-B spellcasters include Bards, Monks, Adepts, and Witches. Class C spellcasters include Barbarians, Fighters, Rangers, Rogues and Paladins.

   Thus a Cleric 3/Bard 6/Fighter 5 has a base caster level of 3+4+2 = 9 and a total level of 14. He or she can also ready ten clerical spells of up to level two and eight bardic spells of (coincidentally) up to level two.

Character

Level

BCL

CL-A

BCL

CL-B

BCL

CL-C

Spells

CL-A

Spells

CL-B

Spells

CL-C

01

1

0

0

1/08

0/04

–/—

02

2

1

1

1/08

1/06

–/—

03

3

2

1

2/10

1/06

0/02

04

4

3

2

2/10

2/08

0/02

05

5

3

2

3/12

2/08

0/02

06

6

4

3

3/12

2/08

1/04

07

7

5

3

4/14

3/10

1/04

08

8

6

4

4/14

3/10

1/04

09

9

6

4

5/16

3/10

2/06

10

10

7

5

5/16

4/12

2/06

11

11

8

5

6/18

4/12

2/06

12

12

9

6

6/18

4/12

3/08

13

13

9

6

7/20

5/14

3/08

14

14

10

7

7/20

5/14

3/08

15

15

11

7

8/22

5/14

4/10

16

16

12

8

8/22

6/16

4/10

17

17

12

8

9/24

6/16

4/10

18

18

13

9

9/24

6/16

4/10

19

19

14

9

9/24

6/16

4/10

20

20

15

10

10/25

7/17

5/11

   A reserve of Mana can be developed in several different ways. Mana derived from particular attributes “pools” with any other mana derived from that attribute, and can be pooled with mana from any “unaligned” source.

  Clerics (Wis), Druids (Con), Shamans (Chr) and Sorcerers / Wizards (Int) gain 2x their relevant attribute modifier mana “points” per level, with a minimum of one point per level.

   Bards (Chr), Monks (Wis), Adepts (Con) and Witches (Int) get their relevant attribute modifier mana points per level, with a minimum of one point per level.

   All other character classes gain one point of mana per level, plus one-half of whichever attribute modifier is applicable.

   Other methods of acquiring mana include accepting any of a variety of vows, geasa, or other “special restrictions” (6 points each), giving up attribute points (12 points per two points off a given attribute), and learning the Runecraft skill (QV).

   Temporary methods include Manastones (Cost of (Points Squared)x100 GP [x.25 if not self- charging], they do not take up an item slot), potions (250 GP, provides 3D4 Mana but cannot supply more then 24 in any one day), places and times of power (GMO), and sacrifices (generally 1-2 mana per HD of the most powerful creature sacrificed during a ritual).

The Rule of Three:

   The limitation on Manastones is due to the Rule Of Three; No more then three magic items and/or effects may be applied to a characters ability, attribute, or quality, at a time. No known item or effect evades this restriction; it appears to be a law of nature.

Mana Costs:

   The Mana Cost of casting various spells is straightforward: in general, it depends on the school and level of the spell being used.

Spell Level /

Spell School

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Div, Enc, Ill

1

3

4

6

8

10

12

15

18

21

Abj, Nec, Tra

1

2

4

5

8

10

13

16

20

24

30

Con and Evo

1

3

5

8

10

13

16

20

24

30

40

   Especially “Handy” spells, such as Healing and True Strike, usually cost +1-2 mana points. Narrowly-applicable spells usually cost 1-2 points less mana than the chart would indicate. This is apparently a result of the influence of the Primal Powers.

   Specialists must give up two schools – but may cast spells of their speciality school at one-half the base mana cost.

The Runecraft Skill:

   Runecraft (Dex, Trained Only, In-Class for everyone) is the art of focusing very limited amounts of ambient Mana through gestures and/or magical symbols. Character’s with this skill gain a Mana bonus equal to their skill score, and can cast lesser spells related to whichever runes they’ve mastered in this fashion.

   Any character may “attune themselves” to a single rune, those with a Runecraft skill of 8+, or an Int, Wis or Chr of 14+, may acquire a second attunement. Those who qualify in both fashions may have a third attunement. Per the Rule of Three, no one may possess more than three attunements.

   The runes themselves vary immensely. There are runes of War, Healing, Beasts, Lightning, Earth, Stealth, Fire, Smithcraft, and Plants. There are runes for creatures, themes, ideas, crafts, and professions. While they must be reasonably specific, if you want a particular rune, it’s probably available.

   Runes, at least theoretically, can be used to create any effect within their domains. In practice, of course, things aren’t so simple; using runecraft requires one minute, whatever mana expenditure is appropriate to the effect produced, and a skill check at DC 15 for L0, 25 for L1, 35 for L2, and 45 for L3. Character’s may, however, take 20 at twice the base cost.

   There are – of course – ways to improve on matters. Skill enhancing items can be used, although the skill must be boosted seperately for each rune. Doubling the mana expenditure provides a +5 bonus. Arcane Lore and Spellcraft skills at 5+ provide +2 synergy bonuses

   Runespells can also be engraved, reducing the time required to use a specific effect to one action, or even “quickened” for +5 mana and +5 DC. Sadly, engraved effects are subject to the rule of three; choose them carefully.

Spells And Spell Formula :

   Sorcerous “Spell Formulas” are simply very complicated how-to articles; they may contain weird diagrams, occult notations, and obscure references, and so require skill (Knowledges, “Spellcraft”, etc) to understand, but they’re merely words. Some, just like articles on how to make nuclear weaponry, are banned or other wise restricted, while others are lost, exist only in theory, or are simply impractical. A book of spells is expensive, but it’s the way that specialized or rare books are expensive.

   On the other hand of course, the secret of a rare, lost, or unique, spell formula can be worth a great deal.

   Druids find their magic in the wild places of the world, Shamans in communion with weird spirits, and Clerics in holy tomes and sacred places. In any case, some spell formulas are simple enough to be committed to memory quite easily – while others require the expenditure of a portion of a would-be user’s life force, just as creating a magical item would.

   Once acquired, spell formulas must be prepared for use – transformed from formula into spell.

   Spells are psychic constructs, forged by a trained will as channels for mystic energies. Even the most powerful magi can only maintain a limited selection of spells ready for use – and changing one requires both knowledge of the spell to be prepared, and hours or days of deep meditation. Still, once prepared, a spell is ready for use whenever the user channels mana through it – and it can be re-prepared just a bit more quickly at a later date. Unless some item is a necessary part of a spell – such as the gem required to entrap a jinn – they don’t generally require material components. Many do not require words, and a few don’t require any gestures – although these are rare.

Lesser Circle Magic:

   Lesser Circle Magic employs Runecraft to focus and enhance magical power. It requires a special Feat (Circle Master) or Spell (L4 – “Empower Circle”. This spell is considered a military secret of the Imperium) to use. Some common applications include;

  • Circle Of Protection from “X”: DC 15
  • Circle Of Containing “X”: DC 25
  • Boosting your Base Caster Level
    • For a single spell: DC (10+5x Boost)
    • While within the circle: DC (15+5x Boost)
    • For 24 hours: DC (20+10x Boost)
  • Focusing Mana from ritual participants
    • From up to three people: DC 15
    • From up to seven people: DC 20
    • From up to twenty-seven people: DC 25
    • From up to 210 people: DC 30
    • To store for later use. Such pools dissipate in three days: DC +1/5
  • Distributing EP costs over participants
    • Over up to three people: DC 20
    • Over up to seven people: DC 25
    • Over up to twenty-seven people: DC 30
    • Over up to 210 people: DC 35
  • Acquiring Temporary Metamagic Feats
    • Maximum 3, each costs 20 Mana: DC 25

Item Notes:

   Wands and Staves recharge themselves – but the process is slow; They regain 21 / (Caster Level x Spell Level) charges each week. Wands can be quickly recharged by spellcasters with the Craft Wand feat and the appropriate spell to put in them at half their base price times the (Number of charges restored/50). A staff can be recharged similarily, but at only one- tenth of the base cost. Sadly, the skills to create a staff are very rare and are – at least officially – a military secret of some of the major countries.

   Metamagic can be added to wands and staves by either increasing the spell level – or via building the Feat into the wand / stave, at a cost of 1000 GP + 500/prerequisite and spending the appropriate number of extra charges while using the device.

   Items which grant Feats are special cases; Feats cost anywhere from 4000-8000 GP + 2000-4000 GP per prerequisite, with the exact cost depending on the feat(s) in question… Like Manastones, bestowed feats are subject to the Rule Of Three.

   No device can grant spell resistance. Only living things may possess this quality. Even artifacts do not appear to be exceptions.

   “Bonus Spell” items aren’t – ordinarily – available. See “Manastones”, above.