Eclipse – Kysen Nial, the Nemesis

   Our next sample Eclipse d20 character is designed to function as a serious nemesis for a low-level party. As a nemesis, he’s designed to stand up to the entire party at least briefly – albeit possibly with the assistance of a low-level henchman or two – and then escape. With a little luck, he may escape over and over again before they manage to get him.

   Kysen Nial has heard that “crime doesn’t pay”, “you’ll never get away with this”, and “now, fool, you shall learn what it means to”, lots and lots of times. He’s quite determined to demonstrate that it does, that he can, and that he’ll never learn.

   His primary goal is to survive and escape any consequences for his actions. Money and power come next. Revenge and getting rid of heroes (preferably by framing them for his own actions) is nice.

   Honor, battle-glory, and all that sort of nonsense doesn’t even make the list.

   Kysen started off on the streets, and was always one of the ones who got along on sheer viciousness. Since he’s found that there are powers that are willing to act as patrons for nothing more than the occasional sacrifice and a steady stream of evil actions, he’s been quite successful in the service of the Powers of Darkness. He’s gotten to kill off his old rivals and enemies, along with quite a few people who’ve simply offended him, he’s lived well, and he’s acquired wealth.

   Now the Dark Powers are demanding a bit of extra payback. It’s not a very big favor though. It isn’t even particularly unpleasant. They’re simply asking that he go to work on discouraging the next generation of likely heroes while they’re still inexperienced brats.

   It shouldn’t be much of a problem.

   Kysen Nial

   Level Three Human Nemesis

   Total available character points: 96 (Level Three Base) + 10 (Outcast/Vicious Criminal, Inept/Charisma, and Hunted/at least one hero) +6 (Duties to the Lords of Darkness, +2 CP/Level) + 18 (Human, Level One, and Level Two Bonus Feats) = 130 CP.

   Package Deal: Servant of the Dark Powers. This 12 CP package deal provides Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Corrupted/only for checks and defensive rolls, not for attacks (8 CP) and Immunity/Divination (Common, Minor, Minor/effects of up to level three, 4 CP). Unfortunately, it also means that the character belongs to a secret evil cult, can only be raised if his or her dark masters decide that it suits their purposes, and is generally more than a little crazy.

   Basic Attributes: Str 16, Int 14, Wis 12, Con 16, Dex 14, Chr 12

   Basic Purchases (70 CP):

  • Proficient with Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP)
  • +16 Skill Points (16 CP).
  • +2 on Reflex Saves (9 CP).
  • +1 on Will Saves (3 CP).
  • Hit Dice: d20 (L1, 16 CP) + 2d8 (L2-3, 7, 6, for 8 CP) = 42 HP.
  • BAB +2, Specialized in Bladed Melee Weapons (6 CP).

   Special Abilities (60 CP):

  • Contact/a local corrupted noble (1 CP).
  • Adept (6 CP): Gather Information, Sleight of Hand, Spot, and Tumble.
  • Block/Missile (6 CP).
  • Block/Melee, Corrupted/only while holding a blade (4 CP)
  • Reflex Training/three extra actions per day variant (6 CP)
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes variant, Corrupted/only while holding a blade (4 CP).
  • Mana/Specialized in Theurgy for Double Effect (6 CP): 4d4 Generic Spell Levels
  • One Caster Level Specialized in Theurgy (3 CP).
  • +4 to each of the six Theurgic Nouns, +1 to each of the twelve Theurgic Elements, Specialized/requires several minutes to compose spells, Corrupted/causes bothersome side effects instead of simply wasting time and power when a spell fails (12 CP).
  • Berserker/Invocation of the Dark Lords, +8 BCL when active. (6 CP). Note that he CANNOT use this at the same time that Dirge is active – and that this results in fatigue afterwards.
    • With this arrangement, using Theurgy is pretty simple: decide what you want to do and assign a spell level to it. Spend the necessary number of spell levels. Roll 1d20+5 versus a DC of 5 (Cantrip), 10 (level one), 15 (level two), 20 (level three), or 25 (level four). That’s simply because this setup has all the noun and verb skills at the same level.
  • Create Relic, Specialized/using points from Enthusiast only, Corrupted/two-point relics maximum (2 CP). This provides him with a total of 4 CP worth of relics.
  • Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics (double effect), Corrupted/two point relics maximum x2 (4 CP).

   Personal Relics:

   Dirge (1 CP Relic): This black longsword shows a faint tracery of twisted runes along the lower portion of the blade. Once it’s activated, the runes flare with red light, and the blade is wreathed in dark fire which trails in the air where it passes. Blood will mute the runes, but – if it does not wound another once activated – it will twist in it’s user’s hands and wound him or her if it does not feed itself on another’s blood before the runes start to fade on their own. Berserker with Odinpower and Enduring (+6 BAB, +6 AC, +3 to Reflex Saves, -2 to Will Saves for [3 + User’s Con Mod] rounds once per day per three levels of the user or part thereof with no fatigue afterwards) and Imbuement (gains an Enhancement Bonus of +[User’s Level/4]). Both powers are Specialized and Corrupted; the blade is obviously unholy when active, the user must whisper the blade’s true name in the ancient tongue to activate it, once activated the blade must taste blood – inflicting normal base damage – at least once or the user will suffer that damage when the “berserker” effect ends, and it must be attuned to the user’s personal power to use, rather than being a truly independent relic (6 CP). Dirge may have higher powers, but those would require investing more points in it to discover – and most bearers are sensible reluctant to do so. Given the bloodthirst the blade exhibits when barely awakened, who knows what the price of such things would be?

   Sigil of Dark Fortune (1 CP Relic): This bloodstone ring glitters with an crimson sparks when called upon, although the stone becomes duller and duller as fewer “charges” remain to it. +12 Bonus Uses of Luck, Specialized and Corrupted/the user is blatantly being aided by evil supernatural forces, the user must offer prayers, small sacrifices, and at least a few drops of blood from someone the user has personally ritually tortured or murdered to restore the ring’s “charges” after they’ve been fully or partially depleted, must be attuned to the user’s personal power to use, rather than being a truly independent relic (6 CP).

   Umbral Torc (2 CP Relic): This tarnished silver neckpiece imbues the wearer’s tongue with the arcane forces, allowing him or her to hold spells on the edge of manifestation, to be released with a simple word. Power Words, Improved, Specialized in storing personally-cast spells; may store [4xCon/3] total spell levels (10 CP), allows the user to speak the Celestial, Infernal, and Draconic languages (2 CP). Corrupted/must be attuned to the user’s personal power to use, rather than being a truly independent relic. The Umbral Torc can have another two character points invested in it, which will activate it’s powers of Harbringers, Spellforms, and Sendings – the entire rest of the Power Words list.

   Kysen normally stores his full allotment of spells, cast with the aid of Luck and his Invocation of the Dark Lords – which allows him to cast fourth-level spells with an effective caster level of nine. He’ll normally have Dimension Door to escape with (4), an area-effect attack spell like Fireball – but designed to stun for capturing people, rather than killing them (3), a blade-enhancing spell which adds to his damage in melee (2), a Cure Critical Wounds (3), Prayer (3), Hold Person (2), True Strike (1), Shield (1), Color Spray (1), and Magic Missile (1). He’ll use them to try and seize an early edge in a fight, or to escape with if he’s getting the short end of the stick – or even just looks likely to be in serious danger. The Umbral Torc is the major item of “treasure” in Kysen’s possession and – unlike his other two relics – isn’t especially evil or horrific.

   Skill Points: 6 (Human) + 16 (purchased) + 12 (Intelligence) = 34

   Skills: Gather Information +4 (3 SP x 2 Adept +1 Chr -2 Inept), Sleight of Hand +8 (3 SP x 2 Adept +2 Dex), Spot +8 (3 SP x 2 Adept +1 Wis), and Tumble +8 (3 SP x 2 Adept +2 Dex), Concentration +9 (6 SP +3 Con), any suitable strength-based Martial Art +9 (6 SP +3 Str), and spend the remaining ten to suit the campaign.

   Kysen relies on his power words, his infernal luck, and occasional extra actions; luck to block blows and deadly missiles, luck to make saving throws, luck to get off needed spells in time, Reflex Training to get up defensive barriers and spells when magically attacked. He’s generally not out to kill, he’s out to inflict damage, get the characters into trouble, deprive them of their rightful gains, and get away. If taking hostages will improve his odds, he’ll take them. If framing his targets is the easy way to go, consider them framed.

   As he improves, he’ll want to invest two more points in the Umbral Torc, improve his magical defenses, upgrade his magic and melee capabilities (especially his armor class) with roughly equal priority, acquire more connections, and pick up Leadership so that he can have his own gang of thugs. It should be quite a few levels before the characters can finally eliminate him, and hopefully he’ll have caused them a lot of grief in the meantime.

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Eclipse – Building Spellcasters

   Unsurprisingly, Spellcasting is one of the most complicated elements in Eclipse: The Codex Persona – even sticking with the basic spell progressions and base caster level.

   So we’re going to break it down a bit.

   At the base, we have four basic elements – how many spells of each level you are capable of using, what spells are theoretically available to you, what spells you actually know, and how well you use the ones you do know.

   The easiest way to pick up a supply of spell slots, spell points, or power – the energy-handling capacity you need to create significant magical or psychic effects – is to buy levels in a Spell Progression. As a spell progression continues, the user will acquire the ability to handle both more total power and to either channel or bind more of it at once and in more complex ways – creating higher-level effects.

   Spell progressions vary in quality of course. Most of them never provide higher-level abilities or – in the case of spontaneous-caster-only progressions – only allow a very limited selection of available spells. They can also be Specialized and Corrupted in a wide variety of ways: reducing the cost is simplest as always – but you can also increase the effective level of the progression, the number of spell slots or amount of power provided at each level or – for spontaneous casters – the number of known spells. You can also buy them more than once, retaining the same spell list if you wish to simply multiply your power.

   What spells are available to you is a bit more complicated. Every spell list has some sort of theme, ranging from the extremely restrictive, such as “sensory illusions” or “healing spells”, on through relatively narrow lists, such as the classic paladin and ranger lists – or the sample alchemical magic list on page 22 of Eclipse. As the expense goes up, we find relatively broad lists, such as the cleric and druid lists, and then on up to the extremely broad lists, such as the sorcerer/wizard list with it’s generic theme of “unsubtle occult lore”.

   Unavoidably, this is always a bit of a judgement call for the game master; there are simply too many possibilities to list, much less go into detail on. The basic principle is simple enough however: lower-priced spell progressions offer far more restrictive spell lists, and – especially if they extend to higher levels – often have somewhat inferior or more specialized spells. You can take the Cleric and Druid Spell Progression, change the limitations accordingly, and take a spell list made up of arcane spells – but it’s going to have to be a far narrower list than the Wizard or Sorcerer’s, and it’s not going to include a lot of the most desirable spells and effects.

   Once you have a list of what spells are available within your theme, you can start acquiring them. Spontaneous casters usually have it easy; they only get a limited number of spells to use, but they usually get them instinctively (if they have to go out and learn them, the list usually counts as corrupted – which may be used to increase the number of spell slots or known spells available to them). Other characters with the “Studies” limitation must find their spells, although those without it need merely choose them from their spell list.

   Unfortunately, most characters lack the ability of a spontaneous caster to channel and shape large amounts of energy on the spur of the moment, as well as the instinctive knowledge of spell structures that allows them to make it do something besides blow up in their faces. They have to have a source to help them envision those structures while distracted by raw power running through their heads – and the structure needed is made far more complex than that needed by a spontaneous caster by the need to build up each segment of the spell bit by bit and to bind the energies into a semi-stable state at each stage of the process while leaving them still ready for instant release. Given that, a spellcaster “preparing spells” will slowly (and presumably cautiously) build up their spells from the trickle of energy they can handle*.

   *This is why many spellcasters need reference works to help them prepare their spells. Quite a lot of such spellcasters call this “memorizing a spell” – and say that once they cast a spell, it’s been “forgotten” – but you could almost as well apply that description to scuffing your feet on a carpet and then zapping someone with the electrical spark; you haven’t “forgotten how to do it”, or how an electrical spark works – you just don’t have one ready to go at the moment, and will need a carpet to help you build up another one. Sadly, this poorly-chosen phrase in the flavor text has been confusing people about the operation of the “Vancian” magic system since first edition.

   The final item is your Base Caster Level. Like your Base Attack Bonus, Base Caster Level is how generally skilled you are with whatever magic you know, just as the Base Attack Bonus is how generally skilled you are with whatever weapons you know how to use. It determines:

  • All those “per level” factors in a spell – if a spell lasts “ten minutes per caster level” or inflicts “1d6 damage per caster level”, your base caster level is what it’s talking about.
  • Your chance of getting a spell past Spell Resistance.
  • Unless the game master opts to allow otherwise, it also restricts how sophisticated a spell you can use: you need a Base Caster Level at least equal to (twice the level of the spell minus one) to use a spell. That helps keep the special abilities under control.
  • It determines how high a caster level you can use in an item you’re creating.
  • In a few cases, such as Inherent Spells and other “natural” talents, your effective caster level is automatically equal to your hit dice or to your Base Caster Level, whichever is better.

   Some characters will want an unrestricted Base Caster Level – at the full cost of six character points per level. That works well for dabblers: if you have a Base Caster Level of nine and pick up one level of the Cleric Spell Progression and the standard Clerical Spell List, you’ll only have first level clerical spells to play with – but they’ll have an effective caster level of nine.

   A Corrupted Base Caster Level costs only four points, and normally applies to only two aspects of spellcasting. A Specialized Base Caster Level costs only three points, and only applies to a single aspect of spellcasting. Corrupted AND Specialized Base Caster Levels only apply to a limited sub-aspect of spellcasting.

   Some of the possible aspects include:

  • Particular Spell Progressions, such Clerical, Druidical, Adept, and Wizard.
  • Particular types of spells, such as Evocation, Fire-Related, or Ritual Spells.
  • Particular situations, such as during the hour before and after twilight, when throwing spells at demons, or when attempting to penetrate spell or power resistance.

   Single-progression spellcasters normally buy a Specialized Base Caster Level, just for the spell progression they’re pursuing.

   Dual-progression spellcasters normally buy (or upgrade to) a Corrupted Base Caster Level that covers the progressions they’re pursuing.

   Characters who dabble in many kinds of magic may want to buy, or upgrade (in whole or part) to an unrestricted Base Caster Level.

   Of course, characters are free to complicate things. As an example:

   Ethan the Immolator of the Dead has the Wizard Spell Progression (Spontaneous Caster variant) with the standard Wizard Spell List and the Paladin/Ranger Spell Progression with a speciality Spell List – “Bane of the Unliving”, full of spells that either only target the undead or protect against their powers. Now he’s picked up a few levels of the Cleric Spell Progression with the standard Cleric Spell List (but an extra Components restriction, since he doesn’t wear armor anyway and wants to bring down the cost) in order to gain access to some healing magic.

   As for his Base Caster Levels:

   Ethan had seven Corrupted Base Caster Levels (28 CP), applicable to his Wizard Spell Progression and his “Bane of the Unliving” Spell Progression. He also had two Specialized and Corrupted (for triple effect) Base Caster Levels limited to Wizard Spell Progression Evocation and Necromancy spells (12 CP) and one Base Caster Level Specialized in his Wizard Spellcasting Progression (3 CP). Having picked up two levels of the Cleric Spell Progression, he spends 6 CP buying an Unrestricted Caster Level and 4 CP buying off the Corruption on two of his existing Corrupted Base Caster Levels.

   So what caster level does this give him?

  • For his Clerical Spell Progression, it gives him a caster level of 3 (three unrestricted base caster levels) and would allow him to cast spells up up to level two – except for the fact that he doesn’t know any past level one and couldn’t handle that level of power or complexity (for lack of spell slots) in this field if he did.
  • For his Bane of the Unliving Spell Progression it gives him a caster level of 8 (three unrestricted Base Caster Levels plus five applicable Corrupted Base Caster Levels) and would allow him to cast spells of up to level four.
  • For his Wizard Spell Progression it gives him a caster level of 9 (three unrestricted Base Caster Levels plus five applicable Corrupted Base Caster Levels plus one applicable Specialized Base Caster Level) and would allow him to cast spells of up to level five – EXCEPT for Wizard Spell Progression Evocation and Necromancy spells, for which he has a caster level of 15 and could cast up to eighth level spells.

   Presumably Ethan’s various spell progressions are an equally tangled mess of Specialization and Corruption. Fortunately, our over-complicated Mr Ethan is for purposes of illustration only.

   Are there other ways to do this in Eclipse? Certainly. You could – for example – buy raw power-handling capacity as Mana, using the generic spell levels option, buy some formulas, and buy a casting level, and then specialize and corrupt it to build your own chart. You can buy any of the (numerous) other magical systems in Eclipse. You can buy the Spell Conversion, Spell Flow, Spell Mastery, and Spell Pool abilities, and tinker with things that way. You can Corrupt or Specialize a Spell Progression to simply provide spell slots or power without any direct access to actual spells, and use that potential to power other abilities, such as Witchcraft, Dragonfire from the Path of the Dragon, or other types of magic. We even have an example character up (HERE) designed to accommodate someone who wanted to buy each spell, and a caster level for it, individually.

   Still, this should be quite enough to start off with.

World of Darkness – Sunheart

   Here we have an unusual locus for the New World of Darkness – along with the rites used to create it.

   In the World of Darkness, Maurice Bernard Sendak is – like so many figures – somewhat different. He’s still an imaginative writer and illustrator of children’s books, but he’s also a closet mage, primarily concerned with technomagical tinkering. His wife is a changeling.

   Their son, Maximilian Sendak, is a werewolf – and the subject of Where the Wild Things Are, a loosely-described and symbolized story of his first change and first venture into the spirit realms.

One night, Max wore his wolf suit, and made mischief of one kind – and another

That night in his room, a forest grew – and grew – and became the wide world

   Despite the fact that most humans don’t understand, Max has been trying to live the book down ever since.

   The Sendaks didn’t trust werewolf society much, so Maurice trained his son himself. Rather than nature spirits, he introduced him to spirits of the high astral – in particular, ancient Egyptian god-spirits, and young Max learned his gifts and rituals from them. He – recognizing himself as a being of both spirit and earthly flesh – sought recognition from the spirit of the earth, the sun, and the god-spirits he was dealing with already.

   When he finally did meet the local garou, they weren’t especially accepting – so Max and his friends made their own place.

   Sunheart

   The Wilson office building is located on the edge of Atlanta’s business district, on the corner of Ormond and Cherokee, next to Grant Park and the Atlanta Zoo. Its fifteen floors have been (and are) home to a variety of smaller, local, businesses. Max selected it because its various tenants have always been solid, respectable, and reasonably environmentally and family friendly. He wanted to make sure that the spirit he awakened would be a decent sort – and would have a fair understanding of conservation, investment, and long-term planning. The current residents of it’s fifteen floors include:

  • Sublevels. Building support, mechanical levels, janitorial services, parking garage, and access to city electrical power, water, and other services.
  • 1’st floor: Lobby & security desk, sandwich shop, building business offices, building security, community room.
  • 2’nd floor: Tot’s All Right day care, security monitoring room, building emergency services.
  • 3’rd floor: Doctor Edward Smith, GP, Doctor Meridan, Thaumaturgic Healer, and offices for Harelink, a local ISP.
  • 4’rd floor: Athelson’s Architecture (specialists in low-cost, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly designs).
  • 5’th floor: Oravan Studios and Art Gallery
  • 6’th floor: Business offices for Hong Kong Asian Imports, Mickelson’s Travel Agency, and Farwell’s Title Search.
  • 7’th floor: Brinks Security Services monitoring center and dispatch center (mostly installers and repairmen).
  • 8’th floor: Hendricks Engineering (hydrology, geological structural survey, and a bit of geomancy).
  • 9’th floor: Yarelli Recording Studio, Prudential Insurance (Mr Farell), Ghiradelli’s Air Tours, Vulcan Books (small print and e-publishing), Jadwin Marshalli (law offices).
  • 10’th floor: Carlson Laboratories (water, air, and ground chemical contamination testing, analytic services).
  • 11’th floor: Leonardo’s Rare Books and Research Services.
  • 12’th floor: Allclear Eyecare Center, Atlanta Arts Festival organizational offices.
  • 13’th floor: Listed as “Dreaming Glade Garden Design”. Actually Sunheart, Max’s sanctum. Generally private, and unobtrusively sealed off.
  • 14’th floor: Dreaming Glade business offices and expansion space.
  • 15’th floor: Hensen’s Telemarketing (currently under heavy pressure to move – and experiencing a lot of spontaneous equipment failures).
  • Roof: While the roof design includes a small helipad, Max has subcontracted most of the rest as a show-place garden and opened it to the residents to “show off their design skills” – and to subtly help them out by refreshing their willpower.

   Woodrow, the Building Spirit, has taken over as building Superintendent, and is probably working on building up its power and on absorbing the minor, short-lived, workplace spirits that come into existence within it.

   Sunheart Construction Sequence Notes:

  • Set up the mundane modifications (layout, cameras, alarms, and other security systems).
  • Enact the Seal of Anubis, sealing off the area from the spirit world save for those invited.
  • Enact the Forge of Shadow (110 Essence, about 5 hours) to create a L5-Locus. It will be Sun-Aspected (light, truth, and magic).
  • Enact the Rite of the Celestial Heart to further expand the essence supply and the radius of influence.
  • Use a lot of lunar stone in the decor, on the theory that the moon absorbs the energy of the sun and transforms it into a form closely attuned to shapechangers. Hopefully this will increase the efficiency of drawing essence from the locus (or perhaps just let them get a point a day for being near something relevant to their spirit halves).
  • Enact Garden of Serenity, simply because it’s nice to have.

   The Rituals:

   Seal of Anubis (Level Four): You may create an invisible pocket-realm in the spirit world. If it corresponds to a physical location that location can be entered or exited physically, and the area can be accessed from there, but otherwise only those who are ritually invited by the ritualist(s) may enter without the use of another powerful rite. If the area contains a Locus, it will still exert its area of influence, but the energies it emits bubble up randomly in the surrounding area, making the source impossible to trace. This rite costs 20 Essence to enact.

   Forge of Shadow (Level Five): You may create a Locus of any desired aspect. This costs (10 + 20 x Level) Essence and requires (20 + 5 x Level) successes, rolling once per hour. Unlike Drawing Down the Shadow this formal version cannot gain extra Essence from wild (and exhausting) activities – but there is no limit on how much essence the participants can spend on it.

   Garden of Serenity (Level One): You may create a beautiful garden, filled with serene beauty and joy. Anyone who takes half an hour to wander through it, or sits and meditates within it (the usual for smaller or indoor gardens) will regain a willpower point – although this will only work once per day and a maximum of three times per week for any given individual. Creating the garden requires a total of 30 successes, rolling once per hour.

   The garden does need regular maintenance, whether by a good gardener (an hour or so a day for small gardens, more for larger ones), or by working this ritual again (requires 5 successes/week).

   Rite of the Celestial Heart (Level Three): This exotic rite turns a mass of at least 10 pounds of unearthly material, such as a meteorite, into a secondary focus for an existing locus, augmenting it with unearthly energies. This effectively increases the locus rating by +2, up to a maximum level equal to the Occult skill of the ritualist.

   Sunheart Point Cost:

  •    Haven V: Drawback: pays rent. Drawback: building shared with other tenants. Effective level three, half cost due to actual in-game work, for a total of six points. If it matters, it’s ratings are Size 3, Location 1 (a nice area, but just an area in the city), Security 5, and Special Facility 1 (lunar stones in decor).
  •    Nexus III. A major, L5, nexus without any special functions – at least as of yet (unless the lunar stones idea works). Drawback: Shared with his friends and the building spirit. Half cost due to actual in-game work. 3 points.

   General Note: The windows are “one-way glass”, simply for a bit of privacy. They’re also (as per the security rating) bullet-proof composites. As is typical of older buildings, the 12 support pillars are multiply redundant, the entire place is heavy construction, and the doors are both very solid and fireproof (again, it comes with the security rating).

   Individual Room Notes:

  • Lounge: This area serves as a playroom, studio, music room, and has some (especially reinforced for werewolves) exercise equipment that folds out of a cabinet. It also has a medium-sized hot tub you can look out over the city from and a small sauna. Service: The Service Room includes a small laundry room, a decent kitchen and pantry, a breakfast nook, and a backup power supply, just in case.
  • The three Apartments – Lemon’s, Max’s larger one, and the one that’s currently unassigned – each contain a small private bath, a good-sized closet, and an assortment of personal items. The small ones are 300 square feet, Max’s is 600 (if only because he’ll often have a girlfriend visiting).
  • Rituals: This is equipped for meditation (+4) and rituals (+6 with the influence of the Locus) as well as a modest collection of occult books. This may eventually be expanded to a Library, but he hasn’t had the time yet.
  • Foyer: This is the main entrance, and contains a variety of scanners and special precautions. The other stairway and elevator doors only open outwards from this floor unless they’re specially keyed. It also includes some cabinets for coats and other gear. Even here you need to get by the security systems or have someone open the door for you.
  • Baths: These are for visitors and such. They’re fully equipped.
  • Garden: This is a Garden of Serenity, and is carefully set up to both serve as a setting for the Locus and various artworks and so as to give a fair impression of being outside.
  • Office: This rather straightforward room hosts the computers and communications gear, a modest library (and a much larger, but conventional one, in electronic formats), the entertainment center, and a large table and set of displays for conferences.
  • Locus: This is an openwork metal pyramid, about three feet tall and carefully oriented. It’s made of bronze with gold plating. A heavy lump of meteoric iron on a pedestal close by serves as the focus for the Rite of the Celestial Heart.
  • Egyptian Area: This area contains a couple of small stelae, a modest altar, some statues, and a more enclosed feeling than the rest of the garden. Against the wall there is a massive mirror, with heavy metal shutters covering it.
  • Workroom: This room contains some basic tools and materials for various projects, along with a trunkful of emergency medical supplies and another one full of basic weapons.
  • Vault: This is a reinforced storage area for dangerous artifacts, masses of pirate treasure, and oddities from Max’s astral raids. It’s normally kept locked.