Mutants of the Eclipse Part XV – The Adept

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here we have the Adepts – mutants with powers with broad themes, such as “telekinesis” or “telepathy”.

   As usual, “mutant powers” are built using Unlimited-Use Use-Activated Innate Enchantments – at an effective base “Cost” of (Spell Level x Casting Level x 2000 GP x Modifiers).

   Thematic Adepts are closely related to Element Masters. In fact, it’s quite possible – and all too common in the comic books – for an Element Master to gradually transform into an Adept. After all, if you have a Elemental Master of Fire, he or she will be able to generate and project fire, create (insubstantial) barriers of fire, resist the effects of fire, manipulate existing fire to put it out, increase it’s intensity, or crudely shape it and – almost certainly – use it to fly with.

   That’s a fine and versatile selection of powers – but ultimately it’s pretty limited.

   Of course, sooner or later, you get people who want to know if that means that our Fire-Master can – say – solidify fire, so that his fire constructs can pick things up. Can he move things around by making columns of heat? Imbue fire with intelligence to create fire elementals? Freeze things by sucking heat out of them? Catalyze specific chemical reactions through his control of molecular energy? Accelerate someone’s metabolism? Temper metals to make them incredibly tough? Selectively heat the infecting microbes in a sick individuals bloodstream to destroy them?

   Now, in a game, the usual answer is “No!”. After all, if you wanted those powers, you should have purchased them.

   In a comic book, the answer is “Yes – as long as the writer and editor think it would be cool”.

   And thus an Element Master gradually becomes a thematic Adept.

   The mechanical difference is very simple: Adepts are built exactly like Element Masters using the Greater Invocation designs – but their broader themes require higher-level Greater Invocations to produce equivalent effects. Thus our Fire-Master has probably graduated from requiring a Greater Invocation one level above the level of the effects he or she wants to produce to requiring a Greater Invocation two levels above the level of his desired effects when he or she can make semi-solid fire constructs, create elementals to serve him, suck the heat out of things, and a few similar stunts.

   If he or she starts mastering molecular energetics well enough to catalyze particular processes, alter people’s metabolisms, and destroy germs, we’ve definitely in “three levels above” territory.

   Similarly, an Advanced Telekinetic, with the ability to manipulate many items at once, generate powerful force fields, heat or cool objects via the telekinetic control of molecules, and so on, is in +2 territory. One who’s realized that “control of matter” covers all kinds of things and has the fine control to actually make use of that realization is in +3 territory. A powerful Telekinetic / Telepath with abilities which fall into the “+2” category in each theme would similarly fall into “+3” territory.

   One who’s realized that telekinesis on the atomic scale includes mass-energy of all kinds, as well as the structure of space, manipulating the brain, and so on, is in +4 territory – the range at which Greater Invocation can be used to do “anything I want”.

   A Class-I Adept simply uses:

  • Greater Invocation, Level Three at Caster Level Five, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated (30,000 GP). (from The Practical Enchanter). This will allow the Adept to produce effects of level one within a moderately narrow theme, or level zero within a broad theme or a couple of narrow themes, and still have room for some minor enhancement from any of the prior packages – typically +2 to an attribute (1400 GP) and some minor cantrip-level personal effect (700 GP).

   Class-II Adepts use:

  • Greater Invocation, Spell Level Four at Caster Level Seven, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated (56,000 GP). This allows an Adept to produce effects of level two within a moderately narrow theme, or level one within a broad theme or a couple of moderately narrow themes, or level zero within an extremely broad one – and leaves them 8000 GP with which to get a few minor enhancements.

   Class-III Adepts use:

  • Greater Invocation, Spell Level Five at Caster Level Nine, at a net cost of 90,000 GP out of the 96,000 they have available. This allows an Adept to produce effects of level three within a moderately narrow theme, or level two within a broad theme or a couple of moderately narrow themes, or level one within an extremely broad one – and leaves them 6000 GP with which to get a few minor enhancements.

   Class-IV Adepts cannot afford to upgrade their Greater Invocation, so they usually mix in a level of enhancements from another character type – often something with lots of personal enhancements such as the Paragon, Shapeshifter, or Feral.

   Class-V Adepts use:

  • Level Six Greater Invocation at Caster Level Eleven and a cost of 132,000 GP. This allows an Adept to produce effects of level four within a moderately narrow theme, or level three within a broad theme or a couple of moderately narrow themes, or level two within an extremely broad one – and leaves them 28,000 GP with which to get a few minor enhancements. Class V Adepts are probably the most common variety; that’s enough power to be quite useful and a reasonable amount of room for personal enhancements, again often drawn from the Paragon.

   Class-VI Adepts use:

  • Level Seven Greater Invocation at Caster Level Thirteen. This costs 182,000 GP out of the 192,000 GP a Class-VI Mutant has available and allows an Adept to produce effects of level five within a moderately narrow theme, or level four within a broad theme or a couple of moderately narrow themes, or level three within an extremely broad one. That leaves them with 10,000 GP with which to get a few minor enhancements.

   Class-VII Adepts use:

  • Level Eight Greater Invocation at Caster Level Fifteen. This costs 210,000 GP out of the 224,000 GP a Class-VI Mutant has available and allows an Adept to produce effects of level six within a moderately narrow theme, or level five within a broad theme or a couple of moderately narrow themes, or level four within an extremely broad one. That leaves them with 14,000 GP with which to get a few minor enhancements.

   A Class-X Mutant can afford to use a Level Nine Greater Invocation at Caster Level Seventeen – at a cost of 306,000 GP out of the 320,000 GP a Class-X Mutant has available. That allows the creation of effects of up to level seven within a moderately narrow theme, or level six within a broad theme or a couple of moderately narrow themes, or level five within an extremely broad one and leaves them with 14,000 GP with which to get a few minor enhancements.

   Now, in theory – at least in Eclipse – there’s nothing preventing this from going right on up beyond level nine Greater Invocations until you arrive at the Class-90 Adept who has Greater Invocation at Spell Level 27 and Caster Level 53, and can do pretty much anything whatsoever. (Even I didn’t come up with any magical effects of above level twenty-four). In practice, anything beyond Class-V is usually excessive – and somewhat boring; when you can do almost anything, there’s no real point in doing anything; there are no real challenges to meet except for arranging to shoot first.

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