Expanded Powers and Taints

Okay, so anybody that’s read my blog, like, ever, is well aware that I’m a fan of the Possessed character type for Werewolf: the Apocalypse. I’ve never been quite satisfied with the depth and breadth of the lists of powers but I’ve long felt that the Taints list in particular needs work.

Well, perhaps I had best back up a second with regards to the Powers list. Possessed characters, by way of the Power: Spirit Gift, have theoretical access to any and every Gift that exists anywhere in any book published for any Changing Breed in any Werewolf: the Apocalypse book, and that Gift can be of any Rank besides. Or at least any Gift that you can convince your ST will fit the sort of spirit that is possessing your character and the creature’s purpose. Yes, that’s breadth and depth galore for you. However, there are a lot of abilities that make sense to me for a Possessed character to have, yet don’t seem to match any Gift or preexisting Power.

So I’ve been rolling my own for quite some time now, because that’s how I roll. Most but not all of the new powers listed here were created while I was working on my Warhammer: Dark Fantasy project. Also, I’ve assigned points costs to some preexisting Powers that appeared in various books for NPC use but weren’t given costs at their time of publishing. If you think that the point costs of any of these powers ought to be adjusted, by all means provide input. 🙂 Oh, and more to come later.

New Powers

  • Acidic Touch (4) – Fomori and Gorgons may take this power. The character’s skin excretes a caustic gelatinous substance that adds two extra dice of Aggravated damage to any physical attacks involving touch. (source: Monkeywrench! Pentex)
  • Alacrity (2) – Any Possessed character may take this power. The character can spend one Willpower point to take one extra action per turn just as if they had expended a point of Rage. Only one Willpower point may be spent in this manner during any given turn. (source: Monkeywrench! Pentex. The reasons for the low cost are the existence of the more potent powers: Berserker and Extra Speed as well as the one extra action per turn limitation.)
  • Death to the Dead (4) – Fomori, Gorgons and Kami may take this power. Its first known appearance among Fomori was a byproduct of PANACEA’s AIDS research. It functions exactly like the power: Infectious Touch, but it works against undead rather than living victims. Vampires possessing the Fortitude discipline may add it to their Stamina score for purposes of resisting this power. (source: Monkeywrench! Pentex)
  • Discipline (Level +1) – Any Possessed character may take this power. This character possesses the equivalent of one particular, discrete power contained in the Disciplines in Vampire: the Masquerade or Kindred of the East. Selecting discipline powers higher than level 1 does not grant any of the lower-level abilities. Potence, Fortitude, Celerity, Black Wind, Iron Mountain and Thaumaturgic, Koldunic or Necromantic rituals cannot be duplicated with this Power. Blood Point (or Chi) costs become Gnosis, but at the Storyteller’s discretion certain powers might call upon Rage or Willpower instead.
  • Enhanced Sense (1/3/5) – any possessed character may take this Power. Your character has an exceptionally sharp natural sense, be it vision, taste, hearing or whatever. She can manage about twice the natural sensitivity of a human, which allows you to get a two-point reduction on difficulty for all rolls with the appropriate sense. For three points, all of your mage’s senses are incredibly acute. For 5 power points, the difficulty of all sensory rolls is reduced by three rather than two.  (The absence of anything like this in the existing Powers list baffles me, though I suppose that you could always buy a similar Spirit Gift or the first dot of Auspex instead.)
  • Gauntlet Slingshot (4) – Any possessed character may take this power, though the character must also have the powers: Spirit Ties and Step Sideways. When the character Steps sideways, they can elect not to completely enter the Umbra but rather to enter the Gauntlet and fling themselves back into the material world at a different point than they began. System: Using this power requires expenditure of a Gnosis point and a standard Gnosis roll against the local Gauntlet rating. The destination must be familiar to the character, and can be up to 100 yards distant. If the character scores additional successes beyond the three normally required for an instant transition into the Umbra, then they may add up to 100 yards distance per additional success. On arrival, the character may gain a +4 bonus to initiative in the next turn due to the element of surprise. Botches on this roll are left to the fiendish discretion of the Storyteller; perhaps the character is trapped in the Gauntlet, or perhaps he is flung to some far distant location… or to the lip of the Abyss.
  • Living Fetish (Fetish Level + 1) – Any Possessed character may take this Power. The Black Spiral Dancers often make Fomori specifically to function as a sort of living fetish, a tool that is to be used as desired. This character takes that a bit literally and can duplicate the effects of any one Fetish (chosen at the time of power selection) as a personal power. Properties of the physical form of the Fetish cannot be copied (the damage and silver nature of a Klaive, for example, or really the damage output of any weapon Fetish) only their special capabilities. For example a Kami that can duplicate the effects of a Harmony Flute can sing or chant a song that will calm potential conflicts. Whether a particular Fetish property is appropriate or makes sense for the character is of course at the discretion of the Storyteller. Activating the character’s Fetish power requires expenditure of a point of Gnosis (or Willpower, at the ST’s discretion).
  • Plaguebearer (3) – Only Fomori may take this power. The Fomor finds that ordinary diseases don’t hinder him. He does actually suffer the diseases, but they have no actual game effect, and the character does act as a carrier and can infect passersby normally like the famous Typhoid Mary. This power does not protect against supernatural plagues or diseases. System: The character is immune to all non-magical diseases. No roll is required. Magical plagues can still infect the character. These diseases do take hold and live on the character, and the character may find that those he encounters fall ill with one of dozens of diseases from tuberculosis to malaria. This Power doesn’t make the diseases more virulent, but it’s much easier to spread the love if they aren’t incapacitating the character.
  • Relentless (10) – Any possessed character may take this potent and horrifying Power. The possessing spirit drives the character towards his goals so forcefully that once he puts his mind to something, nothing will stop him – not even death. System: The character does not suffer any dice penalties from damage until reduced to Crippled. If killed, he will return to “life” one turn later and continue his task, but with a -1 penalty on all dice pools. Each time the character is killed, he will gain an additional -1 penalty until reaching -5. At this point, if he is killed again he will be dead for good. The character’s obsessive aura tends to make others uncomfortable in his presence, while his single-mindedness makes it difficult to deal with others who don’t share his goals. Add +1 to the difficulty of all Social rolls not involving intimidation.
  • Spirit Pact (2) – Any Possessed character may take this power, though it is most common among Kami. The character must also have the power: Spirit Ties. Garou and other shapeshifters are able to perform Rites not only because they possess Gnosis, but because of the Pact, an agreement between their breeds and the courts of the spirit world. A character with this power is somehow granted the same privilege, and can learn and perform Rites just as if they were a shapeshifter. Note that this power does not confer knowledge of any Rites, merely the ability to use them. Rites must still be bought with the relevant Background or learned in play. Most characters with this power also have the Background: Consecrated.
  • Symbiotic Tutelage (1/dot) – Any Possessed character may take this Power. This character has been granted one or more dots in one or more Abilities. This is essentially a longer-duration version of using Symbiosis to obtain Ability dots at the expense of one’s will or well-being. The character gains one Ability dot per Power point.

New Taints

  • Animal Aversion (1) – You give off hostile emanations to animals and small children. Herbivores shy away from you; carnivores see you as a potential threat and may offer challenge. The barking or howling of dogs, the hissing of cats and the caterwauling of terrified babies are your companions. You may not possess the skill: Animal Ken.
  • Elemental Vulnerability (3) – A particular manifestation of elemental force is lethal to this character. System: The exact effects vary depending on the manifestation chosen. Examples: Sunlight inflicts damage as if the character is a vampire, water burns as acid (inflicting damage as fire, and rain as if it were sunlight to a vampire), Earth, stone, metal or fire might inflict double damage after soak, and so on.
  • Limitations (1-6) – One, several or all of the character’s powers have a frustrating limitation. The Power has some weak point (a body part not protected by armored hide, for example. 2 points), a circumstance it can’t be used in (2 points), one specific circumstance that is absolutely required for this Power’s use (3 points), or perhaps an object that the character must retain to have access to the Power (3 points). Achilles (his vulnerable heel) and Popeye (spinach for his strength) are prime examples of this Taint. This Taint can be taken multiple times to provide different weaknesses for different Powers. If this Taint applies to at least 3 separate Powers, then add one point to its value. Add one additional point if it covers all of the character’s Powers (which must be seven or more). If the weakness is particularly common in application, then add 1 point to its value, and if it is rare then subtract one point. The total value of this Taint can never exceed or equal the value of the Powers that it collectively affects. If it would do so, then reduce its value to one less than the Power cost.
  • Weakness (3/2/1) – There is a substance that is deadly to this character. Examples include silver, cold iron, rowan wood, mistletoe, gold, bamboo, grass, animal fur, flint, red meat, wine, salt, ice and glass.System: Bare skin contact with it inflicts one point of unsoakable aggravated damage per turn. If a weapon made of this substance strikes the character, it cannot be soaked and all damage is aggravated. Eating this substance is obviously a very bad idea. The first weakness is worth three points, the second is worth two and the third is worth only one. Add one point to the value of a weakness if contact with it will instantly reduce the character to Incapacitated, and another if the substance inflicts instant death. Storytellers should have a say in substance weaknesses.

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One Response to “Expanded Powers and Taints”

  1. Expanded Powers &Taints: Wet & Wild Edition « Casewerk: More Internet Ravings Says:

    […] Casewerk: More Internet Ravings What are you looking at? « Expanded Powers and Taints […]

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