Metapsi Powers

Metapsi powers are those which allow their wielder to manipulate their body in ways that no ordinary human can manage. This can involve anything as simple as altering one's inherent bodily processes to transforming the very stuff of one's form into something different. Metapsi abilities focus on defending oneself from injury as well as inflicting grievous bodily harm onto others - often accomplishing both at once.

Metapsi arts are those which allow their wielder to alter the basic nature of their body. Whether simply changing one's shape, altering one's composition, or growing weapons out of one's very frame, the metapsi arts allow extreme modifications to one's physicality. They also allow their possessor to steal a foe's energies and wield them, whether directly or indirectly, as they see fit (depending on the power in question).

Those metapsi powers which count as talents are not quite so extensive in nature as the arts, but are nonetheless rather potent. A large amount of these involve changing one's volume, whether growing, shrinking, extending one or more physical dimensions, or perhaps their density instead. Metapsi talents also allow for a large array of attack capabilities, including the dissolution of both organic and inorganic matter.

Skills of the metapsi variety are rather useful abilities, but don't quite change their users so extensively. A large amount of them involve extending or manipulating one's sensory capabilities in one or more ways. Others allow one to interact well with their environment, even in the face of potentially deadly conditions - or just to put oneself 'on hold' for a while, should such conditions prove untenable.

The following is a summary of all forty-nine known metapsionics, collected into one place for your convenience - without all of the other disciplines' abilities getting in the way. This serves as a great tool for traditional psis focusing on the metapsi discipline, or perhaps someone attempting to build a believer or natural psi whose abilities focus on powers of this rather physical nature.

A B C D E G I K L M O P R S T U Z

A

Adrenal Boost
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

This potent ability allows its wielder to release a controlled burst of adrenaline into his or her system at will. This boost of a naturally occurring chemical, when released unnaturally, lets the wielder of this ability momentarily increase their Strength by +1 CS for a short period of time - namely, 1d10 turns. When this ability wears off, the character suffers a -1 CS to their Strength for twice the duration of its enhancement.

Adrenal boost readily works in conjunction with the adrenal surge quirk - they're functionally the same, after all. A character with both capabilities can gain a +2 CS boost while both are active, though when they wear off the character is in for something of a crash. Once the adrenaline is gone, he or she will suffer a -2 CS to their Strength score for quadruple the duration of its enhancement.

One cannot wield adrenal boost while they are still recovering from a previous use of the ability.

Adrenal Vampirism
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of adrenal vampirism allows its wielder to feed upon the biochemical energies of those in his or her vicinity. This ability requires physical contact with its target, who is allowed an Endurance (res) FEAT against its intensity to resist the effect. If this FEAT roll fails, the adrenal vampire may temporarily drain a considerable amount of the Strength and Endurance scores of their foes.

This power may consume a number of points from said abilities equal to its power rank, adding them in turn to the equivalent scores of its wielder. There is an upper limit to this enhancement, however, being equal to either their original values +1 CS or the adrenal vampirism power rank - whichever of the two is higher. This boost will last for 1d10 turns, at which point the adrenal vampire's abilities will return to normal.

When drained, a victim's Strength and Endurance scores have a bottom functional limit of Feeble (2) rank. If drained beyond this point, the target of this ability must pass an Endurance (res) FEAT roll, at their current, diminished level, or fall unconscious. However, after 1d10 turns have passed, they will recover lost ranks at a rate of +1 CS per turn, until their scores return to normal.

Keep in mind that changes in ability scores affect the Health sum of both the wielder of this ability and the target, each of which will need to be recalculated on the fly as they are changed.

Age Control / Self
Type: Metapsi Skill, Psimotive Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The curious ability of age control allows its possessor to, for all intents and purposes, alter his or her apparent age. One may do so, in either direction, by a number of years equal to this power's rank number. There is no upper limit to the age a character can assume, though certain extremes can be increasingly dangerous. Advanced age makes one particularly injury-prone, while a prenatal state makes one helpless.

While at a differing age, one gains all the benefits and penalties of such a change. One might receive a senior citizen discount while roaming around as a centenarian, but they'd be more likely to fall and break a hip. Similarly, being incredibly young might let someone get away with things that an adult otherwise couldn't, though they're also less physically capable at the same time.

If a character possessing longevity uses this ability, their age will be altered as if they did not have that ability in the first place (otherwise, the two powers would be mutually exclusive).

Animal Hybridization / Self
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Animal hybridization is the process of transforming oneself into another creature. This involves an innate familiarity with the biological processes of said animal, which lets the character with this ability mold their bodily functions and anatomy until it changes from its original state into the new one. Such transformations may be partial (adopting some traits of the animal) or complete (adopting the full form of the animal).

Complete transformations allow the wielder of this ability to use all of the creature's ability scores and special powers - including its Health points. Visually, the character will appear to be a perfectly normal specimen of the animal species, though they'll retain the same scent, still being genetically human (or whatever their original form is). The character will also retain their original intellect while transformed.

Even if this power involves changing one's form into a non-sentient creature as a general matter of course.

Partial transformations allow the wielder of this ability to pick and choose which facets of his or her anatomy are changed. One might simply want the claws of a lion, instead of changing into one outright. This allows one to use animal hybridization more discreetly if desired, either adopting specific physical capabilities or simply changing one's appearance for purely cosmetic reasons (like wearing a mane).

When this ability is first gained, its possessor may originally only transform into one specific kind of animal, but may adopt additional transformations (into different animals) as a power stunt for each. Typically, 'powers' gained by the use of this ability are limited to the animal hybridization rank in effectiveness - save for powers such as physical weaponry, which have no specific rank.

Atomic Sense
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Atomic sense is an ability which allows its wielder to 'sweep' a given area for atoms. It works within a space as described on the Middle range table, giving the character with this sensory ability a very wide radius with which to find what he or she is looking for. For example, a hero with Excellent (20) ranked atomic sense can scan anywhere within 20 areas of his or her person for all kinds of matter.

Finding pure, uncombined elements simply requires a green atomic sense FEAT roll, while locating a specific kind of molecular compound takes a yellow FEAT. Red FEAT rolls are usually only necessary when trying to uncover matter of a non-standard sort, such as campaign-specific super-materials, or those which behave differently due to being saturated by magical, psionic, or deionic energies.

B

Biological Sense
Type: Empathic Skill, Metapsi Skill
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

This sensory ability allows its possessor an awareness of other life forms in his or her vicinity. Unless entities are cloaked somehow, this sense will automatically pinpoint every living thing within its range, as determined on the Middle range table. This use of the biological sense does not discriminate at all, and while it requires no roll it also provides no specific information about the huge amount of life forms so noted.

Attempting a FEAT allows the wielder of this power to fine tune what they're perceiving, however.

A green biological sense FEAT indicates the types of biological forms present, such as plants, animals, and fungi, and allows the character to 'screen out' unwanted forms of life. A yellow FEAT roll allows the inspection of individual life forms, determining particular and specific data about each one and how it functions. A red biological sense FEAT even allows the character to pick out a specific entity amongst similar life forms.

Biological Vampirism
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

A variant on the standard vampiric ability, biological vampirism allows its wielder to feed upon the living cellular matter of other beings, to rapidly recover his or her own, lost Health points. These tissues need not be physically connected to their source still, as can be the case with blood bank stores or organs freshly removed for transplant purposes, but must still be biologically functional.

For each ounce of living biological matter consumed (solid or fluid), a biological vampire can recover one lost Health point. This requires physical contact with the target, unless one is feeding on dislocated but still-living tissues, at which point a biological vampiric attack may begin. Upon the activation of this ability, the target must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against this power rank, or they will be unable to resist its use.

This inability to resist most often takes the form of paralysis, or perhaps a mesmerized state. This is necessary because most rational beings will object to being bodily consumed in any manner. A biological vampire can process an amount of cellular matter equal to their power rank number in ounces each turn, though they may require accessories (such as fangs, or perhaps steak knives) to properly rend it from its source.

Many biological vampires prefer to feed upon the blood of their targets, for this is much easier to separate from them. A human body, on average, has ten pints of blood within, and can safely lose one pint (sixteen ounces) of blood at a time before serious symptoms arise. This means a biological vampire can feed upon others without causing them real harm - assuming they wish to preserve the lives of their prey.

Each ounce of lost biological matter costs the target one Health point, you see, which must be recovered normally (if possible). Luckily, lost blood recovers in the body quickly, and leaves little evidence of its consumption. A chunk of someone's arm, on the other hand, may never quite heal back - and leaves plenty of evidence that a biological vampire (or a cannibal, at the very least) is active in the area.

Once a biological vampire has begun to feed upon a target, he or she may continue to do so as long as they like, though their prey is allowed another FEAT roll to resist this ability each turn. If the target ever succeeds in this action, or the biological vampire is ever forced to stop feeding (instead of doing so of their own volition), the target will immediately acquire subsequent immunity to the biological vampirism of this attacker.

However, this immunity doesn't extend to the biological vampirism of other characters - or any other vampirism power the attacker may have.

When a biological vampire at full Health consumes his or her power rank number in ounces of their target's tissues, they receive a +1 CS to their Strength, Endurance, Psyche, and all of their power ranks save for this one (additional drains do not enhance them further). This boost lasts for 1d100 turns, after which point the biological vampire will return to his or her normal capability. Gaining another boost requires another feeding.

The risk in using this ability is twofold. First off, there's the danger of contagion. Killing a victim with this power (either through a loss of Health points or a killing blow caused by the location of feeding) will cause them to eventually arise as an undead creature, a biological vampire that cannot sustain its own physical processes without fresh infusions of flesh from many, many victims.

Secondly, if a biological vampire kills with this ability (either accidentally or on purpose), they must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT roll against the intensity of this power rank. If this FEAT roll fails, the biological vampire becomes addicted to the flesh of others, and will require it to function as well. While addicted, the character with biological vampirism suffers a loss of power each day they do not feed upon the living tissues of others.

This loss comes in the form of a -1 CS to his or her Strength, Endurance, and Psyche scores, as well as all of their power ranks (save for the biological vampirism, of course). To avoid this loss, the addicted character must consume a number of ounces of cellular matter equal to his or her biological vampirism rank each day, and if at a penalty, a like amount to recover each -1 CS lost to such abilities.

The only way to shake this addiction is to go cold turkey - and that's not easy.

Withdrawal from the living meat of others causes the CS penalties to mount, until the character's indicated ability scores and power ranks reach Shift 0 levels. This prompts an Endurance FEAT roll, per a Kill result. If this FEAT fails, the character immediately dies, and will eventually rise as a biological vampire themselves. If it succeeds, he or she may attempt a Psyche (will) FEAT roll to overcome their addiction.

If this Psyche FEAT succeeds, the character is 'cured', and may begin to recover lost ability and power ranks at a rate of +1 CS per day. If the Psyche FEAT fails, however, the character must wait another day, and repeat the Endurance FEAT to see if they live long enough to attempt another Psyche FEAT to beat the urge. This continues until the character either dies or manages to get clean.

If a biological vampire has ever been addicted to the tissues of others, using the ability again may cause a relapse - even if they've recovered from the ordeal. Every time the character uses biological vampirism afterwards, he or she must pass a Psyche (will) FEAT roll, the failure of which indicates an immediate relapse into vampiric addiction. If they pass this FEAT roll they'll be fine - at least, until the next use of this power.

Naturally, an undead creature dependent on the living cellular matter of others to persist cannot shake this requirement. This process only applies to still-living wielders of biological vampirism, and not its many victims.

Wielders of this ability have been documented in fiction throughout human history, and emulating them can allow for a variety of limitations to give it more 'flavor'. While any living tissue can fuel this power, limiting it to the same kingdom (animals) can be considered a weak limitation, while constraining it to but one species of life forms is considered a strong limitation - very strong if it's one's own species.

Similarly, limiting this power to just one form of cellular matter (like blood) to be consumed is also a weak limitation - or adds one step of limitation to the previous examples. Thus, one can generate the traditional, blood-drinking vampirism at a considerable discount (if solely limited to such), which leaves room for additional abilities to facilitate its use (physical weaponry and the like).

Blending
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of blending allows its possessor to match his or her coloration to that of their surroundings, to a precise degree. By matching one's hue to perfectly reflect that which is directly behind them, a blender can achieve a makeshift form of invisibility. While completely motionless, a character with blending will appear to be a perfectly normal component of their surroundings, disguising themselves with power rank skill.

Unless, of course, the background itself decides to move.

Whether the blender or the background shifts, a discontinuity between the character's appearance and the background will arise, allowing an Intuition (alt) FEAT roll at +2 CS to detect the blended individual. Thus, it's ideal to use blending against walls and other flat surfaces, where movement is unlikely - as is something passing behind the blender to betray their presence.

A variant form of blending allows its possessor to make their body almost entirely transparent, instead of merely sinking into the background of a vista. While the outline of a character rendered translucent is still visible if one looks for it, the power allows 'live' updates to the appearance it generates, since the light behind a character passes right through them while blending is active.

A character may adopt either form of blending when beginning play, but may develop the other as a power stunt later on, if desired.

Naturally, blending works better in some environments than others, but a character can limit the power to functioning under only one such condition as a limitation. Only functioning at night or while cloaked in shadow counts as a weak limitation, for example. Similarly, a strong limitation on blending prevents its possessor from applying the power to his or her possessions - only their body blends in with one's environs.

Body Armor
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

An inherent protection from damage, body armor serves to prevent injury to characters. Body armor comes in a variety of forms, whether it involves hardened skin that deflects damage from the soft tissues beneath, a fluid physiology that lets damage pass through instead of tearing it apart, or any number of other permutations on this theme. All forms of body armor, regardless of their nature, function in the same way.

Body armor works best against direct physical damage. This includes anything which inflicts Blunt Attack, Edged Attack, Blunt Throwing, Edged Throwing, Force, or Shooting damage, as well as subtler physical attack forms like crushing pressure. Against such assaults, body armor will provide its full rank in protection. On the other hand, other forms of attack are more effective against 'basic' body armor.

Body armor is -2 CS effective against Energy attack (fire, electricity, etc.), -4 CS effective against Sorcerous (magical) damage, -6 CS effective against Karmic (psionic) assault, and -8 CS effective in the face of Deionic (godly) forces. The idea is that these damage forms are less deterred by mere material protections such as body armor, and operate on an increasingly higher (and/or dangerous) level.

This variation in protection can be represented as a simple line beneath body armor in power listings, showcasing the individual resistances body armor provides. Most defensive powers in the Universal Heroes rule system list the protections they offer in the order of physical attack, energy attack, magical attack, psionic attack, and deionic attack. The basic format body armor follows is shown here:

Power Rank / Power Rank -2 CS / Power Rank -4 CS / Power Rank -6 CS / Power Rank -8 CS

For example, a Remarkable (30) ranked body armor would provide the following protections:

Rm 30 / Gd 10 / Pr 4 / Sh 0 / Sh 0

For the most part, conventional body armor provides minimal, if any protection against psionic or deionic assault, but this matches up with the vast majority of fiction that involves such things. Protection from psionics most often comes in the form of one's own training or special devices / powers which act to counter such, and usually only the gods themselves possess defense against their own assaults.

On the other hand, 'special origin' armor covers its own type of damage differently. Were that same, Remarkable (30) ranked body armor produced by magic instead of, say, a physical mutation, it would defend against Sorcerous damage at its full power rank, not the -4 CS described above. In other words, the protection that mystical body armor offered its possessor, likely thanks to a potent spell, would break down like so:

Rm 30 / Gd 10 / Rm 30 / Sh 0 / Sh 0

Body Armor can be limited in any number of fashions. While the 'ideal' body armor is indistinguishable from ordinary skin, one can make theirs clearly visible. One can appear to have rocky skin, bubbly burnt flesh, an elephantine hide, or whatever else. Another option is to have the armor transient in nature; while the 'default' body armor is always on, the transient armor will only function when consciously maintained.

Each of these count as weak limitations, and thus add a +1 CS to the power's final value (random generation) or subtract 1 point from its cost (point generation). Both limitations can be taken at the same time, if desired (and if one's armor makes them particularly monstrous, this may in fact be preferred). Body armor as a spell or psionic is inherently transient in nature, and thus so limited 'out of the box'.

C

Combat Edge
Type: Metapsi Skill, Psipathic Skill
Duration: encounter
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

By means of this ability, a combatant can gain an uncanny insight into the actions of his or her foes. Once invoked, combat edge will begin to 'read' its target, and after three turns of combat in an encounter, its wielder will have a 'good idea' just what their opponent will be planning at any given moment. Once the target is read, the combat edge ability will provide its wielder a +1 CS on all FEAT rolls made against said enemy.

This particular bonus only lasts for one combat session, but if the character using combat edge has wielded the ability on an antagonist in a previous encounter, he or she can 'read' them after only one turn on subsequent activations.

Corrosion
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

Corrosion is the ability to induce rapid degradation in the chemical structure of primarily inorganic matter. This can work through a variety of mechanisms, the end result being damage to or the destruction of such substances. Matter affected by corrosion, whether living or dead before the power is used on it, will show signs of advanced wear. Metals will rust, paint will fade, and so on.

Against living entities comprised of such matter, this ability will cause power rank SD Metabolic damage, which its targets may avoid by preventing physical contact (it requires such to function). When used against unliving substances (which is usually the vast majority of the time), whether glass or steel or uranium, this ability will destroy them if they fail a material strength check against this power's rank.

This power can be avoided with resistance to metabolic attacks - or just resistance to rotting or corrosion. Corrosion inflicts -3 CS damage against organic targets (it works, just less effectively). On the other hand, it is less limited when used on organic substances that have been heavily processed in some fashion. Plastics are such a material, and corrosion can affect them at a mere -1 CS.

D

Danger Sense
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Vastly improving one's performance in combat, a danger sense automatically alerts its possessor to imminent harm. While the wielder of a danger sense may not be aware just what kind of threat awaits him or her, they will usually know the direction it is coming from, and about how long they have until it strikes. Danger sense can 'see' a number of seconds into the future equal to its rank number.

This allows for a number of useful effects in battle - whether in melee or ranged combat. For one thing, a character using his or her danger sense may substitute its rank for Intuition when determining initiative and surprise, their Agility for dodging or weaving attacks, their Fighting while evading or feinting, their Strength for the purposes of escaping holds or blocking attacks, and their Endurance if attempting bracing maneuvers.

If one's danger sense is possessed of a smaller power level than the rank of these abilities, it will nonetheless improve them by +1 CS for the purposes of the above uses.

Density Control / Self
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

This versatile ability allows its possessor to manipulate their body's mass. One does not gain or lose volume as a result of this power's use, but their apparent density will dramatically change when it is in play. Wielding density control, a character can either increase or decrease their total mass; limiting it to either counts as a strong limitation, while making the power permanent (in either direction) is an extreme limitation.

When increasing one's mass, treat the power rank of this ability as a multiplier. For example, a man with this ability at Amazing (50) rank who weighs 200 pounds can increase their weight to ten thousand pounds - five tons! This allows a character to readily pin down almost anyone who lacks super-human Strength, and can often be enough to immobilize some vehicles - or at least slow them down dramatically.

A character with increased mass may move normally despite their added weight. This ability cannot be used to inflict more damage with weaponry and the like, but it can substitute its rank for Endurance when charging. Similarly, in a state of heightened mass, a character with this ability develops body armor of the equivalent rank, their seemingly denser frame acting to shrug off damage much better than before.

On the other hand, the character has a deleterious effect on their environs. Concentrating this much mass into the size of a human being (or whatever) often does a number on artificial structures, most of which are not designed to withstand such weight. If at a state of increased mass, the surface one is standing on, if artificial, must pass a material strength check or the character just might fall through it!

When decreasing one's mass, treat the power rank of density control as a percentage to subtract from one's weight. The above, Amazing (50) ranked power could reduce that two hundred pound man's weight by half! Once a character reaches Unearthly (100) rank with this ability, he or she effectively has zero mass while the power is active, and higher ranks actually apply a negative mass to their person, allowing them to float.

The advantages of lowering one's mass are numerous. This ability can dramatically improve travel efficiency, causing one to expend less energy when walking, improving one's jump height, and so on. Furthermore, one can approach the speed of light more easily with a decreased mass, eventually reaching it with this power at Unearthly (100) rank, and even exceeding it if at all possessed of negative mass!

Consider that justifying 'permanent' density alterations as a psionic would be tricky, and possibly involve a 'flawed' mastery of the effect. It would absolutely require immunity to normal negation or subsequent mass changes, or else it wouldn't be all that much of a limitation to speak of. Without such 'immunities', this condition would be semi-permanent at best, and only count as a 'weak' limitation.

Detachable Parts
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

As the name of this ability implies, detachable parts allows its possessor to disconnect one or more portions of his or her anatomy, without undue harm to themselves. When such parts are detached from one's body, the wielder of this ability retains a neurological link to the disembodied bits, allowing control of them anywhere within Near distance of their person. Even better, these parts are primarily self-sufficient.

Detachable parts includes something akin to environmental independence, allowing disconnected body parts to persist despite a lack of oxygen, sustenance, and the like. This self-sufficiency also functions at detachable parts' power rank, meaning that one's disembodied chunks can last quite a while if they have a high enough rank in this ability - which can be a good thing if you misplace your hand somewhere inconvenient.

Parts of the character which have been detached operate as if they were still in their proper location. Disconnected eyes still let the character see normally, if at a strange perspective compared to the norm, and so on. The trick is that one's parts, in and of themselves, do not acquire any other abilities as a result of this power's use - those disconnected eyes aren't going anywhere unless they're placed on something that can move.

Which leads to strange mental visuals of detached eyeballs mounted atop detached hands via Sticky Tack ™, and so on.

Mind you, if one has access to other powers, he or she can readily couple them to this ability. Flight is a great option for this power, since it lets disconnected parts float around willy-nilly. Shape change allows any part to transform into any other part - or any other thing, really. In fact, one could transform their body into a cloud of things if desired, ranging from interlocking machinery to an insect swarm to a pile of loose change.

Disease
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This dreadful power allows its wielder to create and transmit microscopic organisms. It works similar to organism generation, though on a much smaller scale. One isn't creating pounds of pathogenic bacterium, after all, just enough to achieve the desired effect. As such, wielding disease does not cost its possessor Health points when in use, as (relatively) little energy is consumed while doing so.

To craft such diseases, one must study the organisms to be created. This process is similar to the memorization of blueprints one must perform with matter generation; one can 'memorize' an amount of microscopic life forms equal to their Reason (memory) rank number. This can be done either academically (learning about them via reading) or empirically (learning about them by drawing them into oneself).

Once a character with the disease ability has 'learned' a plague, they can transmit it at will. This requires physical contact for the most part; while some diseases can be transmitted through the air, this power is only effective on touch. Upon contact with others, the disease carrier can infect their target if said person fails an Endurance (res) FEAT roll against this power rank. The effects of such failure are immediate and dramatic.

While the symptoms of disease take time to manifest in real life, this ability bypasses that inconvenience, inflicting the full force of a plague upon its victim instantly. This causes power rank Metabolic damage, as well as whatever problems said plague inflict (a nasty cough when infected with whooping cough, for instance). Similarly, such plagues will quickly run their course, and 'burn out' within 1d100 turns.

This has the effect of preventing further contagion. You see, the diseases created by this power are for all intents and purposes the real thing, but only have a transient existence. They, and any additional microorganisms that are created through their reproduction, will simply die off when the allotted time has expired. Even if one victim manages to infect another somehow, the disease is limited to the 'clock' set when first administered.

A curious side effect of this power's use is that there is a chance that the target, as a result of being exposed to the character's version of a plague, can develop immunity to the 'regular' variety of such. This can be achieved with a successful red Endurance (res) roll, though such immunity can only come after the disease has run its course.

Speaking of immunity, the benefit of this power is that its wielder acquires power rank resistance to disease. Its very nature entails the character analyzing microorganisms and figuring out how they work. As long as he or she can wield this power on any disease they're exposed to, they can make themselves immune to it - though if caused by another disease power, this may require passing a FEAT roll against its power rank first.

Dyad
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

A curious combination of both detatchable parts and shape change, dyad allows its wielder to divide themselves into two distinct components. These components are typically of equal mass, each comprising half of the character's total volume, though exceptions to this rule are not uncommon. Once split, the character's masses each change shape to assume a more functional, semi-independent configuration.

When divided in two, the bodies of a character with dyad can take almost any form. They can be two smaller versions of the character, a normal and a fantastic version of them, two bodies that are completely different from their original, or anything else that works for them. These forms generally remain consistent from one use of dyad to another, though variable bodies can be acquired as either enhancements or power stunts.

If one of the character's dyad-granted forms are to be given super-human characteristics, these may be other powers determined via the character generation process, or those purchased later in the event of character advancement. Such abilities, only accessible while dyad is active, are considered weakly limited if both forms have access to them, or strongly limited if only one of their two bodies can utilize it.

Their consciousness split between two distinct bodies, the wielder of dyad receives one additional action each turn, though their total number of actions are split between their forms. Generally, this only becomes complicated if dyad's possessor can attempt more than one action each turn before taking it into account, the character having to divvy up a sum of actions that are not divisible by two wherever they best fit over time.

While active, the two bodies of the character with dyad may range anywhere within Near distance of each other and still be effective. Exceeding this distance causes dyad to quit functioning, the two bodies it formed for the character snapping back together again. Most often, this occurs at a point halfway between the two masses that previously comprised the character, but can vary if their dyad forms have differing volumes.

Finally, should they be so inclined, characters may enhance dyad when first acquiring it, spreading their mass over even more bodies. Triad, breaking oneself down into three distinct forms, is a strong enhancement of this power. Tetrad, on the other hand, would be considered an extreme dyad enhancement, allowing its wielder to divide themselves into four, much smaller bodies with which they can interact with the world.

E

Elongation
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of elongation allows its possessor to extend some or all of their body to a truly fantastic degree. This can be done without a loss of leverage or effective Strength, the elongated body part(s) performing as if they were in their normal state, even at their maximum length. When wielding elongation, a character can stretch their body (or any part therein) anywhere within Near distance of their person.

For example, a hero with Remarkable (30) elongation can extend their arms, legs, or whatever up to eight areas! Such feats allow one to attempt melee combat against non-adjacent foes, as long as they are within range of the elongation power. Foes attacked in such a fashion can only oppose body part(s) invading their personal space, and not the elongating character's main body - unless they approach him or her directly.

Elongated parts, depending on their nature, may be immune to Slam, Stun, or Kill results in combat. Hacking off an extended finger cannot directly kill a character, no matter how much it may smart. Of course, slicing an elongated character in two while their torso is stretched to its utter limit is a different matter entirely. Severed bits immediately return to their normal physical dimensions.

Energy Absorption
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

This potent ability makes its possessor something of a sponge, capable of soaking up ambient energy for a variety of different purposes. When this ability is first acquired, its wielder may only absorb one form of energy to start with, though he or she can acquire additional energy forms as power stunts when desired. By soaking up this energy, the absorber can prevent it from harming either themselves or others.

An absorber can internalize an amount of energy equal to this ability's rank number each round; superfluous amounts inflict damage normally. Of course, the character can store more than they can absorb at any one point; energy absorbers can fill a 'tank' of energy equal to their power rank number times five. If one attempts to absorb more than they can contain, this power will function normally, but the excess energies will be lost.

Wielding this pool of power, an energy absorber can produce a variety of useful effects whenever the need arises. He or she can use it to replenish lost Health, doing so on a point-per-point basis. In fact, if one's Health is at its normal maximum, an energy absorber can 'pad' it with absorbed energy, doing so until their Health is at up to twice the sum of their Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance scores.

Likewise, one can use absorbed energy to bolster their physical ability scores, shunting purloined energies into their Fighting, Agility, Strength, or Endurance on a point-per-point basis, raising them either to this power rank in might (if less than the energy absorption rank) or by +1 CS (if equal to or greater than the energy absorption rank). Such enhancements will only last for 1d10 turns.

Finally, absorbed energy can be directly released back into the environment - as a devastating attack! One can emit absorbed energy as power blasts, doing so at an intensity equal to this ability's rank, and consuming that much power with each use. This energy will be the same kind that was initially absorbed, or a mix of them all when multiple forms of energy have been collected, and thus have the same side effects.

Environmental Adaptation
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

A specialized, reflexive capacity, environmental adaptation will directly and physically alter the body of its possessor when it is subject to a new, abnormal environment. When immersed in a new location that is hostile to his or her existence, this ability can adapt a character's physiology to survive, if not thrive, no matter how antithetical to life it may be.

The exact nature of the resultant changes depend on the environment a character finds themselves in. When finding oneself at the bottom of the ocean, a body could definitely use gills to extract oxygen from the water. At the same time, the intense pressure, low temperatures, inability to see, and relative lack of mobility are serious concerns to keep in mind as well.

This is where one's environmental adaptation rank comes in. While it determines how potent powers temporarily acquired through the use of environmental adaptation are, its rank also determines how many adaptations a character can manifest at once. For each rank in environmental adaptation above Feeble (2), a character can add an additional adaptation which allows them to function in their new locale.

So, if our hero possesses Feeble (2) environmental adaptation, he or she may only be able to develop those gills, but is otherwise out of luck on the ocean floor. Alternately, with Excellent (20) environmental adaptation, they can gain gills, denser cellular structure to better withstand the pressure, thick body fat to avoid the cold, webbed digits to move about more freely, and finally a sensory replacement for their vision. Perhaps sonar?

Adapting to a new environment requires from one to ten turns, depending on how severe a change is required to keep the character functioning.

If stuck on an earth-normal world with a hostile atmosphere, it may simply be a matter of altering one's lungs to process the different gases available - and perhaps a small biochemical modification. On the other hand, persisting in space might require a whole bevy of biophysical alterations, changes which may render a character unrecognizable as a human being... or even as an organic life form!

Keep in mind that this ability is primarily reflexive in nature, and the player has little control over what changes environmental adaptation will inflict on his or her body to keep their character alive. Such changes are normally within the realm of Judge's fiat, but players can override a given change with a red FEAT roll, if they think they have a better idea regarding what can keep them going.

Of course, they could prove to be wrong. Fatally wrong!

Environmental Independence
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1/2 point per rank

A vital ability for explorers of the bizarre, environmental independence allows a character to subsist without the essentials of life for a considerable amount of time. If suddenly without access to food, water, air, or even sleep, the environmentally independent character will continue to function just fine, able to 'put off' those vital needs (hopefully) for as long as is necessary.

Environmental independence functions with a duration that is rated in hours, as is based on its rank number. For instance, an Unearthly (100) ranked environmental independence lets a character subsist if trapped in a cave-in for just over four days, not needing food, air, or water (though sleep may be preferable in such situations). But what of those characters who wish to forego sustenance entirely?

This can be done by acquiring the ability at Class 5000 rank, which either costs 8 points with the point-based character system or counts as two powers when using the random die roll generation system. This can prove costly, so it's possible to limit environmental independence by stripping some of its protection(s) out as the player sees fit.

For each type of sustenance this ability does not cover, subtract one point from the final cost / add +2 CS, as each is considered a strong limitation. So, for a net cost of, say, five points, one could forego the need to breathe entirely, but still require food, water, and sleep.

G

Grace
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Grace is the ultimate form of mercy, for it prevents its wielder from inflicting Kill? results. This is advantageous to characters who only possess lethal attacks, such as a broad sword or lighting bolts. Grace even applies when dishing out enough damage to reduce one's foe to zero (or less!) Health. This allows a body to cut loose, after a fashion, having no need to pull their punches because they literally cannot kill anyone.

Similarly, grace is a potent defense, as it works to negate Kill? results rolled against its wielder. How this works is that, while grace is active, its possessor may attempt a FEAT against the intensity of any assault that would otherwise achieve a Kill? result against them. Failure indicates that the Kill? must be resolved normally, but a successful FEAT shifts that Kill? result down to a yellow effect on the Universal Table.

The only variation on this basic behavior is when a character using grace faces off against the effects of another wielding lethality. In that case, one must pass a FEAT roll with grace, opposed by either the intensity of the damage inflicted or lethality's power rank, whichever of the two is higher.

Greater Resistance
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank, plus 4 points per additional resistance category

A greater resistance is similar in function to a standard resistance, in that it provides its rank in resistance to injury. Instead of providing protection against one specific form of attack, however, greater resistance offers its rank in resistance to an entire category of attack forms. There are eight categories of attack in the Universal Heroes game, and a character with a greater resistance may defend against any one of their choice:

* Physical Attacks: these kinds of attack are those most commonly experienced by characters. They include all forms of Blunt Attack damage, Blunt Throwing damage, Edged Attack damage, Edged Throwing damage, Force damage, and Shooting damage, as well as specialized effects that involve related phenomena (such as extremes of pressure and falling damage).

* Metabolic Attacks: metabolic attacks are the sort that assault a character's bodily structure, either directly or indirectly, and often invisibly. They include corrosion (acid), disease, poisons, rotting, and unusual phenomena which can either alter or destroy one's form or molecular structure, such as aging, disintegration, or even shrinking.

* Energy Attacks: these are many and varied, and include a large array of different phenomenon. Energy attacks include cold, electricity, fire, heat, light, magnetism, radiation, sound, and a whole lot more. If it inflicts Energy damage or Force damage (note the slight overlap with physical attacks), resistance to energy will blunt it.

* Warping Attacks: this category of resistances allows a character protection against capabilities that act to alter or negate their own super human skills. These include most of the 'power control' powers. This class of resistance will also protect a character against abilities from the (admittedly small) 'reality control' power block, which is used to alter the very rules of the game!

* Magical Attacks: magical attacks are those which inflict Sorcerous damage, and include the majority of special, campaign-specific thaumaturgical forces; ask your Judge about these. This also covers non-damaging magic effects; if one's Intuition or Psyche may be used to resist such, this ability functions against them at a minimum of that rank +1 CS.

* Vampiric Attacks: these attack forms all act to drain a character of something, whether it be wielded by the classical blood-drinking vampire or the 'sanitized' psychic vampire seen in more recent fiction. This resistance provides its rank in protection to all the forms of vampirism, both in the up-front damage as well as the transformative power of those abilities.

* Psionic Attacks: this form of resistance protects from attacks which inflict Karmic damage, such as an empathic hammer or psi bolt, as well as odd forms of psionic energy like spectral flames. This resistance also covers non-damaging psionic effects; if one's Intuition or Psyche may be used to resist such abilities, this resistance works against them at a minimum of that rank +1 CS.

* Deionic Attacks: deionic attacks are the staggeringly overwhelming abilities of immortal beings! Strictly speaking, this resistance offers protection against any attack which inflicts Deionic damage, but it can also affect the special abilities of the gods themselves. These may range from observation by deific abilities to dread curses from on high.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional greater resistances as they see fit, each increasing the cost of this ability as a whole by 4. For instance, a character with resistance to energy attacks may wish to add like resistance to, say, physical and metabolic assaults. This adds eight points to the cost of the first resistance, instead of the normal price for three distinct greater resistances.

Similarly, characters who learn greater resistances can master even more, doing so as power stunts off of the original source of such. The thing to keep in mind is that each resistance counts as one power for the purposes of maintenance. Thus, a sorcerer could conceivably acquire power stunts to cover all eight forms of assault, but could only maintain, at once, an amount equal to their normal simultaneous spell maximum.

Finally, a player may take a ranged form of greater resistance. A field effect version of a resistance functions within Very Near distance, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within this area of effect. This counts as an extreme enhancement to greater resistance, and adds 4 to its cost for each category of shared resistance (or reduces the net resistance intensity of each by -4 CS).

Growth / Self
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Growth is the ability to increase one's effective volume dramatically. This power functions relative to the normal human size, which is approximated in the Universal Heroes system as six foot tall (it makes for easier math). All characters are assumed to be at this height (give or take a few inches, obviously) unless they possess quirks to the contrary, or some sort of ability (like this one) to change their size.

Much larger entities will possess this power as a sort of explanation for their size; say our heroes encounter a race of giants, all of whom are twenty-four feet tall! Such individuals would have this power as a permanent, always-on ability, one that cannot be 'neutralized' by powers which affect super-human skills. These particular giants would have Good (10) ranked 'growth' at all times to showcase their size relative to normal beings.

A character that is at a larger than normal size may very well be subject to size factors. For every doubling of human height an entity possesses, they shall receive a +1 size factor (our giants, above, would have a +2 size factor). This size factor entails a combat adjustment to an enlarged foe when facing off against normal-sized opponents - and one for normal-sized opponents when tackling a being possessed of super-human volume.

How this works is that a normal-sized foe attacking a much larger opponent gains a +1 CS to hit for every +1 of size factor his or her foe possesses. Alternately, a giant-sized foe receives a -1 CS to hit normal-sized foes for each +1 size factor they possess - but they also receive a +1 CS to the damage they inflict, as well as 1 CS of damage reduction versus normal-sized foes for each +1 of size factor, as well.

For example, say a hero is facing off against a giant, extra-terrestrial robot that is forty-eight feet tall. Since it is eight times a normal human's size, this robot has a +3 size factor. It is at -3 CS to hit the hero, but benefits from a +3 CS to its damage when it does connect with him in battle, as well as 3 CS of damage reduction against his (effectively) smaller attacks. The hero, on the other hand, gains a +3 CS to hit his giant foe.

Similarly, each increment of size factor a character possesses adds an effective +1 CS enhancement to their lifting ability. Such characters have more 'muscle' to lift or otherwise apply force to objects, even after taking their own increase in mass into account. This isn't an actual Strength increase (it does not raise Health in and of itself), but better simulates a larger character's effects on their environment.

For instance, a hero with Good (10) rank growth and Good (10) rank Strength can quadruple their height, giving themselves a +2 size factor. While so enlarged, this hero benefits from a +2 CS to their Strength for lifting purposes, allowing them to heft up to one ton when necessary. Note that this does not further increase the damage an enlarged character inflicts in melee; that bonus was already described, above.

When dealing with characters who both possess a size factor, simply subtract the smaller character's size factor from the larger one to determine a net difference. If we pitted our alien robot against our giants, we'd have a size factor of 3 (the robot) versus the size factor of 2 (the giants) for a net difference of 1. The robot would deal with the giants (and vice versa) as if its size factor compared to them was but +1.

Growth by Rank
Growth
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Growth
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Feeble1.5x0Monstrous24x+4
Poor2x+1Unearthly32x+5
Typical3x+1Shift X64x+6
Good4x+2Shift Y128x+7
Excellent6x+2Shift Z256x+8
Remarkable8x+3Class 1k512x+9
Incredible12x+3Class 3k1024x+10
Amazing16x+4Class 5k2048x+11

The standard explanation for growth is that its wielder acquires the mass necessary to expand their volume from an extraplanar source. This simply means there's more of them than there was before, as this generic 'mass' is used to fill in the blanks to expand the growing character to their new volume. This allows a character using growth to function normally, immense size notwithstanding, in their environment.

Being 'stuck' at the size offered by growth is an extreme limitation, allowing for a four point reduction in the cost of this ability (point-based character generation) or a +4 CS in the overall power rank (random character generation). This is 'extreme' because it means the character cannot interact with human-sized objects at all, and must have all gear (including clothing!) made for someone of his or her immense volume.

Also: so much for that secret identity!

Keep in mind that justifying 'permanent' growth as a a psionic is especially tricky, and may possibly involve a flawed source of power. It would absolutely require immunity to normal annulment or subsequent shrinking, or else it wouldn't be all that much of a limitation to speak of. Without such 'immunities', this condition would be semi-permanent at best, and only count as a 'strong' limitation.

I

Imaginary Doubles
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

This curious ability allows its wielder to create transient doubles of themselves, false images that spring forth from his or her imagination! These images are constructed of audible sound and visible light, and as such may be perceived by electronic sensors as well as sentient beings. They are immaterial, and may not be affected by attacks that do not directly manipulate light or sound.

Characters with this ability may produce numerous duplicates at a time, the amount of such being equal to this rank number; for example, a character with Excellent (20) ranked imaginary doubles could manifest up to twenty doubles simultaneously. These are not actual doubles of their creator, and observers know for a fact that most of them are illusory in nature, but the trick is figuring out which one is 'real'.

If any.

Determining which version of the character is real requires passing an Intuition FEAT roll against this power rank; if successful, an observer can tell which one is the 'real' character. If not, he or she must identity the creator of the imaginary doubles through trial and error. This involves repeatedly picking one and hoping for the best; this is 1 in 21 odds for our Excellent (20) friend, above.

When first generated, imaginary doubles will manifest in the area their creator currently occupies, but can wander out from that location with Near range; this allows them to move about and fulfill their other purpose. In addition to befuddling would-be opponents, imaginary doubles serve an additional role as extensions of their creator's senses. Said creator can see and hear anything one of their duplicates can!

This provides the wielder of imaginary doubles a limited form of both clairaudience and clairvoyance. While limited in both range and in the fact that their observation can be detected, it means their creator can use them for a variety of purposes, including reconnaissance and search and rescue. While their creator can only actively follow one at a time, they can keep an 'eye' out for something specific through all their doubles.

While imaginary doubles typically will resemble their creator exactly (assuming an accurate self-image at the moment), their creator can make one different than the others if he or she chooses. This requires a red FEAT roll, and can be used to make an intentionally 'off' looking imaginary double (to fool people looking for the odd man out in a set) or to even provide oneself an impromptu wardrobe change.

This works by literally manifesting the double on top of oneself. Of course, if the doubler is wearing little (if anything) beneath, this can be particularly awkward if their power cuts out at the wrong moment!

Imaginary Mass
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The imaginary mass ability allows its possessor to dynamically apply artificial mass to his or her person, in response to external stimuli. What this means is, when force is applied to the character with this ability, they can reflexively increase their apparent mass to directly oppose said force. The character doesn't actually become heavier, but they sure seem like it to those attempting to move them.

For example, say someone shoves the possessor of imaginary mass. When this force is applied to them, the character immediately applies opposing force to keep themselves in place. Moving a wielder of the imaginary mass power requires overcoming its power rank first, as if the character had a similarly ranked weight. If the applied force cannot overcome the imaginary mass rank, its wielder won't budge.

Imaginary mass works equally well against brute force, telekinesis, kinetic control, or even gravity control powers. By itself, it is not useful against actual physical attack, though a resistance to such can be developed as a power stunt.

Intangibility
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Laughing at conventional physical boundaries, this ability confers the power to actually pass through other solid objects! While intangible, a character can walk through walls, other people, and even the ground if he or she feels the need. They can pass through any solid object, though the stronger it is (or the more powerful a force field is) the more difficult passing through it may prove to be.

This works by attempting a FEAT against its m.s. (or power rank of a coherent energy field) upon attempting to pass through it. Failed FEATs simply cause a seemingly intangible character to deflect off of the item as if they were not in such a state, while success indicates they may pass through it normally. The automatic FEAT rule should be in effect here, or the intangible character will have to roll every turn they use this power.

On the other hand, objects attempting to pass through an intangible character will automatically do so, no matter how great their material strength may be. This makes intangible characters invulnerable to physical and energy attacks, though they are still affected by the other six attack vectors (magic, psionics, and so on).

A character in an intangible state may not breathe, and must either bring a supply of air with them or hold their breath; if no air supply is available, the time they can hold their breath determines the duration of this ability.

One of the dangers of intangibility is re-materializing within a solid object. If this occurs, the character must immediately roll a Kill check; failure indicates that they fall unconscious, and begins to lose one Endurance rank per turn. Furthermore, they suffer damage equal to the m.s. of the object they materialized inside, and may cause it to break or, worse, be trapped in their own molecular structure!

Intangibility lends itself to power stunts. They include rendering others intangible (whether inside them or not at the time), making only part of one's body (in)tangible (usually requiring a red FEAT each time), disrupting energy fields by passing through them (a separate stunt for each type), and lightning strikes, becoming tangible only long enough to attack (only attacks attempted at the same initiative connect).

Invulnerability
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 8 points (flat cost), plus 2 points for each additional invulnerability

A character with this ability possesses complete immunity to any one attack form of their choice. This invulnerability can counter any one kind of attack listed within the Universal Heroes game, from blunt attacks to fire damage to mind control. When subjected to the chosen form of attack, a character with this ability may completely shrug it off - though others in his or her surroundings may not be so lucky.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional, specific invulnerabilities as he or she sees fit, each increasing the cost of this ability as a whole by 2. For instance, a character with invulnerability to cold attacks may wish to add an invulnerability to, say, corrosion, edged attacks, and electricity. This adds up to an effective cost of only 14, instead of paying the full price for all four.

Also, players may choose a form of this ability that they can share with their allies. A field effect version of an invulnerability functions within one area of its possessor, who may 'broadcast' it to anyone they choose inside this radius. This counts as an extreme enhancement to invulnerability, and essentially doubles the cost of the power overall. Note that reducing the effectiveness of invulnerabilities is not an option.

As an example, let us look at our hypothetical friend with four invulnerabilities, as described above. To gain the broadcast version of his or her invulnerabilities, they must increase the total cost of invulnerability by fourteen, making for a grand total of 28 points. Expensive, sure, but their teammates would certainly love having them around!

K

Kinetic Absorption
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 2 points per rank

This dynamic ability allows its wielder to absorb direct physical damage, and to subsequently wield the purloined energy in several different fashions. Physical damage, as defined by this power, is any attack which inflicts Blunt Attack, Blunt Throwing, Edged Attack, Edged Throwing, Shooting, or Force damage - any attack form which inflicts these kinds of damage may be affected by kinetic absorption.

Using kinetic absorption, its possessor may attempt a power FEAT each time he or she is struck by one of the above attack forms, against the intensity of the damage inflicted. If this FEAT roll is successful, the character may funnel the energy of this attack into a pool of power. This power pool can hold an amount of energy that is equal to the kinetic absorption power rank multiplied by five.

For example, wielding this ability at Excellent (20) rank allows one to store a one hundred point power pool. This pool of purloined energy is depleted with each special use of the power on a point-per-point basis, no matter how said power is being wielded. If one attempts to absorb physical attacks when their pool is full, the power will work normally but this excess energy is lost.

But what can one do with such absorbed damage? Its main use is to recover lost Health points, quickly healing inflicted damage (if any). It can also be used to 'pad' one's Health score with excess energy. When used in this fashion, kinetic absorption can up to double one's Health score. This energy may also be released as a force blast, inflicting power rank Force damage with each devastating attack.

Alternately, the energy purloined by kinetic absorption may be used to enhance one's physical ability scores, raising their Fighting, Agility, Strength, or Endurance. This boost lasts for 1d10 turns, after which point one's enhanced capabilities will return to normal. Enhanced abilities may be raised to the kinetic absorption power rank (if less than it in might) or by +1 CS (if equal to or greater than it in rank).

L

Lethality
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

While under the effect of lethality, a character's attacks are much deadlier. Any assault by them which inflicts damage but isn't inherently lethal will see its normal red result on the Universal Table replaced with a 'Kill?' result, instead. This prompts the target to attempt an Endurance FEAT roll on the Kill? column, to see whether or not they have been dealt a fatal blow, which will occur on a white or green result.

On the other hand, if attempting a deadly attack while lethality is active, any successful assault will instead prompt an Endurance FEAT roll against either the intensity of lethality or the damage its wielder inflicted, whichever of the two is higher. Failing this FEAT will automatically cause the victim to begin dying, losing one Endurance rank immediately - and possibly dying in very short order.

The benefit of lethality is a much greater frequency in the permanent disposal of one's enemies, though this can come at a cost. The law often frowns upon one so readily ending their foes, whether or not it may seem justified. And then there's the problem with Karma, particularly if 'four color' campaign rules are in effect. But if neither of these conditions are a worry, lethality can be a powerful tool for a character!

Longevity (Agelessness)
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: permanent
Cost: 1/2 point per rank

Thanks to this ability, certain characters can live far, far beyond what is considered a normal human life span. While not immortal, a character with longevity can survive through the ages - assuming no serious injury or disease claims him or her first. The length one's life span is extended depends on when they gained this power. If one is born with it, longevity will be applied as a multiple of a normal human's life span.

For instance, mythological dwarves naturally possess longevity. Thus, they apply the longevity multiplier against the age of seventy years (slightly higher than the actual average, but mathematically simpler). However, if one acquired this power later in life (through, say, a scientific accident), longevity will apply as a multiple of the standard life span minus the age at which they gained their longevity.

As an example, let us assume that a scientist develops an artificial aging suppressant, and administers it to herself as an experiment at the age of thirty-five. Having already spent half of her normal life span, she would apply the longevity multiplier to her normal life span minus her age, which is also thirty-five years.

But what is this longevity multiplier, you ask? Simply put, it is the longevity rank number cubed. The formula for longevity is as follows:

(normal lifespan (70) minus age longevity acquired) times power rank cubed = eventual lifespan

To show this formula at work, let us look at those dwarves from before. With their 'mere' Feeble (2) ranked longevity, we can determine their eventual lifespan by plugging numbers into the formula as described. Seventy (normal human life span) times eight (the rank number cubed) is five hundred and sixty years. That's not forever, but definitely allows for a very long life, compared to the average man on the street.

A more complicated example would be that chemist described above. Subtracting her age from a normal human life span, we wind up with thirty-five years remaining. If we assume a power rank of Good (10), we can plug in the numbers and go with thirty-five (life span minus her age) times one thousand (Good's rank number cubed) to come up with a result equal to thirty-five thousand years remaining on her life.

See, sometimes college can come in handy!

Of course, some might find all of this too complicated - or alternately, they may just want a character who does not age at all. By spending two slots on this power (random character creation) or by purchasing it at Class 5000 rank (point-based system, for eight points), one can instead have what is called Agelessness instead of mere Longevity. This means your character will never die of old age.

Either due to the natural progression of time or because of the aging power!

M

Metabolic Focus
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: special
Cost: 1 point per rank

Something of a self-destructive ability, metabolic focus allows one to cannibalize their own bodily energies to enhance their super human abilities. For each point of Health the wielder of this ability sacrifices, they may add a direct, one point boost to the rank of any power they desire. This lost Health is gone, and must be healed normally (a good reason to also have regeneration, or to hang out with a healer).

The duration of this enhancement, whether applied to an instantaneous or maintainable power, is 1d10 turns - most often enough to last for the duration of a battle, but not always. There's no limit to the number of times one can enhance a power with metabolic focus, though the amount of enhancement per use is limited to either the metabolic focus power rank or the enhanced power's rank +1 CS, whichever of the two is higher.

O

Organs
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Using organs, one can grow themselves additional body parts. These can be anything real or imagined, ranging from arms to legs to hearts to adrenal glands to whatever else. Parts added to one's body are transient in nature, only lasting while this art is maintained. Extra body parts usually have a set benefit, though one can stack the effect with redundant additions, counting as one maintained power for each bonus provided.

Some of the more common effects that this art can produce include the following:

P

Pain
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

This useful ability allows its wielder to generate subtle bio-electric signals, which resonate in the nervous systems of others within Very Near distance. These signals, when grounded in the bodies of others, cause them to experience great pain - albeit with no apparent source of injury. If one fails an Endurance (res) FEAT roll against this power rank, they will suffer the effect of an inflicted Stun result.

Naturally, the high and low pain tolerance quirks will modify this FEAT roll accordingly.

While in a pain-induced stun, victims of this power can do little other than react to the overwhelming stimulus. This may involve writhing uncontrollably on the ground, screaming in blood-curdling agony, or fleeing the scene in a panic. Those affected by this power may attempt a new FEAT roll to resist each turn, until the effect has ceased or they have left the area of its generator.

The pain power is a great way to neutralize opponents without physically harming them. Sure, they may not be happy about the use of this ability, but it beats broken bones and bullet wounds. Of course, seriously abusing this power can lead its victims to ultimately developing strange mental quirks as a result, but that's usually as a result of overexposure to its effects - not just day to day usage.

Pain itself can be used on either one person or on everyone within its area of effect. The latter reduces its intensity by -2 CS but otherwise works the same.

Personal Weaponry
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

The personal weaponry ability is one with which its wielder may develop all manner of 'natural' weapons to fight their battles. These can range from claws to horns to battle tails to quills to razor skin to fangs to... whatever really. A character may develop as many forms of weapons as he or she feels the need for, but each manifested weapon counts as one spell or psionic for the purposes of power maintenance.

Similarly, personal weaponry can be enhanced with a variety of special effects. Each of these also count as one maintained power, but can apply to any weapons the character has active at a given time (their choice where multiple weapons and enhancements are concerned). Such 'enhancements' include the corrosion, disease, poison, and rotting powers, among many others that 'fit' such a theme.

Personal weapons that inflict Blunt Attack damage cause one's Strength (might) +1 CS in damage, while those that cause Edged Attack damage simply work at the Strength (might) rank; the latter trades raw output potential for lethality. Special effects (corrosion, etc). function at the personal weaponry rank regardless of the Strength that backs them up, for they merely use physical weaponry as a delivery mechanism.

Philosophical Sense
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

This curious sensory power allows its wielder to look into the very hearts and minds of those around him or her, to sense where their morality lies. It can be used to perceive whether a specific entity leans towards a Good, Evil, Orderly, Chaotic, or Balanced mindset - or if they rest somewhere between these philosophical extremes. It can be used to probe a specific target or everything within Near distance.

The former will indicate the philosophy of its target, while the latter will only indicate the overall nature of the area scanned. If someone is attempting to mask their philosophical nature from others, this spell must defeat the intensity of the masking power(s) before it can determine anything specific about an individual's morality first.

Keep in mind that a 'blank' reading doesn't mean someone's hiding their nature... it could just mean they're philosophically neutral.

Plant Hybridization / Self
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Plant hybridization is the process of transforming oneself into flora of any type. This involves an innate familiarity with the biological processes of said plant, which lets the character with this ability mold their own bodily functions and anatomy until it changes from its original state into the new one. Such transformations may be either partial (adopting some traits of the plant) or complete (adopting the full form of the plant).

A partial transformation allows the wielder of this ability to pick and choose which facets of their anatomy are changed; one might simply want the redolence of the carrion flower, instead of changing into one completely. This allows one to use plant hybridization in a more exacting fashion if desired, either adopting physical capabilities or simply changing one's appearance for purely cosmetic reasons (like assuming leafy 'hair').

A complete transformation, on the other hand, lets one totally change their body into the desired plant form. In this state, the character with plant hybridization may wield any of the inherent 'powers' a plant possesses (such as poisonous personal weaponry, or damage resisting bark). The transformed character typically won't possess physical statistics, but will retain their mental characteristics.

Despite having adopted the form of something that, as a general matter of rule, lacks a brain entirely.

When first gained, this ability's possessor may originally only transform into one specific kind of plant, but may adopt additional transformations (into different plants) as a power stunt - for each - at their leisure. Typically, 'powers' gained by the use of this ability are limited to the plant hybridization rank in effectiveness - save for powers, such as personal weaponry, which have no specific rank to speak of.

Plasticity
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

Plasticity is a trait which makes one's body malleable and, well, plastic. In such a state, a character can stretch and deform their body as they see fit, maintaining their normal bodily processes all the while. Plasticity itself does not allow one to change their volume; to do that, one must also possess the elongation power, an ability which is often seen in tandem with this one (but is itself quite different).

A plastic character is more durable than normal, where incoming damage is concerned. This ability grants its possessor power rank resistance to Blunt Attack, Blunt Throwing, Force, and Shooting attacks, the energy of such assaults being harmlessly absorbed by the character's malleable body. This capability also allows one to similarly absorb falling damage, whether the plastic character is falling or catching someone else who is.

Mind you, plasticity always 'absorbs' damage by redirecting it back at its source, albeit at its original intensity -2 CS. Falling from a great height will likely cause a plastic character to bounce, while they will reflexively carom bullets back towards their source. One can even use a plastic character as a living slingshot, propelling items as if they were thrown at up to the plasticity's power rank in Strength!

Poison
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

The insidious power of poison allows its wielder to secrete chemical compounds that are antithetical to most organic life. When this ability is first gained, its possessor may exude any one form of poison the player chooses. Additional forms of poison may be gained either as power stunts or as additional versions of the poison power - this only matters if one wants differing forms of toxicity now or later.

Each form of poison will affect its target at this power's rank, usually prompting an Endurance (res) FEAT roll to resist. There are a wide variety of poisons, however, and a character with this ability must develop their own customized poison power based on three variables: the delivery mechanism, the effects the poison has on the biological processes of its target, and the onset time.

An inhaled poison is one that the target must breathe in to be exposed to its effects. The poisoner can typically emit poisonous particles from his or her body, whether the skin, their own lungs upon exhalation, or some specific body part. This form of poison can be avoided by not breathing it in, though a colorless and odorless poison may be difficult to detect - at least, until it is too late.

A contact poison is one that is absorbed through the skin to work its 'magic'. Such a toxin is typically issued forth from one's skin or a physical weapon of some sort. This form of poison can be applied directly to the target or something they might touch, though in the latter case such a poison will lose effectiveness over time, as the elements, circumstance, or even its own molecular structure conspire to dilute its strength.

Injected poisons are those which must enter the bloodstream somehow to affect the target. This form of poison is often delivered through a hypodermic needle or perhaps a bladed object. Swords, arrows, and even natural weaponry excel for these purposes. An injected poison usually has a very rapid onset time, since it need not pass through the lungs or digestive tract on the way to its final destination.

Poisons of the ingested sort are those which must be consumed by the target to affect them. These can be the hardest to deliver in a combat situation, as one must generally force their ingestion, possibly with surprise. At the same time, one can most readily use this power on a foe when they are caught unawares, dosing the target's food or water supply when they're not looking.

The inhaled form of poison is considered the default mode of this power, and functions within Very Near range of others. Wielding a contact form of poison is considered a weak limitation, an injected form of poison is a strong limitation, and a poison that must be ingested counts as a very strongly limited power. This allows one to build a very deadly toxin, depending on how difficult it is to deliver.

Of course, one must determine what their poison will do once it affects the target. The simplest form of poison is one which inflicts non-specific, SD Metabolic damage. This is representative of a chemical that does damage to the target's organs and tissues in the course of moving through their body, though it isn't very detailed - which is on purpose, for those without a biochemistry degree.

If a player wishes to devise a specific poison, modeled on real life compounds, these can be researched and built appropriately. Such 'realistic' poisons will usually trade some of the previously described damage for different effects, as determined by the player and the Judge. Cyanide might cause suffocation, while nerve gas will cause paralysis - these toxins and many more are possible using the poison power.

Finally, a player must determine the onset time of their poison. The standard mode of the poison power calls for an immediate effect. However, the power can be limited by delaying the onset time for 1d10 turns as a weak limitation, 1d10 minutes as a strong limitation, or even 1d10 hours as a very strong limitation. Such delayed onset times aren't very applicable to combat, but are great for harming others without notice!

R

Regeneration / Self
Type: Empathic Art, Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 2 points per rank

Characters possessing this ability recover from inflicted damage far faster than ordinary folks. Instead of the normal healing rate, a character with this ability will heal damage at a rate equal to their regeneration rank every minute. This is divided up on a turn by turn basis, so the amount of Health a regenerating character will recover each turn is equal to their regeneration rank number divided by ten.

For example, characters with Incredible (40) ranked regeneration will heal four lost Health points per turn. If a character possesses regeneration at a rank that is less than Good (10), they won't actually heal lost Health points each turn. For instance, a character with Feeble (2) regeneration would only heal back two points per minute, so they'd actually gain one Health point every five turns, instead.

All of this assumes that the character who regenerates isn't actually suffering continuous damage. If the cause of damage is still being applied (say, because your character is on fire), regeneration cannot occur until the damage is no longer being inflicted. Regeneration occurs at the beginning of a turn, but will not apply if damage from a previous turn carries over into the next (SD damage can be a bane to regenerators).

Resistance
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1/2 point per rank, plus 1 point for each additional resistance

A character with this ability has its rank in resistance to an attack form of their choice. This resistance can oppose any kind of assault within the Universal Heroes game, from edged attacks to electrical damage to mind control. When subjected to the chosen form of attack, a character with this ability may subtract its rank number from the incoming effect's intensity or damage, which may be enough to negate it entirely.

If a character has a resistance that 'defaults' to a standard ability score (e.g., Intuition versus emotion control), this ability will have a minimum rank equal to that ability score +1 CS - otherwise, determine a rank for this resistance normally.

During character generation, a player has the option of adding additional, specific resistances as he or she sees fit, each increasing the cost of this ability by 1. For instance, a character with resistance to fire attacks may wish to add a resistance to, say, cold, blunt attacks, poison, and disease. This adds four to the final cost of the 'base' resistance, instead of the normal cost for five distinct resistances.

Also, players may choose a form of this ability that they can share with their allies. A field effect resistance functions with a range determined on the Very Near range table, but can be 'broadcast' to anyone the character chooses within that distance. This counts as an extreme enhancement to resistance, and either adds 2 to the cost for each shared resistance or subtracts -4 CS from its final rank (for all ranged resistances).

As an example, let us look at our friend with five resistances, as described above. To gain the broadcast version of their resistances, they must either increase the total cost of their resistances by ten (before the actual rank of said resistances), or reduce the final effective resistance to all five attack forms by -4 CS.

Characters who acquire resistances as wizardry or psionics can master even more, doing so as power stunts off of the original source of such. The thing to keep in mind is that each resistance counts as one power for the purposes of maintenance. So, our hero with the above resistances could activate all five resistances if desired, but this would require being able to maintain five spells or psionics simultaneously.

S

Shape Change
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: instantaneous effect
Cost: 1 point per rank

This is the root ability of the metapsi discipline of power.

The shape change ability allows a character to radically alter their very form. A shape changer can assume the form of literally anything they can think of, whether this is an abstract geometric shape, a plant or animal of any sort, or all manner of inanimate objects. This ability is bound by four major constraints, each of which can be worked around with the liberal use of power stunts or other super human abilities.

Of course, the main consideration while shape changing is that of relative accuracy. A white FEAT will allow a shape changer to assume the general form they were aiming for, though they're clearly not the 'real deal' (a television covered in flesh). A green FEAT gets them near the target shape, though a close inspection will reveal the truth (those knobs on the television look like toes). A yellow FEAT allows for a perfect duplication.

Nominally, a character who has changed shape will retain that form indefinitely. It only takes a few seconds to actually change one's shape (one action), but the results are permanent - at least, until the shape changer wishes to return to their normal form. They can do this automatically... unless this ability is negated somehow. If this happens, one may be 'stuck' in their new form until shape changing capability is restored.

Shape change is a gateway of sorts to acquire a large variety of physical powers, but each of these must be mastered as a separate power stunt. Learning how to harden one's bits so they can function as physical weaponry - without breaking and causing oneself injury upon use - isn't easy. But a shape changer can 'learn' how to simulate anything from natural weapons to flight to body armor to whatever else makes sense.

The second constraint of shape change is that its wielder is bound by their own volume. They can transform into a perfect replica of a Giganotosaurus carolinii, but will still be about human (or whatever) sized. Shape change alone cannot alter one's volume by more than fifty percent either way, but growth or shrinking (as either power stunts or separate abilities altogether) can ignore this limitation.

Shape change's third constraint is a matter of anatomical cohesion. They can turn into a mess of clockwork gears, but a shape changer cannot actually separate into distinct bits; the gears will actually be one solid piece, though the illusion of motion can be created with a constant application of shape change. This limitation can be bypassed with the detachable parts ability (as either a power stunt or a separate power).

Finally, shape change cannot, by itself, transform the nature of one's biology. One can turn into a maple tree but that tree will still bleed upon being pierced, instead of oozing sap. Animal and/or plant hybridization can cover gaps such as these, while transformation / self allows a shape changer to literally turn into a specific material instead of just faking it (as with body armor, above).

These abilities, as per the previous, can be learned as power stunts of or be used with shape change, if a character has them as independent powers.

Shrinking / Self
Type: Metapsi Talent
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 1 point per rank

Shrinking is the ability to decrease one's effective volume dramatically. This power functions relative to the normal human size, which is approximated in the Universal Heroes system as six-foot tall (it makes for easier math). All characters are assumed to be at this height (give or take a few inches, obviously) unless they possess quirks to the contrary, or some sort of ability (like this one) to change their size.

Entities that are naturally smaller will possess this power as a justification for their size; say our heroes encounter a race of pixies, all of whom are four inches tall! Such individuals would have this power as a permanent, always-on ability, one that cannot be 'neutralized' by powers which affect super-human skills. Pixies in particular have Good (10) ranked 'shrinking' at all times to showcase their size relative to normal beings.

A character that is at a smaller than normal size may very well be subject to size factors. For every halving of human height an entity possesses, they shall receive a -1 size factor (our pixies, above, would have a -4 size factor). This size factor entails a combat adjustment to a shrunken foe when facing off against normal-sized opponents - and one for normal-sized opponents when tackling a being possessed of such small stature.

How this works is that a normal-sized opponent attacking a diminutive foe (or one that's naturally small) suffers a -1 CS to hit for every -1 of size factor that foe possesses, but they also receive a +1 CS to whatever damage they inflict. Conversely, a tiny-sized foe receives a +1 CS to hit normal-sized foes for each -1 size factor they possess, but suffer a -1 CS penalty to the damage they might cause.

For example, say a hero is facing off against a swarm of super-powered, inch-long Australian bulldog ants. Being about 1/64th of a normal human's 'height', the ants possess a -6 size factor. The hero is at -6 CS to hit them, but benefits from a +6 CS damage boost upon striking them. They, on the other hand, may strike the hero at a +6 CS to hit. They may inflict -6 CS damage, but there's lots of them...

Similarly, each decrease in a character's size factor applies an effective -1 CS reduction in their lifting ability. Such characters have less 'muscle' to lift or otherwise apply force to objects, even after taking their own, decreased in mass into account. This isn't an actual Strength decrease (it does not lower Health in and of itself), but better simulates a smaller character's effects on their environment.

For instance, a hero with Poor (4) rank shrinking and Good (10) rank Strength can quarter their height, giving themselves a -2 size factor. While so diminished, this hero suffers from a -2 CS to their Strength for lifting purposes, allowing them to lift only one hundred pounds (instead of one ton). Note that this does not further reduce the damage a shrunken character inflicts in melee; that penalty was already described, above.

When dealing with characters who both possess a size factor, simply subtract the smaller character's size factor from the larger one to determine a net difference. If we pitted those pixies against our bulldog ants, we'd have a size factor of -4 (the pixies) versus the size factor of -6 (the ants) for a net difference of 2. The pixies would be treated as if they were of a normal size, and the ants as if they had a 'mere' -2 size factor.

Shrinking by Rank
Shrinking
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Shrinking
Rank
Size
Multiplier
Size
Factor
Feeble1/2x-1Monstrous1/512x-9
Poor1/4x-2Unearthly1/1024x-10
Typical1/8x-3Shift X1/2048x-11
Good1/16x-4Shift Y1/4096x-12
Excellent1/32x-5Shift Z1/8192x-13
Remarkable1/64x-6Class 1k1.048 million x-20
Incredible1/128x-7Class 3k1.073 billion x-30
Amazing1/256x-8Class 5k1.099 trillion x-40

Fun Fact 1: the smallest thing the human eye can see is .1 millimeters in size, or approximately .004 inches. Shrinking beyond Shift Z rank will reduce a normal human below this size, and anything this small or smaller is not directly visible. Of course, if they're glowing with energy this may mitigate the problem some, but foes that are effectively invisible because of size are at a further -4 CS to be hit.

Fun Fact 2: shrinking of Class 1000 rank reduces a normal human to 1.8 micrometers in size, smaller than most cells. Class 3000 shrinking makes a human about 1.7 nanometers in height, enabling interaction with individual molecules, and Class 5000 shrinking reduces one to 1.6 picometers, allowing them to rest easy inside the structure of an atom. Further shrinking shifts someone into a 'femtoverse'.

The standard explanation for shrinking is that its wielder contracts his or her volume by storing their mass in an extradimensional space of some sort. This simply means there's less of them than there was before, as their bodily mass is stowed away to reduce the shrinking character to their new volume. This allows a character using shrinking to function normally, tiny size notwithstanding, in their environment.

The loss of mass and atoms will not be readily apparent at first, at least until a character is reduced to Class 1000 size, at which point their very form will become simpler as far fewer molecules are left to represent it. At Class 5000 rank, the character will consist of a single remaining particle, and further shrinking will blip them off into a random femtoverse, a subatomic space where physics may be bizarre indeed.

Being 'stuck' at the size offered by shrinking is considered an extreme limitation, allowing for a four point reduction in the cost of this ability (point-based character generation) or a +4 CS in the overall power rank (random character generation). This is 'extreme' because it means the character cannot interact with human-sized objects at all, and must have all gear (including clothing!) made for someone of their tiny volume.

Consider that justifying 'permanent' shrinking as a psionic would be especially tricky, and possibly involve a 'booby trapped' source of the power. It would absolutely require immunity to normal annulment or subsequent growth, or else it wouldn't be all that much of a limitation to speak of. Without such 'immunities', this condition would be semi-permanent at best, and only count as a 'strong' limitation.

Stasis
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

The ability of stasis allows its wielder to place their body in a state of suspended animation. What this means is, while so suspended, the character with this ability need not eat, drink, sleep, or breathe, as their body is doing literally nothing at all. While in stasis, the character is physically inert, and will thus appear dead for all intents and purposes - however freshly so their body may seem.

While this ability is active, its possessor will have a vague awareness of conditions outside their body, but won't be conscious, per se. This means that one can enter stasis if the situation in their vicinity has become life-threatening, and then end their stasis when the coast is clear. Similarly, one can 'program' the ability to wake them up after so much time has passed, though this process is never quite exact.

There is no ultimate, terminal duration tied to this ability. One can conceivably put themselves under for years, if not centuries at a time, if they wish. Mind you, this may put a serious crimp in one's social life, having to make up for lost time over and over. But sometimes, when the world is falling apart all around you, simply going to sleep until it fixes itself just might seem like a good idea.

Super Senses
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

Super senses are just what they sound like - a human's ordinary sensory ability heightened to a super-human degree.

How this works is that Intuition FEATs based on sensory input will be made at either a +1 CS or super senses rank, whichever is higher. Furthermore, the effective sensory range of a character with super senses is improved by one area; in other words, they wait one more area before applying negative Column Shifts.

Of course, that's not all. Each super sense provides additional abilities above and beyond their heightened range.

These extra abilities function at the super senses' rank. The only real downside to super senses is that they make their bearer more subject to sensory assault. Blinding attacks, piercing sounds, and even noxious odors can easily flatten a character with super senses, as they suffer a -2 CS to resist such assaults. This can be overcome with the screened senses ability, but it inflicts a -1 CS on all enhanced senses.

One thing to keep in mind is that one need not have all of their senses function at a super human level. Each 'super' sense one removes from this power counts as one step of limitation, either adding a +1 CS to its operating rank or reducing its cost by two points. For example, a character who only wanted super vision would subtract eight points from the cost of this power, or would add a +4 CS to its effective rank.

Super Speed
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 3 points per rank

A character with super speed may complete actions dramatically faster than others. This can work through a variety of different mechanisms, ranging from an augmented nervous system to something as exotic as living in an accelerated temporal frame. Regardless of how the power works for a character, super speed produces the same result: it gives its wielder the ability to do anything quick.

In essence, the possessor of this ability divides the amount of turns it takes them to do anything by this power rank number. Let us consider a villain with Remarkable (30) ranked super speed. Assuming he has Typical (6) Strength (vgr), he can leisurely walk at a pace that will carry him forty-five areas in a single minute (as opposed to the one and a half without super speed). That's sixty-seven and a half miles per hour!

If a character with super speed attempts to run, he or she can increase their movement speed even further. This works by shifting the character's walking intensity over to the air speed column, instead. Our villain with the Typical (6) Strength (vgr) score would thus move at 135 MPH (between Good and Excellent, as his ground speed was), while another with capped walking speed but like super speed would move at 225 MPH!

Keep in mind that super speed does not include super stamina. Running at top speed is just as difficult for a speedster as it is for anyone else without additional powers. Lacking additional ascendant abilities to back super speed up, a speedster is limited to short bursts of enhanced velocity. Even without outside help, however, such bursts of speed let a body cover ground astoundingly fast.

When super speed is combined with other travel powers, though, one can keep up a heightened rate of speed for as long as the other movement ability can operate. In game terms, this allows such powers to move up one speed category when paired with super speed. Super running and super swimming will operate on the air speed column, while flight will be upgraded to the space speed column. Not bad, eh?

Mind you, super speed is useful for more than just covering distance. The power is great when applied to tasks that take a very long time, such as construction, invention, surgery - and more. When one can reduce a task that should take weeks down to just a few hours, they can get a whole lot done - possibly meaning they only need to work a few hours out of the month (or out of the year, with sufficiently potent super speed).

Super speed applies to combat, also. For every rank in super speed a character has, they are allowed an additional attack each turn. Thus, our villain with the above, Remarkable (30) super speed can attack six additional times each turn. When used against multiple opponents (say, one attack per person), such attacks are resolved normally. However, when one foe is the exclusive focus of a super speedster, things can get messy.

Multiple attacks focused on a single opponent at super speed are always considered bursting, applying a +1 CS for each doubling of attacks (always round down). These attacks against a single foe may be resolved with one die roll for simplicity's sake, or rolled out individually - though the latter may take a while. With a Strength (mgt) score of Typical (6), our example villain's seven punches would ultimately inflict +2 CS damage!

The above assumes the character with super speed can normally attack once per turn. If they are granted extra attacks elsewhere, add these attacks to the amount which is granted by super speed. If our villainous speedster also had Remarkable (30) ranked Fighting score, he could add one more attack with a yellow multiple actions FEAT roll, bumping him up to another +1 CS of bursting damage against a single opponent!

Speedsters most often attack with their bare hands, because while they have super speed, their gear almost never does. Attacking someone with a weapon at super speed puts just as much stress on the weapon as it does whatever is being hit. This stress prompts a m.s. check that must be made on the item being used in melee combat against the overall damage caused - if it fails, the weapon will break during the burst of attacks.

With a sufficiently durable weapon, however, or even just considerable physical strength, a character with super speed can often dish out astonishing damage in the blink of an eye. Damage that is incredibly hard to defend against when you can't even make out the movements of your assailant. Those concerned about inflicting lethal harm upon their foes may wish to keep this in mind before attacking at top speed.

Super Synesthesia
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 4 points (flat cost)

Technically speaking, synesthesia isn't a super power, so much as a neurological disorder where sensory input of one type causes involuntary, confusing data to be perceived by another sense entirely. Numbers or letters might always appear as colors, words may evoke flavors in one's mind, or in the extreme certain sights and images may reliably induce consistent sounds that the person with this disorder will hear.

Super synesthesia, on the other hand, is an entirely voluntary process. This involves the wielder of this ability momentarily rewiring their brain such that one form of sensory data may be interpreted by a different sensory processor. They might hear colors, or perhaps see scents, or even taste sound. The person using this ability may do so in a fashion that allows them to more easily process data in an alternate fashion.

The practical benefit of this is that, when studying phenomena of some sort, the character with super synesthesia can look at it in a multitude of ways, possibly gleaning information in this fashion that wouldn't readily be apparent otherwise. When seeing sound, for instance, one might more readily pick out noise in certain frequencies if they can see the disturbance it causes, rather than trying to play it by ear (so to speak).

The 'game' benefit of super synesthesia can be tricky to nail down, depending on the situation, but if all else fails, simply apply a +1 CS to applicable Intuition FEAT rolls made with this ability.

Super synesthesia, in its standard form, costs four points. Each step of limitation applied will reduce this by one point (to the normal minimum of one point).

T

Transformation / Self
Type: Metapsi Art
Duration: 1d10 turns + maintenance, if desired
Cost: 2 points per rank

Transformation is the ability to radically change the molecular makeup of one's body. When this ability is first gained, the character possessing it may transform into any one material or energy of their choice. Additional forms, if desired, must be acquired either as power stunts or as additional 'versions' of the transformation ability. Transformation gives a character the physical characteristics of whatever they transform into.

Transforming into a solid material gives one an effective material strength (and thus, body armor) equal to either its m.s. or the transformation rank, whichever is less. While in a solid state, the character may move about and behave normally, even though they're made from an otherwise rigid material. They may have unanticipated effects upon the environment, however (a person made of lead is very, very heavy).

A character who transforms into a liquid can flow like a fluid, easily moving through tight spaces and around objects as is necessary. Characters in a liquid state can readily change their shape, approximating a human form or pooling up however else they wish. While liquid, a character gains the benefit of 1 CS damage reduction against physical attacks, as much of the energy of such will flow right through the character.

Transforming into a gaseous material allows one to move through tight spaces much like a liquid can, with the added option of flight. A gaseous character can fly at any speed, with a maximum equal to this power rank. Gaseous characters benefit from 2 CS of damage reduction against most physical attacks (see below). They can billow out to fill an entire area, or condense their bodies into a generally human size.

Finally, a character may transform into a coherent energy field. When energetic, a character may wield a transformation rank -2 CS version of the appropriate energy generation power, no matter what kind of energy is transformed into. An energy state has the benefit of being able to fly as if moving through space, and possesses 3 CS of damage reduction against physical attacks of any variety.

While transformed, a character may also possess special abilities based on their new form's composition. Ice is brittle, but the character in an ice form can emit waves of numbing cold. Acid can dissolve many materials, particularly metallic ones. Uranium is inherently radioactive, and the character can release it in battle. Poison gas can easily kill a room full of people. Light can fly at light speed. And so on.

These abilities work at the transformation rank or their 'usual' rank, whichever is appropriate (one cannot rationally reduce light speed, for instance). The other benefit to transformation is that, while transformed, the character so changed has nothing even close to a standard biology, and thus may forego eating, drinking, breathing, and even sleep as if they wielded similarly potent environmental independence.

On the other hand, a transformed character is also vulnerable to attacks that would easily damage their new form's composition. An ice man would wilt before a blast furnace, while one made of metal would easily buckle against a splash of acid, and another made of air would be blown asunder by strong winds. Such attacks affect the character as if they possessed a level 1 allergy against them (they inflict +2 CS damage).

When taking damage in a transformed state, a character can visibly show serious damage, and even be shattered, but can transform back to a normal state as long as they're not slain. They may be a bit worse for the wear upon changing back (Health point loss, and so on), but such damaged characters will otherwise be fine. A transformed character's 'core' usually rests with the largest mass of their material.

One trick transformers can attempt is to only partially transform their bodies. This is considered a power stunt, but allows the character to pull off certain maneuvers when a full transformation would otherwise be inconvenient. Making one's fingertips change into flames is a great trick at parties, and a way to start minor fires without completely igniting oneself, for example.

U

Unyielding Will
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The power of unyielding will describes the ability to impose one's will upon their body, overriding bodily processes to curtail incoming damage to an extent. How this works is that, while unyielding will is active, its wielder possesses resistance to any form of damage - whether physical, magical, or even deific. If an effect can inflict damage, unyielding will can act to oppose it.

This opposition represents the wielder of this ability using his or her resolve to temporarily counter harm to their person, consciously preventing blood from leaking out of lost wounds and directly maintaining the integrity of various tissues. The power can 'soak up' an amount of damage that is equal to its power rank, at which point it can absorb no more - at least, until the character with unyielding will relaxes this ability.

When they do so, the inflicted wounds will immediately appear across their body, albeit in a lesser form; the damage from each attack suffered will be reduced by -2 CS when it finally manifests on the character. This is representative of the triage of sorts the character performed upon the body when being wounded in the first place, their actions having actually helped to suffer less long term harm than expected.

Once the possessor of unyielding will has released all this pent-up damage, it can again be used to absorb a like amount of pain and suffering.

Note that damage which exceeds the power rank of unyielding will affects the character normally. For example, say a character with Incredible (40) ranked unyielding will is struck with an Amazing (50) intensity attack. The power will 'absorb' forty points of that, leaving them ten points of damage. When the power is relaxed, they'll also suffer the amount they soaked up (Incredible (40)) -2 CS in damage as well.

Z

Zest
Type: Metapsi Skill
Duration: maintenance
Cost: 1 point per rank

The character with zest tenaciously clings to life, seemingly to an unnatual degree. While zest is active, its possessor benefits from a +1 CS bonus to any effort to avoid harm, whether it involves attempting a defensive maneuver, a roll to resist the damaging capabilities of untargeted powers, or FEATs to shake off effects that inflict continuous damage after they have initially taken hold in the character.

Furthermore, zesty folks gain a +1 CS bonus when rolling to resist Kill? results. Failing this, if the character with zest is losing Endurance ranks due to a killing blow, they may attempt a free FEAT to staunch the loss of such every other turn - no Karma required! Finally, if one falls to Shift 0 Endurance and dies, zest allows them to be revived up to a number of minutes afterwards equal to their power rank number.

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