Alas, Alack and Alay

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Sorry for the lack of posting here and on Google Plus and Twitter. Due to complication from sleep apnea, my overall health has been in decline for a number of weeks. This weekend will be an effort to get lots of rest.

When I feel better, I hope to have a ghost generator for ACKS suitable for use with or without the Psioncist stuff I'm working on. Ghosts are so configurable, you can have almost all the monsters you need for a campaign using just them. I know that shadows are not ghosts, but I am making them similar for the purposes of the generator and the psionicist stuff. To make an analogy of what I have in mind -  Shadows are to ghosts what zombies are to Vampires.

No promises on ETA. I am not sure when I will be feeling better. I am spending more time doing the positive things to help (better food choices, regular exercise, seeing the doctor about adjusting the CPAP, etc.). I have lost about 10 pounds, and that helps a lot.

Until next time, I really hope this is my last personal post ever.

Wild Talents for the ACKS Psionicist

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At one time, I had about 20 wild talents. I whittled them down to a handful. The main reason for this was that I didn’t want a first level character with a Wild Talent to be a vastly more powerful than other characters. The idea of characters with wild talents is that they can do some unusual things, but nothing as powerful as a magic missile or similar spells.

Wild Talents

Those with wild talents cannot perform psionic attacks, but can use psionic defense. Another psionic creature cannot use psionic powers against a character with a wild talent until the character with a wild talent has lost one round of psionic combat and taken power point damage. Despite the fact that a character with a wild talent does not have any power points, they must have less than zero power points, just like psionic characters, before psionic powers affect them.

To determine the presence of a Wild Talent, roll 2d20 and add the ability score bonuses for Wisdom and Charisma. Any roll 40+ indicates a wild talent. This roll can be made at any time, but only once in a character’s life.
Wild Talents are added to characters of any class as a proficiency. It is up to the GM if this will be added as a general or class proficiency. I prefer to add them in lieu of a class proficiency.

This power allows a character to move at a faster rate for one round. To determine the new movement rate, treat the character as if he or she has 3 less stone in encumbrance. If a character has less than 5 stone encumbrance, the combat movement rate will be 50? per round and the running movement rate will be 150? per round. This power can only be manifested once per hour and no more than four times a day.

With this power, the character will know which direction is North. This knowledge prevents the character from becoming lost. The individual with this talent will gain a +4 to save against any spell or spell-like effect that creates disorientation.

Control Shadow
With this power a character can manipulate any normal shadow within 30? (usually their own) like a puppet. This power will not affect Shadows listed in the Monster section of the core rulebook.

Detect Poison
With this power, a character can determine if an object or creature he is touching contains poison or has been poisoned.

This power allows a character to transform any non-intelligent object into any raw substance or plant. Regardless of the character’s skills, the result of an exchange cannot be a manufactured item like a sword, a table, a meal or even a bolt of cloth. Common items created by an exchange include grain, trees, stone, even small quantities of gold or uncut gemstone. During the transformation, some value is lost. This means that turning lead to gold will never be profitable.  The rationale for turning any object into gold is that it is worth losing some value to transform a barrel of preserved fruit, a heavy treasure, into a small quantity of gold, a much lighter treasure.

One common story tells of a man that overcame a powerful orc warlord. When the orc died, the man took the orc’s magic sword and transformed it into enough grain for the people of nearby villages to eat until the next harvest season.

Results of Proficiency Roll
Roll — Pct. Value Lost
1 — 100
2-6 — 75
7-14 — 50
15-19 — 25
20 — 10

This power allows a chosen object within 30? to float on any liquid. Roll 2d6 on the following table to determine the amount of weight that the power can affect:

2 — One small item
3-5 — One stone
6-8 — Two stone
9-10 — Three stone
11 — Four stone
12 — Five stone

This power will allow a character to catch any one missile weapon throw at him or her. The character must make a successful saving throw vs. Staff & Wands to catch the missile. The character will not be able to do anything else in a round besides catch the missile weapon. When the character declares that he or she will be using this wild talent, he or she will act last in a combat round and will not roll to determine initiative.
It should go without saying, but this power provides no benefit for catching boulders thrown by giants or other large creatures. It's not catching the boulder that's tricky, it catching it and not being crushed by it that is difficult.

Potential Additions:

Argentum Touch
This powers causes a weapon to do damage as if made of silver.

Use of this talent is limited to once per day for characters of any class except psionicists. Psionicists with this wild talent can use it once per level.

Note: Lycanthropes are traditionally vulnerable to silver weapons. In some myths, mostly modern ones, vampire are also allergic to silver. For this power to be useful, a campaign must have some creatures vulnerable to silver. Another idea for this is to create a separate form of animated corpse that are not traditional undead. These unalive creatures can be radically different, yet vulnerable to silver.

This power creates a boomerang effect for any thrown object. The object must weigh less than 1 stone and is limited to being a small item. The normal range for this power is 90?. However, the minimum range if used as a weapon is 20?. Any object used as a weapon does 1d4 damage on a successful hit. After attempting an attack on a target, the object returns to the manifester’s hand in time for action during the next round.

Note: This basically creates an auto-loading sling with half the range and normal damage as listed in the core rulebook. However, this can also do cool things with enchanted stones. Charge a stone with a power that takes effect upon a successful strike.

Intangible Touch
The character with this talent can strike any incorporeal creature while unarmed. This talent will not work in conjunction with other powers or spells. On a successful attack, the Intangible Touch does 1d4 points of damage.
A character with this talent can also briefly hold an incorporeal creature for one round, once per encounter.

Note: Examples of incorporeal creatures include shadows, ghosts and vampires in their gaseous form.

Two of these powers are derived from Encyclopaedia Psionica: World Shapers by Mongoose Publishing. They are weaker than the powers as described on the Grand OGL wiki, but this book will be credited as a source in the final published document.


Item Creation for the ACKS Psionicist

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Who knew? I actually got to do some coding over the past few days at work. My evenings have been very full as well. That has left me no time at all to work on fun stuff. To that end, I'm posting everything pre-alpha so that folks can use it however they wish.

I already put out the ACKS Psionic Combat on Google+. The psionicist character is d4+2 and 2200XP for 2nd level. The psionicist also has +2 to save against all Illusions and Charm spells. I mentioned the phrenic scourge as one of the creatures in the bestiary.

What's left? Item Creation.

ACKS Item Creation relies on spell levels to determine time and cost. Since psionic powers use point costs instead of levels, this makes the formulas very tricky. Determining the level from the point cost is not too terribly complex, but it makes for a major slowdown in creating items. In an attempt to speed up item creation and to make the psionicist more weird, I've made item creation for psionics contingent on creating one of two substances. Feel free to do what you like with these ideas. Let me know if you use them. Any and all editing help welcomed. Despite having an English degree (well, Medieval British Literature, Non-Chaucer), I've never been able to adequately edit my own writing.

I will say that some things mentioned here are detailed in other documents I haven't posted yet. For example, ghosts are mentioned but no stats are provided. Monday's post will have Wild Talents. Thursday's post will have detailed psionic combat.

Here's the details on Psionic Item Creation to this point:

Quintessence and Heptessence

Psionicists are able to create two unique materials based on their knowledge of how other planes of existence interact our world. Quintessence is the fundamental substance contained in all non-sentient things like stone, wood or metal. Heptessence is the fundamental substance that imbues life to all creatures, except for plants. Each of these materials exist in three different forms: raw, distilled and purified. The raw form is the least potent and the purified form is considered the most potent.

Psionicists use these materials to create items charged with psionic power such as enchanted stones, dorjes, astral constructs or potions.

Quintessence – The properties of this material allow the mending an object, healing constructs or provide base material for the Exchange proficiency. Quintessence is also required for creatin Astral Constructs.

Raw Quintessence costs 500gp and two days to manufacture. Distilled Quintessence requires 4 days and 1000gp to create. Purified Quintessence requires 1 week and costs 1500gp to create.

Raw Quintessence can mend a small object, restore 1 hull point to a ship, restore 1d6 hit points to any construct and provides 200gp of value for use by the Exchange proficiency. Distilled Quintessence has double the power of Raw Quintessence. Purified Quintessence has double the power of Distilled Quintessence.

Heptessence – The properties of heptessence, include healing, curing posions and reversing the effects of aging caused by the touch of a ghost. As a distilled form of life force, this cannot be used as a base material for the Exchange proficiency. Heptessence is necessary for the creation of an enchanted stone and a dorje.

Raw Heptessence can heal 1d6+1 hit points of a living creature, reverse 1d4 years of aging caused by a Ghost, and allow a psionicist to place a Talent inside an Enchanted Stone or Dorje. It costs 500gp and requires 4 days to manufacture.

Distilled Heptessence can heal 2d6+2 hit points, provide an antidote for any non-magical poison, reverse 2d4 years of magical aging, and allow a psionicist to place a Technique inside an Enchanted Stone or Dorje

Purified Heptessence can heal 3d6+3 hit points, provide an antidote for any posion, Cure Disease per Divine Spell, Cure Blindness per Divine spell, reverse 3d4 years of magical aging, and allow a psionicist to place a Practice inside an Enchanted Stone or Dorje.

Enchanted Stone – An enchanted stone is a gemstone imbued with one charge of a psionic power. To create an Enchanted Stone, a psionicist will need a gemstone with worth 50gp per power point cost and the appropriate form of Heptessence. An Enchanted Stone requires one week per two power points (rounding down) to create. The time required for creating an Enchanted Stone with a Talent that costs 1 power point is 3 days.

Dorje – A Noble Stone, or dorje, is a gemstone or specially crafted metal object imbued with multiple charges of a psionic power. To create a dorje, a psionicist will need a gemstone or specially crafted metal object worth 100gp per power point cost and the appropriate form of Heptessence. A dorje requires one day per power point cost times the number of charges to create.