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NEVERWHERE

Table of
Contents

The Underside

Game 
Mechanics

Characters

Attributes
& Skills

Magic

Actions &
Combat

Equipment

Undercities
of the
World

Links

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V.  MAGIC
Magic permeates the world of Neverwhere, often in very subtle ways.   It often manifests as odd characteristics, simple little spells, and unique powers.  Indeed, minor magicks are relatively easy to cast and control, and bits and pieces of magic pop up often and without warning. 

Skilled practitioners may also attempt more powerful magicks that are both difficult and dangerous.  Even the most seasoned arcanists exercise great caution.  It takes only a slight mispronunciation, an incorrect wave of the hand, or slightly stale reagent to render a spell inoperable or, worse yet, deadly.  Uncontrolled magic wreaks havoc, with unpredictable and usually grave results. 

Finally, remember that Neverwhere is a always changing and unpredictable place.  Magic will manifest in unexpected ways and should never become a simple matter of chanting a few magic words and throwing fireballs around the room.  Also, players and GM's should remember that the Universe likes to keep things balanced:  all actions have reactions; all creation result in destruction; all energies siphoned in one spot are taken from another.

In Neverwhere D6, magical powers manifest in very diverse ways.  First, there are three forms of personal Magicks, called Quirks, Charms and Knacks.  Also, characters sometimes may use  Ritualistic Magic is available to anyone performs the proper research, preparation and spell casting. 

Ritualistic Magic

Research the Problem
Gather the Reagents
Say the Magic Words
Botching a Casting
The Costs of Casting
Note:  If you would like some ideas for magical texts or items to use in your Neverwhere game, visit the Reliquary of my Evil Dead D6 game.  Though geared for that genre, many of the items may serve as game materials for this setting with a bit of tinkering.

Magicks:
The dwellers in the World Below are an odd lot.  All beginning characters begin with either 3D in Quirks, 2D in Charms, or 1D in a Knack.  Additionally, players may choose up to 5D in Curses in order to gain more dice for character creation.  It is possible that additional Quirks, Charms, Curses, and perhaps even Knacks may be acquired during adventures.  Touched (or cursed) by magic of all forms, they manifest unusual abilities in three broad realms: 

Quirks:  magical characteristics over which the character has little control.  They are more extensions of the individual than magical powers.  Some might be natural characteristics while others might just "happen" to the character without any explanation every being necessary (or possible).
Charms:  abilities and "spells" that anyone with the proper discipline and arcane knowledge may learn.  In the World Below, spells are usually quite subtle and rarely dangerous.  Black magicks are shunned, even by the most shady of the underdwellers, and such powers always come with a dear price.
Knacks:  natural talents, often passed down through generations.  Characters who master a Knack will become well known for that particular skill or power.
Curses:  Magic burdens mere mortals as often as it blesses them.  Many underdwellers carry the scars of mystical accidents, vengeance or ill luck.
Terms:
Advancement:  The multiplier applied to the Character Points required for a character to advance with this magick.  Easy magicks have a 1x multiplier (raise as normal skills); Difficulty magicks generally have a 2x modifier, requiring twice as many CP's to be spent for advancement.
Time of Use:  the time required to employ the magick being activated. 
Duration:  time period that the magicks' effects will last.
Limitations:  restraints, if any, on the use or effects of a magick.


Ritualistic Magic
Ritualistic magic involves nearly all spells that are cast from reading a scroll or book, or reciting memorized words while inside a specially prepared area (such as a circle of power, a pentagram, a blessed tabernacle, etc.).  They always require three main elements:  1) A magical text; 2) Symbols and/or magical reagents; and 3) Recital of an incantation.  Because magic rituals exist for nearly any kind of spell, these rules focus on the process of researching and casting a ritual rather than specific spells which may be cast.  GM's and players should use their imaginations as new problems arise.  Magic often provides assistance, and perhaps even a final solution, but will never simply fix all the characters' problems.  Even if the success of a mission depends upon the casting of a Ritual, there will be ample action and danger in gather the needed materials or distracting the villain to provide time for the casting to take effect.

Research the Problem
A character must first Research the spell to be cast.  This usually begins with an inquiry or statement as to what the desired effect will be.  The GM will then decide the difficulty of the research--depending on the obscurity and age of the spell, the power of the intended result, and means of research available to the character.  Then, the character will roll a Research check against the Difficulty.  If successful, the character will find the necessary texts and a list of needed materials.

Example:  Kramer, a mad Eremite, has cast a spell that permits him to tap into the dreams of other Underdwellers.  He is not only learning their innermost secrets, but also driving them insane.  Grimm and Lector resolve to stop the old man before any more underdwellers are harmed.  Lector, a more skilled arcanist, announces that he will research the spell Kramer has cast and try to find a way to nullify it (Grimm offers to just kill him, of course, but Lector finds that option distasteful). 

The GM tells Lector that the Research will be a Difficulty of Moderate (15) and take 2D6 hours in a Decent Library.  He will have to consult with contacts, dig into the library, or do some other form of research to learn the proper incantation.   Lector succeeds in his Research and finds an old copy of the Slumberwell, a book of spells  to protect people in the Dreaming.  From the book, he finds the incantation and a list of necessary objects, including the sleep from a dead man's eye,  four black candles, a circle of power to be drawn on the floor, and some incense to help set the mood.

Gather the Goods
Once the character has researched the problem, he must still acquire the necessary materials.  This may require additional research, investigation, bargaining, theft, or manufacturing time.
Example:  Lector has no problem finding the candles and the dead man's sleep (Grimm just happened to know a recently dead man) , but he discovers that the incense must be specially prepared to to emit the proper odors.    The GM tells him it will require an Easy (10) Alchemy check to properly mix the ingredients and create the scent necessary to cast the spell..
Say the Magic Words
Once the materials are gathered, they must be properly put into place and the magic words must be incanted properly.  If the text is in an Ancient Language, the GM will have the character make a Language: Ancient check.  Then, the character must make an Arcana check. Again, the GM adjusts the difficulty for the degree of preparation, the complexity of the spell, and potency of the outcome.  If the check is successful, the spell will be cast and the desired effect will manifest (hopefully).
Example:  The GM tells Lector that the only version of the spell is in ancient Latin, so Lector will have to make a Language: Ancient check of Moderate (15) to even read the spell.  Lector succeeds after a bit of practice.  Next, he prepares the circle, lights the candles, lights the incense, and sits in the middle of the area read to chant the spell.  He rolls his Arcana Skill of 5D.   The GM tells him he needs a Difficult (20) check to succeed.  Lector manages a 21!  He barely casts the spell, just as the Kramer is sliding into Grimm's dreams and learning of their plot to thwart him! 
Botching the Castings
Given their complexity, spells are easy to mess up. And when you mess up with magic, you usually mess up bad.  When a casting fails, it will either have no effect at all (it just sort of fizzles out) or it will go wrong in some unpredictable and unpleasant way.  Generally, the worse the failure, the more grave the consequences.  If a character Botches (rolls a 1 on the Wild Die, followed by a 6 on the subsequent roll), then something spectacularly wrong has occurred.  The villain will be strengthened, a comrade will be turned into a toad, you'll open a rift to some hell-dimension full of hungry, drooling dog-men.  You get the picture.  So be careful kids.

The Costs of Casting
All magic has a cost associated with it.  Sometimes, the spell will be so trivial that the caster will not notice the loss.  But when a major spell is attempted, the character will exhaust herself with the effort.  Whenever a spell is attempted, the caster (or casters) must make a Resistance check against the Difficulty of the spell.  She will suffer exhaustion as if it were Wound Levels if her roll is less than the Difficulty number (i.e., as if the Difficulty Level value were damage and the Resistance roll were a Constitution check).  No actual damage will be done, but the character will suffer the appropriate penalties to all her actions until she rests (1/2 hour per "Wound" Level).  If she reaches Incapacitated or Mortally Wounded, she will pass out for a brief period (1/2-1 hour).  If she suffers enough "damage" to be "Dead", she will fall into a coma and require medical assistance. 

Back to the Top.


MAGICKS

QUIRKS
Quirks are relatively "permanent" abilities that improve without regular practice by a character (though CP's must still be invested to raise the skill level).

Artificial Appendage:
Time of Use:  NA
Advancement: Normal (1x).  At 1D, the character has the appendage.  Additional dice  (2D or greater) invested in this Quirk may be added to any Attack or Parry rolls made with weapon-like appendages.
    This character has lost a hand, arm, or leg and had it replaced by a magical or technological prosthetic.  Some examples include:

  • Hook:  in place of a hand.  The character is -2D to perform fine, manual maneuvers with this hand.  Can be used as a weapon for +1D damage (strike as Martial Arts or Brawling).
  • Grafted demon hand:  the character received a transplant from some non-human creature.  The hand will be obviously monstrous (green and scaly, fingers like tentacles, 8-fingered, etc.).  The hand will strike for additional damage (+1D to Martial Arts or Brawling rolls when striking with that hand).  However, the hand seems to have a mind of of its own and will sometimes attempt to do things on its own (GM's, have fun...).
  • Chainsaw:  the character's hand has been replaced by a chainsaw.  This loud and clunky addition looks cool, but must be fueled and in good working condition to work.  The character cannot use this hand for anything other than chopping stuff up.  When activated, it will do STR + 3D damage.
  • Snake "leg":  the character's bottom half has been replaced by a large demon snake tail.  This looks pretty bloody creepy, but has certain advantages.  First, the character receives +3D to all Climbing and Jumping rolls.  Second, the character can make a Brawling roll to Grapple an opponent with his tail, doing STR +1D damage with a +1D to the Grapple roll.  Finally, the character never has to buy shoes.
Animal Traits
Advancement Cost:  Difficult (2x)
    A character with this Quirk has many traits of a common animal (choose one at Quirk selection).  The character will have some special abilities as well as certain personality and physical "quirks" associated with the animal.  As the character invests dice in this Quirk, increase the die modifiers under each animal type by one (thus bonuses AND penalties increase). However, as the Quirk strengthens, the animal-aspect also grows and the character appears and acts more bestial.  At some point, the GM may require the character to make Willpower rolls vs. the current Animal Traits value in order for the character to restrain himself (some common animal-like behavior is given below).
  • Bear:  +1D to damage in melee combat and +1D for any lifting rolls;  +1D for all Resistance and Endurance rolls;  -1D to Dodge, Stealth and Acrobatics.  The character will be unusually large and  lumbering (even if he's quite dexterous), often with quite a bit of hair.  He will have a voracious appetite (eating twice what a normal human would) and an immense temper (the GM may require him to make Willpower checks to avoid going into a berserk rage when angered, hurt or frightened).  The character will tend to be domineering, stubborn and inclined to take very long naps.
  • Cat:  +1D to Stealth, Acrobatics, and Dodge Rolls.  May see at night as well as in the day.  Fingernails will be sharp and retractable, adding +1D to damage.  Physically, the character will be graceful and has cat eyes  (GM's and characters may decide to add a tail or cat-ears if they want).  The character will have a "cat-like" personality, often demure and stand-offish.  She may become oddly attracted to small moving objects, like balls of string or mice.  Catnip will act like a strong narcotic.
  • Dog:  +3D to Search rolls depending on the senses of sound or smell, however the character is colorblind.    The character will have a strong sense of loyalty and be unusually brave in a fight (+2D to Willpower rolls in such cases).  Personal hygiene isn't all that important and he has a tendency to sniff around members of the opposite sex.
  • Bird:  +3D to Search rolls depending on sight, but -3D to rolls using smell;  +1D to Dodge rolls.  The character is slight in build and unusually light in body weight (hollow bones).  He will often move in bird-like motions.  Because of his excellent eyesight, he sometimes becomes entranced with bright and colorful objects, and may stare at them for hours.
  • Fox:  +2D to Search rolls depending on the senses of sound or smell, however the character is colorblind.  Tends to be crafty and quiet, so add +1D to Stealth rolls and +1D to Con attempts.  There is something about the character that other folks distrust (adjust dice accordingly, when appropriate).  In a fight, the character will sometimes have urges to flee and hide.
  • Fish:  +3D to Swimming and +3D to Resistance rolls to avoid ill effects of cold water or when holding one's breath.  The character comes across as cold and detached and has a faint odor that tends to attract cats and scavenging birds.


Annoyingly Lucky
Advancement:  Difficult (2x).
    This character is smiled upon by the gods, or perhaps some more devious supernatural force.  Whenever a 6 is rolled on the initial roll of the Wild Die, the character not only rerolls the Wild Die but also rolls the number of dice invested in this Quirk.  The Lucky dice are added to the final result (but cannot be rerolled regardless of any more sixes which may be rolled on that turn).  However, when this character Complicates (by rolling 1 on the Wild Die initially, followed by a 6 on the second Wild Die roll), the character must roll the Annoyingly Luck dice and also subtract these from his dice total for that attempted action.  GM's may also impose other "unlucky" side effects when such a catastrophic failure occurs.

Babelfish
Time of Use:  NA
Difficulty:  Easy (10) for common languages.  Moderate for rare dialects.  Difficult for dead or forgotten languages.  Very Difficult for alien or supernatural languages..
Limitations:  Only works on languages that are heard--not sign languages, written words or symbols, or telepathy and the like.
    Babelfish represents the magical ability of a character to understand spoken languages.  They will be instantly translated into the character's native tongue.  This Quirk does not permit the bearer to speak any additional languages.  The Babelfish Quirk may take any number of forms:  an enchantment, a magical fish inserted in the ear, a Star Trek universal translator (one way, of course).

Bloodless and Painless
Advancement:  Difficult (2x)
    A character with this Quirk neither bleeds nor can feel pain.  The character reduces the effects of Wounds by a number of levels equal to the Dice Value invested in this Quirk.  Thus, a character with Bloodless and Painless at 1D would suffer no ill effects at Wounded and only -1D at Wounded x 2.  While this may seem to be an incredible boon for Bravo's and others who tend to get in scrapes, it has its drawbacks.  For one thing, it's darn creepy and usually only manifests itself in supernatural beings (like demons, angels and the undead).  Furthermore, while a character will not pass out from pain and can resist torture more easily, she will still die when her Wound Level reaches "Dead"--she just won't be feeling like she's hurt all that bad.

Bond
Time of Use:  1 round to "concentrate" on the bond.
Advancement:  Normal (1x)
Difficulty:  Very Easy (5) within 10 km;  Easy (10) within 100 km;  Moderate with 1000 km.
    With this Quirk, a character shares a supernaturally close bond with a person, place or item.  When the character concentrates, she will know the location, physical condition and state of mind of the object of the bond.  If this is shared with another person or an animal, that being will also "know" the character's condition and location.

Creepy Quiet
Time of Use: NA
Difficulty:  Easy (10) in most conditions.
Advancement:  Normal (1x)
Limitations:  The character is only silent to people who cannot see him.
    This character isn't just stealthy, he's completely silent when he moves.  He might be walking on bubble wrap wearing hiking boots and corduroy pant and he still won't make a sound.  But there's a catch:  he is only silent to those who cannot see him.  Thus, two people may be standing side by side and the character will only be heard by the one who is looking at him.  Note:  the character cannot turn this ability "off".  So, he tends to sneak up on people without meaning to.  You can imagine how annoying this might get.

Dead
Advancement:  Difficult (2x).
    This character, quite simply, has reached the end of his mortal life.  He's deader than a door nail, colder than fish...you get the point.  Through magic, he has been ressurrected--sort of.  The benefits of his condition are obvious:  he cannot be killed again and does not require the tedious necessities that keep other folks living (like food, water and oxygen).  But the burdens are dear as well:  these characters automatically have a Hunger (see Curses below, but the character does not receive bonus dice) that must be fed once every couple of days.  If they do not feed, they will suffer -1D to all Physical Attributes until they either feed or die.
    The character still feels pain however and suffers the negative effects of receiving wounds just as a normal human might.  However, while the character may be Stunned as normal, he will not fall unconscious due to wounds and the Mortally Wounded level will not result in his imminent death.  Finally, rather than being "dead" when he reaches the Dead Wound Level, the character may roll his Constitution + the dice invested in this Quirk to avoid the destruction of his body (and permanent death).

Fey Blood
    A character with this Quirk has traces the blood of a magical race coursing through his veins.  This will grant the character particular powers, but brings with it burdens.  The character is recognizable as a magical being and will take on some of the traits of his ancestral race.

  • Troll:  The character appears unusually large and bulky, with rippling muscles, spiky hair and rough, leathery and splotched skin.  He has sharp, rending teeth and largish, slightly pointed ears.  Hygiene isn't all that important to him either...+1D to Strength Attribute (can go beyond the human maximum of 4D) and +1 to Resistance Skill.  The character tends to become impatient and easily angered.  When provoked, he must make a Willpower roll or lash out violently.
  • Elf:  The character is usually more slender and graceful than the average person.  He will have pointed ears, a slight build, and vibrant, colorful eyes.  The character has magical inclinations and gets +10 Mana.  He also has +1 to Search rolls due to superior perceptive abilities.
  • Goblin:  The character is shorter, lean and has a slightly green pallor to his skin.  He will have long, pointed ears, a longish, hooked nose, and very dark eyes.  +1D to Dexterity (can go beyond the maximum of 4D), and +1 to Stealth rolls.
Hidden Heart
Limitation:  This Quirk may only be used once.  If the object is destroyed while the character is still "alive" the character will be instantly killed.
    A character with a Hidden Heart has managed to capture her life essence in a physical object--such as a piece of jewelry or a strange, silver egg.  While the life essence is so contained, a character may be physically killed but retain hopes for resurrection.  Someone need only reunite the body with the magical object holding the character's life essence and then destroy the object.  The character will be returned to full life (though at a Mortally Wounded health level).

Invisible Friend
Time of Use:  NA.
Limitations:  the friend may not affect the physical world and cannot be seen by others except through rare magicks.
    An Invisible Friend may be a guardian angel, a stuffed tiger that becomes a real tiger when no one is looking, an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit or just about anything else you might imagine.  No one else will be able to see the Friend, and it cannot interact with the physical environment.  The Friend must always be within the line of sight of the character, and never more than 20 feet away.  However, the friend may lend advice:  its Knowledge score will be 1D for every die invested in this Quirk.  The character with the Friend may choose 3 skills the Friend has at +1D at the game's start and 3 more at 0D (all the rest are at -1D).  After that, the character may increase the friend's Knowledge as if it were a Skill (x1 CP) rather than an Attribute (x10).

Mechanophile
Time of Use:  NA
Difficulty:  When a character attempts to use a modern device, they should consult the table below:
 

Action Attempted (Examples)
Difficulty
Using a small flashlight. Easy (10)
Operating a camera with a flash. Moderate (15)
Firing a gun. Difficult (20)
Starting and driving a car V. Difficult (25)
Using a computer or computerized device (ATM, etc.) E. Difficult (30)

Limitation:  GM's may decide that a successful roll is good for only one action or for a brief period of time (e.g., one roll to activate a flashlight and no other roll is required until it is shut off).  GM's may also decide that the user suffers -1D for each time this ability is activated within a single day (after the first time).
     This character is not as strongly affected by the technological curse that hangs over most underdwellers.  They are able to use some modern technology such as electric flashlights, watches, cameras or radios.  Those with advanced Mechanophile traits may even use complex devices such as computers or automobiles.  But even Mechanophiles must use these devices with prudence--overuse appears to result in a loss, or weakening of the ability (GM's may reduce the Mechanophile's dice for periods of time to allow the trait to "regenerate"). 

Multiple Selves
     Character has an entirely different personality within him.  They often contend over who will be on the "surface", but are not necessarily "at war."  The other self has completely different skills from the first self.  At character creation, the player may assign 7 Skill Dice to the other self as if it were a different character (it may not take additional Quirks, but may know Charms or Knacks).  The Self that is currently subordinate will not know what is happening when the other Self is dominant, but will have a general sense of emotions and well-being (anger, injury, lust, hunger, etc.)  It may attempt to come to the surface by making a Willpower attempt added to the dice for Multiple Selves.  The Self that is currently dominant will likely resist the shift (unless the player can give a very good reason why it might agree to the shift), by making a Willpower roll.

Pointy Bits
Time of Use:  NA
Difficulty:  NA.  At 1D, the character has the "bit".  Additional dice (2D or greater) invested in this Quirk may be added to any Attack rolls made with the "bit."
    Pointy Bits may be manifested as any of a number of small, sharp and potentially lethal protrusions from a character's body.  It may be small horns atop the head, extended fangs (vampire-style) in the mouth, or sharp little claws at the finger tips.  The character should choose one type when the Quirk is taken.  The Bit will do STR +1D of damage if the character chooses to make it retractable (like cat-claws) and STR+1D+2 if it is not retractable (i.e., always obvious).
    Note:  the name for this Quirk is taken directly from the Fudge:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer game.  I've never played it, but I always liked the name of this trait...

Pockets
Time of Use: 1 round (to rummage through pockets).
Difficulty:  Special (see below)
Limitations:  Once per day.  Increase the Difficulty level by 10 for each additional attempt per day.  Objects cannot be larger than would fit comfortably into the given pocket.  The character must be wearing clothes with at least one pocket.  Finally, characters must regularly put things into their pockets--kind of "recharging" them.  Some of these items will disappear (think of it as the Universe taking its due).
    A character with Pockets will always wear clothes with many pockets for holding items. Often, the character herself won't remember what these pockets hold.  So diverse and useful are the objects gathered, that when a character needs something she may search herself in hopes of finding it.  The more unique and complicated the item, the higher the Difficulty required.  Note, this ability will only work for a character with this Quirk (i.e., someone else can't search her pockets in hope of finding something useful).
 

ITEM (sample)
DIFFICULTY
Simple  item (food item for one, matches) Very Easy (5)
Standard tool (screwdriver, pocket knife) Easy (10)
Unusual tool (a silver flute, lock picks) Moderate (15)
Rare or valuable item (gemmed ring, healing salve) Difficult (20)
Extremely rare item (an Earl's signet ring, magical scroll) V. Difficult (25)

 

Other Form:
Time of Use:  Transformation takes 1+1D6 rounds.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) to induce transformation.  Moderate to resist transformation.
Limitation:  Characters cannot always control their transformation.  GM's and characters should work out a few situations when the character will instinctively change shape, or at least have a strong urge to do so.  These might include times when the character gets angry, very hungry, frightened, or excited.  When the character transforms, her clothes and personal items will also transform, but anything larger than a small backpack will be dropped.
    This character may alter her shape to take another form:  an animal, object or even another person.  The character can only shift into one other form, designated when the skill is taken. This alternative body will retain all the mental characteristics the character has in her "human" (or humanoid) form, but physical characteristics will vary depending on the shape chosen.
 

CHARMS
Charms probably most closely resemble what one would think of as "magical spells."  These are magical abilities that a character may learn through study and usually require reagents and/or "magic words" to be activated..  These are likely the most common forms of magic characters will encounter in the World Below.  Many residents learn a slight magical trick or two to help them get by.  Few ever master a Charm, and even fewer find ways to turn charms into dominating powers.  No Charm skill may be greater than a character's Arcana skill level.

Most Charms require some reagents and magical words to activate.  Characters may attempt to substitute other items for the reagents, but GM's should modify the difficulty accordingly.  A good charmer will likely carry a few reagents for common charms at all times, or at least know where to get the appropriate goods.

Design note:  Personally, I've always disliked the use of reagents for magic in games like D&D.  But I think they're appropriate here because magic in Neverwhere is not about throwing fireballs and polymorphing into dragons.  Reagents limit the power of the Charms, require more time for casting, and give the magic a little more grounding in "reality".   As always, it's up the GM to include them or not.

Augury
Casting Time  1D6 minutes.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15).
Reagents:  the appropriate reagents depend on what the oracle is trying to portend.  Some examples include:

  • Specific time, but imprecise location:  Tea leaves.
  • Specific time, fairly precise location (within a few blocks):  The liver and entrails of a white dove.
  • General ideas of the fate and future of a particular person:  Tarot Cards, the I-Ching, a crystal ball.
  • Important events within a general area:  Casting Bones, Prophetic Dreams (time is spent to interpret them).
Advancement Cost:  Advanced (2x).
Limitations:  Telling the future is always an uncertain science, at best.  When the oracle is looking across time at the future, she is seeing only one of a nearly unlimited number of possibilities.  Usually, she manages to focus on the most likely timeline, but that is by no means certain.  Thus, while the charmer may learn some useful information, she will rarely be able to predict everything with perfect accuracy.  And knowledge of the future may serve to change the timeline so that the event never comes to pass.
    With Augury, the character is versed in a variety of methods for telling the future.  With particular reagents and rituals, she may attempt to portend important events within a given area, at a certain time, or to particular people.  She will rarely be able to tell all three with much accuracy, but the information gleaned is almost always of great use--if only to prepare someone for the worst.  When the attempt is made, the character may either ask specific questions or just attempt to absorb the knowledge from the future.  She may learn one "fact" for each die she has in Augury.

Animation
Casting Time:  1 round for every Die Level used.
Duration:  The duration of the charm equals 1 minute for every 1 point above the base difficulty.
Difficulty:  Special, see chart below.
Reagents:  The item to be enchanted.  Also, some lubricant--either archaic (such as animal fat) or modern (such as motor oil)--heated and mixed with a few vertebrae from a snake's spinal column, ground together and sprinkled on the item in question.
Advancement Cost:  Normal (1x)
Limitations:
    With an Animation charm, a character may bring an inanimate object to life.  The object will obey the charmer's mental orders and will move as if a puppet (and will appear to do so as a living animal to another observer).
 
 

Sample Object
Base Difficulty
Paper doll Very Easy (5)
Cardboard, soft wood or plant material Easy (10)
A wooden puppet (with joins),  Moderate (15)
Mannequin (no joints), chair, or wooden stick Difficult (20)
An object made of "soft" metal or softer stone:  lead, tin, etc. Very Difficult (25)
Hard metal object or hard stone:  a sword or marble statute. Extremely Difficult (30)
Extremely hard metals or minerals:  titanium, diamond. Heroic (50)

Avoidance
Casting Time:  1 action to cast, then it will trigger automatically.
Duration:  Once the spell is cast, it may be triggered any time within 5 rounds.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) or Attacker's Roll (whichever is lower).
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
Reagents:  Incantation:  "Pedis Celeris" three times and rub a charmed object representing speed or evasion:  a rabbit's foot, a bird's feather, a Hot Wheels car.
    The caster may incant this Charm when she fears imminent danger.  Then, if an attack or trap threatens to harm the caster, the spell will automatically trigger and transport the caster out of harm's way.  The spell will only move the caster the minimum required to avoid the attack and be out of immediate danger (i.e., in this round).

Beastspeak (Raven, Pigeon, Cat, Rat, Mouse, Squirrel, Fish, Bug, Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird):
Time of Use:  None, the character may speak and listen normally (make the die roll to check the efficacy of the communication).  Treat as a normal Language skill.
Difficulty:  Easy (10).
Reagents:  None.  The character must be taught the language and practice to improve.
Advancement Cost:  Normal (1x)
Limitations:  Beastspeak does not bestow the ability to control the animal, only to communicate with it.  One must convince the animal that it is in its interest to talk or deal with the character.
Reagents:  None.
    With Beastpeak, a character may communicate normally with the appropriate animal (choose one from the list below, or add another).  The character will speak in English (or his native tongue), and the animal will understand him.  Furthermore, the character will understand the animal's language--the squeaks of a mouse, barks of a dog, chirps of a sparrow, etc.

Fluster
Casting Time:  1 round.
Duration: 1 minute + 1 minute for every 5 points above the Difficulty Level.  The victim may make a new Willpower check each round.
Difficulty:  Victim's Willpower roll.
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
Reagents:  A shiny object or other device to distract the victim.
Limitations:  Fluster works on the sense of sight, thus it will not work in the dark or on a blind victim.
    With the incantation of a few power words and the use of the distracting reagent, the caster ensnares the victim's mind.  The victim will be unable to perform any actions during the duration of the spell.  Instead, he will stare at the object, immobile and mute.  When the spell is lifted, it will be as if the victim is coming out of a trance--with memories of the time lapsed, but no recollection as to why he could not act.

Healing
Casting Time:  1D6 minutes per level healed.
Difficulty:  Very Easy (5) + 5 for each Wound Level (e.g., 10 for Stun, 15 for Wounded, 20 for Wounded x 2, etc.).
Advancement:  Difficult (2x).
Reagents:  A wide variety of healing herbs, potions and salves may be purchased in a market or harvested in the wild.  The healer must make some mixture that is administered to the patient, along with invoking words of prayer or magic.
Limitations:  The healer must make a separate attempt for every level healed.  GM's may wish to restrict the number of times a particular patient may be healed in a given day (e.g., only 5 attempts may be made on any one person within 24 hours).
    Perhaps one of the oldest Charms, Healing represents a wide variety of different methods and magicks used to make an injured patient whole again.  While it will rarely completely close a wound and mend a bone, it will alleviate pain and speed the recovery process.  Competent healers become known for their powers and are often sought out for assistance.

Mending
Casting Time:  1 action to cast.
Duration:  Until item has mended up to the caster's Mend success (see below).
Difficulty:  Easy (10) for common and soft items (clothes, leather); Moderate (15) for harder or uncommon items (wood, silk).  Difficulty increases for harder items (metals, minerals) or very rare and complex items (steamworks, an artifact).
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
Reagents:  Incantation:  "Toto" three times while running a finger along the seam to be fixed.
    This handy little charm sees most of its use in households and among merchants.  It will sew up ripped seams, re-attach a broken strap, and even recombine the wooden handle of a weapon.  At extremely high skill levels, it may even mend shattered metals and complex machines.

Navigation
Casting Time:  1D6 minutes.
Duration:  The spell may be kept activated as long as the Charmer concentrates, but she will suffer -1D to all other actions until it is deactivated.
Difficulty:  Easy (10).
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
Reagents:  A small magnet dropped in a bag full of sweet wine (the magnet will shift to tell the direction) or a divining rod specially prepared (takes 1D6x 10 minutes).
    This handy spell keeps the caster from getting lost and can lead one to a specified destination.  The spell will point the user in the right direction and lead across the shortest distance possible.  It will not account for impassable barriers or provide alternate routes.

Hindsight
Casting Time:  2D6 minutes.  Add an additional 1D6 minutes for every Difficulty Level after Moderate.
Duration:  Variable, depending on the information gathered and the success of the casting.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15) for events within 24 hours.  Difficult (20) for within 1 week.  Very Difficult (25) for within 1 month.  Extremely Difficult (30) for within 1 year.  Add 5 to the Difficult for every 10 additional years.
Advancement:  Difficult (2x).
Reagents:  Dust from the dried bones of an animal mixed with vinegar and dabbed on the Charmer's tongue.  Also, must either be holding an object or occupy a place from which the "sight" will be sought.
    This Charm grants the ability to read the past from an object or place.  The caster may glimpse past events surrounding the object or occurring in the place, including the faces of those nearby, snippets of conversation, and result of their actions.  Sometimes, nothing of import will imprint itself upon a place or object, and despite a successful casting the Charmer will learn nothing new from the spell.  Finally, there are rumors that certain spells will "wipe" the imprints of memory from objects and places.

Illusions
Casting Time:  1 minute.
Duration: 1 minute +1 minute for every 5 points above the Difficulty Level.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) for simple illusions (lights and colors), Moderate (15) for more detailed illusions (people, walls), and Difficult (20) for intricate details.  Observers may make Instinct checks to see if they realize the illusion is not real.  Increase Difficulty by 5 if the caster wishes it to move.
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
Reagents:  shards of a broken mirror ground into a fine dust and tossed into the air where the illusion will appear.
Limitations:  This Charm only works on living observers who are sensing with their eyes.  Illusions are intangible, noiseless and odorless.
    This Charm represents spells that trick the eye of an observer.  It may be used to make an image appear and move about, but it will not physically affect the world.

Nightvision
Casting Time:  Preparation 1D6 minutes.
Difficulty:  Easy (10)
Duration:  1D6 hours +1 hour for every 5 points above the Easy difficulty.
Reagents:  Sleep from the eyes of a cat mixed with ground sulfur (the heads of matches will work) and smeared on the eyes.  (Yes, it will sting a bit).
Limitations:  With Nightvision, a character may see in the dark as easily as he might in the day--no external light source is needed.  The character will continue to suffer from any impairments to his normal vision.  Further, Nightvision does not grant the ability to see through magical darkness.

Seance
Casting Time:  5D6 minutes.
Difficulty:

  • Base Difficulty:  Easy (10) for the newly deceased (within 1 month);  Moderate (15) for 1 months to a year.  Difficult (20) for 1-10 years.  Very Difficult for 10-100 years.  Add 5 to the Difficulty for every 100 years after the first.
  • Modifiers:
    • -5 if the Seance occurs at the spirit's place of death.
    • -5 if the Seance charmer holds an object that belonged to the spirit in life.
    • -5 if a relative or close friend of the spirit is present.
    • .+10 if the spirit knows the Seance charmer and doesn't like her.
    • +10 if the spirit is secretive or in hiding.
Duration:  Once contacted, the spirit will remain in the room until it wishes to depart or until sent away by the Seance charmer.
Reagents:  A black candle exactly 12 inches in height with a wick intertwined with fibers taken from the clothes on a corpse.  A magical circle, formed either by at least 3 participants holding hands or an enchanted circle of power drawn on the ground.  Offerings to attract the spirit, which may include incense, food, alcohol or valuable objects.
    With Seance, the charmer may call forth a ghost or other spirit who has departed from its physical body and loosed into the aether of the Universe.  Once summoned, the spirit will manifest, often in a ghostly form, and speak with any in the room.  The spirit may be asked questions and will answer according to its own whim.  Thus, it might generously provide all the information it retains.  More often, it will provide an answer in riddles or request some favor or other repayment.
    In general, spirits dislike being conjured back into the material world and will arrive a little grumpy.  A charmer who regularly summons spirits without providing them with some kind of reward or other motivation may find herself making enemies in the Netherworld.

Shapeshift (Animal Type)
Casting Time:  1 round.
Duration:  5 minutes +1 minute for each point above the Difficulty Level.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15).
Advancement:  Difficult (2x).
Reagents:  Samples of the fur, feather or scales of the animal whose shape will be assumed.  These must be grasped by the caster when the incantation is spoken.  Usually, the incantation is the True Name of the beast whose shape the caster wishes to take.
Limitations:  Though the caster will assume the form of a particular animal, she will be unable to communicate with others of that animal type without Beastspeak.  Furthermore, she will be unable to speak as normal with other humans.  When a caster learns this Charm, she only learns it for one particular animal.
    With this classic Charm, the caster transforms her body into that of an animal (one chosen when the Charm is learned).  The character's close and personal effects will also transform, but anything heavier than 5 lbs will be dropped to the ground.  The caster will take on all the physical characteristics of the animal shape assumed, but will retain her Knowledge and other cognitive skills (e.g., Profile, Bargain, etc.).  Some sample animals are given below:

  • Wolf:  STR=4D, DEX=4D, CON=4D, INS=+1D.  +3D to Search rolls using the senses of smell or hearing.  Claws and teeth = +1D damage.  +2D Endurance for running.
  • Eagle:  STR=1D, DEX=5D, CON=1D, INS=+1D.  +4D to Search rolls using sight.  Talons = +1D damage and reduce armor by 1D.  +3D to Dodge attempts.  May fly at 20m/round.
  • Snake:  STR=1D, DEX=3D, CON=1D, INS=+1D.  +2D to Search rolls using the sense of smell.  Scales give +1D vs. damage.  +5D to Jumping, Climbing and Swimming attempts.  +3D to Dodge.  Can bite for +1D and inject venom that will do 4D damage to a victim for 1D6 rounds.
  • Cat:  STR=1D, DEX=5D, CON=1D, INS=+1D.  +2D to Search rolls.  +3D to Stealth.  Nightvision.  +3D to Jumping, Climbing and Dodge attempts.


KNACKS
Knacks are magical talents that characters may develop over time.  Most Knacks are acquired through lineage--family members will share the same talents (usually one main one).  No character may have more than one Knack.  Furthermore, individuals often manifest the nature of their Knacks in their personalities.  Thus, someone with Harm may often seem cruel and cold;  someone else with Elsewhere might be flighty and irresponsible;  or an Accelerant may always talk fast and move quickly.

Accelerant
Time of Use: NA
Difficulty: Easy (10).  For each 5 points above 10, the Accelerant gains one more action.
    With this Knack, a person may augment her speed to unnatural levels.  For each 5 points over the 10 that the character rolls, she gains 1 additional action (without penalties) for the round, and adds 10m to her normal movement.

Brainbreak
Time of Use:  1 round.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15).  Any individual within range may make a Resistance roll to avoid the Brainbreak's effects.
Limitations:  A Brainbreak acts much like a scream.  It will effect all within its range and diminish with distance.
Range:  2/5/10
Damage:  Skill level at Short Range (2 meters).  Skill Level -1D from 2  to 5 meters.  Skill Level -3D at up to 10 meters.
    With Brainbreak, an individual can focus his mental energies into a powerful assault on the brain of another.  The result is an overload of sensory inputs that causes at the very least, a shocking stun, and at the most incapacitating pain.  If the attempt fails, the Brainbreaker must roll a Resistance check of suffer the appropriate amount of damage.

Braincrank (Knowledge/Instincts/Presence)
Time of Use: 1 round for focus the mental energies required.
Difficulty:  See below
Duration:  5 minutes.
Limitations:  After using Braincrank, the character will become very worn out mentally.  He will suffer -1D to all skills controlled by Mental Attribute and any Magical Ability attempted until he has rested for half an hour or after one hour of normal activity.
    With a successful use, the Braincrank can temporarily augment one of his mental attributes (which is chosen when the skill is taken), according to the table below:
 

Difficulty
Augmented Dice
Easy (10) +1D
Moderate (15) +2D
Difficult (20) +3D
Very Difficult (25) +4D
For every 5 points above 25, the effect is extended an additional 5 minutes.

Channeling
Time of Use: 1D6 x 10 minutes.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15).  May be modified for conditions and the spirit sought.
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
    With Channeling, one may reach out to the spirit world and communicate with its inhabitants.  Unlike Seance, this is not a simply a dialogue, but an actual union with the spirit sought.  The spirit inhabits the Chandler and may communicate user her voice and body.  However, this is not a possession, as the Chandler may regain control of her body at will and the spirit may not do anything with the body that the Chandler does not want.
    The difficulty increases as one is looking for more solitary spirits, or ones that have been dead for longer periods.  The attempt may become easier if the Chandler has an item belonging to the departed spirit or is in an area important to the spirit.
 

Collector of Lost Thoughts
Time of Use: 1 round to several to "sift" through lost thoughts.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) for "random" searches of thoughts.  Moderate (15) when the character focuses.  GM's may modifying, depending on the value and precision or a particular thought.
Advancement:  Normal (1x).
Limitations:  The character cannot turn off this ability, which can be a bit maddening at times.
    The Collector of Lost Thoughts picks up forgotten ideas, stray fancies, and half-baked theories that have slipped from the minds of others.  These thoughts just float out in the Universe, waiting to be rediscovered and put to some use.  Most of what is intercepted is useless, but every once in a while, the Collector will find something of use and remember it.  When the character is faced with a particular problem, especially one requiring ingenuity or research of an abstract or obtuse idea, he may make a check against this Knack.  When successful, the character will have the thought and know the identity of the original thinker.
    This Knack becomes particularly useful when the character focuses on trying to recover the lost thoughts of a particular person.  By occupying a place once inhabited by a person, the character may attempt to "gather" the person's scattered thoughts.  Much may be learned about a person by "reading" their lost thoughts--secret plans, weaknesses, hopes, and desires.

Delerium
Time of Use: 1 round.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) + Target's Willpower (for Hallucinations) or + Target's Resistance (for Opiate Effects).
    Delerium permits a character to induce a hallucinatory and opiate effect in a target.  The character will have no control over the exact content of the hallucinations, as they will be manifestations from the target's subconscious.  As such, Delerium may sometimes be learned to uncover the inner secrets of a target without the target's consent or knowledge.
    A target who falls to the effects of Delerium will suffer the following penalties:

  • Hallucinations:  Failing a Willpower check, the target will begin to hallucinate for 1D6 minutes.  During that time, the target may still act "normally" if an additional Willpower check is made each round.  This means that the hallucination will still be seen, but the target is maintaining enough control to function somewhat normally.  Regardless, the target will suffer -1D to all actions that round.  If the target fails the second Willpower check, he will succumb to the hallucination and believe it is real.  He will be unable to act for that round (though may make another check the following round).
  • Opiate Effects:  The target will begin to feel numb, perhaps even pleasurable.  If a Resistance check is made, the target will simply feel "warm and fuzzy".  If the Resistance check fails, the target will be overcome by the "high" and suffer -1D to all actions.  However, any penalties accrued from Wound Levels may be ignored.
Dreamwalk
Time of Use: 1 minute to enter a trance in order to enter the Dreamworld.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) to enter a Dreamstate and control one's actions.  Moderate (15) to seek out and find another Dreamer.  Difficult (20) to alter the Dreamscape in slight ways.
    The ability to enter the Dreamwold and control one's own actions.  At much higher difficulty levels, the character can do "impossible" things.  Extremely difficult rolls needed to hurt or kill someone in real life (if you kill someone in "normal" combat, they wake up right before they die).  Inside the Dreamworld, most natural dreamers (those who do not use Dreamwalk to enter the Dreaming, but only go to sleep), will lose most of the inhibitions and self-control.  As such, they may be questioned or observed, and much may learned from them.
    The Dreaming is full of untold mysteries, monsters and puzzles.  It may be as dangerous to the Dreamwalker as the Waking World.

Elsewhere
Time of Use: instantaneous, but the character cannot take any additional actions this round.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15), or as an opposed roll to an attack.
    A character with Elsewhere has the innate ability to "not be here."  It's not that they consciously move or teleport, but rather that the Universe essentially "reassigns" them a different space.  Elsewhere does not need to be activated by the character--in fact, the character has no real control over it.  The power simply serves to move the character away from danger to a relatively safe place (note the use of relatively--it may well be out of the fire, but into the frying pan...).
    Elsewhere activates when the going gets tough.  So, when a character is attacked, he may roll the dice for Elsewhere to see if the power turns on and moves him out of the way of the attack.
    When the dice are rolled, the higher the dice value the more convenient and safe the new location will be.  Thus, a roll of 15 might just displace the character by a few feet, perhaps only out of range of a swinging sword.  But, a roll of 30 might remove the character to an adjacent room or around a corner from the attacker.  Likewise, a Complicated roll may actually place the character in greater danger!
    Note that Elsewhere activates regardless of the character's intent.  He may wish to jump in front of a crossbow bolt to shield a friend, but the Knack will engage and move him out of the way.  The Knack may also work when things are simply unpleasant for the character:  he is being yelled at, on a bad date, or about to get splashed on by a passing taxi cab.  GM's should feel free to be mischievous with this potent Knack.

Ethos
Time of Use: 1 round
Difficulty:  Moderate (15) or opposing Willpower roll if the "victim" is attempt to conceal her emotions.
Range: Line of sight.  Once made, the connection may be maintained even if the empath isn't looking directly at the other being, but she must be capable of looking at her.
    With Ethos, a character may form deep emotional links with other beings (human and otherwise).  She will sense their emotional stage, perhaps even more profoundly that the other being will.  With this ability, she can sense deceptions, anger, love (and lust), and the rest of the spectrum of emotions.  This knowledge may be used to gain advantages in Bargaining, Conning, Persuading and Commanding other people.  For each 5 points above the difficulty level, the empathic character may add 1D to any of those rolls for the next minute (10 rounds).  The character may also "broadcast" her emotions, permitting a kind of communication when verbal speech is unavailable.  She may only broadcast to beings within her line of sight.

Firmare
Time of Use: 1 round to activate.
Duration:  Once activated, the character may keep this power "up", but suffer a -1D to all other actions (and must continue to touch the object).  Once the character stops touching the object, it will retain its Strength for 1D6 rounds.
Difficulty:  Very Easy (5).  The degree of success sets the increased strength of the object.
Range:  Must be touching the object.  The added Strength will spread up to 20 feet.  GM's may increase the difficult if the character attempts to extend the range.
    This power permits the character to reinforce the natural strength of objects and structures.  For every 5 points above the Base Difficulty, the character adds 1D to the object's Strength for purposes of providing support or resisting damage.  When used on animate objects (like people), the character's power increases the recipient's Constitution to resist damage, but slows him as well, reducing the Dexterity by the same value.

Harm
Time of Use: 1 round.
Difficulty:  Moderate (15) or Victim's Resistance roll (which ever is higher).
Range:  5m.  Increase the Difficulty by 5 for every additional 10 meters.
    With Harm, the character may, well, hurt other people.  Wounds will simply begin to appear on the victim's body--a split lip, a black eye, a broken finger, etc.  The victim may make a Resistance roll to avoid being damaged, but if that fails, he will take full damage regardless of any natural or artificial armor.
    The one hitch for a Harming character, is that if she Complicates her attempt, the Harm will backlash and be inflicted on her (though she may make a Resistance roll to avoid it as well).

Juice (Strength/Dexterity/Constitution)
Time of Use:  1 round to concentrate energies and "juice" the chosen Attribute.
Difficulty:  See below.
Duration:  1D6 Rounds.
Limitations:  After Juice has been activated,  the character will  become extremely hungry and tired.  He will suffer -1D to all actions for 1/2 hour.
    With a successful use, a person with this Knack may temporarily augment one of his physical characteristics (chosen when the power is activated) according to the table below.
 

Difficulty
Augmented Dice
Easy (10) +1D
Moderate (15) +2D
Difficult (20) +3D
Very Difficult (25) +4D
For every 5 points above 25, the effect is extended an additional 1D6 Rounds.

Leech (Heat/Blood/Soul)
Time of Use: 1 round per level leeched.
Difficulty:  Very Easy (5) or Victim's Resistance roll (which ever is higher).
Limitations:  Leeches no longer gain sustenance from normal food and water.  They must feed on their particular nourishment at least once per week in order to survive.  After 7 days, they suffer a -1D to all actions, which is cumulative each day until they feed (-1D on day 8, -2D on day 9, etc.).  When their Constitution reaches 0D, they drop into a coma-like state.  They must make an Easy (10) Endurance roll each day thereafter, or die.
    The Leech may draw energy from other living creatures.  There are different kinds of Leeches.  Some absorb the body heat of victims, others suck blood, absorb magical energy, and even a person's soul.  All must touch their victim in some way (different Leeches have different methods) and the victim may attempt to Dodge.  Once contact is made, the Leech rolls an opposing roll against the victim's Resistance roll.  For every 3 points that the Leech's roll exceeds the victim's, the Leech may add 1D to any Physical Attribute (choose at the time the Leeching attempt is made).  The leeching effect wears off at the rate of 1D every 10 minutes, until the Leech's attributes return to normal.  Some examples of Leeches include:

  • Vampires:  leech victims by biting them and sucking out their blood.  The victim takes 1 Wound Level of damage for each 1D gained by the vampire and is "drained" at the Mortally Wounded level.
  • Velvets:  absorb the heat of victims by kissing them.  Reduces the Victim's Strength by 1D for every 1D gained.  At 0D, the victim will collapse and is considered Mortally Wounded.  The victim may regain his Strength by warming himself up and resting for one half hour per level drained.
  • Wights:  suck victim's souls by looking them straight in the eye.  The victim suffers -10 Mana Points for each level leeched by the Wight.  When the victim reaches 0 Mana Points, she collapses and is considered Mortally Wounded.
Mindspeak
Time of Use: 1 rounds. Once a "link" is established, this power may remain activated, but counts as 1 action (-1D to all other actions).
Difficulty: Easy (10)/Moderate (15)/Difficult (20)/ Extremely Difficult (30)/Heroic (50)/Godlike (75)
Range:  10m/100m/1000m/100 kilometers/Anywhere on Earth/Another Dimension
Limitation:   the user may only  receive those thoughts "broadcast" towards her.
    With Mindspeak, a character may broadcast her thoughts into the minds of others.  Furthermore, she may "read" the minds of those around her. However, she may only pick up those thoughts which are deliberately broadcast "towards" her (essentially, the other person must think that he is "thinking" at the mindspeaker.

Numbing
Time of Use:  1 round.
Difficulty:  Victim's Resistance Roll
    Quite simply, the character has the ability to make others dumber--at least temporarily.  For every 5 points the character's Numbing roll exceeds the victim's Resistance roll, the victim's Knowledge, Presence and Instincts Attributes are reduced by 1D (to a minimum of 1D) for 5 minutes
    When the victim's mental attribute reaches 1D, Numbing does not reduce the attribute further, but rather extends the the effect for additional 5 minutes (for each 5 points over the Resistance score).

Opening:
Time of Use:  1 round.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) for unlocked objects designed to be opened (e.g., doors, boxes);  Moderate (15)  for standard locks;  Difficult (20) for intricate locks;  Very Difficult (25) for mystic locks or objects note designed to be opened (e.g., human beings, statutes).  GM's may further modified the difficulty for particular objects or those protected by magic.
    With Opening, the character may open virtually anything: doors, locks, people, or anything else that might be opened or closed.

Pain
Time of Use:  1 round.
Duration:  1 round +1 round for every 5 points achieved above the Difficulty.
Difficulty:  Roll opposed to the victim's Constitution -1D.
Range:  2 m.  Add 5 to the Difficult for every addition 5 meters.
    This character may inflict blinding pain on a victim.  No real injury occurs, but the victim will feel it as if it were real--the searing pain of a broken nose, the swelling pulse of a black eye, the difficulty in breathing that follows a blow to the chest.

Resuscitating
Time of Use:  1 round per level healed.
Difficulty:  See below.
Limitations:  The Resuscitator suffers -1D to all actions for each level healed.  He may regain 1D for every half an hour he rests or every hour of normal activity.
    With Rescuscitating, a character may heal the wounds of another.  This is usually accomplished by touching the wounds and concentrating.

Selfslip
Time of Use:  1 round.
Difficulty:  Easy (10) + Victim's Willpower Roll
Range:  Touching.  Add 15 to the Difficulty if attempted at a distance of 1-10 meters.
    This Knack represents the ability to slide the soul out of one's own body and insert it into someone else's.  The new "host" may attempt to resist with a Willpower roll, added to the Easy (10) difficulty.  The host's soul will be suppressed until the Selfslipping character evacuates the body and returns to her own.  In the meantime, the Selfslipper's body will be in a coma-like state until re-inhabited.

Stillspeak
Time of Use: 1 round.
Difficulty:  Easy (10).  GM's may modify the difficulty for particular objects or "dialects".
Range:  Must be within distance of the Stillspeaker's voice;  the objects will speak in normal tones, usually recognizable from about 10-15 feet away at most.
    Stillspeak grants the character the ability to carry on normal conversations with objects usually considered to be "inanimate".  These might include:  rocks, swords, plants, pools of water and just about anything else that doesn't "speak" (or squeak, chirp or bark).  The user may speak to the object and it will respond, if it  wants to (GM's discretion).  Inanimate things have an entirely different take on time and reality than most animate beings, so speaking with them may sometimes be confusing.  For example, rocks tend to speak slowly and have a very poor concept of time (100 years may seem like only a minute ago).  A pool of water is actually composed of millions of water molecules that are constantly interacting and in motion.  So the conversation may be fragmented, hectic and wildly capricious.

Warping
Time of Use: 1 round.
Difficulty:  Depends on range:  Moderate (15)/Difficult (20)/Very Difficult (25)/Unearthly (50)/Godlike (75);  add 5 to the Difficulty for every additional 50 pounds transported.
Range:  20m/100m/1000m/Anywhere on Earth/Another dimension
Limitation:  The character may only teleport to an area with which he is familiar and can fully visualize in his mind.
    Warping allows one to shift through time and space, from one place to another.  The character may take his personal belongings and up to about 50 pounds worth of weight without penalty.
 

CURSES
Players may choose to visit a Curse upon their character in order to receive extra Skill Dice at character creation.  Also, over the course of a campaign, characters may suffer temporary--or even permanent--Curses.  It is conceivable that a character may rid herself of a Curse.  But, this may only occur after great trials and difficulty--usually a long and arduous quest.  Furthermore, when the Curse is removed, some price will likely be extracted (loss of a prized possession or, at least, the skill dice acquired under the Curse). GM's should limit the number of Curses one character may take (2 or 3 at most).  A few Curses are listed below:

Doomed
Dice Value:  4D
    This character is screwed, no matter what (or, at least as long as the Curse remains).  All the oracles, tarot cards and tea leaves point in one direction:  Imminent Death.  It may be tomorrow, it may be next week, it might even be next year.  But it's soon.  Make your peace and sign your will.  It's coming.

Forced Pacifism
Dice Value:  3D
    This character cannot commit acts of violence on other beings without suffering immobilizing pain.  In fact, the amount of pain suffered is proportional to the victim's Resistance value +1D.  Thus, a character with a Resistance of 4D will suffer 5D of damage when she attempts to attack another being.  Usually, this Curse only triggers when the character attempts to directly hurt another being.  It is conceivable that a trap could be set that eventually hurt someone (GM's discretion, of course).

Forgetfulness
Dice Value: 4D
    This character can hardly remember whether he put his pants on this morning.  It's not that he forgets everything, just the stuff he really needs to remember.  When the character is attempt to remember something, he must make a Willpower roll in order to do so.  Periodically, the GM may make the player do a Willpower check to see if the character has forgotten something important (the player will just have to role-play it).
    GM's also may role-play this by not reminding a player of information given in the past.  Of course, players may get around this by writing things down, which is fine (as long as the character has a pen and paper handy in the game).  Of course, the character may forget where his notepad went...

Geas
Dice Value:  3D
    The character has been cursed with a dangerous and unavoidable quest.  The magic has ingrained the urge to complete the quest so thoroughly, that the character will only be able to avoid pursuing her goal when she makes a Difficult (20) Willpower check.  The quest may be revenge for a killed family member, recovery of an ancient holy relic, or the hunting of a mystical beast.  What ever it may be, the character will always be drawn back to the quest and will die attempting to accomplish it.

Hauntings
Dice Value:  3D
    The character is regularly visited by ghosts and other spirits.  The character may only see these spirits when they choose to manifest themselves (though they will remain invisible to everyone else).  The ghosts will often pester or torment the character, perhaps asking favors or simply trying to scare her.  Every so often, particularly at inconvenient times, the GM should roll a single D6.  On 1-3, a ghost will appear.  On a 4, several ghosts.  On 5 or 6, the character will go unhaunted, at least for a time.
    While being visited, the character must make a Willpower roll against an Easy Difficulty (10) for one ghost or Moderate (15) for several in order to be able to properly pay attention to anything else. If the character fails the Willpower roll, he will suffer -1D for the entire time the ghosts remain, unless he can convince them to shut up or go away (bargains may be made, but they can be expensive...)

Hunger
Dice Value:  4D
    The character longs for a particular kind of nourishment--usually rare or expensive, occasionally even gruesome.  In fact, the character no longer receives satisfaction from normal kinds of food.  The Hunger must be fed at least once every few days, or the character will begin to suffer the same symptoms as drug withdrawal--shaking, sweating, nausea and weakness (-1D to all actions until fed).  For every day beyond 3 the character goes unfed, he will suffer an additional -1D to all actions.  When his Constitution reaches 0D, the character will go into a coma and be considered Incapacitated).

Ill Luck
Dice Value:  2D
    The character simply has bad luck.  Instead of Complicating on a Wild Die result of 1, followed by a roll of a 6, the character will Complicate when a Wild Die result of 1 is followed by a roll of 4, 5 or 6.
    Sucks to be you, dude...

Intangible
Dice Value:  4D
    This character cannot tangibly interact with the physical world.  Like a ghost (perhaps he is a ghost!), he may pass through walls, float into the air, and cannot be touched by mere mortals.  However, neither can he pick up objects, open a door, or touch a loved one.  As a result, the character is invulnerable to normal, mundane forms of attack (such as fists, fire, and bullets)--though neither can he attack in response.  The character may be harmed be certain enchanted objects and spells (and, quite possibly, by other intangible characters).

Lovesick
Dice Value:  2D
    This character is smitten stupid.  Cupid unloaded a whole quiver of arrows into him and forgot to save one for the object of the victim's affection.  Thus, this character is doomed to love unrequited.  In fact, nothing he can say or do will win over the object of his affection.  Regardless, he will continually try to win his love's favor--risking life, limb and even friends to that end.  When faced with such an urge, the character may make a Difficult (20) Willpower check to avoid giving into it.

Possession
Dice Value:  4D
    This character is possessed by another soul, usually one of supernatural origin, such as a demon.  The character usually functions properly, but when under stress or at other inconvenient times (GM's discretion), the possessing soul will try to become dominant.  When that occurs, the player may make a Difficult Willpower check to try and repress the Possessor.  If the check fails, the Possessor dominates.  The Possessor will have an entirely different personality and agenda and will be controlled by the GM.  Once per hour, the character may make a Difficult Willpower check to try to re-surface.

Lycanthropy
Dice Value:  3D
    This character involuntarily turns into a were-beast during 3 nights of every month (the days before and after the full moon and, of course, on the night of the full moon itself).  When this occurs, the character physically transforms into a savage wolf/boar/bear/puma or any other dangerous, wild beast (chosen when the Curse is taken).  The character's entire personality will be subsumed and the feral instinct will dominate.  The beast will hunt, kill, and generally act like a dangerous animal.  The character will retain vague memories of his actions, but be utterly unable to control them.  When the transformation occurs, the character gains +3D to Strength, +3D to Dexterity, +4D to Constitution, -3D to Knowledge (and cannot "reason" in a human sense), +3D to Instincts, and -3D to Presence.  Despite rumors to the contrary, the werebeast can be killed by any conventional means (but, admittedly, it's much harder).  If killed, the beast reforms into its human appearance.
    Over time, the Lycanthrope may accumulate more beast-like characteristics, such as desiring rare meat, developing a short temper, and, um, getting hair in new and interesting places.  Furthermore, Lycanthropes recognize one another, even when in human form.

Selfshift
Dice Value:  3D
    This rare Curse shifts the victim's appearance into a constant state of flux--it constantly shifts in imperceptible ways.  Within a few minutes, the character's appearance is completely different.  As a result, people, even friends, never recognize the character.  This makes it hard to maintain relationships and business contacts and can lead to a certain kind of schizophrenia in the victim.

Sensitivity (Sunlight/Happiness/Religious Symbols/Magic/Water, etc.)
Dice Value:  1D for every 2D taken in Sensitivity..
    This character has an especially strong allergy or aversion to a particular thing or state of being.  When the character comes into contact with it, he will take physical and psychic damage as a result.
    For every 1D in Skill Dice the character receives from this Curse, she will take 2D in damage.  The damage roll may be opposed with the character's Resistance Dice.  Regardless of the outcome, the character will at least be Stunned for the round following initial exposure on each new encounter with the substance or state.
    It may be difficult to imagine someone being sensitive to a state of being.  However, imagine that each time a character feels genuinely happy (met someone she like, found a valuable object, vanquished a foe), she received a jolt of pain.  Or, a different character may be shocked when anger wells up within him.
    As always, GM's and players should role-play this Curse creatively.

Stench
Dice Value:  2D
    You stink, man.  No really, you've got some kind of raunchy odor clinging to you like bad news to a newspaper.  People notice the smell when you get within 10 feet of them (no Search check required), and can start picking up whiffs as far out as 50 feet (the wind may obscure or carry the smell a bit).  It doesn't both you so much anymore, but any friends you might have don't particularly like it.  To make matters worse, it seems to intensify when you get excited or stressed.  How's that for a party trick?
 


 

The book Neverwhere is copyright Neil Gaiman, the TV series was copyright to the BBC, and the gaming system is copyright West End Games.  This site is wholly unauthorized.  Please don't sue me.

August 2002