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Saturday, October 21, 2017

American Nero (Trump)

How are you resisting Trump today?

Today? Today I told someone on the phone how much I disliked Donald Trump. And the person I was talking to told me how much she disliked Donald Trump. Then we sort of went on and talked about cat videos. I think I told someone at work how much I disliked Trump today. Or I added to the affirmation of the people around me who disliked Trump. For bonus points, I have even told a Trump supporter how little I think of our current president and then went on to extrapolate how much better the present would likely be if Hillary had won the election.

So other than occasionally boostering people already on my side and occasionally ticking some innocent person off with my expressed opinions, I have done little in the way of resisting Trump.

I have been writing a novel. No, it’s not about Trump. And it is little use as a manifesto on resistance to Trump, or, for that matter, any sort of resistance whatsoever. I don’t write those sort of novels. Mind you, I do not deny the power that such novels have. An Uncle Tom’s Cabin or the Grapes of Wraith about Trump is certainly called for. But I am not writing it.

I work full time, too. And I’m working on a revision of my game. And I have social obligations and laundry to clean and meals to make. Although resisting Trump is very high on my agenda, I frankly have not had the time.

I made a logo.

I even made a second logo. (Not shown, although it is a little more even.) And I have a big sign for my logo to go on. All I now need is a protest to join and I am there.

I live in Chicago. Well, I live near Chicago. There have been some protests here. I accidentally walked through one the last time I was downtown. The protest was in a rather logical and easy to get to place, right across the street from Trump Tower Chicago. And I am ready to head back there to join in.

Problem is, that’s not where the protests are. The protests move. A lot of the protests are in places where it is difficult (*) for me to attend. And not all of them are about the IMMEDIATE REMOVAL OF DONALD J. TRUMP AS HEAD OF THE AMERICAN STATE.

Case in point: the last protest that I could attend was also downtown, but its purpose was not primarily Anti-Trump, but rather Anti-Balbo.

Balbo? Italo Balbo, an Italian Fascist. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely against fascism. And I am willing to extend Dotard Trump the honor of calling him a fascist, although of the nitwit variety. If Italo Blabo was going to appear downtown to talk up either Trump or fascism, I would be there waving my sign and my logo, protesting with all of the fever I can muster.

But Balbo wasn’t there. Because he’s dead. Been dead since 1940--when a bunch of other Italian fascists mistook his civilian aircraft for something more menacing and shot his little ass down. And that happened in Libya, not Chicago. The Chicago connection is that back in 1933 Italo Balbo flew an Air Armada of 24 sea planes from Italy to Chicago, arguably to help put a little fascist cherry on a festival called the Century of Progress.

It was a neat feat. (Even though Balbo did not fly direct.) Balbo even came with a gift, an ancient Roman column, which he presented to Chicago’s city fathers. It was later put out on display, complete with its own little plaque praising the achievements of fascism. Chicago held Balbo a parade and renamed part of 7th Street as Balbo Drive.

Both the street name and the column and the plaque have remained, curiosities of history.  At the time Balbo made his trip, Italy was not at war with the United States. Balbo himself would be dead by the time hostilities broke out. The monument and street name stayed in place all during WWII, without protest or undo mention.

Why the sudden rush to bring it down now? I haven’t a clue. Perhaps it is because we have no Confederate monuments to pull down and the protesters feel left out? (**)

I am not for renaming the street or tearing down the monument. I am not here to defend Balbo, other than to say he is not Hitler, not a gestapo agent and not anywhere near as bad of an actor as Benito Mussolini.  He’s a rival of Mussolini’s who became politically sidetracked. Balbo went on record against joining up with Hitler and was opposed to Jewish segregation. While in political exile in Libya, he engaged in a number of military actions meant to advance the Italian position against other colonial powers—certainly involving the bloodshed of thousands of innocent Africans. That makes him a standard issue European leader of the time. When push came to shove—when it was politically dangerous for him to do so—Balbo wanted Italy to side with the United Kingdom. As historic figures go, he’s more questionable and misguided than he is an unvarnished monster. If Chicago starts tearing down every edifice erected by questionable people, we will be standing in open prairie.    

Similarly, I am not out to participate in any rally against the police. Or the school district. Or builders using scab labor. I have some sympathy for Black Lives Matter and the Dreamers, but the issue is Trump. Until we get rid of Trump, nothing else matters.

This makes me reconsider what it is  I am protesting against, whether I belong in the mob of the professional protester class. (At least in Chicago there is such a class.) I want this president out because he is a clown. He is embarrassing our country, both with his erratic comportment and his active ignorance of human decency. And he’s incompetent. If anything, the Trump administration has shown how strong the rest of our institutions are. The country isn’t crumbling. (***) It is merely everything that is under the president’s direction control that is acting winky.  Unless he reaches for the nuclear football, it is not an immediately fatal position. It’s like having a bad quarterback or a bad pitcher (or a bad striker). He’s gotta go. We don’t need an American Nero.

What we need is a mechanism to directly elect the president. A value-added move would be a mechanism for public recall. Those are the underlying causes. This isn’t the first time the Republicans have foisted upon us a president the majority of voters didn’t vote for. By popular count, both Trump and Bush lost.  Two is the charm, transforming anomaly into defect. The electoral college needs to go.

Now all I need is 20 million other people who feel the same way.

What are the chances that protests alone will bring down the president?  Empirically, none. One can argue that widespread discontent over the war was the reason LBJ did not run again. The same ‘discontent’ cause was the reason there were no second Carter or Bush I terms. But these presidents weren’t unseated. The last widespread popular protest led to the Civil War—and that did not unseat Lincoln. So my fellow protesters and I are up against it.

Causing a coup or prompting a resignation would require either a nationwide strike or widespread civil disorder. None of that is likely nor desirable. The best I can do by protesting is to lend my support to other actors—the free press, the agents of the law, politicians—hopefully inspiring them to do the right thing.

Long odds and imperfect allies alone are not good reasons to stop. My logo and I are ready.


(*) I am not driving downtown. I commute via rail. If the protest is reasonably reachable via public transport, I’m there. There are also certain places where I frankly am not going. Your rally at 8 PM in Logan’s Square can go on without me.

(**) The majority Confederate monuments should be pulled down. Most were put up during the aftermath of Reconstruction, primarily by whites attempting to reinforce Jim Crow.  That said, there are no Confederate monuments in Chicago, yet the place remains fairly segregated. It’s the monuments in people’s hearts which need to be torn down.

(***) Puerto Rico is a disaster and it’s all Trump’s fault. It is true that three large disasters in a short period are hard for even the best run governments to cope with. But Florida and Texas are now under control. Where is the plan of attack for the island? This is a national disgrace of the highest order, on a par with the fumble on New Orleans. Republicans truly do not like  brown people. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

WDMA Abilities Arsenal Update

Mental advantage

Not all characters endowed with psionic powers are emaciated mind batteries propped up with stilts attached to their oversized noggins. (Just the real powerful ones are.) Science Fiction has also provided us with an archetype of more active action and adventure-ready psychics. (Who are nowhere near as powerful as the heads propped up with stilts guys.) These action psychics fall into three broad categories: (1) People who are marginal as psychics or marginal on the extranormal scale—“gifted” stock market prognosticators and street corner fortune tellers; (2) Characters who are mostly martial artists or gunslingers—at some point both cowboy and kung fu expert dovetail into the mystic; and (3) Heroes/Bad Guys who have one fabulous psychic power and then trickle out a bunch of little seemingly extrapolated skills as the plot winds on. It is for the one stop shopping ease of these characters that we have conceived the MENTAL ADVANTAGE suite. (While we do not place any preconditions or restrictions as to what type of characters can allocate for this suite, that is the intention of the design.) This is what the truly minor mentalist has in his kitchen drawer.

Mechanics: This power cost 55 points plus SAVE. Unlike other suite type powers, any and all applications of the MENTAL ADVANTAGE may be used at any time or in conjunction with each other on any action. (See rules below.) Treat each individual aspect as a separate power. For an additional 25 points, the aspects can be linked to different BASESTATS.  The functional aspects of this power are:
  • Avoid /Block /Counter/Prevent: User literally draws fire. At the user’s option, he can draw any projected damage causing attack from its target and at himself. The user is endowed with a damage reduction barrier, a variable DEFL rating equal to the ACT in dice. The user may use the barrier to reduce the damage of an attack on him or drawn his way. The user may also use the Avoid ability to reduce damage from attacks on other people. The range of this ability is equal to the SAVE in meters from the user. When used to block attacks on the user or others, the power functions on any roll other than two 1s. On the roll of any other doubles, the damage inflicted is nullified entirely—otherwise the damage is simply reduced. This aspect may only be used on one attack per action. It may be deployed on the user’s initiative or after the user’s initiative.  
  • Amuse/Annoy/Bargain/Calm/Gossip/Instigate/Mislead/Panic/Horrify/ Startle/ Intimidate/Tame: Our user is a virtuoso BS artist, a Michelangelo of claptrap, a highly persuasive communicator. Or he seems to be. To people with IQs and WILL ratings of Below Average through Above Average, the user seems utterly sincere. People with Skilled level or above ratings in IQ or WILL are entitled to a stunt roll using either level as active level against MENTAL ADVANTAGE’s level. A successful roll will allow the target to examine our user’s statements critically and evaluate them on their own merits. Persons with a Mutant or better level in both IQ and WILL are immune to this aspect. Certain powers, such as LIE DETECT, may serve as a defense against this ability. Ability may only be used to produce one of the titled effects. Power works on all people the user intends to effect within the ACT in meters.  
  • Attract/Fetch: User is in possession of a weak tractor beam, a minor telekinetic force, which can be projected up to the SAVE in meters. It has a maximum lift of the ACT in pounds. This force may lift objects and move them at a rate of 1/10th the ACT per action. It may not operate held items nor attack with them.
  • Audit/Map/Reveal/Frisk/Lick/Memorize/Recall/Record/Picture/Postulate. This is the power to perform a comprehensive sweep of a set area. It records the position of people and objects within the SAVE of the user. The three-dimensional image can then be recalled and displayed as an illusion at any later ime the user chooses. Power bestows a Conditional Advantage of ACT when attempting to detect hidden or concealed targets. (Including targets protected by CLOAK, DISPLACEMENT and any other concealing powers.) In passive mode, it counts as the user’s SUPER SENSE (or an additional  SUPER SENSE) providing that the user has a PERC level of Mutant or better. The power may not describe everything about in detail in real time, but it does preserve a perfect record. At the user’s choice, he can hone the scan to Frisk or otherwise sense an individual target. This will yield a specific description of what the target is composed of or may be carrying. (It may not be able to describe the object’s function, but rather how it appears and what it is made of.) Honing in on a target prevents the user from deploying any other ability in the Mental Advantage Suite. Finally, the user may call on the power to determine the context of the events transpiring in the area or to predict what is about to happen next. Using the power in this mode prevents the user from using any other power, moving or attacking. Honing in or Postulating takes a full action.   
  • Awaken/Disbelieve. User is immune to ILLUSION and cannot be stunned (STUN=HTK). He has a defense equal to MENTAL ADVANTAGE’s level against all mental attacks. This entitles the user to a stunt roll for each action he is held under the sway of a mental ability. The user may also use his Awaken ability to help others. The user may cancel the stun of a person within the SAVE in meters from him. This function activates on a double ones roll. The user may also dispel illusions, using the power’s linked level as the active level against the level the illusion is created by.  
  • Indirect Conceal. The user is specifically good at evading detection by indirect means. When active, this power prevents the user from being picked up on cameras or sensed by electronic or mechanical means. The user cannot be detected by mental means, except as a result of a critical success roll by a person whose mental powers are at least on the same (BASTAT linked) level as his own. At the sacrifice of deploying the ability to protect himself, the user may project this defense on others within the SAVE in meters away. The power does nothing to conceal the character from being seen or sensed in person.
  • Exploit. User has a knack for picking out a target’s weakness. If the target has some sort of secret weakness, such as taking damage from a type of element, an eversion to flame or not being able to defend himself from objects made out of yellow wood, our user has a chance to stumble on it. The user otherwise has a 1 in 6 chance per action to detect something of more actionable use. Player rolls two dice. On a roll of double 2,3,4,5, the user is granted 1 to 36 points which he may use as a Conditional Advantage in combat, a bonus to next action’s initiative or as bonus dice of damage to be used on an attack. On a roll of two 1s, the user also gains insight into the target’s secret weakness. On a roll of two 6s, the user also is awarded maximum damage to his next attack or a next attack which bypasses a target’s DEFL or other defense. As opposed to using this advantage himself, the user may gift it to another person within the SAVE of meters away.
  • Gag/Muffle/Quiet/Sleep/Strangle. User can muffle sounds around him. He can quiet an area of SAVE in meters around him. As an attack, the user can stop a person from talking. This requires a standard combat roll and lasts one action. With a separate combat roll on the next action, the user can put the target to Sleep or start to Strangle the target. A target who is put to sleep will generally topple to the floor and then awaken as a result of the fall. A person who is put to sleep in an otherwise comfortable position will remain asleep for 1 to 6 minutes or until someone wakes them up. Strangle inflicts the ACT in dice of damage and usually bypasses DEFL. A target can break the hold of Strangle by stunning the user or moving out of the user’s range. Targets endowed with BODY CONTROL and CONTAINMENT (and perhaps a few other powers) are immune to Strangle.
  • Hallucinate/Memory Manipulation. User is capable of causing a target to have a one image, short dream-like fabricated vision. Alternatively the power may be used to implant a false memory or remove the memory of one event from the target. Requires a standard combat roll (or a roll using the power’s level as the active level and the target’s WILL as the defending level.) In combat, this power inflicts a stun on the target. What happens after that is dependent on the target. Targets with certain mental defenses may be able to discount the effects of this power.
  • Harmonize. At the expense of performing any other activity or using any other power, the user may coordinate the attacks of others. Requires a willingness on the part of each teammate. A Harmonized attack will go off on the user’s initiative. All damage successfully inflicted on the target by the Harmonized attack will count as one attack from one source for purposes of calculating DEFL and STUN and HTK loss on the target. Alternatively and without any condition, the user may choose to match the initiative order of any ally.
  • Man/Operate/Pilot. At the expense of not using the Attract/Fetch function, user may remotely operate a piece of equipment, pilot a vehicle or man a weapon. The object being operated may not be further than the SAVE in meters from the user. User cannot operate a piece of equipment which is currently being used by another party. This power does not convey any skill, merely the remote capacity to sense at the object’s area and distend force to push buttons, move levers and turn wheels. If you can’t fly an airplane to begin with, you won’t be any better at flying it remotely.
  • Tutor/Teach. The user is a natural, efficient conveyer of instruction and information. (Even if the player isn’t.)
  • Trouble Shoot. User has a knack for determining why an object is not functioning. With focus, he can make quick repairs. Repair uses the power’s level as the active level and the level of complexity as the defending level, providing the user has the tools or parts that may be needed. Simply figuring out what is wrong is a double ones roll.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

WDMA Abilities Arsenal Update

Described in this listing are a collection of physical stunts and actions abilities which could be attributed to the martial arts continuum, between COMBAT and THE MOVE, or as an adjunct to ATHLETICS, LIGHTNING REFELEXES and SUPER SPEED or as part of the gadget continuum with UTILITY BELT, TOOL ARM and the like. Whether attributed to a physical talent or a device, the ADEPT ACTION suite comprises a small catalog of combat action results.

Mechanics: Character must be endowed with at least one of the following abilities: ATHLETICS, BAG OF TRICKS, BODY CONTROL, COMBAT, LIGHTNING REFLEXES, MECHANICAL APPTITUDE, OBJECT ANIMATION, SUPER SPEED, TOUGHNESS, TOOL ARM, TRICK WEAPON or UTILITY BELT. Cost 25 plus ACT. Although the descriptions indicate that the stunts need to be applied via direct physical force, it could also be delivered by a ranged HTH Attack (thrown weapon or arrow) or by a gadget. The user may only use one application of this ability during the course of a single action. The applications are:

  1. Arrest/Constrain/Contain/Grapple/Hinder/Keep: User is particularly gifted in wrapping up opponents, blocking their limbs and/or pushing opponents off their feet. The net result is that the target will not be able to land a HTH Attack on anyone but the user and will not be able to move conventionally. Requires a conventional combat roll. Causes no damage, but inflicts a Combat Disadvantage of minus ACT to the target’s next attack. Although the user is in the target’s face, the target may evade the effect on the next action, either through the application of a power (such as FLIGHT or JUMP), by repelling the user or by stunning the user.
  2. Attach/Lash/Loom. The user has magnetized himself to his target. Once applied, the user will never be further that arm’s reach away. Whether the user is grabbing onto the target, somehow drafting on the target’s own abilities, has attached a tether to the target or is somehow just magnetic needs to be determined by the user’s character concept. Requires a successful standard combat roll. Activation takes a full action and is done at the sacrifice of the user making a physical attack. There is no conventional defense against this stunt, however targets with SLIMESKIN, LIGHTNING REFLEXES and SUPER SPEED are immune to it. TELEPORT, TRANFIGURATION and a few other abilities will break the stunt’s hold. The user may drop the ability at any time—such as when the target high tails it into the stratosphere.
  3. Balance/Catch/Juggle. User has an unusually good sense of balance, allowing him to walk tight ropes and navigate narrow areas even when running at full speed. The user is also capable of balancing any object he can lift. The user can catch any object he can lift and any projectile travelling at less than his own MPS Score or the power’s linked SAVE, whichever is higher. The user can also juggle any object he can lift. In general, a standard combat roll is needed to activate this ability.
  4. Jam/Bust Open/Scuttle: Our user is a physical demolitions expert, with a sixth sense for finding the weak spots in objects and structures. The user can block the action of simple machines, has a knack for busting through doors and forcing locks and knows how to render devices inoperable with a single action worth of blows.
  5. Match. User is a quick study in combat. On a roll of doubles, the user can match the initiative of any single opponent.
  6. Outdo/Out Maneuver. User is possessed of certain leading combat moves which can cause his opponent to slip up defensively. On a roll of doubles, the user gains either a Combat Advantage of ACT or a bonus to damage of the ACT in dice. Targets with THE MOVE, TELEPATHY, 6th SENSE and perhaps some other psychic abilities are immune to this stunt.  
  7. Pounce/Spring. Our user gets hyped in a fight. Once a fight or once an hour, the user can move to within HTH Attack range of any target, no matter how far away that target may be.
  8. Rage. Our user has a “go nuts” switch that he can flip at any time during combat. At a cost of 10% of the user’s remaining HTK points per action, the user gains the  1-36 points (multiply the result of a roll of two dice) which he can add to his IB, MPS, Combat Stunt Roll or as additional dice of damage. While in Rage mode the user is immune to ILLUSIONS or any form of mental influence.
  9. Shock Steal. User is assumed to have disarmed anyone he has stunned. It’s a bonus move, sending the weapon flying up to the SAVE in meters away. Alternatively and at the cost of losing his IB for the next action, the user may launch an immediate second attack on any target he has stunned. 

WDMA Abilities Arsenal Update


This is a collection of monster tricks and demented demi-god stunts. It is a companion ability to EVIL EYE, a half step up from KAHUNA and ALCHEMY, some also ran abilities typical to the seedier side of Wizards and Witches. It’s what the fiend with WILL TO POWER or TRANSMUTATION or WONDER POWER is also keeping in his nightstand. Although it may not be the guy’s main thing, some of these tricks are quite memorable. The suite of abilities described in this listing are the final frontier when it comes to being obnoxious. This stuff will officially make you a major monster.

Although we do not like to add prerequisites to powers, it is strongly suggested that the character have something else going for them that somehow fits the theme of these abilities. He/she/it needs to have an equal number of points invested in other powers, most typically BODY MODIFICATION. Being an alchemist or an undead wizard or a fifty meter long glob of pseudopods would fill the bill nicely.

Mechanics: Only one application may be used at a time. Applications not active may still be evident. Your eyes are still glowing, there’s a giant flame whip in your hands, the air still smells of burnt lotus, but you can only deploy the power to either boil someone alive or banish them from your sight or swallow them whole. Choices, choices. The guy you boiled last action can be banished next action. The suite cost 75 points plus SAVE for any five applications or 120 plus SAVE for access to all of them. In general, most applications function using a standard combat roll and have a range equal to the power’s SAVE. The applications are:  

  1. Accelerate/Halt: The ability to speed up or slow down targets. Can be used on people, animals or objects. Effect is single target. Target must be in motion at the time that the power is applied.
    1. When used to speed up a target, multiplies the target’s MPS by the power’s ACT. Remains in effect for a full action once applied or for as long as the user continues to have this application active. Does not increase speed further than the ACT multiplied initially. (You can speed something up to the ACT X MPS once. Prolonging the application simply maintains the new speed.) Increasing an object or person’s speed may add up to the power’s ACT in dice of damage.
    2. When used to slow down a target, reduces the target’s speed to a fraction based on the power’s ACT. ACT of 10 (Mutant) would be 1/10th, ACT of Omega would be 1/24th.  Remains in effect for a full action once applied or for as long as the user continues to have this application active. Reduces a target’s DODGE by two levels for the duration. May reduce a projectile’s damage potential by up to the ACT in dice. May also apply to a target’s HTH Damage.
Mechanics: Activates with a standard stunt roll against people and vehicles. Against all other targets, the defending level should be determined by the judge using the object’s SIZE and SPEED as considerations. Range to apply the application is equal to SAVE in meters. Even if prolonged, the power’s hold over the target is released if the target should move further than the SAVE in miles from the user.

  1. Ban/Banish/Leave/Quit/Vanish. User can utterly remove himself from a hostile situation at whim. While removed, no one will be able to find the user.  The user may similarly cause a person or object which is causing distress to be removed from near proximity and swept off to a place where the target can do no immediate harm.
A.    This function is entirely dependent on the user’s immediate emotional state. The more frightened the user is, the further away the user or his target will be transported.
B.    Except for referencing the user’s immediate emotional state, the effect of this power is entirely random. The banished will be mystically and immediately whisked off to some destination which is safe and non-restraining, but very far away—from the next town to clear on the other side of the world. The user has no control over the selection of the destination.
C.    Self as Target. Using this function on yourself is a signal that you are giving up the fight. It prevents the user from returning to the situation from which he has just fled in any way, shape or form. For a duration of the ACT in actions, no one will be able to locate the user or interact with the user in any way. When used on himself, the power may activate at any time in a combat round, even if it is not the user’s turn to move.
D.   Other’s as Target. Requires a standard combat roll. Unlike above, activates on the user’s portion of the action and not before or after. Target may be up to SAVE in meters away from the user. The actual range transported is dependent on the rules above. Targets without some form of mental defenses will be mystified as to where they are and what has happened to them for the ACT in actions. They will not be able to be found by others for the same duration. There is, however, nothing to prevent the target from using his own abilities to signal others. Targets with powers such as BODY CONTROL, 6TH SENSE or SHIELD may be able to negate the duration of being confused. Targets who have been Banished before are immune to being mystified. After that, enjoy the scenery, because you’re getting home on your own.
  1. Bleach/Color/Brighten/Glow. User glows, radiates colored lights or illuminated vapor mists or whatever his concept calls for. The user can make the area within the SAVE in meters brighter or darker or paint it in pastels or change the color of any solid object. Color changes can be selective (I only wish to turn Bruce pink) and are permanent at the user’s whim.
  2. Bless/Hone/Improve/Invest/Surge/Toughen. The user can improve the offensive and defensive abilities of others. The improvement lasts for one action, but does not have to be deployed immediately. Only one blessing may be awarded to a target at a time. The target has the SAVE in actions to make use of the bonus. Target must use all of the bonus on one action. These bonuses are derived via the user’s linked level. The bonus takes ONE of the following forms, to be decided by the target:
    1. Immediate increase of SAVE to the target’s HTK or STUN or REC or MPS or DEFL totals.
    2. Award of a Conditional Advantage of + ACT to one stunt roll or combat roll.
    3. Bonus of ACT to the target’s IB.
    4. Increase in damage of ACT in dice to one attack.
    5. Multiply the range of an attack by the ACT or double the AOE.
  3. Boil/Melt. User has the ability to super-heat targets, causing them to eventually boil or melt. Each action of the Boil attack requires a separate standard combat roll to activate or continue. The attack has some physical manifestation (a ray, a stream of flame) which connects the user to his target. It is a single target attack, useable on objects as well as living targets. Deploying a Boil attack requires the user to remain more or less stationary. (User can dodge and defend himself as per normal, but he may not change position or chase after a target while the attack is underway.) The range of a Boil attack is equal to the SAVE in meters.
    1. This power causes physical damage. It is a standard attack with a built in special effect. When a target is stunned, it has been boiled. When a target is reduced to zero HTK or less, it has been melted.
    2. Boil inflicts the ACT in dice of damage on the first attack. The damage doubles for each success each action.
EXAMPLE: Stan attacks Velsom with his Boil attack, which is rated at Mutant level (ACT 10). On the first action, it inflicts 10 dice of damage. On the second action, it inflicts 20 dice of damage. On the third action it inflicts 40 dice of damage. On the forth action it inflicts 80 dice of damage.
    1. On every action following the first, the number of dice last inflicted by Boil drops to half and continues to affect the target. The reduced dice of damage will continue to affect the target until the total is reduced to under 1 dice.
EXAMPLE: After being on the receiving end of Stan’s 80 dice of damage, Velson decides to flee the scene. Stan fails to hit Velsom on the next action, but Velsom still receives 40 dice of damage on the next action. Assuming that Velsom stays out of Stan’s line of fire, the damage inflicted on him will drop in half each successive action, from 40 to 20 to 10 to 5 to 2 to 1

EXAMPLE: During a fight with Stan, Velsom is hit three different times with the Boil attack on three successive actions. The first attack causes 10 dice of damage, the second 20 dice and the third 40 dice. On the fourth and fifth attacks, Stan misses. Velsom still takes 20 dice of damage on the fourth action and 10 dice on the fifth action. Stan hits on the sixth action, inflicting 20 dice. (You either get the half of the previous round’s damage or it doubles—the effect is not additive.)      
    1. Targets are entitled to reduce the damage inflicted by their DEFL Total on each attack. SHIELD and FORTITUDE negate the damage doubling effect, but not the half damage effect. Persons with BODY CONTROL and CONTAINMENT and perhaps some other abilities are entitled to a stunt roll to negate the damage inflicted. Targets endowed with NRG FORM and MOLECULAR CONTROL are immune to Boil.
    2. Boil functions instantly on targets of Mutant size or smaller. Targets of Superhuman size or larger divide the damage inflicted on them by their SIZE ACT. You cannot boil a target larger than a skyscraper or aircraft carrier (although the power could be used to melt through parts of them.)
  1. Bury/Submerge: User is capable of causing a target to sink into the ground or beneath the water at a rate of the ACT divided by the target’s SIZE ACT in meters per action, for objects Mutant SIZE or smaller.  Targets Superhuman SIZE or larger should use the ACT corresponding to the general weight and SIZE found on the LIFT description of the STR chart. Requires a standard combat roll to apply. Requires a surface deep enough to contain the target. Whatever other conditions are imposed on the target is dependent on the depth to which the target is eventually buried and the material about the target. The ground or whatever substance the target is being sunk into, seals up with target’s passing, entombing the target. The user may reverse the process at the same rate. Targets must either be stationary,’claimed’ (as per the description below) or traveling across an area which has been subject to the Claim power.
EXAMPLE: Busko has Bury rated at Mutant level. He is using his power on a office chair, which has a relative size of Below Average. In cases of Below Average or Average sized objects, you get the full distance of ACT. Busko would be able to bury the chair 10 meters down in a single action.

EXAMPLE: Busko is attempting to Bury a military armored personnel carrier. Busko’s Bury power has an ACT of 10. The judge determines that the armored personnel carrier, a type of military vehicle, has the relative SIZE of a bus, with an ACT of 12. This means that Busko can bury the target at a rate of 0.83 meters per action.
  1. Chisel/Hack/Pop/Saw. The user possesses an energy blast or autonomous force which is capable of acting expertly and artistically as a tool. Great for making furniture and graven images of himself, but also occasionally useful as a weapon. Extends the user’s HTH Attack range by the SAVE in meters. Can either (a) add ACT in dice plus SAVE in points to the user’s HTH Attack or (b) inflict the ACT in dice plus SAVE in tangle or (c) reduce the damage inflicted by a single attack per action by the SAVE plus ACT in points.
  2. Claim. This is a temporary and lite version of the power IMPART. The user is putting a mark of ownership on people and places and things. In order to operate, the user must have an uncontested monopoly on the use of force in a given area for at least the ACT minus 25 hours or full possession of the object or the willing participation of the person involved. Claim allows the user to feel the target as if it were his own skin, to share thoughts back and forth, to operate the target as if it were a limb. It extends the user’s range of sensations to the claimed target.
    1. Claimed People. Can be Blessed at any range and are assumed to be under a blessing when first encountered. A claimed person’s blessing does not expire after a duration, but they will need to be re-blessed once the bonuses are deployed. Claimed people can communicate with the user telepathically only when they are within the SAVE in meters of the user.
    2. Claimed Area. Area claimed may match the dimensions in Clean/Clear/Lather above. One assumes that the Clean process is somehow involved in Claiming an area. The user can remotely operate anything within the Claimed Area, however he has to be within the SAVE in meters from the device being operated. The user can make changes to a claimed area. They can move walls and relocate hallways and doors at whim. If the user is ever forced out of a claimed area, the effects of claiming fade quickly: the area will be entirely free of the user’s influence within the SAVE in actions of the user fleeing.
    3. Claimed Objects: The user is able to operate anything he gets a hold of. He can operate it remotely within the SAVE in meters. Claiming objects has two preconditions. First, the user can only claim an object that they actually possess. You cannot claim a sword that is still in someone else’s hands. You cannot claim a computer system which is under the control of another computer or network. The user has to break the chain of custody first, he has to take the object away. Claiming in and of itself does not sever connections. You cannot claim a tank which is being operated by an unclaimed crew. You need to get the crew out of the tank before you can claim it. Second, you cannot really claim extranormal equipment belonging to another person. The best you can do, over time, is Salvage it. (See rules below.)
  3. Clean/Clear/Lather. User has a supernatural ability to condition the area around him to his liking. Its primarily a cosmetic ability, although on a grand scale. The area of effect of this power is the ACT times SAVE in square meters. In a blink, everything is clean and tidy. Or just the way our user likes it, which might mean slightly damp and dripping with mold or whatnot. Living targets with actual extranormal abilities are immune to this effect.
  4. Decay/Infest/Defile/Rot. User is a master of disease and entropy, a spreader of plague and a distributor of rust. Your presence pollutes. You foul things, curdle milk, make water undrinkable, cause the air to choke with soot. And that’s just by showing up. When you focus, you can really ruin an opponent’s day.
    1. Defile: Breaks the Claim that any other party may have over an area or object. Requires a combat roll to hit and then a second stunt roll using SUPERNATURAL FORCE’s level as the active level and the target’s POWER level as the defending level. When used on a person, breaks the hold of any influence other than the user’s, causes the target to lose their IB, reduces the target’s MPS to half and drops REC to zero. And the defiled person feels mentally smudgy and personally invaded. Duration is ACT. Any target that has been defiled and then rendered unconscious may be claimed by the user. (Stunned or knocked out.)
    2. Infest: Inflicts a wasting disease to living targets. Bypasses DEFL and causes SAVE in points of damage. On the round after the attack, the target must make a stunt roll using his CON as the active level against SUPERNATURAL FORCE’s linked level. Success means that the damage inflicted may be healed normally. Failure inflicts another SAVE in points of damage, also bypassing the DEFL score. Worse, the target then infects the nearest teammate, provided that the teammate is within Infest’s SAVE in meter’s away. The process continues until the target (and similarly inflicted teammates) succeed in their stunt rolls or die.
    3. Decay/Rot: Reduces the target’s DEFL score by the ACT in dice, per application. (You can Rot someone more than once.) If the target has no DEFL score, reduces the target’s REC total. If either the REC or DEFL score are already at zero, applies to HTK. Rot is permanent for normal targets. For extranomal targets, Rot last SAVE in actions.
    4. Defenses Against Attacks: Targets endowed with MYSTIC, KAHUNA, ALCHEMY and EMPATH are immune to Defile. Targets endowed with CONTAIMENT and BODY CONTROL are immune to Infest. Standard defensive powers such as FORTITUDE and SHIELD also apply and there may be some actions or other abilities which may constitute some defense against this function.
    5. Rotting fruit and curdling dairy products are evident aspects of this application and do not require active use. The attacks described above are all active uses of the application and only one of them can be deployed at a time.
  5. Devour/Swallow/Chew/Ingest/Suck. You eat people. You personally or something you command has the ability to swallow a human being whole, chew on them and then digest them. This application also conveys the ability to eat anything without fear.
    1. The power has a range of ACT in meters. It requires a standard combat roll to affect a target. The target has been enveloped into the user’s body or into some force the user has control over.
    2. The power reduces the target’s DEFL total by the ACT in points for each action the target remains ingested.  It also inflicts the ACT in dice each action. Once the target is reduced to zero HTK, the target has been ingested and is dead.
    3. Targets are also tangled and cannot move unless they break free. In the case of a user who swallows folks himself, the tangle inflicted is equal to the user’s HTK Total. Otherwise the tangle points are equal to the SAVE.
    4. User receives a point for point bonus to his recovery for every point of damage inflicted on the target by the Devour application. Applies only to human and humanoid targets.
    5. Target defenses. There are any number of nasty things a target can do which would probably make the user regret eating them. This ability conveys no additional capacity other than what has been explained. Targets with SLIMESKIN are immune to the attack entirely.
  6. Kill. User has an aspect of his being which kills normal people instantly. In game terms, a normal person is someone with a Below Average. The user need only to land a blow or successfully project an attack at a normal person and the target is killed instantly. Alternatively, the Kill application can take the form of a separate projected attack with the range of SAVE. The user has death beams projected from his glowing eyes or speaks a special word or gestures hypnotically at his target or whatever.
    1. As a preclusive action, the user may attack all of the normal people within the SAVE of meters of his position. Requires the user to make a separate combat roll against each target.
    2. As an application of the power, the user may kill any target who has been reduced to zero HTK or below. If the user’s own attack has reduced a target to below zero HTK, the user may apply the application automatically. Otherwise the Kill attack requires a separate roll. This is the only aspect of the Kill application which applies to normal and extranormal targets equally.
  7. Mine/Restructure/Salvage/Separate. The user has an intrinsic ability to extract and refine substances, to create alloys, polymers and compounds, to reduce constructs to their components. It effectively replaces the Alchemist’s lab full of equipment with an individual set of tool and device like powers which emulate the same functions. That said, it is not instant nor particularly quick acting.
  8. Quake/Shake/Spill/Spin/Swell/Vibrate/Wiggle: The user is possessed of a poltergeist-like ability to cause targets to move in disturbing ways. He can also temporarily make parts of a target’s anatomy swell to unnatural proportions. The user may also project this ability over areas and use it on himself. 
    1. Area Poltergeist. Causes the ground to shake light objects present to spin, spill and roll around erratically through the area. Causes a Combat Disadvantage of minus the ACT on attacks launched by persons standing on the ground in the area. Functions throughout a Claimed area or within the SAVE of the user. Weapons fumbled or dropped will start to spin and race away.
    2. Disable Others. Target is sent spinning, is upended, is moving erratically and is incapable of controlling their own movements or physical actions. Requires a standard combat roll. Range is SAVE in meters and the duration is ACT. Effect may be aggravated by the target’s active use of SUPER SPEED, FLIGHT, ELONGATION and perhaps some other powers. Those folks really go flying. Persons endowed with BODY CONTROL and perhaps some other powers may be entitled to a stunt roll to break the hold of the Disable. Alternatively, the user may cause parts of the target’s anatomy to swell, to suddenly grow to an unnatural proportion. The most a portion can be swelled to is equal to the target’s initial mass. It is up to the judge to determine what impairment the target may have as a result of the sudden transformation. One imagines most targets will spend an action or two freaking out. Targets endowed with ELONGATION and FLUID FORM are immune to the Swell application.
    3. Use on Self: Gives the user the ability to spin and whip around. Adds the power’s SAVE to the user’s MPS score. Makes the user impossible to grapple. Increases the user’s DODGE by three levels. Alternatively, enables the user to swell portions of his own anatomy. See rule directly above.
  9. Rain/Persistent Environmental Condition. User has control of the weather conditions throughout the Claimed area or within the SAVE in meters from himself. He can make it rain, snow, sleet, dry the air of all moisture, put down a fog or cause any natural effect. The ability cannot produce any violent effect, but the condition may impair movement, attacks or perception. (Judge call.)
  10. Roar/Scream/Thunder. The user can emit a deep, rumbling, piercing roar over a great distance. This noise can be heard as far as the ACT in miles away. Similarly, the user can make his voice heard over the same distance. At whim, the user can silence all spoken communication within the SAVE in meters. The user can drown out all noises within the SAVE in meters. The first time the user’s opponents hear the user’s roar, they suffer a reduction of the power’s ACT to their IB and a decrease to their MPS of the SAVE.  If either the target’s IB or MPS are reduced to zero or below, they are considered to be frozen in place for that action.
  11. Stink. The user stinks. It is physically uncomfortable to be in his presence. All HTH Attacks against the user are at two levels below the opponent’s normal ACC. There is a one in six chance that anyone striking the user will become covered in whatever it is that makes the user stink and will be at a two level disadvantage to all stunt rolls for the next SAVE in actions. The user may also choose to skunk an opponent, causing stink to be flung at an opponent within SAVE in meters. Using Stink as either an offense or an active defense counts as an application of the SUPERNATURAL FORCE ability. Otherwise the user just stinks.
Alternative Powers: A character may not allocate for an alternative power if they have already allocated for SUPERNATURAL FORCE.

BAG of BAD: User may deploy five applications of SUPERNATURAL FORCE per day. Cost 30.

MOTION CONTROL: Unlimited use of Accelerate/Halt only. Cost 20 plus SAVE.

DEMI-GOD TRAPPINGS: Unlimited use of Bleach/Color/Brighten/Glow and Clean/Clear/Lather and Rain/Persistent Environmental Condition and Roar/Scream/Thunder. Cost 30.

SPAZ: Unlimited use of Quake/Shake/Spill/Spin/Swell/Vibrate/Wiggle. Cost 25 plus SAVE.

ALCHEMY TOOLBOX: Unlimited use of Mine/Restructure/Salvage/Separate. Cost 15

Saturday, August 26, 2017

WDMA Abilities Arsenal Update

bAG of Tricks

Persons endowed with this power are capable of sprouting a variety of skills, weapons, tools and powers. This power is somewhat similar to ALTERATION and MAGIC POWERS. It is a flexible power, allowing the character access to nearly every defined ability in the game, albeit on a limited basis. Its primary limitations are that the effects of the created object or ability are limited to one action of function or one specific task and that the various tricks must be configured in advance. Beyond flexibility, one of the key advantages to this ability is that its effects can be bestowed on others. This is meant to simulate the abilities of those characters who can come up with an answer to any problem, such as Mad Scientists, fantasy Wizards and certain cartoon characters. How the bag manifests itself is up to the player’s character concept. It can be one thing, such as a magic lamp or a carpet bag, or it can be many things, such as scrolls, a chemistry kit, a group of interchangeable parts. Limitations on what the bag can produce should reduce the power’s cost, but no theme or limits are required.

Mechanics: This power cost 75 points plus SAVE. This creates the ACT plus SAVE in Bag Points which may be used to create applications. Additional Bag points may be purchased at a cost of one allocation point per Bag point. The power may be used to create up to the ACT in separate applications. Additional application slots cost 25 points each.

  • With the exception of some at whim abilities, defined below, the user has to set up the powers stored in his Bag of Tricks in advance. Once configured, the Bag Points are spent and the power awaits deployment. Configured applications may be stored indefinitely. They may also be given to others (in whatever form the player’s character concept calls for) to be used at a later time.
  • The abilities function as the user has defined them, no matter who is using the ability. That said, attacks would be at the possessor’s ACC level.
  • Bag Points recover at their rate of deployment. The user’s Bag Points recharge as the applications are spent, returning points to the Bag at the end of the application’s function. Bag Points used to create applications are unavailable for configuration. Each application created subtracts from the Bag Point total.
  • Applications take time to set up. Each configuration takes the Bag Points spent on the application divided by the ACT in minutes plus ten minutes to make ready.
  • Unspent Bag Points may be used to negate damage to the user at a ratio of 1 Bag Point for every 3 points of damage negated or 1 Bag Point for every dice of damage reduced. 

The Bag Points may be used as follows:  

  1. Temporary Skill Creation: Cost in Bag Points is equal to the Skill level’s SAVE total. The user may also raise the level of an existing skill by 5 Bag Points per level. Entitlements cannot be created. The cost of Professions or Uncommon Skills does not have to be allocated for. The skill last for the duration of one specific task.

  1. Temporary Power Creation: Define the power as if the Bag Points were allocation points. Powers which are essentially attacks last for one use. Powers which are defenses or travel powers last the ACT in actions. Most other powers will last the duration or one task or up to the SAVE in actions. The ACT and SAVE referenced refers to the level Bag of Tricks is endowed with, not the level endowed to the created ability.

1.    Some Abilities Cannot Be Simulated: The power may not simulate abilities which also simulate other abilities. You may not simulate ALTERATION ability. Powers which have compound functions may be simulated, but the user only has access to one of the functions. The power may not be used to simulate BAG of TRICKS, BOOST, CREATION, IMPROVISATION, LUCK SURGE, MANIC STRIKE, MAXIMISE EFFECT, OVERDO, PANACEA, POWER EXPERTISE, RAY of DOOM, SUMMON, TRANSMUTATION, VETO (Judge may allow VETO in times of crisis), WHAMMY, WISH, WONDER POWER or (found in PSYCHC POWERS) DIVINE INTERVENTION and METAPHYSICS.

2.    There are Special Rules for the simulation of MAGIC POWERS, TRICK WEAPON and UTILITY BELT.

MAGIC POWERS: Cost in Bag Points for creating an application which simulates any element (or spell) found in the section is 20 points or the listed cost. May not create Constructs. May not simulate Flexible Make Up or Magic Attacks. Otherwise bound by the rules for temporary power creation.

TRICK WEAPON: Applications cost 20 Bag Points each. Is always the standard application.

UTILITY BELT: Cost 5 Bag Points per object produced or function accessed, but do not count against the number of application slots, nor do they have to be configured for in advance.

  1. Produce Common Items: The user can produce any common weapon, tool or object—or just emulate their effects. Producing the object costs 5 Bag Points. Emulating the effect, as in having a blast of machinegun fire appear from the user’s fingertips, cost 10 Bag Points. These items do not have to be configured in advance and do not take up an application slot. Created items are bound by the same rules as any temporary power created.

  1. Produce Equipment: User can only produce a SUPERCAR, UNITILE or CUSTOM VEHICLE if it has been purchased separately with allocation points. Keeping such handy to simply whip out takes up an application spot. Any other vehicle may be simulated using Bag Points as Equipment Points. This includes equipment listed in WORLDWIDE ARMAMENTS. The equipment produced will exist for a given task or up to the SAVE in actions. Moreover, the user will temporarily have the skill to operate the equipment for the duration of the task.

  1. Predetermined Equipment: The user is free to make up a piece of equipment. The cost in Bag Points is equal to the ACT of Basestat levels endowed. It otherwise uses the same Bag Point costs mentioned in this listing. Each piece of predetermined equipment takes up one Bag of Tricks slot. The functioning of predetermined equipment is not limited to a specific task or time frame, but it does have to have some limitation. (The standard limitation is that the effect is produced by a device in the character’s base.) The intention of this rule is to help fill in character concept details, not gift the character with unlimited uses of any power he desires. All Predetermined Equipment must be approved by the judge in advance. Each piece of Predetermined Equipment costs at least 10 Bag Points.

EXAMPLE: The user wishes to create a device which will answer his phone and actually carry on a conversation. This is essentially an extranormal version of a standard voicemail. The only Basestat it needs to have attributed is its IQ. Our user chooses level Skilled, at a cost of 3 Bag Points.

EXAMPLE: The user carries around a box of little plastic army men who, when activated, will fight as a miniature army unit. They scale obstacles, hurl mini hand grenades, shoot tiny guns, sweep for mines and call in airstrikes. The unit comes complete with a jeep and a little mini helicopter and a tank. The user would have two choices for defining his animated toy soldier troop. He can use Bag Points to purchase MASTER of the UNIVERSE or, alternatively, use the point structure found in the following two sections, Bag Attack and May Create Boosts to Basestats. The judge should allow some wiggle room for the concept itself. The little trooper’s abilities to operate equipment, scale objects and radio back information do not need to be accounted for.

EXAMPLE: The user has a base full of equipment which performs various different functions. He has a teleporter, a super computer and an array of scientific scopes and devises. The equipment is defined using the Bag of Points costs for the powers and abilities. Only those basestats necessary  for defining the device need to be allocated for.

  1. Bag Attack: The bag can just sprout weapons and produce its own attack. What exactly the bag is shooting or projecting can be determined at whim. It is exclusively a damage causing power and the cost is per attack. This ability does not need to be pre configured. It eats Bag Points but does not take up an application slot. The cost in Bag Points is as follows:

Damage and/or Tangle inflicted
Minor Damage: 1 point. No stacking.
Major Damage: 20 points. No stacking.
BASESTAT ACT in points: 1 point per
BASESTAT SAVE in points: 5 points per.
BASESTAT ACT in dice: 25 points per.
BASESTAT SAVE in dice: 50 points per.

Range (to target)
BASESTAT ACT in meters: 5 points per.
BASESTAT SAVE in meters: 15 points per.
BASESTAT ACT in tens of meters: 40 points per.
BASESTAT SAVE in tens of meters: 80 points per.
BASESTAT SAVE in thousands of meters: 120 points per.
BASESTAT SAVE in tens of thousands of meters: 300 points per.

Area of Effect
Half ACT in meters: 10 points per
Half SAVE in meters:. 15 points per
ACT in meters: 20 points per
SAVE in meters: 30 points per
ACT in tens of meters:  200 points per
SAVE in tens of meters: 300 points per

  1. May Create Boosts to Basestats: Applications may be configured as Bag Points allow for and may include boosts to several statistics, however each individual application takes up one slot. And each application can only be applied to a single target. The costs are as follows:

Movement (increased for BASESTAT ACT in actions)
Increases character’s MPS by BASESTAT ACT in meters: 10 points per.
Increases character’s MPS by BASESTAT SAVE in meters: 30 points per.
Increases character’s MPS by BASESTAT ACT in tens of meters: 40 points per.
Increases character’s MPS by BASESTAT SAVE in tens of meters: 80 points per.
Increases character’s MPS by BASESTAT SAVE in thousands of meters: 120 points per.
Increases character’s MPS by BASESTAT SAVE in tens of thousands of meters: 300 points per

Increases character’s REC by BASESTAT ACT for BASESTAT ACT in actions: 5 points per.
Increases character’s REC by BASESTAT SAVE for BASESTAT ACT in actions: 15 points per.

Increases character’s DEFL by BASESTAT ACT for BASESTAT ACT in actions: 10 points per.
Increases character’s DEFL by BASESTAT SAVE for BASESTAT ACT in actions: 25 points per.

Increases character’s HTK by BASESTAT ACT for BASESTAT ACT in actions: 10 points per.
Increases characters HTK by BASESTAT SAVE for BASESTAT ACT in actions: 30 points per.

Alternative Powers

BOOSTER: In this variation, the user is only endowed with E. Bag Attack and F. May Boost abilities. User’s unspent Bag Points may be used to negate damage as above. Applications may be created at whim, so there are no application slots. Cost 25 plus SAVE. Additional Bag Points may be purchased at a cost of one allocation point each.

VERSI TRICK: In this variation, the user lacks attributes C. Produce Common Items, D. Produce Equipment and E. Bag Attack. Powers created may only be deployed by the user. Cost 45 plus SAVE. Additional Bag Points may be purchased at a cost of one allocation point each. 

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