Rules for Powers
The Powers can be of different kinds and may do all sort of things, but there are some rules that can be applied to all of them, which you must know if you plan to create new powers for the game.
- Powers that have only benefic uses are naturally limited to affect its own user, which is the case of healing powers and Metamorphosis;
- Powers that have only benefic uses and a single result that can be active all the time (like increasing Strength) are naturally always on and are considered involuntary (that is, the character can train it but, once developed, he don't need to concentrate to use it and it may work even while sleeping [like increased Resistence or Danger Sense]);
- Powers that affect others must either be directed to an entire target in a range of 10 meters (and will be resisted by the target's Magical Resistence) or must affect an area (usually affecting everyone in a range of 10 meter radious, including the person that is using the magic);
- The duration of magic is either one turn, in which it does its job and maybe left the world "changed", like creating fire, or one hour, in which the magic is considered active and, if it is used on the invoking character, is considered controlled without any penalty and can be deactivated at will;
- Active magic is usually "uncontrolled", which means it will stay active until it is exhausted, independently if the creator is alive/awake or not but the creator can decide to bind a power to his mind during its creation. To do this an additional energy point must be spent and perception and or determination rolls will have 1 die penalty (a test involving both attributes still has only a one die penalty), but this is cumulative if many magic invocations are bound and active. At any moment, by concentrating and spending an additional energy point the character can either "change the magic action" (if it is something interactive, like illusions), cancel it or simple release it from his mind, effectively making it an uncontrolled magic. If the character sleeps or dies while he has active magic, such magic is immediately cancelled;
- The Special Powers are "supernatural" or "magical" in essence, but any remaining effect is not. This may look silly, but a sword made of magic may be "indestructible" and will disappear when the magic ends (in fact the sword can look like it is made of metal, but it will be made of magical energy). But if the magic is creating a real sword, the power will be active for a single turn and the sword will be a normal sword, without any magical trait;
- Any power that the character can use voluntarely must do something that he can understand or must be compatible with a belief he has (and there are special rules for beliefs). Again, how the power works is still mystic, but what the magic does is not.
- To conclude the previous item, without a specific belief a shadow is only the lack of light, not a dark matter that your character can use to create dark swords, dark tentacles and the like to kill his enemies.
Rituals are both a special kind of magic and a different utilisation of the powers a character has.
When using a power the character already has, a ritual simply transform the level of the used power in minutes of concentration and, at the end, the normal test is done. No normal magic energy must be spent (that is, vampires will not need to use blood) yet other kinds of magical energy are still required (like Life energy for Necromancy).
If the character has distractions during the ritual, a test of Determination only, easiness two, must be done. If he passes the test he can continue the ritual, yet a penalty may be applied at the end of the ritual. Such penalty is not applied if the character has 5 or more successes to resist the distraction. If the character stops the ritual in the middle, a proportional amount of the energy is considered to be consumed (that is, a ritual that consumes two points of a special energy interrupted at the end will still consume 1 point). Such value is usually round-up, but it is possible that a ritual stopped just at the beginning does not consumes any energy (the master should decide it).
Rituals can be used to train new powers or to train the next level of an already existing power. In such case the ritual will take the time to execute the "level to be learned" (which can only be one higher than the actual level, or 1 if the purpose is to learn a new power, considering the power can be learned [that is, if it is an specialization, the base power has the minimum level required]), but such time will be in hours instead of minutes and the energy to activate the power will be required.
Even if such rule is extremely simple, it allows the characters to start playing with new powers before they are really developed and, for the game history, may justify how the character develops a new power, as training a power that can't be used at all seems very strange. Also, if the player wants to develop a power that is not accepted as is, but accepted with some modifications, the character will have the chance to "see" the effects of his will and decide if he continues in that direction or not.
Learning only a single result of a versatile power
Many powers allow different results per invocation. That is, a power to assume animal forms can be used to assume a form of a bat, wolf, cat or any other animal the character knows. But what if the character only wants to assume the form of the same animal everytime?
In this case the character can directly develop an "assume wolf form" (and it will be always the same wolf, instead of possible different wolves). He still needs to have the minimum level on the base power to be able to do so (that is, he must have Metamorphosis), but the cost in XP will be two times the number of successes needed if the original power was learned (with a minimum cost of 6 XP). Also, there will be no test needed, only the energy usually required to invoke the power.
It is important to note that you can't do that for powers that actually only have a single power that becomes stronger (like Claws). In such case your character must learn each level normally.
Training the single result of a versatile power
To train the single result of a static power the character will, in fact, train the original power, but only focusing on a single power. In fact, at least for the character, it is possible that he wants to learn the versatile power but by his single-minded training he ends-up developping the single-result power.
One-time rituals and single level rituals
To the rules, there are main Powers and specialization/combination powers (that can only be developed after developping minimum levels of other powers). Yet, to the characters, such levels don't really exist.
A character with the possibility to develop magic powers may try to create claws directly. He may be able to make his nails grow without really noticing he is starting to train Metamorphosis and, if he don't try different things, he may develop a restricted power, like presented on the previous item.
Also, it is possible that the character start to try something extremely hard directly. Maybe he decide he must try something differently (and possible will use a teacher for help).