Saturday, August 15, 2015

Possible Heritage Power Profiles and Limitations

The powers of Heritages are based on the ancient myths of Earth, all of which were started by the lingering long-lived super-beings that pre-date the general melting pot of species that resulted in the human race.

These profiles are samples of what you could do. The human race is a vast melting pot so someone could look like a demon but have an elf's. The high end "possibles" and "impossibles" are also just thoughts, you could reverse them for individual characters. 

I chose four basic ideas to serve as examples. Realize, as said before, humanity is thoroughly mixed blood so just come to the idea of a power set based on ancient mythology.

The Simple, Difficult, Borderline and Possible designations don't have a mechanical effect, they present guidelines for me to decide what the consequences of a failure are or what the requirements are of making an attempt.

For example, the elf can easily manifest a familiar and have it do amusing little things that you could do with normal telekinesis. There's little chance of failure and most of the time it won't require a roll. 

When a roll is called for it will more likely relate to the task you are performing with the familiar rather than the creation of the familiar itself. Trying to disarm a bomb using a familiar because you're locked in the cell would be difficult. 

On the other hand, trying to create a guardian is difficult and either takes a little bit of time or strain. (A bad roll might produce a Condition due to one of these reasons, for example.) 

Creating a tornado is borderline and takes either a lot of preparation or else the risk of doing it in a rush is high. You could end up with an out-of-control tornado rather than something useful.

Power Summary: Elves typically have telekinetic abilities of some sort or another. Often this comes along with a manifestation of "spirits" which are subconsciously controlled creations of coalesced dimensional energies. Some of these spirits can relay simple sensory information.

  • Simple Powers
    • Grab a small item or manipulate a simple handle from across the room.
    • Deliver a sharp strike from a distance.
    • Manifest a "familiar"
    • Create a breeze
  • Difficult Powers 
    • Lift heavy objects
    • Use complex items from a distance
    • Blow several people off their feet.
    • Manifest one or two "guardians"
    • Deliver a heavy blow
    • See, hear or speak through a familiar
  •  Borderline Powers
    • Lift unwieldy or large objects and maintain their integrity
    • Attack several people at once.
    • Summon a tornado
    • Manifest an "avatar"
    • Strike with the force of a large missile.
  • Possible Powers
    • Create an army.
    • Summon a hurricane
    • Create a dimensional gate
    • Force open someone's gate (granting them powers).
  • Impossible Powers
    • Grant a created spirit independence and sapience.
    • Create a dimension.
    • Alter universal constants

Power Summary: Aside from Medusa's famous stony gaze, gorgons possess some enhanced physical abilities (scales, some physical traits), poison production and healing abilities (mostly with regard to poisons and diseases). The most well known gorgon is, of course, Terra Black who is mostly known for her natural charisma rather than her powers.

  • Simple Powers
    • Paralyze an attacker with a gaze.
    • Heal minor infections and allergic reactions.
    • Produce a debilitating poison
    • Scales that resist bullet impacts.
  • Difficult Powers 
    • Turn an attacker to stone and maintain it with active concentration.
    • Heal superficial injuries.
    • Treat common but serious poisons and diseases
    • Create a debilitating poison mist.
    • Produce a serious poison. 
    • Moderate shapeshifts (grow claws/fangs)
  •  Borderline Powers
    • Treat serious but non-complex injuries.
    • Treat cancers and exotic viruses
    • Turn someone to stone for a set duration.
    • Produce tailored poisons.
    • Major transformations ("permanently" change legs to a tail/grow wings)
  • Possible Powers
    • Turn people stone permanently.
    • Regenerate lost limbs.
    • Treat congenital defects.
  • Impossible Powers
    • Resurrect people
    • True Shapeshifting
    • Genetic engineering

Goblin-Spider (Drider)
Power Summary: Goblin-Spiders have various names and reputations from all over the world. They are capable of producing webs, poisons, increased physical abilities. Goblin-Spiders tend to be eventually be able to shift from their "drider" form (which they usually find more comfortable) to a more humanoid form. The spinnerettes are usually at the wrists and, in the drider form, at the end of the abdomen.
  • Simple Powers
    • Wall-Climbing
    • Long Leaps
    • Create a line of webbing about ten yards in length.
    • Lift large weights
  • Difficult Powers
    • Assume humanoid form to make others more comfortable.
    • Changing back to drider form.
    • Create a full net.
    • Produce webbing that is useful for construction.
    • Paralytic bite.
    • Walk on ceilings
  • Borderline Powers
    • Create a web-building
    • Lift a car
    • Create short-lived "spiders" for various tasks
    • Lethal bite
    • Walk on surfaces that shouldn't be able to hold your weight.
  • Possible Powers
    • Become a swarm of spiders and recombine later if enough survive. (If too much mass was lost, they might come back looking physically different)
    • Lift a semi
    • Register no weight to any surface you touch.
  • Impossible Powers
    • Mind Control
    • Healing

Closed Gate/Gateless
Power Summary: The character doesn't have an open gate. Either this is an extradimensional being who doesn't have a gate or their gate has not yet opened. Their abilities are based entirely on skill and training.
  • Simple Powers
    • Defeat an enemy with martial arts
    • Make an accurate shot from across the room
    • Detect a lie
    • Use a grenade safely
    • Make a basic computer hack 
    • Treat basic injuries with conventional methods.
  • Difficult Powers
    • Strike an enemy to incapacitate them for an extended period.
    • Defeat several weak enemies with martial arts
    • Make an accurate shot from across a block
    • Analyze enemy tactics
    • Diagnose and Treat psychological issues
    • Treat serious injuries with a hospital 
    • Treat basic injuries with no resources
    • Break a high-security civilian computer network
    • Safely bring down a small building
  • Borderline Powers
    • Make an accurate shot from a mile away
    • Break high-end government computer security
    • Shape explosives to highly precise purposes
    • Profile a person
    • Treat serious injuries with a decent field kit
    • Fight off waves of weak enemies with martial arts
  • Possible Powers
    • Create an explosion worthy of the name Rembrandt
    • Break alien computer security using basic processes you've never encountered before.
    • Make an accurate shot from two miles away.
    • Defeat an army with martial arts
    • Treat serious injuries with almost no resources.
  • Impossible Powers
    • Anything blatantly superhuman

Limitations and Drawbacks

Use the myths to consider the drawbacks a person might have. For example, Terra Black, while certainly not the ugly monster of Greek mythology is demonstrably not human what with the snake hair, scales, slitted orange eyes and the like. Heritages are known now however, so it is up to you how much physical appearances limit you. For example, Terra Black has spent most of her life learning more about diplomacy than using her powers, so as a character she'd actually only occasionally have difficulty, but she likely has more difficulty with powers than other gorgons do.

Characters might also have exotic allergies (Silver for werewolves) or outright physical handicaps of one sort or another. A goblin spider that does not yet know how to shape shift doesn't fit in most facilities or vehicles. Same with a lot of giants and the like. More flexible shapeshifters, such as dopplegangers (who can even copy other powers) might have severe identity problems. Speedsters might have metabolism difficulties.

Also, as of the Sanjuro incident, the knowledge that gates can be forced open has been discovered and most people who have had their gates forced open by external means rather than letting them open naturally have difficulties. They also often have very unusual powers.

For example, Sakura Kawaii-Chan (aka "Darth Kawaii") had her gate forced open and now suffers from chronic migraines and has to submit to consistent medical observation to make sure the condition doesn't worsen. Her powers involve the manifestation of a pinkish sort of energy, including force fields (advice: do not suggest it looks like a magical girl dress over her normal clothes) and a sort of pink energy glaive. This has resulted in her being released from the marines on a medical discharge. She is now directly employed by Heritage Foundation as a consultant.

The baencihl aliens that invaded during the Sanjuro incident also had three artificially created gated individuals. The one of these alien powered individuals that survived the incident died as a result of massive internal bleeding due to complications from his artificially created gate a couple of years later. 

Certainly someone out there is trying to make a more efficient, safer way to force open gates so they can choose who gets powers and when.

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