Project Fantasy Ubiquity: Alchemy and Psionics

This is part of a series on making a D&D-esque version of Ubiquity.

There are three Talents that deserve a closer look because they open up new game mechanics. These three are Transmutation, Psionics, and Magical Aptitude. We’ll discuss the first two here and leave Magic for its own post(s).

Alchemy

Characters gain the Alchemy Skill by taking the Transmutation Talent. Once a character has the Alchemy Skill, they can spend experience raising it like they would any other skill. Intelligence is the base Attribute associated with it.

In Ubiquity, Alchemy is the process of transformation, creation, and combination. It is not just about chemistry and potions, but also enchanting mundane equipment with special properties and, in some cases, even creating life.

Alchemy grants characters two main abilities: the ability to forge Arcane Artifacts and the Ability to create Living Creations. Living Creations requires the additional Talent Breath of Life. Both of these abilities and how they work are described in Mysteries of the Hollow Earth.

For Arcane Artifacts, I did add the requirement that the base item must be of masterwork quality, a term I borrowed from D&D. Characters that take the Master Craftsman Talent twice produce masterwork items. This means characters might also be able to find mastercraft items in shops or perhaps dungeons and ruins are known places for them–it is up to you how readily available they are.

Psionics

Characters who take the Psionics Talent at character creation have innate powers of the mind that, with practice, can be expanded and wielded.

When the Psionics Talent is taken, a specific power must be chosen: Telepathy, Telekinesis, Extrasensory Perception (ESP), Cloaking, Psionic Healing, Psychosoma, or Pyrokinesis. A character can have more than one power, but must spend the experience to get the Psionic Talent again to focus on the new power.

Below I list each Psionic power and the Talents associated with them. Some Talents require mastering TWO Psionic powers in order to use. The descriptions of all of these can be found in Secrets of the Surface World , Perils of the Surface World, and Revelations of Mars.

All base Psionic powers cost one Psi point to activate. The individual Talents have their Psi damage listed to the right in parentheses. Instead of dealing nonlethal damage, exerting now gives a +2 bonus for each additional Psi point spent.

Telepathy

  • Mind Control (2 Psi)
  • Mental Anguish (2 Psi)
  • Possession (2 Psi)
  • Shroud Mind (with Cloaking) (1 Psi)

Telekinesis

  • Telekinetic Shield (1 Psi)
  • Levitation (1 Psi/round)
  • Unseen Presence (with ESP) (1 Psi)

Extrasensory Perception

  • Precognition (1 Psi)
  • Precognitive Defense (1 Psi)
  • Remote Healing (with Psionic Healing) (1 Psi)
  • Unseen Presence (with Telekinesis) (1 Psi)

Cloaking

  • Enshroud (1 Psi)
  • Illusion (2 Psi)
  • Shroud Mind (with Telepathy) (1 Psi)

Psionic Healing

  • Psionic Wounding (2 Psi)
  • Healing Aura (1 Psi)
  • Remote Healing (with ESP) (1 Psi)

Psychosoma

  • Living Weapon (1 Psi)
  • Mind over Matter (1 Psi)
  • Burning Flesh (with Pyrokinesis) (1 Psi)

Pyrokinesis

  • Firestarter (2 Psi)
  • Fire Shield (2 Psi)
  • Burning Flesh (with Psychosoma) (1 Psi)

Healing Psi Damage

Using Psionic abilities takes it toll on the user’s mind. Every time a Psionic ability is used, the psionicist takes one point of Psi damage. Psionic Talents also list the addtional (if any) Psi damage incurred by using them.

This mental damage does heal through time. Psionicists can meditate during Rests to heal their psyche. A Short Rest spent meditating heals one point of Psi damage and a Long Rest heals 4 points of Psi damage.

(Short and Long Rests will be discussed in a later post).

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