Last time we discussed centring an adventure or campaign around the ritualistic time travel explored in ‘The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.’ Such an under taking requires a few rules to create characters versed in such arts.
Firstly we need a ‘gateway’ special good trait.
Ritualist [Special Good Trait]
Effect: The Ritualist trait represents knowledge of the basic nature of the universe and how it can be manipulated. Initially this trait automatically gives a character a Knowledge area of expertise in occult.
It costs 2 character points and reduces the story point maximum by 1.
Once this trait is gained player characters can purchase further special good traits representing the different rituals. As a general rule it makes sense that these traits will need story points to trigger them. This makes their use finite and can represent a character exhausting themselves.
Time View [Special Good Trait: Prerequisite: Ritualist Trait]
Either by entering a meditative state or by using a focusing object (such as a crystal ball, mirror or a bowl of water) the ritualist is able to ‘look’ either backwards or forwards in time to view events.
Effect: Activated with a story point the character makes an Awareness+Resolve check to view the event they want. The difficulty is determined by how far away and how far forward or back they are looking. Add together the various difficulties related to the distance and time to get the final figure.
Difficulty 3: Current Location, within 1 hour, Difficulty 6: Within a mile, within 24 hours, Difficulty 9: within 10 miles, within 1 month, Difficulty 12: within 50 miles, within 1 year, Difficulty 15: within 500 miles, within 10 years, Difficulty 18: within 1,000 miles, within 50 years, Difficulty 21: within 10,000 miles, within 100 years, Difficulty 24: within 50,000 miles, within 500 years, Difficulty 27: within 100,000 miles, within 1000 years, Difficulty 30: within 500,000 miles, within 5000 years.
+1 if the subject of the event is known to the ritualist, +2 if an object related to the even is present, +3 bonus if the subject is present.
If a disastrous result is rolled the ritualist has seen something they shouldn’t and has been seen in return. This can lead to the appearance of a babewyn or similar dangerous entity from another time and place.
Costs 3 character points.
Summon [Special Good Trait: Prerequisite: Ritualist Trait]
The ritualist is able to open portals in space-time, drawing other entities into the here and now. This can be used to summon allies or servants but it can also be used to foolishly summon demons.
Effect: 1 story point must be spent for each entity summoned. This requires a lengthy ceremony, taking several hours (roll 1d6 if you want to determine it randomly) and the use of several props such as inscribed circles.
The ritualist does not need to know where or when the entity he is summoning is. He is simply opening a portal and using his mind to fish in the vortex for the appropriate entity. This is an awareness+resolve check.
Difficulty 9: a general human from a general period in time, Difficulty 12: A specific named person, Difficulty 15: an non-human species, Difficulty 24: entity is summoned based on their basic function such as ‘warrior’ or ‘seer’.
If the person is known to the ritualist they receive a +3 bonus, if they are aware of the species they gain +1.
A result of Yes but indicates that the ritualist has summoned the entity but they materialise in a different place and a few hours, days, months or years later. A result of No And indicates the subject hasn’t arrived and has been sent to a random time and place. A disastrous result indicates that either the ritualist has summoned something dangerous they can’t control or sent themselves to another place and time.
Costs 2 character points.
Time Slip [Special Good Trait: Prerequisite: Ritualist Trait]
With a single word the ritualist is able to move into the vortex (also known as limbo) and immediately drop back in. This allows a ritualist to vanish and reappear anywhere from a day to a month but normally contained to the planet and within the same hemisphere.
Travelling further away from Earth leads to the character slowly fading away. Without something to bind them to their planet of origin it is if the world forgets them and they will vanish if they don’t return to their own time and place.
Effect: 2 story points are required to activate the time slip. An extra story point is required for each individual who also travels with the ritualist. As long as the character is able to talk they can say the ‘magic’ word required to initiate the transfer.
This is an awareness+resolve check with the difficulty determined by the amount of time they are moving.
Difficulty 9: within 1 hour, Difficulty 12: within 24 hours, Difficulty 15: within 1 week, Difficulty 18: within 1 year, Difficulty 21: within 10 years, Difficulty 24: within 50 years, Difficulty 27: within 100 years, Difficulty 30: within 500 years.
This is a +3 difficulty if the ritualist attempts to move back in time. There is a –2 modifier if the ritualist focuses this power through a ceremonially built vessel.
A result of Yes but indicates that the ritualist has moved to the correct time period but are several hundred miles from their intended location. A result of No And means that the ritualist has moved to the wrong place and time. A disastrous result indicates that the ritualist has been stranded in a dangerous location such as the ruins of Gallifrey.
Costs 3 character points and reduces story point maximum by 2 points.
Binding [Special Good Trait: Prerequisite: Ritualist Trait]
The ritualist undergoes a ceremony that shows their alliance to a place, person or thing. This enhances all rituals related to that element. A character can be bound to various elements as long as they are not in conflict, for example a character couldn’t be bound to light and dark or fire and ice.
Effect: Each binding acts as an area of expertise used for rituals. They receive a +2 bonus on the ritual check.
Costs 1 character point for a rarely encountered element such as a specific breed of animal such as owls, mice, fish or something that is not always encountered such as fire, water or wind. 2 character points are required for a frequently encounter element such as day, night or a specific city. 3 character points are required for something that is almost always found such as Earth, humanity, animals.
The bigger the grouping the more elaborate ceremony and the more people required to witness it. The ritualist must be truly committed to the element they are binding themselves to.
Totem [Special Good Trait: Prerequisite: Ritualist Trait]
There are certain items infused with power. Their significance in history making them a valuable tool for a ritualist. They can be anything from the dagger used in a number of infamous murders or the pen that wrote a classic of literature.
Effect: Totems are the equivalent of gadgets and purchased the same way, with minor totems costing 1 story point, major totems costing 2 story points and special totems costing 3 story points.
The more powerful the totem the more remarkable their abilities but their primary purpose is to increase the success of a ritual. Ritualists should be careful as other ritualists can also use their totems so the more powerful they are the more likely someone else will want to steal it.
The games master should create other minor talents that the player characters can learn and eventually learn the rituals for. The knowledge of how to perform these traits is a reward in itself and highly prized.