Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Broken Communion


Psychosis Communion, or more commonly known as just "Broken Communion" or, sometimes, "the Nightmare," represents Communion with the pain and madness of of the collective unconsciousness of the galaxy's sapient alien races. Those who commune with this grand psychosis can connect with the very concept of disconnection itself. They gain access to higher powers of self-destruction, contagious madness, disconnection, and the way things should never be.

Broken Communion uses the rules from GURPS Powers: Divine Favor as their base.




Prerequisites

Access to Broken Communion requires that the character be psionic or anti-psi (being latent is not enough! He must actually have acquired and trained powers, though how much training is necessary depends on the GM... and Broken Communion itself!). Characters who are genetically engineered to have psionic powers are perfectly acceptable to Broken Communion, as it understands misfits most of all (this may well mean that, setting-wise, it's perfectly acceptable to have legions of psychotic, genetically engineered psionic super-soldiers. Hmmm).

Communion has no additional requirements. Unlike Dark Communion, it does not automatically fail when it comes into conflict with the miracles of Ego Communion. Thus, Broken Communion has a Divine -0% modifier... but it has a different cost. See Corruption below.

Petition Rules

Petition generally follows the rules outlined in Divine Favors. You may not use Luck on your petition roll and you may not critically succeed or fail, but you may use Destiny, especially a Destiny related to Broken Communion, to ensure a successful petition!

Furthermore, characters can gain a bonus on their petition roll by gaining symbolic resonance with the Paths of Communion. Any character with Broken Communion may evoke three symbols for a +1 to their Petition roll, while characters on a Path may evoke up to three symbols for a +1 for each symbol for the invocation of Path-related miracles only.

Reaction Rolls

For reaction rolls regarding the situation, ignore the rules for saving lives and replace them with modifiers for how tense and dangerous the scenario is, apply a -4 for miracles of convenience, -2 if nothing especially dramatic and the miracle will not make it more tense, +0 if the situation is already tense or dangerous, or the miracle would make it even more tense and dangerous; +2 if someone is at risk of death or the miracle could ramp up an already tense situation into one where someone could die, and +4 if many people are at risk of death, or if the situation is already tense and the miracle could bring many people into the risk of death.

For personal behavior, Psychosis has exacting rules on what is and what is not acceptable behavior, but these are utterly opaque and random. The GM is free to apply a +4 to -4 penalty for whatever reasons he wants. Consider implying a possible bonus for certain behaviors, even regularly giving it, only to yank it away at a later time for no apparent reason. However, consider allowing the Path modifiers to also act as Reaction modifiers: Psychosis loves ritual, so characters who devoutly follow a path, or invoke that path, might well gain stronger miracles than those who do not.

Leave all other reaction modifiers the same. Characters with Legendary Reputations associated with the Paths of Ego may add their reaction bonus to this rule.

When it comes to Bad or Very Bad reactions, think less in terms of Broken Communion rejecting the character so much as failing to understand or be controlled by the character.  When one petitions Broken Communion, one opens the flood gates for its power, and then attempts to direct it.  A Bad reaction represents an inability to control the resulting miracle but the ability to limit the fallout: Create any miracle you wish, especially one that benefits the madness of Broken Psychosis, but limit them in scale.  Creepy events might start to happen: things may fall from shelves, people get strange dreams calling them to a dead world for a day, the character finds that he absentmindedly scrawls the same word over and over again, etc.  Very Bad reactions tend to unleash the flood gates of weirdness: The walls bleed, ghosts manifest, a telekinetic storm erupts, etc.  If you need inspiration, look at the "Reality Warping" table from Thaumatology (page 259)


Corruption and Twisted Psionic Energies

Where Broken Communion manifests most strongly, psychic energies have become tangled up. All places of High or Very High Sanctity also have Twisted Psionic Energy (and all places with Twisted Psionic Energy count as places of High or Very High Sanctity for Broken Communion). Apply a -2 to any Psionic Skill, and any failure counts as a critical failure. If the GM can come up with no interesting ideas for the critical failure, apply 1d6 Corruption: points to the psi as a default measure. Having access to Broken Communion does not protect your psionic powers from Twisted Psionic Energies, though characters with Broken Communion can purchase immunity for individual powers (see Psychic Singularity below). Prolonged exposure to twisted psychic energy fields can, at the GM's discretion, apply Corruption: points at the recommended amount of 1d6 per day. At the GM's discretion, characters with Broken Communion (certainly those under the effect of Psychic Singularity) are immune to this.

All uses of Broken Communion are Corrupting -20%. See GURPS Horror for the Corruption system (Many Roads, on Horror 147). The GM may choose to apply Corruption for other things as well, as noted in Many Roads, but all of them should be as associated with Broken Communion as possible.

Characters with Corruption may cleanse it using the rules on Horror 148. "If thy Hand Offend Thee" works as normal (apply the full value of the associated disadvantage even if it's mitigated by cybernetics: Slowly turning yourself into metal to escape Broken Communion has a delicious irony to it). Meritorious Acts requires some form of Communion (even Broken Communion!) and involves acts pleasing to that form of Communion. By and large, Id should be the best/easiest at cleaning Corruption (the "Power of Catharsis"), but often replaces it with a Corruption of its own. Penance benefits from the presence of someone with Communion and, again, a character with Dark Communion is generally the best.  As a general rule, for cleansing corruption, a rule of thumb should be 8 hours of work and a skill roll (similar to Meditative Magic, but you're "paying back the cost").

The result is that Broken Communion should be slightly cheaper than the equivalent levels of Communion. God is the highest level of patron (30). To this, you apply the frequence of appearance and then your modifiers of Highly accessible (+50), Minimal intervention (-50%), Special Abilities (+100%) and Divine Favor (-10%), which means everything is multiplied by 1.9. But if we replace Divine with Divine +0% and Corruption -20%, then we multiply everything by 1.8. I've calculated the results and, except for the high end, not much changes. Thus I choose to ignore the change in price. Except for 14, 15 and 16, you likely wouldn't notice a difference. To compensate for this difference, I've discounted the Corruption costs for higher level miracles.

Broken Communion inflicts Corruption whenever you use it. When using a general or specific prayer, after determing the reaction roll and a miracle is chosen, apply 1d6 Corruption for a minor miracle, 2d6 for a major miracle, 3d6 for miraculous might, and 4d6 for world-shaking miracles. For learned prayers, apply the listed Corruption.

Minor Blessings

Minimum Reaction: Neutral

When calling up on generic or specific prayers of this magnitude, gain 1d6 Corruption.


Servant of Unreality

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 4.
Learned Prayer Cost: 2 points.
Corruption: 5

See Servant of the God of Lies (Pyramid #3-36, page 10), but with a total cost of 11.


Primordial Expertise, Lesser

Learned Prerequisite: Communion 4 and either Primordial Reputation 1 or Destined (To Follow Path X) 1.
Learned Prayer Cost: 3.
Corruption: 3

Characters who follow the Path of an Archetype may draw upon the inherent knowledge within that Archetype to improve their own skills in a particular area. Gain +3 to the skills from a single Archetype talent worth 5/level.


Statistics: Talent 3 (Broken Communion Path -25%) [12], Rule Exception (This talent may exceed +4) [1]


Inured Mind

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 5.
Learned Prayer Cost: 4 points.
Corruption: 3

Broken Communion has shown the characters far worse things than that which he sees before him now. With this blessing, the character cannot be frightened, by anything, even soul-blasting terror. This power lasts for an hour, or until it protects the character from one fright check, whichever is longer.

Statistics: Unfazeable (Cosmic +50%, Broken Communion -20%) [20]


Roads of Broken Communion

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 5.
Learned Prayer Cost: 4 points.
Corruption: 10

Upon completion of this prayer, the character is instantly transported to someplace he could have reasonably gone if he had been given sufficient time.  He can only do this if unobserved, and if he has the necessary skills to reasonably get to the given location.

Statistics: See Ghost Step (Horror page 20), but with the Corruption modifier applied [20]


Primordial Expertise, Greater

Learned Prerequisite: Communion 5 and either Primordial Reputation 1 or Destined (To Follow Path X) 1.
Learned Prayer Cost: 5.

As with Primordial Expertise, but this allows them to access talents worth 10/level, if the Archetype has one.

Statistics: Talent 3 (Broken Communion Path -25%) [23], Rule Exception (This talent may exceed +4) [1]


Horrifying Truth

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 6.
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points.
Corruption: 2

Broken Communion can show the character visions that the character does not wish to see, that nobody wishes to see, or in ways that nobody would wish to see them, but which the character must see nonetheless. Seeing these vision inflicts a fright check (at -0), as well as the noted Corruption. Understanding the visions requires a Philosophy roll.

Statistics: Blessed (No Reaction Bonus -10%, Reduced Fatigue Cost 10 +200%, Backlash: Fright Check -30%, Corrupting -20%) [24]

Major Blessings

Minimum Reaction: Good

When calling up on generic or specific prayers of this magnitude, gain 2d6 Corruption.


Psychic Singularity

Learned Prerequisite: Communion 7.
Learned Prayer Cost: NA.
Corruption: Varies

Broken Communion is unaffected by Twisted psychic energy because it is the source of twisted psychic energy. This miracle twists the psionic gifts of the user, making them unaffected by Twisted psychic energy. It removes removes the Psionic -10% modifier and replaces it with Cosmic +50% and Corrupting -20%, meaning that each use any psychic ability while under the blessing of Miracle accrues 1/5 of that ability's cost in Corruption points for the user, and cannot be defeated by non-mundane anti-psi measures (Psychic Singularity can affect Anti-Psi powers, allowing them to defeat Cosmic Psionic powers or even Communion itself). This blessing lasts for one hour or until a power has been protected in one of the above ways, whichever takes longer.

Statistics: This miracle is based on an unusual background cost of 30 points, based on the fact that most psionic powers cost 100 points or less, and thus +40% would cost ~30 points at most. Thus, this is an inappropriate Learned Prayer, but characters with Broken Communion 7 or higher may apply the Broken Communion +30% modifier to any of their psychic powers if they're willing to pay those costs.


Broken Window

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 7.
Learned Prayer Cost: 8 points.
Corruption: 2

Telepathic contact through Broken Communion opens up others to the danger of horrifying, broken visions of the pain, terror and weirdness of Broken Communion itself. Characters making psychic contact with the blessed (either receiving or sending) must roll a quick contest between their own Will and the Will of the blessed. If the blessed wins, the target suffers terrifying hallucinations for a number of minutes equal to their margin of failure. Those who fail by 5 or more also faint (going unconscious, where they suffer the hallucinations as dreams). Many characters find these visions sufficiently disturbing to warrant a fright check, but some find them hauntingly beautiful, even enlightening.

Statistics: Affliction (Broken Communion -20%, Always On -20%, Based on Will +20%, Hallucinating +50%, Secondary, Unconsciousness +40%, Malediction 3 +200%, Long Range +50%, No Signature +20%, Trigger, Psionic Contact -40%) [40]


Plague of Madness

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 8.
Learned Prayer Cost: 18 points.
Corruption: 10

Unlike Communion or Dark Communion, Broken Communion seeks connections with others as it seeks to understand itself, to experience itself. It wants its secrets uncovered! With this blessing, Broken Communion gifts its blessed with the ability to spread its gift. Any mental contact with the blessed instantly forces a Will check. If failed, a psychic target without at least Broken Communion 4 gains gains Broken Communion 4 [20] or they replace their Communion or Dark Communion with Broken Communion of equivalent value; Either way, they also gain Dark Destiny (Haunted by Broken Communion) 2 [-10]. Non-psionic characters gain 20 points worth of mental disadvantages representing madness.

Characters with Broken Communion are immune. The effects persist for 1 day per margin of failure, and during this time, the character is contagious. Any mental contact with them threatens to spread Broken Communion!

Statistics: This ability is two alternate abilities in one, depending on the target that contacts the character. Affliction 1 (Advantage: Meta Trait (Broken Communion 4 [20] and Dark Destiny 2 (Haunted by Broken Communion) [-10]) +100%, Broken Communion +30%, Malediction (No Range Penalties) +200%, Trigger, Psionic Contact -40%, Always On -20%, Accessible, only on psionic characters without Broken Communion -60%, Highly Contagious +50%, Extended Duration (1 day/margin) +120%) [48], and Affliction 1 (Advantage: Meta Trait (-20 points worth of crazy) [-20]) +20%, Broken Communion +30%, Malediction (No Range Penalties) +200%, Trigger, Psionic Contact -40%, Always On -20%, Accessible, non-psionic characters only -10%, Highly Contagious +50%, Extended Duration (1 day/margin) +120%) [41]


Sanity-Blasting Horror

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 9.
Learned Prayer Cost: 10 points.
Corruption: 6

Upon completion of this prayer, the blessed of Broken Communion may unleash the complete horror of Broken Communion upon his foe. This requires a the blessed to be within 10 yards of his target, but his target need neither hear nor see him. Roll a contest of Wills between the target and the blessed, but the target may not add any non-cosmic forms of Fearlessness, including non-cosmic Unfazeable. If the target loses, apply the margin of failure as a penalty when rolling on the fear table.

Statistics: Terror 1 (Broken Communion -20%, Cosmic +50%, Presence +25%, Active +0%) [47]


Psionic Madness

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 9.
Learned Prayer Cost: 11 points.
Corruption: 10

Broken Communion twists all psychic energy it touches, and with this power, the Broken Psi can twist the powers of another. Roll a Quick Contest of Meditation vs the target's best Psionic skill. Protected Power does not apply. Success applies the Uncontrollable limitation to the power for a number of minutes equal to the margin of success, and the use of the power counts as “Stress,” instantly setting the power off.

Statistics: Neutralize (Psi; Ranged 1 +50%, Derange -20%, Broken Communion -20%) [55]


Corrupt Ground

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 9.
Learned Prayer Cost: 12 points.

As Consecrate Ground, except that it cannot be countered by Consecrate or Desecrate Ground without some extraordinary action to rectify the broken nature of the psychic energy in the area, and it creates a field of Twisted psychic energy.

Statistics: Affliction 1 (HT, Broken Communion +30%, Accessibility Ground and buildings only -20%, Advantage: Twisted Psionic Energy Generator +150%, Area of Effect 16 yards +200%, Emanation -20%, Extended Duration, Permanent +150%, Must First Traverse entire Perimeter -20%, Selective Area +20%) [59]

Miraculous Power

Minimum Reaction: Very Good

When calling up on generic or specific prayers of this magnitude, gain 3d6 Corruption.


Corrupt Ground (Enhanced)

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 9.
Learned Prayer Cost: 18 points.

As Corrupt Ground, except that it affects a roughly circular area roughly one square mile.

Statistics: Affliction 1 (HT, Broken Communion +30% Accessibility Ground and buildings only -20%, Advantage: Twisted Psionic Energy Generator +150%, Area of Effect 1000 yards +500%, Emanation -20%, Extended Duration, Permanent +150%, Must First Traverse entire Perimeter -20%, Selective Area +20%) [89]


Channel Archetype

Learned Prerequisite: Communion 12 and either Primordial Reputation 3 or Destined (To Follow Path X) 3.
Learned Prayer Cost: 17 points.
Corruption: 3

Rather than simply draw on some of the expertise, the character may attune themselves fully with their archetype. This communion takes 1d6 seconds, even as a learned prayer, and costs 1 fatigue. Once complete, the character gains marks and features that betray the fact that she is channeling an archetype, but also gains the ability to access any three skills associated with the archetype's talents at IQ or DX +3, as well as +3 to any archetype skills she already knows. Finally, each archetype has its own, often subtle, power that the character gains access to.

Statistics: Alternate Form (Lesser Avatar; Broken Communion Path -25%, Reduced time 1d6 seconds +40%, costs 1 fatigue -5%) [17]

World-Shaking Miracles

Minimum Reaction: Excellent

When calling up on generic or specific prayers of this magnitude, gain 4d6 Corruption


Sanity-Blasting Horror (Enhanced)

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 13.
Learned Prayer Cost:25 points.
Corruption: 16

As with Sanity-Blasting Horror, but the target is at -5 on his roll!

Statistics: Terror 5 (Broken Communion -20%, Cosmic +50%, Presence +25%, Active +0%) [124]


Black Sun

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 13.
Learned Prayer Cost: 25 points.
Corruption: 4 points

As Eclipse from Divine Favor 15, but with a spookier name and the Broken Communion modifer (-20% instead of Divine -10%, for a total of [125].


Roads of Broken Communion (Enhanced)

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 14.
Learned Prayer Cost: 28 points.
Corruption: 20 points

See Non-Locality, Powers: the Weird page 34, but with Corrupting -20% and Accessibility "Only two and from locations with Twisted Energy Fields" -40% [140].  This version always requires a "special portal," usually one that parallels the target location: You must step through a door in one ship to enter the door of another, or walk down one unseen path to arrive at an unseen path in another location, and so on.  The character literally walks through Broken Communion to arrive at his new destination.


Plague of Locusts

Learned Prerequisite: Broken Communion 14.
Learned Prayer Cost: 31 points.
Corruption: 2 points

See Divine Favor page 15, but apply the Broken Communion modifier (for a total of [146]


Primordial Avatar

Learned Prerequisite: Communion 16.
Learned Prayer Cost:: varies.
Corruption: 3

Characters with a profound connection to a primordial image can manifest as an incarnation of that primordial image. In that state, their own personality merges with the mythic imagery found in the heart of communion. This gives them enormous psychic power, but channeling that much energy burns them out. For the duration of the effect (which lasts at most an hour), they regenerate 1 fatigue per turn, gain +5 to resist death and unconsciousness, the effects of High Pain Threshold with an additional +5 to resist stunning, knockdown and torture,

Statistics: Alternate Form (Greater Avatar; Broken Communion, Path -25%, Maximum Duration, 1 hour -10%, Reduced time 1d6 seconds +40%, Costs 2 HP -20%) [13] + Chosen Avatar Template
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