Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Paths of Communion

In addition to the disadvantage required to gain access to Communion, all Paths of Communion require Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism), which reflects the way in which the character must live his life in a manner symbolically associated with that of the Primordial Image.  Furthermore, each Archetype has a specific -10 point disadvantage associated with it, bringing the total penalty to -25%.  Failure to live up to any of this results in the temporary loss of access to the unique Path miracles but not Communion itself.  Living a week in the proper manner, plus a noteworthy symbolic act that clearly aligns the character with his chosen path will, once more, put him back on the Path.

A Note on Gender: The Bound Princess was heavily inspired by the Captive Maiden and, like with the Magic of Stories, the particular gender was chosen here because most mythical examples had the same gender. Men may follow the path of the Bound Princess, and women may follow the path of the Righteous Crusader and the Exiled Master.


Archangel Michael

The Righteous Crusader

Alternate Names: The Noble Knight, the Paladin, the Shield Maiden, the Judge, the God of Law, the Executioner

The Righteous Crusader is an engine of war and an enforcer of law. He submits his will to the will of the community, and offers to become their weapon. In so doing, he is allowed to wield violence, but only to further the protection of the community. He protects them from outside influences, and from internal influences that have grown “cancerous,” casting them out or destroying them.

Prerequisites

As with all paths, following the Path of the Righteous Crusader requires an additional -5% pact modifier “Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism)”, representing how the character must spend every moment of his life carefully engaging in the symbolism of the Righteous Crusader.

Furthermore, the Righteous Crusader must have a Code of Honor disadvantage worth at least -10 points. This may be the one he uses for his Pact with Communion.

Finally, he must serve another. This does not necessarily mean that he has a Duty, only that he acts at the behest of at least one other voice, someone who sends the Crusader out on his Crusades.


Symbols

  • Color: Blue
  • Regalia: An impartial shade of grey; a blindfold or an eye-patch; armor.
  • Tools: a force sword; a shield; a book of law.
  • Locations: A court of law; a battlefield for a sanctioned war, on a flagship (any war-ready star vessel given control over other vessels)
  • Opposing Path: Thanatos (Broken Communion): All Righteous Crusaders must eventually accept their death in their calling.

Milestones

  • After seeking a legendary artifact to help his cause, the Righteous Crusader acquires it, and ties his destiny to that artifact's legacy.
  • The Righteous Crusader must contest with an opponent reminiscent of himself, but lacking the same moral character and, through understanding how his moral fiber gives him strength, gain victory.
  • The Righteous Crusader's pursuit for justice brings him across a victim of injustice and rescues her. She thereafter becomes his Boon Companion.
  • The Righteous Crusader's pursuit for justice ultimately alienates a dear friend or a loved one. This alienation forces a climactic confrontation, where the Righteous Crusader is betrayed (directly by the dear friend, or symbolically by his emotions).
  • The Righteous Crusader achieves (an) ultimate victory in the pursuit of his(/a) cause, but then dies (symbolically or otherwise) of his wounds.

Associated Talents

Born Warleader: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 12 (and various other places).

Truth Seeker: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 17.

Associated Powers

Stoicism
Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 6, Legendary Reputation (The Righteous Crusader) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points

As stoicism on page 10 of Divine Favor, except instead of requiring constant concentration, once this prayer has been invoked, it costs the character 1 fatigue per minute to maintain it. He may pay this cost out of his Energy Reserves (Psionic).


Statistics: Immunity to Pain (Divine: Path -15%, costs 1 fatigue -5%) [24]

Guide My Hand
Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 8, Legendary Reputation (The Righteous Crusader) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 8 points

As Guide My Hand (Pyramid #3-36, page 12) but with the additional Path modifier. This reflects the Righteous Crusader's aptitude with all weapons! Remember, Weapon Masters have exceptional defaults!

Statistics: Weapon Master (All; Divine, Path -15%) [39]


Sense Sin
Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 9, Legendary Reputation (The Righteous Crusader) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 10 points

As See Evil from Divine Favor page 12, except it sees that which the Righteous Crusader's community defines as inappropriate, and not just what they've done, but what they're capable of doing (That is, you'll detect not just whether someone has committed murder, but also that they have bloodlust, and so that it's in their natureto commit murder).

Statistics: Sense Sin (Divine: Path -15%, Cosmic, no die roll required +100%, Vision based, reversed -20% [50]


Avatar Templates

Lesser Avatar of the Righteous Crusader
Additional Point Cost: 0 points

The psion retains his own personality, but gains channels the skills associated with the Righteous Crusader. He becomes exceptionally competent at the arts of war, whether waking war on a battlefield or exceptional skill with any weapon he lays his hand on, and becomes very good at ferreting out the truth from others.

Statistics: In addition to the standard Lesser Avatar Template abilities, add the following traits: +3 Truth-Seeker (Divine -0%) [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1], +3 Born Warleader (Divine -0%) [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1], Fearless +3 [6], Guide My Hand [39].
Greater Avatar of the Righteous Crusader
Additional Point Cost: 48 points


The psion becomes the incarnation of the Righteous Crusader. In addition to the typical, overwhelming power of any Communal Avatar, his aura and features blur into a terrifying, angelic visage, and he gains the ability to instantly differentiate the guilty from the innocent with a glance. The Avatar is unable to harm the latter.

Statistics: In addition to the standard Greater Avatar Template abilities, add the following traits: Appearance (Transcendent; Divine -0%, Universal +25%, Impressive, Glamour Will-5 -5%) [24], Terror (Divine -0%) [30], Sense Sin (Divine -0%, Vision based, reversed -20%) [24] and Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-5].

Note that the Sense Sin paired with Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) always means he will know if he is harming someone innocent. Innocence is defined by the code and morals appropriate to his Sense Sin power.




Andromeda

The Bound Princess

Alternate Names: The Captive Maiden, the Dutiful Son, the Bound Offering, the Chained Goddess, the Dying God.

The Bound Princess represents the exemplification of social morals and virtues. She acts as an unattainable example to those around her, and is often trusted with a position of power. Her unfailing virtue inspires others around her, but also draws the ire of those who would undo the work of Ego and destroy society. Rather than let her society be destroyed, the Bound Princess sacrifices herself to the great monster of chaos.


Prerequisites

As with all paths, following the Path of the Bound Princess requires an additional -5% pact modifier “Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism)”, representing how the character must spend every moment of her life carefully engaging in the symbolism of the Bound Princess.

Furthermore, the Bound Princess must have a Duty of some kind, worth at least -10 points. This duty may be extremely hazardous, involuntary, or more mundane, but it must exist. The Bound Princess must answer to someone.

Finally, the Bound Princess must have an obscured true name. It does not have to be completely hidden, but people must have a title or a nickname that they prefer to use in place of her name.  For example if Duke Bartomeo Ran followed the Path of the Bound Princess, people might begin to refer to him as "Duke" rather than Bartameo, or perhaps a nickname, like "Old Ironsides."


Symbols

  • Color: Purple
  • Regalia: Pristine white; A crown or other jewelry that marks office.
  • Tools: chains (either to restrain the bound princess, or the interlocking metal chains of jewelry). A pure jewel.
  • Locations: A lonely tower, a prison cell, a sacrificial altar.
  • Opposing Path: The Other (Broken Communion): The bound princess must eventually be sacrificed by her people to The Other to bring about peace.

Milestones

  • The Bound Princess undertakes a simple and humble task that unexpectedly turns out to have vastly larger implications. She is gifted with greater social position as a result of her unintentional heroism and the clear virtue that motivated her undertake the task in the first place.
  • The Bound Princess's unfailing example of virtue (love, patience, faith, etc) inspires an enemy to change his path. He loves her and devotes himself to her, thereafter becoming her Boon Companion.
  • The Bound Princess suffers defeat at the hand of a force of evil and is enslaved by it. While so enslaved, her captor offers her a choice between her virtue or something she desires (freedom, power, etc).  Remaining true to virtue, she rebukes her captor, who is humbled.
  • When the Bound Princess is in her darkest hour, she calls out for a hero (somehow communicating her distress to the outside world) and is heard by an unlikely hero.  When he rescues her, she grants him a portion of her power as a reward, and he falls in love with her and becomes her Boon Companion.
  • In the face of overwhelming danger, the Bound Princess binds herself and sacrifices herself to the power of the Other, which consumes her (literally or metaphorically), and thus saves her people.

Associated Talents

Healer: [10/level] (Greater Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS B90.

Empath: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 10.

Associated Powers

Purity
Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 4, Legendary Reputation (The Bound Princess) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 3 points

Communion helps the Bound Princess maintain her virtue. The princess may give in to temptation, but only of her own accord: Any attempts to use any influence skill to force her to do something automatically fail.

Statistics: Indomitable (Divine: Path -15%) [13]

Prayer of Hope
Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 7, Legendary Reputation (The Bound Princess) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 6 points

After finishing the petition roll in which the character expresses (silently or verbally) her wish for what should happen, she may make a roll against IQ-based Meditation. This roll cannot fail. She applies her margin of success (with a minimum of +1) as a bonus to a roll that someone else makes, provided his actions closely resemble that which she prayed for. This may not apply to combat rolls.

Statistics: Visualization (Divine: Path -15%, Blessing +0%, Reduced Time, 1d6 seconds +80%, Cosmic, No Die Roll Required +100%) [27]


Lay on Hands
Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 8, Legendary Reputation (The Bound Princess) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 8 points

See Lay On Hands from Divine Favor page 11.


Avatar Templates

Lesser Avatar of the Bound Princess
Additional Point Cost: 0 points

While channeling the lesser avatar of the Bound Princess, the psion loses none of her innate personality, but gains access to all of the skills and talents of the Bound Princess. She becomes an exceptional healer, better able to understand the pain of others, and she gains the untouchable poise of the Bound Princess, and she also gains her beauty. This latter doesn't change how the character looks, only changes how others see her (“I hadn't noticed how pretty Jane was before!”)

Statistics: In addition to the standard Lesser Avatar Template abilities, add the following traits: +3 Empath (Divine -0%) [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1], +3 Healer (Divine -0%) [30] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1], Very Beautiful (Glamour, Will-2 -15%, Divine -0%) [14], Indomitable (Divine: Path -0%) [15]


Greater Avatar of the Bound Princess
Additional Point Cost: 48 points

Sometimes called “Unchaining the Goddess,” when a Psion unleashes the full Avatar of the Bound Princess, she becomes an incarnation of her godly beauty and power. In addition to the normal, overwhelming power of a communal avatar, the psion gains the breath-taking beauty of the Bound Princess, and those who see it often fall to their knees and worship her. She gains a power similar to Prayer of Hope, except that she is no longer limited to applying the power to others: she may also apply it to herself. Moreover, she may use it without concentration once per turn by simply rolling against the better of IQ-based Meditation or IQ, and she applies the margin of success to the appropriate roll, and she may fail. This may apply in combat, but add only 1/3 the bonus.

Statistics: In addition to the standard Greater Avatar Template abilities, add the following traits: Appearance (Transcendent, Divine -0%, Universal +25%, Glamour Will-5 -5%) [24], Awe (Divine -0%) [30], Visualization (Divine -0%, Wishing +100%, Instantaneous +140%) [34], and Selfless (6 or less) [-10].






Prophet Elias

The Exiled Master

Alternate Names: The Gentle Fool, the Oracle, the Prophet(ess), the True King, the Man on the Mountain, the Mad Man(/Witch) of the Desert, the Saint(ess), the Blinded God, the Thief of Wisdom.

The Exiled Master is the Ego's resolution to the problem posed by the absolute corruption of absolute power. Ego requires community but it also demands that its adherents sacrifice themselves and not gain profit from the community. By sacrificing social position and exiling himself from his own community, he gains access to all knowledge necessary to properly guide his community.

Prerequisites

As with all paths, following the Path of the Exiled Master requires an additional -5% pact modifier “Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism)”, representing how the character must spend every moment of his life carefully engaging in the symbolism of the Exiled Master.

Furthermore, the Exiled Master must sacrifice all worldly goods. He must have a Vow of Poverty worth at least -10 points.

Finally, the Exiled Master must have no connections to the outside world. He may not have any Rank, and his only Duty must be Involuntary.


Symbols

  • Color: Green
  • Regalia: Brown, simple cloth; Ragged clothing that gives a hint of former glory.
  • Tools: A cane or a staff. A religious text. A gift/donation from another (used as a sacrifice for the miracle).
  • Locations: Desolate wastes. A lonely mountain.
  • Opposing Path: Madness (Broken Communion): What dividing line is there between the Exiled Master's oracular powers and madness? None.

Milestones

  • A higher power calls upon the Exiled Master to cast aside his current life and undertake an important cause. He does so.
  • The Exiled Master announces an important truth to “the people.” The people reject his truth, humiliate him, injure him (literally or metaphorically) and exile him.  If the Exiled master calls down a curse upon the people for doing this, the curse will take place.
  • The Exiled Master travels to a remote location and spends a considerable amount of time in meditation to gain some great, secret power. For his faithfulness and wisdom, the higher power that called upon him grants him his secret power (this milestone almost always sanctifies the location in question).
  • The Exiled Master takes on an apprentice and trains him, passing on a great secret (this counts a milestone).  The apprentice will thereafter either betray the Master, subvert his teachings and force the Master into combat with him, or the apprentice will maintain the Master's teachings and take up his mantle at a later time.
  • The Exiled Master faces a great challenge, the culmination of his quest.  He allows the greater power that called him to consume him, and in so doing, achieves his objective. All that remains is his legend, but that legend is more powerful than the man himself (allowing the Exiled Master to impact events long after his death).

Associated Talents

Devotion: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 9. Replace Exorcism with Mental Strength, and Religious Ritual with Philosophy.

Survivor: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 16.

Associated Powers

Bread of Communion
Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 4, Legendary Reputation (The Exiled Master) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 2 points

Communion sustains the Exiled Master. He no longer needs to eat or drink for the duration of the Miracle. As a general or specific prayer, it lasts for one day.

Statistics: Doesn't Eat or Drink (Divine: Path -15%) [9]
Restore Order
Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 7, Legendary Reputation (The Exiled Master) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 6 points

Once per session, the Exiled Master may restore proper order merely by wishing it so. After completion of this prayer, a coincidence happens (that the player himself may choose) that sets the world back on its proper course, and reduces tension.

Statistics: Serendipity (Divine, Path -15%, Wishing +100%, Aspect: Return the world to its proper state -20%) [26]
See Truth
Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Communion 8, Legendary Reputation (The Bound Princess) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 9 points

While under the effects of this miracle, the Exiled Master cannot be tricked, either by mental illusion, a contest of Acting skill, or his own failing senses. He can fail to notice things, or miss them, or not know/understand what something is (“I don't know.”), but he won't believe that something is something that it is not. He automatically wins any such contests. As a general or specific prayer, this miracle lasts for one hour, or until it has protected the Exiled Master once, whichever is longer.

Statistics: Immune to Deception (Cosmic, includes misperception +50%, Divine: Path -15%) [41]


Avatar Templates

Lesser Avatar of the Exiled Master
Additional Point Cost: 0 points
While channeling the lesser avatar of the Exiled Master, the psion loses none of his innate personality, but gains access to all of the insights of the Exiled Master. He becomes exceptionally devote and competent at survival, and becomes very astute at picking out truth from deception.

Statistics: In addition to the standard Lesser Avatar Template abilities, add the following traits: +3 Devotion (Divine -0%) [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1], +3 Survivor (Divine -0%) [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1], Immune to Deception (Cosmic, includes misperception +50%) [45]


Greater Avatar of the Exiled Master
Additional Point Cost: 50 points
Sometimes called “the King Triumphant,” the psion following the path of the Exiled Master is temporarily relieved of his restrictions against exerting his own power. In addition to gaining the overwhelming power of any Communal Avatar, the psion also gains the perfect ability to pick out truth from deception. He may then point out this truth to others and they will listen and hear. Those who try to shout the King Triumphant down can be silenced with but a word from the thunderous avatar.

Statistics: In addition to the standard Greater Avatar Template abilities, add the following traits: Immune to Deception (Cosmic, includes misperception +50%) [45], Speak Truth +5 [25] (See Powers: the Weird page 27), and Rapier Wit (Words of Power (Cosmic) +100%) [10] (See Powers: the Weird page 27, Hexing, for further information).
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