Monday, October 2, 2017

The Akashic Mysteries as Esoteric Skill

Many people believe in the Akashic Mysteries (via the Believer (Akashic Mysteries) quirk) and might study the Akashic Mysteries (Theology (Akashic Mysteries)) but few outside of the order are allowed to study the Akashic Mysteries as an esoteric style. The secrets of the Akashic Order is open only to those who take the proper vows and join the Order proper.

Anyone who joins the Akashic Order may study the Akashic Mysteries as a philosophical style. In practice, the Akashic Order reserves its “secret” knowledge only for characters who have undergone Akashic Initiation or Shadow Initiation. Priests and Knights can learn everything else (though most characters with ESP will become Oracles; by tradition, though, the Akashic Order does not teach its male members Prognostication).

The Akashic Order has access to the Oracle ability. This is not a secret, and it will willingly teach it to any ESPers who belong to the Order, including men, though women with Oracle are more traditional. Oracle can be used as a complimentary roll to gain a +2 to specific rolls (mainly Strategy, Bioengineering (Eugenics) and Diagnosis). Prognostication can do the same things, though this involves direct verification of the omens, and thus applies a +4 to any of the above! As such, characters who learn Oracle tend to learn it as a first step to learning Prognostication.

Akashic Oracles use their abilities to advise others. The most common forms of advice are on whom to marry, in which case the advice given generally focuses on what children will come from the union; how to fight; and how to find a cure to a disease.

Shadow Initiates learn secrets beyond those detailed in the Akashic Mysteries. For ideas, see the Devils of Persephone.

Akashic Mysteries 5 points

Required Skills: Meditation, Religious Ritual (Akashic Mysteries), Theology (Akashic Mysteries)

Additional Psionic Skills: Danger Sense, Oracle, Prognostication, Psychic Hunches

Secret Skills: Hidden Lore (Future History)

Techniques: Competitive Precognition (Prognostication), Deep Trance (Meditation), Directed (Prognostication), Marital Omens (Oracle), Medical Omens (Oracle), Strategic Omens (Oracle), Symbolic Future Lore (Theology),

Secret Techniques: Deep Time (Prognostication)

Perks: 20/20 Hindsight, Blind Psi, Ecstatic Psi (Dreaming Nymph), Exposition Sense, Inner Mastery, Know-It-All, Secret Knowledge (Future History), Secret Knowledge (Deep Time).

Optional Advantages: Clerical Investment (Akashic Mysteries), Destiny, Religious Rank (Akashic Mysteries), Security Clearance (Shadow Initiation)

Optional Disadvantages: Callous, Clueless, Code of Honor (Alliance Aristocratic), Disciplines of Faith (Monasticism), Fanaticism (Akashic Order), Hidebound, Nightmares, Obsession (“Stop the Coming Storm”), Sense of Duty (Akashic Order), Sense of Duty (Humanity)

Optional Skills:Area Knowledge (Persephone), Diagnosis, Bioengineering (Eugenics), Intimidation, Esoteric Medicine, Expert Skill (Political Science), Fortune Telling (Augury or Dream Interpretation), Naturalist, Pharmacy (Any),Physician, Poison, Politics, Savoir-Faire, Strategy.

New Perks

20/20 Hindsight: Pyramid #3/69 page 6.

Blind Psi: If the character has been blindfolded or otherwise deprived of sight for at least an hour, they may roll Will or Meditation. If successful, they gain +1 to all uses of their psionic talents. This is not cumulative with Sensory Deprivation (it is a form of sensory deprivation). Characters who have the Blind disadvantage may waive the roll.

Ecstatic Psi (Dreaming Nymph): See Psionic Powers page 19. Dreaming Nymph is a poisonous blossom native to Persephone and grows near or in its many caves that has a powerful hallucinatory, soporific and addictive quality, that also offers uncontrolled visions of the future that blur into the hallucinations. Some Oracles of the Akashic Mysteries have mastered the power of Dreaming Nymph and gain a +5, rather than a -5, while under its influence to use ESP (but still suffer a -5 to everything else).

Exposition Sense: See Psionic Powers page 42.

Inner Mastery: Characters may substitute Meditation for Will for Psionic Extra-Effort rolls.

Know-It-All: See Psionic Powers page 42

New Techniques

Competitive Precognition (Average)

Prerequisite: Prognostication.

Default: Prognostication; May not exceed Prognostication+4.

When engaged in a quick contest with another precog (see Dueling Precogs, GURPS Supers page 108), you may use your Competitive Precognition technique rather than your Prognostication skill. This technique does not require the expense of two fatigue to activate!

Deep Time (Hard)

Prerequisite: Prognostication.

Default: Prognostication-5; May not exceed Prognostication.

Precognition is limited to a single week. This technique violates that rule, allowing the character to search farther into the future (subject to the limitations noted in ESP in Action). Apply the “success by” rules from retrocognition as additional penalties for looking farther into the future: Looking 10 days ahead is -1, 100 days is -2, 3 years is -3, 30 years is -4, 300 years is -5, and so on. Thus, looking 300 years into the future is a -10. Note that the further into the future one looks, the less certain the future becomes!

Deep Trance (Hard)

Prerequisite: Meditation.

Default: Meditation-4; May not exceed Meditation.

The character meditates deeply for one hour and enters a trance. This trance either offers the same bonuses as Autohypnosis or +1 to all Psi skills plus an additional bonus equal to 1/3 of his margin of success, to a maximum of +5. He gains +4 if he’s using a sensory deprivation chamber, +2 for the Body Discipline perk, and may use Religious Ritual as a complementary roll.

Symbolic Time Lore (Hard)

Prerequisite: Theology (Akashic Mysteries).

Default: Theology (Akashic Mysteries); May not exceed Theology(Akashic Mysteries)+4.

Visions of the future often come with strange, symbolic visions that obscure the actual events at hand. The body of Akashic symbolism doubles as a means of interpreting the strange symbols that appear in visions in the future. If a character wishes to interpret his visions, he may roll Symbolic Time Lore for additional clarification.

New Skills

Bioengineering (Eugenics) (IQ/H)

Default: Biology-5 or Naturalist-6

Bioengineering (Eugenics) is a new skill whose primary purpose is to determine if two people would be genetically compatible. Akashic priests do this by checking records of lineage and guessing one’s lineage from looking at a character’s features. This latter is the more useful trait in Psi-Wars. Without performing a genetic test, the character can guess if another character belongs to a genetic line just by looking. This requires a Bioengineering (Eugenics)-4 roll, but the target’s Blood Purity adds +1 per level and Blood Impurity (if the character has any) adds -1 per level. A basic success will reveal whether or not the character has a Bloodline perk and what bloodline it is, as well as their Blood Purity level. Further margin of success can reveal additional information, such as additional Bloodline perks or what specific genetic power-ups the character took. At the GM’s discretion, a eugenicist can “discover” an unknown bloodline hidden in a character’s genetics, allowing the player to spend a point on that bloodline (or to take the Bloodline perk with a Blood Impurity of -1, for a total of 0 points).

Modifiers for detecting someone’s bloodline: -4 without records, +0 with records. +4 with a genetic test. +1 per level of Blood Purity or Blood Impurity.

Hidden Lore (Future History) (IQ/A)

Default: None

This skill covers the accumulated lore that the Akashic Order has collected about the many various possible futures and the nature of the Coming Storm. The character can roll Hidden Lore (Future History) to see if particular events have a meaningful impact on the future, what the outcome might be, or to recognize someone based on their impact on the future (for example, meeting an innocuous, if unruly teenager, and recognizing that he’s a serial killer in the future). Note that the libraries of the Akashic Order are incomplete and often contradictory, and even where they are accurate, the chaotic nature of time means that knowing future history is a pale substitute for actual Prognostication and Visions, but it can prove useful where the GM wishes it to be. Treat it like a precognitive version of Current Affairs!

New Powers

Oracle 14

Skill: Oracle (IQ/Hard)

The character has access to the Oracle ability (B72). The character may roll the Oracle skill to both detect and interpret omens. She may use Fortune-Telling as a complementary roll, and she may substitute Symbolic Time Lore (see above) for the Oracle skill for interpreting omens.

This is not a “secret” power (it does not require the expenditure of a perk), but it is not an ability often found outside of the Akashic Order. Apprentice Oracles often learn it as a stepping stone to Prognostication. At the GM’s discretion, players who invest points in Oracle may later trade out the points spent on Oracle and the Oracle skill for Prognostication and the Prognostication skill.

Statistics: Oracle (ESP -10%) [14]

Marital Omens (Average)
Prerequisite: Oracle

Default: Oracle-5; Cannot exceed Oracle

Oracle normally only looks for general omens. With Marital Omens, the character may explicitly seek the answer to a marital question, such as whom someone should marry, or whether a union will work out well. This technique does not require the expenditure of 2 fatigue.

Medical Omens (Average)
Prerequisite: Oracle

Default: Oracle-5; Cannot exceed Oracle.

As Marital Omens, but with regards to someone’s physical health and how best to cure a particular illness. This tends to be limited to whether or not someone will recover, or where one should go to seek the answer, and may be used as a psionic complementary roll for a Diagnosis roll (applying +2).

Strategic Omens (Average)
Prerequisite: Oracle

Default: Oracle-5; Cannot exceed Oracle

As Marital Omens, but in regards to the outcome of a battle. Success will tell the oracle whether the battle will be won or not, and perhaps some insights into how it might be won. This may be used as a psionic complementary roll for a Strategy roll (applying +2).


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