States of Light
No Power Points
Instead of using Power Points, characters with Arcane Backgrounds simply choose the power they want to activate and make an arcane skill roll. The penalty to the roll is half the power’s usual Power Point cost (rounded down). Casting the armor power, for example, which costs 2 Power Points, is an arcane skill roll at –1.
Once cast, check the results below:
- Success: The power activates as usual.
- Raise: A raise on the roll grants any additional bonuses to the power stated in its description. Armor, for example, grants a +4 bonus to Toughness with a raise.
- Failure: All currently maintained powers are cancelled and the caster is Shaken.
If a caster rolls a 1 on the arcane skill die when using one of his powers it automatically fails and he suffers 2d6 damage.
Replace each Arcane Background’s specialized backlash rules with these:
- Magic: Use the above Backlash results.
- Miracles: As above, but the damage is reduced by half the priest’s Faith skill.
- Wushu & Performance: The hero does not suffer damage, but cannot use the power for the rest of this encounter or until he spends a Benny to negate the Backlash.
Maintaining Powers: Characters can maintain powers as long as desired, but each power maintained inflicts a –1 to cast any new powers. Thus an invisible mage can keep the power going indefinitely, but suffers a –1 penalty if he then attempts to hurl a bolt.
Interrupting Powers: If a character with an activated power is Shaken or suffers a wound or Fatigue level, he must make a Smarts roll to maintain all his powers. If the roll is failed, all powers are instantly dropped. A wizard with armor who suffers a Shaken result, for example, must make a Smarts roll. If the wizard suffers two wounds from an attack, he must make a Smarts roll at –2.
Powers shut down automatically if the caster sleeps or is rendered unconscious.
Power Preparation: A caster may prepare a spell by concentrating for a round (no movement or other actions and avoid interruption, as described above). If successful, he ignores 2 points of penalties on all powers cast with his next action. If he does not enact any powers on his next action, the preparation is lost.
The hero excels at casting despite being wounded and/or maintaining other spells. As long as he doesn’t move, he may cast a spell as if he had used the Power Preparation maneuver.