Friday, 4 May 2012

Fading Suns 3, Exotic Paths

I have already covered the two major occult abilities (psi and theurgy) that appeared in previous editions of the game. Today I'm to reveal two new ones! These are 'Cybernetics' and 'Misfits' (the Changed). After much deliberation it became apparent that previous implementations of these areas of the rules had been unsatisfactory, and that redesigning then as occult abilities seemed the most appropriate way to integrate them into the game and the world view of the inhabitants of the Phoenix Empire.

Both cybernetic implants and changed gifts work in much the same way and like the other occult abilities come with their own dark side. The real difference between these two areas is that cybernetics are intended as a way for a character to improve on existing capabilities (like having a strength booster), while the changed gifts give a character the opportunity to develop completely new capabilities (like being able to breath a toxic atmosphere).

I just want to be clear at this point that all Misfits are Changed, but not all Changed are Misfits. Misfits are a particular type of 'mutable' changed that alone can develop new mutations over time by exposure to industrial pollutants, awakening an untapped genetic legacy and such. The Changed represents a much broader class of individuals with stable genetic modifications. Players have the option to play these 'stable' Changed (Grimsons, Clones etc) by purchasing the Changed benefit from the Benefits & Afflictions chapter.

The cyber chapter includes a quick and very simple modular construction system for implants. This is very much simplified over the FS2 construction system. When building an implant, just pick what you want it to do and pay the points cost for it. Simple!

Oh but then there is the dark side of cyber to consider. As with theurgy and psi this uses an 'attribute pool' to chart the accumulation of 'Glitch'. This starts with minor problems like a nervous tick, or an implant suddenly acting under its own will, and works up towards full blown cyber possession.

The Misfits (Changed) on the other hand have to contend with 'Stigma', as they gain new gifts, so those gifts bring about obvious physiological changes. The effects of stigma begin with social ostracism and end with an Akira style degeneration, though the types of gifts that changed has will govern the appearance of his stigmas.