GURPS: The Town
Doctor Orson Hall
"A man's identity is defined by his mind; should his mind be altered, be it through drugs or traumatic psychological experiences, he is no longer the same man."
Dr. Orson Hall is a kindly old man in his early to mid sixties. His eyes are grey, and are always hidden behind his black-framed glasses. He has short white hair where he isn’t starting to go bald, and a large, bulbous nose. He is a heavy-set man and tends to wear tweed suits, and it isn’t uncommon to hear him complain about his ‘old bones’ – he is not a particularly athletic man.
In personality, Dr. Hall is gentle and soft-spoken, with a caring heart and inquisitive mind. As a psychiatrist, he works diligently towards putting people’s psychological demons to rest and giving them closure. He doesn’t like, nor is he particularly adept at, violence, but he understands there are times when it is necessary.
Table of Contents
- Character Development Log
- Character Sheet
- Psionic Powers
- Spirit Projection
Doctor Orson Hall was a skilled psychiatrist – some even said he was a genius. Graduating from Harvard Medical School at 22, completing his residency requirements by 26, and eventually rising to become the head psychiatrist at the Blackstone House for the Mentally Infirm, Dr. Hall amply demonstrated a talent for connecting with his patients, deducing the locus of their problems, and helping to either mitigate or, rarely, entirely solve them, through the use of both drugs, surgery, and therapy. Over his years of practice, Dr. Hall found himself gravitating towards those patients that suffered from severe schizophrenia, psychopathy, and other such disorders, with a special focus on those whose disorder brought them to break the law, especially serial offenders. Dr. Hall wrote several books on serial murderers and rapists, both those he treated and those he simply studied, and even worked occasionally as a consultant criminal profiler on such cases.
In his personal life, Dr. Hall was married to his wife Helen, at the age of forty-four; two years later, they had a daughter, Rebecca. They had their share of bad times, but they had their share of good ones as well, and for most of their marriage, everything was fine – until the disappearances and blackouts began ten years later.
Six years ago, Dr. Hall began experiencing blackouts – he would be doing something, maybe driving, maybe talking to a patient, maybe in bed with his wife, and then… he would be somewhere else entirely, and hours would have gone by. At around the same time this began to happen, Dr. Hall began to experience strange feelings, sometimes even hallucinations, some so vivid they left him stunned. Dr. Hall tried self-medicating, performing blood tests and CAT scans, but he couldn’t stop the hallucinations or blackouts, or even figure out what was wrong with him. Even worse, during this time patients began disappearing from Blackstone House, and his wife began complaining about his strange and erratic behavior. The stress level in Dr. Hall’s life kept boiling to the breaking point, and his family almost fell apart, but then things began to slow down again – he had less frequent blackouts, his hallucinations, while not disappearing, weren’t always so vivid, and flocks of patients were no longer going missing, and the few that did were simply put down to occasional escapes or misfiled paperwork.
Six months ago, Dr. Hall finally found out what was happening to him when he awoke from a blackout to find himself in the asylum’s basement, bloody surgical tools in his hands, a video camera set up on a tripod recording him, and one of the missing patients lying down on the table in front of him, his cranium cracked open and his brain exposed for examination. The patient was deceased, and it appears Dr. Hall had been in the middle of an autopsy – something he occasionally did when a patient died, true enough, though this wasn’t one of the rooms he normally used, and a nurse usually assisted. Dr. Hall put the instruments up, and turned to the camera and the laptop it was hooked up to.
Within, to his horror, he found the answers he had been searching for. There were hours and hours of video, hundreds of pages of notes, all of them extensively detailed. They detailed Dr. Hall’s activities while he was blacked out, though the man in the tapes hardly acted like Dr. Hall – he spoke with exuberance and a confident swagger, he drank and smoked, he even moved and walked differently. And worse, this man, this ‘Dr. Hyde’, seemed to have no morals whatsoever. He spoke of various experiments, most with dubious legality, others that were very clearly illegal. Experimental drug testing on himself and various patients was the least of the revelations, finally culminating in full-on vivisections, the autopsy of living humans; Dr. Hall had found out where the patients were disappearing to.
The one thing all of these experiments had in common was an attempt to understand the mind better and, eventually, a focus on so-called ‘psychic powers’. ‘Dr Hyde’ even went out and kidnapped certain criminals and other unlikely-to-be-missed lowlifes he believed were ‘psychics’ and began performing experiments on them, interrogating them, and finally killing and autopsying them. Some of the videos showed what were supposedly impressive feats of psionic ability, including someone who could discharge lightning from their fingers, one who could seemingly teleport or turn invisible (that was noted as to have escaped temporarily, but then tracked down and ‘taken care of’ later), and one who could lift objects with only his mind. Dr. Hall found a morbid fascination in all of this, finding it very hard to believe – until he found the series of experiments and notes about himself.
‘Hyde’ meticulously documented his discoveries of his own self, marking down that he was what was called an ‘ESPer’, a person with ‘extra-sensory perception’. The hallucinations and strange feelings Dr. Hall had been feeling were actually his latent psionic powers finally coming to light, granting him visions of the future or past, the ability to see things that were in the ‘astral plane’, detect other psionic activity, and ‘attune’ himself with objects or people, allowing him to track them down from miles and miles away. The notes gave explicit, detailed instructions on how to use these abilities – and Dr. Hall found that, when he followed them, they worked, and easily, as if he had been using them all his life. The revelation was extraordinary enough that it shocked him into finally accepting what he had seen, and his horror finally caught up to him and he fled.
Dr. Hall came back down to the basement several weeks later, finally getting the nerve to take action. He began destroying all of the evidence, keeping only the laptop with all of the research notes, burying the bodies, stowing the surgical and pharmaceutical kits in his trunk, completely cleaning the make-shift surgical suite/prison with bleach, etc. With the evidence safely hidden or destroyed, Dr. Hall recorded a message on the laptop and left it for Hyde to find. The message was a threat – no more killing or kidnapping, or Dr. Hall would confess to his crimes or even commit suicide, stopping Hyde with finality.
For the next several months, it seemed like the threat had worked. Hyde replied, angry but understanding – he had not been killing for his own amusement, of course, but only for the advancement of science. Life continued on, the blackouts happening occasionally, though they were now just a part of life – a terrifying one, certainly, but one he was used to, and with understanding of his psionic gifts, the ‘hallucinations’ no longer troubled Hall. Then, again, everything changed.
His wife was waiting for him when he got home that day. Their marriage had been rocky for the past few years, and getting more tense recently, though Hall couldn’t figure out why. She would barely speak with him, and would lie there stiff as a board when they were in bed together. That day, he found out why when she greeted him at the door and handed him a photograph apparently of Hall and another woman sleeping together – Hyde’s work. As he stared at it, he smelt something strange in the air, and it took him a moment to recognize it – gasoline. His eyes focused upon the lighter in his wife’s hand just as he blacked out…
When he awoke again, Hall found that he was in his car, speeding down the interstate, a blazing inferno behind him where his house had once been. On the dashboard in front of him was a post-it note, with “Do not forget: I can hurt you, too” written on it in red ink. With tears in his eyes and uncertainty whether his wife or child were alive in his heart, Hall barely noticed it when he entered the fog before him…
Hyde is the name Dr. Hall has given his alternate personality, after the classic story ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Hyde is almost a completely different person from Dr. Hall, a completely amoral sociopath whose only goal seems to be gaining knowledge. Hyde has completely different mannerisms, speech patterns, and personality traits than Dr. Hall – he walks differently, talks differently, and even looks a little differently, though it is hard to pick out specific details that are different. One of the most obvious differences is that, unlike Dr. Hall, Hyde tends to wear contacts, and his facial expressions could only rarely be termed ‘kind’.
Hyde is a ruthless killer, willing to do anything in order to get what he wants – and, unlike Dr. Hall, he is very adept at violence. While Hyde is a murderer, he does not kill just for fun, nor is he needlessly cruel. Hyde is also an excellent manipulator and charmer, even more so than Dr. Hall himself, and he has great patience and facility with planning. Hyde has full access to all of Dr. Hall’s memories, though Dr. Hall has none of Hyde’s. The two personalities are diametrically opposed to one another, and they don’t like each other one bit.
Character Development Log
+2 CP – Session One
+1 CP – Adventure Log One
+3 CP – Session Two
+1 CP – Adventure Log Two
+3 CP – Session Three
+1 CP – Adventure Log Three
+1 CP – Session Three MVP
+1 CP – Steve’s Birthday
+1 CP – Technology Wiki Page
+1 CP – Deputy Schrull’s Car
+2 CP – Session Four
+1 CP – Adventure Log Four
+2 CP – Session Five
+1 CP – Adventure Log Five
+3 CP – Session Six
+1 CP – Session Six MVP
+1 CP – Adventure Log Six
+1 CP – Adventure Log “Browsing for Death”
+4 CP – Session Seven
+1 CP – Session Seven MVP
+1 CP – Adventure Log Seven
+3 CP – Session Eight
+1 CP – Adventure Log Eight
+3 CP – Session Nine
+1 CP – Session Nine MVP
+1 CP – Adventure Log “A Day in the Office”
+2 CP – Session Ten
+3 CP – Session Eleven
+3 CP – Session Twelve
+2 CP – Session Thirteen
+3 CP – Session Fourteen
+3 CP – Session Fifteen
+5 CP – Christmas Bonus
+2 CP – Session Sixteen
+1 CP – Session Sixteen MVP
+4 CP – Session Seventeen
+4 CP – Session Eighteen
+2 CP – Session Nineteen
+2 CP – Session Twenty
+6 CP – Session Twenty-One
+2 CP – Session Twenty-One MVP
+2 CP – Session Twenty-Two
+1 CP – Session Twenty-Two MVP
+1 CP – Session Twenty-Two Log
+2 CP – Session Twenty-Three
+5 CP – Session Twenty-Four
+2 CP – Losing Ally
+1 CP – Sundering of the Soul
+3 CP – Session Twenty-Five
+1 CP – Session Twenty-Five MVP
+1 CP – Session Twenty-Five Log
+5 CP – Session Twenty-Six
+5 CP – Session Twenty-Seven
+Spirit Communication 
+Ally (Dr. Trudie Sulzer; 75% of Points, FR6, Special Ability: Labs, Psionics) 
+Occultism Skill 
+Basic Speed +0.50 
+Split Personality 9- [-5]
+Mind Shield 1 
+Hidden Lore (Restless Undead) 
Increased Visions to Visions (Full), getting rid of the backlash 
+Signature Gear, Weapon Bond, Named Weapon: .44 Magnum Revolver 
+Sleight of Hand 
+Purifying Flames 
+Guns (Pistol) 
+Fast-Draw (Pistol) 
+Conlaodh's Fury 
Bought off Bad Sight 
Bought off Split Personality 
Added Enemy (Orson Hall's Ghost) [-15]
Bought off Bad Back 
Mind Shield Skill [+3]
Spirit Blade Skill [+1]
Spirit Projection Talent +1 [+5]
Spirit Travel Skill [+1]
Seize Mind Skill [+1]
Soul Search [+2]
Borrowed Skills [+2]
Spirit Blade Pimping [+2]
Weird Science [+4]
Spirit Blade [+2]
Spirit Blade Mental Defense Only [+4]
Penetrating Weapon (500 Energy)
Purify Air (50 Energy)
Air Vision (200 Energy)
Power 1 (500 Energy)
Unlimited Ammo (100 Energy)
15 CP – 375 Energy
Paid 1 CP to buy a failure on Split Personality Self-Control Roll, to bring out Hyde 
Paid 1 CP to buy a failure on Split Personality Self-Control Roll, to bring out Hall 
Paid 1 CP for Flesh Wound in Session 15 
Paid 1 CP for Flesh Wound in Session 17 
Paid 3 CP for successes in Session 27 
Paid 1 CP for success in Session 28 
Current Total: 1
Working at Community Center
+Wealth: Comfortable (Replaces Comfortable (Starting Wealth Only, -50%) )
+Status 2 (Replaces Courtesy Status 1 ) 
+Reputation 2 
Hyde Sees Hastor
+Severe Delusion (Must Purify Those Touched By the Mythos Through Fire) [-15]
+Phantom Voices (Diabolic) [-15]
+Hidden Lore (Mythos) 
+Hyde Only - An Unhinged Mind 
+Hyde Only - Touched by the Mythos 
+Hyde Only - Lift the Veil 
Dr. Hall For Town Council!
+Reputation 1 
+Status +1 
The Great Conjoining
Spirit Projection [+31]
Spirit Projection Skills [+4]
Conjoined Disadvantages [+74]
Conjoined Advantages [-5]
Removing the Touch of Madness [-40]
Mundane Advantages 
Charisma 2 
Parapsychologist 2 
Higher Purpose ("Medic!") 
Combat Reflexes 
Social Position 
Comfortable Wealth 
Status +2 
Reputation +3 
Signature Gear (Conloadh) 
Named Weapon (Conloadh) 
Weapon Bond (Conloadh) 
Purifying Flames 6d 
Conlaodh's Fury 
Psionic Gifts (Both Forms) 
Mind Shield 1 
Spirit Travel 
ESP (Physical Form) 
ESP Talent 2 
Visions (Full) 
True Sight 3 
Retrocognition 3 
Psi Sense 2 
Seekersense 3 
Killer Instinct 
Alternative Ability: Psychic Hunches 2 
Spirit Projection (Spirit Form) 
Spirit Projection Talent 2 
Spirit Travel 
Seize Mind 
Spirit Blade 
Alternative Ability: Mental Surgery 
Alternative Ability: Soul Search 4 
Secret (Possible Death) [-30]
Curious (12-) [-5]
Bad Temper (12-) [-10]
Addiction (Tobacco) [-5]
Sense of Duty (Friends and Comrades) [-5]
Proud (Quirk-Level Selfish) [-1]
Confident Swagger (Quirk-Level Overconfidence) [-1]
Hard Soul (Quirk-Level Callous) [-1]
Cares for Patients (Quirk-Level Code of Honor) [-1]
Seeks the Mysteries of the Supernatural (Quirk-Level Obsession) [-1]
|Skill||Difficulty||Result Level||Skill Level||Cost|
|Hidden Lore (Sidhe)||Average||IQ-1||14|||
|Skill||Difficulty||Result Level||Skill Level||Cost|
|Shared Sight||Hard||True Sight-5||10|||
|Increased Range||Hard||Psi Sense-5||9|||
|Shared Hunches||Hard||Psychic Hunches-5||6|||
|Mind Trap||Hard||Mind Shield-5||4|||
|Reflective Shield||Hard||Mind Shield-5||4|||
|Quick and Dirty||Hard||Mental Surgery-4||11|||
|Harden Blade||Hard||Spirit Blade-5||12|||
|Skill||Difficulty||Result Level||Skill Level||Cost|
|Electronic Operation (Medical)||Average||IQ-1||163|||
|Electronic Operation (Scientific)||Average||IQ-1||163|||
|Expert Skill (Psionics)||Hard||IQ||153|||
|Hidden Lore (Mythos)||Average||IQ-1||145|||
|Hidden Lore (Restless Undead)||Average||IQ-1||14|||
|Hidden Lore (Psis)||Average||IQ-1||14|||
|Skill||Difficulty||Result Level||Skill Level||Cost|
|Sleight of Hand||Hard||DX-2||8|||
|Weird Science||Very Hard||IQ-1||14|||
|Skill||Difficulty||Result Level||Skill Level||Cost|
1 +2 from ESP Talent
2 +3 from Empathy
3 +2 from Parapsychologist talent
6 +0 from Telepathy Talent
11 +2 from Spirit Travel Talent
Skill: Visions (IQ/Hard).
You receive glimpses of future events at appropriate times. You cannot control the content of these flashes – you just know that something interesting or important might happen, at some unspecified future date.
The GM will roll for you when you encounter a person, place, or situation that may inspire a vision. There are no psi techniques; this is a passive ability.
Statistics: Precognition (ESP, -10%) .
Default: Visions-8; cannot exceed Visions.
You can deliberately read a person’s future. This requires ten minutes of concentration, during which you must be able to touch the subject. On a success, you get a vision – usually about the most important thing involving the subject in the next week. You have no control over the vision; you may be worried about the upcoming election, yet instead receive a warning that an important stock will be falling. Repeated attempts in a short time will usually just show the same vision.
Skill: Killer Instinct (IQ/Hard).
You are able to shift your conscious mind out of sync with reality, allowing you to see an infinite number of potential futures at once. This torrent of information would be too much to handle raw, but you can ‘filter’ this information by focusing upon a single action and its results. This all happens at an almost instinctual level – you gain no definite knowledge of what is to come, but instead you gain insight into what actions to take, and when, in order to get the best possible result.
Once per round, at any time during the round, you may think about a specific action and roll against skill. If you succeed, you gain a +1 bonus to perform that action per margin of success on your skill roll; active defenses gain half this bonus. If you fail, however, you gain a -1 penalty to perform the action per margin of failure; again, halve the penalty for active defenses. You may only have a single bonus active at once, no matter how long the activities last.
This only applies to actions – you can not use this bonus to help a HT check to avoid disease, for example.
Statistics: Visualization (Reflexive, +40%; Takes Less Time 6, +120%; Cosmic, Full MOS Always, +50%; Nuisance Effect, Rolls Penalty on Failure, -10%; ESP, -10%) .
Skill: True Sight (Will/Hard).
You can see past any obfuscation or illusion that is psionic in nature. When confronted with a physical illusion (e.g., Hologram) or after being successfully affected by a mental one (e.g., Mind Clouding), you may make an immediate Quick Contest of your True Sight skill vs. the skill the psi is using. If you win, you are still aware of it, but can see through it completely and suffer no penalties.
True Sight 1 is as described above. True Sight 2 also allows you to see astral entities, as though you had Astral Sight 3 (pp. 27-28); with True Sight 2, use your skill (not your Perception), to make out any astral details. Any trait that modifies Vision rolls (e.g., Acute Vision, Bad Sight) applies to your skill as well. At level 3, you can see through any obuscations or illusions due to any sort of supernatural ability, not just those psionic in nature, up to and including cosmic-powered abilities like those of an Old One. These are passive abilities.
Statistics: See Invisible (Psionic; Accessibility, Cannot see astral, -30%; ESP, -10%; Requires Will vs. Skill Roll, Variant, -15%; True Sight, +50%) . The second level removes Accessibility . The third level adds Cosmic, All Power Sources, +50% .
Default: True Sight-5; cannot exceed True Sight.
By touching another person, you may share your True Sight with him. He must be willing – you cannot force awareness on anyone. At the GM’s option, you may take an additional -5 penalty to share with two people at once, -10 to share with three people, and so on. These extra penalties can be bought off.
Skill: Retrocognition (IQ/Hard).
This is the opposite of Visions (p. PP39) in some ways – you sometimes receive flashes of things that happened in the past! When you are in an area or touching an object with very strong emotional “vibes,” the GM will make a skill roll for you. This is a passive sense, though it can also be used actively, if you suspect you may have missed something; if so, take two seconds and make a skill roll. If successful, you receive a flood of sensations tied to the most emotionally charged event in the given time frame. On a failure, you will not receive any information and the power will not work again (for this object or place) for 24 hours.
Your margin of success determines how far back you can read. Success by 1 gives you a time frame of the past 10 days, by 2 gives 100 days, by 3 gives three years, by 4 gives 30 years, by 5 gives 300 years, and so on. Failure means you must wait 24 hours before trying to read it again. You will experience sensations related to the most emotionally charged event to happen to it (or within it) in the given time frame, if such an event exists.
At level 1, you receive very vague information: a rough sense of the events that happened, the emotions involved, and an idea of when it occurred. On a critical success, you receive actual visions – random, blurry flashes of the event. At level 2, you also get useful information regarding the item or the place itself (e.g., when the murder happened or that this place was an illegal “bathtub gin” production house). At level 3, you receive visions even on a normal success. At level 4, these visions are clear and straightforward; you can essentially watch the events unfold as they did many years ago. The GM determines the field of vision, however – for example, to avoid short-circuiting a murder mystery, the vision may come from the perspective of the murderer himself.
Statistics: Psychometry (Active Only, -20%; ESP, -10%)  plus Psychometry (ESP, -10%; Passive Only, -60%; Reliable 4, +20%) bought as an alternative ability . Further levels add Sensitive , then Visions , and then replace Visions with Immersive .
Default: Retrocognition-4; cannot exceed Retrocognition.
You can use your Retrocognition on an object or place that you can see, but cannot touch or enter. Apply normal range penalties (p. B550) to this roll.
Default: Retrocognition-5; cannot exceed Retrocognition.
You can search for a specific event or type of event, instead of your Retrocognition automatically focusing on the most emotional one. A critical failure blocks that information (from this subject) permanently, in addition to other effects.
Skill: Psi Sense (Per/Hard).
You can sense nearby psionic activity. This is a passive sense, though it can also be used actively, if you suspect you may have missed something. The GM rolls against your skill (minus range penalties, p. B550) whenever anyone near you uses or is the target of psi. On a success, you are aware of it. Note that Psi Sense does not allow you to follow up with a psionic ability of your own; it is not a “targeting sense.”
At level 1, you only know that something psionic is going on nearby. Level 2 gives you the direction to the nearest use of psi and allows you to follow-up with a second skill roll to determine which ability is in use. Level 3 also gives you the distance, precisely narrowing down where the user or subject is. Level 4 lets you know which ability is in use (automatically); a follow-up skill roll tells you whether you’re picking up the psi or the subject.
You can also take two seconds of concentration in order to detect psychic residue – the energy left by past psi use. This takes a second of concentration, after which the GM will roll against your skill, applying penalties for range (p. B550) and time (use long-distance modifiers, p. B241, substituting “days” for “miles”) to the nearest use of psi.
On a success, you gain the same information as you would have if you had been using Psi Sense at the time. In addition, at level 1 or 2, you have an estimate of time; the GM will tell you which line of the Long-Distance Modifiers chart applies. At level 3 or 4, you know the time precisely.
Statistics: Detect (Psionic Activity; ESP, -10%; Reflexive, +40%; Vague, -50%)  plus Detect (Psionic Activity; ESP, -10%; Time-Spanning, Past Only, -0%; Vague, -50%) bought as an alternative ability . Further levels remove Vague , then add Precise, Nontargeting , and then Analyzing .
Default: Psi Sense-2; cannot exceed Psi Sense.
You may omit any known psionic effects from your search, and/or limit your search to a certain type of psi (e.g., “ESP use,” “Retrocognition on a place”).
Default: Psi Sense-5; cannot exceed Psi Sense.
Your Psi Sense uses long-distance modifiers (p. B241) instead of range penalties.
Skill: Seekersense (Per/Hard).
You can “home in” on anyone or anything, provided you have a piece of it (or something deeply connected to it) to attune to. Attuning requires a successful skill roll, modified by what you’re synchronizing yourself with. A piece of the subject (e.g., a man’s hair or blood, a car’s muffler) provides +2; something deeply personal (e.g., a toddler’s security blanket) or a photograph provides +0; anything created or used by the subject (e.g., a writer’s book, a person’s clothing) provides -2; and a fresh trail (e.g., footprints, an oil leak) provides -4. It takes (4d minus the margin of success) seconds to focus yourself.
Once attuned, you can make a skill roll to track down the subject. This takes normal range penalties (p. B550). On a success, you know the direction, though not the distance, to your attuned subject. If you have freedom of movement, you can attempt to triangulate its position. As a rule of thumb, once you’ve moved more than half the distance to the target, and made 1d successful rolls, the GM should give you the approximate distance.
At level 2, once you’ve attuned to something, you can search for that “type” of thing. For example, you could attune to a writer and then search for nearby writers, or attune to a glass of fresh water and search for nearby fresh water. At level 3, your follow-up skill rolls take long-distance modifiers (p. B241) instead of normal range penalties. At level 4, you may attune to a subject automatically and taking only one second to do so, as long as you have anything even remotely related to that subject to focus on.
Statistics: Super-Memorization 1 (5) (ESP, -10%; Limited, Trait, Detect, -50%; Requires Per Roll, -5%) . Further levels increase the slot to 10 points , then 15 points , and then replace Super-Memorization with Slotted Cosmic Power and replace Requires Per Roll with Nuisance Effect, Must have something related to subject (-5%) .
Default: Seekersense-10; cannot exceed Seekersense.
On a successful roll, you divine the exact location of your attuned subject. Remember to apply distance penalties to this roll!
You have a knack for guessing correctly. At level 1, you can ask the GM to roll for you when confronted with multiple choices, exactly as for Intuition (p. B63); the GM secretely rolls against your skill, with a bonus equal to the number of ‘good’ choices and a penalty equal to the number of ‘bad’ choices. On a success, he steers you to a good choice; on a critical success, he tells you the best choice. On a failure, he gives you no information, and on a critical failure he steers you toward a bad choice. The GM may modify this as he sees fit for other situations where Intuition might logically help.
At level 2, you can roll yourself. If you make your roll by enough to beat the Intuition penalty, the GM will tell you the best option possible, though not why it is the best option. If you fail, nothing bad happens. Critical failures follow the standard rules (Results, pp. 6-7) but will never feed you misinformation.
At level 3, a successful roll tells you not only the best choice, but also the safest way to handle or approach it. For example, if a crook is hiding in one of three buildings, succeeding by 2 or more might tell you, “He’s in the middle building. But don’t carry any flame and watch out for gunplay; it’s a chemical factory.”
Level 4 is identical to level 3, but your Psychic Hunches are now a passive sense. The GM rolls for you when important decisions come up, even if you don’t think to ask. In all cases, you only get one roll per situation. If the situation changes significantly, you may get another roll, at the GM’s option.
Statistics: Intuition (ESP, -10%) . Level 2 adds Inspired . Level 3 is Intuition (ESP, -10%; Inspired, +100%; Link, +10%)  + Common Sense (Active, -40%; ESP, -10%; Link, +10%) . The Active limitation is borrowed from Luck. Level 4 is Common Sense (Conscious, +50%; ESP, -10%; Link, +10%)  + Intuition (ESP, -10%; Inspired, +100%; Link, +10%; Reflexive, +40%) .
Default: Psychic Hunches-5; cannot exceed Psychic Hunches.
You can touch another person and allow him to experience your vision. This can be an effective way to communicate it quickly (one second) and quietly… or to convince someone.
Skill: Mind Shield (IQ/Hard).
You have a mental shield that protects you from mental attacks and attempts to locate you. Add your Mind Shield level to your Will (or appropriate other attribute) when resisting any form of mental attack or intrusion. In addition, you may resist any attempts to locate your mind by using Mind Shield skill plus your Mind Shield level.
Unlike the average person, if you successfully resist intrusion, you are aware of it and you know specifically which ability you were just attacked with. This gives you a +2 bonus on an immediate Telepathy Sense (p. 67) or Psi Sense (p. 41) roll to locate the source.
Telepaths with less psychic control may take the variant Mind Shield (Feedback), for 3 points/level. While active, your Mind Shield subtracts its level from all of your Psychic Vampirism and Telepathy abilities! You may drop it or raise it freely (taking one second of concentration), but you are unprotected while it is lowered.
Statistics: Mind Shield (Profiling, +10%; Telepathy, -10%) [4/level]. Mind Shield (Feedback) adds Feedback [3/level].
Default: Mind Shield-6; cannot exceed Mind Shield.
You expand your Mind Shield to protect everyone within two yards. This halves your Mind Shield level for all purposes. For every 5 points by which you make your (modified) skill roll, you can double this radius, cumulatively.
Default: Mind Shield-5; cannot exceed Mind Shield.
You can set a trap for the unwary. Once set, your Mind Shield level is halved for all purposes. However, the next time you successfully resist a mental attack, roll a Quick Contest of Mind Shield skill against the skill with which the psi was attacking you. If you win, your shield traps him! See A Cage of Thought (p. 66) for details.
Default: Mind Shield-5; cannot exceed Mind Shield.
You can set your shield to “bounce” the next attack. Once set, your Mind Shield level is halved for all purposes. However, the next time you successfully resist an attack, if your (halved) Mind Shield level exceeds your foe’s original margin of success, his attack affects him! See the Reflection enhancement (p. 15) for details.
Since his two halves merged, Dr. Hall has been able to split his soul from his body, traveling the Town as if a ghost while his body walks about, soulless. In this spirit form, Hall lacks his extra-sensory perception – instead, his psionic gifts manifest in a rather different way, allowing him to possess others, and even make direct attacks upon their souls or perform long-term manipulations of their minds.
By taking a concentrate maneuver, you can send your soul streaming from your body, taking a ‘spirit form’ that can pass through any normal physical hazards as if they were not there. Other ghosts become solid to your touch, and you solid to theirs. You breath a ghostly air that pervades all places, allowing you to breath even when your form is within a solid object in the real world. This leaves your physical body soulless, but conscious, until you return, and you do not bring any equipment with you. You may ‘clothe’ yourself as you wish, but it offers no protection. In this spirit form, you move at a speed equal to your Spirit Travel skill divided by two, and may ‘fly’ around at this speed.
You may stay in your spirit form for up to ten minutes at a time before the forces of the Town begin to take hold of you; until your spirit form physically travels to and enters a living body, you take 1d injury immediately at the 10 minute mark and again every five minutes afterward – if you die to this injury, you become trapped in spirit form forever as a true ghost, your mind irrevocably damaged. Once you enter a living body, your soul must take time to heal – you may not voluntarily enter your spirit form again for at least five minutes. If you are somehow forced into your spirit form before this five minute limit is up, you take injury as if you had exceeded your 10 minute duration.
While your soul travels outside your body, your physical body loses its conciounce; its personality becomes hard and cold, quite willing to do ‘evil’ in the service of ‘good’. This is modeled by the Callous and Bloodlust (9-) disadvantages. While your soul is unprotected by a physical body, it is especially susceptible to psionic attacks, taking a -2 penalty to resist them – this penalty is eliminated when possessing a body.
Statistics: Duplication (Fully Sympathetic Injury, -50%; Nuisance Effect, Must Travel Back, -5%; Nuisance Effect, Retching Aftershock, -5%; Temporary Disadvantage, Original Only, Callous and Bloodlust 9-, -10%; Spirit Projection, -10%)  and Alternate Form (Spirit Projection, -10%; Only for Duplicate, -20%; Always On, -0%) . Bought as part of the Alternate Form: Insubstantiality (Ghost Air, +10%; Affect Substantial, +100%; Always On, -50%; Maximum Duration, 10 minutes -50%; Nuisance Effect, Susceptible to Psionic Attack, -10%; Spirit Projection, -10%) . Features: Ground Move is equal to skill/2, appearance is fuzzy and translucent while insubstantial.
Default: Spirit Travel-8; cannot exceed Spirit Travel.
You can completely change the appearance of your spirit form, though your apparent size must remain the same (you couldn’t pass as a giant dragon). You may use this to make yourself look like a normal person to those in the real world, or you could make yourself so fuzzy that those looking at you couldn’t be sure they were even seeing an actual being and not just a mirage.
Default: Spirit Travel-5; cannot exceed Spirit Travel.
You can bring another person along with you. He must be willing and must remain in contact with you while you concentrate. For every additional -5 penalty (which can be bought off), you can bring another person. If you stop maintaining this technique, your piggybacked friends snap back.
While in your spirit form, you can completely take over the mind of any human being. This requires a second of concentration, physical contact, and a Quick Contest of skill vs. his Will (at +5 if he has reason to be suspicious or wary). If you lose or tie, you are stunned for 1d seconds and you cannot try to Seize the Mind of the subject again without using the New Approach psi technique.
If you succeed, you take over his mind completely, suppressing his personality. Your spirit form merges with his body, protecting it from the ravages of the environment, but still leaving it vulnerable to weapons or items that affect the insubstantial – if your host is hit by an item that affects the insubstantial and penetrates his DR, your spirit form may be directly injured, though the host’s HP acts as DR for this purpose. An exorcism or other magical rituals may also expel you from your host, and if the host dies you return to your spirit form immediately. You retain your IQ, Perception, and Will, and all mental traits (including all skills); but you use the subject’s ST, DX, HT, and physical traits. You may stay in control for as long as you wish; the subject does not get further resistance rolls. Once you abandon the body, he awakens, with no memory of what happened while you were directing it.
While possessing a host, you have sufficient access to his memories for the first few hours of the takeover to learn his name and daily routine, but not enough to learn IQ-based skills. To recall a specific fact from the host’s memories, you must roll vs. IQ, at -1 per hour since the takeover. Only one attempt is allowed for any given memory!
Statistics: Posession (Telecontrol, +50%; Specialized, Humans, -40%; Spirit Projection, -10%; Spiritual, -20%; Spirit Form Only, -30%) .
Default: Seize Mind-4; cannot exceed Seize Mind.
You can take over an animal or any other creature with a soul instead of a human.
Default: Seize Mind-5; cannot exceed Seize Mind.
If you fail to possess someone, you can use this technique to try again, but each attempt is at a permanent, cumulative -2 penalty (for that person), which cannot be bought off. Success neither worsens nor erases this penalty.
While within someone’s mind after possessing them, you can reprogram it, permanently adding or removing any mundane mental disadvantages. This is a slow process, taking a great deal of concentration – while performing it, you are completely oblivious to the outside world, only becoming conscious once more if you finish the reprograming or suffer direct HP injury enough to lose concentration.
Each attempt takes one minute of concentration. After concentrating, roll a Quick Contest of skill vs. the subject’s Will (if the subject is willing, just make a skill roll). This roll is at a -1 penalty per full -5 points of disadvantages to be changed. Memories can be altered by adding Delusions or Amnesia. If you win, the alterations take place permanently, though therapy or more Mental Surgery can undo the changes in the future. Player characters who get rid of starting disadvantages this way may need to buy them off; consult the GM.
Statistics: Mind Control (Conditioning Only, -50%; Contact Agent, -30%; Melee Attack, C, -30%; Slow and Sure, 1 Minute, +85%; Spirit Projection, -10%; Posessed Only, -40%) . Feature: Oblivousness to the outside world replaces need to fully control the subject.
Quick and Dirty
Default: Mental Surgery-4; cannot exceed Mental Surgery.
You can attempt any Mental Surgery in just one second. However, the results are only permanent on a critical success. Otherwise, they last for days equal to your margin of victory.
While in your spirit form, you may create a ‘blade’ formed from your sheer will. This blade can rip into fellow spirits or those still in the physical realm, dealing damage straight to their souls. Attack normally, as if with a sword. The target may dodge, but not parry or block. The attack completely ignores all DR, whether from armor or natural, but if the target has Mind Shield, treat it as providing DR equal to its level. This attack deals 1d toxic damage per level. Those already without souls, such as zombies, are immune, as are inanimate objects.
Statistics: Innate Attack 1d (Toxic; Mental Defense Only, +250%; Melee, C, 1, Can't Parry, -25%; Spirit Projection, -10%; Affects Substantial, +40%) [14/level].
Default: Spirit Blade-5; cannot exceed Spirit Blade.
With a focused effort of will, you harden the blade, giving it enough strength to take a true physical form. The blade does Impaling Thrust or Cutting Swing damage based upon your Will, +1d per two levels of Spirit Blade, both with a (3) armor divisor. You wield the blade as if it were a physical sword for all purposes, using your Spirit Blade skill to attack and may parry with it as normal. The blade remains physical for one minute prior to needing to re-harden the blade.
While within someone’s mind after possessing them, you may dive deep into their soul in order to analyze their psyche in detail. This takes one minute per attempt, during which you are completely oblivious to the outside world and your host appears to go into a trance. The only thing that can break you out from the trance is taking enough HP damage to lose Concentration. At the end of the minute, roll a quick contest of your Psychology vs your host’s Will. If you succeed, you gain information upon your host’s mundane mental traits, from their level of intelligence or willpower to what skills they know to whether they have any psychological hangups. This is effectively an extremely advanced psychological analysis – while it will give vague information on the host’s background, it gives you no ability to actually access any of his skills, thoughts, or memories. You may be able to tell that your host is terrified of his father, but you won’t know for sure why.
If you fail the quick contest, you may retry, at a cumulative -2 penalty for every attempt after the first upon the same subject for the next hour. Should you critically fail, you may not retry again for 24 hours.
At level 2, you gain information on all of your host’s mental traits, including supernatural ones. At level 3, you gain full and complete access to the host’s memories if you succeed in the quick contest, requiring only an uncontested roll versus IQ to remember any specific detail afterwards. At level 4, you gain full and complete access to the host’s skills as well, and may choose to ‘forget’ any of your current skills and use the points this frees up to learn any skills known by your host, at up to (hosts level)-1. Skills forgotten to learn new skills are gone. Skills gained in this manner move from host to host with you, including when you travel back to your material body.
Statistics: Detect (Mundane Mental Traits; Analysis Only, -50%; Increased Immunity 1, -10%; Temporary Disadvantages, Numb, Deafness, Blindness, -90%; Resistable by Quick Contest of Will, -15%; Immediate Preparation Required, 1 minute, -30%; Cosmic, Meta, +50%; Analyzing, +100%; Spirit Projection, -10%; Possessed Only, -40%) . The second level changes the Detect to any mental traits, mundane or supernatural . The third level adds Full Memory Access (Link, +10%; Increased Immunity 1, -10%; Temporary Disadvantages, Numb, Deafness, Blindness, -90%; Resistable by Quick Contest of IQ vs Will, -25%; Preparation Required, 1 minute, -20%) enhancement to Possession . The fourth level adds Assimilation (Link, +10%; Increased Immunity 1, -10%; Temporary Disadvantages, Numb, Deafness, Blindness, -90%; Resistable by Quick Contest of IQ vs Will, -25%; Preparation Required, 1 minute, -20%) to Possession .
A spirit of pure fire bound within the frame of a Town-built revolver, Conlaodh follows the commands of whoever holds his mortal vessel. The revolver itself has the Penetrating Weapon enchantment, giving it a (2) armor divisor. While holding the revolver, Hall can spend 1 FP to purify the air around him – completely removing the smoke created by Conlaodh’s fires – or see straight through smoke or fog. Hall carries two extra cylinders of bullets for his revolver, for a total of 18 bullets.
Statistics: Innate Attack 1d (Burn; Area Effect, 2 yards, +50%; Fragmentation, 1d, Hot Fragments, +15%; Affects Insubstantial, +20%; Dissipation, -20%; Increased 1/2D Range, x5, +10%; Reduced Range, x1/2, -10%; Gadget (Revolver; Breakable - DR 15, Machine, SM-5; Can Be Stolen - Quick Contest of DX; Unique), -80%; Takes Recharge, 15 seconds, -20%; Inaccurate, -5%; Magic, -10%) [2.5] plus Innate Attack 1d (Burn; Jet, +0%; Increased Range x4, +40%; Affects Insubstantial, +20%; Gadget (Revolver; Breakable - DR 15, Machine, SM-5; Can Be Stolen - Quick Contest of DX; Unique), -80%; Takes Recharge, 15 seconds, -20%; Magic, -10%) [2.5], both bought as alternative attacks to Conlaodh's Fury.
Conlaodh can leave the confines of the revolver, entering combat directly. He is a 200+ point fire elemental who explicitely follows all of the orders of the one who holds his vessel. After he has been returned to his vessel, he can not be called for five times as long as he spent active. He may not be returned to his vessel for fifteen seconds after he has been unleashed.
Conlaodh is not a willing ally; he obeys only because he is magically compelled to, not because he likes his master. If his master ever drops his vessel while he’s free… well, bad things could happen.
Statistics: Ally (Fire Elemental, 100%; Always available; Summonable, +100%; Minion, +50%; Unwilling, -50%; Takes Recharge, 15 seconds, -20%; Gadget (Revolver; Breakable – DR 15, Machine, SM-5; Can Be Stolen – Quick Contest of DX; Unique), -80%; Magic, -10%) 14.
|Melee Weapon Table|
|8||Stun Gun||HT-3(0.5) aff||C||No||$25||0.5||2||7|
|8||Tactical Folding Knife||1d-2 cut||C, 1||-1||$30||0.5||5|
|–||Spirit Blade||2d tox||C, 1||No||–||–||–||8 11|
|Hardened Blade||2d+1 (3) imp||C, 1||0||–||–||–||8|
|or||3d+1 (3) cut||C, 1||0||–||–||–||8|
|Ranged Weapon Table|
|6+1||Conlaodh||3d+2 (2) pi+||2||210/2,300||3.8/0.3||3||6(3i)||11||-3||3||$7,500||4||16|
|–||Explosion||6d [1d (0.2)] burn||2||25/50||–||1||1(15)||–||–||–||–||–||–||9, 10|
7 On a failed HT roll, victim is stunned for as long as weapon is in contact plus (20 – HT) seconds longer, and can then roll vs. HT-3 to recover.
8 Affects both insubstantial and substantial.
9 If either the Jet or the Explosion attack are used, requires a 15 second cooldown before it can use one of these attacks again.
10 2 Yard area-of-effect with dissipation – divide damage by distance from the center of the AoE. Fragmentation deals 1d (0.2) burn Cyclic damage for six 10-second cycles.
11 Mental defense only; ignores normal DR but treats Mind Shield as DR.
Luxury Car (TL8)
This is a plug-in electric hybrid, with electric motors at each wheel and a flex-fuel engine under the hood to recharge the batteries on-the-go. As a plug-in hybrid, it has a 40-mile all-electric range and a 360-mile range when using the flex-fuel engine, giving it a total range of 400 miles on a full tank and full charge. This vehicle includes an integrated GPS navigation system, a high-quality entertainment suite, a review camera and parking assistance package, heated leather seats, and various other amenities. Requires Driving (Automobile) to drive and Mechanic (Automobile) to fix. $30,000.
Stun Gun (TL8)
A “stun gun” isn’t a gun at all, but a handheld contact device that uses an electric current to disorganize nerve function. Relatively small – just a handgrip with protruding contacts (Holdout -1) – it’s sometimes concealed in such everyday items as cell phones. A stun gun requires 2xS batteries, which last for thousands of stuns. Legality is a touchy issue: stun guns are legal defensive weapons (LC4) in many jurisdictions, including most of the U.S., but illegal (LC2) in numerous others, such as in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii, and in Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and the U.K.
This is an expensive business suit in gray tweed, tailored to Dr. Hall’s frame. It is highly styled, and gives a +1 reaction or Influence roll bonus whenever the GM feels that being well-dressed would count. $980, 2 lbs.
Initially, the “wristlet” – a small watch worn at the wrist – is a lady’s accessory. At mid-TL6, though, soldiers fit pocket watches to leather wrist straps in order to keep their hands free in combat. These “trench watches” feature leather or pierced-metal “shrapnel guards” to protect the crystal face under harsh conditions. A TL6 wristwatch might be self-winding or waterproof, have luminous hands or a date function, or show the time in several time zones, but a given watch seldom has multiple features – pick two, if it matters. The best mechanical watches lose 10 seconds a day through TL6; “synchronizing the watches” is an important part of military operations. At TL7, battery-powered quartz watches appear; digital displays follow. This is the first time a watch can be said to be accurate to within a second, day after day. A good basic watch is $25; a luxury watch, such as a Rolex, can go as high as $40,000! Weight is negligible. LC4.
Smart Phone (TL8)
A sleek, modern phone with a touch-screen interface running an OS such as iOS or Android. Operates as both a cell phone and a small Complexity 2 computer with a datapad interface. The battery lasts for several hours of talk time and perhaps a week on standby. $100, 0.5 lb., S/6 hrs. LC4.
Tactical Folding Knife (TL8)
This palm-sized folding knife (Holdout 0) unfolds with a flick of the wrist. This is a free action – an improvement over less-advanced folders, which require a Ready maneuver and two hands to open. Has either a 0.25 lb. belt pouch or a belt clip (+1 to Fast-Draw, -2 to rolls for incidental damage; see Sheaths, see box). LC3-4.
Tablet Computer (TL8)
This is a laptop computer with a rotating/removable keyboard and a touch-screen, able to be used as either a laptop or a slate. Built as a Medium Computer with both Datapad and Portable Terminal interfaces, along with the Compact and High-Capacity options. Complexity 3. Stores 1 TB. $3,000, 2.5 lbs., M/2.5 hours. LC4.
Portable Tool Kit (TL8)
This is the standard tool kit – the type found in a toolbox behind a truck seat or under the kitchen sink. It counts as basic equipment for the specific skill and specialty for which it’s designed, and gives a -2 (quality) modifier for other specialties of the same skill. At the GM’s option, such kits may have a handful of small batteries at TL7-8. A kit for Electrician, Machinist, or any Armoury or Mechanic specialty is $600, 20 lbs. Kits for Electronics Repair specialties are $1,200, 10 lbs. LC4.
Handbag or Waist Pack (TL5)
A woman’s purse, a doctor’s medical bag, or a day-hiker’s fanny pack. Holds up to 10 lbs. Halve weight at TL8. $10, 1 lb. LC4.
First Aid Kit (TL7)
This kit gives +1 (quality) to First Aid. It can treat one major wound or a couple of smaller ones. It contains a handful of bandages (see right), some autoinjectors each with a dose of morphine (HT226), and several doses of sulfa drugs (see Antibiotics, p. HT226), plus foot powder (see box), insect repellant (see box), salt tablets (see box), ammonia inhalants (p. HT226), analgesics (p. HT226), antibiotic ointment (see Antibiotics, p. HT226), antimalarial pills (p. HT226), and water purification tablets (p. HT59). $50, 2 lbs. LC4.
Hemostatic Bandages (TL8)
Bandages impregnated with a protein – derived from insect chitin – that promotes clotting. This significantly reduces bleeding. When bandaging a bleeding wound (p. B424), these give +1 (quality) to First Aid and reduce the time required to 30 seconds. Per treatment: $20, neg. LC4.
Marketed since 1975 under the trade name Rohypnol, this is the strongest sedative available legally, although it is banned in many countries, including the United States. A clinical dose results in the victim becoming drowsy (p. B428) after HT minutes. A minute later he must make a HT roll. On a failure he falls into a deep sleep and cannot be wakened for (12 – HT/2) hours. Success also results in sleep, but for two hours less; a critical success on the HT roll result in sleep for (8 – HT/2) hours (minimum two hours). Flunitrazepam also induces partial amnesia. On a failed HT-5 roll, the user forgets the details of events once drowsiness sets in. Recreational drug users take lesser doses – often combined with other drugs – to induce heavy intoxication; this results in severe lack of coordination (-4 to DX and IQ) and the amnesia effect. Some criminals use the drug on unsuspecting victims to facilitate sexual assaults. Game villains (or heroes) will find more subtle uses for the drug’s amnesia effect. $5/dose. LC2.
A belt-sized lab kit for a specific skill. Allows use of the skill at a -2 penalty. $200, 4 lbs. LC4.
Smart Flashlight (TL8)
A flashlight with a super-bright light and a dimmer switch. It can switch between white, red, green, and infrared-only (as an infrared illuminator, p. 47). 50-yard beam for 2 hour or a 5-yard beam for 40 hours. $300, 0.5 lb., 2xXS. LC4.
Travel Bag (TL8).
A leather duffle or similar. Make a Soldier or IQ-based Hiking roll to fit a pack. Failure means a poorly fitted pack that will cause moderate pain (see Afflictions, p. B428) after a day of hiking. The -2 for pain definitely applies to the Hiking skill! Holds 100 lbs. $60, 5 lbs. LC4.
Crash Kit (TL8)
This gear is typical of what a military medic or a civilian EMT might carry. It gives +2 (quality) to First Aid, and counts as basic equipment for Physician and improvised equipment for Surgery. At TL8, typical contents are more of everything in the large first aid kit (above), plus splinting material, a bag mask (p. HT219), an IV kit with a unit of blood, plasma, or other fluids (p. 220), a clinical thermometer (pp. HT221-222), a stethoscope (p. HT222), a sphygmomanometer (p. HT222), a suturing kit (p. HT224), and a microflashlight (p. HT52). $200, 10 lbs. LC3.
Expensive Surgical Kit (TL8)
These light, ergonomically designed instruments allow lengthy procedures that don’t fatigue the surgeon, and include micro-tools for dealing with tiny vascular problems and micromanipulators for handling nerves, plus scalpels and scissors with micron-thin cutting edges. Many components are disposable; needles and scalpels, sharpened to a keen edge at the factory, are discarded after a single operation. Everything is hypoallergenic and easily sterilized. Rechargeable batteries power a sizable portion of the tools, allowing quicker, less labor-intensive, and more finely tuned work. Many items are constructed from titanium and exotic alloys. Interestingly, catgut is still used for suturing. +2 to skill. $600, 10 lbs. LC4.
Basic equipment for the Lockpicking skill includes a set of picks in dozens of different lengths and shapes, rakes for quickly defeating basic locks, and tension wrenches that provide the leverage to open the lock. Such hardware varies greatly in quality. The best picks are made of hardened steel, titanium, etc., and shaped by factory-trained locksmiths specifically to open certain types of locks. In a pinch, a couple of paperclips or hair clips will do. Use Equipment Modifiers (p. B345) for improvised and high quality tools. A complete set of nigh-universal lockpicks in a wallet-sized package: $50, neg. LC3.