Equilibrium 3B: Arcane Backgrounds

Allrighty, here’s some Arcane Backgrounds for this universe. You’ll notice that each background doesn’t have a list of powers that they can take, and I’ll be honest, that’s intentional. I think that if the player can create a reasonable justification for a character having said power… then they should be allowed to go take it. You want an Angel to have Puppet? Just call it, “Divine Compel,” and have the bossy Angel bark out an order as the means of casting it.

***

ARCANE BACKGROUND (Vessel)
**This Can Only Be Taken by Humans**
Arcane Skill: Channeling (Spirit)
Starting PP: 15
Starting Powers: 2
Backlash: “Severance” – Your connection to the spirits is fickle. On rolling a 1 on your Channeling die, your Hero loses the ability to cast that power until the end of the scene/encounter or until you spend a Benny to reconnect.
Trappings: The Vessel’s powers take on the appearance (as well as any potential bonus effects) of whatever the person did in life. For instance, a Soldier’s soul who provides the Bolt power would manifest itself as gunfire, or a Healing power provided by the soul of a doctor would be represented by the healed person’s wounds being, “stitched,” up.

Special: “Inherited Trappings” – Whenever you take a new power, you get to draw a card. 2-10 Means that the power comes from a Human Spirit. However, should you draw an Ace/Royal, the power comes from the Spirit of an Angel or a Demon depending on the Suit (Diamonds/Hearts is Demon, Spades/Clubs is Angel), and thus has access to a Seraphim’s unique trappings. If you draw a Joker, they were a Mutant. Re-draw for the type of mutant… that Power- in addition to it’s normal trappings- has Radioactive Trappings.

Special: “Job to Do” – Each Spirit has an unfinished task that you need to take care of. If Channeling them helps aid in their task, you gain a +1 to your Arcane Skill roll. However, the inverse is also true: Should you be using their power in such a way that goes against the person’s wishes, you’re at -1 penalty to use that power. Whether this comes into play should be at the GM’s discretion. Should the player complete said task within the timespan of the campaign, they should redraw for the “Inherited Trappings,” as the old Spirit passes on and a new one takes its place.

===
You’ve always had a special bond with the Supernatural, and with all the cosmic activity now that Doomsday has come to pass, that connection is a little more… literal. There’s souls of people that have passed on that are looking to take care of some unfinished business, and you’re their means of doing so. In exchange for helping them take care of some business they left unresolved in this life, they’ll aid you by granting some of their otherworldly power.

===
ARCANE BACKGROUND (Rad Scientist)
Arcane Skill: Weird Science (Smarts)
Starting PP: 20
Starting Powers: 1 (Each power has PP Equal to your Maximum)
Backlash: “Explosion” – Yeah… Mad Science Devices powered by Nuclear Batteries are volatile. On rolling a 1, your device explodes in a Large Burst Template for 2d8 Damage, which also forces anyone caught within the Blast Radius to make a Vigor Roll to resist mutation. Repairing this device requires 2d6 Hours and a Repair Roll.
Trappings: The powers that manifest from these devices are hardly subtle. They’re bright, flashy, and occasionally leave grean smears of goo around the place.
Special: “Improved Mutations” – When you suffer a Mutation, you get to draw two cards and pick the better of the two.
“Risky Recharge” – If the Rad Scientist is willing to expose themselves to strong doses of radiation for an extended period, they can cut their recharge time in half.

===
Ah, Science… what envelopes won’t people use you to push? In this case, it’s attempting to create portable devices powered by Radiation. One of the major breakthroughs during Armageddon was the invention of the Rad-Cell battery. This nifty little power cell is roughly the size of a large coin, and it has near-limitless power. The only problem is having to deal with the fallout (I’d say, “No Pun Intended,” but I’d be lying like a cheap rug at a flea market if I did) of dealing with radiation and the inevitable mutations that result from constant exposure.

Special Trapping: Radioactivity

“Mutagen”- You can spend an additional Power Point to reduce the Damage Die of an offensive Power to force the target to make a vigor Roll or undergo a Mutation.

“Rad-Resistance” – You can spend an additional Power Point to give a target of a Beneficial Power a +4 to Resist Radiation.

===
ARCANE BACKGROUND (SERAPHIM)
*This can Only Be Taken by Angels or Demons*
Arcane Skill: Faith (Spirit)
Starting PP: 10
Starting Powers: 3
Backlash: “Kickback” – Rolling a 1 on your Faith die means that you’re Shaken. This can cause a Wound.
Trappings: Angelic Seraphim powers resemble a yellowish light, while Demonic Seraphim’s powers take on the form of deep red flame.
Special: “Holy/Unholy Champion” – You gain the Champion Edge for free, regardless if you meet the requirements. The effects of this Edge applies to either Angels or Demons (depending which you are).
===
You’re one of the lucky Angels or Demons that can still wield (un)holy power to your advantage. While this gives you power beyond the usual capacity for your kin, it also tasks you with the burden of unnecessary attention. You’ll likely have people coming to you as a source of inspiration, and many a Seraphim has embraced this, becoming leaders (or at least fonts of wisdom) of a settlement. Other times, Seraphim become the guardians of a particular settlement or region, earning the respect of the inhabitants and the ire of their opposition.

Unique Trapping: Holy/Unholy

“Blessed/Cursed” – A Beneficial Power that you spend an additional PP on can bestow on the target the benefits of the Champion Edge for the duration of the Power (+2 to Damage and +2 Toughness vs Angels/Demons depending on the source of the power).

“Celestial/Infernal Blaze” – If you spend up to 5 Additional PP on an Offensive Power, you can roll a 1d6 to see if the target catches on fire (with each extra PP spent increasing the risk of ignition, with a max range of 2-6)… except the fire is either Holy/Unholy.

===
**Edges**
-Divine Craftsman (Requires Seasoned, Repair d8+, Faith d8+, Arcane BG(Seraphim))
This nifty ability allows you to create Consecrated/Desecrated Weaponry and ammo. Ammunition has +4 Damage to guys from The Other Side, while the Consecrated/Desecrated weapons gain an extra 1d6 Damage against them. You need the appropriate equipment to do this, as well as 2d6 hours of time, and you also need to roll Repair at -2 (-4 if you’re making a Weapon). Keep in mind, while these weapons and ammo are considered highly valuable, you shouldn’t be too eager to supply the Post-Armageddon world with these things, lest you draw unnecessary attention.

-Killswitch (Requires Seasoned, Weird Science d8+, Smarts d8+, Arcane BG(Rad Scientist))
You’ve installed a killswitch on all your devices. Should you ever roll a 1 on your Weird Science, this allows you to make an Automatic Weird Science roll at -2 to keep the device from going Kablooey. You still waste the Power Points, however, but you’ll have dodged the Nuclear Bullet.

-Otherworldly Insight (Requires Seasoned, Channeling d8+, Notice d8+, Arcane BG (Vessel))
This nifty little Edge allows the Vessel’s otherworldly patrons to provide him with some insight as to the current circumstances. Once per Session, you may Spend a Benny to gain access to some information relevant to this situation. Keep in mind, there are times where even the Spirits don’t have an inkling of an ideas as to what’s going on… In which case, the GM should give you the Benny back.

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