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20-20-24 Hours to Go
I Wanna Be Ascended!
There's twenty four hours to go in the Ascendant: Platinum Edition Kickstarter! I normally wrap up my Kickstarters with a terrible version of a popular song but I think just mentioning 20-20-24 Hours to Go, I Wanna Be Ascended has already succeeded in putting it in your head and there’s no reason for full lyrics.1
Instead, here's a sneak preview from the Rogues Gallery -- the new power Inertia Control. Inertial Control takes advantage of Ascendant's comic-book physics engine to create remarkable gameplay and it seems a fitting finale for our campaign! If you’ve been wondering “is Alex serious when he says he’s a simulationist game designer,” this power will certainly prove it.
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Base Cost: 95
Variable Cost: 20
Base Score: 0
Range: Standard/By Emulated Power
Duration: By Effect
This Power grants the ability to manipulate inertial masses and inertial frames. The character can:
Add his SPs of Inertia Control to his initiative, emulating Lightning Reflexes.
Dynamically adjust his inertia, or that of a willing target, in order to add his SPs of Power to the effected character’s Maximum Safe Speed when moving through a Hazard. This is a Concentration effect requiring an Automatic Action to activate and maintain each Panel.
Increase or decrease his AV on one Melee, Rammed, or Wrestling Attack by up to his SPs of Power as an Automatic Action. His EV on the Attack is immediately decreased or increased by the opposite value in SPs, as if using a combat maneuver.
Increase or decrease his Weight, or the Weight of a willing target within Range, by up to his SPs of Power as an Automatic Action. As momentum is always conserved, the effected character’s Speed is immediately decreased or increased by the opposite value in SPs. If the effected character’s Speed is reduced to less than 0 SPs, the effected character is considered Stationary. The effect lasts until the end of the effected character’s next Panel. The inertia controller can change the Weight of multiple targets with one Action by applying the Multi-Attack penalty to his Power.
Increase or decrease the Weight of an unwilling target within Range as a Challenge Action. The character must make an INS vs. RES/Weight Challenge Check. On a Green result, the target’s Weight is changed by 1 SP. On a Yellow result, the target’s Weight is changed by 2 SP. On an Orange result, the target’s Weight is changed by up to ½ SPs of Power. On a Red result, the target’s Weight is changed by up to SPs of Power. As momentum is always conserved, the effected character’s Speed is immediately decreased or increased by the opposite value in SPs. If the effected character’s Speed is reduced to less than 0 SPs, the effected character is considered Stationary. The effect lasts until the end of the effected character’s next Panel. The character can change the Weight of multiple targets with one Action by applying the Multi-Attack penalty to his AV and Power.
Pick up, push, pull, drag, or stop the movement of an object within Range and LOS. The character uses his SPs of Inertia Control in lieu of his MIG for such Actions.
Protect himself or other target(s) within Range and LOS with a rotating inertial frame that deflects bullets, blades, and other matter, emulating Projectable Multi-Target Physical Deflection at Inertia Control’s value in SPs. The Deflection is a Concentration effect requiring an Automatic Action to maintain each Panel.
Reverse the inertial mass on a target within Range and LOS as a Challenge Action, emulating Gust at Inertia Control’s value in SPs, to a maximum of the target’s Weight + 7 SPs. The target is knocked back away from the surface of the planet rather than away from the character using the Power. The reversal of the target’s inertial mass is brief, so the target begins falling at the end of the character’s Challenge Action.
Reflect bodies of matter that strike him by creating an Inertial Field around himself as an Automatic Action. While the Inertial Field is active, it protects against and reflects attacks dealing Bludgeoning, Concussive, Lacerating, or Penetrating Damage. This is a Sustained effect requiring an Automatic Action to activate. It is deactivated if the character becomes Overwhelmed or Unconscious. The mechanics of reflection are explained below.
A character’s Inertial Field has one Variable Attribute, Protection, determined by the character’s SPs of Inertia Control on the USPA table. Each time the character is dealt Damage by one of the Damage Types the Power functions against, it blocks a number of points of Damage equal to its Protection and reduces the effect of any Special Effects.
Immediately after the character’s Inertial Field blocks damage from an attack, the character makes a reflected attack against the triggering damage-dealer. This attack interrupts the Panel as if it were a Triggered Power. It does not require the character to have readied or to expend an Action.
The AV of the reflected attack is equal to the SPs of Inertia Control. The EV of the reflected attack is equal to the lesser of the EV of the triggering attack or the SPs of Inertia Control. The Damage Type of the reflected attack is the same as the triggering attack’s Damage Type. The DV of the reflected attack is the triggering damage-dealer’s AGI/ Speed. The character may not expend Hero Points on the reflected attack, but the triggering damage-dealer can do so. If the triggering damage-dealer is not within 0 SPs of in Range of the reflected attack, then the reflected attack does not occur.
EXAMPLE: Counterstrike is a villain with 12 SPs of Inertia Control. He is fighting for his life against the hero Stiletto. Counterstrike has activated both his Deflection (giving him DV 12) and his Inertial Field (granting 128 Protection). Stiletto attacks Counterstrike with her razor nails (EV 12). With 14 SPs of VAL to his 12 SPs of Deflection, she has an RV of +2. Her roll of 18 yields an Orange result. Counterstrike rolls with the Attack, reducing it to Green and becoming Staggered as a result. A Green result with Stiletto’s razor nails (EV 12) deals 128 Lacerating Damage.
Counterstrike’s Inertial Field protects him from 128 points of Damage, so he is unharmed. His Inertial Field immediately triggers a reflected attack against Stiletto. In the game world, Stiletto finds herself suddenly subjected to an inertial force equal and opposite to the force she just applied in her attack.
Mechanically, the AV of this Attack is equal to Counterstrike’s 12 SPs of Inertia Control and the EV is Stiletto’s 12 SPs of Lacerating Strike. (If Stiletto had, e.g., only 8 SPs of Strike, then the EV would be capped at 8; if Counterstrike had, e.g., only 10 SPs of Inertia Control, the EV would be capped at 10.)
The attack is opposed by Stiletto’s AGI of 14 SPs, so it has a -2 RV. Counterstrike can’t spend Hero Points on the attack, and Stiletto decides she doesn’t need to. Unfortunately, Counterstrike rolls an 08 and scores a Yellow Result. He deals 256 Lacerating Damage to Stiletto. She rolls with the attack, reducing it to a Green result dealing 128 Lacerating Damage, and becomes Dazed.
Stiletto realizes that an inertial controller may be a foe against that a melee combatant such as herself is ill-suited to fight. Before she can retreat, however, it’s Counterstrike’s Panel. He spends 2 Hero Points to end his Staggered condition and then uses a Challenge Action to increase Stiletto’s Weight. The AV of this attack is 12 and the DV is the greater of Stiletto’s RES (10) or Weight (2). With 12 vs. 10, the RV is +2. Counterstrike rolls a 40, for a Yellow Result. Stiletto’s Weight is increased by 2 SPs, from 2 SPs to 4 SPs, while her Running and Jumping Speeds drop by 2 SPs, from 6 SPs to 4 SPs. The effect lasts until the end of her next Panel.
Had Counterstrike scored an Orange result, Stiletto’s Weight and Speed would have changed by one-half his SPs of Inertia Control, or 6 SPs. That would have left Stiletto weighing 8 SPs with a Speed of 0 SPs on her Panel!
Thank you for taking the time to check out this preview. If you’re already a backer of Ascendant: Platinum Edition, thanks for your support. If not, I hope you’ll check it out. Either way, thanks for being a fan of Arbiter of Worlds!
Unless you’re a Zoomer and then you have no idea what song I’m talking about because I am old.