Sunday, 12 July 2015

Visitant: Mosa Gift trees

As per the previous post, here are some powers, this time for the self-evolving Mosas.

The Mosa Gifts are somewhat odd, in that a lot of them don't require rolls, but simply provide various kinds of boosts. Quite a few don't even require require Focus. I'm not sure whether this will prove unbalancing, in that Mosa end up able to reserve their Focus for a small number of powers, or whether it's irrelevant because the utility of the powers is the main thing.


The path of Autometabolism involves refining control over the mosa’s own biochemical pathways, and learning how to use their products to influence humans.

Adrenaline Burn

Many species possess a fight-or-flight reaction, overriding their body's natural limits to help survive serious danger. Some mosas learn to consciously control these metabolic pathways, pouring stimulants through their body to greatly boost their capabilities. While an adrenaline burn is in effect, a mosa’s nervous system shrugs off most pain signals, while senses and reactions are hypercharged to allow lightning reactions to danger.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

The mosa rolls 2d10 for Initiative rolls and chooses the highest. If Initiative is already in play, they roll the additional die immediately and change their position in the Initiative order if appropriate. The mosa also gains +2 on rolls to notice a hazard or threat. During adrenaline burn, the mosa ignores wound penalties, and gains 8-again on any roll to overcome pain or physical discomfort, or resist fear.

While using adrenaline burn, a mosa can incur Bashing damage in one-for-one exchange for additional dice when attempting a physical feat of might, reaction or endurance. The maximum bonus is equal to their Focus rating. This damage cannot be soaked.

The adrenaline burn lasts for a single scene.


Mosa are accustomed to severe environmental changes, from arctic chill to the heat of volcanic seas, from blazing light to dark ocean, and their bodies adapt accordingly. A trained mosa is able to consciously shift their homeostatic patterns, altering their body temperature to minimise energy requirements, and tuning their senses to match the conditions.

Tell: If detected, Subtle within 5C of normal, Blatant within 10C, otherwise Inhuman.

Action: Instant

Cost: None

The mosa can adjust their body temperature to a minimum of 5C (40F) and a maximum of 70C (160F). They shift 1C per round until they reach the desired target temperature. There is no change in capabilities, reaction times or awareness. In general, shifting body temperature towards the environmental temperature reduces the energy requirements of metabolism, allowing the mosa to survive on minimal food and water. Shifting further away from the environmental temperature generally increases energy requirements. The shift lasts until the character chooses to end it; a mosa can survive for months in harsh conditions using this ability.

Shifting to accommodate cold or hot environments reduces their negative effects. A mosa who shifts appropriately can ignore the effects of the Extreme Cold or Extreme Heat Environmental Tilts, unless the Storyteller determines that temperatures are well below freezing or approaching boiling point.

A mosa who shifts to accommodate local background temperature can typically pass undetected by heat sensors, including many alarm systems, thermal imaging cameras or goggles, and the heat-sensing capabilities of snakes, vampire bats and certain insects.

The mosa can also adjust to lighting conditions, adapting to pitch darkness or brilliant light with ease. They suffer no penalties when adapted to the light, but transition can pose problems. A mosa adapted to darkness suffers a -2 penalty to resist glare and blinding, while a mosa adapted to brilliant light treats even dim lighting as pitch darkness. It takes only a single round for vision to adjust, so these penalties are short-lived. The mosa can, if they choose, pre-adjust their vision for anticipated lighting conditions, such as before entering a dark room.

Taste the Wind

The mosa has honed their olfactory sense, until they are able to analyse chemical compounds on the air, tasting the emotions of those around them.

The mosa has a sense of smell and taste as keen as any wild animal. They can identify other creatures by smell or taste alone, including individuals they know. They add their Focus to any roll to sniff out a target. They can track by scent, and identify which creatures have recently touched an item by scent alone.

The mosa adds their Focus rating to rolls to identify the emotional state or state of health of a target. They can attempt this from scent or taste alone with a -5 penalty.

When the mosa attempts to identify a substance, such as a chemical or biological sample, they can use their keen scent or taste to gain a +3 bonus on the roll. This can be risky when handling toxic substances. The mosa also gains a +3 bonus on taste or smell rolls to detect contamination, such as spiked drinks or unusual gases.


Mastery of their immune system and chemical pathways allows the mosa to rapidly break down contaminants and expel toxic substances. Even neurotoxins and radioisotopes can be contained and purged without further damage.

Tell: Blatant if detected.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

Dice Pool: Stamina + Medicine

Success: One of the following:

  • Reduce the duration of a drug, illness or poisoning (including intoxication) by 1 per success rolled.
  • Ignore the in-combat effects of the Poisoned or Sick Tilts for 1 turn per success rolled.
  • Break down stress hormones, resolving the Shaken or Beaten Down Tilts, severe anger, or any other form of stress.
  • Fend off exhaustion, delaying the need to sleep or rest for 1 hour per success rolled.
  • Add successes to rolls to meditate, or equivalent actions (until the end of the scene).
  • Adding successes to rolls to continue with tiring activity (until the end of the scene).

Exceptional Success: Nothing special.

Failure: The character is unable to remove the contaminant.

Dramatic Failure: The character’s attempts to purge their system only inflict internal strain. The character gains the Stunned condition.


Though most mosas are as vulnerable to injury as any human, a few learn to control their circulatory systems, constricting blood vessels and redirecting clotting agents to seal wounds rapidly, and concentrating healing factors to speed tissue recovery.

A mosa with this ability who becomes incapacitated can’t die from lack of medical attention; their final Health box doesn’t get marked with Aggravated damage.

Tell: Inhuman during healing, Blatant if seen before and after healing.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

Dice Pool: Resolve + Medicine

Success: Immediately end ongoing damage from an injury. For every 3 successes rolled, convert 1 level of Lethal damage into Bashing.

Exceptional Success: In addition, convert a single level of Aggravated damage to Lethal.

Failure: No effect.

Dramatic Failure: The character misjudges their efforts and shuts down the wrong blood vessels. They gain either the Leg Wrack or Arm Wrack Condition.


Metabolism produces many chemicals, some of them inert, others potent. Some species are able to extrude or secrete useful compounds, and many mosas strive to control these secretions to use as tools. Others turn to biomedical implants to gain useful abilities.


Poison is a high-stakes tool, but sometimes a valuable one. Some mosas learn to secrete substances toxic to humans, turning their sweat into a biological weapon.

Venom is administered by skin-to-skin contact. Some individuals exude it directly from sweat glands, while others have tiny hairlike barbs that can be briefly raised from the skin, and are too fine for humans to notice. A rare few use concealed mandibles or stingers, though these are much more difficult to use.

Tell: Blatant if venom is traced to the character. Administration may also be suspicious behaviour.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

Dice Pool: Dexterity + Brawl – Defence if used openly. Dexterity + Subterfuge – highest Wits present to administer venom covertly outside combat. In situations where physical contact is difficult or inappropriate, apply an additional penalty.

Success: In combat, the target gains the Poisoned Tilt, lasting for a number of turns equal to the successes rolled. Outside combat, the target is secretly afflicted with a Lethal toxin of Potency equal to the character’s Focus rating, which inflicts damage once per hour for a number of hours equal to successes rolled, beginning one hour after administration.

Exceptional Success: As above, but the target is also Stunned each time they fail a resistance roll.

Failure: No effect in combat. Outside combat, the attack fails and the observer notices the attempt, although not necessarily its import.

Dramatic Failure: The venom is weak or the attack inaccurate. The target suffers a painful weal as though stung, immediately alerting them that something has happened.


Normal metabolism produces many corrosive compounds, either as waste products or for use in digestion. Acids and alkalis can be useful biochemical tools, and some mosas train or modify their bodies to let them exploit these substances. Spraying acid from mouth glands is a useful last-ditch weapon, as well as a powerful tool. The character makes a ranged attack to a maximum distance of 5 yards.

Tell: Inhuman if observed, Blatant as evidence.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

Dice Pool: Dexterity + Athletics – Defense

Success: The acid inflicts Lethal damage and does 2 Durability Damage to any armour the victim is wearing. The mosa can also apply this acid when biting as a damage move during a grapple.

Exceptional Success: Acid sprays in the target’s face. The attack inflicts the Blinded condition until the end of the scene, or until the victim is able to wash it away with water or another inert substance

Failure: No effect.

Dramatic Failure: The attack strikes the wrong target, or the character has a coughing fit and halves their Defence until their next turn.


While both tools and weapons are useful, sometimes the best friend a mosa can have is an escape plan. Some mosas learn to produce highly aromatic compounds in special glands. The musk can be released explosively, filling the air with choking vapour and buying the mosa precious time. The mosa sprays a pungent musk up to 5 yards away, targeting a number of creatures up to their Focus rating.

Musk can be used underwater.

Tell: Inhuman if observed, Blatant as evidence.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

Dice Pool: Dexterity + Focus vs. Stamina + Inhuman Attribute. Gas masks and eye protection grant a defensive bonuses.

Success: The target is overwhelmed by the fumes, suffering a -2 penalty to all dicepools until the end of the scene. They are also afflicted with an overpowering scent, granting a +5 bonus on any roll to locate or track them, and inflicting a -10 penalty on any scent-based rolls. Even a human can attempt to track the character by smell. This secondary effect lasts until the target is able to wash and change any affected clothing.

Spraying musk produces a cloud of choking scent that spreads rapidly through the area. All scent-based rolls within the immediate area suffer a -2 penalty until the end of the scene. Any item or creature that encountered the cloud, including the mosa, can be linked to the scene afterwards with a successful scent-based Wits + Investigation roll, for up to 24 hours or until cleaned thoroughly.

Exceptional Success: The spray goes into the victim’s mouth or nose. They lose their next action while they gag and retch.

Failure: No effect.

Dramatic Failure: The spray strikes the wrong target, potentially even the mosa.


Self-defence is valuable, but the ability to influence others can be more valuable still. Mosas may equip themselves with the ability to produce hypnotic chemicals, allowing them to render a target confused and highly suggestible. Administration of these substances requires personal contact, typically injecting the substance through modified teeth, mandibles or stings. This ability can be used in conjunction with a Damage move against a grappled, unsuspecting or helpless target; the character chooses whether to try and inflict normal damage as well.

Tell: Blatant if observed or if damage inflicted.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus

Dice Pool: Brawl + Medicine + Focus vs. Stamina + Composure + Inhuman Attribute.

Success: A victim of haze becomes slow-thinking, acquiescent and less confrontational. They gain the Stunned Condition, and suffer a -3 penalty to all mental rolls for the duration of the scene. Attempts to influence them with Persuade, Subterfuge and similar skills gain a +2 bonus. They are more trusting in their behaviour, and can be convinced to do things they would not normally consider, though their moral sense is not affected.

If under the influence of intense emotion, immediately roll the successes as a dicepool; if successful, the emotion fades away. Unnatural emotions such as Frenzy are instead suppressed for a number of rounds equal to the mosa’s Focus rating.

A successful haze attempt always inflicts a brief period of intense confusion. The victim has no recollection of being bitten, though they may recall any extended struggle. If the mosa did not choose to inflict damage while administering the toxin, the only sign of the attack is a mark resembling the bite of a large insect or an injection. This mark fades within 24 hours. Early medical testing may discern an unusual chemical in the victim's bloodstream, or at the injection site.

Exceptional Success: The target’s memories of the entire encounter are vague, and they don’t remember anything suspicious from the scene. The target doesn’t notice this memory gap unless it’s pointed out, and even then is inclined to assume they were distracted or tired, unless they have other cause for suspicion. No Compromise rolls are needed due to interaction with this target.

Failure: No effect.

Dramatic Failure: The target jerks unexpectedly, injuring the mosa’s injector. The mosa suffers 1 Bashing damage and halves their Defence until their next turn.


Not all problems are best solved with brute force. Sometimes subtlety is the easiest path. Humans are evolved to react to a wide range of volatile compounds, and particularly those chemical signals known as pheromones. To a mosa with suitable capabilities, replicating those compounds is child’s play.

Once the mosa begins releasing pheromones, until the end of the scene, they can spend an action to try and affect a target within 2 yards.

Tell: None.

Action: Instant

Cost: 1 Focus to initiate pheromone synthesis.

Dice Pool: Manipulation + Medicine + Focus vs. Resolve + Inhuman Attribute.

Success: The target feels strangely drawn to the mosa, eager to help them and reluctant to oppose them. They may interpret this as attraction, admiration, or a sense of power. The target gains the Swooning Condition with respect to the mosa. If using the Social Manoeuvring rules, decrease the number of Doors by 1.

Exceptional Success: Effects as above. In addition, the target’s feels a lingering protectiveness towards the character, and is reluctant to reveal information about their actions. Any Compromise rolls caused by interaction with this target gain a +2 bonus.

Failure: No effect. Further attempts to affect the same target during the scene suffer a cumulative -1 penalty.

Dramatic Failure: The target finds the pheromones oddly repugnant, and gains the Repelled condition with respect to the character. One way to resolve the condition is to impose a -2 penalty on any Compromise roll caused by events of the scene.

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