Cloaking

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Cloaking

Psychics often have to hide themselves, both physically, and from persons and artifacts capable of detecting psychic phenomena. This power serves both purposes, by wrapping the psychic in layers of mystic energy that shroud the mind and body. This power turns inward, encouraging others to look away, be they physically looking, or seeking with their minds. The powers of Cloaking are often rather passive, activated before they are needed and then maintained for as long as necessary. Patience and subtlety are the watchwords of a master of Cloaking, flashy action is not their style.

  • Attribute: Manipulation
  1. Shadow Dance: This power wraps the psychic in shadows, both physical and mystical. In the physical world this is easy enough to visualize, darkness tends to creep toward the character, shrouding him physically, especially in dark environments. Mystically, the character’s psychic presence damps down, becomes dim and shadowy. His presence becomes something that is easily passed over as mere ‘background noise’ or a mind that is strong-willed, but not necessarily psychically active.
    • Activating the Shadow Dance costs 1 Wyrd, and each hour that it needs to be maintained, another point of Wyrd is consumed. While the Shadow Dance is active, the psychic gains the following benefits.
      • Physical tests of Stealth using Larceny add the psychic’s Cloaking dice to the pool as a bonus.
      • The psychic adds his Cloaking to whatever attribute is used to resist a power or artifact that detects psychic presence.
  2. Stone Wall: Sometimes patience is more important than subtlety. A patient and careful psychic can employ powers that are not particularly subtle, but accomplish the required goal. This power blocks the psychic’s presence, with a strong and reliable block, but it has its limitations, in both the physical and mental realms.
    • Activating Stone Wall costs 1 Wyrd. Every ten minutes, the power requires another point of Wyrd to continue protecting the psychic.
    • While Stone Wall is active, the Psychic may choose to become invisible. This invisibility fails instantly if the psychic moves at all, other than soft breathing.
      • A character searching for the psychic may roll Wits + Composure to find the psychic, but his pool is reduced by the Psychic’s Psi + Cloaking.
      • Powers or tech devices that are supposed to find invisible people have a better chance, they contest directly with the psychic’s Manipulation + Cloaking roll.
    • While Stone Wall is active, the psychic can choose to block psychic intrusions, psi-scanning, uses of the Psyche power, etc. This block is very obvious as a block, but no further information is gained. Psyche cannot get access to memories or thoughts without breaking the block, psi-sensors cannot find out what powers the character might have, or how strong a psychic he is, etc.
      • To block detection or intrusion, the psychic rolls Manipulation + Cloaking, and adds his Psi rating to the successes. If the intruding power cannot beat those successes, it fails. With even a moderately powerful Psi, a Cloaking psychic can ward off most intrusive powers unless the attacker specifically knows how to break down barriers.
      • The Psi-blocking ability of Stone Wall can be brought up as a reaction to a psi-attack, but requires 2 Wyrd to be spent to bring up the hasty block. If the psi power used is an actual attack, such as the Psyche Power “Psychic Torment”, then the block requires 3 Wyrd to activate.
      • If a quick reactive block is used, the block lasts only for the duration of the one attack. A regular use of Stone Wall can be activated as soon as the defending psychic gets a chance to act, at the normal cost.
  3. Veiled Face: A return to subtlety, this power is a misdirecting power that changes the physical or psychic identity of the character. The psychic can change his face or his aura, but not both at once. Changing both would require two uses of Veiled face, and both would have to be maintained. Combined with a skill at impersonating people, this power can be quite potent when used creatively. Despite the name, this skill affects more than just the face, the illusion covers the entire body, including clothing if necessary.
    When Veiled Face is learned, Shadow Dance becomes able to hide the character not just from immediate viewing, but from powers boosted by remote-sensing abilities like Omen which can peer through time. Everything the Psychic did while under the effects of Shadow Dance becomes muddled, even when viewed as part of the past, or future.
    • Either use of Veiled Face lasts 1 scene when activated. If the power is to be extended to the next scene without interruption, the Psychic can spend 3 Wyrd to do so, and avoid the need to re-roll.
    • To use Veiled Face the psychic rolls Manipulation + Cloaking. If the face is merely to be a random other persona, then no dice are penalized. If the character wishes to control exactly how he appears, then some modifiers come into play. These modifiers are cumulative, appearing as a specific person of a different race and sex while also changing one’s outfit is extremely difficult.
      • Modifiers: Choose the details of the illusion for an invented persona (-1); Appear as a specific person (-2); Change Clothing as well as body (-1); Appear as a different gender (-1); Appear as a different species/race (-2)
    • Activating the power to change one’s aura is much the same. The character rolls normally, and selects the features that he wishes his new aura to display, or simply scrambles his old aura. Scrambling an aura, like getting a random unobtrusive appearance, imposes no penalty. Being specific about how the new aura will appear to those sensing it is more difficult, and the penalties are cumulative, as with changing appearance.
      • Choose a specific aura type (-1); Mimic a specific person’s aura (-3); Hide psychic ability (-2); Hide or lower Urge level (-1); Mimic a special trait like Destiny, Grace, or Hubris (-3)
  4. Heart of Darkness: The very name of this power is troubling to the Church, but it is not a surrender to the dark antimonious powers of the Void. Instead, it is a much more benign submersion of the self in the natural dark of night. There is some risk with this power, too much dabbling with this power will feed the psychic’s Urge. However, a careful psychic will find this power to be of great use. Heart of Darkness will dampen the effect of any hostile psychic power, even ‘physical’ powers like Far Hand and Viscraft. It also allows the psychic to fool observers into seeing different reactions to social situations than the psychic actually has.
    When this power is learned, Stone Wall is improved to allow the Psychic to move while maintaining his invisibility, but only so long as he is at least partly shrouded in darkness, as within a shadow, a dusky and dim area, or some other place with bad lighting.
    • Heart of Darkness is activated by simply spending 1 point of Wyrd. Once activated, it lasts for one scene, and may be refreshed by spending additional Wyrd.
    • When activated, the Psychic may use his Psi or Cloaking, whichever is higher, in place of Composure and Resolve when engaged in any kind of social contest. Further, he may spend 1 point of Wyrd at any time to simply give whatever social impression he wishes. This active use of the power feeds the Psychic’s Urge. (Possible gain of 1 Urge)
    • Also while Heart of Darkness is active, the character adds his Cloaking rating to his Psi for the purposes of resisting any psychic power. While this extra defense is extremely strong, using it will reveal to the attacker that the defending Psychic knows the Cloaking power. An Ukar or Obun psychic will recognize this power immediately, human psychics may or may not understand what is happening, depending on how good their education has been.
  5. Ghostwalking: True invisibility is now within the psychic’s grasp. He has seen into the darkness around him, and is not afraid to tread there. Masters of the Cloaking art are greatly feared among other psychics, for they have the power to strike from surprise, and then to vanish without a trace. This power allows for physical invisibility, and a much easier manipulation of one’s aura to hide all traces of psychic power. It also allows the psychic to erase all trace of his mental and psychic presence for a time, but this extreme act of embracing psychic darkness can feed the Urge.
    When Ghostwalking is learned, the psychic improves Veiled Face so that the changes will affect not only visual appearance, but all the senses. The psychic’s voice and scent are changed to match the desired subject. In the case of an extremely personal investigation, even taste and the feel of the psychic’s skin or illusory clothing are changed.
    • To become invisible, the Psychic rolls normally, and spends 1 Wyrd. The character gains a strong degree of physical invisibility, such as will fool most, but not all technological sensors. An additional psychic effect makes the character’s invisibility nearly ironclad against living observers. They will ignore any signs of the psychic’s presence, even moving out of his way if necessary, without knowing that they are doing so.
      • Invisibility lasts for 1 scene, and costs 1 additional Wyrd to maintain for each scene the power is held. This cost stacks, so the second scene costs 2 Wyrd to remain invisible, the third 3, and so on. Eventually the strain of staying hidden will overwhelm even the strongest psychic, so this power is best used for quick discreet tasks, not a long-term infiltration of a busy place like the Imperial Palace.
      • If the psychic overtly interacts with someone he is cloaked against, the power may end. To prevent this, the psychic spends 2 Wyrd and must roll Manipulation + Cloaking, resisted by a Wits + Composure roll on the part of the observer. The psychic must get MORE successes than the observer to remain cloaked. Even if the roll succeeds, the observer will become suspicious, and start looking around for clues as to what happened and what strange events may be occurring.
    • Blanking one’s mind is easy at this stage, the Psychic merely spends 2 Wyrd, and activates the power. He may not choose exactly how his aura appears, but can be safe and content in the knowledge that he is shown as an utterly generic denizen of the Known Worlds. No psychic ability, Urge, or Wyrd storage is visible to sensory powers. This aspect of Ghostwalking is somewhat less useful for Ukar and Obun psychics, who seem strange if they have no psychic presence at all, but it does protect very well against remote sensing, where the observer cannot see that they are scanning a member of a psychic race.
      • While mind-blanked, the psychic cannot activate any other psychic powers or spend Wyrd for any reason. If he does either, the mind blank effect immediately ends.
    • Hiding one’s mind entirely requires a roll of Manipulation + Cloaking. These successes subtract directly from the successes of any roll to find the psychic’s mind or mystic presence, and resistance attributes function normally to reduce the observer’s dice pool. Each time the psychic is ‘pinged’ by an observer he must spend 1 Wyrd to keep up the cloaking effect. This power can also be activated reactively, like Stone Wall, at the cost of 2 Wyrd, and -2 dice on the roll. Like Stone Wall, the reactive version protects for only sensory attempt and then is gone.
      • Complete mind hiding has the potential to feed Urge. 1 Urge can potentially be gained each time this power’s most extreme form is activated. An additional Urge, for a total of 2, might be gained when the power is used reactively. There are dangers in the psychic dark, and rushing one’s soul into them carries a price.

Cloaking

The Unblinking Eye Drascus