Constructs (examples)

Random discussion, related to the game, but not really of a rules nature.
Post Reply
Wyvern
Prismatic Pangolin
Posts: 2273
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm

Constructs (examples)

Post by Wyvern » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:09 pm

Constructs are a way to get real (albeit lesser) powers that don't match any of the normal things. They're one of the best ways to "cheat" - but are correspondingly dangerous; a particularly useful construct is likely to become an object of contention with anyone who thinks they could make better use of its powers. And that's assuming that the construct itself doesn't manage to develop a personality and start to resent outside control...

I'm posting these in OOC rather than resources because any particular example may not actually exist. Or might function differently, or, etc; I haven't run these past the GM. They're examples, not things you can assume you can just walk out into shadow and find.

Wyvern
Prismatic Pangolin
Posts: 2273
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Constructs (examples)

Post by Wyvern » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:10 pm

Embersign: an almost delicate-seeming hand crossbow that can be folded down to a plain black box, 6" by 2" by 1". Bolts fired from it are shrouded in black flames that corrode more than they burn. The bolt is consumed over a matter of minutes, and damages almost anything it touches during that time, but the fires rarely spread. This weapon is both easily concealed and nearly silent when fired.

The weapon works via its connection to The Dark-Scorched Wastes, a shadow shrouded in, well, shadows. It is a place where darkness burns and light is cold; on the rare occasions that the sun breaks through the clouds, it leaves a swath of ice in its wake. The place is inhabited mostly by fire-and-acid-resistant creatures that resemble those founds in the deepest of terrestrial caves or the bottom of the ocean, though a few small enclaves of nearly-human creatures eke out a meagre existence, their homes cooled by luminescent fungi.

Most of the weapon Embersign exists in tDSW (the Dark-Scorched Wastes), in the form of a spiked dome nearly a mile across that functions as something of a cross-shadow antenna, broadcasting the power of burning darkness to a set of matching spiked spheres built into the crossbow.

Point cost: 3 - one for the base shadow, two for a double-damage weapon permanently linked to it. As constructs go, this one is fairly weak; it provides an unusual form of "magic" that will work anywhere (at least unless someone or something breaks the connection between crossbow and shadow), but doesn't really do that much with it. Embersign would be of greatest use to a sorcerer, who could rack spells that drew off its energies, or potentially even rack spells that functioned using magic-of-tDSW, though such spells would likely be limited to affecting someone in direct contact with either Embersign or one of its bolts.

Wyvern
Prismatic Pangolin
Posts: 2273
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Constructs (examples)

Post by Wyvern » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:04 pm

The Eternal Storm: A lesser power that grants control over wind, lightning, and - in a more abstract sense - motion and perhaps innovation.
The shadow is home to generations of mad scientists, living underground or in domed cities, their creations fueled by lightning rods or assorted wind turbines or even (when they can find sturdy enough materials) an outright windmill. The center of the shadow's power is a tornado that's been spinning for as long as the locals can remember; those who want to harness its power directly have two choices: They can find a chunk of lightning-fused glass that was created in the center of that tornado, or they can go skydiving - get above the storm, then thread the path down the eye of the tornado, get hit by lightning, and survive.

Point cost: The base shadow costs a whopping 5 points, for Primal Plane (to give the construct a degree of reality beyond just regular "shadow magic"), and Communication Barrier. The connections cost either zero points (for a chunk of lightning-fused glass), or 15 points if you went skydiving and have a link to the shadow burned into your being. (Note that there are a number of ways to break that link and get those points refunded - for example, walking the Pattern will "heal" the link. Or someone with shapeshift other could destroy it... or potentially even steal it. And so on and so forth.)

The storm interacts badly with Trump; the base shadow includes a communication barrier - it doesn't block trump, exactly, but any connections in or out will be plagued by static and lightning, quickly becoming a contest of endurance to hold the connection open without getting fried. It also interacts badly with Logrus - though in the other direction; calling up the Storm near a manifestation of Chaos will result in the Storm being significantly stronger than expected - and significantly harder to control. Likewise, calling up the Logrus in the Eternal Storm's shadow is a great way to wreck anything nearby, either through the intensification of the literal storm, or by the products of mad science going out of control. It has no particular antipathy or affinity for Pattern or Broken Pattern; though, as a lesser power, it will flat out lose in any direct confrontation with Pattern.

So, what can you do with it? Call up winds, throw lightning bolts, weather control to call up storms; those are the really basic obvious uses. With some practice, you can manage something like telekinesis, using wind to manipulate objects at range. Flight. Teleport-via-lightning, potentially even cross-shadow as long as there's a storm (or sufficiently strong source of artificial lightning) at your destination.

Wyvern
Prismatic Pangolin
Posts: 2273
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Constructs (examples)

Post by Wyvern » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:28 pm

Kharandea: A living spell engine in the form of a golden lion with pitch black eyes. She has what amounts to exalted sorcery - working complex spells nearly instantly, adapting on the fly as a pattern-user shifts local magic under her, and so on and so forth. She'll lose in any direct contest against the likes of Pattern or Logrus or even broken pattern... but it's not exactly easy to force a direct conflict on a creature that can whisk herself between shadows with little more than a thought.

Point Cost: Kharandea can function in any shadow that has magic. This costs 36 points (12 for a shadow with all possible features, times three for "countless" enumeration). Note that this doesn't actually mean that the construct has guards in every shadow that has magic, or the ability to adjust time-flow or destiny or contents of any given shadow, nor does it allow the construct to bypass communication barriers described as blocking sorcery; the cost is less of a "all these shadows are a part of the construct" and more of a worst-case pricing for "these are all the shadows the construct can function in". Add another two points for power based psyche. There is no manifestation beyond Kharandea herself; if she's somehow taken out of a shadow that has magic, she's just another living creature - albeit with Combat Reflexes (2 points), Amber Endurance ("Amber Stamina" 2 points and "Rapid Healing" 2 points), sentience & speech (4 points), and still possessed of significant mental power ("Extraordinary Psychic Sense" 4 points and "Psychic Resistance" 1 point). Total cost is thus 53.

Post Reply