is intended to show the sort of unique powers acceptable in the Sharper
Than a Serpent's Tooth game. If you are a new player, I encourage
you to create your own, rather than regard this as a source of stock powers.
Cost: Up to 30 points
as Flux Sorcery. This form of sorcery is unique to those who have spent
time in the spaces between shadows, known to them as the Flux.
Flux permeates all of shadow, and in its raw state is highly susceptible
to the will of those who know how to influence it. Adepts of Shadow
Sorcery can shape and form the very stuff of shadow to their will.
Sorcery is similar in effect to Conjuration, but is much faster. It
remains to be seen whether Shadow Sorcery will be as effective in a
'real' place such as Amber.
Cost: Up to 25 points.
to the Royal Line of Powys in the shadow known as Sellyn. There is a
crystal, blood red, about the size of a man's fist, which has the ability
to store and focus power. Certain members of the family Powys have the
ability to create power with the shedding of their blood. By bleeding
directly onto the crystal, power is stored in the crystal and later
mentally focused to do certain things, like keep at bay the Unmaking
to the north (sort of a primal chaos), or heal, or ensure good crops.
is mostly a focus, having little power in and of itself. The Power really
resides in the members of the family of Powys, and passed down from
generation to generation. They can do great things through the shedding
of their blood, by either direct application (such as in a healing)
or greater things through elaborate ritual.
of the Blood Crystal seems to tend toward healing and fertility, and
ranges from healing wounds to holding the land together. The greatest
of Sellyn's kings have even been able to carve new lands out of the
looming menace of the Unmaking. Blood Crystal sorcery has a dark side
to it, which is rarely invoked because of the heavy karmic burden it
carries. But the power can be called up on to wound, to sterilize and
to shake the land.
is the critical attribute for Blood Crystal Sorcery, but Psyche is also
important, as a measure of empathic strength.
Cost: Up to 15 points
the power of the siren. The wielder of the voice can enthrall crowds
with her song, or befuddle individuals with her words. When singing,
the character can induce any desired emotion into her listeners. When
speaking, she can convince the listener that she speaks the truth, manipulating
their emotions, beliefs and even perceptions to suit her purposes. The
Voice also does not permit the character to radically alter determined
ideas, and is therefore an inefficient tool in combat. Antagonists will
not cease their attack because of the Voice.
requires a Psyche struggle to be successful, though it can affect any
number of individuals who can hear the character's unamplified voice.
Those who resist the Voice will know that the character has tried to
Cost: Up to 18 Points
are now long gone, but their descendants, both the pure races like the
faeries and Sidhe, and the many individuals of mixed races still possess
a fraction of their long ago power. That power that runs in the veins
is called The Glamour. It is divided into three branches, each
of which has three levels of power. Each Apprentice power costs three
points, each Adept power costs four, and each Master power costs six.
Adept and Master powers include those of lesser level.
of Glamor can be tiring, and so Endurance is the primary attribute for
Branch of Blessings:
- The Blessing of Renown - The character will seem more impressive
and positive to those upon whom he uses this Blessing.
- The Blessing of Good Fortune - When invoked, fortune smiles upon
the Adept. This is essentially a small burst of Good Stuff.
- The Blessing of Power - Reinforces one of the character's four attributes
for a brief time.
Branch of Enchantment
- The apprentice can instantly change any one small item into any
other small item. This change usually lasts for a full day.
- The adept can instantly change himself into one of five forms: a
child, a hag, a noble, an ogre or a peasant. Note that this is not
shapeshifting, but a very convincing illusion.
- The master may enchant a building in which he dwells. Typical enchantments
cannot die in my own house.
magic but mine works in my house.
always know where anything and everyone is in my house.
one can enter my house without permission.
ages in my house.
pantry is always full of food and drink.
can instantly rearrange the inside of my house with a thought.
house cannot be harmed.
inside of it is 20 times larger than the outside.
one can find their way to my house unless I let them.
Branch of Abjuration
- The Apprentice may sense the use of powers around him, and if experienced,
distinguish the basic power (Magic, Pattern, etc.)
- The Adept can analyze magical spells and power constructs in order
to unravel or bypass them. This may not only require extensive time,
but may depend on the skill of the person using the power.
- The Master can call upon the ultimate power of the Fae and prevent
any power from being used within ten feet of himself. This power can
be contested through a gruelling contest of Psyche and Endurance.
cost: 40 points
is a cut-down version, a summary, of the power, and not inclusive
in it's scope.
Magic is the catch-all catagory for the various magical traditions
that harness and manipulate one of the five elemental powers: Fire,
Water, Earth, Air and Ether. Elemental Magic is not a traditional
form of magic, and thus is not based on a strict set of rules and
formalities. It is a loose, simple form of magic designed for anyone
of any spirituality or religion. It is extremely flexible. Anything
is possible with this unique look at psychic energy and natural magic.
made up of four elements and floats within the fifth. The four base
elements are Earth, Water, Air and Fire, while the noble and mysterious
Fifth Element is Ether. Elemental Sorcerers, or Elementalists, are
those who can manipulate one or all of these principles, either in
their raw form or in their evolved manifestations in living beings.
Elemental Magic and ordinary magic aren't mutually exclusive, and
both forms of magic can interact freely. All spells are improvisational
and begin with an idea and a description. Most spells are assumed
to be either instantaneous or permanent, unless described otherwise.
Elemental magic is the most destructive and magnifient magic, drawing
its power from the elements of Nature herself.
Magic is the magic not only of soil and metal and rock, but also
of the physical body, of plants, and of health and physical needs.
Any attempt to reshape a body, directly alter health for good or
ill, grow or kill plants, and so on is Earth Magic.
Magic is the magic not only of wind and lightning, but of the intellect
and its creations and manipulations of the physical world. Spells
involving electricity, technology, and intelligence are all Air
Magic, as are magics related to mind control, contact, and reading.
Magic is the magic not only of water and other simple fluids, but
of the soul and spirit. Spells that contact the soul and see it's
state (revealing auras), and spells that summon and direct spirits,
are Water Magic. Most weather magic is both Air and Water.
Fire Magic is the magic of flames, heat and cold, and of darkness
and light, but is also the magic of emotion, passion, inspiration
and creativity. While Air is the magic of design, Fire is the magic
of creation. A painting is subject to fire magic; blueprints are
subject to Air. Fire magic can inspire deep emotion.
Magic is the element of mystery, time, and magic itself. Magic changes
the perceptions or positions in time, space, or planar dimensions
are Ethereal magic. This includes astral travel, divination, demon
summoning, teleportation, and the creation of pocket realities.
Spells involving raw magical force, or the manipulation of other
spells are also Ethereal.
Elemental magic is far more aggressive than other types -- it is
active rather than reactive. But this makes it more difficult to
control. Novice "spells" will make things more fun for everybody.
Stuff that she could do herself if she weren't so darned lazy like:
warm a beverage, open an unlocked door, tie shoelaces, or fill an
ice-chest are for the Novice.
Now that they know how to turn their powers off, acolyte elementals
can begin fine-tuning their abilities, and expanding their areas
of learning. Unlocking a door, receiving divinatory insights and
random clues, cleaning up a small building, summoning a brief summer
rainfall (in the summer!), or a standard Fireball go here. Restoring
a mouse to life, directing the growth of a plant requires Acolyte
An adept elemental is fairly proficient with his or her abilities,
and can do things effortlessly that, as a novice or acolyte, would
have taken them hours. Any attempts to shut off building power,
extinguish a house-fire, feed a small army, teleport the adept long
distances or a small party of people short ones, or manipulate the
emotions of a small gathering is at the Adept level. Any attempt
to create small animals animal intelligence requires her to be of
the Adept level.
An artist has near-perfect control over his or her abilities. Most
only reach this point after years of honing their skills. If an
Artist wants to (directly) kill a dozen or so people, she could.
She could also conjure up a machine gun and kill a lot more on her
own, assuming that shadow allows whatever she conjures up to work
(gunpowder is a case in point).
An elementalist passes to the rank of Avatar perhaps once a millennia,
and this is probably fortunate due to the sheer destructive force
of their powers. Little is beyond their abilities, and they are
more akin to gods than mortals. Any attempt to directly kill dozens
of people goes here. Ditto for attempts to incapacitate hundreds.
Any attempt to utterly wreck the shadow world or really screw up
the GM's plotline goes here. Generally, most this stuff is Hail
Mary material and at the discretion of the GM.
Cost - per power
Psionic ability allows the power of one's psyche to influence
the environment. The influence can manifest by affecting the
minds of living creatures (Telepathy), affecting the motion of
inanimate objects (Telekinesis), or affecting the geometry of
the environment (Teleportation). Each of the three disciplines
has three levels of mastery: Novice, Adept, Master.
Telepathy - Novice (5 points)
At this simplest level of ability, the psion can transmit
thoughts to other sentient beings. This is a simple thing if
the beings are in physical contact, or in eye contact.
Transmissions can be broad-band, to affect all beings in
proximity to the psion, or tight-beamed to a specific receiver
at a considerably greater distance if the receiver's position
is known. Psions can even form tight-beam relays, so that
those at the ends can communicate over a greater distance than
the two of them could alone. Once such a communication link is
established, the psion can also read the conscious thoughts of
the linked beings unless they have sufficient psychic strength
to prevent it.
Novices also learn a psionic hood technique, which
masks their psyches from the awareness of other psychic
beings: a person with a high psyche who scans a hooded psion
would either detect a normal level of psychic ability, or, if
the psion preferred, no psychic activity at all. In some
cultures this is vital for survival, as rogue psions may be
hunted down by other psions that have been "tamed"
by the local government. The hood also shields the psion from
unwanted psychic noise in the environment. The last effect of
the hood is to shield the psion from telepathic contact, but
such protection is not selective: both desired and undesired
contact are prevented. A psion with a stronger psyche can
batter down or even break though the hood, but the main
advantage of the hood is in avoiding notice rather than
Telepathy - Adept (Novice level + 5 additional points)
Beyond the mere transmission of thoughts as a means of
communication, the adept telepath can also influence the
perceptions of other beings. Details of the environment can be
fogged, so that they cannot be recalled later. A reasonably
cautious telepathic adept can stand in the midst of a group of
people and they will be unable to notice. Of course, this only
applies to beings with mental processes in the immediate
vicinity: robots would not be fooled, nor would certain
unliving monsters, or sentient beings viewing the scene
remotely via a telescope or video link.
Conversely, the adept can create the illusion of things that
are not present, stimulating full-sensory hallucinations.
These tend to have a dreamy quality that prevents them from
being mistaken for reality unless the adept concentrates on a
single recipient and has a significant psyche advantage.
In either case, the range of projection is the same as for
telepathic communication. Sending hallucinations usually
requires the adept to be nearby, simply because they cannot
convincingly be integrated into a setting which the adept
himself cannot perceive.
At the adept level a psion may also train a
"familiar", a non-sentient creature to which the
psion is closely attuned. The adept can control such a
familiar remotely, as if he were there himself, or as if he
had actually become the beast. These familiars are quite
precious to their owners, who (accurately, perhapse) regard
them as an extension of themselves. At best, the death of a
familiar means investing months or years in attunement to a
new creature; at worst, if the familiar's death occurs while
under the psion's control, it could result in death to the
psion due to psychic trauma. Attuning a creature as a familiar
costs 2 character points.
Telepathy - Master (Adept level + 5 additional points)
At the highest level of telepathic training, the psion can
dominate the thought processes of other sentient beings. Such
influence must overcome the psyche of the subject, with
greater psychic superiority required for more sophisticated
influence. The master telepath can stimulate the brain's pain
or sleep centers, close off all sensory input, or shut down
voluntary motor control. If the psychic advantage is great
enough, as with a non-sentient beast, the master can shut down
the involuntary nervous system, effectively willing the
creature to die.
After several days or weeks, if a master telepath practices
on a given subject, he can become attuned and control the
being as an adept controls a familiar. This is quite difficult
if the being is sentient and has any desire to resist.
Telekinesis - Novice (5 points)
The simplest physical effects the psion can manifest are
internal, influencing the processes of his own body. By
meditating the psion can cause a wound or illness to heal more
quickly, or suspend his bodily processes to eliminate pain or
reduce the need for food or air.
The novice psion can divert the motion of air or small
particles (those with no greater size or force than a typical
hailstone) around or away from himself.
The novice telekinetic can move inanimate objects with the
force of a human child. His level of control is poor, so he
can only create force directly towards or away from himself.
Telekinesis - Adept (Novice level + 5 additional
The adept psion can has better control of his bodily processes
than the novice. He can augment his natural strength and speed
by adding his telekinetic strength to his muscles (in theory
the novice could do this as well, but he'd be meditating while
doing so and thus unable to take advantage of the
augmentation!). The adept can also suspend all bodily
processes, entering a death trance in which neither food nor
air is required. So complete is the suspension that the
psion's mind itself is suspended, and the state cannot be left
voluntarily: another being of sufficient psyche must slowly
and carefully guide the practitioner back to awareness.
At the adept level, the telekinetic can affect the bodies
of others as the novice can affect his own. Again, such
effects must overcome the psyche of the subject, if the
subject wishes to resist.
The adept telekinetic can divert all physical motion around or
away from himself, protecting himself from projectiles such as
arrows, stones, or bullets.
The adept can move inanimate objects with the force of a
typical adult human and the coordination of a human child. Or,
rather than moving the entire object, the adept may affect the
motion of its particles, causing it to warm or chill: water at
room temperature could be brought to freezing or boiling in a
minute or so, and with longer concentration highly flammable
materials can ignite.
Telekinesis - Master (Adept level + 5 additional
The master telekinetic can affect the bodies of others as the
adept can affect his own. Again, such effects must overcome
the psyche of the subject, if the subject wishes to resist.
The master telekinetic can divert energies around or away from
his body, such as light (rendering the psion invisible) or
gravity (allowing the psion to levitate).
The master can move inanimate objects with great force: his
psychic strength is equivalent to level of his psyche
attribute. His coordination is great, so that he can juggle
small objects or shuffle a deck of cards in midair. He can
ignite flammables in a moment, and after a few minutes melt
Teleportation - Novice (5 points)
At the novice level of teleportation, the psion can extend his
perceptions through space, giving him clairvoyant
capabilities. Small objects, such as those that could fit
entirely within the hand, can be moved between the novice's
physical location and his viewpoint. If the object is in the
grasp of another being, or to be put into contact with another
being, the psion must overcome any psychic resistance from the
Teleportation - Adept (Novice level + 5 additional
The adept teleporter can teleport himself from point to point
within his current shadow.
Teleportation - Master (Adept level + 5 additional
The master teleporter can open portals from point to point
within his current shadow, large enough for spacecraft to pass
through. He can alternatively teleport himself to a point in
another nearby shadow.
Limitations of Psionics
Psionic effects require great concentration. Most psions must
maintain a state of full meditation for several minutes before
manifesting any effects at their current level of training.
Effects at a lower level of training require less
concentration, so that a master telepath could invisibly
explore an enemy camp, or even telepathically communicate
while in combat.
Psionic effects are physically draining. The more powerful
the effect, the greater the toll on the psion. Most effects
leave the psion fatigued and probably hungry too. A very
powerful effect may render the psion catatonic.
Psionic powers are limited by the experience of the
practitioner. Some experimentation and practice is required
before the psion can reliably use telepathic effects on an
unfamiliar species. Similarly, a psion entering a new shadow
would require a period of adjustment before being able to
manifest external telekinetic effects. For this reason psionic
effects don't generally work across shadow boundaries unless
the psion also has access to some additional shadow-affecting
power (i.e., the Pattern or Logrus).
Attribute Tips for Psionics
Psyche is obviously the most important attribute for a psion:
it provides the raw power for the effects, and also allows the
psion to overcome resistance from unwilling subjects.
Endurance, however, is also crucial, so that effects can be
maintained, and to speed recovery after their use.
Shadow Sorcery by Earl Bailey
Blood Crystal Sorcery by Karen Klutzke
The Voice by Kat Lemmer and Scott Nolan
The Glamour by Felicia Olsen
Elemental Magic by Shannon Rose
Psionics by Carl Klutzke