Beyond the Stars
Masters of the Ikana
Channelers were the first of the Ikana Users to be recognized by the Terran Commonwealth, and they remain the most versatile. A Channeler is to the Ikana what a hacker is to a computer system—a wizard who can play the system for good or evil.
Channelers get their phenominal powers at a price, however; the Channeler must hand-craft each of his spells at the time of use, and will never have the response rate of the other Users.
To become a Channeler, you must acquire the Supernatural Background: Channeler, a 3 point Edge. Then you must put at least 1 point in the Spirit aptitude Channeling. On creation, you get 1 Sigil for every 2 points you put in Channeling. Additional Sigils cost 10 Bounty or 2 Creation Points. You may not buy more Sigils than you have ranks in Channeling on creation.
Casting a Spell is a Long Action. On the first action, determine what your spell will do. Then it takes at least 1 action to cast the spell. When you go to cast the spell, make a Channeling check. Compare this roll against both the TN of the spell and the TN to hit the target.
All Spells start as having a TN of Fair(5), range increment of 10m, roll to hit like a ranged attack or are opposed by a logical Trait/Aptitude, and do 1d10 damage of the appropriate type or the chosen effect. Each time you alter one of these dimensions, the TN increases 1 step, and each time you subsequently alter one dimension doubles the TN steps incurred.
Anita Rossiyn is blasting her way out of an ambush. She chooses to use the Fire sigil to destroy her foes. Her first spell is a basic one, to test their defenses. She makes her Fair roll and burns the closest target for a Wound. Having an idea of the strength of the opposition, Anita now builds a second spell to handle them. This time, Anita goes for a 5m-radius explosion (a step on the ranged attack) and chooses a bagful of damage (2d20) (2 steps on the damage portion). The TN for this spell is 11. Anita focuses her mind, makes the roll, and lets the spell loose.
Lastly, all Channelers know how to unleash an Ikana Blast when needed. This bypasses the spellcrafting mechanism and simply sprays a target with raw power. The range of this attack is equal to your Channeling rank. Make a Channeling check; this is your attack roll and damage roll. An Ikana Blast costs 1 Wind, and you may spend 1d6 Wind to increase your roll by the same amount.
Making Better SpellsAs you can see, the TNs for spells can get quite enormous. There are several ways to combat this, but you may only apply one method per spell. These methods include:
- Overpowering the spell. In this method, you pull extra Ikana in and let fly. This method is quick and easy, but inefficient. You may reduce the Spell’s TN by a number of steps not exceeding your ranks in Channeling, but each time you take the spell down a step, you must spend Xd6 Wind per X is the number of steps. So, reducing 1 step costs 1d6 Wind, 2 steps costs 3d6 Wind (1+2), 3 steps is 6d6 (1+2+3), and so on. If you knock yourself unconscious or Wound yourself in the process, first make the check to see if the spell has an effect, then pay the butcher’s bill.
- Refining the spell. Here, you focus on making the spell more efficient rather than more powerful. You may reduce the TN by a number of steps not exceeding your Channeling skill. Reducing the TN this way costs an incremental number of additional cards: 1 extra action for -1, 3 for -2, 6 for -3, and so on.
- Creating a Ritual. Rituals are the longest and most powerful way to reduce a spell’s difficulty. For a ritual, you require at least one other Ikana User. Creating a Ritual increases the TN by 1 step, to account for the difficulty of synchronizing the spellcasting. Then divide the total number of TN increases by the number of participants; apply the new total of increases to the TN. Each Ikana User in the Ritual must make a casting roll against the TN. The Ritual takes 1 minute per TN increase to prepare, and then 1 minute to cast.
Orbital bombardment rendered Anita’s transport useless. She knew the Sigil for manipulating space, and so could theoretically teleport instantly to the attacking ship’s bridge, and settle things with her Model 90. But the calculations required were far too difficult to complete on her own. Fortunately, two of her allies also knew the ways of the Ikana. And split 3 ways, the pressure of casting the spell would be bearable, bringing the TN increases from 8 down to 3.
Sigils—a PrimerThe Channeler’s arsenal is made up of Sigils—banks of “code” which are used to manipulate specific aspects of the World. The common Sigils are:
- Air—the air as an element and as an atmosphere
- Body—the physical flesh
- Creation—the embodiment of creating material
- Destruction—the embodiment of entropy
- Earth—the material and the element
- Fire—the elemental force
- Gravity—the physical force
- Light—light and its’ absence
- Mind—thought and idea
- Sense—information being provided to the person
- Space—the area around us
- Time—the flow of reality
- Water—the elemental force and the reagent of life