Designer’s Notes: Chi Sorcery


Chi Sorcery . . . Whew. Where to start?This one has some roots. First, this project started life as a “could I do cinematic skills as powers?” about 5 or 6 years ago. Then at some point +Pk Levine released Thaumatology: Sorcery and I was mentally milling about for something to write for an upcoming Pyramid. I pitched this idea among a few others and it ended up not being chosen for development. So back in the soup it went. When I started conceptualizing Aeon I decided I wanted martial arts abilities – but I didn’t want them as skills. I did the obvious stuff first since that was going to be easiest and solicited some thoughts from others on the rest. So ♫♫with a little help from my my friends♫♫ I started to revise the notes and came up with a finished project. For a long time they just set in my campaign files and were occasionally used by characters in Aeon. Then one day I dusted them off and polished them up and sent them off. I thought this was going to be a slam-dunk and easy-peasy for the editor. It wasn’t. I firmly admit that my article needed work – the problem was it needed work in places I either didn’t think it didn’t or didn’t know it did. I learned a lot from this one both in matters of writing style and consistency as well as rules and mechanics. While I’m not pleased that it started out like that I did learn something and the end result is quite good in my opinion.

Anyways, this took me about 120 hours to write. It took me about 40 hours to edit, 14 hours of research (mostly double-checking other GURPS books), and about 110 hours of revision. I spent a further 63 hours look looking over the preliminary PDF for any issues and revising.

A few notes:

The Heretical Excision of “Every Second” Rolls
The first draft of Chi Sorcery had a add-on to Requires (Attribute) Roll that shifted the required roll to use the ability from one minute to one second and added an additional -10% to the modifier. This is did not work. The thinking was that Costs Fatigue requires payment every minute and doubles the cost for every second. I didn’t have misgivings about it until I saw the first version in PDF. I flat out had Steven change every instance of this and used Reduced Duration instead. It radically altered the article in several ways. I’m putting this here in case other folks came to the same conclusion. Don’t do it. It no worky.
New Keywords
These modifiers were tossed because honestly they weren’t exactly needed to be spelled out. Some GMs may find them useful.

Self-Buffing: Like Buffing spells, but these only affects the chi sorcerer. To build such a spell, follow the guidelines for Buff Spells (Thaumatology: Sorcery, pp. 9-10), but don’t use an affliction at all. Simply use the base advantage(s) itself.

Unobvious: The power is not immediately obvious when used and others will explain away what happened unless they have reason to doubt. When creating such spells, add No Signature to those with blatant or obvious effects (e.g., Innate Attack or Obscure). Some particularly sneaky powers also add “No Signature, Supernatural” to hide themselves even against other chi users!

Revised Abilities

A few abilities were heavily revised and here are the originals:

Immovable Stance: Resistant to Knockback (+3) (Chi, -15%; Requires Will Roll, Every Second, -15%; Visible, -10%) [3] + Resistant to Knockdown (+3) (Accessibility, only while Resistant to Knockback is in effect, -10%; Chi, -15%; Visible, -10%) [4] + Skill Adaptation (Use Will when calculating Knockback rolls if better) [1]. Level 2 increases the bonus to +8 and adds Skill Adaptation (Use Will when calculating Knockdown rolls if better) [1], for 8 points, while level 3 grants immunity to both effects, for 8 points.

Phoenix Heart: Regeneration (Slow) (Chi, -15%; Costs Fatigue, 1 FP/hour, +5%; Requires Will Roll, -5%; Maximum Duration, 12 hours, -5%; Nuisance Effect, -1 per multiple of HP¥0.5, -5%; Takes Recharge, 12 hours, -35%) [7]. Higher levels increase Regeneration a step at a time (Slow to Regular, Regular to Fast, etc.).

Precognitive Parry: Danger Sense (Accessibility, Only to allow defenses against surprise attacks, -20%; Chi, -15%; Cosmic, You roll, not the GM, +50%; Reduced Fatigue Cost 1, +20%) [21] + Defense Meta-Trait (Chi, -15%; Reduced Fatigue Cost 1, +20%) [31.5/level].

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