I’m slowly feeling my way towards what I want to do with item and creature creation, and as such, I spent a little time today reviewing the ADRPG and Shadow Knight.

(As an aside – I always forget, when I haven’t looked at it in a while, just how completely insane certain sections of that book are.  Can we say “power creep”?)

There are some fascinating examples of non-standard powers and abilities in the NPC descriptions.  Items and creatures aren’t the only offenders when it comes to that, of course, but I’m sticking with items and creatures for this post.  I may look later at the powers.

Let’s start with the ADRPG.

“Augmented” Psychic Force.  The ability to boost the user’s psyche, I suppose, given the description of the items it’s associated with.  8 points.

Destructive Force Damage.  Even more damaging than Deadly Damage!  Now with more exclamation points!  8 points.

Primal Damage to Creatures of Chaos.  Otherwise known as ‘I needed some way to describe the destructiveness of the Pattern blades without describing them as such,’ I think.  16 points.

“Linked” Remote Psychic Sensitivity.  Used as a means to provide linked telepathic rings for Bleys.  This one is actually kind of interesting; it’s also only 3 points.

Create Shadow Path.  Well, that’s one way to create Shadow paths.  8 points.

Impervious to Damage.  Because Invulnerable to Conventional Weapons just wasn’t enough.  8 points.

Able to “Mold” Pattern Reality.  This one crops up in an item intended to function roughly like the Jewel of Judgment.  Well, ok then.  Nice to know the Jewel is this cheap!  8 points.

Warped Pattern Walk.  I do not think that this is what it sounds like.  Inference from the description suggests that this is just the ability to move through Shadow in the pocket of it being described.  8 points.

Or how about the Agents of Benedict?  There’s a whole wealth of new powers and abilities: 3 point Shadow walking, 3 point Shadow manipulation, Trump Facility for 2 points, Limited Sorcery for 6 points… and a method of generating agents from this pool of powers and items that appears nowhere else in the book.  (You’d think it would show up for Julian’s Rangers, but that’s just a point cost X quantity.)  In fact, in the header of the creatures and items section of the book, it pretty much says that this isn’t really allowed – you’re not supposed to be able to pay X number of points and then draw from that pool to have each creature be different… and yet, the Defender of Amber version of Benedict pays 65 points for a two-page spread of “create agents from this set of abilities, this set of powers, and this set of artifacts”.

And then there’s the Shadow Knight special options:

Control Breaks in Shadow.  Part of the Martin: Source of the Broken Patterns sample.  Based on the description of the item – a “Pattern Reality Implant” – it looks like this is meant to be a way to control when and where the breaks in Shadow that Jasra reported appear.  (There is, of course, no real description of what this individual line DOES…)  8 points.

Manipulate Multiple Shadows.  Same Martin.  This one, at least, makes enough immediate sense from its name that I’m not scratching my head about what it’s supposed to mean.  8 points.

Epic Vitality.  Now on to Merlin – the Knave of Chaos incarnation.  This one actually has a brief description of “Strong enough to pull a solid wall of solidified coral into pieces.”  Only… well, Vitality is one of the few qualities that is creature-centric; by the description of Immense Vitality, that would have worked just as well here.  8 points.

Tendril of the Logrus.  More Merlin, Knave of Chaos stuff.  I get what the author was trying to do here – “hey, Merlin walked the Logrus with this thing; it should have something that represents that” – but it is the only item in both books that has this type of quality (Pattern or Logrus).  6 points.

Image of Pattern.  More Knave of Chaos.  I assume that this is something along the lines of the Tendril of the Logrus above – but how curious is it that the Logrus power costs 6 points and this one costs only 2?

Spell Processor.  Merlin, Power Monger this time.  I’m kind of breaking my rules to look at this one, since it’s on a construct, but it really caught my attention, since it’s under the part of the construct that describes the manifestation.  I can only assume that this is meant to be the next step after Rack and Use Named and Numbered Spells – but there’s no description at all to say what it really does.  (I think Merlin describes it somewhere in Prince of Chaos, but there’s nothing in the ADRPG or SK.)  8 points.

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