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New Rules

Ability Scores

Ability scores are unchanged from the general D20 System:

Score (Modifier)
1 (-5)
2 or 3 (-4)
4 or 5 (-3)
6 or 7 (-2)
8 or 9 (-1)
10 or 11 (0)
12 or 13 (1)
14 or 15 (2)
16 or 17 (3)
18 or 19 (4)
20 or 21 (5)
22 or 23 (6)
24 or 25 (7)

Psi

Psi is the measure of your psychic ability.  In the future, many species are in the process of evolving a higher order of consciousness.  For whatever reason, lowly as they may be, humans seem to be ahead of the other sentient species in this evolution.

There are two types of psi:

  • Psi-kappa (pK) is the measure of psychic action, or active psi, or body psi.  Your base pK is equal to your STR, DEX, and CON modifiers added together.  If this number is less than or equal to zero, your base pK is 1.
  • Psi-gamma (pG) is the measure of psychic cognition, or passive psi, or mind psi.  Your base pK is equal to your INT, WIS, and CHA modifiers added together.  If this number is less than or equal to zero, your base pG is 1.

Psi is gained every level.  Psi gain is computed differently for each class.  Generally, pK gain is determined by WIS (your whole body determines your total initial body-mind psychic charge, but your intuition, focus, and meditative calm determine its growth) and pG by INT.  Non-psions gain 1 point of either pK or pG per level.  Psion classes gain additional points, depending on the class.

If your character has low psi, don’t worry—psi is not a measure of intelligence, mental alertness, or overall brain activity.  It is specifically the combined measure of a genetic aptitude plus a learned aptitude to concentrate a new higher-order consciousness towards achieving some kind of amazing, spell-like result, whether active or passive.

For psions, it’s important to know that, depending on your class, you spend either pK or pG “first,” and that running out of one or the other may have some effect (such as draining hp or SAN).

Sanity

Your Sanity (SAN) score is equal to your WIS x5.  You lose sanity very rarely, in non-adventurous life (when loved ones die, when you’re very sick, when you eat bad mushrooms), and regain it slowly.  But as an adventurer, you can lose SAN whenever you fight something unimaginably horrible, or even just see a buddy die.

SAN loss is determined by the DM and is generally something like d6 (a trauma) or 3d6 (seeing everyone you love die at once in a nuclear holocaust).  Losing SAN happens after a SAN check, which is a d100 roll.  If the roll is equal to or lower than your current SAN, you’re fine (or you lose some minimum amount of SAN).  If it’s higher, you fail and lose the full amount.

Going insane means losing SAN equal to (WIS/2) in one roll, or losing SAN equal to (Max SAN/4) in one day, or losing all your SAN.  Insanity begins as a temporary condition but can quickly become permanent.

I’m following the Call of Cthulhu rules on insanity, for the most part.  The main idea is, insanity is treated as a debilitating and often quite random curse-like affliction that can only be overcome with rest, love, and the post-apocalyptic equivalent of psychological therapy—and sometimes it cannot be overcome at all.

A Changed Environment

Radiation, Fungal Spore-Beds, And Other New Dangers…

Many areas of earth are now invisibly or visibly despoiled by some force or another—radiation (various), fungal forests (some toxic), cosmic rays, psychic sinkholes, “what’s that smell” sectors, and so forth.  These will mostly be handled in two ways:

  • Radiation will cause FOR saves either by round (very bad radiation), by hour (bad radiation), or by day (average radiation).  Failed saves lead to a loss of at 1 CON, which can (usually) be regained at a rate of 1 CON/week of non-radiation exposure.  Certain archaetech (radiation armor) can help add bonuses to this save, modulate its frequency, or prevent it altogether.  Unfortunately, said archaetech is exceedingly rare.
  • Fungal forests do not trouble greens and non-breathing creatures (artisents).  Humans and other breathing non-greens, however, are liable to die if exposed to the spores of the great fungal wastes for long—unless these intrepid travellers are equipped with rebreathers (archaetech devices that scrub the air of spores and toxic gases; useless against radiation).  Fungal forests vary in toxicity to non-greens, but they generally call for hourly FOR saves at some minus; failed saves lead to a loss of some amount of hp (d6 is average) and, in some cases, a loss of 1 point of CON.  Certain forests, however can also lead to loss of INT, STR, or other scores, depending on the type of spore and density of spore-bed.
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