THE PHENOMENA DEPARTMENT

PART 3:
PARANORMAL POWERS

In front of me Raphael. Behind me, Gabriel.
On my right Michael. On my left, Uriel.
Five shining stars surrounding
my four-sided raised flare.
Six shining stars shine in the light pillar.
Ater malkt va geblar ve deduler lu aurlam amen.

Katsumi Liqueur, Silent Möbius

MAGIC

Magic and Anime: Conventions of the Genre
Since anime is a visual medium, anime sorcery is often a powerful and destructive force, producing impressive visual effects. Depending on the anime, a single spell may be capable of leveling anything from a building to an entire city. In addition, the mere act of casting a spell often creates destructive side effects reminiscent of the side effects associated with anime psychokinetics (see the Kazei 5 worldbook for more information). These side effects include billowing columns of smoke, bright lights (usually coming from below the magician), flaming auras, swirling winds, and thick clouds of mist. Typically, spell-casting requires a series of gestures, accompanied by loudly spoken incantations (often, the name of the spell is shouted as as it is unleashed). Any &quotmajor" spell (which is normally some sort of offensive attack spell), usually takes a few moments to cast, as very rarely do we see anyone unleash a seemingly effortless attack. In order to capture the proper &quotfeel" of anime sorcery, most spells should have limitations such as &quotExtra Time", &quotGestures" and &quotIncantations." Some of the best examples of anime magic include Bastard!!, Doomed Megalopolis, Oh My, Goddess!, Record of Lodoss War, and Slayers.

What is Magic?
Most anime never really tries to explain how magic works. Normally, it is just another tool to be used by the characters, much like a warrior's sword or an archer's bow. No attempt is made to justify the mechanics behind the spells we see cast. Magic just &quothappens" and is accepted as part of the world view. A lot of this has to do with Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Shintoism, which accept the idea of gods, goddesses, ghosts, demons, and evil spirits in a very matter-of-fact manner. Conversely, in Western religions, these concepts are traditionally more sacred and far less common. Western religions generally only recognize one god, and usually take a very dim view of &quotmagic," often associating magic and anything considered magical with evil or &quotdemonic" elements.

However, based on certain common themes that are present in those anime that present a &quottraditional" (i.e. Western/Tolkienish) fantasy milieu, one can draw the following conclusions:

First is anime magic is drawn from external sources. Thus, anime magic is usually powered by specific forces or entities, and the incantations of a spell serve as a request to call upon these force for aid. This concept of magic closely parallels two Western concepts of magic, thaumaturgy and hermetic magic, both of which are based on the idea of calling up otherworldly beings or places for the energy needed to power spells.

The second is that anime magic is not a random collection of spells, but is usually divided into set groups. For example, the anime Slayers divides its spells into Black Magic (which are generally attack spells), White Magic (which are healing and defensive spells) and Shamanism (mostly elemental spells). Bastard!! goes so far as to break its spells down into such areas a &quotFire," "Ice," "Lightning," and "Priestly" spells. The nature of the first three categories should be obvious, while the last one specializes in defensive and healing magic.

Types of Magic

Thaumaturgy - Thaumaturgy ("Wonder Working") is the ability to draw power from extra-dimensional sources and shape it for one's own use. According to the mythos set up in The Ultimate Supermage, Thaumaturgy draws power from the "Outer and Upper Planes." Thus, the Thaumaturge is drawing energy from elsewhere and shaping it for his own use. In general, the spell being cast is relevant to the plane being accessed, if a mage throws a flame bolt, then he will call upon the energies of a plane (or lord) of fire to create the desired effect.

Traditionally it is a very practical sort of magic, and requires little to no use of any sort of ritual trappings (such as wands or magic circles). Normally, Thaumaturgic magicians toss off spells with great speed, usually with only a few gestures and a muttered phrase or two. This type of magic seems to be common more to comic book sorcerers than those of anime, although Thaumaturgy does bear a marked resemblance to the magic seen in the manga Silent Möbius. In this series the various spell casting characters tend to launch their spells very quickly, regardless of how long the spoken incantations actually take (it seems to be a genre convention that anime magicians always get to complete their incantations, regardless of how long these incantations take or what is happening around them).

In general, a practitioner of Thaumaturgy doesn't have many limitations on his spells. "Gestures" and "Incantations" are the most likely, with "Extra Time" and/or "Concentrate" usually being used on the more powerful or complex spells. As this is an attempt to simulate anime magic and anime magic systems, "Incantations" should required (if nothing else).

Genre Note: Silent Möbius has one of the more traditional-minded magic system in anime/manga. Spells tend to call upon various angels and celestial bodies for their power, a process similar to Thaumaturgy, but even closer to Hermetic and Cabalistic magic (see below). In fact, the quote at the start of this section is taken from Silent Möbius and shows the character of Katsumi Liqueur calling upon several angels for assistance.

Silent Möbius is also a perfect example of how incantations are usually handled in anime. Katsumi Liqueur, despite the long incantations that she has for each of her spells, is almost never interrupted during her spell casting. She can usually fire off her spells quite quickly, regardless of circumstance. Of course, this shows the difference between the source material (comics books and manga) and a role-playing game, where the player cannot always count on getting their spells cast uninterrupted.

Game Masters may question the idea of applying the Limitation of "Incantations" to spells when the genre seems to ignore such effects. The are several reason for this:

  1. This is a game, not a pre-scripted story. The Player cannot always be sure that they won't be interrupted while chanting an incantation.
  2. Incantations do prove to be a problem in anime. Katsumi once stopped a spell half-way after her opponent announced he knew what it was and wasn't impressed. Other times, people have recognized a spell by its incantations and planned accordingly.
  3. It helps reinforce certain genre conventions.

Hermetic Magic - Also known as Hermetic Theurgy ("God Working"), Hermetic magic is a combination of Theurgy and Cabalism and was first developed over 2000 years ago. Practiced throughout Europe, Hermetic magic can be considered a form of "ritual magic" since the rituals used to cast spells are very important and must be rigidly followed.

The theory behind Hermetic and Cabalistic magic is fairly typical for anime magic systems. Basically, Cabalistic magic declares that each and every planet has an associated angel (or other being) and that by invoking these beings can once can borrow their power to cast magical spells. As in interesting side note, one does not invoke the angel directly, instead one invokes their "divine emanations" or sephiroth (the significance of this name should be obvious to Final Fantasy 7 fans).

In Silent Möbius Side 2, Chapter 5 (Katsumi Liqueur), the following conversation between Katsumi Liqueur and her sentient sword Grospolina effectively sums up the rational behind virtually all anime magic systems.

Katsumi: Planetary souls?

Grospolina: That is right. They are the spirits that dwell in 13 stellar bodies of the solar system. You know that all the matter that exists on Earth possesses spirits. Even the Earth itself has one, a planetary soul that is incomparably more powerful and influential than any other spirits on Earth. Your magic that you use now is powered by just borrowing the powers of the spirits on the Earth.

This "...borrowing of the powers of spirits..." helps explain the physical appearance of many spells when they are cast in anime. Hermetic magic tends to visually relate to the nature of the being powering the spell, hence spells that appear as flights of birds, summoned dragons, female forms made from water, and so on. Of a similar style are elemental spells, such as fire, water, lightning, and so on.

One very important note on the Hermetic aspect of anime magic is the requirement for a sorcerer to call upon specific spirits for power. In Slayers, for example, the spell Dragon Slave requires that the caster pledge themselves to the forces of darkness (specifically in the line: "...in thy great name, I pledge myself to darkness!"). In Silent Möbius several characters call upon a being known as "Goddess" or "Lady" Nemesis, asking her for an actual increase in power (as opposed to simply power a spell).

This calling can become a problem for a character when the power refuses to answer (or comes looking for payment). In the anime Slayers the sorceress Lina Inverse fought a being known as Shabrinigdo, the lord of darkness and the power source for all Black Magic. Naturally, Lina's Dragon Slave spell wouldn't work against him, as trying to cast the spell was the equivalent of asking Shabrinigdo "Can I borrow some of your power in order to destroy you?"

In a similar vein, the Silent Möbius character Rosa Cheyenne had her spells fail totally in combat, only to be told that she had had angered the deity/planet Nemesis and that she (i.e. Nemesis) had withdrawn her "contract" or power from Rosa.

Fortunately for anime (and campaign) spell casters, this problem doesn't seem to occur that often.

It should be pointed out that "true" Hermetic Theurgy is significantly more complex than the spell casting seen in most anime. The Ultimate Supermage goes into great detail about the theories behind Hermetic magic, as well as having extensive notes on what it can be used for. Much of this information could be used for an anime-inspired magic system, although most of the magic seen in anime is more direct than the extended ritualized spell casting used in Hermetic magic.

To briefly sum up the concept behind Hermetic magic, most Hermetic mages rely on various foci, enchanted talismans, and summoned spirits to power their spells. Words of power, usually the specific names of angels (or the various names of God) are also employed. The theory is that if you know an angel's name, you can control him, and if you can control him, you can control that which the angel is in charge of.

Eastern Magic
The category of "Eastern Magic" encompasses a broad mixture magic styles seen in various anime and certain Hong Kong films. Where possible, historical research and real-world examples have been used, otherwise, the material is presented as it is portrayed in the source material.

Shinto - The word "Shinto" means "The Way of the Kami," which are not gods per se, but spirits. Some, such as Amaterasu (kami of the sun), or Susano-o no Mikoto (kami of the sea, storms, and the moon) are personified as individuals, while other kami may be tall mountains, strong rivers, old trees, large rocks, or fierce winds. As a kami can found almost anywhere, the total number of kami in Japan is said to be over 8 million.

Shinto is the original (i.e. native) religion of Japan. As a religion it has no real teachings or dogma, and no moral guidelines for living. What is does have is a concern for man's status in the universe, and a desire for balance between man and nature, and man and other men. Balance is achieved by avoiding certain forms of contamination (such as corpses, or illness), and maintaining purity through carefully proscribed rituals.

Shinto priests and shrine maidens (called miko) are very common in anime, and many elements of the Shinto religion should be instantly recognizable to anime viewers. These include the torii (shrine gates) seen in front of Shinto shrines and temples, the ofuda (talismans) used by priests and miko, the shimenawa (sacred ropes) that are tied around sacred objects and places, and the gohei (folded paper steamers) that are usually attached to the shimenawa.

The priests and miko also use a variety of easily recognizable foci while working their magic. These items include: the shaku, or wooden prayer stick; the haraigushi, or purification wand, which is a thin wooden rod with strips of paper and flax attached to one end; and branches of the sakaki tree, which is scared in Shinto.

Due to the nature of the Shinto religion, there are some things that its priests and miko cannot do. As they must avoid contamination, Shinto magicians cannot cast healing spells, cure disease, resurrect the dead, or have any dealing with corpses (dead bodies, blood, and disease are all contaminating agents). However, ghost and spirits are a different matter. Anime Shintoists all seem to be powerful exorcists, and are usually trained certain rites that allow them to restrain, confine, and eliminate evil spirits. Naturally, this makes for an excellent player character concept.

Due to the nature of the Shinto religion, all Shinto spells are akin to prayers. Thus, Shinto spells all require the "Incantations" limitation. Other possible limitations include "Gestures," "Focus" (see above for specific items), and "Extra Time."

Shinto priests must follow carefully proscribed rituals in order to remain pure. This means they cannot have any dealings with the sick, eat meat, touch (or be near) a corpse, or engage in sexual congress (miko must remain virgins until they are 25, at which point they leave the temple). Priests and miko must dress in Shinto robes when performing Shinto rituals and casting spells. Some characters in anime (such as Nami Yamigumo in Silent Möbius) wear their robes all the time.

Ofuda: The most prominently featured power of the typical Shinto priest (and many other anime characters that are involved with the supernatural) is that of ofuda. Ofuda are sheets of rice paper inscribed with mystical symbols and words. They serve as universal wards, keeping evil away, dispelling harmful spirits, and destroying monsters. Ofuda are very common in any manga or anime that features Eastern magic or the supernatural, including 3x3 Eyes, Doomed Megalopolis, Phantom Quest Corp., and even the Hong Kong live-action film A Chinese Ghost Story.

An ofuda serve many purposes. Priests and miko usually use them to create barriers, deflect attacks, and burn opponents. Most ofuda-created barriers are made by placing the ofuda on a vertical surface, such as a wall or door. Usually, two ofuda are needed and the barrier forms between them. In some cases, the ofuda can be hurled into the path of an oncoming attack, blocking it. Barriers formed by placing two ofuda on a vertical surface are best represented by a form of Force Wall, while a hurled ofuda would be Missile Deflection.

When thrown against a supernatural target an ofuda will burn the target. Some characters seem to be able to hurl their ofuda long distances; others must physically place the talisman on their target. This form of ofuda is built with a Ranged Killing Attack, with advantages such as "Affects Desolid," "Continuous," and "Uncontrolled." Possible limitations include "Charges," "Focus," "Gestures: Must Throw," and "No Range" (for ofuda that must be placed as opposed to thrown).

Other possible (and logical) powers for anime ofuda include: Dispel, Drain, Energy Blast, Force Field, Force Wall, Ranged Killing Attack, Suppress, and Transformation Attack. Conceivably, ofuda could even be used to purify a region (Change Environment) or to heal someone who is injured (Healing). Naturally, this last ability is not available to true followers of Shinto.

Holy Water: Water is an important purification medium in Shinto. For example, a person may dump a bucket of cold water over their head in order to purify and cleanse themselves, or a ladle of water may be poured over an object before blessing the object. Sake is also used for these rituals, such as in Silent Möbius Side 2, where the miko Nami Yamigumo is anointed with sacred sake prior to being given the Dagger of the Kirin.

Some Shintoists carry vials of holy water. The holy water works in fashion similar to that of an ofuda, eating away and dissolving a target (much like a form of acid). It is bought as a Ranged Killing Attack, with the Advantages of "Continuous," "Penetrating," and "Uncontrolled." Limitations such as "Charges," "Focus," "Gestures: Must Throw," and "Range Based on STR" (-1/4) are all perfectly suitable.

Other powers: Anime priests have demonstrated a number of abilities that may (or may not) be suitable for Shinto priest/priestess player characters. They are:

Celestial Calligraphy - This is a Chinese style of magic usually seen in Hong Kong cinema. The magician writes out spells on sheets of paper, and either casts the sheet directly at his opponent, or burns the sheet to activate the spell. Nearly any sort of spell effect is possible with Celestial Calligraphy, although certain Powers (such as Faster Than Light travel or Extradimensional Movement: Time) should be disallowed.

Celestial Calligraphy requires such Limitations as "Charges," "Focus," and "Gestures: Must Throw (or burn)." Since the spells are usually written out in advance, Game Masters may want to require the magician to make a Skill Roll when preparing the spell, although failures shouldn't be apparent at the time of creation (this latter point is up the GM to decide).

Other Forms of Magic
Although this section deals primarily with the most popular forms of magic seen in the genre, these forms are by far not the only magical styles possible. A short list of additional magic styles is listed below:

Alchemy: Alchemical experimentation is known both in the West and the East. European alchemists wished to turn lead into gold and search for the fabled Philosopher's Stone. Chinese alchemists wanted to create the elixir of eternal life. Both sets of alchemists managed to discover all sorts of new chemical compounds in the process.

Campaign alchemists should have the ability to create all sorts of potions that can either be consumed, rubbed on the body, or hurled at a target to take effect.

Bukkyo: This is a style of Buddhist magic. It is seen in some anime (Mana Isozaki in Silent Möbius is a Bukkyo) and can be recognized by its incantations, which are recitations of Buddhist sutras (holy scriptures). Thus, all Bukkyo spells require the "Incantations" limitation.

Like Shinto, the Bukkyo can bind and exorcise spirits. In addition, the Bukkyo can heal the wounded and cure the sick.

Vodun: This style of magic is more commonly known as "voodoo." It is the religion of the former slaves living on islands in the Caribbean. A practitioner of vodun gains their power by calling on (and channeling) the power of various loas (powerful gods/spirits). This is called being "ridden." In many ways, vodun is a cross between the multiple kami of Shinto and Hermetic magic systems of calling upon divine forces for power.

PSI/ESPER

Psi/Esper Powers and Anime: Conventions of the Genre
As mentioned under the Magic heading, anime psi powers are often highly destructive, and manifest impressive (and catastrophic) side effects when used. Unlike magic, however, an anime psi (usually called an "esper" in anime) doesn't generate visual effects when they use their powers. In anime, an esper's powers are invisible to the eye, although the side effects caused by such powers aren't. These side effects depend on the nature of the power being used, but usually involve such effects as: swirling clouds of dust around an esper when they "power up," fragile objects within the vicinity of an esper shattering or cracking as their powers are activated, and rents in the ground that follow the track of an energy blast. An esper on esper duel can be quite destructive indeed.

The majority of anime espers use telekinesis (or in this case, psychokinesis), to perform their superhuman feats. Their powers typically include Energy Blast, Flight, Force Field, Force Wall, Hand Killing Attack, Ranged Killing Attack, and Teleportation. Mental powers are also possible, and are usually Mind Control and Telepathy. In some anime (such as Kimagure Orange Road) even more esoteric powers are possible, including Extradimensional Movement (time), Mental Illusions, and the ability to swap one's mind with others (putting your mind in their body and vice versa).

Excellent examples of anime psychokinesis and psychokinetics can be found in Akira, Blue Sonnet, Domu, Seraphic Feather, Silent Mbius, and Striker (also known as Spriggan).

For a more detailed examination of psychokinetic powers in anime and manga, the author recommends his anime-cyberpunk sourcebook Kazei 5, which devoted an entire chapter to the subject.

Esper Powers
Anime espers are capable of starring displays of power. Stopping tank shells, shattering buildings, and teleporting from Earth to the Moon are some of the more extreme forms of psychokinesis seen in anime. In the Phenomena Department campaign, espers will be far less powerful, more in line with the manga Seraphic Feather than the anime Akira.

In addition to the more outlandish powers of anime, the Phenomena Department campaign will also feature certain "real world" psi powers similar to those found in New Age books and newspaper tabloids. These abilities, although far less powerful than those possessed by a typical anime psychokinetic, are also far more common.

Dowsing - A dowser has the ability to detect and locate certain substances buried within the ground. Normally the dowser uses a forked or Y-shaped stick, holding the stick by its two arms and pointing the main brach in the direction of the desired substance. Other dowsers use two rods, one held in each hand, and announce the location their quarry by having the rods cross over each other. Almost anything can be found via dowsing, although the most common substance are water, precious metals (such as gold), coal , and oil.

Dowsing is bought as follows:

	Dowsing: Detect:  (Substance), Sense, Range, Discriminatory, 
	Concentrate:  1/2 DCV (-1/4), OAF:  Forked Stick (-1)
	Active Points: 15   Real Points: 7

Options for dowsing include increasing the PER Roll and adding Telescopic.

Note that dowsing works quite well through solid earth and stone, and can detect material far beneath the surface of the Earth. A dowser must walk slowly through the area, and will pinpoint the location of the desired substance by having the forked stick point towards the ground.

Game Masters may want to allow a dowser to be able to detect such items as ley-lines, pools of magical energy, and psychic "hot spots."

Electrical Projection - Certain people have the ability to generate powerful bio-electrical fields. Known as "high-voltage syndrome" in some circles, the ability to generate electrical-magnetic fields is thought to be one possible explanation for certain forms of poltergeist activity.

The effects of human-generated electromagnetic fields varies wildly from person to person. In many cases, the person becomes magnetized, and ferrous objects will be physically attracted to them, and in some extreme cases, metal objects will fly off of walls or out of drawers to stick to the person in question. Those who are better able to focus their magnetic fields have demonstrated the ability to lift heavy metal objects with a minimum of effort (such as picking up a 5 lb chunk of iron with the tips of three fingers.)

Other people can cause light bulbs to illuminate merely by holding them, while some people generate fields strong enough to interfere with electrical devices and to cause compasses to spin randomly. In rare cases, the person in question becomes charged with enough static electricity that they deliver a nasty shock to anyone who shakes their hand.

The various forms of electrical projection can be defined as thus:

Electromagnetic Field: A weak field (one that causes lights to flicker, or the occasional mild shock) is best defined as a Distinctive Feature: Mild Electrical Field. A strong field would be best bought as Change Environment: Strong Electro-Magnetic Field. This latter form of field will allow one to light up a light bulb merely by picking it up, cause a compass to spin, or interfere with radios and appliances.

	Magnetic Field: Telekinesis:  5 STR, Invisible Power Effects:  Sight (+1/2),
	 0 END (+1/2), Affects All Parts of the Target (-1/4), Only Affects Ferrous Metal (-1),
	  Only to Pull Towards User (-1/2), No Range (-1/2)
	Active Points: 14   Real Points: 4

   Electrical Shock: EB:  6d6, Stun Only (-0), Trigger:  Being Touched (+1/4),
	 No Knockback (-1/4), No Range (-1/2), No Conscious Control (-2)
	Active Points: 37   Real Points: 10

Note that this power can be modified in many ways. Instead of Trigger, it might be best defined as a Damage Shield. Also, this version costs END, it might be better to have the shock draw from a END Reserve, and have the Recovery of the Reserve be based on the person's environment. A dry area will allow him to recharge faster than a wet area. Another idea is to give the shock a single Recoverable Charge, with the recovery defined as a set period of time in which the body "recharges."

Fire Immunity - Immunity to fire in most cultures is expressed though fire-walking, in which a person strides over a bed of white-hot coals (or stones, or even lava) with virtually no discomfort. Temperatures as high as 800 (and greater) have been experienced by fire-walkers with no ill effects.

Fire-walking if performed by various cultures the world wide, usually as a test of manhood and courage, or as a religious ritual. In most cases, a short ritual is required to prepare the fire-walker, and some fire-walkers even enter into a trance while walking across the bed of coals.

Fire-walking can be bought like this:

	Fire-Walking: Armor:  24 ED, Extra Time:  Full Phase (to start) (-1/4),
	 Only versus Fire Attacks (-1), Location 18 (feet) (-2)
	Active Points: 36   Real Points: 8

A variation of the fire-walking ability is that of fire immunity. People who demonstrate fire immunity seem to be totally resistant to the ill-effects of open flame and intense heat. They can handle glowing coals, red-hot iron bars, and place their limbs in open flames, all without suffering harm. The only requirement seems to be a short period of mediation in order to place themselves into a trance-like state in order to achieve total immunity to heat and flame.

	Fire-Walking: Armor:  24 ED, Extra Time:  Full Phase (to start) (-1/4),
	 Only versus Fire Attacks (-1)
	Active Points: 36   Real Points: 16

Note that the 24 DEF Armor value is based on the idea that white-hot coals are equal to 3-4d6 of Killing damage. Game Masters may require more or less Armor depending on their needs. For walking on lava or handling liquid metal, the Advantage "Hardened" may be required.

In order to defend against STUN damage, Game Masters may want to consider using some form of Damage Reduction to protect a fire-walker or the fire-immune. 75% Damage Reduction with the Limitation "Stun Only (-1/2), would work best. As Damage Reduction has a higher Active Point cost than 24 ED Armor, Linking the Armor to the Damage Reduction should be allowed.

As an optional Limitation, Game Masters may want to consider "Requires a Skill [EGO] Roll" to simulate a "test of faith." The fire walker needs to truly believe that they can walk on the coals if they are going to do so and not get burned.

Fire Projection - Also known as "fire-starters," people with the ability to project fire are more accurately known as "pyrokinetics." Few pyrokinetics seem to have any real control over their powers, however, and tend to ignite objects (such as their clothing) at random. Others have more control over their power, and can cause objects to burn at will, usually after a short period of concentration.

	Uncontrolled Fire Projection: RKA:  1d6, Penetrating (+1/2), 
	Personal Immunity (+1/4), 0 END (+1/2), No Range (-1/2), No Conscious Control (-2)
	Active Points: 34   Real Points: 10

This form of Fire Projection manifests randomly, often burning the clothing off the person's body,or igniting the bed in which they are sleeping.

	Controlled Fire-Projection: RKA:  1d6, Penetrating (+1/2), Extra Time:  Full Phase (-1/2), 
	Reduced by Range (-1/4)
	Active Points: 34   Real Points: 10

Note: anime pyrokinetics (such as Nanami Rokugo in Phantom Quest Corp) are capable of far more impressive displays of flame projection. The Phenomena Department campaign will feature both kinds of pyrokinesis.

Levitation - Although many people have demonstrated the ability to levitate in place, few are capable of true flight. The best that most people can manage is to hover some 3-5 feet off of the ground, usually while in a meditative state or prayer. Some, however, can rise to great heights, and a rare few can actually fly for short distances. In almost all cases, these fights are not voluntary, but often a result of religious fervor.

	Basic Levitation: Flight:  1", Invisible Power Effects:  Sight (+1/2), 
	0 END (+1/2), Straight Up and Down Only (-2), Highly Limited Altitude (-1/2),
	 Concentrate:  0 DCV, Throughout (-1)
	Active Points: 4    Real Points: 1

An optional Limitation is "No Conscious Control" (-2).

Luminous People - The ability to make one's body glow is a fairly rare one, and is either related to a physical injury or illness afflicting the glowing person, or as a sign of being a "holy" man.

When luminosity is related the physical injury, the glow is usually associated with the inured part of the body. In the case of disease, the glow occurs all over. Blue, yellow, and white are the typical colors of the seen to either emanate from the body, or float over it in a sort of aura.

Holy men (and women), usually project light from their face, as an aura about their body, or as visible illumination fro their entire body. In many cases, this illumination is bright enough to light up a small room. This illumination is often occurs when the person in question is meditating, and seems to happening conjunction with displays of levitation (see above).

Due to the various ways in which people glow, there is no set way to build this ability using Hero game mechanics. A few suggestions are as follows:

If it is a simple flickering aura about the body, then it should be bought as a Distinctive Features.

If the glow is bright enough to light up a dark room, then it should be bought as either Change Environment (light), or Images with the Limitation "Only to Counteract Darkness Modifiers" (-1). In either case the Limitation of "No Range" (-1/2) is required. Other disadvantages appropriate for this luminosity include: "Only White Meditating/Praying" (treat as Concentrate: 0 DCV, Throughout for a -1 Limitation), "Only While Sleeping" (-1), "Always On," "Extra Time," and "No Conscious Control." Players may also want to Link 1" of Flight (Hover Only for a -2 Limitation) to their luminosity, especially if they only glow while meditating/praying.

Some reports associate a feeling of warmth with the glow of light. This would be a second form of Change Environment (heat) with Limitations as described above.

Telekinesis - A side effect of Electrical Projection (see) is the ability to move objects without touching them (i.e. "mind over matter"). This ability to commonly called "telekinesis," although Dr. J. B. Rhine coined the term "psychokinesis" in the 1930s at Duke University.

As with the power of Electrical Projection, Telekinesis can manifest in a wide variety of ways. One of the more common is a variation of the Electromagnetic Field effect. Instead of attracting objects, this field repels them, so that objects the person is reaching for go skittering away. Other people can create telekinetic fields around objects, and render them immobile. In one example, a young girl merely had to touch a chair, and it would remain rooted to one spot, resisting the efforts of five men to move it.

A great deal of poltergeist activity can be explained by unconscious use of psychokinesis. These effects include thrown objects, moving furniture, slamming doors and windows, phones that dial themselves and spinning light bulbs. One of the most eeriest poltergeist cases involved finding figures made from clothing frozen in various tableaus in empty rooms in the house. In these cases, the person responsible is quite often a young girl just undergoing the onset of puberty.

The various forms of Telekinesis can be defined as follows:

	Repulsion Field: Telekinesis:  10 STR, Invisible Power Effects:  Sight (+1/2),
	 0 END (+1/2), Affects All Parts of the Target (-1/4), Only to Push Away (-1/2),
	  No Range (-1/2), No Conscious Control (-2)
	Active Points: 30   Real Points: 7

   Immobility Field: Telekinesis:  28 STR, Invisible Power Effects:  Sight (+1/2),
	 0 END (+1/2), Affects All Parts of the Target (-1/4), Only to Hold In Place (-1),
	  Gestures:  Must Touch Object To Hold It In Place (-1/2), No Range (-1/2)
	Active Points: 84   Real Points: 26

   Poltergeist Effect: Telekinesis:  20 STR, Fine Work, 
	Area of Effect:  Radius 3", BOECV (+1), Invisible Power Effects:  Sight Group (+1/2),
	 0 END (+1/2), Affects All Parts of Object (-1/4), No Range (-1/2), No Conscious Control (-2)
Active Points: 120 Real Points: 32

Teleportation - The term "teleportation" was created by Charles Fort in 1931. He used it to describe the ability for a person to instantaneously travel from one point to another, and (apparently) not cross the space in between. Accounts of people teleporting are rare, and most seem to involve a single instance of instantaneous movement. The range of a teleporting person can be extraordinary, and one celebrated case from the mid-1500s tells of a Spanish soldier who vanished from his garrison in the Philippines to appear in Mexico City—a distance of over 9,000 miles.

	Uncontrolled Teleportation: Teleport:  10" x1,048,576 NCM 
	(10485760"/20,971 km/13,000 miles), Non-Combat Movement Only (-3/4), 
	No Conscious Control (-2), One Charge, Does Not Recover (-4)
	Active Points: 120  Real Points: 15

Thought Projection - Projected thought forms are a subset of telekinesis. The esper uses force of will to create images on other surfaces. A common form of thought projection is to expose film inside a sealed container. When developed, the film will contain an image of the projector's thoughts. Another form of thought projection is the ability to shape a malleable surface, such as soft clay, into a recognizable image. Other people have less benign thought projection powers, and express their ability through raised images on their own skin. In some cases, these images take the form of bite or claw marks, and may be associated with stress. Some such people can create pictures and recognizable words on their bodies.

The most powerful form of Thought Projection is to actually create a human thought form. In Tibet this is known as a tulpa, and can be made to serve the person who created it. Care must be taken, however, to maintain control of the tulpa, less it break free and commit mischief on its own.

	Thought Projection: Transform:  1d6 Cosmetic, Continuous (+1/2), 
	0 END (+1/2), Concentrate:  0 DCV (-1/2), Extra Time:  Minute (-1 1/2), No Range (-1/2)
	Active Points: 10   Real Points: 3

Skin Markings: If the markings are undesirable images (such as bite/claw marks), use Distinctive Features. If they are useful images (words/pictures), use either Instant Change or Shapeshift.

Create Tulpa: Use Summon to create a Tulpa. The procedure should require a long period of meditation. Suggestion Limitations include: Concentrate, Extra Time, and Requires a Skill Roll.

This list of psi/esper powers was derived from material presented in the book Unexplained Phenomena by Bob Rickland and John Mitchell.

CHI

Chi/Ki Powers and Anime: Conventions of the Genre
As with magic and esper powers, chi-based abilities in anime tend to be both visually impressive and highly destructive. This is due to the fact that anime is a visual medium with an unlimited expense budget. If you can draw it, it can go in an anime film. Conversely, Hong Kong cinema is also a visual medium, but limitations of budget and technology have forced restraint in the presentation of certain forms of special effects. The development of CGI technology has changed that to an extent however. The film Stormriders is a prime example of this new era of special effects, and in may ways it has been likened with a live-action anime film, complete with characters flying through the air and hurling energy blasts at each other.

In the Phenomena Department campaign, chi powers will fall somewhere between magic and espers powers. Chi powers will tend to be invisible, in the same manner as esper powers, but will allow more dynamic effects, similar to those of sorcery. Chi powers should be subtle in use, but powerful in application.

A prefect example of chi powers acceptable for use in the Phenomena Department would be any of the powers from the author's "Ch'i Kung techniques for Hero" article presented in Haymaker! 27. To save space, that list will not be repeated here, but a summary is as follows:

Acceptable chi powers include the ability to: leap great distances, fly, cling to and climb nearly and surface, be able to resist blows from edged weapons, to project invisible blasts of chi, to run at great speeds, and to strike blows with far greater force that would seen possible.

Naturally others powers are possible, and players interested in a chi-powered martial artist should also look at the author's "Fu Schticks For Champions" articles, seen in Haymaker! issues 20 and 27. Nearly all the powers presented in this two articles would be acceptable, except for those that involve the projection of visible energies (such as fire).

As a final note, the all of the powers (and weapons) displayed in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are perfectly acceptable for use in the Phenomena Department campaign.

For a more detailed examination of chi powers in anime, manga, Hong Kong cinema, and video fighting games, the author recommends his sourcebook Wuxia Hero, available (soon) from Gold Rush Games.


Return to The Phenomena Department