May 23, 1995
I lost my sister today, and she is truly gone. She will never know the glory of the gods now. She is lost, as we all shall be. I was forced to kill Henry. The damned jotun found him. Invaded his mind. Turned him into a sadistic monster. I had to kill him. If I didn't, we'd all be dead. He crushed Gina's throat so easily... there was nothing I could do. I tried. It was too late. So much blood. So much blood. I tried so hard to save her, but she was gone. Damn, I loved her. What the hell am I doing? Am I really what they say I am? Are we all mad?
No. If I don't believe, I'll forget everything. I'll just be a crazy woman who lost her sister. At least this way, I know I fought for her. I must believe. I saw something that most men do not, most men will not see. Be strong, Marissa. Please, be strong.
There are two different forms of magic in GURPS Requiem -- Racial Talents, and Shard Magic. Racial Talents are special, magical abilities able to be used by the Majestati. They rely on the Majestati's inner magical soul and his own personal faith to work. Talents are treated as special advantages, each of which is not always reliable.
The magic of the mages, on the other hand, is the manipulation of the world using the mana "borrowed " from the Incubans. Mages can manipulate this mana to dominate nature itself. Shard Magic is handled using the rules in Chapter 4: Offertorium.
Years ago, all magical races had inborn talents that they could use easily. For these magical peoples, using their inherent magical abilities took no more effort than thinking. They could perform subtle, yet amazing effects just by drawing from the magic that existed both within them and everywhere around them.
Now that the magic of the world is gone, these talents have become difficult to use with any sort of reliability, and impossible to use without being fully connected to a magical Nexus, and out of human form.
Each race has several Talents that its Majestati may receive. They are treated like advantages -- a certain point cost must be paid to receive them. Unlike most advantages, Talents may be purchased after character creation (see p. 00 for more details).
Talents are also treated as maneuvers (see p. CI00). Once they are bought as an advantage, they must be separately bought as a maneuver to determine how adept a character is at using that particular Talent.
Talents have a particular default (for example, Vision-10), which may be increased through the purchase of maneuvers. Additionally, characters will receive an automatic bonus to this default depending on their Nexus level:
|Nexus Level||Default Bonus|
Some Talents have prerequisites. Characters may not receive Talents that they do not have the prerequisites for, nor may they get Talents that do not belong to their own race.
Unlike advantages, Talents are not wholly reliable. Under normal circumstances (i.e. a normal magic world), to use a given talent, a character could automatically use his Talents whenever he wanted. In the world of the Debacle, Talent use is very difficult when Majestati are in their human form, but much easier in their Nexus form.
To use a Talent, the Majestati always needs to spend a turn concentrating. On the next turn, he will roll to see if the Talent works. If it does, the Talent comes immediately into effect. If it does not, the Majestati expends one fatigue from the effort, but may still continue to concentrate.
For a Majestati in human form to activate a Talent, he needs to roll equal to or less than his maneuver level with the particular Talent.
Majestati in Nexus forms roll at +5.
Majestati using more than one Talent at a time receive a -2 penalty to the second Talent, a -4 for the third, et cetera.
Talents last only while the Majestati is actively thinking about using them. Most Talents are instantaneous and last for a single turn. Other Talents will last the duration of the situation that caused the use of the Talent.
Occasionally, in tense, dangerous situations, Majestati have been known to use Talents that they are not trained in. This is especially true in the case of Innamorati; they might suddenly lash out at a burglar with some strange magical ability that astonishes them almost as much as it surprises the burglar!
Other times, Majestati will find themselves in circumstances when they absolutely need to use a specific Talent, but they are unable to connect to their Nexus and leave their human form. An example would be an aquari tossed overboard in a squall; if he can't connect to his Nexus, he has a small chance of being able to breathe underwater anyway.
The GM makes the ultimate decision whether or not a PC can attempt to use unlearned Talents, or Talents in human form. Generally, whenever a character is in a situation where instinct might "kick in," he should allow a try.
To use an unlearned Talent, or a Talent in human form, a default roll must be made. An attempt to do this always costs the subject 1 Fatigue, regardless of whether or not it was successful. The Heart of Magic (p. 00) advantage might change this roll. Talents with prerequisites cannot be used this way.
For example, to use Aim of the Blind Master without purchasing the Talent would require an elf to roll Vision-10.
Even though Talents are inborn magical abilities, they must be taught. Just like all humans can learn to control their heart rate, or do complicated mathematical formulas, Majestati must be trained how to use their own innate abilities.
Once a Majestati finds a teacher that is willing to train him in a new Talent, he must spend time with him, carefully practicing the new techniques. In most areas, one week per character point cost of the new Talent advantage is the necessary time to learn it. Reduce this by one day for Fourth Majestati, two days for Third Majestati, et cetera. Of course, the character must still pay the normal point cost.
In especially magical areas -- such as Elfhame, al-Azrael, or Vatican City -- training takes only one day per character point. Because the character can use his Talents much more reliably, he learns faster.
Though a Majestati's magical Talents come from his Nexus, his Nexus cannot coexist with a body and mind that does not want it, or believe in it. Magic is generally an unseen force in GURPS Requiem, it is not readily apparent in the streets of London, or the suburbs of Chicago. Like everything that cannot be seen, magic requires Faith to truly exist within a person.
Faith in GURPS Requiem represents a character's human intellect and reasoning rebelling against the individuality of his Nexus. It is the voice of modern human culture declaring a Majestati insane or deluded. It is also the impossibility of living with dual personalities, a human one in a human world, and a magical, nonhuman one forced to live in human society.
Once a Majestati sees what he can do, what he can become with his Nexus, his Faith naturally grows stronger. He knows magic is real, though he may not always want to be a part of it. Faith is not just believing in your magical heritage, but embracing it. And anything that might challenge that faith is a danger to the Majestati.
Only the Majestati and those humans with the Nexus of legendary heroes have to worry about Faith. Adepts are physically imbued with magical energy, so no amount of disbelief can get rid of it. Nexuses, however, die in a body that is hostile to them.
Faith is usually tested when characters are put in situations where they can doubt, or not want, their magic or their Nexus. When a Majestati thinks how much easier it would be to be a normal human, Faith is tested. When his Talents endanger his life and fail to help him, Faith is tested. If people discover that he believes he is a magical nonhuman, and ridicule him, Faith is tested.
Whenever a character's Faith is challenged, he must make a Faith Check. 3 dice are rolled against a specific number, which varies with the difficulty of the situation:
|Example Situation||Faith Roll|
|Majestati is ridiculed by a stranger||15|
|Magic fails the Majestati, causing trouble (police arrest him) or embarrassment||15|
|Majestati is ridiculed by several strangers, or a friend or relative.||12|
|Magic fails the Majestati, endangering his life, or causing serious trouble (loss of a career)||12|
|Majestati is ridiculed by several close friends||9|
|Majestati's own magic harms him||9|
|Majestati is seriously harmed, either from the failure of his magic, or just because he's a Majestati||9|
These are just examples of situations. If the GM rules that another situation would cause a Majestati to doubt his Faith, he should use this table as a guideline.
Characters with Strong Faith or Weak Faith will receive modifiers to this roll. Characters with Indomitable Faith never have to roll.
The GM may incur additional modifiers as he sees fit. If, for example, a character's two sisters found out about his beliefs and tried to commit him to an asylum, the GM may incur an additional -1.
Nonhuman characters also receive modifiers depending on how strong their connection to their Nexus is:
Example: A third ssazanthi in her true form is being chased by several gang members with crowbars. She's cornered in an alley, the only escape being a fire escape that is fifteen feet off the ground. She decides to use Leap of the Lion to reach it, and rolls fails her roll. Several gang members corner her. The GM rules that this calls for a Faith Check of 12, because her magic failed and therefore endangered her life. She gets a +1 because of her Nexus level, so she needs to roll a 13 or less to succeed.
Finally, characters receive bonuses if they are with other Majestati, who can support them during these times. All people with a Nexus count towards the Number of Majestati. These Majestati have to be close enough to talk to each other for the bonus to count, and must be aware of each other.
|Number of Majestati||Modifier|
If the roll succeeds, the Majestati's Faith is not challenged and he can continue. If a critical success is rolled, the Majestati's Faith is hardened by his experience. The GM may award him with a level of Strong Faith after the encounter.
If the roll fails, however, the character suffers adverse effects. Roll 3d and add the amount by which the roll was failed to the Faith Check Table:
Example: A djinni Innamorato has found himself in a horrible sandstorm. He knows his only chance to survive is to Sand Meld with the hot sand. He fails to use his Talent and takes serious damage. He rolls against a 9, -3 because he's an Innamorato. He needs to roll below a 6. He rolls a 13, failing the roll by 7. He rolls 3d and gets a 12, for a total result of 19 on the Faith Check Table. He collapses and is stunned for several turns, taking more damage from the hot sand. He now has the Weak Nexus disadvantage.
Finding someone with a Nexus and telling them that that they are truly a Majestati is difficult. Over half of all Innamorati disbelieve and their Nexus dies. When an Innamorato is approached, make a Reaction Roll. The moment the Innamorato is actually told, he must make a Faith Check against a 9, modified by the Reaction result listed below. If the Faith Check succeeds, the Innamorato believes in what he is told. If he fails, then his Nexus starts to die. It will become a Weak Nexus. All further attempts to illuminate the Innamorato are at -5. The next failed attempt will kill the Innamorato's Nexus.
|Disastrous||Automatic failure||The Majestati must make a Faith Check, rolled against a 12.|
|Very Bad||-5||The Majestati must make a Faith Check, rolled against a 15.|
The weapon of choice for the elves has always been their carefully made bows. Many ylphi had extraordinary aim with their bows, and could usually split arrows, draw their arrows with amazing speed, and even shoot blindfolded with deadly accuracy.
When an ylphi uses Aim of the Blind Master, his missile weapon skill (Bow, Crossbow, Gun) increases by +1, and an additional +1 per point by which he made his skill roll. In addition, when used with a weapon that requires reloading, it takes no time to load and draw back the weapon. Likewise, weapons that are holstered or put away in any but the most difficult of places can be drawn instantly. Elves do not need to concentrate to use this Talent; it is instinctual.
Example: Feyara, a Third Sylphi, is being assaulted by several muggers in a dark alley in New York. She floors the first two muggers with some karate that she picked up but then spots another punk lowering the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun at her several yards away. Knowing that she barely has time to think, she uses Aim of the Blind Master. She has a skill of 12 and rolls an 8, making the roll by four, thus adding +5 to her Guns skill. Instantaneously she pulls out a small .22 from her purse, aims it, and nails the punk between the eyes.
Aim of the Blind Master is available to sylphi and cryari.
This odd ability allows the ssazanthi to disintegrate his own shadow. This adds +2 to the Stealth skill. The shadow returns after an hour. This also allows a ssazanthi to extinguish small light sources -- lamps, candles, fluorescent bulbs. This ability cannot be used when the dark elf is already only a shadow.
This Talent is only available to ssazanthi.
This advantage is actually an enhancement of the Perfect Balance advantage, and must be used in conjunction with it. The use of this ability automatically steadies an elf on any surface, no matter how thin or fragile. Even a branch that could barely hold a few pounds will hold steady for the elf, though if anybody else walked on it, the branch (and elf) would fall. This ability can only be used on branches or branch-like extrusions (a girder on a building, a flagpole), or anything made of wood. It will not work with cave ledges, stalactites, a precariously perched boulder, or rusted folding chair.
Example: After leaping into the tree, Kalanna perches on an extremely thin branch, which the GM rules would require a DX-5 roll to stay on successfully. Instead of taking the chance of plummeting several yards to the ground, she uses Branch Balance successfully, and is now perfectly balanced on the branch.
Branch Balance is available to sylphi, ssazanthi, and kayanari.
Much of an elf's natural charm and charisma is magical in nature. The use of this ability will make the ylphi seem incredibly friendly and trustworthy -- a vital advantage when unveiling other Majestati. This will add +2 to reaction rolls.
Charm of the Bright Eyes is available to sylphi, ssazanthi, and aquari.
This odd ability allows a kayanari to communicate to another person using a magical sign language. As long as the target understands the kayanari's normal language, the elf will be able to communicate instantaneously any thought or command he wants to give, regardless of its complexity. No one other than the kayanari's target will understand what he's saying, unless he too knows this talent, or the kayanari wants him to understand.
Code of Silence is only available to the kayanari.
This Talent allows dark elves to use their shadows as offensive weapons! If used successfully, a ssazanthi can separate his shadow from his physical form, and attack other people's shadows normally, doing Thrust damage to them on a successful hit. It takes 1 second for a shadow to separate itself from a dark elf's body, and requires an IQ roll, or IQ-3 if in combat or other stressful circumstances, to direct the shadow to attack one subject. Switching foes will require another IQ roll. The shadow will remain completely under the ssazanthi's control while he is concentrating on it; if he does anything else that requires his attention, the shadow will become normal again.
People aware of this ability may attempt to use their own shadows to counter-attack the ssazanthi's own shadow, which will cause damage to the ssazanthi. This is a difficult combat technique to master, as no other race understands the nature of shadows in quite the same way as the ssazanthi. All attack rolls should be made at -10, and only if the subject is aware of exactly how he is being attacked.
Cutthroat of the Shadow is only available to ssazanthi.
This wondrous Talent actually allows the aquari to grow fins on their legs, making them look quite like the mermaids of legend! Swimming speed is tripled! This lasts up to one day.
Dolphin Fins is available only to female aquari.
This legendary ability holds that an elf can absorb himself into a tree and turn himself into the very essence of Nature. This allows him to travel through tree roots, leaves, and enriched soil at a speed of 100 times his Move! Over short distances, this is practically a form of teleportation.
This talent is only available to sylphi.
Some humans can silence people with a mere look. The kayanari are masters at it. With this ability, just by staring at somebody, a kayanari can silence them completely for as long as they are in the kayanari's presence. This isn't so much a magical silence -- it's a mental one. GMs may allow subjects to resist with a Contest of Wills.
Eyes of Silence is only available to the kayanari.
Ssazanthi will occasionally call upon their magical connection to the darkness to change their appearance. When this talent is used, the ssazanthi's body becomes a different color – some ssazanthi become stark white, others a dark gray, and few midnight black. Additionally, his eyes will glow like those of a cat, which unsettles non-elves who see the ssazanthi. Most who see a ssazanthi in this state will feel extremely uncomfortable if not outright threatened. If used in a creative way, perhaps when a human is already scared, it may call for a Fright Check.
Flaming Eyes lasts one minute, though ssazanthi usually only use it for a single glance.
Flaming Eyes is only available to the ssazanthi.
The Japanese call it a kiai, the kayanari call it saalne; either way, it is a highly-focused, high energy shout capable of stunning an opponent. Resisted by HT. For each point by which the subject loses the contest, he is stunned for a second.
Focus Word is only available to the kayanari.
This ability allows an elf to move at his normal speed making absolutely no noise -- in a single environment. For sylphi, this would be the woods. Aquari, near the ocean; ssazanthi in darkness; and the cryari in cold areas. This requires no effort on the part of the elf -- with this talent, an elf could run noiselessly through dried leaves without even looking down.
This Talent lasts for one hour, or indefinitely in an area with mana.
Gait of the Home Trail is available to all elves except the kayanari, who have...
This talent allows a kayanari to completely move in silence -- no footsteps, no rattling change in pockets, nothing at all. This Talent lasts for one hour, or indefinitely in an area with mana.
This Talent is only available to kayanari.
This basic ability that is taught to all cryari allows the ice elf to reach his fingers through ice or another solid material and grab a hold onto it. With this Talent, cryari can climb up a sheet of metal as easily as a ladder, or hold onto a block of ice without worry of it slipping or freezing their hands. This Talent lasts an hour, and leaves no marks.
Grip of Ice Claws is only available to cryari.
This exotic Talent allows a cryari to create a mirrored duplicate of himself out of tiny ice particles (this advantage only works when the temperature is below 50 degrees). The mirror looks exactly like the elf, and can be created anywhere within the elf's vision and will mimic the elf's movements. The Ice Mirror may be attacked, in which case it has the same HT as the cryari. If the mirror ever reaches 0 HT, it shatters. The mirror lasts approximately 1 minute above freezing, or indefinitely in areas where the temperature is below 32 degrees.
Ice Mirror is only available to cryari.
Some elves are notorious for their cold, icy eyes. Icy Stare allows them to become so cold and menacing that it scares non-elves. On the successful use of this ability, anybody confronted by the elf must make a Fright Check.
Icy Stare is available to the kayanari, cryari, and ssazanthi.
The elves were once exceptionally good jumpers, and could magically leap from tree limb to tree limb, without fear of losing their balance or falling. Fortunately, the elves that can use this ability also have innate powers which let them drop down from the great heights that they jump up!
Any elf with DX 15 or more may double his leaping distance with this power. Exceptionally dexterous elves (DX 20+) may triple it!
Example: Kalanna, a Fourth Sylphi, must leap up six feet to reach a high tree branch above her. She has a ST 10, allowing her to jump 3'-8" with a running start. She rolls against her Leap of the Lion skill of 10, rolls a 7, and can now jump almost seven feet easily.
Leap of the Lion is available to sylphi and ssazanthi.
Elven eyes can become very dark and black, entrancing those that look into their eyes. When an ylphi uses this Talent, he can manipulate others with amazing skill. This will increase Fast-Talk and Diplomacy skills by +3. Dark elves are marvelous manipulators, and can often use this magical Talent to persuade dozens of people to do exactly what the elf wants them to do.
Pools of Blackness is available to the ssazanthi.
This legendary whisper elf ability allows the elf to create complete silence everywhere he sees. Anybody or anything within the kayanari's range of vision will be unable to speak or make any sort of noise whatsoever. Quiet has a duration of 1 minute, or indefinite in an area with mana.
Quiet is only available to kayanari.
This odd ability allows an elf to instantly come back with a retort that is so witty, so well-planned, that the recipient of this insult will probably be dumbfounded as a crowd of people around him laughs. This can be used with different results -- embarrassment, anger, annoyance -- depending on what the elf wants to accomplish. If Retort Superiore is paired with a skill (most likely Bard, Performance, or even Intimidation) it will provide a +1 to any skill or reaction rolls.
Retort Superiore is available to kayanari and cryari, though cryari use it less for humor and more for disconcerting effects.
Aquari can modulate their voices to carry far on the shore, or on the ocean surface, by using breezes and winds. When this Talent is used, an elf can whisper to someone 5 yards away, or can speak or shout and be heard double as far as a normal human could speak or shout. Note that the volume doesn't actually increase; rather, the sea breezes carry the elf's voice farther.
Sea Whisper is only available to aquari.
This Talent allows a ssazanthi to transport himself using shadows. Basically, a dark elf may "teleport" his body to anyplace within 1 yard of his own shadow. So, if a dark elf's shadow is being projected on a wall 50-feet away, the ssazanthi may use the Shadow Roads to appear right next to it. The shadow will readjust accordingly.
The GM and players should definitely not get too concerned with light sources and complicated equations to figure out where the elf's shadow is. When in doubt, roll a die to randomly pick distance and direction.
Shadow Roads is only available to ssazanthi.
Aquari skin is slightly different from other elves'. Like water itself, it can become very slippery and impossible to handle. An aquari can slide through an attacker's arms or an underwater cavern tunnel with remarkable ease. This effectively increases an aquari's DX by 5 when such a situation occurs.
If used in the water, Slipstream increases an aquari's DX by 10, and adds +1 to Move underwater. Slipstream lasts 1 minute.
Slipstream is only available to aquari.
Most ice elves were once able to freeze their sweat glands, coating their bodies with hardened frost. This frost provides PD 1, DR 3 protection against all attacks, but slows the Cryari down (-1 to Move). Below freezing temperatures, this frosting occurs immediately and lasts indefinitely. Above freezing, the frost only lasts 10 minutes, and will take an additional second to form for every 10 degrees above freezing. In exceptionally hot areas (Death Valley), GMs may rule that this ability will not work at all.
Skin of Frost is only available to cryari.
Aquari were naturally fast swimmers, and could magically enhance their abilities underwater. This Talent will double an aquari's swimming speed for 1 hour. If combined with Dolphin Fins, the aquari's move will be multiplied by 6 underwater!
Speed of the Shark is available to aquari only.
One of the only purely offensive elven Talents, Thorn Claws allows a sylphi's nails to instantly harden into sharp thorns. This adds +1 damage when attacking with the hands, and allows hand strike to do Cutting damage. Additionally, a small poison resides in the thorns; any target who fails HT roll after being hit by the claws will itch continuously for the next hour, and will be at DX-2. Thorn Claws last one minute, or indefinitely in an area with mana.
Thorn Claws is only available to the sylphi.
This simple yet useful Talent can create a small, unidentifiable noise in the distance. Extremely useful for creating distractions, this Talent is only available to the kayanari.
The aquari can turn his physical body into water, though his shape may not be altered, for the magical essence of his body holds the water like a container. This form is so incredibly beautiful, that any non-elf to see it must make an IQ roll or be mentally stunned. Crushing weapons do half damage to Water Nymphs, and cutting and impaling weapons only do a single point. The Water Nymph may pick up items normally, and use any sort of skill without a penalty, though he may not speak. If the aquari enters calm water, he is at -4 to be seen. If he enters an ocean or sea, he will be lost to all but other aquari' eyes. This Talent lasts one hour, or indefinitely in an area with mana.
Water Nymph is available only to aquari. Watery Blur is the prerequisite.
By relaxing and concentrating on the magic of the water, the aquari magically alters her appearance so it looks like a watery, almost glasslike, image of herself. This provides PD 1 against all attacks, and all attacks aimed at the aquari will be at -3 to hit her, because the water is clear and constantly swirling. Note that this Talent only makes the aquari look like water; it does not transform her into water. This form lasts 1 minute.
Watery Blur is only available to the aquari.
This functions exactly like the aquari Talent, Sea Whisper, but can be used anywhere. Whisper is only available to the kayanari.
Special glands on an aquari's hand can produce amazingly pure, magical water. This water is so magically potent, that it will heal any wound it touches 1d points, though the loss of body fluid causes 1d-2 fatigue damage to the aquari. Using this ability more than once per day will cause the aquari to take 1d-2 HT damage from dehydration.
Watery Touch is only available to the aquari.
Wood elves are the kings and queens of the forest, and according to legend they could vanish at will into the trees and bushes. This Talent, if used successfully, will allow a sylphi to completely blend in with any forest, no matter how large or small (5 hexes, minimum). The elf will be invisible, though he will be able to be heard. Elves in this state can move and talk to each other without fear of being seen. If, however, the elf interacts with a non-elf (by doing anything to direct attention to himself, e.g. talking to him, firing a gun at him, etc.), the subject gets a Vision-5 roll to see the elf. If the elf physically touches or attacks somebody, he will automatically be seen. Elves can remain in this state for 1 hour; afterwards, it costs 1 fatigue per hour.
Wood Nymph is only available to sylphi.
Dwarves are good at breaking things, mostly due to their magical link to materials. When this Talent is used, a dwarf may triple his hand damage against an inanimate object -- a car door, a wooden table, a beer glass, et cetera.
Dwarves with ST 15 or greater will do x4 damage. Dwarves with ST 20+ will do an amazing x5 damage.
Gleipnir was the magical, dwarf-forged chain that bound the Fenris-wolf. Many dwarves still know the secret of this fashioning of this chain, and can apply the age-old techniques to any material. If this Talent is used successfully, the dwarf may add his ST to any binding material's ST or DX. For example, a rope that normally required a Contest against DX 15 to slip out of, if tied by a dwarf of ST 14 and this Talent, would require a successful Contest against DX 29! Or, a chain that required a Contest against ST 20 to break, would now be a Contest against ST 34!
Dwarves have a unique ability of being able to curse their own items. Like the original Andvaranaut Ring, if an item is taken from a dwarf, the dwarf may curse the item, which will in turn curse the new owner.
If an item is stolen from a dwarf, all of the victim's rolls will be at -3 until the item leaves his possession. If the item is simply taken from the dwarf, with his knowledge (e.g. the dwarf gives his knife to a foe, who takes it), the victim's rolls will only be at -1. If the victim passes the cursed item onto someone else, the new owner will be penalized until he gives up the item! Once the dwarf recovers the item, the curse is banished.
A dwarf only has one chance to curse somebody who has taken his items. The items must be unique (no socks, though a nice knife would do), and worth some value -- at least $100.
Dwarves could fashion unnaturally strong items, though in doing this they used their own magical essence. Forge and Anvil allows a dwarf to double the Hit Points of any inanimate object. A dwarf only gets one chance to Forge and Anvil an object, and it must be at its creation, and must be created by the dwarf himself.
This Talent normally costs 10 points. To craft anything larger than a bread box requires the 15-point version. To craft exceptionally large objects (planes, trucks) requires the 25-point version. Double the point cost to Triple the Hit Points of an object.
Any item enhanced with this Talent will eventually lose the extra hit points in any area without mana (assume the item will lose 1 hit point every day). This damage is irreparable, as the magic from the creation is slowly dissipating. Even if it is brought back into a mana-zone, the hit points will be permanently gone.
The dwarves are very proud of their ancient hero Hagan, who slew the supposedly-invulnerable volsung hero, Siegfried. Hagan was an elite, if vengeful warrior, and many dwarves see him as an ideal role model.
Hagan's Blow adds +3 for any dwarf to hit the vitals on an opponent, and will do maximum possible damage, if used successfully. A dwarf only has one chance to use this ability on a foe per battle; if he fails, he has not succeeded in finding the opponent's vulnerable spot.
It was said that dwarves used to jump off of mountains and collide into the ground as a sport. Whether this is true is debatable, but modern dwarves are very resilient creatures. If this Talent is successfully used, any damage from a collision will be halved!. (This could include a fall, being hit by a car, or having a tree drop on the dwarf's head; crushing weapons, however, will still affect a dwarf normally.)
Clan King Guillamurius was a dwarf who ruled Ireland during the early medieval ages. An extraordinarily lucky man, Guillamurius survived 23 axe blows in a single battle, and was downed by the 24th!
If this Talent is used successfully, a dwarf will be given a second chance to Dodge any attack. However, once this Talent fails in combat, it cannot be used again until the battle is over. The dwarf's luck has worn out. Most of the time, the failure of this Talent in combat will not result in a Faith check, because dwarves expect their luck to wear out, like Guillamurius'. Only if it is vitally important that a dwarf not get hit, will a Faith check be necessary when this Talent fails.
Many dwarves are taught how to drink heavily and have the alcohol actually provide nourishment. If this Talent is used successfully, a dwarf will not be intoxicated no matter how much he drinks in a night. The 10 point version of Milk of Audhumbla allows dwarves to get a day's worth of sustenance out of a healthy dose of alcohol.
Mime was a famous dwarven smithy, who knew the secret's of repairing almost any broken item. This Talent will let a dwarf repair any broken item, even if it is hopelessly shattered. The only limitation is that all of the pieces of the broken item must be available. Repairing an item will usually take 1 hour per lb., though for 20 points, the dwarf can repair items at a rate of 1 minute per lb.!
Nothung was a very famous and deadly dwarven sword that killed the dragon Fafner. With this talent, a dwarf can quickly convert any bladed weapon into a Nothung Blade, which will do +1 damage. Such work usually takes 1 day per lb., and the dwarves rarely give out "gifts" of these blades to non-dwarves. Actually, it is even considered "bad form" to give a Nothung Blade to anybody else, including other dwarves!
If a dwarf uses Nothung Blade on a blade of his own creation, the damage is increased by +3.
Another dwarven hero of legend was Pwyll, a king who was so persistent, that he tried to win the hand of a single maiden a dozen different ways. This Talent will give a dwarf such stubborn persistence, that they will never be penalized for attempting a task further. Thus, a dwarf with the Persistence of Pwyll can continue to pick a lock for two days without the usual -1 penalty per additional try.
Nidhogge was a legendary Scandinavian asp that embodied darkness. With this ability, a dwarf can stand in a shadow and be completely invisible, except for his eyes which will can still be seen unless the dwarf closes them. If the dwarf closes his eyes, it is impossible to see him. If he keeps them open, all Stealth rolls are at +5. While in the Shadow of Nidhogge, a dwarf cannot move or speak, or he will be seen.
Vikings who gained access to the halls of the nibelungs swore that there were thousands of them all over the place, while in reality, there were perhaps a few hundred. Dwarven vocal chords have a strange ability to reproduce three concurrent sounds! This means that a dwarf can hum, talk, and make weird bird sounds all at once! Or he can make it sound like there are three people in the area, while he may be all alone.
Many dwarves can harden their skin to be incredibly tough and resilient to damage. This Talent gives a dwarf DR+2.
Ancient dwarves could supposedly turn their skin into hard granite, which not only added protection but added the ability to blend in with the mountains.
When this Talent is used, a dwarf gains DR+4, and +3 on any attempts to hide in rocks (using the Camouflage skill).
The Rhine Daughters were supposedly young dwarven maidens who guarded a horde of gold, though many elves argue that they were actually sylphi, not dwarves. Either way, these young women could cause men to leave the gold alone. All they had to do was smile, and tell the men that there was no gold, and the men would believe them and leave.
If used successfully, a dwarf can absolutely convince a person what he is saying is true. If a ridiculous ridiculous lie is told, the subject may resist with a successful Contest of IQ. Other Majestati may always try to resist.
Dwarves can gather strength from the earth itself, just like their Greek dwarven hero Antaeus. Whenever this Talent is used successfully, and the dwarf is actually touching the ground (either rock, stone, or dirt), he will receive ST+3. If he's touching manmade stone (concrete, cut marble), he will only be at ST+1.
This ability lasts 10 minutes.
The dwarves were tireless workers, and this Talent reflects it. Any dwarf doing manual labor, who successfully uses this Talent at the beginning of his day, will tire a half as fast. The 10 point version allows a dwarf to tire a quarter as fast!
Alberich was the poor dwarf who had the first Andvaranaut Ring stolen from him, which according the legend, eventually led to Ragnarok itself.
This ability, if used successfully, will make a target completely oblivious for a few seconds. If attacked, he will snap out of it. He will be unaware of his surroundings for 20-IQ minutes, though intelligent subjects may resist with a contest of IQ versus the Nibelung's skill.
Allows a valkyrja to become fully armed and armored while in warrior-spirit form (see Valkyrja Immortality, p. 00). Typical armaments include a sword, breastplate, and helmet. Players are encouraged to be creative.
Armor of Brunhild is only available to valkyrja.
The Vikings explained the Aurora Borealis as the light reflected off the armor and shields of the valkyries, as they rode from Valhalla to the battlefields of earth. With this Talent, a valkyrja may glow with an unnatural light. Most subjects who see a valkyrja bathed in this preternatural aura will be mentally stunned, though knowing subjects may resist with IQ. Aurora Light lasts one minute.
Aurora Light is only available to valkyrja.
The Vikings were extraordinary warriors, able to take a tremendous amount of wounds and still live. With the successful use of this talent, a valkyrja cannot fall unconscious in a battle.
Battle Fury is available to both valkyrja and volsunga.
It was said that the legendary valkyrja Swanhild was so beautiful, that wild horses could not trample her while they could see her. Modern valkyrja are usually very beautiful women, but some can become unnaturally radiant and beautiful.
When this Talent is used successfully, the valkyrja becomes so stunningly beautiful, that anybody who sees her is mentally stunned. Males in her presence will do her every bidding (once they recover from being stunned!) while they can see her. They may resist with a Will-5 roll. Of course, once she's out of sight, their normal willpower comes back.
Beauty of the Swan is only available to valkyrja.
Sigurd, greatest of the Volsunga, was given the ability to talk with birds after eating the heart of the dragon Fafnir. If this talent is successful, a volsunga may communicate with any bird. Many volsunga keep pet ravens, just as their father Odin did.
Bird Speak is only available to volsunga.
It was the valkyrja that would determine which heroes lived and which died in battle. Even today, it seems that the valkyrja can easily and unnaturally down a foe. If this Talent is successfully used after a valkyrja hurts an opponent with a bladed weapon, she may double the damage that penetrates armor.
Choosing the Slain is only available to valkyrja.
This Talent allows a valkyrja to become completely invisible! Eyes will not be able to see her, and all Stealth rolls are at +9. She may only carry items up to Light Encumbrance.
Cloak of Tarnkappe is available only to valkyrja.
According the legend, the valkyrja could fly from one battle to another. Today, no valkyrja, no matter how powerful or practiced in her magic, has managed to truly fly. However, this Talent allows valkyrja to jump remarkable distances, and to survive high falls.
All leaping distances are multiplied by five when this advantage is activated. In addition, successful use of this talent will reduce any fall by 5 yards (this is treated like a successful Acrobatics roll), and halve the damage from the impact.
Flight of the Valkyries is only available to valkyrja.
Geri and Freki were Odin's wolves that sat constantly at his side. With this Talent, a volsung can instantly befriend a wolf, and command him like a household dog. This does not work on supernatural wolves, like the Fenrir. A volsung may command up to two animals.
This Talent is only available to Volsung.
Just as the valkyrja could choose who died in battle, they could also save the lives of worthy warriors who were not ready for Valhalla. If a valkyrja uses this Talent on a person slain in battle, the person will come back to life, unconscious and still wounded. This Talent may not be used on a person who has been dead longer than a minute, or who has taken over -HTx5 damage.
Gift of Life is only available to valkyrja.
Gleipnir was the magical, dwarf-forged chain that bound the Fenris-wolf. Like the indestructible chain, if this Talent is used successfully, a volsung may hold on to something or someone with no chance of it breaking free. Deadly when used with chokes, or handy when pushed off a slippery ledge, this Talent is very common among the volsunga.
Grip of Gleipnir is only available to volsunga.
The volsunga are fantastic guardians. When this talent is used, and the volsung is actually guarding a person, place, or item, his weapon skill and ST increases by +3 for the duration of combat. Most combats will not allow the use of this Talent, unless a character is specifically charged with protecting someone, or his wife is being attacked. The GM is the final judge on when a character is "protecting" something.
Hero's Shield is only available to volsung.
Vigrid was the hundred-square mile battlefield of Ragnarok. According to legend, the battle was so huge and bloody, that it was a miracle that any valkyrja or volsunga survived. This Talent allows a volsunga to absorb a single blow of damage and take no damage from it. Because this talent truly exhausts any volsung, once used, the hero will be unable to do any sort of physical activity, or use this Talent again, for a day. In game terms, the character will suffer 3d fatigue. This fatigue damage sets in 3d minutes after this Talent is used.
Instincts of Vigrid is available to both volsunga and valkyrja.
The eldest of Volsung's son, Sigmund, was the only mortal able to pull a great sword from the trunk of a tree, which Odin himself thrust into it. This incredible strength has been passed down to generations of volsunga.
When this Talent is used successfully, the volsung's ST is increased by 5, but only for a single feat of strength -- tearing off a car door, throwing a football, or even arm-wrestling. The extra ST may not be used for additional damage.
Might of Trees is available to volsunga.
Brunhild, the first of the valkyries, was a legendary warrior, and her sisters are no exception. When used successfully, this Talent allows a valkyrja to move incredibly fast -- she can take an extra turn in combat. If the valkyrja has DX 15 or greater, she may take two extra turns! This ability always costs a valkyrja 1 fatigue, and lasts for only a single turn.
Prowess of Brunhild is only available to valkyrja.
Most brave Vikings sang in battle to raise their spirits and their strength. The valkyrja still know magical battle songs sang by the gods themselves. When used successfully in combat, this will add +3 to the valkyrja's weapon skill, and +1 to any combatants on the valkyrja's side.
Song of Heroes is available to both valkyrja and volsunga.
Both the valkyrja and volsunga were bred in a harsh, cold land of ice and snow. This Talent allows a valkyrja to completely shrug off the effects of cold temperatures.
Resistance to Frost is available to both valkyrja and volsunga.
Both the valkyrja and volsunga heroes occasionally returned from the dead to be present for great events. If this subtle Talent, meaning "Dusk of the Gods," is used successfully after death, the valkyrja may return and even interact with the world one more time.
In game terms, the valkyrja may return for one more game session and take full part in it. After the session is over, the valkyrja will fade away forever. If the valkyrja is killed again during the adventure, she will instantly fade into nothingness.
G&o;tterd&a;mmerung is available to both valkyrja and volsunga.
The greatest Volsung, Sigurd, rode unharmed through great walls of flames to rescue his valkyrja love. With successful use of this Talent, a volsung will be completely impervious to fire. This invulnerability, however, lasts only a minute. The use of this ability costs the character 1 fatigue.
Will of Fire is only available to volsunga.
Sinbad the Porter was a minor character of legend compared to Sinbad the Sailor, but he has emerged as a sort of underdog hero for the djinn. They named this Talent after him for that reason. When this Talent is successfully used, a djinn's ST will increase by 5 for all labor purposes -- lifting, shoving, throwing, et cetera. In combat, this Talent will be fairly limited, as it does not increase weapon damage.
Arm of the Porter is available to marid and ifrit.
According to Islamic legend, each faithful person who reached heaven would have seventy-two beautiful servants to entertain him. If this Talent is used successfully on a member of the opposite sex, the subject will become the djinni's loyal servant for a day. Subjects may resist with a Contest of Will.
Charm the Houri is available to all djinn.
Many djinn can be truly frightening, devil-like men. Eyes of Iblis allows them to become so angry and menacing that it scares non-Majestati. On the successful use of this ability, anybody confronted by the djinni must make a Fright Check.
Eyes of Iblis is available to ifrits and marids.
Many djinn were incredibly wise, intelligent, and just. This is probably because many djinn have the ability to instantly detect lies, scams, and untruths. If this Talent is used successfully, a djinni will instantly know if a person is lying, or even not telling the entire truth.
Eyes of Solomon is available to marid and jann.
Some djinn were known as great illusionists and masters of deceit. This Talent allows a djinn to create a minor illusion in the mind of a single subject. All Genius Illusions are based on sight. Illusions can't be too extraordinary, but instead have to be something that could logically happen. Examples include seeing a dark man walk into a bar, seeing a ferocious guard dog circling a house (though the dog won't be able to bark or growl), or thinking that black limousine was really white. Genius Illusions may be disbelieved, as per the rules on p. M00.
Genius Illusion is only available to marid and shaitan.
This Talent allows a djinni to become completely invisible! Eyes will not be able to see him, and all Stealth rolls are at +9. He may only carry items up to Light Encumbrance. However, all djinn leave traces of themselves in invisible form -- the air around Water Prophets will be extremely moist, or hot for Flame Prophets. Sand Prophets will leave clouds of dust, and Air Prophets will be gusts of wind.
Invisibility of the Genius is available only to all djinn.
Identical to Genius Illusion, except that these illusions can incorporate both sound and smell. Marid Illusion is only available to marid, and has the prerequisite of Genius Illusion. Marid Illusions may be disbelieved, as per the rules on p. M00.
This subtle Talent is single-handedly responsible for much of the djinn's reputation as deceitful tricksters. When successfully used, this Talent will cause a subject to miscount something -- coins, dollars, foes, gunshots fired, musical beats, anything. Clever djinn will find no limit to the usefulness of this Talent.
Miscount is available to shaitan and jann.
The djinn of legend were notorious for their ability to disappear at whim, and many of the more powerful djinn Majestati can do that even today. This Talent allows a djinni to meld in with the earth and be completely protected from the elements, damage, or prying eyes. The djinni may even travel under the earth, though movement is very slow -- one yard per second. Djinn may stay in this state for an hour, or indefinitely in an area with mana.
Sand Meld is available all djinn.
Fabulous warriors in their own right, many djinn believed that they were Allah's soldiers on earth. This Talent increases a djinni's weapon damage by +2, no matter what the weapon, and adds +1 to Dodge for the duration of one combat.
The Scourge is only available to ifrits.
Perhaps the most famous Talent of all djinn was their ability to shapeshift into different animals. Magic is so depleted in the world, that all but the most powerful and faithful djinn have completely lost this ability.
This rare Talent will allow a djinni to transform into any known, normal animal. He will have all of the characteristics, attributes, and skills of that animal (see Chapter 18 in GURPS Basic Set, or GURPS Bestiary).
This Talent is only available to all djinn except for the shaitan.
Djinn have always had powers over mortal minds, and this ability is one of the few legendary Talents that still works in the modern world. If a subject is touched, and this Talent successfully used, he will fall asleep instantly for 20-HT days! Intelligent subjects may resist with IQ. According to legend, djinn were once able to make men fall asleep for almost three years with this Talent!
Sleep of a Thousand and One Nights is only available shaitan and jann.
Djinn were widely known as tricksters, capable of fooling all but the most intelligent of men. This Talent will add +5 to all Fast-Talk, Leadership, Diplomacy, or any other sort of skill involving manipulation. This Talent does not work on other Majestati.
Song of Schahrazad is only available to shaitan and jann.
Like many other creatures of legend, djinn were reputedly almost impossible to catch. This Talent allows a shaitan to instantly escape from shackles, handcuffs, ropes, or chains, no matter how tightly or carefully they are constructed. Legend holds, however, that if a djinni is chained for just reasons -- such as for a crime he is guilty of -- he will not be able to use the Unchaining to escape.
The Unchaining is only available to shaitan.
Some djinn could appear as fantastically beautiful creatures. When this Talent is used, all reaction modifiers will be at +4, or +6 to members of the opposite sex. Anybody failing an IQ roll will be mentally stunned at the sight of this person.
Visage of Beauty is available to all female djinn, as well as jann and marids.
On the other hand, other djinn could appear as hideously deformed demons. Anybody who sees a djinn in this shape will be horrified, and must make a Fright Check -3! Often times, mortals will do any task a djinn gives him after seeing a djinn in this hideous form!
Visage of Revulsion is available to all male djinn, as well as ifrits and shaitan.