Communion

The True Nature of Communion

The official description of Communion, see left, is useful model for the player to understand Communion and how it works and interacts with the world of Psi-Wars. It might not be the truth, however. While everyone agrees that mystics seem to be able to call upon miraculous psionic phenomenon and direct them, the precise nature of what's actually going on varies from philosophy to philosophy.

God or Gods: True Communion sees Communion as proof of the inherently divine nature of the universe. They like to picture Communion as a single, cosmic being, and all consciousnesses in the universe as aspects of that united cosmic being; each consciousness acts as "eye" through which the cosmic being regards himself, though the cosmic being has forgotten its unity, and those sapient beings who come to understand their fundamental connection with one another are able to draw upon a bit of that divine power themselves. The followers of the Divine Masks agree with the idea of Communion-as-the-Divine, but they see it as a collection of poorly understood, mostly unknowable divine beings who can be cajoled and interacted with to create a particular effect, and whose wrath can sometimes strike the unfaithful follower. In both cases, the "Will" of Communion is a real thing and should be absolutely followed.

Ambient psychic energy fields: Fringe Rationalism suggests that if one accepts psychic phenomenon, then one might accept that there are poorly understood, higher-dimensional energies that psychics regularly interact with. A psychic using his own powers might be using local or personal energy fields, but those who tap into Communion have tapped into broader, cosmic-scale energy fields They have limited control as to what they can do with them, and as these forces are poorly understood, psychics tend to delude themselves into believing that these fields have some anthropomorphic qualities to them, but these are just reflections of the psychics own subconscious will and desire (for example, if Communion shows a psychic a particular vision, is that because "communion" wants the psychic to see it, or because the psychic subconsciously desired to see something and ambient psychic fields responded?).

Extreme Manifestations of Psychic Potential: The Cult of the Mystical Tyrant recognizes that psychic power has virtually limitless power, though the highest possible manifestations of psychic power tend to be poorly understood or grasped even by the psychic using them. They see Communion as a natural extension of the psychic; those who achieve a certain level of mastery become able to create these miraculous effects naturally, they just don't perfectly understand what they're doing. Shared commonalities found in Communion, such as recurring symbolism or a response to past events are the result of similarities in psychology shared by all humanoid species and subconscious psychic resonance with past events or larger polities and cultures.

All sapient life, all life, has psionic potential. The very act of living and thinking involves extremely low level psionic effect, the very small mind-over-matter that our souls exert on us every day. Only a few people have the capacity to turn that minor psionic potential into something meaningful and powerful, though. Cultivating psionic potential requires a genetic predisposition towards psionics, the training necessary to use your powers, and some connection with the global superconsciousness.

This global super-consciousness represents the combined totality of all thought, will, drive, hope, fear, psychotic breaks and faithful philosophy. This willfulness and drive manifests as an energy, shaped by the thoughts of those around it, that reshapes the world in a million small ways. Psions who cultivate their talent enough can begin to commune with this global super-consciousness, to call upon it when they need it, to let it empower them, or to learn Its will. This super-consciousness has many names. “The Universal Super-Gestalt” is a more scientific term, the “Dream-Web” is a more mystical term, but most people in the Psi-Wars Galaxy refer to it by a religious term: Communion.

The psychic energy of people who deeply wish for something can drive someone towards a particular end: If a whole community sees two lovers and think “I hope those kids make it,” that mass desire can influence a million coincidences that bring those two closer together. But the existence of precognition and retrocognition proves that the past and the future can influence the present. Thus, the psychic echo of the past and present can also influence present Communion. If a man in the future slays an entire world, then the psychic echo of that will reverberate back, showing ghastly visions to Espers and cementing this man's path to genocide in the same way it fixes the path of two lovers. This is called Destiny. The powerful swirls of psionic energy around someone can make them exceedingly powerful, even empowering their psionic potential in a feedback loop. It can do this with objects, giving legendary items that bear the weight of the Galaxy's attention almost mystical qualities.

The human (and alien!) mind tends to work, think, flow down predefined paths. Carl Jung called these primordial images, concepts that people intuitively understand and archetypes that they can easily assign to make foreign concepts familiar. Communion works the same way, with predictable whorls and pools of energy that people can learn to exploit.
The part of the mind that bows to cultural will and morality, that extinguishes the self in favor of community, the part of the mind that says no, is the Super-Ego. The “Super-Ego Gestalt” is called “True Communion” by its users or, more commonly, just “Communion.” It demands patience, self-denial and community spirit.

The primal, selfish part of the mind that demands the satiation of hunger, that reacts to danger with fear and anger, that thinks of itself and selfishly puts itself ahead of its community, the part that says yes, is the Id. The parts of Communion that rile with Idic energy are called “The Id Gestalt” or, more commonly, “Dark Communion.” It demands selfishness, ambition, independence, lust, passion, and it rewards it with dangerously addictive power.

Finally, the human mind cannot comprehend and understand everything, and it contains flaws and self-desctructive tendencies, the “Thanatos” drive, madness, and its flawed attempts to understand the terrifying “Other.” This is called the “Psychosis Gestalt,” or “Broken Communion.” When Communion attempts to understand these things, or when atrocity and pain pile up to break the minds of millions, then Communion itself breaks, and becomes Broken Communion.

These three forms of Communion can all be accessed anywhere, but they tend to be particularly strong in certain areas. As characters learn to commune with it, they can start to draw upon its energies to empower themselves, but characters are best served where the part of Communion that they have a strong connection with is, itself, strong; this is referred to as Sanctity. A region can only have Sanctity towards one form of Communion, and weakens the effect of the other forms of Communion. If a region enjoy High Sanctity with True Communion, it has Low Sanctity with Dark and Broken Communion; if a region has Very High Sanctity with True Communion, it has No Sanctity with Dark and Broken Communion. Regions sacred to Broken Communion develop strange, twisted psionic energies and manifestations of will that the uninitiated see as ghosts.

Certain concepts, so called Primordial Images or Mythic Archetypes resonate innately with the sapient psyche. These primordial images either feed our understanding of the world, giving us a lens through which we can understand what we experience, or they are the culmination of millennia of experience and legend, built up within the collective super-consciousness of all sapient-kind. Individuals can attempt to embody these primordial images by living a life defined by the symbolism associated with them, usually called "walking a path" or just "a path", coming to be defined by them and coming to define them. In this way, they can access even greater power within communion, incarnate with godlike power, and even change the nature of Communion itself.

Forms of Communion

Mechanics

Communion is a form of Divine Favor (see GURPS Powers: Divine Favor for more). It behaves like a divine Patron with super-human abilities, minimal intervention and universal accessibility. Characters have three ways of accessing and manipulating Communion:

  • Direct Access (See Communion, below)
  • Paths and Unconscious Communion
  • Oath Magic

Communion

Communion as active NPC

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” – Yoda

The rules for Communion derive from the rules for Divine Power, which themselves derive from a fine-grain look at the Patron advantage. Thinking of Communion as a god-like patron is a very useful model for understanding how it works and what it can do. Communion, from this perspective, is less of a "power" and more of an extremely high-powered, mercurial NPC ally who may or may not help the player. This gives the GM a great deal of freedom in how to make use of Communion. For example, these rules call for a reaction modifier from Communion, but GURPS allows the GM to waive reaction rolls if he has a pretty good idea of how an NPC will react, and this should be true of Communion as well: if the GM already knows that Communion would or wouldn't grant a request, he can dispense with the reaction roll. Similarly, the invocation rules for Communion are really just a fine-grained version of the Frequency of Appearance rules and, again, GURPS lets the GM dispense with frequency of appearance if he decides he wants an NPC to show up. Similarly, if a GM wants Communion to be involved in a session, then it is.

Like any NPC, Communion can have agency. It can have objectives and desires. The GM can treat it *as a divinity*, or as a series of divinities. In which case, the GM might choose to simply grant miracles, regardless of whether or not a player requested them. A PC pursued to the edge of a cliff might leap from the cliff and put their faith in Communion and Communion might respond with a free miracle. Communion might grant a vision to a character that conveniently informs them of important plot hooks. Dark Communion might tempt a character who normally uses True Communion to draw upon its Dark power, and grant them a "free" miracle when they need it most, as well as "free" energy. Broken Communion, especially, might create spooky or harmful miracles without being called upon; this is especially likely when one enters regions with strong Broken Communion sanctity.

None of this is strictly necessary; the GM can choose to treat Communion as a "dumb" font of miraculous powers, but if the GM wants Communion to take a more active role in his plots, it certainly can.

Prerequisite: Any character with a fully developed psionic ability (the Weak Latency Perk is insufficient) can access Communion.

This requires purchasing an appropriate Communion trait; this is priced exactly like Divine Favor and works like Divine Favor, only with unique modifiers.
You can reliably draw on the power of Communion. This requires ast least 1d seconds of meditation during which you must decide if you’re making a general prayer (see Divine Favor p. 5) or a specific prayer (Divine Favor p. 6). In combat, you must take successive Concentrate Maneuvers.

Once the meditation is completed, the player makes a petition roll against their level of Communion, adjusted by Petition Modifiers. The character may spend Impulse Buy points (via their own total or appropriate forms of Destiny) to guarantee a success. If the player rolls less than or equal to the modified Communion level, Communion responds! If not, your connection is insufficient to move the great, unconscious gestalt. Further petition rolls are at a cumulative -1 until 5 minutes have passed. A roll of 17 or 18 always fails!

When the Character purchases their Communion, they must choose one of three forms, each with its own unique limitation. All three forms of Communion have the same cost.

True Communion: The Communion of the Super-Ego, this form of Communion forms connections between individuals and builds communities, and demands strict adherence to a religious code, which manifests as an appropriate disadvantage worth -10 points. Failure to maintain this strict code results in the immediate loss of all access to True Communion until the character repents, which requires at least a week, a major expenditure and/or a quest. It grants the ability to accumulate psionic energy reserves via meditation.

Dark Communion: The Communion of the Id, this form of Communion focuses on selfish desires and urges. It demands no adherence to a code, but its Miracles always lose in contests with Broken Communion miracles, and True Communion has access to some unique miracles that can disable Dark Communion miracles. It grants the ability to “borrow” free psionic energy reserves, at the potential cost of growing addicted to it.

Broken Communion: The Communion of Psychosis draws its power from misery, alienation and self-loathing. It demands no adherence to a code, but it either follows its own, ghostly rules which may mean that occult protections prevent the miracle from working properly, or it corrupts the user and slowly destroys him. It grants the ability to “borrow” free psionic energy reserves at the cost of Corruption.

Communion Costs


Level Cost Level Cost
4 15 12 110
5 20 13 130
6 25 14 150
7 35 15 170
8 45 16 200
9 55 17 230
10 70 18 260
11 90 19 300

If the petition succeeds, the GM then makes a Reaction Roll. This has unique reaction modifiers, determined by each form of Communion separately. If the Reaction is Neutral or better, then a miracle occurs. In the case of a Specific Prayer, if the reaction is good enough to get the desired Miracle, the player achieves their result, otherwise nothing happens; in the case of a General Prayer, the GM selects a miracle of the appropriate reaction level or worse. If the Reaction is Bad or Very Bad, something unfortunate happens; the specifics of which vary depending on the form of Communion invoked; see each form of Communion for more details. As a rule, in addition to other effects, if the character suffers a Bad or worse reaction, their connection with their preferred form of Communion is shaken; this doubles all reaction penalties for repeated invocations of Communion or “Bad Behavior” for the next 1d days, or until the character makes some dramatic show of repentance (usually involving a major scene where the characters makes some sacrifice to show his renewed commitment to the Universal Gestalt).

Each form of Communion has their own unique miracles. In principle, the player can make a request for anything, and the GM can allow anything, but each form of Communion has its focus and themes, and so both player and GM are encouraged to focus on the provided, example miracles.

Note that characters may purchase more than 16 levels of Communion. These higher levels do no guarantee success (a roll of 17 or 18 still fails), but do soak up some of the penalties for Petition rolls, and allow the character to purchase History-Shaping Miracles as Learned Prayers.

Learned Prayers

Rather than petition Communion for a desired effect, characters can master a particular aspect of Communion and call it up at will. The effect of each miracle is represented by an ability with the proper limitation; the character may purchase that ability as an alternate ability to their form of Communion provided they have the correct form of Communion to access the Miracle, the necessary level of that Communion and, in the case of unique miracles associated with paths, the right level of Archetypal Reputation. Once the miracle has been purchased, the character can use it at will: no petition roll or reaction roll required. However, while the Learned Prayer ability is active, the character has no access to their broader Communion ability! They may not make petition Communion for General or Specific prayers, nor may they use other Learned Prayers!

Psionic Powers and Communion

Characters who have any level of Communion may freely purchase any Psionic Power ability or talent (with a few limitations), including the Psi-Sensitivity talent; except that characters with Anti-Psi may still not purchase any Psi abilities or vice versa (though see Broken Communion below).

True Communion: Characters with Psychic Vampirism or Anti-Psi may not purchase True Communion, nor Unconscious Communion for any True Communion paths.

Dark Communion: Characters with Psychic Healing or Anti-Psi may not purchase Dark Communion, nor Unconscious Communion for any Dark Communion paths.

Broken Communion: Characters with Psychic Healing may not purchase Broken Communion, nor Unconscious Communion for any Broken Communion paths. Characters with Anti-Psi may purchase Broken Communion or Unconscious Communion for Broken Communion paths, and while they have access to Broken Communion they may purchase other psychic abilities; however, characters with Anti-Psi and Psychic abilities lose their psychic abilities if they ever lose access to their Broken Communion trait (for any reasons).

Archetypal Paths and Unconscious Communion

Characters may choose to pattern themselves after one of the great, unconscious archetypes that underlie human conception of the world. This is optional for characters with a direct form of Communion above, and it grants them access to unique miracles and the ability to invoke symbols for greater power. This is called following a Path.

Characters who follow a Path must follow the strict symbolism of the Path. This requires Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism) [-5] and at least one appropriate disadvantage worth [-10] points symbolic of the Path. Characters who violate either of these lose access to the Path and all of its unique miracles or other benefits. To return to the path requires at least a week of strictly following Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism) precisely. Most paths have an additional requirement; treat this as a Pact limitation. In the case of Self-Control disadvantages (such as those in Dark Communion paths), the GM may allow the character to control themselves a few times, but if they risk veering off the path, to warn the player that they can no longer afford to control their impulses.

Characters who effectively embody their Path encounter “Milestones.” These represent archetypal moments in the “story” of their path. They must follow these Milestones exactly; failure to do so violates their Path. If the character follows the milestone precisely and completes it, they may purchase Archetypal Reputation [5/level]. This represents a resonance gained within Communion; people begin to recognize the character as a manifestation of the Archetype and react positively to him according to the nature of his Archetype (those who follow the Path of Death will provoke terror and awe; those who follow the Path of the Righteous Crusader will earn the respect of soldiers, etc). Each level of Archetypal Reputation also provides a bonus to Petition and Reaction rolls for invocations of miracles associated with a path, and act as minimum requirements for purchasing unique, path miracles as Learned Prayers. The maximum level of Archetypal Reputation is 4, and characters can only enjoy the benefits of one at a time. A character who fails to maintain their Disciplines of Faith or who violate their Milestones lose the benefits of their Archetypal Reputation until they restore themselves to the path.

Paths have associated miracles. These include general miracles associated with the broader form of Communion (for example, anyone with Broken Communion can invoke the miracle of the Plague of Madness, but the Path of Madness has a special association with it); paths also have unique miracles associated with them. A unique miracle may only be purchased as a learned prayer if the character is currently “on the path” and has sufficient levels of Archetypal Reputation. Characters may not invoke the miracle as a Specific Prayer unless they are on the Path. Characters may receive a unique miracle as part of a General Prayer however. Miracles taken as Learned Prayers associated with a specific path require the character to be on that path, in addition to any other requirements for their form of Communion; this means the character adds the -10 point disadvantage and Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism) [-5] as pact limitations for their path miracles, for a total of -25%.

Paths also have Symbols associated with them. These symbols have powerful resonances with the Path, and with the overall form of Communion. Characters who invoke the symbol (that is, use it as a meaningful part of the meditation ritual they engage in when invoking Communion) can claim a +1 per two symbols invoked (up to a maximum of +2) for any Miracle associated with that form of Communion or +1 per symbol (to a maximum of +4) for any Miracle associated with that specific Path. Characters with the Symbolic Resonance perk may also claim these benefits for psychic powers, within the limits set by the Path.

Finally, all paths have a set of unique miracles that grant access to Talents associated with the Path, or access to “Avatars,” where the character channels the power of the Path and becomes a living Manifestation of the Path. In principle, the GM should limit these to being accessible only to characters who are currently on that path (though, as with all things involving Communion, the GM may make exceptions).

Unconscious Communion and Paths

Characters who do not have access to Communion can attempt to access it via a path; this includes characters with only Weak Latency (Psi), but not characters with no psionic abilities. Characters who strictly follow a path may find that Communion rewards them with appropriate miracles without them directly invoking it, nor with any real idea of what’s going on. This results from the power of the Archetypal imagery and symbolism that the character invokes simply by living their lives in this ritual way. This is most common among cults who have only a vague idea of how Communion works, and realize that certain symbols give them power, but don’t understand why and have no conscious connection with Communion.

Characters with this form of Communion may purchase a weaker form of Communion called Unconscious Communion (Path). This costs half as much as normal Communion but the player may not directly invoke it. Instead, whenever the GM feels that a miracle might be appropriate, he secretly rolls against their level of Communion and, if this roll succeeds, secretly rolls a Reaction Roll to see what the miracle is; the miracle must come from the list of Associated Miracles for the Path the character follows, or be thematically appropriate to their Path. Characters may spend an Impulse Buy point (1 point is enough) or use Serendipity to get the GM to make a petition roll and they may suggest a miracle.

Characters may attempt to gain Communion’s attention with a Religious Ritual roll; they may apply a penalty to their Religious Ritual roll to attempt go gain +1 to the Petition and the Reaction modifiers per -2 to their Religious Ritual roll. Ultimately, the GM decides if this works in getting Communion’s attention or in providing the Petition or Reaction rolls. Characters who do this may specify a desired miracle as a Specific Prayer but, again, the GM ultimately decides what Communion does.

Characters with Unconscious Communion may, at the GM’s discretion, purchase Learned Prayers. These tend to be complicated, though, because Learned Prayers are alternate abilities of the character’s Communion trait, and all Learned Prayer prerequisites are based on full-price Communion, thus those prerequisites would need to change for a character with Unconscious Communion. A better system might be to allows players to purchase specific, limited examples of Oath Magic, below, with some having unique Unconscious Communion (or Communion) requirements and specifying that the character cannot use both the Oath Magic and their Unconscious Communion. The GM would need to oversee the design of each such power, but see the Divine Masks for worked examples! In any case where the GM allows the purchase of a learned prayer, these should be limited to miracles associated with the character’s path.

Characters with Unconscious Communion may purchase Archetypal Reputation!

Characters who learn to directly interact with Communion at a later date may trade in their points of Unconscious Communion (Path) for a level of appropriate Communion, generally halving their effective level of Communion.

Unconsious/Path Communion Costs


Level Cost Level Cost
4 8 12 55
5 10 13 65
6 13 14 75
7 18 15 85
8 23 16 100
9 28 17 115
10 35 18 130
11 45 19 150

Oath Magic

Some cults and philosophies understand that Communion responds to deeply ingrained behaviors, and learn to take mystically potent oaths. Character’s needn’t be psionic to take such a vow!

To participate in Oath Magic, the character must take a Vow worth at least [-10], or a similar disadvantage (Pacifism, Code of Honor, or Disciplines of Faith can all work). The character must take an appropriate disadvantage with the Mitigator (Oath) -65% limitation. This represents the punishment the character faces for failing to live up to the oath. The most common such disadvantages are Unluckiness or Cursed.

Then the character may purchase any miracle associated with a single form of Communion as an ability; this new ability replaces the Communion limitation with a new Oath Magic limitation worth -20%; this new modifier retains the limitations of the original Communion modifier (True Communion miracles still require you stay true to a -10 point disadvantage other than your vow; Dark Communion miracles fail before Broken Communion miracles, and so forth), and require you to adhere to your new Oath. Failure to stay true to your oath means you lose all abilities tied to that oath and inflicts your Oath Magic disadvantage on you. Restoring your oath requires a quest, a major expenditure and/or a week of repentance. Once Communion has been satisfied that your Oath has been restored, the disadvantage goes quiescent and you regain access to your abilities.

Miracles purchased this way are not Learned Prayers; they’re just stand-alone abilities. For example, the Dark Confidence Miracle is built on Luck (Dark Communion -10%) [14]; As a Learned Prayer, this costs 3 points; as Oath Magic, this becomes Luck (Dark Communion Oath Magic -20%) [12], and the character pays the full 12 points. If the character has both Oath Magic and a Communion trait, the use of their Oath Magic abilities does not interfere with the use of their Communion trait. Under specific circumstances, with specific examples of pre-defined oaths, this may not be true; see the description of specific examples for such cases.

The GM should limit what miracles players can purchase as Oath Magic. Most cults that offer them offer only miracles associated with their cult, usually miracles associated with a single, or a handful of, paths.

The Miracles of Communion

Miracles are broken up into 5 levels.

  • Minor Blessings require a Neutral or better reaction. These simulate abilities from 1 to 25 points.
  • Major Blessings require a Good or better reaction. These simulate abilities from 26 to 55 points.
  • Miraculous Powers require a Very Good or better reaction. These simulate abilities from 56 to 110 points.
  • World-Shaking Miracles require an Excellent or better reaction. These simulate abilities from 111 to 170 points.
  • History-Shaping Miracles require an Excellent or better reaction and apply a -3 reaction penalty to all future miracles for the remainder of the day. These simulate abilities worth more than 170 points.

Miracles also have learned prayer costs and prerequisites. Characters with a sufficiently high level of Communion (and, in the case of Path miracles, Archetypal Reputation) may purchase these miracles as learned prayers using the listed cost.

Communion miracles can explicitly imitate the effects of any appropriate psionic power. Many listed examples already do this, but with different modifiers (typically removing the need to roll, integrating a technique in as a modifier, adding cosmic enhancements, etc); examples include Poltergeist, from Broken Communion. To determine the required reaction, simply take the point cost of the ability and find where that falls under the reaction modifiers above. For example, Telesend 6 costs 42 points, and thus would be a Major Blessing. Replace the rolls for skills with one of Meditation, Religious Ritual, Philosophy or Theology (GM’s discretion).

Path Miracles

The Paths have a set of Miracles shared between all paths.

Primordial Expertise, Lesser

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prerequisite: (Communion) 4 and either Archetypal Reputation 1 or Destined (To Follow Path X) 1.
Learned Prayer Cost: 3.

Characters who follow the Path of an Archetype may draw upon the inherent knowledge within that Archetype to improve their own skills in a particular area. Gain +3 to the skills from a single Talent worth 5/level associated with the Path. This lasts for one day, or until it benefits at least one roll of the mystic, whichever is longer.

Statistics: Talent 3 (Divine, Path -25%) [12], Rule Exception (This talent may exceed +4) [1]

Primordial Expertise, Greater

Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prerequisite: (Communion) 7 and either Archetypal Reputation 2 or Destined (To Follow Path X) 2.
Learned Prayer Cost: 5.

As with Primordial Expertise, but this allows them to access talents worth 10/level, if the Archetype has one. This lasts for one day, or until it benefits at least one roll of the Communionist, whichever is longer.

Statistics: Talent 3 (Divine, Path -25%) [23], Rule Exception (This talent may exceed +4) [1]

Channel Archetype

Reaction Required: Very Good
Learned Prerequisite: (Communion) 12 and either Archetypal Reputation 3 or Destined (To Follow Path X) 3.
Learned Prayer Cost: 18 points.

Rather than simply draw on some of the expertise, the character may attune themselves fully with their archetype. This communion takes 1d6 seconds, even as a learned prayer, and costs 1 fatigue. Once complete, the character gains marks and features that betray the fact that she is channeling an archetype, but also gains the ability to draw on any skills associated with the archetype's talents at IQ +3 or DX +3 up to three times per session, as well gaining as +3 to any archetype skills she already knows. Finally, each archetype has its own, often subtle, power that the character gains access to.

Statistics: Alternate Form (Lesser Avatar of (Path); Divine, Path -25%, Reduced time 1d6 seconds +40%, costs 1 fatigue -5%) [18]

Lesser Avatar of (Path) 25 Points

While in a lesser avatar state, becomes more visibly connected with their path: Those who know about the symbolism of a path (via appropriate cultural familiarity, Hidden Lore (Communion) or Occultism) gain +2 to recognize the fact that the character is current possessed of his path. Furthermore, the character begins to think like his path and feels driven to follow his own symbolism. Every hour that he remains in this state, he loses 1 point of fatigue. Finally, the character gains the ability to draw on the “natural” skills of his path 3 times per session. Each path adds their own additional advantages and disadvantages: see Paths of Communion for further details.
This represents the generic base of all lesser avatars. See each individual path for the specific abilities offered by that path. If creating your own LesserAvatar, the maximum point value is 100 points; Any points beyond this increase the cost of this trait as a learned prayer by (Cost of the template – 100) * 0.9.

Advantages: Wild Talent 3 (Aspect, only skills associated with path talents -20%, Divine -0%) [48], unique path template [varies].

Disadvantages: Dependency (Return to natural form, hourly, fatigue only -50%) [-10], Hidebound [-5], Obsession (Specified Goal) [-5], Distinctive Features (Marks of possession) 2 [-2], Vow (To precisely follow the symbolism of the archetype) [-10].

Primordial Avatar

Required Reaction: Excellent, and apply -3 to further reaction rolls from Communion for the remainder of the day
Learned Prerequisite: (Communion) 18 and Archetypal Reputation 4.
Learned Prayer Cost: varies.

Characters with a profound connection to a primordial image can manifest as an incarnation of that primordial image. In that state, their own personality merges with the mythic imagery found in the heart of communion. This gives them enormous psychic power, but channeling that much energy burns them out. For the duration of the effect (which lasts at most an hour), they regenerate 1 fatigue per turn, gain +5 to resist death and unconsciousness, the effects of High Pain Threshold with an additional +5 to resist stunning, knockdown and torture.

The learned Prayer cost is 13 points, plus 90% of the point cost by which the primordial avatar exceeds 275 points.
Statistics: Alternate Form (Greater Avatar of (Path); Divine, Path -25%, Maximum Duration, 1 hour -10%, Reduced time 1d6 seconds +40%, Costs 2 HP -20%) [13] + Chosen Avatar Template.

Greater Avatar of (Path) 175 Points

While in a greater avatar state, the character is obviously possessed. His eyes glow, he is clearly marked, both physically and psychically, with the symbolism of his path. Even someone who knows nothing about Communion will describe the possessed character in terms of the symbolism of the path. Furthermore, he is driven to strictly fulfill the symbolism of his path, unable to deviate from those symbols. He’s also driven to accomplish whatever task prompted the miracle in the first place. The avatar state is enormously taxing, and the character loses 1 HP per minute while in this state.

The power offered by Communion in this state is considerable: He gains +5 all Will rolls, all rolls to remain conscious or to resist death, complete immunity to pain, the ability to make a free Concentrate maneuver every turn in addition to any other maneuvers made, and the character regenerates 1 point of Energy Reserves per second.
This represents the generic base of all greater avatars. See each individual path for the specific abilities offered by that path. If creating your own Primordial Avatar, he maximum point value is 275 points; Any points beyond this increase the cost of this trait as a learned prayer by (Cost of the template – 275) * 0.9.

Secondary Traits: Will +5 [25];

Advantages: Compartamentalized Mind [50], Hard to Kill +5 [10], Hard to Subdue +5 [10], Immunity to Pain [30], Regeneration (Very Fast, Divine -0%, Energy Reserves (Psionic) only -0%) [100], unique path template [varies].

Disadvantages: Dependency (Return to natural form, constant) [-25], Hidebound [-5], Obsession (Specified Goal) [-5], Unnatural feature (Marks of Possession, glowing eyes, multi-toned voice) 5 [-5], Vow (To precisely follow the symbolism of the archetype) [-10].

Additional Character Traits

Archetypal Reputation [5/level]

Characters who walk a path begin to resonate with that particular archetype, becoming a living symbol of that path that any witness, and Communion itself, intuitively recognizes. Archetypal Reputation counts as normal Reputation that all galactic sapients recognize and additionally grants a +1 per level to all Petition reaction rolls. Archetypal Reputation is always associated with a specific path, the one that the character walked when he gained the Archetypal Reputation, and people will react accordingly (thus, a character with a Archetypal Reputation (Rebellious Beast) +4 is significantly more frightening than someone with Archetypal Reputation (Bound Princess) +4, who is more trustworthy). Archetypal Reputation has the pact limitation, and depends on the character fulfilling his path requirements to maintain. If the character fails to maintain his path symbolism, he loses access to Archetypal Reputation until he returns to the Path. Furthermore, Archetypal Reputation can only be purchased after fulfilling milestones, specific moments typically important and symbolic of a specific path. Finally, Archetypal Reptuation serves as a prerequiste for path-specific Learned Prayers.

Dark Psionic Distortion [-3/level]

Each level of this disadvantage represents a -1 to any roll to use a Psionic power other than one empowered by Dark Communion, or to use True Communion. This has a maximum of 10 levels. For more details, see Dark Communion.

Destiny (to Follow the Path of (Path)) [5/level]

Some characters do not follow a path, but will. Characters with this destiny often find Milestones cropping up regularly. They may use the provided impulse buy points to ensure a successful petition or a positive reaction in regards to miracles from their destined path, or to ensure the success of milestones. The GM also has an equal number of Impulse Buy points that he can spend to prevent the player character from deviating from their destiny! This may also be used as an alternative to the Archetypal Reputation prerequisites for Path Learned Prayers.

Once the character enters the path and earns their first level of Archetypal Reputation, the GM may allow the player to exchange levels of this Trait for levels of Archetypal Reptuation.

Psi-Sensitivity [15/level]
Prerequisite: Any form of Communion at 4+

All characters with any form of Communion have unlocked their minds to a vast universe of psychic potential and may purchase any form of psychic ability or talent. Characters may also purchase Psi-Sensitivity, which improves all forms of Psychic Power. This stacks with any Psi-Talent that they have, but to a maximum bonus of +4. The GM should allow players to “cash in” their points for existing Psi-Talents and use them to purchase Psi-Sensitivity if that makes more sense for their characters.

Taboo Trait: Communion [0]
This features disqualifies a character from accessing True Communion or Dark Communion. Generally, characters with psionic powers genetically engineered into them, or psi-borgs, have this feature.

Communion Perks

Alien Paths: You may walk a path that isn't part of your form of Communion (Someone with Dark Communion walking the Path of Death, etc). You must still fulfill all the requirements for that particular path (eg the Miracles of Death are still corrupting; the Path of the Righteous Crusader still requires a Code of Honor, etc), but you have full access to that Path's miracles.

Dark Communion Resilience: Gain +1 to resisting the effects of Dark Communion taint. You may purchase this as a leveled trait. This is, in effect, a highly limited form of Energy Reserves (it effectively gives you one free point of energy, but only once per day, and only if you have dark communion, and only if you've used it to gain dark communion taint).

Dark Healer: You may access Psychic Healing despite having the Dark Communion or Broken Communion trait.

Sacred Vampire: You may access Psychic Vampirism despite having the Communion trait.

Sanctity Compensation: You may ignore up to -1 in sanctity penalties when attempting to invoke a Communion Miracle. Thus, if you're attempting to use Communion in a Desecrated area, instead of rolling at -5, you roll at -4. This perk is leveled.

Signature Miracle: Gain +1 to Communion Reaction rolls when calling on one specific Specified Miracle (Leveled, to a maximum of +4).

Signature Symbolism: The character has a unique symbol associated with his path, as he slowly diverges from it and creates a new path. A character may have no more levels of Signature Symbolism than his Legendary Reputation, and upon achieving 4 signature symbols, the GM might consider creating a new, unique path for the character, with new milestones and new powers.

Symbolism Mastery: You may invoke 6 symbols for +6 to reaction rolls for your path, or +3 to a miracle outside of your path.

Symbolic Resonance (Path): You may invoke your path symbols as a bonus to the use of a psychic power, provided the use is appropriate to the path (each Path has a description as to what uses are appropriate for it).

Twisted Energy Compensation: You may ignore the -2 when invoking a psychic power in a Twisted Psychic Energy field, but all failures still count as a critical failure(but see Stablizing Skills).

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