The Path of the Other

Alternate Names: Xenos, the Outsider, the Exarch, the Elder One, the Alien God.
The Other represents that which humanity does not understand. This part of Broken Communion are those parts which have tried to connect with the external world and failed. Where the rest of Communion has recoiled from that external thing in fear and horror, this part of Broken Communion remains fascinated. Those who follow this path begin to take on those traits that the rest of Communion fears because it cannot understand, that which Communion vilifies. By walking these paths, one can gain an understanding of that which others cannot, but it becomes destined to fundamentally lose its humanity.

What is “The Other?”

“The Other” references anything outside of the “norm” for the usual “human” experience of the Galaxy. The Ranathim, Keleni and Humanity are all quite different from one another, but broadly experience life the same way and can relate to one another’s life experiences. They see one another as friends and enemies, not as monsters.

“The Other” covers everything that falls outside of this scope. The Path of the Other depicts these creatures as monsters and abominations, but that’s how Communion has been shaped by human experience to see these creatures (or how Communion has shaped humanity and its compatriots to see them). These doesn’t mean that they actually are, and those who follow this path and avoid the more monstrous aspects of it soon gain a deeper empathy for these strange creatures on the edges of humanoid understanding.

The GM ultimately decides what falls under the purview of “the Other,” but some suggestions include:

  • The Eldoth and their creations.
  • Psi-Borgs and other bizarre robot/human hybrid experiments of the Cybernetic Union.
  • The Anacridian Scourge.
  • The Devils of Persephone and other Labyrinthine creatures.
  • The monstrous, man-eating fauna of Hekatomb.
  • The mutant outcasts in the bowels of Xen.
  • Any monster or being corrupted by Twisted Psychic Energy.

Edge cases might include:

  • The Gaunt and other creations of the Dead Art
  • Traders

Corruption of the Other

Following the Path of the Other requires nothing more than Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism), but it inflicts Corruption points, like any form of Broken Communion. The disadvantages gained from Broken Communion's corruption while following the Path of the Other must be used to acquire a disadvantage associated with self-alienation or the themes of Monstrosity.
The following represents ideas:

Disadvantages: Appearance (Varies) [Varies], Clueless [-10], Disturbing Voice [-10], Frightens Animals [-10], Loner [-5], Low Empathy [-20], Oblivious [-5], Odious Personal Habit (Varies) [Varies], Uncontrollable Appetite (Human Flesh) [-15*], Unusual Biochemistry [-5], Unnatural Features (Varies) [Varies], Xenophilia [-10*]

Benefits: At the GM's discretion, characters who follow the Path of the Other may purchase Animal Telepathy, Biokinesis and Psychometabolism powers with the -25% Broken Communion Path modifier in addition to the -10% Psi modifier.

Symbols

  • Color: Infrared (or Red)
  • Regalia: Insect chitin, slime, scales.
  • Tools: Indecipherable alien glyphs or language; the eating of raw human (or another appropriate sapient) flesh; exotic/alien tools or weapons.
  • Locations: Beyond the Galaxy; alien worlds brimming with strange life; ruins overrun with slime, vermin and vines; sewers.

Invocation of Symbols

Characters with Symbolic Resonance (The Other) may invoke the symbols at full value for any use of Biokinesis or Psycho-Metabolism abilities, or for use of psychic powers that interact with strange, alien monster or robots, or that will corrupt someone into something else while still leaving them alive, or make them behave in a deviant way. It can never be used to create understanding between two people.

Milestones

  • The Other lies weak and slumbering (metaphorically dead) in a place of ruin, decay and antiquity. Someone knowledgeable and greedy from the Proper World comes across the other, and the Other consumes/infects them, and rises once more, using the (metaphorical) remains of this person as a means by which to return to the world ("wearing their skin"). He returns to the "Proper World."
  • The Other discovers, or is discovered by, “the beautiful youth,” a paragon of what is considered right and good by the Proper World, according to Super-Ego or Id communion (virtuously pure and/or physically desirable). The Other communes with the flesh of the Beautiful Youth, and either consumes him or infects/taints them with its otherness (Completing this milestone). This Beautiful Youth becomes a close companion and enemy to the Other, acting both as a bridge to the Proper World, and a dangerous dagger poised at its heart.
  • The Other successfully hides its Otherness behind a mask of normalcy and integrates itself into an institution considered important and/or sacred by the Proper World. While hidden within this institution, it successfully consumes/infects the institution, filling it with qualities of Otherness (completing this milestone) that begins to infect/consume other institutions around it. Someone connected with Id or Super-Ego discovers and reveals this infection.
  • The Other breeds an army of itself, which it leads against the Proper World. Those who fall under its grasp are metaphorically or literally consumed or infected by the Other. The forces of the Proper World rise up in return to the Other and they clash. The Other is defeated, but not before striking a lingering and memorable blow to the Proper World.
  • The Other is pursued into the heart of a place of ruin, decay and antiquity by a paragon of the Proper World. There, he is defeated and the world thinks him dead, but he is only weakened. He goes into a state of slumber, waiting to be awoken at some later time.

Associated Talents

Alien Friend: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 6 (and GURPS Space).

Stalker: [5/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 15.

Associated Miracles

  • Minor Blessings (Neutral)
    • Inured Mind
    • Primordial Expertise, Lesser (Alien Friend or Stalker)
    • Roads of Broken Communion
    • Commune with Alien
    • Sense Alien
    • Spawn Abomination
    • Summon Alien
    • Unspeakable Knowledge
  • Major Blessings (Good)
    • Broken Window
    • Plague of Madness
    • Corrupt Ground
    • Sanity Blasting Horror
  • Miraculous Power (Very Good)
    • Corrupt Ground (Enhanced)
    • Channel Archetype (The Other)
    • Summon Abomination
    • Skin of the Other
  • World-Shaking Miracles (Excellent)
    • Sanity Blasting Horror (Enhanced)
    • Plague of Locusts
    • Roads of Broken Communion (Enhanced)
  • History-Shaping Miracles (Excellent+4)
    • Primordial Avatar (The Other)

Unique Miracles

Commune with Alien

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 5, Archetypal Reputation (the Other) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 4 points
Corruption: 4

A deep relationship with the madness of Broken Communion grants the Outsider a deep connection with that which humans cannot well understand. After invoking this prayer, the Outsider gains the ability to understand the emotions of truly bizarre aliens (see Sense Alien for a better definition), and aliens intuitively trust the Avatar (+3 to reaction modifiers)

Statistics: Empathy (Truly bizarre aliens, -20%, Broken Communion -25%) [9], Charisma +3 (Truly Bizarre Aliens -20%, Broken Communion -25%) [9] [18]

Sense Alien

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Broken Communion 4, Archetypal Reputation (the Other) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 3 points
Corruption: 3

Upon completion of this prayer, the Outsider automatically knows the location of the nearest truly alien creature. This power applies specifically to creatures that aren't the typical humanoid alien or an obvious knock-off of an earth creature ("Space cows" etc), but something truly unusual. This information is perfect, but if the Outsider wants to understand it more deeply (ie to analyze it), he must succeed at a Philosophy roll to better comprehend its imagery.

Statistics: Detect (Truly Bizarre Aliens; Rare, No Roll Required +100%, Precise, Non Targetting +90%, Divine -25%) [14].

Summon Alien

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Broken Communion 5, Archetypal Reputation (the Other) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 4 points
Corruption: 4

The Outsider calls upon a monstrous creature, and it appears shortly. Exactly how it arrives varies: it never appears out of thin air, but rather from nook or from around a corner nobody had noticed before, or could swear was empty a moment ago.

The alien creature is always unintelligent (or relatively unintelligent), a space monster rather than a sapient being; it might be native to the world, or it might be some previously unknown mutant creature. It is weaker than the summoner, typically little more than a natural animal. In all cases, the alien willingly and happily serves the Outsider, until it has accomplished a single task, or an hour has passed, whichever takes longer.

Statistics: Ally (Alien; 50% character points or less; Always; Broken Communion Path -25%; Minion +50%; Summonable +100%) [18]

Spawn Abomination

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Broken Communion 6, Archetypal Reputation (the Other) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points
Corruption: 5

After the Outsider invokes this miracle on either a dead body that he killed, or an incapacitated person that he injured, the target must roll 3d; if the roll is less than the damage inflicted or the character is already dead, then the character is infected. In 2d days, a creature will spawn from the corpse of the victim, or a living victim will be changed into a creature. The exact racial template depends on the whims of Broken Communion: the GM, not the player, chooses. The resulting creature has Slave Mentality and is Duty bound to the Outsider and will willingly serve him for a short period of time (from a day to a week), after which the Outsider must purchase them as an Ally with the Minion +50% enhancement or the creature loses Slave Mentality and Duty and is free to do as they wish; if mistreated, they may attack the Outsider, but otherwise, most slink off into the night.

Statistics: Dominance (Accessibility, only on the dead or restrained -10%; Broken Communion Path -25%; Cosmic, any attack +50%, Nuisance, random template, no dominance -10%) [21]

Unspeakable Knowledge

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Dark Communion 6, Archetypal Reputation (the Other) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points
Corruption: 5

Upon completion of this prayer, the Avatar opens his mind to the universe. The GM can thereafter give him whatever knowledge he seeks, but the knowledge that the character gains is in such a format that the Avatar cannot express this knowledge to any character who lacks the Broken Communion advantage.

Statistics: Oracle (Inspired +100%, Broken Communion Path -25%, Nuisance, unable to communicate truths found -10%) [25]

Summon Abomination

Reaction Required: Very Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Broken Communion 11, Archetypal Reputation (Death) 3
Learned Prayer Cost: 18 points
Corruption: 18

This miracle works like Summon Alien, except the creature that appears is vastly more powerful. Rather than a strange, alien creature, it more resembles a genuine monster worth at least 150% of the Outsider’s point value. It typically has unusual mutations, psychic powers of its own, and it might have a cunning, if profoundly alien intellect, though it still more resembles a beast than a man.

As with Summon Alien, the abomination willingly and happily serves the Outsider, until it has accomplished a single task, or an hour has passed, whichever takes longer.
Statistics: Ally (Alien; 150% character points or less; Always; Broken Communion Path -25%; Minion +50%; Summonable +100%) [90]

Skins of the Other

Reaction Required: Very Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: Broken Communion 12, Archetypal Reputation (the Other) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 20 points
Corruption: 20

The Path of the Other connects its Avatar with many-varied images and half-memories of the monsters that exist beyond human perception. After invoking the miracle, over the next ten seconds, the Avatar physically changes his form into that of any creature that the GM deems appropriate to that of a "Truly bizarre alien." Doing so costs 1 HP and leaves behind the husk of his former body. The avatar retains enough of his own identity that one can readily identify the character (for example, his face remains on the front of its monstrous new body, or his features can be readily found within the features of the creature). The cost of the racial template cannot exceed that of the character's own racial template + his Divine Favor point cost (for example, a human with a [0] point template and Divine Favor 12 [110] could change into any template worth 110 points or less).

Statistics: Morph (Flawed -10%, Broken Communion Path -25%, Accessibility, only to creatures associated with Broken Communion -5%, costs 1 HP -10%, Nuisance, leaves disgusting/horrific husk -20%; new form excludes all forms of Divine Favor -0%) [20]

Avatar Templates

The Quicksilver Flesh of the Other


While in the grip of the Primordial Avatar of the Other, the character can reflexively change their body to manifest 35 points worth of gross, physical advantages. The ideal use of this is to rapidly manifest any advantage that the character needs, but the player may not have a ready idea of what he could manifest. Here are some suggestions:

Armor of the Other [30]: The Outsider manifests a thick, disjointed carapace; this prevents him from wearing armor but provides a DR of 50. Alternatively, he might thicken his skin to a durable, flexible armor, also for DR 50.
Statistics: DR 50 (either Can’t wear armor -40% or Tough Skin -40%) both [30]

Centimani [25]: The Outsider grows a second pair of arms and may use them to make a second attack, at the cost of being unable to use a second action that turn to concentrate.
Statistics: Extra Arms (2) [20] + Extra Attack (Alternate to Compartamentalized Mind) [5]

Hulking Abomination [27]: the Outsider grows to seven or more feet tall. His muscles bulge and he gains +4 Striking and Lifting Strength and +1 SM.
Statistics: +4 Striking ST (SM 1 -10%) [18], +4 Lifting ST (SM 1 -10%) [9]

Maw of the Other [5]: The Outsider either moves his mouth to some new location or manifests a new mouth at a separate location, wherever he’d like. This is cheap enough that the character can manifest several at once, or manifest with Rending Talons so that his mouths have real bite to them. This works best when grappled by another character that the Outsider wishes to damage. Note that the Outsider always has a Compartamentalized Mind while in the Primordial Avatar state, and thus can carry on two different conversations at once. The character an also purchase an Extra Attack as an alternate ability to his Compartamentalized Mind (for another [5] points), if he wants to bite with two mouths at once.
Statistics: Extra Mouth [5]

Ornithopteran [30]: The Outsider sprouts a set of large, glassy, insectile wings that allow him to fly or hover.
Statistics: Flight (Winged -25%) [30]

Panopticon [25]: The Outsider manifests hundreds of eyes all over his body; he can manifest new ones at will. This allows total, 360° perception.
Statistics: 360° vision [25]

Rending Talons [18]: The Outsider gains talons and gnashing teeth or mandibles that mimic the lethality of a vibro blade. The talons inflict thr+1d(5) cut or thr+1d imp, and the teeth inflict thr+1d(5) cut.
Statistics: Talons [8]; Sharp Teeth [1]; Natural Attack Enhancement 1d cut (Armor Divisor 5 +150%, Melee Attack C -30%) [3] + Innate Attack 1d cut (Talons or Teeth; Cutting; Armor Divisor 3, +150%; Melee Attack, C, -30%, ST-Based +30%) [6]

Sinuous Sinews [25]: The Outsider’s bones shift from hard calcium to soft, hydrodynamic structures that can bend and flex, and his muscles writhe within their skin as he reshapes his body and his skin becomes slick with a slimy mucus. This grants him +5 to Climbing, +7 Escape and attempts to Break Free from grapples or to slip through narrow passages, and allows him to ignore up to -5 points in Close Combat penalties and grants him the ability to treat his SM as +1 for the range of any single given limb without actually increasing his overall SM.
Statistics: Double Jointed [15]; Slippery +2 [4]; Stretch 1 [6]:

Swiftness of the Other [30]: The Outsider’s legs lengthen and bend backwards, becoming digitigrade, or shaped like the legs of a grasshopper. This allows him to double his top speed and double his jumps.
Statistics: Enhanced Speed (Ground) 1 [20]; Super Jump 1 [10]; Total 30

Lesser Avatar of the Other

Learned Prayer Cost: 18
Corruption: 18

The psion retains his own personality, but gains channels the skills associated with the Other. He gains a deep understanding of that which is inhuman, and exceptional stealth. He gains a deep connection with the Alien, and becomes able to detect truly alien creatures (though not with quite the same precision as the equivalent miracle).

Statistics: Lesser Avatar of the Other template as Alternate form

Lesser Avatar of the Other

86 points

Advantages: Lesser Avatar Template [25]; Alien Friend 3 [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1]; Stalker 3(Divine -0%) [15] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1]; Charisma 3 (Truly Bizarre Aliens -20%) [12]; Detect (Truly Bizarre Aliens, Rare) [5]; Empathy (Truly Bizarre Aliens -20%) [12].

Greater Avatar of the Other

Learned Prayer Cost: 47 points
Corruption: 25

The psion becomes the incarnation of the Other. In addition to the typical, overwhelming power of any Communal Avatar, his aura and features blur into the horrifying incarnation of that which sapient-kind fears about that which it doesn't understand. Additionally, while in this state, the avatar can shape its flesh into any advantage worth as much as 30 points, instantly, and can change that advantage whenever it wishes (the GM may wish to limit this to one change per turn, but it’s a free action). However, it becomes the incarnation of that which sapient-kind fears, unable to care about humanity, and hungering for its flesh.

Statistics: Greater Avatar of the Other template as Alternate form

Greater Avatar of the Other

312 points

Advantages: Primordial Template [175]; Epigenetics (Reduced Time, Instant +100%) [10] + 35 point pool [140]; Terror (Divine -0%) [30].

Disadvantages: Appearance (Horrific, Divine -0%, Glamour Will-5 -5%) [-23]; Callous [-5]; Uncontrollable Appetite (Human Flesh, 12 or less) [-15].

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License