Optional Rules

“All Rules are optional. But some rules are more optional than others.”

These rules add variety to characters. Some simply add options for character origins. Others also add a little complexity to the game. The use of these are up to the players and Editor. Percentages and rolls are given to aid in character creation.

Item-Based Option

There is a 1% chance that all the character's powers derive from a device. If not, there is a 1% chance, rolled for each power, that it is derived from a device. To determine the device, use the Magic Item Table under Lists and Tables or choose a likely device that is consistent with the character's powers. In the unlikely event that no instructions have been found for this item, Percent Control is divided by 3. Only 8% of items allow the user to Push their abilities. Each point will take d100 minutes to return. Note that strength, constitution, and agility increases derived from an item do not increase mass.

The player rolls d100 to determine how the item is powered.

01-65 4d6+8 EP. The item must be recharged from a power source when it runs out of EP, and requires d100 minutes to recharge from the power source. The player and Editor must decide what the item ‘plugs into.’

66-00 3d6+9 EP. The item recharges automatically at d8+2 EP per hour. The player and Editor must decide what energy source the item uses.

An item uses Endurance Points just as if it were a person. If the power in the item does not use Endurance Points, there is a 60% chance that the item will work forever. Otherwise, it has 2d20 uses (or hours, if it is a power whose effects last over a duration) before it must be refilled (or recharged).

For example, suppose the player decides that the character’s Sixth Sense power is in a ring. Sixth Sense doesn't use Endurance Points. So, d100 must be rolled, and if the roll is 60 or less, the ring will last forever. Otherwise, the ring will work for 2d20 hours before it must be recharged. If there is more than one power in an item, roll for Endurance Points or uses as many times as there are powers in the item (whether the power uses Endurance Points or not). For example, suppose a character has Electricity, Magnetism, and Power Beam in a staff. Rolling on the power table above gives a 42. Then 4d6+8 is rolled three times, for a total of 12d6+32 Endurance Points stored in the staff. Do the same for the amount of time it takes to recharge. For the amount of Endurance Points recharged per hour, roll that many times, but do not add the results together. Simply take the best of the rolls. The example staff will take d100 minutes to recharge. The player and Editor decide that the staff must be placed within a powerful magnetic field for 24 minutes to be recharged.

Optional Transformation

There is a 1% chance that the character has two forms: a superhero form (in which all powers may be used), and a normal form (in which no powers can be used). It costs no EP to change back and forth. Upon going unconscious, the character automatically reverts to the normal form. The change can take place on any of the character's Actions (and can be done simultaneously with any other action). Many characters with animalistic powers have a form similar to that animal. Characters with Optional Transformation have a 50% chance of having a new Physical Beauty in the new form.

Alien Option

Each character has a 1% chance of being an alien. If a character is an alien, an Age Multiplier must be rolled up, because most aliens age differently than normal Earth humans. Roll 2d4, add 5, then divide this by 10. The player has a 50% chance, rolled until missed, of rolling the 2d4 again, adding 5, dividing by 10, and multiplying the previous number by that. Now, whenever the Editor must roll something that has to do with age (for example, Old Age Deterioration effects, or Youth--see Old Age and Young Age), multiply the character's earth age (the age on the character sheet) by the Age Multiplier for the character’s biological age. Aliens are also affected differently by temperature extremes. Add 2d8 minus 9 to maximum and minimum temperature rolls. There is a 50% chance that this is a penalty to one, and a bonus to the other. Otherwise, determine a separate modifier for each.

Optional Talent/Reverse Talent Rules

Characters may be better at some areas of knowledge than they are in others, and even highly intelligent characters can find some areas of knowledge hard to study. Each character has a 26% plus newoen chance of having a talent. Roll this chance until missed. Once that is rolled, the character has a 35 plus half learning minus 5 times the number of reverse talents already gained, percent chance of having a reverse talent. This is also rolled until missed.

For each talent and reverse talent, the player rolls below to see the area the talent or reverse talent is in. In areas in which the character is talented, d4 is added to the denominator (the lower number) in the fraction which determines how long the character must study for knowledge scores in that area. In areas in which the character is reverse talented, d6 is added to the numerator (the upper number) in that fraction.

Roll Knowledge Area Roll Knowledge Area

01-06 Singing 07-16 Playing Music

17-24 Writing 25-32 Acting

33-38 Dancing 39-44 Sculpting

45-54 Artwork 55-60 Action

61-70 Technical 71-80 Mechanical

81-88 Empathic 89-92 Life

93-96 Classification 97-99 Bureaucratic

00 Magic (true wizardry)

Bonuses and penalties are cumulative, if rolled more than once on the same area. Also, add five times the character's addition to the denominator to any inventing chance, and subtract four times an addition to the numerator from any inventing chance, in the area to which the addition applies. When determining the character’s original knowledge (see Creating a Character), add the addition to the denominator and subtract the addition to the numerator to and from each die roll in the applicable area(s).

Example for Talents/Reverse Talents:

John's character, Panhandler, has an 8 learning, 11 charisma, and 15 newoen. Panhandler has a 41% chance for Talents. John rolls 26, which succeeds. He then rolls 22, which succeeds again, and finally 53, which fails. Panhandler has 2 talents.

He has a 38% chance for Reverse Talents. John rolls 27, succeeding the first time. His next chance is 38 minus 5, or 33. His next roll is 39, so Panhandler only has one Reverse Talent.

Electronic/Animal Control Option

A character with psychic powers (probably not magic spells, unless the wizard is a robot) whose powers manipulate the mind may choose to instead have these powers be effective against electronics, and intelligent robots who are normally Psychically Immune. Such powers will not work on robots who aren't Psychically Immune (see Psychic Immunity, under Creating a Character). For example, a player who decided to say that his characters Illusion powers, instead of being able to affect organic life, affect electronics, could cause electronics (a camera, a radio, a computer, intelligent robots, etc.) to perceive the illusion. Non-sentient electronics have a newoen of zero.

Another option is choosing to affect animals, rather than sentients. For a creature to be an animal, it must have a learning of less than 3 and a newoen of less than 4. Otherwise the decision is up to the Editor.

Astral Effect Option

Characters with the ability to travel in the astral planes may have powers that work in the astral planes, towards astral beings, rather than in the physical planes, towards physical beings. See Astral Plane Travel. Likewise, most skills apply only physically-- Evasion applies in physical combat, but not in mental combat. Players can decide that such skills are Mentally oriented rather than Physically.

Immortality Option

Mature characters with the power Immortality have a 20% chance of being older than their rolled age. For actual age, subtract the character's age of maturity from the rolled age, multiply by the immortality multiplier (from the power, Immortality), and multiply by d%. Add this to the character's rolled age. If you do not know the age the character matured, roll d4, add to 15, and add d12-1 months.

Magical Styles

A character wishing to be a wizard can, instead of studying all magical spells with equal aptitude, choose to study magical styles, specializing in specific areas of magic. These styles can extend up to four levels--class, area, type, and kind.

Levels of Styles:

Class: Intensive or Extensive

Area: General, Special, Ceremonial

Physical, Mental, Temporal, Spiritual

Type: Attack, Defense, Confine, Servants, Binding

Create, Contact, Summon, Bind

Create/Destroy, Control, Information

Kind: Matter, Energy, Life, Magic

Matter/Energy, Psychic/Mind, Magic,



To create a style, choose one entry each from these levels. You do not need to extend all the way to kind. A style could be as simple as Intensive, or as restrictive as Extensive Ceremonial, Create Matter.

A wizard who is trained in a magical style will gain bonuses when casting and learning spells of that style. The Style Number is the number of levels specified in the style. The first style example above has a style number of 1. The second example has a style number of 4.

Style Bonuses:

Casting Chance: add Style Number

Study Time: subtract Style Number times 10%

Screw-Up Save: add Style Number

Magic Perception: add Style Number

There are also penalties when casting or learning spells outside of the style. The Style Difference for a spell is the number of levels that do not correspond. The spell Earthquake, for example, is classified as Extensive Special, Attack. If a caster specialized in Extensive Ceremonial Create Matter uses this spell, its style difference will be 2, because 2 of the levels specified in the style do not correspond with the spell’s classification. The same spell used by a wizard with the simple style of Intensive magic would have a style difference of 1--only 1 of the levels specified in the style does not correspond with the spell’s classification. The style difference can thus never exceed the style number.

Style Penalties:

Casting Chance: subtract Style Difference

Study Time: add Style Difference times 10%

Screw-Up Save: subtract Style Difference

Magic Perception: subtract Style Difference

Magical Symbols

If a spell does not require a magical symbol, then such a symbol can (depending on the magic's tradition) increase the chance of successfully casting a spell. Spells must be cast to a point within the symbol. The symbol must be drawn perfectly, or the bonus is not gained-- instead, an equal penalty is gained. If the target/effect is moved from the symbol, the spell is immediately canceled. If the symbol is broken or ruined while the spell is in effect, roll on the magic screw-up table. If the caster is still concentrating, it is a standard screw-up roll. If the spell was a duration spell, the roll is made with d100-20. EP losses go to the target or whoever is nearest. For results 41-60, EP loss is quadrupled and nothing happens. For results 21-40, EP loss is quintupled and nothing happens. These symbols are drawn from the European/Judaic tradition. Other traditions will have different symbols.

Magical Symbols:

Pentacle: +1

Pentagram: +2

Thaumaturgic Triangle: +2

Magic Circle: +3

Thaumaturgic Circle: +3

How to Make a Hero in Half an Hour

and still have time to grab some munchies...

If you need to create a character quickly, you can’t determine its entire family history. Here’s how to create a character in less than thirty minutes.

1. Roll the six 3d6 abilities (strength, agility, constitution, active and normal charisma, and learning). Re-roll the lowest. Move them around however you want. Don’t forget to add one to female characters’ constitutions.

2. Roll the five 4d6 attributes (newoen, sight, hearing, build, beauty). Re-roll one. Move them around however you want. Remember that build has 10 (females) or 11 (males) added to it.

3. Roll height by adding 2d100 millimeters to 1.693 meters (male) or 1.663 meters (female).

4. Choose your character’s age. If you can’t decide, use your age.

5. Your character knows English at five times learning, and has learning ‘General Knowledge’ points. Look up age minus 20 on the doubles chart. Double this for the character’s score in History and Local History, and add it to the number of points. Use one point each for the knowledge areas science, math, and a foreign language (usually either French or Spanish, sometimes German or Latin). Choose a profession, and, during the game, use your remaining General Knowledge points as necessary to fill out your professional knowledge. Occasionally add to your character’s verisimilitude by using a point for knowledge unrelated to your profession.

6. Your character has the skills driving at d3+1, and fists, clubs, and thrown clubs at 2 each. If your character has any powers that require skill, he or she is level 2 in those powers as well.

7. Roll four powers from a class powers table or one power from the special powers table. There are no extra powers. Roll PR as normal. Ask your Editor whether you’ll be rolling %Control or simply getting %Control at 100.

8. Determine mass, damage points, virtual damage points, endurance points, skin temper, willpower, and perception as normal. Your character has four editing points, 2 fate points, and age plus learning, divided by 10 points of forgotten knowledge. Determine Action Rolls as needed during the game.

9. Go get those munchies. You’ve got five minutes to hit the store and come back.

Simpler Combat

If you wish to use a less descriptive system of time, you can use the following Combat Turn rules instead of the Combat rules given later in this book.

There are 5 Combat Turns in a round. While Combat Turns are thus 10 segments long, this is unimportant: you’ll never divide a Combat Turn up that way. In a Combat Turn, combatants simply take turns making their action.

You can use this Combat System all the time, or you can use it when it’s not quite as important to play out everything segment by segment. You can switch back and forth between the simpler system and the standard system. It’s easiest to switch on segments that are a multiple of 10. If any actions are currently in progress when you switch to the abbreviated system, divide their remaining Performance Time by 10 and round down for the number of Combat Turns remaining, as below (Combat Turn). If any actions are currently in progress switching from the abbreviated system to the standard system, multiply their remaining Combat Turns by 10 for the number of segments. If no Combat Turns remain, use the character’s Initiative (subtracted from 10) for the number of segments that remain.

Combat Turn: Divide an action’s base Performance Time by 10 and round down, for the number of Combat Turns the action takes. If the action takes less than 10 segments, it takes one Combat Turn. Add 10 minus the action’s base time to the character’s Bonus Pool. An action with a Performance Time of 6 will take 1 Combat Turn and add 4 to the Bonus Pool. An action with a Performance Time of 24 will take 2 Combat Turns to complete.

Announcing (Order of Declaring Actions): Players announce their actions in order of learning (from lowest to highest). Players whose characters have the same learning announce at the same time.

Players can delay their character’s announcement. Each point of delay subtracts that much from their bonus pool for their action that Turn. A character with a Learning of 11 announcing on 15 will have a penalty of 4 to their bonus pool.

Initiative (Order of Actions): Each player rolls d10 at the start of each combat. This is the character’s base Initiative. The character with the highest initiative goes first. A player can, at the start of any Combat Turn, expend one Editing Point to re-roll their Initiative (and take the better of their previous Initiative or the new roll). These Editing Points are halved, then go to training in the action being performed.

Combat Roll: The same rules for the Combat Roll (and other Action Rolls) apply, except that Performance Time cannot be reduced below 1 Combat Turn. Quality Points can be used to increase Initiative for that Action on a 1 for 1 basis. Quality Points can be used to increase Damage on a 1 for 1 basis as well (instead of using the Doubling Chart).

A character can make a Combat Roll against anyone who is within range when it comes their turn to go.

Multiple Opponents: The Multiple Opponents system works the same. But rather than each attack working on subsequent Segments, the character’s Initiative is dropped by 1 for each attack.

Pushback: Pushback does not apply. If you want to, you can apply Pushback as a penalty to the character’s Action Pools next Combat Turn.

Passive Actions: A single passive Action Roll (such as Movement) can be made on the character’s Turn. This is in addition to the character’s normal Action Roll. Making a passive action adds a penalty of 1 to the character’s Action Pool for any other actions that Turn.

Ongoing Actions: Ongoing actions (such as movement or defensive shields) are paid for when they’re started, and at the end of every fifth Turn.

Movement Roll: Move at the end of the Combat Turn. At the end of the first Combat Turn of movement, the character can elect to continue moving (using normal movement rolls) or stop moving.

Multiply the character’s movement (in decimeters/segment) by 10 for the number of meters moved that Combat Turn. For example, Bear (with an Initiative of 9, and a Movement Roll of 21) makes a Movement Roll. He rolls (9,3) 12. His Quality is 9. He uses 4 Q to reduce the EP use to 1 EP/round, leaving 5 Q for movement. 5 movement Q is .5 meters/segment, so at the end of the Combat Turn he’ll move 5 meters.

To change direction (only in the initial Combat Turn--afterwards, direction can only be changed as normal), 45 degrees of change requires 1 point of Q: Bear, above, could have reserved 2 points of Q for changing direction (thus only moving .3 meters/segment), and thus could have changed direction by up to 45 degrees twice.

Simpler Combat Example

Two grunts duke it out with their fists. Fists require 1 Combat Turn (15 segments divided by 10 is 1). The Grunts each have a Combat Roll of 10, a Combat Pool of 2, and a Movement Roll of 18. They do 6 points of damage in hand to hand combat. They have 32 EP.

Grunt #1 is Sinister. Grunt #2 is Dexter.

Sinister rolls 7 on his Initiative Roll. Dexter rolls 8. Dexter will usually go first.

Combat Turn One:

Dexter and Sinister are 10 meters apart. They each roll their Movement Roll. Sinister rolls (2,6) 8 and Dexter rolls (3,5) 8. This gives each of them a Quality of 10. They use 2 points to reduce EP use to 3 EP/round, and the other 8 to move at .7 meters/segment. They each move 5 meters and stop (they could have moved up to 7 meters, but would then have run right past each other). That’s the end of this Combat Turn. They’ve each used 1 EP (for movement).

Combat Turn Two:

Sinister rolls (10,8) 18 for his Combat Roll, failing by 6. Dexter rolls (4,4) 8, succeeding by 4. He uses 2 points to increase Attack and 2 points to increase damage by 2. On his Initiative (8), he does 8 points of damage to Sinister.

Sinister failed by 6. On his Initiative (7), his Defense decreases by 1 (to -1).

They’ve used 4 EP each (1 for the Combat Roll, 3 for the Damage).

Combat Turn Three:

Sinister rolls (3,1-4) 0, succeeding by 12. Dexter rolls (10,8) 18, failing by 6. Sinister uses 3 points to increase his Initiative by 3 (to 10), 5 points to increase Damage by 5 (to 11) 2 points to increase Defense to 1, and 2 points to increase Attack to 2. On his Initiative (10), he does 11 points damage to Dexter.

Dexter failed by 6. On his Initiative (8), his Defense decreases by 1 (to -1).

They’ve used 4 EP each (1 for the Combat Roll, 3 for the Damage), for a total of 9 EP each.

Combat Turn Four:

Sinister rolls (6,7) 13, failing by 1. Dexter rolls (4,4) succeeding by 4. He uses 3 points to increase his Initiative to 11, and the remaining 1 point to increase his Attack to 1. On his Initiative (11) he does 6 points damage to Sinister (who has now taken 14 points damage).

Sinister failed by 1, and doesn’t do anything.

They’ve used another 4 EP each (13 EP each total).

Combat Turn Five:

Sinister decides it’s time to leave. He makes a Movement Roll. He rolls (9,4) 13, succeeding by 5. This is .5 m/segment, or 5 meters total.

Sinister rolls (4,1-10) -5 on his Combat Roll, with a penalty of 1 (for using a Passive Action), and plus his normal bonus of 2, brings this to -6, or a Quality of 16. He uses 5 points to bring his Initiative to 12. He uses 6 points to increase his Defense to 3. He uses the remaining 5 points to reduce the EP cost to zero. Sinister has no plans to do damage this Action. Dexter rolls (10,4) 14, failing his Combat Roll by 2.

On 12, Sinister’s new Defense takes effect.

On 8, Dexter misses.

At the end of the Combat Turn, Sinister runs 5 meters, and elects to continue running.

Sinister used 5 EP for movement. Dexter used 4 EP (Combat Roll+Damage). Sinister has used 17 EP, Dexter 16 EP.

Combat Turn Six:

Sinister rolls (7,6) 13 for his Movement Roll. He has a penalty of 5 to his Pool (since he’s already moving). He succeeds by 0, and will continue his normal speed, moving at the end of the Combat Turn. Dexter decides to chase, and rolls (3,10) 13. for a total Q of 5. He uses all for movement, for .5 meters/segment.

At the end of the Turn, each moves 5 meters. They’re still 5 meters apart, and each is now using 5 EP/round. Sinister has used up 22 EP (since this is the start of a new round), Dexter 21 EP.

Combat Turn Seven:

Sinister rolls (6,9) 15, +5 is 20. He has failed by 2. Dexter rolls (4,4) 8, +5 is 13. He succeeds by 5.

Sinister failed by only 2, so this doesn’t reduce his speed or increase his EP usage.

Dexter adds his 5 Q to his Movement Q of 5, bringing it to 10. This is .9 meters/segment.

At the end of the Turn, they each move. Dexter moves 9 meters, Sinister 5 meters. Dexter moved 4 meters more than Sinister, so they are now 1 meter apart.

Sinister has used up 27 EP. Dexter is at 26 EP.

Combat Turn Eight:

Sinister rolls (4,5) 9, with a penalty of 5, for 4 Q. Dexter rolls (6,6) 12, with a penalty of 9, for 21, failing by 3. He continues to move at .9 meters/segment (10 Q). Sinister adds all of his Q (4) to his movement, for a total of 9 Q, and .8 meters/segment. Dexter also makes an attack. He rolls (9,4) 13. He misses by 1, but uses 4 EP for the attack.

At the end of the Turn, they move. Dexter and Sinister move 9 meters. Dexter moved 1 meter more than Sinister this time. They are on top of each other again. Sinister is at 32 EP. Dexter is at 35 EP, or 3 below zero. He decides to give up.

Combat Turn Nine:

Sinister rolls (10,1-2) 9, with a penalty of 8 (9 Q on movement already) for 17. He succeeds by 1, for 1 Q (which he uses to decrease EP use to 4 EP). Dexter, trying to stop, rolls (5,6) 11. He has a penalty of 10 to his Pool for movement, and 3 for his low EP. This is 13, or a penalty of 9 to the roll. This brings his 11 to a 20, which fails by 2. Since he’s trying to stop, though (see Move Roll) he can automatically decrease movement Q by the total movement Q (Sphere), minus half the 2 failure. He decreases speed by 9 (Move Q, Sphere) minus 1 (half the Move Roll failure) or 8. He has 2 Q in movement, and is moving at .2 meters/segment.

Sinister has moved 9 meters. Dexter has moved 2 meters. Sinister is at 36 EP, and Dexter is at 40 EP. They’re 7 meters apart and widening, and Dexter will stop on the next Turn.