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Old 06-21-2017, 01:40 PM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default Katalysator Index and Miscellany thread

The Katalysator worldlines:

Katalysator-1 (Q5, current year 1977)

Katalysator-2 (Q6, current year 1669)

Katalysator-3 <To Be Posted>

Katalysator-4 <To Be Posted>

Katalysator-5? <To Be Posted>
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 9/29/2018: The Eyes Have It, by maximara, has been posted.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:43 PM   #2
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: Katalysator Index and Miscellany thread

... and now, the first miscellany post, covering something all these worlds have in common. If you see something really jarring about it, or something that could be done to improve it, tell me, please. I'm not promising to take all advice, but I'll at least read and think about it, which means I may agree with you.

Catalyst Drug details: Imagine, if you will, a series of worldlines whose point of divergence involves the invention of a specific type of catalyst drug (modified from Psi Tech pp33-34; all humans on these worlds are at least latent psis), one which exemplifies the maxim 'With Great Power, Comes Great Insanity.' Upon taking the drug, the subject generally loses consciousness for 2d*(points/10) minutes, experiencing a range of intense nightmares, and wakes up with powers. For every ten points of psi abilities the user develops immediately, they also gain an average of -1 points of mental or psionic disadvantages (or quirks); the larger the initial dose, the more power, on average, the subject will achieve. This is a fairly minor issue when you have a small dose and gain about 25 points of psi abilities and -2 or -3 points of disads, but someone taking a dangerously large dose (and surviving, or manifesting on the astral plane) could have hundreds of points in psi abilities, and be completely nuts (whether dangerously, or uselessly).

The specific powers and abilities gained are often difficult to predict (though skilled precogs can sometimes manage it, at -6 or worse to Oracle, Prognostication, or Visions); unless the subject already has a few psi-related Perks, or a Psi Talent without the associated abilities (or is under the influence of Psi-Booster drugs; see below), the result seems to be fairly random, within certain parameters: In nearly all cases, the subject will have some manner of defensive ability, even if it only consists of hiding well (e.g. Hologram; Photorefraction; Mind Clouding), or healing fast (e.g. Regeneration). In most cases, the subject will have at least one sensory ability, though the ability might not be related to any of their other abilities. In many cases, the abilities will have some association with existing disadvantages, or disads gained at the same time (e.g. a kleptomaniac might have Exoteleport or TK Grab, while a person afraid of drowning might become able to breathe water, or might instead have Levitation with a 'cannot cross running water' limitation). The most consistent example of this is that people with Nosy or Curious will nearly always have some ESP and/or receptive Telepathy abilities.

Psi Boosters do reliably determine the abilities gained, in the sense that you will at least have the ability or abilities that drug grants (along with other abilities that may be related), but psi boosters and this catalyst drug interact in an unsafe manner: roll HT-2 for every dose of any psi booster you have taken in the last hour, and -1 for every dose in the last day, cumulative. On a failure, take 1d-2 toxic damage, +1 for every dose in the last hour. On a critical failure, take 1d+1 tox, +2 for every dose in the last hour, and make a Fright Check with the same penalties as the HT roll.

Note that the Katalysator worldlines are among those in which Anti-Psi is simply a subset of the Meta-Psi power, and thus the same person can have both psi and anti-psi abilities.

Disadvantages gained are often related to - and may replace - existing quirks or disadvantages (e.g. a Careful person gains full-blown Cowadice, someone with Bad Temper becomes a Berserker, et cetra), or have something to do with the subject's thoughts at the time. Depending on the type of game you're running, 'Compulsive Costumed Crimefighting [-15*]' may be anywhere from a very common disavantage, to a very rare one, to completely forbidden. In rare cases, one may lose a mental disadvantage, or find it replaced by a less severe version. The subject may also gain psionic disadvantages, like 'Weirdness Magnet (Probability Alteration, -10%) [-14]' or 'Frightens Animals (Telepathy, -10%) [-9].' Infectious Attack is possible, though rare (and likewise, the Dominance advantage can be taken as a psi power, usually, though not exclusively, under Psychic Vampirism); the template is nearly always of a lower point-value than the subject gained from the catalyst drug, and may contain some of the psychological disadvantages, as well as the paranormal ones.

A successful Psychology-4 roll (generally after a few interview sessions) may allow an observer to predict what disadvantages, or even powers, the subject might gain. A roll of Hypnotism-6, Autohypnosis-5, or Meditation-5, before the subject is given the drug may allow some influence over the disadvantages that will manifest, or even allow you to reduce them, somewhat (remove -1 points of disadvantages per 2 points of success); these may be bought as techniques. Specific powers (not abilities) may be chosen on a critical success (the players may certainly choose their PCs' abilities and disadvantages if they wish, but the characters have more limited choices). The number of points in disadvantages is somewhat affected by Will (and Will+Fearlessness, for mental disadvantages), as with Fright Checks. No table is given, because the final result should be a matter of roleplaying, rather than roll-playing.

Probability Alteration can also help in determining the resulting powers or disadvantages. Each use of Coincidence within an hour before the drug is taken can select one disadvantage, ability, or power. Likewise, Adjustment can assist the skill, Will, and HT rolls involved, as can Second Chance with the Transference technique. Curse can have particularly unpleasant effects in this situation.

Very rarely, most often among those with healing powers, the subject will wake up to find that physical disadvantages have been reduced in severity, or entirely lost. In some few cases, subjects will also (or instead) find that their attributes have increased to some degree. Strength and Health are the most common, but increases to Dexterity and Intelligence have been noted, along with the various Secondary Characteristics.
__________________
"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 9/29/2018: The Eyes Have It, by maximara, has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 01-08-2018 at 09:23 AM.
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