Vitakinesis

While the assorted Mods and effects of the various Aptitudes can best be described as variations on a theme, vitakinesis debatably offers a wider variation than most. Both physical and mental well-being come under the Aptitude's aegis, as done something a bit darker; the ability to reverse healing powers to cause permanent harm. Training in this Mode, Algesis, is restricted highly and prospective docs must undergo rigid screening before they begin training in it.

Biokinesis and Vitakinesis deal with the manipulation of living forms, but are two distinct Aptitudes; noeticists have yet to determine if this difference is a psychological limitation on the part of the Aptitudes' practitioners or an actual physical restriction. While both Aptitudes access the psi energy flowing through living beings, Vitakinesis isn't limited to the psion's own body. Furthermore, Vitakinesis focuses on life energy, returning the subject to her purest physical (and mental) state. Many biokinetics scoff that they have no need for such assistance. Even so, a significant majority of both psions and normal humans greatly desire the vitakinetic's healing touch.

Healing Bashing Damage

Bashing damage up to the Wounded level can be cared for without medical skill; these wounds heal on their own, without treatment. Bashing damage beyond Wounded may have deeper consequences. Your character's vision or hearing may be altered due to a concussion, she may suffer excruciating pain from internal bruising, or may experience some other extreme discomfort. These effects can be negated if your character receives adequate medical attention.

Health Level Recovery Time
Bruised to Wounded One hour
Maimed Three hours
Crippled Six hours
Incapacitated 12 hours

Healing Aggravated Damage

Aggrevated damage of any sort can be deadly - that's why it's called Lethal. Lethal wounds that go unattended my continue to bleed until your character passes out and dies from blood loss. Other danger scan also arise from infection, cellular damage or broken limbs.

Any Lethal damage past Hurt requires medical treatment to prevent further harm. Untreated Lethal wounds worsen by one level of Lethal damage per day. When someone sustains Lethal damage down to Incapacitated, he's one Health Level away from death. If he takes one more wound (whether Bashing or Lethal), he dies.

If the individual is at Maimed or higher, he may recover with rest over the times listed below. However, if your character is Crippled or Incapacitated, no recover is possible unless he receives medical attention. Indeed, at Incapacitated,, the individual is comatose at worst and delirious at best, and could still die.

Health Level Recovery Time
Bruised One day
Hurt Three days
Injured One week
Wounded One month
Maimed Two months
Crippled Three months
Incapacitated Five months

Disease

Poison and Drugs

Botching

Botching a vitakinetic effect involves significant risks, since this Aptitude's powers deal with repairing physical and mental damage. An unfortunate roll could aggravate a wound even further, cause tumors to form or cause even more traumatic effects. Mental derangements could be intensified, from a temporary phobia to possibly even insanity. The Storyteller should think carefully about such possibilities, from the embarrassing to the gruesome.

Basic Techniques

Kirlian Eye

This technique is equally useful for sizing up an opponent or for performing triage on a patient. Kirlian Eye allows the psion to take a quick peek at the "life-field" of whomever he is currently studying. While it's agreed that Kirlian Eye enables the psion to view the psi energy flowing around an individual, some psions claim that it allows them to see spiritual "auras," and that they can discern a great many things from the shape and flow of auras glimpsed. Few take these claims seriously.

System: Roll Psi. If successful, your character can tell at a glance how healthy the subject is (generally by referencing the subject's current Health Level), and may also gain insight into her current emotional state.

Detachment

A more basic, focused version of Ease Trauma, this effect was developed as a training exercise for new psions who were squeamish when faced with gross physical trauma. Detachment alters the psion's own chemical flow slightly, suppressing her emotional responses. Although it enables the doc to face gory situations when calmness, more than one vitakinetic has grown too reliant on the power. This technique gives rise to the Æsculapians reputations as cold, clinical automatons.

System: Spend on Psi point. Detachment triggers reflexively at the character's will and lasts 10 minutes for each dot the character has in her highest rated Vitakinesis Mode. The character can ignore the gag reflex and faintness she might normally feel when viewing a gruesome physical condition (mutilation, excessive blood, advanced disease).

This effect is primarily a roleplaying one, but the Storyteller may play up the distinction by calling for characters to make Resistance rolls when coming upon a traumatic scene -ranging from violent accident to an especially grotesque Aberrant. A character with Detachment may add her highest Vitakinesis Mode rating on this roll. Failure could impose a +1 or higher difficulty for the rest of the scene as the character struggles to maintain focus; a botch may result in her vomiting copiously or fainting.

Iatrosis

This Mode explores the use of psi energy to heal physical injury. Physical contact is required for these effects, and many of its practitioners actually generate a visible glow around their hands when using Iatrosis powers. A psion can knit broken bones, cure diseases, close wounds and even regenerate mutilated flesh or organs. The only limit is the healer's will, expertise, and Psi.

1 Mending Local Anaesthetic

O Mending

The psion can heal minor damage and even alleviate temporarily the pain and discomfort caused by more severe wounds. Mending is useful in a number of ways; healing bumps and scrapes, stabilizing critically wounded patients in the field, and halting excessive bleeding.

System: Spend one point and roll Psi. Each success rolled equals one Bashing Health Level that the target heals immediately. Any leftover successes may soothe temporarily the effects of Lethal damage, with each success negating the Dice Pool penalties for being at a particular Health Level on a one-for-one basis. The soothing effect against Lethal damage lasts an hour for each dot your character has in Iatrosis. Additionaly, if the Lethal damage involves continuous bleeding, Mending stops the loss altogether.

Local Anaesthetic

Also referred to simply as "the Local," this technique also deadens the nerves over a limited area on a subject (hand, mouth, posterior). It works quite well prior to giving someone a shot or performing simple surgery, but it also acts as a temporary defensive measure in a pinch.

System: Spend a Psi point and roll. The area touched is rendered insensate for the number of minutes equal to the successes rolled. The subject feels nothing on that area, which can cause minor problems (slurred speech if the mouth was affected, poor grip if the hand was touched). The Storyteller may apply a +1 or +2 difficulty to the subject if she tries to perform actions with the anesthetized body portion.

Say you roll three successes in treating a subject who has suffered four levels of Lethal damage and two of Bashing (putting her at Crippled). The first two successes heal the Bashing levels (bringing the subject to Wounded). While the last success cannot heal a Lethal level, the grateful subject nonetheless feels like she's only Injured (she loses only one die from her rolls instead of two for her actual Wounded status).

A character who has taken Lethal damage and who benefits from Mending must still be careful. While she may feel relatively healthy, her body still suffers from physical trauma. If the subject engages in strenuous activity (running, combat and the like), she must roll Endurance. If she fails the roll, the subject suffers a Bashing Health Level (although the effects aren't actually felt until Mending wears off.

At 3 Iatrosis, your character may use this effect on a target ranging up to three times his Psi rating in meters.

OOO Antitoxin

This power enables the vitakinetic to accelerate his patient's physical systems to fight any toxin, fungus, or virus introduced by an outside agent. This infusion of psi energy literally charges the patient's immune system so that it can resist any intrusions.

System: Spend one Psi and roll; each success on the Psi roll reduces the toxin's effectiveness by one (refer to the chart above, for examples). If the infection or poison's rating drops to zero, the patient is considered cured. Antitoxin can combat most bacterial infections and even the most deadly of viruses. However, it is ineffective against effects that literally destroy a subject's tissues, as hard radiation poisoning, gangrene and cancer can do.

Toxin Virus Equivalent Toxin Equivalent
One Common Cold Alcohol
Two Chicken Pox Food Poisoning
Three Influenza Ptomaine
Four AIDS Cleaning Supplies
Five Ebola Cyanide
Your character can also use this effect to render a subject immune to viral or fungal infections or poisons prior to exposure. In this circumstance, each success on the Psi roll gives the subject a level of soak against such influences. This defense lasts an hour for each dot of permanent Psi that your character has. At 3 Iatrosis, this duration extends to three hours per dot, while at level four it increases to nine hours per Psi dot. At 5 Iatrosis, the resistance lasts a number of days equal to your character's Psi score.

Forensics

The flipside of life is death. As the Iatrosis-using vitakinetic learns what creates a healthy individual, he also recognizes the distinctive residues of injuries that linger on even after metabolism ceases. This technique lets him examine a dead body and determine the primary cause of death.

System: Spend a Psi point and roll. If successful, your character psionically explores a corpse, probing its physiological condition to determine specific circumstances of death. Extra successes allow precise understanding and may also identify contributing causes - as long as they contributed to death. For instance, a vitakinetic uses Forensics on a corpse found in a back alley and gets two extra successes. The base effect confirms that the victim was drugged and beaten, while the additional successes reveal that the drugs triggered a heart attack, which really killed him. However, the power does not reveal that the victim had a tumor since it didn't contribute to his death.

Metamitosis

The psion can literally mend flesh and bones. The vitakinetic focuses psi energy to encourage extremely rapid yet controlled cellular growth in the subject. Even the most grievously wounded individual may be healed in a matter of minutes at the hands of a skilled vitakinetic (although the grateful patient is possessed of a ravenous appetite due to the nutrients his body used up during the accelerated healing process).

The levels restored by Metamitosis appear within moments, but your character must be careful or the subject might not heal properly. Bones can be set at the wrong angles, damaged organs can be restored but might function improperly. There are risks to demanding immediate results.

System: Spend one point and roll Psi. Your character can restore a Lethal Health Level for each success rolled (up to a maximum of five). The cellular repair takes one minute per Level healed. Any more Health Levels that require healing call for a new application of Metamitosis.

At 4 Iatrosis, your character may use this effect on a target at a range of up to five times his Psi score in meters. At five dots in this Mode, he may heal two Lethal Health Levels per success rolled (to a maximum of 10).

Catalysis

This technique enables the psion to stimulate a specific part of a target's body, producing a flood of the chemicals needed. Like all Iatrosis techniques, the effect encourages a natural progression and cannot be used to overload a target's system.

System: Spend one Psi and roll. Each success lets you add one die to a single target's rating in one Physical or Mental Attribute. The effect lasts the number of minutes equal to your character's Psi score; this number may be increased an additional minute per extra Psi point spent. The target is exhausted after the effect ends, suffering +1 difficulty to all rolls involving that Attribute for the next scene.

Cellular Repair

This effect enables the vitakinetic to cleanse a patient's body of cancerous, irradiated or otherwise mutated cells. The psion focuses on the subject's biological "template," calling forth the original cellular makeup. The mutated cells are literally flushed from the patient's system as an inert gray biopaste. (Eew!)

System: Spend two Psi and one Willpower, then make a Psi roll. the number of successes achieved indicates the degree of cleansing accomplished (see below). Some cancers require less intensive efforts than others do, but even if a cleansing isn't complete, it can still offer the subject a respite. Reconstruction isn't immediate, requiring an hour of your character's full concentration per success rolled.

Although (hopefully) restored to full health, the subject must still recuperate after this procedure. To determine recovery time, use the number of successes applied as the "Lethal Health Level" that the patient is currently at (Healing Lethal Damage, above). If three successes were needed, the patient would still need to recover as if she were at Injured.

Success Mutation Equivalent
One Benign tumor, minor soft radiation damage
Two Malignant tumor, major soft radiation damage
Three Significant cancerous growth/minor hard radiation damage (20% cell mutation)
Four Major cancerous growth/hard radiation damage (50% cell mutation)
Five Massive cellular degeneration (90% cell mutation)
Genetic Profile

Iatrosis obviously covers illness and the treatment thereof. It can also identify a susceptibility to biological malfunctions. This technique allows the vitakinetic to trace the target's genetic legacy and analyze it for weaknesses.

System: Spend two points and roll Psi. Genetic profiling takes some time to accomplish: it takes 12 hours minus one hour per success rolled to assemble the Profile, and your character is at +2 difficulty to all other actions while performing the procedure. The subject must either be present or represented by a blood sample drawn within the hour prior to starting the Profile.

When your character completes the process, she can identify all of the target's major susceptibilities: tendency toward cancer, dangerously high or low blood pressure, vision problems, psychological disorders and the like. Your character senses them ranked in appropriate order of the probability they'll manifest (so, defects carried but not expressed appear after immediate physiological aberrations). A quick way to present this information is to use the toxin ratings given for Antitoxin and Cellular Repair and work from rating Five down to Rating One.

This technique raises very serious privacy issues; a subject's susceptibility to a given ailment changes his risks and may create complications from insurance rating to blackmail. But it's also useful. Any medical treatment involving genetic damage or manipulation (managing radiation damage, viral infections) made with the Profile available counts as one level higher than usual. It gives the Æsculapian character an additional die to all Vitakinesis efforts used on the subject from that point on.

Regeneration

The psion can use this awesome power to literally regrow damaged or missing organs or limbs. Vitakinetics use Regeneration sparingly, as it is a highly complex and draining experience. (Rumors also abound that there's some fear involved in its application - there are tales of a psion suddenly manifesting all of the wounds he had ever healed and subsequently dying a quick, hideous death.)

System: Spend four Psi points and make a roll at +2 difficulty. The number of successes achieved indicates the degree of regeneration possible (refer to the chart below). If fewer successes are rolled than are needed, the subject regenerates only partially. Subsequent attempts may be made at any time as long as your character has enough Psi points to spend.

This effect takes some time to initiate and to be resolved. Your character must focus his entire attention on the subject for a number of hours equal to the successes needed, and cannot recover Psi until this time has elapsed. The regeneration itself takes time; determine recovery time as for Cellular Repair. Any Health levels lost due to amputation or massive trauma are regained when regeneration is complete.

Under absolutely no circumstances can this power be used to resurrect the truly dead, though those who have not yet suffered brain death can be brought back on occasion.

Success Regeneration
One Finger, eye
Two Hand, foot, jaw
Three Limb, simple internal organ (gall bladder, intestine)
Four Major internal organ (heart, lung, liver
Five Spine, brain
Revitalization

The order keeps the use of this technique under wraps. The docs don't want to get a reputation for being able to "raise the dead." Such talk smacks of quackery and Zweidler will have none of it.

Revitalization prolongs the length of time that a subject may be technically dead but still returned to health. Obviously it is not an easy thing to accomplish and can create complications of its own (aside from the simple fact of cheating death).

System: Spend three Psi and one Willpower point, then roll Psi. If the number of successes is greater than the number of minutes since the target went from Incapacitated to Dead, the target is stabilized at Incapacitated for the number of minutes equal to the psion's Psi score. The original cause of death must then be treated (physical trauma repaired, poison neutralized) to prevent a second, irreversible death from occurring.

Further, with one success the subject revives but loses a point of either Willpower or Psi (the subject's player may decide which) to a minimum of 1. Any extra successes negate this loss.

The revived character must also make a Willpower roll. If botched, the subject loses one dot's worth of Ability for each one rolled (the player may allocate the losses as he chooses), representing the results of brain damage suffered due to being clinically dead for an extended period of time.

Mentatis

Healing the mind is just as important as healing the body. Psions with this Mode heal wounded minds and psyches rather than torn flesh and broken bones.

A more subtle path than Iatrosis, Mentatis requires the vitakinetic to attune himself to the subject's mental rhythms, most effectively by touching the patient's head (it also usually requires that the patient be conscious). Some psions claim these requirements help them tap into a subject's mental aura, others that it simply allows for clear sensing. Whatever the justification, physical contact is key to using Mentatis powers effectively (+2 difficulty if using these powers at a distance or working on an unconscious patient).

1 Mind's Eye Idiot Savant
2 Passive Voice Multi-Tasking
3 Ease Trauma Neurological Compulsion
4 Chemical Block Paramnesia
5 Knit Psyche Neopsyche

O Mind's Eye

Commonly used in psychiatric therapy, Mind's Eye allows a vitakinetic to gain insight into what's troubling his patient. Unlike Telepathy, this power doesn't allow the psion to roam around the subject's mind. Instead, it seeks out the greatest source of psychological trauma, giving the psion a vision of the problem.

System: Roll Psi; success gives a brief impression of the cause of the subject's anxiety. This can be a highly subjective impression; each extra success enables your character to gain a clearer and more complete picture of the patient's condition.

At 3 Mentatis, your character may use Mind's Eye at a range of three times his Psi score in meters.

Idiot Savant

The human brain allocates physical resources - neural density and fractions of the brain assigned to a given task - based on how much a person engages in the given activity or thought. Normally, reallocation for short-term needs (turning from intellectual analysis to creative expression, for instance) happens without any conscious consideration. This technique enables the psion to control the brain's impulses to a certain extent, although not without cost.

In essence, the psion temporarily "rewires" her brain, allowing one area of expertise to use up many more neurons than usual. This effect imposes a temporary retardation on other areas of expertise.

System: Spend one Psi and roll. Your character can raise any one Ability that the subject already possesses by one dot per success, up to a maximum of five dots total. For each dot added, however, two other Abilities must be reduced by one dot each (or a single Ability by two dots), reflecting the neurological resources claimed by Idiot Savant. the subject must already have at least one dot in the Ability to be raised for this technique to work. It doesn't provide some kind of "phantom knowledge"; it simply makes the person use her existing understanding more effectively.

If your character uses the technique on herself, the effect lasts for 10 minutes for every permanent Psi point she has. However, for some reason that noeticists have yet to discern, the reconfiguration doesn't work well on others. If your character uses Idiot Savant on someone, the effect lasts only one minute for each permanent Psi the psion has. Also, your character must know (or choose) the Ability to be enhanced so that she may perform the reconfiguration appropriately. Each new reassignment of mental resources requires a separate use of this technique.

OO Passive Voice

A psion doesn't actually perform any healing with Passive Voice. Instead, this power moderates extremes of emotion, making it useful for dealing with murderous rages, psychotic episodes and paralyzing fear. Someone touched with Passive Voice is forced into a state of reasonable calm, even if he still wants to be angry. This power does not make its targets any more susceptible to suggestion or in any way more pliable, but does calm them, making them less prone to violent action.

System: Spend a point and roll Psi in a resisted action against the target's current Willpower. Each extra success you roll translates into a minute during which the subject is calmed. the target doesn't act aggressively (until, perhaps, the effect wears off). The subject can ignore this effect by spending a Willpower point, but that only weakens her against the next attempt…

At two dots, your character must touch the subject. At three dots in this Mode, he may use Passive Voice at a range of up to three times his Psi score in meters. At 4 Mentatis, your character may apply this power against a number of targets equal to his Psi score, simultaneously.

Multi-Tasking

In a way, this technique is simply an improved version of the previous one. The psion enhances his neurological responses, making it much easier to work on more than one thing at a time.

System: Spend one Psi point and roll. Normally when a character performs multiple actions, he loses the total number of dice from the first roll equal to the full actions to be taken. With Multitasking, reduce that number by one. So, if a subject performs two actions in a turn, he takes away one die from the first roll instead of the normal two dice. Similarly, if he plans on taking four actions in a turn, the first roll is reduced by only three dice, not four. This technique lasts the number of turns equal to the successes gained on the initial Psi roll.

Neurological Compulsion

The human mind forms neural pathways for certain much-used thought and emotional processes. With this technique, the doc takes advantage of those paths to trigger the subject's deepest motivation. Neurological Compulsion works in a kind of reverse Passive Voice - not unlike Exacerbate, in fact.

System: Spend one Psi and roll Psi in a resisted action against the subject's current Willpower. If your character succeeds, the subject retains her current Willpower for purposes of buying automatic successes and the like, but she acts as though under a Compulsion for 10 minutes per extra success your character gains. On a tie, the Compulsion effect lasts for one minute. If the subject rolls more successes, nothing happens (although your character still loses the Psi point).

The effect is equivalent to throwing the subject into a state of clinical depression (although, unless the subject knows that she was victim to a psi technique, she has no direct indication that her mood was manipulated). The depression doesn't necessarily mean just feeling sad; it can induce fatigue, chronic pain, disorientation and mood swings. hence, the reference to the subject's Compulsion. Since this effect uses biochemical processes, techniques that address brain chemistry imbalances, like Chemical Block, may combat it.

OOO Ease Trauma

This effect enables the psion to free a subject from mental pain temporarily. This could include dampening a phobia or easing an irrational hatred. This power is often used in psychotherapy, to talk to a patient about her derangements.

Some Æsculapians have become addicted to using this effect on themselves, as it suspends feelings of fear or disgust that some feel when dealing with especially traumatized patients.

System: Spend one Psi point and make a roll; the subject's mental trauma is dampened for one hour for each success. This respite is only temporary, however. When the duration ends, the dampened trauma - and all of its negative effects - returns in full force.

Chemical Block

Many behavioral irregularities can be traced to chemical imbalances in the brain. Treating those problems is a matter of adjusting the brain's delicate balances; the vitakinetic can address any chemically imposed behavioral aberrations - even those caused by ingested drugs. Chemical Block enables a psion to perform this task through force of will, forcing the patient's body to regulate itself - at least temporarily.

Since this power replaces the necessity of drug treatments, some mercenary vitakinetics have taken to doling out "noetic treatments" at ever-increasing rates.

System: Spend two points and roll Psi at +1 difficulty. If the roll is successful, the patient's body modifies its chemical output to bring it in line with the desired behavior (which your character must state prior tot he roll). Chemical Block lasts one day for each success rolled (although this may vary by a few hours at the Storyteller's discretion). Still, this wondrous effect is not without its risks - forcing rapid alterations in a body's chemical structure can produce unforeseen side effects, sometimes making the cure worse than the ailment.

At 5 Mentatis, each success lasts a week (and likely comes with an even higher "service charge").

OOOO Paramnesia

Paramnesia was developed out of Chemical Block, but it involves aspects of neurochemistry so different that it warranted specialized training. Its effect is very simple, though its complex to produce: The subject loses the ability to lay down short-term memories. Long-term recollections remain intact, but the individual can remember only the last few seconds' worth of experiences.

Paramnesia has constructive uses. People in profound psychological shock don't always respond to treatment. The technique disconnects the subject from the shock, making the individual more manageable. It also helps in cases where an extended treatment is required in extremely adverse conditions (war zone, natural disaster).

Obviously, Paramnesia has handy applications as a weapon (a doc about to be arrested just has to touch the cop to make the crime go away). As a result, its use is restricted as if it were an Algesis effect.

System: Spend two Psi and one Willpower, then roll Psi. If successful, your character blocks the target's ability to create memories for the number of minutes equal to the successes rolled. The target can remember everything that happened up to the moment Paramnesia took effect - including your character using psi on him - but only one three-second turn per point of Willpower into the past after that. The subject won't ever remember what happened while affected by Paramnesia; the memories cannot form.

OOOOO Knit Psyche

This power enables the psion to resolve complicated mental traumas, deep-rooted mental illnesses and long-buried phobias - or at least alleviate them to some degree. While the effects of this power are neither immediate nor visible, they are extremely potent.

This power can cause a side effect that manifests in the vitakinetic himself, which noeticists have labeled "psi leakage." When afflicted, the psion exhibits his patient's Nature for up to a week and may "remember" things that actually happened to the patient. Over two dozen documented cases of psi leakage have brought Æsculapian researches no closer to discovering the root of this affliction.

System: Spend three Psi and make a roll at +1 difficulty; the number of successes achieved indicates how well the treatment takes. Knit Psyche requires your character to focus entirely on the patient for a full three hours. While there are no hard and fast rules for what sort of illness or injury can be healed this way, examples include physical brain damage, deep-seated psychoses and extreme sociopathic behavior.

Any successful use of Knit Psyche should at least set the patient on the road to recovery, but the timetable to achieve full health can range from days to years.

Neopsyche

This technique allows the psion to create an entirely new personality. It operates in two steps. First, the subject goes crazy as the second personality emerges, then it fades away as the second one takes control. The individual then has just one personality like everyone else, but it's not the one he had before.

System: Spend three Psi and roll. The first step - creating a new personality - takes two weeks, minus one day per success rolled. Your character (and the subject, if it is used on someone besides him) must be isolated as much as possible from others. The psion (and the subject) must maintain a meditative state the entire time (the best way to do this is to be hooked up to intravenous nourishment and have automatic waste disposal).

The new personality has the same Attributes as the old one (the technique doesn't change the body, just the psyche), but it can have a different Nature, Allegiance, and Willpower. Abilities may be modified, but only those that develop through natural skill (Might, Athletics, Awareness, Rapport and the like). Abilities that require technical training may not be increased, although they can be reduced. Aptitude and Psi remain the same since they're part of a deeper physiological structure; however, your character may reassign the dots given to various Mods. Further, the character's psionic signature (what causes psi prints to occur and can be used as a kind of identifier for Attunement) also changes.

Your character can try to remove existing mental and psychological impairments as part of the process (including Derangements and Flaws). Make a Willpower and a Psi roll for each significant impairment. If both rolls succeed, the new personality need not have it. otherwise, the impairment continues on in the new personality. Your character can add whatever impairments he'd like as well.

On a botch, your character gains a Derangement as a result of the process going out of control, and he cannot try using this technique again for the number of months equal to the botches rolled.

The bottom line: The character's total point cost cannot increase (although any leftover points may be discarded), and the Storyteller has final say as to what changes are allowed.

The new personality takes some time to assume control.

The new Trait scores may not be used during this time, although the respective Natures and Allegiances come into play.

The Storyteller has each personality roll its Willpower in a resisted action at any time (usually during stressful conditions). Whichever personality scores higher becomes dominant until another roll is required. Once the new personality wins these resisted actions three consecutive actions it "locks" into place.

The previous personality must be erased at this point, which can be a problem if the subject was someone else and vanished in the meantime. Typically, the Storyteller can keep the resisted actions going and even throw on a few Derangements to such an individual. Madness can be the eventual result unless the subject is treated for his condition.

This situation is handled exactly the same as the initial personality creation-process. After that point, the old personality is gone. The subject retains every memory he had with the previous personality but his attitude and outlook may be strikingly different.

On a botch, the original personality isn't erased and the same danger awaits the subject as if he had fled.

Obviously, Neopsyche requires strict monitoring by the Storyteller. Given free rein, a character could wreak tremendous havoc with it. However, handled well, this power can provide great roleplaying opportunities. A spy with this power (or with a loyal vitakinetic willing to use it on him) can become a virtual chameleon - or, a violent criminal who undergoes Neopsyche may emerge from the procedure as a helpful, productive citizen.

Algesis

This Mode delves into the darker applications of manipulating a target's physical condition. Algesis effects harm instead of healing, and only those vitakinetics proven to be psychologically stable learn to use these powers. Zweidler and his staff recognize this as a necessary evil, since the other orders aren't around at all times to protect the docs. (Although the Æsculapians retain a large number of non-vitakinetic psions to serve as a highly visible, private security force.)

The would-be student of Algesis must pass an intense security review and serve the order in another capacity for at least two years. After this, the psion undergoes a comprehensive psychological evaluation. Any candidate with serious psychological disorders, including Derangements and Tolerance Overload, receives an automatic rejection.

Most docs never consider learning Algesis, since it requires forcing oneself to disrupt another living being's physiological harmony.

1 Inflame Pain Block
2 Contusion Paralysis
3 Algesic Shield Seizure
4 Lacerate Immunity Suppression
5 Morbidity Premature Decomposition

O Inflame

While this power can't inflict new injuries on a target, it can exacerbate existing ones. Lacerations, blunt traumas, burns - there's no sort of injury so bad that Inflame can't make it worse. There is often some sort of visible effect attached to this power; bandaged wounds start bleeding again, and burned skin visibly blackens further.

System: Spend a point and roll Psi in a resisted action against the subject's Resistance. If you get more successes, each extra success translates into a Bashing Health Level applied to the target. If the rolls tie, the subject feels a twinge of pain, putting her at +1 difficulty to her action in the next turn.

Inflame doesn't cause new wounds, but intensifies the pain of existing ones. Your character may therefore only cause a total number of Bashing Health Levels equal to the amount of damage the subject has already taken.

This effect may be used on a target at a range of a number of meters equal to your character's Algesis rating. At 4 Algesis, it may be used against as many targets as your character has Psi, simultaneously.

Pain Block

The study of pain naturally includes how to guard against it. This technique grew from Detachment, once Algesis specialists discerned how subtle, yet potent a weapon that blocks pain can be. With this power, the psion prevents the target from feeling pain for a few minutes. At first glance, this power may not seem dangerous. But consider the implications - not noticing you're sitting on a hot stove, or that you have a severe cut, or that your leg is broken. A person feeling no pain is constantly at risk, liable to take serious damage from any source he happens not to notice with his remaining senses.

System: Spend one Psi point and roll Psi. Each success indicates one level of Bashing damage from which the target feels absolutely no traumatic effect for one minute. Alternatively, you may have every two successes block any pain felt from one level of Lethal damage for a minute, or extra successes may be used to extend the Pain Block's duration by one minute per point. Successes may be allocated to the target in any combination.

A character may use it on herself to make her more effective in combat. After all, while Pain Block is in effect, the subject doesn't suffer the dice penalty normally inflicted from having a lower Health Level. However, she won't know how much damage she's taken off-hand unless she uses Kirlian Eye on herself.

It's worth noting that, while Pain Block does exactly that, it does not make the subject automatically oblivious to how the wound was inflicted. A target clubbed across the face won't feel pain, but he'll certainly know he just got hit. Even so, a victim who gets shot after being touched with Pain Block may assume it was just a scrape. Similarly, stab wounds to the back are not noticed as the target runs into the thick of battle. Until he falls over dead, of course.

OO Contusion

The vitakinetic channels his psi to cause a target minor physical trauma. This damage manifests as a bloody nose or a bruised muscle.

System: Spend one Psi point and roll. The base Bashing damage effect inflicted equals your character's Psi score plus any extra successes rolled; you may also add a die for each additional Psi point spent. Contusion may be soaked like any other Bashing effect, although the power bypasses armor.

This power may be used at a range of up to three times your character's Psi rating in meters. At 4 Algesis, your character can use Contusion on a number of subjects equal to his Psi score, simultaneously.

Paralysis

This technique doesn't involve dealing pain; it's a spin-off of research into the Local Anaesthetic effect. The vitakinetic painlessly paralyzes a targeted limb. Apart from a few seconds of mild cramping when the effect wears off, the target experiences no ill side effects.

System: Spend one Psi and roll. The target completely uses any use of the limb your character touches for a duration of one minute per success rolled. Your character can even use it on a target's head. While involuntary functions (blinking, breathing) don't stop, the subject is unable to talk or move his head.

Seizure

With this technique, the vitakinetic triggers random disruptions in the target's brain. Impulses flare too quickly and neurotransmitter receptors jam, lapsing the subject into a grand mal seizure.

System: Spend one point and roll Psi; the successes indicate the number of turns the seizure lasts. Each turn, roll Psi as a Bashing attack against the victim (it may be soaked as normal).

The target is at the mercy of the seizure during this time. The Storyteller should have the victim make a standard Athletics roll each turn. Failure means the target starts suffocating. Bystanders may apply Medicine and relevant technology to help keep the subject under control.

OOO Algesic Shield

The vitakinetics developed this power in an attempt to protect themselves from their own attacks. The buffer consists of fluctuating psi energy tend to resist any physiological manipulations - specifically Algesis effects (although the vitakinetics were pleased to discover it seems to offer defense against some biokinetic and electrokinetic powers).

System: Spend one Psi point and make a Psi roll; the shield lasts one minute for each success. The Algesic Shield is as versatile as it is powerful. While the field is up, your character uses [Psi + Resistance] against Inflame, Lacerate, and Morbidity, and against the Electrokinetic powers Stun and Control.

Additionally, you may add your character's Psi score to his soak against the effects of Contusion, the Biokinetic power Catabolysis, and against the Electrokinetic powers Disruption and Feedback.

At 5 Algesis, your character can endow this effect on another individual. You must make a second Psi roll, however; the successes on that roll indicate the rating that the subject uses against the listed effects.

OOOO Lacerate

The psion does little more than tear at the subject's physical form with savage thrusts of psi energy. The inflicted wounds manifest as either gashes in the skin or as severe hemorrhaging, usually just below the skin where the pooling blood can be seen. In either case, the results are visible and hard to disguise - not to mention extremely painful.

System: Spend two points and make a resisted Psi roll against the target's Resistance. Each extra success you get above the opposing roll equals one Lethal Health Level of damage that the target takes. On a tie roll, the subject is at +2 difficulty to her actions in the next turn as a wave of pain ripples through her body.

Lacerate may be used at a distance of up to three times your character's Psi rating in meters. At five dots in this Mode, your character may inflict this power on a number of targets equal to his Psi score, simultaneously (you still only roll once; each opponent rolls Resistance separately).

Immune Suppression

Though far less dramatic than some standard Algesis techniques, Immune Suppression still has great potential for harm. Its effect is rather subtle: The target's immune system weakens, leaving the target open to opportunistic infection of all kinds.

System: Spend two Psi points and roll Psi in a resisted action against the target's Stamina. She becomes extraordinarily vulnerable to disease for one day per extra success that your character rolls. Any diseases or toxins rate one higher than usual, and any damage inflicted as a result is automatically considered Lethal. The target's risk of infection rises dramatically, and any diseases that set in during the vulnerable period don't go away when it wears off.

Any infections that the target catches do not go away through the subject's normal biological routines. Medical efforts may combat them, but they function at one less level effectively than normal. In the end, though, these effects aren't always easy to nail down as a rules system. the Storyteller is encouraged to use her best judgment regarding any infection, but remember this is a powerful psionic technique.

OOOOO Morbidity

The vitakinetic can inflict massive damage on a target, usually by exploding the victim's heart, collapsing her lungs so that she spits up a fountain of blood, or something equally dramatic.

System: Spend three Psi and one Willpower point, and make a Psi roll at +1 difficulty. The target takes a number of Lethal Health Levels equal to your character's Psi score. this damage ignores all armor, though its specific form can take whatever the player and Storyteller agree upon.

Even if the target takes only one Health Level, she still suffers intense pain from the attack. The subject must succeed on a Willpower roll or lose her next action due to the agony inflicted. After all, having your heart burst even a little bit is enough to distract the most focused individual.

At Storyteller discretion, your character can specify the physical harm he tries to cause, which may or may not have an impact on the attack's effectiveness. For example, a Morbidity assault on the heart of someone who recently suffered cardiac arrest might require fewer levels of damage than normal to have fatal results.

It is extremely difficult to make death by Morbidity look like an accident. Even if a forensics expert didn't know what she was looking for when performing an autopsy on a victim of Morbidity, she could still be bright enough to bring the body to the local rex shop for examination, which could lead to some very interesting questions.

Premature Decomposition

This grotesque power - generally just called "the Rot" - is disdained even by Algesis specialists, due to its disturbing manifestation. With this technique, the vitakinetic stimulates a subject's bacterial and biochemical processes involved in the decomposition of dead bodies…while the target is still alive.

System: Spend three Psi and one Willpower point, then roll Psi at +1 difficulty. The subject loses one Health Level of Lethal damage for each extra success rolled.

This damage ignores all armor, but instead of manifesting all at once, the Health Levels are lost at a rate of one each minute, accompanied by the horrific spectacle of the subject's rapid decomposition Mundane and psionic healing attempts applied before the full Health Levels are lost have no effect. Only after the Rot has run its course may treatment be attempted.

For every two levels of damage inflicted, the target suffers a +1 difficulty to Physical and Social actions until the damage is healed. even after it is healed, scars and blemishes remain. Premature Decomposition does not directly affect Mental Traits, but survivors of the Rot do develop phobias about death, injury, or other psychological trauma.

+Psionic Dysfunction
The Modes that comprise each Aptitude are different facets of a single thing, not separate disciplines. The three-fold division has some justification in noetic realities, but otherwise it serves as a convenient classification method. The three parts of an Aptitude are meant to work together to some degree; the Modes build upon one another. Psions who pursue one Mode to the exclusion of others develop physical and psychological complications, as their psionic perceptions become skewed.

Psionic dysfunction sets in when a psion raises one of his Modes to five dots, while leaving the other Modes at one dot or lower. The character becomes obsessed - deliberately or otherwise - with just one portion of the Aptitude. Experiencing the universe through unreliable and unbalanced senses, the disruption of psionic awareness spills over into the psion's regular senses, and then into reason and emotions.

The dysfunction remains in effect until the character adds two more dot levels to the other Modes, which can be done either by raising one Mode two dots, or by raising both Modes one dot each. The dysfunction then fades rapidly as the source of confusion and detachment goes away. Psionic balance and normal awareness returns like water rushing down after a dam collapses.

Iatrotic Dysfunction

A character who raises Iatrosis to the exclusion of the other Modes becomes too immersed in the complexities of the human body. It takes more than a dozen enzymes to recycle porphyrin, which is the molecule that binds wit hemoglobin to carry oxygen in human blood. A psion with iatrotic dysfunction traces those steps…as well as all the other steps of every other process in the body. These complex functions are far more interesting than anything on the macro scale. Each scene, a character must make a standard Willpower roll to yank attention way from these fascinating objects of study, and he must pay lip service to what's going on around him.

Mentatic Dysfunction

A character with mentatic dysfunction becomes detached from social context and analyzes every human action in terms of its neurological components. All belief and thought dissolve into the vast sea of neurons and neurotransmitters. The character has difficulty treating people's reactions as anything other than interesting manifestations of biology in action. It puts the character at +2 difficulty on all tests involving social interaction.

Algesic Dysfunction.

The nature of algesic dysfunction is a major factor in the order's effort to maintain adequate discipline over the Mode's instruction. The character who becomes unbalanced toward Algesis turns sociopathic. Whatever normal restraints of conscience and morality she has slip away; she approaches all social dealings with an eye toward analyzing the problems of giving and receiving pain. This dysfunction doesn't necessarily have quantifiable effects in game mechanics, but player and Storyteller should keep it in mind whenever the character must deal with others. If the dysfunction isn't addressed, the character is likely to go on a killing spree, perform hideous experiments or other, less palatable pursuits.