Evan Alys Letice
"So I'm not really sure what to write in here. 'To straighten your thoughts out,' the letter said— like I don't do that enough already. But since it's from my complete spoiled brat and total psycho of a little sister, I think I'll fill it out anyway to spite her. After all, I'm at least not worried that even if I spend my whole life collecting cherries I'll be getting more done and getting less underaged-bombed-off-my-ass than she ever would. I don't even wanna think about what she's up to now.
Anyway let's see here. Who am I? No, no, you don't really want to know that, I'm a nobody. I grew up nowhere and did nothing. Doesn't make much for the history books, right? Maybe that's why only famous people get to write autobiographies, or maybe they're just as boring but half the facts are made up. Maybe if I made myself a wizard and gave myself a cute girlfriend I could make copies of this and sell it! But, as if. I went through every phase of teasing in high school, from 'four-eyes' to 'loner.' It didn't help that I was desperate to get away from all those things back then, since I did some things I wasn't proud of and now I'm even more of a four-eyed loser than ever. Funny how it works, huh?
Well, let's clarify there, I don't have four MORE eyes, that would be even sillier than being a wizard. As for the girlfriend part, that'd be silly too coming from me. At least it would now. In high school I thought I'd try to worm my way into the popular clique, went to some parties, met a girl who was a little too wild… next day she told all her friends and had laugh after laugh, never even looked at me again. Didn't help to learn that I was the last guy on campus in her checklist before she'd been drilled by everyone at least once, like I was some kinda trophy. At least that's how I heard it and that's enough to where I don't even need to clarify, or want to. Still have nightmares every now and then. Don't remember her name either, or want to.
So I said to myself 'fuck it all, I'll ignore the ugly and look at the things that are nice to look at.' What're you expecting when you read that? Really? Because it's probably wrong. Next thing I knew I was buying a camera with all the allowance I saved up, and I had all the things you could find in a boring old town but not anywhere else hanging over my bedroom wall. Birds, trees, flowers, you name it. Of course it's not like anyone else was allowed to see it, except maybe a brat or two, but that definitely wasn't with permission, I'll say that much. Lining up a good shot is relaxing to me, at least. Then again, so is napping. So is walking. Half the time it feels like I'm doing all three at once.
But you can't just sell those as a nobody, so I didn't. They all still came with me and hang around on the same wall. The only living I can make is by doing the only thing I can in this god-forsakenly boring old town, which might as well be the only thing that ever happens in it. I guess unless I'm going to write the name of the place in bold lettering on the front of the book I should explain, right? Cherries. That's it. I pick cherries and sell them off. My dad always joked that I popped more cherries on this job than I would in my whole life, and as much as he's the only one who thinks it's funny I guess he's right. There, put that down as another self-loathing paragraph. Maybe I'll come back and cross it out later. Can't erase with a pen, you know, and scribbling all over the first few pages looks really ugly. Can't have people seeing that.
That's about it until I find something snazzy to end the page with. Something like 'And so the adventure of life goes on.' But I have plenty of time to think about it, since I bet I won't even write again for a few years. At least I'll date the next entry when I do. Something to look forward to."
Effect: Desire Drive
Everybody has desires, whether they share them or not. It's not only human nature, but really the nature of all sentient organisms; the wielder of this power can not only comprehend and realize the desires of others this way but also take and use them. Ultimately, a person has the right to shield their own thoughts - as that is where desires form - so taking one from an unwilling person is more difficult than otherwise. When a desire is taken, willing or not, the person loses that desire and has no will to follow through on it, regardless of what it is, even if they try to convince themselves that they want to. The ability to consciously rationalize it is lost to them forever. It's good for getting rid of hunger, at least!
This effect, Desire Drive, is able to do just about anything to these desires except for convince their owners to be willing to give them away. Good, simple words have to do that job. When activated, it may - though vaguely - point out how powerful a person's desire is and what its primary target is, if applicable. Finding a horny cheerleader lusting after a football player would be a blatant signal from this power if it weren't already obvious from looking at them together, and it tends to change the way it's emphasized on its own whims. Some days it would make an arrow invisible to all but the user pointing from one to the other, other days it would give the two lovers distinguishing features to make them easy to recognize as an item, and even OTHER days it may just be nice enough to write itself on a nearby billboard and explain the situation in detail.
The actual taking and crystallization of the desire is a separate process, and actually identifying blatantly what the desire itself is isn't ALWAYS possible. Somebody searching for something that isn't immediately present or wanting something they haven't told people about wouldn't be able to be anything other than vaguely hinted at by this ability, and that's just another time when words do it all. Once located and the owner is physically within reach, the next stage may begin.
In other cases, though, the desires themselves can be manipulated and altered, or at least the 'drive' for them can be. By spending a full-round action, the user may double the non-static effect of the next effective action, of course AFTER challenges are rolled, taken by a single person. For instance, somebody attacking would roll 2d6 instead of 1d6 for their damage, or somebody defending would 'double' their defense by halving the roll of the damage done against them. Support effects work with this as well so long as dicerolling is involved, and as another note any existing effects increasing the amount stack with this effect too. An effect or finisher already resulting in 2d6 damagerolls? Too bad, it's 4d6 now. Have fun.
Power: Immaterial Crystallization
Effect: Desire Dream
'Crystallization,' or to lazier people 'materialization,' is the act of taking the immaterial thoughtform that a desire is and bringing it to life. Or sometimes, to something totally else. The initial desire is lost to its original owner and, once crystallized, is on a time limit; when that time ends, the crystallized form 'evaporates' and nothing is left. However, if the wielder wishes to return the desire before it evaporates, they may choose to discard it by placing it back in the original owner's body and, though it may take a short amount of time for them to re-adjust to it, usually in a few days it will be back to the same strength and may even be crystallized again if chosen. Of course, if it's used again too soon after being returned it may evaporate much more quickly than usual.
In addition, desires may be crystallized into edible forms and, obviously, eaten like any other food would be. Desires, being immaterial in origin, usually taste much better than most food humans are capable of tasting and can quickly become extremely addictive if the hunger for them isn't controlled. Of course, it's also fairly monstrous to be eating them to begin with, but with the power to take them like this there's hardly any reason not to when the original owner doesn't want them anymore, right? Usually, in combat, taking a desire and crystallizing it requires a full-round action, as does returning one before it evaporates, but if done before a fight begins - or after it ends, in the latter's case - that may be circumvented. Preparedness is the best et cetera, et cetera.
One thing that may make it slightly more of a pain is that a desire may not be found or crystallized from a wild guess. The user has to actually be thoroughly aware of what it is and the nature of it before taking it, and though being forceful may work in some cases - we'll say a contested support roll for now - it will almost always only be effective if permission is given to take and use it, even if indirectly or unknowingly. A simple nod in response to a "Close your eyes, I'll make you feel better" is usually enough to suffice, not even going into more roundabout methods. In the case of a tier 5, the desperate with for a savior of champion from those with nowhere else to turn would usually do the trick, though people end up getting into that desperate of a situation much more rarely than one would expect.
Crystallizations themselves may vary, but on average they choose three attributes of the usual Heart, Fury/Grief, and Magic varieties and assign them to Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary, for easy reference. So they would grant bonuses (and sometimes penalties) of the related stats to the user while being wielded. Thusly, the typical formula they operate by results in a chart much like this one:
|1||+3||-||-1||The weakest and most common desire, often just a small wish for something a little more convenient but that isn't absolutely necessary. Thousands of these desires come and go every day per person, and as such they are extremely common. Almost completely worthless.||Small objects or tools. In some cases may be representative of and proportionate to the strength behind the desire, such as a tiny, dull knife representing a weak will, but in others may be a common object that is the object of the desire to begin with, such as a handy pen or a snack.||Astoundingly decent, a filling meal and above-average overall. May be able to become addictive if snacked on often.||The desire for extra convenience like "shorter work hours," the desire for a minor object like a chair or some headphones, the desire to do something instead of being bored.|
|2||+5||+2||-||Tier 2 desires are usually genuinely heartfelt, but ultimately unimportant in the long-term compared to other things. They usually have at least some meaning to the individual and may be missed.||Often weapons, sometimes armor, and even other times objects or clothing represented by the desire itself, such as "the cloak the burglar was wearing" or "my lost dog's collar." If a weapon or other tool requiring expertise to use, the user is granted at least a small proficiency in using it for the duration of the crystallization. In yet other cases it may manifest as an ability or set of knowledge as well if represented, though not as often as otherwise.||Wonderful. Rivals many high-quality chefs and is usually unforgettable once tasted.||The desire to find a missing pet, the desire to make friends, the desire to save up money to buy a PS4.|
|3||+7||+4||+1||A very important desire to a person, and very rarely a short-term one, yet not quite at the level to be a cause one would devote their entire lives to. Still, most people would lose a good deal of their being without desires of this strength, and taking it without warning may cause a shocking change in their personality.||While taking on the appearance of the former two tiers is possible depending on the desire itself, tier 3 desires may also take the form of minor transformation. The user may change parts of their body, such as turning an arm into a rapier, or undergo changes like elasticity. If such a change occurs, it only lasts until the crystallization ends.||Heavenly. It tastes like the highest-quality, full-course meal even if it comes in a small size. However, once consumed it's lost forever to the original owner as well- not like that wasn't always the case; this is just when it's addictive enough to need a reminder again.||The desire to become a martial artist, the desire to be the best in class, the desire to beat up the leaders of every gang in town.|
|4||+9||+6||+3||The most meaningful a desire can be for a single individual, these desires are long-term goals that most devote their whole lives to. Often, these make up a person's entire being and crystallizing them is like ripping out their soul. However, they can also be ridiculously powerful if actually utilized.||Major transformation. Although it isn't impossible to, say, create a laser cannon or a legendary sword with physically impossible sharpness from a desire of this strength, it is most often able to manifest by warping the user's body and giving them power by allowing them to become something inhuman, such as a dragon or a unicorn. It is also entirely plausible for the user to become the object of somebody's desire, such as a lost loved one or even a nonexistent loved one, or even a version of the desire's owner themselves after having acquired their desire, such as becoming the world's greatest swordsman or an infamous rock star.||Orgasmic. The taste of such a desire, when crystallized into something edible, is so delectable that the user loses all their senses for a moment and is overwhelmed by pure ecstasy. It can be addictive beyond description if not controlled well.||The desire to become the President of the United States, the desire to become a world-renowned author, the desire to find a legendary artifact spoken of only in myths.|
|5||+20||+15||+10||A desire so powerful that a single person is incapable of holding it. These desires may be crystallized only from the collective wish of a group of individuals, most often a large one. Only if that desire is genuinely shared among all of them can a crystallization of this strength complete.||Anything. The user becomes an avatar of the desire represented and may take any form or wield any sort of weapon which ultimately represents it.||Inhuman. The taste is so overwhelming that anybody who consumes it will almost guaranteed completely lose their mind and want nothing other than to eat more of it, doing everything in their power to do so at all costs.||The desire to win a war, the desire to colonize Mars, the desire to stop Emo music from getting any more popular than it already is.|
For a simple example, a little girl lost her favorite teddy bear and wishes to find it again because her mother gave it to her for her birthday before passing away. She's not worried that it's gone forever, but is still scared and lonely without it; the heartfeltedness of this would make it a tier 2 desire. Upon crystallizing it, Evan would either create a replica of the doll itself with, quite possibly, a drill arm or some other silly tool, or if the whims of the divine wish for more amusement he could end up wearing a bear suit… with his own set of claws that could tear into an enemy regardless of how silly it looks. Heart would be its primary attribute due to the good intentions associated with it, magic the secondary only because fury has no place in either of the other two, earning its secondary spots. Using the examples directly, that would be +5 Heart, +2 Magic, and +0 Fury, for some somewhat respectable numbers.
Description: A very variable technique; a desire that is already been crystallized may be 'infused' into existing objects, living or not. Infusing effectively acts as evaporation and the desire may never return to the user in the case of being infused into a nonliving object, but on a person it essentially becomes the property of their 'new' owner and may be later taken in the same way as if it had always belonged to them. An infusion may even be performed on the user themselves, allowing them to bear somebody else's weight. Mechanically, when attacking a target with the intention to do damage with this ability, an attack roll must first be made and succeed as normal; afterward, the sum of all the stats on the crystallized desire is dealt in damage if the target has resolve. If not, it is changed according to the nature of said desire, such as desire to protect somebody turning a large, menacing weapon into a tiny, harmless brush, or the desire to be free making a fortification incorporeal to allow people to pass through it.
Against an enemy, it's easy to declare the desire as a bomb and have it explode without thinking about its nature, though transforming enemies into less harmful things is doable as well. On other people is where it becomes more strange, and is also where higher-tier desires are better to use than lower ones. While damage is not dealt if the target is willing and nonhostile, the user may make a choice: Either the desire becomes effectively theirs and they are compelled to follow it as the original owner would, or the desire takes form and warps its new holder according to its nature and specific details. The desire to meet a specific individual may transform another person into said individual, for starters, or the desire to obtain certain characteristics (like "becoming a supermodel" or "having eternal youth") will grant that characteristic to the infused. However, the desire must be powerful enough itself to apply the impossible, otherwise it instantly fails and evaporates. Most deities or otherwise higher powers aren't fond of cheat-methods to give people eternal youth/beauty/wealth unless the desire for it was so powerfully genuine that it encompassed every aspect of the original owner's being.
As a final note, a hostile target may resist with their support attribute if infused, with a bonus of +2 to their resistance for every tier under 4 the desire is, up to +6 for a tier 1. If they fail, they may be essentially 'brainwashed' into desiring something even if they want to convince themselves otherwise, or forcefully warped into the desire's target against their will. Mechanically it… depends on what it is, really. Up for debate.
Campaign: Rise of the Bacon Tomato