Saturday, October 7, 2017

Spoilers: Sphere Blessings!

Hey, y'all! It's time for spoilers!

Our extremely formal and scientifically rigorous Twitter poll came out with "Big Iconic Blessings" winning as the most asked-for category of Sphere Blessings, although not by much. So we'll do a few of those today!

What we mean by "big iconic Blessings" is that these are the showpieces of the Sphere at Mortal level - what we call the "party pieces" when we're designing them. They're the big, exciting, powerful, emblematic Blessings that Mortal Heroes are probably looking forward to getting most and that you would (hopefully, if we did our job right!) be most excited about using.

Rise and Shine (Sun)
    The Hero calls down some of the awesome power of the sun to awaken people in the morning and restore vivifying energy to them, even in moments of great crisis. Whenever someone is knocked unconscious by fatigue damage, the Hero may use this Blessing to command them to rise back up; when they do, that person immediately heals a number of boxes of both fatigue and lethal damage equal to the Hero’s total dots of Sun, and arises again to continue fighting the good fight.

Thunderbolt (Thunder)
    The Hero with this Blessing can release the formidable electric forces of their own body, inflicting a sudden searing lightning strike on an enemy. They may use this Blessing to strike any being in the same Episode with them, inflicting damage equal to their successes, half of which is dealt as fatigue damage and half as lethal (rounded down). This damage ignores the hapless target’s Defense, but can be mitigated by the Inner Circuit Blessing if they possess it. This Blessing may not be used on inanimate objects or structures.

Transformation (Life)
    A master over the power and form of living things, the Hero may temporarily transform them in moments of great crisis, commuting one creature to another. Whenever an enemy in close combat attempts to attack them, they may use this Blessing; if they successfully overcome their enemy’s resistance, they transform them immediately into an animal (it may be any animal of the Hero’s choice, but must be one that could survive in the current Episode’s environment - for example, they could not turn an enemy into a fish on dry land and then allow them to suffocate). The new creature must be of the same size category as its original form and retains its usual Defense and resistance rolls; it will no longer attack the Hero or anyone else, being overwhelmingly distracted by the disorientation of its sudden transformation. Any clothing or items the transformed enemy was carrying remain on them, folded into the transformation, and reappear exactly as they were once this Blessing’s effects end.
    Once the Hero’s enemy has been transformed, they remain that way until the end of the Episode, unless they suffer damage from any source or are targeted by a power that forces them to make a resistance roll,in which case they immediately revert to their original form (probably with great confusion and aggravation).

Now, of course, these aren't the everyday Blessings a Hero will use all the time, or the ones they get soonest, so here are a couple of examples of middle-of-the-road everyday Blessings, since they were the poll runner-ups, for comparison:

Séance (Death)
    A Hero with such a close connection to the great beyond may speak to the dead, even across enormous gulfs of time and distance. When a Hero uses this Blessing, they may ask any spirit of a dead person a single question that has a yes-or-no or short answer; if they overcome the spirit’s resistance, they are compelled to communicate the answer truthfully to the Hero. Should the Hero fail to overcome the spirit, they refuse to answer the question and the Hero may not contact that specific ghost again during this Chapter (although they can still try others!).
    The Hero must have a body part or object of value belonging to the deceased they wish to contact, or else attempt to call on them from the burial site of their body. In addition, when they use this Blessing, they become able to perceive any ghosts currently present in the Episode with them, although they cannot necessarily pry useful information out of them unless they directly use this Blessing to ask them questions.

Sacred Hearth (Fire)
    The Hero may build a comforting centralized fire, granting comfort, support, and serenity to themself and all their companions when they do. During a Lull Episode, if they create and tend a central hearth, a number of Heroes up to this Hero’s total number of Fire dots may both rest and heal as normal and also perform one action or Blessing that would normally prevent them from doing so; if they choose to forgo resting, they may instead perform two actions or Blessing that normally require an entire Lull Episode. The Hero themself may only perform one Lull-specific action or Blessing, since their second one is occupied with tending the flames.

Wind Whisper (Heavens)
    This Blessing allows Heroes to speak with the voice of the wind, directing it to carry their words to whisper subtly in others’ ears. They may speak or sing any simple message or verse of no more than a single sentence or thought, and cause it to be carried to any being in the same Episode with them, whispered privately to them and only them. Anyone who wishes to overhear the Hero’s message must overcome their roll with a Sight roll; if they fail, they cannot discern the message or even become aware that there was one, not even with alternative methods of communication such as lip-reading.

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