View Full Version : a lifestealer

2009-06-10, 12:39 PM
So, I don't really know if this belongs to this forum, but I hope it does. If it doesn't, well, sorry.

I'm going to play an RPG on my school trip next week. It has no hard rules and is set in a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid world - humanity travels through space, colonizes worlds and such. On some planets, things that can't really be explained by science have been found - most people call them "magical", but of course, the government has some fancy workaround words for them. One such planet has been colonized for about three hundred years. When the humans first landed there, they found a world very similar to the classic, D&D fantasy - elves, magic, unicorns and so on.
Of course, being human, they promptly started to kill most and round up the rest until the planet turned to what it is now - a fully industrialized world where the original inhabitants only live in something like training camps and usually only until they grow up, then they are sent offworld.
In these camps, the children (most of them human-whatever hybrids (yes, the fantasy creatures are somehow able to multiply with humans and it has happened a lot of times)) are brainwashed and trained to be absolutely loyal to the Federation (the human empire) until they are ready to take a kind of a graduation exam consisting of three parts - first, they test your physical ability, then your control over your "magical" abilities and last but not least your loyalty to the Federation. Once this exam is finished, you are given genetical or cybernetic enhancements of your own choice and assigned as an elite soldier to some unit. Then, you're either sent offworld to fight enemies of humanity elsewhere (as mentioned earlier) or left on the planet to fight the rebels (of course there are rebels, there are ALWAYS rebels).

Us players are going to play the young in those camps as they finish their exams. Now, finally, to the point: The DM has given us great freedom as to what our abilites will be, because the incursion of human DNA into the xenos genepool has brought about interesting mutations. The fantasy humanoids and such basically don't exist anymore (except for the inbred rebels), all their magic-infused blood has left behind are X-Men style mutants with powers ranging from enhanced strenght and regeneration to... basically whatever.
I have created an (in my opinion) interesting ability: to steal the "life power" from living things by touch and then infuse it into lifeless objects which are then controlled by my will. It is possible to kill someone with it, but it takes about two minutes to drain all the lifepower from an average human. That is not entirely impossible, though - if I'm able to hold on to someone for ten or so seconds, they grow tired and by thirty seconds in, they've lost the ability to move. It starts from the body part I touch and spreads throughout the body gradually, so when I grab someone's arm, he can't move it , but the rest of his body is initially still at full strength, so he can still tug with his whole body and run away as the lifepower slowly flows back into his arm.
The power I drain is stored within me and I am not able to use it in any other way than infusing it into something - I can make small, golem-like constructs or make my shoelaces tie themselves, whatever I wish. The object I want to animate in this way, however, can have no lifepower of its own other than what I have infused into it previously. It also gradually fades away, so if I have my favorite little homunculus, I have to keep it "alive" by giving it power every two days or so.

The DM has told us that the ability shouldn't be too overpowered, so I still need help with concerns such as:
Should I be able to drain the energy through clothes, or should it requre skin contact?
How much must I concentrate on the draining - does it immobilise me?
How long should it take before the drain "kicks in" - if someone punches me, do they feel weak afterwards or is longer contact needed?
Should I simply command my constructs or should I control them like parts of my own body?
Basically, I need help with balancing the ability so it is useful but not overpowered.
I also mentioned that enhancements are given to the "students" after they finish the exam - one of the players is going to get wings, so the possibilites are great here too. I was thinking that I should probably get something to complement my ability, but I just can't think of anything.

Again, sorry if this belongs elsewhere and thank you for your criticism and advice :smallsmile: .

2009-06-11, 04:30 AM
Two options here:
1.) You will have a few horses (if size matters), or a huge number of mice (if size doesn't) on your ship, and will never lack for energy to animate stuff, unless you have some sort of storage capacity problem. You can still use it as a weapon in theory.
2.) It only works on sentients. The empire here sounds hard-core enough that they would give students who have a reason a writ giving them the right to serve as executioner for any local criminals who were going to be getting the death penalty anyway. OTOH the school probably graduates one or two students a year who are decended from vampires or whatever who require such energy to live so you would be pretty far down the pecking order for that. OTOH you don't HAVE to kill anyone, so you might just have a less forceful writ so you can go to the equivalent of a blood drive and instead of donating a pint to the bank, some of the people there donate 10 seconds of drain to you.

As for modifications, some sort of bio-ware whip/tendril/tentacle to extend the range at which you can use the ability sounds good... but in the end you are still going to be "bringing a knife to a gun-fight".

Since a dead body probably counts as an "object" this guy might end up looking like a necromancer in function when he needs scouting done out-doors... a small remote spy-camera rig with the bug replacing one eye of a dead pigeon... you wearing the goggles to the bug.. viola, instant flying recon.