The Twilight of the Known Worlds
Calm can be used to overcome nervous stress and help improve a character’s performance in certain situations. The character must declare a focus of his actions, a single purpose towards which he is directing his intent. He then centers himself and goes to it, ignoring stressful distractions.
Only relatively immediate tasks can be declared; long-term tasks may require a calm attitude, but they gain no bonus from this short-term burst of concentration (use Focus skill for long-term tasks).
For instance, a guild Engineer must defuse a planet bomb in less than 10 minutes. He tells everybody to shut up, wipes the sweat from his brow, and bends down to concentrate, repeating to himself over and over, “It’s just like back at Master Bocor’s foundry. Snip the green wire, not the red. The green one, not the red…” Or a Brother Battle priest kneels to pray before charging a line of foes, calming himself with inspirational mantras from masters of the order.
To gain a steady hand for a task, the character spends one Wyrd point and rolls Calm as the goal number (without pairing to a skill). Add or subtract any applicable modifiers from the Calm Chart. Each victory point adds one to the goal number for any rolls related to the character’s focus, whether it be fighting off an angry mob or getting the jumpdrive engine on line before the pirates’ guns tear the ship apart.
It takes three turns to center and concentrate before the roll can be made; any less time means the character simply has not reached a steady centeredness. The effect lasts for a short time, only until the task is completed at the longest. During this time, the character must perform actions related only to his focus. If he undertakes any other actions, his concentration is broken and he loses any steadying effects.
If the roll is a critical success, he becomes fully absorbed in his task to the exclusion of all else. He does not notice what’s going on around him unless it is directly related to the task. This fugue state ends only when the task is resolved. The resolution does not have to be successful; when it becomes obvious that the task cannot be completed, the character will lose his obsessional state.
|Favored by a lover||+2|
|Spurned by a lover||-2|
|House/Church/League matter of importance||+2|
|Crisis of faith||-3|
|Lots of money involved||-1|
|Encountering scary place/people||-1|
|Encountering terrifying place/people (Symbiots)||-2|
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