Revelations

As an alternative to existing FX systems within the standard d20 Modern rules, I’m borrowing and adapting some power rules from the True20 rules system to better reflect the original power system from Rise.

There will be no standard casting or manifesting classes made available, but every character will have the option to choose from and develop a variety of flexible powers, called “revelations”.

A revelation is a potent aspect of one’s soul that remains latent until after death- sometimes even years after a person’s passing. As revelations grow, they open up the ability to affect the world around their wielder in many ways.

Although the characters in this campaign are not deceased, they have all glimpsed what lies beyond their world, and have maintained a comprehension of it as they have returned to the world of the living. As such, they all bear the potential to unlock and cultivate their own revelations over time.

A revelation is a supernatural ability that can be performed at will (except where noted). Rather than having a set limit on how often they can be used, revelations can be used as often as the user wishes, although the more they are used the more likely the user is to succumb to exhaustion.

A revelation functions, in many ways, like a skill of a supernatural nature. Just as simply as a character with Climb can scale a wall, a character with the Pyrokinesis revelation can ignite and manipulate flames, and a character with the Telepathy revelation can read thoughts and communicate across a distance.

In order to gain access to revelations, a character must either be a ghost, have taken the Awakening feat at character creation, or have access to a class that grants revelatory skills.

Although they are supernatural abilities, revelations can be dispelled by a wide variety of supernatural effects and are subject to spell resistance.

Key Terms

  • Revelation: Any variety of supernatural skills that are triggered by being made aware of the reality of death, hence the name.
  • Revelator: A character who has access to a revelation.
  • Effective Revelator Level (ERL): A character’s effective level when using revelations. This determines the DCs of their revelations and determines how often they can use their revelations without tiring.
  • Stamina Charge: A character receives a set number of stamina charges within an hour’s time. If they choose to use a stamina charge, they may access a revelation without having to make a Will save to prevent losing energy.

Gaining a Revelation

A character may learn a revelation in a number of ways, but all of these ways require somehow gaining a significant and predestined brush with death.

Option 1: Ghostly Revelations

All ghosts can use revelations, and can learn them at their discretion. They can also learn talents from secret talent trees even if they do not qualify. Finally, all ghosts are considered to have an ERL equal to their hit dice, regardless of their actual class levels. Playing a ghost revelator is a powerful option, but fortunately this is an option primarily for the DM.

Option 2: See What Should be Unseen

Sometimes, a mortal experiences a brush with death so profound that they cannot possibly forget it. When this happens, something stirs within their soul. It isn’t enough that they merely have a near death experience- they must have died and somehow been pulled from the threshold of death’s door and dragged back to the world of the living. In this case, when a case of predestined death is waylaid by outside circumstances, the soul may retain knowledge of what they had seen.

Characters wishing to explore this concept can take the following feat during character creation:

  • Awakening
  • Prerequisite: Character creation, must have suffered a near death experience
  • Benefit: The character can select one revelation. They treat this revelation as a permanent class skill, and gain an ERL determined by their class levels. They can select talents for which they qualify from secret talent trees.

Characters using this option have limited revelation use, adding just a touch of the supernatural to an otherwise mundane character. They can choose to leave this talent as a wild, unrefined ability, or they can sculpt a specific role for themselves by selecting secret talents. Playing this option is a great way to incorporate a taste of the power of one’s soul into the game.

For characters that wish to expand their abilities without taking revelatory classes, there are other feats and talents that can expand their repertoire, but in general, characters of this nature should never have more than a few revelations at their disposal.

Option 3: Tasting the Forbidden Fruit

There are some mortals with a curiosity that can only be described as dangerous. These mortals, for whatever reasons, delve so deeply into the secrets of our universe that they ultimately uncover a truth that bears a heavy responsibility. These characters are no mere dabblers, but are devoted seekers of knowledge and scholars of the esoteric.

A character who takes levels in the Spirit Slayer, Estate Exorcist, Occultist, Spiritualist, Arcane Arranger, Glamourist, Shadow Hunter, Shadowjack, Sanguinist, Living Nocturne, or Swindler advanced classes is considered to be educated, at least on some level, in the dark workings of the world. Although they risk great peril at the cruel hands of Dark Will, they can use a wide variety of revelations and use their grim insights to carve their own position in the eternal battleground of Creation. Unlike other classes, who only have access to revelations granted by feats, they have a small number of revelations that are part of their class lists. Ranks in these revelations can be purchased as if they were class skills.

While this requires a more specific concept and risks greater exposure to Dark Will, a character wishing to have a large supernatural presence in the game should consider this option.

Learning Revelations

Learning a revelation is much like learning a skill. Whenever a character learns a revelation, it becomes just another talent he can hone, like acrobatics, performing, or being diplomatic.

When a character has access to a revelation, he can learn it by spending a skill point on it. Spending a single skill point in a revelation grants the character one rank. A character can never have more ranks in a revelation than his ECL + 3.

Once a character has learned a revelation, he can use it as he sees fit, but it will require a continual investment of skill points if he wishes his talents to grow. As such, characters in this campaign are encouraged to weigh their options- while having many revelations may be helpful, selecting too many may result in not having access to crucial skills. Meanwhile, there will be times at which a revelation is strictly better than a mundane skill- while a character may certainly take the time to investigate a crime scene for supernatural activity, an activation of their Object Reading revelation may save vital time.

Also, keep in mind- a character can never learn more revelations than they have points of WIS modifier (minimum 1)!

Using Revelations

The basics of using a revelation are simple. You merely select your revelation, choose which use of that revelation you are using (with rules outlined for each specific revelation), and then roll 1d20 + your ranks in that revelation + the relevant ability modifier. If you roll equal to the DC or higher, the use is successful. If you do not, the use fails (unless otherwise noted).

When using a revelation, you can choose to expend a stamina charge. If you do, you can proceed and use your revelation as normal. If you choose not to expend a stamina charge, or if you have none remaining, you must make a Will save with a DC of 10 + your ERL + 1 for each revelation previously used within the past hour.

On a failed save, your revelation is executed, but with a -4 penalty to your revelation roll. Furthermore, you take nonlethal damage equal to two times your ERL. This effect is applied before you make your revelation roll, and occurs even if you fail your revelation check. Ghost characters do not take nonlethal damage, instead taking temporary CHA damage, which recovers completely the next time they recover stamina charges.

Nonlethal damage taken in this way cannot be healed normally. Supernatural effects that would recover lethal damage cause you to recover this damage at half that rate, so an effect that would heal 12 nonlethal damage would cause you to heal 6 of the nonlethal damage taken from failing a Will save. Otherwise, you recover a number of points of damage equal to your WIS score every five minutes, provided you are at rest and are not exposed to severe concentrations of Dark Will.

Using Revelations Untrained

Generally, you cannot use revelations untrained. However, there are some exceptions. A character that has access to the Spiritual Senses revelation can use it untrained, but only to detect the presence of ghosts and other spirits. It cannot be used in any other way without proper training. Using Spiritual Senses in this way never requires a Will save or an expenditure of a stamina charge, nor does is it counted as a use of a revelation when formulating the save DC of your Will saves against losing energy.

Stamina Charges

A character has a number of stamina charges equal to half their ERL plus their Wisdom modifier. A character regains their expended stamina charges at the beginning of each hour, provided they have not been engaged in particularly strenuous activity during the last hour (strenuous activity would entail combat, physical labor, athletic activity, or anything of that nature). If at the beginning of an hour, if a character has been very physically active, they do not regain their stamina charges, and must wait for the hour to pass to get another chance to recover their charges.

Ghosts, not possessing bodies, regain charges differently. Since a ghost cannot be physically active, it is never denied recovery of charges for being involved in physical activity. However, if a ghost has been involved in combat, been targeted with an exorcism or oppression effect, or failed a Will save against losing energy as a result of a revelation use in the past hour, they do not recover their charges, and must wait until the hour passes for another chance.

Classes and ERL Progressions

There are three different progressions for ERL, Fast (gaining 1 ERL per class level, to a maximum of +10 ERL from any one class), Medium (gaining 3 ERL every 4 class levels, to a maximum of +7 ERL from any one class), and Poor (gaining 1 ERL every second class level, to a maximum of +5 ERL from any one class).

Whenever you take levels in a new class, your ERL with both classes stack. Therefor, a Strong Hero 2/Smart Hero 4/Invoker 4 would have an ERL of 8 (1 from Strong, 3 from Smart, 4 from Invoker).

Class Progression Class Revelations
Strong Hero Poor None
Fast Hero Poor None
Tough Hero Poor None
Smart Hero Medium None
Dedicated Hero Medium None
Charismatic Hero Medium None
Martial Artist Poor None
Soldier Poor None
Gunslinger Poor None
Infiltrator Medium None
Daredevil Poor None
Bodyguard Poor None
Field Scientist Medium None
Techie Medium None
Field Medic Medium None
Investigator Medium None
Personality Medium None
Negotiator Poor None
Slayer Medium Dispel, Banishing, Bless, Ghost Temper, Spiritual Senses
Occultist Fast Eldritch Power, Curse, Ward, Channeling, Spiritual Senses
Spiritualist Fast Soul’s Eyes, Prescience, Astral Form, Heart Reading, Spiritual Senses
Arcane Arranger Medium Psychometry, Earthspeak, Spiritual Senses
Archaic Weapon Master Poor None
Glamourist Fast Glamour, Heart Reading, Telepathy, Mind Warp, Spiritual Senses
Shadow Hunter Medium Body Control, Nature Sense, Spiritual Senses
Shadowjack Fast Electrokinesis, Spiritual Senses
Speed Demon Poor None
Street Warrior Poor None
Swashbuckler Poor None
Thrasher Poor None
Wildlord Medium None
Engineer Medium None
Field Officer Poor None
Swindler Fast Probability Hack, Chronokinesis, Spacefolding, Prescience, Spiritual Senses
Tracer Poor None
Purifier Poor None
Living Nocturne Fast Spiritual Senses, Ghost Temper, Telekinesis, Ectokinesis
Sanguinist Fast Spiritual Senses, Hemokinesis, Umbrakinesis
Estate Exorcist Fast Spiritual Senses, Banishing, Dispel, Bless, Ghost Temper, Prescience
Daoist Adept Fast Spiritual Senses, Hydrokinesis, Pyrokinesis, Aerokinesis, Terrakinesis
Diabolist Fast Hearkening, Eldritch Power, Channeling
Alchemist Fast Eldritch Power, Enhance Ability, Body Control

Countering Revelations

Countering another revelator’s revelations requires that you make a successful Soulcraft check to identify the targeted revelation, and also requires that you have readied an action to counter.

You can counter some revelations with certain other revelations- for example, Hydrokinesis can counter Pyrokinesis, Banishing can counter Hearkening, and so on. Certain revelations, like Dispel and Ward, can be used to counter any revelation, with specific rules outlined in their respective use guides.

Revelations cannot be countered by other means- a spellcaster cannot counter a revelation using Dispel Magic, nor can a manifester counter a revelation by using Dispel Psionics. While the effects of any given revelation can be dispelled with these effects, they cannot be used to counter a revelation while it is being used.

Determining Revelation DCs

The save DC of any given revelation is equal to 10 + 1/2 ERL + your ability modifier.

Revelations and Spell Resistance

Unlike most supernatural abilities, revelations are effected by spell resistance and similar mechanics. In order to bypass spell resistance, one must make a revelator check by rolling 1d20 + ERL. If you roll equal to or higher than the target’s SR, the effect is successful.

Revelations do not have levels, and as such they do not usually interact with effects such as globe of invulnerability. However, some uses of a revelation, particularly those utilizing secret talents (such as the Kinetic Blast talent) may be classified as a spell-like ability of a certain level, and interact with such effects normally.

Revelations in Antimagic Fields

Revelations are considered supernatural abilities, and as such they do not function within antimagic field effects.

Revelations in Edenic Voids

An edenic void traditionally only affected ghostly characters, but living characters that have opened the power of their souls can be negatively influenced by them as well.

A living character in an edenic void cannot use any revelations at all, and they lose one stamina charge per minute spent within the void. Upon exiting, they do not recover stamina charges regularly. For each stamina charge lost in the edenic void, the character must wait one additional hour to recover. Furthermore, any attempt to use a revelation during this time causes the character to automatically fail their Will saves against losing energy.

Revelations and other FX Systems

Revelations have full transparency with most other FX systems. A use of the Dispel revelation can undo the effects of an enemy’s hideous laughter spell just as easily as a casting of dispel magic can revert the effects of being charmed by a Glamour revelation.

Whenever an effect (such as the Glamourist’s Charm Person class feature or the Occultist’s magical scrolls) would cite an effect from another FX system, use the rules as written in that supplement, unless otherwise noted.

Related Sections: Revelation List | Secret Talent Tree

Revelations

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