Whether a character makes use of sorcery or psychic powers it up to his player. It’s an important narrative choice, but in game terms, there is little impact beyond a different Backlash and Corruption tables.
Story wise, however, each one has a different feel and meaning. Sorcery is a art the very few manage to learn. We are not sure if it's because it’s inherent difficulty or because many will perish before mastering its use. The fact is that it’s use make sorcerers very powerful, while at the same time corrupt and drain their life energy. Those who wield it are considered mad at beast and demon possessed at worst. The life force drained by its users are transformed in spells and other effects that defy the laws of existence.
Mentalists are how those possessing psychic powers are usually called. Their abilities are not thought or learned, at least not in the same way as sorcery is. These individuals are born with their capabilities, same say they were blessed to fight against the influences of the Void and the sorcery of the Galactic Overlords, by the majority does not really see a difference between the two, and just assassins they are inherently tainted by the Void. But even though psychic powers are inherently part of them, their use is equally taxing, as most sentient species were not born to exercise their mental capabilities to such a degree.
Every The Gifted character begins the game with 3 know powers and every time they need to use them, a Willpower test is necessary, as well as an expenditure of life energy. The energy used for each power must come from somewhere, and the most immediate source is the user himself.
Thus, to use a power, The Gifted spends an amount of Vitality points equal to the difference between the Power Level (PL) of the power and the character’s Level, and makes a Willpower test with a Difficulty equal to the same PL.
The Power Level defines how strong the spell is cast and is defined by The Gifted at the time of manifestation of each individual power. He can cast the same spell with a lower PL one time, and with a higher PL in a different occasion.
A success in the Willpower test means the character manifests the power as intended, in the PL chosen. Note, however, that some powers may allow targets to make a test to resist its effects (see Resisting Powers below).
On the other hand, a failure means the power didn’t manifest, or at least, didn’t manifest as the user intended. A failure in which the character rolls above his Willpower score means the character, for one reason or another, cannot manifest this power for the day. Maybe he isn’t properly aligned with the Void currents that channel that power, or that he simply isn’t in the state of mind necessary for doing so.
A failure within the Difficulty range means something else. The character is able to channel the energy but something goes wrong in the process and now he must make a choice. He either loses the power for the rest of the day, or he suffers a Backlash (which means the the energy channeled manifests in a way that is detrimental to the character, possibly harming him or his allies).
Additionally, a roll of a natural 20 (a Fumble), means even more problems for the user. When this happens, he loses the power for the day, suffer a Backlash and can make a Luck Roll to avoid automatic Corruption. If he is unlucky, he suffers either a Sorcery or a Psychic Corruption. This means that the Void has affected the character in a lasting form, possibly deforming his body, shattering his mind, and consuming his soul.
When Xazim manifested that Energy Shield power, he had to specify how strong the shield would be, and how long it would last, essentially defining its Power Level. With that defined, Xazim’s made a Willpower test with a Difficulty equal to the PL.
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