FX Wizard OCC

"You want New York vaporized? No problem, how large do you want the mushroom cloud?" - Bernard Algers, FX Wizard

    Special effects (FX) have always fascinated people. Most people think

of movies or television when they hear the phrase "special effects". However, FX are also used for sounds on radio, effects at live performances, and many other things.

    The FX Wizard is the person responsible for virtually all the FX done.

They are the ones who create the mechanical dragons, make a mountain erupt, or bring the alien visitors to life. Most people think of the FX Wizard as the person who builds the mechanical FX . However, many computer animators and artists can also be considered to be one. The increasing use of the computer has had a huge effect on the FX business.

    Most FX Wizards are capable of doing a variety of things. These could

range from the simple task of creating a cloud of smoke to constructing a life-size mechanical horse that moves and looks realistic.

    The coming of Dark Day and invasion of the Nightlords has had little

consequence on the FX business. People still go watch movies, and their skills are still needed for live performances. There has been a slight decrease in the movie market, but it hasn't been enough to cause any real problems for the most part.

    Most FX Wizards are just normal people and are unaware of the secret

war being waged around them. They are happy to do their job, get paid, and go home at night. However, unavoidably a few have discovered the truth.

    This is mostly as a consequence of the Nightlord Lilith's strange

projects in Los Angeles. Specifically, her use of real effects in movies instead of special effects. Many of the FX Wizards in LA were quite mad and surprised at being suddenly fired. Some of them, naturally, were interested in why they were fired. When they began sneaking around the Nightlord controlled sets, they quickly found out.

    Many either try to deny it or just ignore it. Some, though, have

decided to try to help in the war against the Nightlords and their minions.

    The majority of these aren't affiliated with any specific faction.

They just try to do what they can and carry on with their lives.

    However, some FX Wizards have been contacted by various factions. By

far the most common faction to do this is the ADA or Spook Squad. They have found that FX Wizards possess very unique skills to aid in the fight. It might be disguising assassins so they can get close to a target, setting up a special effect to discredit the opposition during a speech, or setting up large convincing diversions during a raid. These often allow Spook Squad members to attack and eliminate key targets with a much higher chance of success. Whatever the case, they are able to use their skills and free up other agents to do work.

"Don't scoff at me. I'm capable of creating effects you can only dream of." - Christine Lee, FX Wizard, Seeker Member

    Since the invasion by the Nightlords and the subtle shift in mystical

energies, a few FX Wizards have begun to develop a unique type of power. There are many theories pertaining to the origin of the power. Some people who know about it, believe it to be a sort of innate or instinctual magical ability. Others believe them to be similar to or possibly an offshoot of the Naturals/ Geniuses. Probably the wildest theory is that the intelligence behind the Guardians has been "seeding" humanity with special gifts.

    Whatever the source, these FX Wizards have truly earned the name

"wizard". They are able to create simple illusions, sounds, and other things by only concentrating.

    These power-enhanced Wizards have become highly recruited by the

various factions. In fact, it is believed that almost 50% of those who have manifested this power have joined one of the factions. By far the most "popular" faction has been the Seekers. Since they are a predominantly human organization that is centered towards the mystical, it is an obvious choice. However, other groups such as the Lightbringers, and the Resistance also count FX Wizards among their members.

    Most FX Wizards are not very good warriors. This is actually true of

most people. The occasional person may have learned to shoot a gun with their dad or taken a self-defense class, but for the most part, that's about it. However, even though they aren't really warriors, they can often act like they are. Many FX Wizards are good at using weapons or props to intimidate. While this is not the same as knowing how to do something, it can often get them out of a fix.

    Note: Players should choose whether their character is "powered" or a

normal mundane human. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. If the character is "powered", refer to the section below, otherwise go straight to Alignment.

    Powers and Abilities: There are three options to choose from. Choose

only one; your choice depends on your personal preference.

1.Option 1: Non-powered characters.

    This is the option to choose for "non-powered" characters. These men

and women are generally more adept at creating physical FX than their powered counterparts.

Skills: Add the following bonuses to the character's skills. These are in addition to any other bonuses including those listed in the OCC Skills:

    Special Effects: +10%
    Computer Operation: +5%
    Electrical Engineer: +5%
    Basic Mechanics: +10%
    Art: +10%
    Disguise: +10%
    Forgery: +5%
    Concealment: +10%

2.Option 2: Powered option. Illusory Power: These FX Wizards have the innate power to create illusions. Normally only small, simple illusions can be created, however. The Wizard creates the effect by thinking about what he wants to occur and concentrating for a few seconds (1 action). Within a couple of seconds (the next action), the effect appears.

    A variety of effects are possible; most dealing with sight and sound.

Some of the more common include: smoke clouds, bright lights or flashes, strange or eerie noises, apparitions, and other simple visual or auditory effects. It is rumored that some experienced Wizards are even able to create almost physical manifestations which can be seen, heard, felt, and smelled. (The ability to include smell in illusions is gained at level 5. Including feeling or touch is impossible until level 9)

    The player and GM should agree on what the extents of the power are.

However, keep in mind that it is an illusory power. Range: 25 ft (7.6 m) + 5 ft (1.5 m) every level. Size: The illusion is equal to about 125 cubic feet (3.5 cubic meters) Seen from a distance or the side, this is equivalent to 25 square feet (2.3 square meters). Increase by 20 cubic feet or 5 square feet per level of experience. Duration: The effect will last one melee per level of experience. At the end of the duration, P.P.E. can be spent again to prolong the effect. Saving Throw: Save vs Magic (12 or higher). However, a saving throw can only be made when the target(s) has a reason to suspect that the illusion is not real. To sense whether or not something is not "right" with the illusion, a perception roll can be attempted. More elaborate or involved illusions are usually harder to resist. P.P.E. Cost: Varies with effect. Things such as a smoke cloud or bright light might cost 2 P.P.E. while an apparition might cost as much as 10 or more depending on the complexity P.P.E. GMs should adjust the cost to reflect the relative difficulty of the illusion being attempted. P.P.E.: 2D6 + P.E. attribute. Add 1D4 P.P.E. per level of experience. Bonuses: +2 to Save vs Magical Illusions. This bonus only applies to magic that is illusory in nature such as Invisibility, Heavy Breathing, Shadow Meld, and other similar spells. Non- illusory spells do not receive the bonus. Also, every other level (3rd,5th, 7th, etc) add a +1 to the power of the cast illusions. In other words, targets need to roll a 13 or higher (12+1) if the caster is 3rd level and a 15 or higher (12+3) if the caster is 7th level. Skills: Due to the time spent honing their power, these FX Wizards do not receive as many skills. Reduce OCC Related skills by 5 and Secondary by 3. (Choose 3 Related and 2 Secondary).

3.Option 3: Powered option. Illusory Power: This power is akin to the Acolyte power, though more restricted. Any one psychic ability may be selected in place of any one Secondary Skill, but only when the character is first created (as many as all five skills may be traded). Additionally, instead of learning a new OCC related skill at later levels, s/he may choose to develop a new psychic ability instead.

    However, this selection is more limited than the Acolyte. Only

psionics related to illusions may be selected. Also, these psionic powers are not used consciously, they only manifest "subconsciously". They are not used in the normal sense, but only in regards to creating an Illusion. In other words, the character wants something to happen and through sheer force of will the psionics "make it happen". Some of the possible psionic selections include: Ectoplasm (though it can appear as "real" material instead of luminous and white) Electrokinesis Hydrokinesis Levitation Pyrokinesis Telekinesis Ethereal Mirage (from Between the Shadows) Psychic Mirage (from Between the Shadows) (may not be chosen until fifth level) Other powers may be available at the GM's discretion Range: Same as psychic power. Duration: Same as psychic power. Saving Throw: Save vs Psionics as normal. However, a saving throw can only be made when the target(s) has a reason to suspect that the illusion is not real. To sense whether or not something is not "right" with the illusion, a perception roll can be attempted. More elaborate or involved illusions are usually harder to resist. I.S.P. Cost: Same as psychic power. I.S.P.: 2D6 + M.E. attribute. Add 1D4 I.S.P. per level of experience. Bonuses: The FX Wizard saves as a Master Psychic (10 or higher) in regards to Illusory psionics. For other psionics, they save as a Minor Psychic (12 or higher). Skills: Due to the time spent honing their power, these FX Wizards do not receive as many skills. Reduce OCC Related skills by 4. (Character has 4 Related and 5 Secondary).

FX Wizard Alignment: Any. Attribute Requirements: IQ of 13 or higher, PP of 12 or higher and a high PE is recommended. A high ME is strongly recommended for "powered" characters, but not required. OCC Bonuses: +2 to Perception rolls OCC Skills: Native Language and Literacy: 98% Language and Literacy (one language of choice): +25% Special Effects: +25% Computer Operation: +10% Electrical Engineer: +10% Basic Mechanics: +10% Advanced Mathematics: +15% Art: +10% Disguise: +15% Forgery: +10% Concealment: +10% Select 1 from Science or Technical Hand to Hand: None automatically. Hand to hand: Basic can be selected at the cost of 1 other skill, expert at the cost of 2other skill, and to martial arts (or assassin) at the cost of 3 other skills.

OCC Related Skills: Select 8 other skills. Plus select two skills at level three, and one at levels five, eight, eleven, and fourteen. All new skills start at level one proficiency. Communications: Any Domestic: Any (+5%) Electrical: Any (+5%) Espionage: Any except Interrogation Techniques, Sniper, and Tracking Mechanical: Any (+10%) Medical: Any except MD, Pathology, and Toxicology Military: Demolitions and Demolitions Disposal only Physical: Any Pilot: Any (within reason) Pilot Related Skills: Any except Weapon Systems Rogue: Any Science: Any (+10%) Technical: Any (+10%) WP: Any (within reason) Wilderness: Any

Secondary Skills: The character also gets to choose 5 secondary skills at level one. Select from the previous list, but skills do not get bonuses listed in parenthesis.

Equipment: Varies fairly widely. Usually has some type of workshop or converted garage to work in. Has a variety of supplies ranging from spare parts to disguise material. GM and player should discuss and decide on appropriate equipment - usually about 2D6x3000 dollars worth (This is the value of their equipment and possessions. Use this figure as a guide to how much they can have). Other generic type equipment that most will have includes: cellular phone, modest personal wardrobe, personal items, pocket knife, duct-tape, flashlight, smoke-/flash-bombs, etc. Most FX Wizards have their own apartment, house or at least office, surprisingly though, few have a personal vehicle and those that do almost always have trucks.

Money: 2D6x1000 dollars in savings. FX Wizards can usually make a pretty decent living at their profession. It is often quite easy to find a temporary or short term job to make some quick money. The nature of the profession is such that most jobs are of a fixed duration, though an employer may keep them to perform more work. Also, most FX Wizards are members of the Professional FX Union which helps ensure good working conditions. However, since the invasion of the Nightlords, the union has lost much of what power it had.

Experience Table: Use Team Epsilon Trooper or Doppleganger

New Skill Technical Category Special Effects: This is the art of creating special effects. It includes both the design and creation concept. This is not the actual skill that is used to create the effect though, it is what is used to design the effect. This is especially useful in disguising or concealing the nature of the effect. Other skills appropriate to the task, such as basic mechanics or electronics, are used for the actual construction of the effect. To attempt to create a special effect, first roll on this skill. If the roll is successful, a workable design or idea has been made. Use other appropriate skills to construct the effect. The special effects skill can also be used to determine whether something witnessed was real or a special effect at -10%. It is possible to attempt to create a special effect without this skill, but all construction rolls must be performed at -25%. Base Skill: 35% + 5% per level of experience.

    This skill is available to anyone within skill restrictions. However,
    it should be noted that it is a very rare skill just by its very
    nature. Not many people outside the FX business will possess this

By Chris Curtis (). Copyright (c) 1997 Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.