The Art of Fighting Section 9: Vis - Part 1

Copyright Johs. Sondrup © 2011

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"Like most other forces, Vis can be manipulated by those that know how."

Editor's Note: The following is the ninth in a series of 13 articles that enhance the combat rules for Rolemaster (RM2). It is our intention to publish another article in this series every month for the next year. This month's article introduces vis, a pervasive life energy that can fuel extraordinary abilities. Next month we will finish the discussion of vis.

Vis

Vis is a fundamental energy that is part of everything that exists. Formally known as Vis Vitae, which means life force or life energy, it is normally referred to simply as Vis. While animals and other non-sentient beings have Vis, it is much more prominent in sentient beings. Because Vis is related to vitality, healthy and fit people in good mental health have more Vis than sick or mentally unstable people. Conversely, undead and other forms of unlife (demons) have unlife force or negative Vis.

Vis is a universal concept and has many different names, depending on where in the world it is learned. It was known as pneuma in ancient Greece, phalang chit in Thailand, chi or ki in China and has many more names around the world.

Positive and negative Vis are opposites, but can be used the same way, fueling Vis powers and techniques. Because Vis and negative Vis represent life and unlife energy respectively, they are released when the creature harboring the energy dies or is destroyed, but with reverse polarity If a person with positive Vis is killed, negative Vis is released and if an undead with negative Vis is destroyed, positive Vis is released. The amount of Vis-energy released is the same as the remaining Vis-points or Con stat divided by 10, whichever is greater. (If you have no clue about the Con stat or Vis-points, just use a default value like 7 or 8.) In general, tiny animals don't have enough Vis to measure, small and medium sized animals have between 2 and 3 points of Vis, large animals have 5 or 6 points, and super large creatures have 8 or 9 points of Vis. Released Vis will slowly be absorbed into the surrounding area at the rate of 1 Vis-point per minute as it gently spreads and disappears.

Note: The Vis system presented in this article completely replaces the ki rules in Oriental Companion.

Regaining Vis-points

Vis is restored when a character sleeps (like power points) and a good night's sleep (7 to 8 hours) will restore all of the character's Vis-points, while an interrupted sleep or a sleep lasting 4-5 hours will restore half the character's Vis. Another way of regaining Vis-points is by a special form of meditation called Vis-Absorption (see below). However, this requires that the character sleep or meditate in a place where there is positive Vis present. Fortunately, that is just about everywhere in this world, except places where negative Vis is strong, such as graveyards, mausoleums, slaughterhouses, old battlefields and other places of death, where life hasn't yet taken over again. This also means that creatures with negative Vis need to sleep or meditate in such surroundings to regain their Vis or as an often used alternative, absorb Vis from another source (see Vis-Absorption).

One of the reasons why creatures of unlife are so prone to killing is the fact that the world is a place of positive Vis and just about the only way to create negative Vis is to kill something. Creatures that needs lots of Vis, like greater undead or demons need to kill a lot of living creatures to get enough negative Vis to satisfy their hunger and to fuel their unlife existence in this universe.

Note that if the characters are unlucky enough to find themselves in a plane of negative Vis like the Pales, they will need to absorb the positive Vis gained from killing demons.

Vis, Psions and Magic

Vis is not magic and no magical elements are involved in Vis abilities. Nor is it psionic. Protective magic (or psions) generally don't work against Vis abilities, unless the bonus gained is general in nature (like +10 to all RRs or versus all mind attacks.)

Likewise anti-magic areas and earth nodes have no direct influence on Vis (or psions for that matter), and places of great positive or negative Vis have no influence on magic or psions. However, Vis is still an energy and like most other forms of energy, it can be transformed into something else. But, unlike primal essence, Vis is a subtle force and has so far evaded any attempt to be cultivated, used or changed by magic or psionics.

In the rare case where Vis abilities comes into conflict with magic or psions (such as the Vis power Mind Pull versus magical Telekinesis), use either the descriptions of the Vis ability and the conflicting effect to determine the outcome or use the rules about conflicting spells from Spell Law, treating the conflicting powers as magic.

Before using Vis in a campaign, GMs should look through the Vis powers and techniques listed here and decide how these powers might interact with magic or psions in their game worlds.

Vis and Armor

Unlike magic, Vis and the use of Vis powers are not affected by the use of armor or helmets except where noted in the description of the Vis power.

Determining Vis-points

The number of Vis-points a character has is calculated in the same way as power points. Use the spell point table in Rolemaster Companion 1 with Con as the relevant stat.

Because there are no Vis multipliers, this approach might yield too few Vis-points for some GMs. One option is to multiply Vis-points by two when a character reaches level 5, by three when a character reaches level 10, etc.

Vis-drain
Because Vis is concentration of life energy, undead drain Vis-points before constitution is affected. For example: Aliana has a Con of 90 and 6 Vis-points (1.5 x 4). She is fighting a nasty undead, which drains 3 Con points per round. For the first two rounds, Aliana loses Vis-points instead of Con.

Some Gamemasters may find that this protects the players too much. If that is the case, then just add one point to the amount that the undead can drain per round.

Vis Abilities

Like most other forces, Vis can be manipulated by those that know how. These abilities can be manifested as Vis powers, Vis techniques and Vis calligraphy. Being able to manipulate Vis is also beneficial to health as the life force flows more easily (see section 4.7). While Vis abilities might look like magic, they are not magical and cannot be detected using detect magic spells. However, because Vis is life energy, Detect Life can detect the active use of Vis!

Note that a person without the Meditation - Vis skill cannot manipulate Vis. Therefore, at least one rank in Meditation - Vis is required before a person is able to learn and use the Vis Technique skill.

All Vis abilities have a difficulty rating, which reflects how hard they are to perform successfully. This difficulty rating is subtracted from the character's Static Action roll along with any other modifications.

Vis calligraphy embeds Vis powers and Vis techniques in a written form. Vis runes if you will. In the description of each of the various Vis powers techniques is a note describing how that power or technique works as Vis calligraphy. Unlike Vis Technique and Mediation - Vis, Vis calligraphy is not a skill. It is a combination of the Vis power: Draw Vis Calligraphy and the skill Crafting - Calligraphy.

Learning Vis Abilities

Normally Vis abilities cannot be self-taught. Meditation - Vis, Vis Technique and Vis powers must be taught by an instructor. A character must have at least 20 skill ranks in Meditation - Vis or Vis Technique, before he or she qualifies as an instructor. Unless the Vis ability is included in a martial arts style, characters will have to search for teachers that can (and will) teach them.

Learning a new Vis ability (one not included in the character's chosen martial arts style) costs a number of development points equal to the total development point cost of the related skill. (If Meditation - Vis costs 2/6, the cost of a Vis power would be (2+6=) 8 and if Vis Technique costs 3/7, the cost of a Vis technique is (3+7=) 10 development points.)

The training time for learning a Vis-ability is as follows: First, the student is taught by an instructor for a number of days equal to the Vis ability's difficulty modifier. This teaches the student the basics of the Vis ability, but the student need to train the Vis ability on his own for at least one hour for a number of days equal to five times the difficulty modifier of the Vis ability before it can be used. These days do not need to be consecutive: the student can spread them over as long a time as he or she wants.

Example: The warrior, Akira, has found an instructor and wants to learn the Vis power: Energy Sparks (which has a difficulty modifier of -30). So first she studies with the instructor for 8 hours a day for 30 days, before she departs for an adventure. During the adventure, Akira finds time to train in the evening, so when the adventure is over, she has trained (on her own) for 65 days. The Energy Sparks difficulty modifier of 30 means that she needs a total of (30*5) = 150 days of training, so she still needs 85 days of training before she can use the Vis power. She takes a few days off and then embarks on a long journey, which takes 90 days. Fortunately, Akira is able to train most days, so when the journey is finished, so is her training and she is now able to use her new Vis power.

Preparation time

If a character wishes to, he may spend additional rounds preparing himself before attempting to use his abilities. Each round spent in preparation after the first gives a +10 bonus to the roll, up to a maximum bonus of +50. This goes for both Vis powers and Vis techniques, but not Vis-Awareness or Vis-Absorption.

Vis Failure

Compared to Magic, Vis abilities are relatively safe to use, but even they can harm a user that fails too drastically. When a Vis ability is used and the net result is less than 0, a failure has occurred. Roll 1D100 open-ended, add the difficulty modifier for the ability look up this result on the Spell Failure Table in Spell Law. For example, if the Vis ability has a difficulty modifier of -30, you add 30 to the 1D100 roll. Use the Attack column for those abilities meant to harm other people and the Non-Attack column for the rest.

Vis-skills

The ability to control the Vis inside one's body is not the only skill that comes along with Meditation - Vis; there is also the ability to feel the flow of Vis in the surroundings (Vis-Awareness) and to absorb Vis (Vis-Absorption).

Meditation - Vis

Development cost: As Meditation - Ki (Sd/Co)
This is the ability to summon the Vis within the body and use it with Vis powers and Vis techniques. Like Adrenal Moves, Meditation - Vis is designed to be used in a combat situation and thus it is somewhat faster than most other meditations. It takes just 20% activity of a round to focus ones thoughts, after which the Vis power can be used in the next round. When a Vis power has been activated it requires no further concentration (unless stated otherwise in the description of the power) and while it's only possible to activate one Vis power per round, there is no limit to the number of Vis Powers that can be active at the same time. It is, however, impossible to activate a new Vis power while using one that requires concentration (such as Ghost Grip or Hands of Healing). Vis powers are rolled like all other meditations with a static action roll modified by the character's bonus in Meditation - Vis and the Vis power's difficulty modifier. Please note that most Vis powers are meant to be used in a combat situation, so the suggested penalty for using a meditation skill in a combat situation does not apply. Note: Meditation - Vis is developed as a single skill used with all Vis powers. If that is too powerful for your game, you can have players develop Meditation - Vis for each Vis power. This is, however, only recommended for very low-powered campaigns with little or no magic.

Vis-Awareness

Development cost: As Meditation - Ki. (Em/In)
While not detectable by magic, the release of massive amounts of Vis or the use of Vis abilities can still be felt by those attuned to the flow of Vis as greater or smaller disturbances. Vis-Awareness depends on both the amount of Vis and distance. It cannot be used to determine the amount of Vis in persons, items or Vis calligraphy, as it only makes the character aware of active Vis. Vis powers with a range of self are almost impossible to detect and result in an additional -50 penalty to any attempt to discover them using Vis-Awareness.

Distance Bonus Amount of Vis Bonus
0-10' +10 1-10 -25
10-100' 0 10-50 -10
100-500' -25 50-100 0
500'-1 mile -75 100-500 +25
1-10 miles -125 500-1,000 +50
10-100 miles -175 1,000-5,000 +100
100-1000 miles -225 5,000-10,000 +150
More than 1000 miles -275 More than 10,000 +200

Vis-Absorption

Development cost: As Meditation - Ki. (Em/In)
As noted earlier, Vis-points are restored by a good night's sleep. This is automatic and requires no skill. However, it is possible to absorb Vis when awake if, and only if, there is more Vis in the area than normal. By using Vis-Absorption, a character is able to absorb one Vis-point per round if the area has free flowing Vis or at the rate of one Vis-point per minute, if the area has excess Vis. Places that have more positive Vis than normal are mostly places of nature, life and beauty such as jungles, deep forests, oases, waterfalls, fertile grasslands and coastal areas with an active surf. Places with negative Vis are usually places of darkness, destruction and death such as graveyards, mausoleums, butcheries, old battlefields and other places where people have died or have been buried.

Vis Technique

Development cost: As Meditation (Sd/Me)
Vis Technique is a specialized form of meditation that is designed to concentrate the Vis of a person. Unless mentioned in the description of a martial arts style, Vis techniques can only be learned by finding a teacher willing to teach the character the technique. Each technique requires a hand posture to channel the energy. That means that the character has to use both hands, which have to be empty, while performing Vis Technique. It also makes it pretty obvious that the character is using a Vis technique. To discover which Vis technique another person is performing,the observer must know the technique being used and must make a Vis Technique static action. Each round watching gives a +10 bonus to the roll. Vis techniques are rolled like all other meditations with a static action roll modified by the character's bonus in Vis Technique, the difficulty modifier of the power, and any situation modifiers (+30 for a calm environment, -70 for trying to use them in combat, etc.) See Section 4.5 for a list of Vis techniques.

Vis Powers

Unless otherwise stated, all it takes to use a Vis power is concentration, which makes it almost impossible for others to discover, except using Vis - Awareness or observing the effect.

Using ki-powers as Vis powers
If the GM allows it, the ki-powers from Oriental Companion can be used as Vis powers with very little modification. Which ki-powers to use (if any) is up to each GM, but I can say that I do not allow Armor Cleaving, Blade Cleaving, Zen Archery, True Sight and Honor Bond in my campaigns (which is why they're not listed here either).

Ki-Power Difficulty Vis-points Vis Calligraphy? Notes
Banishing Resonance -30 1/round Yes
Break Bonds -35 5 No
Death Trance -80 50/day No
Earth Walk -70 5/10 feet No
Elemental Walk -50 10/round Yes
Flying Leap -25 1/round Yes
Force of the Mind -30 3/10 feet Yes
Karmic Purge -40 4/round Yes
Lightning Stroke -50 10/50% No
Lightning Volley -40 5 and 1/+2 OB No
Look of Power -30 10 Yes
Mental Crash -60 10 No
Mental Store -30 4 Yes
Phantom Body -50 10 Yes
Psychic Shout -40 20 Yes
Ranged Strike -50 12 No
Sense Sakki -50 4/hour Yes
Shadow Form -30 2/minute Yes Duration has been changed
Shadow Meld -30 2/round Yes
Slaying Strike -60 20 No Does not work on artificial creatures
Soul Merge -50 15 Yes
Stealth of the Fox -30 3/minute Yes Duration has been changed
Strike of Sleep -40 20 Yes
Touch of Yakushi -40 5/round Yes Positive Vis only
War Cry -60 3/-5 RR penalty Yes
Weapon of the Wind -40 5/round Yes

List of Vis powers

The difficulty rating is subtracted from the character's Meditation - Vis skill when the static action is rolled. Vis-points are the amount of Vis it costs to use this power. Some powers may have another Vis power as a prerequisite because they are an advanced version of the base power. Vis Calligraphy? indicates if the Vis power can be used with Vis calligraphy. See Section 4.6 for more details about Vis calligraphy.

*Calligraphy Note: When using Vis calligraphy, the duration is determined by the Vis-points the artist spent when making the Vis calligraphy. If a Vis power has a duration, most artists will place enough Vis-points in the calligraphy for it to be used for at least two rounds (or minutes, if the duration is determined in minutes), but there is no way of knowing how many Vis-points the artist has used, unless it's noted somewhere on the paper.

Vis Power Difficulty Vis-points Prerequisite Vis Calligraphy? Description
Banishing Clap -30 4 Yes By clapping his hands loudly together as he release Vis-energy, the person with this ability can activate the positive Vis in the area, causing all creatures with negative Vis within earshot to make a RR versus the wielder's level or flee the area. This can only be done in areas with positive Vis and does not work on negative Vis creatures that have possessed someone. (For that the related power, Zen Clap, is used)
Calm -25 3 per person or 1 per animal *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. By channeling Vis into the minds of other persons, the user can instill calmness and peace of mind, thereby preventing combat from breaking out. Unless a target succeeds in making a RR against the character's level (with modifications for SD), the target is calmed and can take no offensive action unless acting in self defense or in the defense of others. The range of this power is 5' per rank in Meditation - Vis and the duration is 1 round per rank in Meditation - Vis. For each five ranks of Meditation - Vis, a character can affect one additional target. E.g., a character with five ranks in Meditation - Vis can affect two targets, a character with ten ranks can affect three targets, etc. If used on animals, the user can affect one animal per level, but unless the animal is domesticated it will not let the user near it. If used with the intent of harming the animal, the Vis power will fail automatically.
Chameleon Form -30 2 per minute *Most artists place at least ten Vis-points in the calligraphy. Through the use of this ability, a character may cause his physical form to change color to blend in with the surrounding terrain, giving the character a +30 bonus to Hide attempts. The ability may be used for as long as desired, but an additional Vis roll must be made for every ten minutes after the first.
Cleansing Vis -35 5/round Yes This Vis power causes positive Vis to flow from the character using the power into the person he touches. This has the effect of stopping the spread of infection and disease. It does not, however, repair damage already done. Magical infections and diseases get a RR against the character's level.
Confusion -35 3 per person or 1 per animal. Calm *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. By channeling Vis into the minds of other persons, the user can confuse potential enemies. Unless a target succeeds in making a RR against the character's level (with modifications for SD), the target is confused and incapable of making decisions or initiating action for 1 round per 5% failure; he may, however, continue to fight current foes or in self-defense. The range of this power is 5' per rank in Meditation - Vis. For each five ranks of Meditation - Vis, the character can affect one additional target more. If used on animals, the user can affect one animal per level.
Demon Grip -60 8 to activate and 4 per round Ghost Grip No Unless the target succeeds in making a RR against the character's level (with modifications for SD), the target is lifted up into the air by his neck, is incapable of moving by normal means, and is being choked. The first round the target is at -10% to all activity. The second round the target is a -20%, etc. After ten rounds have passed, the target is unconscious. This takes no concentration from the caster, but if he wishes to concentrate 10 more rounds, the target is dead. The range for this Vis power is 20'. At any time the caster may release the Demon Grip and at the same time throw the target up to 20' in any desired direction.
Dragon Grip -70 10 per round for M-sized creatures, 12 per round for L-sized creatures. Demon Grip No If the target fails to resist, he is lifted 5 - 10 feet into the air, where he is held motionless. The first round he receives an A Krush critical. The second round he receives a B Krush critical. In the third and subsequent rounds, he receives a C Krush Critical until dead. The range is 30 feet and the Vis power requires that the caster concentrate. If for some reason, the caster stops concentrating, the power ends and the target falls to the ground.
Dragon Strength -40 6 Tiger Strike Yes By quickening the flow of Vis in his body, the character gains great strength for a short period of time, delivering double the normal amount of damange in melee combat for a number of rounds equal to the character's level. This power can also be used to perform great feats of strength, though these feats must be within the humanly possible.
Draw Vis Calligraphy -30 6 No This Vis power allows the character to channel Vis into a specially prepared piece of paper by using calligraphy, thus creating Vis calligraphy. This power is rarely taught to anybody other than master students or trusted scholars.
Enemy Sense -50 2 per hour of meditation *Most artists place at least sixteen Vis-points in the calligraphy. This Vis-ability is used along with a meditation skill. It gives a person the ability to be aware of an approaching enemy even while meditating. Success on the Meditation - Vis roll indicates that character will be aware of an imminent melee attack on him by sensing the intention to harm. As the enemy is about to attack, the character automatically awakens and receives initiative over the attacking individual.
Energy Channel -50 10 per round Energy Sparks No This power is related to the Energy Sparks Vis power, but is much more powerful. Instead of energy sparks, an arc of energy will fly from the fingertips of the user and to a target within 30 feet. If the target fails the resistance roll (modified by -25), he is immediately at -60 and receives a B Electricity critical each round. The character must spend 10 Vis-points each round this power is in effect, but the target only receives the initial resistance roll. For each five ranks of Meditation - Vis, a character can affect one additional target. E.g., a character with five ranks in Meditation - Vis can affect two targets, a character with ten ranks can affect three targets, etc. The targets must be within 30 feet of each other, but only the first target needs to be within 30 feet of the caster.
Energy Sparks -30 1 per minute *Most artists place at least five Vis-points in the calligraphy. This power is related to the Fist of True Power, but not nearly as powerful. Like with the Fist of True Power, the fists of the character glow with power, shooting sparks from the tips of his fingers. These sparks are bigger and more plentiful and are capable of illuminating a 10' area around the character. The sparks are not entirely harmless as a touch will feel like being hit by static electricity. The amount of real damage is quite limited, however, as a touch only causes one point of damage and only once per minute. The sparks can ignite flammable substances, but this requires that the character concentrate for a round, while remaining in contact with the flammable material, unless the material is Vis calligraphy, which will be ignited immediately.
Energy Weapon -40 4 to activate and 1 per round Energy Sparks *Most artists place at least twelve Vis-points in the calligraphy. This power is related to the Energy Sparks power, but is much more powerful. Instead of energy sparks, a melee weapon of shimmering energy will be created. The general type of weapon must be chosen when the Vis power is learned, and it must be a one-handed weapon. When the character reaches ten ranks of Meditation - Vis, he can chosoe to create the original weapon or a two-handed version of the weapon chosen (e.g., a hand axe can become a battle axe, a morning star can become a flail and a club can become a quarterstaff). And, when he reaches twenty ranks he can create two copies of the original weapon chosen. E.g., a character with 20 ranks of Meditation - Vis can create the original weapon or a two handed version or two of the original weapon. Upon reaching 30 ranks, the original weapon will do double damage, when he reaches 40 ranks of Meditation - Vis, the same goes for the two handed version, and when he reaches 50 ranks of Meditation - Vis the two-one handed weapons will do double damage. The Energy weapon does damage as a normal weapon of its kind, using normal weapon skill, but it can hit creatures not normally affected by non-magical weapons. Note that the only way to gain a new type of weapon is to learn the Vis power again.
Energy Weapon, Ranged -50 5 to activate and 1 per round AND 1 per attack Energy Sparks *Most artists place at least fifteen Vis-points in the calligraphy. Like Energy Weapon, this power a more powerful version of Energy Sparks. Instead of creating sparks, a ranged weapon of shimmering energy will be created that is capable of firing shimmering bolts or arrows. The general type of weapon (bow or crossbow) must be chosen when the Vis power is learned and the weapon will be the smallest of its kind (a light crossbow or shortbow). The ranged energy weapon does damage as a normal weapon of its kind, using normal weapon skill and range modifiers, but can hit creatures not normally affected by non-magical weapons. When the character reaches ten ranks of Meditation - Vis, he can chose to create the original weapon or a larger version (e.g., a shortbow can become a composite bow and a light crossbow can become a heavy crossbow). When he reaches twenty ranks he can shoot his weapon one round faster than normal. Upon reaching 30 ranks the weapon will do double damage and when he reaches 40 ranks of Meditation - Vis, 50% is added to the range. At 50 ranks of Meditation - Vis, the weapons can be fired once per round. Please note that the only way to gain a new type of weapon is to learn the Vis Power again.
Enter the Flow -60 1 per 20 feet distance traveled. Internal Power No By aligning his mind and body with the flow of Vis around him, the user of this ability may become one with the flow for one round and then reappear up to 10' per rank of Meditation - Vis away. The place in which the character reappears must be within line-of-sight of the starting location. Note that magical barriers designed to stop the use of teleport, leaving and passing spells will not stop someone using this Vis power, but the Vis in the area must be of the same polarity as the person using this power. A person with positive Vis cannot become one with the Vis in a negative Vis area.
Eyes of the Cat -20 2 to activate and 2 per 10 minutes *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. This Vis power enables the character to see on a normal night as if it were daylight. Rooms without any light and magical darkness will still be dark to the character. This may be done for as long as Vis points are expended.
Eyes of the Dragon -50 5 to activate and 4 per 10 minutes Eyes of the Cat *Most artists place at least nine Vis-points in the calligraphy. This Vis power enables the character to see 100' in any condition (fog, rain, dust, etc.) as if it were normal daylight. It will penetrate a Dark spell, but not an Utterdark spell. This may be done for as long as Vis points are expended.
Eyes of the Shark -30 3 to activate and 3 per 10 minutes Eyes of the Cat *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. This Vis Power enables the character to see 100' in water as if it were above ground. It does not enable the user to see in darkness. This may be done for as long as Vis points are expended.
Fantastic Leap -20 1 Yes The character uses Vis to make incredible leaps. Using Fantastic Leap the character can jump up to 50' laterally or 20' vertically.
Fantastic Leap, Greater -30 3 to activate and 1 per leap Fantastic Leap Yes Using Greater Fantastic Leap, the character can execute 3 leaps (up to 50' laterally or 20' vertically) in a row, providing that each is within 90 degrees of the last leap's direction and that total distance traveled does not exceed the characters movement rate when running. E.g., if a character has a base move of 50', then the total distance traveled must not exceed 100'.
Fist of Power -30 1/round and 1/attack No By expending Vis energy each time he strikes, the character can use Martial Arts Strikes against foes not normally affected by non-magical attacks. When using this power, the fists of the character faintly glow with power.
Fist of True Power -40 2 per round and 1 per attack AND 2 Vis points per 5 points of extra damage. Fist of Power No Like Fist of Power, this power enables a character to use Martial Arts Strikes against foes not normally affected by non-magical attacks by expending Vis each time he strikes. The difference is that Fist of True Power gives the option of spending even more Vis to add extra power to the attack. For every two points of Vis spent in the attack, a character can add 5 points of damage to the attack. The amount of extra damage may not exceed the character's level. (E.g., a 7th level character can only add 7 points of damage to an attack, no matter how many Vis points the character spends.) When using this power, the fists of the character glow with power, sending small sparks from the tips of his fingers adding +10 to any attempt to Intimidate.
Flying Jump -30 2 to activate and 1 per round Fantastic Leap *Most artists place at least five Vis-points in the calligraphy. This ability allows the character to conduct a series of leaps and jumps, as if he were able to fly. These actions may be continued for up to one round per level, and require no MM rolls to succeed, but do require that the character alight on something each round, be that a tree branch, roof top or anything else he could physically step on. Using this ability only counts as 25% of the character's activity in a round and may be used in conjunction with attacks and other actions.
Ghost Grip -50 6 to activate and 3 per round No The target of this ability feels something around his neck (unless he succeeds in making a RR against the character's level with modifications for SD) and is being choked. The first round the target is at -10% to all activity. The second round the target is at -20% etc., until ten rounds have passed at which time the target is unconscious. This takes no concentration from the caster, but if he wishes to concentrate 10 more rounds, the target is dead. The range for this Vis power is 20'.
Ghost Walk -50 4 Yes This ability allows the user to render himself insubstantial like a ghost, able to pass through solid matter. This ability lasts only for one round. Should the character end the round inside an object, he will be forcefully ejected (along the shortest path), suffering 1-4 E Krush criticals in the process. This ability can also be used in a combat situation for one round making weapons pass right through the character as if he weren't there. As long as the character can move freely there is no chance that anything will end up inside him, but otherwise he will suffer an E Disruption critical as the foreign object is ejected from his body.
Hand of Healing -30 3 to activate and 2 per 10 minutes *Most artists place at most eleven Vis-points in the calligraphy. As long as the character concentrates his Vis into this ability, his touch heals 1 hit per 5 minutes, heals 1 minor burn or frostbite per hour and stops bleeding up to 5 hits per round on a single target (the bleeding closes at a rate of 1 hit/minute). All healing is done simultaneously and if the character concentrates for ten additional minutes per wound, the clotting is permanent. This power can only be used with positive Vis, unless the target is a creature of negative Vis, in which case negative Vis must be used.
Hand of Greater Healing -50 5 to activate and 3 per 10 minutes Hands of Healing *Most artists place at most seventeen Vis-points in the calligraphy. As long as the character concentrates his Vis into this ability, his touch heals 1 hit per minute, 1 minor burn or frostbite per 30 minutes, 1 medium burn or frostbite per 60 minutes, 1 muscle, tendon or ligament per hour and stops any bleeding on a single target (the bleeding closes at a rate of 1 hit/3 rounds). All healing is done simultaneously and if the character concentrates for five additional minutes per wound, the clotting is permanent. Muscle/tendon/ligament has a recovery period of 1 day per healed muscle, tendon or ligament. This power can only be used with positive Vis, unless the target is a creature of negative Vis, in which case negative Vis must be used.
Hand of Greatest Healing -75 7 to activate and 4 per 10 minutes Hands of Greater Healing No As long as the character concentrates his Vis into this ability, his touch heals 1 hit per 3 rounds, 1 minor burn or frostbite per 10 minutes, 1 medium burn or frostbite per 30 minutes, 1 major burn or frostbite per 60 minutes, 1 muscle, tendon or ligament per 30 minutes, 1 bone damage per 60 minutes and stops any bleeding on a single target (the bleeding closes at a rate of 1 hit/3 rounds). All healing is done simultaneously and if the character concentrates for one additional minute per wound, the clotting is permanent. Muscle, tendon or ligament has a recovery period of 1 day per healed muscle, tendon or ligament, while bone damage has a recovery period of 7 days. This power can only be used with positive Vis, unless the target is a creature of negative Vis, in which case negative Vis must be used.
Hand of Ultimate Healing -100 10 to activate and 5 per 10 minutes Hands of Greatest Healing No This very rare Vis power is the ultimate in Vis healing. As long as the character concentrates his Vis into this ability, his touch heals 1 hit per round, 1 minor burn or frostbite per minute, 1 medium burn or frostbite per 10 minutes, 1 major burn or frostbite per 30 minutes, 1 muscle, tendon or ligament per 10 minutes, 1 bone damage per 30 minutes and stops any bleeding on a single target (the bleeding closes at a rate of 1 hit/ round). Ultimate hand of healing can regenerate any organ damage (except the brain) at the rate of 1 organ per hour. All healing is done simultaneously and the clotting is permanent. Muscle, tendon or ligament has a recovery period of 1 hour per healed muscle, tendon or ligament; bone damage has a recovery period of 3 days, while organs have a recovery period of 7 days. This power can only be used with positive Vis, unless the target is a creature of negative Vis, in which case negative Vis must be used.
Internal Power -20 1 per minute *Most artists place at least five Vis-points in the calligraphy. This Vis power was originally invented to show students the power of Vis. The master would tap a student lightly on the body with one or two fingers, but it would feel like a powerful blow to the surprised student. When this power is activated, the Vis in his body flows faster and stronger, enabling the character to make Martial Arts attacks up to rank 3 while only hitting the opponent with a hard tap of the fingers. Most people who know a little about Vis powers have seen this power in action and are not fooled by the seemingly slow movements of the character and the finger taps (a successful perception roll will reveal it to people who have seen it before), but otherwise it is very impressive and some martial artists use it all the time, just to show off their command of Vis. Besides the showmanship of this Vis power, it has a practical use: Because the movements needed to execute this power are very limited, any penalties for fighting in limited space are removed.
Intuitive Combat -40 1/round Internal Power No For up to two rounds per level, the character is able to become one with the Vis flowing around him and to intuitively understand what will happen next, though he still has to react on to it. This translates +5 to OB/DB and +10 to initiative, but more importantly, this Vis power enables him to parry attacks that he would normally not be aware of (within the limitations of the rules). For example, a character using Intuitive Combat could fight in total darkness or against an invisible creature and still be able to attack and defend normally.
Look of the Dragon -30 3 Internal Power Yes By summoning his inner strength, the character gains a powerful and terrifying aura, not unlike that of a dragon. The aura can then be concentrated against a number of targets equal to the character's level, which must make a RR (modified by SD) or flee in sheer terror. Once a target has successfully resisted, this ability has no further effect.
Mind Link -30 2 to activate and 2 per 10 minutes for each target. No This Vis power creates a link between the user and one or more willing targets, allowing all members of the link to communicate using telepathy. While much faster than normal speech, it only communicates surface thoughts and images. Thoughts can be shared with everybody in the link or with a single member. It is impossible to lie over a Mind Link. The range of this power is 2' per rank in Meditation - Vis. For every five ranks of Meditation - Vis, the character can let one more target into the link. I.e., a character with five ranks in Meditation - Vis can link himself to two targets.
Mind Pull -30 2 (for objects) or 2 to activate and 1 per 10' (for living beings) No With this power, the user can call an object, usually a weapon, into his hand or pull a living being closer to him. The object cannot weight more than 20 pounds per rank of Meditation - Vis, must be in the character's line of sight, and not be connected to something else. The maximum distance is 10 feet per rank of Meditation - Vis. If the object is in the hand of another person, he gets a RR (modified by strength). If successful he holds on to the object, otherwise it will fly to the character using Mind Pull. It is also possible to pull a living being closer to you with this power: Unless the target succeeds in making a resistance roll modified by SD, it is pulled closer to the user at the speed of 50' per round (the target gets a new resistance roll each round). If the target can grab hold of something on the way it is entitled to a new resistance roll modified by strength, but otherwise the target will be pulled within 5' of the user.
Mind Push -30 2 to activate and 1 per 10' *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. The opposite of Mind Pull, this Vis power allows the user to push an opponent or an object backwards by releasing Vis. For each Vis-point expended, the opponent is forced ten feet back. Every ten feet, the target may make a RR modified by SD to resist this force. The target is also subject to an Unbalancing critical of a severity determined by the distance he is pushed back. 10-20 feet yields an A critical, 30-40 feet yields a B critical, 50-60 feet yields a C critical, 70-90 feet yields a D critical, while distances of 100 feet or more yield an E critical. The direction the target is pushed is always straight backwards and if the target hits anything that will stop him, he is subject to an attack on the Fall/Crush attack table (Arms and Claw Law) with the distance traveled at the attack's OB (in place of the unbalancing critical). Mind Push can also be used against inanimate objects up to 20 pounds per rank of Meditation - Vis, as long as this object is not connected to something else. Inanimate objects do not get a resistance roll. Anybody in the way of the traveling object is subject to an attack on the Fall/Crush attack table. The OB of the attack is equal to the distance the object would have traveled minus the distance it already has traveled and the attack size is limited to medium. Example: Mind Push is used on an object with the intent of pushing the object 50 feet (costing 5 Vis-points). After traveling 20 feet the object hit someone with an OB of 50-20=30. For every ten ranks of Meditation - Vis, he can affect one additional target. For inanimate objects, this costs nothing extra, but for living beings the cost in Vis is 1/10' for each target.
Misfeel Vis -40 2 to activate and 1 per 10 minutes *Most artists place at least three Vis-points in the calligraphy. By using this ability, the character is able to misrepresent his Vis. To Vis-Awareness or other ways of detecting Vis, the character may appear as he chooses. Any amount of positive or negative Vis (but not zero) can be chosen, but the character must choose at the time of activating this power.
Sense Link -40 3 to activate and 3 per 10 minutes for each target. Mind Link No This Vis power creates a link between the user and one or more willing targets, allowing all members of the link to see, hear, smell or feel what another member of the link is seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling if the target chooses to allow it. This, however, also means that if one member of the link is affected by a spell or effect that affects the senses, all others in the link that are currently sharing that sense will be affected as well. E.g., if one member of the link is subject to Sudden Light, while others are sharing his sense of sight, the others in the link are affected by the Sudden Light spell and must succeed in a resistance roll or be stunned. Only one sense can be transferred at a time and changing between senses takes one round of concentration. The range of this power is 2' per rank in Meditation - Vis. For every five ranks of Meditation - Vis, a character can let one more target join the link.
Sleep -45 4 per person or 1 per animal Calm *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. By channeling Vis into the minds of other persons, the user can cause the targets to become extremely sleepy: Unless a target succeeds in making a RR (modified by SD, he will sit down and immediately fall asleep (takes one round). For the first two rounds after that the target will not be awakened by loud sounds or bright light, but pain will certainly wake them up. After that it is considered normal sleep for the target. The range of this power is 5' per rank in Meditation - Vis. For every five ranks Meditation - Vis, he can affect one additionl target. If used on animals, the character can affect one animal per level.
Speed of the Wolf -30 3 to activate and 2 per ten minutes *Most artists place at least seven Vis-points in the calligraphy. By quickening the flow of Vis in his body, the character gains great endurance, enabling him to run (two times walking pace) for a long time without becoming tired (i.e., without spending exhaustion points). If the character stops for more than one round, the power automatically cancels itself, although it is possible to use the Vis powers Fantastic Leap and Greater Fantastic Leap without canceling Speed of the Wolf. If the character has more than 15 ranks in Meditation - Vis, he may sprint (three times walking speed), while a character with 30 ranks or more in Meditation - Vis may fast sprint (four times walking pace).
Stealth of the Fox -30 3 to activate and 3 per 10 minutes *Most artists place at least six Vis-points in the calligraphy. This Vis power enables the character to leave no physical or audible signs of passing. This may be done for as long as Vis-points are expended.
Stealth of the Wolf -40 4 to activate and 4 per 10 minutes Stealth of the Fox *Most artists place at least eight Vis-points in the calligraphy. Like Stealth of the Fox, this Vis power enables the character to leave no physical or audible signs of passing, but Stealth of the Wolf also makes the caster invisible (including smell) to creatures with animal intelligence or less. This may be done for as long as Vis-points are expended.
Tiger Strike -30 3 Yes This power enables a martial artist to break thin (up to 3 inches thick) items of non-magical wood. That means that most doors or tables can be broken with one blow. Items held by another person receive a resistance roll against the user's level.
Vis Clap -25 4 Yes By clapping both hands together in front of a person's face, a wave of Vis rolls over the target's mind, resulting in the banishment of any possessing entities (if they fail a RR). If the person is not possessed, a Vis Clap will banish fear, and any mind-controlling spells will be dispelled, if they fail a RR.
Vis Link -50 5 to activate and 4 per 10 minutes for each target. Mind Link No Vis creates a link between the user and one or more willing targets, allowing all members of the link to share Vis-points. It also enables members of the link to use Vis powers with a range of self (like Eyes of the Cat or Stealth of the Wolf) on other members of the link. It is not possible to use Vis Link to cast spells or psions on other members of the link. The range of this power is 2' per rank in Meditation - Vis. For every five ranks of Meditation - Vis, a character can let one more target join the link.
Walk the Flow -40 2 Internal Power Yes Also known as Blink Move or Quick Step, this power is related to the Enter the Flow Vis power, but it is not nearly as powerful. By aligning his mind and body with the flow of Vis around him, the user of this ability can skip over the flow of Vis like a stone on the surface of water for one round, enabling him to move at twice his run speed for one round, while fading in and out of the Vis flow. Unlike Enter the Flow, this power enhances movement alone and does not enable the user to cross or pass through anything he couldn't while running. To an outside observer it will seem like the user of this power runs a few steps and then fades out of existence only to reappear 20' - 30' away while continuing to run. If the user stops for any reason, the Vis power is canceled. There are several benefits to this: First of all, it is almost impossible to hit the user with ranged weapons while he moves, which translates into a +75 DB against missiles and +50 DB against directed spells.
Weapon Throw -30 1 point per 20' distance to target Mind Push No With this power, the user can throw any melee weapon to make an attack and then make it return to his hand at the end of the round. The character uses his normal melee OB to make this attack. Note that the weapon is thrown in the missile phase of the round and returns at the end of the round, leaving the character unarmed during the melee phase, which is not always a good idea. Thus, it's almost always used as a distance attack against a single enemy. The maximum distance is 10' per rank of Meditation - Vis and it costs 1 Vis points for every 20' the weapon has to travel.
Weapon Vis -30 3 to activate and 3 per minute *Most artists place at least nine Vis-points in the calligraphy. By channeling Vis into a melee weapon, the character can make his weapon count as magical +5 as long as the power is maintained. Any non-magical weapon may be charged this way, but it must be a weapon that the character is familiar with and has used for at least a week. The Vis power ends if the character lets go of the weapon, so it cannot be thrown or used by other perssons.