Eldritch Workings and the Powers of Cthulhu Awakens

Eldritch Workings

Art by Maurice Risulmi

 

Cthulhu Awakens provides three options for characters seeking extraordinary powers. First, the Inhuman Legacy talent represents individuals who discover they’ve inherited certain strange characteristics. They might be related to ghouls, Deep Ones, or some other weird lineage.

Second, some humans and other entities possess psychic disciplines, giving them the ability to alter other minds or the environment through force of will. Those of you familiar with Modern AGE will find some aspects familiar, but not others. Some powers have been changed, and instead of spending points or rolling for fatigue, psychics make a Power Test and Price Test—and the latter can have unpredictable consequences. Still, it’s an option for characters seeking a straightforward taste of supernatural might.

But the strongest “magic” of all can be found in eldritch workings, though these straddle the boundaries between science, magic, and what might be considered a form of ritual worship, while truly being none of these, as each working represents reaching out into the unknowable for power. All eldritch workings are lengthier actions that utilize challenge tests, but they do not require characters to invest in them as abilities, though they can do so to make casting easier. Anyone can pick up a copy of the Necronomicon and if they can understand it well enough to follow instructions, they can absolutely attempt the workings within. Eldritch workings are, of course, horrendously powerful—balance takes a back seat to ripping apart the laws of nature for story reasons, as you’ll see in the following example, with annotations in italics.

Hyperbolic Rotation (Generic name of the working; it can have other specific names)

Geometry (Praxis, or category it belongs to)

This working envisions local spacetime as a hyperbolic manifold, a curved plane wrapped around itself so that the Unseen Dimensions act as a vessel for perceptible dimensions. Rotating this structure can distort the relationship between two points in space, putting them closer together or further apart.

Rote Test: Intelligence (Physics), Intelligence (Computers), Intelligence (Electronics), TN 15 (rolls for challenge tests)

Alienation Test: Phenomena, TN 16 (Alienation Rest required for casters)

Interval: Medium (one minute) (How long each roll in the challenge tests uses up)

Trappings: 1) Top of the line computer loaded with dedicated software 2) Electrically-powered gyroscope 3) Silver wire that must be placed and anchored around the target area in specific configurations (examples of components and conditions required, which may differ based on text and altered by skilled casters)

Effect: In an area with a radius of up to 50 yards per casting rank, the caster can designate a number of alternate spatial relationships equal to their Intelligence + casting rank, with points of intersection no larger than 4 square yards each, though several can be combined for a larger single intersection. This can cause a stretch of road to wrap around itself, or a door on one floor of a building to open to a room on a different floor—or in mid-air. All points must exist within the working’s radius. Within the duration, the caster can use an Activate minor action to shift one spatial relationship with range of their senses so that, for example, they can walk through a door to one destination, then ensure the next person who passes through it goes somewhere else.

This working’s effects last one hour per casting rank.

Magister Effect: It no longer requires an Activate action to shift a spatial relationship. Furthermore, at this rank the caster can fix one or more spatial relationships within the effect duration so that they become permanent, but they can no longer be shifted at will except by another casting of hyperbolic rotation. (When a character has special expertise in the working, they can accomplish this.)

Doom: The working’s area of effect vanishes from normal spacetime, with plausible environmental features filling in the gap. The area of effect now exists in a time and location of the Game Master’s choosing, such as 100 years ago, Antarctica, or Yuggoth, taking any occupants with it. (The potential result of a miscast working.)

Author

  • After writing and designing games as a freelancer from 2000 on, Malcolm Sheppard is pleased to join Green Ronin as developer at large: the one who works on any number of games, from the Adventure Gaming Engine to Ork! Malcolm’s experience before Green Ronin includes Exalted, Mage: The Ascension, Onyx Path’s Chronicles of Darkness and Scion lines, as well as Shadowrun and Eclipse Phase. Outside game design, Malcolm’s worked in community development and education, and as a professional historical re-enactor, where he gave large metal swords to children. (They were blunt!) Malcolm lives in semi-rural Ontario, Canada.