I feel like this one needs a bit of a preamble. Probably a rambling one.
Gestation Ebb is one thing, but it is about another. What Gestation Ebb is, is an Ebb ability which emulates the typical witch’s and wizard’s familiars seen so often in fantasy and other horror games (and obviously in folklore, superstition and genre literature). What it is about, is conception, pregnancy, birth. Gestation is about gestation.
I am a bit leery of the way mothers and motherhood seem to often feature in RPGs – that is in some sort of negative context, as evil step-mothers, child-eating cannibal goddesses, or murdered, well… mothers to be avenged. Still, with Gestation Ebb (as with some of my other work, but that is not the point at the moment) I do embrace this approach.
As such, gestation is not just about birth (or familiars). It is about lost hope, about tragic loss, about bereavment and grief. It is about lost children and stillborn. It is about infertility. It is about manic, senseless, useless rebellion against all that. It is about unleashing all of SLA Industries’ frighteningly bizarre and powerful esoteric-scientific and occult-industrial machinery in a vain effort to somehow, anyhow win that lost battle.
Those themes shape the background story of the gestation of Gestation Ebb and they are mirrored in its uses. This is very much the old idea of cycles, repetitions, of victims becoming perpetrators. So, nothing new or groundbreaking, but still elements which I feel work very well for SLA Industries and which I often feature in my games.
Gestation Ebb itself was birthed into the World of Progress just recently. It is not one of the original Ebb ability. It is not even an old ability. It is newly made, newly born. Its mother and her Dark Lament team did not conjure it out of thin air, though. They conceived it drawing on the genetic material of other Ebb powers, Protect and Gore Cannon chief amongst them. A shell isolating one from the outside world and a weapon so destructive, that it rips apart body, mind and soul and whispers poison into its user’s ear. Who would have thought that anything could go wrong?
Starting out as something akin to a preterm infant, the material component of Gestation Ebb, the so called Ebon Familiar, serves to reinforce the notion of birthing. The actual effects of the ability, which make the familiar – the child – move and grow and develop underline it further. The Ebb user herself is part of the process, her own growing abilities reflected in the familiar’s growth. Something remains amiss, though. Birth should produce independent life. And that was, what the mother of Gestation Ebb was questing after. Her hopes remain unfulfilled. Same as Karma (sans Deathwake), Gestation Ebb cannot create life. Gestation Ebb is stillborn, cutting the Flux umbilical leaves the familiar a dead Science Friction husk. And while the mother found herself unable to birth an Ebb ability able to create life, her daughters, learning the abilities, are cursed with the inability to see the children born from the recesses of their minds and the Flux contained therein ever truely living.
People who – again like the origin mother – are drawn by the promise of Gestation Ebb helping them to somehow overcome or replace a loss, to fill a void, in the end have to face the certainity that the little bundle of pseudo-tendons, Science Friction-muscles and organic crystal they so frantically press to their hearts, will never survive them.
Gestation Ebb (Ebon Familiar)
Rank 1: Animation I
The Imp can perform actions for CONC of the user rounds within a radius of 5m, the user must be able to see the Imp, 1 FLUX
Rank 2: Heal Imp
1 Hit/FLUX (Imps never take wounds)
Rank 3: Evolution I
Impling to Lesser Imp, FLUX for upgrades has to be paid upon reaching this rank and this cannot be delayed.
Rank 4: Animation II
The Imp can perform actions for CONC of the user minutes within line of sight of the user, 4 FLUX
Rank 5: Channel I
Stores 10 FLUX, Passive
Rank 6: Share I
Share senses, for CONC of the user minutes, Imp and user may exchange sensory data over any distance, 6 FLUX
Rank 7: Evolution II
Lesser Imp to Imp, FLUX for upgrades has to be paid upon reaching this rank and this cannot be delayed.
Rank 8: Counsel I
-1 stress/day, Passive
Rank 9: Channel II
Stores 25 FLUX, Passive
Rank 10: Calculation I
The user may prepare an Ebb ability which is then stored in the Imp. The ability can be activated at a later time by the user, as long as he is in physical contact with the Imp. This does not require an action, however, the ability only manifests after the usual delay of 1 phase, the ability costs the usual amount of FLUX at the time of activation, 10 FLUX
Rank 11: Counsel II
+2 COOL as long as there is physical contact between Imp and user, Passive
Rank 12: Animation III
The Imp can perform actions for CONC of the user hours, 12 FLUX
Rank 13: Evolution III
Imp to Greater Imp, FLUX for upgrades has to be paid upon reaching this rank and this cannot be delayed.
Rank 14: Share II
Damage share, for CONC of the user minutes, Imp and user may exchange damage over any distance – if one is injured, any Hits are marked off for the other instead (however, wounds are not transferred), 10 FLUX
Rank 15: Channel III
Stores 50 FLUX, Passive
Rank 16: Mind Graft I
+2 CONC as long as there is physical contact between Imp and user, Passive
Rank 17: Mind Graft II
+2 DIA as long as there is physical contact between Imp and user, Passives
Rank 18: Evolution IV
Greater Imp to Dragon, FLUX for upgrades has to be paid upon reaching this rank and this cannot be delayed.
Rank 19: Share III
Share souls, for CONC of the user minutes, Imp and user may connect their souls over any distance, allowing communication as well as the use of any of the Gestation abilities which otherwise require physical contact, 10 FLUX
Rank 20: Calculation II
The user may prepare an Ebb ability which is then stored in the Imp. The ability can be activated at a later time by the user or the Imp. This does not require an action if done by the user, however, the Imp will need an action. The ability only manifests after the usual delay of 1 phase, the ability costs the usual amount of FLUX at the time of activation, 20 FLUX
Free: Minor Animation
The Imp moves as long as there is physical contact between Imp and user
Equipment: Dark Lament Imp, 750c
Each rank costs 3 FLUX
*: An Impling starts with these ranks
Each XP for buying skills costs 1 FLUX
An Imp without Ranks in a skill which would be available at his evolution stage, may use it with a -3 modifier (subject to game master discretion as with untrained skill use by characters).
The following skills may be bought on the respective evolution stages:
Each upgrade from any of the following areas costs 5 FLUX, a point PV costs 3 FLUX, a rank good vison oder hearing (see senses) costs 2 FLUX. An extra can be upgraded up to a maximum of the Imp’s current evolution stage.
Dark Lament Imps possess sharp claws which they may use in combat.
Dark Lament Imps possess pointy teeth which they may use in combat.
A Dark Lament Imps may be upgraded with wings enabling it to fly short distances (on the ground, an Imp has a move of 1/1.5/2).
|Lesser Imp||3m/phase||PHYS min|
|Greater Imp||8m/phase||PHYS min|
A Dark Lament Imp may be armoured:
A Dark Lament Imp can be upgraded with tentacles for fighting. Tentacles can be used to entangle opponents.
A Dark Lament Imp can be upgraded with the ability to talk.
|Quality of speech|
A Dark Lament Imp can be upgraded with improved sensory capabilities.
|Lesser Imp||Night vision|
|Imp||Good Vision/Hearing 1-5|
|Greater Imp||Optical magnification x20|
|Dragon||IR-sense, Good Vision/Hearing 6-10|
A Dark Lament Imp can be upgraded with additional physical forms and can change from one form to another. These changes are purely cosmetic.
|Maximum number of additional forms|
A Dark Lament Imp possesses a degree of intelligence directly related to its evolution stage. It automatically increases with each evolutin and does not have to be increased with FLUX.
|Greater Imp||Non-Operative Stormer|