The Orpheus Group
Ghost stories abound with tales of spirits that glow balefully in the dark, their bright outlines visible and flitting between the headstones of cemeteries or gliding across fog-shrouded moors. Perhaps this Horror is the basis of such legends. With Witch’s Nimbus, the character surrounds himself with a radiant halo of Ghost Waltzing white fire or coruscating electricity. Thereafter, anyone who attacks or is attacked by the character in hand-to-hand combat suffers damage from her exposure to Witch’s Nimbus.
In addition, by concentrating and spending additional Vitality, the character may generate an arc of electricity or a gout of flame, directing it against opponents in combat.
System: By concentrating and spending Vitality, a character using this Horror excites the ectoplasmic particles constituting the gauze of his spirit form. The friction generates either intense heat or a tremendous static charge depending on whether the character bounces the particles off one another for heat or slides them across one another to build up static electricity. Effects vary according to Vitality spent as follows:
0: Activating Witch’s Nimbus without Vitality expenditure produces either a small ball of fire or a sparkling electrical sphere. Each is about the size and intensity of candle flame and may be used to read by or to ignite flammable materials with which it comes into combat. At this level, the Horror provides no protection from attack.
1: A single point of Vitality surrounds the character’s form with either a sheath of white flame or an arcing aura of blue-white electricity. Anyone or anything coming into contact with this effect takes one level of lethal damage. In instances where the encompassed character strikes an opponent in hand-to-hand combat, the character’s fists still do bashing damage.
Stealth rolls are made with a -1 penalty.
2: At this level the Nimbus grows in power and intensity. It now deals two levels of lethal damage to anyone who attempts to make contact with him.
Stealth rolls are at a -2 penalty.
3: The Character becomes a veritable raging bonfire or crackling dynamo. Their damaging aura now deals 3 Lethal damage while their brawl attacks now do lethal damage. His unarmed attacks now also do lethal damage.
The arc is so powerful now that they can hurl balls of flame or bolts of lightning once every other turn. They can hurl the ball 10 yards, acting as a 3L thrown weapon.
Any attempt to hide is made at a -3 penalty and any object he makes contact with scorches, blackens or burns.
4: The Nimbus blazes to even greater heights of power. The character’s fiery or electrifying aura not only deals 4L to those in direct contact but also deals 1L to anyone within five feet of the Haunter.
The Haunter may also throw their Nimbus once a turn, and their touch is hot enough to melt concrete. and their attempt to hide is all but impossible, causing a -4 penalty to any stealth check.
Finally at this point the brightness and heat of his Nimbus grants him a +1 armor to ranged attacks.
At this point manifesting in physically is intensely dangerous.
5: The Haunter now burns with the intensity of the sun or a lightning strike, dealing two levels of Lethal damage to anyone standing within 10 feet of him and those who make physical contact take five levels of lethal damage.
The target’s bare hands are now treated as a +1L weapon. And they may throw bolts of fire or lightning twice as far, dealing +5L to whoever they strike.
Finally they gain a +2 Defense from ranged attacks and they automatically fail any stealth check.
Spite: The Haunter who channels spite into the Witch’s Nimbus can do so in one of three ways:
One version turns the fiery or fulminating nimbus around the character “sticky,” so that, when he touches someone (or she him), a portion of the nimbus sticks to that individual and continues to burn for several turns afterwards.
The second version allows the spook to construct the fiery (or electrical) nimbus around a target, creating either a fiery prison or a lethal second skin that can easily destroy any spook who can’t break free. The third version works in revers of heat generation and, instead, sucks the ambient warmth from the air and objects, creating a numbing cold.
The First version works exactly like the Vitality fueled Horror with one key exception: Any target taking damage from the ghost has a patch of fire (or electricity) sticking to her that continues to burn after contact is broken. The target automatically takes Witch’s Nimbus damage less one for each turn after breaking contact.
If the burning wound is somehow extinguished the damage ceases the turn the victim smothers the flames. A burning wound from fire simply looks like an area of seething red coals on the spook’s gauze, while an electrical wound’s glows, crackles and throws off blue and purple sparks.
The second Spite-fueled variant of Witch’s Nimbus allows the Haunter to sheath a target in flames or electricity instead of creating the nimbus around himself. If he encases the target without touching the opponent’s skin/gauze, it’s simply a hot prison and the target suffers no damage unless she tries to escape (in which case she takes full damage). If the spook places the burning sheath directly on the target’s gauze (or skin), or somehow extinguishes it.
The final application of Witch’s Nimbus possible when tapping Spite enables the Haunter to plunge temperature toward the arctic. For each Spite point tapped, the temperature drops considerably in the area around the ghost. This bears two different effects. First, anyone in direct contact with a spook using Witch’s Nimbus suffers a level of bashing damage for each spite point tapped to fuel the effect. This means any hand-to-hand combat attack made against the spook incurs an immediate case of frostbite, whether to flesh or to gauze. The second effect is that Spite creates a cold field around the spook, which extends out by five feet for each Spite point tapped. This field drains targets (living and dead) of one dot in any physical attribute, for every turn they remain inside the numbing field. Once outside the field, the dots return at a rate of one per minute. This Horror’s effect last for the duration of the scene.