Names

You are a namer. You can discern someone’s common, given name (such as Jack, Chihiro, or Sebastian) merely by looking at him, and with practice, you can also learn that person’s true, hidden name. Knowing a person’s hidden name gives you power over him. As mastery comes, you can eventually hide someone’s name, know his thoughts, or even change his name, and with it, his form. To be a namer is to be a force of creation and change, though some walk a darker path and attempt to erase the names of everyone and everything that displeases them.

You tend to wear a guise that doesn’t look entirely human, perhaps because you are a master of disguise, because you use masks to manifest your magic, or because you’re truly not fully human in the recursion where you become a namer.

Spinners are the most likely character types to be namers, but the focus has almost equal draw for paradoxes.

Minor Effect Suggestion: You learn a deeply buried secret the target was trying to hide.

Major Effect Suggestion: Foes within short range are dazed for one round upon hearing you speak a hidden name. During this time, the difficulty of all tasks they perform is modified by one step to their detriment.

Tier 1

Name (1 Intellect point). You attempt to discern the common, given name of a person, creature, or object within short range. This ability doesn’t give you power over the target, but it does allow you to address the target by name or potentially learn the real identity of someone in disguise or the common name of an odd object. Knowing the name of a person who hasn’t revealed it to you could provide an asset to your attempts to persuade, fool, intimidate, or ingratiate yourself with the target, depending on the situation. Action. Onomatology. You are trained in the origin, history, and use of names. Enabler.

Tier 2

Steal Name (2 Intellect points). You steal the name of a target within short range by lifting it directly from the creature’s thoughts. An affected target ceases taking actions for up to one minute as it attempts to recall its name, or for as long as you use your action each round to concentrate on hiding the name from it. If the target is attacked, endangered, or seriously provoked, it stops worrying about its name and acts normally. Action.

Name Meld (1 Intellect point). When you successfully use Steal Name on a target, you also read the target’s surface thoughts at the same time, even if the target tries to prevent you from doing so. You can continue to read the target’s surface thoughts for as long as you keep its name hidden from it by using Steal Name (up to one minute). Enabler.

Tier 3

Anti-Name (3+ Intellect points). You speak a name that is antithetical to up to three targets within long range. The Anti-Name inflicts 2 points of damage that ignore Armor. For each level of Effort you apply, you can choose to attack an additional target. Action.

Tier 4

Name Object or Force (4+ Intellect points). Your study of names goes beyond
creatures and extends to objects and even the laws of reality. Objects become more cooperative and laws bend to your aid when you name them, and the difficulty of a task you attempt is reduced by two steps. For example, if you name a level 4 wall prior to attempting to climb it, you treat the climb as a level 2 task. If you try to jump across a gap between cloud ships and name the local force of gravity, a difficulty 5 Might-based task becomes difficulty 3.

For each 2 additional Intellect points you spend, the difficulty of the task decreases by one additional step. Enabler.

Tier 5:

Command Name (6+ Intellect points). If you’ve previously used Steal Name on a
target, you can attempt to control the target’s actions if it is within short range and can hear and understand you. If you succeed, you control the target’s actions for two rounds by verbal command. Instead of applying Effort to decrease the difficulty, you can apply Effort to increase the duration of control; each level applied extends the duration of Command Name by one round. When the effect ends, the target recalls being under your control unless you prevent that by succeeding on an Intellect based attack whose difficulty is equal to the target’s level. Action to initiate.

Tier 6:

Change Name (7+ Intellect points). If you’ve previously used Steal Name on a target, you can attempt to transform the target into a natural animal by changing its true name. The target must be level 2 or lower. The effect is permanent unless you later return the creature’s true name to it as an action, leave the recursion for longer than three days, or die. Instead of applying Effort to decrease the difficulty, you can apply Effort to increase the maximum level of the target. Thus, to change the form of a level 5 target (three levels above the normal limit), you must apply three levels of Effort.

The form you change the target into must be that of a natural wild animal, and its mass can’t be more than double the original creature’s size. On the other hand, you can reduce a large target down to something as small as your fist. For instance, you could turn a giraffe into a duck, or a human into a turtle. The changed creature isn’t under any compulsion to obey you. Over time, its nature may come to suit its new form, as determined by the GM. Action.

Names

The Strange Worlds CapeAndMask