Vol. 97: Disruptors
At a Glance: Disrupters live life on the fringes of society. They produce a constant, nearly uncontrollable field of chaos around themselves that make interacting with the real world difficult if not impossible.
In-depth: Disrupters (also sometimes called The Cursed Class, or Anti-Mages) live hard lives. They tend to be hermits living on the edge of cities or villages. This is because disrupters bring chaos wherever they go.
No one really knows how they came to be but towards the end of the Panic several started showing up. They seem to be born with their powers and manifest them early on. Sadly, their chaotic nature leads many to be abandoned by their parents. Many governments have orders to kill Disruptors on sight! Most notably the Techno Empire who offers rewards for the heads of Disruptors perpetually.
This is because extending 10’ in every direction from the Disruptor (+1’ per level) is a sphere of chaotic energy. This field has many effects, most notably it interferes with all mechanical and electronic devices. There is a 10% chance (+1% chance per level) that any mechanical device coming into range of a Disruptor will malfunction. Guns will jam, TV screens will flicker or shut off, communications will become static filled and so on. This in itself is not so bad. The real problem occurs whenever any of the Disruptors abilities are used or if they have intense emotions.
Whenever a Disruptor uses an ability, they let off a “Pulse” to the full extent of their field. Any mechanical or electronic devices in their sphere will break or cease to work. (99% chance) Engines will shut down, computers will short out, weapons will become inoperable. These problems are usually minor and can be fixed easily by someone who knows what they are doing but it can be life or death in many situations. A Disruptor on the battlefield who is careless can jam all the weapons of his comrades in an instant. If they are inside a vehicle it will breakdown suddenly perhaps causing accidents or stranding them and friends. Most spaceship captains will not even allow Disruptors on board unless they are fully sedated! If a Disruptor were to “pulse” near a ships engine or near some other vital system everyone on board could be killed!
Adding to the problem is that sometimes Disruptors will pulse just due to high emotion. Anger, sorrow, pain, even extreme happiness can cause a Disruptor to pulse. (During times of high emotion or pain DM’s can require the Disruptor to make a Wisdom save. Failure means they pulse. DMs may also choose other saving throws as they see appropriate for deciding if a Disruptor will pulse.) For this reason many Disruptors strive to be emotionless, living lives of constant meditation and self-awareness. Even the Technorganic Conglomerate who is known to accept everyone has asked that Disruptors not enter their cities unless absolutely necessary. Robotic and other electronic lifeforms caught in a Disruptors field will suffer serious damage and will often “shutdown” if caught in a pulse.
For these reasons most Disruptors are hated and feared. They may be hunted and killed simply to not have to worry about them. A single Disruptor having a bad (or very good!) day can cripple a city quickly. Out of control Disruptors are usually shot on sight even if they are not causing havoc on purpose. It is a sad and lonely existence for most.
The saving grace to this is that if a Disruptor can train themselves and learn and grow, they can at higher levels begin to have some control over the chaos they generate.
Powers & Abilities: Disruptors start at level one simply as agents of chaos. They have almost no control over their powers. They do have one interesting ability that can be mentioned now though.
Focused Pulse: The disruptor can choose to pulse on purpose. If they are touching a mechanical or electronic object while doing so that object will receive actual physical damage and be broken far worse than it would be if just caught in a regular pulse. (1d4 damage and the effected mechanical or electronic item touched will be rendered inoperable and will require extensive repair.) This pulse still has full range so besides the item focused on all other mechanical or electronic equipment in the area will also similarly break, just not as extensively as the item focused on.
Disruptors are a unique class in that they gain another special ability each level. They gain no other magic or psionic abilities. They simply learn new ways to manipulate their Disrupter Field. Because of this most Disruptors are well skilled in the use of weapons and or combat if they wish to be adventurers. Most of their early levels will most likely be spent trying to AVOID the use of their powers. Using abilities costs mana. Disruptors who run out of mana cannot use abilities, but CAN and will still pulse their “normal” pulse during times of high emotion, stress or pain regardless of mana.
Level 2: Absorb Magic/Psionic- At level 2 Disruptors can pulse to negate any magical or psionic effect in the area. This works on magic and psionics of their level or lower. As with ALL pulses and abilities it will still ALWAYS affect any mechanical or electronic equipment in range.
Level 3: Disruptive Touch- At this level Disruptors can concentrate their field to do damage. Anything they touch while pulsing will take 1d4 damage +1 per 2 levels.
Level 4: Reflect- This pulse allows Disruptors to “bounce back” projectiles sent at them. This also works with spells and psionics! The Disruptor must make a successful parry roll and if they do the projectile will be sent back at its sender! This can only be done once per round and only reflects magic and psionics of their level or lower. Cannot be used on melee weapons unless they are thrown or similarly flung at the caster.
Level 5: Push back- Using this pulse pushes everything away from the Disruptor. Anyone or anything near the Disruptor must make a strength saving throw or be pushed back to the full extent of the Disruptors field. Objects colliding with walls or other solid objects may take damage.
Level 6: Shell- This pulse leaves behind a permanent physical translucent shell that surrounds the caster and anyone near him. The shell takes 10 damage + 2 per level of the caster. Anyone inside the shell can leave freely without destroying the shell but nothing outside can get in without destroying it. The shell will persist for 1 min + 1min per level of the caster or until it is destroyed.
Level 7: Confusion and Fear- Setting off this pulse causes an expulsion of dark green smoke to the full extent of the Disruptors field. The smoke is thick and lingers in the area for 15 seconds + 15 seconds per 3 levels of the caster. Anyone breathing in the smoke or getting it in their eyes will be confused and feared as the spell of the same level of the caster.
Level 8: Displace- using this pulse the caster can cause any two objects within their sphere of influence to change places instantly. Up to 100 lbs + 10 lbs per level. Living things get a saving throw. Can also be used on self.
Level 9: Swirling Doom- This pulse causes sharp cutting winds to swirl around the caster. Anything within the sphere will take constant damage for 1 min. The caster can move through the wind unhampered. Damage is 5d6 per round.
Level 10: Intangibility Field- This pulse cause anything within range to become intangible for 15 seconds.
Level 11: Phase lock- This pulse causes one object within the casters sphere to be Phase Locked. (100lbs + 10lbs per level of caster, 1 min + 15 seconds per 3 levels of caster) Phase Locked people or objects become completely indestructible but also frozen solid.
Level 12: Growing Darkness- This spell creates a sphere of absolute magical darkness around the caster. The darkness will start at the full size of the Disruptors sphere but then double in size every 15 seconds for 1 minute. Only the caster can see in this darkness.
Level 13: Stutter Step- Any being caught in this pulse must make a saving throw or be forced to relive their last 15 seconds 3 times in a row. Beings effected by this will do everything they can to exactly repeat everything they did the 15 seconds prior. Those not able to do things exactly as before will “mime” or pretend to do what they did. This includes using spells, psionics, and abilities. A saving throw may be attempted at the beginning of each round, but they are at -1 and then -2 for the second two rounds respectively.
Level 14: Impregnable Sphere- Creates a crystal-clear glass sphere around the caster and anything around them. The sphere lasts for 1 min +15 seconds per 3 levels of the caster. Nothing can pass into or out of the sphere. The sphere can have a 10’ radius minimum but can be as large as the Disruptors full sphere of influence. Regardless of the size of the sphere made the antimechanical/antielectronics pulse will always be full size.
Level 15: Healing Pulse- This pulse heals any living thing it comes into contact with. Plants, animals, friend and foe alike. The pulse heals instantly for 3d6 + 2 per 3 levels.
Level 16: Ready Set- Starting at level 16 the Disruptor has started to gain some control over their ever-growing field of chaos. Using Ready Set does not send out a pulse. It takes a physical action to perform. After using Ready Set, the Disruptor can use any of their abilities for the next minute without generating a pulse! They can also use this ability as a “save” if they start to feel their emotions building up and feel they might accidentally pulse. While under the influence of Ready Set the caster is +3 to initiative.
Level 17: Fix it up- This pulse “heals” mechanical and electronic objects it connects with. This pulse can ONLY be used while under the influence of Ready Set. Fix it up restores 2d4 hp to any mechanical or electronic object. It can also be used to power up objects providing them with up 2d4 minutes of power even if they were completely dead before. This spell provides double healing to robots and other living artificial lifeforms! (4d4 healing!) Several Fix It Up pulses can be used back to back to cumulatively repair badly damaged objects.
Level 18: Tornado: This pulse can only be used under the influence of Ready Set. Over 15 seconds a tornado forms around the caster. The tornado can then be sent off in a direction of the casters choosing to cause massive damage to anything in touches. Tornado is cast as the wind elemental spell of the same level as the caster.
Level 19: Cloud of bliss- This pulse can only be used under the influence of Ready Set. Activating this pulse takes a full minute. When it activates it creates and instant cloud of nearly invisible pink gas that smells of perfume and berries. The cloud will be the size of the casters sphere and double in size every 15 seconds for 1 minute. Friends who breath in the gas or get it in their eyes will regenerate 1d4 hp per round. Their weapons, vehicles, armor, and any mechanical or electronic devices will also regenerate 1d4 per round if they are damaged! Friends and allies of the caster will also all be +2 to initiative and be +2 to all saving throws. Friends and allies will also feel perpetually happy and be immune to fear for 1 minute. Enemies inhaling the gas or getting it in their eyes will be -2 to initiative and -2 to all saving throws. They must also make a wisdom saving throw or they will enter a state of absolute bliss for 1 minute. Enemies succumbing to bliss will lay on the ground and writhe in ecstasy unable to perform any other action.
Level 20: Nirvana- At level 20 the Disruptor has finally become attuned to their sphere of chaos. They will now no longer ever accidently pulse due to emotion, stress, or pain. They can now also enter a peaceful trance. Preparing to enter the trance takes 1d4+1 mins. Once the trance is entered, they can use the psionics: Astral Projection, Remote Viewing, Clairvoyance, and Enter Dreams cast at their level! The Trance lasts 1 min per level of the caster.
Disruptors make exciting but often hard to play characters. They must be constantly aware of their surroundings. Simple mistakes can have huge consequences for them. All of this makes Disruptors very rare. Few survive to adulthood, and fewer still will ever grow enough to master their abilities. But for those who do they can make powerful allies and good friends.
About the Illustrations: The first drawing is a “speed drawing” of an elven mage. The second is an unfinished Blobkin emerging from the water.