While browsing the internet sometimes you find something so strange you cannot ignore it. When I saw this image I could not get it out of my head. This may be due to the deformed laughing nature of it, but I may have already said too much…
With that, what came next was unavoidable.
Modern Fears (Intelligence/Dark – Major)
Requires: Maintenance: Any 12 (S), Nightmare Sense (B)
The pace of new technologies accelerates as man claws their way back from the dark ages of the Purge. The lack of education the average person receives leaves them incapable of understanding even the basic principles of how some of these modern machines work. This allows fear to take root, and that gives the Dark power over these technologies. Infecting a machine, computer, or other piece of technology the Dark Lucid twists its shape and function into a nightmarish mockery, channeling the collective fear through the device. This terrifying image chills those witnessing its change, and ultimately leaves the device a melted husk, destroyed.
The Character Rolls as with Nightmare Sense versus a target equal to the target object’s PV + 10.
On a Successful roll the object bubbles forth as a horrid gateway to the Dark. Those within range witnessing this change must make a Mental Tree Roll (using Iron Will or other appropriate supporting Characteristics) equal to the Character’s Intelligence + Intimidation + Iron Will.
Those who fail this Roll suffer a penalty to all rolls equal to the Character’s Intelligence + Iron Will. This effect lasts for 1 Turn for each 4 Levels of the Character’s Maintenance Skill.
Note: The device targeted stops functioning only at the end of the effect. While terrifying someone may still attempt to use the impacted device. If the Character using the device is not already affected by the fear, they must immediately roll again, increasing the Difficulty by 10.
Activation Time: 1 Action, Range: Lucid (Ab) in Meters, Cost: 30 Energy + 10 Health
When creating this Boon there were a few things I wanted to accomplish, first it needed to emulate the image, but should have a larger scope.Although, a Boon to destroy cellphones works well for the Dark, I mean, that cuts off lines of communications, it felt to narrow. Instead this was expanded to technology in general, this gave the Boon more functionality but kept it in line with Technophobia.
While both Craft Nightmare and Modern Fears would place a Fear Penalty on targets within range the new Boon needed to feel different. For that it was back to the source image. The cell phone was clearly destroyed, so that became part of the Boon. Finally, the time the Boon would last was designed to again separate the two Boons. The duration was set based on the Maintenance Skill, while Craft Nightmare could be sustained for much longer. Lastly, to prevent the Boon from becoming too powerful, and to add a bit of ick, the object affected would continue to function through the duration, but ultimately be destroyed.
To determine the requirements we looked at what was already included in the core book, here we found Craft Nightmare, this Boon provided a general framework for the mechanics of the Boon. Modern Fears was not intended to be as powerful as Craft Nightmare so while it maintained the same Boon Requirement, Nightmare Sense, Maintenance 12 was added to differentiate between the two.
Lastly, the Energy Cost was also based on Craft Nightmare. Craft Nightmare has a Cost of 10 energy per Turn. A Character with the base requirements would create a Fear Effect lasting for 3 Turns, 30 Energy if this was Craft Nightmare. However, Modern Fears also destroys the object affected. Instead of just increasing the Energy cost, a Health Cost was added, this keeps the raw Energy cost from scaling too high allows the Dark Character to use the Boon several times, but keeps the cost meaningful. Adding a Health cost to a Boon that destroys is also Thematically fitting with the Dark.