he Hive-Mind of Oblivion is far more than a receptacle of knowledge. It is also a conduit for the will of the Malfeans and their Nephwrack priests. Far from being a simple medium of communication, it is a mind, the collective thoughts of the servants of unbeing. It is a matrix in which the thinkers are but ideas, mimes in a sea of collective consciousness. Those who truly learn the Hive-Mind’s secrets are more than simply knowledgeable – they are the directive forces of the Labyrinth.
Use the Leadership Ability for retests with the Hive Mind Arcanos.
By means of this art, usually learned only Striplings, a Spectre may communicate directly with other members of her pack. All of the other Spectres contacted have access to the full range of senses of the person broadcasting, but the broadcaster decides which senses she allows her packmates to share. A Spectre invoking Tribal Commune may also “speak” into the minds of the other members of her pack for the duration of the Commune. Sharing senses is not an intrusive act for the recipients – they can decline or accept the sensory input as they wish.
System: Using this Art costs one Angst point and a successful Extended Static Mental challenge. The number of successes is the number of minutes that the shared senses may be maintained. Acting while experiencing two sets of perceptions can be extremely difficult; Spectres should add +2 traits to the challenge for all actions undertaken while they are sharing senses.
One of the most important manipulative abilities of the Hive-mind is the ability to broadcast one’s own thoughts to form the psychic “background noise” of one’s immediate area.
System: A point of Angst and one of temporary Being (Spectre Willpower) are spent, and the Spectre enters into an Extended Simple Test with the targets Being as the trait difficulty (the initiating Spectre’s Being traits vs. the target Spectre’s Being traits). For each success, the Spectre adds an additional trait to her pool for any Social Tests for the rest of the scene. Failure causes the Spectre to lose track of her own opinion and come around firmly to the point of view of a nearby Spectre with a high Being.
Some Spectres develop an inherent sense for the state of the Hive-mind near them, and can feel the whispered thoughts of others nearby.
System: For a point of Angst, a Spectre may add their Hive Mind level to their Mental trait pool for any static mental challenges for the purpose of detecting other Spectres in the immediate area and the Spectre cannot sense anything more than the presence of other beings connected to the Hive-mind. Spectres are always connected to the Hive-Mind even if they have just one level in the Hive-Mind Arcanos.
Taming the Beast:
By means of this Art, a Spectre may tame certain animalistic Spectres like vulpines and kuei. Doing so requires an extended action that must be taken out of combat – you can’t possibly tame an animal that’s busy chewing on your Corpus.
System: The Spectre makes a Social Test with a difficulty being the target Spectres Being + 3. The Spectre must accumulate successes equal to the target creature’s Being in order to tame it successfully. A check is made every hour period, and missing a test makes the target Spectre Subject to possible attack (Storyteller’s discretion). As always, difficulty can and should be varied for role-playing. This art cannot be used on Barghests and other non-spectral creatures. Use of this Art costs one Being and one Angst to start, and one Angst for each additional roll. Characters who miss a test or have to break off the taming process and being again later have their successes reset to zero and must spend the point of Being again.
The Spectre may give one command to a single Spectre, who them must follow that command to the letter. Often used by Apparitions running packs of Shades, Bid is useful for getting one’s point across without argument.
System: The Spectre spends two point of Angst and a point of temporary Being, and then makes an Extended Social Challenge (the difficulty being the target’s being). The maximum difficulty of the test is 16. The target follows the spirit as well as the letter of the command for a number of scenes equal to the number of successes – assuming, of course, that there were any successes at all. Spectres under the influence of Bid may spend a point of temporary Being to avoid performing a directly self-destructive action.
Through the use of this Arconos, a Spectre is able to extend her consciousness far beyond her immediate vicinity and sift through the near-infinite knowledge of the Hive-Mind. Usually this is attempted in an effort to prognosticate the best way to undertake a particular task.
System: Using this art requires the expenditure of two points of Angst and a point of Temporary Being, plus a Static Mental Challenge (difficulty variable). For each success, the player may ask one question about the task over which the character consulted the Collective Oracle. A Spectre may not undertake a consultation of the Collective Oracle and then not perform the action she consulted the Oracle about. A failure to have any successes or ties indicates the Spectre listened to the wrong voice – that of her Psyche. The Storyteller may then force the Spectre to test for Catharsis.
Pack Wisdom is an Art generally learned only by striplings, who live and work as almost one entity. This art allows members of a pack or circle to use the Hive-mind to act through the Corpora of their Fellows.
System: The Spectre to be acted through must possess and have successfully activated the Hive-mind art Tribal Commune, and must consent to the task being undertaken through his Corpus. The Spectre chosen to act through him must possess Pack Wisdom and spend three point of Angst, and then makes a single task test through the target Spectre.
The Abilities of the Spectre activating Pack Wisdom are always used in the check, but the Attribute used varies. If the task requires any form of appearance related task, then the target Spectres appearance is used. If it uses a Physical Traits, then the lower of the two characters Physical Traits are used. Otherwise, the Attributes of the Spectre activating Pack Wisdom are used.
The Spectre may use his force of will to dominate the thoughts of those around them through the Hive-Mind. Used by commanders, Onceborn (and occasionally Nephwracks with delusions of grandeur) Compel features the Hive-Mind at its most terrible.
System: This art requires the expenditure of three points of Angst and two points of temporary Being, and also an Extended Social Challenge (difficulty is the highest Spectre’s Being + Hive Mind level of the Spectres being commanded). All Spectres who are within earshot must follow the spirit as well as the letter of any one command the Spectre chooses to give for a number of turns equal to the number of successes achieved. All the compelled Spectres must be given the same command. As with Bid, targets may spend a point of Being in order to avoid undertaking a directly suicidal action.
Unity of Being:
The Spectre who masters this Art has mastered the ability to stand separate from the Hive-mind. Knowledge of Unity of Being is punishable by dissolution, so very few Spectres are willing to risk that in the pursuit of something most of them frankly don’t want – a distinctly solo identity once more.
System: At the cost of one point of Temporary Being and the gain of a point of temporary composure, a Spectre may make herself immune to the effects of the Hive-mind arts for the remainder of the scene. This includes immunity to mind reading through Recall the Unknown, compulsion through Bid, and detection through Hive Awareness. On the other hand, the character can gain no benefit from the Hive-Mind herself for the duration of the scene. This art cannot be voluntarily “turned off” once it is invoked.
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