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Friday, 11 July 2014

Inspiration is everywhere: Day 4

As you may have noticed, a lot of my inspiration and resources come from charity shops, car boot sales and so on. Sometimes I'm not even there! When my wife is out looking for a bargain, she will also keep an eye out for anything I might like. This week she scored me a copy of Chew, Volume 1: Taster's Choice in a charity shop. In celebration of this generosity, I've decided to take this week's inspiration post from Chew!

Tony Chu, the main character, is a cibopath -- a psychic who gains impressions from eating things. If he eats an apple, he gets an impression of the sunshine, the tree, the place it was grown, pesticides, what have you. He is, for obvious reasons, a vegetarian. The world of Chew is one where chicken is outlawed, and Chu and his partner Mason Savoy hunt the big international chicken-smuggling rings. It is, as you might expect, not a wholly serious book. 

So the obvious thing to take away from Chew is cibopathy itself. Here then are three variations of the ability: a ritual for Unknown Armies, a spell for d20 (I don't have psychics in my game) and a psychic power for World of Darkness

It Tastes Like Murder, and Murder Tastes Pretty Fuckin' Good
Power: minor
Cost: 3 minor charges
Effect: For the next three hours, anything the caster eats will create a potent image in his or her mind of the item's origins and history. The images are vivid, as if the caster experienced them. Eating a meat product of any kind will therefore trigger a Rank 3 Violence check. Other experiences will trigger Stress Checks as appropriate. 
Ritual action: Draw a mystic sigil on an edible substance such as rice paper or cake frosting using your own blood. Cook the sigil using a specific mix of herbs and oils, then eat it. If any part of the sigil is left uneaten, the ritual doesn't function. 

Chew's Cantrip of Cibopathy

Level: Clr 4, Brd 4
Components: V, S, M
Casting time: 10 minutes
Range: Personal
Target: Object
Duration: Instantaneous

The caster must eat a small amount (at least a full mouthful) of an object in order to use Chow's Cantrip. The god Chew then grants the user a vision of the past or purpose of the object being consumed. The cleric may then ask a question about the history or function of the item, which the DM will answer in the form of a subjective, emotional impression. Multiple attempts at using this spell produce the same result each time. 

Material component: the object to be eaten.


Cibopathy (ESP, ***)

Cost: 1 Willpower
Pool: Wits+Composure or Wits+Crafts
Effect: Like Psychometry (Second Sight, p. 41), Cibopathy allows the psychic to perceive impressions attached to objects -- specifically, to edible ones. This usually takes the form of a general overview of the object's history, unless there is a particularly traumatic or emotional experience associated with it (for instance, eating the body of a murdered person would give an image of the killing). 

Dramatic Failure: the psychic receives a revolting, nauseating image of some disgusting part of the object's past. A successful Stamina+Composure roll prevents noisy vomiting. 
Failure: the cibopath receives no information from the object. 
Success: the psychic receives an impression of an important or emotionally charged part of the object's past. 
Exceptional success: the psychic experiences a sped-up vision of the object's "life" or history. 

Modifiers: 

+1: the object is food, cooked and prepared as such. 
0: the object is not prepared food, but is edible (a plant, an animal)
-2: the object is not digestible (dirt, a penny, paper)


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