Wields Pain as a Weapon

Published October 12, 2014 by

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You have been in pain for a long time. You might have a terminal illness or chronic condition, but whatever it’s nature, the one thing you can rely on is that it hurts relentlessly. But in that pain there is a spark of something more, something powerful and alien and with time, you have learned to harness it.

You probably don’t spend much time on appearance, instead focusing on comfort above all else – any respite from the pain, any small comfort, is worth the effort.

Characters with this focus are often seen as weak or crippled, but only until they unleash the power within that continually hurts them, trying to claw it’s way out. People often change their opinions after that, if they are still around to have them. Some characters fully embrace the pain, seeking it out, bathing themselves in the suffering and such people are sometimes mistaken for Jaekels, though truly their power comes neither from grafts or implants, nor from the Jaekels scorpion god, but from alien place within.

Anyone is equally likely to wield pain as a weapon, though Varjellans, with their reforging abilities, seem particularly likely to have this focus.


GM Intrusion: Your inner pain flares up wildly, crippling you as you double over, stunning you for one round.

  1. Pick another PC. When in close proximity to this person, your pain seems to fade and you feel almost normal again. As a result, using your powers is one step more difficult, or are one step easier to resist the effects of.
  2. Pick a PC. Something about them makes your pain flare up. You lose 1 Might point for every minute in physical contact with them.
  3. Eating food is rarely enjoyable due to the inevitable pain, however one other PC can cook in such a way that you feel no ill-effects, allowing you to enjoy eating again.
  4. Pick one other PC. Your pain seems almost empathetic to theirs. When ever they suffer Might pool damage, you feel their pain and your next spend from your Might pool costs 1 point less.
Additional Equipment:

You have a series of ointments and salves for reducing pain.

Esotery Effects:

Painful esoteries: All esoteries you perform deal 1 point of Might damage both to yourself, and to the target. If the target is yourself, you only suffer one point of damage. This damage also counts towards your pain pool.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You inflict a terrible, crackling pain on the creature, increasing the difficulty of all it's tasks for the next round.
Major Effect Suggestions:
As your pain envelops you, you tap into it to heighten your abilities, giving you another full action this round.
Tier 1:

Suffering. You permanently lose 2 points from your Might pool due to your constant pain and suffering. Disabler.
Pain is Strength. Whenever you take damage, as well as suffering the loss of points from your pool, add the same number of points to a Pain pool. This pool has a maximum of your Tier multiplied by three and can be used whenever you want to apply effort to a task of any type. Enabler.

Tier 2:

Pushing Through the Pain. You can no longer be Impaired, and instead remain Hale until you are pushed 2 steps down the damage track into Debilitated. Enabler.
Reverse Empathy (2 Intellect points). Your pain is overflowing your ability to contain it, you reach out with your mind up to short range and spill it over onto another living creature, stunning them for one round as they feel your suffering. Action.

Tier 3:

Prolonged Suffering. You permanently lose another 2 points from your Might pool due to the constant, ongoing pain. Disabler.
Living Pain. As long as your Might pool is 0, your pain becomes a living thing, manifesting as a level 2 cloud of energy with a total health equal to your Pain pool (or 1, if it is empty). The creature makes Intellect attacks that deal 4 points of damage and can move a short range, but must stay within a short range of you or dissipate until you next take damage. Enabler.

Tier 4:

Living in Pain. You have learned to live with your constant pain, and can no longer be debilitated. Instead, you are now Hale until you are killed. Enabler.

Tier 5:

Everything is Pain. Instead of only being able to use your pain pool for spending effort, you can use it for any task you attempt, such as using an ability or paying an upfront cost to attempt a skill. Enabler.
Pain is my Constant Companion. Your Living pain companion is now a level 5 creature and can move up to long range away from you.

Tier 6:

Wield Pain as Weapon (4 Intellect points). You can wield your pain as a weapon directly, emptying your pain pool to do the equivalent amount of damage to a target within short range. Action.

2 thoughts on “Wields Pain as a Weapon

  1. Nicholas Johnson says:

    This is brilliant!

  2. Cne says:

    The idea behind this focus is simply fantastic! Got to love the negatives and them great connections, and overall strong and interesting abilities as well.

    However, is there a reason that one of the defining features (Painful Esoteries) only affects one and a half class? Personally, I would make it affect fighting moves and tricks of the trade the same way.

    Another thing I would tone down is Reverse Empathy. By tier 2 you can have 2 Intellect Edge, giving you essentially the most powerful effect in the game (worth 8 points of damage as per Corebook page 113) every round for free. You don’t even have to be in pain to use it. I would think that hammering your foe prone with your pain would be more fair, as well as requiring it to have active points in Pain Pool before it can be used.

    Otherwise I found it a very flavorful and intriguing focus that I will try to playtest in my games.

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