Scientists theorize that normal humans use only a fraction of their ability to observe things. Ask a normal person to describe what he just walked past, and he probably won’t be able to tell you too many details about it, if any. That’s not true of novas with Mega-Perception. They take it allin – every detail, every nuance, every little fact. They may not remember them very long (that’s a function of Intelligence), but they don’t overlook things. They make excellent sentinels, guards, detectives and trackers.
Novas with Mega-Perception almost always have a high Awareness skill. They often have high ratings in other “observational” skills, such as Investigation, but such is not always the case
- Stupendous: You remember the IIcense-plate numbers of all the cars you just walked past in the parking lot.
- Amazing: Even the tiniest details are like information beacons to you.
- Incredible: You can tell what a person is thinking by the way the nerves in her face twitch.
- Spectacular: You can locate a single person in an auditorium by her body odor or perfume.
- Godlike: You can hear wool growing on the backs OF sheep.
Analytic Taste/Touch: There are plenty of gourmets out there who can figure out what spices were used in a particular dish by tasting it. A nova with this power can go them one better: He can detect everything in the food. Give him a casserole, and he’ll tell you every ingredient in it, as well as how much of each was used. Give him a pretzel, and he can tell you how many grains of salt there are on it. Give him poisoned food, and he will detect the poison as soon as he touches it with his tongue, then spit the food out immediately before the poison can affect him. The character’s sense of touch is also enhanced. Everyone knows what a dollar bill feels like – it’s got a unique feeling like no other type of paper. Mix a dollar up with a bunch of pieces of newspaper and other papers, and someone can still find it by touch alone. But only a nova with Analytic Touch can tell you without looking whether it’s a twenty or a c-note. A character with this enhancement may use both functions. System: With Analytic Taste, the character’s sense of taste is so heightened that he can determine the composition and nature of food he eats, as described previously. This enhancement is most useful for detecting poison or other tampering, but it has other uses as well. If the Storyteller decides that a particular substance is present in only trace quantities, he may require a Perception or Awareness roll to allow the character to detect it. But even in such situations, the character receives a minimum of three extra dice when making any Perception roll based on taste. Furthermore, by flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth in the manner of a snake, the character can halve any penalties relating to darkness, as the character literally “tastes” vibrations in the air. With Analytic Touch, the character’s sense of touch is so heightened that he can differentiate many objects by touch alone. This ability can be extremely useful if the character cannot see. It also provides bonuses in situations where an acute sense of feel would be helpful – such as lockpicking or trying to figure out the combination to a safe by feeling the tumblers fall into place. The character receives a minimum of three extra dice when making any Perception roll based on touch. Furthermore, the character’s skin is so sensitive that he can sense faint air currents, which adds two dice to Awareness skill totals when attempting to detect stealthy opponents like invisible novas. This enhancent is always on and costs no quantum points to use.
Blindfighting: Most people are helpless when blind – particularly in combat – but not this character. Thanks to his enhanced senses, he can perceive where his foes are even when he cannot see them. Some Asian (or Asian-influenced) novas snidely refer to this enhancement as “Zen fighting.” System: The character is not subject to the difficulty penalty for Fighting blind. In some situations, such as those with bad or glaring lighting, he might even be better off to shut his eyes and fight without using his sight. Similarly, if an opponent is using the power Invisibility to escape detection, a nova with Blindfighting can determine exactly where his invisible enemy is by making an Awareness roll (opponent resists with her lnvisibility + Stealth dice pool). This enhancement costs one quantum point and lasts for a scene.
Bloodhound: Like the animal for which it is named, this enhancement allows a nova to track a person by scent. System: The character may make an Awareness roll to follow someone by scent alone. If the scent is particularly strong (for example, the person hasn’t bathed in a week), reduce the difficulty by one. If the person being tracked passes through an area with a lot of other scents [like a crowded city street), walks through a stream or does anything else that might confuse or mask his scent, :he nova must make another roll at an increased difficulty (+2 or more, usually). If the nova is exposed to a particularly strong odor – such as having pepper thrown in her face – her Bloodhound ability is temporarily “blinded.” Until she can let that scent out of her nose, which could take anywhere from a turn to an hour depending on the circumstances, she won’t be able to follow any scents. This enhancement is always on and costs no quantum points to use.
Electromagnetic Vision: By processing and amplifying waves in the middle 2nd of the electromagnetic spectrum (infrared, visible light, ultraviolet), the character provides herself with a number of sensory abilities. System: The character spends a quantum point to activate the power for (Perception + Mega-Perception) turns. While doing so, the character gains an additional three dice on any Awareness roll related to vision. Additionally, this enhancement provides a number of benefits:
1. Ultraviolet vision: The character can see in the ultraviolet (“UV”) spectrum, allowing her to see clearly and without penalty whenever UV illumination (such as from the sun, moon or stars) is present. Like a cat, she is able to see in conditions of very little light. The character can see as well in darkness as in daylight, provided that there is at least some light (even faint starlight is enough). If she is in total blackness (such as an unlit underground room), she cannot see.
2. lnfrared vision: The character is able to see in the infrared (“IR) spectrum. Not only can she see anything illuminated by an IR light, she can see the heat given off by living things and hot objects. Hot things appear “bright,” cool things “dark.”
3. Visible light attuner: The character can magnify objects in her line of sight, as though she were a highpowered telescopic scope or electron microscope. Usually, novas use this ability to view tiny objects which would ordinarily be beyond the character’s range of vision, but it can also help see objects at a distance. The character can also see distant objects as if they were close up. For each dot OF Mega-Perception, the character can magnify distant or tiny images by a factor of 10 (x100 at Mega-Perception 2, xl000 at Mega-Perception 3, etc.). Use of this enhancement negates range penalties, as well as difficulty penalties suffered when striking at characters with the power of Sizemorph (Shrinking).
Hyperenhanced Hearing: A nova with this enhancement can hear and transmit sounds that are too high-pitched or low-pitched to be audible to the normal human ear, such as dog whistles, radio waves, or security devices that utilize ultrasonic sound. System: The character spends a quantum point ta activate the power for (Perception + Mega-Perception) turns. While doing so, the character gains an additional three dice on any Awareness, Intrusion or other appropriate roll related to hearing. Additionally, this enhancement provides a number of benefits:
- lnfra/ultrasonic hearing: Most characters cannot hear infrasonic or ultrasonic sound at all. A nova with this enhancement can, though the Storyteller may require an Awareness roll if the sound is extremely soft or distant – just like he would with any normal whisper or distant sound.
- Sonar: Like a bat, the nova can emit sonar waves which travel away from her, hit objects and “bounce” back to their source. This sense tells the character where things are, how big they are and other gross physical qualities. On the other hand, sonar does not reveal finer details or visual details, such as the number of Fingers on a hand, color, fine texture or print. Sonar works in a 360- degree radius around the character and are sufficiently accurate to allow the character to launch attacks without any loss of dice or other penalties. Sonar can be detected with Radio Scan.
Radio scan: The name of this technique is slightly misleading, since it actually allows the character to perceive all broadcast waves, including radio, television and cellular telephone transmissions. The character may also transmit along such wavelengths, though he can transmit voice only. The character may voluntarily “shut off” the sense (to keep from being inundated with signals). He can also edit out specific frequencies so that he hears only a speciFic radio broadcast rather than all radio broadcasts, television, and other broadcasts.
Quantum Attunement: The character can sense the ebbs and flows of quantum energies in her vicinity. This gives her a hyperenhanced perception, allowing her to sense her surroundings on the molecular level, even if her other senses have been incapacitated. The character must still face in the general direction of what she wishes to perceive. System: By spending one quantum point per turn, the character can attune herself to quantum energies in the area. Among other things, this allows the character to make an Awareness roll to sense her surroundings even if completely deprived of one or more senses. The character can also scan other novas by making a Medicine roll; this allows the character to sense the rough level of Quantum, Node and Taint Traits possessed by the other nova. With three or more successes, the character might be able to guess at the other nova’s powers, though the Storyteller should describe this in narrative terms, as eddies and shifts in the local quantum flow (e.g., “Your foe clenches his fists, and quantum forces begin seething around his outstretched hands” as opposed to “He’s going to throw a Quantum Bolt”; “When she stretches, nuclear forces scream and hiss around her frame,” as opposed to “She’s got Mega-Strength 4.”).
Ultraperipheral Perception: Sometimes you’ll hear someone described as “having eyes in the back of his head.” A nova with this enhancement just about meets that description. He can sense all around himself more or less as readily as he can look straight ahead. System: A character with Ultraperipheral Perception can perceive things in a 360-degree circle around himself without turning his head. This enhancement prevents a character from being surprised by people sneaking up on him from behind. Attackers do not gain Flank or rear attack bonuses to hit him. It also allows him to keep track of everything surrounding him. This effect costs a quantum point and lasts for a scene