Mega-Wits is the flip side of Mega-Dexterity. Mega-Dexterity reflects how quickly some novas can move and react physically. Mega-Wits is how fast some novas can act and react mentally. As with Mega-Dexterity, each dot of Mega-Wits adds one to Initiative ratings. Mega-Wits is one of the most disturbing Mega-Attributes for normal humans to deal with. Watching a nova pick up a truck or outrace bullets just seems sort of surreal after a while. But to see someone standing there calmly in the middle of a firefight or working a social situation like a grandmaster who can see 20 moves ahead is disconcerting. It’s strange to see such level-headedness in the face of terrifying (to a normal human) danger or the application of superpowers in such “ordinary” situations.
- 1 – Stupendous: Even when bullets are whizzing past your head, you remain calm and collected.
- 2 – Amazing: Everyone around you hangs on your witty words.
- 3 – Incredible: Nothing surprises you and even if something did, you’d never show it.
- 4 – Spectacular: Fooling you is about as easy as fitting an elephant through a doorway.
- 5 – Godlike: Nothing on Earth can disturb your savoir-faire.
Artistic Genius: A nova with this ability possesses an intuitive artistic sense and skill. He knows what “works” artistically, what doesn’t, which colors complement each other and how to knock a chip off a sculpture here and there to turn a pedestrian piece into a masterwork. He may also be a skilled writer, able to express with a single sentence or paragraph what it takes others pages and pages to say. Novas who are Artistic Geniuses are often the darlings of the highbrow art scene. System: Whenever the character is attempting to create or analyze art, literature, cinema or similar works or subjects, the player may make a Wits roll. For each success achieved, he receives one automatic success when making Arts rolls and related rolls. This enhancement is always in effect, and it costs no quantum points to activate.
Enhanced Initiative: Reacting in combat isn’t just a matter of physical reflexes – it’s a matter of quick thinking and mental reaction time as well. Someone who is able to comprehend and analyze a combat situation quickly – such as a nova with this enhancement – has a definite advantage over combatants who react more slowly. System: The player of a nova with Enhanced lnitiative may add five points to his Initiative rating whenever he pays the standard one quantum point cost. This bonus lasts for only one turn; if the nova wants the bonus to continue, he must pay another quantum point next turn. A nova may purchase this enhancement more than once, thus gaining +10 Initiative, +15 lnitiative and so on. Additionally, if a nova with this enhancement delays his action and then acts at the same time as another character with a delayed action, the nova automatically goes first without having to roll. However, if the other character also has Enhanced Initiative or Mega-Dexterity, the two players must roll in the usual fashion to determine who acts first.
Lie Detector: No polygraph is needed when a nova with this enhancement is around. When she listens to a person talking and concentrates on what he is saying, she can instantly detect whether he is lying or not. System: A nova with this Mega-Wits enhancement needs only concentrate on what someone is saying to determine (without a roll) if he is telling the truth or not. However, this ability does not reveal the truth per se, only that someone is telling a falsehood. Furthermore, it does not indicate that a character is lying if that character believes that what he is saying is the truth, even if it turns out to be wrong. If a “target” is particularly skilled at hiding the truth (for example, he has high Manipulation or Subterfuge Traits, or is a pathological liar), the Storyteller may require the nova to make a Wits roll to determine whether a lie is being told. One quantum point activates this power for an entire scene.
MuItitasking: Novas who wish For two heads and four hands so that they can get everything done appreciate this enhancement. It allows a nova to perform multiple actions with much more ease than the typical person. Indeed, some novas make taking multiple actions seem almost effortless. System: The player of a nova with this enhancement may make a Wits roll at a difficulty penalty of one whenever he decides to perform multiple actions (seep. 110). If he succeeds, the multiple action penalty (the number of dice subtracted from his dice pool, in other words) is halved, rounding in favor of the character. Thus, a Multitasking nova who decides to perform three actions in a turn subtracts one die from the first task‘s dice pool, two dice from the second task’s dice pool and two dice from the third task‘s dice pool (as opposed to the standard dice penalties). This power costs one quantum point per turn of activation.
Natural Empath: Despite their inhumanity (or, as some would say, transcendence of humanity), some novas are very skilled at figuring out what people are feeling. They have an instinctive ability to gauge emotions and emotional states. More honorable novas use this power as a way to relate to (and offer comfort to) normal people; selfish novas use it as a tool to manipulate, harass or degrade humans. System: Whenever his character is within 10 meters of a normal human, the player may make a Wits roll. If he succeeds, the nova has a general idea of the current emotional state of the person – happy, depressed, angry, lustful and so on. The more successes he achieves, the more accurate his assessment of the person’s emotions. In the right circumstances, the nova might even be able to determine what is causing the person to feel that way, and what to do to change his emotional state (if necessary). At distances greater than 10 meters, the nova can still try to determine what emotions a person is feeling, but it is harder. Out to 20 meters the difficulty increases by one; 30 meters, by two; 50 meters, by three. The power cannot work beyond 50 meters. Regardless of the distance to the “target,” the nova must be able to see him clearly. In some cases it may be necessary to observe him for several minutes in order to analyze his emotional state correctly. Players of novas with Natural Empath gain three extra dice when making Rapport rolls. These dice come in addition to any bonuses received simply for having Mega-Wits. This enhancement costs a quantum point to activate and lasts for an entire scene.
Quickness: Similar to both Enhanced lnitiative and Multitasking, this enhancement allows a nova to take extra actions in combat. A nova with multiple levels of this ability becomes a whirlwind of carnage and destruction in combat, incapacitating his enemies before they can even react. System: By spending a quantum point, the nova gains an extra physical action during the current combat turn. This action incurs no dice pool penalty – the nova may use his Full dice pools with both of his actions. However, this action comes two places later than the character’s lnitiative rating for the turn. A nova may purchase this enhancement multiple times, thus gaining the ability to act three, Four or more times in a single combat turn with no dice pool penalties. However, each extra action costs an additional quantum point and incurs an additional -2 lnitiative penalty. Actions taken must be physical actions; most quantum powers, even “physical” ones like Quantum Bolt, may not be activated multiple times, though super-strength punches or dodges may be. The eFfects of Quickness last only for the turn of activation.
Synergy: A nova with this enhancement works and plays well with others. He has an instinctive ability to figure out what other people he is working with are going to do and what he can do to assist them or complement their efforts. He becomes the oil that keeps the machine working at peak efficiency. System: Whenever the nova performs a task with other players’ characters in such a way that they combine successes to achieve a common goal, typically as an extended action (see p. lo?), the nova’s player may make a Wits roll. Everyone in the group receives an additional die For each success the nova’s player achieves on his roll. This die applies to whatever rolls any given member of the group is making to advance the group’s goal or complete their task. The die bonus applies to all rolls made For about an hour or until the job is Finished, whichever comes sooner. The player may not make multiple Wits rolls to get multiple bonuses; only one Synergy bonus can apply to a given group during a given time period.