Possession and Gestalt
This page introduces tips to being successful possessors (those who benefit from use of the Mortal Possession ritual). Following are instructions for making alterations to your character sheet, as well as considerations specific to the circumstances your party will find themselves in during Chapter 7.
Note Your GM has attempted to simplify this process from what is suggested in the adventure.
Character Sheet Changes
A Quick Word On Your Class and Powers
Any powers, features, or other benefits stemming from your class, theme, or paragon path can be used as normal. Fighters still remember how to fight, and spellcasters still have control over their magic.
Ability Score Differences
Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma do NOT change, but your Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores change to that of your vessel’s. This change some or all of the following on your character sheet:
- Str/Dex/Con-based skill rolls
- Attack/damage rolls
For simplicity’s sake, this will NOT change…
- Hit point total
- Healing surges per day
- Carrying capacity
Changing from one race to another can be jarring. Generally speaking, you lose access to racial benefits, unless you and your vessel are the same race (in which case, ignore this entire section). You gain the physical attributes of your new form, but none of the knowledge, training, or instinct that would come from being raised in such a body, or a different culture.
You keep your racial…
- knowledge, such as skill trainings, weapon proficiencies, or bonus feats
- practiced talents like Group Awareness, Group Diplomacy, or Swift Charge
- feats, except those that depend on racial powers.
- skill bonuses
- defense bonuses
You lose your current…
- racial powers (except for the half-elf’s Dilettante or the human’s bonus at-will)
- racial utility powers
You replace your racial…
- vision type/special senses
- saving throw bonuses
GM’s Note players are invited to make a case for why they should be allowed to maintain access to a given trait/power/feat. The conversion system laid out here isn’t perfect after all, and I’d rather have an open discussion than have everyone blindly follow these guidelines – and they are guidelines, not unbreakable rules.
Since your new body is essentially an unbeatable cover ID, you’ll have to make careful considerations about your equipment. Obscurati members definitely have access to magic items, but how suspicious will it look for a career scientist to carry around a greatsword?
Emotionally, this only has as much effect on your character as you think it should. Mechanically, this changes nothing.
Contests, Crises, and Rejection: Hazards of Possession
Under normal circumstances, you have full control of the vessel’s body, though you cannot access their personality, memories, or training. Your vessel’s consciousness is sealed away, and they will have no memory of what you do while possessing them. However, each day when you go to sleep, as well as the first time each encounter you become bloodied, and every time you attempt to enter Gestalt (see below), the vessel will fight to regain control of its body. This is called a Contest.
The vessel rolls an attack against your Will defense, using a modifier only known to the GM. It gains an additional bonus on the roll according to how well the initial Possession ritual was performed. If this attack hits, the vessel regains partial control, which is called a Crisis.
During a Crisis, you are effectively dominated (save ends). Each round, the vessel stumbles around and moves up to its speed while stammering and generally acting confused at its unfamiliar surroundings. If you haven’t regained control after the end of the third turn of a Crisis, it becomes a Rejection.
In Rejection, the vessel has full control of its body, and you become a helpless witness to anything it decides to do from that point on. It cannot use any of your powers and abilities, but can certainly cause a ruckus with its own talents, not to mention your equipment. After every five minutes of Rejection, you may attempt a saving throw to regain control (other creatures may not grant you a save early).
You may intentionally take on the risk of a possible Crisis or Rejection to enter Gestalt, a state in which you maintain full control of your vessel’s body while also perfectly emulating its memories and personality—essentially, you become incapable of failing a Bluff check rolled to pass yourself off as your vessel. Entering Gestalt will also allow you to use the vessel’s powers and languages as easily as the ones you already know.
To enter Gestalt (a free action which must be taken at the start of your turn), you essentially begin a Contest, but this time you are the attacker, targeting your vessel’s Will. Roll:
d20 + Wis or Cha + (level x 0.75, round down) + (any bonus keyed to Charm or Domination)
If you miss, you enter a Crisis. If you hit, you enter Gestalt for five minutes.