Tian Xia Exorcism
Cost: A high concept like Mercenary Demon-Hunter or Devout Bodhist Priest. Either Lore or Will (see below) at +1 or better.
The exorcism must choose from being faith-based or lore-based, a decision that has both story and mechanical consequences. No exorcist can be both.
Faith-based exorcists use their inherent spirituality to combat sorcery. The most famed are the Daoist monks of the Devil-Slaying Sword Sect. Such exorcists need only minor tools of their faith, such as prayer papers and chants, and must strictly adhere to the tenets of their faith. If sullied or made impure, they must purify themselves before being able to exorcise again. Their "exorcism skill" is Will.
Lore-based exorcists use occult knowledge to combat demons and spirits, but also to bind them. They need more tools to fight than those who wield faith — thick tomes, ritual daggers, incense burners, mirrors, bells, and more — and function at a disadvantage if deprived of their paraphernalia. However, they do not need spiritual purity. Their "exorcism skill" is Lore.
- Trade one Refresh to learn two techniques (both exorcism or optionally, if you know kung fu, one exorcism and one kung fu).
- Trade one stunt to learn one technique.
- Raise the exorcism skill, per the usual rules.
Using the Exorcism Skill
Whichever skill the exorcist relies on, Lore or Will, gains the following additional uses:
- Overcome. This skill works against mystical ailments and effects and can address sorcerous consequences. Burned or Frightened (for example) would not be inherently sorcerous consequences, so Exorcism would not help with them, but it could be used to overcome Cursed or Charmed.
- Create an Advantage. Exorcists can chant prayers or create charms (see below) to help others resist or ward off spiritual or sorcerous influence.
- Attack. This skill covers attacking spirits and creatures that can be banished or exorcised. Stress done with Exorcism is mental stress against those beings, and cannot be blocked or mitigated by purely physical armor or other mundane defenses. This is often done to end possession; see p. 48 of Spirits, Beasts & Spells for details.
- Defend. This skill cannot be used to defend. Many exorcists learn TianXia Kung Fu to protect themselves from angry spirits!
In addition to the above, exorcists can take time to prepare charms and prayer scrolls in advance. Use the rules for TianXia Alchemy, with the following adjustments:
- Charms use the exorcism skill.
- Charms cannot cause stress but can inflict a debilitating condition like Paralyzed on a supernatural creature. When creating such a charm, the exorcist must choose a type of foe it effects, such as ghosts, vampires, or demons. The difficulty is the subject's Will. Creatures with Chi +2 or better may instead use Chi to resist as an opposed roll.
- Alternatively, a charm can act as a ward against sorcerous magic, which can includes the abilities of many supernatural beings. A subject can benefit from only one such ward at a time. The difficulty is set by the GM, depending on the broadness of the charm.
The exorcist does not start with any techniques for free, but they can be added per Improving Exorcism, above. Anyone may learn General Techniques, but the Banishing and Binding techniques are restricted to Faith-based and Lore-based exorcists, respectively.
Poisoned Mirror: The exorcist can redirect a sorcerer's energy back at them. Success with style on a Defend against a mystical Attack lets the character describe turning the Attack back at the foe. Instead of generating a boost, inflict 1 stress on the attacker which cannot be blocked by any armor. Even though sorcerers are normally resistant or immune to Attacks of their element, the deflection infuses disruptive energies that they cannot ignore.
See with Eyes Unclouded: The exorcist’s senses and intuition are honed to the supernatural. He can use his exorcism skill in place of Notice or Investigate when it comes to such matters. (If his exorcism skill doesn't exceed the other skill, instead roll at +1.)
Spirit-Fighter: Even if normally unskilled at fighting, the character is adept at conflict against demons. She can use her exorcism skill in place of Fight or Shoot when battling supernatural creatures - though not to Attack mortal sorcerers, animals or people under spiritual command rather than possessed, or similar mundane foes. The character can use the skill to Defend against mystical-based assaults. (If her exorcism skill does not exceed the other skill, she instead gets a +1 bonus.)
Steeled Against Influence: When a spirit or demon attempts to influence the exorcist with magic, she has +2 to defend, and +2 to overcome the effect if the defense fails.
Faith-Based Techniques (Banishing)
Ghost Hands: The exorcist can choose to touch incorporeal beings and objects - including attacking them, unarmed or with melee weapons. This lets the hero use Fight to exorcise spirits as desired.
Indomitable Demands: If the exorcist inflicts a consequence on a banishable spirit, the only way it can address the consequence is to seek forgiveness or return to its native realm.
Lore-Based Techniques (Binding)
I Have Just the Thing!: The exorcist always carries charms or devices. Twice per session, she can declare that one relates to the exorcist or demon-hunting crisis of the moment. These are aspects, with a free invoke when declared.
Spirit Commander: If the exorcist takes a spirit out, instead of banishing it outright, he can force it to perform a task before it departs. The supernatural being executes the task to the letter, but cannot harm or act against the exorcist. Once it completes the task or is released from service, it is banished.