For the next Artifact sourcebook, there’s a jump in technology that moves the main story forward. It may look like power creep but it’s really core to the main story. Earth forces will adopt and adapt technologies found on The Artifact but the Chezbah have also been working on their own technologies.
Leading scientists have come to believe that The Artifact was built to alter matter for an unknown purpose. The name given to these alterations has been called “warping”. Loc and apparently a small number of other groups have had access to this technology but using it has been problematic. Although some technologies have been built around the warped matter such as the War Engines or Titans as they’re called by Earthers, no one has been able to give humans the ability to control warps. That is until recently.
Loc has made a breakthrough in enabling humans to produce their own warps. A number of his priests have been training to use the technology and they are first seen in action in 2090, in the Imbalance sourcebook. Earthers start to call these priests “Warpies”.
What is a warp and what can it do? More importantly, how does it happen? A warp is altered matter. Matter is always in motion in directions, or dimensions that humans don’t perceive directly. What we do see is the effects of the motion. This includes matter having gravity, it’s motion through time and space, particle decay and electromagnetic fields. If the motion of the matter is altered, the properties of the matter is altered.
For in game effects, this means that there are certain effects that a Warpie can accomplish. This includes moving through these other dimensions, a process called shifting. They can alter the effects of energy, either amplifying it or dampening it. They can twist the fabric of space into impassable “dark fields” with concentrated gravity fields. They can make short jumps through time and space. Each effect is modular and can be combined with other effects to accomplish different goals.
A warpie could double the power of a weapon and then double it again for a single turn, or they could double it and then make that last ten turns. They can increase the hit points and armor of a vehicle. They disrupt the normal conventions of the game, and that’s on purpose. The Artifact was never intended to be a static story where the world stayed the same. Instead, the idea was to move along with humanity’s adoption of this alien technology that’s just beyond our control.
I’ve only recently come up with a structure to define this technology. I’ve struggled with it for more than a decade, constantly refining it. Well, now it’s time to sit down and get it done.