Appendix A: The Houses of the Nexus
House Tocsin, aka "Barons": The members of this house love to challenge to the political framework of the Nexus in every way possible, fabricating loopholes, tricky explanations and outright confusion even in the simplest of rules. Its members thrive on the constant game of power that all Avatars play, and any Avatars unlucky enough to get involved in their politics soon find themselves drawn into the web as well. House Tocsin wants nothing more than to rule the Nexus and to exert their power over everyone else, even if it means resorting to underhanded schemes and dealings with less reputable factions of the Nexus. As long as they do it THEIR way.
First Tier Skill: Resistance to Coercion (M,Y+). An Avatar with this Skill will gain a bonus of +10 MIND against any type of coercive or suggestive or hypnotic Skill or Power (including Mesmerize, Possession and Enhanced Hypnosis). This Skill can not be combined with any other Mental Resistance Skill.
Second Tier Skill: Coercion (M,S). An Avatar with this Skill is able to use a Mental Action on another Avatar which, if successful, will allow the Avatar to coerce the target into doing one (strictly defined) service for a period of ten minutes. He may convey this concept through any form of communication which the target will understand (i.e. verbal, hand gestures, telepathy, etc.). This service cannot be in any way directly harmful to the target (i.e. plunging a knife into his chest), but may be indirectly harmful (i.e. having the target provoke a more powerful foe into a combat). This Skill may not affect Nexus Credits or Special Items in any way, and may not be used to force the target to perform ANY House Skill. Also, a target can only be forced to lose ONE Item per Coercion (whether by breaking it or giving it away, etc.). The command is given at the time of invocation of the Skill. The effects of the coercion will last for 10 minutes (outside of combat) or until the end of the combat. A target may NOT be re-coerced to perform the same type of action twice in one hour.
Third Tier Skill: Confusion (M,P,Y). An Avatar with this Skill is able to confuse any Avatar who is targeting him specifically with any Short Range (P) Action. He gains a bonus of +20 to his Defensive Calculation. Note that this Skill has no effect against any Item which has an Ability which is independent of the Avatar who is using it (i.e. it will have an effect against a sword because it is being wielded, but not against a machine. It also has no effect against any attacker with a current MIND Stat of 0.
Fourth Tier Skill: Enhanced Resistance to Hypnosis (M,Y+). An Avatar with this Skill will gain a bonus of +40 MIND against ANY type of coercive, suggestive or hypnotic Skill or Power (including Mesmerize, Possession and Enhanced Hypnosis). This Skill can not be combined with any other Mental Resistance Skill.
Fifth Tier Skill: Incite Violence (S). An Avatar with this Skill is able to start a combat regardless of the intentions of the Combatants which he names. He must choose two definitive sides and name as many Avatars (who are within audible range) as he wants to fill those two sides (minimum of two). He does not have to partake in the Combat, but can name himself as a Combatant if he wishes. The Avatar may then disappear as if he had successfully Fled. The resulting combat must go at least one round, at which point it can be ended if all Combatants agree. Usable only once per day.
Choosing House Tocsin
This is the third "bad guys" House, and perhaps the most misunderstood of all of the Houses. Its members tend toward the silly side, but always with an insidious agenda. Unlike Cleese members, who cause mischief for the sake of having fun, Tocsin members manipulate for their own gain, using whatever means they have at their disposal. Unlike Lightfoot members, who subscribe to the theory of "honor among thieves", Tocsin members have no allegiance to their House or their friends unless it suits their purposes. This is the most political of Houses and has some of the weirdest dynamics in the Nexus.
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