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Game systems

Primo Contatto

The result of many evenings with friends, a structured but flexible style of play and a challenge to create outstanding adventures on the border between magic and technology.

Time to read: ( words)

Introduction

This is James Taylor speaking from Atlantic node XC312. We have only 1 minute of transmission before our hyperio runs out for good. We have detected strange anomalies in ... Beware of ... God bless America!" The transmissions stop abruptly, as you watch your MTM completely shut down.

Quick start

Diventi’s philosophy

Endless adventures await those who do not settle for the status quo, but seek compelling stories through close collaboration between gamers and game masters.

Before we begin, lets get rid of all doubts: this is not a traditional manual. Quoting a famous painter, we would say: "Ceci n'est pas un manuel." 
Diventi is the implementation of a passion matured on the field, for an agile style of playing but rich in facets. We envisage this game as a toolbox with simple and well-defined compartments, adaptable to different preferences, but that do not require complicated instructions for proper operation. Below we will introduce original mechanics for the management of immersive elements that will help you in the creation of your adventures and that will give you, as players, different ideas of gaming and interaction. The mechanics that you will find in this book have been purposely thought to be familiar, but also compelling and strictly flexible to facilitate your preference in terms of improvisation. About one thing we are absolutely certain: whether you are power-players, lovers of interpretation, fans of the grid, or passionate storytellers: it is this game that will adapt to you, not the other way around.

How to read this book

In this book you will find all aspects of the game treated in a frank and intuitive fashion. You can read each chapter from end to end, or simply jump directly to the parts of interest. This book is yours and you, game master or player, shall decide which aspects to emphasize and which to leave out.

For those who play for the first time

Through role-playing games a group of friends can perform imaginary characters and live fantastic adventures. Here are the key terms to quick-start your game:
 
d20. It stands for "Diventi" or "20-sided dice". It can be rolled to solve checks and situations. Normally, the higher the result, the better.
Player. A member of the group who plays a fictional character.
Game master. The group member that designs situations and has the last word on what happens in the adventure.
Situation. Any scene narrated and proposed by the game master to the players.
Advantage. With advantage a player rolls 2d20 and keeps the highest result. 
Disadvantage. Similar to advantage, but the result that matters is the lowest.
Sandbox mode. Players interpret their characters without following a particular order.
Turn-based mode. Players act in turn according to a predetermined order.

Licence

This work is released under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Characters creation

A message to the players of Primo Contatto

A huge celestial object crashed down from the sky in South America, decimating the population and disabling any radio interface. It would be known later in history as Primo Contatto: the creation of the first bubble of magic.

A player character is a fictional alter ego, invented, and portrayed by you through your own imagination. In Primo Contatto you can create a human being close to today’s reality, an individual empowered by mechatronic elements, or a creature mutated by the sidereal influences that have forever changed the planet. Whatever you choose, you can make use of paranormal skills, sharpen your predispositions, and accumulate treasures that have emerged from ancient times. In Primo Contatto endless adventures await you in a world like ours, where the border between magic and technology has become increasingly blurred.

Characteristics

Characteristics represent the attitudes, the areas of specialization, and the level of experience of a character. Each one is described by a narrative text and numerical values that determine bonus or malus in ability checks.
 

Characteristic points

The characteristic points describe a character’s aptitudes in passing adverse checks, with scores ranging from -5 (poor), to 0 (average), to +5 (exceptional).
 
Audacity (Aud): it represents courage, physical prowess, and fortitude that a character can show. Checks related to Aud could be: climbing a wall, overcoming a fear, or resisting a poison.
 
Mastery (Mae): it represents the fruit of training, intuition, or knowledge of faculties that a character can possess. Checks related to Mae could be: distinguishing details with sight, recalling a memory, or crafting an object.
 
Destiny (Des): it represents the influence of external agents on the actions that a character undertakes. Checks related to Des could be: trying your luck, resisting the effects of an incurable evil, or praying for divine intercession.
 
All characters begin with initial points, but they may acquire more by going on an adventure.
 
 
Signature characteristic
At the beginning of their adventures, a character chooses one characteristic among Aud, Mae, and Des to be their favorite and increases its score by 1. This choice cannot be changed in future.
 
Enhanced characteristic
A characteristic can be further enhanced, usually temporarily, thanks to special situations, gifts, or equipment. An enhanced characteristic enables advantage in ability checks.
 

Defense

The defense score, or defense in short, describes a character’s level of protection, which ranges from 1 (poor), to 10 (average), to 20 (exceptional). All characters begin with an initial level of defense, but it is possible to improve it thanks to specific equipment or in particular situations described by the game master.
 
 
Defense checks
In dangerous situations player characters are normally entitled to a defense check, that is to a roll with d20 plus a pre-established characteristic, to avoid injuries or damage. The defense score instead comes into play in particular situations indicated by the game master, for example in case of quick situations, light dangers or sudden threats.
 
Enhanced defense
Defense can be further enhanced, usually temporarily, against a certain source of damage. Enhanced defense enables advantage in defense checks.
 

Life points

Life points are a numerical value that represents how much stress and damage a character is able to endure before falling unconscious or dying. All characters start with an initial level of life points, but it is possible to improve it thanks to specific equipment or in particular situations described by the game master.
 
 
Some actions, such as an attack action, can reduce a character’s life points. When life points reach a value 0, the character is considered as unconscious and stops acting. Other actions, such as resting, can regain life points, putting the character back in the game.

Gifts

A gift is a peculiar skill of your character. All characters create their own gifts by combining the following components:
  1. A flow that activates the gift and influences its strength
  1. A power that defines what the gift does
  1. A tool that describes how the gift propagates in space
All characters begin their adventures with a limited number of flows, powers, and tools, but they can acquire new ones by going on an adventure.
 

Flows

A flow is the intrinsic force that feeds the powers of all creatures, human and non-human alike. When a character acquires a new flow, they can decide to attach it to a gift or keep it in the reserve for future uses.
 
Configured flows: a flow is configured when it is inserted in a triplet, next to a power and a tool. Such a triplet defines a gift. A flow can be configured in a single gift at a time, it describes its type and indicates which characteristic must be used for the ability checks associated with it.
 
Reserved flows: player characters can keep a few of their flows in their reserve and use them to empower existing gifts on the fly. Empowering a gift lengthens the its launch time but unlocks a more powerful effect. Unless explicitly stated, a character cannot mix multiple flows with the same name.
 
The flows of Primo Contatto are divided into different categories, each with particular specificities:
  • Elemental flows: moving two elemental flows from the reserve to a gift requires 1 secondary action, instead of 2.
  • Psychic flows: a psychic flow activates a characteristic increase, both when configured or reserved. This increase is worth +1 or follows the character’s origin, if provided.
  • Sidereal flows: a configured sidereal flow adds a bonus of +3, instead of +1, to the attack check.
  • Technological flows: a technological flow counts as double in the effect of a gift. Technology does not normally work, but it can be awakened by gaining or spending hyperio.
 
 Flows table
D
Flow
AC
1
Fire
The elemental flow of fire feeds the warm heart of planet Earth.
Aud
2
Earth
The elemental flow of earth is all that surrounds us.
Aud
3
Water
The elemental flow of water is what transforms and feeds life.
Mae
4
Air
The elemental flow of air is creativity and freedom.
Mae
5
Life
The elemental flow of life is the link between all the inhabitants of planet Earth.
Des
6
Rage
The psychic flow of rage is the powerful manifestation of instinct.
Aud
7
Adrenaline
The psychic flow of adrenaline is an amplifier of all vital functions.
Aud
8
Spirit
The psychic flow of spirit is the inner force in each of us.
Mae
9
Discipline
The psychic flow of discipline is the force of a mind free of superfluous thoughts.
Des
10
Domination
The psychic flow of domination is the manifestation of willpower.
Des
11
Light
The sidereal flow of light is the lively energy of the cosmos.
Aud
12
Void
The sidereal flow of void is order and disorder at the same time.
Mae
13
Spacetime
The sidereal flow of spacetime envelops existence in a single homogeneous entity.
Mae
14
Plasma
The sidereal flow of plasma represents the manipulation of reality and physics.
Des
15
Antimatter
The sidereal flow of antimatter represents what is unknown, alien yet present.
Des
16
Metal
The technological flow of metal is the cause and effect of man’s progress.
Aud, Mae
17
Cybernetics
The technological flow of cybernetics is the ultimate product of knowledge and intellect.
Aud, Mae
18
Oil
The technological flow of oil represents the supremacy of man over all other creatures on planet Earth.
Aud, Des
19
Atom
The technological flow of the atom compensates power with instability and represents the ability to overcome our own limits.
Mae, Des
20
Electromagnetism
The technological flow of electromagnetism is linked to the interaction of objects at every point in space.
Aud, Mae, Des

Powers

A power word, or power in short, is a skill that player characters can manifest in combat or in general as they go on an adventure. Each power has two distinct effects:
  • A primary effect that can be used at will, as long as a character has built a complete gift and acts in turn-based mode.
  • An adventure effect that can be used in any game mode, but only once. An adventure effect can be recharged when certain conditions occur, depending on the power itself - see the “table of powers” down below.
All powers include a dynamic value that scales with the number of flows that the characters use when invoking their gift.
 
 Table of powers
D
Power word
1
Manifestation
  • Primary effect. Subtracts 1 life point + 1 additional life point per flow. This power cannot be used in 2 consecutive turns.
  • Adventure effect. Creates a shape whose complexity grows with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Creates a custom tool
  • Donates a significant object to an ally
  • Destroys an object of an opponent
2
Invocation
  • Primary effect. Subtracts 1 life point per flow, each turn and for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Raise, move, or throw objects and creatures. The strength of the effect increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Overcomes a difficult obstacle
  • Helps an ally overcome an obstacle
  • Creates an obstacle between him and an opponent
3
Alteration
  • Primary effect. Subtracts 2 life points + 1 additional life point per flow, but the power is activated after one turn.
  • Adventure effect. Changes the appearance of objects or creatures. The scope of these changes increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Pretends to be someone else
  • Helps an ally to temporarily change identity
  • Removes an opponent without engaging in direct combat
4
Tension
  • Primary effect. Subtracts 2 life points + 1 additional life point per flow. In the next turn the character is inhibited, that is, they can not invoke any gift.
  • Adventure effect. Separates or joins two parts of an object. The strength of the effect increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Forces a blocked passage
  • Helps allies to free themselves from a constraint
  • Immobilizes an opponent without engaging in direct combat
5
Punishment
  • Primary effect. Subtracts 1 life point. If the target is destabilized, immobilized, or incapacitated, it subtracts 2 life points + 1 additional life point per flow.
  • Adventure effect. Creates a fake image that persists until discovered as such. The higher the number of channeled flows, the more the illusion is convincing. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Makes a surprise entry into a combat situation
  • Helps an ally stay hidden
  • Lurks from the sight of their opponents
6
Remedy
  • Primary effect. Restores 2 life points + 1 additional life point per flow. Has no effect on targets with 1 or less life point. This power cannot be used in 2 consecutive turns.
  • Adventure effect. Allows the targets to recover their strengths up to the maximum of life points, but has no effect on characters with 1 or less life point. In addition, it sanitizes or cleans a zone by accommodating the gift’s area of effect. The duration increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Carries out a self first aid
  • Helps an ally after considerable physical exertion
  • Identifies an opponent’s weakness
7
Recover
  • Primary effect. Restores 1 life point per flow, each turn and for two turns. Has no effect on targets with 4 or more life points.
  • Adventure effect. Allows the targets to recover strength up to a maximum of 4 life points. In addition, it enables an additional defense check against long-term negative effects, such as poison, disease, or heavy stress. The check becomes easier with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Survives a deep wound or major danger
  • Encourages an ally after a traumatic situation
  • Cuts off an opponent’s supplies or ammunition
8
Cure
  • Primary effect. Restores 2 life points per flow, but the power is activated after one turn.
  • Adventure effect. Allows the targets to recover strength up to a maximum of 4 life points. In addition, it improves the quality of food and victuals in the area. Once eaten, the food gives advantage to the next ability check. The amount of improved food increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Retrieves food or supplies from the surroundings
  • Finds a safe haven for their allies
  • Locates a secret hideout or lair of an opponent
9
Martyrdom
  • Primary effect. Restores or subtracts 1 life point + 1 additional life point per flow. In the next turn the character is inhibited, that is, they can not invoke any gift.
  • Adventure effect. Allows the targets to regain strength up to their maximum life points. The number of targets is equal to that of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Completes a cycle of meditation
  • Supports punishment or adverse effect instead of an ally
  • Catches and keeps alive the leader of their opponents
10
Fortress
  • Primary effect. Adds 1 life point per flow to the targets, even exiding the normal maximum. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Creates a wall composed of the channeled flows. The duration increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Finds or creates a safe place to store their tools
  • Finds or creates a safe place for their allies
  • Breaks in or forces a place protected by their opponents
11
Instability
  • Primary effect. Inflicts the destabilized condition on targets up to 2 life points per flow, placing them in disadvantage against any ability check. This power lasts for three turns.
  • Adventure effect. Repairs a damaged object. The action becomes easier with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Builds a bridge or link between two separate places
  • Retrieves an object that has been damaged or abandoned by an opponent
12
Repulsion
  • Primary effect. Inflicts the rejected condition to 1 target per flow, forcing them to stay at a distance. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Captivates targets up to 2 life points per flow. Captivated targets shall answer truthfully to two consecutive questions. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Amicably explores the past of an ally
  • Tricks an opponent into a conversation or a disguise
13
Slumber
  • Primary effect. Inflicts the incapacitated condition on targets up to 2 life points per flow, preventing them from acting. Targets return to normal if they take damage. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Sleeps targets or banishes creatures from other worlds up to 2 life points per flow. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Skips a sleep cycle to the advantage of their allies
  • Captures and knocks out an opponent, keeping them alive
14
Camouflage
  • Primary effect. Activates the camouflaged condition to 1 target per flow, granting them advantage to both attack and defense checks. Attacking or taking damage interrupts the effect. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Camouflages 1 target per flow or allows to sense detailed information about tracks, directions, or paths. This effect can be applied to 1 check per flow. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Detects a relevant track or direction
  • Helps an ally stay stealthy after a difficult time
  • Passes a dangerous outpost without being spotted
15
Meta-transportation
  • Primary effect. Activates the accelerated condition to 1 target per flow, letting them use two secondary actions per turn instead of one. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Enhances a journey to the targets by means of a mount, wings, scales, or paws. The stability of the journey increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Solves a situation with a stunt or spectacular movement
  • Frees an ally from a constraint that restricts their movement 
  • Throws an opponent from their vehicle or mount
16
Psycho-physicality
  • Primary effect. Temporarily increases Aud attribute of the targets. The character can distribute a bonus of 2 points for each channeled flow. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Distributes to targets 2 advantages in Aud checks for each channeled flow. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Takes action outside their area of expertise
  • Helps an ally to deal in a situation out of their expertise
  • Demoralizes an opponent in a conversation
17
Agility
  • Primary effect. Temporarily increases Mae attribute of the targets. The character can distribute a bonus of 2 points for each channeled flow. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Distributes to targets 2 advantages in Mae checks for each channeled flow. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Performs an action in their area of specialization
  • Gifts a self-made item to an ally
  • Persuades an opponent in a conversation
18
Substance
  • Primary effect. Temporarily increases Des attribute of the targets. The character can distribute a bonus of 2 points for each channeled flow. This power lasts for two turns.
  • Adventure effect. Distributes to targets 2 advantages in Des checks for each channeled flow. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Faces a seemingly impossible situation
  • Helps an ally cope with a seemingly impossible situation
  • Scams an opponent in a conversation
19
Protection
  • Primary effect. Protects 1 target per flow from a condition that restricts movement or freedom of action, such as: destabilized, immobilized, incapacitated, slowed down, or repelled. This power affects a single ability check and then fades.
  • Adventure effect. Fortifies a position, preventing opponents from approaching. The strength of the fortification increases with the number of channeled flows. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Finds the direction to the next target
  • Finds safe shelter for their allies
  • Takes an opponent as hostage
20
Summoning
  • Primary effect. Summons a creature that mimics the character’s abilities. The character can transfer to the creature a number of powers from their reserve that is equal to the number of channeled flows. The creature’s abilities work with one flow each and inherit the effect area of the summoning gift. The creature persists for three turns.
  • Adventure effect. It makes the summoning permanent. The creature retains its powers for itself and remains faithful as long as it maintains a strong relationship with its summoner. It recharges before a rest when the character:
  • Takes care of a non-human creature of the world
  • Banishes an adversary non-human companion
 

Tools

A tool is an object that can be used as a means of attack, defense, or support. In particular, the tool determines a gift’s area of effect and defines how many and which targets will be reached by the gift’s power. Unless otherwise specified, a tool can be configured with only one gift at a time, and a character can use a limited number of tools.
 
 
Primo Contatto’s tools are divided into two categories: white and technological. White tools offer a wide choice of areas of effect and can be commonly used; the technological ones, instead, offer more powerful effects, but must be awakened with a special resource - hyperio - in order to operate.
 
Areas of effect for white tools
  • Touch. Reaches 1 target adjacent to the character. If the opponent is vigilant with a hand-to-hand tool, they can use advantage to avoid the blow.
  • Hand-to-hand. Reaches 1 target adjacent to the character.
  • Short distance. Reaches a target in the same zone of the character. If the opponent is in the immediate vicinity, they can use advantage to avoid the blow.
  • Long distance. Reaches a target even if they are in a different zone than the character. If the opponent is in the same zone, they can use advantage to avoid the blow.
  • Small area. Reaches 1 target in the zone and threatens 1 additional target, ally or opponent, in his immediate vicinity.
  • Large area. Threats up to 4 targets, allies or opponents, in a zone adjacent to that of the character.
 
Game masters and players can take advantage of the value associated with a tool to distribute loot or evaluate the strength of a dropped item.
 
 White tools table
Tool (value)
Properties
Bare hands (0)
Those who master them say that gifts are channeled firstly through the human body.
  • Area of effect: touch
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Blunt blade (1)
A tool recycled by the Survivors clan. It can make a difference in hand-to-hand conflicts.
  • Area of effect: hand-to-hand
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Saber-bayonet (3)
Tactical equipment for New United Nations envoys.
  • Area of effect: hand-to-hand
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
  • Flexible: it can be attached to a firearm to compose a single tool
Javelin-lance (2)
Device of offense and defense manufactured by the Xenowarriors. The tip is adorned with obsidian, teeth, or glass.
  • Area of effect: hand-to-hand or short distance
  • Functional: supports 1 power
  • Heavy: requires Aud +3 or higher
Fabric armor (2)
Quilted cotton protections designed by native Xenowarriors.
  • Area of effect: touch
  • Functional: supports 1 power
  • Partial cover: increases base defense to 10 and adds +1 life point, it does not stack with other armors
Sidereal armor (5)
Made of material similar to iron, but more durable and elastic. It adapts to the size of the wearer.
  • Area of effect: touch
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
  • Full cover: increases base defense to 12 and adds +2 life points, it does not stack with other armors
Light shield (1)
Made of wood or reeds, the Survivors clan uses it both for protection and decoration.
  • Area of effect: touch
  • Functional: supports 1 power
  • Robust: adds +1 life point, it does not stack with other shields
Studded shield (2)
The Protectors have created an iron-reinforced shield, useful in both defense and offense.
  • Area of effect: hand-to-hand
  • Functional: supports 1 power
  • Robust: adds +1 life point, it does not stack with other shields
  • Complex: requires Mae +3 or higher
Bionic prostheses (3)
Made of carbon fiber and titanium. They are equipped with a long-distance internal cannon. The Cusps stole this technology from international classified sources.
  • Area of effect: hand-to-hand or long distance
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
  • Experimental: the gun can only be used once if the user is not post-human, then it must be repaired by a resting action
Propeller (1)
The Survivors clan uses it to shoot small arrows with greater force and at a longer distance compared to the same use with their bare hands.
  • Area of effect: short distance
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Bolas (3)
Lightweight and flexible. They are the New United Nations' response for ranged combat when technology is not available.
  • Area of effect: short distance or small area
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Bulletstone (2)
Survivors' stories claim that the runestone placed on the stick collects the flows inside it and then shoots them like bullets in the immediate vicinity.
  • Area of effect: short distance
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
Flask-device (1)
Made of ceramic or lightweight plastic, the Cusps have designed this rudimentary bomb to store flows and release them on impact in all directions. 
  • Area of effect: small area
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Vulcanhorn (2)
Ancient relics stolen by the Protectors. This horns are able to collect the energy of flows in a sphere and launch it at medium distance in a parabolic motion.
  • Area of effect: small area
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
Dart launcher (2)
Ancient throwing weapon revisited by the Cusps. It is mounted on the forearm and is made of wood or carbon fiber.
  • Area of effect: short or long distance
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
  • Small: it reaches targets even at long distance, but with disadvantage
  • Complex: requires Mae +3 or higher
Bare bow (1)
The small size and ease of use of the tool makes an archer dangerous especially at long distance.
  • Area of effect: long distance
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Mystical rod (2)
Seemingly simple decorated sticks, these instruments convey flows in rays even at long distances. It is said that the Protectors have opened deep excavations to gather as many rods as possible.
  • Area of effect: long distance
  • Leading-edge: supports 3 powers
  • Mystic: requires Des +3 or higher
Sidereal blade (3)
This blade was stolen from the Fortress of the Three Moons. It is lightweight and adorned with luminescent metal scales. If necessary, the scales can detach and form a vortex around a designated point.
  • Area of effect: hand-to-hand or small area
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
  • Complex: requires Mae +3 or higher
 
Areas of effect for tech tools
 
 
  • Circle. Reaches 2 opponents adjacent to the character.
  • Pool. Reaches 1 opponent adjacent to the character and creates a pool at their feet. After 1 turn the gift manifests itself again on those who are on the pool.
  • Cone. Reaches 1 opponent in the same area as the character, plus 2 additional targets provided they are all adjacent.
  • Chain. Reaches up to 4 opponents in the line of fire, even if they are in areas other than that of the character.
  • Cluster. Threatens up to 2 opponents in the same area of the character. After 1 turn the gift manifests itself again by threatening 2 additional targets in the same area.
  • Rain. Threatens all opponents in the same area of the character.
 
 Tech tools table
Tool (value)
Properties
Kevlar bodice (2)
Ordinance protections distributed among the agents of the New United Nations.
  • Area of effect: circle
  • Functional: supports 1 power
  • Full cover: increases passive defense to 12 and adds +2 life points, it does not stack with other armors
Synthetic armor (5)
Developed in the most advanced atlantic laboratories, it supports a large amount of gifts without losing its protective effectiveness.
  • Area of effect: circle
  • Leading-edge: supports 3 powers
  • Full cover: increases passive defense to 12 and adds +2 life points, it does not stack with other armors
Ballistic shield (3)
Used to slow crowds, it can defend the carrier from both white and technology weapons.
  • Area of effect: cone
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
  • Robust: adds +1 life point, it does not stack with other shields
Pocket pistol (2)
It can discharge quick shots in close-up situations, but loses accuracy as the distance increases.
  • Area of effect: pool
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Mortar (4)
A sophisticated cannon armed with explosive bullets. It is usually installed on the forearm or behind the shoulder.
  • Area of effect: pool or cone
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
Short rifle (2)
Stolen and distributed by the Cusps, it offers good performance with a decent latency of fire.
  • Area of effect: cone
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
Grenade launcher (2)
The Cusps have armed every single bullet in order to detonate small flow fragments in all directions.
  • Area of effect: cluster
  • Functional: supports 1 power
Autonomous mine (3)
The flagship tool of the New United Nations, uses artificial intelligence to maximize its versatility.
  • Area of effect: cluster
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
Machine gun (4)
Once common modern weapon, now rare or smuggled. It offers the flexibility of the rifle and keeps its threat level high.
  • Area of effect: chain
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers
Rocket launcher (3)
Usable on vehicle or with both hands, the missiles search for enemies maximizing the potential for destruction.
  • Area of effect: rain
  • Advanced: supports 2 powers

Gifts set up

After choosing their flows, powers, and tools, players are ready to activate the gifts of their character. To configure a gift:
  1. Line up a flow, a power, and a tool
  1. Annotate the associated characteristic from the configured flow
  1. Choose an evocative name
 
 
The configuration phase is repeatable at will but it requires a rest action to be completed.
 
Gameplay example - The soul-fire palm. Alejandro had a hard day and he decides to vent his frustration against a lonely trunk. He invokes soul-fire palm - a powerful manifestation gift that channels the flows of fire and spirit. Manifestation subtracts "1 + 1 life points per flow" from the trunk and Alejandro has channeled 2 flows: his gift subtracts a total of 3 life points and creates a solid hole in the hardwood.

Suspended technology

In almost a third of the planet, all technological devices that humanity is accustomed to have suddenly died out. In the skies of South America planes fall, in the Caribbean Sea telecommunication is extinguished and ships lie like wrecks between the waves of the sea or on the ocean floor. A sort of invisible bubble has separated the world into two blocks: one is similar to ours and still has access to all the services that make life as we know it, the other is devoid of any technology but has come in contact with a primordial yet forgotten force: magic. In the world of Primo Contatto magic and technology coexist and interact with each other as sides of the same coin.
 

MTM

MTM: Military Tactics Machine

The MTM is a modular, biotechnological device integrated in the human body, which allows the storage of hyperio units and enables access to special effects thanks to its subsystems. An MTM is always composed of one color, one chassis and at least one subsystem. 
 
 
To generate an MTM players use two methods: roll 3d20 and write down the results or choose the combinations they like with the mediation of the game master.
 
 Colors table
D
Color
1
Crimson
2
Olive green
3
Electric blue
4
Pure gold
5
Silver
6
Copper
7
Carbon
8
Steel
9
Zinc white
10
Jade
11
Charcoal
12
Clay brown
13
Intense black
14
Agate
15
Sandy yellow
16
Ivory
17
Pearl blackberry
18
Papyrus white
19
Pure green
20
Combination of two colors. If it rolls 20 again the combinations are three, and so on.
 
 Chassis table
D
Chassis design
1
A bracelet made of tempered steel covers the entire forearm up to the elbow.
2
An almost entirely subcutaneous bracelet is attached to a carbon ring at the wrist.
3
Two separate rings on the forearm enclose the circuits under a transparent fiberglass film.
4
Multiple visible screws keep the iron shell fixed as if it were an armor bracelet.
5
Hardened carbon laces hold the dials securely bound to the wrist.
6
Shimmering emerald green circuits cover the entire right arm from shoulder to wrist.
7
Small electric spheres constantly fluctuate at shoulder height.
8
A large metal dial is firmly tied to the wrist by hardened carbon laces.
9
Three round dials in a bracelet swirl like wheels clockwise and anticlockwise.
10
A large round dial installed on the chest encloses dozens of virtual hands swirling in all directions.
11
A carbon belt encloses two cybernetic sideburns at the height of the hips.
12
A criptex wrapped around the arm continuously swirl in a whirlwind of countless letters and numbers.
13
A metal cap covers part of the head and is equipped with a luminescent cybernetic eye.
14
Three nano fiber cable ties wrap around the neck, while energy flows continuously flow along the small integrated circuits in the frame.
15
A metallic facial mask covers the lower part of the face, until it connects to the two ruby red discs at the ears.
16
Three thimbles equipped with a LED light project geometric shapes as holograms.
17
A network of magnetic ink tattoos covers the forearm and part of the palm of the hand.
18
A titanium alloy ring levitates just above the forehead. Neuronal cables are connected with small suction cups.
19
An oral appliance rests against the palate. It releases nanorobots into the blood of the carrier by chemical means.
20
Combination of two chassis. If it rolls 20 again the combinations are three, and so on.
 
 Subsystems table
D
Subsystem
1
A flexible container has on the body a pressurized camouflage suit that can blend perfectly in any type of environment.
2
Two thrusters on the sides are activated and provide a boost capable of overcoming any form of impediment.
3
A remote-controlled camera is placed on the face like a mask, changing its features in those of a known or described person.
4
A semi-autonomous drone attaches to the temples to drastically speed up cognitive functions. In this state it is possible to perform an additional primary action in your turn or in the current situation.
5
A sensor accelerated by artificial intelligence is activated under the skin, generating a clone of themselves for the current situation. The clone can absorb a single attack or one negative condition and then disappears.
6
A micro LED antenna connects to the nervous system, allowing you to identify the exact location of nearby, albeit hidden, living creatures.
7
A pair of binocular lenses visualize a distant area with an artificial optical system, allowing you to see and feel as if you were in the immediate vicinity. 
8
A first aid kit automatically disposes roll of bandages, dressing tweezers and antibiotic, immediately closing the last suffered injury.
9
A high-frequency ultrasound generator zeros the minds of a nearby target for a few moments, immediately interrupting its actions.
10
An experimental nanocell enters the circulatory system, optimizing the balance between toxins and excitants. In this state it is possible to eliminate a negative condition or to double the duration of a positive one.
11
A laser pointer automatically searches for the target, projecting a LED beam with millimeter accuracy. With such targeting you can automatically overcome the defense or any resistance of a target.
12
An electrolyte capacitor releases an energizing discharge into the nervous system, freeing the mind from conditions that control it or attracting to itself a designated target, like a kind of magnet.
13
A safety chamber releases a synthetic wing cloak that allows you to jump forward, glide safely or break free from a condition that restricts movement.
14
A miniature cube opens to form a cybernetic shield that can hinder movement and absorb a direct threat to an ally.
15
A sidereal stone reveals the detailed properties of an object and allows you to see up to 1 minute into the future.
16
A pair of lenses display detailed information about an individual and can captivate a target through a simple glance.
17
A nano-first-aid kit injects the body with a dose of epinephrine that nullifies the pain. As long as the epinephrine is active it is not possible to fall unconscious, incapacitated or knocked down by any injuries.
18
A biochemical membrane is automatically placed on the arms, legs and chest, transforming the body into that of a known or described creature. The membrane cannot change the weight and dimensions of its user.
19
A microprocessor manifests a cloud of nano-shields, creating an impassable wall of 2 square meters in the immediate vicinity. 
20
An electrolytic device releases smoke into the air, completely hiding targets from view or artificial detection.

Hyperio and tech-awakening

There are times when a single action can affect the consequences of the story. An agent could reactivate a satellite and eliminate the lair of a criminal organization, a survivor could hook a cybernetic robot to overcome an impossible cliff or a spy could open a gap between two dimensions to relive an event of the past.
 
Hyperized effect
Requirement
Activate a technological tool for all the current situation
Spend 1 unit of hyperio
Activate a subsystem of the MTM
Spend 1 unit of hyperio
Using a technological flow
Have 1 or more units of hyperio in reserve
The balance between hyperio spending and accumulating is a tactical choice explicitly foreseen by the game.
 

Accumulating and storing hyperio

To trace how much hyperio a character has available we refer to simple units, without dwelling on specific concepts such as weight or size. A character can accumulate hyperio in the following ways:
  1. Moving a flow from the reserve to the MTM, thus obtaining 1 unit
  1. Extracting material from sources reported by the game master, such as natural deposits, abandoned warehouses or equipment
Hyperio can be stored for a certain period, but tends to degrade with time: when characters take a rest action they lose a certain amount, but the flows previously stored in the MTM return to reserve (see section "Rest").

Relationships

Relationships are a list of facts, links, or specificities that enriches a character and their group. Their use is exclusively narrative, representing an important tool for both players and game masters to emphasize team-playing and make the character unique. All characters begin with initial relationships, but they can acquire more by going on an adventure.
 
 
A group bond expresses a common experience among all the characters, such as belonging to a society, having a shared value or ideals. A personal peculiarity is a physical or psychological aspect that distinguishes the character from others.
 
Relationships become more useful the more they are shared between game masters and players. Not being constrained by mechanics, they lend themselves strongly to interpretation and can be expressed in short sentences or longer stories. Any version is valid if approved by the game master and compatible with the preferences of the player who interprets them.
 
Gameplay example - A group bond. Alejandro, Will Taylor and Damian have joined the New United Nations to explore South America to find out secrets about Primo Contatto.
 
Gameplay example - Mutual respect. Will Taylor has learned to respect Alejandro: there is something about him that reminds him not to take himself too seriously. 
 
Gameplay example - Alternative forms. Damian is a hyperian shapeshifter, he can evoke a white tail similar to that of a fox.

Origins

An origin defines where a character was born and where they lived most of their past life. There are various origins from which you can choose and each of them includes important aspects that will refine your character’s relationships.
 

Native

As a native you experienced Primo Contatto firsthand and came out alive. You may not be able to rely on modern technology as before, but the forces of nature have awakened a latent power in you.
  • For each psychic flow you control add +1 Aud, -1 Des or +1 Mae, -1 Des, or +2 Des
  • Additional flow: choose an additional flow and add it to your list
  • Add a relationship related to the location of the adventure
 

Foreigner

Primo Contatto has forever changed all civilizations on the planet. You have lived the event from afar, immersed in a society that sees it both as an opportunity for scientific progress and as a potential threat to humanity.
  • For each psychic flow you control add+1 Aud, or +1 Mae, or +1 Des
  • Fast learner: add an additional +1 to your signature characteristic
  • Add a relationship with a society of the contemporary world
 

Hyperian

After Primo Contatto a material never seen before came out of the bowels of the Earth: hyperio. You have undergone excessive exposure to hyperio and it seems that this has generated in you a psychophysical mutation.
  • For each psychic flow you control add +1 Aud, -1 Defense or +1 Des, -1 Defense, or +1 Mae -1 Defense, or +2 Defense
  • Additional power: choose an additional power and add it to your list
  • Add a relationship that describes the mutation you’ve been through
 

Post-human

As a post-human, you have a biological heart and an artificial brain. You’re one of the very few technologies that continues to work around the planet.
  • For each psychic flow you control add +2 Aud, -1 Des or +2 Des, -1 Mae, or +2 Mae, -1 Aud
  • Persistent hyperio: you do not lose any units of hyperio after a rest action
  • Add a relationship that describes the digital part that composes you
 
Player characters choose their origin at the beginning of the adventure, after which it can no longer be modified.

Predispositions

Predispositions represent a set of abilities the characters are particularly drawn to. Abilities granted by a predisposition are released gradually through three levels: talented, expert, and master. All characters begin at a talented level, but they can gain progress by going on an adventure.
 

Elemental

  • Talented: you feel an affinity with the planet and all its elements. Choose an elemental flow: from now on it will be considered your signature’s. When you use your signature flow to empower a gift, you gain advantage to attack checks.
  • Expert: the power of the natural elements flows through your veins. You can configure two gifts, instead of one, with your bare hands.
  • Master: you are able to manipulate the elements to your liking. When you use a gift with your signature flow, an elemental alter ego appears at your side and immediately invokes a mirror gift. The mirror gift inherits the original’s elemental flows, power and area of effect.
 

Psychic

  • Talented: you are particularly inclined to exert your influence in the world. Choose a psychic flow: from this moment on it will be considered your signature flow. When you use your signature flow to empower a gift, you can add to the effect a condition between destabilized, incapacitated and repelled.
  • Expert: your mental capacity is disruptive. You can use your signature flow to configure two gifts, instead of one.
  • Master: you are able to impose your ascendant in the world. Add +2 to your signature characteristic. In addition, your defense is permanently enhanced against destabilized, incapacitated, and repelled conditions.
 

Sidereal

  • Talented: Primo Contatto has given you a psychophysical mutation. Choose a sidereal flow: from now on it will be considered your signature flow. When you use your signature flow to empower a gift, you can make 1 additional secondary action.
  • Expert: you have awakened knowledge lost in ancient times. Once for rest, when you fail an ability check, you can decide to try it again.
  • Master: body and soul are now close to a new reality. Two pairs of wings allow you to make incredible leaps: you can make movement actions by employing half the actions normally required (minimum 1).
 

Tecnological

  • Talented: you are a child of the Third Millennium. Choose a technological flow: from now on it will be considered your signature flow. You can use your signature flow when hyperio units drop to 0.
  • Expert: technological advancement gives you incredible flexibility. You can change the power of a gift configured with your signature flow by spending a free action, instead of a rest action.
  • Master: you master the vanguard of progress. When you spend hyperio its effect lasts twice as long.

Gameplay

In this chapter we tackle the mechanics behind the game, including the management of ability checks, movement, and time. In particular, we introduce the concept of game modes: a mechanics that helps to determine how many actions a character may perform in a given situation.

Free-form mode

While in free mode the game master presents situations with no particular time or order limits. This mode is particularly suitable for:
  • Exploration
  • Interaction with objects or other characters
  • Carry out activities that do not have time constraints
 
 
A free-form situation can be handled by the following steps:
  1. The game master proposes a situation
  1. Some players intervene, suggesting possible actions
  1. The game master asks for a contribution to players who have talked less than the others
  1. The game master states the final consequences
 
 Gameplay example - The trip
Game master: “You are miraculously alive. You get up and land on the coast of the Americas, the sand is white and warm, while your lifeboat lies in pieces on the dock just beyond. The fortress of which you have heard so much can be seen on the horizon, surrounded by a fog of lights of many colors. How do you organize yourselves to cross the rainforest that separates you from the destination?”
Alejandro Alivera: “I rise from the ground, spitting sand. I thank the luck for having assisted me once again and I start looking for my companions and our strange android-guide.”
Doctor Kringle: “I open my eyes and realize that I have been thrown several meters from the shore. Miraculously unharmed, I get up too, I see Alejandro and I check MTM to see where we are.”
Will Taylor: “I have a few more minutes to swim to land. I feel drenched, but also relieved once standing on this quiet sunny day. I enjoy a few moments of calm, I take a deep breath and I scan the horizon in search of fires or signals from other groups within our reach. Our goal is to avoid unnecessary contact and proceed with speed.”
Game master: “Your MTM do not respond to any command, the screens return intermittent screens, as disturbed by something in the air. There’s no way to tell if you’re alone. The experimental Byte model, programmed by the NNU to guide you to the fortress, lies at the edge of the beach, on standby. You see, Byte looked like a man in every way, except for the steel arm that betrays his true nature.
Byte: “I proceed with my localisation  routine. I consult the maps and check the fastest passage to reach the fortress. I also make sure to adjust my pace with that of my teammates."
Game master: “Ah! Byte, you have to wait for the combined password of Alejandro, Kringle and Will. Once activated by the pass-word you quickly proceed in the deep forest that lies ahead. With Will’s help, you locate traces of an inner camp and avoid unnecessary contacts. The land here seems to have returned to a primordial state, the plants grow luxuriant and the typical fauna stands out here and there as you cross the dense palms. It is evening when you finally arrive in Caracas. Among the ruins of the city there is a huge crystal fortress, bent on one side after the fall from the sky. There is no doubt: you have arrived."

Turn-based mode

In turn-based mode the player characters act in a predetermined order. This game mode is particularly suitable for:
  • Combat
  • Hectic events
  • Managing situations that include a tactical atmosphere
 

Initiative

The characters generate an order of initiative by rolling 1d20 plus a characteristic established by the game master. Initiative defines the order of rounds, from the highest to the lowest number. Initiative checks can be calculated situation by situation or once for all at the beginning of the game session.
 
 Esempio di gioco - La trattativa
Game master: ”General Carson is convinced that you have to make it with what you have, but he gives you a minute of his time to convince him otherwise. Please roll 1d20 for initiative using your Des, let’s see if you’re lucky enough to cope with him.”
Alejandro Alivera [rolls 1d20+Des and gets 13]: “I’m ready to reply!”
Doctor Kringle [rolls 1d20+Des and gets 11]: “Ok, I feel I’m quite ready too.”
Will Taylor [rolls 1d20+Des and gets 1]: “I’m not sure what he meant with that last phrase…”
Game master: "General Carson got 20, these power games are his daily bread. The order of play will be General Carson, Alejandro, Doctor Kringle and finally Will."

The turn of play

The player has one primary action and one secondary action. Ability checks require precisely a certain type of action, but a primary can always act as a secondary without any penalty.
 

Invoking gifts

A gift can be invoked if the character has lined up a flow, a power, and a tool. In a turn it is possible to invoke a gift declaring its name and investing a certain number of actions. To invoke a gift it is necessary to invest at least 1 primary action.
 

Empowering your gifts

When player characters have flows in reserve they can decide to lengthen the launch time of a gift to add them to the action and get a stronger effect. The final effect must be determined by reading the description of power. To empower a gift it is necessary to invest additional secondary actions equal to the number of flows. Once the flows are used for the empowerment they become spent and may return available only after a rest action.
 
 Gameplay Example - The Cold Steel Fist
Game master: “Bytes, despite your repeated blows, the crystal does not give a hint of subsidence. Its surface reminds you that of a diamond…”
Byte: “Uhm, not even pure force is enough? Very well, I active protocol 2.0. Game master? Once again I invoke my iron fist gift, but I also empower it with the flow of water.”
Game master: “You were smart to let the water flow in reserve, but invoking a gift with two flows will consume your entire turn. Please, roll an attack check and describe to us how the steel fist also intercepts the cold power of water. The crystal’s defense is 10.”
Byte [rolls 1d20+Mae and gets 12]: “Sure, there’s no time to waste. Now, I diverge my cooling systems directly on the palm of my hand. Closing it, my fist not only turns into a hard metal ball, but drops a slight frost of cold. The gift inflicts 2 metal damage plus 1 additional damage from cold."
Game master: “Your fist enters the crystal like a wrecking ball, smashing it into hundreds of pieces in an instant. The road is now clear.”

Interact with the environment

A situation, in addition to affecting characters and antagonists, could include objects, traps, other actors or environmental events. In their turn player characters can invest a secondary action to interact with such objects and use them according to their purposes. The game master may require an ability check to refine the consequences of such action.
 

Move

In a situation the game master can organize a place in several zones. Player characters must spend one secondary action to move within a zone and two secondary actions to move from one zone to one that is adjacent. The game master may require an ability check or change the cost of the movement action if the space is particularly difficult to cross.
 

Perform a tactical maneuver

Any character may spend a secondary action to perform a maneuver and improve their combat situation. All characters have access to the same set of maneuvers, but choosing one over another can make the difference between a short-term or longer-term success.
 
Strike. Subtracts 1 life point from a target in the area of effect indicated by the tool. The character is required to make an attack check to verify that the blow went to score.
 
Get ready. Grants an instant bonus of +2 at attack checks. A character can prepare up to 2 times, bonuses are cumulative. Making another maneuver, other than getting ready, immediately resets the bonuses previously accumulated. Preparing several times over the limit prolongs the duration of the effect.
 
Parry. The character chooses an opponent and reduces any damage suffered by them by 1 life point. You can parry multiple times, but each time you have to choose different opponents. Parrying multiple times to the same opponent renews the effect, otherwise the maneuver lasts until the next turn.
 
Dodge. The character enhances their defense from attacks suffered by a chosen opponent. You can dodge multiple times, but each time you have to choose different opponents. Dodging several times to the same opponent renews the effect, otherwise the maneuver lasts until the next turn.
 
Release. Doubles the bonuses provided by the "get ready" maneuver. A character can release only after accumulating the same maneuver 2 times. The effect lasts until the next turn.
 

Reawakening technology

If the character accumulates at least 1 unit of hyperio their technological flows become available. Also you can spend hyperio to activate powerful hyperized effects installed in the MTM (see chapter "Suspended technology").
 

Spending free actions

At the discretion of the game master a character can perform actions at no cost. Opening a door, shouting a sentence, recalling a memory are possible free actions that the game master could grant. This rule has no specific limits and adheres more to the principle of common sense than others.
 
 Table of actions and related costs
Action
Cost (actions)
Spending hyperio
Free
Interact with the environment
1 secondary
Move in the current zone
1 secondary
Move changing zone
2 secondary
Performing a manoeuvre
1 secondary
Moving a flow from the reserve to the MTM
1 secondary
Invoking a gift with 1 flow
1 primary
Invoking a gift with n flows
n actions, with at least 1 primary

Ability checks

The ability check is the tool available to game masters and players to determine whether the character is successful in a situation. During the session the game master announces the ability check, lays down a numeric threshold and decides the associated characteristic. The player faces the ability check rolling 1d20 and adding the characteristic proposed by the game master. The final result is determined by the golden formula:
 
 
The ability check is successful when the result exceeds the reference threshold laid down by the game master.
 
Enhancement and weakening. An enhanced characteristic allows the character to face the ability check with advantage - i.e. rolling the 2d20 and choosing the best result. In some cases a characteristic may be weakened that is put at a disadvantage. An ability check with disadvantage is faced by throwing 2d20 and choosing the worst result.
 
Combat checks. When a character or an object of the environment challenge one or more targets, a specific check must be solved, opposed between attacker and defender. Both are required to make a 1d20 roll and add up the characteristic shown in the main flow of the gift, if available, or alternatively a characteristic indicated by the game master. If the defenders possesses the same flow, they have the right to use their signature characteristic to avoid the shot. To solve a tactical maneuver attacker and defender can always use their signature characteristic.
 
 Table of combat checks
Attacker gets a higher value than the defender
Attacker passes the check successfully
Gift: full effect.
Maneuver: full effect.
Attacker gets a value equal than the defender
Attacker passes the check partially
Gift: half effect.
Maneuver: no effect.
Attacker gets a lower value than the defender
Attacker fails the check
Gift: no effect.
Manouver: no effect.
Simplified combat check. The game master replaces the defender’s roll with their defense score. The results remain the same as the ones mentioned above. The simplified attack check is suitable for fast situations or when the defender is caught by surprise.
 
 Gameplay example - The fire blast
Game master: "Will, to your left Alejandro is doing everything he can to unlock the door. In front of you three hyperians advance undeterred. How do you react?"
Will Taylor: "It is no time to make scruples. I grab the American crossbow, charm the tile with my fire dart and point to the nearest hyperian."
Game master: "Very well Will, proceed with the attack check. Hyperians do not spend energy to protect themselves, their defense is 10."
Will Taylor [rolls 1d20+Aud and gets 13]:  "Hit! The dart cuts through the air before exploding on the hyperian. The gift deals 2 elemental points of damage"
Game master: “The fire ignites, completely enveloping the hyperian in a tongue of flames. In its place remain only ashes.”
  Gameplay example - Identify new flows (standard ability check)
Game master: "Dr Kringle, in front of you a giant crystal pulses with celestial energy. A vague figure can be seen between the walls of the stone, apparently asleep. You sense a latent, dormant power coming from within."
Dr Kringle: "I look at the crystal for a few moments before I realize that I should probably try to figure out exactly what’s in front of me. I would like to focus attention on the walls and try to identify the nature of the power I feel."
Game master: "Good idea, but it will take a proper ability check. Choose Aud if you feel the courage to touch the walls, or Mae if you trust your intuition more."
Dr Kringle [rolls 1d20+Mae and gets 19]: "I’m definitely keeping my distance as I look at the surface of the crystal."
Game master: "You observe small, but severe cracks on the surface of the crystal. A fluffy and warm energy inspires you confidence, while you see it disappear into thin air, as if it transcended reality. It is the sidereal flow of space-time.
 Gameplay example - Activate a special object (ability check without rolls)
Game master: "Alejandro, you found it. A living stone sculpture encloses a pool of crystal clear water a few meters from you. What do you do?"
Alejandro Alivera: "I approach intrigued and glance at the surface of the water. What do I see?"
Game master: "The pool is enchanted: from the reflections of the water you see the contours of a reflected room. The pool requires more power to refine the image. Are you evading the request?"
Alejandro Alivera: "Ah! I would say no. I touch the edge of the tub with my fingertips, trying to feel the vibrations of the water. I concentrate, I would like to release part of my spirit to enter into communion with the figure."
Game master: "The pool vibrates slightly, as if a stone had plunged into the center of the image. When the waters subside you see it clearly: the room of the celestial nucleus. A large floating crystal reflects celestial light in all directions."
 Gameplay example - Overcome a difficult task (ability check with advantage)
Game master: "Will, wherever your eyes lay, you see high oblique walls. Built by non-human hands, it’s amazing how they could have resisted, despite the ruinous fall from the sky. Magnificence aside, they are an obstacle. You don’t see openings. What do you do?"
Will Taylor: "To hell with the walls! We will climb them like any other building. They will be tens of meters high, but I don’t fear them. I have the climbing kit with me."
Game master: "Very well, you will need an ability check for this. Choose Mae if you feel confident in your climbing skills, or Aud if you want to make the most of your equipment. Either way, since you use the kit, you can use advantage on your next roll."
Will Taylor [rolls 2d20+Mae and gets 15]: "Not great, but can I aim for the top?"
Game master: "It takes you almost two hours and several attempts. But finally, you reach the top of the eastern tower. When you’re panting, you realize that you don’t have to exert yourself to stay in balance: despite the inclined plane, your feet remain firmly anchored to the surface."

Conditions

Player characters begin their adventure in normal condition, that is in full power to use gifts and various abilities. Particular situations may leave them in different conditions, yet favorable or unfavorable, usually for a limited period of time.
 
 Table of conditions
Condition
Destabilized
You’re at a disadvantage in any ability check.
Immobilized
You cannot perform movement actions.
Incapacitated
You cannot act. The loss of life points immediately removes this condition.
Inhibited
You can’t invoke gifts.
Invisible
You cannot be spotted or be the target of an attack check.
Camouflaged
You have a advantage on both attack and defense checks.
Slowed
You must spend 1 primary action to move, interact or perform a tactical maneuver.
Rejected
You cannot attack or move towards who or what caused this condition.
Stunned
You can’t act, even if you lose life points.
Accelerated
You can use 1 additional secondary action each turn.
Enhanced
You can use 1 additional primary action each turn.
 
Adding new conditions
The game master can add new conditions to their liking. Improvising new conditions is possible by assigning advantage or disadvantage to ability checks following a principle of common sense.

Rest

Between one adventure and another, the characters can enjoy moments of worldly life, relaxation and recovery. Rest is a free-form action dedicated to the consolidation of ideas or relationships, the treatment of wounds and the reconfiguration of gifts. At the end of a rest action player characters max out their life points, reset any negative condition and recover in their reserve any flow previously used to empower their gifts.
 
Unless otherwise specified rest progressively degrades the accumulated hyperio.
 

Managing distances

When the game master considers that space is important, they can introduce into the game the concept of zone: a zone is an area of abstract space to which the game master assigns a name such as "the corridor", "the kitchen", "behind the counter", etc. 
 
Movement. The interaction between zones and actions works as follows: 
  • A character can reach anyone in the same zone by spending 1 movement action.
  • A character can reach an adjacent zone by spending 2 movement actions.
 
Area effects. When a gift, a trap or a benefit involve multiple targets, they must solve a combat check:
  • If the effect is harmful, the characters affected are the ones who get the lowest results
  • If the effect is positive, the favorite characters are the ones who get the highest results
 
 
In the event of a tie, those who equalized suffer or gain the full effect.
 
 Gameplay example - Keeping track of zones
DUNGEON ENTRANCE
Zone 1
Will Taylor
Byte
← Adjacent characters
Dr.ssa Red
←  To reach her, Will must spend 1 movement
HEAD OF THE EXCAVATOR
Zone 2
Kael
←  To reach him, Will must spend 2 movements

Leading adventures

A greeting to the game masters of Primo Contatto

In this chapter we introduce a collection of contents entirely dedicated to game masters. Imagine it as a toolbox suitable for all eventualities: at the base we propose narrative situations, then variants such as montages, the combined actions and many other tools to help those who want to build a gaming experience full of fun and satisfaction.

Narrative situations

A narrative situation, or simply a situation, is the elementary component of any adventure. To design a situation the game master mentally visualizes a particular, describes a fragment of story and leaves players free to act and interact with the environment. Here are the steps we propose to design a meaningful situation:
 

Step 1: Focus on a particular

The game master chooses a detail and keeps it in mind for the next steps. Here are some useful elements to make an effective start:
  • An ally or an opponent that we consider important.
  • A fantastic location to explore.
  • An incredible creature.
  • A past event that marked the characters.
 

Step 2: Implement the situation

An eye-catching description makes our world plausible and helps players empathize. To describe a situation:
  1. We list the aspects. Let’s follow the detail we chose in phase 1 and enrich it with some keywords that recall objects or specificities of the place. Characters can use the aspects to interact or search for secrets.
  1. We describe the environment. We use aspects to develop a place in natural language. At this stage there is no right or wrong approach, let us be guided by imagination.
 

Step 3: Leave control to the players

Once the description is finished we stop and listen. Let’s make sure that each player contributes and give us time to determine the final outcome of the characters' actions. To stimulate the imagination we avoid establishing solutions a priori and we try to keep an open mind.
 

Optional phase: assigning ability checks

The game master can decree the use of d20 to pass a certain challenge. In this case it is necessary to identify a suitable characteristic and propose it to the players. If the situation becomes crucial for the continuation of the adventure or is preparing to result in a fight a single ability check may not be enough. In this case it is possible to apply additional techniques useful to feed a compelling atmosphere or to oil the end of the current situation (see sections "Enrich combat situations" and "Manage ability checks").
 
Situations are the fundamental elements to compose an adventure. They can be prepared in advance or improvised on the fly, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to help us keep an open mind to foster interactions between all players.
 
 Gameplay example - The abandoned station
Phase 1: lay down the particular
Abandoned gas station.
Step 2: describe
Aspects: creaking door, weed trunk, gasoline spouts.

This regional road used to be a busy long-distance ring road. Today blocks of rainforest occupy the edges of the roadway, while small plants seem to make their way between the older points of the asphalt. On the side there is a former gas station, split in the center by a preponderant tree trunk.
Step 3: leave control
The Survivors' informant is hidden inside the facility and if questioned will answer a question per character. If threatened he will defend himself properly using his skills.
Bonus: introduce a treasure
If all the characters ask a question, the informant will reveal a secret useful to the cause.

Combined actions

Combined actions are a useful tool to manage unconventional situations, to stimulate the sense of collaboration between characters or to generate a high-tension event. A combined action follows the same rules as the turn-based mode, but all the characters involved are acting at the same time, regardless of the original order. To manage a combined action:
  1. The game master interrupts the normal turns and declares the beginning of a combined action.
  1. Characters who wish to contribute give up their normal turn and explain how their characters intend to cooperate in resolving the situation proposed by the game master.
  1. The game master decides on the outcome of the situation, subject the characters to any ability checks.
  1. The following turns resumes as usual.
Combined actions can be used to reward the spirit of collaboration between players and because they disrupt the normal narrative flow, they can help capture or regain the attention of our players. Combined actions work best when used with a certain infrequency, alternating them with the other narrative tools described in this chapter.
 
 Gameplay example - The liberation of Yixir
Game master: "After a chase without quarter you find yourself cornered, the guerrillas of the Protectors have closed the escape routes. What do you do?"
Alejandro Alivera: "Okay, it’s almost done. Where’s the hyperian we found in the cells, Will?"
WIl Taylor: "I’m looking for Yixir."
Game master: “Will, Alejandro, il vostro sguardo si posa sulla cima alla collina. Yixir è legata da catene magiche ad una gabbia elettrificata. Sembra svenuta.”
Alejandro Alivera: "We can’t leave her alone!" 
Will Taylor: "Alejandro, we won’t. Let’s join forces, together we’ll break those chains!" 
Game master: "Will, Alejandro, as the battle rages you move to the top of the hill, your flows tingle in your hands, as prompted by something. If you want to proceed together face an ability check with your signature characteristic, the difficulty is 14. I declare the beginning of a combined action!"
Alejandro Alivera [rolls 1d20+Des and gets 18]: "Space-time closes around me, I try to loosen the locks."
Will Taylor [rolls 1d20+Mae and gets 14]: "I call out all the fury in my body to grab the chains and break them with my bare hands!"
Game master: "Alejandro, Will, a golden bubble is released from the top of the hill. Yixir is finally free and not only. Hyperio discharges run on your wrists and an artificial voice, but familiar, welcomes you back: MTM systems - operational!"

Montages

The montages are a narrative tool useful to break the rhythm of the game and give space to players to emphasize great deeds. To manage a montage:
  1. The game master proposes a situation to a single character, as usual.
  1. The first player tells how their character solves the problem.
  1. The same player proposes a new situation to his neighbor.
  1. The neighbour involved tells how his character solves the problem.
  1. And so on for all others.
  1. When all players have been able to interact, the game master tells the conclusion, after which it returns to the normal situation.
Montages work particularly well when the game master wants to advance the story without introducing additional mechanics. Editing tends to catch the attention of players and from them the opportunity to carve out a deserved moment of glory. All montages shall be used in turn-based mode.
 
 Gameplay example - the tournament
Game master: "Alejandro, before you stands one of the tallest men you’ve ever seen. His face is marked by old scars, symbol of numerous battles. The rules of the arena have no limits: the strongest will have the right to consume the last meal of the camp. How do you deal with it?"
Alejandro Alivera: “The melee is hard and fast: after exchanging a few bumps I get hit by his fist at the stomach. I fall to my knees, breathless, but something inside me reminds me that my end has not yet come: I invoke the elemental power of the earth: strong roots erupt from the ground, blocking his legs. I hear a cry mixed with lament, but I don’t care. I get up and hit him with all my body strength. In the end it is he who falls into the dust, or so it seems to me, I do not see from an eye for the pain.”
Will Taylor: “Nice job!”
Alejandro Alivera: “Will, in your corner confronts you a strange figure: she is dressed in leather and studs and keeps her face covered by a metal mask depicting a permanent grin. Her gaze moves quickly over you and in a few moments you see her pull two curved blades from the belt. Don’t wait until you’re ready: with an acrobatic jump shorten the distances, lowering the swords on your back. What do you do?” 
Will Taylor: “I move sideways at the last moment, reaching the edges of the arena. I feel pain and warm blood gushing through my robes, at the side. At the second charge I’m not surprised: I use the magnetic rings to create a bubble of strength around me, deflecting the swords on one side. Taking advantage of the opportunity I dodge gracefully, pushing the acrobat towards the cornice, beyond the rope...”
Game master: “Great Will! What does Dr Kringle face?”
Will Taylor: “To Dr Kringle is the fearsome Rozzo, former spy of the Cusps, traitor and filibuster. He sought refuge among the Survivors, promising valuable information. He always plays dirty and this is not an exception: his dark eyes become white, almost invisible, while he invokes a kind of curse. Lightning discharges surround Dr. Kringle from all sides, as if to form a square, it’s a trap. Doctor, how do you get out?”
Dottoressa Kringle: “Remember the hyperium crystal we recovered in the last raid? Good. You all hear a buzz as my MTM lights up, electric green lights glide over my arm, and a metal click rings out as I pull the 6-caliber pistol out of my holster: I aim firmly and I put two bullets in Rozzo’s legs, One glancing, the other more serious. He’ll be fine, but it’ll take him a while.”
Game master: “Alejandro, Will, Doctor, all targets have been knocked out. You have earned your Survivor status! And dinner tonight, too.”

Scenarios

A scenario is a mini-adventure in the adventure. Setting up one means engaging players to develop a situation that is particularly focused on an event or a character’s story. To create a scenario:
  1. The game master describes a start by describing the situation.
  1. The game master states which player characters are directly involved.
  1. The involved players tell how their characters intend to react.
  1. The uninvolved players tell the consequences by each adding an element to the scene.
  1. When all players have been able to interact, the game master tells the conclusion, after which it returns to the normal situation.
A scenario is especially useful when the game master needs to develop situations outside the flow of adventure, such as past memories, paths involving a single character or future events that take place after the end of the adventure. All scenarios are developed by definition in free-form mode.
 
 Game example - Past memories
Game master: “As you walk along the road, trample on brushwood and dry the umpteenth drop of sweat, an opaque image takes you back to the beginning, in that bridge and in that helicopter full of fuel and hope. Will, General Carson looks up from his desk. The cardboard map gives you a retro feel. What did you tell him before the launch?”
Will Taylor: “I look around, a little nervous. Maybe I should have thought twice before applying for this kind of mission. It was a little late for second thoughts, I got balbetii: 'Sir, the preparations are finished and team members are ready for action. With all due respect though, we haven’t been provided with any lethal weaponry - I think...”
Game master: "General Carson interrupts you abruptly. Alejandro: What answer do you think he gave you?"
Alejandro (General Carson): "Nonsense, Sergeant, do I need to remind you that we don’t know how the weapon systems will respond once they land? We haven’t heard anything in weeks, and Agent Cobalto was the NNU’s best asset. I’ve had enough of calculated risks, so we’re going the old-fashioned way."
Game master: "Dr.ssa Kringle, at this point you remember an impact. Something went wrong in that transport. What exactly was it?"
Dr.ssa Kringle (storyteller): "We heard a burst, like a vacuum. The propellers suddenly stopped, the engines were idling and we lost hundreds of meters of altitude in seconds. We felt our stomachs in our throats, the force of gravity stopped us!"
Game master: "Great! Will, from the windows you see a flash of light, a reflection of an oblique crystal, the size of a small mountain planted on the city. How did you get out?"
Will Taylor: "I thought it was my time. But at the sight of the city, or rather what was left of it, I realized that there was more at stake than my ego: here it was life or death. My MTM was on full tilt but I was able to enter the emergency code and take the controls. Practically nothing was working, except the steering - and so I pulled with all my strength until by some miracle the helicopter came out of the bubble and the propellers started spinning again."
Game master: "They were excited moments, it was like being in a vortex. The aircraft slammed you right, left, in all directions. When the fall finally subsided you were all alive, but you were no longer flying. Around you there was sand and seawater: you landed."

Ability checks

If it is true that an adventure is ultimately a network of situations, the ability is the bridge between one situation and another. Managing this step is essential to consolidate the engagement of our players, here are the guidelines we propose:
 

Option 1: the narrative check

The first step can dramatically simplify the management of the situation. The game master might ask himself:
 
 
When we need a quick response or if the outcome of the ability check is predictable, we can describe the consequences using our common sense. A narrative check is an ideal occasion to practice improvisation and to face with increasing awareness the feeling of uncertainty and not complete control over the flow of the story.
 

Option 2: the dice roll

When the first option is not practicable, it is possible to declare which rolls are required to proceed.
  • Signature characteristic. Players roll 1d20 and add up their signature characteristic, which is usually the highest. This ability check is useful in common situations.
  • Forced characteristic. Players roll 1d20 and add up the characteristic declared by the game master. This ability check is useful when we want to emphasize the gravity of the situation.
  • Combined characteristics. Players roll 1d20 and add up two characteristics declared by the game master, both positive and negative. This ability check is useful when we want to stimulate the occurrence of a surprise effect.
  • Advantage and disadvantage. Players apply advantage and disadvantage if provided by the situation. The game master can distribute advantages or disadvantages at will, respectively to facilitate the situation or emphasize the difficulty.
 

Option 3: automatic success, at a cost

In simple situations the game master can describe the success or failure of the ability check and continue with the next situation. When this is not enough, for example when players miss the difficulty, or when a failure would abruptly interrupt the adventure, the alternative we propose is to provide success at a cost. In this context, the outcome of the ability check is not binary, yes or no, but assess a scale of success. Alternatives are:
  1. Adjust the quality. The d20 roll defines how much precision, care or value the characters achieve what they wanted to do. This option is useful if success is expected from the start or when we want to reward the players' strategy.
  1. Assign a cost. The d20 roll defines the penalty that the characters will have to pay to continue. This option is useful when we feel that a failure is too punitive, but we still want to give weight to the fate of the characters.
  1. Raising the stakes. The d20 roll defines how much worse the next situation will be. This option is useful when we want to introduce a surprise or we want to postpone the resolution of the current situation.
 
 Gameplay example - The door of seals (narrative check)
Game master: "An ancient stone door stands in the way in this passage, ancient seals are placed on the surface, forming a design not unlike the one drawn in the map you hold in your hands. The central seal resounds with your flows, as if it were enough to yield a little to complete the picture. Do you want to open the door?"
Yixir: "Yes! I focus my spirit in the palm of my hand, releasing a fragment of light into the center of the drawing."
Game master: “The sigil reacts instantly by lighting up yellow and white. A slight tremor makes you think of heavy gears in motion as the sliding doors move back into the wall.  Yixir, your successful test fills you with inspiration, you can use advantage in the next two consecutive tests.
 Gamplay example - The negotiation (dice roll)
Game master: “Scarl faces you with a stern gaze, almost as if he had caught an opportunity in this ominous situation. He may unleash his awakened sentinels, yet he lingers. What do you propose? If you engage, use your favorite feature as well.”
Alejandro [rolls 1d20+Des and gets 10]: “Um, maybe he could just let us use the obelisk? Well, it’s for a good cause, and we’d avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
Game master (Scarl): "Umpf. I didn’t accumulate this power to waste it on kids. Let’s put it this way, give me a significant pledge - let’s say that semi-automatic shotgun you carry over your shoulder and we can turn a blind eye in your favor.”
 Gameplay example - The unstable portal (success at a cost)
Game master: “Bright flames blaze in the stone circle before you. Tiara’s MTM synchronizes with your own and multiple indicators appear on your screens. The portal gradually destabilizes. Alejandro, yours is an Aud check.”
Alejandro [rolls 1d20+Aud and gets 5]: “A misfortune that the hyperio is exhausted right in the moment of need...”
Game master: "Fortunately, MTM withstands the shock, and your hyperio reserve remain intact. But the breach won’t close. A fiery hand emerges from the unstable portal, as if drawn from another dimension. A creature of molten magma makes its way into our world, from its muzzle there are no emotions but from its verses perceived a deep hunger.”

Rewards

In the most crucial points of the adventure, the game master can give rewards based on the lessons learned by the characters during their venture. Here are the available options:
 

Additional relationships

New relationships can create new allies or antagonists, unlock new equipment or advance a particular stage of the adventure. The ideal time to make a relationship is due to achieved goals or lasting interactions between characters, allies or in general, with the world.
 

Predisposition upgrade

Advancing a predisposition means specializing a character in a particular area of expertise. With the predispositions characters gets skills out of the norm and will allow them to overcome increasingly harsh challenges. Increasing a predisposition should be a rare event and reserved for crucial moments of adventure.
 

Gift improvements

Gift improvements are varied and their impact depends on the area in which the game master considers it useful to focus. 
 
Additional flows: unlocking a flow means granting a boost to already established gifts. Generally granting it is an effective reward for the player and a limited risk for balancing adventures. If the game master wants to build a more tiring atmosphere, he can also make use of the concept of "flow to consumption", that is temporary flows, that disappear from the reserve after 1 use only. The consumption flow is useful to provide a preview of the final one that may come in the future.
 
Additional powers: unlocking a new power opens up new fighting possibilities and actually leads to the creation of a new gift. A new power could be the fruit of accumulated experience, extracted from a special object, or donated by a higher entity that makes sense in the story. Increasing the powers of a character means increasing its effectiveness and flexibility. Since a power is not immediately usable without flows or tools, this reward should be awarded taking into account a certain rotation.
 
Additional tools: the tools allow the characters to add powerful areas of effect to their gifts. To acquire new ones characters could build it by themselves, plunder it from defeated antagonists or receive it as a reward from their allies.
 

MTM upgrade

In addition to providing new narrative solutions, an enhanced MTM paves the way for increasingly important tactical advantages. An additional subsystem can be conquered after taking down a fearsome opponent, it can be donated by an influential ally or it can be recovered from the environment depending on the fantasy of the game master.
 
 Gameplay example - Kindness pays off (additional relationship)
Game master (Guaiquierí of the Water Tribe): Dr Kringle, thanks to your medical aid, the young Guaiquierí of the Water Tribe will soon recover from the poisoning of the aquifers. In my tribe we are not reluctant to acknowledge merits in others, especially when they prove trustworthy. Please accept this turtle shell. Whenever you need it, show it to any member of the Guaiquierí: you will receive help and welcome without any delay.
 Gameplay example - Intense training (increase in predisposition)
Game master (Guaiquierí of the Fire Tribe): "It seems that after all, there are not only wheels and cogs within you, Byte. Perhaps your bionic heart holds something deeper. Your training at the village is finished: you are now able to manipulate the fire and understand its true essence. Remember: the only way to control it is to surrender to it and burn".
Byte: "I won’t forget, master".
Game master: "Excellent work, Byte. Thanks to the teachings of the Guaiqueri you have acquired the elemental predisposition!”
 Gameplay example - A new focus (additional flow)
Jonathan: "It was hard, but in the end I made it! The big hyperio crystal is mine!"
Game master: "Yes, Jonathan, you have recovered an object of great value: its workmanship goes back to ancient times and forgotten by men. Through its influence, you now have access to a new flow: the sidereal stream of light!"
 Gameplay example - The technologist (MTM upgrade)
Game master: "Dr Kringle, it seems that your studies on the radar device you sto... Um, legally purchased, finally paid off. You’ve uncovered the secrets of how the device works and you are now able to incorporate it into the body of your MTM, which now has two subsystems."
  Table of power degrees
The game does not require that a character follow the values shown in the table exactly, but the indications that we report in the table below should give the game master an idea of potential rewards to be included in his adventures. 
 
Adventure type
Expected resources for each character
Initial adventure
The characters face their first assignments and start to become aware of their powers.
1-2 flows
2-3 powers
2 tools points
0 MTM subsystems
Medium adventure
The characters are already navigated thanks to the experience accumulated from past adventures.
3-5 flows
5-6 powers
3-5 tools points
1-2 MTM subsystems
Advanced adventure
The characters are veterans, they govern their gifts and have acquired new ones in their past adventures.
6+ flows
6+ powers
6+ tools points
3+ MTM subsystems

Create allies, monsters and antagonists

The subjects are characters controlled by the game master who live in the world in which the adventure takes place. The subjects can prove allies, opponents or interesting personalities with which the characters can develop relationships. Through interactions with them the characters can leave an indelible mark and potentially change the course of the story. 
 

Narrative subjects

Narrative subjects, or simply subjects, are characters controlled by the game master free from particular mechanics. To generate a new subject the game master can develop the following points:
  • Goal: describes what the subject wants to achieve in the long term. The lens gives meaning to the subject and makes it relevant in our setting.
  • Action plan: a list of steps that the subject intends to take to achieve its objective. A passage of the plan describes a short-term purpose and specifies how the world will change upon its attainment.
  • Fear: a weakness, or simply what the subject fears most. A fear revealed or exploited to its disadvantage may interrupt or reverse the action plan.
  • Followers: an optional list of subjects. Leaders tend to increase the prestige of the subject and generally act in such a way as to advance the action plan of their leader.
 
 
The game master can facilitate the work by preparing in advance the list of subjects he intends to use in the adventure. A freer alternative is to prepare a handful of objectives, write down names related to the setting and join the basic components on the fly directly in the game session.
 
 Gameplay example - General Carson
Goal
Become the most influential man on the planet.
Action plan
(1) Restore communication with agent Cobalto inside the Fortress of the three moons.
Upon achievement: the hyperio is sento into the reconnaissance aircrafts. The engines resonate miles away.

(2) Retrieve coordinates for the hyperio reservoir.
Upon achievement: field agents receive periodic supplies containing advanced equipment and long-term support. 

(3) Eliminate the witnesses.
Upon achievement: the characters are interned in a maximum-security submarine, under international waters.

(4) Use the hyperio to take control of the global market.
Upon achievement: the general proclaims himself Protector of the New World and the Fortress of the three moons becomes the new stronghold of his NNU.
Fear
He fears that the technological shutdown will be permanent and that the status quo will be overturned by those who control the hyperio.
Followers
James Taylor: he has access to satellites and aircraft carriers in the Atlantic Ocean. He is a loyalist of the general and believes that his intentions are aimed at the ultimate good of humanity.

Tiara Cobalto: elité agent and first explorer of the Fortress of the three moons. She quickly learned to manage her gifts and holds crucial information. She is extremely efficient in most missions.

Antagonistic subjects

The game master can facilitate the work by preparing in advance the list of subjects he intends to use in the adventure. A possible alternative is to prepare a handful of objectives, write down names related to the setting and join the basic components on the fly directly in the game session.
  1. Base characteristics: life points, defense and characteristics.
  1. Attitude: the most plausible behavior once sighted characters.
  1. Tactic: the actions that the antagonist will apply in a combat situation.
  1. Gifts: flows, powers and tools that the antagonist may use in his tactics.
 

Henchmen

Henchmen are common antagonists: easy to beat when isolated, but not to be underestimated when deployed in large numbers. The game master can insert minions to inhabit adverse places or to help more powerful opponents. Generally, henchmen are effectively countered by area shots.
Base
Life points: 1
Defense: 1
Characteristics: [from -1 to +1]
Attitude
[attacks if threatened / attacks to defend a location / randomly attacks one of the characters / prioritizes the character who has a certain characteristic / fights to the end / fights only in advantage, otherwise he flees]
Tactic
[invokes a gift and then uses tactical strikes / attacks and moves continuously / interacts with an aspect of the area / focuses on a character who has a certain characteristic / randomly attacks a target / fights only in advantage, otherwise flees / fights to the end]
Doti
A henchmen usually has 1 available gift.

[Gift name]. [description of the final effect]. Attack check: [attack bonus], The effect lasts for: [effect duration]. Components: [flow, power, tool].

Specialists

Resistant and skillful, specialists are able to give their opponents a hard time, even if caught in solitude. In addition to the canonical block of antagonists, a specialist can be enriched with one or more of the following aspects:
  1. They may be accompanied by a certain number of henchmen.
  1. They may evoke a special effect by exploiting a predisposition.
Base
Life points: [from 1 to 3] x number of characters
Defense: [from 8 to 14]
Signature characteristic: [from +0 to +5]
Other characteristics: [from -2 to +2]
[Potential predisposition]
[Potential additional resources]
Attitude
[attacks if threatened / attacks to defend a location / randomly attacks one of the characters / prioritizes the character who has a certain characteristic / fights to the end / fights only in advantage, otherwise he flees]
Tactic
[activates the predisposition and invokes a gift / invokes a gift and then uses tactical strikes / attacks and moves continuously / interacts with an aspect of the area / focuses on a character who has a certain characteristic / randomly attacks a target / fights only in advantage, otherwise he flees / fights to the end / attacks with his henchmen / attacks after his henchmen]
Gifts
A specialist usually has from 1 to 3 available gifts.

[Gift name]. [description of the final effect]. Attack check: [attack bonus], The effect lasts for: [effect duration]. Components: [flow, power, tool].
 
 Gameplay example - The hyperian jumble (henchmen)
Base
Life points: 1
Defense: 1
Characteristics: +1 Aud, 0 Mae, 0 Des
Attitude
Crazed hyperians emerge from crevices like trapped parasites. Their pace often changes speed and leaves highly flammable fine dust on the ground.
Tactic
Initially slow, the hyperians leap together towards a random target, striking blows and releasing flames.
Gifts
Sidereal stomp. Subtracts 1 life point, each turn and for two turns. Attack check: +4, reaches 1 target in the immediate vicinity. Components: spacetime (Sidereal flow, Mae), invocation (power), blunt blade (hand-to-hand tool).
 Gameplay example - The captain of the Cusps (specialist)
Base
Life points: 2 x numero di personaggi
Defense: 8
Characteristics: +3 Aud, +1 Mae, +1 Des
Technological expert: the captain can use the flow of oil at will.
Attitude
The captains of the Cusps have recovered sidereal stones that can control entire groups of hyperians and will not hesitate to use them to protect their area.
Tactic
It opens with the stun shard and attacks the targets of the hyperians. If the situation arises it will try to escape to a safe place.
Gifts
Stun shard. Inflicts the destabilized condition to targets up to 3 life points, imposing them at a disadvantage in ability checks. Lasts three rounds. Attack check: +6, threatens up to 2 targets, friends or opponents alike, in the same zone. Components: oil (tecnological flow, Aud) e discipline (psychic flow), instability (power), sidereal stone (small area tool).

Unfair lunge. Substracts 2 life points. Cannot be used in 2 consecutive turns. Attack check: +4, reaches 1 target in the immediate vicinity. Components: adrenaline (psychic flow, Aud), manifestation (power), saber-bayonet (hand-to-hand tool).

Adjusting combat situations on the fly

A precise and repeatable scheme to design situations is a crucial tool in the hands of the game master, Sometimes, however, the game takes unexpected folds and apply some corrective on the fly can buy valuable time or enrich just the combat situation that we are developing. Below are some techniques to modify a clash in real time, in order to simplify or complicate it depending on the perceptions of the game master.
 

Technique 1: let go

We must prepare ourselves for a common truth: it is possible that our favorite antagonists, premeditated and cared for in detail, are quickly defeated or even ignored by the players at the table. The game master can simply archive the current situation and proceed with a new one in favor of character choices. It remains permissible to reuse ready-made mechanics with new antagonists, changing in fact the only description.
 

Technique 2: double or halve life points

Adjusting the life points allows you to quickly correct the pace of the game, accelerating it (halving) or slowing it (doubling) depending on the needs. For example, a specialist might be too much of a challenge for novice players, but an injured specialist could prove to be a great opportunity to test combat mechanics without too much risk.
 

Technique 3: integrate the double turn

Although the mechanics of the antagonists are very close to those of the characters, the game master is not required to play at the same pace. An antagonist could act with two initiatives, possibly non-consecutive, effectively performing twice the actions. The game master can use the bonus turn to allow the opponent to escape, deal heavy damage or generate unexpected events. The double turn lends itself well to powerful specialists, because it emphasizes the importance and level of threat.
 

Technique 4: adding environmental effects

A combat situation can be enriched with fearsome opponents, but even the environment can play its part and help make each encounter different from the other. Environmental effects can create opportunities for or against characters and offer excellent opportunities for combined actions. To implement environmental effects the game master can focus on a particular and give that element a special effect.
D
Environmental effect
1
The creature of hyperio. An amalgam of molten crystal emerges from the depths, scratching between transparent minerals and a rich deposit of hyperio.

Trap and treasure. The closest character must pass an Audacity check, of difficulty 12, or lose 2 life points. Among the crystals you can collect 1 unit of hyperium.
2
The river of liquid fire. Holes in the ground release streams of gasoline colorless and pungent odor. The diesel catches fire, creating a wall of flames along the way.

Trap. Crossing characters must pass a Mastery check, of difficulty 12, or lose 1 life point per turn, for three turns.
3
The sidereal rune. A low stone pedestal conceals a mysterious runic symbol on its summit.

Treasure. The closest character can connect to the chain and get advantage at the attack checks. The effect lasts for two turns.
4
The solemn stones. Two runestones magically float in mid-air, making a bell-like sound.

Treasure. The stones are placed on a nearby character, enhancing their movement. The character gets the speeded condition up for two turns.
5
The lucky supplies. A chest descends from the sky via a practical parachute, landing nearby. A proximity mine automatically places you in the immediate vicinity.

Trap and Treasure. The closest character must pass a Mastery check, of difficulty 12, or undergo the stunned condition for one turn. The crate contains a random tech tool.
6
The abandoned MTM. The circuits of a cybernetic bracelet flash intermittently, as if they were about to go out.

Treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to collect the MTM and absorb 1 unit of hyperio. Once the charge is absorbed, the MTM shuts down permanently.
7
Cybernetic man. A post-human in complete tilt moves in concentric circles without ever stopping.

Treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to boost his gift with 1 random technologic flow. After use the post-human is permanently switched off.
8
The lopsided crystal. A matte crystal floats lopsided on one side, a faint trace of light is reflected on its surface.

Trap. Up to 4 characters in the area, allies or opponents, must pass a Mastery check, of difficulty 12, or lose 1 unit of hyperio. Once used, the crystal turns off permanently.
9
The energizing wall. A metal wall, entirely composed of circuits, pulses brightly thanks to dozens of colored LED lights.

Trap and treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to synchronize with the wall. When he does so he must pass a Destiny check, of difficulty 12, or lose 2 life points. The wall charges 1 unit of hyperio per turn and remains active for up to three turns.
10
The flying binoculars. A pair of binoculars with two small wings flutters serenely in the area, miraculously spared any bad weather.

Treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to synchronize with binoculars and spot camouflaged or invisible creatures. After 1 use the binoculars requires hyperio unit to operate. 
11
The steaming wagon. A cannon emerges from a metal canopy with no drive wheels. A bright red smoke comes out of the barrel like a chimney.

Treasure. A character can spend 1 unit of hyperio to awaken the vehicle. The tank cannot move but has two: the cannon (technological tool, rain) and the machine guns (technological tool, chain). 
12
The sleeping jeep. A rust-encrusted armored jeep lies parked and blocked by a strange muddy substance.

Treasure. A character can spend a unit of hyperio to awaken the vehicle. The jeep can use 3 secondary actions to move and protects up to 3 characters inside it for 2 turns or until it loses 10 life points.
13
The useful missile. An unexploded missile, crossed by purple lightning discharges, lies on the ground with the tip facing down.

Treasure. A character can spend 1 unit of hyperio to awaken the missile. This weapon activates automatically in the next gift, hitting two additional opponents in addition to the first. After 2 uses the missile loses its charge.
14
The effervescent mineral. A creaking crane holds an emerald green stone between its hooks, inside which a curious effervescent liquid can be seen.

Treasure. A character can spend 1 unit of hyperio to open the crane and free the stone. The stone returns to the gaseous state within a few seconds, releasing a steam that cancels any harmful condition to 3 characters in the area.
15
The haunted radio. Two shiny spheres constantly swirl around the protruding antenna of a radio transmitter neatly placed on a white metal plane.

Treasure and trap. A character can spend 1 unit of hyperio to awaken the radio. The resulting signal forces 3 characters in the area to face an Audacity check, of difficulty 12, or suffer the slowed condition. After 1 turn a satellite responds to the call, doubling the effect of a the next 2 gifts.
16
The magnetic obelisks. Two pyramid-shaped obelisks emit electromagnetic waves from their base.

Treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to synchronize with obelisks and temporarily get the technological flow of electromagnetism. The effect ends when the character leaves or voluntarily breaks the bond.
17
The luminous obelisks. Two spherical-tipped obelisks intermingle blue lights with emerald-green discharges.

Treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to synchronize with obelisks and gain advantage on ability checks that use his signature characteristic. The effect ends when the character leaves or voluntarily breaks the bond.
18
The gate obelisks. Two spiral-shaped obelisks are connected each other by as many bright beams.

Treasure and trap. A character can spend a secondary action to synchronize with obelisks and benefit from the enhanced condition. However, when the character invokes a gift in this state, he gets the inhibited condition for 1 turn. The effect ends when the character leaves or voluntarily breaks the bond.
19
The runic monolith. A monolith covered with runes stands as a monument to a lost civilization.

Trap and treasure. A character can spend a secondary action to synchronize with the stone and get a shield of runes that reflects any effect immediately to their oppononents. However, when the monolith reflects a gift, the character loses 1 life point. The effect ends when the character leaves or voluntarily breaks the bond.
20
The hyperized crystal. A crystal of bright hyperio emerges from the earth, absorbing the light of the atmosphere and returning a soft golden glow.

Trap. A character can spend a secondary action to overload the crystal. Anyone in the area must pass a Destiny check, of difficulty 12, or lose 1 unit of hyperio. The effect ends when the character leaves or voluntarily breaks the bond.
 Gameplay example - the nemeses
For game masters that want to satisfy the most tactical players.
Sometimes we need a particularly challenging subject for our adventures. Nemeses are specialists to whom we have applied one or more enrichments and to whom we entrust an action plan that will shake the balances of the story. The narrative nature of nemesis will allow us to insert or remove it if necessary, for example by changing its name or position depending on the course of the events. In the campaigns "The fortress of the three moons" and "Discoveries" we have included several nemesis from which to draw inspiration. Although you will find both the narrative block and the combat block ready, the game master will have full freedom to customize, modify or add any detail he sees fit.

Creating a custom tool

Although it is perfectly acceptable to use the default catalog of tools, the game master can reserve the prerogative to design objects of his own, both to adapt them to his adventures, both to follow his specific vision of the game. To design new tools we propose two alternative methods.
 

Narrative tools

The game master chooses a tool from the catalog and changes its name.
  • Example: Replace "blunt blade" with "versatile knife". 
  • Versatile knife: a durable and useful tool on various occasions, sometimes necessary for self-defense. Area of effect: hand-to-hand; functional: supports 1 power, value: 1.
 

Custom tools

The game master designs an object from scratch. Because a tool affects the combative scope of the characters we provide a standardized procedure with the aim of helping the game master to keep his creations balanced, maintaining reasonably fair cost-effectiveness. To create a tool:
  1. Associate an area of effect.
  1. Set a level of quality between functional, advanced and leading-edge:.
  1. Attribute a value by reading the values from the cost table (see below).
  1. Invent a name and an evocative description.
It is a good idea that characters, at least initially, can spend the same number of tool points. It is up to them to decide whether to invest their resources in expensive and powerful tools, or whether to buy different ones to cover as many areas of effect as possible.
 
 Tables of tools values
Aree of effect
  • Touch: +0
  • Circle, pool, cone: +0
  • Hand-to-hand, short distance, small area: +1
  • Long distance, large area: +2
  • Chain, cluster, rain: +1
  • Double area of effect: +1
Quality
  • Functional - supports 1 power: +0
  • Advanced - supports 2 powers: +1
  • Leading-edge - supports 3 powers: +2
Additional modifiers
  • Adds +2 to base defense: +1
  • Adds 1 life point: +1
  • Requires Aud , Mae, Des +3 or more: -1
  • Operates with disadvantage if <condition>: -1
  • Doesn’t work with allies: -1
  • Doesn’t work against hostile opponents: -1
  • Must be recharged with a secondary action: -1

Managing technology

In Primo Contatto technology creates an additional dimension for character development, but we also want it to be a tool to break the game rhythm and create twists. For example, accessing satellites in orbit could facilitate seemingly impossible espionage, and activating a cannon could pave the way through a heavily defended area. Through the sudden and temporary ignition of technology, with hyperio in particular, the game master can control the frequency with which unique interaction opportunities will manifest in his adventure. Below we list some useful approaches to set different game styles, which can be adopted depending on the different inclinations of the group.
 

High modern fantasy: hyperio is widely available

The master game distributes more than 2 flows per game session and enables their conversion into hyperio. A game with abundant hyperio stimulates a heroic atmosphere, creating frequent opportunities to showcase the characters. The frequent use of technology requires more preparation than other approaches, but it can be particularly rewarding for players who appreciate tactics or who want to see the maximum fighting potential of their characters.
 

Modern fantasy: hyperio is rare

The game master grants 0 to 1 flows per game session and enables their conversion into hyperio, or disables the conversion of flows and distributes directly a few units of hyperio. A game where hyperio is rare facilitates a balanced rhythm, with ups and downs. In this dimension the hyperio can be used as a significant reward following a well-resolved situation. This approach is suitable for generating twists or to accommodate players who appreciate mechanics, but do not make tactics the ultimate goal of the game.
 

Simplified modern fantasy: narrative hyperio 

The game master chooses to awaken technology as a special effect in the situations he chooses, removing this prerogative to the characters. In this case technology can exist as a purely narrative element, without additional mechanics. This approach lightens the game master from further implementations and can be particularly suitable for beginner players or adventures with few mechanics to remember.