Walks the Sands

Published July 6, 2014 by


You are a creature of the deserts, lean, tanned, and fit. You likely wear long, flowing robes that shield you from the excesses of the harsh environments you call home, and possess an overriding respect for water – those who waste or otherwise mistreat water resources face your scorn, or – if encountered in desert areas – your wrath and enmity. You are intimately connected with the desert lands you claim as your own, such that the raw elemental power of the sands are yours to command.

Loosely inspired by some of the powers displayed by Imhotep, in The Mummy.


GM Intrusion: Sand is notoriously treacherous - sand storms can hide friend from friend as much as from their foes; errant gusts of wind can play havoc with your sand control.


Following the Character Options format, choose one connection from the following:

  1. Pick another PC. This character once accompanied you on a disastrous mission into the desert. Losing your supplies to a bandit attack, it was only through your skill in finding water that the two of you managed to make it out alive. It is up to the character’s player how their PC reacted to this event (they may blame you for leading them into bandit territory, or exult your survival skills, for example).
  2. Pick another PC. This person, knowing that many groups that survive in the desert do so only by their raids on civilized lands (or caravans, or the like), believes that you belong to such a tribe of bandits. Whether or not you are, is for you to determine.
  3. Pick another PC. This person – probably hailing from the wetlands – appears to have no concept of water discipline. You wish to teach them how to deal with water respectfully, but do not know whether they will take kindly to your suggestions.
  4. Pick one other PC. This person is a close friend, and you trust them completely. When you are fighting alongside them (immediate range) you gain +1 to your rolls.
Additional Equipment:

You have a set of desert clothes that helps protect against environmental extremes. Where appropriate (e.g. in high temperature areas), this clothing offers 1 Armour against ambient damage.

Esotery Effects:

Sand Esoteries – if you use esoteries (or esotery-like tricks of the trade) that employ force, these take the form of sand-based effects – Onslaught blasts are a stinging, abrasive column of sand; Barrier takes the form of a swirling sand-storm (this is not solid, but deals 1 point damage to all who touch it, and 4 points to any who pass through it).

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You gain an extra action, which can be used only to move or perform a movement-related activity.
Major Effect Suggestions:
Your attack drives sand into the eyes of your attacker, rendering it blind for one round.
Tier 1:

Nomad: You are trained in wilderness navigation, flora/fauna identification, and searching for potable water sources, whilst in desert environments. Enabler.

Hardy: You have +2 to your Might pool.

Desert Warrior: Chose one type of attack in which you are not already trained: light bashing, light bladed, light ranged, medium bashing, medium bladed, medium ranged, heavy bashing, heavy bladed, or heavy ranged. You are trained in attacks using that type of weapon. Enabler.

Inability: You are unused to the wetlands – swimming, and all other activities undertaken in aquatic environments, are for you one level of difficulty higher than they would otherwise be.

Tier 2:

Sand Attack (2 Speed points): You carry several small sacks of sand with you. On your turn, instead of attacking, you may attempt to throw this sand in your opponent’s eyes. On a successful hit, the attack inflicts no damage, but until the end of the next round, all attacks made against this creature gain an asset. As this is caused by the opponent’s attempts to clean their eyes, some creatures (i.e. those who rely on senses other than sight) may be immune to the effects of this attack. Action.

Tier 3:

Seasoned: You are trained in Might Defense actions, and are immune to most ordinary poisons and diseases. Your water requirements are one half those of other individuals. Enabler.

Tier 4:

Sand Storm (4 Intellect points): You call into existence a whirling cloud of dust and sand that whips around your body. This defense decreases the difficulty of speed defense tasks by one step (by two steps if defending against missile weapons). Further, any creature approaching within immediate range suffers 1 point of damage from the whirling detritus. This effect lasts for 1 hour, or until you decide to end it. Action to initiate.

Tier 5:

Sand Spirit (5 Intellect points): You call upon the spirits of the desert to aid you; a human-sized creature of drit, dust, and sand rises up from the ground to fight alongside you (this ability can only be used where it is feasible that dust or sand might feasibly be present). The Sand Spirit is a level four creature, but is extremely resilient to physical damage (reforming around weapons used to strike at it); the sand spirit harmlessly absorbs the first 4 points of damage inflicted by any attack made against it (that uses ordinary weapons). It lasts for 1 hour and then dissipates to dust. Action to initiate.

Tier 6:

One with the Desert: While travelling in desert environments, you have +1 to your Might, Speed, and Intellect edges; when you rest (for 1 hour or more) in desert environments, you automatically recover the maximum pool points. Enabler.

Sand Form (6 Intellect points): For one minute, your body and equipment takes on a sand form; you can dis-articulate and recombine your body while it is in this form. During this period, you cannot be harmed by normal weapons (though mental attacks, and special numenera weapons still inflict damage); you can attack (but with -2 damage). You can use this ability to pass through small cracks and crevices (such as key holes). Action to initiate.