Crystal Spine

Item

Image CrystalSpine.jpg
Description Someone or something has shaped this cold crystal into a detailed replica of a human spine. At a glance, it could be cybernetics, but the spine is too small for a full-grown human and they never have worked out the kinks with pediatric cybernetics.

Alternately, it's possible this is a spine that's been compressed and crystalized somehow. Perhaps that process could explain the haunting green light arcing the crystal's depths.
Type Gadget
Use (See below)
Effects +2 Perception
+2 Reflexes
+2 Strength
+2 Will

Sources

Purchase from Zack's House of Coins during seasons 12-16 for 2 unearthly coins.

Summary of mechanics

There are five base forms of the spine (Spine, Rifle, Blade, Rod and Loop). The Spine form gives +2 to all stats, while the other 4 give +2 to a stat and +2 Power to techniques that you that stat. You can also upgrade to "resonating" forms of the spine, which give +4 bonuses instead of +2.

The spine can be charged up by winning combats - you receive a message about the spine quivering when you've fought enough to reach the next charge level. This seems to happen quicker against higher XP opponents (gaining 14 XP seems to be enough to get you to the next level 95% of the time - more spading needed for exact details). You can store up to 5 charges at once - any more than that gives bonus XP at the end of combat instead.

Once charged, you can Use the spine (while Etheric) to change its form, or gain XP or techniques. The base forms are arranged in a cycle, which is randomized per player and per reset. Using the Dip into the Surface option (1 charge) advances the shape of the spine by one position in the cycle. For example, for me, they happen to be in the order Spine->Rifle->Loop->Rod->Blade->Spine. Dip into the Surface will turn my Rifle into a Loop. Using the deeper options advances the spine by that many moves in the cycle. For example, the Explore the Possibilities option (requires 3 charges) advances the spine by 3 forms.

Additionally, using the To the depths and beyond option (5 charges) does not change the spine's form, but gives techniques or XP. These also seem to be randomized per player, but remain consistent during a single reset. Eg. Using a 5-charged Rifle will always give me Spinal Sight.

For each form of the spine, there is one depth which gives a message about the spine shining instead of the normal twisting message. This is also randomized per player/reset. Going to the shiny depth 5 times in a row will upgrade it to resonating form, doubling the bonuses on the spine. It will continue to resonate until you repeat going to the shiny depth 5 times in a row.

Uses

After every few combats, gives this message and adds one charge (dependant on XP gained?):

First charge:
The crystal spine quivers, emitting a pure tone like a struck bell.

Second charge:
The crystal spine quivers, emitting a chime and an undertone like some strange instrument.

Third charge:
The crystal spine quivers, emitting a musical chord that hangs as though it's waiting for something to resolve it.

Fourth charge:
The crystal spine quivers, emitting a complex tone like a set of chimes.

Fifth charge:
The crystal spine quivers, emitting a resonant tone like a distant church bell.

Sixth+ charge:
The crystal spine quivers, emitting a rolling hum that sinks into your body and mind.

(Gives +2 XP for the last message there with Ocean Sight active, +1 with plain Etheric?)

When used, with no etheric-type effect active (whether charged or not):

Surely there's something to do with this but… you haven't the faintest idea what. You twist at it some, but it doesn't move. You tap it against things, but it doesn't make a sound.

Yeah, you're about out of options.

When used, uncharged, with Fae Sight active:

The spine seems strangely lifeless, like a cavern that has never been exposed to life or light.

When used, uncharged, with Ocean Sight active:

The spine seems strangely lifeless, like a desolate stretch of beach that has never felt the gentle touch of tides or the skittering of delicious creatures.

When used, uncharged, with Slags Poisoning, Muffled Sight, or (plain) Etheric active:

The spine seems strangely lifeless. Not just like "made of crystal" lifeless, but somehow dead, more like a the bone it resembles than an inorganic compound.

When charged:

crystalspinespace.jpg

Always:
The [spine/loop/etc] unfolds into a vast field of crystalline shapes, twisting and wrapping around you like bony tentacles.

And, with 2 charges, if you are following the resonating path line:
A spark leaps from shape to shape, illuminating a short distance into the writhing mass.

And, with 3-4 charges, if you are following the resonating path line:
A bright light twists among the crystalline shapes, calling you deeper.

And, with 5 charges, if you are following the resonating path line:
A brilliant light lurks in the depths, endlessly reflected, twisting among the crystalline shapes.

  1. Dip into the surface
  2. Dig beneath the surface When charged to level 2
  3. Explore the possibilities When charged to level 3
  4. Venture to the depths When charged to level 4
  5. To the depths and beyond Fully charged
  6. Shake off the visions

Dip into the surface/Dig beneath the surface/Explore the possibilities/Venture to the depths

The shape in your hands twists and writhes like a serpent. (And if you have more than one spine in that form: Its strange clicking is joined by more, just out of sight.)

(And, at one randomized level per form, with Ocean Sight)
The shape shines in your hands, twisting and writhing like a serpent.

(Or, at one randomized level per form, with Fae Sight)
The shape shines in your hands, twisting and writhing like a luminous serpent.

(And if you have more than one spine in that form: Its rhythmic chimes are joined by more, just out of sight.)

(Or, if you just finished a complete cycle of going to the shiny level 5 times:)
The darkness is blotted out, filled with an unbearable light, echoes of a city of crystal built on flame.

(Or if you are already resonating and you just finished anothere cycle of going to the shiny level 5 times:)
The darkness advances, denying you all but a fleeting glimpse of a city of crystal built on flame.

You transform your equipped gadget to <form>.

And if you have more than spine:
You found: x <extra copies of the new form> (turns all extra copies to the new shape)

Dip into the surface removes 2 charges.
Dig beneath the surface removes 4 charges.
Explore the possibilities removes all? charges.
Venture to the depths removes all? charges.

To the depths and Beyond

A strange knowledge passes from the crystal into you, like the dregs of a long-forgotten memory.

You learned a new Technique: Spinal Strike OR Spinal Sight OR Spinal Stabbing OR Spinal Shot or receive 5 XP split between all stats.

Removes all charges?

Shake off the visions

Okay, that's… that's a little too weird. Maybe it's time to do something else for a while… maybe pet a puppy or read a nice, nonthreatening book.

Summary of other forms

Corresponding Technique
Shape Bonuses
(+2 for crystal, +4 for resonating)
Tech Chain Type
Crystal Spine
Resonating Crystal Spine
+x Perception, +x Reflexes, +x Strength, +x Will (XP gain instead)
Crystal Spinal Rifle
Resonating Spinal Rifle
+x Power to Techniques using Perception,
+x Perception
Spinal Shot 6 Ranged
Crystal Spine Blade
Resonating Spinal Blade
+x Power to Techniques using Reflexes,
+x Reflexes
Spinal Stabbing 4 Stealth
Crystal Spinal Rod
Resonating Spinal Rod
+x Power to Techniques using Strength,
+x Strength
Spinal Strike 3 Melee
Crystal Spine Loop
Resonating Spinal Loop
+x Power to Techniques using Will,
+x Will
Spinal Sight 5 Etheric
Hammer25.jpg This item is not a component for any kind of crafting.
toolbox.jpg This item cannot be salvaged.
GoldCoins.jpg This item cannot be added to a gang stash.
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