Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tales of Symphonia: Expheres in GURPS

I purchased Tales of Symphonia for myself after my birthday back when I was 12 or 13- I remember it being one of the few gamecube games I bought new for $50. It's a dollar amount I still pause before dropping on a new game, and back then it was a serious amount of money.

Needless to say, I love the game and have played through it many times. My most recent play through (thanks to the shaky PC port) got me thinking about the expheres in the game.

Expheres are a gem attached to an individuals flesh, usually held in place by a piece of jewelry known as Key Crest that acts as both a mount and a safeguard.

Expheres greatly increase someone's agility, reflexes, and mobility. They allow for low-powered super human feats such as:

  • Aerial back flips after being thrown ten feet into the air by an enemy's attack
  • Surviving extremely long falls
  • Projecting waves of kinetic energy as attacks
  • Olympic record breaking leaps and jumps
  • Exbelua has trouble finding nail clippers
  • Recovering from injury very quickly
Expheres have downsides, most of which are related to not having an appropriate key crest:
  • They change their host's Mana Signature, which can be detected
  • Improper removal can cause the host's mana to surge out of control, monstrously transforming the host into an Exbelua 
  • The host's psyche and personality can be suppressed, eventually leading them to feeling no emotions at all.
  • Expheres can absorb an individual's personality and memories, persisting after their body has died- trapping them until the exphere is destroyed.

Exphere User: 85 Points

Catfall, Combat Reflexes, Exphere Talent 1 (+1/lvl to Acrobatics, Climbing, Hiking, Jumping, Running, Swimming), Increased Basic Move 4, Increased Basic Speed 4 (+1 to basic speed), Rapid Healing, Super Jump

A totally average person (10 ST, DX, IQ, and HT) who uses an exphere will enjoy a 2-yard step, a dodge score of 10, and athletic skills covered by the talent at skill level 9-11 with a single point in each skill. Super Jump allows for a standing broad jump of 11 yards, or a standing high jump of 8'. An exphere user takes no damage on falls smaller than 10 yards (5 yards from catfall, another 5 yards given by the maximum high jump from Super Jump), and a successful acrobatics check makes that 15 yards with no damage taken.

Additionally, an exphere user has a 95.4% chance of regaining 1 HP per day of rest instead of the 50.5% for an HT 10 individual.


  1. Might be able to stat it out as a gadget using some crafting rules. The gradual infliction of disadvantages might be tricky to stat out though. Might be something like a cosmic affliction that adds a truly permanent point towards a disadvantage... but such an extreme disadvantage might make the exphere next to worthless.

    1. Truth be told, within the series there's only a few cases where the problems associated with Expheres actually come up- particularly Cruxis Crystals (which I'm saving for a later post). I figured any GM attempting to use them would do the required digging and use fiat to make it fit whatever game they want to run.

      The corruption mechanic from Horror might work well, tweaked properly.