Tree of Skill


Tree of Spite: Phase 1
Tree of Skill
Unimaged Version 0.1


Intro:

The idea has been digging at you for some time now.
Try out that little ritual you know.
See what happens.

Somewhere, somewhen, you picked up an odd meditation exercise.
Though how you came across it is long forgotten, as is most of its purpose, you distinctly recall the exact steps necessary to perform it.
Of course you’re curious.

Draw a simple pattern, gaze into it, and keep your mind clear of everything else.
Don’t even need to draw- it’s already scratched into a lot of your stuff.
Perform the ritual.

And so… you try it.

Immediately, you are blind, deaf, insensate, lost in an absolute void.
For a moment, at least.
Then you see it in the distance- something slightly less dark than its surroundings.
You arrive before you consider moving, and see it clearly for what it is.
A matted ball of dry brown roots and vines, covered in painful-looking thorns, subtly shifting as you watch.
Admittedly, you don’t remember the purpose of the ritual perfectly, but you are certain it was supposed to show you your soul.

You move closer, wondering if this glorified tumbleweed is all you’re getting.
Forgetting that you have no body here, you try to reach out for it.
Pain lances through you, as a thorn stabs into some invisible part of yourself.
Blood drips through a hole in the void, and a solitary droplet lands on the tangled mess that caused this trouble.
The whole structure shudders, vines visibly writhing around each other.
Countless fine tendrils, so thin and so pale you can scarcely see them, lance out in every direction, and for a brief moment you are aware of all of humanity.
Eighty withered roots stab out, piercing through your nonexistant body as they travel to some destination in the void unbeknownst to you.
You wake up.

You don’t immediately feel any different.
Mostly just confused.
The cut on your hand isn’t much worse than a papercut, and stops bleeding quickly.


Tree of Skill:

Several days pass.
You get a growing feeling that something is in need of direction.
Eventually, you manage to shape a simple mental query, and see the same eighty roots that passed through you, hovering just out of contact with another mess of roots, resembling the stump of a tree ripped out of the ground.
As you look at the new structure, your vision shifts, and you see a number of odd structures buried within.
For now, the stump’s Nodes are dry and dead for lack of power, but a new instinct tells you that the roots carry enough for partial reactivation.
As you look deeper, you see the precise effects of each Node, the way power feeds from one to the next.
You can also see that their effects won’t stop at you, echoing through the roots until all of humanity receives their strength.
No pressure.

Gain 80 Skill Points.

Each Skill Point given to an option increases its level by one.

Effects apply to all of humanity.
Effects that enhance actions only effect actions performed by humans- a human using a tool receives the full benefit, a human telling a machine to do something does not.

T1 Nodes:

Finesse
Maximum Level: 10
Fine control over the movements of the body, the capacity to act with precision.
Coupled strongly to the ability to act without the delays of thought.
Effect:
Increases precision of all movements by 100% per level.
Reduces reaction time by 10% per level.
Reduces mental focus required to perform physical action by 10% per level.
Increases capacity of all components of the body to safely stretch and bend by 50% per level.
At or above level 3, grants perfect ambidexterity.

Motion
Maximum Level: 10
Speed in its purest form.
Speed to transcend the limits of mobility.
Effect:
Increases absolute speed by up to 100% per level.
Reduces effort and exertion of movement by 10% per level.
Adjusts friction experienced from each surface by up to 10% per level.
At or above level 3, permits effective movement across solid surfaces regardless of stability or capacity to provide support.
At or above level 6, permits effective movement across liquid surfaces regardless of stability or capacity to provide support.
At or above level 9, redirects gravity experienced towards surface of choice.
Accelerates mind to match increased speed.
Accumulation of boredom and stress will not accelerate with acceleration of mind.

Recovery
Maximum Level: 10
Pure vigor, to fight off sickness and invading tendrils and to restore what was lost.
Imperfect alone, but never alone, an extension of a deeper root.
Effect:
Increases rate of recovery from damage by 400% per level.
Increases rate of recovery of stamina and other energies by 100% per level.
Increases resistance to all forms of infection and cancer by 100% per level.
Allows all forms of injury to be recovered from perfectly, given sufficient time.

Mutability
Maximum Level: 10
Power over one’s own form.
Not chaotic shapelessness, but access to new shapes to wear freely.
Tied to the forms of humanity as it was when the Tree of Skill first touched upon them.
Effect:
Increases mass by up to 50% per level.
Decreases mass by up to 15% per level (maximum 90%).
At or above level 1, permits modification of broad cosmetic traits (including hair color and length, skin color, and eye color).
At or above level 3, permits deeper modifications (modification of fat deposits, modification of musculature, formation of calluses).
At or above level 5, permits assumption of any combination of human characteristics.
At or above level 7, permits assumption of limited non-human traits (resizing only constrained by square-cube law and speed of modification, free alteration of bone structure, new organs, etc.).
At or above level 9, permits addition of new functional limbs and sensory organs.
Speed and ease of modification increases with level.
Modification translates existing injuries to new form, and cannot be used to truly heal.
The mind shifts subtly with form, rendering all forms equally simple to control and comprehend.

Consumption
Maximum Level: 10
The intake of material to fuel one’s own flame.
Allows humanity to feed in a manner less like a real biological creature.
Effect:
Reduces waste produced by digestive processes by 20% per level (maximum 100%).
Reduces water requirements by 20% per level (maximum 100%).
Reduces danger of ingested substances by 10% per level.
Reduces energy required to digest materials by 15% per level (maximum 100%).
At or above level 3, no nutrients more specific than the general categories of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals are required.
At or above level 5, no nutrients more specific than calories are required.
At or above level 7, any organic material or biological substance can be digested for energy.

Lethality
Maximum Level: 10
Lashing out and bringing things to an end.
The skill to make contact with a point, and the force to rip through it.
Effect:
Increases skill in causing harm through current means by 100 hours of effective training per level.
Increases skill in facing current enemey by 100 hours of effective training per level.
Increases force of attacks by 50% per level.
Focuses and directs force of attacks to cause more significant and lethal injury.

Endurance
Maximum Level: 10
Pure resilience, to take blows and still stand.
An essence of stone brought up into frail flesh.
Effect:
Increases resistance to all forms of damage by 100% per level.
Reduces power of attacks received by 5% per level.
Increases capacity to survive injury by 50% per level.
Increases duration of survival after incurring fatal injury by up to 100% per level.
At or above level 2, bleeding does not occur.
At or above level 4, all components of body are as durable as the most durable components.
At or above level 6, full physical strength can be maintained up to the point of death.

Depths
Maximum Level: 10
A great pit, to be filled with fuel, and stamina, and yet greater things.
Inner depths few could muster without this empowerment.
Effect:
Increases maximum reserves of stamina and other energies by 200% per level.
Increases maximum reserves of sustenance by 200% per level.
Increases maximum reserves of willpower and similar traits by 200% per level.
Reduces sleep requirements by 20% per level (maximum 100%).

Keep
Maximum Level: 10
A very game-like inventory system, allowing stored goods to be popped in and out of reality.
Rich in potential; a well-made machine should be able to access any of a container’s inventory slots as needed.
Effect:
Grants 3 inventory slots per level.
Decreases time experienced within inventory slots by up to 10% per level.
Each inventory slot can hold any number of items of vaguely similar nature, up to mass limit.
Mass limit equal to amount of weight that can be lifted in 1g environment.
When creating a container, can give it 2 inventory slots per level.
Container inventory slots constrained by volume limit, equal to normal internal volume, rather than mass limit.
Containers whose inventory slots are not empty cannot be held within inventory slots.

Seek
Maximum Level: 10
A distortion of the world, producing resources to be found.
It is the search itself that fuels this power.
Effect:
At or above level 1, allows basic resources (wood, stone, mud, clay, water, and ordinary vegetation) to be found in any environment.
At or above level 3, allows greater resources (including chunks of ore and strange animals) to be found in any environment.
At or above level 5, allows sources of resources (including ore deposits and freshwater springs) to be found in any environment.
At or above level 7, allows territory to be found at great difficulty, distorting space to make it fit.
At or above level 9, allows subtly supernatural resources to be found at greater difficulty.

Conjure
Maximum Level: 10
Clear defiance of the laws of thermodynamics, turning air and sunlight into many pounds of new matter.
A careful harvest is often thought to be sustainable, but it could become truly endless.
Effect:
Decreases air, water, and soil used up by tended plants by 10% per level.
Decreases air, food, and water used up by tended animals by 10% per level.
At or above level 3, deposits of basic resources (including water, wood, and stone) can be prevented from diminishing by harvesting slowly.
At or above level 7, deposits of normal resources (including ore and oil) can be prevented from diminishing by harvesting slowly.
At or above level 10, deposits of exotic resources can be prevented from diminishing by harvesting slowly.

Control
Maximum Level: 10
The imbuement of a lingering influence into all environments a human shapes.
The ability to till a field one year, and plant it the next; to harvest a perfect apple a year after it becomes fully ripe.
Effect:
Increases lifespan of tended plants by 200% per level.
Increases lifespan of tended animals by 200% per level.
Increases permanence of environment modifications by 200% per level.
Decreases infrastructure maintenance requirements by 10% per level.

Distill
Maximum Level: 10
Pouring long hours into a simple craft to take it beyond normal limits.
Boiling down many pounds of rock to create a tiny blade as strong as any steel.
Effect:
Increases maximum benefits of [Distill] by 100% per level.
At or above level 1, permits investment of additional labor to directly increase quality of final product.
At or above level 3, permits investment of additional materials to directly increase attributes of final product.
At or above level 5, permits investment of precious things to directly increase effectiveness of final product.
At or above level 7, permits investment of life and lives to directly increase usefulness of final product.
Each form of augmentation via [Distill] counted for maximum benefits seperately, and their effects are combined additively.

Shape
Maximum Level: 10
Squeezing a lump of iron into the blade of a sword.
Carving intricate engravings into diamond with one’s fingernails.
Effect:
Increases precision of reshaping materials by 300% per level.
Increases speed of reshaping materials by 50% per level.
Decreases waste when reshaping materials by 10% per level.
At or above level 5, metallic and plastic materials can be reshaped as if at optimal temperature for reshaping.
At or above level 10, crystalline materials can be reshaped as if metallic.

Build
Maximum Level: 10
Timbers raised high lock together without rope or nails, anchored by something deeper than physical connections.
The bottom of a tower collapses, but the top remains, a floating symbol of humanity’s power.
Effect:
Increases stability of structures by 50% per level.
Reduces negative impact of gravity and acceleration on structural stability by 10% per level.
At or above level 3, structures do not require fasteners or adhesives to maintain stability.
At or above level 6, components of structures snap into optimal position during assembly.

Preserve
Maximum Level: 10
Lighting an ember that will glow dimly until the stars go out.
Drawing a sword forged centuries ago, as ready for battle as the day it was made.
Effect:
Increases resistance to decay (including by time, erosion, combustion, and wear from use) of all crafted items by 400% per level.
Decreases negative impact of damage on functionality of all crafted items by 10% per level (destroyed items cannot function).
Items that will not decay to the point of non-functionality within 30 years will not decay.

T2 Nodes:

Air
Level equal to combined levels of [Finesse] and [Motion].
The element of freedom, to run free without wondering how you’ll stop.
With a grand attunement to this element, it will shy away from harming humanity.
Effect:
Adjusts wind speed experienced by up to (10 km/h + 4% wind speed) per level.
Alters direction of wind experienced by up to 15 degrees per level.
Increases rate of acceleration and deceleration by 50% per level, without impacting maximum speed.
Increases safe maximum acceleration by 50% per level.
At or above level 3, prevents air pressure (or lack thereof) from causing damage or discomfort.
At or above level 5, allows safe breathing of all gaseous substances.
At or above level 7, prevents weather conditions from causing direct harm.

Water
Level equal to combined levels of [Recovery] and [Mutability].
The element that flows and shifts, filling molds as needed without losing what it is.
With a grand attunement to this element, it will shy away from harming humanity.
Effect:
Increases capacity to hold breath by 400% per level.
Increases temperatures experienced by up to 10° Celsius per level.
Decreases negative effects of toxic substances by 10% per level (maximum 100%).
Adjusts current speeds experienced by up to (10 km/h + 4% current speed) per level.
Alters direction of currents experienced by up to 15 degrees per level.
At or above level 3, prevents fluid pressure from causing damage or discomfort.
At or above level 6, alters experienced viscosity and transparency of fluids to match pure water.

Fire
Level equal to combined levels of [Consumption] and [Lethality].
The element of destruction, and conversion, and purification.
With a grand attunement to this element, it will shy away from harming humanity.
Effect:
Decreases temperatures experienced by up to (20° Celsius + 4% temperature above 0° Celsius) per level.
Increases rate of digestion by 20% per level.
Increases energy use of body by up to 20% per level, for corresponding increase in available energy.
Decreases energy use of body by up to 5% per level, for corresponding decrease in available energy.
At or above level 4, alters experienced toxicity and transparency of smoke to match pure air.
At or above level 8, prevents molten substances from adhering to body.

Earth
Level equal to combined levels of [Endurance] and [Depths].
The element of unyielding endurance and ages unbroken.
With a grand attunement to this element, it will shy away from harming humanity.
Effect:
Decreases gravity and acceleration experienced by up to (1g + 4% gravity/acceleration) per level, to a minimum of 1g.
Increases effective mass by up to 50% per level.
At or above level 3, prevents airborne particulates from impeding vision or impeding breathing.
At or above level 5, limbs cannot be severed unwillingly or rendered wholly nonfunctional without destroying them completely.
At or above level 7, cannot be crushed or wholly immobilized by collapsing material.
At or above level 10, failure or loss of any two of brain, nervous system, heart, and lungs (or equivalents thereof) can be accomodated for without loss of functionality or survivability.

Take
Level equal to combined levels of [Keep] and [Seek].
Ripping material from the flesh of the world at incredible speed.
Laughing at the hazards that would stymie others.
Effect:
Accelerates all processes of mining, excavating, and harvesting target material by 50% per level.
Increases quality of harvested resources by 1% per level.
Increases skill in all processes of mining, excavating, and harvesting target material by 30 hours of effective training per level.
At or above level 7, safety measures as significant as ‘mineshaft supports’ and ‘air ducts’ are unnecessary for safe work.
At or above level 13, work can continue normally in extreme environmental conditions (including excavating below loose sand or water) without added risk or labor.

Grow
Level equal to combined levels of [Conjure] and [Control].
Generating new resources, quickly and efficiently.
A subtle mastery of an important art.
Effects:
Accelerates all agricultural processes by 50% per level.
Increases quality of produced resources by 1% per level.
Increases skill in target agricultural process by 30 hours of training per level.
At or above level 7, measures as significant as ‘fences’ and ‘pesticides’ are unnecessary for safe and productive work.
At or above level 13, work can continue normally in extreme environmental conditions (including the path of a swarm of locusts) without added risk or labor.

Refine
Level equal to combined levels of [Distill] and [Shape].
Transforming what you have taken into something more valuable.
Turning the flesh of the world into its molten blood into something far greater.
Effect:
Accelerates all processes of refining and processing target substance by 50% per level.
Increases quality of refined resources by 1% per level.
Increases skill in all processes of refining and processing target substance by 30 hours of effective training per level.
At or above level 7, measures as significant as ‘tongs’ and ‘air filters’ are unnecessary for safe and effective work.
At or above level 13, work can continue normally in extreme environmental conditions (including smelting steel over open flame in a vacuum) without added risk or labor.

Assemble
Level equal to combined levels of [Build] and [Preserve].
Turning disparate components into pieces of a greater whole.
Adapting without flaw to the immediate situation, and what is at hand.
Effect:
Accelerates all processes of manufacturing and assembling target item by 50% per level.
Increases quality of assembled item by 1% per level.
Increases skill in all processes of manufacturing and assembling target item by 30 hours of effective training per level.
At or above level 7, measures as significant as ‘welding masks’ and ‘clean surfaces’ are unnecessary for safe and effective work.
At or above level 13, work can continue normally in extreme environmental conditions (including immersion in corrosive muck) without added risk or labor.

T3 Nodes:

Grace
Level equal to combined levels of [Air] and [Water].
To see the world clearly.
To take the gates that are your senses, and make them yours to command.
Effect:
Increases effectiveness of all senses by 20% per level.
Expands range of all senses by 10% per level.
At or above level 5, sets base level of sensory ability to peak human where this would be an improvement.
At or above level 10, eliminates flaws in sensory function (including blind spots, non-instant adjustment to changing light levels, and potential for sensory overload).
At or above level 20, allows senses to function at diminished levels in impossible scenarios (including vision in absolute darkness, hearing in an absolute vacuum).
Allows control of all senses, restricting what they are able to perceive.
Allows mind to process any amount of sensory data without additional effort.

Might
Level equal to combined levels of [Fire] and [Earth].
Pure physical power, to act upon the world and change it.
Power resolute, that permits no retaliation.
Effect:
Increases physical strength by 50% per level.
Reduces weight and pressure experienced by structural surfaces when exerting physical strength by 2.5% per level.
At or above level 10, treats held objects as being carried with perfect leverage.
At or above level 20, treats held objects as resilient enough to be carried without damage.
The exertion of physical strength cannot directly harm its wielder.

Mine
Level equal to combined levels of [Take] and [Grow].
A mastery of harvesting materials from the environment.
Skill and knowledge in incredible quantity, perhaps not deep but incredibly broad.
Effect:
Increases skill in locating and harvesting target material by 10 hours of effective training per level.
Increases understanding of target material to minimum of 30 pages of text (equivalent) per level.
Limited to materials previously identified by humans.

Craft
Level equal to combined levels of [Refine] and [Assemble].
A mastery of craft and contruction.
All the artifice of humanity and more, waiting to be put to use.
Effect:
Increases skill in crafting target item by 10 hours of effective training per level.
Increases understanding of how target item can be crafted to minimum of 30 pages of text (equivalent) per level.
Limited to items previously created by humans.

T4 Nodes:

Internal
Level equal to combined levels of [Grace] and [Might].
Not powerful vitality or thrumming vigor, but a simple provision of health.
The correction of flaws, the attunement of each piece to form a harmonious whole.
A body built to meet the needs of its wearer, and a mind that flows past damage and disruption.
Effect:
Increases effectiveness of immune system by 10% per level.
Increases capacity to work around flaws in the structure of mind and mental substrate by 10% level.
At or above level 10, prevents immune system from functioning incorrectly or excessively.
At or above level 30, eliminates all physical flaws stemming from genetic abnormalities.
Causes the mind to inevitably trend towards a functional state, regardless of damage suffered; ‘functional’ includes a lack of conditions such as depression and extreme addiction.
Causes the mind to inevitably recover from any form of external mental influence.
Effects accelerate with higher level.

External
Level equal to combined levels of [Mine] and [Craft].
A power that radiates from each human, pooling into a bright star of eternity.
The reach of this power exceeds that of all others, touching upon every thing.
Effect:
Introduces up to 1 kW of energy into system per level.
Removes up to 1 kW of heat from system per level.
Converts up to 0.5 kg of material per day per level.
At or above level 10, can convert gases and extend lifespans of stars.
At or above level 30, can convert fluids and slow cooling of planetary cores.
At or above level 50, can convert solid materials and regulate weather patterns.
Effects are spread over entire planetary ecospheres at their most concentrated.
Synchronizes perfectly with External Nodes of others.
Draws from minds of humanity to determine how environment ‘should’ be.

T5 Nodes:

Perpetuance
Level equal to combined levels of [Internal] and [External].
All aspects of a human inexorably trend towards their historical peak.
One can be wounded, scarred, pieces torn away, but no wound is unfixable.
No loss is unrecoverable.
Effect:
Reduces rate of gradual diminishments (including memory loss, skill decay, physical atrophy, genetic decay, and general aging) by 2% per level.
At or above level 50, confers immunity to gradual diminishments.
Allows all forms of diminishment to be recovered from perfectly, given sufficient time.


Expression:

New life flows through the stump of the Tree of Skill, and it grows anew.
Branches begin to extend outwards, budding with the beginnings of new leaves.
The metaphor’s a bit odd, given there is no light to catch in this void, but okay.
Observing the Tree of Skill’s strength as it echoes back through the roots feeding it, you can see an opportunity for a few small adjustments.
Reacting to the changes, they grow and shift, leaving them just a bit vulnerable.
You could easily slide in a few minor blockages- filters if you’re being charitable- to tweak their function.

Choose any number of options.

Visual Interface
A complex rig that allows you to regulate the Tree of Skill’s output and extract more detailed information on its function.
Every human receives a visual interface system, vaguely resembling in-game menus, which informs them of the effects of the Tree of Skill in as great a detail as you allow.
You are able to apply ‘patches’ at will, constraining the capabilities of specific Nodes, unlocking previously-restricted capabilities, and sharing relevant information.
You might cause Lethality to only activate in legitimate self-defense, prevent Seek from functioning to find gold, restrict the set of forms Mutability can allow a person to take on, or reduce the overall power of Take temporarily.
These patches effect everyone equally, with no exceptions (including you), and have a very limited capacity to actually boost abilities.
You have exactly 3 ‘bonus levels’, which you may allocate freely to any Nodes, ignoring normal level caps.

Gradual Jump
A simple filter that blocks the implications of these powers from humanity’s perceptions.
No one will stop to wonder when exactly these powers showed up, or where they came from, or why.
There will be no deep analysis of the function of these powers, nor will they be exploited for world-changing results.
Society will carry on as normal, save that the average person is significantly more capable.
Should you Dig Deeper and continue to the next phase, this filter will break down completely months before the second tree activates.

Sequential Activation
A dampening material that mitigates the echoing spread of the Tree of Skill’s strength.
Instead of activating instantly for everyone, only 3,000 people each second will people acquire powers.
You are free to set the order in which people will unlock powers, as precisely or loosely as you wish.
Once 51% of humanity is empowered, the dampening material will be destroyed by resonating strength, and everyone left will be empowered simultaneously.


Continuation:

Your mastery of the void grows as your understanding of the structures within it matures.
With clearer sight, you can see several ways to take this grand opportunity.

Choose one option.

Dig Deeper
The most obvious choice.
The Tree of Skill is far from unique.
Find something to feed your soul, follow the path it shows you.
Continue to Tree of Spite: Phase 2.

Ingrown Paradox
Sacrificing ultimate potential for a guarantee of safety.
Fold your soul in on itself, preventing it from growing outwards again with ripping itself into pieces.
Draw on this loss and on incredible internal forces to foster new strength, a power subtly distinct from that of the Trees.
Mirror this loss upon the structure of reality, echoing outwards through time and space.
Play any CYOA that is based on empowering or altering all of humanity.
Your universe, and any universes stemming from it, are guaranteed to be forever out of reach of other worlds.

Shattered Heavens
From within the void, you can dimly perceive the world, and other worlds.
Reach out to one.
Expend all of the strength of your soul.
Shatter the barriers between realities forever.
Choose one setting.
Portals to this setting will open up throughout the universe in vast quantity.
50% of Earth’s sky will shine with the light of alien stars.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.