Play Dead (3GP/3PP/A)

Cinematically: By casting a spell of illusion, entering a deep meditative trance, or stopping his heartbeat using secret ninja techniques, a character with this gimmick can convince observers that he is dead. This gimmick is useful for fooling opponents into dropping their guard, escaping detection on corpse-filled battlefields, deceiving interrogators, and avoiding hungry predators.

Mechanically: The character may activate this gimmick at any time as an instant action and immediately fall into a deathlike state. While in this state, the character gives every outward sign of being dead. He does not appear to breathe, his flesh is cold to the touch, and he has no discernible heartbeat. Even gimmicks like View Auras are fooled by the use of this gimmick. Only a thorough medical examination can determine that the character is actually still alive. To do so, a character must spend at least a full turn physically examining the character and roll a successful Medical check with a –5 penalty. Of course, a character with Otherworld Sight can automatically recognize that the character is not actually dead.

By spending an additional Gimmick Point on this gimmick beyond its initial cost, the character’s deathlike state becomes so convincing that it can fool even the most advanced medical technology and most forms of mystical detection. Only characters with the Otherworld Sight gimmick can tell that the character is not really dead.

The character can remain in this deathlike state for as long as he wants, and may revive himself during his own turn as an instant action. While playing dead, the character is completely unable to move or act in any way. He has Defense Totals of seven and can be attacked and take damage normally. He can also still be harmed or killed by suffocation, starvation, environmental conditions, and other external hazards. If the character remains in this state for extended periods of time, he does not physically decay like a real corpse, though if cinematically appropriate, his body may become rigid or even emit a foul odor. Depending on the cinematic description of the gimmick, the character may or may not remain conscious and able to sense his surroundings while playing dead.

This gimmick is most effective in fooling onlookers if the character activates it immediately after being successfully attacked. He can, of course, activate the gimmick at any time and simply appear to drop dead on the spot, but his “corpse” is much less likely to come under scrutiny if he activates the gimmick when there is already a convincing reason for him to appear dead. If another character tries to use restorative gimmicks such as Resurrection or Healing Touch on the character while he is playing dead, he is not forced to revive (though he will regain lost Heath Points from the Healing Touch gimmick), but it may become apparent to observers that something is amiss when these gimmicks do not have their expected effects.

Mecha: Mecha may purchase and used this gimmick as described above. When a mecha activates this gimmick, it appears to completely shut down and become inert. It does not emit heat, radio waves, or any other signs of activity. A character must spend at least a full turn examining the mecha and roll a successful Mechanical check with a –5 penalty to determine that the mecha is still functional. Characters or other mecha with the Otherworld Sight or View Auras gimmicks can tell that the mecha is functional. If the mecha spends an additional Gimmick Point to improve this gimmick, only characters or other mecha with the Otherworld Sight gimmick can determine that the mecha is functional. The mecha’s pilot is not affected by this gimmick, only the mecha itself.