According to various sources, namely Thanos of Titan (quoting from the Infinity Well) and the soul gem itself, the six infinity gems (also referred to as Infinity Stones) originally were one, a singular being that was alone in all creation. The one being was all powerful, since all that was, was it. This being grew tired of its lonely existence, and ended it. From the ashes of this ending, the multiverse came into being and, soon after, so did the infinity gems. The core of this being's might reincarnated, the infinity gems could hold sway over reality itself, if used properly.
Each of the gems, in other words, holds power over one aspect of existence. Used individually, an infinity gem can make its wielder vastly powerful, but used in tandem, the gems can make their wielder all powerful, if he understands how to do so.
Though the infinity gems can do great things,their wielders most often cannot, primarily because the gems themselves are possessed of a frightening intelligence. The gems pick and choose who will wield them, and can prevent those of weak prospects from doing so.
If someone wants to wield an infinity gem (or, all of them) and the gem resists, the would-be controller must pass a Psyche FEAT of intensity equal to the Psyche rank of the gem. Once this FEAT is made, the gem may be used by the gem's 'owner' at will.
Since the gems are formerly of one omnipotent mind, I recommend the gems each have Monstrous ranked Reason, Intuition, and Psyche scores; it makes them dangerously smart, but still controllable by powerful characters, even if the gem wishes otherwise.
Additionally, each of the gems has a unique personality, one that oughtto be fleshed out by the game Judge; for example, the soul gem is shown to have quite a malignant mindset. However, the other gems aren't neccesarily as dark. They're probably quite manipulative, though...
Once he's gained the use of an infinity gem (whether by the gem's choice , what can the would-be wielder do with it? Again, this depends on the gem. The gem may reveal all of its abilities to its wielder, or only some of them (or maybe even none).
If the wielder knows that the gem is capable of certain things, he may try to force these powers into the open (using the psychic arm-wrestle detailed above), or convince it to do so by helping it achieve its own ends (whatever they may be).
The power of each infinity gem is, by definition, infinite. However, I recommend that the character using the gem be limited to his Psyche rank in use of the power(s) he has access to. This represents the safe level of power the character can access through the infinity gem.
Should a character need to utilize more, he can do so by passing a red Psyche FEAT roll, boosting the level of power he can use by +1CS. The character must make this roll each time he intends to enhance the power he is using. Failing this roll, however, may be disastrous.
3. Loss of Control
A character can lose control of an infinity gem under two circumstances:
he may try to use too much power at one time, failing a red Psyche FEAT to use the gem at +1CS, or he may try to use even more power than this. Or, the gem may rebel against him if it is being uses against its will.
In the case of attempting to using too much power, the gem may simply fail to operate. This is usually the case when the character and the gem have a harmonious relationship. If this isn't the case, the power being used may explode out of control, in the worst possible way.
If the infinity gem rebels, it may do so because it has been forced to do the character's bidding, waiting for just the right time to strike.
If the gem is working with a character willingly, but he begins to act counter to the gem's wishes, it may simply 'malfunction' for a bit.
In either event, the character cannot use the gem until he gains control of its abilities again. If the gem is working with the character of its own will, it will usually just let the character back in charge. Otherwise, the character will have to regain control via another Psyche FEAT.
Infinity Gem Descriptions
The space gem was unknown as such until it came into the possession of the Runner, another Elder of the Universe. He received the gems after Galactus' battle with the In-Betweener, and kept it until Thanos took it away from him, thanks to the time gem.
After the infinity gauntlet affair, the gem went to Pip the Troll, who alternately stored it between his toes, and down his underwear. He kept it for quite some time, after that...
This gem wields power over the fabric of space itself. The space gem has had two known wielders: the Runner and Pip the Troll. One used it mainly for teleportation, andthe other mainly to run real, real fast. Known powers of the space gem include:
- One of the most obvious aspects of the space gem is the ability it has to teleport. It can do so with power rank range, unless the gem is working willingly with its owner in this case, the range is limited only by the imagination of its wielder.
- Teleport Others
- Similarly, the wielder of the space gem may teleport others, in addition to himself.The range constraints of this power are the same as the power above, and the holder of the space gem may teleport a number of others equal to this power rank # divided by ten.
- Space Warping
- By manipulating the very fabric of space, wielders of the space gem may simulate the gravity manipulation power, since gravity is, by definition, merely bends in space caused by the presence of matter. Power stunts must be developed normally.
- Distortion Field
- On a similar note, by wrapping him / her / itself in a constantly shifting space warp, the wielder of the space gem can generate a defense against attacks. Incoming attacks, redirected by these bends in space, suffer a -2CS to hit.
- Dimensional Travel
- Another use of the space gem is to traverse the myriad planes of existence. Travel to a familiar plane requires a green FEAT, a plane the traveller has been to once or twice can be reached on a yellow FEAT, and unknown planes can be reached with a red power FEAT.
- Hyper Speed
- Rather than teleporting, the wielder of the space gem may, if he so desires, simply boost the speed of an existing form of travel. He can boost the speed of said form of travel up to this power rank, or increase the original rank by +1CS, whichever is higher.
The Gardener was the first known being to wield the time gem. He had it for several thousand years, until a chance encounter with the Stranger prompted him to discard the gem. Using it in battle made him feel all dirty inside...
The gem wandered into mysterious hands for a little while, until all six were recovered by the Elders of the Universe to kill Galactus (see the soul gem story for more). After the In-Betweener lost to Galactus, the time gem returned to the Gardener's hands.
And Thanos arrived to take it back from him. Thanos used the gem on the Gardener, killing him with the microscopic plantlife within his body. After the infinity gauntlet incident, the time gem passed to gamora, who has slowly learned how to use its many talents.
This gem wields power over the dimensions of time. The gem has had two known wielders in the past: Gamora and the Gardener. Both have had only minimal access to the true power of this gem, some of which are described below:
- Time Travel
- The gem can traverse time easily, moving forwards in time a number of years equal to the power rank times ten, and backwards in time a number of years equal to the power rank times one thousand. If the gem is working willingly with its owner, there is no range limits.
- Temporal Window
- The gem can be used to peer into other times or timelines. No temporal period is immune to this viewing, nor are any divergent or variant timelines. The trick is finding something specific to look for (success determined with a successful power FEAT).
- The gem can be used to alter the age of either the wielder or another being, altering their age by a number of years equal to this power rank. However, beings cannot have their age altered to a number less than zero.
- Suspended Animation
- The gem can halt biological functions completely,by placing a target in a null-time bubble, a bubble that will last until the target is released. If unwilling, the target may resist by pasing an Endurance FEAT against the current power rank of this power.
- Parallel Travel
- The gem can be used to travel sideways through time,crossing the infinite stream of variant timelines. Characters can find truly parallel worlds with a green FEAT, slightly different timelines with a yellow FEAT, and vastly different worlds with a red FEAT.
- By focusing the gem upon himself, the wielder of the time gem can acquire power rank longevity. As presented in Dragon Magazine, this power will enhance the character's lifespan to a degree determined by the following formula:
- Eventual Lifespan = (normal lifespan - current age) x power rank cubed
The first known user of the mind gem was the Kree Supreme Intelligence. He claimed a Kree patrol found the trinket, and used it to absorb the soul of the Silver Surfer.
When he absorbed the Surfer's 'soul', the Silver Surfer ended up having to battle the Supreme Intelligence within its own mind. Furthermore, he was using it to control the various factions of Kree brains within itself. The evidence is great. He had the mind gem, not the soul gem.
The Surfer took it from the Intelligence, driving it mad, as the minds of blue and pink Kree battled each other for dominance. The Surfer then turned the gem over to the Elders, as they held Shalla Bal and Mantis hostage for it.
The mind gem went through the same black hole with the other gems (see above), and when the Elders fled Galactus, the Grand Master held the mind gem. He lost a gamble with the Champion for it, wagering against Galactus in the cosmic being's battle, but still holds it somehow.
He kept it until Thanos came to take it from him, terminally. I guess his death is not permanent, but the Grand Master did die. After the infinity gauntlet affair, Moondragon used the mind gem to great effect, enhancing her already signifigant psionic powers.
This gem wields power over the minds of other beings. It has known the following wielders in the past: Moondragon and the GrandMaster. It has many mental abilities, not all of which are limited to the minds of others.
- The mind gem allows the wielder to converse with anyone via a direct mental link, within the power rank's range. Should the gem be working willingly with its wielder, this limitation is ignored, and the wielder can mentally contact anyone, anywhere.
- Similarly, the holder of the mind gem can use his awareness of others to track their psionic 'signature'. Green FEATs are required for folks familiar to the gem holder, yellow FEATs are needed for those less familiar, and red FEATs are needed for unfamiliar folks.
- Mind Probe
- The gem holder can probe the mind of other sentient, to search for any information desired. Unless the target of such a probe is willing (and who ever is), he automatically gets a Psyche FEAT roll to resist the probe, even if he is unaware of the probe attempt.
- Sensory Link
- Rrather than bluntly probe the mind of another, the wielder of the mind gem may simply eavesdrop on the sensory input of other beings. This is usually a trouble-free process, as the target of this power won't realize it is happening without passing a red Reason FEAT.
- Mind Control
- With this ability, the wielder of the mind gem can override the will of others, causing them to do things they normally would not do. The target is allowed a Psyche FEAT roll against the intensity of this power to resist mind control.
- Mind Blast
- With this ability the wielder of the mind gem can blast the mind of others with raw psionic power, causing power rank damage to the victim's neural system. As with a mind probe, the would-be victim is allowed a Psyche FEAT roll to shrug off the effects of this power.
- The mind gem can be used to psionically affect any object, without actual contact. The gem can affect an amount of weight equal to this power's current rank, although unwilling victims may make a Strength FEAT roll against the intensity of this power rank to resist.
To start with, this gem was known to be held by the High Evolutionary, who gave it to Adam Warlock, in order to help him rid his counter-earth of all evil. Adam did, and kept the gem for his troubles. Since the gem is generally known to be rather 'evil', one could see why the High Evolutionary wouldn't take too much issue with this.
Anyway, Adam wielded the gem until Thanos killed him, and took it for himself. The Titan used the six gems to build a universe-smashing gem of immense size (as big as a bean bag), but got dead. The gems then dispersed across the cosmos, except for the soul gem.
Captain Mar-Vell put it on his grave, as a final respect, until the Gardener came along and stole it to replace his discarded time gem. Hmmm. The elder held onto it until he got eaten by Galactus, and the gem fell through a black hole with several Elders of the Universe.
When the Silver Surfer came looking for the gems for Galactus (with Sue and Reed Richards), the In-Betweener seized the soul gem, and used it in his battle with Galactus. The In-Betweener lost, and got imprisoned by Lord Chaos and Master Order for his troubles.
Ressurected by Lady Death to destroy half the universe's teeming life, Thanos looked for an expedient way to do so. Peering into the Infinity Well, he found out the true secret of the infinity gems, and came to take the gems from those who held them.
Thanos started with the In-Betweener, since Death didn't like him after the being forced him / her / it to kill several of the Elders, recently. Making short work of the braggart, Thanos seized the soul gem and left the In-Betweener to his fate.
After the infinity gauntlet debacle, Adam Warlock was alive, again (as all good Marvel heroes never say die), and got his Soul Gem back. He kept it until the Magus temporarily stole it from Warlock (with all but the reality gem).
Adam, of course, got it back again, and kept it until the infinity crusade. Thanos used it for a brief time during the infinity crusade, but Adam has had the gem ever since.
This gem wields power over the souls of sentient beings. The following list of abilities are the documented applications of the soul gem. Though this item no doubt has many more abilities, these are those that have been seen in the past:
- Karmic Blast
- This power can be used to 'disrupt one's anima center', inflicting either power rank damage to one's mind (per a mind blast), or act as a stunning attack. A would-be victim is allowed a Psyche FEAT roll, of an intensity equal to this power rank, to resist.
- Spirit Sense
- The soul gem can be used to sense other sentient beings in order to a) track someone known to the wielder, or b) determine the presence of other people via the presence of the soul within them (including astral bodies).
- Internal Limbo
- The soul gem itself either contains, or is the doorway to, a pocket dimension of the largest size (not infinite, but really, really big). This reality can be used to store as many souls as the wielder likes, for an indefinite period of time.
- Soul Absorption
- The soul gem can be used to literally absorb the soul of another, storing it in the pocket dimension inside itself. While so holding a soul, the wielder can make use of any talent said soul may have had knowledge of.
- One of the stranger powers of the soul gem, this ability allows the wielder to reverse artificially induced evolution. This doesn't seem to fit in the general class of powers this gem seems to hold, but there you go.
- Using the soul gem, the wielder can understand the spoken languages of others, and communicate with others in their own tongues as well.
The reality gem was not known to be such, until the conflict between Galactus and the In-Betweener was over. When the Elders fled, the Collector held the reality gem, but could never figure out what it was. He did so when Thanos traded it for the infant form of the Runner.
Thanos kept the reality gem until it was taken from him in the infinity gauntlet affair, and then got it back shortly thereafter; Adam Warlock gave it to him for safe keeping. So, he was technically a member of the Infinity Watch.
This gem holds sway over reality itself. Perhaps the most difficult gem to explain and / or codify, this powerful artifact allows one to alter, or even ignore, laws of physics as we know them. The probable scope of the reality gem's abilities are listed here:
- Reality Manipulation
- This far reaching power allows the wielder of the reality gem to muck with the laws of reality themselves. The gem may modify or repeal aspects of a causality as he see fits, within this power's range (table C in the UPB). Any changes made will last for a maximum number of turns equal to the power rank, unless the gem wielder is specifically concentrating on maintaining the alteration. When the change is no longer maintained, normal reality will bounce back into place at once. However, if the reality gem is working harmoniously with its wielder, it may be convinced to make some small changes permanent. This will only be a change affecting a single person, object, or (small) location, and will only occur if the change is allowed by the game Judge.
As once can guess, this power includes aspects of the following powers:
- Molecular Creation / Conversion
- Matter Animation,
- Probability Manipulation,
- most of the power control and rule bending powers,
- and most other powers not covered by the other infinity gems
Casual changes are not necessarily lethal, as folks within the distorted area of reality are changed alongside their reality. However, the gem wielder may specifically exclude them from the reality change, and they will thus take power rank damage each round within the altered area.
In fact, one clever use of this gem is to target a specific person with a reality altering aura for a mere second, the resultant reality hiccup carrying a powerful stunning effect, as the brain of the victim rebels against the altered reality before it.
The power gem was not known to be such, until the conflict between Galactus and the In-Betweener was over. When the Elders fled, Champion held the power gem, but didn't realize it until Thanos tricked it away from him.
Thanos held the power gem until after the infinity gauntlet affair, as it passed to Drax the Destroyer. He has kept it since.
This gem is a source of Power, truly infinite in scope. The gem has the ability to draw power from the totality of existence itself, and is the exception to the rules of how the other infinity gems work. Probable abilities of the power gem include:
- Energy Generation
- A source of infinite power, the power gem can be used to emit energy, of an intensity equal to the current power rank. This may energy may come in any form the gem wielder desires, but will be in a raw, unfocused state.
- Energy Manipulation
- The gem can also be used to control energy. The power gem can manipulate any form of energy at the current power rank, and can be used to control energies it generates at +1CS. Any power stunts must developed normally.
- Energy Sponge
- With his control over energy, the holder of the power gem is rarely affected by harmful energies. The gem can be used to simply absorb any offending energy attack, up to a rank equal to the current power rank, per use of the power. This energy is normally redistributed across the cosmos, so the character need not worry about absorbing too much energy. However, the gem wielder can retain the sponged energy for immediate use, within himself, but is then subject to the limitations of this power.
- The power gem can be used to change one form of energy into another. The intensity of the FEAT roll is equal to the rank of the energy to be changed, with an obvious maximum of the current power rank +1CS. Energy so changed will be -1CS less powerful than before.
- By channeling the power of this gem into one's body, the gem can be used to augment one's natural physiology, promoting healing. The gem essentially allows a character to regenerate, healing at a rate determined by the current power rank.
- Power Enhancement
- By tapping the power of this gem, the wielder may increase any power rank (or his Strength) to the gem's current power rank, or the power rank +1CS (whichever is higher). This enhancement lasts as long as the gem wielder wills it.
When brought together, the infinity gems can be used in concert, allowing their wielder power over all. However, the wielder of the gems must know he is able to do so, otherwise the gems will work independently of one another.
For instance, the first time Thanos collected all the infinity gems, he simply used them as a source of raw power. The same occurred when he who is known as the In-betweener nabbed all six gems, as he too was unaware of the gems' true nature.
However, after Thanos figured out the gems' dark secret, he became truly dangerous, as he had the fate of the universe in his hands. Of course, since the Infinity Gauntlet / War / Crusade debacle, many folks know of the gem's true power, and can now attempt to use them in concert.
That is, of course, unless you consider the edict of the Living Tribunal, who declared the infinity gems may never again be used as one. A tricky fellow may find a means of avoiding this ruling, however, so the infinity gauntlet is prevented below.
When combined, all six infinity gems hold sway over all, as they can be used to do anything. If the holder of the Infinity Gauntlet does not understand its true nature, he can operate the gems as if they were using them by themselves, as is described above.
If the character knows the truth about the gems, he may use them as one. The first round a character does so, his use of the gauntlet should be limited to his Reason, Intuition, or Psyche rank (whichever is higher), representing the character's limited understanding of infinity.
As he practices using the gauntlet, this rank will increase steadily until the wielder can do anything and everything he desires. By making a red Reason FEAT, the character can gain a greater understanding of the gauntlet, and raise his effective power rank by +1CS.
This process will continue until the character reaches Beyond rank in the use of the infinity gauntlet. At this point, he is omniscient and omnipotent, and is (in effect) undefeatable. Only blatant stupidity on the part of the gauntlet wielder can make him lose it.
Incomplete Infinity Gauntlet
If someone doesn't have all six infinity gems, he can still use them in concert, if he knows that he can, of course. For each additional gem a body holds, the effective rank of usage with each gem's effects is inincreased by +1CS for that person.
Furthermore, the effects of each gem can overlap. A body can use this to his advantage, combining the influence of the gems to control more of existence than before. The possibilities are near endless, but not as great as those available to one who has all six gems...