Spirituality (SPT)

Represents such things as the tenderness of the character’s basic beliefs, how in touch he is with his emotions, the strength of his compassion, his ability to empathize with others, the depth of his faith in Deity, his ties and general connection to Spirit itself, as well. Spirituality indicates the character’s attachment and attunement to spiritual matters, what we in the modern day would call “superstition”, his general interest in spiritual versus physical matters and habits in his life and in the gameworld at large. It also indicates the degree to which he values spiritual connections, the strength and motivational force of his love for friends, family, spouse, children, even lord, king and country. It measures his general Grace of spirit, as well, and the strength or weakness of the gentler deity-oriented Virtues such as Faith, Hope, Charity, and Humility.

A “1” in this attribute indicates the character has no clue about the heart, the soul and their uses, and the softer side of life. He is so busy shouting and shoving with his friends, grunting and playing in bed, sweating, running and dancing good vigorous peasant dances, riding, and hunting, fighting, eating and drinking to excess, and competing in highly physical sports like wrestling, while scorning quiet contemplation, books, scholars and ascetics whose delicate sensitivities and sensibilities confound him.

Any character intended to be a Druid (any), Mystic, Witch or Wizard must have a SPT score of 14 or higher.

A character with a “25” score in this attribute is able to appreciate the most subtle nuance of feeling in his true love’s heart, to glean every iota of spiritual value from the most esoteric literature, and has a great capacity to enjoy theater, visual arts, sculpture, music, poetry and all such expressions of the beauty of the spirit within which appeal to Man’s higher nature. Such a character might attend to his religious devotions as faithfully as any priest in holy orders without having any need of making a public show of it by actually taking holy orders himself if he has other avenues that draw him more strongly to pursue. He generally has a great distaste for the brutal crudities of the physical world, excesses of physical appetites of any kind and most especially physical violence. He is driven to seek quiet places and solitude, to escape the hurly-burly of the mundane world and crowds of the brutish common run of folk.

Heart (HRT)

Heart represents the strength of the character’s personality and such things as how firm is his sense of self, how tenacious his integrity. It reflects the strength of the character’s filial ties, his love of home and country, loyalty in oaths of friendship and also of fealty – all the things he holds dear in his heart, his own sense of personal honor. HRT shows how easily the character can be distracted from or swayed in his opinions, the courage and strength of his convictions, natural stubbornness, how deeply he feels the tides of emotion flow through him when he is touched. This score also indicates the strength of the character’s fight-or-flight reflex, his will to get-up-and-go, his basic will to live, how hard he is willing to fight when the people or things he loves are threatened.

HRT is a major factor in determining the character’s ability to resist severe bodily shocks, pain, and privation, as well as magickal assaults. For those who practice the various forms of magick, it determines the amount of damage the character can inflict with any attack magick. Great HRT guards the character in tests of integrity, against temptation to indulge in the Vices, or attempts to sway the character with skills of persuasion.

A score of “1” in HRT and the character would desert his own mother or love at the first act he interpreted as being against his own interests or smacking in the least of disaffection, disloyalty, or infidelity on their parts – or even for sufficient coin. Such a character generally lacks the courage to speak in public, at least not without being spoken to first, and may even have trouble stating a firm opinion on anything. They are most likely to back down from any position when challenged. One who is this weak in HRT generally avoids looking others in the eye – and instinctively would certainly never do so to one with a HRT score higher than his own.

A character with a “25” makes a staunch friend through thick and thin, but also perhaps a stiff-backed moralist who suffers no insult to friend, family, king or country. He may have a wide “show me” streak when his back is up and probably only accept facts contrary to his own beliefs or knowledge when satisfied with indisputable proofs, and worse than difficult to sway by any who would try to persuade him on less concrete issues. These sorts swear blood oaths knowingly and intentionally, only make promises or swear fealty when they can do so with a crystal clear conscience, when they are sure there is no conflict.

The down-side to a character with great HRT is that he can carry a grudge to the grave. This can make the character difficult to deal with in play, however, so the player would be wise to save the unforgiving pig-headedness aspect of this attribute for times when he is directly and purposefully crossed, or he is directly and purposefully contradicted. Just a good idea for the sake of the game and the enjoyment of all the other players.

Charisma (CHM)

Charisma is the measure of the character’s polish and sensitivity to the sensibilities of others. It indicates the smoothness of manner, the ease with which the character rolls with the punches in social interchanges, so to speak. It is at once both the measure of a character’s raw personal magnetism and strength of personality and also the impact he makes in the world everywhere he goes, how much attention he draws.

A character with a score of “1” can’t open his mouth without saying something foul or insulting enough to start a fight, and couldn’t get a bed in the meanest hovel if he offered to pay in gold for it.

An above average score indicates a certain amount of empathy, an ability to relate, and the ability to conduct interpersonal relations with some ease.

Most players may not see a need to bother with this attribute, but every character should be within a point or two of average (13) so the character can just get along from day to day.

CHM can be of great use in attempts at persuasion, or intimidation, for interrogation, and for seduction, however. It is the character’s stage presence in performing as a Player or speaking as an Orator in public, his first impression in making contacts or friends, in attempts at persuasion, haggling, parley or negotiations. A character with a high CHM knows instinctively how to “make an entrance.” He always draws attention, gathers the limelight. He can’t help it. High CHM can also be used to inspire others in the face of danger when leading by example making a show of his Heart (resolve) in dire circumstances for others to see. In its outward effects on others in character encounters, these social skills or tools and effects are commonly referred to as aspects of the “Presence” skill.

The character with a “25” on the other hand, could charm the skin off a snake, part a merchant from his money, compromise a lord’s honor without raising a ripple of offense, or charm those even marginally inclined into his bed.

An above average BTY score can enhance most applications of the character’s CHM (Presence skills) during play.

Awareness (AWA)

This is a general score that actually encompasses three different aspects, which together describe the character mentally. The first is the character’s presence of mind, how much attention he customarily pays to or his general attunement to the flow of events going on around him, a valuable asset in one who would stand guard duty either for an employer or as a member of an adventuring party in the wilderness or infiltrating hostile territory (as described in the Sentry skill). By extension this aspect includes the speed of his mental reflexes, how quickly he recognizes and responds to various stimuli, his ability to associate and perceive through experience, particularly in situations involving Surprise, but also governing such things as his Initiative in tactical contests and especially in armed combat where life and limb are at risk.

The most common aspect of AWA that affects play is as a measure of the sharpness of the character’s senses when he is paying attention, used for sighting and recognition checks at distance, tests of the sense of hearing, smell and/or taste, how sensitive of touch and how sensitive to being touched (as described in the Searcher skill), but also in basic interpersonal perceptiveness, catching behavioral clues (as described in the Savvy skill).

AWA also measures the speed of the character’s mental processes or aptitude for cerebral activities, the degree to which he is inclined to scholastic, philosophical or technical interests and pursuits, reading, writing (composition), mathematics, and perhaps even personal introspection, even meditative activities which soothe the agitated mind, but that is where AWA bleeds over into Spirituality.

A “1” in this score is equivalent to one who wanders about the house, tearing the place apart, looking for the purse he is already wearing at his belt, or has difficulty following the thread of a conversation, much less putting a few words of his own together, barely able to get from 1 to 10 using his fingers, the ultimate in short attention span. To such a character the finest meal tastes the same as gruel, the sweetest rose smells the same as any common weed, satin or haircloth make no difference against his skin, a shriek or the flute-like note of a coloratura soprano sound the same to his tin ear, and reading by candlelight nearly impossible (IF were he so inclined).

A character with a “25” however, would notice a hairline crack in a panel of a worthless painting of some anonymous ancestor when walking casually past the doorway of the chamber it hung in, at a distance of up to 30 feet, and could amuse himself with algebraic equations in exercises of geometry to pass the time (given that level of education). The fine senses of such a character would have the capacity to discern the subtle nuances of gourmet cuisine, note the exquisite differences in the many notes juggled by a professional nose in making perfumes, discern at a touch the hairline seam of the secret door made by a master carpenter, hear a footfall on soft earth, and see clearly the plume of road dust marking an enemy’s approach on the horizon or beyond.

At the GM’s option, the AWA score can be refined into the three discreet aspects discussed: Awareness (presence of mind), Sensory Acuity, and Mental Aptitude, allowing the player to manipulate AWA to allow the character a separate and different score each. In this way the player can further individualize his character from others who have the same AWA score.

In effect, the basic AWA score is determined according to the rules presented in this step of character creation, normally. Afterwards, the base AWA score becomes the base score for each of the three aspects named. The player is then free to swap the scores around between the three aspects on a point-for-point basis, i.e. one score must be lowered by one (1) point in order for another aspect to be raised a point. The player may continue to juggle the scores in the three aspects around until he has achieved a balance he likes better. Those making Custom Method characters and those allowed to use the point-buy system for determining attribute scores might be allowed to spend points on each independently (GM’s discretion). These are considered final once the character has been brought into active game play, however, in the same manner as any of the other attributes or aspects of the character.

If in the course of play the character’s general, base AWA score is altered, whether increased or decreased, the scores in the three aspects must be adjusted commensurately. Whether this is to be done by the GM or the player depend upon the circumstances and nature of the reason for the change (GM’s discretion).

Strength (STR)

This is one of the more obvious attributes. As the name implies, it is a general measure of a character’s raw physical power, his muscle or brute force. The character’s STR score determines how heavy are the loads he can carry, how much weight he can pull, shove, lift, and/or carry under different circumstances. It also represents the amount of damage the character is able to dish out when he successfully lands a blow on foes in battle, and is a prime factor in determining the amount of actual physical punishment or damage the character can withstand when he himself is struck by a foe or otherwise injured. STR is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his CND, STA, AGL and AWA scores are.

A “1” in this attribute indicates a typical 98lb weakling, or a very small child o even a small animal. A “25” in this attribute enables the character to perform great feats of strength like the folk hero strongmen, bending bars or straightening horseshoes with his bare hands, towing great wagonloads, even lifting horses and the like.

Stature (STA) and Build (BLD)

Stature is a general measure of a character’s size, indicating without actually defining such things as height, as might first come to mind, but also his overall frame. It gives a general idea of how broad the shoulders, how deep the chest, the thickness of bones and joints, wrist, ankles, feet, and hands, how hard he is to fit for hat, shirt and gaskins in sleeve length and inseam, gloves, shoes, and the like, relative to the average for his race. Except for the height, which can still vary a bit between those who have the same score, STA is not intended to be a pin-point specific measure. It is nonetheless a major factor in determining the amount of actual physical punishment or damage the character can withstand and is a primary factor in determining the character’s weight, though race has a major effect on this also. As such, it is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his AGL, CND, STR and AWA scores are.

Because it is used as a universal measuring stick for all creatures great and small, humanoid, beastly, and monstrous, in the context of the game, STA score ranges are compressed relative to the rest of the attributes. In addition to STA, STR and CND also have a direct effect on the physical appearance of the character, indicating how much mass is packed on the frame, and the composition of that mass.

The most accurate guide to the character’s physical proportions are found under Build, which is largely a function of the character’s race, being one of the aspects that physically defines a race.

Unlike the rest of the Physical Attributes, STA scores have to be modified according to Build prior to use in determining other aspects of the character description. Where STA is called for, the text will always indicate whether the raw original score purchased should be used or the score modified for Build.

STA is also unique among the attribute scores for the fact that no attribute modifier is needed for it. In the second box next to the attribute score on the Character Record Sheet the player actually records the modified score according to Build (by race) instead.

The direct effects of STA on the character can be seen under Height in Physical Description, as follows, and also in Step 9. Tactical Attributes under Body Points.

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Character Build

Even though the player can vary the proportions of the character’s body somewhat by altering his height for his given STA score – making him more stocky if a little shorter or a little more long and slim if a bit taller than average for a given score – STA is actually based on human proportions. In order to take into account different types of frames, it must be modified to suit a non- or demi-human character standard.

The degree to which STA describes actual proportions is necessarily limited.

The actual proportions of a character’s structure, or frame is determined by his race, and expressed as his Build.

Character Build may be found on table 4-8., according to character race.

This should be noted on the Character Record Sheet in the space provided.

In the Secondary Attributes (following) where STA is a factor, it will have to be modified as dictated by table 4-8. before being used, and also before being used to determine Weight (but NOT height, that uses the raw original score).

When determining Body Points in Step 7. Tactical Attributes (the amount of physical damage a character can sustain and still survive) his STA are multiplied by the number indicated on the table before adding it in, and when determining the character can carry (as follows) these multipliers are applied to his Encumbrance rates, as well.

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4-8. Character Build Multipliers, by Race

Race Build STA multiplier
Elf Slight x 0.75
HalfElf Med-Light x 0.9
Human Medium x 0
Dwarf Heavy x 1.5

 

Condition (CND)

Character Condition indicates the degree of the character’s general level of health and physical conditioning, his hardiness and strength of physical fiber. The character’s endurance and physical staying power are governed by CND, how quickly he spends his Wind and how quickly he gets it back, and his ability to hold his breath or resist the latest flu bug or plague. It is a primary factor in determining the amount of actual physical punishment or damage the character can withstand and influences the character’s weight, as well, by indicating greater leanness. CND is a major factor in determining the character’s ability to resist severe bodily shocks, pain, and privation, how fast he heals from all injuries and maladies. It is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in a similar manner that AGL, STA, STR and AWA scores are.

A character with a “1” score in CND are soaked with sweat, red and huffing after a simple walk around the block or climbing a flight of stairs, or any similar exercise of his physical resources. He is also prone to catch whatever the latest bug is that is going around at first exposure, and most likely to succumb to it if it is at all dangerous.

The character with a “25” score would be fine walking, running, or any similar simple task all day, finding a comfortable pace and barely breaking a sweat by sundown. His immune system would be strong enough to keep him safe from everyday sniffles and alive through most of the more threatening maladies, as well, even if he did fall prey to it.

Beauty (BTY)

As seen by others, regardless of race, BTY is a relative statement of the character’s appearance, which can greatly affect the way others (NPC creatures and beings) react to the character at first sight. Though style is dictated by culture, basic concepts of beauty are generally universal, based on a perception of regularity and balance in proportions. Most reactions to appearance are based on the manner in which the beholder’s society accepts or rejects true beauty. The player must understand that the BTY score describes the entire body, not just the face.

A “1” in this attribute indicates the character has so many superficial and even structural flaws, pocks and blotches in complexion, perhaps moles, and such proportional irregularities most people shudder to see it – a face not even a mother could love. Indeed, small children may scream and run away (GM’s discretion). Low BTY should evoke images of hairy warts hirsute men or unnaturally hairless, sallow, waxen or overly sweaty and florid, uneven and unhealthy skin color, tone, and condition. Women may have masculine body hair, pockmarks, incurable acne, or the like. It can indicate extreme over-bite (weak chin) or under-bite (pronounced lantern jaw), crowded or missing teeth, hard, horny, cracked and pitted nails, coarse and wiry unmanageable hair, twisted and/or knobby hands, feet, limbs and joints. If such a character makes no efforts to conceal his appearance, the common run of NPC’s are likely to cross the street, duck into an alley, step off the street or turn into the nearest shop to avoid coming face to face in close quarters with him, physically dragging any dependents along with them.

A “25” in BTY, on the other hand, should conjure visions of Helen of Troy, the classic beauties and leading men of stage and screen, the most enchanting high-fashion models the player can imagine – flawless porcelain “snow on ice” skin, cherry-red Cupid-bow lips, deepest vibrant or smoldering puppy-dog or bedroom eyes, the finest most symmetrical bone structure. Such a character is likely to attract a good deal of attention if he does not wear a veil or cowl when venturing forth in public.

This should give the player an idea of what the impact of the BTY of non-humans such as elfs and demi-humans such as half-elfs who are known to exceed the 25 threshold are. This aspect of BTY would also enhance greatly any native Charisma or Presence and activities like acting as a Player or giving a speech as an Orator, or exercising Leadership in any high-stress situation.

Agility (AGL)

Agility defines the character’s over-all body control, speed, and physical reflexes in general. It is the root from which the character’s movement speeds are determined, and the attribute governing the Stealth skills. As it determines his speed, it also dictates his rate of action in high stress (tactical) situations and especially in battle where life and limb may be at risk, and directly governs the character’s ability to defend himself, as well. In these capacities it is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his CND, STA, STR and AWA scores are.

A “1” in this attribute makes of the character the sort of embarrassing stumblebum who can barely get out of bed without getting tangled up and falling, and either breaking something or hurting himself, or someone else, or both.

On the opposite side, a “25” gives the character the natural grace of movement of a classical dancer with the sort of reflexes a martial artist strives for. At the player’s option, such a character might even be limber enough to put a contortionist to shame.

Mesmerize

Art: Sorcery, Naming

Ruling Planet: Mercury

Sphere: Common

The “Mesmerize” aspect is a very subtle form of Binding that goes a little deeper than the more superficial Banishing above. It lulls the victim into a dreamless somnambulistic state, almost asleep but not, in which the subconscious mind is engaged. While in this state of mind, the victim’s soul may be bared, the dweomer’s [(POT) + (caster’s HRT att. mod.)] providing the DV for a HRT check which must be successfully made before he may remain silent in response to any question to which he knows the answer.

This dweomer may only be applied to normal mortal folk, natives of the Mortal Sphere, and only those that are members of sentient humanoid races.

To lull the victim into the Mesmerized state of mind, an object of fascination must be supplied, some sort of shiny or glittery bauble, something of beauty that might be admired, a candle flame, the play of sunlight on a body of water, even the caster’s own eyes (especially if enhanced by a “Magnetic Gaze” charm). For use as a cantrip, all the caster must do is get the victim to look at the point of fascination to be used to focus the magick for it to work (providing they don’t resist. For spellcraft or ritual workings, should someone or something break into the victim’s magickally inspired reverie before the CTM is complete, the magick is spoiled, wasted.

These restrictions do not apply if the target is asleep when subjected to the dweomer.

IF the caster has the Mesmerize Spirit Skill, that SL is added to the effective POT of the dweomer when it is cast, except when the victim is asleep.

This charm induces a state of mind that is exceptionally malleable, makes the spirit cooperative and docile. The dweomer coerces the victim to reveal the answer to up to (POT) questions if the dweomer is tied off, or as many as desired if the dweomer is maintained at the caster’s pleasure. The victim may make a HRT check on d100 vs. the [(POT) + (CHM att. mod. + HRT att. mod. + BTY att. mod.)] to attempt an evasion or to remain silent.

IF successful, the victim may even attempt to lie, although the POT of the dweomer is subtracted from his AV to do so.

For better or for worse, the “Mesmerize” dweomer opens the subject’s mind to receive suggestions or commands/compulsions. Any suggestions or commands implanted cannot violate the basic spirit and character of the one in whom they are implanted, their morés and the basic values which make up the core of their personality, their identity.

IF this restriction is followed, the dweomer [(POT) + (Mesmerist’s CHM att. mod. + HRT att. mod.)] will provide a DV for the victim to resist the command or suggestion by means of a HRT check on d100, The victim’s M-RES for resisting the influence of any “Truthsay”, “Pillow Talk”, or similar compulsion when questioned, or Geis, Grand Command or Behest, or alteration of mind or memory magicks such as “Banish Memory” or “Seal Memory” directed at a target already Mesmerized are reduced by the POT of the Mesmerize charm.

In addition, those victims subjected to violence of any sort by the bearer of the charm immediately released, as surely as if the charm had been dispelled. This leaves them with their minds clouded to the point that they cannot initiate any original action in return for (POT) Actions, and a descending DV penalty to any reflexive or defensive actions allowed equal to the number of Actions of confusion and fugue still remaining, their gaze continually returning to the point of fascination used by the caster to snare their minds, very distracted.

The Druid & Witch incarnation of this magick is known amongst its practitioners as the “Druid Sleep”.

This charm may be resisted normally, when the victim is originally subjected to it. Any additional magicks used to manipulate the victim can only be resisted at the penalty described above, and the results of those resistance checks may well affect the difficulty of resisting the effects of those manipulations when they come into play again (as applicable).