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.