Echoes of Eternity
- Characters have a Reason Trait, which starts at 10
- Characters have an Insanity Pool equal to (10 – Reason)
- Any time a character is exposed to an obviously supernatural effect, they gain 1 Insanity
- Any time their Insanity matches exceeds their current limit, they suffer a Breaking Point penalized equal to their total Insanity
- Any time a character would gain a permanent Derangement, they may instead opt to lose a point of Reason
- Characters exposed to the Supernatural may choose to incorporate it into their character by spending a point of Reason and making an extended action roll penalized by the dot-rating of the ability, with each roll taking a day, requiring successes equal to the Character’s Reason. If successful, the Reason loss becomes permanent and cannot be regained by any means.
- Reason can be bought back at a cost of 3 x New Dots
- Supernatural abilities that require the expenditure of Supernatural Energy (Mana, Vitae, etc.) require some equivalent, determined by the Storyteller.
- Activating a Supernatural ability inflicts 1 Insanity on the user per Dot Level of the ability in question, defaulting to 3 for abilities with unlisted ratings.
RULES IN DETAIL
Mind Over Matter
This section focuses on new ways for characters to overcome adversity and provides opportunities to give in to temptation. Forbidden Lore is a new system that offers guidelines for giving a supernatural boost to human characters at the cost of mental health. Conviction showcases the strength of the human spirit and the expanded Willpower section gives players and Storytellers alike new options on how to use Willpower in their chronicles.
Characters that stare too long into the shadows in the World of Darkness find the shadows are staring back. This staring contest between humans and the denizens of the darkness usually results in knowledge of some kind, though it may be unwelcome. Most commonly,
the contest ends with the shattering of the illusion most humans hold: illusions of safety and sanity. Monsters exist and even the least predatory of them is bound to manipulate the affairs of humans for some purpose. Occasionally, the knowledge gained takes a different form.
A postman finds a leather-bound book in a mailbox. He opens it up to see if he can figure out who it was meant to be delivered too and discovers an arcane formula that hints at realities beyond our own. Old Aunt Margaret dies and the nephew assigned the chore of clearing out her house finds a room in the basement filled with canned fruit, the likes of which he’s never seen. Curious, he tries some and finds he can talk to the birds in the trees on his next trip outside with the garbage.
The World of Darkness is filled with all manner of Forbidden Lore, just waiting for someone to use it.
A Mind is a Terrible Thing
Unless you are the type that P.T. Barnum would’ve delighted in meeting (i.e. a sucker), you know by now that everything in the World of Darkness comes with a price tag. The postman that experiments with the contents of the grimoire he found is likely to seem slightly eccentric the next time friends drop by when they discover his walls are covered with occult geometry. Questioned about his odd new choice in interior decoration, the postman will seem confused as to what the problem is.
Dabbling in the occult has skewed his perceptions on what counts as normal. Similarly, the boy that can now talk to birds is apt to garner some strange looks if he’s seen questioning pigeons in the park while feeding them breadcrumbs. The benchmarks of a healthy mind can be calculated as reason and sanity, both of which suffer when humans delve into knowledge the human mind was never meant to fathom. In return for the postman’s new
ability to tweak possibility by altering the mathematics of fate, what seems reasonable to him has changed. By forcing his mind to solve equations that shouldn’t make any sense, his sanity has suffered.
Reason: How Lore Shatters Sanity
In game terms, Reason is described as an element that is rated from 10 to 1. Every character starts with a default 10 dots of Reason. In fact, most average, everyday people that characters bump up against have Reason 10, meaning they have accepted the common perception of reality espoused by the masses. A character that has discovered a way to make a deal with the spirits of fire so that flames won’t hurt him drops to Reason 9, because he accepts a new reality of thinking that goes against reasonable thought or modes of action. If that same character later figured out how to make mechanical objects stop working just by touching them, he’d fall to Reason 8. In essence, he has sacrificed his Reason to gain access to abilities outside the norm.
Before you go crazy (literally, in fact) adding a bunch of cool powers to your character, keep in mind that once it’s spent, Reason can never be bought back. Unlocking secrets best left undiscovered forever alters that character’s perception of reality. Below you will find a table that lists the effects of reduced Reason on a character. Listed penalties are cumulative, that is, a character with Reason 5 suffers the effects of all the penalties listed above Reason 5.
Example: In the aftermath of battling a vampire in the sewers, Chuck decides to use some of the vampire’s blood in conjunction with a ritual he uncovered earlier in the story that will give him the ability to alter his appearance.
Chuck currently has Reason 7. Spending a point of Reason to gain access to the vampiric Obfuscate power, “Familiar Stranger” drops his Reason to 6. At Reason 6, Chuck takes a –2 penalty to all Social Skill rolls, a –2 penalty to resist the effects of a derangement, a –2 penalty to avoid gaining new derangements, and any bonuses provided by spending a point of Willpower are reduced by one.