Eoris Essence by hyphz
IntroductionOriginal SA post
Wow. I have to thank everyone here for the hilarity of this thread. And I'm going to endeavor to contribute. Um, so..
Eoris Essence .
Yes, it's the game with that character sheet. Yes, it does actually exist. I've got a copy here. Don't ask why. I was young and foolish, very foolish.
It's not really surprising that this thing was never really sold anywhere. It's a big grey slipcase with two books inside. The sides of the slipcase are grey and have a blue design of some concentric circles, and the books have a wolf and a tree printed on the spines. There is nothing written on any of those panels. No blurb, no backstory, no nothing. There's just a single word "Eoris" on the back , and on the top, there's the following:
So it is that the return of the wolves
marks the beggining of our world's end...
As for the two books. Again, they have nothing printed on them, except for "Eoris Essence" on the cover. The one with the wolf on the spine has a bear on the cover, and the one with the tree on the spine has.. um, a wolf on the cover. They're letter-ish-sized books, but the binding is on the short edge, rather resembling artbooks..
And there is a lot of art in them. They're all full colour and nicely printed, and on decent paper stock, too. The only problem is that the artworks are repeated again, and again, and again, and again. The same picture in different zooms and angles can appear about 6 times throughout the book.
There's no clue about where we're supposed to start, but cracking open the Tree book shows an early page reading "Book One: Dream" which seems as good as any. Actually, the first thing you see when you open the Tree book is an entire page covered in emo poetry in roughly a 10-point typeface.
Instead of looking me like that,
With those sad, crying eyes,
You could be a bit more appreciative,
Can't you see I'm trying to love you,
And show you just how much
I can keep going
Without shedding a tear?
We then get onto the standard "what is roleplaying" bumph. Or - sort of. It seems.. a little odd..
Through the being you role-play you encounter the mysteries and intricate natures of the universe of Eoris. You govern all the decisions and reasoning of this being as if they were your own. In many ways, this very being is a part of you but also a part of Eoris. Thus, and understanding of what you are now and what you could become determines you path, your soul, and your purpose as an inhabitant of existance. To enter Eoris is to unveil a cosmos of possibilities hidden inside you, waiting to be discovered and explored.
Might be going a little bit far there, I think. But, hang on..
Our home Planet Earth, everything on it - all mythologies, all beliefs, all gods and spirits - exist as a consequence of its origin. That origin is the Great Spirit, the real source of all that we concieve today... Our planet inhabits the universe we call Eoris and is an offspring of the very first planet ever to exist in the cosmos, bearer of the name of the universe: Eoris.
... He thinks it's real.
Ok, the Continuum guy seemed to think time travel through Van Allen belts could actually work, but this guy is claiming that the actual Earth was derived from the planet he made up .
Ok, more later when I've decided how I'm going to do this. Going through the entire setting first will probably drive me insane and bore everyone, so perhaps I'll just focus on that damn character sheet for a bit.
SettingOriginal SA post Eoris Essence, 2..
So. Yea. Let's talk about the setting a bit more. Partly because it's vaguely interesting and partly because this game uses so many made-up words that without understanding the setting, it's nearly impossible to understand what the mechanics are talking about.
And yes, it's from Columbia. I'll look up the name of the authors next chance. And the second page of the character sheet is mostly just empty space for writing down Equipment and Contacts and that kind of thing. Oh, and Omega Transcendences.
So, the universe in which Eoris is set is called the Inner Universe . Everything in the Inner Universe is created from Eos Waves , which are "waves of essence, creation, and life" which can bounce around, reflect and be altered by things, and coalesce into matter. Everything in the universe somehow affects Eos Waves, by absorbing or reflecting them or altering them or whatever, but only one thing actually creates them: the Great Spirit . She (ooh, female God figure, aren't we trendy) is the eventual source of all the Eos waves, but apparently is not entirely independent of them and needs to absorb them in order to function - which is rather odd since the book also claims she created the first ones. Ah, well.
So, in the centre of the Inner Universe is the Black Sphere , which is a big ol' black hole that absorbs Eos waves or anything else that gets near it. Out from the Black Sphere is the Solar Universe , which is the area where Earth is. It's called the Solar Universe because it's the only part of the Inner Universe where planets need to have suns in order to function.
At the edge of the Solar Universe is the White Ring , which is where the Great Spirit lives. It's a quite livable area, with forests and other creatures and everything else, and it revolves around the Black Sphere, apparently longitudinally (ie, a turning-in-place rather than a cartwheel). The constant conflict caused by the Black Sphere trying to pull the White Ring in amplifies the Eos waves the Great Spirit produces even further.
Beyond the White Ring is the Outer Universe . (Yep, the Outer Universe is part of the Inner Universe. Oookay.) The Outer Universe is different from the Solar Universe in several ways. First of all, there aren't any suns in the Outer Universe, because the White Ring acts as a sun for the entire Outer Universe at once. How the gently caress that works without the White Ring affecting the Solar Universe as well.. or without everything living on the White Ring getting incinerated and/or blinded.. or without nearby planets getting in between each other and the White Ring.. well, who knows. All the planets in the Outer Universe orbit the White Ring - but remember, the White Ring itself also rotates, which ought to produce truly berserk night/day cycles and seasons but apparently doesn't.
Secondly, the Outer Universe is filled with air. So if you jump out of your spaceship in the Outer Universe, you won't decompress or suffocate, although you'll probably still drift until you starve.
At the edge of the Outer Universe is the Horizon of Soliloquy , which is the point where even the Eos waves that get that far without bumping into things and getting reflected start to run out of steam and come to a stop. It's essentially an area in which time is stopped, because the Eos waves aren't moving anymore. The horizon can both expand and contract (according to most of the book - one section says it's constantly expanding but that breaks other things so I guess it's a mistake) and any unfortunate that gets caught underneath it when it contracts is frozen in time - although not necessarily dead, as they can come back fine if the Horizon expands again.
Beyond the Horizon of Soliloquy is the point where no Eos wave can actually get to, because it stops in the Horizon before getting there. That's the Lost Universe , the Universe that, um, doesn't actually exist. The division between the Horizon of Soliloquy and the Lost Universe is called..
.. the Final Frontier .
Enough for now, I think. Next, life, and how it appeared.
Life in the Inner UniverseOriginal SA post Eoris Essence, 3..
So. Life in the Inner Universe. The planet Eoris itself sits right on the edge of the universe, partly in and partly out of the Horizon of Soliloquy - in fact, 90% of it is still beyond the Horizon, and the Horizon washes back and forth on the planet like a tide. It was created when a bunch of stuck Eos waves aligned just right in the Horizon and then the Horizon receded, exposing part of the resulting planet to the passage of time. At that time, life on the planet was also created, partly from the arrangement of the stuck Eos waves, partly from the new waves that the planet generated, and partly because the Great Spirit was lonely.
And here beginneth the goofy terminology. The first form of life that appeared on Eoris were the Sil , spiritual creatures created directly by Eos waves coalescing. In general, creatures created directly from Eos waves are called Shuvat , and any Shuvat that isn't the Great Spirit is an Aiej .
The Sil are the Aiej that appeared on the planet Eoris, and were the first ones to appear. From that point, life appeared in the universe from the outside inwards. So next to show up were the Kalei , the Aiej that live on the White Ring. They have a shared hive-mind and not all of them have free will; the hive-mind is controlled by a single entity which is apparently located somewhere on Eoris. The few free-willed ones are still tuned into the hive-mind but don't have to obey it, and they can order the other Kalei around if the big controlling entity lets them.
The Ziel are the Aiej that appeared in the Solar Universe. They're a bunch of assholes. That's basically it for them. Apparently some Aiej showed up in the Lost Universe too (even though the Lost Universe doesn't exist), but nobody knows anything about them.
Shortly after these, actual life that could be born and bred biologically (instead of just magically appearing out of an Eos wave) started to show up as well. These, all together, are called the Xylen , and this term basically encompasses every single natural creature right down to bacteria. This makes it a bit weird when the book starts to talk about them like they're a single faction. Seriously, they'll write "the Xylen reacted by..", apparently implying a total unity among every single living creature that was ever biologically born in the Universe.
The first Xylen to be born was a wolf that could turn into an Eorisian (Eorisians are the closest you get to humans on Eoris). Both the Eorisian and wolf species evolved from this single one. Why this detail is important I have no clue, but the authors of the game seem to have a huge thing going on about wolves.
Case in point: when Eoris first appeared, it had only a single continent, a big ol' floating island with three crystal bodies suspended above it in the air. This floating island was broken into parts. How? Basically, a wolf accidentally stood on the self-destruct button , although this may or may not have been because someone or something told him to. The floating island broke into pieces and crashed down onto the surface of Eoris, with some of the fragments slipping below the Horizon of Soliloquy and getting frozen in time. Oh, and the wolf died.
At some point, one of the early Sil discovered Saeia , the science of using your own will to alter the Eos waves around you. In other words, basically the magic system. He was also the one who worked out that the Eos waves had a single source, and decided to call it the Great Spirit.
The rest of the history of Eoris basically goes like: " CIVILIZATION DESTROYING CATASTROPHE but everyone was alright in the end." Basically:
Some of the Xylen got the idea of building a ladder up to the White Ring, which you could totally do given how the Outer Universe is filled with air. This resulted in a war. The war for some reason is called "Divinity". We don't get to know who was fighting who or what they were fighting over or who won; only that the war only stopped when the next catastrophe came along. Also, later in the book it's hinted that somebody did actually manage to get to the White Ring as a result of the project, but apparently just quietly came back to Eoris a bit later and never bothered telling anyone about what had happened.
The next catastrophe occurred when the Horizon contracted a bit and some of the outer continents of Eoris were frozen in time. Most of the inhabitants were evacuated, but some insisted on staying behind and got frozen too - although later, when the Horizon retreated again, it turned out they were alright. Also, at this point, for some reason all the wolves on Eoris left for the White Ring. We never find out how or why.
At some point a huge crystal city landed on Eoris from space (the authors also like dropping things on Eoris, to the extent that you wonder why anyone carried on building anything there), shortly bringing with it the Ziel. Remember them? They're the Aiej from the Solar Universe. They're assholes. They started killing everyone on Eoris while apparently looking for something, but nobody knew what it was. All the beings on Eoris tried to evacuate the main continent to find somewhere else to live, didn't manage to do so, and finally came back.. only to find that the Ziel had just left, presumably finding what they were looking for. But they rebuilt everything and it was ok, until..
Oops, the Ziel came back again, this time just wanting to kill everything and everyone in the Inner Universe so that they could be speshul snowflakes by being the only ones to still be alive (seriously, that's the explanation). They managed to kill 98% of the life in the Universe (!! - and that's "life in the Universe", not "non-Ziel life in the Universe"), before being defeated in a showdown with the "Great Spirit, Shuvat and Xylen on the White Ring". How the heck Xylen ended up on the White Ring isn't explained, and nor is why the showdown took place at the White Ring when presumably someone was still alive on Eoris, and nor is how they defeated the Ziel given that they're supposedly immortal. Still, after that mess, everyone rebuilt. Again. Except they started squabbling about how to do it, and nearly got themselves into another war, until..
A bunch of crystals landed on Eoris from space (seriously, you can't go out there without a hard hat), each containing a Kalei, sent there from the White Ring. One of the crystals, however, actually contained the Great Spirit herself! The reaction of the population to having God actually show up on their planet was.. well, surprisingly subdued, actually - they stopped warring over how to rebuild the planet, build a bunch of temples around the crystals, and that seems to be basically it.
And that brings us to the event that kicks off the game: the Black Howling . While the Great Spirit was on Eoris, at some point all the wolves came back, and started howling out a message which could only be parsed by the Shuvat, and which was an instruction to kill the Great Spirit . The Kalei who'd shown up on Eoris, having no free will, immediately started trying to do so. The Xylen, who had no idea about this message or why a bunch of guys were trying to kill their God, fought back.
The Sil, who are Shuvat but have free will, weren't quite sure about what to do - since they knew about the message, but didn't really want the Universe to end, and especially didn't want to get in a fight with the Xylen who they rather like. So they resolved to try to somehow convince the Great Spirit to stop wanting to die, and if that failed, then they'd kill her.
For some reason, though, they didn't think to tell the Xylen about the message. In fact, according to the book it seems that the main sides of this particular war are secret organizations - one which wants to kill all the Sil and Kalei so that there'll be no more threat to the Great Spirit, and one which wants to go ahead and kill the Great Spirit. You would think people might react to someone going up and pounding on God by means a bit more obvious than forming a secret society, but hey, what do we know.
Actually, we also don't know why the Great Spirit sent the Kalei to Eoris then came there herself just to request her own death, given that previously she and the Kalei were alone on the White Ring and there would have been no interference. Or why she didn't throw herself into the Black Sphere. Or why she didn't tell the Xylen she wanted to die too. Or how the wolves, who are Xylen themselves, were suddenly able to pass the message to the Shuvat via howling without themselves knowing what it was.
Honestly, at this point, I think the only explanation was that the Great Spirit was totally trolling.
That Character SheetOriginal SA post
Ok, now that work has left me alone for a bit, let's have some more..
Eoris Essence, 4
So, let's start talking about the system, and about character creation, and about that .
The system is described in the Book With The Wolf On The Spine, and as is traditional with such books it's 90% about specifics of weird powers. It also pulls off the curious feat of having no index and the table of contents in the back .
So, the basic dice system. Surprisingly, it's actually quite simple: it's White Wolf/Ars Magica/Shadowrun. You calculate the size of your dice pool, usually based on an Attribute and a Skill, roll that many dice, count your successes, and try to get above the Difficulty value. You can't roll more than 12 dice; if you do, any extra dice become automatic successes. The only quirk here is that the dice to be used are d20s instead of d10s or d6s.
The default number you need to roll for a success is a 15, which means Eoris is stingier than White Wolf (7+ on d10) and Shadowrun (5+ on d6). However, enter the new level of complexity: STMs. An STM is a Success Threshold Modifier , and it modifies that number of 15 you have to get for a success. So if you have an STM of -3 on an action, you need to roll 12's to succeed - so negative STMs are good and positive ones are bad. If you end up with negative and positive STMs ona single roll, they cancel out, but multiple ones acting in the same direction don't stack.
Where things get all Ars Magica-ish is the Essence Die. Each time you roll, you designate one of your dice to be the Essence Die. Most of the time, it behaves just like any other regular dice, but there's a few exceptions. If you succeeded and the Essence Die rolled a 1, you get an Unfortunate Success, which isn't quite as good. If you succeeded and the Essence Die rolled a 20, you get an Overwhelming Success, which is much better. If you didn't roll any successes at all and the Essence Die rolled a 1, you get a Tragedy, which messes you up significantly. Oddly, there's nothing for rolling a 1 on the Essence Die but failing with less successes than necessary. The game actually has a chapter devoted to suggested effects these special rolls might have on certain common checks, which is a fairly nice touch.
The other interesting Essence Die rule is that if you roll all successes on every dice, you can reroll the Essence Die over and over and add successes until you roll a failure. This is interesting because it makes STMs hugely important, since if you can get your success threshold down low enough you'll be practically guaranteed to get more successes than you would have dice in your pool.
Beyond that, there's a few fairly standard rules for if you're trying to beat the other guy (you both roll and see who gets more successes), if you're trying to do something long term (you keep rolling and total your successes), if you're helping someone else (you both roll and add your successes together), etc - all fairly intuitive, surprisingly. The only nutty in this section is that there's a table of the dice penalties incurred for using unfamiliar equipment dropped into the section on the basic dice pool system for no apparent reason, and the fact that the game is incredibly anal about what the GM (or the Narrator) uses each type of modifier for:
If a Character has a sprained ankle during a foot race, he should receive a Penalty [to the size of the dice pool]. If a Character's ankles are fine but the ground is wet, he should not receive a Penalty. Instead, the Difficulty number of the action should be increased.
A Character is attempting to lift a boulder. The narrator asks him to roll a Strength Check. The Character has a Strength Score of 5 points and the Narrator establishes a Difficulty Number of 3. This means that the Player must roll a minimum of three Successes in order to lift the boulder. In the same manner, a Character with a Strength Score of 2 points who is also attempting to lift the same boulder should have the same Difficulty Number, even if this means the task is almost impossible for the latter to perform.
The other twist: you have Energy Points. You can spend Energy Points to get bonus dice to your Dice Pool on a 1-to-1 basis, but you have to spend them before you roll, and you can't use this for Saeia (ie, magic). You can also use them to perform Transcendences, of which there are four - but most of them relate to the initative system, which I'm going to have to leave until later because it doesn't make any freaking sense at all. Still, the Transcendences are:
An Alpha Transcendence costs 2 energy and lets you act twice in the same Turn provided the two actions you do are of different types.
A Beta Transcendence costs 4 energy and lets you act twice in the same Turn without restrictions.
A Gamma Transcendence costs 2 energy and lets you act immediately, bringing your place in the Turn order forward to do so.
A Delta Transcendence costs 2 energy lets you shoot frickin' spirit lasers .
No, seriously. The Delta Transcendence "allows Characters to create an Energy Attack that is manifested from their body and directed through thin air toward their target". It's fired like a projectile and does damage based on your spiritual stats (we'll get to them). Why on earth this is in the same list as the others I have no idea.
Finally, the Omega Transcendence is a roll-your-own Transcendence. You pick a type of action it represents, and then pick a number of enhancements to add to it, from the following list:
1 cost +2 damage rating (stacks) 1 cost Heal 2 hit points (stacks) 2 cost Toughness +1 for the rest of the fight (stacks) Saeia Cost Induce a Status Anomaly with the same Saeia cost 2 cost Distinguish friend from foe and exclude friends from area attacks 1/2/3/4/5 Area of 3/6/12/24/50 square meters 2 cost -1 STM (stacks) 1 cost Double range 2 cost Quad range 4 cost Double pool for Dodging 4 cost Double pool for Barriers 3 cost Half duration of inflicted Status Anomaly 6 cost Cancel inflicted Status Anomaly 1 cost Do Elemental damage
Anyway, the "cost" above is both the energy cost to activate the Transcendence and the number of successes you need to roll to get it to work. See, you have to roll twice to use an Omega Transcendence, with the dice roll based on the type of action it is. The first time is against the Transcendence's cost, to get the Transcendence to work, and the second time is the actual action roll with all the bonuses the Transcendence provides. Also, if you succeed at activating a Transcendence you only pay 1 energy, no matter what the cost was. No answer is given as to whether you can try a Transcendence when you have 1 energy left but less than the standard cost, because you believe (or possibly even know for certain) that you'll succeed.
So, interesting system, but it sends my alarm bells ringing for something potentially broken or at least not thought out properly. Like that "Double Dodge Dice Pool" one - sounds good until you remember you have to roll 4 successes on an unimproved Dodge in order to get the Transcendence to work in the first place. By the time that's likely to happen you probably don't need a Transcendence to improve dodging.
Ok, we'll get back to systems later on, but let's talk a bit about some Character Generation. There's a whole bunch of splats to choose from in order to start making your character, and the first one of those determines which of the three potential character sheets you use. That said, nothing much changes between the three sheets other than some of the artwork and the contents of one particular gauge.
So, the three character types are the Sil , the Xylen , and the Kalei . The character sheet that's been going around the Internet is for a Sil, so let's do them first.
Sil were the first creatures born from the Eos Waves and are free-willed spirits. They want to stop the Great Spirit from wanting to die. Like almost all the splats, they have a really random selection of powers, namely:
They recover Energy Points by ripping them out of Xylen. This doesn't require the Xylen's consent. If all the Xylen's energy is taken, he/she/it faints but doesn't die. Also, the Xylen gets healed 2 HP for every point of energy a Sil takes. Sil can absorb energy more efficiently from Saeia users than from non-Saeia users, and also more from females than from males (!?). Sil can also store more energy than Xylen or Kalei.
They're good at art. -4 STM to all Art Skills and 2 points in an Art Skill for free.
They start with Aura 1, which gives them a headstart on doing magic.
They make Xylen freak out; Xylen have to roll checks to stay calm around them. Which probably means most Sil are going to regain their energy by stealing it from creatures that are frantically running away.
Angry Sil freak out
, forcing a Valour Check on any non-Sil around them when they're angry. That includes Xylen, Kalei, and even Ziel.
They also get to choose one of two Aspects:
Body: Energy spent on physical actions counts double, the Sil can spend Energy points to heal 4 HP per Energy point, and they automatically fully heal HP after a fight.
Mind: They get a free re-roll on Mind checks, the powers of Telepathy and Telekinesis, and for some reason can use their Strength score instead of Mind for telekinesis because the one thing you really want when choosing Aspect of Mind is to be able to substitute a Body stat for a Mind one.
And they also, also get to choose a "Family":
Eia get to look into people's dreams for 1 energy, or into their memories for 2.
Iun get to heal quickly, sense fear, and take less penalties for being injured.
Ora can learn the background and history of objects by touching them and predict the future 2 minutes ahead.
Mia can sense others' intentions before they act and can bind themselves to another creature to take damage on its behalf.
Don't think the Sil are done with splats yet. They still have to pick the universal ones that all characters get, but before we go onto those, let's talk about the other two types.
The Xylen is a catch-all term for every form of natural, biologically born life. They want to protect the Great Spirit. They don't get any funky powers and they recover their Energy over time - 1 point per hour of rest, or 1 every time they roll a 20 or a 1 on an Essence Die. The one weird thing Xylen can do is to have an "Eko", and, jeesh:
Some Xylen can summon the physical manifestation of their soul, dreams, and memories - creatures known as Eko. Those blessed with this ability can manifest their creature at will. A Character's Eko is a completely independent being with its own personality, species, form, and abilities. However, an Eko shares its Character's Story. If a Character has an Eko, the Player must fill out a completely new Character Sheet following the Character Creation steps. An Eko has the same number of Total Experience Points as the Character that summons him. The Eko is controlled by the Player or the Narrator (at the Player's choice)
So basically, having an Eko lets you play two characters who can be completely different and level up at the same rate.
Finally, the Kalei . They're also spiritual beings born on the White Ring and sent to Eoris by the Great Spirit, apparently to kill her. They want to kill the Great Spirit and pretty much anything else standing in their way. Great. They get:
They get 2 Energy points back per day, plus 1 point for killing a Xylen and 12 for killing a Sil.
They can detect Sil no matter how they try to hide, but apparently they also "instinctively see the Sil as their masters and lords and thus they fear and respect them greatly; still they will face them if they must". Because they totally don't see them as bundles of 12 Energy Points to pop.
Kalei are good at Saeia (magic). They get some spells (Songs) intrinsically, and can learn Songs that are cast on them provided they're aligned with the type of Kalei they are.
They take half damage in daytime, normal damage at dusk and dawn, and at night they take double damage and can't use their powers.
So, I think I need to be moving on for now. But still. Next up, Kalei powers, and yet more splats.
Kalei PowersOriginal SA post
Ugh. Did I mention what a bad idea it was to try this in the middle of semester?
Ok. Kalei Powers. Kalei, like everyone else, have their own unique splats. Their powers also vary with age - supposedly they used to have all their powers when they lived on the White Ring, but having left and come to Eoris they lost them all; but they recover them as they spend time on Eoris. So..
The Elim are the Kalei who helped create civilization together with the Sil. They're also, for some reason, all-female. Also "for some reason" the Kalei powers are all listed with bizarre names that don't mean anything and mechanical descriptions, and absolutely nothing else. So the Elim have the powers of Heaven Song, Ein, Evadis, Codix, Alearum, and Adea. Which mean that they're good at healing people, they can give damage bonuses, they can put force fields around allies, give general bonuses to actions, and extend the duration of other powers.
The Eries are the "custodians of the White Ring's Motion", and they, um, "resemble small forest creatures or fragile children". Their main power is that they can radiate Ringlight, helping other Kalei avoid the disadvantages they normally suffer for operating at night. Unfortunately this is still listed as a Kalei power and there are no exceptions made for it, meaning that if the Eries themselves doesn't have access to Ringlight, it shuts down like any other Kalei power. So they can radiate sunlight, as long as it's daytime.
They can also give or take away initiative bonuses, teleport, turn invisible, and speed up other beings. Another bit of strangeness: the distance an Eries can teleport is based on how tall they are. I guess we don't have to mention that nothing, anywhere in the system, gives a way of calculating how tall your character is. So pretty much every Eries is going to be a giant.
The Thanass are the "lords of Entropy", who preside over destruction. They are all male, and "all age very quickly, but live very long lives". Um. They also have the most ridiculous continuous power of them all:
For every second spent in the company of a Thanass, a being loses one second of life.
So.. when you're around a Thanass.. time passes. Presumably they meant that they lose two seconds, but who knows at this stage. Apart from that, they can shoot energy beams, poison people, drain others' life into their own energy, weaken opponents, dispel beneficial effects and throw exploding energy spheres.
The Nimbel "bear the essence of communication and interaction between the elements of reality". They can see the future, have telekinesis, can make other creatures like or hate each other, communicate with every other Nimbel, and mind control other creatures.
Finally, there's the Aisen : "the builders or alchemists of the White Ring". They have the ability to create Universal Matter, which can become any material it's needed to become, although we are told that "the process of creation takes many days and consumes 1 Energy Point for every kilogram". Other than that, they can turn objects to dust, repair items, shapeshift to resemble other creatures, and create a "Chimera" by combining two beings together. The book also specifically mentions that free-willed Chimera can be player characters, which is looking decidedly broken already.
There's also a mention that those Kalei who aren't free-willed are commanded by "Seelaris", a single consciousness that controls them. The description is, um, surreal:
Many believe that Seelaris has a physical form and that the Last Spirits will fade if it is destroyed. However, no one knows what it is or where to find it. Many of the Kalei who have been taken prisoner speak of Seelaris as their "Beloved Destroyer", but its true nature remains a secret. Nevertheless I know that Seelaris does have a physical form that rests somewhere in Planet Eoris. She is a beautiful creature contained within a cast-blue crystal that protects her.
... What? That last sentence kind of comes out of the blue. Is it meant to imply that Seelaris is the Great Spirit? And if not, why didn't the book's author (who is supposed to be a character in Eoris) immediately go and tell everyone possible in sight where Seelaris is, so that they could destroy her and stop the Kalei trying to kill the Great Spirit?
So. Are we done with the splats yet? Nope. There's at least two more fugging categories of splat. The third category is Species. The game kind of dances around these, as the setting book calls them "Xylen Species", but in fact both Sil and Kalei use exactly the same species.
So, the basic human is the Eorisian Eorisian (so good they named it twice?). We are told firmly that:
Eorisian stands for "Son of the Dream of the Universal Consciousness".
There are multiple different kinds of Eorisian (aaaaaggh Splats within Splats ), with Eorisian Eorisian being the default. They are basically humans, except their "eyes shine brightly with fiery colours", they can see at night as they do in daylight, have telepathy and telekineses, and can "communicate telepathically with anything or anyone they touch with their two hands; they must be very calm to do this."
Next variant up. Eorisian Sinarie. They are "a subgroup of Eorisian whose Life Waves are in resonance with one of the Fundamental Forms of Energy". They have Saeia Songs (magic spells) written in runes on their body, and they can grow their hair at will and use it in place of their hands . Oh, and it glows in sufficiently large qualities, plus "the union of two Sinarie is realised through the creation of a link between their inner energy flows established through their hair". Oh god. It's the Na'vi ponytails all over again.
There are four types of Eorisian Sinarie. Splats within splats within splats.
Eorisian Sinarie Leor are aligned with Fire and Electricity, and can "control electron displacements and make parts of their body burst aflame at will". Plus, they get the standard darkvision and telepathy package that Eorisians get and they're vulnerable to ice.
Eorisian Sinarie Rinn are aligned with Water and Ice. They live underwater and have membraned hands and feet that let them swim well, plus they can breathe underwater and telepathy telekinesis yadda yadda. They apparently spend most of their lives in the water, which for some reason makes me think of comparing them to hippos.
Eorisian Sinarie Aren are aligned with Earth, Metal, and Wood. They have eternal life, can feed on sunlight, and can sleep forever. The system book also states that they have the power of "Transformation". Helpfully, what this does isn't listed until you actually turn to the Transformation power, which has a separate subsection for Sinarie Aren. It lets them turn their body to hard stone or wood.
Finally, Eorisian Sinarie Elas are aligned with Wind. The book says absolutely nothing useful about them. Seriously. All we get is that:
They are silent and secretive creatures, slightly taller than the Rinn and the Leor. Their eyes are generally vibrant white or light blue. Their tall, slender bodies move as if carried by the wind. They have strong, sharp features and penetrating eyes. Their hair is soft, ethereal, and bright. Solemn and silent is their nature, thus they are knows as the Whisperers or the Phantoms of the Storms. Many cultures have related them to mythic creatures; some even fear them greatly or devote solemn prayers to their mysticism.
Finally, Eorisian Baarin - the inevitable super-tough humans, who have crystal for bones and have "crystal horns that glow when they are angered". Basically, they give up all the other funky Eorisian stuff except darkvision, and get big stat bonuses.
Next up are the playable animal races.
The Hurun have art that makes them look like hairy Yorkshire Terriers standing on their hind legs, but are actually short, furry creatures who live in the forest. They can talk to plants, see in the dark (as can pretty much everyone, it seems - how does anyone even know night actually exists?) and can.. um.. make trees move around, but really slowly.
Leorich - oh god, cat people . Actually, they're worse than that. They're cat people crossed with monkeys. Blah blah blah impossible agility blah blah silent and calm blah blah long tails and can easily jump between trees and roofs blah blah natural teleportation and ability to turn into shadows.
Evlien . Remember how the authors of this game had a thing for wolves? The Evlien are the mystical wolves, although they're "big enough for a man to ride with ease" and have glowing eyes. They come in two kinds: White Evlien live in the mountains and are slightly psychic, while Red Evlien live in the desert and aren't psychic but are tougher and are immune to fire.
Silthen are wise old ferrets. No, really. "Rodent-like creatures bound to the ways of the elements and energy." They're physically unimposing but highly psychic and get big bonuses to doing magic.
Wolves - yes, dear god, they give you the option of playing a regular Wolf as well as an Evlien. They're regular wolves.. or, wait. No they aren't. They have enhanced auras, can control and alter creatures' memories and dreams, and can turn into Eorisians. Yep, they have "Alternate form (Eorisian)" right on their standard template. And in this game, an Alternate Form means an entirely separate character sheet, which doesn't have to be related to your first one in any way!
Let's just stop for a second here and consider how this is going. Imagine we have a few gamers sitting around in a bar:
D&D Player: "My character's a mighty knight with a big ass sword who fights evil wherever it appears."
Vampire Player: "My character's an artistic emo vampire who hates having to drink the blood of humans, but finds it necessary because he needs the power it gives him to fight the really nasty vampires."
Unknown Armies Player: "My character's a regular teenager who is obsessed with taking risks because he's discovered that doing so gives him the ability to control probability. He's looking for a teacher to help him learn more about it."
Eoris Essence Player: "My character's a sentient wolf who can control people's dreams and memories, and cast spells. During daytime he can radiate sunlight, and turn invisible. Oh, and he can shape-shift into a bishounen with animated radioactive hair who can set parts of his body on fire whenever he wants. He wants to kill God."
Everyone else, after the stunned silence: "What the heck kind of character is that?"
Eoris Essence Player: "A Eries Kalei Wolf with the alternate form of an Eorisian Sinarie Leor. I haven't actually picked my skills and spells yet."
At which point everyone else moves over to the opposite corner and the barkeep cuts him off for the rest of his life.
So, next time, I grit my teeth and actually start making an Eoris Essence character.
Making a CharacterOriginal SA post Eoris Essence: I'm gonna sit right down and make myself a Sil.
Ok, I've put it off for long enough at this point. Sit down, pull up a.. uh-oh, character sheet .. and let's make ourselves a Sil of our very own.
Step 1: pick splats. Well, we've already picked the type - Sil. We now need to pick a Family - Eia, Iun, Ora, or Mia, as in the previous post. Which basically comes down to what kind of weird psychic powers we want to have (or at least, one part of what weird psychic powers we want to have). Iun get the ability to heal rapidly and ignore pain, so let's go with them.
We next need an alignment - Body or Mind. Body gives us yet more regeneration, Mind gives us telekinesis. Let's go with Body - looks like we're going for a big ol' tank of a Sil, but we haven't spent any points yet, so what the heck.
Now something new: we get to choose an Earthly Aspect . See, Essence loves playing with this term "Earthly" - the idea is that for beings on Eoris, Earth is somewhere really strange and faraway; in fact, since it exists inside the White Ring, Eorisians aren't even sure how life can exist there at all. So "Earthly" in Eoris-speak means fantastic or wonderful. (Groan) We get a choice of ten Earthly Aspects to pick from, and we're told we can have more than one if the GM lets us. Having more than one means the Sil has greater influence and is seen as being more mature. So the line-up is:
Love; Infinity: This lets the Sil exist. Um, ok. Kind of a no-brainer choice there, then. This is actually filled in on the character sheet by default, but it isn't made clear if we have to pick it as our one choice for character generation. I'm hoping not, but goodness only knows with the way this book's been presented so far.
Purpose; Breath of Life: Breathe the Breath of Life onto a nearly-dead creature and it comes back to life; breathe it onto a female of another species and she gets pregnant with a half-Sil child. The child is Xylen, but "enjoys many characteristics of the Sil that gave them life, including the powers of the Earthly Aspects". Which would imply that any half-Sil by definition also has Breath of Life - and therefore breeds with minimum energy expenditure in a way that's difficult to compete with and guarantees conception, thus meaning that half-Sil would be pretty much all that's left.
Earthly Reality; Beauty You're really beautiful. You're so beautiful, even the blind can tell how beautiful you are. Um.
Understanding: All Languages You understand every single language that exists or ever will exist. We are even told that "this power even gives them the ability to understand the mathematical order of the universe and communicate through it". I have no idea what that means in practice, other than that it might possibly mean that you can talk ICly in terms of dice rolls. That might seem a bit of a weird assumption, but just wait until we get to the Aura abilities and you'll see why I'd think that way..
Judgment: Breath of Death Touch a Xylen and think you want them dead. They die. You can do the same on Shevat, but you have to be in mutual love with them. Gee, if this got spread around by Xylen born through Breath of Life every species would end up in complete bedlam.
Balance: Death The Sil can die! Whaa? Is there a tradeoff? Yes - you can get it on with other Sil and reproduce. Apparently Sil think this is pretty remarkable - the whole "creation of life by things other than the Great Spirit" thing is kind of new to them. To any RPG player who took this, though, the only possible reason would be that they wanted to play out hot Sil loving and should ideally be chased from the table with a bat.
Persistence: Eternal Breath You become immune to any sort of natural phenomenon. In other words, nothing can harm you unless it's a conscious being that wishes harm to you.
Sincerity: Visions of Essence Um, sincerity? Apparently this power.. lets you see really well. Seriously, I have no clue. The text says, "A sil can see the truth that lies behind things. They see the life in a statue or the tears on a sad being's dry face." So apparently being able to see the truth means being able to see that a statue is alive when it blatantly isn't (getting turned to stone doesn't even seem to be a thing in Eoris).
Presence: Wings You get wings. You can fly or swim (?) with them.
Foundation: Nature You can transform into a species other than your own. Ooo, could this be some Alternate Form lovin'? Alternate Forms in Eoris are a nice big exploit in the system, since your Alternate Form is a completely separate character , with a new sheet built from scratch that need have no resemblance to your old one. But the book helpfully doesn't give us mechanics for this so, huh.
Well, assuming that we aren't required to take Infinity in order to be alive, let's go with Eternal Breath. That goes with the "Big ol' tank" theme we seem to be developing here.
Next step: picking a species. For a Sil, we need to pick an Eorisian variant. Let's go with the standard plain ol' Eorisian Eorisian. And, for the first time - we actually get to add something to the character sheet other than writing notes! Our choice of species gives us a couple of values to add as Senses STMs. Remember STMs, way back from post 1? That's Success Threshold Modifiers - modifiers we get to apply to the default success threshold value of 15 when counting successes on dice. Negative STMs lower the threshold and make success more likely, so they're good.
For Eorisian Eorisian, we get: -1 Sight, -1 Hearing, +2 Taste, +2 Intuition, -2 Touch, and +3 Smell. So if we try to smell something, we'll need to roll 18's as successes on d20s. Okay.
We got some other STMs, too. Willpower -2, and a bunch of skills: Crafts -2, Empathy -1, Linguistics -1, Celestial -1, Acrobatics -2, and Climb -2. It doesn't help, by the way, that these skills are is no sensible order in that list; they're all over the character sheet. Linguistics and Celestial have tiny entries in the Mind List, whereas Empathy, Acrobatics and Climb are primary system skills with huge boxes.
Eep, RL is calling me a way, so I shall continue this later this evening. Can anyone give me a hint as to where a decent image host can be found so that I can put up my (shudder) filled-in Eoris Essence Character sheet ?
Still Making a CharacterOriginal SA post Eoris Essence - Let's carry on making myself a Sil!
Ok, so things are starting to shape up. I did, however, forget a little bit last post. Namely, that being a Sil makes us.. really good at Art. In fact, it gives us -4 STM in "all Art skills". Looking at the book, though, it seems there's actually only one such skill, which is called, um, Art.
Also, being an Eorisian Eorisian means we have two Size points.
Next up, we have to choose our Age. Yes, apparently how old we are is really important in this game (since it comes up in those Kalei power lists, too). Unfortunately, the choice is.. not really much of a choice at all:
Age Physical STMs Mental STMs Initial XP Baby +4 +4 20 Toddler +3 +3 200 Infant +2 +2 1000 Child +2 +2 1500 Pre-adolescent +1 +1 3000 Adolescent 0 0 4000 Young Adult 0 0 5000 Adult 0 0 5500 Older Adult +1 0 6500 Young Elder +2 -1 7000 Elder +3 -2 7500 Old Elder +3 +1 8000 Ancient +4 -3 9000
And now it's time for points spending! As you already guessed, that "initial XP" value is what we're going to be spending. Now, as weird and bad as this game is, I have to say - this is a good thing: that the advancement rules and the character generation rules run on the same currency. It avoids the horrible problems you tend to get with systems like Shadowrun where you MUST make certain decisions at chargen time because they're impossibly expensive to ever pick up later.
So, we have three things to spend them on: Attributes which cost 50 points, Aura which costs 100 points, Skills which cost 20 points (except Saeia skills which cost 30), and Talents and Hindrances with variable costs. However, the costs are based on the classic triangular progression - so the first point in a skill costs 20, the second point costs 40 (so 2 points in total cost 60), the third point costs 60 (so 120 for 3) and so on.
Let's start by thinking about Aura - because there's lots of funky stuff involved with that. As a Sil, we get Aura 1 for free, which means we can use Saeia (ie, magic). Aura 2-3 make that more powerful, and imply the character gains the ability to see the future. Aura 4 is where things start to get goofy, though:
At Aura 4, the Narrator can speak to the Character, granting him advice at any moment and for any reason.
At Aura 5, the Character can have conversations with the Narrator.
At Aura 6, the Narrator should take the player's advice into consideration on future events, as long as the ideas are well justified.
Yep. Aura 5 gives you the ability to have your PC talk to the GM about the game world. That's just.. a bit surreal, and I have no clue how it's going to work on what kind of terms they're supposed to understand each other on or, well, anything. Aura can actually go up to 12, by the way, but the higher levels up to 10 are only given flavor text, and levels 11 and 12 have no description at all ("Unknown, for the Narrator to Determine"). Aura score also determines our Aura Range - at 1 point, that's 2 metres per Size Point, so 4 metres.
Well, I kind of like the idea of being able to rant at the GM and him not being allowed to tell me to shut up because it's totally my character doing it. We've got 5500 points to spend and we started with Aura 1. Aura 5 will cost 200+300+400+500 = 1400 points. Ow, that's a fairly big chunk, and it doesn't go that well with the whole "tank" thing. Still, we'll float it for the moment and we can always change it later. Aura 5 gives us a range of 1000 metres per Size Point, so our aura will be 2000 metres wide.
Attributes. Top left of the character sheet is our Attribute Wheel , where these are noted down. There are ten attributes: Willpower, Constitution, Strength, Dexterity, Reflexes, Senses, Presence, Charisma, Mind, and Spirit. The central dot of the wheel is filled in to start with, giving every character 1 point in every attribute. As you raise your attributes, you fill in the dots radiating outwards, until you reach level 6, at which point all the dots are filled. At level 7, you scrub off all those dots and fill in the square next to the name of the attribute - which is also where you write the STM, if there is one. Some attributes have multiple STMs for different variations, in which case they have several different places to write them, and they also have several squares to fill in even though they'll all be filled in at once. Why? Because we want to confuse you, that's why. Oh, and the costs of attributes double after level 5, and they didn't just put four radiating boxes on the graph so that the costs double after the squares are filled in because.. well, same reason, I guess.
So. Level 3 is described as "good", so let's try being Good all around. We start with level 3, and at a cost per unit of 50, going from 1 to 3 will cost 100+150 points. That's 2500 for that in all stats, so so far we've spent 3900 points. Given our tanky theme, let's add a fourth dot to Constitution and Strength for 200 points each, so we've spent 4300 points - ouch! Might need to take care here.
Next we need to think about skills. The first, and most important, category of skills we need to do is Movement. Yes, Movement is a skill, and the book actually specifically tells us that if we forget to give our character any dots in Movement skills then we end up with a character who can't go anywhere . The Terrestrial skill, "establishes a Character's proficiency in all types of displacement on solid ground" (except for Acrobatics and Jumping which are separate things). Well, I feel we should probably be able to move, so let's have 3 dots for 20 + 40 + 60 = 120 points, 4420 so far. Wow, 120 points to be able to walk.
Now let's think about fighting. There's four Combat skills: Melee, Long Range, Body, and Grappling. (Body is fighting unarmed, Melee is fighting with a sword.) There's also three defensive skills: Dodge is the universal defense skill, Parry gives you an extra chance to dodge if you've got a shield or something else to parry with, and Barrier is your ability to snap up a quick Saeia force field to block attacks. Barrier works better against ranged attacks than Dodge, but it only works at 50% against Melee attacks. Let's go with 2 each in Dodge and Barrier, and 3 in Melee. 60 + 60 + 120 = 240 points, 4660 so far.
Next up. Social skills. Empathy helps you get on with people. Seduction, Entice, Deception, and Intimidate are all social attack skills, and Confidence in the social defence skill. Since our Sil seems to be a bit of a bashy git, let's go with 2 Confidence and 2 Intimidate, and 1 Empathy just because we've got a -1 STM in it from being Eorisian Eorisian. 40 + 40 + 20 = 100 points, 4760 so far.
And, ugh, RL is interfering with me. Still: here's what we have so far.
More Making a CharacterOriginal SA post
And on that topic, let's carry on with Mr Sil.
Did anyone spot the deliberate - um, ahem, honestly - mistake in the sheet I posted last time? I forgot about how the center dot in the Attribute Wheel counts as 1 point in everything, so all the Attributes were 1 point too high. Just shows how horribly unintuitive the Wheel is, honest.
So, last time, we'd spent 4760 of our 5500 starting points. There's a few types of skill we haven't look at yet: Physical, Saeia, and Mind.
For Physical, let's have a couple dots in Resilience and Stamina to keep the tank theme going - 2 points in each, for 60 points each and a new total spend of 4880. The two dots in Resilience give us an extra point in a calculated value called Toughness.
Saeia skills! Not quite sure if we really want to be a mage, but let's start with 2 points in "Aura.D" (that's Aura of Dispel), which defends against direct magic (as opposed to magic that creates missiles) - 4940 so far. Now, if we want to be able to cast stuff, we have a couple of options for how to do it. We've already taken the first option - having Aura - which lets us cast spells (called Songs) directly. The other option is to use of three other skills - Crystal, Ritual, and Rune - which let spells be invoked by other means. Runes let you write spells down in advance, carry them around, and activate them; but there's a limit on how many you can carry at once. Crystals let you capture spells that are cast on you and fire them back, but you can't add new spells of your own choice to them. Rituals are powerful, but they take a long while and a lot of complex jumping around to cast.
Beyond that, we have five different Essences, which are basically the schools of spells, neatly divided into buffing (Hesthia), blasting (Isthenia), alteration (Eaia), travel (Kielia), and psychics (Ilsia). You'll probably notice that on the sheet, in additional to the traditional 10 skill dots, there's 10 square spots for tracking Core Burn . You'll recall that in the setting, everything is based on "Eos Waves", and Saeia is basically altering Eos Waves by the force of your own will. If you fail to cast a spell properly, you alter your own Eos Wave by mistake, and the change gets stuck, with some appropriately weird effects:
Eaia: your body starts warping into an unrecognizable form, and eventually just becomes a continually shifting mass.
Hesthia: you become obsessed with helping people, and finally with the suffering of others. At the highest level, "character becomes silent and completely depressed, focusing only on everyone's suffering".
Ilsia: the book actually offers two versions of Ilsia core burn. In the first, your anger starts uncontrollably blasting nearby people with psychic energy; eventually it becomes control and the character is so wracked with pain they are "unable to move easily". The second is a more classic one: you get worse and worse nightmares.
Isthenia: your body is "transmuted to your soul's Element" in increasing quantities. I really have no clue what this means. The final level states that "100% of the character's body is transmited; the character is completely absent and unable to relate to others".
Kielia: you get stuck meditating for more and more of each day. At level 10, you have to meditate for 23 hours a day.
So, a bit of blasting and buffing sounds good, so we'll have 2 points Isthenia and 2 points Hesthia. Saeia skills cost 30 points each, so that's 30+60=90 for each of those, a total of 180, 5120 so far.
And now, finally, Mind skills. There's quite a few of these, and for being a Sil, we are due to get "2 extra points in an Art skill". Again, though, there's no list of Arts skills. A look at the skill section tells us that we're meant to manually break up the Arts skill into separate skills for every kind of Art the character might be good at, which basically makes its entry on the character sheet useless - thanks a bundle. In fact, this applies to all five of the "big" skills in the Mind section - Control (which means 'using machines and devices', and you haev to specify what kind of device you mean), Craft/Design, Survival (you have to specify what kind of environment you can survive in), Sport/Activity (you have to specify what sport), and "T. Science" (which stands for Traditional Science and apparently means Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Why these would even exist in a world where Saeia has been discovered and provides the basic principles which underlie all of them I'm not sure)
For our big tanky Sil most of the mind skills don't seem that important, so we'll throw in some Literacy to be sure he can read, Navigation so he can find his way around, and Tactics so he can lead people in fights. 60 points each, 180 total, 5300 so far. (Oh, by the way, those enigmatic "Investigation.A" and "Investigation.F" are Academic Investigation and Field Investigation - ie, searching through books as against hunting for clues on site.)
So, 200 points in hand and we can start thinking about Talents and Hindrances - Advantages and Disadvantages. Most of these are fairly obvious, although some are a bit odd. The Talents are:
Additional Extremity (you get an extra arm or leg - there aren't any rules for this, though, apart from "any and all additional limbs added.. should be discussed with the Narrator to assign logical die Bonuses and Penalties)
Attribute Talent (gives you -1 STM on an Attribute. You can take it up to 3 times for an attribute at a cost of 300 points each.)
Carrier (you can carry more weight)
Ethereal Bonds ("Ethereal beings follow and aid the Character in various forms determined by the Narrator". Um.)
Gambler (-1 STM to Luck checks)
Genetic Modification (you can modify one of your limbs; to have pincers or paws instead of hands. Your choice varies a whole bunch of physical related STMs, although some of them are pointless. Hooves, for example, give bad STMs on practically everything in exchange for -1 STM on Jumping and a damage boost.)
Naie Blessing (now this is just bizarre. "Whenever a character acquires links (money), he always receives an extra 10%. This does not mean that whomever he is dealing with will lose that 10%." So the character can produce money from nothing. Does that mean you can get infinite money by passing it back and forth between two characters with this?)
Naie Isaei, Naie Ys (you can alter the alignment of money you get.. yes, money has alignment)
Skill Talent (-1 STM to a skill)
Warrior Spirit (gives Overwhelming Successes mor easily on attack checks)
Scholar Spirit (ditto for Mind checks)
And the hindrances -
Amnesia (you have no memory before the start of the campaign, but you remember how to do everything. Isn't it great when an RPG gives you XP for not being bothered to write a background?)
Attribute Hindrance (+1 STM to an Attribute. For some strange reason this is written as having a "cost" of 340 points.)
Ethereal Antagonists ("Ethereal beings follow and pester [the character] in various forms determined by the Narrator")
Broken (as in a broken limb. The text for this is seriously confused, too: "Character diversity makes it hard to standarise (sic) every possible injury, this is a suggestion: Penalties and Refund must be determined at Narrator's discretion." Great suggestion, guys.)
Naie Curse (yes, you lose money from into nowhere. This has a refund of 120 points.)
Well, I like the idea of bashing on things. Warrior Spirit is a bit expensive - 360 points - so let's go for Toughness for 180 points and top off with Naie Ys for 20 points.
So, are we done yet? Nope. We now need to do the Psychological Profile , which is.. um, even more random. Our Emotional Barrier is always 1 point. Our Hope is 4 points: these are basically one-off Fate Points which guarantee success on single actions, but never regenerate unless the Narrator thinks they should. Patience is described as "Determined by Player", but the text elsewhere says it's actually the average of Willpower and Mind. It's a skill you roll if you want to avoid rolling on the remaining part of the Psychology table, basically. That's 3 points for us. And our Stress score - essentially hit points for psychological attacks - is equal to our Willpower. 3 points again.
Finally, the awkward bit: the Impulses . We're allowed to assign any score or STM we like to each of the 17(!) Impulses listed on the character sheet. The character generation rules tell us that the scores represent our character's inner nature, while the STMs represent how they were raised; the section on the Psychology rules says the exact opposite.
So, I'm going to leave this here (there's still "Story points" to go after this, by the way). Do we make a ridiculous emotional fortress or max them all out to create a lunatic for laughs, or somewhere in between?
Continually Making a CharacterOriginal SA post Eoris Essence! - Let's continue making a random Sil
So. We finished last time at the point of assigning points to Psychological Impulses. There is literally no limit on this: you can assign as many points and whatever STM to each Impulse you want, and there's no total limit or balancing factor. There are 17(!) Impulses, most of which are pretty obvious:
Curiosity, Duty, Envy, Gluttony (inability to be satisfied with anything, not just food - but apparently not money, because there's also..), Greed (for money), Justice, Kindness, Love, Lust, Malice, Optimism, Pride, Sloth, Spirituality, Temptation, Valour, and Wrath.
Now, we might like to know exactly what's going on with these first. Basically, whenever the PC is in danger of being tempted by one of these impulses, the Narrator can ask the player to make a roll based on it. If the roll comes up with one success, the player can either have their PC act based on the impulse, or spend a Stress point to ignore it. If they have no stress points left, the PC is stuck acting according to their Impulses from then on. (Actually, the game puts this as gaining a Stress point, which means that the "stress points" the character generation chapter tells us to note down actually represent our capacity for stress..)
The book also mentions that the player might want to voluntarily roll an Impulse check from time to time to establish how their character acts. It's not stated if failing an Impulse check requires the PC not to act according to the Impulse. The character sheet forces you to take at least 1 point in every Impulse, although you could just quosh it by giving yourself a +4 STM if you wanted.
But, ok. Our Sil's a bit of a bruiser so far, but I think he's likely to be a loyal and gentle giant. So we'll give him Duty 3/-1, Justice 2/0, Valour 3/0, and Wrath 1/+1. Maybe we're supposed to do more of this but.. hey.
The next step is to spend Story Points . These are, well, basically the Freebie Points out of a White Wolf system. We get 12 of them, and the triangular cost progression is in force again, but at half the rate - so the first two dots cost 1 point each, the next two cost 2 each, and so on. The Story categories are: Elements , Wealth , Gift , Compulsions , Social Standing , Valestia , Spiritual Circle , Consciousness and Years After Awakening . Those last two don't apply to us, though, since they're only for Kalei. If we were a Xylen instead of a Sil, Spiritual Circle wouldn't apply, and if we had no Aura score, Valestia wouldn't apply.
First of all, we're told we must "choose one or two Elements to which their character is aligned". Each of these gives an "emotional tendency" - which is how we are likely to react to others - and an "energy damage type". The elements we can choose from are Celestial, Earth, Electricity, Fire, Ice, Metal, Purity, Water, Wind, and Wood. There doesn't seem to be any concept of having dots in these and there's no statement about whether or not we have to pay Story points for this, even though they're in the Story section. Let's go with Wood, then, and pay 1 Story Point for it, just in case.
Next, Wealth , where we determine how much money we have. And, oh, wow, buried in this section which is specific to character generation are the actual rules for the magic energy-giving money! . "Positive" coins give 1 hit point each, and "negative" coins take 1 hit point each. The process takes 10 minutes, though, so it can't be used during combat. So if you're really rich with negative coins, you can just throw a whole bunch of them at someone you don't like and kill them! Whoa. Anyway, the number of links we start with is based on our Wealth level and our skill in Commerce. We have no skill in Commerce. Woops. So, level 4 will cost us 1+1+2+2 = 6 story points and give us 10,000 links, which should be enough (7 spent so far). But I should note that if we went for Level 6, which would cost 1+1+2+2+3+3 = 12 story points (all of them, assuming you don't have to pay for your Element), we would have "Unlimited" links. Um, whoa. Level 4 also means we have "Level 3 Lodging and Level 3 Transportation". We'll have to see later what those might mean.
Gift . Whoa! Whoa! For every point we put into Gift, we get a -1 STM to apply to any skill or attribute of our choice! So if we spent enough, we could end up with -10 STM or more in an attribute.
Compulsions . Hang on. Again, we're told that this is something we must take. Do we have to pay Story Points? Who knows. We have to choose two Compulsions from a fixed list, which is:
Berserk: Being injured gives you a penalty to defense skills and a bonus to attack.
Blood Lust: Every time you defeat a "worthy opponent", you get a 1 dice dice to attack or defense, your choice. Normally this, as with all Compulsions, would last for the rest of the encounter.
Caution: The opposite of Berserk. When you're injured, you get a penalty to attack and a bonus to defend.
Inspiration: Every time you get a critical hit, you and your allies get a 1 dice bonus to attack.
Pain: Every time an ally is defeated, you get a 1 dice bonus to attack and defense.
Passion: For every Injury, you get, um, "emotional armor" which soaks 1 point in all damage types (not just psychological damage).
Rage: For every Injury, the number required on the Essence Die to get a Critical is reduced by 1.
Spirit: Any time you roll a critical hit, your opponents have to make a Valour Check to attack you.
Terror Rush Alpha: Um.. what!? For every Injury suffered, the value you need to roll on the Essence Die of the Initiative Check to get an extra action is reduced by one. The Initiative system is incomprehensible, though.
Terror Rush Beta: Every Injury gives you an automatic success on an Initiative Check.
Zeal: For every injury, the character has a wider range of Essence Die results that enable them to recover energy points... which is pretty useless to us, because Sil don't regain energy by rolling values on the Essence Die (that's how Xylen recover energy).
So, we have to pick two, and who knows if we have to pay: let's go for Pain and Inspiration.
Social Standing . We have to pick one of five types of social standing we have, and then pay for the level we want. The five types are: Earthly (related to religion and the Great Spirit, which is what we automatically must choose as a Sil), Common (regular folks), Military (soldiers), Noble (um, nobles) and Shadow (sneaky types). The book claims we can only have standing in one of these areas, but it also that in a military state our Noble and Military Domains must be bought up equally. Um. So, as we're a Sil, let's go for 2 points in Earthy Domain, which means we "are well liked, but not influential". That costs us 2 points, 9 spent so far.
Valestia ; a Shin Valestia is basically a magic item that's "unconsciously created and shaped by their owner". The more points we spend, the more powerful one we get. There's some very strange stuff here at Level 3, but since we're short points, let's go for 2 points (11 so far), which gives us "a Standard Shin Valestia that grants us an extra STM -1 to a chosen Attribute, see page 95". Seeing page 95 tells us what a "standard Shin Valestia" is: it gives you two extra power points, Damage Resistance equal to (Con + Str + Wil) /2 + Valestia which can be distributed freely between the six damage types. Um, we'll get onto armor later on. My head is already aching.
Finally, Spiritual Circle . This is how high-ranking a Sil we are. We're told we start with 1 point in it, which gives us "one Earthly Aspect: Eternity, which allows the Sil to exist". Aha! There's the answer to that question we asked right at the beginning: do we get one non-Eternity Earthly Aspect free for creating a Sil or not? Apparently we do not. Since we already picked an Earthly Aspect way back then, we'll pay a point here to get Level 2 and bring ourselves back into equilibrium. This also means we can "belong to our family's council". We also get another nice critical rule buried away here: anyone other than a Sil of higher standing, who wants to hurt or kill a Sil has to make a Valour Check and get successes equal to our Spiritual Circle times two, in other words four successes. Hmm. That.. could turn out interesting.
Oh, we also get some extra points in Story categories based on our stats. For every 10 points of Mind and Social skill we get a point of Social Standing. We spent a total of 13 points on this, so we get an extra point in Earthly Domain, so we now have 3.
Wealth. For every 2 points in Commerce or Earthly, we get a free point in the Wealthy Story. Whoa, that makes Commerce ridiculous! If we put 4 points in Commerce, we get Wealth 2 for free, which gives us (200 + Commerce * 200) links, which is 1000 links for free. If we cranked it all the way up and put 10 points in Commerce, we'd get Wealth 5 for free and a whopping 1,100,000 links! Remember how links can take hit points away from enemies? We can basically just buy most of the regular Xylen on a continent dead.
Next. For every 3 points in Willpower and Inspiration, we get a free Gift point - which, remember, is a -1 STM. Well, we've just got 2 points in Willpower, so no free Gifts for us.
Phew. We still have a few stages to go, but my head is hurting too much, so let's leave it there for now. Next time, Culture, Tunes, Equipment, and possible lasting mental trauma.
Eternally Making a CharacterOriginal SA post Eoris Essence - (Insert random word meaning more here) Making a character
Ok! We're finally into the homestretch. Sorry for the loooong old delay between posts - it was caused by some rather awkward exams.
So, the sixth step is to choose a Culture, otherwise called an Ethnia . There's 13 of these, and as with everything else, the background to each one is in one book and the stats for it are in the other - so things get very confusing, especially since the book with the stats in it doesn't mention some critical things (like your choice of Ethnia being limited by which Family you chose way back at the start).
Also, the rules word salad returns:
Each Ethnia has three Cultural Aspects: Powers, Cultural Teachings, and Genetic Talents. The numbers beside each Skill in 'Cultural Teachings' refer to points that are added to the Impluse's and Skill's Score. The numbers beside each Skill in 'Genetic Talents' refer to STM for the corresponding Skill. The powers and modifications granted by each culture can be disregarded by the Player.
I'm.. not quite sure what that means. Does this mean you can just ignore the negative modifiers and keep the positive ones? Or does it mean that your choice of Ethnia doesn't actually do anything, even though it looks like it?
To be born to a culture in the Aia, one must roll a d20 with an outcome equal to or higher than the number shown in parenthesis or at Narrator's discretion.
So you have to choose an Ethnia, then roll a d20, and if it comes out too low, you don't get the Ethnia after all. Whoops. And it's not all that likely - the lowest parethesised value is a 13.
So, here are the Ethnias, ordered as in the background book (which has them in a different order from the stats book):
Oraia : The first Ethnia ever created, and basically the secretive and mysterious one. Gives either an Eko or Alternate Form, plus a whole bunch of bonuses, but unfortunately you have to roll a 20 on d20 to get to be one.
Erianor : The tribe devoted to the Enlil and being vaguely nature-related (yes, even more so than everything else in Eoris) with the slightly odd note that the name was given to them by the Sil because Enlil don't know how to give things names. Lets you predict weather, heal with your touch, and use natural medicine - but again, the roll is a 19.
Avendal : A marine-dwelling tribe which is in decline. It was originally created by a Sil, who gave up his power voluntarily and allowed the tribes to choose their own leaders, making them the only democratic tribe - but this resulted in most of the other tribes, including the Oraia, deeming them weak and severing all ties with them, them losing access to any decent Saeia and the tribe going into permanent decline. The last sentence of the description is "Hope sank along with the pendant." (The pendant in question being an ancient artifact holding the knowledge the original Sil had). If you aren't too depressed by this or annoyed by the depiction of democracy and want to play one, you get abilities to breathe underwater and sail if you roll a 17.
Eonir : The generic brave and fearless warrior tribe that's in every setting. You get to Ignore Pain and a bunch of combat bonuses, and only need to roll a 13.
Eavan : Another ruined tribe. This one was planning to be the super-artistic that produces amazing art and performances and also weapons and artifacts for everyone else, but someone (we have no idea who) murdered the ruler of the tribe and split it into two parts who are tearing each other apart in a civil war. The Ethnia is actually described as "devastated". Again, if for some reason you want to be a member, 17+ gets you a bonus to crafting and designing weapons and at fighting with them.
Ceres : Yet ANOTHER tribe for whom pretty much everything went wrong. This group apparently discovered an alternate form of magic from Saiea, called "Oresia" - described as "the manifested will of the planet, used unconsciously by the Sil". The Sil members of the Ceres advised against this, and sure enough, after some time everything went wrong and the forces of Oresia turned to destroying the Ceres. This kicked off another civil war when the members who'd advised against it basically said "I told you so". A 15+ roll gives you bonuses to Tactics and Politics - in fact, a great big bonus to Tactics, because you "can read the Silver Moon". Nothing in the write-up says what the Silver Moon is, or why the tribe is associated with tactical mastery.
Misae : Another "wise and contemplative" Ethnia, although not actually secretive as with the Oraia. Their effective "leader" is.. well, a tree, although it isn't actually expected to make decisions or anything. The decisions are made by a group of Sil. And those Sil are now allying with the Oraia, and have more or less decided to go ahead and kill the Great Spirit rather than trying to talk her out of dying. 13+ roll gets you bonuses to various Mind skills, and also a "Perfect Memory", which gives you 10% extra XP.
Alarise : These are just.. really random. Remember the Ziel? The crazy Shuvat who showed up with the apparent aim of destroying everything? Well, when they showed up on Eoris, they for some reason decided that they didn't want to kill the Alarise. (Since the Ziel's motivation was that they wanted to be unique, it's not quite clear what made them like the Alarise so much, and it kind of makes the whole Ziel motivation not make sense, but what's new?) In fact, the Ziel helped the Alarise set up a bunch of floating islands (by the way, the Oraia have floating islands too, and the Avendal used to have them - apparently they're the Eorisian equivalent of bling).
It's also mentioned that they actually learned some unusual Saeia from the Ziel, which they've only used once - but it lets them communicate with "the Aventia, the Aiej of Song that populate the entire universe". So.. hang on, the Ziel all along had the ability to talk to these unusual creatures which presumably (since Songs = Saeia = manipulating Eos waves) operate at a lower level than everyone else? So maybe there's some secret or some extra involved motivation to what they tried to do to Eoris? That could be fascinating.. but it doesn't go anywhere. We just learn that the Alarise have "economic power" over most of Eoris, and that they have to hide the fact they technically sure blood with the Ziel. This is another 20 roll Ethnia, but that's OK, since the powers make no sense - they have wings they can fly on (um) and they're good at making physics-based vehicles (ummm?)
Iranea : They get the shortest write-up of any of the Ethnias. Basically, they're the paladins - warriors, but religiously motivated, and devoted to protect Misae. Unfortunately, they don't agree with the whole "killing the Great Spirit" thing, which could be problematic if Misae decide to go off and do that. 17+ gets you lots of bonuses to survival and senses.
Inariel : Oh, they're just running out of ideas now. It's yet another thoughtful, spiritual, and learned Ethnia, except they do art as well. 13+ gets you the power to "sense any sort of relationship between beings; for example, a man in love with a woman or a child afraid of a man". Um, shouldn't that cause a huge sensory overload when you go to any populated area larger than a hamlet? All the bonuses you get are to do with arts, appearance, and "entice".
Kay : Another doomed tribe.. but this one is actually a lot less whiny about it. It's another warrior tribe, torn about by war, but their culture is based on creating happiness and positive feelings in others - by protecting them, religious devotion, and similar things. Their lands are war-torn, but because they're devoted to making things better for everyone, they don't in particular care - and the Kayen who actually come out of those lands are extremely competent. 15+ gets you bonuses to combat and survival.
Inoaris : "The silent mother" which no-one knows anything about. You can't play one because the only text for it reads "unknown".
So, how about a tribe for our Sil? As he's already a fighty type, and since they sound kind of cool (and because he already has Ignore Pain), let's go for Kay. We need to roll a 15 or higher. I roll a d20... and get a 14. Darnit. That means we've got Kay blood but aren't acknowledged as a member of the Ethnia. We get the Culture Powers (-2 STM to a Combat skill and -5 to a Survival skill) but not the Cultural Teachings and also, for some reason, not the Genetic Talents even though we have the blood of the tribe. That's a pretty big thing to have on a random die roll, by the way: it loses us a total of 6 points worth of STMs.
Now, it's time to start calculating things.
Our Spirit Burden Capacity is equal to our Spirit score: 3.
Our Burden Capacity is our Strength (4) + 1, minus our Strength STM (0). So 5.
Our Toughness is our Constitution*2 (8) + our Strength/2 (2) + our Resilence/2 (1). So 11.
Our Life Points equal our Willpower: 3.
Our Hit Points equal our Life Points (3) times our Toughness (11), so 33.
Why do we have both? Well, the damage system is kind of involved. Hit Points are regular hit points that you lose from dings and scratches in combat. Your Toughness determines how many points it takes, in a single Round, to knock you off balance (which gets you an initiative penalty). It also determines how many points it takes in a single attack to deal you an Injury. If you get an Injury, it has to be tracked separately, and a number of hit points equal to your Toughness are locked and will never heal until you have explicit treatment for the Injury. Also, if a character has more Injuries than their number of Life Points, they die; just running out of Hit Points through dings doesn't kill you, although it does leave you defeated, and if someone feels the need to put the boot in and kill you, they have to take you to your total Hit Points as a negative number (so -33 for us).
Our Physical Resistance is our Willpower doubled (6) plus our Constitution (4). Just in case you thought that damage system made too much sense, along comes Physical Resistance to confuse everyone. You lose a Physical Resistance point for taking "taxing physical action" for five rounds, or for suffering "Damage that is significantly close to generating an Injury (usually a couple of points)". When you run out of physical resistance, you're down, just as if you'd run out of Hit Points. This sounds horribly like a fudge to deal with the "1 point away from an Injury" situation.
Our Poison Resistance is our Constitution (4) plus our Willpower halved (1). So 5.
Our Emotional Resistence is our Willpower (3) plus our Mind (3) plus our Emotional Barrier (1), so 7. This doesn't really seem to do a lot, other than be used in calculating Emotional Hit Points , which is double Emotional Resistance. So 14.
Finally, our Emotional Alteration is the sum of our Charisma (3), Presence (3), and Mind (3), all divided by 2 - so 4.
.. So how does this all work? Well, if we want to persuade someone of something, we pick a social skill (probably Intimidate or Empathy) for us, and roll it together with an appropriate stat. The other guy rolls Confidence plus either Willpower or Mind. If we get more successes than the other guy, they lose Emotional Hitpoints equal to our Emotional Alteration score. If they run out of Emotional Hitpoints, they immediately heal all of them but get -1 pool to every action they attempt in the scene. If they go to negative emotional hitpoints, the extra is called "Emotional Overflow", and is subtracted from the total that they heal to.
So, um, yes - you can persuade anyone of anything if you just talk to them long enough, and oddly enough, persuading them of something doesn't actually cause them to believe you or alter their behavior - it just makes them worse at everything. In fact, it continues making them worse at everything even if they change their mind and do something you wanted anyway.
Finally, we need to think about attacks. We haven't bought a weapon yet, but we do have the Melee skill, so chances are we're going to swing a sword at some point - and our basic damage for that is "Strength Score, minus Strength STM not granted by species". So for us, it's 4. If we decided to punch someone (which we ideally shouldn't do, since we don't have Body As A Weapon skill), it'd do that same 4 plus our Aura score of 5, so 9.
Next step is the Grids . There are two grids at the top center of the character sheet: Appearance Status and Emotional Status. All we do with them is to fill in a little circle in the middle of each one. But, ok, so what do they do? Well, we're told that "the positions on the Grids vary depending on narrative and systematic factors", but there's nothing in the system that ever tells you to move a Grid dot, so it's basically "whenever the GM feels like it". Essentially, each Grid measures your status along two axes.
The Emotional Status grid has two axes: Exalted-Depressed (which gives a pool bonus or penalty, equal to the distance from the centre, on checks that are not related to Social Interaction), and Secure-Frightened (which does the same thing, but on Social Interaction checks).
The Appearance Status grid has two axes too: Rough-Elegant (which doesn't do anything, according to the book), and Menacing-Approachable (which gives a bonus or penalty to Empathy based on how close to Approachable you are, and a bonus or penalty to Intimidation based on how close to Menacing you are).
(sigh) And we have to leave it there again.. before buying yet ANOTHER round of Powers and Equipment. Here, have a nearly-filled-in Character Sheet of Doom.
We don't have enough weird stuff yet, apparentlyOriginal SA post Eoris Essence: We don't have enough weird stuff yet, apparently
So. What's our next step?
Wait a second, don't we already have a bunch of goofy powers? Yep, we sure do, but apparently in Eoris you can never have enough of a good thing (or even a rather irritating thing). So, we now get to pick powers "appropriate to our Aura score: each Aura point gains a Character 3 power points". We have Aura 5, which gives us 15 points, plus we have a Shin Valestia which gives us 2 extra, so 17 to spend.
A little side section in the section on Powers finally clarifies exactly what a Shin Valestia is. Basically, a Valestia is a tree. A really good tree. Apparently, all of our non-species Powers (ie, what we're picking now) are actually contained in a tree aligned with our soul, and we have to either visit the tree or interact with something "carved from the wood of the tree" each year in order or our powers shut down.
Now, a SHIN Valestia is... ".. a Tree.. shaped in the form of Protective Armour". I just.. lose it at that point. Having a Shin Valestia means that we carry around (and apparently, at some point, made) a set of three rings, called the rings of Essence, Existence, and Energy. When they touch us, we can make our Shin Valestia appear on us at will.
So.. our powers are stored within a tree, but the tree doesn't exactly exist normally, and we can make it appear whenever we want.. when it's shaped like.. a suit of armor.. no, I've got nothing. I can't parse anymore. (Actually it does state that most Shin Valestia aren't literally suits of armor but appear as magical wooden amulets, which makes a bit more sense, although how that counts as "a tree" I have no idea)
At least we didn't end up with a Sharii Valestia. That's a magic-power-tree that's shaped like a wooden horse you can ride around, but with a globe of energy in the middle called the Xy.
So. Now, what powers do we have to pick?
Absorb Light (1): We can turn into a shadow, giving us a stealth bonus.
Agility (2): We get a discount when using Energy to pump up Dexterity and Reflexes.
Alter Colours (1): We can change the colour of our eyes and skin as much as we like, or change the color of any object for 1 EP.
Alter Fate (1): We can undo a single event in history - but if we do our character falls into a coma and wakes up with no memory. I have no clue how this is supposed to work in play.
Assassin (1): We deal an extra damage point with weapons, stackable four times.
Astral Sense (1): We can "sense sudden changes in the universe's energies", which apparently includes the weather. Given the bizarre cosmology of Eoris so far it's hard to honestly say we can have any idea what kind of weather it would experience. Or maybe the constant barrage of suicidal stellar god-like beings counts as the weather?
Breathless (2): Don't need to breathe.
Compassion (1): You can always choose not to kill an enemy, no matter how much damage you do.
Connection (6): A phylactery, basically. You tie your soul to an object and can't die until it's destroyed.
Dark Sight (4): For 2 energy points, you can ".. see [a] target's darkest secret and.. be forced to share the anguish of their burden". I have no idea what that last part means.
Dark Vision (1): Guess what.
Dormant Rage (2): Everyone thinks you're scary, so to engage you in Physical or Social Combat, they have to test Valour first.
Earthly Calligraphy (1): For 1 energy, you can write a message in magical code that only an intended recipient can read.
Eko (1): You can summon an animal companion. Which is a completely separate character you control. For 1 sodding power point. I'd take this 15 times except I'm not going through this process even once more.
Element Touch (1): "Characters with this Power exhibit physical (genetic) modifications according to the nature of their governing Element. The physical modifications are determined entirely by the Player. The effects of this Power are predetermined, so any extra effects are entirely narrative and have systematic repercussion at Narrator's discretion." Helpfully, the "predetermined effects" of this power are listed under the next power in the list, "Elemental Immunity". Most of them give a small bonus to a magic skill and a slight change to appearance: the big bonus is if your element in Wind, in which case this allows you to fly. For our element, Wood, this means that.. you turn into a centaur. Seriously. Not a wooden centaur. A centaur.
Elemental Immunity (1): You're immune to one of the elements. You can only take this up to 3 times.
Endurance (2): You can go "extremely long periods of time" without resting or food without suffering any afflictions.
Energy Gathering (1): You gain Energy points for every "worthy opponent" you defeat.
Energy Transfer (1): You can give Energy points to other people.
Enlil Breath (1): You can turn statues into living beings for 12 Energy points.
Eternal Day (1): You can choose not to sleep.
Eyes of Appraisal (1): You can appraise objects with a glance.
Fearless (2): You never suffer from fear.
Force (2): Like Agility, but for Strength actions.
Fortify (2): You're unaffected by temperature.
Hypnotise (2): You can hypnotise someone by "Rolling a Mind + Empathy check; if the Character generates sufficient Emotional Alteration points equal to or greater than 150 percent of the target's Emotional Resistence, the target is hypnotised". What the check has to do with anything isn't clear, since rolls in Social Combat so far are purely "to hit" rolls; our Emotional Alteration generation is the same whatever we roll, and is 4, so this is likely to be useless.
Ignore Pain (1): Double Physical Resistence and half penalties due to injuries. We actually already have this from being an Iun Sil.
Imperfect Howl (2): You can howl or shout to disrupt Saeia in an area.
Invincible (3): For 2 energy points, you can be immune to any damage less than half your Toughness.
Language (2): You can learn a new language.. no, wait, that would make sense. No, the Language power lets you speak to the planet. You can't hear it reply, but it might change the environment a bit or send a sign to let you know.
Manifest (1): You can "subtly manifest" your ruling element. Hey, ladies, I'm subtly manifesting wood.
Mental Summoning (2): You can use "your Eos Dimension" to store things and retrieve them at any time.
Microscope Eye (1): You can spend 1 energy point to zoom your vision in.
Panoramic View (1): You can spend an energy point to see 360 degrees.
Path of Life (1): You can make plants grow faster.
Peaceful Death (1): "Characters with this power are embraced by a sense of sudden awareness, tranquility and happiness in the moments before their death. They can bring this sensation to others as they die. This Power is granted to those who are in physical contact with a being who possesses this ability at the time of its death." I've.. got nothing.
Perfect Memory (2): You have a perfect memory and possibly gain an experience point bonus.
Poison Immunity (2): You're immune to poison.
Power Alpha, Power Beta (4/7): You gain a "Power Scale" of 2 or 3. Wait, what? "See page 62". Oookay, hang on, HOLY CRAP. Power scale 2 means that your Toughness, Physical Resistence, Damage, Poison Resistence, and "Equipment Rarity and Quality" are multiplied by 10. Power scale 3 means they're multiplied by 100! The entry does mention that these should only be used if the entire group is sure they want to use them, but still. And let's note that Power Alpha costs the same as Dark Sight, the power that forces you to go all emo over whatever your target is emo about.
Pulse (1): You can make your heart beat so loud your allies can hear it. For 2 energy, you give yourself +1 to aggressive checks; for 4 energy your buddies get it too.
Purity (2): You can take the wounds from someone else onto yourself, and so heal them.
Quiet (1): You're hard to hear.
Realm Alignment (1): Oh, we get this for free for being Sil. When in our "mother Realm", we get double Energy Points.
Regeneration (2): We heal 10 times faster than normal, and can spend 4 energy to full recover an injury.
Reject Light (1): We can fully reflect light to turn into a bright and shiny glow. This apparantly makes us.. stealthy... um..
Sacrifice (1): You can bring someone who's been dead for no more than a day back to life, but you die in their place.
Seal Pact (1): You can make contracts with people that are enforced by "curses and maladies".
Selective Memory (1): You can.. choose what to forget. Seriously.
Sense Life (1): you can sense the "amount of life left inside any being within their Aura range", including how old they are and when they would die.
Sense Material (1): "Characters with this Power can recognise any material they touch, even if they don't know its name, origin, etc." Um.. so what do you recognise it as? "There's this cold shiny stuff I'm touching and I recognise it, but I have no idea what it is or where it comes from."
Share Pain (2): You can transfer Physical Resistance points back and forth between yourself and other characters.
Sight Of The Great Spirit (1): You can see the Great Spirit sometimes.
Sincerity (3): As long as you are in fact telling the truth, nobody ever doubts you. This could actually be a pretty awesome power in a more subtle game and if it didn't cost one point less than Power Alpha.
Song of the Ion (2): "Characters with this Power are accompanied by choirs that inspire earthly calmness." Ok, you can spend 1 energy point to have someone else hear music that calms them down, but the idea that you could actually have a literal choir following you around made me laugh.
Speed (2): Same as Agility, but for speed-related Checks.
Telekinesis (1): You can move objects with your mind. It's worth noting that we actually have this power already from being Eorisian, only we only have "Mild" telekinesis. There is no suggestion what this means.
Teleport (2): Provided you have Kielia Saeia, you can teleport anywhere within your Aura during combat for either 8 Action Points or 1 Energy Point.
Telescopic Eye (1): You can telescope your eyes for 1 Energy point.
Temperance of Will (3): You can spend 1 energy point to pass or fail a psychological test, no matter what.
Tongue Of The Last Spirit (1): You can speak to Kalei.
Transfer Power (2): You can "temporarily transfer a Power from one being to another, themselves included." The way that's written, it seems that you can transfer a Power from SOMEONE ELSE TO YOU, which could make this utterly insane, since there's no description of a defense.
Transformation (1): You can turn into "an energised version of yourself", again based on the Element you chose for your character. With Wood, we basically get barkskin - a big toughness boost.
True Apathy (2): You can utterly ignore emotional effects from anything happening around you.
True Feelings (2): You experience the feelings of others as if they were your own. There is no explanation at all of what this does.
Truth (2): For 1 energy point, you can tell if a single sentence someone else said is a lie.
Unbreakable Bones (1): "Characters with this Power have very strong bones. A bullet would bounce off such a character's head without generating any lethal damage." It's not quite clear what this does, and there's no rules for breaking bones, so god only knows.
Underwater Breathing (1)
Voice of Survival (1): You know everything about how to survive in a particular environment, but don't necessarily have experience doing it. How on earth this is a "Power" I have no idea.
Voice of Wind (1): You can speak to weather spirits and ask them to change.
Wind Song (1): You get telepathy with everyone you "truly know or love". It's perhaps worth mentioning at this point that we got "Mild Telepathy" for being Eorisian Eorisian, but that isn't on this list, so maybe they meant this?
By the way, these powers are apparently really rare. A table suggests that any given power costing 1 point exists only 12 times in the Universe. A 3 point power exists only 8 times, and a 7 point power would exist only twice.
So. Hmm. First of all, 17 points turns out to be a heck of a lot. Our Eternal Breath Aspect means we're immune to damage from anything that doesn't or cannot wish us harm, which gives us a bunch of the immunities basically for free. So here's the big question of the moment. Do we try to pick something sane, or do we gently caress it and pick Power Beta and then watch the stupidly overpowered resulting character crash through the sample adventures?
it's so close I can taste it, which makes it kinda hard to shootOriginal SA post Eoris Essence: it's so close I can taste it, which makes it kinda hard to shoot
So... Power Beta, then. We multiply Toughness, Physical Resistence, Damage, Poison Resistence, and "Vehicle and Equipment Rarity, Quality, and Price" by 100. This gives us Toughness 1300 (thus, 3900 hit points), Physical Resistence 10000, Poison Resistence 500. The other values.. well, we'll do Damage in a moment. Power Beta also gives us "one Saeia Essence at half its maximum level at Character Creation". So I guess we'll bump our Isthenia up to 6 (which is half of the maximum) and transfer the two points we sent on it to Ilsia (to be psychic, because why the hell not, this is already impossible to track)
Now, for Damage. Our Base Damages for melee are based on our attributes. So we have:
Melee damage (hitting someone with a sword): Strength (4), minus Strength STM (-1), *100 (Power Beta) = 500.
Body as a weapon (hitting someone with our fist): same as Melee, but plus Aura (before Power Beta), so 1000.
Grapple: same as Body, but -4 before Power Beta, so 600.
Energy: like Body, but with Spirit instead of Strength: 800.
Psionic: like Body, but with Mind instead of Strength 800
Thrown: like Body, but with the base Strength divided in half before Power Beta: 300.
For ranged attacks, the base damage is based on our Senses STMs. The logic being, the better we can detect someone, the more precisely we can shoot them. Ok, makes sense. And we get to use ALL our senses for this.. well, that makes less sense. In every case, we take the STM for the sense, and multiply it by a value specified by the game to get our base damage value - then multiply by 100 for Power Beta. This gives:
Long-ranged or firearm, by sight: (multiplier -1) 100
Long-ranged or firearm, by hearing: (multiplier -0.5) 50
Long-ranged or firearm, by touch: (multiplier -0.2) 40
Long-ranged or firearm, by taste (?! - multiplier -0.2): -40
Long-ranged or firearm, by scent (multiplier -0.25): -75
Long-ranged or firearm, by intuition (multiplier -0.5): -100
Notice the silliness of the rules at this point. Because Eorisians apparently have bad intuition (+2 STM), our damage dealt with an intuition attack is REDUCED by the fact that intuition is apparently a fairly good way of targeting an attack, and by the fact we have Power Beta..
Ok. We're now surely done picking random things from lists, right? There can't be any more cross-referencing of this goddamn book involved... can there? Alas, my hopes are in vain. We still have two pick sets to do.
First is Tunes - in other words, our starting Saeia spells. We get to pick Tunes for each Saeia Essence (type), equal to the score we have in that Essence, plus our Mind score, divided by two. So we'll get 6+3/2 (4) Isthenia tunes, 2+3/2 (2) Hesthia, and 2 Ilsia. To pick from here, we have a list of particular Tunes for each of the Essences, plus a list of generic "modify trait" Tunes which can be applied to different Essences as makes sense. So, here's the list:
Alter Attributes - alters a target's attribute by 1 point.
Alter Object - adjusts the STM given by a helpful object.
Alter Skill - alter a target's skill score by 1 point.
Compulsion - activate or deactivate a level of a compulsion.
Damage - alter a target's damage score by 2 points.
Life Points - alter a target's number of life points by 1.
Protection - alter an armor's rating for all damage types by 2.
Recover or Reduce - add or subtract 2 hit points or 1 point of physical or social resistence per success.
Speed - alter a target's action point count by 2.
Toughness - alter toughness by 1 point.
Anomaly Sphere - create an energy sphere around a target that dispels the next status condition they're affected by.
Aura of Awereness - gives a target +2 to Awareness checks for the length of the Event.
Calm - cancels any penalties a target is recieving from mental obstacles.
Heal - gives target back 10 hit points.
Night Vision - gives target dark vision for 1 Event.
Sphere of Dispel - create an energy sphere around a target that dispels the next Saeia of any type they're affected by.
Sphere Shell - create an energy sphere around a target that absorbs the next 2 points of damage they take.
Tolerance - create an energy sphere that shields the target from temperature and pressure hazards.
Drain - does your Spirit in damage and steals these hit points for yourself.
Illness - gives target a 1-die penalty to Physical actions per success; if more than 10 successes, they will die unless treated.
Inflict Status Anomaly - lets you apply a Status Anomaly to the target for a number of rounds equal to your Spirit.
Ray - blasts target with a ray that halves their Saeia defence for 2 rounds.
Sphere - creates an energy sphere that explodes dealing damage based on your Aura and Isthenia.
Vengeance - whenever the target is attacked the attacker takes 10 points of damage.
Dream control - target can choose his dreams.
Enhance Senses - gives the target a negative (beneficial) STM to one of their senses.
Mind Read - read the target's mind.
Repression - cancel any Emotional Alteration the target's suffering for 1 Event, but next Event it comes back twice as bad.
See the past - choose a location and a timeframe up to an hour ago, and you spend an hour and a half having different visions of what happened then and there from every possible angle and perception.
Start - lets you "start a Saeia device".
Telepathic Link - create a telepathic link with the target.
Catalyst - Alters the rate at which a chemical reaction takes place (!!!???)
Create Kaia - Creates a Kaia made of Universal Matter with fixed stats. Helpfully, the details on what a Kaia is are on the first page of the equipment chapter, far away from the spell list, but you can probably guess - it's a golem.
Fast Mutation - Acts like Mutate, but is quicker.
Forge - Gives a 4-dice bonus to any Art or Craft check.
Mutation - mutates the target's body according to the Primordial Clay rules. We'll.. oh god, we'll get to them. They're goofier than even these rules.
Cell - isolates the target in a zone of stopped time.
Haste - lets the target act twice as fast.
Interfere - pushes the target one space down the initiative order.
Slow - means that the target can only perform defensive actions.
Summon Fear - summons an "invisible creature as described by the Player" (!!!!) which radiates a fear aura giving a 4-dice bonus to Intimidation or Entice.
Summon Tranquility - summons a similar creature, although not invisible, which gives complete immunity to Social Actions. Is it wrong for me to think of Mai Waifu?
Teleport - teleport the target anywhere within your Aura range.
Strangely, these were almost sane, up until we got to Ilsia. That business about "choosing your dreams" is especially strange when you realise that our character has the power to see visions of the future in his dreams. So does that mean he can choose what he sees visions of, or does it mean he can choose what his visions are, and thus choose the future? Hmm.
Anyway. With our 4 Isthenia, 2 Hesthia, 2 Ilsia, let's go: Recover/Reduce, Damage, Inflict Status Anomaly, Sphere, Heal, Sphere of Dispel, See the Past, and (what the hell) Start. (Remember, we're already telepathic, so presumably there's no need for Telepathic Link.)
Now, what about those "status anomalies" ? Well, this is where the rules suddenly get all Final Fantasy on us - there's a set of Status Anomalies that can be inflicted on characters by attacks or Saeia or various other types. Each of them has a number associated with them, which is how hard it is to cast a Saeia to inflict that anomaly. You can also perform a "precision attack" which creates certain Status Anomalies and makes them last for an amount of time based on the damage dealt - and remember that attacks can be "social attacks" in Eoris too, so some of these can be inflicted by social skills. The anomalies are:
Berserker (Saeia 4): Character gets +4 damage and attacks the closest target, friend or foe.
Cell (Saeia 4, Social 4 "left perplexed"): Character can't engage in Social Interaction.
Charm (Saeia 4, Social 3): Character "acts in favour of someone they would not normally serve".
Confusion (Saeia 3, Social 4, Physical special): GM controls the character. "Physical varies"? Well, the game suggests that if a character is struck over the head, the GM may rule that they're confused. Because all we needed in this weird-ass mish-mash so far was a dose of Looney Toons.
Curse (Saeia 4): Character can't use a particular Skill of the attacker's choice.
Damage Perception (Saeia 2, Physical): A target's senses dice pool is reduced.
Disrupt (Saeia 3): target can't use Saeia.
Hinder Attack (Saeia 2, Physical): A target's Combat dice pools is reduced.
Hold (Saeia 4): target can't move and has 0 dodge.
Immunity (Saeia 3): target is immune to any other status anomaly.
Injure Artery (Physical): target loses a quarter of the original damage suffered each round.
Injure Movement (Saeia 2, Physical): target's movement poinst are reduced.
Lost Limb (Saeia 8, Physical): Character suffers a 3 dice penalty to any action involving the limb they've lost.
Paralysis (Saeia 6, Social 6 "panic", Physical): character cannot move in any way. The rules helpfully inform us that "there is a certain part of the male anatomy that requires no more than a couple of Hit Points damage to cause Paralysis".
Shock (Saeia 3): character must retreat and can't attack for 'a few Rounds'.
Sleep (Saeia 4): character is unconscious.
Stop (Saeia 2, Social 1, Physical): character loses their next turn.
Sustained damage (Saeia 1+HP): target loses that number of HP every round.
Again, some of these seem sensible but others haven't quite been thought through. "Lost Limb" for Saeia activation, for example. Remember, Status Anomalies inflicted by Saeia are temporary and their duration's based on the power of the Saeia, so if we somehow manage to hit 8 successes on Isthenia we can cause a target's leg to fall off - for a few rounds, after which it mysteriously jumps back on again!
Now, finally.. FINALLY!.. we come to the Equipment section. We've established that we have 10,000 links to play with, and are sent to the equipment chapter. This starts with some material about cost of living, which actually turns out to be costs for common services such as healing and meals. These make sense up until the high levels - for 100,000 links, you can get medical treatment so good it gives you Regeneration. For 1000, you can get a meal that is "one of the greatest culinary pleasures any being can ever experience", which knocks your Emotional Status over to the maximum Secure and Exalted position for an hour. There's also slightly more sensible tables for Lodging, hired help, public and personal transport. Unfortunately, at 10,000 links our Bob is going to have trouble actually owning any of these things permanently, so we'll see how other purchases go before we actually buy him these. It's also mentioned that for very long distance travel, there's two alternative means to choose from: "Portal Leap" (ie, teleport stations), and "Ghost Song" (where you, yourself, get dissolved into the same 'high-speed waves' that normalyl create the link between portals - but because you're more complicated, you go slower). Strangely, the game then mentions that these means of high-speed travel are "comfortable but not luxurious" and mentions that we can go First Class for 50% extra. Yea, because you want to have a <i>high class</i> experience of being torn apart into your constituent energy waves!
Now we get to the actual Equipment. Eqipement is defined by a whole bunch of complex stats, such as its Burden (how hard it is to carry), Spirit Burden (how difficult it is to prevent it taking over your mind), its Quality (how well-made it is) and its Rarity (how hard it is to find). Because of our Power Beta, we are told that "the Price, Quality, and Rarity of our equipment" is multiplied by 100. I'm not quite sure if we're supposed to buy them at the higher prices or not. The difference that higher Quality makes is buried away in the chapter on creating items (which is at the very back of the book) - it increases the Damage and/or Damage Resistence by a point per Quality point. Not sure if this has already been done for the items listed in the book, or not.
Ok, I'm going to have to leave this now. I'm already getting the headache I associate with these posts. Also, I'm going to post the character sheet in text form - sorry about contributing to the wall of text these posts tend to be, but the classic Character Sheet is (as it turns out) not only incredibly confusing but doesn't actually succeed at being a good reference for the character's abilities..
Species: Eorisian Eorisian
Size: 2 (Eorisian)
Aura: 4+1 (Sil) (can use Saeia, can see the future in dreams, can converse in-character with the GM, Aura range 4m)
Eternal Breath (can't be harmed except by a conscious being that wishes you harm)
Willpower 3 @ -2 (Eorisian)
Constitution 4 @ 0
Strength 4 @ -1 (Shin Valestia)
Dexterity 3 @ 0
Reflexes 3 @ 0
Senses 3 @ -1 Sight, -1 Hearing, +2 Taste, +2 Intuition, -2 Touch, +3 Smell (Eorisian)
Movement: Terrestrial 3
Combat: Dodge 2, Barrier 2, Melee 3 @ -2 (Kay)
Social: Confidence 2, Intimidate 2, Empathy 1 @ -1 (Eorisian)
Physical: Resilience 2, Stamina 2, Acrobatics 0 @ -2 (Eorisian), Climb 0 @ -2 (Eorisian)
Saeia: Aura.D 2, Isthenia 6 (Power Beta), Hesthia 2, Ilsia 2
Mind: Art 0+2 (Sil) @ -4 (Sil), Literacy 2, Navigation 2, Tactics 2, Survival 0 @ -5 (Kay), Craft 0 @ -2 (Eorisian), Linguistics 0 @ -1 (Eorisian), Celestial 0 @ -1 (Eorisian)
Toughness: +2 calculated toughness
Naie Ys: All links are always Naie
Emotional Barrier: 1
Impulses: Pride 1, Love 1, Envy 1, Kindness 1, Malice 1, Justice 2, Sloth 1, Duty 3 @ -1, Wrath 0 @ +1, Valor 3, Greed 1, Optimism 1, Gluttony 1, Spirituality 1, Lust 1, Curiosity 1, Temptation 1
Compulsions: Pain (every time an ally is defeated, gain +1 dice bonus to attack and defense), Inspiration (every time you critical hit, you and allies get a +1 dice bonus to attack).
Wealth 4 (10,000 links)
Social Earthly Domain 2+1 (Mind/Social skills)
Spiritual Circle 2
Spirit Burden Capacity: 3 (Spirit)
Burden Capacity: 5
Toughness: 8 (Con) + 2 (Str) + 1 (Res) + 2 (Toughness Talent) = 13, (*100 Power Beta) = 1300
Life Points: 3
Hit Points: 3900
Physical Resistence: 6 (Wil) + 4 (Con) = 10, (*100 Power Beta) = 1000
Poison Resistence: 4 (Con) + 1 (Wil) = 5, (*100 Power Beta) = 500
Emotional Resistence: 3 (Wil) + 3 (Mind) + 1 (EmoBar) = 7
Emotional Hit Points: 14
Emotional Alteration: 3 (Cha) + 3 (Pre) + 3 (Mind) / 2 = 4
Emotional Status: Neutral/Neutral
Appearence Status: Neutral/Neutral
Energy Maximum (Sil=Spirit+Aura+Aspects) = 3+5+2 = 10
Long-ranged or firearm, by sight: 100
Long-ranged or firearm, by hearing: 50
Long-ranged or firearm, by touch: 40
Long-ranged or firearm, by taste: -40
Long-ranged or firearm, by scent: -75
Long-ranged or firearm, by intuition: -100
Recover Energy (Sil): Roll Aura+Spirit to absorb energy from a Xylen, giving them 2hp/ep in return.
Love and Fear (Sil): Xylen must roll Psych Checks near an "emotionally altered" Sil to stay cam.
Terror (Sil): Anyone facing an angered Sil must roll a Valour check.
Body Force Nuie (Body): Energy spent on Constitution gives a 2-die instead of 1-die bonus.
Energy Heal (Body): Energy heals at 1ep / 4 hp.
Regeneration (Body): Sil recovers all HPs and heals an Injury immediately after Combat.
Fear Sense (Iun): Can sense fear.
Ignore Pan (Iun): Die penalties due to injuries are halved and Physical Resistence points are doubled.
Perseverance (Iun): Can recover one Injury immediately after a combat or after two rounds inactivity.
Darkness (Eorisian): See in darkness 99% for 2 AP
Communicate (Eorisian): Communicate with anything or anyone touched with both hands
Mild? Telekinesis (Eorisian): Move objects with mind by using Mind score in place of Strength
Mild? Telepathy (Eorisian):
Spiritual Circle: Anyone other than a higher-ranking Sil must test Valour with 4 successes to attack.
17 power points (Arua 5 + 2 Shin Valestia)
Power Beta (7pts): Power Scale 3.
Peaceful Death (1pt): Characters with this power are embraced by a sense of sudden awareness, tranquility and happiness in the moments before their death. They can bring this sensation to others as they die. This Power is granted to those who are in physical contact with a being who possesses this ability at the time of its death.
Connection (6pts): Cannot die until a particular object we're connected to is destroyed.
Invincible (3pts): 2 EP = immune to any damage less than half Toughness.
Recover/Reduce (Hesthia/Isthenia, b1): give or take 2 HP or 1 PR/SR per success.
Damage (Hesthia/Isthenia, 2): Alter an attack's Damage Rating by 2 points.
Inflict Status Anomaly (Isthenia, varies): inflict a status anomaly for (Spirit) turns.
Sphere (Isthenia, 4): prepare 1 round, then explode sphere inside sense range, explosion of Aura Range, damage Spirit+Isthenia.
Heal (Hesthia, 2): Give target 10 HP.
Sphere of Dispel (Hesthia, 3): Next Song affecting target is dispelled.
See the Past (Ilsia, 5): have 100 minutes worth of freaky visions of a time and place in the past.
Start (Ilsia, 4+device): start a Saeia device.
Shin Valestia Level 2 (-1 Str, 2 power points, distributable damage resistence 4 (Con) + 4 (Str) + 3 (Wil) = 11)