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Rules Summary

Dice

White is for Gnosis, the Awakened soul. Tied to a Watchtower, it brings Arcana's control.
Grey is for Resonance, reality's warped weft. Quiet soon follows, for those who aren't deft.
Red is for Vulgarity, as the world itself screams. Backlash and Fallout will torment your dreams.
Purple is Opposition, facing monsters and men.  Eventually you'll fall, it's just a matter of when.

Traits

Gnosis: The sum of a mage’s fully controlled magical potency, Gnosis is a fixed pool that rarely changes in the course of an adventure (though it might increase over time). It is also a good reference for the character’s skill at mundane activities, so will generally be rolled for everything. It is very similar to Discipline in standard DRYH. When Gnosis dominates, the player may reduce Resonance by one die or remove a Paradox check as her mage masters reality sufficiently to undo previous mistakes.

Resonance: As a mage bends reality, his or her changes tend to build up a mystical “tone” that makes further changes to reality both easier, and more dangerous. Reality, already bending, is easier to adjust, and this spills over even to mundane activities (just like Gnosis, Resonance is rolled for everything). It is very similar to Exhaustion. A mage can voluntarily take on one die of Resonance each roll. Additionally, if Resonance dominates, she must take on an extra die of Resonance as reality gets strange. If Resonance exceeds six dice, the mage experiences a Quiet. The higher a mage’s Resonance, the more likely other supernatural beings will be to notice and identify her.  Normal Resonance fades over time, dropping by one point for each day in which time is spent in a Hallow.  Permanent Resonance may only be removed with Tass, as described below.

Vulgarity: When casting magic, a mage often has a choice of how coincidental or vulgar to make the effect. The more vulgar the effect, the more power the mage can usually unleash. Thus, the more vulgar the effect, the more Vulgarity dice can be added (up to six). Any spell casting requires at least one Vulgarity die, although the number may be reduced by a Rote (see below).   It is very similar to Madness. GMs should attempt to come up with a way for any effect to work as coincidental if the player wants it to; for example, a coincidental teleportation may somehow arrange for an available taxi cab and clear traffic (though going vulgar would obviously be faster). If Vulgarity dominates, the mage suffers Paradox as described below.  

Conflicts

  1. Determine if you would like to increase Resonance by one point.
  2. Roll Gnosis +  Resonance + Permanent Resonance + (1-6) Vulgarity dice - 1 Vulgarity die if a Rote.
  3. Compare to GM's Opposition dice:
    • Each die showing 1 - 3 is a Success.
    • The pool (Gnosis, Resonance, Vulgarity or Opposition) with the highest face showing is Dominant.
  4. Determine results:
    • If Success (Player rolls more Successes than GM):  Complete the desired action successfully.
    • If Failure (GM rolls more Successes than Player):  Fail the action or the GM can impose a penalty.

    • Gnosis Dominant: Reduce Resonance by one point or clear a Paradox box.
    • Resonance Dominant: Increase Resonance by one point.
    • Vulgarity Dominant: Invoke a Paradox.
    • Opposition Dominant: Successes come with costs, and failures hurt worse. The Storyteller gets a Bane token, to be used at a later time.

Tass

All mages can use Tass to alleviate Paradox and Resonance. 

At the start of each game session each player starts with Pawns of Tass equal to their Gnosis to use as they like.  

Controlling a Hallow grants additional Tass at the start of a game session.  Tass may also be gained from unusual confluxes of magical energy or the distilled essence of supernatural creatures.  Mages with knowledge of Prime may be able to take Tass from others or disparate sources.

One Pawn of Tass
  • Reduce Resonance by a point when not in conflict.
  • Remove a Paradox when not in conflict.
  • Add a Success to the Gnosis pool of a roll.
Five Pawns of Tass
  • Restore a point of Gnosis lost to Permanent Resonance with several hours of reflection, once per session.
  • Exchange your Rote for a different one with several hours of reflection, once per story.

Talents

  • Hobby Skill
    • Never gain less than your Resonance rating in Successes on a roll involving the Talent.
      • Academics, Computer, Crafts, Investigation, Medicine, Occult, Politics, Science, Athletics, Brawl, Drive, Survival, Weaponry, Animal Ken, Empathy, Expression, Intimidation, Persuasion, Socialize, Streetwise, Subterfuge
  • Order Skill
    • Raise  Resonance by one to add your  Resonance as Successes on a roll involving the Talent
      • The Adamantine Arrow: Martial Nature (combat involving martial arts or melee weapons as well as tactics and command)
      • The Free Council: Scientific Advancement (making or understanding most things relevant to physics, chemistry, biology, or technology of any sort)
      • Guardians of the Veil: Deception (stealth, guns, and any combat where killing the opponent is a primary goal as well as subtle coercion)
      • The Mysterium: Atheneum Backing (any interaction with bygone beasts or physical supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and fae, ritualized magic, book learning and research)
      • The Silver Ladder: Communication (dealing with mortal, spiritual or supernatural politics, any interaction about knowing useful people)

Arcana

Each mage has a Path, which defines their natural talents in Arcana.
  • Acanthus: Fate or Time
  • Mastigos: Mind or Space
  • Moros: Death or Matter
  • Obrimos: Forces or Prime
  • Thyrsus: Life or Spirit
All mages have ratings in Arcana which define what kind of effects they can produce. See the Mage rules for what is available at each Arcana level.

Take one rank in your Path Arcana, and then assign five more ranks as you like (to a maximum of three in any one Arcana).

Include one (or more, as needed or desired) Vulgarity dice in a roll to gain the effect of the Arcana. 

Rote

Pick one effect from your chosen Path Arcana above as your signature spell.  When casting this effect, you may reduce the number of Vulgarity die required by one (to a minimum of zero).  The full six Vulgarity dice may still be used, if desired.  At the end of a story (not a session), you may pay five Pawns of Tass to exchange this Rote for a different one.

Quiet

A mage that must take on more than six Resonance dice enters Quiet. The mage will typically snap, automatically solving whatever problem she was currently facing with some overwhelmingly vulgar magic (that somehow avoids Paradox), and then leave the scene to cause mad havoc across the city for a while until finally calming down (and dropping all non-permanent Resonance dice). Henceforth, one Gnosis die is permanently replaced with a Resonance die (which still counts against the limit of six). A mage that runs out of Gnosis in this way (or a master that gets a seventh permanent Resonance die) becomes one of the Mad and is permanently insane and stuck in her own mad vision of reality.

Permanent Resonance may be removed (and the mage’s Gnosis restored) by spending five points of Tass at once, at the end of a game session. Only one point of Resonance may be removed each session for each player. It takes time to heal the wounds on reality itself.

Paradox

Whenever Vulgarity dominates, the mage takes Paradox. A mage can suffer up to Gnosis in Paradox (check off a box). Whenever a Paradox box is checked, the player must decide on Feedback or Fallout. With Feedback, the mage suffers damage from the wracking Paradox and might come away with some kind of Paradox Flaw; she is incapacitated by the pain and unable to contribute meaningfully for the rest of the scene, but is not totally helpless. With Fallout, the Paradox instead has bizarre, unpredictable, and often horrific effects on the environment and bystanders (the GM is not expected to be kind), and the GM gains another Echoes die, but the mage is otherwise unharmed and able to keep contributing. If the mage suffers Paradox and has no remaining boxes to be checked, she is spirited away (either claimed by a literal Paradox Spirit or falling through a hole in over-stressed reality). She may be returned later with lingering side effects determined by the GM.

Opposition 

Opposition is the contesting forces in the world, be they the corrupt Scelesti, megalomaniacal Seers of the Throne or insane Banishers. Rate each threat on a scale of 1 (mooks) to 12 (archmages), and use that as a die pool. When Opposition dominates, the players are in for trouble, and there will be a cost to any success they may make, either in time, resources or damage to themselves or the ones they love. If Opposition succeeds, the players fail to achieve their objective, although they may be able to wrest some measure of compensation out of the hands of their opponents if another pool dominates.

Magical items (Artifacts, Enhanced Weapons, Imbued Items, ect) affect the Opposition pool by either penalizing it, or in the case of opponents having items as well, granting it bonuses, as needed by the situation.

Bane Tokens

Each time Opposition is dominant the Storyteller gains a Bane token, which may be used on a later roll to do one of the following:
  • Add a success to the Opposition pool
  • Remove a success from the Gnosis pool
Once used, the Bane token trigger the production of Tass in the player's Hallows.  This Tass is not automatically added to the player's supply, however.  It must be retrieved to be used, and only one Pawn may be stored in a Hallow at a time.  A second Bane being used before the Tass is collection results in a wasted Pawn.

Advancement

Aside from spending time between sessions to change the Rote of a character, it is also possible to gain additional Gnosis or Arcana over time.  However, since this represents a focusing of time and energy on mastering the magical arts, other studies fall by the wayside.  At the end of each story, if appropriate, the Storyteller may allow characters to exchange one dot of an Arcana or Gnosis for a dot in either a different Arcana or Gnosis.


Character Survey

MY REAL NAME IS...


AND MY SHADOW NAME IS...


WHAT'S BEEN HAUNTING YOUR DREAMS?


WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO YOU?


WHAT'S ON THE SURFACE?


WHAT LIES BENEATH?


WHY ARE YOU ON YOUR PATH?


WHY DID YOU JOIN YOUR ORDER?


GNOSIS / ARCANA / ROTE:


ORDER SKILL / HOBBY SKILL:



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