Essence

Essence is a special, secondary attribute in the same vein as Base Will and Willpower from the Wild Talents iteration of the ORE rules. Essence is a resource attribute which comes into play in situations where characters are, in some way, interacting with supernatural forces directly.

“Essence” is a catch-all term for two subtly different types of energy – personal essence and ambient essence or Animus/Anima and Essence.

A male character’s “personal essence” is known as Animus. It, literally, means something like “the male soul.”

A female character’s “personal essence” is known as Anima. It, literally, means something like “the female soul.”

The only difference between the male and female soul is a matter of roleplaying distinction – some entities might prefer the taste of female essence, for instance.

Personal Essence or Animus/Anima is the spiritual currency produced by a sentient being’s body – whether that body is physical or ephemeral is a moot point. Any thing cognizant of it’s environment in any manner produces at least some personal essence. Beings which are sapient i.e. “thinking” produce much more.

Residual/ambient essence is the ghost or echo of essence left in the physical/ephemeral realms by beings which produce essence. Think of it as something like essence pollution.

Animus/Anima equals a character’s Body + Command attributes. Animus/Anima can be expended under certain, rare circumstances to produce powerful, lasting effects. It does not, however, regenerate unless XP is expended to buy it back. Animus/Anima may be “burnt” to regain Essence in times of extreme emergency – permanently reducing Animus/Anima by 1 point to restore 10 points of the character’s Essence. Animus/Anima costs 10 + New Value XP to raise. The maximum amount of Essence a character may expend in a single turn is equal to their Animus/Anima value – not counting essence bids to resist supernatural influences.

For example: Your character wishes to raise their Animus/Anima from 6 to 7 so he/she would need to spend 17 XP to do so. Any character who drops to 0 Animus or Anima is effectively soul-less and is removed from play barring extraordinary circumstances.

A character’s base Essence equals their character’s Animus/Anima attribute. Essence is commonly expended to activate supernatural abilities, resist supernatural influences, etc. Most of the time, keeping at least 1 point of Essence in reserve ensures the proper functioning of most supernatural abilities a character possesses. Many abilities, however, can be enhanced by spending Essence. Essence regenerates readily – at a rate equal to Body per 6 hours of rest or Body x 4 per day of rest. Characters may also choose to “overchannel” to quickly regenerate essence in times of emergency. Overchanneling is, however, extremely dangerous. Overchanneling, unlike burning Animus/Anima, is a gamble. It’s effects can be unpredictable and dangerous – but may very well be less costly than simply burning up your Animus or Anima. Maximum Essence can be increased above and beyond a character’s Animus/Anima value via the expenditure of XP – it costs 2 points per point of essence gained. As your character gains experience in the use of essence he or she also gains the ability to draw more essence and keep it closer at hand for when he or she requires it.

For example: You have a starting Essence value equal to your Animus of 6. You decide to increase your Essence – spending 8 XP to increase your maximum Essence capacity by 4 for a total Essence capacity of 10.

Nominally, a character must possess the Essence Sensitivity advantage to actively make use of this attribute – though all characters technically have Anima/Animus and Essence. Without the aforementioned advantage, characters may only spend Essence reflexively – such as to defend against spiritual attack, etc.

Animus/Anima Value Power Description
1 – 2 Terribly weak; spiritually crippled; a weak spirit or someone with a damaged soul.
3 – 4 Below average to average; nothing special; a hedge magician or average joe.
5 – 6 Talented; somewhat stronger than average; your average Eben Guard.
7 – 8 Gifted; significantly stronger than normal; a strong Eben Guard or weak demon.
9 – 10 Singular; spiritually prodigious; an elite Eben Guard; a demon of moderate power.
11 – 12 Paragon; above normal human limits; a strong demon or other spiritual entity.
13 – 14 Beyond; beyond reason; titans, elemental princes, demon lords, and others.
15 + Godlike; powerful beyond all imagining; demigods, unknowable beings, etc.

Essence

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