Grimoire

Using Essence

Although Essence is innate in all living creatures, it is necessary for a person to focus upon it enough before they are able to manipulate it. In order to allow your character to manipulate their Essence, you need to give them the special “Essence” quality, which behaves differently than other qualities. Read on to learn how to set up and use your character’s Essence in your game.

Note: If you landed on this page without reading the previous chapter about Essence, read that so you can understand how Essence works before trying to learn how to use it!

Defining Your Essence

Once your character gets the Essence quality, whether at character creation or added later, you will need to set up your character to learn what they are capable of.
Note: Essence cannot by your character’s primary custom quality. See Character Creation for details.

Finding Your Aura

Roll 1D6 to determine the Aura of your Essence. Your Essence’s Aura explains the nature of your Essence, and in turn defines what your character will be able to do with their Essence when they grow more comfortable using it. In other words, the Aura specifies what kinds of magic your character will be able to use.

Use the table below to find the Aura that your character’s Essence possesses and write it on your Character Sheet:

Die ValueAuraElement / Power
1HotFire / Heat
2ColdIce / Water / Sharpness
3HeavyEarth / Strength
4FastLightning / Energy
5SlowNature / Time / Precision
6SoftLight / Empathy

An Essence’s Aura has nothing (or very little) to do with your character’s personality. Instead, it is simply a defining characteristic of the Essence itself, meaning that different Auras allow people to do different things with their Essence after gaining control over it. As Essence has been studied over time, it has been found that given enough time and mastery, Auras generally allow Essences to perform magic related to the associated Element / Power listed above.

Fun fact: Notice how most Auras are associated with a traditional Element but none of them represent Air? Essence itself is associated with Air!

Understanding Density

Your character’s Essence Quality level represents the “Density” of your Essence—the higher the Density of your Essence, the more Essence there is to manipulate. What this means is that as your character grows more and more skilled with controlling their Essence, their Essence will grow within them, allowing them to do more things with it. Using the terms of other RPG systems, this might be understood as your character’s magic level.

Using your Essence Quality, you will be able to find what skills a person with the same type of Aura at that level of Essence Density is capable of learning/using and choose what your character is able to do. Each level of Density affords your character a certain number of skills they can use their Essence for.

Density Basic Skills Honed Skills Master Skills
1 1 0 0
2 2 0 0
3 2 1 0
4 3 1 0
5 3 2 0
6 4 2 1
7 4 3 1
8 5 3 2
9 5 4 2
10 5 4 3

Specific skills for each level are laid out in their respective chapter, linked above.

Manipulating Your Essence

Using Essence follows the same rules as other qualities, but a negative impact failure inflicts 1 Strain upon your character. On a successful roll, you can use the skill you were trying to use to do anything that the skill could logically allow. For example, the Honed Skill Grab can be used to hold things in place as well as simply pick them up.

Range

As your character’s Essence gains more Density, it will be able to be extended further. The ranges listed below are relative to your character’s head and allows for a rounded tip with an at least 1-foot diameter when extended away from you.

Density Range
1–2 5 Feet
3–4 10 Feet
5–6 15 Feet
7–8 20 Feet
9–10 25 Feet
Mastery 30 Feet

While you are able to stretch your essence as far as the table above specifies, the closer your Essence is to you, the denser and therefore the more powerful/effective a skill can be.

Strain

Prolonged use (i.e. maintaining an action using Essence for longer than 1 turn if in conflict or for longer than 5 seconds outside of conflict) can also add Strain to your character. Every time your turn begins while you are maintaining the manipulation of your Essence, make a Check roll using your Essence Quality. If you fail the check, your character gains 1 Strain.

In addition to this, attempting to manipulate an object up to twice what your Essence’s Density allows (i.e. attempting to lift something that weighs more than your essence can comfortably lift—not going beyond your Essence’s range), you must roll an additional Essence check. If you fail your check, your character gains 1 Strain and is unable to perform the action. If the object is more than twice what your Essence’s Density allows, the action cannot be performed.

Mastery

Normally, Essence can only extend as far as its range and is immediately shortened/cut off if a solid object passes between the user and its target. If you have achieved Mastery on your Essence quality, your Essence will automatically stretch up to half your Essence’s range around any obstacles that get inbetween the user and its target to prevent the connection from being broken.

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Next: Basic Skills