Karma: The Stuff Power is Made of.
The Chosen characters sheets use karma meters, orignally adapted from the Changeling sheets, to measure the amount of good an bad karma an individual has accumulated. One dot on the meter represents 10 boxes, with each box representing one point of karma. When ever the 10 boxes are full, they may be erased for one dot, whenever they are empty, one dot may be erased to fill them all. The dots, however do have some greater significance. The highest any trait of a character can be is five - or the total number of dots of karma (both good and bad) (though if a character ever has five or more dots of the opposite type, conversion of sides is almost assured), whichever is higher. Thus by saving up 80 good (or 70 with 10 or more bad) karma, a character may increase their strength from five to six on the path of greatness. This is a precarious position, however, as any permanent rating that exceeds the dots of karma may not be used, thus if the example character spent a point to chuck a fireball, therefore having five dots and nine boxes, they would loose their newly acquired strength. If a 'karma roll' is ever required, the number of dice is the number of dots of the appropriate type, usually standard difficulty (6). Such a roll may never be botched, and the karma die (explained below) is not used. If you are playing that players may design thier characters with a large amount of starting karma to purchase staring powers, any dots in anything above five must be purchased with karma.
Karma is gained by doing an appropriate deed, an act of kindness for good, an act of cruelty for bad. If the storyteller suspects raw greed for power as the motive of a good player, one good point and one bad point, for greed, should be awarded. Obviously, players will do good deeds with the knowledge of their ultimate reward. The general guideline for what counts as greed is seeming over-anxious to do a good deed, or asking immediately afterwards "Do I get a point of karma for that?" (though allowances should be made for polite reminders if you did overlook a good deed.)
'Karma dice' are one method of consistently having the forces of karma intervene at the time least expected. Before any roll, the player declares one die as the karma die, this should probably be the same die for all rolls, to avoid confusion. If the karma die comes up a ten, good karma intervenes. The player loses one point of positive karma and the roll is either successful or gains 1 extra success, depending on weather the roll is for simple success or if numbers count. If a one is rolled on the karma die, one negative point is lost and the roll fails. If you want karma to interve less often, use one die for positive and one die for negative. A character with Karma Knowledge four may elect not to allow the use of positive karma through the karma die on a case by case basis, and the autosuccess from the karma die is not cumulative with the autosuccess gained by using this power. A character with Karma Knowledge five may similarly disregard interventions of negative karma, and since they have final say in both respects, may not even bother with karma dice at their discretion.
A Chosen is subject to several temptations, and the forces of the dark (or light) side can be quite earnest in thier persuit. Negative karma checks may be required if temptation presents itself. Also, whenever a character gains a point of negative karma through some act, a negative karma check is required, each success is one extra point gained (these extra points are not from an direct act of the character, and thus do not trigger this effect again). Once it gets a foothold, the forces of temptation can work swiftly.
Whenever a character has exhausted thier supply of positive karma, they may choose to instead gain karma of the opposite type. Of course, as explained above, each such instance requires a karma check.
The opposing forces also tempt with power - a character may gain a point of negative karma (the roll for extra is of course required) to gain one extra die on a roll for each dot of thier negative type they possess.
The essential talent of the Chosen, Karma Knowledge gives them the tools to manipulate their own karmic forces. Level one of this power is considered absolutely necessary to a Chosen's existence, and level two is highly recommenced. * Aura perception:
Someone with this power (non-Chosen have been known to
attain this lowest rank) can perceive the white or black auras
that identify the Chosen.
With this rank, the Chosen have a better grasp of their own
karma, and can see their own meters.
This simple power allows a Chosen to simultaneously
eliminate one good and one bad karma.
The Chosen may now spend a point of their dominate karma
type to add one success (and one only) to any roll - after the
roll is made, or use the auto-success to achieve the single
required success in a simpler matter.
The Chosen may attempt to have the negative forces intervene
at a controlled time, thus eliminating one point of their
negative karma. The effects of this will always be felt. If used
in combat, a strike may simply be missed. If used for a
unimportant goal ("Oh, look, a penny, why don't I make a dex
check to pick it up. Whoops, did I fail? Let's try that again.",
etc.) thus, the person bringing their opposing force to bear on a
trivial actions might trip and inflict some injury on themselves,
for instance. Or maybe the penny was dropped because it was
burning hot, causing serious and painful burns when picked up.
****** Kindred Souls:
You may transfer karma between yourself and another willing
By talking to a non-chosen and reasoning with them, and
spending on positive point of karma, you may attempt to sway a
them twoards your cause. The subject makes a karma check (roll
on die for each dot (10 points) of karma they have they have on
the side you which to sway them to) If they have any net
success, they are swayed further twoards your cause. This will
effect a change in thier behavior, but it does not mean they will
help you directly.
You may attempt a karma transfer between yourself and an
unwilling subject. roll willpower, diff. 8, vs the victims
willpower, diff. 6. each success is one point you may steal.
********* Aura Masking:
The Chosen may hide their aura. this is a very powerful
effect, characters should only be allowed to have it at
storyteller discretion. It is mainly useful as a plot device,
i.e. having some stranger be greatly progressed in this respect,
thus hiding their true nature from the PC's.
********** Aura Falsification:
A person may falsify their aura. The same guidelines as Aura Masking should be used.
Acts of Charity/Cruelty: This is actually two separate
backgrounds, having the same systems effect, but for different
sides. Once per day, it adds one extra of the characters
dominate karma type, assuming their was any way for the character
to do such acts during the course of the day. Though character
generation points are spent to acquire it, the storyteller is the
final judge, if the character is not living up to their Acts
rating, reduce it. By the same note, reward characters whom go
beyond their rating.
Acts of Charity.
* You give occasionally. ** You have done volunteer work, maybe help old ladies across the street. *** You are active in the community. **** You are a community leader. ***** Saintly. Acts of Cruelty * You hurt other peoples feeling often. ** You are some form of abuser. (child, sexual, spouse, etc) *** You have murdered at least once. **** You are a serial killer. ***** Demonic.
Fallen Reincarnate. (to be used only at storyteller discretion.)
You have fought the Armageddon before - and fallen from your duties and joined the other side. You have been returned to earth to redeem yourself, and, at the commencement of the Armageddon, regained some of your previous knowledge, some of which relates to the Armageddon itself.
For each dot in Fallen Reincarnate, you gain some special freebie points, one starting point of Karma Knowledge, and 10 (one dot) of your opposing karma type for your former treachery. Additional, your starting rating for Acts may not exceed 5 minus the rating of Fallen Reincarnate, and your rating in Fallen Reincarnate is added to your dots in negative karma whenever you make a temptation roll with it. When spending the special points, keep in mind that these points come from experience in long past lives, and thus are unlikely to grant skills in computer or firearms, whereas you are quite likely to pick up an extra language or archery, for example. These extra points may also not be used to buy karma like normal.
Be very careful, the more negative karma you have, the more
likely you are to succumb again, and the more likely the
storyteller is to bring it to bear on your actions. Note that
the Armageddons given assume your are playing in the Fourth
Armageddon, if you run a historical campaign, adjust the names
and highest rating accordingly.
* One Armageddon (Third):
Karma Knowledge *, +10 negative karma, Acts maximum ****,
+10 freebie points.
** Two Armageddons (2nd & 3rd):
Karma Knowledge **, +20 negative karma, Acts maximum ***,
+25 freebie points.
*** Three Armageddons (1st, 2nd, 3rd):
Karma Knowledge ***, +30 negative karma, Acts maximum **,
+45 freebie points.
(levels four and five are mostly systems extensions)
**** Four Armageddons (the forgotten age, 1st, 2nd, 3rd):
Karma Knowledge ****, +40 negative karma, Acts maximum *,
+70 freebie points.
***** Five Armageddons (the forgotten age, 1st, 2nd, 3rd):
Karma Knowledge *****, +50 negative karma, you may not have Acts, +100 freebie points.
Imps and Annoyances.
If a character has a lot of negative karma, approximately 15+, (and they are not a Fallen Reincarnate) they storyteller may 'gift' them with an annoyance. The annoyance cause the loss of one point of negative karma per day of presense, but makes a complete pain of itself. They are ussually imps, small devils for good that cause great deals of mischief, (It's amazing how much fun a storyteller can have by saying 'poke' at random intervals) while dienzens of evil will probably gain a small cherub whom spreds love and kindness everywhere. Annoyances cannot be harmed. They only go away when the character reduces thier negative karma below ten or so.
Aggravated damage is something so horrendously damageing that it cannot be repaired through normal healing. Aggravated wounds are therefore noted differently in the health meter, such as a slash for normal damage and an X for aggravated. Natural examples include loss of limbs or orther major body parts that cannot completely regerenate themselves. It may also be caused by things that destroy the nearby tissues, leaving nothing to regrow the missing parts. Such damage may be returned to a normal wound by ripping out or surgically removeing the nearby damaged tissue, causing at least one extra health level of damage in the process. Some special powers also cause aggravated damage. The Hand of Maddness and The Hand of Justice are two examples. These fall under the second catagory of wounds.