Tuesday, July 31, 2012


There are a great number if implementations for locations in various FATE-based games. While I like the rules in The Dresden Files, they have more of a feel for the Dresdenverse as opposed to Vimary. After a little thinking and a couple of Newcastles, the following is what I came up with for statting up locations in Vimary.

Locations have three types of Aspects (Defining, Points of Interest, and Location), two Abilities (Threat and Resources), and an optional Location Stress track.


Defining Aspect

Every location has some overall theme, tone, purpose or other fact about it that defines it. Examples would be Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy or Meeting Place of the Tribes.

Points of Interest

A point of interest is a location within the location that is somehow important or noteworthy. Points of Interest often have their own zone maps or location write-ups. Points of interest may initially be hidden, requiring an assessment before they can be entered or utilized. Example Points of Interest include Theren's Den, Junks, The Red Gaol, etc.

Location Aspects

Locations may have additional Aspects that further describe inhabitants, services, threats, or other features. Examples include, "The Watch", "Haunted by ghosts", etc.



Threat represents the inherent danger of traversing the Location. Threat has a Specialty Aspect describing the nature of the danger - it may be a pack of wolves, treacherous terrain, unusual weather or any other imaginable danger. Very safe areas will have a Rank of -1. Every time a character enters the Location, they must roll an Ability appropriate to the Threat versus a standard roll, modified by the Threat rank. The difference is the amount of stress the character takes.


Resources represents the availability food, items for scavenging, raw materials, etc. in the location. It has a Specialty Aspect that describes the type of Reward - examples include Bountiful Food, Fresh Water, or Untouched Ruins. Reward is added to any rolls for Scavenging; the Specialty Aspect (if known) can also be tagged to get an appropriate effect.

Location Stress

This is an optional stress track. It reflects the amount of attention that those who act out of place within the location receive, and how the residents react. The number of stress boxes varies depending on the size of the location, how easy it is to appear out of place or offend, etc. A good rule of thumb is each level of Consequence should have stress boxes equal to the number of Points of Interest in the location; this is because it is harder to attract attention in larger, busier locations. Once stress boxes are determined a list of various actions that PCs might take that would get attention in the location is created, along with how much stress each action inflicts. 

When a character does something that is on the list, that amount of stress is checked off the Location Stress track. Note that these generally add up. If a character is "Revealing themselves as Fallen in the open" (+2), "Acting disorderly" (+2), and "Stealing From a Stall" (+3), the stress inflicted on the Location Stress track is 7. The Consequences will represent what the reaction within the location is.

For example, a market may have the following Consequences:

Rude Stares and Muttering (Minor)
Refusal to buy or sell (Major)
Arrested by the Watch (P) (Severe)
Attacked by the Watch (P) (Extreme)

If the market only has two stress boxes per Consequence, the above example would get them arrested.

Next up I will be working on a location map for Vimary.

Plot Stress and the Metaplot

Now that I have finished with the effort of pretty much completing my conversion document, I can now turn my attention to some factors that actually have to do with playing.

Juniper's Visionquest

I raced back from the river's edge, a soft, waterlogged wood in hand and a look of glee written all over my face. This would be the best mask I had ever created, surpassing even the Little Trickster's abilities at carving with dream essence! I followed the winding trail towards the main caravan, hopping and skipping as I went. A large tree loomed over head, and I set the wood down and began to climb. I always needed to hone my abilities at climbing, and often found it difficult to access the eminence of ‘Motion', over my greater luck with ‘Illusion'. I suppose in retrospect, that's why I was chosen as a set and costume designer as opposed to a dancer. Good old natural talent.

I started my ascent with a leap to the lower branches, channeling the synthesis granted to me by Dahlia . The ground disappeared from below me, and my hands clung to a branch, spinning my lower torso up and above my head to land nimbly upon my feet. I concentrated on my balance, and started to run along the length of the thick, supporting branch, out to its quickly narrowing end. The weight of my body caused the tapering limb to sink downwards, but I was ready. I continued to allow the dreaming to flow through me. It felt so amazing; the feeling of being symbiotically connected to the tree.

I released the forces, my body ceasing to weigh more than a breath of air and the branch snapped itself upwards, taking me along with it. I catapulted through the air, grasping for a handhold among the mid-branches. At the apex of my arc, I formed an illusory cushion of air, and leaped from it, gaining a foothold among the thick foliage. I was breathing heavily now, and I felt the enthralling sensations of the dream, seep from my body. I glanced towards the top of the tree and continued my climb, albeit in a more mundane fashion. I wasn't going to risk my still growing abilities at Synthesis to aid me among the higher altitudes of the tree.

As the branches started to thin and become more, and more precarious, I felt a strange sensation. A numbing feeling like when ones appendages fall asleep. I figured it to be from the exertion, and attempted to ignore it. I soon reached the summit of my self induced challenge, and was granted a beautiful view of the fall landscape, in it's myriad of brown and golden hues.

The leaves shone back with a brilliance only Fall could produce. A swift wind blew, and the loose leaves were caught among the currents of the cool air falling ever so gently to the ground. My eyes followed the descent of one particular leaf that was as gold as honey. It looked so pure, so crisp, and apparently without a care in the world. I smiled at it; I don't know why. It's not like it knew, but I felt a sense of empathy for the poor leaf. It had lived a brilliant life and had met with so many birds and insects over the warm months, and now, all that was gone. It's home among the branches ceased to feed it, and it was discarded, in all it's beauty, to be lost among the others lying on the moist earth below.

Perhaps all was not lost, however, for with it's sacrifice, new leaves would be given the chance to feed the tree in the seasons to come. The tree would prosper because of it, growing ever greater and more majestic, all because of that little leaf's sacrifice.

The smile disappeared from my face as a searing pain shot up my left leg and along my spine, to finally be jettisoned out of my eyes. A blue light escaped my eyes, and I saw the caravan. It was gathered in the distance, as if to leave. What was going on. I hadn't returned yet!

The pain flew through me again, this time with a greater intensity than the last, wracking my body into strange contortions. My firm grasp loosened abruptly and I felt my body pull away from the safety of the tree's branches. The pain was unbearable . . . death would have been a more welcome surprise than the torture that overcame me.

I half expected to feel my body crash against the blanket of leaves below, shattering my body and tossing my soul to the winds, but something far stranger happened. Something far worse. As the leaf that was me cut through the air, I saw a face form before me. As my body twisted, more faces surrounded me, multiplying tenfold until all I saw were beautiful, placid faces, looking upon my plight, without remorse or empathy. I curiously looked at her, and pleaded to her in my mind, to save me from the death that threatened to take a hold of me. Her eyes closed, all of them, and her mouth opened ever so slowly in a silent scream, that shattered my spirit into shards, creasing my body with red lines that sought to explode from within. My chest opened up and I could see the glowing form of my essence, wrapped amid a multitude of lightning-blue lines. The pain was unbearable, and I screamed; not with my voice, but with the element of myself that was the dreaming. The lightning exploded outwards, wrapping itself around the faces that surrounded me, and disappeared within her open mouths. The glow radiated with a resplendence that could have lit up the world, escaping in all directions with the speed of thought.

Sparkles fell from the comet trails, setting aflame the dry autumn forest. The sky reflected the blaze with an orange glow. I saw the faces open their eyes, mouths now closed, and I found myself staring deep within her eyes. The vision took over all of my senses and the peripheral flame became lost to me, as I lost myself within her. I saw the faces of my family, their skin burnt from their faces, blood dripping from their hands. Some of them appeared perfect, however, seemingly untouched by the ghastly sights of the others. I saw Chigger and Cindra , standing perfectly still, their bodies glowing with an inner light that sought escape. I saw Mana, her mouth closed like the floating faces, hanging amid an aurora of light. I saw thousands of honey bees drifting through the rays. I saw a large man with a great beard and many scars, with the markings of the Ravager upon his naked skin. A figure stood behind him, her body made of metal, a face within her torso, gleaming with a smile that held a thousand secrets. I saw the Great River flowing with blood, and the island of Vimary burning in madness. My father, long dead, lay in the air, suspended by invisible supports, the fire of his pyre, growing in height, until it finally consumed my entire vision.

Leaves fell, trailing smoke from their flames, falling ever slowly to the earth.

I crashed. Hard. The bones in my shoulder cracked and the wind escaped my lungs, stiffening the muscles in my stomach with a tightness that sought to bind me. Tears welled up in my eyes and cascaded down my face, smearing themselves as I rolled into the dirt from the harrowing experience. I was an exile, forever lost to the life I once knew. I gathered my broken body and left to discover my destiny.

by Edwyn Kumar

text copyright 1999, Edwyn Kumar

Monday, July 30, 2012

Descriptive Wounds

This was originally written by Edwyn Kumar for Rusted Sky. It is also a decent reference for Consequences in Strands of Fate.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A bit of a shoutout

The image that I am using for the cover page of Strands of Flesh and Spirit was drawn originally by Jude Godin, who has graciously allowed me to use the image. I highly suggest everyone go to his site and look at his more current artwork. He is an extremely talented artist, and there is even some Tribe 8 art if you go to the section for older art on his website. If I ever become rich and am able to get a license to resurrect the Tribe 8 line, he is my go-to for contracting the art.

Bartering and Resources


Resources in Tribe 8, because of Vimary’s barter economy, don’t represent abstract wealth such as investments, trust funds, savings etc. They represent physical things the character has, or can reasonably get access to, and by extensive an abstract measurement of the character’s ability to trade for goods they need or want. Specialty Aspects for Resources are likely to be relic items, Fatimal artifacts, or flocks of sheep or herds of cattle.


Every character has a renewable stress track called Supplies, which represents the total of the character’s physical means such as food, clothing, and goods that the character can trade for other goods. The stress boxes for each Consequence on the Supplies stress track is equal to:

Resources + Craft + Other Modifiers = Number of Supplies Stress boxes (Minimum 1)

Supplies is a “hybrid” Mental/Social stress track, meaning that there are instances where either Mental or Social attacks can be made it against it or Social or Mental Abilities may affect it.

“Attacking” The Supplies Stress Track

Bartering (see below) inflicts Stress on the Supplies Stress Track, as does anything that might consume Supplies.

Daily Survival

Once a month, each character must roll their Resources versus a standard roll. Depending on the conditions, the GM may add an Intensity modifier to the standard roll. The difference is stress taken on the Supplies stress track.

Environmental Factors

Finally, the environment itself  can cause stress on Supplies. Being in a desert, surviving a severe winter storm, or journeying through Hl’Kar or the Rust Wastes will cause additional attacks on the Stress track at regular intervals (typically every day).

Surplus and Rewards

Surplus are items and supplies that are beyond what the character immediately needs. They serve as “armor” against stress to Supplies. Rewards are valuable items that the character recovers or receives, and can be used to add to barter rolls. Once a reward point is used, it is gone.


The exact nature of Consequences depend on the source. Consequences from attrition of supplies will reflect a scarcity of some kind. Consequences resulting from Barter may either represent a scarcity, or a debt owed or some other more social concession.

Replenishing Supplies

Supply stress boxes clear at the end of the Session. Consequences clear over time, with a Crafting roll versus a difficulty set by the severity of the Consequence.

ConsequenceTime RequiredDifficulty
MinorA dayNo roll required
MajorA week2
Severe (P)A month4
Extreme (P)Three months6
DefeatedA year8

In addition, characters can try to actively replenish Supplies through scavenging. Scavenging in this manner is an extended Perception contest versus a base difficulty equal to the difficulty above, plus further modifiers based on the environment. Each roll takes one day, which is completely dedicated to the scavenging effort. Spin on any one roll not only clears the Consequence, but grants the player either a +1 Surplus or +1 Reward (player’s choice).


Dealing with a barter economy like Vimary’s can be tedious and bland. Most people don’t want to keep track of every trade-worthy item that they have, nor do they usually want to roleplay every haggling transaction.

Bartering for basic food, clothing and supplies is assumed to happen on a regular basis and there is no need to roll. The ebb and flow of these transactions is represented by the regular attrition that the Supplies stress track takes every month. Once a character needs or wants a specific item, the Barter for it needs to be resolved.

First, the character must locate someone who has the item that they need. This is an extended Persuasion roll versus a difficulty equal to the Cost Rating of the item that is being sought, plus any additional modifiers the GM wishes to impose (for example, trying to find a very specific version of an item will increase the difficulty). Each roll takes one day, and Spin on the roll reduces the time spent searching for one day.

Once a source for the item has been located, actual bartering can begin. Unlike economies with currency, bartering is very subjective. Having too much of one thing can decrease its value, and only having items the other party isn’t interested in can break the deal. Barter is resolved as a Mental attack on the Supplies stress track, with the goal being to acquire the desired or needed item while simultaneously giving the other party something that is deemed to be of equivalent value in return.  All rolls are done using Persuasion, limited by Resources. Rewards (see above) can be used to add bonuses to the Barter roll. The GM may assign additional Edge bonuses if the situation warrants it, or Determination if the other party is sufficiently stubborn, there is nothing that they want or need, or are just  disinclined to barter.

Since bartering is social as well as economic, the end result is always that both parties get something that they want - or are convinced is of equal value. A barter, however, can be discontinued before the final exchange of goods takes place. When this is done, any Consequences that have already been suffered are automatically changed to Consequences more fitting for two parties that have had a bad interaction. For example, if during a barter one character decides to break off negotiations before a trade is made and has suffered a Minor Consequence, the Consequence might be changed to, “A Little Less Respected” or “Inconsiderate”. It may make others less inclined to Barter with them.

Deceptive Bartering

It is possible to use Deception instead of Persuasion for Barter. This is a risky proposition, since it usually does not take long for the other party to realize that they have been had - and might result in the stiffed party taking further action, including Social or even Physical attacks against the deceiver.

Codes of the Soul

And another retro set of house rules from Warp & Weft/Dreams of Flesh and Spirit.

Alternate Experience Rules

  • This rule is from the booklet from the Jovian Chronicles GM's screen. In order to improve a skill, the character must have spent a number of Emergency Dice on the skill equal to the next skill level squared. This greatly slows down skill improvement. Alternately, to speed up skill improvement, the Weaver can count each Emergency Die spent on a skill roll as XP towards the improvement of that skill. 
  • These are guidelines I have used in a modified form in Cyberpunk 2020 and Mekton II. They are written with the intent of applying experience gained directly to skills. They shouldn't be used with the Emergency Dice guidelines above, and are probably best suited for Cycles where the Weaver gives out 4-6 Experience Points per session. It does involve a little more record-keeping. The first time a character uses a skill during a session, the player should place a mark next to the skill on the character sheet. If the skill is used again later in the session, another mark is not made unless the player rolls sixes. One extra check mark is made for each six rolled. Example: A Magdalite Siren uses Seduction, getting one mark on the character sheet. Later, she uses Seduction again and rolls 5,6,6. She will get two more marks. At the end of the session, an Experience Test is rolled using 2 dice for each mark next to each skill. The dice are read normally (i.e., take the highest number, add +1 if a second six is rolled). If the result is above the character's skill level, one Experience Point is gained in that skill. Using this system, characters should still receive "free floating" Experience Points that can be spent on any skill the player chooses or Emergency Dice. These Experience Points should be allowed to be spent on skills that have gained Experience from an Experience Test during the session. Weavers should discourage players from pointlessly using skills just to get Experience Checks, but encourage creative use of little used skills that contributes to the game with an extra check every so often. 

Perks And Flaws

Common Sense (Innate, 4 points)

The character always "looks before she leaps". This translates into the Weaver giving the player a warning when she is about to have the character do something foolish, even if there are no perceptible clues as to the danger. The Weaver does not have to specify the danger or give any details. Common sense has no downside.

Double Jointed (Innate, 3 points)

The character's entire body can contort and flex in seemingly impossible angles. This is significantly more than her just being able to bend her fingers back. The character can fit into spaces half the size of what regular people can, as well as being able to easily slip out of restraints unless special precautions are taken. The downside is that the character's joints are easily dislocated, intentionally or not.

Immunity (Acquired, 1 point)

The character is immune to one, and only one, specific drug, poison, substance or disease. This Perk can be acquired because it is possible to build an immunity to toxins or diseases. The downside to Immunity is that the character cannot gain any positive benefits from a substance if there are any.

Intuition (Innate, 4 points)

The character gets uncanny hunches and bursts of inspiration, and the Weaver can allow her to make CRE rolls whenever she thinks the character might get one, even if there are no obvious clues present. Fumbled CRE rolls for Intuition result in extremely poor guesses, and are Intuition's only downside.

Longevity (Innate, 3 points)

The character's lifespan is effectively twice that of a normal person's - she will effectively always look and feel like someone half of her age. Longevity's only downside is the envy of others and outliving relatives, friends and loved-ones.

Perfect Pitch (Innate, 4 points)

The character always knows if something is in tune and gains a +1 bonus to any musically related task.

Sense of Time (Innate, 2 points)

The character always knows what time it is and always know how much time has passed from any one event to another.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Codes of the Mind

The retro Tribe 8 goodness continues with some additional house rules on task resolution in Tribe 8 first edition.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Codes of the Flesh

It's time to go retro! Here are some house rules from the original Dreams of Flesh and Spirit website for Tribe 8 1st edition.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Playing with the Z'bri

I'm working on the Z'bri section of my adaptation, and in trying to present them as being highly individual - and reinforce not using cookie-cutter templates for them - I decided to come up with a distinctly Z'bri toned Aspect alphabet. I like the results.

“A” is for Appetite
What does the Z’bri have a penchant for? Small children? That moment when skin separates from muscle? Something more mundane like fear or rage?

“B” is for Bane
What is preventing the Z’bri from accomplishing its goals? What weaknesses does it have?

“C” is for Cabal
What groups or secret societies does the Z’bri have affiliations with?

“D” is for Dominion
What resources does the Z’bri have control of? What is its sphere of influence?

“G” is for Gifts
What is the Z’bri particularly good at? Does it possess any artifacts or other talismans?

“I” is for Impurity
What is the Z’bri not very good at doing? Does it have any handicaps?

“M” is for Machinations
What is the Z’bri plotting? What is their end goal?

“N” is for Nemesis
Who opposes the Z’bri? Who has the Z’bri opposed?

“T” is for Thralls
Z’bri don’t have friends, and their allies are only of convenience. Who does the Z’bri hold power over? Who can they force to come to their aid or take some action on their behalf?

P.S., for anyone that isn't aware the document is accessible from the link in the "Links" section of the right-hand sidebar. The document is a bit of a mess at times, and is subject to near constant editing. The initial sections on character creation, Synthesis, Technosmithing, etc. are pretty much complete - I just need to get the write ups of the various Synthesis Aspects done once I finish the section on the Z'bri. Going is slow sometimes because I have to hunt down references from three or more different books (for example, with the Z'bri I am looking at Tribe 8 1st edition, 2nd edition and Horrors of the Z'bri).

Power Sources

The River

The River (short for the River of Dream) is the power source for nearly all human supernatural powers in Vimary, from Synthesis to Technosmithing. As a Power Source, there are only a few requirements:

  • The Awakened Advantage is required to purchase any Powers that have The River as their power source.
  • Characters with the Dream Affinity Ability must purchase the Equilibrium custom stress track. Technosmithing does not require this.
  • Powers that represent working with the The River must be associated with The River Power Source and used in conjunction with either the Dream or Technosmithing affinity ability.
  • By default, characters may not have both the Dream and Technosmithing affinity ability at the same time.

Affinity Ability: Dream

The Dream Affinity Ability is used to activate the Synthesis power, as well as associated powers (renamed from Aspects to Rotes to avoid confusion).

Affinity Ability: Technosmithing

Technosmithing is used to activate a number of related Powers that tap into the humanity’s “Collective Memory” within the River of Dream.

The Seed

The Seed is the power source used for any abilities that have their root in the more visceral, physical, destructive side of reality. This includes all Z’bri powers. Powers which use The Seed as their Source have the following requirements:

  • The Touched By the Seed Advantage is required to purchase any Powers that have The Seed as their power source.
  • All characters that have Powers which use The Seed for their source must purchase the Equilibrium custom stress track.
  • Powers that represent The Seed must be associated with The Seed Power Source and used in conjunction with the Sundering Affinity Ability.

Affinity Ability: Sundering

The Sundering Affinity Ability is used to activate all powers that have The Seed as a Power Source.


Equilibrium is a non-renewable custom stress track. It represents how balanced the character is with regards to their spiritual and physical well-being.  It is determined as follows:

Willpower + Endurance + Affinity Abilities (Dream, Sundering, Technosmithing) + Other Modifiers

When a character takes a consequence from losing Equilibrium, this balance is disrupted. In the case of consequences taken while using a power with The River Power Source, they reflect becoming increasingly lost in the River of Dream. For powers with The Seed Power Source, consequences reflect becoming attached to the physical realm.

Equilibrium stress boxes clear at the end of the scene, but Consequences can only be removed through a combination of meditation, purification and ritual. For each consequence, the character must spend an amount of time and make a Willpower roll against a difficulty determined by the level of consequence.

ConsequenceTime Required
Minor10 minutes
Major1 hour
Severe4 hours
Extreme12 hours

Sample Consequences

The RiverThe Seed
Double Vision
Do You Hear That?
Who Touched Me?
Attracts minor spirits
Waking Dreams
Stroke the furry wall
Never felt this way that before
Large Reality Distortions
The Crying of the Lost is Deafening (could be Severe)
Attracts major spirits
Walking Nightmares
Can’t Sleep, They’ll Get Me
Berserk rage
Can’t stop doing this
Pain and pleasure, indivisible
Severe (P)
How Do I Get Out of Here
Unable to Dream
Thousand Mile Stare
Severe (P)
Too much pleasure, too much pain
Sensory overload
Extreme (P)
Cannot Wake Up
This Isn’t My Dream Anymore!
Too Weak to Fight The Current
Extreme (P)
Overtaken by the Seed
Endless cycle of pleasure

Defeated (P)
Swept Into the Sea of The Lost
Lost With No Way Home
Defeated (P)

Defeated results for backlash from a Power that uses The River as a power source mean that the character’s soul has been swept from their physical body into the River of Dream, losing all identity and knowledge of who they were. However, if the character cashes in all of their Fate Points it is possible for others to mount a rescue mission into the River of Dream and recover the character. Otherwise, the character’s physical body will die without being taken care of - once that happens, the character is permanently dead.

Defeated results for backlash from a Power that uses The Seed as a power source mean that the character has been locked in their physical form and is driven mad from the process.  The character becomes a mindless terror, unless another power is used to free it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Powers - Synthesis and Technosmithing

New Meta-Power Advantages

Bundled Advantages

A group of Power Advantages may be bundled together. All of the Powers in a bundle must share the same Power Source; otherwise they retain their individual Activation costs and other attributes. A primary Power must be chosen for the bundle - this is usually, but not always, the most expensive Power in the bundle (in terms of either AP cost or activation). Unlike Linked Advantages, all of the powers are not activated in the same action; instead, the primary power must be activated first. Each additional Power within the bundle is likewise assigned a sequence that it must be used in. The bundle’s overall AP cost is reduced by 2 AP per additional Power in the bundle, but the cost of any individual Power has a minimum cost of 1 (i.e., you can’t bundle a 3 AP power and three 2 AP powers and get the bundle for free - the bundle’s cost would be 4 AP). The additional powers gain the Limitation X Must Be Activated to Activate.  Note that Powers within an Advantage bundle may not be Linked together, but primary Powers between two different bundles may be Linked.



Control (Reality Sub-Domains)
Power Aspect: Dream Magic
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Dream
AP Cost: 3
Base Activation Difficulty: 4
Activation Time: Special (see blow)
Limitations: Subdomain (By Eminence), No Rotes

Synthesis is the ability to actively channel the River of Dream’s energy into the physical world, creating a melding of the worlds of flesh and spirit. It is a modified version of the Control Metapower (SoP pg. 153), allowing reality control within sub-domains called Eminences. Eminences represent concepts and spheres of influence within the River of Dream, and Synthesis  allows changing reality within these Eminences.  All existing uses of Control are possible with Synthesis, provided that the end effect can be described within the context of one or more Eminences that the character possesses.

In order to use Synthesis, the character states the effect and the activation difficulty is set. Typically, the user must enter a trance-like lucid dreaming state which is represented by using Focused Control (SoP pg. 159). However, if the player chooses they may add +2 to the activation difficulty to activate as a simple action; +4 to activate as a free action; or +6 to activate as a free action on someone else’s turn. The intent to activate using Focused control, as a simple action or as free action must be stated beforehand, and the decision to do so cannot be changed. Once the difficulty is set, the character pays a Fate Point per roll per the Focused Control rules. Failure to activate Synthesis results in backlash to the character’s Equilibrium stress track, also per the Focused Control rules.
It is possible to attempt to combine two Eminence Aspects  into one effect. A main Eminence must be decided on to drive the effect; the secondary Eminence restricts the secondary ability. The activation difficulty for the effect is increased by 2.

Rotes, as defined under the Control rules, do not exist. The concept of Aspects from Tribe 8 has been renamed to Rotes to avoid confusion, but fulfill the same role - formulaic applications of Synthesis that are defined, predictable and do not cause backlash when used. In effect, Rotes are individual Powers that have a common Power Source with Synthesis. See the section on Rotes below for more information.

Additional Modifiers

Fatimas: Due to their powerful presence in the River of Dream, Fatimas can make it easier or harder to use Synthesis at will. Any Fatima within one zone of a Synthesis user can increase or decrease their activation difficulty by up to 2. Modifiers from multiple Fatimas stack. So if Dahlia wants a Fallen character to use their Synthesis and sets a -2 activation difficulty, but Tera Sheba and Baba Yaga are both in the same zone and oppose it for +2 each, the net activation roll is increased by 2.
Serfs: The Activation difficulty of a Synthesis roll is increased by 1 against Serfs due to their tainted nature. If Z’bri are within one Zone as the Serfs, use the Z’bri’s modifier instead.
Squats: Synthesis users can invoke or compel a Squat’s Disconnected from Dreams aspect for free to get a bonus or reroll on the Synthesis effect.
Z'bri: Synthesis use within the same Zone as one or more Z’bri automatically receives a +2 to the activation difficulty, due to their Awakened By the Seed Aspect. This modifier does not stack when multiple Z’bri are present.
Spin on a Synthesis activation roll results in one of the following, in this order of preference:

  • If applicable, the duration of the effect increases a number of steps equal to the margin of success (i.e., 3 over the activation difficulty lasts one hour, 4 lasts a day).
  • If applicable, any appropriate attributes of the effect (size, potency, Edge, etc.) are increased by 2.
  • Some beneficial side effect, such as an Aspect related to the effect being placed on the zone, occurs.

Example Eminence Effects

EminenceExample Effects
CapriciousnessConfuse someone’s senses.
Cause someone to “misbehave”.
InspirationInstantly solve a puzzle.
Discover the purpose of an item.
IllusionSee through an illusion.
Alter the appearance of a person, place or thing.
MotionSubstitute for a physical ability.
Change how an object moves (faster, slower, more difficult to move).
MysteryHide or find an object.
Unravel or create a secret or puzzle.
ShadowExtinguish all of the light sources in a room.
Nudge someone toward or away from a dark act.
EmpathySense another’s feelings.
Make someone feel an emotion.
LifeMake a plant grow faster.
Sense the health of a subject.
FreedomBreaking physical or mental restraints (chains, locks, bars, mind control, etc).
Incite a group to free themselves from their oppressors.
RecognitionIdentify an artifact’s origin and powers.
Make someone recognize a truth, person, place, etc.
BraverySense another’s fear.
Grant a bonus to a group of people.
VengeanceReveal who has committed a wrong against the character.
Strike someone that has wronged the character harder.
DevotionGain a bonus to a mental defense roll.
Instill devotion in people to each other or a cause.
FuryTemporarily remove all Consequences.
Increase Strength or Size.
ConvictionResist being made to break or deny beliefs.
Convince someone to take up a cause.
UnityDetermine the connections between people.
Grant bonuses when a group acts together.
ConflictCause two people to distrust one another.
Sense conflict in someone.
SensualityImmobilize someone with a look.
Confuse or heighten someone’s senses.
TruthSee through an illusion or lie.
Force someone not to lie.
WisdomSubstitute for Knowledge ability.
Locate an item or person.
DeathCommune with spirits.
Make an inanimate object decay very quickly.
FateRead a prophecy.
Get a glimpse of someone's immediate future.


Technosmithing is the name for a group of Powers that all use the The River as a Power Source but the Technosmithing Affinity Ability instead of Dream.


Power Aspect: Law of Similars
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 2
Base Activation Difficulty: 4
Activation Time: Simple Action
Modifiers: Strenuous (0)

You can heal living things by using small portions of whatever has injured a person, or elements that are sympathetic to the nature of the injury (i.e., using fire or something hot to treat a burn). You may downgrade one Physical consequence by one step.

Horizon of Light

Teleport Self
Power Aspect: Quantum Teleportation
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 3
Base Activation Difficulty: 5 + Sympathy Modifiers
Activation Time: Simple Action
Modifiers: Transfer(-1)

By touching a computer, telephone, or other device connected to the communications grid you are able to instantly teleport to a point on the grid. You must declare where you wish to transport yourself to prior. In addition to normal Sympathy modifiers, the following modifiers to the activation difficulty apply based on the conditions of the communications grid between you and the destination.
Condition of gridModifier
Nearly perfect-1
Mildly damaged0
Halfway destroyed+1
Mostly destroyed+2
Completely blockedImpossible


Imbue Object
Power Aspect: Spontaneous Power
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 2
Base Activation Difficulty: 4
Activation Time: Simple Action
Duration: Scene
Modifiers: Strenuous (0)

You can power any device, regardless of its power source or condition. The device gains the Aspect Powered(P). This effect lasts for one Scene; Spin on the activation roll increases the duration of the effect. Failure to activate Ignite cause you to take Physical stress equal to the amount the roll was failed by, as the device malfunctions, catches fire or even explodes.


Machine Submersion
Power Aspect:
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 2
Base Activation Difficulty: 4
Activation Time: Simple Action
Modifiers: Strenuous (0), Possession (+3), Limitation: Possession only applies to reading data and storage devices (-2)

You can interface directly with electronic devices such as computers, smart phones, etc. Once this power is activated you get a +3 bonus to use the device, and may use Technosmithing for rolls to use it. In addition, you can extract data from any storage media attached to the device without powering the device on. Failure to successfully activate Interface results in you taking Mental stress equal to the difference between the activation difficulty and the roll, as feedback from the interface interferes with your brain function.

Jury Rig

Power Aspect: Makeshift Crafting
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 2
Base Activation Difficulty: Fate Point (Special)
Activation Time: Extended Action
Duration: Special

You can create any mundane device, vehicle or even weapon without using Resources, instead using any available spare parts. The difficulty for Jury Rigging the item is 1+ the item’s cost. Once the cost is determined, you begin an Extended Action by making the activation roll and paying a Fate point. Each roll takes two hours, and after 8 hours your rolls will be restricted by your endurance. Once the activation difficulty is met, the item gains the aspect Jury Rigged(P). It will work for a number of intervals of the time table equal to the amount the activation roll succeeded.  For example, if a Keeper is Jury Rigging a Cost 3 item and rolls a 6, the item will work for an hour. Spin generated on the activation roll means the item will work permanently unless it is damaged. Once you have successfully activated Jury Rig on an item, all future rolls to Jury Rig the same item have a +1 bonus until you succeed in getting the item to work permanently.

Failing to make the activation roll either because of interruption or inability to pay the Fate Point before the difficulty is met results in you taking Physical stress equal to your total roll versus the activation difficulty. This stress represents the item dangerously malfunctioning, catching fire, or even exploding.


Mind Wipe
Power Aspect: Pseudo Neurology
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 4
Base Activation Difficulty: 6
Activation Time: Simple Action
Duration: Special
Modifiers: Strenuous(0), Memory Edit (+1)

You are able to edit another person’s memories. See the description of Mind Wipe in Strands of Power, pg. 95 for more details.


Power Aspect: Collective Memory
Power Source: The River
Affinity Ability: Technosmithing
AP Cost: 2
Base Activation Difficulty: 6
Activation Time: Simple Action
Duration: Scene
Modifiers: Limited Access (Knowledge) (-1), Themed Access (Items)(-1)

You temporarily gain the knowledge of how to work any device, gaining the aspect Cognizant of X(P), where “X” is the area of knowledge. Spin on the activation roll grants a +1 bonus to any attempts to repair or Jury Rig the item. Failing the activation roll results in a -1 to any roll using the item for as long as you possess it.