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The Will to Power

Fight or persuade… pick your rout to power.


Will is your character’s driving force. It activates abilities and talents, and is drained in so doing. Will is fueled the passions.


In conflict, will manifests in two ways: violence, which is overcoming by means of physical force, and persuasion, which is convincing by means of argument.


Abilities and talents answer the question “What can I do?”

They are the tools that your character uses to get what he wants.

Abilities describe the things your character can do that make him different from other people. Abilities can be technical skills - which set your character apart simply because he knows how to do something other people don’t (not everyone can hack the matrix) - or basic behaviors that can be improved by practice and conditioning - which set your character apart because better at it than most people (everyone can run some, but not everyone can run a 4 minute mile).

Abilities are not limited to physical and technical achievements; if your character knows who the King of France was in 1640 without having to search the net, that’s an ability too.

Any ability can be a talent. A talent is just an ability that your character is exceptionally skilled at - in the top 5% of the world.

Most people have a few abilities related to their profession and leisure activities. These allow them to carve out and hold down their own little niches in society. Most people do not have talents. Very few people have more than one talent.


Passions answer the question “What do I want?”

They are the things that your character cares about enough that he is willing to fight for. They are also the issues that will drive the game, so they should be things that you are interested in exploring. Passions are conceptual. They can be ideals, relationships, causes, or anything else that your character feels strongly enough about so that he will take action on their behalf against the inertia of society. There is no need for passions to be altruistic. The more specific the passion the better, since specific passions will tie the character closely to setting and situation.


Resources answer the question “What do I have?”

Resources are the material goods at your character’s disposal. Once again, these are not mundane possessions. These are the things that your character has that other people don’t - money in a secret offshore account, exceptional equipment, privileged information, and so on. Resources may be lost, stolen, or used up. Of course, additional resources may be gained during play.


Obstacles are always environmental. They are the barriers of the material world that prevent your character from getting what he wants. They can be purely natural - cliffs, chasms, fires, floods, storms - or they can be technical - traps, locks, security systems - constructed by antagonists to prevent the character’s progress.

Conflicts are always between characters.


Every time you roll a die it drains your will by one point. Spending will to activate abilities gives you automatic successes instead of dice to roll.

Every obstacle is a number. To overcome the obstacle you must match the number. If you have any pertinent abilities, you may spend one will each to activate them. Each activated ability to contributes one to overcoming the obstacle. If you do not have enough abilities you may spend raw will. Each will spent allows you to roll a die. Every die that shows a 4, 5, or 6 contributes one to overcoming the obstacle. You must decide how much will to spend before rolling all of the dice.

If you have a passion that pertains to an obstacle or conflict you get a free die for that passion. Additionally, if you overcome the obstacle or win the conflict your will refreshes (how much?).

Violence / Persuasion are die types. Violence / Persuasion exists on the following scale:

Violence / Persuasion d12 / d4 d10 / d6 d8 / d8 d6 / d10 d4 / d12

Characters begin at the center (d8 / d8). Every time they use Violence in a conflict they go up one rung. Every time they use Persuasion, they go down one rung. You may spend will to move Violence / Persuasion towards the center, but not away from the center.

the_will_to_power.txt · Last modified: 2015/01/24 16:32 by paganini