Personas and the Velvet Room

Persona represent the supernatural manifestations of a person's will and inner desires. They take specific forms and emerge with an eldritch burst of blue fog. Personas have many different shapes and forms, and mean different things to their wielders. They are invisible to normal people.

They're also powerful- and dangerous if used incorrectly. But no matter what, they change their masters- referred to in this section as Evokers- in deeply fundamental ways.

Basics of a Persona

A Persona is a special entity belonging to a specific character, who gains special powers from that Persona. This section, however, will discuss the basic anatomy of the Persona itself.

Firstly, there are two types of Personas: Major Persona and Minor Persona.
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Major Personas

A Major Persona is the core Persona wielded by an enlightened Persona user. In a very real way it represents a true expression of their soul.

All PCs possess a single Major Persona, the identity of which is unique to them. Major Personas remain with the PC for the duration of the game, and whenever they enter combat, the Major Persona manifests. The capabilities of the Major Persona (or the 'Major' from now on) are not set in stone, however, and grow marvellously as the game progresses.

The Majors have the following fields: Name, Powers, Traits and Knacks.

  • The Name is the Persona's Name, and usually has a link where one can read more about the Persona's background.
  • Powers represents the Powers the Major possesses. Majors can possess up to ten Powers; these Powers are the only ones the Major's master can use in combat. Powers are primarily used to grant the Evoker great powers in combat, and use two of the Evoker's prime resources: Exertion and Spirit.
  • Traits represents the special qualities of the Persona, which apply to the user so long as this Persona is 'active' (see below). The Traits are drawn from the standard Trait list. Major Personas can have up to five Traits.
  • Knacks represents the special 'knacks' the Major possesses. A Knack is a special ability that has little combat utility, but can be used to gain advantages in non-combat situations. Majors can have up to three Knacks.

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Minor Personas

Minor Personas ('Minors') are the great multitude of Personas that serve a secondary but crucial role to the party. They are not unique to any one person, and can be possessed by any Persona user with an affinity for them. They do not serve an active purpose in battle, instead serving as disposable shields that buffer the Persona user from harm. However, their true purpose is to be sacrificed to grant new abilities to a Major Persona.

Minors all belong to a shared pool which can be accessed by all PCs. PCs may visit the Velvet Room to withdraw Minors from this pool; once they do this, they are counted as possessing that Minor and can do whatever they wish with it, including returning the Minor back to the pool. A PC can only withdraw a Minor Persona from the pool if it matches one of their three starting Arcanae or one of their Fulfilled Arcana. A PC can possess up to three Minors at once.

Evokers use Minors in battle, where they use their Minors' elemental attributes; attacks against the Evoker also deplete the Minors' wounds first. The Evoker can equip any one of their three possessed Minors. They can change between Minors as a half action, but only once per round.

All Minors have the following fields: Name, Grade, Elemental Attributes, Wounds, Powers, Traits and Knacks.

  • The Name is the Minor's Name, and usually has a link where one can read more about the Minor's background.
  • The Grade represents how powerful the Minor is relative to other Minors. It is on a scale of 1-10, and to possess a Minor of a certain Grade, the Evoker's Evoker Rank must be at least equal to the Minor's Grade.
  • Elemental Attributes list the Minor's relationship with the ten Elements- Melee, Missile, Fire, Ice, Electricity, Wind, Psy, Nuclear, Light and Darkness. A Minor can be weak, neutral, resistant, immune or repel to an Element, which has the effects laid out in the Combat section. In Combat, the Evoker uses their Minor's Elemental Attributes as their own.
  • Wounds represents how many Wounds the Minor has. When an Evoker has selected a Minor to be their active, equipped Minor, all damage to the Evoker is dealt to their active Minor instead. The Minor can take Critical Damage and eventually 'die', which makes it unusable until revived with a spell or until the period marked in the Critical Damage result has passed.
  • Powers represents the Powers the Minor possesses. Minors can have up to three Powers, and unlike Majors, cannot use these Powers. Instead, when the Minor is sacrificed in the Velvet Room, its possessor's Major can choose to inherit some of those Powers.
  • Traits represents the special qualities of the Minor. Minors can have two traits. Evokers do not use Minors' traits at all. Instead, when the Minor is sacrificed in the Velvet Room, its possessor's Major can choose to inherit some of these Traits.
  • Knacks represents the special 'knacks' the Minor possesses. A Minor will have only one Knack, and cannot be used by the Evoker; instead, when the Minor is sacrificed in the Velvet Room, its possessor's Major can choose to inherit a Knack.

These details and more will be explained below.
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Dormancy

An Evoker is a special person, an 'Enlightened' person who is aware of the Library and the Sea of Chaos, as well as Shadows and Personas. However, this does not mean their Persona is always active- especially in the waking world, where Personas, who draw strength from Miasma, are naturally very weak. By default, an Evoker is set to 'Dormant', which means that their Persona is not active and cannot use any Powers, Traits or Knacks.

An Evoker can become 'awakened' as a half action, in which case their metagear manifests on their bodies and their Persona emerges. However, they are not able to awake in the waking world unless the waking world's miasma threshold is at a certain level.

Maintaining a Persona at a constant state of readiness is tiring; outside of the Library and the Sea of Chaos, an Evoker takes a point of Stress for every hour in which they are Awakened.

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Powers, Traits and Knacks

This section talks more about three of the most important qualities of a Persona: their Powers, Knacks and Traits, and how these things interact with their Evoker.

Powers

Powers represent the core combat Powers a Persona has. They add real options in battle, including elemental attacks, special physical attacks and enhancing one's innate abilities. When used correctly, they can change the tide of battle.

Powers are tied to an Evoker's Major Persona. They may have up to ten Powers, and if they gain new ones past that limit, must select an old one to remove.

Powers are divided into three types: Spells, Arts and Passives.

  • Spells are magic Powers that often deal in a wide variety of effects, from elemental damage to healing to augmenting allies. Every Spell costs some Spirit to use.
  • Arts are physical-based Powers that, when used, produce a modified effect of a physical action, such as an attack or a movement. Arts cost Exertion to use.
  • Passives are Powers that do not need actions to use- once in the Power Pool they are always in effect.

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Traits

Personas can possess Traits, just like Shadows and certain people do. These Traits are drawn from the Trait list and act as usual.

Like Powers and Knacks, Traits are tied to the Major Persona, who can possess up to five of them.
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Knacks

Knacks represent special powers that a Persona has that are more for the sake of non-combat utility. They are often used to gain an edge in investigations and social situations.

Like Powers, Knacks are tied to the Major Persona, who can possess up to three of them.
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Velvet Room Functions

The Velvet Room is a mysterious place that exists between dream and reality. It is difficult to define where it begins and ends, and it possesses a changeable form. Nonetheless, it offers services which are essential to Evokers.

Within the Room resides Igor, a bizarre but helpful man who has a unique power capable of shaping, fusing and channelling the power of Persona. Igor and his assistants offer four special functions to aid the Evokers in their journey: Fusion, Sacrifice, Itemisation and the Compendium.

Fusion

Fusion is the act of fusing two different Personas together to create a third, more powerful one. Because the Majors are tied intrinsically to the Evokers' personalities, Igor may only fuse Minors.

Fusion is a multi-step process.

  • First, you must choose two Minors that exist within the shared pool of Minors to act as parents. The Minors must have a different Arcana.
  • Second, you take the parents' two Arcanas and cross-reference those Arcanas on the chart at the end of this section. This provides you with the Arcana of the child Persona.
  • Third, you add the parents' Persona Grades together and find the average, rounding up. Then, you add +1 to the final result. This provides the Grade of the child. By comparing that Grade with the Arcana, determined above, you find the Persona the child will become.
    • You cannot fuse a Persona whose Grade is higher than the highest Evoker Rank amongst the PCs. So to fuse a Rank 3 Persona, at least one of the PCs must be Evoker Rank 3.
  • Finally, fusion requires that all PCs agree to the act. Once this is done, the two parents are expended, and the child is created, taking its place within the Minor Pool.
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Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon -

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Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the act of melding a Minor Persona into a Major Persona. In this act, the Minor is expended, but the Major is empowered by it.

Sacrifice consists of the following steps.

  • First, an Evoker must choose one of the Minors in their possession to sacrifice. (Reminder: An Evoker must have an Evoker Rank equal or greater than a Minor's Grade before they can possess it.)
    • An Evoker may only possess Minors from one of their starting Arcanas or from a Fulfilled Arcana, which is an Arcana in which the Evoker possesses a rank 10 Social Link.
  • Second, the Evoker may choose one Power, Trait or Knack from the Minor to transfer to their Major. If the Minor belongs to the Evoker's Primary Arcana, then the Evoker may choose two of any combination of Powers, Traits or Knacks from the Minor instead.
    • If the Major has reached a limit (10 Powers, 5 Traits or 3 Knacks), but wants to add a new entry to the full category, they must erase an old one first.
  • Finally, the Minor is expended.

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Itemisation

Itemisation is the act of converting a Minor Persona into an item. The Minor is expended in the process.

Itemisation consists of the following steps:

  • First, a Minor existing within the Minor Pool must be selected, with the agreement of the party.
  • Second, the Minor will have on its profile an 'Item' field. The Minor is expended, and the party gains a single copy of that item.
    • Some Minors unlock special upgrades for Metagear instead of producing an item when itemised. This unlocks the upgrade for the entire party.

Compendium

Considering the rate at which Minors are expended, it is highly convenient to have a place where a copy of a Minor is stored. This is the Persona Compendium, kept with Igor in the Velvet Room. The Compendium can store an unlimited amount of Personas, but it can only store one of each type. Even if a Persona is 'withdrawn' from the Compendium, the template remains.

Withdrawing Persona, however, is not free. It costs a set amount of money based on the Persona's Grade. A chart below lists how much is required.
Grade Money
1 10
2 20
3 30
4 40
5 100
6 220
7 460
8 940
9 1900
10 5800

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