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.

Evokers

An Evoker is an individual who can summon a Persona. How a person becomes an Evoker is a mystery, and whether such a method can be reliably replicated is up for debate. Regardless, Evokers have a great deal of special power at their fingertips. An Evoker gains the power to, when in an environment with enough Miasma, manifest a Persona, an embodiment of some inner truth or mask, to act as a shield, a weapon and guide. As time goes on, and the Evoker becomes more experienced, the power they can harness grows with them, and their mastery of miasma increases.

To represent their nature and their power, every Evoker has a special trait called Evoker Rank. This trait reflects how powerful they are. As the name implies, it comes in ranks, starting at Rank 1 and capping at Rank 10. Evoker Rank is used for many things, including certain powers, determining your Spirit and Exertion, the power level of Minor Personas an Evoker can equip, and more.

Everyone begins at Evoker Rank 1, and gains another rank for every 2,000 XP they earn, to a maximum of Rank 10 at 18,000 XP. Evoker Rank determines the following:

  • Any Minor Personas you equip must have a grade equal or lower than your Evoker Rank.
  • Your Spirit and Exertion maximums are based off your Evoker Rank, with Spirit being your MCB*Evoker Rank, and Exertion being your Evoker Rank multiplied by either your MB, BB, SB or TB, whichever is highest.
  • Some attacks or spells use Evoker Rank in their calculations.
  • Evoker Rank improves the utility of your Tomes, which is discussed more in the next part. They add the following powers:
    • The Tome gains an inventory, allowing you to use any item from the group consumable. You can only draw something from this inventory a number of times per day equal to your rank.
    • At Evoker Rank 3, you can use your Tome to communicate telepathically with other Tome holders, sending them words and images from your mind to theirs.
    • At Evoker Rank 4, you gain 'Analysis', meaning you can spend an action to analyse an enemy, revealing their elemental affinities, Arcana and personalities.
    • At Evoker Rank 7, you gain 'Advanced Analysis', meaning your Analysis reveals an enemy's elemental affinities, Arcana, personalities, wounds, scores and traits.

-- Back to Top --

Tomes

Basics of Tomes
Tomes are powerful, special artifacts that are necessary for a Persona user to focus and manage their powers. They are large, heavy leather-bound books with a white crystal engraving of a tree on every front cover, the top branches entangling with a mask; the mask's look is unique to the user. The pages are thick and creamy coloured, and are made from the bark of Sophia, the Tree of Knowledge herself. The Tomes cannot be destroyed, nor can they be written upon with pens, paints, pencils, blood… it merely vanishes. They are invisible to normal people- only ghosts, Persona users or Shadows can see them.
The Tomes are each attuned to one person. Only that person can open their Tome. The Tome responds to a person's thoughts, meaning it can be moved or opened telekinetically. The Tomes will remain within 5 metres of their owner at all times, even if put under lock and key (they simply teleport out), unless the owner commands them to stay, or the Tome is taken and physically held by another Evoker. If the Tomes are held outside of these 5 metres, they cannot be used and do not respond to any commands as it is too far away. Tomes cannot be damaged by most methods. Burning, tearing or shooting them only sees the damage erased in less than half a second. The Tomes have many powers attuned to the secret world to which Personae and Shadows belong, and it is where an Evoker stores the Persona they intend to use. In fact, it is through Tomes that Evokers summon their Persona, opening the Tomes to a certain page- where their Persona is illustrated in a golden frame- and issuing a mental command to come forth. Tomes can act as automatic diaries, where they will transcribe your conscious thoughts, words, actions, what you see and hear.

Tomes in the Waking World
In the Waking World, Tomes change appearance. Instead of appearing like heavy-looking books they become slim Smartphones with the crystal tree and mask on the back of the case. These can do all the things a normal Smartphone can do. They also come with free, quick access to the internet. 'Smarttomes' can do anything a Tome can usually do, although the aesthetic has changed- instead of flipping to a certain page, accessing a Persona might be done with a unique app instead.
-- Back to Top --

Masks

All Evokers have a mask, which figuratively and literally hides their identity. It is part of their metagear, and manifests with the rest of it. Each mask is unique to the individual, but usually covers at least the eyes. 'The mask is not just for decoration- it has practical effects. The mask obscures the Evoker's identity both literally but also on a metaphysical level. When one looks on an Evoker, the mask alters their perception, 'smoothing out' the traits that would give away their true identity. Instead, their perception sees an appearance influenced by the Persona as much as what is actually there. 'This effect is not omnipotent. People who know you too well will be able to break through it, or at least leave with a deep sense of unplaced recognition.

Masks have one other effect. If you take a hit to the head which deals damage, you can choose to sacrifice the mask in order to negate the 'Headshot' bonus wound. However, this breaks the mask, disrupting the obscuring effect. This is dangerous in other ways: Shadows are also affected by the illusory effect. Without it, the host of a Theatre might subconsciously become aware of the threat you face.

Masks which are destroyed can be reformed after an hour.
-- Back to Top --

Navigators

In many generations of Evokers, there's one who has a unique ability. Their Persona possesses an unusual sense for perceiving space and time, for understanding the impossible eddies of the Sea of Chaos. These Evokers find their Tomes to be a little different, a little denser, with extra pages in odd places. These Evokers are known as 'Navigators'. Navigators possess the ability to perceive the currents of miasma, giving them a massive ability to gain a sense for Dream Theatres, Shadows and similar. From the very beginning, Navigators possess a special advantage: they count as Evoker Rank 10 for the four tome utility powers (inventory, telepathy, analysis and advanced analysis), meaning they have a large inventory and can analyse right off the bat.

More than that, however, Navigators also possess a special power: Navigator Sight. Navigator Sight allows the Navigator player to ask questions to the GM about a Dream Theatre or Chaos location of which they're aware. The scope of the questions depend on the degree of insight the Navigator possesses into that specific location. The Navigator starts with 1 Insight, and gains extra levels of insight by acquiring deep breakthroughs about the Theatre and/or its creator. Navigators may ask questions at the start of each week, and may ask a number of questions equal to their insight. The Navigator is free to ask questions not on the following list, with GM's permission.

Insight 1 Questions (As many as you want)

  • What is one of the Theatre's Arcanas?
  • What's an elemental weakness found in one unidentified Trouper?
  • What's an attack an unidentified Trouper is capable of using?
  • How many Conventions are in play?
  • What's a good tool to bring?
  • What are some special items we can find in the Theatre?

Insight 2 Questions (Max of twice per week)

  • What's a non-combat challenge we can expect?
  • Who is the next Conductor we're likely to face?
  • What Convention will the Conductor disable?
  • How does the Conductor feel about its Archetype?
  • Are there any environmental qualities worth noting about this Conductor's domain?
  • What is the personality of the next Conductor?
  • What are the personalities of all the Troupers in this Theatre?
  • What Incarnate can we expect?

Insight 3 Questions (Max of once per week)

  • What's an elemental weakness found in the next Conductor?
  • What's an attack the next Conductor is capable of using?
  • What's a personality flaw of the next Conductor?
  • What type of Trouper will the next Conductor rely on?
  • What agenda does the next Conductor have?
  • What inspired the creation of this Conductor?
  • What's a secret way to navigate a known Conductor's domain?
  • What are some problems or challenges inherent to a specific region of the Theatre?
  • Is the Reaper we face in this Theatre one we have faced before, and if so, which?

Insight 4+ Questions (Max of once per week)

  • What's an elemental weakness of one of the Archetype's Facets?
  • What's an attack of one of the Archetype's Facets?
  • What will the Centre Stage probably look like?
  • What are some problems we might have to overcome in Centre Stage?
  • What are some opportunities we can use in Centre Stage?
  • Where might we find the Inner Child?
  • What form might the Inner Child take?

Finally, at any time, you can permanently spend a point of Insight to gain one of the following benefits:

  • Mass Analysis of all Shadows in an encounter
  • Grant Advantages to everyone in overcoming a specific environmental challenge or obstacle
  • Grant two Advantages to everyone's next Evasion test
  • Restore one spent Fate Point to all allies

Insight is keyed into specific Dream Theatres, so it does not carry over between Theatres.

There does not need to be a Navigator, but if your group wishes to take one, then only one Evoker can be a Navigator.
-- Back to Top --

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.
-- Back to Top --

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 eight 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 four 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 two Knacks.

-- Back to Top --

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 grow the Major Personas by sharing their powers.

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. If a Minor and Major possess the same Ability that Ability is powered up. 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 Lethal Damage and eventually 'die', which makes it unusable until revived with a spell or until the start of the next week. Losing wounds off a Minor generate Stress, but do not cause injuries to the Evoker.
  • Powers represents the Powers the Minor possesses. Minors cannot use these Powers. Instead, the user may expend Epiphanies to copy a Minor's Power onto their Major Persona, which can use them.
  • Traits represents the special qualities of the Minor. Evokers do not use Minors' traits at all. Instead, the user may expend Epiphanies to copy a Minor's Traits onto their Major Persona, which can use them.
  • Knacks represents the special 'knacks' the Minor possesses. A Minor can have only one Knack, and cannot be used by the Evoker; Instead, the user may expend Epiphanies to copy a Minor's Power onto their Major Persona, which can use them.

These details and more will be explained below.
-- Back to Top --

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 an 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.

-- Back to Top --

Persona Abilities

This section talks more about Persona Abilities: 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 eight 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. Spells are activated using your Magic Score, which is one of your scores (usually Intelligence, Willpower or Fellowship), depending on your primary Arcana. You get a +10 bonus to activating Spells at Evoker Rank 4 and another +10 at Evoker Rank 7 for a total of +20.
  • 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.

-- Back to Top --

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 four of them.

-- Back to Top --

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 two of them.

Learning Abilities

As noted, Minor Persona carry Powers, Traits and Knacks, but cannot use them. Instead, an Evoker can only use powers their Major Persona has. This section, then, deals with how you transfer Abilities from a Minor to a Major.

There are two methods to teach Abilities to a Major: Stress Buying and Sacrifice.

  • Stress Buying is when you purchase Abilities as a Free Personal Turn Action. You can purchase any Ability belonging to any Persona in the Compendium, so long as it belongs to your Arcanae. However, you pay a Stress cost equal to the Tier of the Ability in question. You can do this as many times as you like during a week, but it takes about an hour per ability, so it is not time friendly.
  • The second method is Sacrifice. Covered with more detail in the Velvet Room section, this method lets you sacrifice a Persona to teach as many of its abilities as you want to your Major. The minor is expended in the process.

-- Back to Top --

Minor Persona Synergy

Considering that you can transfer powers from any Persona in your compendium, what reason is there to have Minor Personas equipped besides as wound pools and affinities? The answer is Synergy. If you use a Power that is shared by one of your possessed Minors, that Power becomes stronger.

  • Spells become more potent. When cast at Surge Strength, you can choose one extra Surge bonus than usual if one of your possessed Minor Personas has that Spell.
  • Arts become more reliable. Action Arts take a discount equal to the Persona's Rank divided by half, rounding down, minimum 1; Attack Arts gain extra damage equal to to the Persona's Rank divided by half, rounding down, minimum 1.
  • Passives are unaffected.

-- Back to Top --

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 it. 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.
Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun
Magician - Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Priestess
Priestess Empress - Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Emperor
Empress Emperor Hierophant - Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Lovers
Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot - Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Justice
Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit - Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Fortune
Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength - Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Hanged Man
Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death - Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Temperance
Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil - Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Tower
Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star - Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Moon
Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun - Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Magician
Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess - Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Empress
Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor - Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hierophant
Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers - Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Chariot
Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice - Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Hermit
Devil Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune - Hanged Man Death Temperance Strength
Tower Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man - Temperance Devil Death
Star Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance - Tower Devil
Moon Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower - Star
Sun Magician Priestess Empress Emperor Hierophant Lovers Chariot Justice Hermit Fortune Strength Hanged Man Death Temperance Devil Tower Star Moon -

-- Back to Top --

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 any number of Powers, Traits or Knacks from the Minor to transfer to their Major. This transfer is Stress-free.
    • If the Major has reached a limit (8 Powers, 4 Traits or 2 Knacks), but wants to add a new entry to the full category, they must erase an old one first.
  • Finally, the Minor is expended.
  • Something to note is that Sacrifice can be performed at any time, even during a battle- it takes one Round.

-- Back to Top --

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 produce either a Spell Gem or an Art Gem (your choice), containing a Spell or Art that the Minor knows.

Alternatively, a Persona can be itemised into a tool to ensure it works inside the Sea of Chaos. All tools that are amplified by a Persona become high quality, and also might take on aesthetic qualities of the Persona.

Finally, each piece of Metagear has one empty Passive slot. You can sacrifice a Minor to attach one of the Minor's Passives to one of your Metagear. If the Metagear already has a Passive, then it is overwritten.
-- Back to Top --

Possibility Shards

Possibility Shards are special items gained through either defeating Shadows, or as 'residue' from socialising with a Confidant. They're little gems of concentrated miasma that can be used to generate Personas. Every Shard belongs to a specific Arcana. As a Free Personal Turn Action, you can use up a Possibility Shard to generate a Persona of that Arcana.
-- Back to Top --

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 can be done through Social Link actions.
-- Back to Top --

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License