TSWoD – Anima explained & the birth of Fiddles

Hello guys and gals, and welcome back to another post about my The Secret World of Darkness project, in which I melt the rules of the new World of Darkness with the setting of Funcom’s The Secret World. In today’s installment, we will elaborate the aforementioned Anima power stat and pool, and start the creation of an example character. Call your secret society and tell them Cthulhu has to wait, because this will keep you busy!

Anima – the fuel of awesome
In the setting, Anima is an all-encompassing life force, which runs through every living being. Only a few humans learn how to harness their Anima, but some otherworldly creatures have an innate capability of manipulating their own or drawing power from others. In TSWoD, every creature has an Anima rating. This means that even beings unable to manipulate it (like regular humans) possess the stat, but are unable to do anything with it.
Every player character starts with an Anima rating of 1, but during character creation, three Merit dots can be converted into one dot of Anima. A higher Anima rating means that the character has a better understanding of the mystical energy, and will probably draw the attention of other powerful beings in the cosmos.

Anima can be used for the following things:

  • Fueling supernatural powers: every time a supernatural power (a spell, psychic gift, vampiric power et cetera) would require an expenditure of a power source (Willpower, Mana, Vitae and the like), replace the entire cost by a converted cost of Anima points. This means that if a power would cost 1 point of Willpower, it costs 1 point of Anima. However, if a power would cost 1 point of Vitae and 1 point of Willpower, it now costs 2 points of Anima.
  • Supernatural Health: For every dot of Anima past the first one, a character receives an additional Health level. Also, 1 point of Anima can be used to heal three levels of bashing damage or one level of lethal damage. This a reflexive action.
  • Supernatural Attributes & Skills: Starting at Anima 6, characters can increase their Attributes and Skills beyond the normal five-dot limit. At Anima 6, the maximum amount of dots in an Attribute or Skill is 6, and this limit increases with one dot per dot of Anima.

Anima progresses fairly linear. With 1 dot, a character has access to 10 points of Anima and is able to use one per turn. For every additional dot, the maximum amount of Anima increases by one. At Anima 3, a character can use two points per turn, and at Anima 6, he can use three.
Anima is restored through rest. After eight hours of uninterrupted rest, a character restores one point of Anima. Spending time near Anima wells or other places of power can increase this amount by one to three points, depending on the ambient Anima present.
A drawback of a high Anima rating is that other supernatural beings can sense your power. Every character able of using their own Anima can roll Wits + Composure + the target’s Anima rating to sense Anima. A single success tells the character that the target posssesses an “awakened” Anima. Three successes give an indication of how powerful the target is (“The creature can barely control its own Anima” or “it feels like this woman’s Anima is overwhelming”), while five successes give a clear indication of the target’s Anima rating.

Fiddles – our example character
Now that we know a thing or two about how Anima will work in the game, let’s begin the creation of our example character. Davis “Fiddles” Callahan is the Illuminati agent I’m playing in the MMORPG, and he’s a nice Irish chap who is starting to like hunting monsters and slaying bogeyman. In today’s post, we’ll choose his Attributes and Skills, while we’ll continue with his Merits and supernatural toys in the next post.

Fiddles (a nickname based on his favourite instrument), is a likeable fellow who takes his sudden thrust into the secret world rather lightly. As a man who always believed that there’s more to this world than we believe, it doesn’t surprise him that much that the monsters from legend are real. He joined the Illuminati out of practical reasons: while the Templars seemed friendlier, the “Lumies” gave him the better paycheck and health insurance. Hey, somebody has to pay for those stitches necessary after fighting werewolves!

As his defining Virtue, Fiddles is an example of Prudence. He likes to plan ahead, and doesn’t simply rush into action without an idea of what awaits him. His Vice is Greed, as he starts to see the profit one can make as a monster hunter and the hidden treasures that can be found.

Below you find the first half of his sheet, using the standard character creation rules presented in the World of Darkness core book.

Name: Davis “Fiddles” Callahan
Concept: Laid-back monster hunter
Chronicle: TSWoD
Age: 25
Virtue: Prudence
Vice: Greed
Secret Society: Illuminati

Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 2, Resolve 2, Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3, Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 2

Skills: Academics 2, Computer 2, Crafts 1, Investigation 2 (Details), Occult 2 (Mythology), Science 2, Athletics 1, Brawl 2, Drive 1, Firearms 2 (Shotguns), Weaponry 1, Empathy 2, Socialize 2

Well, that’s it for today. Next time, we’ll continue creating Fiddles and I’ll present some Anima-related Merits. Be safe everyone!

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