Devotion & Faith
“Devotion, like fire, both fuels and consumes who you are.”
~Analects of the Inquisition
When you choose a Devotion for your character, you are deciding what the major driving and motivating factor in their life is. It is intended to be a core part of who they are, and what they would live and die for. It is a touchstone to the motivations of your character, and the more they act in accordance with it, the stronger their sense of self and power is. Yet when one goes against their Devotion, they can be devastated, lost, and out of touch with who or what they have become.
Personal Victory and Failures
When the subject of your character’s Devotion presents itself through roleplay, story, and encounters, they have an opportunity to act in accordance with, or against their Devotion.
For example, if your Devotion is Hatred: Benali priests, and you are presented with a situation where you are being asked to help a Benali priest, your character can choose to act in accordance with their devotion, and refuse to help (and likely find a way to make the priest’s situation worse), or act against their Devotion and help the object of their hatred.
If your character is able to perform a significant act which is in accordance with their Devotion, they have achieved a Personal Victory. Whenever a character accomplishes a Personal Victory, they lose a point of Despair and gain an extra Experience Point. They may earn one such XP per game. Characters that have Faith in Self also lose one Depravity as they reaffirm their sense of purpose. Additionally, if the character dies during or shortly after the scene in which they achieved the Personal Victory, they lose no Touchstone Memories. The character must be the direct cause of the event in order for a Personal Victory to count, rather than a bystander or witness of a happy accident or circumstances of fortune.
If your character acts, or is forced to act, against their Devotion, the character experiences the desolation and pain of that loss as a Personal Failure. The character gains Despair, and if they die during or shortly thereafter the scene in which they suffered a Personal Failure, they will lose 4 of their Touchstone Memories. Personal Failures can occur even when they are not the result of direct actions taken by the character. To suffer a Devotion loss is ruinous, regardless of how it happened.
(For more information on Touchstone Memories, please see the Death & Dying section)
Types of Devotions
The general types of Devotion your character may choose from are: Order, Chaos, Love, Hate, Self, Passion.
After you choose the type of Devotion, you must further choose an Object of that Devotion. Examples are given below as “Common Devotions”. It is not enough to be a character driven by Love. You must choose who your character Loves so much that it fuels their reason for continuing to fight each day.
Personal Victory and Failure Conditions
The below are the types of events or actions that would earn a character a Devotion Personal Victory or Failure. Both Victories and Failures should be registered with staff as soon as possible after the action takes place
Common Objects of Devotion: A guild, a religious order, a House or family
- Remove an official from their position
- Remove a meaningful resource from the object of your Devotion
- Cause the object of your Devotion public shame or lose face in a meaningful way
- Stop your Devotion from achieving one of their goals
- The Devotion exercises authority over you
- You lend assistance to the object of your Devotion
- The object of your Devotion takes power or a meaningful resource from you.
Common Objects of Devotion: A guild, a religious order, a House or family
Successfully removed the source of a threat to your Devotion
Secure a new form of meaningful power or resource for your Devotion
Recruit new members to your Devotion
- Your Devotion attempted to wield authority and failed
- Your Devotion lost a meaningful resource or position
- You betray your Devotion or are the cause of them not achieving a goal
Common Objects of Devotion: lovers, family.
((Note: The subject of the Devotion must be relatively fixed and is limited to a specific person or family member(s). If more than one person is involved, a list is required. Friends are not part of the Love Devotion. Adding and removing people for such a character counts as a Change in Devotion, discussed below. Mutual Love Devotions do not cause cascading elation and heartbreak through Personal Victory or Defeat.))
Defended your Devotion from a deadly threat
You directly help your loved one achieve a Personal Victory in a significant way
Your Devotion is killed or battered.
You are a direct cause of your loved one suffering a Personal Failure
You betray your Devotion in a significant way
Common Objects of Devotion are a specific group, guild, or family, specific persons (the player needs to provide a list), specific culture, magicians, etc.
You are the direct cause of your Devotion suffering a Personal Failure
You cause your Devotion significant mental anguish or grievous harm
You recruit others to join you in your hatred of your Devotion (requires them to change their Devotion)
Your Devotion achieves a Personal Victory and you were in any way involved
You aid your Devotion or show meaningful kindness
Common Objects of Devotion are: wealth, power, personal survival
Permanently removing a threat to your advancement of the Devotion
Gaining a meaningful advancement in your Devotion
Acquiring a rare, unusual, or new kind of your Devotion
Suffering a reversal or loss of a form of your Devotion
You assist someone else’s Personal Victory to the endangerment of your own
Common Objects of Devotion are: Art, Freedom, Heroism, a Religious or Political Ideal
Tangibly express your ideal in the world for others to see
Choose to stand by your ideal in the face of personal suffering, or the suffering of others
Taking material gain at the expense of your ideal.
The basis of your ideal is damaged by the actions of yourself or others, such as books being destroyed for Knowledge, people imprisoned for Freedom, etc.
Significant or life changing events in game may cause a character to have a shift in perspective and ultimately change their Devotion. If a character undergoes a significant event that includes either suffering a Personal Failure or experiencing what would count as a Personal Victory for the new Devotion, she may change her Devotion to it.
Faith in Self/Higher Powers
In Age of Ashes, there are two different perspectives on the world: whether one believes that they are ultimately responsible for their own fate, or one believes that higher powers than they have control over their destiny. This choice in viewpoint affects how characters interpret and find meaning in the world, and how the rituals of cultists interact with them.
Faith in Higher Powers
Rituals that involve you as a target or performer work as normal.
By placing your faith in a Higher Power, you may call upon the power of your deity to aid you in accomplishing tasks important to you.
Once per day you may take a moment to vocally beseech your deity for aid in a specific task, praising them and offering to perform a Dedication in return for their assistance. You must choose a Dedication that your deity finds acceptable and perform it to enter the Prayer state. Major religions accept any of the five Dedication types, while smaller deities will have two Dedication types they will accept, which are listed in the religions description. After performing the Dedication, you must write the target of your prayer, the dedication you performed in the on-site holy book, and your character name.
Once you have entered the dedication into book you enter the Prayer state, which ends at dawn the next day or until the task you prayed for aid in completing arrives.
When performing the task that you prayed for aid in completing, you may expend the prayer state and enter the Hopeful state (allowing you to expend this state once to refresh all skills without Resting) and are temporarily immune to the effects of Despair so long as you are Hopeful. After you expend the Hopeful state, the effects of Despair affect you as normal.
Hopeful ends at the end of the scene.
Sacrifice – You must sacrifice something you own that your deity would find valuable, rendering it unable to be used by burning, soiling, or some other means. This is typically off of the general Offerings list for a smaller cult.
Practice – You must perform a public act that is in line with your deities ideals, defined by the virtues of the religion.
Evangelize – You must discuss the tenets, values, and benefits of your faith with one who is unfamiliar with sincere intent to convert them.
Conviction – You must accept a temporary Honor Code tenet in line with your deities ideals, defined by the virtues of the religion that lasts until the end of the next Event.
Claim – You must take a place or object currently owned by another person or group and dedicate it to your deity by marking it with a symbol of your deity in view of witnesses and announcing the place or object belongs to your deity.
Faith in Self
Rituals that involve you as a target or performer suffer from 1 Vulgarity, which may cause the given ritual to fail. You cannot mechanically benefit from the atonement ritual although you can undertake it, as it is you who must first forgive yourself of your wrongdoing.
By centering yourself and crafting justifications for your depraved actions, you may lose one Depravity per Event. You may lose a second Depravity once per Event by discussing your depraved acts, their justifications, and other ways you could have resolved the situation with another character in a discussion lasting no less than 30 minutes. In the event that a Faith in Self character is damned they may lose the initial Depravity that comes from crafting justifications, but may not lose the secondary additional Depravity from discussing their depraved actions without breaking their damnation.
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