HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON
JULY 1969, A.D.
WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND
The classroom of an inspirational teacher. A humble yet gifted artist’s studio. The best, hardest working hospital in town and the underfunded free clinic opening against the odds in the most deprived area. A truly welcoming and tolerant church. The laboratory tirelessly working on the latest disease to evolve and the library that preserves wisdom of ages gone by. These are the Blessed places, they stand on a legacy of the very best of humanity.
Anyone touched by the Light - any Beacon, Sworn, Shikigami or Noble - feels her heart lift when she arrives in a Blessed area, though she may not realize why. The Storyteller rolls a dice pool of her base Sensitivity + the Beauty of the place; if the roll succeeds the character notices the Light-touched quality of the place she enters.
Creating a Blessed PlaceEdit
Blessed places are formed when attempts to improve the world are performed with true passion and great skill. This can be as general as making something beautiful simply for the sake of beauty or as specific as helping one single person. A single but extraordinary act can create a Blessed place all by itself while others are formed by gradual accumulation.
Blessed places have two attributes, their Size and the Beauty of their Blessings. The Size of a Blessed place is measured on the Sanctuary scale. The Beauty of a Blessed place measures how powerful and numerous its effects are; each dot in Beauty supports one Blessing. Larger Blessed places are also more resilient; a Blessed place has a Hold track with a number of boxes equal to their Size +1. Most methods to damage the Beauty of a Blessed place mark Hold boxes. When the rightmost box is marked reduce the Beauty by one, remove one Blessing and clear the Hold track. Blessed places recover from damage if left alone; clear 1 Hold box on each day that no Hold box is marked.
When creating a Blessed place the Storyteller should first imagine the person or people responsible. An artist motivated by his love of art? A scientist dedicated to discovery? A good Samaritan? See where their actions fall on this rough guide to how much Beauty may be created. A dot of Beauty costs 1 point; a dot of Size costs points equal to the new value of Size (1 point to raise Size from 0 to 1, 2 points to raise from 1 to 2, and so on.)
|Selfless and genuine attempt to help others.||0*||0||0||0||0|
|... that inspires witnesses.||1||0*||0||0||0|
|... that directly improves a small town or village, or a small institution.||2||1||0*||0||0|
|... that directly improves a city, or a large institution.||3||2||1||0*||0|
|... that directly improves a country.||4||3||2||1||0*|
|... that directly improves the entire world.||5||4||3||2||1|
|0* means that a single act at that level gives no points, but repeating it many times can build up to a point eventually. Actions that involve significant personal sacrifice count as one step downward in this table.|
A Blessing can produce any one of the following list of effects. A Blessed place can grant most Blessings any number of times, within the limit of its Beauty. No Blessing will assist actions that would cause a breaking point, in either the one performing them, their targets or a witness.
- Attribute: Dice pools that include one Attribute have a +1 bonus.
- Skills: Rolls of two Skills have a +1 bonus; or, rolls of one Skill have a +2 bonus. An Attribute + Attribute dice pool, such as Perception, may be treated as one Skill.
- Specialties: Three types of tasks, each of the scope of a specialty, have a +1 bonus. These can be stacked, with one type taking +2 or +3.
- Defense: The Blessing protects from mundane assaults. All rolls to attack or harm others take a -2 penalty.
- Resistance: The Blessing protects from hostile magic. Increase either Resolve or Composure by +1 (not both - pick one) when resisting or contesting a supernatural power.
- Health: The Blessing aids recovery from wounds. All characters heal damage in half the usual time, if they remain in the Blessed area. The Blessing does not apply to characters who heal with supernatural powers, such as vampires or werewolves, and does not stack with magical healing. This Blessing may not be applied more than once.
- Willpower: The Blessing bolsters the will to act. All characters gain one temporary Willpower dot while in the Blessed area. Characters who have lost their souls [CofD 290] and Princesses who have fallen to Belief 0 have the Enervated and Thrall Conditions suppressed while they remain in the Blessed area; both Conditions return in full when a soulless character leaves.
- Integrity: The Blessing protects from psychic stress. All characters gain +1 to breaking point rolls not caused by their own actions.
- Virtue: The Blessing encourages the better side of human nature. Each level of the Blessing applies to one Virtue. Anyone who acts in accordance with that Virtue while in the Blessed area regains 1 point of Willpower, though at most once per scene. This is independent of personal Virtue - if a character’s own Virtue matches the Blessed one, he may regain Willpower from it in either way.
- Calm: Characters with good intentions feel calm, alert and confident in the Blessed area. Any character who meditates in the Blessed area gains the Steadfast Condition [CofD 291]. This Blessing may not be applied more than once.
Moments of GraceEdit
|20+||1 scene or hour|
Those who spend time in a Blessed place often find their thoughts turning to things they could do to spread Light in the world. Any character (mundane or supernatural, it makes no odds) who remains in a Blessed place long enough may take a Vocation; a Princess may take one on top of the Vocation she already has.
Such a Vocation, once accepted, remains until the character fulfills it, or either gains or loses a dot of Integrity (or the equivalent, for a supernatural being.) Vocations from Blessed places aren’t replaced when fulfilled or lost. The Vocations given by a Blessed place are inspired by the deeds that gave the area its Blessings, not by a Princess’ Calling, so they must be tasks that emulate those deeds.
The time a character must remain in a Blessed place until he may claim a Vocation from it depends on the Beauty the place has. Leaving the Blessed area for a few minutes is fine, but if a character leaves for a scene outside the area the clock resets and he has to start over. A Princess adds her base Sensitivity dice pool to the area’s Beauty when consulting this table.
Protecting Blessed PlacesEdit
Every Blessed place is a treasure, and any nakama with knowledge of one is sure to do their best to protect it. So what do they need to protect it from?
Taint and Blessings cancel each other out; Taint weakens or even destroys the Beauty of a Blessed place forever. When a Tainting is committed within a Blessed place roll its Beauty - the amount of Taint created (as per the rules for Tainted areas;) on a failure the Beauty decreases by the amount of Taint created. If there is any excess taint it forms a Tainted place.
Every Blessed place has a cause, some beautiful thing people did that has left its mark on the area. Actions which directly oppose this cause can cause the beauty to decay.
Example: Harriet is a true artist whose only motivation is to make the world a better place by creating things of beauty. Her dedication turns her studio into a small Blessed place. If her studio passed on to another artist who saw art merely as a way to get money and prestige - going against everything Harriet believed in -- then this could degrade and ultimately destroy the Beauty of her studio.
As a general rule assume that every successful roll, or successful extended action, which is directly opposed to the origin of the Beauty marks off one Hold box, but turnabout is fair play: every successful action which reinforces the ideals of the Blessed place clears one hold box, providing it was specifically marked by Symbolic Opposition.
The power of a Blessed place is held in its physical form. It is in the ancient stonework of a university whose scholars have added to mankind as a whole. It is in the trees of a forest where generations have found peace and strength. Destroying such things can damage a Blessed place. Every time the physical form of a Blessed place undergoes massive changes, enough that it is no longer recognizable as the same place, roll its Beauty. The number of successes on that roll becomes the new Beauty rating, and the number of its Blessings.