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Augmentation: A mana investment in an object or character that gives the target bonuses or in some cases penalties. Aug for short.
Cold Heroism: The practice of ensuring the least loss of life possible, even if it requires murder, prohibits self-sacrifice, or otherwise obstructs what are traditionally considered heroic exploits. Since cold heroism has little positive effect on public image, Cold Heroes are often less powerful than they might be because their cults are less popular. The only significant cold hero of default Archon is Zer, who occasionally uses public heroism because it is necessary (as you can see, Public and Cold heroism are not always mutually exclusive). See also Public Heroism.
Society of Governance: The most powerful group of immortals on Archon, made up of the officially-recognized “gods”. Its members are called Governors and trade their anonymity for powerful allies (though there is infighting within the Society, direct pleas for aid must be answered).
Expend: A verb meaning to willingly decrease your current Identity, usually to cause some sort of effect (such as a spell). Noun form is Expenditure.
Kill: As a noun, a special attack that may be used for an instant kill if the attacker meets certain conditions. As a verb, its meaning is obvious; when capitalized it has a connotation of being by magic or one of the attacks.
Meta: Short for Metaphysics (the set of rules governing Physics), Metaphysical, or Metaphysical Entity. When followed by a number, it denotes that number of repetitions of "meta" preceding "physics", so "meta-3" would be "meta-meta-metaphysics", the rules governing the rules governing metaphysics. Rarely does anything beyond meta-2 (souls/consciousnesses) come into play, and these concepts will likely not be explicitly defined.
Nominate: To cause something to be a name. This is done by using the thing to be nominated (the Nominee) to refer to the Referent more than once (though it also requires a conscious effort and an expenditure). The nominee belongs to the Nominator (i.e. if I say "your nominee," I mean "the thing that you nominated"), while the Name belongs to the referent ("my name" is obviously not "a name that I gave"). To give a name to an entity is to nominate [something] to the entity. These
situations are somewhat easier to discuss in Lojban (where "nominee" is "cmene", "nominator" is "tercme", and "referent" is "selcme").
Pantheon: The approved mythology of the Society of Governance and the guilds it acknowledges. Contradicting the Pantheon is a serious offense because it can sway the balance of the cults’ power and upset treaties. Most offenders are executed. Whenever an individual cult has its own mythology, this is called a False Pantheon (which usually is not capitalized).
Prime Name: The first name a character assumes. When it matters, this is also considered a true name. A broken oath sworn on a prime name is the prerequisite for the retribution Kill.
Public Heroism: The practice of intentionally accruing as many “heroic” exploits as possible, usually with the goal of improving public image. Such Public Heroes might claim at any given moment to be fighting injustice, fight with their common soldiers often, and sustain (apparently) grievous injuries in order to advance their cause (or save someone’s life). They generally do not do anything at all that their main follower base might consider morally questionable (at least not in public). Though public heroism is not evil by any measure, it is practiced by nearly all Empowered with mortal followers; the most well-known public hero is Iorus Trillioneyes. See also Cold Herosim.
Referent: see Nominate.
True Name: A name imbued with more power than a secondary name by its nominator's belief. They have more pronounced effects for both the nominator and the referent.
Identity: One of the main stats of Drifter. Hybrid of mana, magic power, experience, and armor. Identity begins at 100 and increases by 1% per day (this figure is tentative, and right now I'm leaning toward between 1 and 5 percent per hour) and remains so until updated; the amount of Identity after any update is given by the equation I = s(r)^h, where s is the amount before updating, r is the growth rate (starts between 1.01 and 1.05, customisable; can be boosted), and h is the time in hours since the last update (GMs can set the amount of precision; I recommend accurate to hundredths but always round down, though I have not tested this yet). Certain actions—for example, killing if you’re an Avenger—increase this percentage r temporarily; if one of these boosts wears off and you haven't used it yet, you must update your Identity right when it does (and you get the bonus). Identity is occasionally expended permanently (most importantly, you can buy skill points for 100 Identity points (pending adjustment) every time you use that skill) and controls how much benefit you get from a single concentration point. When Identity is negative, characters
are vulnerable, but absolute value is used for skill checks (so a very negative Identity is as powerful as a very positive one until you actually make contact with the mind, at which point you can kill them with no skill check or saving throw of any kind). Identity represents your force of will and conviction to remain a sapient being. It is expended when some spells are cast and can be negative; however, at zero or less, characters behave erratically and are in danger of succumbing to the Paradox. It is occasionally in conflict with intelligence, since in this universe anything sufficiently smart can easily prove that no mind can affect what another perceives; however, this is only true for those whose Identity is overpowered by this proof, and Intelligence is also important for magic use.
Intelligence: One of the mains stats of Drifter. The main health stat, in addition to controlling some aspects of magic (I’m not entirely sure what yet, but it will probably be the main part of the randomness factor) (now that I think of it, it might define the maximum number of nonconcentration skill points). It will have several important interactions with Identity; for example, if one is ten times as high as the other (which means they are so far apart that they are forced to clash every time you take an action), you lose points from both every time you cast a spell (from the lower one fastest). Intelligence is increased by permanently expending Concentration points. Intelligence represents your ability to analyze information and to abstract your thought processes. It is never expended and only takes damage when Identity is relatively low. Though extremely high levels are counterproductive with respect to magic, a creature with no intelligence can take no actions unless controlled by the Paradox, and magic is much smaller in scope at lower intelligence (since you are unable to coordinate your efforts effectively).
Concentration: Though it is actually a skill, concentration is important enough for an entry in the main attributes section. It is 90% cheaper than other skills (10 Identity points) and is used for all non-instantaneous spells (and most actions count as spells, since muscles etc. are generally nonfunctional or non-existent for Drifters): 1 concentration point (you start with 10, and can use no more points than you have points in the skill) means that you use 10% of your Identity for the skill check. At first there is a maximum of 10 points in any action; skill points in most other skills increase this maximum by one point per skill point. Concentration represents your ability to apply your intelligence while distracted. Mortals use it mainly to give their full attention to a single task; immortals are able to separate their thought processes into several independent trains that can each use the entity’s full abilities (this should be impossible, but Identity is linked rather closely to Paradox). Being a skill, concentration will rarely take damage, but the main form of close-range magic combat is the use of raw magic in the form of what I visualize as invisible (non-spatial) tentacles to breach and destroy an opponent’s mind; these tentacles will be represented by an investment of concentration points and will have “health” equal to their skill check value.
END OF GLOSSARY SECTION
How to use concentration: Concentration is a skill, which means, a player pays Identity to increase it. It costs 10 Identity to increase Concentration instead of the 100 like the other skills. Concentration is used to concentrate on different actions you do, so the more concentration you have, the more things you can do at one time, or making things stronger because you can devote more concentration to it (there is always a maximum of concentration you can spend doing any one thing, but players CAN raise that maximum, doing so does not automatically make the attacks stronger, just allows them to make it stronger). To make things easier, I will give a few examples: Alyssa is attacking Vanessa. Alyssa has a Meta Attack skill of 13 and a Meta Defense skill of 7. Let's also say that she has 50 concentration (the maximums are always 10 + corresponding skill) So the maximum concentration she can devote the attack is 23, let's say she uses the maximum. Now Vanessa also has 50 concentration, but instead has 15 Meta Defense and 5 Meta Attack. Vanessa tries to block Alyssa's attack by using 24 concentration into stopping the attack, Vanessa spent more concentration, so Vanessa succeeds in stopping the attack. Vanessa then counters with an attack worth 15 concentration (Vanessa's maximum for attacking; notice also that after countering, Vanessa only has 11 Concentration left, because these types of fights are instantaneous, so she has to constantly concentrate) Alyssa blocks Vanessa's attack by spending 16 concentration in defense. (Now they both only have 11 concentration, but the round ends and they get their concentration back).
Using Identity to increase skills: Most skills cost 100 Identity to increase. Except for Concentration, which costs 10. Alyssa has 500 Identity and 13 Meta Attack and 7 Meta Defense. Alyssa spends 300 Identity to increase Meta Defense by 2, and Meta Attack by 1. Now she has 200 Identity and 14 Meta Attack and 9 Meta Defense. But be careful, your Identity also is sort of like your health in some ways, you can have negative Identity, but that isn't reccomended. Alyssa then spends 190 Identity to increase Concentration by 19 (Concentration is important) and Alyssa has 10 Identity left. Now, Vanessa attacks Alyssa with two "tentacles" one both with 15 concentration worth. Both "latch" onto Alyssa, the first drains her Identity to -5, and the second allows Vanessa to kill her, mind-control her, or set up any mind affect that Vanessa wants. Bad right? Atleast for Alyssa. So you want to increase stats without lowering your Identity to such an extent that you are going to die in any fight.
How to increase Intelligence: Alyssa has 12 Intelligence, 200 Concentration and 500 Identity. (It costs 5 Concentration to increase Intelligence by 1) Alyssa will spend 100 Concentration to increase Intelligence by 20. 32 Intelligence now. Then, Alyssa spends 300 Identity to increase Concentration by 30. 32 Intelligence, 130 Concentration, and 200 Identity, kind of balanced...
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