Willpower rules in Scarterra | World Anvil

Willpower rules

Most character trait range between 1 and 5 but Willpower ranges between 1 and 10  

Willpower Rating in narrative terms

  ● Spineless   ●● Weak   ●●● Unassertive   ●●●● Diffident   ●●●●● Certain   ●●●●●● Confident   ●●●●●●● Determined   ●●●●●●●● Controlled   ●●●●●●●●● Iron-willed   ●●●●●●●●●● Unshakable   About two thirds of Scarterrans have a Willpower score of 5 or less and the average person has a Willpower between 3 and 4. All that said, surprisingly strong willed individuals periodically pop up in nearly every demographic.   Most player characters and the villains they face have much higher ratings though it is hardly unknown for powerful individuals to hide their weak wills behind their great power and bravado.  

Rolling Willpower

  Willpower is mainly used for temporary Willpower points (see below), but Willpower can be rolled as a separate trait. Willpower is usually rolled by itself, but in a few rare cases it is paired with Wits or Stamina.   When Willpower is rolled, it usually rolled to resist a magical, psychological, or supernatural effect of some sort. At the Game Master’s discretion, Willpower can be rolled to resist more mundane things such as keeping one’s composure when being publicly insulted.   Whenever the rules say “roll Willpower” they mean you roll the characters permanent Willpower rating, not their current temporary Willpower pool    

Spending Temporary Willpower Points

  Characters have two Willpower ratings, temporary and permanent. If a character has to make a Willpower roll for any reason, they always roll the full permanent rating rather than the temporary rating. Unlike most other rolls, Willpower rolls never suffer wound penalties.   Characters can spend temporary Willpower points to accomplish the following things. A character cannot spend more than one temporary Willpower point in a single turn.   -Achieving Success: A temporary Willpower point can be spent to gain an automatic success on any one roll be it magical or mundane, reflexive or active. This ca n augment an already successful roll into an even better roll, turn a failure into a marginal success, or prevent a botch. The temporary Willpower point must be spent before the dice are rolled.   There is one exception where you may spend your Willpower after rolling and that is with Fatigue check.   This can only be done if the roll for the action takes a minute or less to accomplish. You cannot spend Willpower to gain success in a lengthy negotiation or crafting project.   -Overcoming Pain and Fatigue: Characters can spend a temporary Willpower point to avoid all wound and/or fatigue penalties to die rolls and movement for one turn.   -Retaining Sanity: A temporary Willpower point can be spent to temporarily overcome and suppress a psychological problem such as a derangement for one scene.   -Restraining an Impulse: Some things are automatic. Dropping a hot item, stepping away from a ledge. A character can spend a temporary Willpower point to avoid acting on base instincts for a few turns.    

Characters with Zero Willpower

  A character with zero temporarily Willpower points is listless and hard to motivate to do anything. Any mundane actions they take are at +1 difficulty. Magic is based largely on strength of will. Spell-casting is impossible for a caster zero temporarily Willpower points.   A character with permanent Willpower of zero falls into a coma. If they cannot heal the damage in a few days, they will inevitably die from starvation or thirst. Characters that die from losing their will have a disproportionately high chance of rising again as undead.   Certain undead, constructs, simple animals and certain other non-mortal creatures do not have Willpower scores. Such creatures are never penalized for having 0 Willpower.    

Regaining Temporary Willpower

  -Characters can regain a temporary Willpower if they have good night’s rest.   -Characters can regain one or more temporary Willpower points if they accomplish something personally meaningful to the character. This occurs at the game master’s discretion.   -Characters can regain Willpower when they act in accordance with their nature or values at the game master’s discretion.   -At the end of a story, characters regain all their Willpower if they accomplished at least some of their goals.

Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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Apr 27, 2023 17:45 by Matthew Walker

The article reads really well, only point of confusion I had was at the "Achieving Success" part of the first section. It states that you can prevent failure or botches with the temporary willpower, but also says that you must declare its use before dice are rolled.   To clarify, is it meant to be used as a way to reflexively change a negative outcome, or are you saying that using it can prevent negative outcomes in high-risk scenarios?   I too am working on a ttrpg system with a lot of love/inspiration from the White Wolf d10 system! Glad to see other folks creating this kind of content on here. I'll see if my group wants to try your one-shot, and we will write up some feedback for you.

Apr 28, 2023 01:50

Prevent is something you do BEFORE the bad thing happens. So it is meant to prevent a negative outcome in a high risk scenario, not to prevent something bad after the dice have already failed.   Because most of my friends and I have been playing games together for 20 years, I was afraid that I would accidentally omit something that we all just take for granted.