This Trait reflects your character’s inner drive, dedication and desire to succeed at tasks she undertakes. Willpower describes how much self-control your character has and how determined they are in adverse circumstances. It also measures a character’s inner drive and competence at overcoming unfavorable odds. Players may use Willpower to control character actions when events conspire to force an instinctive response. Almost every creature possesses Willpower. It is the strength hidden in each individual to overcome his base urges and occasionally push himself to greatness.
Unlike other Traits, Willpower has both a permanent rating and a temporary pool of points. The rating is infrequently rolled, while the pool is spent. When a player spends a point of a character’s Willpower, they should cross off the point from the Willpower pool (the squares), not the Willpower rating (the circles). The rating stays constant — if a character needs to roll Willpower for some reason, they base the roll on the permanent rating. The pool is used during the story. A character’s Willpower pool will likely fluctuate a great deal during the course of a story or chronicle. It decreases by one point every time a player uses a Willpower point to enable his character to do something extraordinary, like maintain self-control or gain an automatic success. Eventually, the character will have no Willpower left, and will no longer be able to exert the effort he once could. A character with no Willpower pool is exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually, and will have difficulty doing anything, as they can no longer muster the energy to act. Willpower points can be regained during the course of a story, though players are advised to be frugal with their characters’ Willpower pools. The Willpower Trait is measured on a 1-10 scale rather than a 1-5 scale.
••••• • Confident
••••• •• Determined
••••• ••• Controlled
••••• •••• Iron-willed
••••• ••••• Unshakable
Of all the Traits, Willpower is one of the most frequently rolled and spent because of the many ways it can be utilized.
Spending a Willpower point on an action gives the player one extra or automatic success on any roll. Only one point can be spent this way each turn, but the success is guaranteed. Spending Willpower in this way completely negates the effects of a botch. By using Willpower in this way, it is possible to succeed at a given action simply by concentrating. For extended rolls, these extra successes may make the critical difference between accomplishment and failure. Some actions do not allow a character to spend Willpower, including damage and soak rolls.
The Storyteller may inform you that your character has done something because of an uncontrollable urge, like getting away from fire or stepping back from a chasm. A Willpower point can be spent to negate this gut reaction and keep the character right where they are. On rare occasions, the player must keep spending Willpower points to stay on task until the character removes himself from the situation or runs out of Willpower. A player may need to spend multiple Willpower points over the course of a few turns. Sometimes the urge may be overcome by the force of the character’s will; at other times, the character has no choice but to follow his instinct (i.e., the character runs out of Willpower points or no longer wishes to expend them).
When a character is injured, their wounds can make it hard for them to concentrate, represented by wound penalties to their actions. By spending a point of Willpower, they can ignore the wound penalties on a single roll. This allows a character to override pain and injury in order to take one last-ditch action. However, an incapacitated character may not spend Willpower in this manner.
Willpower may be recovered as well as spent. Characters must be able to rest in order to regain Willpower. Between the daily routines and duties of their lives, characters often do not have time to take a breath. This section presents different ways characters can regain a point or more of Willpower, though a character’s Willpower pool may never exceed her Willpower rating. The only way to increase a character’s Willpower rating is through experience-point expenditure. Ultimately, specific instances of Willpower restoration are up to the Storyteller.
One point may be recovered every morning after a good nights rest. If nothing else, this point guarantees some Willpower. (This rule should be ignored during downtime.)
Gain one Willpower point during downtime.
If a character behaves in a manner that fulfills her Nature Archetype, the Storyteller may reward the character with one Willpower point.
Characters who achieve a personal victory in the framework of the larger story can regain some amount of Willpower. These victories should relate directly to the character, such as confronting a personal enemy or overcoming a vice. The Storyteller rules whether a character has regained some or all of his self-confidence by this action.
When a story is complete, characters regain all their Willpower. This act should be reserved for story endings, not necessarily the end of each session.