Calling upon the wellspring of inspiration itself, the character can enhance his or her skills and create more effectively. This clause is essentially identical to the Level 1 clause of Verdant Spring. It can only be attempted once on any given creative endeavor.
Cost: 1 Glamour
Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy (Minus the target’s Resolve if actively resisted).
Catch: The character invests his own literal blood, sweat or tears into the creation of the object or the plans for the project.
Dramatic Failure: The endeavor fails horribly. A -4 penalty is leveled against creator (and inspiration, if applicable) for all Crafts or Expression rolls for the next month. This is in addition to a -2 penalty to all Social rolls involving courtiers of Houses Inari, Weyland, Ereshu and Talhaern.
Failure: The craftsman must rely on the skill of his or her hands alone.
Success: For each success, the target receives a +1 bonus to the next Crafts or Expression challenge (this means that if the roll is extended, the bonus applies to each roll, rather than merely one). These bonuses stack with any other supernatural or equipment bonuses relevant to the challenge.
Exceptional Success: The bonus gained applies also to all Social rolls made with courtiers of Houses Inari, Weyland, Ereshu and Talhaern. This lasts for a period of one week. If an additional exceptional success on this clause is gained before that time period is up, the new result, better or worse, supplants the old and the timer starts anew.
+1 ~ The character is surrounded by great and inspiring works.
-1 ~ The character is working in a drab, dreary or uninspiring locale.
Inspiration can hold you in thrall, it lifts you up and gives you wings, but such wonder has a price. That price is often obsession with the work. Inspiration can lend a powerful stamina to the artist’s arm and grant reserves of strength and endurance that border on the miraculous. This clause is an expression of that phenomenon.
Note – All invocations of this clause come with an additional cost. While this clause allows for tireless spaces of work and undying stamina, all costs which are forestalled by the magic of this clause must be paid in full when its effects end. If a character spends three nights solid studying for and completing a final exam, it must be repaid with 24 hours of sleep (the time that one normally would have used for sleep during that period) beginning no later than the next sunset or sunrise, whichever comes first.
Cost: 2 Glamour
Dice Pool: Stamina + Wyrd
Catch: The character is attempting to meet a deadline and the only possible way to do so is to work nonstop, with no sleep, to finish on time.
Dramatic Failure: The character calls upon her stores of energy to enact this clause and fails, exhausting them. The character is at -2 to all actions and counts as Fatigued until she manages to get some sleep.
Failure: The character has only her own internal reserves to draw on.
Success: Inspiration lends strength to the character’s arm and clarity to her mind, continually refreshing her. She needs no sleep or sustenance until after the project is completed. No fatigue penalties will be suffered, and the time necessary to complete the project is halved. Sleep and sustenance debt still accrues, however, and must be repaid when the clause expires.
Exceptional Success: Inspiration fuels the character’s body to such an extent that she does not need to repay any sustenance debt accrued. Only the sleep debt needs must be repaid.
+1 ~ The character has a ready source of caffeine or other upper.
-1 ~ The character is under the effects of alcohol or another downer.
The character infuses a space with the spirit of Inspiration by invoking the Muses Nine. This results in a place especially suited to one particular aspect of the Crafts or Expression skill, turning any mortal workshop, theatre, coffeehouse or other space into a Temple to the Arts.
Cost: 2 Glamour + 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Presence + Wyrd
Action: Extended (successes vary based on the size of the consecrated space: 5 for a small room; 10 for a typical home; 15 for a typical office; etc). Each roll requires one hour.
Catch: The character has a representation of each of the Nine Muses on his person when he enacts this clause.
Dramatic Failure: The place becomes accursed, suffering penalties equivalent to the bonuses that would have normally been gained by a success. This lasts for 24 hours.
Failure: The space remains unchanged.
Success: The space is filled with the power of Inspiration. The character may designate one Crafts or Expression Specialty. All rolls involving that Specialty gain the 8-again quality. By voluntarily taking penalties to the roll (see below) the character may add additional specialties. This effect lasts for 24 hours. At the character’s discretion, it can be renewed without the need for another roll by the expenditure of another 2 glamour. The effect may thus be maintained indefinitely.
Exceptional Success: The first roll involving each of the designated Specialties gains the Rote quality. This applies on a daily basis if the effect is maintained.
+1 ~ The space is somehow marked with symbols or attributes appropriate to the relevant Specialty.
-3 ~ Each additional Specialty designated for the consecrated space. Cumulative.
Sometimes, inspiration strikes like a thunderbolt, providing an answer out of the blue. This clause functions along the lines of clauses of the Contracts of Heart, in that activating it too often incurs the listed Ban (below).
Cost: 1 Glamour + 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: N/A
Effect: The beneficiary of Stroke of Genius may describe a course of action to the Storyteller. This course of action is a solution to a problem, quandary or predicament that the player or group is currently stuck in. This course of action succeeds in the most dramatic and brilliant way possible. This is not to say that the rule of “Be Careful What You Wish For” does not apply. Appearances may be deceiving and fallout may occur. However, the problem is resolved or the predicament is escaped. Creativity (as appropriate to the tenor of the game) is encouraged. It should be noted that “insta-kill” solutions are beyond the scope of this clause.
Ban: Even the most brilliant of minds are struck with such genius but rarely. Legends tell of the horrific fates in store for those who offend the Muses. If Stroke of Genius is invoked more than once within a period of a Year and a Day, any plans enacted will be Dramatic Failures, with the Storyteller given free Dramatic License.
The time between conception and realization is often a long one, with many failures along the way. This clause bypasses all of that, realizing the artist’s vision in an instant. The clause cannot create anything that would not normally exist, or create materials of great intrinsic value. This clause may be attempted on any given vision only once, and may not be used again for any given project until the minimum amount of time it would normally take to create such a work has passed (so if the character uses this clause to create a full length portrait of a subject and the Storyteller rules that with his skill level it would have taken a minimum of one month, the character cannot use this clause again until one month has passed).
Cost: 3 Glamour + 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Wyrd
Catch: The character is engaged to create a work for a powerful patron and stands to lose her life if she fails.
Dramatic Failure: The item manifests, but it bears a horrific curse, the details of which remain with the Storyteller.
Failure: Nothing happens.
Success: The work is realized, exactly as the character envisioned it, before her eyes. The sword appears, as if forged from thin air, the painting seeps into being on the canvas, words write themselves upon the page, etc. Items or tools so produced have an equipment bonus equal to the number of successes rolled, to a maximum of +5.
Exceptional Success: The work produced is a work of Exceptional Success.
-1 to -3 ~ Unusual materials are required for the completion of the object.
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