Come Sail the "Sea"
A Character’s Willpower is the sum of their Resolve + Composure
Willpower measures your character’s self-confidence, determination and emotional resilience. A character with a high Willpower is focused, driven to achieve his goals, and capable of resisting their dark impulses. It would be tempting to call such a character virtuous, but Willpower doesn’t equate to altruism. A criminal mastermind or a serial killer could possess an iron will just as easily as could a saint. The first two are ruthless in their ambitions, and determined to see them through.
Willpower is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 and has both permanent dots and temporary points. Your character’s permanent score is filled in on the dots on your character sheet. Temporary points are represented by the green beads on your resource ring. To spend a point of Willpower, give one of the beads from your ring to a storyteller. When your character regains Willpower, you will be given the appropriate beads.
Willpower is not rolled. Points are spent for various effects, mostly representing sheer determination in overcoming obstacles in your character’s path. They can also be spent to gain bonuses to resist forces applied against your character.
Characters with no Willpower points left are exhausted — physically, mentally and emotionally. They’ve used up their reserves of determination and tend to be listless and depressed. Characters can regain Willpower in various ways, but it isn’t easy, so consider spending Willpower points carefully.
Willpower represents the ability to succeed through sheer determination. It’s useful for a number of things. Only one Willpower point can be spent per turn to achieve any one of the following effects.
- You can spend a point of Willpower to gain a +3 modifier on a roll during a turn. Only one dice pool can be affected per turn, and the Storyteller may determine that some rolls cannot be modified in this way. You cannot spend a point of Willpower to gain a bonus on a degeneration or Morality roll.
- A Willpower point can be spent to add two to your character’s Stamina, Resolve, Composure, or Defense to resist mental or social/emotional pressures asserted on them, or to make a concerted effort to avoid being harmed.
Regaining Willpower Points
Your character can recover lost Willpower through any one of four ways, detailed below. Willpower points can never exceed your character’s Willpower dots. The only way to increase their Willpower dots is by increasing their Resolve and/or Composure.
Recovering Willpower is usually a matter of reaffirming your character’s sense of confidence and well-being, so certain actions and situations may allow them to recover Willpower. Ultimately, it’s up to the Storyteller to decide when characters recover Willpower during a story.
- Your character may regain one Willpower point per scene if their actions play out in a manner appropriate to their Vice or Virtue. The Storyteller is the final arbiter as to whether your character’s actions are shaped by a Virtue or Vice, and can refuse to award Willpower if your character acts purely for the rules gain and against concept.
- Your character may regain a point of Willpower after they have had a full night’s rest or the equivalent opportunity to recharge their batteries and redouble their efforts. This assumes your character rests or relaxes and does not engage in strenuous activities.
- If your character achieves a significant goal or performs a particularly impressive act that affirms their sense of confidence, the Storyteller may choose to award a Willpower point.
- Your character regains all spent Willpower points at the end of a story. Not at the end of a game session, but at the conclusion of an overall story. The Storyteller may require all characters to achieve some particular goal or objective or otherwise feel like they succeed (even just a little) in order to regain Willpower. If characters are frustrated or events result in a stalemate, a partial recovery of Willpower may be appropriate.
Storytellers can choose other occasions on which to allow Willpower recovery to suit the needs of the story. Characters may be able to recover Willpower if they find themselves in dire straits and have to push on in order to succeed, for example, or if they refuse to give up despite the odds.
If for some reason your character’s Resolve and/or Composure temporarily increases during a game, perhaps as a result of a mystical spell, they gain one Willpower point per dot increase. Essentially, they have access to one or more free Willpower dot for the duration of the effect. When their Attributes return to normal, your character loses any extra Willpower dots. If they were never spent, they no longer have access to them.