Willpower

Traits: 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 his 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. His temporary points are recorded in the corresponding boxes. When a temporary point is spent, just check off a box. When dots and checked boxes are equal, your character is out of Willpower. When your character regains a Willpower point (see below), a check is erased from one of the boxes on your sheet.

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.

Note: Willpower is not to be confused with Resolve. Resolve is your character’s ongoing focus. Think of it as his long-term purpose, like a career plan. Willpower reflects your character’s short-term highs and lows, his ability to dedicate himself in brief efforts to overcome challenges. Resolve does contribute to your character’s overall Willpower dots, though.

Spending Willpower

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 him, 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 her Willpower dots is by increasing her 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 her to recover Willpower. Ultimately, it’s up to the Storyteller to decide when characters recover Willpower during a story. Storytellers should tailor recovery to suit the story, keeping in mind that it’s a powerful and useful trait. Characters shouldn’t be allowed to regain it too quickly, or else players may abuse its effects.

  • Your character may regain one Willpower point per scene if her actions play out in a manner appropriate to her Vice. Your character may regain all spent Willpower if her actions play out in a manner appropriate to her Virtue. No more than one Willpower point may be regained per scene by fulfilling a Vice. Willpower can be regained by fulfilling a Virtue no more than once per chapter (game session). 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 she has had a full night’s rest or the equivalent opportunity to recharge her batteries and redouble her 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 her 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. Awarding extra Willpower recovery makes things a little easier on the players, while withholding Willpower makes things more challenging.

If for some reason your character’s Resolve and/or Composure temporarily increases during a game, perhaps as a result of a mystical spell, he gains one Willpower point per dot increase. Essentially, he has access to one or more free Willpower dot for the duration of the effect. When his Attributes return to normal, your character loses any extra Willpower dots. If they were never spent, he no longer has access to them.

Willpower

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