Glossary of Terms

Accents: The flavor of an effect. Indicates the source or properties of an effect such as “by Fire,” or “by Darkness,” and may affect what defenses will protect against it.

Advancement: These are the points, handed out for in-character or character-building activities, that let one gain levels.  These will not be used for the three initial Hollow Dawn Events.

Advantage: This is a special attribute. It may grant access to special Powers, between-game abilities, or cosmetic benefits (such as a castle). Advantages usually cost Character Points to purchase.

Armor: Armor can be physically represented (meaning that the player is wearing something that looks like actual armor) or summoned (created invisibly by a Power). Armor acts just like Life Points except it must be mended, rather than healed.

Attune: Most larger magic items require attunement and can then be used only by the character they are attuned to.  Characters by default can only attune to three items.

Basic Class: Also called a Class, a class is sort of like a profession. It determines a number of different statistics, such as Spike damage, what Powers and spell-progression a character has, what Proficiencies, and so forth.

Breed: These are special genetic lineages such as Elf, Dwarf, or Trollborn. The make-up, appearance, and roleplaying requirements of Breeds are treated as Challenges (see below) that give special Breed Points (see below) that can be spent on Breed-specific Advantages.

Breed Points: When a character takes Breed Flaws, she gets Breed Points that can be spent on the Breed Perks of that particular Breed (and no other).

Call: Calls are the out-of-game words used to communicate damage, effects, durations, and so forth to the target of a game effect. Calls are separate from the in-game Incantations, and have a suggested (but not required) structure.

Character Options: These are the various Advantages and Challenges characters can take.

Character Points: These are points that are earned by a character as they go up in level and can be spent to buy Advantages, Skills, Advanced Classes, or Roles.

Challenge: This is a special hardship or obstacle that a character takes on. It grants additional Character Points that can be spent normally

Conditions: States that a character can have such as paralyzed or dead.

Count: Durations are measured by Count. A Slow Count is a counting of seconds. A Quick Count is however fast the player can verbally (audibly) count to the number. Thus a Slow Count of 5 is about 5 seconds, and a Quick Count of 30 is also about 5 seconds.

Counter: A Power that is called immediately to negate an attack or other Power.

Dead: A dead character begins her “discorporation count” which is a slow count of 180. After this she discorporates, becomes a Spirit, picks up any unattended equipment and proceeds to a Spirit Well.

Death Count: A slow count of 180 that starts when the character drops to 0 LIfe Points. At the end of the death count the character is dead.

Delivery: The method by which an Effect can be applied to a target, such as by packet, by weapon hit, etc. Touch, Weapon, Verbal, and Voice are the most common.

Dying: When a character drops to 0 Life Points she is dying. She can make noise, but not impart information. After a slow count of 180 (their “death count”) she will die.

Effects: These are the method by which Conditions are applied, such as “Paralyze” to make someone paralyzed. There are some Effects, such as Cure or Grant, that do more than just apply Conditions.

Flaw: Breed-specific challenges, often costume related, that grant Breed Points that can purchse Perks.

Focus: Focus is basically a silent Incantation. It is an amount of time that a character must concentrate on activating a Power. If a creature is attacked while focusing, the Power is ineffective and must be begun again.

Incantation: The Incantation for a Power is the words that must be spoken in order to activate that Power. In order to complete the incantation, the right foot must stay planted, one hand must be free, and the character must remain undisturbed.

Life Points: These represent how much damage a character can take before she falls unconscious or dies.

Long Rest: What constitutes a Long Rest will be determined by the story, staff, or setting. Sometimes it might require 4 hours of inactivity. For Hollow Dawn, the first Short Rest taken after 7am and 7pm will count as a Long Rest.

Materia: Materia are the special material components needed to cast many spells. It is what makes up spell-packets and spell-balls. Often, in-game, packets are just called “Materia”.

Packet: A packet is a small, soft bundle that is thrown at others and can be charged with spell-power. Spell-packets are a type of packet which is an inch or so in diameter and filled with birdseed. A spell-ball is a type of packet which is 2 inches or more in diameter and filled with cloth or foam.

Perks: Breed-related advantages that can be purchased with Breed Points.

Power: Any source of an effect or an ability, spell, or special effect caused or used by a PC or NPC.

Prepared/Preparation: Spell-casting classes Prepare a certain number of spells from their spellbook that they can then cast by exhausting spell-slots.

Proficiency: Being able to use a particular weapon, shield, or armor effectively.

Qualifier: A qualifier is a special part of a call which limits an effect only to a certain kind of person. “10 damage by flame to males” (italics indicate the qualifier) would only damage those characters who consider themselves male.

Refresh: This is a term used to describe getting back access to a Power or spell-slot that has been exhausted. Many Powers refresh at the end of a Short Rest. Spells refresh after a Long Rest or after using particular Powers.

Roles: Special templates that can be purchased, usually with Character Points. Roles add choices or special Powers, and usually represent cults, organizations, or special training that a character may have taken.

Safety: If any participant calls out “Safety!” the entire game should come to a complete stop, called a Safety hold. No game actions (or even discussions) will take place while the safety issue will be handled.

Short Rest: Any five minute rest that the character wishes to count as a Short Rest. This can be spent doing anything non-strenuous, up to slow walking. Fighting, combat, running, and heavy exertion or high emotion will disrupt a Short Rest. Completing a Long Rest will also complete a Short Rest.

Signature Item:  A specially powerful item.  No character can be attuned to more than one Signature Item at a time.

Skills: Skills are non-magical abilities that are passively available, such as being able to use a sword, or being able to track. They are usually purchased with Character Points just like advantages.

Spells: Magical Powers possessed by spell-casting classes.

Spell-slots: Spell-casting classes have a limited number of spells they can cast each day from each tier of spell. This number is represented by spell-slots.

Sphere: Spell-casters can cast Arcane or Divine spells. These are the two different Spheres of magic.

Spike: By default, all weapon hits do one point of damage, unless an audible Call is made. Characters have a certain number of attacks that do extra damage, called Spikes. This pool of Spikes refreshes during a Short Rest.

Tier: Spell-slots are organized into tiers. Novice tier is 1st-3rd level spells. Intermediate is 4th-6th. Greater is 7th-9th. Master is 10th.