Archive for April, 2011

I’ve seen a few situations crop up where spending Willpower would be a good idea but hasn’t been used, so I thought I’d lay out here what Willpower can be used for. This is in the character creation doc as well, but I don’t blame you if many of you haven’t looked at that since, well, ¬†creating your characters ūüėõ

Willpower is derived by adding together your Resolve + Composure. Following on from that, the only way to increase your Willpower is by increasing either your Resolve or Composure – since both of those are Attributes, it costs you 5x the new value in XP (for example, to go from Composure 2 to Composure 3 costs 15XP).

There are two “types” of Willpower spending – Willpower dots and Willpower points. The vast majority of the time, you will be spending Willpower Points. These regenerate in several different ways (detailed below). If you use an ability or perform a task (again, detailed below) that uses a Willpower Dot, that permanently reduces your Willpower by 1. So if you are Mr Joe Average, having a Resolve of 2 and Composure of 2 (therefore Willpower 4), and you have done two things which require a Willpower Dot spend, your Willpower will be 2, even though your Resolve and Composure are unchanged.

All characters can only spend one Willpower per turn (this is important for some tasks – if you have to spend a Willpower to activate an ability, it means you can’t then spend another Willpower to boost the draw, as you have already spent your one Willpower for the turn). Spending Willpower is a Reflexive action; you can do it when it’s not your turn, and it doesn’t take up your action for the turn.

You can spend a Willpower Point to:

  • Activate some disciplines and abilities
  • Add 3 to any non-combat draw you make
  • Add 2 to your Defence against a single attack
  • Add 2 to your Resolve, Composure, or Stamina for the purposes of a single draw where you don’t actually draw yourself (For example: Someone is attempting Aura Perception on you. Their test pool is Intelligence + Empathy + Auspex, penalised by your Composure. If you spend a Willpower, you can add 2 to your Composure for that check thus penalising their draw by an extra 2)

For the last two uses, you must be aware of the attack or test to be able to spend the Willpower.

The¬†second use (+3 to a non-combat draw) of this bears more discussion; in that case (only) you can spend the Willpower after you make the draw. Say you’re trying to find out¬†who wrote “Grate Expurgations” but you just can’t remember. You make a Intelligence + Academics draw and get… 8. You can then spend a Willpower, giving you +3 making 11 – a success (Parles Chickens, of course!). However, you can be even more tricky; say you’re making a test (like Aura Perception, above). You make the draw, and get 11 – one success. If you then choose to spend a Willpower, you get to 14 – which adds another success, and more information is given. Obviously if it’s an “all or nothing” draw where one success is all you need, it’s not worth spending Willpower to add another one. However, it’s worth noting that spending Willpower adds 3, and the difference between totals needed to get extra successes is.. 3, so spending a point of Willpower – assuming you get to 10 in the first place – will always add exactly 1 success to your total.

Getting Willpower Back

There are four main ways of getting Willpower back:

  • You automatically get one point back per downtime (so essentially you can spend one Willpower for “free” each Elysium)
  • If you indulge in your Vice, and doing so puts you at some kind of significant risk, you gain 1 Willpower point
  • If you indulge in your Virtue, and doing so puts you at some kind of significant risk, you regain all Willpower points.
  • Someone with the “Inspiring” Merit spends about a minute, well, inspiring you: You gain 1 Willpower point

There are a few other ways too, but those are the most common.

Spending Willpower Dots

Some actions require you to spend a Willpower Dot. These are rare, however. The most common expenditure of a Willpower Dot is when Embracing – the Sire must spend a Dot to complete the Embrace.

So basically, remember that spending 1 Willpower per session is essentially free, and you can spend Willpower after a draw to make that draw a success, or to gain an extra success on an already successful draw.