Tainted Souls 1: Manifestation

Tainted Souls explores the unspoken costs of Lucidity. The physical or mental changes brought on by becoming Lucid and how that may impact their lives and the people around them.

When a mundane becomes Lucid they open themselves to supernatural forces beyond their control. These forces change and alter every Lucid at a fundamental level. Some show outward physical changes, others acquire strange personality quirks. No matter how hard they try and hide these changes though, if one knows what to look for they can sport those tainted by the Realms.

In this first installment of Tainted Souls we will look at the Manifestations themselves, what every Lucid experiences. How this change can impact character concept or personality and adds Role Playing potential. Subsequent articles will explore the individual Realms.

While Manifestations may not seems life altering its important to consider that these are physical or mental changes that simply weren’t there before. One way to look at these Manifestations is as if the character had experienced a terrible accident. On day they are a normal functioning person, then comes their Elucidation now the character fears being touched, their skin is molting, they can no longer sit still, or have developed catlike eyes.

Physical or psychological the character’s Manifestation can be extremely traumatic. Players should keep this in mind during play. Fractured Kingdom rewards character development and exploring one’s Manifestation can be an excellent tool for finding your voice in game.

For GMs Manifestations can also be used to impact stories. Don’t forget they are there, if you need to keep a small sheet of your PC’s Manifestations for quick reference when meeting new NPCs. Remind characters they aren’t quite human anymore no matter how hard they may try and hide that fact. For GMs that wish to tie the Manifestation more directly to a character’s link to the Realms consider the following optional Role:

Tainted Powers: Once per Session the GM may invoke a penalty on an appropriate roll based on a Character’s Manifestation. The penalty assessed is equal to the Character’s Lucid Ability. These rolls generally involve social interactions but may be used as complications in time sensitive situations. Players may invoke a Manifestation roll as well. Pass or fail the Character regains 5 Energy as their Realm’s energies flow through them.

Ultimately, the Manifestation is another tool in the Player’s and GM’s arsenal for evoking cinematic gaming. It should be invoked when dramatically fitting but should not overwhelm the Player or cripple the character.