Stability measures how well a character has coped with the traumatic and supernatural events of her life. It measures how far you can bend before breaking and it shows how much you have already been broken. Stability is measured from 1 to 7, with the average character in this game having a Stability of 4 or 5. Someone who is completely sure of their place in life and feels that they can withstand anything that might change their mundane view of the world would be Stability 7. Someone who is Stability 1, however, is at home amidst the unnatural and has trouble relating to the mundane.
Your character’s stability score grants them a pair of modifiers that illustrate how they view the world. These modifiers affect your character’s Perception draws surrounding the unnatural and the mundane. At Stability 4, both of these modifiers are zero, as the character is very balanced in their outlook. For every point their Stability increases over 4, they receive a +1 modifier to mundane Perception and -1 modifier to unnatural Perception—up to a maximum of +3 and -3 at Stability 7. When their stability goes below 4, both the modifiers now change in the opposite direction, with a -1 modifier to mundane Perception and +1 modifier to unnatural Perception. This caps off at -3 and +3 at Stability 1.
A character can lose Stability when she experiences a Breaking Point. A Breaking Point occurs when a character has done or seen something strange and is no longer able to rationalize or mentally cope with it.
For example, the following might trigger a Breaking Point:
- The character performs an action that either violates his personal moral code or that is considered unacceptable in society.
- The character witnesses something traumatic, terrifying, or that rattles his understanding of the world.
- The character is the victim of a supernatural attack, whether physical, emotional, or mental.
Note that a Breaking Point is not necessarily something that the character considers morally wrong. A character might kill someone in a clear-cut, unambiguous case of self-defense, but the experience is probably still a Breaking Point, even if the player (and the character!) feels the act was entirely justified. Killing another human being for the first time drastically alters your character’s point of view, regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. Actions take a toll on the psyche, regardless of whether the actions were moral or not.
Breaking Points are somewhat subjective. A homicide detective with 30 years of experience in seeing dead bodies and hearing confessions of killers has a somewhat higher tolerance for human depravity than the town’s sheltered librarian. Whether your character has experienced a Breaking Point is up to the Storytellers, so notify us via email if your character has possibly experienced a Breaking Point during game with no Storyteller present.
Characters can also experience Integrity Points during times in their life when everything seems to be going right for them and the world finally starts to settle down. An Integrity Point occurs when a character does something to reaffirm that the world is mundane and has predictable order.
For example, the following might trigger an Integrity Point:
- The character performs an action that either upholds his personal moral code or that is considered exemplary in society.
- The character experiences a moment of pure kindness and acceptance.
- The character spends a year without interacting with the supernatural in any way.
Note that an Integrity Point is not necessarily something that the character considers “good.” For example, a character might get a chance to align their place in the world and talk through their experiences, but they might have only reached this point because they were imprisoned.
Integrity Points are somewhat subjective. A woods woman who has gone without significant human interaction for many years will get much more out of a short and polite conversation than the person she is talking to. Whether your character has experienced an Integrity Point is up to the Storytellers, so notify us via email if your character has possibly experienced an Integrity Point during game with no Storyteller present.