When the Crystal Palace rose, the crystal beacons rose with them. The beacons shone with images and sang with songs. It was Tarom who learned the secrets of these songs and scenes, becoming able to capture new ones within the beacons. No longer did the crystal beacons all produce the same songs in unison, but sang the myriad songs of Tarom when and where she chose. Under her guiding songs, knowledge flourished.
When Tarom sacrificed herself for her peers, Tarom’s Stewards mourned her death. Their songs became her songs, and her death was echoed in their words. The tales of her sacrifice become one with the beacons where she first sang her songs, changing those forever.Known as Tarom’s Tears, they stand encased in salt, resonating in song only when tended to by the ever-dwindling number of Tarom’s Stewards.
Gone is the age when colleges stood tall, inviting the curious inside their walls. Gone is the time when the Steward’s would travel the land, bringing their songs and lanterns to enlighten those who sought teaching. Gone is the age when Tarom’s Tears could sing untended. The few Stewards who remain must tend to individual Tears, ensuring they do not shatter and crumble.
You may spend anima you accumulate at functioning Tarom’s Tears to advance your statistics or skills. A Steward is not required to be present, but the lack of a Steward might indicate the Tear is not functioning correctly. Whenever you spend anima on a statistic or skill advancement, your level increases – requiring additional anima to advance your statistics and skills, and placing another painting upon your body.
Exchanging anima at other locations for other purposes does not increase your level, nor the amount of anima required to reach your next level.
Anima Required to Level
The amount of anima required to be expending in order to increase a statistic or skill increases as you advance in levels. Each time you advance a statistic or skill, you gain a level. When you spend your anima, the amount you spend is subtracted from your current amount. The totals below reflect the amount needed to be expended to gain a level.
Level 1: 0
Level 2: 500
Level 3: 750
Level 4: 1250
Level 5: 2000
Level 6: 3000
Level 7: 4500
Level 8: 6500
Level 9: 9000
Level 10: 12000
Level 11: 15500
Level 12: 19500
Level 13: 24000
Level 14: 29000
Level 15: 34500
There is no level cap within the world of Crystal Palace.
Levels, Paintings, and Starting Class Levels
Whenever you gain a level, you gain a painting upon your body. The more paintings you have upon your body, the stronger you become. The more painted a person, the more mistrusted they are by others outside of the Chalice.
Characters within the world of Crystal Palace do not necessarily start at the same level. Starting level is modified when characters choose a class as part of the creation process. For each statistic increase, the character increases one level – gaining one additional painting upon their skin. Characters that begin at level four will need to accumulate enough anima to reach level five in order to advance their statistics further.
If you discover a way to allow you to paint completely different pictures upon your skin as if you were a blank canvas – allowing you to re-allocate your statistics – you may never drop below your starting statistics as determined by your class – keeping those paintings upon your skin.
Paintings can grow in size and intricacy instead of expanding in raw number, as agreed upon by the player and the DM.
Statistics and Skills
Statistics in the world of Crystal Palace do not have a cap. You may increase them as much as you see fit. However, there are several additional statistics available for increase throughout play. In addition to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, the following statistics and skills are available for advancement:
- Preparation: This statistic governs how many spells you can prepare at any given time, and begins at 0. If you have access to multiple types of magic, they all compete for your preparation slots. Spells grants a set number of charges when prepared, and you may prepare the same spell more than once. Some spells require multiple preparation slots.
- Skills: Some skills may be granted by your class, but others must be purchased individually. Each time you advance a skill, you gain a bonus to the skill you advance.
- Vigor: This statistic governs how many actions you may take before needing to recuperate. Vigor begins at 3 and increases each time you advance the statistic. Vigor recovers more quickly based on your Constitution. Some spells or abilities might require multiple points of vigor to use.
Every time you level, you gain an additional 1d6+Constitution Modifier hit points. When you advance your Constitution, you instead gain 1d12+Constitution Modifier hit points.
Avoidance and Mitigation
In addition to saving throws receiving a bonus from your statistics, you also receive a pool of dice based on your ability modifiers to reduce damage or increase your avoidance from specific types of attacks. These dice recover whenever you gain the attenuated condition. You gain 1d4 for each point of positive modifier you have in an ability. Having a negative modifier does not grant penalty dice. Each statistic governs something different:
- Strength allows you to expend any number of of Strength dice to reduce the amount of radiant damage you suffer from any one source.
- Dexterity allows you to increase your AC against an attack by any number of Dexterity dice you wish to expend. You must do this when an attack against you is declared.
- Constitution allows you to expend any number of Constitution dice to reduce the amount of poison damage you suffer from any one source.
- Intelligence allows you to expend any number of Intelligence dice to reduce the amount of necrotic damage you suffer from any one source.
- Wisdom allows you to expend any number of Wisdom dice to reduce the amount of fire damage you suffer from any one source.
- Charisma allows you to expend any number of Wisdom dice to reduce the amount of cold damage you suffer from any one source.
(Note: Far from final – this might change to flat mitigation with only a few cases of active defense, or a system where there are additional levels of “resistance” – just noting some concepts and ideas. Combat should feel very different in this setting, but striking a balance between engagement and bogging down combat is a real struggle. Still very much a work-in-progress.)