An aura is a persistent effect on a character, item, or location that influences anyone who experiences it. The type of aura determines when its influence is felt. Most auras include a roleplaying effect based on the power that caused the aura. The easiest way for an Imperial citizen to create an aura is using a liao ceremony and the appropriate skill.
People experience auras in different ways - some talk in terms of an effect "settling onto them" like a mantle or cloak, others talk about it "welling up" from deep within them and filling them with its power.
- The roleplaying effects of an aura are strongest in the first few minutes after it takes effect
- Players should be influenced by the effects at key dramatic moments, rather than stress about roleplaying them throughout the event
- Every aura creates a roleplaying effect, but not everything that creates a roleplaying effect is an aura
Although auras persist for long periods of time they ebb and surge over that period - rather than maintaining the same intensity throughout. An aura is most potent for the first ten minutes or so after receiving it; beyond the influence may come and go unpredictably or lie dormant. Players who are experiencing an aura that lasts a long time should not feel obliged to ensure that they spend every moment roleplaying the influence of the aura - rather they should concentrate on allowing the effect to influence them at key moments that are dramatically appropriate.
An aura is a specific class of persistent spiritual effect. Although every aura creates a roleplaying effect, not everything that creates a roleplaying effect is an aura. Potions and many enchantments create roleplaying effects without being classed as auras.
- A target can only be under one aura at a time
- A new aura will replace any existing aura that is of the same strength or lower
A target can only be the recipient of a single aura at a time. They may be affected by auras of different types at the same time - for example a character under a personal aura who enters a consecrated area with a location aura - but there can only be one personal aura on a character at once - and so on.
Creating a new aura will automatically replace any existing aura that is of the same strength or lower. For example, a character who has an anointing of Courage has a personal aura of Courage. If they are they receive an anointing of Loyalty then the new personal aura replaces the previous one. If the new aura is less powerful than the existing aura, then it fails to take effect and the existing aura remains in place.
- It is not possible to identify what virtue led to the creation of an aura
Although the auras produced by the virtues of the Way are well-defined and well known, spontaneous auras tend to be unique. While priests of the Way may argue about which spiritual force supports or gave rise to a spontaneous aura, there is no way to conclusively prove a connection between the aura and a virtue or malign spiritual presence - the insight ceremony does not tie any aura to a specific virtue.
Types of Aura
- Causes a roleplaying effect on the recipient
- Can be used as a source of spiritual strength to overcome a malign roleplaying effect
- Lasts until the start of the next event unless it is durable
- Can be detected using the insight ceremony
A personal aura can be used as a source of spiritual strength to overcome an unwanted roleplaying effect, allowing you to respond in a way that is appropriate for your character and the roleplaying effects of your aura. For example if a character with a personal aura of Courage enters a battlefield that is under an aura of Fear, then they may use the strength provided by their personal aura to overcome the Fear effects and respond as per the roleplaying of their Courage aura, rather than the Fear aura.
If you are subject to an insight while anointed then you must tell the referee which aura is affecting you - the easiest way to do that is to show them your aura card if you have one.
Personal auras created using liao and the anointing skill last for a season - they expire just before the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event. Durable auras are permanent until removed, but true liao is the only known way to reliably create a durable aura.
You cannot use the spiritual strength provided by a personal aura to overcome the roleplaying effects of that aura.
- Causes a roleplaying effect on a character who uses the item
- Usually lasts as long as the item remains magical
- Cannot be used as a source of supernatural strength to overcome other roleplaying effects
An item aura covers a single item, usually a magical item, affecting anyone who uses it. An Imperial character can create an aura on an item using the hallow skill. A aura created on a magical item will usually last as long as the magic endures. A standard item aura on a non-magical item will usually persist for one year.
Any character who picks up the item will experience the aura once they become aware of its influence (the roleplaying effects will be written on the ribbon). The aura is most potent whenever the item is donned, picked up, or drawn (in the case of a scabbarded weapon). You cannot be affected by the aura of an item unless you are using the item in the appropriate manner. The aura on jewellery, clothing, or armour will affect you when you put the item on. Auras on weapons affect you when you draw or wield the weapon.
A standard item aura provides a roleplaying effect, but can not be used as a source of supernatural strength. You cannot overcome other roleplaying effects using the benefits of an item aura.
- Causes a roleplaying effect on characters that enter that location
- Can be used as a source of supernatural strength to overcome other roleplaying effects while in the location
- Lasts until the start of the next event
A location aura covers a single location, either a well defined structure such as a tent or building, or filling a larger area such as a battlefield. It lasts for a season - it expires just before the start of the next Profound Decisions Empire event. In practice, this means an Imperial character who uses the consecration skill with liao can create an aura on a tent or building that will last for a weekend.
A location aura will affect a character who enters the area once the player becomes aware of it. Any character who enters the area will experience the aura once they become aware of its influence. For a tent or building the roleplaying effects will usually be written on an A5 laminated card that is prominently displayed inside the area. For a quest or battlefield, the ref will inform all players of the aura.
A location aura can be used as a source of spiritual strength to overcome a malign roleplaying effect, allowing you to respond in a way that is appropriate for your character and the roleplaying mandated by the aura. For example if a character with a traumatic wound that causes them great pain enters a Dawnish shrine that is under an aura of Courage, then they may use the strength provided by the location aura to overcome the roleplaying effects of their wound and respond appropriately given the effects of the Courage aura.
You cannot use the supernatural strength provided by a location aura to overcome the roleplaying effects of that aura.
- Every aura has a strength; most are strength 1
- An aura will replace an existing aura if the new aura has the same or higher strength
- A true aura will replace any other aura
All auras are equally potent in their effects, but they have a strength which reflects how hard they are to replace. An aura can be replaced by another aura with an equal or higher strength. Most auras have a strength of one - this means they are automatically replaced by any other aura of the same type that is placed on that target.
A true aura is the most powerful kind of aura - they can only be replaced by another true aura. The most common way to make a true aura is using a dose of true liao. A true aura will automatically replace any other aura when it is created.
Although a dedication is not considered to be an aura because it does not create any roleplaying effects - it is possible to cooperate to create a strong dedication. The strength of the dedication is equal to the amount of liao used. It is also possible to use true liao to create a true dedication.
- A durable aura is permanent until removed or replaced
- Spontaneous auras are usually durable
- Auras created using true liao are durable
Most auras fade after a certain amount of time. A personal aura will last a season - the effects end just before the start of the next event. Durable auras follow all the normal rules for auras but the effects are permanent until the aura is removed or replaced by an effect of equal or higher strength.
All spontaneous auras are durable unless explicitly stated otherwise. It is not possible for a player character to deliberately create a spontaneous aura.
All auras created with true liao are always durable.
- A spontaneous aura is not the result of a religious skill
- Spontaneous auras are poorly understood
- Any kind of aura can arise spontaneously
While the majority of auras are created by religious skills, and a few are created by rituals, there is a third category of aura which arise spontaneously. These auras are unpredictable in appearance and effect and while the cause is often apparent, the mechanism is not. It is usually clear why the aura has arisen, but nobody knows how they happen. Spontaneous auras are usually durable but they follow all the normal rules for auras, so they can be replaced by another aura of equal or higher strength.
The most common reasons for spontaneous auras to arise are:
- someone passionately exemplifying a spiritual force through their actions (often leading to a spontaneous personal or item aura)
- an area is the site of powerful emotions over a period of time (usually leading to a spontaneous location aura)
- the presence or activities of a ghost (which can give rise to any kind of spontaneous aura)
- the presence or activities of an eternal
Spontaneous auras are the purview of plot; it's not possible for players to force a spontaneous aura to manifest. They often resemble auras created with religious skills, but while the wording of a spontaneous aura may resemble an existing anointing, hallowing, or consecration, they very rarely match them directly.
- Orcs are affected by auras - just like any other character
Although orcs cannot use liao, they still have souls, and are still affected by auras no matter how they are created.