Among immortals, a usual prelude to combat involves scanning the aura of another. By examining the flow of colors and the harmonics of an aura, an immortal can tell certain things about the individual it belongs to.
Mechanics for scanning are simple. The player rolls a d10 and adds to this number his soul and Name. The resulting number is compared to the following chart and the results are ascertained.
Quicknote: Anyone with the soul attribute can scan, including humans. Anyone without soul cannot scan.
Typically, player characters will encounter other characters in the game for the first time. First meetings can go favorably or be disastrous, depending on the personalities, goals and scruples of the individuals involved. How characters react to one another is a central key to good role-play and to the overall drama of the whole experience.
Reaction is best handled on the fly. The narrator presents a character to his players whose motivations and personality he already has invented. During his performance of the newcomer, he places himself in that characters mind-set. How will she react to the player characters? A great deal will depend on how they react to her, what they say or do. Sometimes this doesnt matter---she may be out to get something and will say or do anything to get it, trying to mislead the player characters into helping her.
In reality, many people initially judge others based on appearance---their beauty, mode of dress, racial stock, gender, indications of wealth or other superficial criteria. Except for beauty, the rest of these are impossible to model using the attributes outlined for characters.
The approach to beauty in an immortal runs further than skin deep. It encompasses not only her outward appearance, but also her charm and force of personality. These elements are reflected by the soul attribute. The stronger the soul, the brighter the light shines within her, making her more attractive to others. Even a homely face can shine with the inner light of a strong soul and provoke the acknowledgment of beauty from another.
Narrators may wish to use the soul rating of a player character to determine how others react to her. The reaction is determined by comparing the souls of characters encountering one another. The character whose soul rating is greater than her opponent is said to be the dominant soul. The character with the lesser rating is said to be the submissive soul.
The table below indicates the value of the dominant soul and how this impacts on the lesser soul, determining how the lesser soul reacts. When two souls are evenly matched beauty plays absolutely no role in the encounter.
Quicknote: An immortals Name adds to their soul rating for purposes of determining reaction. A dominant soul is free to determine whether her opponents reaction is based on attraction or revulsion and to regulate precisely how much of her soul she shows to gain a desired effect.
Quicknote: Reactions up to +9 or -9 are only initial and can change through positive or negative interaction between characters. The probable reactions listed are meant only as a guide, not an absolute. Circumstances are modified by many variables, including the exchange of information and courtesy.
The Dominants Perspective
A dominant soul will perceive a submissive soul with pity or scorn. The less the submissive soul is than her own, the greater this feeling becomes. The chart below suggests the discrepancy of a submissive soul when compared to the dominant, and in the second column the reaction of the dominant to him.
In many cases, combat begins with a confrontation. If there is no ambush involved, then surprise will not be a factor. Often, however, one side or the other will attempt to use the element of surprise. If, in the narrators judgment, the victim was braced for the attack, there is no surprise.
The target of ambush is allowed one blue (senses) roll to avoid being surprised. The difficulty of this roll may be set by the narrator, or he may require the ambusher to make a green roll (movement) to determine the difficulty.
For example: Damion is preparing to ambush Vivienne in a dark alley. Damion makes a green roll, adding his stealth skill and scores a 14. Since conditions for the ambush are good, the narrator gives Damion a +3 to his result. Vivienne will need a 17 on her blue roll to avoid being surprised by the ambush. No skill is added since she is unprepared.