Certain traits on any character's sheet fall into the category of 'pools,' traits possessed of a maximum value and subject to change over short periods of time. These pools represent such concepts as a character's inner drive to succeed despite opposition (Willpower), sheer berserk fury and drive to commit acts of violence (Rage), or even the amount of blood currently flowing within one's body (Blood Points or Blood Pool -- two terms for the same thing).
Pools work in two ways, as a general guideline. First, like other attributes, they can be directly compared, with the victor of a conflict being the one with the greater pool value. Second, points in a pool can be 'spent,' reducing the temporary value of the trait but not affecting the permanent value. This is admittedly a bit complicated, so at the end of this article, a simple example of a few pools in use is attached.
To understand pools, one also needs to understand the concept of a 'scene.' White Wolf defines a scene as 'A single episode in the story; a time and place where actions and events take place by moment. A scene is often a dramatic high point of the story.' This is a bit vague, but then so is what exactly does comprise a scene. In practice, scenes are much the same as scenes in movies -- areas where time flows uninterrupted and action occurs without pause. Travel ends a scene, as does sleep. Passing time quickly results in the end of a scene, as well. It is best to keep the movie example in mind when considering what exactly constitutes a scene -- your best judgment will almost always be just fine in defining one.
The following Pool Traits exist:
Pool Example Edit
Current Pools of Windhowl and Warstripe: Windhowl: Rage 6 of 6, Gnosis 5 of 5, and Willpower 4 of 4
Warstripe: Rage 3 of 5, Gnosis 8 of 8, and Willpower 8 of 8
To decide who wins the staredown, the two compare Willpower (this is not by any means an absolute way to decide Staredowns, but merely what the two choose in these circumstances). As Warstripe's Willpower is much higher than Windhowl's, Windhowl is forced to look away first, losing the Staredown.
Since Windhowl's Rage is higher than his Willpower, his player decides that Windhowl is going to go berserk, into a frothing rage, and attack Warstripe. Windhowl uses a Rage point to change instantly, before Warstripe can react, into Crinos form. Windhowl now has Rage 5 of 6.
Warstripe, however, is possessed of the Gift Scream of Gaia, and decides to use it -- with a Gnosis of 8, he can use seven more Gifts this scene, as well. The Scream of Gaia echoes from Warstripe's throat, blasting Windhowl onto his fine Irish arse -- for a moment, Windhowl ponders spending a Willpower point to not fall down, but decides not to -- and knocking some sense into the foolish Fianna.
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