A Huldufolk character sheet is a simple thing. It has four primary sections: Qualities, affinities, Paths, and Equipment. Generally, experience is recorded on the sheet, though storytellers at their discretion may prefer to use a different recording mechanism. Here, we’ll go through the four sections and discuss the mechanics they represent.
Qualities are the most fluid, and most essential, part of a character. They represent the innate nature of the character, and affect almost every action they take. Qualities apply a +3 to any challenge on which they are applied. A character selects 3 Qualities at creation, but may change those Qualities after entering play by roleplaying their shifting personality and spending XP1XP cost and roleplay requirements will be discussed in a future rules version..
There is no master list of acceptable Qualities. They are, by definition, personal to each character. However, below is a sample listing to help get a sense of what makes a good Quality. It is important for a storyteller to consider carefully the breadth of a given Quality. While most characters will fall back to acting according to one of their Qualities wherever possible, this should require some amount of effort on the part of the character.
While Qualities describe how a character approaches the world, Affinities define the tools they use to approach their goals. A character with an appropriate Affinity does not need to test to accomplish normal, everyday tasks (CR 5 or below), but does need to test for unusually difficult situations as described in Challenge Resolution. A character without an appropriate Affinity must test to accomplish a challenge of 10 or below, and cannot test to accomplish tasks of difficulty greater than 10.
Like Qualities, there is no master list of Affinities. The list below is used to generate a list of what should be considered acceptable, but it is the decision of each ST as to what constitutes an acceptable Affinity. A character can have any number of affinities purchased with XP, but begins play with 4.
A Focus is an Affinity which has become an intrinsic part of the Huldufolk, something they spend a significant portion of their time and energy working to improve, and a way by which they define themselves. A Huldufolk with a Focus on sword-fighting is likely to self-describe as a fencer or a warrior. A Huldufolk with a Focus on Computers is likely to self-describe as a computer scientist or a hacker. Mechanically, a character can have up to 5 focuses, each of which grants a +2 on relevant pools, A character begins play with 2 Focuses.
Spheres and Paths
Spheres and Paths will be discussed at great length later on, but for now we’ll just do a brief overview. Spheres are the general types of magic available to Huldufolk, they break down into Lesser and Greater Paths, which further break down into specific, named Greater Paths, detailed below. Magic in the world of Huldufolk is an intensely personal thing, powered by and feeding a character’s innate Belief as they perform miraculous and diabolic workings. No two Huldufolk use magic in exactly the same way, influenced as it is by a given character’s Qualities, affinities, and personality. At creation, a character selects a single Sphere as their primary Sphere and gains the associated Lesser Path as their chosen Path, that Path will always be equal to their Belief. They also select a total of 10 points of powers, none of which may be rated above 3. Further Lesser and Greater Paths can be purchased with experience.
To make it easier to track your character’s Magical Spheres and Paths, see our Magic Powers List Creator.
Spheres and Paths:
- Creation – This Sphere is focused primarily on weaving the raw material of the universe into new and wondrous forms. Its adherents include artists, magical botanists, and supernaturally tough warriors. Those who select Creation as their primary Sphere are known as Artisans.
- Path: Lesser Creation – Grants benefits to any work of creation or creativity. This Lesser Path also provides a bonus to all mundane resistance pools.
- Path: Substance – Focuses on the creation of nonliving things. At lower levels it allows a Huldufolk to improve mundane and simple magical equipment, at higher levels it allows for creation at incredible size and scope, and for the creation of powerful Artifacts.
- Path: Life – Focuses on the creation of living things. At lower levels it gives a Huldufolk deep knowledge of other creatures’ well-being, and allows for self-healing and resiliency. At higher levels, plagues, humans, and even magical creatures can be brought into being out of nothing but pure will.
- Destruction – Often maligned as an inherently evil Sphere, Destruction is not only for monstrous sorcerers flinging death from their fingertips (though there are certainly plenty of those). This Sphere is focused on change and chaos, often but not exclusively through the medium of violence. Its adherents include the aforementioned power-mad sorcerers, pursuers of Nirvana, and those seeking to understand the deepest nature of reality. Those who select Destruction as their primary path are known as Champions.
- Path: Lesser Destruction – Grants benefit to any act intended to bring about change, or to inflict destruction. This Lesser Path also provides a bonus to all mundane attack pools.
- Path: Change – Focuses on altering the nature of reality. Lower levels allow for the bending of chance or circumstance, higher levels allow for gross rewriting of the world around the practitioner, twisting it to serve their purposes.
- Path: Strife – The path most people think of when they hear Destruction. Focuses on inflicting harm and violence. At lower levels, a practitioner inflicts inconvenience and pain upon those who draw their ire, at higher levels, a Huldufolk can inflict truly horrific damage upon their adversaries, and upon the tapestry of creation itself.
- Conquest – There are many types of Conqueror, and they all find some use in this Sphere. The powers found in these Paths are all focused on claiming or usurping territory. While this Sphere is considered to be in direct conflict with the Sphere of Dominion, the two actually complement one another in various ways both large and small. Those who select Conquest as their primary Sphere are known as Claimants.
- Path: Lesser Conquest – Grants benefit to any attempt to take control of a territory, person, or situation; also grants a benefit to attempts to infiltrate or violate another character’s territory. This Lesser Path also grants benefits to supernatural attack pools.
- Path: Empire – Focuses on claiming new territory and improving a character’s ability to challenge the claims of other Huldufolk. Lower levels allow for simple acts of theft and control, while higher levels allow a Claimant to take full control of their targets and claim vast swathes of territory with a simple act of will.
- Path: Infiltration – Focuses on violating the territorial claims of others, and gaining access to forbidden places. Lower levels assist the Infiltrator in bypassing simple or mundane defenses while higher levels allow the Huldufolk to take on a target’s form, voice, and spiritual outline, shutting the original owner out of their own domain, territory, and even their life.
- Dominion – There can be no attacker without a defender. The Sphere of Dominion is focused on keeping what’s yours. It is the chosen path of Feudal Lords among the Huldufolk, those who seek to preserve what is theirs and prevent any upstart usurpers from thinking they can ply their sticky fingers. Those who follow the Sphere of Dominion are known as Peers.
- Path: Lesser Dominion – Grants benefit to any attempt to protect or maintain control of a territory, person, or situation. This Lesser Path also grants benefits to supernatural resistance pools.
- Path: Autocracy – Focused on improving one’s own presence and preventing adversaries from robbing the Sovereign of their freedom, be it by mundane or supernatural means. At lower levels, the Huldufolk’s force of personality becomes something imposing, showing them for the force of nature they are. At higher levels, their strength of will prevents even the most lethal adversaries from inflicting themselves upon the practitioner.
- Path: Demesne – Focused on maintaining one’s temporal holdings, this is the chosen path of many Huldufolk who style themselves as members of the Peerage. Within a character’s Demesne2See Additional Mechanics, Demesne, their will can be exerted as easily as breathing, and to remarkable effect. At lower levels, a character’s Demesne changes to match their desires and extend their awareness, at its greatest heights, the Path of Demesne allows a Peer to control the entry and exit of all creatures, and to decide their fate while they’re caught in the trap.
- Service – The strangest, and least understood, Sphere is unlike any of the others. Where most Spheres focus on personal achievement; empowering the practitioner so that they might pursue their own goals, this Sphere is focused on granting others the strength and affinity they need to thrive. Adherents of this path are known as Servitors.
- Path: Lesser Service – Granting no direct benefit to the user, this Lesser Path instead allows the practitioner to grant bonuses to other characters.
- Path: Alleviation – Focused primarily on removing and repairing deleterious effects against other characters, the Servitors of this path are typically focused on getting their allies back in the fight as quickly and effectively as possible. At lower levels, beneficiaries find themselves granted a second wind or protected from the extremes of the mundane world. At higher levels, the practitioner can bring an ally from death’s door to fighting fit in a matter of moments.
- Path: Augmentation – Focusing on improving the form and function of their charges, the Martyrs who follow this Path grant their own abilities and health to their allies in hopes that these beneficiaries will use them to greater effect. At lower levels, they share knowledge and affinity, granting the benefit of their experience. At higher levels, they offer up their own Belief, sacrificing their power at the altar of loyalty.
In the world of Huldufolk, mundane equipment comes in three types. Basic equipment (laptop computers, compact cars, run-of-the-mill weapons) provides no numerical benefit, but allows the user to attempt tasks for which that gear is needed. A character cannot attempt to pick a lock without some sort of valid equipment with which to do so. High-quality gear (sports cars, hunting rifles, hand-forged swords) grant a bonus of +1, and Exceptional equipment (high-performance dragsters, supercomputers, special forces-grade weapons) grants a +2. Mundane equipment cannot naturally offer a benefit higher than +2.
Magical equipment, on the other hand, can go far and away above what mere human hands can craft. Many Huldufolk carry swords crafted by mythical figures, or paint with brushes of unicorn hair, or wear leathers of the finest dragonskin. The vast majority of magical equipment (Baubles) offers a between a +1 and a +3, and has no more than two Minor effects. Particularly rare or remarkable equipment (Curios) may reach a +4, and/or have a Major effect and multiple Minor effects. The rarest and most incredible gear, the stuff of songs and legends (Artifacts), can reach a +5 and have as many as three Major effects, and a litany of Minor ones.
- Attacks with this weapon are considered supernatural in nature, and oppose a target’s supernatural threshold.
- This item is crafted from a strange or impossible material.
- This item allows the user to travel in an unusual fashion; flight, water-walking, tunneling.
- This item grants the user immunity to weather effects, or specific types of harm.
- Attacks with this weapon can cut the very thread of magical workings, ending the effects of greater and lesser paths with a swing of the blade.
- This item is intelligent, acting as a confidant and advisor (whether welcome or otherwise) to its bearer.
- This item grants incredible movement to its user, allowing them to cross miles in a single step, to pass through solid objects, or to step comfortably in the heart of a volcano.
- This item binds the owner’s soul to the world, preventing even the most powerful of Patrons from truly killing the Huldufolk.