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Essence Chart for Terrestrial Aspect Markings

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  • Essence Chart for Terrestrial Aspect Markings

    This is all based on some minor details I picked up from various editions of the Terrestrial books, namely that Aspect Markings increase based on age and high breeding. Third Edition also says on pg. 154 of "What Fire Has Wrought" that the Anima banner makes Aspect Markings stand out more. In order to better approximate what all of this might look like, I created this chart to give people an estimate of what the average Terrestrial of a specific Aspect might look like at any given moment of their life. Note that nothing I've created here has actual gameplay effects, this is purely aesthetic, if you yourselves want to add something to this to change your gameplay experience, that's perfectly fine.

    Rules: Terrestrials are treated as having an "Effective Essence" for the purposes of their Aspect Markings equal to their Permanent Essence, plus or minus a few other factors. Terrestrials with their Anima Banners at the Glowing level or higher add +2 to their Effective Essence, as the Anima makes what features they do have stand out much more. Terrestrials with the Well-Bred Merit add +1 to their Effective Essence, and those with the Thin-Blooded Flaw subtract -1 from their Effective Essence. This means that newly exalted Terrestrials with poor breeding don't manifest any Aspect Marking outside of their Anima Banner, and mortals with excellent breeding do display slight signs of their heritage.
    Effective Essence Anima Markings
    0 No discernable differences from a typical mortal.
    1 Skin takes on slight tones, such as deeper blushes for Fire Aspects, or slightly green tones for Wood Aspects. Eyes brighten or darken based on Aspect (Brighter for Fire, Darker for Water, either/or for Air, Earth and Wood.)
    2 Small differences in hair color, such as brighter tones for Fire Aspects, Darker tones for Water or either for Air, Earth and Wood Aspects. Eyes take on colors associated with Aspects (Red for Fire, Green for Wood, etc.) Slight scents are generated. Skin temperature changes somewhat based on Aspect (Hotter for Fire, Colder for Air, etc.)
    3 Hair begins to take on colors associated with Aspect (Red for Fire, Black for Water, etc.). Eyes achieve their greatest amount of divergence, being brilliant in their Aspect. Minor supernatural phenomena occurs in the eyes, such as flashes of lightning for Air Aspects or sparks in the pupils of Fire Aspects. Skin tones shift further.
    4 Hair color achieves its full divergence, standing out from among even similarly colored hair. Skin tones shift dramatically, making the Terrestrial stand out in a crowd. Scents become noticeable from a distance. Minor supernatural phenomena occurs in the hair, such as leaves or petals for Wood Aspects, or a flowing effect with Air or Water Aspects.
    5 Skin tones reach the apex of their transformation, making it impossible for one to mistake the Terrestrial as anything else except with the use of magic. Minor supernatural phenomena occurs in the skin, such as dust falling off Earth Aspects or bark growing on Wood Aspects.
    6 Supernatural phenomena in general based on the Aspect occurs in their immediate presence, such as snow falling around an Air Aspect, or fruits growing in the presence of the Wood Aspect. Terrestrials of the same Aspect begin to feel a stirring inside themselves when near the Exalt, regardless of family lineage.
    7 Supernatural phenomena begins to strengthen and grows out to short range, creating localized storms in the presence of an Air Aspect, or minor tremors in the ground originating from the Earth Aspect. Terrestrials of the same Aspect feel a great tug within themselves in the presence of the Exalt, and even Terrestrials of other Aspects begin to feel a tie to the Exalt.
    8 Supernatural phenomena extends to medium range, generating actual weather effects with Air Aspects and changing tides significantly with Water Aspects. Terrestrials of any Aspect feel deeply connected with the Exalt at this stage.
    So, assuming a max permanent Essence of 5, a Well-Bred Terrestrial with their Anima Banner active could look quite impressive, even if the Anima Flux doesn't kick in until the bonfire level. The only Terrestrial that could presumably beat this would be the Scarlet Empress (assuming that she has a Permanent Essence of 6, and all of the above conditions) which, considering her age and level of acumen, such awe she would inspire would be quite deserved.

  • #2
    Very cool ideas. But given how little 3E talks about aspect markings, I'd be inclined to drop two off each of these levels.

    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.


    • #3
      I think it's a little less uniform in 3e too. So maybe it would be better to add a "base potency" variable that can vary even within families.


      • #4
        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
        Very cool ideas. But given how little 3E talks about aspect markings, I'd be inclined to drop two off each of these levels.
        Fair enough. I was mostly going off of Vance's comments in 2017-18 about how Aspect Markings are quite strong but not "inhuman-looking." I was trying to find a balance between having the character actually signifying their heritage and puissance, and not having them go fully into "that's just an elemental" territory. If you want to make any changes to this chart, such as reducing levels as you said or dividing up sections into individual levels, you are more than welcome to.