Essence (Attribute)

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Essence XP Cost
  Raise +0.1   5 × current rating

Essence (ESS) is a unique special attribute measuring the purity of your natural body and aura; it basically represents how ‘alive’ you are. Modifications to your body, such as implants or the consequences of drugs, reduce your Essence. A character reduced to 0 Essence is no longer living—they no longer possess an astral aura and are effectively a drone (assuming they aren’t outright dead). Essence differs from all other attributes in three key ways.

  1. All characters begin at their maximum Essence rating 6 by default.
  2. Although Essence still has an integer rating, you must track fractional modifiers.
  3. You cannot purchase higher Essence at character creation; only with XP during gameplay.

When your Essence is modified, it will usually be modified by a fraction of a rating. You must keep track of these fractional changes. When you must reference your Essence rating, however, you always round up to determine its integer value.

Buying Back Essence

You can spend XP to recover some of your Essence. This equates to your body and spirit adopting your current form as natural. Note that this isn’t necessarily something your character consciously pursues; it’s just something that happens (when you spend the XP). The cost of buying back Essence is based on your current rating—remember to round up. Also, while fractional advances are possible, you cannot exceed your normal limit of 6, even by a fractional amount.

Using Essence

The only time Essence is ever used in a dice test is when receiving assisted healing. Any time you receive healing from something other than natural healing, you must roll a test whose dice pool is calculated using Essence. If this test fails, the effects of that assisted healing fail since your body is still adjusting to the last time you received medical attention. Thus, if you want better chances of benefitting from First Aid, Medicine, and healing items, a higher Essence rating is important.

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Essence (Attribute)

Nymsilet Shadowrunners TheWaylander