During the game players can improve their characters and their town.
Players advance their characters by completing an attribute tracker (for actions) or filling their defiance clock (for special abilities).
Players earn XP by persisting through conditions, embracing their flaws, and playing to their XP triggers.
Players earn XP two ways during session. If a PC has a condition and makes an action roll with an affected action, they mark xp in that attribute. By persisting through their compromised state, they push their limits and learn from it.
If a PC rolls less than a full success when using a special ability, they can choose to narrate a consequence based on one of their flaws. If they do, they fill in a segment on their defiance clock. When they fill that clock, they earn a new soul advancement.
End of Session
At the end of each session, players should review their list of xp triggers. It they met the criteria once, they gain 1 xp; if they did it more than once, they gain 2 xp.
End of session XP can be put into any attribute track or added to the PC’s defiance clock.
When a player fills an attribute tracker, they can add a new action dot in any of that attribute’s actions. By default, a PC can only get 3 dots per action. The group can get a town improvement which allows them to raise actions to 4 dots.
When a player fills their defiance clock, they can choose one of three advancement options.
The team can improve their town in three main ways. All of them rely on their relationships with the community.
Each town Contact has a special ability related to their town role. The players can see these abilities from the beginning, so they can focus on gaining bonds based on the abilities they want. During the town phase, the group has a chance to make a contact roll to discover a Contact’s trait. If they discover a Contact’s second trait, they permanently gain access to that person’s special ability. Unlike player special abilities, Contact special abilities always work and don’t require a roll to use.
See the Contacts chapter for more details about making contact rolls.
Each town can be improved in three domains. These domains depend on the town the group plays. The Hollowed Industry, for example, can improve its kinship, opportunity, and health domains. Each domain includes four improvements, each with a bigger benefit than the one before.
Town improvements are built during the community stage of the town phase. When the town completes the progress clock connected to an improvement, the team gains permanent access to that benefit. Each improvement in a domain has a longer progress clock than the one before it. Getting a local doctor is easier for the town (the first health improvement) than establishing a research hospital (the third health improvement).
Town improvements require a coalition of Contacts and cohorts. Any Contact with 3 bonds and any cohort can join the coalition. Each one that joins add a dice to the player’s dice pool, increasing their chances of making progress on a town improvement. See the Town chapter for details on building these improvements.
In special circumstances, the players can add a new cohort to the town. This is a small group with a common interest or profession. They are almost like a zero-tier faction: not quite a faction, more than a single Contact.
When the group creates a cohort, they name a fire that unites them and a shadow they fear. A cohort has two primary uses. First, they can always join a coalition. This means the group doesn’t need to use as many Contacts for coalition rolls.
Second, a cohort can become a faction. They PCs will need to help them gain a faction trait to become a faction. Once the cohort becomes a faction, they will set faction goals like any other faction. The PCs don’t have control over the cohort’s faction goals (the GM will set them), but they will still be willing to join coalition rolls. When a cohort-faction joins a coalition, they add 2d6 to the dice pool instead of the usual 1d6.
Every town type includes the kinship domain, and the final improvement will always create a town faction. The town will begin as a tier-I faction. The players will set the town’s faction goals according to the same guidelines the GM uses for factions. If they gain a faction trait, they will increase the town’s tier like any other faction.
The players can advance the town’s faction goal in two ways: a venture can fill one segment on the faction clock; and a coalition roll can fill segments as if they are working on a town improvement.
Uniting the town into a faction is the only way the PCs can directly take down other factions. But that comes with a risk: higher tier factions may target the town like they would any other faction. If the town faction is reduced to zero-tier, the group can rebuild it by filling the final kinship improvement clock again.
Realistically, the GM should not focus every faction goal on undercutting the players’ town faction. Goals should progress as initially set and in line with the rules listed in the Contacts & Factions chapter. Until the town reaches tier-II or tier-III, most of the factions have more dangerous enemies to disable.
Your group can decide to end a campaign whenever their want. There may be times it feels like the story has come to a natural conclusion. There are two conditions that will force the end of a campaign.