Core Values describe what your character believes in and strives toward. They are the basis of your motivation.
Core Values (CVs) are most often abstract concepts and causes, such as love, freedom, order, charity, and so forth. More rarely, they can be a person or a place. They are guidelines not only for you as a player, but for your character as well: most characters recognize their own Core Values and will be able to eloquently (or at least stubbornly) defend them.
Each Core Value is rated from 1-5, based on the depth of your character’s convictions:
- I am not completely convinced.
- I will argue for this belief.
- I will take action for this belief.
- I will suffer for this belief.
- I am obsessed. I will die for this belief.
Your character will have four Core Values at the start of the game. One will be the Self-Preservation CV that all characters start with (see below). Two will be inherited from your Civilization. One is a free choice you make when creating the character. (You can use this to qualify for a Society if you wish.) In addition, you will have a fifth CV that is initially left blank and can be set at any later time.
When choosing a Core Value you can select literally any suitable concept or cause. These are normally encapsulated in a single word or short phrase. You may select whatever rating you like for your Core Values. High scores are as much a handicap as an advantage.
All characters receive a CV entitled “Self- Preservation” at 4 for free. You may alter the value or name of this CV with GM approval; the general gist of this CV is that you care about your own survival.
- CVs factor into your effectiveness in conflicts. Use only the highest applicable CV.
- When people try to convince you to take a particular action that aligns well with one of your Core Values and you attempt to resist, add your own CV score to your opponent’s Profession rating.
- With a CV of 3 or higher, you may spend a point of Reserve to escalate (or de-escalate) conflicts in which your character is involved, forcing both sides to suffer a Complication one level more (or less) severe than would normally be indicated. You can only do this once per conflict, and your CV must be involved.
- At CV 3 or higher you also receive an extra Twist for Complications that are related to your Core Values.
- You must maintain your Civilization CVs at 1 or higher or lose the benefits of membership.
- If you are part of a Society, your Society CV must be maintained at 3 or higher, or you will lose both the benefits and, eventually, the membership.
Next, select your Themes.