Your character’s [Power] statistic represents the ability that makes him or her unique from other individuals. Even two characters with the same type of [Power] statistic may not manifest it in exactly the same way. The goal of Arcana is to allow you, the player, to create and play a character that is as close as possible to your initial concept. Therefore, though there are suggestions given in this section, feel free to work with your GM to change details so that your character’s powers are closer to the ones you imagine using.
Powers are different from Aspects in Edges in that, while Aspects describe who the character is and Edges describe what he is good at doing, powers cover the ways in which he can bend the rules. Powers should thus improve the character’s overall functioning through a resource or should let the character perform unusual or unique maneuvers and attacks. Two basic [Power] statistics are presented first, namely Luck and Courage. These will give a sense of the way powers can improve functioning (Luck) or impart unique maneuvers (Courage).
These sections are followed by the more complex types of [Power] statistics, including Magic, Science, Faith and Chi. In general, most powers of this type follow a similar format. They consist of Techniques, or types of actions that a character can take using their powers, and Domains, or areas of knowledge and ability. In using a power, you combine a specific Technique (or Techniques) with a Domain (or Domains). The base difficulty of the action is determined by the Technique and is further modified by any Parameters selected by the player at the time that the power is designed and/or used. These powers can be complex and can slow down gameplay, and thus should only be attempted once players and GM are familiar with the rules.
Luck is the most basic [Power] statistic and the easiest to adjudicate. It provides an advantage for characters of all types and is useful for a wide range of settings and campaigns. However, it does require that the players (and the GM) manage an additional resource, called Luck Points.
Luck is very rarely tested on its own. Players might call upon their Luck while gambling or in other situations where pure chance is at work. GMs can rely upon Luck to give PCs a vital hint or steer them in the right direction by judiciously calling for Luck tests.
Characters with a Luck statistic begin each game session (or each story episode, as the GM feels appropriate) with a number of Luck Points equal to half their Luck score (i.e., a character with an Average (6) Luck would begin each story with 3 Luck Points). Luck Points can be spent at any time before or after a flip to allow the character to flip an additional card and add the card’s full value to their total. Luck is thus the only mechanic in the game that allows two cards to be added to a total. If a character chooses to spend a Luck Point in a situation where a flip would not normally be required (e.g., to determine damage or for Toughness), treat the flipped card as a Bonus Flip and add its bonus to the total.
Example: Jen’s character, Lady Catherine, has a Luck statistic of Fair (8). Catherine starts play with 4 Luck Points. While trying to sneak into the manor of a corrupt lord, Catherine flubs her Agility test, flipping a 2 of Wands. She has no relevant Aspects that would allow her to Cheat Fate. Jen decides to spend a Luck Point and flips an additional card – the 11 of the Major Arcana. She adds 11 and 2, or 13, to her Agility score, for a much more reasonable performance. Later on, Lady Catherine is trapped by the lord’s guards and bashed over the head in a most un-chivalrous fashion. Lady Catherine’s Toughness is 0, as she is unarmored, but Jen spends another Luck Point and makes a Bonus Flip – the Queen (13) of Coins. Consulting the Bonus Flip table, Jen adds +3 to Catherine’s Toughness, allowing her to withstand the blow.
Another fairly straightforward [Power] statistic, Courage allows a martially-oriented character to draw the attention of his foes. It allows the courageous character to attempt a maneuver, Courage vs. the opponent’s Willpower. If successful, the opponent receives an Aspect, such as “Provoked,” “Taunted,” or “Marked,” while the courageous character’s player draws a Fate Card (for placing an Aspect). The Provoked opponent is then compelled to attack the courageous character; if the opponent refuses, he or she must discard a Fate Card while the courageous character draws an extra Fate Card (due to the resisted compel).
Courage can also be used by clever players for other purposes, such as intimidating an NPC during an interrogation or inspiring bravery in followers or NPCs. Its penumbra overlaps to some extent with Willpower, however, and so GMs and players should discuss situations where Courage would be useful (e.g., fighting against fear-inducing effects) and situations where Willpower would be useful (e.g., resisting other forms of mind control).
Magic in Eureka is the magic of the Tarot, the magic of fate and possibility. In fact, some of Eureka’s foremost thaumaturgical scholars have defined magic succinctly as “the power of possibility.” With magic, all things are possible and rules need not apply. Eureka’s magic comprises three different but related approaches, all of which allow their practitioners to break the rules.