Empowered Bonds (Oaths, Pacts, and Vows)

A mundane “bond” may refer to a mere agreement or social contract. Empowered Bonds affixes the Essence of one creature to another or 2 forces, like a cosmic shadow. The bound entities tie their Essence by swearing upon some higher order Principal, power, entity, or demiurge. In making them interdependent, the bound entities’ own essence travels with that of the binder or binding object granting the requestor some enriched experience (even outside of what may normally be possible). In and of itself, a Bond does not necessarily imply any inherent understanding, perception, or capability in its presence – though most grant something of this nature in exchange. Each binding weakens the binder (reducing their Essence) so that their general attunement to The Pattern becomes weaker and they may eventually suffer Essence Crisis or Pattern Dissolution. If a bond is broken, there is always a negative reaction – it may be temporary or permanent. A simple bond broken, will likely return the Essence used to entwine them, depending on the nature of the Act of Transgression. An Empowered Bond usually is cemented by an Oath, Vow, or Pact.

Story Hook ++

This presents a good opportunity for adding Character Story elements to the Character.

Role-Play ++

This presents a good opportunity for adding Roleplaying elements to the Character.




Pacts (Compacts) is a Bond for an exchange of power, such as with a Priest or Priestess, Witch or Warlock enters. The compact is made between the requesting entity and the granting entity – they cannot be made for others. The requirements, cost, payment, and means of using or triggering the powers gained vary with each pact and may have some ongoing requirements as well. The types of pacts and their governing elements vary by the nature of the engagement for the pact, the needs & personalities of the entities involved, and the value of what may be at stake or accomplished for either party. The terms, once set, are not normally negotiable. The benefits gained are gained immediately upon the requestor meeting the requirements of the granter – such is the allure. There is no limit on the number of pacts which an entity may make (other than their Essence) – although any pact in conflict with another will be intuitively sensed by the granter.

  • The Gift: The compact is for immediate, one-time assistance. This is the least powerful and most common. It requires the requestor have some connection/knowledge (a rite, ritual, prayer, etc.) in order to ask appropriately and be heard by the granter.
  • Lesser Pact: This compact is a limited duration or path of power in which open ongoing communication between the requester and granter is required. It provides powers which are core, minor and easy for the granter to channel or grant use of by the requester.
  • Greater Pact: It provides powers which are powerful, deadly, and costly for the granter to channel or grant use of by the requester. This is a long duration pact with ongoing constant direct communication.
  • Life Pact: The requester is forever tied to the granter and the granter will always have some notion of the state of the requester no matter time or distance – though likely will use direct communication very often. It provides lesser or greater powers for the granter to channel or grant use of by the requester, though typically the cost is significantly less (though the price of the pact itself is considerable). Life pacts almost always involve the requester being marked in some way to signify the claim upon their life and essence by the granter.

    Blood Pact: As with a Life Pact, though some or all granted powers are passed on by an agreed upon bloodline with its root in the requestor. The cost of these is typically terrible and high – sacrifices of the living are required for this… “Blood for Blood”.

D20 Code/Vow Mechanics

Incarna X Code/Vow Mechanics