Essence is life energy from the spark(s) of creation itself. It is inherent in living things, and grows in that which is imbued with sentience – the heart of what defines a discrete “thing” in The Pattern. The depth of character and will are part of an awareness that allows Bonds to form, and Weaves which allows power and awareness to be shared and connected over physical distance.

D20 Essence Rules

  • Starting Essence: (Sanity * 2) + Charisma modifier (Some higher order species add their [challenge rating] to this.)
  • Gaining Essence: Permanent Sanity & Charisma increases.
  • Losing Essence: Permanent Sanity & Charisma decrease.
    • Attunement: All items requiring Attunement take 1 Essence to bond with, to a maximum or reaching zero Essence.
    • Cleric: 1 Essence is required at first level for the bond to the deity.
    • Warlock: 1 Essence required for the bond to the patron.

Incarna Core Essence Rules

  • Starting Essence:
  • Gaining Essence:
  • Losing Essence:

It is from Essence that all aspects of Presence, Aptitude, and Spark.

Each race may have an essence maximum they can spend at start, have dictated some of their initial essence uses, or an essence adjustment.

(Anima) = artificial will? Spontaneous will? But limited – tied to a particular space-time niche in The Pattern and has no true freedom to move about relative to its source. Its is the result of a touching of essence, a mingling of presences or sometimes it is spontaneously driven by the need for the inanimate to have expression, or those that see power in it to draw that expression forth. Anima is an expression of itself for an explicit purpose, and so is not limited to the expression of Essence. It can take any property (trait) thrugh expression (point buy for traits).

Anima can form Essence?

(such as Meditation)

. Essence has multiple forms – most creatures have a material Essence that binds them firmly to physical reality, but others have Ghostly Presence, Phantasmal Presence or even tied deeply to the void as a Body Beyond and/or a Mind Beyond.

Using Essence

  • Aptitude and Affinity Greater starting ability and easier multi-classing
  • Boosted Ability: [1 Essence] One of a starting characters abilities below a 7 is raised to 11 (after all other adjustments are applied). This can be used once, and only at the time of character creation.
  • Primal Vitality: [2 Essence] Full HD +1 at 1st level, +1 if average taken for a HD, and a +1 on all death saves for going to negative HP
  • Strong Magic: Each time a character achieves a 4th level (4,8,12,etc.) they may spend [1 Essence] to increase the strength of their magic; spell saves and attack bonus increase by 1.

Ups and Downs

  • Gaining:
    • 4th/8th/12th/16th, etc. level of any class: +1
    • Visited more than 4 Planes of Existence: +1
      (“Pocket” planes of spells do not count)
    • Highest Bonus of INT or WIS: Equal to the Bonus
      (Penalties in one offset the bonus from the other)
  • Losing:
    • Bonding to Objects: Various


Essence Corruption

A character’s essence can be corrupted, inflicted with disease, made toxic, and their very nature (alignment, codes of conduct, etc.) be changed.

Essence Taint

A target Essence is has its nature twisted by outside forces. It becomes “tainted” – and their aura will begin to read in ways in which the possessor cannot control – good shows as evil, evil as good, creature type, alive as dead, etc.

Mystic Transference can use Essence to transfer spell ability to non-living constructs.