Characters and Entities

All Game materials are built with the documented Incarna Game Design elements.

Characters are representations of an individual, entity, or creature in the game. Each character being a unique representation of the powers and effects they may evince through their Actions by their capability and Essence. Generally, most mechanics are addressed though the lens of the core Character Emphasis. Character facets at the time of creation are chosen by the Player, the rest are gained through game play as awards by the GM to match the pace and flow of the story. The creation and development may be filtered through Character Paths. They are based on game time spent, encounters and experiences, and benchmarks/milestones achieved in an adventure or campaign. Players are encouraged to advocate for their characters. Character power is measured in Challenge Rankings.

Character Points

Character Points (CP) are used to build and develop characters. They are the primary form of Rewards. These can be used to gain knowledge (powers, languages, literacy), Skills, and Traits that serve to customize a character. CP are used in character development in different ways to acquire Features.

  • Pool: Current total.
  • Pledged: The amount of the Pool set aside to accomplish bindings; it cannot be used for other things without breaking the bonds. Deferred CP Costs allow Players to the time of Inception to acquire character facets (species, etc.) using Pledged CP.
  • Free: The amount of the Pool available for use.
  • Allocated: To be assigned from future gains to the Pool; Note amounts and uses.
  • Spent: It is not necessary to track all spent or how it was spent – this is player choice.

Incarna Challenge Rankings

Challenge Rankings allow GMs to roughly approximate a character’s capability in relation to others. There is no absolute means of measuring this, as intelligent, tactical, and immersive roleplaying can skew things in either direction. Assuming half of gained CP is going towards a primary capability (by limits of the Rules of Experience), the Aptitude + Feature/Skill level plotting shows these rankings.

i20™ Challenge Rankings Details



Rank 1

Rank 2

Rank 3

Rank 4

Rank 5

iCore iCore™ Challenge Rankings Details



Rank 1

Rank 2

Rank 3

Rank 4

Rank 5

Aptitude 1

Feat. 1-6
(21 CP)

Feat. 7-12

Feat. 13-18

Feat. 19-24

Feat. 25+

Aptitude 2

(15 CP)





Aptitude 3

(10 CP)





Aptitude 4

(7 CP)





Story is critical to the Incarna perspective, though it is not required as part of the basic mechanics of creating characters. Character Concept is where character stories begin – defining the basics. A concept can be pulled from literary (ex: “a powerful leader like Boudica“), historical (ex: “a heavy infantryman like a Greek Hoplite“), or any other source, or just completely made up by you. You have a vision in your head of a character, and its about making that come to life. Robust Character Stories adds a whole new dimension to character crafting. There are specific rewards to encourage you do engage in a deep dive of story at the time of character creation. Do not let strict rules dictate your crafting of characters. Backgrounds, traits, and skills should be able to be modified to support most character concepts. A good Game Master can generally work with players to tweak any basic character starting aspect to match the concept.

  • Detailed Upbringing:
  • Alternate Upbringing:
[contentblock id=charparams2]

Use the [contentblock id=playlink1]. In Incarna, level advancement is based on story, not Experience Points.

Incarna character are different from DnD characters in several ways. [contentblock id=chartools]

  • Ability: There are 7 – Sanity is added; All characters start with an 11. Use the PHB system of point buying and adjust for race, feat, level, etc.
  • Races: See the individual setting to see what race/sub-race options are available.
  • Classes: While any class is possible in the right situation/background, race, culture, gender, regional issues, and social norms of the setting all factor into what path a character is able to take. See Character Stories. Multi-classing requires that the character have a 15 minimum in the ability of their new class; other than this it is limited by story and setting.
  • Essence: All characters have Essence; Essence is a measure of the strength of your life force signal in The Pattern. It is used in several aspects.
  • Affinity and Aptitude: Affinity (starting affinity with a pillar of The Pattern) and Aptitude can be decided at the time of character creation, both require Essence.
  • Codes of Conduct: Alignment and beyond – Not that the more codes a character has, the more they can be tested, and the more Inspiration they can have.

Individual Flavor: Start with a concept – an idea of the personality and values they have and the Point of View they express in thought and action – perhaps it fits within one of the existing Alignment or a prime creed. The Incarna character process is constrained, but has a lot of options. Read through the [contentblock id=playlink1] and your setting materials (like Steel Realms) and decide what race and class you want to start with. You will be focusing your Essence and powers on that. Your race and place constrain your class and/or class path choice – there are cultural and social fabric which just does not produce certain classes or paths. Additionally, there are a great deal of upbringing and character trait options. Most players will choose and develop a character down one of the dominant 4 pillars of The Pattern – affinity and aptitude paths (divine, kinetic, occult, and psychic).

Group Flavor: For example, perhaps they desire to be the leader of a group; this is a sacrifice a player makes to use their own character’s experience to directly improve the group’s efficacy. Although they add depth and present a good role-playing challenge, behavior compulsions should only be considered by those willing to expose the party to a vulnerability.

A “Zero Level” or “Neophyte” character has only a race and a background and nothing else; they begin with the Wonderment trait. This option starts characters out younger than normal with a few CP and these small powers and extends the character development cycle by making them find their class direction as part of game-play.

When a character prepares to embark down their chosen path at 3rd level of any class, and while they are preparing to switch classes the character is said to be “seeking their path”. Any CP must go towards acquiring abilities and powers which are related to this new direction.

By Individual Settings

Character Experience:All characters are developed using CP.

Character Actions…