Willpower is a vital statistic for every Contractor. It serves as a catch-all for various aspects of humanity which are more abstract and subjective than how strong you are or how much training you have in engineering. Willpower measures your drive to succeed, dedication to your beliefs, and overall life force.
A character with high Willpower remains strong in the face of adversity. They are better equipped to handle traumatic situations, and to push back against other strong-willed individuals. Characters with low Willpower are of course viable, but they will be at a distinct disadvantage in numerous situations, and will need to be roleplayed appropriately.
Willpower is extremely versatile, and has many important uses.
Willpower rolls are extremely common. Many Derangements require a willpower check to resist their effects, a number of supernatural abilities are based on Willpower, and it is used as a resistance against many forms of mental attack. If you botch a Willpower roll, you lose a Permanent Point in addition to all other consequences (it may be repurchased later). A variety of other effects - including Willpower contests - may cause the loss of 1 or more points of Permanent Willpower. (Some beings are capable of sacrificing their own Permanent Willpower.) Reduction of Permanent Willpower to 0 results in death.
Some beings are capable of attacking a target's Willpower with their own. Certain powers and effects may also trigger a Willpower contest. In a Willpower contest, each combatant rolls a number of dice equal to their Permanent Willpower. The Difficulty is 6 unless otherwise noted. The consequences of failure depend on the effect being used.
In an extended Willpower contest, each party rolls a number of dice equal to their Permanent Willpower. In most cases, the party with fewer successes loses 1 Temporary Willpower. This usually continues until one party's Temporary Willpower drops to 0. Depending on the power being used, there may be no further consequences, or the loser may suffer unpleasant effects such as possession or death.
In addition to serving as a dice pool for many important rolls, Willpower also functions as a sort of in-game currency that enables several functions. At the beginning of each game, you receive a pool of "temporary Willpower points" equal to your permanent Willpower rating. This points can then be spent for various effects. For instance, if I had a character with a Willpower of 7, they would get 7 points to spend each game.
You may spend Temporary Willpower in the following ways.
- To activate a Power. Each Power will specify its cost.
- To gain one automatic success on a given roll. The expenditure must be declared before dice are rolled, and only one point may be spent per turn. This cannot be done on damage rolls or Willpower rolls.
- To ignore Wound Penalties for 1 turn.
You may only spend one Temporary Willpower per turn. This means you cannot both activate a power and ignore Wound Penalties in the same turn.
Temporary Willpower Points are regained through rest (1 point per full night's sleep, no more than once per day) or through Meditation (meditate for 1 hour and roll Manipulation + Meditation at Difficulty 7; you recover 1 Temporary Willpower per success).
Your pool of temporary Willpower will also be used as a dice pool on some occasions, most commonly as a resistance against Traumas. Each character is created with three Traumas, which are events that, to them, trigger enough mental or emotional pain that they might go a little bit crazy. When one of those events occurs, the character will need to roll their temporary Willpower at difficulty 6, and if they fail, they gain a Derangement.