To generate an Inferno character, arrange the following nine stats ordinally from 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest).
Strength, health, stamina. If you intend to allow your body to be subjected to unnecessary physical stresses during the game it is worth having a high number here: as such, Physique is at a premium for Houses such as Aries and Scorpio. Because of the aesthetic standards of the day, a high Physique automatically entails outward physical attractiveness.
Competence, manual dexterity, natural athletic ability. A high Dexter will allow you to react swiftly and decisively in situations where quick thinking and reactions are required. Scientists may find a high Dexter useful for operating their devices in tense situations and effecting emergency repairs, so Dextrous individuals are as advantaged in House Taurus as they would be in House Aries.
Skills. Craft can be subdivided into any number of abilities in which your character has spent some time training and specializing: for example, a Craft 4 character could have Fencing-2, Seduction-1, Disguise-1. Scientists and mages can spend Craft points to represent particular expertise in a branch of their field, eg. Rocketry or Alchemical Studies. Feel free to use your imagination: Craft can be used for anything that your character could conceivably have spent time working on in their career.
Concentration. Representing methodicality, Focus is the prime stat of mages due to their need for precise control over their rituals, but it is important to any character: actions performed by someone of low Focus tend to be slapdash and ill-considered. For example, a scientist with high Uptake but low Focus will produce brilliant inventions with a tendency to malfunction at the earliest opportunity, whilst a general leading his troops into battle with low Focus might fail to appreciate important strategic considerations until the last minute.
Creativity. The prime stat for scientists, Uptake represents inventiveness and the speed with which you find solutions to problems – a high Uptake allows the successful realization of several projects in one year. Again this stat is generally useful to all characters, as it entails swiftness of planning, and as such the reliability with which you can get away with multiple or convoluted actions on your turnsheets.
Willpower. Each character should Believe in something specific which summarizes their primary aims and motivations. In situations where your Belief is involved, you can spend one or more of your points to achieve special success in that situation. For example, if your overriding goal was to overthrow the Tsar of Russia, expenditure of several Belief might allow you to fight your way through his crack personal guard to engage him in close combat. Players should be wary about committing Belief in this manner, however: since the stat entails drive and unwillingness to give up the ghost, characters who land themselves in life-threatening situations may survive only through the secret deduction of one or more Belief points at the discretion of the GMs.
Manipulation, charm and the ability to appear honest. Ability to inspire Trust is one of the chief weapons in the armoury of any politician, or indeed of anyone who wishes to interact significantly with NPCs or win the loyalty and friendship of others. Those with a low Trust score may be earn the animosity of normal God-fearing folk and be hounded out of their castle retreats by armies of torch-wielding peasants.
Basic human decency, moral purity, cricketing ability. A character with a Ruth of 1 is almost totally Ruthless and diabolically inclined, whereas at the other end of the spectrum those with Ruth 9 have a near-palpable saintliness about them. Having a high Ruth does not necessarily forbid the commission of atrocities, but will entail delusional self-justification on a grand scale. Certain philosophers hold that theoretical dark forces potentially at large in the universe find it much easier to gain a foothold in the souls of the corruptible.
Personal wealth, title, political sway in the world at large. The Inferno Club's stated goal is to help its members gain such influence in European society, and those who have already shown their worth in this area are rewarded with increased voting power in their Cell. Those with Status 9 have as much power as (or may even be one of) the crowned heads of Europe, while Status 1 makes you a penniless unknown at the start of the game.
There is also a tenth stat, Sinister, which denotes rank within your own House. The member of each House with the highest Sinister acts as the spokesperson for that House in Inferno Club meetings, and Sinister characters are fully entitled to direct the actions of their House inferiors, as well as commanding the respect of those in other Houses. High levels of Sinister also mean almost total access to House resources, secrets and agendas, whereas a member of Sinister 1 is liable to be kept in the dark, sent on House errands and ordered to make the tea a lot. At the start of the game, all characters have Sinister 1: you will rise in Sinister by serving the precepts and obeying the wishes of your House.
To play in Inferno, just send GBP 10.00 to cover your setup and first three turns. Further turns are GBP 3.00 each. Please make cheques payable to Undying King Games. You will receive a copy of the rules, huge wodges of background material, and advice on how to create a character.
Like all our games, Inferno can be played by post or by email, as you find convenient.
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