This is the system that is used as a guide to role-playing the One Power in the officially sanctioned Dragonmount Portal Stone Worlds (including the Age of Legends Portal Stone World and the Dragon Reborn Portal Stone World). If you have a channeling character, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with it. It may seem complicated at first, but it is really quite simple. If you do find yourself really struggling with it, ask your Division Leader(s) for help first, followed if necessary by talking to the Incarnations in charge of your Portal Stone World.
The purpose of the system is to bring about a greater degree of order and certainty to role-playing the Power, so that everyone is clear on what they can do. It is also intended to reduce the amount of abuse, by clarifying what is not possible. A final aim is to actually improve role-playing by giving firm guidelines on how channeling characters can be developed. It’s important to note however, that the scores that are assigned to your character are not the be-all end-all of every situation! Despite a character being exceptionally strong in the Power and exceptionally skilled in their use of it, they can still be beaten in the right situation (more on this later).
Before actually going into the system, it is advisable that you read the previous article on the One Power; it is assumed that you understand everything covered there, and we will not go into great detail explaining terminology. The system is also written from the point of view of determining a fully-fledged channeler. Note that those not fully-fledged in their particular channelling org (ie, Asha’man, Wise One, Windfinder, Dreadlord, Aes Sedai) will be weaker than this, as explained below, and may not have manifested their Talent(s) (also note that not all characters will have Talents!).
There are four things to be determined with a channeling character; those are the character’s strength in the One Power, aptitudes in the five elemental Powers (which is interdependent with overall strength), their skill in the One Power, their overall Potency in the One Power (which is dependent upon a combination of skill and strength) and any Talents they may possess.
Some important changes to note if you’ve been using Dragonmount’s channelling system for a while are listed here. You might want to look at areas that specifically refer to them. Primarily, Skill is now rated out of 50 like Strength, and the two combine to produce another score, Potency (please read the section on Potency). ALL scores are now randomly assigned (with exception to some book characters, including the Forsaken and major characters including the ta’veren). These random assignments DO NOT include the split up of Strength into the Five Powers and any Talent assignments. Some Talent changes may take place, however the staff are endeavouring to keep as many of them as possible. You will be approached individually if there are any problems with your Talent(s) by an Incarnation.
Strength and the Five Powers
(You will note that throughout this document, affinities or elements are often interchangeable with references to the Five Powers.)
The Five Powers are natural affinities for each of the five elements, Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Spirit. As you may already be aware, male characters are more likely to be strong in Earth and Fire, female characters in Air and Water. All 5 Powers added together give overall strength in the Power. Overall strength is rated out of 50, with each of the Five Powers rated out of 10.
Average affinity for any given one of the Five Powers varies dependent on gender, with men having greater relative affinity for Earth and Fire, women for Air and Water, and the affinity for Spirit fairly equal between the two (relatively considering males are stronger than females to start with). Upon approval of your character biography, you will be randomly assigned your Strength score. As you should be aware, women are generally speaking weaker than men in the One Power. To account for this, the average (mean) One Power Strength score for women is set at 28. The average Strength score for men is set at 32. The random generation of statistics means that most Strength scores will be centred around the averages for each particular gender, with fewer and fewer people having scores that are further and further away from that average (thus, extremely weak and extremely strong channelers are less common than “average” channelers). Male scores range from 26-38, Females from 22-34
Once you have your Strength score, you are free to assign your character their Five Power breakdown. Your score must be split five ways, and depending on the score you want you have to spend a different number of Strength points. The tables below list the different elemental score costs for males and females. You’ll note that some level scores you simply cannot purchase and these are labelled “not available”.
|Element Score||Fire Cost||Earth Cost||Spirit Cost||Air Cost||Water Cost|
|Element Score||Fire Cost||Earth Cost||Spirit Cost||Air Cost||Water Cost|
Average distributions for males (strength 32) and females (strength 28) respectively are shown in the following table:
Here are a few more examples on creating your character elemental breakdown:
A female is randomly generated 30 Strength points and 34 Skill. She would refer to the table for females above. She wants to be unusually strong in Fire. She distributes her 30 points as shown below, and sacrifices some of her overall strength to be stronger in fire (thus, her end result is a Strength score of 26):
Air: 6 (cost 6 points)
Earth: 1 (cost 1 point)
Fire: 8 (cost 12 points)
Spirit: 5 (cost 5 points)
Water: 6 (cost 6 points)
Total Strength: 26 (30 points) + Skill: 34 = Potency: 60
A male is randomly generated 35 Strength points. He wants to be unusually strong in Air and Spirit and so distributes his 35 points as shown below, sacrificing some of his overall strength to be stronger in those elements (thus, his end result of a Strength score of 32):
Air: 7 (9 points)
Earth: 7 (7 points)
Fire: 7 (7 points)
Spirit: 8 (10 points)
Water: 2 (2 points)
Total: 32 (35 points)
So you’ve got your Strength scores like Egwene the Aes Sedai. But that doesn’t mean that you start off your first day of channelling with your full capabilities. Much like Egwene in the books, you will develop slowly into your strength. Milestones in your role-playing generally denote increases in your Power. When you first start, you have very little power, usually around one third of your total potential Strength. A promotion (for example when Egwene becomes Accepted, or Aes Sedai) or an important event in a character’s life (such as when Egwene trains as a damane for the Seanchan) will be the general reasons for increasing a character’s current Strength. The only means by which a character may ever exceed his/her assigned Strength potential is by the use of an angreal/sa’angreal or by linking (more on this later). The following tables give examples of the levels of progression for an average male and female channeler from the Black Tower and White Tower.
|Final (Asha’man/Aes Sedai)||32||28|
Role-play using these scores as a guide. Someone with an eight or nine for one of the Five Powers is going to find using it a breeze, and will be able to do more complex things with it than someone with a lower score. Someone with a one would barely be able to use the particular Power it related to at all.
Skill is as important as Strength and thus is rated, like Strength, on a scale of 1-50. The average male level of skill is 28, female 32. As with Strength, your Skill score is assigned to you when your biography is approved. Female scores range from 26-38, Males from 22-34
Most channelers start with a low Skill, however progression is fairly rapid. The following table shows Skill advances for average male/female channelers from the Black Tower/White Tower respectively.
Average levels of skill
|Final (Asha’man/Aes Sedai)||28||32|
Despite indications from Robert Jordan’;s books to the contrary, we are choosing not to factor in age/experience with Skill scores. The logistics of doing this across the Divisions (everywhere from the Aes Sedai, to Forsaken, to possibly in the future the Knitting Circle) and trying to compare it with characters who have a natural abundance of skill like Nynaeve would be a nightmare. So don’t expect your character (Ciraen), simply because she is three hundred years old, to be more skilled than Nurien the newly raised Aes Sedai. However, Ciraen has seen a lot more, and been a great deal many more places, one would expect, so she might not be surprised by an encounter with a band of trollocs, where Nurien might be. This is an example of a situation modifier (more on this later).
Due to the lack of modifiers for age/experience, a character cannot increase in Skill beyond the potential they are assigned upon the approval of their character biography.
Potency is a measure of your character’s overall potential with the One Power, taking both Strength and Skill into account. Potency is measured out of 100, and consists of the sum of your Strength and Skill scores. Potency may never exceed 100 unless via the use of an angreal/sa’angreal, or in the special circumstances of linking (more on this later). Thus, Gilinen the Aes Sedai with a Strength score of 29, and a skill score of 30 would have an overall potency of 59.
Both men and women have the same average Potency score (the average male has 60 from 28 Skill and 32 Strength, the average female has 60 from 32 Skill and 28 Strength). This accounts for their equal overall potential with the One Power, where women balance out men’s greater strength with greater skill, and vice versa. It allows some form of overall comparison between the sum of a character’s abilities against another character.
If Nurien the Aes Sedai has a Potency of 69, and Daedral the Asha’man a Potency of 75, it does not mean that Daedral beats Nurien all the time. There may be numerous other ‘situational modifiers’ to take into account. For example, Daedral may be very tired after a day of channelling, putting him closer to Nuriens level of Potency, or perhaps below it, for the duration of whatever conflict they are trying to resolve. Or alternatively, perhaps Nurien has some sand flicked in her eyes which is making it hard for her to see well, and thus she’s having trouble placing her threads of the Power, making her even easier picking for Daedral.
Several of these factors could be in play at once, and it’s up to the players to decide how they want to resolve the situation. Instead of looking at your scores and organising the role-play around them, try organising the role-play how you want it to unfold first, then use your scores as a guide for how to make that happen. A book example of this is when Nynaeve first defeats Moghedien, by striking her on the head with the a’dam bracelet intended for channelling men.
Basically, situational modifiers are the way to avoid feeling completely restricted by your scores. Don’t let them restrain you, simply use them as a guide to achieve the real goals you’re setting in your role-playing.
If you are having difficulty resolving situational modifiers for a particular role-play, try talking to your friends about it and see if they have any advice to help you out. Failing resolution at that level, move up to your Division staff, including your Division Leader. If you’re still having trouble, start considering whether or not you really want to carry out the thread in the manner you previously intended. Final action is to take the issue to the Incarnations. [delete sentence] If you’re going to bug the Incarnations over it, make sure it’s worth your trouble AND theirs before you do so, please. They are there to help, and are willing if you approach them the right way, but don’t just say ‘Johnny says he’s more powerful and I don’t think he is because I’ve got this uber-angreal of super-duper greatness that makes me WAY more kick-ass than him? right??’
Linking, or forming a circle is intended to increase the amount of strength available, when the raw potential of one channeler is not enough. Women can link up to thirteen, but any more requires a man. Men have no ability to link without a woman. In a link, one person has control of all the flows, and they are called the leader, or focus. Though not necessarily the most powerful person in the circle, they are almost always the most skilful. The role-playing effect of linking is to create effectively one channeler with greater strength. The effective Strength of the circle is not, however, as strong as the sum Strength of all the channelers involved in the circle. The equation for linked strength is as follows:
(Average Strength of the members of the circle) x (modifier)
The modifiers will be set on a base 1.5 with 0.1 added for each channeler that is added to the circle. A circle of 2 channelers would have a modifier of 1.5, a circle of 3 channelers would have a modifier of 1.6, and so on.
The Skill of a circle is that of the leader.
For example, if Nurien (Strength 29), Daedral (Strength 34) and Meritin (Strength 29) link, here is how to work out the overall strength of the circle:
Average Strength (92 ? 3 = 31)
Multiply the result by the modifier for 3 channelers (31 x 1.6 = 50).
If Meritin is leading the circle, with a skill of 33, then the overall Potency of the circle would be 50 + 33 = 88.
Large circles are one of the few situations where potency can exceed the 100 limit normally placed upon it. Here is an example:
A circle of 13 Aes Sedai with a hypothetical average Strength of 28. Using the appropriate modifier of 2.2 you would have the following result:
Average Strength (28) x modifier (2.6) = 73
If Meritin is again leading this circle, with her Skill of 33, then the overall potency would be 73 + 33 = 106
If the result comes out as a decimal (for example, 109.84657) round to the nearest whole number where possible (previous example would become 110). If the decimal is an exact half (109.5) round the result down (to 109).
Females can earn up to +3 skill points, while male can earn up to +3 strength points. These added can not surpass the max limit of skill for females, or strength for males.