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Essence (Magic) is the measure of a soul's connection to the body it inhabits. As you change the way your body functions, your soul has a harder and harder time identifying with your body, to the point of severing that connection.

Essence, Cyberware and Affinity[edit | edit source]

Total number of base spell slots available are essence halved and rounded down (Datajack, etc results in 5 essence not 5.5). Each point of essence lost adds +1 to a Spells cooldown, casting a spell again while it is on cooldown inflicts drain damage on the caster.

It impacts Spellcasting, Chi Casting and Conjuring. It does not have an effect on Spirit Summoning, Totems or Spirit Control (none of which are counted as spells). Cyberware has a deleterious effect on essence.

In game terms, essence acts as a hard limit on the amount of cyberware you can shove into your body. It also makes extensive use of cyberware by spellcasters detrimental, due to the fact that lower essence will directly impact their spells. One point of essence loss may be viable, depending on bonuses provided.

Hong Kong introduces Cyberware Affinity, which increases the amount of essence a character has at certain ranks. This effectively increases the amount of cyberware points available to magic users to 2-3 with minimal detriment, but a heavy Karma investment.

Tip / Example[edit | edit source]

  • If your character has a Datajack (-0.5 Essence), you can install one more 0.5 Essence cyberware without any impact on spellcasting, as there is no difference between 5.0, 5.5 or 5.7 Essence.
  • A few cyberware have zero impact on Essence.

Campaign NPCs[edit | edit source]

The following lists characters from the various games that have significantly damaged essence scores.

Dragonfall[edit | edit source]

  • Glory is mentioned to have low essence, as her obsolete cyberware severely damaged her in that aspect. This is deliberate on her part. However, should she ever choose to upgrade her cyberware, her essence hole buffer should be substantial.
  • The Cyberzombie from MKVI has -2 essence, leading Glory to exclaim that it should not be alive.

Hong Kong[edit | edit source]

  • Racter also has low essence, as his lower body was lost in an accident and replaced by cyberware.
  • Ten-Armed Ambrose will give an explanation on what essence is; he is low on it himself due to his extensive cyberware.