The Totem is one of the most important aspects of a Lunar. In many ways, it shows his personality and outlook in life. As such, this background is one of the most important traits of a Lunar Exalted. The Totem is not any animal, as well – a wolf totem Lunar is not ‘a’ wolf, or even ‘the’ wolf – he is Wolf, and he bears the very idealized spirit of that creature. He does not need to consume their blood to become one with them – to confront one, to live among them; Those and more are ways to be in communion with the Totem’s spirit.
The Lunar ties himself to Creation, to Gaia, as he develops a Totem - it is the origin of the Tell, and what helps the Lunar hold his identity together. In that way, the Totem has to be an animal that is tied to one of Gaia's Avatars - One of the animals that are native to Creation. Of course, Creation being the place it is, Giant Squids, Wolf Spiders and Horned Snow Hunters are all native animals.
Totem is bought as a background, which gives a number of points to distribute between animal traits, as Mutation Points.
Turning into the totem form is a reflexive action that costs a number of motes equal to its background cost plus one.
Turning into the Human Form costs only 1 mote.
This is not a Charm use.
When the Mutations add dice, these dice are not counted as charm dice, and stack atop any and all dice-adders.
When the Mutation add attribute dots, those attribute dots are counted as Natural for the purpose of dice-adders.
A totem may blend into the background of a location – even if seen, he will not be truly noticed. In such circumstances, the Lunar receives 2 automatic successes to all Larceny and Stealth rolls. Those act as increased difficulty to spot his Tell.
- x – Your totem is a small, harmless creature with little prowess or versatility, like a Fish, Horse or Small Dog. You must rely on your own prowess more than anything, with little help from your Totem. Build your Totem Form with no more than 2 Mutation Points
- 1 – Your Totem is a creature of moderate bulk and some fighting ability, yet small versatility. It can already aid the Lunar in many ways, like a Small Shark, Dog, Cat Viper or Gorilla. Build your Totem Form with no more than 4 Mutation Points
- 2 – Your Totem is quite a versatile creature with unique abilities, or a simple creature of great prowess, such as a Large Shark, Octopus, War Dog, Whale, or Common Bird. Build your Totem Form with no more than 6 Mutation Points
- 3 – Your Totem is a powerful creature, certainly both versatile, resourceful, and powerful, such as a Great Cat, Spider, Scorpion or Predatory Bird, and you may rely on it for many great abilities. Build your Totem Form with no more than 8 Mutation Points
- 4 – Your Totem is a creature of legend. A great predator, or a normal creature of incredible resources, such as a Tyrant Lizard, Poisonous or Giant Spider, and a Cheetah. Its abilities can be of great help even to a Celestial Exalt. Build your Totem Form with no more than 10 Mutation Points.
- 5 – Your Totem is a mighty creature born of myth. Gryphons, River Dragons and Giant Squids all fall into this category. Build your Totem Form with no more than 12 Mutation Points.
The making of a Totem is to be faithful to the Animal, and it is made with just the necessary points, even if it is one short. The base attributes and abilities in the Totem Form are the Lunar's modified by the Totem's Mutations and Charms. The Lunar may freely use any and all Charms in the Totem Form, with exception made for Sorcery and Martial Arts Forms.(Matching Animal Styles may be used at Storyteller's discretion)
Health Levels gained on the Totem Form disappear when the Lunar changes back into another shape, wether they are wounded or not. While the Lunar is on the Totem Form, they heal normally. While the Lunar is not in the Totem Form, they heal after all of the Lunar's normal Health Levels.
Shapes always cost the same - even if you already possess a certain Mutation on it, it has to be paid for once again - you are paying the cost for the whole shape.
Here are examples of animals to be a Totem or on the character's Blood Library, and the special Mutations for their making!!
Lunars may take the shape of any creature they have tasted the Heart's Blood of. There are no restrictions about its size. In that shape, they receive the natural abilities of the beast - those are Mutations applied to the Lunar's base statistics. However, any attribute bonus given by those Mutations is not counted for the purposes of the Lunar's Charms - those are not the Lunar's natural ratings. Human Forms and other humanoid ones do add mutations, but also substitute make the Lunar substitute ger Strength, Dexterity, Stamina and Appearance with the Form's.
To shapeshift is a Simple Action, costing 1 mote + the Mutation Point Cost of the creature the Lunar is turning into.
Shapeshifting does not count as a Charm Use.
Different animal forms' stats are seen in the sample animals, above. A transformed Lunar is not under the effects of a Charm, as the magic was only used to change his shape - afterwards, the Lunar simply *is* in that shape. The only hope for one to see anything unusual is to spot his Tell, or with powers that show the animal as a Lunar.
Of course, while some statistics are open, for species that are very close in gameplay terms('Small Dog', 'Fish' and 'Bird', for example) each type must be bought separately - different species of birds and small dogs elicit different reactions from others, after all, and may fit different situations, as noted below.
While wearing a form appropriate to her surroundings, the Lunar receives 2 automatic successes to all Larceny and Stealth rolls. Those act as increased difficulty to spot his Tell. This works for bestial forms as well as human ones - a green-haired individual could be easily mistaken for a Haltan, and a famous socialite can be excused suspicious behavior at a ball.
To acquire a beast's Heart's Blood, the Lunar must drink its blood, its essence, as it dies. Only one Lunar may benefit of the kill of such a beast, even if more than one takes place in a Hunt. The Lunar may take the shape of any creature, no matter its size or how deeply it has been warped by the Wyld. However, it may not be a being of pure essence, such as Spirits, Raksha, and other such beings. Only creatures of flesh and blood may be emulated this way. This does, however, include Exalted, Behemoths of all types, and stranger creatures of flesh and blood. This will emulate the body's capabilities but not essence-based powers, however; Even the body of a Dragon-Blooded yields little more than its Aspect Markings(Without the aid of Charms, at least). The Storyteller is the final arbiter of what is a Mutation - but as a rule, things like Sayla's Yasal Body would be a Mutation, and Mokrelus' power over Sorcery would not be.
This Background indicates how many beasts the Lunar has Eaten the Heart's Blood of. It works as a fixed number of Mutation Points which you may use to buy any number of animal forms, up to a certain power determined by the background's level. 0-Point Animal Forms count as 1 for purposes of the Library.
Buying Human Forms with this background works slightly differently - it costs 1 Mutation Point per attribute dot added to the Form, which starts with 2 on all attributes( Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, and Appearance ). Human Forms are made with double the cap - therefore, a Human can be made with 12 Mutation Points at level 2, and 20 at level 4. They may have Mutations, within reason. Physical Merits cost 1 Mutation point per Bonus Point cost, and Flaws diminish this value.(logically, Diminished Attributes is not a valid Flaw, although a dot can be taken from one attribute to make it 1 and re-arranged)
Exaltation is a 'Merit' that costs 4 points for Dragon-Blooded, and 3 for Celestials.
This background may seem much stronger than the Totem Background, but those Forms cannot be mantained at the 8-10 range of Anima Banner, their attribute bonuses or ratings do not count as natural for the purposes of Charms, and they do not possess the Charmset support the Totem has - they are hardly stronger, simply versatile.
- x – Your Library of Shapes includes only your Totem. Why have you never hunted any other Beast?
- 1 – You possess a handful of smaller Forms, like Horses, Dogs, Vipers, Monkeys, Fishes, a small Shark at most. You are an occasional hunter, with a small Library of Shapes to choose from. At this level, your Library comprises 20 Mutation Points of Shapes no greater than 4 Mutation Points individually, chosen from a single Direction. You also get one 6-Point Shape for free - your greatest trophy.
- 2 – You possess a great catalog of more useful Forms, the sort a hunter needs to be skilled to find. The product of more careful hunts, you have quite a palette of Forms to choose from. At this level, your Library comprises 35 Mutation Points of Shapes no greater than 6 Mutation Points individually, chosen from a single Direction. You also get one 8-point Shape for free - a creature worth of a Lunar to hunt.
- 3 – You possess a huge catalog of Shapes, taken certainly from more than one direction! Even the likes of Great Cats are contained on your prowess, showing your mark as a great hunter, one respected even among Lunars. At this level, your Library comprises 50 Mutation Points of Shapes no greater than 8 Mutation Points individually, chosen from up to two Directions. You also get one 10-point Shape for free - the mark of a great hunter. Most probably, there is a story behind that hunt.
- 4 – You have traveled far and wide, and even the Lunars of the Silver Pact regard you as a hunter few can match. You have traversed the world to hunt, and your forms include the greatest predators, and you have hunt and killed at least one powerful, unique creature, the likes of which form legend and folklore. At this level, your Library comprises 70 Mutation Points of Shapes no greater than 10 Mutation Points individually, chosen from any three directions. You also get one 16-point Shape for free - a powerful beast of nature, sorcery or chaos, an exemplar of a species, your most prized kill. At this point, you need not define more than half your Library - you are simply considered to have the creature up to the task.
- 5 – One of the most skilled hunters out of a class of shapeshifting gods, your Blood Library is so extensive, a great sample of what Creation itself is can be seen within it. You are most certainly regarded and respected for all your knowledge, and few anywhere may rival your trophies of the Hunt. At this level, your Library comprises 90 Mutation Points of Shapes no greater than 10 Mutation Points individually, chosen from all of Four Directions. You also get one 20-point Shape for free - a monster that was certainly great and unique. A creature you are certainly known and identified with after its death. At this point, you need not define more than half your Library - you are simply considered to have the creature up to the task.
The Directions need to be chosen upon purchase of the Background, of course.
Health Levels gained on those Forms disappear when the Lunar changes back into another shape, wether they are wounded or not. While the Lunar is on these Forms, they heal normally. While the Lunar is not in these Forms, they heal after all of the Lunar's normal Health Levels.
Shapes always cost the same - even if you already possess a certain Mutation included on your Totem on your Human Form - say, an Exalted Beastman that already posess Wings - it has to be paid for once again. You are paying the cost for the whole shape.
Lunars are able to craft Moonsilver almost naturally, and the No Moons create great works, and have done so for centuries. Despite the harsh life in the fringe of the world, this allows the Lunars to hoard a vast wealth of wonders. Those work as below. Lunars may also purchase Fair Folk Graces as Artifacts - each Grace is an Artifact **, giving 2 Gossamer with it, and the option to exchange one starting Charm with a Raksha Charm. Lunars may buy artifacts forged from Graces - Glamour Sorcery, Behemoths, Wyld Artifacts and Adjurations - normally. Those also count as Artifacts.
- x - You have no implements of power. Why?
- 1 - You have a total of two levels of artifacts, neither of which may exceed Level 1.
- 2 - You have a total of three levels of artifacts, none of which may exceed Level 2.
- 3 - You have a total of five levels of artifacts, none of which may exceed Level 3.
- 4 - You have a total of six levels of artifacts, none of which may exceed Level 4.
- 5 - You have a total of eight levels of artifacts, none of which may exceed level 5.