The three virtues are binary attributes assigned to player characters. When a character is first created, the player can select which value they prefer for each virtue - the virtues represent the current attitudes of the character. As the game progresses, at the end of each encounter, the narrator may assign a new virtue to a character, replacing the value they previously had.
There are three primary uses for virtues:
  1. They provide roleplaying direction for the character - the player is encouraged (although certainly not required) to choose actions for their character that reflect their virtues. Taking repeated actions against one of their virtues will likely lead to a reassignment of that virtue by the narrator.
  2. Many actions available to characters have an additional special effect that is applied should the character have a certain virtue at the time.
  3. Machines (except for bindings) require a certain matching set of virtues to be useable by a character.

Three Virtues

There are three types of virtues; they are:
  • Motivation - This virtue represents what motivates the character, and can be demonstrated in both individual actions and broader decisions. The two possible values for motivation are: focus and passion.
    • Focus - Focus represents the character performing deeds with the intent to force an outcome; a focused character is calculating and planning, always making strategic choices even if they feel wrong in the moment, because they will lead to a better result in the end.
    • Passion - Passion represents the character performing deeds for the sake of doing them; a character who acts with passion will approach things with gusto and drive, diving head first into the action with the intent to experience the world and just as quickly move on to the next thing life has to offer.
  • Temperament - This virtue represents how the character approaches any task, and is often demonstrated only at the individual action. The two possible values for temperament are: serene and fiery.
    • Serene - Serene represents the character performing tasks in a cool and level-headed way; serene characters take as much time as they can to perform their task, there is no self-imposed rush.
    • Fiery - Fiery represents the character performing tasks in a heated and act-first-think-later way; fiery characters leap at individual actions without much thought; they are quick to pull a blade, hurl an insult, or storm off.
  • Adaptability - This virtue represents how the character handles the new and unexpected, and is often demonstrated over the course of an encounter. The two possible values for adaptability are: grace and rigid.
    • Grace - Grace represents the character handling the unknown in the best way that they can; a graceful character adapts to the situation at hand, and makes the best attempt they can to work their way through it.
    • Rigid - Rigid represent the character standing strong in the face of the unknown, refusing to yield; a rigid character always applies their hammer to every nail, even if the problem looks nothing like a nail. They may not react well to the unknown, but they will still push through.
In all three cases, it is important to note that the virtues do not represent morality. In all cases the virtues are relative to the character's demeanor itself. For example, if a character is naturally a coarse, rough-around-the-edges type, simply making an attempt to fit in at all during a state dinner might constitute grace, even if they are ultimately not very successful.

Uses for Virtues

Outside of roleplaying cues, there are two primary uses for virtues: to augment actions, and to align to machines.

Augmenting Actions

Many actions as defined either in the skills, or as unlockable talents, offer one or more augmentations when being performed. For example, the Attack action:
AttackWeapons Action • dire
Using a weapon as described in the Weapons (Goods and Services) section, make a check against a selected target. The details of both the check and the range to the target are specified by the weapon itself. If successful, the target suffers the damage specified by the weapon. Reduce the defense of the target equal to the weapon's accuracy (if any). Reduce the armor of the target equal to the weapon's pierce (if any).
Focus: You may add your Strength mastery to the roll if attacking with a melee weapon, or your Precision mastery if attacking with a ranged weapon.
Passion: Increase the damage dealt by the difference between your final check roll and the DV.
Critical: The target is injured (randomly determine the injury type).
In the above example, the base effect is modified in one of two ways depending on the character's motivation. If the character has focus, they can augment their roll with mastery from one of two other skills. If the character has passion, they can augment the damage based on how high their check roll is.

Aligning to Machines

When a character comes into possession of a machine (either by weaving it themselves, or by acquiring it in some other way), they may not be able to benefit from its effects right away. To do so, they must align to the machine - this is done by demonstrating the virtue or virtues that the machine demands. When a character is in possession of a machine, they can benefit from its effect only so long as their virtues align with the machine's - should their virtues change, the machine will stop granting its effects until their virtues are aligned again.