Planes of Power
At the core of any Planescape character is a belief that inspires them to act, to go forth in the world and live their philosophy against all challenges. It’s OK if this starts out kind of vague and high-level, as play will refine it further, but you should start out with an idea of why your character goes out to adventure in the world, and it should be in terms of what your character believes. Why should you?
Well… Belief has power in the planes. As an option (an option I strongly encourage), you may let me know what your PC believes in strongly. (I strongly recommend doing this.) Conflicting beliefs are allowed. In fact, they can make the game quite interesting. When writing your back story, try to define three to four strongly held convictions that your PC holds dear. These beliefs should have a degree of specificity. For example, “I believe in justice” does not really work. On the other hand, “I believe in justice through fair and equitable means” or “I believe justice should be swift and completely unforgiving” are fantastic. Of course, some beliefs are easier than others; believing that “my success is more important than another’s success” is certainly easier than believing “my chief duty is to meet the needs of my comrades-in-arms.” More difficult beliefs are more likely to receive rewards than less difficult beliefs.
When you role-play your beliefs well and especially when you do so to your PCs detriment, you may be awarded a Belief Point. Please bear in mind, we are talking about actions not words here; more to the point, we are talking about actions motivated by your convictions as opposed to actions you would take without the conviction. (For the purpose of this discussion, refusing to take an action is sometimes an action.) Belief Points are rare and powerful tools at your disposal.
It probably goes without saying that Factions have beliefs, and as such, they are valid sources for what you Believe.
As an inducement… if you write a back story which defines your beliefs, you will start the game with a Belief point.
So, what are Belief points good for?
That’s definitely a legit question. Here is a list of sample uses:
- You can spend 1 to give yourself a little bit of luck, as per the Lucky feat. Unlike Inspiration, you can spend Belief AFTER a roll.
- You can spend 2 to not be surprised.
- You can spend 2 to give yourself 15 extra feet of movement.
- You can spend 3 to double your movement.
- You can spend 3 to give yourself a bonus action.
- You can spend 4 to change a D20 result to a 20.
- You can spend 5 to give yourself an extra action. You can cast a spell with this action even if you have already cast a spell as an action or bonus action.
You can see that some of the things you can do here are pretty damn amazing. As I said, Belief has power.
Finally, earning a belief point is not easy. Do not expect to get 1 per level or anything that silly. They are few and far between as they are much harder to earn than Inspiration. They represent the fundamental, underlying truth of the Planes: if a body believes a thing hard enough, that cutter can change reality itself.