This is the energy the permeates the cosmos. This is both magic and divine, mortal and immortal. Well, or so they say.
In game terms this energy is magic. When a spell is cast it uses a version of this energy. The ‘Planes’ themselves are versions of this energy. Concepts of that energy really, but that’s neither here nor there.
This affects characters in the following ways:
Experience gained from killing something is also a version of this energy. You absorb a portion of the Residium that was in the creature, and that energy makes you more powerful, tougher, stronger, faster.
This energy comes in a few specific forms:
1: Characters at high enough level have enough Residium around them that it creates a force field effect. This force-field deflects blows and prevents serious damage. It’s why a level 20 fighter can jump into a pit of lava and have a nice bath. This field doesn’t prevent all damage or pressure, so the said level 20 fighter would be quite sun-burned and sore the next day.
The Residium Field
The force-field is in terms of hit-points. Not all of your hit-points form this shield.
Specifically there are the following rules:
HP up to Double your Constitution are your actual hit points. If you get this low, you will start to bleed, and be in lots of pain.
HP beyond Double your Constitution forms this energy barrier, which has a few special properties beyond normal hp loss.
1: Things that would hurt or damage you instead leave bruises and welts. It’s painful, but livable.
2: Attacks that would apply a contact agent will not affect the person until it actually deals damage to their ‘Actual Hit Points’. For example, if a high level fighter had a zombie nomming on his arm, he could actually leave it there for quite a while before it would have a chance of actually infecting him. This isn’t FoolProof though, as the crit rules are shown below.
*Note 1: Because many high level people can’t even get infected by diseases and poisons like normal, all diseases and poisons have + 3 to their dc, as the resistance to these things haven’t been as thoroughly developed evolution wise.
**Note 2: Inhaled, liquid, or other injected poisons and diseases affect the person like normal, and if the disease carrier is left on the body long enough, (like with filth fever from a sewer), it’ll eventually ‘seep’ past the energy field and harm ya anyway.
**Note 3: This does not apply to magical diseases or poisons, nor to on-hit affects that are magical in nature, such as a ghouls parylsis, or a shadows str damage attacks, as these have evolved to deplete the Residium field around a person in such a way to still be effective.
Crit Rules and the Residium Field
If a person with a field is critted, then a small portion of the damage gets through automatically to the actual hit points. The amount that gets through equals the crit multiplier, (so a 2x weapon lets 2 damage through). This is usually a visial affect more than anything, but there are some exceptions. Damage that gets through that has a disease or poison via a crit automatically apply said disease or poison.
So if that 20th level fighter who was ignoring the zombie on his arm happens to be critted by said zombie, he would immediately contract Advanced Zombie-Rot, and be in really, really bad shape. (And be one of the Bitten immediately).
How Residium is gained:
It is pretty much only gained through killing other creatures with high amounts of Residium. (Aka exp). There are some other methods, but that is the main one. This has several ramifications:
1: There is usually no exp from story or roleplay. (I’ll be taking those things into account in other ways in the background, in terms of how the world progresses. I’ll also find creative ways around this when and where I can).
2: NPC know this. Everyone who is anyone knows that the main way to gain more power is by killing. Churches are kinda a way around it, as they siphon Residium from their congregations slowly over time. (But only from heavy believers). Another way around this is mages and their Ley-Lines. They can’t convert the Ley-Lines directly into a usable exp form, but more can siphon it off of the current whenever they cast a spell at a ley-hub. This of course prevents them from moving faster and better, (as shown by most mages low hp and bab). This is still much much slower than version 1.
3: At low level’s you don’t need to do either of these things. You day to day activities work just fine. Breathing itself is even a way of absorbing this energy. (Just so small it’s not to usefull). Learning a trade or a skill also does, for working and training in and of itself seems to allow one to process more of the natural Residium in the air and in the things around them. It’s a flow of energy, and the more work done, the more you absorb it naturally. (So someone that exercises alot gets stronger naturally, but also gets a higher proportion of Residium energy that’s flowing around them.
Of course, this is by far the slowest method around of gaining energy. It can take years to gain a level, and even longer before you can express an actual Residium field.