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Here, we're going to talk about the various kinds of tokens in Journey, as well as the token pools they inhabit.
April 13, 2013: Yeah... no. Just no. Generic stuff here regarding tokens and such is accurate enough, but holy hell, this page is massively inaccurate these days. We'll revisit later.
Tokens' are a generic resource Journey characters use to fuel their abilities, which occupy token pools. Every token pool has a specific token type, which informs the pool of its parameters: how many tokens it can hold, how and when those tokens replenish, and any special rules regarding the tokens that reside in it.
While the concept of the token is generic across the system, its specific instances are not generic in the least. Tokens represent a wide variety of things, including a character's general level of health, ability to function, how much magical energy they can summon, what martial talents they can bring to bear in a fight, the strength and conviction they can put into an argument, and the items they can mend and craft, among other things.
All creatures in Journey have access to at least two kinds of token, the health token and the energy token, and have the capacity to suffer another type, the wound token (along with its more dire version, the trauma token). In addition, creatures that have access to Specials - of any kind - have access to at least one other kind of token, depending on the types of specials they have available and their method of attaining those specials.
As a player, you should always know what token pools your character has access to, how many tokens are currently in each pool, and when and how those tokens replenish (or go away, in the case of detrimental tokens).
Tokens vs. Points
You may be asking, "if tokens are everywhere, why use the term experience points?"
In Journey, tokens are an expendable resource, occupying pools with a fluctuating number of tokens. Points, however, are only gained or lost, never spent.
Token Pool Types
Token pools come in three general varieties.
- Expenditure token pools usually begin at their maximum token capacity, and often refill via rest, studying or practicing something relevant to the token pool, or in some other manner that usually takes an extensive amount of time. An expenditure pool may refill slowly over time, depending on the kind of token that inhabits it.
- Acquisition token pools usually begin empty, and fill via performing some task - such as using a Special - that requires a minimal amount of time. Acquisition token pools often empty rapidly if their inhabiting tokens are not used, though the precise rate of token loss is determined by the token type that inhabits it.
Faith Tokens - Force: Divine (Philosophy)
- People of faith, given proper training and knowledge of the proper words, are capable of using their faith to alter the world; these effects they are capable of are known simply as prayers, and it is understood that one wielding the power of prayer is acting as a conduit for raw divine power. Such divinity is not easily channeled, however: there is only so much divine strain that an individual can suffer before they can no longer channel power of such magnitude.
- As such, the faith tokens in the faith token pool are never spent - instead, they function as a limit to how much divine power a person can wield. Whenever a prayer is invoked, its faith token threshold is compared to the supplicant's current faith tokens: if the threshold is lower or equal to the number of tokens in the pool, the prayer is successful; if it is higher, the prayer fails to produce any effect at all. In addition, channeling the same effect over and over is difficult - each time a prayer is invoked, its threshold increases by a certain amount, which is different for each prayer.
- The number of faith tokens in a faith token pool can be manipulated, though doing so is greatly difficult. Standing in a sanctified building can bulwark a supplicant's faith, while certain magical or even divine effects can cause a creature to lose its faith. While mental effects can impact a person's faith, they do not necessarily impact their faith token pool - as zealous as you may be, there are still limits to the amount of divine power you can call upon.
- Time spent in prayer to the supplicant's patron can restore the supplicant's ability to call upon divine power; however, this is a time-consuming process, and is often only possible under certain conditions, unique to each patron (for instance, a sun god may require prayer-granting supplication during the noon hour).
- In order to have a faith token pool, you must have the Talent: Priest. If you possess faith tokens, you can begin studying prayers.
Mana Tokens - Force: Magic (Reality)
- The whole of creation is suffused with a strange powersource known as "mana." This source of energy allows those who tap into it to shape it into reality-altering power: mana is a bridge between the physical and noumenal worlds. With it, one can reshape the world. One who is trained in the ways of mana grows to understand this strange substance, harnessing it and using it to perform deeds unfathomable.
- Mana tokens, then, represent how much of this substance a mage can "carry" in their mind at any one time. Conceiving of and holding onto mana is a difficult task, and while a mind attuned to it gradually recovers what was expended over time, it can also be rapidly recovered - though this is dangerous to the mage. These mana tokens are held in a mana token pool, which is a hard limit on how much mana the mage can work with: the ability to withhold such a conceptually-difficult substance.
- Each time the mage wishes to cast a spell, some of this mana must be expended. Fortunately, most mages learn of a method by which they can prime mana, allowing them to reliably produce the same effect again and again; some mages even learn how to modify some of these set formulae, expanding their repertoire of spells to encompass effects of which no apprentice could dream.
- Once a mage's mana token pool is exhausted, they are incapable of casting further spells - their supply of mana has been depleted, and one cannot work with what is not there.
- In order to have a mana token pool, you must have the Talent: Mage. If you possess mana tokens, you can begin studying spells.
Memory Tokens - Force: Blue (Remembrance)
- As creatures live and die, they generate memories - snapshots of a time and place, pieces of knowledge, or ribbons of thought. For the majority, these memories are personal entities, accessible only to those who hold them, and are lost with death. For the trained akashic, they know that this notion is false: memories, once created, are permanent, and those with the knowledge can tap inot them.
- The way of the akashic is a relatively simple one: through an understanding of the world and the people it contains, the akashic gains the ability to tap into the collective world memory. This is a dangerous thing to attempt, however: it is incredibly easy to lose oneself in the memories of others, and the sheer amount of information available is absolutely staggering. Only one who has been trained in the ways of the akashic can ever hope to find what they are looking for and retrieve it without losing their mind to the past.
- Memory tokens represent how much memory the akashic has retrieved from the world memory; these tokens are collected in the memory token pool. An akashic's memory token pool begins empty, and fills as he retrieves information; when the pool is full, the akashic can no longer retrieve memories. The mind was not meant to hold that much information - in order to learn something new, he must forget something.
- The memories gained from the past are fleeting, and easily lost if conscious control over them is not kept. An akashic's memory token pool empties whenever he sleeps for an extended period. While some memories can be retained, this is stressful and not easily accomplished.
- In order to have a memory token pool, you must have the Talent: Akashic. If you possess memory tokens, you can begin studying memes.
...the journey of a thousand miles...
...begins beneath your feet...