This post is the systems counterpart of our blurb on the Dark Hour, found here.
Reaching the Dark Hour
Conventionally, you don’t reach the Dark Hour: the Dark Hour finds you. Deciding to stay awake until midnight will automatically throw Cards and their like into the Dark Hour. If you wish to access the Dark Hour beyond that, however, you need to access a Dehali or Clave.
Things to Remember
The Dark Hour is (mostly) a “direct” reflection of the world as we know it, only twisted up in unimaginable ways. As such, landmarks, thoroughfares and the like, unless stated otherwise, generally remain the same. The Merit Direction Sense, however, does not work while characters are moving around during the Dark Hour.
Unless they’ve got an ability or merit that allows them to evade the shadow world, Cards automatically enter the Dark Hour whether they like it or not. Unless they’re really out looking for trouble, it’s probably best to find a nice place to camp out and wait for everything to blow over.
By entering the Dark Hour, the Card ends up on the same physical plane as his Persona. This means that the pair are now capable of physically interacting with each other, for so long as the Dark Hour is up.
Players are required to make regular Wits + Composure rolls (TN 3 or higher) in order to prevent degeneration. Cards are required to make regular Willpower rolls versus Apathy. In as much as your character is a Card, he or she is still very much human, with human limitations. The immense weight of all the accumulated knowledge and emotion within the Dark Hour can break even the best of minds with enough time.
The Storyteller will be responsible for telling players when the Dark Hour ends. Our time isn’t the Dark Hour’s time, after all.
Accessing the Shadow Worlds: Dehali and Claves
There are points where the Borderlines holding the Dark Hour away from our world are weak… the slightest push on these points can rip open a gate that leads straight into the Dark Hour. Persona users have come to call these access points Dehali, or Claves – the difference is aesthetic. Dehali refer to weak points that come in the form of some sort of door or door-like apparatuses; Claves refer to weak points that come in the form of inanimate objects.
With the applicable ability or merit, Persona users can either create Dehali or a Clave; in the same light, they can also seal a Dehali or Clave permanently. Of course, doing either action comes with its own price.
NEVER FORGET: SEALING/UNLOCKING DEHALI AND CLAVES
Sealing or unlocking a Dehali or Clave temporarily puts the Card’s mind in flux, making her more susceptible to degeneration. As such, players gain a -1 modifier to all rolls versus degeneration and to all Composure-based rolls until the next day or evening.
Newly unlocked Dehali or Clave exert a special pull on the fabric of reality, drawing unknowing denizens into the Dark Hour. It takes a new access point at least a week to stabilize – until the end of its chaotic period, it’s a supernatural accident waiting to happen.
Personae rarely approve of the creation of new access points, but they’re not particularly happy about sealing already existing Dehali and Claves. A player may put her character’s Synergy rate at risk by opting to seal or unlock an access point.
The creation of a new access point has moral ramifications due to their nature. If conditions apply, a player may be asked to roll for their Morality and therefore risk degeneration. Of course, the higher the Morality, the more likely they will have to roll.
Separate pages have been devoted to describing the encounters your characters will have in the Dark Hour, and on special locations within the Hour.