The Seven Secrets of Vislae
1. They have secret languages.
2. They have secret currencies.
3. They have secret souls with secret names.
4. They have secret other selves called modalities.
5. They have secret rooms in their houses that cannot exist.
6. They have secret ways out of death.
7. They have many more than seven secrets.
Player characters are all called vislae, which simply means “children of Visla.” Visla is the warden of the Invisible Sun, and thus an important figure in all studies and schools of magic. Everything in the Invisible Sun game revolves around the characters and their story arcs, so characters are intricate and complex, just like real people. Developing a character’s background, home, connections, rivals, and so on—all of which are called a character’s foundation—is such an important part of the game that the first session is always a group experience where all such information is created. In other words, a player creates their character, but the group helps create the context around that character in a formal (and fun) process that begins a campaign.
Once character creation is complete, each vislae can be described in a sentence: I am a blank blank of the order of blank, who blanks. Character creation involves filling in those blanks, which are called foundation, heart, order, and forte. So a character is a [FOUNDATION] [HEART] of the order of [ORDER] who [FORTE]. The game provides stylish blank versions of the four-page character tome a player uses to record all their information.
When creating a character, a player makes many choices, but none is more important than their order. An order is an organization that they belong to, and can advance within, which determines the way they express their magical talents. There are four (no, five) orders: Vances, Makers, Weavers, and Goetics. There are also Apostates, who eschew the orders. The different orders approach the use of magic in entirely different ways—each has their own “system” of magic. The character tomes are individualized based on order, so there is a different version tailored to each.
When referring to their order, Vances say, “Order of the Vance.” Weavers and Makers just say “Order of Weavers” and “Order of Makers.” Goetics sometimes say “Order of Goetics” and other times use the more formal “Order of Goetica.” Apostate character tomes have the words “of the order of” crossed off dramatically and messily and just say “an Apostate.” Collectively, all vislae are sometimes referred to as the Invisible Church, again showing their connection to the Invisible Sun and its patron/warden, Visla.
Players determine the paths of their own advancement. As they become more experienced, they can move up in degree in their order (gaining new knowledge as well as new authority), or they can advance by choosing new skills, spells, and secrets and never bother with degrees at all. Regardless, advancement is as much based on roleplaying actions and interactions as it is a strict function of game mechanics. This is a game for players who really love to devote time and attention to getting their character just right.