Perhaps appropriately, we come to the first word of the character statement last. In the sentence “I am a [FOUNDATION] [HEART] of the order of [ORDER] who [FORTE],” foundation represents the character’s past, their relationships, their living situation, and their general circumstances. In Invisible Sun, none of these things are inconsequential “character background” but instead are vital parts of the game.
Foundation names are adjectives such as Established, Connected, or Itinerant. Each sets forth a series of choices for the character that determine their financial situation (income and savings, if any), their home, their connections to various groups, and their bonds to specific individuals. And of course, foundations offer more story facets for players to build upon to create arcs for their characters.
The Vislae House: It is a rare vislae who does not have a house. The vislae’s house is as integral to their being as their spells or stats. Such houses are often haunted, filled with mysterious unknown rooms, bigger on the inside, or possessed of their own intelligence. This is all determined in the character creation process.
Connections and Bonds: As important as skills, connections rate a character’s relationship with important general groups, like the high society of Satyrine or its art and theater crowd, as well as more specific groups like the order of Goetica, the Handasa, or the Church of Midnight. Bonds are more nuanced, as each character has strong and not-so-strong bonds with various people (either NPCs or PCs), and these bonds can create story facets and offer benefits and drawbacks related to the strength of the bond and the status (and location) of the person the character is bonded to.
Completing Character Creation: Foundation is the finishing touch of character creation, and that’s why part of it extends into every campaign’s first session. Because through a fun subsystem, some of each character’s foundation—mainly the parts outside their control—is determined by the other players. Factors such as the vislae’s neighborhood and nearby locations, outside opinions and rumors about them, and the present effects of past relationships (good and bad, romantic and platonic) are all determined in a joint session of imagination and creativity.
Of course, character creation doesn’t ever really end. Characters continue to develop, change, and grow. One of the focal points of the Invisible Sun game is the creation of deep, meaningful story arcs for all characters, as fantastic as any book you’ve read, or any film or show you’ve watched.