Resistance is a physical ability to not be affected by poisons, toxins, diseases etc, either lessening or resisting completely the effects on the body. From alcohol to drugs used in torture, resistance is a skill which is useful all over Idalos. The spy who can share a drink with someone, knowing they are resistant to the truth-telling drug in there whereas the person they are speaking to is not, for example, is using resistance. Food testers and those who work with poisons on a trial by trial basis all use resistance, as does the gambler who drinks but never loses concentration. Throughout this write up, the word "substance" refers to whatever it is which the character is resisting, even if it should be a disease or infection.
Resistance, Discipline, Meditation and Endurance: A User's Guide
These four skills overlap but are quantifiably different. Resistance is the ability to stop or lessen a substance from having an impact. Endurance is the ability to endure pain /suffering / hunger / lack of sleep / physical activity etc. Meditation is the skill required to resist or lessen effects from magic and Discipline is the ability to mentally resist temptation and / or not show inner struggles.
As an example, if a character were being tortured, the type
of torture might well determine the skill required to overcome it. Resistance would help the character to not be affected by drug torture, for example, as the drugs are less likely to impact the character. If that drug caused pain, then Endurance might help the character fight it off, but they'd still feel it. However, with Discipline, they might not cry out in pain or might not give the answer to the question they are being asked, just to make it stop. Meditation is unlikely to be a massive amount of help, unless the torture involved magic, in which case, it would be very useful.
What Can Be Resisted?:
Resistance works on substances which act to change the body in some way - from alcohol to tobacco and every drug in between, including poisons and toxins. It also works against diseases, illness and other issues which impact the immune system.
How to build up resistance?:
Usually, resistance is build by incremental exposure to the substance. If one teaspoon is sufficient to kill, then exposing oneself to a single grain might be where the character starts. This builds up relatively quickly, but the main method of building up resistance is surviving taking the substance.
Types of Resistance:
There are two types of resistance; short term
and long term
. Short term resistance is the ability to resist for a brief period before giving in to the effects of the substance(s) being resisted. Usually, a character will have to undergo short term resistance before they can hope to build up a long term or permanent resistance to a particular substance. Building up resistance takes practice and progresses the more the character is exposed to what they are resisting. Short term resistance is anything from a few trill (seconds) to a half break (half an hour) depending on the severity of the effect being resisted. Long term resistance can be from a break (hour) to permanent depending on the skill level, substance etc.
A Note on Magic & Marks
There are a number of Immortal marks and magics which might impact a character's ability to use this skill. These should be considered in the RP and, whilst usually not quantified in the mark / magic write up, it is appropriate to assume that an impact occurs. For example, a Zuuda (Famula marked) gains the ability to be an effective food tester due to their "Servants' Endurance". Palenon (Ilaren's mark) functions a number of its abilities on stages of drunkeness, so resistance might be a bad thing.
Natural vs Manufactured Substances:
Natural substances can have significant effects on the body and it should be noted that Resistance, as a skill, is needed to overcome the effects of both natural and manufactured substances. For the purposes of this skill, the potency of the substance is the major issue, while the origin should be considered to a lesser extent. The potency of the substance determines how hard it is to resist it in the first place. It is relatively easy to develop a resistance to low-potency substances, but as potency increases, so too does the difficulty in building up resistance.
Discipline, Meditation and Endurance are related to the Resistance skill and are dealt with above. Also related are:
- creation and use of poisons is a dangerous job and a parallel skill in Resistance seems to be a sensible precaution to take. The art of crafting poisons in and of itself exposes the poisoner to them in even minuscule amounts. These can build up a resistance to those poisons worked with.
~ the reality of medicine is that the character working with it will come into contact with more diseases than those who do not work in the field. Therefore, a strong Resistance skill allows the medic to remain healthy.
~ for those situations where one is torturing someone with Resistance, an understanding of it is useful. Also, a torturer with appropriate Resistance is able to employ risky poisons and toxins in their work.
~ as with poisons, the work of the chemist means that the Resistance skill is a sensible precaution against accidents.
At novice, the character is able to resist in a short-term manner only. They are learning the basics of Resistance and often are doing so via exposure. Either by slow training and voluntary exposure to small amounts of a substance, or by fighting it when exposed unintentionally. At this level, the character is building up their short-term resistance and they will successfully resist substances in the short term on a 50/50 basis.
At competent, the character is able to resist all substances they have been previously exposed to in the short term, and is building up resistance in the long term where their resistance is effective about half of the time. The character still can not fully resist anything unknown to them, as resistance to it needs to be built.
Now, the character is able to resist all substances previously exposed to both short and long term. New substances can be resisted short term much more easily and, for the first time, the character has a chance (about 50%) of resisting something the first time it is encountered.
Even substances previously unknown to the character can be resisted at this level, the character is able to resist almost all substances without concern and only the most toxic are of concern. Even these highly toxic substances can be resisted short term, but long term resistance is not guaranteed.