Since Teilhard’s Agents focuses on emotions and Jungian psychology, it only makes sense to include personas and shadows for the player-characters.
Your persona is your public face; the mask you wear so other people will see you in a positive light. In this game, you pick one emotion as your persona: Trust, Happiness, Optimism, etc.
Your shadow is the opposite of your persona. It’s how you tend to act when stressed, upset, and so on. In this game, you pick the emotion that’s the opposite of your persona emotion: Disgust, Sadness, Pessimism, etc.
The persona/shadow has two affects on the game:
- They are roleplaying hooks. If your persona/shadow is “Respect/Contempt”, then your character is a noticeably respectful person–most of the time. But when really upset, your character can be full of scorn and derision. You start the game with your persona in place, but as you gain stress, you must roll to keep your shadow under control. These rolls get harder as you gain stress, making it more likely that you will surrender to your shadow emotion.
- Since creatures in the noosphere are built on emotions, those that match your persona/shadow emotions will be strangely attracted to you. On the other side, those that are diametrically opposed to your persona/shadow will be openly hostile. It also changes any glitch into a success or failure as appropriate. If your persona/shadow is “Interest/Fear”, Flat Stalkers (based on interest) and Shakers (based on fear) will be unafraid, even curious, when meeting you in the noosphere.
What’s a glitch? More on that soon.