This page deals with dataweaver's Hephaestian concept. More details will be forthcoming; but for now, you can review a condensed version of the original topic by reading the discussion for this page.


  • Prometheus was the Titan who stole the divine fire from the Gods and gave it to mankind.
  • Pandora was the woman who let loose upon mankind all manner of evils, in retribution for what Prometheus had done.
  • Hephaestus was the god of the creative fire and of the forge, who bound Prometheus after his theft.

The core of this idea is that the Hephaestian is to the Promethean as the ghoul is to the vampire, or as the Proximus (as described in Silver Ladder) is to the mage: he is a mortal who has the fire of inspiration burning within his soul. Take that poetically or literally, as you see fit; the results are the same: the Hephaestian has a creative genius that lets him produce impossible wonders; but he also has a disturbing tendency toward obsession and insanity. He rarely ends well.

As a lesser template, the Hephaestian is entirely Merit-based: there is no power stat. His primary "power" is the ability to produce machines and concoctions that can do the impossible. He can learn Promethean Transmutations; but only with difficulty, and only for the purpose of determining what his innovations can do. His other "powers" are strictly mental in nature, such as a photographic memory or extreme perceptiveness; and the more he has, the more unstable he becomes.

Character Creation

When creating a Hephaestian, start by choosing a Catalyst. There are five Catalysts, each one corresponding an element, and by extension to a Promethean Lineage. Most are named after Paracelsus' elementals. The Catalyst defines the means by which the character's inventive genius expresses itself, and also defines the nature of the madness with which he or she must contend.

Associated with the Earth, a Gnome's creative process is built around sensation and the senses, the wisdom of the body. They're very good at inventing by trial and error, and tend to be very patient and stoic: they benefit from the 9-again rule on all Composure rolls. However, they tend to feel that the world is out to get them; they all suffer from Suspicion. Gnomes feel most at home around Golems.
Associated with Fire, a Salamander's creative process is built around the power of the will, of determination and of the focus to put thought into action. With their forceful personalities, they benefit from the 9-again rule on all Resolve rolls; but once they set their mind to a task, it is hard to dissuade them: they suffer from Fixation. Salamanders feel a connection to the driven nature of the Wretched.
Associated with Spirit, a Shadow's creative process is built around intuition and the supernatural, the unseen world. Their intuitive nature lets them apply the 9-again rule to all Wits rolls; but not every voice that they hear is real, manifesting as Vocalization. They are not unlike the Riven.
Associated with Air, a Sylph's creative process is built around emotion, passion and drive. Their innate understanding of emotions makes it easy for them to manipulate others', granting them the 9-again rule for all Manipulation rolls; but their capricious natures manifest in their Irrationality. They have a strong affinity for the Muses.
Associated with Water, an Undine's creative process is built around the intellect and reason. This grants them access to the 9-again rule for all Intelligence rolls. However, they tend to be rather self-absorbed, manifesting as Narcissism. They best understand the Nepri.

Once you have chosen a Catalyst, mark the Catalyzed Attribute and record the Catalyst's Derangement. This Derangement exists independently of the Morality track, and cannot be removed as long as the character is a Hephaestian.

The Hephaestian can also acquire Transmutations at a cost of 2 Merit dots per dot in the Transmutation. He cannot use Transmutations in the same way that Prometheans can; instead, his Transmutations represent the sorts of devices and concoctions that he knows how to make. Rules for using Transmutations will follow.

Finally, the Storyteller and player should sit down together and determine the Hephaestian's Magnum Opus, or ultimate goal. (Think in terms of Motivations from Exalted, 2nd Edition.) He should use this as a guide when determining what the mad scientist's Milestones are.

When creating a more experienced character, the Storyteller can choose to allot a pool of Inspiration as well as the usual experience points; this is because there are some things that Inspiration can purchase that experience points cannot. See below for details.


Hephaestians have access to a secondary pool of experience points, called Inspiration, that is similar to the Vitriol that Prometheans collect on their Pilgrimage. A Hephaestian obtains Inspiration in the same way that a Promethean acquires Vitriol: by completing milestones on his quest for his Magnum Opus. A Hephaestian cannot siphon Inspiration directly away from another being, but it may be possible for Prometheans to extract Inspiration from a Hephaestian as if it were Vitriol (which might actually be the case).

Inspiration may be spent on new Transmutations, as well as to enable some of the "greater works" of which Hephaestians are capable.

Acquisition or expenditure of Inspiration is accompanied by the manifestation of the Catalyst's Derangement.


The simplest way that a Hephaestian can use a Transmutation is to create a one-shot item, colloquially known as a concoction, elixir, or gadget. Make an extended Attribute + Crafts roll to prepare the item using the Hephaestian's Catalyzed Attribute, once per day; the target is the Transmutation's rating. Once this is done, the Transmutation can be activated at any time by triggering the item; this generally involves breaking or consuming the item in a manner appropriate to its nature, and can be done by anyone.

With the dedication of some Inspiration (8 points, to be exact), the Hephaestian can use the above method to create a device that can be used repeatedly or continuously.

A Hephaestian's inventions must still be fueled by Pyros if their Transmutations have a Pyros cost; as such, nearly all Hephaestians learn the Electroshock Recharge Transmutation and incorporate it into all of their inventions.