Echo: Overview Glossary System Fiction

Echo is a Chronicles of Darkness major template. You are created as an echo with an Effigy. Echos find meaning to not simply fade away by becoming an Incarna. An Echo does not join an Incarna; they fall into one by their actions and mindset. It is their way of dealing with the grief of losing their lives and fate.

This is an quick summary and reference. The book at game covers all these aspects and more in greater detail.


A character’s effigy is how their echoes came to being. The five effigies are the Colorbound, Flametouched, Metalforged, Mirrorstained, and Waterworn.

Effigy is more archetype than personality. While the Shades of the various effigies may influence behavior, any person could be manifested into any effigy. There’s something to be said for playing into stereotypes, but challenging established norms can be very fulfilling.

Your choice of effigy determines the Shades with which your character has an affinity. As well, every effigy has a Gleam, an advantage that comes from their manifestation, and a Gloom, the weakness inherent to the soul that became the Echo.

  • Colorbound: Echoes that are tied to glossy, colorful surfaces. They are artistic, expressive and flighty, seldom committing to any one thing.
  • Flametouched: The effigy of echos born of flame glazed items and minerals. Connected to ceramic, coal, and gemstones, they are at turns wild or subtle, able to stoke many forms of energy but brittle.
  • Metalforged: The effigy of echoes created in the reflection of shiny metal. Strong and durable, they are powerful but inflexible and sometimes difficult to work with.
  • Mirrorstained: The effigy of echoes created in glass and mirrors. At turns bound to the truth or powerful and subtle deception, the mirrorstained are connected to memories, real and constructed.
  • Waterworn: The effigy of echoes birthed in water and reflective fluids. both meditative and quick, they are fluid and aware. They have difficulty holding their form when standing on fast draining soil or gravel.


Incarna are groups of echoes with a common philosophy about how to handle existence as an echo. They renew themselves with their actions. While not all echoes are in Incarnated, the Unincarnated have a much more difficult time simply existing and taking action.

  • Cult of Apicius: Hedonists who live to satisfy their carnal desires through food, drugs, and sex.
  • Golden Hammers: Deliver justice through pain, thriving on the anger they have at the real world.
  • Prism Dancers: Desire to live as a human once more, developing the illusion that they are normal until they achieve normalcy.
  • Puppeteers: Control freaks, growing their influence over power structures in the real world.
  • Whisper Thieves: Collectors of secrets, observers of the human world, they are either saviors or punishers for the humans that they watch.
  • Unincarnated: Those without direction of purposes, requiring them to beg, borrow or steal Lux. Most fall to ruin quickly if they do not Incarnate or find a niche in the Inverse that allows them to obtain Lux on a regular basis.


Shades allow an Echo to adjust an image in such a way that the world changes. Unlike most supernatural powers in other Chronicles of Darkness, Shades are merely effects, and the Echo’s Albedo power stat determines upon who and how extensive the effect is. As an Echo becomes more powerful, so do their Shades.

  • Chisel - Alter and change objects.
  • Flash - Displacement without movement.
  • Kindle - Create and increase or decrease energy.
  • Lens - Change the size of creatures.
  • Luster - Make people or objects attractive.
  • Meniscus - Alter and displace energy.
  • Phantasm - Create images, illusions and real objects.
  • Physicker - Heal and hurt by adjusting the image of the body.
  • Shatter - Use the physical aspects of the Inverse in combat.
  • Speculora - Use surfaces to scry and travel.
  • Volition - Read and change dreams and fate.