Release Level is a measure of the character’s current strength. It can fluctuate wildly in a scene.
How to Calculate
Within their own domain a character’s release level equals the domain’s level.
Outside of their domain, Release Level starts at zero and is increased in a scene by spending essence and accumulating aura. Add malevolence (essence spent) to current aura and compare against standard thresholds). Maximum release level achievable this way equals domain level.
What it does
A character can spend as many points of essence per turn as its current release level.
A character can activate or use powers of a dot up to (and including) their current release level.
The rolls for some powers allow the character to add current release level (up to the character’s dots in that power) to dice pool for uses of the power.
Ongoing effects from powers are sustained by release level. The effects falter if release level drops below the dot of the power used to produced them, but take effect again if release level rises to the dot level or higher before the effects’ durations expire.
Each time a character goes up a release level it can gain a temporary attribute dot (see Enhance).
The higher a character’s release level the easier it (usually) is to sense them supernaturally. The act of releasing creates a supernatural impact that those with occult senses may detect.
Effect of dropping Release Levels
Spending aura, or reducing malevolence can lower the character’s release level. All powers and transformations of a dot higher than the character’s new release level are lost or reduced to the new dot’s value, (this includes temporary attribute dots gained from Enhance.
If the character raises their release level again the lost powers and transformations do not automatically come back. The character must activate them again and may choose different variants if available.
Note that on dying a character’s malevolence is wiped and their release level drops to zero, canceling all active powers and transformations.