Motes

There are a few different uses of the word mote throughout the Crux rules:

  1. A point: "He has 3 motes in Red".
  2. A measurable amount of Quiddity: "You learn that the motes of Quiddity in the stream are being diverted somehow."
  3. The colored tokens which represent Quiddity as the random mechanic used by Crux instead of dice.

Quiddity is usually described in terms of glowing colored spheres, so the tokens of choice (among my players, anyway) are transparent glass stones. These glass stones are often used as game pieces, counters, and also in stained glass projects. You can find them in hobby shops, and on the Net (search for glass nuggets or gems), but they can unfortunately be a bit pricey, and sometimes hard to find in all the needed colors. Marbles would work too, but they can also be hard to find in the right colors.

You'll need eight different colors: the seven main colors, as well as some other pattern or color that contrasts with all the others. An iridescent pattern works well, and so do swirls, but simple white or black is usually the easiest. You'll only need one of this last color, the Fate color, per caern.

Some other things you can use for tokens:

  • Clay: Colored plastic clays that are hardened at very low temperatures in the oven can be formed into excellent colored nuggets. Sculpey and Fimo are the easiest to get, and can be found in almost any hobby shop. This is another easy way to create motes, and some people prefer them over the glass nuggets.
  • Cards: You can use regular playing cards, simply marking the cards with the appropriate colors using magic markers. Or you can design your own. You could even have them laminated or insert them into card protectors. These are the least recommended, as they have to be shuffled after every draw. In tense, Draw-heavy situations, it can slow the game down, and you may decide to forego the shuffling until absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, there are some pre-made cards you can use in the Rest. All you need to do is print them onto cardstock and cut them out. You could also insert them into CCG card protectors. This may be the easiest way to go when you start playing Crux.
  • Dice: Simply use dice of the appropriate colors (shape may or may not be an issue). You can create useful motes out of blank dice and nail polish or stickers. You could also establish a chart to equate rolls with colors, and a couple of options for using dice rolls are provided in the Rest.
  • Seeds: Some trees have nicely sized seeds, perfect for motes. We have monkey-pod trees near where I live, and they scatter thumb-tip sized seeds all over the place. Carve in a letter with a dremel tool, or paint on some color, and voilà - your very own motes, all for free!
  • Wooden shapes: Most hobby shops have a section for wooden cutouts, often used in making dollhouse furniture and other kitsch. For about $5, you can get plenty (hundreds, if you look hard) of wooden nickels, which are then easily colored with markers, painted, or dyed. The problem is that they tend to stack, making mixing before a draw a little difficult.
  • Sticks: Popsicle sticks with one end colored would make excellent motes. Just keep them in a cup or bag so that the colors aren't easily seen. This is another cheap and easy method – plus you get to eat all the popsicles first. You could grab a bunch of wooden coffee stirrers from some ubiquitous coffee shop too.
  • Buttons: There are lots and lots of styles and varieties of buttons, and they usually come in a full spectrum of colors. You can find them in fabric stores, and they can be pretty cheap, especially if you find a one of the old-button bins. One issue is that larger buttons of a suitable size can be hard to find. If you don't mind smaller motes, they may work fine for you. It can also be difficult to find all the right colors and shapes as well: different shapes mean the motes won't mix evenly, and they can be easily distinguished.
  • Stones: Find polished rocks in the appropriate colors. Or use acrylic paint to mark river stones. Nice ones can be found in hobby shops, in the aisles for floral arrangement.
  • Beads: You can sometimes find wooden or plastic beads of nice sizes for reasonable prices – the sizes for children are usually best. If they're wooden, coloring is a simple matter (with markers or even fabric dyes like Rit), and luckily plastic beads come in a veritable rainbow of colors.
  • Plastic: Use tiddly winks, game pieces from other games, or even poker chips. There are probably plenty of token-suitable plastic doodads to be found hanging around your home: soda lids, straws, give a good look around and see if anything works for you.
  • Coins: Collect some pennies and some acrylic paint in each of the colors. Then simply paint your pennies for some handy motes. Coins have a tendency to stack up, though, preventing good mixing and easy counting.

The key is to find tokens that are easy to distinguish, and that are a good size in the hand. You don't want tokens that are so small that they're hard to count, nor do you want spiky bits poking you. You don't want them too large, either, because drawing will be more difficult. If you use tokens about the size of a standard die (16 mm., approximately ¾ inch in diameter), you should be okay. Don't forget a nice, opaque bag to keep them in.

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