The alchemist pieces together a mind to be integrated into a proto-homunculus before it is animated. (Once animation occurs, the homunculus’ persona can no longer be modified.) As with the construction of the body, the mind can be formed over a long period, with breaks between sessions. However, the Mana cost must be repaid with the commencement of each new session, and the risk of a Paradox always pertains.
A persona created in this way could also be infused into a biological creature formed with Life ●●●●● Create Life. In the case of non-human forms, certain body shapes and hard-wired instincts might prove incompatible with the artificial mind’s long-term sanity.
The alchemist forms the homunculus’ Mental and Social Attributes, at a cost of one success per dot, with a limit of five dots per Attribute in Mental Attributes and two dots in Social. (Note that few mages can long bear to live with homunculi smarter, cooler or more charismatic than themselves.)
The homunculus’ Mental Skills also cost one success per dot, with a limit of five dots per Skill. Social Skills obey the same limit but cost three successes per dot.
Next the alchemist determines the degree of loyalty the homunculus feels toward its owner at the beginning of its career. (Although disloyal homunculi rarely become more favorably disposed toward their owners over time, initially steadfast individuals come to gradually rebel when subjected to continual mistreatment.)
Degree of Loyalty
Openly rebellious and vengeful
Loyal homunculi reserve their obedience for a single master, unless an affinity for others, most often fellow cabal members, is built into their personalities.
Number of Mages Homunculus
Homunculi exhibit exaggerated, simplistic personalities. They generally model themselves either on the human donors of their organic tissue, if any, or on the alchemists who construct the homunculi’s personalities. They conduct themselves as one-dimensional parodies of their models, which can be disconcerting, especially to the persons they’re aping. By allocating five successes to the homunculus’ personality, the alchemist can specify another role model. The creature will still seem off-putting, but in a different, presumably more acceptable way. The proto must be left to spend significant time with the role model during personality formation. Spirits and ghosts, as well as living persons, can act as role models.
The model may be physically present or represented by extensive audio or video recordings. It is therefore possible to imprint a homunculus with the persona of a public figure, celebrity or even a fictional character.
When animated, this primal personality may be complicated by one or more derangements or Flaws. The alchemist can prepare for this by choosing one derangement or Flaw for every five successes allocated for this purpose. If the homunculus does acquire derangements or Flaws, it gains those pre-selected by the alchemist, as opposed to merely random ones chosen by the Storyteller during animation.