Notes, summaries and a few house rules from The World Of Darkness Storytelling System Rulebook (2004 edition aka nWoD, ISBN-10: 1588464849, ISBN-13: 978-1588464842). Where noted, favorite rules from the previous “old World of Darkness” rules from the 1990s are modified and included here.
BASIC RULE MECHANICS
Character Ability Scores: Characters are rated in nine basic attributes (described below), ranging from 1 (weak), 2 (normal), 3 (strong), 4 (superior), 5 (ultimate), to 6 or higher (supernatural levels of ability).
Skills follow a similar range, from 0 (untrained), 1 (novice), 2 (experienced), 3 (veteran), 4 (expert), 5 (master) and so forth.
Dice Pools: To resolve a challenge, a player rolls a number of 10-sided dice equal to the number values of one attribute plus one skill, and sometimes bonus dice for special equipment or powers.
Example: A character is confronted while trespassing on private property late at night. The character tries some quick fast-talking with Manipulation 3 + Persuasion 2, rolling five 10-sided dice.
Successes: Each 10-sided die that comes up an 8, 9 or 10 counts as one degree of success. Rolled dice showing 7 or less are ignored as failures. The more dice that roll 8 or more, the better the successful outcome of the action.
Example continued: In the above fast-talk check (Manipulation 3 + Persuasion 2 ), dice are rolled and come up 1, 2, 6, 8 and 8, resulting in 2 successes. The fast-talk basically works, for now.
The “10 Again” Rule: Any 10-sided die that comes up a 10 counts as one success and is rolled again. Any second roll of an 8, 9 or 10 counts as an additional success. (Further 10 results also count and are rerolled.) If a “10 again” roll comes up 7 or less, the previous success results still count from the initial rolls.
Example continued: Say the above fast-talk roll came up 1, 2, 6, 8 and 10 instead, earning 2 successes. The “10” result die is rerolled, coming up a 9 and earning another success. The action total has three successes.
The Chance Roll: If modifiers leave a character with zero dice, one 10-sided die may be rolled as a long-shot attempt. A roll of a 10 earns one success plus the “10 again” rule above for additional successes on more 10 rolls. A roll of 2 to 9 is an ordinary failure, while a chance roll of a 1 is a “dramatic failure” (a critical result in which the game master comes up with some awful consequence). Dramatic failures ONLY happen on an initial single chance roll of a 1; ignore 1s rolled in normal dice poll rolls or when making “10 again” rolls.
Minimum Rating: Some actions simply require a minimum Attribute or Skill rating to determine automatic success, or ability is determined based only on a rating without using dice rolls. For example, a character may carry 25 pounds of gear per point of Strength without suffering any penalties, but for each additional 25 pounds, the character’s Speed drops by 1 and all action attempts suffer a -1 penalty.
Instant Actions: Add the value of one Attribute to one Skill to determine the character’s starting dice pool. Add or subtract up to five dice for various modifiers (good tools, difficult circumstances). Roll a number of d10 dice equal to this dice poll. Each roll of an 8 or 9 equals one rating of success; each 10 rolled counts as one success and is rolled again to check for more successes. If none of the dice score a success, the result is a common failure. One success to four successes is a common success; five or more successes indicate an exceptional success. If a character’s dice pool is 1 or less, the player may roll one d10, but if a natural 1 is rolled, the result is a dramatic failure. (Most actions, including combat, fall into this category.)
Extended Actions: Some tasks require a specific number of success points built up over time to complete. Characters make basic checks and track successes earned, typically rolling up to a maximum number of attempts equal to the character’s Attribute + Skill rating. (If work is not finished in the allowed rolls, the task may be ruled beyond the character’s ability.) Progress is based on these benchmarks:
Type of Activity … Time per Roll
Quick … 1 turn (3 seconds) per check
Short … 10 minutes per check
Long … 30 minutes per check
Lengthy … 1 hour per check
Consuming … 1 day per check
Exhausting … 1 week or month per check
Challenge … Target Number
Simple/Relaxed … 5 successes needed
Involved/Trying … 10 successes needed
Elaborate/Demanding … 15 successes needed
Ornate/Daunting … 20 successes needed
Intricate/Epic … 25 successes needed
Contested Actions: When two characters are in direct competition, use either the Instant or Extended methods described above, but the character with the greater number of successes is ruled the winner.
Skill specialty for task … +1 die
Easier task … +1 to +5 dice
Difficult task … -1 to -5 dice
Successive attempts … -1 per repeated instant action following a failed try
Heroic effort … +3 dice (costs one Willpower point before roll is made)
Character injured … -1 if 3 Health left; -2 if 2 left; -3 if on last Health point
HOUSE RULE: DICELESS PLAY
In cases of NPC-to-NPC actions, a simple formula may be used to measure results rather than making players sit around watching the GM roll dice. Actions directed at PCs will follow the usual dice-driven rules.
Dice Poll … Quick Result
1 die … no successes
2 to 4 dice … 1 success
5 to 8 dice … 2 successes
9 to 11 dice … 3 successes
12 to 15 dice … 4 successes
16 to 18 dice … 5 successes
19 to 21 dice … 6 successes
HOUSE RULE: POWER LEVEL RULES OF THUMB
Dice Poll … Approx. Rating
21 dice … Eternal Abilities, Skills
19 dice … Ultimate Abilities, Skills
17 dice … Supreme Abilities, Skills
15 dice … Epic Abilities, Skills
13 dice … Paragon Abilities, Skills
11 dice … Mighty Abilities, Master Skills
9 dice … Great Abilities, Expert Skills
7 dice … Excellent Abilities, Veteran Skills
5 dice … Good Abilities, Trained Skills
3 dice … Above Average Abilities, Talented Skills
1 die … Average Abilities, Skills
-1 die* … Below Average Abilities, Weak Skills
-3 dice* … Poor Abilities, Inept Skills
-5 dice* … Feeble Abilities, Abysmal Skills
-7 dice* … Faint Abilities, Hopeless Skills
-9 dice* … Minimal Abilities
No possible … No Ability Or Skill
* If no modifiers earn more dice, a chance die is still possible. …
* All abilities 2 … Size 5
* Skills (primary) 3 … Defense 2
* Skills (secondary) 1 … Initiative 4
* Health 7 … Speed 9
* Willpower 4
HOUSE RULE: PLAYING CARDS
Draw cards instead of rolling dice to resolve an action. Each Jack or Queen counts as a success. A King follows the “10 Again” rule, counting as a success plus another draw. For a single “change die” check, an Ace counts as a dramatic failure.
ATTRIBUTES & SKILLS
* Mental Attributes: Intelligence, Wits, Resolve
* Physical Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Stamina
* Social Attributes: Presence, Manipulation, Composure
* Defense: Lowest of Wits or Dexterity
* Health: Stamina + Size (5 for adult humans)
* Initiative: Dexterity + Composure
* Perception: Wits + Composure or a relevant Skill in place of Composure
* Speed: Strength + Dexterity + Species factor (5 for adult, 3 for child)
* Morality: starting value of 7 for humans
* Humanity: starting value of 7 for vampires
Mental Skills and Specialties (-3 if unskilled)…
* Academics: Anthropology, Art, English, History, Law, Religion, Research
* Computer: Artificial Intelligence, Data Retrieval, Graphics, Hacking, Internet
* Crafts: Automobiles, Aircraft, Forging, Jury-Rigging, Sculpting, Sewing
* Investigation: Artifacts, Body Language, Crime Scenes, Cryptography, Dreams, Autopsy Diagnoses, Puzzles, Riddles, Scientific Experiments
* Medicine: Emergency Care, Pathology, Pharmaceuticals, Physical Therapy, Surgery
* Occult: Cultural Beliefs, Ghosts, Magic, Monsters, Superstitions, Witchcraft
* Politics: Bribery, Elections, Federal, Local, State, Scandals
* Science: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Metallurgy, Physics
Physical Skills and Specialties (-1 if unskilled)…
* Athletics: Acrobatics, Climbing, Kayaking, Long-Distance Running, Sprinting, Swimming, Throwing
* Brawl: Blocking, Boxing, Dirty Tricks, Grappling, Kung Fu, Throws
* Drive: High-Performance Cars, Motorcycles, Off-Road, Pursuit, Shaking Tails, Stunts
* Firearms: Autofire, Bow, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Sniping, Trick Shot
* Larceny: Concealing Stolen Goods, Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, Security Systems, Safecracking
* Stealth: Camouflage, Crowds, Moving in Darkness, Moving in Woods
* Survival: Foraging, Navigation, Meteorology, Shelter
* Weaponry: Improvised Weapons, Knives, Swords
Social Skills and Specialties (-1 if unskilled)…
* Animal Ken: Animal Needs, Imminent Attack, Specific Kind of Animal, Training
* Empathy: Emotion, Lies, Motives, Personalities
* Expression: Classical Dance, Drama, Exposes, Musical Instrument, Newspaper Articles, Speeches
* Intimidation: Bluster, Physical Threats, Stare-Downs, Torture, Veiled Threats
* Persuasion: Fast-Talking, Inspiring Troops, Motivational Speeches, Sales Pitches, Seduction
* Socialize: Bar Hopping, Dress B alls, Formal Events, Frat Parties, State Dinners
* Streetwise: Black Market, Gangs, Rumors, Undercover Operations
* Subterfuge: Con Jobs, Hiding Emotions, Lying, Misdirection, Spotting Lies
Per WoD p. 95…
Speed = Strength + Dexterity + Species factor (5 for adult human, 3 for human child)
Each combat turns each last three seconds. A scene may last a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the storytelling situation.
Some example benchmarks…
* Speed 1 … turtle
* Speed 2 … walking dead zombie
* Speed 3 … human toddler
* Speed 5 … human adult
* Speed 8 … wolf
* Speed 10 … caribou
* Speed 12 … horse
* Speed 15 … cheetah
ROLL & TRAIT EXAMPLES
Animal Training: Composure + Animal Ken + equipment (trainer) versus Stamina + Resolve (animal); extended and contested action (the task demands a number of successes equal to the animal’s Willpower; each roll represents one day of training) (WoD p. 79).
Bypass Security System: Dexterity + Larceny + equipment; extended action (5-15 successes, depending on the complexity of the system; each roll represents a turn – three seconds – of work) (WoD p. 74).
Carousing: Manipulation + Socialize + equipment (carouser) versus Composure + Empathy (subject); extended and contested action (the task requires a number of successes equal to double the highest Stamina among the character’s acquaintances; one roll equals one hour of carrying on) (WoD p. 85).
Catching Objects: Dexterity + Athletics; instant action if item is thrown to receiver, contested if it’s thrown at receiver and Defense doesn’t apply (WoD p. 68).
Climbing: Strength + Athletics + equipment; instant or extended action (one success is required per 10 feet of height; each roll represents one minute of climbing) (WoD p. 64).
Close Combat, Armed: Strength + Weaponry, minus target’s Defense and armor; instant action. Add bonus dice based on weapon used or effect performed, and then subtract penalties for circumstance conditions. Each success equates to a Health point of damage inflicted, the type of which is determined by the nature of the attack (WoD p. 152).
Close Combat, Unarmed: Strength + Brawl, minus target’s Defense and armor; instant action. Add bonus dice based on weapon used or effect performed, and then subtract penalties for circumstance conditions. Each success equates to a Health point of damage inflicted, the type of which is determined by the nature of the attack (WoD p. 152).
Create Art: Intelligence + Crafts + equipment; extended action (4-15+ successes; one roll equals 30 minutes of work) (WoD p. 58).
Cutting a Deal: Manipulation + Persuasion + equipment versus Manipulation + Persuasion + equipment; extended and contested action (3-10+ successes required; each roll represents an hour of negotiation) (WoD p. 82).
Defense: Lowest of Wits or Dexterity; reflexive action to use (WoD p. 90).
Degeneration: Roll number of dice associated with sin performed. If roll fails, Morality drops by one. Roll new Morality trait as a dice pool. If no successes are rolled, a derangement is incurred (WoD p. 96).
Disguise: Wits + Subterfuge + equipment (impersonator) versus Wits + Subterfuge (subject); contested action (WoD p. 87).
Dodge: Double target’s Defense (WoD p. 156); costs action for turn.
Examining a Crime Scene: Wits + Investigation + equipment; extended action (3-10+ successes; one roll represents 10 minutes of activity) (WoD p. 59).
Explosives: Dexterity + Athletics (thrown) or Intelligence + Science (triggered); instant action (WoD p. 178).
Fast-Talk: Manipulation + Persuasion + equipment (talker) versus Composure + Empathy or Subterfuge (subject); contested action (WoD p. 83).
Fatigue: Stamina + Resolve rolls to remain awake; reflexive action (WoD p. 179).
Foot Chase: Stamina + Athletics + equipment versus Stamina + Athletics + equipment; extended and contested action (each roll represents one turn of running) (WoD p. 65).
Foraging for Sustenance: Wits + Survival + equipment; extended action (five successes required; one roll represents one hour of searching) (WoD p. 77).
Grapple: Roll Strength + Brawl – opponent’s Defense for attacker to get a grip on target; roll Strength + Brawl – opponent’s Strength to perform an overpowering maneuver or to break free; instant action. (WoD p. 157).
Hacking: Intelligence + Computer + equipment versus Intelligence + Computer + equipment; extended and contested action (5-10+ successes; each success represents 30 minutes of programming) (WoD p. 57).
Healing Wounds: Dexterity or Intelligence + Medicine + equipment; extended action (one success is required per Health point of damage suffered; each roll represents one minute of work (first aid) or one hour of work (hospital treatment) (WoD p. 61).
Holding Breath: Reflexive action (WoD p. 49).
Initiative: Dexterity + Composure + a die (WoD p. 151).
Interrogation: Wits + Intimidation + equipment (interrogator) versus Stamina + Resolve (subject); extended and contested action (the task demands a number of successes equal to the subject’s Willpower; each roll represents one hour of interrogation) (WoD p. 81).
Jumping: Strength + Athletics + equipment; instant action (WoD p. 66).
Lifting/Moving Objects: Strength (+ Stamina); instant action (WoD p. 47).
Lockpicking: Dexterity + Larceny + equipment; instant or extended action (2-12+ successes required, depending on the sophistication of the lock; one roll represents one turn – three seconds – of work) (WoD p. 74).
Meditation: Composure + Wits + equipment; extended action (4 successes; one roll represents 30 minutes) (WoD p. 51).
Memorizing and Remembering: Intelligence + Composure; reflexive action (WoD p. 44).
Object’s Structure: Durability + Size (WoD p. 135).
Oratory: Presence + Persuasion + equipment versus highest Resolve + Composure of audience; contested action (WoD p. 83).
Perception: Wits + Composure or a relevant Skill in place of Composure; reflexive action (WoD p. 45).
Ranged Combat, Guns and Bows: Dexterity + Firearms, minus target’s armor; instant action. Add bonus dice based on weapon used or effect performed, and then subtract penalties for circumstance conditions. Each success equates to a Health point of damage inflicted, the type of which is determined by the nature of the attack (WoD p. 152).
Ranged Combat, Thrown Weapons: Dexterity + Athletics, minus target’s Defense and armor; instant action. Add bonus dice based on weapon used or effect performed, and then subtract penalties for circumstance conditions. Each success equates to a Health point of damage inflicted, the type of which is determined by the nature of the attack (WoD p. 152).
Remaining Conscious: Last Health box is filled with a slash (bashing damage), roll Stamina each turn to remain conscious (-3 wound penalty does not apply to roll); reflexive action (WoD p. 173).
Repair Item: Dexterity + Crafts + equipment; extended action (4-10 successes; one roll equals 30 minutes of work) (WoD p. 58).
Research: Intelligence + Academics + equipment; extended action (3-10+ successes; each roll represents 30 minutes of research) (WoD p. 55).
Resisting Coercion: Resolve + Wits or Resolve + Stamina; reflexive action (WoD p. 47).
Resisting Poison or Disease: Stamina + Resolve; reflexive and potentially extended and/or contested action (WoD p. 49).
Seduction: Presence + Persuasion + equipment or Manipulation + Persuasion + equipment (seducer) versus Wits + Composure + equipment (subject); contested and/or extended action (the extended and contested part of the task requires a number of successes equal to double the seducer’s Presence or double the subject’s Resolve; one roll equals 10 minutes of banter) (WoD p. 84).
Shadowing Stealthily: Wits + Stealth + equipment (shadow) versus Wits + Composure + equipment (subject); contested action (WoD p. 76).
Sleight of Hand: Dexterity + Larceny + equipment versus Wits + Composure or Wits + Larceny; contested action (WoD p. 75).
Solving Enigmas: Intelligence + Investigation + equipment; instant or extended action (3-10+ successes; one roll represents one hour of activity) (WoD p. 60).
Speed: Strength + Dexterity + Species factor (5 for adult, 3 for child) (WoD p. 95).
Surprise: Wits + Composure; reflexive action (WoD p. 151).
Throwing: Range: Strength + Dexterity + Athletics, minus the object’s Size (short range) for a non-aerodynamic object; double distances for an aerodynamic one. Accuracy: Dexterity + Athletics + equipment; instant action (WoD p. 67).
Vehicle Control: Dexterity + Drive + Handling; instant action (WoD p. 141).
Vehicle Pursuit: Dexterity + Drive + vehicle Handling versus Dexterity + Drive + vehicle Handling; extended and contested action (each roll is one turn of driving) (WoD p. 69).
Vehicle Ramming: Dexterity + Drive + Handling to hit; instant action. Vehicle’s Size rating as a pool of its own, with a +1 bonus for each full 10 mph traveled to determine damage (WoD p. 144).
Vehicle Tailing: Wits + Drive + vehicle Handling (tail) versus Wits + Composure + equipment (subject); contested action (WoD p. 71).
Willpower: Resolve + Composure; reflexive action (WoD p. 95). Spending Willpower adds three dice to a roll or +2 to a single Resistance trait such as Stamina, Resolve, Composure or Defense in one instance (WoD p. 133).
Working the Black Market: Manipulation + Streetwise + equipment; extended action (2-10 success; each roll represents one day of searching the street) (WoD p. 86)
Combat turns each last three seconds.
Stage One: Initiative
Everyone rolls Initiative: The result of a die roll + Dexterity + Composure. The character with the highest Initiative performs her action first. Or you may yield your character’s action until later in the Initiative queue or intro the next turn.
Stage Two: Attack
Unarmed close combat: Strength + Brawl, minus target’s Defense and armor (and Celerity)
Armed close combat: Strength + Weaponry, minus target’s Defense and armor (and Celerity)
Ranged combat (guns and bows): Dexterity + Firearms, minus target’s armor (and Celerity)
Ranged combat (thrown weapons): Dexterity + Athletics, minus target’s Defense and armor (and Celerity)
Add bonus dice based on weapon used or effect performed, and then subtract penalties for circumstance conditions. Roll your remaining pool. Each success equates to a Health point of damage inflicted, the type of which is determined by the nature of the attack.
The Storyteller describes the attack and wound in narrative terms.
* Aiming: +1 per turn to a +3 maximum
* All-Out Attack: +2 with Brawl or Weaponry attack; lose Defense
* Armor Piercing: Ignores amount of target’s armor equal to item’s own rating
* Autofire Long Burst: 20 or so bullets at as many targets as the shooter wants, pending Storyteller approval. A +3 bonus is applied to each attack roll; -1 per roll for each target if there’s more than one
* Autofire Medium Burst: 10 or so bullets at one to three targets, with a +2 bonus to each attack roll; -1 per roll for each target if there’s more than one
* Autofire Short Burst: Three bullets at a single target with a +1 bonus to the roll
* Concealment: Barely -1; partially -2; substantially -3; fully, see “Cover”
* Dodge: Double target’s Defense
* Drawing a Weapon: Requires one action (one turn) without a Merit, and could negate Defense
* Firing from Concealment: Shooter’s own concealment quality (-1, -2 or -3) reduced by one as a penalty to fire back (so, no modifier, -1 or -2)
* Offhand Attack: -2 penalty
* Prone Target: -2 penalty to hit in ranged combat; +2 bonus to hit when attacker is within close-combat distance
* Range: -2 at medium range, -4 at long range
* Shooting into Close Combat: -2 per combatant avoided in a single shot (not applicable to autofire)
* Specified Target: Torso -1, leg or arm -2, head -3, hand -4, eye -5
* Surprised or Immobilized Target: Defense doesn’t apply
* Touching a Target: Dexterity + Brawl or Dexterity + Weaponry; armor may or may not apply, Defense does apply
* Willpower: Add three dice or +2 to a Resistance trait (Stamina, Resolve, Composure or Defense) in one roll or instance
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 159…
Roll Strength + Brawl – opponent’s Defense for attacker to get a grip on target.
Target’s next action can be dedicated to breaking free. Roll Strength + Brawl – attacker’s Strength. Any successes indicate breaking free. Or, the target can attempt to apply an overpowering maneuver to the attacker, participating in the grapple rather than trying to break free. Roll Strength + Brawl – attacker’s Strength. Any successes allow for a maneuver (see below).
If the attacker’s grip on the target persists, and he is free to do so, the attacker can try to apply an overpowering maneuver to the victim. Roll the attacker’s Strength + Brawl – opponent’s Strength. Any successes allow a maneuver (see list).
Possible maneuvers. Choose one:
* Render opponent prone
* Damage opponent
* Immobilize opponent
* Draw weapon
* Attack with drawn weapon
* Turn a drawn weapon
* Disarm opponent
* Use opponent as protection from ranged attacks
* Attempting to break free is always an option instead
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 170…
* Sap … Damage 1 (B); Size 1; Cost 1; Knockout (p. 168)
* Brass Knuckles … Damage 1 (B); Size n/a; Cost 1; Brawl*
* Club (wood) … Damage 2 (B); Size 2; Cost n/a
* Mace (metal) … Damage 3 (B); Size 2; Cost 2
* Knife … Damage 1 (L); Size 1; Cost 1
* Rapier … Damage 2 (L); Size 2; Cost 2; Armor piercing 1 (p. 167)
* Sword … Damage 3 (L); Size 2; Cost 2
* Katana … Damage 3 (L); Size 2; Cost 3; Durability +1**
* Greatsword … Damage 4 (L); Size 3; Cost 3
* Small Ax … Damage 2 (L); Size 1; Cost 1
* Large Ax … Damage 3 (L); Size 3; Cost 2; 9 again (p. 134)
* Great Ax … Damage 5 (L); Size 4; Cost 3; 9 again (p. 134)
* Stake*** … Damage 1 (L); Size 1; Cost n/a
* Spear … Damage 3 (L); Size 4; Cost 1; +1 Defense****
Type: Your character may use many other types of weapons (meat cleavers, halberds, hammers). Use the traits from the above lists that best approximate those weapons. See p. 136 for determining the traits of improvised weapons. Note that improvised weapons automatically suffer a -1 penalty.
Damage: The number of bonus dice added to dice pools when using the weapon. The type of damage inflicted is also indicated: aggravated (A), lethal (L) or bashing (B).
Size: 1 = Can be hidden in hand, 2 = Can be hidden in coat, 3+ = Cannot be hidden. Size is also used to indicate the minimum Strength needed to use a weapon effectively. A wielder with a lower Strength suffers a -1 penalty on attack rolls.
Cost: The minimum dots in the Resources Merit usually required to purchase the weapon. The “n/a” entry indicates that the item can be created rather than purchased. This weapon requires two hands. If used one-handed, the Strength requirement increases by one. You need a Strength of 4 to wield a greatsword one-handed without penalty, for example.
* This weapon uses the Brawl Skill instead of Weaponry.
** Katanas are well-crafted swords. They do not break easily. See “Targeting Items,” WoD p. 138.
*** The attacker must target the heart (-4 penalty) and do a minimum of three points of damage in a single attack.
**** The spear-wielder gains a +1 Defense bonus when fighting unarmed targets due to his weapon’s superior reach, allowing him to keep a greater distance from a foe.
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 169; typical dice pool is…
Dexterity + Firearms + Damage Power of Gun – Range Modifier – Target’s Defense – Armor RatingDamage: Indicates the number of bonus dice added to your dice pool for using the weapon. Firearms deliver lethal damage against ordinary people. The type of damage may vary against supernatural enemies such as vampires, which suffer only bashing damage from conventional firearms. Note: A “called shot” to the head (-3 modifier) does lethal damage to a vampire. (House rule?)
Ranges: The numbers are short/medium/long ranges in yards. Attacks at medium and long range suffer a -2 and -4 penalty, respectively.
Clip: The number of shells a gun can hold – a “+1? indicates a bullet can be held in the chamber, ready to fire.
Strength: The minimum Strength needed to use a weapon effectively. A wielder with a lower Strength suffers a -1 penalty on attack rolls.
Size: 1 = Can be hidden in hand, 2 = Can be hidden in coat, 3 = Cannot be hidden on one’s person
Cost: The minimum dots in the Resources Merit usually required to purchase the weapon.
1: This weapon requires two hands. If used one-handed, the Strength requirement increases by one. You need a Strength of 4 to wield a shotgun one-handed without penalty, for example.
2: Indicates that the weapon is capable of autofire (short bursts, medium bursts and long bursts – see WoD p. 160.) A -1 penalty for each target when more than one is fired at. Separate dice pools are rolled against each target in the attack. Modifiers for each target’s range, armor and/or concealment apply to individual dice pools.
3: Crossbows require three turns to reload. A character may use a crossbow to attempt to stake a creature with a targeted shot (-4 penalty and a minimum of three points of damage must be inflicted in a single attack).
4: 9 again (see WoD p. 134)
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 170…
* Reinforced/thick clothing: Rating 1 / 0; Strength 1; Defense 0; Speed 0; Cost n/a
* Kevlar vest* (thin): Rating 1 / 2; Strength 1; Defense 0; Speed 0; Cost 1
* Flak jacket*: Rating 2 / 3; Strength 1; Defense -1; Speed 0; Cost 2
* Full riot gear*: Rating 3 / 4; Strength 2; Defense -2; Speed -1; Cost 3
* Leather (hard): Rating 1 / 0; Strength 2; Defense -1; Speed 0; Cost 1
* Chainmail: Rating 2 / 1; Strength 3; Defense -2; Speed -2; Cost 2
* Plate: Rating 3 / 2; Strength 4; Defense -2; Speed -3; Cost 4
* This type of armor is bulletproof. Bulletproof armor (kevlar vest, flak jacket and full riot gear) also downgrades damage done in Firearms attacks from lethal to bashing.
Rating: Armor provides two kinds of protection: against general attacks and against Firearms attacks. The number before the slash is armor rating for most kinds of attacks (for close combat and thrown ranged attacks, whether bashing, lethal or perhaps aggravated). The second number is for Firearms attacks – guns and bows.
Strength: Armor is often heavy and cumbersome. If your character does not have
sufficient Strength to wear it, she cannot perform at peak efficiency. If your character’s Strength is lower than that required for armor worn, her Brawl and Weaponry attacks suffer a -1 penalty.
Defense: The penalty imposed on your character’s Defense trait for the armor worn.
Speed: The penalty imposed on your character’s Speed trait for the armor worn.
Cost: The minimum dots in the Resources Merit usually required to purchase the armor.
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 178…
If harm from electricity is more than just instantaneous – there’s a constant flow such as through power cables – a victim may not be able to escape. His muscles contract, which can prevent him from pulling away. Roll Strength as a reflexive action in each turn of contact. Failure means your character is still connected to the source and suffers its damage each turn until a successful roll is made.
Worn armor provides no protection against electrocution. A magical kind conjured up by supernatural beings might at the Storyteller’s discretion.
Damage Per Source…
* Minor, wall socket … damage 4 (B)
* Major; protective fence … damage 6 (B)
* Severe; junction box … damage 8 (B)
* Fatal; main line feed/subway rail … damage 10 (B)
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 179…
* Incendiary: Throwing Modifier -1; Blast Area 2; Damage 2; Size 1; Cost n/a; Example: Molotov Cocktail; Note 1*
* Concussion: Throwing Modifier +2; Blast Area 3; Damage 4; Size 1; Cost 3; Example: Concussion Grenade; Note 2, 4*
* Shredding: Throwing Modifier +2; Blast Area 3; Damage 4; Size 1; Cost 3; Example: Shrapnel Grenade; Note 4
* Single Destructive: Throwing Modifier +1; Blast Area 4; Damage 4+; Size 1; Cost 3; Example: Stick of Dynamite
* High Explosive: Throwing Modifier n/a; Blast Area 20+; Damage 6+; Size 1-3; Cost 4; Example: Plastique; Note 3*
Blast Area: The diameter in yards in which an explosion occurs.
Throwing Modifier: The attack-roll bonus to throw an explosive at a chosen target. Explosives marked “n/a” cannot normally be thrown.
Cost: The minimum dots in the Resources Merit usually required to purchase the explosive. The “n/a” entry indicates that the item can be created rather than purchased.
1. Incendiary devices ignite the target (see “Fire”). Damage delivered by the explosion is bashing, while damage caused by the fire is lethal.
2. Concussion explosives deliver bashing damage and knock the target down (see “Knockdown,” p. 168).
3. Timed or triggered bombs that hold a variable amount of dynamite, plastique or other explosive cause damage to surrounding structures and ignite flammable materials, which complicates damage. The figures listed are suggestions only.
4. Explosives that are aerodynamic when thrown.
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 180…
Fire automatically inflicts lethal damage per turn of exposure (no attack roll is required). The larger and hotter the flame, the more harm that’s inflicted.
Damge Per Size of Fire
* Torch … 1
* Bonfire … 2
* Inferno … 3
Heat of Fire … Damage Modifier
* Candle (first-degree burns) … 0
* Torch (second-degree burns) … +1
* Bunsen burner (third-degree burns) … +2
* Chemical fire/molten metal … +3
POISONS & TOXINS
From World of Darkness core rulebook, p. 180…
Poison automatically deals damage (usually lethal, but a knockout gas could cause bashing) equal to its toxicity level. Some substances inflict damage only once. Others might inflict it for a number of turns or once per hour until purged or until the effect runs its course. It could be possible to resist the effects of such substances by rolling Stamina + Resolve in a reflexive and contested action. If more successes are rolled than damage is inflicted by the toxin, damage is ignored completely. If damage is equal to higher than success rolled, all damage is delivered as normal. Such a contested roll might occur once or in each period in which a toxin causes harm.
* Ammonia (inhalation) … 3
* Bleach (ingestion) … 4
* Cyanide (ingestion or inhalation) … 7
* Drug/Alcohol Abuse (ingestion, inhalation, injection) … 3 to 7
* Salmonella (ingestion) … 2
* Venom (injection or ingestion) … 3 to 8
DAMAGE & HEALING
Type of Damage: Each success gained on your attack roll inflicts one Health point of damage to the victim. Based on the nature of the attack, one of three different types of injury result.
Bashing: Your character punches, hits with a blunt instrument or otherwise pummels her victim. This type of damage probably doesn’t kill the target instantly, though repeated application could. Bashing damage heals fairly quickly (see WoD p. 175 for more details).
Lethal: Gunshots, blades and even crushing damage may prove fatal. Lethal injuries take quite a while to heal for ordinary people. Note that firearm attacks that normally deliver lethal damage do only bashing damage to vampires. The creatures are undead; their organs are inert, their blood is congealed. Their bodies simply don’t suffer harm like those of the living.
Aggravated: Different beings are vulnerable to different forms of attack, such as vampires to fire or werewolves to silver. Such assaults inflict aggravated damage, which those beings heal very slowly. Humans are not necessarily vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks – fire or a silver dagger does lethal damage to them, for example – but some supernatural effects can inflict aggravated harm on ordinary folks. Wizards’ spells or vampires’ blood-based powers can cause injuries to normal people that take extensive time to heal. Any person or being who is so badly injured that she is comatose, bleeding to death or fading altogether also incurs aggravated wounds. So, all denizens of the World of Darkness are subject to aggravated damage under one circumstance or another.
Incapacitation: Anytime all of a character’s Health boxes are marked, regardless of damage suffered, and he has a bashing slash remaining in his rightmost box, a reflexive Stamina roll is made each turn for him to remain conscious. This roll does not suffer your character’s -3 wound penalty. It’s made at the beginning of your character’s action each turn. So, if your character’s last Health box is filled with a slash, you must make a Stamina roll when he acts next, whether in this turn or the next.
A failure means he falls unconscious. A success means your character is conscious and can continue to act in that turn. The standard -3 wound penalty does apply to any action he performs.
These Stamina rolls continue from turn to turn until your character passes out completely or is healed and his rightmost Health box is emptied. Of course, if that last box gets marked with lethal or aggravated damage, your character is on death’s door or leaves this mortal coil. A character who falls unconscious from a failed Stamina roll remains incapacitated until he regains at least one Health..
Mortal Healing: Wounds recover at the following rates…
* Bashing: One point is regained in 15 minutes.
* Lethal: One point is regained in two days.
* Aggravated: One point is regained in a week.
Note that some supernatural beings can recover from injuries at abnormally fast rates, even regenerating them automatically or healing them at will. Humans, of course, do not have that luxury.
Dice Pool: Dexterity or Intelligence + Medicine + equipment
Action: Extended; one success is required per Health point of damage suffered; each roll represents one minute of work (first aid) or one hour of work (long-term hospital treatment).
Achieving sufficient successes (equal to the total, overall Health points lost by the patient) restores one Health point lost to bashing damage, in addition to any healing that the character already does under his own power. A patient may regain no more than one “extra” Health point by this means per day. Alternatively, a patient who’s bleeding to death or in a coma is stabilized if one success is achieved on the roll.
MORALITY & DEGENERATION
If a character commits a sin equal to or worse than the threshold of his current Morality trait, roll the number of dice associated with the sin performed to avoid degeneration. If the roll succeeds, the character’s overall sense of compassion remains intact, and his Morality does not change. If the degeneration roll fails, your character’s sense of right and wrong is altered by his experience and he loses a point of Morality.
When a Morality point is lost because of a sin perpetrated, roll your character’s new Morality trait as a dice pool. If the roll succeeds, she finds some kind of balance or existence at her new state of spiritual and ethical standing. If the roll fails, she manifests a derangement. Derangements are mental and emotional ailments or conditions, in this case brought on by your character’s stress, grief or even remorselessness over acts performed.
Morality (human sins and degeneration dice)
* 10 … Selfish thoughts (5 dice)
* 9 … Minor selfish acts (withholding charity) (5 dice)
* 8 … Injury to another (accidental or otherwise) (4 dice)
* 7 … Petty theft (shoplifting) (4 dice)
* 6 … Grand theft (burglary) (3 dice)
* 5 … Intentional, mass property damage (arson) (3 dice)
* 4 … Impassioned crime (manslaughter) (3 dice)
* 3 … Planned crime (murder) (2 dice)
* 2 … Casual/callous crime (serial murder) (2 dice)
* 1 … Utter perversion, heinous act (mass murder) (2 dice)
Repeated degeneration and Morality rolls that fail cause your character to incur more and more or worse and worse conditions. If you want to minimize the diversity of ailments that she manifests, focus on increasingly intense ones, acquiring the mild form of any condition first and then assigning the severe one the next time your characters incurs another problem.
If a character descends so far that her Morality drops to zero, she can no longer be played in any meaningful way. She becomes a true monster, inflicting pain and suffering on everyone around her without the slightest hint of remorse and no hope of redemption. At that point control of the character passes to the Storyteller.
If your character commits an immoral act in pursuit of his defining Virtue, the Storyteller may allow you to add a +1 modifier to your degeneration roll. Higher modifiers are possible if the Storyteller feels that your character is compelled to sin in order to uphold his Virtue, but should never rise higher than +3.
A character’s Morality trait can be increased primarily by spending experience points, but Morality can be increased by only one point at any given time.
The Storyteller also has the option of awarding a Morality point at the end of a story if your character performs a particularly redeeming, generous or self-effacing act.
Mild Derangements … Severe Derangements
* Depression … Melancholia
* Phobia … Hysteria
* Narcissism … Megalomania
* Fixation … Obsessive Compulsion
* Suspicion … Paranoia
* Inferiority … Complex Anxiety
* Vocalization … Schizophrenia*
* Irrationality … Multiple Personality*
* Avoidance … Fugue*
* A character must experience a life-altering trauma or supernatural tragedy to acquire one of these extreme derangements. They cannot normally be acquired by failing a Morality roll unless the sin performed is truly gut wrenching or horrific.
One Willpower point can be spent per turn for following effects:
* Gain a +3 modifier on a roll during a turn. Only one dice pool can be affected per turn, and the Storyteller may determine that some rolls cannot be modified in this way. (Willpower cannot be spent to gain a bonus on a degeneration or Morality roll.
* Add two to a character’s Stamina, Resolve, Composure or Defense to resist mental or social/emotional pressures asserted on him, or to make a concerted effort to avoid being harmed.
A character may regain one Willpower point…
…per scene if actions play out in a manner appropriate to a Vice;
…after a full night’s rest or the equivalent opportunity;
…if a character achieves a significant goal or performs a particularly impressive act that affirms her sense of confidence.
A character regains all spent Willpower points at the end of a story. (Not at the end of a game session, but at the conclusion of an overall story.)
Charity: Your character regains all spent Willpower points whenever she helps another at the risk of loss or harm to herself. It isn’t enough to share what your character has in abundance. She must make a real sacrifice in terms of time, possessions or energy, or she must risk life and limb to help another.
Faith: Your character regains all spent Willpower points whenever he is able to forge meaning from chaos and tragedy.
Fortitude: Your character regains all spent Willpower points whenever he withstands overwhelming or tempting pressure to alter his goals. This does not include temporary distractions from his course of action, only pressure that might cause him to abandon or change his goals altogether.
Hope: Your character regains all spent Willpower points whenever she refuses to let others give in to despair, even though doing so risks harming her own goals or wellbeing. This is similar to Fortitude, above, except that your character tries to prevent others from losing hope in their goals. She need not share those goals herself or even be successful in upholding them, but there must be a risk involved.
Justice: Your character regains all spent Willpower points whenever he does the right thing at risk of personal loss or setback. The “right thing” can be defined by the letter or spirit of a particular code of conduct, whether it be the United States penal code or a biblical Commandment.
Prudence: Your character regains all spent Willpower points whenever he refuses a tempting course of action by which he could gain significantly. The “temptation” must involve some reward that, by refusing it, might cost him later on.
Temperance: Your character regains all spent Willpower when he resists a temptation to indulge in an excess of any behavior, whether good or bad, despite the obvious rewards it might offer.
Envy: Your character regains one Willpower point whenever she gains something important from a rival or has a hand in harming that rival’s wellbeing.
Gluttony: Your character regains one spent Willpower point whenever he indulges in his addiction or appetites at some risk to himself or a loved one.
Greed: Your character regains one Willpower point whenever he acquires something at the expense of another. Gaining it must come at some potential risk (of assault, arrest or simple loss of peer respect).
Lust: Your character is consumed by a passion for something. He regains one Willpower point whenever he satisfies his lust or compulsion in a way that victimizes others.
Pride: Your character regains one Willpower point whenever he exerts his own wants (not needs) over others at some potential risk to himself. This is most commonly the desire for adulation, but it could be the desire to make others do as he commands.
Sloth: Your character regains one Willpower point whenever he successfully avoids a difficult task but achieves the same goal nonetheless.
Wrath: Your character regains one spent Willpower point whenever he unleashes his anger in a situation where doing so is dangerous. If the fight has already begun, no Willpower points are regained. It must take place in a situation where anger is unwarranted or inappropriate.
NATURE & DEMEANOR
The following archetypes were used for characters in previous editions of White Wolf’s World of Darkness games; they have since been succeeded by the Virtues and Vices rules. These archetypes are included here for use in writing shorthand about NPCs…
Architect: The Architect has a sense of purpose even greater than herself. She is truly happy only when creating something of lasting value for others. People will always need things, and the Architect strives to provide at least one necessity. Inventors, pioneers, town founders, entrepreneurs and the like are all Architect Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you establish something of importance or lasting value.
Autocrat: The Autocrat wants to be in charge. He seeks prominence for its own sake, not because he has an operation’s best interests at heart or because he has the best ideas (though he may certainly think so). He may genuinely believe others are incompetent, but ultimately he craves power and control. Dictators, gang leaders, bullies, corporate raiders and their ilk are Autocrat Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower when you achieve control over a group or organization involving other individuals.
Bon Vivant: The Bon Vivant knows that life – and unlife – is shallow and meaningless. As such, the Bon Vivant decides to enjoy her time on Earth. The Bon Vivant is not necessarily irresponsible. Rather, she is simply predisposed to having a good time along the way. Most Bon Vivants have low Self-Control scores, as they are so given to excess. Hedonists, sybarites and dilettantes are all examples of the Bon Vivant Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you truly enjoy yourself and can fully express your exultation. At the Storyteller’s option, a particularly fabulous revelry may yield multiple Willpower points.
Bravo: The Bravo is a tough and a bully, and often takes perverse pleasure in tormenting the weak. To the Bravo’s mind, might makes right; power is what matters, and only those with power should be respected. Naturally, physical power is the best kind, but any kind will do. The Bravo sees overt threats as a perfectly reasonable means of gaining cooperation. The Bravo is not incapable of pity or kindness, he just prefers to do things his way. Robbers, bigots, thugs and the insecure are all Bravo Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower any time you achieve your agenda through brutishness or intimidation. This need not be physical, as many Bravos verbally or socially cow their victims.
Caregiver: Everyone needs comfort, a shoulder to cry on. A Caregiver takes her comfort in consoling others, and people often come to her with their problems. Vampires with Caregiver Archetypes often attempt, as best they may, to protect the mortals on whom they feed. Nurses, doctors and psychiatrists are examples of potential Caregivers. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you successfully protect or nurture someone else.
Celebrant: The Celebrant takes joy in her cause. Whether the character’s passion is battle, religious fervor, foiling her rivals or reading fine literature, it gives the Celebrant the strength to withstand adversity. Given the chance, the Celebrant will indulge in her passion as deeply as possible. Unlike the Fanatic, the Celebrant pursues her passion not out of duty, but out of enthusiasm. Crusaders, hippies, political activists and art enthusiasts are Celebrant Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you pursue your cause or convert another character to the same passion. Conversely, lose a point of temporary Willpower whenever you are denied your passion or it is badly lost to you.
Child: The Child is still immature in personality and temperament. He wants what he wants now, and often prefers someone to give it to him. Although he can typically care for himself, he would rather have a caretaker-type cater to his bratty desires. Some Child Archetypes are actually innocent rather than immature, ignorant of the cold ways of the real world. Children, spoiled individuals and some drug abusers are Child Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you manage to convince someone to help you with no gain to herself, or to nurture you.
Competitor: The Competitor takes great excitement in the pursuit of victory. To the Competitor, every task is a new challenge to meet and a new contest to win. Indeed, the Competitor sees all interactions as some sort of opportunity for her to be the best – the best leader, the most productive, the most valuable or whatever. Corporate raiders, professional athletes and impassioned researchers are all examples of Competitor Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain one point of Willpower whenever you succeed at a test or challenge. Especially difficult victories may, at the Storyteller’s discretion, allow you to regain multiple Willpower points.
Conformist: The Conformist is a follower, taking another’s lead and finding security in the decisions of others. She prefers not to take charge, instead seeking to throw in with the rest of the group and lend her own unique aid. The Conformist is drawn to the most dynamic personality or the individual she perceives to be the “best.” Being a Conformist is not necessarily a bad thing – every group needs followers to lend stability to their causes. Groupies, party voters and “the masses” are Conformist Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever the group achieves one of its goals due to your support.
Conniver: Why work for something when you can trick somebody else into getting it for you ? The Conniver always tries to find the easy way, the fast track to success and wealth. Some people call him a thief, a swindler or less pleasant terms, but he knows that everybody in the world would do unto him if they could. He just does it first, and better. Criminals, con artists, salespeople, urchins and entrepreneurs might be Connivers. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you trick someone into doing something for you.
Curmudgeon: A Curmudgeon is bitter and cynical, finding flaws in everything and seeing little humor in life or unlife. He is often fatalistic or pessimistic, and has very little esteem for others. To the Curmudgeon, the glass is always half-full, though it may be damn near empty when other people are involved. Many elder vampires and Generation Xers are Curmudgeons. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever someone does something stupid, just like you said they would. You must predict this failure aloud (though you may simply whisper it to the Storyteller if you wish).
Deviant: The Deviant is a freak, ostracized from society by unique tastes that place her outside the mainstream. Deviants are not indolent rebels or shiftless “unrecognized geniuses”; rather, they are independent thinkers who don’t quite fit in the status quo. Deviant Archetypes often feel that the world stands against them, and as such reject traditional morality. Some have bizarre tastes, preferences and ideologies. Extremists, eccentric celebrities and straight-out weirdoes are Deviant Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower any time you are able to flout social mores without retribution.
Director: To the Director, nothing is worse than chaos and disorder. The Director seeks to be in charge, adopting a “my way or die highway” attitude on matters of decision-making. The Director is more concerned with bringing order out of strife, however, and need not be truly “in control” of a group to guide it. Coaches, teachers and many political figures exemplify the Director Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower when you influence a group in the completion of a difficult task.
Fanatic: The Fanatic has a purpose, and that purpose consumes his existence. The Fanatic pours himself into his cause; indeed, he may feel guilty for undertaking any objective that deviates from his higher goal. To the Fanatic, the end justifies the means – the cause is more important than those who serve it. Players who choose Fanatic Archetypes must select a cause for their character to further. Revolutionaries, zealots and sincere firebrands are all examples of Fanatic Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you accomplish some task that directly relates to your cause.
Gallant: Gallants are flamboyant souls, always seeking attention and the chance to be the brightest stars. Gallants seek the company of others, if only to earn their adoration. Attention drives the Gallant, and the chase is often as important as fulfilling that pursuit. Nothing excites a Gallant so much as a new audience to woo and win. Performers, only children and those with low self-esteem are often Gallant Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a Willpower point whenever you successfully impress another person. Ultimately, the Storyteller is the arbiter of when you dazzle someone, even in the case of other players’ characters.
Judge: The Judge perpetually seeks to improve the system. A Judge takes pleasure in her rational nature and ability to draw the right conclusion when presented with facts. The Judge respects justice, as it is the most efficient model for resolving issues. Judges, while they pursue the “streamlining” of problems, are rarely visionary, as they prefer proven models to insight. Engineers, lawyers and doctors are often Judge Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you correctly deduce a mystery by assembling the clues presented, or when one of your arguments unites dissenting parties.
Loner: Even in a crowd, the Loner sticks out, because he so obviously does not belong. Others view Loners as pariahs, remote and isolated, but in truth, the Loner prefers his own company to that of others. For whatever reason, the Loner simply disdains others, and this feeling is often reciprocated. Criminals, radicals and free thinkers are all Loner Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower when you accomplish something by yourself, yet which still benefits the coterie in some way. For truly impressive success, or achievement in spite of strong opposition, the Storyteller may choose to let you regain two Willpower points.
Martyr: The Martyr suffers for his cause, enduring his trials out of the belief that his discomfort will ultimately improve others’ lot. Some Martyrs simply want the attention or sympathy their ordeals engender, while others are sincere in their cause, greeting their opposition with unfaltering faith in their own beliefs. Many Inquisitors, staunch idealists and outcasts are Martyr Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower when you sacrifice yourself or your comfort for your ideals or another’s immediate gain.
Masochist: The Masochist exists to test his limits, to see how much pain he can tolerate before he collapses. He gains satisfaction in humiliation, suffering, denial and even physical pain. The Masochist defines who he is by his capacity to feel discomfort – he rises each night only to greet a new pain. Certain extreme athletes, urban tribalists and the clinically depressed exemplify the Masochist Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain two points of Willpower whenever you experience pain in a way you never have before.
Monster: The Monster knows she is a creature of darkness and acts like it. Evil and suffering are the Monster’s tools, and she uses them wherever she goes. No villainy is below her; no hurt goes uninflicted and no lie remains untold. The Monster does not commit evil for its own sake, but rather as a means to understand what she has become. Many Sabbat, degenerate Kindred elders and unstable individuals display characteristics of the Monster Archetype.
Old WoD rule: Malignant deeds reinforce the Monster’s sense of purpose. Monster characters should pick a specific atrocity, regaining Willpower whenever they indulge that urge. For example, a tempter regains Willpower for luring someone into wickedness, while an apostate earns back Willpower for causing another to doubt her faith. Pick a destiny and fulfill it.
Pedagogue: The Pedagogue knows it all, and desperately wants to inform others. Whether through a sense of purpose or a genuine desire to help others, the Pedagogue makes sure his message is heard – at length, if necessary. Pedagogue Archetypes may range from well-meaning mentors to verbose blowhards who love to hear themselves talk. Instructors, the overeducated and “veterans of their field” are all examples of Pedagogue Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain one point of Willpower whenever you see or learn of someone who has benefited from the wisdom you shared with them.
Penitent: The Penitent exists to atone for the grave sin she commits simply by being who she is. Penitents have either low self-esteem or legitimate, traumatic past experiences, and feel compelled to “make up” for inflicting themselves upon the world. Penitent Archetypes are not always religious in outlook; some truly want to scourge the world of the grief they bring to it. Repentant sinners, persons with low self-esteem and remorseful criminals are examples of the Penitent Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you feel that you have achieved absolution for a given grievance. This redemption should be of the same magnitude as the transgression – the greater the crime, the greater the penance. The Storyteller is the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes a reasonable act of reparation.
Perfectionist: Perfectionist Archetypes simply demand the best. A half-hearted job gives the Perfectionist no satisfaction, and she expects the same degree of commitment and attention to detail from others that she demands from herself. Although the Perfectionist may be strict and exacting, the achievement of the end goal drives her – and often those for whom she is responsible. Prima donnas, artists and conceptual designers exemplify the Perfectionist Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever you accomplish your goal without any demonstrable flaw or impediment.
Rebel: The Rebel is a malcontent, never satisfied with the status quo or the system as it is. He hates authority and does everything in his power to challenge and undermine it. Perhaps the Rebel truly believes in his ideals, but it is just as likely that he bears authority figures some ill will over a misunderstanding or “wrong” done to him in the past. Teenagers, insurrectionists and nonconformists all exemplify the Rebel Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower whenever your actions adversely affect your chosen opposition. Rebels may oppose the government, the Church, a vampire prince, whatever. The player should choose whom or what his character rebels against when he adopts this Archetype.
Rogue: Only one thing matters to the Rogue: herself. To each his own, and if others cannot protect their claims, they have no right to them. The Rogue is not necessarily a thug or bully, however. She simply refuses to succumb to the whims of others. Rogues almost universally possess a sense of self-sufficiency. They have their own best interests in mind at all times. Prostitutes, capitalists and criminals all embody the Rogue Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower when your self-centered disposition leads you to profit, materially or otherwise. At the Storyteller’s discretion, accumulating gain without exposing your own weaknesses may let you regain two points of Willpower.
Survivor: No matter what happens, no matter the odds or opposition, the Survivor always manages to pull through. Whether alone or with a group, the Survivor’s utter refusal to accept defeat often makes the difference between success and failure. Survivors are frustrated by others’ acceptance of “what fate has in store” or willingness to withstand less than what they can achieve. Outcasts, street folk and idealists may well be Survivor Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain one point of Willpower whenever you survive a threatening situation through tenacity, or when another persists in spite of opposition due to your counsel.
Thrill-Seeker: The Thrill-Seeker lives for the rush brought on by danger. Unlike those of arguably saner disposition, the Thrill-Seeker actively pursues hazardous and possibly deadly situations. The Thrill-Seeker is not consciously suicidal or self-destructive – he simply seeks the stimulation of imminent disaster. Gangbangers, petty thieves and exhibitionists are all examples of the Thrill-Seeker Archetype. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower any time you succeed at a dangerous task that you have deliberately undertaken. Thrill-Seekers are not stupid, however, and the Storyteller may choose not to reward a player who heedlessly sends her character into danger for the sole intent of harvesting Willpower.
Traditionalist: The orthodox ways satisfy the Traditionalist, who prefers to accomplish her goals with time-tested methods. Why vary your course when what has worked in the past is good enough? The Traditionalist finds the status quo acceptable, even preferable, to a change that might yield unpredictable results. Conservatives, judges and authority figures are all examples of Traditionalist Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower any time the proven ways turn out to be the best. Also, regain a point of Willpower any time you successfully resist change for its own sake.
Trickster: The Trickster finds the absurd in everything. No matter how grim life (or unlife) may become, the Trickster always uncovers a kernel of humor within it. Tricksters cannot abide sorrow or pain, and so they strive to lighten the spirits of those around them. Some Tricksters have even higher ideals, challenging static dogma by exposing its failures in humorous ways. Comedians, satirists and social critics are examples of Trickster Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower any time you manage to lift others’ spirits, especially if you are able to deny your own pain in the process.
Visionary: The Visionary is strong enough to look beyond the mundane and perceive the truly wondrous. Visionaries test accepted societal limits, and seek what few others have the courage to imagine. The Visionary rarely takes satisfaction in what society has to offer; she prefers to encourage society to offer what it could instead of what it does. Typically, society responds poorly to Visionaries, though it is they who are responsible for bringing about progress and change. Philosophers, inventors and the most inspired artists often have Visionary Archetypes. Old WoD rule: Regain a point of Willpower each time you are able to convince others to have faith in your dreams and follow the course of action dictated by your vision.
afraid … orange
aggressive … purple
angry … bright red
bitter … brown
calm … light blue
compassionate … pink
conservative … lavender
depressed … gray
desirous/lustful … deep red
distrustful … light green
envious … dark green
excited … violet
generous … rose
happy … vermilion
hateful … black
idealistic … yellow
innocent … white
lovestuck … bright blue
obsessed … bright green
sad … silver
spiritual … gold
suspicious … dark blue
confused … mottled, shifting colors
daydreaming … sharp, flickering colors
diablerist … black veins in aura
dominated/controlled … weak, muted aura
frenzied … rapidly rippling colors
psychotic … hypnotic, swirling colors
vampire … aura colors are pale
shapeshifter … intensely vibrant aura
ghost … splotchy, intermittent aura
magic use … sparkles in aura
INFLUENCING INSTITUTIONS & SOCIETY
The following house rules adapt the first edition Minds Eye Theatre Influence rules for use with the new World of Darkness system.
At least one of the listed network merits is required to attempt to make use of the listed area of influence. For determining the Dice Poll, only add the one merit or skill (the highest rated).
Successes are the minimum number of extended action successes required to achieve the listed action. Each roll equals 6 hours of work (by day) or 12 hours of work (by night), performed by various NPCs. The influencing character does not need to dedicate time during this period, but gains a bonus if handling personally.
* Character handling matters personally: + Presence, Dominate or Majesty (whichever best)
* Character handling matters personally has Striking Looks merit: + 1 or 2
* Dropping from Resources 5 to Resources 4 for next 24 hours: + 4
* Dropping from Resources 4 to Resources 3 for next 24 hours: + 2
Example: Mike “Three Tooth” Kerry wants to have a rival mobster roughed up a little as a warning about turf violations. Kerry has Presence 3, Manipulation 2, Intimidation 3, Streetwise 3, Resources 4 and Status (underworld) 2. Using Streetwise as his Network Merit bonus, Kerry has a dice pool of 8 dice (2+3+3). If Kerry wanted to be directly involved in setting up the job, he could pick up 3 more dice, but instead he opts just to throw money at the problem and sacrifices the use of one Resources point for the next day, gaining a +2 bonus for a total of 10 dice.
On the roll for in the first 12 hours, Kerry gets lucky with 5 successes – enough to locate minor contraband, but not enough to hire muscle to rough someone up. Continuing to make calls into the night, the second roll yields 3 more success, and finally by morning word comes of 2 more successes. By mid-morning, word comes that Kerry’s rival had a very unpleasant visit during breakfast. Also by noon, Kerry’s Resources return to 4 points.
SPYING AND UNDERMINING: Characters may also set resources to watching what other characters are trying to do – and, if detected, oppose such actions. In these cases, resolve the task as both an extended and contested action.
DICELESS PLAY: If budgeting time between game sessions, players may use this guide to estimate how long their characters’ tasks are going to take…
1 die … … … no successes
2 to 4 dice … … 1 success
5 to 8 dice … … 2 successes
9 to 11 dice … … 3 successes
12 to 15 dice … 4 successes
16 to 18 dice … 5 successes
19 to 21 dice … 6 successes
BUREAUCRACY – organizers who really run city hall
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Status (city hall), Allies (city hall) (for actions) or Contacts (city hall) (for information)
* 5 … Trace utility bills.
* 10 … Fake a birth certificate or drivers license; disconnect a small residence’s utility; close a small road or park; get public aid funds ($250).
* 15 … Fake a death certificate, passport or green card; close public schools for a day; turn a block’s utility on or off; shut down a minor business on a violation
* 20 … Initiate a phone tap or department-wide investigation; fake land deed.
* 25 … Start, stop or alter a city-wide program or policy; shut down a big business on a violation; rezone areas; obliterate records of a person on a city and county level.
* 30 … Arrange a fixed audit of a person or business.
CHURCH – the religious establishment
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Academics skill (religion specialty), Status (church), Allies (church) (for actions) or Contacts (church) (for information)
* 5 … Recognize secular members of a faith; pass as a minister; Erse general church records (baptism, marriage, burial, etc.).
* 10 … Recognize higher church members, suspend lay members, track regular congregation members.
* 15 … Open or close a single church; access private information and archives of church.
* 20 … Discredit or suspend higher-level members; manipulate regional branches.
* 25 … Borrow or access church relics or sacred items.
* 30 … Borrow of access church relics or sacred items.
* 35 … Utilize the resources of a Diocese.
FINANCE – banks, businesses, major corporations
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Resources
* 5 … Learn about major transactions and financial events; raise capital ($1,000), learn about general economic trends; learn real motivations from many financial transactions of others.
* 10 … Trace an unsecured small account; raise capital to purchase a small business (single, small store).
* 15 … Purchase a large business (a few small branches or a single large store or service).
* 20 … Manipulate local banking (delay deposits, some credit rating alterations), ruin a small business.
* 25 … Control an aspect of citywide banking (shut off ATMs, arrange a bank “holiday”); ruin a large business; purchase a major company;
* 30 … Spark an economic trend; instigate widespread layoffs.
HEALTH – the medical system, from clinics to research labs
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Medicine skill
* 5 … Access a person’s health records; utilize public functions of health centers; fake vaccination records and the like; obtain blood.
* 10 … Access to some medical research records; have minor lab work done; get copies of coroner’s reports.
* 15 … Instigate minor quarantines, corrupt results of tests or inspections; alter medical records.
* 20 … Acquire a body; completely rewrite medical records; abuse grants for personal use ($250); have minor medical research performed on a subject; institute large-scale quarantines; shut down businesses for “code violations.”
* 25 … Have special research projects performed; have people institutionalized or released.
HIGH SOCIETY – rich dilettantes, aristocracy, and the art community
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Socialize + Network Merit
Network Merits: Status (high society) or Status (other)-1
* 5 … Learn what is trendy; learn about concerts, shows or plays well before they are made public; obtain “hard to get” tickets for shows.
* 10 … Track most celebrities and luminaries; be a local voice in the entertainment field; “borrow” $1000 as idle cash from rich friends.
* 15 … Crush promising careers; hobnob well above status.
* 20 … Minor celebrity status.
* 25 … Get a brief appearance in dominant media; ruin a new club, gallery, festival or other high society gathering.
INDUSTRY – factories and labor unions
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Status (labor unions), Status (business)
* 5 … Learn about industrial projects and movements
* 10 … Have minor projects performed; arrange small accidents or sabotage; dip into union funds or embezzle petty cash ($500).
* 15 … Organize minor strikes; appropriate machinery for a short time.
* 20 … Close down or revitalize a small plant.
* 25 … Manipulate large local industry.
* 30 … Cut off production of a single resource in a small region.
LEGAL – the court system, judges, lawyers
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Academics (legal)
* 5 … Get free representation for small cases
* 10 … Avoid bail for some charges; have minor charges dropped
* 15 … Manipulate legal procedures (such as small wills, minor contracts, court dates); access public funds for $250; get representation in most court cases.
* 20 … Issue subpoenas; tie up court cases; have most legal charges dropped; cancel or arrange parole.
* 25 … Close down all but the most serious investigations; have deportation proceedings held against someone.
MEDIA – newspapers, radio, TV, other mass communication forms
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Expression + Network Merit
Network Merits: Expression skill; Striking Looks 2
* 5 … Learn about breaking stories early; submit small articles (within reason).
* 10 … Suppress (but not stop) small article or reports; get hold of investigative reporting information.
* 15 … Initiate news investigations or reports; get project funding and waste it ($250); access media production resources; ground stories and projects
* 20 … Broadcast fake stories (local area/market only)
* 25 … Broadcast fake stories (news network)
OCCULT – cults and other mystical practitioners
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Occult skill
* 5 … Contact and utilize common occult groups and practices; know some visible occult figures.
* 10 … Know and contact some obscure occult figures; access resources for most rituals and rites.
* 15 … Know the general vicinity of certain supernatural beings and possibly contact them (vampires, ghosts, wizards, etc.); access vital or very rare material components; milk impressionable wannabees for cash ($250); access occult tomes and writings; research a basic ritual.
* 20 … Research an intermediate ritual.
* 25 … Access minor magical items; unearth an advanced ritual.
* 30 … Research to find a new or unheard of ritual or rite from tomes or mentors.
POLICE – the cops, patrol officers, detectives, etc.
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Status (police), Allies (police) (for actions) or Contacts (police) (for information)
* 5 … Learn police procedures; hear about police rumors; avoid traffic tickets.
* 10 … Have license plates checked; avoid minor violations (first conviction); get “inside information.”
* 15 … Find bureau secrets; get copies of an investigative report; have police hassle, detain or harass someone.
* 20 … Access confiscated weapons or contraband; start an investigation; get money, either from an evidence room or as an appropriation ($1,000); have some serious charges dropped.
* 25 … Institute major investigations; arrange set-ups; instigate bureau investigations; have officers fired.
* 30 … Paralyze departments for a time; have major investigations closed down.
POLITICS – partisan players, lobbyists, fund-raisers, etc.
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Subterfuge + Network Merit
Network Merits: Politics skill; Resources 3+
* 5 … Minor lobbying; identify real platforms of politicians and parties; be “in the know.”
* 10 … Meet small-time politicians; have forewarning of processes, laws and the like; utilize slush funds or fund-raiser ($1,000).
* 15 … Sway or alter political projects (local parks, renovations, small construction).
* 20 … Enact minor legislation; dash careers of minor politicians.
* 35 … Get a candidate into minor office; enact more encompassing legislation.
* 30 … Block passage of major bills; suspect major laws temporarily; utilize state bureaus or subcommittees.
* 35 … Usurp county-wide politics; subvert statewide powers to a moderate degree.
* 40 … Call out a local division of the National Guard; declare a state of emergency in a region.
STREET – gangs, the homeless, small time dealers
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Streetwise + Network Merit
Network Merits: Larceny skill, Status (street), Allies (street) (for actions) or Contacts (street) (for information)
* 5 … Have an ear open for “the word on the street” news; identify most gangs and know their turfs and habits.
* 10 … Able to live “on the streets;” access small-time contraband.
* 15 … Often get insight on other areas of influence; arrange some services from street people or gangs; get pistols or uncommon melee weapons.
* 20 … Mobilize groups of homeless; panhandle or hold “a collection” ($250); command respect among gangs, have a word in almost all aspects of their operations.
* 25 … Control a single medium-sized gang (about 100 members); arrange impressive protests by street people (several hundred).
TRANSPORTATION – trains, trucks, buses, ships, taxis and planes
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Intimidation skill
* 5 … Know what goes where and why; travel locally freely and quickly.
* 10 … Track unwary targets if they use non-personal transportation; arrange safe (or at least concealed) passage against mundane threats.
* 15 … Seriously hamper someone’s ability to travel.
* 20 … Temporarily shut down one form of transportation (bus lines; ship, plane, train, etc.); route money into pocket ($500).
* 25 … Reroute major modes of travel; engage in smuggling with impunity.
* 30 … Extend control to a nearby area.
* 35 … Isolate small or remote regions for a short period.
UNDERWORLD – organized crime; gambling; laundering; drugs; etc.
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Intimidation + Network Merit
Network Merits: Streetwise skill, Status (underworld), Allies (underworld) (for actions) or Contacts (underworld) (for information)
* 5 … Locate minor contraband (knives, small time drugs, petty gambling, scalped tickets).
* 10 … Get hold of pistols, serious drugs, stolen cars; hire muscle to rough someone up; fence minor loot; steal $1,000.
* 15 … Get hold of rifles, shotguns, SMGs; arrange a minor “hit” on someone; know someone in “The Family.”
* 20 … White collar crime connections.
* 25 … Arrange gangland assassinations; get services of a demolition man or firebug; supply local drug needs.
UNIVERSITY – educational and scientific community
Dice Pools: Manipulation + Persuasion + Network Merit
Network Merits: Academics skill
* 5 … Know layout and policy of local schools; access to low-level university resources; get records up the high school level.
* 10 … Know a contact or two with useful knowledge or skills; minor access to facilities; fake high school records; obtain college records.
* 15 … Faculty favors; cancel a class; fix grades; discredit a student.
* 20 … Organize student protests and rallies; discredit faculty members; acquire money through a grant ($1,000).
* 25 … Falsify an undergraduate degree.
* 30 … Arrange major projects or studies; alter curriculum institution-wide; free run of facilities.