Rules In-depth

“Special quotation regarding Character Examples..”

The Basics of the Storytelling System
Character Creation

General Rules or “Hacks”

  • Things must be properly noted on the Character Sheet to exist in-game.

Dice Rules

  • The rule of 5’s:
  • The rule of 1’s:
  • The rule of 10’s:
  • There are certain “secret” Traits such as Karma Reaction & Rank known usually, only by the StoryTeller. Hopefully, this adds to the suspense and threat in a situation.
  • WillPower is regained by resolving Conditions or properly experiencing your Aspirations, Fetters, Fumbles, Nature’s & Demeanours, Virtues, Vices in-game. It also usually earns the Player-Character a Beat of Experience.
  • Training requires the teacher to be a level higher in the “to be taught” power or ability. Thus a mage, to learn Mind (3) needs an Adept of Mind (4) to teach them. This rule change applies to all teaching and hopefully means students need to go travelling or looking for an appropriate teacher rather than simply having one easily available all the time.
  • The Health Meters are there to detail the state of the Character and to take Mental, Physical & Social Damage from MIND, BODY & SOUL. Consider the Mind as the internal, focused rationality or wisdom and Soul as the more externally focused, group socially aware rationality.
  • Reaction is a Vague Stat, kept by the StoryTeller and made up of (Pre + Karma) + Bonuses or Penalties.
  • All Merit Styles tend to cost more. You must purchase DoTs gradient.
  • Skill Specialities : The maximum Specialities of a parent skill is equal to (Int + Skill DoTs) for that Skill.
  • Spell-casting is much more difficult and more dangerous than one imagines so Mages rarely “Riff” with spontaneous, custom magic and stick to Rotes or Rituals.
  • A Mage can store a number of Spells, prepared and ready to be activated in their Pattern. The number of Spell Slots = Gnosis + MIND + SOUL.
    This means the elder, more powerful mage tends to have more versatility with more slots and losing parts of your SOUL or MIND is a bit more important and heartfelt.
  • Dice Successes are usually defined as.. 1 = Barely; 2-4 Dice = Normal; 5+ Dice = Exceptional Success.
  • Healing: Times are extended so that Bashing takes number in Days, Lethal equals Weeks and Aggravated equals number in Months.
  • In Combat both Attacker and Defender make Rolls in a Round.
    • Attacker: Attribute + Ability + Edge = Roll this Dice Pool for no. of potential Successes (2 + 3 + 1 = 6 Attack Dice … Rolls 3 Successes)
    • Defender: Defence (Avg. Dex & Wit + Defence Skill) + Edge = Dice Pool .
    • The Defenders’ Successes are taken from Attackers Dice Pool,
      if Dodging: Double Defence and Roll then the Successes remove Attackers Successes. (4 (Dex + Com) + 1 (Athletics) = 5 Standard Defence Dice + BODY or wound penalty?
      Roll these and the Successes are taken away from Attackers’ Rolled Successes to equal damage before the Bonuses & Penalties. Rolls 2 Successes)
    • Attacker: Remaining Successes + Weapon Dam. Bon. – Defenders’ Armor = Actual Damage to BODY (3 – 2 = 1 Damage + 2 Weapon Damage = 3 Total Damage).
  • Always, everywhere… Buying a 4th or 5th DoT in a Trait requires buying 2 DoTs for each, 6th & 7th requires 3 DoTs and 8th & 9th DoTs of a Trait require 4 DoTs each. With the flat XP Costs this illustrates how difficult it is to rise into these superhuman ranges.
  • Electricity does Bashing Damage normally.
  • Guns only do bashing damage to Vampires.
  • Enchantments rarely permanent on Living Beings.
  • Arcane Supernatural Experience should be used for Supernatural Traits such as Power Attributes & Powers i.e. Mage for Gnosis and Arcana, Kindred may use it to buy Blood Potency and Disciplines etc. Normal Experience is then available for mundane matters such as skills, attributes, merits etc.
  • Mages use… Promise → Vow → Oath
  • Mage Degrees.. 1st for Master of 1 Arcana, 2nd degree Master for 2 Arcana at 5 etc. Eg. Dan Bloom, Arcanthus 2nd Degree Master of Time & Fate, Adept of Space.
  • GrandMaster replaces ArchMaster at 6 DoTs and ArchMaster or Archmage is at 8 DoTs.
  • Magic Consilium vote system also Aspirant/Novice first.
    And the method – 1 for being a Novice, 2 for an Apprentice, 4 for a Disciple, 8 for an Adept, 16 for a 1st-degree Master plus 4 for each additional Adept Arcana a Master has and 8 for each additional Degree of Mastery. 1 for each dot in Order Status after the second and 1 for each dot in Consilium Status after the first.

This rather complicated method means that although the way the Consilium elects officers is democratic enough to be something Americans in Washington DC would put up with, it’s also an out-and-out Plutocracy, with the higher-ups amassing vast vote counts. Cabals that are smaller than their rivals could be (and are) more “powerful” politically simply by having a large block of votes and no obvious loyalties

New rule system
The new World of Darkness rules are much more streamlined than the previous system. One 10-sided die is rolled for any ‘dot’ possessed in Attributes and Skills, and 1 success is achieved for every die showing a result of 8 or higher. The “10-again” rule has been added, in that a 10 indicates a re-roll, and the 10 still counts as a success (this rule was present in the original WoD only for Traits ranked at least 4 out of the usual maximum of 5, and then only for a “Specialty” or particular sub-field of the Trait’s application). If another 10 is rolled, this step is repeated until anything but a 10 is rolled. ‘Exceptional Successes’ are indicated by having 5 or more successes on the action and can be regulated by the Storyteller. ‘Dramatic Failures’ are now only possible on “Chance” die rolls: When a dice pool is reduced by penalties to 0 or less, a single Chance die is rolled. If a 10 is rolled, it is a success (and, as mentioned above, is re-rolled). If the result is less than 10 but not 1, then it is a ‘Simple Failure’. On a Chance die, if the roll is a 1, then it is a ‘Dramatic Failure’, which is usually worse than a Simple Failure of the action and is regulated by the Storyteller (although examples of Dramatic Failures in certain situations are occasionally given).

The game also features a much more simplified combat system. In the old system, each attack made during a combat scene could easily involve 4 separate rolls and, in many cases, required more due to supernatural abilities possessed by the characters. Combat scenes involving large numbers of combatants could take a very long time to resolve. The new system requires only 1 roll which is adjusted by the defensive abilities of the character being attacked and represents both the success and failure of the attack, as well as the damage inflicted (indicated by number of successes).

The nature and demeanor rules which represented the personality of the characters that were common in the old games have also been removed. In the new system, characters have a virtue and a vice trait that not only represents the personality of the characters, depending on how well the player role-played the trait, but also represents actions that the character can take in order to regain willpower points that have been spent during the course of play. The vices are the same as the deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride), while the virtues correspond to the four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, courage) and three theological virtues (faith, hope, charity). In the game’s second edition, players do not select virtues or vices from a list. Instead, they may select any lofty ideal to be their Virtue, and any guilty pleasure to be their Vice.

The morality stat represents the moral outlook of the character and the notion that, as a character takes more and more morally questionable actions, he/she will eventually stop feeling bad about it. A character with a high morality would be more moral and saintly, while a person with a low morality would be able to take more dubious actions. As a person’s morality falls, they run the increasing risk of becoming mentally unstable. This, too, was changed in the second edition. Morality was replaced entirely by an “integrity” stat which reflects a character’s mental stability. Integrity can be lowered not only by performing questionable actions, but by witnessing or being subjected to the horrors, supernatural or otherwise, that occur in the setting.

Rules In-depth

ANother World of Darkness - Alpha Network Greyman Greyman