House Rules for
the New World of Darkness


"Shades of gray are all that I find
When I come to the enemy line.
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of Grey are the colors I see."
- Billy Joel, "Shades of Grey" from River of Dreams

General Merits

Mental Merits

Physical Merits

Social Merits

These rules pertain to all New World of Darkness genres unless otherwise noted.

General Merits

Just the Thing ( to )

Prerequisite: Resources and either Academics or Science

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Wits

Effect: Your character collects useful trinkets and gadgets. He tends to have a couple of useful, but not expensive items on his person that the average person would not think to take with them just anywhere. Declare what you want to have (i.e. lockpicks or small flashlight) and roll. To change what you have, you must have had a reasonable time to go back to your house, workshop or other appropriate location to change what you are carrying. Each dot provides you with an additional item you can declare (with a successful roll) at a particular time (maximum of three).

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: You are not allowed to roll again until you get a chance to re-equip.

Failure: You do not have the item, or anything else that will work to accomplish the task at hand. You may still attempt to roll again for a different need (but cannot produce the same piece of equipment you were trying for this time).

Success: You have an equivalent (basic lockpicks or a couple of bobby pins) that provides you with the ability to perform a task OR a +1 bonus if the item itself is not required (small lighter or keychain flashlight).

If 3 or 4 successes are rolled, you have the item you wanted (lockpicks or small flashlight) or an equivalent item that enables you to perform the task also provides you the +1 while an item that simply aids your effort provides you with a +2 equipment bonus.

Exceptional Success: You have an item that is especially ideal for the task at hand. This item may enable you to perform the task (quality lockpicks) with a +2 equipment bonus or provides the +2 equipment bonus and an added effect that is minor but beneficial in nature.

True Faith ( to )

Prerequisite: Humanity 7; Resolve

Prerequisite (True Faith 4+): Humanity 8, Resolve

Decisions for allowing True Faith:

Who can have it?

What can it affect?

Pillar of Faith ()

Effect: Gain an extra die when spending Willpower in defense of your faith (teachings, theories, places of worship, etc.) or another who has the same faith that you have (they need not have True Faith).

Also, gain a bonus to Expression when explaining or defending faith equal to your True Faith rating.

Speak to the Weakness ()

With a moment, and utter confidence, you make an inspiring comment regarding the type of being or the specific being you are dealing with and you choose words that shake that person enough to hamper their supernatural abilities.

Cost: 1 Willpower point

Dice Pool: Presence + Expression + True Faith (resisted by Resolve + Supernatural Resistance)

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Failure: The target shrugs off your comment and proceeds as if you had not made it.

Success: Reduce their rolls on supernatural abilities by one die for the rest of the scene that they remain in your presence. This applies to any supernatural ability that requires a roll to activate as well as any roll where the dice pool is affected by a supernatural ability.

Fortitude of the Soul ()

Effect: Supernatural resistance 1 while having a symbol of your belief on you.

Symbol of Protection ()

You display a symbol of your faith and, focusing both belief and force of will, you push back your intended target.

Cost: none

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Presence

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: Not only does the effect fail, but if the target was not paying attention to you in particular, they are now.

Failure: The target is unaffected by your display and may act as they wish.

Success: Ward a target away (out of melee range).

Exceptional Success: The target must flee and not return for the rest of the scene or the next sundown (whichever is greater).

Banish the Darkness ()

Cost: 1 Willpower point (optional)

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Presence

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: Not only does the effect fail, but if the target was not paying attention to you in particular, they are now.

Failure: The target is unaffected by your display and may act as they wish.

Success: Ward a target away. The target must flee and not return for the rest of the scene or the next sundown (whichever is greater).

Exceptional Success: The faithful knows when the power behind their faith is particularly strong and may choose instead to spend a Willpower point and touch the target, inflicting their True Faith rating in aggravated damage to the target.

Mental Merits

In The Zone ()

You have learned how to prepare for a performance, fight or other stressful event by taking a few seconds to frame your mind in the moment and push distractions.

Effect: Spend an action (or 30 seconds out of combat) to concentrate and clear your mind. Your next 2 actions or a performance/event are immune to 2 points of environmental and circumstantial penalties.

Physical Merits

Feint ()

Prerequisites: Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting

Effect: Many two-weapon fighting styles use tactics that involve attacking from more than one angle at a time and faking out an opponent with feints. The Florentine style of fencing is one example, using one weapon as a constant threat, for parrying and feint attacks, while the other weapon makes lethal strikes. With this merit, your character knows how to trick an opponent into responding to a feint. In place of a standard attack, the character makes a feint and follows up with an attack.

An attack roll is made for the feint, subtracting dice based on your opponent's Composure instead of Defense. This attack does no damage, but any successes are applied as dice to the second attack roll. In addition, the second attack roll ignores the opponents Defense. Drawback: If the first roll fails (before armor is applied) then the second roll is made with a -1 die penalty and Defense applies.

Shield Rip ()

Prerequisites: Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting , a secondary weapon that can entangle or catch an opponents weapon or shield

Effect: Many two-weapon fighting styles rely on using more than simple attack and defense maneuvers with the secondary weapon. Some weapon styles use a hook or chain style weapon that can wrap around or grab weapons and shields to create an opening in defenses. With this merit, your character can entangle or wrench aside the opponent's weapon or shield, exposing them to a more serious attack.

Your character attacks his opponent's weapon or shield (- Defense + weapon or shield bonus; Dodge doesn't apply).

Attacking a shield: If successful, he makes an immediate follow-up roll to hit his opponent. This roll adds the shield's bonus +2 and is made against the opponents Defense as normal (including if they are using Dodge). Drawback: Your character loses their Defense against any other opponents this round (if they have already been attacked this round by another opponent they may not use Shield Rip). This ability cannot be used against an opponent that is denied their Defense as they cannot have a shield readied.

Attacking a weapon: If successful, he makes an immediate follow-up roll to hit his opponent. This roll is made against the opponents Defense as normal (including if they are using Dodge). The opponent may not use that weapon as part of their next action. Drawback: Your character loses their Defense against any other opponents this round (if they have already been attacked this round by another opponent they may not use Shield Rip). This ability cannot be used against an opponent that is denied their Defense as they cannot have a weapon readied.

Unarmed Finesse ( or )

Based on Fighting Finesse from World of Darkness (pg. 110), except that it need pertains to unarmed combat instead of weapon combat.

Prerequisite: Dexterity and Brawl or

Effect: Your character prefers to fight with a chosen natural weapon in a manner that favors agility over power. With that one type of attack (punches, throws or kicks, for example), you may substitute your character's Dexterity for Strength when making attack rolls.

Alternatively, Unarmed Finesse can apply to all physical attacks that apply to the maneuvers of a particular fighting style (but not to maneuvers and attacks that are not one of the described maneuvers/attacks of that fighting style).

For three dots (Which requires a Brawl of , this merit allows the character to gain agility with most maneuvers. Maneuvers that require the application of strength and leverage rather than speed and flexibility do not benefit from this merit (holds, chokes, and locks are all examples).

Social Merits

Blend In ()

Effect: Some people instinctively learn to not be noticed. They dress and move -- or not move -- in a way that draws less attention to themselves. They listen rather than speak and tend to startle others when they clear their throat or decide to add to a conversation. Your character is accustomed to exclamations of "Where did you come from?" and "I didn't realize you were there!" When others enter a scene after you or you enter while their attention is drawn to other people, others are at a -3 die penalty to notice you. Once they have noticed you in a given scene, this ability no longer applies.