House Rules for
the Old 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
These rules pertain to all World of Darkness genres unless otherwise noted.
Attributes: 6 and Up...
Attributes are not so much a matter of experiences as pure capability. The only way to increase Abilities beyond what is normally allowed (5 for most) is through magical means. Once this is accomplished, they can be kept with experience expenditure.
|1-5||CR x4, (n/a, 4, 8, 12, 16)|
|6||24 experience points|
|7||34 experience points|
|8||46 experience points|
Note: Kith bonuses are in addition to the attribute level that has been purchased.
Mummies already have rules for raising Attributes beyond 5
Rolling without Abilities
Talents -- Roll applicable Attribute.
Skills -- Roll applicable attribute (+1 difficulty).
Knowledges -- No roll. It is simply not known. Subject to Storyteller discretion.
Clarification on Re-rolls
If a character has specialized in an Ability, at level four of that Ability, the character re-rolls tens and adds their success. At level six both nines and tens can be re-rolled. When re-rolling, ones are always ignored.
Level 6 and Up...
Lower generation vampires are not the only ones who gain the knowledge of the ages. Any person who has been alive for over a hundred years has the chance to learn extraordinary amounts of information and possess skills that rival the greatest of legend.
Below are the required experience costs and minimum age to learn each level of an ability:
Note: Each level of Past Life, Dream, Memoriam, or Remembrance subtracts 10 years from the requirement.
Talents Skills and Knowledges*
|1-5||N/A||CR x2, (3, 2, 4, 6, 8)|
|6||100 years||14 experience points|
|7||200 years||24 experience points|
|8||350 years||36 experience points|
|*except Mage knowledges, which follow:|
|1-5||N/A||CR x2, (3, 1, 2, 3, 4)|
|6||100 years||8 experience points|
|7||200 years||18 experience points|
|8||350 years||30 experience points|
Not just anyone can have Awareness. There are a select number of groups that qualify.
Awareness can be purchased by:
- Small children
- Bastet (Werecats)
It never really seemed realistic the way Linguistics is explained in most of the books. The following rules are more realistic and are from Kindred of the East:
|One additional language|
|Two additional languages|
|Four additional languages|
|Eight additional languages|
|Sixteen additional languages|
Children as Characters
While children can be characters in most of the genres, a child character has different rules because they are unique in limitation and in advantage.
These rules are for children who are 12 years or less in age.
Children receive one of the following, as applicable:
- Vampire -- An extra dot in Conscience/Conviction.
- Werewolf -- An extra dot in Rage or Gnosis (this only applies to Metis, as they are the only ones who can change as children).
- Mage -- An extra dot in Arete.
- Wraith -- A dot in Memoriam (or three dots in Pathos).
- Changeling -- Nothing. The system is designed for Childlings and accounts for them.
Other characters will tend to protect them and societal rules will be more lenient because of their age.
- Children may not have more than a 2 Strength (usually only 1) by normal means.
- Children are considered to have the Flaw: Short and Flaw: Age automatically (no points for them). Childlings in Changeling: The Dreaming are less likely to have the Flaw: Age due to the effect that their eternal fae soul has to others perceptions. Childlings frequently seem very "grown up" when they aren't proving they are kids.
- With a few exceptions, children may not take more than 3 dots in any Knowledges or 4 dots in any Skills.
- Willpower starts at one less than normal except Childlings (Changeling: The Dreaming).
- Frequently children will need a chaperone to be allowed to go places and will need to be careful that their actions don't get those around them in trouble for neglect or abuse.
Combat in games that I run will be somewhat freeform. If you want extra bonuses then you must describe carefully what you want to do and be creative in doing so. Bonuses and penalties will be adjusted accordingly.
Multiple Actions & Initiative
There are several ways to gain extra actions in a round. Most supernaturals have some way to gain them through magic. Anyone can gain extra actions by splitting their dice pool unless they only have 1 dot in Dexterity (or Wits for mental actions). Initiative functions the same way for each segment
Example: There are 3 vampires (Tomas, Angeline and Karsk) and 2 werewolves (Seth and Red Paws) facing off. Everyone rolls initiative. The players are asked if they want to have more than one action this round.
- Tomas does not have Celerity and elects to not split his dice pool. He rolls a 14 for initiative.
- Angeline has Celerity and decides to spend 2 blood points to get two extra actions. She rolls 12 for initiative.
- Karsk does not have Celerity but decides to split his dice pool to get an extra action. He rolls 17 for initiative.
- Seth decides to spend a point of Rage to shift to his war form (Crinos) and another for an extra action. He rolls 21 for his initiative. He has a gift called Spirit of the Fray (SoF) that says he goes first (his first action goes before everyone else goes).
- Red Paws hates vampires and decides he will spend 3 points of Rage to gain three extra actions! He rolls poorly for his initiative, getting a 7.
Initiative with Multiple Actions
|Segment 1||Segment 2||Segment 3||Segment 4||Segment 5||Segment 6||Segment 7|
|2 actions (1st)||1 action (only)||2 actions (1st)|
|4 actions (1st)||3 actions (1st)||4 actions (2nd)||3 actions (2nd)||4 actions (3rd)||3 actions (3rd)||4 actions (4th)|
|7||Red Paws||Red Paws||Red Paws||Red Paws|
Red Paws would have gone first if Seth did not have his special ability Spirit of the Fray. The order of combat is as follows:
- (Segment 1) Seth, Red Paws
- (Segment 2) Angeline
- (Segment 3; Seth does not get an action here because his first action was before anyone else goes) Karsk, Red Paws
- (Segment 4) Tomas, Angeline
- (Segment 5) Seth, Karsk, Red Paws
- (Segment 6) Angeline
- (Segment 7) Red Paws
It is not possible to botch or fail a damage roll (unless directly caused by a magical or supernatural effect; usual rules apply). If a roll to hit is successful a roll for damage will always count as a minimum of one success. This damage can still be soaked as normal.
I do not hold to the rules for soaking that have been presented in the Revised edition of the Storyteller system. The only type of damage that cannot be soaked is Aggravated damage and only certain types (usually those things that a particular type of creature is particularly vulnerable to). All damage can be soaked except:
- Radioactive based damage.
- Sunlight and fire for Vampires.
- Silver (and gold when applicable) for Changing Breeds.
- Magickal effects affecting the pattern of the target directly. All of these effects are also ALWAYS vulgar.
- Iron for Changelings.
Note: Impact damage from any objects made of these materials is still bashing or lethal and can be soaked.
Awakened, Enlightened ... Dangerous?
Most of the denizens of the World of Darkness have to worry about who knows about them. Vampires are concerned with the Masquerade, though they tend not to want anyone to know what they are. Garou are protected by and need to uphold the veil, but there are those who are not affected by it. Mages have Paradox to worry about. There are those who don't carry it with them. Wraiths just avoid being noticed. Changelings will occasionally bless those who are more aware than others with the gift of Fey Sight. So who qualifies...
Who is Aware?
- Vampires -- Kindred, Kuei-Jin.
- Werecreatures -- Ananasi, Bastet, Corax, Garou, Gurahl, Kitsune, Mokole, Nagah, Nuwisha, Ratkin, Rokea.
- Changelings -- Only in their fae mien (Kithain, Thallain, Nunnehi, Menehune). Hsien and Inanimae are all the time.
- Others -- Sorcerer or Psychic with three or more dots in at least one Path or Phenomenon, small children, Kinfolk and Kinain who realize their Heritage, some insane mortals (maybe they have gone through a Chrysalis or an Awakening and just couldn't cope with it).
...And Who Isn't?
- Mortals who have no special abilities or backgrounds.
- Changelings in their mortal seeming.
- Sorcerers and Psychics who have not attained three dots in any Path or Phenomenon.