Ability Merits

Merits that reduce the difficulty of an ability roll (such as Computer Aptitude) do not apply to combat or supernatural powers using that ability roll, unless the merit specifically says that it does.

Examples:

  • Natural Channel is OK
  • Acute Sense + Auspex is OK; Auspex 2 (Aura Perception) is visual
  • Acute Sense does not affect Awareness, which is not tied to a normal sense

Alternate Identity

This rule covers alternate/fake identities that are backed up by physical ID cards and/or paper/electronic records (as opposed to just lying on the spot and rolling Subterfuge).

If you just switched identities as part of your backstory, then you can just handwave that it succeeded. (Example: A vampire periodically creates a new identity, then fakes the death of the old one.) If it ever becomes relevant, staff will work with you to establish details.

The Alternate Identity background may cover mortal society and/or infiltration of another faction.

If you just have a physical fake ID created by a PC with Forgery, then a +note is sufficient. Any fake ID not supported on +sheet by the Alternate Identity background is assumed to be of this type. Mundane examination of the physical ID requires Perception + Investigation (resisted by the original Forgery creation roll) to identify it as fake.

NPCs will only investigate these things if they're prodded by a PC or have some other specific reason to do so. (Example: if you get a speeding ticket, then the officer will run your driver's license through some routine processing, whether it's real or fake.)

Awareness

These rules apply to rolling Awareness to detect the use of a supernatural power.

  • They apply to anything in the 'Powers' section of a PC's +sheet, as well as magic items in +equip or +notes.
  • They do not apply to other uses of supernatural pools (e.g. Garou spending Rage for extra actions).
  • They do not apply to other uses of Awareness (if any).

When can you roll Awareness?

  • Each player with Awareness can roll Perception + Awareness once per effect.
    • Players without Awareness cannot roll Perception by itself.
  • Awareness itself is not a power and can not be sensed by Awareness or other powers.
  • Awareness can only be rolled when an effect has activated.
    • Example: A standing rote that deflects flying anvils does not grant an awareness check. When that same rote actually deflects an anvil, it grants an awareness check.
  • To roll Awareness, the player must be in the same room as the source or victim of the effect.
    • In addition, if they're in different layers of reality (e.g. Umbra), the effect must occur in (or cross into) a level of reality that the player can currently see.

Difficulties

Power level Difficulty
5 4
4 6
3 7
2 9
1 10
No level scale 7*
Sensing only +1**
Targeting you -1

* e.g. possessed powers other than Gifted Kami / Ritekeeper
** Even at difficulty 11+, 10s count as successes (+rules difficulties)

# successes Knowledge Notes
1 Gives the player a sense that 'something' has happened, but not what/where/degree of effect.
2 The player knows what happened, but not where/degree of effect.

Examples:

  • Bob's mind has been influenced.
  • My keys have suddenly gone missing.
  • Somebody is here that wasn't here before.
3 Player knows what happened/location of the source/and degree of effect.
  • The accuracy of the location of the source would be equivalent to pointing one's finger at the source. In a crowded room, the individual rolling Awareness gets a general direction of where the source is. (See '+rules in public').
4 Player knows what/where/degree of effect and some extra insight into the power used.

Example extra insight:

  • Discovering the "vehicle" of the power: Touch, Eye Contact, Words, etc.
  • Players can agree on a different insight.
  • If players can't agree on a different insight, "vehicle" is the default insight.
5+ Player knows what/where/degree of effect and has a full understanding of the result. This is not the same as understanding the power itself.
  • The attention of the character rolling Awareness is immediately drawn to the exact source.

Understanding the nature of powers requires the appropriate Lore at 3.

  • e.g. "Bob's mind has been influenced" vs. "Bob's mind has been influenced by a vampire using Dominate"

See Also: Sniping

Buying Backgrounds

Most backgrounds can be bought/increased post-chargen for 3 XP per dot (M20 336), but only one dot per background per month.

Totem / Jamak are 2 XP per dot (W20 244) and not subject to time limits.

Not available via XP:

Background Reason
Generation requires diablerie
Pure Breed it is what it is
Rites pointless
Fetish, Wonder PCs can create these
Avatar / Genius it is what it is
Node requires Prime 5 ritual

Chargen

See also Character Generation

  • General
    • All requests to add stats to CGen must include book references.
    • Willpower cannot exceed 8 in cgen.
    • Abilities over 3 do not require justification.
    • Abilities can only be raised over 3 with freebies.
    • Resources 3 and below do not require justification.
    • Merits do not need to be purchased with Freebies from flaws. They may be purchased with standard 15/21 freebies.
    • Awareness is available to all races.
  • Mage
    • Magic Resistance is not an appropriate merit for Mages.
  • Mortal+
    • See '+rules ghouls'.
  • Shifter
    • All Faction:Wyrm shifters get Power, Cunning, and Infamy for renown.
  • Vampire
    • Vampires with Thaumaturgy or other blood magic get one free ritual at each level up to their discipline level, but only during chargen.

Combat

  • Equipment comes from V20 280 (armor), W20 302-303 (weapons), M20 447 and 454 (shields and ammo).
    • Customized weapons can be requested, but are not automatic for approval.
  • Combat rules come from the main rulebook for the PCs' game line.
    • For PCs from multiple game lines, see Combat and ask for staff assistance if needed.

See Also: +help +equip

Difficulty

  • If the number of dice equals or exceeds the difficulty, the PC may handwave a single success without rolling. This does not work for all tasks, and never works in combat or other stressful situations. The PC may always choose to roll instead, e.g. if they want to try for multiple successes. (V20 250, W20 236, M20 394)
  • Minimum/maximum difficulty are checked last, after applying all other modifiers. Example: If base difficulty is 11, but modifiers add up to -3, then final difficulty is 8 and works normally.
  • If a difficulty would otherwise be lower than the minimum, then it's the minimum.
  • If a difficulty would otherwise be higher than the maximum, then 10s still count as successes, unless the ST declares the task impossible and doesn't allow a roll at all. (V20 249, W20 234, M20 386)
  • Minimum/maximum difficulty for most things is 2/10; however, 2 and 10 are rare, which is why White Wolf left them off the example charts. (V20 249, W20 234, M20 386)
  • Minimum difficulty for mage powers is 3, unless they're in the Umbra or something. (M20 535) At high difficulty (typically 9+), the ST may apply a threshold (+rules mage misc).

Drive

Having a dot in an ability means that you have a skill, talent, or knowledge that not everyone has.

In the U.S., just about everyone can drive a car, so we don't require a dot in Drive to be able to drive. This goes for both automatic and manual transmission vehicles and anything that doesn't require a special license, including rentable moving trucks.

Some things that will require Drive:

  • A motorcyle (Drive 1 is sufficient)
  • A finicky or poorly-maintained manual transmission
  • A tractor-trailer, RV, or industrial vehicle (Garbage truck, dump truck, tow truck)
  • Tailing someone without being noticed at normal speeds
  • Tailing someone blatantly at high speeds
  • Evading pursuit
  • Excessive speed (>100 MPH)

In Public

Philadelphia is a city of millions and all those people have to be somewhere. Everywhere you go, there will be citizens doing their things. What follows are guidelines to determine whether or not there are people at your location:

  • If you're in the forest or on/in the ocean, '+dice 1'. If you get 1, there's at least one person somewhere nearby. If you get anything else, there's no one around (probably).
  • If you're in a private space behind a locked door, there's no one around (probably).
  • If your location is not in the above list, there are people around. This includes alleys (bums), parks (joggers, dog walkers, rapists), riverbanks and beaches (more rapists).

Furthermore, if you're in a place that would reasonably be crowded such as a club, it is crowded. Crowds make it difficult to hear people, notice people, and find people. If there would reasonably be loud music playing, there is loud music playing.

If you're in a PC-owned location, and do something that would reasonably cause a NPC working there to notice and tell that PC about it, then please OOCly contact that PC and let them know.

  • 'ex here' will tell you who owns the location (OOCly and usually also ICly).
  • Non-exhaustive list of causes: Getting into a physical confrontation. Breaking the law (e.g. smoking or naked table-dancing in a family restaurant). Doing something overtly supernatural (e.g. shifting to Crinos).
  • Many NPCs will run away if threatened, and are affected by Delirium etc. as usual, but there are exceptions (e.g. ghoul retainers). Some NPCs / PCs won't care if you smoke / whatever, others will be concerned about being reported (possibly by another PC) and shut down. Run it by the PC just in case.

Instruction

Players with the secondary talent Instruction may teach abilities to other players for an XP discount:

  • Only applies to abilities, not attributes or supernatural powers or anything else.
  • Does not apply to the student raising an ability higher than the teacher's level in that ability.
  • Talents require the student to already have at least one dot.
  • Once per dot being taught, teacher rolls Manipulation + Instruction vs (11 - student's Intelligence). Student's XP cost for that dot is reduced by 1 per success (to a minimum of 1).
    • Teacher cannot spend Willpower for an automatic success.
  • Playing out teaching on-camera is optional and eligible for +votes / XP nominations as usual.

Reference: Book of Secrets page 19

Kryptonite

The term "kryptonite" is used here as shorthand for "race-specific weakness that causes aggravated damage or significant disablement for a character because of their race/subrace". Examples include:

  • Silver for Werewolves
  • Cold Iron for Changelings
  • Sunlight, Stakes for Vampires
  • Gold for Corax
  • Reference Book Organization for White Wolf Editors

Kryptonite weapons are not trivial to acquire. While the materials themselves (silver) might be very common, the purity and quality of weapons/ammunition made of these materials is rarely such that supplies the desired agg. Kryptonite to be used on NPCs in a PRP may be handwaved by the player running the PRP. Kryptonite to be used on PCs must be requested and approved by staff ("Kryptonite:Y" in +equip), and is subject to risk protection as usual.

For RP purposes, most of these materials as found in everyday items will have little effect on PCs. Players are encouraged to play out some level of trepidation and discomfort handling common kryptonite items and have reactions up to severe rashes from handling them, if desired. Changelings are free to use an iron railing to climb stairs. Werewolves can pick up a silver locket (but shouldn't wear it). Vampires are still incinerated by sunlight; sorry, there is no depleted sunlight.

Supernaturals have relatively few weaknesses and as such, they take those weaknesses very seriously. Brandishing Kryptonite at a PC in a threatening manner, in combat, automatically promotes the wielder to High Risk for the duration of combat. This is regardless of either player's level of sphere-specific Lore. For this to be the case, however, the kryptonite must be the appropriate type for the character's real race. If you're a Gangrel posing miraculously well as a werewolf and someone pulls a silver dagger on you, they aren't automatically promoted to High Risk.

For vampires, holy water, garlic, and crosses are not considered Kryptonite, but stakes and fire are. Fire is not considered Kryptonite for anyone else.

See Also: Sniping

Languages

  • We don't do per-language skill levels. A language is at 0 or it is at 5.
  • Your native language is free.
    • English (everyone)
    • Garou, Lupine (Garou); similar for Fera
  • You get one additional language per dot in the Language merit, doubled if you also have the Natural Linguist merit.

Lores

Lores (Knowledges), aka "RD Data" for Technocrats

  • Lores are counted as primary Knowledges and can be purchased with XP.
  • At Lore 0, your character can believe, but your knowledge is inaccurate and mostly derived from popular culture.

Free Lores

The following types qualify for free Lore in chargen. Characters can qualify for multiple lores.

  • Vampire: Vampire 3
    • Ghoul: Vampire 2
    • Hunter: Hunter 3
  • Garou: Garou 3
    • Kinfolk (Garou): Garou 2
  • Fera: Fera 3
    • Kinfolk (Fera): Fera 2
  • Wyrm Shifters: Wyrm 3
    • Kinfolk (Wyrm): Wyrm 2
  • Possessed: Spirit 3
    • Possessed (Fomori): Wyrm 3
  • Mage: Mage 3

Maelstrom

See HouseRules-Mage (Future Fates)

Magical Items

Magical items are items that capture some sort of magical ability. This includes Fetishes, Wonders (aka various other things), and items enchanted through vampiric magic. This does not include single-use items such as Talens.

  • These limits are in addition to any canonical limits.
  • Rituals or Hypertech may be substituted for Occult.

Creation

  • Magical items must be spelled out in a book (like a Fetish) or capture a specific power (like Obfuscate 1), and run by those mechanics
    • Some items will require conversion: a gift that requires Gnosis may cost Quintessence as a Wonder
  • The level of the item is the sum of the levels of power captured (or the level of the Fetish, etc)
  • Items are categorized by game line.
  • To craft an item that captures a power from a different game line, the creator must have the appropriate lore at 3+.
  • The rate at which magical items can be created is limited by the notion of "tokens":
    • Your number of tokens is Occult x 2
    • Creating a level 5 item consumes 5 tokens
    • Those 5 tokens return at the end of the month
    • Tokens are only consumed on successful creation
  • Exception: Items that have a fixed shelf life, but can be used multiple times before expiring
    • These do not consume tokens
    • Instead, a player can have as many of these in existence simultaneously as he has dots in Occult, regardless of their levels

Carrying and Use

  • Characters are limited by how many magical items they can bring into a scene.
    • Characters can have dumpsters full of magical items at home, and if attacked there, they can use all of them during that scene.
  • The limit is on the sum of the item levels.
  • A character's magical carrying limit is:
    • Shifters: (Rank + Rituals) x 2
    • Mage: (Arete + Occult) x 2
    • Vampires: Highest Discipline + Occult (not x2, magic items are uncommon for vampires)
    • Others (Mortal, Mortal+): Occult x 2
  • To use a magical item from another game line, the character must meet the requirements of the item/power captured (e.g. Willpower, Gnosis) and have Occult greater than or equal to the item level
    • All magical items are considered out-of-game-line for Mortals
  • Receiving a magical item made by another player does not require purchasing the appropriate background

Minimum Time

Certain stats have a minimum time between increases, in addition to canon requirements:

  • Level 0 -> 1: No time limit
  • Level 1 -> 2: 1 month
  • Level 2 -> 3: 3 months
  • Level 3 -> 4: 6 months
  • Level 4 -> 5: 8 months

Thus, the fastest any PC can advance from 1 to 5 is 18 months.

Multiclass

Each PC must be exactly one of the following:

  • Mortal
  • Vampire
    • Ghoul
    • Hunter
  • Shifter
    • Kinfolk
    • Possessed
  • Mage
  • Changeling
    • Kinain

Exceptions:

  • Ghoul merit (Book of Secrets 75) lets you be ghoul in addition to something else, but does not let you learn disciplines (beyond baseline Potence 1).
  • Supernatural Kinfolk merit (Kinfolk page 64) lets you be kinfolk in addition to something else, but does not let you learn gifts.
  • Fae Blood merit (Book of Secrets 74) lets you be kinain in addition to something else, but does not let you learn arts or realms.
  • To staff's knowledge, X20 does not provide any other specific game mechanics for being a mortal+ in addition to something else. If/when you find something, please +request and we'll review it. We may eventually house-rule some such methods.
  • It's okay and in fact encouraged to plan ahead, with a +note along the lines of "I am or plan to be (additional thing)", with the understanding that it needs to stay quietly in the background until an official game mechanic becomes available.

No PC may be more than one type of supernatural creature (e.g. abominations).

Canon methods for one PC to have more than one type of supernatural power:

  • Bastet with Cat Magic merit may have numina
  • Kitsune with Fox Magic merit may have numina
  • If there are any others, please +request and we'll review it.

NPC Willpower

From W20 263

Willpower % of population
1 10%
2 20%
3 18%
4 15%
5 13%
6 10%
7 7%
8 5%
9 1.5%
10 0.5%

No Free Lunch

This rule covers using a supernatural effect to permanently increase a stat that normally costs XP.

Target may pay the normal XP cost, handwaving the effect as IC justification.

  • This does not require rolls, or even canonical game mechanics.
    • Example: Using Vicissitude to justify buying off a physical flaw.

Target may pay half the normal XP cost (rounded up) if:

  • The effect has canonical game mechanics for such an increase.
  • The caster succeeds at those game mechanics.
    • Example: Using Life/Mind to increase physical/mental attributes permanently.

Target may benefit without spending XP if:

  • The effect has canonical game mechanics for such an increase.
  • The caster succeeds at those game mechanics.
  • The effect has some other type of permanent or ongoing cost.
    • Example: Using Vicissitude 2 (Fleshcraft) to increase soak dice, at the expense of decreasing Strength or health levels.
    • Example: Using Life/Mind to increase physical/mental attributes as an ongoing effect, at the expense of the caster suffering rote strain and possibly increased Paradox.

Not Allowed

Not exhaustive. Stats not currently in the database may be available on request.

  • Animal Kinship: Use the Animal Ken skill instead.
  • Art / Artistic Expression: Use the Performance and/or Crafts skill instead.
  • Dodge: Use the Athletics talent instead.
  • Empathic Healing: Use the Healing numina instead.
  • Linguistics: Use the Language merit instead.
  • Poisons: Use the Pharmacopoeia knowledge instead.
  • RD Data: Use relevant Lore knowledges instead.

Pooling Backgrounds

A group of PCs may pool backgrounds (V20 118, W20 140, M20 301) by declaration. Submit a +request to staff to be set up for the +coterie, +pack, +chantry, or +construct command.

Each player may only have one alt per pool. Multiple pools may ICly self-identify as a larger group (e.g. chantry with multiple cabals) but this does not affect game mechanics.

Sniping

Here we define 'sniping' to be the use of special abilities or items to discern information about another character. Specific examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Aura Perception
  • Sense Wyrm/Weaver/Wyld
  • Scent of the True Form
  • Lifesight/Deathsight

Using these abilities requires at a minimum concentration, if not overt actions such as staring, making hand gestures, or licking the subject.

While we may only have a few dozen players logged in a time, Philadelphia itself is a city of millions. As such, sniping any but the most obvious supers would be exhausting work; you'd get nothing else done. Sniping therefore requires a clear and specific reason to be used on a character, PC or otherwise.

A PC must have done something significant to warrant being sniped:

  • A PC in the territory of another race/faction may be sniped at any time
    • PCs may belong to multiple groups: a mage / CoG kinfolk can't automatically be sniped at the Gaian caern, but can at Elysium
  • A PC using a supernatural power must offer the detection roll (if any) specified by that power, as well as a passive Awareness roll (+rules awareness)
  • A PC mundanely reacting to a supernatural weakness (e.g. running from fire) is not sufficient cause for sniping unless the sniper has the relevant sphere's lore at 3+

For example, Willy the Werewolf sees Bob back away from a silver blade nervously. Willy the Werewolf suspects Bob is a BSD. Willy has Lore Garou at 3 and is justified in using Sense Wyrm. Turns out Willy senses no obvious Wyrm signs in the area. To figure out what's up, he uses Scent of the True Form on Bob. Bob happens to be a Mage. Willy sees that Bob isn't a Werewolf at all, he's something else. However, because he doesn't have any dots in Lore Mage, he doesn't know what he's looking at.

If Bob doesn't think he's been presented with sufficient justification for being sniped, he may refuse.

See Also: Wyrm Taint, Lores

Specialties

For each attribute and ability with 4 or more dots, you may select one specialty.

Specialties are also allowed (not required) for some abilities at 1-3:

  • Talents - Expression
  • Skills - Crafts, Performance
  • Knowledges - Academics, Law, Science, Technology
  • Specialties must be documented in +notes and approved by staff. The main rulebooks contain several suggestions.
  • Specialties must be clearly limited to a subset of all possible rolls involving the attribute or ability. The book suggestions for attributes tend to be bad about this.
  • If a stat is temporarily/semi-permanently/conditionally raised to 4+, it may have a specialty that applies while the raise applies.
    • Examples: +effects from +shift forms or other sources, changeling birthrights while in the Dreaming
  • Players should do '&VERBOSE_ROLLS me=1' to see how many 10s they got. This also affects rolls shown to you by others.
  • Any 10s in the roll count as two successes each (before 1s cancelling, e.g. 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 8 10 at diff 6 is 3-1=2 successes).

References: V20 96, W20 123, M20 274

Status Stats

Certain stats (usually backgrounds) are intended to represent a character's standing in their own society, e.g. Status (Vampire), Pure Breed (Werewolf). These stats work well in table top where a storyteller is omniscient and can manage the implications. MUs are not such an environment.

Even in table top, Status only carries weight amongst those who respect it. The Brujah or Bone Gnawers with no status have no incentive to respect the status of others; they're unlikely to get any themselves so playing the status game is unlikely to pay off for them. In short, Status is something respected by those who have, or want to gain Status.

Those same Brujah and Bone Gnawers will, however, respect the authority of others within their sphere. Authority is delegated from the top down, not merely assumed. Authority can be assumed when there is no established structure, but assumed authority is not automatic; it must be defended, possibly through force.

Some Status stats can modify dice rolls. Those effects are by the book, regardless of the above interpretations.

See Also: +policy pc leadership

Time

These terms are from V20 254 and similar in other rulebooks. Abilities usable e.g. "once per story" should follow these guidelines (on the honor system as usual).

Turn - The amount of time you need to take a fairly simple action; this can range anywhere from three seconds to three minutes, depending on the pace of the current scene.

  • Hand-to-hand combat typically uses three-second turns.
  • A car chase might use turns as long as three minutes.

Scene - A compact period of action and interaction that takes place in a single location.

  • An OOCly continuous RP session may consist of multiple scenes separated by downtime, especially if you move to a different grid room.

Chapter - An independent part of a story, consisting of a number of scenes interconnected by downtime.

  • In a tabletop setting, these are often played out in one OOC game session. On a mu*, this varies more; we suggest "one OOC week", unless the players agree on something different.

Story - A full tale, consisting of one or more chapters.

  • We suggest "one OOC month", unless the players agree on something different.

Chronicle - A series of connected stories.

  • We suggest "three to six OOC months", unless the players agree on something different.

Downtime - Time that is glossed over with description, rather than played out turn by turn or scene by scene. ("You wait in the foyer for four hours before the prince's ghoul summons you.")

See also: +policy time

Weapons

See 'Combat' above

Willpower

Self-service '+gain Willpower' is limited to one point per week. While e.g. V20 267 suggests regaining it on a per-night and per-story basis, MU* stories are slower-paced than tabletop.

Players can +request to regain additional Willpower for:

  • Significantly fulfilling your Nature (not Demeanor), or auspice/aspect for shifters.
  • Achieving a major victory.

The Destiny background (M20 311) gives you a roll if you're facing an end that would derail it.

See also: NPC Willpower

XP Costs

See also XP Chart

  • Ghoul Disciplines: See '+rules buying disciplines'
  • Gurahl: Gifts from a previously held auspice count as in-auspice. This does not include auspices skipped via Early Maturation.

See Also: PC Ghouls