Our Rules
Abilities

Improving Abilities

Ability improvement is necessary in order to evolve your character. Acquiring new abilities or improving existing abilities will be done as follows:

Weeks needed to improve a skill: New Ability Dots, minimum. Increased or decreased at ST discretion (rarely).

ST's Option: Skill buys can be easier if you can provide at least one reason per dot why you deserve it. "I should have Politics 2 because I did X, Y, and Z." For example. If this is the case, you can reduce the total time needed by 1 Week.

Getting to 1, 2 and 3: Hire a tutor, get a PC teacher, take classes, practice until your arms fall off. You can get to this under your own steam with a reasonable plan.

Getting to 4 and 5: Requires a teacher sourced from the player base, or from the elders, if no players have the relevant skill. Not all Elders are guaranteed to teach the skills you want, it may take boons, you'll need to talk to your representing Primogen to make the deal. There may be story involved. But you can get to 4 or 5 if you try.

Primary versus Secondary Abilities

Secondary abilities are no longer available. Per V20 rules, these are now reflected in the use of Hobby Talents, Professional Skills, and Expert Knowledges. These will be treated no differently to their corresponding ability for the purposes of dice pools, difficulties and specialties.

Academics and Expression will function like other abilities, meaning the spec will not be applicable until level 4.

The only difference will be for Crafts, Performance, and Technology. These still need to choose a spec at level 1, and this spec will apply for 10s. That does not apply to anything taken as a hobby talent, professional skill or expert knowledge, which retains the spec kick in at 4 s per any other ability.

Computer Use

Computer use in the game must be cleared with staff for several reasons:

  1. You aren't doing yourself any favors. When storytellers create plots, we often put things in the gaps of history or real-life lore, or fill in spots. We create ancient cults, strange wonky religions and the occasional UFO sighting and put it into the game world. When you just go and do a Google search, you get -none- of this. Nada, none of the actual plot information. You get random stuff of the Internet we had no part in.

  2. You really aren't doing yourself any favors. When we do research rolls in ST chambers, we have the opportunity to push you in the -right- direction. As oppose to whatever random direction Google takes you.

  3. This is not the Internet you are looking for. The in-character Internet is not the same one you and I can get to. The occult information on the real Internet isn't subject to the constant purging and deletion that comes from the ministrations of the Technocracy, Tremere deletion rituals (they do exist), Ventrue influences, weaver spiders, and a myriad of other occult forces. Nor is it added to by any of the other denizens of the World of Darkness (or their comrades). So, the same search does not come up with the same results.

  4. You better know where the Any key is. Not everyone can use Google, and we've seen characters with no Computer post about finding things on Internet searches. We let people use the forums without the Computer ability for convenience's sake, but anything beyond that, you need the skills to make it happen. And the only way to make sure of that is to consult with an ST.
House Rule on Computer Levels:

0- implied. You can use a computer to post on the BBS's. Not much more though. And you probably don't like to.

● You can diagnose basic computer problems and competently operate all consumer electronics such as tablets and desktops, and use all consumer websites with no trouble, such as YouTube or social media

●● You are familiar with server and database systems, could access the most weakly protected systems, can create websites and write simple programs. You can diagnose and fix moderate computer problems. You can fix common hardware with confidence.

●●● You are familiar enough with data security to be considered a hacker. You know your way around the deep and dark web, can write professional code, and track down those who infiltrate your systems. You can get into digital spaces you shouldn't in some cases, but not the most secure spaces.

●●●●You are dangerous with a computer. You could be employed a senior-level programmer or sysadmin. You know how to exploit the weaknesses of most systems, can write tailored viruses and malware, and could write entire major applications on your own. You could find your way around specialized systems such ATMs, military systems or transportation software; or obscure and outdated hardware.

●●●●● You are a guru. You could write your own operating system if you wanted to, and reverse engineer entire pieces of software given enough time. As a hacker, your work is impressive and subtle, and you might find weaknesses in systems people had thought were impregnable. You could be respected in dark web communities for your skill, if you were the type.

Blind Fighting

An exception to the rule for learning abilities is the Hobby Talent of Blind Fighting. Due to the difficulty of learning this skill, the following are the time periods it will take to learn each level:

It will take 1 month per level:

BF 1- 1 month

BF 2- 2 months

BF 3- 3 months

BF 4- 4 months

BF 5- 5 months

Empathy

Empathy is resisted by subterfuge. To use empathy to try and perceive other people's emotions, it is a contested roll between the user's Perception + Empathy (difficulty 6) vs. the target's Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty 6), no willpoer spends allowed on either side. If the user can only hear the person's voice, or only see them without hearing them, the Empathy roll is made at difficulty 8.

Resisting empathy is automatic and is done whether or not you have any dots in Subterfuge. You cannot roll Empathy more than once per scene (it gets obnoxious), unless a major event prompts a huge emotional shift in the situation. Overuse of this ability is officially frowned upon.

Empathy Results

If you succeed in your roll, you may prompt the target with a private message. Just one success (minus your target's successes) garners just their most general emotional state. More successes can determine a few reasonable details (he's nervous vs. he got nervous when you brought up the Prince).

Performance

The Performance ability, according to the book, governs your ability to perform in a certain artistic area. In our game we also add to that the ability to "perform" in a social situation that requires you to engage or inspire people.To that end, when you take the performance at character creation or purchase it later on with experience points, you must indicate what you will use the performance for.

Examples of Artistic Performance

  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Stage Act
  • A particular instrument

If you take performance it signifies ONE particular area your character is proficient at. Any other artistic skills can be bought as secondaries.

Examples of Non-Artistic Performance

  • Rabble Rousing

If you wish to take Performance because a particular discipline uses it, you must indicate a non-artistic reason for it. This indicates HOW you will use it. Using Awe is not a matter of just rolling dice. It is a matter of rolling dice AND roleplaying your character changing people's minds to follow your lead. This may be done by giving an eloquent speech, or working the crowd up into a frenzy of excitement or anger or perhaps getting them to laugh and relax and have a good time. Either way they will follow you... because you are the object of their awe and inspiration, you have engaged them into following your lead.

Performance Rehearsal/Practice

We allow players who wish to do so, rehearse a performance in order to receive a modification for their Performance rolls. The rules are as follows:

  1. You have recorded in Chambers that you are indeed practicing and you come in each week to reverify it.
  2. You have time before a performance to actually do this.
  3. It does NOT apply to impromptu performances. This is for planned performances mainly at Kindred events.

Rules:

Kindred may dedicate their time over weeks to practice for an upcoming performance. Bonuses cannot be used for earlier and/or impromptu performances.

  • 1 week: +1 to Performance dice pool total.
  • 2 weeks: +1 to Performance dice pool, -1 to Performance difficulty total.
  • 3 weeks: +2 to Performance dice pool (no diff change, still the same -1 to the total)
  • 4 weeks: +2 to Performance dice pool, -2 to Performance difficulty total.
  • 5 weeks: +3 to Performance dice pool (no diff change, still the same -2 to the total)

Subterfuge

Subterfuge defines your ability to play other people false, and is primarily used to resist attempts to detect whether or not you are lying, or what your real emotional state is.

To detect whether or not someone is being deceptive, the person trying to sense deception rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty 6) vs. the target's Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty 6). No willpower spends are allowed on either side.

There are only two allowed responses if the user succeeds in sensing deception, "you sense deception" or "you sense no deception." This is a simple yes-or-no, no nuance or in between. If you were telling anything less than the complete and honest truth, they detect deception from you, but not what part of your statement or why it is deceptive.

Resisting deception checks is automatic whether you are lying or not.

Remember, lie detect checks are not foolproof. The person performing such a roll does not look at someone and see this neon light on their forehead that says "LYING!"

Concealment of Weapons

A character may roll to conceal weaponry on their person. This does not mean you can be a walking arsenal with a battle axe, katana, long sword, short sword, an AK-47, etc etc on your person. It must be reasonable and it must make sense for the character.

Custom made clothing can be used. It does not give you a modification however.

Concealment can be taken as a Specialty of Stealth. This will give you a bonus in rolls once you reach Stealth 4.

Roll: Wits + Stealth, diff dependent on the number and type of weaponry being concealed. The ST or helper will set the diff. If there is no one on to do the roll, you may roll at diff 6 if one weapon and you are using the appropriate garment to conceal (See weaponry tables on the website) or 8 if you are a walking arsenal.

Learning Languages

While not an ability per the V20 rules, and instead categorized as a Merit, we allow you learn other languages and buy an additional dot in the Merit.

In order to better show the difficulty in learning a language- especially when you as a Vampire have maybe an hour or so a night to learn it, below are the times it takes to learn a new language.

In order to learn a new language it will take 7 minus your intelligence rating x 3 = Total number of weeks to learn.

So, if you have intelligence 3-

7 - 3 = 4 x 3 = 12 weeks to learn a language.

These lessons MUST be played and it will pretty much be a nightly thing in order for you to learn.

Languages are not easy things to learn. Many languages are almost impossible to learn, this will ensure that these are acquired in a somewhat realistic time period.