Chronicles 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
When creating a system where various supernaturals can interact without causing havoc and much new rule-making, it is odd that the very design of the individual system makes it harder for them to do so.
With the Classic World of Darkness they did a decent job of making the world seem big and diverse, with the option of having different supernaturals interact (with potentially beneficial or disastrous effects) but the systems did not support it, having tweaked versions of the base system in each book and special mechanics for each game line.
The New World of Darkness (now Chronicles of Darkness) would seem to have done exactly the opposite, creating a unified system where crossover is nearly seamless but the different types of supernatural creatures that simply shouldn't interact except by accident, and in some cases, cannot coexist (Promethean being the biggest issue here). I will be introducing some ideas and minor system changes that can be used to modify this without removing the flavor of the game much.
The Esteemed Guild of Butlers
The Guild exits in an unknown location and are sent to assist those who have the possibility of challenging Fate, with the aim of helping to direct and assist them.
“I was sent by the agency, sir. I was given to understand that you require a valet.”
– Reginald Jeeves, “Jeeves & Wooster”
The Butler's Guild is mechanically treated as a collection of merits and minor supernatural templates. Depending on what the Storyteller wishes to do, some of the merits can be purchased by supernaturals. How membership is determined is unknown, but only those deemed worthy are offered training in The Butler's Guild. If they accept, they join the ranks of an elite group who are said to be unflappable in even the most unusual circumstances. Everyone who needs to save the world from time to time needs a Butler at their back. Members of The Guild excel at anticipating the needs of the Household, often seeming prescient in their response to threats and danger.
Enter the Guild of Butlers
World of Darkness: Innocents
This is one of the best World of Darkness books I have ever seen! Playing children as the core group of characters. Children who can and do see the world for what it is, with all of it's dark elements, monsters and other horrors.
Children who cannot talk to their parents or other adults about these things because they are obviously "figments of their imagination", "silly imaginings" and other similar sentiments. Adults have obviously stopped believing, allowing science and rationalization to neuter their world view so that they can live a little easier while dealing with the true horrors: bills, work, etc.
Children and Teenagers Features
Below are rules for converting from children to teenagers to adults and a merit based on Sanctum (Mage), Hollow (Changeling), Safehouse (Hunter), Haunt (Geist), etc. but on a smaller scale.
Age Rules: Children to Teens and Beyond
New Merit: Fort
World of Darkness: Changing Breeds
Many people will agree that this book had problems with balance, and I wholly agree so I took a crack at balancing the breeds/species and in some cases the Favors and Aspects.
Soon to have information on new changing breeds of my own creation:
Bastet - Qualm'a ni & Klandagi
- Split the Qualm'a ni (an awkward mashup of the cWoD's Qualmi and Pumonca) into the:
- Qualm'a ni (Riddlers of the Road; lynx, bobcat)
- Klandagi (Lords of the Forest; cougar/mountain lion)
Were-Weasels: Little Monsters
- Created a variant on the Ahuizotl (were-mustelids; weasels, otters, badgers, skunks, etc.) I created for use with Werewolf: The Apocalypse into the Little Monsters and, they are now separate groups:
- Ahuizotl (The River Wolves; giant otters)
- Carcajou (Stoking the Fires; wolverines, grisons, honey badgers/ratels, tayras)
- Kamaitchi (Phantom Teeth; weasels, ferrets, polecats, ermine, sable, zorilla)
- Moroun'gou (Curiousity Brought the Otter Back; otters, minks)
- Seganku (Confidence in Spades; skunks)
- Tasku (Compact Courage; badgers)
I have new favors and aspects based on all of the groups above.
Vampire: The Requiem
The following rules are designed to make vampires more useable during the day (either as good guys or bad). Sunlight doesn't do as much harm (but it still does harm) and functionality during daylight hours is increased. Many vampires, pre-cinema were able to walk outside during the daytime, and while many of them didn't like or were harmed/killed by sunlight, they were not instantly consumed by it. Using these rules means that a vampire is going to consume blood faster as a result of being up during at least some of the daytime and some/most of the night as each qualify as different "days".
New Daylight Rules
Vampires are overcome by a crushing fatigue upon the rising of the sun and remain immobile (and to all appearances truly dead) until sunset.
Stay Awake for the Day
Spend one point of Vitae and roll your character's Humanity as a dice pool.
- At sundown, as normal, a Vitae must be spent whether the vampire has slept or not.
- Dramatic Failure: The Kindred struggles, but is rendered immobile at dawn. During that day only a single die is rolled to awaken due to a disturbance.
- Failure: The Kindred is rendered immobile by full dawn.
- Success: Your character can remain awake for a single hour per success on the Humanity roll or spend a Willpower point to stay awake the whole day. During the day, all rolls are made at -2 dice due to lethargy caused by the Beast wanting to rest during the day.
- Exceptional Success: The Kindred is able to stay awake for the whole day. During the day, all rolls are made at -1 dice due to lethargy caused by the Beast wanting to rest during the day.
Daylight Sleep Interrupted
If the Kindred is attacked (or otherwise awakened) during the day, they can rise, but it is extremely difficult. Roll a dice pool made up of your character's Wits Attribute alone (depending on the attempt to awaken a penalty may be incurred); a success means your character notices the disturbance. Then you must spend one point of Vitae and roll your character's Humanity as a dice pool. Your character can rise for a single minute per success on the Humanity roll.
Use of Disciplines
During the daytime, a Kindred's mystical power is at it's weakest. Rolls to activate or use Disciplines have a maximum dice pool of Humanity + Discipline (after the -2 dice penalty).
New Sunlight Rules
Exposing specific body parts to fire or sunlight may have additional effects beyond simple damage. Blindness if the vampire looks unprotected into the sunlight, a shaft of sunlight sears an arm rendering it temporarily useless, a hand pressed to hot coals being unusable, etc.
Even the weakest sunlight presents danger. Sunlight filtered through a heavy curtain can still burn. The Resilience Discipline can help protect a vampire from the daystar's rays. Direct sunlight can sear even the mightiest Kindred to ash. A hand held in sunlight filtered through heavy drapes causes only one point per hour. Looking out a window on an overcast day causes two point per minute. Being fully exposed under direct sunlight causes three (or more) points per turn.
|Faint, filtered sunlight||hours||light through heavy, closed drapes; thick cloud cover; twilight|
|Filtered or weak sunlight||minutes||light through thin drapes; outside on a cloudy day; daylight through a window; reflection of sun in a mirror|
|Small part of body exposed||1 point (A)||one hand; part of the face; wearing heavy clothes, sunglasses, gloves, and a broad-brimmed hat or balaklava|
|Large part of body exposed||2 points (A)||a leg; an arm; whole head|
|Most to all of body exposed||3 points (A)||whole torso; wearing thin clothing|
Fire Rules work according to the rules in Vampire: The Requiem
Werewolf: The Forsaken
(Chronicles of Darkness, 1st Edition)
by Ernie Sawyer
concept inspired by the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs
New Merit: Omega (••• to •••••)
Prerequisite: Rahu may not take this merit; Harmony 5 for •••, 6 for ••••, 7 for •••••
Effect: An omega wolf possesses a rare but desired ability to calm the members of his pack and place himself outside of the usual play of power. Omega are never leaders. Though they may take charge for a moment to restore calm or clarity, the power always comes back to someone else. An omega is the calming center of his pack, allowing them added resistance to rage and emotional loss of control. The alpha doesn’t see him as a threat to leadership because an omega will never seek it (although an alpha that abuses this fact may find that the omega is willing to help replace them with someone else).
Rahu do not have a calm enough heart to be an omega. This merit serves as the prerequisite for the Omega Gifts.
For the 3-dot level an omega provides a +1 bonus to resist Death Rage and to Composure resistance rolls to all members of the pack (including themselves).
At the 4-dot level, the omega strikes others as generally likeable and to those who aspire to control or oppress, the omega inspires doubt. A person attempting dominance, intimidation or fear over an omega feels inherently wrong about what they are doing. This does not necessarily stop it, but it weakens their attempt. The omega is resistant to Dominance Gifts and similar Intimidation- or fear-based magical or mystical effects, adding his Omega merit rating as dice to the roll. If a resistance roll is not allowed, then subtract the omega rating from the attacker's dice pool.
An omega at the 5-dot level is so able to keep their calm in the face of adversity and rage that their bonus to resist Death Rage pg. 173 increases to a +3. This bonus can be reflexively bestowed upon a packmate within 30 feet or within sight by spending a point of Willpower.
Drawback: Omega are not common and some packs will actively seek to take one from another pack, causing friction between territories.
Prerequisite: Merit: Omega (•••+)
Signature Renown: Honor
An omega who seeks to understand who and what they are may find themselves on this path. Exploring what it means to be an omega means becoming a stronger center to the pack and strengthening his understanding of social interaction and when to interfere.
Note: Rahu may not have the Merit: Omega or this gift path. An Uratha or Ugatha Unlu may not have Omega Gifts as well as either Alpha Gifts or Dominance Gifts.
Middle Ground (•)
When disputes come up, the omega wolf excels at finding common ground and working toward an amicable solution.
Cost: 1 Essence
Roll: Presence + Socialize + Honor
Dramatic Failure: A serious point of contention is mistaken for common ground
Failure: The omega fails to determine a point of commonality and must find another way to resolve the situation or step out of the way.
Success: The omega figures out an element that forms common ground. The Storyteller (and/or players involved) provides this element. If the omega has a chance to mention this in the discussion then for the rest of the scene everyone that has participated in the conversation (and heard the comments of the omega) has a -2 penalty to rolls for any action that undermines productive discussion.
Exceptional Success: Same as success but the penalty becomes -3.
Protective Urge (••)
The omega causes a protective instinct in others (not just werewolves) toward the him when he is in some way threatened (not just physically).
Roll: Presence + Expression + Honor vs. Resolve (Uratha do NOT add their Primal Urge; other supernaturals use their resistance as normal)
Action: Reflexive (the omega must spend a point of Willpower to suppress this ability for one minute)
Dramatic Failure: The target feels a flash of anger or animosity toward the omega and is likely find something to attribute it too, even if the emotion is stronger than would be reasonably warranted.
Failure: The target feels a vague urge to protect the omega, but it is not a strong enough impulse to require action.
Success: Those affected must attempt to protect the Omega from the perceived threat. They are not required to spend any points of Willpower, Essence or other appropriate trait, and they will not necessarily risk their life, but they will do anything else in their power to defend or assist the omega until the immediate threat is resolved or passed.
Exceptional Success: This impulse can be resisted, at the discretion of the target, when it is a minor threat that the omega can handle.
Suggested Modifiers for Resistance:
+2 Actively dislikes/hates the omega
-2 Friends with the omega
-4 Omega's mate
Playing Nice (•••)
The omega's Primal Urge social penalties with mortals are reduced by 2 (penalty may be reduced to as little as -0).
Roll: No roll is required.
Action: Always active.
Challenging Authority (••••)
An omega has the unique circumstance of being able to challenge the alpha (or someone else in charge) on a decision without being considered a threat. This means no fights for dominance, no "so do you want to be in charge?" and no calculated removal of a potential rival. it simply isn't an issue and both the omega and the person in charge know it. They may not be able to explain why but they know this is not a challenge of their authority.
This gift does not work if you are rude or condescending regarding the person you are challenging.
Cost: 1 Essence
Roll: Presence + Expression + Honor vs. Resolve (Uratha do NOT add their Primal Urge; other supernaturals use their resistance as normal)
Dramatic Failure: You manage to be inadvertently rude or condescending to the person you are challenging and your idea is effectively shut down.
Failure: You fail to sway the target.
Success: You make a point regarding the discussion or decision that is contrary to the view of someone in charge, dominant or aggressive. They may be startled or momentarily angry but they will listen to your ideas and do not see them or you as a challenge to their authority. This is all the more startling to others when that is what they typically do to those that disagree with them and speak up about it. For the rest of the scene, those involved gain a +1 bonus to any rolls to carry out your idea or plan (or one you had a hand in shaping) except attack rolls.
Exceptional Success: The bonus includes attack rolls.
+2 You are trusted by the target
-2 You are distrusted by the target
-4 You are hated by the target
Calm Heart (•••••)
The omega gains the ability to calm the rage within another’s soul. When another's rage, or Death Rage, rises the alert omega may be able to calm and sooth the savage beast.
Cost: 1 Willpower (or 2 Essence with touch)
Roll: Presence + Empathy + Honor
Action: Reflexive (to preempt a Death Rage or change to Gauru form) or Instant (to affect an already raging
Dramatic Failure: Add 2 rounds to their rage or -2 dice to resist Death Rage.
Failure: Nothing the omega seems to do make s a difference.
Success: After touching the target (Defense applies if resisted) and spending an Essence or spending a Willpower point, the player rolls activation. The successes rolled on Calm Heart are added as dice to either the original roll or to a reflexive re-roll. If the roll to resist Death Rage fails, the activation successes from Calm Heart still apply to any additional rolls until the target comes out of Death Rage.
In the case of a shift to Gauru form and the associated rage, the successes are applied as a penalty to the dice pool. If the shifting roll succeeds the number of rounds available decrease by 3.
Exceptional Success: The target automatically makes their Death Rage resistance roll or fail their shapechanging roll. Your successes remain as a modifier (as appropriate) for the rest of the scene to resist Death Rage or shift to Gauru form.
-3 You are the reason for the target's rage
+2 You are emotionally connected (best friend, mate, sibling, etc.) to the target
Mage: The Awakening
Promethean: The Created
Moving the Rot (the Wasteland effect)
The degeneration of the landscape (causing Wastelends) that accompanies promethean life is a mechanic I dislike greatly. It makes everything you try to do as a Storyteller as well as a player transitory because to avoid it being obvious, the character(s) have to move around a lot. I have moved this mechanic to the pandorans only. For them it occurs only when they are active (and thus it only occurs around Prometheans). It is their method of fueling themselves as they hunt.
Pandorans hunger and they feed on the Azoth in a way that draws it out of the Promethean (where it is normally safely contained), scarring the land around them slowly. This effect is going to be most prominent in an area where a pandoran(s) have captured a promethean and feed in one spot.
This rule change doesn't stop the degeneration of the land but makes it less pervasive so that a promethean can deal with it by dealing with the Pandorans. This allows a proactive promethean to be part of the solution, rather than THE wandering problem. Attributing the degeneration to the promethean is easy (and likely) to do, but it is in error. And that just ticks off some prometheans ... after all, they are trying to fix the problem.
Lighting the Fire
(allowing Prometheans ... and anything else to mix)
Adjusting mortals to a promethean on a one-for-one basis. This allows for mixed adventures. The rules as stated cause severe problems between prometheans and anything else (mortal, supernatural, etc.). To avoid ruining the theme of Promethean: The Created I have kept all methods of "attuning" mortals to the Azoth on a one-for-one basis (one mortal to one promethean). This doesn't prevent multiple mortals/supernaturals from being attuned to a promethean, but it doesn't allow for any mortal/supernatural to be attuned to ALL prometheans or especially any prometheans from being attuned to ALL mortals/supernaturals.
A small, plain and very old looking silver box with a latch and small round feet. It bears an inscription around the edge of the lid and another around the base that are in a language that is ancient, pressed into the silver by an edged tool. Mortals tend not to notice this box, but prometheans find it very fascinating without knowing why.
When the box is opened in the presence of a promethean, a mirror of the Azothic fire flows from the box as though gently blown by wind ... toward the promethean.
Effects: The fire that comes out of the box will not harm a promethean (as it is an echo of their soul). It will burn mortals as if it were real fire (1 L per round of direct contact)
Flame of Reflection: The most obvious effect of the box is the ability to locate a promethean with it.
Changeling: The Lost
New Kith: Swaybreeze
Swaybreeze -- These are the changelings that hide in the shadows and undergrowth, blending in to their surroundings. They can slow their heart rate and breathing, sway gently with the breeze and surrounding bushes so as not to stick out among them, and can lend others that stillness for a time while distracting a hunter from the target.
Swaybreeze learn the talent of Nature's Blanket: the changeling gains the 9-again rule for Stealth rolls; she can also spend 1 Glamour to give someone else the same ability at 8-again for a scene, provided that the changeling herself makes no attempt to hide in that time. She may even choose to purposely distract an opponent from her target, making a Presence + Animal Ken roll to present a more obvious target (possibly resisted by a Resolve + Composure roll). Net successes add to the Stealth pool of the target.