Consent to Physical Roleplay
Physicality is entirely opt-in. Before touching / getting physical with another player, ask if they Consent to Physical Roleplay - and remember that consent can be removed at any time. If you are not comfortable with any physical contact whatsoever, including boffers/packets/darts, please consider registering as a Non-Combatant.
Pools, Counts, and Tags
- The Health Pool is a number which defines how much health your character can have. You always enter game at full health on Friday night. The default value for this pool is 10, though certain powers or other character sheet items may allow this number to be modified. If your health pool is greater than 10 for any reason, you may choose to respond “10” when asked what your health is.
- Energy Pool(s) are usually used to activate Powers. Anything that requires Energy to activate will have an energy cost listed with it. All character types have their Energy Type and Pool defined in their sections. In this book Energy (capital E) refers to generic energy, while energy (lowercase e) refers to any given energy.
- The Willpower Pool: You may use Willpower to Resist or Shake Off any power that is classified as Mental. Willpower refreshes to full daily at sunrise. Frenzy can also be overcome with Willpower.
- Specialty Pools: These are found on specific characters, and are defined in those sections.
Losing Health - When a character is dealt damage or has their health reduced, this normally refers to Temporary or Current health. There are some abilities, rare though they are, that reduce your Maximum health. If something reduces Maximum health, there will be a defined condition for removing that reduction.
Interrupting a Count
A count represents an obvious action which must be performed before an associated effect can occur. Unless otherwise specified, a count is interrupted if the target of the count moves out of range, or if the count initiator is attacked and either suffers or resists the attack. An effect to which the count initiator is immune does not interrupt the count. Most counts must be restarted from the beginning if interrupted.
Releasing an Effect
Once you have placed an effect on a target you may pay the original cost again to release the effect, or you may wait sixty seconds to release the effect for free. If there is no cost, you must wait the full sixty seconds. Releasing an effect clears the effect you placed. Use the sig call "Release [original sig call]" to clear the effect.
In and Out of Combat - You may find that certain abilities in this book require you to be “out of combat.” You are considered “in combat” if you have attacked, been attacked, or taken damage in the last 5 minutes. You become “out of combat” 5 minutes after you have attacked, been attacked, or taken damage.
Touch Abilities - Certain abilities require touch to perform. Without consent, you may only touch another player on the tops of the shoulders or on the arms. You may not physically restrain a player. You may deliver touch powers via any brawl or melee boffer or latex weapon even if you do not have the appropriate skill.
Mental Abilities - Mental abilities that do not require touch are assumed to operate at any range where both parties can clearly discern the target and call without yelling, or 10 feet if that’s untenable. If you do not believe the target heard you, you may repeat the sig call without additional cost and may add the target’s name.
Tagging Items Any item with a mechanical effect, be it mundane Equipment or magic Items, must be tagged with a staff-provided tag outlining the purpose of the item. Tags must be placed where a person could reasonably see them over the course of the weekend (hiding a tag on the inside cover of a book is not acceptable, but on the spine of a book is fine). Tags vary in size from 2x1” to 2x2”.
Similarly, any tag with a mechanical effect, be it mundane or magic, must be attached to an object to be usable. Loose tags are not usable in general. (A character cannot realistically carry 100 potions on their person without a large container full of those individual potions.) There are some practical exceptions to this, such as for ammunition, alcohol, and some herbalism applications.
A tag may be moved from temporary prop to a permanent prop (e.g. from a loot drop), as long as the destination prop is similar enough to the original that they could be defined as "the same item". Attaching a crafted tag provided by another player should be done as soon as possible after the tag is received. Tags may not be moved between dissimilar props without ST or Rules Team approval. There are* in-game mechanics for changing to a dissimilar prop, so it should not occur out-of-game.
Some items have multiple purposes. A Wraith may be bound to his trusty old sidearm. What if someone wants to use that gun? They should totally be able to! As such, items can have multiple tags, and in some cases must have multiple tags. No item may have more than 2 tags, only one of those may be a weapon, firearm, or bow tag. No item may have two of the same type of tag. EXCEPTION: A reasonable number of identical alcohol tags may be placed on a single bottle.Tags must be visible on the outside of an item when the item is not being worn, so you may tag the back of a pendant, or the bottom of a box, but not the inside of a locket. You may store tagged items where the tag and item cannot be seen, such as in a bag or under your shirt, but if the magic item itself is visible, its tag should also be somewhere it could reasonably be seen during a game weekend.
Types of Tags There are 2 types of tags currently in game. White and Green tags.
White Tags are standard items. They may only be seen by a character with an associated skill or the Item Sight power.
Green tags are used for Shifter Renown. Green Tags are not visible, except to Gaian Spirits and Shifters. affix to a decorative costume piece. If you do not have a decorative costume piece to affix it to, you may ask the Storytellers for a small prop, which they will provide. These green-tagged items cannot be destroyed or stolen, but cannot be attached to items that are tagged in other mechanical fashions (you cannot tag your Fetish, Ritual, Weapon, etc. items with this type of tag) You are not required to wear these tagged decorative costume items except when at gatherings of your own Shifter type, when requesting Renown, or when requesting a Rank Challenge. Certainly, some spirits may act more favorably toward a Shifters who proudly displays their Renown though.
In- and Out-of-Game Paper Unbound white paper is considered out of game. Please use off-white or other non-white paper for unbound in-game paper, including ritual sheets. If you need off-white paper for ritual sheets please let check-in know during pre-check-in or on site at check-in. If you need off-white paper for other purposes, for example to print advertisements for an in-game event you are hosting, please provide your own.
If you are under the effects of a drug or alcohol, please notify anyone who feeds from your blood what effect you are under, as they will take on the same effects. If a side effect is listed in the back of the tag, please show it to the feeder.
Unconsciousness, Dying, and Death
- Unconsciousness - A state where your character is no longer awake. While in this state you may not react to anything that occurs in game except for sig calls directed to you. You may not react to things that are not sig calls that occur in game.
- Dying - Upon reaching 0 health you enter a state called "Dying". While dying, all other effects on your character are suspended - consider them "on pause". You may not be affected by new mental or status effects while in this Dying state unless specifically called out. Dying characters can only regain health through being Given Health, Healing Powers, Regeneration, a Philter of Life (Herbalism), or the level 5 Medicine Skill. The Dying state remains active for 10 minutes or until canceled through regaining health. This duration is halved by Aggravated Damage.
- Death - When your Dying timer has expired you die and enter a new state called Dead. Once you enter this state you may choose to stand up, place an orange headband on and visit ST camp, or you may remain where you died for as long as you like. If you become Dead while tainted, your body acquires the "Static Nature" merit and the taint begins to decay. Once Dead, you may only regain health through abilities that have the Resurrection sig call.
When entering any of these states, you return to whatever the native realm is for your character type.
Aggravated Damage represents a number of effects like being struck in an organ or getting an infected wound. If struck for aggravated damage, instant sources of healing heal for half as much. This means that any instant ability (such as Mother's Touch) that normally heals for 1-2 will heal for 1. If they heal for 3-4, they heal for 2. Basic Medicine (the “Bandage” sig call) does not affect targets who have been dealt aggravated damage. Passive Regeneration is slowed, as described in the power. The duration of your Dying state is halved by this effect.
Removing Aggravated Damage - Aggravated damage must be healed for 2 at once in order to be removed. Order of operations matters here. Healing happens first, then the removal of aggravated damage. An instant heal that normally heals for 3-4 will heal for 2, and also remove the effect. You cannot be healed cumulatively to get rid of the aggravated damage, the health must all come in one call.
If your character spends 30 seconds in a situation that would cause Exposure Damage they begin to take damage at a rate of 1 point every 10 seconds after the first damage is taken. After a target is reduced to 0 health, continued exposure for an additional 60 seconds will cause the affected character to Die.
FIRE - Fire deals aggravated damage to all creatures except Fire Based Gaian Spirits. Fire Based Gaian Spirits take aggravated damage from water instead. Constant exposure to fire causes Exposure Damage. Holding a flaming weapon against a target is constant exposure. Fire props can be represented by a hearth shaped object or pit containing visible fake fire. Do not expose players to actual fire.
Alcohol - Alcohol without a tag does not have any mechanical or RP requirement, but should be declared as alcohol. Tagged alcohol does not have a particular mechanical effect, however characters under the effects of tagged alcohol should speak more loudly than they usually do, slur their words together, and stumble about when moving. If you are currently affected by alcohol, you have alcohol tags with you, and someone drains your blood, hand them one of the alcohol tags. We do not allow actual alcohol on-site - use non-alcoholic alternatives tagged as alcohol.
Opiates - Opiates are drugs that come in multiple forms. Liquid - Laudanum, Smoked - Morphine, Solid - Opium, and Injected - Heroin. All of them behave similarly for our purposes. A single opiate dose will abate the symptoms of any disease for 6 hours. A single dose of Opium causes reduced pain for 1 hour, granting immunity to powers with the words “pain” in their description during that time. While the immunity to pain is in effect it is recommended that you act more relaxed than normal, calm, and care less about the goings on around you. This substance is addictive - see "Addiction mechanics" below.
Cocaine - Cocaine is a drug. A single cocaine dose will double any healing on your character for 1 hour and grants one use of the power Hanging On for 60 seconds within that hour for no cost. While the double healing effect is occurring it is recommended that you act high-strung, energized, and generally unable to sit still. This substance is addictive - see "Addiction mechanics" below.
Peyote - Peyote is a drug. Unlike other drugs, peyote does not provide any particular positive effects, but can provide visions. Upon using tagged peyote we ask that you visit ST camp and turn in the tag. ST camp may choose to give you a vision but does not need to. These visions need not be accurate or even make any sense.
Side effects of drugs - Please do not actually smoke a smokable drug, instead use a pipe prop to represent smoking. Read the back of your drug tag when taking a drug, it will describe a side effect which your character will experience. Destroy the tag once you have taken the drug. A drug that is not tagged is no drug at all. We do not allow actual drugs on-site. Use non-drug alternatives tagged as your drug type. Some possible side effects are temporary versions of the Derangements: Anxiety, Dissociation, Fugue, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, Vocalization, or the Flaws Short Fuse or Phobia. Some doses may cause more than one effect.
Addiction Mechanics - Four doses of a specific addictive drug over the course of a single game weekend will give your character the Flaw Addiction for that substance. It will also cure any diseases the character may have. Doses may not be taken more than once every 4 hours. If they are, your character will be reduced immediately to 0 health.
Certain effects can modify your character’s state of being without necessarily being caused by a Mental, Status, or Physical ability.
Delirium - A supernatural effect caused by seeing a character in beast form or war form - this is represented by the player wearing an animal mask. Mortal characters (without the Kinfolk or Ghoul merits) react to delirium by forgetting or rationalizing what they’ve seen. Rationalization consists of coming up with explanations - that wasn’t a giant wolf-man you saw, it was a theatrical performance gone wrong. 1-3 willpower characters should flee from the situation or collapse unconscious and rationalize or forget what occurred. 4-9 willpower characters may stay and watch, but will rationalize or forget what occurred. They may even engage in a fight if they wish - they may also choose to react as if they have 1-3 willpower. Characters who reach 10 willpower are automatically immune to Delirium. They need not rationalize or forget. If a character who is playing a mortal character sees you and does not react, you may make a “Delirium” call to let them know what should be happening.
Enchantment - Enchantment - A supernatural effect usually caused by coming into contact with certain Changeling abilities. When Enchanted, you should receive a card that reminds you how this effect works. Gift of EnchantmentGift of EnchantmentGift of Enchantment: Create a 3x5 card with the following: "Enchantment, 1 hour - 1 WP to resist" - "You are Enchanted. Gain Enchanted Sight (see but not hear into umbra from realm) & Reduced Delirium (if affected by Delirium, respond as if your WP is at least 4) & Impunity toward [your name] (you may not attack unless they attack you first); 1 Willpower to resist. At the end of the effect Rationalize everything that happened while Enchanted and destroy this card. If resisted, destroy this card." At any point, you may offer any object to another individual. If they accept the object being offered, hand them the Enchantment card. They take the effects of the card unless they spend one Willpower to resist the entire effect. is a Special Mental power effect that lasts for 1 hour - it does not interact with overwrite mechanics. Everything should seem more interesting and fantastical while Enchanted. Enchanted characters receive Enchanted SightEnchanted SightEnchanted Sight: Buff, Sight. You may see into the Umbra from the Realm, but not hear., Reduced DeliriumDeliriumDelirium: Power: Delirium, and ImpunityImpunityImpunity: Use the Sig: "Impunity, you may not attack me". Your target may not attack you for what you say no matter what you say to them, even if they enter Frenzy, unless already doing so. If the target is already attacking you, or already in Frenzy, we wish you the best of luck in surviving your ordeal. While not technically a Disable, this effect breaks on the same conditions as Disable effects. toward the person who Enchanted them. When this effect ends characters will RationalizeRationalizeRationalize: Mental, Instant. A character will remember the most mundane and uninteresting explanation (within their current knowledge and worldview) for the rationalized event or time frame. Upon reflection, nothing will have seemed particularly striking or out of the ordinary, nor needs to be followed up on. This power is intended to keep secrets and repair the veil. everything they experienced while under the effects of Enchantment.
Astral Projection - An individual in Astral Projection must leave a 3x5 card where their body was prior to entering Astral. This card is a descriptor for their body. Being a mostly WYSIWYG game, it’s not really fully possible for us to represent this - as that’s the case, consider this body invisible. If you have the ability to read tags you may see the body - and you may even take and move it. If you do, drop a replacement card stating that you took the card. You may not obscure the Astral player’s card while walking with it. You may find a new location for the body if you wish, or give the card to another individual. You may use Mental powers on the card - when the player returns to reclaim their body, let them know what power was used - they will return to their body under that effect.
Blood Drinking - In certain situations some creatures can convert health into their energy pool by drinking it. The basic mechanic for this is fairly straightforward and consists of these steps.
- Place a hand upon the target's shoulder.
- Call out: "Biting 1, Biting 2, Biting 3" - this call should take approximately 3 seconds.
- Vampires may call “Invoking Kiss” - this applies an effect that makes the target forget the feeding process. Blood Drinking done this way is extremely pleasurable for the target. Without invoking the kiss, blood feeding should be agonizing. Once this effect is in place, the target may not break the draining calls.
- Begin actually feeding by calling out "Draining blood 1, Draining blood 2, …”
You may not drain more health than a target has. In most cases where conversion occurs, it takes place at a rate of 1 health => 1 energy. Any other rate will be called out specifically. When a target reaches 0 health they should notify the person draining them that they have reached 0 health and are now Dying. If a target has the Blood energy type, they lose their Blood pool before they begin to lose their Health.
Form and Body powers Form powers are typically represented by masks, or in rare cases puppets, and change the appearance of a character as well as usually providing one or more additional benefits. Body powers are represented by a a mantle, which is a piece of cloth that wraps across your shoulders, and change a character’s outward appearance, usually by changing what a character appears to be made out of. You will see descriptions of both types of powers later in this book that may help clarify the role play implications of them. At any one time you may have no more than one Form and one Body power on your character at a time.
Taint - A type of supernatural effect that modifies your character’s behavior. Taint is resisted as a Mental effect, but cannot be removed except by abilities that specifically call out taint removal. There are 5 levels of taint, however they can be thought of as 3 for simplicity’s sake.
- 1,2) Subtle/Minor Taint, which should be barely visible to a character other than yourself - this should change the way your character thinks, and may cause minor action differences.
- 3,4) Significant/Strong taint, which should affect your behavior and generally be visible.
- 5) Major Taint, which should be visible to anyone - even characters that don’t know your base state of being… because seriously, you’re tainted.
When struck by a tainted power, such as “Wyrm Fire”, gain 1 level of Taint each time you are struck. When struck by a power that specifically applies Taint (such as “Apply Taint”), gain as many levels as stated in the sig call or 1 if no amount is specified. If regenerating at a Tainted Node, receive 1 level of Taint for each separate instance of regeneration at that node. When receiving tainted energy from a target you gain 1 level of Taint per instance of receiving Energy. Vampires and Ghouls do not gain Taint from taking tainted blood.
There are three types of taint: Wyld, Weaver, and Wyrm. The following are guidelines, but you may play the taints however seems appropriate for your character.
- Wyld Taint - is about chaos - wyld tainted characters are more likely to act without thinking and at higher taint levels may just start randomly acting out. Wyld is also about creation - these characters may take their tainted state to become hyper-creative.
- Weaver Taint - is about order - weaver tainted characters always think before they act and at higher levels may go about putting the world in order. The weaver is also about perfecting - these characters may take their tainted state to become somewhat OCD.
- Wyrm Taint - is about destruction - wyrm tainted characters are likely to get into fights, try to twist relationships against each other, or otherwise look to harm things.
Tainted Items - Certain items in game may be Tainted. If the item has no effect then you receive one effective level of Taint as long as you carry the item on your body; this level goes away when you set the item down. If the item has an “always on” effect then you receive 1 level of Taint for every hour you gain the effect. If the item has an active effect (energy expenditure) then you gain 1 level of Taint for each activation of the item. Tainted Fetters cause their owner to have 1 uncleansable level of Taint until cleansed but may be cleansed with the Cleanse Taint power.
Shedding Taint - Taint decays in a few specific ways. The first is that if you have only one level of Taint on your character that level will go away on its own after 1 hour. The second is a merit called Static Nature, which allows any level of Taint to decay over time. Third, Meditation can allow a character to cleanse themselves. Finally, there is cleansing, usually done through rituals or powers.
Infernalism - A type of supernatural effect that is gained when you use a demon’s power. Any item or ritual which causes this effect will be clearly called out. It has no specific RP effect, but may get you killed. While you have the Infernalist effect on you certain sensory powers may expose you.
Physical Realm VS Other Realms - Our normal world is but one of many realms. For purposes of this book, The Realm refers to the mundane, mortal world that most everyone can see and interact with.
Umbra / Shadowlands / Astral Realm - Several supernatural realms that sit atop our normal world - Fera refer to this as The Umbra, while Wraiths may call it The Shadowlands and Vampires may refer to it as The Astral Realm. In the World of Darkness these are usually separate from each other. In the Savage West the Storm-Eater has awakened and done some very odd things to the barriers between the regular world and all of the various realms. The barriers between the Umbra, the Shadowlands, and the Astral Realm have decayed to the point where these places seem to be shared with each other. In Dark Prospects, we refer to this combined supernatural space as The Umbra; the regular world is called The Realm, and the barrier between them is the Gauntlet.
All characters are native to either The Realm or the Umbra. It is possible to cross from one to the other, and very rarely to exist in both at once. If you become Unconscious when across the gauntlet from where you belong, you will fall into your native realm. (For more information on this mechanism, please see the section "Unconsciousness, Dying, and Death" in Chapter 2.)
Interacting with The Umbra - Characters in the Umbra must wear a white headband; an orange-and-white headband (whether twisted, striped or otherwise combined) indicates a character visible in both realms at once. Only items that are magical in nature (tagged as Fetish, Talen, Talisman, or Relic) can be used in the Umbra. Guns, bows, and other ranged weapons must also have magical ammunition or an associated power. Without use of specific powers, a character may only perceive, attack, or interact with characters in the same realm. Breach, Gauntlet, and Echo are key words for powers that cross the gauntlet. To allow players in the Realm to successfully ignore Umbral characters, conversations in the Umbra should be kept to a lower conversational volume. In combat, you may speak at whatever volume is necessary for your power calls to be heard.
Soft Spots in the Barrier - The barrier that keeps the Umbra separated from the physical world has also been damaged by the Storm-Eater. While walking around town you may find these soft spots in the barrier (usually referred to as the Gauntlet or Shroud). If you do, stepping inside may have a specific effect. If you step on a white square containing an orange circle containing an “R” then you will be shunted into the Realm. If you step on an orange square containing a white circle containing a “U” then you will be shunted into the Umbra. For a circle on the ground, stepping onto that sheet causes the effect. Similarly, some rituals can cause these soft spots to form in doorways. If this happens, you’ll see a white rope bordering a doorframe with the letter in the center of the door. Stepping off does not cause a second effect. These symbols are not visible in game unless you have both Umbrasight *and* Cloaksight active. Headbands must be available on the sheet or hanging next to the doorway in order for the versions that send you into the Umbra to work. If no headband is available, you simply don’t enter the Umbra (even if you have your own headband.)
Patrons: Divinities, Familiars, Totems, Greater Totems - Patrons are the spiritual beings that your character may be tied to. There's an order of precedence, and if you have a Patron listed on your sheet at all, it will be the one that your character is closest to. In order of closeness this is expressed as: Divinities > Familiars > Totems > Greater Totems, with Divinities being closest. A Familiar or Totem can also act as a Divinity to a third party in cases of Faith, but they do not instill the benefits of being a Familiar or Totem when they do. Faith rituals, unless otherwise specified, always affect the target's Divinity. Greater Totems do not benefit from Totem Points granted by characters. Player characters cannot become Greater Totems.
Searching a Target
You may search unconscious targets for tagged items, money, and any other item that a target wishes to hand over. Searching may not be done by physically touching a target. Find an unconscious, dead, or dying target and begin a 30 count while in touch range of “Searching 1, Searching 2, “... “Searching 30” - upon reaching 30, the target is required to hand over all items described above. A shorter 10 count can be used to take an individual item that is known and visible to the searching player. If an item is dropped and not on the body it can be picked up without a count.
Locks and Doors
There are 3 levels of Lock in this game - Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. Consider this the complexity of each lock. Any lock may be opened by its corresponding key. You should use a key operated padlock prop to represent your lock. Locks must be placed on doors in order to function - to do this, hang the lock from the doorknob or another location on the door. By default, locks operate only from the outside of a door. You may choose to make a lock work on both sides of a door. To do so, ask Check-in for a second Lock tag for that lock. Two identical lock tags may only be used when placed on the same door. You will need to provide 2 Lock props to use a lock this way. When a lock is on your side of a door you may only pass through with the corresponding key or by overcoming the lock. When a lock is on the opposite side of the door you may pass through regardless of whether it is locked.
Class 1 Locks are the most simple, and can be overcome by any Lockpicks, or any Bypass power. Class 2 Locks require Class 2+ Lockpicks, or the Bypass 2+ power (leveled from Bypass 1) to overcome. Class 3 Locks are the most complex - they may only be overcome by Class 3 Lockpicks, or the Bypass 3 power (leveled from Bypass 1+). Any lock may be destroyed with Shatter or Dynamite.
Place the lockpick prop against an appropriate level lock prop. Make a silent 30 count. Upon completion, you may open the locked door and destroy the lockpick tag. Characters with Locksmithing need only make a 10 count.
Trapping COMING SOON!
Repairing Non-Magical Equipment
You may repair any non-magical item (such as a tagged weapon, armor, or shield that has been shattered) during game by visiting ST camp with the prop and the tag. The cost to repair an item that has been shattered is equal to its crafting cost.
Using Magic Items
Magic Item refers to Talens, Fetishes, and Talismans. Rituals are another way to access supernatural powers. Dark Prospects uses a dynamic Ritual/Item Creation System for those that wish to create their own items. Prepackaged Items can be found here: http://darkprospects.endogaming.net/Items - custom Items can be created here: http://darkprospects.endogaming.net/Itemmaker
Fetishes are reuseable magical items. Fetishes must be attuned in order to use them. Expend the energy amount on the Fetish tag and then use the power listed. Any special requirements for using a Fetish should be on its tag (such as requiring Faith) - Fetishes that do not have special requirements may be used by anyone who shares the item’s Energy type.
Fetish Attunement To attune a Fetish, you must have at least 3 maximum energy for the first Fetish and double that amount for each Fetish after the first (3,6,12,24). You may attune an additional Fetish when your Energy pool reaches maximum. A fetish must be unattuned before it can be attuned to you, you may not use fetishes that are not attuned to you, and you must share an Energy type with the Fetish to use it. Attunement takes 10 minutes, during which time you cannot expend energy. Completing the Fetish Attunement costs its level in Energy (Level 1 Fetishes cost 1, Level 5 Fetishes cost 5). You must hang from or affix to the fetish a white label no larger than 2x2" with the text: "Attuned: [your character name]" on it. You may also break your attunement of a Fetish. Breaking attunement takes 10 minutes, during which time you must be physically touching the object and cannot expend energy, then remove the attunement label. A Fetish may only be attuned to one person at a time, though effects can linger for up to 1 hour, not to exceed its normal duration, after breaking your attunement. You may choose to follow the Attunement rules on a Fetish that does not belong to your character. You may break an attunement on any Fetish you are physically touching, regardless of energy type.
Faith Idols (Fetish)
Faith characters gain access to a specialized type of Fetish called an Idol. Idols may only be used by characters with the Numina: Faith merit. This Fetish is used in the Level 0 Ritual: Power from Faith. Faithful characters may have as many Idols as they wish but each additional Idol after the first counts against the character's total Fetish limit.
Psychic Foci (Fetish)
Psychics gain access to a specialized type of Fetish called a Focus. Foci may only be used by Psychics, and Psychics may not use Faith Fetishes. Unlike many other items, these Foci do not grant access to additional powers, but a psychic using a Focus can alter their active power set. A focus must follow the normal tagging rules for equipment. A Focus can modify 2 characteristics of a power at the same time, but cannot modify more than 2 characteristics in total, and a single focus can only be used to modify a single power. No power may be affected by more than one Focus. A Focus can modify the Intensity, Power, Type of Slot, Target, or Level of a power. Changing the Level of a power effectively changes its place with the power in the new level slot in the same tree on your sheet. Your sheet itself does not need to be updated. Changing the Type of a Power Slot will also change the power itself, but will increase the cost by 1 of the original resource. A list of possible Foci can be found on the Dark Prospects website.
Creating Psychic Foci
To create a Focus, a character must choose an item that they intend to turn into a Focus. Over the course of a game, a character must give a total of 44 Essence to the item for a single effect. During waking hours, this must be done at a rate of at least 2 Essence every 2 hours. While asleep you may store this giving amount up and place a large chunk in during the first hour awake each day. If you are not playing your character for a time, such as when NPCing, or playing your alternate, then you can also place additional energy in during the first hour after returning to game. To add a second effect you must repeat the energy giving process at a second game. At game down turn in a check-out card describing the effect of the Focus you wish to create. If creating a Focus with two effects you must turn in a separate card at each game. The first card should describe the first effect. The second card should note which Focus you are modifying and what effect is being added to it. You should receive your Focus card at the following game.
Using Psychic Foci
Foci follow the standard Attunement and usage rules for Fetishes. They must be held in hand or touching skin in order to be used. Once a power is changed by a Focus, you cannot use the original power without first unattuning the Focus and may not use the modified power without being in contact with the Focus.
Talens are single use magic items. To use a Talen, use the ability written on the tag and then destroy the tag.
Talismans are rechargeable magic items. Talismans have a number of charges built into them and must be recharged to be used once emptied. A character may only use charges that they themselves put into a Talisman. We recommend keeping removable ribbon, string, or rubber bands around the object to keep track of the number of charges. A special ritual is required to refill a Talisman. Talismans may only be used by Hedge Mages. To activate a Talisman’s ability, simply expend one of the charges and then use that ability. When recharging a Talisman, Health based Talismans reduce your maximum health by the charging cost of the Talisman for 1 hour. Health and Essence Talismans that are Connected to a character come into game fully charged for that character when a character is checked into game for the first time in a game weekend. Willpower Talismans that are Connected to a character come into game with a single charge for that character when a character is checked into game for the first time in a game weekend.
Talisman Connections Talismans may only be Connected to one character at a time. A Talisman must belong to a character stated on the tag in order to be Connected to them. At check-in each game, you may overwrite the ownership on a single item, by showing it to check-in so they can update the tag. The item must then be Connected during uptime by fully charging it with the Infusion ritual. Newly created Talismans are automatically owned and Connected to the character that creates them, unless that character does not have enough Connections available to them, in which case only ownership is transferred. Hedge Mages come into play with the ability to connect to any 5 Talismans. Once you have 5 Talismans connected, you must purchase the Connection background to obtain additional Connections if you wish to have more active Talismans at one time. You may choose which Talismans you are Connected to, and thus which enter game fully charged, at game-on.
Relics are special items that can be used in either realm. Most but not all Relics are Umbra Bound. Relics function correctly and can be used in either realm, but if dropped or set down return to their native realm. Umbra-bound Relics should be wrapped in white mesh. A note on ranged weapons: Relic bows and guns work just fine in the Umbra, but without Relic arrows or bullets there’s really nothing to fire. Each piece of ammo would be its own item, making them cost-prohibitive.
Ritual Limits - The maximum number of beneficial rituals any given character may have on them is 3 + character's levels in Rituals background, regardless of caster. A character may still have an unlimited number of hostile rituals on them.
Learning Rituals - After your character has been created you can continue to gain new Rituals through in-game methods. It requires as many games to learn a Ritual as that Ritual’s level (so, a Level 1 Ritual only requires 1 game, while a Level 3 Ritual requires at least 3 games). You may learn a ritual and purchase the rituals background concurrently, but you may not use a ritual if you do not have the total required levels in the background, and you may not learn dots in a ritual above your level of Rituals Background. You may cast a ritual you have not fully learned, by spending WP equal to the unlearned dots in addition to any other costs. You may only begin learning one ritual per game, but can be actively learning up to 9 levels worth of rituals at one time (so, you may work on a level 5 and a level 4, or three level 3 rituals, but not two level 5s).
There are three ways to learn a ritual:
1. "Acquire" (buy, steal, loot, etc.) a signed in-game ritual page prop of your very own. Turn in a checkout-card with your name, character name, and the text "Learning [Ritual Name], [dot learned] of [total levels]". In this learning process, you are imbuing your intent into the document you already have. Your signed in-game ritual page prop must be presented at every check-in you acquire a dot.
2. Get a teacher who knows it and has a signed in-game ritual page prop for you to learn from. To begin learning a ritual you must be taught by someone who has already learned the ritual. This learn-teaching process spawns a new ritual page prop - think of it as copying down the recipe as part of your homework, and simultaneously imbuing it with your intent. Turn in a check-out card at game-down with your name, your character’s name, teacher’s name, and the text: "[Teacher] taught [student] [Ritual Name], [dot learned] of [total levels]". Have your teacher bring their ritual page prop to check-in so a photocopy can be made. After you have been taught all the dots, check-in will sign the copy they have on file to give you. You are permitted to bring your own prop - check-in will compare to the copy on file before signing.
3. Develop your own unique ritual. This method requires games of in-character work equal to level of ritual. You will also need to work with Rules Team to have your ritual approved - this process will likely take several months. Because unique rituals are an intensive process, each player is limited to one per season, no matter how many ritualist characters they have. Once the process is complete, the ritual enters game with all the dots filled in. You may not cast this type of ritual before it is fully learned.
Because awesome custom props are encouraged, you are permitted to bring to STs or Check-in a signed ritual page prop and your own un-signed copy of that ritual page prop. Staff will compare the two; if they match they will sign your copy and destroy (or confiscate) the original.
Copying Rituals - There are two ways to copy a ritual.
The first is using the above learn-teaching process.
The second is to use your learning levels toward copying. In order to copy a ritual, you must have it learned fully. Copying a ritual takes the same amount of time as teaching or learning a ritual - one game per level. Submit in a check-out card stating your intent to copy the ritual. At next check-in, show your original ritual page prop to check-in, who will make a copy and place it in your folder. You may fill in one pip of "Copy Ritual" each game until you have completed your copy.
Using Rituals - In order to use a Ritual, you must have the Rituals Background at the level required by the ritual, have begun learning the Ritual itself, and the Ritual’s page must be present so you can look up the information provided. If you have learned the Ritual in its entirety (filled in the dots on your sheet up to the Ritual’s level), you may cast it for the cost as written. If you have not, but you have at least as many levels of the Rituals background as the Ritual's level, you may still use the ritual. The cost for using a Ritual you are still learning is 1 Willpower per dot you haven’t filled in, plus the cost listed on the Ritual page. You may only use a Ritual you are learning if you have gained a dot in that Ritual during checkin for the current game.
Non-combatant (non-com) players will be designated by a high-vis green/yellow sash running from one shoulder to one hip. We ask that non-com players use a piece of cloth at least a few inches wide, as greater visibility only benefits them. This sash must be visible from all sides, which means if a wheelchair or similar device is involved that you mark it as well, to be sure people can see it.
Non-combatants should avoid initiating combat unless it is absolutely integral to story. Other players and storytellers should avoid making situations in which it is integral for a non-combat to initiate combat. Players and storytellers should avoid initiating combat with non-combatants unless it is absolutely integral to story.
Dealing with Awkward Situations
There may be times during role play where you are uncomfortable or feel unsafe due to the physical nature of this type of game. If another player is making you uncomfortable by, for example, being too close to you, halt the scene by holding up an Out of Game signal, then notify the other player and ask them to back off. If the other player refuses to do so notify a staff member.
In the World of Darkness there are many adult themes, one of which is sex. If your character moves into a sexual situation, it is appropriate to halt the scene by holding up an Out of Game signal then asking for a Fade to Black. A good way to burn time during a fade to black is to give each other massages, though this is not required (if you’re not comfortable with physical contact, we’ll never force it on you!). You and your partner for the scene should decide together when the scene ends and thus when to return to play. If you walk in on someone giving massages or back rubs, please verify if what you’re seeing is an FtB scene or an actual needed massage of sorts (it happens!)
Character Sheet Changes
At check-in each game you may spend your XP to make changes to your character sheet. To do so notify check-in of what things you would like to buy. You may purchase 1 thing in each category on your character sheet; that is, 1 Willpower, 1 Energy, 1 Secondary Energy (if applicable), 1 Skill or Ability, 1 Background change, 1 Technique or Power, and 1 Merit or buy off 1 Flaw. You do not need to purchase one thing from every category, but you are allowed to. Buying off a Flaw costs twice as much XP as the number of points provided by that flaw when taken.
This power is in two of my trees! If you find an identical power in two trees or treesets that you’re able to purchase, you may progress past that power in the second tree or treeset after spending only half of the XP normally required to purchase the power in that tree or treeset (round down). The exception to this is powers that stack on top of each other (like Augment) - since you can have multiple levels of this, they all cost their normal value. An added power and a power with no adder are different powers from each other and must be purchased separately. Powers that level are considered identical, even if purchased at 2 different levels.
Teaching and learning Non-Innate Powers, Skills, Abilities, And Techniques
You may teach as many Skills, Abilities, or Techniques as you wish in any given game, but you may only learn one of each at a time. You may teach Innate Powers, but may not teach Non-Innate Powers. Powers and Techniques are the same category on a character sheet. The teacher should drop a card in the game-down box after game stating their name, their character name, your name, your character name, and the thing they’re teaching. Once you have the first level of a Technique or Skill you do not need to be taught the other levels. Check-In will only keep the most recent learning card for any character in one category, meaning you cannot learn multiple non-innate powers, skills or abilities, or techniques before actually purchasing them. The older card will be discarded, and you will need to do another teaching session.
Unless otherwise specified, in order to learn any non-innate power or ability, the first level of a Technique tree, or the first level of a Skill tree, you must have a teacher. Teaching can be done by spending a downtime action or by a 10 minute scene in uptime. Teachers must provide a teaching card, as described above. Once you have the first level in a Technique or Skill, you may learn additional levels without a teacher.
Character Sheet Changes During Game
Becoming Something Else There are some events which may cause your character or character type to change during gameplay. The first of those is a “Change Card” - players of Mortal characters may submit a Change Card to check-in, who will give it to the Storytellers. On your Change Card should be your name, your character’s name, and what you wish to be changed into. Leaving out a desired change target means you’re happy to be changed into “Storyteller Choice.” You do not need to take advantage of this mechanic. Mortal characters can theoretically become any number of things during gameplay through this mechanic.
The other mechanic is player driven. Vampires have the ability to create ghouls or to turn mortal characters into vampires. Ratkin and Corax may attempt to convert a player through a Ritual. Characters can be killed.
Converting a Sheet At Game Going through a major change at game, such as being Embraced by a Vampire, Becoming a Wraith, or First Change (anything that changes your type from Mortal to Supernatural), allows you to make a limited number of changes to your sheet. Merits and Flaws that are incompatible with the new Supernatural Type are refunded (you get the XP back for them). You may purchase any Merits and Flaws related to your new Supernatural Type, and only those related to your new Supernatural Type at this time. If you had powers which are now incompatible with your new Supernatural Type, you are refunded these points - except in the case of 8th generation Vampires, this does not include Techniques. You may purchase innate powers at this time, however, you may only purchase each innate at 1 level above your current level (for characters who have never had those innate powers, that’s L1/R1.) Non-innate powers may not be updated during this purchase phase. Energy converts at a rate of 1:1. You may purchase 1 additional Energy at this time. Between games you make up to 3 additional purchases (in any categories) for each of the following 2 games. You may also choose, but are not required to, “unspend” 10 XP from your sheet to gain 12 points to purchase powers specifically - no categories may be taken negative when unspending.
Adding a mortal merit to your sheet, such as becoming a ghoul or gaining a numina, is not a major change, and does not come with a sheet rebuild. You may purchase any relevant merits or flaws and the first level of an innate power; Ghouls gain Potence at this time.
Becoming a Ghoul Only mortal characters may become Ghouls. Feeding two points of Blood to a Mortal character within ten minutes ghouls that character. If a Mortal character is ghouled during game they go to ST camp to modify their sheet. They gain the Ghoul Merit for no cost but do not gain the points for purchasing an innate discipline. They still immediately get the first level of Potence for free, regardless of the parent clan.
Becoming a Vampire Only mortal characters may become Vampires. To embrace a character in game: Begin by placing the target mortal in the Dying state. A vampire character who wishes to embrace a character should stand over them and call: "Intent to Embrace" and then feed the target mortal 5 Blood. Both the original Vampire and the new Vampire go to ST camp to move the mortal over to a Vampire Character Sheet. You retain any Vampire powers you may have had prior to Embrace but do not immediately gain more powers unless you purchase them. You are given one step below the sire's Generation numerically on your new character sheet and gain the flaw "Disrupted Generation" if necessary. You may not alter this generation at character conversion. You may spend XP (including XP refunded from incompatible Merits) while at ST camp. ST camp should make a copy of your new character sheet and turn it in to Check-In after game.
Becoming a Wraith Only mortal characters may become Wraiths. If you choose to become a Wraith your character must first die and between games should contact the Character Guides to perform a character sheet conversion. Your character receives a point refund and you may re-spend points as if building a new character. Upon entering game you must arrive wearing a thin (see-through) cloth covering your face - this represents a Caul. You may not uncaul yourself in game, but any character may remove the cloth. Until they do your character has no access to powers and is confused. Once uncauled you become your character. Characters who become Wraiths may not immediately go after a person who killed them - that’s not what this mechanic is for. Fetters may not be other characters in this system.
Becoming a Werewolf or Fera Only mortal characters may become a Werewolf or Fera. The first change will likely take place during uptime at game and will almost assuredly involve a frenzy. When converting Energy for a Werewolf or Fera, you must convert your new character’s starting Rage (as defined in their character section) from your Energy pool, meaning that this amount does not go to your Gnosis pool (excepting Nuwisha). You may purchase up to 1 additional Rage at this time. You may not purchase Rank or Renown merits at this time.
Restricted Character Concepts
Some creatures in the World of Darkness are more rare than others. We’ve decided to represent that with a rarity system intended to help make rare characters rare by discouraging rare concepts with a lot of characters already in play. Next to each rare concept below you’ll see a number - that number is how much XP you must pay per one of that concept already in play. If there are none in play, there is no XP cost. If there is one in play, you must pay 1x that number, for 2 it’s 2x that number, etc… The list of Restricted Concepts can be found at the end of the Equipment, Specs, and Glossary chapter.
You must play a restricted character once every 3 games or the cost-slot for your character gets returned to the game. This is to ensure that players with restricted characters aren't just increasing the cost by having characters on the books, but are instead actually playing them. If a character is not played for 3 games (on the 4th game) the cost of reprising the character will be half of the current restricted cost. Starting after 6 games (on the 7th game) the cost returns to the full current restricted cost. We can extend these sessions based on circumstance. If, for example, a player was heading on a vacation, a trip abroad to work, or stuck at work for a game weekend, we can keep their cost at 0 to return to their restricted character. We prefer to know this kind of thing in advance where possible. TO provide notification, contact the XO and Character teams.
You can find the current Restricted Costs in the Systems: Information chapter under Restricted Character Costs