VBN House Rules.
White Wolf Rules Used
VbN uses the White Wolf 3rd edition (beginning with Laws of the Night- Revised) LARP Core books. Any changes should make the game easier and/or increase fun for the players of VbN. Current books that VbN considers Core Books are: Laws of the Night- Revised, Laws of the Night- Camarilla Guide, Dark Epics, Laws of the Night- Sabbat Guide, Laws of the Night- Storytellers Guide, and Laws of the Night- Anarch Guide. Additional material from other Mind's Eye Theatre rule books may also be used at ST staff discretion. The ST team reserves the right to pull any or all parts of the above supplements that are judged to be inappropriate to the Chronicle. Any clarifications or addenda involving these rules, or any additional house rules for the game, are outlined below. If it is not in the core books or these house rules, it is not a rule.
1) NO weapons of any sort, real or realistic toys, will be brought into the game (see props for more)
2) NO physical contact during challenges.
3) Anyone who is chemically altered, is harassing players, or is otherwise disrupting the game will be told to leave.
4) Please make sure that a Storyteller or Narrator knows about any important situation. If a Storyteller or Narrator doesn't know about it, it didnt happen.
5) Have Fun.
The Rest of the World of Darkness
Yes, it exists; it does not have to be ever present in the Chronicle. We will consider it a danger sign when HIT Marks, Abominations, Risen, and Demons enter the chronicle on a regular basis.
Any form of interaction which affects another chronicle, including characters traveling back and forth by any means, sending/receiving items, introducing plots, etc., must be reported to the ST team, who will in turn contact the HST of the other chronicle to ensure there are no problems with the interaction. Visiting affiliated chronicles is not considered downtime. Players are expected to accept the results of visiting other chronicles.
*No character is considered approved until the entire ST Staff has reviewed the Character.Character's that are either presented at game or made during game will be allowed to be played for that game only, after approved by at least 2 members of staff.
*Camarilla Loyal Brujah, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, Ventrue and the Ghouls of Player Characters are all majority Staff approval.
*All other characters require unanimous Staff approval to be played.
Beginning Character Points
Attributes: 7 primary, 5 secondary, 3 tertiary
Negative Traits: Up to 5
Flaws: 7 (Additional flaws may be taken for no points for the sake of character development)
Merits: Limited by available points, as appropriate. The ST team has final say in what may be considered unbalancing Merits.)
Disciplines: 9 points in Disciplines. For example, the 1st basic in each of the characters 3 in-clan disciplines, or the 1st basic in one in-clan and 2 basics in another, or up to 1st intermediate in one with 3 build points spent.
Influences: Characters may not buy influences at character creation. They may only have the influences that are a part of your clan advantage per LotN:R.
Generation: Generation costs more than 1 background point per level. The current cost is as follows;
12thgen: 2 pts;
11thgen: 4 pts;
10thgen: 8 pts;
8thgen: 32 pts.
Morality/Path:All characters begin game on Path of Humanity. Starting Morality traits is average of conscience and self-control rounded up.
Virtues: (conscience/conviction, self-control/instinct, and courage): Each virtue starts at 1, and then you have 7 additional points to distribute between the 3 Virtues. The max for any Virtue is 5.
Player Character Ghouls
The rules for Ghouls are a modification of Libres des Ghouls.
* Ghouls Max Traits are 10. Starting traits are 7-5-3
* Beginning Willpower is 2 with a max of 4
* Blood- Ghouls start the night with 3 Kindred blood and 7 human.
* Ghouls get 5 abilities, 3 backgrounds, and 0 build points.
* Up to 5 points in Flaws and Merits, 4 negative traits, and one Derangement.
* In-clan Disciplines for Ghouls are Fortitude, Celerity and Potence.
* To learn any other Disciplines the Ghoul must have the merit Learn Other Disciplines.
* All Disciplines cost 4xp for basics and 7xp for intermediates.
* What level of Disciplines a Ghoul can have depends on their Regnant. If the Regnant is 13-10th gen they can learn Basic Disciplines. 9th generation Regnant up to 1st intermediate. 8th gen Regnant up to 2nd intermediate. 7th Gen up to Advanced. Animal Ghouls can never have advanced Disciplines.
*Ghouls can't teach Disciplines.
Non Player Character Ghouls
New Background Trait of Ghoul
We have created a new background trait specifically for ghouls. This allows characters to have and maintain ghouls. For each trait in the Ghoul Background you can either have a more powerful ghoul or have that number of ghouls or some combination of the two. Characters are down 1 blood point per ghoul per game.
1. Basic Ghoul per Ghoul creation above.
2. Basic Ghoul plus 15 Build Points.
3. Basic Ghoul plus 30 Build Points.
4. Basic Ghoul plus 45 Build Points.
5. Basic Ghoul plus 60 Build Points.
If your NPC ghoul is anything other than an ordinary human or animal ghoul (i.e.- kinfolk, garou, mage,etc.) then you must also possess the Supernatural Ally merit.
No NPC Ghoul may do anything that brings them into any scene without a full character sheet.
Multiple Character and Inactive Character Policy
Valley by Night permits a player to have 2 player characters. However, only one of these characters may be active (posting on list servers, appearing at games, etc.) and earning experience points at any given time. You must play the same character for a minimum of 6 games and you cannot play one character but spend the experience points on the other. All experience points go to the character that you are currently playing. You cannot switch characters from game to game and back again. During the stated time of inactivity, a character may not post to any servers, make game appearances, or have "off-site" conversations of any sort. This also applies to any NPCs the character controls such as ghouls as well as any Resources, Influences, Allies, Contacts, or other assets listed on the character sheet. In some cases, the inactive character may be allowed limited contact, but always ask the Storytellers for permission to do this. It's a good idea to get such permission in writing to avoid future confusion. Breaking this rule may result in ST action regarding the character.
A character's inactivity may be a matter of:
* Player choice ("Things are too hot in town for my Brujah right now; I want to send him out of the city to go fight Sabbat in Mexico so that I can play a Malkavian instead.")
* Storyteller decision ("You wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time, and you've been kidnapped by the Unseelie Court . . .")
* Due to the actions of another player ("Okay, I've got you staked and torpored--I'm going to put you in a fifty- gallon oil drum and keep you buried in the desert until your friends meet my ransom demands.").
If it is due to Players Choice, then your character must make an appearance at least once every 3 months or your character will be put into Downtimed status and will be out of play for at least 6 months from the last time it was played.
Downtiming a Character:
You may choose to downtime a character for a minimum of 6 months for many reasons like raising your humanity, working on raising or changing a morality path rating, making major changes to a character that cannot happen in game, working on a skill that travel is required for (either to find a teacher or on a task for your teacher/ mentor). During this time, the character is under the inactive rules and cannot be contacted for any reason by PCs or hand off their assets to others to use.
It is important to maintain the flavor of Influences when using them in a game. Much of the burden of this task falls upon the shoulders of the players using influences. When a player wishes to perform an influence action, she should give the influence ST a write-up of the activity, complete with a description of exactly how her Influences are going about executing the desired task. The influence rules for VbN are based off of the influences rules found in Laws of the Night- Revised.
The most common way to use influences is to send your influence actions to the Influence ST during downtime. The second way is during game and you need something to happen right away. This is limited to a level 1 influence action.
The maximum total levels of Influence that a character may have can be no more than his or her Physical, Social and Mental Traits. Ghouls as well as corporations may be used to add to a characters Influence total. The current maximum level that any PC can have in a given category is 5.
The cost noted in the Influence charts (see Laws of the Night- Revised) is both the number of actions it takes to partake in that endeavor and the minimum level of influence required to be able to utilize that endeavor.
The only way to gain influences is to turn in a downtime with which influence the character is buying or increasing, a general location/ department that the influence is in, a short explanation of how the character is increasing their influences and spend 1 xp (this also means you just cant spend XP and suddenly have influence traits). For example, if a character wanted to increase her Legal influence would turn in a downtime stating that the character is hanging out around courthouses in downtown Phoenix and using mind affecting supernatural powers such as Dominate and Presence to befriend Lawyers and Judges.
For possible uses of Influences, refer to the influence charts in Laws of the Night Revised. Most uses will be available only as downtime actions. Certain levels of Influence gift you with items, money or aides. Unlike the Resources Background, money and equipment garnered with Influence does not come automatically each month. If you want a steady income from Influence, you must direct your Influence in that direction continually, and this income does not come with any associated trappings of wealth. (You'd have to buy a house and car separately, for instance.) Aides garnered with Influence generally help for only one specific task, and they usually have the equivalent of only one level of Ability in their area of skill. For more competent and readily available help, take the Allies Background.
Influence and Time
Influence endeavors take time. The amount of time will vary; using Bureaucracy influence to get the floor plans for a building may take a day or two, while using Street influence to get a pistol might take as long as a week. It is possible to speed things up, but speeding up an endeavor may double or even triple its difficulty. Not just the action cost, but also the level of the endeavor. For example: A person with Street Influence 3 can spend a couple of nights of downtime and three actions to perform the endeavor get a pistol. A person with Street Influence 6 can make a phone call and spend six actions to perform the endeavor get a pistol within an hour. Really complicated endeavors like destroying a persons records on a local level may be impossible to speed up, even by someone with Bureaucracy Influence 5.
Contacts, (directly from Laws of the Night: Revised)
The Contacts background allows you to discern rumors and information. When you call on your contacts, you make a few phone calls, check with likely snitches and grease a few palms. In return, you get rumors and information as if possessed of a certain amount of Influence. Doing so lets you find out exactly whats going on in the city within a particular area. You can get information of a level equal to however many contacts you use. If you use Contacts x3 on Industry, for instance, you get information as if digging up dirt with Industry x3 Influence. The advantage of the Contacts Background is that contacts can be switched from place to place each game, getting information in different areas at your demand.
Using Contacts for especially dangerous or secret information may require you to spend some money or perform a few favors, at the discretion of the ST staff. On occasion, accidents can cause contacts in one area to dry up, such as a strike that affects your Industry contacts, or a particularly unlucky astronomical conjunction sends your Occult contacts running for the hills. Your contacts will not generally function as aides or lackeys; that is the purview of the Allies and Retainers Backgrounds.
Allies, (directly from Laws of the Night: Revised)
Allies are a few friends, either kept from your mortal days or made after the Embrace, that help you out on your endeavors. You can make a few calls and cut a few deals to get assistance in a wide range of activities. The ST staff will require you to define how you keep your allies and their relations to you.
Each Allies Trait possessed represents one person that you can call on for aid. Unlike Influence, your Allies have special talents that make them better than the average person on the street. Though your allies may not be aware of your vampire nature, they can be quite useful if directed properly.
In general, your allies do not show up in play directly. Instead, you can use them for certain services during Downtimes.
Be wary of calling on you allies too often. An ally may call on you for mutual aid or refuse to help if pressed into dangerous or illegal activities.
Mentors (directly from Laws of the Night: Revised)
An older or more experienced Cainite looks after you and comes to your aid occasionally. Whatever the case, you can get assistance from you mentor, though his favor may be fickle.
When you call on your mentor, you risk a certain number of Traits to achieve a given effect. A lowly one-Trait mentor probably knows only little more than you while a five-Trait mentor may well have luminous standing within your sect and a wide range of potent powers. Regardless, taking up your mentors valuable time is costly. You must engage in a Simple Test when you call on your mentor. If you succeed, your mentor deigns to aid you. If you tie, your mentor grants you assistance, but then requires something in return. If you fail, your mentor demands the favor first before helping. In any case, your mentor can be called on only once in any given game session, and only if you have an appropriate way to contact them.
The level of aid that your mentor can give depends on the number of Traits in this Background with ST approval.
Since Mentors can prove unbalancing by providing too many different powers over the course of a long game, the ST staff may lower your total Mentor Traits as you call on his knowledge. This decrease represents the fact that as your character learns the mentors secrets, the mentor has less left to teach.
VbN Modification: All Mentors will have a Character sheet or they will not teach anything. The Player has the responsibility of getting with one of the members of Staff to create their Mentors Character Sheet.
Merits and Flaws
We encourage players to take as many Merits and Flaws as they feel appropriate for the character and that the ST team and the player feel can be played. However, there are some Merits and Flaws that are inherently rare and/or powerful and require the approval of the ST team. These include but are not limited to Luck, Magic Resistance, Lucky, Nine Lives, True Faith, Iron Will, and Blas. Any combination of Iron Will, Blas, and Unbondable will probably not be allowed. It is recommended that the Common Sense merit be taken by all new characters.
Is used when trying to place a language that is being spoken or you are reading. For example, you are at a gathering and two Kindred talking in a language that the linguist doesnt have. You can make a static challenge vs. 7 traits to see if you can identify the language. With Natural Linguist, you are up three traits in that challenge.
Abilities and Lores :
Just because your character knows one of the big secrets of a clan doesnt mean you have any levels of Lore. Just having 2 levels of a lore or ability means that you know have basically earned a Bachelors degree in that area (see Dark Epics).
Linguistics: (Per Laws of the East pg. 84).
All characters begin with their native tongue for free. Each level of the Linguistics ability allows for the selection of languages spoken, with a maximum cap equal to the character's Mental traits.
Level 1: One language
Level 2: Two languages
Level 3: Four languages
Level 4: Eight languages
Level 5: Sixteen (16) languages
For Kindred of 14th or 15th generation only.
To gain an Awareness test, you must expend a level of Awareness and retests are with Occult.
Elder Level Disciplines
Elder level disciplines can be used by PCs of eighth generation. For a PC to have an Elder level Discipline it needs to be in-clan. It can take up to 1 full year to learn. Abilities and lower level disciplines may be learned during this year, however changing paths during this time will cause the year learning time to restart.
Cloak of Shadows only blurs your outline, it doesnt grant you invisibility. Auspex is still needed to see you. For every level of Auspex or Obfuscate the person gains 1 bonus trait for the challenge.
All celerity actions take place after normal actions, except for Alacrity. Alacrity actions take place before everyman and are limited to such activities as standing up, taking 1 step, drawing a weapon, etc
Running Speeds: When not in combat, spend 1 blood for 5 minutes of Celerity.
* Alacrity- 15 miles per hours 22 feet per second
* Swiftness- 30 mph 44 fps
* Rapidity- 50 mph 73 fps
* Legarity- 70 mph 102.5 fps
* Fleetness- 90 mph 132 fps
* Elder- 110 mph 160 fps
* Ascendant- 130 mph 190 fps
* Methuselah- 150 mph 220 fps
The strength related physical traits are: Brawny, Ferocious, Stalwart, Tough, Vicious and Wiry.
Jumping/Leaping: Each Strength trait allows for two feet vertically or four feet horizontally. Each Level of Potence adds an additional three feet vertically or nine feet horizontally.
Traits Feats Lift(pounds)
1.Crush a Beer Can 40
2. Break a Wooden Chair 100
3. Break down a wooden door 250
4.Break a 2x4 board 400
5. Break open a metal Fire Door 650
6. Throw a motorcycle 800
7. Flip over a small car 900
8. Break a 3" lead pipe 1000
9. Punch through a cement wall 1200
10. Rip open a steel drum 1500
11. Punch through 1" sheet metal 2000
12. Break a metal lamppost 3000
13. Throw a station wagon4000
14. Throw a Van 5000
15. Throw a Truck 6000
+1000 per additional Trait
Anything that allows a retest may be counter bid by its duplicate if the opposing party possesses the ability to call for an identical retest and chooses to spend it in counter bidding. This system has been put in place to speed up and simplify challengeswe don't want to spend all night playing Rock-Paper-Scissors, do we? Thus, Might may cancel Might, etc. However, Might may not cancel brawl.
K.I.S.S. -- Keep It Short and Simple. All challenges must end simply and quickly. No 3-hour-long combat rounds. All scenes will be ran as fairly as possible, but it may involve changing, altering, ignoring, or outright contradicting the rules for the sake of scene or story flow. All scenes are final, only in very rare cases will any part of a scene be red-lined and this is at the discretion of the ST team. Scene results that result in Player Character death will be overturned only if all STs agree to do so. No one will simply "come back from the dead" however.
10-Minute Courtesy Rule :
If you attempt a Mental or Social Challenge against another character and are not successful, you may not initiate the same type of challenge until at least 10 real-time minutes have passed. This is to prevent the so-called "shot gunning" of Animalism, Dominate, Presence, et cetera. This rule applies to combat situation as well as Non-combat situations.
A member of the ST team must be present for all combat. The proper sequence to be followed in combat which makes for combat that is as realistic and fair as possible is shown below. This sequence should be followed for all combat.
Actions begin and go in the following order:
1. Alacrity (limited to things like standing up or readying a weapon)
2. Everyman (Social, Mental, and Physical challenges)
3. Swiftness (Only Physical Challenges)
4. Legerity (Only Physical Challenges)
5. Any additional follow-ups (such as an off- hand action)
In each of the action levels (Alacrity, everyman, swiftness, legerity, and follow-ups) the order of these actions results is determined by the number of traits that the character is bidding for the action. For example, 3 Brujah are having a rant. Joe is hitting Charley who is hitting Bob with a baseball bat while Bob using Dread Gaze on Charley. Joe has 10 physical traits. Charley has 15 traits (13 plus 2 for the bat) and Bob has 9 social traits. All three players throw their chops at the same time however, the order of results would go in the order of Charley, Joe and Bob actions. So if Bob dread gazed Charley, Charleys action against Bob still happened.
* On the count of three everyone points to whom they are attacking and then states their victory condition. This may not be changed. If by the time it is your turn to act and your action is no longer relevant, you may decide not to do it. This doesnt mean you can change your action, you lose your action.
* Follow-up actions from Celerity are handled in exactly the same way as normal combat with those acting in Celerity acting as if they were in normal combat.
Forms : The different forms (Shape of the Beast, Tenebrous Form, Black Met, Blood Form, Horrid Form, Ashes to Ashes, Mist Form, Typhonic Beast, Skin of the Adder, etc) granted by disciplines or magic may not be stacked.
Damage:Damage may only be stacked if it is logical to the ST involved in the scene. The Rending is a special attack in itself and as such cant be stacked with other types of damage such as fire, wards, Balls Caress. A sword with wraith paste, a ward, Balls Caress, Serephs Claw, and on Fire will not do 6 agg.
Before a challenge is first thrown, you may spend 1 willpower trait to gain the appropriate ability.This may not be done after a character has lost a challenge just to gain a retest.
Torpor (Waking Someone Up)
If you are trying to wake a Character from Torpor, you will need to feed them 1 point of blood and possibly make a chop. You may only try once a night.
No matter how much blood you feed them, or how many people feed them blood, Only one chop is allowed per night and that is for the first point of blood from the first person to feed them.
All character death must be adjudicated by a ST or narrator; the same goes for diablerie. Also, if a character is staked or torpored, a ST must know about the event, as well as the location of the body. If we don't know about it, it didn't happen.
If your character is killed, you will receive any Unspent XP on your character sheet to roll over into a new character. Any points from your character beyond that will be determined by ST Staff, depending on how and why the character was killed.
Equipment and Items
Items require an Item card approved by ST staff and will not be put on your Character sheet. If you want to get a certain item in the game, such as weapons or flammable material, you must get approval from the Storyteller. All items must be represented by a card (stamped by the official stamp or signed by the Storyteller). If you don't have the card, you don't have the item.
If you choose, you may use props to represent items however you still need the card in your pocket. Any props must not look like real weapons, Illegal or dangerous items, or be offensive in nature. All weapon props must have ST Staff approval before you can use them in game and if you are in doubt about if a prop is appropriate or not, talk to a Staff member about it before using it in game.
Experience Points (XP)
When attending a regular VbN game, your character will earn Experience Points for attendance. Additional experience points may be earned for Excellent Role-playing, contributing food, drinks, or bringing printer paper, ink for the printer, etc.; or other things that in the ST staffs opinion add to the general gaming experience for everyone in the game. Experience points are awarded to the character not the player. In the case where a player plays an NPC, the xp goes to one of that players characters.
The Staff determines how much experience points you get per game not you!
Here are some basic point awards:
Good Role-playing =1 xp
Food, Drink, Game Supplies =1 xp (total)
Travel (limited) =1 xp
The staff reserves the right to award extra xp when they deem it appropriate.
Please use the following format or something similar :
Ability, discipline, trait, etc. level xp cost
(I.e. Lore: Storyteller 1 level1 xp)
Explain here how you can justify getting all of your new Abilities, disciplines, traits, etc. in a Short summery that covers who, what, when, and/or how. Remember that higher levels take more time and explanation.
Abilities, Disciplines, and Lores all take time to learn. A general rule of thumb is listed below but it is important to note how your character is learning unusual abilities, lores, or disciplines in your downtime.
Disciplines (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced In-Clan)= 1 Downtime
Disciplines (Basic, Intermediate Out-of-Clan)= 1 Downtime
Disciplines (Advanced Out-of-Clan) = 2 Downtimes
Disciplines (Elder) = 1 Calendar Year
Combo powers/ Specializations = 1 Downtime
Abilities (1 Level) = 1 Downtime
Special Abilities = As defined by power
Traits (Physical, Social, or Mental)= 1 per category per Downtime
Willpower = 1 per Downtime
Elder Level Disciplines
Elder level disciplines can be used by PCs of eighth generation. For a PC to have an Elder level Discipline it needs to be in-clan and will take 1 full calendar year to learn. Any wishing to learn Elder level Disciplines need to pick an Anniversary Date. That will be the Date that they will obtain a new Elder Discipline each year. It will be put into the Notes section of your character sheet. Abilities and lower level disciplines may be learned at the same time.
OOC verses IC
For VBN, there is NO OOC except in the OOC area and to ask QUICK mechanic questions. So everything that is talked about or overheard can be used in-character unless you are in the designated OOC area. The Out-of-Character (OOC) area (room, table, etc) is the only place where you may be considered to be out of character, acting as yourself without the use of an out of character hand sign; in all other places, you are in-character, acting as your character. Please leave explanations for those people ghosting to the staff.
1. There are none.
2. If there ever is any, see above.
If you have a complaint about the game, the staff, or another player; feel free to bring it up to staff before or after game unless it directly affects the scene that you are currently in.
Meta-gaming is defined by the staff as:
1.) The use of knowledge that there is no way your character could know.
2.) Taking actions that your character would not for OOC reasons.
3.) Lying to another player OOC about events that happened at game. This does not apply to in-character lying (one character lying to another character)
Any Player found to be Meta-gaming will have a Strike put against them.
Strikes are a warning by the ST Staff that a players actions were found disruptive, damaging, or inappropriate for the game. Only the ST Staff can issue a Strike. If a player has a Strike put against them, they are being warned that they are creating an issue that is making the game not enjoyable for other players. If a player accumulates 3 Strikes, they will be asked to leave the game for a length of time and possibly permanently. A Strike last for 6 months if you do not acquire another during that time.
Storytelling Staff (ST Staff)
Goals of the ST Staff
ST Staff members
Choosing a HST