Dante Hargrave
 member, 100 posts
 Formerly memoryman but now
 new and improved!!
Wed 30 Aug 2006
at 16:08
House Rules for WoD games
I know this invariably come sup in almost every game I run so I thought we could use this thread to kind of throw things out that others might find useful or a good idea.

Here, I'll start:

In oWOD: The main thing I always change in every one of my modern games is that bullets do lethal damage and not bashing to vampires.  To me its absurd that a sword, dagger, axe, etc does lethal but a bullet does not.  In my opinion this invariably winds up making characters look like misplaced knights or ninjas stalking the night carrying around archaic weapons or else finding themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to a fight with another vampire.  Now I know others don't agree but its just something I like.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:12, Tue 05 Sept 2006.

johanfk
 member, 160 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2006
at 16:18
Re: House Rules for WoD games
But I believe bullets do lethal damage, it is only against vampires they do bashing.
Dante Hargrave
 member, 101 posts
 Formerly memoryman but now
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Wed 30 Aug 2006
at 16:19
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Precisely what I was talking about.
johanfk
 member, 161 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2006
at 16:20
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Ah! Sorry then.

Edit... Well look what happens when you don't read posts as good as you should.

I apologies.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:22, Wed 30 Aug 2006.

Dante Hargrave
 member, 103 posts
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Wed 30 Aug 2006
at 16:25
Re: House Rules for WoD games
No need to apologize, I just went back and edited it in so you didn't miss anything I just wrote it rather ambiguously.
Nerwen
 member, 1066 posts
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Thu 31 Aug 2006
at 03:52
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Heh, where to begin. :)

For starters, I've always been in full agreement with the rule about bullets doing lethal to vampires. To my mind, the difference between bashing and lethal is defined by what it does to mortals, and the difference between mortals and vampires is that vampires can soak lethal while mortals can't. (And to complete the thought, the difference between lethal and aggravated is defined by what it does to vampires. To mortals, effects of lethal and aggravated damage are the same.)

Also, if you look at what's written in VtM 3rd ed., the rule contradicts itself. The footnote at the bottom of the chart on page 215 says bullets are bashing to vampires. However, according to the description about "Lethal Damage" as it starts on page 217, bullets are very clearly lethal damage to them.

*****

As for other house rules, I have a ton of them. Continuing on with oWoD vampires, here's a smattering of the more generally-applicable ones, copy/pasted straight from my current game with annotations:

Fortitude - in addition to adding dice to soak pools, each point of fortitude allows an additional level of aggravated damage to be healed per day. (Normal willpower and blood cost.)

This one was something I originally saw on RPG.net's Roleplaying Open forum. The discussion was about how potence was slightly overpowered, while fortitude was slightly underpowered, and nobody had quite figured out how to tweak it to be equalized. Someone then suggested the above fortitude rule to compensate, and I liked it.

The house rule for Thaumaturgy/Mortis/Necromancy rituals is as follows: You get 1 ritual one level higher than the total number of dots of thaum/mortis, 2 rituals at the same level, 4 at the next lower level, then 8, then 16, etc. You can trade ritual points up and down as well - halving them as you go up levels and doubling as you go down.

Corollary for Lasombra with abyss mysticism: one free ritual per level of obtenebration.


This idea came from WoD: All That Glitters. :) Thee Independent is a huge fan of Tremere, and upon thinking it over I decided it was just as good of an idea for Giovanni and Cappadocians. The corollary could probably be applied to other types of obscure blood magic as well.

The house rule for combination disciplines (discipline techniques): You must first have all of the disciplines involved at the levels required. Then you may purchase the combination for 7 freebies.

In my game, no XP is ever given. Instead, I start everyone with 50 freebies. Therefore I needed a house rule for how to obtain combination disciplines without using the XP chart.

This one makes sense as-is because all the normal discipline levels are also a flat rate of 7 freebies each. I therefore didn't think it should be necessary for high-level combinations to cost more than low-level ones.

All characters start the game with a full blood pool. Blood subtracts at the rate of 1 per night, upon waking. Willpower regenerates at the rate of 1 per night, upon waking.

Going strictly by the book, you're supposed to roll dice to determine starting blood pool. I decided that was not an appropriate way to start if the game's focus isn't on "what's it like to be a vampire."

Non-Malks who choose to have derangements (or Malks who choose to have more than one), and Gangrel with certain types of beast traits, may request additional freebie points to compensate. The GM will decide how many freebies, depending on what it is. These are analogous to flaws, and max flaw point rules still apply.

This was to encourage people to come up with interesting characters without fear of putting themselves at a disadvantage compared to everyone else.

*****

I'll go through my WtA house rules later. ;)

So far I don't have any for mages yet, but will probably end up with a bunch after all the chargen for that is over.

This message was last edited by the user at 04:22, Thu 01 Feb 2007.

Tzuppy
 member, 73 posts
 
Thu 31 Aug 2006
at 05:35
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Here's how I combined Mage and Sorcerer in my game.



Like in Aberrant, Powers now have levels, not only ratings. Level determines how wide the Power is and rating determines how good your character is in using it. As we all know these two things need not imply one another. Each character has 15 Power Points to spend. Each dot in Powers costs as many Power Points as the level of Power in question. So, for instance, a dot in Parma Magica costs one Power Point, while a dot in Forces costs three.

Unlike in Mage: The Ascension book, players are limited to up to three dots in a single Power, regardless of their ArÍte rating. If you run out of Power Points you may cover the difference with Freebie Points.


Here are general guidelines for determining level of the Power.

Level 1: Narrow Powers that cannot be used offensively.
Level 2: Broad Powers that cannot be used offensively or narrow Powers that can be used offensively.
Level 3: Extremely broad Powers.


Soak Lethal Damage, Parma Magica and 6th Sense are all examples of level 1 Powers.

Most Paths from Sorcerer book are examples of level 2 Powers, like Astrology, Alchemy or Animal Summoning, as well as Fire and Lightning.

Spheres are, obviously, level 3 Powers.



I've also decided to add rotes like in Mage: The Awakening, but I still haven't finished rules for them.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:38, Thu 31 Aug 2006.

Dante Hargrave
 member, 106 posts
 Formerly memoryman but now
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Fri 1 Sep 2006
at 20:53
Re: House Rules for WoD games
VtM:
The book leaves a grey area in regards to exactly how much blood you can take from humans without causing them immediate harm.  The book says you can safely take twenty percent of a target's blood without causing any damage.  A typical human has ten blood points so for them to come through completely unharmed only two blood points could be obtained.

It also states that taking five blood points will require the individual to need immediate medical attention.

So my interpretation is that if you take three blood points the victim feels slightly dizzy and lightheaded.  If you take four blood points the victim falls unconscious and will require medical attention to regain consciousness.  If you leave the victim behind and they are not treated within a day they will start to lose health levels.
Morad
 member, 52 posts
Sat 2 Sep 2006
at 00:21
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Storyteller's choice as always with any of these though from the bashing damage from bullets is explanable.

Take for example a bullet piercing the chest for a mortal if it breaches the chest cavity even if it does pierce the lung they are in a lot of trouble. The reason equalisation of air pressure inside their chest cavity means from what I understand its impossible for them to draw breath without assistance.

The same bullet into a Kindred is pretty much a worthless wound, that would slow them down at all due to the fact they don't need to breath. This is one example of a location where damage isn't going to effect a Kindred to the same degree it will harm a mortal.

A sword strike however does a huge amount of physical trauma increasing the proability of severing muscles etc that then have a flow on impact to an indiviudals ability to move freely etc, even if they don't bleed to death from the wound itself. 'Lethal to a Vampire is something that does a large of amount of physical damage to their form, not something that would impair life function.
Dante Hargrave
 member, 107 posts
 Formerly memoryman but now
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Sat 2 Sep 2006
at 02:58
Re: House Rules for WoD games
True but by the same token bullets don't always enter and stay solid.  In fact lots of bullets are made to fragment once they enter the body or in the case of hollow points leave massive holes that could just as easily render the body way more damage than what a sword strike or stab could manage.

Od course I think I've had this conversation before though I don't know if it was with you or not but I think it was.  I just think it makes more sense and it keeps the kindred in my games from looking like a bunch of D&D playing freaks obsessed with goth (not that anything is wrong with either of those).

To each their own just throwing things out that others might use. ;)
Morad
 member, 54 posts
Sat 2 Sep 2006
at 03:08
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Not sure if we've had that discussion before but your last point is certainly right.

To each their own, and some players take it too far with their character.

Mind you opening up on an elder with a light machine gun or submachine gun is still going to cause them trouble even if it is bashing damage. Enough people saturating an elder with bullets is going to bring them down.
Damos Taranth
 member, 17 posts
Mon 4 Sep 2006
at 01:07
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Oh, definately a hail of machinegun fire will do some distinctly unpleasant damage to an elder. Doing the equivilent amount of bashing damage with a blunt weapon would do much the same. ^__^ Shooting a vampire with a gun puts a hole in them - it hurts, but it doesn't impair bodily function. Cutting a vampire's arm off impairs bodily function. I would rule that specifically stabbing weapons don't have overmuch effect either. A rapier wouldn't do any more damage to them than a gun.

Vampires have damage reduction/slashing :)

I somewhere remember hearing about a rule that vampires don't actually take bashing and lethal seperately, it's just that bashing sources do 1/2 the damage they normally do... I'm not that well-versed on vampire so I'm not sure whether that's gospel or house rule, but it seems pretty logical.

I think I specifically remember seeing a little ditty of flavourtext with an older vampire taking on a younger one... the younger one opened fire, the older one winced, then laughed, saying something like "You really don't understand how we work, do you?" before going nuts with a blade...

Quite frankly, with the potentially high physical stats of a vampire, not to mention Potence, something as small as a pocketknife can become unbelievably deadly. You don't need to run around with a greatsword.
trabian
 member, 44 posts
 You're a good actor...
 Who said I was acting?
Mon 4 Sep 2006
at 15:50
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Damos Taranth:
Quite frankly, with the potentially high physical stats of a vampire, not to mention Potence, something as small as a pocketknife can become unbelievably deadly. You don't need to run around with a greatsword.


cutting in the discussion now that potence has come up.

Ever tried throwing small stuff with high strength? who needs guns?

ok guns are more accurate over long distance.



Back on topic, I usually find a compromise between the bashing and the lethal.

I have the kindred soak bullets like its bashing damage and then have the damage count as lethal.

Bullets are not the same thing to a kindred like being hit with a fist, but neither does it compare to a scimitar cutting in its torso.

soak like bashing (half damage after soak) and let it count like lethal damage. It lets the people with melee be a little bit cocky about gunfights but it still keeps them on on their toes.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:54, Mon 04 Sept 2006.

Dante Hargrave
 forum moderator, 110 posts
 Formerly memoryman but now
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Tue 5 Sep 2006
at 05:15
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
Lets try to keep this on topic.  If you wish to debate the topic please open up a new thread to do that.  I don't want information getting buried under a thousand posts about why people disagree with one of these rules.  Its just a rule I use, like it or hate it you'll always find it in my campaigns.  Now back onto topic...
Nerwen
 member, 1094 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Fri 15 Sep 2006
at 06:02
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
House Rule that might be useful for people running WtA and HtR/DA:I characters that are starting out more advanced than with the standard 15-freebie chargen.

For oWoD werewolves, there's a social ranking system that is not based on freebie or XP expenditure, but only on roleplay. The PC must accumulate renown in order to go up in rank; rank in turn affects things like which gifts and rites may be learned.

Similarly, for HtR hunters and DA:I inquisitors, there's a system for gaining virtues by accumulating conviction points, which then in turn determines the gaining of edges.

After thinking it over, I decided that renown/conviction are worth 1 freebie point apiece. These may then be traded up for rank/virtues (there's a fancy chart in WtA 3rd. ed. p. 185 for how much renown you need to increase in rank; for hunters/inquisitors, 10 conviction points = 1 virtue point). Whereupon the PC is then allowed to buy gifts at the usual 7 freebies apiece, or choose rites/edges accordingly.

Which brings me to my other WtA house rule worth mentioning:

The house rule for rites is as follows: You get 1 rite one level higher than the total number of dots of the background Rites, 2 rites at the same level, 4 at the next lower level, then 8, then 16, etc. You can trade rites points up and down as well - halving them as you go up levels and doubling as you go down. Note that 3rd. ed. rules about the knowledge Rituals still apply, and you must also be of the appropriate rank for the rites you want to buy.

If you read my list of house rules for VtM, you can probably guess where I came up with this idea. ;)

This message was last edited by the user at 06:04, Fri 15 Sept 2006.

megadeus
 forum moderator, 644 posts
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Fri 15 Sep 2006
at 19:28
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
^_^; Moved from the wrong thread:

My houserule for nWoD modifies the optional rule for selling Morality (or Wisdom/Humanity/Harmony) at character creation.

The basic rules in a nutshell: start with six Morality instead of 7 and gain 5xp at character creation; start with five Morality instead of 7 and gain 10 xp at character creation.

My simple rule is that if you choose either of these options, you have to make the appropriate Morality rolls to see if you gained a Derangement, just as you would have to if you had lost the Morality during IC play.

So if you started with 6 Morality, you'd have to roll six dice to see if you wrote a Derangement on line 6 of your Morality chart before play even started. Likewise, if you wanted to start with 5 Morality, you'd first have to roll six dice, then five, and failure on either roll causes you to gain a Derangement on the appropriate line.
Nerwen
 member, 1102 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Sun 17 Sep 2006
at 01:52
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
Yet another house rule from me. :)

This one was originally from the Thee's as well, pertaining to specializations on attributes and abilities, which are one-word descriptions of things you're especially good at for that particular attribute or ability. They're available if you have 4+ dots in something.

In 2nd and 3rd ed. oWoD, when you're using a specialization, the book says you get to reroll all your 10s for extra successes. In my game (and the game run by a Thee), I'm actually using 1st edition rolling rules, and allowing everyone to reroll 10s for everything. Specializations instead allow the player to choose one of the following:
    1. You can automatically lower your difficulty by 1 point. This is great when you have a low dice pool and/or a high difficulty number. You can still botch, though.

    2. You can take one of the dice in your dice pool, don't roll it, and call it an auto success. This is great when you have a really high difficulty number and you don't want to risk botching. You may fail at what you are trying, but with one success, you at least won't botch. You give up the chance to try rerolling a 10 with that one die, though.

    3. You can add a die to your dice pool. This is great for physical actions, such as fighting, which are based upon how many successes you get.

Morad
 member, 58 posts
Sun 17 Sep 2006
at 03:15
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
Speaking of dice rolls.

Specialisations
- I handle these that they give you an extra two dice to the roll, but don't lower the difficulty.

I allow anyone rolling a 10 to have a reroll for more success.

Other option if you roll a 1 off a re-roll dice, then it doesn't count towards cancelling a success. Just means you got a normal success off that dice instead of a super success.

(Had a player roll two 10s and then roll a 1 off each of the re-roll dice. Was going to go from a success to a failure, and hence the House rule)
Nerwen
 member, 1103 posts
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Sun 17 Sep 2006
at 03:36
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
I've seen it done both ways. And it's even described differently depending on which core book you're looking at. Some explicitly say rerolled 1s don't cancel, and others say that they do, and most of them are just very vague. (I looked it up while we were trying to figure out what the rpol dice rollers should do.)
Nerwen
 member, 1120 posts
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Sun 24 Sep 2006
at 19:59
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
House Rules for statting out oWoD minions - in particular vampire retainers and mage servants

In the Dark Ages line, retainers and servants aren't all created equal. Some are smarter and/or stronger than others, and there's a ranking system. So I devised the following rules for giving them stats:

Vampire Retainers
The quality of a retainer can vary depending on the number of retainer points:
  • 1 dot - One mortal retainer
  • 2 dots - two level 1 retainers, or one of unusual competence
  • 3 dots - three level 1 retainers, or two level 2 retainers, or one remarkable
  • 4 dots - four level 1 retainers, or two level 2 and one level 1, or one level 3 and two level 1
  • 5 dots - five level 1 retainers, or three level 2, or two level 3

A level 1 retainer has the following stats:
  • Attributes: 9/7/6 (or 6/4/3 if you include the beginning dots)
  • Abilities: 11/7/4
  • Backgrounds: 5 with restrictions (retainers may not have retainers, for example)
  • Virtues: 10 points between them, at least 1pt in each. Willpower and humanity are derived the same way as for vampires.
  • Merits and flaws are allowed with some restrictions.
  • 21 freebie points.

A level 2 retainer is the same as level 1 but includes 35 freebie points if mortal, or 21 freebie points and 2 discipline points if ghoul. 1 of these is potence. The other may be celerity or fortitude, an in-clan discipline of the domitor, or any discipline that the domitor knows. Disciplines may not be higher than level 1, except for potence and fortitude. Additional discipline points cost 10 freebies each. If Mortis or Thaumaturgy is taken, the ghoul may have one level 1 ritual.

A level 3 retainer has the same points as a starting vampire:
  • Attributes: 10/8/6 (or 7/5/3 if you include the beginning dots)
  • Abilities: 13/9/5
  • Backgrounds: 5 with restrictions
  • Virtues: 10 points between them, at least 1pt in each. Willpower and humanity are derived the same way as for vampires.
  • Merits and flaws are allowed with some restrictions.
  • Disciplines: 3 points, same rules and restrictions as above.
  • 15 freebie points.

These are modified from Dark Ages: Vampire and Ghouls: Fatal Addiction.

Mage Servants
The quality of a servant may vary depending on number of points:
  • 1 dot - One average servant
  • 2 dots - two level 1 servants, or one of unusual competence
  • 3 dots - three level 1 servants, or two level 2 servants, or one remarkable
  • 4 dots - four level 1 servants, or two level 2 and one level 1, or one level 3 and two level 1
  • 5 dots - five level 1 servants, or three level 2, or two level 3

A level 1 magic servant is capable of doing a single specific simple task. A level 1 commoner servant has the following stats:
  • Attributes: 9/7/6 (or 6/4/3 if you include the beginning dots)
  • Abilities: 11/7/4
  • Backgrounds: 5 with restrictions (servants may not have servants, for example)
  • Virtues: 10 points between courage, self-control, and conscience, with at least 1pt in each. Willpower = courage and humanity = self-control + conscience.
  • Merits and flaws are allowed with some restrictions.
  • 21 freebie points.

A level 2 magic servant is capable of doing a single specific complex task. A level 2 commoner servant is the same as level 1 but includes 35 freebie points.

A level 3 magic servant is capable of doing a single specific task very well, but also can do tasks closely-related to it to varying levels of competence depending on how closely it's related. A level 3 commoner servant has 35 freebie points and an additional (low-level) special ability normally available only to supernatural beings (which must be explained in their backstory).
Tzuppy
 member, 90 posts
 
Mon 25 Sep 2006
at 00:46
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
I don't use specializations, but have a special system when 10s are rolled.

Each die that turns 10 adds the new result to 10. Any 10s that come up add a new 10 etc. The final number is then divided by the difficulty and rounded down. This gives the number of successes from that die. So if the result turns out to be 23 on difficulty 7 that means that that die produces 3 successes.
Dovyenda
 member, 1 post
Sat 11 Nov 2006
at 22:24
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
Most of the table top games of V:TM I played in the ST gave all the starting characters the merit "Eat Food" for free.  Wasnt an expensive merit...and it helped dealing with mortals if your game was more political than combat oriented.  I mean after all how many folks are offended if they invite you in for a cup of coffee while talking business?  It was just one of the many house rules I have seen over the years, but it was one of the most helpful one in many ways.
S'kale Dragonwing
 member, 20 posts
Sun 12 Nov 2006
at 02:46
Re: Re: House Rules for WoD games
That's an interesting one.  Not one I personally would use, but interesting.  You could easily give everyone Blush of Health and have it work the same way.

However, as a regular ST I feel it's up to me to present the story and the players to present characters that have a variety of ways to deal with the situation.  Giving everyone Eat Food downplays the point of the game (ie, your monsters, not humans).  If the game was designed to have a lot of vamp/human interaction I personally am not going to make it easy for the characters!

Of course, that's just my opinion and who knows, maybe some day I would use that.  Or, again, Blush of Health (it's more low-key than all your house guests appearantly being bulimics.)
muteflute
 member, 20 posts
Sun 12 Nov 2006
at 16:36
Re: House Rules for WoD games

This message was deleted by the user at 19:10, Sun 12 Nov 2006.

Azraile
 member, 534 posts
 AIM: Azraile - Dislexic
 Dont take my text as mean
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 11:08
Re: House Rules for WoD games
Humans can soak lethal at dif 8
Mages can soak lethal at dif 8

If all health levels full of bashing or higher taking more bashing starts turning bashing damage into lethal...same goes for lethal becoming agg... I work with 3-7 (or more depending how hardy the creatures are) after incapable, however once past incap with lethal or agg there condition will steadily decline unless they are healed or stabalized.

No one likes dying and it ruins the story, so i make it harder unless they muck up and do something dumb....but i apply this to everything not just PCs

So average supernatural badly takes a good 12 or so agg, 24 or so lethal, or 48 or so bashing to put down for good. (Yah thats a LOT of bashing lol and vampires thats like 96... so hou could hit a vampire with a Simi truck going 80mph and he could get up and limp away....a werewolf, well depends on the moon phase and how much rage they have don't it?  lol)