Rules & Other Important Stuff.   Posted by CTA.Group: public
 GM, 149 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sat 23 Feb 2013
at 20:05
Rules & Other Important Stuff

2 Simple Rules For Playing This Game

1. Have Fun -- As long as it isn't as the expense of someone else's fun.
That's really why we're all here -- to have fun. If somebody isn't having fun, then we're doing something wrong. I want players that care just as much about their fellow players enjoyment of the game as they do their own. Don't forget that on the other side of these screen names and keyboards are real people. The characters don't have to get along. In fact, conflict between characters can be great for the story. However, the players must work together. Be willing to compromise and, occasionally doubt your own infallibility.

2. If you wanna play, then you hafta post.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but I've seen lots of games wither and die because they were waiting around for someone to post. If something has come up in your real life, let me know. If the game stalls too long, the GM will post for your character. Frequent or lengthy absences could get you dropped from the game.

Your GM's Personal Preferences -- aka The Nitpicky Stuff

A) Write in Third Person, Past Tense
Say "he did", "she did", and "it did". First person might be fine when the players are sitting around a table together but, play-by-post is different. We want to write a collaborative story, not a bunch of diary entries.

B) Out Of Character Posts belong in OOC Threads
I want the Episode threads to read like a story. Post Out of Character comments in the OOC thread. If you must include an OOC comment at the bottom of a post in an Episode thread, please use a Private Line. This applies to die rolls, too.

C) Syntax Conventions
When writing dialog, the following are my preferred methods to help identify how the dialog is being heard by others:

"Use quotation marks and colored text for spoken dialogue," the speaker said aloud. I like the use of colored text because it gives the different characters a kind of "voice". Remember, you still need to use quotation marks for anything spoken out loud. Using colored text does not mean we abandon basic rules of punctuation.

Italics are used here, the man thought to himself. I would prefer that you don't use colored text for your character's thoughts. It makes it clear to your fellow players that the line was not said out loud, so their characters did not hear it.

{Use italics, Braces, and colored text here,} came the mysterious telepathic voice. Be sure to note who you are directing the telepathic conversation to. (You could also just use a private line.)

Game System
We will primarily be using Cinematic Unisystem, published by Eden Studios, Inc., as found in the following role-playing games: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Ghosts of Albion.

My goal is to keep the game mechanics behind a curtain, so our story will read like a book. I like die rolls for a random factor that can bring unexpected challenges, but this won't be a die heavy game. Good story-telling and character development are more important than die rolls. I am willing to work with players who do not have access to these books.

Our story takes place in an alternate reality, modern day Chicago. I would like to remain vague on what year it is. My experience with online role-playing games is that they take a long time to play out. If we establish game time to be 2013, we could find ourselves still playing in 2013 two years from now. Not necessarily a big problem, but some people find it confusing when trying to make references to current events or pop culture.

Think of our time frame as Modern Times, and try to avoid references to exactly what year we're currently in. Anything that exists in the real world can exist in our game whether that be music, movies, famous people, or significant events. It doesn't matter if it takes us three years of real time to play through one year of game time, we will always be in current, modern times. For more background on our setting, read the Game Introduction found by clicking the Game Info link above, or here: Link back to this game

Our game is not based on a specific setting found in film or literature, but it is inspired by several sources including (but not limited to) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels, The Dresden Files, the Kitty Norville series of novels, and many others. Don't expect our game to be an exact portrayal of any particular fictional world. I intend to borrow from a variety of sources as I shape our universe, and make it our own.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:31, Mon 08 Apr 2013.

 GM, 151 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sun 24 Feb 2013
at 10:52
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff

How to Join
Before we get into the stats and numbers, I'd like to know what is your concept for your character. Send me a PM and tell me what kind of a character you'd like to play. You can include a character sheet if you want, but you don't have to. I am willing to work with people who are new to Unisystem and don't have the books.

The Liar's Club is a bar in Chicago, and I intend to make it a common gathering spot in the game. All Player Characters must be at least 21 years of age so they can have access to the bar.

I might use pictures of your characters in props (or what would be called "hand-outs" if we were sitting around a table). It would be odd, to me at least, to see a mix of cartoon characters and live actors representing the cast. I ask that you pick a portrait that is a photograph of a real person. This will make it easier for me to find other pictures of your character. I can make an exception for a character that does not appear human.

Character Creation
Unisystem uses a point system to create characters. Basically, you buy different abilities by spending character points. The more powerful a characteristic is, the more expensive it is.

Some negative features, known as Drawbacks, give rather than cost points. By acquiring them, you actually get more points to buy other things. Drawbacks are your character's flaws or weaknesses. Often, they are what make your character interesting, so everyone should have a few.

All Player Characters will have the following points to spend:

Attribute Points20
Quality Points20
Drawback Pointsup to 10
Skill Points30
Drama Points10

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:32, Mon 08 Apr 2013.

 GM, 152 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Sun 24 Feb 2013
at 10:57
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff

Character Sheet



Strength -
Dexterity -
Constitution -
Intelligence -
Perception -
Willpower -

Art -
Athletics -
Computers -
Crime -
Doctor -
Driving -
Get Medieval -
Gun Fu -
Influence -
Knowledge -
Kung Fu -
Languages -
Mr. Fix-It -
Notice -
Occultism -
Science -



This message was last edited by the GM at 19:33, Mon 08 Apr 2013.

 GM, 153 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 01:03
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff

Attributes are inborn characteristics. Each player character will have 20 points to distribute between the 6 Attributes:


Attributes can be bought up to level five on a one-for-one basis (i.e., Strength 3 would cost three points, Strength 4 four points, and so on). Attributes above level five are more expensive: three points per additional level. To make an Attribute level six would cost 8 points. Most human characters will not have any Attribute above level six. Some Qualities (like Athlete, Cop, and Vampire) provide bonuses to one or more Attributes. These bonuses are applied after Attributes have been purchased normally. For example, if you spend five points on Dexterity, and your character has a Quality that adds a +1 to Dexterity, a Dexterity 6 is the final result. Player Characters should spend a minimum of two points on each Attribute.

The Meaning of Attribute Numbers
Level 1 -- Below Average: Strength of 1 indicates poor physique (flabby, sedentary). Dexterity of 1 indicates clumsiness. Constitution of 1 indicates being delicate or in poor health. Characters with Intelligence of 1 are not mentally challenged, but are certainly slow on the uptake. A character with Perception of 1 is not very aware of their surroundings and likely to miss what is staring them in the face. A character with Willpower of 1 is easily intimidated and influenced by others, a follower instead of a leader, and likely to succumb to temptation.

Level 2 -- Average for Humans: Characters at this level are unlikely to shine, unless their skills are high enough to compensate.

Level 3 -- Above Average: Strength and Constitution of 3 show athletic aptitude. Characters with Dexterity of 3 are graceful. Intelligence of 3 indicates a bright person and quick learner. Characters with Perception of 3 have good senses and intuition. They are not easily fooled or confused. Characters with Willpower of 3 are rarely bluffed or bullied under normal circumstances.

Level 4 -- Well Above Average: Very few people (perhaps 1 out of 10) have one or two Attributes at this level. Strength and Constitution of 4 is only found in athletes, Special Forces Soldiers, and others who spend serious time at the gym. A Dexterity of 4 is only common among gymnasts, acrobats, and sensei. Mental Attributes of 4 indicate near genius (Intelligence), uncanny senses (Perception), or iron will (Willpower).

Level 5 -- "Practical" Human Limit: People at this level are extraordinarily talented, able to perform complex and difficult feats with little practice. They are not "record breakers" but, they are among the best and the brightest.

Level 6 -- True Human Limit: Characters with one or more Attributes at level 6 are very rare (about one in ten thousand). A few people, with "freakish" Attributes may exceed this limit (to level 7), but they would be a handful among billions.

Level 7+ -- Super-Human: Someone with Strength of 7 would be as strong as a horse. A Dexterity of 8 covers the very best of the big cats... you get the picture.

Life Points
Life Points are determined by adding the character's Strength and Constitution, multiplying the result by four, and adding 10.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:33, Mon 08 Apr 2013.

 GM, 154 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 01:04
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff

Qualities and Drawbacks
Qualities are innate characteristics that give the character an advantage or positive trait. Drawbacks represent a character's flaws. When Drawbacks are acquired, the character gains extra points that can be used to buy Qualities or Skills. A 1-point Drawback will give you one more point to spend on Qualities or Skills. A 2-point Drawback will give you two more points, and so on.

Beginning characters have 20 points to spend on Qualities and are limited to 10 points in Drawbacks. While everyone should have a few points in Drawbacks, it's not always a good idea to max them out. Most characters will probably have less than 10 points worth of Drawbacks.

Some Qualities are package deals -- your character buys one Quality but gets a number of benefits, or some benefits and some downsides. Occult Investigator and Vampire are examples of package Qualities. Usually characters are limited to only one package Quality.

Below are the Qualities and Drawbacks I'll be allowing in this game. I know most of the players have access to Eden's Angel Corebook, so I'll just list those. I'll post brief descriptions of new Qualities and Drawbacks, or any that I've altered. If you see something you want to know more about, just ask. The Qualities and Drawbacks listed first are traits any character could possess, human or non-human.

Absent Minded: 1-point Drawback
Some people are a bit forgetful, especially in their old age. They periodically forget everything from appointments to names to daily rituals. At the Director’s discretion, a character with this Drawback must pass a Simple Intelligence Test to remember the information he needs to complete a skilled Task ("Now do I have to cut the red wire or the blue wire?"). If he fails the Intelligence roll, he fails the skill check, as well. The character can attempt another Intelligence Test every two Turns. If he succeeds, he has recovered the information from the depths of his mind, and is free to try to make an unimpeded skill Task.

Acute/Impaired Sense: 2-point Quality or Drawback

Addiction: Variable Drawback

Adversary: Variable Drawback

Ambidextrous: 3-point Quality
Ambidextrous Cast Members have a natural advantage in combat situations. This Quality provides one extra action at no penalty each Turn, if fighting with a weapon in each hand. The extra action can be used for attack or defense, but not both.

Archaic: 1 to 3-point Drawback
The character hails from a more primitive time, society, or point of view and lacks the comprehension that most take for granted. A character with this Drawback might be an ancient ghost, a faerie, or even a rural or backwoods human. This feature affects skills related to times after the character died, or matters with which they have no experience. Archaic characters are not moronic or handicapped; they simply lack the experiences or cultural references necessary to understand a society comprised of millions of people, advanced tools, and complex technology. A Ghost born in Pre-Christian Europe might know just as much about the bow as a modern man, but a rifle would be baffling.

Old: The character is unfamiliar with the workings or use of complicated modern technology like computers, cars, and electricity. He does not understand current political, social, or economic processes. Thus, he is wholly unfamiliar with the current rights of minority groups. Skill attempts involving these unfamiliar areas suffer a –1 penalty. This is a 1-point Drawback.

Ancient: The character does not know common tools of technology like pistols, or even crossbows. He is amazed by the intricacies of society, etiquette, complex economic transactions, banks, credit, etcetera. Skill attempts involving these areas suffer a –2 penalty. This is a 2-point Drawback.

Primitive: At this level, the character is only familiar with the most primitive of tools and societal concepts. Money, government, politics, and technology more complex than that found in the most backward of Middle Age communities are foreign to him. Skill attempts dealing with concepts and tools outside their era suffer a –3 penalty. This is a 3-point Drawback.

Artist: 2-point Quality

Athlete: 4-point Quality

Attractiveness: 1-point per Level Quality or Drawback

Born with a Silver Spoon: 3-point Quality
You have grown up among the rich and powerful, with a proper education. Add +1 to one of your mental attributes, as well as +1 to both of the Knowledge and Science skills to reflect your education. You are also aware of how to behave in more elegant social situations. This means you know how to act and fit in at high-class affairs, so add +1 to social rolls.

Brainiac: 4-point Quality

Bilingual: 1-point Quality
The character was raised in a bilingual household, and can choose a second native language. This does not apply to dead languages, such as Latin.

Bounty Hunter: 4-point Quality
Bounty Hunters don't track down people who have skipped out on their bail anymore. That job belongs to Bail Enforcement Agents. Today's Bounty Hunters have more in common with their wild west roots, except they don't go after run-of-the mill humans. The only targets they are permitted to hunt are supernatural. Bounty Hunters aren't licensed but, they do have to register with local law enforcement.

Bounty Hunters get a +1 to any three Attributes (the bonuses cannot stack on the same Attribute and humans cannot raise an Attribute above 6). They also get a +1 bonus to any two combat-oriented Skills (Gun Fu, Kung Fu, or Getting Medieval) and +1 to the Occultism Skill. On the downside, Bounty Hunters make enemies. They gain a +1 Adversary (to be defined), even if they are just staring out. This Drawback can be raised to reflect a seasoned hunter who has more of a rep.

Charisma: 1-point per Level Quality or Drawback
Charisma measures personal charm, magnetism, and leadership abilities. A character with a positive Charisma is well liked no matter how physically attractive. Low Charisma characters are avoided; they naturally antagonize those around them. Levels of Charisma are added to any Influence roll (thus, negative levels detract).

Clown: 1-point Drawback

Contacts: Variable Quality
Possible spheres of influence include (but are not limited to): Criminal; Financial; Governmental; Supernatural; Community (people in the neighborhood, bar owners, shopkeepers, local artists, etc.); Military; and Professional (a mentor, associate, colleague, etc.).

Cop/Ex-Cop/Detective: 4, 5 or 8-point Quality

Covetous: 1 to 3-point Drawback

Criminal/Wise Guy: 2 or 3-point Quality

Curious: 2-point Drawback
The character has an insatiable sense of curiosity and is drawn to investigate anything remotely interesting, mysterious, or unusual. The character must succeed at a Willpower Test in order to bypass interesting subjects. The test should be Simple or Difficult according to the Director’s discretion, depending on how "interesting" the object is.

Cursed: Variable Drawback
The character has been afflicted by a powerful curse, one that may haunt him until the end of his days. The actual elements of the curse, and how difficult it is to remove it, determine the point value of this Drawback. For the most part, it is the result of a misdeed the character committed in the past, and atonement for the misdeed is a major step (but may not be the only one) needed to remove the curse.

A curse of this magnitude is only possible for the worst crimes and injuries. The Game Master and the player may work together in deciding the origins of the curse, or the Game Master may craft it himself. In the latter case, the origin of and the solution to the curse should remain a mystery to the character.

Depending on its severity, a curse can be worth anywhere between 1 and 10 points. A 10-point curse would be a terrible thing, something that would utterly ruin any chance of the character leading a normal or happy life, or which might kill the victim at any moment. Some rules of thumb to determine the power of the curse are given below. As usual, the Game Master is the final judge as to what is appropriate to a campaign setting.

A major inconvenience or annoyance is worth 1 point. For example, the character seems to attract flies, fleas and vermin; milk sours quickly in the presence of the victim; little accidents plague the accursed one.

Something more dramatic and harmful would be worth 2 to 3 points. For example, people tend to be distrustful and angry at the character for no apparent reason (-2 to -3 on all attempts to influence people), or the character can never accumulate a lot of money without losing it (this would preclude any Resource level above 0). Alternatively, people around the character are plagued by small accidents and annoying incidents. In this case, personal involvement is as important as that of physical proximity. A close friend of the victim suffers from the effects of the curse regardless of how far away he is. By the same token, all the people sharing a subway car with the accursed person also suffer from it.

Severe or life-threatening curses will be worth 4 to 5 points. For examples, every day, an accident, mishap or random occurrence will endanger the character’s life -- a car skips a red light when the character is crossing the street, a gang shootout breaks out in front of him, or a similar dangerous chance event occurs. If the character is alert, he might survive the mishap without injury, but every day, he has to live with the knowledge that sometime, somewhere, something dangerous and terrible is going to happen.

The difficulty in getting rid of a curse may add 1 to 5 points to its value. If undoing or atoning for a past misdeed is the only requisite, no additional points are awarded. If the misdeed is not known, add 1 point, as the character must spend time finding out why he was cursed. If the undoing process is extremely complex, or involves illegal activities (in some cases, killing the one who cursed the character is necessary), add 2 to 3 points. If a long quest culminating in a difficult magical ceremony, divine intervention, or a similar extraordinary factor is necessary, add 4 to 5 points. Some curses cannot be removed by any means. This adds 6 points to the value of the curse, but no measure will be effective in eliminating it.

Daredevil: 4-point Quality
The daredevil lives on the edge. He might challenge a group of thugs, attempt some death-defying stunt, or otherwise act out of sheer abandon.

Daredevils get +1 Dexterity, +1 Willpower, +1 Acrobatics, one level of Hard to Kill, and Situational Awareness. They suffer Mental Problems (Severe Risk Taker). This means they do not hesitate to put themselves in danger, try outlandish plans, or attempt long-odds stunts. A Willpower (doubled) roll (with modifiers as the Director believes appropriate) needs to be made to avoid such situations. A character that plays true to form and forgoes his Willpower check should be rewarded experience points or Drama Points.

Demonic Tutor: 2-point Drawback
With enough trickery and lies, a young magician can be convinced to become the pawn of a demon. The demon usually tries to find some way to trick or coerce its student into performing progressively more questionable acts. Fighting the demon's demands is difficult, since it surreptitiously makes a pact with anyone it teaches.

Dependent: 1 to 3-point Drawback
Someone is reliant upon the character for a living, survival, or just emotionally -- perhaps a spouse, sibling, daughter/son, grandmother/grandfather, or even a ward. The dependent might suffer from age, infirmity, or emotional problems.

The frequency that the dependent is involved in the character’s life determines the point cost. If infrequent, 1 point is gained; if occasionally, 2 points. Dependents that require more time usually interfere too much with supernatural hunting activities. More than one dependent grants 3 points and one or another is involved (making them occasionally present).

Emotional Problems: Variable Drawback

Enchanted or Superscience Item: 2-points per level Quality
Your character is in possession of a powerful magic item or a wondrous superscience device. No character can start the game with an item more powerful than level six.

Enchanter/Superscienctist: 5-points per level Quality
A character with the Enchanter version of this Quality can create powerful items such as mystical talismans and magic wands; one with the Superscientist Quality builds wondrous freeze-rays, intelligent robots, and the like. A character cannot possess both aspects of this Quality.

Fast Reaction Time: 2-point Quality

Good/Bad Luck: 1-point per level Quality or Drawback

Hard to Kill: 1 to 5-point Quality

Haunted: 1 to 2-point Drawback
The character is haunted by a lost loved one -- be it friend, family, romantic partner, or mentor. Perhaps it is someone the character wronged or who blames the character for their death. It might even be a person the character killed. This spirit is tied to the character, follows him about, makes comments and observations, and is generally exasperating. Worse yet, the spirit cannot manifest or be heard by others. This is worth 1 point if the haunting is favorably inclined, but still nags or needles the character. It rises to 2 points if the relationship is more antagonistic.

Honorable: 1 to 3-point Drawback

Humorless: 1-point Drawback

Love: 2 or 4-point Drawback
This character’s love life can be summed up in a country music song. Love is available in four flavors:

Romantic Love: A Cast Member with this Drawback starts the game with a relationship, or develops one shortly after the game begins (usually during the first or second Episode). Reciprocation may or may not occur. Whenever the character must choose between his heart and his head, he makes a Willpower (not doubled) roll at a -3 penalty. This Drawback is worth 2 points.

Platonic Love: This encompasses the love of family, friends, and others in a non-romantic way. Typically returned in kind, it can be dramatic nonetheless -- say when protecting one's beloved sibling at risk of one’s own life or mourning the loss of a loving grandfather. Platonic Love requires the same Willpower rolls as Romantic Love. This is a 2-point Drawback.

Unrequited Love: Unrequited Love dooms the character to be forever pinning over his one true match. Perhaps one or the other is previously engaged or already married, or the couple comes from widely disparate cultures, or maybe the object of affection simply fails to harbor the same depth of passion. Unrequited love is ofttimes an inspiration for poets and others of artistic temperament. This is a 3-point Drawback.

Tragic Love: As any of the above loves, but any relationship is destined to end badly. Either something ill happens to the character’s beloved, or the character tends to become passionate about miscreants. Tragic Love can be a good source of Drama Points and is a 4-point Drawback.

Magic: 5-point per level Quality
While anyone can cast a spell, provided they have the proper tools, characters with the Magic Quality have a much greater chance of success. A character’s Magic Quality levels are added to his spell-casting rolls. Magicians cast certain spells faster than normal, allowing them to actually use magic in the middle of a combat.

Supernatural creatures possess Innate Magic rather than levels of Magic. Learning to cast magic like humans is counter-instinctual for supernatural beings. Thus, Magic costs them 2 extra points per level (a total of 7 points per level) and cannot be purchased above level seven.

Any being with Magic gains the Supernatural Senses (Lesser Sensing) ability and may add his Magic Quality levels to any Perception roll using that power.

Magical Family: 0 to 2-point Quality or Drawback
Your character has magical relatives, she might come from a long line of witches, or she might have an aunt who dabbles in the occult. The cost of this Quality depends on exactly who the relative is. It's free for Characters over 18, as long as they possess at least one level of Magic Quality. Characters this age or older must provide their own books by purchasing the Occult Libray Quality separately.

Magical Group: Variable Quality or Drawback
Magicians often work together -- from technopagans who work spells on the net to vile cults that summon demons. The cost of belonging to one of these groups depends on the nature of the group. Contact the GM for details.

Magic Magnet: 2-point Drawback
Your character attracts spells and magical energy -- basically she is a lightning rod for the arcane. If any sort of spell backfires and affects the wrong target, it hits her. These effects are rarely directly harmful, but she could end up invisible or with rabbit ears.

Magical Philosophy: 4-point per level Quality
Prerequisite: Magic
Not all spell-casters are cut from the same cloth. Magical Philosophy represents the various approaches to magic based on differing systems of belief, practice, or effect. Some are tied to faith in various Gods, spirits, or one God. Others are divorced from religion and more mundane, even scientific. Still others are concerned with inner spiritual development. Taking philosophy into consideration, the magician should be able to cast certain spells easier, although others may be denied to him for the same reason. A magician may learn more than one Magical Philosophy. The first one will cost 4 points, any subsequent Magical Philosophies will cost 6 points.

The individual philosophies are addressed in more detail in the thread titled Magic. Here is a summary:

Alchemy: Alchemists are able to make alchemical elixirs that impose baleful effects on their target or imbiber.

Cabbala: Cabbalists study the Torah and the bible to learn magical words and phrases.

Diabolism: Diabolists follow one of the rare pure evil philosophies and thus are not suitable for Player Characters absent special circumstances. They are demon or evil spirit worshippers and devotees to dark magics that destroy mind, body, and soul.

Divination: Diviners read the future by consulting tarot cards, tea leaves, or a person’s palm, cranium, or astrological chart.

Elementalism: Elementalists envision all things comprised the four or five classical elements: Air, Fire, Earth, Water, and either Aether or Wood.

Gnostic: Gnosis means "to know" and gnostics seek to know or understand the universe through magic.

Nature: Nature followers use various herbs and plants to brew tinctures of any spell that affects, or is centred about, the person drinking the potion.

Necromancy: Necromancers summon and compel the dead: skeletons, wights, and zombies. This is a rare philosophy, usually perceived as evil, and generally unsuitable for Player Characters. Although "good" necromancers are certainly plausible, the corrupting nature of death magic tends to wear down even the most virtuous magician.

Runic: Runic magicians specialize in the magic of runes, etchings, and symbols. A known spell may be etched onto a stable, relatively non-fragile surface such as a small stone, piece of wood, or even a wall or tree (glass, parchment, or cloth is insufficient).

Solomonic: These worthies are able to bind demons, ghosts, and other spirits to objects through the various seals of King Solomon.

Theomancy: Theomancers are priests or those in service of some deity or higher power.

Mental Problem: 1 to 3-point Drawback
In addition to those listed in the Angel Corebook:

Intolerance: The person is prejudiced against another group of beings. Maybe he despises a certain religious outlook, ethnic group, social class, the opposite sex, foreigners, or even those hailing from different parts of the home country. The player should determine how or why this intolerance came about, but also make sure it does not create undue friction within the circle of Cast Members. One vampire character and another with a Deranged, or possibly even Severe, level of hatred of all vampires could make for a poor role-playing situation.

Naive: 2-point Drawback
The character is inexperienced in the ways of the world and is easily led astray or influenced by others. He suffers a -1 penalty to any roll concerning societal matters, criminal activity, or information that an isolated or sheltered person would lack. Anyone trying to influence him enjoys a +2 bonus to such rolls unless obviously hostile.

Natural Toughness: 2-point Quality

Nerves of Steel: 3-point Quality

Nosy Reporter: 5-point Quality
The truth is out there, and if your Character has his way, it’s going to be on the eleven o’clock news. Your character has an uncanny ability to pry into other people’s business and make it public knowledge. It doesn't make him many friends, but he gets his name in the papers a lot. Of course, reporters in a world filled with vampires and demons soon discover the world is a very dark and complex place, and that most newspapers and TV stations cannot handle the truth. Might be time to open a rogue website and spread the news yourself.

Nosy Reporters get a +1 to both Intelligence and Perception, +1 to the Notice skill, and +1 to a Skill related to their field (crime reporters get, duh, Crime, while a political beat type raises his Knowledge Skill). Your Kolchak also gets 2 points worth of Contacts to represent assorted sources of information.

On the minus side, these characters cannot restrain their innate inquisitiveness, and they almost always end up in trouble. Whenever your character tries to resist his curiosity (deciding that, for example, meeting alone with an unknown source at midnight in the cemetery might not be a good idea), he must make a Willpower (doubled) roll.

Obligation: 1 to 3-point Drawback

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: 1 to 4-point Drawback
Characters with this Drawback display some sort of obsessive behavior. This could be anything from constant hand washing, to kleptomania, to hoarding, to the need to always go out the same door the character came in. At the time of purchase, select the nature of the character’s obsessive-compulsive behavior. The level of the disorder reflects the number of Success Levels the character must achieve on a Difficult Willpower Test to resist the obsession when it comes about.

Occult Investigator: 4-point Quality

Occult Library: Variable Quality
In the fight against the supernatural, it's not always who you know that matters, it's what tomes you have access to.

Minimal: Your character has one book on the occult, and maybe a few scribbled notes his uncle left behind. The book has some 4-13 spells (the Director secretly rolls a D10 and adds three to the result); four are known to a magical owner at the game’s commencement. Each time the character researches a spell successfully, scratch another off. Eventually, he exhausts the spells in that tome. One book is insufficient to cover the range of supernatural creatures, so occult research rolls suffer a –3 penalty. This level costs 1 point.

Good: The character has a modest occult library with several books on assorted esoteric subjects. No bonus is gained for occult research rolls, but the various tomes hold 7-16 (D10 + 6) spells, six of which are known by the arcane owner straight away. Cost is 2 points.

Impressive: This highly satisfactory collection includes some very rare tomes of hidden lore. Rolls to identify creatures and occult topics gain a +1 bonus; as many as 20 (D10 + 10) spells can be researched. A magical possessor starts the game with eight spells. Cost is 3 points.

Amazing: Research rolls enjoy a +2 bonus; as many as 30 (D10 + 20) spells can be found, including some rare and unusual magics. A character with such a library should have a minimum Occultism 3 unless he simply collects the books for the gruesome illustrations they feature. Those of an arcane bent blessed with this collection begin with eleven spells. This costs 5 points.

Outcast: 2 or 3-point Drawback

Photographic Memory: 2-point Quality

Physical Disability: Variable Drawback
In addition to those listed in the Angel Corebook:

One Eye: This affects depth perception, and results in a -2 penalty to melee combat-related tasks and skills requiring hand-to-eye coordination (acrobatics, painting, driving, and so on). During ranged combat, the penalty is increased to -3. This is a two-point Drawback.

Priest Quality: 5-point Quality
For centuries, Priests have done their part trying to keep minions of hell at bay - either by making holy water or exercising demons.

As a priest you gain +1 to any two Mental Attributes (the max is still 6 for humans). This is to reflect the mental discipline and time spent studying to become a priest. Priests also gain + 1 to Knowledge, +1 to Language (either Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, or Greek), and +1 to Occult. This also is to reflect the time spent studying to be a priest and the secular text studied.

Priests also have 4 levels of Good Luck. On the down side, religious devotion requires much of you and your time. Priests have the Drawback Obligation (minimal), as they are free to leave the cloth at any time they desire. They also have the Honorable (rigid) Drawback resulted from their personal devotion to their path. The faith also teaches that all the supernatural is evil and must be destroyed. This is represented by the Delusion (All Supernatural is Evil) Drawback.

So, to list it all at once, Priests receive +2 Mental Attribute, +4 Good Luck, +1 to Knowledge, Language, and Occult. Yet, they suffer from -3 Honorable and a –2 Delusion. Sitting in the middle of all of this is their 0 level Obligation and their ability to make holy water (we’ll call that a +1 perk).

Privileged Family Upbringing: 4-point Quality
Sometimes your family name will get you help from others of your social class. Your greater education gives you a +2 to Knowledge. You also gain one level of the Resources Quality for no additional cost. A player may take both this Quality and the Born with a Silver Spoon Quality.

Recurring Nightmares: 1-point Drawback

Reputation Good/Bad: Variable Quality or Drawback
You are known for something you've done (or are thought to have done). If it is a good thing, this is a Quality; if it isn't so good, this is a Drawback. Note that among some criminals and general bad guys, a bad reputation can be an advantage.

Scandalous: Influence rolls with those who know the character suffer a –4 penalty. Authorities view him with suspicion, do not offer aid, and may try to hinder him. Even contacts are less willing to aid the character. A Scandalous Reputation is a 4-point Drawback.

Bad: Influence rolls suffer a –2 penalty. Authorities are less likely to trust him, but are not automatically hostile. This is a 2-point Drawback.

Good: Influence rolls with those who recognize the character gain a +2 bonus. Authorities view him favorably. Good Reputation is a 2-point Quality.

Stellar: Influence rolls with those who recognize him gain a +4 bonus. Authorities are likely to give him every possible aid and assistance. Even contacts are more favorably inclined. This is a 4-point Quality.

Resistance: 1-point per level Quality
In addition to those listed in the Angel Corebook:

Fear: Each level of this Quality adds 1 to the character's Fear Tests versus natural or supernatural sources (to a maximum of +4).

Resources: 2-point per level Quality or Drawback

Rival: 1 to 3-point Drawback
Certain individuals or organizations, although not out to harm a character, nevertheless wish him less fortune. They might be competing over a job, love interest, professional fame, notoriety, or something else. A Rival impacts on the character’s life more frequently than an Adversary. A Rival single individual (of similar capabilities to the character) or a very small organization is worth 1 point. Someone more competent or a modest sized organization is worth 2 points. Finally, those significantly more competent than the Cast Member, very well known and of high status with great influence, or an extensive organization, are worth 3 points. The Rival could be devised by the player or entrusted to the Director to elucidate.

Secret: 1 to 3-point Drawback

Showoff: 2-point Drawback
The whole world is the Showoff's audience, and he loves to perform for it. He never misses a chance to cast the spotlight on himself or his accomplishments, while quickly excusing or covering up his mistakes. A Showoff loves to get public acclaim, or at least the respect of his peers. Most of the time, he simply makes sure people notice him, but on occasion he might try a bit too hard to attract attention to himself and his deeds. This Drawback is slightly more complex than the Covetous: Conspicuous Drawback, and the Showoff is less likely to betray his principles in order to hog the spotlight.

Situational Awareness: 2-point Quality

Worldly/Well Educated: 1-point per level Quality
The character is either worldly-wise, or received an advanced education at college. For each point spent, the character gains two skill points. In addition, the character receives a one-point per level Contact representing ties to the faculty at his old alma mater or with those met in his travels. These Contacts recognize the character and are favorably inclined to aid them with information if the request is not too outlandish or extensive. A one-point per level Obligation to the same Contacts exists as the character is expected to return the aid or information at the same level. No character can purchase more than three levels of this Quality.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:34, Mon 08 Apr 2013.

 GM, 155 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Tue 5 Mar 2013
at 19:54
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff
Supernatural Characters
To create a non-human character, the player can choose one of the existing packages (vampire, ghost, and so on) and then add other Supernatural Qualities and Drawbacks. If you want to create a new kind of Supernatural, you can put together your own package. Innate Magic is part of what separates the supernatural from the non-humans, so most supernatural characters will be required to include it in their racial package. Some supernaturals might be allowed to swap the Magic Quality for Innate Magic, but that will be incredibly rare.

I won't publicly post the details of all of the base supernatural packages. I'll post the vampire to give you an example. If you are interested in being a ghost or part Fae, send me a PM and I will give you the basic stats for those packages.

To make your own package Quality -- choose assorted supernatural abilities, add up their cost (or subtract their values in the case of Drawbacks) and that will indicate the total cost of the package.

For playable characters I will allow the Nanjin Adept Quality from the Angel Corebook and Totem Warriors, but players must add Innate Magic to each of those packages. This will raise the cost of the Nanjin adept to 11 points and Totem Warriors will cost 15 points.

Here is an example of a Supernatural Quality package:

Vampire: 15-point Quality
Those who are accustomed to the vampires found in the Buffy or Angel RPGs will see several similarities, along with a few differences. Vampires do not lose their souls but, the transformation from human to vampire usually amplifies both their personality traits and their desires. Vampires gain the following powers and disabilities:

  • +3 to Strength, +2 to Dexterity, and +2 to Constitution. Vampires have supernatural racial Attribute limits.
  • Two levels of Hard to Kill, with a maximum of ten levels in total.
  • Fast Reaction Time.
  • +2 bonus to hearing and smell-based Perception rolls (+4 when involving blood).
  • +2 to the Kung Fu or Get Medieval skills (or +1 to each).
  • Reduced Damage (Bullets) 2.
  • Innate Magic. They cannot normally gain the Magic Quality, but special cases exist. Magic Quality levels possessed by a character before they became a vampire do remain.
  • Regeneration at the rate of one Life Point per Constitution level per hour (fire damage regenerates at the rate of one Life Point per Constitution level per day).
  • Immortal. They may possess any number of levels of the Age Quality.
  • Suffer fire damage from holy water and sunlight.
  • Cannot enter certain areas, most notably the private dwelling of a person without being invited in first.
  • Suffer a –2 penalty to all physical actions during the daylight hours. Most vampires need rest during the daylight hours, but all must spend some time in repose.
  • Cast no reflection or shadow, regardless of mundane or supernatural disguise.
  • A stake through the heart immobilizes a vampire, allowing for beheading or another killing blow.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:18, Mon 04 May 2015.

 GM, 156 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Tue 5 Mar 2013
at 19:54
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff

Supernatural Qualities and Drawbacks
In most cases, the following Qualities and Drawbacks will only be available to non-human characters. These can be added to one of the existing base packages (vampire, ghost, and so on), or used to create a new supernatural racial package. In addition to the Qualities listed below -- Vampires, Ghosts, and Fairies may choose from a variety of Qualities restricted to their race. This means that one player's vampire could have different abilities from another player's vampire. I won't list the restricted racial Qualities in this thread. If you choose to play one of those types of characters, I will PM you with the additional list of Qualities that you may choose from.

It is rare, but some humans, especially those with the Magic Quality, could have access to some of the Qualities listed below. Such cases would be at the GM's discretion.

Age: 2-point per level Quality

Antisocial Impulse: Variable Drawback

Emotional Influence: Variable Quality
This supernatural may affect those around him emotionally. The feeling may vary from attraction to anger to depression, at the influencer's will. Usually a maximum of a half hour per Success Level passes before the emotion fades, unless it is something the target was already inclined to feel.

To avoid the power's influence, the target must make a Willpower (doubled) roll with a penalty equal to the Success Levels of the influencer's Willpower + Influence + Innate Magic (+3) roll. If affected, the target may make a new Willpower roll each Turn after that. Failure means the target has little, if any, control over the emotion at issue. Certain emotions (for example, lust) may bring in the influencer's Attractiveness levels as a modifier.

The basic Emotional Influence ability costs 3 points. Penalties can be added to a target’s roll up to a maximum of –5, and each adds an additional point to the cost of the power. For instance, Emotional Influence accompanied by a –3 penalty costs 6 points.

Enhanced/Reduced Attribute: Variable Quality or Drawback
Enhanced Attributes cost two points per +1 bonus up to +5. Beyond that (if the Director permits), the cost is five points per level. Thus, a +10 bonus would cost 35 points, ten for the first +5, and 25 for the next five levels. Reduced Attributes provide two points per –1 penalty. A supernatural creature with Strength +3 and Intelligence –1 would cost four points.

Immortal: 0-point Quality

Increased Life Points: 1-point per level Quality

Innate Magic: 3-point Quality
Unlike humans who learn and practice magic, supernatural creatures draw from the innate magic that permeates their being. Their powers are more instinctual, no different than breathing or moving a limb. Innate Magic reflects this portion of a supernatural creature’s existence. Without it, the being cannot use any supernatural powers; indeed, it is not even considered a supernatural being. As such, this feature is always part of a supernatural’s racial Quality and is almost never purchased separately. Any creature with Innate Magic has the Supernatural Senses (Lesser Sensing) ability. He uses a +3 bonus to his Perception roll instead of his Magic Quality levels (if any) unless those levels are greater than three.

Iron Mind: 3-point Quality

Limited Use: 1 or 2-point Drawback

Mesmerize: 6, 8, 12, or 25-point Quality
Some supernatural beings have the power to control the minds of others. This ability is found in several forms.

Meet My Gaze: This character can cause another to hesitate for a few moments—plenty of time for an indefensible attack. The mesmerist must lock gazes with the victim and roll Willpower + Innate Magic (+3), or use his Brains Score. The victim resists using Willpower (doubled) or his Brains Score. Unless the victim beats or ties the result, he is helpless for one Turn (defense rolls are zero). With eye contact, the mesmerist may instead give the victim a one word command using the same resisted roll. Commands not entirely contrary to the target’s nature shall be followed for one Turn. This ability costs six points.

Hear Me: Using his voice, the character causes a victim to freeze or follow one command. This operates just as Meet My Gaze does, but does not require eye contact. The victim must be able to hear the mesmerist speaking clearly in a normal voice (ambient noise, shouting, or distance disrupts the magic); it is not necessary that he understand what is being said. This ability costs six points.

See What I See: The mesmerist can create phantasmagorias and muddle the victim’s senses. This works as Meet My Gaze does, but if the supernatural succeeds, the victim finds the images compelling. The mesmerist can render himself invisible or take on another’s appearance. A mesmerist with See What I See gets a +1 bonus to use either his Meet My Gaze or Hear Me power. Twelve points purchases this ability.

I Command You: At this level, the mesmerist can dominate the victim—forcing him to obey almost any command. Every time the mesmerist tries to dictate to the victim, use the resisted rolls as detailed in Meet My Gaze. If the victim fails, he must comply. Some commands may be so much against the victim’s self-preservation instinct or moral code that he gains bonuses (+1 to +5) to resist (at the Director’s call). The mesmerist gains a +1 bonus on attempts to use See What I See and +2 to use Meet My Gaze or Hear Me. This ability costs 25 points.

Higher levels of this ability include the lower powers. For instance, See What I See allows the mesmerist to use both Meet My Gaze and Hear Me. If a supernatural possesses one of the two lowest level powers, the second may be purchased for a mere three points.

Natural Armor: 1-point per level Quality

Natural Weapon: Variable Quality

Psychometry: 4-point Quality
Prerequisite: Innate Magic or Magic Quality

Pyrokinesis: 3-point Quality per level Quality

Reduced Damage: Variable Quality
Some beings can not be damaged as easily as mortals. This power appears in three degrees — the first reduces damage by half, the second by five, and the third by a factor of ten. In all cases, adjust the damage after adding the Success Levels. Damage is rounded down to a minimum of one point and the above modifiers replace normal damage type multipliers. If the creature has Natural Armor and Reduced Damage, subtract the Armor from the damage first. The cost of the trait depends on the form of damage affected.

Specific Attack: If something specific, but relatively common is affected, the cost is five, ten, and twenty points, respectively. This covers damage like fire/explosions, all kinetic attacks (fists, bullets), slashing, stabbing, and so on.

Limited: This is a single specific type of attack, such as bullets, wooden weapons, metal weapons, non-magical fire, and so on. This costs three, six, and ten points respectively.

Regeneration: 1 or 3-point Quality
Some supernaturals heal very rapidly -- the faster the recovery, the more expensive the capacity. Healing Life Points equal to Constitution per hour costs one point. Healing in the same manner every half hour costs three points.

Spirit Medium: 2-point Quality
Prerequisite: Innate Magic or Magic Quality
Your character can see (and talk to) dead people. Only a few ghosts can actually appear to ordinary mortals, but a Spirit Medium can see them all.

Supernatural Attack: Variable Quality
This creature can launch lightning bolts from his fingertips, spit gobs of acid, or something equally nasty. The more damage the attack delivers the more it costs. If the attack is close, it uses Dexterity + Kung Fu; at range, Dexterity + Gun Fu; if something unusual, Dexterity + Wild Card. Ranged attacks fire as far as a pistol; those that can reach rifle ranges inflict half normal damage.

Minor: The attack inflicts fifteen points of Bash damage. Close costs three points; ranged six.

Major: The attack inflicts twenty-five points of Bash damage. It costs five points for close and ten for ranged.

Deadly: The attack inflicts forty points of Bash damage. This costs twelve points for close and twenty for ranged.

Supernatural Form: Variable Quality or Drawback
Not all supernatural creatures look like monsters; some appear to be visions from heaven. For the unfortunates without divine airs, this is a Drawback. For the others, it is a Quality.

Definitely Not Human: This character appears decidedly inhuman. This 2-point Drawback carries with it Attractiveness –2. One can acquire additional negative Attractiveness levels to generate extra points. Purchasing positive Attractiveness levels counters the revulsion but does not grant the supernatural a human visage.

Dual Form: This being has one human form and one supernatural form. He can switch between them at will and nearly instantly. Sometimes anger or surprise brings forth his true shape involuntarily. This ability costs no points unless the human form is weaker (for instance, any Enhanced Attributes, Natural Weapons and other supernatural powers only apply to the supernatural form), in which case this is a one-point Drawback. The character can have a split Attractiveness levels, one for each form, which are purchased separately.

Unearthly Air: The creature has two forms — one mundane, and the other inhumanly beautiful. This is a 10-point quality that adds five levels of Attractiveness and one level of Mesmerize. In crowds or with others, this supernatural is almost always the center of attention.

Supernatural Senses: Variable Quality
The character can sense supernatural energies. Any level of this ability enables the being to tell by sight, smell, sound, or in particularly intrusive cases, taste, if someone is a human, a faerie, or a vampire.

More sharply defined powers allow the supernatural to "feel" people, "read" their auras, or pick up other mystical clues. An observation (Perception + Notice) roll may be required, and the levels of success dictate the depth of the information gathered. Other times, the input is overwhelming and cannot be missed (no roll is needed). Still, in almost all cases, some level of concentration is required.

Basic: This character can tell a being's basic nature -- demon, vampire, magician, and so on. Rarely is a Perception roll required. This costs 1 point.

Lesser Sensing: This ability allows a character to make an observation roll, adding Magic Quality levels or Innate Magic (+3). Success reveals active spells, whether a being or item has magical abilities (but not what type they are), if a ghost is present (but again no particulars), or if a person or object is possessed (but no details on the possessing entity). Higher Success Levels provide clearer results. This costs 1 point but adds nothing if the being already possesses Magic or Innate Magic.

Empathy: The character can discern another's feeling. With particularly strong feelings or a very good observation roll the being can learn exactly how the target is feeling. Most of the time, the empath can only read the target's strongest emotions. This costs 2 points.

Insight: The supernatural can learn about a person by reading his aura: the target's nature, feelings, desires, fears, possessed entities, or other abnormalities, even major Qualities and Drawbacks (those over two points). Any use requires several Turns of concentration but no roll. This costs 5 points.

Greater Sensing: This capacity includes all the abilities of Lesser Sensing but refines the detail and provides much more information. The supernatural can sense that a target is preparing to cast a spell or see at a glance (no roll is needed) if an item is magical. He can even see a faintly glowing residue that indicates that someone has used magic in an area during the last few hours. If the character spends a minute scrutinizing another, and overcomes his Willpower (doubled) roll with an observation roll (Magic Quality levels or +3 for Innate Magic may be added), he gains knowledge about that person as if he had Insight. The character cannot actually see invisible beings in detail, but if one is about, he notices a faint glow of power in its vicinity with no need of a normal invisible perception roll. With sufficient Success Levels (Director’s call), he can also tell at a glance if a person is possessed, what sort of creature possesses him (a spirit, a demon, and so on), or if the person has been mesmerized. This costs 3 points.

It is possible for a character to possess different aspects of this Quality. For instance, a particularly gifted medium could have Supernatural Sense (Empathy) and Supernatural Sense (Greater Sensing), for a total of 5 Quality points.

Telekinesis: 3-point per level Quality
Prerequisite: Ghost, Faerie, or Magic Quality

Telepathy: 5-point Quality
Prerequisite: Innate Magic or Magic Quality
Your character can speak into the minds of anyone she knows well, as long as she can see them or knows where they are. While doing this, your character also hears any thoughts directed at her in response. She cannot read minds -- the only thoughts she hear's are the ones her friends want her to hear. Basically, she's a living cell phone.

Uncontrollable Power: 4-point Drawback
During times of stress, one of the supernatural's powers can become unpredictable, striking things and people at random. Whenever the character is angry, afraid, or otherwise stressed, a Willpower (not doubled) roll is required, subject to penalties from –1 to –10 depending on the situation. If the roll fails, or a 1 is rolled, the power manifests in some unexpected way. If the stress is extreme, the power might appear at double its normal level. For instance, a telekinetic confronting his abusive father might lash out with a Strength equal to double the normal roll's Success Levels, and might continue to toss things about for several Turns.

Unique Kill: 5-point Quality

Vulnerability: Variable Drawback
In addition to those listed in the Angel Corebook:

Aversion: This common item does not harm the character, but he is unable to approach or abide by it. Cases in point include garlic for vampires or a line of salt for ghosts. The character must make a Willpower (not doubled) roll in order to quell his fear. This costs one point.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:04, Tue 09 Apr 2013.

 GM, 157 posts
 Chicago Transit Authority
 Hope you enjoy the ride
Tue 5 Mar 2013
at 19:55
Re: Rules & Other Important Stuff

Skills are learned abilities, the result of training, study or experience. In general, anything that can be taught is considered a skill. The character's background, education, and life experiences determine what skills he would most likely have. Skills are broken down into broad categories. While this is less realistic, it eases play and keeps the focus on the story.

All Player Characters will have 30 points to spend on Skills, plus any points they gain from Drawbacks. Skills cost one point per level for levels one through five. After level five, each additional level costs three points.

The Meaning of Skill Numbers
  • Level 1: Indicates a beginner or amateur, somebody who has just learned the basics.
  • Level 2 or 3: Represents general competency -- the ability to perform average tasks with ease.
  • Level 4 or 5: Indicates extreme competence in the subject, the result of a lot of study or practice.
  • Higher Levels: Indicate true mastery of the skill or craft, and the ability to perform the most difficult tasks with relative ease.

Art: All of the arts are covered by this skill, singing, painting, acting, creative writing, sculpting and so on. That doesn't mean your character knows all artistic skills. When creating the character, decide which art or arts are the character's specialty. There are two types of rolls that use this skill. First, to create art, use Intelligence and Art (for writing and painting), Dexterity and Art (for dancing or playing an instrument), or Constitution and Art (for singing). The Success Level determines how good the creation (or performance, for things like music or dance) is. To judge someone else's art, use Perception and Art.

Athletics: (I have combined the old Acrobatics & Sports Skills.) This is the skill used to perform tumbles, somersaults, and other complex maneuvers. It is also used to dodge attacks, climb obstacles, and perform similar tasks of agility. Athletics is used with Dexterity to perform most maneuvers, including avoiding close combat attacks. When jumping for distance, climbing, or swimming, use Strength and Athletics instead. Athletics can also replace Crime when trying to move silently (use the higher of the two skills for sneaking around attempts). Coordination and agility-based tasks (throwing a baseball) will be Athletics + Dexterity, brute force activities (weight lifting or tackling) rely on Athletics + Strength, and endurance sports (marathon running) use Athletics + Constitution.

Computers: People don't need this skill to use a computer. Just about any modern person can find the on switch and use a mouse and keyboard. The Computers skill lets your character do fun things like breaking into confidential databases, writing his own programs, programming his DVR and other cool stuff. Add Intelligence and Computers to write a program or hack into a secure system. For hacking, the system's security imposes penalties, from –1 for a high school record system to –8 or worse for the FBI database. Perception and Computers help diagnose software or hardware problems without having to call a help line.

Crime: Breaking and entering, skulking around, picking pockets -- if it's illegal, this skill covers it, with two major exceptions: computer hacking uses the Computers skill, and conning people depends on the Influence skill. Your character doesn't have to be a criminal to have this skill; cops, private investigators and other honest but streetwise folks have it as well. Dexterity and Crime are used for things like moving stealthily (although Athletics can replace Crime here), lifting someone's coin purse, and picking locks. Victims resist such activities with Perception + Crime (or Notice if better). Crime + Intelligence identifies criminals and street contacts (a character’s familiarity with the local criminal scene dictates any modifiers).

Doctor: If you need to splint a broken bone or stitch up a nasty gash, this is the skill for you. A full-fledged doctor has a skill of 4 or higher. Anything below that represents some degree of training in first aid. An Intelligence and Doctor roll is used to treat injuries. Each Success Level restores one Life Point of damage (only one roll per patient per day). The victim also does not lose any more Life Points from bleeding and such. Perception and Doctor can be used to diagnose a medical problem, or determine the cause of death of some unfortunate victim.

Driving: Driving covers all vehicles, whether wheeled, hover, watery, or pulled by asthmatic pygmies. If your character is not familiar with a specific vehicle (trying to drive an 18-wheeler or a motorcycle if he has only driven cars before), rolls will be at –2 to –5 or worse. Your character can't pass a driver's license test without at least one level in this skill. Use Dexterity and Driving for your basic high-speed chases or trying to lose a tail, and other complex maneuvers (don't roll for routine driving). Use Intelligence and Driving for basic mechanic maintenance stuff (for major repairs, you'll need the Mr. Fix-It Skill).

Getting Medieval: Chainsaws, swords, axes, and other things designed to bash, hack, or skewer foes are covered by this skill. It also covers "muscle-powered" ranged devices such as crossbows, bows, and thrown weapons. Dexterity and Getting Medieval cover most combat maneuvers. Feints use Intelligence (or Perception to recognize them).

Gun Fu: This Skill covers your basic things that go bang -- shotguns, pistols, and so on. Use Dexterity and Gun Fu for pointing and shooting. Intelligence and Gun Fu help clear a jammed gun.

Influence: Influence allows your character to pick up somebody at a bar, scare people into giving up important information, or otherwise persuade others to do what you want. Use Intelligence and Influence for fooling, scamming, or fast-talking others; Willpower and Influence to intimidate people. If your character is trying to seduce somebody, any Attractiveness levels act as bonuses or penalties to the roll. A gun in the face is also quite convincing when trying to make someone back down; the proper circumstances add bonuses or penalties in the one to five range. Reputation may also factor in.

Knowledge: All non-scientific disciplines are covered by Knowledge. History, heraldry, law, psychology, and the like are part and parcel of this skill. It could also be used for general or area knowledge that hasn't been formalized into an academic discipline (pop culture, politics, how to get around town quickly). Knowledge + Intelligence is the default roll. Add Success Levels to any subsequent Occultism or Influence roll.

Kung Fu: Call it brawling, martial arts, fisticuffs, or flailing your arms around wildly, this skill covers the art of using hands and feet (and other body parts) to hurt your fellow man. Use Dexterity and Kung Fu for hitting someone or avoiding being hit. Many Combat Maneuvers are based on the Kung Fu skill. Intelligence and Kung Fu may be used to identify a fighting style, or to feint an opponent. Perception and Kung Fu counter such feints.

Languages: If you want to read the Sumerian edition of the Necronomicon or speak French to impress chicks, you need this skill. Languages covers any language other than one's native tongue. This skill is used differently from the rest. Each level of Languages indicates fluency in one language (the player decides which ones). When trying to decipher some arcane inscription, use Intelligence and Language. Understanding a language with which the character is familiar but not fluent requires Intelligence + Knowledge. After character creation, picking up new languages is difficult. This skill cannot be improved unless the character spends several months studying the new language.

Mr. Fix-It: Mr. Fix-It covers all technical and craft skills, from carpentry to mechanics to setting up electronic equipment. Knowing how to engineer complex devices is the Knowledge skill. Actually building them relies on Mr. Fix-It. Use Perception and Mr. Fix-It for spotting a problem. Intelligence and Mr. Fix-It to do the repairs or construction work. Things that require a soft touch use Dexterity and Mr. Fix-It instead.

Notice: Without Notice, a character might miss the telltale picture in the newspaper, the clue at the crime scene, or the creature laying in ambush. Use Perception and Notice to spot things; Intelligence and Notice to remember something your character saw before but, didn't realize was important until now.

Occultism: This is the skill of the truly arcane. It includes things like the basics of demon slaying, researching spells and rituals, and otherwise learning "Things Man Was Not Meant to Know." Access to some freaky old books is a plus (Occult Library). Use Intelligence and Occultism to recognize or research some supernatural name. Perception and Occultism to identify a creature on first sight. Willpower + Occultism casts spells.

Science: This skill covers all your basic sciences -- physics, biology, chemistry and so on. It can come in handy when dealing with the supernatural, if only to figure out if something is really supernatural. At higher levels (five and above), weird science is possible -- things like mechanical hands and tools that will scramble an egg while it's still inside its shell. Use Intelligence and Science for most things, from mixing a chemical formula to inventing a new device to analyzing the soporific properties of plant sap. Perception and Science is used to spot science-oriented clues, like identifying an unusual biochemical residue.

Wild Card: This is your fill-in-the-blanks skill -- it can cover anything you want, with one caveat. The Wild Card skill cannot be broader than the pre-existing skills. A character can have more than one Wild Card skill, with Director approval. Examples of Wild Card Skills are horseback riding, gambling, and gaming.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:36, Mon 08 Apr 2013.