Rules

From Dark City

GameRules

Game-Wide House Rules & Character Policies

Archery

  • Bows and Crossbows use the Ranged Combat rules from core, meaning the Opponent's Defense does not apply.
  • Crossbows use Dex + Firearms
  • Bows may use Dex + Fireams or Dex + Athletics (player's choice)
  • Bows and Crossbows can stake vampires by targeting the heart (-3 penalty) and inflicting 5 net damage.
  • Bows and Crossbows are subject to the Firearms in Close Combat rules.
  • Rapid Nock and Out of Nowhere apply regardless of which style you're using. No other features from the Combat Archery or Bowmanship combat styles are cross-compatible.

Armor Stacking

A character can benefit from one source of supernatural armor, and up to two sources of mundane armor if and only if one of them is intrinsic.

"Intrinsic" armor, like the Iron Skin merit or a werewolf's Fortified Form merit, or anything of that sort is either mundane or supernatural armor depending on its source. Iron Skin would be a mundane armor source, and Fortified Form would be a supernatural one.

So, the Iron Skin merit would stack with a Kevlar vest, but a Kevlar vest would not stack with riot gear or reinforced clothing.

Beat Tracking

We use a modified beat system.

Character Age, Pregnancy, Children

Your character must be, look, and in all ways act 18+. You may not mention that your character 'looks underage', state or imply your character is childlike or underage mentally. This is grounds for immediate banning. No discussion. Don't play games with us.

In addition, pregnancy is not an aspect of this game and while children may exist, they do so in an off screen capacity and should never be depicted on screen.

Clash of Wills

  • Werewolves use Primal Urge + highest Renown in a Clash.
  • Changelings use Wyrd + Appropriate Finesse Attribute.
  • Vampires use Blood Potency + Appropriate Finesse Attribute/Appropriate Discipline/Blood Sorcery Rating (ask your ST).
  • The Mortal+ merit Supernatural Resistance does not add to Clash pools.

Crafting System

Dark City uses a modified crafting system similar to what you will find in the Chronicles of Darkness core book and in the Hurt Locker supplement that was originally written by the great people at From Dusk Till Jawn. You can find the details here.

Custom Items and Powers

While custom items and powers are permitted, you are limited to one custom item OR power at chargen, and then one per month thereafter. At this time, a character may have no more than one custom power or item of each type. So a Wolf-Blooded could have a custom Fetish, a custom Tell, and a custom Wolf Rite, but not multiple custom Tells, or multiple custom Fetishes. This is to maintain emphasis on source material and prevent OP stacking in an XP rich environment.

Enhanced Attributes as Pre-Requisites

When a character has a power that is considered always on that functions to add directly to attribute value, that enhanced value can be used to meet the pre-requisites of merits or equipment. Should this persistent power become disrupted for any reason, the associated merits cannot be accessed and equipment use faces the normal complications of use below attribute requirement.

Exceptional Successes on 3

Exceptional successes on three do not add successes; they only grant the benefits of having achieved an exceptional. In a contested roll-off, upon the instance of a tie, if one character has Exceptional Successes on 3, they win.

Fighting Style and Merit Damage

Fighting styles that say that you can inflict extra bashing damage in certain circumstances, like when someone in reach rises from prone, always do bashing damage regardless of the normal damage that your character may do. This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • Body as a Weapon
  • Boxing 2 (Defensive Jab)
  • Chain Weapons 1 & 2
  • Close Quarters Combat 5
  • Grappling 2 (Small Joint Manipulation OR Takedown), 3 (Joint Lock) and 5 (Positional Dominance)
  • Kino Mutai 2
  • Kung Fu 3
  • Street Fighting 3 & 4
  • Trunk Squeeze
  • Unarmed Defense 4
  • Weapon and Shield 1

Firearms

The gun laws in New York are particularly strict, with the approval process for a permit often taking upwards of six months to a year, and including a comprehensive background check cross-referenced with the FBI and personally weighed in on by a sitting county judge; only members of the police force with Law & Government Status 2 will be able to sidestep this process to acquire single pistol or revolver, light or heavy at creation. Beyond that they will need to be acquired through play or the Black Market System.

Most people, but especially criminals, new arrivals, and those with Status (Crime) will not be able to purchase Firearms equipment in the usual way, unless your character is of good legal standing and has a reason to own a Firearm that would stand up to the scrutiny of a New York county judge.

However, purchasing a Firearm legally isn't the only way to obtain one. Most characters will use the Black Market for their less-than-scrupulous purchases.

We are using the Hurt Locker system for reloading firearms (High/Medium/Low Capacity instead of clips), a detailed description of which can be found on page 131.

Grappling

  • A successful Damage maneuver in Grappling deals damage in net successes, not total successes. However, only for the purposes of determining an exceptional success, use total successes.
  • You may not choose the same maneuver twice with an exceptional success.
  • When grappled, the target of the grapple does not lose their first turn if they haven’t acted in that round. They may still make a roll to contest the initial grapple and try to escape using the Break Free maneuver, or take another action that the grapple wouldn’t prevent.
  • When a player scores an exceptional success, using Break Free after another, initial, move does NOT give you another action unless the other maneuver was also reflexive.

Inspired Condition

If Inspired, Steadfast, Empowered, or another Condition that confers successes, or a lower threshhold of successes, is used to achieve an exceptional success, then Inspired, Steadfast, and/or Empowered cannot be applied again, as the result of that Condition being resolved. Basically, you can't have an endless chain of Inspired Conditions, etc.

Merits from Other Books

Universal merits from other books that are not part of the gamelines we use are allowed if they are listed below:

  • Advanced Library (• to •••••) MTA 2e 105
  • Back Roads Atlas (•) HTV 2e 84
  • Custom Gear Broker (• to •••) HTV 2e 88
  • Face in the Crowd (••) HTV 2e 86
  • Killer Instinct (• to •••) BTP 117
  • Last Stand (••) HTV 2e 86
  • Natural Tinkerer (••) HTV 2e 85
  • Subdual (• to •••, Style) HTV 2e 95
  • Tight-Lipped (••) HTV 2e 92

Full text of Hunter 2e Merits in use.

Mystery Cults

You may take only five dots in Mystery Cult Initiation (MCI), even if you join more than one. Joining more than one requires justification and approval.

Numina

Defense applies to attacks from Numina that cause damage, including but not limited to Blast. They act as a Firearms attack, and Defense works accordingly.

Professional Training

We do not allow Professional Training on characters.

Prosthetics

Using a prosthetic allows you to temporarily replace the condition with the rules of the prosthetic. It does not relieve the condition per se, but replaces one set of rules with another. Your character then reverts to the condition once they are no longer wearing the prosthetic.

Social Maneuvering

Social Maneuvering works exactly as it's described in the core book and can be used on PCs, though it's customary, polite, and recommended to discuss you intentions OOCly with the other player beforehand.

Sexual Assault

Don't make people read this. Why, why would you do that? It's the World of Darkness, but be thoughtful to your fellow players. Sexual assault can never be depicted on-screen in any way, shape, or form, no matter if it is OOC consented to. As a backstory element, it should only be referenced in the vaguest of terms.

No warnings for this one, zero, you get banned.

Shared Merits

Any group may take shared mundane merits (Resources, Contacts, Allies, Safe Place, etc.) even if their core book does not specify that they are able to do so, with the following restrictions:

  • The group has three or more members.
  • The group has a linking merit such as Mystery Cult or Hobbyist Clique, or a sphere-specific family group such as a coterie.
  • Only members who have contributed to the merit in question can access it.

Specialties

Specialties function as a bonus to rolls made where the Specialty is applicable; they do not increase the base stat. That means that Specialties don't factor into anything where a roll isn't being made, including stats like Defense.

The largest bonus that a single roll can receive from Specialties is +3. That can be 3 different applicable Specialties, or two Specialties where one has Area of Expertise. If multiple applicable Specialties with Area of Expertise apply, the roll's bonus from Specialties still caps out at +3 total.

Specialties do not apply to power activations unless they are specifically for that power, like Specialty (Fetish rite).

Spending XP

  • We do not require scene justifications for anything except Civil Society Status above 3, and whatever else is dictated by your splat. If you are a Mortal/+, then that is your only justification trait. Werewolves require justification for Renown above 3. Vampires for any status increases since sanction.
  • As long as you meet the justifications for the merit, you can purchase as many dots in a scaled merit or merit style as you wish at one time.

Status

  • At character creation, Civil Society Status may not be higher than 2 in one sphere, with 1 in a second sphere.

Switching Venues

  • Half splats that are venue specific (wolf blooded, ghoul, etc) will not be allowed to switch venues.
  • This will also not be allowed in terms of character history.
  • Mortal/Mortal+ will be the only splat that can transition into a full venue as either a half splat, or full splat.

Timekeeping

Time is managed per the following:

  • Scene = Scene
  • Session = Day
  • Chapter = Week
  • Story = Month
  • Chronicle = A year and a day

Each new chapter/week begins Sunday, server time.

Gyms, Workshops, Tools, & Instruments

Gyms are fixed locations containing gear that serves the function of exercise, sparring, resistance training, etc. They provide a +1 to +3 equipment bonus to that can be spread across Athletics or Brawls rolls, as designated by the Gym Owner. So for Availabiity 5, you could have +2 Athletics, +1 Brawl as a fixed bonus.

Workshops are fixed locations containing tools and equipment that serve a specific function. They provide a +1 to +3 equipment bonus to rolls to create, repair, jury-rig, or modify items within their specific area of focus. They breakdown as follows:

  1. +1 Workshop. Availability 1. Size: A small room.
  2. +2 Workshop. Availability 3. Size: A single room.
  3. +3 Workshop. Availability 5. Size: A garage or large room.

Tools are portable implements that serve a specific function. They provide a +1 or +2 equipment bonus to rolls to create, repair, jury-rid, or modify items within their specific area of focus. They breakdown as follows:

  1. +1 Tools. Availability 2. Size: 2
  2. +2 Tools. Availability 4. Size: 3

Musical Instruments vary in quality from a 0 bonus to a +3 bonus. This bonus only applies to performances made while playing the instrument, and potentially to social rolls made while holding it at the ST's discretion.

  1. +1 Instrument. Availability 1.
  2. +2 Instrument. Availability 3.
  3. +3 Instrument. Availability 5.

Appropriate descriptions for tools and workshops include: Archaic Weapons, Firearms, Armor, Sewing, Leatherworking, Painting, Electrical, Automotive, Bowyer & Fletcher, etc.