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Mage: The Ascension


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Random Quote

[Kalen makes a fantastic Empathy roll.]

Nimra: Wow. Kalen can actually feel
Noel: lol, way to go Kalen at emotions

House Rules

1s and Botching

This is a fairly big change we're going to be trying out. 1s do not cancel successes on rolls, though a botch still occurs if no successes are rolled and at least a single 1 occurs.

Examples at difficulty 6:

  • 1, 2, 4, 4, 5 = botch

  • 1, 3, 6, 6, 7 = 3 successes

  • 2, 3, 3, 4, 5 = fail

Automatic Successes

We will be using White Wolf's rules for Automatic Success to help streamline play. If your dice pool is equal to or greater than a task's difficulty, a player may opt (at Storyteller's discretion) to take one success. This option may not be taken during combat or any other stressful situation, and may not be combined with Willpower expenditures to get two automatic successes.

Willpower

Willpower is regained at a rate of one per day's worth of rest. It may also be rewarded in scenes for noteworthy successes or fulfilling the characteristics of your character's Nature.

Willpower and Disciplines

Willpower may not be used to gain an automatic success on the activation roll of any Discipline. This also goes for any contested rolls made to resist the effects of a Discipline, but does not include the use of Willpower where it is a part of the system to activate or resist a Discipline, e.g. Thaumaturgy, Dominate, and Presence.

Duration

Where any length of time is given as, "the rest of the story," a player can assume that means a one month period.

Emotions and Intrigue

I trust players to understand the possible interplay of Perception, Manipulation, Empathy and Subterfuge rolls, but here are rules for when rolling becomes necessary, as Vampire can become a very high stakes game of intrigue and conflicting motivations.

In order to get a viable read on a subject's thoughts or emotions at any given point, a player should roll Perception + Empathy. If a character is wearing her heart on her sleeve, no resisted roll is necessary. But if they are trying to hide their emotions, they may roll Manipulation + Subterfuge to do so. If the character is actively lying or hiding their emotions the character trying to get a read should make a Perception + Subterfuge or Perception + Empathy roll (whichever is higher) instead, after the previous character's Manipulation + Subterfuge roll. Each success cancels out a success on the previous roll.

  • One or two success: The character might be able to get a very general sense of emotion, such as reading annoyance, anger, happiness, smugness, or attraction.

  • Three or four successes: May allow a character to understand more nuanced emotions, such as: anger or annoyance at a particular person, the source of happiness if it is present, or even if the character is making a Self-Control, Conscience or Courage roll in reaction to outside stimuli or an action taken.

  • Five or more successes: A character might be able to identify aspects of a character's Nature (though not the nature itself), guess at a character's Humanity score, or even unearth some tenets of a more inhuman vampire's Path (though this does not mean the character is familiar with the Path). Guessing at motivations is also possible.

  • Please note that all of these possibilities hinge on the presence of stimuli to use as hints; you cannot tell, even with five successes, that a character is happy about a new lover or promotion at work if your character is unaware of these life events. The same goes for guessing at a character's Humanity or Path if they have done nothing that might demonstrate it in order to give a readable reaction.

Staking

Forcing torpor by staking a vampire can only occur with the use of a wooden object.

Blood Bond: Not All Thralls are Ghouls, and Not All Ghouls are Thralls

As with vampires, any taste of vitae is enough to move a mortal along the stages of the Blood Bond. Even a drop will do, just as only a drop is enough to Embrace a drained corpse, and is able to subject them to the addictive and euphoric properties of the vitae. In this way it is a tonic that causes many conventional drugs to pale in comparison.A full blood point (for measurement's sake let's say around half of a pint for the average 13th Generation vampire, though a cup or even a tablespoon for the blood of the 5th or 6th Generation's Elders) needs to be imparted in order for ghouling to be initiated, though. Upon imbibing a full blood point, aging is stopped and disciplines are conferred along with all the other boons and banes of being a ghoul.This helps to explain how many Camarilla vampires can have loyal and sizable herds without threatening the Masquerade, how not every enthralled politician under a Kindred's thumb is actually a ghoul, and differences between the Allies, Retainers and Herd backgrounds.

It also explains how some ghouls can go rogue or even act as independents, taking enough to constitute the first step of a blood bond before moving on to other sources of vitae.The rules for sliding along the Blood Bond scale for mortals are still in effect, with foregoing even a taste for 12 minus Willpower months necessary to move down a step. This is in no way an easy task. Ghouls who lose their domitors and even mortals who have developed a taste for the stuff may begin to seek out other sources, and sometimes by force if they don't wish to be under the control of another cruel or indifferent master. Challenging Willpower and Self-Control rolls may come into play, and though their difficulty becomes lower the further from fully Blood Bound the ghoul or mortal becomes, the addiction always remains and will rear its ugly head whenever vitae or the vampires that possess it present themselves.

Vampire: the Masquerade's 20th Anniversary Edition Changes and You!

There were changes in White Wolf's 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade.The changes are as follows:

  • Dodge has been removed as a skill; its former functionality has been moved to Athletics.

  • Security has also been removed; its former functionality has been subsumed by the Larceny skill and the Technology knowledge.

  • Linguistics is no longer a skill; each language known is a 1-dot Merit instead. (pp. 484)

  • The Tremere have a new clan flaw; they succumb to the blood bond after only two drinks from a regnant, rather than three. (The first drink counts as both the first and the second.) (pp. 69)

  • The animal features of the Gangrel that manifest after a frenzy are now temporary, and may be behavioral rather than physical. (pp. 55)

  • Potence and Celerity have been significantly altered. Each now adds a passive bonus (at no blood point cost) to their governing physical attribute; you add your dots as extra dice in pools using Strength and Dexterity, respectively. In addition, Potence and Celerity allow the vampire to spend blood points for effects: spending 1 blood point allows a Potence user to add his dots in Potence as successes to all subsequent Strength rolls made during that turn - which used to be inherent to the discipline - and a Celerity user may choose to spend 1 blood point to convert a Celerity dot into an additional physical action for that turn, which may be done multiple times, reducing the Celerity rating accordingly for the turn. (A vampire's generational blood-spending maximum does not apply to Celerity expenditures, but does apply to the blood point spent to activate Potence's automatic successes.) (pp. 142, 192)

  • Dominate and Presence powers whose difficulties were once equal to the subject's permanent Willpower rating now target the subject's current Willpower.

  • If "splitting one's actions" in a turn, compare the dice pools for each action, find the one with the fewest dice, and then allot that number of dice among all the actions being attempted. (pp. 248)

  • Whenever a player makes a die roll involving an activity in which her character has specialized, she may count any die that comes up “10” as two successes instead of just one. You do not re-roll 10s. (pp. 96)

(Thank you to Matt for summarizing these changes.)

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