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(Working Title) CoD: Machinations

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  • (Working Title) CoD: Machinations

    So here's the deal: I'm planning to run a West Marches-style Chronicles of Darkness campaign (actually I'm already like two months in to running it but that's neither here nor there). What I mean by that is that I (the ST) will run the game by giving a group of 8 or more players a list of days I'm available to run the game, and they form groups and decide what they want to do during a session. They tell me what their plans are, I prep the session, and we game. No overarching storyline, just characters playing around in the setting.

    There are a couple of reasons I want to do this. Mainly, it'll allow me to game with more people. Since the group doesn't need to be the same people each time, folks who have a harder time with scheduling can just jump in whenever they're able to, even if that's only a single session, without needing to worry about committing to something long term. Also, if a player has a lot of real life issues and has to drop from sessions a lot, I can just ask if any of the other players wants to jump in on the session. I have a lot of friends who fit that description who I still want to be able to game with.

    Another reason is that it'll allow me to get in more gaming without having to do additional prep. The setting is already established, and as long as the players tell me what they want to do during a session, it's pretty easy for me to set up what I need to. It just means that I need to do the work up-front.

    So, the basic premise that I'll be using to build all this on: the player characters are supernatural creatures of various types who all live in a city. The thing they all have in common is that the God-Machine has messed with their lives in some way, and they have decided they want to fight back against the thing that screwed them over. This means all of the player characters need to be, at heart, people who are against what the Machine stands for, which is 'the status quo' (at least, that's how I'll be running this interpretation of the Machine).

    I feel like this premise mixes really well with one of my favorite genres, which is cyberpunk - but with a heavy focus on the horror aspects of the genre, and much less on the action-y bits. So, lots of corporate oppression, transhumanism, information-as-currency, and other tropes of cyberpunk, but less guns and explosions (in fact, I'll be removing guns from play entirely as gun violence isn't something I want in my rpgs right now). I'll probably use some of the material from Mirrors: Bleeding Edge.

    TL;DR - A large group of players that cycle in and out between sessions. Supernaturals fighting the Machine in a cyberpunk city.

    The reason that I'm posting all this here is to get some second opinions and help with brainstorming. So lets get started.

    TO DO LIST(In no particular order):
    - Setting Details
    - Game Mechanics

  • #2
    Setting Details

    I'll be building my cyberpunk city on the skeleton of Damnation City's Newcastle, since it works well for my purposes.

    So we have Newcastle, a city of shadows. In my setting, it will be a city on the east coast of North America, and the year will be 2099 - the near-ish future.

    Some basic points I've already established:

    - The USA broke up during a conflict in the 2030's, leaving behind several successor states, a la Shadowrun. Not sure what the name of the new nation Newcastle is in will be, but let's call it New England for now.
    - Rampant pollution has degraded the environment faster than most scientists predicted. Most staple crops are no longer viable. Luckily for humanity, megacorporations have genetically engineered their proprietary crops to be able to survive in the new environment; as such, the various megacorporations have essentially formed an unbreakable oligopoly on all foodstuffs.
    - Megacorporate farms, mines, and factories are almost entirely automated. Due to this, coupled with the atmospheric changes, most people have moved away from small towns, pouring into the major cities. The wilderness is dotted with hundreds of abandoned small towns. The few people who still choose to live away from cities do so in small anarchist communes that survive on hydroponics farms and live off-grid.
    - Space exploration has come a long way. Various corporations and governments have founded colonies on Venus, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter for the purpose of extracting rare materials from these environments. These colonies are still small and staffed mainly by professionals. Strange stories occasionally come back from these faraway places.

    Some stuff about cyberpunk technology:

    - The internet is everywhere. Basically the only places that don't have wireless signal are deep underground and inside of faraday cages. Everyone is connected, all the time.
    - Cybernetics are a thing. I'll be calling them Plugins from here on, as per Mirrors: Bleeding Edge. The tech has come a long way, but the central nervous system remains a mystery, so direct brain modification is a no-go. Also most cybernetics are overt things of metal, wires, and cables. Humanity hasn't yet managed to create a reasonable facsimile of human skin.
    - The God-Machine has spent vast amounts of effort and resources preventing humanity from developing anything that would resemble itself, such as androids or true AI. Humanity is hugely reliant on robotics, but those robots are still ultimately basic automatons.
    - Also, no matrix-style virtual reality. CoD already has plenty of other-worlds, I'm not interested in adding one more.

    If you have any thoughts on the setting, I'd love to hear them. Anything that I like, I'll add here.

    So now lets talk about the city itself. The game will be taking place in the core of Newcastle. There's suburbs, but they exist sort of nebulously outside of focus. The city core is made up of 50 districts which is way too many to remember, so I chunked them up roughly by theme.
    - Black Lake: This is the area around Black Lake, where most of the nightlife of Newcastle is concentrated.
    - City Central: The seat of government in Newcastle.
    - Downtown: Where most of the corporate offices of Newcastle live.
    - Industrial Sector: Super polluted and gross. Lots of factories and low-rent housing. Also includes the docks and the airport.
    - Marlowe: The city's largest hospital lives here, along with its largest cemetery. Also private practices.
    - Nobility Hill: The rich folks live here.
    - North Bank: A sprawling slum.
    - South City: Diverse, middle-class residential area, mostly apartment buildings.
    - Spokes: Lower-middle class residential mixed in with touristy "foreign" areas, such as Chinatown and Little Italy.

    I'm thinking of the portrayal of Newcastle in Damnation City as a snapshot of the city in the early 2000's. One of the things I want to brainstorm about is how the city has changed over the course of the century. Also I want to build a more complete history for the city, both mundane and supernatural.

    Alright, time to think about the supernatural inhabitants of the city. Here's what I have so far. I'm sure some of you will recognize elements that I've lifted from various books.

    The Prince is in charge of the city. She blew into town in the 30's, took charge of the Ordo Dracul, and wrecked the previous Prince's face, sparking off a war between the Ordo, Carthians, and Circle on one side, and the Invictus and Sanctified on the other. The war took heavy tolls on both sides, then ended abruptly when the Prince revealed her new allies: Mages from the corporation Sybilline Systems Ltd, a front for the Seers of the Throne, as well as werewolves from a group that was rapidly gaining power in the city, the Lodge of the Endless Moon. Backed by these new forces, she wiped the Sanctified and Invictus off the map of Newcastle.

    Over the past six decades, the Prince has been an enigmatic ruler. She divvied up the city into territories for the major supernatural power groups, the lines of which have shifted over the years, and she set into place four simple laws: First, don't let the mortals know. Second, the district of Drover's Park is neutral ground. Third, don't disturb the Wyrm's Nests. Fourth, follow the laws of the territory you stand in. Her followers enforce these laws with brutal efficiency. The Prince herself tends to disappear from the public eye for long periods of time, off to do who knows what, showing up once every few months to hold a meeting with representatives from the ten most prominent supernatural factions. Those factions are:

    Argent Corp

    A recent arrival to the city, this faction has nonetheless gained ground rapidly. Argent Corp is a corporation of werewolves, wolf-blooded, and mortals that have ties to the Forsaken. Their stated goal is "urban renewal", which they achieve by buying up unwanted property in low-value areas, using their powers both temporal and supernatural to raise property values, and then selling the properties for a profit. They have attracted a number of packs in the city to their employ by offering competitive pay and a support system that the packs wouldn't otherwise have access to.

    Aroasha Death Kult

    A quiet force for good in the city, this faction consists mostly of Geists, Werewolves, and Mages that are dedicated to preventing the supernatural forces of the city from abusing the dead that haunt it. They protect the city's ghosts, but their reach stretches much further, with members far afield, because the faction is not centralized in Newcastle but rather in the Underworld in a river city called Aroasha.

    Court of Seasons

    This is the changeling freehold in the city, but more than just the Lost owe their allegiance to the Court. A troupe of vampires calling themselves the Children of the Thorns are allied with the changelings, along with a cabal of mages who each have their own interest in the Hedge. Many members of the freehold are as comfortable under the water as above it, and they serve as both emissaries to, and buffers from, the hungry, alien things that call the ocean home.

    Diamond Orders

    Some eighty years ago, the Hierarch of the Consilium met with an untimely end, and was replaced by a recent arrival from another Consilium named Cypselus, who was seen as the most qualified and trustworthy candidate. Cypselus viewed the Consilium as having grown decadent, disorganized and weak, and imposed a near-fascistic regime, expecting that after a time, the Consilium would depose him and realign itself to a happy medium. The Consilium did no such thing. Cypselus has reigned since then, and long since lost sight of his original goal. The major casualty of this arrangement was the secession of the Free Council Assembly, which Cypselus considers to be no great loss.

    Lodge of the Endless Moon

    This lodge has spread rapidly throughout the world in the past century, gaining traction in many cities through its ties to organized crime. The lodge presents an alternative mythology to werewolves, one that does not include Wolf at all, but rather focuses on the Moon spirit as sole creator of the Uratha. This alternative origin often attracts Ghost Wolves and those who feel otherwise excluded from Forsaken culture. The Lodge also deals with spirits in a different way, offering respect to those who act within their natures (even if those natures are detrimental), while militantly punishing those who step outside of their natures. Most of the members of this faction are considered "associates" of the lodge, rather than true members.

    New Draconian Order

    When the Prince took over the Ordo Dracul, it was struggling to survive in Newcastle, collapsing under the weight of internal strife. The Prince took the ailing faction and stripped it down, peeling off the veneer of Victorian intelligencia and rebuilding it into a lean, hyper-modern organization with none of the pomp and ceremony but all of the supernatural power. Many of the old guard are dissatisfied with the new, more sterile structure, but have little choice in the matter, vastly outnumbered by the new blood that the Prince has brought in since the conflict in the 30's.

    Newcastle Democratic Assembly

    After the Prince arrived and brought with her rapid change, the Carthians found themselves outnumbered, in a potentially hostile regime. Similarly, the Free Council Assembly in the city had fallen out with the new Hierarch of the Consilium, and found itself trapped between the Diamond Orders on one side, and the Seers on the other. Finally, with the Lodge of the Endless Moon rapidly spreading through the city, the independent packs of Newcastle were faced with the choice of being absorbed into the more organized faction, or finding themsleves more palatable allies. The three groups formed together into a new faction with the numbers, if not the organization, to be a competitive force in the city.

    Sybilline Systems Ltd.

    The Seers of the Throne have flourished in this world, feeding on the overwhelming greed and lack of privacy provided by megacorporations. The ministries of Paternoster, Praetorian, and Hegemonic have fallen from grace, as the wars, nationalism, and theocratic leanings of major nations have given way to the greed, crushing bureaucracy, and technological trappings of megacorporations, leading to the rise of the Mammon, Kyrian, and Pantechnicon ministries. Newcastle is home to enough people to host its own tetrarchy, which operates under the front of Sybilline Systems.

    The First Estate

    In the void left by the collapse of the Invictus, this faction arose, led by the ghouls orphaned by the deaths of their Invictus masters who have somehow learned of a way to nullify the Vinculum. While the old ghouls lead, they've recruited a large number young and hedonistic vampires to their side, leading to the faction having something of a 'party' vibe.

    The Mother's Army

    These bogeymen rule the city underneath the streets. The subways, the sewers, and the tunnels further down are their domain. In the conflict of the 30's, many of this faction's more moderate elements were eliminated, and those that remained were of a darker bent. These Acolytes pay homage to the Dark Mother, and live to create fear in her name. This faction includes more than just vampires, also comprised of beasts and strange, tunnel-dwelling werewolves who claim that the Dark Mother aided Wolf and Moon in the creation of the first Uratha.

    Some things I'd like thoughts on here: I'm not set on the names of some of these factions. Specifically, I think I'd like a name for the Changeling Freehold and the Diamond Order Consilium. Also for the Lodge of the Endless Moon, the Lodge is the core of the faction, while the actual faction is the criminal organization that the lodge controls, which I would like a name for. Also the First Estate and Mother's Army could stand to be called something else I think. And of course, any ideas anyone has related to any of these factions, I'd like to hear them.
    Last edited by Airlock; 04-03-2021, 07:29 PM.


    • #3
      Game Mechanics: The Basics

      The basic structure of the game will be supernatural creatures investigating the God Machine. I want players to have a wide variety of choices as to who and what their characters can be, but also I want to put some limits in place, mostly for my own sanity. So the list of allowed supernatural templates will be thus:

      - Mages
      - Werewolves
      - Vampires
      - Changelings
      - Geists
      - Beasts

      (you might notice that the factions were designed around this list)

      I still have a few decisions to make in this regard. I may include the "lesser templates" as options for characters, such as Ghouls, Wolf-Bloods, etc. I'm not sure if I want to bring in Prometheans or Hunters as options or not, because Disquiet presents a pretty obvious obstacle and Hunters would be susceptible to Lunacy, Quiescence, and so on. I also might include Deviants once I know more about them. Deffo not gonna include Mummy.

      I'm pretty set on not including Demons as a character option because, one, they would have a significant advantage over others in terms of dealing with the Machine, and two, I don't really want to juggle things like multiple covers or designing interlocks. There'll be a few Demon NPCs kicking around though, and there might be more if the players start causing angels to Fall. Stigmatics might be an option though.

      Every character would get the Unseen Sense: God Machine merit for free, despite being supernaturals. Its what sets them apart from their peers, and binds them together as a group, and enables them to fight the Machine.

      With that out of the way, lets focus on the process of actually running the game. To start off with, I'll be constructing a couple of structural elements to make this all easier for myself.

      I'll need ways of generating content (or at least generating prompts that can help me come up with content), and I'll need ways of delivering that content to the players.

      Delivering content is simple enough, I'll use three methods:

      - Rumor tables: This will represent stuff that the characters hear while going about their daily (or nightly) lives. I'll roll on these periodically, and tell the players what their characters hear and where they heard it from.

      - Contacts: The characters can hit up the people they know in order to find out about opportunities or gather information.

      - Investigation: Each district of the city will have content keyed to it, such as Infrastructure, horrible monsters, or gateways to other realms. The players can find this stuff by going to a particular district and doing some digging.

      I'll flesh out each of these methods with some mechanics later.

      More difficult (for me at least) is generating content. In order to design some generators that can help me out with that, first we have to figure out what the content is going to be.

      I'll be using the Conspiracy rules from Deviant as a stepping-off point, and flesh it out for my purposes. In my next post, I'll be expanding on Node types and Conspiracy Actions. The goal here is to be able to write up conspiracies and plug them into the Web quickly, without needing to wring my brain for each one.

      The purpose of the Conspiracies themselves will be to generate content, both by the existence of their nodes but also by the ways they interact. Possibly this could create a bit of a Shadowrun vibe, with competing conspiracies offering opportunities for characters to mess with one or the other. My plan is to write up a Conspiracy for each of the supernatural factions, as well as for the God-Machine (which will mainly consist of suborned nodes from other conspiracies).

      I want the Conspiracies to do a lot of the heavy lifting of coming up with content, but I might add in some other stuff later.


      • #4
        Game Mechanics: Nodes (WIP)

        As written, Nodes are a bit fiddly. They have a Class, a Linchpin, and possibly an Icon, but they aren't given much treatment outside of that. So lets build them out a bit. The goal here is to lend some definition to each Node both in the context of the Conspiracy but also as its own entity.

        Node Template

        Node Name: The name of the node.
        Class: as written.
        Linchpin: as written.
        Icon: as written.
        Awareness: Each Node is either God-Machine, Supernatural(By Type), or Mundane.
        Theme: Each Node is either Governmental, Corporate, Religious, Criminal, or Social/Political
        Type: Each Node is either an Organization, a Location, or an Asset.
        Reach: A measure of how large or far-reaching a Node is. Measured from 1-5.
        Grasp: A measure of how skilled, advanced, organized, or powerful the Node is. Measured from 1-5.
        Description: a description of the specifics of the node.
        Connections: This is a list of other Nodes that this Node has direct contact with, whether in the same Conspiracy or elsewhere in the Web. If the Conspiracy is designed as a graph, this defines the Node's place in that graph.

        Awareness, Theme, Type, Reach and Grasp would be written in a single line (Ex: Mundane Religious Organization 4/3, God-Machine Criminal Location 2/5, or Werewolf Corporate Asset 1/2).


        This indicates who the people involved in the Node think that they work for, even if the only individual involved is the Linchpin, and regardless of what the people involved may themselves be (even if they're strange beings from the end of time, they might think they're working for regular humans. Unlikely, but there you go). Note that this has nothing to do with who is actually in charge of the Conspiracy.

        Alternatively, instead of generally stating who the node thinks they work for, it could be listed more specifically. For example, instead of putting Mage in this field, I could put Seers of the Throne, or Sybilline Systems. This represents elements of existing factions that the Conspiracy has suborned. This could also just be the name of the Conspiracy itself, if the Node knows exactly who it is they're working for, or the name of another Node in the Conspiracy if they think that's who their boss is. We'll see how I end up using it.


        This list obviously could be expanded, but it gives a feel of what kind of people might be involved in the given Node, and what they do. I might expand this element to define the sorts of actions available to the node. We'll see.

        Type, Reach and Grasp

        Here's where we get into the meat of what a Node actually is. Organizations are groups of people, Locations are sites that the Conspiracy controls, and Assets are more ephemeral things like wealth, reputation, or magical ability that the Conspiracy can call on to aid in their efforts. Reach and Grasp mean different things depending on the Node's type. I'm also playing around with the idea that a Node's Type determines how it is used in Conspiracy Actions.


        I'm thinking that these Nodes are used to perform Conspiracy Actions.

        Reach: This determines the size and scope of the Organization.

        - 1: A single individual, who is the Linchpin of the Node.
        - 2: A small group such as a coterie, krewe, or pack. Typically less than 100 people. Corresponds to Tier 1: Local, or Standing 1-2.
        - 3: A group with greater membership numbers, typically less than 1000, such as a Consilium or Lodge, or a chapter of a Covenant. Corresponds to Tier 2: City/Region, or Standing 3-5.
        - 4: A far-reaching organization, like a Tribe or Order, possibly with ties to other worlds like the Hedge or the Shadow. Corresponds to Tier 3: Global or Standing 6-8.
        - 5: A vast organization with inroads to several other worlds. Corresponds to Tier 4: Cosmic or Standing 9-10.
        - * Organizations can be left as abstract constructs or built out as Conspiracies of their own, if you feel like putting in the work.

        Grasp: This determines how effective the Organization is. In Conspiracy Actions, the Organization offers a bonus to the dice pool equal to Grasp.

        - 1: The organization is made up of rank amateurs, with no particular skills to speak of. Best dice pools are typically 3 or less.
        - 2: Members are capable, possibly professionals in their field. Best dice pools are typically 6 or less.
        - 3: Experts make up this organization, and they carry high-quality tools. Best dice pools are typically 9 or less.
        - 4: World-class practitioners staff this organization, and their tools are top of the line. Best dice pools are typically 12 or less.
        - 5: This group consists of supernaturally gifted individuals, potentially carrying magically enhanced tools or blessings of greater entities. Best dice pools are 15 or less.


        These Nodes are represented by Sites, which I will get into later. Suffice to say that the Site's Size is determined by Reach, and it has points divided among Security, Status, and Advantages equal to 3 x Grasp. As for how the Conspiracy uses locations, I think Conspiracy Downtime Actions are performed by Locations.


        The Linchpin of an Asset Node is the one who controls access to the Asset. For example, an Asset representing massive bank accounts would be controlled by the account holder, while an Asset representing the reputation of the conspiracy might be controlled by a PR rep.

        Still working on this, but I think here Reach would define how many Connections away the Asset can be used, and Grasp gives a bonus on dice rolls.

        I'll continue to work on this, but any ideas or criticism would help. Conspiracy Actions to come soon.


        • #5
          Game Mechanics: Bits and Bobs

          Continuing today's braindump, here's some more junk. Just some little mechanical things that I want to implement.
          This bit is just a thing I want to try out, something to make basic, non-extended rolls more difficult. Lifted and adapted from the Burning Wheel rpg.


          Sometimes a task is more difficult, not due to any opposing force, but simply because of the complexity of the task. Specifically, when a roll is not Versus, Resisted, Extended, or otherwise handled by specific rules, the ST can set an Obstacle for the character to beat. The word "Obstacle" will often be shortened to "Ob".

          In order to succeed at the task, the character must roll as many successes as the Obstacle number. To roll an Exceptional Success, the character must achieve Ob+4 successes (5 successes on Ob 1, 6 on Ob 2, 7 on Ob 3, etc). In the case that a character would get an Exceptional Success on 3 successes rather than 5, they must achieve Ob+2 successes.
          Obstacle Difficulty Description
          1 Simple An amateur could succeed at this most of the time.
          2 Moderate An amateur could do this with an expenditure of Willpower, or with help.
          A professional could succeed at this most of the time.
          3 Difficult An amateur could do this with help and Willpower.
          A professional could do it with help or Willpower.
          An elite practitioner could succeed at this most of the time.
          4 Advanced A professional could do this with help and Willpower.
          An elite practitioner could do this with help or Willpower.
          A superhumanly talented individual could do this most of the time.
          5 Extreme An elite practitioner could do this with help and Willpower.
          A superhumanly talented individual could do this with help or Willpower.
          6+ Herculean A superhumanly talented individual could do this with help and Willpower.

          This merit is lifted and reconstructed from Mirrors: Bleeding Edge. I'll write up the conditions relating to this merit later.

          Plugin Merit

          Plugins represent technological modifications to a character’s body, whether mechanical cyberware, genetic modification, or bioware tissue grafts. Plugins can grant a character one of three distinct effects:

          Enhanced Ability: Choose a specific Ability + Skill or Ability + Ability combination that the cyberware enhances. An Enhanced Ability Plugin is activated by spending a Willpower point. In addition to the three dice ordinarily granted by spending the Willpower point, add activation dice equal to your character’s dots in the Plugin.

          Onboard Equipment: Choose any piece of equipment, and take this Merit at a dot rating equal to the Availability of the equipment. That equipment is now stored in a hidden compartment in your character's body, accessible at any time.

          Extended Capability: This Plugin emulates a specific supernatural power. You may purchase the power at the same Experience cost as a supernatural creature, in addition to the cost of this Merit. If the cost is increased for not being a member of a particular group, such as a vampire clan, use the increased cost. However, you do not need to purchase previous powers, even if a supernatural creature of the appropriate type would. As an example, for a Dermal Chameleon Layer that approximates Obfuscate’s Cloak of Night, the cost would be 4 Experiences for that level of the Discipline, plus 3 Experiences for the three dots of this Merit needed to mimic the power, for a total of 7 Experiences. If the power has an activation cost in supernatural energy such as Vitae, pay this cost in Willpower. If this would require the expenditure of more than one Willpower, activating the Plugin takes one turn per Willpower required, with one Willpower being spent on each turn. Even if the power has no cost normally, the minimum cost of activating the Plugin is 1 Willpower point.


          Plugins sometimes just don’t work. Sometimes the enemy has a countermeasure. Other times, a circuit blows or a battery runs out. If you Dramatically Fail while using a Plugin, you gain the Backfired Condition.


          Sometimes a Plugin can become a full-fledged vulnerability, due either to enemy hackers or electronic countermeasures. In the case that you lose control of your Plugin, you gain the Hacked Condition.

          Note: Plugins cannot be used by shapeshifters. Or rather, they can, but they don't shift shape with the user, which can cause lethal or aggravated damage as appropriate for the Plugin and the method of shapeshifting.

          I wasn't satisfied with the way 2e handles locations as merits, so here's this. Adapted from Damnation City's Sites.

          Site (1 to 5 dots)

          This merit gives a character access to a particular site of interest, which could be a nightclub, house, grocery store, laboratory, or any number of other locations. A site is usually a single building, but could be some other type of location, like an alleyway or an abandoned railcar. A character with the Site merit may own the site on paper or they might simply have unrestricted access to the site, allowing them to benefit from it.

          Sites have four attributes: Size, Security, Status, and Advantages. Size, Security, and Status all range from 0 to 5. See below for Advantages.

          A site's size dictates loosely how large it is and how many rooms it has.
          • 0: Just big enough for two to four people to sit comfortably (eg. the interior of a burnt out car, a small shack)
          • 1: A small apartment or underground chamber, equivalent to 1-3 rooms
          • 2: A large apartment or small family home, equivalent to 4-8 rooms
          • 3: A warehouse, church, or large home, equivalent to 9-15 rooms
          • 4: An abandoned mansion or a network of underground tunnels, equivalent to 16-30 rooms
          • 5: A sprawling estate or vast network tunnels, countless rooms and chambers
          A site's security rating serves as a penalty to anyone trying to intrude on the space, and a bonus on Initiative for anyone defending the location. This can represent any number of security enhancements, such as the location being well hidden or equipped with heavy metal doors, and offering surveillance of the outside or boltholes for defenders.

          A site's Status acts as the merit of the same name, and represents both how well known the site is, and how well regarded it is overall. You can only make use of a site's Status when it would make sense for you to do so, which is generally in situations where your control of the site is impressive to your audience.

          A site can also have Advantages and Disadvantages. Each Advantage gives the Site a unique capability or bonus. Disadvantages do the opposite, representing some trouble that plagues the Site.

          Each point invested in the Site merit gives a character 3 points to spend on Size, Security, Status, and Advantages. Size, Security, and Status all cost 1 point per rating, and Advantages cost 1 point per dot rating of the individual Advantage. Conversely, Disadvantages add 1 points per dot rating, to be spent on Size, Security, Status, or Advantages.


          Haven (1 dot): The location is sun-proofed, making it an ideal resting place for vampires. In addition, any vampires resting within add the Site's Security rating to Humanity rolls to notice danger and Stamina + Resolve rolls to stay awake.


          Haunted (1 to 5 dots): This location is inhabited by hostile ghosts. Once per chapter, when a character rolls dice, the Storyteller may levy a penalty to their dice pool equal to the Haunted rating of the Site.

          (These are here as an examples. I'll compile an exhaustive list of Advantages and Disadvantages later. Any suggestions for either are welcome.)

          The Storyteller may impose limits on the ratings of a site depending on its location.

          Note: Any reference in the rules to Safe Place, replace with Site.

          More stuff nicked from Burning Wheel. Normally I'd be all for abstracting Resources into a Merit, but for this cyberpunk game, I want something a bit more meaty. Note the reference to SIN. This is a concept I'm stealing wholesale from Shadowrun: the System Identification Number, which serves the same function for a person as a SSN in real life, basically.


          In this campaign, Resources is not purchased as a Merit. Rather, characters receive a dot rating of Resources based on their other Merits. In this way, Resources represents a character's accumulated assets and connections, and their ability to move money around from various sources when they need it.

          To calculate a character's Resources rating, add up a character's dots in the Merits in the following list, and divide by 3 (rounding down) to find their Resources rating.

          • Allies
          • Contacts
          • Mystery Cult Initiation
          • Staff
          • Status
          • Site
          Note that there is no limit to how high a character's Resources rating can go.

          When attempting to make a purchase, a character first has to find someone who will sell them the item they're looking for. This isn't usually a problem... usually. If the character doesn't have a SIN or they're looking for something illegal, then things can get dicey.

          Once a character has located the item they're looking for, they need to produce the purchasing power to acquire it. If the character has a Resources rating two dots higher than the Availability of the thing they're looking to buy, they can purchase it easily. If the Availability is higher than that, though, the character must roll their Resources as a die pool. Willpower may be spent on this die pool, representing the character going to extreme efforts to get what they want, and another character can help with their own resources. In addition, the character might use Cash to enhance their roll.


          Where Resources is a measure of accumulated assets, Cash is exactly how it sounds, an amount of liquid currency. Cash is an item of equipment; a character can have multiple instances of Cash, and each instance has a dot rating that roughly represents just how much cash that Cash item contains. Using Cash on a Resources roll adds bonus dice equal to the dot rating of the Cash. A character can only use one instance of Cash on a Resources roll (but if the character has help, each helper can use one instance of Cash). After Cash is used on a Resources roll, it is expended, and the player should erase it from their character's sheet.

          Dice Pool: Resources vs. Obstacle (Availability)

          Roll Results

          Success: If the character rolls a number of successes equal to the Availability of the item in question, the deal is a success, and the character gets what they were after.

          Exceptional: The deal goes off well. The character gains the Inspired Condition.

          Failure: If the character rolls fewer successes than the Availability of the item in question, they are faced with a choice. Either they can walk away and keep their money, or they can overextend their Resources. If they choose to overextend themselves, they get what they were after, but gain the Taxed Condition.

          Dramatic: The negotiations go sour. The character doesn't get what they want, the seller refuses to deal with them, and worse, the seller might actively work against them in the future. They gain the Enmity(seller) condition.

          Conditions (WIP)

          I'll get around to putting these together eventually.




          Last edited by Airlock; 04-03-2021, 08:30 PM.