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Rivers, Lakes and Ocean tilts, oh my! (Tilts)

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  • Rivers, Lakes and Ocean tilts, oh my! (Tilts)

    Hello people! I was sorta just continuing making Siren (you don't need to read up on it for this post/thread), and I was getting on towards making an Underwater Fighting Style when I tried looking up some W/CoD rules on underwater things and rules, and I find that almost nowhere in the World of Darkness, New or Old, has anything written on rules or settings dealing with an aquatic environment. I know that the Environmental Level can be used, but that only really works for really bad environments, not normal events such as currents, riptide. etc.

    I kinda thought that people might find some use for these ideas outside of Siren, so I wanted to post them here, for that Chronicle taking place within the deep blue sea. I'll also note that I'm taking abit of reference from how Pathfinder deals with Aquatic areas. Also, giving credit to Amechra on his Space Tilts, since I'm kinda using it as a reference for formatting.

    Anyways, here goes my attempt at making some rules and/or tilts to apply to aquatic domains.This is my first time making a homebrew thread, so feel free to point out thoughts, criticisms or the like. There is some parts I dislike, but otherwise, I hope this is enjoyed. :3

    It's Better Down Where It's Wetter
    It's big, it's blue, it covers 70% of the surface area of the earth and we only know up to 10% of it's total area. We need it to survive and without it, we die sooner than we should've. This is of course, the rivers, lakes, and oceans of the world. While most of the Chronicles of Darkness takes place up on dry land, there's always a chance that a story might be on the high seas, or a part of the area the players are at includes rivers or lakes, even as scenery. If they should ever be used, these rules apply.

    The Aquatic environment is split between two kinds of environment. It's either placid or flowing. Placid water is the easier of the two, most sources of placid water do not cause penalties on swimming in them and may move in any direction. Flowing water on the other hand is always moving at at least a few miles per hour, dragging anything caught within it away with them. At the end of a turn the character spends within water, they're automatically dragged a number of feet from their original position unless they spent the turn resisting the pull or getting out of the water. More will be detailed in the Current Tilt below.

    Entry and exit of water is usually an instant action where your character cannot act the turn they decide to enter/exit.

    Water clarity easily affects Perception rolls. Placid water tends to have more clarity, and flowing water tends to lack clarity. Sight based rolls suffer from the Water Clarity tilt below, and perception rolls based on hearing are considered to be reduced to a single die (but not a chance die).

    Finally, saying that water is dense is like saying the Atlantic ocean is damp. As such, the density of water can impact any combat rolls made within it. Halve all dicepools for combat rolls within water, and those using blunt weapons are considered to automatically fail. Halve Defense as well, most land based creatures are not at home in the water and lack the same intimate ways a sea creature, scuba diver or Navy Seal can deal in it.

    Water Pressure and Depth Acclimation
    Going to different depths of water are usually only something that scuba divers would encounter, but it's still something notable when describing things to take into consideration about the ocean. Simply put, water pressure and depth is best done using the Extreme Environment system in the GMC. For reference:
    Sea Level and Epipelagic Zone: Level 0
    Mesopelagic Zone: Level 1-2
    Bathypelagic Zone: Level 3-4
    Abyssopelagic Zone: Level 5-6
    Hadopelagic Zone: Level 7-10

    There is a only one tweak to this. Reduce the requirement of hours into minutes, meaning when a character remains Stamina minutes within a Depth Environmental Level, they begin to suffer damage each minute.

    The reason for the higher level than what the GMC shows is because no human, even with the technology we own today, is capable of moving up to the Bathypelagic Zone at greatest. Moving beyond it would require either further advancements of technology or outright magic to survive. Just assume that the Abyssopelagic Zone causes Lethal Damage each turn, and Hadopelagic causes Aggravated damage instead.

    If the character waits a minute every 100 feet he moves up or down, he can acclimate to the depth he's currently at and may move vertically further, not suffering Environmental Levels unless he sinks to 800+ Feet (around where the Bathypelagic Zone inflicts EL 4). If a character doesn't allow themselves to acclimate, then they may suffer from the Bends Condition.

    Current [Tilt]
    Your character is currently caught within a water current. It may be a calm current or it may be something ripping them out to sea. Either way, it's not a good idea to remain in such conditions.
    Effect: The Currents drag anything and anyone caught within them, making it difficult to go through them. Assign a level from one to five to the current. One is a few miles per hour (10 feet per turn), three can reach the speeds of whitewater rapids or fast rivers (50 feet per turn) and five can reach the speeds of stormy waters or ocean currents (90 feet per turn). At the end of each turn a character remains within the Current, they will be dragged by the level's amount of feet by the current until they manage to get out of it. It also serves as a penalty for all physical rolls within the water.

    Characters can make a reflexive roll to keep their position. Swimming against the Current is an instant action that takes up the full turn, and their roll needs to exceed the Current's level if they wish to get anywhere. Swimming with the Current however gives the Current's level as a bonus toward the swimming roll.
    Causing the Tilt: Currents are just a natural part of life, whether caused by storm or by ocean.
    Ending the Tilt: If caused by a storm or sudden flooding, the tilt will eventually go away.
    Removing the Tilt: If caused by natural occurances like a river or ocean current,the character must manage to get out of the current.

    Water Clarity [Tilt]
    Your character is underwater and attempting to see through it. How much he's able to see can depend on the clarity of the water, whether it's saturated with mud, algae or insects or as clear as the arctic waters.
    Effect: Water Clarity usually gives a penalty to Perception rolls. Rate the water at a scale of one to five. One is water as clear as glass, three is water that you can see light filtering through, and five is water that you can barely see your hand in front of your face. Grant a penalty equal to Water Clarity Rating - 1 on all penalty rolls while trying to seek underwater.
    Causing the Tilt: Water Clarity can be affected by whatever is capable of being dumped into it. Soil, plant or animal based life are common and natural obstructions, while oil spillage or waste are not.
    Removing the Tilt: Getting out of the water can remove this tilt.

    Water Pressure [Tilt]
    Your character is somewhere that water pressure has an effect on his body. They may acclimate to the depth, or the deeper they go the more chance they have of never coming back.
    Effect: Water Pressure is suffered in the form of Environmental Levels, but with a tweak. Instead of suffering a certain amount of damage per hour after Stamina Hours, the character suffers a certain amount of damage per minute after Stamina Minutes.
    Causing the Tilt: Water Pressure is a simple fact of life.
    Removing the Tilt: The character acclimates to the depth they're at.

    Tsunami [Tilt]
    Somewhere, an earthquake occurred underwater causing waves to form on the surface. The closer they get to land, the larger they become until they could be larger than the tallest building and cause so much damage.
    Effect: Like the Earthquake tilt, the Tsunami tilt has a 1-5 level of Severity. Unlike the Earthquake tilt, a Tsunami inflicts it's Severity in the form of automatic Lethal damage towards anything it crashes into per hour it's in effect. A Tsunami can also reach up to 200 feet x Severity inland.
    Causing the Tilt: Tsunamis are part of the terrible power of nature and as such are mainly natural occurrances.
    Removing the Tilt: Finding shelter is the only way one can survive a Tsunami.
    Ending the Tilt: Tsunamis eventually end and recede back into the ocean.


    Your character has spent a minute within a zone under the effects of Water Pressure, and as such doesn't suffer from the Environmental Level the depth presents.
    Beat: N/A
    Resolution: Returning to land, or death from trying to go below the Bathypelagic Zone resolves this condition.

    The Bends
    Your character has moved 100 or so feet without letting themself acclimate, and for that they suffer gas bubbles within their blood from depressurizing. Roll 10-your character's Stamina. Each success inflicts one point of Lethal.
    Beat: N/A
    Resolution: When your character leaves water or dies from the damage.


    Die Bonus +0, Size 4, Durability 3, Structure 4, Availability 2-4
    A rebreather is an apparatus a character uses in order to breathe oxygen in environments that are a danger to the respiratory system. The simple answer is that a rebreather and tank can last about an hour before it can't give anymore oxygen.

    Scuba Gear
    Die Bonus +4, Size 6, Durability 2, Structure 3, Availability 3-5
    Scuba Gear is designed for swimming to lower depths and when used with a rebreather, can easily provide some time a character may spend underwater completing their business. This suit is light and flexible, adding the dice bonus to all rolls made within water as well as adding to their speed. The only drawback is the gear doesn't provide armor (unless it's a Dry suit, which has a 2/2 Armor rating), so be wary of predators in the deep.

    APS Underwater Assault Rifle
    Die Bonus +0, Size 3, Durability 2, Structure 3, Availability 5, Range 30/20/11, Clip 26+1,
    The APS Underwater Assault Rifle is as it sounds, a rifle made for shooting underwater. Because conventional bullets are ineffective, the gun fires flechettes which give the gun the Armor Piercing 2 quality. The Ranges are not separated by how far they can go, but by the farthest it can shoot depending on depth. At the highest depth (near the surface), it can shoot up to 30 feet. When it begins to go lower depths, it can shoot at a maximum of 20 feet, and at the lowest depth it can go up to 11 feet in distance.

    Swimming Mastery (Style, 1-4)

    Prerequisites: Dexterity 2, Athletics 2, Specialty in Swimming for Athletics
    Effect: You spend so much time within or near the water that you know how to work in it almost as well as land. The benefits of this merit only apply when your character is underwater.
    (1) Diving Entry: When your character enters or exits water, they may do so as a reflexive action rather than an instant one.
    (2) A Whole New World: While most other people are concerned with their positioning underwater being relative to "up" or "down", you know enough how freeform movement can be underwater and as such do not hold to such distinctions. While underwater, your Defense isn't halved
    (3) Breathing Exercize: Your character is versed enough in swimming that they've optomized their breathing pattern. Double the amount of time your character can go without taking a breath before they're considered to be drowning.
    (4) Automatic Acclimation: Your character can dive to depths and feel at home in them. They are always considered under the Acclimation Condition for water depth. This still doesn't apply for any zone below Bathypelagic.
    Last edited by SaulottheGentle; 08-15-2016, 11:16 AM.

    Currently Doing: Siren the Drowning (Fansplat Ressurection)

  • #2
    Definitely useful for a water-based campaign, like if you're playing a hunter game as one of the Ama-San.

    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai


    • #3
      I believe the Merit Swimming Mastery to be very well done and it will be getting some use at my table.


      • #4
        The Kings Raven link to in Leviathan 2E?

        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."


        • #5
          My CofD Blood-Dimmed Tides campaign will see great use of this.

          "There is a remedy for everything but death, a hope for everything but wickedness, and everything will lapse except righteousness."