No announcement yet.

Arcanist's Homebrew Hub

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
    I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially since some Dread Powers and Numina overlap in terms of giving the same effects. Still, there are some Dread Powers which can work better if they're refined further.
    That is very true. I'll have to take a stab at doing it more completely later. Thinking of tackling the Ash That Devours as a kind of pseudo-Strix phenomenon that can happen to any Vampire, not just Blood Sorcery users (though Blood Sorcerers have a better chance of surviving their "Final" Death).

    Anyways, I added the, very brief, very succinct, rules I threw together on how to handle shartha in the document Shattered Gods. In my humble opinion I find them rather elegant, and while they might not be the best option, I think they're pretty good. Might need to write different rules entirely for the Wolf Host, just because they operate pretty differently compared to the others. Rules for the Swarm Tilt are on pg. 179 of Demon: The Descent. If you're Storytelling a shartha in Swarm Form, condensing the Swarm is your friend, as is grappling. It's very difficult to actually harm a Swarm, and depending on how you play it, managing to finally take out a single Shard could involve fighting the same creature several times. They might be, in a couple of ways, a bit more durable and dangerous than Ephemeral Beings, but in others ways they're easier to kill permanently.

    My Homebrew Hub


    • #17
      Alright, so, I've been tinkering for a bit and decided to update some of my documents.

      Blood Sorcery: Sacraments and Blasphemies 2E has incorporated many of the rites and miracles from the original "Blood Sorcery" supplement, allowing for slightly more flexible Blood Sorcery. I've also tried to incorporate design elements from Mage's new Creative Thaumaturgy system to try and make Blood Sorcery a little more flexible. The "Mantle" Rites from Secrets of the Covenants gave me the idea of spending Willpower to produce an effect for certain Cruac Rites instead of using a Reach mechanic. Some system symmetry would call for Vitae to be spent on Theban Miracles, but it felt wrong, so Theban Sorcerers wanting to make more of an impact need to make bigger sacrifices. This is probably the system I am least sure of, so some feedback would be nice.

      Word as Bond: Pacts has been updated. The base mechanics are pretty much the same, but they've been tweaked a little, and I took some design principles from World of Darkness: Inferno with regards to the Sacrifice aspects. I'm probably going to fiddle with this a bit more to try and alter how it functions splat to splat. An Invictus Notary should function differently than a Carthian legislator, and they both should function differently than a Fate spell, pact with an Ephemeral Being, or fae Pledge. Even if the subsystem is the same, they should feel aesthetically and thematically different.

      I'm not longer happy with Cults (As unique Merits) but I have refined Cults (As Violence Groups) even further. Until we get official rules for Organizations in either Deviant: The Renegades or Mummy 2E, I'm extremely happy with what I've thrown together with what's available.
      Last edited by Arcanist; 02-21-2018, 03:55 PM.

      My Homebrew Hub


      • #18
        So, that last post about how I'm extremely happy with Cults (As Violence Groups)? It appears as though I lied. There is always more editing that can be done. Unfortunately, as I'm updating the security stuff on my computer, and found out that my dad installed a keystroke logger without my permission, I'm not terribly comfortable logging in to my Google Docs to alter the documents at the moment, so I'm posting it here.

        Pyramid Play- Player Character Organizations

        Sometimes, your characters want to do more than just fight or join a Group of revolutionaries or Mystery Cultists, sometimes they want to be the ones behind the shadowy conspiracy or playing god. Sometimes they need a Group of cultists to obey their every whim; for someone playing a mummy, it’s a core aspect of the game. Either way, the foundation of a Group is going to be a monumental undertaking.

        Step 1- Forming the Group:In order to initially form as Group, the would-be founder must succeed at a Social Maneuvering action to open three Doors to proselytize to a target audience, making a Group with Organization Size 1. If the Group would be opposed to what your character is proposing, add another two Doors from their other Resistance Attribute. When all the Doors have been opened, the Group has been formed.

        Note- Coup d’état: It is, of course, possible to subvert a Group out from under its current leader. All Groups possess a minimum of three Doors (or 2 + Organization Size Doors), but should a significant Storyteller character oppose the action, add their Resolve + Composure to the number of Doors you must open. This can stack for multiple characters. You can choose to simply subvert a portion of the Group, in which case you only need to open as many Doors as the Organization Size you intend to steal.

        Step 2- Designing the Group: Using the Group mechanics below, establish your organization/cult/conspiracy, whatever shape it may take. The founders of the Group must allocate a total of seven Merit dots from their character to Group Merits, providing the initial infusion of resources, but this can be divided between the PCs who contributed to the Group’s formation.

        Concept: A single, concise statement summarizing the Group. Why should we care?

        Aspirations: Goals, motivations, desires; triggers for violent action, what they want. Choose three Aspirations, like you would for a character. One should be a minor goal, something achievable within six months with focus or a year if distracted. Another should be a medial goal, achievable within a year or two. The final Aspiration should be a great goal, something that could take years to achieve and could very well be the purpose the Group was formed for.

        Anchors: Virtue, Vice, and Touchstone. The Vice is the Group’s purpose for existence, the base, animal drive that holds the group together. The Virtue is the Group’s doctrine, the complex logistical, political, or theological reason for them to do what they do. Members of a Group gain its Virtue and Vice as if they had purchased the Virtuous or Vice-Ridden Merits, and additionally, they regain Willpower from those Virtues and Vices even if they just witness or hear of an action aligning with them. If a fanatic acts, then everyone in their affiliated group feels a rush of justification. The Touchstone is a holy relic, a tangible person, place, or thing that anchors their beliefs. Supernatural characters who possess Touchstones may offer up their own to become the Touchstone of the Group as a whole.

        Note- Group Integrity: By default, the Group is assumed to have an average Integrity rating of five. Experiences to improve Integrity may be Group Experiences or spent on their behalf by player characters. If the Group undertakes actions that would be a Breaking Point, roll the leader’s Resolve + Composure +/- modifiers to decide the results as written below.

        Dramatic Failure: The group’s worldview has been damaged, perhaps beyond repair. Lose a dot of Integrity and take the Civil War Condition as the group begins to collapse under the traumatic stress.
        Failure: The group’s worldview has been shaken, and they probably question their sense of self, ability to relate to people, moral worth, or sanity. Lose a dot of Integrity and Choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Schism, Rogue Cult, or Record.
        Success: The group has come through the breaking point intact. They might feel guilty or upset about what happened, but they can cope. Choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Schism, Record, or Investigation.
        Exceptional Success: The group somehow manages to not only survive the breaking point but to also find meaning in it, to reaffirm their own self-worth, or to pass through fire and be tempered by it. The group takes a Beat.

        Attributes and Skils:These are abstractions for ‘average’ members, and dice pools when going up against other Groups. Prioritize Physical, Social, and Mental traits. Primary gets a dice pool of 5, secondary a dice pool of 4, and tertiary a dice pool of 2. When dealing with an ‘average’ member, all Attributes are treated as having two dots.

        History and Bringing it Together: Create a history for the Group that ties them into the fabric of the local environment; a reason for them to exist, a reason for them to persist, and a reason for them to act. A Group without motivation, without drive, eventually falls apart, and you want to tell stories about Groups that, for now, endure.

        Individual Members: To represent a significant Storyteller Characters, design an Individual Member like you’d design any other character. Put three dots into every Attribute vital to the character’s role, one dot into an area neglected, and two dots everywhere else. Put three dots into one Skill. Skills critical to the concept get two dots and Skills distantly related to the concept get one dot. Assign Skill Specialties at this point. You should have one dice pool of 7, two others at 6, and several with 5 or fewer. Remember that these characters also have access to Group Merits. They should have one Merit at three dots, one or two at two dots, and other necessary one dot Merits. Lastly, make brief notes about the character.

        Requisitioning Merits: Treat Status/Initiation as Resources for this purpose, with Merit dots acting as Availability. Add two dots if you want to gain the Merit at its dot rating permanently, otherwise you only gain use of the Merit for the duration of the current Story. Final decision on what resources the Group has access to goes to the Storyteller.

        Battle Fodder: Cults can always just go to war directly, miniature crusades in back alleys, bombs in mailboxes and Molotovs through storefronts and safe-house windows. In addition to Average Members, you can roll Organization Size, summoning an Individual Member per success. For each Group Member that dies in battle, you lose a Merit dot. Severe casualties have the potential to completely destroy a Group.

        Step 3- Spending Merits: All Organizations start out with seven dots of Merits to spend, and while the standard Social Merits mentioned above are all excellent ways of modeling Groups, some Merits meant specifically for Organizations could use some fleshing out.

        Army of One (to•••••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: For each dot in this Merit, your Organization has a combat-specialized Individual Member available once per Story. When you would declare help has arrived from the Organization, you can substitute an average member with one of these characters up to your limit. These characters will fight, or contribute to Teamwork actions, but when faced with an overwhelming threat they may run if they fail a Resolve + Composure roll.
        Drawback: Each Individual Member incapacitated or killed removes a dot from this Merit, subject to Sanctity of Merits.
        (Note: Based off the Merit of the same name from Secrets of the Covenants)

        Compartmentalized (••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Your Organization has managed to keep their main membership away from the supernatural and away from violence, whether this is by operating behind a screen of ordinary mortals, using a cell-based group structure, or some other means. When using the Battle Fodder mechanic, you can substitute lost Merit dots for a suitable Condition, such as Notoriety, Leveraged, Investigation, Record, or Rogue Cult.

        Crowd Support (•••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Organizations with this Merit draw on every member for support. Once per Chapter, a group member may absolutely depend on fellow members for support. The member who called for aid defines one task that must either be able to be completed within a Scene, or reach a specific milestone. As long as group members could conceivably assist and are available to do so (such as being called for help), players may add three dice to rolls related to that goal until the end of the Scene.
        (Note: Credit to Bunyip )

        Cultists (to•••••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Your inner circle is fantastically loyal. Once per Chapter, you can draw on your most fervent supporter for a number of dots in Social Merits of your choice equal to dots in Cultists in any combination. A group with three dots in Cultists could have two dots in Retainer and one dot in Allies, for example, or three dots in Contacts.

        Deniability (to •••••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Your Group gains access to a pool of effects equal to the dots in this Merit that can be used once per Story. You may use any of the following effects:
        • Negate Clue elements one-to-one to add Complications to an Investigation
        • End a Condition affecting the Group without gaining a Beat
        • Close Doors one-to-one to prevent Group members from being manipulated
        Doctrinal (•••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect:Your cult is defined by a manifesto or bible. Your followers live by its wisdom, dying and killing for its tenets. The cult gains a +2 modifier on breaking points incurred from actions they take to serve you. In addition, once per session you or your followers can remove two Doors in Social maneuvers meant to proselytize or recruit allies.
        (Note: From the Beast Player’s Guide)

        Eyes Everywhere (•••, •••• or •••••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Within the Group’s territory, even those not bound to them know to keep their eyes open, and who to tell when they notice something strange. At three dots, intruders to the territory must succeed on a Wits + Stealth or Streetwise (depending on rural or urban territory) roll when they enter or something notices them and warns the Group. This doesn’t apply to intruders using supernatural powers to hide their presence. At four dots, all mundane attempts at concealment or blending with the population suffer a three-dice penalty. At five dots, the dice penalty and test when entering the territory also apply to creatures concealed by supernatural means. This Merit works even for intrusions from Invisible Realms, such as the Hisil, the Hedge, or the Underworld, depending on the nature of the Group. (Note: Credit to Bunyip )

        Friends of Friends (•, •• or •••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: The group works to build contacts and allies within and outside its territory, working outwards from the people they knows to their ‘friends-of-friends’ network. Once per Chapter, group members can tap into their existing social networks to reach out to others with the skills or knowledge needed by the Group. Roll the dots in this merit as a dice pool, adding one die for each Merit like Contacts, Allies, Status, Retainer, Mentor, or Staff the group possesses. (Other Merits may apply with Storyteller discretion)
        Dramatic Failure: The group insults the wrong people and everyone suffers massive blows to their reputations. No group member can use any Social Merit for the Chapter.
        Failure: The group can’t find anyone else to help them, nor can any of their friends.
        Success: The group’s social network finds someone who is willing to help. Divide the number of successes Merit dots one to one. No single Merit may be higher than the dots in Friends of Friends. These additional Social Merits disappear either at the end of the scene they’re used in, or at the end of the Chapter.
        Exceptional Success: As per Success, but the group can build Merits up to twice their dots in Friends of Friends. (Note: Credit to Bunyip )

        Grasp (Style; • to •••••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Groups present faces to the human world that raise expectations of behaviour. Groups with this Merit know how to use their reputation like a vise to squeeze power and influence from others by presenting themselves accordingly. When buying this Merit choose a Profession (see Chronicles of Darkness pg. 42 for examples) that best represents the group’s reputation. Dots dedicated to this Merit determine the advantages.
        • - Take My Call: Whether having an official phonebook listing, or just asking around, group members can make contact with someone they want to speak with from a related organization. They can engage in Social Maneuvering with a Group even if their Impression is Hostile, though this is limited to Hard Leverage or Forcing Doors.
        ••- Reputed: The group is known within their chosen profession. When dealing with related organizations, their reputation allows them to improve their Impression by one.
        •••- Respected: The group is well established in their profession. When dealing with related organizations, their reputation carries enough weight to reduce the number of Doors they need to open by one.
        •••• - Calling in Favors: The group may draw upon the assistance or resources of related organizations. Once per Chapter, a group member can requisition Merits from a related organization. For each “hop” outside their circle of influence after the first, reduce your effective Status by one dot. Status in relevant organizations stacks.
        ••••• - Hostile Action: The group is a powerhouse of their chosen industry. Nearly everyone has heard of, and defers, to them. Once per Chapter, the group may use its influence to force its will upon a related organization. Choose which group member will be the primary actor (teamwork rolls do apply) in a Social Maneuvering dice action using Forcing Doors. If the Social Maneuvering action with Hostile Action fails, then the Group cannot access that maneuver until they improve their Impression (and restore their reputation) with a related organization.
        Drawback: The reputation of such an organization doesn’t come without notice. Anyone investigating the group gains a bonus to their rolls equal to half Grasp (rounded up); consider this dice bonus to be an equivalent level of Fame to get an idea of how far the knowledge of the group has spread (but it is not the Fame Merit). (Note: Adapted from the Professional Pack Merit by Bunyip )

        Note- Related Organizations: The mechanics of this Merit discusses other Groups yours could interact with that know of your reputation by having overlapping interests. At one dot, a gang is recognized by other gangs bordering on their territory. At two dots, local police and organized crime elements take notice. Though it may still appear as a street gang, federal law enforcement, major crime families, and firms that want to conduct business in the territory knows and recognizes the power behind it.

        Hidden Master (•••, •••• or •••••)
        Effect: Your character has influence over a Group without actually being a subordinate member. Perhaps your character is the “power behind the throne” or is even worshipped as a deity. Your character benefits from an equal level of Initiation/Status, but do not gain the additional Vice, Virtue, or Aspirations, nor are you subject to Conditions suffered by the Group as a whole. Your disconnection means fewer responsibilities, plausible deniability if they’re revealed, and the ability to step away at any time.
        Drawback: Your character is limited to the Initiation/Status granted by this Merit, which means that actually controlling the Group can take some time and requisitioning Merits can be… limited. Additionally, you lose out on additional means of gathering Willpower from the group and cannot call on group members for aid outside the use of Social Merits like Allies, Staff, or Retainer.
        (Note: Based off of the Mystery Cult Influence Merit from Mage: The Awakening)

        Influential (to•••••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Choose a narrow sphere of influence (bookies, librarians, street kids, etc.) per dot in this Merit. Once per chapter, subtract two from the Availability rating of any service or equipment that would fall under that purview, to a minimum of one.
        (Note: From the Beast Player’s Guide)

        Mystic (•• or •••)
        Prerequisite: Organization 1+
        Effect: Your Group has cultivated connections with one or more group of human occultists. Choose a type (clairvoyants, mediums, psychokinetics, etc); you can access their abilities through Individual Members (or Average Members depending on the Initiation Merit for the Group). At two dots their wisdom grants the 9-again quality to Occult rolls. For three dots, their insight also allows you to achieve an Exceptional Success for Occult rolls at three successes.
        (Note: From the Beast Player’s Guide)

        Reach (••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: The Group extends their influence beyond their home city. Subtract from Organization Size to calculate effects depending on how far away you are extending your Group’s influence. If you are acting in a nearby city in the same local area (a cluster of 3-6 municipalities or a larger metropolis) the penalty is -1, if you are influencing different region of the same country the penalty is -2, and if you are going elsewhere in the world the penalty is -3. It is up to Storyteller discretion whether Status is reduced by the same amount. If the penalty would take Organization Size to 0 or lower, then the Group does not have the influence or manpower to reach that far.
        (Note: Based off the Order/Consilium Status in Mage: The Awakening)

        Organization Size (to •••••)
        Effect: Each dot in Organization Size reflects a larger number of members that the group can bring to bear. One dot can reflect a local organization with only ten dedicated members, while five dots can represent a far-reaching organization with international ties. The exact size of the group does not matter, while the number of supporters who can come at any given time does. Therefore, while the Mafia has hundreds of thousands of members, a local branch may only have a handful of men, and a smaller Merit rating. Organization Size has several effects:
        · Each dot of the Merit adds to Doors whenever someone outside the group tries to manipulate a member through Social Maneuvering.
        · Whenever the members can work together towards a group roll, such as trying to put pressure on a judge or researching how to build a bomb, each dot adds an automatic success to the main actor’s total. On an extended action, apply the extra successes to the first roll.
        · If a member of the organization calls for help, each dot represents two average members, as detailed using the rules below, who will arrive to support in time. For long-term plans, up to five members per dot arrive to help in person.
        Drawback: Every Group comes with a Complication. A Complication is a Persistent Condition representing a drawback or some other drain on their resources. Every member of the Group possesses this Condition. Choose one from the existing list of Conditions, or design a new one with your Storyteller.
        (Note: From Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker)

        Territory Feature (• to •••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+, Safe Place 1+
        Effect: The territory has a location that is specifically useful to the Group. A library with helpful staff may be invaluable when the group researches an obscure rite. A clinic where the doctors look the other way in return for protection may keep members healthy after a fight. A trendy bar where assistants to the rich and powerful congregate could provide introductions and favors for the group.When taking this Merit, define the location and choose an associated Skill per dot. Each dot applies to a single Skill, but multiple dots may add to the same Skill. When in the location, pack members may add one die per dot to dice pools involving these Skills.This Merit may be taken multiple times, each time representing a different location.
        Drawback: Locations of importance to the group tend to draw attention. People investigating the group are more likely to find these locations before others, gaining +1 to relevant dice pools per Territory Feature.
        (Note: Credit to Bunyip )

        Optional Subsystem: Holy Wars

        A far more common occurrence in Dark Eras, when personal retinues and militarized cults were a little more acceptable, Organizations can be mobilized to violent action. This is not subtle assassination or duels of social manipulation, this is a symbol of faith lifted high and knife fights in the streets. When cults go to war, they play for keeps.

        Militarized (•••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Once per Story you may muster your Organization,all of it, to join you on the field of battle. This uses the Holy Wars subsystem (see below).
        Drawback: If you actually need to use this Merit, as opposed to just wanting to crush an opponent with overwhelming force, then casualties are inevitable. Your Organization will almost certainly lose Merits in the process.

        Derived Traits: An Organization in combat uses the three dice pools (Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary) of its Average Members. Attributes are considered to be two dots unless they are in the Primary category, at which point they’re three dots. This means that most Organizations will have a base Initiative and Defense of 4, and a base Health of 7. These derived traits can be modified further by any armor or weapons wielded by the Organization, as well as supernatural effects targeting the group.

        Strength in Numbers:Organizations in combat add their Size to Health and attack dice pools, in addition to Armor and a Weapon Bonus. Organizations perform Burst Attacks even if the weapons they’re using normally are incapable of doing so (such as bows or melee weapons). Size 1-2 Groups can perform Short Bursts, Size 3-4 Groups can perform Medium Bursts, and Size 5 Groups can perform Long Bursts. Groups capable of Medium Bursts can also use Covering Fire rules using the same exceptions noted above. If they are wielding a weapon that would overrule this, use that option instead.

        Abstract Damage: Damage inflicted to the “Health” of an Organization is more than just people maimed or killed; it is damage to the Group’s morale. Instead of suffering a Tilt if they suffer more damage than Stamina, sacrifice a Merit dot. If the Group suffers enough damage to be “killed” roll Resolve + Composure (typically four dice) with a bonus equal to half Organization Size rounded up to prevent a rout. Refer to the chart below.
        · Dramatic Failure: The Group’s confidence has absolutely shattered. Unless control is reasserted, the Organization will fall apart over the next several Chapters. Lose a dot of Organization Size and gain the Civil War Condition.
        · Failure: The Group is battered and bruised, fleeing the battlefield. Lose a dot of Organization Size and gain the Hunted Condition as your enemy pursues you.
        · Success: The Group keeps their nerve. Lose a dot of Organization Size, replenish your Health, take the Shaken Condition, and fight on.
        · Exceptional Success: The Group rallies, not only continuing to fight but pushing themselves harder. Lose a dot of Organization Size, replenish your Health, and gain the Inspired Condition.

        Notes- Players and Major Storyteller Characters: It is important to note that apart from rare circumstances it is extremely difficult for individual characters to take on even a small Group that’s decided to go to war. Supernatural abilities affecting the Group must have an Area of Effect. While Groups are treated as individual characters, they aren’t. But major characters can assist in other ways. Characters in a position of command can make a Teamwork roll as a secondary actor to try and prevent a rout, and can affect individual characters on the opposing side, if there are any.

        Note- Group Integrity in Combat: Group Integrity still applies, as per usual, but if the Organization would be subject to a Breaking Point that would impact their efficacy in combat, such as Lunacy or Sybaris, substitute the Rout Check mechanic above with Group Integrity. This does benefit from attached Touchstones and the half Organization Size bonus to a maximum of +5 to the roll.

        Optional Subsystem: Foundations

        These are the ways your Organization is structured, and should guide the way they act and what they believe from then on. A Foundation is more than a nifty mechanical benefit; it is a statement of how your Organization goes about realizing its goals.

        Conspiracy: The name of the game is deniability. Passwords, dead drops, secret societies, backroom deals, masks, the whole long and short of it. People don’t usually join these organizations for meaning, but for their own motivations. So long as their fellow conspirators help them out, they’re content to provide cash, chores, and camouflage. Conspiracies gain a dot of the Deniability Merit per dot of Organization Size.
        Complication: The middle management of a Conspiracy is almost always trying to manipulate their underlings for personal benefit. Conspiracies always possess an instance of the Rogue Cult Condition representing such internal factions.

        Elite Club: The beautiful people, the ecstatics, the hedonists. The Elite Club is sexy, alluring, and famous, the crème-de-la-crèmeof society. They’re constantly advertising, constantly looking for bigger, better, more. Elite Clubs gain a dot of the Influential Merit per dot of Organization Size.
        Complication: There comes a cost with being in the spotlight- every move is being watched. You can never let them see you sweat; it’s like letting a shark smell blood in the water. An Elite Club always possesses an instance of the Embarrassing Secret Condition pertaining to their hedonistic or illicit activities.

        Enterprise: It’s open to newcomers, pays taxes, has accountants on staff, and uses a logo on their letterhead. It might be an actual profit-generating corporation (though likely not publically traded), an NGO, or even just a social group with a charter and tax documents. It plays nicely with the government. People join an Enterprise for the paycheck or the cause- it’s the difference between joining a church and joining Doctors Without Borders. Enterprises gain a dot of Staff per dot of Organization Size.
        Complication: Business means a paper trail somewhere, even (or especially) if they’re up to something illegal. Enterprises always possess an instance of the Record Condition.

        Gangs: A gang may not seem like a cult at first, until one examines the minutiae and finds the Devil in the details. Gangs wear certain clothes and colors to identify themselves, and also use unique slang language and hand-signs to communicate. Once onboard, it’s also next to impossible to leave a gang. It’s blood in, blood out. Kill someone to get in, die to leave. They are, however, exceptionally good with violence. Gangs gain a dot of Army of One per dot of Organization Size.
        Complication: Gangs are not what one would consider stealthy. They trend towards being brutal blunt instruments, and that draws official attention. A Gang always possesses an instance of the Investigation Condition.

        Personality: When a group of humans blindly follows the charismatic authority of an individual (generally still living) instead of a god or goddess, a cult of personality is born. At their most harmless, they’re celebrity followings, and at their most dangerous the worshippers of a dictator’s ideology, but the thing that unites them is loyalty to the individual at their core. Personality groups gain a dot of the Mentor Merit per dot of Organization Size. This “mentor” may or may not be aware of their cult following, and if they are aware, may not be entirely comfortable with their “fans”.
        Complication: Members of the organization are fixated on their figure of worship, and as such are almost never one hundred percent on task. Personality groups always possess an instance of the Schism Condition.

        Tribal: The oldest model of Organization by far, the Tribal group is one based on worship, appeasement, or family, and the lines between these categories are extremely thin. The founder sets forth a pattern for behavior, explains how their strictures provide for a better life, and doles out rewards and punishments. Tribal cultists are in it for identity, for answers about right and wrong, and if they don’t like the answers, it’s not easy to walk away and say, “Hey, no big deal.”Tribal organizations gain a dot of the Safe Place Merit per dot of Organization Size.
        Complication: Family and coreligionists are often deeply judgmental, and not always the most understanding. Whenever your character actively works against one of the Group Aspirations, take the Betrayed Condition as a heavily conditioned sense of discomfort gives fellow group members a leg up.

        Strong Foundation (••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Your Organization has, effectively, two Foundations. You gain all the benefits of the chosen secondary Foundation, which should strongly affect the outlook and operations of the Organization. This Merit may only be purchased after group generation with Storyteller approval as it involves a pretty dramatic shift in perspective.
        Drawback: Your Organization also gains the Complication of the new Foundation

        Shadow Foundations

        Supernatural beings gather Organizations to themselves for a multitude of reasons. Mortals are convenient camouflage, and can act as a monster’s eyes, ears, hands and feet. Human beings also serve as convenient agents, and occasionally as a food source. But more than that, monsters and their cultists tend to develop potent metaphysical links.

        Vampire: Mortals do the daytime bidding of Kindred masters, ghouls whisper in appropriate ears, but the cults that vampires build around themselves boil down to one thing; blood. The Beast is relatively simplistic in its motivations: feeding, dominance, competition, and seduction. Each dot in Organization Size gives a dot of Herd.
        Complication: Successful, well-fed, vampires are gardeners more than hunters. They cultivate relationships with humans, and that means luring them in. Group members have the Addicted Condition.

        Werewolf: Human packmates are the tethers that keep the Uratha tied to the Flesh. They have connections to human society that werewolves need, and some even think that their position offers them a kind of protection. It doesn’t. As such, human members of werewolf packs learn vigilance and a deeply intimate sense of place. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Territorial Advantage Merit.
        Complication: Werewolves know what they are, how dangerous they can be, and they try to insulate their human allies. But in the end, the wild Resonance of the pack bond infects them all. Group members possess the Reception Condition.

        Mage: Sleepers who make themselves useful, happen to be useful, or can be made to be useful often wind up in Mystery Cults within and on the outskirts of Awakened society. All Orders use Mystery Cults to their own ends, and even some Nameless mages have reason to keep conspiracies on hand. Mysteries, even constructed ones, tend to grab the attention of Fate. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Destiny Merit.
        Complication: Those who soar on the wings of Fate will plummet when their hubris exceeds their wisdom. Group members possess the Cursed Condition.

        Promethean: Divinity is, by its very nature, alluring. Fire is inviting, welcoming. People want to watch as it flickers, bathe in its warmth. The Created may intentionally gather mortals to them to help fulfill a Role, but they just as easily could produce a cult unwittingly. The Divine Fire can fill you with a sense of purpose. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Driven Merit.
        Complication: People who try to remain close to an uncontrolled fire will often find themselves burned. Group members possess the Disquiet (Stage 1) Condition.

        Changeling: The Lost recall the glittering and brutal courts of Arcadia with mixed emotions. But the Courts and Freeholds they build in Ironside are ultimately focused around making a home and staying there, persuading the world with a convincing tale. Putting yourself back together piece by piece with the help of people you trust. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Support Network Merit.
        Complication: The magic of Faerie is, as always, a trap. For a measure of protection, Faerie demands a pound of flesh. Group members possess the Obliged Condition.

        Hunter: Mortals react in different ways to encounters with the supernatural. Some keep their heads down and pretend that it never happened. Others completely forget the experience, burying it deep in their subconscious. But some people fight back, they carry torches into the darkness and hunt what lives there. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Esoteric Armory Merit.
        Complication: The hunt is bone-deep; it becomes your life. Some things must be done for the good of humanity, and you’re the ones who have to do it. Group members possess the Vigilant Condition.

        Mummy: Cults are the lifeblood of the Deathless. Without them, only the turn of Sothis and the theft of their personal Relics could wake them. The Organizations Deathless Ones establish are deeply personal, their belief structures a blending of Decree, Guild, Judge, and their (often mythologized) history across millennia. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Cultists Merit.
        Complication: Sybaris weighs heavily on the minds of those who work closely with the Deathless and the Lifeless. Group members possess the Madness Condition.

        Demon:The Unchained live in the dark place where government agencies, corporations, and religions turn into societies with sinister agendas. Faithful is a byword for “exploitable” to the God-Machine and its wayward servants and above all cults serve as camouflage.Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Anonymity Merit.
        Complication: The subroutines of the God-Machine and its preferred methods of are easily accessible tools for the Unchained. Group members possess the Faith Condition.

        Beast: Cults help Beasts feed. Whatever else they do, they aid the hunt. Then again, if it were just about hurrying the next meal, Beasts wouldn’t bother with all the effort. Ritualism gives feeding purpose. It refines Hunger into something more sophisticated than a monster’s appetite. Often, it’s about touchstones. Beasts grow alienated from humanity at the top of the food chain, and cults offer a closer connection. Each dot of Organization Size gives a dot of the Edible Merit.
        Complication: The Begotten are the monsters that lurk deep in the subconscious depths of the human soul. In links forged from shared nightmares, things grow… strange. Group members possess the Delusional Condition.

        Communion (••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: Your followers have learned of your particular needs, and are more than willing to sate them. Once per Chapter, if your followers have assisted you, gain the 8-again quality to the subsequent roll (or choose to lose 10-again, in the case of Satiety). This could apply to vampire feeding rolls, Satiety rolls, Uratha hunting, Glamour harvesting, Mage ritual spells, and more.
        Drawback: Humans do not always grasp the subtleties of the metaphysics they are playing with. Any failures on rolls benefitting from this Merit are Dramatic Failures.
        (Note: From the Beast Player’s Guide)

        Resonant (•••)
        Prerequisite: Organization Size 1+
        Effect: The actions of the group strike a cord with the Invisible Realms. By performing a short ritual the group can increase an area’s connection to an Invisible Realm by two steps for a scene. This may produce a short-lived open Verge or Iris, reduce Gauntlet strength, apply Manifestation Conditions, or make it easier for a Beast to access their Lair. Costs to open gateways between the Material Realm and the Invisible Realms are waived for the duration.
        (Note: From the Beast Player’s Guide)

        Strega (• or •••)
        Prerequisite: Circle of the Crone Group Founder
        Effect: Your Group could be best described as a coven of blood witches. At one dot, the blood of Group Members counts as Kindred Vitae when drank or spilled. At three dots, Group Members can learn Cruac themselves for 5 Experiences per dot and 3 Experiences per ritual. Replace references to Humanity with Integrity. On a Dramatic Failure the character suffers the Scarred Condition instead of the Tempted Condition.
        (Note: Based off of the Mother’s Army Recruit Merit from Half-Damned)

        Note- Of the Blood: The metaphysical bonds between the monstrous leader/founder of a Group and their followers are potent enough to alter the very nature of the cultists. Supernatural Merits implying a strong connection to a specific supernatural being can be purchased as Group Merits or Merits that are part of the Group’s Mystery Cult Initiation. For example, a Daeva’s cultists may purchase the Taste of the Serpent Merit without being a ghoul. The cultist of a Bone Shadow may purchase the Kamduis-Ur’s Blood Merit without being Wolf-Blooded. The connection is enough.

        Yossarian's Cultist Merits and Extras thread is also full of extremely suitable Merits for Shadow Organizations and their Mystery Cult Initiations.

        New Conditions

        Betrayed (Persistent)
        You’ve attracted too much of the wrong attention and someone close to you can’t let that go on. Or maybe someone has just given them a better offer. Either way, the Storyteller chooses a Storyteller character that betrays you to your enemies at the worst possible time. It could be a new development, or it could be that your ‘ally’ was a double agent the whole time. Your betrayer, and their patrons, gains the 8-again quality to all rolls used against your Group.
        Beat: Your betrayer does something that inconveniences you, puts you in danger, or otherwise ruins your plans.
        Resolution: Kill the traitor, convince them to abandon their masters, or abandon the Group altogether.

        Civil War (Persistent)
        Some ambitious cultist has gone too far, or maybe your Group has reached an ideological impasse. Either way, they’re openly at war with one another, physically, or ideologically. Once per Chapter roll Organization Size. Any successes destroy Group Merit dots on a one-to-one basis, which are subject to Sanctity of Merits. During this time, you cannot benefit from your Group at all. All attempts at Social Maneuvering with the Group start at a Hostile Impression.
        Resolution: The Group destroys itself. Someone (re)takes control in a dramatic fashion.
        Beat: Once per Chapter you can take a Beat by choosing one of the following:
        • Taking the Betrayed, Investigation, or Rogue Cult Condition
        • The player character is pursued by a number of average members as though they had called for help from the Group.
        Hunted (Persistent)
        Someone who poses a serious threat to the character’s safety and well-being, physically or emotionally (or both), is after her.
        Beat:The character’s persecutors find her.
        Resolution:The character stops her persecutors, either through legal means, changes in lifestyle that deny them access to her, or through more direct means, typically violence.

        Investigation (Persistent)
        The character is being watched in a not-so-subtle way. She may expect to see unusual vehicles parked near her home or place of work, her garbage to be rifled through, or even for her home to be broken into. At the beginning of each chapter, the Storyteller should roll a pool of dice equal to the successes on the roll that created this Condition, or 10- Integrity Trait. Once Clue Elements equal to their Integrity Trait are accrued, this Condition resolves. They aren’t a problem now, but what they learn could be. The Investigation follows the rules in Chronicles of Darkness pg. 77.
        Beat: The Investigator uncovers a Clue.
        Resolution: The Investigator Uncovers the Truth, or the character somehow exposes or otherwise actively stops the surveillance. If she is being surveilled by the state, she may need to exercise legal options, if any such options exist.

        Record (Persistent)
        Someone, somewhere, knows what you’re up to. And they’ve written it down. This could be because your Group moves through official channels, or maybe you just got sloppy with your activities. Either way, anyone looking to air your dirty laundry is going to have a much easier time of it. For each instance of the Record Condition, think of an event or secret that it covers; the Condition acts as an additional Element tagged to the first Clue of any Investigation into the Group.
        Beat: An Investigator benefits from the easily accessed information
        Resolution: Gain Status in the Organization that has the dirt on you and make the information disappear. Completely reorganize your Group so that it’s unrecognizable.

        Rogue Cult (Persistent)
        A group out there, perhaps affiliated with you, perhaps not, is still associating themselves with you and your organization. Whether you like it or not, their success is tied up in your own now. Whatever Conditions that Group gains also applies to yours. The Rogue Cult is its own Group and has its own character sheet, considered to have an Organization Size equal to half your own (rounded down, minimum one).
        Beat: You are seriously inconvenienced by the actions of the Rogue Cult.
        Resolution: The Rogue Cult is disbanded or destroyed oryou bring it under your control.

        Schism (Persistent)
        Group members can’t agree on what they want, what youwant, or what their faith even means. Consequently, their ability to do anythingas a united group falters as factions continually operate at cross-purposes. Halve Group Status (rounded up) for the purpose of requisitioning Merits and halve Organization Size for the purpose of additional successes and outside support.
        Beat: Something comes up where you could really use your Group’s full support
        Resolution: (Re)take control of the Group through Social Maneuvering. The Schism worsens, exchanging this Condition for Betrayed or Civil War.

        What We Do In The Shadows- Supernatural Organizations

        The word “cult” evokes a very specific image of, potentially unhinged, isolated people performing terrible acts for reasons incomprehensible to outsiders, and in the Chronicles of Darkness this is no different. You’re just as likely to run into a group of Jonestown-style fanatics as you are a group of cloaked individuals chanting unspeakable things to an eldritch abomination, but how common are cults, really? More common than you’d think. The isolated but visible groups who eventually go off the rails and end up on the news are a pretty small percentage of groups exhibiting cultic behavior. Companies, sects of mainstream religions, social clubs, fraternities, political movements, and more could all be considered cults in the right set of circumstances.

        The rules presented here are meant to be used across games in order to represent everything from street gangs to government agencies, and all the weird and wonderful supernatural examples in between. They can be a great vector for handling the power of abstract organizations, or be an important part of the story as the PCs establish religions, develop conspiracies, or set up public enterprises. Each and every Cult should be a unique part of the Chronicles of Darkness, whether it’s a troublesome Hunter cell and their allies or the mysterious servants of the God-Machine and the Deathless.

        Optional Rule: Supernatural Aid (Based off “Populating the Pack” The Pack pg. 22)
        Character Types Dice Pools Character Costs
        Average Member 5/4/2 1 Point
        Individual Member 7/6/5 2 Points
        Minor Template 5/4/2 3 Points
        Ephemeral Being (Rank 1-3) Full character 4 Points
        Major Template 7/6/5 5 Points
        When gathering the support of characters from your Group, especially if it represents a supernatural organization of one kind or another, characters have the option of summoning aid that is far more (or less, depending on your perspective) than human. Whenever you would benefit from calling for help from a Group with the Organization Size Merit, you can exchange points one-to-one using this chart. Summoned Ephemeral Beings have a Rank equal to half the dots in Organization Size, rounded up. Depending on the character being called, a Major Template could be equal to the current Player Character, follow the same guidelines as a Mentor (Player Character x 1.5), or would be the equivalent of a starting character.
        Last edited by Arcanist; 06-05-2018, 03:44 PM.

        My Homebrew Hub