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    Rules in Brief

Herein follows a short description of White Wolfs Storyteller System, to tease the gamer appetites of those of you who are considering buying the pen and paper game, after seeing the excellence that is Redemption.

The rule system used by all of the World of Darkness games has been developed to promote good role-playing and, as far as possible, eliminate the 'rule lawyer factor'. This is made possible by a very simplistic set of rules, which can be customized by adding complications for specific events. The rule system requires a ten-sided die. Also take a look at the basic Vampire Character Sheet, which can be found here:

Nature and Demeanor

The character's Nature describes his personality; how he views himself and the world, and what type of goals he has for himself. The Demeanor is the personality he presents to the world (we all have a fašade of some sort that we show outwards, this is our Demeanor).

Attributes and Abilities

Your character is described by a set of nine Attributes divided into three groups: Physical(Strength, Dexterity and Stamina), Social (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance) and Mental (Perception, Intelligence and Wits). These are then combined with an Ability. There are 30 Abilities, the also divided into three groups: Talents, Skills and Knowledges. These thirty Abilities do cover most of the situations that can arise during a game, but if you feel they are lacking, it is very easy to simply add a skill, without it causing any imbalance to the actual game. All of these are rated on a 1 to 5 scale (where 5 is the maximum of what is humanly possible). If a vampire happens to be of lower generation, he may go over 5 in his attributes and skill, and if he happens to be Caine himself, he just might be able to push his rating to a 10, if he tries.

When taking an action, you combine the appropriate Attribute and Ability, thereby getting a number from one to ten (can be more of you happen to play a REALLY old vampire). This number indicates the number of die you can use for your action. You then roll the die, against a target difficulty, usually between two and 10. If you roll under the difficulty, the roll has failed. If you roll a one, that roll has 'botched'. A botch not only fails that die, but also cancels another success.

The number of successful die, determine how well you succeed. Even one successful die, means that you have achieved your goal, though marginally. Two or three successes mean that you succeeded as was planned, and four or five successes means you did much better than expected. If you 'botch' the entire roll, meaning that you have more botched die, than successful, then you not only fail, but you fumble, and almost invariably, something bad happens.

Example: Jack wants to jump from a roof of one building to the roof of another. He has a Dexterity rating of 4, and an Acrobatics rating of 2. The jump is not that far, but it is very dark, and rather windy, so the Storyteller assigns a target difficulty of seven. Jack rolls six die and gets 6, 2, 1, 9, 7 and 5. From this roll, he gains two successes, but as he has also rolled a botched one of the die (he has one 1), it cancels out one of the successes. He is therefore left with one success. Jack makes the jump, but almost falls, and is hanging on to the other roof by his fingers.


The Disciplines represent the vampires' mystic abilities, empowered by the vitae in their blood. The Disciplines may be used as such, by spending blood, though they sometimes may require a dice roll, using some of the vampire's skill.

The Backgrounds

The Backgrounds are the advantages your character may have gained in their past, or present life. Things such as allies, resources, contacts and your influence are described here. They are made more alive, if they are woven into your characters background story, and given names, faces and detail.


These are very important to your character in the game. The virtues describe your characters moral strengths and weaknesses. Conscience is rolled to see if the character loses Humanity (this is called Conviction of the vampire is following one of the Paths, instead of using Humanity). Self-control is rolled to overcome the lure of the Beast, when hungry, or in hard-pressed situations (called Instinct if you use one of the Paths). Courage is rolled to see if the vampire can withstand seeing the sun, or open fire, without panicking.


The Path is the characters system of belief, and shows how strictly he adheres to this code of ethics. All vampires start with the Path of Humanity, but as they go along, they may change their Path, to something alien, maybe more close to the vampiric nature. Whenever the vampire is confronted with a situation that makes him go against this system of belief, he must make a Humanity roll, to see if he loses a dot of Humanity. This is very significant, because if he ever loses all of his dots in Humanity, he loses control to the inner Beast that is in every vampire, and is forever lost to the world of rage and bloodlust.


Willpower plays an important part in the Storyteller system, and is very versatile in its use. Many resist rolls are made with Willpower, and it is also necessary in the usage of several of the mystic Disciplines. You can also spend a temporary Willpower point (this is why there is one set of circles and one set of boxes on the character sheet; one for temporary Willpower, and one for permanent) to gain an automatic success; thereby automatically winning the skill roll. Willpower lost in such a manner, cannot be used in Willpower rolls, until regained. Your Storyteller may also announce that you do something out of instinct or reflex; this can be avoided by spending a temporary point of Willpower.

Regaining Willpower is only possible at such times, when the characters have time to rest or restore their self-confidence. When ending a game session, all of characters' temporary Willpower is returned to them. You may also gain Willpower (at the Storytellers option) whenever you manage to achieve something important, or whenever you act according to your Nature.

A short description; incomplete in many ways. If you are still interested in learning more, I suggest you run along over to the White Wolf web page and read the Quickstart, and some of the excerpts that can be found there. White Wolf also sells their products through an online store located on their site.

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