Hollow Bridge House RulesEdit
As with any game, there are rules as printed in the sourcebooks, and there are rules that as dictated by the Games Master or Storyteller. This page deals with rules that have been dictated by the Storyteller.
Player Knowledge vs Character KnowledgeEdit
There are going to be times, throughout the game where situations happen involving supernatural abilities. While, as players, you will more than likely know everything printed in the core book, it needs to be brought to the forefront that your character will not necessarily know. To use an example, the Presence discipline:
All characters would know of the discipline name, and that it can affect their emotions to one degree or another. However, only characters in possession of the discipline would know the exact effects of it, and how it can be circumvented...with a few exceptions, most noteworthy being Clan Tremere with the ritual Pavis of Foul Presence in effect.
It would be greatly appreciated if you roleplayed your character correctly during any period that they may be affected by a supernatural effect by following the laid down guidelines contained within the core rulebook. If you are in any doubt about how your character may be affected, please ask me and I will do my best to assist you.
Certain Clans have organisation that should not be known by anyone from outside. Some specific examples of this are:
Nosferatu - ShreckNET
Only the Nosferatu would know of ShreckNET.
Tremere - Heirarchy
While players may know of the organisation of the Tremere, those not of the clan would now know about Apprentices, Regents, Lords, Pontifices.
Ventrue - Dignitas and Gerousia
While Ventrue are known to be stereotypically formal, anyone outside the clan would not know of the specifics of how it is organised, particularly the Ventrue Board (Gerousia).
There are probably more that I have not covered, but please try to use a common sense approach when dealing with scenes involving this information. To summarise it in one sentence:
Without the relevant Clan Knowledge (A Secondary Ability, thus not used on Hollow Bridge) your character should not know any specific information unless they belong to the Clan in question.
Timing and DistanceEdit
Also, for the purposes of travelling between the districts, each district now has a time that is required in order to traverse it, from end to end.
|City Centre||30 mins|
The times given above are if travelling by some form of motorised transport (Car, Motorcycle etc.) and are not indicative of walking. For the sake of illustration, double all times if walking.
Example: In order to travel from Jerry's Bar (Southside) to the Yacht Club (Lakeside), someone would need to spend 10 minutes to get out of Southside, 15 minutes to travel through the Suburbs, and 5 minutes to get to the Yacht Club, a total of 30 minutes travelling time.
Obviously, this excludes anyone from becoming involved in a time-critical scene within a matter of a round or two. So, if Aaron was wandering through Southside and attacked by a Sabbat Pack, any possible assistance is unlikely to arrive in time to make a difference.
Torpor Cause By WoundsEdit
I've been looking over the rules and have realised that any character who is put into Torpor through wounds is going to become unplayable. As such, I am implementing the following House Rule with immediate effect:
In the event of being put into Torpor, the character may attempt to come around. This is not an easy feat however. Following receipt of sufficient wounds, the player may roll the Character's Humanity Rating diff 8. Each success on this roll allows a point of vitae to be spent on healing wounds subject to the following restrictions:
- For each point of vitae spent after the first, a point of Willpower must also be spent.
- In order to become capable of movement, a character must heal to the Crippled Health Level.
- Once healed to this level, the character may heal in the usual manner.
Example: Aaron Goodson takes sufficient wounds to put him into Torpor (Overflow 2). He rolls his Humanity and scores 3 successes, meaning he can spend 3 vitae and 2 willpower on healing his wounds. Luckily for Aaron, this is enough to bring his Health back to the Crippled Level. He then spends 6 vitae to heal the rest of his wounds, placing him back at Uninjured.
If you have insufficient vitae to heal to Crippled, then your character will remain unconscious unless fed vitae by someone at least one Generation lower (13th Generation fed by 12th, 8th Generation fed by 7th etc.), that they are themselves. This will result in a Blood Bond.
Hunting, Feeding, and BleedingEdit
Due to easiness, the Herd Background now works the following manner on Hollow Bridge:
Each dot you possess in the Herd Background allows you to gain 1pt of Vitae per night. Characters who remain within their haven/chantry will not receive the blood each evening as personal interaction with the city is necessary in order to encounter ones Herd.
Example: Aaron has Herd 3. This gives him 3pts of vitae every evening.
If your character has no Herd rating, they must actively hunt for vitae. Hunting is now purely done on Perception.
Feeding When the character finally catches prey, they may then feed. The table below gives information on the different effects of blood loss on a Vessel, using a standard healthy human as a base:
|Amount of Vitae||Effect on Vessel|
|1-2||Vessel will be fatigued but otherwise unharmed.|
|3||Vessel will show minor signs of anaemia.|
|4||As 3, but Vessel will require medical treatment.|
|5||As 3, but Vessel will require hospitalisation.|
|6||An unhealthy Vessel may die.|
|7+||Vessel will die.|
Note: The above table does not account for animals, or children.
Feeding and Frenzy If the character catches prey, but currently has fewer blood points in her body than [7 minus Self-Control], a frenzy check (p. 228) is necessary to see if she can control her hunger. If the player fails this roll, the character continues to gorge on the vessel until she is completely sated (at full blood pool), the victim dies from blood loss, or she somehow manages to regain control of herself. If a tragedy occurs, the vampire might well lose Humanity.
If you are called upon to make a roll, and find that you have no dots in the ability asked for, you can still attempt the roll with the following penalties to your dice pool:
Talents - No penalty
Skills - 1 die penalty
Knowledges - 2 dice penalty
These penalties cannot reduce your dice pool to less than 1.
The rulebook defines a botch as a dice roll that yields no successes, and at least a single 1. That is not the interpretation for Hollow Bridge. A botch occurs when all of your successes are cancelled out by 1's and there are still 1's remaining.
Example: Narcissa attempts to alter her appearance, and rolls 10, 5, 3, 4, 7, 1, 1, 1, 1. Since her difficulty is 6, she has 2 successes. These are cancelled by two of the 1's, leaving two more 1's. This means her result is a botch.
Learning Necromancy/Thaumaturgy Paths/Rituals
Herein are the revised rules for learning Necromancy and Thaumaturgy paths and rituals. They are included here for the sake of completeness, despite the relevant Clans being on the Banned list. Some aspects of them stand to reason for other disciplines too, and may be adopted in a more global sense.
Learning Paths and Rituals This is a process to test even the most dilligent and dedicated Necromancer or Thaumaturge, and is not something that should be taken lightly. In order to even attempt such a feat, a source of information must be identified and located. There are two distinct methods by which this can be acieved:
1) Finding an Appropriate Teacher The character rolls Manipulation+Mentor at a difficulty varying on what they hope to achieve. For a New Path, the difficulty is 7. For a new ritual, the difficulty is 3+Ritual Level. In order to attempt this, the Mentor must be available and in the location.
Learning via a Mentor is the preferred option. Both parties, Mentor and Student, make extended Intelligence+Occult rolls, until a total of 10 successes are achieved by the student at a difficulty of 7 for a New Path, or 3+Ritual Level for a ritual.
2) Self Teaching from a Tome or Scroll The character rolls Intelligence+Academics to find the necessary tome or scroll in a properly prepared Occult Library, such as exists in a Chantry, at a difficulty of 7 for a New Path, or 3+Ritual Level for a ritual.
Upon locating a suitable tome or scroll, the character begins an extended Intelligence+Occult roll, until a total of 15 successes are achieved at a difficulty of 7 for a New Path, or 3+Ritual Level for a ritual.
Once the required number of successes have been achieved in either case, an amount of experience (7 for a New Path, or 1 per Level of a Ritual e.g. 2XP for a Level 2 Ritual) must be spent. This represents you character attuning the path/ritual to the power locked in their blood.
As per standard rulings, any 1's achieved will subtract from the number of successes already accumulated. If a botch is scored, all successes are lost, and there is a chance of a Necromantic or Thaumaturgical Backlash.
Backlash Necromancers and Thaumaturges both dabble with dangerous forces and, despite careful planning and attention, sometimes things go wrong. These forces are dangerous, and unpredictable and anyone who attempts such an action, and achieves a botched result, will have something bad happen. This depends on the activity being attempted, and the severity of the botch, but will be decided by the Storyteller if/when it becomes an issue.
As it has come up during a scene, this is my take on learning Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence.
You learn them as you would any other discipline, by finding a tutor. They are not inherent in the blood of every kindred. My reasoning for this is that it detracts from those who have them as Clan Disciplines, the Brujah taking a double hit on it, if just anyone can learn them without instruction.
Learning Clan Disciplines
Vampires of a specific Clan have three disciplines that are common to that Clan, the ability to use which is stored within the character. If, for example, a character of Clan Gangrel (Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Fortitude, and Protean) began the game with Animalism 3 then later wished to learn Fortitude, they need no instruction as it is a Clan discipline. They may buy the discipline normally, and may also improve on it at the standard costs.
Learning Non-Clan Disciplines
When wishing to learn a discipline not inherent to your character's Clan you must fulfil two specific criteria, which are:
1) Find someone who would be willing to teach your character the discipline,
2) Submit to a level 1 Blood Bond.
This includes Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence. The reasoning for this is that to permit Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence to be learned without a tutor would detract from the Clans who possess it as a Clan Discipline, the Brujah taking a double-hit on it as the possess Celerity and Potence.
When you are affected by a discipline, there are two methods available for knowing if you have been or not.
1) If you have the discipline at the specific level that affects you, you automatically know you are being affected by it, except in the case of Dominate 3: The Forgetful Mind, as your recollection of ever being affected by it could be completely erased.
2) If you don't have the discipline at the specific level that affects you, you may make a Wits+Occult roll diff 10-your levels in the discipline to see if you can recognise the effect. This roll is reflexive, as in it is not something your character will spend any time over, so Willpower cannot be used for an automatic success.
Example #1: Wayne is looking to make an epic speech, for which he wants the attention of everyone in the auditorium. He uses Awe and gets the required 5 successes. What Wayne didn't realise though, Anna was in the audience and Anna is another kindred. . . a Toreador as it happens. Anna is affected by Wayne's Awe, but has Presence 3: Entrancement. She recognises the effect of Awe and immediately begins attempting to resist it.
Example #2: Wayne is looking to make an epic speech, for which he wants the attention of everyone in the auditorium. He uses Awe and gets the required 5 successes. What Wayne didn't realise though, John was in the audience and John is another kindred. Poor John doesn't have Presence though, not at all but is affected by Wayne's Awe. He rolls Wits+Occult diff 10 to recognise the effect.
Example #3: Wayne is out trying to get a decent feed, but wants to try and cultivate a herd in the process. He decides he is going to use Presence 3: Entrancement to keep the ladies coming back for more. He walks up to Felicity, not realising she is a kindred, a Brujah. Felicity, however, only has Presence 1: Awe, so when the emotions begin to strike her, she rolls Wits+Occult diff 9 to see if she realises her emotions are being toyed with. Poor Wayne is in for a shock either way.
Not specifically a House Rule, but written here for the sake of clarity and completeness. Allies and Contacts are mortals the character knows. If you wish to have a Kindred contact, you should take the Mentor background.
Influence There are two methods that can be applied using Influence. They differ slightly in how they work mechanically. The first use is referred to as Direct, the second is referred to as Indirect, and they work in the following manner:
Direct - Roll = Manipulation+Influence - diff 6
As it's name suggests, Direct use of Influence involves a character becoming personally involved with the situation by making a telephone call, writing a letter/email, sending a text message, or any other method of communication that originates with the character, except for those mentioned below in Indirect.
The character is directly applying their influence, so the difficulty is reduced.
Due to the direct nature, a botch will have a serious negative effect, which could include loss of Influence, or public exposure.
Indirect - Roll = Wits+Influence - diff 8
Indirect use of Influence involves going through a third party, such as an Ally, Contact, or Retainer. Needless to say, the request still comes from the character, but applying it via one of the avenues mentioned can make it appear more subtle.
Tracing the use back to the character is more difficult due to third party involvement.
Because of the "non-personal" nature, the difficulty is increased.
Status is quite an important part of kindred society, allowing you to manipulate certain situations that may arise in the court. More on that in a moment, first you need to know how you can get Status.
Status can be gained, or lost, in a number of ways, the most common being:
The Prince may give your character an appointment, or revoke a previously awarded appointment, as a Court Officer (Seneschal, Keeper of the Elysium, Primogen etc.)
The Prince can award, or strip, Status to another Kindred by succeeding at their own Status roll. Any Kindred may contest with their own Status, unless they are on the receiving end of the attempt.
Harpies can award, or strip, Status to another Kindred by succeeding at their own Status roll. Any Kindred may contest with their own Status. This can be done only once a night (in-game) and must be done within a gathering of Kindred.
Kindred may use their Status to combat other Kindred, including the Prince and Harpies, in their social attempts or politicking.
The dice pool to reflect the use of Status is Charisma+Status when attempting to award Status or agree with a Status action attempted by another character, or Manipulation+Status when attempting to strip Status or oppose a Status action attempted by another character. The difficulty is always 8.
This may only be done within court, or within a gathering of kindred. The attempt must also have some appropriate comment from the character as to why the roll is happening. Be wary of doing this, as it means that your character is publicly announcing their intentions and may suffer retribution from opposing parties.
Ghouls are, according to the definition of the books, people with whom you have shared your vitae at least three times. The reality is a little different. Non-Kindred beings (a very loose definition) who ingest vitae become ghouls immediately after taking the first drink. For each drink they have, up to the maximum of three, their behaviour patterns will show slight signs of change, generally making them more favourable toward you until, sometimes despite themselves, they eventually love the Kindred. This process, as with most things Kindred do, takes time, and it should also be remembered that the treatment of Regnant (Kindred) of their Thrall (Ghoul) can have a dramatic impact on this process.
Alyssa finally notices someone that she decides would make an excellent addition to her permanent staff, so she begins to feed them her vitae. Over the course of time, she spends a lot of time with that person, getting to know them, understanding their motivations, and learning much about them. This makes the ghoul decide that things aren't so bad after all.
Sonja sees a person that would be useful to her, so she tricks them into consuming her vitae (damned dirty Tremere!). Over the course of time, she continues in the same manner, but spends very little time with the ghoul and, any time she does actually spend, is making the ghoul perform services for her. The ghoul resents this behaviour but can't actually resist due to having their will crushed by the bond.
You should always remember Hollow Bridge's motto. "The City Where Choice Meets Consequence". Treat your ghouls nicely, and they will love you. Treat them like slaves with no life of their own, save what you give them to do, and they may rebel or delay in assisting you. Ghouls are people too at the end of the day.
Also, as a final note, every ghoul has two dots in disciplines. The first, whether I agree with it or not, is Potence (if you'd like to know my personal opinion please ask). The second is a discipline that is common to the clan that their Regnant/Domitor is from, and that they know, but in the case of Caitiff, it is just whatever discipline they inherit. If, upon creating a ghoul, you have a specific request that they have a particular discipline, please communicate this. I will then take it under consideration and make a decision.