Monday, May 17, 2010

World of Darkness

The World of Darkness is perhaps one of the best-known games around. Made by White Wolf Game Studio, the current version of the World of Darkness is the second, often referred to as the 'new' World of Darkness. Essentially, what the game is about is this: you play, at least in the basic version of World of Darkness, a normal person. Somehow, you have seen something you shouldn't have, and the world has been blown wide open to you; you realize the supernatural is real, and in some cases is all around you. There are creatures that live in the shadows and hide themselves away from humanity, things like ghosts and spirits, werewolves and vampires. Some of them prey on humanity; some of them use humanity; some of them simply try to avoid humanity. But you know that there is something out there now, and you don't know that you an hide anymore.

World of Darkness uses White Wolf's Storyteller system, which is generally pretty easy to grasp; most rolls within the system involve combining the numbers of an attribute and a skill, then rolling that number of dice in an attempt to hit a target number. For a basic character, the amount of points you get to make your character are small: there are three categories of Attributes, each with three Attributes. Mental attributes are Intelligence, Wits, and Resolve; Physical attributes are Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina; Social attributes are Presence, Manipulation, and Composure. Each Attribute starts with one points, then you get additional points; 5 for one category, 4 for a second, and 3 for the third. I think I'll try to make a journalist who's finding out there's more to his stories than he knows, and so I'll go for Social first, Mental second, and Physical third. So I'll make his Presence 3, Composure 3, Manipulation 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 2, Strength 2, Dexterity 2, and Stamina 2. Then I move on to Skills; there are again three categories of Skills, and they get points divided by 11/7/4. For Social skills, I'll take Empathy 2, Intimidation 2, Persuasion 2, Socialize 3, and Streetwise 2. For Mental skills, I want Computers 2, Investigation3, and Occult 2. Finally, for Physical skills, I'll take Athletics 1, Brawl 1, Drive 1, and Larceny 1. I then get three Skill Specialties; I'll take a specialty in Crime Scenes for Investigation, Lies for Empathy, and Bar Hopping for Socialize. Then I determine some derived stats; Defense (which is the lower of Dexterity or Wits, so 2), Health (Staminas plus Size, so 7), Initiative (Dexterity plus Composure, or 5), Morality (7 for starting characters), Size (5 for normal humans), Speed (Strength + Dexterity + 5, or 9), Willpower (Resolve + Composure, or 5), and a Virtue and a Vice; I'll choose Hope for a Virtue and Pride for a Vice. Then, finally, I have 7 points to spend on Merits; I'll take Eidetic Memory, Barfly, Striking Looks, and Iron Stomach. So, the final character will look something like this:

Rob Stirling
Concept: Nightstalker journalist
Virtue: Hope
Vice: Pride

Intelligence 2
Wits 3
Resolve 2
Strength 2
Dexterity 2
Stamina 2
Presence 3
Manipulation 2
Composure 3

Computers 2
Investigation 3 (Specialty: Crime Scenes)
Occult 2
Athletics 1
Brawl 1
Drive 1
Larceny 1
Empathy 2 (Specialty: Lies)
Intimidation 2
Persuasion 2
Socialize 3 (Specialty: Bar-Hopping)
Streetwise 2

Size 5
Speed 9
Initiative 5
Defense 2
Health 7
Willpower 5
Morality 7

Eidetic Memory
Striking Looks (2 points)
Iron Stomach

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