Game Mechanics

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Game Mechanics

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Mon August 08 05 ; 2 04 pm

Hey gang,

Okay, so, since the three of you are pretty new to the White Wolf system, I thought I'd give you all a quick run-down on how the game mechanics work. You all have very well-thought out character sheets, but whats the point if we don't know how to use them, right?

Rolls and Roleplaying
Most of this game will be dealt through roleplaying, but there will of course be times when we need to measure your character's success at a particular feat. Any time this happens, we resort to rolls.

Dice Pool
The number of dice (always d10s) that you roll is called your Dice Pool, and it is determined in most cases by pairing up an Attribute and Ability that are relevant to the task you're attempting. For example, if you were shooting someone, you would add up your Dexterity dots and your Firearms dots, and the sum would be your Dice Pool.

Just before the dice are rolled, the Story Teller (me) determines the difficulty of the task. The difficulty is a number between 1 and 10 that you are trying to beat with your roll. The standard difficulty for a roll is 6, but particularly easy tasks might be as low as difficulty (diff) 6, and hard tasks might be as high as diff 8 or more.

Success and Failure
Every die that comes up equal to or higher than the difficulty is called a Success. Any die that comes up a natural 1 NEGATES a success. Add up the successes and subtract all your 1s (if any) to find your total number of successes:

0 successes: A failure. You did not accomplish your task.
1 success: Mild success. You at least partially accomplished your task.
3 successes: Total success. You did exactly what you wanted to do.
5 successes: Overwhelming success. You somehow exceeded your expectations.

If you manage to roll at least a single natural 1, and NONE of your dice meet or exceed the difficulty, you have just Botched. Botching is bad.. it means that not only did you fail your attempt, but you actually made things worse. This is the equivalent of rolling a natural 1 in D&D, only sometimes its worse.

If you have a specialty in a relevant attribute and/or ability, and the action you're taking involves that specialty, then you may re-roll any dice that come up as natural 10s. Not only do the 10s count as ordinary successes, but you have a chance of getting additional success on the re-rolls. If your re-rolls turn up a bunch of natural 1s, you don't lose successes, so re-rolling is always a good thing. In theory you could get infinite successes if you just keep on rolling 10s.

You don't have to worry too much about the die rolls, since I'm going to be the one doing the rolling anyway. If you want to know what attributes and abilities govern what actions, just ask and I'll let you know, so that you can get a feel for how good your character is at certain actions.

If you have any questions, please ask in this forum. ^_^

Last edited by Gingerbread Guy on Thu October 27 05 ; 10 03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Kord » Mon August 08 05 ; 4 44 pm

I've read at and have no questions, it was explained very well.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Mon August 08 05 ; 4 58 pm

One thing I should mention...

You may recall me mentioning your Willpower score during character creation. Everyone has a willpower rating, measured in dots. Willpower can be used in many ways, but the most frequent is to redouble your efforts through sheer determination and confidence in order to do better at a single task.

Basicly, any time your character is REALLY REALLY trying to succeed at something, s/he may "spend" a point of Willpower to gain an automatic success on any roll.

You can regain your willpower by acting in accordance to your nature. For example, a Caregiver that spends some quality time with his family might regain a point of willpower. A Competitor who challenges someone to a contest and wins might also feel better about himself. Etc.


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Re: Game Mechanics

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Sun August 28 05 ; 1 53 pm

Okay, next thing thats probably going to be important..

Combat in White Wolf games is really not that different than in D&D. It is based around initiative rolls to determine acting order, attack rolls to determine hits and misses, and damage rolls to, well, determine damage. ^_^ Here is a more detailed rundown.

Initiative is rolled at the start of combat. Participants roll 1d10 and add their Wits and Dexterity to the result. The total value is their initiative. In normal table-top rules, initiative is rolled every round. Because its a little too time-consuming to do all those rolls online, a single initiative roll will be made for an entire combat sequence.

The major difference between D&D initiative and White Wolf initiative is that in this system, players with the worst result declare their actions FIRST, but their actions are resolved last. In other words, if you're the slowest to react, you have to announce your action first, but that action actually happens last. Participants with higher initiatives benefit by being able to chose their actions according to what you're doing (blocking your punch, shooting you before you shoot them, etc).

When a combat starts, I'll roll initiative for you and post the order in which I'd like you to declare your actions. If this slows combat too much, I'll drop the whole "declare in order" thing, but for now we'll try it. This is part of the reason why there are only three PCs in this game! I hate long combat sequences. If we ever get into a fight in which several PCs and NPCs are involved, I may try to set up a time when we can all be on MSN and resolve the combat in person.

Attack Rolls
At some point in the game you're going to want to do damage to someone else. Once initiative has been rolled, and its your turn to declare your action, you have a few options as far as attacks are concerned, but generally your dice pool is equal to your Dexterity plus a related ability (either Brawl, Melee or Firearms). For example, if you have Dex 3 and Brawl 1, you roll 4 dice if you want to punch someone.

It takes only one success on an attack roll to hit a target in most situations. Any additional successes beyond the first are called "carry-over". You get to add your carry-over to the number of damage dice you deal.

Damage Dice
If you hit your target, you deal a certain number of damage dice. You roll these dice, and for each one that comes up a 6 or higher, you deal one health level of damage. The exact number of damage dice you roll depends on the type of attack you make, or which weapon you're using. Don't forget to include carry-over (see above) in your roll.

Types of Damage
There are three types of damage: Bashing, Lethal, and Aggravated (Agg).
- Bashing damage is usually the result of blunt force trauma, such as from a punch, kick, baseball bat, or even being hit by a car.
- Lethal damage is usually from weapons, such as guns, knives, swords, etc.
- Aggravated damage is only for supernatural creatures such as vampires and werewolves that tend to be very resistant to Bashing and Lethal damage. Some attacks deal Aggravated damage to these creatures, which is particularly hard for them to resist or heal. For example, vampires take Agg from fire and sunlight. Regular mortals that take damage from these sources (such as fire) basicly treat it as Lethal.

In this system, armor doesn't make you harder to hit, it makes you more resistant to damage. Mortals are able to soak Bashing damage; when they are dealt Bashing damage, they are allowed to roll a dice pool equal to their Stamina. For each success (difficulty 6) they are allowed to cancel one health level of damage dealt to them by that attack. Mortals are not able to soak Lethal damage, but Vampires are. However, most vampires aren't able to soak Aggravated damage, so even they are not immune to destruction.

Health Levels
Instead of hit points, people have health levels (HLs). It takes only 8 HLs of damage to kill your average person. Even ancient vampires have only these 8 HLs of damage. There will be more information on health levels and healing in another post.

Types of Attacks
Here is a quick list of attacks you can make, and how they work:

This is a basic hand-to-hand attack that can actually come from a fist, elbow, palm strike or chop, depending on what form of martial art (or lack thereof) your character uses.
Dice Pool: Dexterity + Brawl
Damage: Strength (Bashing)

Weapon Strike
This is a basic attack with a melee weapon. A list of weapons will follow in another post.
Dice Pool: Dexterity + Melee
Damage: Strength + weapon variable (depends on weapon) (Lethal)

This covers kicks, knees, roundhouses, or whatever you've got, again depending on the form of martial arts you use. Kicks are somewhat more difficult to land than punches, but they do more damage.
Dice Pool: Dexterity + Brawl (Difficulty +1)
Damage: Strength +1 (Bashing)

This is a grappling/wrestling attack. If you hit with your clinch, you and your opponent are stuck in a clinch. You both have the same two options when your turns come up:
- deal damage to your opponent, no attack roll necessary. Damage dice equal to Strength, no carry-over since there was no attack roll
- break the clinch by beating your opponent in a contested Strength + Brawl roll
Dice Pool: Strength + Brawl
Damage: Strength + Carry-over (initial attack only) (Bashing)

This is just like a clinch, only neither you nor your opponent can deal damage. You may escape from a hold that you started without making a roll (you essentially let the person go).
Dice Pool: Strength + Brawl
Damage: None

This is a tripping manoever, usually performed with the legs, but sometimes with a long weapon such as a chain or staff. If you hit, not only do you deal damage, but your opponent must succeed at a Dexterity + Athletics roll (Diff 8 ) or be knocked down.
Dice Pool: Dexterity + Brawl/Melee
Damage: Strength (or Strength + weapon variable) (Bashing)

You rush your opponent, trying to knock them down. It is a clumsy attack, but it can be devastating. If you hit your opponent, you not only do damage but both you AND your target must make a Dexterity + Athletics roll (Diff 7) or fall down. Regardless of wether or not your target falls, they suffer a +1 difficulty on their actions next round due to being unbalanced.
Dice Pool: Strength + Brawl
Damage: Strength + 1 (Bashing)

This is for use with firearms, but not with other missile weapons such as throwing knives or bows and arrows.
Dice Pool: Dexterity + Firearms
Damage: Variable (depends on the gun) (Lethal)


Additionally Rules
Here are a few miscelaneous details that don't really fit under any other category:

Dodge, Block, and Parry
There are three ways to avoid being hit in combat. You can dodge attack using Dexterity + Dodge, block attacks using Dexterity + Brawl, or parry attacks using Dexterity + Melee (assuming you have a weapon in hand). Doing one of these three things is considered an action, and you must declare your action at the start of the round. For each success on your roll you subtract one success from your opponent's attack roll to hit you.

Additionally, if you successfully parry a barehanded attack using a weapon that deals Lethal damage, and your Dodge dice pool exceeds that of your attacker, you may roll any excess dice as a special, free attack roll against your attacker.

No, you can't block or parry bullets (though you can block or parry a thrown weapon).

You can take cover from ranged fire behind a solid object. Depending on how much cover you take, opponents have a harder time hitting you, but you also have a harder time firing back. Cover bonuses are listed below, representing the difficulty modifier applied to attacks made against you. Your ranged attacks suffer the same penalty +1.

Light cover (lying prone): +1 Diff
Medium cover (behind wall): +2 Diff
Heavy cover (only head exposed): +3 Diff

Multiple Actions
If you want to do several things in a combat round (which is about 3 seconds long), you take a penalty to your dice pools. Your first action in the round suffers dice penalty equal to the total number of actions you wish to accomplish. Each subsequent action in the round suffers a cumulative -1 dice pool.

For example, if you want to shoot twice in one round, your first shot is at -2 dice to hit, and the second shot is at -3 dice. If you instead want to shoot three times in one round, your first shot is at -3 dice, the next at -4 dice and the last at -5 dice. If your dice pool is reduced to 0 or less, the action automaticly fails.

Called Shots
Making a called shot is fairly simple with these rules. Depending on the size of the object you're attacking, the difficulty of your attack roll goes up. If you're aiming for a body part, your damage dice also go up accordingly:

Medium object (leg, briefcase, etc): +1 Difficulty, +0 Damage
Small object (hand, head, etc): +2 Difficulty, +1 Damage
Precise object (eye, heart, etc): +3 Difficulty, +2 Damage

You can add one die to a ranged attack roll for each round spent aiming at a single target. The maximum number of dice you can add to your roll in this manner is equal to your Perception. You must have at least one die in the appropriate skill (Firearms or Throwing/Athletics) do take advantage of this rule.

Aborting Actions
If you suddenly want to change your action in the middle of a round, you may do so if you succeed at a Willpower roll (Roll dice equal to your permanent Willpower rating versus Difficulty 6). Optionally, you may chose instead to spend a temporary point of Willpower to change your action. If you fail your roll, you have to complete your action as declared.

A character can walk, jog or run. If walking, a character can move up to 7 yards/meters per round. Jogging, a character can move up to (12 + Dexterity) yards/meters per round. Running, a character can move up to (20 + [Dexterity x 3]) yards/meters per round. You can move half your running speed and perform an action at the same time.


Combat Complications
Combat is about more than just running up to your opponent and punching them repeatedly, or peppering them with bullets from a safe distance. Here are some complications to consider.

Flanking and Rear Attacks
Characters attacking from a flanking position (ie, from the side) gain an additional die on attack pools. Those attacking from the rear gain two dice on attack pools.

Darkness and Blind Attacks
All attack rolls made in dim, but not total darkness are made at -1 dice. Attack rolls made in total darkness or when struck blind are made at -2 dice, and ranged attack rolls automatically fail.

If in a single attack you take damage (after soak) more than or equal to your Stamina rating, you are dazed and unable to act for one round.

Attacks against an immobilized but still struggling target (such as one who's held or pinned somehow) are at +2 dice. Attacks against a completely immobilized (for example, unconcious) character are automatically successfull.

If your character is knocked down, you must spend an action to stand up again. Attacks made against you are made with an extra attack die until you stand up again. Your own attacks are made at -1 dice as well.


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Re: Game Mechanics

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Fri September 16 05 ; 9 44 am

Health Levels
Instead of hit points, characters in White Wolf games have Health Levels (HLs). Every time you take a point of damage, you lose a Health Level. Worse yet, as you get more and more injured, your actions become harder and harder to carry out - you lose a certain number of dice on all dice pools (with the exception of soak rolls).

The health levels are:

You feel fine and are in as good shape as you're going to get. You may have some old bruises from damage you've recently healed, but nothing so severe that you're in any pain.

You have at least one significant injury which causes you pain, and may even be bleeding, depending on the nature of the injury and how long ago you recieved it. The pain is little enough that you can mostly ignore it when you need to.

Hurt [-1]
You suffer from some minor but painful injuries that distract you from tasks, but don't impede your movement. You lose one die on all orolls (except soak).

Injured [-1]
Your injury is serious and your movement is hampered from the pain and trauma. You might walk with a limp. Your run speed is halved, and you lose one die on all rolls (except soak).

Wounded [-2]
You have suffered some significant damage that causes you great pain and seriously limits your movements. You cannot run. You can no longer move and take an action in a round as usual. If you want to move and take an action in the same round, the movement is considered an action and you have to split your dice pool accordingly. You lose two dice on all rolls (except soak).

Mauled [-2]
You are severely injured and in intense pain. You can only hobble patheticly about at a rate of 3 yards per turn. You lose two dice on all rolls (except soak).

Crippled [-5]
You are on the verge of conciousness as a result of critical trauma and agony. You cannot stand on your own, though you can lean upright against a solid object and crawl around on the ground at a rate of one yard per turn. You lose five dice on all rolls (except soak).

You are completely incapable of movement and probably delerious or unconcious. You cannot move or take any actions.

Unconciousness and Death
If you are knocked past Incapacitated by bashing damage, you are out cold, but alive. If you are knocked past Incapacitated by lethal damage, you're dead, Jim.

Assuming you're not dead, Jim, you have a chance to heal your damage. Mortals heal naturally, but slowly. Bashing damage recovers much more quickly (from Incapacitated to Healthy in a day or two) than Lethal damage (which can take months or even years to properly heal, and usually requires trained medical attention).

Healing times listed below are cumulative. You have to heal your most serious health level first, and work your way back up to Healthy.

If you have damage from both bashing and lethal sources, the bashing health levels heal first.

Bashing Healing Times
Bruised - one hour
Hurt - one hour
Injured - one hour
Wounded - one hour
Mauled - three hours
Crippled - six hours
Incapacitated - twelve hours

Lethal Healing Times
Bruised - one day
Hurt - three days
Injured - one week
Wounded - one month
Mauled - two months
Crippled - three months
Incapacitated - five months

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Re: Game Mechanics

Post by jeomancer20 » Wed January 07 09 ; 6 36 am

The mechanics was to easy and quite difficult. This must be challenging because they are plenty of mission that needs to be accomplish.

Deals Life

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