Common Actions

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Pablo Picasso
“Suit the action to the word, and the word to the action.”
William Shakespeare
“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.”
William James

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The Decanter rules’ system for attempted actions is fairly simple: you roll your dice pool against a DC set by the GM, and:

• a botch means you fail and something extra goes wrong
• a setback means you fail or succeed with a cost
• a success means you succeed
• extra successes mean extra things go right

The GM can model pretty much any attempted action by PCs under this format.

This page, then, exists to outline botch/setback/success/ex. success outcomes for a variety of commonly attempted actions that have come up over play, and to give players a sense of what they can typically expect.


Combat


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Combat is the dirty business of hurting people—breaking bones, pulling triggers, and generally trying to fuck up your opposition before they do the same to you.

Dice Pool: Varies by attack used.
Physical Attacks: (Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina) + (Brawl, Firearms, or Melee). Remember that Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence add to Physical Attributes.
Occult Attacks: (power’s dice pool)
DC: (1/2 opponent’s physical or occult attack dice pool) + 1.
Take Half: Usually only against significantly inferior opposition

Roll Results

Botch: Your opponent defeats and subdues you, and can give you the Injured Condition at any penalty up to -6. You’re at their mercy.

Setback: You fail to defeat your opponent, who can give you the Injured Condition up to -5. However, you can roll to escape the fight (see “Escaping” below). Alternatively, you might defeat your opponent, but cause unwanted collateral damage, lose an ally, kill an opponent you’d meant to take alive, take a Debt to someone for their help, get into a second fight, or achieve some other victory with a price.

Success: You defeat your opponent and can give them the Injured Condition at any penalty up to -6. They’re at your mercy. Some opponents may take an additional dice roll to stop from escaping.

Even the winner can get hurt during a fight. You also take the Injured Condition at a penalty equal to (combat’s DC, maximum -5). If your opponent has a Supernatural Tolerance score of 1 or more, you also increase your Hunger by an amount equal to the combat’s DC: most vampires burn through vitae to heal injuries and accomplish stupendous physical feats when they fight each other. Alternatively, the GM might let you take a Condition.

Extra Successes: For every success that exceeds the DC, reduce your penalty from Injured and your Hunger increase by 1. The GM can have other beneficial things happen instead.

Many additional factors can influence how a combat plays out.


Other Combat Factors


Bonuses & Penalties

Allies: Allies can grant characters a bonus on their combat roll up to +5, per the normal rules for Aid Another.

Ambushes: If you ambush an opponent who doesn’t see you coming, take Advantage on your combat roll. If an opponent ambushes you, take Disadvantage. Some ambushes may require dice rolls to stage.

Banes: Knowledge of an applicable bane grants Advantage on combat rolls against an opponent.

Environmental Features: Environmental features, such as fighting under heavy darkness or underwater can grant Advantage or Disadvantage on combat rolls. Particularly extreme environmental features may grant Major Advantage or Disadvantage.

Escaping

You can always try to cut your losses and run instead of standing and fighting. The usual dice pool to outrun an opponent or catch a fleeing opponent is (Dexterity or Stamina) + Athletics, but this can vary by circumstance and environment. The DC varies by opponent. On a success, you escape your opponent or prevent your opponent from escaping. Some supernatural powers can make escaping easier or even waive the need for a roll if one side has no way of countering them.

Extended Combats

If the GM wants a longer combat, they can call for three dice rolls instead of one: Strength + (combat Skill), Dexterity + (combat Skill), and Stamina + (combat Skill). Add up all of your rolled successes. The DC changes to 1/2 opponent’s (Strength + Dexterity + Stamina + triple their combat Skill) + 3. Calling for three different Attribute rolls is meant to reflect the fact that a character with Strength 4/Dexterity 4/Stamina 4 is more likely to triumph over one with Strength 1/Dexterity 5/Stamina 1 (and to address the recurrent player criticism that “well-rounded” characters fared more poorly in combats than hyper-specialized ones).

Characters can mix and match occult attacks with physical ones: for example, if their Strength + Melee and Stamina + Melee pools are both 10, their Intelligence + Wits + Blood Sorcery pool is 7, and their Dexterity + Melee pool is 5, they could roll their highest three of those four pools. It can pay to master diverse avenues of attack.

The GM will typically call for extended combats against foes with equal, near-equal, or superior combat traits. Significantly weaker foes, or particularly brief fights, can be abstracted to a single roll. Wait for the GM to describe the results of each dice roll before making additional ones, unless he calls for all three rolls at once.

Frenzy

Vampires who get into fights can risk frenzy. Roll Resolve + Composure (DC = combat’s DC) to resist. Vampires without any combat training (dots in Brawl or Melee) take Disadvantage. Fights where the vampire is calm and significantly outclasses their opposition, or fights threats the vampire knows aren’t “real” (e.g., practice sparring matches), may not risk frenzy.

Frenzy can actually be advantageous in fights, since the vampire takes Advantage on combat rolls and never takes penalties from the Injured Condition. However, a frenzying vampire always kills defeated foes (Kindred foes are usually torpored), never retreats or uses intelligent tactics, can turn on allies, and has no concern for the Masquerade.

Mind over Matter

Not every fight comes down to who’s physically stronger. Characters able to effectively get inside their opponents’ heads may be able to substitute Mental or Social traits for Physical ones, depending on the fight’s environment and what sort of leverage the character has. “Winning” such a fight may not even involve physically defeating an opponent, but eroding their will and convincing them to give up the fight.

Multiple Opponents

When PCs face multiple opponents, the GM can simply increase the fight’s DC by a variable amount depending on the numbers and relative deadliness of the opponents. PCs who foolishly confront large numbers of supernaturally potent foes by themselves, vice mere mortals (e.g., a PC who wants to solo a pack of werewolves, or the sheriff and all three hounds at once), will face outlandishly high DCs that start at 8 and can climb far higher: singlehandedly defeating entire werewolf packs is a strenuous feat even for methuselahs. (Escaping large numbers of opponents, however, is usually a much lower DC feat than defeating them.)

Large-scale fights involving mass numbers of combatants on both sides are generally abstracted, with PCs only “rolling against” a smaller number of named adversaries at a more reasonable DC. If the PC fares well, their allies can be assumed to enjoy similar success.

Weapons & Armor

Bringing a knife to a gun fight can be a fatal mistake. If you’re carrying a superior grade of weaponry to your opponent, take Advantage on your combat roll (or Disadvantage if your opponent is better-armed than you). If you’re wearing a superior grade of armor, take Advantage on your combat roll (or Disadvantage if your opponent is better-armored than you). Weapons and armor come in several broad categories, from worst to best:

Weapons
• Unarmed melee attacks
• One-handed melee weapons (knives, brass knuckles, etc.)
• Two-handed melee weapons (swords, axes, etc.)
• One-handed firearms
• Two-handed firearms
• Automatic firearms

Armor
• Light armor (archaic leather armor, modern biker leathers). Advantage does not apply vs. firearms.
• Heavy archaic armor (e.g., full plate). Advantage does not apply vs. firearms. Take Disadvantage on many non-Firearms • • Dexterity rolls.
• Heavy modern armor (e.g., riot gear). Take Disadvantage on many non-Firearms Dexterity rolls.

Remember that multiple instances of Advantage stack. For example, a police officer wearing full riot gear and carrying a firearm takes Major Advantage on rolls against an unarmed protester. On the other hand, an unarmored protester with a gun against an unarmed officer in riot gear cancel each others’ Advantage out.

Vampires, thanks to their Dead Flesh ability, always take Advantage on rolls to resist harm from unarmed attacks and firearms. Vampires with Potence also don’t ever take Disadvantage for being unarmed.


Detect Lies


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If you think an NPC is lying to you (or making selective omissions, or otherwise being less than fully honest), you can roll to see through their bullshit.

The GM may sometimes prompt players to make this roll (usually in disguise, so as not to give away that an NPC is lying), but will not always do so: it’s up to players to decide when their characters are suspicious of an NPC’s truthfulness. This mirrors how PCs are not required to roll Subterfuge for every single falsehood they tell, either.

Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy or Subterfuge.
DC: (1/2 subject’s [Composure or Manipulation + Subterfuge]) + 1.
Take Half: Yes

Roll Results

Botch: As setback, and you gain a Bestial Compulsion.

Setback: The GM will tell you that you sense no deception. If you still believe the subject is being dishonest, you’re free to play your PC accordingly.

Success: The GM will tell you that you sense no deception (if the subject is being honest) or that you do (if they’re not) and some basic information about the subject’s state of mind or intentions towards you.

Extra Successes: For every extra success, you can ask the GM another question about the subject.


Disguises


“If they have straight hair, make it curly. If they’re young, give them a few streaks of gray. It also helps to change the way they walk or talk by putting a brace on their leg or an ‘artificial palate’ in their mouth. Americans have a certain way of standing—weight on one foot or the other—and if they’re trying to pass themselves off as European, it helps if they stand squarely on both feet. Good disguises are almost always ‘additive;’ you can make someone taller, heavier, or older, but ‘we can’t go the other direction.’”
Jonna Mendez, ex-CIA disguise chief

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Although the Obfuscate Discipline and Vicissitude line of Protean Devotions are the two most iconic (and extremely effective) means for vampires to disguise themselves, characters can do so through perfectly mundane means as well. The right clothes, prosthetics, makeup, and—most importantly—attitude can make someone look like a completely different individual.

Assembling a disguise doesn’t take an immediate dice roll. Instead, you roll whenever you encounter someone suspicious or do something to draw attention: until you test it, you can’t be completely sure how good your disguise is. The GM may make this roll for players in secret.

Dice Pool: (Wits or Manipulation) + Subterfuge. If someone else is preparing your disguise, roll their Subterfuge instead of yours.
DC: (1/2 observer’s [Wits + Empathy or Subterfuge]) + 1. Roll once and compare the result against every observer’s DC: some may see through the disguise and some may not.
Time: It takes around half an hour to do a good disguise. Rushing the process down to a few minutes imposes Disadvantage.
Take Half: No. There’s always an element of uncertainty with disguises.

Roll Results

Botch: Your disguise doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and something else goes wrong, such as the disguise falling apart at the worst possible moment and revealing who you really are.

Setback: Your disguise doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Whoever’s observing you thinks you aren’t who you’re presenting yourself to be.

Success: Your disguise stands up to scrutiny. Whoever’s observing you accepts that you are who you’re presenting yourself to be.

Extra Successes: Your disguise stands up to scrutiny and something else goes right that assists your cover. The benefit is proportionate to the number of extra successes.

Other Factors

Familiarity: If you’re impersonating a specific individual, the DC takes the following modifiers depending on how well observers know the individual.

• -1 DC: Doesn’t know on sight
• +0 DC: Recognizes on sight
• +1 DC: Friend or associate
• +2 DC: Close friend
• +3 DC: Intimate

Physical Differences: It’s easier to disguise yourself as someone similar-looking to your true appearance. The following modifiers can make your disguise’s final DC go up or down.

• -2 DC: Minor details only
• -1 DC: Appropriate uniform or costume
• +1 DC: Different age
• +1 DC: Different race
• +1 DC: Different sex

Mundane Disguises vs. Disciplines: Disciplines offer a number of advantages to supplement (or substitute for) mundane disguises.

Auspex: Auspex adds to a character’s Perception pools, which increases the DC to fool them with disguises. Vampires with preternatural senses are harder to fool.

Celerity: The Posthaste line of Devotions can allow a vampire to rapidly assemble disguises in a fraction of the normal time.

Obfuscate: Obfuscate offers many advantages over mundane disguises. The Discipline takes no dice roll to physically disguise yourself (the mimicked likeness is flawless) and doesn’t require a disguise kit or half hour in a secure location to disguise oneself: the infiltrator can don or shed their assumed visage in an eyeblink. However, Auspex can see through Obfuscate (unlike mundane disguises) and many Devotions require Rouse checks.

Presence: Presence does not directly facilitate mundane disguises, but many of its Devotions can cloud observers’ judgments and make them less suspicious of impostors.

Protean: The Vicissitude line of Devotions, when used to disguise someone, use a (Intelligence, Wits, or Manipulation) + (Medicine or Subterfuge) + Protean dice roll, which is a bigger dice pool (and has more possible trait combinations) than mundane disguise techniques get. Vicissitude requires a dice roll that Obfuscate doesn’t, but Auspex also can’t see through Vicissitude like it can Obfuscate.

There is no also no DC increase to look like a different age, race, or sex, since the vampire is not relying on makeup or prosthetics: the changes to the subject’s body are tissue-deep and completely real. Significant bodily alterations take more time to sculpt than minor alterations, however.

Fleshcraft-produced masks (which we’ve seen come up in-game) allow someone to pull them on for a quick disguise, rather than taking half an hour. However, the vampire doesn’t add their Protean dots to the subject’s disguise roll, and the DC increases for a different age, race, or sex still apply. Re-sculpting someone’s flesh is a more effective disguise than pulling on a mask.


Eavesdropping


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Dice Pool: Dexterity + Stealth. Stamina can apply instead if the character is lying in wait rather than sneaking up.
DC: (1/2 highest target’s [Wits + Composure]) + 1 or varies by situation.
Take Half: Usually not

Roll Results

Botch: You get caught without seeing or hearing anything valuable.

Setback: You see or hear a valuable detail, but you get caught too.

Success: You see or hear a valuable detail without getting caught.

Extra Successes: You see or hear an extra detail for every additional success.

You can choose to eavesdrop for even longer than this and to pick up as many additional details as you want: however, each detail requires another eavesdropping roll at a cumulative +1 DC not to get caught.

Other Factors

Disciplines: Some supernatural powers, such as Obfuscate, can waive the need for an eavesdropping roll altogether. The character can pick up as many details as they want unseen if the target can’t perceive them. Clan Nosferatu (the only clan besides the Malkavians to have Obfuscate in-clan) is notorious for using the Discipline to snoop on private conversations between Kindred.

Stealth: Eavesdropping is a valid Specialty for Stealth. Many Nosferatu have it.


Hunting


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Dice Pool: Varies by method used. For example, Charisma + Socialize might represent a lusty tryst at a nightclub, Stamina + Athletics could suggest a harrowing chase across a swath of city parkland, and Wits + Streetwise might be interpreted as a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Declare what Attribute + Skill combination you’re using when you make a hunting roll. Domain always applies as a bonus, and Fame often can too. Remember bonuses cap at +5.
DC: Varies by circumstance and method used. Some are better than others. See below for some sample DCs.
Time: Roughly one hour.
Take Half: No

Roll Results

Botch: Something goes disastrously wrong. You might still get access to a vessel, but dealing with the crisis at hand is probably more pressing.

Setback: Something goes wrong. You get access to a vessel, but there’s a complication to deal with too. Alternatively, you might not find a vessel and be left hungry.

Success: You obtain access to a single vessel. You can feed as lightly or deeply from them as you want.

Extra Success: For every extra three successes, you obtain access to an additional vessel. Alternatively, you might find a vessel with a dyscrasia or only take a few minutes to obtain the vessel (instead of an hour).


Sample Hunting Methods


Early evening is around 6 PM (and only available for vampires to hunt during fall and winter). Mid-evening is around 8 PM. Late evening is 10 PM. Midnight is midnight. Last call is around 2 AM. Dead of night is around 4 AM. Pre-dawn is around 6 AM. Vampires who hunt during pre-dawn most roll to get back to their havens before the sun comes up (DC varies by how distant their haven is). On a setback, they’re burned by the sun and take Injured at a penalty equal to (DC – rolled successes), maximum -5.

Clubbing: This is the classic. The vampire goes to a nightclub and picks someone up under guise of sex.

• Friday, Saturday: DC 2.
• Sunday, Thursday: DC 3.
• Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: DC 4.

• Early evening: +3 DC.
• Mid-evening: +2 DC.
• Later evening: +1 DC.
• Midnight: +0 DC.
• Last call: +0 DC.
• Dead of night: +1 DC.
• Pre-dawn: +2 DC.

Sandmaning: You break into someone’s home and feed from them while they’re asleep. Dice pool is usually Dexterity + Stealth or Larceny.

• Weekday: DC 2.
• Weekend: DC 3. People are more likely to stay up late.

• Early evening: +4 DC.
• Mid-evening: +3 DC.
• Late evening: +2 DC.
• Midnight: +1 DC.
• Last call: +0 DC.
• Dead of night: +1 DC.
• Pre-dawn: +2 DC.


Other Factors


Company: Vampires don’t have to hunt by themselves. They can bring others along too. Many Kindred lovers and coterie-mates enjoy the experience of hunting and sharing a vessel’s together. Ghouls, meanwhile, can act as “wingmen” to assist their domitors’ hunts. Mortals can theoretically serve as “wingmen” too, but this obviously risks the Masquerade.

Hunting with company uses the normal rules for Aid Another. If you go hunting with other vampires, divide any Hunger slaked between all participants.

Debts: A single Debt is worth the procurement of a single vessel, for the vampire to do as they please with. It’s also worth a single use of the vampire’s herd or a single night to freely hunt in their domain.

Poaching: If you hunt in someone else’s domain, roll with a bonus equal to their Domain dots. To avoid getting caught, roll (Dex or Wits + Stealth or Streetwise) at a DC equal to (1 + Hunger slaked).

Proxy Hunting: If you want to hunt for someone else, increase the DC by +2. On a success, you bring them one vessel at full health. Every additional three successes lets you bring them an additional vessel. Many vampires task their ghouls with hunting for them when they can’t be bothered to themselves (or if they’re particularly in need of blood).

Repeated Hunting: If you make multiple hunting rolls in the same night, increase the DC by a cumulative +1 for using the same strategy or dice pool, as well as for hunting at the same locale. Add variety to your hunts.

Ventrue clan bane: Ventrue can only feed from a subset of vessels. At the GM’s discretion, some areas might raise or lower hunting DCs. For example, a feeding restriction of college students might be +0 DC at an on-campus event, +1 DC in a college neighborhood, +2 DC in “average” neighborhoods, and +3 or higher DC in neighborhoods with particularly low rates of college attendance. In this manner, where a Ventrue makes their domain becomes important rather than window dressing.


Intruding in Domains


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Most Kindred require other vampires and ghouls passing through their territory to present themselves (at least if they aren’t trusted allies). They’ll also freely deny permission to Kindred they don’t want in their territory. Licks who expect to be refused, or who simply don’t want their intentions in the area known, know better than to ask. So they sneak in.

Despite the propaganda of regents, this is actually not very hard to do. Although many domain holders send ghouls, vassal Kindred, or other servants to patrol their domains (or do so themselves) on a regular basis, they cannot be everywhere at once, or be on patrol all of the time. Domain holders tend to place their highest security around high-value sites (e.g., Perdido House) or their domain’s borders, and catch what they can the rest of the time.

Getting in and out once is easy. But like shoplifting, the more times you do it and the more careless you get, the more likely you are to get caught.

Typical punishment for intruding in a domain without permission is a Debt, a partial blood bond, or a brutal beating. Some domain holders impose harsher punishments, especially on political enemies.

Dice Pool: Wits + Stealth or Streetwise
DC: Varies by how conspicuous the character’s actions are.
• A quick in and out might be only DC 2.
• Visiting a mortal relative who lives somewhere not under the domain holder’s surveillance and doing nothing besides talking talking might only be DC 2, even if the intruder stays hours.
• On the other hand, actions like stealing something of value, killing large numbers of people, or entering a more closely monitored location are likely to have much higher DCs.
• Infiltrating especially high-security locations (e.g., Perdido House, the Evergreen Plantation) is likely to be its own contest with its own series of rolls.
Take Half: No
Note: The GM will usually make this roll for players in secret once they enter the domain, so they cannot be sure how much wiggle room they have to do their business once they’re inside. Players who want to spend Story Points should tell the GM so.

Roll Results

Botch: You get caught as soon as soon as you enter the domain, before you even have a chance to do whatever you came to do. Alternatively, you get caught after you do so, but something else goes wrong. For instance, you might run into a domain’s regent instead of their patrolling lackeys. The GM will decide what.

Setback: You get caught after you do whatever you came to the domain to do.

Success: You get into the domain, have time to do whatever you came to do, and get out without being caught.

Extra Successes: You don’t get caught and something else goes right. For instance, you might catch some of the domain holder’s servants in a compromising position, or obtain information on when patrols are most active (making future infiltrations easier). The GM will decide what. The more extra successes, the better.

Other Factors

Obfuscate: This Discipline is very useful for infiltrating domains undetected. If a character gets a setback on the above roll, then the effects of whatever Obfuscate Devotion they’re using will come into play against whoever catches them. For example, if the character is using Face in the Crowd and doesn’t draw attention to themselves, they probably get overlooked if whoever catches them doesn’t have Auspex (or has Auspex, but the PC rolls well on their Clash of Wills). Higher-level Devotions, such as Cloak of Night, can have even more potent effects. Essentially, Obfuscate can give you a second chance if you get caught.


Know Information


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Whenever you want to see if your PC knows something about a given topic, roll this. A couple recent topics asked about by players (as of this writing) have included:

“Where does [Kindred X] like to hang out?” (Int + Socialize or Streetwise)
“Is taking [Action X] likely to get me in trouble with [Kindred Y]?” (Int + Politics)
“How do thin-bloods in B&B’s setting develop Disciplines?” (Int + Occult)
“What vampire claims domain over [Area X]?” (Int + Politics or Streetwise)
“What is the proper title to address [Kindred X] by?” (Int + Socialize)
“Do vampires have dreams while in torpor?” (Int + Occult)

Dice Pool: Intelligence + (relevant Mental Skill). Socialize can also be used for questions of Kindred etiquette. Streetwise is also usable for a few few topics, as shown in the above examples.
DC: Varies by obscurity of the information, as well as how much prior experience your PC conceivably has with the topic.
Take Half: Yes

Roll Results

Botch: You remember misinformation: the GM will tell you what. Lose 1 Story Point if you don’t act on this misinformation within the scene. Alternatively, gain a Bestial Compulsion.

Setback: You can ask the GM one question about the topic, but there is a 50% chance your answer will be a lie. The GM will roll a die in secret to determine this. Alternatively, you just don’t remember anything.

Success: You can ask the GM one question about the topic. You can ask more questions than this, but there is a 50% chance your answer to each one will be a lie. The GM may choose to preemptively spend player successes on particularly relevant pieces of information about the topic.

Extra Successes: You can ask the GM an extra question for every extra success.

Other Factors

Obtaining More Information: Know Information is a purely “off the top of your PC’s head” roll. If you want more information than the results of your dice roll, your PC is free to hit a library or database to research a topic in more depth, as well as to consult NPCs who may know more about a topic.


Massage


“The thing about the spa/salon industry (idk how much you guys have been) is that people treat their providers like a therapist. They say all sorts of crazy things to us because they either trust us, they’re relaxed, or they think they’ll never see us again, etc. ‘Salon gossip’ was a major part of my pitch. […] For example, I think I already shared this, but there was an incident where the first thing a client said to me was, ‘My mom used to beat me,’ and she went on about how her mom hated her and starved her and she was still bulimic, etc. And I had said literally nothing to her at this point, I was about 5 minutes into the massage."
“There have been times people told me they were cheating on their spouses, doing shady shit at work, people have taken ‘business calls’ that were basically drug deals in front of me, I learned a shitton about some guy’s job as a bookie and who owed him money, people talk to me about their views on politics, some guy told me that he doesn’t think his daughter is a ‘real woman’ because she’s adopting rather than giving birth.”
“And this is all during a service that’s supposed to be quiet. When the salon I work at was set up differently, pre-Covid, I heard all sorts of juicy stuff from the people who were getting lashes done in the room next to mine. You’re laying there for an hour with your eyes closed with a girl you see every two weeks—you just unload. It’s crazy what people say. Seriously crazy.”
Celia Flores’ player

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These rules are unlikely to be relevant to any PC besides Celia, but they’re up just for her.

Prerequisite: The character needs to be a trained masseur with Medicine 1+ and the Massage Specialty in either Empathy or Medicine.
Dice Pool: (Dexterity or Manipulation) + (Empathy or Medicine)
DC: (1/2 target’s [Resolve + Composure]) + 1 or varies by how reticent they are about a topic. DCs for vampires and ghouls who know their masseur is a vampire are likely to be higher, given the distrust inherent to the undead.
Take Half: Yes

Roll Results

Success: For every success that meets or exceeds the DC, the character opens up about themselves in a significant way: spilling a piece of juicy gossip, talking about a past trauma, etc.

As with all dice rolls, the GM will only call for rolls especially significant or secret info. It’s probably a matter of course that average mortals on the massage table will open up about themselves, given the social dynamic Celia’s player describes. We don’t need to bother rolling dice for that. Indeed, it’s pretty unlikely we’ll use these rules too many times at all, at least by themselves. They are mainly here to provide the “skeleton” which several of Celia’s massage-focused Devotions further enhance.


Resisting Sway


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Dominate, Presence, and other forms of supernatural mind control can compel PCs to do things against their will. But what about mundane sources of coercion and temptation, such as a seductive vampire wanting to lure characters into a lusty tryst, a persuasive salesman trying to cinch a killer (to him) deal, or a chemical dependency upon an addictive substance?

In many cases, the GM will simply let players decide their PCs’ responses through roleplay. In other cases, however, the GM may call for dice rolls to lend some more “oomph” to whatever is attempting to sway a PC’s actions.

Dice Pool: Resolve + Composure. (Charisma or Manipulation) + (applicable Skill) can also potentially be used if the PC is trying to persuade or coerce another character into doing something.
DC: Varies by situation. NPCs directly attempting to sway a PC’s actions are (1/2 NPC’s [relevant Attribute + Skill]) + 1.
Take Half: No

Roll Results

Botch: You give in to whatever is trying to sway you and something else goes wrong. For example, a vampire who tries to seduce you into sharing blood with them (becoming one step bound) might also turn out to be an enemy who tries to stake you while you’re vulnerable.

Setback: You can only resist whatever is trying to sway you with great effort of will. If you don’t give in, you take some kind of mechanical penalty, such as losing (DC – rolled successes) Story Points or taking Disadvantage on an imminent dice roll. For example, a vampire who tries to seduce you into sharing blood with them (becoming one step bound) might cost two Story Points to refuse.

Success: You resist whatever is trying to sway you at no cost. For example, you can share blood with the vampire who’s trying to seduce you without becoming blood bound to them, or simply refuse altogether.

Extra Successes: You resist whatever is trying to sway you, and something else goes right. For example, you might take your extra successes as a bonus on your roll to seduce the vampire who tried to seduce you into consuming your own blood, becoming one step bound.


Read Someone


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Roll this when you want insight into an NPC’s thoughts, motives, and general behavior.

Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy.
DC: 2. If the subject is actively trying to conceal their feelings, the DC is (1/2 subject’s [Composure + Subterfuge]) + 1. Certain topics can raise or lower the DC.
Take Half: Yes

Roll Results

Botch: You misread the subject and come away with a false belief: the GM will tell you what. Lose 1 Story Point if you don’t act on this belief within the scene. Alternatively, gain a Bestial Compulsion.

Setback: You can ask the GM one question about the subject, but there is a 50% chance your answer will be a lie. The GM will roll a die in secret to determine this. Alternatively, you just can’t get a read on them.

Success: You can ask the GM a question about the subject. You can ask more questions, but there is a 50% chance that your answer to each one will be a lie.

Answers must be reasonably possible to infer from your interactions with the subject. Questions like “what is their mother’s maiden name” are the province of mind-reading powers, but questions like “how do they feel towards me” or “what do they want right now” are probably fair game.

Extra Successes: You can ask the GM an extra question for every extra success. The GM may choose to preemptively spend player successes on particularly relevant pieces of information about the subject.


Riddles


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This is a scenario that’s unlikely to come up in-game again, but the GM is posting the rules we used anyway for kicks. True to its name, it’s for PCs solving riddles other characters pose to them.

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Wits
DC: 2.
Take Half: Yes

Roll Results

Botch: You must choose to wrongly answer the riddle or lose a Story Point.

Setback: The GM provides no hints about the riddle. Alternatively, every hint may cost +1 Hunger or -1 Story Point.

Success: The GM provides one hint or confirms that one answer being considered by the player is wrong. Example hints might be, “The answer is a living thing,” or “You’ve encountered the answer under X circumstance.” Hints will never directly give away the riddle’s answer, merely help guide the player down the right track.

Extra Successes: The GM provides one extra hint for every extra success.

Common Actions

Blood and Bourbon False_Epiphany False_Epiphany