Key Rules Interpretations and Changes
In general, we play by the rules in Laws of the Night: Revised as written. This sheet identifies certain house rules and explains how some ambiguous rules are interpreted in this game.
Of note is that player characters may not initiate challenges of any kind against another player character during downtime. Simple tests, static challenges, and challenges against NPCs are allowed. If both players agree to the outcome of a fight scene or a player understands and agrees to relent to a challenge before it is thrown, the results of those encounters may be narrated with permission from the Storyteller.
The E-mail Rule
- If a player wishes to spend Influence, Resources, Contacts, Allies, or Retainers or to take any direct action that would affect the world outside of normal character-to-character interaction, that expenditure or action must be submitted to the Storyteller in writing by email.
- This rule is in place not to deny players the ability to change the world around them, but it is instead intended to help the Storyteller keep everything straight and to have a written record of those actions and expenditures. Dave is a forgetful creature.
- You don’t need to spend Willpower to attempt a challenge covered by an Ability you don’t possess.
- You can use any plausible Ability to retest in a challenge, so long as all players involved or the presiding Narrator or ST agrees. The ruling of the ST in this regard is final.
- Abilities are used only to retest challenges or meet the prerequisite checks for other systems.
- Lore is now an Ability Specialization of Occult. If you want to determine if your character knows something, a Static Mental challenge may be used (with Occult as the retest). Please see the Storyteller for more information.
- Quell the Beast no longer requires a Social Challenge to soothe a vampire from frenzy (though it still requires physical or eye contact and the expenditure of a Willpower).
- The Assamite Clan flaw has been replaced. It now reads: Due to the Tremere blood-curse, should an Assamite consume the blood of another Kindred, she suffers one automatic level of unsoakable lethal damage per blood point imbibed. Diablerie attempts result in automatic aggravated damage, one health level per point of permanent Willpower the victim possesses; the would-be diablerist gains no benefits (including Generation reduction) if he survives the process. In addition, Assamites must tithe some of the profits from their contracts to their sires or superiors(generally around 10 percent of all such earnings).
- While Laws of the Night, Revised makes no mention of this, Assamites in RO do grow darker with age.
Auspex versus Chimerstry
- In order to see through an illusion using Auspex, there must be a reason to suspect that what the character is seeing is not real.
- In cases where someone is attempting to use Heightened Senses to break through Auspex, each character’s skill in their respective Discipline is considered (skill levels are Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced). If the Chimerstry character has a higher skill level, they automatically triumph when the two Disciplines contradict. If the Auspex character has a higher skill level, they automatically prevail instead. If two characters have equal skill, the Challenge proceeds as per the rules as written.
Auspex versus Obfuscate
- In cases where someone is attempting to use Heightened Senses to break through Obfuscate, each character’s skill in their respective Discipline is considered (skill levels are Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced). If the Obfuscate character has a higher skill level, they automatically triumph when the two Disciplines contradict. If the Auspex character has a higher skill level, they automatically prevail instead. If two characters have equal skill, the challenge proceeds as per the rules as written. When making a hand sign for Heightened Senses or Obfuscate, players should do so using a number of fingers equal to the level of the Discipline that they possess (one for Basic, two for Intermediate, and three for Advanced). For example, Amy has Intermediate Obfuscate and is trying to sneak by David, who has only Basic Auspex. She crosses her arms over her chest to indicate that she is using Unseen Presence and holds up two fingers on her right hand. David puts one finger to his eye to note that he is using Heightened Senses. Since Amy is more skilled at Obfuscate than David is at Auspex, she makes it past him unnoticed.
- Auspex may only pierce Unseen Presence, Vanish from the Mind’s Eye, or Cloak the Gathering on moving targets.
Awakening During the Day
- Characters may attempt to awaken during the day if they are disturbed by succeeding on a Static Mental Challenge (difficulty determined by the Storyteller). In order to stay awake afterward, the character must make a Humanity or Path test vs. 3 Traits each hour or fall back into slumber.
- As there are not rules for Bardo in the rules as written, we have rewritten the Discipline based on the rules listed in V20.
The first thing that the Children of Osiris are taught is that Humanity does not have to be an inexorable slide into depravity. Instead, it is more akin to a climb up an extremely steep hill. The vampire is going to lose some ground, but with perseverance and strength, he can regain it.
When the vampire loses a dot of Humanity, he can attempt to regain it without spending experience points by using this power. The Child must use this power within a week of losing the Humanity, and must not have lost any more Humanity since the initial loss (that is, if the character falls from Humanity 4 to Humanity 3, and then falls to Humanity 2 before using this power, Restore Humanitas can only be used to recover Humanity 3). The character meditates for several hours and spends all of the blood points currently in his body. The player then makes a Static Conscience Challenge (difficulty equal to the level of Humanity being regained). If successful, the target regains a Humanity Trait.
Banishing Sign of Thoth
The character gestures, turning aside any supernatural effect aimed at her. The source of the effect does not matter. She can thwart, or at least blunt, the strength of any mystical attack. This sign was supposedly taught to Osiris by Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom and magic. What Thoth actually was—vampire, mortal, or spellcaster—is lost to time.
To evoke this power, she must make the appropriate gesture where her opponent can see it. She may engage in a retest by spending one Trait (Physical, Social, or Mental) that is appropriate to the challenge. This Discipline wards against Thaumaturgy, Dominate, Presence and Auspex.
Gift of Apis
All vampires must consume blood, no matter how good their intentions. While this basic fact of undeath cannot be circumvented, the Children of Osiris can at least avoid drinking human blood.
Animal blood is just as nourishing to the character as human blood. An animal is considered to have a blood pool equal to the number of health levels it has, rather than the lesser value usually assigned to represent the creature’s less-than-filling fluids. This ability is always active.
Pillar of Osiris
In the center of every temple is a Pillar of Osiris, a place of meditation and power in which the Children’s magic is greatly increased. At this level of Bardo, the character learns to create such a Pillar, meaning that he can create his own temple.
Creating the Pillar of Osiris requires a night-long ritual, upon the ending of which the player spends a Willpower. This power does not require a physical pillar — the Pillar of Osiris is conceptual, not literal. Once the Pillar is created, any vampire with at least one dot of Bardo receives a 3 Trait bonus to the use of any Discipline or other mystical activity (including blood magic) performed at the Pillar. However, this boon requires regular trips to the Pillar. Once the vampire has created a Pillar, he must visit it at least once a month, or it ceases to function. In addition, for every week he is away from a Pillar (not necessarily the one he created), the Child wakes each night with one fewer Self Control card. The Beast, long denied by the Child’s ascetic practices, grows in strength while away from the Pillar, and eventually pushes the vampire to frenzy and (likely) Humanity loss. The Children of Osiris, for this and other reasons, do not leave their temples for long.
The Child utters a phrase or a riddle that lays bare the truth of the universe to a listener. That truth — the perspective of that one listener’s importance weighed against the whole of creation — is enough to immobilize the target for short while. Although this experience would seem to be disheartening, after the fact the targets are loath to harm the Child. Whether that’s because of a newfound appreciation for one’s place in the world, or out of fear that the vampire will reveal the paradox again, no one really knows.
The vampire speaks the phrase, spends a point of Willpower, and engages all targets in a Social Challenge (the Retest for which is Occult). Each victim who loses this challenge is immobilized for the scene as he contemplates what he has heard. Striking the victim snaps him out of it. At the end of the scene, the paradox is gone, and the target can’t ever quite explain it. He does, however, down 1 bid in any challenges to harm or act against the Child of Osiris.
- Blood use is reflexive. It doesn’t count as an action and can be performed at any time. This includes healing.
- Healing Aggravated Wounds requires three Blood Traits’ expenditure and a full night’s rest. While sleeping, a character may spend three more Blood and a Willpower for each Aggravated Wound to be healed past the first.
- Characters are limited in the amount of blood they may spend in downtime by the total amount of blood they had at the end of the previous game session. Characters may also not feed in downtime, though they may spend unspent Herd, Influence, or the “Let the Blood Flow” King of the Hill power in order to get more blood.
- Clarification: Vampires can feed on animals, but animal blood is far less filling (and much less tasty—think thin, weak broth instead of a rich, succulent stew) than human blood. A successful hunting challenge can take up to 2 Blood Traits from an animal without harming it. If you take 3 Blood Traits, the animal needs immediate medical attention, and taking 4 or 5 kills it. You don’t risk your Humanity when you feed on an animal, even if you kill it, unless you would otherwise risk your Humanity from the act (for instance, if you have Humanity 4 and you kill a farmer’s cow, that action would constitute theft and warrant a Conscience check). Some Disciplines allow a vampire to drink animal blood and receive nourishment as if it were human blood. In those cases, you still don’t risk your Humanity when feeding from the animal, but you can drain blood from it normally (up to 5 Traits with no ill effects, 6-7 Traits require immediate medical attention, and 8 or more kills the animal).
- Alacrity now allows your normal action for the turn to be preemptive, as is noted in the rules as written (RAW).
- Additional Celerity actions can only be used with Physical actions.
- Basic and Intermediate Chimerstry no longer the user to defeat the target in a Social Challenge.
- (Clarification) If an illusion created by any power other than Horrid Reality does something that is wholly impossible or if it violates plausibility, onlookers may make a Mental Challenge vs. the Chimerstry user’s Social Traits to disbelieve the illusion.
- Surprise is defined as “any action that your character was not expecting.” Narrators or the Storyteller will be the final arbiters of whether a character has been surprised. If a character is surprised, they lose their basic action for the round. Additional actions obtained through Celerity may be used as normal.
- The most traits any character may lose during a challenge is five. If a player must bid more than five traits during a challenge (in a mob scene, for example), that player bids five instead.
- In the event of a mob scene, players lose 1 trait per challenge they lose up to 5, regardless of the number of challenges they threw. (For example, if seven people are all attacking Sigmund at once, he must bid 5 traits. If he loses three of those challenges, he loses 3 traits. If he loses all seven, he still only loses 5 traits.)
- The rules for Two Gun Mojo have been reworked (LotN, p. 207). That text is replaced with:
“When you want to use two weapons at a time in combat, you must bid an additional trait, and your opponent may bid the negative traits of the weapons in both of your hands, if applicable. If your attack is successful, you may cause one additional point of damage. This damage is of the worst possible type of the two weapons. For example, if you cause aggravated damage with one weapon and bashing damage with the other, you cause one additional bashing damage with your attack.
“When attacking with two weapons, you only get the highest bonus traits of both weapons wielded. If you possess the merit Ambidexterity, you need not bid an additional trait when attacking with two weapons, but you still only receive the highest bonus traits of both weapons. Note that a specialization in Melee or Brawl can only apply to attacking with a single weapon or with two weapons, never both.”
“The mechanical effect of Ambidexterity is to eliminate the one bid penalty when attacking with two weapons.”
- If you would like to craft an item (magical, scientific, or otherwise), please see the Storyteller, who will work with you on the specifics. Of course, all crafted items are subject to Storyteller approval.
- A brief rundown of the Crafting System may be found here.
- To take a Derangement on non-Malkavian characters at character creation requires ST approval. This rule also applies to Malkavian characters’ optional additional Derangement.
- Any character may purchase the three Physical Disciplines (Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence) without a teacher for out of clan costs.
- If a Discipline is used targeting you, you’re aware of the attempt, but not necessarily the source or of the effect. You, and anyone else who observed the challenge, can spend an Awareness Ability and attempt a Static Mental Challenge against a difficulty of the user’s Mental Traits (using Occult to retest) to identify the source and, if not already known, the Discipline used and the target.
- If a Discipline requires physical contact to use and you willingly submit to that contact before the use of the Discipline, you relent to any challenge normally required to establish that contact.
- Dominate: Conditioning (Intermediate-2) now reads: You have honed your mental powers to the point where the strength of your will defies all mortal capabilities. Your exceptional conditioning allows you to make a single retest on any Mental Challenge that involves controlling or influencing a mind. This Retest costs nothing to use and may only be used once per Challenge.Additionally, whenever you enter a Mental challenge where a mind is being controlled or altered, you may use Conditioned as your bid Trait. This Trait does not count toward totals when resolving ties or overbids, but it can never be lost; thus, you may continually use Conditioned in successive challenges. Only if you are forced to risk multiple Traits do you risk losing any of your other Mental Traits. Note that Conditioning only reflects the strength of your will when either your mind is being influenced or controlled or when you are attempting to control or influence another mind. You may not use this Discipline when you are, say, rebuilding a car engine, trying to fire a gun, or using Thaumaturgy.
- Clarification: While using Possession, the possessing character uses the possessed character’s Physical Traits and Physical Disciplines (if any). Characters still use their own Ability retests while possessing another character. (Note: Vampires may not be subjected to Possession.) Additionally, Possession lasts until the next sunset, but of course, you may use the Discipline again immediately upon rising for the night.
Duration of Powers
- If a power’s duration is listed as, “one scene or X amount of time,” use the lesser duration.
- Experience bonuses will be given out at the end of each session at the following rates: +0.5 XP for attending the game in costume, which is given at Storyteller discretion; +0.5 XP for Most Oustanding Costume, which is voted on at the end of the night by all players; +1 XP for driving the plot, which is given at Storyteller discretion; +1 XP for excellent roleplaying, which is given at Storyteller discretion; and +1 XP for obtaining or holding a city position and performing all duties associated with that position (see: City Positions).
- Each player will be given four “MVP Votes” at the beginning of each game session, which they may give to another player for any reason. Each of these cards is worth ¼ experience to the person to whom it is awarded. Players may not address their MVP votes to themselves.
- Each player may receive 1 bonus XP for roleplaying in between games. In order to receive this bonus, the Storyteller must be either present during said RP, CC’ed on in-character emails, or added to other methods of text-based communication, like Skype, Discord, or Facebook chat.
- If there are multiple sessions of Riverside Opera during a month, players may only receive attendance XP for one of those sessions. Players may, however, accumulate Costume, MVP, RP, or Plot XP as per usual for each session.
- Resistance and Resilience now allow you to make a Simple Test for *each* level of damage, not just the first.
- Resisting frenzy no longer requires a Self-Control challenge. Instead, each player will receive a number of “Red Cards” equal to their character’s Self-Control. Each time something occurs that would cause a character to test for frenzy (like being insulted at court, for example), the Storyteller or a Narrator will ask that character’s player for a Red Card. If they cannot or will not give one up, they are forced to spend a Willpower or enter frenzy.
- If additional provocations occur in the same scene that a Red Card was spent, additional Red Cards are not required to be spent unless there is an escalation (insults about your clothes escalating to blows, for example).
- If a Narrator asks for a Red Card, you may appeal the decision to the Storyteller, but the Storyteller’s decision is final.
- The Virtue Instinct has been reworked to better fit in line with the way Self Control functions. As is noted in the book, if your Instinct rating is at least twice that of the provocation, you may ignore it entirely (which does not count as “resisting” frenzy for the purposes of Path checks). If at any point you would normally make an Instinct Test to enter a controlled frenzy state, you may spend an Instinct Card to enter that state. If you do not, you may spend a Willpower to resist (which does count as “resisting” frenzy for the purposes of Path checks) or you may enter regular frenzy. Please ask either the Storyteller or a member of the Narration staff if you have any questions about the difference between regular frenzies and Instinct frenzies.
- Player character ghouls are created like a 13th Generation vampire character would be, except they start with 5 Blood Traits, and they only get one level of a Physical Discipline.
- Ghouls may take Merits and Flaws listed in Libre des Ghoules with Storyteller permission only.
- Ghouls may not purchase Merits and Flaws that require being a vampire to work.
- Ghouls require a teacher for every level of every Discipline they learn.
- Ghouls can learn Disciplines of their regnant’s Clan. Freelance ghouls (ghouls who do not have a regular regnant and get their blood from many different donors) may learn the in-Clan Disciplines of the last Kindred whose blood they drank.
- Ghouls may only learn Basic Disciplines unless their regnant is of the 9th or 8th Generation, in which case they may learn Intermediate Disciplines. Freelance ghouls may only learn Basic Disciplines unless their last donor was of the 9th or 8th Generation.
- If a freelance ghoul learns an Intermediate Discipline and switches to a donor who is of the 10th Generation or higher, they lose access to all Intermediate Disciplines until they imbibe a full Trait of 9th or 8th Generation blood.
Havens and Technology
- It is assumed that every character in the game has a one-bedroom apartment, access to electricity, a relatively recent PC that can access the internet, an email address, and a smart phone with at least 3G capabilities. All apartments are considered to be first-floor, have a dead bolt and a safety chain on the front door, and have a bedroom that is sufficiently occluded from sunlight (whether by having no windows or from having those windows blacked out). If a character would have something different from the default, a detailed description must be submitted to the Storyteller in writing.
- The most Influence that can be spent on a given move is 5.
- Multiple players may combine Influences of the same sphere to make larger moves together than either could separately.
- Every Influence move that is made will have a general description of the move anonymously posted to the Influence Boards located on the Discord server. Players may look at any pages of that board for which they have Influence at any time. Players will be added to the appropriate groups when their character sheets are approved and they have joined the Discord server.
- When a character spends Influence to do something, that character’s player may spend any number of extra Influence of the same type to perform a Cloak move. If that player does, the cloaked move will not show up on the Influence Board. Note that the Cloak is a separate move itself, not an extension of the cloaked move.
- Instead of hiding a move, a player may choose to use a Cloak to change the appearance of what was done and who did the move.
- At any time, a player may contact the Storyteller to perform what is known as a “Zero-point Scan.” Zero-point Scans are used to look at a given Influence Page and check whether there has been a Cloak move used in that Influence in the last month. The Zero-Point Scan will also reveal how many points were spent on the Cloak.
- After discovering a cloaked move, players must spend a number of Influence equal to the amount spent on the Cloak to see what was done in the original move.
- A single Trait of Kindred blood may be obtained with Occult Influence x3. The blood of a specific Clan may require a larger expenditure, and no Kindred blood more potent than 10th Generation may be obtained with Influence.
- To use an item that offers benefits in a challenge, you must be touching the item with your hands. In general, when the rules refer to “touching,” they mean with your hands.
- The Kiasyd bloodline advantage now reads: “The Kiasyd often spend their unlives in search of secrets, and much of the bloodline’s concept of prestige balances upon how much a given member knows. To reflect this undying thirst for knowledge, Kiasyd gain one level of either Academics or Occult (the Ability) as well as one level of either Occult or University Influence.”
- To reinforce the strangeness of their appearance, any Kiasyd who are played in Riverside Opera must wear a badge to indicate their alien affectation. Costuming said appearance is encouraged, but not required. Players are additionally encouraged to narrate the specifics of their unique brand of Kiasyd appearance in addition to wearing the badge.
The Lasombra antitribu Bloodline Advantage
- Lasombra antitribu do not receive a bonus Status Trait as indicated in the book. Instead, they receive an additional Church, Political, or Underworld Influence.
Learning and Teaching Disciplines
- (Clarification) In order to learn a Clan-specific Discipline (Chimerstry, Thaumaturgy, Protean, etc.), the learner must drink a Trait of blood from a Kindred who can learn that Discipline natively. Only one drink is necessary for a student to be able to learn that Discipline, though they still require a teacher or appropriate research.
- Additionally, anyone who wishes to teach a Discipline must possess powers one level higher than the one they wish to teach (so they must have Intermediate to teach Basic, Advanced to teach Intermediate, and Master to teach Advanced).
- Occult Influence may be spent to research Thaumaturgy and Necromancy Rituals and secondary Paths, but only characters who have those Disciplines in-Clan or are considered to have them in-Clan (e.g., Thaumaturgy for the Old Clan Tzimisce or Necromancy for the Samedi).
- Any character may learn the three Physical Disciplines (Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence) without a teacher.
- No combination of effects that result in the loss of an action can cause you to lose more than one action per round, and stunned characters may still use reflexive abilities or Disciplines or do things that don’t require an action. Being stunned does not prevent affected character from defending themselves in Challenges.
Malkavian Clan Advantage
- All Malkavians start with Dominate as an in-clan Discipline rather than Dementation.
- The Malkavian Clan Advantage allows a member of the clan to access the Malkavian Madness Network, where they can learn Dementation without a formal teacher at the out-of-clan experience cost.
- Additionally, as is noted in the RAW, their advantage allows them to identify other Malkavians on sight.
- Madrigal (Intermediate-1 Melpominee) now reads: “When using this power, the user must select a mood they wish to invoke and an appropriate Negative Trait. Everyone who is affected by the power gains that Negative Trait x2 for the duration of the song and are encouraged to roleplay this change in demeanor, aptitude, or abiity.” Previously, this power had essentially no effect, as players could essentially ignore its effects at their leisure.
Merits and Flaws
- Merits and Flaws in the Camarilla Guide and items in Dark Epics are now available at Character Creation (and after, if appropriate, at their regular costs) with Storyteller approval.
- Iron Will allows you to spend a Willpower trait after losing a Dominate challenge to call for a second challenge; this is not considered a retest. If you win that challenge, the Dominate power doesn’t affect you and you’re immune to other uses of Dominate for five minutes.
- Nightmares causes you to begin play down one trait in every category. You may choose which traits are expended.
- The effect of Lucky is now to provide a Merit retest, Lucky, usable once per game session on any challenge.
- Enchanting Voice is only usable in Challenges where you both use your voice and Performance or Expression are applicable Retests.
- Natural Leader is only usable in Challenges where Leadership is an applicable Retest. In addition, Natural Leader only grants one Bonus Trait.
- The following Merits have been added to Riverside Opera:
Adopted (2 Trait Merit) – Your character was adopted into another Clan at some point in their past. Socially, they belong to their adoptive Clan, and they are accepted by them as such. They do not gain the Clan Advantage, Weakness, or Disciplines, but they may bargain for education in Disciplines during play. (This Merit requires a Perk.)
Danger Sense (2 Trait Merit) – You cannot be surprised. This Merit does not allow you to respond to Mental or Social Challenges outside of combat with Physical ones; it only protects you against surprise in combat or at the initiation of combat.
Hidden Diablerie (5 Trait Merit) – The tell-tale black streaks of diablerie do not manifest in your aura. Other ways of detecting diablerie remain unaffected. (This Merit requires a Perk.)
Ritualist (3 Trait Merit) – Through years of study and careful precision, you have learned how to expedite the casting of Rituals. As such, you may begin play during each game session with 30 additional minutes of Rituals prepared. (This Merit requires a Perk.)
Natural Engineer (2 Trait Merit) – You gain 2 Bonus Traits on all Build Challenges. (This Merit requires a Perk.)
Intuitive Design (2 Trait Merit) – You gain 2 Bonus Traits on all Blueprinting Challenges. (This Merit requires a Perk.)
- The following Flaws are now available in Riverside Opera:
Bard’s Tongue (3 Trait Flaw) – You speak the truth, uncannily so. Things you say tend to be true and sometimes you say things that come First, you cannot lie. This is not an effect that can be overruled by any conscious or unconscious control. Additionally, at least once per game session, the Storyteller will share an uncomfortable truth with you regarding any current situation, and it will fall out through your lips immediately. To avoid speaking prophecy or telling the truth when asked a direct question, you must expend a Willpower and take one Lethal Health Level of damage from the strain of resisting as you bite a hole in your tongue. While this Flaw prevents your character from lying, it does not prevent you from dancing around the truth or telling half-truths, so long as you’re creative.
Disgrace to the Blood (3 Trait Flaw) – Your sire regards the fact that he Embraced you to be a titanic mistake and has let everyone know it. You are mocked at gatherings, taunted by your peers, and actively despised by the one who should be giving you guidance. Any request or petition you make is likely to be looked down upon by friends of your sire, and your achievements are likely to be discounted.
Hatred (3 Trait Flaw) – There is something out there which you absolutely loathe and will do anything to destroy when you encounter it. You must spend a Self-Control or Instinct card to resist going after the thing you hate when you are presented with the opportunity to do so. Hatreds are subject to approval by the Storyteller and are generally groups or organizations and are never individuals or unique items.
Vulnerability to Silver (2 Trait Flaw) – To you, silver is as painful and as deadly as the rays of the sun. You suffer aggravated wounds from any silver weapons (bullets, knives, etc.), and the mere touch of silver objects discomfits you.
- Fae Sight (Basic Mytherceria) reads:
Your ability to view multiple levels of reality at once has advanced to the point that you can perceive all things magical as they truly are. This Discipline has two effects: One, you can see active magical effects present on anyone or anything; and Two, with a small amount of effort, you can also scrutinize an area to determine if Thaumaturgy or Necromancy was recently used there or if any Rituals are present.
The first part of this power is always in effect. No challenge is needed.
To determine if Thaumaturgy for Necromancy was used in an area within the past three nights, concentrate for a turn and expend a Mental Trait. Traces of magic appear to you as faintly glowing footprints, runes, or scorch marks. Interpretation of these signs or to discerning what the exact effects of an active spell are may require one or more Static Mental Challenges, as determined by the Storyteller, but you can always tell whether or not the signs are actually there.
- Riddle Phantastique (Advanced Mytherceria) reads, in addition to its current rules text:
“Victims of this power will not relent to assault, however. In fact, if disturbed while trying to puzzle out the solution, victims are likely to lash out. Whenever another character engages the victim in a Challenge, she may respond with an aggressive action of her own. She may not initiate aggressive actions, however, and if attacks on her person cease, she will go back to pondering the riddle.”
- Necromancy is classified as “magic” for the purposes of the Magic Resistance Merit as well as any power that references magic.
- The Necromantic Ritual “Eyes of the Grave” only takes 10 minutes to cast.
- You may begin play with up to 60 minutes of limited-duration rituals cast. Any ritual that has a duration of longer than one night may be cast in downtime, provided the character in question has all of the required resources to spend. Unless otherwise noted, Basic Rituals take 10 minutes to cast, Intermediate Rituals take 20 minutes to cast, and Advanced Rituals take 30 minutes to cast.
- We have expanded our Necromancy to include Paths and Rituals not found in Laws of the Night, Revised. The write up can be located by clicking here. Any path or ritual not found in that document is not available for play in Riverside Opera.
The Nosferatu Clan Advantage
- To reflect the tendency of the Nosferatu to have access to quite the large breadth of information, when Rumor Cards are handed out, each Nosferatu character gets an extra Rumor Card.
- Obfuscate continues to work on digital recording devices, even when viewed at a later date. Unlike analogue recording technology, like film-based cameras and video tape, the mind trick effect of Obfuscate persists.
- Clarification: The total darkness penalties under Obtenebration: Shroud of Night will be interpreted as, “All victims of the cloud suffer a 2-Trait penalty to all Challenges, and their opponents in Challenges get a free Retest. This Retest counts as a Discipline-based Retest.”
- Clarification: The range on Obtenebration: Arms of the Abyss is “Line of sight.”
Old Clan Tzimisce
- In Riverside Opera lore, the Old Clan Tzimisce created the Path of Death and the Soul. As such, they may start on that Path of Enlightenment without buying the Perk.
- As with every other type of Retest, Overbids may only be used to Retest once per Challenge. An attempted Overbid in which the declaring character does not have twice as many Traits as their opponent does not constitute a use of this Retest.
Paths of Enlightenment
- There are three methods to acquiring a Path of Enlightenment on an active character: Perking, roleplaying, and training.
- To Perk onto a Path during play, a player may simply spend a number of XP required by the Perk (which is burned permanently off of your character record like any other Perk). Characters converted this way remain at their current Path rating on the new Path.
- To roleplay onto a Path, a character must act as though they had a Path rating of 5 for three consecutive months to the satisfaction of the Storyteller and never commit a single sin against said Path. Once the Storyteller approves the switch, the character then switches to the new Path at a rating of 1. If any Virtues change (Conscience to Conviction, Self-Control to Instinct, or vice versa), those Virtues are also reduced to 1.
- To switch to a new Path with a teacher, one must first find a teacher in play who has a Path rating of at least 2. Then, the character must reduce their current Path rating to 1 by committing sins against the Path. Once they are at a Path rating of 1, the Storyteller and teacher of the Path will work together to find an appropriately horrific, Path-violating task that teaches a lesson relevant to a tenet of the new Path. After the character performs that action, they must win a Static Willpower Challenge vs. Difficulty 5 (Retest Willpower) and spend all of their remaining Willpower (at least 5). If they are successful, they swap to the new Path at rating 1, all of that character’s Virtues that change are reduced to 1, and that character begins the next game with 0 Willpower. If they fail the Willpower Challenge, the character is lost to Wassail.
Path of Paradox
- The Path of Paradox has been changed. It now reads:
As befits its name and its most common followers, the Path of Paradox is a shifting thing, hard to capture and ever mutable. The Path of Paradox as presented in the book represents the Mayaparisatya school, most commonly followed by the eldest Ravnos who are largely sequestered from the world. This Path of Paradox is the Samsara school, which focuses less on a karmic duty to the world and more on an individual’s journey through life, or unlife, and ultimately rebirth and reincarnation. It is a more modern creation and is held to by most Ravnos who interact in all but the most fleeting ways with the mortal world and other Kindred. As such, it is the version of the Path of Paradox permitted in Riverside Opera.
- The Path of Paradox practices Conviction and Self-Control.
- The Path of Paradox Hierarchy of Sins is also changed. It reads:
5 – Embracing a mother; failing to respect deception; failing to seek truth
4 – Killing a mortal; failing to destroy a “failed” vampire (“failed” meaning a vampire who rejects their nature, such as by trying to live a mortal life, acquire perfect Humanity, achieve Golconda, or revering mortals above vampires)
3 – Returning to your mortal life; pretending to be a mortal; carrying a karmic debt (such as allowing someone to save your unlife without repaying it in kind)
2 – Failure to follow your svadharma (your purpose and place in the world); destroying a vampire that is clearly following their svadharma
1 – Becoming blood bound; embracing, except as a critical part of your svadharma
- Perks are special benefits that players may purchase with XP. Please see the Character Creation section of the website for more information.
- You may find all Perks listed on the Character Creation page here.
- The Perk, “Buy Extra Status at Character Creation” may be used to purchase three (3) extra Status of the player’s choosing (and with ST approval), which must be purchased with XP.
- Players may buy Perks for characters they are currently playing with ST approval, so long as the Perk is something that may be changed about their character.
- XP spent on Perks is erased from the character and player records entirely and does not transfer to new characters.
- If a Perk refers to a Merit, additional XP or Free Traits must be spent to purchase said Merit.
- If a Perk refers to a Path of Enlightenment and a player uses that Perk to transition their character into that Path, all scores for the old Path and Virtues transfer to the new Path and Virtues. Note: Players may still RP their way to Paths of Enlightenment without buying the associated Perk (contact the ST for more information).
- Perks referring to Generation, Clans, or Bloodlines may not be purchased after Character Creation. Characters may still lower their Generation though Diablerie without having to purchase the Perk.
Plot Cards are, like Rumors, bits of story hook to allow players to get involved in the game when they’ve hit a wall or feel like they have nothing going on. There aren’t any rewards for completing a goal on a Plot Card, but they will give you a hook to get involved in the story, which has its own rewards (e.g., potential XP votes, Boons, etc.).
Here is an example of what you might find on a Plot Card:
A Kindred you know from your previous city, Claudia Reynolds, has contacted you for assistance. She would like to come to Memphis, and she wants you to talk to the Sovereign on her behalf. The only problem is that she’s a Tremere—who is on the run from the Camarilla.
Goal: Get the Sovereign to agree to allow Claudia to take asylum in Memphis.
- A Might retest can be recalled with Might.
- A Might retest is considered a Discipline-based retest. It is not required to be the final retest on any challenge.
- All weapons not specifically noted on their item card as being compatible with Potence break when used with Puissance.
Ravnos Clan Weakness
- The Ravnos Clan Weakness has been changed. It now reads: While the Ravnos are masters of changing the reality around them, they have a harder time changing their own fundamental reality. All Ravnos have a key personality trait, chosen at character creation, which they are incapable of resisting if the opportunity to express it presents itself. This can be some kind of virtuous act, such as defending the weak, or something more sinister, such as taking advantage of someone in a lesser position. Often, the trait is tied to the jati the Ravnos belongs to. When presented with the opportunity to indulge in her virtue or vice, she does so unless the player spends a Self-Control, Instinct, or Willpower. A Ravnos’s virtue or vice need not be extreme or violent, nor need it be immediately noticeable to a casual onlooker. It should, however, be something that might come up during an average gathering of Kindred.
- In order to have human ghouls as Retainers, a character must have at least 3 traits in the Retainers background. For every point of Retainers a character possesses above 3, that character may have an additional ghoul, to a maximum of three ghouls at Retainers 5.
- All human Retainers have 6 traits in every category and one applicable retest for completion of a given task. Note that this retest might be different from month to month, but it is still just one retest no matter the task.
- All human ghoul Retainers have 7 traits in every category, two applicable retests, and one Basic physical Discipline (Celerity, Fortitude, or Potence) for completion of a given task. Note that these retests might be different from month, but they are still just two retests total, no matter the task.
- All Retainers are assumed to be mundane humans unless cleared by the Storyteller.
- For every ghoul a character possesses, that character starts the game -1 Blood trait.
- Riverside Opera does not use the Status system as outlined in Laws of the Night.
- Status is not added to trait totals in ties during Social challenges. Instead, Riverside Opera uses a new type of challenge: Status challenges. See: Status, below.
- Politics and Etiquette may be used as retests during Status challenges.
- Characters may only receive one non-position-related permanent Status Trait per month. They may lose any number of permanent Status per month, though.
- In lieu of removing a permanent Status, players may grant Negative Status instead. (This one was already a rule, we’re just including it all official-like.)
- Players may loan temporary Status Traits to other players at any time and for no cost. Players may revoke loaned Status at any time without cause or cost. Keep in mind that both of these functions may incur IC repercussions, even if there is no OOC cost.
- All pronouncements of Status must take place at court. The target of such pronouncements (the person gaining or losing Status) does not have to be present for them to be valid, though all participants in the pronouncement (persons loaning temporary Status for the move) must be.
- The Primogen Council may spend a number of temporary Status Traits equal to the Prince’s permanent Status to either grant or remove one permanent Status from the Prince.
- In the event that a Kindred in a position of power is stripped of one of their position-based permanent Status, they instead lose it for the rest of the night. However, while that character is without that Status Trait, they lose all Status-based powers afforded them by that position. Other, non-Status-related powers remain unaffected. For example, a Primogen member who is so affected would lose the ability to grant or remove Status from members of their Clan, accept new members into the Clan, etc., but they still speak for the Clan in Primogen meetings and may call Clan meetings to order.
- For a further discussion of the Status and Prestation system, click here.
- Selective Suspension (Intermediate 2) – This power no longer involves a Static Challenge, but any outside contact with or force upon a suspended item will immediately unsuspend it. To increase the duration of suspension, you expend Stamina-related Physical Traits, not Blood, following the table on ST Guide p. 35.
- Clotho’s Gift (Advanced) – The maximum number of Physical Traits that can be spent during the activation of this Discipline is 5. The difficulty of the Static Challenge is 9.
Tests and Traits
- A “test” constitutes the bidding of traits, throwing of paper-rock-scissors, and comparing traits and “win all ties” powers, if necessary. A “challenge” is the set of all tests, including retests, which result in determining the resolution of an action.
- During any given challenge, a player may call for a maximum of five retests. They are: one Ability retest; one Discipline-based retest; one Willpower retest (if applicable); one Merit-based retest; and one Overbid. Certain Merits, such as Nine Lives, explicitly override this rule.
- A player involved in a challenge may recall the use of an Ability by their opponent with another relevant ability. If a player’s Ability retest is recalled their opponent, they may expend another level of a relevant Ability to attempt to retest again. They may do this until they either run out of relevant Ability retests or until a retest is thrown.
- If you have an ability, item, or Discipline that allows you to throw the Bomb or win all ties, you don’t have to declare that information at the beginning of a challenge.
- You always bid whatever traits are appropriate for your desired result from the challenge. For instance, if you want to punch someone who’s trying to Dominate you, you bid Physical traits and they bid Mental traits.
- Upon losing any challenge, any traits bid are lost for the rest of the game session.
- Only current, non-expended traits are bid when comparing traits in a test.
- Overbids require the expenditure of a trait in the appropriate category, but only after counting traits to determine if an Overbid is possible. In either case, the trait is still spent.
- Mental and Social challenges can be used each round in combat. The “five minute rule” doesn’t apply in this instance.
- Players may expend levels of the Medicine Ability to Retest the Simple Tests that occur during a staking attempt. This is the only time that Simple Tests may be Retested.
- Withering (Intermediate Thanatosis) now renders characters affected by a touch to the head incapable of using powers other than Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence. This clarification brings the power in line with its functionality from tabletop editions of the game.
- You may begin play with up to 60 minutes of limited-duration rituals cast. Any ritual that has a duration of longer than one night may be cast in downtime, provided the character in question has all of the required resources to spend. Unless otherwise noted, Basic Rituals take 10 minutes to cast, Intermediate Rituals take 20 minutes to cast, and Advanced Rituals take 30 minutes to cast.
- The Ritual Iron Body may be precast using the available 60 minutes of pregame Ritual time. It woks as described in the book otherwise (i.e., you may use up to 40 minutes of your ritual time to get 4 hours of protection).
- For specific effects of rituals, please refer to the item card associated with the ritual.
- All effects of Thaumaturgy are obvious to the target and all onlookers, successful or not, unless otherwise explicitly stated otherwise in the Discipline’s description. However, the activation of said powers is not necessarily immediately evident.
- Thaumaturgical powers and rituals that have an explicit cost other than a blood trait use that cost instead of the normal cost of one blood trait.
- Theft of Vitae explicitly has no blood trait cost.
- Blood consumed through Theft of Vitae and A Taste for Blood does not cause Blood Bonds.
- All Tremere characters may learn their primary Path of Thaumaturgy without a teacher, regardless of whether they operate inside of the Clan.
- Thaumaturgy is only usable as a base round action.
- The comprehensive Thaumaturgy write-up for Riverside Opera may be found by clicking here.
Tremere Clan Weakness
- The Tremere Clan weakness now reads, “The ritual that initially turned a group of human sorcerers into vampires had at least one terrible consequence: all of the first Tremere found that they were more susceptible to the Blood Bond than other Kindred. Despite repeated attempts to cleanse their blood, the curse remains to this day, and even new Tremere suffer from their predecessors’ imperfect magics. As such, all Tremere suffer two steps of the Blood Bond whenever they imbibe the vitae of another Kindred.”
- The Second Intermediate of Valeren has been replaced. It now reads:
Armor of Caine’s Fury (Intermediate 2)
The strength of Caine surrounds you, protecting you from all but the most severe of injuries and steeling your resolve against the Beast. For the duration of this power, the Salubri’s third eye is flung open and glows red, and an obviously magical red aura glows around you. Spend a Blood Trait and up to five Stamina-based Physical Traits. For the rest of the scene, you gain a number of levels of armor that can soak Bashing and Lethal damage equal to the number of Traits you spent. Additionally, you gain +1 Bonus Trait vs. Rotschrek. This power may only be used once per scene and does not stack with other armor.
- As per the RAW, players may only use Willpower as a retest when they are the defender of a Mental or Social challenge.
- Willpower now refreshes fully at the beginning of every monthly game session.