The DJ House Rules are set to make a far more even playing field than usually exists in Vampire the Masquerade games.
Due to the breakpoints in popularity, trait maximums from 10th gen are as low as they go. 13th through 11th Gen vampires enjoy the 10th gen trait maximums to encourage more diversity of generations.
8th Gen kindred are somewhat restricted, and do have access to Elder level disciplines.
Starting Willpower is tied to Courage, rather than generation. Another boon to higher gen characters.
Ability trait costs are scaled because ability traits count toward trait maximums in challenges, allowing highly skilled characters to overcome thicker blooded novices in some cases.
Dark Epics rules for Influence are in effect, with some alteration. Refer to the Influences section for details.
We do not use the age based scaling XP cost options in Dark Epics or other supplements. Instead, we use diminishing XP awards and caps to balance character growth and power.
Alternate XP can only be used for Abilities, in an effort to encourage players to buy them, and to make up for our more diversely skilled society.
Starting characters can earn the following awards every session ( month ).
Survival – 1XP. Just don’t get killed.
Attendance – 1XP, 1Alt XP. Attend session for a reasonable amount of time and do some stuff.
Report – 1 or 2 XP depending on report depth. You don’t need to write a novel every month but “I patrolled the streets and fed” isn’t going to net you anything. Synopses of your characters actions at session, hopes and fears, machinations and plots are all good subjects for reports. The more we know about your character the easier it is to design plot for you.
XP on sheet is calculated automatically by the database and a starting character may have in excess of 50 XP on sheet depending on what they’ve taken ( character creation points costs aren’t the same as XP costs, accounting for this difference ).
When a character hits 200 XP on sheet ( including XP and Alt XP spent and unspent ) they are no longer eligible for Alt XP, Survival XP, or the low hanging fruit of the first report XP or Forum XP. The following XP awards are available to characters over 200 XP.
Report – 1XP only for good reports
Attendance – 1XP
Characters are hard capped at 300 XP. You will be permitted to continue play, but no further advancement is possible to prevent power creep.
XP COSTS AND DELAYS:
All costs are book with the following exceptions.
Abilities cost 1,1,1,2,3.
Backgrounds are 1XP per, but are limited to one level of a given type per 3 months.
Influences cost 1XP per level and follow the Dark Epics rules which inherently limit influence growth speed. This can be circumvented by applying Allies to Influence growth to speed the process. See the Influence section for further details as Allies use as Influences is lower than book.
Out of clan Disciplines cost an additional XP premium per level and require a teacher. Physical disciplines cannot be learned without a teacher ( contrary to some supplements ). Clan specific disciplines such as Protean and Serpentis require a drink to attune the blood in addition to the above, and Thaumaturgy generally requires all of the above, and undergoing an excruciating ritual known only to a select few Tremere, IF you somehow manage to blackmail one into doing it without murdering you.
After careful consideration of power levels between level 4 disciplines we’ve decided to go with simplified Gangrel clanbook rules for Protean 4. Wolf and Bat are the most common forms but when you obtain Protean 4 you may select a different fight and flight form if you prefer. It will need to be something that fits with your character. These rules apply to ALL characters with protean 4… which really should just be Gangrel anyway, right? You’re not teaching away clan secrets are you?
You get 3 bonus Physical traits and 2 bonus Mentals. Fight form physicals are combat related, flight form are evasion related, mentals are perception related.
Bonus traits granted by these forms do NOT count toward your generational cap… so a 13th Gen using this with max physicals ( 12 in our game ) would test at 15 physicals. If they had fewer than 12 they could burn blood for extras up to their normal cap which would NOT go away until the scene is over, and THEN the form bonus 3 applies.
There is no bonus damage, but all damage is assumed to be Aggravated.
Attacks against the flight form are at a 2 trait penalty on tie resolution ( it’s fast and smallish )
With equal speed ( celerity actions involving movement steps ) the flight form allows fair escape once 5 steps from the nearest pursuer. You need not find cover, and if your flight form literally flies you can gain altitude as you go to attain those 5 steps easily.
We feel this should keep the power balanced while being stronger than green book but not as crazy as Gangrel Clanbook. Potence 5 still wins ties, but Protean 4 is now nasty.
While players are given free reign to do many, many bad things there are certain game destroying things that the invisible hand of staff simply will not allow. Game-enders like driving a fuel truck into Elysium during court comes to mind. Players are allowed to but discouraged from going out in “blazes of glory” so long as it doesn’t force a full game reset because, frankly, as staff we’re just not doing that. Something will inexplicably go wrong with the plan and cause it to fail regardless of how improbable it is. This is a game of intrigue and personal horror. If you want a game of nihilism go play Wraith.
Carefully ( or terribly ) laid traps and plans that involve several other characters but not “the whole game” are perfectly fine.
Heavy artillery is also generally unavailable and if obtained through exceptional roleplay or other odd circumstance assume it will be shoddy and impossible to improve the condition of. Is someone, for example, gets hold of a Squad Automatic weapon ( which has happened ) they’re going to be making chops every time they fire it to see if it jams. ( which they did ) Other one of a kind or relic weapons usually have their own caveats, like that custom 3 shot 30mm DU revolver that was bouncing around for a few months a decade ago. ( No one could find additional loads for it, and it required Intermediate Potence to fire without inflicting lethal damage on yourself. )
We’ve also begun running wights ( characters lost to wassail ) rather than simply righting them off because they are a liability to vampiric society and make things interesting. Our wights run from benign to exceedingly rough depending on the characters PC stats. For more info, consult your high levels of Kindred Lore.