Levels of Play
There are three playstyles on Requiem for Kingsmouth: Political, Support, and Civilian.
Political is the political game - vying for city positions and status, seizing territory, ferreting out the weaknesses of other Kindred and exploiting them for your own gain in glorious back-stabbing PvP which occasionally might get physical or even fatal but is usually focused on social standing and influence. Political play is a privilege, not a right. Players at this level are expected to maintain a certain level of weekly activity, to know the rules of the various groups to which they belong, to take responsibility for the group in which they are a keystone member (be that Clan, Covenant, or City governance), and to promote a pleasant OOC atmosphere. Political players are up for anything the storytellers or other players throw at their: their consent is never required. A given player may only have one Political character. APPLY FOR POLITICAL.
Support dips a toe into the political game without diving in. Support players may hold territory, engage in PvP shenanigans, and pursue plot freely, but are allowed OOC input for major events (such as the character becoming bloodbound) and are given the benefit of the doubt if they trip up over the intricacies of in-character rules. They may be involved in IC politics, but will usually be members of a coterie rather than the leader. Most ghouls are Support characters. APPLY FOR SUPPORT.
Civilian players can opt out of plot or interactions, maintaining the right to give or withhold consent for what happens to their character. They are uninvolved with IC politics, will not be targeted with plot, and are expected to require little attention from storytellers. Civilian play is primarily social, and designed for people who just want to play with their friends without having to memorize a bunch of rules. There is no additional application required to be a Civilian.
Requiem for Kingsmouth differentiates between two levels of gameplay:
- Off-screen: When your actions are represented by naked dicerolls, without any RP, such as when you call on your Allies or deal with your Territory. This does not mean no story is happening - you can and should have the things that happen off-screen influence your roleplay.
- On-screen / RP-level: This is where the RP happens. At times, you may zoom from off-screen to on-screen, putting you back down on the street and in your character's shoes, for example to deal with a territory problem.
The off-screen system consists of seven interwoven modules:
- Downtime: A resource that is required to do off-screen actions
- Assets: Systems to grow, attack and defend assets like Retainers and Resources
- PCs/NPCs: Systems to grow, attack and defend PCs and NPCs
- Feeding: Off-screen system to get blood
- Allies: 14 areas of influence and how to use them to your benefit
- Primacy (Political/Support): An advantage that benefits certain off-screen actions
- Territory (Political/Support): How to acquire, defend and manipulate turf
Rules Clarifications and House Rules
Clarification of Combat rules.
As per GMC, a player can impose an appropriate Condition on themselves or another person in the scene when they roll an Exceptional Success. Note that this applies only on 5+ successes: the Inspired Condition creates an Exceptional Success on 3+ rather than 5+, but even with Inspired 3 or 4 successes does not allow a player to impose an appropriate Condition.
Exceptional Successes on Rote Actions allow you to impose an appropriate Condition on someone else in the scene, but not on yourself. They are routine for you, and you expect to be supremely successful with them.
Additionally, a character may not have two Conditions at any time that serve the same function. For example, Inspired (Debonair Rival) and Inspired (Vampire Bill) are both possible, and can be triggered by further interactions with those characters, but two instances of Inspired (Seduction) are not.
Clarification of specific Disciplines and Powers.
May be taken for a given level of the Discipline, but not the Discipline itself. For example, Empathy (Uncanny Perception) is an acceptable specialty, but Empathy (Auspex) is not.
Equipment bonuses can be extraordinarily useful. For example, a pair of sneakers might give a +1 bonus to Stealth rolls. At other times, rolls are not possible without equipment. For example, a character cannot fix a blown tyre with no tools even with the Make Do merit. Equipment must be acquired ICly (usually purchased with resource points) before the bonus can be applied.
Sites are immovable Equipment bonuses. They can only be used at that location, and do not stack with any other equipment you might have. Your doctor's bag is of little use when you're in a fully-stocked operating theatre! +5 is the maximum possible Equipment bonus.
Off-screen, Site bonuses apply but Equipment bonuses usually do not.
There are a variety of powers that Vampires use which are incredibly hard to spot - frequently visible only by their effects. Unfortunately, because there is almost always OOC knowledge that the power is in use, the question sometimes arises - "Would my character have a reasonable suspicion that something is happening here? Or it is just my OOC knowledge influencing how I want to respond?" At those times, a roll is appropriate! Wits + Empathy (Motives) or Wits + Investigation (Body Language). If you possess the discipline in question, you may add a +1 bonus to this roll. This represents your character's awareness of the subtle behavioral signals of things like Mesmerize or Awe, and your reasonable IC suspicion - not proof, but suspicion! - that such an effect is in play.
Requiem for Kingsmouth works by a top-down power model. Further information is available here for City Status, Clan Status and Covenant Status, and what in-game effects they have.
A character may come into game with Clan or Covenant Status of up to 2. After chargen, raising or stripping status is approved not by staff, but by the group in question. A poll is put to the characters of the group, asking whether they feel the change in status is warranted. These votes are weighted according to the Status of the voter, so a Status 2 character's vote is worth 2, while a Status 1 character's vote is only worth 1. There must be support equal to the higher Status to effect a change, so for a character to be raised from Status 3 to Status 4, they must have at least 4 points of support. For a character to be stripped from Status 4 to Status 3 also requires at least 4 points of Status. City Status is designed to be in constant flux, but Clan and Covenant Status are not. A character's Status may not be reversed until at least a week has passed since it was granted. This is to give sufficient time for roleplay to happen around the subject.
Vampire Bill puts in an application to strip Debonair Rival's Clan status from Valued (3) to Recognized (2). The majority of the clan (as measured by their Status) must agree in order for the strip to go through. This majority must constitute at least three points of Status. In this case, Vampire Bill does not get the support he hoped for, and Debonair Rival remains Valued. Another attempt to strip him may not be submitted until a week has passed.
Conversely, Debonair Rival puts in an application to raise his Covenant Status from 1 to 2, and receives majority support far in excess of the two Status points he requires. Debonair Rival may immediately apply for his Covenant Status to be raised from 2 to 3, but Vampire Bill may not seek to reverse his status by stripping him back to Status 1 until a week has passed.
Requiem for Kingsmouth has an in-game economy with automatic banking. Any character with dots in Resources is awarded resource points on the first of each month. (Resources 1=1 resource point; Resources 2=4 resource points; Resources 3=12 resource points; Resources 4=25 resource points; Resources 5=100 resource points.) Any purchase with a mechanical effect costs resource points, regardless of the character's Resource dots. Any resource points unspent at the end of the month will be added to the character's bank, which allows low-resource characters to save up for high-cost items. Resource points may also be paid to other characters, automatically deducting them from one bank and adding them to the other.
Social Maneuvering was designed primarily to be used on NPCs, and consequently does not work terribly well in a MUSH environment, where 90% of interaction is PvP. We've tweaked the merits that deal with Social Maneuvering to reflect this.
No matter how much Vitae you drink from a given person in a single night, you can only become more than one step further Bloodbound to them if they have the third Coil of the Voivode. Addiction, on the other hand...