I’m not being paid for this. Not a great start to a blog post.
Our illustrious blog-master and my deadly DM is currently caught in China with a respiratory tract infection. While that sounds like a the beginning to a Spycraft session, I’m serious. Because the great Firewall of China blocks WordPress (Alongside Twitter and Facebook.) I’ve been asked to take over posting duties for just a moment.
Sad news is I’m terrible at it. I’ve decided it was a good idea to bring the World of Darkness into direct light. Maybe illuminate a section on which I may have a slight edge on.
The World of Darkness is a modern horror roleplaying game by White Wolf (Now published by The Onyx Path.) using the “Storytelling” system. As a horror setting, the Storytelling system is a rules moderate. It doesn’t quite get as fly-by-your-pants, stats-mean-nothing-only-drama-is-allowed as Freeform, and it definitely steers clear of the D&D/Pathfinder pitfall of having rules for everything under the sun.
The mechanics are simple. All rolls and contests are decided by a number of 10 sided dice. Rolling a 8, 9 or 10 is considered a “success”. A 10 allows you to roll again, giving a chance to increase your successes. This form of open-ended rolling can lead to truly unexpected results, far more so than a standard “critical hit”.
While I can harp on about the crunch of the system, the main draw is the mood, themes and stories found in each book. The FLUFF! White Wolf’s fluff is the best in the business. Each rule book spends at least 50% of the time talking about how it feels to be chased down a darkened street by a brutish beastie. In the Vampire setting, much thought is given to the question “What do you do if you live forever?”, something that can be considered a driving question. This gives a personal element to the game. Each storyteller is primed to ask deep questions to reinforce and build player’s characters.
Most recently, I was playing an SCP Foundation type game with a skilled Storyteller. Through careful application of the mechanics and descriptions cribbed from the WoD core book’s stories, he successfully terrified the lot of us. I feel as if we were using a less evocative system, one without a focus on lethality and danger, his efforts would’ve been subdued.
Thanks for reading my guest post, feel free to leave questions in the comments, and I’ll try to get to them.