GWB ADDENDUM: WOD UNIVERSAL
Effective Date: 1 August 2018
Last Updated: 23 April 2017
This addendum provides the rules for Games Without Borders’s live-action World of Darkness chronicle and provides a level playing-field throughout the club. Storytellers are not permitted to change or ignore approval requirements or take more than reasonable leeway to bend the rules to develop stories. Rules from this supplement and sanctioned Onyx Path books must be particularly strictly observed when character death is a likely possibility.
White Wolf, Onyx Path, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Changeling: The Dreaming, Hunter: The Reckoning, Wraith: the Oblivion, and Demon: the Fallen are trademarks of Paradox Interactive. All trademarked terms within are used with permission.
Errata for published materials are treated separately from the materials they reference. If published material is sanctioned in whole or in part or if is not sanctioned has no bearing on the sanctioning of the commensurate errata.
A. LARP is not a “shoot-em-up”. You don't get notches in your belt for killing other PCs. You don't win by making the game miserable for everyone else. This is a storytelling game, and you win by telling a good story with others. If you do insist on making the game miserable for everyone else, the presiding storyteller has every right to tell you, in plain and simple terms, “No. Not here, not today.”
B. In all situations during a game session where there is a query relating to the rules and the interpretation and application thereof, the presiding ST's decision is considered to be correct. If a player disagrees with such a decision, they should wait until the game session has finished to raise their concerns to the ST. Alternatively they may lodge an appeal with the ST chain.
C. The World of Darkness utilizes extremely disturbing themes. While characters can and do commit awful acts, this is never an excuse to traumatize a player. It is the responsibility of all storytellers and players to ask if the players of PCs targeted for inclusion in traumatic acts (e.g., sexual violence, human sacrifice, etc.) are comfortable participating, and to offer options such as “fade to black” or alternate scene otherwise. That said, the World of Darkness is a setting which deals with adult topics including, but not limited to, death, abduction, abuse and insanity. Players should notify the presiding ST if they become uncomfortable with any of the themes present in the game at any point.
D. If you know that something is not the intent of the club’s interpretation of the books, departs drastically from common sense, or is otherwise wrong but appears to be technically possible due to vague wording or legal loophole, don’t do it. Don’t be that guy (or gal).
E. Horrible Things™: The following comprises our policy for in-game inclusion of real-word natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other tragedies and atrocities:
1. Horrible Things™ shall not be included in Storyteller-created plot, nor shall direct character involvement at the time of the event be approved.
2. The inclusion of Horrible Things™ in continuity shall be handled on a case-by-case basis, with the Storyteller presiding over the area of effect -- be that a domain, country, or global -- making the determination.
3. Players are expected to be respectful with regard to Horrible Things™; while their characters may in fact be horrible beings, the players are expected to show due discretion to avoid deliberately antagonizing the issue via character actions and comments.
A. Era: this chronicle is set in the 1970s (starting in 1973). Traits, items, or information not available prior to the in-game year are not sanctioned for use in this chronicle.
B. General Action Rolls [M20 p414]: Sanctioned for all genres.
C. Merits and Flaws: Sanctioned for all genres.
D. Minimum Driving Skill [M20 p459]: Sanctioned for all genres.
E. Raising and Buying Backgrounds With Experience Points [M20 p336]. Sanctioned for all genres. As with certain backgrounds in M20 (Arcane, Avatar, etc,), certain backgrounds in other genres (Generation, Pure Breed, etc,) should remain outside player control rather than accessible via XP expenditure.
F. Thresholds [M20 p387]: Sanctioned for all genres.
G. Weapon Length [M20 p420]: Sanctioned for all genres.
H. See genre addenda for genre-specific errata / optional rules.
A. How Approvals Work: All character sheets are Low Approval for creation and updating. Anything from sanctioned material that can be applied to a character sheet is Low Approval unless otherwise specified in this document.
1. Guidance: If at any point a given Storyteller is uncertain about whether a given approval is appropriate, they may ask for guidance from Storytellers further up their reporting chain.
1. Notifications require an acknowledgement from certain Storytellers and are usually used for tracking purposes. They don't require standard approval, although they should be added to the approvals database (where available) as usual. Any additional information requested by a Storyteller in a comment on the notification must be supplied.
2. Items requiring Notifications enter play when the required Approval level has been satisfied.
C. Universal Approval Lexicon
1. Approval Levels:
a. Low Approval: Requires approval by the Venue Storyteller.
b. Mid Approval: Requires approval by the Domain Storyteller.
c. High Approval: Requires approval by the appropriate Genre Storyteller.
d. Top Approval: Requires approval by the National Storyteller.
2. Character Class: Groups or classifications that are optional to join (e.g. Sect, etc.).
3. Character Type: The inherent (and usually unchangeable) classifications for supernatural beings (e.g. clan). Characters are automatically assigned to the genre specific to their character type (see section III.C.3. for exceptions). Mundane mortal characters can be assigned to any genre at creation (but must be assigned to one genre).
5. Place of Power: A location where the power or presence of the supernatural is especially strong in some way (e.g. Caerns, etc.).
6. Player Character: a character portrayed by a player
7. Power Stat: The measure of a supernatural creature's inner strength and affinity. In Masquerade this is Generation, in Apocalypse it is Rank, in Ascension it is Arete, in Fallen it is Faith. Dreaming and Oblivion do not have a Power Stat.
D. Universal Approval Clarifications
E. Grandfathering: If something was listed as a specific approval level in previous rules document has increased in approval requirement here, it will be "grandfathered". In order to keep the approval, a notification must be sent to the same level as the item's new approval level. This section will change with each addendum update to address specific changes between versions.
1. Canon Materials:
a. Antagonist storyteller character types that appear in specific books for the genre.
b. Antagonist storyteller character types from genre-neutral books.
c. Antagonist storyteller characters that come from character-types available for player characters in the genre. These NPCs may only use custom mechanics if such mechanics are available at Mid Approval to PCs.
a. Sheet rewrite for members who have played the genre for less than 4 months. This may be done once per genre (not once per character) and only on the first character that member portrays in that genre.
b. Anything intended for your character type or class from core genre books and subgroup-specific books.
3. Character IC Knowledge: Occult Specialty for character’s appropriate group (clan, tribe, type, sect, etc).
4. Character Activity: Brief cross-genre soft RP that has no significant consequences on PCs.
5. Storyteller Authority:
a. Minor magical items, rituals and effects that are part of local storylines do not require special approval. These must be temporary, not directly benefit player characters and be limited to the local venue.
b. Temporary places of power.
c. Minor changes to a scene, e.g. reversing a mistaken rules call within the session. High Notification is required if any participant is unhappy with the results.
1. Canon Materials: Ability Trait from a sanctioned sourcebook that is not part of the genre source material for a character’s home genre.
2. Character: Sheet rewrites to make a character game legal after an error has been made.
3. Character Activity: One-time cross-genre participation in a game of a different genre (e.g. a mage PC attends a local vampire gathering to inquire of historical lore they may have of the area; a werewolf PC stalks in the darkness outside a mage gather on suspicion that one of them may be involved with Pentex, etc.). This includes hard RP.
4. Storyteller Authority:
1. Canon Materials: Background, Merit or Flaw Trait from a sanctioned MET source book that is not part of the genre source material for a character’s home genre.
3. Character Background: Cross-genre background (e.g. a vampire PC that was once kinfolk; a mage PC who was once a ghoul).
4. Character IC Knowledge: Occult Specialty in any character type other than your own in the same genre (including but not restricted to other clans, tribes, sects, etc.). This knowledge must be learned in-game from another PC unless the character possesses mechanical standing of some sort in the target type, and a letter of support from the teaching PC included in the application. An Occult Speciality is required for any in-depth knowledge of the target type beyond what is commonly known in the genre
5. Character Sheet: To infiltrate a different character type or class under an alternate identity (e.g. it is High Approval for a Brujah to create a fake identity and infiltrate the Ventrue). It is not possible to infiltrate a different genre.
6. Storyteller Authority:
7. VSS: Standard, single-genre VSS.
1. Canon Affecting:
a. Use of any unique ("named") characters from source material.
b. Use of any unique magic items from source material.
2. Canon Material: Ability Trait from a non-sanctioned MET source book.
a. Holding an organization (Sect, Tradition, etc) position above regional level.
b. Access to Merits based in Dark Places on the Map (e.g., a police Contact in Egypt, a Caribbean island Haven, Resources in a Swiss bank account, etc.).
4. Character Activity: Permanent cross-genre participation between two genres (e.g. a Mage who regularly visits the Lost in addition to dealing with his fellow Mages).
5. Character Background:
a. Interaction with unique (named) Storyteller characters or major historical figures. This approval is waived if the interaction happens as part of storyline or chronicle interaction with the National Office.
b. Dark Points on the Map: Major historical presence. Being a major historical figure (e.g., Joan of Arc, Benito Mussolini, etc.), having significant interactions with a historical figure (e.g., being an advisor to Catherine the Great, Rommel's aide-de-camp, being a drinking buddy to Pancho Villa), or having significant effects upon events (e.g., the secret power behind Franco's Spain, a major figure in the Petrograd Soviet).
6. Character IC Knowledge: Occult Specialty from a different genre.
7. Character Sheet:
a. Rewrite for members who have played in the genre in excess of four months.
b. Conversion of a Secondary Character to a Primary Character. (Conversion of a Primary Character to a Secondary Character is not permitted.)
c. To regain control of a retired PC and return that PC to play.
d. Antagonist character types as player characters (e.g. a Black Spiral Dancer PC). Includes being an Antagonist character type in background. This is subject to modification in specific genre addenda.
8. Continuity: Changes to continuity on national lists.
9. Spirits, etc: Use of a true Deity or divine entity from any religion.
10. Storyteller Authority: Use of a dead PC as an NPC Wraith.
11. Storyteller Tools:
a. Access to Military personnel or hardware - for each instance or use.
b. Access to any kind of Storyteller "hit squad" called in by a player character to affect another player character.
c. Mobile places of power.
d. Places of power that grant XP benefits.
12. VSS: Mixed-genre, permitting supernatural creatures of more than one genre to attach to a single VSS (e.g. a VSS that includes both werewolf and mage PCs).
1. Canon Affecting:
a. Significantly reshaping paradigm in one or more genres (e.g. wide scale destruction of the Masquerade).
b. Any plot where supernatural future telling powers indicate that there is a risk of paradigm being significantly reshaped, except where this is due to a published mechanic for giving false results.
2. Custom Items:
a. At this time, custom mechanics which do not fall under a sanctioned Creation Guide are not sanctioned.
b. Any custom item of any sort which mimics a published item in a current White Wolf product (sanctioned or unsanctioned).
1. Unless otherwise specified in this document or appendices, characters may never have access to supernatural mechanics or benefits inherent to another character type or class.
2. Exceptions are powers, activated by one character, that bestow benefits on another character.
3. These rules may be superseded by genre-specific details in the Addendum.
1. Performing in-character actions affecting a large area requires approval of the principal Storyteller with the lowest approval authority over that area (e.g. affecting major portions of St. Louis would require approval from the city's Domain Storyteller, affecting parts of South Australia and Western Australia would require approval from the BtS National Storyteller).
1. Interactions with Dark Places on the Map that do not have direct effect upon those locations require only Notification to the relevant ST chain. Travel, background ties, character history, etc. fall under this category of interactions.
2. Interactions with Dark Places on the Map that do have direct effect upon those locations require Approval of the relevant ST chain. Supporting a coup, exploring ruins, having effected historical change, engaging in a hard proxy, etc. fall under this category.
1. Player characters are either 'Primary' or 'Secondary' characters.
2. Each player can have one Primary character in each genre.
3. Each player may have any number of Secondary characters in each genre; no two may be on the same VSS.
4. Members with multiple characters must design and play them in such a way as to never interact in any way, even through a secondary source.
5. Players can voluntarily take fewer than the allocated starting dots.
1. Primary Characters: Start with 30 additional Freebee Points.
2. Secondary Characters: Start with 5 additional Freebee Points.
1. Incremental Maximum: After entering play a character may earn (via accumulated Beats) XP up to the Incremental Maximum (exceptions noted in Over-Cap Experience Awards), which increases by 8 XP each month of the chronicle.
2. Unless otherwise stipulated in the Addendum, no trait can be purchased if doing do would impose an XP debt.
3. Unless otherwise stipulated in the Addendum, changes due to applying a template, joining/leaving an organisation, joining a bloodline, etc. neither incur an XP debt nor grant an XP return.
4. Storytellers who run a game session but do not play their own character within that session are awarded a number of XP for their character equal to the average number of XP awarded to the players in that session (rounded up).
1. Each month that a player is a primary or assistant officer, that player may take 2 XP per office held, which can be split amongst his characters as he sees fit.
2. Players who contribute outside of officer positions (e.g., site setup/cleanup, etc) may be awarded by the presiding Storyteller or Coordinator a Volunteer XP to apply to a single character of his choice.
3. No more than 2 Volunteer XP may be added to any single character in any one calendar month.
4. As with XP earned in game, Volunteer XP can be spent only once; they must be applied to an existing character in the month earned, or are lost.
5. Volunteer XP do not count against the Incremental Maximum, nor against the limit on Overcap Awards.
1. Each of the following awards can be earned in excess of the Incremental Maximum.
2. Multiple over-cap awards are cumulative unless noted, but may not exceed 20 over-cap XP per year on any character.
3. Activities which can earn over-cap XP are subject to the discretion of the NST.
4. Unless otherwise specified, all such awards must be entered on the approvals database (where available) at Low Approval.
5. If players have portrayed multiple characters in the same game session they can split the over-cap XP between the characters (the full bonus is not applied to both characters) as they see fit.
1. The player's direct Storyteller must approve all their characters for that particular venue.
a. In order to place a new PC on a VSS not in your home Chapter/Domain, you must have the approval of the lowest level storyteller with jurisdiction over both your home VSS and the one on which you wish to place your PC. Exception: when there is no local VSS for a given genre, you may create a character on another Chapter/Domain’s VSS with approval from that VSS’s VST.
2. Any time there is a discrepancy between the player's copy and the copy on record with your Storyteller, the Storyteller's copy is considered accurate.
3. A complete character record includes:
a. Character sheet
b. Verification of any special approvals
c. Experience point log.
4. The experience point log must include:
a. How starting points were spent at creation, including Free Traits.
b. How XP was spent afterwards.
c. A list of games attended and XP awards.
d. All XP awards must be dated.
1. A player can choose to retire a character.
2. Once retired, the character becomes an NPC under the control of the player's direct Storyteller (or the temporary supervision of the supervising Storyteller of a particular game or convention), and cannot be portrayed by the originating player.
3. The character's activities are then limited to resolving unfinished business with other player characters or story elements, unless both the player and the Storyteller have agreed the character can become a recurring NPC.
4. Dead characters may not be resurrected, nor can they be brought back into play as PC Wraith.
1. The players of characters whose histories include being a noteworthy figure in mortal or supernatural affairs in an area, being tied into that area's published IC events/history, interacting with the area's local supernatural population (e.g. attending court meetings, gatherings, etc.), or who resided in an area for more than 100 years, must gain the approval of the presiding storyteller for that area.
2. Players should create well-researched background with tie-ins with other player characters.
3. Player characters cannot genuinely have been major historical figures or fictional characters.
4. No character can be made to engage in activities that would immediately set off real-world alarm bells (avoid IRA bombers, Nazi torturers, etc).
a. Storytellers are strongly encouraged to deny any backgrounds that may lead to conflict with real world authorities or civic organisations.
b. Any references to real world terrorist organisations in emails or other communications must include a clear disclaimer that the communication is a prop for entertainment.
5. Players must create backgrounds for their characters that conform with the sanctioned chronicle history of an area, or be subject to desanction.
6. Do not use names from current or prior White Wolf works or other copyrighted fiction.
1. Rules for becoming a supernatural creature are found in each genre’s source material and genre supplement (e.g.: A ghoul being Embraced).
2. A player character that is changed from one Character Type to another requires High Approval to do so. If this Approval is not obtained, the change fails, usually resulting in either nothing happening to the character, or the character’s death, depending on the change in question.
3. Characters that become another Character Type lose all items that are not native to their new character type (e.g.: A Hermetic that is Embraced loses all Arete Traits).
4. Generic items such as Abilities, Attributes, and Willpower carry over at their current levels. All other modifications to the character sheet are determined by the High Approval Storyteller. Unspent XP are be carried over. Any XP or Free Traits spent on things that are lost as a result of the change are refunded to the character. The change, and any XP refunds, must be recorded in the XP log.
1. Each NPC must be approved by a principal Storyteller.
2. NPCs are created like player characters; they are subject to the same approval limitations as PCs unless specifically noted otherwise. E.g., “High Approval (Low Approval for NPCs)”.
a. Exception: Character Types are approved at one level lower for NPCs than for PCs, though Types from another genre always require at least Mid Approval.
b. Exception: NPC Wraiths are always at least High Approval outside of the Oblivion genre, unless made as “common wraiths” (see Merits and Flaws).
3. Storyteller characters can be built with up to 200XP + the Incremental Maximum; High Approval is required to exceed this limit.
That said, sometimes mediation is not possible, in which case we resort to the mechanical test system as described below.
1. Testing for all genres is performed using the dice pool system in the various 20th Anniversary Edition source books (e.g. Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition, etc.), except as modified in the Addendum. All tests must be performed with a narrator present.
2. Social Tests: It is important to note that mundane Social tests are valid mechanics in the Chronicle and should be treated as such. It is recommended that STs and Narrators monitor the use of mundane Social tests and encourage players to make a reasonable effort to roleplay social encounters.
a. Mundane Social tests do not allow for a level of control over the target comparable to supernatural mental control (e.g., Mind Arcanum, Dominate Discipline, etc.). Targets of mundane Social tests cannot be forced to participate in acts to which the character would be adamantly opposed, nor do Social tests – mundane or supernatural – constitute an exception to rule 0.D.
3. Time: For the purpose of the Chronicle, a chapter is defined as a two-week period; a story is a six-month period.
1. Melee Attackers Per Target: The maximum number of characters that may attack any single target character in a single turn is equal to the target character’s Size, with a minimum of two.
1. New weapons and armour are allowed if their mechanics are identical to existing standard weapons, or if the mechanics make those statistics worse.
2. Storytellers may allow player characters to occasionally use improvised weaponry to inflict aggravated damage, but these will not be common or part of a planned attack.
a. This does not apply to other means of inflicting aggravated damage as per sanctioned material.
b. Storyline effects that inflict aggravated damage require no special approvals but should be carefully monitored.
1. "Proxy" refers to sending your character sheet to a Storyteller other than your own, to portray a character without your physical presence. Refer to the host VSS for details on their proxy requirements.
2. Storytellers must keep players informed of proxy progress, providing updates at least on a weekly basis, and must portray proxied characters to the best of their ability and in keeping with the player's proxy instructions.
1. Storytellers can set up their own guidelines for monitoring commodities that fuel supernatural creatures, e.g. Blood, Quintessence, etc.
2. These must be recorded in the VSS.
1. Occult: see III.A.6., III.C.5, and III.D.6. for Occult Specialty approval levels.
1. Duplicating other Traits
a. Any Background that would duplicate an Approval item is the same level of Approval as the original item.
2. Background-based Storyteller Characters
a. Allies, Mentors, Retainers and similar Merit-based NPCs are created and portrayed by the Storyteller.
b. Such NPCs that represent or interact with government agencies require the special approval of the Storyteller with jurisdiction over that level of agency or body.
c. Mentor: This Merit can include PC Mentors.
(a) Lesser, native to genre: Low Approval
(b) Greater, native to genre: High Approval
(c) Lesser or Greater external to genre: Not sanctioned unless otherwise noted in the Addendum.
3. Specific Backgrounds
a. Alternate Identity:
i. ●●●● to ●●●●●: High Approval.
i. Any influence purchased with XP cannot be permanently lost, but instead grows back at a rate of 1 per month.
ii. ●●● to ●●●●: High Approval.
iii. ●●●●●: Top Approval.
iv. The Merit Fame is renown and recognition in the Mortal world; Fame in a supernatural community is not sanctioned for play.
1. Gaining and Losing Merits/Flaws
a. If a Merit is no longer applicable to a character, it is lost without refund; if a Flaw is no longer applicable to a character, it must be bought off with XP.
b. Players may not choose Flaws that describe qualities already inherent to the character (e.g.: A Silent Strider taking the Haunted Flaw, Lasombra taking the flaw “No Reflection”, etc.).
c. Derangements do not fall under the Flaw cap.
2. Knowledge Merits: any Merit which provides the equivalent of an Occult Specialty is subject to the same approval level as that Occult Specialty.
3. Specific Merits/Flaws
a. Lucky: In combat or supernatural challenges, this Merit can only be used defensively.
b. Nine Lives: Not sanctioned.
c. Supernatural Companion: Not sanctioned.
d. True Faith: High Approval.
All: The National Office reserve the right to make use of the included Storyteller characters, unless otherwise noted.
† Though sanctioned for play, the history and settings in the book are not necessarily those of the chronicle.
‡ Mechanics from this book are not sanctioned, except as published as MET mechanics in this or other books; the book is sanctioned only as flavour/background material.