Berlin by Night
Blood Use (Healing, Augmenting Attributes, etc.): Vampire characters may spend blood to heal themselves. To do so, the character must concentrate and do nothing else for one full turn. A character may attempt to heal while performing other actions, but this requires success on a Stamina + Survival reflexive roll (difficulty 8). Failing this roll means the vampire loses all expended blood points with no effect, while a botch causes the vampire to lose both an additional blood point and an additional health level. Spending blood to raise Physical Attributes or power Disciplines may be done automatically, without the need for concentration. A character may spend an amount of vitae equal to her per-tum rating, as dictated by her generation (p. 139).
Getting to Feet: Characters may rise from the ground in one turn without making a roll. If a character wishes to get to her feet while doing something else in the same turn, she must take a multiple action (see “Multiple Actions,” p. 192) with a Dexterity + Athletics roll (difficulty 4) to rise successfully.
Movement: Characters may choose to walk, jog or run. If walking, a character moves at seven yards per turn. If jogging, a character moves at (12 + Dexterity) yards per turn. If all-out running, a character moves at (20 + [3 x Dexterity]) yards per turn. Characters may move up to half maximum running speed, then subsequently attack or perform another action; see p. 209 for particulars. Characters may also wish to move while taking another action. This is possible, but each yard moved subtracts one from the other action’s dice pool. Note that injured characters (p. 216) cannot move at maximum speed.
Readying Weapon: This can involving drawing a weapon or reloading a gun with a prepared clip. In most cases, no roll is required, so long as the character takes no other action that turn. If the character wishes to ready a weapon while doing something else in the same turn, the player must reduce his dice pool (see “Multiple Actions,” p. 192) and roll Dexterity + Melee or Firearms (difficulty 4) for the readying attempt.
Starting Car: This takes an action, but requires no roll.
Yielding: The character allows the character with the next-highest initiative (p. 207) to act. She may still act at the end of the turn. If all characters (player and Storyteller) yield during a turn, no one does anything that turn.
These systems cover actions involving the three Physical Attributes (Strength, Dexterity and Stamina). These feats typically require a die roll.
Climbing [Dexterity + Athletics]: When your character climbs an inclined surface (rocky slope, side of building), roll Dexterity + Athletics. Climbing is typically an extended roll. For an average climb with available handholds and nominal complications, your character moves 10 feet for every success. The Storyteller adjusts this distance based on the climb’s difficulty (easier: 15 feet per success; more difficult: five feet per success). The number of handholds, smoothness of the surface and, to a lesser extent, weather can all affect rate of travel. A short, difficult climb may have the same difficulty as a long, easy climb. The extended action lasts until you’ve accumulated enough successes to reach the desired height. Botching a climbing roll can be bad; your character may only slip or get stuck, or she may fall. If the character activates the Protean power of Feral Claws or constructs bone spurs with the Vicissitude power of Bonecraft, all climbing difficulties are reduced by two.
Driving [Dexterity/Wits + Drive]: A Drive roll isn’t needed to steer a vehicle under normal circumstances – assuming your character has at least one dot in the Drive Skill. Bad weather, the vehicle’s speed, obstacles and complex maneuvers can challenge even the most competent drivers. Specific difficulties based on these circumstances are up to the Storyteller, but should increase as the conditions become more hazardous.
For example, driving in heavy rain is +1 difficulty, but going fast while also trying to lose pursuers increases the difficulty to +3. Similarly, maneuvering in heavy traffic is +1, but adding a breakneck pace while avoiding pursuit bumps the difficulty to +3. A failed roll indicates trouble, requiring an additional roll to avoid crashing or losing control. Characters in control of a vehicle, and who have no dots in the appropriate Ability, need a roll for almost every change in course or procedure. On a botch, the vehicle may spin out of control or worse.
Because different cars handle differently – some are designed for speed and handling while others are designed for safety – a chart is provided to help calculate the difficulty for any maneuver. Generally, for every 10 miles over the safe driving speed of a vehicle, the difficulty of any maneuver is increased by one. Exceedingly challenging stunts and bad road conditions
should also increase the difficulty accordingly. The maximum number of dice a driver can have in her dice pool when driving is equal to the maneuver rating of the vehicle. Simply put, even the best driver will have more trouble with a dump truck than she will with a Ferrari.
Encumbrance [Strength]: The temptation to carry loads of equipment to satisfy every situation can be overwhelming. The Storyteller should make life difficult for players whose characters pack arsenals everywhere they go. A character can carry/tote 25 pounds per point of Strength without penalty. The Potence Discipline adds to the character’s effective Strength.
Should a character exceed this total, every action involving physical skills incurs an automatic +1 difficulty due to the added weight. Also, every 25 pounds over the allocation halves the character’s base movement. A character bearing a total weight of double her Strength allocation can’t move. This system is a guideline, and should not call for an inventory check every
time your character picks up a pen.
Hunting [Perception]: It is the nature of the vampire that she must hunt. For each hour the vampire spends searching for human prey, allow the player to make a Perception roll against a difficulty based on the area in which the vampire hunts.
Slum neighborhood/The Rack 4
Downtown business district 6
Warehouse district 6
Heavily patrolled area 8
Success on this roll indicates that the vampire has found and subdued prey, in a manner appropriate for the vampire and the area (perhaps she has seduced a vessel, crept into a house of sleepers, or simply ambushed and assaulted a victim). She may now ingest one die’s worth of blood points. Failure indicates that the hour is spent looking fruitlessly, while a botch indicates a complication (perhaps the character accidentally kills a vessel, picks up a disease, enters the domain of a rival Kindred or suffers assault from a street gang). If a botch does occur, go into roleplaying mode and let the character try to work her way out of trouble. If the character catches prey, but currently has fewer blood points in her body than [7 minus Self-Control], a frenzy check (p. 228) is necessary to see if she can control her hunger. If the player fails this roll, the character continues to gorge on the vessel until she is completely sated (at full blood pool), the victim dies from blood loss, or she somehow manages to regain control of herself. If a tragedy occurs, the vampire might well lose Humanity.
The Fame Background reduces difficulties of hunting rolls by one per dot (to a minimum of 3), while the Herd Background adds one die per dot in the Background (so long as one’s herd could conceivably be in the area). However, Storytellers may increase hunting difficulties for particularly inhuman vampires (Nosferatu, some Gangrel, vampires with Humanity scores of
4 or below), as such monsters find it difficult to blend in with a crowd.
Intrusion [Dexterity/Perception + Security]: Intrusion covers breaking and entering, evading security devices, picking locks, cracking safes – and preventing others from doing the same. When bypassing active security, your roll must succeed on the first attempt; failure activates any alarms present (opening manual locks may be attempted multiple times, though).
Intrusion rolls can range from 5 [standard lock] to 10 [Fort Knox], depending on a security system’s complexity (the Storyteller decides the actual difficulty). Certain tasks might require a minimum level of Security Skill for the character to have any chance of succeeding (e.g., Security 1 might let you pick a simple lock, but not crack a safe). Also, most intrusion
tasks require lockpicks or other appropriate tools. On a botch, the character’s clumsy break-in attempt goes horribly awry. Setting up security measures is a standard action, but multiple successes achieved in the effort increase the system’s quality (essentially adding to its difficulty to be breached).
Jumping [Strength or Strength + Athletics for a running jump]: Typically, jump rolls are made versus a difficulty of 3. Each success on a jump roll launches your character two feet vertically or four feet horizontally. To jump successfully, a character must clear more distance than the distance between her and her destination. On a failure, the character fails to clear
the required distance, but the player may make a Dexterity + Athletics roll (typically versus difficulty 6) to allow the character to grab onto a ledge or other safety as she falls. On a botch, your character may trip over her own feet, leap right into a wall or fall to her doom.
If the player makes a Perception + Athletics roll (difficulty 6, three successes required) before attempting a jump, he may gauge exactly how many successes are needed to make the leap.
Lifting/Breaking [Strength]: The chart below provides the minimum Strength needed to deadlift or break various weights without a die roll. Characters of lower Strength may roll to affect heavier weights than their Strength scores allow for. The roll is made not with Strength, but with Willpower, and is difficulty 9. Each success advances the character by one level on
the chart. The Potence Discipline also adds its dots to the character’s effective Strength.
Strength Feats Lift
1 Crush a beer can 40 lbs.
2 Break a wooden chair 100 lbs.
3 Break down a wooden door 250 lbs.
4 Break a 2′×4′ board 400 lbs.
5 Break open a metal fire door 650 lbs.
6 Throw a motorcycle 800 lbs.
7 Flip over a small car 900 lbs.
8 Break a 3’ lead pipe 1000 lbs.
9 Punch through a cement wall 1220 lbs.
10 Rip open a steel drum 1500 lbs.
11 Punch through 1" sheet metal 2000 lbs.
13 Throw a station wagon 4000 lbs.
14 Throw a van 5000 lbs.
15 Throw a truck 6000 lbs.
Characters can work together to lift an object. This is simply a teamwork roll with the individual players rolling separately and combining any resulting successes. Lifting is all or nothing – if you fail the roll, nothing happens. At the Storyteller’s discretion, your character’s effective Strength may be raised if all she wants to do is drag something a short distance instead of pick it up. On a botch, your character may strain something or drop the object on her own foot.
Opening/Closing [Strength]: Opening a door with brute force calls for a Strength roll (difficulty 6 to 8, depending on the material of the door). A standard interior door requires only one success to bash open or slam shut. A reinforced door generally takes five successes. A vault door might take 10 or more successes. These successes may be handled as an extended action. While teamwork is possible (and recommended), a door can still be forced open through a single individual’s repeated hammering. Obviously, a door not held in some way can be opened without resorting to force. A botch causes a health level of normal damage to your character’s shoulder. Certain doors (metal vault doors and the like) may require a Strength minimum even to make an attempt. The Potence Discipline adds automatic successes to the roll.
Pursuit [Dexterity + Athletics/Drive]: Vampires must often pursue their terrified prey, and sometimes they themselves must flee. Generally, pursuit can be resolved automatically by using the formulas for calculating movement (p. 200); if one party is clearly faster than another is, the faster party catches or avoids the slower party eventually. However, if two characters are of equal or nearly equal speed, or if one character is slower but might lose the faster character or make it to safety before she catches him, use the system below.
Basic pursuit is an extended action. The target starts with a number of free extra successes based on his distance from the pursuer. This breaks down as follows: on foot, one for every two yards ahead of pursuers; in vehicles, one for every 10 yards ahead of pursuers. For chases involving vampires and mortals, remember that mortals tire, but the undead do not. The target and pursuers make the appropriate roll (depending on the type of pursuit) each turn, adding new successes to any successes rolled in previous turns. When the pursuer accumulates more total successes than the target has, she catches up and may take further actions to stop the chase. As the target accumulates successes, he gains distance from his pursuers and may use that lead to lose his opponents. Each success that the quarry accumulates beyond the pursuer’s total acts as a +1 difficulty to any Perception roll a pursuer has to make to remain on the target’s tail. The Storyteller may call for the pursuer to make a Perception roll at any time (although not more than once each turn). If the pursuer fails this roll, her target is considered to have slipped away (into the crowd, into a side street). On a botch, the pursuer loses her quarry immediately. If the quarry botches, he stumbles or ends up at a dead end.
Shadowing [Dexterity + Stealth/Drive]: Shadowing someone requires that your character keep tabs on the target without necessarily catching her – and while not being noticed by her! The target’s player can roll Perception + Alertness whenever she has a chance to spot her tail (the Storyteller decides when such an opportunity arises); the pursuer’s player opposes this
with a Dexterity + Stealth roll (or Dexterity + Drive, if the shadower is in a vehicle). The difficulty for both rolls is typically 6, but can be modified up or down by conditions (heavy crowds, empty streets, etc.). The target must score at least one more success than her shadow does to spot the tail; if so, she may act accordingly. Shadowers who have trained together can combine their separate rolls into one success total.
Sneaking [Dexterity + Stealth]: Rather than fight through every situation, your character can use stealth and cunning. A sneaking character uses Dexterity + Stealth as a resisted action against Perception + Alertness rolls from anyone able to detect her passing. The difficulty of both rolls is typically 6. Unless observers score more successes than the sneaking character does, she passes undetected. Noise, unsecured gear, lack of cover or large groups of observers can increase Stealth difficulty. Security devices, scanners or superior vantage points may add dice to Perception + Alertness rolls. On a botch, the character stumbles into one of the people she’s avoiding, accidentally walks into the open, or performs some other obvious act. Note that vampires using the Obfuscate Discipline (p. 166) may not have to make rolls at all.
Swimming [Stamina + Athletics]: Assuming your character can swim at all (being able to do so requires one dot of Athletics), long-distance or long-duration swimming requires successful swimming rolls versus a difficulty determined by water conditions. After all, although vampires can’t drown, they are corpses and thus have little buoyancy. The first roll is necessary only after the first hour of sustained activity; only one success is needed. If a roll fails, the character loses ground – perhaps pulled out other way by a current. If a roll botches, she starts to sink, or perhaps stumbles upon a less-than-finicky shark. Vampires caught in shallow water during the day will take damage from sunlight (assume that a submerged vampire has protection equivalent to being under cloud cover).
Throwing [Dexterity + Athletics]: Objects (grenades, knives) with a mass of three pounds or less can be thrown a distance of Strength x 5 in yards. For every additional two pounds of mass that an object has, this distance decreases by five yards (particularly heavy objects don’t go very far). As long as the object’s mass doesn’t reduce throwing distance to zero, your character can pick up and throw it. If an object can be lifted, but its mass reduces throwing distance to zero, the object can be hurled aside at best – about one yard’s distance. Obviously, if an object can’t be lifted, it can’t be thrown at all (refer instead to “Lifting/Breaking,” p. 202). The Storyteller may reduce throwing distances for particularly unwieldy objects or increase them for aerodynamic ones. Throwing an object with any degree of accuracy requires a Dexterity + Athletics roll versus difficulty 6 (to half maximum range) or 7 (half maximum to maximum range). This difficulty can be adjusted for wind conditions and other variables at
the Storyteller’s whim. On a botch, your character may drop the object or strike a companion with it.
Awakening [Perception, Humanity]: Vampires are nocturnal creatures and find it difficult to awaken during the day. A vampire disturbed in his haven while the sun is in the sky may roll Perception (+ Auspex rating, if the vampire has it) versus difficulty 8 to notice the disturbance. Upon stirring, the vampire must make a Humanity roll (difficulty 8). Each success allows the vampire to act for one turn. Five successes mean the vampire is completely awake for the entire scene. Failure indicates the vampire slips back into slumber, but may make the Perception roll to reawaken if circumstances allow. A botch means the vampire falls into deep sleep and will not awaken until sundown. While active during the day, the vampire may have no more dice in any dice pool than his Humanity rating.