Apocalypse World of Darkness

  • 3 Replies
Apocalypse World of Darkness
« on: March 21, 2011, 06:06:16 PM »
I'm running a game using my favorite creatures and powers of the New World of Darkness (i.e., mages, geist, changelings) without the standard setting (20,000 factions of gothic-posers) or game mechanics (the probability curve of the d10 system is too skewed--too frequently you see things like 3 successes on 6 dice and 1 success on 10 dice). Many of the people I play with want to play a supernatural game where a lot of the mysteries are detailed in advance* but are disatisfied with the NWoD setting and the mechanics.

(*There are pros and cons about detailing the mysteries of the universe in advance instead of making them up during play. I won't get into that here.)

I came up with a hack to use AW-like game mechanics without needing to modify the rest of the NWoD system. All it needs to do is determine whether an action is successful and, if it is, how many successes were rolled. Of course, I would like to come up with AW-style playbooks as well when I find the time. I've gotten positive feedback about the mechanics (finally, someone who's good at something can actually expect to get a good roll most of the time), so I thought I'd share them here. Below is an excerpt from the house rules I wrote for the players:


Dice Rolls

We will use a 2d6 system instead of the multi-d10 system in the standard rules. Whenever you would normally roll several d10, instead roll 2d6 + Attribute + Ability. Each dot in an attribute or ability counts as one point. You can spend Willpower to add 3 to a roll. If your opponent’s defense applies, your opponent can spend Willpower to subtract 2 from your roll. Otherwise, bonuses or penalties that would normally add or subtract a 10-sided die instead add or subtract one from the roll.

If the result of the roll is 10 or more, you achieve 1 success plus one additional success for every 3 points over 10. The following list summarizes this rule:
9 or less = no successes
10 to 12 = one success
13 to 15 = two successes
16 to 18 = three successes
19 to 20 = four successes
21+ = five successes

So a person with Dexterity 1, Drive 1, swerving to avoid a body in the road would normally roll 2d10 and have about a 50% chance of rolling at least 1 success under the standard rules. Under the modified system, they would roll 2d6 +2 and succeed by rolling 8 or more on the dice, which is close to 50%.

Having the right equipment lets you do something better when you know what you’re doing, but does not actually make you better at something, which is effectively what the standard rules for equipment do. In this game, equipment bonuses add 1 to 3 successes to your result, but only if you get at least 1 success without them. Here is how to convert the equipment bonus in the normal system into a number of successes in this modified system:

1 = 1 success
2-3 = 2 successes
4+ = 3 successes

For example, a lockpick that would add 1 die to a Security Skill roll in the standard rules will instead add 1 success to a successful Security Skill roll and nothing to an unsuccessful roll. A garage that would add 3 dice to a Crafts Skill roll in the standard rules will instead add 2 successes to a successful roll. A shotgun that would normally add 4 dice to a Firearms Skill roll will instead add 3 successes to a successful roll.

The Chance Die

Whenever penalties reduce you to rolling 2d6 + 0 or less, you can’t get more than 1 success and you critically fail if you roll snake eyes. If the penalties are high enough, it is possible to end up subtracting something from your roll.

9 Again, 8 Again, Rote Actions

If you have a “9 again” ability, add 1 success if your roll results in 4 or more successes. If you have an “8 again” ability, add 1 success if your roll results in 3 or more successes. If you perform a “rote action” and get any successes, the minimum number of successes you can have on that action is 3.



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Re: Apocalypse World of Darkness
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 06:14:33 PM »
This should be in the Hacks subforum.

Edit: Also, I don't see how this has anything to do with AW. I mean, sure once you've hacked up some playbook or moves or whatever, but as it stands this is a dice-hack for NWoD and has little contact with AW, aside from the fact that they use 2d6.

Re: Apocalypse World of Darkness
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 09:18:33 PM »
Except for the bit where without having come across AW, he'd be stuck with the old NWoD dice :)
I can see where making tri-fold character splats for mages, geist, changelings, etc. could be fun, if one was familiar with NWoD. And the whole thing with fronts, and threats and count-down clocks for same could come in handy, too.

Re: Apocalypse World of Darkness
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 08:49:33 PM »
Good points. We have also adopted Highlights, the 5-point experience track with a fixed list of improvements and Hx. These are worth transporting to other systems.

I'm also trying to use Fronts to set up situations where there are problems, but no pre-defined resolution. I've been thinking of them as Oddities instead of threats to emphasize the fact that all the antagonists use magic and represent the unknown. An Oddity is defined as an antagonist that causes permanent harm or corruption with magic. These might be of interest for anyone trying to run an AW game with more emphasis on weird.

Instigator: Actively harm others with some kind of magic for fun, revenge, spite or reunion (like a ghost trying to contact a living relative). They may or may not care about the harm they cause.

Innocent: Cause bad things to happen, but not on purpose. They often have noble intentions. They may have an uncontrolled power or something like a guardian angel.

Hunter: Tries to destroy or capture other Oddities out of a sense of misguided justice or for personal benefit. They use some kind of magic, but may not understand it very well.

Broker: Helps others with magic at a cost to the recipient or others. The cost may involve permanent physical harm or corruption. They are motivated by a supernatural need or a flawed sense of justice. They may or may not be open about the costs.