A Dark Room (New WC Character Creation Rules)

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Nov 9, 2008

The sound of dripping water once again, an ominous sign to say the least. How many times has this sound signaled the approach of an undesirable encounter, one that would twist fate in a cruel and horrible direction? Senses deprived, helpless…unable to do anything but watch and obey helplessly…all too unpleasant an experience, repeated many times by this point.

Yet…this time, unlike before, the return of sensations is expedient, as vision quickly returns…one’s eyes blinking to behold utter darkness for a moment, strangely enough, then…the flickering, yet bright lights of close proximity candles.

A scan around reveals that one is seated in a comfortable arm chair of sorts, before an oaken desk…illuminated by what appear to be floating candles hanging in thin air nearby… a young girl seated across, seeming to be immersed in an extremely oversized tome. A tome…that seems empty of wording or anything at all really. Dressed in fantasy-esque and purple sorcerer robes with azure blue trimming, golden chains with accompanying shackles on her wrists that loop around the girl’s back, and a metallic blindfold dyed blue covering her eyes…the girl is a strange sight to say the least. Perhaps familiar…for one reason or the other. Choosing to make no sound so as to avoid such an…oddity, one perhaps begins to hope that one will remain unnoticed until “this” dream is awoken from. Yet…despite one’s attempts, the blindfolded girl begins addressing her visitor…regardless of her supposed lack of sight, and without looking up from the “tome” she should be immersed in.

“How quaint, another comes to disturb me…another in this dreadful game.””

Judging from the tone of voice, despite the harsh choice of words, the girl seems to sound weary…rather than angry or annoyed. Especially as she continues to speak, without ever looking up.

“Everything remains the same as it was before….for the most part, the base essence has not changed and is self explanatory.”

‘Base essence’? ‘Self explanatory’? Is this in relation to the Lady‘s game? Such are the thoughts that no doubt fill one’s head following the girl’s ambiguous statement. Thoughts that appear to be snatched from one’s minds before they can be expressed as the “sorceress girl” lets out a sigh and nods… actually bothering to face the one across from her now.

“Let us start with the basics then, thou slow and simple minded one. There is work to be done.”

The empty tome then begins to shine, as glowing letters…no, runes of an unknown language begin to fill it…actually rising out of the page, and swirling about. The flames of the candles that provide illumination turn from orange to blue…a strange and enigmatic pressure beginning to stifle the air around as this strange event takes its course. Powerful magic perhaps, if one was in a fantasy world.

“Pay close heed slow one, I shall repeat these only once.”

The girl’s voice begins to change at the end of her speech, becoming far more monotone…more automated, more unnatural. Remaining this way as she explains, a quill pen beginning to float over the tome, and the latter to you, the girl seems to have entered a trance of sorts…
Nov 9, 2008
Re: A Dark Room (New WC Character Creation Rules)

Character Creation
”Come, try to remember: Your original form, your original self. Drawing yourself in your mind, is the first step to everything…

Step 1:
1. Choose background. First, create your character's concept.

To help get a handle on your character's identity and motivations, come up with a short, two- or three-word description of him/her. This usually, but not always includes some idea of career: "nightstalking journalist," "stoic mechanic", "lost waif", "petulant yuppie", "angry young man".

Remember that your character was someone before they were turned into a game piece; a living person with depth and sophistication. Although the method of choosing is unclear, the Lady, abhorring boredom, picks people that are unique in one way or form. Thus a character should have a specific skill, theme, or trait that makes them unique above others… something that’s identifiable even if they remember only the past two months or so of their previous lives before the beginning of the game.
”Come, try to remember: Your strengths and weaknesses, the base characteristics of your being. For such will grant you strength.

Step 2:
2. Select Attributes, your character's innate capabilities.

There are three categories, Mental, Physical and Social, each with three attributes within them. You also start with one dot in each attribute automatically.

Firstly, prioritize the categories based on primary, secondary, and tertiary. You get 5 points to spend on your primary, 4 points in your secondary, and 3 points in your tertiary. Purchasing the 5th dot in any attribute costs 2 points.

Mental Attributes

Intelligence - The raw power of the mind and cognitive capacity.
Wits - The ability to think on one's feet, under pressure or duress.
Resolve - Your focus and determination to see your will done.

Physical Attributes

Strength - Physical Might. Sheer bodily power.
Dexterity - Quickness. Response time. A delicate touch.
Stamina - Sturdiness. Steadfastness. Sheer physical resilience..

Social Attributes

Presence - Bearing. Stature. Assertiveness.
Manipulation - Charm. Persuasiveness. Charisma.
Composure - Poise. Dignity. The capacity to remain calm.
”Come, try to remember: What made you unique, what differentiated you from others, what let you stand out amidst mindless sheep?”

Step 3:
3. Select Skills, your characters learned capabilities.

Much like Attributes, there are three categories being physical, mental and social. Also much like Attributes, you prioritize them (although it doesn't have to be the same priorities as attributes),in primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary gains 11 points to spend, secondary gets 7, and tertiary gets 4. Unlike Attributes, you do not start with one dot in each skill, however the 5th dot still costs 2 points.

Mental Skills

Academics - Broad skill that represents higher education and a degree of knowledge in the Arts and Humanities - everything from English to history, economics to law.
Specializations: Anthropology, Art, English, History, Law, Religion, Research

Computers - Represents your ability to use and operate computers. At 3+ dots, you can program.
Specializations: Artificial Intelligence, Data Retrieval, Graphics, Hacking, Internet.

Crafts - Represents your training or experience in creating works of physical art or construction with your hands; from paintings to car engines to classical sculpture.
Specializations: Automobiles, Aircraft, Forging, Jury-Rigging, Sculpting, Sewing

Investigation - The art and science of solving mysteries, examining seemingly
disparate evidence to find a connection, answering riddles and overcoming paradoxes.
Specializations: Artifacts, Body Language, Crime Scenes, Cryptography, Dreams, Autopsy Diagnoses, Puzzles, Riddles, Scientific Experiments

Medicine - Training and expertise in human physiology and how to treat injuries and illness.
Specializations: Emergency Care, Pathology, Pharmaceuticals, Physical Therapy, Surgery.

Occult - Knowledge and experience with the world's various legends and lore about the supernatural
Specializations: Cultural Beliefs, Ghosts, Magic, Monsters, Superstitions, Witchcraft

“Game Mechanics” - Characters possessing this not only understand the nature of the game board,
but specific rules and are experienced with how to get things done within the game board.
Specializations: Loopholes, Patterns, Pieces, Locations

Science - Represents your character's understanding of the physical and natural sciences, biology, chemistry, geology, meterorlogy, physics.
Specializations: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Metallurgy, Physics.

Physical Skills

Athletics - Broad category of physical training, from rock climbing to kayaking to professional sports such as football or hockey.
Specializations: Acrobatics, Climbing, Kayaking, Long-Distance Running, Sprinting, Swimming, Throwing.

Brawl - Hand to hand combat ability.
Specializations: Blocking, Boxing, Dirty Tricks, Grappling, Kung Fu, Throws.

Drive - Ability to operate a vehicle under difficult conditions. You don't require this skill simply to drive, this is for driving in difficult conditions or at high speeds etc
Specializations: High Performance Cars, Motorcycles, Off-road, Pursuit, Shaking tails, Stunts.

Firearms - Ability to identify, operate and maintain most firearms.
Specializations: Auto-fire, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Sniping, Trick Shot.

Larceny - Everything from picking locks to concealing stolen goods to bypassing security systems
Specializations: Concealing Stolen Goods, Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, Security Systems, Safecracking.

Stealth - Your experience or training in avoiding notice, whether moving silently or blending into a crowd.
Specializations: Camouflage, Crowds, Moving in Darkness, Moving in Woods.

Survival - Your experience or training "living off the land"
Specializations: Foraging, Navigation, Meteorology, Shelter.

Weaponry - Represents your experience or training in fighting with everything from beer bottles to pipers, knives to swords. Most melee weaponry falls under here.
Specializations: Improvised Weapons, Knives, Swords.

Social Skills

Animal Ken - Your knowledge or experience dealing ith animals, knowing how they react and how to read their moods.
Specializations: Animal Needs, Imminent Attack, Specific Kind of Animal, Training.

Empathy - Your intuition for reading people's emotions, views and perspectives.
Specializations: Emotion, Lies, Motives, Personalities.

Expression - Your training or experience in the art of communication, both to entertain and inform. Includes written and spoken word, but also poetry, acting and music.
Specializations: Classical Dance, Drama, Exposes, Musical Instrument, Newspaper Articles, Speeches

Intimidation - The art and technique of persuading through fear.
Specializations: Bluster, Physical Threats, Stare-Downs, Torture, Veiled Threats.

Persuasion - The art of inspiring or changing minds through logic, charm or sheer glib fast-talking.
Specializations: Fast-talking, Inspiring Troops, Motivational Speeches, Sales Pitches, Seduction.

Socialize - Reflects your ability to interact with others in a variety of situations. Covers sensitivity, etiquette, and customs.
Specializations: Bar Hopping, Dress Balls, Formal Events, Frat Parties, State Dinners.

Subterfuge - Art the deception. How to lie convincingly, as well as how to spot lies.
Specializations: Con jobs, Hiding Emotions, Lying, Misdirection, Spotting Lies.
Come, try to remember: Further as to what made you unique. The more you remember, the more power you shall receive.

Step 4:
4. Select Skill Specialties, your character's focused areas of expertise.

You get three specialties to choose, which can be spent on any skills you have. See above for example specializations, or ask the GM for permission to use something other than those. There is no limit to how many specializations can be assigned to a single skill. A specialty gives a +1 bonus to any roll in which it is relevant. For example, a player with a specialty in pistols gains a +1 bonus to firearms rolls when using a pistol, but doesn't get this bonus using a different type of firearm.
Come, try to remember: What Lord Fortune and Lady Luck blessed thee with. What fate determined would by the hand and nature…

Step 5:
Size - Most adult humans are size 5.

This represents how large your character is. Generally, your size will not change.

Morality - Starting morality is 7.

Morality reflects a character's sense of compassion for his or her fellow human being and basic respect for the rule of law. Morality begins at 7, a basic respect for the law and a realistic sense of compassion for other people. A character can become more virtuous or can become more selfish.

As a character commits certain acts, the risk losing morality as their mentality shifts and they are able to rationalize what they've done to themselves. A character may become accustomed to stealing in order to survive and no longer concern themselves that they are robbing from someone, because they need to do this. Certain acts, however, can only drop a character's morality so far, and it requires worse acts to drop further. Petty theft will only drop a character so low.

As a character commits acts that risk their morality, the GM asks them to roll morality. They get a number of dice based of the act they are committing, and may get a bonus or a penalty based on the circumstances of the act. Shooting someone in self-defense as they lunge at you warrants a bonus, murdering a sick orphan living on the street in cold blood for no reason other than it's funny warrants a penalty.

As a character's morality drops, they risk developing derangements. These are psychological effects on the mind that provide penalties in specific situations when triggered.

Increasing morality requires a great deal of effort. One must actively try to better themselves and change their ways, and after a sufficient period of time doing so the GM may allow them to spend exp to increase their morality. Particularly redeeming acts may warrant a free boost in morality but these are rare and almost certainly cost the character a lot.

Defense - The lower of dexterity or wits.

Your ability to defend yourself in close quarters. It applies to brawl, melee weaponry and thrown weaponry, but not to firearms unless the person firing is within 2 yards from you. Defense does not apply if you're caught by surprise, and the more attacks you face in a turn, the more penalty you take to defense as you struggle to fight off multiple attacks.

Health - Stamina + size

Health is your body's capacity to copy with injury and remain functional. As your character takes damage, each point of damage lowers his Health by one. When a character has three points of health left, they begin to take penalties on all rolls as they begin to be overcome by shock and physical trauma. This penalty increases as they take further damage.

There are three kinds of damage: Bashing, Lethal and Aggravated. Bashing damage is dealt by punches, and blunt objects. When you've taken all your health in bashing damage, you must make successful stamina rolls to remain conscious. Any further bashing damage beyond this point causes lethal damage instead. Characters heal bashing damage at a rate of 1 every
15 minutes.

Lethal damage is inflicted by blades, firearms, crushing damage etc. It is by nature more severe than bashing damage. When a character has taken full lethal damage, the next blow against them will cause them to pass out, and they'll begin bleeding out. Characters heal a point of lethal damage after a night's rest, and a day of rest will heal an additional point.

Aggravated damage is severe damage that requires proper treatment to recover from. A character takes a point of aggravated damage when they have full lethal, and will then take another every minute until they receive treatment, or reach full aggravated damage, killing them. It takes proper treatment and a week's rest to heal a point of aggravated damage.

Initiative - Dexterity + Composure

Your initiative reflects your action time and ability to think on your feet in a crisis. When you need to roll initiative, you roll one die and add the result to your character's initiative trait.

Initiative is rolled each turn, and resolved in "reverse declaration order". This may seem unusual to many used to system games because in this, the person who rolled lowest goes first. However, anyone with a higher initiative can elect to "interrupt" a lower character's turn and act before them if they like. You can also interrupt interruptions.

For example, Mary rolled an initiative of 3. Using the knife in her hand, she tries to stab at John. John rolled an initiative of 7, and doesn't like the idea of being stabbed, so he chooses to interrupt Mary and try and disarm her of the knife before she can do so.

Speed - Strength + Dexterity + 5

Your character's speed is how many yards they can move in a turn. Your character can move up to this distance and still perform an action. Your character can also run, moving double this distance, but cannot perform any other action in a turn.

Willpower - Resolve + Composure

Willpower is your self-confidence, determination and emotional resilience.
Willpower is rated from 1 to 10, and has both permanent dots, and temporary dots. Permanent dots is your characters maximum willpower, while temporary ones are your current willpower.

You can only spend 1 point of willpower each turn.

Willpower can be spent on a variety of things. You can spend a point of willpower to gain a +3 modifying on a roll during a turn. The GM may determine that some rolls cannot be modified in this way. You can not spend a point of willpower to gain a bonus on morality rolls.

A willpower point can also be spent to add two to your character's stamina, resolve, composure or defense to resist mental, social/emotional pressures asserted on him, or made a concerted effort to avoid being harmed. Basically, to add to your defense against a specific attack.

Lastly, many supernatural powers and abilities will require willpower in order to use.
“Come, try to remember: “Your greatest boon and greatest downfall. Virtue and Vice go hand in hand in this wicked game.”

Step 6:
6. Determine your character's Virtue and Vice

Each character starts play with one defining virtue and one defining vice. These are defining parts of the character, which often reflect their background or character concept. A character who is a priest may have a virtue of faith, and the vice of pride. He is a man of conviction and belief, but sometimes his beliefs lend themselves to self-righteousness.

When a character's actions in a situation reflect their particular virtue or vice, they reinforce the character's sense of self. At the GMs discretions, the character may regain one point of willpower per scene by acting according to their vice. and the character may regain all of their willpower once per session by acting according to their virtue.

Note that these actions must be made in situations where the character stands to lose something by doing so. Everyday expressions of faith and pride are not enough, it needs to be a difficult decision where the character stays true to their nature.


Charity - Your character regains all spent willpower points whenever they help another at the risk of loss or harm to themselves. It isn't enough to share what your character has in abundance, they must make a real sacrifice in terms of time, possessions or energy, or risk life and limb to help another.

Faith - Characters with Faith know the universe is not random, meaningless chaos, but ordered by a higher power. They do not necessarily believe in a personified deity, or even a religion, formal or otherwise; they may believe in a Grand Unified Theory hereby the seeming randomness of the universe is ultimately an expression of mathematical precision. Your character regains all spent willpower points whenever he is able to forge meaning from chaos and tragedy.

Fortitude - Fortitude is about standing up for one's beliefs and holding the course no matter how tempting it may be to relent or give up. Your character regains all spent willpower points whenever he withstands overwhelming or tempting pressure to alter his goals. This does not include temporary distractions from his course of action, only pressure that might cause him to abandon or change his goals altogether.

Hope - Your character regains all spent willpower points whenever they refuse to let others give in to despair, even though doing so risks harming her own goals or wellbeing This is similar to Fortitude, above, except your character tries to prevent others from losing hope in their goals. They need not share the goals themselves or even be successful in upholding them, but there must be a risk involved.

Justice - Your character regains all spent willpower points whenever he does the right thing at risk of personal loss or setback. The "right thing" can be defined by the letter or spirit of a particular code of conduct.

Prudence - The virtue of prudence places wisdom and restraint above rash action and thoughtless behavior. One maintains integrity and principles by moderating actions and avoiding unnecessary risk. Your character regains all spent willpower points whenever he refuses a tempting course of action by which he could gain significantly. The "temptation" must involve some reward that, by refusing it, might cost them later on.

Temperance - Moderation in all things is the key to happiness, so says the doctrine of Temperance. Your character regains all spent willpower when he resists temptation to indulge in an excess of any behavior, whether good or bad, despite the obvious rewards it might offer.


Envy - An envious person is never satisfied with what they have. No matter their wealth, status or accomplishments, there is always someone else who seems to have more. Your character regains one Willpower point whenever she gains something important from a rival or has a hand in harming that rival's well-being.

Gluttony - Gluttony is about indulging appetites to the exclusion of everything else. Your character regains one spent willpower point whenever he indulges in his addition or appetites at some risk to themselves or a loved one.

Greed - Like the envious, the greedy are never satisfied with what they have.
Your character gains one willpower point whenever he acquires something at the expense of another. Gaining it must come at some potential risk (of assault, arrest or simple loss of peer respect.)

Lust - The vice of lust is that of uncontrolled desires. A lusty individual is driven by a passion for something (usually sex, but it can be a craving for virtually any experience or activity.) that he acts upon without consideration for the needs or feelings of others. Your character regains a point of willpower whenever they satisfy their love or compulsion in a way that victimises others.

Pride - Pride is the vice of self-confidence run amok. It is the belief that one's
every action is inherently right, even when it should be obvious that it is anything but. Your character regains one point of willpower whenever they exert their own wants (not needs) over others at some potential risk for themselves. This is most commonly the desire for adulation, but it could be the desire to make others do as they command.

Sloth - The vice of sloth is about avoiding work until someone else has to step in to get the job done. Your character regains a willpower point whenever he successfully avoids a difficult task but achieves the same goal nonetheless.

Wrath - Your character regains one spent willpower point whenever they unleash their anger in a situation where doing so is dangerous. If the fight has already begun, no willpower points are regained. It must take place in a situation where anger is unwarranted or inappropriate.
“Come, remember: What qualities you had, what truly defined you as who you were…and be made anew.”

Step 7:
7. Select Merits, representing character enhancements and background elements

You have 7 dots to spend on merits. As with everything else, the 5th dot costs 2. There are a ridiculous number of merits spread over many books that…they will not be listed here. Rather, examples will be given of what is covered by merits. When creating a character, the final step will be discussion with the GM over what merits are appropriate. Please contact the GM once everything else is done to discuss appropriate merits.

Like almost everything, Merits can be purchased with exp after the game is under way, so if there's something you want for your character and think it might fall under a merit, discuss it with the GM.

Examples of things covered by merits include:
Training in a specific fighting style, Speaking languages other than English, getting a "gut feeling" about things, photographic memory, being uncommonly large, ambidexterity, being able to stomach eating almost anything, striking looks, etc.

…returning to normal once her explanation is concluded, despite your inability to complete all that had been required of you by the hefty tome. While the explanation had been thorough enough, and memories that had been forgotten had reawakened…not even the greatest scribe could possibly finish everything in that time!

“Make haste slow one…time is a precious thing, for some more than others.”

A sigh of exasperation, though the tone of voice…sounded more hurried and uneasy than irritated or annoyed. Odd, given what one would believe should accompany a statement such as that. Nevertheless, eventually the tome is satisfied…the magical runes vanishing…the quill disappearing…and all is quiet once again… save for the incessant dripping.


…Odd, why did the dripping sound closer than before? Also…was it just a trick? Or was the llight beginning to fade?...Despite how healthy the candles seemed to look. It is then that the girl speaks one last time, as the light continues to dim, and sight begins to be obscured…her tone of voice despondent, hopeless, as she gives a cryptic statement.

“Everything is never as it seems, everything is always hidden in the darkest of shadows.”

The light fades…


In the Darkness

Then all became vague.
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