House Rules and Game Mechanics
1. Willpower and Aspirations
During Open Play (see Modes of Play for more information), Willpower is locked and can be neither gained nor lost. Similarly, while characters are expected to pursue their Aspirations, Beats for Aspirations are not awarded during Open Play.
The Staff will award Willpower points and Aspiration Beats as they see fit during the scenes they supervise.
2. Health and Combat
In Walpurgis, your character's current Health state (the precise amount and type of damage you have suffered) is typically hidden from you. Even an examination with the Medicine Skill, while it will give you a better idea of a person's survival chances and what type of medical care might be needed, won't provide specific information about health levels. Only a select few supernatural abilities are capable of this type of precision and certainty.
The intention behind this system is to encourage players to roleplay more realistically when their characters are injured. There are no hitpoints in real life—and just like in real life, if you are in a life-or-death situation, you can't know exactly how much more punishment your body has taken or can take. You will need to make risk assessment choices based on what your immediate senses tell you (i.e. Storyteller description) about your injuries.
For the sake of expediency and realism in a game which potentially contains lots of players, combat turns in Walpurgis are timed. Remember, a turn of combat in the World of Darkness is only three seconds—your character doesn't have a lot of time to think, so neither should you. If three minutes of real time have passed since the Storyteller has announced your character's turn, and you have neither posted your character's action nor engaged the Staff with a reasonable question about your action, then the Staff will rule that your character is too overwhelmed by the chaos of combat to make a snap decision, and your action for that turn will be forfeited and skipped.
It is therefore strongly encouraged that you start working on your character's action, and ask any relevant questions of the Staff, before your turn is announced. This will make combat a faster and more pleasant experience for everyone.
Over time, characters recover from trauma. Injuries heal, and Willpower points come back. However, due to the play-as-you-want nature of Walpurgis, a damaged or depleted character could potentially game the system by avoiding roleplay while vulnerable, waiting for their resources to recharge before returning to the game. To persuade people to roleplay their way through difficult times, the following rules are in place.
Willpower and Health do not recover ordinarily in real time. Instead, for every 24-hour period in which a player character takes part in scenes, either with Staff or with other players:
- The character regains 1 Willpower point, if the character has been able to get a restful night of sleep.
- The character heals all Bashing damage (if it wasn't already healed in-scene).
- The character heals 1 Lethal damage, or half of 1 Aggravated damage.
- For Conditions, and other time-based effects of less than one month, such as stat debuffs from a Mage's Pattern Scouring, one day is considered to have passed.
- A Mage character may perform an Oblation at a Hallow or Scour their pattern once.
- A Werewolf character may draw from a Locus to which they have safe access.
- A Vampire or Changeling character may request a feeding or harvesting scene. Further requests in that same real-time week may be denied, depending on the judgment and availability of Staff. (See the "Vitae and Feeding" section below for rules about feeding scenes; Changeling Harvesting scenes follow a similar model.)
Any effects that have a duration of more than one month—Awakened spells, blood bonds, Ghoul upkeep, long-lasting Conditions, etc.—will elapse in real time regardless of the player's rate of play.
4. Character Progression
Beats are awarded in the following ways:
- You start the game with a free Beat if your character sheet background is sufficiently interesting to the Staff.
- Staff will periodically award Beats for participation in Open Play. The rate will be approximately one Beat per week, with bonus Beats awarded to prolific and talented players.
- Beats will be awarded much more liberally during Events. Good roleplay, achieving your character's goals, or making progress on a storyline are all great ways to earn Beats. Participating in Staff-run storylines is by far the fastest way to earn Experiences. This is intentional.
5. Character Advancement
All Experience spends must be submitted to the Staff for approval. The Staff reserve the right to deny Experience spends if they feel your character has not earned his or her new traits, or has progressed too quickly in one area.
6. Social Merits
- Restricted Merits (see the Character Creation page) may not be bought with Experiences. Instead, they are awarded to and taken away from your character in a way that reflects what is happening in the game. Status—especially City Status for Kindred—is fluid and a matter of public record.
- Expanded Merits may be purchased with Experiences in close coordination with the Staff. However, these traits potentially represent NPCs who may actually appear in the game. As such, they can be manipulated, killed, or otherwise dispensed with. The Sanctity of Merits rule applies to Merits lost in this manner.
7. Vitae and Feeding
We believe that Vampire characters are too often thought of as dark action heroes with magical powers and no downsides. In Walpurgis, we want to remind you that Vampires are monsters who need to drink blood—and that stealing someone's blood is not a harmless act. To that end, the following rules concerning Vitae and Feeding are in effect:
- Vitae is locked during Open Play. Powers which require Vitae to activate may not be used without direct Staff supervision.
- A Vampire PC's Vitae pool does not go down by one each night. If you're playing a Vampire, it is assumed that your character is at least competent enough to find enough food to counteract the amount of Vitae he or she needs to expend to wake at sunset. It is also assumed that this means your character is drinking blood on a regular basis, and that this is the extent to which your character feeds with ease on random and unimportant people.
- Vitae spent during Storyteller scenes and Events does not come back on its own. In order to regain Vitae, your PC must actually feed on an NPC or another PC during the course of play.
- A Vampire PC may feed on another PC during Open Play if the victim's player and character are consenting. If the mortal is fully cooperative, these feedings do not present a frenzy risk unless both players want that risk for story purposes.
- If the Vampire is starving (Vitae is 2 or lower), or the victim has a feeding-related Condition, Staff supervision is required for feeding to proceed even if the victim has given consent.
- When feeding, the player of a Vampire must note it in the #feed channel on Discord. In order to be granted Vitae, the player must specify which character he or she fed from as well as where and when. The Vampire PC will then be granted an amount of Vitae that the Staff deems appropriate.
- PCs who are the victims of feedings will be assigned Conditions to reflect their experience. PCs who are fed upon too frequently risk being killed by the act.
- If no PCs are available to feed from, or the player does not want to feed from any PCs, the Vampire player may request a feeding scene from the Staff. These scenes will allow the Vampire player to hunt for blood—but there will always be some level of accompanying risk, complication, or cost.
As you can see, getting blood is not a trivial thing in Walpurgis. If you're playing a Vampire character, you'd better plan accordingly.
7. The Embrace
- Vampire PCs may Embrace other PCs, per the normal rules of Vampire: the Requiem (2nd ed.). A dot of Humanity is lost by the donor.
- Just because the rules of the game allow you to Embrace someone doesn't mean the NPC cast will like it. The Prince frowns upon those who Embrace without permission. Consider yourself warned.
- Posthumous, spontaneous, and Revenant Embraces may occur at the discretion of the Staff, but don't count on it. A PC who is drained dry is probably just dead.
- Given the game mechanics concerning feeding, it is strongly advised that players of Vampires give a lot of thought to the Embrace. If everyone becomes a vampire, who will you feed from…?