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In-Line Monster Stats

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You know what the WotC Dungeons and Dragons adventures are missing? In line monster stats. That change alone would make these adventures infinitely more usable at the table. Instead of having to drag along my Monster Manual whenever I run an adventure, why not include all the relevant monster information in the adventure itself? It's really just a question of formatting and coming up with some consistent naming conventions.

For example, here's a goblin.

Goblins (2d6)- AC 15, hp 7, Spd 30' [St -1 Dx +2 Co +0 In +0 Ws -1 Ch -1] Stealth +6, Darkvision 60, Atk +4 (1d6+2) scimitar or shortbow, BA hide or disengage, CR 1/4

That's not too bad for a simple creature like a goblin, but what if we look at something like a demon with multiple attacks and several special abilities? It's more complicated and takes more space, but it's still pretty concise.

Hezrou (1d3)-  AC 16, hp 136, Spd 30' [St +4(+7) Dx +3 Co +5(+8) In -3 Ws +1 (+4) Ch +1] DR  col, fir, lgt, non mag:

Masquerade Damage

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The Masquerade is pretty shaky these days. Turns out when you have a worldwide spy network that is pretty good at hunting down people trying to hide, it's hard to talk them down from drone striking your undead ass.

This system is designed to make the Masquerade as omnipresent a threat as Hunger and Humanity are in V5. As the coterie goes about their vampiric business, they unwittingly breach the Masquerade in a dozen tiny ways. A messy critical means you terrify the informant with fangs and glowing red eyes. You panic dial your blood doll when you're getting hungry. Maybe you engage in a good old-fashioned 90's style rooftop swordfight. Maybe you clean up, maybe you don't get a chance to. Eventually, some NatSec office worker sees enough watchword flags in Twitter posts, Facebook updates, and local news stories and starts snooping around. Once you get their attention, the pressure is on and fuck ups are not tolerated.

The Masquerade Track Storyteller tracks the Masquer…

The Social Crawl, Part II

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Don't let this happen to you! There you are, players sitting across the table from you, like baby birds waiting to gobble your regurgitated brain worms. You spent an hour last night making a Social Crawl map, and you stare at it intently, waiting for inspiration to strike like so much upchucked half-digested meat and silence the player’s incessant cawing. You stare harder. A blood vessel bursts in your brain, rendering you insensate and nearly dead. Your players eat your still warm corpse to absorb the knowledge. They all gain a level.
Rules for the GM At its core, a Social Crawl is just a map, but it's a hidden map. People are generally pretty good at mapping out social structures in their head, and part of the challenge of a Social Crawl is figuring out who knows who. And for those people who aren't naturally inclined, knowing there is a consistent map means they can structure the connections and treat it as a puzzle.
Locations matter  Each NPC on the Social map lives an…

The Social Crawl Part 1

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The Social Crawl is a hex crawl, but for people. Each 'hex' (we'll call them 'marks' because there's some funny convergence on con-artist terminology), each mark is a person of interest and their entourage. The marks are connected to other marks. Think of the nature of the connections as the landscape. You need different gear when adventuring in the mountains, and you need different approaches when trying to contact an estranged lover vs. a hated enemy.

Social Crawling is great at:

City intrigue games, where there are factions ready to fuck with each otherMysteries about rich people having tea and someone like drinks poisonCults, crime bosses, and political jerkfaces There are two parts here: Building the Social CrawlRunning the Social Crawl Both use a different process, and building it is way more in-depth than running it. Building out the map can  take a hot minute, but I've used maps I built in an hour for games that lasted three months, so the cost is wor…

Building a Compelling Character

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Building a character in a World of Darkness game takes about five minutes. Building a character in a World of Darkness game takes about six hours. Usually it’s a superposition of both. Mechanically you can fill out your character sheet in about five minutes. Anyone can learn it and get going right away. But then comes the hard part, where you have to come up with a character that will be interesting enough to bother playing for a few months or years.

See, in other games you have some training wheels that make playing a character a little easier. You have levels. It might take three or four levels to figure out who the character is, and what they want. You might never figure it out and just tag along with the rest of the party and have a great time. Nothing wrong with that. Vampire complicates this a bit.

In Vampire, you’re dropped into a web of distrust, occult dealings, moral failing, and political fuckery. Every NPC is trying to manipulate you to their own ends, playing you like To…