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House Rules


First and foremost, Kings of New York (or KoNY, for short) primarily utilizes the rules found in the book, Laws of the Night (Revised), and the companion books of the same line. We also utilize much of the tabletop books produced by White Wolf for the line that is now called the "classic" World of Darkness, including the recently published work by White Wolf's successor, Onyx Path. Many of these books, as well as the larp-specific books, can be found on DriveThruRPG or used at certain bookstores and online retailers (like Amazon).

Of course, like all other games, we do have our own house rules. Our house rules are as follows:

Main House Rules

Mission Statement

(As found on the main page)

  1. Kings of New York is a game dedicated to creating a fun, welcoming community of gamers.
  2. Kings of New York is a Sabbat Vampire the Masquerade game.
  3. Kings of New York follows “Wheaton’s Law”.
  4. The Player’s sole job is to have fun.
  5. Players do not deal with the Bureaucracy of One World by Night. The Storyteller’s do. To that end, Players do not deal with Coordinators for One World by Night unless specifically given permission to by the Storytellers. This is the Storyteller’s job.
  6. Negativity, toxic environments, and “drama” will not be tolerated within Kings of New York.
  7. The main focus of Kings of New York will be Role-Playing and telling stories.
  8. It is the responsibility of the older players of Kings of New York to engage and help the newer players of Kings of New York.
  9. Kings of New York staff will welcome all new players and help them get immediately involved and integrated into the game.
  10. Kings of New York will support and encourage non-gaming community building events. As Kings of New York is a gaming community, we shall have Player’s Nights and other non-game events where the community socializes and brings a positive environment.

General Rules

  • The Storytelling (ST) Staff reserves the right to make any ruling they see fit to any scene, as necessary.
    • For anything not presented here, please check with the ST Staff for either OWbN Documents (i.e. OWbN Clan Genre Guides, By-Laws, etc.) or ST rulings.
    • The House Rules documents are a living document and items not listed will be up to the discretion of the ST Staff as to the ruling of said item (whether it be a scene or discrepancy on how a power is used, or whatever the case may be).
  • Powers and Abilities (Merits, Disciplines, Rituals, etc.) not presented in Laws of the Night (Revised Ed.) (LotN:R) or The Sabbat Guide (SG) must be written down on either an item card or within the notes section of the the player’s character sheet, with citation (book/document source, page number) and mechanics.
    • These powers will be at the discretion of the ST Staff as to whether or not they will be allowed in Kings of New York (KONY).
    • Any player who has a question about whether or not something will be (or should be) allowed in-game should see a member of the ST Staff for clarifications.
  • All players (visitors and home) must physically sign-in to the game to play at Kings of New York. This is mostly for records purposes. Online players are required to check in at least once a month with the staff if they are unable to physically attend Kings of New York.
  • All players (visitors and home) must treat both the ST Staff and other players with respect. Those who do not will be asked to step out of game until the ST Staff believes the player has composed his or herself satisfactorily.
  • A PC may not use more than ONE out-of-clan Advanced discipline until he has mastered all of his In-Clan disciplines to Advanced level. After such time, they may use as many Out-of-Clan Advanced disciplines as they may possess.
  • You must declare all Merits or Status you may be using in a challenge, just like you bid a trait.
  • A PC has 3 rounds to fair escape Central Park, otherwise they will be GNCed.
  • In any challenge with a Genre without a "Win All Ties" power, you instead receive 5 Bonus traits to the challenge instead of winning ties. Alternately, the ST Staff may run that Genre with vampire equivalent powers, in which case your disciplines will function as normal. Players will be informed which system a given ST intends to use at the earliest appropriate time.
  • For Rules on how Fetishes and Magic Items work in Kings of New York please see the KoNY Blood Magic Rules.
  • All Teleportation-related powers require minimum one full action to use if they do not state otherwise
  • Characters may only ever have a maximum of TWO types of Blood Magic.

Outside Interactions

(i.e., Interacting with NPCs of other games/Coordinator Offices/etc.)

  • All players of KONY must, when interacting with NPCs of other games (online) or interacting with any Coordinator’s office in OWbN must log the conversation in their PC’s PuppetPrince Journal (a brief summary will do), as well as courtesy copy (CC) their emails with these offices to their respective home game’s Staff.
    • This is for records purposes and for the protection of our players.
    • Those that do not log these interactions with their home game’s staff will have those interactions considered “invalid” and any items received or abilities/disciplines learned will be considered red-lined.
  • Any player, when dealing with Staff outside their home chronicle or members of Coordinator’s offices, should feel free to contact staff if they have issues with said individuals.
  • If a Player outside of Kings of New York wishes to interact with Character inside of Kings of New York (who is also In Character currently in KoNY territory; the character wishing to interact with the character inside Kings of New York must be signed into Kings of New York for jurisdictional purposes. This includes the use of powers on Characters inside of Kings of New York. Example: Character Bob wishes to use the Ritual Knowing stone in his home game to locate Character Dave in Kings of New York. Unless Bob is currently signed into Kings of New York, this power/action fails.

Online-Only Players

  • Kings of New York allows characters to be based in its chronicle for those who cannot physically attend our game sessions.
  • Those who are Online-Only characters must pay a $5 US Dollar monthly fee to remain active in Kings of New York. This is done to help offset the costs of running Kings of New York and support our community. This money goes directly to Kings of New York for use only in all expenses for the chronicle.

Backgrounds/Abilities/Etc.

  • Frenzy Tests: Willpower may be spent to ignore Frenzy for 15 minutes. If the stimulus is still present at the end of this time, the Player Character (PC) will frenzy. There is no test. Willpower must be spent before the check for Frenzy is made.
  • Traits: All Vampire PCs between 15th and 8th Generation may bid only a max of 30 traits. This does not affect how many max traits you have, only the maximum you may bid. Max traits are still based on a PC’s Generation.
  • Expending Traits (Maximum): If a power does not state otherwise in regards to trait expenditures of any kind, the maximum amount of traits you may spend is 3.
  • Linguistics: is handled as in Laws of the East, which states “This version...supersedes the rules for Linguistics given in all previous Mind’s Eye Theatre games” and, as such, the Linguistics ability is handled as follows:
    • Level 1 = 1 additional language (to your native language)
    • Level 2 = 2 languages (in addition to your native, so 3 total languages incl. native)
    • Level 3 = 4
    • Level 4 = 8
    • Level 5 = 16
    • The Merit Natural Linguist doubles the number of languages a character may possess.
  • Rituals: This ability is used to retest Ritae (the Background Rituals is used to actually possess Rites, found in the tabletop version of Guide to the Sabbat).
  • Crafts: Characters with Crafts can create items appropriate to their Craft Ability that grant bonus traits equal to their craft rating BUT NOT EXCEEDING the item's nearest equivalent rating in Dark Epics. Characters with Crafts 5 can create items that surpass the Dark Epics base items by 1 trait.

Merits

  • Ambidextrous: provides an additional trait when wielding two weapons, not an additional action.
  • Luck: Luck is disallowed for use in Kings of New York

Disciplines

Animalism

LVL 5 - Drawing Out the Beast: Your beast will always return to you at the next sunset.

Auspex

GENERAL: In tests of Auspex versus Obfuscate/Chimerstry, the person with the highest level automatically succeeds. Should they have equal levels, a normal test is thrown instead, no bonus traits from simply having these powers apply. For example: if you have Auspex 4 and your opponent has Obfuscate 3, you automatically see him with no challenge required. This is a reflection of what was suggested in the MET journals, to use the Tabletop rules instead.

LVL 1 - Heightened Senses: If this power is active, the PC must have it obviously active (out-of-character, such as with the gesture for Heightened Senses) or declare it to an ST in a scene.

LVL 5 - Psychic Projection: When using this power, the location of your body must be logged with the STs. You may not spend Blood while using this power.

Celerity

LVL 5 - Fleetness: A PC may only win ties ONCE in a challenge; the game does not observe the “Win ties Twice” rule.

Chimerstry

GENERAL: In tests of Auspex versus Chimerstry, If a person has a higher Auspex rating then the rating of the user’s Chimerstry, they automatically pierce the illusion.

LVL 5 - Horrid Reality: An ST must be present for the use of this power. If this power is used to stake someone or cause a fatal blow, the victim may spend Aegis to negate the staking/damage.

Dementation

LVL 4 - Voice of Madness: A Willpower may not be spent to ignore this challenge. The Virtue test must be thrown against this power.

Dominate

LVL 5 - Possession: When using this power, the location of a PC’s real body must be logged with staff and must be in the jurisdiction of the game.

Fortitude

LVL 5 - Aegis: A PC may only use this power PRIOR to the two simple challenges for staking (not after) to negate a staking challenge.

Necromancy

Bone Path - LVL 4 - Soul Stealing: When “Soul Stolen,” a PC may still use any of his or her Mental and Social powers. Additionally, the Necromancer must be able to see the SOUL at all times for the soul to remain out of the body. In other words, this power requires line of sight into the Shadowlands to maintain.

Obfuscate

GENERAL: In tests of Auspex versus Obfuscate or Chimerstry, the person with the highest level automatically succeeds. Should they have equal levels, a normal test is thrown instead, no bonus traits from simply having these powers apply. For example: if you have Auspex 4 and your opponent has Obfuscate 3, you automatically see him with no challenge required. This is a reflection of what was suggested in the MET journals, to use the Tabletop rules instead.

Obtenebration

LVL 3 - Arms of the Abyss: You may only summon/control a number of tentacles equal to the sum of your levels of Obtenebration plus number of Occult abilities, divided by two and rounded down [(lvls of Obtenebration + lvls of Occult) / 2, rounded down].

Presence

LVL 4 - Summon: The target cannot know who is summoning him or her. However, he or she cannot be summoned into a dangerous situation (i.e., a PC cannot be summoned into a “boot party”).

LVL 5 - Majesty: This power is line of interaction. If a PC can interact with the character with Majesty active, he or she is under the effects of Majesty. This power does not translate through electronic means of communications (e.g., through a phone call). Additionally, the test to break Majesty is thrown for EACH aggressive action to be made (NOT once for the scene), so long as Majesty remains active.

Quietus

LVL 2 - Scorpion's Touch: Traits lost from this power do not return until the next night. Meaning they may not refreshed with Willpower or Prowess.

LVL 3 - Dagon's Call: This power also destroys one blood trait per successful level of damage inflicted.

LVL 5 - Taste of Death: You may bank blood for this power and expel it all at once as one attack.

Thanatosis

LVL 4 - Withering: If a victim’s head is Withered, then the only Disciplines the victim may then use are Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude. Additionally, if you go for the head shot and fail the two simples, your attack misses. You may not simply redirect it afterwards.

Valeren

LVL 3 - Burning Touch: A Willpower may be spent to ignore the effects of this power. This is spent on a “one for one” basis. One Willpower covers one use of this power against the victim.

LVL 4 - Ending the Watch: Ending the Watch: This power is replaced by “Armor of Caine’s Fury” (found in the MET book “Faith and Fire”), which may only be activated once per scene.

Vicissitude

GENERAL: See Vicissitude Modification Rules.

LVL 5 - Blood Form: Blood Form does not happen instantaneously, instead the vampire takes the blood form at the end of the round. Blood Form may also be used to restore lost limbs with cost of 1 blood trait per limb. This does counteract things like the power “Withering.”

Blood Magic

GENERAL: Please consult an ST for any and all house rules on Blood Magic/Thaumaturgy. Otherwise, see the KoNY Blood Magic Rules.

Combination Disciplines

Blood Tempering: Adds only 1 Additional Health Level of Armor or 1 additional Damage to weapons

Combat

  • Carrier Attacks: PCs may not combine damage from carrier attacks (for example, you may either strike for damage or strike to quell, not both).
  • End of Round: The end of the round is after the end of everyone’s normal actions. Thus, all powers that activate at “the end of the round” happen at the end of normal actions, not at the end of all actions (including Celerity). For example, if Majesty is dropped, it will go up at the end of normal actions.
  • Order of Damage Applied: is always to armor (including supernatural forms) first, prior to being resisted with Fortitude or similar powers. You may not use powers to protect armor.
  • Initiative: An Initiative total is determined by highest to lowest traits bid in the challenge the person is attempting. Those with Celerity act before those who do not, otherwise it comes down to traits. Slowest in Initiative must declare their actions first so those moving faster may decide their actions in response. Those who have an equal Initiative move at the same time.

Morality Paths

A character seeking to switch from Humanity to a Path (or Path to another Path) must have a Humanity (or Path rating) rating of 2 or below, as well as ratings of 1 in whichever Virtue or Virtues are to change to their counterparts. For example, a vampire seeking to follow a Path espousing Conviction and Instinct must have Conscience and Self-Control ratings of 1.

An initiate spends at least a year in contemplation and study of the Path’s ways. During this time, the initiate must forcibly degenerate his human Virtues, dropping them to “acceptable” levels (Humanity or Path rating 2 or below, ratings of 1 in appropriate Virtues), if he has not done so already.

The vampire then undertakes a test, which can be roleplayed by the player and Storyteller. This test can involve study of forbidden lore, answering of riddles, completion of ordeals and tasks, or whatever else the Storyteller deems appropriate for the given Path. However, part of the test always involves the vampire committing an act that, in human terms, would be viewed as an atrocity. Such a deed is undertaken not for the sake of mindless evil, but rather to impart a lesson about the character’s nature in relation to the Path.

Following the completion of the test, the character makes a Willpower Challenge. If the character’s Humanity (or Path) is 2, the difficulty of the Challenge is 7. If the character’s Humanity is 1, the difficulty is 6. 1 Willpower may be spent for a retest on this challenge, and only 1 may be spent. If the character succeeds, he sheds his human nature and the Virtues that accompany it, gains ratings of 1 in all appropriate Path Virtues, and gains a Path rating of 1. If the character wins the challenge outright, he experiences a profound (if twisted) enlightenment, gaining a Path rating of 2. If the character fails the challenge, he commits a stupid, pointless atrocity without gaining any corresponding understanding. He loses a point of Humanity, fails to attain the rudiments of the Path, but may reattempt the test (at a difficulty appropriate to his lowered Humanity Trait) in a month’s time. If the character fails, throw two simple tests. If both of these are lost, he loses a point of Humanity and may not reattempt the test for an entire year. Should a character be driven to Humanity zero in this fashion, his soul is lost to the Beast, and the character is permanently taken over by the Storyteller once they enter frenzy. Any Morality Trait gains from the Going on a Path still require the normal experience point cost associated with them.

If a Sabbat Priest or other clergy member assists in the learning of a path, they gain one free retest on the final challenge to change morality. If the path teaching the morality path is also on the same path as the student, the student also receives a +1 Bonus trait to the challenge to change paths

Bearing

These are an aura that Vampires give off in in relation to their morality. Others can sense how strong the beast is in a vampire or how far they have progressed upon their morality. The table below gives a rough idea in basic numbers the intensity of the aura. A 2 would be the character gives of a very strong sense of her particular bearing, showing her mastery over the beast. A 0 means no real bearing for the vampire. They aren’t strong and they aren’t weak. A -2 would represent the sensation of the Beast being close mastery over the vampire. A weak morality rating. This is largely a role-play mechanic. However, a vampire may perform a mental Challenge against any Vampire, retested with Awareness, to get their exact Bearing Rating.

Morality Rating Bearing Rating
5 2
4 1
3 0
2 -1
1 -2
  • Death and the Soul: Silence. The Gravediggers, accustomed as they are to long hours of quiet study and contemplation of the grave, radiate the stillness of death. The bearing modifier applies to rolls involving Stealth and attempts to go unnoticed.
  • Path of Caine: Faith. The righteousness of the Cainite is apparent to all. The bearing modifier affects all rolls that rely on the vampire’s image as a devout Kindred and scholar of Caine’s teachings.
  • Path of Cathari: Seduction. The Cathari are temptation incarnate, and they have an uncanny knack for knowing the desires of others. The bearing modifier affects rolls to tempt and seduce others.
  • Path of Feral Heart: Menace. Those in the presence of a Beast know that she is a true hunter, just as deer do when confronting a wolf. The bearing modifier applies to rolls aimed at terrifying or cowing an opponent.
  • Path of Honorable Accord: Devotion. The Knights keep their word, and are very difficult to sway from their duty. The bearing modifier affects rolls to resist attempts to manipulate or force them to go against their given purpose.
  • Path of Lilith: Tribulation. The Bahari see enlightenment through pain and conflict, and they learn to turn pain to their advantage. The bearing modifier affects rolls impacted by their own wound penalties.
  • Path of Metamorphosis: Inhumanity. Metamorphosists work steadily to become something other than human. Bearing modifiers apply to Intimidation, as well as any Manipulation rolls that can be positively affected by frightening the target.
  • Path of Night: Darkness. Nihilists give off a faint air of inner darkness, inspiring those around them to dwell on their darkest fears and thoughts. Their bearing modifier applies to any attempts to bring out a victim’s inner darkness, such as eliciting dirty secrets from a well respected politician or convincing a saint to break her vow of chastity.
  • Path of Paradox: Confidence. The Shilmulo believe that they are in the exact place and time they are meant to be, doing what they are meant to do — and it shows. The bearing modifier applies to attempts to manipulate or lead others.
  • Path of Power and the Inner Voice: Command. Unifiers are destined for power, and they know it. Those around them can feel their commanding presence. Their bearing modifier affects rolls to command or lead others.
  • Humanity: Normalcy. The humane connection that such vampires hold keeps them from seeming strange and terrifying to mortals.

Experience Points

  • A character in Kings of New York may earn Experience points in the following ways, but it may not exceed the OWbN maximum of 8 Experience Points a month.
    • Attending Game: 4xp
    • Arriving at Game on time: 1xp
    • Coming to game in costume: 1xp
    • Downtime Journal Entry: 2xp per entry
    • Travel to another game: 2xp
    • Out of Character Travel Time to another game: 1xp per hour
    • Help Set up or Take down Site: 1xp
    • Storytelling for another game: 4xp
    • Being a OWbN Coordinator or Subcoordinator: 4xp per position

Disciplinary Policy

When a player breaks a rule or performs some other action that is against the policy’s of Kings of New York they may suffer one of the following actions as decided upon by the Storyteller staff. The staff however is not limited to these actions, they are simply the most common.

  • Character GNC: The players character is permanently killed.
  • One Strike: May not attend KoNY for 6 months
  • Two Strikes: Character is GNCed and the player may not attend KoNY for one year.
  • Three Strikes: Permanently banned from Kings of New York

Other/Random Notes

  • The person who handles R&U approvals (that need to be brought to other entities in OWbN, such as PCs which need Council Approval or Coordinator Approval) is Adam (HST). Please seek this individual if you need help with any approvals.
  • Special “thank you” to the players of Kings of New York. We can’t do it without you.

More Specific House Rules

Blood Magic Rules

Ghost and Spirit Slave Rules

Retainer Rules

Vicissitude Modification Rules

Other Things

While not actually rules, per se, the following are good to know as a player and will help in enriching your experience as a player of Kings of New York.

Boon Reward System

Journal Entries Format

See Also

Category:House Rules