A World of Darkness : Austin
This is a glossary of general Storytelling System.
10 Again: A result of 10 on any die is re-rolled in an attempt to achieve more successes. A further result of 10 on a re-rolled die is rolled yet again, over and over, until
no more 10s are rolled.
action: A task that takes all of a character’s time and attention. Storytelling measures instant actions (one to three seconds, taking place within a single turn) and extended actions, taking longer (duration determined by the Storyteller). Also, there are reflexive actions, which take no time and do not prevent a character from performing another action within a turn, and contested actions, in which two or more characters compete in a task or for a single goal.
advantage: A character trait such as Health or Willpower that usually represents abilities derived from other traits. Advantages are measured in dots and sometimes in points.
aggravated (damage): A damage point that inflicts a grievous or supernatural wound. Vampires suffer aggravated damage from fire; werewolves suffer it from silver. Mortals might suffer aggravated damage from a dire supernatural power such as a lightning bolt summoned from
the sky by a witch. Aggravated wounds normally heal at a rate of one point per week.
Attribute: A character trait representing innate capabilities, Mental, Physical and Social. An Attribute is added to a Skill (or another Attribute in certain cases) to determine your basic dice pool for a task.
bashing (damage): A damage point that inflicts a blunt or bruising wound, such as from a fist or a baseball bat. Bashing wounds normally heal at a rate of one point per 15 minutes.
chance roll: Whenever modifiers reduce your dice pool to zero or fewer dice, you may make a chance roll on a single die. Unlike a normal dice roll, a chance roll succeeds only on a result of 10. Worse, a result of 1 causes a dramatic failure.
close combat: Attacks that involve hand-to-hand or weapon fighting. Such attacks use the Strength Attribute for their dice pools. Characters gain their Defense against close-combat attacks.
contested action: Two or more characters compete
in a task or for a single goal. The one who gets the most
successes wins. Contested actions can be instant or extended
damage: The points inflicted against a character’s Health or an object’s Structure, rated as bashing, lethal or aggravated. One point of damage inflicts one wound.
Defense:An advantage trait determined by taking the lowest of Dexterity or Wits. Characters can penalize a close combat opponent’s accuracy by subtracting their Defense
from his dice pool.
degeneration: Characters who violate their ethics lose dots of Morality. Degeneration can cause a character to acquire a derangement.
derangement: Characters whose Morality dots are lost through degeneration or who suffer horrible psychological trauma can acquire a derangement. Some derangements
are classified as mild, meaning they hinder the character mainly by plaguing his conscience. Others are severe, often cases of clinical insanity. Derangements caused by degeneration can be healed by restoring lost Morality dots.
dice: The Storytelling System uses 10-sided dice to represent the element of chance. Dice are collected to form a character’s dice pool for an action.
dice pool: The number of dice rolled to determine failure or success (and the degree of success) for a character’s action. Dice pools are usually determined by adding an Attribute to a Skill, plus any relevant equipment and/or modifiers.
dot: The incremental measurement of a permanent trait. Most traits range from 1 to 5 dots, but some (such as Willpower) range from 1 to 10, and others (Health) can go higher.
dramatic failure: A result of 1 on a chance roll causes a dramatic failure, a catastrophe worse than a normal failure. The character’s gun might jam or he might wind up
shooting a friend by accident. The Storyteller determines and describes the result.
Durability: A trait representing an object’s hardness, based on the material from which it is made (wood has less Durability than metal). Durability is measured in dots. An attack’s damage must exceed Durability before the object is harmed.
equipment: Characters can improve their chances of succeeding in a task by using the right equipment. This benefit is represented by modifiers to the dice pool, depending on the equipment used and its quality.
exceptional success: Whenever five or more successes are rolled, the character achieves an exceptional success. This achievement sometimes provides an extra perk over and above the effect of having multiple successes. For example, a character who gains five successes on a fast-talk
roll might allay the target’s suspicions enough that he believes anything the character says for the remaining scene.
experience points: Points awarded by the Storyteller at the end of a game session and story, used to purchase new traits or to boost the dots of existing traits.
extended action: A task that takes time to accomplish. Players roll to accumulate successes during phases of the task, succeeding once they have acquired the needed total.
failure: A dice roll that yields no successes is a failure the character does not succeed at his task.
Health: An advantage trait, determined by adding Stamina + Size. Health is measured in dots and points.
Initiative: An advantage trait representing the character’s ability to respond to sudden surprise, determined by adding Dexterity + Composure. A character’s Initiative helps him get a high standing in the Initiative roster.
Initiative roster: The list that determines when each character can perform an action within a turn. For each character who is not surprised, a player rolls a die and
adds his character’s Initiative to the result. Whoever gets the highest number acts first, followed by the character with the next highest, and so on until everyone who can
has acted that turn. Initiative is usually rolled once per encounter, but the Storyteller can decide to re-roll it each
instant action: *A task that takes place within a single turn. A character can perform only one action per turn, unless he has a Merit or power that lets him do otherwise.
lethal (damage): A damage point that inflicts a sharp, slashing or piercing wound, such as from a sword or bullet. Lethal wounds normally heal at a rate of one point per two days.
Merit: A character trait representing enhancements or elements of a character’s background, such as his allies or influence. Merits are measured in dots, but are not always used to determine dice pools. Instead, they represent increasing degrees of quality or quantity concerning their subject.
modifiers: Dice pools are often modified by a number of factors, from bonuses (adding dice) for equipment or ideal conditions to penalties (subtracting dice) for poor conditions.
Morality: An advantage trait representing a character’s moral, ethical and even psychological standing and wellbeing. Morality is measured in dots, which can be lost to degeneration by performing unethical or criminal acts.
point: A trait expended to gain certain effects, such as a Willpower point or a measurement of damage or Health. The amount of points available to spend is equal to the parent trait’s dots. Spent points are regained over time or through certain actions.
reflexive action: An instinctual task that takes no appreciable time, such as reacting to surprise or noticing something out of the corner of your eye. Performing a reflexive
action does not prevent a character from performing another action within a turn.
ranged combat: An attack that sends a projectile of some sort at a target, whether it’s a bullet from a gun or a knife from a hand. Such attacks use the Dexterity Attribute for their dice pools. Characters Defense cannot normally be used against firearm attacks, although targets can penalize an opponent’s accuracy by going prone or taking cover.
Resistance: Characters can resist others attempts to socially sway them, physically grapple them or even mentally dominate them. Whenever applying such resistance requires a character’s full attention, it is performed as a contested action, but more often it is a reflexive action, allowing the target to also perform an action that turn.
scene: A division of time based on drama, such as the end of one plot point and the beginning of another. Whenever a character leaves a location where a dramatic event has occurred, or when a combat has ended, the current scene usually ends and the next one begins.
Skill: A character trait representing learned ability or knowledge. Added to an Attribute to determine a character’s basic dice pool for a task.
Specialty: An area of Skill expertise in which a character excels. Whenever a Specialty applies to a character’s task, one die is added to his player’s dice pool. There’s no
limit to the number of Specialties that you can assign to a single Skill.
Storyteller: The director or editor of the interactive story told by the players. The Storyteller creates the plot and roleplays the characters, both allies and villains, with which the players characters interact.
Structure: A trait representing an object’s integrity, determined by adding Durability and Size. Structure is measured in dots, which can be lost due to damage. Unlike the wounds of a living creature, an object does not heal damaged Structure; it must be repaired.
success: Each die that rolls an 8, 9 0r 10 yields one success. (Exception: A chance roll must produce a 10 to succeed.) In an instant action, a player must roll at least one success for his character to accomplish a task. In an extended action, the number of successes required (accumulated over a series of rolls) depends on the task. In an attack roll, each success produces one point of damage.
troupe: Your gaming group of friends.
turn: A three-second period of time. Instant actionsare observed in turns. Combat (a series of instant actions) is observed in consecutive turns as each combatant tries to overcome opponents.
wound: A marked Health point, denoting an injury from damage. Bashing wounds are marked with a Ò/Ó, lethal wounds with and X and aggravated wounds with a * .