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GM's should read this section. It gives the thinking behind a lot of the rules and includes additional information not covered elsewhere. A useful but random collection of rules and thoughts relating to Darkness...
Darkness uses a twenty sided dice and it is intended to be used sparingly. However remember players also like to 'try out' their characters to see what they can do. Always remember the storyline when you ask for rolls or checks and consider it when you make rolls. ALWAYS adjust things to fit your story. If you feel that sticking to a dice roll will ruin your story or create too much distraction for the players. IGNORE IT.
If a particular dice roll will suit your story telling needs pretend you got what you needed. Also remember Fumbles and critical hits, if you need a NPC to achieve something spectacular allow them a Critical Success or Fumble (hide the dice result from players to prevent arguments) the same goes the other way if a Fumble will destroy your story minimise the bad effects. Remember Players will gladly have their Fumbles reduced but they will not let a Critical Success go so easily. Let them have it even if it ruins part of your story, write around it rather than making your player feel cheated and losing GM credibility.
The weaponry, wounds and monster rules are designed in the players favour. PC's are likely to survive a lot of injury, they will be crawling away with broken limbs but they will more than likely survive the most dangerous of encounters. PC's are meant to be heroes. Remember if a monster has died too easy, let it stick around for a while longer even though the dice say otherwise. The rules are there to help you achieve your story telling goals.
The darkness dice system is actually less complex and less simple than it appears.
It can take time for some players to get used to the rolls, however once this sinks in it all becomes quite simple. There is some maths with two two digit numbers which again can stump some but after a while it all becomes second nature. If GM's just interpret things loosely and utilise a 'close' enough attitude it can help this initial period.
The Success Level concept favours those with high 'skill' where as the roll favours those with high 'Stats'. This gives the Skilled better results(Success Level) and the naturally gifted the chance to succeed. Higher the Skills and Stats also enables higher success levels by virtue that the succeeding dice roll can be higher. At lower skill/Stat levels it may even not be possible to reach certain success levels. This is all part of the way that the system is engineered.
As a result higher skill combatants do more damage, and high DEFENCE not only reduces the chances of being hit but the also damage potential.
There is no need to really understand the intricacies of the systems odds it was just required that it was mentioned somewhere.
When a monster's wounds are reduced to 0 the monster may be removed from the combat. Most monsters are not heroic. At 0 wounds roll a Sanity check should they fail the stress of battle becomes too much and they will either flea, faint, play dead or cower in a corner. Those that pass the roll will fight on until they reach the negative of their base wounds (eg 10 = -10). Then they are mortally wounded and will only fight on if they pass yet another San check (at the injury -4 penalty). Once past this point they are dieing and losing 1 wound per round to bleeding etc. At minus double their starting wounds they are dead. Only the most pig headed and bloody minded will fight on to this point. Eg.Wild boars, berserkers etc.
The GM should use their own judgments as to when a monster will 'give up'. Most mother's protecting their young will fight on regardless, most demons will give up their possession at the first stage, others (who enjoy the pain & cruelty) will fight till the bitter end.
Once a monster is below '0' it is at -4 to its actions. Unless of course it is particularly bloody minded or immune to pain. or if the GM says so.
When an action is actively being resisted, the 'victim' also rolls to provided a Success Level the aggressor must beat.
This is used when two individuals are competing Eg. feats of strength, searching for a hiding character, resisting a magic etc. Both make their roll and the Success Levels are compared, the highest successful wins. If both Fail neither succeed, however if a result is still required the closest wins.
These are areas of the world where the barrier between this reality and the next is thinnest. Entities normally restricted to the other side may step through to our world in these areas. The entity will normally require a vessel, a body to posses. But some may manifest without. Being in demonground does not guarantee possession it just means the if there is a chance for it to happen it can (Check Every hour if Darkness exceeds Sanity) The chance for possession in non-demonground is about 1 in 20 (assuming sanity lower than darkness). NB: excess MP beyond 2 reduces Sanity and Requires hourly checks.
The type of possession is based on what type of demon the individual would attract. The type of insanity they suffer as well as their equipment (pre-fall Tech) or magical ability should all be taken into account when deciding on the type and duration of the possession. This of course could be all randomly determined but the GM should make the decision based on their story line and players.
A powerful demon is more likely in the demongrounds, however a powerful demon would also choose it's 'ride' more carefully.
Individuals would be picked out and followed possibly for months by entities awaiting a chance.
(Ride refers to the victim of the possession)
There are many many many different types of demons many more that are listed. For each form of insanity there are demons who would be attracted to it. The demon that makes it through need not necessarily be the most typical one associated with each type of insanity but it does set a trend.
Sanity checks are required when characters witness things that overload their emotions, horror, fear repulsion etc. In some cases a character will lose a point of sanity based on how extreme the event is. The result of a failed sanity check varies from case to case, from inability to cope with the situation to blind rage. If the roll is fumbled (roll of 20) the character will lose a point of sanity and could also pick up a mental illness appropriate to the incident, phobias, compulsions etc.
When a character fails a Sanity check the GM can assign a reaction. The Player still controls the character's actions but the GM guides the player. Gm's can make suggestions based either on the story line or a random roll.
1-5 Blind Rage- Character attacks the source.
6-10 Curiosity - the character becomes intrigued.
11-15 Freeze - the character freezes, in some cases curling up into fetal position.
16-20 Rout - Character retreats by any means, even attacking others to get away.
There are plenty of other possibilities the GM should consider, this gives a general idea that the GM can expand on.
Terminal velocity of the human form is ~305MPH (100wounds) when in a head first
arms back attempt to gain speed. 100MPH when attempting to slow down (Reflexes
For game purposes the maximum speed reached in a controlled 'fall' is 100mph. (31 wounds) An uncontrolled fall would be 200mph (65).
With Collisions take the speed of each vehicle added together or the difference between their speeds if they are moving in the same direction. Leaving a moving vehicle uses the vehicles speed.
Use the distance fallen/speed as success level to calculate damage.(meters/yards fallen or Miles Per Hour) Damage is Area of Effect(AofE).
A of E : damaged is applied to '2' random locations (round down). Athletics
+ Reflexes check reduce to '1' chosen location.
Seat belts & Harnesses : These allow the above check to automatically succeed, assuming they can cope with the accident.
Typically in leaving a vehicle or vehicle accidents where the impact is not instantaneous a second Athletic +Reflexes check allows the damage to be divided of '2' locations instead of just '1'. Collisions with solid objects do not allow this eg falling, collisions with big rocks.
Effective distance/speed is doubled if the 'faller' can not prepare for impact such as being pushed, unrestrained and unprepared in car accidents etc. (athletics + reflexes check to gain control, may be attempted again with enough distance).
The GM should feel free to improvise or alter damage as they see fit depending on the circumstances and possibly include sanity checks to panic and lose control of extended falls.
To calculate damage off the chart
Excess damage taken to the limbs transfer into the body.
Those with Chaos, Divination or Darkness can see into Darkness i.e. The Spirit World and see ghosts and demons if they concentrate (cool + magic skill). They can even see the spirits that inhabit inanimate objects such as stones and trees. Man made items do not have these spirits unless they are particularly old, finely crafted or loved. The Spirits that inhabit these object are not sentient and thus are not really capable of though as we know it, however they do have emotions that the Wizard may interpret. (Personality + Empathy + Chaos)
Those with the school Chaos can see these entities the best and as a result are often a bit 'strange'.
The spirit world is where ghost reside, where dreams are almost tangible, where magical travel takes place. The spirit world is the place where hyperspace travel, if the technology were available, would take place. The spirit world is the place where mages draw their magic from and where pre-fall tech draws its power. It has also been referred to as 'Chaos'
Some natural plants or spell components unique to the Darkness world.
Mordes Bane : A flowering weed the perfume of which keeps Mordes from using their shape shifting and mind-reading abilities. Has many other uses.
Chronos Fruit : The fermented droppings of the Chronos Beast. Has magical properties relating to time.
Stimpletons Fungus : One of the main ingredients for the cure of magical plague. The wizards of the circle that rule the lakes cities regulates the production of this fungus. Near impossible to find in the wild as a result. Rumour has it that the Circle gained its power this way; this is of course denied by the Circle.
Wolves Bane : there is some argument amongst scholars whether Blue Wolfsbane is as effective against werewolves as True Wolfsbane, however both are intensely poisonous but Blue Wolfsbane makes better elven wine than True Wolfsbane. (elven wine being poisonous and very hot/spicy)
Albury's Curse: Prickly and hard to irradiate. Helps cure infection. Popular amongst Elven Healers
An Undercities central computer is actually a super advanced replicant, that can access the Virtual Network from anywhere within their Undercity. They do so the same way that Ghosts do. They rarely venture out of their deep underground bunker as they are able to move about their under city the way that an AI would, within the 'virtual'. This is how they keep an eye on progress and so forth. Each central replicant computer is fitted with a hardwire and a mobile node. Their skill is such that their 'Range' encompass the entire undercity, as far as its network spreads. This means that they are aware of any extensions to the network and will sometimes curb or allow it depending on its motivations.
The networks does to an extent extend into the shanty towns, but there are area within an UnderCity that don't have access.
This is complex..
Dwarves and Dark Elf alliance. The dark elves trade mining equipment to the dwarves for basic food and materials that the dark elven technology is unable to provide. The Dark Elves mere presence in the yolknar mountains prevent most from attempting to take the dwarven lands. Dwarven military might destroys the foolish that try.
Gnomes control much of the trade in the south but also in the north. They enable trade between the dwarves and the halflings keeping each race supplied with farmed goods and mined/manufactured goods. The gnomes also act as middle men between the dwarves and the Circle. The raw form of sight/blur, a gem stone, is mined from the Yolknar mountains. It is rumoured the undercities also require this raw material, to feed their main computer.
Originally the Undercities were placed near natural concentrations of this mineral which is now near depleted, except for the Dark Elven Undercity. It was abandoned millennium ago, it never had to deal with over population and only recently partially re-populated, leaving the Yolknar mountains. One of the major cargoes of runners only very small quantities are required by the undercities but it must be transported quickly before its potency detiorates.
The undercities regulate the escape of people and technology. They have overpopulation issues but the fear of invasion makes them hesitant, they would rather slaughter their own over population than let it be used against them.
Illegal Technologies, technology that is too far advanced by the computers definition has to be developed out side the cities to keep it beyond the 'computers' grasp. Each city has different definitions as to what is considered illegal so different technologies are researched to different stages in different cities, the final puzzle then assembled and hopefully sold before the computer recognises and bans/destroys the technology.
Contact between the different undercities is banned by the computer for technology control reasons but also for safety reasons. Each computer has a slightly different style of regulation, a unique personality. This was designed in so that if one method failed the other cities were no doomed to the same fate. This separation also prevents plagues and unrest destroying more than one city.
AIs are the most trusted method of transporting data, designs and even fashion ideas between cities. They are also the ideal industrial espionage agents.
Sixteen though run by pure insanity is still fully functional. In fact there are levels that appear quite normal to its inhabitants. These 'Farming' areas are quite unaware of their eventual fates. SIXTEEN will accept people as currency.
International Fine goods and foods are traded for slaves and technology between international traders and the twin cities and Nineteen's shanty towns. This slave/people trade keeps populations controllable around Nineteen. One of the cheapest methods of leaving an undercity is slavery. Rumour has it that some of these slaves end up in Sixteen.
The Circle trades in life essence. Rogue mages have their magic drained from them for their own 'protection' this is then used to create permanent magics. Not all mages survive the ritual, which is more profitable for the Circle.