[Ditv] Lovecraft in the Mausoleum

Started by Escova12, February 28, 2012, 10:36:30 PM

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Hi all,

     Here is a little modified version of Dogs in the Vineyard I designed for a Lovecraftian/Eldritch/Dark supernatural campaign.

Hope you guys like it!
Comments welcome!

PS: I originally posted this in the Game Development forum, but then I saw that there was a separate section for Lumpley Games

PPS: Please forgive any grammar/spelling errors. I just whipped this thing together a few days ago, and haven't given it much drafting attention.

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Lovecraft in the Mausoleum

Wits – Intellect, Awareness, Acumen, Reasoning, Perceptiveness
Fitness – Strength, Robustness, Vigor, Speed, Agility
Resolve – Determination, Concentration, Tenacity, Problem-Solving
Sway – Influence, Charisma, Forcefulness, Charm, Magnetism

In addition to traits, a character may acquire certain proficiencies in magick that allow for specific abilities. These can only be gained through interaction with Eldritch forces. The consequences of acquiring or using Magick manifests mechanically as sanity problems (see Madness Fallout below), and narrative-ly via some form of sacrifice. Eldritch forces do not give their power away freely. The acquisition of Magick should come with a price, and using it should always incur some danger on the wielder.

Magick traits are described similarly too traits, with the exception that they are not bound by the constraints of reality. Sometimes, Magick does not have dice attached. One might have a Magick titled "I can touch fire without being harmed" or "I can always find my way out of a maze before the sun rises". However, with some Magick, dice may be appropriate*. For example, "I can call fourth fear in others 2d6" might be appropriate, or "I can cause live flesh to decompose with a touch 1d8".

*The GM will determine how high in value a Magick power should be, which will likely be directly linked to the cost of acquiring the power.


Assessment/Investigation: Wits + Resolve
Social: Wits + Sway
Physical: Fitness + Sway
Murder: Fitness + Resolve

Banishing: Forcing a demonic or otherwise spiritual force from a location or object.
Dice: Resolve + Sway
Consecration: Devoting a location to a force, purifying it from others
Dice: Resolve + Fitness
Evocation: Summoning forth Eldritch forces for information or binding
Dice: Wits + Sway
Eucharist: Attaining properties temporarily via infusing of said properties into consumable food items.
Dice: Wits + Fitness

Rituals are Magick rites or ceremonies that can be practiced by anyone who is educated in their practice. Traits, Magick, Relationships, and Belongings can all be included in a Ritual attempt, assuming each is appropriately applicable. Each form of Ritual functions as a material arena, with two notable exceptions.

First, one cannot escalate from one Ritual to another. One could however, have multiple rituals prepared, but switching to another ritual would require the original ritual to be stopped. As alternative to escalation, a new option called "Bolstering" has been introduced. In Bolstering a Ritual, the performer of the ritual empowers his or her Ritual at the expense of damage to his or her mental and spiritual being. Mechanically, a person performing a ritual can add in up to 2 new die of any value at any time during the Ritual, at the expense of the same die being added to Madness Fallout at the rituals conclusion. For example, Nicholas is attempting to bind a powerful demon. After preparing the ritual, he rolls his Evocation stats (Wits + Sway). The demon rolls its Power level (4d6 + 4d8), and after a few rounds, the tied turns in the demon's favor. Nicholas decides that he must bind this demon, and decides to "Bolster" his attempt. He boldly rolls in 2d10 to his dice pool, and eventually wins the conflict. However, when rolling for Madness fallout, he adds 2d10 to his fallout total. Sadly, both dice come up 10, and Nicholas goes mad as a consequence of the Ritual.

The Second exception to regular arenas lies in opposition. The opposing force of a Ritual is almost never another player, and hence the competition rules are slightly modified. For Banishing and Evocation, use a Demon or Spirit's power level to oppose the Ritual roll. For Consecration, roll against whatever power is currently residing in the area, or (if unopposed), roll 4d6 + 4d8 to represent the natural energy of an area resisting its fundamental change. For Eucharist, roll against the power level of whatever property one is attempting to infuse. If successful, the effect of the Eucharist lasts for the duration of the next scene, plus one additional scene for each die of "fallout" the opposing role takes. For Consecration and Eucharist, narration against inanimate forces should involve the effort of containing natural energies of the world, the complication of the ritual, outside distractions or invasive thoughts, and such.


Madness Fallout:
Witness another's mild insanity: 1d4
Witness another's aggressive insanity: 1d6

Witness horrid ritual: 1d6
Participate in horrid ritual: 168

Glimpse maddening truths: 1d6
Comprehend maddening truths: 1610

Glimpse a supernatural horror: 1d8
Confront a supernatural horror: 1d10

Going Mad:
Like dying fallout, but use resolve. Failure outcomes represent your character going completely insane, consumed by the Eldritch Forces or simply meandering away to wander the world as a madman/woman.

Environmental Rolls (Chthonic Power):
-instead of demonic influence
-or just set dice rating based on difficulty

Eldritch Forces:
    Eldritch forces are the spiritual or demonic entities that exist beyond the veil of human awareness, comprehension, and (most of the time,) access. Eldritch forces (EFs) enter our world through various means, including Fetishes, Rituals, Worship, Dedication, and Consumption.
    Fetishes are items that have at one point been directly linked to the EF in question. Through a Fetish, an EF can provide certain benefits to the wielder, though often at the cost of the wielders insanity and spiritual being.
    Rituals are a common method of calling forth a EF. The Evocation Ritual summons EFs for information or Binding, which most EFs will remember and hold a grudge over.
    Worship to a EF will empower it, often times raising its power level (see section below) and making it capable of greater influence in the earthy realm. Cult gatherings and the like are powerful forms of worship.
    Dedication involves use of the Consecration Ritual to dedicate an area to a particular EF. This is a very effective means of bringing an EF into our world, and an EF in an area consecrated in its name has a high level of power (can treat as one to two power levels higher).
    Consumption is the process in which an EF rends, devours, and is invigorated by the spiritual essence of a mortal being. Most people who are consumed are Cultists who willingly offer themselves to a EF, although acts of spontaneous possession do occur. (See Possession rules from the Dogs in the Vineyard rulebook for details). Consumption occurs when a person becomes mad as a result of exposure to the EFs power or influence (a.k.a. "dying" via madness fallout).

    Eldritch forces should be limited in their ability to influence the earthly realm to means such as possession, fetishes, and Evocation from others*. A EF of a higher power level could also be able to effect things such as a storm hampering those who oppose the EF, or weakening the structural integrity of a building in an attempt to bring the structure down. EFs can also reach out to disturbed mortals, speaking to them in whispers and dreams until the individual opens a more effective channel for the EF.

    *The details of an Eldritch Force's power and earthly influence is purposefully left somewhat open ended, as individual GMs are encouraged to design scenarios of demonic or spiritual influence that is appropriate to his or her campaign or setting. For more details on designing a antagonistic creature, see Vincent Baker's "Afraid" at

Power Levels:
These are the energy forces for demons, spirits, or other Eldritch forces when resisting Rituals or influencing material forces (i.e. a storm).

A being's power level may be set throughout the campaign, or may increase or decrease depending on the hold the being has on the earthly world. See "Eldritch Forces" section for details.

1: Mild Power
    Dice: 5d6
2: Moderate Power
    Dice: 4d6 + 2d8
3: Strong Power
    Dice: 8d8
4: Immense Power
    Dice: 4d8 + 4d10
5: Incredible Power
    Dice: 4d8 + 6d10
6: Unspeakable Power
    Dice: 15d10*

*This number actually represents only a fraction of the beings power. It is limited to this amount as its true force cannot push in all its entirety through the veil into the earthy realm in any greater volume over a short period of time.
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