House Rules


Game Developers are way better at this than I am, but every now and then, there are little decisions they make that don’t jive with what I’m aiming for in a game. To that end, here are a few house rules with their associated reasoning.

Dramatic Failures

If half or more of the dice show results of 1 on any roll that results in failure, the character suffers a dramatic failure, just as if s/he rolled a 1 on a chance die.


Defense is the average of Wits and Dexterity, fractions rounded down. Really fast reflexes or superb reaction time can mitigate the lack of the other.

Half Defense is applied against Firearms attacks (as opposed to 0), unless the Firearms attack is made at point black range (to which full Defense applies).


I’ll allow each player to choose a couple of Flaws that will add additional experience points whenever they adversely affect the player during the story. From the Core Rulebook:

“A Flaw only awards an experience point if it adversely affects its bearer . If a character is crippled and requires a wheelchair to get around, but spends the entire game session hacking into a corporation’ s computer database, he does not gain an experience point for his affliction. It didn’t affect his hacking in any way . Flaws reward a character for overcoming adversity . If there’ s no adversity to overcome, there’ s no special excuse for growth or betterment.”

As further explained, Flaws can be temporary or permanent, built-in or acquired during the course of the game. A short list begins on page 218 of the pdf, but you are not limited to those Flaws when considering them for your character.


I’ve decided to do away with the Morality trait for Mortals only. There are few repercussions for low/high Morality that we can’t ignore/apply on an individually deserving character basis, but also Morality charts tend to feel prescriptive rather than descriptive. Plus, the potential sanity consequences for acting against the chart don’t jive well with me. We can add those in as Flaws if we want.

House Rules

Darkness at Bay gtdozier3