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Jeremy Morgan

Written by Jeremy Morgan, tabletop games editor, gamer, and software developer.
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Mapping Vampire the Masquerade to Night's Black Agents

28 September 2012

As part of my new process, I decided to do things properly and revisit my Night’s Black Masquerade idea. Today, I want to talk about a system mapping, which is what I started to do in the that previous post. Here I want to unpack it a bit more.

What things does a player do to create a Vampire: the Masquerade (hereafter VtM) character? There are a few essential elements, and these are what I need in order to hack it into another system. The table below shows the elements and what I’m considering for the mapping. You’ll notice I’ve got a few questions unresolved at this stage.

I’ll use italics for the VtM mechanical concepts, and bold for any Night’s Black Agents (hereafter NBA) terms.

VtM NBA
Bloodline ?
Clan Background
Generation Number of build points)
Attributes Skills
Abilities Skills
Disciplines Skills + Cherries, maybe additional build points
Humanity Stability
Path ?
Merits/Flaws ?
Need for Blood/Blood Pool Drive

Most of these map pretty easily and are self-explanatory. NBA takes care of a lot of the heavy lifting. I think I can represent Clans well with Backgrounds. This leads well into Attributes and Abilities. If I understand properly, these two things combine to affect die rolls. In NBA, the rolls are Spends, so I think it makes sense to represent them as Skills. Skills in NBA fall into four specific categories: Academic (Knowledge), Interpersonal (Social), General, and Investigative (Mental). In parentheses, I’ve included the Attributes and Abilities from VtM that I think map.

I think Disciplines disappear into NBA as Skills and Cherries, depending on what will make the most sense. I haven’t looked at all of them yet, but it seems the best fit thus far.

Humanity works like an inverse Stability pool. Do something inhuman, make a Stability roll. I think this models falling to the Beast quite nicely. Hopefully, it will cover the concept of Willpower too.

In order to model the need for Blood, I think it makes the most sense to tie this to an additional Drive, since each NBA character has a Drive that fleshes the character out. I don’t want to lose that bit of customization, so I’m adding a second one. This Drive has a pool associated with it for Spends (similar to how a player could augment a roll with Blood).

That’s my framework so far. I know it might be hard to get a good feel for whether it will work unless you’re familiar with both systems, but I need to get the thoughts down and see what people think so far.

I’ve got some ideas for what kind of gameplay this would support, but I’m holding that close for the moment (unless you saw what I said on Twitter earlier).

What does everybody think? Am I off my rocker here? Any details I’m missing (other than the intentional question marks)?

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