Written by Jeremy Morgan, tabletop games editor, gamer, and software developer.
About | Planescape4E

Skillfull Thinking and Feeling Evocation

2 October 2012

Night’s Black Masquerade chugs along in my head. I had gotten to the point where I was starting to map the guts of one system into another. Oddly enough, it was going along pretty well.


I had the list of Skills, Talents, Knowledges, and Disciplines in Vampire: the Masquerade (VtM) and began mapping them to Skills and Cherries in Night’s Black Agents (NBA). I quickly realized the mapping was not going to be 1-to-1. This made me take a step back and really consider what each piece does in VtM and NBA. As I understand it, the following are true.

  • Talents: Any PC can attempt any of these. Mechanically, this means a roll with no penalty.
  • Skills: A PC has some kind of aptitude or specialization for these. Mechanically, lacking the requisite skill imposes a penalty on a roll but still allows the roll itself.
  • Knowledges: These are areas of expertise that a PC has. Only a PC with a particular knowledge can attempt a roll.
  • Disciplines: These are special abilities over and above the existing categories. A PC can spend Blood to augment talents, skills, and knowledges (depending on the specifics of the Discipline).

The Talents and Skills map very well mechanically, as NBA is already skill-based. Knowledges present somewhat of a challenge, but I’m going to hand-wave them a bit and say they’re Skills in Night’s Black Masquerade just like Talents and Skills are.

I’m still working on Disciplines, but my feeling right now is that because your Clan (which is a Background now) is just a collection of Skills and Cherries, the Disciplines will be a similar mechanic. They’ll use a Blood Pool that allows extra Spends on certain skills. They may also grant some Cherries. I’ll have to see how I want that to work when I get further along.


Up to now, I’ve punted on what I actually want the game to be about. I’m happy to say that today I have a concept in my mind. Here’s the elevator pitch:

Imagine you’re a team of Vampires from Camarilla clans that are tasked by the Prince of a particular city to hunt down those who break the Masquerade and seek to end it.

In Closing

That’s what I’ve got for now. Let me know what you think so far. I need feedback from people who know VtM and NBA, so don’t be shy! Tweet at me.


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