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OtD_SRD (v1.5)

OtD_SRD (v1.5)

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Published by: LabRatFan on Jul 09, 2013
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Opening the Dark System ReferenceDocument Version 1.5
Writing and Design:
Malcolm Sheppard.© 2007 Malcolm Sheppard and Mob United Media. No part of this work maybe reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any form or byany means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording of otherwisewithout the written permission of the copyright holders
under theterms of the Open Game License.All of the text in this book is designated Open Content.Please let us know if you use this Open Content. Email
with the details! Visit
to learn more about Mob United Media’sproducts.
This product uses the
Opening the Dark 
game system designed by MalcolmSheppard.
Opening the Dark 
’s original text is © Malcolm Sheppard and MobUnited Media (seehttp://www.mobunited.com).
Opening the Dark 
is a trademark of Malcolm Sheppard.
Game Terms
One activity performed during a set interval of time. Characters cantake multiple actions at a penalty.
A fundamental magical style.
One of nine character traits that describe basic aptitudes.
An abstract unit of power that fuels supernatural abilities.
Critical Failure:
A disaster that might take place after scoring one or more1s on dice and no successes.
Dice Pool:
A number of dice figured by adding ranks fro applicablecharacter traits, often an Attribute and Skill. Roll the pool, but do not add theresults. Count successes instead.
The successes needed to accomplish a task.
Emotional Traits:
 Traits that measure a character’s emotional capabilities.
The innate energies possessed by some supernatural beings.
A character’s belief system, represented by a 1 to 10 rating.
A measure of how much serious injury a character can withstandbefore dying, and a type of damage that represents such injuries.
Character traits that routinely rise and fall in play.
Power Path:
A chain of strictly defined supernatural powers.
A loose category of magical ability.
A character trait that rarely changes in play. For example, acharacter’s Will
fluctuate, but his Will
are only increased by XP.
An abstract moment of game time that covers a specific point in thestory or a series of closely inked events – less time than an entire gamesession but longer than a single turn.
A trained ability.
A measure of how much minor injury a character can withstand beforedying, and a type of damage that represents such injuries.
Rolling 7 or higher on a die. Rolling a 10 scores two successes. Toughness: A character’s resistance to injury. Armor adds to effective Toughness.
A unit of time that equals a few seconds or enough time to perform abasic combat action.
Experience Points. These are awarded at the end of each game session.Players can spend them to improve character traits.
Character Creation Steps
Here’s a summary of the nine steps you’ll use to create a character.1.Concept (Heroic, Standard or Gritty Spread)2.Persona and Being (Choose one each)3.Emotional Traits (8, 7 or 6 ranks)4.Ethos (Prudence + Stoicism)5.Will (Passion) and Madness (0)6.Attributes (8/5/3, 7/4/3 or 5/4/3)7.Skills (15/10/7, 12/8/6 or 8/6/4)8.Bonus Traits (24, 18 or 12)9.Background Traits (Spend Bonus Traits)
Heroic characters are larger than life: tougher, smarter, and moreresourceful than typical horror or dark fantasy protagonists.
Standard characters are more talented then most people. Theyhave just enough ability to get into trouble. When lesser characters fall tomonsters and threats to demonstrate to standard characters how dangerousthe situation really is, standard characters follow, using their abilities tomake a more effective stand against the threat.
Gritty characters are average people who usually don’t have anyexceptional talents. They’ll die in the face of supernatural danger unless theywork together – or unless one of them makes sacrifices himself for hiscomrades.
Persona and Being
Use a one word descriptor to assign a Persona type – the character’s publicface. This denotes the type of person the character appears to be.
Authoritarian, Bully, Cynic, Diplomat, Eccentric, Gallant,Hedonist, Politico, Pragmatist, Saint, Schemer, Vassal. The player may invent a Persona or choose it from a list of GM-createdoptions. Characters are good at acting in accord with their Personas; theygain +1 die to Social rolls when their behavior matches what you’d expectfrom the Persona type. If a character doesn’t act in accord with her Persona
Being she suffers a –1 penalty to associated Social rolls. Neither herexterior façade nor her true feelings match her actions so she isn’t aspresentable as usual.
Being describes who the character truly is, beneath her public Persona. First,invent a one word descriptor using the same guidelines as for the Persona.(A character can have a Persona that’s the same as her Being, indicating anunusually forthright personality).Next, assign that descriptor a Strength of Being: a condition that, when met,inspires the character. It refuels her emotional energies and sense of purpose. The character recovers a Will point whenever he meets thatcondition. Work with the GM here; these situations shouldn’t come up morethan once or twice a session unless the player is exceptionally resourceful.
Finally, assign a Weakness of Being. This is a situation where the character’s Beinggets the better of her. She finds it difficult to resist the impulses inspired by thisvulnerability. The character suffers a –1 penalty to dice rolls to resist acting on herWeakness of Being. If the power has a set Difficulty, adjust it by 1 against thecharacter. She can’t spend Will points to oppose these impulses either. These

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