GameRef: Cult System

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Cults, Coteries, Packs, Krewes

Wanton Wicked 7.0 is using the Krewe system in Geist: the Sin-Eaters combined with some aspects of the Pack system in Werewolf: the Forsaken to create a universal system for groups of all character types. The mechanics below override any mechanics in any of the different splat books, where there’s conflict.


To create a cult (mortals only), pack (werewolves), coterie/colony (vampires), or krewe (sin-eaters and ghosts), follow the steps below. Only a single venue type and their related half-template(s), as well as mortals, can be in a given group due to agreements among the supernatural factions of Pittsburgh, but see the “Rite of the Shared Bond” in Custom Powers for a way to join multiple related groups together.

A character cannot be in more than one group at a time. A mortal can’t be in both a Cult and a supporting member in a Pack, for example. They can have indirect ties, but will only gain the mechanical benefit of one.

Step One: Concept and Connection

A given group must have at least 2 player characters involved, and must be founded on a shared goal, theme, or other binding force. This might be a normal cult doctrine, it might be a political goal shared by a coterie, or it might just be a mutual protection pact between mortals afraid of the supernatural climate of their city. Write this in as the “Concept” and write the founding members in to the “Member” area.

As well, most groups center themselves in a specific territory, which is typically a single neighborhood of the town. Write this into “Territory.”

Note: No Troupe Members

Despite the section for The Dead and The Living in Krewe creation or for creating mortals/wolf-blooded for Packs in the books, you will not be creating any NPCs not already covered by your individual sheets or group merits (like Retainers or Herd). In a chat game, it’s assumed that these roles are fulfilled by your Retainers and by mortal/half-template PCs, and that other nameless members that fill out the cult exist but don’t provide additional mechanical benefits beyond the Group Action system itself.


Kindred can forge a deeper sympathy with each other than is typical of a Coterie, “chaining” themselves together so they’re one hive instead of loosely affiliated vampires. Defining a Kindred group as a Colony instead of a Coterie can be done at any point, but can never be reversed without dissolving the group after that point.

  • Colonies count as twice-removed from each other, with regards to Blood Sympathy.
  • Colonies benefit from each other’s Touchstones like their own, as if at the same Humanity level. Losing a Touchstone means other colony members cease gaining its benefits, but they don’t suffer detachment as if their own died or was lost.
  • Colony members reduce their Blood Bonds with non-members after a month of not tasting their Vitae, rather than a year.
  • When lashing out in the presence of other colony members, they may spend a point of willpower to join in, allowing other aspects of the beast to have their conditions imposed instead of the primary character’s.
  • Colony members can take Colony Banes instead of normal Banes when losing Humanity. These provide a −1 to non-intimidation social rolls against outsiders, instead of a penalty to Detachment. See pg. 76 of Guide to the Night for options.
  • Mortals, ghouls, and dhampir do not gain the additional benefits of Colonies, but can still be part of them like they could a Coterie.

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Step Two: Doctrines and Aspirations

Choose Three Doctrines, and write them into the appropriate part of the sheet. Doctrines are the core tenets that make up your group, whether a cult’s mission statement, a coterie’s political goals, or a pack’s favored prey. Unlike Aspirations, Doctrines are “continuous,” and don’t need to be something with a blatant goal that can be fulfilled for good; “protect each other” is fine, for instance. Werewolves often focus on specific “Touchstones” for their Packs, and so their Doctrines might involve defending such a location or individual.

Aspirations work normally, but reflect the goals of the group. Choose one long-term Aspiration for the group. Making progress on this can provide willpower to any individual member just as if they were fulfilling their own aspirations. Alternatively, you can choose a short term Aspiration that can be easily repeated; “Hunt down a spirit intruding on the flesh,” for instance. Keep your Aspiration on your individual character sheets, but mark it as (Group).

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Step Three: Virtue and Creed

Much like a mortal’s Virtue and Vice, most groups will have an equivalent trait. Their Virtue represents the group’s highest ideals, whereas their Creed represents their methodology in how they tend to go about fulfilling their Doctrines most easy and comfortably.

Different groups’ creeds likely reflect their venue type. A coterie is much more likely to have a Creed of feral than a krewe is, for instance. This has no mechanical limitation, but should be kept in mind when defining the wording.

Fill in both on the “Virtue” and “Creed” spots on the sheet.

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Step Four: Attributes

Groups use the same Attributes as ephemerals: Power, Finesse, and Resistance. Each starts at 1 dot, and the group has 6 dots that they can spread between them, with no single one being higher than 5 at creation.

  • Power represents the group’s ability to use direct action to create change or fulfill their goals.
  • Finesse is the group’s ability to employ their influence and indirect talents for their own benefit.
  • Resistance is a measure of how committed the group’s members are to the cause, how loyal they are and how well they can continue unshaken in the face of adversity.

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Step Five: Merits

Groups start with 8 dots of shared merits, 1 of which should be Safe Place or a similar merit representing a location that they’re centered. These merit dots are separate from individual merits, and go entirely on the group sheet.

The following merits can be taken by different group types:


  • Allies, Contacts, Esoteric Armory, Goal (GttN), Good Time Management (see Geist), Resources, Retainer, Staff, and Status (mundane only).
  • Cenote or Dedicated Locus can be taken so long as at least one member has “Affinity” with the appropriate realm, per the rules for realm travel in House Rules.
  • Any merit that specifically mentions it can be shared between multiple people can be taken as a group merit, like Library and Safe Place.

Mortal Cults

  • Nexus (SS:TE), so long as the group has a Thaumaturge
  • Feeding Grounds, if the group has a Psychic Vampire

Coteries and Colonies

  • Altar (DR), Blessed Cache (DR), Common Enmity (GttN), Feeding Grounds, Group Touchstone (GttN), Haven, History (GttN), Supernatural Nexus (DR)
  • Nest Merits (SotC), so long as there’s at least one Ordo member
  • Sacred Scripture (DR) and Temple (SotC), so long as there’s at least one Lance member.
  • Mandragora Garden (SotC), so long as there’s at least one Circle member.


  • Den (TP), Directed Rage (TP), Magnanimous Totem (TP), Residential Area, Territorial Advantage (TP)
  • Moon’s Grace (TP) may be taken by “Packs” of Wolf-Blooded and Mortals only, allowing them to count as a Pack, not a Cult, for all other purposes, in addition to the usual benefits.


  • Grave Goods

Step Six: Initiation

Cults, Coteries, and Krewes all have a Mystery Cult Initiation attached to them, which their members can access to represent their “status” within the group. See the House Rules for considerations on designing each level of the Mystery Cult Initiation.

If a group wishes, they can choose to create their Mystery Cult Initiation post-creation. Once they’re created, though, they should be listed on the sheet, and all members of the group gain the first dot of the merit for free, representing membership. At least one member must have the merit at the maximum rating for their Esotery (which is equal to theur Esotery).


Packs gain their benefits from a Totem instead of a Mystery Cult. These are built using the normal rules for Totem creation in Werewolf: the Forsaken. In addition, all members of a Pack that can contribute to the Totem (such as Wolf-Blooded, and mortals if Magnanimous Totem is purchased at a high enough rating) gain a free dot of it to contribute.

However, Totems cannot provide more Experiences in benefits than twice the Pack’s Esotery rating. So, a group with 15 totem points but Esotery 2 would only gain 4 Experience worth of benefits.

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Step Seven: Rituals and Advantages

Groups all have a sort of innate magic or mundane influence to them. Based on the group’s concept, they gain access to some of that magic.

  • Krewes gain access to a 1, 2, and 3 dot Ceremony that relate to their concept, which can be accessed by all members that have an MCI rating equal to or greater than a Ceremony’s rating. They also have access to Bestow Regalia as soon as they have a Regalia (see below)
  • Coteries/Colonies gain two extra dots of group merits for each dot of Esotery they have (below). Alternatively, if made up of members with access to a given form of Blood Sorcery, they may choose a 1, 2, and 3 dot ritual that’s available to all members with the commensurate level of MCI.
    • This can also be used to grant access to rituals only accessible via MCI, per the rules in Desecrated Rites, which can also provide access to ghoul and dhampir members at 3 dots, or mortals at 5 dots.
  • Packs gain access to a 1, 2, and 3 dot Pack Rite that any member capable of using them gains access to upon contributing that many Totem dots. Mortal members with a Magnanimous Totem may also use these Rites, but only these granted ones.
  • Mortal Cults gain access to a 1, 2, and 3 dot Supernatural Merit that requires an activation roll, which can be accessed by any member with MCI at the merit rating or above.
Groups on Wanton Wicked start off with an Esotery of 2, not 1. Put this on your sheet in the appropriate place. For more details on what it represents, read the mechanics below.
Congregation is more or less the “health” and current stability of the group. It’s equal to 5 + resistance, which your sheet should automatically calculate.

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Group Actions and Mechanics

Cults, Packs, Coteries, and Krewes generally have a wider reach than mundane, unknowing individuals would, and in effect are “characters” of their own, able to take actions on a larger scale than a given person could. However, they’re also subject to instability and external pressure, which can stir up trouble from within.

Most dice pools for group actions come down to Attribute + Esotery.


Using group merits does not count as a group action, and is instead subject to the usual limits for that merit. Purchasing equipment with group Resources, for instance, has its own weekly limitations, per that merit.


When a Doctrine is relevant to an action, a group member may, once per chapter, gain +2 dice to a roll related to it. In addition, if a Doctrine involves a specific “touchtone,” such as an object or location important to it, members gain a +1 bonus to any rolls to defend it, as does the group itself if taking a group action to defend it in some way.

However, it’s, by contrast, destabilizing to work against a group’s Doctrines. If a player character with MCI or Totem dots at least equal to the group’s Esotery breaks one of them openly, the whole group takes the Shaken Faith condition. Lesser characters must spend a point of Willpower in order to break one, as the tenets have been drilled into their minds.

Breaking a Doctrine in private is less costly to the group, but takes a toll on the individual; if a leading member breaks the Doctrine in private, they gain the Obsession condition related to keeping that secret. It can only resolve by the group’s dissolution or the secret being revealed, which then causes the Shaken Faith condition as normal.

Virtue and Creed

Similar to a mortal, a group’s actions can ease the minds of its members if it aligns with the group’s methodologies. When a group reflects a Creed, it provides every involved member with a point of Willpower, up to once a scene; when it reflects a Virtue, and involves some difficulty to those involved, it refills all Willpower to those members involved. Ephemeral members (such as Absent, familiars, or retainers) can regain Essence instead of Willpower, if they wish.


Esotery represents the group’s understanding of their own place in the supernatural world; Krewes convey mystical understanding of the Underworld and the cycle of life and death, and how those affect their tenets; Packs convey an understanding of the Hunt and their place within the Hisil; Coteries convey an understanding of the Beast and its place in the world around them, while Colonies also convey their closeness to each other and how tightly chained their Beasts are to each other; Cults tend to vary more individually, representing their own mystical tenets and their understanding of how they work within the wider supernatural world.

In all cases, this mystical cohesion creates a supernatural resonance that empowers the group, and more mundanely helps members work as a well-oiled machine.

Esotery is the backbone of the Group Action systems. The table below shows how a given Esotery rating defines the Task Limits, Actions, and Attribute Maximums of a group. It also defines the number of Regalia that Krewes have, as well as the maximum MCI of Cults, Krewes, and Coteries, and the maximum Totem benefit of Packs; a member’s MCI is capped by the Esotery rating and Totem benefits are capped at twice their Esotery in Experience.

EsoteryGroup ActionsTask LimitsAttribute MaximumKrewe Regalia


Krewes, and only Krewes, develop Regalia. This is unchanged from the systems in the book: see Geist: the Sin-Eaters pg. 177.

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When a group wants to take on a project or a task that any given individual would have difficulty with on their own, they take a “Group Action.” Typically, this is something that’s helped by the presence of nameless celebrants, packmates, or cultists, and so much of it goes on behind the scenes; as such, this is in addition to normal action requests.

However, Group Actions have their own mechanics and limitations. When you want to accomplish something as a group, you go through the following steps:

Step One: Determine Desired Outcome

The first step is the most obvious; you need to decide, as a group, what you wish to accomplish. This should be something that fits the Doctrines or Aspiration of the group, not just be something an individual wishes to do when the group’s resources are going “unused.”

If you’re already working on a number of Group Actions equal to your limit for your Esotery, you may not work on any more at the same time. In addition, you may not start any more Group Actions per story than that number, even if you manage to fulfill some of them quickly enough.

Step Two: Determine Complexity

Some tasks are more complex and more difficult to manage than others, and in some cases this can be simply beyond the reach and grasp of the group in question. Determine the scope of the Action you want to accomplish on a scale of 1 to 10, using the following table as a guideline:

1Locate the anchor of a ghost famous in life. Learn the state of local spirit politics. Influence the vote of a city councilor. Spread a rumor along the supernatural grape-vine. Discover the last living descendent of a recently deceased ghost.
3Locate the Anchor of a ghost who was unknown or unremarkable in life. Put your group’s identity into the minds of the local spirits. Put a local politician under the group’s thumb or within its ranks. Swing an NPC member of your own venue in a minor political matter. Learn how your territory plays into your venue’s supernatural politics on a detailed level, or into another venue’s on a vague level. Discover a minor locus/nexus/nest or the last living descendent of a ghost that died years ago.
5Locate the Anchor of a ghost who went unrecorded by history or intentionally purged from it. Create beneficial bargains and agreements with the spirit courts in your territory. Draw multiple powerful or wealthy local players into the group’s auspice. Discover a major locus/nexus/nest or the last living descendent of a ghost that died generations ago. Learn the detailed supernatural politics of your own venue within the city, or the vague politics of all venues within the city. Sway an NPC member of your own venue in a major political matter, or a member of another venue in a minor one.
7Locate the former Anchor of a geist that has long since shed their mortal identity. Bind a minor (no rank 5+) spirit court to your group’s Doctrine. Elevate a true believer of the group to a position of national attention or stardom. Learn the detailed supernatural politics of another venue throughout the city. Sway an NPC member of a different venue on a major political matter. Sway the leader or a similarly potent NPC of your own venue. Learn a damning secret of one of your venue’s notable NPCs. Discover a uniquely potent locus/nexus/nest, or the last living descendant of a ghost whose entire bloodline was thought killed.
10Locate and acquire the former Anchor or the closest thing to it of one of the Kerberoi. Discover a greater Incarna’s hidden home deep in the Shadow. Infiltrate a national scale organization like a corporation or intelligence agency with several true believers in the group. Sway a leader or similarly powerful member of another venue. Learn a damning secret of one of another venue’s potent NPCs. Discover the last living descendent of a ghost that has shed most of its identity in the Ocean of Fragments.

Note that just because you might be able to manage the Complexity doesn’t mean the Action will inherently be possible; the STMs might decide that there’s more to it than you think, due to unforeseen factors, or they might have another group working against you. You also need to have some idea about HOW to accomplish it, or it’s simply not doable; see Step Three below.

Dealing with other realms or ephemeral beings typically requires that your group can access them; a Colony probably can’t influence Shadow politics unless their members are capable with Blood Tenebrous or a similar ability and can access/create loci or gateways. Trying to do so indirectly likely involves a much higher complexity.


If two groups that are bound with the Rite of Shared Bonds are working on an Action together, they may combine their efforts. Use the higher of the two groups’ Esotery ratings + 1 for the sake of Task Limits, but the Action counts individually towards each group’s Actions. They also count as dealing with their “own venue” so long as either group’s venue is involved. Normal Teamwork rules then apply for any dice rolls made.

If two groups NOT bound by the above Rite wish to work together, they may, but they instead use the LOWER of the two Task Limits, and only benefit from the normal Teamwork rules for their rolls; if either group is of a different venue or territory, use the worse Complexity calculation.

When the action is complete, a Bonded group may split complications up between them as desired; two unrelated groups working together both suffer the full number of complications.


Working against another group that uses the Cult System works a little differently than most group actions. When trying to undermine another group directly, to the point of dissolving them or at least utterly dissolving their political hold, the action does not have a set Complexity. Instead, you can perform Tasks one after another.

In addition, if targeting a smaller group (defined by Esotery rating), the smaller group must use one of their own group actions to be able to make the contested roll in the first place, or else they become simple actions (thus uncontested). Larger groups are assumed to be better able to weather the assaults of smaller organizations, and don’t need to spend their own actions to contest. If contested, whomever wins each roll generates the Effort. Every Effort generated this way deals 1 lethal damage to the other group. If a single action succeeds in generating Effort equal to the enemy’s Congregation it immediately inflicts the Coup d’Etat Condition on that group. Only failures create Complications, which usually happen immediately.

Note that this should usually be aimed at (or come from the attacks of) NPC organizations; if you wish to target another PC group, the attempt goes through the Storymasters, who may try to mediate another means of solving the dispute, or rely on more “player level” systems.

Step Three: Determine Tasks

After you’ve figured out the big pictures, and just how complex it will be to accomplish, you need to focus on the smaller scale, the Tasks that make it up. Typically, a larger Action will require a number of Tasks equal to its Complexity; these should be smaller steps of the larger whole, and if you can’t think of any way to accomplish it, you simply can’t do it.

Sometimes, you might want to lead with an “Information Gathering” action first, which might help you lean about how to go about something; if you’re not sure how to get the vampiric Prince to give you what you want, maybe you need to find some blackmail material. Whether about them, or about a rival you can bribe them with.

Step Four: Establish Mechanics

After you’ve decided on step 1–3, submit a “group action” request to your venue, or to narrators if crossover is involved or you’re using teamwork rules with another group type.

If the staff agrees that the action is possible and the tasks make sense, they will help you establish the following details for each Task:

  • Action: Simple or contested. They should just about never be Extended.
  • Time Required: This will typically be done in terms of RL days; multiple tasks might be doable in a single day, if they’d reasonably take less time
  • Task Order: Based on the described Tasks, determine which, if any, must be done first.
  • Dice Pool: The default dice pool is Attribute + Esotery. In some cases, they might allow a PC to use one of their own relevant dice pools if they use up one of their normal weekly Actions “leading” the Task.
    • Suggested Modifiers: No relevant skill set (−1 to −3), working with a PC Leader (+2 or use their own dice pool), violating group Doctrine (−5), being watched by the authorities (living or dead, flesh or ephemera) (−2), thorough planning (+1; double the time taken), limited timeframe (−2), requires specialty equipment (−1 to −3), potential breaking point (–1 to –4), acting outside your own territory (−1 to −3, depending on distance)

You may feel free to submit recommendations for these along with the initial request, but the staff has final word.

Step Five: Generate Effort

The Action’s progress is reflected with “effort” generated by Tasks as they’re completed. As your group reaches the point of performing each Task, roll the dice pool established above.

  • Exceptional Success: The group generates two points of effort and creates a Condition, either on their Group or on their target, as appropriate. Leveraged and Connected ar often suitable.
  • Success: The group generates one point of effort.
  • Failure: The group generates no effort, and the staff will apply a Complication at the end of the process. Any Tasks relying on this one take a −2 to their roll.
  • Dramatic Failure: As Failure, and a negative condition is applied to the group. If the task was a prerequisite for another, the group’s Task Limit lowers by 1 for this action, possibly inhibiting their ability to safely complete it.

As each Task is completed, repeat the process for each remaining one. Only one should be in progress at a time, unless the group wants to run in “parallel” and use up more than 1 of their Action maximum at a time.


In some cases, a scene might allow the group to “zoom in” on a task and complete it more directly. In this case, a single roll is replaced by a scene that’s run. If you’d like to run a given Task this way, talk to the narrator handling your request. In some cases, it might be suggested that it’s done as a PRP or that it should be left as an abstracted dice pool, whether due to staff availability or just the nature of the Task.

After such a scene, the staff or PRP ST will inform you of if it counts as a “success” or “failure.”

Step Six: Resolve Action

Once all Tasks are completed, success or failure, the action is typically accomplished unless something went terribly wrong. The results come down less to seeing if the action was undertaken, and more about what it may have cost the group.


If enough Effort is generated to meet the Complexity (or more) of the action in question, there are no further Complications beyond what may have been caused already by Failures, as noted above.


Should the group fall short of their Complexity, or fail any of their Tasks, they’ll suffer from Complications equal to the number of failures plus the number of Effort they fell short. So, if attempting a Complexity 6 Task, and you generate 3 effort but suffer 3 failures, you take 6 Complications.

The Complications are up to the staff, but will typically be chosen from the following:

  • A member of the group is badly injured or killed carrying out the plan. The group gains the Casualties condition.
  • Some within the group begin to question their motivations. The group gains the Shaken Faith condition.
  • The action severely taxes the resources and goodwill of the celebrants. The group suffers 2 lethal damage.
  • The group makes an enemy of somebody that was negatively affected by the outcome of the project.
  • It required significantly more resources than originally planned: the group is Indebted to someone who picked up the slack.
  • The group comes to the (largely negative) attention of someone higher in the social food chain.
  • The group takes damage to Congregation, and potentially undergoes a schism.
  • The action revealed a deeper problem of which the group was previously unaware.
  • The project has its intended outcome but unintended side effects. The group gains a negative Condition such as Leveraged or Notoriety.

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Harm, Healing, Schism

“Damage” taken by a group is not the literal cuts and bruises that PCs suffer from. Instead, damage to congregation is a combination of loss of cohesion and efficiency, and loss of faith in the PC members of the group or the group’s overall Doctrines. Damage is typically taken from Complications, War, or through certain Conditions, although other factors might cause it at Storyteller discretion.

Bashing damage to Congregation heals at a rate of 1 point every other day. Lethal heals at a point per week. Aggravated damage takes a month each.
Full Damage
Damage rolls over normally for Congregation, like it would for PC health. A full track of bashing damage inflicts the Shaken Faith condition (below). A full track of lethal damage causes a schism and potentially another condition; this can be resolved by one of the following ways:
  • Purge: The group removes dissenters by force. They lose a dot of Power for a Chronicle (3 months), and cannot raise it during that time, but clear all damage from Congregation. However, this drastic method tends to encourage further dissent, if more subtly; the group gains the Notoriety Condition.
  • Resolve: The group comes to a more understanding resolution with dissenting members. The group loses a dot of Finesse for a Chronicle, and cannot raise it during that time, but clears all damage from Congregation. The group gains the Leveraged condition.
  • Splinter: The group simply allows those that are unhappy about the state of things to leave (or else). They lose a dot of Resistance for a Chronicle, and cannot raise it for that time, but clear all damage from Congregation and gain the Diminished condition.

If they refuse to deal with the action through these methods, or waver on the best means, the group “bleeds” members and contacts, and so takes 1 point of aggravated damage per day, and cannot perform Group Actions.

If the group suffers full aggravated damage, they disband, losing their hold on their territory, dissolving any active Rite of Shared Bonds, and otherwise losing their sheet. Any merit dots contributed individually by members remain on their sheets or gain Sanctity of Merits normally, but the group itself is permanently lost; if the same members try to form a new group, it needs to look distinctly different, and they’ll need to hope nobody else takes their territory in the interim.

Supernatural Force

What’s that? You say you can “force” loyalty through blood bonds, binding rituals, mind control, or other means? Perhaps. Using a supernatural power that can target at least 10 * (Group Resistance) people at once (or using a single target power that many times for full cost) can essentially “stabilize” a group, if it would raise impression at least 2 steps (or directly provide a Great or better Impression), directly command someone, or cause breaking points if disobeyed.

For every success gained on the power’s activation (or for the sake of using lesser powers multiple times, the final activation), or on a Clash of Wills dice pool for unrolled powers, up to 1 point of lethal damage is “frozen” for as long as the power lasts, from right to left. While frozen, it doesn’t count as filling the box it takes up, and can’t be healed, but other damage on the sheet can heal in that time. This means if the last box is “frozen,” the group can take actions again, and they stop “bleeding.” However, if they take further damage, it “unfreezes” an equal number in addition to rolling new damage over.

Such forceful methods rarely help the long term health of the group, however. After the power’s duration ends, if the last health box is still full of lethal damage, they immediately take damage as if they were “bleeding” the entire time, as the brainwashed dissenters redouble their grievance. In addition, they take the Diminished condition either way, as brainwashed members rarely work at the full potency or dynamism that they would of their own accord. It does not automatically resolve when the power ends, healed or not.

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Group Conditions

Group conditions being resolved provides every member of the group with a point of willpower, rather than group beats. The conditions mentioned above have the following mechanics:


Members of the group are hurt or even hospitalized.

  • The group suffers a −2 penalty to Power.
  • When the group gains this Condition, choose one Retainer or other PC-controlled NPC from among the group’s members to be among the injured.
Possible Sources
  • A dramatic failure on a group action.
  • The group is involved in a serious brawl.
  • Somebody tries to kill a member of the group.
  • Declaring that the named character has died of their wounds (or been permanently destroyed or lost to another realm). The player who owns the merit, or all players in the group if a group merit, must consent to this. Sanctity of Merits applies.
  • The group undertakes no group actions for an entire chapter (not including the chapter in which the Condition was inflicted).


Demoralized and running frightened, the group has had the fight beaten out of them by some spectacular show of force or supernatural energy.

  • At the beginning of every group action, a PC member must spend 1 Willpower.
Possible Sources
  • A complication on a group action.
  • A concerted effort by enemies to undermine the group’s faith.
  • Resolving a schism.
  • Using mind-control to “stabilize” a group.
  • The group fulfills its Virtue.
  • The group successfully completes a group action with no complications.
  • The group gains a point of Esotery.


The group’s faith is troubled by something, and now they’re questioning everything they believe in.

  • Whenever group members fulfill the group’s Virtue, they regain only a single point of Willpower or Essence.
  • At the start of each chapter, roll (10 - Resistance) dice and keep any successes (attach all rolls to a request). Once you’ve accumulated 10 successes, replace this Condition with either the Coup d’Etat or Heresy Condition. If another action inflicts this Condition a second (or subsequent) time, immediately replace it with either the Coup d’Etat or Heresy Condition.
Possible Sources
  • The group learns of one of its leaders having violated a Doctrine.
  • The group’s Congregation track is filled with bashing damage.
  • The group gains a dot of Esotery.
  • The problem grows worse and is replaced with the Coup d’Etat or Heresy Condition.


The group’s leadership has burnt enough goodwill among the group that a new potential leader has stepped forward to take up the reins — whether they like it or not. A coup may be a bloodless power play, or it could be a bloody civil war.

  • All group actions are reduced to a chance die. In addition, once per chapter the Storyteller may introduce a complication related to the coup: an assassination attempt, a block on the characters’ Social Merits, etc. ‘Note this condition whenever you submit a group action or merit use.
Possible Sources
  • The group’s Congregation track is filled with lethal damage.
  • The Shaken Faith condition worsens.
  • Another organization tries to undermine the group.
  • The group leadership disbands the group.
  • The characters purge the disloyal and reestablish their dominance over the group (see schism resolutions).
  • A larger threat forces the group to unify — at least for the time being.
  • The characters are abandoned by their disloyal groupmates.


The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and no matter how well-intentioned a group is, they can still lose their way.

  • A group suffering from Heresy gains a temporary Doctrine that describes their specific heresy, decided by the Storyteller. Whenever the group indulges the Heresy through this heretical Doctrine (see the beat option below), mark it on the sheet’s notes.
  • All tasks in group actions become contested rolls of Attribute + Esotery versus (the number of willpower generated by the Heresy Doctrine). If the Heresy wins, it gains Effort instead of the group action. If the Heresy has more Effort than the group action when all the tasks are resolved, the group replaces one of their Doctrines with the Heresy.
Possible Sources
  • The group’s Congregation track is filled with lethal damage.
  • The Shaken Faith condition grows worse.
  • The group experiences a religious epiphany without the characters present.
  • The group undergoes a Schism.
  • The heretical branch of the group is destroyed.
  • The Heresy is adopted by the group as a new Doctrine.
  • The group fulfills the heretical Doctrine.

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Group Advancement

Player groups work akin to “characters” of their own, and that includes gaining Experience. A group can be assumed to have as much Experience as a player character would per the Experience Guide, rounded down, not including the build XP (see the guide for a chart).

Group XP requests should go Request Monitors like all Experience requests, but should have ALL PC members of the group attached to it, along with the group’s sheet. It can be spent in the following ways:

Attribute Dots6
Merit Dots1
Ritual^2 * the cost for a character
Esotery Dots5

^Supernatural Merits with activation rolls, Ceremonies, Blood Sorcery rituals, and Pack Rites can all be purchased, assuming someone in the group is capable of using them. So long as the group has bought them, any member with an MCI or Totem rating equal to or higher than the ritual rating can use them if their character type normally can (most non-mortals can’t use Supernatural Merits, for instance). In the case of coteries/colonies, they don’t need to have the base Blood Sorcery, but only add the dots they do have to the dice pool.

Like PCs, groups need Justifications, and use the same guidelines; Esotery counts as a “Supernatural Tolerance” trait for this purpose. Not every member needs to be a part of a scene used for a Justification, but the scene must in some way clearly benefit the group in a relevant way. In addition, a group action can be done purely for the purpose of a Justification, requiring a Complexity equal to half the trait rating (round up).

PCs may still pool their own individual merit dots towards their group, but as usual, if the PC goes inactive, the group loses those dots after a month; this can be extended to 3 months if the group dedicates all gained group XP towards repurchasing them.

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