The Core Principles

(The following is adapted from work by my good friend Alex D., in some places, just copied and pasted, from when we first started discussing this hack as an idea; the original document can be found at

*Barf forth stylized, Gothic-punk-ness.
* Reward the player characters with tragedy; punish your own characters with brutality
* Give the characters what they want, with or without a cost (but oftener with)
* Occasionally, give freely to your players’ characters
* Be honest to your players, but lie to their characters
* Embrace contrast and dualities at every turn
- Highlight excess, sometimes to monstrous levels
- Highlight scarcity, sometimes tragically so
* Embrace and evoke horror, romance, and tragedy
* Create a situation ready to decay or explode, without a set endpoint. Place your players’ characters at the center.
* Give your players’ characters their wants, but withhold their needs.
* Highlight irony.
* Use your vampires to highlight the monstrosity of aspects of humanity taken to excess, and help your players do the same

* Play your character as though he were a real (supernatural) person, with goals, beliefs, loves, needs, and desires
* Remember also that your character is both super- and sub-human, a monster – half God and half man, but fully neither, and suffering for it.
*Pursue your character’s Drives and other goals intently.
*Choose what’s more important; your character’s Drives and goals or their humanity and relationships?
*Embrace horror, romance, and tragedy.

The MC Moves (Most of these are taken from “Apocalypse World.” A few of them are specific to this game):
• Separate them.
• Capture someone.
• Put someone in a spot.
• Trade harm for harm (as established).
• Announce off-screen badness.
• Announce future badness.
• Inflict harm (as established).
• Take away their stuff.
• Make them buy.
• Activate their stuff’s downside.
• Tell them the possible consequences and ask.
• Offer an opportunity, with or without a cost.
• Turn their move back on them.
• Make a threat move (from one of your fronts).
• After every move: “what do you do?”
*Threaten their Intimacies
*Threaten their Humanity
*Force them into ever-greater depravity
*Remind them of their former lives
*Force them to choose between a goal and the right thing.
*Make them resist Frenzy.

Alex also wrote this little gem, which survives in the game’s current incarnation:
“Vampires can easily obtain most material goods and money; by extent, they don’t use wealth or apparent wealth as a status symbol the way most people do. A vampire who shows off wealth is doing it to impress humans or for his own personal reasons, not to effect other vampires. Instead, vampires track their status and influence amongst one-another as though it were gold.”

The Core Principles

New York Nightlife EliasEspynwislyn