House Rules

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General House Rules

While the ideal, as far as staff is concerned, is to cleave as closely to the books as written as possible - sometimes, changes must be made to better suit the environment of MU*, to facilitate or clarify cross-sphere concerns, to correct mistakes left in print, or to fix obvious problems. These house rules attempt to do that.

  • Breaking Points award a Beat for all character types except werewolves and changelings; Breaking Points for werewolves are a tug-of-war that happen frequently and are not a risk of loss. Changelings earn a beat when they receive clarity damage from a breaking point roll, but not for making the roll itself. Exceptional Successes or Dramatic Failures on Breaking Points (unless a failure is willingly chosen to become a Dramatic Failure) do not award extra Beats.
  • If a natural weapon (fists, feet, claws, teeth, tentacles, et cetera) does not note otherwise, its Initiative Modifier is +0.
  • Background Conditions: If a character wishes, they may begin play with certain Conditions to reflect flaws to their characters. Some suggested conditions are: Addicted, Amnesia, Blind, Disabled, Fugue, Madness, Mute, or Embarrassing Secret/Notoriety. Generally positive Conditions (like Inspired or or Connected) must be gained on-grid.
  • On-Grid Conditions: If a character wishes to acquire Conditions in-play, generally they may simply set them on themselves when they become appropriate. Some Conditions are only applicable by supernatural methods. More mundane Conditions may be inflicted whenever appropriate, not only via their suggested example sources. When submitting a +beat for a resolved condition, please include information both on how the Condition was acquired and for how the Condition was resolved.
  • Humans receive 10 merit dots, just like characters with other templates.
  • Clarification on Medicine Skill healing: we use the rules found on page 188 of CtL 2e, which we find to be clearer than the CofD rules on page 96, with the note that where the text mentions hospitals, it is stating that this is the kind of care one would receive in a hospital, NOT that a hospital or hospital setting is required for that care.
  • When using the Build/Modify equipment action (specifically the rules in CtL 2e pg 196, although not limited to Changelings), the armor rating or weapon damage rating of an object may only be raised by 2 over the base object (so Reinforced Clothing could be raised to 3/2), and each modifier only increases EITHER Ballistic OR General armor, not both. (Creating Reinforced Clothing from scratch with 3/2 armor would be a -4 penalty.) Further, a clarification: Equipment Bonus cannot be increased to more than 5, and penalties cannot be reduced to less than 0.
  • Buying back lost Humanity or Integrity costs one Experience, not two.


Time on the MUSH is handled in an abstract way when it comes to scenes, sessions, chapters, et cetera. If a more concrete time is required, use the following guidelines:

  • A scene is any single session of roleplay that is confined to a single location. A shift of location, a pause while characters catch their breath and recover, or a change in the majority of the cast of the scene can (but not necessarily do) mean a change in scene. If time is absolutely required, a scene is around two hours.
  • A Game Session, if an exact time is required, is one week.
  • A Chapter, if an exact time is required, is also one week.
  • A Story, if an exact time is required, is one month.


Cursed condition (Persistent)

The equipment the character is using to aid his action is cursed. The item may have been used for extreme evil, might've had all the luck sucked out of it by an Atariya, could've been in one horrible accident so serious that it was affected supernaturally, or might even be the Anchor for a particularly restless ghost. The first time a character interacts with the item, they receive the Spooked or Shaken condition. Any failure achieved while benefiting from the equipment is automatically a dramatic failure. The item will tend to turn up where it isn't wanted, or simply cause misfortune in its vicinity; such effects are up to the Storyteller and should be played for maximum creep factor. Items with the Cursed condition have a -1 to Availability as their owners try desperately to get rid of them, often to no avail.

Caused by: Deliberate creation via Occult rituals, Occult rituals gone wrong, pawn shop 'deals', inheritances from creepy relatives

Resolved by: An exorcism or other supernatural cleansing may remove the curse, as will the complete destruction of the item. A character may achieve a balance of understanding with the item by purchasing the Assertive Implement merit if able, at which point the Cursed condition is removed.

Get a beat when: The character suffers a dramatic failure while using the equipment.

Heart Trouble (Persistent)

Bodies are imperfect. Something has gone wrong with one of the most essential parts of the character's body, the heart. Generally, things are alright, but in moments of high stress or intense exertion, the character's heart just isn't up to the task.

When making any check involving Stamina a Dramatic Failure activates the Condition and causes the Stunned Tilt. For the rest of the scene, the character takes a -5 penalty on Stamina-related rolls. Further rolls with this penalty inflict a Lethal damage, with each further Stamina roll inflicting an additional point of Lethal, compounding (2 lethal on the second roll, 3 on the third).

This persists until the end of the scene, or until successful a successful Medicine roll to treat it is made.

Caused by: Usually a result of a genetic condition, complications of other diseases, or an injury to the heart. Creatures with regeneration or who are not living beings may not take this Condition.

Resolved by: Changing templates to a Vampire or Werewolf; open heart surgery or heart transplant; being healed with the Laying on Hands merit; occult rituals involving sacrifices or bargains with alien powers; or other methods of curing the underlying condition.

Get a beat when: Every time a dramatic failure occurs, causing the condition to manifest in a scene. Receive an additional beat every time your character makes any additional Stamina checks in spite of the risk of death after a Dramatic Failure.


Referenced in several places, the Agony tilt was cut for space from Hurt Locker - but later posted to the Onyx Path forums. It is included on NOLA with a few additional notes.


Description: The character feels intense pain, above and beyond what's expected for typical physical trauma. The character suffers injury to a vulnerable part of the anatomy, an agonizing toxin, or a terrible illness.
Effect: Reeling with pain, the character must choose between only one of the following options per turn: moving, performing an instant action (including an attack), benefiting from Defense, or performing a reflexive Strength or Dexterity-based physical action (such as resisting an attack or hazard). For instance, a character who moves may not attack or benefit from Defense. Characters suffering Agony may not perform the Dodge action. Werewolves in Gauru form or Kuruth, or vampires in frenzy, are immune to the Agony tilt. These things tend to only piss them off more.
Causing the Tilt: The character suffers the following:
  • Burns from acids or extreme heat (fire, red-hot surfaces) that inflict lethal damage in excess of Stamina.
  • Further injury (1 point of damage, bashing or lethal) to an specified target already affected by a personal Tilt such as Blinded or Arm Wrack. (Vampires are immune to this source of Agony.)
  • Injury (1 point of damage, bashing or lethal) to a pain point. A pain point is a specified target category that encompasses the liver, genitals, armpits and similar vulnerable areas. Attacks targeting pain points suffer a -5 penalty. (Vampires are immune to this source of Agony.)
  • Certain special Fighting Style maneuvers and other circumstances may also impose the Tilt, such as certain insect stings, degloving injuries, or a maneuver that breaks fingers. Consult listed systems or the Storyteller.
Ending the Tilt: After the first turn, roll Resolve + Stamina as a reflexive action, once per turn. The player may spend Willpower to add dice to this roll. Success ends the Tilt, or it fades at the end of the scene.

Intersphere Interactions


  • A werewolf may defend against a vampire Lashing Out with their Predatory Aura by responding with their Hunter’s Aspect.
  • A Changeling may defend against a vampire Lashing Out with a roll to Incite Bedlam. If the Changeling wins, the Bedlam affects everyone who can see or hear the Changeling, as normal - not merely the target who Lashed Out.
  • A wolfblood that is ghouled loses access to all wolfblood merits, including the Tell and Totem merits. They keep their first Tell, and may still take part in Pack Rites, although they may no longer learn or lead Rites. A wolfblooded ghoul loses all but 5 dots of human-only supernatural merits. If the wolfblood loses the ghoul template, later, they may re-buy the merits, although they are not required to. A wolfblooded ghoul may undergo the First Change, shedding the ghoul template. Attempts to Embrace a wolfblood often result in the First Change. Sometimes, ghouling a wolfblood simply fails. This is an out-of-character choice by the player of the wolfblood.


  • Werewolves and vampires may automatically detect one another by their predatory auras. They may see through the Mask of a Changeling as per our house rules.
  • As supernatural beings, Vampires and Werewolves are able to see through the Mask and perceive a Changeling's mien. They can, with effort, see the subtle transparent layering of the illusion to perceive the Mask as well - which comes in handy when one doesn't want to describe someone to a friend as "that horned giant with glowing red eyes".
  • All Changelings, regardless of their Clarity, can detect Vampires and Werewolves. Changelings are, above all else, used to recognizing Hunters. A Changeling can sense with a rudimentary Kenning (no roll or Clarity requirements) that a person is a vampire or werewolf, and can tell one from the other. Note that supernatural powers which suppress a creature's predatory aura or make the creature seem "like a human" work as they would against another creature of the same type. All other supernatural phenomena must be detected through the ordinary mechanic of Kenning.


  • A vampire feeding on a werewolf causes one lethal damage, causes the werewolf to lose one Essence per turn, and gains two Vitae. The vampire gains the Raging condition, which causes a -2 penalty on frenzy checks, can be Resolved by falling into frenzy by a failed roll (not riding the wave or using Coil of the Wyrm), and fades without a Beat after a number of nights equal to the werewolf’s Primal Urge.
  • A werewolf that feeds on a vampire’s flesh causes one lethal damage and drains one Vitae per turn and gains one Essence. Feeding on Vitae alone is not enough to grant a werewolf Essence. The werewolf is vulnerable to Vinculum and vitae addiction as normal. Being fed on in this way is a Humanity 4 Breaking Point for the vampire, and a violation of the Oath of the Moon in the eyes of some werewolves (but definitely constitutes a Breaking Point as if committing cannibalism on a human or wolf).
  • A vampire feeding on a Changeling deals 1 lethal damage and drains 1 Glamour and gains 2 vitae per round spent feeding. The vampire can lick the wound to stop the bleeding, but the wound remains. The vampire gains the Madness condition for one night per dot of Wyrd of the Changeling fed from. If all of the dice from Madness are used before it expires, then it Resolves for a Beat. Otherwise, it simply fades without Resolving.
  • A werewolf is not immune to the Vinculum, or to Vitae addiction. This is a clarification, not a house rule. Causing direct or indirect harm to a regnant is a Breaking Point toward the Spirit. At the third step, this Breaking Point has a -2 penalty.
  • Changelings are vulnerable to vitae addiction and vinculum as normal. This is a clarification, not a House Rule. The results of being under the vinculum may, under some circumstances, result in Clarity damage.


  • Any character may join a Pack, Motley or Coterie; mixed groups can be any label they choose, but the mechanical effects are the same regardless. Any group of three PCs that contains contains at least one PC with the Totem merit may be considered a pack, mechanically. Only Changelings may take part in Motley Oaths.
  • The only IC requirements for joining a group are what the group decides they are; there are no OOC requirements, except those described above. To receive your 1XP Incentive, put in a req with your group name and members (1 req per group is fine; a group needs at least 3 members to receive the incentive).
  • Changeling: The Lost 2e calls out several merits as being Motley Merits which were not previously called out as being able to be pooled (Allies, Contacts, Resources, Status, and Staff). None of these merits can be pooled between Motley (or Pack or Coterie) members. Hollow, Stable Trod, and Workshop can be pooled, as well as any other merit that was previously able to be pooled among a Pack or Coterie in other books (like Safe Place, Totem, et cetera).

Merit Houserules

Close Quarters Combat 3 (Armored Coffin)

  • Applies only to worn armor. Supernatural sources of armor, the Iron Skin merit, or other armor that reflects toughened skin, hardened flesh, supernatural barriers, or other effects that cannot be utilized by holding onto it are unaffected by this merit.

Choke Hold

  • Does not function on vampires or other beings that do not need to breathe or rely on blood flow to the brain.

Efficient Killer

  • Does not function against vampires. A vampire is not a living being.
  • Cannot function while the werewolf is maintaining a Hold, because while maintaining a Hold, both characters lose Defense. A character cannot sacrifice their Defense if they don’t have access to their Defense.

Professional Training

  • If all Asset Skills are at the maximum rating when Professional Training would give a free dot in an Asset Skill, the character may instead assign two more free Specialties to Asset Skills.

Social Merits

  • Status or Mystery Cult Initiation over 3 in non-mortal organizations may be subject to staff approval and may come with In- and Out-of-character responsibilities. Status is limited to 3 at character creation.
  • Some Social Merits (Resources, Allies, Retainers, non-Supernatural Status, etc) may be purchased without wait times, up to 3, under appropriate circumstances.

Street Fighting 5

  • If you are immune to wound penalties, you may still benefit from Street Fighting 5 if you would otherwise suffer from that wound penalty.

Supernatural Merits

  • Humans and other Minor templates, excepting Ghouls and Fae-Touched, may purchase Supernatural merits that require "Human". Ghouls and Fae-Touched may purchase these merits, but only up to a limit of 5 dots worth.
  • Psychokinesis: Small, minor, cosmetic effects like lighting a cigarette or candle with Pyrokinesis, making the room get cold when you're pissed off with Cryokinesis, having shadows faintly flicker with...uh...Dark...okinesis. And so forth are possible without spending a Willpower point. Staff highly suggests that if one would like to represent a particular skill with this ability, that one might buy an Intimidation specialty in 'Psychokinetic Intimidation' or something similar.

Hurt Locker Houserules

  • Alternate Style Merits: The Alternate style merits cannot be mixed and matched freely. Instead, each level of an alternative style merit is a 1-dot merit that requires the level of the core merit just before it to be purchased. For example, Trapping, a 3-dot Martial Arts maneuver from Hurt Locker, requires Martial Arts 2. In the case of Grappling, which has no fourth level, fifth-level Grappling maneuvers require one of the two 4-dot maneuvers to be purchased as a prerequisite.
  • Mounted Combat may be performed either while mounted on a horse, or a motorcycle. In the case of a motorcycle, substitute Drive for Animal Ken when rolls and pre-requisites are concerned. Rearing Beast, performed with a motorcycle, allows the performer to ignore a target’s defense when purposefully crashing their motorcycle into them.
  • Spear and Bayonet 3, Strike and Develop, does not cause extra damage per turn to vampires. Any other character type who can heal rapidly, if they heal at least one point of lethal damage from the attack that caused the bleeding, cease taking damage from Strike and Develop.
  • A character need not possess Strength Performance 3 for a year to qualify for purchasing Giant, post-CG.
  • Assertive Implement: This merit permanently affects the weapon it's applied to; it is active at all times, not once per scene.
  • At this time, we’re not using the Transfer Maneuver merit. We may examine how to use it in the future.
  • We are tentatively implementing the Ammo Capacity rules from Hurt Locker. In these rules, each weapon has a capacity. High capacity weapons run out of ammunition only after a long burst, two medium bursts, or three short bursts. On a dramatic failure they jam, requiring a Dexterity + Firearms roll to fix. Medium Capacity weapons run out of weapons after a medium burst, two short bursts, or a dramatic failure. Low capacity weapons empty on a short burst or a regular failure. Single shot weapons have only one use in a scene, unless the character has the Loaded for Bear merit.
  • Thrown weapons may be treated as Low Capacity rather than Single Use if their Resources cost is increased by 1, representing buying a brace of said weapons (such as throwing knives hidden in various places around a character’s body). This capacity can be increased to Medium with the Trigger Discipline merit.
  • Fated Ferocity cannot automatically prevent others from interfering with an Aspiration in combat. Supernatural powers that would be prevented by Die with Dignity provoke a Clash of Wills.
  • The penalty to Sacrificial Offering resets after one month without performing an offering.
  • Sacrificial Offering requires an equivalent level of Mystery Cult Initiation, not a full 5 dots before you can start buying it at all.
  • When Apporting using the Sojourner merit’s extended roll option, the character does not suffer damage.
  • For the purposes of Dreamers, a Chapter is once per month. Dreamers roll at the end of CG, then again a month afterward, and once every month after that. A +reminder should be used so the Dreamer can remember to roll with staff for their Subliminal Conditioning.
  • All-In (for Atariya) is a 1-dot merit, rather than a 3-dot merit. This change is due to the extremely dubious mechanical benefit it grants and staff would not recommend anyone who favors mechanical advantages to spend even one Experience on it. (Apologies for editorializing.)
  • Breath Stealer now has a fourth level (see the Custom Content section, above).