Hey everyone! So, it's been a fun week here at Black Hat Writing! We've been working on a bunch of revisions to the system and we finally got to test them in a staff game, set during a zombie apocalypse.
We've revised the skill system a bit, cutting down the number of skills. However, we have added the new mechanic, specialties, which allows a skill to become specialized, and allows your character to be an expert in a particular area. Under the new revision, base skills (such as Fight or Wits) can only go up to 4 dots now, but specialties can go as high as you want, applying only when that specific skill set is used in conjunction with the skill. For example, in the zombie game, my character (a Secret Service agent) had Fight up to 4, but a 4-dot specialty in guns, so, whenever rules involving Fight also involved Guns, I could add those 8 (as opposed to 4) to my skill number.
The Horror Genre rules have also been revised! Need a crash course on how Genres work in Theatre Noir? Now, with the Horror Genre rules, which like all Genre rules are optional, when stressful or horrific things happen to your character, you collect mental stress. When mental stress gets to high, the GM has you roll to determine whether or not you have a reaction. Reactions could range from mania (the investigative reporter in the party started ranting from failing a roll) to depression (the teenager started crying in corner). You also have the option to roll to not deal with the mental stress at the moment, but this can cause Insanities. Constant mental stress can also cause eventual Insanities. Stay tuned for more discussion of Insanities! Also, a new mechanic involved in this system is Mental Scarring, which is for characters that already have become jaded from mental stress. With Mental Scarring, you take less mental stress, but have impaired social interactions.
Also, our fate points system has been revised, but I'll go into this next week! What do you all think of the revisions? Interested in the rest of the mechanics of Theatre Noir? Would you like to hear about our zombie game? Let us know! Either comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you wish to help us test out these new rules, apply to be a playtest GM!