These rules replace the World of Darkness Rulebook experience point system. They integrate with the Aspirations, Conditions, and dramatic failure systems in this book. They also shift character progression to a more mathematically linear path, removing costs that increase with higher ranks. Throughout the game, Aspirations, Conditions, and certain other criteria allow you to “take a Beat.”

A Beat, in dramatic terms, is time enough for the audience to recognize a plot point or a change for a character. For our purposes, think of it as a unit of drama. Once you’ve taken five Beats, you gain an Experience. One of these Experiences can be used to purchase one Merit dot or a Skill Specialty. Two of these buy one Skill dot. Four add an Attribute dot.

Criteria for Beats

Each time your character fulfills one of the following criteria, take a Beat. Certain criteria have limits: for example, you may only gain one Beat for a Dramatic Failure in a scene.

  • If your character fulfills an Aspiration, take a Beat. At the end of the game session, replace the Aspiration. Choosing a new Aspiration is an excellent activity between games or to handle before the next game session.
  • Some rolls and powers may impart Conditions on your character. Each Condition has criteria for resolution, usually requiring a difficult choice for the character. If resolved, take a Beat. You may only take one Beat for a Condition in a given scene.
  • Once per scene, if you fail a roll, you may opt to take a Dramatic Failure instead. If you do so, take a Beat. Certain Conditions can have you take an automatic failure as part of their resolutions; you may make these failures Dramatic and take two Beats.
  • If your character takes damage in one of her last (right-most) Health boxes, take a Beat.
  • The Storyteller can choose to award a Beat for any exceptional example of roleplaying, tactics or character development. If this involves more than one character, all of them should receive the Beat.
  • At the end of any game session, take a Beat.

Experience Costs

Merit: 1 Experience per dot
Skill Specialty: 1 Experience
Skill: 2 Experiences per dot
Attribute: 4 Experiences per dot
Integrity: 3 Experiences per dot
Willpower: 1 Experience per dot


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