Assets is one out of seven modules that make up the Off-Screen System.
The off-screen system does not only allow to attack assets; it also lets you investigate, attack, and defend PCs and NPCs.
In contrast to most of the other off-screen actions, the results will often play out on the on-screen level, where the PC or NPC will have to respond to whatever you threw at them.
You can grow other characters by spending time in an appropriate scene. After a training session or appropriate RP, you may spend 2x the number of beats necessary to put a trait on another character's sheet for a PC, or the regular number of beats necessary to put a trait on an NPC. In this way high Influence characters can make other characters millionaires, and counseling can help to raise another character's humanity, while martial arts instructors can pay for you to know kung-fu.
- Action: Resisted (Anonymity/Alternate Identity), Extended and Threshold
- Time: Investigation costs 1 hour to begin, and takes 2 hours per die roll, time paid in advance
- Wits + Investigation + (half Protean)(Low)
- Wits + Empathy + (half Protean)(Moderate)
- Wits + Streetwise/Politics + (half Protean)(High)
- You may add all your Auspex dots, and half your dots for any of the following disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Majesty, or Protean (rounded down).
- Command: +request Investigate (Name)=Investigate (Name) starting with _____ or
- Modifiers: Sites, Resource Points, Territory
- Teamwork: Yes
When investigating the actions or holdings of other characters, you require successes equal to the higher of their dots in Streetwise, Stealth, or Subterfuge + Obfuscate. Then, and every three successes thereafter, you may ask a single question. Investigating characters can reveal assets with whom they have direct contact, including allies, safe places, and mentors. You must have a starting place with investigation. Appropriate starting places might be the address of their haven, their legal name, or knowledge they have ties with the mafia. A false premise for an investigation start will waste your time.
If they actively covered up the action, their successes on the Cover Up roll become a threshold you must meet in order to gain progress.
For example, Debonair Rival has attacked Vampire Bill's Haven, but covered it up so (hopefully) Vampire Bill will not know he was the one responsible. The better of his Streetwise/Stealth/Subterfuge + Obfuscate comes out to 2 (Debonair Rival has Subterfuge, but no Obfuscate. He is not an inherently subtle creature!), and he also got 4 successes on his Cover Up. Vampire Bill commits 7 hours to the investigation, giving him three rolls. He gets 3, 5, and 1 success on those rolls. 3 and 1 are both below the Cover Up threshold, and garner Vampire Bill no information. 5 successes is above the threshold, though. He gets one piece of information when he meets the target (2), and a second piece of information when he gets another three successes (5).
You must commit your time to the investigation before rolling; thus you could spend 9 hours in one night, only to reveal a single trait. Investigating a character can be done from anywhere, but may accrue bonus dice for being on a certain location (such as their haven).
Computers can be used to add bonus dice to investigation rolls. A successful extended Intelligence + Computers roll with an interval of 1/2 hour (per roll) can add +1 die per success to the next single investigation roll interval.
Cover-Ups are how you defend against investigation.
- Action: Simple/Contested
- Time: 7 hours (Weekly)
- Manipulation + Subterfuge + (half Majesty) (Moderate)
- Wits + Streetwise + (half Protean) + (half Majesty) (Low)
- Wits + Larceny + (half Protean) (Low)
- You may add your dots in Dominate, Nightmare, and Obfuscate
- Command: +request Cover-up after (Character)=
- Modifiers: Sites, Resource Points
- Teamwork: No (But can be done by Retainers)
An asset can be assigned to protect a character against investigation, effectively covering up after them. This gives Investigation rolls a threshold that must be met to gain any progress. Covering up after a character costs 7 hours and is handled just like defending territory.
Covering Up something is one of the (6 - Rank) free defensive actions a Retainer may take in a given week. This requires no downtime to activate them, and uses only their own dicepools (being their rank, or double their rank if using a tagged skill). Most people set their retainers to defend or cover up the same things or people each week, which allows you to inform the storytellers only when you want to change the arrangement rather than specifying it each week.
If you have the Anonymity Merit, its value is added to the resistance against attacks by bureaucratic, legal, or political Allies.
- Action: None
- Time: 16 hours (weekly)
- Dicepool: None
- Command: +request Defend (Character) with (Asset)=
- Modifiers: None
- Teamwork: No
Defending is very time consuming, as it forcus you to spend much of their time not being in one place or in places not conducive to other business. Defending an asset takes 16 hours per week, and reduces the time a character can spend each night by 3 hours per night. Only assets can defend characters, not players. Players have to spend actual time with their friends to defend them.
Defending is one of the (6 - Rank) free defensive actions a Retainer may take in a given week. This requires no downtime to activate them, and uses only their own dicepools (being their rank, or double their rank if using a tagged skill). Most people set their retainers to defend or cover up the same things or people each week, which allows you to inform the storytellers only when you want to change the arrangement rather than specifying it each week.
In the case of an attempted attack or coercion, the asset is on hand to help protect the character. IE: Sookie, who is a 5-dot retainer, spends her (6 - 5 = 1) free defensive action to defend Vampire Bill. Any time Vampire Bill poses himself out anywhere, he poses Sookie as nearby, or with him. Asset NPCs are under the control of storytellers, not players.
Attacking characters is an On-Screen action. Calling in favors to attack a character results in NPCs being created for the fight. Details on how to run NPCs and Retainers are handled in the appropriate supplements. Before assets can be sent to attack a character, at least one successful investigation must be set on the character.
Coercing characters is an On-Screen action. Calling in favors to coerce a character results in NPCs being created for the interaction. Details on how to run NPCs and Retainers are handled in the appropriate supplements. Before assets can be sent to coerce a character, at least one successful investigation must be set on the character.
You may add your dots in Dominate to any effort to coerce.