This page presents an RPG setting based on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," using HeartQuest, an RPG supplement for representing the world of Shoujo Manga ("girls' comics") using FUDGE.
I am running this game as a "playtest" on Dreamlyrics.
You do not need a copy of HeartQuest to play. HeartQuest is based on FUDGE, which is available for free online (see the above link), and I will provide all the necessary rules for character creation on this page.
"Vampire Slayer Buffy" is based on the BtVS TV show, but with a Shoujo interpretation. Imagine a Japanese anime adaptation of BtVS, aimed primarily at a female (Japanese) audience. This does not mean the storylines will be childish or the characters will be silly and superficial, but the emphasis will be on the protoganists' personalities, with the action serving as an impetus for character development. (That's the intention, anyway....)
I'll be using the basic canon established in the show, regarding what vampires are, what their powers and weaknesses are, etc., as well as other demons. Likewise the Slayer ("one girl in all the world...."). The Watchers' Council exists (and they are still Veddy Veddy British), as do Vengeance Demons, Hellmouths, and the like. However, just assume that none of the characters in the original show exist in the game. No Buffy, Giles, Xander, Willow, etc. Things that happen in the show won't necessarily be reflected in the game.
The campaign requires a Slayer, of course, who must be an adolescent girl. (Slightly younger or older Slayers are possible, but I'm looking for a starting Slayer PC in the 13-16 age range.)
There must also be a Watcher (who can be an NPC, but I'd prefer a PC).
Other characters should be friends of the Slayer, probably teens, but I'm open to all kinds of possibilities. You can be a childhood friend of the Slayer, or a new American exchange student, or a teacher, or a family member, etc. I will encourage players to collaborate in creating some common ground between their characters.
The most important part of your character is his or her personality and background. Describe it in detail. After I read your writeup, I should know the following things ("you" below meaning your character):
In a nutshell, character sheets will consist of Attributes, Skills, Gifts, Supernormal Powers, and Faults.
Attributes and Skills (and some Supernormal Powers) are rated on the following scale:
Some characters can have an even higher rating: Legendary. But this is very unlikely for beginning PCs.
All characters get three free Attribute levels, 30 skill levels, and two free Gifts. You can either trade to get more of one thing in exchange for less of another, or you can take Faults to get extra levels.
There are five attributes:
All attributes start at Fair, except Appearance, which starts at Good. (This is a Shoujo campaign, after all most characters are good looking.) You get three free levels to increase attributes (e.g., you could raise three by one, or one by three, etc.). You can get extra attribute levels by trading another attribute level down on a one-for-one basis. (For example, you could raise Physique, Mind, Willpower, and Cool all to Good, using four attribute increases, by lowering Appearance to Fair.) You can also get extra attribute levels by trading Gifts or Skills, or taking Faults. (See below.)
Most skills default to Poor. HeartQuest breaks skills into difficulty categories (much like GURPS) a few skills are Easy (defaulting to Mediocre), and some are Hard (defaulting to Terrible) or Very Hard (which means they are impossible without some training).
You get thirty free skill levels to raise skills. Each level above the default requires one level (so most skills require four levels to raise to Great, but a Hard skill would take five levels). You cannot "sell down" skills, but you can get extra skill levels by trading Attributes or Gifts, or taking Faults (see below).
Here is a list of skills. Feel free to suggest a new skill if you want one not represented here.
Flower Arrangement (E)
Martial Arts (VH)
Breaking and Entering
Sleight of Hand
Use Supernormal Power
Gifts are advantages that help the character in some way, but they aren't quantifiable like attributes or skills, and they aren't learned. Gifts can be physical, mental, or social. Everyone gets two free Gifts, and can get additional Gifts by trading attributes or skill levels, or taking Faults (see below).
The following Gifts are only some suggested ones -- feel free to propose a new one.
|NOTE: Watchers are required to take Watcher as one of their Gifts. This gives them access to arcane lore, and occasional help from the Watcher's Council.|
|NOTE 2: The Slayer must take Perfect Balance, Rapid Healing, and Quick Reflexes as Gifts. Balanced by the required Enemy (see below under Faults), this accounts for the Slayer's two free Gifts; any extra ones must be balanced with additional Faults.|
Sense of Empathy
Position of Authority
Faults, like Gifts, are unrated traits that can be physical, mental, or social. They are the opposite of Gifts -- they hinder the character in some way. No Faults are required, but you can get an extra Gift, or extra Attributes or Skill levels or Supernormal Powers (see above and below), in exchange for Faults.
Again, here is a list of suggesed Faults, but feel free to make up your own.
Note: The Slayer automatically gets an Enemy: Vampires and other Bad Things. (Even if she doesn't go looking for them, they have a tendency to find her.)
Blunt and Tactless
Code of Honor
Fear of Commitment
Young (in this context, younger than 12)
Many VSB characters will have supernormal powers, but not all. In an effort to encourage some people to play Xander-like roles, you get the option of receiving Supernormal Powers or Fudge Points.
Each character gets two free Supernormal Powers/Fudge Points. You get your allotment of Fudge Points at the beginning of the game, and each session thereafter (and unused Fudge Points can be saved). Thus, a character with no Supernormal Powers starts the game with 2 Fudge Points and gets 2 more every session, while someone with two Supernormal Powers never gets any Fudge Points.
You may trade Faults for extra Supernormal Powers, but only after using up your two freebies (i.e., you cannot take two Supernormal Powers and a Fault and still get a Fudge Point).
You can use Fudge Points for the following:
Some Supernormal Powers are listed below, but you may propose other ones.
|Note: The Slayer must take two Supernormal Powers (i.e., no Fudge Points for her): one level of Superhuman and Sense Vampires.|
|Note 2: Vampires all have two Supernormal Powers: Superhuman and Immortal, but balanced by Faults like "Vulnerable to Sunlight," "Vulnerable to Holy Water and Crosses," "Phobia of Crosses," "Cannot Enter a Residence Uninvited," and "Sociopathic Bloodsucking Monster"....|
Superhuman effectively puts the characer on a separate scale in terms of strength and speed. She still has a Physique score which she can increase with Attribute levels normally, but her strength is actually about twice that of a normal person with the same rating. (Someone with Superhuman and a Fair Physique would be approximately as strong as a normal person with a Great Physique, but there are other advantages, so it is not an exact equivalence.) The Slayer, and vampires, have this Supernormal Power.
It's possible to have multiple levels of Superhuman (someone with two levels of Superhuman is as much stronger as someone with one level as one level of Superhuman is above a normal person). However, this is reserved only for certain types of demons and other Big Bads (e.g., Glory), and will probably not be allowed for PCs.
The character will never die of natural causes, including suffocation, starvation, or poisoning, though all those things can cause great discomfort and even disability. The character also heals injuries very quickly (no need to buy the Rapid Healing Gift). However, the character can still be killed if he takes enough damage.
For two Supernatural Gifts, the character can't even be killed normally (though he can still be hurt). But there must be at least a couple of specific ways that he can be killed (such as decapitation or a wooden stake through the heart, or a silver bullet, etc.).
The character can change his appearance. This must be defined, with some limitations. (For example, the shapeshifting might be illusory, or the character might have only one or two shapes he can turn into.)
Lycanthropy is a special category of shapechanging. Not only does a Lycanthrope change his shape, but he also gets a level of Superhuman while changed. This is balanced by the fact that he becomes a bloodthirsty animal when changed. (Being able to control when the change occurs is a Use Supernormal Power skill.) A Lycanthrope who retains his human personality while changed would have to pay for two Supernormal Powers.
The character gets psychic flashes, precognitive dreams, can read auras, or whatever. Having any control over this gift requires an appropriate Use Supernormal Power skill. Without any skill, when and how it manifests is completely up to the GM.
The character can recognize a vampire in close proximity by concentrating, and can sense vampires nearby by making a Good Use Supernormal Powers roll.
The character can cast spells. You can buy more than one level of Magic. As one Supernormal power, the character can only perform lengthy ritual spells or very simple, pre-memorized cantrips. For two Supernormal powers, the character can actually improvise new (simple) spells on the fly, or very powerful rituals. Additional levels make the character's magic even more powerful, but starting PCs will not be allowed more than two levels of Magic. You must also buy the VH skill Spellcasting.