Buffy House Rules

Good/Bad Luck

NOTE: In practice, Good Luck is completely overshadowed by Drama Point spending. This means that even someone with +5 Good Luck doesn't seem any more lucky than any other character. The fix suggested here corrects this by having Good Luck to instead enhance Drama Points. The Bad Luck takes away the burden on the GM to determine when bad luck occurs.

         Good Luck means that one or more times per session, you may decide to spend a Drama Point after seeing the results of your die roll. You still must pay the Drama Point, but you do not need to decide until after your roll. This costs 1 point per level.

         Bad Luck means that any time you roll a "10", you roll another die. If it is less than or equal to your Bad Luck, a mishap occurs through no fault of your own. The player then announces this, and the exact result is GM-determined. It should be significantly worse than failure, affecting the scene as a whole.


NOTE: By the rules, you need to buy the Resources Quality if you make over $30k per year (2pts for $60k/yr, 4pts for $120k/yr, etc.). While money is referred to in the Buffy series, it is rarely dramatically useful, and tracking bank accounts seems contrary to the spirit of the show. On Buffy, no one goes out to buy guns, and no one questions the cost of swords, crossbows, etc.

         The "Resourceful" Quality replaces the standard "Resources" quality. For example, Xander was resourceful -- getting a rocket launcher and other handy stuff at times -- even though he was far from rich. Conversely, pre-Prom Cordelia was rich, but wasn't at all resourceful. The idea is that you don't need to pay Quality points to have normal stuff like a car, house, or fancy clothes. A special Quality is needed only for special equipment.

You can buy normal stuff and may even have a car or house. However, you have no guns or special gadgets, and do not use your money on adventures such as bribes. You may be relatively wealthy, in which case (1) your money is tied up in investments, (2) you lack saavy to use your money on adventures, and/or (3) you are unwilling to spend it.
Resourceful: 3 point Quality
You have things like a stash full of medieval weapons, a secret room or office, and other special gear. You can bribe people with money or perhaps favors/connections (+3 to Influence under appropriate circumstances). With effort and possibly an Int + appropriate skill roll, you can do things like get legal but hard-to-find equipment, an untraceable car perhaps, and other mundane resources. With a drama point this could do more. This would probably be Xander's level. Someone who is really rich (millionaire or close) should always have at least this level.
Very Resourceful: 6 point Quality
You may have a safe hideout and multiple caches of weapons, possibly with military-grade stuff for yourself (only) -- such as armor, taser, or night-vision goggles. With effort and a skill roll, you can get specialized equipment like tracer dart, explosives, and such. You have +6 to Influence under appropriate circumstances (bribe, call in favors, etc.). This would be Riley's level.
Super Resourceful: 9 point Quality
You have a base of operations and minions. Of course, this doesn't go as far as one might hope or expect on Buffy, but it's certainly handy. This would be Warren's or Maggie Walsh's level.

Melee Weapon Damage

NOTE: The current rules base melee weapon damage on multiples of Strength. The result of this is that a super-strong character like Buffy benefits enormously while weak characters benefit little. This does not fit with the show, where Buffy tends to fight bare-handed while weak characters need weapons.

         The following shows the revised melee weapon damages. These can be calculated from the core rulebook numbers by noting that additional multiples of Strength over (2 x Strength) are changed into a flat +3 damage. For example, an axe in the core rulebook does (5 x Strength), which would become (2 x Strength + 9) in this system.

Armor Penalties

NOTE: The current rules ignore encumbrance penalties, which is good for simplicity but means that there is no combat disadvantage to wearing armor. This again does not fit the show, where characters never wear armor -- and in fact tend towards skimpy outfits (not that there's anything wrong with skimpy outfits, of course).

         As a simple rule, wearing armor should cause a penalty to all combat rolls equal to half of its protective value. For example, chainmail has an armor value of 8. This would cause a -4 penalty to all combat rolls.

Experience Changes

NOTE: The current rules have increasing costs for higher abilities, whereas during character creation costs are flat. This encourages PCs to be narrow specialists at the start and then broaden over time. However, on the Buffy show, the characters started out as fairly ordinary kids and then developed into more specialized roles. Willow, of course, is the prime example. It is also true of Buffy, who over time primarily increased her already-high physical stats.

         As an optional rule, use the following costs for experience:

+1 to one Attribute 10 XP
+1 to one Skill 4 XP
Add a Quality * 5 XP per point
Reduce or remove a Drawback * 5 XP per point
As per the original rules, buying new Qualities or removing Drawbacks is still restricted to a limited set and always requires GM permission.


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John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Wed Apr 13 21:54:09 2005