Human Player's Guide


Humanity has done much with the world since they inherited it. Their innovations make the longer lived creatures of the world dizzy with both their abundance and rapid progress. One never knows what a single human is capable of, let alone when they are united. 

Playing a Human in the World of Darkness is all about choice, for no other Faction gets to choose the style of game they play and the experience they have quite like Humans do. Do you want a game of horror, where you must use all your wits and guile to survive the monsters in the night? Or do you want to rage against the supernatural, hunting as many as possible so that when you die you have company in whatever afterlife you find yourself? Perhaps instead you seek to stand in the middle, to be the nexus and play each group of supernatural creatures off of each other? Or maybe you ignore all those crazy magic wielders, vampires and fairies and just get down to some good old merchanting or politics. The choice, as a Human, is yours.

At Darkwood Nights the Human Faction is broken into two Subfactions. Commoners, who represent the vast majority of humanity and are your everyday human, and Kinfolk, those humans who share blood with the shifting monsters called Garou. 

Commoners and Kinfolk alike are surprising in their adaptability, guile and cunning. Many a creature of the dark was surprised to find a human to be their equal. Mechanically we represent this diversity through the Merit system, a set of unique powers and mechanics that Humans can purchase after they’ve met the requirements. Merits grant Humans powers as well as unique mechanics unavailable to other factions. 

Differences in Darkwood Nights

At this point in history the Inquisition hasn’t taken hold, the church is still growing but hasn’t become the monolith that dominates life throughout Europe in the 1300’s. In the rural places of Europe, such as Wollbach, Christianity and Paganism currently walk hand in hand, coming into conflict and coexisting in equal measure.

Additional Resources

For more information you will want to read Dark Ages: Vampire and Liege Lord and Lacky. These can most often be found physically in second hand book stores or purchased online PDFs/Print on Demand through Drive Through RPG. 

Why Play a Human?

Everything at Darkwood Nights starts with Humans. Every single other Faction needs Humans in order  to function. For Mages they are mirrors, showing the horror of what they become as they dive into esoteric secrets for power at the expense of their souls. Vampires need them for food, power, and a reminder of what it is to be alive while Fae need their oaths with them simply to survive the world. Demons require their worship to keep from falling back to hell, despite how much they despise humanity while Garou need to strike a balance between civilization and the wilds. Their stories form the foundation for every other at Darkwood Nights, and Humans are at the forefront of Wollbach. This gives the Human player a lot of options. As stated above, no other Faction gets the level of choice around the type of game they want to play than a Human.

Humans thrive in the social game. They are the most precious commodity to every other Faction and this gives them power. They are also every other Faction’s greatest fear, for every Vampire, Werewolf, Mage and Fae knows deep down, in places they don’t talk about in polite company, that if humanity ever truly rose against them they would be swept away, scoured clean from this earth. This balance between keeping secrets, learning them, and choosing how to use them makes the human game one of influence instead of direct power. That is not to say that a Human character must be weak. Through Skills and Merits you can build a character sheet that is as mechanically interesting as socially.

Finally to help support the story of Wollbach and represent the mass of humans here a player playing a Human character earns 2 additional XP, for a total of 4 per game. This allows for players to have a semi-recurring human to quickly gain XP for other characters or to simply showcase the speed at which humans progress compared to everyone else. Due to the nature of the Thing, the gathering of local villages of the province to the town of Wollbach, there are lots of opportunities for humans who come into game maybe once or twice per year.

Human Attributes

Humans have 1 additional Attribute; Merits. Even though this is their faction attribute, Merits are incredibly varied and allow deep customization of your character. Merits are Specialities, and as such each one has Prerequisites that must be met in order to learn. Merits do not require a teacher, and so if your character meets the Prerequisites for a Merit they may purchase it for 4XP. They unlock powers as well as unique mechanics available only to Humans. Merits are broken into the following general groups:

Abilities of a Human

Strength of Oaths grants the Human +1 Willpower Pool while they have an active Oath with a Fae. This additional Willpower Pool can take their total above 10, however it doesn't count as being on their sheet for the purposes of Merit Prerequisites. 

Quick to Learn represents the speed at which Humans adapt. A player who plays a Human Character earns an additional 2xp per event, for a total of 4.

Becoming details how a Human can transition into one of the Supernatural Factions. The only faction where this can happen in game is Vampire with an embrace. The player may also choose to spend Kismet and become a Mage, Changeling, or Vampire (Clan being player’s choice). It is important to note that any Merits purchased are not carried over if a Character becomes another Faction.

Weaknesses of a Human

Humans have two weaknesses, The Delirium and The Curse.

The Delirium is a deeply ingrained genetic memory from the time in pre-history when the werewolves kenneled and culled humanity as they saw fit. Such was the terror and brutality inflicted upon humankind that it seeped into their collective consciousness, into their very DNA. Whenever a Human sees a transformed Werewolf at Darkwood Nights (a character wearing a mask with a wolf muzzle) they react based upon their Willpower Pool Rating (not their current Willpower Point total).

The Curse represents humanity's knack for feeling when someone isn’t quite right. Other Characters have a Weakness called Disturbing Presence that forces them to wear a red flag on their belt. If a Human Character sees this red flag the Character wearing it makes them uncomfortable. They can’t point out why, and they can’t take the red flag as In Game Information, but the presence of that Character gives them the heebeegeebees.