Darkened Thresholds - Gemstones

Game Master D_Var_Stars

The Website
Basic Hunter Reference Sheets and Moves
Keeper Reference Sheets
Artifact Table

One of two tables of a Monster of the Week game, set in generic Midwestern US where hunters deal with the things most people prefer not to think about being out there.

Full Rolls Cheat Sheet:

*Act Under Pressure: When you act under pressure, roll +Cool.
This covers trying to do something under conditions of particular stress or danger.
Examples are: staying on task while a banshee screams at you; barricading a door before the giant rats catch up; resisting the mental domination of a brain-worm; fighting on when you're badly injured.

On a 10+ you do what you set out to.
On a 7-9 the Keeper is going to give you a worse outcome, hard choice, or price to pay.
On a miss, things go to hell.

Help Out When you help another hunter with a move they are making, roll +Cool.
On a 10+ your help grants them +1 to their roll.
On a 7-9 your help grants them +1 to their roll, but you also expose yourself to trouble or danger.
On a failure, you expose yourself to trouble or danger without helping.

Investigate A Mystery: When you investigate a mystery, roll +Sharp.
Investigating can be done any number of ways: following tracks, interviewing witnesses, forensic analysis, looking up old folklore in a library, typing the monster's name into Google, capturing the monsterand conducting tests on it, and so on.
Anything that might give you more information about what's going on is fair game for an investigate move.

On a 10+ hold 2, and on a 7-9 hold 1.
On a miss, you reveal some information to the monster or whoever you are talking to. The Keeper might ask you some questions, which you have to answer.

It's important that your attempts to investigate (and the results you get from them) are plausible and consistent with what's happening.
The Keeper may ask, “how do you find that out?” If you don't have a good answer, choose another question instead.
One hold can be spent to ask the Keeper one of the following questions:
• What happened here?
• What sort of creature is it?
• What can it do?
• What can hurt it?
• Where did it go?
• What was it going to do?
• What is being concealed here?

Kick Some Ass This is used when you are fighting something that's fighting you back.
When you get into a fight and kick some ass, roll +Tough.
On any success (i.e., total 7 or more) you inflict harm on (and suffer harm from) whatever you're fighting. T
The amount of harm is based on the established dangers in the game.
That usually means you inflict the harm rating of your weapon and your enemies inflict their attack's harm rating on you.

If you roll a 10+, choose one extra effect:
• You gain the advantage: take +1 forward, or give +1 forward to
another hunter.
• You inflict terrible harm (+1 harm).
• You suffer less harm (-1 harm).
• You force them where you want them.
On a miss, you get your ass kicked instead.

Manipulate Someone: Once you have given the target a reason, tell them what you want them to do and roll +Charm.
This move is used to get people to do what you want, but you need to give them a reason to do it first.
What counts as a reason will dependon your relationship with the person. Maybe you've given them a reason to trust you, or you offer them a reward to do it, or maybe you have real (or faked) authority.

For a normal person:
• If you get 10+, then they'll do it as long as you reward them as promised.
• On a 7-9, they'll do it, but only if you do something for them right now to show that you mean it.
• On a miss, your approach is completely wrong: you offend or anger the target.

For another hunter:
• On a 10+ they mark experience and get +1 forward if they do what you ask.
• On a 7-9, they mark experience if they do what you ask.
• On a miss, it's up to that hunter to decide how badly you offend or annoy them. They mark experience if they do not do what you asked.

Manipulating Monsters
Manipulate someone does not normally work on monsters, even if they can reason and talk. You can try and make a deal with one if you really want, but you don't get to roll to ensure it keeps its side of the bargain.
You just have to hope it's an honourable fiend. Good luck with that.
If you take the Monstrous move dark negotiator (or any other move that specifically allows it) then you are allowed to manipulate monsters, at least if they can reason and talk.
Minions may or may not be susceptible to manipulation. It may be possible to manipulate minions who are human, or almost human; those that are incapable of speech or reason cannot be manipulated.

Protect Someone: When you prevent harm to another character, roll +Tough.
If someone is about to suffer harm and you can somehow prevent it, then you can try to protect them.
On any success (i.e., 7 or more), you protect them okay, but you'll suffer some or all of the harm they were going to get.

If you got a 10+ choose an extra:
• You suffer little harm (-1 harm).
• All impending danger is now focused on you.
• You inflict harm on the enemy.
• You hold the enemy back.

On a miss, then you end up making things worse.

Read A Bad Situation: When you look around and read a bad situation, roll +Sharp.
On a 10+ hold 3, and on a 7-9, hold 1.
On a miss, you might mis-read the situation (e.g. “Everything is fine here! It will be totally safe to go investigate alone!”)
or you might reveal tactical details to your enemies (which means the Keeper can ask the questions above of you).

If you act on the answers, you get +1 ongoing while the information is relevant.
For example, if you ask for the best way in to the monster's lair then you'll get +1 while you are infiltrating it.
But once you're in, the information doesn't help you any more.

One hold can be spent to ask the Keeper one of the following questions:
• What's my best way in?
• What's my best way out?
• Are there any dangers we haven't noticed?
• What's the biggest threat?
• What's most vulnerable to me?
• What's the best way to protect the victims?

Use Magic
When you use magic, say what you're trying to achieve and how you do the spell, then roll +Weird.

If you get a 10+, the magic works without issues: choose your effect.
On a 7-9, it works imperfectly: choose your effect and a glitch. The Keeper will decide what effect the glitch has.
On a miss, you lose control of the magic. This never ends well.

By default the magic has one of the effects listed below, lasts for around thirty minutes, and does not expose you to danger, unwanted attention, or side-effects.
If there's a glitch that might change.
• Inflict harm (1-harm ignore-armour magic obvious).
• Enchant a weapon. It gets +1 harm and +magic.
• Do one thing that is beyond human limitations.
• Bar a place or portal to a specific person or a type of creature.
• Trap a specific person, minion, or monster.
• Evict a spirit or curse from the person, object, or place it
• Summon a monster into the world.
• Communicate with something that you do not share a
language with.
• Observe another place or time.
• Heal 1-harm from an injury, or cure a disease, or neutralize a

• The effect is weakened.
• The effect is of short duration.
• You take 1-harm ignore-armour.
• The magic draws immediate, unwelcome attention.
• It has a problematic side effect.
The Keeper may require one or more of the following:
• The spell requires weird materials.
• The spell will take 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or 1 minute to cast.
• The spell requires ritual chanting and gestures.
• The spell requires you to draw arcane symbols.
• You need one or two people to help cast the spell.
• You need to refer to a tome of magic for the details.

If you want to do magic that goes beyond these effects, it counts as big magic. Big magic uses different rules, described below.

Big Magic
If you want to perform an act of magic that goes further than the use magic move (or your other moves) allow, use these rules for big magic.
First, say what magical effect you want to make happen.
The Keeper will determine what you need to do for this magic spell.

The Keeper picks some of these:
• You need to spend a lot of time (days or weeks) researching
the magic ritual.
• You need to experiment with the spell – there will be lots of
failures before you get it right.
• You need some rare and weird ingredients and supplies.
• The spell will take a long time (hours or days) to cast.
• You need a lot of people (2, 3, 7, 13, or more) to help.
• The spell needs to be cast at a particular place and/or time.
Once the Keeper has specified the requirements, you just need to make them happen and the magic will go ahead. There's no specific roll for making big magic work, but you might need to succeed on some other moves, like use magic or act under pressure, as part of the process.
Of course, magic is always perilous and big magic is way more perilous than the usual sort. The side-effects and dangers of big magic are at the Keeper's discretion.