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Ally characters get sheets on Modern Nights in order to give players NPCs they can actively invest in as a form of advancement. Allies are explained in depth on our Allies background page.

Allies are considered to be strictly mortals who are NOT supernaturally aware. They will perform most tasks for you, but since they are acting out of their own goodwill towards your character, they cannot be treated as servants (see Retainers for that). Storyteller fiat may stand in the way if you are expecting the ally to do something that is not reasonable in-character. Allies will act with your best interest at heart and may sometimes do extra (good) things for you.

An NPC that represents an ally can be purchased by another character as a Contact or Ally. Players who purchase that NPC as a Contact or Ally may contribute XP in order to raise their stats through +request ("I'm going to teach Jimbo Melee! Here's 3 XP from me").

  • Found In: M20 page 303-304, V20 page 111
  • Available To: All characters
  • In Character Generation: Purchased as a standard Background
  • After Character Generation: Raised through methods below (IC actions reflected through downtime spends and RP + XP purchase)
  • Purchasable When Becoming: No
  • Limitations: You can get up to 5 dots of Retainer in CG. After CG, each additional ally can only be up to 5 dots.
  • Caveats: Vampires on Path of Caine may not achieve a Path rating of 8 or higher if they choose to have Allies. Allies specifically represent mortal characters and are not supernaturally aware unless something IC makes them aware in the course of play.

In Character Generation

Allies are expressed through an individual NPC who has a sheet. For each dot of allies, you get 25 XP, and making a new one costs 25 XP. So, if you only have 1 dot of Allies, you get a starting level NPC as described below and no extra XP. If you have multiple dots, you can either create separate NPCs, or make fewer and spend XP on raising stats.

Background Rating XP above base sheet
0 0
1 0
2 25
3 50
4 75
5 100

A Starting Level NPC has 2s in all 9 Attributes, 2s in all virtues, willpower 3, and the following defaults:

  • Talents: Alertness 1, Empathy 2, Streetwise 1, Hobby Talent 1
  • Skills: Professional Skill 3
  • Knowledges: Academics 1, Expert Knowledge 1
  • Backgrounds: None. None are required unless you intend to benefit from them having said background(s).

These starting stats may be sold for XP and respent on different things or kept as-is on a starting level character. There is not a requirement to keep the point spread "5/3/2". For example, perhaps you have an accountant, and you wish to re-assign 'professional skill 3' to 'finance 3'. That's perfectly acceptable.

The maximum amount of XP a single NPC can have spent is 100 XP.

NPCs with Influence

NPCs expressed by dots of Contacts, Allies and/or Retainers can hold Influence on your behalf. However, the following requirements apply:

At a rating of 1 the NPC in question requires a rating of 1 in Politics and an Affinity Skill.

At a rating of 2, the NPC in question requires a rating of 1 in Politics, Leadership, and an Affinity Skill.

At a rating of 3, the NPC requires a rating of 2 in Politics, Leadership, and an Affinity Skill

At a rating of 4, the NPC requires a rating of 3 in Politics, Leadership and an Affinity Skill.

At a rating of 5, the NPC requires 3s in Politics, Leadership, and both Affinity Skills.

Affinity Skills:

  • Government Influence: Law or Finance
  • Financial Influence: Finance or Technology
  • Occult Influence: Occult or Academics
  • Medical Influence: Medicine or Technology
  • Transportation Influence: Finance or Technology
  • Academic Influence: Academics or Technology
  • Legal Influence: Law or Investigation
  • Police Influence: Investigation or Law
  • Criminal Influence: Streetwise or Intimidation
  • High Society Influence: Expression or Empathy
  • Media Influence: Expression or Investigation
  • Industrial Influence: Finance or Technology
  • Political Influence: Law or Expression

For example, if you had a Ghoul who was a crime boss and you wanted said crime boss to be Mr. Super Connected, with Influence 5, then he'd need Politics 3, Leadership 3, Streetwise 3, and Intimidation 3.

NPCs with Resources

NPCs expressed by dots of Contacts, Allies and/or Retainers can hold Resources on your behalf. Other NPC types (Herd, Mentor, Cult) cannot do so.

When giving Resources to your NPC, that NPC needs to hold a job that makes sense with their Resources score. We aren't here to play Accountant: The Checkbookening, but if your NPC has a Resources score of 4 and they work at a bakery, we're going to tell you to make it make sense.

An NPC with Resources 0 is not considered to be homeless, they're just considered to not have any extra money to spare. It is up until the point that you want to gain benefit from that NPC's funding that we require you to buy Resources for that character.

So, if you have a Contact who you just use as, say, a drug dealer, you don't need to add Resources to that character. It's when you want to use that NPC as an actual source of money that you need to buy Resources. So, for example, you are a Vampire and you want to use your ghoul's money. In this case, you would need Resources.

When buying dots of Resources, please make sure to note on that NPC what their source of income is. You also will need to make sure your NPC has some dots in skills that adequately reflect the situation you describe. For example, if you buy Resources 5 on an NPC, and say this is due to wise and aggressive investing, then this character should at least have a Finances score.

As general advice, find 2 skills that make sense for the job you pick. Make 1 of those a rating of 3, and the other a rating of 2. For our stock market example, Finances 3, Investigation 2.

After Character Generation

Convert Existing Contacts

If you have Major Contacts, you can convert this Contact into an Ally the following ways:

  • Straight XP: Purchase that NPC over again.
  • Karma-Kickstart: Put in a +request to pay 10 Karma to buy a story beat that lets you help your Contact out and earn 'em as an Ally! They get in trouble, you happen to be positioned to help, they're grateful! A storyteller will hook you up with a story beat. Your success is not guaranteed, but if you do succeed, the existing Contact (which you already paid for when you bought the Contact) gets converted to an Ally.

Find a New Ally

To acquire a new NPC with a +sheet, send in a +request with the following information:

  • Concept: Who are you looking for? A skip-tracer? A drug dealer? Any old random person?
  • Desired Skills/Stats: If you are looking for something specific ("I want someone with resources 5!") then say so here. This is not required information.
  • Research Method: How is your character looking for this individual? Networking at parties? Sending ads in the paper?
  • Courting Method: How is your character going to convince this individual to be a contact?

From there, you can attempt to get this NPC on-screen, or off-screen.

On-Screen Method

  • Staff Run Scenes: Put in a +request describing your goal! Tell us what your goal is and how your character is going to get started in pulling it off. The storyteller will coordinate with you. Once you achieve your goal, you request staff to update your sheet.
  • PRPs: Have someone else run a PRP for you. The PRP runner needs to submit a request to have it approved but once it's approved they may run it. Once your goal is achieved, you and the PRP runner tell staff about it so we can review it, and then we will update your sheet.

When acquiring a stat through role play, you must still pay with XP.

Don't forget about Karma! Whether you are getting something through PRP or Staff run scenes, when you pay 10 Karma you can buy a story beat that puts your character into a favorable position that makes whatever your goal is easier. A storyteller will hook you up with a story beat. Your success is not guaranteed, but you will have the wheels nice and greasy.

Off-Screen Method

The storyteller will determine the dot value of the NPC based on your specified desires/requirements and also determine the appropriate roll based on your specified approach. The following method is only used if your NPC is not considered exceptional:

  • Research Roll: The ST has you roll some dice vs 6 (+/- appropriate modifiers) to represent the act of finding this type of person. You need the NPC's rating in successes.
  • Courting Roll: The ST has you roll some dice vs 6 (+/- appropriate modifiers) to represent the act of getting to know this person. You need [3 x NPC's rating] in successes.

An NPC is "exceptional" if they are a feature NPC, an existing NPC who belongs to someone else, a character with Background ratings of 3 or higher, a character with Skill ratings of 4 or higher, or a character of a limited field. In these cases, the storyteller will require you to actually take the on-screen method.

Once you have acquired the required amount of successes (or fulfilled the required role play), you will be able to purchase the NPC. The cost of the NPC is equal to the rating of the NPC as a Background:

Rating XP Cost
1 3 XP
2 6 XP
3 12 XP
4 21 XP
5 33 XP

An NPC will be added to your +NPCs.

Each roll in this process (the Research Rolls and the Courting Rolls above) consumes 3 points of Downtime for buying an Ally.