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Buffy D6

Table of 
Contents

Introduction

Basics

Characters

Attributes
& Skills

Magic

Actions &
Combat

Equipment

Bestiary

Gamemaster's
Section

Links

Email

Guestbook
 
 

 

I.  INTRODUCTION

Playing Buffy D6
    Buffy D6 is based in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer using the game mechanics of West End Games' D6 Classic system (with a few adaptions and home-brew rules).  While these pages attempt to lay out the framework of rules needed to play the game, I highly recommend that you purchase some D6 rulebooks from West End Games, particularly their out-of-print Star Wars RPG (available on eBay and in many gaming stores).  They also have a number of other products available at http://www.westendgames.com.
    Much of the material about Buffy's world is gleaned from my own knowledge of the show and fan websites.  Also, the Fudge Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG  showed me that a decent Buffy RPG could be made and the spirit of the show retained.  The Fudge game does a great job of laying out rules for folks to just jump in and start playing a few "episodes".  With the D6 version, I hope to provide similar ease of use with a little more detail on character-making, magic, and running games.  There are quite a few products produced by Warners Brothers that capitalize on the Buffy series, including comics, novels, and show diaries.  All of these can provide additional background for the game.  In truth, though, once you've seen the show a few times, you'll have a good idea of the tone and content of Buffy's world and should easily be able to incorporate that into your RPG campaign.
    Players may want to assume the roles of their favorite characters on the show.  But, usually folks like to create new characters and develop their own story-lines.  Because many players may want to adventure in the same world occupied by Buffy, Willow and the others, I've expanded the available character types to include some alternatives (remember, there can only be one Slayer--usually!).  If none of the players choose to play the Slayer, they may choose from other supernaturally gifted characters that might be the "slayer" in the campaign.  Furthermore, a "normal" character can learn to be extremely useful in battling evil.  It's not all about who's the best in combat or has the largest gun (or stake, in this case).
    Finally, as with any RPG, it is easy to get bogged down with rules.  I highly recommend that GM's and players bring a more narrative spirit to their Buffy campaign.  While the show tackles some heavy, dark stuff at times, it maintains a light heart and optimistic outlook.  It's always funny, even when doom lurks just around the corner.  Have fun, don't worry about being all-powerful, and look out for one another--just like the Scoobies.
    For more ideas on running a Buffy game, see the Game Master's Section.



The World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    If you don't know already, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a television show following the exploits of a young woman chosen to defend the world against the forces of darkness.  The series began when Buffy arrived in Sunnydale as a sophomore in high school.  Sunnydale appears to be a normal, Southern California town--full of sunshine, track housing and bright and shiny suburbanites.  And Buffy appears to be a normal high school girl--pretty, self-conscious, and a little spacy.
    It becomes quickly apparent that there's more to both Sunnydale and Buffy than would appear at first glance. Sunnydale lies atop the Hellmouth, an interdimensional portal between our reality and untold millions of demon-dimensions.  Evil is attracted the Hellmouth, so Sunnydale has become a mecca of sorts for all types of vampires, demons and other hellspawn.  Bad mojo just kind of permeates the place.
    And Buffy Summers is the one girl chosen in an entire generation to keep this evil at bay.  With her Watcher, Giles, and a small gang of friends led by Willow and Xander, Buffy continually fights against vampire predators, conniving demons, and various attempts to bring about the Apocalypse.  All the while, she hides her identity from her family and schoolmates, tries to maintain a passing GPA, and can't help but get hung up on boys.
     Over eight years as the Slayer (seven years on television), Buffy's skills and powers grew considerably.  Her friends and allies also discovered new powers and skills to aid in the battle against evil.  In the series' last year, Buffy faced the First, the original Evil that is everywhere and in everyone.  In the climactic battle, Willow cast a powerful magic spell that turned all potential Slayers into active Slayers.  Now, Buffy is no longer "the One".  Instead, girls and young women throughout the world have been infused with the mystical power of the Slayer.  The balance between Good and Evil appears to have tipped, at least for the time being, towards the side of light.
 

The Forces of Darkness:  Vampires, Demons and Hell-gods, Oh My!
    The first thing to realize is that in Buffy's world, there are lots of creepy and evil things lurking around in the shadows ready to suck blood, eat babies, gamble for kittens, and bring about the end of the world (again).  It seems that even before the evolution of the human species, demons walked the earth.  Arch-demons and their lesser spawn ruled for eons, likely even before the eras of dinosaurs.  At some point, the original, "pure" demons were killed.  The remnant, powerful demons were banished to other dimensions and the lesser hellspawn toiled with significantly reduced powers.  With the arrival of man, the sheer number of humans (they breed like rabbits) drove the demons underground.  This fueled a great hatred for humans that remains today.

  • Vampires:  Early in the pre-history of man, demons and men were somehow blended to create this hybrid race of hellspawn.  Vampires appear to be the most numerous of demonkind, but stand separate from them because of their closeness with humanity (even though vampires are often much more antagonistic to humans than many demons).  Vampires cannot procreate except by sucking the blood of a victim and then allowing the victim to suck his blood.  When a person is tranformed into a vampire, he will "die" and rise again within a week of that death (anywhere from a few minutes to 7 days).  The new vampire will have no soul, instead becoming a purely evil, selfish creature who revels in the misery of others and seeks only to hunt and gain power.
  • Lesser Demons:  These creates remained after the "arch" demons were banished from Earth's dimension.  Though supernatural, they are "tainted" with at least some touch of humanity that limits their magical powers.  These races of lesser demons appear even more numerous than the ethnicities of humans now walking the Earth.  Some are evil, some just trying to get along.  Some have magical powers and secret agenda, others merely have bad skin, little horns, and odd bits of hair in unfortunate places.
  • Arch Demons:  With powers like gods, these demons once ruled over every corner of the earth.  But the Powers That Be managed to banish them to other dimensions and clear the way for the evolution of species that led to humanity.  Every so often, an Arch Demon manages to make his way back into Earth's dimension.  He is usually met and dispatched by a Slayer and her allies--but not until after it has wreaked untold misery and destruction.  Even the threat of the return of such a demon should evoke fear in the hardiest of demon slayers.
  • Hell-gods:  These guys are about as absolutely bad as you can get.  Ruling whole dimensions, raining down misery and pain on any before them, these megolomaniacal, nigh-omnipotent beings rarely make a visit to Earth's little backwater dimension.  And when they do, it's usually because they've been banished here, so their powers are limited and their overwhelming desire is to return home.  But when they're here, they cause nothing but trouble.
The Good Guys:  Slayers, Watchers and the Powers That Be
     Humanity is not without its defenders against the forces of darkness.  Below is a short list of the major "players" in the battle against the creepy and bumpy-faced minions of all that's wrong.

Slayers

Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One. One born with the strength and skill to fight the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. 

The tradition of Slayers extends well into the prehistory of humankind.  A young woman was chosen and used, usually by a small group of men, to employ supernatural strength and speed to battle the forces of evil.  Most Slayers never reached their twentieth birthday.

When the active Slayer died--even for a few moments--a new Slayer was "chosen".   Over time, the Council of Watchers developed to find and train new Slayers when they were "activated."    The Council developed expansive resources and expected unquestioning obedience from the Slayer, who was seen simply as their "tool" in the great battle.

Buffy Summers is now 23 and has been the "active" Slayer for around eight years, seven of which were in Sunnydale, California.  Because Buffy died shortly about 6 years ago, another Slayer was "chosen".  This woman, Kendra, was killed and yet another Slayer, Faith, came to Sunnydale.  Basically, Faith turned evil, fought Buffy, lost, ran away, and was eventually redeemed--and then spent a number of years in jail for killing a man.  During this time, Buffy quit working for the Council and began to develop her Slayer abilities on her own.

In the final battle against the First, Buffy and Willow managed to cast a spell that activated all potential Slayers throughout the world.  Now Buffy and Faith are just two of a vast army of young women ready to do battle with the forces of darkness.  During the battle, the Sunnydale Hellmouth was closed and the entire town was destroyed.  Buffy and her friends intend to find the other Slayers prepare them for the new responsibilities.

The Watcher's Council 
Based in Great Britain, the Council was a vastly powerful collection of men and women who's main role was to find, train and supervise Slayers.  It is unclear how long the Watcher's Council was in existence, but it has operated in some form since the very first Slayer was called.  The Council's resources include the best libraries on the occult, military operatives, political connections and, quite likely, not inconsequential magical prowess.  However, it appears that the Council leaves the vast bulk of supervision of an active Slayer to her Watcher, showing up only once in a while (and usually making everyone nervouse).  Like most large organizations, the Council can be formalistic, bureacratic and demanding.  But ultimately, their goal is to protect humanity.

Rupert Giles was assigned to be Buffy's Watcher and mentored her for several years (even after being fired from the Council and after Buffy quit working with the Watchers).  After spending some time in England, Giles returned to Sunnydale to help battle the First.  He will likely now dedicate himself to finding new Slayers and training them and, perhaps, rebuilding the Council in some form.

The Initiative
The US Government knows of the existence of supernatural beings such as vampires and demons, but apparently has only begun efforts to fight them.  The Initiative was a secret group of commandos deployed to fight the forces of darkness, and to scientifically study supernatural creatures.  The project was apparently shut down after a dismal failure in Sunnydale.  However, demon-fighting military units remain and are deployed throughout the world in "demon hot-spots."   Initiative commandos are usually well equipped with technologically-advanced gear, but are woefully ignorant in matters of the arcane arts.

Demon Hunters
Small bands of demon-hunters have sprung up throughout the world.  Lacking magical powers and significant resources, these men and women risk their lives on a nightly basis, staking vampires, stalking demons and warding off the beasts of hell.  What they lack in training and materials, they make up for with courage and luck.

Secret Societies
Numerous secret groups--much like the Watchers--also exist to fight for humanity.  Most of these groups have religious backgrounds--the Knights Templar, the Riders of the Red Crescent, Vishnu's Arms.  They typically retain customary methods for battling evil--prefering swords and magic to modern weaponry.  They can come across as zealots--and many of them are--but their intentions are true.

Those Meddling Kids
A surprising number of teenagers appear to come into contact with supernatural beings and find themselves fighting--if not for humanity, than at least for their lives.  Perhaps they have not yet become so inured by the modern, mundane existence that they fail to see the supernatural even when it's right in front of their eyes.  Or maybe Evil just likes to pick on the young ones.  Regardless, a growing number appear to be aware of the supernatural problem and more than willing to fight it.

The Powers That Be (PTB's)
The PTB's are supernatural beings of unknown number, origins and motives.  They may be related to what normal folks refer to as "God", or they may just be from other dimensions.  They have taken a keen interest in the fate of humanity--either for its own sake, or to fulfill some prophesies.  They occasionally aid those that battle evil, even choosing champions to serve as their agents on Earth.  Contacting the PTB's is difficult--they usually make their presence known through dreams, visions and, occasionally, demon agents.
 

Dimension Vortices
    It appears that Earth's dimension intersects with innumerable alternate realities, timelines and dimensions.  The possibility for cross-overs is equally vast.  Demons regularly make the leap between their dimension and ours, and more than one plot has been hatched to merge dimensions, eradicating dimensional barriers and loosing hordes of demons onto Earth.
    One of the most famous of these Vortices is the Hellmouth, located in Sunnydale, California.  At the turn of the 21st century, the Hellmouth was remarkably active and has required the presence of the Slayer. However, it appears that in different times, other areas of Earth have needed a Slayer's protection:  New York in the 1970's, and China during the Boxer Rebellion in the 19th century, for example.  Apparently, there are other Hellmouths throughout the world (it may come as no surprise that there is one in Cleveland).
    Even without a Hellmouth, urban centers still boast a substantial amount of supernatural activity and host a substantial demon sub-population.  Los Angeles and New York are only two such examples where demons, vampires, and various evil schemers regularly make trouble.  Aside from dimensional vortices, there appear to be "meridians of power"--think of invisible, magic gridlines encompassing the globe like longitude an latitude on a map--that connect in some areas, creating unusual mystic energies.  These intersections may also focus supernatural activity and attract a demonic element.

Trouble that Looks Like Everyday Life
    Despite it's supernatural elements, the world of Buffy is firmly rooted in what most of us know as reality.  Aside from trying to slay vampires and save the world, Buffy and her friends worry about school, family, love and their future, just like any young adult (I hate that term, but it fits here).  Many of the supernatural forces the group encounters are manifestations of problems kids meet in real life:  unpopular kids so ignored they feel invisible; abusive boyfriends; experimentations with drugs and alcohol that go wrong; broken relationships; deaths in the family, etc.  In Sunnydale, these often have a supernatural cause, but the consequences are just the same:  strife, heartbreak and growth.
    Adventures in Buffy's world should be similarly grounded.  Or at least, those "real life" considerations should provide a back drop for the more fun stuff of beating up on bad guys and trading witty quips.
 

 



Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all characters, plot lines, and other such stuff is the property of 20th Century Fox, UPN, and probably thirty or forty other people.  All this stuff here, well, it's without permission.  But, it's not for profit, perversion or even self-promotion, so hopefully I won't get sued.