Role Playing Prompts
Reminders for role playing Carol and how to decide what Carol might do or how she will behave in a scene
- Virtue - Intuition.
- Vice - Curiosity. Carol's desire to figure out what's going on compels her to find answers and uncover the truth even when those answers don't make much difference to the big picture or she has to cross boundaries to find them.
- She is protective of those she loves, and will go to great lengths to protect them. However, it's difficult for her when those she tries to protect are angry or resentful because of it
- She is strong willed and resists being forced or coerced in some way into doing something she doesn't want to.
Virtue: Intuitive. Instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes)
Vice: Curiosity. Carol's desire to figure out what's going on compels her to find answers and uncover the truth even when those answers don't make much difference to the big picture or she has to cross boundaries to find them. Regain one spent Willpower when you indulge your curiosity in a way that distracts from other, more pressing, matters.
- Find Nancy and Alie and discover who took them.
- Find someone to teach me how to use the Grimoire
- Make amends with Ben and help him get his life back on track
- Light Pistol +1 dmg, long range, 0 initiative, 2 strength, 1 size
- Knives (3) +0 dmg, Thrown (A), 0 initiative, 1 strength, 1 size, silver
- Other Notes: X
- Wanton: Distracted by temptation and desire. -2 to Composure or Resolve rolls to resist temptation. Cause of this condition tempts you exceptionally at 3 successes rather than 5.
Area of Expertise 1: Carol is uncommonly specialized in one area. Choose a Specialty to assign to this Merit. Forgo the +1 bonus afforded by a Specialty, in exchange for a +2.
- Specialty: Fast Talking
Meditative Mind 2: Carol's meditation is far more fulfilling than for other characters.
- With the one-dot version of this Merit, Carol does not suffer environmental penalties to meditation, even from wound penalties.
- With the two-dot version, when Carol has successfully meditated, she gains a +3 bonus on any Resolve + Composure rolls during the same day, as she’s steeled herself against the things in the world that would shake her foundation.
- Meditation - A character can improve their chances of resisting a breaking point by meditating. Meditation is an extended action with a pool of Composure + Wits, target successes of 4, and an interval of 30 minutes. After successfully meditating, the character gets a +1 bonus to their next breaking point roll. Once this bonus is used or the character sleeps, it disappears, and must be regained by meditating again. Soothing music or relaxation tapes can provide a +1 to +2 equipment bonus. A dedicated meditation room, perhaps in the character’s Safe Place, provides +3. Loud noises, an uncomfortable environment, or lack of sleep inflict a -1 penalty each. Lack of food inflicts a -1 to -3 penalty.
Professional Training (Journalist) 5: Carol has training as a print journalist, which offers distinct advantages. - Asset Skills: Investigation, Expression
- Networking: Carol has built connections within her chosen field.
- Contacts: Journalists 1, Police 1
- Continuing Education: With the repeated efforts in her field, Carol tends toward greater successes. When making a roll with her Asset Skills, she benefits from the 9-again quality.
- Breadth of Knowledge: Carol has picked up a number of particular bits of information and skills unique to her work. Choose a third Asset Skill, and take two Specialties in your character’s Asset Skills.
- Additional Asset Skill: Persuasion
- Additional Specialties: Fast Talking, Interviewing
- On the Job Training: With the resources at her disposal, Carol has access to extensive educational tools and mentorship. Take a Skill dot in an Asset Skill (Persuasion). Whenever you purchase a new Asset Skill dot, take a Beat.
- The Routine: With such extensive experience in her field, Carol's Asset Skills have been honed to a fine edge, and she is almost guaranteed at least a marginal success. Before rolling, spend a Willpower point to apply the rote action quality to an Asset Skill. This allows her to reroll all the failed dice on the first roll.
Trained Observer 1: Carol has spent time in the field, catching details and digging for secrets. She might not have a better chance of finding things, but she has a better chance of finding important things.
- Any time Carol makes a Perception roll (usually Wits + Composure), she benefits from the 9-again quality.
Quick Draw 1: Choose a Specialty in Weaponry or Firearms when you purchase this Merit. Carol has trained in that weapon or style enough that pulling the weapon is her first reflex. Drawing or holstering that weapon is considered a reflexive action, and can be done any time her Defense applies.
- Specialty: Pistols
|Alternate Identity 2: Carol has established an alternate identity as Annette Weaver. In addition to dressing and looking more like an 80's party girl/rocker chick, the Weaver identity is supported with paperwork and identification. It’s not liable to stand up to extensive research, but it’ll turn away private investigators and the like. Carol gains +1 to all Subterfuge rolls to defend the identity.|
Cohesive Unit 1: Carol is charismatic and brings out the best from those they work with.
- At one dot, team members add +2 dice to teamwork actions dedicated to helping the team.
Carol is not able to access any of the benefits they encourage in others.
Resources (Inheritance) 2: One dot is a little spending money here and there. Two is a comfortable, middle class wage. Three is a nicer, upper middle class life. Four is moderately wealthy. Five is filthy rich. Every item has an Availability rating.
- Once per chapter, Carol can procure an item at her Resources level or lower, without issue.
- An item one Availability above her Resources reduces her effective Resources by one dot for a full month, since she has to rapidly liquidate funds.
Between the Ticks 2: Carol has perceived the depths of Time, and thus can act with the utmost precision, performing an action perfectly for ideal timing, or ideal efficiency. Once per scene you can subtract –1 from your character’s Initiative for the turn to add a die to her action for the turn, or subtract a die from her action to add +1 to her Initiative.
Fast Spells: Carol’s Aimed spells streak out with the speed of bullets. Subjects may not apply their Defense against your Aimed Spell rolls unless they use a Supernatural power that allows them to use Defense against firearms.
Destiny 1: Each chapter, you have a pool of Destiny equal to your dots in this Merit. Each time you use a point of Destiny you may either gain the rote quality on a single mundane roll chosen before you roll the dice or reroll a single mundane action after you see the result of the roll (although you must take the second result). You may spend a point of Willpower when invoking your Destiny to affect a spellcasting roll.
- Drawback: Carol has a Doom: Betrayed. Whenever you spend Willpower to avoid the Doom, you add two dice instead of three (or +1 to a static value). However, whenever you spend Willpower on an action that will further the Doom but the roll fails, you immediately regain the spent Willpower. The Storyteller is the arbiter of which actions delayor hasten your character’s Doom.
Grimoire 3: Carol has discovered a Grimoire. If she is capable of casting the spells described, she may use the Grimoire to learn those rotes with Experiences, or cast following the Grimoire’s instructions to gain the rote quality (see p. 214). Each dot in this Merit allows for the Grimoire to contain two rotes of any Arcanum rating (total 6).
Shadow Name 2: Carol has a particularly developed magical persona, and is almost a different person when acting as a mage than in her mundane life. When purchasing this Merit, determine the Shadow Name and its symbolism. The character may use those symbols as a persona tool in spellcasting, worth this Merit’s dots. Additionally, apply dots in this Merit as a Withstand rating to spells that attempt to identify her or cast on her using the Sympathetic Range Attainment when in her mundane persona, to spells using the Temporal Sympathy Attainment targeting a time when she was in her mundane persona, and as a dice penalty to mundane skill rolls relating to identifying her as the same person as her magical self.
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Friends and Family
Sister • Missing
Nancy is two years younger than Carol and married to Harry Olson. Nancy is a big part of the reason Carol had moved into the Maple Shade apartments in the first place. Their relationship had been strained for several years and when Natalie Garner suggested that she and Carol share an apartment in the same complex as Nancy and her husband, Carol saw it as an opportunity to get closer to her little sister. Over the years Carol has worked hard at repairing her relationship with Nancy. Nancy and Harry have a daughter, Alie, and Carol's lingering feelings about her past strained relationship with Nancy have led to Carol vowing that she is going to protect her sister and niece at all costs.
Brother-in-law • Partner in Hunting
Harry is married to Carol's little sister, Nancy. He, Carol, Nancy, and Natalie used to hang out in highschool, but Harry seemed to hit a rough patch after graduation, and then got shipped off to the war and things weren't quite the same after that. He and Carol initially had a more antagonistic relationship as Carol tried to get him to straighten his life out and be a good husband and father to her sister and niece, but after the events at Maple Shade in 1976, Harry and Carol began to trust and rely on each other more as they partnered in hunting the supernatural together. They have grown closer over the years and Carol considers Harry family.
|Mark "Buck" Grayson|
Father • Portland City Commissioner 1959-1970 • Deceased
Need to revise
When Carol was 8 years old, her father became one of Portland’s City Commissioners, a position he held for 12 years until she was 20. Carol literally grew up in Portland city government. Buck was a baseball, basketball and football star at Jefferson High School, and was an All-American basketball player at Oregon State College in the early 1930s. He coordinated the world softball tournaments held in Portland in 1949, 1950 and 1963, was a leader in the Oregon AAU boxing program and Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Tournament, and was an avid dart player, holding a local dart championship title for several years in a row when Carol was a teenager. Since Carol's mother passed away from cancer shortly after Nancy was born, Buck, raising 2 girls as a single father, was a huge influence in both Carol and Nancy's lives, from encouraging their participation in girls’ softball, teaching and playing darts with them, taking them out on many camping trips, and just promoting an overall interest in health and athletics. Buck also promoted Carol’s interest in politics, and from there, journalism. He was always supportive that a young woman could apply herself and do well at anything she set her mind to.
Ben used to be a salesman for an industrial parts company, but is now unemployed. Carol first met him at the laundrymat in 1976 and they struck up a casual conversation. Ben was friendly and charming and he and Carol got along well immediately. By the following year, Carol had moved into his apartment in Maple Shade with him, and 2 years after that they had married. Ben thought he'd found happiness with Carol. Then the weird shit happened. His fear and pain as a result of those things drove a wedge between him and Carol. After the events surrounding the death of Carol's father and the lies that Carol has been telling him about the supernatural world, Ben confronted Carol and asked her for the truth. Believing Ben to be safer not knowing the truth or being close to her, Carol chose to leave instead of telling him the truth. Ben was devastated. He lost his job and hasn't quite managed to find regular work ever since – his old job in sales was so high profile that his dramatic emotional collapse is common knowledge, and no one in his field wants to take a chance of it happening again if they hire him. He's made rough ends meet with savings (now exhausted), credit cards, and the unemployment line since then.
Friend • Father's former bodyguard • Mentor/Trainer • Deceased
Need to revise
Carol turned to Patrick when it became apparent that she needed to learn how to defend herself, first teaching her how to use a gun, and then training her in some knife fighting skills.
Carol met Marty Weaver when they were both students at Pacific University in Forest Grove. Marty was there training to be an optometrist. The two fell in love almost immediately. Unfortunately, their time together was short, as Marty was drafted into the Viet Nam war just 2 years after their marriage. Even though by 1969 less and less people were being drafted, Marty Weaver found his name among that number. Neither Marty nor Carol were big supporters of the war, but Marty also believed in duty to country. With Marty gone, Carol busied herself with pursuing a journalism degree. Two years after being drafted, the horrible news was delivered: Marty wasn’t coming home. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. They were already starting to bring troops home, how could Marty have died? Carol was devastated. What’s worse is that the Army told her that due to the “nature of his death”, which they were classifying as confidential, even from families of those killed, they wouldn’t be able to return his body home for several months, even possibly up to a year. After 10 long months, Marty’s casket was finally allowed to return the U.S., but even then Carol was denied her requests to see the body of the man she loved and was married to. To be sure, the Army staff were very sincere and apologetic, but answer remained the same: “Due to sensitive nature of Marty’s death, unfortunately the body cannot be viewed. I’m so sorry that we can’t reveal more details about what happened, but the exact details remain classified.” Thank god her father was there for Carol to rage-cry into his chest.
Roommate • Friend from High School • Deceased
Need to revise
Infectiously cheerful, Natalie was the same age as Carol's younger sister, Nancy, and went to high school with herself, Nancy, and Harry. It was Natalie who suggested that she and Carol move into the Maple Shade apartments together and that it might a good opportunity for Carol to work on repairing her relationship with Nancy, something Natalie knew Carol desperately wanted to do. Natalie had an active social life and had several other friends in the apartment complex. Natalie is currently missing and presumed dead, with several of her friends experiencing events they can only describe as hauntings of by Natalie's ghost. After allowing a seance to occur in their apartment and an apparition that appeared to be Natalie, Carol has become obsessed with the apparition and solving the riddle of who or what caused Natalie's death. After Matthew was able to pull the memories of that night from Sergio's mind, and it has been revealed that it might have been a demon that killed Natalie, Carol has turned her attention to learning all she can about how to defend against and defeat those dark creatures.
- 1976: Events of Maple Shade
- 1977: Carol moves into Ben Pardo's apartment with him. She begins working with the others to find out the truth about the supernatural threats that exist in Portland and fight them. She keeps these activities secret from Ben and separate from her life as a legitimate journalist.
- 1978: Ben proposes to Carol.
- 1979: Ben and Carol's wedding. Patrick Meeks dies just days before the wedding. Carol legally changes her last name from Weaver to Grayson-Pardo, but writes using the name Carol Grayson.
- 1980: Mt. St. Helens erupts. Carol gains national recognition for her coverage and writing about the event.
- 1981: Buck Grayson (Carol's father) dies in July. After the events surrounding Buck Grayson's death and the lies that Carol has been telling him about the supernatural world, Ben confronts Carol and asks for the truth. Carol leaves Ben, believing he is safer not knowing the truth or being close to her. Carol temporarily moves back into the Grayson family home.
- 1982: In February, Carol moves to Chicago, accepting a job at the Chicago Tribune and choosing to leave any interaction with the supernatural world in Portland behind and focus on her career as a journalist. She legally changes her name to Carol Grayson.
- 1983-84: Living in Chicago and working at the Chicago Tribune. Carol returns home from a media event to find Ben trying to get in touch with her about the disappearance of Harry and his family. This triggers a strange series of visions for her, leading to her Awakening and the events of The Dark Room
Carol Weaver is the daughter of Mark “Buck” Grayson and Cassie Grayson, born on March 20th, 1950. In January 1959, when she was 8 years old, her father became one of Portland’s City Commissioners, a position he held for 12 years until she was 20 years old, in 1970. She literally grew up in Portland city government. Her dad was a baseball, basketball and football star at Jefferson High School, and was an All-American basketball player at Oregon State College in the early 1930s. He coordinated the world softball tournaments held in Portland in 1949, 1950 and 1963, was a leader in the Oregon AAU boxing program and Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Tournament, and was an avid dart player, holding a local dart championship title for several years in a row when Carol was a teenager. Buck was a huge influence in the life of Carol and her younger sister Nancy, from encouraging their participation in girls’ softball, teaching and playing darts with them, taking them out on many camping trips, and just promoting an overall interest in health and athletics. Buck also promoted Carol’s interest in politics, and from there, journalism. He was always supportive that a young woman could apply herself and do well at these endeavors.
After highschool, Carol went to Pacific University where she met Martin Weaver. Marty was there training to be an optometrist. The two fell in love almost immediately. Unfortunately, their time together was short, as Marty was drafted into the Viet Nam war shortly after their marriage. Carol continued her schooling in the meantime, and after graduation, used her contacts in Portland city government to write some articles that got her noticed by the folks who were starting up the Willamette Week, a new alternative weekly newspaper. She’s been happy writing articles for them, and also other articles for various magazines and newspapers on a freelance basis, but she really wants to break through to get hired on as a regular staff writer at the Oregonian.
Carol is protective of her little sister, Nancy. When she was a senior in high school and Nancy was a sophomore, her sister was being bullied by another girl, named Tasha. After it had gone on for several months and Nancy ended up with a black eye, Carol decided to do something about it. It turns out that Tasha's mother was a city employee. Carol used her dad's connections as Portland City Commissioner and got access into city government spaces and sneak in places she wasn’t supposed to be and do some snooping around. While an amateur, her snooping was nevertheless able to uncover that Tasha's mother had been embezzling money from the city. Carol paused as she looked at the family picture on the mother’s desk. In the picture was Tasha's mother, along with Tasha, and two young smiling boys. Carol knew that those boys hadn’t done anything wrong, but if she exposed what their mother had been doing they would be shuffled off into a cold heartless foster system. But her sense of justice demanded that the theft be exposed, and Carol refused to sit by as her sister was bullied by this family. She left the evidence of the embezzlement out in plain sight, knowing that it would be found. Tasha's mother was arrested soon after. Tasha was sent off to live with foster parents, effectively removing THAT problem Nancy’s life. Still, there was always a pang of guilt that the young boys were also caught up in Carol’s decision to do what she felt was the right thing.
Carol is willing to go to great lengths to protect those she loves, but even when she was protecting her little sister from Tasha she chose to use her wits and her skills to fight with, rather than resort to physical violence. It's not that she would never use violence ever. She knows that there are probably times when it's necessary to use physical violence to defend oneself, and she likes to keep her body healthy and physically strong, but Carol believes her wits are superior to physical force and thinks that there are very few situations that her wits and her skills can't get her out of.
Shortly before Marty was drafted, both he and Carol were invited to a party up in the Southwest Hills of Portland, at the home of young lawyer. The crowd was mostly other young married couples also, but all from Portland’s “upper ranks,” so to speak. Rich kids. At some point in the night, after everyone was feeling high with laughter and well lubricated, someone mentioned the spooky “witch’s castle” in Forrest Park. “That old thing? We should go check it out! It would be rad!” 6 of them headed off into the nearby park with their beer and party supplies. But Carol is not quite sure what, exactly, happened that night. There was lots of laughter and drinking, and then couples started wandering off into the woods, and then… yelling? screams? something that sounded more bestial? Carol remembers being shaken and waking up in the nearby stream, Marty’s face in hers. “We need to get out of here.” He had a cut under his eye. There were cuts on her own hands and her legs. It was early morning. She and Marty hiked out of the park with one of the other young women who had joined them. She had a large cut on her temple. Carol wasn’t sure where the woman’s husband was, or where the other couple was. She felt like she was in a fog. She instinctively knew not to talk to Marty about that night, and he never really seemed quite the same before he left for the war. Fucking rich kids and their drugs.
By 1969, troops were actually being reduced in Viet Nam. Marty and Carol had hoped that they would be spared the pain of Marty being drafted. Married life was wonderful for the newlyweds for 2 fabulous years until it finally happened. While less and less people were being drafted, Marty Weaver found his name among that number. Neither Marty nor Carol were big supporters of the war, but Marty also believed in duty to country. With Marty gone, Carol busied herself with pursuing a journalism degree. Two years after being drafted, the horrible news was delivered: Marty wasn’t coming home. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. They were already starting to bring troops home, how could Marty have died? Carol was devastated. What’s worse is that the Army told her that due to the “nature of his death”, which they were classifying as confidential, even from families of those killed, they wouldn’t be able to return his body home for several months, even possibly up to a year. After 10 long months, Marty’s casket was finally allowed to return the U.S., but even then Carol was denied her requests to see the body of the man she loved and was married to. To be sure, the Army staff were very sincere and apologetic, but answer remained the same: “Due to sensitive nature of Marty’s death, unfortunately the body cannot be viewed. I’m so sorry that we can’t reveal more details about what happened, but the exact details remain classified.” Thank god her father was there for Carol to rage-cry into his chest.
A year after Nancy’s bully was sent off into the system to live with foster parents, thereby removing her as a problem in Nancy’s life, Carol accidentally let it slip that she just might have had something to do with the resolution to that issue. Nancy pulled the details out of her. But far from being grateful or appreciative for what Carol had done, Nancy filled with anger that Carol had intervened ONCE AGAIN to work things out, and not only that, this time, young children were hurt in the process. The situation brought out years of resentment that Nancy had been harboring that Carol was always manipulating things, always working things out, always fixing things, and never letting Nancy deal with things on her own. It led to a huge fight, where Carol called Nancy ungrateful, and Nancy stormed out of the room vowing not to talk to Carol anymore. It was the beginning of a really rough patch for the two sisters, where the two hardly saw each other at all, and Nancy started hanging out with a rougher crowd. Nancy eventually got married to Harry Olson, a mechanic associated with the Hell’s Angels who then got arrested and then drafted into the war. But even then Nancy remained distant. It wasn’t until more recently, When Carol agreed to share an apartment with Natalie Garner, that things with Nancy have begun to warm up. Natalie was on the same girls’ softball team with Nancy, and was needing to share an apartment in the same complex that Nancy and her husband are living in. Carol, feeling lonely after the loss of her husband, and seeing the opportunity to reconnect with her sister, agreed.
- Previous Campaign - 1xp
- Adjusted Merits - 7xp (Removed Allies 2, removed Support Network 2, removed Defender 1, downgraded Cohesive Unit from 3 to 1)
- Group Merits from Previous Campaign - 4xp
- XP Spent - 4 (Composure 2 to 3)
- XP remaining to be spent - 8