The Window

the 3 precepts
quick start
success rolls
contest rolls
health rolls
plotting rolls

Quick Start

The Window is a very simple system. You're about to learn how to use it. The first thing you need to see is an example character writeup. This is Royce Jenner, a typical character from a Victorian Horror setting. Take a moment to study Dr. Jenner's overview:


White male
42 years of age
5'6" tall
150 lbs
Sandy blond hair, curly and receding, brown eyes behind round spectacles,
dresses professionally



This first part is simply facts about his appearance: the things that you would notice about him if you were to meet him on the street.

 Royce Williams Jenner was born in 1848 in southern London. His father was a schoolmaster at a state primary school. His mother died in childbirth, and so Royce grew up knowing nothing but rigidity and structure.
 Dr. Jenner is now the director of an insane asylum in London, and is well known for his books on the truth behind ghost sightings. He believes rather solidly that ghosts are simply scale hallucinations induced by improper diet and a misbalance of humors in the body. He requested the Queen's appointment to these supernatural investigations to test some of his theories.
 Dr. Jenner is enormously stable and able to deal with most anything rationally and with class. He is constantly stroking at his beard, with a slight smile playing on his lips, betraying his pride in the truth of science and reason.


This second section is a (shortened) summary of his history and background, from his birth in early Victorian London through his appointment to the Queen's personal team of supernatural investigators. The final paragraph in this particular portion also gives you an idea of what his personality is like.

Royce Jenner has...

Below average strength. (D20)
Average agility. (D12)
Pretty good health. (D10)
Impressive knowledge of the world. (D8)
Very high sanity. (D6)
Strong powers of perception. (D8)
Average luck. (D12)



Next comes Dr. Jenner's inherent traits, somewhat similar to what other systems call statistics. Instantly, you'll see that Dr. Jenner is not a particularly physical person, though he is perceptive and intelligent. He's not any luckier than the average person, but he is notably "sane," as he tends to be very good at rationalizing the world. Hopefully all of that is clear due to the descriptive adjectives that accompany each. Here you can see the First Precept at work.

Royce Jenner is...

An expert psychologist. (D8)
A skilled medical doctor. (D10)
A former military man. (D20)
A respected writer. (D10)
A decent artist. (D12)
An amateur cook. (D20)
An average horseman. (D12)
A below average swimmer. (D20)



These are Dr. Jenner's skills, or what he "is." This section is a simple list of definitions, describing Dr. Jenner as you would if you knew him personally and were telling somebody about him. Again, each area of expertise or profession is rated by an adjective or two, allowing you to now how skillful he is without knowing anything about how the system mechanics work.

Royce Jenner carries...

A worn notebook filled with his daily thoughts,
His sketchpad and some charcoal,
His pipe, and
A small medical bag



This last section of Dr. Jenner's overview is simply a summary of the possessions he carries with him. (Note that in this case the exact contents of the medical bag have been left nebulous, though the Storyteller and the actor could just as well choose to make an exact listing, depending on their style.)

So, how does the system work? If Dr. Jenner attempts something particularly challenging during the course of the story, the Storyteller might ask for a roll. Notice that each trait or skill has a die listed alongside it in parenthesis; if you were playing Dr. Jenner in such a situation, you would roll the die listed next to the appropriate ability.

    If you roll a 6 or less, Dr. Jenner succeeds in his task. Otherwise he fails.

If Dr. Jenner were competing directly with someone, you would again roll the die associated with the appropriate ability. Your opponent would also roll.

    Whoever rolls less wins. In there's a tie, there's a tie.

Congratulations! You've just learned 90% of the Window! Everything in the Window works the same, which is one way it differs from most 2nd generation systems. There are, of course, some subtleties you haven't been exposed to yet, but you have already mastered the basics.