Everyone’s Karma Meter starts at zero (neutral). Actions taken throughout the game can sway the meter toward Sin or Virtue, which will in turn affect a character’s luck during gameplay. In the world of horror movies, sinful people tend to have poorer luck while virtuous people have better luck.
Positive Karma points move a player’s meter toward the right, whereas Negative Karma Points move it toward the left. Points to the right of zero are referred to as Virtue Points, whereas those to the left of zero are referred to as Sin Points.
A player’s Karma Meter directly affects their Attributes and Skills by modifying their Target Number by 1 for every one Virtue/Sin point (up for Virtue, down for Sin).
There are two ways of raising or lowering one’s score on the Karma Meter. One is through Addictions, which will be discussed below. The other is through committing sinful or virtuous acts. What constitutes an act of sin or virtue is largely determined by the GM, but players shouldn’t expect to rack up Virtue Points by baking everyone cookies and dolling out foot massages. Virtuous acts are selfless, both for the character and the player, like helping someone achieve their goal at the potential expense of one’s own. Sinful acts are selfish—doing harm to someone else in order to achieve one’s own goals. Say a player is running from a killer and passes a feeble old man. If they stop to help him, that would be an act of virtue. If they shove him toward the killer so they can escape, that would be an act of sin.
Generally speaking, every act of sin or virtue is worth 1 positive or negative Karma Point. However if the player does something truly exceptional—like, say, murder an old lady in her sleep—the GM should consider increasing the number of points.
When in a group, a player might be affected by being the person with the highest or lowest Karma score. The most “sinful” person might be the one the killer goes after first, whereas the most “virtuous” person might be the one the evac team rescues first.
While Sin points tend to make the player’s life harder, there are a couple ways in which they are helpful. One is that for every point the player has below 0, they gain one additional point to Appeal (because naughty people are sexy). They might not have the strength to fight off an enraged maniac, but they might persuade someone else to do it for them. Other benefits to Sin Points are discussed below.