The premise for dead by darkness is very straightforward. The players and potentially several NPC's have been gathered together in an isolated location with very limited ways out. Then the exits are sealed and a killer begins stalking them on order to killthem orplace them on sacrificial hooks. Those that die on the hooks are fed to a powerful evil entity. In order to survive and escape the players must repair generators scattered across the map in order to power the exit. For information on map layout, and reasons for the players to be assembled check out the "Scenario" section.
The beginning and the first kill: A game of Dead by Darkness generally starts with a pretense for why the players are gathered at the location. This will help set the stage for what belongings they may have with them and who they might know. If desired this is also an opportunity to partake in some role-playing, exploring, and gathering of information. Again the scenario section has some initial ideas. Then comes the first kill. An NPC at the gathering is attacked and either hooked or killed by the killer. This causes everyone present to suffer a breaking point at -5 (-2 for witnessing a murder, -3 for violent supernatural). From there initiative is rolled and the game begins. The killer is unable to act in the first turn as they have just finished hooking someone and are savouring the moment before the hunt. (This also helps to give the players a fighting chance).
The game itself: In order to escape the survivors must find and repair generators scattered around the map in order to power the exit. There is no way to open the exits without fixing the required generators. There is however another way to survive. Each killer has a special method by which they can be defeated. But the players will need to learn the killer's weakness somehow. Victory conditions and how to acheive them are explained in the Survival section.
In order to help them survive the players have access to several options not normally available in standard world of darkness. They can heal each other and themselves far faster than normal and can seek comfort in order to restore willpower. These mechanics will be detailed in the Healing section of the rules.
The killer will continually search out players, attack them or grapple them and then place them on sacrificial hooks. Though they can be attacked and stunned the killer cannot be killed by ordinary attacks. To make matters worse, the killer also though is aware of the locations of the generators and if they can't find a survivor then they will usually seek out and damage the generators. For more information on the killers see the Killers section. Being hooked and damaged are explained in the Healing section.
The alternative to fighting or fleeing is hiding. The stealth mechanics used in dead by Darkness differ from normal world of darkness rules and are detailed in the Hiding section of the rules.
Character creation works exactly as it does in normal world of darkness but with the addition of perks. A standard world of darkness character is created and then the player may select an appropriate number of perks determined by the storyteller. Perks are explained more in the perks part of the rules section.
Extended actions: Unlike normal extended actions there is no limit to how many rolls may be attempted in any extended action in dead by daylight and they always take 1 turn per roll. As long as the player is willing to keep trying they can keep rolling. The pressure and tension instead comes from the fact that there is a killer trying to stop them.
Movement: Dead by Darkness works best when you can make use of a grid and map. Most grids and pre-made decorations however assume a grid of 1 inch squares, each denoting 5 ft . World of Darkness however uses meters for movement. A simple conversion that won’t unbalance things is to count each 5 ft square on a standard grid mat as 2 meters. this is a rough conversion but it works well enough since it affects everyone’s movement equally. This is also why most speed and measurement distances in Dead by Darkness work out evently divisible by 2.