Vampire: Player Guide
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A beast does not know that he is a beast,
and the nearer a man gets to being a beast, the less he knows it.
- George MacDonald -
- Blood and Vitae
- Custom Items and Powers
- Protean Modifications
- It’s assumed all Kindred hunt for an average of 1 Vitae per night in their downtime, to counteract the loss of Vitae from waking from daysleep, so Vitae pools don’t decrease over time by default. Players otherwise keep track of their own Vitae pools from night to night.
- Note: If under the effect of any power or circumstance that would prevent you from ‘casually’ feeding with normal mechanics, you do NOT get the nightly Vitae back in downtime; any feeding methodologies will need to account for the nightly loss.
- A Vampire PC’s player may make one hunting roll per chapter (week), using the system for ‘feeding scenes with dice’ on VtR2e page 96. Dramatic failure cannot be willingly taken, and an Exceptional success instead provides the Sated condition. If a Dramatic Failure is somehow naturally rolled, contact a Narrator.
- The vitae gained from the weekly roll can be applied throughout the week rather than all at once. For example, if you are down 2 vitae and a hunt gains 6 vitae, 2 vitae can be applied immediately and 4 remaining can be used to replenish any other losses for that week.
- 1 vessel = 3 vitae (or 7 with a breaking point, implying the victim died).
- You may NOT gain the bonus for extra time; it’s already assumed you’re spending several hours over the week doing your hunting.
- Vitae gained In-Character from other PCs or ST-NPCs works normally and has no effect on hunting rolls or visa versa. You may not, however, gain Vitae from retainers or similar merits in this way; if they’re willing to provide blood to you, buy Herd.
If there’s any confusion about something might be affected by this, ask a Narrator (if in a scene) or the Rules Master.
Blood bonds may only be raised by 1 step per night via traditional feeding methods (powers that apply the blood bond are not limited in this way, however).
Players are expected to give OOC notice if the scene or action has the intent to be to bond a character.
This use can grant 1 dot of the appropriate type of merits per victim after an appropriate scene, which can change after a new scene, but does not stack with the previous one gained (so, with 3 victims, you’ll never have more than 3 dots of merits gained at a time from this Devotion). As well, these must all be mundane forms of the merits; it will not provide Embassy Status, Allies among Spirits, or Psychic Retainers, for instance.
The Scales of Quintessence in the book require you to ACTUALLY have the prerequisite Coils, you can’t just pay the 1XP surcharge to buy it when you lack the prereq. Other Coils are unaffected.
Not all Supernatural Merits are appropriate for Kindred to be capable of learning, and with the base Coil alone, it does not allow Vampires to bypass their banes or to fundamentally alter certain things about them. The Coil itself is allowed and may be purchased, but the following Scales and Supernatural Merits are not currently allowed for Kindred:
- Grafting Unholy Flesh (Scale, SotC)
- Skin-Thief (Merit, Dark Eras)
- Pyrokinesis and Pyrokinetic Resistance (other Psychokineses are fine) (Merit, Core)
- Clear-Sighted (Merit, Vampire)
- Laying on Hands (Merit, Core)
- Supernatural Resistance (Merit, Hurt Locker)
- Mind over Body (Merit, Custom Items/Powers)
- Biokinesis (Merit, Core) is allowed but does not affect Kindred healing.
- ‘Micro Template’ merits of any kind.
Non-Listed Supernatural Merits and Scales are assumed to be allowed, but more may be added to the list if the Storymaster Team and Rulesmaster deem them to be an issue.
While Feral Whispers allows communication with other supernatural creatures in animal forms, it can’t be used to command them.
- Protean (Swarm Form)
Use the statistics in the Chronicles of Darkness 2e book, pg 121, for ‘Trained Guard Dog’ to determine your swarm’s base physical traits. The ‘Bite’ dice pool gives you your ‘Strength + Brawl’, and you can extrapolate a Brawl of 2 and Athletics of 3 if you need any other physical skills (the rest are 0).
The book isn’t entirely all-inclusive on what gets downgraded from aggravated to lethal or lethal to bashing. So, unless a power/ability (on either side) explicitly says otherwise, the following rules apply:
- Fire/Sunlight damage is of course not downgraded, from any source.
- Any mundane source of aggravated or lethal damage is downgraded; extreme levels of trauma may bypass this, at Narrator discretion in a scene.
- Direct supernatural sources that deal lethal damage (such as Nightmare 5) are not downgraded.
- Supernatural powers creating weapons, environmental tilts, or redirecting external forces (such as Telekinesis) are downgraded normally.
- Supernatural sources of aggravated damage are usually downgraded. Exception: Vampiric powers that say they deal aggravated damage are not downgraded unless they say so.
- Supernatural powers that say Vampires may be immune, downgrade the damage, or otherwise suffer less harm at Storyteller discretion have that lesser effect on Vampires by default.
Tech-Savvy is for mundane, physical (or electronic) equipment. It cannot be used for ‘Mystical’/’Occult’ equipment, plans, repositories, creative works, etc. It CAN be used, of course, for labs and other tools that’d grant benefits to crafting those things, but will not benefit the end product directly.
- Age will NOT be enough to make you count as an Elder, mechanically. Instead, Blood Potency 5 replaces the normal prerequisite of ‘Elder’ if not already requiring a higher amount.
- Abilities that require X years to be taught them instead require you to have gained Blood Potency equal to the years divided by 50.
This Devotion hardens the user’s flesh, and coagulates the blood in such a way as to act as “internal armor”. While few things cause lasting harm to Kindred, this Devotion takes things a step further, and makes almost everything a vampire suffers as bad as a bruise.
- 2 Vitae
- Dice Pool
For the remainder of the scene, every attack which would cause your character lethal damage is lessened by this Devotion. Downgrade a number of lethal damage from each such attack equal to your character’s Resilience dots. For example, if your character with Resilience ••• suffers three attacks in a turn, one for one lethal damage, one for three lethal damage, and one for five lethal damage, your character would ultimately suffer two lethal damage and seven bashing damage.Note that this is in addition to Resilience’s normal downgrading effect.\\ Aggravated damage reduced to lethal by Resilience can be further downgraded by .22 Solid to bashing damage. So, for example, if a vampire with Resilience •••• and .22 Solid took a strike causing seven aggravated damage, if she activated .22 Solid, she’d take 3 aggravated damage and four bashing damage.
This Devotion costs 1 Experiences to learn.
Elder Kindred are well known for the potency of their Disciplines, and some manage to heighten that to a point that lesser Kindred could never manage, both increasing their presence in the world and heightening the effects of their powers.
- Dice Pool
- Per Base Coil/Discipline
Upon purchasing this Devotion for a given Coil or Discipline, that Coil/Discipline’s rating is treated as 1 higher for all purposes; Clashes of Wills, activation pools, derived or scaling effects, and anything else are all affected, including for any Devotions or other traits that use those Disciplines. For instance, purchasing this once for Majesty causes Awe to grant +6 dice to related Presence rolls.
This may be purchased separately for any Discipline/Coil that qualifies, and may even be purchased more than once for the same Discipline/Coil, but requires a Blood Potency equal to or greater than the new effective rating of the trait in the latter case.
This Devotion costs 3 Experience for scaled Disciplines (like Physicals) and 2 Experiences for any other Discipline or Coil.
- Target Number of Successes
- One Snake Tongue
Kindred are called to tempt and test mortals, just as Satan tempted Eve in the guise of a serpent. The sorcerer blesses the object and it remains empowered for a number of weeks equal to the caster’s blood potency.
When the sorcerer wishes to activate the power, he simply places the serpent’s tongue under his own where it disintegrates into nothingness. For the rest of that scene, the user may add the sorcerer’s Theban dots to their Manipulation score. A sorcerer may only have one Tempter’s Tongue in existence.
- Target Number of Successes
- Contested/Resisted by
Snake venom is ingested either by drinking or direct injection, opening the caster to the Lord’s will and divine plan. They send up a prayer pertaining to a particular circumstance and receive a vision in answer. The caster may ask a number of Yes/No questions pertaining to a desired situation equal to the ritual’s Potency.
- The beast is stirred up closer to the surface as divine wisdom is given to the caster and it lingers close even after the sense of the divine fades. Gain the Tempted condition.
- One page of scripture or meaningful text to the ritualist
- Target Number of Successes
True faith brings absolute certainty and unshakeable resolve to the believer. To activate this ritual, the ritualist must tear the sheet of paper in two. For the rest of the night, the ritualist may add his Theban dots to any roll to contest supernatural attempts to manipulate their mental or emotional state. If the power is not resisted with a roll but instead has a penalty mod based on the target’s attribute add the ritualist’s Theban dots to that penalty.
The sheet of scripture crumbles to dust if not used within one week per BP of the ritualist. No more than one version of this ritual may be active any given time. This ritual does not apply to mundane attempts to persuade, influence, or frighten the ritualist. It only applies to supernatural abilities.
This Oath is used as part of punishment in a legal matter to enforce the punishment that the Praxis has ordered. Generally, the process of being released from custody will include this Oath. The vassal swears the Oath, admitting their guilt and agreeing to the terms of their punishment.
- Once a character takes this Oath, he swears to the terms of his punishment. He’s the vassal, and must purchase the Merit. The Prince is considered the liege. From that point forward, he cannot attempt to break the terms of his oath. If he wishes to do so, he loses a point of Willpower, and takes a single level of aggravated damage as charred lashes appear across his back. Additionally, the Liege takes a single level of lethal damage, and knows exactly why he’s suffering it.
- Can not gain the benefits of any other Oaths while the Oath of Punishment is active.
Rather than a specific task, like Oath of Action, this Oath covers terms of service to the Invictus to whom the oath is sworn. A duration of time is chosen at the swearing of this oath and must be included in the wording of the Oath itself. Choosing a duration over a year and a day is considered bad form, though the Oath can be resworn annually. Unlike Oath of Fealty, the one swearing the oath does not have to be a member of the Invictus. Wording of the oath must include what would constitute a breaking of the oath.
- The vassal gains access to one physical discipline’s dots of his Liege’s discipline.
If the term ends with neither having violated the oath, nothing happens but the benefits and the drawbacks of the oath simply end. If the vassal breaks the Oath, all his vitae mystically evaporates and it is immediately known by the Liege that the oath was broken and the current location of the vassal.
- Can only swear one Oath of Service at a time and cannot take an Oath of Action during the time frame.
- By altering her skin tone and even her clothes to blend into her surroundings, the Kindred becomes more difficult to notice, granting a bonus to rolls to go unnoticed equal to her Protean dots.
- Projectile Blood
- Spitting blood like a Cobra, the Kindred can temporarily render their opponents blind. Spend 1 additional Vitae beyond the activation cost of this power, the Vitae is expelled from the Kindreds mouth up to a distance of Strength x 3 yards. Roll Dexterity + Athletics - Defense, with the usual targeted attack penalty, but reduce this penalty by the character’s Protean dots. Success inflicts the Blind tilt on the opponent. The tilt is resolved if the victim of this power spends an Instant action wiping away the viscous fluid. Vitae so expelled from the body is considered inert, and does not cause Vitae Addiction or any increase in the steps of a Blood Bond.
- Rodent’s Anatomy
- Much like a Mouse or Rat caught in a Predators grasp, you know just how to move and wiggle to make an escape. If you have this power activated while in a grapple, you may add your dots in Protean to any roll to Break Free or Escape an Immobilize. Dots granted by this power may not be applied to Take Down, Damage, or the Disarm Maneuver. This power may allow the Kindred to attempt to escape an Immobilize caused by an item such as a Zip Tie or Handcuffs, make a Dexterity + Athletics roll with a penalty depending on how advanced the equipment is. Standard Rope levies a −1 penalty while Police Issue Handcuffs impose a −3. Success frees the character from the restraint.
- Unnatural Maw
- Though vampires are skilled predators, human physiology means their mouths aren’t their greatest weapon. Via Protean, the vampire increases the useful radius of their bite, whether by ‘unhinging’ their jaw in the manner of snakes, growing circular rows of lamprey-like teeth or some other animalistic method. When feeding ‘Violently’, they increase their effective ‘blood taken per turn’ maximum in grappling and other situations by their Protean dots. Used outside combat, this effectively turns any feeding into ‘The Assault’ instead of The Kiss.
- The Kindred can produce powerful venom glands, like a spider or a snake, that they may excrete when they bite someone or hit them with a natural weapon granted by Protean. This counts as a Poison with a Toxicity equal to the Kindred’s Protean dots. In combat it inflicts the (Moderate) Poison Tilt.
- Viper’s Gift
- Vipers have the ability to track their prey through proteins in their bites. This Protean modification grants a similar ability. For the purposes of tracking a bitten victim by scent (p91, Vampire), the Kindred gains a dice bonus equal to their Protean until the end of the scene. This ability also allows other vampires to be tracked in a similar fashion to mortals. If the Kindred has other natural weapons granted by Protean, they can elect to cause this effect on a successful strike.
- Wolf’s Hide
- Adapting his flesh to that of a Predatory Animal like a Wolf or Lion, the Kindred becomes unnaturally resilient to damage. He enjoys an armor rating of 2/0 against any bashing attacks and a rating of 1/0 against incoming lethal damage. This armor does not apply to banes that the Kindred suffers from, but stacks with any armor worn.
- Wolf’s Jaw
- The Kindred’s jaws, tongue and voice-box shift to match those of a werewolf. This alters their voice, giving it a harsh, gravelly quality when speaking english but allowing them to speak First Tongue normally if they have taken two dots in the Spirit Speech merit. This also allows them to make a bite attack (0L, using Brawl) without first grappling their opponent, but does not allow them to Feed in combat without grappling.
- Long Death
- The Kindred produces a powerful hemotoxin as the Beast devours the subject’s blood from within them. This poison is delivered through the Kindred’s bite, or through any natural weapons created by Protean. This poison deals Lethal damage and has a Toxicity of their Blood Potency. The damage happens once per hour up to Protean times, but never during the day. In Combat this produces the (Grave) Poison Tilt, except that the victim takes a penalty to their Stamina + Resolve roll each turn equal to the Kindred’s Protean. Vampire victims lose Vitae instead of taking damage while Ghouls lose Vitae before health levels.
- Monstrous Hide
- The Kindred transmutes their bones and flesh, forming layers of tough leathery skin, carapace, or other natural armor. This counts as 3/5 armor with a −2 penalty to defense and a −1 penalty to speed, which does not stack with other armor (but note Resilience is NOT armor).
- Target Number of Successes
The Acolyte attunes herself to an area with an offering of blood, whether her own or that of a sacrifice (usually a small animal), spreading it in a circle around the outskirts of the area, which must be no bigger than a large room. At the ritual’s completion, the area becomes suffused with spiritual energy that bubbles up from nowhere, causing the location to act as a Resonant condition to any ephemera capable of making use of it for the rest of the night. Among other benefits, this allows a large portion of a typical “summoning” rite to be skipped, as no special preparations unique to the entity are needed; this lowers the target threshold of any related ritual research by the Potency of this rite.
- Target Number of Successes
- Resisted by
It is functionally identical to Cheval. The subject of this ritual must be present at the casting, being physically touched by the ritualist, although the ritualist may also touch a third subject, and have them be the one that experiences the first target’s senses instead of themself. In addition, instead of just seeing and hearing, the vampire has access to the full range of the subject’s senses. They experience fully whatever the subject does: smell, touch, and taste and even experiencing the emotions as the target does.
- Prerequisite Coil
- Call to Serve (Voivode 3)
- Within a Wyrm’s Nest, the Kindred uses a specially formed alchemically enhanced set of manacles to tie himself to the ground. Both the manacles themselves and the anchoring end have a large spike in them, which must be driven into ground and flesh, dealing 1L damage to the Kindred. A line must be cut in his flesh, then, with a similarly prepared scalpel, with the wound originating at the manacles and drawing down over his forearm (another 1L damage). Finally, the Kindred must spill a number of Vitae up to the Nest’s rating into the mouth of a Torpored Vampire that he wishes to awaken.
- The energy of the Wyrm’s Nest flows into the Kindred’s blood, enhancing its potency and energizing the Vampire imbibing the arcane substance. The donor’s Blood Potency is treated as a number of dots higher equal to the Vitae spent (capped by the Nest rating, as mentioned), solely for the sake of determining if it’s potent enough to awaken the Torpored Kindred.
For instance, if a character with Blood Potency 3 uses this at a Nest of 3 dots, and spends all 3 Vitae towards this purpose, they’d count as BP6 and thus could awaken someone of Blood Potency 4 or lower.
- Prerequisite Coil
- Zirnitra (Unleash the Mind)
- Using a mixture of incense and various natural plants that produce a euphoric state, the Dragon boils then burns these items and captures the smoke into a small container, usually some kind of easily breakable capsule. The materials required for this Scale usually have a significant cost attributed to them (Availability 2). Once the capsule has been created, it can be broken at any time as an Instant action and the smoke inhaled to produce a sudden feeling of peace and tranquility. The effect is as if the Dragon had spent time in intense meditation.
- Once breathed in, the character gains the effect of Meditation and all benefits that it imparts, as if it had just been completed. This effect lasts for one scene.
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