Dev Diary #5: Hitting the Supernatural Jackpot

In Las Vegas, the dangers do not end with the familiar temptations of vice and excess. What lies below the city’s surface is no less real and all the more deadly, to both body and soul. Creatures lurk in the shadows, and not all of them are vampires. The local term is “cryptid,” a catch-all name for the unknown, and they are decidedly not friendly. Cryptids come in a variety of forms, and to those concerned with maintaining the Masquerade, their existence is troubling. If the common man believes that there are giant hairy monsters out in the desert, it is only a matter of time before he suspects that there are vampires lurking in his very city.

The two main varieties of cryptids are “human-like” and “other.” Human-like cryptids remind the vampires of themselves, and will often profess to be a part of a larger cryptid society with names like “Sin-Eaters.” Some of them are allowed to mingle in Las Vegas, at the sufferance of the King. King Cole keeps a close eye on these individuals, making sure that they do not threaten his domain.

“Other” cryptid defy classification, varying from 14 foot tall scaly red wolves to bodiless apparitions. While human-like cryptids are easy to negotiate with, these creatures are monsters through and through.

If they so chose, players can pitch a kind of “cryptid” that they want to play. If you pitch a non-Kindred or Ghoul, you must submit a backup mini-pitch of a Kindred or a Ghoul along with your other pitch. All of the rules on formal mini-pitch and full mechanical pitches, including deadlines, will be available in a forthcoming Dev Diary.


 

As in many Kindred communities, the vampires of Las Vegas have developed their own local flavor. There are three uniquely Nevadan bloodlines that call the city home: The Sangmellier, the Psuho-wurv, and the Showmen.

The Psuho-wurv are both a bloodline and political group within Clark County, but many in Las Vegas do not make a distinction between Mardugar the Snake’s followers and the irradiated Kindred. Any clan can find their blood muddled by radiation, warping it’s effects.

The Sangmellier migrated to Las Vegas with the arrival of King Darius Cole. His decadent relatives have developed a reputation for devouring the city with their endless appetites, throwing some of the best parties on the Strip.

The Showmen had their start with the development of Las Vegas as a city of vice. The brightly-lit casinos and showrooms are their natural habitat, and they have found safety through organization. King Cole likes to travel in style; he wouldn’t deign to be seen without at least a few scantily-clad showgirls of this bloodline at his side.  Elsewhere, Nosferatu magicians and other entertainers can be found putting on mesmerizing shows at a variety of Kindred functions.


Bloodlines Mechanics:

Kindred may join bloodlines as allowed by their Blood Potency dots. A character may join her sire’s bloodline at Blood Potency 1. At Blood Potency 2, a vampire with which she shares a blood tie may act as Avus. At Blood Potency 4, any vampire of her clan may act as an Avus. An Avus is a sort of mentor. Acting as an Avus into a bloodline requires feeding the prospect at least one point of Vitae. This carries all normal risk of addiction and blood bonds. At Blood Potency 6, vampires may create their own, unique bloodlines. This is to say, all bloodlines were founded by Kindred of Blood Potency 6 or greater. A character may only be part of one bloodline, and cannot leave a bloodline once joined.

Joining a Bloodline is a 2-dot Merit.

SANGMELLIER – The Gluttons

Clans: Ventrue

Disciplines: Vigor, Animalism, Dominate, and Resilience

Prominent Members: King Darius Cole

Drawback: The Sangmellier treat their Blood Potency as 3 points higher when determining whom they can gain Vitae from. At Blood Potency 6 or higher, the Sangmellier also has a -2 penalty to resist Vitae addiction.

This bloodline gives access to the following Devotions and Merits:

 

Consume the Living

Vigor ●

Cost: None

Roll: None

Action: None

The Sangmellier can now eat flesh for sustenance, deriving Vitae from it. Every 5 pounds of raw flesh she consumes gives her 1 Vitae. This Flesh must come from a kind of creature that the Vampire can receive Vitae from by drinking its Blood. If her Blood Potency would be too high, she must consume 30 pounds of flesh to gain 1 Vitae. Kindred flesh never provides any sustenance with this power, as it just turns to ash in the Sangmellier’s mouth.

One hour after death, flesh does not have the necessary blood flow to continue to provide sustenance in this way. Preservatives of any kind also make the flesh inedible.

This Devotion costs 1 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Sangmellier bloodline.

 

Hungry Maw

Resilience ● , Vigor ●●

Cost: 2 Blood

Roll: None

Action: Instant

Duration: 1 scene

This allows the vampire to unhinge and distend her jaw, creating a terrifying weapon with which to harm her foes. The Sangmellier’s bite is now a +2L weapon. And whenever she deals damage, she automatically drinks that many traits of Vitae from her victim if possible. This does not protect her against Blood addiction or Blood bonds when gaining vitae from vampires.

This Devotion costs 2 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Sangmellier bloodline.

 

Large Appetites

Animalism ●, Dominate ●●, Vigor ●

Cost: 1 Blood

Requirement: The victim must be under the Mesmerism Condition.

Roll: Wits + Subterfuge + Dominate

Action: Instant

Duration: 1 hour per Blood Potency.

The Sangmellier can instill a yearning and growing need in her victim, compelling them to attempt to fulfill the hole that has been created in their heart.

Dramatic Failure: The vampire suffers from the Vice instead of the Victim, and are compelled to follow it in the same ways.

Failure: Nothing happens.

Success: The victim suffers from a Vice, and is drawn to follow it. Whenever presented with an opportunity to fulfill this Vice, the victim must make a Resolve + Composure draw with a penalty equal to the Sangmellier’s number of successes. If they fail, the victim must attempt to act in line with their newfound Vice.

Exceptional Success: The victim suffers from the Vice as above and the vampire regains 1 Willpower as she revels in her victim’s new hunger.

This Devotion costs 2 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Sangmellier bloodline.

 

Blood Wine

Animalism ●●, Vigor ●

Cost: None.

Requirement: An incapacitated and still living animal/human or a torpid kindred.

Roll: None

Action: Extended

Duration: A number of weeks equal to the Sangmellier’s Blood Potency

Sangmellier can make Blood Wine, a thick liquid preservation of Blood. This process takes 2 hours to perform on an animal or a human, as the vampire presses the blood out of a body with her bare hands. She can preserve a number of traits of Vitae at one time equal to the sum of her Animalism and Vigor dots. The blood wine is effective for a number of weeks equal to her Blood Potency.

Performing this process on torpid kindred takes 2 hours per BP of the vampire.

Using Taste of Blood to detect things about the blood preserved in Blood Wine is at a -2 penalty.

This Devotion costs 1 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Sangmellier bloodline.

 

Feast of Ages

Animalism ●●●●●, Resilience ●●, Vigor ●

Cost: 6-12 Vitae, 1 Willpower

Requirement: The Feast of Ages cannot be performed alone. There must be at least one other willing participant in the Sangmellier’s feast for it to be truly grand.

Roll: None.

Action: Extended.

Duration: A number of hours equal to the Sangmellier’s Blood Potency

Spending 3 Vitae for each willing participant (including themselves) in the Feast of Ages, as the Sangmellier and her guests all engorge with power. For a number of hours equal to the vampire’s Blood Potency, all the participants in the Feast gain the 8-again quality on all biting attacks and each time they would drink blood and transform it into Vitae, double the amount of Vitae they would receive. The participants also ignore wound penalties and may activate Blush of Health without having to spend Vitae for the duration of this power.

This Devotion costs 4 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Sangmellier bloodline.

 

Discerning Tastes

Dominate ●●●●, Animalism ●

Cost: None.

Requirement: Must be eating flesh with the Consume the Living devotion.

Roll: Wits + Empathy + Dominate

Action: Instant

Duration: None.

When Sangmellier use Consume the Living to eat the brain of a person or animal, they can learn their victim’s memories. This devotion has no effect on eating the brains of Kindred, as they just turn to ash in the vampire’s mouth.

Dramatic Failure: The Sangmellier is overwhelmed by the influx of memories, stunning her briefly. For the next hour, she must attempt to fulfill one wish of her victim. For humans, this is usually their Vice. For animals, it can get a bit weirder. The ST will tell you each individual effect.

Failure: Nothing happens, aside from the usual effects of Consume the Living.

Success: The victim’s mind flows into the vampire’s mouth, and she is able to ask one question.

Exceptional Success: The victim opens their mind to the Sangmellier as above and she is able to ask two questions instead of one.

List of Questions…

Who killed you?

What was your biggest regret?

What was your biggest secret?

What was your greatest hope?

What did you love or hate the most?

This Devotion costs 2 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Sangmellier bloodline.


Merits

Gardener ●●●

Prerequisite: Blood Wine, Of Rose and Thorn ●●●●

The Sangmellier can create “plant Ghouls” called mandrakes or mandragora that produce lacrima. They can use this lacrima to infuse into Blood Wine, giving it the taste of the plant and possibly infusing it with hallucinogenic or poisonous properties. A single mandrake produces enough lacrima to affect one use Blood Wine every 2 weeks. Each time the vampire uses the Blood Wine devotion in this way, choose one of the effects bellow:

Fragrant: Using Taste of Blood to detect things about the blood in this Blood Wine is at a cumulative -4 penalty.

Potent: The Blood Wine creates a euphoric sensation in Kindred, almost like drinking regular alcohol. The Vampire needs to make a reflexive Stamina + Resolve – 5 roll or be affected by it, suffering from minor hallucinations and drunkenness for 1 hour.

Deadly: The Blood Wine is treated as poison with a Toxicity of 5. It deals damage every hour, for a total number of hours equal to the Sangmellier’s Blood Potency.

Drawback: A Sangmellier’s mandrakes cost at least 1 Vitae per month to upkeep.


PSUHO-WURV

Clans: Any Clan

Disciplines: Parent Clan and Atomics (Edi Bawu)

Prominent Members: Madrugar the Snake (Deceased)

Drawback: The Psuho-wurv are unable to create Ghouls, violently killing those who feed from their vitae for an extended period. They also are naturally radioactive, with an atomic signature that grows larger as they increase in Blood Potency.

This bloodline gives access to the following Discipline, Devotions, Merit, and Crúac Rituals:

ATOMICS

The bombs fell and forever changed the blood of Kindred. This Discipline is available to members of the Psuho-wurv bloodline.

 

Tolerance ●

Cost: None

Pool: None

Action: None

Duration: Continuous

The Psuho-wurv is immune to lethal damage and loss of Vitae from radiation sources, such as the Grasp of Decay ability or an open container of nuclear waste, and has a +3 bonus to resist the effects of this Discipline.

 

Grasp of Decay ●●

Cost: 1 Vitae

Pool: None

Action: Instant

Duration: Instant

The vampire charges her hands with radiation, dealing radiation damage with her next Brawl based attack this round. This Discipline can be used in conjunction with Physical and Combat merits, or other Disciplines, as normal.

 

Disrupt the Flow ●●●

Cost: 1 Vitae

Requirement: An electronic object you can see

Pool: Wits + Crafts + Atomics – Durability

Action: Instant

Duration: Scene

Dramatic Failure: The vampire shorts out an unintended electronic item in her vicinity for the scene instead.

Failure: The object is not affected by the electromagnetic pulse.

Success: The Psuho-wurv is able to short out the electronics in an object, rendering those parts useless for a scene. The object does not take any lasting damage, but suffers as if under the effect of an electromagnetic pulse.

Exceptional Success: The object is not just shorted out for this scene, but for the rest of the night instead.

 

Thermal Bath ●●●●

Cost: 2 Vitae

Requirement: The victim must be within 30 yards of the Psuho-wurv.

Pool: Int + Survival + Atomics – Stamina + Blood Potency

Action: Instant

Duration: Scene

Dramatic Failure: The vampire is unable to control the hot energy, dealing herself two lethal damage from the feedback.

Failure: The Psuho-wurv is unable to coalesce a sufficient amount of heat in her victim.

Success: The vampire deals a number of radiation damage equal to her successes. If the victim is a vampire, she also loses 1 point of Vitae for each level of damage they take as usual for radiation.

Exceptional Success: The Psuho-wurv is invigorated by the glow of radiation, regaining one Willpower.

 

I Am Become Death… ●●●●●

Cost: 4-12 Vitae, 1 Willpower

Pool: None

Action: Special

Duration: Instant

The Psuho-wurv explodes, dealing aggravated damage in an area around her by shredding apart her own body. Four Vitae is enough to fill a room, eight can fill a small house, while twelve is enough to fill an entire large building. Everyone within the area makes a reflexive draw of Stamina + Blood Potency – the Psuho-wurv’s Intelligence + Atomics. Every success the victims get on this draw lowers the aggravated damage dealt by this Discipline by one level, with victims taking five aggravated damage if they get no successes on the draw and no damage with an exceptional success on their draw.

Objects in the area are also similarly damaged, and more than one Psuho-wurv has had to contend with a house falling on them after contending with an explosion.

The Psuho-wurv takes three aggravated damage when using this Discipline as they shred their own body to fuel the explosion. Such damage cannot be reduced or resisted in any way, including downgrading from Resilience.


DEVOTIONS

Geiger Counter

Auspex ●●●, Atomics ●

Cost: 1 Vitae

Pool: None

Action: Instant

Duration: Instant

The Psuho-wurv pings the area around them, detecting for radiation within 1 mile of them. Using this discipline gives them a single snapshot in time of where every radiation source is located and their relative strengths, regardless of radiation. The vampire can detect other members of the Bloodline.

This Devotion costs 2 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Psuho-wurv bloodline.

 

Salt the Earth

Protean ●, Atomics ●●

Cost: 1 Vitae

Requirement: A touched plant

Pool: Wits + Survival + Discipline

Action: Instant

Duration: Instant

Dramatic Failure: The vampire invigorates the plant instead, causing it to grow in inconvenient ways.

Failure: The plant resists the radiation entirely undamaged.

Success: The vampire utterly destroys the plant-life they are touching. This also works on non-living plant matter: such as paper, chairs, or ropes. It takes a number of damage each round equal to the Psuho-wurv’s number of successes until it is utterly destroyed.

Exceptional Success: The Psuho-wurv is invigorated by the glow of radiation, regaining one Willpower.

This Devotion costs 1 Experience to learn, and the Vampire must be a part of the Psuho-wurv bloodline.

More Devotions with Atomics might be possible, but these are the most common ones. It was rumored that Madrugar herself could disperse into a cloud of radioactive particles.


MERITS

Irradiated Blood ●●●

Requires: Atomics ●, Psuho-wurv

If another vampire drinks the Psuho-wurv’s blood, they take 1 lethal for each trait of Vitae they consume. They still have to test for Vitae addiction as usual.


CRÚAC RITUALS

Corpse Mask ●

Target number of successes: 4

The ritualist can appear as a true corpse for a scene later that night, appearing to have died from radiation sickness. Inspecting the ritualist prompts a reflexive Wits + Composure vs. ritualist’s Crúac + Blood Potency to see through the effect. If the ritualist moves themselves after invoking this ritual, the effect ends immediately. Activating the effect of this ritual is an instant action. The caster can only store 1 use of this ritual at a time.

 

The Mother’s Embrace ●●●●

Target number of successes: 9

The target is brought into the loving arms of the Mother Bomb, and is immune to lethal damage and Vitae loss from radiation for the rest of the night.


SHOWMEN

Clan: Nosferatu

Disciplines: Obfuscate, Vigor, Nightmare, Majesty

Prominent Members: The Showgirls

Drawback: Showmen are addicted to the lights of the stage and the roar of a crowd, forever compelled to perform for others enjoyment. When given the opportunity to perform or showoff their abilties, the Showmen must make a reflexive Resolve + Composure draw or be forced to draw attention to themselves.

This bloodline gives access to the following Devotions and Merits:

 

DEVOTIONS

Adoring Fans

Majesty ●●, Nightmare ●●●

Cost: 2 Vitae, 1 Willpower

Requires: The victims must be affected by the Showman’s Awe, and must watch the Showman put an a performance of at least 5 minutes. This discipline has no effects on other supernaturals.

Roll: Presence + Expression + Majesty vs. Composure + Blood Potency

Action: Extended

Duration: Scene

The vampire is able to charm an entire crowd of mortals, as opposed to just 1 person at a time. After a performance of at least 5 minutes, she is able to attempt to charm the entire crowd.

Dramatic Failure: The crowd turns on the Showman, boo-ing and hissing her performance. They are immune to the effects of her Majesty for the rest of the night.

Failure: No effect.

Success: The vampire successfully charms his victims. All mortals effected by his Awe gain the Charmed Condition (See Majesty ●●) for the rest of the scene.

Exceptional Success: The Showman basks in the loving eyes of his new fans, and regains 1 Willpower.

This Devotion costs 3 Experience to learn, the vampire must be a part of the Showmen bloodline.

 

Special Effects

Obfuscate ●●●, Nightmare ●

Cost: 1 Vitae

Roll: Manipulation + Crafts + Nightmare – Composure + Blood Potency

Action: Instant

Duration: Rounds

The Showman is able to create illusionary objects, things that exist only in their victim’s minds.

Dramatic Failure: The vampire overwhelms their own mind, losing 1 Willpower.

Failure: Nothing happens.

Success: The victim sees an object, believing it to be real. The object looks and behaves in whatever way the vampire states when the power is first activated, such as “A sword that spins clockwise over my head” or “a chair that move realistically when touched.” The object can be of a Size equal to or less than Showman’s Blood Potency. It will not inflict any lasting damage, and passes through other objects harmlessly unless otherwise stated in it’s original description. The object lasts for a number of rounds equal to the Showman’s successes.

Exceptional Success: The vampire is able to reflexively control their created object, changing how it behaves on the fly.


MERITS

Guild Membership ● – ●●●●

Requires: Fame ●, Expression ●, Showmen Bloodline

Showmen find that there is safety in numbers and organization, and have migrated the familial nature of clan Nosferatu out into the public eye. They form a Guild in any city with there is a Showmen population, and actively recruit.

This merit gives the following benefits:

● – The Showman gains a number of free dots of Fame (Kindred Society) equal to her dots in this merit.

●● – The Showman treats all other members of their Guild as having at least 1 level of blood sympathy towards her, and gain +1 blood sympathy if they are already related.

●●● – The Showman gains the 9-again quality on all Social challenges when performing for a crowd of at least 4 people.

●●●● – The Showman is now a high ranking member of their Guild, and is able to call in favors from other Showmen. They can perform 1 downtime action for the vampire, being treated as Allies 3.

Drawback: Other members of the Guild will expect to be treated with respect and might ask the vampire for favors.

 

Confident Performer ●●

Requires: Expression ●●●, Majesty ●, Showmen Bloodline

When the Showman is performing for a crowd crowd of at least 4 people, she does not suffer the Nosferatu clan flaw.

 

How Do They Do It? ●●●●

Requires: Subterfuge ●●●, Larceny ●●●, Guild Membership ●

The Showman is able to couch their unnatural abilities in stage magic, causing mortal onlookers with the Showman’s Fame to rationalize what would otherwise be a breach of the Masquerade.

When other people observe the vampire using a discipline, the Showman can cause them to make a reflexive Wits + Composure – Showman’s applicable Fame. If the onlookers fail, they do not to recognize the vampire’s actions to be supernatural in origin.

 

Chorus Line ●●●

Requires: Empathy ●, Guild Membership ●●

The Showmen is able to blend in with other of her bloodline, creating a synchronized performance. When assisting other members of the bloodline on an action, the vampire doubles the benefit she gives.

 

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