DevDiary #6: Deadlines and Words

Hello Deadcitizens,

We are announcing our official deadline for mini-pitches! They are due midnight August 12th! Full pitches will be due midnight September 9th!

We have already been in contact with many of you regarding your character concepts, and as such we do not need you to resend what we have already approved. We will be sending emails to those individuals letting them know that we feel that they have adequately communicated their mini-pitch. If you wish to send us more information, that is always fine.

The full rules for the game, as well as the information about our setting that have been released in Dev Diaries, will be on the website within the next few weeks and should be before the mini-pitch deadline. In the meantime, we want to let you know about how you will need to create your mini-pitches.

First, we would like to know what your character is. Are they a Vampire, a Ghoul, a Mortal, or something different? If they are not a Vampire or a Ghoul, you will need to submit a second mini-pitch that outlines a character that is one of those two types of creatures, so that you have a backup in mind in case it turns out your creature type does not work in our setting.

Second, we would like to know some of the vital characteristics of your character. What is their Clan/Covenant? If you are playing a Ghoul, who is their Regnant? If they are a Mortal, what is their Job?

Third, we would like a no more than 10 word concept of your character. Distill their vital description down to just a few words. Something shorter than 10 words is fine, but no more than 10.

As far as age for characters, the only hard limit on age will be based on having a Blood Potency no higher than 4 at character creation (with characters gaining at least 1 Blood Potency every 50 years). That really only relates to how long the Vampire has been awake since their last torpor, as some of you know. What is more important is why an older character would be in such a new city and why they would have submitted to the King’s rule.

Fourth, we would like an out of character goal that you have for this character. No longer than 1 sentence, but it should state why you wish to play this character or what you wish to experience in the game as them. We want to know how you have fun as a player, and not what your character would wish to do. Getting in over your head and dealing with the consequences can be fun!

When thinking of your character, please keep in mind the main themes of our Chronicle:

  • Humanity versus the Beast
  • Engaging in Vice versus Resistance
  • What is Morality and Immorality?
  • The Consequences of Violence

Most importantly, this should be a game about Vampires. So anyone who isn’t a vampire should have a reason to interact with Kindred beyond empowering them – it should play off of one of the above themes. Maybe they want to study the way the demon at the core of a vampire interacts with the human being it wears. Maybe they want to save Las Vegas and see the Kindred as a “toughest case” example, and they recognize their power. Maybe they want to use Kindred, or help Kindred be more Human, or study Kindred. They need to interact with Kindred for more than just mercenary reasons, but they can still have mercenary attitudes about it.

Mini-Pitch Template

  • Name: (Optional)
  • Creature Type: (Vampire/Ghoul/Space Octopus)
  • Vital Characteristics: (Clan/Covenant/Regnant/Job)
  • Concept: (No more than 10 words.)
  • Player Goal: (No more than 1 sentence)

A note about full pitches and backstories. We are doing those very differently this year. There will be a questionnaire released after mini-pitches are done of 10-12 questions that will contain all of the backstory and current life of your character. While you are more than welcome to send us a longer backstory writeup, we make no guarantee that we will read it.

The Second Edition Vampire the Requiem rules have changed some things about how Vampires function and how Humanity works. We wanted everybody to be aware of those at this stage, so that you all will be able to keep those in mind for your characters.


BEING A VAMPIRE

Left to their own devices, Kindred persist eternally. Unfed, they’ll fall to torpor, but without outside intervention they are unending. As well, vampires can easily withstand grievous wounds that would easily kill even the hardiest of humans. Kindred take only bashing damage from many sources that would normally cause lethal damage to humans. This includes most non-supernatural weapons. On Kindred bodies, bashing and lethal wounds look the way one might imagine the same injuries to a corpse. Gashes, contusions, and lacerations all still happen, but bruises appear blacker and blistered, cuts expose raw tissue but do not bleed. If the vampire invokes the blush of life (below), she bruises and bleeds like the living. Note that even with the blush of life, bleeding does not equate with a loss of Vitae. The lost blood is fully inert.

Those few terrible things that cause aggravated wounds to mortals cause only lethal harm to vampires. This mostly includes terrible harm from chemicals, certain supernatural punishment, and the skills of utmost masters in certain fighting styles meant to maximize debilitating bodily harm. Few rare perversions of nature — Disciplines, Devotions, and sorceries — cause aggravated wounds to Kindred. Some masters of the Protean Discipline hone their claws and fangs to such vicious ends; this breeds a healthy fear and respect of clan Gangrel within most courts. Aggravated wounds look completely unnatural. They are perversions of nature that tax the Masquerade. Each vampire wounds differently. Flesh may become brittle and burn like paper. Tissue may bubble and stink. Blackened veins may streak across the victim’s body. Foamy pustules may taint the area around the injury. Whatever the method, aggravated wounds appear as manifestations of the natural world violently eliminating something that does not belong.

Torpor and Final Death

Kindred have little to fear from bashing wounds. A vampire remains conscious when her last box is full of bashing damage. She still suffers wound penalties. However, when her last box is marked with lethal wounds, she falls to torpor. When her last box is marked with aggravated damage, she suffers Final Death.

Within a minute, her body reverts to its true age. For younger Kindred, this means decomposition, with a collapse of skeletal structure and soft tissues turning to liquids, ash, and minerals. For the oldest Kindred, this means a full disintegration into a pile of dust and ash, with only the tiniest fragments of bone remaining.

Tricks of the Damned

The Embrace comes with numerous advantages. Every vampire can use the following edges. Many of these advantages require Vitae. These expenditures are reflexive, and are subject to the vampire’s Vitae per turn limit as determined by her Blood Potency.

Blush of Life

Normally, a vampire looks like a corpse. He’s pale. He registers no pulse. He exists at slightly below room temperature. Food and drink taste terrible, and immediately cause violent, bloody vomiting. However, with a bit of Vitae, he can fake life temporarily. By spending a point of Vitae, Kindred may invoke the blush of life for a scene. This makes them functionally human. They become warm to the touch, with a full, hearty pulse. They produce natural bodily fluids. They function sexually in the way a human can. They can keep food and drink down, ejecting it later in the night. They’ll pass medical inspection while the blush remains active.

Kindred Senses

Kindred exist in the dark. Not only can they see better than humans in the dark, their other senses are sharper to facilitate their predatory needs. Kindred do not suffer normal vision penalties for being in the dark, and can compensate with hearing. In full darkness, they only suffer a –2 penalty to draws that require vision. If they encounter traces of blood, even if dried or hidden (in a carpet, for example), they immediately see even very small quantities. Vampire hearing becomes similarly enhanced. They can hear heartbeats at three yards per dot of Blood Potency. A vampire can smell the presence of blood from about ten yards per dot of Blood Potency without rolling. Multiply this range by her Auspex dots. If she’s tasted a particular human’s blood, she can add her Blood Potency to any draws to track him by scent. Kindred blood does not offer this advantage, since it’s mostly old, dead, and its smell is a blend of all the vampire’s recent victims. If any of her Kindred senses apply, add her Blood Potency to any draws to detect hidden people or details by the traces of blood.

Kindred also automatically detect the predatory aura of their kind. The pale skin and yellowing eyes, the smell of a fresh kill, and the knowledge of the Beast straining to be free allows Vampires to recognize each other for what they are immediately upon meeting. It is still polite to exchange names.

Physical Intensity

Vampire tales speak of creatures stronger and faster than anything human. With Vitae, any Kindred can accomplish massive bursts of physical prowess. By spending a point of Vitae, she may add two to draws involving her choice of Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina for the turn. This does not increase traits derived from these Attributes. However, it will increase relevant resistances.

Healing

Kindred blood seeks to return a vampire to the state of her Embrace. Her hair and fingernails regrow as she sleeps. More importantly, Vitae can force her injured body to reconstruct. In dramatic instances, severed limbs regenerate or even simply reattach (if she’s able to heal the entire injury in a turn). A single point of Vitae heals two points of bashing damage, or one point of lethal damage. A single aggravated wound requires five Vitae and a full day’s sleep. Aggravated damage is the only type of wound that leaves a scar on Kindred. The scar appears natural, unlike the original damage.

While Kindred sleep, they return to the time of their Embrace. Anything that wouldn’t constitute a Health level of damage heals automatically and returns to its original state. For this reason, many sires recommend their childer groom for the Embrace, as part of the ritual of entering the Danse. If an injury would require Vitae to heal (represented by Health levels), the vampire will unconsciously heal it during daysleep. Sometimes, this means the vampire will not have the Vitae necessary to wake. As she falls to slumber, she may spend Willpower points to “preserve” wounds through her rest, to keep herself from healing them and spending excessive Vitae. This cost is one Willpower per wound, and makes the wound permanent.

Sometimes, Kindred force other marks to remain. For example, vampires often keep scars, tattoos, and piercings for spiritual reasons or just to fit in with the flock. Many Kindred remove long hair, in favor of wigs or cleaner, more modern styles. The vampire spends Willpower to fight the healing process while she sleeps. After a day’s rest, any damage heals as normal, but her body remains changed.

Embrace

The Embrace is the process of becoming a vampire, and entering the Requiem. On the surface, it’s quite easy. The sire drains a mortal completely of his lifeblood, then feeds him a bit of her own Vitae to rouse him back to the land of the living. However, with all things in the Requiem, it’s not always straightforward.

The act of the Embrace is a willful action; Vitae alone is not enough to wake the victim, a sire must choose to commit the Embrace. This choice comes at the price of a Humanity dot. This means that the traditional Embrace is never accidental.

Vampires can also perform the embrace posthumously, or accidentally. If a mortal has fed from a vampire in at any point in her lifetime, she is a candidate for the posthumous Embrace regardless of her cause of death. Within a week of her death, before significant decomposition sets in, contact with Kindred Vitae could mean she awakens as Kindred. The donor rolls his Blood Potency. If the roll is successful, the corpse rises in seven nights, minus one for every success on the Blood Potency roll. This costs the donor a Humanity dot only if he makes a deliberate choice to attempt an Embrace.

Generally, Kindred deride and mock the posthumous Embrace. Known posthumous sires are branded “grave robbers,” and their childer are seen as dirty and incomplete. Functionally, they’re identical to any other Kindred. Some Mekhet favor the posthumous method for spiritual reasons; they believe it helps the vampire transition into the Requiem quicker.

Sometimes, those contaminated by the Kindred bite or Kindred blood die, but don’t stay dead. Victims of violent feedings and ghouls will sometimes rise as Revenants shortly after their deaths. The possibility of revenants, like other mutations of the Embrace, is widely rumored but not widely known or understood. The action of creating a revenant from a corpse is more likely when the vampire themselves has a lower Humanity score.

Feeding

Vampires have two traditional avenues of feeding. They can feed aggressively, or subtly. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Normally, a vampire’s fangs retract, only looking barely sharper than normal canines. At will, a vampire can unsheathe them to bite, and to feed.

When feeding violently, a vampire’s fangs act as 0L weapons that use the Brawl Skill. On a successful attack, they cause lethal damage equal to their successes, even to Kindred. The attacker also takes one Vitae (which causes an additional point of lethal damage to mortals). The drawback is that a bite must be performed as a Damage move in part of a grapple. This is referred to as The Assault.

The Kiss is a more subtle way to feed and the vampire’s fangs cause an enticing, invigorating sensation that distracts the victim, to draw attention away from the reality of the feeding. Many Kindred use this method as part of a seduction. A mortal bitten subtly goes limp with ecstasy, ignoring anything else around them. With a subtle bite, the vampire can take one Vitae per turn, and may lick the wound afterwards, leaving no trace of her feeding.

 


 

HUMANITY

Humanity no longer represents how moral of a person you are. It now represents how well you have remained in contact with your humanity and resisted giving in to the Beast. Below is a list of breaking points for each level of humanity, and the bonus for Detachment rolls is listed in parenthesis. When you experience a breaking point, you must test for Detachment or take a Bane (see below Humanity). If you fail the draw, you lose one point of Humanity as you become more comfortable with your Beast. If you succeed the draw, you are reminded of your Human-self and strive to do better with self-control in the future. There is nothing special to having an exceptional success or failure on a Detachment draw.

Watching someone else do an action that would be a breaking point for you, but not necessarily for the person responsible, is considered to be at 2 levels higher. There is no mitigation for attempting to stop them, only successfully stopping them will prevent the breaking point.

Below is the list of Humanity breaking points.

Humanity 10 (+5)

  • One night without human contact.
  • Lying in defense of the Masquerade.
  • Spending more than one Vitae in a night.

Humanity 9 (+5)

  • Watching humans eat a meal.
  • Committing a superhuman feat of physical prowess.
  • Feeding from the unwilling or unknowing.
  • Urging another’s behavior with a Discipline.
  • Spending an hour in the sun.

Humanity 8 (+4)

  • Rejected by a human.
  • Depriving another of consent with a Discipline or the Vinculum.
  • Spending most of a day in the sun.
  • Watching someone experience Final Death

Humanity 7 (+4)

  • Creating a Ghoul.
  • One week active without human contact.
  • Surviving something that would hospitalize a human.
  • Injuring someone over blood.

Humanity 6 (+3)

  • Falling into torpor.
  • Feeding from a child or the elderly.
  • Reading your own obituary or seeing your own gravestone.
  • Experiencing a car crash or other immense physical trauma.

Humanity 5 (+3)

  • Two weeks active without human contact.
  • Reaching Blood Potency 3.
  • Death of a mortal family member or close friend.
  • Joining a covenant to the point of gaining Status in it.
  • Impassioned violence.

Humanity 4 (+2)

  • Learning a dot of Crúac.
  • Riding the wave of frenzy.
  • Spending a year or more in torpor.
  • Surviving a century.
  • Killing for blood or through feeding.

Humanity 3 (+2)

  • One month active without human contact.
  • Reaching Blood Potency 6.
  • Death of a mortal partner or child.
  • Killing in defense of the Masquerade.

Humanity 2 (+1)

  • One year active without human contact.
  • Premeditated killing of a mortal.
  • Seeing a culture that didn’t exist when you were alive.
  • Surviving 500 years.
  • Creating a revenant.

Humanity 1 (+0)

  • One decade active without human contact.
  • Heinous, spree, or mass murder of mortals.
  • Diablerie.

BANES

When Kindred hit certain points in their Detachment, they can turn their monstrosity inward, growing spiritual scars over their emotional wounds. Instead of testing for Detachment, a character can take a Bane. If they do so, they become unable to lose Humanity from that particular breaking point again for the rest of the life of that character. However, each Bane causes a –1 penalty to further Detachment draws, which hastens the Requiem’s downward spiral.

A character may only have three Banes. You may choose from the Banes below, or petition to create your own. As a rule, most Banes use Humanity as part of their mechanics, and can affect Vitae or cause aggravated damage. Sometimes, they use the inverse of Humanity, expressed as (10 – Humanity). Many Banes provoke frenzy. To resist a Bane-provoked frenzy, a vampire cannot use a pool larger than she has Humanity dots. Banes are a player choice, but vampire characters themselves do not choose them or the transgressions they affect. Vampires can start the game with some Banes, which will be explained in the full character creation rules.

Arithmomania: Your character is compelled to count the objects in their path, forcing you to take more time in all of your actions as you mentally catalogue the world around you. Your Speed is penalized by an amount equal to (10-Humanity) if there are small objects in your vicinity.

Beast in the Mirror: Your character’s reflection in mirrors appears to you as that of a contorted beastly version of themselves, as your inner Beast strains to look you in the eye. If you are forced to look at your reflection for more than a fleeting glance, you take a number of aggravated damage equal to (10-Humanity).

Bells: Your character cannot stand the sound of bells, and it causes intense pain. This only happens in the presence of actual bells; recordings will not cause pain. Each minute she’s exposed to the sound of bells, she takes (10 – Humanity) worth of aggravated damage, and is provoked to frenzy. Some vampires manifest this Bane in response to hymns instead of bells.

Blood of the Unwilling: Your character takes no sustenance from the blood of the unwilling or the unknowing. When feeding from an unwilling vessel, she gains no nourishment from the first few Vitae taken. This amount is equal to (10 – Humanity).

Crossroads: Your character is confused when she knowingly passes through a crossroads or major transportation hub (such as an airport or bus station, not an intersection of side-streets). For the remainder of the scene, all her pools are capped by her Humanity dots.

Face of Hunger: When your character finds herself hungry, it shows on her face and on her skin. Her eyes grow red, and her skin pulled tight over her visage. She looks every bit the corpse. When she has less than five Vitae, her Humanity dots act as a cap on all her Social actions. Humanity also caps all pools to resist frenzy inspired by hunger.

Grave Soil: Your character is tied to the soil of her place of death. If she does not sleep with at least a handful of dirt from her region of death, all her pools are capped by her Humanity for the next night.

Hated by Beasts: Animals despise your character. They’ll put their backs up defensively, growl, hiss, or boast. Any attempts to deal with animals through Animal Ken or Animalism suffer a (10 – Humanity) penalty.

Invitation: Your character cannot enter a private dwelling uninvited. If she does, she suffers aggravated damage equal to (10 – Humanity). She cannot heal the damage as long as she remains inside.

Open Wounds: Your character’s wounds stay open until she sleeps. She can heal Health levels with Vitae, but the wounds do not close until she’s undergone daysleep.

Plague of Purity: Your character finds the pure of heart to be utterly repulsive. Any touch by a human with Integrity 8 or higher causes (10 – Humanity) aggravated damage.

Rat King/Queen: Your character attracts vermin. She’s always surrounded by rats, flies, cockroaches, or other creatures of plague. This causes discomfort and disgust in most mortals, causing her to fail any Social roll not related to the Intimidation Skill. She can send the vermin away for a number of minutes equal to her Humanity score with a Willpower point.

Repulsion: Your character finds a certain substance abhorrent. Choose this when taking the bane, but it should be something that is likely to appear in many homes. For example, garlic, salt, roses, or silver are all valid repulsions. She cannot come closer than (10 – Humanity) feet from the item without spending a point of Willpower. As well, the object of repulsion is treated as a weapon of +(10 – Humanity)A damage.

Running Water: Your character is unable to cross the metaphysical barrier of streams and rivers. She cannot come closer than (10 – Humanity) feet from running water without spending a point of Willpower. Being forced to cross the threshold created by running water robs the vampire of some of her spiritual power, losing (10-Humanity) vitae.

Symbol of the Divine: Your character feels judgement through a certain religion. Choose this when taking the bane, but it should be a modern faith. For example, Islam, Christianity, or Wicca are all valid repulsions. She cannot come closer than (10 – Humanity) feet from an earnest symbol of that faith without spending a point of Willpower. As well, if an object of repulsion is used as a weapon, it is treated as a weapon of  +(10 – Humanity)A damage.

 

Common Banes

While Kindred carry many gifts and advantages, their Requiems are far from blessed. Collectively, Kindred all suffer from the “great Banes”: fire, sunlight, and stakes through the heart. Vampires also suffer the Banes of their clans.

Sunlight, while it isn’t always immediately deadly, burns Kindred flesh to a crisp. Damage inflicted by the wrath of day quickly looks like a normal burn; the flesh chars, sears, and smokes. The Lancea et Sanctum attributes this to the judgment of God, as potent Kindred and particularly monstrous vampires burn hotter and faster than young, humane vampires. When sunlight strikes Kindred, the rays begin to decay and burn their flesh. Their Humanity dots determine the intensity of the damage, and their Blood Potency dots determine how quickly they disintegrate. See the tables below for details. Find where the vampire falls on the Humanity scale to determine what type and how much damage they take, and use their Blood Potency to determine at what interval they suffer the damage. For example, a Humanity 5, Blood Potency 3 vampire suffers three levels of lethal damage every minute of exposure. Resilience does not affect sunlight damage.

HumanityDamage
7 – 101 lethal
62 lethal
53 lethal
41 aggravated
32 aggravated
23 aggravated
14 aggravated
05 aggravated

 

Blood PotencyDamage Frequency
0N/A
1 – 2Ten minutes
3One minute
4 – 5One Turn
6 – 7Twice Per Turn
8 – 9Three Times Per Turn
10Five Time Per Turn

 

Fire destroys Kindred flesh like nothing else. The Circle of the Crone believes fire burns as a lesson to Kindred, reminding them from whence they came, and can never return. Most Kindred just acknowledge that it could mean Final Death within moments, and avoid it at all costs.

Fire automatically inflicts aggravated damage per turn of exposure (no attack roll is required). The larger the flame, the more harm that’s inflicted. The hotter the flame, the greater the injury. Non-Vampires take only lethal damage. Each turn, a vampire may turn a number of aggravated damage levels to lethal levels equal to his dots in Resilience.

The size of a fire correlates to the amount of damage it deals. A handheld Torch deals 1 per round, while small bonfires and large infernos deal 2 and 3 damage respectively. Hotter fires can inflict more damage, and many chemicals burn much hotter than wood.

 

Clan Banes

Below are the five clan banes.

Daeva: The Wanton Curse

Daeva immerse themselves in the mortal world; it not only feeds them, it compels them. When Daeva choose vessels, they must choose ones that have experienced sin. Each Daeva chooses a Vice. When they drink from a mortal the vice must be present. They must either be in the act of experiencing the Vice themselves or the mortal be an exemplar of the Vice themselves.

Gangrel: The Feral Curse

Gangrel Beasts boil close to the surface. A Gangrel can run with the devil inside her, but has difficulty fighting it. All her pools to resist frenzy are limited by her Humanity dots. This weakness does not affect pools to ride the wave.

Mekhet: The Tenebrous Curse

Mekhet blood is the blood of shadows. Their Requiem is one of secrecy and symbolism. For this reason, Mekhet each suffer a single Bane that is not tied to a breaking point. This Bane counts toward the three Banes a vampire is allowed, so a Mekhet is less able to mitigate detachment. It still gives them a -1 penalty to detachment rolls, and incurs all of the penalties it usually would.

Nosferatu: The Lonely Curse

Nosferatu embody fear, disgust, and all manner of uncomfortable feelings. Some are inhumanly ugly. Some have a gaze that makes a person feel violated. Every Nosferatu has something that stands in the way of normal relationships. When dealing with humans, treat the Nosferatu’s Humanity as two dots lower for the purpose of Social penalties, and treat any Presence and Manipulation failures as dramatic failures. This bane does not apply to interactions with other supernatural creatures.

Ventrue: The Prideful Curse

The Ventrue are confident. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re clearly superior. This attitude frequently causes Lords conflict, as they treat all those around them as lesser beings. When a Ventrue is faced with a true challenge of their abilities, they must spend a Willpower in order to back down from showing just how good they truly are. If they do not they are forced to act, humbling those who would challenge their authority.

 

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