Dev Diary #7: FAQ

Here are a few questions we have received on how the rules have functioned. Please know that this is not an exhaustive list of all of the changes and we highly recommend a close reading of all of the rules. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to ask us. Depending on what we respond to you, we may choose to send your answers out to the game at large.

Vampires seem to have a bit more innate powers. Can they really sense heartbeats across a room?
Yes, that is correct. The innate nature of the vampiric condition has changed a bit this year. Vampires can taste blood for information on its sources, automatically recognize one another without Frenzying, hear heart beats, and even have a regular ordinary reflection. Vampire also cannot be talked down from Frenzy normally, and have a very different Humanity system that is no longer pinned to outdated victorian ideals of morality and mental illness.

How has Combat changed?
Combat has been streamlined. At the beginning of combat, each character should declare their intention for the fight. This allows everybody to adequately tell if combat even needs to go to rounds, or can be arbitrated (possibly with a few general draws).

As far as nitty gritty rules, Defense now adds in your character’s skill in Athletics (but not their specialties). Weapons do not need to be drawn with an action, but instead just penalize your initiative as long as you have them out. Lethal damage is much harder to do to Kindred, and a variety of other small factors. We highly recommend you read those rules.

How does Status work?
Each vampire character is given a block of 7 extra Merit points that can only be spent on improving their Kindred statuses, which all start at 0. They may also spend their other starting Merit dots or XP to purchase more dots of Status. They may also place more Status on their wish list, just like any other item. For non-vampires, please reference their specific character creation rules.

During game, Status will need to be improved by the Harpies/through consensus of your Clan or Covenant mates, depending on the type of status. Those specific rules have yet to be posted, but will be clearly laid out before game begins.

What about Black Market Connections? Or other Merits I am looking for?
There a few merits you might notice are missing from previous years chronicles. Some of these are intentional, some of them are unneeded (like Quick Draw), and others are rolled into other merits. For instance, Black Market Connections could now be represented by having Status (Criminal Underworld), Status (Abramovich Mob), or Contacts (“Import/Export” Specialists). If these is a specific thing you want your character to be able to do, but are unsure as to how to represent it mechanically, please send us an email and we will be glad to help you out.

Obfuscate is kind of confusing. How does it work? Are there really almost no draws?
You are correct that Obfuscate has changed a fair amount. Most powers of Obfuscate do not require a draw to be enacted, and it is on the onus of the observers to break the power. Obfuscate particularly relies on the Clash of Wills system, which is outlined on the main Discipline page of the Vampire Rules. Whenever two Disciplines come into conflict, such as Dominate and Majesty fighting over a victim or Auspex piercing through Obfuscate, both parties involved draw their Discipline dots + Blood Potency.
If you have any questions on how certain Disciplines act during game, do not hesitate to ask the STs. All vampires know how their powers function innately, so new rules should not hamper your abilities as a player.

How much XP am I spending on Merits? What about Style Merits?
For each Merit, you are only spending 1 XP per dot. This means that a 3 dot merit, such as Night Doctor Surgery, would cost 3 XP. A scaling merit, such as Allies, costs 1 XP at 1 dot, and 1 XP each to improve from 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and 4 to 5. This includes Style merits such as Firefight or Riding the Wave. The only thing specific about Style merits is that you can only use one specific maneuver per round (unless otherwise stated like Kindred Dueling 3).

What about other kinds of XP? Is it all just a flat cost? Can I buy a fifth level of a Discipline at character creation? Does it cost double points to buy the fifth dot of an attribute or skill at character creation?
Yes, that is correct! The fifth and first dot of a discipline are the same cost of 3 XP, and you do have enough starting Discipline dots and XP to have an entire Discipline, fifth dot and all, at character creation. You also do not need to spend a second of your starting dots to buy the fifth level of a skill or attribute, unlike previous years. Take a look at the XP rules on the website, they are a game changer.

What Cryptids, or kinds of Cryptids, do we know about already as a city? What should we expect when dealing with them?
There are many sorts of cryptids that are out and about in the world. When you think of specific creatures your character may have encountered, don’t only think of the other typical World of Darkness splat types who make up the majority of the “Human-like” category. Think also of more unique things like malevolent building-ghosts and giant monsters sheathed in roiling lightning. Most of the cryptids do not have readily apparent categories or boxes for the vampires to place them in, and seem to often be unique creatures or of fairly small broods. Human-like cryptids are the exception, with organizations and helpful names. The main type of them that the player characters will have interacted with in the past are the Sin-Eaters.

How bad is it to be Unaligned?
Being Unaligned is a thing that some people are fairly enchanted with, but we do not recommend for our chronicle for most Kindred. Remember, being a member of the Unaligned is considered to be being against the integrity of Kindred Society. When pitching an Unaligned character, the Storytellers will have increased scrutiny as to reasons for being covenentless. Ask yourself, why do you wish to be Unaligned? What story am I telling? For reference, it is the rare cases of being a very newly embraced vampire or someone who has recently left a covenant to find a new community that are the most acceptable in our eyes. We recommend for all characters to be in a Covenant if possible.

When making a character using the character system with Vigor or Resilience, should I add in bonus dots equal to my levels in the Discipline?
No, please just state your unmodified levels of Strength and Stamina. While Vigor or Resilience allow your character to have more than 5 total dots in Strength and Stamina, you should still denote the separate “normal” Attribute dots. Just don’t forget to add them in when they come up.

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