Rules On Miscellaneous Vampire-Related Rolls hereEdit
All of this information is taken from White Wolf source books, and is under their copyright; it is merely retyped here for ease of use, and the creators of this game take no responsibility for their conception.
A vampire who is staked or otherwise paralyzed continues to spend blood at the rate of one point per night. If the vampire is further deprived of blood, the decaying process that unlife has held at bay begins again. A vampire with no blood begins consuming all excess moisture within his body, at a rate of one health level per day. As the process continues, the vampire begins to resemble a mummified corpse. At first the vampire appears merely emaciated, but as the body is completely dehydrated, the meat and ligaments, along with the mostly useless organs within the body, begin to wither. By the seventh day, when the character has reached Incapacitated on the Health chart, the character's eyes shrivel within his skull, the tendons and ligaments within the body draw painfully tight, the gums recede from the teeth, and the lips draw back in a death-rictus. At this point, the character enters torpor. Once in torpor, the character cannot rise unless supplied with enough blood to bring him back to Injured on the Health chart (at least four blood points). A vampire emerging from this state is ravenous to the point of insanity, and will attack whatever source of blood is closest, regardless of any emotional ties. Leaving a vampire staked until he reaches this near-death state, then reviving him with just enough blood to prolong the agony, is a favorite method of torture for both the Inquisition and the Sabbat. Most vampires undergoing this form of torture suffer permanent mental damage as a result.
There are certain advantages to being a walking corpse. One of the biggest is a natural immunity to most diseases. AIDS, cancer, influenza and other illnesses mean little or nothing to the undead.
But immunity to disease doesn't mean the vampires can ignore diseases. Any illness that can be transmitted by the blood is a potential problem for vampires, because they can carry the illness and transmit it from victim to victim. Indeed, several Kindred in Haiti and the US have become active carriers for the HIV virus. By drinking from someone infected with the HIV virus and then feeding on different victims, these vampires have helped to spread an already rampant infection. In some fiefdoms any vampire found carrying HIV is locked away for the good of the herd. In rare cases such carriers have even been put to Final Death for spreading the disease. Such plague-dogs are frowned upon heavily in the Camarilla, for not only does disease threaten the human populace, but victims of the disease might speak of their affiliation with vampires, putting the Masquerade in grave danger.
Vampires with the Medicine Knowledge are sometimes recruited by the primogen in major cities to regulate the spread of disease through the Kiss. In the past decade, such vampires have been invited to speak before conclaves, alerting elder and neonate alike about noticeable signs of drug abuse and obvious physical symptoms that vampires should try to avoid. Even the vampires of the Sabbat, with their lack of concern for the herd, have begun to consider regulations regarding disease carriers.
An Intelligence + Medicine roll (difficulty 7) will allow characters to detect the presence of HIV, hepatitis or other blood-related diseases. If the roll is failed, the vampire does not notice the symptoms and exposes himself to disease (Stamina roll,difficulty 6, to avoid). A botch indicates the character feeds sloppily and automatically becomes a carrier for the disease. Kindred legends speak of certain plagues potent enough to affect vampires. Very few vampires have any knowledge of such ailments, and those who do are highly prized. Despite the Kindred's formidable powers, they are ill prepared to handle the occasional illness that can cause them harm.
A frenzy can be induced by many things, but great rage or hunger are the most common provocations. It is dangerous to deny or humiliate the undead. For this reason, vampires of the Camarilla commonly veil slights and threats in webs of double-talk and subtlety, that they not suddenly trigger an outburst in Elysium or conclave. Ultimately, the Storyteller can call for a vampire to make a frenzy roll at any time, whenever he feels the character might have cause to lose control. A vampire in frenzy gains several temporary benefits from the state. Vampires in frenzy completely ignore all dice pool penalties inflicted by injury until the frenzy ends. Once the frenzy is finished, the pain comes back and the crippling effects of the wounds take hold again. All difficulties to Dominate a frenzied character are increased by two, and all difficulties to resist the effects of Dominate are reduced by two. The character never needs Willpower rolls to accomplish a feat, because the rage fueling the vampire's actions is both a catalyst to heightened state of mind and a barrier against unwanted intrusions Lastly, characters in frenzy are immune to the detrimental effects of Rotschreck.
The rules for handling a frenzy are deliberately vague, and the Storyteller is encouraged to make whatever changes she deems necessary to accommodate her chronicle. In some cases, Kindred can manage to overcome the urge to frenzy. A vampire on the verge of frenzy must make a Self-Control roll against a variable difficulty. The difficulty is often 6 to 8, but if trying to overcome the urge to commit a blatantly evil act, the vampire's player can roll against a difficulty of (9 minus Conscience) instead. The character must score five successes to completely overcome the desires for violence, but even one success halts the frenzy temporarily. For each success below five, the character can resist the urge to frenzy for one turn. After this duration expires, the character may try again to gain extra successes and thus continue to resist the frenzy. Once five successes are acquired, over a greater or lesser period, the vampire resists the Beast's urges. Failure means the character goes into an emotional rampage, doing exactly what she wants to do with no worries of later repercussions. Botching the Self-Control roll means the character remains in a frenzy until the Storyteller decides otherwise, and (at the Storyteller's discretion) she may gain a derangement related to the frenzy.
The following list shows common stimuli that can incite a frenzy, and the typical difficulty for a character to resist. Remember, if the frenzy has the potential to cause the vampire to commit an atrocity (killing a child or other innocent, for example), the Storyteller can rule that the difficulty is (9 minus Conscience) instead.
|Smell of blood (when hungry)||3 (or higher in extreme cases)|
|Sight of blood (when hungry)||4 (or higher in extreme cases)|
|Taste of blood (when hungry)||6 (or higher in extreme cases)|
|Loved one in danger||7|
Let's face it: Despite all efforts to the contrary, a vampire is going to succumb to moral failure sooner or later in his unlife. Willfully or otherwise (ethics are particularly hard to maintain in frenzy), a vampire occasionally commits atrocity and risks losing his Humanity to the Beast. If the character feels remorse for his actions, he knows that his Humanity is still intact. If he commits a wrongful act and callously disregards it, however, his Humanity is obviously waning.
One of the most important themes of Vampire: The Masquerade is the Kindred's struggle to retain their souls and avoid the clutches of the Beast. Thus, it is extremely important to use morality and Humanity in a consistent, dramatic manner. If the Storyteller allows the players to (sometimes literally) get away with murder, the story will suffer, as one of the tragedies of vampiric existence vanishes. If the Storyteller is too strict with Humanity rules, though, all the characters will be ravening, blood-gorged maniacs by the end of the first session. Keeping a handle on Humanity is a hard thing to do, but the Degeneration system is designed to help that.
The system is simple: Whenever a character takes an action that the Storyteller decides is morally questionable, the character may suffer degeneration - a permanent loss of Humanity. If degeneration is a possibility, the player whose character commits the act should make a Conscience roll for that character. The difficulty is 8 - reprehensible acts are hard to justify - though the Storyteller may modify this. Willpower may not be spent for an automatic success on this roll - all the ego in the world won't protect a character from guilt.
If the player makes the roll with even one success, the character loses no Humanity - he feels enough remorse or somehow manages to justify his transgression. If he fails the roll, the character loses a point of Humanity. If the player botches, the character loses a point of both Humanity and Conscience, and also gains a derangement, decided upon by the Storyteller (who should make it appropriate). Obviously, morality is not something a Kindred can afford to take lightly. Remember that a vampire whose Humanity drops to zero is no longer suitable to be a player's character. (To be perfectly honest, Kindred with low Humanity scores aren't particularly appropriate either, but can be enjoyably tragic figures in comparison to their nobler counterparts.)
Rotschreck: The Red FearEdit
Though there are few things that can kill a vampire - and though many among the Damned claim to loathe their immortality certain sources of injury frighten all vampires. Sunlight and fire can bring about a panicked flight-or-fight mentality. While under the spell of this Rotschreck, a vampire flees in blind panic from the source of her fear, frantically lashing out at anything in her way regardless of any personal attachments or affiliations. Rotschreck is in most ways similar to any other frenzy; just as the Beast sometimes seizes control in times of anger, so too in times of great fear.
Relatively innocuous stimuli, or stimuli directly under the character's control, are unlikely to induce Rotschreck. For example, a character who sees a lit cigarette in a nightclub, or a screened-in fireplace in an ally's home, might grow uneasy, but is unlikely to succumb to the Red Fear. If that same cigarette is pointed threateningly at the vampire, though, or the fireplace suddenly flares up in a draught.... A vampire seeking to avoid Rotschreck requires a Courage roll. As with frenzy, five successes must be accumulated to ignore the Beast completely, though fewer successes enable the vampire to overcome her fear for a greater or lesser period of time. Failure means the vampire flees madly from the danger, making a beeline for safety and tearing apart anything or anyone that gets in her way. Any attempt to restrain a vampire suffering from the Red Fear results in an immediate attack, just as if the character were suffering from a frenzy. One Willpower point may be spent to maintain control for one turn. A character who is the victim of a botched Courage roll immediately frenzies and remains in a frenzy until the Storyteller decides otherwise.
|Lighting a cigarette||3|
|Sight of a torch||5|
|Being trapped in a burning building||9|
Poison and Drug EffectsEdit
As undead, vampires have little fear of conventional poisons. However, they may succumb to poisons or drugs contained within the bloodstream of their victims. Indeed, certain vampires, known as "lushes" or "heads," actively seek out victims under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that they might receive a vicarious buzz.
Obviously, we cannot present the effects of every drug and poison in a work of this size. Following are some examples of what might happen if a vampire drinks the blood of a poisoned or drugged victim. A vampire with low Willpower (4 or less) and/ or an appropriate Nature (Bon Vivant, Child) might risk addiction to a certain substance, but this is unlikely. In general, the effects of most drugs on vampires are far less than their effects on the humans in whose bloodstreams the substances run.
Alcohol: The vampire subtracts one from Dexterity and Intelligence dice pools for every two drinks' worth of alcohol in his victims' blood. This effect fades at the rate of one die per hour, as the alcohol purges itself from the bloodstream.
Marijuana: The vampire experiences slightly altered perception of time, as well as a one-die reduction to Perception dice pools. Difficulties of frenzy rolls are decreased by one, due to the calming effect of the drug. The effects last for about an hour.
Hallucinogens: The vampire lowers all dice pools by one to three (inability to concentrate). He suffers effects similar to the Level Two Dementation power The Haunting. Depending on the precise nature of the "trip," he may gain extra dice in one particular Ability or find his Auspex Discipline raised by a dot or more. The effects last for (8 minus Stamina) hours.
Cocaine/crack/speed: Vampires with the Celerity Discipline gain an extra level of the Discipline for (10 minus Stamina) minutes after drinking. Difficulties to resist frenzy are increased by one.
Heroin/morphine/barbiturates: The vampire subtracts two from Dexterity and all Ability dice pools for (10 minus Stamina) minutes, and experiences a dreamlike state for (12 minus Stamina) hours. Difficulties of frenzy rolls are decreased by one.
Salmonella (food poisoning): The vampire becomes nauseated, unable to consume more blood (roll Stamina, difficulty 6, to overcome), and suffers one health level of bashing damage. The effects last about a day.
Poison: The vampire subtracts one from all dice pools and takes from one to three levels of normal damage per scene or even turn, depending on the intensity of the poison. Few poisons have any real effect on the undead, and most inflict a fixed maximum amount of damage before wearing off. The vampire may purge the blood at his normal expenditure rate, and the effects heal automatically within minutes to hours after purging the blood.
Sunlight, even more than fire, is deadly to vampires. Even diffuse sunlight running through a heavy curtain can cause burns, and direct sunlight sears all but the most powerful vampires. Unless a character has Fortitude, the rays of the sun cause burns, no matter how weak they are. Characters with Fortitude (and only characters with Fortitude) may attempt to soak sun damage, using a soak dice pool equal to the level of the Discipline. The difficulty to soak the damage depends on the intensity of the light, while the amount of damage taken depends on the amount of protection between the vampire's skin and the sunlight.
No part of a vampire is immune to the rays of the sun. Any character looking into direct sunlight is blinded instantly, her retinas burned by the illumination. Fortunately for vampires, the light reflected from the moon is not strong enough to inflict any serious damage, though some suffer the equivalent of mild sunburn if they are exposed to the light of a full moon and aren't wearing any protective gear. As with fire, sunlight inflicts automatic damage per turn unless soaked.
|Intensity of Light||Soak Difficulty|
|Faint light coming through a closed curtain; heavy cloud cover; twilight||3|
|Fully protected by heavy clothes, sunglasses, gloves and a wide-brimmed hat||5|
|Indirect light coming through a window or light curtains||7|
|Outside on a cloudy day; hit by one ray of direct light; catching the sun's reflection in a mirror||9|
|Direct rays from an unobscured sun||10|
|Turn Exposure||Health Levels/Turn|
|Small part of body exposed - a hand or part of the face||One|
|Large part of body exposed - a leg, an arm or the whole head||Two|
|Fifty percent or more of the body exposed - wearing thin clothing||Three|
Incapacitated: The stage immediately before torpor, incapacitation differs from unconsciousness in that your character collapses from the combined effects of physical trauma and pain. She falls to the ground and may do nothing except spend blood points to heal damage. Further damage suffered by an incapacitated vampire sends her into torpor or, if the damage is aggravated, inflicts Final Death on her.
Torpor: Torpor is the deathlike sleep common to the undead, particularly among ancient vampires. Torpor may be entered voluntarily (certain undead, weary of the current age, enter torpor in hopes if reawakening in a more hospitable time) or involuntarily (through wounds or loss of blood). Once in torpor, a character remains dormant for a period of time depending on her Humanity rating.
As mentioned, characters with zero blood points in their blood pools begin to lose health levels each time the rules call for them to spend blood. When a vampire falls below Incapacitated in this fashion, she enters torpor. There she will remain until someone feeds her at least a blood point. If this happens, she may rise, regardless of Humanity rating. This sort of revivification works only for vampires who enter torpor from blood loss. Vampires who enter torpor due to wounds must rest for a period depending on their Humanity rating:
|Humanity||Length of Torpor|
Following this period of rest, the player may spend a blood point and make an Awakening roll (p. 204) for her character to rise. If the vampire has no blood in her body, she may not rise until she is fed; if the player fails the Awakening roll, she may spend another blood point and make an Awakening roll the following night. If the vampire rises successfully, she is considered Crippled and should either spend blood or hunt immediately.
A character may enter torpor voluntarily. This state resembles the character's normal daily rest, but is a deeper form of slumber and should not be entered into lightly. A vampire in voluntary torpor may rise after half the mandatory time period for involuntary torpor, but must make an Awakening roll to do so. A torpid vampire may ignore the nightly need for blood; she is effectively in hibernation.
Mortals have no torpor rating; if reduced below Incapacitated, they simply die.
Final Death: If a vampire is at the Incapacitated health level or in torpor and takes one more level of aggravated damage, he dies permanently and finally. A player's character who meets Final Death is out of the game; the player must create a new character if she wishes to continue play.
An incapacitated or torpid vampire may also be sent to Final Death through massive amounts of bashing or lethal trauma (decapitated, trapped under a 10-ton rock, fed into a wood chipper, caught at ground zero of an explosion, crushed by deep-sea pressure, etc.). Typically, this damage must be enough to destroy or dismember the corpse beyond repair.