House Rules

“The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable. The elements have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, the earth buries.”
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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This page lists all of the changes I’ve made to the Storytelling System’s ruleset. It follows the same layout as Vampire: The Requiem 2nd edition. Character Creation comes first, followed by Experience, followed by The Heart of the Beast, etc.

This page is also very large. Players can review the Recent Changes page to keep abreast of the latest rules changes I’ve made without sifting through the entirety of this compendium.


Chapter Three: Laws of the Dead


Chapter Four: Rules of the Night

Appendix: The Living


Laws of the Dead



Character Creation


Changes to this process are detailed on the Character Creation Quickstart page.


Experienced Kindred


The following rules are used for characters in place of the lump sums of bonus XP from the book. These rules are more fast and loose than hard and fast where NPCs are concerned. If the GM feels a particular character should have higher or lower values for their age than a particular field indicates, they will (and frequently do).

Age Attributes Skills Disciplines Blood Potency Humanity Merits
0+ 7/5/3 11/7/4 (3 specialties) 3 (2 in-clan) 1 7 10
50+ 8/6/4 14/9/6 (3/1 specialties) 6 (4 in-clan) 2 6 12
100+ 9/7/5 17/11/6 (3/1 specialties) 10 (5 in-clan) 3 5 15
200+ 10/8/6 20/13/7 (3/2 specialties) 14 (6 in-clan) 4 5 18
300+ 11/9/7 23/15/8 (3/2 specialties) 17 (7 in-clan) 5 4 21
400+ 12/10/8 26/17/9 (3/3 specialties) 20 (8 in-clan) 5 4 24
500+ 13/11/9 29/19/10 (3/3 specialties) 22 (9 in-clan) 6 3 27
Every +200 years +1/ +1/ +1 +3/ +2/ +1 Square root of age (+1 in-clan) See below 3 +3

Attributes: Starting Attributes are capped at 4 for 0-year-old characters. Ghoul and mortal characters of the same age have a 5/4/3 array of Attributes instead of 7/5/3. Older ghoul characters use the 7/5/3 array at 50, 8/6/4 at 100, etc.

Skills: Starting Skills are capped at 3 for 0-year-old characters and 4 for 50-year-old characters.

Specialties: Specialties separated by a / must be chosen from among a character’s Secondary or Tertiary Skills.

Disciplines: Ghouls receive 2/3rds as many Discipline dots as Kindred characters of equivalent age. Mortal characters obviously don’t receive any.

Merits: The values listed here are for NPCs. For PCs, they’re different.

0-year-old PCs have 10 Merit dots and 1 free dot in Generation. Ghoul and mortal PCs have 7 Merit dots.

50-year-old PCs have 10 Merit dots, 1 free dot each in Allies, Domain, Status (Camarilla), Status (Clan), Status (Covenant), and 2 free dots in Generation. Ghouls instead receive 12 Merit dots and none of those freebies.

100-year-old PCs have 10 Merit dots and 2 free dots each in Allies, Domain, Status (Camarilla), Status (Clan), Status (Covenant), and 3 free dots in Generation. Ghouls instead receive 15 Merit dots and none of those freebies.


Clans


Clans are Masquerade’s thirteen rather than Requiem’s five. Their clan Disciplines and banes are as follows below.

Credit goes to Dreaminggod of the Onyx Path forums for inspiration in many of these conversions.

Assamites (sorcerer caste)

Nickname: Magi
Disciplines: Auspex, Blood Sorcery (Dur-An-Ki), Obfuscate
Clan Bane: Assamite Sorcerers have two clan banes.
The Darkening Curse:
Assamites’ skin grows darker as they lose touch with humanity. Neonates are only slightly tan, while the eldest (or most monstrous) Assassins are literally jet black. This causes them to treat their Humanity as 2 points lower for purposes of Social penalties against mortals.
Beat: The Assamite fails a roll due to their bane.
The Mystic Curse:
Assamite sorcerers are beings bred of magic. The predatory aura of a Magus is exceptionally obvious and occult. Sorcerers cap all dice pools to hide themselves or conceal their true natures from other Kindred by their Humanity.
Beat: The Assamite is exposed at an inconvenient time.

Assamites (vizier caste)

Nickname: Scholars
Disciplines: Auspex, Obfuscate, Quietus Hematus
Clan Bane: Assamite Viziers have two clan banes.
The Darkening Curse: Assamites’ skin grows darker as they lose touch with humanity. Neonates are only slightly tan, while the eldest (or most monstrous) Assassins are literally jet black. This causes them to treat their Humanity as 2 points lower for purposes of Social penalties against mortals.
Beat: The Assamite fails a roll due to their bane.
The Pedagogic Curse: The Beasts of Viziers demand thoroughness in all things. Note the Scholar’s highest Mental Skill. Whenever she gains an exceptional success using that Skill, including with Disciplines, roll her Humanity. On failure, the Assamite gains the Obsession Condition in association with that Skill. Usually this is temporary, but a dramatic failure might make the Condition persistent. If the character ever gains more dots in a different Mental Skill, the Obsession trigger shifts.
Beat: As detailed under Obsession.

Assamites (warrior caste)

Nickname: Assassins
Disciplines: Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus Cruscitus
Clan Bane: Assamite Warriors have two clan banes. The first is inborn to all Assamites, while the second was levied by the Tremere curse in 1496 (and subsumed the earlier Baali curse which made the clan thirst for Kindred blood).
The Darkening Curse: Assamites’ skin grows darker as they lose touch with humanity. Neonates are only slightly tan, while the eldest (or most monstrous) Assassins are literally jet black. This causes them to treat their Humanity as 2 points lower for purposes of Social penalties against mortals.
Beat: The Assamite fails a roll due to their bane.
The Tremere Curse: Asssamites treat ingested Kindred vitae as poison with a Toxicity rating equal to its Blood Potency or (11 – the Assamite’s Humanity), whichever is higher. Additionally, Assamites gain no benefits from diablerie but suffer all of its drawbacks.
Beat: The Assamite takes damage from Kindred vitae.

Brujah

Nickname: Rabble
Disciplines: Celerity, Majesty, Vigor
Clan Bane (The Passionate Curse): Brujah have difficulty controlling their Beasts. Dice pools to resist frenzy are capped by a Rabble’s Humanity, nor may they spend Willpower to hold off frenzies. This bane does not apply to Riding the Wave. Additionally, a Brujah’s frenzies always last for a number of turns equal to their Blood Potency or (11 – Humanity), whichever is more.

Caitiff

Nickname: Trash
Disciplines: Caitiff may choose three Disciplines from the following list to have as in-clan: Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Majesty, Obfuscate, Resilience, Vigor. At least one of a Caitiff’s Disciplines must be a physical Discipline. This choice is made during character creation and cannot be changed once made. Caitiff who are Embraced in-game have their Disciplines chosen by the Storyteller.
Clan Bane: Caitiff have no inherent clan bane. However, Kindred society disdains them for their thin and clanless blood, and they are frequent targets of pogroms and discrimination. The Trash have to work twice as hard as other Kindred to gain respect and may not begin a chronicle with any dots in Status.

Followers of Set

Nicknames: Serpents, Setites
Disciplines: Majesty, Obfuscate, Serpentis
Clan Bane (Aten’s Curse): Followers of Set are extremely vulnerable to the sun. When calculating damage from sunlight, treat a Serpent’s Humanity as two dots lower. In addition, a Setite’s dice pools are capped by their Humanity when they are exposed to extremely bright light.
Beat: The Setite takes extra sunlight damage or fails a roll due to their bane.

Gangrel

Nickname: Outlanders
Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience
Clan Bane (The Bestial Curse): Gangrel cannot hide their bestial natures. Whenever an Outlander frenzies or faces detachment, roll Humanity. On failure, the Gangrel gains the Beast Mark Condition. On a dramatic failure, or if the Gangrel would gain a second Beast Mark while bearing a first, she also gains the Persistent Beast Mark Condition.

Beast Mark
The Gangrel’s Beast has manifested on their flesh, causing them to grow an animalistic feature. This feature is determined by the player; it might be tufted ears, a snoutline nose, a pelt, a tail, catlike eyes, a snarling voice, tusks, scales or feathers, and so on. This feature caps dice pools using a single Skill (player’s choice) by the Gangrel’s Humanity dots. Additionally, the Gangrel treats their Humanity as two dots lower when interacting with mortals. This Condition naturally fades (without the benefits of resolving) after a number of nights equal to the Gangrel’s Blood Potency.
Resolution: The Gangrel fails a roll due to this Condition.
Beat: n/a

Beast Mark (Persistent)
The Gangrel has gained a permanent animalistic feature that causes them to treat their Humanity as two dots lower when interacting with mortals. This penalty overlaps (does not stack) with the penalty from the normal Beast Mark Condition. Persistent Beast Marks can accumulate: some of the eldest Gangrel almost resemble Nosferatu in their deformity.
Resolution: The Gangrel regains a dot of Humanity.
Beat: The Gangrel fails a roll due to this Condition.

Lasombra

Nickname: Keepers
Disciplines: Dominate, Obtenebration, Vigor
Clan Bane (The Hollow Curse): Lasombra have no reflections. After every scene of interaction with a Keeper, characters make a reflexive Perception roll contested by (Lasombra’s Humanity) dice to notice her missing reflection. To hunters, it’s a dead giveaway as to her nature. Ordinary mortals subconsciously choose to ignore this oddity but are unnerved by it, causing the Lasombra to suffer her Humanity dots as a cap on all Social dice pools (except Intimidation) against them. This penalty lasts for the remainder of the scene. Finally, Lasombra may not choose to appear normally in cameras, photographs, films, and other forms of media. Their Lost Visage always remains in effect.
Beat: The Lasombra fails a roll or is inconvenienced by their bane.

Malkavians

Nicknames: Kooks, Malks
Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Obfuscate
Clan Bane (The Moonstruck Curse): Malkavians are incurably insane. Every Kook has a single Mental Persistent Condition that can never be resolved. The Malkavian rolls Humanity to resist its effects instead of Resolve + Composure. If the Condition allows characters to resist its effects by spending Willpower, the Malkavian must roll Humanity whenever they do so. On a failure, the Willpower point is wasted to no effect.

Nosferatu

Nickname: Sewer Rats
Disciplines: Animalism, Obfuscate, Vigor
Clan Bane (The Lonely Curse): Nosferatu are hideously ugly and automatically fail all Social rolls except Intimidation against mortals who can see their true forms. Even when the Sewer Rats are disguised or occluded (such as through Obfuscate), they treat their Humanity as two dots lower when interacting with mortals. At the GM’s discretion, a rare few mortals may be sufficiently accepting (or simply familiar with the supernatural) for this penalty not to apply.
Beat: The Nosferatu fails a roll or is otherwise inconvenienced by their monstrous appearance.

Ravnos

Nickname: Deceivers
Disciplines (Brahmin jati): Auspex, Chimerstry, Resilience
Disciplines (Kshatriya jati): Animalism, Chimerstry, Vigor
Disciplines (Vaishya jati): Animalism, Chimerstry, Resilience
Clan Bane (The Svadharmic Curse): Choose a single personality trait, such as kleptomania or defending the weak. Whenever the Ravnos turns down an opportunity to fulfill their svadharma, they lose a point of Willpower and cap all dice pools by their Humanity for the remainder of the scene.
Beat: Fulfilling the Ravnos’ svadharma causes problems for them.

Humanity Hunting Penalty
9-10 -1
7-8 -2
5-6 -3
3-4 -4
0-2 -5

Sangiovanni

Nickname: Necromancers
Disciplines: Blood Sorcery (Necromancy), Dominate, Vigor
Clan Bane (Lamia’s Curse): The Sangiovannis’ bite is excruciatingly painful. Whenever a Necromancer feeds, roll Humanity. On a failure, they use the Assault if they were attempting to use the Kiss.
Beat: The Sangiovanni’s bane causes a problem or inconvenience for them.

Toreador

Nicknames: Degenerates, Torries
Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Majesty
Clan Bane (The Rapturous Curse): Toreador are obsessed with beautiful things. Whenever a Degenerate is confronted with a remarkable stimulus, roll Humanity. On failure, they become lost in it, gaining the Enraptured Condition. The player should pick a general trigger (paintings, live performances, beautiful people, etc.) that always affects her character, although other stimuli may still prompt Humanity rolls.

Enraptured
Something has caught the Toreador’s attention so completely they can’t stop focusing on it. They have to be near it. They have to experience it. This behavior can take the form of anything from quiet awe to ranting and raving. The Toreador does not apply her Defense against attacks, and any dice pools unrelated to interacting with the stimulus are capped by the Degenerate’s Humanity dots. Forcibly removing the Toreador from the target of their obsession provokes a frenzy roll. This Condition fades without resolving at the end of a scene.
Resolution: The Toreador takes any amount of damage, fails a roll due to this Condition, or ignores something important in order to interact with the target of their obsession.
Beat: n/a

Tremere

Nickname: Warlocks
Disciplines: Auspex, Blood Sorcery (Thaumaturgy), Dominate
Clan Bane (The Yielding Curse): Tremere dependency on blood is even more pronounced than that of other Kindred. If a Warlock ever spends Willpower to resist a blood bond, roll her Humanity.

Dramatic Failure: The Willpower point is wasted, and the Tremere becomes two steps blood bonded, rather than one.
Failure: The Willpower point is wasted and the blood bond progresses normally.
Success: The Tremere can roll to resist developing a blood bond at a -2 penalty.
Exceptional Success: The Tremere can roll to resist developing a blood bond at no penalty.

Additionally, all neonate Tremere are forced to drink the (transubstantiated) blood of the Council of Seven soon after their Embrace, and are considered to be under a first stage blood bond towards all clanmates with higher Blood Potency than themselves.

Tzimisce

Nickname: Fiends
Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude
Clan Bane (The Hospitable Curse): Tzimisce cannot enter private dwellings uninvited. If they do, they cap all Discipline dice pools by their Humanity and treat the dwelling’s interior as if it were sunlight, but take lethal damage instead of aggravated damage and bashing damage instead of lethal damage. This damage cannot be healed for as long as the Tzimisce remains inside the dwelling.
Beat: The Tzimisce takes damage from entering a dwelling uninvited or fails a roll due to their bane.

Ventrue

Nickname: Blue Bloods
Disciplines: Dominate, Majesty, Resilience
Ventrue (The Epicurean Curse): Ventrue have rarified tastes and have difficulty feeding from vessels that do not match their preferred criteria, such as Catholics, police officers, or children. When feeding from a vessel that doesn’t match their preferences, Blue Bloods gain no nourishment from the first few Vitae taken. This amount is equal to (11 – Humanity) and may be divided between multiple vessels fed from during the same scene. Vampiric blood is exempt from this restriction, but animal blood is not. Additionally, Ventrue take a penalty on all hunting rolls.
Beat: The Ventrue fails a hunting roll due to their bane or goes hungry at an inconvenient time.

Humanity Hunting Penalty
9-10 -1
7-8 -2
5-6 -3
3-4 -4
0-2 -5

Feeding restrictions of various canon Ventrue NPCs have included:

• Vietnam War veterans
• Catholics
• Residents of Atlanta actually born in the city
• Beautiful, blue-eyed, pure-blooded Italian women
• Individuals who are in love but not married
• The Ventrue’s own mortal family members
IRS agents and other government financial lackeys
• Individuals the Ventrue has sparred with
• Impoverished graduate students


Experience


See this page for more information about how Experience is earned and spent.


Experience Costs


Experience costs are increased to the following rates.

Trait XP Cost (1-3 dots) XP Cost (4 dots) XP Cost (5 dots) XP Cost (6 dots) XP Cost (7 dots) XP Cost (8 dots) XP Cost (9 dots)
Attribute 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Skill 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Clan Discipline 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Non-Clan Discipline 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Blood Potency (Generation included) 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

XP costs are cumulative. For example, buying a Skill at 5 dots costs 13 XP (2 XP each for the first three dots, 3 XP for the fourth dot, and 4 XP for the fifth dot).

Characters must purchase dots in the Generation Merit to increase their Blood Potency beyond certain levels (3 for default PCs in this game). Blood Potency costs 4 Experiences to increase by itself. The combined cost of Blood Potency and the Generation Merit remains 5.

Specialties: Applying more than one Specialty to the same Skill costs a cumulative +1 Experience. Example: A character with Firearms 3 buys a Specialty in Rifles for 1 Experience. Buying a Specialty in Pistols costs 2 XP, and buying a Specialty in SMGs costs 3 XP.


Beats


Beats are awarded on an ad hoc basis for players accomplishing goals, facing particularly nasty setbacks, coming up with clever plans, and otherwise making for an interesting and dramatic game session.

Players may accept a Beat to turn a failure into a dramatic failure, a success into a failure, or an exceptional success into a success.

Players may accept two Beats to turn a success into a dramatic failure or an exceptional success into a failure.

Players may accept three Beats to turn an exceptional success into a dramatic failure.


The Heart of the Beast



Touchstones


Characters don’t automatically lose Touchstones upon hitting specific Humanity levels. As with all people, vampires can potentially abuse, disgust, and otherwise alienate their Touchstones (which becomes increasingly probable for low-Humanity vampires), but that happens as a result of specific actions.

Characters only benefit from their Touchstone’s bonus to detachment rolls if they have interacted with their Touchstone in the last (roughly) 24 hours.


Blood Potency


Time and Blood Potency: Blood Potency naturally increases at the following rates, subject to the character’s generation as a cap: an 8th-generation character can only (naturally) attain Blood Potency 5 no matter how many years his Requiem has lasted.

Characters may spend Experience to purchase up to one Blood Potency dot higher than the maximum allowed by their age. Obtaining further Blood Potency dots requires either time, diablerie, or some other means.

These below times are approximations, not hard measurements, especially at the higher levels and where NPCs are concerned. A 5th-generation character could well have Blood Potency 8 after a Requiem of “only” 1,231 years.

Blood Potency Years to Reach
1 0
2 50
3 100
4 200
5 300
6 500
7 1,000
8 1,500
9 2,000
10 Unknown

Generation: A Kindred’s maximum Blood Potency is determined by their Generation. See the Generation Merit for further information on how these two traits interact.

Animal Blood: Whenever a vampire with sufficiently high Blood Potency and low Humanity feeds on an animal, they gain no nourishment from the first few Vitae taken. Consult the following table for reference. These same numbers also apply as penalties on hunting rolls made against animals. If the vampire would need to drain more than 5 Vitae, they can no longer gain nourishment from animal blood.

Humanity 6 Humanity 5 Humanity 4 Humanity 3 Humanity 2 Humanity 1 Humanity 0
Blood Potency 1 1 2 3 4 5 - -
Blood Potency 2 2 3 4 5 - - -
Blood Potency 3 3 4 5 - - - -
Blood Potency 4 4 5 - - - - -
Blood Potency 5 5 - - - - - -

Human Blood: Kindred with Blood Potency 6+ can feed on human vitae normally. Masquerade assumes a larger (and more powerful) number of active elders than Requiem does, and they are not portrayed as only being able to subsist on Kindred blood.

Vitae per Turn: Kindred can spend Vitae at the following modified rates.

Blood Potency Vitae/per Turn
1 10/1
2 11/2
3 12/3
4 13/4
5 15/5
6 20/6
7 30/7
8 40/8
9 50/10
10 Unknown


Immortality, Injury, and Mortality


Aggravated Damage: Every point of aggravated damage imposes -1 on Social rolls except Intimidation until healed.

Bleeding: Kindred bleed when cut. This still does not equate with loss of Vitae, for the lost blood is fully inert.

Body Parts: Cutting off a vampire’s body parts causes the severed part to instantly revert to the vampire’s true age.

Dead Flesh: Kindred have ballistic armor ratings equal to their unmodified Stamina dots against firearms. This overlaps (does not stack) with the ballistic armor ratings of physical armor, though as ballistic armor it does stack with the general armor granted by Resilience. Resilience does not add to a vampire’s ballistic armor rating, as it already adds to general armor.

Example: A vampire with Stamina 2 has general armor 0 and ballistic armor 2, for armor 0/2. A vampire with Stamina 3 and Resilience 1 has general armor 1 and ballistic armor 3, for armor 1/3.


Torpor and Final Death


Destroyed vampires instantly disintegrate into ash, regardless of age.


Tricks of the Damned



Blush of Life


In addition to its existing uses, this power negates the penalty to Social rolls against mortals from low Humanity. Even while Blush of Life is active, food tastes like ash and sex gives no physical pleasure. It’s only useful as a means of blending in among the kine.


Kindred Senses


A Taste for Blood

This ability can discern the following additional details:

Success: The vampire can discern the target’s Blood Potency.

Exceptional Success: An exceptional success can determine the following additional details.
• Whether the character’s Blood Potency has been lowered as a result of torpor or some other cause
• A specific Kindred relative the character descends from, even if they are too removed to share blood sympathy (provided you have tasted the blood of that Kindred relative or another one of their descendants). This is of particular importance to Ventrue, given the significance they ascribe to descent from their various Fourth Generation progenitors.

A Taste for Blood cannot determine the target’s generation or whether they have committed diablerie.


Lost Visage


This ability is mentioned in the flavor section of the rulebook but not the crunch section. I reproduce it here for convenience.

Kindred are not recognizable in mirrors, cameras, photographs, films, etc. unless they want to be. It isn’t that they’re blurred images; rather, “The Beast knows precisely where to stand. A vampire is not a blurred mess in a photograph, but for some reason, never seems to look at the camera, or the flash smears the image, or it goes over- or under-exposed.” Kindred also leave no fingerprints, DNA traces, or other readily identifiable forensic evidence.

Sleeping and torpid Kindred are still subject to Lost Visage.

Kindred can forcefully suppress the effects of another Kindred’s Lost Visage for one scene with a successful predatory aura roll.

GM’s Commentary: Lost Visage is not a “get out of jail” free card. There are still plenty of ways for mortal police to cause problems for Kindred who haven’t left forensic evidence of their crimes, as several past PCs have learned to their chagrin. Rather, Lost Visage explains how Kindred are able to maintain the Masquerade at all in today’s age of omnipresent smartphones and surveillance technology.


Healing


Characters can spend a point of Willpower to heal an additional point of aggravated damage (in addition to its attendant Vitae cost) in a single day of rest. Example: A character with 3 aggravated damage could spend 2 Willpower and 15 Vitae to heal all of his aggravated wounds in a single day._


The Cleansing


Kindred may not spend Willpower to physically change their bodies. They’re permanently stuck the way they were at their time of Embrace.


Predatory Aura


Lashing Out: This is implicit in the rules, but mortals/ghouls must spend a point of Willpower if they wish to roll to resist a Kindred’s predatory aura (as their “Blood Potency” is always lower than an attacking vampire’s).

Bonuses: For every significant mental or physical confrontation one Kindred has won against another Kindred, the winner gains a +1 bonus on predatory aura rolls against the loser, up to a maximum of +5. For every contest the loser wins, he reduces the (prior) winner’s bonus by 1. Once the winner’s bonus is reduced to 0, the (prior) loser can increase their own bonus.

Example: Cletus has a +1 bonus on predatory aura rolls against Micheal, due to having won a fight against the Brujah. If Micheal won a fight against Cletus, Cletus’ bonus would be reduced to 0. If Micheal won a second fight, his bonus would increase to +1.

Conditions: Dealing with aura-imposed Conditions has proven tedious and narratively unsatisfying. The dice rolling mechanics for predatory aura are unchanged. On a success, instead of inflicting a Condition, the aggressor can specify a course of action (related to the type of Beast invoked) for the victim to undertake, such as “Back down,” “Give in to my advances,” or “Run away.” The course of action must be accomplishable within the immediate scene.

If the victim gives in, they take a Beat.

If the victim does not wish to give in, they must spend a Willpower point, and the aggressor takes a Beat. The victim must make an immediate frenzy roll (at a penalty equal to the aggressor’s Blood Potency) as their Beast rises in instinctive counter-challenge. They also take a penalty on all dice rolls against the aggressor equal to the aggressor’s Blood Potency. This penalty lasts for the remainder of the scene. The aggressor also gains the +2 bonus to pursue their Beast’s interests on any rolls in combat against a frenzying victim.


The Cycle of Death



The Embrace


Accidental Embraces: The Embrace is not a willful action. The only prerequisite is that a mortal drink some of a vampire’s blood at their point of death; this can mean the Embrace happens by accident. Many such “accidents” become Caitiff, although the process of their creation is poorly understood.

Humanity Loss: The Embrace is a breaking point at Humanity 2 rather than an automatic Humanity loss. Banes may be taken against it.

Posthumous Embraces: This happens as a plot device (or something for players to use Declarations on) rather than with an automatic Blood Potency roll. Posthumous Embraces are uncommon but not unheard of. They are particularly unlikely to occur to mortals without any vitae in their systems when they died (ie, non-ghouls), and particularly to occur to ghouls who have recently fed from their domitors.

Revenants: Replace all references to revenants with Caitiff. Caitiff do not use the special rules for revenants and function identically to other Kindred (save for their lack of clan). Caitiff are sired as plot devices (or player-invoked Declarations) rather than with Blood Potency rolls.

Starting Blood Potency: Newly-sired Kindred have starting Blood Potency equal to (their sire’s Blood Potency – 4, minimum 1).


Feeding


Blood Supplies: Changed the following.

Human Blood: Taking less Vitae than a victim’s Stamina (1-2 for the average human) leaves them feeling woozy but has no mechanical effects.

Taking more Vitae than a victim’s Stamina (3 for the average human) inflicts the Drained Condition. The victim would be well-served to take a sick day but can eventually recuperate on their own.

Taking enough Vitae for the victim to suffer wound penalties (4-6 for the average human) necessitates hospitalization, but with proper care the victim will likely pull through.

Taking Vitae equal to the victim’s Stamina (7 for the average human) leaves them dying and bleeding out, as per the usual rules for taking lethal damage equal to one’s Health. Even if the victim is rushed to a hospital, their survival is not a guarantee.

Cold Blood: To gain a single Vitae, Kindred must consume a number of pints of cold blood equal to (Blood Potency +1).

Animal Blood: Kindred can live off the blood of corpses and animals, but they are not meant to. Such blood is thin and lacking, and would-be “farmers” who subsist too long upon such a meager diet become moody and irritable. For every (Humanity score) Vitae a vampire consumes from any source besides a live human (or fellow Kindred), the vampire gains the Tempted Condition. Thus, a Humanity 7 vampire has -1 to frenzy rolls after consuming 7 Vitae from a blood bank, -2 after consuming 14, etc.

Ventrue (and any other Kindred with a feeding restriction) who feed from vessels that do not match their feeding restriction also gain the Tempted Condition in this manner.

Kindred Vitae: Feeding from Kindred with Blood Potency 6+ drains them of additional Vitae for every turn spent feeding. Their bodies do not actually contain larger volumes of blood, but rather, their blood has greater power concentrated into it. The ratio is as follows:

Blood Potency Turn/Vitae Gained
6 1/2
7 1/3
8 1/4
9 1/5
10 Unknown

Supernatural Vitae: At the GM’s discretion, feeding from other supernatural creatures may impose unusual effects.

Feeding Scenes (With Dice): Hunting rules are expanded as follows:

Proxy Hunting: Characters may attempt to hunt in place of other vampires. This imposes a flat -3 penalty on the hunting roll. The hunting character may “donate” any number of Vitae obtained from the hunting roll to the other vampire. Proxy hunting takes two hours rather than one. Multiple proxy hunting attempts in the same night take a -3 rather than -2 penalty.

Feeding Scenes (Something Always Goes Wrong): If a player really wants his character to get blood, he can volunteer the vampire for a narrated feeding scene. He forgoes a hunting roll and automatically obtains a victim he can take as many Vitae as he wants from. In return, however, something in the hunting scene will go wrong, as if the vampire’s player had rolled a botch. The scene should be played out as normal, but until the complication sets up, there’s no need to roll the dice—the fate of the vampire is now set on a particular path. These scenes add a level of tension because they are usually called for by the player: The situation is desperate enough that the blood is necessary, and the player is willing to accept the consequences. It also ties into the undercurrent of nihilism in Vampire—there is no situation that can’t get worse.


Daysleep and Waking


The lower a Kindred’s Humanity, the later they awaken at night, and the earlier they must go to sleep at dawn.

Humanity Time of Awakening
10 Sunset (civil twilight)
9 Civil dusk (nautical twilight)
8 Nautical dusk (astronomical twilight)
7 Astronomical dusk (nightfall)
6 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 10 minutes
5 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 20 minutes
4 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 30 minutes
3 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 40 minutes
2 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 50 minutes
1 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 60 minutes
0 Astronomical dusk (nightfall) + 70 minutes

Humanity Time of Slumber
10 Sunrise (civil twilight)
9 Civil dawn (nautical twilight)
8 Nautical dawn (astronomical twilight)
7 Astronomical dawn (night)
6 Astronomical dawn (night) + 10 minutes
5 Astronomical dawn (night) + 20 minutes
4 Astronomical dawn (night) + 30 minutes
3 Astronomical dawn (night) + 40 minutes
2 Astronomical dawn (night) + 50 minutes
1 Astronomical dawn (night) + 60 minutes
0 Astronomical dawn (night) + 70 minutes


Bloodlines


See this page for how the game handles bloodlines.


Properties of the Blood



Blood Bonds


See this page for how the game handles blood bonds.


Ghouls


Creating a ghoul does not require the domitor to spend Willpower.

Ghouls whose domitors have Blood Potency 6+ can purchase dots in Blood Potency up to (domitor’s Blood Potency – 5). These dots are retained if the ghoul is ever Embraced. Rumors persistent of terrible ghouls in service to Methuselahs who have powers over the Blood to match any ancilla’s.


Diablerie


Diablerie rules are streamlined as follows. Once the victim is drained to 0 Vitae (handled through the usual grapple rules), the act of diablerie begins.

The diablerist makes a Strength + Resolve roll contested by the victim’s Stamina + Resolve each turn. If the diablerist wins, every rolled success inflicts 1 aggravated damage on the victim. The diablerist also must make a Resolve + Composure roll at a penalty equal to the victim’s Blood Potency to avoid frenzying. Total concentration goes into the struggle to draw forth the essence of the victim, and the diablerist loses their Defense until the act of diablerie is complete.

As soon as the victim takes aggravated damage from the diablerist, they must make a Resolve + Composure roll at -5 to avoid frenzying; their Beast will fight like a cornered animal to avoid the horrific fate being visited upon it. If the diablerie is interrupted, the victim must make a Resolve + Composure roll contested by (amount of aggravated damage inflicted by the would-be diablerist) to avoid gaining a Persistent Condition from the trauma of the experience.

Once the victim takes aggravated damage equal to her Health and meets Final Death, the diablerie is complete. The diablerist must make another Resolve + Composure roll at -5 to avoid frenzying from the sheer ecstasy of the act. Any witnesses (mortal or vampiric) should make breaking point rolls to avoid being repulsed and/or terrified by the sight.

Once the victim takes aggravated damage equal to her Health and meets Final Death, the diablerie is complete. Diablerie grants a number of benefits:

Generation: If the victim is of lower generation than the diablerist, add the victim’s generation to the diablerist’s and divide by two, rounding up. The result is the diablerist’s new generation. The diablerist gains the appropriate number of dots in the Generation Merit.

If the diablerist is a PC of lower generation than their dots in the Generation Merit would indicate, use the character’s mechanical generation when determining how many dots in the Generation Merit they gain. (_For example, a PC is Seventh Generation but bought no dots in the Merit beyond the two free ones accorded during character creation. That PC later diablerizes an Eighth Generation NPC who has •••• in the Generation Merit. The diablerist PC would then have Generation •••, despite originally being of lower generation than the victim.)

Blood Potency: If the victim has higher Blood Potency than the diablerist, add the victim’s Blood Potency to the diablerist’s and divide by two, rounding up. The result is the diablerist’s new Blood Potency. Diablerizing victims with equal or lower Blood Potency grants the following amounts of Experience that may only be spent on increasing Blood Potency. If the diablerist already has the maximum Blood Potency allowed by their (new) generation, such Experiences may instead be spent on Disciplines, subject to the restrictions described below.

Victim’s Blood Potency Diablerist Gains
Equal to diablerist 3 Experiences
1 fewer than diablerist 2 Experiences
2 fewer than diablerist 1 Experience
3 fewer than diablerist No benefit

Devotions: If the victim possesses any Devotions, the diablerist gains a number of Devotions equal to their (potentially new) Blood Potency dots or the victim’s Blood Potency dots, whichever is less. The diablerist gains the victim’s most expensive Devotions first but still cannot learn any Devotions whose prerequisites they do not meet, nor any which the victim did not know.

Disciplines: Add up the victim’s total Discipline dots, and subtract the diablerist’s Discipline dots. The diablerist gains half this number, rounded up. (For example, if a Kindred with 10 Discipline dots diablerizes a Kindred with 14 Discipline dots, she gains 2 further Discipline dots.) If the victim has equal or fewer Discipline dots than the diablerist, the diablerist gains the following amounts of Experience that can only be spent on increasing Disciplines possessed by the victim, up to the maximum dot rating possessed by the victim. If the diablerist already has equal or higher dots in all of the victim’s Disciplines, she can spend the Experiences on any Skills or Attributes possessed by the victim, up to the maximum dot rating possessed by the victim. If she already has dots in all of the victim’s Skills and Attributes at equal or higher levels, she gains no benefit.

Victim Discipline dots Diablerist gains
Equal to diablerist 2 Experiences
1 fewer than diablerist 1 Experience
2 fewer than diablerist 4 Beats
3 fewer than diablerist 3 Beats
4 fewer than diablerist 2 Beats
5 fewer than diablerist 1 Beat
6+ fewer than diablerist No benefit

Blood Sorcery is considered a course of study rather than innate power, and so cannot be learned by Kindred in this fashion.

Other Traits: Diablerie provides justification for characters to immediately spend Experiences on Attributes, Skills, and Merits that would normally take significant time to learn (such as an Academics score of 4 when the diablerist previously had Academics 1); the diablerist ignores normal learning curves and simply absorbs the victim’s memories in their own. It’s not unheard of for diablerie to even cause physical chances in the diablerist (justifying increased Physical Attributes or new Physical Merits). The diablerist cannot spend Experiences on trait ratings higher than the victim possessed and must spend their Experiences within one night per dot of the victim’s Blood Potency before the “window” to do so passes.

Diablerie also carries several dangers.

Humanity: The diablerist automatically loses one dot of Humanity, and automatically fails the roll to avoid developing a bane. If the diablerist wishes to take a bane against diablerie, she must take one bane at Humanity 1, two banes at Humanity 2, and three banes at Humanity 3. Kindred with more than 3 Humanity dots cannot take banes against diablerie.

Addiction: Amaranth is sweet beyond all other pleasures. The diablerist must roll Resolve + Composure (with a penalty equal to double the dots in Blood Potency gained) to avoid gaining the Addicted Condition. If she succeeds on this, she must make another Resolve + Composure roll at the same penalty to avoid developing vitae addiction.

Stained Soul: Finally, the act stains the diablerist’s very soul: for one year per dot of Blood Potency the victim possessed, her aura acquires black veins that can reveal her crime to Kindred who use Auspex or other powers to determine whether she is a diablerist.

Diablerizing truly ancient Kindred is rumored to confer even greater rewards.


Curses Great and Small



Sunlight


Damage type and frequency rates are changed to the following:

Humanity Damage
9-10 1 lethal
8-7 2 lethal
6-5 1 aggravated
4-3 2 aggravated
2 3 aggravated
1 4 aggravated
- 5 aggravated

Kindred do not enter torpor after taking lethal damage equal to their Health from sunlight.

Blood Potency Damage Frequency
0 n/a
1-2 1x / 2 turns
3-4 1x / turn
5-6 2x / turn
7-8 3x / turn
9-10 4x / turn


Fire


Resilience only protects from fire if a character spends Vitae. See its entry under Resilience below.


Clan Banes


These are detailed under Clans.


Frenzy


Trapped within the false civility of the Camarilla and the forced camaraderie of the Sabbat, there is a hidden truth: Vampires are monsters, possessed of an inner Beast. When faced with danger, hunger, or other provocations, that Beast can break free. Its response is always the same: End the problem by any means necessary. Kindred refer to these outbursts as frenzies.

During frenzy, the character is a mindless, ravenous animal. Friends, foes, lovers, ethics: None of these things matter to a vampire in frenzy. If a vampire in frenzy is hungry, he will tear open his childrens’ throats and suck them dry. If the vampire is angry, he will rip his wife into bloody shreds. If the vampire is frightened, he will abandon a lifelong friend to die. The character completely surrenders to his basest instincts. He cares nothing for the consequences of his actions. He is, in short, a Beast.

Provocation

When a vampire is confronted by something that agitiates their Beast, they roll Resolve + Composure at a variable penalty to see if the provocation drives them to frenzy. The worse the provocation is, the higher the penalty. The Storyteller is encouraged to come up with other situational modifiers to reflect the relative tension of the scene. For example, if the vampire’s rival has made a point of goading her every time they meet, it may impose an additional –1 penalty to the roll.

Frenzies are generally triggered by anger, fear, or hunger. Exact penalties will vary by character; the below ones are given as examples.

Anger Frenzies

Provocation Roll Modifier
Harrassed by aggressive pandhandler -1
Idiot scrapes your new car -1
Hours of frustration and delay -2
Insulted in public -2
Reviled by someone you dislike -3
Betrayed by a partner in a deal -3
Betrayed by someone you love -4
Lose everything you own -4
Death of loved one -5
Reviled and humiliated by someone you love -5
Physically hurt (aggravated damage) -2 per point suffered
Physically hurt (lethal damage) -1 per point suffered
Physically hurt (bashing damage) -1 per 2 points suffered

Fear Frenzies

Provocation Roll Modifier
Lighting a cigarette 0
Flashbulb in the face -1
Presence of fire (size) -1 torch, -2 bonfire, -3 inferno
Presence of fire (heat) -1 torch, -2 bunsen burner, -3 molten metal
Securely contained fire +1
Safely distant fire +2
Obscured sunlight -3
Direct sunlight -5

Hunger Frenzies

Provocation Roll Modifier
Sight or smell of blood (full; 5+ Vitae) -1 per 2 points of lethal damage suffered by victim
Sight or smell of blood (hungry; 3-4 Vitae) -1 plus -1 per 2 points of lethal damage suffered by victim
Sight or smell of blood (starving; 1-2 Vitae) -2 plus -1 per 2 points of lethal damage suffered by victim
Taste of blood (hungry; 3-4 Vitae) -3
Taste of blood (starving; 1-2 Vitae) -5
Presence of a mortal or other vampire (starving; 1-2 Vitae) -3
Wounded (at all) -1
Wounded in last three Health boxes -3

Full vampires (5+ Vitae) do not need to make frenzy rolls when they willingly attempt to consume a mortal’s or other vampire’s blood.

Universal Modifiers

Provocation Roll Modifier
On Elysium grounds +2
Touchstone present +2
Hungry (3-4 Vitae) -1
Starving (1-2 Vitae) -3
Wounded (at all) -1
Wounded in last three Health boxes -3

The Frenzy Roll

Cost: None
Dice Pool: Resolve + Composure. Check the suggested modifiers above for penalties and bonuses depending on the circumstance. Willpower may not be spent on this roll.
Action: Reflexive

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The character succumbs to frenzy and something else goes wrong, such as being unable to end the frenzy until she reaches a breaking point (if the Beast gets its desire, choose a new one). She takes two Beats if the frenzy has dramatic consequences.

Failure: The character succumbs to frenzy. She takes a Beat if the frenzy has dramatic consequences.

Success: The character resists the Beast but gains the Tempted Condition.

Exceptional Success: The character not only resists the Beast, but regains a point of spent Willpower, and any Willpower she spent fighting the Beast during the scene.

The Frenzy

Upon entering frenzy, determine what the Beast wants. Does it want to escape? Does it want to punish the person who insulted his host? Does it want blood? Typically, frenzy ends when that thing occurs.

Behavior: While frenzied, the vampire does everything in her power to accomplish the Beast’s desires. She does so with immediate, forceful, and destructive abandon. If there’s someone in the way, she throws him or decks him. If she’s hungry, she bites the closest thing to her mouth. That said, the Beast isn’t stupid. It’s capable of doing the kinds of things an enraged, terrified, or starving animal predator is, and it will lash out with the predatory aura if that will help sate it.

That also said, the Beast isn’t intelligent either. When it attacks something, it does so with immediate, forceful abandon. It can attack with a melee weapon already in its hand, but anything more complex (such as firing guns or drawing a sheathed weapon) doesn’t occur to it. A frenzying vampire can use Disciplines that would let her cow, weaken, or better pursue her target (such as Awe or an active use of Celerity), but anything that requires speech or more advanced tactics than “overcome this immediate impediment” is impossible.

The Beast has no concept of mercy, surrender, or fighting until “first blood.” A frenzying vampire that attacks someone will continue to mindlessly savage them even after they are unconscious or beaten into torpor. Attacking a frenzied vampire can draw their ire, but once any interruptive threats are dealt dealt with, the Beast’s natural impulse is to kill even defeated foes.

Coercion: If a character tries to coerce her to behavior contrary to the Beast’s desires, either via Social actions or through Disciplines, the effort fails. They can, however, divert the Beast’s attention to another, similar target. For example, if Veronica falls to her Beast due to hunger and leaps at Elspeth, Elspeth might Dominate her to attack Dominic instead.

Detachment: Atrocities committed during frenzy often lead to detachment rolls as a character tries to deal with remorse. Repeated frenzies can certainly grind down a vampire’s Humanity.

Duration: Frenzies last for a minimum of one turn per dot of vampire’s Blood Potency (Brujah frenzies, per their clan bane, last for this duration or 11 – Humanity turns, whichever is longer). If the Beast accomplishes its desire before the frenzy wears off, the vampire attacks the nearest character that most enrages it or simply looks weakest. In the absence of any nearby victims, the vampire mindlessly rampages, destroys her surroundings, and hunts for targets to vent her wrath upon.

Statistics: When in frenzy, the vampire becomes stronger, faster, and tougher. Her Beast drives her to feats of terrifying physical prowess. Add her Blood Potency dots to any Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina rolls or resistances. (Do not apply her improved Stamina to her Health levels.) Ignore any wound penalties she should suffer. She can grab and bite as a single instant action, as she ravenously mauls her victim. Apply the successes on her Strength + Brawl roll to establish a grapple as lethal damage, and she drains a number of Vitae equal to her Blood Potency (but no more than the amount of lethal damage inflicted). Finally, a frenzying vampire adds their Blood Potency to rolls against Disciplines that would coerce their behavior, effectively allowing them to add their Blood Potency twice. As described above, it is still impossible to coerce a frenzying vampire into not attacking, only into attacking something else.

Overcoming Frenzy

Besides succeeding on the initial Resolve + Composure roll, there are three—and only three—means by which a frenzying vampire can mitigate the consequences of their Beast.

Riding the Wave: Some Kindred choose to grab their Beasts by the reins, and wield that monstrous power. It’s a risky proposition, but one with great rewards. This practice is called riding the wave of frenzy.

To ride the wave, spend a Willpower point when the initial Resolve + Composure roll to resist frenzy is called for. Treat any failure on this roll as a dramatic failure. On a success, the frenzy functions identically to a normal frenzy, with all normal benefits. However, you may choose the Beast’s desire and specific target at the outset. This desire does not have to align with the provocation. For example, if Victoria risks frenzy because she’s starved, she might choose to kill Dominic instead of feeding.

Normally, a frenzied Beast will not force its host to commit diablerie. However, a vampire riding the wave may choose diablerie as the desire.

Touchstones: A vampire’s Touchstone (and no one else) can talk her down from frenzy with an extended Social roll, requiring a number of successes equal to three times the vampire’s Blood Potency. The Touchstone can make one roll per turn. So a Blood Potency 4 vampire’s Touchstone would require 12 successes to talk her out of frenzy. During this time, the vampire’s likely to cause significant problems for herself and others.

Willpower: At any point during a frenzy, the vampire may spend a point of Willpower to reroll their initial Resolve + Composure roll. On a success, the vampire holds off the Beast for one turn. She may growl, hiss, smash something, or sprint off, but she’s temporarily in control. She can spend another point of Willpower to prolong this lucidity for an additional turn. The vampire can continue spending Willpower until she runs out, but eventually she must face her Beast.

Once she stops spending Willpower, make the initial Resolve + Composure roll again, but take a bonus die for each Willpower point spent. So, if you spend four Willpower points for your character to take four turns fighting her frenzy, on the fifth turn, roll her Resolve + Composure + 4. On a success, the vampire snaps out of the frenzy.


Torpor


Kindred in torpor lose dots in Blood Potency at the rate of one dot per ten years. These lost dots return at the same rate when the Kindred awakens.

Diablerie expedites this process. Even when it does not lower the diablerist’s generation, they benefit as normal from the Blood Potency increase. (For example, a 6th-generation, Blood Potency 7 vampire reduced to Blood Potency 3 who commits diablerie on an 8th-generation Blood Potency 5 vampire raises their Blood Potency to 4.)

Drinking the vitae of other vampires also expedites this process, but more slowly. The risen Kindred must drink vitae equal to double the maximum amount they can store at their current Blood Potency level. This returns one lost dot of Blood Potency. (For example, a formerly Blood Potency 6 Kindred rises from torpor at Blood Potency 2. By drinking 22 Vitae from other Kindred, he increases his Blood Potency back to 3. At that point, he would have to drink 24 Vitae from other Kindred to return to Blood Potency 4.) Recall, also, that Kindred with especially high Blood Potency grant additional Vitae per single Vitae taken.


Humanity


Breaking Points: Embracing another vampire is a breaking point at Humanity 2 rather than an automatic Humanity loss. Banes may be taken against it as normal.

Detachment: The results of detachment rolls are modified as follows.

Dramatic Failure: Not only does the character lose sight of her Humanity, she automatically develops a bane or persistent Mental Condition (player choice).

Failure: Your character lets go of some of his mortal attachments, and moves toward monstrosity. In addition to losing a dot of Humanity, she must roll as if she had committed another breaking point at the same Humanity level to see if she develops a bane or persistent Mental Condition (player choice).

Success: Your character holds onto a scrap of empathy, despite the urge to let go. She does not lose Humanity, but she must roll as if she had committed another breaking point at the same Humanity level to see if she develops a bane or non-persistent Mental Condition (player choice).

Exceptional Success: Not only does your character hold onto her concept of Humanity, she steps away from the conflict with renewed vigor. She either regains a point of Willpower or takes the Inspired Condition.

Lost Humanity/Integrity: Characters who lose Humanity/Integrity have the Experience cost (2 XP per dot) refunded, per the Sanctity of Merits rule. Half of these Experiences may be spent on anything but Humanity/Integrity. The other half may only be spent to increase Humanity/Integrity.

GM’s Commentary: My goal here is to make failed Morality rolls inherently non-punitive (ie, no longer require a two Experience investment to undo the effects of a failed roll), to make earning back Morality still require an XP investment, and to give players incentive to earn Morality back in the first place (ie, Experience that may be spent on nothing else). I have yet to see any players spend Experience raising their Morality scores and perhaps this will turn that around.

Paths of Enlightenment: Some characters may follow Paths of Enlightenment as an alternative to Humanity.


Banes


Banes are significantly expanded from the options presented in the core rulebook. See this page for further information.

Characters take a Beat whenever their bane causes them to fail a roll or otherwise seriously inconveniences them. Gaining a bane does not award a Beat.

All Kindred have the Hated by Animals bane unless they have at least one dot in Animal Ken or Animalism.

Taking a bane does not impose a -1 penalty on detachment rolls. There is no maximum number of banes a Kindred may possess. They are cool, flavorful things the GM wishes to encourage players to take.


Merits


See this page for how the game handles Merits.


Disciplines


Dice Pools: Disciplines use whatever Attribute + Skill combination makes sense in a given context (often multiple potential ones). Dominating someone into forgetting a memory can be (Manipulation or Intelligence) + Subterfuge just as easily as Intelligence + Expression.

Hunters: Hunters and other humans fully aware of the supernatural roll two Resistance Attributes on contested rolls that let the victim roll an Attribute + Blood Potency. Such individuals have “woken up” to the World of Darkness’ true nature and are harder to suborn than mortals who keep their heads buried in the sand. Characters with True Faith also add their True Faith dots to their dice pools—exercising Caine’s gifts upon faith-wielding hunters is not easy.

Ghouls, kinfolk, fae-touched, and other characters with lesser supernatural templates never enjoy this benefit. They’ve traded access to minor supernatural power for susceptibility to that same power.

Starting Disciplines: When a vampire is Embraced, they immediately know a single Discipline dot. They learn their remaining two Discipline dots after the normal waiting period for learning new Disciplines.

Learning New Disciplines: Several rules apply to learning new Disciplines.

In-Clan Disciplines: Kindred can learn in-clan Disciplines on their own, without the need for a teacher’s instruction. These powers come to them instinctively (but are still subject to the cap imposed by Blood Potency). Physical Disciplines (Celerity, Resilience, Vigor) can also be independently learned by Kindred of any clan.

Non-Clan Disciplines: Learning a non-clan Discipline involves several steps.

First, the vampire must ingest 1 Vitae from another Kindred who already has as many dots in the Discipline as the new dot rating they desire to learn. This carries all the normal attendant risks for vitae addiction and blood bonds.

Second, the student spend at least one night per Discipline’s desired dot rating instructed by the teacher, in addition to the normal wait times for learning new Disciplines (see below). The “window” to learn a Discipline from another Kindred after drinking their blood fades after one night per dot of the teacher’s Blood Potency.

Once the vampire has learned a non-clan Discipline’s first dot, they find the process of unlocking the Discipline’s higher powers somewhat easier. They still may not raise their dots in the Discipline without a teacher’s instruction (see the process above), but they do not need to ingest further Vitae if the Discipline is in-clan for the teacher. If the Discipline is out-of-clan for the teacher, they must ingest 1 Vitae for every new dot learned.

Ghouls and Disciplines: Ghouls use their own rules for learning and teaching Disciplines. See Playing a Ghoul.

Learning Times: Disciplines do not develop overnight. Refer to the chart below for the minimum time lengths it takes for characters to learn new Disciplines.

Discipline Dot Time Spent
1 1 week
2 2 weeks
3 1 month
4 2 months
5 Unlocked by GM (neonates), 3 months (ancillae)
Devotion 1 week per Experience cost
Blood Sorcery Theme 1 week per new dot rating

Neonate PCs can learn a number of Discipline dots equal to (Blood Potency + 5) at the normal learning times. Additional Disciplines can be learned at the rate of one dot per story arc. Several exceptions are not subject to these extended learning times:

• Theme dots for Blood Sorcery
• Devotions
• Discipline dots acquired through diablerie
• Discipline dots and Devotions acquired through other plot-specific circumstances outside of player control

Maximum Disciplines: The maximum dot rating vampires may learn in any single Discipline is capped by their Blood Potency. Standard Disciplines (1-5 dots) are capped by (Blood Potency + 2), while elder Disciplines (6 or more dots) are capped by (Blood Potency).

Blood Potency Discipline Max
1 3
2 4
3 5
4 5
5 5
6 6
7 7
8 8
9 9

Elder Disciplines: Requiem may not have them, but Masquerade does. As there is no standard progression for Discipline powers after five dots, such powers are effectively all Devotions. Every dot in a Discipline over five grants a free Devotion worth (1/2 Discipline rating, rounded down) Experiences. This Devotion’s prerequisites can only be (vampire’s maximum dots in the Discipline); they cannot incorporate other Disciplines. Example: A vampire who learns Dominate 6 receives a Devotion worth 3 Experiences. This Devotion’s only prerequisites can be Dominate 6.

6+ level Disciplines, like all other 6+ traits, require the character to have six or more dots in Blood Potency.


Animalism


Insects: Animalism works on insects, just like it did/does under Vampire: The Masquerade’s rules. However, while colonies of insects may be capable of carrying out complex tasks, individual insects’ minds are too simple for vampires to communicate with. Any orders that rely on an insect’s subjective perceptions (such as “describe what you saw”) automatically fail, nor can insects “speak” to the vampire like other animals can. Basically, insects can only obey direct commands that leave no room for interpretation (such as “fly here” or “attack this person”). Nosferatu who want spies should use birds and rodents, not bugs.


Auspex


Characters add their Auspex dots as a bonus to Perception rolls.

Concealing Auspex Use: Using Auspex requires staring closely at the subject. The vampire can make a (Composure or Manipulation) + Subterfuge roll to conceal their true interest, contested by Wits + (Empathy or Subterfuge) + Auspex (users of the Discipline can better recognize its use by others). Every success reduces the number of questions the vampire can ask by 1 (and potentially to as low as 0) before the subject becomes aware of the vampire’s staring. This can potentially be played off around mortals, but any vampire with dots in Auspex or Occult, or who is older than a neonate, will suspect the use of Auspex. Mortals aware of the supernatural may also suspect something unusual if they are also aware of the vampire’s true nature.

The vampire does not know by how many questions their “safe threshold” has been reduced unless they succeed on a Wits + (Empathy or Subterfuge) roll contested by the subject’s (Manipulation or Composure) + Subterfuge. If the subject wins, they can “broadcast” whatever number they like (ie, how long the vampire supposedly has before the subject is on to them).

Beast’s Hackles (•)

This power is contested by the target’s Composure + Blood Potency.

Uncanny Perception (••)

This power is contested by the target’s Composure + Blood Potency. Additionally, characters must spend Vitae to use this power more than once per scene, rather than once per character.

The Spirit’s Touch (•••)

Using this power on an object or place that carries extreme emotions may prompt a roll to resist frenzy. Targets with sufficiently dark histories, such as the site of a murder, may inflict Conditions like Shaken or Spooked.

Lay Open the Mind (••••)

This power is contested by the target’s Composure + Blood Potency. The vampire can project their thoughts to targets without a dice roll, as well as hear any thoughts the target chooses to project back. Reading full memories and any thoughts the target does not choose to project require a dice roll.

If the character drags up full memories, the victim is likely to become suspicious if the memory is unrelated to the situation immediately at hand (and may suspect the use of Auspex if familiar with the Discipline).

Twilight Projection (•••••)

Ghosts, spirits, and other ephemeral entities can see the astral vampire and interact with them as if they were solid. Ephemeral entities can talk, touch, and even fight with the astral vampire as if she were a corporeal entity, and vice versa.

Ephemeral entities use their own rules system, but astrally projecting vampires for simplicity substitute Mental Attributes for Physical ones (Wits replaces Dexterity, Intelligence replaces Strength, and Resolve replaces Stamina). When a character loses all their Health, their astral form is slain and their spirit snaps back to their body, inflicting the Stunned Tilt and lethal damage equal to (Resolve + 5).

Astrally projecting characters may also venture into the Upper Umbra, a fantastic and dreamlike realm that mages term the Astral Plane and changelings call the Skein. Visiting this otherworld carries rewards and perils in equal share.


Celerity


Persistent Effects: Add the vampire’s dots in Celerity to her Dexterity. This can raise her Dexterity above the normal limits imposed by her Blood Potency. (Per our other house rule, characters add the higher of their Dexterity or Wits to Defense. This effectively means that Celerity provides a direct bonus to Defense.) The vampire also applies her Celerity dots to Defense against firearms.

Reduce Time: Vampires with Celerity can accomplish physical feats in a fraction of the time it takes other individuals. They reduce the amount of time per roll on extended actions to the following durations. This use of Celerity is obviously supernatural and breaks the Masquerade, though the vampire may choose not to employ it.

Celerity 0 Celerity 1 Celerity 2 Celerity 3 Celerity 4 Celerity 5
1 turn 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn
1 minute 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn
10 minutes 1 minute 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn
30 minutes 10 minutes 1 minute 1 turn 1 turn 1 turn
1 hour 30 minutes 10 minutes 1 minute 1 turn 1 turn
1 day 1 hour 30 minutes 10 minutes 1 minute 1 turn

GM’s Note: The above Celerity use was inspired by this.

Active Effects: Due to the online format we play over, interrupting NPC actions after they’re declared but before dice are rolled isn’t really feasible. Characters can instead use Celerity to interrupt actions after they’ve happened (in effect, retconning them into not having happened), but doing so costs a point of Willpower. If the interrupted character possesses dots in Celerity, this also takes a Clash of Wills.

GM Notes: Players have asked whether using Celerity to interrupt another character’s action forfeit your own action. Ie, if the initiative order is NPC 1, You, NPC 2, and NPC 1 takes an action that you interrupt, is it your action afterwards or NPC 2’s?
The answer is no. The rules don’t say anything about changing your place in the initiative order or skipping to the next character’s action.

Characters may spend 1 Vitae to apply their full Defense score against firearm attacks for a single turn.

Characters may spend 1 Vitae to convert (1 per Celerity dot) dice into automatic successes on an extended or contested Dexterity-based roll. This effect may only be used once per turn.


Dominate


Avoiding Eye Contact: Dominate requires eye contact between the vampire and their victim in order to function. There are several ways victims can attempt to avoid this.

Closing Eyes: Victims can close their eyes, wear a blindfold, or otherwise completely physically obscure their sight, which imposes the Blinded Tilt (both eyes) but makes standard uses of Dominate impossible. Various checks may be possible to force the victim to open their eyes.

Averting Eyes: Victims can try to avoid looking at the vampire’s face, instead looking at their body, watching their shadow, tracking them in a reflective surface, etc. This imposes the Blinded Tilt (one eye) on the character. Each turn, roll a single die: on a result of 1-5, the victim inadvertently makes eye contact with the vampire. Various checks may again be possible to force the victim to make eye contact.

Commands: Characters can issue (Dominate dots – victim’s Blood Potency dots, minimum 1) commands to a victim without issue. If the character issues further commands, the victim can make a new Resolve + Blood Potency roll at a cumulative +1 bonus contested by the character’s Dominate dice pool to break free of the vampire’s control.

If the victim’s Blood Potency is equal or higher than the vampire’s Dominate, they automatically break free after obeying a single command. If the victim has Blood Potency 0, or no Blood Potency score at all, the character can issue an unlimited number of commands.

Concealing Dominate: The rules neither mention nor contradict this, but it was a thing under the CWoD rules. Characters can conceal Dominate-issued commands within the context of a normal sentence, and have only a single word (or single uninterrupted sequence of words) carry the full force of their Dominate behind it.

Victims who succeed on their Resolve + Blood Potency roll to resist being Dominated will automatically know the character tried to do something to them, though a contested (Manipulation or Composure) + Subterfuge roll might be able to redirect this suspicion or convince victims who are ignorant of the supernatural that it was nothing.

Observers can also make a Wits + (Empathy or Subterfuge) + Dominate roll (users of the Discipline will more readily be able to tell when it is being used) contested by the character’s (Manipulation or Composure) + Subterfuge to notice when the character is covertly using Dominate within a conversation. Observers ignorant of the supernatural may not make this roll.

Restoring Deleted Memories: Dominate can restore as well as erase a subject’s memories, though it is less efficient than Auspex—as well as more traumatic for the subject. The character must name a specific memory (or series of memories) for the subject to remember: he cannot simply compel his ghouls to “forget everything that didn’t really happen” as a periodic secure measure. He must succeed on a Clash of Wills against the vampire who erased the subject’s memories. If the character is using Dominate 1, he can compel the subject to recall a single memory. If the character is using Dominate 2, the subject remembers one memory per success rolled.

The subject also faces a breaking point at their current Morality level, and rolls at a penalty equal to (number of successes rolled by the vampire trying to access their memories). The two vampires are essentially playing tug-of-war in the victim’s mind with Dominate, which can be highly traumatic. Using Dominate in this way is also a breaking point for the vampire at Humanity 4 (if they reduce the victim’s Morality by any amount) and Humanity 2 (if they reduce the victim’s Morality to 0). Banes may be taken to prevent Humanity loss as normal.

Suicidal Commands: Dominate 1-4 can’t be used to issue commands the victim would rather die than obey. This includes obviously self-destructive orders (such as “Shoot yourself in the head”), but also extends to orders that directly harm people or causes the victim would sacrifice his life to protect (such as “Kill your own children.”) Victims never follow such orders, and receive an immediate Resolve + Blood Potency roll at a penalty equal to the vampire’s Dominate dots to break free of the vampire’s control.

The key words are “directly harm.” Commands for a (loving) parent to murder their own children are a no go: commands for the parent to do nothing while someone else murders their children, or even to tie them up and load the gun that serves as their execution weapon, are just fine.

Mesmerize (•)

Characters can mesmerize and command a victim in the same turn if their command is only one word long. Doing so instantly resolves the Mesmerized Condition.

A popular command to give with Dominate is “Sleep”. The victim falls comatose and does not awaken until the end of the scene. Inflicting any amount of damage or using other potent means of rousing someone (ie, smelling salts) can prematurely awaken the victim.

Exceptional Success: As an alternative to issuing a command in the same turn as mesmerizing the victim, the vampire can alter their memories as far back as the start of the current night. She is still limited to four-word alterations.

Possession (•••••)

If the vampire attempts to make a victim kill themselves, the victim rolls Resolve + Blood Potency – the vampire’s Dominate as a reflexive action.

On a successful Possession roll, the vampire can use any purely mental Disciplines they have dots in while possessing the victim. Mental Disciplines include: Auspex, Chimerstry, Dementation, Dominate, Majesty, Obfuscate. Bloodline Disciplines may be decided on a case-by-case basis.

On an exceptional success, the vampire can use any Disciplines they have dots in while possessing the victim.

Any Vitae the vampire would spend is subtracted from their own body’s reserve. If the victim is a ghoul or another vampire, the vampire may spend their Vitae instead.


Majesty


Detecting Majesty: Although Majesty can be used in obvious ways, it is an inherently subtle Discipline (one of the advantages it has over Dominate). Characters who want to detect if someone is being affected by Majesty must be aware of the supernatural and roll Wits + Empathy contested by the vampire’s original Majesty roll result. The Empathy roll may take a bonus if victims are being made to behave in out of character ways, such as if an unwashed Caitiff vagrant is using Awe to make a hit at a high society soiree.

Idol does not require an Empathy roll to detect. Its use is extremely obvious.

Range: I’ve had players ask about this point. Majesty cannot be used over phones, Skype calls, live video feeds, etc. The vampire has to be physically present in the same room (or other equivalent space) as their victim to use Majesty on them. That said, the effects of existing Majesty applications do persist—a victim who’s been Enthralled by a vampire and calls them over the phone will still be Enthralled.

Awe (•)

Characters using Awe can choose to affect a limit number of targets or to exclude specific characters from its effects.

This isn’t a house rule, but bears mentioning as it’s implicitly stated in a different section of the rulebook (and not obvious here). Mortals/ghouls can attempt to resist Awe in the same manner vampires can, although their dice pool is lower and doing so always requires them to spend a Willpower point, as their “Blood Potency” is lower than any vampire’s.

Awe’s range/area of effect is equal to a large room. Someone who is watching the vampire through a pair of binoculars at the other end of a street, for example, is unaffected.

Confidant (••)

This power is contested by Composure + Blood Potency.

Loyalty (••••)

This power is contested by Composure + Blood Potency.

Idol (•••••)

Revised the second and third paragraphs of this power as follows:

Anyone affected by the vampire’s Awe may spend a Willpower point to roll Composure + Blood Potency. If they roll as many successes as the vampire’s Majesty dots, they can take a single action that would harm or embarrass the vampire. Unless they succeed, they can’t so much as crack a joke at his expense.

If the vampire has inflicted the Charmed Condition on anyone in his presence, she must make a reflexive Composure +
Blood Potency roll when the vampire activates Idol. If she rolls fewer successes than the vampire’s Majesty dots, she acquires the Enthralled Condition for the remainder of the scene. People who the vampire has already Enthralled cannot spend Willpower to act against him.


Obfuscate


Characters add their Obfuscate dots as a bonus to Stealth rolls. This overlaps (does not stack) with the Dexterity bonus granted by Celerity.

Piercing Obfuscate: There are several ways for characters without Auspex (or who fail their Clash of Wills) to find an Obfuscated vampire.

Animals: Animals who succeed on Perception checks contested by the vampire’s Stealth may act frightened and skittish, particularly if the vampire is of low Humanity. Characters can observe this agitation by succeeding on a Wits + Animal Ken roll (made with a bonus equal to the vampire’s Social penalty from low Humanity), though there are other factors that can make an animal skittish.

Natural Immunity: Individuals to whom deception is foreign, such as young children and the mentally ill, can see through Obfuscate. Adults of sound (or at least functionally sound) mental health who are simply poor liars do not count for this purpose—it is the mental capacity to conceive of engaging in protracted falsehood at all that is relevant. For the same reason, children who are practiced fibbers will not see through Obfuscate.

GM’s Commentary: “Kids can see through Obfuscate” was written in ‘90s-era VtM books and wasn’t updated in V20. Kids lie all the time and “children are innocent” is an outmoded stereotype. The key distinction is whether they lie with knowing intent and have the capacity to recognize their lie’s long-term consequences. A toddler who insists something false is true out of strong emotion (“He ate my cookie!”) can see through Obfuscate, but not a grade schooler who regularly lies to their parents about doing their homework. For any ambiguous cases (though I doubt such will ever come up in-game), we’re fortunate to have a child psychologist among our roster of players.
As a general rule, any child who is too young to be punished for lying can see through Obfuscate, as can older (but still only prepubescent) children who are especially honest and forthright (GM’s discretion).

Deliberate Effort: People who know (or at least suspect) the vampire is present and are actively trying to find her can make an extended Perception roll, requiring successes equal to (vampire’s Obfuscate dots x 5).

If the vampire is aware they are being observed, this Perception roll is contested by the vampire’s Dexterity + Stealth + Obfuscate.

Characters can conceal their observation by making a Stealth or Subterfuge roll contested by the vampire’s Perception or Empathy/Subterfuge. On a success, their Perception rolls are non-contested.

Characters who find a vampire using Obfuscate 1-2 treat them as fully visible. Characters who find a vampire using Obfuscate 3 are treated as having the Blinded Tilt with respect to the vampire. If the vampire manages to distract or disappear from the characters (which may call for further rolls) they must repeat this process all over again.

Cloak of Night (•••)

If the vampire vanishes in front of others, roll Dexterity + Stealth + Obfuscate. Any character with lower Composure + Blood Potency than the vampire’s successes does not notice her disappearance, simply forgetting she was there to begin with.

Per developer Rose Bailey’s forum post, the following points of clarity also apply:

Ignore the section on canny observers following the vampire. It’s subsumed by “Piercing Obfuscate” above.

• Characters can make themselves completely vanish. Barring Clash of Wills, the way to pierce this is an extended action.

• Characters can make someone else disappear, using Touch of Shadow and its associated rules. Which means that observers may make a Wits + Composure – Obfuscate roll.

The Familiar Stranger (••••)

How attractive a character Obfuscated through this power appears is relative to their Presence and Humanity. A Nosferatu with Humanity 2 will appear mortal, but still suffer the attendant -5 to Social rolls from low Humanity (and depending on their Presence, may either look ugly as sin or horrifically entrancing). A Nosferatu with Humanity 7+ (or who has spent Vitae on Blush of Life) will have average looks unless they have above average Presence.


Protean


Unmarked Grave (•)

Characters are trapped underground if someone salts the patch of earth they disappeared into.

Primeval Miasma (•••••)

“The world outside her form is blurred and muted” means the vampire takes a -3 penalty to Perception checks not related to her Kindred senses (ie, detecting blood). Making out fine details also may require Perception checks where they normally may not (ie, overhearing conversations or reading words).


Resilience


Persistent Effects: Characters do not downgrade aggravated damage to lethal. Instead, they gain an armor rating equal to their dots in Resilience, enabling them to completely shrug off lesser attacks. This armor is treated as general and overlaps (does not stack) with other sources of general armor. It offers no protection against fire or sunlight.

Active Effects: For each point of Vitae spent (up to a maximum amount equal to their Resilience dots in a single turn), the character can downgrade one point of aggravated damage into lethal damage. This effect cannot be used to reduce damage from sunlight and replaces Resilience’s other active benefits.

Characters may spend 1 Vitae to convert (1 per Resilience dot) dice into automatic successes on an extended or contested Stamina-based roll. This effect may only be used once per turn.


Vigor


Persistent Effects: As the GM rarely cares to measure exact physical distances, characters with Vigor use the following dice formula to jump: (Strength + Athletics) x (their dots in Vigor + 1). Their dots in Vigor are not counted in the first total.

Characters add their Vigor dots as a weapon bonus to all Brawl and Weaponry attacks, meaning they also deal lethal damage with their unarmed attacks. This overlaps (does not stack) with the existing weapon bonuses from equipment. They deal bashing damage against any character with a general armor rating higher than their Vigor dots.

GM’s Note: This particular quality is intended to reward characters who fully invest in Vigor rather than “dip” for a single dot. Being able to deal lethal damage with unarmed attacks is using, but characters with more Resilience dots than your Vigor dots, or who simply wear heavy enough armor, still take bashing damage.

Active Effects: Characters may spend 1 Vitae to convert (1 per Vigor dot) dice into automatic successes on an extended or contested Strength-based roll. This effect may only be used once per turn.


Devotions


See this page for the changes and additions made to Devotions.


Blood Sorcery


See this page for the changes and additions made to Blood Sorcery.


Mysteries of the Dragon



Coil of the Ascendant


The Warm Face (••)

A Dragon with this Coil also treats her Humanity score as 10 for purposes of what times she rises during the evening and goes to sleep at dawn.

Sun’s Forgotten Kiss (•••••)

A Dragon with this Coil takes damage from sunlight once every minute, regardless of her Blood Potency. For each extra Vitae she spends the Dragon treats her Humanity as two dots higher, to a maximum of ten dots, when determining how much damage she takes from sunlight.


Coil of the Voivode


The Vast Dynasty (•••••)

The Embrace is already a Humanity 2 breaking point under our house rules. A Dragon with this Coil does not face a breaking point for the Embrace.


Rules of the Night


Speed

As mentioned earlier, characters don’t need to bother recording this trait.


Rolling Dice



Roll Results


Dramatic Failures: Dramatic failures (also called botches) occur whenever a character rolls a 1 and no successes. Dramatic failures with meaningful consequences grant a Beat.

Success: Players may choose to turn a success on any dice roll into a failure in exchange for a Beat. They may turn a success into a dramatic failure for two Beats.

Exceptional Success: At the GM’s discretion (and frequent preference) Characters can get outcomes besides beneficial Conditions on an ex success.

For every additional five successes characters achieve, they get an even better outcome of some kind. In effect, they get an exceptional exceptional success on 10 successes, an exceptional exceptional exceptional success on 15, etc.

Players may accept a Beat to turn a failure into a dramatic failure, a success into a failure, or an exceptional success into a success.

Players may accept two Beats to turn a success into a dramatic failure or an exceptional success into a failure.

Players may accept three Beats to turn an exceptional success into a dramatic failure.


Willpower


Spending Willpower lets characters reroll a single dice roll and use the better of the two results. It may not be used to add +3 to a single roll.


Actions


Declaration and Setup: Characters can use this subsystem to take retroactive actions outside of the normal timeline and perform other clever feats. See the full page for further information.

Extended Actions: To determine the difficulty of an extended roll, the GM assigns a numeric rating between 1 and 5, then requires successes equal to five times that amount. 25 successes, rather than 20, is the normal highest total.

Exceptional Success: Characters who roll multiple exceptional successes during an extended action cannot pick the same benefit twice. Characters who roll 10, 15, 20, etc. successes on a single dice roll, however, can still achieve exceptional exceptional (+) successes, as described above. They simply can’t do so more than once.

Multiple Actions: Characters can perform more than one instant action per turn by taking a -2 penalty to all dice pools for every extra action performed. For example, if a character tries to drive a car while firing a gun, she takes a -2 penalty to each of the two rolls. If she also tries to intimidate the terrified cabbie into not doing anything foolish, she takes a -4 penalty to each of the three rolls.

In combat, making attack rolls against multiple opponents instead divides the character’s dice pool by an amount equal to the number of opponents attacked (rounded down). Dice pools cannot be reduced below a chance die in this manner. (Ie, characters cannot roll chance dice against a dozen opponents when it’s already a chance die for them to attack three opponents.)

Readied Actions: Characters can “hold” certain actions to perform them later. To do so, they must specify the action they will take and the conditions under which they will take it. (Such as the classic, “Make one move and I’ll shoot!”) Declaring a readied action costs an instant action, and the action can be kept readied indefinitely.

If another character attempts to interrupt the readied character’s action (for example, shooting someone who has a gun planted to a hostage’s head), make a contested Wits + Dexterity roll. The readying character gains a +3 bonus to their roll. The winner goes first. If initiative would be rolled, then roll initiative as normal instead, with a +3 bonus to the readying character. The interrupting character does not get a surprise round.

Common Actions: Many resisted Social actions are instead contested. Interrogation, for example, is contested by the subject’s Resolve + Composure, fast-talk is contested by Wits + Composure, intimidation is contested by Resolve + Composure, etc. Contested actions make the odds even, unlike resisted actions, which favor the “attacking” character.


Permutations


The following additional quality exists:

10-only: You treat any roll results of 8 or 9 as a failure. Only 10s count as successes.


Combat



Down and Dirty Combat


Characters with a supernatural power that lets them kill or incapacitate people can roll its dice pool in Down and Dirty Combats.

Down and Dirty Combats may also be initiated against minor combatants during larger fights.


Initiative


Initiative is equal to a character’s Dexterity + Wits + Celerity.

Weapons do not impose penalties on initiative. Though realistic, it has proven tedious to remember. Small weapons still have a significant advantage over larger ones in that they can be concealed more easily (and in some situations, even worn openly).

Surprise: Ambushers can roll other dice pools in place of Dexterity + Stealth as appropriate to the situation (for example, Manipulation or Composure + Subterfuge when attacking someone you are peacefully talking with).


Attack


Characters may add either Dexterity + Celerity or Strength + Vigor to Brawl and Weaponry rolls, whichever is higher.

Characters may choose to “hold back” when making their attacks and cap the amount of damage they deal at a specified amount (declared in advance of rolling the attack). Characters who want to deal less damage than a weapon’s base damage bonus take its base damage bonus as a penalty on their attack roll. (For example, wanting to deal 1 damage with a 3L longsword imposes -3 on the attack roll.)

Rolling an exceptional success on an attack roll inflicts a minor benefit at the GM’s discretion, such as disarming or tripping a foe. Such goes for PCs and NPCs alike.


Defense


Defense is calculated off (higher of a character’s Dexterity or Wits) + (highest of Athletics, Brawl, or Weaponry).

To reduce bookkeeping, attacking characters doesn’t reduce their Defense. Ignore everything on choosing when to apply Defense, the number always stays the same. The rule for retrying failed actions (where characters take a cumulative -1 penalty) also doesn’t apply to failed attack rolls.


Dodge


Dodge rules are streamlined as follows: Designate a single opponent to dodge. A character can spend an instant action to roll their Defense as a dice pool. The character subtracts their successes from the opponent’s successes on any attack rolls. This effect lasts until the start of the character’s next action.

A character can choose to apply the benefits of their dodge to another character. This is effectively how bodyguards protect someone.

If a character wants to dodge multiple opponents, they take a -1 penalty to their Defense roll per additional opponent.


Unarmed Combat


Grapple: Grappling characters take -2 to Defense.

Grapplers cannot pick the same move twice in one turn against the same opponent.

Grappling characters act on separate initiative counts, not the same one. Each character, on their count, makes a contested (Strength or Dexterity) + Brawl roll. On a failure, they remain grappled and aren’t able to pick any grapple moves to use on their opponent (ie, their action is wasted). Their opponent gets a chance to use grapple moves when their own initiative count rolls around.

In other words, there are no more shenanigans with characters acting on new initiative counts because they’re grappling. It’s the same as any other combat maneuver.

Example: Jacob, Lavine, and Doc Xola are in a fight. Doc Xola is grappling Jacob, and their respective initiative counts are Xola 13, Lavine 8, and Jacob 6. On Xola’s turn, he makes a contested grapple roll, beats Jacob, and chooses to inflict X amount of damage. Lavine does something irrelevant to this example with her turn. On Jacob’s count, he makes a contested grapple roll, loses to Xola, and takes no action. The turn concludes, and we cycle back to Xola’s initiative count._

Grapple moves are changed as follows:

Control Weapon: It is a reflexive action to draw a weapon, per our other house rules, so drawing one’s own weapon does not require a use of the Control Weapon move (ie, it is still a reflexive action). Wanting to deprive an opponent of their weapon still requires the Control Weapon move.

Damage: Damage is lethal if a character is using a weapon that inflicts lethal damage. Using a weapon in a grapple imposes a penalty on the character’s grapple roll equal to the weapon’s Size.

Disarm: Disarming an opponent does not require succeeding on the Control Weapon move (though still requires a successful grapple roll).


Ranged Combat


Aiming: Characters can spend an action to line up a shot against a single, visible opponent and gain +1 on their next Firearms attack roll, to a maximum of +3. If the opponent moves, the bonus is lost.

Autofire: Long burst is the only mode of autofire. It increases the shooter’s dice pool by +3.

Range: Rather than use exact physical measurements, there are three all-purpose distances: Close, Near, and Far.

Close applies whenever a character makes a Brawl or Weaponry attack against another character. It’s up close and personal. When characters use a Size 2+ firearm against an opponent they’re Close to, the characters subtracts their opponent’s Defense from their Firearms roll.

Near is within the same room or street, close enough to physically attack someone with a quick dash. There are no special bonuses or penalties for this distance. If characters make a Brawl or Weaponry roll against someone they’re Near to, they become Close.

Far is too distant to make melee attacks with. Ranged attacks are still possible, and may take a penalty depending on relative distance.

Reloading: Guns have infinite ammunition, as the GM prefers not to keep track of how many shots individual firearms have left. Characters are assumed to carry enough ammmo to meet their needs and to be reloading as necessary between scenes. Running out of ammo is one possible outcome on a botched Firearms roll, in which case it costs an instant action to reload.


General Combat Factors


All-Out Attack: For whatever reason, this maneuver isn’t mentioned in the VtR rulebook (but is in CofD). I reprint it here for convenience (and with a couple house rules applied).

A character can sacrifice her Defense until the start of her next initiative count in order to add +2 or her Brawl or Weaponry dots (whichever is more) to her next Brawl or Weaponry attack, throwing caution to the wind and leaving herself open to be more aggressive.

Drawing a Weapon: Drawing a weapon is a reflexive action.

Specified Targets: The following rules are changed.

Head: Firearms attacks to a vampire’s head are lethal instead of bashing. The vampire still applies their Stamina score as ballistic armor.

Killing Blows: Characters don’t need to bother tracking damage when shooting a helpless individual at point-blank range. (The current rules for killing blows are wildly unrealistic, requiring a Dexterity 2/Firearms 0 character to empty seven shots into a helpless man to kill him.) They can simply declare they’ve executed them. This “instant kill” rule does not apply to vampires and other supernaturally resilient creatures. (The GM considered using a dice roll of some kind. But even someone shot point-blank in the head is rolling a chance die, they have a flat 10% chance of survival.)


Ranged Weapons Chart


Weapons do not impose penalties on initiative. Though realistic, it has proven tedious to remember. Small weapons still have a significant advantage over larger ones in that they can be concealed more easily (and in some situations, even worn openly).


Melee Weapons Chart


As above. Weapons do not penalize initiative.


Armor


Armor’s penalty to Speed (which we do not use as a trait) applies to Dexterity-based rolls instead.

Additional varieties of armor may be found on the following page: Body Armor


Injury and Healing


Kindred downgrade lethal damage to bashing damage. They have ballistic armor ratings equal to their Stamina dots. This overlaps (does not stack) with ballistic armor ratings from physical armor, though as ballistic armor it does stack with the general armor granted by Resilience. Resilience does not add to a vampire’s ballistic armor rating, as it already adds to general armor.

Example: A vampire with Stamina 2 has general armor 0 and ballistic armor 2, for armor 0/2. A vampire with Stamina 3 and Resilience 1 has general armor 1 and ballistic armor 3, for armor 1/3.

Any mortal or ghoul character suffering from more lethal damage than their Stamina takes 1 point of bashing damage per minute until they receive medical attention.

As mentioned, vampires instantly disintegrate upon Final Death, regardless of age.

Wound Penalties: Vampires do not take wound penalties from bashing damage.

Medical Care: The Medicine Skill can be used to speed up healing in the following two ways. Much of this is unchanged from the core rules and reprinted for convenience (as well as reorganized to read more intuitively).

Field or ER: Roll Dexterity + Medicine. Each roll takes one minute and the target number of successes are equal to the total number of points of damage suffered by the patient. Achieving sufficient successes heals one point of bashing damage and stabilizes the patient. As described under “Full Health Tracks and Upgrading Damage,” a dying character takes one point of lethal damage per minute until they are successfully stabilized.

A dying character who is stabilized in an ER or other intensive-care facility is safely out of the woods. A dying character who is stabilized in the field, however, only stops taking damage for the remainder of the scene. This time window is long enough to rush them to a hospital, but if such a facility is particularly far away (GM discretion), the driver may need to make an extended Dexterity + Drive roll to get there in a timely manner. The driver can try again if they fail, but the stabilized character resumes dying (taking one point of lethal damage per minute) and requires another extended Medicine roll to stabilize.

Characters who receive supernatural healing that instantly restores lost Health count as being stabilized, as well as having received hospital care. They are at no risk of taking further damage and dying from their wounds after benefiting from such miraculous healing.

Suggested Equipment: Set of surgeon’s tools (scalpels, retractors, clamps) (+1), field surgical kit (+1), military surgical kit (++2), access to surgical facilities (+3)

Possible Penalties: Lack of tools (-1 to -4), bad weather (-2), distraction from noise (-1) to imminent danger (-4)

Long-Term Hospital Care: Once a dying character is stabilized, they can receive round-the-clock, intensive care to diminish their injuries and downgrade the nature of their wounds. The caregiver makes an extended Intelligence + Medicine roll. Each roll requires one hour. With 5 successes, the caregiver can downgrade one point of lethal damage to bashing. With 10 successes, the caregiver can downgrade one point of aggravated damage to lethal. This kind of treatment always focuses on the worst of the patient’s injuries first. Thus, an aggravated wound is downgraded to lethal before a lethal wound is downgraded to bashing. No more than one wound can be downgraded per day of treatment, and such treatment can occur only in a hospital or other intensive-care facility. Patients who are in treatment for aggravated damage are typically in the ICU; once their aggravated wounded are healed, they are moved to the hospital’s non-ICU wing and allowed to recover on their own. (Recall that characters naturally heal one point of aggravated damage per week, one point of lethal damage per two days, and one point of bashing damage per 15 minutes.)

Suggested Equipment: Set of surgeon’s tools (scalpels, retractors, clamps) (+1), access to surgical facilities (+3)

Possible Penalties: Penalties are unlikely to apply in a hospital setting.

Example: Someone has beaten the crap out of Emir. He has lost all of his 7 Health points to lethal damage and is now bleeding to death (taking one point of lethal damage a minute, which gets upgraded to aggravated damage since he has already taken lethal damage equal to his Health). Landers discovers Emir and performs first aid. Landers’ Dexterity is 2 and Medicine is 1. He must accumulate seven successes to stop the flow of blood and save Emir’s life. Four rolls (and minutes) pass before Landers accumulates the required successes, at which point Emir stops incurring aggravated injuries. That leaves him with four aggravated and seven lethal wounds. (Until Landers accumulates the number of successes required to stop the bleeding, Emir continues to gain one aggravated wound per minute as he keeps bleeding. If Landers’ rolls were repeatedly unsuccessful, Emir could have died while being treated.)

Later, in the hospital, the attending physician puts Emir in intensive care to alleviate the worst of his injuries. The doctor has 3 Intelligence and 3 Medicine, and gains four bonus dice for tools and facilities. In three hours, 10 successes are rolled for him and he reduces one of Emir’s aggravated wounds to lethal damage. At least three more days of such successful treatment must pass before Emir’s remaining three aggravated wounds are reduced to lethal, one per day. After that, Emir is moved out of ICU and allowed to recover on his own with rest. It takes two days before he heals one of his lethal injuries, and it will take him fourteen days to heal all of them. Before any more time is lost, however, a staggering Emir escapes from the hospital to avoid explanations, to hole up and to plot his revenge.


Equipment


Armor: Additional varieties of armor may be found on this page.


Conditions


Beneficial Conditions (like Inspired) do not grant a Beat when resolved.

Whenever a character would gain a Beat from a roll penalty imposed by a Condition, they should roll the shaved-off dice as a separate pool. If any die turns up a success, they take a Beat.

GM’s Note: This is not technically a houserule, simply a system by which to determine when penalties cause rolls to fail.


Non-Persistent Conditions


The following Conditions are tweaked:

Shaken
Something has frightened your character extensively. They must spend a point of Willpower whenever they want to take decisive action against the source of their fear (standing up to, plotting against, spying on, etc.). Attacking the source of their fear costs a point of Willpower per turn. This Condition fades without resolving after a scene.
Resolution: You run away from, don’t resist, or otherwise give in to the source of your fear.
Beat: n/a

Spooked
Your character has seen something supernatural—not overt enough to terrify them, but unmistakably otherworldly. How your character responds to this is up to you, but it captivates them and eats their attention. They lose a point of Willpower every scene that they do not resolve this Condition. This Condition also naturally fades after a full night’s rest or a number of scenes equal to (6 – Composure), whichever comes first.
Resolution: Your character acts on her fear or fascination in a way that hinders the group or complicates things (she goes off alone to investigate a strange noise, stays up all night researching, runs away instead of holding her ground, etc.).
Beat: n/a


Persistent Conditions


Consult the following page for how Persistent Conditions have been expanded.


Appendix: The Living


An “elder ghoul” refers to a ghoul who has outlived their alloted mortal lifespan. This is determined by the sum total of their mortal and ghoul years: a man who will die when he is 80 and ghouled when he is 60 will become an elder ghoul after 20 years of dependency upon the Blood.


Playing a Ghoul



Creating a Ghoul

As previously stated, Kindred do not need to spend a point of Willpower to turn mortals into ghouls. Merely feeding them a point of Vitae is sufficient.

Add Ghoul Traits

Blood Potency: Elder ghouls with domitors who possess Blood Potency 6 or higher may purchase a limited number of dots in Blood Potency. See the Powerful Vitae Merit for further information.

Clan Bane: Ghouls have lesser versions of their domitor’s clan bane. Independent ghouls have banes appropriate to the Kindred whose blood they last consumed. Banes typically change when a ghoul feeds (or receives the Embrace) from Kindred of a different clan, but have been known to linger.

Brujah (The Passionate Curse): Brujah blood carries with it the same inflammation of passion that the clan is well-known for. Brujah ghouls suffer from frenzy just like Kindred themselves do. Such frenzies last for a maximum number of turns equal to (11 – ghoul’s Integrity).
Beat: The ghoul’s frenzy causes them a difficulty or inconvenience.

Malkavian (The Moonstruck Curse): Malkavian vitae is notorious for transmitting the clan’s madness. Malkavian ghouls suffer from a single persistent Mental Condition that can never be resolved for as long as they remain ghouls to a Malkavian domitor.
Beat: Varies by Condition.

Nosferatu (The Lonely Curse): Nosferatu ghouls are often shocked to discover their appearance degrades over time, much like their domitors. This can manifest in numerous ways: severe acne, greasy hair, weight problems, body odor, etc. This deformity caps Animal Ken, Persuasion, and Socialize dice pools by the ghoul’s Integrity dots.
Beat: The ghoul fails a roll due to this bane.

Tremere (The Yielding Curse): Tremere ghouls are extremely susceptible to the blood bond. Whenever they would spend Willpower to harm or disobey their regnants, roll their Integrity as a dice pool. On a failure, the Willpower is wasted to no effect.
Beat: The ghoul fails an Integrity roll to resist the blood bond.

Ventrue (The Servile Curse) Ventrue ghouls are more susceptible to the commands of their masters. They cap all dice pools to resist orders (either from mundane Social Skills or Disciplines) from Kindred they are blood bound to by their Integrity dots.
Beat: The ghoul fails a roll due to this bane.

• Other clan weaknesses to follow.

Disciplines

Blood Sorcery: In lieu of spending Vitae, ghoul blood magicians may fuel their sorceries by spilling a minor amount of their own blood (inflicting a point of bashing damage) and spending a point of Willpower.

Contests and Resistance: Ghouls do not add their Discipline dots to Discipline rolls. They only roll an Attribute + a Skill.

Clashes of Wills: There is one exception to this rule: on Clashes of Wills, rather than rolling their Blood Potency (only a chance die), ghouls roll their dots in the relevant Discipline, but gain the 10-only dice quality (see Permutations for information on what 10-only does, but in brief, only 10s count as successes). While this still makes Clashes of Wills unfavorable against the Kindred (who get to add their Blood Potency to their roll), outcomes are no longer completely preordained.

Starting Disciplines: Ghouls automatically know a single Discipline dot when they are first ghouled. They learn their second Discipline dot after the normal waiting period elapses (see below). Ghoul Retainers who would know more than two Discipline dots are also subject to this waiting time.

Learning New Disciplines: Ghouls have much more difficulty learning Disciplines than Kindred do. The powers passed down from Caine reach their full potency only in his childer; they are alien to mere mortals.

In-Clan Disciplines: Ghouls may learn Disciplines that are in-clan for their domitor without impediment (subject to the usual cap imposed by their domitor’s Blood Potency). They may also learn physical Disciplines (Celerity, Resilience, Vigor) without impediment, as these are instinctive enough to be accessible to any ghoul.

Non-Clan Disciplines: Ghouls may still learn out-of-clan Disciplines their domitor possesses, but the process is more difficult; such powers are not inherent to their domitor’s blood. To impart an out-of-clan Discipline to a ghoul, the domitor must make an extended Intelligence + Occult roll, requiring successes equal to (Discipline dot rating x 5) or ((6 – student’s Intelligence dots) x 5), whichever is less. On a failure, the ghoul is unable to learn the Discipline from their domitor. The domitor must make an extend roll for every dot they teach in a non-clan Discipline, and they may never teach the ghoul more dots in the Discipline than they possess themselves.

Other Ghouls: Ghouls may not teach Disciplines to other ghouls. They simply aren’t close enough to the Kinded state.

Teaching Kindred: Sometimes a vampire will come into possession of a ghoul that knows Disciplines they do not. Ghouls, however, are already poor students and make even worse teachers.

Learning an out-of-clan Discipline from a ghoul follows all the normal rules for learning out-of-clan Disciplines, save that the vampire and ghoul must both possess a number of Occult dots equal to the Discipline level taught. The ghoul must make an extended Intelligence + Occult roll, requiring successes equal to (Discipline dot rating x 5) or ((6 – student’s Intelligence dots) x 5), whichever is more. On a failure, the vampire is unable to learn the Discipline from the ghoul. Also, the vampire must still drink one Vitae from another vampire the Discipline is in-clan to. A ghoul’s tutelage is useless if this requirement is not met.

Learning Times: Ghouls use the same learning times for Disciplines as Kindred.

Discipline Caps: Ghouls do not follow the normal rules for Discipline caps imposed by Blood Potency. Instead, the maximum rating they may learn in a Discipline is capped by (domitor’s Blood Potency + 1, maximum 5). Ghouls who change domitors lose any Disciplines they possess in excess of this cap, but regain them when they drink from a domitor with sufficient Blood Potency.

Fixes and Withdrawal

Lifespan: If a ghoul has outlived his mortal lifespan and misses a fix, he ages at the rate of one year per hour. Missing doses is quickly fatal to elder ghouls.

Overfeeding: Ghouls may attempt to “cram” more Vitae than their systems can normally hold. This amount can be up to the ghoul’s Health score, and may never exceed 10. When the ghoul attempts to cram additional Vitae, make a Stamina + Resolve roll for each point consumed. On a failure, the Vitae is wasted and the ghoul takes a point of lethal damage. On a success, the ghoul crams the Vitae, but gains a Condition such as Delusional until the amount of Vitae in their system returns to “safe” levels.

The Blood Bond

The blood bond’s flavor of loyalty is more slavish (and certainly more permanent) in VtM than it is in VtR. Nevertheless, the advice presented here is still sound: ghouls are not mindless automatons and the blood bond is not Dominate.

Embraced Ghouls

Blood Bond: Any blood bond(s) a ghoul is under persist after they are Embraced.

Blood Potency: Starting Blood Potency is (sire’s Blood Potency – 4, minimum 1), as normal. Those rare ghouls with the Powerful Vitae Merit (elder ghouls with Blood Potency 6+ domitors only) gain one extra Blood Potency dot for every five dots in Powerful Vitae. They still remain subject to the Blood Potency cap imposed by their generation.

Disciplines: Embraced ghouls retain any Disciplines they already possessed and gain a single extra Discipline dot. This dot may only be from their sire’s in-clan Disciplines or a physical Discipline.

Merits: Many Supernatural Merits are lost upon the Embrace, though the Experience is refunded per Sanctity of Merits. See the Merits page for further information.

House Rules

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