“One symptom of the poison is what they call the Beast. The thing that frenzies, the thing that begs and screams for, demands blood. It’s pure, mindless evil. Without conscience, morality, or rationality. But the Beast isn’t some separate entity, some thing that possesses you. It is you. It’s the vitae. The Poison.”
“Some of your kind, they try to manage the Beast. Tame, appease, or ignore it, pretend it isn’t there, always there. Pretend that they’re the master and the Beast is their slave, shackled tight and secure. But they’re fooling themselves. There is no cure, no mastery. And it only gets worse. With each inhumane act, each time the Beast breaks free and runs wild, the Poison spreads, grows. In time, not even human blood will appease the Beast.”

Louis Fontaine

The change from life to undeath affects more than a person’s body. It changes the soul. A Kindred shares their human consciousness with a force completely opposite to humanity—a thing devoid of reason, conscience or any emotions except hunger and rage. Kindred call it the Beast.

The presence of the Beast changes the very nature of morality for vampires. The Kindred can pretend to be human, but they are not. Even the most evil and monstrous mortal does not have a Beast. A vampire’s existence is a constant struggle between the Man, the aspect of a Kindred that can make moral choices, and the Beast, which cannot.

The Beast follows a simple plan: Hunt. Kill. Feed. Sleep. Repeat. It feels no pity, no remorse, only thirst for blood. The Beast does not understand what other people think or feel, and it doesn’t care. They are just food.

The Man consists of everything that resists the Beast: rational thought, a conscience, and most of all the ability to relate to other people. The Man can understand how humans think and feel, and cares about them as more than food.

Losing Humanity

When a Kindred treats other people as prey or tools or inconvenient obstacles, the Man weakens. When Kindred make an effort to interact with mortals as fellow people, to care about their lives and happiness, the Beast weakens… and waits. The slide toward the Beast is easy. It comes naturally for creatures that must take blood from the living to survive. Strengthening the Man is difficult. Most vampires slowly degenerate. Mentally, they become less and less human, more callous and brutal.

Most Kindred stabilize as monsters with some degree of self-control. They give the Beast some of what it wants and fight it just enough to preserve their existence. The Beast doesn’t know how to hide the bodies; the Man does. These vampires hunt and feed and sometimes kill, but they try not to get caught.

The Downward Spiral

Some Kindred cannot strike that balance. Each crime makes the next one easier. They no longer care if they kill their vessels. They show less discretion in who they feed upon, where or how. They might start… playing with their food. When the Beast nears total ascendance, the Man becomes little more than a psychological appendage, adding human perversity and cruelty to the Beast’s predation.

Rock Bottom

Even that remnant of mortality goes in time, and the vampire becomes a killing machine as mindless and ruthless as a shark that scents blood in the water. The vampire retains just enough self-preservation to hide from the sun, flee fire, and fight back when attacked.

The Kindred call such creatures wights or draugr, the latter from an old Norse word for a reanimated corpse that viciously stalks and kills its living relations. A wight leaves a trail of corpses and public attacks that attract mortal attention. Even bitter enemies may put aside their struggles and cooperate to stop a wight before it breaks the Masquerade beyond repair. Such creatures care for nothing beyond their thirst for blood. They are, in short, the Beast.

The Humanity Scale

Vampires are monsters, and even a Kindred with the highest of Humanity ratings is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Nonetheless, some are worse monsters than others. Some vampires fight what they are and avoid killing. Some vampires revel in their monstrous natures and leave trails of corpses. Where a vampire falls along that spectrum is their Humanity.

Humanity exists as a continuum from zero to ten dots. This is a narrative rather than in-universe construct: vampires don’t recognize each other as being “Humanity 7” or “Humanity 4”.

Humanity 10: Saintly

Vampires at Humanity 10 barely seem like vampires. They lead saintly, verily ascetic unlives, with excruciating moral standards that most humans can’t live up to, never mind most Kindred. The merest selfish deed is anathema to these vampires, who are rarely passive or weak-willed: attaining (and maintaining) such a state of grace in spite of their predatory nature requires enormous commitment.

Most of these vampires tightly limit their involvement in the All-Night Society, recognizing its corrupting nature, and spend more time around humans than their own kind. They know the Man cannot thrive in isolation and deeply immerse themselves in humanity. A sense of well-being follows the vampire—optimism, even joy. So many people care about them, and they care about so many people in a real and demonstrable way. The Beast rages against its cage, but the door is chained shut.

Humanity 10 has the following effects:

Animals: Animals are exceptionally relaxed and affectionate around you.
Food: You can taste, eat, and digest food as if human. Many Kindred find this fact disgusting.
Frenzy: You can easily resist most of the Beast’s urges. Only direct threats to your unlife, your Touchstones’ lives, or starvation seriously risk it getting loose.
Masquerade: You are warm to the touch, with a full, hearty pulse. You produce natural bodily fluids, like tears and sweat. You heal minor cuts and bruises without spending vitae and can pass medical inspection. You look like an iconic, idealized human in glowing health, and can choose to hide your nature from other vampires (who can normally recognize their own on sight). Not even the taste of your vitae gives you away.
Sex: You can experience and even enjoy sexual intercourse.
Sleep: You rise from daysleep during civil twilight and experience human sleep (on a nocturnal schedule) rather than vampiric daysleep. You dream, twitch, and roll over in your sleep, rather than becoming a corpse. You’re an incredibly light sleeper by Kindred standards, and just as easy to wake as a human. Staying up past dawn is easy, if you want to, but you probably don’t—you find sleep deeply restful.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by 20 or so minutes of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 9: Compassionate

Kindred with Humanity scores this high aren’t saints, but they’re still better people than most people. Their moral standards aren’t as consistently exacting—is it really a sin to leave a poor tip for poor service?—but they’ll consistently do the right thing because it’s the right thing, even at cost to themselves. Many fledgling vampires sometimes adhere to codes more rigorous than they ever held in life, as a reaction against becoming a predator. Older Kindred scoff at this practice, out of callous disdain or to muffle their own regrets. These vampires seem natural among humans; they can talk and act the way mortals do, in the same unconscious way an expert method actor would. Hurting people for blood feels horrible, almost as gut-wrenchingly so as the hunger in full cry.

Humanity 9 has the following effects:

Animals: Animals respond to you as if human.
Food: You can taste, eat, and digest meats and many liquids. You can hold down other foods, but they’re tasteless and you’ll vomit them up by dawn.
Frenzy: You can easily resist the Beast’s lesser urges. Tiny flames don’t bother you, and you can feed while hungry (but not starving) without fear.
Masquerade: You are warm to the touch, with a full, hearty pulse. You produce natural bodily fluids, like tears and sweat. You can even pass medical inspection and look in good health. You can hide your nature from other vampires, but the taste of your blood gives you away.
Sex: You can experience and even enjoy sexual intercourse.
Sleep: You rise from daysleep during nautical twilight. You’re motionless when you sleep, but dream often and are just as easy to wake as a human. Sleep provides as much sense of rest as a long nap. You can choose to stay up past dawn, but making it through the entire day is exhausting.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by 15 or so minutes of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 8: Caring

Kindred at this Humanity are decent people, by human standards, but not remarkably so. They might not sacrifice themselves for a stranger, but they’ll probably do anything for people they’re close to, and will treat strangers with consistent decency. The vampire still feels pain for the hurts they and their kind inflict, and the thought of killing remains abhorrent. The vampire’s human guise remains passable; they remember with perfect clarity what human life felt like. They remember the way food tasted, even though they can no longer enjoy most of it.

Humanity 8 has the following effects:

Animals: Animals are shy around you and try to avoid touch.
Food: You can taste and digest wine, water, and raw meat. You can hold down other foods and liquids, but they’re tasteless and you’ll vomit them up by dawn.
Masquerade: As long as you’re awake—not in torpor or daysleep—you seem alive, as detailed under Humanity 9. When you’re not awake, you look paler, but not remarkably so. You can hide what you are for other vampires at a casual glance (e.g., in a crowd), but they can tell what you are when they’re paying attention.
Sex: You can experience and even enjoy sexual intercourse.
Sleep: You rise from daysleep during astronomical twilight. You’re a deep sleeper, by human standards, but lighter than most vampires. Sleep provides as much sense of rest as a power nap. You can stay up past dawn for maybe an hour before crashing.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by 10 or so minutes of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 7: Normal

Most newly-Embraced vampires have Humanity scores of 7 or so; they can usually manage to pass for mortals. Vampires with Humanity 7 typically subscribe to normal social mores—killing in self-defense is acceptable, even if it’s a rattling experience, while killing for any other reason induces terrible guilt. Sometimes the speed limit is too damn slow, though, and some people are assholes who deserve to get used as “donors.” You’ve gotta eat, right? The vampire isn’t a monster, but they can be selfish—just like everyone else in the world, mortal or not.

Humanity 7 has the following effects:

Animals: Animals grow distinctly agitated in your presence. Aggressive animals may attack.
Food: Food and drink taste unpleasant. You can hold them down, but must regurgitate them by dawn.
Masquerade: You look paler than you did alive, but not remarkably so. You have no pulse, don’t produce natural bodily fluids, and cry blood instead of tears. With an effort of will, you can force the dead blood in your veins to circulate, and appear alive again (as described under Humanity 9) for a little while. Vampires call this “the blush of life.” It makes you hungrier, though, so it’s not invoked frivolously.
Sex: You can have sexual intercourse, but it no longer carries physical pleasure. It’s mainly useful as cover for feeding, now.
Sleep: You rise around nightfall. Daysleep provides no sense of rest. You rarely dream. Staying up past dawn, or waking early, is difficult if you’re not in a position of imminent peril.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by five or so minutes of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 6: Aloof

It’s a rough world. If the vampire hurts someone feeding, that’s too bad, but sometimes that’s how it’s gotta be. Killing is still a line they don’t want to cross, but they accept that it’s part of the world they live in. Killing in self-defense doesn’t bother the vampire a blink, nor do crimes like cheating on taxes. Mortals would describe the vampire as jaded, but among Kindred circles their moral decline is only just getting started. Many neonates slip down to this level of Humanity after they’ve been around for a while. Elders who maintain this level of Humanity would be described as fairly decent—for elders.

Humanity 6 has the following effects:

Animals: Animals grow highly agitated in your presence. Aggressive animals are very likely to attack.
Food: Food and drink taste horrible. You can hold them down for about an hour.
Masquerade: You look distinctly pale or heroin chic, but still human. As with Humanity 7, you no longer produce bodily fluids, and can appear alive for a little while by spending blood.
Sex: As Humanity 7.
Sleep: You rise around 10 minutes after nightfall. Staying up past dawn, or rising early, is almost impossible if you’re not in a position of imminent peril.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by two or so minutes of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 5: Detached

Hey, people die; stuff breaks. At this point, the vampire’s been around the block. They’re selfish, they’ve internalized pain and anguish, and they’ve accepted it as part of existence. The vampire doesn’t particularly care about mortals one way or the other, unless they do something to get on the vampire’s good side. Sure, killing just for fun is bad, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility if it gets the vampire ahead—and if it happens at a Camarilla soiree, well, they’re no damn hero. At this level of detachment, the vampire’s ability to relate to humanity starts fraying. Many ancillae and some jaded neonates stabilize around this level of Humanity.

Humanity 5 has the following effects:

Animals: Animals cannot stand your presence. They’ll flee or attack unless supernaturally compelled.
Food: Food and drink taste borderline poisonous. You can hold them down for about an hour, but it takes an effort of blood.
Masquerade: You start to show an ashen pallor, eerie unpleasantness, or some other malformation (such as a faint hue to the eyes) that puts mortals on their guard. A skilled dissembler can still persuade them to ignore their instincts.
Sleep: You rise around 20 minutes after nightfall. Only imminent physical harm lets you stay up past dawn or rise early.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by a minute or so of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 4: Weathered

Hey, some people gotta die. By human metrics, the vampire is a monster, and they can live with that. The vampire probably doesn’t kill for fun, or to excess, but murder is just another tool in their arsenal at this point. They probably don’t care about mortals outside of Touchstones. The kine are just going to die anyway, right? Many elders and jaded ancillae stabilize around this level of Humanity, along with some neonates who’ve been through hell. Relating to humans gets harder as they sense the predator in their midst.

Humanity 4 has the following effects:

Animals: As Humanity 5.
Food: You can no longer hold down solid food. You can choke down liquids with an expenditure of blood, and you’ll loathe every second that it’s fermenting in your guts. Many vampires at this Humanity level rely on Disciplines to distract humans from their refusal to touch food, but attentive ones may notice.
Masquerade: Physical changes become quite evident as “ashen pallor” shades more firmly into “corpse-like.” Beauty carries a predatory taint or shows the bland, sterile attractiveness of a manikin. Mortals go from guarded around you to actively nervous. Only their inability to conceive of such a thing keeps them from recognizing the walking, talking cadaver in their midst.
Sleep: You rise around 30 minutes after nightfall. You’ll sleep past minor physical harm, though a stake through the chest still wakes you.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by half a minute or so of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 3: Callous

Cynical and jaded describes the vampire on a good day. Even by the standards of other Kindred, they’re ruthless. They’ll kill without blinking and en masse with some thought. The Beast increasingly leaks through the Man’s facade, driving the vampire towards paranoia and hostility. How can they trust anyone they haven’t sunk their claws into? The vampire will step over anyone and anything, perhaps only stopping to indulge a new hobby for cruelty. Even elders at this Humanity level are exceptionally vicious.

Humanity 3 has the following effects:

Animals: As Humanity 5.
Food: You can no longer hold down food or drink.
Masquerade: Your appearance looks more monstrous than human, commanding fright or obeisance. Mortals’ instincts start to override politesse. They might not say “vampire,” but they’d describe you as one of the most dangerous-feeling people they’ve ever met. If they don’t have a compelling reason to stick around, they’ll stammer out all manner of lame excuses to avoid you.
Sex: You can no longer perform or even fake sexual intercourse.
Sleep: You rise around 40 minutes after nightfall. Grievous physical harm may or may not rouse you from slumber—only fire and sunlight are guaranteed to.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by 20 or so seconds of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 2: Monstrous

Nobody counts but you. Idiots try your patience; worms attempt to take your belongings or attention; mortal meat sacks get in your way and delay your feeding. Only servants and feeding stock exist, and everyone needs to decide which one they are before you decide for them. You do have your hobbies, of course—immortals need hobbies. Twisted pleasures, decadent whims, atrocities, perversions, callous murder, mutilation—so much to do, so few hours of the night in which to do it. By now, virtually every human recoils from your presence. Even other vampires are offended by your monstrosity. You remind them too much of what they are.

Humanity 2 has the following effects:

Animals: As Humanity 5.
Frenzy: Frenzy becomes harder to resist. The Beast senses the bars around its cage weakening.
Masquerade: You are barely recognizable as human anymore. You look like a moving corpse, with dry flesh tightened over bones, and perhaps a faint red hue to your eyes. Mortals know within minutes that they are in the presence of a monster, even if they don’t realize what kind, and seek to escape. They might not even bother with excuses anymore.
Sleep: You rise around 50 minutes after nightfall. You’ll sleep past any amount of physical injury that isn’t from fire or sunlight.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by 10 or so seconds of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 1: Animalistic

Only nominally sentient, you teeter on the edge of oblivion. Little matters at all to you, even your own desires outside sustenance and rest. You might do anything at all, or nothing. Only a few tattered shreds of ego stand between you and complete devolution. You need no speech, no art, nothing but gibbers and splatters of dried gore. Humans run, and vampires recognize that you’re on the brink of wassail and need to be put own. They’re probably right. You’re so far down the pit, it’s easier to just let go.

Humanity 1 has the following effects:

Animals: As Humanity 5.
Frenzy: Frenzy becomes much harder to resist, as well as easily provoked. The Beast rampages constantly and the Man barely hangs on.
Intelligence: Your mind starts to go. Constant feral impulses make it harder to think clearly. Often, words seem like nothing but pathetic mewling, and you find yourself incapable of coherent speech.
Masquerade: You can no longer fake humanity. You look like a corpse, a statue, a morbid doll. Crowds part when you walk through. Forget minutes; mortals can tell within seconds that you’re a psychopath in the final stages of mental degeneration, if not a literal monster.
Sleep: You rise around 60 minutes after nightfall. Fire and sunlight may or may not rouse you from slumber; it’s a coin toss. You might even collapse with the morning sun rising overhead.
Sunlight: You’re destroyed by several seconds of exposure to sunlight.

Humanity 0

Must sleep. Must feed. Must kill.

A vampire who reaches zero Humanity has lost the war against their Beast. They exist in a state of permanent frenzy called wassail. Such creatures, known as wights, are puppets of the Blood and forever lost to their monstrous natures.

Kindred authorities kill wights immediately and without mercy for the danger they pose to the Traditions. Even the most humane vampires will destroy wights to protect others; only the vaguest rumors suggest they can be redeemed.

Humanity 0 has the following effects:

Animals: As Humanity 5.
Intelligence: Wights have lost all sapience. They’re animals incapable of speech or reason, though not without feral cunning. They’re capable of formulating the same attack strategies as a lion, shark, or other non-sapient predator.
Masquerade: Wights look like demons. Any mortal who encounters a wight will immediately know the monster for what it is.
Sleep: Wights rise over an hour after nightfall. They collapse like string-cut puppets at dawn, even if they’re burning under the sun. No force on earth wakes a wight until nightfall.
Sunlight: Wights are instantly destroyed by sunlight. Weakened sunlight (such as twilight) destroys them in several seconds.


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