Vampire

Table of Contents

Introduction

Creating a Vampire

Vampiric Traits

Rousing the Blood

Slaking Hunger

Blood Potency

Gifts of the Blood

Prices of the Blood

Dangers to the Blood

Humanity

Embracing Characters

Disciplines & Powers

Introduction

Vampires are creatures of cursed blood and tragic existence. Exquisite food, a warm summer’s breeze, and growing old with loved ones are all luxuries a Vampire will never experience. Unable to enjoy many of the fineries of life as they once knew them, Vampires often become bitter creatures, filled with hate for everything they once loved.

Of course, not all vampires are made. Some, known among their kind as trueborn, are born this way and never know of the things others, known as the embraced, lament the loss of. 

Creating a Vampire

Vampires are created through a ritual known as the Embrace. The Embrace is the act of transforming a non-vampiric humanoid into a vampire. For the Embraced, it is the only act of reproduction of which they are capable. 

When a vampire desires a childe (the vampiric term for vampire progeny), due to loneliness, regret of an accidental feeding, the need for a pawn, or any other reason, the first step is to drain the candidate dry. Any technique that results in a bloodless corpse will do, although most sires (sire is the term for a vampire that has created another) drain their soon-to-be childer by feeding on them, making the Embrace an intimate experience akin to sex and childbirth. Once the candidate is drained of blood, the sire gives the candidate a small amount of their own blood, and this instantly transforms the candidate into a new childe. The moment of rebirth is perhaps the greatest pleasure the childe will ever feel, perhaps the only true ecstasy he or she will feel other than the Kiss. 

The first reaction most childer have after an Embrace is raw hunger. With no blood in their system and no experience dealing with their inner Beast, the childe will most likely enter a hunger frenzy at the first sight of blood. For most vampires, this means that the Embrace is followed immediately by a moment of degradation. After this point, the childe will experience hours of painful burning sensations as his or her body undergoes the process of transformation. 

After the Embrace, the fledgling may take several days before the full impact of the transformation is apparent. 

For rules on embracing characters in-game, see Embracing Characters later in this document.

Under the Hood

Creating an Embraced vampire from scratch is a two-step process:

  1. Choose a base race from among the mundane options (human, half-elf, elf, dwarf, halfling, etc.). Apply the bonuses and features from that race. 
  2. Add class levels as normal, levelling up your character per our campaign rules.
  3. Apply the Vampiric Features, described below.

Born Into Darkness: Trueborn Vampires

Some vampires, in exceptionally rare cases, are born as such. This comes as a result of a vampire couple copulating, which produces offspring in a manner similar to humans. The chance of successful fertilization is less than 1% and the 18 month gestation period is extremely dangerous for both mother and child – the mother having to keep herself gorged with blood for the duration. 

True born vampires are generally celebrated within the vampiric community and often find themselves in positions of authority and among undead nobility as they mature. Others view trueborns as stuffy blue bloods who are out of touch with the struggles faced by the Embraced.

Under the Hood

Creating a Trueborn vampire from scratch is a two-step process:

  1. Create a human, or human variant, character. Apply bonuses and features from that choice.
  2. Apply the Vampiric Features, described below.
  3. Add class levels as normal, levelling up your character per our campaign rules.

Vampiric Traits

All vampires, whether Embraced or Trueborn, have the following features:

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1, your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern colour in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Undead Form. Your vampire physiology grants the following features:

  • Your creature type changes to undead.
  • You have resistance to all sources of physical damage with the exception of Fire and Radiant damage.
  • You are vulnerable to Fire damage.
  • If a spell or ability other than your own would cause you to gain Hit Points, you gain that many temporary Hit Points instead. If you are reduced to 0 hit points and fall unconscious as a result, any healing you receive will stabilize you and leave you on 1 hit point and unconscious. Furthermore, you cannot die from old age and you do not require air, food, or drink (besides blood).
  • You take 1d10 radiant damage when you start your turn in sunlight. And an additional 1d10 radiant damage each turn, compounded. 
  • You roll a d6 in place of the normal damage for your unarmed strikes.
  • You gain retractable upper canine fangs, which you may extend or retract at will. When making the attack option, you may substitute one attack to make an unarmed bite attack. If the attack hits, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. In addition, if your target is a beast or humanoid, you lose a level of hunger (see Hunger, below). If you make a bite attack, you cannot make another until the beginning of your next turn.
  • Only fire, decapitation, and sunlight can kill you. 
  • If reduced to 0 hit points, you do not gain the dying condition but instead enter a form of stasis known as torpor. Torpor lasts until you succeed on three Death Saving Throws. 

The Beast

The beast is an innate predator that awakens within each and every vampire upon their Embrace. It stands in direct opposition to a vampire’s humanity and is responsible for many of the debased urges vampires feel on a nightly basis. In times of extreme distress the Beast can overwhelm a vampire, forcing them into a state of pure animalistic fight or flight known as a frenzy. 

Hunger

Part appetite, part lust, and part addiction. Hunger gives voice to the Blood and claws to the Beast. It calls to vampires constantly, whispering and screaming of needs, urges, and desires. Every vampire awakens to Hunger and must kill to silence it. Vampires pay for their immortality and their powers in Hunger, and the bill is always coming due.

All vampires have a unique trait, Hunger, measured in levels ranging from 0 to 5. A vampire with a Hunger of 0 is sated and satisfied, whereas a vampire with a Hunger of 5 is ravenous and can barely think of anything except their next drink.

As a vampire becomes Hungry, it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain control of the Beast and may give in to compulsions. 

Bestial Failure

Bestial Failures occur when an attack, ability check, or saving throw results in failure and the unmodified dice roll is equal to or lower than the vampire’s Hunger level. A bestial failure always results in a compulsion.

Compulsions

Compulsions occur on a bestial failure as the Hunger subtly urges a vampire into actions dictated by their Blood. When a character must take a Compulsion, the GM chooses one. Once chosen, the player decides how best to act it out. These insidious urges compel behaviour that feels utterly natural; the vampire may never realize they were influenced, and therefore compulsions cannot be avoided.

Hunger: The archetypal Compulsion. With hunger, the vampire’s thoughts inexorably stray toward the rush of sinking their fangs in prey and hot blood washing over their tongue.

The vampire will do anything to slake their Hunger, whether that means violence, subterfuge, or outright begging. They perform any action not immediately conducive to feeding at disadvantage. This Compulsion ends when the vampire slakes at least 1 Hunger level.

Dominance: The Blood urges its host to come out on top, to own, and to establish dominance. This Compulsion drives the vampire not only to excel but to revel in it, taunting the weak and challenging the strong.

The vampire makes their next interaction into a competition, using all means at their disposal to end up victorious and to rub the nose of the loser in their defeat. The vampire cannot use teamwork and performs any action that avoids establishing dominance or challenging authority at disadvantage. This Compulsion ends when the vampire has “won” and gloated over it.

Harm: Things turn ugly. The Hunger compels the vampire to hurt and destroy – not to feed or to win, but for the sole sake of causing harm, reveling in the pain of others. This Compulsion often, but not always, means physical harm. It can also involve subtler types of damage, such as social or emotional.

The vampire performs all actions not immediately resulting in someone or something getting harmed at disadvantage. This Compulsion ends when the vampire incapacitates, destroys, or drives away a target. If the vampire turns on an object, it must hold serious value to someone the vampire ordinarily values, such as themselves.

Paranoia: Hunter and hunted, a vampire always needs to keep their eyes and ears peeled for trouble. With this Compulsion, that need flares into full blown paranoia as the Hunger reminds the Blood of its vulnerability.

The vampire tries to disengage from any perceived threat, suspecting anyone and anything. Any action not taken toward that immediate end incurs disadvantage. The Compulsion ends when the vampire has spent roughly an hour in a safe spot (such as a rooftop with good visibility, their haven, or buried deep underground).

Rousing the Blood

Every time a vampire rises each sunset, calls upon vampiric powers, or stirs their Blood in some other way, they risk raising their Hunger. When a vampire surges Blood into their abilities, takes on the Blush of Life, or mends their damaged body, the rules call for a Rouse Check. 

To make a Rouse Check, the player makes a Constitution check with a DC equal to 10 plus their Hunger level. On a success, the vampire’s Hunger remains unchanged. On a failure, the vampire gains 1 more point of Hunger. 

At Hunger 5, the vampire’s body is too starved of blood to provide increased supernatural power. A vampire can never intentionally Rouse the Blood while at Hunger 5. If some outside factor forces a Rouse Check on a vampire, the player must make an immediate hunger frenzy test (explained below).

Slaking Hunger

Drinking blood reduces a vampire’s Hunger level by a fixed amount. Only draining a humanoid of blood, thereby killing them, can reduce Hunger to 0.

Younger vampires can reduce Hunger to 1 without killing a humanoid victim. As a vampire’s Blood Potency increases, so does their resting Hunger level.

It takes time to drink blood and care to do it properly. The bite of a vampire can seem downright euphoric to the victim; vampire fangs produce a supernatural intoxicating effect while opening up a blood vessel. Assuming the vampire takes the time to hit a vein or artery correctly and licks the wound afterward, the victim may only remember the encounter as a drug trip, an interlude of weird sex, or just a delirious fog of drunken intimacy. Even a closed wound and happy hallucination for the victim might still leave behind an air embolism, to say nothing of long-term anemia. 

As a general rule, attempting to preserve the victim’s life, or health, takes longer than simply ripping open an artery and slurping down the red stuff. On the other hand, a victim who fights back slows things down and endangers the Masquerade (explained below). A vampire can drain and kill a helpless or otherwise unresisting human in roughly five turns (30 seconds). 

Feeding from Animals

With very few exceptions, mostly animals larger than human mass, feeding from an animal kills it. A very careful vampire who takes their time could perhaps slake one point of Hunger without killing a large dog, if for some reason they valued the dog’s life. Even then, the dog would likely wind up crippled or badly injured.

Large animals can hold a great deal of blood – a cow contains almost 40 liters of blood and a horse more than 40, compared to five in most humans – but animal blood simply doesn’t nourish vampires’ true appetites. Drinking animal blood will not reduce your Hunger below 3 no matter how much you drink. For vampires above Blood Potency 2, no amount of animal blood can slake even a single point of Hunger. 

Feeding from Other Vampires

A vampire who feeds on another vampire slakes 1 point of their Hunger for each point of increased Hunger they inflict on the donor, willing or unwilling. Feeding from a vampire of at least two levels of Blood Potency higher than the drinker slakes 2 points of Hunger for each point of Hunger gained by the donor. Conversely, feeding from a vampire of at least two levels of Blood Potency less than the drinker slakes only 1 point of Hunger for each 2 points of Hunger inflicted on the donor. Feeding directly from another vampire also risks a Blood Bond (explained below).

The Blood

The Blood seethes at the core of every vampire. Not quite sentient, but far from mindless, it prods and cajoles its host into actions unthinkable to mortals. It can yield immense power, but sooner or later, someone always pays a price.

Blood Potency

As the years pass by, the Blood thickens and matures. Being Embraced by a powerful sire provides a shortcut to this power. But with increased potency also comes a price: you require more blood to sustain you.

Blood Potency increases as a vampire ages. As a general rule, a vampire gains a level of Blood Potency every 100 years while active, but especially intense experiences or exposure to extremely potent Blood can speed the process. A vampire in torpor loses Blood Potency at the rate of one level per 50 years. 

Blood Potency yields the following effects at each level. The bullet points below describe only the effects that change along with your character’s Blood Potency.

The Blood Potency of a player character vampire is tied to their proficiency bonus. See the following table:

Proficiency BonusBlood Potency
+21
+32
+43
+54
+65

Blood Potency 1

You are a vampire, though only barely so according to your elders. Still, your vampiric blood can accomplish some spectacular things when roused.

  • You gain a +2 bonus when performing a Blood Surge (explained below).
  • When Mending Damage, you regain 1 hit point per Rouse Check.

Blood Potency 2

A cut above lesser vampires, your Blood sustains your vampiric existence better than theirs. However, blood not fresh from a human vessel starts to lose its power, as it has long since lost its savor. 

  • You gain a +4 bonus when performing a Blood Surge.
  • When Mending Damage, you regain 2 hit points per Rouse Check. 
  • You must drink twice as much animal blood to slake 1 Hunger level.

Blood Potency 3

For most conservative elder vampires, your Blood has thickened enough to render you worthy of consideration and notice. Trueborn vampires start at Blood Potency 3.

  • You gain a +6 bonus when performing a Blood Surge.
  • When Mending Damage, you regain 3 hit points per Rouse Check.
  • Animal blood can no longer slake any of your hunger. 

Blood Potency 4

So close, and still so far, you occupy an unenviable position, both exercising lordship over the low and remaining a runt to the high. You require ever-more humanoid gore to slake your Hunger, and you feel your humanity slipping from your red-stained fingers.

  • You gain a +8 bonus when performing a Blood Surge.
  • When Mending Damage, you regain 4 hit points per Rouse Check.
  • When you feed from humanoids, slake 1 less Hunger per humanoid.

Blood Potency 5

On the cusp of elderhood, you remain but one tempting step from what many would consider godhood.

  • You gain a +10 bonus when performing a Blood Surge.
  • When Mending Damage, you regain 5 hit points per Rouse Check.
  • Only by draining and killing a mortal can you drive your Hunger below 2. 

Higher Blood Potency

The true elders of the vampiric race. Vampires at this level are not intended for player characters. 

Gifts of the Blood

A vampire gains more than unlife from the blood they consume. Vampiric Blood grants a number of abilities, all of which cost one or more Rouse Checks. A vampire must be cautious when employing these gifts, lest they be consumed by their Hunger.

Remember, failing a Rouse Check does not mean that the ability fails, only that the vampire’s Hunger increases by 1.

Blush of Life

Unless intentionally brought to a semblance of life, the body of a vampire is functionally dead. Undeath signifies its presence in pale or ashy skin, cold flesh, and lack of breath (except to speak) or a heartbeat. By sending their Blood through the dead capillaries of their skin and into their shriveled heart, a vampire can appear completely human for a night, including but not limited to a heartbeat, body temperature, and breath. The vampire can even pass a cursory medical examination, though they still fail more intrusive screenings for minute tells such as the absence of intestinal flora.

Blush of Life generally allows a vampire to consume food and drink without vomiting for up to an hour. Without it, vampires must make an immediate Constitution saving throw (DC 10) to be able to get outside or to a bathroom in time.

Bringing on the Blush of Life requires a Rouse Check.

Blood Surge

Any vampire can call upon their Blood to temporarily augment themselves. When the character wills a Blood Surge, the player can add a bonus to the next roll they make, be it an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. The bonus gained depends on the character’s Blood Potency; characters can only use Blood Surge once per roll. 

A Blood Surge requires a Rouse Check.

Mending Damage

Being dead, vampires do not heal naturally. Their unliving frames can still knit themselves together, given enough effort. 

Depending on their Blood Potency, a vampire can mend one or more hit points with a single Rouse Check. A vampire can make one Rouse Check per turn to mend damage.

Immediately before taking a Long Rest, a vampire may make three Rouse Checks and restore all hit points. This removes all impairing conditions. 

Powers

Vampires are also able to rouse their blood and perform supernatural acts, known as Powers. These are described in their own section at the end of the document.

Prices of the Blood

Despite all of the gifts bestowed by their condition, the Blood exacts a heavy toll. A number of terrible curses afflict a vampire, each one an enemy waiting just beneath the skin.

Awakening

Every night a vampire rises from day-sleep they must make a Rouse Check. If failing this Rouse Check would raise the vampire’s Hunger above 5, a failure sends the vampire into torpor instead of forcing a test for hunger frenzy. 

During the day, vampire Blood becomes quiescent, even gelid. Awakening during the day requires a Constitution saving throw. A fire or other life-threatening situation is a DC of 10; an urgent message or decision is a DC of 15; an inconvenience to deal with is a DC of 20.

Once awakened from day-sleep, a vampire can only act for a short time (usually around an hour). At the end of that period, to remain awake longer, they must make a Constitution saving throw at a DC of 10; a win permits an additional hour. If a vampire acts during daylight hours, they have disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. 

Frenzy

Frenzy waits for every vampire: a constant threat to their fragile peace. Outside circumstances usually provoke a frenzy, snapping the thin leash of the snarling Beast within. The ultimate expression of the basest drives of the Blood, a frenzy looses the Beast without thought or remorse: the predator in full abandon.

A vampire in frenzy loses all capacity for rational thought, driven solely by rage, starvation, or panic. They do whatever it takes to rip their provocation to pieces, slake their Hunger, or escape the perceived threat, usually violently and with plenty of collateral damage. Unlike many other impulses of the Blood, a frenzy is never subtle. 

To resist frenzy, the vampire makes a Wisdom saving throw against a DC set by the GM based on the level of provocation. A vampire resists frenzy on a success but must spend a turn to suppress the impulse. On a failure, the vampire loses control and succumbs to the frenzy. The save can be repeated at the end of each turn.

Riding the Wave

A vampire can also choose to Ride the Wave, intentionally succumbing to the frenzy without making a test. This act follows the usual frenzy rules, though the GM is encouraged to let the player play out the frenzy themselves, such as choosing who they feed on first, rather than having the GM take complete control of the character. 

If not Riding the Wave, a vampire in frenzy becomes the property of the GM for the duration.

Types of Frenzy

Fury Frenzy: Provocation causes fury frenzy; insults, humiliation, or aggression risk unleashing bestial violence. A vampire in fury frenzy stops at nothing to tear the cause of the provocation to pieces, often together with anyone nearby: friend or foe. After destroying the subject of their ire, the vampire can make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 10). Success ends the frenzy, while failing drives them deeper into the rage; they keep slaying anyone in the vicinity unless subdued. Sample fury frenzy triggers include seeing a friend killed or hurt, physical provocation or harassment, insulted by an inferior, or public humiliation.

Hunger Frenzy: Temptation causes hunger frenzy; the Beast always craves more blood. Every time a vampire fails a Rouse Check while at Hunger 5, they must make a hunger frenzy test.

During a hunger frenzy, the vampire seeks fresh humanoid blood from the closest source. The hunger frenzy ends when the vampire reaches Hunger 1 or below. Sample hunger frenzy triggers include the sight of an open wound or overpowering smell of blood while at Hunger 4 or higher, the taste of blood while at Hunger 4 or higher, and failing a Rouse Check while at Hunger 5.

Terror Frenzy: Danger causes terror frenzy; the Beast must preserve itself against all threats. A terror frenzy manifests when a threat like sunlight or open flames confront the vampire. Grave damage to the body of the vampire can also elicit this response. While in terror frenzy, the vampire flees from the source of the danger, without regard to anyone or anything in their way. The terror frenzy ends when the vampire can no longer perceive any danger. Sample terror frenzy triggers include bonfires, being inside a burning building, being burned, and exposure to sunlight. 

Dangers to the Blood

Bullets merely bruise vampires; swords crease their flesh. Even should they contract a disease from infected humanoid blood, they pass it on to others they feed upon, while the germs die in their own system. However, a few means yet remain that inflict genuine harm upon a vampire.

Sunlight

Sunlight burns the undead, incinerating their unholy Blood and flesh under the eye of heaven. A vampire exposed to direct sunlight suffers 1d10 Radiant damage on each of their turns that they start in sunlight. 

Obscured sunlight, as through curtains or on a heavily overcast day, or protective clothing such as a heavy coat, gloves, mask, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and boots, reduces the rate of damage or completely eliminates it, depending on the level of obscurement. 

Fire

Vampires are vulnerable to fire damage, and thus take double the regular damage from it.

Extreme Cold

Though vampires cannot die from cold, they can suffer the effects of frostbite and even become entirely frozen in severe temperatures. Cold presents a special danger to vampires, because they have no bodily warmth save for a few minutes immediately following a feeding, and thus cannot easily detect dangerous drops in temperature.

After an hour of extreme cold (-30 C or below), vampires must roll a Constitution saving throw (DC 5) to keep moving. They test again each hour, increasing the DC by 1 for each roll. On a failure, they stop moving. An hour after that, their flesh freezes solid and they enter torpor.

Water conducts heat more efficiently than air; vampires in icy water test every half hour. A frozen vampire sinks, as they have no air in their lungs to provide buoyancy. 

Decapitation

Successfully decapitating a vampire destroys them instantly. 

Stakes

To stake a vampire through the heart, a hunter needs to either hammer the stake into the vampire while they lie sleeping or strike them in the heart during combat. 

Being staked through the heart with a wooden stake paralyzes a vampire, though it initially remains conscious. Vampires can perform minute movements, such as twitching a finger or opening their eyes, but that is the extent of their mobility. 

While staked, a vampire still rolls a Rouse Check every sunset to awaken. Sooner or later their waking Hunger drives them into torpor. 

Torpor

Vampires dwell in a halfway state between life and death. Between vampiric unlife and Final Death lies an undead hibernation known as torpor. While in torpor, the vampire lies completely dead to their surroundings, reduced to the appearance of a shriveled corpse. They cannot take any action or react in any way to ordinary stimuli. 

If staked, the vampire remains in torpor until someone or something removes the stake. Vampires awaken from torpor at Hunger 5.

Vampires enter torpor in three ways: from Hunger, from damage, and voluntarily.

  • If a vampire attempts to rise for the night with a Hunger level of 5 and fails their Rouse Check, they enter torpor.
  • If a vampire takes enough damage to drop to 0 hit points, they automatically enter torpor. They then unconsciously attempt to mend damage, trying to heal one hit point per night. If they fully restore themselves (heal all hit points), they can rise again.
  • A vampire who entered torpor voluntarily still increases their Hunger every night, until they enter torpor as above. The same rules then apply. 

To cut short a period of topor, one can feed a slumbering vampire enough blood to slake one Hunger. 

Final Death

Though no longer mortal, vampires still face the possibility of Final Death. A vampire who dies once again may not be brought back to unlife and is said to have suffered the Final Death. In addition to fire, sunlight, and decapitation, acid that completely dissolves a vampire’s body kills them, as does explosive overpressure that dismembers it (though equally fatal fire accompanies most explosions), or deep-sea pressure that pulps it. 

Many vampires suffer Final Death in combat with lycans, their own kind, or increasingly against inquisitors. Even vampire flesh cannot withstand endless traumatic force; enough bullets can drive them into torpor. Once in torpor, the vampire becomes a helpless target for their foes.

The Blood Bond

Feared by those who have known it, the Blood Bond creates and enforces the most severe allegiances within vampire society, both between vampires and from their mortal servants. 

Anyone who drinks the Blood of a vampire becomes progressively more attached to their donor until finally, after three drinks or more, the Bond reduces them to servile lackeys when in the donor’s presence. Vampires call the one Bonded the thrall, and term the source of the Bond the regnant. When under a completed Blood Bond, the thrall experiences a sense of loyalty, sometimes even infatuation, toward their regnant. They attempt to please their master, becoming wary and eventually even terrified of angering them. Many do not even acknowledge that they’ve been Bound, believing their feelings to be true and even noble. A mutual Blood Bond, sometimes called a Blood wedding, is not love – it’s obsession and addiction. Abusive and dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe how nasty these blood-enforced affairs tend to get after a few centuries, and they are frowned upon (to say the least) in vampire society.

Just as in the Embrace, the Blood consumed must be taken directly from the vein of the donor, as it loses its power to Bond in a matter of seconds unless drunk. The drinker must repeat the act on three separate nights with no more than a year between drinks for the Bond to fully form. During their first year, a childe remains one-third of the way Bound to their sire, having already tasted their Blood once). A regnant can have as many vampire thralls as they have levels of Blood Potency, and a thrall can only have one regnant, becoming immune to other Bonding attempts while Bound. If a regnant Bonds another thrall above their maximum Blood Potency limit, their oldest Bond with a thrall fades over the course of a week.

Blood Bond Mechanics

The Blood Bond gains a Bond Strength equal to the number of times the thrall has consumed the regnant’s Blood (up to a maximum of 6) and decreases by one for each month during which the thrall consumes none of the regnant’s Blood. To attempt something against their regnant’s wishes, the thrall must succeed in Wisdom saving throw vs a DC of 10 + Bond Strength. If in the presence of the regnant, such defiance requires the test once per turn; if outside the regnant’s perception, the thrall need only make a defiance test once per major action (as defined by the GM).

Breaking the Bond requires to reduce the Bond Strength to zero by avoiding their regnant for an extended time. They must successfully make a defiance roll once per session to do so (or more often, if the GM judges that something has recalled the regnant to the thrall’s mind). Few thralls can resist this long, especially if their regnant actively comes looking for them.

Ghouls

A mortal who drinks a vampire’s Blood becomes something both more and less than human, for a time. Derisively called a ghoul by most vampires, the mortal gains a smidgeon of the power of a true vampire. The Blood consumed not only brings a rush, but also arrests the aging process. The effects are temporary, however, and if weaned off vampire Blood, the mortal deteriorates rapidly, as the years catch up with their halted aging. Vampires use ghouls as retainers where loyalty outweighs keeping the Masquerade, since a single vampire can Blood Bond as many ghouls as they can manage.

Unlike the Embrace and Blood Bonds, vampire Blood does retain its ghoul-sustaining properties for a few days while stored in an airtight container and not exposed to sunlight. Vampires usually only provide their Blood in such a manner after having established a proper Blood Bond with a ghoul.

A Rouse Check’s worth of Blood bestows the following benefits to a mortal for approximately a month:

  • The mortal gains a +1 bonus to Strength and Dexterity.
  • You gain Darkvision to 30’.
  • Your base speed increases by 5 feet. 
  • The aging process halts, sometimes even setting the clock back a few years.
  • Wounds heal twice as fast, unless caused by fire.

The Masquerade

The Masquerade is an organized campaign enforced by vampire society to convince people that vampires do not exist. The Masquerade is the cornerstone survival strategy for vampires; without it, the mortals would rise up and exterminate all the undead.  

Humanity

Humanity measures how close a vampire is to their human life (or demi-human, as with elves, dwarves, halflings, etc.), to specific people that draw them toward life and light, and to human concerns generally. Most vampires lose Humanity as they age, and as the alien Beast within them gnaws away at their sentiments, their memories, and their connections to the daylight world.

Barring special circumstances, Embraced vampire characters begin with Humanity 7 and Trueborn vampire characters begin with Humanity 5.

The Downward Spiral

Vampires are monsters, have no doubt, and even a vampire with the highest of Humanity scores remains nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Nonetheless, as Humanity erodes, vampires not only become capable of, but also actively pursue, evermore depraved acts. It is in a vampire’s nature to hunt and to kill, and eventually every vampire finds themselves holding the corpse of a vessel they had not intended to murder.

It is important, then, to know how vampires change as their Humanity scores deteriorate and less and less connect them with their origins. Vampires’ behavior can become so utterly depraved and alien that the very thought of them causes discomfort in others. 

Humanity 10

Humans with this score are rare, and vampires who have achieved it even more so. At this level, mortals and vampires alike lead a saintly, veritably ascetic life, tightly controlled by ethics and principles supporting this fragile condition. The merest selfish deed or thought is enough to topple this state of grace.

Humanity 10 vampires can appear human in other regards:

  • Blush of Life is not necessary, because you appear like a pale mortal in good health. 
  • You heal damage as a mortal, in addition to vampiric mending.
  • You can taste, eat, and digest food as if human.
  • You can stay awake during the day as if human, though you do not lose your normal need for sleep. 
  • The rate of sunlight damage you take is halved.

Humanity 9

Vampires with Humanity scores this high act more humane than most humans. They seem natural among them, they can think and act the way mortals do, in the same unconscious way an expert method actor would. Killing feels horrible, almost as gut-wrenchingly as the Hunger in full cry. Many fledgling vampires sometimes adhere to codes more rigorous than they ever held in life, as a reaction against becoming a predator. Older vampires scoff at this practice, out of callous disdain or to muffle their own regrets.

Humanity 9 vampires can appear human in other regards:

  • Blush of Life is not necessary because you appear ill, but not dead.
  • You heal damage as normal, in addition to vampiric mending.
  • You can taste, eat, and digest rare or raw meat, and many liquids.
  • You can rise from day-sleep up to four hours before sunset if you wish and likewise stay awake an hour after dawn.

Humanity 8

You still feel pain for the hurts you and your kind inflict. Your human guise remains passable; the memories remain fresh, or new instincts for community spring up like green shoots from your long-dead soul.

Humanity 8 vampires can appear human in other regards:

  • You have advantage on Rouse Checks to use Blush of Life.
  • Blush of Life allows you to have sexual intercourse and perhaps even enjoy it.
  • You can rise from day-sleep up to two hours before sunset if you wish.

Humanity 7

Most human beings (and demi-humans) have Humanity scores of 7 or so; vampires at this level of Humanity can usually manage to pass for mortals. Vampires with Humanity 7 typically subscribe to normal social mores – sure, sin is wrong, but dodging taxes and speed limits are not sins. The vampire feels some connection to other beings, even human beings, though more than a little selfishness shines through – just like everyone else in the world, mortal or not.

Rules for Humanity 7 vampires are much the same as discussed already:

  • You must make a Rouse Check to use Blush of Life.
  • You cannot have sexual intercourse per se, but you can fake it by making a Deception check vs your partner’s Insight check. 
  • Unless using Blush of Life, food and drink makes you vomit; make a Constitution saving throw (DC 10) to be able to get outside or to a bathroom first.

Humanity 6

Hey, people die; stuff breaks. You have little difficulty with the fact that you need blood to survive and that you do what needs to be done to get it. You might not go out of your way to wreck things or kill people, but you don’t cry bloody tears over it either. Not automatically horrid, vampires at this stage of Humanity don’t win any prizes for congeniality either.

Rules for this level of Humanity work as the previous rating unless otherwise noted, as the human mask becomes more difficult to wear:

  • You cannot have intercourse per se, but you can fake it by winning a Deception check with disadvantage vs your partner’s Insight check.
  • Even when using Blush of Life, you need to make a Constitution saving throw (DC 10) to be able to keep food and drink down for an hour.

Humanity 5

At this point, you’ve either been around the block or you were born this way. You’ve internalized pain and anguish, and you begin to accept it as part of existence. You don’t particularly care about mortals one way or the other, except for pets or touchstones (mortals from your mortal life that you maintain some connection with). After all, you’re never going to be mortal again, so why bother? You’re selfish, like it’s second nature, and you may manifest some minor physical eeriness or malformation, such as an unnatural hue to the eyes.

Rules for this level of Humanity work as the previous rating unless otherwise noted:

  • You have disadvantage on rolls to interact with humans. This penalty applies to most interactions, but not to intimidation or deception. This penalty also applies to creating art or other humanities; for example, vampire prose markedly worsens and becomes more florid as they degenerate.

Humanity 4

Hey, some people gotta die. You have finally begun, even accepted, your inevitable slide into moral sloth and self-indulgence. Killing is more than fine; ask the elders, they’ve been around long enough to see whole genocides ignored. Destruction, theft, injury – these are all tools, not taboos. Physical changes become quite evident as “ashen pallor” shades more firmly into “corpse-like.”

Rules for this level of Humanity work as the previous rating unless otherwise noted:

  • You suffer disadvantage on all rolls to interact with humans.
  • You can no longer keep food and drink down, even with Blush of Life.

Humanity 3

At this level, cynical and jaded describes you on a good day. You callously step over anyone and anything, stopping only to indulge a new hobby for cruelty. You take the safe route, the pragmatic route: kill witnesses and don’t risk trusting anyone you haven’t got your talons into somehow. You genuinely look monstrous, even under the most flattering light.

Rules for this level of Humanity work as the previous rating unless otherwise noted:

  • You suffer double disadvantage on rolls to interact with humans.
  • You can no longer perform or even fake sexual intercourse, even with Blush of Life.

Humanity 2

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, every human and most vampires recoil from your presence.

Rules for this level of Humanity work as the previous rating unless otherwise noted:

  • You suffer triple disadvantage on rolls to interact with humans (the penalty becomes double disadvantage with Blush of Life).

Humanity 1

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.

Rules for this level of humanity work as the previous rating unless otherwise noted:

  • You suffer quadruple disadvantage on rolls to interact with humans (the penalty becomes triple disadvantage with Blush of Life).

Humanity 0

You have become the Beast. Your last urges express themselves in a final frenzy. If you survive, you become a wight, lost to the will of the Blood, and an NPC. 

Shifting Humanity

Aside from aging, Humanity shifts in response to actions. Minor actions with limited story significance may stain your humanity (or brighten it mildly). Enough of these can culminate as major shifts, resulting in your humanity moving up or down a level. Regardless, the GM decides on your level of humanity based on how you play your character. 

Embracing Characters

As explained at the start of the document, the Embrace involves draining a candidate of their blood and then introducing vampire blood into their system. This blood must come directly from the vampire performing the Embrace (known as the “sire”) into the body of the candidate (known as the “childe”), usually in the form of the candidate drinking the blood from a wound opened up in the sire (typically the wrist) for that express purpose.

The candidate must be a mortal being of one of the following races:

  • Human
  • Elf
  • Half-Elf
  • Dwarf
  • Halfing

The Embrace is not always successful. Once the ritual is performed, the candidate must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 10. On a success, the candidate becomes the sire’s childe and is now a fledgling vampire at Blood Potency 1, Humanity 7, and Hunger at 5 (maximum hunger). On a failure, the candidate dies.

Disciplines & Powers

Vampires are able to rouse their blood to perform supernatural acts known as Powers. These powers are categorized into Disciplines. As a vampire, you may call upon a number of these powers. Your total number of Powers known is equal to your character level.

The Disciplines

Animalism

Perhaps the vampire has more in common with animals than humans. A dangerous set of instincts drive them, and it takes a lot for them to withhold the urge to just lash out. Much like a wild dog on a chain, a vampire’s Beast will never truly be tamed.

Some vampires find a way of becoming one with their Beasts. Those who do are the masters of Animalism. Some accompany the use of this power with howls, snarls, and roars, or communicate with animals in the animal’s “language,” though this is an affectation and not a necessity. 

The Animalism Discipline sees much use among vampires who struggle to fit in or have no taste for living among mortals. Often classed as a gift of utility, allowing a vampire to thrive on unrefined blood or form companionship with non-sapient beings, it is also a devastating weapon against vampires who cling to their towers, and against inquisitors who suspect their enemies will only come on two legs.

Characteristics

By default, Animalism powers involving animals can only be used on vertebrates. Additionally, any use of the ability on herbivores incurs disadvantage on rolls involved.

Bond Famulus

When Blood Bonding an animal, the vampire can make it a famulus, forming a mental link with it and facilitating the use of other Animalism powers. While this power alone does not allow two-way communication with the animal, it can follow simple verbal instructions such as “stay” and “come here.” It attacks in defense of itself and its master, but cannot otherwise be persuaded to fight something it would not normally attack. 

Prerequisite: None.

Cost: The animal must be fed the user’s Blood on three separate nights, each of which requires a Rouse Check by the user. The amount of Blood needed to sustain the ghoul-state of the animal after this is negligible. Players starting with this power have completed this process and can choose a famulus for free.

System: Without the use of Feral Whispers (below), giving commands to the animal requires an Animal Handling check with a variable DC depending on the command. A vampire can only have one famulus, but can get a new one if the current one dies. A vampire can use Feral Whispers and Subsume the Spirit (also below) on their famulus for free.

Duration: Only death releases a famulus once bound. As long as it receives vampire Blood on a regular basis, the famulus does not age.

Sense the Beast

The vampire can sense the Beast present in mortals, vampires, and other supernaturals, gaining a sense of their nature, hunger, and hostility.

Prerequisite: None.

Cost: Free

System: A successful Insight check allows the user to sense the level of hostility in a target (whether the person is prepared to do harm or even determined to cause it) and determine whether they harbor a supernatural Beast, marking them as a vampire or lycanthrope. A critical success on an Insight check gives the user information on the exact type of creature, as well as their Hunger level. This power can be used both actively and passively, warning the use of aggressive intent in their immediate vicinity.

Duration: Passive

Feral Whispers

The vampire can commune with the beasts of the wild and the city. Feral Whispers allows two-way communication with animals. A cat might not be interested in debating an artist’s use of colour but happily discusses the lack of prey around the brownstone building across the street. Depending on the vampire’s skill, they can even persuade animals to perform services; like humans, animals seldom agree to things that go against their nature or endanger them. 

Vampires can also use Feral Whispers to summon a chosen type of animal but the animals must be present to answer. Nothing prevents a vampire trying to summon an orca in the desert, but success seems unlikely. Summoned animals listen to the summoner, but scatter or attack if endangered.

Prerequisite: Bond Famulus 

Cost: One Rouse Check per type of animal chosen. Allows one summoning and unlimited communication. Free when used on famulus.

System: Simple communication requires no check. Persuading an animal to perform a service requires a Persuasion check, with the DC variable depending on the task required. Having a bird keep an eye out for anyone entering the park at night is relatively easy, while ordering an animal to defend a place with their lives is challenging.

Summoning animals requires an Animal Handling roll, with the DC variable depending on the scarcity of the animals summoned. The number of animals summoned depends on the number of such animals available in the vicinity.

Duration: One night.

Animal Succulence

The vampire can slake additional Hunger by feeding on animals. In addition, the vampire can consume its famulus, gaining nourishment far beyond what would be gained from an animal of similar stature.

Prerequisite: None.

Cost: Free

System: Feeding from animals slakes 1 additional Hunger, and the vampire counts their Blood Potency as two levels lower in regards to penalties to slaking Hunger from animal blood.

Consuming one’s famulus slakes 4 Hunger, regardless of the animal’s size. This act can never remove the final Hunger level. 

Duration: Passive

Quell the Beast

By locking eyes with a target, the vampire cows their inner Beast into temporary slumber. Mortals affected thus become apathetic, unable to take any actions other than to stay alive, while vampires’ bestial urges temporarily abate, for better or worse.

Prerequisite: None.

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: You and your target make a contested roll. You roll Charisma, your target rolls Wisdom. A win against a mortal target incapacitates them for a time, instilling severe lethargy. They act only to preserve themselves, not against the user or anyone else. A win against a vampire prevents the target from performing Blood Surges. While their Beast is quelled, vampires do not suffer Bestial Failures. Against vampires, this power lasts a turn plus a number of turns equal to your Blood Potency. A critical win against a vampire or lycanthrope target also ends their frenzy.

Duration: One night, or a number of turns equal to your Blood Potency plus one.

Unliving Hive

Most often seen among the nosferatu of the Black Court, this unnerving power allows the user to extend their animal influence to swarms of insects such as flies or roaches. Certain vampires even go so far as to adopt swarms as famuli, giving them a permanent home within the folds and orifices of their malformed flesh. 

Prerequisite: Feral Whispers

Cost: No additional cost (but everyone finds this disgusting)

System: This power extends all powers previously restricted to vertebrates to insect swarms, treating a swarm as a single creature. The vampire can bind the swarm as a famulus, and some even give it the ability to nest inside the cavities of their body. This hides the swarm from sight while allowing it to nurse the minute amounts of Blood needed to sustain it indefinitely. While nested, the swarm is undetectable by anything less than X-rays.

Swarms utilize the swarm stat blocks from the Monster Manual and other sources. Vampires can use swarms for spying, as distractions, or to intimidate mortals, depending on the type of insect and the victim’s phobias. Players and the GM can doubtlessly come up with even more creative uses of this power.

Duration: Passive

Subsume the Spirit

The vampire can completely transform its mind into the body of an animal. They can control the animal and use its senses freely, even during the day should they manage to stay awake. While doing this, the vampire’s body lies immobile as if in torpor.

Prerequisite: Bond Famulus

Cost: One Rouse Check. Free if used on Famulus.

System: Make an Animal Handling check. Difficulty depends on the animal in question and any other factors the GM deems appropriate. On a success, the vampire can inhabit the animal’s body for 24 hours. On a critical success, the vampire can inhabit the animal indefinitely.

Extending this possession into the daylight requires the vampire to stay awake; seeing the sun requires a test for fear frenzy though the sunlight does not damage the animal being inhabited. The user remains oblivious to their original body, but harm to it pulls them out of the trance and releases the animal. Death of the possessed animal also ends the trance, and the vampire takes 1d6 psychic damage from the shock.

Duration: 24 hours. Indefinite on critical success.

Animal Dominion

The power the vampire holds over beasts is now great enough to command flocks and packs as if they were extensions of their own body. At a gesture, animals lay down their lives by the dozens, even hundreds, to appease their master. 

Prerequisites: Feral Whispers, Blood Potency 3

Cost: Two Rouse Checks

System: Choose a type of animal and make an Animal Handling roll, with a DC depending on the nature of the animals and the order given. Getting a flock of crows to disperse and look for a specific individual (given some means of identifying their target) is relatively easy, but getting a pack of dogs to give their lives in a suicidal attack on another vampire is more of a challenge. The power does not allow the user to summon animals, but compels those already present to obey. The vampire can command the animals to return after completing their task, if they have the means to do so.

Duration: Until the directive is fulfilled.

Drawing Out the Beast

The vampire can project their Beast at the moment of terror or fury frenzy, transferring it into a nearby subject, either mortal or vampire. That person immediately experiences the frenzy instead, going on a merciless rampage or fleeing in terror depending on the trigger.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: You and your target make a contested roll. You roll Charisma, your target rolls Wisdom. If you fail, you enter a frenzy as normal. If you win, the target experiences that frenzy instead. Later stimuli can still provoke frenzy in you, but you can use this power as long as you can make Rouse Checks and further targets remain available. 

This power cannot transfer a hunger frenzy.

Duration: Frenzy duration.

Auspex

Among the greatest gifts and worst curses afflicting vampires, the Discipline of Auspex allows vampires to discern truth from lies, probe the minds of those around them, and perceive reality on a different level than other beings. What appears to be the ultimate power in foresight and vision grants its wielders perhaps too much knowledge. They may detect an assassin’s blade before it strikes or get into an enemy’s head to turn them around, but they can also sense every shift in emotion, good and bad, see things they wish they had not, and discern futures they may not wish to explore. Users of Auspex invite paranoia, but using it is addictive. Once you know the truth rests within your grasp, you seek it out at every opportunity.

Vampires use Auspex in many ways. Some vampires act as spies for their courts or factions. Others act on their own, blackmailing mortals and immortals with secrets gleaned from quiet conversations, subtle emotional shifts, and telepathic intrusion. Auspex allows its user to play the role of domain detective, studying the scene of a vampire’s destruction for the tell-tale spiritual clues or interrogating suspects with unnatural accuracy.

Characteristics

The game master will often make Auspex rolls for characters, or have characters make “blind GM rolls”, in order to more convincingly provide wrong or incomplete answers after failed rolls.

Heightened Senses

The vampire’s senses sharpen to a preternatural degree, giving them the ability to see in pitch darkness, hear ultrasonic frequencies and smell the fear of cowering prey.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: You may add a bonus to any Perception roll you make, equal to the bonus you would receive if you activated Blood Surge. If exposed to extreme sensations, such as loud bangs, flashes of intense light or overpowering smells while the power is active, the user must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw to dampen their senses in time, or the overload causes them to sustain a disadvantage penalty to all Perception rolls they make until they complete a short or long rest.

Duration: Until deactivated. 

Sense the Unseen

The senses of the vampire become attuned to dimensions beyond the mundane, allowing them to sense presences otherwise hidden from the naked eye. This can be anything from another vampire using Obfuscate to someone using Auspex to spy upon the character, to a ghost in the middle of the room. Dormant Blood Sorcery or other spells and rituals might also be found with this power, at the GM’s discretion.

Prerequisite: Heightened Senses

Cost: Free

System: Whenever there’s something supernatural hiding in plain sight, the GM makes a hidden Perception roll against a DC determined by the GM, giving the character with Sense the Unseen power the potential to notice the hidden entity. This can also be requested by the player to trigger an active roll, resolved in the same manner.

Duration: Passive

Premonition

The vampire experiences flashes of insight. These may take the form of raised hackles, sudden inspiration or even vivid visions. While never too precise, these visions can nudge the vampire out of harm’s way or reveal a truth previously overlooked. 

Prerequisite: Heightened Senses

Cost: Free or one Rouse Check

System: Whenever the GM deems it appropriate, this power gives the character a sudden hint that aids them in some way: letting them find a clue they’ve missed or saving them from danger. Whether it gives the character a sudden vision of themselves walking into a trap, an inviting red glow during a chase, or the brief flash of a skeleton beneath the floorboards in the Prince’s office, this power always gives the GM license to subtly speed up play or move the story onto a desired track. The suggested limit is one premonition per “scene”, even if more than one character has Premonition. 

The user can also actively provoke a premonition by focusing on a subject, making a Rouse Check and rolling Perception. 

Duration: Passive

Scry the Soul

By focusing on a person, the vampire can perceive the state of that person’s psyche as a shifting aura of colours. Auras reveal little precise information, but do provide clues regarding many subjects, including emotional state and supernatural traits. If looking for a specific condition, the vampire can cursorily scan the crowd to detect it. Such cursory scans provide no further information.

Prerequisite: Heightened Senses

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Make an Insight check. The DC depends on a number of factors, determined by the GM. On a success, the GM truthfully answers a number of questions equal to the margin of the roll (how much you succeeded the DC by) about the target’s aura and psyche, including:

  • The emotional state of the subject.
  • Whether the subject is a vampire, lycanthrope, ghoul or any other supernatural being.
  • Whether the subject is under the influence of magic.
  • A critical success allows discovery of something unexpected, as determined by the GM. 

Duration: One turn, or GM’s discretion.

Share the Senses

By reaching out with their mind, the vampire can tap into the senses of another mortal or vampire, seeing, hearing, and feeling what they do. The user still retains their own perceptions and is still aware of their own surroundings, though the effect requires some getting used to. The user decides whether to tap into only one, some, or all of the target’s senses. When used on a stranger whis power requires line of sight to initiate. However, it can be used over longer distances on someone who still has some of the user’s Blood in their body.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user makes a Charisma check against a DC determined by the GM, with difficulty depending on distraction, distance, and other factors, such as the amount of the user’s Blood that remains in the target. The target usually remains unaware of the intrusion, but Sense the Unseen can allow the passenger to be noticed. To get rid of an unwanted rider, the victim must beat the intruder in a contested roll of Wisdom vs Charisma. An Auspex user thrown out this way cannot make another Sharing attempt until the next night.

Duration: One scene or as per GM discretion.

Spirit’s Touch

By touching an inanimate object or the ground at a location, the vampire can sense the emotional residue left by those who have handled that object or visited the location in the past. The user gains insight into not only that person, but also what was done and under what circumstances. While rarely crystal clear, the information often provides leads impossible to gain from regular forensics and deduction.

Prerequisites: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Make an Investigation check against a DC determined by the GM. 

Duration: One Turn

Clairvoyance

By closing their eyes and entering a light trance, the vampire becomes master of its surroundings. In a few minutes it can gather information from roughly a city-block sized area (more if outdoors or less populated) that would normally take many hours, perhaps days of legwork and investigation. Once connected in such a way to their surroundings the vampire can also receive information on anything happening out of the ordinary in the area.

Prerequisites: Blood Potency 3

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: An Investigation check is made against a DC set by the GM, with difficulty dependent upon the familiarity and complexity of the area. On a success, the GM answers the vampire’s questions about the comings and goings in the area, what people have seen and heard, topics of local gossip, recent major shocks or impressions, and so forth. The player can ask roughly one question per point of margin; answers about deliberately concealed information might consume more than one point. A critical success reveals something major, regardless of the questions asked, assuming there is something to reveal.

The vampire can also clairvoyantly monitor events in progress, though this requires them to remain in the area for as long as the effect is active. 

Duration: A few minutes for information gathering, up to a night for vigilance.

Possession

With this power the vampire can strip the will of a mortal and completely possess their body, using it as their own. While the mind of the subject remains hidden to the vampire, they do anything and go anywhere the subject could while the power remains active. Using this, a vampire can even experience the sunlight, food, and physical sexuality long denied them, their host paying the price for whatever abuse the vampire wreaks on their body while riding it. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: Two Rouse Checks

System: This power can only be used on mortals. If the mortal is a ghoul, they must first be Blood Bound to the user. Before possession can begin, the vampire must have eye contact with their victim. The user then engages in a contested roll against their victim, both rolling Wisdom (check for the user, save for the victim). On a critical failure on the user’s roll, or a critical success on the victim’s roll, the victim becomes immune to further Possession attempts. 

Once the vampire inhabits the body of their victim, their own body falls into a torpor-like trance, completely unaware of their surroundings and their own physical state except for damage, which breaks the trance and ends the effects. A vampire possessing a mortal can use Auspex, Presence, and Dominate through them. If the user wishes to extend Possession into daytime, they must make a roll to stay awake. Failure to stay awake ends the power. Any damage to the subject also risks ending the possession–the user must pass a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw to stay in control. If the subject dies during the possession, the resulting psychic trauma immediately causes the user to sustain 3d10 psychic damage. 

This power does not give the user the ability to read the mind, use the skills, or emulate the manners of the victim. The vampire uses their own skills and abilities to resolve checks. The user must make a successful Deception check (DC variable) to successfully impersonate the victim’s manners, expressions, and the like.

Duration: Until ended, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Telepathy

At the highest levels of Auspex the vampire can now literally read minds, as well as project their own thoughts into the minds of others. While reading a mortal mind is relatively straightforward, undead minds, as well as those of certain other supernatural beings, require a higher effort to penetrate.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user is not required to roll any dice to project their thoughts to another, vampire or mortal, though they do require line of sight. To read the mind of a creature within light of sight, an Insight roll is made while looking into their eyes (DC variable). If the creature consents, then no roll is required. A success means that the user can discern surface thoughts as a stream of images, with higher margin allowing the user to probe for more distant or buried memories. A critical success gives a coherent picture of the subject’s current thoughts and intentions. 

Duration: Roughly one minute per Rouse Check. 

Celerity

The ability to strike fast, dodge blows, and escape pursuers allows vampires to become extremely effective predators. Celerity enables vampires to move faster than any natural creature, though it does more than grant a supernatural speed, with vampires employing it actually appearing to think almost as fast as they act. While some vampires use it to slice and stab at enemies without fear of riposte, others simply use it to get from A to B faster than any other person on foot.

Cat’s Grace

The vampire gains a balance and grace equal to and surpassing world-class trapeze artists. They can walk and even run across ledges and wires effortlessly and can keep their balance on the slimmest of supports.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user automatically passes any checks required to keep their balance. 

Duration: Passive

Rapid Reflexes

While their bodies still can’t defy the laws of nature, vampires with this power perceive events instantly and can react to them with superhuman alacrity. They can observe incoming projectiles to the extent that they can attempt to dodge arrows and even bullets without available cover.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: With this power, attacks made against vampires with ranged weapons are made with disadvantage. 

Duration: Passive

Fleetness

Their mastery of Celerity now allows the vampire to move and react with dizzying speed.

Prerequisite: Rapid Reflexes

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: All Dexterity-based checks are made with advantage. 

Duration: One scene

The vampire swiftly closes in on a foe, engaging or escaping in the blink of an eye. To an unprepared observer the user almost appears to teleport, a rush of wind the only sign of their passing.

Prerequisite: Fleetness

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The vampire’s speed increases to 300 feet. If the terrain is in any way hazardous, the character may need to make a Dexterity saving throw to avoid stumbling and coming to a halt, or even to avoid injury. 

Duration: One turn

Traversal

With blurring speed the vampire can run or climb along any surface, including vertical and even liquid mediums. While Traversal does not grant insect-like supernatural traction, running up or along walls present little problem. Walking on water remains impossible, but the vampire can run on water for a limited distance given a run-up. 

Prerequisite: Fleetness

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user makes an Acrobatics check (DC variable).

Duration: One Turn

Draught of Elegance

The Blood of the vampire becomes saturated with the power of Celerity, conveying a part of that power to anyone who drinks it. While this is also a first step towards a Blood Bond, already bound thralls or servants have little use for such worries, and even non-bound allies might decide to brave a sip for the sake of temporary power.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Drinking a Rouse Check’s worth of Blood directly from the user gifts the drinker with temporary Celerity, increasing their speed by 30 and granting them advantage on Dexterity-based checks.

Duration: One night; for vampires, until the next feeding or the vampire reaches Hunger 5.

Unerring Aim

The world around them slowing to a crawl, the vampire can aim and throw or fire any weapon at a target as if the target were stationary. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The vampire gains advantage on its next ranged weapon attack. 

Duration: One turn

Lightning Strike

Faster than the eye can follow, the vampire can strike with fist or melee weapon at such speed that the opponent is unable to defend or take evasive action.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The vampire gains advantage on its next melee weapon attack. 

Duration: One turn

Split Second

The speed at which the vampire moves catches up with their supercharged perception, allowing them to react to events around them at a moment’s notice. Ambushers find their prey already standing behind them, and favors asked are completed before the words leave the supplicant’s mouth.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The player can supersede the GM’s narration of events, within reason. They can choose to have their character move through a door before it closes, circumvent an ambush after it has been triggered, roll out of the way of an explosion, and so forth. The action taken must be reasonable and should not take more than a few seconds in real time. The GM decides that roll, or any, may be needed to accomplish the action begun using this power.

Duration: Roughly one action, as determined by the GM.

Dominate

Dominate grants the vampire the ability to control the actions of others, manipulate their memories, and force living creatures into acts they would not perform of their own volition. At its most basic, Dominate enables a vampire to make a victim forget the feed they just endured or enjoyed. At its most dangerous, it allows vampires to enslave entire crowds of people. This is the Beast at its most cruel and controlling.

Dominate acts as a bludgeon to enforce the Masquerade, create submissive servants, and reinforce the self-assuredness of the vampire. When using this Discipline, vampires feel omnipotent, although the wisest of the know that this too may be shackles of a kind, slipped upon them by the Blood.

Characteristics

Most Dominate powers require eye contact with the victim. Once they establish contact, Dominate holds the gaze of the victim until the user conveys their command or commands, barring interference. Catching the eyes of someone actively attempting to avoid the vampire’s gaze requires a contest of the user’s Charisma (check) vs the target’s Wisdom (save). It is of course impossible to catch the eyes of someone squeezing their eyes shut or wearing a blindfold, but that person should be easy prey for other tactics.

Using Dominate in combat or in other frantic situations is limited to people attacking or otherwise interacting with the user directly, as everyone else’s attention is firmly focused on their own peril.

Unless the user has supernatural means such as Telepathy at their disposal, they must command the victim verbally. The victim must be able to hear the user and understand their language.

Without Terminal Decree, commands resulting in obvious death or serious injury fail automatically. Subjects roll to resist commands resulting in other social or physical harm, such as undressing in public. Vampires cannot use Dominate to extract information, as the victim becomes a mindless puppet while under its influence. Dominate cannot make subjects do something they could not do on command, such as “sleep.” Ultimately, the GM determines what the Discipline can accomplish, but they should take care that Dominate remains one Discipline of many, rather than the catch-all solution to every problem. 

Dominate cuts to the core of vampiric mastery and predation. Thus, vampires must resist attempts to Dominate them. A vampire of greater Blood Potency can resist Dominate attempts from lower Blood Potency vampires by making a Rouse Check, negating the effect completely.

On a critical failure on the roll of any Dominate power (or a critical success for the victim), that vampire can no longer Dominate that target.

Dominate threatens Humanity, especially if the vampire has any principles involving personal freedom or forbidding violations of human integrity. Using it may reduce a vampire’s humanity level over time.

Cloud Memory

By uttering the phrase “Forget!” the user can make the Dominated victim forget the current moment as well as the last few minutes, enough to mask a superficial feeding or a chance meeting. No new memories are formed and if pressed the victim realizes they have a few minutes missing.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: No roll is required against an unprepared mortal victim. Clouding the memory of a resisting victim or another vampire requires a Charisma (check) vs a Wisdom (save).

Duration: Indefinitely

Compel

With eye contact, the vampire can issue the victim a single-action command, no longer than a short sentence, to be obeyed to the letter. It must be possible to complete the command in a single turn. The GM decides whether to interpret ambiguous commands in an unexpected or unfavorable way; alternatively, the command simply confuses the victim and fails.

Prerequisite:  None

Cost: Free

System: No roll is required against an unprepared mortal victim. Commanding a resisting victim, a victim the vampire has previously Dominated in the same scene, or another vampire requires a contest of Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save). Commands that go against the victim’s nature also require such a contest. 

Duration: No more than a single scene.

Mesmerize

The vampire can issue complex commands to a victim, as long as they have the subject’s gaze and relative quiet in which to issue instructions. The instructions must be carried out immediately to the victim’s best ability, and must not contain any conditional actions, as this would require the victim to exercise cognition.

Prerequisite: Compel

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: No roll is required against an unprepared mortal victim. Commanding a resisting victim or another vampire requires a contest of Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save). Commands that go against the victim’s nature also require such a contest.

Duration: Until the command is carried out or the scene ends, whichever comes first.

Dementation

This subtle power requires nothing more than casual conversation, as the vampire’s insidious influence hides between the lines and inflections employed. The victim finds themselves increasingly agitated as their inner demons bubble to the surface, eventually drowning out all rhyme and reason.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check per scene

System: After engaging in conversation with a victim, the user can activate this power. For the duration of the scene, the user may attack a single individual each turn in a Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save) conflict. A mortal who falls victim to this power experiences a nervous breakdown or psychotic break, the shape and nature of which depends on their personality. A vampire that falls victim to this power must immediately succumb to a Compulsion, as chosen by the power’s user.

If the user wants to affect multiple victims, they need to make a separate Rouse Check for each one.

Duration: One scene.

The Forgetful Mind

The vampire can rewrite whole swathes of the victim’s memories, as long as they can keep the victim’s gaze and full, uninterrupted attention. The vampire verbally describes the victim’s new memories, which the victim then accepts as their own. This power does not allow the user to investigate the victim’s true memories; it more resembles blindly painting over the old canvas. 

Prerequisite: Cloud Memory, Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user rolls a contest of Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save). Each point of margin allows the user to add or remove an additional memory. The victim recalls the edits vaguely, foggy ideations that can fall apart under close questioning. A critical success creates a flawless imprint, as real as any true memory. 

Duration: Indefinitely

Submerged Directive

When using Mesmerize, the vampire can now implant a post-hypnotic suggestion, allowing the command to remain dormant until a specific stimulus occurs. This trigger can be anything from a specific date, to a person, to hearing a specific phrase. The Submerged Directive never expires; people can conceivably walk around with an order buried in their mind for years. The user can only embed one suggestion per victim.

Prerequisite: Mesmerize, Blood Potency 2

Cost: No additional cost

System: As Mesmerize, though the GM might want to make any rolls in secret. There’s no way of knowing if the submerged suggestion works until the conditions are met.

Duration: Passive

Rationalize

The vampire’s victims now believe that anything they do under the influence of Dominate was a result of their own free will, and defend their actions, however absurd. Long-term exposure to this power can lead to severe mental trauma in the victim.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: No additional cost

System: If pressed on their belief, the victim can make a Wisdom saving throw (DC variable). A win makes them question their own statement, and possibly their sanity.

Duration: Indefinitely

Mass Manipulation

The vampire can now command entire gatherings of mortals, and in some cases even groups of vampires. The vampire can use this power both to issue instructions and to manipulate memories. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One Rouse Check in addition to the cost of the power amplified

System: The vampire can amplify any of their other powers to affect a group of people, mortal or vampire, at once. All of the victims need to see the eyes of the user. The user makes any needed roll against the strongest opponent in the group.

Duration: As per power amplified

Terminal Decree

No longer hampered by the self-preservation instincts of their victims, the vampire can now issue commands that directly lead to the harm or death of the victim. Mortals can be made to blow their brains out, jump from rooftops, or swallow poison. Vampires can, with a bit of effort, be made to walk into fire or sunlight.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: No additional Hunger cost, but the Humanity cost is potentially severe.

System: terminal commands must be resisted (see individual powers regarding rolls involved), rather than failing automatically.

Duration: Passive

Fortitude

Much prized by immortals, Fortitude grants the ability to resist physical and mental assault. Few vampires survive longer than a century without at least a mote of Fortitude, especially in a world where violence is common and not even vampires are safe. In these nights, fewer vampires use Fortitude to resist the sun than they do to withstand violent harm, fire, and supernatural coercion.

Those possessing Fortitude exemplify the stolid pillars of vampire society, able to withstand blows and charms without movement or sign of dilapidation.

Resilience

Endowed with supernatural endurance, the user can strengthen their physical resolve.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user’s Constitution modifier is doubled for the purpose of determining hit point maximum. This effect is retroactive. 

Duration: Passive

Unswayable Mind

The user gains a mystical ability to resist any attempts to sway them through mundane charms, coercion, and wiles. Some exhibit Unswayable Mind as zen-like calm, others as supernatural stubbornness. 

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user has advantage on any roll made to resist coercion, intimidation, seduction, or any other attempt to sway the user’s mind against their will. This power also works against supernatural abilities such as Dominate and Presence, as well as magic such as Charm Person.

Duration: Passive

Toughness

All vampires with this power exhibit an innate ability to ignore damage that would otherwise inconvenience and even disable thers of their kind. 

Prerequisite: Resilience

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user’s Armour Class (AC) increases by 2. 

Duration: One scene or combat encounter.

Enduring Beasts

The user shares a small portion of their unnatural toughness with the animals they influence. Teeming swarms and great beasts alike exhibit a resistance to fleeting injuries almost equal to the vampire themself.

Prerequisite: Animalism

Cost: Free (for famulus); One Rouse Check for other animals.

System: The vampire can choose to extend some of their Fortitude powers to animals affected by their Animalism. Any animal thus imbued gains additional hit points equal to the level plus Blood Potency level of the vampire. Using this power on their famulus is free and automatic. To imbue other animals besides their famulus, the user must make a Rouse Check. 

Duration: One scene or combat encounter

Defy Bane

By preparing themselves with an expenditure of power, the vampire can make themselves temporarily resistant to fire and sunlight as well as other grievous wounds that would threaten them with Final Death.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user takes half damage from radiant and fire sources. In addition, if damage would reduce the vampire to 0 hit points, it instead reduces the vampire to 1 hit point.

Duration: One scene or combat encounter

Fortify the Inner Facade

Instead of hardening the vampire’s physical frame, this power allows the user to protect their thoughts and emotions from supernatural prying. Their mind appears completely blank while their aura is, for lack of better words, flat. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: Free

System: The vampire becomes immune to any probing effects that target their mind, including telepathy, Scry Soul, etc. 

Duration: One scene.

Draught of Endurance

The Blood of the vampire becomes saturated with the power of Fortitude, conveying a part of that power to anyone who drinks it. This is the Fortitude equivalent of Draught of Elegance. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Drinking a Rouse Check’s worth of Blood directly from the user gifts the drinker with temporary Fortitude, increasing their hit point maximum by 2d10 plus their Constitution modifier, as well as giving them advantage on Constitution saving throws.

Duration: One night; for vampires, until the next feeding or the vampire reaches Hunger 5

Flesh of Marble

The power of the Blood causes the skin of the vampire to harden, taking on a marble-like sheen that is still supple but stops almost any blow before momentarily breaking and reforming. A vampire using this power is almost impossible to destroy outright, barring a lucky blow or physical restraint. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: Two Rouse Checks

System: With this power active, the vampire ignores the first source of damage each turn, including fire but not sunlight. Critical success on attacks against the user bypasses this power.

Duration: One scene or combat encounter

Prowess from Pain

Injuries and impairments now only fuel the powers of the vampire, who grows stronger and faster from each blow, rend, or tear received. Only utter destruction can stop one who calls upon this Fortitude power.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Upon activating the power, the vampire gains advantage on all attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks. If the vampire’s hit points should drop below half of their hit point maximum while this power is active, then the vampire instead has double advantage on all attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks, and does maximum damage on all melee attacks. 

Duration: One scene or combat encounter

Obfuscate

For any hunter, the ability to hide, move without being seen, and employ camouflage proves vital. For the vampiric practitioners of Obfuscate, the Discipline provides the perfect cover to get close to a victim, disguise themselves as harmless, and escape when the heat grows too much. 

Obfuscate experts may utilize the Discipline to lurk in the shadows while spying, change appearance in a crowd while under surveillance, or even spread the gift to a group of vampires looking to hide.

Characteristics

Obfuscate powers work through ambient, low-level mesmerism. Observers see the vampire but their minds choose to ignore it. Witnesses unconsciously move out of the way if the user blocks their path and rationale their behaviour if pressed. Obfuscate affects all five senses unless otherwise noted.

The Discipline does have limits: the illusion fails if the observer cannot ignore the user or if the user backs the observer into a corner. A vampire blocking a doorway cannot maintain Obfuscate against someone walking through it. Likewise, violent action jeopardizes the facade, as does actions like raised voices, failed pickpocket attempts, and weapons raised to strike. Whispering without breaking Obfuscate is still possible.

A vampire with Sense the Unseen can detect the Obfuscated characters by rolling Perception vs Stealth. Anyone can detect an Obfuscated vampire who draws attention to themselves; such observers detect such accidental revelations with a contest of Perception vs Stealth–a victim always has a chance to sense the danger a moment before they strike.

Cloak of Shadows

Standing perfectly still, the user blends into the surroundings. As long as they have some kind of cover, make no sound, and don’t move, only supernatural means can detect them.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: Follow the general rules for Obfuscate. The effect lasts until the user moves or they are detected by other means.

Duration: One scene

Silence of Death

This power completely silences the user, nullifying all sound made by them. As with other Obfuscate powers, this only works on people within earshot. Unlike Obfuscate in general, this power works only in the sense of hearing, but in exchange operates more robustly. A vampire needs to make a whole lot of noise to break this silence.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user silences their footsteps, clothing, minor collisions, and other sounds of their person. This makes the vampire undetectable if an observer could only notice them by sound, such as when on a different floor of a house. 

This power does not eliminate sounds the user makes outside their personal space (throwing or dropping objects, or slamming doors, for example). Failing that, only Sense of the Unseen or similar magical or supernatural ability can detect the user.

Duration: One scene

Unseen Passage

With this power, the vampire can now move around while staying hidden. The user is functionally invisible, per the usual Obfuscate limitations.

Prerequisite: Cloak of Shadows

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: As long as the user emits no overpowering odors and no sound louder than a whisper, this power automatically works. Only if the observer has their attention drawn to the user can they make an attempt to detect via a Perception check.

Note that the user cannot use this power to disappear while being actively observed; it automatically fails in such a case. 

Duration: One scene or until detection.

Mask of a Thousand Faces

Instead of disappearing, the vampire using this power can make themselves appear as a nondescript stranger, someone expected to be present in the area. Unlike other Obfuscate powers, this allows the user to interact and communicate with those they might run into. They arouse little suspicion as long as their presence is at all plausible (meaning that it will not fool people who do not expect anyone or would be hostile against anyone they didn’t know). The power also does not provide any personal identification or other ways of misleading some form of identity check.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: No test is required. Anyone viewing the vampire sees a forgettable face of the same gender and approximate build and height as the user. Clothes take on the same kind of blandness, depending on the environment. At an office the user might appear as a nightwatchman, while they may seem to wear overalls at an assembly plant. 

Duration: One scene

Conceal

This ability allows the user to cloak an inanimate object such as a door, a car, or a small house. As with other Obfuscate powers, this does not actually make the object invisible, but creates a lingering hypnotic effect that causes most people to simply ignore it. In this case the power is especially effective, given that the object is unlikely to call attention to itself. Unless something causes passersby to collide with it or someone points it out, people behave as if the object wasn’t there, moving around larger objects if need be.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The vampire touches the object. The power lasts for one night. This power conceals anyone and anything inside the object, as long as the viewer remains outside. This power cannot affect anything larger than a two-story house or any object moving under its own power. 

Duration: One night.

Vanish

The vampire can activate Cloak of Shadows and Unseen Passage even while under direct observation. The vampire appears to vanish in the blink of an eye; even the memory of them becomes foggy and indistinct.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: As per power augmented.

System: When vanishing in front of a mortal, the user rolls a contest of Stealth vs the observer’s Perception. On a win, the observer questions whether the vampire was ever there to begin with; their memory clouds on the topic. With a critical win (or a critical failure on the part of the observer), the vampire vanishes entirely from the observer’s memory. This power does not affect vampire’s memories, but any win by the user hides them as if they initiated their power unobserved. This power can only be used once per scene or combat encounter.

Duration: As per power augmented.

Cloak the Gathering

The vampire can shelter their companions under the cloak of Obfuscate.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One Rouse Check in addition to the cost of the power extended.

System: The vampire can extend their power of Obfuscation to a number of additional willing subjects equal to their Wisdom modifier, plus one for each additional Rouse Check made. The Obfuscate power used on the group can be any known by the user, and every member of the group counts as having used it on themselves, using the Obfuscating vampire’s Stealth as their own when needed for a roll. Members of the group can still perceive each other while under the effects of the power. If anyone besides the user is revealed, either through their own doing or an astute observer, the rest of the group remains hidden. If the user is revealed, so is everyone else.

Duration: As power extended.

Impostor’s Guise

With some preparation, the vampire can make themselves appear as a specific individual of any build and gender. The user must carefully study the subject, otherwise the charade fails when meeting anyone with more than a casual familiarity with the person being mimicked. 

Prerequisite: Mask of a Thousand Faces, Blood Potency 4

Cost: One rouse Check

System: The user must study the face to be copied for at least five minutes, from different angles. The user requires another ten minutes of observation to mimic the subject’s voice and mannerisms. The user can only copy humanoid appearance, not animal form. The user then makes a Deception check (DC hidden and variable!). 

Duration: One scene

Potence

Potence is Blood-fuelled strength above and beyond other vampires’ capabilities. More powerful than any performance-enhancing drug, more unnatural than the physique of any bulging bodybuilder, Potence is the Beast let loose through the firsts, feet, limbs, and raw bodily power of a vampire. The Discipline is used for more than just hitting things, though it is certainly good for this task. It is the vampire’s ability to force their body into actions impossible for mortals to replicate.

Potence trumps other Disciplines in sheer incongruity–a vampire embraced as a child can decapitate a target with one blow.

Lethal Body

Using this power, the user is capable of causing horrendous damage to mortals, tearing skin and breaking bones with bare fingers.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user’s unarmed attacks now do 1d10 damage to mortals. 

Duration: Passive

Soaring Leap

Possessing unholy strength in more than arms and fists, the user can leap far higher and further than any mortal.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user can jump three times the distance they would usually be capable of.

Duration: Passive

Prowess

Vampires with Potence gain far greater strength from their Blood than those who lack it.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: When activated, melee attack rolls are made with advantage and do maximum damage. 

Duration: One scene or combat encounter.

Brutal Feed

Known as the “Savage Kiss”, this power allows the user to employ an unholy inner strength when draining a victim. In mere seconds, the attacker swallows torrents of blood while mauling the victim. The result is an efficient, if messy, feeding often employed in the heat of battle where the mangled remains of the victim can be disguised. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: Free

System: The vampire can drain a humanoid completely in seconds, usually within a single turn. Your bite attack deals 4d6 damage and slakes 4 points of hunger (5 if this attack kills the target). 

Duration: One feeding or bite attack in combat.

Spark of Rage

Combining Potence and Presence, the vampire can incite anger and even frenzy in onlookers, as easily as awe or dread. The user must take care not to rile up an angry mob to turn on them rather than the target or each other.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: When active, gains advantage on any attempt to rile or incite a person or a crowd to violence. In addition, the user can activate this power and roll a contest of Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save) against another vampire. If they win, the opposing vampire must make a fury frenzy test. 

Duration: One scene.

Uncanny Grip

Focusing their unnatural strength into their toes and fingers, the vampire grips and burrows their extremities into almost any surface, enabling them to climb and even hang otherwise unsupported from walls and ceilings. Close observation reveals telltale scarring or deformation on these surfaces afterward, however, as this is an application of brute force, not superhero-style adhesion.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: A vampire using this power automatically succeeds on any check to climb a surface. The climb and clinging leaves obvious tracks.

Duration: One scene or combat encounter

Draught of Might

The Blood of the vampire becomes saturated with the power of Potence, conveying a part of that power to anyone who drinks it. This is the Potence equivalent of Draught of Elegance.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Drinking a Rouse Check’s worth of Blood directly from the user gifts the drinker with temporary Potence, giving them advantage on melee attacks and Strength saving throws.

Duration: One night; for vampires, until the next feeding or the vampire reaches Hunger 5

Shatter

Their strength an elemental force, the vampire can strike with such fury that it can kill an opponent outright.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: Two Rouse Checks

System: The next attack that hits the opponent deals double maximum damage. If the attack is a critical hit, the attack does triple maximum damage. 

Duration: One scene or combat encounter.

Presence

Most vampires are creatures of grace and lethality. Associated with horrific violence and devastating beauty, vampires embody opposites, alternating between nightmare and dream depending on the onlooker and the vampire’s whims. Presence is a Discipline that expresses this bipolar existence. Used to attract victims or disperse them in fear, Presence allows crowd control, emotional manipulation, and enforced devotion. A mortal’s greatest fear could stand before them and suddenly look like the most radiant creature on Cambria.

Many Presence practitioners use this Discipline to easily acquire feeding vessels, while others use it to stalk the night as creatures of horror, making weak-willed mortals flee terrified, unsure of what they’ve just seen. Effective as a lure as well as a defense, vampires with Presence enjoy an easier nightlife at the expense of forgetting what feelings projected at them are normal and which are compelled.

Characteristics

Presence affects the emotions of those subject to it, not the minds. While this is useful in that victims are cognizant (unlike Dominate), they are not under the direct control of the user and are thus often unpredictable. In order to be affected by Presence, the subject must be in the physical presence of the user or at least within earshot. The Discipline does not transmit through other means, such as electronic or magic unless the user possesses Star Magnetism. Detecting the use of Presence is very hard unless one has access to Sense the Unseen and can even then be too subtle to notice unless one is looking for it specifically.

Presence power effects do not stack, so someone using Awe and Entrancement on the same subject would only enjoy the benefit of one at a time. 

In combat, only the Dread Gaze and Majesty powers have any effect, as charm is of little use when someone has decided they want you hurt.

Awe

Anyone in the presence of the vampire finds their attention inexplicably drawn to them. Those listening to the vampire speak might suddenly agree on subjects where they once held different viewpoints. While this power doesn’t cause rapt infatuation, it is still strong enough to sway the minds of most mortals.

Prerequisites: None

Cost: None

System: The user has advantage on any Performance or Persuasion rolls, at the GM’s discretion. Anyone aware that they’re being affected can try to resist with a Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save). On a win, the target can resist the effects for one scene; a critical success makes the target immune for the entire night. Once the power wears off, victims revert to their previous opinions.

Duration: One scene or until intentionally ended.

Daunt

Instead of attacking people, the vampire uses Presence to repel. With this power the user appears threatening and exudes an aura of menace powerful enough to make most mortals avoid their attention and even vampires think twice about acting against them.

Prerequisites: None

Cost: Free

System: The user has advantage on any Intimidation rolls. Creatures trying to attack the user must pass a Wisdom saving throw (DC = user’s level plus their Charisma modifier). On a failure, the creature must choose another target or lose the attack. Vampires cannot use Awe and Daunt simultaneously.

Duration: One scene or until intentionally ended.

Lingering Kiss

The Kiss of a vampire induces near-ecstasy in mortals, but this power leaves other Kisses in the dust. Mortals fed upon by the user become addicted to the Kiss, obsessing over it and even seeking the vampire out for repeated feedings. Mortals often become anemic, self-harm, or even die from this addiction, but vampires find it a useful power for cultivating a herd.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The vampire can choose to use this power or not during each feeding. The user makes a Charisma (check) vs the target’s Wisdom (save). If the target wins this contest, they resist the effects. Winning this test for three consecutive weeks breaks the effect, as does a single critical success.

Duration: Until successfully resisted.

Dread Gaze

Briefly exposing their vampiric nature, the user instills a single subject with utter terror. Mortals are cowed, run, or freeze with fear, while other vampires either submit like whipped dogs or free in frenzy. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: Free

System: Displaying their fangs, their face twisted in a predatory grimace, the user rolls a Charisma check vs their target’s Wisdom save. On a win, the target runs away in fear (if mortal) or is unable to act other than in their own defense for a turn. On a critical success, mortals freeze or crumple into a fetal position. Vampires must make a terror frenzy test (even if they win, they are still affected as above). 

Duration: One turn

Entrancement

The vampire focuses their unnatural allure on a single person, instilling in them a rapt fascination or infatuation akin to falling head over heels in love or meeting one’s lifelong idol. The person affected does their best to remain in the vampire’s good graces, but stops short of causing themselves or their loved ones physical harm.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The vampire only needs to gain the subject’s attention and win a contest of Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save). The effect lasts for roughly one hour plus one per point of margin on the win. The vampire can renew this effect indefinitely, but a failure ends the effect and makes the subject immune for the rest of the night.

After succeeding, the user has advantage on any social roll against the entranced subject. Requests resulting in obvious harm to the subject or their loved ones, or that oppose the subject’s core beliefs, fail and require an immediate power contest roll as above, or the Entrancement immediately fails.

Duration: One hour plus one per point of margin.

Irresistible Voice

The Presence of the user becomes a conduit for Dominate. The vampire now only needs their voice to be heard in order to employ Dominate powers.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: No additional cost

System: The user’s voice alone is now enough to Dominate a target. This does not apply to voices transmitted through electronic means or magic.

Duration: Passive

Summon

The vampire can call to themselves any person, mortal or vampire, upon whom they’ve previously used Awe, Entrancement, or Majesty, or who has tasted their Blood at least once. The target knows who is summoning them and the user’s current location. This calling lasts for a night. After that time, the effect subsides, but the user can repeat it night after night if required to reach the target or if the target is otherwise reluctant. Anyone Summoned feels a pull toward the summoner and tries to reach them, though without endangering themselves physically or financially. They won’t sell their house to buy a ticket or miss a vital meeting, but they might skip out of normal work or social commitments.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user needs to concentrate for five minutes and think of the person being summoned, then rolls a Charisma (check) vs Wisdom (save). On a win, the target hears the summoning but may or may not heed it. On a critical win, the target arrives as quickly as possible, barring immediate risk to their well-being.

Duration: One night

Majesty

At this pinnacle of the Discipline the vampire can amplify their countenance to supernatural levels. Whether they appear as heartrendingly beautiful, monstrously terrifying, or wielding absolute command, everyone who views them is struck by their image, unable to act or even speak against the vampire. To experience Majesty is to be in the presence of the divine–or the infernal. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: Two Rouse Checks

System: People in the presence of the user can only stare, slack-jacked, or avert their eyes in fear or submission. Anyone wanting to act in any way in opposition to the user, except for self-preservation, must successfully win a contest of Wisdom (save) vs Charisma (check). A win allows one turn of freedom, plus one per point of margin; only a critical win resists the effect for the entire scene.

Duration: One scene

Star Magnetism

The Presence powers of the user now affect people viewing them remotely, such as through electronic means or magic. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One additional Rouse Check

System: Awe, Daunt, and Entrancement can be transmitted remotely. If Entrancement is used, the victim’s name must be spoken clearly, as that power only affects one person at a time. Anyone else viewing the same transmission only finds the user charming, but not supernaturally so.

Duration: As power used.

Protean

Practitioners of Protean employ this Discipline for its utility. The power enables a vampire to become a beast, turn their limbs into weapons, or change their shape into clouds of mist to evade capture, glide through keyholes, or slip through cracks in a window.

Characteristics

Protean powers that change the shape or in other ways transform the body of the vampire also affect clothing, swallowed items, and other small wearables. Protean does not affect larger carried items, including backpacks and bags. For this reason users of Protean often travel light.

Eyes of the Beast

This vampire can will a supernatural red gleam into their eyes, giving them sight even in the total absence of light.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user extends their darkvision to 240 feet and ignores magical darkness. While active, the unhuman appearance of the eyes confers advantage on Intimidation rlls against mortals.

Duration: As long as desired.

Weight of the Feather

The vampire can reduce their effective mass and density, making themselves almost weightless. This allows them to avoid triggering pressure sensors as well as avoiding major damage from falls, collisions, or being thrown. The power cannot be used for longer leaps, as the vampire’s strength is proportionally reduced.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: As a reaction, as during a sudden fall, the vampire can activate an effect similar to the spell Feather Fall. 

Duration: As long as desired.

Feral Weapons

The vampire can extend their natural weapons to monstrous proportions. This usually takes the form of fingernails extending into wicked talons but can also come in other forms such as fangs elongating into veritable daggers, as from a gigantic serpent. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: When activated, the vampire’s natural attacks do an additional 2d6 damage and count as magical for the purposes of bypassing resistances.

Duration: One scene

Earth Meld

Becoming one with the soil, the vampire sinks into the earth. Unless in torpor, the vampire rises again the following night.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The vampire must be on a natural surface: rocks, raw earth, grass, etc. This power does not work on concrete, asphalt, or other artificial surfaces. It takes a turn for the vampire to sink into the earth, leaving carried objects behind atop the soil. While in the earth the vampire is aware of their surroundings, except during day-sleep. At those times, disturbances (such as digging or loud noises) awaken them or not as with all vampires.

Duration: One day or more, or until disturbed

Shapechange

The vampire can assume the shape of an animal roughly the same size as their original mass (same size category). The vampire can only change into one type of animal (usually a wolf, sometimes a large feline or a giant snake), usually one associated with their background or the type of prey they most commonly feed on. The animal, while usually a spectacular example of their species, shows no signs to a mundane observer of being supernatural.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The transformation takes one action. Upon transformation, the vampire gains the physical attributes and features of their new form but retains their mental and social attributes. The vampire is limited to their form’s natural limits of communication, manipulation (most animals can carry one thing in their mouth), and so forth. The vampire can use other Disciplines, at the GM’s discretion. 

Duration: As long as desired.

Metamorphosis

This power grants an additional form to the user, this time also enabling them to change their size. Vampires most commonly metamorphose into bats, rats, unusually large insects, or snakes. 

Prerequisites: Bloot Potency 3, Shapechange

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: Same as Shapechange.

Duration: As long as desired.

Mist Form

The vampire gains the legendary power to turn into a cloud of mist, perceivable to the eye but untouchable by anything save fire, sunlight, and supernatural or magical aggression. They can fit through pipes, crevices, and cracks. While strong winds might buffet them, no natural force can disperse the cloud.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: Three Rouse Checks

System: The transformation takes one action. While in mist form, the vampire moves at walking pace and perceives their surroundings normally. A vampire in mist form cannot make eye contact or speak. They can use only those Disciplines requiring no physical form or presence, at the GM’s discretion. While in mist form the vampire can only be damaged by sunlight, fire, and immaterial supernatural attacks or magic. 

Duration: One scene unless ended voluntarily before that.

The Unfettered Heart

Having mastered the power of Protean, the very insides of the user become malleable, almost viscous. The heart, seat of the vitae and unlife of the vampire, detaches and moves freely, if sluggishly, within the chest. This makes the vampire exceedingly hard to stake as the position of their heart changes nightly, and can even allow the user to free themselves from paralysis. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: Free

System: Any attempts to stake this vampire are always made with disadvantage. Even if staked, the user can make a Rouse Check and roll a Strength saving throw (DC variable) once per hour. A win means they manage to free themselves from paralysis as the stake is pushed out of their body. They cannot attempt such expulsion at Hunger 5.

Duration: Passive

Blood Sorcery

Unlike other Disciplines, practitioners of Blood Sorcery require teachers. Genuine masters of this Discipline develop their own Rituals, though many guard them from others, revelling in the mystery surrounding their unknown cache of abilities. To practice Blood Sorcery is to twist one’s own Blood into submission. Any form of this power reminds a vampire that they’re far from human, as no mortal could wield magic in this way.

Characteristics

Blood Sorcery is a special Discipline in that it both confers powers, like other Disciplines, and also unlocks the ability to perform Rituals. Its regular powers seem comparatively weak, but the versatility of the Rituals more than compensates, assuming the user can learn them. 

Corrosive Blood

Altering the properties of some of their own Blood, the user can make it highly corrosive to dead substances, able to corrode most items down to steaming sludge, given enough time and Blood shed.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: One or more Rouse Checks

System: No additional skill roll is required. The user concentrates for a turn and forces Blood through an open, usually self-inflicted, wound. The user then spills their Blood on a nonliving object to corrode and decompose it. Each Rouse Check corrodes approximately 2 inches of matter in all directions from the splash; this takes approximately five minutes (longer on soft metals like copper or cast iron). Harder metals such as alloys and steel merely scar and pit; whether they meaningfully weaken remains the GM’s discretion. 

Duration: N/A

A Taste for Blood

By tasting a drop of blood, the user can discern certain basic traits of the one to whom it belongs. 

Prerequisite: None

Cost: Free

System: The user dabs the blood on their tongue and makes an Intelligence check. With a win, the user can determine the race and gender, as well as whether the blood belongs to a mortal, ghoul, vampire, or other supernatural creature (it may not be able to identify the supernatural creature if not vampire or ghoul). Tasting blood also determines the relative Blood Potency of the vampire. On a critical success, the user can identify who the blood belongs to specifically if they are already familiar with that person.

Duration: N/A

Extinguish Vitae

The user can intentionally remove the unlife-giving properties of some of the Blood in another vampire, stroking their Hunger as the victim’s inner reserves curdle into impotence.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The target must make a contested Constitution saving throw vs the user’s Intelligence check. If the target is in line of sight and it fails on the contest, the target’s hunger is increased by one. A critical failure on the part of the target, or a critical success on the part of the user, results in Hunger increasing by two. The victim can discern who afflicts them if they can see the user while making a Perception vs Sleight of Hand roll.

Duration: N/A

Blood of Potency

The vampire can concentrate their Blood, increasing its potency temporarily.

Prerequisite: None

Cost: One or more Rouse Checks

System: The user increases their Blood Potency by 1 level. Subsequent Rouse Checks increase their Blood Potency by an additional level for each Rouse Check made.

Duration: One night

Scorpion’s Touch

The vampire can transmute some of their Blood into a paralyzing poison, capable of affecting mortals and vampires alike. They can use this ichor to coat bladed weapons, or even spit it at a target. Scorpionated Blood incapacitates affected mortals, while hampering vampires if not necessarily rendering them helpless.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 2

Cost: One or more Rouse Checks

System: The user concentrates for a turn and forces Blood through an open, usually self-inflicted, wound. Each Rouse Check worth of poison made takes a turn and emits enough Blood to coat one bladed melee weapon stickily or fill one mouthful to be spat at a foe. Spitting poison at someone acts as a ranged weapon attack (with a range of 10/20), although vampires have been known to French kiss a victim and transfer the poison that way. Even more subtle vampires scorpionate their Blood to poison would-be diablerists: Drinking poisoned Blood from the vein guarantees a hit! Aside from such vein-to-fang transmission, however, scorpionated Blood is a contact poison that sublimes away in liquids and is too viscous to inject with a syringe. The user cannot poison beverages with it or inject it by their own bite. 

If the poison hits, the user must make a Constitution saving throw (DC = 10 + the user’s Blood Potency level) or become paralyzed for a number of hours equal to their failure margin on the roll. 

Duration: The poison remains potent for one scene.

Theft of Vitae

Through mystical means the vampire opens a wound in a major artery of a mortal victim, blood shooting through the air in a stream toward the open mouth of the user. This has the additional effect of keeping the mortal subdued as if in the throes of a Kiss, and the wound closes by itself once the effect ends, whether the victim expired or not. This power is extremely spectacular and a potential Masquerade breach while in progress, but once ended leaves no traces.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 3

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user makes a beckoning gesture toward a mortal target in line of sight and rolls an Intelligence check vs their target’s Constitution saving throw. A win opens an arterial wound, and the vampire can start feeding from across the room. (A target wearing full-body protection such as a hazmat suit merely bleeds ecstatically out into the suit.) The user can do nothing else while feeding, but they can feed at twice the normal speed thanks to the sorcerous pressure of this power.

Duration: One feeding.

Baal’s Caress

The vampire can transmute their Blood into an extremely aggressive poison, lethal to mortals and vampire alike. 

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One or more Rouse Checks

System: This power uses the same system (and its poison has the same restrictions) as Scorpion’s Touch, with added acid damage equal to 2d6 plus the Blood Potency level of the user. 

Duration: The poison remains potent for one scene.

Cauldron of Blood

This gruesome power lets the user boil the blood of a victim in their own veins, causing massive damage and excruciating pain. While there are more efficient ways to kill, few methods approach this level of cruelty.

Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4

Cost: One Rouse Check

System: The user pays the cost and touches the victim, rolling a contest of Intelligence (check) vs Constitution (save). On a win, each point of margin causes 2d6 acid damage to the target. Vampire victims also add 1 Hunger per point of margin, until Hunger is at 5.

Duration: One turn

Rituals

Practitioners of Blood Sorcery are also capable of casting more common magic as Blood-fuelled rituals. Performing a ritual requires a Rouse Check, five minutes per spell level to cast, and a successful Intelligence check (DC = 10 + the spell’s level). Rituals usually require additional ingredients (as indicated in the spell description), though some need only the uninterrupted concentration of the user, and often involve the mingling of Blood with ingredients chosen according to the principles of sympathetic magic or alchemy. 

Spells Known

The practitioner does not begin with any spells known and must learn these through various means at the discretion of the GM. All spells from all schools are capable of being cast as a ritual by a Blood Sorcerer, and never expend Spell Points when doing so. This makes Blood Sorcerers tremendously versatile casters.

Spell Save DC

The practitioner’s spell save DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. 

Spell Attack Modifier

The practitioner’s spell attack modifier is equal to your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

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