Our Rules
Being Kindred

So, what are the realities of being a vampire? How does everything work? What can you do? What can't you do? What's the price you pay?

Kindred Physiology

The State of Being Static

A Kindred’s body is unchanging. The state of the vampire’s body at death is the state the vampire’s body shall remain in for all eternity. This includes hair length, hair color (dye typically fades or seeps out, and hair will tend to revert to its natural shade, unless bleached, in which case, hair will remain bleached), body modifications (including piercings, tattoos, and cosmetic surgery), and serious wounds (reflected by the flaw “Permanent Wound.”) Minor abrasions, blemishes, and slight imperfections are healed at Embrace.

Any changes applied after the Embrace (with a few supernatural exceptions) last for only the night. A Kindred’s body will always, throughout the day, return to its “original” state.

Bleeding

If cut, and even if a limb is lost, Kindred do not bleed. There is no flowing, splashing or dripping of blood. In order for that to happen, a Kindred must force the blood to flow.

The Modus Operandi …or the Lack Thereof!

The organs of Kindred no longer function. Therefore, they do not breathe, eat, blush, sweat or burp, or use the “little boy’s or girl’s room.” Besides the static moisture of their eyes and their mouths since Embrace, Kindred also do not produce bodily fluids, so they do not cry, women do not become wet when sexually excited, and men do not grow erect or ejaculate semen. Kindred must perform such actions deliberately and they require the expenditure of blood to active the associated organs. THEY DO NOT COME NATURALLY. Performing these actions for a scene requires an expenditure of blood points equal to (8 minus Humanity); thus, Kindred with Humanity scores of 8 or higher may accomplish these feats automatically, while vampires with low Humanity find the process exceedingly arduous. For instance, a vampire with Humanity 6 trying to breathe must spend 2 blood points to temporarily revive his lungs and simulate the action. The only exception is a Kindred’s need to draw in air in order to speak, but that is NOT the same thing as the act of systematically breathing.

Furthermore, all air exhaled from Kindred – whether spoken or breathed – will be cool, and will not steam in cold air, because a Kindred’s blood does not circulate, and so they are cold to the touch, noticeably cold in some cases. A freshly fed Kindred is flushed, euphoric, and warm for about an hour, but Kindred are naturally room temperature. However, no matter how warm their surroundings are, they will always be colder than mortals.

Kindred are not only colder, they are also paler in general. The lower humanity or the lower the amount of blood in a Kindred’s system, in fact, the paler and more “corpse-like” they tend to appear.

Additionally, Kindred never feel tired or fatigued (except perhaps mentally, which is – again – psychological) unless very low (2 points or less) in Willpower. Should they have no (0) Willpower, they are exhausted and unable to function, unable to walk or even crawl. Otherwise, from sundown to sunrise, they’re at their peak. Neither do they require “sleep.” A Kindred’s only “rest cycle” is the death-like state they succumb to during the day.

Last, but not least, a Kindred’s natural scent. There is none! Kindred have no means of producing scent. That said, that doesn’t mean they’re without it. They smell regularly of blood, especially near their mouths and noses, and of the environments in which they spend their time. They’re like tofu, in essence, they absorb what is around them. Other scents, like smoke, perfume, incense, or those of common toiletries (like shampoo or soap) also cling to them as normal.

Remember: It’s All In Your Head!

An important thing to remember is that Kindred can still sigh, flinch, blink, fidget, tremble, ‘get the chills,’ and even suffer from the occasional stress headache, but these are all psychosomatic – all in their head! They’re clinically dead, not brain dead. They still have habits, quirks, psychological issues, personalities, and souls. So play it up!

Kindred and the Cold

Cold weather and can and does still effect Kindred. While they are not subject to feeling cold, cold weather can still wreak havoc with their bodies eventually.

To quote the V20 book: "V20 PDF, pg 302 wrote:

Vampires, being undead, suffer little from the privations of temperature. However, very high (200+ °F or 100+ °C) temperatures might have the same effects as fire, at the Storyteller’s discretion. Vampires suffering from extreme cold might be forced to spend additional blood points or suffer from the effects of frostbite (-1 or more to Dexterity-based dice pools). In general, though, vampires should not suffer greatly from most “normal” temperature fluctuations.

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking anything but blood is disgusting to all vampires. Anything you ingest will not only taste bad, but will also be immediately vomitted back up. Even those with the Eat Food merit, which allows you to hold down without the spend and enjoy it to a point, will have to puke up the food or drink they consume eventually.

Anyone else attempting to eat or drink anything that is not blood or that contains blood will have to spend a blood point or immediately be faced with having to puke, right then, right there.

Most vampires do not think the effort is worth the blood because even if you do spend, it tastes nasty and disgusting. Like ashes.

Why is this? You can find reference to it in the Book of Nod, Caine's supposed words to his childer:

"And then, through dread Uriel God Almighty cursed me, saying. 'Then, for as long as you walk this earth, you and your children will cling to / Darkness / You will drink only blood / You will eat only ashes / You will be always as you were at death, / Never dying, living on. / You will walk forever in Darkness, all you touch will crumble into nothing, / until the last days.' "

The Beast

The Beast lurks within each vampire, a possessing spirit that craves blood and thrives on cruelty and violence. Capricious and malicious, it perpetually damns all vampires. As long as it howls, no matter how strong or faithful the Kindred is, redemption and salvation are forever beyond her grasp. It is the Beast that propels Kindred to become monsters, to devour and destroy everything they touch and care for. It makes vampires quick to anger and feeds on their emotions, tainting and corrupting them in the process.

The Beast warps the vampire's identity, amplifying any mental flaws that the Kindred had when he was a human. A father confuses loves for obsession. A priest becomes set in his own righteousness, even going so far as excusing his vampiric sins as God's will. A man’s love toward his lady becomes tainted and corrupted, spawning hate and resentment. In the end, the Beast makes all vampires selfish. Their needs, their sins, their torment, their loves and hates become of singular importance, more important than anyone or anything else. It screams from the deepest bit of the soul begging to be released. The weak cave in and become feral monsters driven by the basest of desires and needs – usually survival and hunger. It is a state that those of the Camarilla both fear and vehemently deny because it means not only inevitable destruction, but ultimately the end of their former selves.

The strong of will and conviction fare better, keeping their inner monster caged, feeding only when necessary and keeping their emotions in check. Many Kindred naturally seek to control their surroundings because the Beast is forever beyond their influence. Kindred might rule business empires and command sway over vast swaths of mortal influences, but they are reminded every night of the simple fact that they are nothing but slaves to their Beasts. Most terrifying of all is the subtlety of the Beast. It works to pervert everything a Kindred believes in. It constantly tries to poison the Kindred against those who mean no harm, filling her head with paranoid fears until the Kindred trusts no one, not even herself. In a way, the paranoia makes sense – after all, if this is what you’re feeling nightly, do you dare imagine what the vampire across from you is also experiencing, even as they stare at you?

This is a struggle no vampire ever truly wins. There is no escaping the corrupting presence of the Beast, which begs and cajoles Kindred to commit atrocities to sate its selfish hunger… but that doesn’t stop them from fighting against it and their damnation, ceaselessly.

Frenzy

The Beast is aptly named, for it is the animal mind of instincts and impulses. Very little about the Beast is rational, which is what many Kindred fear. Like an animal, the Beast lashes out with all its power and destroys all higher thought, plunging the vampire either into a frenzied blood rage (triggered by hunger or anger) or the mad fear called Rötschreck (the “Red Fear,” triggered by fire or sunlight). A vampire who is lost to the Beast is a terrifying thing. It knows nothing except rage, and it lashes out like a crazed animal against whoever steps in its way.

Rolling Frenzy

In most cases, Kindred can manage to overcome their Beast and suppress their frenzy. Confronted by a situation in which his Beast is provoked, a vampire must make a Self-Control (or Courage in the case of Rötschreck) roll against the appropriate difficulty.

In order to completely overcome the urge, the character must score 5 successes, but even one success can halt the urge temporarily. Successes are cumulative. For each success below the 5, the character can resist the urge for 1 turn, and then may roll again and add those successes to reach 5.

If you fail a rage frenzy check, your character goes into a violent rampage and comes under the control of a Storyteller. If you fail a hunger frenzy check, you leap for the nearest (preferably warm) body and blatantly attempt to feed on it. If no mortals are nearby, you will attack other Kindred. In the case of a failed Rötschreck check, you attempt to get as far away from the object of your fear as possible, while hissing, often baring your fangs. If anyone interferes with this, or anything, it is assaulted with the same brutality as if the frenzying vampire was in rage frenzy.

In the case of a botch, the character is in frenzy until a Storyteller says otherwise. The character may also gain a derangement as a consequence of their frenzy.

Roleplaying Frenzy

Characters in frenzy are not themselves - or rather, they reveal more of themselves than they normally would. They will do anything to sate their hunger or the destroy the source of of the frenzy., even attacking. Characters in frenzy generally attack their enemy first, but if no enemies are present, friends will do. Even lovers and family are at risk.

The character may feel remorse and guilt later, but while in frenzy, nothing matters than the immediate gratification of their desires. Characters who kill while in frenzy are subject to degeneration checks.

A character in the midst of frenzy may spend a willpower point. This enables him to control one action for one turn. In this manner, a vampire may give her intended victim the chance to run, or stammer out an apology. This moment does not stop the frenzy, it merely grants a brief respite.

Rage Frenzy Triggers

The following things can trigger a rage frenzy. Remember, all Brujah roll at +2 difficulty.

  • Being harassed: Difficulty 4
  • Life-threatening situation: Difficulty 4
  • Malicious taunts: Difficulty 4
  • Physical provocation: Difficulty 6
  • Loved one in danger: Difficulty 7
  • Outright public humiliation: Difficulty 8

Hunger Frenzy Triggers

When your character is at less than the amount of blood indicated for their Self-Control rating, they are hungry and must roll against hunger frenzy in the presence of blood. Again, all Brujah roll at +2 difficulty.

  • Self-Control 5: Hungry at 2 blood points or less.
  • Self-Control 4: Hungry at 3 blood points or less.
  • Self-Control 3: Hungry at 4 blood points or less.
  • Self-Control 2: Hungry at 5 blood points or less.
  • Self-Control 1: Hungry at 6 blood points or less.
  • Taste of blood (when hungry): Difficulty 6
  • Sight of blood (when hungry): Difficulty 4
  • Smell of blood (when hungry): Difficulty 3

Rötschreck Triggers

If a character's Courage rating is equal to or higher than the difficulty of a Rötschreck trigger, it can be ignored without rolling. The listed triggers are meant as guidelines for various situations where vampires encounter flame or sunlight.

Unlike hunger and rage frenzy, Rötschreck rolls use Courage, not Self-Control.

  • Lighting a cigarette: Difficulty 3
  • Sight of a torch: Difficulty 5
  • Bonfire: Difficulty 6
  • Obscured sunlight: Difficulty 7
  • Being burned: Difficulty 7
  • Direct sunlight: Difficulty 8
  • Trapped in burning building: Difficulty 9

Spending Blood

Blood can be spent to increase physical attributes, but we set limits in our house rules. Blood can elevate stats for the rest of the scene up to your generational maximum, for one blood point per dot added. The end of a scene is declared by the Storyteller, and occurs at any major break in the action.

We do not allow a player to spend beyond their generational maximum by more than one dot, and that one dot lasts only for a single round. For example, Bobby the Brujah has a generational maximum attribute of 5, so he can boost his strength up to 5 for the rest of the scene, and can gain one extra die of strength for a single round by spending one blood. He cannot spend more blood to get beyond that limit.

Spending of blood must be done in the channel your character is currently in, you can not join another channel and spend blood there, out of sight. If you wish to spend blood and keep in secret, it must be done in #stchambers or #help.

Animals

If you are playing a vampire, unless you have one of the following traits:

  • Inoffensive to Animals merit
  • Dots in Animalism
  • Dots in Animal Ken

...animals that are not blood bound to you will be terrified of your character. They will not let you pet them, they will not let you come near them. They will run, bite or otherwise attack, because they recognize vampires as the predators they are.

This means is that it is generally not a good idea for you to bring an animal that is bound to you to places that other vampires are. It is, in fact, a very bad idea to do this, because the mortals around will likely be wondering why Fido is howling while desperately trying to get away from the otherwise completely normal looking people around them. This is also hardly a great way to win friends and influence people amongst the vampire community.

Animal Ken can negate this tendency to a point, but Animalism is the better skill to possess in order to be able to interact with animals.

If your vampire has a pet, it's best that other vampires (unless they as well have the above-referenced traits) not ever encounter them.

Cybering

We here at Sanguinus do not condone the graphic depiction of sexual acts between characters. Our policy is simple- should you character engage in those acts, you must "Fade to Black."

Willpower

Willpower on Sanguinus regenerates at a rate of 1 per week. Willpower can be used for an autosuccess in the case of life or death situations and only at the discretion of the Storyteller staff.

Accents

If you are portraying a character who speaks with an obvious accent, do not attempt to "sound it out" in your emotes.

Example:

(Your Character is from France) "Excuse moi Monsieur, Eef you zink I aim wrong, zen you zir are an eedioot!" That is not only annoying to read for English speakers but for our "English as a second language" people, it is incomprehensible. If your character has an obvious accent, simply emote, "She speaks in a thick, French accent.."

You may sprinkle in some commonly used foreign phrases or words, "Adios." "Bonsoir" etc, etc. But keep them to a minimum. Keep in mind that while a character may speak a certain language, that does not mean the player does.

Blood Bonds

Blood Bonds are taken quite seriously on Sanguinus. They are not to be entered into lightly. If your character drinks the blood of another character, it must be reported to a staff member. If none are online, send the Storyteller group a note on the forum. Failure to do so will result in the docking of experience points.

Enchanted Voice

Due to the nature of the merit, Enchanted Voice does not decrease the difficulty of rolling Dominate. It will not not make the roll easier.

Toreador Flaw

The Toreador flaw can be tricky to play. Many things trigger the flaw, not just art. A beautiful person, the brickwork on a wall, a cigarette butt laying "just so" on the sidewalk. It is very diverse, and it is also meant to be a Flaw, not merit. It can be debilitating and should be. When confronted with something that would trigger the flaw, you may elect to have your character "go with it" and simply zone out until the trigger is removed.

If you feel that your character would rather not go into a trance due to being in a possibly dangerour or embarrassing situation the roll is as follows:

Roll your Self Control rating at difficulty 6. If your character is in a life or death situation, you may use willpower.

Failure of the roll means your character is Entranced until the trigger is removed.

Botches result in your character being unable to come out of the trance until forced to do so by another character. This could be through vigorous shaking, a slap across the face or something similiar. After the botch, the character has an intense desire to possess the object that so beguiled them for a period of 1 month. This must be played out. If it is a piece of art or even the song of another character, your character will do everything in his or her own power to obtain it.

Staking

Self-staking is not allowed. It is an almost impossible thing to do and the Beast that lives inside each Kindred would not allow it.

Employment

Vampires, even the newest, most human-looking vampires, can not hold down regular jobs. The statement, "Well, I work at night." doesn't cover it. There are always daytime meetings, people not showing up to take over, being in the middle of something you can not possibly stop just because dawn is coming.

Imagine being a nurse/doctor/EMT in the middle of CPR and dawn comes..can you simply stop and say, "My shift is over! Going home!" No...you can not.

Imagine working in a high stress job- like a fast food joint- and a drunk dude comes in at 3 am wanting fries and he has to wait. "What do you mean I have to fucking wait?!" and your Brujah suddenly frenzies and rips his head off.

There ARE some jobs you can take. Stripper, bouncer, bartender, maybe some others. But a "normal job?" No way.

This is part of the tragedy of the World of Darkness. Try as you might, you can not live a "normal life" doing "normal things" and make a "normal living"

You are not human. You never will be again.

PLEASE play this accordingly. Far too many times a good many people simply ignore that this is a horrible life your characters are living. Damned by God, unable to do the things you may have loved doing, this is tragic..and should factor into your RP.