Table of Contents
Starting the Game
Social (aka Real Life) Rules
Blood | Resolve | Status
Celerity | Fortitude | Potence
Auspex | Dominate | Morpheus | Obfuscation | Psychogenesis | Translocation | Presence
Life & Death
The Three Secrets
All characters in Vampires are essentially the same. Once human, they have now joined the ranks of the Undead. No longer human, that which made them unique is all but destroyed.
Character generation consists of creating a character you wish to play. Backgrounds, personal histories and personality quirks have no game bearing -- but a rich and engaging character will be more fun to play than a "walking game piece."
All characters will start the game with a Sire (unless playing an Elder). Elders do have Sires (technically), but their own Sires are not represented by an in-game character.
Sires select their progeny, not the other way around.
Also, characters start the game with one ally and one enemy (players will know who their ally and enemy both are...their character may be ignorant of these relationships at the discretion of the players involved).
All characters possess the following in-game characteristics:
Each of these will be dealt with in their own section.
Vampires create progeny by draining a human victim of all their blood, then feeding that human a drop (one Blood token) of their own. The Vampire who creates progeny is that person's Sire. Sires always have one more (maximum) Blood and Resolve token than their progeny. Your Generation is equal to 6 minus the maximum amount of Blood your body can contain -- an Elder Vampire is Generation 1. The Elder's progeny is Generation 2. The lower your Generation, the more potent your Blood and the stronger your Resolve.
The originator of a vampiric Family (aka clan, cult, bloodline, legacy...whatever you wish to call it) is known as an Elder (or Master) Vampire. Elders are the most power Vampires in the game. If you are playing an Elder, you are free to select your own disciplines. If you have progeny, you select your progeny's disciplines (you cannot select disciplines other than the ones you yourself possess). Unless otherwise noted, the number of tokens listed is the maximum allowed to a character of that Generation. You may not increase this number except through Advancement.
Elder Vampires begin the game with the following characteristics:
An Elder Vampire can (at their discretion), dole out their own Status to their progeny (or other Vampires) at the start of the game.
An Elder's "firstborn" progeny begins the game with the following characteristics:
Each subsequent Generation begins the game with the following characteristics:
Vampires starting the game with 1 Blood token cannot create their own Progeny.
When gaining Status tokens via one's Sire (or as gifts from other Vampires), be aware that non-Elders may only possess 5 Status tokens at a time. Should the non-Elder acquire a prestigious title or position in the society, this number may increase to 10. Elders have no maximum Status.
A special rule regarding disciplines and Generation: Progeny cannot use the Dominate discipline on their Sires or other Vampires of lower Generation. Sires cannot use Telepathy on their own progeny.
Starting the Game
At the start of the game, Elders will be chosen or elected from the group (at a ratio of one Elder per four players). All non-Elder characters will write their character's name, personality and basic description on an index card. These cards will be given to the Elders and they get to each pick one player to represent their firstborn progeny. If two or more Elders contest a claim, they will settle it with a Status challenge with the caveat being that if the bids tie, nobody wins the challenge. Elders can claim a second, third, fourth, etc. progeny by spending a Status token per extra progeny.
After the Elders select their firstborn, the firstborn get to choose their progeny. The same rules apply except that firstborn can choose two players as progeny. Above two and they must spend Status.
Subsequent progeny may be selected with a maximum of three progeny per Vampire.
After the Families have been formed, Enemies and Allies will be chosen (at Random). The index cards will be distributed amongst the players -- Vampires will only have Enemies and Allies from other Families. Elders do not choose Enemies or Allies.
At the start of the game, there is no formal society in place. The players will have to decide what (if any) positions are created, what the laws will be, who will rule the city, etc.
Social (aka Real-Life) Rules of the
There are several "social rules" of this game. They are:
1. No weapons, not even fake weapons. No exceptions.
2. No physical contact (ie: fighting) or running. No stunts, either.
3. Do not draw attention to yourself (ie: outlandish costumes/make-up). This is not a WoD LARP and this rule will be enforced.
4. No cheating (duh). This is a game, there will be a "winner," but winning is not as important as making sure everyone has fun.
4a. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY OTHER PLAYER'S FUN AS WELL AS YOUR OWN!
There are only three attributes in the game.
Blood: the substance which gives the Vampire its life, the substance that the Vampire thirsts for, eternally. Blood is used to augment physical actions and disciplines. Blood in the game is represented by red tokens. Blood fuels the disciplines of Celerity, Fortitude and Potence.
A Vampire who runs out of Blood will not be able to awaken the next night…it will sleep for eternity unless fed by an elder Vampire. Blood is regained through the Hunt mechanic.
Resolve: the Vampire’s will is absolute. What other creature could bear to continue to exist long after its own demise? The Vampire is the ultimate egoist. Resolve is used to augment mental actions and disciplines. Resolve in the game is represented by white tokens. Resolve fuels the disciplines of Auspex, Dominate, Morpheus, Obfuscate, Presence, Psychogenesis and Translocation.
A Vampire who runs out of Resolve will regress into a bestial state, incapable of rational thought. Resolve is gained at a rate of one per day spent in slumber (effectively, Resolve is replenished at the beginning of each game).
Status: in spite of its predatory nature and ferocious appetite, the Vampire is a social animal, albeit one given to fits of rage and jealousy. In order to keep their tenuous society from tearing itself apart, a system of ranks and titles has been established. Status is used to augment social actions and disciplines. Status in the game is represented by blue tokens.
A Vampire who runs out of Status is apt to become a social pariah, unable to assert its own dominance in vampiric society. Above and beyond survival (for which Blood and Resolve are tantamount), Status is the true currency of vampiric society – tokens of esteem which can be used to buy favors and guarantee a prosperous unlife.
If a Vampire has more than 5 tokens of Status, they can use the excess Status as "free tokens" in a Status challenge. If these excess tokens are ever given away (ie: the Vampire's Status drops to 5 or lower), the free Status tokens are lost. No Vampire may ever have more than 5 free tokens of Status (ie: if the Vampire has 12 Status tokens, only five of them count as "free tokens").
Aside from expending Status via the Presence discipline, Status is also useful when issuing commands or when given away in exchange for favors.
Blood disciplines reflect the supernatural strength, speed and stamina possessed by vampires. Each discipline gives its user a free Blood token in certain Blood challenges (depending on the action taken and the discipline used). The free Blood tokens gained from Blood disciplines may not "stack" with each other. You're either making an agile attack, a brute-force attack or are resisting the attack with your supernatural toughness.
Celerity: The three levels of Celerity increase the Vampire's reaction time and speed. Each level adds +1 free Blood token to all Blood challenges involving speed and agility (ie: dodging or attacking with weapons that require finesse). Higher levels of Celerity also enable the Vampire to automatically avoid attacks or engage multiple opponents within the same round. The free Blood tokens gained from Celerity cannot be used to initiate the use of Celerity.
Level One: Alacrity
By spending at least one Blood, the Vampire may pre-empt any character who does not possess Alacrity (the target may not respond). If both characters have Alacrity, the winner of a Blood Challenge may act first.
Level Two: Rapidity
By spending at least one Blood, the Vampire may pre-empt any two characters who does not possess Rapidity (the targets may not respond). If any of the targets have Rapidity, the winner of a Blood Challenge may act first.
Level Three: Fleetness
By spending at least one Blood, the Vampire may pre-empt any characters who does not possess Fleetness (the targets may not respond). If any other targets have Fleetness, the winner of a Blood Challenge may act first.
Fortitude: The three levels of Fortitude increase the Vampire's physical stamina and resilience. Each level also adds +1 free Blood token to any Blood challenge involving toughness or stamina (ie: taking a punch or otherwise withstanding damage).
Level One: Endurance
The Vampire cannot be hurt by fists or blunt weapons.
Level Two: Resilience
The Vampire cannot be harmed by blades or gunfire. Decapitation by sword will still kill it and the Vampire is still vulnerable to wooden stakes.
Level Three: Aegis
The Vampire cannot be harmed by anything except fire or sunlight This includes vampire claws and teeth, stakes, decapitation, etc.
Potence: The three levels of Potence increase the Vampire's physical strength. Each level adds +1 free Blood token to all Blood challenges involving brute strength (attacking with hands, feet or brute-force weapons, or throwing or ripping apart something).
Level One: Might
No added bonus, the Vampire is stronger than an Olympic weight-lifter.
Level Two: Vigor
No added bonus. The Vampire is able to lift and throw a mailbox.
Level Three: Puissance
The Vampire can do deadly damage with his bare hands. The Vampire can pick up (and throw) an automobile.
Auspex: Auspex gives the Vampire her powers of extra-sensory perception and acute senses. For some reason, Vampires cannot use this Discipline against their progeny to read their auras, their minds or to detect their presence if hidden through Obfuscation.
Level One: Heightened Senses
The Vampire's sense have becoming supernaturally acute, allowing him to track by scent, see in near-total darkness and hear the beating of a human heart from across a quiet room. Those with Heightened Senses are also imbued with a sixth sense which will alert them to unseen presences and dangers. If the Vampire wins a Resolve challenge against someone using the Obfuscation discipline, the Vampire will be able to see the concealed Vampire.
Heightened Senses cannot be used to spy on someone from afar.
Level Two: Aura Perception
The Vampire can see the shimmering corona of colors surrounding sentient beings. By examining this aura the Vampire can sense moods and discern truths from falsehoods. She will also be able to discern the individuals true nature. To use Aura Perception requires a Resolve Challenge only if the Vampire's target is attempting to mask his or her feelings (such as when telling a lie).
Level Three: Psychometry
The Vampire can now gain insight into the nature or history of anyone or anything he touches. After winning a Resolve challenge, the Vampire may gain an impression of any object he touches (ask the object's owner one question regarding that object).
Questions about specific individuals may not be asked. So rather than inquire "Did Jacob use this dagger to kill his Sire?" the Psychometrist should ask, "Was this dagger used to kill someone?"
The Vampire can also use this ability on an individual, but must establish skin to skin contact to do so (possibly requiring a Blood challenge if the subject is resisting). Like objects, individuals may not be asked questions about other people.
Psychometry may also be used to learn the relative age of an object/individual and also the emotional state of the person (or if an object, then the emotion most strongly associated with it).
Dominate: The power to bend minds and break wills. Vampires must make eye contact with the person they wish to Dominate. This ability has no effect on elder Vampires.
Level One: Command
The Vampire can hypnotise her victim and issue them a single spoken command, which must be followed. If the victim resists, then a Resolve challenge is called for. Telepathy (a Psychogenic discpline) can also be used to issue commands via Dominate, although eye contact must still be established.
Level Two: Forgetful Mind
The Vampire can re-shape, create or erase memories of past events. A Resolve challenge must be won if the victim resists.
Level Three: Possession
The Vampire is able to take over the mind and body of an individual if he has more Resolve than his victim. This discipline requires the dominator to win a Resolve challenge.
Morpheus: The power over the sleep and dreams of both the Living and Undead.
Level One: Trance
The Vampire can cause a mortal to fall fast asleep with but a word. Using this Discipline against a Vampire will cause him to become calm and complacent for the duration of the scene (this ability cannot be used to pre-empt an attack). Using Trance requires a Resolve challenge.
Level Two: The Haunting
The Vampire is able to insinuate himself into the dreams of others. He may give the victim beautiful dreams or terrifying nightmares which will cause the victim to start the next game with no Resolve tokens (either from blissful entrancement or mortal terror). This use of this discipline requires a Resolve challenge.
Level Three: Night Caller
The Vampire can now cause physical harm to befall his victim through his dreams. The Vampire must spend a token of Resolve and win a Resolve challenge in order to drain a single Blood token (which the Night Caller gets to keep) from a human or Vampiric victim. A human victim of Night Caller will wake up after being fed upon in this way.
Obfuscation: Using this discipline, the Vampire can shield his presence from others.
Level One: Unseen Presence
The Vampire can cloak his presence from the minds of other beings. An Unseen Presence can be detected by someone with Heightened Senses (though that person's identity will remain a mystery) who beats the Obfuscated Vampire in a Resolve challenge.
Level Two: Mask of 1000 Faces
The Vampire can disguise his true appearance by becoming "a face in the crowd." A Masked Vampire can be detected by someone with Heightened Senses (though that person's identity will remain a mystery) who beats the Obfuscated Vampire in a Resolve challenge.
Level Three: Soul Mask
The Vampire can prevent others from detecting his presence or his true nature (ie: aura). A Soul Masked Vampire cannot be detected using Auspex.
Presence: The Vampire's personal charisma is so great that he projects an aura of grace and authority. Presence differs from the other Disciplines in that Status can be used during the bidding process.
Level One: Awe/Dread Gaze
The Vampire can call anyone within sight to his side or may instill them with mortal terror as to drive them away. Those who have been called forth will feel awe in the Vampire's presence, while those driven off will be unable to approach the Vampire for the rest of the scene. This Discipline requires winning a Resolve challenge.
Level Two: Summon
The Vampire may summon anyone she has met previously to her side. The summoned person will try to get there as quickly as possible and will not consciously know who summoned them or why. This Discipline requires a Resolve challenge.
Level Three: Majesty
No one may approach the Vampire with anything less than respect, awe and even reverence while this Discipline is active. One Resolve must be spent to even attempt to attack or otherwise show disrespect to a Vampire using Majesty.
Psychogenesis: The power of mind over matter enables the Vampire to move objects with his mind, speak telepathically or travel the earth without leaving her seat. Psychogenesis is the only discipline that can be used while in Torpor.
Level One: Telekinesis
The Vampire may reach out with his mind and move an object through space without physically touching it. The object cannot be heavier than something a normal human could carry in one hand and the object can only move at walking speed.
By expending a Resolve token, the Vampire can lift a mass equal to its own body weight (including himself, offering a limited form of levitation) or move something through space at running speed (a blade moved at such a speed could be used to slash or stab an opponent).
Level Two: Telepathy
The Vampire can now read the minds of those around him and communicate with others without the need for spoken words. By spending a Resolve token, a Vampire can also "listen in" on a telepathic conversation as long as he is near one of the particpants. The Vampire can only use telepathy on a number of individuals equal to the number of Resolve tokens he has (so a Vampire with 1 Resolve token left can only converse with one person at a time).
A Resolve challenge must be won to "spy" on the thoughts of another. For some unknown reason, Elder Vampires may not use Telepathy on their progeny.
Level Three: Astral Projection
By spending a Resolve token, the Vampire's spirit may be freed from its body, enabling it to move through space at phenomenal speed. The Astral Spirit is intangible and invisible, save to those with Heightened Senses, and is able to appear as a ghostly apparition for ten seconds by spending an additional token of Resolve.
While in this form, the Vampire is immune to all attacks, fire and sunlight (although its body is helpless while the spirit is outside). If attacked by another Astral Spirit, combat is handled using Resolve rather than Blood and all damage is considered deadly.
Vampires may only use the disciplines of Auspex and Psychogenesis while Astrally Projecting. An astrally projecting Vampire will cease to exist if either his spirit or his body is killed.
Translocation: The power to crawl up walls like a spider or travel through the air is the power of Translocation.
Level One: Lizard's Gift
The Vampire can move along sheer surfaces and even crawl along ceilings.
Level Two: Ghost Walk
The Vampire is able to pass through any portal (a door or window), even if it locked or barred to prevent entry. The Vampire can Ghost Walk additional persons and objects by spending a token of Resolve and touching or holding them as he uses this discipline (Vampires can only Ghost Walk a number of people/objects up to his current Resolve attribute).
A portal which has been permanently sealed (or near-permenently by being bricked-up, nailed shut, etc.) cannot be passed through by the Ghost Walker.
Level Three: Levitation
The Vampire may effortless float up into the air and with sufficient concentration (spend one Resolve token), may even fly.
When two Vampires clash, it is in a display of physical prowess, in a test of wills or as a form of social posturing.
If one Vampire attempts an action and is resisted or opposed by another, it comes down to a challenge. Whoever spends the most tokens wins the challenge. Blood is used in physical contests, Resolve is used in mental challenges and Status is used to win social contests. Once bid, the tokens are lost. Players are not obligated to resist every challenge, nor must they bid their own tokens. The challenger must always bids at least 1 token - their opponent may relent before answering the bid herself (in which case the challenger loses all initally bid tokens).
Elders, and wielders of certain disciplines, may use "free" Blood, Resolve or Status. These are never spent when bid - so if an Elder bids 2 free Blood (due to Potence) in a fight scene, her opponent must bid at least 2 Blood to resist the attack.
Unlike Blood and Resolve challenges, Status challenges (save those used in conjunction with the Presence discipline) may be ignored. This is very, very dangerous...because ignoring the conventions of vampiric society puts you outside those same conventions. Characters who ignore social Status may not use Status themselves until compensation has been made by the offending party. In spite of it all, Vampires do have a certain sense of honor (and so should players)...
Life & Death
When you are attacked and you lose the Blood challenge, you will lose a Blood or a Resolve token (if you have no tokens of either variety, you don't lose anything else). A Vampire who loses all Blood tokens is still fully functional but has no Blood left with which to fuel Blood disciplines, create other Vampires and engage in Blood challenges until they have fed.
If you are attacked by a deadly weapon (fire, sunlight, decapitation, level 3 Potence or cannibalization), then you will die if your lose the Blood challenge. A slain Vampire will collpase into dust.
There are three ways to advance your position in Vampire society.
The first is to spend enough Blood, Resolve or Status (over a period of time) to learn new disciplines. It costs a total of 5 Blood tokens to learn a level one Blood discipline, 10 Blood tokens to learn a level two Blood discipline and 15 Blood tokens to learn a level three Blood discipline. The same costs apply for Resolve disciplines, save that Resolve tokens are used instead.
The second way to advance is to acquire a title or position in the society. It is up to the inhabitants of the city to create their own system of government...but a general rule is that a titled Vampire (such as a Prince, Lady or Duke) may increase their maximum Status to a maximum of 10 (Elders, of course, have no maximum).
Characters may also remove Status from another Vampire by expending one of their own.
The third way to advance is only for those who truly lust for power...
If you slay another Vampire, you have the option of consuming the soul of that Vampire -- a process akin to cannibalism among mortal humans. Not only is the slain Vampire now totally, thoroughly dead...the slayer who consumes its soul will also gain the dead Vampire's power.
When the soul is consumed, you gain a discipline of your choice from the victim (if you already possess all of the victim's disciplines, then you don't get any). If the victim was of lower Generation (ie: had a higher maximum Blood and Resolve), then your own Blood and Resolve increase by 1 point each and you gain a discipline of your choice from the victim. This also effectively lowers your own Generation by 1. The stain from such an act will discolor the aura of the cannibal, making him easy to spot by someone using the the Aura Perception discipline. Although considered the ultimate taboo act, it is most feared and punished most severely by Elders. The younger the populace, the more lax the punishment -- some consider cannibalism a form of Darwinism in action and actively encourage the devouring of the weak.
Humans, Ghouls and Binding
Humans possess no Blood or Status and only one Resolve token. Humans may be fed Blood (turning them into ghouls) or given Status by a Vampire with Status.
Humans who have been fed Blood (but not slain) are called ghouls. They possess as many Blood tokens as their Masters give them (limit of 5) and no Resolve. However, they receive a free Resolve token when under command by their Master (ghouls can only use this token in challenges involving following his Master's wishes). Ghouls can have more than one Master. In addition, ghouls automatically get level one in each Blood Discipline. Ghouls may not disobey their Master(s).
If a Vampire spends a Resolve when they feed another Vampire, the fed Vampire becomes like a ghoul to them (minus all bonuses except the free Resolve trait). Bound Vampires have NO Resolve when it comes to disobeying their Master and they can only have one Master at a time.
To simulate the rigors of feeding, Vampires do not receive their full complement of Blood tokens at the start of each game. Rather, a Hunt is called for. This entails a six-sided die rolled for each of the Vampire's Resolve tokens. If the die is even, a Blood token is gained. If the die is odd, no token is gained.
Feeding in-game is constrained to a) other vampires and b) human players (if any).
There are three secrets in the game. You may find them out. You may not.
Rules & Concepts by Jared A. Sorensen
Additional Material by Chuck McIntyre and Mike Sause
Based on White Wolf Game Studios’ Vampire: the Masquerade by Mark Rein*Hagen
The first "Vampires" LARP Troupe
(Alex, Andy, Brian, Chuck, Gabe, JT, Mike, Paul, Sara H, Sarah J, Tristen)