Whenever a character with arcane is trying to not be noticed, whether by moving silently, hiding in the shadows, burying paperwork, or simply keeping a low profile, the subject's arcane adds a bonus to their dice pools (one per rank), and it gives a penalty to their opponent's dice pools (one per rank). This applies to enemies searching for the target, noticing the target out of the corner of their eye, describing the target, or trying to write a program that finds information about the target on the internet, analyzing the target's patterns of behavior, etc. While the penalty is in effect all the time, the bonus is in effect only when the character is actively trying to hide.
Arcane is a subconscious, blood-induced effect. It is a minor shifting of reality; it does not do outrageous things to protect the character. Gaining Fame reduces Arcane, and for every rank of Fame you gain, you lose one rank of Arcane. Yelling at someone, starting a fight, and then shooting at them, negates Arcane and they will not forget you over time. On the other hand, it will still be hard for them to spot you, even if they do remember you, if you afterwards try to keep a low profile. Even if you do keep a low profile, this background only modifies memory; it does not erase it. The penalty is as bad as it gets. For example, it will not cause the Denver Scourge to forget about you if you are brought to the Scourge's attention with your actions.
Arcane is a background you choose, not a flaw, and it will not hurt you: your mail won't be lost, your driver's license won't expire, and you can still get credit cards. Arcane is a sub-conscious manifestation of your blood to help protect you, so unless you are self-destructive it will not hurt you.
If you make an effort to use disciplines surreptitiously, your Arcane does reduce Awareness pools, if they are applicable. However, even a single success by someone rolling with that reduced pool negates further protection by Arcane in further rolls. In addition, if the target of a discipline has Awareness, then Arcane does not protect the caster.
Each rank in backups represents either one starting-level mortal +50 xp, one Tier-1 ghoul or two starting level mortals. They answer to you so you can give them orders, but they are not ultimately loyal to you. They are loyal to the same organization as you are (bound to serve the Prince of Denver, and through his leave, you). So, they could tell on you or they could be ordered by your superiors.
Mixed Blessings, that is! Blessings are always there. You can't remove it. You can't lose it. You can't take it off and hide it under your bed if the Men In Black come knocking. A blessing can be massive strength; a twist in disciplines that gives umph or control of the Beast at frenzy; the ability to have a magick effect. The possibilities are endless! And coupled with that are possible downsides: Horns, a twitch that won't go away, a constant hunger, an aura that screams "I'M HERE".
How did you get it? Perhaps the Blessing is due to someone up there or out there liking you. Or perhaps its from an experiment you successfully did, but will never been able to recreate...ever. Or perhaps you are a devoted servant of a creature and have been given this perk to assist you with your work. The reasons you have it are infinite.
Common origins for Blessings include benevolent ancestors, demons, devils, gods, powerful spirits, Totems, saints, ghosts, faeries, powerful mages, random accidents, strange mysteries and occasionally irreproducible personal discoveries. All of these sources have limitations inherent in them and this will often be the source of your Flaws.
Typically, a Blessing is some property that's inherent to you, which grants good luck or a single supernatural capability. You might have the Blessing that your clothes never get dirty, but you couldn't have the Blessing that you own a very powerful magical item (that's the Treasure Background). However, you might have a Blessing that powerful items tend to pass through your hands or come within your grasp - a mixed Blessing indeed, since powerful items tend to be followed by powerful enemies. To generate a dice pool for a Blessing - use an appropriate Attribute + Blessing. If you have a Blessing that your skin is able to withstand Aggravated Damage (giving you an extra soak die), no roll would be necessary as a permanent Blessing. As a non-permanent Blessing, you would roll Stamina+ Blessing to activate its use. Activating a conscious Blessing like this typically requires a full action, although it might be reflexive (as in Fortitude).
Your Blessing may also be in the form of the Fates or even some old old Tremere smiling and weaving the threads of your Destiny into a happy pattern -like never losing at cards or always being lucky in love. This is not the same thing as the Destiny Background itself, which is an earmark of someone being Fated to do something important in the grand scheme of things. While being a whiz at poker and always being able to get a date are extremely useful abilities, they're generally not anything that the Fate of the world hinges upon. If your Blessing is a matter of a happy Fate, design it yourself using the following as benchmarks:
● You always find a parking spot right in front of your destination with money still left in the meter.
●● No matter how much mundane food you eat, you never get a sick.
●●● Everything you buy outlasts the warranty by at least 10 years.
●●●● Every one you dislike moves away from your sphere of 'friends' within a week.
●●●●● No matter how badly you screw up, no lasting harm comes of it, and no one finds out unless you tell him or her.
To create a Blessing, go to the list of Merits, disciplines and/or rituals and select what you want. Then calculate the cost of any unlisted capabilities (if any) and double it if the effect is permanent, taking no more than one-third of the Blessing's total value in Flaws (if you want a mixed Blessing) with an eye to who or what Blessed you and what they want in return (if you even know). Alternately, you may have your Storyteller choose a few mystery Flaws or negative Backgrounds, which you may discover over the course of the chronicle.
NOTE: If you request a cross sphere Blessing (ie: a mage/fae/shifter has given you this Blessing), it will require approval of the appropriate sphere wizard and, if approved, there WILL be a flaw linked to it. Blessing are mixed! :)
Some vampires, or even ghouls, stand out heroically, pulling the threads of fate around them as they charge blindly on to an undeniable destiny. The fate of such a person is generally known, though in a vague way. A prophecy, a vision, or even just a sense of greatness follows this sort of person. Her fellow vampires with auspex sense this fate, as does she. Although none of the characters will know the exact nature of her fate, you should work it out behind the scenes with your Storyteller, or have your Storyteller determine it for you secretly. This final fate should remain mysterious, an enigma, within the context of the story.
The knowledge that she'll go on to do great things gives your character a stronger sense of purpose and, thus, it increases her ability to exert her will. She knows that she probably won't die an ignominious death and this knowledge gives her the courage to go on when times get rough. Once per story, if your character faces an end that goes against her destiny, you may roll her Destiny score versus a difficulty number of 8. Each success you roll allows you to regain one spent Willpower Point. You may use these points to help your character avoid a cheap death. Destiny steps in and helps your character when she needs it the most.
However, your Storyteller may decide, at any tine, that the danger your character faces meets the criteria of her destiny and disallow you any special saving rolls. Your character's fate, in this case, has come calling and she must survive on her own or fulfill that destiny.
A vampire can fulfill his destiny, and at such a time, the Background goes away. The fulfillment of the destiny usually culminates in some large change for the character's life, though. Conversely, an otherwise mundane person may suddenly discover a powerful destiny. The course of fate is fickle indeed.
@ A minor Destiny; roll one die.
@@ An impressive Destiny; roll two dice.
@@@ A crucial Destiny; roll three dice.
@@@@ A world changing Destiny; roll four dice.
@@@@@ An earth shattering Destiny; roll five dice.
You are particularly close to a group of mortals, who may or may not be aware of your vampiric nature. They regard you as a special person, perhaps even a holy one or a shaman, and act as your allies and protectors. In return, you aid and counsel them and regard them as your closest mortal kin. Although they are not under your direct control, they will usually follow your direction, since they realize that you are in touch with a world beyond their ability to comprehend. The difference between Retainers and Household is that OOC, they will not take action for you without specific instructions, while Retainers act with agency and will act to what they think is your best interest.
Unlike previous rules, servants classified as Household may be ghouled.
● 2 members
●● 4 members
●●● 8 members
●●●● 16 members
●●●●● 36 members
Control. Its all about controlling the environment and surroundings, which is what influence can do. For more information on how influences work and how you can control the environment around you, go to: Influence Systems.
A Jinx is a magical or technological object that is more trouble than its worth. A Jinx may be nothing more than a pole of Flaws, negative backgrounds and other curses, but the more interesting Jinxes are the ones that have some useful powers - though over twice as many flaws.
Occult Libraries can teach Disciplines and Rituals within limits. These need to be jnoted at character creation or acquisition of the library. If the library is acquired post chargen, what you can learn from the library will be decided by the Vampire Staff. Please click HERE for detailed information on how Library is handled in game on Sheltering Sky. An occult library can teach as many dots in the following way:
@ Learn 1 Discipline to 3 dots, and 1 Combo-Discipline or 3 Rituals.
@@ Learn 2 Disciplines to 3 dots, and 2 Combo-Disciplines or 3 Rituals per each Discipline.
@@@ Learn 3 Disciplines to 3 dots, and 2 Combo-Disciplines or 3 Rituals per each Discipline.
@@@@ Learn 4 Disciplines to 4 dots, and 3 Combo-Disciplines or 3 Rituals per each Discipline.
@@@@@ Learn 5 Disciplines to 5 dots, and 4 Combo-Disciplines or 3 Rituals per each Discipline.
Note: Combo-Disciplines must be covered by Disciplines learned by the vampire.
Retainers, Allies, etc
These people are your daytime people, the shakers and movers who handle your 'affairs'. MOST of them are also expendable. If you use an NPC, you MUST be specific about what they should do for you and how far they should/shouldn't go. Pretend your NPC has no logic and no self-motivation (although some of what you tell me may BE how they would normally act). These people may have ONE realm of influence and, with the exception of Retainers, its for information gathering only. See Retainers under the link later in this section for more information on how their influences may be used.
A note about Ghoul and Childe Retainers, Allies etc. Vampires create these types of support as a means of control and some NPCs (ghoul and childe) can be quite old. NPCs are expendable as far as vampires are concerned, yet we have an issue of a 250 yo vampire with a restricted number of 'old' NPCs. Vampire sphere on a MUSH has a problem because its an ongoing game which is tied to present time. With this in mind, if a NPC Ghoul or Childe is killed, the stat for that NPC is removed from your +sheet. But, it would be restrictive to assume the deceased Retainer is the only 'old' Ghoul or Childe your PC had. In light of this, I will allow you to summon the NPC Ghoul or Childe which has not been active in Pokoh's Peak..and once the stat is on your +sheet, their activity begins. This will allow you, as the player, to carefully choose where to send your NPCs, but not be overtly fearful of loosing the only 200 yo ghoul on your +sheet since others sit idle, awaiting your call. Remember: To be used in the game, the NPC MUST be represented on your +sheet as a stat. No exceptions.
For added information about each of these types of NPCs, click HERE.
Status for Ancilla is 2 and this is an assumed Status. I'm not putting it on your sheet and you aren't buying it. Outside of Pokoh's Peak, that's what everyone will consider your PC, unless you have a merit or flaw which effects this Status. INSIDE Pokoh's Peak, I will set Status by watching actions and RP of characters. The Status set on your +sheet will be Cam-Status which deals with your status in Pokoh's Peak only.
For those using magical powers (Thaumaturgy, Necromancy, etc), there are backgrounds available which are not available on the general list. Please ask if there is a background from the Mage list that you would like to use for your character.
Animalism is a mental discipline. Due to the lack of the Beast in insects, invertebrates and most fish, Animalism does not work in those animals.
Animalism 3, Quell the Beast. In the book, it states the 'beast' in mortals was subdued by this level of Animalism. Vampires have a strong beast which takes over at time (frenzy, etc); Shifters have a strong beast which takes over at times (rages, etc). Neither Shifters nor Vampires can be affected by this level of Animalism. All others have the -possibility- of being affected, unless they have a ward/merit/item which would block its affect.
Animalism 5, Drawing Out The Beast. All spheres can be affected by this level of Animalism unless they have a ward/merit/item which could block the affect.
Auspex is an emotional and mental discipline, depending on the level.
For each level of Auspex, a vampire is allowed a roll which can sense magick, active disciplines, rituals, powers etc. happening in the area. This will NOT detect passive powers (ie: obfuscate, mental shields etc) The roll is Perception + Auspex.
Difficulty is as follows:
Take the highest level of power used and subtract from 10, then...
1. Is it a non-vampire power? Add +1 to the diff.
2. Is the target a person or object that is not you or on you? Add +1 to the diff.
3. Is the power designed to be stealthy or sneaky? Add +2 to the diff.
4. Is it sensory magic, effecting your ability to detect? Add +1 to the diff.
5. Conditional Modifiers? Crowded nightclub is +1 diff; heavy fight is +2 diff.
6. Concentrating on a previously sensed effect? Add -1 to the diff.
Success results are as follows:
Botch or Fail: You failed. Nuff said.
1 Success: Something strange is happening; the target if YOU are the target.
2 Successes: Whether it is a vampire discipline or other magic; the target if you can sense the target.
3 Successes: The intent of the discipline/power(sensing, attack, defense, undetermined); the discipline, sphere, ritual, etc. if you have sufficient lore.
4+ Successes: A vision which may include a symbol of the vampire-enactor's clan who uses the discipline or some 'taste' of the enactor of non-vampiric discipline and recognition if you have experienced the enactor of the magic before.
Celerity is a physical discipline.
Chimerstry is a mental discipline. Those powers which react to mental manipulation would be in effect for Chimerstry.
Dementation is a mental and emotional power (see each level) that has no built-in resistance roll for the target. This does not mean there is no ingame resistance when interacting with other spheres, only that White Wolf did not give an automatic resistance roll. When using Dementation in roleplay, consider the end goal of the action and keep in mind that vampire disciplines are used for safety purposes and acquisition of power. The vampire may only hold one target under the effect of Dementation at a time. For example: if you have The Haunting, Level 2, running on Mark and you are being threatened by Susan, attempting to use Passion, Level 1, you need to decide if Mark's Haunting is more important.
Due to the extreme times in the books, the detriment it causes other PCs and the inability of Sheltering Sky's atmosphere to fast forward time, the length of time has been adjusted for Dementation 2 (The Haunting) and Dementation 4 (Total Insanity).
Dementation 1 - Passion: No House Rule. Emotional Power.
Dementation 2 - The Haunting. Mental Power.
1 succ--------1 night
2 succ--------2 nights
3 succ--------3 nights
4 succ--------2 weeks
5 succ--------1 month
6+ succ------2 months
Dementation 3 - Eyes of Chaos: No House Rule. Emotional Power (sensory only).
Dementation 4 - Voice of Madness: No House Rule. Mental Power.
Dementation 5 - Total Insanity. Mental Power.
1 succ--------1 turn
2 succ -------1 night
3 succ--------3 nights
4 succ--------1 week
5 succ--------1 month
Dominate is a mind discipline. Detection of Dominate use by the target requires some type of mind power/item/etc.
Obfuscate is a mental illusion. The Rank 4 Silver Fang gift, Mind Block, grants total immunity to all but the mightiest of it (Methuselah levels here; nothing any PC reach.) Mages with skill at mental arts can resist it. It is a -large- AoE affect, capable of covering massive areas, allowing a single Nosferatu to move unseen down city streets, parade grounds, football arenas, etc. This is a -massive- affect. If people are reasonably nearby, but viewing through a camera system, they are -not- free of the Obfuscate's presence unless the Obfuscator has left the scene he/she was being viewed in utterly. A camera delay -does not help-. The target's mind will continue to ignore the reality of the situation until the vampire is gone, and then they would have to think to review the tape. People will not accidentally bump into an obfuscated vampire, since they will subconsciously avoid this. This includes closing doors on them. If an individual has not breached the Obfuscate, he/she will sub-consciously hesitate -just- long enough for the vampire to get out of the way.
Here are the breakers:
- Obfuscate 1 - The vampire moves. Someone who is looking for the vampire ends up at an angle where there is nothing at all between the searcher and the obfuscator.
- Obfuscate 2 - The vampire interacts with his environment in a way more meaningful than walking or passing through an open door (This does mean that they can slip past -before- you close it if they are right behind you, as per previous, and do silent- activities that do not alter the environment or get in peoples faces). Any shadows will hide the vampire. A successful Wits+Stealth roll can stop mild breaks in Obfuscate 2.
- Obfuscate 3 - The vampire acts decidedly out of character when impersonating someone, and the viewer catches on. This -only- applies if the viewer knew/knows the real person well, and if the vampire does a perfect acting job...too bad. Touch and other physical interaction does not drop this level of Obfuscate.
- Obfuscate 4 - As per 2, however, the vampire may make a roll to maintain or regain his invisibility.
- Obfuscate 5 - All this power does is apply level 1, 2, 3, or 4 to a group of people. Not objects, mind you. You can't make your car or house invisible...that's Obfuscate 6.
Presence is an emotional discipline. In order to resist Presence with WP, the command/suggestion given must go against a character's nature, demeanor or be something unusual for the target to do/say. If its a gray area, Perception+Empathy vs 6 as a contested roll against the Presence roll to know "I don't like what I'm thinking of doing". If successful in the roll, the target burns a WP and makes a successful WP vs 8 roll.
When Presence is in use in an attempt to awe and be wonderful, looking away is the LAST thing the target wants to do. The Vampire with Presence is incredible, amazing, wonderful. The target wants to keep this lovely creature in view as long as possible. This doesn't mean the target will never look away, but who wants to NOT look at a vision of beauty, an object of 'wow'?
When Presence is in use in an attempt to terrify and intimidate, the desire to look away depends on the reaction of the target. If the action is to retreat, the target will look away upon departing, whether running in terror or making a more controlled exit. Any other action...confronting, remaining in terror, etc....the target will 'keep an eye' on the vampire. Mice don't hide their heads when the cat approaches, but watches for a moment to escape.
As stated in the books, if the target looks away then the target still feels the same amazement/terror, but new suggestions will not effect them.
A general note about Quietus. The books stress how its a way to attack undetected. While the Vampire using Quietus MAY go undetected, this is not guaranteed. Some of Quietus is described similar to a sniper rifle: destroy from a distance. I don't believe this is for for anyone but the Vampire with Quietus. No risk, no gain.
Quietus 2, Scorpions Touch. While the book hints that blades can carry an unlimited amount of blood, its not physically possible. When coating a blade with the blood, a maximum amount of 7 BP can be used. Spitting on the target or ingestion by the target does not follow this restriction.
Quietus 3, Dagon's Call. Any actions taken must take place within that hour. Be aware that the touch itself is considered the initiation of aggression.
Quietus 4, Baal's Caress. Per Quietus 2, bladed weapons can carry a maximum of 7 BP.
Format for Learning - The format I require for discipline XPspends is:
- WHO: The name of the teacher who has the discipline and is teaching you.
- WHAT: What do you plan to do with the discipline. I want an example of how you will use it now. This should not be defense motivated, but a proactive action.
- WHY: Why do you plan to do the above WHAT action. Explain.
Physical powers - Celerity, Potence, Fortitude - These come easy for vampires.
Out of clan powers - teacher with instruction is a must. It will not be easy and there will be additional rolls required from BOTH parties.