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Vampire House Rules

#1
VAMPIRE HOUSE RULES


Given the nature of Shadows of the South as a multi-splat campaign, concessions to normal rules and behaviour for vampires must be made.  As a result, please see the following changes to the normal rules and mechanics for vampires.

TORPOR

Vampires, canonically, do not sleep as mortals do, as they are dead.  However, they still require a period of rest, known as torpor, to allow their bodies time to regenerate and, some say, to allow their vitae to feed their Antediluvians.
  • While, normally, torpor occurs during the daylight hours - in this campaign, torpor works a little differently, so that Vampire PCs can be just as available during the day as the other splats are able to be.  To which, the following house rules have been created:
  • Torpor, in Shadows of the South, only lasts for a period of time equal to the ‘normal’ amount of sleep required for any mortal.  This means a 7-8 hour period, taken at any time throughout the day.  Now, what does this mean if you are a Vampire who chooses to be awake during daylight hours?  Well, the sunlight will still burn you, but so long as you remain indoors with the curtains drawn, that will pose no issue to you, nor will it impose the normal penalties to you that it might normally in a Vampire-only game (i.e. no reductions to your die pools).  You can, of course, still choose to torpor during the day, and then wake during the night, as per normal.
  • It is also important to note that, unlike normal Vampire games, you do not lose a point of blood upon rising from torpor.

BLOOD POINTS + FEEDING

Since the day that God sent his Archangels to visit Caine, and Caine rebuffed their offers, the race of Cainites has been damned with an unquenchable hunger - one that demands to be satiated.  The following house rules cover how exactly blood points are maintained and gained during the course of Shadows of the South play.
  • To begin with, all players, at the stroke of midnight on Sunday, will automatically have their blood points restored to full (i.e. 13 for 10th gen, etc.).
  • From there, if your PC spends any blood points during the week, either to activate vampiric Disciplines, create blood bonds, or for any other reason, from there, your PC will have to make hunting rolls to replenish their blood pool.
  • For said hunting rolls, first, you will have to decide what kind of predator your Cainite is - thankfully, with the release of V5, we have a series of quantifiers for you to use:
  • Sirens are those Cainites who prefer to seduce their targets, now, whether that means conversation, a kiss on the cheek, or during sex is up to you - seduction takes many forms, after all.  Regardless of your approach, the roll for this variant of feeding is always Appearance + Subterfuge.
  • Alleycats are those Cainites who prefer the stealthy approach, insofar as they might be those who break and enter into a house and feed on the sleeping denizens within, or otherwise, as the name suggests, find those who stumble drunkenly into an alley, and seize their meal therefrom.  Regardless of your approach, the roll for this variant of feeding is always Dexterity + Stealth.
  • Cleavers are those Cainites who, in violation of the Masquerade, live with and otherwise engage with a mortal family.  For instance, a husband who is Embraced might return to their wife and children, and feed therefrom.  Regardless of your approach, the roll for this variant of feeding is always Manipulation + Empathy.
  • Consensualists are those Cainites who like to obtain permission from their targets, though this does not necessarily mean that they ask direct permission.  Your PC could operate a blood drive, or otherwise operate in the open as having some sort of fetish.  Regardless of your approach, the roll for this variant of feeding is always Charisma + Empathy.
  • Farmers are those Cainites who feed exclusively on animals, for whatever personal reasons.  Regardless of what variety of animal you feed from, this roll is always Strength + Animal Ken.
  • After deciding what kind of predator you will be, it is now important to know the mechanics behind said feeding rolls, which are as follows:
  • You may only make two feeding rolls per day - one, at the normal difficulty of 6, and another if absolutely necessary (ST discretion), at the difficulty of 8.
  • The difficulty of feeding rolls is reduced by your dots in Domain, to a minimum difficulty of 3.
  • If your PC has dots in the Herd background, they may immediately gain 1 BP per day for every dot of Herd they have, up to their generational maximum.
ADVANCED FEEDING MECHANICS

Given that Shadows over the South is a multi-splat campaign, Cainite PCs are far more likely to interact with, and therefore have the chance to feed from, a wider variety of supernatural creatures than they might otherwise be able to.  As a result, please see the following rules regarding feeding from supernatural creatures.
  • Changelings: For every point of blood drained from a Changeling, a Cainite PC suffers a +1 to the difficulty of all Perception and Intelligence-based checks.  These penalties last for the rest of the day, or until those blood points are spent.
  • Demons: Feeding from a demon is dangerous. Full stop. Aside from the fact that certain hardliners will accuse you of being an infernalist just for admitting that you do this, the effects the blood of the infernal have on vampires are among the most difficult of all supernaturals to predict, due to Torment and the way it reacts with the Beast Within. In short, the effects depend upon the Torment level of the demon, and the Humanity of the vampire. Note that a Path of Enlightenment counts as low humanity for the purposes of these rolls.
TORMENT 4-
  • If a humanity has high humanity (6 and above), the only thing that happens is that the blood gives the vampire a warm, calming feeling. Mechanically irrelevant, but purely for flavor. If a vampire has medium-to-low humanity (5), the vampire must roll Willpower, difficulty 6 for a demon with Torment 3 or 4, difficulty 8 if Torment 2 or less. If this roll fails, the vampire is overcome with feelings of guilt, and is forced to reflect upon her sins for the rest of the scene. If this roll botches, the vampire instead has visions of being trapped in the endless Abyss, and must make an immediate Rötschreck check.
TORMENT 5+
  • Regardless of the humanity of the vampire, the effects of high Torment immediately begin to weigh upon the vampire's psyche. For each blood point ingested by the vampire, the vampire must roll for degeneration as the Torment attempts to corrupt the vampire from within. There is only one exception: If the vampire is on the Path of Evil Revelations and was offered the blood willingly by the demon, each blood point of blood swallowed by the vampire may add one extra dice per blood point spent to the use of any Infernalism-based power such as Infernal Investments, Daimonion, or Dark Thaumaturgy, but only for that scene, and only for abilities that require the expenditure of blood points.
  • Imbued: The divine nature of the Imbuing renders the blood of Imbued distinctly unpalatable to Cainites.  Any Cainite that attempts to feed from an Imbued suffers unimaginable pain, as the vitae turns to caustic liquid in their mouths.
  • Mages: With the exception of some Etherite and Technocrat Mages, all other Mages count as normal for the purposes of feeding, and therefore a Cainite PC will suffer no side effects.  However, in the case of a radically enhanced Etherite or Technocrat (i.e. cybernetics, drastic physical changes, etc.), the blood gained therefrom will not be palatable to a Cainite PC, and will cause your PC to vomit it up immediately.
  • Shapechangers: For every point of blood drained from a Shapechanger, a Cainite PC suffers a +1 to the difficulty of all Self-Control rolls for the rest of the day, or until those blood points are spent.

MENTORSHIP

In the World of Darkness, Mentors are those who mechanically and narratively teach your characters something.  This is represented by the Mentor background, which can either be taken during character creation as a part of your backstory, or otherwise gained during play, as a result of RP.  The following house rules detail the benefits and uses for this particular background in this chronicle.
  • First, please note that in the case of Celerity, Fortitude and Potence, you are not required to have any dots in Mentor to learn/further these disciplines.  The only exception to this rule would be in regards to the Elder tiers of these disciplines (i.e. Dot 6+), which will require a Mentor to acquire.
  • Second, please note that in the case of In-Clan Disciplines, you are not required to have any dots in Mentor to learn/further these disciplines, as knowledge of them is innate to your very being.  The only exception to this rule would be regarding any variant of Thaumaturgy, as the Principles of Thaumaturgy demand that it be taught, and the teaching thereof is a primary RP element of playing a member of Clan Tremere.
  • Third, please note that, in the case of Out-of-Clan Disciplines, you will require dots in Mentor or PC involvement to learn said disciplines.  

RITUALS

For here on out we will be using the rules found in Rites of the Blood for learning blood sorcery rituals. This will apply to all forms of blood sorcery, ex. Dur-An-Ki, Necromancy, Thaumaturgy, etc. Below I will lay out a summary of these rules. For the full read go to page 136 in Rites of the Blood. Pages 221-222 of Lore of the Clans are also referenced for Tremere.
  • Firstly, the process of learning of the ritual and mastering it must be rp'd. This would best be done in the form of Journal entries.

  • Rituals are free to learn, however if you wish they may be purchased with xp. For the Clan-Favored it is ritual level x2. Those not Clan-Favored who wish to use xp must purchase it at ritual level x3. Even if you elect to use xp I will still require that you write journal entries describing it.

  • There are two ways that the ritual can be learned. If your character is in good standing with the clan that teaches it (ex. a loyal Tremere or Giovanni), then they may simply request to have the ritual taught to them. If they are unable to gain approval, or would prefer to simply research it on their own then the following rules apply for researching it. They must make an extended Intelligence + Investigation roll with difficult of ritual's level +3. The number of successes required is equal to the ritual's level x5. The roll can be made once every number of days equal to the rating of the ritual. So for example, with a level 3 ritual you could roll for it once every three days.

  • After they have finished learning of the ritual by either method, they must then master it. This will require an extended roll of Intelligence + Occult with a difficulty of the ritual's level +3. The number of successes needed is equal to the ritual's level x5. The roll can be made once every number of days equal to the rating of the ritual, same as during the research phase.

  • Your mentor rating can be added to the number of dice available for your roll. In addition, Loyalist Tremere are capable of using their Chantry's Library and Research rating to their relevant dice rolls. This will require approval and you may only be able to use a portion of the Chantry's dots.
ADAPTING FOREIGN BLOOD RITUALS
Practitioners of blood sorcery are capable of adapting rituals of other schools to work with their own. This however is not without a good deal of difficulty.
  • With the usage of xp it will cost ritual level x3 for those who are Clan-Favored in the discipline. For the non Clan-Favored it will cost ritual level x4.

  • If you elect to roll to learn the ritual, you will be required to complete the previous two rolls. Difficulty is ritual level +3 and the required successes is ritual level x10. You may subtract from this number the amount of dots you have in your own school's paths, to a minimum of half the required successes.

  • Rolls are done at the same rate as the last two rolls
TREMERE AND THAUMATURGY

Going forwards we will be  instituting a rarity system for learning Thaumaturgy. There will be four tiers to the system, with each rising tier representing how hard it is to acquire knowledge and mastery of any given Path. Each House has a set of Paths that represent their particular pursuit of Thaumaturgical advancement.

These specific Paths will be considered Tier One for upstanding members of their respective Houses. Tier Two will require that you be at least an Apprentice of the Fourth Circle. Any non-Thaumaturgy Paths in the Lesser Houses are counted as Tier Two and require one to have proved themselves to the House before earning knowledge of them. Tier Three and Four will both require explicit approval from the Regent for those Tremere who seek to learn them. Tier Four Paths are near unheard of within Camarilla Tremere Chantries, with many of them being from the Tremere in the Anarchs or Sabbat. Players will not be able to take any Paths that are higher than Tier One for them at character creation.

TIER ONE (COMMON)
Path of Blood, Elemental Mastery, Lure of Flames, Movement of the Mind, Path of Conjuring
TIER TWO (UNCOMMON)
Alchemy, Green Path, Hearth Path, Neptune’s Might, Oneiromancy, Path of Transmutation, Weather Control, Mastery of the Mortal Shell, Path of Technomancy, Path of the Levinbolt
TIER THREE (RARE)
Biothaumaturgy, Faux Path, Focused Mind, Path of Spirit Manipulation, Path of Corruption, Path of Curses, Thaumaturgical Countermagic, Vine of Dionysus
TIER FOUR (VERY RARE)
Hands of Destruction, Path of the Blood’s Curse, Path of Mars, Path of Shadow Crafting, Path of the Father’s Vengeance

THE TREMERE HOUSES

While all Camarilla Tremere by default belong to the House Tremere, there are also a number of officially recognized Lesser Houses throughout the Clan that Tremere are able to join. These Lesser Houses represent a sort of specialization within a Tremere's study of Blood Sorcery and provide access to various Paths and Rituals to their members. The available Houses for Tremere players have been listed on the wiki (http://www.shadowsoverthesouth.net/wiki/...mereHouses). Players will be starting as Apprentices of the Third Circle in House Tremere and will be allowed to start as new members of one of the Lesser Houses should they take the new House Membership merit. If a House wasn’t joined at creation, then a player will be able to join one later on through journaling and scenes.
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#2
GHOULS

In the World of Darkness, there are those on top, and there are those that serve them.  The rest of the kine waits in their day-to-day existence for the moment that they are chosen, or perhaps that is merely what some Cainites would lead you to believe.  Either way, Ghouls have been part of the history of Cainite culture dating back millennia, and so, there should be rules to accommodate these servants of darkness.


Mechanics

Mechanically speaking, the Retainers background covers the number of Ghouls any given PC may have, to a total of 5, or, alternatively, they may invest multiple points in this background into one Ghoul, creating a far more impressive servant. 

The rules for this are as follows:

A Player Character must spend the first dot of the Retainers background on a Ghoul itself; whether this is animal or human is at the discretion of the PC.

Any subsequent dots in the Retainers background may be used to do one of the following, they may either:
  • Invest another dot(s) of the background into an existing Ghoul (each additional dot invested will add 10 Freebie Points to that Ghoul).
  • Add an additional Ghoul to their retinue (at the normal cost of 1 dot).

Additionally, over the course of a Ghoul’s life, they will naturally gain experience.  

Mechanically, for every scene of note that a Ghoul actively participates in (i.e. makes rolls that contribute to the overall gain of the PC), that Ghoul will gain 2XP.  The XP a Ghoul can gain each month is limited to 30, and catch-up rules do not apply to XP gained by a Ghoul.


Building a Mortal Servant

Now, these mechanics are all well and good, but at this point, you may be asking yourself how exactly to build a Ghoul for your PC.  The good news is, it’s as easy as building a regular character...the bad news is that it’s just as mentally taxing, especially when it comes to those freebies.

The Character Creation process for a Mortal Ghoul begins entirely in the Ghouls and Revenants V20 book, and will walk you through all the necessary steps for creating your Ghoul Retainers.  Now, that said, there are a few things that need to be addressed here, in regards Retainer creation, as follows:
  • Ghouls may never have more than 3 dots in any one Background (ex. a limit of Resources 3).  This rule is to ensure that NPCs never outstrip the potential of what a PC can accomplish during the course of play.
  • Ghouls may never acquire, nor purchase over time, the Majordomo or Retainers backgrounds.
  • Ghouls may never have more than 10 Freebie Points invested into Backgrounds at the moment of creation.  Backgrounds can, however, be increased using XP after chargen, using the same rules as normal PCs (and including all necessary justification).

Building an Animal Servant

The following mechanics do not differ in any great amount from those previous, however they do concern themselves with a far different calibre of servant; that of the eponymous raven, or perhaps wolf...or maybe even panther, that your Kindred decided to call ally in their nighttime activities - or perhaps even daytime ones, as well.

The Character Creation process for an Animal Ghoul starts just as it would for a Mortal Ghoul, using the details listed in the Ghouls and Revenants book - however, there are a few key differences that should be pointed out:
  • Animal ghouls, for obvious reasons, may never purchase “Social” Backgrounds; i.e. Allies, Contacts, Influence, Status, and so on.
  • Animal ghouls, ostensibly, are not going to be as smart as the average human - however, that is obviously subject to change as the nature of being a Ghoul enhances much of what a living creature is naturally capable.  As a result, an animal Ghoul have a trait maximum equaling their domitor’s dots in Retainer where their Intelligence Attribute is concerned (ex. if you have 2 dots in Retainer, the trait max for your animal Ghouls is 2, 3 = 3, and so on.

Contingencies

This all said, there is one very important thing to keep in mind when you are creating, and further running your Ghouls.  All sheets must be submitted via Notepad to the responsible Vampire STs (TP & Mortarch), before any final posting to the Ghouls section of your PC Sheet.

Additionally, if it is discovered that you are abusing the Retainer rules as listed above, you will immediately lose access to all Ghouls you have acquired thus far, and will be prohibited from acquiring any new Retainers for a period of time that the Vampire STs see fit.
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#3
(06-29-2019, 07:55 PM)Mortarch Wrote:
GHOULS

In the World of Darkness, there are those on top, and there are those that serve them.  The rest of the kine waits in their day-to-day existence for the moment that they are chosen, or perhaps that is merely what some Cainites would lead you to believe.  Either way, Ghouls have been part of the history of Cainite culture dating back millennia, and so, there should be rules to accommodate these servants of darkness.


Mechanics

Mechanically speaking, the Retainers background covers the number of Ghouls any given PC may have, to a total of 5, or, alternatively, they may invest multiple points in this background into one Ghoul, creating a far more impressive servant. 

The rules for this are as follows:

A Player Character must spend the first dot of the Retainers background on a Ghoul itself; whether this is animal or human is at the discretion of the PC.

Any subsequent dots in the Retainers background may be used to do one of the following, they may either:
  • Invest another dot(s) of the background into an existing Ghoul (each additional dot invested will add 10 Freebie Points to that Ghoul).
  • Add an additional Ghoul to their retinue (at the normal cost of 1 dot).

Additionally, over the course of a Ghoul’s life, they will naturally gain experience.  

Mechanically, for every scene of note that a Ghoul actively participates in (i.e. makes rolls that contribute to the overall gain of the PC), that Ghoul will gain 2XP.  The XP a Ghoul can gain each month is limited to 30, and catch-up rules do not apply to XP gained by a Ghoul.


Building a Mortal Servant

Now, these mechanics are all well and good, but at this point, you may be asking yourself how exactly to build a Ghoul for your PC.  The good news is, it’s as easy as building a regular character...the bad news is that it’s just as mentally taxing, especially when it comes to those freebies.

The Character Creation process for a Mortal Ghoul begins entirely in the Ghouls and Revenants V20 book, and will walk you through all the necessary steps for creating your Ghoul Retainers.  Now, that said, there are a few things that need to be addressed here, in regards Retainer creation, as follows:
  • Ghouls may never have more than 3 dots in any one Background (ex. a limit of Resources 3).  Additionally, please note that no Ghoul NPC may have access to Social Backgrounds. This rule is to ensure that NPCs never outstrip the potential of what a PC can accomplish during the course of play.
  • Ghouls may never acquire, nor purchase over time, the Majordomo or Retainers backgrounds.
  • Ghouls may never have more than 10 Freebie Points invested into Backgrounds at the moment of creation.  Backgrounds can, however, be increased using XP after chargen, using the same rules as normal PCs (and including all necessary justification).

Building an Animal Servant

The following mechanics do not differ in any great amount from those previous, however they do concern themselves with a far different calibre of servant; that of the eponymous raven, or perhaps wolf...or maybe even panther, that your Kindred decided to call ally in their nighttime activities - or perhaps even daytime ones, as well.

The Character Creation process for an Animal Ghoul starts just as it would for a Mortal Ghoul, using the details listed in the Ghouls and Revenants book - however, there are a few key differences that should be pointed out:
  • Animal ghouls, for obvious reasons, may never purchase “Social” Backgrounds; i.e. Allies, Contacts, Influence, Status, and so on.
  • Animal ghouls, ostensibly, are not going to be as smart as the average human - however, that is obviously subject to change as the nature of being a Ghoul enhances much of what a living creature is naturally capable.  As a result, an animal Ghoul have a trait maximum equaling their domitor’s dots in Retainer where their Intelligence Attribute is concerned (ex. if you have 2 dots in Retainer, the trait max for your animal Ghouls is 2, 3 = 3, and so on.

Contingencies

This all said, there is one very important thing to keep in mind when you are creating, and further running your Ghouls.  All sheets must be submitted via Notepad to the responsible Vampire STs (TP & Mortarch), before any final posting to the Ghouls section of your PC Sheet.

Please note that all Retainers gain 2XP per scene they are in where: That Scene Gains the PC XP (so not social scenes), and where the Retainer plays an ACTIVE role.

Additionally, if it is discovered that you are abusing the Retainer rules as listed above, you will immediately lose access to all Ghouls you have acquired thus far, and will be prohibited from acquiring any new Retainers for a period of time that the Vampire STs see fit.
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