Author Topic: Vampires in a nutshell  (Read 308 times)

Offline Vagabond

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Vampires in a nutshell
« on: May 26, 2017, 02:54:54 PM »
Vampire Facts / Myths
Vampires are immortal. True. While they can be killed (a very difficult process), they do not age or die from natural causes. They don't need food such as humans eat, and they don't need to breathe.

Vampires are living dead and must sustain themselves with the blood of the living. True. A vampire is clinically dead -- its heart doesn't beat, it doesn't breathe, its skin is cold, it doesn't age -- and yet it thinks, and walks, and plans, and speaks, and hunts and kills. To sustain its artificial immortality, the vampire must periodically consume blood, preferably human blood. Some penitent vampires eke out an existence from animal blood, and some ancient vampires must hunt and kill others of their kind to nourish themselves, but most vampires consume the blood of humanity. Our blood. Vampires drain their prey of blood through the use of retractable fangs, which Cainites develop as soon as they first become undead. Each vampire can also mystically lick closed the wounds made by their fangs, thus concealing the evidence of their feeding. Blood is all-important to the Kindred, for it is both the crux of their existence and the seat of their power. Mortal food, mortal air, mortal love -- all of these things are meaningless to a vampire. Blood is the Kindred's only passion, and without it, they will quickly wither and fall dormant. Moreover, each vampire can use its stolen blood to perform amazing feats of healing, strength, and other supernatural abilities.

Anyone who dies from a vampire's bite rises to become a vampire. False. If this were true, the world would be overrun with vampires (and not just in our media). Vampires do feed on human blood, and they do sometimes kill their prey -- but most humans who die from a vampire's attack simply perish. To return as undead, the victim must be drained of blood and subsequently be fed a bit of the attacking vampire's blood. This process, called the Embrace, causes the mystical transformation from human to undead.

Vampires are monsters -- demonic spirits embodied in corpses. True and false. Vampires are not demons per se, but a combination of tragic factors draws them inexorably toward wicked deeds. In the beginning, the newly-created vampire thinks and acts much as she did while living. She doesn't immediately turn into an evil, sadistic monster. However, the vampire soon discovers her overpowering hunger for blood, and realizes that her existence depends on feeding on humanity. In many ways, the vampire's mindset changes -- she adopts a set of attitudes less suited to a communal omnivore and more befitting a solitary predator. At first reluctant to kill, the vampire is finally forced into murder by circumstance or need -- and killing becomes easier as the years pass. Realizing that she herself is untrustworthy, she ceases to trust others. Realizing that she is different, she walls herself away from the mortal world. Realizing that her existence depends on secrecy and control, she becomes a manipulator. And things only degenerate as the years turn to decades and then centuries, and the vampire kills over and over, watching the people she loved age and die. Human life, so short and cheap in comparison to hers, becomes of less and less value, until the mortal "herd" around her means no more to her than a swarm of annoying insects. Vampire elders are among the most jaded, unfeeling, and paranoid -- in short, monstrous -- beings the world has ever known. Maybe they are not demons exactly -- but at that point, who can tell the difference?

Vampires are burned by sunlight. True. Vampires must avoid the sun or die, though a few can bear sunlight's touch for more than a very short period of time. Vampires are nocturnal creatures, and most find it extremely difficult to remain awake during the day, even within sheltered areas.

Vampires are repulsed by garlic and running water. False. These are myths, and only a very small fraction of vampires are even inconvenienced by them.

Vampires are repulsed by crosses and other holy symbols. This is generally false. However, if the wielder of the symbol has great faith in the power it represents, a vampire may suffer ill effects from the brandishing of the symbol.

Vampires die from a stake through the heart. False. However, a wooden stake -- or arrow, crossbow bolt, etc. -- through the heart will paralyze the monster until it is removed.

Vampires have the strength of 10 men; they can command wolves and bats; they can hypnotize the living and heal even the most grievous wounds. True and false. The power of a vampire increases with age. Young, newly created vampires are often just a little more powerful than humans. But as a vampire grows in age and understanding, she learns to use her blood to evoke secret supernatural powers, which vampires call Disciplines. Elders' powers can often rival those of the fictional Lestat or Dracula, and the true ancients -- the Methuselahs and Antediluvians who have stalked the nights for thousands of years -- often possess literally godlike power.

Vampires have sex. True. It's a great way to feed, but carnal pleasures don't mean as much to the Kindred. Feeding, which vampires call "the Kiss," is an incredibly intoxicating and erotic experience for Cainites and their victims. Sex is great, but nothing truly replaces the ecstasy of feeding for a vampire.

The Embrace
Vampires are created through a process called the Embrace. Some vampire Clans Embrace more casually than others, but the Embrace is almost never given lightly. After all, any new vampire is a potential com-petitor for food and power. A potential childe is often stalked for weeks or even years by a watchful sire, who greedily evaluates whether the mortal would indeed make a good addition to the society of the Kindred.The Embrace is similar to normal vampiric feeding as the vampire drains her chosen prey of blood. However, upon complete exsanguination, the vampire returns a bit of her own immortal blood to the drained mortal. Only a tiny bit — a drop or two — is necessary to turn the mortal into a new vampire. This process can even be performed on a dead human, provided the body is still warm.

Once the blood is returned, the mortal “awakens” and begins drinking of his own accord. But, though animate, the mortal is still dead; his heart does not beat, nor does he breathe. Over the next week or two, the mortal’s body undergoes a series of subtle transformations; he learns to use the Blood in his body, and he is taught the special powers of his Clan. He is now a vampire.

Diablerie: The Amaranth
Along with advanced Generation comes a price, however. Generation equals raw power potential, and those of higher Generation seek the power of their el-ders. By slaking one’s thirst on the heart’s blood of a vampire of lower Generation — drinking the vampire’s soul in a transgression known as diablerie — a Kindred can lower her own Generation. Naturally, the elders hate and fear diablerie (though it would surprise many neonates and ancillae to discover how many elders attained their own Generational potency by destroying their own sires and elders).

Also known as Amaranth, diablerie is the greatest crime a Kindred can commit against another vampire.… At least in some circumstances. In others, diablerie is not only permitted but encouraged. For exam-ple, a Prince who declares a Blood Hunt often decrees that those who diablerize the outcast will be pardoned. Further, in the Sabbat and in certain Anarch domains, diablerie is an acceptable (and even honored) method of promotion and advancement. After all, if a vampire lets himself be diablerized, well, he must have been too weak to use that power effectively.

The way Clans function varies. Some are closely knit, almost fraternal organizations with distinct agen-das and focused hierarchies. Others are little more than a predilection toward certain Disciplines and an exploitable flaw in the blood. Ultimately, what Clan means to each vampire is unique, and some Kindred may be very proud of their Clan while others don’t give it much thought. Ultimately, though, each Clan tends towards certain common behaviors, perceptions, or roles in Kindred society.

The Assamites
 are silent masters of assassination, killing for hire and collecting blood for rituals to bring them closer to their progenitor.

The Brujah
were once philosopher-kings of an an-cient civilization, but are now rebels and rogues with a fearsome inclination toward frenzy.

The Followers of Set
 venerate a chthonic God while seeking out the world’s secret places and protecting an-cient artifacts.

The Gangrel
 are bestial and untamed, often coming to resemble the animals over which they demonstrate mastery.

The Giovanni
 are an insular family of vampires who practice the art of commanding the dead while com-manding global finances, as they have since the Re-naissance.

The Lasombra
 are proud nobles who command the very essence of darkness and shadow — to the point of worshiping it, some say.

The Malkavians
 are a Clan fractured by madness, each member irrevocably suffering under the yoke of insanity.

The Nosferatu
 are hideously disfigured by the Em-brace, so they keep to the sewers shadows and traffic in the secrets they collect.

The Ravnos
are nomads and tricksters who can force the mind to see what isn’t there, though they are slaves to the vices they indulge in.

The Toreador
 enjoy every sensual pleasure the world has to offer, idolizing physical beauty and the adora-tion of their thralls.

The Tremere
 wield the supernatural power of their sorcerous past, though they became vampires through treachery and artifice.

The Tzimisce
 are eldritch Old World lords who have little in common with the mortal world and can manipulate flesh and bone at a whim.

The Ventrue
 observe the noblesse oblige of vampire society, though their entitlement and greed encourages them to seek ever more at the expense of others.

The Caitiff
 have no inherent Clan society, support, or even characteristics; they are like orphans among the great families of vampires.

Spoiler for Want to play as a bloodline read this:
The bloodlines described in this chapter are rare, or in some cases, entirely extinct in the modern nights. Does that mean that such characters are not viable for play-ers to portray? Not in the least. Playing the last surviving member of, say, the Telyavic Tremere is an opportunity for great drama. It just requires that the player and the Story-teller be ready for the kinds of situations that creates.
It could be argued, then, that a player who creates such a character is just trying to be “more unique” than other vampires. Possibly, but so what? If the goal is to tell a compelling story, to focus on the characters that are, by default, more interesting than any others (that is, your characters), then why not create something that doesn’t exist anywhere else? If you feel compelled to play a Blood Brother that has somehow broken the bonds of the circle and achieved autonomy, then do it (with Storyteller approval). Just be aware that do-ing so makes a statement about the World of Darkness that playing a Toreador painter does not — and maybe that’s not a bad thing.
A pedigree of vampires similar to a Clan, but that cannot trace their creation back to one of the Third Generation. While modern neonates have little understanding of how their elders survived in past centuries, some vampires still active tonight remember the Cappadocians, the Lamia, and other such bloodlines. As such, it’s appropriate to note that the Camarilla and the Sabbat were both created after the fall of some of the Clans.

Up until the middle of the 15th century or so, vampire society broke the Clans down into two groups: High Clans and Low Clans. The High Clans were the Brujah, Cappa-docians, Lasombra, Toreador, Tzimisce, and Ventrue. The Low Clans were the Assamites, Followers of Set, Gangrel, Malkavians, Nosferatu, Ravnos, and Tremere (still considered usurpers for what they did to the Salubri). The blood-lines that did not survive beyond (or much beyond) the Dark Ages — the Anda, Cappadocians, Lamia, Lhiannan, and Noaid — have stereotypes and quotes drawn from these groups, rather than the Camarilla and Sabbat.

The Traditions
Spoiler for Tradtions in their original form:
The First Tradition:  The Masquerade
Thou shall not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood.

 The Second Tradition:  The Domain
Thy domain is thine own concern.  All others owe thee respect while in it.  None may challenge thy word while in thy domain.

 The Third Tradition:  The Progeny
Thou shall only Sire another with the permission of thine Elder. If thou createst another without thine Elder’s leave, both thou and thy Progeny shall be slain.

 The Fourth Tradition:  The Accounting
Those thou create are thine own children. Until thy Progeny shall be Released, thou shall command them in all things. Their sins are thine to endure.

 The Fifth Tradition: Hospitality
Honor one another’s domain. When thou comest to a foreign city, thou shall present thyself to the one who ruleth there. Without the word of acceptance, thou art nothing.

 The Sixth Tradition: Destruction
Thou art forbidden to destroy another of thy kind. The right of destruction belongeth only to thine Elder. Only the Eldest among thee shall call the Blood Hunt.
Vampires observe a set of customs that exists some-where between being coded into their undead natures and a social contract that’s ratified every night among the courts of the Damned. Not every vampire affords the idea of the Traditions the respect they deserve — the Sabbat in particular make bold claims about the flaws of the Traditions and the weak wills of those who hide behind them — but in practice, most vampires observe the Traditions to some extent. This is most true of the Masquerade, for as bold as the Sabbat or Anarchs may be, even they don’t have the concentrat-ed might to stand against a world of mortals who learn the secret that the undead walk among them.Interpreting and enforcing the Traditions is the privilege and responsibility of the Kindred Prince. In some domains, particularly those of non-Camarilla Sects, both the titles and the Traditions themselves may vary, but the core principle is found everywhere: That an undead authority makes the rules and woe to any who feel that they don’t have to heed them.
The First Tradition: The Masquerade
This is the most important Tradition, for its observance protects the race of Caine from discovery by a mortal world that would unite against them in fear and hatred. Many Princes and other Kindred authorities spend a great deal of time using their influence or wealth to cover up breaches of the Masquerade, for the greater good of the Damned who may not even under-stand the peril in which they place themselves when they breach it. The Camarilla tends to err on the side of the pragmatic, cultivating its power from the shad-ows, but the Sabbat longs for a time when the Masquerade is no longer necessary, when mortals are little more than blood-thralls born into the shackles of their vampiric masters.

 The Second Tradition: The Domain
Of all the Traditions, Princes often employ the widest range of interpretations when it comes to the Second Tradition. Some Princes maintain that the Second Tradition applies only to those of their station, that a given city is entirely a Prince’s domain and that everyone in it owes him fealty and perhaps tribute. Other Princes are much more liberal, granting each (acknowledged) Kindred in her domain the power of sovereignty over their own territory. Most Princes fall somewhere in the middle, acknowledging that each Kindred makes his own fortune and has a right to authority in areas accepted as his, but not complete autonomy.

The Third Tradition: The Progeny
Many if not most Princes require that prospective sires seek their permission before performing the Em-brace to create fledglings. However, some domains interpret “thine elder” to signify either the elder of one’s own Clan, or even one’s own sire. Note that such liberal domains are often the ones with the greatest Kindred populations, and often ones that come closest to jeopardizing the Masquerade due to Kindred overpopulation.

 The Fourth Tradition: The Accounting
This Tradition imposes a twofold rule. First, a sire effectively owns her progeny until such a time as she deems them fit to face Kindred society on their own. Second, a wayward childe brings trouble upon his sire’s head, for the sire is responsible for the actions and con-sequences of her childe until the point at which she is emancipated. This Tradition is simultaneously at the center of some Kindred’s policy of making their childer earn their freedom through a long and arduous process, and other Kindred’s policy of, “Fuck it; you’re a vam-pire now. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us or I’ll tear your heart out myself. Good luck.”

 The Fifth Tradition: Hospitality
A Prince has the right to dictate who may stay in his domain and who must leave or suffer punishment. This Tradition also imposes the responsibility on a traveling or relocating Kindred to present herself to the local Kindred authority and make herself known and accountable for any missteps. Again, this Tradition’s enforcement falls to the whim of individual Princes. Some are iron-fisted dictators who demand to know the comings and goings of all the Kindred in their cities, while others don’t mind so much as everyone heeds the other Traditions and doesn’t disturb the social order.

 The Sixth Tradition: Destruction
The Blood Hunt — the Lextalionis — is the Princely decree that declares another vampire
 persona non grata
. The right of Princes (or “elders,” depending upon the interpretation of the Tradition) to call the Blood Hunt effectively forfeits the hunted Kindred’s unlife; it is the ultimate punishment levied for the most grievous of crimes. Indeed, it is used so sparing and so severely in most domains that many Princes will even pardon those Kindred who perform diablerie on a vampire un-der the Lextalionis.

Among vampires, the notion of Generation is a con-cept that describes how distant one is from the First Vampire. When a Kindred Embraces, her childe rises from death one Generation higher than she — one more Generation removed from Caine. The Clan founders comprised the Third Generation, their progeny became the Fourth Generation, their childer be-came the Fifth Generation, and so on and so forth up through the distant Thirteenth Generation prevalent in the modern nights. This explanation creates confusion of its own, however. “Third Generation” ostensibly means that these Antediluvians were three Generations away from Caine, but the prevailing mythology names only two. If Caine himself isn’t “zero Generation,” what is he one Generation removed from? Generation determines a great deal about Kindred potential. Mastery of certain Disciplines relies upon a certain threshold of Generation, for example, as does the ability to store vast quantities of blood within the vampire’s body. Some ancient Kindred need to feed only when the desire takes them, so great are their reserves of vitae.

"Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition" published by White Wolf
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 02:56:48 PM by Vagabond »

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Vampires in a nutshell
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 02:56:25 PM »
Please post with any questions you have so I can look up the info and post it here. I will reply asap.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 03:30:42 PM by Vagabond »

Offline C. White

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Re: Vampires in a nutshell
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 12:54:44 AM »
Just here to say good job with the guide, it literally has all the basics a player needs to know about vampires before applying.

But seriously, you wrote all the answers to the applications' questions. lol

to prove the video is genuine, have him hold up a piece of paper that says VWH-RP.

Offline Lucid

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Re: Vampires in a nutshell
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2017, 02:38:31 AM »
Just here to say good job with the guide, it literally has all the basics a player needs to know about vampires before applying.

But seriously, you wrote all the answers to the applications' questions. lol

At the end of the day, this guy remains as if he put the moon up in the sky
basically, the questions are too easy and most of the vampires around here are dumb as fuck and don't roleplay their shit properly, so it doesn't matter whether he answered them or not, infact the dude did a good job to give the basic summary which most vamp players CBFED to read and don't have the books for vtm etc.