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Character Creation - START HERE!

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Character Creation - START HERE!


All new PCs will start at Base character creation with a floor xp of 10xp/month since the start of game (April 2014).

Step One: Character Concept
Who is your character? Concept needs only to be a general idea. — Adventuring Archeologist, Ballet Dancer, Evangelist, Used Car Salesman, World Poker Champion, Tech Nerd, Redneck Occultist — but it should be enough to spark more complex ideas about the character’s motives, environment and relationships. Your character’s concept will be fleshed-out in his background (see Step 8.).

Virtues and Vices
Choose one Virtue and one Vice, as on p.100 of the World of Darkness core book.
Virtues: Charity, Faith, Fortitude, Hope, Justice, Prudence, & Temperance
Vices: Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth, & Wrath

The Virtues and Vices in vampire characters may manifest in different ways from mortals. For instance, a vampire who suffers the Vice of Wrath might be prone to frenzy, while one indulging in Gluttony might leave a trail of exsanguinated bodies in her wake, finding it difficult to stop feeding before victims’ hearts stop. On the other hand, a character with the Virtue of Charity might cultivate and reward a network of the homeless, while a character with the Virtue of Justice might carefully choose his victims from among those deserving punishment (such as rapists or murderers), becoming a crusader of the night.

Age and Anachronism
A Kindred's age refers to the time after the Embrace.
For example, if a 30-year old woman was Embraced in 1970, by 2014 her Requiem (time existing as a Kindred) would currently have lasted 44 years. She will have existed for 74 years, but only 44 of those count for her age as a vampire.

For those that are of an older time, remembering the past is not always a marvelous stroll down memory lane. The respect earned with age in Kindred society is a costly one. Most Kindred don’t survive a century for reasons beyond the typical troubles of vampirism and the deadly politics of Kindred society. Physiological hardships and depression eventually take its toll on the Kindred’s mind driving them mad. The following list allows players to alter their character to represent these older Kindred.

0 – 50 years: Neonate
51 – 100 years: Ambitious Ancilla ( -1 Humanity )
101 – 150 years: Seasoned Ancilla ( -2 Humanity )
151 – 200 years: Established Elder ( -2 Humanity with Mild Derangement)
201 – 300 years: Obdurate Elder ( -2 Humanity with a Mild and Severe Derangement)
301 + years: Antiquated Elder ( -2 Humanity with a Mild and Severe Derangement that suffers from ‘Anachronism’ )

Note: You may lower your character's humanity for an additional 5 experience points per dot, to a maximum of two dots (Humanity 5).
The deductions of Humanity for age do not garner additional experience points. (Only a neonate may gain the full 10xp for humanity drop).

Attaining the next age category during play requires both IC role-play and storyteller approval. A player may not use her background as a means to circumvent the requirements for playing an Elder. Ergo, if a player creates an Ancilla character who is 150 years old, just because she plays the game for one year does not mean she automatically becomes an Elder. She must not only follow the rules above but also must seek the approval of the Storyteller Staff to play an Elder. If approved, the character will suffer the additional penalties of the new age category (in this case, gaining a Mild Derangement). As always, if the Storytellers decide the game has too many Elders, that character will remain an Ancilla until a spot opens up. This is merely to maintain a balance in the game.

Players should clearly define their character's age in their background and on their initial character sheet submitted to the storytellers.

The character cannot begin play with any modern skill higher than 1 dot. These skills include Computer, Science, Drive, Firearms, and Streetwise. They also cannot begin play with any Skill Specialization that would lend itself to a modern use. The ST may even penalize them in any challenge that includes modern tech or modern socialization, such as using Academics while performing research in a modern Library, the use of Larceny while trying to pick a modern deadbolt, or trying to persuade or seduce a teenager.

Dressing the Part
Note that when any description in the books say a court or assembly “resembles” something from the past, it doesn’t mean the Kindred involved are dressed in cloaks, hose and powdered wigs. While some truly eccentric or anachronistic elders might maintain the look they preferred back in their mortal days (at least in private), most aren’t too many years behind the modern fashion. Dressing as an obvious anachronism is a great way to attract attention, and the Kindred know all too well that attention is bad.

Step Two: Select Attributes
Once you have a concept, you may begin assigning numbers that support your decisions.

(Helpful hint for new players: if you get overwhelmed with the technical aspects that follow, you may take a break from this step by skipping to “Step Nine: Spark of Un-life (Background)” to continue answering questions about your character’s background story, then come back to filling out the numbers on your sheet. You may also ask an ST for help with this.)

The first step in determining a character’s numeric traits is to prioritize his Attributes.
Attributes represent raw, natural ability. How strong is the character? How smart? How agile? What impression does he make as he enters a room? Attributes take these questions and more into account, ultimately providing the foundation upon which a character is built.

Characters have nine Attributes, divided into three categories: Mental (Intelligence, Wits, and Resolve), Physical (Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina) and Social (Presence, Manipulation, and Composure).

First, you must decide in which of these categories your character excels the most (primary). You then select the group of Attributes in which your character is average (secondary). Finally, the remaining category is designated as the character’s weakest area of natural talent (tertiary). Is your character a scrawny intellectual or a brute lacking in social graces?

All characters begin with one dot in each Attribute, reflecting the basic capabilities of all human beings. The priorities established in the preceding paragraph determine how many dots are allocated for each Attribute category. Five additional dots are added to the primary group, four additional dots to the secondary group and three dots to the tertiary group.

For example, a scrawny intellectual would have five dots in his Mental category, four in his Social and three in his Physical category, while a tactless brute would have five dots in his Physical category, four in his Mental and only three in his Social category.

The fifth dot in any Attribute costs two dots to purchase. So, a player who wants his character to have Dexterity of 5 would then need to spend five dots into Dexterity (all Attributes begin with one free dot, plus three more to achieve a score of 4, and then spend two more for the fifth dot.)

It’s suggested that any Attribute above a 3 should be mentioned and explained in the character’s background.

Step Three: Select Skills
Skills are divided into the same three subcategories as Attributes: Mental, Physical and Social. Mental Skills tend to rely on knowledge of the world and are improved through study and practical application. Physical Skills rely on training, improved mainly through practice and repetition. Finally, Social Skills rely heavily on interpersonal experience and improve through interaction with others or through trial and error.

Like Attributes, Skill groups must be prioritized during character creation. Players should select primary, secondary and tertiary categories for their Skills. The primary group receives 11 dots, the secondary group gets seven, and the tertiary group receives four.

Note that, unlike Attributes, characters do not begin the game with an automatic dot in each Skill, as Skills dots are obtained through dedication to a field, not natural talent alone. As before, the fifth dot in any Skill costs two dots to purchase.

It’s suggested that any Skill above a 3 should be mentioned and explained in the Character’s background.

Step Four: Select Skill Specialties
While characters might have considerable training in Firearms or expertise in Medicine, they excel in certain aspects of these Skills more so than in others. For instance, Officer Grimes might have a special proficiency with his particular sidearm but not with rifles, shotguns or chain guns. He might understand the basic principles of using these firearms, but the bulk of his training has been with his pistol. Represented in game terms, such a character may have three dots in Firearms, with a Skill Specialty in 9mm automatic pistols.

Players choose three Skill Specialties during character creation. These should be very specific, though players may choose more than one Specialty for any given Skill. So, using the previous example, Officer Grimes might have Specialties in both 9mm automatic pistols and 12-gauge shotguns.

You may not use any of these starting Skill Specialties to specialize in supernatural powers – you can do that later with experience points.

Step Five: Add Vampire Template
Here is where your character sloughs off her mortal coil and truly becomes a creature of the night. The Embrace changes a character into something no longer mortal, endowing her with special abilities and unique advantages unimagined in her previous existence. Aside from entering a new world based on clan and covenant, supernatural changes affect her Attributes and allow her access to the powers of the Blood.

A character’s clan serves as a sort of extended family of the night, bound by lineage and responsible for certain similarities among its members. Vampires are always of the same clan as the sires that Embrace them, though it is possible to later start a new bloodline that deviates slightly from other close blood relations. Examine the five clan descriptions presented in Vampire: The Requiem (pp. 104-113) and determine which clan you want your character to belong.
NOTE: Your character receives the first dot of the Clan Status Merit for free.

  • Daeva - Known for being emotional, sensual, and desirable. Predatory hedonists and sensualists, the Daeva are emotionally dying, hollow inside. They are slaves to their chosen vices.
  • Gangrel - Known for being primal, hardy and savage. They embody the myths of vampires turning into animals or otherwise changing forms. This clan is more closely connected to their Beast than other clans.
  • Mekhet - Elusive, mysterious and agile, the mekhet have an affinity for darkness. The hallmarks of the clan are stealth, finesse and wisdom.
  • Nosferatu - Supernaturally terrifying monsters, some hideously deformed, others oddly unsettling, but whatever the cause, every Nosferatu finds it nigh impossible to socialize.
  • Ventrue - The lords of the undead, rulers with regal bearing. Centuries of absolute power have corrupted them, and as they age they become more and more prone to insanity.

A covenant is more social than familial, concerned with a character’s worldview and relationship to other Kindred rather than the advantages and bonds of the Blood. Each of these societies seeks different goals using (sometimes dramatically) diverse methods, all sure in the knowledge that their way is “right,” or at least more right than all the others. Covenant is not governed by clan or sire, though childer often begin their Requiems in the covenants of their sires, either out of familiarity or promise of status.

  • The Carthians seek to reconcile Kindred society with modern governmental structures and social systems
  • The Circle of the Crone practice dark rituals and blood magic and venerates a goddess as the creator of all vampires, The Dark Mother.
  • The Invictus is the aristocracy of the night who seeks power and use binding oaths and contracts.
  • The Lancea Sanctum seeks to influence Kindred society with the strictures of Longinus, who is believed to have been turned into one of the Damned by the very blood of Christ.
  • The Ordo Dracul research rituals and mystical knowledge that allows the Kindred to transcend their vampiric states.

If a covenant is chosen during character creation, there is no reason why it can’t be changed as a character comes to more fully understand her place in the world. While a character’s covenant is not set in stone, those who change allegiances are often viewed with suspicion and might have difficulty gaining trust or status within the new social hierarchy. (The suspicion and distrust of “covenant hoppers” should be role-played out In Character. Mechanically, if you choose to leave a covenant you are required to spend a minimum of 6 months as an unaligned before you can gain Status in another covenant.) Your character’s covenant need not be decided upon at character creation, though your concept should give some clue as to which covenants are most or least comfortable. Covenants grant certain benefits to their members.

NOTE: If your character belongs to a covenant, they receive the first dot of the Covenant Status Merit for free and gain advantages as follows:
• The Carthians: Members of the Carthians may purchase the Allies, Contacts, Haven and Herd Merits at half the normal experience-point cost. This cost break does not apply to purchases of these Merits during character creation.
• The Circle of the Crone: Members of the Circle of the Crone may learn the Discipline of Crúac.
• The Invictus: Members of the Invictus may purchase the Herd, Mentor, Resources and Retainer Merits at half the normal experience point cost. This cost break does not apply to purchases of these Merits during character creation.
• The Lancea Sanctum: Members of the Lancea Sanctum may learn the Discipline of Theban Sorcery.
• The Ordo Dracul: Members of the Ordo Dracul may learn the Coils of the Dragon.

You cannot start with a bloodline. Gaining a bloodline will require your character to start with or acquire a 3-dot Mentor (the Avus), Blood Potency 4, and 6 months of training with that Avus to join a bloodline in game. (The only exception to this is if you draw the Bloodline card in the Character Creation Card Draw, which allows your character to join a bloodline so long as her Blood Potency is 2 or higher.) Joining a bloodline also requires the expenditure of a permanent willpower dot. (See rules for Willpower below for further details).

Keep in mind that ALL bloodlines are subject to Head-ST approval – don’t bother purchasing the Mentor unless you have been cleared to do so.

***EDIT 10/28/2015*** Avusing into a bloodline will no longer take 6 months of actions. If a PC is avusing under another PC, it will take 1 shared downtime action from each player to accomplish. If avusing through an NPC (Mentor Merit of at least 3 dots) It will take 1 action on 2 separate downtimes to accomplish. Joining a Bloodline will still require a PC to have a Blood Potency of 4 and the expenditure of a permanent dot of Willpower.

Favored Attributes

The Embrace forces drastic changes upon the human body, altering it to that of a vampiric predator. While all vampires have similar weaknesses, each clan has developed different natural strengths. These adaptations are carried through the blood of the clan, altering the natural abilities of newly Embraced childer. Each clan has two favored Attributes. Choose one from your clan’s favored pair, and add one dot to that Attribute. This additional dot can be the fifth dot.

Clan Favored Attributes (choose one):

  • Daeva: Dexterity or Manipulation
  • Gangrel: Composure or Stamina
  • Mekhet: Intelligence or Wits
  • Nosferatu: Composure or Strength
  • Ventrue: Presence or Resolve

Disciplines are the mysterious and often terrifying capabilities that Kindred can manifest at will, including taking the shape of an animal, running at superhuman speeds or bending a victim’s will to one’s own.

Each character begins with three dots of Disciplines, which can be allocated as you choose. At least two dots must be devoted to a character’s in-clan Disciplines, however.

  • Animalism: Power over animals and even the Beast of Kindred.
  • Auspex: Preternatural senses and perception.
  • Celerity: Superhuman speed.
  • Dominate: The ability to overwhelm the mind.
  • Majesty: Tremendous force of personality.
  • Nightmare: Manipulating fear itself.
  • Obfuscate: Hiding aspects of one’s self, even one’s body.
  • Protean: Shape-changing and adjustments of the vampiric form.
  • Resilience: Legendary toughness.
  • Vigor: The epic strength of legendary vampires

Covenant Specific Disciplines:

  • Coils of the Dragon*: The Ordo Dracul’s secrets of transcendence.
  • Crúac*: Blood magic practiced by the witches of the Circle of the Crone.
  • Theban Sorcery*: The Biblical “dark miracles” of the Lancea Sanctum.

* Available to covenant members only.

See the Vampire: The Requiem book for detailed Discipline descriptions (pp. 114-150).
Note: Some Discipline powers may have been altered for our game. Please see House Rules for any changes or alterations.

Blood Potency
A character’s Blood Potency represents how much innate power is concentrated within her veins. Characters with a high Blood Potency possess both great mastery over their Vitae and how to enhance themselves with it.

All vampire characters receive one free dot in the Blood Potency advantage. Blood Potency can be increased with Merit-point expenditure at character creation, at a rate of one dot of Blood Potency per three dots of Merits. That is, a player may spend three of his character’s seven Merit points for Blood Potency 2, or spend six of his character’s seven Merit points for Blood Potency 3.

Blood Potency is described on p. 99 of Vampire the Requiem.

Step Six: Determine Advantages
Advantages are traits derived from your Character’s Attributes:
Defense (the lower of Dexterity or Wits),
Health (Stamina + Size),
Initiative (Dexterity + Composure),
Humanity (7 for starting characters),
Size (5 for most humans),
Speed (Strength + Dexterity +5),
Willpower (Resolve + Composure).
For more information, see ‘World of Darkness, Chapter 4: Advantages.

Vampires lead existences of constant struggle, fighting against their base predatory natures to retain control of their slipping connections to humanity. Fighting the Beast within them calls for a measure of self-reliance often lacking in ordinary mortals, making Willpower of great value.
Willpower points can be spent to activate a supernatural ability or gain a one-time advantage during game in the form of bonus dice on a challenging role. Your character begins play with a number of Willpower points equal to her Willpower dots.

Your character can regain one of these points by acting in the nature of her Vice (usually at someone else’s expense), or she can regain all of her spent Willpower points, up to her Willpower Dots, by acting in accordance with her Virtue (usually at some risk to herself)

Experience points can be spent to recoup lost Willpower dots (including those spent to sire a childe or join a Bloodline). See the House Rules section and p. 93 & 230 of Vampire: the Requiem for more information on spending experience.

A player may spend vitae in the same turn in which he spends a point of Willpower. For more on spending Vitae, see pp. 156-157 of Vampire: The Requiem.

After the Embrace, a vampire begins to lose touch with those elements of her nature that make her human. These qualities erode over time as the vampire becomes more jaded and the world evolves without her. For this reason, the concept of Morality as outlined in the World of Darkness Rulebook is replaced with Humanity here.

During character creation, you may trade dots of Humanity for experience points. This trade-in reflects some heinous past behavior the vampire engaged in and learned from (accounting for the added experience points), but which also scarred her deeply (explaining the loss in Humanity). Players may sacrifice a dot of Humanity for five experience points, dropping their character’s Humanity by up to two dots for a maximum of 10 extra experience points. (This is based on age, please see above under age

Please take the time to mention this degradation of Humanity in the character’s background.

Step Seven: Select Merits
A beginning character has seven dots to spend on Merits, which may be distributed at the player’s discretion. These traits should fit the character concept — a Daeva socialite isn’t likely to have the Stunt Driver Merit, for example, unless her background involves it somehow. A Storyteller may encourage or disallow certain Merits. The fifth dot in any Merit costs two dots to purchase. You may also spend 3 of your Merit dots to raise your Blood Potency by one, up to twice.

Some Merits found in the books may have been altered or removed from game play. Please check with your ST for specifics or you may refer to the House Rules section of our website.

City Status:
You may not purchased or apply City Status to character sheets. City Status for all characters will begin at zero and any gains must be earned through role-play.
All characters are considered to be newcomers to the city. The reasons for your character’s arrival could be as simple as searching for a new home, or as grandiose as seeking new territory for your covenant’s power base. You can explain your reasons for coming to the city in Step Nine: Spark of Un-Life (Background).

Clan and Covenant Status:
Each character begins play with one dot of Status in their Clan and one dot in their chosen Covenant. (Unaligned characters gain no Covenant Status, but will still begin with the first dot of Clan Status.) If you wish your character to start with more than one dot in Clan Status and one dot of Status in a Covenant, you must purchase it before your character enters play. You can purchase a Second dot in Clan Status for 4 xp. You may also assign a second dot to your Covenant Status (or, in rare cases, the first dot in a second Covenant Status) for 4 xp. You must have ST approval that this increased Status fits with the character’s background story for which the XP was awarded. No Character can purchase Clan or Covenant Status higher than 2 at character creation without explicit approval from the Head Storyteller.
Mortal Status (from the WOD book) is not limited.

Starting Equipment
All starting characters begin play with some starting equipment. Use the Resources dot rating of each item to determine its cost, or consult an ST to determine an item’s cost in Resource dots. Each PC receives 3 times their monthly Resource Traits plus 5 in equipment.  (If you have no Resources Merit, you start with 5 Resource Traits of starting equipment.)  Any of the Resource Traits for starting equipment not used before your character enters play are lost – you cannot bank them. In addition to this starting equipment, the Resources Merit also grants a certain level of lifestyle and a home. This granted home does not benefit from the advantages of the Haven Merit (unless upgraded later). It is little more than mere shelter from the sun.
You may not purchase items with a cost greater than 3 dots, or your dots in the Resources merit, whichever is higher.

This equipment can be chosen from the ‘World of Darkness’ book and the ‘Armory’ book. The ST has the final world on what equipment can enter play at character creation. Characters cannot start with any item outside the World of Darkness, Vampire: the Requiem, or Armory book without special permission from the Head ST. Any starting equipment budget not used before your character enters play is lost – you cannot bank it or use it for additional starting cash.

Step Eight: Character Creation Card Draw
Each player gets to randomly choose a card from a deck of 52 cards. Each card is different and entitles the character to some form of bonus. This bonus can range from Skills, Merits, bloodlines, equipment, or even special ST Created merits that cannot be gained in any other way.

Step Nine: Spark of Un-life (Background)

(For more information about creating a character’s background story, visit our forums:

At this point you should have a character, at least in a purely mechanical sense. You have all you need to use your character as a playing piece in your Storyteller’s chronicle, combining Attributes with Skills and rolling dice as necessary. Roleplaying, however, is not simply pitting dice pool against dice pool, or using spiffy powers left and right. The previous steps have created a basic framework, a rough sculpture of a character hammered out in the most simplistic of terms. Now is the time to break out the fine tools, refining this outline with details and nuance. Examine the dots on your character sheet and figure out why they’re there.

What in your character’s life made him pick up his first firearm and begin training?
How did he learn so much about the ways of the street or the methods of intimidation?
When did he pick up his rudimentary medical skills?
How will this background come across in the story?
What parts don’t you know yet about your character?

Just like working a fine sculpture, shape and polish your character’s physical, psychological and background details to make him one of a kind, even among the undead.

Just what exactly does having a Presence of 3 mean? Does your character possess the chiseled features of a runway model, causing all eyes to turn his way as he enters a room? Or does he have the hardened look of a dockyard worker who isn’t to be trifled with? Perhaps he exudes an air of old money and confidence from behind his tailored suits and fine jewelry. What features cause others to react to him with such intensity? What color are his eyes, his hair, his skin? Does he have a clean cut, refined look or perhaps a nasty scar running from his scalp down between his eyes to his neck? Is his voice harsh and raspy, silky smooth or does he stutter, relying wholly on his looks to carry him? Does he have an accent? What is his cultural heritage?

While these final touches might seem the least necessary, they are the most important. Otherwise, your Ventrue with Presence 3, Manipulation 4 and Composure 3 will be just like every other Ventrue with Presence 3, Manipulation 4 and Composure 3. You want to avoid such two-dimensional characters and strive for something unique, fascinating and memorable.

(For more information about creating a character’s background story, visit our forums:

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