Do not nail down your character ideas until after group creation. We will collaborate on themes, NPCs, and individual roles in the city so you might get a lot more ideas during the process. Once you’ve gone through group generation, proceed to the following steps.
Fill in the nine entries at the top of your sheet:
- Name: The name of your character
- Clan: Your character’s clan
- Generation: Your character’s generation (determined by group generation)
- Coterie: The name of the group of Kindred you spend the most time with
- Title: Your official role, if any, within the city’s Camarilla power structure
- Sire: The name of the Kindred who embraced you
- Concept: Your high-concept Distinction (based on themes in group generation)
- Trouble: Your biggest flaw Distinction (based on themes in group generation)
- Nature: Your personality Distinction (based on themes in group generation)
Distinctions replace a large amount of the system effects of Merits and Flaws. If you make a roll and a Distinction seems applicable to assist you, you can add +1 die. If you make a roll and you think a Distinction might hinder you, you can take a -2 die penalty; if you succeed on the roll anyway, you recover a point of Willpower.
Distinctions are generated based on themes on the group generation map. They can be anything personal that might help and/or harm you in various situations and which don’t directly replicate other traits. For example, “Strong” conflicts with the Strength attribute, but “Unrelenting” could be added to most such rolls as well as others where it is justified. Distinctions are meant to define the most important elements of your character, so can be pretty broad. They should generally be one or two word adjectives or phrases that suggest times they could both help and harm.
The standard attributes are modified to include elements from nWoD and other areas of the character sheet. They are:
- Strength: Raw might used to deliver force and attack with heavy weapons
- Dexterity: Speed and coordination used to move quickly and attack with light weapons
- Stamina: Toughness and health used to resist and recover from physical hardship
- Charisma: Force of personality and likeability used to engage with others directly
- Poise: Grace and subtlety used to manipulate, entice, and appear uninvolved
- Composure: Emotional control used to withstand social manipulation
- Intelligence: Strength of intellect used to understand and to solve problems
- Perception: Awareness and insight used to gather information and notice other options
- Courage: Conviction used to resist compulsion, ennui, and the urgings of the Beast
The abilities list is reduced to allow more consistently useful skills. Some skills are combined, while others are expanded in scope. If you want to “specialize” in one area of a broad skill, take a Distinction that reflects your enhanced focus. Abilities are deliberately very broad, and may be used for a variety of things; however, the GM reserves the right to declare that another skill is more appropriate for a certain task and require it to be used instead with minimal argument.
- Alertness: Pay attention to surroundings and notice things
- Athletics: Perform most sports and dodge attacks
- Brawl: Fight unarmed or with natural or improvised weapons
- Empathy: Read the emotions of others and negotiate fairly
- Intimidation: Frighten others and negotiate from a position of strength
- Streetwise: Navigate the city and keep up with street-level trends and information
- Subterfuge: Lie and negotiate via subtlety and manipulation
- Crafts: Create and repair physical goods of art or utility
- Expression: Create visual or written art and perform music, dance, or oration
- Firearms: Fight with a ranged weapon and maintain such weapons
- Melee: Fight with weapons in close combat and maintain such weapons
- Security: Bypass or create locks, electronic defenses, or other protections
- Stealth: Remain unseen, unheard, and unnoticed
- Survival: Interact with animals, navigate the wilderness, and otherwise survive outdoors
- Academics: Reference or research mortal history, culture, and dead languages
- Computer: Operate and program computers and computerized systems
- Investigation: Search for hidden elements and understand law and police procedure
- Medicine: Understand and apply medical, psychological, and other life sciences
- Occult: Reference and research mortal occult lore and navigate the occult community
- Politics: Understand and manipulate social structures and the people in them
- Science: Understand and apply physics, chemistry, and other material sciences
Three backgrounds are removed from the standard list because they are subsumed into group generation or other city systems (Allies, Generation, and Influence). Three others are newly added to address certain elements that lost their position as skills (Linguistics) or were Merits not easily reproducible with Distinctions (Arcane and Touched).
- Arcane: You have a subtle supernatural field that makes you hard to find, follow, or even remember. Your dots in this background are added to any Stealth rolls to blend into a crowd. They are a dice penalty to anyone attempting to track you or research information about you (trails and records go missing). Recordings of you tend to blur or have static and lose one identifying feature per dot. You cannot buy Fame if you have any dots in this background.
- Contacts: You have contacts throughout the city not directly tied to your Influence structure that feed you information and help you out when possible. Once per night, you may ask a question and roll Contacts to find out information about it (the difficulty and required successes depend on the obscurity and relevance of the information). You can use Contacts to gain Influence favor points.
- Fame: You are a local celebrity within the city. You can add your dots in this background to any social rolls against targets impressed by your renown and who recognize you. You can use Fame to gain Influence favor points. It is difficult for opponents to try to marginalize you or remove you secretly, and you can add your dots to your defense against Status loss.
- Herd: You have a safe hunting area, dedicated blood dolls, access to a blood bank, or some other easy way of finding blood. Your dots are added as extra blood points to whatever number the GM tells you to start at for a session and added as bonus dice to any rolls to hunt in the city.
- Linguistics: You fluently speak one additional language per dot in this background. You may roll the background (plus Charisma) to make yourself understood in related languages in which you are not fluent (difficulty depending on how closely related your fluent languages are). Dead languages are generally covered by Academics unless you want to be conversationally fluent in them.
- Mentor: Your sire or another elder has decided to be especially helpful to your education and passage into Camarilla society. You can learn any traits your Mentor surpasses you at faster: your dots count as additional “weeks” each month that you can dedicate toward improving such traits. You may add your dots as a bonus to any social rolls against your mentor. If your mentor is present at a social gathering, you may add your dots to your defense against Status loss.
- Resources: You have wealth and the capability to make more. You generally have your rating in this background squared times $100 in free cash at any given time (resetting the next week if spent). Similarly, your rating squared times $10,000 roughly indicates your yearly gross salary and general lifestyle. All numbers are in 2012 dollars. You can temporarily expend dots to make larger purchases by taking on credit or mortgages. You can use Resources to gain Influence favor points.
- Retainers: You have several loyal mortal assistants: friends, employees, or ghouls. Each dot represents one relatively complicated (but not dangerous) errand you can have accomplished which would otherwise take your full attention (or require going out in daylight) and a significant fraction of your time. You can use Retainers to gain Influence favor points.
- Status: You have a rank within a large organization (and this background can be purchased multiple times to represent different organizations). One dot indicates entry level, while five indicates the highest rank possible that is not in direct control of the organization (these titles vary from status to status). You can use your status in mortal organizations to improve your Influence. Status within the Camarilla cannot be purchased, but must be earned and defended in play, but indicates your social clout among Kindred in the city.
- Touched: You have one or more strange abilities that are holdovers from your mortal life. Spend the dots in this background to select from the following abilities:
- Magic Resistant (X): You increase your resistance pool to Thaumaturgy and mortal magic by the number of dots invested in this power. You cannot learn magic.
- Medium (1): You can sense the presence of ghosts and communicate with them.
- Prescient (2): You sometimes receive premonitions of the future and can enter a trance to deliberately invoke such a vision. You add +1 to your Initiative rolls and have a minimum of 1 success on Perception rolls to detect danger.
- Lucky (2): You gain an additional Distinction, “Lucky,” that can be used on any task heavily controlled by chance.
- Unbondable (3): You cannot be blood bound, no matter how much vitae you drink.
- Neutral (4): You are mysteriously immune to Dominate or other direct mind-control effects. Presence still affects you normally.
- True Faith (5): You can manifest your faith through a holy symbol to drive back or harm other Kindred. You can invoke minor miracles in especially appropriate situations. You are not harmed by the true faith of others.
- Former Ghoul (5): You were granted the Embrace after service as a ghoul. You gain a dot of Potence but start play blood bound to your sire.
Your selection of clan gives you a dot in one of each of three skills (after spending initial points; i.e., these skills can be raised above 3). It also determines which disciplines you can buy at generation:
- Skills: Firearms, Melee, Streetwise
- Disciplines: Celerity, Potence, Presence
- Weakness: Your Beast gains +3 damage dice to cause a Rage frenzy
- Skills: Athletics, Brawl, Survival
- Disciplines: Animalism, Fortitude, Protean
- Weakness: You take an additional Beast Trait if you gain one during a Frenzy
- Skills: Empathy, Investigation, Medicine
- Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Obfuscate
- Weakness: You gain a permanent Derangement
- Skills: Computer, Security, Stealth
- Disciplines: Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence
- Weakness: You are hideous and obviously vampiric when not disguised
- Skills: Alertness, Crafts, Expression
- Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Presence
- Weakness: You are easily distracted, suffering dice penalties in the presence of new sensations
- Skills: Academics, Occult, Science
- Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy
- Weakness: You are a beacon to mystical creatures and obvious to other supernaturals
- Skills: Intimidation, Politics, Subterfuge
- Disciplines: Dominate, Fortitude, Presence
- Weakness: You can only feed from specific types of mortals (at least three refining terms)
- Humanity: A character’s humanity is measured in control over the Beast. As you commit monstrous acts, your Beast grows stronger and your Humanity fades… eventually it becomes easier to relent before the urgings of the Beast than to risk Frenzy and total loss of control. Each character begins with a single Beast Trait in one of three categories; the number of traits in a category is a bonus to the Beast’s attempts to drive the character to Frenzy in those situations. The more Beast Traits you have, the later you wake up after sunset (generally a quarter of an hour for each trait).
- Rage: Invoked when hurt or otherwise provoked; resisted with Composure
- Hunger: Invoked when spurred by hunger or greed; resisted with Stamina
- Fear: Invoked when afraid or faced with fire or sunlight: resisted with Courage
- Willpower: A character’s mental fortitude is measured in Willpower. It is rarely rolled, but can be temporarily expended to gain an extra success on rolls where giving it one’s all can make a difference. Its permanent rating is also often a difficulty of supernatural effects that try to exert mental control.
- One spent Willpower is recovered after every day’s rest, and additional points can be recovered by suffering from a Distinction and succeeding anyway.
- Willpower is equal to Composure + Courage and cannot be permanently raised or lowered without altering one or both of those attributes.
- Blood Pool: A character’s Blood Pool measures the amount of life essence currently contained in a Cainite’s system. Generation determines its maximum size and how much can be spent in a turn. It is regained by drinking blood, and the character risks Frenzy if it gets too low.