All characters must be approved by the Storyteller prior to play. These are non-negotiable requirements, and coming to us wanting something which violates them is an easy way to make the GM grumpy :)
To help give you an idea of what we’ll allow, various character traits below are labeled as Common, Uncommon, Rare and Banned. The rankings are based on gameplay requirements, role-playing experience, setting expertise, or sometimes just first-come/first-serve.
Common: 90% of players will be fine with these traits. You’re not here to win an Oscar, just to play a kick ass Vampire game. These traits will most likely be approved, so feel free to make a character with them without consulting the staff first.
Uncommon: Please consult a Storyteller before making a character with this attribute. These are really best played by fairly experienced role-players or informed White Wolf fans. If you really think you have a good concept though, give it your best shot and we’ll consider it.
Rare: Approval of this trait is highly unlikely. This is for people who have been playing V:tm for years and know the ins-and-outs of every core book, source book, and even that terrible trading card game that nobody plays. You’ve been role-playing for many years and have already played this type of advanced trait before. Be prepared to quote canon.
Banned: NPCs only, if they even exist at all.
Attributes: 9 / 7 / 5
Abilities: 13 / 9 / 5
Free Traits: Kindred Lore 1, Sect Lore 1, Clan Lore 1
Maximum Generation: 9th
Path of Humanity, No alternate paths of morality allowed.
Please detail exactly how you spend your freebies and experience points.
No ability may be raised above 3 before Freebies are spent. Only Freebies can raise an ability above 3.
Discipline dots must be used on in-clan disciplines only, and no disciplines can be raised above 3 at character creation.
Player-Characters are overwhelmingly North American and overwhelmingly young. Any character with an ethnic background from outside modern North American society requires special approval, and are considered Rare. This includes everyone from Japanese businessmen to Italian nobles to African tribal chieftains. If you can’t throw a brick and hit it in the Rust Belt of Pennsylvania, it will most likely be turned down.
Why do we do this? We are trying to keep a particular tone for our game, and roleplayers left to their own devices will quickly fill our city with a cavalcade of Vikings, Japanese samurai, Nazi officers and a dozen other clever little backgrounds, and it turns rather ridiculous rather quickly. For the same reason, players are asked to play a character of the same gender as he or she is.
Common: 10 years or less since embrace
Uncommon: 50 years or less since embrace
Rare: More than 50 years since embrace
Uncommon: Anarch, Independent
Rare: Sabbat, Autarkis
Banned: Inconnu, Black Hand, Children of Osiris
Common: Brujah, City Gangrel, Country Gangrel, Nosferatu, Toreador, Ventrue
Uncommon: Assamite, Caitiff, Giovanni, Lasombra, Malkavian, Pander, Tremere
Rare: Blood Brothers, Followers of Set, Ghoul, Hajj, Kindred of the East, Kiasyd, Mage, Nagaraja, Samedi, Ravnos, Tzimisce
Banned: Anda, Ahrimanes, Azaneali, Baali, Cappadocian, Daughters of Cacophony, Daitya, Gargoyle, Garou, Jati, Laibon, Lamia, Lhiannon, Mariner Gangrel, Harbingers of Skulls, Nictuku, Noiad, Premascine, Salubri, Teyavs, True Brujah, Wraith, Wu Zao, Anything else not listed here
Skills and Talents
1 – Novice
2 – Practiced
3 – Competent
4 – Expert
5 – Master
A zero shows little to no competence in a given skill or talent however even at zero when it comes to skills and talents everyone has some level of competency. Talents are rolled using the base attribute with no dice penalty. Skills on the other hand are rolled with a +1 difficulty using the base attribute. This is done to demonstrate that one can be innately capable of something based on their attributes even if they have no formal training. Someone who can bench press 400 lbs is still going to hurt you when they punch you even if they aren’t a professional boxer.
A one is someone just beginning to grasp and understand the basics. For example a person who has taken a few classes of martial arts is likely to have a one.
A two is someone who could now be considered to be decently trained. In the case of martial arts again this is someone who would be considered brown belt. Not quite a black belt yet but definitely good enough to hold their own.
A three is someone who would be considered a professional at the skill. A black belt martial artist may fall into this category. Most humans won’t make it past this level of greatness in all but a handful of skills that they’ve put a lot of dedication into learning.
A four is a renowned expert. Using the martial arts example this is likely to be a Sensei or the like. For most people this is as high as they would likely ever achieve and is likely to be a primary focus in their lives.
A five is considered to be peak human ability. In the case of the martial arts example this would be the level of someone like Bruce Lee. 99.9% of humans will never obtain this level and those that do usually end up sacrificing other areas to solely focus on it.
1 – Student
2 – College
3 – Masters
4 – Doctorate
5 – Scholar
A zero in a knowledge means you have no understanding of the subject matter at all. You can’t even make a roll on a knowledge your character does not posses.
A one is a student. High school level. Many people will have a one in several knowledges based solely on their highschool years.
A two is someone who went to College. A bachelor’s degree falls into this line.
A three is a master’s degree. Relatively self explanatory
A four is a Doctorate. People spend years working on earning their doctorates. The skill often becomes a primary focus in their lives. People with doctorates more often than not spent nearly a decade working toward that goal. Commonly, a normal human won’t have more than one of these…if they have any at all. For many this is usually the end of the line as far as learning in that particular field goes.
A five is a Scholar. Einstein, Hawking, Tesla – the great minds of our time. That is the level you get to when you’re at a 5. This is the very peak of human understanding in that field.
Common: Contacts, Generation, Herd, Resources, Rituals, Mentor
Uncommon: Allies, Influence, Retainers, Status
Rare: Arcane, Fame, Alternate Identity, Insight
Banned: Pack Recognition, Age, Anything else not listed here
Any background at level 4 and up is subject to approval.
The Mentor background does not assist in learning disciplines. It can offer advice and information.
Retainers cannot be used in combat. They can investigate, be sent out on errands and be your eyes and ears in the daytime, but you can’t call up your 5-dot posse and throw down.
If you create a character with dots in Contacts and/or Allies, please specify on your sheet who these people are and what they do.
Merits and Flaws
Common:Any not listed below
Rare: Addiction, Beacon of the Unholy, Cast No Reflection, Cold Breeze, Cursed, Daredevil, Dark Secret, Deathsight, Eerie Presence, Enchanting Voice, Grip of the Damned, Guilt Wracked, Haunted, Light Sleeper, Lunacy, Medium, Natural Linguist, Nightmares, Oracular Ability, Phobia, Prey Exclusion, Probationary Sect Member, Repelled by Crosses, Repulsed by Garlic, Smell of the Grave, Soft-hearted, Spirit Mentor, Touch of Frost
Banned: 14th Generation, Additional In-Clan Discipline, Alternate Identity, Blood Hunted, Botched Presentation, Boon, Bound, Broken Bond, Bruiser, Bullyboy, Can’t Cross Running Water, Catspaw, Charmed Existence, Child, Clan Enmity, Clan Friendship, Deceptive Aura, Debt of Gratitude, Destiny, Diabolical, Disgrace to the Blood, Domain, Dulled Bite, Efficient Digestion, Elysium Regular, Escaped Target, Expendable, Failure, Former Prince, Friend of the Underground, Friendly Face, Glowing Eyes, Guardian Angel, Harmless, Harpy, Healing Touch, Holder of Office, Hunted Like a Dog, Incomplete Understanding, Infectuous Bite, Infertile Vitae, Insane Sire, Jack of All Trades, Laughingstock, Loathsome Regnant, Lord of the Flies, Masquerade Breaker, Mole, Mute, Narc, Natural Leader, New Kid, Nine Lives, Old Pal, Open Road, Overextended, Pawn, Precocious, Primogen, Primogen Friendship, Protege, Red List, Rep, Rising Star,Sabbat Survivor, Sanctity, Scholar of Enemies, Scholar of Others, Sheriff’s Friend, Sleeping with the Enemy, Stereotype, Sympathizer, Territorial, Thirst for Innocence, True Faith, Twisted Upbringing, Unconvinced, Unbondable, Useful Knowledge, Vengeful, Victim of the Masquerade
Remember that Merits should never be taken just for a stat boost, and “soft” Flaws should not be added to a sheet just to pad your points. All Merits and Flaws will be expected to be roleplayed, and if they do not fit with your concept, may be denied during the character Approval process. Merits and Flaws are optional, and subject to stink-eyed GM scrutiny.
Willpower ratings are a measure of a person’s internal drive and ability to do things over and above the norm, the ability to exert ones will over one’s actions. Willpower is also the measure of a persons inner firmness, decisiveness, determination, resolution and persistence. Vampires are known to have a distinct ability to use and direct their will. Vampires with high willpower are not doormats or wishy-washy or even indecisive. They are firm, know what they want and do not allow themselves to be used.