House Rules/Vampire

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House Rules - Vampire

"You are remembered for the rules you break."

-Douglas MacArthur

Appearing human

One of the more low-key down sides of being a vampire is falling into the Uncanny Valley. You still look and move pretty much like a human, but slightly wrong, and mortals may notice (even if only subconsciously). The lower your Humanity, the worse this gets. It's possible to socialize with mortals and still maintain the Masquerade (obviously), but it requires some effort.

VtM 134: "Vampires with low Humanity acquire unnatural and disturbing features like sunken eyes, perpetual snarls and bestial countenances."

VtM 138-139: "...display certain corpselike features; for instance, their skin is unnaturally cold and ashen, and they do not breathe." Appearing more human for a scene costs (8 minus Humanity) blood points; vampires with Humanity 8+ can do it for free, while vampires on a Path of Enlightenment can't do that at all.

VtM 286: "...a Path follower is treated as though he has a Humanity score of 3 when using the rules for interacting with mortals."

VtM 136: "Humanity 3-2 ... Vampires at this stage may be physically mistaken for human, but don't count on it."

Countermeasures include (but are not limited to):

  • Obfuscate discipline.
  • Vicissitude discipline (somewhat).
  • Blush of Health merit.
  • Eat Food merit (but you have to heave it back up later in the evening).
  • Lots of makeup.
  • Hanging around with goths.
  • Hanging around in dark or poorly lit places.

PCs attempting to notice this about a vampire should roll Perception + Alertness, resisted by the vampire's Manipulation + Empathy (or Masquerade at -1 diff).

  • '+rules road auras' applies to the latter, including +1 diff for Path of Enlightenment (treated like Humanity 3 per the above).
  • '+rules sniping' does not apply, as this is mundane observation and not a supernatural power.
  • Other circumstances (such as the countermeasures above) should modify difficulties as appropriate.

Blood bonds

Blood bonding a PC requires the vampire to directly provide the blood to a specific victim. There are no mass or accidental blood bonds. The Vampire must be physically present to blood bond a victim.

Blood bonds range from 1 to 3. Initiating and increasing a blood bond requires a drop of blood and each must be administered on separate nights. A blood bond provides no powers or ability: just emotional attachment.

  • A level 1 bond inspires friendliness. The victim will look upon you favorably and hear what you have to say. They might want to hang out in the future but they're not going to go out of their way for you. If you act creepy, a level 1 bond is not going to compel someone to get into your car.
  • A level 2 bond inspires strong positive feelings. The victim would want to date you if it were an option. Like an ally, they're willing to occasionally accept a moderate inconvenience for your benefit. They still have their own life and responsibilities and they won't drop everything for you. They think of you often and look forward to seeing you.
  • A level 3 bond inspires obsession. The victim has great difficulty not thinking about you. They will take risks with their responsibilities to make you happy. If shunned, they will likely have an extreme reaction ranging from despondency to violence. Long-standing level 3 bonds in a negative relationship have resulted in the suicide of the victim and/or the final death of the vampire.

A cautionary note to vampires: A level 2 blood bond can get awkward and a level 3 bond can easily become problematic. Level 2 and 3 bonds force the victim to perceive you as playing an important role in their life. People talk about those that play important roles in their lives. When you blood bond someone, ensure you know who their friends are and that those friends won't come back to haunt you.

  • A level 3 blood bond cancels all lesser bonds. (VtM 220)
  • A blood bond (even level 3) fades by 1 level if the victim neither sees nor feeds from the vampire for (12 - victim's Willpower) months. This includes ghouls. (VtM 221, G:FA 30)
    • Blood bonds on PCs (documented in an approved +note) are assumed to be maintained at their current level until/unless one PC dies, retires, or notifies staff of a change in the situation.
    • Vaulderie/Vinculi do not fade over time. Blood bonds don't erase vinculi. Vinculi only erase blood bonds if the vampire is down to 1 blood or less, then drinks at least 6 blood. (GttSabbat 156) A Vinculum is "similar to a blood bond" (GttSabbat 154) but not identical; Unbondable blocks both, but anything else specifically targeting blood bonds will miss Vinculi unless something explicitly says otherwise.
  • Buying Unbondable merit post-chargen is limited to:
    • Be 3 step bound to another PC and then come down to 0 step bound to anyone (via death or prolonged non-contact)
    • Change race or subrace (including 'become ghouled', but see below)
    • Become the thrall of a demon (PC or NPC) and get it as part of your pact
  • Unbondable merit for ghouls is 6 dots (G:FA 84) and justifies risk 3 escalation if ICly discovered by your faction.

Immunity by race:

  • Shifters (Werewolf Storyteller's Handbook 197, G:FA 23) - Roll the shifter's Gnosis vs 3. On a success, they're allergic to vitae, violently vomiting it back up before it takes effect, and must roll for frenzy. On a failure or botch, they have a tolerance for vitae and are thus subject to being bonded. Either way, they should set a +note and ask staff to approve it, and this result will be reused for any future attempts.
  • Demons/Thralls - Blood bonds are emotional in nature, and do not compel the bound person to any direct, specific action. Thus, per '+rules mind control', demon-style immunity to mind control does not block blood bonds. This takes precedence over Demon Storytellers Companion 67.
  • Mummies (MtR 146) - Mummies may be blood bound, but if ordered to do something that violates Ma'at, they may still resist per Strength of Conviction (MtR 141-142); success breaks the blood bond and prevents that vampire from bonding that mummy ever again.
  • Hunters (The Nocturnal 96) - Hunters are immune.

Buying disciplines

  • See Disciplines and XP Chart
  • For the purpose of these rules, only a PC vampire counts as a teacher (a NPC or ghoul does not provide a discount/etc.). Drinking the teacher's blood is not required (that rule is only in MET and V20)
  • Restricted disciplines:
    • Cannot be learned out of clan
    • Cannot be learned by ghouls without a teacher
    • Any disciplines not listed count as restricted
  • Additional Discipline merit is only available during chargen.
  • Risen and Kuei-jin are handled separately


Vampires, ghouls, and mortals have a Humanity rating ('Path Rating' on +sheet). If they do Bad Things, they risk losing Humanity. For convenience, here's a summary of how this works.

If your Humanity is this or higher... ...then you risk Humanity loss for doing this:
10 Selfish thoughts
9 Minor selfish acts
8 Injury to another (accidental or otherwise)
7 Theft
6 Accidental violation (e.g. drinking a vessel dry out of starvation)
5 Intentional property damage
4 Impassioned violation (e.g. manslaughter, killing a vessel in frenzy)
3 Planned violation (e.g. outright murder, savored exsanguination)
2 Casual violation (e.g. thoughtless killing, feeding past satiation)
1 Utter perversion or heinous acts

The ST should warn you that an action risks Humanity loss, and give you a chance to change your mind. (If there's no ST, go with player consensus.)

If you still take the action: (VtM 221)

  • Roll Conscience vs 8. (Difficulty may vary at ST discretion.)
    • Cannot roll more dice than your Humanity. (VtM 134)
    • Some Paths of Enlightenment use Conviction instead.
  • Succeed = No change. (You feel remorse, or manage to justify the action.)
  • Fail = Lose 1 Humanity. (Submit a +request to have staff update your +sheet.)
  • Botch = Also lose 1 Conscience and gain a derangement at ST discretion.

For Paths of Enlightenment, the Paths list shows where to find your chart.

Discipline clarifications


Feral Whispers (WW2300/146) can communicate with (but not command) PCs shapeshifted into animal form.


Aura Perception (WW2300/150) can detect demon apocalyptic forms on par with other color patterns.


If the damage roll includes any automatic successes (e.g. Potence), then each dot of Fortitude negates one automatic success, but only leftover Fortitude (if any) is included in the soak roll against non-automatic successes.


  • At CGen, Gargoyles can opt to swap Fortitude, Potence, or Visceratika for Obfuscate as in-clan.
  • Obfuscate 1 + Stealth is sufficient to travel unnoticed at night.
  • Obfuscate 2 or higher is required to travel in the presence of people.


  • Shape of the Beast (WW2352/67) is permissible for Gangrel.
  • Gangrel must submit a +request to have the custom forms set and they may be set only once.
  • To +prove the Agg and other implications that aren't simple stat modifications, +prove/eff here|<player>=Shape of the beast/1
  • Standard forms:
    • Standard Wolf: Strength:1|Dexterity:2|Stamina:2|Shape of the Beast:1
    • Standard Bear: Strength:3|Stamina:2|Shape of the Beast:1
    • Standard Bat: Shape of the Beast:1
    • Standard Deer: Dexterity:2|Shape of the Beast:1


Can change hair color, on par with skin tone.


  • Allowed with caveats: Sabbat Thaumaturgy (see '+rules thaumaturgy' for details)
  • Anarch/Autarkis Tremere also allowed, they just have much less IC support system
  • Not allowed, regardless of clan or faction or backstory: Dark Thaumaturgy, Sielanic Thaumaturgy

Missing virtues

If a vampire power depends on the target's virtue (e.g. Presence 5), but the target doesn't have that virtue:

  • Paths of Enlightenment: Substitute Conviction (if the target has it) for Conscience, and Instinct (if the target has it) for Self-Control.
  • Kuei-jin: Substitute Yin for Self-Control, Yang for Courage, and Hun for Conscience. (KotE 150-151: fire soul / wave soul / shadow soul are comparable to frenzy / rotschreck / degeneration, respectively.)
  • Others (including Self-Control for demons): Substitute Willpower / 2, rounded down. (Willpower is on a 1-10 scale, virtues are on a 1-5 scale.)

Frenzy (vampire)

If a vampire is sufficiently angered, their inner Beast may take over and send them into frenzy. For convenience, here's a summary of how this works.

Provocation Difficulty
Smell of blood (when hungry) 3*
Sight of blood (when hungry) 4*
Being harassed 4
Life-threatening situation 4
Malicious taunts 4
Physical provocation 6
Taste of blood (when hungry) 6*
Loved one in danger 7
Outright humiliation 8
Urge to commit blatant evil (9 - Conscience)

* or higher in extreme cases

When one of these things happens: (VtM 228)

  • Roll Self-Control vs appropriate difficulty.
    • Cannot roll more dice than your blood pool. (VtM 134)
    • Cannot roll more dice than your Humanity. (VtM 134 again)
    • Some Paths of Enlightenment use Instinct instead.
  • Succeed = Resist frenzy for one turn per success. If you accumulate 5+ successes, you're done.
  • Fail = frenzy for rest of scene.
  • Botch = Remain in frenzy longer and gain a derangement at ST discretion. (If there's no ST, go with player consensus.)

While in frenzy:

  • You go into an emotional rampage, directly pursuing immediate gratification of your immediate desires with no worries of later repercussions.
  • You will do anything to sate your hunger or destroy the source of the frenzy, even attack friends, family and lovers (though you usually attack enemies first if they're present).
  • You can spend a Willpower to regain control for one action, no longer than one or maybe two turns.
  • You do not lose dice due to wound penalties.
  • +2 difficulty to Dominate you.
  • -2 difficulty for you to resist Dominate.
  • You do not need to roll Willpower to act.
  • You are immune to Rotschreck.


Staff feel that vampires should have a chance to lower their generation via xp. It is up to the individual player to decide on how to rp out this change. Keep in mind that it's a significant faux pas for any vampire to disclose their generation.

Generation XP Max blood spent per turn (VtM 139)
0 to 1 (13th to 12th) 10 1
1 to 2 (12th to 11th) 15 1
2 to 3 (11th to 10th) 20 1
3 to 4 (10th to 9th) 30 2
4 to 5 (9th to 8th) 40 3

House rule: If a power involves spending more blood than your Generation permits in a single turn, then you can spend the blood over multiple turns (reflex, does not count as an action) and then take an action during the last turn to use the power, unless the power explicitly prohibits this.

See Also: +policy Hand Waving

Ghoul/Revenant/Dhampir PCs

See House Rules - Ghoul

Ghoul retainers

Standard Ghouls (From WW2300/276)

Trusted Valet - Balanced

  • Attributes: Strength: 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2, Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 4, Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
  • Abilities: Academics: 2, Alertness 2, Computer 1, Crafts 2, Dodge 2, Drive 2, Empathy 3, Etiquette 4, Finance 2, Firearms 2, Leadership 2, Linguistics 1, Medicine 2, Melee 1, Occult 1, Subterfuge 3
  • Disciplines: Potence 1
  • Misc: Humanity 7, Willpower 4, Mid-size Sedan, Light Pistol (+equip/types 1)

Ghoul Bodyguard - Protection

  • Attributes: Strength: 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2, Perception 4, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
  • Abilities: Alertness 4, Athletics 2, Brawl 4, Dodge 3, Drive 2, Firearms 4, Intimidation 3, Investigation 2, Medicine 1, Melee 3, Occult 1, Stealth 3, Streetwise 2
  • Disciplines: Potence 1, Fortitude 1
  • Misc: Humanity 5, Willpower 5, Heavy Pistol (+equip/types 4), Pump Shotgun (+equip/types 9)

Custom Ghouls

Ghoul Stats can be customized by reallocating Attributes or Abilities. Like those above, no Attributes or Abilities should be above 4. Custom ghouls should be oriented toward serving a distinct role other than the two above: Balanced and Protection. Stat reallocations should clearly support that.

NPC servants created by a PC using magic (e.g. Ushabti, Bakemono Rite) count as magic items (+rules magical items) instead of Retainers.

Kuei-jin Retainers

Passive Joss (Dhampyr 54):

  • When hit for lethal or agg, roll Humanity vs 8. On a success, spend 1 joss, and all damage is prevented by some absurd coincidence.
  • This doesn't work vs bashing, doesn't work if all Joss is spent, and you can't save it for a bigger attack later.
  • On a botch, the dhampyr is paralyzed by fear for a number of turns equal to the number of 1s.
  • Joss regenerates 1 per day.

Devil Tigers may have bakemono retainers with three power slots, limited to powers from KotE 219-220.

  • 'Launchable quills' uses up two power slots.
  • Possessed powers from other books may be allowed at staff discretion.

Animal Ghouls (From WW2300/302)


  • Attributes: Strength: 4, Dexterity: 2, Stamina: 4
  • Abilities: Alertness: 2, Athletics: 2, Brawl: 2, Stealth: 3
  • Disciplines: Potence 1
  • Misc: Blood: 5, Willpower: 3, Health Levels: OKx3, -1x3, -2, -5, Incap
  • Combat: Bite for 7L, Tail Slap for 6B, Soak 1 B/L
  • Notes: Must be hidden outside of sewers


  • Attributes: Strength: 5, Dexterity: 2, Stamina: 5
  • Abilities: Alertness: 3, Brawl: 3, Intimidation: 2, Stealth: 1
  • Disciplines: Potence 1
  • Misc: Blood: 5, Willpower: 4, Health Levels: OKx3, -1x3, -3x2, -5, Incap
  • Combat: Claw for 7L, Bite for 5L
  • Notes: Must be hidden outside of forest

Large Bird

  • Attributes: Strength: 2, Dexterity: 3, Stamina: 3
  • Abilities: Alertness: 3, Athletics: 2, Brawl: 2, Dodge 2, Empathy: 4, Intimidation: 3, Stealth: 2
  • Disciplines: Potence 1
  • Misc: Blood: 1/2, Willpower: 3, Health Levels: OK, -1x2, -2, -5
  • Combat: Claw for 2L

Large Dog

  • Attributes: Strength: 4, Dexterity: 3, Stamina: 3
  • Abilities: Alertness: 3, Athletics: 2, Brawl: 3, Dodge 3, Empathy: 2, Intimidation: 3, Stealth: 2
  • Disciplines: Potence 1
  • Misc: Blood: 2, Willpower: 5, Health Levels: OK, -1x2, -2x2, -5
  • Combat: Claw for 4L, Bite for 5L

Large Horse

  • Attributes: Strength: 6, Dexterity: 2, Stamina: 5
  • Abilities: Alertness: 3, Athletics: 2, Brawl: 3, Empathy: 2, Intimidation: 2
  • Disciplines: Potence 1, Celerity 1
  • Misc: Blood: 4, Willpower: 5, Health Levels: OKx2, -1x2, -2x2, -5
  • Combat: Trample/Kick 7B, Bite 3L
  • Notes: Not street-legal.

All Ghoul notes require approval.

Other races

Other types of retainers will generally be allowed if they make IC sense for the PC. Each NPC gets two power slots. Each of the following occupies one slot:

  • Level 1 gift (kinfolk)
  • Gnosis 3 (kinfolk)
  • 1 in numina (sorcerer/psychic)
  • 1 in arts and 1 in realms (kinain)
  • 1 possessed power (possessed)
  • 1 pact power (demon thrall)
  • 1 charm (gaffling spirit; charms possessed by 'most spirits' are free)
  • 5 dots of passive Joss (dhampyr, see above for details)
  • Medium
  • High-quality equipment


  • Unbondable merit: See Blood bonds.
  • Precocious merit: Targets one primary ability, or two secondaries, or one primary and a related secondary if both are already at 1+.
  • Addictive Blood merit: Not limited by clan, but you're automatically risk 3 to anyone who drinks or has drunk from you for the purpose of drinking you to death (diablerie optional). Addictive quality is lost if the blood is magically transformed (e.g. Typhon's Brew) or loses potency (sits outside your body too long).
  • Bound flaw: 3 step.
  • Cast No Reflection flaw (and the Lasombra clan weakness): Applies to all forms of photographic / video recording equipment, as well as mirrors and other traditional 'reflective' media.

Prestation (Camarilla)

  • Status Rating begins with Acknowledged, Camarilla positions, and the Status background as a base.
  • Status is exchanged through boons; when a favor is rendered, status is loaned until the favor is repaid.
  • Kindred agree between themselves on the Status Rating value of a boon and the circumstances under which it is considered repaid.
  • A negative Status Rating carries no explicit penalties, just the lack of social power.
  • In the case of dispute about whether or not a boon has been repaid, a Harpy can make a judgement about the repayment criteria and potentially dismiss a boon.
  • Some decisions will be made by individual vote. The weight of an individual's vote is their Status Rating.
  • Some decisions will be made by clan vote. The Primogen casts a vote that is the sum of the status of the clan members, including those with negative status.
  • Many cultural decisions tend to be made by status such as preference for appointments, etc.
  • Status Rating can be committed by certain member of the court to temporarily nullify the status of others:
    • The 'victim's' status is nullified as long as the enactor's status is committed.
    • The Prince can negate status at a 3:1 ratio for any member of court.
    • The Seneschal and Harpy can negate status at a 2:1 ratio for any member of court.
    • A Primogen can negate status at a 1:1 ratio for members of their own clan.
  • No kindred may owe another kindred more than their base status.


If a vampire is threatened by sunlight or fire, their inner Beast may take over and send them into Rotschreck ("the Red Fear"). For convenience, here's a summary of how this works.

Provocation Difficulty
Lighting a cigarette 3
Sight of a torch 5
Bonfire 6
Obscured sunlight 7
Being burned 7
Direct sunlight 8
Trapped in burning building 9

When one of these things happens: (VtM 229-230)

  • Roll Courage vs appropriate difficulty.
    • Cannot roll more dice than your Humanity. (VtM 134)
  • Succeed = Resist Rotschreck for one turn per success. If you accumulate 5+ successes, you're done.
  • Fail = Rotschreck for rest of scene. Spend a Willpower to regain control for one turn.
  • Botch = Remain in Rotschreck longer and gain a derangement at ST discretion. (If there's no ST, go with player consensus.)

While in Rotschreck:

  • You flee madly from the danger, directly toward safety.
  • If someone tries to restrain you, you attack them as if you were in frenzy.
  • You can spend a Willpower to regain control for one turn.

Spirit Slaves

Usually involves knowing about and threatening one of the ghost's fetters, or knowing about and aiding or impeding its goals.

Each individual Spirit Slave costs one or more dots.

  • 1 dot: Auspex 1 (Heightened Senses) and one common power
  • +1 dot: Add a common or uncommon power
  • +2 dots: Add a rare power

Unlike PCs, a Spirit Slave with e.g. Dominate 4 doesn't automatically have Dominate 1-3 as well.

Common powers Uncommon powers Rare powers
  • Movement of the Mind 1-2
  • Dementation 1-2
  • Vicissitude (limited to targeting itself or another ghost)
  • Chimerstry
  • Lure of Flames 1-2
  • Dementation 3
  • Auspex 2+
  • Embodiment
  • Dominate 4
  • Lure of Flames 3+
  • Movement of the Mind 3+

Alternate system for WtO arcanoi

  • 1 dot: One arcanos basic power and one arcanos level 1 power
  • +1 dot: Add one arcanos level 1 or 2 power
  • +2 dots: Add one arcanos level 3 to 5 power

Reference: Giovanni 53-54