Campaign of the Month: May 2013
The Dark Queen of the West
When a vampire is Embraced, their internal organs wither away, and almost all their body fluids are replaced by blood. Vampires use blood (also called Vitae) for a variety of purposes; blood replaces most bodily fluids, so vampires will sweat blood and cry blood under certain circumstances. Blood is also used to get up and move; every night, vampires expend a certain amount of blood to rise. In addition, vampires can use blood to enhance their physical attributes and use supernatural powers called Disciplines. Blood is used to Embrace, as noted above, and also to create Ghouls. Finally, vampires can use blood to heal damage.
Blood is usually replaced by sucking it out of humans. While vampires can feed on animals, they do not enjoy the taste of it and older vampires will acquire no sustenance from it. The process of taking blood is euphemistically called the Kiss or feeding. Vampires do not have to completely drain a victim, although frenzying vampires are likely to do so. Vampires can hide the puncture marks of feeding by licking the wounds, making the process fairly subtle.
The Feeding process is highly pleasurable (arguably the only pleasure) for vampires, and is also extremely pleasurable for victims. Vessels who are drained regularly can become addicted to the Kiss.
Vampires change considerably after the Embrace. Physically, they are incapable of eating food, vomiting it up almost instantly, they have no need or interest in sex (although they can imitate the physical reactions if needed). As a result of these processes, the vampire is paler and generally thinner than they were before the Embrace. Certain clans have more extreme physical changes, discussed below.
Once Embraced, vampires are locked into a form of stasis. Apart from wounds (healed with blood), vampires are restored to their condition at the time of Embrace every time they rise up for the night. This physical condition eventually extends to their mindsets — old vampires find it very hard to learn new things.
In addition to the physical changes, vampires experience extreme intellectual and emotional changes. The vampire is now a predator, and has a raging id called the Beast. The Beast reacts to a variety of stimuli, notably hunger, anger, fear. The Beast continuously assaults the character, and if the Beast’s demands exceed the character’s own capacity to control it, will react in a Frenzy or Rötschreck. Vampires can permanently lose control to the Beast, entering Wassail, a state of permanent Frenzy. In this condition, all humanity is lost and the vampire becomes a draugr, a mindless killing machine.
Vampires from every bloodline have superhuman attributes, but in certain clans one of each may be superior to other clans.
Vampires are highly vulnerable to a some physical threats, most importantly sunlight and fire. Vampires burn easily, and will burn up almost instantly in sunlight. However, outside of these, vampires are very hard to kill – bullets do not cause much damage, and their superior strength and speed make them hard to hit, let alone damage in combat.When wounded, vampires can pass into a deathlike stasis called Torpor, which allows them to heal more extreme damage. Torpor can last for centuries depending on the circumstances, and as a vampire gets older, Torpor becomes a more attractive option. Some vampires have been in Torpor for millennia.