Vampire the Masquerade

Vampire the Masquerade

It is the nights of the 1990s and the world is about to change forever. You and your fellow kindred make your way through immortal politics and learn dark secrets about the coming blood war that will wash away the old world order.   Your vampire might concern themselves only with listening to Nirvana and finding their next meal at a local rave. Or maybe, be there when a new AI leads to the dot com crash, or when Desert Storm soldiers unearth an antediluvian tomb and begin Gehenna, or maybe even ███████████████████████████████████ forever changing the nightscape in the world of darkness.   We will be running a few groups of players using Fantasy Grounds virtual table top once the 5V ruleset is released. We’ll make our first call for players from among Patreon supporters. Initial player characters will all be kindred, but once the werewolf rules are released, we’ll be running at least on group of them as well. If you are unfamiliar with the 5th edition Vampire: the Masquerade rules you can get the quickstart guide or the full rules in .pdf by following the links. If you’d like to buy a physical copy of the massive book you can buy it here and help us out with a tiny affiliate bonus.

Jyhad to the Gehenna War, the vampires who walked the nights of the 1990s witnessed a change that would eventually change and possibly destroy the world for kindred and kine alike.

We currently have a few slots available if you want to join our table on StartPlaying.Games.

The Monday Fortnightly Game: https://startplaying.games/adventure/61b388ea2a2c4e0008a3d085

The Saturday Weekly Game:

https://startplaying.games/adventure/61edf22d0b970b3cbec89ebf

Character Creation

Attributes

Your character attributes are rated 1 through 5 (usually called ranks or just dots because of the way they are marked on a character sheet), with 5 being the apex of human ability, two being typical for a human. The attributes are broken into three categories: Physical, Social, and Mental.  

Physical Attributes

Strength—your character’s physical force, muscular strength; Dexterity—your character’s grace, agility, and reflexes; Stamina—toughness, endurance, physical resilience.  

Social Attributes

Charisma—your character’s charm, magnetism, and strength of personality; Manipulation—your character’s ability to get others to do what they want; Composure—self-control, coolness, social focus.  

Mental Attributes

Intelligence—your character’s reasoning, memory, force of intellect; Wits—cleverness, mental quickness, and intuition; Resolve—mental focus, concentration, attention.

As you create your character, you will choose one attribute to have at level 4, you will have three at level 3, four at level 2, and a single attribute at level 1. While you are deciding how to apply those ranks, think about what your character did for a profession during their human life. It will help guide your attributes, and help you get ready to make decisions in the next step.      

Skills

Skills in Vampire: the Masquerade (5V) are usually paired with one of the attributes above when making a skill check. When trying to lift a heavy object, you might be asked to make a Strength plus Athletics check, if you are trying to intimidate a gang boss, it might be Composure plus Intimidation. The number you have in the attribute plus the skill will be the number of dice (d10) you roll. Each roll of 6–9 is a success while every two 10s you roll count as a bonus two successes. The margin of success (total number of successes) determines the degree to which you succeed. Skills are loosely divided into the same categories as attributes: physical, social, and mental, but there might be times you will roll those skills paired with an attribute outside that group.   These are the skills in Vampire: the Masquerade (5V):  

  • Academics: Humanities and liberal arts, book learning (Mental)
  • Animal ken: Animal handling and communication (Social)
  • Athletics: Running, jumping, climbing (Physical)
  • Awareness: Senses, being aware of your surroundings, spotting threats (Mental)
  • Brawl: Unarmed combat of all types (Physical)
  • Craft: Crafting, building, shaping (Physical)
  • Drive: Operating vehicles (Physical)
  • Etiquette: Politeness in social settings (Social)
  • Finance: Handling, moving, and making money (Mental)
  • Firearms: Using ranged weapons, such as guns and bows (Physical)
  • Insight: Determining states of mind and motives (Social)
  • Intimidation: Getting another person to back down (Social)
  • Investigation: Following clues, solving mysteries (Mental)
  • Larceny: Breaking and entering, guarding against that (Physical)
  • Leadership: Directing and inspiring others (Social)
  • Medicine: Healing injuries, diagnosing disease (Mental)
  • Melee: Armed hand-to-hand combat (Physical)
  • Occult: Secret lore, both real and unreal (Mental)
  • Performance: Expressing art in person to an audience (Social)
  • Persuasion: Convincing others (Social)
  • Politics: Handling, moving, and making government (Mental)
  • Science: Knowledge and theory of the physical world (Mental)
  • Stealth: Not being seen, heard, or recognized (Physical)
  • Streetwise: Understanding the ins and outs of criminal and urban society (Social)
  • Subterfuge: Tricking others into doing your will (Social)
  • Survival: Remaining alive in adverse surroundings (Physical)
  • Technology: Understanding and using modern technology, computers, and online activity (Mental)

You can choose one of the profession packages in the right column, or you can create your own package if you have a different idea. You can choose two skills at three dots and two skills at two dots. If you choose Academics, science, craft or performance note your specialty in parenthesis after the name of the skill. You might have Academics (history) or Performance (Ballet), if you select the skill more than once you can have more than one specialty.   After picking your professional skills or using a package in the right sidebar, you can pick two skills based on your character’s life experiences. These might be skills your character picked up in the National Guard, or maybe when they worked on a merchant vessel during summers to pay for college, or any other interesting twist you might want to make in your character’s backstory. One of these skills will have three dots and the other two dots.   Each character gets three skills to represent leisure skills, each at one dot, these might be hobbies or other activities where your character has shown some interest, but has never really developed the skill.   Finally, pick your character’s extra skills, you can choose to make your character a specialist and take four dots in a single skill or you can make your character a generalist and take two skills at two dots and four more at one dot.        

Convictions

  Convictions are your character’s core values—their set of moral principles that fortifies their actions against the degeneration of the Beast.   Create one to three Convictions central to your character in life. Convictions often begin with “never” or “always;” these are strong beliefs concerning something likely to come up in play. Killing, love, loyalty, core ideals, political principles, and religious codes: these make good Conviction fodder. The Storyteller must always approve your Convictions; in some troupes, all the players must agree on your Convictions.   Think about where and how these Convictions became important to you. Did your family instill them? Did you adopt them at Sorbonne or from a lover? Perhaps your major life event from the Skills selection step produced one of them.  

Touchstones

Touchstones are the people or things to which you anchor your humanity—your loved ones or mentors who made your human life important or served as examples of the best in humanity and were guides to your convictions. You need to pick as many touchstones as you chose convictions.  

Ambition

What was your character’s greatest aspiration as a human? This goal may change after you begin play, but consider what was your character’s purpose at the moment of their death? This question often just informs your prelude, since death and Embrace tend to change your priorities; however, many centuries-old vampires still strive to complete their mortal Ambitions, sometimes in a warped and debased form. See the Ambition section on page 173 of the V5 rulebook for ideas and guidance if you need help selecting an ambition.   Once you have determined these things about your character, some monster kills them in the night.

Sample Profession Packages

Artist: Craft (Art) or Performance • • • Insight • • •Academics or Athletics •• Awareness or Occult ••  

Coder: Technology • • • Academics or Craft • • •Finance •• Persuasion ••  

Executive: Finance • • • Intimidation or Persuasion • • • Insight •• Subterfuge ••  

Investigator: Investigation • • • Insight • • • Awareness • •Brawl or Firearms ••  

Junkie: Streetwise • • • Animal Ken or Brawl • • • Insight or Larceny •• Subterfuge ••  

Mafioso: Brawl or Subterfuge • • • Streetwise • • •Intimidation or Larceny •• Melee or Firearms ••

Scholar: Academics or Science • • • one other Mental Skill ••• Craft (Writing) •• Persuasion ••

Socialite: Performance or Technology • • • Finance • • •Insight •• Etiquette or Subterfuge ••

Veteran: Athletics or Awareness • • • Firearms • • • Stealth •• Survival or Leadership ••

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