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Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Thirst

I'm about to start playing in a 20th Anniversary Vamipre game. 

This got me thinking about some of the house rules that we had for our live action vampire game Recrudescence. 

Then I saw a post in the he fate core community about skills acting as their own obstacles (apologies that I can't remember whose post it was to give them credit) and thought that I could address some of the issues from the game that we had had all those years ago. 

I like VtM although I must admit that I prefer VtR. Anyway our game was based on VtM but diverged significantly from canon in both system and history by the time the game finished. 

We (the guys who ran it) always said that if we did it again we would still do modern day vampire but we would divest it entirely from VtM to freshen up the whole concept. 

Then we all got jobs and moved away and nothing came of it. 

I can't say that I'll run another vampire larp but I feel the need to put down some of the thoughts I have on paper just to get them out of my head so I can move on.

So what are the main ideas? 

Skills. 

The dead have the same skills as they had when they were alive and most likely have kept them reasonably current unless serious ennui has set in and they have slept away the centuries. 

Blood Potency. 

Just like fine racehorses and royalty some bloodlines are more potent than others. This is measured by the non pyramid pseuo-skill Vitae. The higher your Vitae rating the funkier your mojo but it also acts as an obstacle at its rating for certain tasks. Thanks to +Michael Moceri for this suggestion.

The Thirst.

Why do the dead thirst? The power of blood sustains them and gives them life. But more than that, the dead do not feel. The passions of the living are now nothing but pale echoes. In the taking of blood they also take in something of the life of their victim, able to feel again after days of numbness. Human emotion is a powerful drug.

The power of the blood is not only in the vital and emotional link it provides to the world of the living. The vitality it provides can be eked out for days and weeks at a time, a candle flame in the darkness of a dead soul. It can also burn bright as the sun gifting the risen dead with power beyond that of mortals. 

In the game, thirst is measured by a custom stress track. Activating supernatural powers causes stress on this track as do some kinds of attacks. The track is healed by feeding. If you are taken out on this track you become the GM's plaything for the remainder of the scene.

Ennui.

To exist forever is a curse as well as a blessing. To exist without feeling doubly so. If the dead fail to feed or simply find themselves directionless for too long they can drift into a fuge state. Initially they just become withdrawn, but over time this becomes worse until they fall into an endless, deathlike sleep.

Player characters rarely suffer from ennui, however it is common enough amongst the elder dead. Staving off ennui is reason enough for them to create elaborate plots against each other. For the dead, boredom kills.

Sample Stunts

Unholy Prowess (Blood Potency)

This stunt can be activated to grant the dead supernatural speed, strength, endurance or any other physical attribute. Replace one of your fudge dice with a d4 for the relevant test or if using the MHR initiative variant gain a (speed) interrupt. Each activation only affects one attribute and causes stress on the thirst track if the Blood Potency test would otherwise fail.