HUMANITY & BESTIALITY ===================== By Bryan Rendell (Email: Under the existing Vampire rules, the important characteristic of the Beast is only measured negatively, in how much Humanity you don't have. This fact has caused the Beast to be largely over-looked as a part of each Kindred's make-up, which has led to two problems as I see it. Firstly, from a role-playing perspective, many of the characters in Vampire supplements with little or no Humanity show no sign at all of being gripped by an animalistic and instinctive entity. They may be portrayed as evil, but they are also controlled and composed - a far cry from someone who has been devoured by the Beast. Even the Sabbat, who are supposed to be merely able to direct the passions of the Beast that has consumed them, are not depicted thus. They are inhuman and little else. And speaking of the Sabbat, it is assumed that anyone with no Humanity is taken over by the Beast, and can only operate in some sort of normal fashion by adhering to the Paths of Enlightenment, and it would seem natural to assume that the various Paths of Enlightenment operate in the same fashion. Yet if this were the case, it would seem that all Kindred that follow any Path of Enlightenment would have the same Virtues that reflect this ability to direct the Beast. The second problem is then one of inconsistency and confusion. Why is it that Sabbat Paths of Enlightenment involve Instinct and Morale, whereas the Paths followed by Assamites and Setites involve Courage and Self-Control. Note that this is not just a concern for what one might call the characteristic, for the two types operate in different ways: one resisting and one channelling. It would seem that if everyone without Humanity is in essence the Beast, then the only way of dealing with that characteristic is by channelling, which does not allow for the virtues ascribed to nonSabbat Paths. A possible side issue of the last point is in what sense is there an individual to channel the Beast when it is assumed that the Beast has consumed one anyway. Certainly this reflects the conception that I have of the Paths of Enlightenment, as being rigorous mental disciplines. However, if one is the Beast, then what aspect of the Beast desires to impose limitations upon itself? Just thought I'd mention it. Therefore, I suggest the addition of a positive measure of the Kindred's bestial nature in terms of a characteristic, Bestiality, that opposes Humanity. I would do this for several reasons. Firstly, so as to deal with the problems I raised above. Secondly, because it is not that hard to do. Thirdly, because the Storyteller game systems have a history of opposed characteristics (Quintessence & Paradox, Banality & Glamour), so why not? Fourthly, because I feel it would deepen the game and give it new dimension without significantly complicating it. So... BESTIALITY ---------- Bestiality is the measure of how far the character has succumbed to the Beast. The higher one's Bestiality rating, the more animalistic, instinctive, passionate and unpredictable one is. Not surprisingly, it is an undesirable trait to possess in large amounts. As a characteristic, Bestiality is rated from 0 to 10. Normal humans have a Bestiality of 0, as do some Kindred, usually only the youngest ones. A character's Bestiality rating may rise and fall over time. However, if the characteristic ever reaches 10, then whoever the person the character was, is gone, and only the Beast remains. At such time the character passes out of the players hands and is played by the Storyteller. It is believed impossible to regain one's identity once the Beast has total mastery, although rumours exist that some have done so. In game terms, Bestiality takes many of the characteristics away from Humanity, if in an inverted form. During daylight hours, no Kindred may roll more dice in their dice pool than 10 - Bestiality (alternatively, they simply suffer a dice pool penalty equal to their Bestiality on all rolls. Note that these two systems obviously don't produce the same results). Modifying the Awakening rules (pp 212) is a bit more complicated, but it is no longer an issue of Humanity: Killers don't find it harder to get up in the morning than do saints. Instead the character engages in an extended, resisted roll of Willpower (difficulty 8) vs Bestiality (difficulty 6), and five successes are required by either side. If Bestiality wins then the character goes back to sleep, while if Willpower botches, the character really goes back to sleep. Botching Bestiality rolls in general is covered later on. Bestiality is directly opposed to Self-Control and Courage. A characters total of Self-Control + Bestiality or Courage + Bestiality can never exceed 10. Whenever the total reaches 11, the character loses a point of the appropriate virtue. Example: A character with Self-Control 5, Courage 3 and Bestiality 5 has just gained another point of Bestiality (as will be described later), raising his Bestiality to 6. While this has no impact on the characters Courage, the total of Bestiality + Self-Control is now 11. The characters Self-Control drops to 4. The length of time a character spends in torpor is determined by his Bestiality rating. Simply take the existing Torpor table and turn it upside-down. Thus for a Bestiality of 0, torpor will last 1 day, while for a Bestiality of 10, torpor will last a thousand years or more. Note that not all of Humanity's characteristics have been appropriated by Bestiality. Empathy dice pools are still limited by ones Humanity. If you still feel that Humanity has been rendered fairly redundant, there's more stuff on Humanity later on. Bestiality also has new characteristics. Characters can tap into the Beast within themselves and induce frenzy. This takes an extended Bestiality roll (difficulty 8) requiring as many successes as the character has Self-Control. This frenzy is of the same intensity as if the character "rode the wave" of a normal frenzy. God knows why they'd want to, but just as a character can induce frenzy, they can also induce Rotschreck. This is also an extended Bestiality roll (difficulty 8) requiring as many successes as the character has Courage. The Beast is also a highly instinctual entity, and the characters can tap into those instincts. This is an extended Bestiality roll (difficulty 8) requiring as many successes as the character has Intelligence. The effects of this are left to the Storyteller, but examples include: sensing imminent danger, sensing an objects true nature (wether a person is human, ghoul or Kindred; wether an object is magical or not etc), sensing the level of the Beast in others. The Storyteller must be careful not to let this ability be abused. In terms of role-playing, Bestiality affects how one acts and how easily one can pass for human. Bestiality 0: The character behaves normally Bestiality 1: Nothing out of the ordinary. The character may have developed some nervous mannerisms (finger tapping, humming etc) and is usually seen as being "fidgety". Bestiality 2: Still nothing dramatic. Nervous mannerisms are more pronounced. The character is becoming temperamental, suffering sudden mood changes and is more easily moved to emotion. Bestiality 3: The character is fairly restless now, finding it more difficult to apply himself to disagreeable tasks or to simply do nothing. The character has become even more temperamental and will sometimes over-react to a situation, or act outside societal norms (for example, if annoyed by someone smoking, they might throw a drink in the persons face, in order to extinguish the cigarette). Bestiality 4: Two aspects of the Beast have begun to emerge: violence and instinct. The character's restlessness will have reached the stage that they will engage in strenuous activity for lengthy periods, particularly ones that involve confrontation and opposition, such as football or boxing. The character will also develop a fascination with witnessing other such physical competitions. If the characters temperament wasn't drawing any funny looks before, it certainly will now. Most of the characters social, although not moral, inhibitions will be fading, and the character will generally seek to demonstrate his emotions in the most direct way possible, although he may well baulk at attacking someone. The character is also starting to heed his instincts on matters, relying on gut- feelings, nameless dreads and baseless suspicions. Bestiality 5: All aspects of the beast are heightening now. The character is starting to become dangerous to be around, his mood swings extreme and unpredictable. The character will be even more drawn to participating in and watching violent sports, and his enthusiasm will often get the best of him, "accidentally" breaking bones in a tackle or kicking his opponent when he's on the mat. The character will also go out of his way to start a fight, even over trivial matters. Socially, the character's behaviour can now empty a crowded room in record time, although in some human circles, the character might still be seen as just "extreme". At this stage, the character will sometimes simply act on instinct, before having time to think about it. For example, the character might instinctively hate someone he has just met, and punch him in the face. Bestiality 6: This tends to mark the limit at which a character can interact with normal humans, at least without being arrested, institutionalised or shot. The characters interest in violence, and blood in particular, is developing nicely. The character is probably attending dog fights and other illegal sports that offer the most blood, as well as regularly initiating violence of his own. Note that the Beast is not really into victimisation, but prefers the violence and blood inherent in conflict, in the hunt and in the kill. It even has a masochistic side. The character may deliberately initiate a fight against a superior opponent, and relish fighting tenaciously as he gets pulverised. This marks the beginning of the selfdestructive aspect of the Beast. The character has probably lost nearly all of his societal inhibitions but will still see the use in following the more fundamental ones (for example, while the character may be quite unfazed about walking the streets buck naked, unless he has particularly strong feelings about the issue, it doesn't worry him to walk around fully clothed either, and he can still do so if need demands). The characters instincts have grown stronger, as he begins to take on a "feral" demeanour. Although the impression to onlookers is almost subliminal, something about his posture or his movements perhaps, they will perceive there is something animalistic about the character. Bestiality 7: Once a character reaches this point, further descent is almost guaranteed. The characters passion for violence now occupies most of his concern, and he would find it hard to concentrate on anything else. Certainly if the character hasn't killed someone yet, he will very soon. His passion for blood is also becoming extreme, even for a vampire, and the character will not only drink blood but will smear himself with it, and will be constantly grimed with the stuff. As the character's self- destructive urges grow, the character will probably begin piercing and scarring himself. The character's moral inhibitions will now be fading, as will any sense the character sees in following societal norms for whatever reason. The characters instincts will now regularly overwhelm his reason for brief periods. Indeed, the characters reason will begin to retreat now. The character will become less and less communicative through language, relying more and more on inarticulate sounds. Bestiality 8: All aspects of the Beast are further heightened. The character's fixation on blood and violence have reached obsessive levels, and all concerns but the most fundamental to the person the character once was, are considered useless, irrelevant and rage-provoking. Often, other Kindred can tell when someone has descended to this level by the spate of particularly vicious and pointless killings that are occurring in town. The character will want to be constantly covered in blood, the fresher the better, and will almost certainly reek of blood and decay. The character will also be inflicting random violence to himself, and probably not bothering to heal the damage. (Note that when it comes to the Beast's self-destructive urges, the fear of fire and sunlight are still in full effect. The rising Beast in the character will certainly not consider harming itself with those tools, although many characters, in a moment of lucidity, may well commit suicide by fire or sunlight in order to escape the Beast). As the characters instincts rise even further, many of their disciplines will be operating unchecked, a combination of involuntary activation and simply not giving a damn. Thus, the character may be constantly surrounded by animals or darkness, he may inspire fear or awe in all who approach, or his eyes may be a constant glowing crimson and his hands clawed. The character will also leave his fangs extended at most times. Certainly, any concern the character may once have held for the Masquerade will be slipping fast. Bestiality 9: This is the final stage before the Beast consumes the character totally. Even the characters most cherished and precious concerns are losing their appeal for the character as his mind constantly beats to the steady pulse of blood and death. In fact, the character will suffer periods of total blankness, when the Beast is in total, albeit temporary, control. Strangely, it is at this point that the characters urge towards self-destruction declines sharply, and the character will be wreaking most of his havoc on others. The character is an almost totally instinctual being now, having virtually given up on language all together. However, Kindred at this stage possess a great animal cunning, and their instincts seem to be informed in some way of much that the character knew previously, at least in general terms. They know where people congregate, the weaknesses of Kindred (one Kindred at this level of Bestiality led his hunters into a trap of burning fuel), and they may recognise those who were closest to them. Bestiality 10: The character IS the Beast, or rather the Beast IS the character. Nothing remains of rationality or individuality or self-control. The Beast is pure instinct, driven by it's desires for blood and death. Almost every Kindred that reach this stage are destroyed shortly thereafter by other Kindred as a serious threat to the Masquerade (and usually they are destroyed well before this point). However, the Beast is capable of development and learning, and may learn to survive and to hide and to hunt unseen. It is thought that Black Annie (World of Darkness) is a Beast of this kind. When a character is starting down this path, it is possible for him to temporarily contain the most obvious manifestations of the Beast. Some Kindred thereby manage to deceive everyone as to the extent of the Beast inside. The character can make a Self-Control roll (difficulty 7) and for each success, the character can act as if his Bestiality was 1 point less than actual. The effect lasts for 1 scene. This roll can be made on more than one occasion, but for each attempt after the first on the same day, the difficulty rises by 1. Botching this roll is a bit of a give-away - the character will temporarily gain a number of Bestiality points equal to the degree of the botch. This effect last also for 1 scene. The Bestiality Chart above is primarily intended as a roleplaying tool, rather than hard and fast rules to stick by. For example, a character with low Humanity who is beginning to suffer an interest in violence would have no compunctions about fulfilling that interest directly, rather than in the oblique way described above. However, if a player is patently not demonstrating the degree to which the Beast possesses him, then you might want to arbitrarily subtract Willpower points, as the character is obviously using a great deal of Willpower in order to appear so calm and controlled. GAINING AND LOSING BESTIALITY ----------------------------- So far, I have only spoken of Bestiality as a trait ranging from 0 to 10, and this is because it is only this rating that has practical game applications. In fact, Bestiality has 2 ratings: Permanent and Temporary, a system for which the Storyteller game gives precedent. All the characteristics and abilities of Bestiality described in the Bestiality section above concern the characters Permanent rating, and only the Permanent rating. A characters Temporary rating in Bestiality serves only 1 purpose; to determine when the character gains another Permanent point of Bestiality. A characters Temporary Bestiality rating also ranges from 0 to 10. When it reaches 10, it is then possible for the character to gain a single Permanent point of Bestiality. However, when this occurs, the character loses all Temporary points of Bestiality, and must raise it back up to 10 before yet another Permanent Bestiality point is added. Example: A Character has a Permanent Bestiality of 3 and a Temporary Bestiality of 6. His behaviour is consistent with someone with a Bestiality of 3, as per the chart, he would have a dice pool of 3 to induce frenzy, etc. The character gains another 3 Temporary points, raising that trait to 9. This still has no practical repercussions. The character then gains another 3 Temporary points, raising the trait above 10. The characters Permanent Bestiality increases to 4, whilst his Temporary Bestiality resets to 0. GAINING TEMPORARY BESTIALITY ---------------------------- Whenever the Beast is released, or escapes, it gains a fraction more purchase upon the host. Attempting to maintain rigid control is thus the best way of keeping the Beast in check. The following all incur Temporary points of Bestiality: Frenzying - "Riding the wave" - 1 pt, Failing to resist - 2 pts, Inducing frenzy - 2 pts, Botching an attempt to resist frenzy - 3 pts, Botching an attempt to induce frenzy - 4 pts Rotschreck - "Riding the wave" - 1 pt, Failing to resist - 2 pts, Inducing Rotschreck - 2 pts, Botching an attempt to resist Rotschreck - 3 pts, Botching an attempt to induce Rotschreck - 4 pts Instinct - Successfully accessing the Beasts instincts - 2 pts, Botching an attempt to access the Beasts instincts - 4 pts If a character botches an attempt to access the nature of the Beast, wether to Frenzy, Rotschreck, or to gain it's instincts, it is assumed that the character was rather too successful in harnessing the power of the Beast. As well as gaining Temporary Bestiality as outlined above, the character suffers the effect he was trying to achieve, but in a greatly heightened form, moreso even than a botched attempt to resist Frenzy or Rotschreck. The character will Frenzy or Rotschreck to a far greater degree and for a far greater amount of time. If attempting to harness the Beast's instincts, the Beast's instincts will overpower the characters reason, and the character will not be able to reason or even speak, but will react to all stimuli in a purely instinctive fashion: blood is to be drunk, danger avoided, enemies destroyed. This effect will last for a scene. GAINING PERMANENT BESTIALITY ---------------------------- As described earlier, a character gains Permanent Bestiality when his Temporary Bestiality reaches 10, at which point his Temporary Bestiality drops back to 0. However, there is a wrinkle to this system, which requires that you understand how Bestiality opposes Humanity. Basically, Humanity and Bestiality are opposing characteristics, and the total of a character's Humanity and Bestiality cannot exceed 10. If the character's Bestiality is 3, then the character's Humanity can be no higher than 7. However, Humanity can drop of it's own accord by the rules given in the Vampire rule book, independently of any change in the character's Bestiality. Thus another character could also have a Bestiality of 3, but a Humanity of only 4, for example. If a character has reached a Temporary Bestiality of 10, and the character's total of Humanity and Permanent Bestiality is less than 10 (as in the last example above), then the character simply gains a point of Permanent Bestiality and loses all points of Temporary Bestiality. However, if the character's total of Humanity and Bestiality equals 10 at the point where the character has accumulated 10 Temporary Bestiality (as in the first example above), then there is a conflict between the character's Humanity and Bestiality. The character rolls his Bestiality rating at a difficulty equal to the character's Humanity, with a single success indicating the Beasts victory. If successful, the character's Humanity drops 1, his Permanent Bestiality increases 1, and his Temporary Bestiality drops to 0. If the roll fails, the character's Humanity has resisted the tide of the Beast for now. Humanity and Permanent Bestiality remain static, and the character's Temporary Bestiality drops back to 9 If the roll botches, then not only do Humanity and Permanent Bestiality remain static, but all Temporary Bestiality points are lost, and the value resets to 0. By this system, if a character maintains a Humanity of 10, they can keep the Beast at bay indefinitely. A further complication: a character's Temporary Bestiality only needs to reach 10 for Permanent Bestiality to increase. However, if the final act that pushed the character's Temporary Bestiality to 10 in fact went over 10, then each point over 10 reduces the difficulty of the subsequent Bestiality roll by 1. Of course, if the character doesn't need to roll, as his Bestiality isn't seeking to supplant his Humanity, then the point is academic. In such a case, wether the Temporary Bestiality only reached 10 or reached 13, all Temporary points are lost and Permanent Bestiality increases by 1. Example: A character with Bestiality 2/9 (Permanent/Temporary) and Humanity 8 botches a frenzy roll, automatically scoring himself 3 Temporary Bestiality points. This pushes his Temporary score to 12. Since his Bestiality needs to supplant his Humanity in order to increase, he must roll. The basic roll is 2 dice (his Bestiality) at a difficulty of 8 (his Humanity). However, since the character gained 2 Temporary points more than he required to make the roll, the difficulty drops 2 to 6, making success fairly likely. If he succeeds, his Bestiality will become 3/0 and his Humanity 7. If he fails, his Bestiality will drop back to 2/9 whilst his Humanity remains at 8. If he botches, his Humanity will remain at 8 whilst his Bestiality falls back to 2/0. LOSING TEMPORARY BESTIALITY --------------------------- The only way to lose Temporary Bestiality is by failing or botching an attempt to supplant Humanity. LOSING PERMANENT BESTIALITY --------------------------- Just as Bestiality can supplant Humanity, so to can Humanity supplant Bestiality. Indeed, this is the only way for a character to lower his Bestiality rating. However, just to make life interesting, it is harder for Humanity to supplant Bestiality than vice versa. When a character is eligible to raise his Humanity, and in so doing must supplant his Bestiality, then another contest takes place. This roll, however, is a Resisted roll. The character must roll his Humanity (difficulty 7) versus his Bestiality (difficulty 7). To succeed, the character must achieve at least 1 success on his Humanity roll. If he receives no successes, or Bestiality wins, then the character's Humanity and Bestiality remain as they are. If the character's Bestiality botches, then he loses all Temporary Bestiality points (which may happen wether the Humanity roll succeeds, fails or botches). If the Humanity roll botches AND YOUR USING THE BASIC HUMANITY RULES AS GIVEN IN THE RULE BOOK, AND NOT THE HUMANITY RULES DESCRIBED BELOW, then the character's Humanity remains as it was, and the character gains 3 Temporary Bestiality points as well. If you are using the basic rules, note that a failure of the Humanity roll results in the loss of half the experience it required to raise Humanity, while a botch results in the loss of all the experience allocated to raising Humanity. By this system, a character can have a very low Humanity without being in danger of being consumed by the Beast. However, such a character has no way of turning the Beast back again. Each step forward the Beast makes is a step that the character cannot undo. It also means that if a character's Bestiality ever gets over 5, then their chances of stemming it's progress grow increasingly slim. This system also gives one an appreciation of different character types. A character with equally low Humanity and Bestiality scores would be a calm but inhuman creature, a character with high Bestiality a raging psychopath, a character who's Humanity and Bestiality are head to head is a character suffering great inner conflict. HUMANITY -------- These new Humanity rules are designed to compliment the Bestiality rules described above, although they can be used independently. I developed these rules for 2 reasons: First, because I didn't like the idea of Humanity costing experience points to increase, even if the Storyteller does require justification. Second, because I felt that the ease with which character's could lose Humanity was brutal and unrealistic. The system is essentially the same as the rules as given. However, Humanity also has both a Permanent and a Temporary rating, with Humanity as it stands in the rules being the Permanent Rating. Both are attributes with ratings from 0 to 10. GAINING TEMPORARY HUMANITY -------------------------- A character increases his Temporary Humanity by, funnily enough, doing humanising and moral things. Usually the best reflection of this is not simply the deed the character does, but the price he pays or the burden he shoulders in order to do so. Anyone can save a life if all it takes is pressing a button to do so, but not everyone will sacrifice their life for someone else. Obviously, it's not that simple, for it would seem that saving someone's life, and understanding that that is what you have done, however simply achieved, may well cause a person to reflect on our common mortality and to regard more carefully the value of things. Whatever, the Storyteller must use his or her judgement on a case by case basis (and merely saving someone's life because it is expedient for them to be alive doesn't count). A recommended range of awards from 1 to 5 seems reasonable, with 5 often being only given posthumously. Just feel you're way through it. GAINING PERMANENT HUMANITY -------------------------- When a character has gained 10 Temporary Humanity, he is eligible to gain Permanent Humanity. This is done as is described under Bestiality: gain 1 point of Permanent Humanity, lose all points of Temporary Humanity. However, yet again, there are a few wrinkles. Humanity can supplant Bestiality as described under 'Losing Permanent Bestiality'. If the character's Humanity beats his Bestiality as per the rules, then he gains Permanent Humanity, loses all Temporary Humanity, and his Permanent Bestiality drops. If his Humanity fails, or is at least beaten by his Bestiality, then his Temporary Humanity drops back to 9, though Permanent Humanity and Bestiality are unaffected. If His Humanity botches, then the character loses all accrued Temporary Humanity points; the value drops to 0. Also as with Bestiality, if the character earns enough Temporary Humanity to put it's level over 10, then the difficulty of Humanity's Resisted roll is lowered by the number of Temporary Humanity points above 10, making the process that much easier. Example: A character with Bestiality 2 and Humanity 8/9 saves someone's life at great personal peril (or whatever), for which the Storyteller awards 3 Temporary Humanity. The character now engages in a Resisted roll of Humanity (8 dice at a difficulty of 5, the base difficulty of 7 minus 2 for the extra 2 Temporary Humanity) versus Bestiality (2 dice, difficulty 7). If Humanity succeeds, then his Humanity becomes 9/0, whilst his Bestiality becomes 1. If Humanity fails, then his Humanity drops to 8/9, with his Bestiality remaining at 2. If Humanity botches, then his Humanity drops to 8/0, with Bestiality remaining at 2 IMPORTANT NOTE: When a character loses either a Permanent point of Humanity, or a Permanent point of Bestiality, the character's Temporary rating for that trait DOES NOT CHANGE. If a character has a Bestiality of 3/5, but loses a point of Permanent Bestiality when his Humanity increases, he still retains the 5 Temporary points of Bestiality. Only botching the roll for either side in the struggle between Humanity and Bestiality will alter the character's Temporary rating in that trait. USING TEMPORARY HUMANITY ------------------------ Beyond determining when a character can gain Permanent Humanity, Temporary Humanity can also effect wether the character loses Permanent Humanity through the performance of immoral acts, as per the original Humanity rules. This is very simple. Whenever the character must make a Conscience roll to see wether he loses Humanity, the character can choose to 'spend' any Temporary Humanity he may have in order to reduce the difficulty of the roll, on a 1 for 1 basis. However, the character can spend no more on a single roll than he has points of Conscience. Also, the points must be spent prior to the roll, and are then simply gone, wether the roll succeeded or failed. The character must re-earn the points spent. As noted above, even if the character does lose Permanent Humanity, any Temporary Humanity they still have remains the same. This rule plays two roles. It gives the character more control over Humanity loss, meaning that Humanity will tend to last longer. It also reflects that a person with more Temporary Humanity in effect has more Humanity overall than another person with perhaps the same Permanent Humanity, but with less or no Temporary Humanity. It is also amusing to watch players spend temporary Humanity and then fail the roll anyway. This system would work best with the system for determining Humanity difficulties as given in the Storyteller's Handbook (somewhere near the back). INITIAL RATINGS --------------- Bestiality: Camarilla Kindred begin with a Bestiality rating of 0/0, unless they accept certain Flaws outlined below. Humanity: Determining a character's initial Humanity remains as given in the rules. A character's initial Temporary Humanity begins at 0. MERITS & FLAWS With Bestiality, there are new Merits and Flaws, as well as amendments to old ones. PSYCHOLOGICAL BERSERKER: (2 pt Merit) As per the rules. Berserker also allows the character to automatically induce Rotschreck, but does not allow access to the Bestial instincts. To induce either Frenzy or Rotschreck, the character must have a Permanent Bestiality of at least 1. Inducing Frenzy and Rotschreck still accrues Temporary Bestiality for the character, although they are obviously safe from the possibility of botching the attempt and suffering the penalties thereof. SHORT FUSE: (2 pt Flaw) As per the rules. MENTAL CALM HEART: (3 pt Merit) As per the rules. RATIONAL MIND: (2 pt Flaw) The character has a particularly rational and logical outlook on things in general, and finds it hard to trust the warnings of emotions, and instincts. The character suffers an increased difficulty (10) in all attempts to utilise the instinctive nature of the Beast. He is therefore far more prone to being completely swamped by the Beast (botching the attempt) because he does not understand it. SUPERNATURAL PRIMAL OUTLOOK: (3 pt Merit) The character is able to tap into the instinctive side of the Beast at will, not requiring any roll, as long as the character has a Permanent Bestiality of at least 1. The character still accrues Temporary Bestiality for so doing, but no longer runs the risk of botching. BESTIAL RESISTANCE: (2/4/6 pt Merit) Perhaps the character's Beast is weak, or perhaps the character has some special quality, but for whatever reason, the Beast has far greater trouble taking over the character than it normally would. Every time the character gains Temporary Bestiality, the amount is reduced by 1, 2 or 3 Temporary points, depending upon the level of the Merit. Note that regardless of the Merit, the character will always gain at least 1 Temporary point of Bestiality. BESTIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY: (2/4/6 pt Flaw) Although the character has no more problem than the next person in holding the Beast in check, when the Beast does get loose, some quality of Beast or character enables the Beast to gain greater inroads into the character's soul whenever the opportunity presents itself. Every time the character gains any Temporary points, the amount is increased by 1, 2 or 3 extra Temporary points, depending upon the severity of the Flaw. Players should accept this Flaw cautiously. KINDRED TIES TURBULENT UPBRINGING: (2/4/6 pt Flaw) After being embraced, the character has frenzied and Rotschrecked on many occasions, possibly induced by a sadistic sire, possibly the result of the character's own violent rejection of the condition in which he found himself, possibly anything else the player thinks of. The character begins the Chronicle with a Permanent Bestiality rating of 1, 2 or 3, depending upon the severity of the Flaw chosen. Remember to insure that the character's Humanity is compatible with his Bestiality rating, and to reduce his Humanity if it isn't. GOLCONDA According to the rules, the semi-mythical state of Golconda is when the character integrates his Humanity with his Bestiality by coming to accept his dual nature. This is fine, and there is no need to amend the roleplaying aspects of the quest for Golconda, but how does it translate in terms of Humanity and Bestiality? A character must initially achieve a Humanity of 10 (and thereby a Bestiality of 0). However, when the character achieves Golconda, he automatically gains 1 Permanent (yes, Permanent) point of Bestiality, BUT does NOT lose any Humanity in the process. A character will thus have Humanity 10 and Bestiality 1. Bestiality provides extra benefits for the Kindred in Golconda. Although, as per the given rules, the character does not risk Frenzy or Rotschreck, the character can still induce those states in himself, but with a few modifications. The character no longer needs to roll to induce Frenzy or Rotschreck. It has become automatic for him. The character does not Frenzy or Rotschreck in the classic sense. He never loses grip of his faculties or his self-control. Instead, the Beast channels his actions in highly efficient ways. When the character "Frenzies" he still suffers no wound penalties; not through blind rage, but through clarity of perception and a state of euphoria. The character also enjoys supernatural grace; the difficulty for all physical actions (including combat rolls, damage rolls, soak rolls and initiative rolls) is lowered by 2. When the character "Rotschrecks", his ability to avoid and resist danger are enhanced. This translates as a Dice Pool increase of 2 and a difficulty decrease of 2 for any attempt to avoid (Dodge, Parry, run etc) or resist (soak, Willpower etc) danger. Note that danger does not just mean the standard "fire and sunlight" that provokes a normal Rotschreck, but includes anything the character sees as inimical to him, even such things as attempts to Dominate the character. Unfortunately, the character cannot Frenzy and Rotschreck simultaneously, and the effect lasts much shorter than normal Frenzy and Rotschreck: only as long as there is danger or an opposition. They cannot be maintained through periods of relative calm. The character still gains the standard amount of Temporary Bestiality for inducing Frenzy or Rotschreck. The character can also automatically induce the instincts of the Beast, although they are far more acute and reveal a great deal more information than do the instincts of Kindred not in Golconda. Inducing the Beast's instincts gains the character the normal Temporary Bestiality points. Character's in Golconda can gain Temporary and Permanent Bestiality. When the character accumulates 10 Temporary points, the gain of a Permanent point is automatic. No roll is needed as there is no longer a struggle between Humanity and Bestiality. However, for the character in Golconda, his behaviour does not change with his Bestiality, and there are no penalties for gaining any amount of Bestiality. A character could wind up with a Humanity of 10 and a Bestiality of 10, and this presents no problem for the character... ...Unless the character falls away from Golconda. According to the rules as given, this occurs when the character's Humanity falls below 7 (6 or less). I feel that the figure should be more like below 9 (8 or less). If and when this occurs, the balance between Humanity and Bestiality is lost; a new equilibrium between the two must be established. Beginning with Humanity, the character loses a point of Permanent Humanity and Bestiality alternately, until the total of the character's Humanity and Bestiality is 10. The character is now just like every other normal Kindred, and must begin the long climb again if he wishes to re-reach Golconda. Example: Suppose the Character's Bestiality was 9 when the character lost his state of grace and his Humanity fell to 8. The character must lose a combined total of 7 points from the two characteristics; 4 from one and 3 from the other. As the deduction begins with Humanity, the character's Humanity drops 4 points to 4, whilst the character's Bestiality drops 3 points to 6. The character is now out of Golconda, and the fury of the Beast immediately burns through him, as per the Bestiality chart. The character is now in big trouble. SABBAT & PATHS OF ENLIGHTENMENT All of the information given above pertains specifically to Bestiality versus Humanity. The case is quite different for those Kindred who have forsaken their Humanity and adopted on of the Paths of Enlightenment. However, the following information is based on a specific view of the nature of Paths of Enlightenment in general, that view being that while the Paths perform the same function vis a vis Bestiality as does Humanity, they are in fact totally different in nature. I view them as being rigorous mental disciplines, as opposed to Humanity, which is the state one is and how one perceives. Suffice it to say, I am not prepared to go into a lengthy philosophical analysis concerning the differences between Humanity and the Paths. What follows are rules based upon this view. However, if you see Paths as being the same sort of creature as Humanity, then in all cases above, substitute the phrase "Path of Enlightenment" for the word Humanity, with any necessary grammatical or punctuation alterations. Regardless of how one views the Paths, and which ever system one uses, the inclusion of positive Bestiality changes much of the idea behind the Paths, particularly for the Sabbat. Previously, the idea was that the character was consumed by the Beast, but could more or less channel the Beast's passions by adherence to the Paths of Enlightenment. This was demonstrated by the new Sabbat Virtues, which rather than stopping Frenzy or Rotschreck cold, determined the severity of any particular instance of Frenzy or Rotschreck. I have decided to give this notion the flick. All Paths of Enlightenment perform the same function as Humanity; a bulwark against the Beast and the only means of reducing the Beast's predations upon one's soul. With this in mind, I will begin with an examination of Sabbat (or more generally, Path) Virtues. CALLOUSNESS My view here is quite simple. If you don't have any Humanity, then issues of Conscience or Callousness are totally redundant. A character with no Humanity requires neither Virtue, and moreover, it would seem that the inclusion of Callousness in the rules is simply to provide the Sabbat with some attribute to substitute for Conscience in other cases, such as where a difficulty is based on the character's Conscience. Under this system, Sabbat and all other Kindred that follow Paths of Enlightenment have no Conscience, nor do they have anything substituting for it. Such Kindred are strictly "Two Virtue" characters. INSTINCT The rationale behind the inclusion of Instinct was the basic premise that Sabbat did not resist the Beast; they redirected it. However, as I have already pointed out, this system does not abide by that premise. Essentially, the only Kindred who can make use of the Beast in such a fashion are those Kindred who have achieved Golconda, which is outlined earlier. Thus, no Kindred following a Path of Enlightenment has the virtue of Instinct. All Kindred have Self-Control. MORALE The idea of Morale was a neat one, that of the individuals courage being influenced by the reactions of the rest of the Pack. Unfortunately, Morale is another Virtue that directs rather than inhibits the Beast, so I would still replace it with the standard Courage Virtue. Still, this is not a big change, because the whole point of Morale was that the group-effect was a result of the Vinculum that existed between the Pack members. Without much effort, that characteristic of Morale could be subsumed within the purview of Vinculum, a characteristic which has little in the way of game mechanics pertaining to it anyway. One possibility is as follows. VINCULUM The number of successes on a Courage roll determines how many turns the Kindred can resist the Rotschreck before another roll can be made. The roll is made unmodified for each character affected, but for every other character that succeeds in the roll, the duration is extended by 1 turn, while for every other character that fails or botches the roll, the duration is decreased 1 turn. As an added bonus, if there are any other Pack members nearby who did not have to resist the Rotschreck at all, then the duration of the resistance for all those who did is increased by 1. As a special penalty, if the penalty of those who failed to resist lowers a character's result to 0 or less, then the character Rotschrecks anyway (Mass Panic !!!). However, a character who Rotschrecks as a result of the fear of others, and not because they failed the roll, does not reduce the duration of the others resistance, although he doesn't increases it either. Example: a pack of 10 Sabbat are sitting around when (for whatever reason), a fire breaks out near 6 of them. The 6 all make standard Courage rolls, 2 rolling 4 and 2 successes, with the other 4 failing. The 4 that failed run away screaming, and are suitably chastised by the pack later. The duration that the remaining 2 characters can resist Rotschreck before requiring another roll is: the number of successes rolled + 1 (for 1 other character successfully resisting) - 4 (for 4 other character's failing) + 1 (for having other pack members nearby who didn't have to roll at all) for a total duration of successes - 2. The first character can thus only resist for 2 turns before making another roll, while the second character breaks down and runs, the cumulative effect of the packs fear proving to strong for him. This then reduces the first character's duration of resistance to a single turn, for although not specifically penalised for the second character's Rotschreck (as he actually succeeded on the roll), he does lose the bonus of having another pack member successfully resist the Rotschreck. As you can see, you can really get quite a stampede going. PATHS OF ENLIGHTENMENT As I said, Paths are quite different from Humanity, and this difference is reflected in several ways. Firstly, Paths of Enlightenment do not have a Temporary rating, but are simply increased through the expenditure of experience. If the Paths are a rigorous mental discipline, then they are more akin to Skills or Knowledges than they are to Humanity, and should thus be increased as such. This then means that a failed attempt to increase one's Path at the expense of Bestiality results in the loss of half of the experience invested in the attempt, while a botched attempt results in the gaining of 3 Temporary Bestiality points, and the loss of all the experience you spent trying to increase your Path rating, as per the rules on "Losing Permanent Bestiality". It also means that a character has no Temporary Path points with which to decrease the difficulty of retaining one's Path rating when the character strays from the teachings. This last point seems in keeping with the spirit of the Paths, for being a tool rather than being what one is, it is easy to lose track of it through sheer carelessness or through any inconvenience it places on the character. For Paths of Enlightenment, the character no longer has the Virtue of Conscience, or it's equivalent, to prevent a falling away. More appropriate is the Virtue of SelfControl, which seems more in line with the maintenance of a vigorous mental discipline. This then is one of the payoffs of following the Paths: although it may be easier for the character to lose Path points, and although Pathoriented characters only have 2 Virtues, the Self-Control Virtue plays more than one roll, making it a more powerful characteristic for Path characters than for Humanity characters. And while on the subject, Path character's may well suffer for their lack of Conscience. Whenever the rules call for a character's Conscience to be factored in (as dice pool, difficulty base or whatever), then unless the case pertains specifically to the Paths of Enlightenment (in which case Self-Control is used), the character has a 0 rating in that characteristic. Frankly, there are not a lot of cases where this presents a problem for Path Kindred, but it may help explain why Infernal corruption is such a big problem for the Sabbat. INITIAL SABBAT/PATH RATINGS Bestiality: All Sabbat vampires begin with an initial Permanent Bestiality of 1 (those Creation Rites are a real dilly), although they have 0 Temporary Bestiality. NonSabbat vampires that follow Paths generally have a Bestiality of 0/0. Path/Humanity: All Path characters have an initial Path rating equal to their Self-Control. All Sabbat vampires, wether they possess Humanity or follow a Path, are limited by their automatic Bestiality of 1 to a Path/Humanity of 9. Virtues: All Path Kindred begin with only 5 points to distribute amongst Virtues, but they only have 2 Virtues to distribute them among anyway. Sabbat Kindred with Humanity still only have 5 points to distribute amongst their 3 Virtues.