Lynx

From Dark City

LynxSymbol.png

Interactions with the Danse: The Lynx are the youngest bloodline affiliated with the Invictus. Indeed, it is a mere matter of months since the first Kindred of this bloodline’s third generation manifested the line’s distinctive powers, thus confirming that the Lynx truly is a bloodline — and not merely the quirk of a bizarre vampire. As a result, not all Kindred who know of the Lynx know that they are truly a bloodline, and those Kindred who recognize the name are a select, but growing, group.

The Lynx themselves never refer to themselves as a bloodline, insisting that they are a blood web, instead. As the line does contain a handful of Kindred who are not direct descendants of the founder, Martin Thomas, there is even some justification for the claim, as the lines of relationship do not all flow straight down. However, that is true of many bloodlines, and most Kindred refer to the Lynx in the normal way, regarding their insistence on different terminology as merely one more manifestation of the bloodline’s obsession.

That obsession is networks. Martin Thomas was fascinated by networks, particularly communications and commercial networks, even before his Embrace. He managed to map the physical connections in his local telephone network and was working on a map showing the connections between all local businesses. There were lines showing who bought from whom, who owed money to whom and which businesses banded together to lobby for changes. The shape of the network convinced them that there was at least one player in the scene who had no public face at all. They were careful to make no direct inquiries, concentrating instead on building up a picture from indirect evidence, because the possibility that this player was an outfit of organized crime had occurred to him. All members of the bloodline share Thomas’ fascination with networks of all sorts (particularly electronic and commercial), although social and political networks have received more attention in recent years.

Most Lynx are members of the Invictus, primarily because that was the covenant Thomas joined after his Embrace, at his sire’s instructions, and he has never left. These Kindred quickly master the networks of loyalty within the covenant, and their mastery of modern technology (or, at least, the Internet) tends to make them valuable to more senior Kindred, giving them an edge when it comes to climbing the hierarchy. However, the bloodline’s philosophy does not tie the Lynx closely to the Invictus. Indeed, the Carthian philosophy is much closer to the Lynx’s interests, providing more opportunities for elaborate networks of loyalty that are not constrained by authority from above. As a result, the second-largest group in the bloodline are Carthians, a situation that is already generating some tension and will produce more if the bloodline grows. Members of the bloodline do join other covenants, but do so for personal reasons. There are, however, very few unaligned Lynx. The Lynx are natural joiners, as that embeds them in yet another network, and, therefore, few Lynx pass up the chance to join a covenant.

Clan: Mekhet

Nickname: Operators, Spiders, The Chained (themselves)

Bloodline Bane:

  • The Disconnected Curse: The Lynx’s attachment to connections is a double-edged sword. While they have an advantage when it comes to groups and networks, they lack the personal ties other Kindred rely on. In addition to the Mekhet bane, a Lynx must always have at least two attached Touchstones. If not, he gains no bonus to detachment rolls.

Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate, Majesty

Bloodline Gift:

  • Connect to the Network: No one understands networks like a Lynx. Connect to the Network allows a vampire to remotely access any networked device, from computers to cell phones to satellite uplinks, using the power of her mind. In an Instant action, your character can spend a Willpower in view of a Wi-Fi or hard-wired device (by direct sight, not through a camera). She can then access the device’s contents and control it mentally as if she were touching it. This link lasts a scene. Connect to the Network cannot bypass passwords and security measures, but your character can add her Blood Potency as a bonus on all rolls to make use of the device.

Bloodline Devotions: The power of the Lynx lies in their understanding of a vast chain of networks that links the entire world. The uninformed believe this Web of Devotions is its own Discipline, and the Lynx are happy to encourage such speculation. See The Chains is the first step to understanding connections; characters must purchase this power before they can access other Web powers.

See the Chains

Requires: Auspex 2
The Lynx makes metaphysical connections tangible. By targeting an individual or object (what Operators call a node), she can find hundreds or thousands of connections, and, with a little detective work, trace them, and pinpoint her victim’s place in a network, and the true nature of his intimate connections.

  • Cost: Free for the first use in a scene; 1 Vitae for additional uses
  • Requirement: Requires examining the 'node' for 1 minute
  • Dice Pool: Wits + Investigation + Auspex
  • Action Type: Instant
  • Duration: One Scene
    • Roll Results:
  • Dramatic Failure: The Lynx gains the Confused Condition.
  • Failure: The Lynx fails to connect to the Node.
  • Successes: The Lynx sees her node’s connections laid bare as glowing lines that connect to individuals and other objects, with width and brightness relative to the strength of the connection. Each success on the activation roll provides a simple question of fact about the subject’s connections. Questions like, “Is he married?” or “Who owns this building?” are acceptable, but ones like “What are his ten favorite Bible verses?” aren’t. The vampire can also follow from a line with a successful Wits + Investigation roll. By following these lines, a Lynx can uncover a person’s loved ones, hidden havens, or secret social connections. Lines cannot be obstructed, though they may shift with either side of the connection. If the Lynx uses this power to track a connection to a Obfuscated object or vampire, this provokes a Clash of Wills. She can only use this Devotion on one node at a time.
  • Exceptional: The vampire gains the 'Connected' Condition towards the Node, and adds their Auspex to any Wits + Investigation rolls to follow a line.
  • XP Cost: 2 Experience

Administrative Control

Requires: Majesty 2
The Lynx's understanding turns into action. Through force of will or small gestures that snowball into larger ones, the Lynx can modify probability networks and influence the infrastructure of an area.

  • Cost: 1 Willpower
  • Requirement: The Vampire is viewing the node with See the Chain
  • Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Majesty (vs Composure + Blood Potency on sapient beings)
  • Action Type: Instant
  • Duration: One Scene
    • Roll Results:
  • Dramatic Failure: The vampire is caught in a chaotic mess of connections, suffering the Distracted Condition for the rest of the scene.
  • Failure: Reality remains inflexible.
  • Successes: The vampire can spend a Willpower to introduce a random element into the network. This must be something that could happen by chance, and be believable to an average onlooker. For example, while studying a crime scene the vampire could cause a bird to suddenly distract the police, stealing a piece of evidence, or cause a bankteller she’s scrutinizing to drop his pen at the exact moment she needs to peek at his computer. However, she couldn’t cause the bankteller to blurt out a vault combination for no reason. The Storyteller is the final arbitrator of whether an element is acceptable. If hard mechanics are needed, the vampire gains the 8-again quality on a relevant roll, or penalizes another character by her Majesty dots. If this Devotion is targeting a sapient being in the network, they reflexively contest with Composure + Blood Potency.
  • Exceptional: The effect lasts for an additional scene.
  • XP Cost: 2 Experience

Spoof Network

Requires: Obfuscate 2
With this Devotion, the Lynx can spoof her relationship to a foreign network, or diminish her profile in a familiar one.

  • Cost: 1 Vitae
  • Requirement: The Vampire is viewing the node with See the Chain
  • Dice Pool: None
  • Action Type: Instant
  • Duration: One Scene
    • Effect: The Lynx adjusts her place in the node’s network. While the Devotion is active, the Lynx alters her connection in one of the following ways:
  • Increase Connection: If the vampire increases her connection, she gains a bonus to relevant Social actions equal to her Blood Potency dots, and her Impression level also goes up a step. It’s not that the vampire is suddenly popular, more that people perceive her as a generic hanger-on. They might not even really remember the encounter if she didn’t make a big stir. The added bonus does not stack with the bonus given by Status.
  • Decrease Connection: If the vampire decreases her connection, she applies her Blood Potency dots as a penalty to all rolls to detect, observe, or investigate her. She becomes inconsequential to all her connections, both positive and negative. This penalty also applies to mind clouding Disciplines. Use of this power may provoke a Clash of Wills with Auspex.
  • XP Cost: 2 Experience

Direct Download

Requires: Auspex 2
A Lynx doesn’t have to know anything if someone else does. This Devotion allows the vampire to borrow data from the network, augmenting her own knowledge.

  • Cost: 1 Willpower
  • Requirement: The Vampire is viewing the node with See the Chain
  • Dice Pool: Wits + Subterfuge + Auspex
  • Action Type: Instant
  • Duration: One Scene
    • Roll Results:
  • Dramatic Failure: The Lynx dramatically fails their next action.
  • Failure: The Lynx fails to pull information from the network.
  • Successes: The vampire names a Skill then activates this Devotion. Each success “copies” a temporary dot of the declared Skill from the network, up to the limit imposed by Blood Potency (cumulative with any dots she already has). Excess successes add a temporary Specialty in this Skill; the Storyteller decides what it is based on the network. The vampire can only have one instance of this Devotion active at a time.
  • Exceptional: The Skill benefits from the 9-again quality, or 8-again if the vampire already has that effect.
  • XP Cost: 2 Experience

Build the Perfect Form

Requires: Auspex 3
The Lynx learns to create connections where there are none, though only on a smaller, intimate level. When crafting or upgrading an item, the Lynx can soak the object in his vitae. The finished item is a perfect symphony of the individual parts, creating a finished item where each part -- each joint or ball bearing or balancing weight or circuit -- is perfect for the role it plays.

  • Cost: Varies
  • Requirement: The Vampire has just finishing crafting or upgrading an item
  • Dice Pool: Intelligence + Craft + Auspex - (penalties that would apply to the crafting action)
  • Action Type: Reflexive (as part of Crafting Action)
  • Duration: Permanent
    • Roll Results:
  • Dramatic Failure: The Lynx's faulty insight corrupts the item, the finished product suffering a -1 to Equipment Bonus and Durability.
  • Failure: The Lynx fails to gain insight.
  • Successes: When the vampire completes an item from scratch or completes an upgrade to an existing item, they can roll for Build the Perfect Form, which is applied during the creation of an item. For each success rolled, the character can spend 1 vitae to grant the item 1 Additional Offset (as per the Dark City Custom Crafting Rules), up to a max of the character's Auspex + Blood Potency. For Vehicles, this grants additional modifications equal to Additional Offsets. For Drones, it reduces the penalty caused by the number of modifications equal to Additional Offsets.
  • Exceptional: The vampire may use the Additional Offsets gained to exceed one cap by a single point.
  • XP Cost: 2 Experience