Rules

From Dark City

Blood

Who Can Be Thralled?

  • Players must consent to blood bonding their PC oocly.
  • All PCs and NPCs can be blood bound to a vampire.
  • PCs and NPCs can only be fully bound to a single vampire at once.
  • Ghouls are always fully bound to their Regnant.
    • A complete blood bond does not stop a Geist from acting in their own interest apart from the blood bound Sin-Eater.
    • Blood Bonding among Kindred is heavily frowned on and considered taboo, as is sharing The Kiss. In New York City under Prince Mab, the definition of perversion includes any blood bonds between kindred outside of the sire/childe relationship, it is otherwise completely illegal.

Who Can Be Ghouled?

  • Players must consent to ghouling their PC oocly.
  • PC/NPC Mortals
    • Mortal+ PC/NPCs will lose their supernatural merits when ghouled.
  • Half Splats, such as Wolf Bloods or Fae Touched can NOT be ghouled.

Who Can Be Embraced?

  • Players must consent to embracing their PC oocly.
  • Mortals
    • Mortal+ will lose their supernatural merits when embraced. They can go through SoM to get their points returned.
  • Half Splats, such as Wolf Bloods or Fae Touched can NOT be embraced.
  • Full Splats, such as Werewolves, Changelings, and Sin-Eaters, can NOT be embraced.

Hunting & Vitae

  • It's assumed all Kindred have access to at least daily vitae to sustain their Requiem and The Blush unless otherwise noted for backstory or plot.
  • Once weekly a player can roll for hunting. Please note hunting grounds, herd, flock, etc.. are all presumed to be within your covenants own territory. Unaligned get direction from the Seneschal for where they are to feed.
  • See the specific Dark City rules on Hunting.
  • Vitae cannot be gained from any PC aside from noted ghouls. (You may still feed from other PCs, but you do not mechanically benefit from it.)
    • An exception is allowed in order to wake a PC vampire from Torpor, where the requisite vitae may be donated by another kindred PC.
    • To feed from any Supernatural (full splat PC or NPCs) you must take the Unnatural Affinity Merit.
  • At least one roll per month should take into account your vitae given to your ghouls.
  • See the BP 6+ section for more rules relating to higher blood potency.

Keep track of your Vitae, WP, and Health with the PC Tracker template.

The Blood Bond

  • This is literally the rules as written in the book, and so hardly a House Rule, but it is frequently misunderstood due to past experiences in other games and gamelines.

When discussing the blood bond, Kindred often speak of total domination, witlessness, and complete servile, submissive behavior. This is a popular image, but very far from the truth.
The blood bond does not leave you without free will or helpless. Rather, it means you are more likely to agree with what your regnant wants, or at least argue your points less. It also means that you have trouble thinking about bringing harm to that person, and actually acting on the desire to do direct or indirect harm to them requires a heroic effort. A thing most ghouls will never accomplish, or want to.

Traits

Merits

  • No Coil of Zirnitra.
  • Vampires cannot start with Status above 2 in City or their Covenant, and may hold status in two Covenants at most. With the rules for Covenant Status outlined in the book, this means they may have 2 status in one covenant and 1 in another, or may have 1-2 status in one Covenant.
  • Increasing City/Covenant Status after sanction requires Status Justifications.
  • We are not using Clan status.
  • Ghouls, whether PC's or Retainers, cannot have any mortal+ merits. Nor may they take any merits with the Prerequisite: Human Only. Vampires cannot feed from their Ghouls, and must use Herd for such benefits. The Producer Merit is thus unavailable to Ghouls. They may not learn Devotions, Blood Sorcery, Theban Sorcery, Carthian Laws, Ordo Coils or Scales, or Invictus Oaths.
  • The benefits of tech savvy do not apply to weapons.
  • Great Prophecy is not available for use.

Blood Potency

  • PCs may start with up to 3 Blood Potency in character creation, using either their free merit dots as per the book or their available XP. See the BP 6+ section for more rules relating to higher blood potency.
  • In play, Blood Potency increases are slightly restricted. Blood Potency may only be increased by 1 point at a time, once per month. This is not retroactive so if that month goes by, you've lost that opportunity.

Disciplines and Ghouls

  • PCs may not learn Disciplines via Ghouls.
  • Contests and Resistance: When a Discipline would be contested or resisted by one of the Kindred, the ghoul may not add his Discipline dots to his own roll. If he has any stage of blood bond to the vampire, the Discipline fails automatically.
  • Spilling Blood: If a Discipline power requires the user to spill blood or feed it to someone (such as Raise the Familiar), the ghoul may not use it. You as a player may buy the power on the way to purchasing another one, however.

Merits and Other Forms

  • Fighting Style (such as martial arts) and Movement style (such as parkour) require a humanoid form to use. Barbs, claws, or other similar adaptations do not inhibit these styles, but more drastic changes such as wings or turning into smoke will.
  • Storytellers have final say of what does and doesn't inhibit this, when in doubt: communicate!

Humanity

  • Humanity purchased does qualify for SoM if you lose it IC due to embracing, etc, but there will be a consequence of a waiting period to repurchase. If it's your first instance of rebuying Humanity you've lost, you'll have to wait 1 month. Your second instance, you'll wait 2 months and so forth. You can not gain XP for base Humanity at character creation.
  • Characters at Humanity 3 or less will be carefully watched to ensure their character's behavior is not too antagonistic, or disruptive to the themes or setting of Dark City. If a character reaches this point, there will be a discussion, and they will be give the option to purchase Humanity back to 3+ via XP, desanction, or become an NPC.

Nosferatu Clan Bane

  • When dealing with humans, treat the Nosferatu’s Humanity as two dots lower for the purpose of Social penalties, and treat any Presence and Manipulation failures as dramatic failures. This bane does not apply to interactions with Touchstones or Kindred. - For the purposes of the game, you do not suffer mechanical penalties, but Vampires and Touchstones still do not feel comfortable in your presence. Your blood still embodies fear and disgust. This should be roleplayed out and not ignored.

What is and is not "Sorcery"?
Various abilities in vampire refer generally to sorcery as a concept that can be opposed through merits such as Coda against Sorcery, Sorcerous Eunuch, etc. The definition of this material is vague as Vampire was written outside of the context of other spheres and they do not share consistent terminology. For our purposes here, we define it as such:

  • What is sorcery
    • Any extended, instant, or reflexive ability that explicitly refers to itself as magic, a spell, a ritual, or sorcery (EG: blood sorcery, a mage's spells, a Sin-Eater's magical Ceremonies or something else, so long as it is explicitly defined as magic, a spell, a ritual, or sorcery).
    • Supernatural abilities which require an extended action to perform, such as werewolf rites, Cruac rites, Theban Sorcery miracles, the Sojourner merit, etc.
  • What is not sorcery
    • Supernatural powers which are not explicitly described as magic, spells, rituals, or sorcery and which do not require an extended action to perform, such as most vampire disciplines or devotions, werewolf gifts, Sin-Eater Haunts, Numina, Dread Powers, and more at ST discretion.
  • Edge Cases
    • Crusade has language that implies that in specific contexts it works on more active effects that are likely to come up in combat, including disciplines, devotions, gifts, rites, and such. For general purposes, check the above criteria, but the specific language of any given dot of this fighting style may specifically call out exceptions in the application of that specific dot. The ST has discretion over what does and does not apply.
    • Anything Sorcerous Eunuch defends against is necessarily something they would no longer be capable of performing themselves. Consider this heavily when taking the merit.
    • Coda Against Sorcery can affect any and all abilities that meet the above criteria, assuming you also have observed the general strain of sorcery before. If you have never seen a mage cast an improvised spell and are not versed in the basic way they work, your Coda will not protect you from the first such spell you encounter, but if you have seen one cast or are versed in the basic way they work, the Coda will (somewhat) protect you from any other mage's improvised spells, not just that particular spell nor that particular mage's spells. The Coda must be updated in a ticket to account for what it can and cannot protect you from, which necessarily means that such improvements to its protective qualities do not adapt mid-scene. You do not have experience with any sorcery you cannot use yourself unless that experience is in a logged scene and approved by an ST. No backgrounds will be approved where you learned about Werewolf Rites or Cruac or any such thing unless you can actually do it yourself.

OOC

Consent

  • All players must consent to their PC having a blood bond, or getting embraced oocly. ICly there is allowed to be some conflict, but heavy drama, or drama that leads to antagonistic outcomes are not allowed. Please communicate between players to discuss the desired outcome of IC actions before proceeding. If you have questions please contact Staff.

PCs

  • Only one PC per player may have any of the above connections in the Vampire Sphere. If you have a thrall, ghoul, or a vampire, your other PC may not become any of these.

Companion Book Material

  • All materials from companion books are at ST's discretion. This list is not exclusive.
  • Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition (aka Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle)
  • Refer to The approved books page. Vampire-specific books listed here are available with the caveats noted on that page. Other books which are considered generally available to all include Hurt Locker and the Dark Eras books at this time.

BP 6+

Running a venue with vampires at higher levels of blood potency is something we want, but we also want to appropriately reflect the challenges one faces as their blood potency climbs. To that end, we have a set of House Rules, subject to change or withdrawal at any time, which will act as a guide for how this might change your experience in this venue.

Herd and Flock:

  • At Blood Potency 6 or higher, the effects of Herd and Flock are halved for the purposes of determining the amount of vitae they provide. Herd 5, for example, would provide 5 vitae that can sustain a vampire who requires kindred vitae to feed. For both merits, the vampire may spend an additional WP per dot to garner an additional vitae, representing tapping into human sources. Herd 1 would allow you to spend 1 WP for an additional vitae, herd 5 would allow you to spend up to 5 for up 5 additional vitae, and if you had Herd 5 and Flock 5, you would have 10 vitae available as well as the ability to spend up to 10 willpower for up to 10 more vitae per week. The willpower gained from using flock as herd is capped at one willpower gained per week.

Passive Vitae:

  • Kindred at Blood Potency 6 or higher, without some special means of getting vitae or an equivalent, don't get free passive vitae for waking or using the blush of life, meaning they must spend 1 vitae per day to wake and 1 vitae per scene to benefit from the blush (though they benefit from relevant duration and cost modifiers from abilities such as The Warm Face). They may hunt normally, but must spend WP for every point of vitae gained on a dot for dot basis.

Unnatural Affinity:

  • Kindred may purchase Unnatural Affinity for a relatively populous supernatural creature that they have a means of feeding from. This must be worked out with the ST's and is not guaranteed. Ghosts are fairly common, but most vampires have no means of feeding from them even with the Unnatural Affinity Merit, for example. If they have both the Merit and the Means, they regain the lost benefit of the free passive vitae for waking each day and using the blush of life within reason. We will not be accepting Unnatural Affinity for Werewolves or Changelings at this time, to prevent crossover headaches. Mages, Mummies, and other supernatural creatures may be too rare in the setting to qualify as well for these purposes, and you must have actual lived experience with the variety of supernatural creature noted in order to purchase the merit for them. Deciding to research Angels in your library one day is not going to work out.

Hunting with Unnatural Affinity:

  • Kindred with an approved unnatural affinity may hunt the associated creature similarly to a normal hunting ticket. Unlike normal hunting actions, however, these will be contested. In addition, some methods used to hunt mortals may not be transferable to supernatural prey, at ST discretion. If you succeed at the contest, you will get your successes (not net successes) in vitae. If you fail, you get nothing. If you choose to dramatically fail, the ST will determine the consequences, which could involve a potentially fatal scene. When hunting such prey, kindred are given two options:
    • Easy Prey will contest their hunting roll with around 10 dice. While you can get an exceptional in this contest, that exceptional will not refill your vitae entirely as it used to.
    • Challenging Prey will contest the hunting roll with 15-20 dice. Getting an exceptional in this contest will refill your vitae entirely.
    • Prey with less than 10 dice to contest with are unavailable for hunting, and are represented by the free vitae you are granted to wake/blush, as mentioned before.

Other means and methods:

  • Kindred are welcome to pursue other methods to acquire reliable sources of vitae that meets their dietary requirements. These means must be gathered from presently approved materials, and will not be simplified with custom devotions of any kind. We will adjudicate the full benefits of these methods on a case by case basis as they come up, and we will update this section to reflect those rulings, which will be applicable to any who so qualify. We will not be allowing kindred to hunt other kindred for vitae at this time. The rule prohibiting PC's as sources of vitae will also persist outside of the existing caveat for getting one out of torpor.