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Elder Creation System

by: Belladonna A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae

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Recently there has been some question raised about a good system for creating Elder characters. The Elysium system (2nd ed. V:tM sourcebook: Elysium) seems to create relatively under-powered characters overall - at least compared to the Elders that are presented elsewhere in WW books. I have used both the Elysium system and a more commonsense freestyle system to create Elders, but in response to these raised questions I have decided to formalize a system for presentation here.

Basic System

This is the system we are all familiar with - the beginning character creation system.

The numbers in brackets reflect the addition of the 'free' dots these areas receive.

Where you see the term 'none set' next to 'Freebies', it means that there are no Freebie points specifically dedicated to that area of the stat sheet, improving those stats come from the overall freebie pool.

The cost to raise the given stats is represented by the 'x FrPt per dot' rating in each section.

Attributes Primary Secondary Tertiary
7(10) 5(8) 3(6)
Freebies none set 5 FrPt per dot
Abilities Primary Secondary Tertiary
13 9 5
Freebies none set 2 FrPt per dot
Advantages Disciplines 3 7 FrPt per dot
Backgrounds 5 1 FrPt per dot
Virtues 7(10) 2 FrPt per dot
Humanity Conscience+Self Control 1 FrPt per dot
Willpower Equals Courage 1 FrPt per dot
Overall Freebies 15
 
Elysium System

This is the system from the Elysium sourcebook. While it answers many of the questions about Elder characters, and does present some good viewpoints and modifications to the creation process (i.e.: Humanity and Virtues being more difficult to maintain and improve.) - it still seems to leave much to be desired.

The numbers in brackets reflect the addition of the 'free' dots these areas receive.
Where you see the term 'none set' next to 'Freebies', it means that there are no Freebie points specifically dedicated to that area of the stat sheet, improving those stats come from the overall freebie pool.

The cost to raise the given stats is represented by the 'x FrPt per dot' rating in each section.

Attributes Primary Secondary Tertiary
10(13) 7(10) 5(8)
Freebies none set 5 FrPt per dot
Abilities Primary Secondary Tertiary
20 12 8
Freebies none set 2 FrPt per dot
Advantages Disciplines 10 7 FrPt per dot
Backgrounds 15 1 FrPt per dot
Virtues 7(10) 4 FrPt per dot
Humanity Conscience+Self Control 5 FrPt per dot
Willpower Equals Courage 1 FrPt per dot
Overall Freebies
(Age Background)
less than 50 yrs old 20 Humanity normal
51-200 yrs old 50 Humanity -1
201-350 yrs old 75 Humanity -2
351-500 yrs old 95 Humanity -3
501-750 yrs old 110 Humanity -4
751-1,000 yrs old 120 Humanity -5
 
NPC System

While this system was proposed by one player as an alternative means for creating Elders, (taken from the 3rd ed. Sourcebook 'Children of the Night'), it seems to raise more questions than it answers, and is obviously not really meant to be used by players.

The numbers in brackets reflect the addition of the 'free' dots these areas receive.

Where you see the term 'none set' next to 'Freebies', it means that there are no Freebie points specifically dedicated to that area of the stat sheet, improving those stats come from the overall freebie pool.

The cost to raise the given stats is represented by the 'x FrPt per dot' rating in each section.

Attributes Primary Secondary Tertiary
7(10) 5(8) 3(6)
Freebies 1.5/century age
Abilities Primary Secondary Tertiary
13 9 5
Freebies 5/century age
Advantages Disciplines square root of age
Backgrounds not specified
Virtues not specified
Humanity Conscience+Self Control
Willpower Equals Courage
Overall Freebies not specified
 
Belladonna's System

In this system, you begin just as if you were creating a normal character, using the basic system that everyone should have access to. The difference is that you then determine the Age of your character, (unlike the Elysium system - Age does not cost you anything in Background points, although Generation still does - see below for a modified Generation Background rating.), then look up the Age you've chosen under the 'Overall Freebies' section - this will be your Freebie point pool. The increasing freebie point scale represents the difficulty that Elders experience as they grow older - it simply becomes harder for them to improve themselves as time wears on - they become set in their ways very easily.

The numbers in brackets reflect the addition of the 'free' dots these areas receive.

Where you see the term 'none set' next to 'Freebies', it means that there are no Freebie points specifically dedicated to that area of the stat sheet, improving those stats come from the overall freebie pool.

The cost to raise the given stats is represented by the 'x FrPt per dot' rating in each section.

Attributes Primary Secondary Tertiary
7(10) 5(8) 3(6)
Freebies none set 5 FrPt per dot
Abilities Primary Secondary Tertiary
13 9 5
Freebies none set 2 FrPt per dot
Advantages
Disciplines 3 7 FrPt per dot
Backgrounds 5 1 FrPt per dot
Virtues 7(10) 2 FrPt per dot
Humanity Conscience+Self Control
1 FrPt per dot
Willpower Equals Courage
1 FrPt per dot
Overall Freebies 0-50 yrs old 45
51-100 yrs old 90
101-200 yrs old 150
201-350 yrs old 225
351-550 yrs old 315
551-800 yrs old 390
801-1,100 yrs old 465
1,101-1,450 yrs old 525
1,451-1,850 yrs old 585
1,851-2,300 yrs old 630
2,301-2,800 yrs old 675
2,801-3,350 yrs old 705
3,351-3,950 yrs old 735
3,951-5,600 yrs old 750

The advantage to this system is that it allows the player to quickly and easily create a character of any Age and Generation - whether it is a 75 year old 12th Gen. Or a 3,000 year old 5th Gen.

This system also does away with the consistently erroneous view that Age and Generation are directly related. This seems to be the most glaring and yet most prevalent misconception put forth by the WW system. There is absolutely nothing that demands that a character of high Generation (8th to 3rd) be ancient in years, nor is there any logic to expecting every lower Gen character (9th to 14th) to be a pup.

Consider this - A 4th Gen vampire embraced in 6,000 BCE (some time after the Flood) may have embraced their first child 100 years later, creating a 5th Gen in about 5,900 BCE. That 5th Gen could have done the same thing - creating a 6th Gen by 5,800 BCE. If you continue this logic, the first 14th Gen in this bloodline would have appeared around 5,000 BCE - and there is no reason why this could not have happened. It is not the tendency or the norm, but it is certainly possible.

Inversely, that same 4th Gen could have gone into torpor after the fall of Carthage (146 BCE) and slept for 2,000 years, awakening in 1864 and embracing a child shortly afterward. Now you have a 'Methuselah' that is less than 200 years old - rather than the seemingly prerequisite 1,000 to 2,000 years stated by WW.

Remember that the truest limitation on any vampire is their Generation and the time they have to improve themselves, not any prerequisites of Age or Power. The limitations of each Generation are repeated below for reference. (Note that I have replaced the question marks for the highest Generations with logical extrapolations from the progressions as I see them.)
Generation Max. Trait Rating Blood Pool Blood Points/Turn
2 10 90 20
3 10 70 15
4 9 50 10
5 8 40 8
6 7 30 6
7 6 20 4
8 5 15 3
9 5 14 2
10 5 13 1
11 5 12 1
12 5 11 1
13 5 10 1
14 5 10 1
15 5 10 1
16 5 10 1
Background Cost for Generation
And finally, here is the other table I promised you.
Generation Basic Rules Elysium Rules Modified Rules
3 ? ? 10
4 ? ? 8
5 ? 5 6
6 ? 4 5
7 ? 3 4
8 5 2 3
9 4 1 2
10 3 0 1
11 2 0 0
12 1 0 0
13 0 0 0
14 0 0 0
15 0 0 0
16 0 0 0

*Note: You may be asking why both of my Generation lists go to 16th Gen on the tables above. That is because of another section I have created regarding the Flaw 'Infertile Vitae' and a few fun things for Storytellers to play with. (insert evil chuckle here)

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