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New Vitae Merits and Flaws

by: Belladonna A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae

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The power of the Blood forms the central theme of the entire Vampire mythos. From the lust for the crimson draught to the creation of progeny, it is the Blood that binds the story together.

Strangely enough, despite this overpowering central theme - there is very little material addressing the power itself to be found in the standard resource books. There are basic descriptions of how to use Blood Pool, the limitations and advantages of generation, and the uses to which Vitae can be put - from Vaulderie to Embrace. In the three main books of the third edition there is only one flaw and no merits concerning the power of the Blood - 'Infertile Vitae' (dealt with in amazing detail by my associate and partner, Benedira, in her essay). I found the description of infertile vitae in the book left a bad taste in my mouth. It says that you are unable to embrace, yet in all other ways your vampiric blood functions perfectly normally. With all due respect to the creators at White Wolf - that seemed illogical.

And so - to remedy the illogic and put a powerful and interesting tool in the hands of both the Storyteller and the Players, I have created a Vitae system of Merits and Flaws, including a means to seriously play 'Time of Thin Blood' chronicles if you so choose.

The New Merit

Strong Vitae (2 point Merit)
The blood passed to you from your sire is of unusual potency and strength. You find many aspects of vampiric existence relating to the Blood significantly easier for you than is expected. It takes less effort for you to create ghouls, and you seem more vital than others of your generation.

System: Creating ghouls only requires two drinks for you, instead of the usual three. If you are a Sabbat vampire, all others in your pack add one to their vinculum rolls for you each time they roll (i.e.: If they roll a 7, it becomes an 8). Your Blood Pool is also more potent, functionally being 2 blood points higher than it should be (this does not indicate a greater capacity, simply increased potency).

The New Flaws

Vitae of Caine (1 point Flaw)
Your sire-given Vitae is so powerful that it has become a detriment to your nightly existence among other Kindred. While in many ways this gift from your sire seems to benefit you, the risk you take each night is a price you could do without. You seem to be far more capable than others of your generation when it comes to matters of the Blood, but your vitae is also a curse. Merely the scent of it will drive Ancillae and Neonates to frenzy, attacking you for a taste of this glorious nectar in your veins, and anyone that tastes your blood will become hopelessly addicted after the first draught - a potentially deadly circumstance for you.

System: Creating ghouls only requires one drink for you, instead of the usual three. If you are a Sabbat vampire, all others in your pack add three to their vinculum rolls for you each time they roll (i.e.: If they roll a 7, it becomes a 10). Your Blood Pool is also more potent, functionally being 5 blood points higher than it should be (this does not indicate a greater capacity, simply increased potency).

However, anyone that smells your blood - vampire or mortal - will immediately seek you out, wanting to drink from your veins. Vampires must make a Humanity roll at difficulty 9 and spend a Willpower point to resist frenzy, and must continue to spend a Willpower point for each turn thereafter that they can still smell your blood. If their Willpower reaches zero while still in your presence they will succumb and attack.

Weak Vitae (2 point Flaw)
The blood passed to you from your sire is of diminished potency and strength. You find many aspects of vampiric existence relating to the Blood significantly more difficult for you than is expected. It takes greater effort for you to create ghouls (though you may not be aware of this), and you seem somewhat less vital than others of your generation.

System: Creating ghouls requires four drinks for you, instead of the usual three. If you are a Sabbat vampire, all others in your pack subtract one from their vinculum rolls for you each time they roll (i.e.: If they roll a 7, it becomes a 6). Your Blood Pool is also less potent, functionally being 2 blood points lower than it should be (this does not indicate a lessened capacity, simply decreased potency).

Cursed Vitae (5 point Flaw)
Your sire-given Vitae is so weak much of the normal functions of Kindred are beyond you. You seem to be far less capable than others of your generation when it comes to matters of the Blood - creating ghouls or thralls is almost impossible, and any embrace you attempt almost invariably fails.

System: Creating ghouls requires six drink for you, instead of the usual three - and even then it is not fully guaranteed. If you are a Sabbat vampire, all others in your pack subtract three from their vinculum rolls for you each time they roll (i.e.: If they roll a 7, it becomes a 4). Your Blood Pool is also far less potent, functionally being 5 blood points lower than it should be (this does not indicate a lesser capacity, simply decreased potency).

Adding a Random Element

The chart below is a comparison between the resultant five types of Vitae Potency that will be created if you include these Merits and Flaws in your chronicle. The numbers in each category next to the appropriate generation are success difficulty ratings for creating ghouls and embracing childer.

To use this chart, simply roll against the difficulty shown each time the character gives their blood to another being. A success indicates the attempt (ghoul, vinculum, thrall, child) was successful, a botch or failure indicates the attempt has failed. This additional random element will lend a great deal of depth and variability to the chronicle - especially if you are playing a story in which the fear of Thin Blood is a real and present consideration.

Generation Vitae Rating Difficulties
Caine Strong Normal Weak Cursed
2 1 1 1 1 1
3 1 1 1 1 2
4 1 1 1 1 3
5 1 1 1 1 4
6 1 1 1 1 5
7 1 1 1 1 6
8 1 1 1 2 7
9 1 1 1 3 8
10 1 1 2 4 9
11 1 2 3 5 10
12 2 3 4 6 10
13 3 4 5 7 10
14 4 5 6 8 10
15 5 6 7 9 10
16 6 7 8 10 10

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