Sunday, June 25, 2017

Character Creation: Vampire 20th

I'm going to work tomorrow (yeah, summer, but I need the money so I took some work at the summer clinic), so I figure I should make a character again while I have time, spoons, and...time-spoons.

So! Vampire! There's a new edition coming, this one kinda disconnected from previous editions in terms of mechanics. There's a "pre-alpha" playtest version link floating around, which is fucking dumb because "alpha" literally means "first," but whatever. I'm not involved, and neither is anyone else on the Onyx Path side of things, as far as I know. All I know is: It's going to be a shitshow, even if nuWW manages to make an awesome game, because they kinda already started off with one foot in the shitshow.

But never mind that.

The Game: Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
The Publisher: White Wolf by way of CCP, with maybe some Onyx Path, I don't remember the timing and I can't be fucked to look it up right now
Degree of Familiarity: Very yes. I worked on this edition a little (bloodlines) and I worked on the line quite a bit
Books Required: Just the one.

I made a character for the 2nd edition of the game some time ago. "Some time ago." That was back in 2008. Remember 2008? Obama was about to be elected, we knew Bush was on the way out. There was hope.

And here we are now, in a World of Darkness. Ah, well. (We just watched the first episode of The Handmaid's Tale, so you'll pardon me if I'm a little bleak.)

So, since my last character was a Camarilla vampire, let's go a little different this time and make a Sabbat one.

Step One: Character Concept. Leon "Franco" Franchetti was a college dropout and a bouncer. Franco was also really smart; he didn't drop out because he couldn't make the grades, but because his father died of a stroke and the money that had been supplementing his income to help with his tuition had to go to the service and then to keep the household running. Franco figured he'd get back into it at some point, but he decided he'd drop out for a while and get a job to pay the bills, and he had a cousin who ran a bar.

Franco was working one night when a group of people rolled up, cut the line, and tried to get in. Franco stepped in front of them, and one of them - a little skinny guy - tossed him out of the way. Franco rounded up the other fellas and went after these pricks, but the woman with them stared all the tough guys down and Franco was left standing there by himself.

The little skinny guy looked Franco up and down and said something in a language Franco didn't understand, and then a third guy got up, handed Franco some folded hundred-dollar-bills, and said "Sorry, man. We'll be more polite." And that was it.

Three nights later, this same group ambush Franco outside his car, and the skinny guy bit him on the neck, drained his blood, and then brought him back. He took the time to educate him, too - humanity was a joke. People were a joke. Death was an afterthought.

Franco's sire wanted him to follow him down the Path of Cathari, and Franco probably would have, but he came to the attention of another local Sabbat vampire with different ideas. Sure, sex and abandon and so on is great, but there's a higher purpose to it all...if you're strong enough to look. Franco's on the Path of Lilith now.

So: Franco's a Lasombra. His Nature is Eye of the Storm; Franco is good at staying focused when everything goes nuts. His Demeanor is Soldier. The Path of Lilith is considered heretical, so he keeps it under wraps.

Good start. So, Step Two is Attributes. I want Physical to be primary, I think. I'll put three into Strength and two each into Dexterity and Stamina (because this stupid system still uses Dex as the "to-hit" stat).

Mental secondary. Three into Intelligence, once into Wits and Perception.

And then one each into the three Social Attributes.

Step Three: Abilities. 13/9/5. SO MANY POINTS. I'll make Talents primary, and put two each into Alertness, Athletics, Awareness, Brawl, Intimidation, and Streetwise. Last point goes into Subterfuge.

Knowledges are secondary. God, these are stupid. "Finance" and "Law" really need to be separate Abilities? Yawn. Anyway, three into Academics and Occult, two into Computer, one into Investigation.

Then Skills. One each into Drive, Etiquette, and Melee, and two into Stealth. Boom.

Step Four: Advantages. I get three dots in Disciplines and five in Backgrounds, but because I'm on a Path, not Humanity, I don't get any free dots in Virtues, except Courage. So I have to spend two of my 7 for a dot in Conviction and Instincts, and then I'll put two more into Instincts and Courage and one more into Conviction.

For Disciplines, I get Obtenebration, Potence, and Dominate. Hrm. Well, I like the shadow-things, but they're all useful, so I'll take one of each.

Then Backgrounds. I'll put one into Herd (folks at the club), two into Generation, and two into Mentor (not my sire, the one who's instructing me in my Path).

I get 5 in my Path (which is as high as it gets as a starting character), three in Willpower (which I have to raise), and roll a virtual d10 for blood pool (4). And of course I get 15 freebies, and I can take Flaws, which I will. I'll take Permanent Fangs (which my mentor sees as a blessing from Lilith, and who I am to argue?). I'll take Sire's Resentment, too; Michele (my sire) kinda takes offense that I think he's a schmuck and a hedonist. And I'll take Repelled by Crosses; Franco's family is Catholic and that respect and fear runs deep.

So that gives me 22 freebies. I have to spend two to raise my Willpower to 5. I'll burn 7 to buy a second dot of Obtenebration. I'll dump some into Backgrounds: Raise Herd to 2, Mentor to 3, and pick up Status 1 and Domain 1 (his cousin's club). That's 13 spent total. I want the Iron Will Merit, so that takes me to 16. I'll blow 5 more on a dot of Manipulation, and my last one I'll put into Retainers (my cousin Paul; he owns the club).

I'll specialize Strength and Intelligence, since I can. For Strength I'll take "Buff" (Franco was something of a weightlifting enthusiast pre-Embrace), and for Intelligence I'll take "Methodical".

And that's me done. Let's go eat some babies!*

*I do not actually advocate eating babies, even when playing Sabbat.