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[Supernatural Merit] The Vampire Gene

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  • amechra
    started a topic [Supernatural Merit] The Vampire Gene

    [Supernatural Merit] The Vampire Gene

    Vampire Genetics [Supernatural; Style •• - •••••]
    You've won the genetic lottery; you're one of the so-called "vampires" running around and making trouble. You've heard the rumors about "real" vampires, but come on; you're the real deal, man. All those stories are just exaggerations or propaganda.
    Follower (••): OK, you aren't a full vamp; you're just a bit pale and have a thing for goths. You stay out of the sun, but most people assume that's an image thing. Really, you don't have anything special going on; you get the benefits of the Unseen Senses [Genetic Vampires] merit, except you can only "focus" on characters with more than three dots in this merit. The "sixth sense" manifests as an undefinable desire to hang around anyone who triggers it.
    Dhampir (•••): You're essentially half-albino; your eyes are a pale blue from lack of melatonin, and you look like you've lived out of the sun for the last month. In addition to the Unseen Sense a Follower gets, you are aggressively healthy; you are immune to most non-Supernatural diseases, and you age half as quickly as other mortals. As a side benefit, you get more bang for your buck when spending Willpower at night; between Dusk and Dawn, Willpower spent on Physical or Social rolls gives you [Vampire Genetics + 1] dice instead of just three.
    Drawback: Of course, nothing comes for free; between Dawn and Dusk, spending Willpower to improve any roll gives you only [5 - Vampire Genetics] dice, while spending it for resistance only gives you a +1 bonus.
    Living Vampire (••••): If you're on this level, you haven't "triggered" yet; don't worry, it'll come. You're pale, thin, and strangely beautiful; your blue eyes have faded to the bloody pink of an albino. On top of the benefits and drawbacks of being a Dhampir, you've reached "alpha" status amongst Genetic Vampires. To wit, you gain a +2 bonus on all Social rolls made against Followers, no longer suffer Breaking Points due to witnessing the Supernatural, and gain a +3 bonus when spending Willpower to boost Resistance traits between Dawn and Dusk. Finally, you may treat "Drinking Human Blood" as a second Vice, and can suck the stuff down without risking nausea.
    Drawback: You're also an obligate carnivore; you can synthesize vitamins and minerals from raw or rare meat, but attempting to eat your veggies will just make you vomit. Additionally, you sunburn easily; you treat direct sunlight as if it were a Level 2 Extreme Environment.
    Dead Vampire (•••••): A serious misnomer; you aren't dead, just "differently alive". At some point (usually triggered by hanging around with other Genetic Vampires too much), a Living Vampire (i.e. you) drops into a death-like coma for a few days; when you wake up, you're something... different. On top of the benefits of being a Living Vampire, your metabolism has been tweaked for maximum efficiency; you age at one-tenth the "normal" rate and double your natural healing rate. You also regrow lost teeth regardless of how many times you've lost them, deal Lethal damage when biting people (you still are limited to doing so while Grappling), and no longer suffer Aggravated damage due to massive bodily trauma; your body holds together incredibly well. As a side benefit, anyone who drinks your blood receives a "phantom" version of this Merit at two dots for the next week, unless they already have a better rating.
    Drawback: Your body has stopped producing melatonin, meaning that sunlight leaves hellish burns on your body if you spend too much time outside; you consider even indirect sunlight to be a Level 3 Extreme Environment, meaning that the corner office is out of the question. Additionally, you are allergic to garlic; just smelling the stuff makes you suffer the Sickened (Moderate) Tilt until you can get somewhere else, while eating the stuff means you suffer from Sickened (Grave) instead. In the latter case, the Tilt lasts until you vomit up whatever you ate and "cleanse" yourself by drinking human blood; you must drink enough to fulfil your second Vice. Finally, you cannot spend Willpower to enhance a Resistance trait between Dawn and Dusk; any attempt to do so just results in wasted Willpower.

    Vampires and other Merits: Genetic Vampires are known to develop further supernatural abilities; even Followers have been known to become Mediums or spontaneously discover "gifts" like Biokinesis. In game terms, this Merit is a perfect justification for developing Supernatural merits related to death, improved senses, or impressive physical ability.

    Vampires and Genetics: To make it perfectly clear, Genetic Vampirism is not only rare and recessive, it's downright bad for your fertility. Followers are the only "sufferers" who suffer no negative effects; Dhampirs are roughly half as fertile as a healthy man or woman of their age, while Living Vampires usually have to adopt if they want kids and aren't really lucky. "Dead" Vampires are straight-up sterile; there are rumors going around that if you could get one pregnant, the kid would be born without a soul. As such, Vampire "society" develops new members by taking in the children of Followers; while most of their kids are just going to be Followers as well, a small number are going to natural-born Dhampirs or Living Vampires.

    Followers: Followers get a bit of a raw deal; sure, they can spot Vampires, but they are easily snared by their charms, and don't much else. However, their main benefit is that they're still fertile, meaning that their Vampiric "elders" tend to treat them well. After all, you don't want to cut off the next generation, do you? Of course, older Vampires (especially Dead Vampires, who can live over 700 years if they don't get killed first) tend to start taking the long view, and that gets... hairy. "Artificial" Followers created through drinking Dead Vampire blood can use that state as a justification to buy the first two dots of the Merit; after all, such an event can epigenetically force them to express their vampiric genes.

    Vampires and the Kindred: I don't understand what you're asking me here. Any stories about Vampires are clearly just exaggerations of the stories about these guys. I mean, seriously, who believes silly stories about the walking dead? It's a ridiculous concept that you shouldn't think about. Trust me on this one.

    This was inspired by this.
    Last edited by amechra; 05-11-2015, 12:16 PM.

  • Murder-chan
    replied
    Haha, yeah, I meant to say something when I first posted, but I forgot and was too lazy to edit aha ^_^;; Yes, it's more of a personal opinion! Sorry :x

    Aaah, that could lead to some interesting results. . . or traumatic, as the case may be~ Thanks for writing it up!

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    Ah, so it's personal opinion; something interesting to know, at least; I do agree that the media does the "demonizing the mentally ill" thing too much. Still, not entirely equipped to discuss this about you, especially here in this thread about...

    Oh, right, vampires! I'm glad you like it; though I do have to ask, what are these "Kindred" you're talking about?

    (More seriously, I see genetic vampires as stumbling blocks; characters see them, assume that they're the truth behind vampire stories, and then get slaughtered when they try to take out Kindred. And when players see them, they go "OMG KINDRED" and respond in all kinds of disproportionate ways. All in good fun!)

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  • Murder-chan
    replied
    Nah, it's still in the DSM-V -- the reason I say it's not a thing is because of the timelines and the iffiness of personality disorders in general, that are expounded by ASPD in particular. I'm also not claiming to have anything more than a few classes in psychology.

    Personality disorders are iffy because there's literally nothing that indicates they're anything more than, well, someone's personality -- and the diagnosing rules are extremely strict, probably to avoid causing more issues for people who are diagnosed than they solve, because, well, they solve nothing. On top of that, in order to be diagnosed with ASPD you HAVE to have exhibited terrible-conduct-to-the-point-of-being-diagnosed-with . . . what's it called. . . . conduct disorder? You have to have been diagnosed with a conduct disorder prior to the age of 15; on top of that, you can't be diagnosed with any personality disorder until you're at least 18 -- so you need to have a completely different disorder for three years in order to have ASPD, and THEN on top of that, the symptoms of ASPD generally fade in severity by the time you're 40 -- it's like a really length, rough adolescence more than a disorder, and that goes for all personality disorders. I believe this information is in the ASPD itself, but if not it should be on psychcentral and I know it was in my textbook(s). And though I haven't thoroughly gone through

    As for the timeline, the existence of "sociopaths" has been predominant in media (especially psychological thrillers) a lot longer than ASPD has been a thing, and in no way matches the actual symptoms or experience of ASPD -- sociopaths are cold blooded and exist primarily in a logic founded world in media, while ASPD is entirely about the lack of ability to think towards the future or put yourself in someone else's shoes. It is definitely not about an inability to care for others the way the media wants people to believe -- people with ASPD can DEFINITELY and ACTUALLY care for others, it's just that they can't see why others should be hurt by their actions or why they should be bothered by the consequences of their actions (and therefore why others should be bothered by the consequences of their actions) -- the idea that they just don't care about people, is, again, grounded in our need to have "us vs them" with "sociopaths" being the "them" in this case. They care, they're just bad at incorporating that care into their actions. Whether that means you should forgive them or not is entirely up to the person doing the forgiving though.

    So, no studies, but I have reasons for thinking the way I do -- which doesn't change me just being a person on the internet (that's exactly what I am) or make my argument more valid, but I'm also not just running around quoting things I don't understand, if that helps. The existence of ASPD is a personal . . . issue I have with psychology, though, so I rarely have the willpower to resist saying something about it. It's fascinating from the perspective of social psychology, I guess?


    Ah, more on topic though, I do like this merit -- reminds me of a lot of YA novels I've enjoyed in the past, like the Morganville Vampires and what not, and mixing the these Vampires with the Kindred could definitely be interesting. . . .

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  • amechra
    replied
    Can you give me any studies that indicate sociopathy (or antisocial personality disorder, if you prefer) isn't a thing? I do recall seeing it in the DSM-IV, but who knows - maybe they took it out, or I'm misremembering. Because, no offense, but you are just some random person on the internet.


    @Elfive - The issue there is that such a process models the cycle of becoming gradually more jaded as stressors mount, not an inherent resistance to stress. Plus, Integrity is just that - Integrity. Not Morality, or Humanistic Concern, or Giving a Fuck About Others - it's just a measure of how broken the World of Darkness has left you.

    I mean, let's bring up Slashers; under the Integrity system, it would be perfectly valid to have not killing someone be a Breaking Point for Slashers. Similarly, you don't suffer Breaking Points for hurting non-humans, so why should someone veering to psychological inhumanity have any issues with hurting humans?

    All besides the point, though; it's been swapped out for boring ol' immunity to Breaking Points caused by witnessing the Supernatural.

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  • Murder-chan
    replied
    To be entirely honest, sociopathy isn't actually a thing -- it's a media concept that later got translated into psychology (in the form of antisocial personality disorder) so that people could feel good about calling other people evil without having to examine their own actions. I'm sure your friend is actually able to care about other people (though, I mean, obviously I don't know them) though, because otherwise why would they bother pretending to care in the first place? Caring takes a lot of energy for very little benefit, if you think about it.

    That probably sounded cold, but my point is -- not to rain on your parade, but sociopathy isn't a thing. Personality disorders are inherently iffy (and even with the DSMV updates I don't see that going away) and sociopathy itself developed as a media concept because as living creatures that need to make snap decisions to stay alive sometimes, we really, really like black and white things where we don't have to worry about considering grey or drawing lines ourself.

    Maybe your friend's just an Elodoth

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  • Elfive
    replied
    You suffer them more easily until you abruptly stop being able to suffer them at all.

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  • amechra
    replied
    Originally posted by Griautis View Post
    Sociopaths are defined by having low Integrity, instead of being high Integrity with exceptions to their actions?
    Have I been doing it wrong again?

    Then again, I have the dubious honor of knowing a diagnosed sociopath, and he's both emotionally stable and a pretty nice guy (turns out pretending to care works out to be just as good as actually caring). So I might be biased.

    EDIT: Wait, they can't be low Integrity. Low Integrity means that you suffer Breaking Points more easily, and one of the hallmarks of sociopathy is an inability to feel guilt. I mean, I'd agree with you if this was Morality, but Integrity isn't moral.

    Also, need I mention that someone with Integrity 10 can get away feeling A-OK with mass murder?
    Last edited by amechra; 05-11-2015, 02:05 PM.

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  • Griautis
    replied
    Sociopaths are defined by having low Integrity, instead of being high Integrity with exceptions to their actions?

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    I missed your post because it was 6AM and I swear it wasn't there.

    They no longer suffer Breaking Points regarding normal people because they're sociopaths. I mean, you don't soul-search whenever you watch a guy get gunned down on a cop show, do you? I can see throwing on a Social penalty, though (what other sort? I know of NO OTHER SORT OF VAMPIRE. ) I can also take it out entirely, and let natural jadedness take its course... I think I'll do that.

    They do kinda get a subtle sort of regeneration, in that massive bodily trauma isn't Aggravated against them; they will recover from that gaping chest wound or mangled arm, thank you very much. But other than that, they explicitly grow in new teeth if they lose any over the course of their lives. They won't grow back from amputations or anything; because that would be silly.

    And yes, they would stack; I really don't see why it wouldn't. It must means you have a moar betterer metabolism. If you want to spend 6xp to heal four times faster than the "norms", then I feel like you earned it.
    Last edited by amechra; 05-11-2015, 12:23 PM.

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  • Elfive
    replied
    Wait, so they can regenerate teeth and only teeth?

    Also does the doubled healing stack with that granted by biokinesis?

    Also I sort of see what you're doing regarding the breaking points, but I think you need to slap in a drawback when relating to regular humans to go with it, just like the other sort have by the time they don't give a shit about murder.
    Last edited by Elfive; 05-11-2015, 07:44 AM.

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  • Griautis
    replied
    You haven't addressed my question about humans and breaking points? Why is this thing helping them preserve their integrity? Shouldn't it be the reverse? :P

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  • amechra
    replied
    Done and done. Anything else?


    For anyone interested, the pros and cons of being a Dead Vampire (i.e. having Vampire Genetics •••••) are as follows:

    Pros:
    • 10x lifespan.
    • Heal twice as fast; regrow lost teeth indefinitely.
    • Are immune to all mundane diseases.
    • Deal Lethal damage when biting people.
    • Can get Willpower by drinking blood.
    • Get a +6 bonus to Physical or Social dice-pools when spending Willpower at night.
    • Get a +3 bonus to Resistance traits when spending Willpower at night.
    • +2 to all Social rolls against characters with Vampire Genetics ••.
    • Can give someone Vampire Genetics •• by feeding them blood.
    • Have Unseen Senses (Genetic Vampires).
    • Don't suffer Aggravated damage from massive physical trauma.
    • Nasty things happening to non-Genetic Vampires don't trigger any Breaking Points.
    Cons:
    • You take a -3 penalty to all actions when in indirect sunlight; spending more than [Stamina] hours in any amount of Sunlight means you start taking 1L an hour.
    • You're an obligate carnivore.
    • You are very allergic to garlic.
    • Any Willpower you spend during the day to improve a dice pool or Resistance trait is wasted for no benefit.
    Last edited by amechra; 05-11-2015, 05:10 AM.

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  • Griautis
    replied
    Also, I dislike the part about excluding humans from Breaking points. It just, makes little sense? Well it's going towards the more monstrous it doesn't feel like this person should be able to hold his integrity properly (the stat which measures how integrated you are with society?). So I'd say that the merit should give you breaking points instead of giving you immunities from them. Some additional bonus might be in order for this too.

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  • StSword
    replied
    Nice, but some notes off the top of my head:

    When it comes to spending willpower, I'd throw in the willpower expenditure for resistance too, making them tougher at night, but weak during the day.

    Instead of making up a new type of striking looks, I'd just give them a plus 2 to social rolls against followers, it's just simpler.

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