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The Bitten [Blood Doll Micro Template]

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  • The Bitten [Blood Doll Micro Template]

    When one thinks about vampires, they seem to only care about the blood. It does make sense- after all, the blood is a very important aspect of the vampiric existence. The Kindred yearn for it, hunger for it, dream about it in their dark sleep. It powers their dark miracles, heals their body and sooth the Beast to rest. The thirst for blood shapes the vampire's personality and society, influencing their decisions and defining their existence. That sweet essence of life which is known as Vitae is what that binds a vampire to her sire, her sire to his clan, and the clan to the Kindred as whole. The blood is life, and life is almost everything to the Kindred.

    But you can't get the blood without the Bite.

    If the blood is life, the bite is death. It is the act by which the vampire takes the most important thing from another. The Bite could be seen as a "small murder"- that is, unless the vampire actually murders the target. The Bite is also a vector of the vampire's supernatural energy- after all, just like that the blood has occult properties, the Bite can also influence the victim, causing them great pleasure from the Kiss or terrible terror from the Assault. Those bitten by vampires also have chances to rise post mortemly, or return from the grave as revenants to hunt their unaware sire. The traditional Embrace itself includes both of those aspects of the vampire existence- the Bite to give death, and the Blood to give life. It is a part of the circle, part of the greater whole.

    So it should not come as surprise that sometimes, the Bite changes people.

    You know the stories about how a person bitten by a vampire always rise as a vampire? Well, that's nonsense (usually). However, sometimes a change does happen- some of the vampire's supernatural presence lingers into the victim, marking him with the touch of death. The mechanism behind the phenomenon is not really clear- sometimes, just a single bite is all that it takes. On others, It is a product of a critical mass of bites which accumulate in a favored Blood Doll. More than one Dragon has presented their own theory about the subject, including a full model which calculates the requirements for provoking the phenomenon, but no such model has been successful enough when preformed experimentally. It seems like there are simply too many variables to consider, and the assumptions needed for the models are more or less like assuming that the person is found in zero temperature, spherical and in vacuum.

    Until then, there is nothing to allow the vampire to predict when their regular feeding may end up with some extraordinary result- for better, or worse.

    After all, when biting people, you should always be careful that they won't bite you back.

    The Bitten

    The Bitten is a variant Stigmatic template, with the main difference is that instead of being marked by the God Machine's project, the person is marked by the Curse and the Beast. As such, all Bitten has the following traits-

    - like Stigmatics, the Bitten gain an Unseen Sense, only aspected toward the Kindred instead of the God Machine. They also can't see the God Machine's gears and their like.

    - the Bitten do not gain the Omen Sensitivity merit. Instead, they gain one dot in the Darkening merit for free (see bellow).

    - the Bitten suffer from a variant form of glitches known as "bite marks", which represents the Bite which induced upon them the touch of death. They also suffer from a Persistent Swooning or Scarred Condition, related to their experience and the vampire who caused it.

    - like Stigmatics, the Bitten may buy and activate Supernatural Merits. That includes Ghoul specific merits. In case the merit's prerequisite calls for a regnant, treat it as the vampire to cause you the Bite mark. All such merits requires the Bitten to be drained from blood at least once per 24 hours, or else she may not activate them. Aesthetically, all Supernatural Merits activated by the Bitten have themes of blood, darkness, shadows or death (Omen Sensitivity, for example, would show a world covered with blood, and psychokinesis would allow to manipulate blood or darkness). Work with the ST to decide the exact details, and if a certain mechanical changes are required.

    Darkening (0-00000)
    prerequisites: Mortal, being bitten in the past by a vampire at least once.

    Darkening is the measure by which the Curse lingers into the the Bitten, making them into a "better prey" for the Kindred to hunt- or to bring their doom upon their head. Each dot in Darkening is considered as a virtual "heal level", once which does not count for the usual count of the Bitten's Health rating- but is counted for the purpose for feeding a vampire. When being bitten, the vampire first drains the virtual health levels before causing any real damage to the Bitten. That ability stacks with the Producer merit. The virtual health levels heal as if they were regular injuries, but only after the Bitten's true health if fully healed.

    In an addition, the Darkening grants the Bitten a bit better leverage when dealing with the Kindred. When being targeted by the Kiss or the Assault, they may roll their [Darkening] against the vampire's [Blood Potency] in order to resist the effects of the Bite (they still enjoy it, but do not suffer from a Condition from it). The Bitten also have higher chance of suffering from the Posthumous Embrace, adding a positive modifier equal to the Darkening rating to the Blood Potency roll, and as a negative modifier for Humanity roll made when rolling for a Revenant.

    Finally, there is one last power which all Bitten gain as their Curse grows darker- the ability to lure vampires, and bring doom upon their heads. At Darkening of 3 dots, choose a single Lure which corresponds to his "Biter's" Clan (see the Dampyr section at Wicked Dead). At five dots, he also gains the corresponding Doom. At any moment, the Bitten may activate the Lure (and Doom, if they have one) for a Scene by spending a Willpower point (adjust mechanics accordingly to 2e, like replacing Virtue/Vice with Mask/Dirge). The Bitten may decide to activate only the Lure, without the Doom. The progression in stages happens only while the Bitten activating their Lure. Bitten may but Lures for other Clans as 3 dot merits, and upgrade them to Dooms as 5 dots merits.


    My Homebrew Signature

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Cool. Some metaphysical thoughts: The Darkening makes the mortal more sustaining to vampires. The question of how is raised.

    1. The curse of the Beast is a part of the Beast. Blood sympathy suggests that whatever the Beast is, it has the capacity to connect across space, like a Space Mage might. The Darkening is not Beast residue, it is lingering connection to the Beast itself. As such, maybe the Darkening is the Beast amplifying blood to Vitae like levels within the mortal.

    This presents certain interesting angles to be pursued. Can you infect a herd with your Beast and use the infection to lash out at other predators? Can a favored blood doll be the source of a blood bond? Can dolls 'evolve' into ghouls by some means, either conscious or unconscious? Can complete Darkened feed Elders?

    And Why would the Beast function this way? Is it territoriality? Is the Beast a kind of Spirit, seeking to spread the conditions that sustain it? Or does Man, graving the boon of immortality, steal the Beast from itself?

    2. The Darkening is evolution. It is a living thing building around the Beast. The Darkening represents the efficient concentration of the blood, to better protect the host. As humanity evolved large scale to support the parasite? What aspects of humanity are our own, and which have been overplayed? More worryingly, are stable herds a threat now? Or are stable herds yet another boon to elders worth taking?

    3. The Beast leaves residue of itself in the form of the Curse. Like the sympathy above but with discontinuities. Do Gangrel herds operate differently to Mekhet herds? Are Kindred parasite or virus? Why does residue make mortals stronger? This theory explains the Lure and Doom best; Darkened become psudo-vamps.

    And other queries.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very interesting Lost Light. I think I threw out a while back a mortal supernatural merit set around the concept of unusual blood. What's neat about your approach is that it clearly links the vampiric nature to the resulting mini-template. That makes it easy to toss into a campaign: as easy as a revenant and illustrating a similar "problem" the kindred physiology and life--vampires contaminate whomever they come into intimate contact with.

      * Drank vitae/fed to death? == Revenant!
      * Loved a mortal too much? == Dhampir!
      * Enjoyed a mortal too much? == Bitten!

      Vampires are cursed, so whatever they are passionate about the Beast latches onto, changes and attempts to drag into its orbit. As Tabanese points out, The Darkening would be a function of the connection between the Bitten and the Beast of the vampire, especially since they gain a persistent condition toward the vampire who caused it. You could explain some of the Darkening aspects, especially around extra feeding health levels, as a kind of self-defense by a prey creature versus an influence it cannot escape (and physiologically may not want to). The natural reaction of the human body is to take the side-effects of the vampiric Beast and its vitae, and use it to survive: hence ghoul healing, prolonged lifespan, increased strength and the like.

      There are very serious implications for herds, and I think a Storyteller using hand-waved mechanics to "spread" the condition between herd-mates who come in contact could tell an interesting story. Otherwise, you might find that one out of the herd who just.. responds better to the attention, and then asking "why" is reasonable.

      I could totally see a Coil focused around the attunement of a vampire to his or her herd, and the channeling of the Beast through them. The Beast is totally territorial, so anything marked as "mine" it would want to sense, control and protect from the other predators. Give the Beast more of a role in this, however, and the vampire will end up being dragged along.

      If you want Darkening to aid elder feeding, then just subtract its rating (or, rating - X) from Blood Potency to determine if feeding restrictions come into play.

      --Khanwulf

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      • #4
        Love Beyond Time- the Inamorata

        The taint of the Bite always scars the soul. Its mark darkens the heart of the Bitten, crawls into them like a warm and twists their life and blood to bind them through those which Kissed them. However, usually, those scars are nothing but a temporary pain- and the soul is eternal. With death, the soul is freed, clean of the darkness and pain of the Bite. There are, of course, exceptions- it is not unheard of for the Bitten to leave ghosts behind, especially does who died gruesome and terrible death at the hands of the vampires. Less common are those who rise post mortemly, returning from their grave as either full Kindred or as haunting revenants. The All Night Society, however, is aware of those risks, and it is well built to handle those problems.

        The Inamorata are an whole other kind of story.

        No one knows what exactly makes the Inamorata happen. Some say that they are the outcome of Bitten that were tied too much to the one who Kissed (or Assaulted) them, as if the vampire has "bitten too deep". Some say that they are what happen when the Bitten curse the vampire who took their life with doom beyond time and space. The saddest theory is that the Inamorata are, truly, the product of love- for the Kiss got its name for a reason. Vampires, after all, may be dead beings- but they are still full of desire, of want, or need. Vampires know love- but it is a dark love, a twisted love, a possessive love which claims the life of another without willing to let go of it- and if death is to sat them apart, than death be damned. The poor soul in which the vampire fell in love with does not know to what it entered for- and as the vampire Kiss their bride to be, the Bite carries more than the regular darkness of the Beast- it also carries its love, no matter how dark and twisted it may be.

        Here's the problem- the love of the Beast is eternal and knows no bound, but the life of a mortal aren't. Those who are loved by a Kindred, sometimes even against their will, usually have life even shorter than they expect them to be. Sometimes, when the love is not strong enough, it ends up with nothing but a corpse, and a mourning (and probably pissed off) vampire. On others, it ends with the Embrace- only for the sire to find out the one they loved in not there anymore. And sometimes, when the stars are crossed and Eros's arrow strike true, then it is not over, not yet. Loves conquers all they say- death included. Those who were Bitten are now Loved, and the Beast calls for its loved one again and again, howling to the night with lose..

        Until the Loved return. And then, the vampire gains a second chance- one more, doomed attempt at gaining what they yearned for some much. The love burns like fire- and just like flames, it consumes the lover. Tragedy is waiting to hit once more, scaring both lover and Loved- only for the Inamorata to return again, and again, and again, and again. Each time, the lost soul would answer the Beast's call. Each time, love would be lost. It is a pre- written play, where all the characters know their role- a play which would never end, for love is, by its essence, immortal.

        Put your masks and prepare to dance. The music is about to start. Your destined one is out there, you can feel it. The Beast roars with joy as it found what is its. Grasp their hand to have one more sweet, sweet dance. Forget about the time, forget about the world. It is only you, and the loved one which you searched for since the day you died.

        Until the sun rise, the dream ends, and you are nothing but ash carried in the wind- until your loved one would come again.

        Mechanics

        All Loved start their lives as regular humans, having no difference between them and any other mortal- with the exception of one thing. They all look exactly as their original incarnation, the one in which their Lover (meaning, the vampire who originally gave them the Bite) fell in love in. However, it all change once they experience the Bite for the first time. It does not need to be the original Lover to do the act- any vampire do. The reason for it is obscure- be it that the scars upon the soul are already sensitive, and the darkness in them is never truly healed, or that the Lover's Beast sense that someone tries to claim what is its, and its call would awaken the soul's hidden memories. Once the Inamorata is awakened, the Lover (if alive) would immediately know about it. If found in torpor, they would immediately awaken, even if drained of blood or having a stake in their heart. If dead, the closest descendant in the Lover's bloodline would experience the same, haunting love, and would experience strange memories which are not their own (which could be easily blamed upon the Fog of Ages). On the rare cases where the bloodline is too diluted or plain dead, it is Biting vampire which would be bound in such a way to the Inamorata. Nothing can stop the call of the love, after all- not as long as there is someone who could listen.

        The Loved itself has the same properties as a regular Bitten, with the following exceptions-

        - Like the Bitten, the Beloved suffer from the effects of the Swooned/Scarred Conditions. However, they are not targeted toward the biting vampire, but toward the Lover, no matter where they may be, or if the Inamorata have never seen them before. Dreams about them would haunt their minds, in the form of beautiful nightmares or terrible fantasies.

        - for any vampire other than the Lover, the blood of the Inamorata would feel dry and tasteless. They would still gain the same amount of Vitae, but the experience would feel troublesome, as if they took something which does not belong to them. Sometimes, they would even see an image or two, which is related to the memory of the Inamorata's life. There are no mechanical side effects, however.

        - for the Lover itself, however, the blood of the Loved is a great blessing- and a curse. Drinking from the Inamorata would grant Vitae as if the Loved has the Producer merit (the effect stacks with the actual merit). However, drinking the blood would immediately cast a special form of Doom upon the Lover, causing their powers of the Blood fail, forget they are dead and lose the sense of time. That is represented by having the effectivity of the Lover's Disciplines to be halved, and puts them under a constant effect of the Blush of Life as presented in Thousand Years of Night. In an addition, for every Vitae taken from the Inamorata, the Lover would stay awake for 30 minutes more than the usual, and would suffer no pain from being exposed to sunlight (the damage is the same, but they simply won't recognize they are harmed)

        - For the Loved, the Darkening of the soul knows no bounds. Inamorata can rise their Darkening score up to 10, and it acts as if it was a Supernatural Tolerance trait for the need of resisting supernatural effects.

        - At any moment, both the Inamorata and the Lover can spend a Willpower point in order to feel the general state and location of their partner. That emphatic bond lasts for a scene, but also has a disadvantage for the Lover. Once bonded, the Lover would gain the Obsessive Condition toward the Loved. Also, the Inamorata immediately would take the place of one of their Touchstones, even if their Humanity is too low to preserve it. Even Draugr would suddenly feel pull toward the Inamorata, even though they may not understand how or why they feel so. In case the Inamorata gets killed, the Lover would immediately suffer from a Detachment roll, and the obsession would be shifted toward the one responsible to their death (and if there is no one like it around or they were the killer, then toward the one whom they could think is responsible. The Beast is an hypocrite being, after all). The Condition could be removed only by avenging the Lover's (temporary) death.

        - the bond, however, does grant certain benefits to the Loved themselves. For each even number of dots in Darkening, they gain access to a Discipline power known to their Lover with a rating equal half or less than the Darkening rating. There are no prerequisites for the power, other than the fact it can't be a Blood Sorcery Discipline, a Devotion or something like the Coils. The Loved has to pay with their virtual Health levels as if they were Vitae in order to activate those powers.

        - bound by powers which defy both death and time, no lesser curses can bind the Inamorata's soul. The Loved can not leave a ghost behind, and may not be Embraced- doing so would only kill the Inamorata, which would leave the Lover very, very angry (especially if they were the ones to attempt doing so). There is no record for the Inamorata to ever experience the First Change, Awaken or be Devoured. The Gentry are known to avoid kidnapping the Loved (for who they are to ruin such a fine tragedy?), and demons which sign pacts of any kind with the Inamorata discover in the moment of truth that the contract is null and void, for the soul is already bound by forces greater, darker and far more terrible than what they have access too. There are stories about an Inamorata which has somehow escaped their curse by having a Bargain with a Geist, but if so, no one has ever met them.

        - finally, the powers which bind the Inamorata's soul grant it certain blessings which transcend both time and space. All reincarnated souls, the Loved are treated as Reborn, gaining access to the Akashic Library (or as they call it, their "Memory Palace"), and have access to the Understanding feature of the template.
        Last edited by LostLight; 02-19-2018, 06:42 PM.


        My Homebrew Signature

        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

        I now blog in here

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        • #5
          LostLight this is easily 10x better than the Inamorata in Thousand Years. It's also far easier to use by an ST, as it gives a clear, story progression for how you got there, rather than just plopping an antagonist in kinda like 1e dhampyr were.

          (You need an editing pass.)

          What about the effect (IIRC) of Inamorata that causes vamps to lose track of time? You reference it in fluff, but should there not be something that enables the Lover to stay awake after dawn (and not even notice the sun rising) while with their Loved--even while it grants no protection versus such?

          Further: why no Embrace? Why not have it simply remove the minor template, "kill" the Loved (with concurrent effect on the Lover), raise the Loved as a vamp, and perhaps make the ex-Loved immune to blood bonds by the ex-Lover? That ought to do it... and the ex-Lover is likely to consider their newly-minted child to be responsible for "killing" their Loved one, especially as the ex-Loved now no longer cares for them!

          Why no First Change? Luna is fickle and exceedingly powerful. A story of a reincarnating werewolf and a vamp bound in forbidden and hideously tragic love sounds ... about perfect, frankly. Happily ever after for sure....

          The rest: sure--the Gentry would want to take the pair, not just the Loved, and the rest of the changes are soul-related modifications that I can see not working out.


          --Khanwulf

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
            LostLight this is easily 10x better than the Inamorata in Thousand Years. It's also far easier to use by an ST, as it gives a clear, story progression for how you got there, rather than just plopping an antagonist in kinda like 1e dhampyr were.
            thank you! The main reason I made that version was because I felt a bit 'meh' from reading the 1000 Years of Night version, and wanted to make it a bit more interesting. I'm happy that you liked it.

            What about the effect (IIRC) of Inamorata that causes vamps to lose track of time? You reference it in fluff, but should there not be something that enables the Lover to stay awake after dawn (and not even notice the sun rising) while with their Loved--even while it grants no protection versus such?
            good catch, I'll add it once I'll have time

            Further: why no Embrace? Why not have it simply remove the minor template, "kill" the Loved (with concurrent effect on the Lover), raise the Loved as a vamp, and perhaps make the ex-Loved immune to blood bonds by the ex-Lover? That ought to do it... and the ex-Lover is likely to consider their newly-minted child to be responsible for "killing" their Loved one, especially as the ex-Loved now no longer cares for them!
            The main reason? It felt like cheating. You don't get to have any of the Inamorata, either body or soul. Fluff wise? See bellow.

            Why no First Change? Luna is fickle and exceedingly powerful. A story of a reincarnating werewolf and a vamp bound in forbidden and hideously tragic love sounds ... about perfect, frankly. Happily ever after for sure....

            The rest: sure--the Gentry would want to take the pair, not just the Loved, and the rest of the changes are soul-related modifications that I can see not working out.
            While the Inamorata is a minor template, the metaphysics around it is a bit different- there is a reason that it can have Darkening of 10, after all. While the Beast clawing at the Inamorata's soul is the catalyst for the curse, there is something... darker behind the scenes. There is a reason I used the term "greater, darker and far more terrible" in the description. When a Bitten becomes Loved, the forces which curse the Inamorata and her Lover are not simply the Beast any more than the Embrace is *just* the blood of the sire in a dead corpse. Something watch the tragedy from the shadows, and don't be surprised if its eyes shine in golden light.

            You can easily rule otherwise, of course, but that just the vision I had in mind when I wrote the Loved.


            My Homebrew Signature

            "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

            I now blog in here

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LostLight View Post
              thank you! The main reason I made that version was because I felt a bit 'meh' from reading the 1000 Years of Night version, and wanted to make it a bit more interesting. I'm happy that you liked it.

              The main reason? It felt like cheating. You don't get to have any of the Inamorata, either body or soul. Fluff wise? See bellow.

              While the Inamorata is a minor template, the metaphysics around it is a bit different- there is a reason that it can have Darkening of 10, after all. While the Beast clawing at the Inamorata's soul is the catalyst for the curse, there is something... darker behind the scenes. There is a reason I used the term "greater, darker and far more terrible" in the description. When a Bitten becomes Loved, the forces which curse the Inamorata and her Lover are not simply the Beast any more than the Embrace is *just* the blood of the sire in a dead corpse. Something watch the tragedy from the shadows, and don't be surprised if its eyes shine in golden light.

              You can easily rule otherwise, of course, but that just the vision I had in mind when I wrote the Loved.

              There were, unfortunately, may "meh" moments in Thousand Years. I'm particularly annoyed that you cannot purchase a package as an elder with the experience you get from a century, or even two!

              Ehem.

              For... reasons... I react strongly to "no-no you may not combine x and y, or do z->aa conversion! Horrors!" There's a thread in which I "fix" dhampyr via merits to get around their off-handed restrictions, as a result. Obviously, using homebrew (or even published material) is an exercise in adaptation; the benefit of published material is it serves to shield the table from tiresome accusations of gaming the "wrong way."

              If the Darkness delights in the suffering of the vamp for inadvertently killing the Loved instead of Embracing her, might it not cackle hootingly all the more at her rising, severed of all the ties that the Lover hoped to exercise, while the Lover's Beast recognizes and rages at the loss? What is this likely to do to vampiric society around the individuals? Is it going to help or hinder stability and misery? That's why I recommended it. YMMV.

              Regardless--and we're quibbling over the equivalent of grammar here--well done.

              --Khanwulf
              Last edited by Khanwulf; 02-19-2018, 05:45 PM. Reason: Grammar is a dancer...

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              • #8
                changed the effects of drinking the Inamorata's blood to fit what is presented in 1000 Years of Night.


                My Homebrew Signature

                "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

                I now blog in here

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