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Walking Shadows: Kallisti & Perfidy

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  • Walking Shadows: Kallisti & Perfidy

    Bloodline #5 of 6. The Kallisti were sort of the inverse of the Nagloper. With the Nagloper, I had a grand powerset, but had no idea as to theme or weakness. With the Kallisti, the theme and weakness came in a flash of inspiration, whereas their Discipline and Devotions took me several tries (mental powers are hard). Still, I am modestly pleased with the result.

    For the record, in WS-verse, Frenzy does not automatically transform you into a violent monster. Instead, you maintain all of your usual faculties (enhanced, even by the Beast's malign focus), and go about your goal in the most efficient way possible. Hunger and Fear Frenzies work much the same, but in an Anger Frenzy, the vampire will do whatever they think will hurt their target most, with no concern for self-preservation or consequences. In other words, the scrawny Mekhet won't try and flail ineffectually at you -- they'll collect all of your secrets, publish them online, and stand at the corner of Elysium handing out web-addresses. The delicate Daeva won't attempt to punch you with their exquisitely manicured nail -- they'll find your Touchstone, seduce them, and drain them dry. (A big, brutal Nosferatu will still try to bash your head in, but they might hang out in ambush for you). There's more on WS-Frenzy in the Innocence and Bane threads, found via my signature.

    Haughty, cold, and hateful, the Kallisti look around themselves and see nothing but trash. They see treachery and deceit, they see elders inveigle their protégés in schemes that leave the latter hurt and bleeding, and then they see those neonates turn around and lie and cheat and torment those that they can. The Kallisti see a cycle of abuse everywhere they look, a worm-eaten society that tarnishes everything it touches. Wouldn’t it be better, the Kallisti think, to tear it all down?

    The Goddess Eris threw a single, golden apple at a gathering of gods and mortals, inscribed with the word ‘Kallisti’, ‘To the Fairest’. With that one apple she started a war among gods and men that would last for ten years and see the fall of Troy. Yet, the Kindred of the Kallisti point out, none of it would have happened if not for the inherent rottenness of the structure, if the goddesses had not fought for the apple, if they had not tried to bribe Paris, if either Paris or Helen had respected their own laws. Eris, as far as the Kallisti are concerned, was doing a public service.

    The Kallisti hail from northern Europe during the age of the Wars of Religion, but to them, the story of Eris is their true foundational tale and many adopt faintly Greek flourishes. The Kallisti like to see themselves as righteous agents of destruction and chaos, taking a knife to the fabric of lies which makes up Kindred society and revealing the ugliness underneath. The Kallisti alone stand apart from that rancid pit, untouched and pristine.

    …Except it doesn’t really work that way. Humans are social animals, Kindred only somewhat less, and to see plots and deceit the way the Kallisti do is not a psychologically healthy thing. The Kallisti are paranoid almost by definition, bitter from a thousand imagined slights and betrayals, and so they become isolated from anyone who might attempt to extend even the least hand of friendship. The Kallisti see the already dark society of the Kindred through jade-colored glasses.

    Most Kallisti polarize into two camps based on how they deal with their loneliness and hurt. A small but sizable minority essentially goes ‘Who needs them?’ and cultivates narcissism and a passionate loathing towards everyone around them. These are the Kallisti who tear apart the social fabric of man and Kindred alike, just for the fun of it. The larger part descends into depression and self-incrimination, trying to decide what is it about themselves that makes it so difficult, perhaps impossible, to have friends. These vampires are more likely to lash out as a way to distract from their pain, to bring everyone down to their own level of misery. Not to say that the Kallisti can’t simultaneously bounce between those two poles – plenty of them do.

    Kallisti Embrace for wealth, beauty, and intelligence, but few Kallisti survive a very long time. The lonely Requiem of the Kallisti is even more psychologically damaging than the normal one. The budding megalomaniacs usually end up dying by offending the wrong elder, while those lost in depression turn to drugs, self-harm, and have suicide rates high even by the generous standards of the Kindred. The few Kallisti who survive to become elders tend to be outright sociopaths, which does little to endear the bloodline to others.

    The Isolation of Vampiric Society
    The All Night Society is a machine which takes freshly-Embraced naifs in at one end and produces cold, borderline sociopathic Kindred at the other. Every neonate learns that betrayal is the name of the game, and the lucky ones survive their lessons. The few loves and friendships that manage to survive in this harsh soil are all the more precious for their scarcity -- until the Kallisti cuts them short with an icy whisper. The Kallisti embody and exacerbate everything isolating and destructive in Kindred society. Denied the comforts of companionship and affection, the Kallisti deny it others as well, until all that is left is a barren wasteland.

    In London
    The Kallisti have always been at home in London, throwing their poisoned apples into the whirl of Kindred society, then hiding in the oblivious throng. At any one time, London hosts two or three of the beautiful monsters, seesawing between the search for some sort of acceptance and the vengeful destruction of all that lies before them.

    Sophie Penrose is far and away the most prominent Kallisti, if only for her own spiral of self-destruction. Once, she was the pet of an ancient Elder, entrusted with the daily management of his affairs. Depressed and self-sabotaging in the extreme, she formed a relationship with the elder's equally unhealthy childe. Against all odds, the relationship that has survived everything that fate and Penrose's own self-destructive behavior have caused. The elder is gone now, and Penrose has earned the enmity of the Prince and the loss of much of her fortune, but she has something infinitely more precious now. The beginnings of acceptance in the Ordo Dracul, and a love that somehow, Sophie hasn't managed to extinguish yet.

    If Penrose is representative of the depressive side of the Kallisti, then the Harpy Nathaniel Beaufort exemplifies the narcissism of the Kallisti. For over a hundred years, the beautiful artist lived a Requiem of abuse and mental cruelty, taking the attitude that the best defense against being betrayed was a good offense. Slowly, he slipped into irrelevancy, until an encounter with a very powerful and very malicious changeling left Nathaniel with two wounds that would never heal -- one to his throat, forcing the artist to speak with a voice synthesizer, and one to his pride, forcing Nathaniel to come to terms with his own mediocrity. Beaufort may have been made out of sterner stuff than anyone expected, himself included, though. Once more ascending to the heights of Kindred society, Nathaniel is intent on being a better person... at least until his Curse twists it all again.

    Clan: Daeva
    Bloodline Disciplines: Celerity, Majesty, Vigor, Perfidy
    Bloodline Weakness: The Curse of the Golden Apple
    The blood of the Kallisti cannot cause Vinculums, denying them even the artificial love of the blood bond. The great majority of the Kallisti think this to be their only Curse.

    Their true Curse activates whenever the Kallisti rolls Wits+Empathy or Wits+Subterfuge to determine the emotions, motivations or truthfulness of an individual who is not attempting to conceal anything – in other words, when the Kallisti would be rolling Wits+Empathy or Wits+Subterfuge unopposed.

    In those cases, the Kallisti’s very Beast opposes the roll, with a dice pool equal to her (10-Humanity). If the Kallisti’s roll exceeds that of its Beast, then she gains a true understanding of the situation. But if the Beast wins the contested roll, then it gives the Kallisti a false impression.

    The false impressions are usually subtle and plausible and never lead the Kallisti into danger directly (though self-destructive acts as a result of the Heartless Curse are common). Instead, the Beast will contrive to make it seem as if her friends, allies, loved ones (including Touchstones) care nothing for the Kallisti and are only using her for their own ends. Declarations of love or affection will ring false, and even simple statements will be tinged with deceit. No one cares for the Kallisti. No one loves her. And no one ever will.
    Last edited by NeoTiamat; 02-04-2014, 01:54 AM.

    GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
    New System and Setting Material

  • #2
    Perfidy is the art of social destruction raised to the level of a vampiric Discipline. It undermines trust, dissolves interpersonal connections and shatters the bonds that hold society together. This Discipline’s techniques are relentlessly, insidiously destructive, all the better to suit the Kallisti ambition of tearing it all down.

    Perfidy operates by means of a single base power and then modifications, all of which cost Vitae. The amount of Vitae that the Kallisti spends on a single use of Perfidy is not limited by the Kallisti's Vitae-per-Turn, as the Kallisti can spend additional Vitae before the activation of Eris's Touch to 'charge' the curse with particular potency.

    Eris's Touch (Perfidy 1)
    The Kallisti don't precisely worship Eris, but they respect her greatly, and so it is fitting that they should name the cornerstone of their abilities in her honor. Few Kallisti realize that Eris's Touch operates by infecting others with the Kallisti's own Bloodline Curse. Such things occur only to others, never to the Kallisti themselves.

    Eris's Touch, name notwithstanding, does not require physical contact. It is activated by simply conversing with the target (an exchange as simple as 'Hello, how are you?' 'Fine' is sufficient, but both parties must say something). By nature, Perfidy is subtle, though using it against an Auspex-user triggers a Clash of Wills to notice Perfidy.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: Intelligence+Subterfuge+Perfidy vs. Composure+Blood Potency
    Action: Instant
    Duration: Scene

    Roll Results
    Dramatic Failure: The attempted activation results in a backlash that awakens the Kallisti's own Beast. The Kallisti immediately rolls for Anger Frenzy, requiring successes equal to their own Perfidy dots.
    Failure: The target feels a certain sense of unease, perhaps the glimmerings of suspicion about those around them, but they are easily dismissed.
    Success: Eris's Touch imbues the target with a measure of the Kallisti's own supernaturally-enhanced paranoia. They suffer the Eris's Blessing Condition.
    Exceptional Success: More successes are their own reward, as they enhance the potency of Eris's Attention.

    At the Storyteller's discretion, the effects of Eris's Blessing may be modeled with the Paranoia Condition -- it doesn't have quite the same possibility of disastrous misunderstanding, but serves well enough when Perfidy is turned on minor characters or throngs of individuals.

    Eris's Blessing
    You perceive the people around you through jade-colored glasses, as the touch of Eris, Goddess of Discord lies lightly upon you. Name notwithstanding, this is emphatically
    not a blessing.

    Whenever you roll Wits+Empathy or Wits+Subterfuge to assess the emotions, motivation, or trustworthiness of someone else, you are opposed not just by your target's Manipulation+Subterfuge (if you are opposed), but also by a dice pool equal to the Kallisti's Perfidy+Successes.

    If you succeed against both the opponent and against Eris's Blessing, or fail against the opponent but succeed against Eris's Blessing, then the social interaction resolves as it normally would.

    If you fail against Eris's Blessing, however, then the curse skews to the negative your perception of whatever the normal result of the social interaction would be (regardless of whether or not you succeeded against your social opponent). This can even cause false readings to appear under the appropriate circumstances -- or possibly true ones, though in those cases the truth is purely accidental (you use Wits+Subterfuge to determine if someone is lying, they roll Manip+Subterfuge and exceed your successes, but you think they are lying anyway due to Eris's Blessing).

    The effects of Eris's Blessing are usually minor on the face of it, if difficult to dismiss. They appear to dislike you, or they appear to be lying even if they are not. Words seem to be said in a lightly mocking tone, or you are treated with contempt or disdain. This effect is subtle (you still hear the same words and see the same things, it's simply the emphases and body language that seem to shift) and plausible (as the false impressions are constructed by your own subconscious, and are as plausible as your own creativity and intellect can make them, drawing upon any hidden suspicions or worries that you may possess).
    Resolution: Eris's Blessing cannot be removed without magic, but it can be avoided by the simple expedient of taking everything on trust -- never rolling for Empathy or Subterfuge and flying blind, so to speak.
    Beat: You take action on the basis of your newly-formed suspicions that have negative repercussions for yourself (you start an argument, accuse someone of treachery, refuse aid, etc).
    Expiration: Scene, but may be longer

    You think the world is out to get you. It might actually be out to get you, but paranoia is not a survival reflex. It's a crippling, emotionally wearying sensation of constant suspicion and fear, and doesn't really help you spot any
    actual plots (if anything, the false positives paranoia identifies are even worse for your ability to notice enemies than not paying attention). The character takes a -2 to all Social rolls as they second-guess and suspect everyone they come in contact with, and a -1 to all Mental rolls from the constant stress and distraction.
    Resolution: A Touchstone may talk the character down from their Paranoia as an extended Presence+Persuasion action (5-10 minutes per roll, successes vary by default to 10). Being alone in a secure Lair puts the penalties of Paranoia into abeyance.
    Beat: The character sabotages himself or offends someone else due to their paranoia.
    Expiration: Scene, though it may be longer

    Trojan Horse (Perfidy 2)
    Sometimes, the Kallisti doesn't want to awaken the target's paranoia right away. They'd rather have Eris's Blessing lie in wait, until the perfect moment to sow discord and heartache.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None

    This enhances Eris's Touch. Instead of activating immediately, the Kallisti set a trigger for when Eris's Blessing comes into effect. The trigger can be absolutely anything, from 'when you talk to someone wearing red' to 'when the Prince compliments you on your successful resolution of the Dockyards situation,' but it must be an objective variable (in other words, 'when you feel sad' is not a valid trigger).

    A Kallisti can set more than one trigger, so long as they spend Vitae for each Trigger (1V per trigger). If the trigger does not occur by sunrise, then the power fades away unactivated.

    Agamemnon's Reward (Perfidy 3)
    An hour's worth of paranoia is all well and good, but there's only so much damage that the Kallisti can do in so brief a time. In order to truly shred a target's social relationships, the Kallisti needs time. This power gives the Kallisti that time.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None
    Duration: Kallisti's (Blood Potency+Perfidy) Nights

    This enhances Eris's Touch, increasing the duration of Eris's Blessing to the Kallisti's (Blood Potency+Perfidy) nights. If combined with Trojan Horse, then Eris's Blessing may trigger at any point during this duration, but lasts for only a single scene once activated. Agamemnon's Reward may only be applied once to a single Eris's Touch.

    Discordia (Perfidy 4)
    With this power, the Kallisti may now expand their aura of discord upon an entire gathering, leaving nothing but recrimination and anger in their wake.

    Cost: 2 Vitae
    Requirements: Discordia cannot be combined with Trojan Horse, Agamemnon's Reward, or the Curse of Paris
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None

    This enhances Eris's Touch. It creates a sort of social contagion out Eris's Blessing. Anyone who speaks to the sufferer of Eris's Blessing must roll Composure+Blood Potency against the original successes of the Kallisti, gaining Eris's Blessing if they fail. Then, anyone who speaks to either the original target or anyone who has been 'infected' by them must roll to avoid contracting Eris's Blessing as well, until a significant number of people have been infected with Eris's Blessing. A single use of Discordia means that a total of ten people will suffer Eris's Blessing, and each further use of Discordia adds ten more sufferers.

    Discordia can be used to transform any gathering into a snake pit of deceit and suspicion. Once a gathering achieves a certain critical mass of people affected by Eris's Blessing (25% will usually do it), all useful business grinds to a halt. Brainstorming sessions produce no ideas, group discussions descend into acrimony and blame-slinging, corporate meetings produce no plans of action, no one volunteers for anything, and so forth. This may even lead to violence, but only if the environment was already conducive to it (a pub or political protest, say), and rarely anything more severe than a fistfight.

    Curse of Paris (Perfidy 5)
    Up until now, the Kallisti has only affected the perceptions of those unfortunates targeted by Perfidy. With the Curse of Paris, however, the Kallisti mirror Eris's Blessing within and without, slicing away the bonds of affection wherever they exist. This power turns brother against brother, husband against wife, parents against children and childe against sire. This is the power that earns the Kallisti bloodline its infamous and terrible reputation (where it has any reputation at all).

    Cost: 2 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None

    This enhances Eris's Touch. The false impression effect of Eris's Blessing now not only affects the target, but also everyone who speaks with them. If anyone rolls Wits+Empathy or Wits+Subterfuge against the one who bears Eris's Blessing, they must contest it with the same dice pool as Eris's Blessing, and run the risk of seeing the bearer as being more shiftless and untrustworthy than they deserve.

    Given the already quite severe paranoia of most Kindred, the subject of the Curse of Paris may swiftly find himself outcast from Kindred society, if not the subject of a Blood Hunt.

    GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
    New System and Setting Material


    • #3
      Devotions of the Kallisti

      Touch of Oizys (Majesty 1, Perfidy 1)

      Little known compared to her most famous sister, Oizys was the goddess of Woe, Pain, and Despair, a child of the night-goddess Nyx like Eris. It is from her Roman name that the word Misery comes, and it is Oizys that the Kallisti call upon to reward cruelty and malice.

      Cost: 1 Vitae
      Dice Pool: None
      Action: Instant
      Duration: Scene

      For the rest of the scene, the character gains the Oizys's Blessing Condition.

      Oizys's Blessing
      Whether it is due to Oizys's divine blessing, the invocation of the Beast, or the surfacing of the latent cruelty in the human, your character becomes crueler, harsher. The character gains a Vice such as Cruel, Callous, or Hateful for the remainder of the scene (if they already had this vice, they get 2 WP for fulfilling their vice instead of the normal 1).

      Resolution: Someone is notably kind to the character, without prompting or expectation of reward.
      Beat: The character hurts one of his friends or loved ones in a lasting fashion (this may be physical, or it may be mental or social cruelty, but it should have ramifications beyond the end of the scene).
      Expiration: Scene

      This Devotion costs 1 Experiences

      Passion Fugue (Perfidy 3)
      With this power, the vampire nullifies all emotional ties her target has to his own social network or even his own life in general. Memories of home, friends and family — including Allies, Mentors and the like — are washed away by a tide of numbing amnesia. Moreover, covenant loyalties, job responsibilities and similar obligations all fall away, as the target rips himself from any social pattern he was a part of, letting the Kallisti play the part of the Pied Piper, calling her target away from the existence he once knew.

      Cost: 1 Vitae
      Dice Pool: Wits+Persuasion+Perfidy vs. Composure+Blood Potency
      Action: Instant
      Duration: (Successes) Nights

      Roll Results
      Dramatic Failure: The devotion backlashes against the Kallisti, in a singularly unpleasant fashion. The Kallisti gains the Paranoia Condition for the rest of the night, while the subject of the Devotion has the sudden and very firm suspicion that the Kallisti tried to do something to them. He might not know what, but something happened.
      Failure: The subject grows distracted, and might need a moment to remember the names of friends or loved ones for the rest of the night, but they come to him after a moment of thought.
      Success: The subject is cut off from all positive emotional connections to his past and current social network and anything he has a positive emotional connection to (home, church, hobbies, social causes, even addictions). For the rest of the night, the subject is unable to tap into his emotional background; he cannot muster a desire to return home, affection for his loved ones or any fears for their safety or well-being.
      • He cannot spend Willpower to augment actions involving his old friends or family.
      Exceptional Success: The Devotion overcharges, plunging the subject into a paranoid oblivion. The target forgets everythingto which he has any strong emotional connection (positive or negative). He forgets home and haven, he forgets his family, his friends, his enemies, anyone about whom the character has strong feelings. He may vaguely recognize their faces, but they are strangers to him in all other ways. He has no memories of them or emotional connection with them whatsoever.
      • He gains the Amnesia Condition, forgetting everything and everyone to whom the target has a strong emotional connection, for good or ill.
      • He becomes unable to spend Willpower to augment any action not directly linked to his immediate survival or gratification.

      This Devotion costs 2 Experiences.

      Golden Apple (Majesty 1, Perfidy 4)
      With a single golden apple, Eris started the Trojan War. This devotion doesn't quite rise to that level, but a Kallisti can certainly start a fight with it. In order to use this devotion, the Kallisti must anoint an object with at least a drop of her own Vitae, which may require a bit of sleight of hand or some strategic Obfuscate.

      Cost: 3 Vitae
      Dice Pool: Wits+Expression+Majesty
      Action: Instant
      Duration: Scene

      Roll Results
      Dramatic Failure: The Kallisti's effort goes badly awry, as her vitae burns the object like acid, inflicting (Perfidy) points of structure damage upon it. Given that the object was probably a valuable one and that the Kallisti is probably in a public space, this is not a desirable state of events.
      Failure: People may feel irrationally attracted to the object, but the supernatural affection is too weak to have any mechanical effect.
      Success: The object is transformed into what the Kallisti call a Golden Apple. Everyone wants it, and everyone wants to take it away from whoever else has it. This has a few effects:
      • The object's apparent Resource value increases by (Successes/2, round up).
      • Whoever possesses the object at the end of the scene gets a single Beat -- provided that the object has changed hands unwillingly at least once during the scene. The Kallisti cannot get this Beat.
      • Anyone in the object's presence who does not have the object and who has fewer dots of Composure than the Kallisti's Successes suffers the Deprived Condition, which can only be removed by possessing the object.
      • The object becomes very difficult to hide. Any effort to conceal it, whether by mundane stealth or by magic, suffers a (Successes) Penalty.
      Exceptional Success: Extra successes are their own reward.

      This Devotion costs 3 Experiences.

      Animus (Auspex 2, Majesty 4, Perfidy 5)
      This Devotion turns its target’s loyalties and affections inside out, transforming friendship into loathing, respect into disgust, trust into suspicion, loyalty into resentment and love into hate. Animus undermines every feeling that ties an individual into his social environment, and poisons his mind against anyone toward whom he was previously on amicable terms, transforming even a well-connected, law-abiding individual into a nearly sociopathic rebel and loner.

      In order to activate this devotion, the Kallisti must lean in and whisper into the target's ear. Nothing can hear the words that the Kallisti says, and neither the Kallisti nor the target will remember just what those words were later, but with them the Kallisti is able to shred the subject's very identity. A few Kallisti say, quite seriously, that in that moment of perfect discord, the Kallisti is channeling the divine spirit of Eris.

      Cost: 6 Vitae
      Dice Pool: Intelligence+Empathy+Perfidy vs. Composure+Blood Potency
      Action: Instant
      Duration: Scene

      Roll Results
      Dramatic Failure: The Kallisti inspires loathing, but at the wrong target -- the subject's Frenzy targets the Kallisti, as he is filled with a sense of deep realization and loathing of what the Kallisti tried to do.
      Failure: Whatever black power allows the Kallisti to twist their subjects very loves is conspicuous by its absence, and the Kallisti finds themselves with nothing to say.
      Success: With a single, divinely-inspired insight, a successful Kallisti leads her subject to a terrible epiphany. The subject’s every loyalty turns inside out. The more love that existed, the more powerful the hatred that takes its place. This effect works on all bonds, including the Vinculum, which this power transforms into a malevolent animosity. This power usually affects all of the subject’s loyalties or emotional bonds, but the Kallisti may be more tactical in her approach and sever some bonds while leaving others intact. Any ghoul affected by this power is almost certain to become a threat to his regnant, and a dangerously knowledgeable one at that.

      Mechanically speaking, this operates as a Hatred Frenzy, even if the subject is a ghoul, mortal, or non-vampire supernatural (characters with a power stat treat it as Blood Potency for the purposes of Frenzy bonuses, while mortals are treated as having a Blood Potency of 1). The Frenzy is targeted at everything the subject formerly loved (unless the Kallisti excluded these emotional bonds from the Animus), and the target will set about destroying everything he had once loved to the best of his ability. As in a normal Frenzy, the target has absolutely no self-preservation or consideration of long-term consequences, and thinks only of how to best hurt that which he had once loved. The subject chooses his own targets based on how much affection he had once born for them and on how easily he can hurt them.

      As with a regular Frenzy, a Touchstone can try and talk a character down from Animus... though they might have a hard time doing it since Touchstones are usually the first targets of the pseudo-Frenzying subject of Animus.
      Exceptional Success: The subject's Blood Potency or effective Blood Potency is increased by 3 for the purposes of their Frenzy.

      This Devotion costs 5 Experiences.

      GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
      New System and Setting Material


      • #4
        I love the fluff, really great work.
        However, it does seem to me that Perfidy is somewhat on the high-powered side, and that coming to an Elysium and saying "Hello, my name is Roger, and I am a Kallisti" is pretty much immediate grounds for a blood hunt.
        Also, I like how you run frenzy. Care to elaborate more on that point?



        • #5
          I rather like the fluff; I'm not too big a fan of the curse though (I feel like there's a bit too much rolling involved.) If I ever use them, I think I'll go with making the penalties to social interaction from Humanity loss apply to interactions with Kindred as well.

          However, Golden Apple is a hilarious way to pay for things. 2 successes can make a quarter (Resources 0) apparently equal to Resources 1. In other words, your quarter is now "worth" $30 or so bucks. Great for those cheap, private transactions.

          I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

          So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


          • #6
            ....That's pretty much how it was in the fluff before, actually. Being a Kallisti is only slightly more socially acceptable than being a Melissidae or Noctuku.

            As for Perfidy, it's definitely potent, but consider the kind of mischief you can get up to with Nightmare 3's Grand Delusion or a bit of creative Majesty. Perfidy is a much more focused tool in comparison, it does one thing and it does it very well, though it's a bit limited if you don't want to make someone's Requiem a paranoid hell (compare to, say, Vicissitude or Ars Speculorum that I've worked up, which are much more versatile powers). Plus it's a perception alteration power. It doesn't make you go and do anything with your paranoia, compared to say Dominate.

            As for Frenzy, here's the relevant sections:

            A Note on the Beast
            It is both correct and incorrect to think of the Beast as an animal - certainly, many Gangrel resemble animals when in the throes of frenzy. The Beast reacts on animal instinct, snarling at those who threaten it, fleeing from that which frightens it, and killing so it can feed. In some ways, there is an underlying current to the Beast that makes up the shared vampire experience. But the true core of the Beast comes from each individual vampire. It is the part of a vampire's personality that has been twisted by undeath - the part that not only can drink another human's blood, but enjoys it. The Beast is thus individual to each clan, and in smaller ways individual to each vampire. A bookish Mekhet isn't going to fly into a sudden tantrum and flail helplessly at a greater foe, when in the throes of Frenzy. What the Mekhet will do, however, is "accidentally" let a large pile of ruinous secrets get out, or gaslight their foe into insanity. And the Mekhet will do this, because she can and doesn't care about the consequences. That is the hallmark of the Beast: it does not care.

            Thus is the true danger of Frenzy. Vampires caught up by the beast don't necessarily fly into a rage. Instead they act as they would normally - if they no longer cared about the consequences of anything. For the Beast does not care about anything, beyond its own selfish emotions. It doesn't matter if the Beast lashes out and harms the wrong person, because the Beast doesn't care about that. The Beast does not even care about self-preservation or interest, unless it is physically beaten and forced to confront its imminent mortality - far reaching consequences simply don't register on its mind. It doesn't matter if Niall knows that releasing certain blackmail info will get him killed, he will do it anyway, because the Beast does not care. It doesn't matter if Sheridan's faithful ghoul has served her without lapse for fifty years, she will kill him in a fit of paranoia anyway, because the Beast does not care. It does not matter how much Sophie Penrose truly loves someone, she will leave them a flaming, broken wreck over a tiny lover's spat, because the Beast doesn't care.

            The Kindred do not fear dragur because they are mindless animals. They fear because there is literally nothing that vampire society can do to control one. Threats will not work, social pressure will not work, bribery will not work, not even a pledge will work. A dragur is ruled by the Beast, and will break any promise at a moment's whim, because nothing matters to it.

            Frenzy (Universal, Irreplaceable)
            When confronted with an appropriate stimulus (fear, hunger, or rage), the vampire explodes into Frenzy. The vampire rolls Humanity dice each round until they either fail a roll and fall into Frenzy or accumulate a sufficient number of successes and resist it. Alternatively, they may spend 1 WP and try to Ride the Wave (same roll, 5 successes required, results in a Frenzy where the vampire sets the goal).

            Some common stimuli and the successes required to resist them are:
            Fear Stimuli: Unexpected but controlled flame (~3), bonfire (~5), trapped in a burning building (~10)
            Hunger Stimuli: Less than 20% Vitae and sight of blood (~3), no Vitae and sight of blood (~5), no Vitae and taste of blood (~7)
            Rage Stimuli: Public insults (~3), An expected betrayal (~5), Betrayed by a loved one (~7), Loved one killed (~10)

            In a Frenzy, the vampire gains their (Blood Potency) as a bonus to all non-supernatural rolls, to their speed, and to their Defense, but their minds become consumed entirely by the Beast, that is, by their primal Id. They become utterly focused on their goal, to the exclusion of all else. The way a vampire behaves in Frenzy will depend on the personality of the vampire, though there's a certain commonality among clans. It isn't always easy to tell when a vampire is in frenzy.
            • Mekhet grow cold and distant, and pursue hidden plots and schemes to further their goals.
            • Ventrue grow paranoid and tyrannical, and often manipulate others into helping them.
            • Daeva grow violent, lustful, and jealous, and break the hearts of others -- literally or figuratively.
            • Gangrel grow bestial and furious, and become the embodiment of nature, red in tooth and claw.
            • Nosferatu grow sadistic and spiteful, and stalk their prey to torment it.
            Obviously, some goals allow more leeway for personality to emerge than others -- all vampires flee fire in about the same fashion, though how vampires sate their hunger or indulge their rage varies more. When a PC vampire is in Frenzy, they retain control of their character but the GM sets their goals. If they accomplish their goals, they gain a beat, but attempting to pursue any non-goal related activities inverts the frenzy bonuses into higher (BP+2) penalties (and the GM reserves the right to take control of characters if the player doesn't seem to even be trying).

            Frenzies last for 1 scene/1 hour, or until resolved (the character escapes their fears or sates their hunger).

            GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
            New System and Setting Material


            • #7

              The curse is a bit intensive, yes. I rarely actually bother with the dice-rolling for these things unless it's a PC though, so you can just assume that most Kallisti are going to be rather paranoid and have some serious trust issues (over and above regular vampires) and probably be fine. Or stick the Paranoid Condition on them, or go with your idea, humanity penalties to social interaction.

              As for Golden Apple... costs 3 Vitae, so I wouldn't call it cheap. But think bigger. You're a middlingly wealthy Kallisti who buys a 'School of Titian' painting. Right before the auction, use Golden Apple on it. End auction as very wealthy Kallisti. There's a reason most of them can afford to be so stylish.

              GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
              New System and Setting Material