The Longest Night
V20 House Rules Draft
Basic Rules Changes
CHARACTER CREATION SUMMARY
Step One: Character Concept
- Come up with idea for character, including history, why Embraced, and her place in the Dark Medieval World.
- Choose Clan, Road, Nature, Demeanor.
Step Two: Select Attributes
- Rank Physical (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina), Mental (Perception, Intelligence, Wits) and Social (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance) Attribute sets.
- Place one dot in each of the 9 Attributes. Disperse 7 dots among the primary Attributes, 5 among the secondary and 3 among the tertiary.
Step Three: Select Abilities
- Rank the Abilities (Talents, Skills and Knowledges) as primary, secondary and tertiary.
- Disperse 13 dots among primary Abilities, 9 among secondary Abilities and 5 among the tertiary abilities.
- Note: No Ability may have more than three dots at the end of this stage. May be raised at the end with Bonus points.
Step Four: Select Advantages
- Place 1 free dot in each In-Clan Discipline.
- Divide 4 dots among Clan Disciplines.
- Divide 5 dots among Backgrounds.
- Place 1 free dot in Road Virtues and Courage.
- Divide 7 dots among Virtues.
Step Five: Finishing Touches
- Set Road Rating equal to the sum of Road Virtues.
- Set starting Willpower equal to Courage.
- Set blood pool equal to the result of one die plus one dot for each dot in Domain and Herd.
- Set Generation at 13 (Modern Nights) or 11 (Dark Ages) minus dots in the Generation Background.
- Spend 15 Experience Points, referring to the chart below to customize your character.
The character creation system is for freshly Embraced vampires, who’ve only just been released from their sire’s Haven and presented to the local Court. Obviously, not every player character fits into this.
- Attribute: 4 XP
- Skill: 2 XP
- Background: 1 XP
- Merit: 1XP per Point
- Paying off Flaw: 2XP per Point, plus RP requirements.
- Clan Discipline: 3 XP
- Out-of-Clan Discipline: 4 XP; requires 1 BP from someone who possesses the Discipline to learn first dot.
- Discipline Technique: 4 XP + Requires Teacher; Double Cost to “Create.”
- New Ritual: 3 XP to Research; Free if Uncovered during Gameplay.
- Virtue: 2 XP
- Path Rating: 2 XP
- Willpower: 4 XP
- Elder Increase (raising any stat to 6+) +2 XP to above cost.
If you need to take multiple actions in a turn, this must be decided before the first action you take. The first action is taken at +1 difficulty, with -1 dice. The second is at +2, with -2 dice. Each additional action increases in difficulty and decreases in dice. Multiple actions cannot be made if their difficulty would be 10 or higher or if they’d have zero dice. A character may still only make a single attack action per turn, without the Celerity Discipline. If the character chooses to only use defensive actions, use the Full Defense rules. Remember that additional non-defensive actions take place at the end of the turn. The Storyteller should adjudicate what actions are appropriate for multiple actions, and which should take an entire turn alone.
Generation and Torpor
Basically, I’m merging the idea of Generation with Blood Potency from Vampire: the Requiem. Generation remains the dominant focus, as it’s a Background, and it determines your Blood Pool. It also dictates your True Generation. While you’re in long-term torpor, your Effective Generation raises slowly, meaning that a torpid vampire who wakes up is rather weak, comparatively speaking.
Basically, every century a vampire spends in torpor, their Effective Generation raises by one. Their Effective Generation determines maximum traits and the amount of Blood they can spend a turn. Their Blood Pool size remains unaffected, however. Their Elder Powers are not lost, but they cannot access them normally. An Elder must either wait for their Generation to return to normal, or burn a point of Permanent Willpower for a one-time use of an advanced Discipline.
How does a vampire regain their lost strength? Two ways: the first is time, the other is diablerie. By waiting a year for each lost level of Generation, the Kindred’s power slowly returns. Also, devouring a Kindred of greater Generation can speed the return. Successfully committing diablerie on a vampire of lower Generation means the diablerist’s Effective Generation lowers to match that of the victim’s (after all, the Kindred is only regaining lost power, not stealing something she never had).
Example: Helena is a 4th Generation Toreador who slept for three centuries underneath the land that would become Chicago. When she awoke to the modern nights, she was effectively 7th Generation. Still quite powerful, but she no longer had access to the statistics and disciplines she had over 6 dots, and she knew her adversary was nearby. So she masquerades as the neonate, Portia, while her power returns. To speed this along, she devours her childe, Maria, raising her Effective Generation back to 5th in one go, meaning she only has to wait a single year to get her full power back.
Also, Generation affects the the natural resistance a Kindred has to other supernatural powers. Reference the table below to determine the number of bonus dice one gets. There are two exceptions: effects that deal physical damage are soaked as normal, and effects that are made to sense the vampire. Unless under the effect of Obfuscate, Quietus, or a similar discipline. a Vampire’s Generation is added as a bonus to the dice pool to sense the Kindred in question.
Thirst of Ages
All Kindred know the legends: that the Clan Founders (if they exist) are so ancient they can only feed on the blood of other Kindred. Hell, some say even a few Elders suffer from the same bane. And yet others don’t. Prince Mithras, an ancient Methuselah who pre-dated Rome itself, was known for operating in London for centuries and no word of any kind of feeding depravities slipped from the mouths of his enemies. So what makes a Kindred need to feed on his own kind?
Well, the answer isn’t a simple one. It’s a complex interaction between a vampire’s Generation, Path rating, and how long they’ve been active without a long stint in torpor. Basically, every century a vampire is active, they must make a Path check to see if they’ve succumbed to the Thirst of Ages. Kindred with Low Path more easily slip into this mode. And the more Potent the Blood, the more likely this is to happen. To make matters worse, this check increases in difficulty with every check after the first.
The good news, is that the number of Successes made directly affects how long till the next check. Every Success over three means they can skip a check for a number of centuries equal to the Success Levels earned. So if a Kindred roles 5 Successes on his Path check, he doesn’t have to make another check for three hundred years, rather Also, the difficulty only climbs for each check, so that next check will only go up by +1 difficulty, not +3.
Willpower can be spent to auto-succeed the check, but it’s a stalling action, nothing more. They’ve made it another century, but they must make the check again, and it will be more difficult. When the Difficulty reaches 10, Willpower cannot be spent, and a roll must be made.
So how does one recover from this. The answer is Torpor. A Kindred can voluntarily enter Torpor to try to slip loose from the Thirst of Ages. For every century spent in Torpor, the difficulty for Thirst of Ages drops by 1, until it reaches the Base for that vampire’s Generation. Still, when first awakened, they must make a Thirst Check, and as always, there is a risk of failure. Hence why many Elders secretly fear the return of their Antediluvian predecessors.
Turns out the V20 rulebook already did 75% of the work for me in revising Blood Bonds. Basically, the only change I need to make is that the “emotional bond” part is only felt by people with a Willpower of 5 or less. Weak-willed people, Kindred and Mortal alike, can feel a kind of false love or at least obsession with the Domitor develop. Those with a Willpower of 6 or greater, are aware of a spiritual bond with the other person, but can push aside it’s effects with ease.
Mainly these are revamped Clan Weaknesses, and in one case, a change to In-Clan Disciplines.
Once, the Salubri were united, a clan of scholars and thieves, healers and warriors. They walked every corner of the world, fought with and beside every clan, claiming the mandate of Caine in judging the collective soul of the vampire race. The Shepherds pursued the lore of Nod, sought to guide Cainites to Golconda, and took it upon themselves to end those fallen to Wassail. Together, the bloodline placed themselves outside and above Cainite society, working endlessly to ensure relations between kindred and kine remained stable (if not precisely harmonious).
Now, the Salubri are fragmented. Saulot’s blood darkens the throat of Tremere, and a new clan hunts the old. The founder of the Warrior bloodline, Samiel, met his Final Death in a Baali pit. The leader of the Healers, Rayzeel, cannot contain the fury of her brothers. Without Warriors to guard them, Healers fall to the fangs of the Usurpers. Without Healers to guide them, Warriors waste their fury in a thousand separate wars. Both bloodlines fall alone on foreign fields with none of the Blood beside them. Their cousins east of the Indus, the bloodline of the Wu Zao, remain so dedicated to the oath Saulot forced upon them that they will let the other bloodlines perish rather than forswear themselves.
Saulot’s diablerie was the death knell for the clan, as the Salubri split along ideological lines against a united enemy. The Shepherds see blades in the night tacitly endorsed by clans who judge themselves above Salubri arrogance. Princes who once sought Salubri as seneschals and champions now prefer the demon-haunted whispers of the Usurpers. The clan’s refusal to tolerate weakness or moral imperfection won them few friends, and the usefulness of Valeren is nothing against the versatility of Thaumaturgy. The true horror of the Salubri came when they found themselves not just hunted, but replaced. Without us, they cry to uncaring hearts, what darkness will the Damned embrace?
Sobriquet: Shepherds, Unicorns (Healer), Cyclopes (Warrior), Souleaters (derogatory)
Appearance: The kindness of the Salubri is apparent in their deeds, if not their faces. The far-flung nature of the clan, eschewing centralized bastions of power, leads to Salubri traveling vast distances from their birthplaces. If they cannot blend in with their skin and manner, they will attempt to do so with dress, preferring muted colors and a lack of ostentatious presentation. The predilection of the clan to develop a third eye bespeaks a fondness for hood and headscarves. Those Salubri Embraced from religious orders usually maintain the trappings of their breathing days.
Havens: Those Salubri who are travelers by nature hide from the sun behind tents of thickest cloth. The others rely on the grace of human communities to host them. How else would they ensure the safety and health of the human herds? More than one vampire has found themselves going hungry when a Salubri appeared amidst a human flock. Other Shepherds are now hosted by monasteries, convents, and heretical cults; such places offer much safety from the Tremere.
Backgrounds: The clan’s predilection for spreading into the teeming masses of humanity grants them both Herd and Contacts, while their ancient practice of association with the most powerful in Kindred society means they cultivate Allies. These keep them alive in these nights, if only barely. Salubri also place great stock in purity of bloodlines, and rare is the Salubri over 10th Generation.
Character Creation: Salubri do not take the bloodline of their sires, but manifest their bloodline as a semi-conscious choice in the nights after the Embrace. Despite this (or because of it), the bloodlines tend to choose childer carefully in an attempt to maintain a continuation of interests. Healers prioritize Mental and Social Attributes, focusing on Perception, Medicine and Hearth Wisdom. Warriors prioritize Physical and Social Attributes, focusing on Strength and Melee. Both bloodlines value Empathy and Willpower. Beyond their Clan Disciplines, Healers tend to pick up Presence and Warriors Potence, while the Wu Zao favor Obfuscate.
Almost unanimously, the Healers walk the Roads of Heaven and Humanity, while the Warriors stalk the Paths of Chivalry. In these decadent nights, however, some Warriors have turned to the Path of the Devil, raging against a system that has doomed them.
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Fortitude, Valeren
Weaknesses: All Salubri have a third eye in the middle of their forehead, typically invisible and obscured. When the Salubri use any Valeren or Auspex power above the second dots, the third eye opens for a scene, shedding soft radiance and weeping luminous vitae. The third eye is sensitive; attempting to cover it results in a penalty of one-die to all rolls. Additionally, the bloodlines suffer from additional weakness.
Organization: These nights, most Salubri default to an elder-junior relationship. The Warrior bloodline of the Salubri lacks elder leadership, most of whom perished during the Second Baali War with their founder. The Healers have assumed control of the clan, what little will listen to them. The clan’s strongholds of power in the Mediterranean were destroyed by demons and Setites, and their numbers never truly recovered. Before the Conclave of 1135, Healers and Warriors would typically support one another in a single city, but the Healer pronouncement that the clan would not seek vengeance against the Tremere has effectively shattered the idea of the clan as a cohesive entity.
Quote (Healer): Remember the words of Saulot: we are the white lamb, the greatest bounty of Caine. Our sacrifice is their redemption.
Quote (Warrior): Remember the words of Samiel: be like a lion, not like a lamb.
Tremere: Our Blood stains their lips. But if we ignore Saulot’s desires, are we still Salubri?
Ventrue: Puppets, with strings pulled by Usurpers. Would that we had claimed kingship as our birthright.
Assamite: Our kin in blood and battle, strong sword arms against the Baali. Our truest allies, yet I have seen the same hunger as the Usurpers in their eyes.
Brujah: You’d think our shared love of strength and knowledge would earn us more respect.
Setite: The black snakes of our family. Trample them underfoot, and never eat their fruit.
Malkavian: Our poor mad brothers. Soothe them when you can, guard them when you cannot.
The Salubri Weakness
For a clan comprised of three-eyed vampires, Salubri can be remarkably short-sighted. They hcv ave a tendency to fixate on small details and ignore the larger picture, a predilection that ultimately dooms them. This behavior has root in their weakness (they adamantly maintain they were not cursed by Caine) which manifests a few nights after the Embrace, as the Blood swells to power and purpose. The Salubri must succeed on a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) if they act against the following commandments; if they fail, they must either attempt to satisfy their prohibition, or suffer a two-die penalty on all rolls for the remainder of the night.
Healers: May not feed on the unwilling.
Warriors: May not refuse to aid the plea of someone in need.
Wu Zao (Eastern bloodline): May not refuse to seek out knowledge related to their field of obsession.
These only affect Disciplines being modified away from their Vampire 20th Anniversary Counterparts. Unless noted, assume they remain the same as in the V20 Core Rulebook.
• Heightened Senses (1 point Supernatural Merit)
Kindred senses are doubled in terms of range, intensity, and sensitivity. With this, a Kindred can perfectly identify any sensory stimulus they’ve encountered before. Subtract their Generation’s Resistance Bonus modifier (see Generation below) from the difficulty of rolls made to use their senses.
Unfortunately, this also has the downside of rendering a Kindred susceptible to overwhelming stimuli. If assaulted with an attack that directly attacks the senses (such as a flashbang or strobe-light), add that Resistance Bonus modifier to the difficulty to resist it’s effects.
Now it is Replaced by:
• The Beast’s Hackles
The Beast focuses on danger and weakness. A vampire who borrows her Beast’s senses can use that focus to know if someone is about to attack her, or to pinpoint the weakest person in the room. The Beast is sensitive to things that other people cannot normally perceive; using this Discipline can pierce Obfuscate.
System: The first use in a scene is free. Each subsequent use costs 1 Blood. Roll Wits + Empathy. Success means you can sense the presence of danger or hidden weakness. The player may ask the Storyteller one question per Success. Examples include:
- Who here is the most likely to give me what I want?
- Who here is likely to lapse into violence?
- Who here is the most afraid?
- Who here wants to hurt me most?
- Is there someone hidden from view? (This allows you to sense the use of Obfuscate in your vicinity, without actually piercing it. That requires a Resisted Check of Perception + Alertness (Difficulty = Opponent’s Obfuscate rating) versus Dexterity + Stealth (Difficulty = Opponent’s Auspex rating).)
Celerity moves a vampire with unholy rapidity and grace. Characters with Celerity move nigh unseen in bursts of inhuman speed. This allows for remarkable performances, frightening quick assassinations, and travel unlike any in the Dark Medieval World.
System: Characters add their Celerity rating to their Dexterity-based dice pools, including their initiative ratings. Add her Celerity rating to the number of yards or meters she moves in a turn.
Additionally, they may reflexively spend one point of blood to ignore difficulty penalties for multiple actions up to their Celerity dots for the turn. For example, a character with Celerity 3 makes three actions before suffering +1 difficulty for multiple actions. This does not mitigate the dice pool reduction, however. A number of these additional actions equal to half their Celerity (round up) may be attack actions.
Lastly, by spending one blood point, she may multiply her movement speed by 1 plus her Celerity dots. In combat, this lasts one turn. Otherwise, it lasts the scene.
All vampires shrug off wounds that might kill mortals. But vampires with Fortitude become veritable juggernauts, unstoppable by anything but fire and sunlight. Every vampire manifests Fortitude differently. Some simply possess too solid flesh; nothing punctures their statuesque beauty. Others ignore the trauma, their bodies continue to move regardless of the harm caused. No matter how Fortitude manifests, it’s a frightening prospect to any mortal witness.
System: A character’s Fortitude rating adds to all her Stamina-based dice pools, including her soak rating for bashing and lethal damage. A vampire may use her Fortitude dice as a soak pool against aggravated wounds, which vampires typically have no recourse against. Once per turn, she may spend a blood point to automatically soak her Fortitude in damage, instead of adding it to her Stamina. This can be used to soak aggravated damage as well.
•• Feral Claws and ••• Earth Meld swap places becoming:
•• Earth Meld and ••• Feral Claws.
The proprietary Discipline of the Salubri is divided into two aptly-named Paths: Healer and Warrior. Salubri use the healing powers and martial prowess of Valeren as bargaining chips, intimidating less moral Cainites into walking the Roads with greater conviction. The respective Salubri castes favor their proprietary Path as an in-Clan Discipline. They may raise other Paths as Clan Disciplines, but the opposing Path has an experience cost of (current rating x6).
Learning Valeren causes a physical change in Cainites: a bump or nodule developing in the center of the forehead, eventually cracking open into a fully-developed third eye when the character learns the third dot of Valeren. Cainites with high Road ratings rating manifest a human-looking or angelic-seeming eye; those walking a low or inhuman Road develop freakish or demonic third eyes. The eye is sensitive; attempting to cover it results in a penalty of one-die to all rolls, though obscuring it under a hood is fine. In all cases, the eye may be retracted into the skull and perfectly hidden for the scene with a Stamina + Stealth roll (difficulty 5), but using any level of Valeren brings it forth once more.
• Sense Vitality
With a glance, the Salubri can instantaneously read a target’s physical or spiritual vital markers. She may learn how much damage a target has incurred, or what manner of being he is.
System: The third eye squints, revealing the small details of life to the Salubri’s second sight. The player makes a Perception + Empathy or Medicine roll (difficulty 7), with successes cumulative. Two successes reveal how many health levels of damage the subject has suffered. Three successes tell how much blood a living target has left in her system. Four successes reveal the subject’s Road or Path rating (if applicable), though not which Road the subject walks. Alternately, successes allow the player to ask the Storyteller one question about the subject’s general health. “Was he drugged?” or “Was this done with Vicissitude?” are valid, but “Who did this to him?” or “Was it Rustovitch?” are not.
•• Gift of Sleep
The Unicorn can ease a target’s pain or place him into a deep, soothing sleep. The Healers have staunch ethical concerns about forcing unconsciousness on the unwilling, but these are concerns, not limits.
System: If used on the willing, the power requires a touch and a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) to block the subject’s pain. This allows the subject to ignore all wound penalties for one turn per success, and the Salubri may use this power on himself. To put a living being to sleep (willing or unwilling) the vampire must make a contested Willpower roll against the subject (difficulty 8). This target sleeps for eight hours (or whatever is normal for the individual) and regains one temporary Willpower point upon awakening. Being put to sleep in the midst of combat is entirely possible; while dropping to the ground does not awaken the subject, being struck with a weapon will snap the victim back to full wakefulness. Vampires and other undead creatures, or those who are sleepless for whatever reason, are not affected by this power.
••• Healer’s Touch
The signature power of the Healers stems from the ability to apply the vampiric regenerative process to others. The third eye opens wide, shedding slick sanguine light. The target feels sweet, invigorating energies rushing into their wounds.
System: This power works on any living or undead creature, but the character must be able to touch the target, even if they merely “lay on hands”. The target’s wounds may be healed by the expenditure of blood points, as if the vampire were healing themselves. Aggravated wounds may be also healed in this manner, requiring three blood points for each aggravated health level. Any bloodborne infectious diseases may also be cleansed by the Healer’s Touch, requiring two blood points per infection; they must first be identified, and this power does not prevent a recurrence, but it will alleviate the worst of the malady.
•••• Shepherd’s Watch
The third eye opens and flares a bright white, illuminating a barely-visible ward around the Unicorn and their charge. No foe may breach this sacred shield. The Salubri himself must stand among those he defends as he generates this barrier; he cannot guard them from afar.
System: The Salubri spends two Willpower points. Erecting the force barrier is a standard action, but maintaining it per turn or dropping it is reflexive. The invisible barrier extends in a 10-foot radius from the character. Those within it at its creation may leave and return, and the barrier moves with the Salubri.
Those who wish to cross the barrier from the outside must contest the character in an extended, contested Willpower roll (difficulty 8). The opponent may cross the barrier as soon as he accumulates three net successes against the Salubri; if the Salubri accumulates three net successes, the opponent is permanently barred from the threshold. Rocks, thrown weapons or crossbow bolts may penetrate the barrier without penalty, but everyone within the barrier is considered to have two additional dice of soak against such attacks.
••••• Unburden the Bestial Soul
The third eye opens, and a shaft of golden radiance lances out, transfixing the victim. Something gentle and barely perceptible wafts out of the subject’s mouth, drawn into the Salubri’s body. It is the victim’s soul. Salubri with this level of Valeren may draw the tattered soul from the vampire into the Salubri’s third eye, allowing the Healer to repair damage done by the burden of unlife and the Beast.
System: Vampiric souls with a Road rating of 1 or 0 cannot be healed by this power; they’re best left to the Warrior Caste. For all others, the character spends two Willpower, and rolls Stamina + Empathy (difficulty of 10 minus the subject’s Road rating). Failure means the character cannot try again until the following night, while a botch means the Unicorn acquires a derangement. Success takes the target’s soul. Souls drawn out in this manner become part of the Salubri’s soul while the healing process takes place, and she may return it to its proper body at any time.
Bereft of a soul, the target’s body is vacant, but alive; it obeys the Salubri’s commands. The body may be forced into combat, but it’s at a two-die penalty due to lack of coordination (Healers consider this gravely unethical, even if they absorbed the subject’s soul as a defensive measure). The subject’s body and soul were never meant to be separated; holding a soul for longer than strictly necessary—usually, a night—is considered a sin against most Roads (especially Humanity and Heaven). The soul may eventually attempt to escape; this is resisted by a Willpower roll (difficulty of the trapped soul’s Wits + Empathy), attempted once per week. The Salubri may only hold one soul at a time.
By spending five Willpower points over the course of an hour, she may roll Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty 8) to increase the subject’s Road rating. The Salubri may only restore a maximum number of points equal to her Empathy rating, and may not raise the subject’s Humanity or Path higher than the sum of the target’s relevant Virtues. She may expend additional Willpower to cure the subject’s Derangements. Malkavians may be cured of their clan weakness, but only for a night.
••••• • Father’s Judgment
The Blood is Caine’s gift. The Salubri pronounce judgment on those who misuse it. Their third eye glowing as silver as Raphael’s soft halo, the Unicorns render a portion of the target’s vitae inert, blocking them from powering their Disciplines or healing their undead frame by sheer effort of will. The target feels their blood seize within them, clotting into dead dark chunks. Even powerful elders fear repeated use of this power.
System: The Healer spends a Willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Medicine or Empathy (difficulty 7) against a target of a Cainite within line of sight, contested by the victim’s Willpower roll (difficulty 9). For each success on the roll, a blood point in the target’s pool is rendered unusable for any purpose—healing, Disciplines, ghouling, or anything else. The target may spend Willpower to unclot their vitae, one point per blood point, but otherwise may not spend or discharge the dead blood in any way.
• Sense Death
A healer learns a subject’s illnesses to cure them. The warrior learns so they know where to strike.
System: This power works identically to Sense Life, save that Sense Death may not see how many wounds a target has suffered nor scrutinize a mortal’s blood. In exchange, Warriors may analyze the target’s natural soak rating (for two successes) and determine the amount of vitae currently in a vampire or ghoul’s blood pool (for three). Knowing both Sense Life and Sense Death grants an additional two dice to the Perception + Empathy or Medicine roll; if known, they may be activated with a single roll, with successes counting towards both.
•• Morphean Blow
The Healers use sleep to accelerate the healing process. Warriors use sleep to incapacitate enraged foes. Stories abound of Salubri Warriors quelling Lupines with a single slap, leaving the beasts vulnerable to the killing blow.
System: This power works identically to the Gift of Sleep; despite the name, Warriors may dull their wound penalties with this Discipline. Knowing both Gift of Sleep and Morphean Blow grants an additional two dice in the resisted Willpower roll to pacify the target. This Discipline may be used in combat as part of a Brawl attack.
••• Burning Touch
The character’s grasp inflicts searing pain, a feeling like being burnt with a red-hot iron. This power inflicts no damage, but painfully disrupts the vital energies of the target. Prolonged or repeated exposure can be used to torture a victim.
System: The vampire must grasp the target (a Dexterity + Brawl roll). The character spends at least one blood point to activate this power; each blood point spent reduces the victim’s dice pools by two for so long as the Cyclops grasps the victim and for the next turn thereafter. Each activation of the power causes one level of bashing damage to the target from sheer physical strain. The pain triggers Rötschreck in vampires (as “being burned”), and Warriors have occasionally used it as a blunt demonstration of the victim’s spiritual weakness.
•••• Armor of Caine’s Fury
The third eye opens, blazing redder than the setting sun. This radiance spreads along the Salubri’s desiccated veins in a flash, until their entire body is enveloped in a web of radiant light. The Cyclopes consider this (and their talent at Fortitude) to be the chief reasons they are so feared in war. The Ventrue have also expressed envy of this power, and have invited Salubri into their domains to teach them Valeren in exchange for patronage.
System: The player spends one blood point and rolls Stamina + Melee (difficulty 7). For each success, the vampire gains one point of armor, to a maximum of five points. This stacks with any worn armor. Additionally, for every two successes rolled, she gains an additional die to resist Rötschreck. This power lasts for the scene.
••••• Ending the Watch
The Warrior Caste traces their origin to Samiel’s ancient fury in the days after the Second City. Yet ancient tales record the Salubri of Enoch walking the streets, laying hands upon the terminally ill and freeing their souls from mortality’s coil. In return, the Salubri gained both wisdom and strength of will. Despite their anger, the Warriors retain the fundamentally peaceful disposition of Clan Salubri, and this power reflects their hewing to the clan’s original nature. When acting as death watch, the third eye’s iris flares gold, absorbing the essence of the mortal’s departing soul into the Salubri’s own.
This power may only be used on a dying mortal (all health boxes full of lethal damage, but not yet dead) or one who truly wishes death without coercion. Generally, the mortally wounded or the elderly are targets of this power, but those of a deeply melancholic temperament or torture victims are equally viable. Tremere whisper rumors of unforgiving Warriors afflicting captives with the Burning Touch, then taking their souls when they beg for death.
System: The Salubri spends a Willpower point and lays a hand over a valid target’s heart, peacefully and painlessly killing them. If the vampire kills with a melee attack, they may make a reflexive Dexterity + Brawl roll to touch the target and activate this power. This is a mercy killing, for all the difference that makes to a vampire walking their Road; as always, killing done outside the heat of battle may necessitate a Degeneration roll. The player then rolls the character’s Perception + Empathy (difficulty 7); upon a success, the target’s soul is absorbed. For each success on the absorption roll, the Salubri may do one of two things:
Recall facts of the target’s memory, requiring a separate Intelligence + Empathy roll (difficulty 5) for each factoid of significance. With the soul’s vitality residing inside the Salubri, he knows much of what the dead man did—interesting secrets, rare treasures, or vital documents. The Salubri may choose to let pertinent or pressing information come to him (Storyteller’s choice) but this raises the difficulty of the roll to 7.
Absorb the living energies of the mortal’s soul to bolster their own; each success allows the Warrior to recoup a point of Willpower. The Warrior may store these Willpower points above their normal maximum (to a total of 10).
The soul remains within the Salubri’s own for as long as he wishes, but only one soul may be contained at a time. Once the successes on the roll have been used by either or both options, the remnants of the soul fade, venturing to their final destination. The corpse of the target may be fed upon, regardless of clan weakness. Their blood tastes rich and hot, even long nights after death; however, they may not be Embraced.
••••• • Samiel’s Vengeance
In the baleful blue glow of the third eye, the Warrior sights their foe’s doom. Invoking the name of their progenitor, the Salubri strikes with superhuman speed and unerring accuracy.
System: This power costs three blood points, and may target any foe who has struck the Salubri (even if the strike did no damage). Any melee-range attack made by the Warrior strikes as if the Warrior had succeeded with all of his Dexterity + Melee or Brawling pool (including dice from Celerity), with two dice added to the damage pool. Armor only affords half its rating against the fury of the blow. This power may be used only once per turn, and only works with bare limbs or melee weapons.