SG: Being a Vampire

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PC vampires are not wholly monsters. They retain some portion of their humanity and fight against the final descent into madness. So long as a vampire has not completely given in to the lure of power that their un-life grants them they can yet struggle against the beast they would become. In game terms, vampires who have retained some measure of humanity retain a Fate Refresh of 1 or higher. Those who have given in to power and gained more powers and stunts than they have Refresh descend into madness. This might occur as an act of desperation, seizing a stunt to complete some driving goal resulting pyrrhic victory. At the end of the scene in which your Refresh dips below 1, your character becomes an NPC.

Vampires, regardless of type, have some traits in common in Shadowgate. Vampiric healing and recovery, powers, and weaknesses are all discussed in following sections. There are other, more subtle things about being a vampire as well that is worth pointing out.

The following two details are options — use them if they make sense to be used in your game. In many ways, these details mimic how vampires are treated in other dark fantasy games with a modern setting; your game need not follow this pattern.

Option: Predator Aggression[edit]

Vampires can be quite aggressive toward one another. In this option, if the peak skill of one vampire is equal to or higher than the peak skill of a vampire he has met for the first time, his predatory nature can come to the fore in an effort to enforce dominance. On the other hand the predator side of a vampire might realize the new vampire is dominant to him. The GM can offer a compel of the vampire aspect to restrict a vampire’s reactions in either case. This is best used only when dramatically appropriate and interesting.

Option: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing[edit]

In some settings, vampires and their activities tend to go unnoticed by the mortal population. If your game is particularly focused on vampires as protagonists, this might be especially important.

The GM determines that Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing is a setting aspect. The aspect can be invoked with either a Fate point or for free when an appropriate skill is used to create an advantage on the setting aspect to benefit hiding the vampire and his activities from the public.

For example, a skirmish between covens of vampires spilled out onto the streets and involved the unfortunate demise of a few mortal onlookers. The Vampire Lord of the City decides a cover-up is necessary to avoid news crews coming down and revealing the existence of vampires to the world. He sends in his clean-up crews to erase direct evidence of vampire activity and rewrite some memories among the mortal witnesses. This can be condensed into a single skill roll if the cover-up will not be interesting for the story. Deciding this is so, the Vampire Lord rolls his Deceit skill and activates the Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing aspect. He now has a free invocation to use in defense against any attempt to uncover vampire activity.

Next: Vampire Powers