SG: Vampire Healing

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A Quick Bite — Healing in Combat
If the vampire is fortunate enough to have a ready source of fresh, living blood upon which to dine during the course of a battle, she may attempt to feed in order to clear a stress track. This requires a more detailed mechanic for the sake of believability. First a vampire must grapple the victim, but this requirement may be waved if the victim, which must be living, is does not or cannot resist. Then on the next exchange, assuming the victim is still in the vampire’s grasp, the vampire can bite. Both of these actions are Brawl attacks, the first to place a Grappled aspect, and the second to do damage. If stress is caused to the victim, then the vampire may clear one entire stress track. If the vampire wishes to clear both physical and mental stress tracks, then another exchange is required and another successful attack is needed.

A quick bite during a battle does not count toward healing consequences, as described to the left. It’s a stop-gap measure only useful for recovering stress.

Vampires must heal stress through drinking blood, whether their stress is physical or mental. The soothing taste of fresh, living blood not only serves as a balm, but it has a calming effect on them. A badly stressed or damaged vampire might assault a human, taking great gulps of blood. It may kill a human (doing so might be the result of a well-timed compel against a character's vampire aspect!), but it is also very likely the vampire's rampage will end in a sated, languorous state.

Normally, vampires will go to feed after a stressful event and it takes but a taste of blood. If a roll is needed, it should be a Mediocre (+0) Feeding roll, utilizing whatever skill best reflects a vampire's approach to luring in or hunting down prey. If there are willing subjects at hand, the GM should waive the roll.

The supernatural origins and undead stamina of vampires provide them a very significant edge in healing physical consequences, as well as a significant limitation. The limitation is that all vampires require blood to heal. Preferably human blood, but some will take what they can get. If it’s warm and alive, then it’s drinkable.

To begin healing consequences, a vampire must make a feeding roll. If there is not a ready source of human blood, or they must hunt while injured, then the feeding roll will be more difficult. The difficulty for feeding starts at Mediocre (+0) in populated areas, and the vampire might use one of a number of different skills to do so. It depends on how the vampire approaches feeding. Add to that base difficulty +2 for each consequence the vampire is suffering, and a +2 if there are few mortals around on which to feed.

For example, if a vampire employs intimidation and fear to frighten his victims into submission, the vampire is using his Provoke skill to hunt. Another vampire might use seduction and therefore rely on Rapport. Or, a vampire might ambush his prey when it’s least expected, thereby relying on Stealth. Use the skill that seems most appropriate to the situation and to the vampire’s methods.

A roll that fails to beat the difficulty of the task usually means the vampire must pay some cost to succeed. Minor costs for a tied difficulty include leaving evidence behind of feeding such as obvious bite marks on a victim or leaving them woozy or unconscious. Significant costs mean the vampire was unable to control himself and probably killed some mortal. This has the potential of drawing even more attention from the authorities or those that might try to hunt vampires.

It takes one scene to hunt, or about an hour. A single Feeding roll will recover a Mild physical consequence. Moderate physical consequences can begin recovery with one Feeding roll, but will remain until the next sunset unless the time and effort for an additional feeding is undertaken. Recovery for a Severe physical consequence is begun with the first Feeding roll, but it will take two additional Feedings spread across separate nights to recover completely unless the vampire waits for the injuries to heal on their own by waiting an entire adventure (as per usual recovery times in Fate Core).

Healing this Requires this
Mental stress Feeding or a Quick Bite
Physical stress Feeding or a Quick Bite
Mild physical consequence a single Feeding, which takes one scene or about an hour
Moderate physical consequence one Feeding and wait until the sunset of the next night, or two Feeding rolls.
Severe physical consequence one Feeding roll and then wait an entire adventure, or three Feeding rolls spread across three nights
Any mental consequence heals as per Fate Core rules.

Detailed Feeding[edit]

Feeding on named characters might be better portrayed in detail. The section on Vampire Healing above carries details, should they be needed, but the subject is assumed to be a nameless NPC. Here we focus more on what happens when a vampire feeds on a supporting or main NPC or even a PC.

Casual feeding doesn’t carry significant risk, but sometimes it is dramatically appropriate to depict what happens when a vampire feeds. For instance, when the vampire is badly injured and emotionally distraught. Or perhaps the only viable source for blood is a loved one. Whatever the case might be, if it is more interesting to take a closer view of what is happening and the subject is not some nameless NPC, use this rule.

When a vampire feeds, should there be a cause for stress such as being injured, angered, or if an aspect might be compelled against the vampire, the GM may offer a compel against one (or even more) of these aspects to roleplay a scenario where the vampire loses control of himself when feeding on someone. If a Feeding roll is called for, consequences the vampire possesses or aspects invoked against him may be invoked to drive up the difficulty of feeding roll even higher. Add a bonus of +2 per invoked consequence to the Feeding roll’s difficulty.

Failure on the roll does not necessarily indicate a failure to feed in this case. Instead, use the following as a cost to succeed despite a failed roll:

Each point by which the roll was failed becomes stress inflicted upon the victim, and the vampire character does not get to choose the victim’s fate if they are Taken Out. Where nameless NPCs will undoubtedly die, more important NPCs might be severely injured by the vampire gorging upon her blood.

Feeding, Aristos Style[edit]

The aristos vampires have a strange effect upon their victims. When they bite, they reflexively inject a narcotic kind of venom that numbs the wound and sends the victim into a kind of a blissful high. It's not difficult to imagine the subject becoming addicted to the effect. In fact, many aristos have small "herds" of mortals slavishly loyal to them for this reason, and from whom they will regularly feed. Evidence of their feeding includes fang marks and bruising around the holes they make with their canine teeth. The aristos refer to their feeding as the Kiss.

When it is dramatically appropriate to detail what is happening when a vampire is feeding, then the Feeding roll should be actively resisted by whatever character is her target. Success means the aristos vampire placed a Snared by an Intoxicating Bite (or some similar) aspect upon the victim. This aspect might be invoked against the victim as needed by the vampire, and the GM can compel it as well, in order to cause the victim to react as someone under the powerful narcotic spell-like effect the vampire has caused. The aspect disappears at the end of the scene or if the vampire does something to intrude upon the euphoria, such as physically attacking the victim.

Some Aristos are especially adept at covering their tracks, so to speak. An aristos vampire may purchase the following stunt.

Lick the Wound
When an vampire licks their own bite marks upon a victim, the evidence quickly fades, as if it had already been healing for some time. All traces of the feeding disappear within 24 hours. In addition, should a vampire wish to lick Mild physical consequence, it disappears immediately. Licking a Moderate physical consequence will cause the injury to heal within 24 hours. Severe and worse physical consequences cannot be healed by this power. The vampire cannot use this power on herself, nor does healing physical consequences work on other vampires since that does not fulfill their Feeding requirements.

Feeding, Draugar Style[edit]

The draugar feeding very differently from aristos. They have the ability to slowly drain blood from a victim with their touch. This is a horrifying experience for most victims, as blood slowly seeps through their pores and is absorbed into the draugar's skin. It leaves behind large, horrible bruises and is painful, though not excruciating. Some draugar have their own version of Lick the Wound, detailed above.

When it is dramatically appropriate to detail the feeding of a draugr, it is common for the vampire to attempt to place Grappled aspects on their target using the Brawl skill so they cannot flee.

Feeding, Nosferatu Style[edit]

When a nosferatu vampire bites it's victim, it injects the victim with a paralytic toxin. Use the notes for aristos vampires as a guide, except in the case of nosferatu victims, they may inflict a Paralyzed aspect instead of intoxication. The victim will feel the pain and every slurping, sucking draw upon their assaulted circulatory system, but might not be able to do much about it. Nosferatu can also purchase Lick the Wound but most wouldn't care.

On the up side, nosferatu bites are decidedly non-addictive.

Option: Feeding from Other Vampires[edit]

It’s possible to gain sustenance from another vampire’s stolen vitality. In fact, the blood of undead predators such as vampires is especially sweet. Always use the Detailed Feeding rule when one vampire is feeding on another. In fact, the moment feeding occurs, an additional aspect is automatically placed on the feeding vampire: Sweet Lure of Vitae. This is invoked against the vampire once for free (which means the feeding vampire does not gain a Fate point).

This aspect remains for the rest of the adventure. If the vampire feeds on another vampire, it is reactivated with a new free invocation and then changes to include the name of the vampire donating blood. So, the aspect becomes Sweet Lure of [Name], where Name is the donor. This aspect describes the feeling of reverence and affection the drinker now feels for the blood donor. This aspect can be compelled and remains in effect until an entire scenario has passed. In other words, if your vampire character gained Sweet Lure of Daphne midway through the current adventure, it remains until midway through the next adventure.

If your character drinks from the same blood donor a third time, you must replace one of your permanent aspects with this aspect as the obsession takes over a significant portion of your character’s life.

Next: Life from Death