SG: Vampires

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Characters that are vampires take a high concept that indicates what type of vampire they are. There are three broad categories here, including the Nosferatu, Draugar, and Aristos.

All vampires have certain advantages in common. All are capable of vampiric healing, returning to life from death, and can sustain themselves on human blood. These advantages need not be invoked; they are accessed merely by possessing a vampire high concept.

All vampires also share the same weakness to sunlight and daytime activities. Each type of vampire also has other weaknesses that can be compelled. This is built into the vampire aspect, and need not be reflected by the character’s Trouble aspect.

Main Types[edit]

Vampire traditions vary widely depending on the culture all across the world. Three types of vampires are detailed below. Your game might contain any or all of these, or you might take one or more of these and further divide them into even more specific bloodlines.

Aristos: The Vampire Lords[edit]

The Aristos are the most human-like in outward appearance, but perhaps most monstrous at heart. Unlike nosferatu and draugar, they rarely appear appear as monsters even when they use their most inhuman powers. They also are the most social of the vampires, often organizing themselves and other vampires into powerful covens (alliances of unrelated vampires), clans (made of vampire "families"), and sometimes even hidden kingdoms.

The specialty of the vampire lords is influence. Any vampire lord can invoke their aristos aspect for a bonus to social rolls — even for skills that define vampire powers meant to influence others. This reflects their sheer presence, when they wish to exert it.

Of all the vampires, the aristos most clearly understand the necessity and usefulness of hiding their existence from mortals. Their advantage lets them naturally fill leadership roles and political games abound when there are many vampire lords in the same city.

Aristos vampires are created when the blood of the vampire is given to a deceased mortal, presumably after the heart stops beating but before brain death ensues. Therefore, there is a narrow window in which a mortal might be able to rise again as a vampire. The vampire need not be the one to have caused the mortal’s death.

Draugar: The Savage[edit]

These undead can alter their body for strength and size (weight comes with size), and can shapeshift. They often command powers of the mind and can transform into smoke capable of drifting through objects, if they purchase the proper skills and stunts.

A draugur (the singular form of the word) can invoke his aspect with in order to increase their size, strength, and weight for a single exchange. This may be done either through a Fate point expenditure or by using a create an advantage action on the characters high concept using Provoke successfully and then using a free invocation. This bonus can influence rolls involving strength and toughness. Thus, greater feats of strength using Physique might be achieved, more potent attacks using Brawl or Melee are possible, or you might be capable of ignoring two points of stress from a successful attack against you. Using the aspect in this way reveals their corpse-like, undead form to onlookers. (They otherwise might pass for a pale human.)

Draugar may also invoke their aspect in order to transform into ethereal smoke capable of passing through solid objects for a single exchange. If the object is thicker than they can traverse in a few seconds, then they cannot penetrate it and do not pass through.

Draugar are created spontaneously, albeit rarely. The legend is that when a mean, nasty, greedy person dies, it is said that if his corpse is in an upright position he will return from the dead. This is not necessarily true. Draugar can also result from a curse. Or more likely, victims of a Draugar attack might rise from the dead to become Draugar themselves.

Nosferatu: The Monstrous[edit]

Horrific when revealed, they can sprout wings and actually fly. Nosferatu are nightmare creatures. They can take human form, but risk tearing free of their human skin and revealing themselves when they use vampire powers (skills and stunts specific to vampires). They may also take animal forms if the proper skills and/or stunts are purchased. When these vampires use any physical vampire power, the nosferatu aspect may be compelled, resulting in sloughing off skin to reveal the monster beneath.

Nosferatu have the ability to invoke their aspect to sprout wings capable of granting actual flight. The cost is a Fate point, and the wings will remain for the rest of the scene. However, this is also at the cost of revealing the vampire’s true, monstrous form. Nosferatu may also invoke their aspect to gain a bonus to rolls involving changing their form.

Nosferatu always retain a link to the one that created them and their master can compel their high concept (which is always changed to reflect their undead status when a mortal dies) against them in order to make them obey their commands. PCs can refuse the compel, of course, if they have a Fate point to do so.

New nosferatu are created when a mortal that has nos blood in his or her system dies. This blood activates at the moment of true death (lack of activity in body including the brain) and sets off a chain reaction that creates a new being from the flesh of the old. Under mortal skin a nosferatu horror is born, ready to break free. As implied above, even a new nosferatu is capable of hiding his true appearance beneath a perfected version of his own skin.

Next: Creating Vampire Characters