VTM: Endless Night

A Vampire the Masquerade RPG set six months after Gehenna. Some Kindred were left standing, but rebuilding their shattered society is the least of their problems....
 
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 RPG Humanity Guide

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Margifish
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Posts : 44
Join date : 2015-06-26
Age : 37
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: RPG Humanity Guide   Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:05 am

Oh the Humanity


We don't use stats or dice here, so Humanity loss is basically an honor system of sorts. We *are* all adults after all. That said, the moderators DO read all the posts. If you have your character slaughter a bus full of school kids or imprison and torture the paper boy for kicks and DON'T take off a humanity point, we're going to call you out on it. That said:

What can cause humanity loss:

In the original VTM system, if your character had high humanity something as trivial as hurting someone's feelings or having a selfish thought was grounds for rolling for humanity loss. Frankly, I feel that's a bit silly. For example, I consider myself to be a very good person, but I have days where I'm in a bad mood and bitchy to everyone around me. Does that change the fact that I'm a good person? No, it just means I'm having a bad day...which everyone can have, vampire or not.

That said, the humanity system is a good way to reflect that a person's choices have consequences, and vampires who want to pursue the LOL!Evil path even AFTER divinity wiped out most of their kind are sort of asking for it.

Yes, Kindred old breed and new are predators by nature and must feed on blood to survive, but that doesn't mean they have to go around torturing and killing people for no reason. They don't even have to kill to feed. Old breed vampires have their Beast, but though still present, it doesn't have as powerful a hold over them as it did before the Withering. So while they can still lose control, the Beast isn't an excuse for every bad thing an individual Kindred might do anymore.

What actions can cause humanity loss depend on what humanity level a Kindred has before taking them. Vampires with lower humanity require more drastic crimes to risk further humanity loss, whereas vampires with higher humanity levels are held to more exacting standards of conduct.

Deliberate cruelty:

Deliberate cruelty is willingly inflicting emotional pain or humiliation on another person who doesn't deserve it just for the sake of being cruel. For vampires with humanity 8 or higher, this risks humanity loss, depending on whether or not they regret doing so. Note that snapping at somebody, saying a mean thing because you're having a bad night, or verbally biting back at someone who was cruel or bitchy to you first doesn't count.

Physical harm:

Inflicting physical pain or injury on an innocent person or creature without a good reason for doing so (self-defense if someone is attacking you doesn't count). Kindred with a humanity of 6-8 risk humanity loss, Kindred with humanity 9 or higher automatically lose a humanity point. Accidentally injuring someone is a different matter, and whether a humanity loss is incurred depends on the character's motives, actions after the fact, or whether they feel remorse. Hurting someone, even if it wasn't deliberate on the vampire's part can risk loss of a humanity point if the vampire doesn't care that they hurt someone.

Torture:

Torturing an enemy that the character (or someone that character loves) has suffered because of risks humanity loss (since torture goes quite a bit beyond simply injuring another person), torturing someone who didn't do anything to the character is an automatic humanity loss regardless of their humanity level.

Rape:

Rape is ALWAYS a humanity loss.

Accidental killing:

Whether this occurs from a young vampire accidentally killing a victim during feeding, (an older vampire has had time to develop better control over their feeding, so if *they* kill someone via feeding they risk humanity loss) or another scenario (an innocent bystander getting caught up in a fight between two Kindred, for example), whether this will warrant humanity loss depends on how the character acts/feels afterwards. If they feel remorse for the death and try to make amends for it, then they don't risk humanity loss. If they shrug the death off and don't seem to care what happened, let alone make up for it, then they lose humanity.

Intentional killing:

If a character is defending him/herself, friends/comrades, or innocent people, then no humanity loss is risked. If the killing was unnecessary, and the character feels and expresses no remorse afterwards, then a humanity point can be lost. A killing that is both unnecessary and particularly cruel automatically results in a humanity loss (unless the character's humanity is 3 or lower).

Low humanity flaws for new breed Kindred:

The 'gateway' flaw unique to each of the new clans if they hit humanity 6 is listed in the new clan information post. Humanity levels 5 and below each inflicts an additional flaw on the vampire in question that is universal among the new bloodlines. The new breed Kindred might be more life-like, but they're punished far more harshly if they allow their humanity to slip. Old breed kindred don't get these flaws no matter how low their humanity slips.

Humanity 5- Vulnerability to Silver: To you, silver is as painful and as deadly as the rays of the sun. You suffer aggravated wounds from any silver weapons (bullets, knives, etc.), and the mere touch of silver objects discomfits you.

Humanity 4- Repelled by Crosses: You are repelled by the sight of ordinary crosses (or other holy symbol), whether backed by true faith or not. When confronted by a cross/holy symbol, you must flee from the symbol for the duration of the scene. If it touches you, your skin burns as if touched by fire.

Humanity 3- Permanent Fangs: Your fangs no longer retract, making it impossible for you to hide your true nature. While some mortals may think you’ve had your teeth filed or are wearing prosthetics, sooner or later you’re going to run into someone who knows what you truly are.

Humanity 2- Flesh of the Corpse: Your skin gains a permanent, unwholesome pallor to it, and your flesh clings more tightly to your bones- giving you an unsettling, almost skeletal aspect to your appearance. In addition, your flesh does not fully regenerate itself once it is damaged. While you are able to heal yourself to the point of regaining full functionality, your skin still retains the cuts, tears, bullet holes, and other visible damage that you have incurred.

Humanity 1- Beacon of the Unholy: You radiate palpable evil. Clergy and devout mortals know instinctively that there is something horribly wrong with you, and react accordingly. Churches and other places of worship are barred to you as well.

Humanity 0- Grip of the Damned: There is no more ecstasy in your Embrace — only terror and pain. Mortals upon whom you feed struggle and shriek, requiring you to grapple with them for as long as you wish to take their blood.


Gaining humanity:

Much like a Kindred who commits vile acts will lose humanity, a Kindred who defies their nature and acts with selflessness and compassion will gain humanity.

Characters can begin play with as low a humanity rating as the player wants (except 0 of course), but no character can start play with a humanity higher than 9 (humanity 10 must be earned via role-playing).

The lower a character's humanity, the smaller the act needed to gain a point, because they have a much deeper pit to climb out of than a character with a humanity of 7 or 8. A vampire walking around with humanity 4 is going to have to really fight their dark impulses and selfish nature to do something genuinely good. So even a seemingly small gesture of selflessness is enough to raise a point simply because for a low humanity character the act *is* so unexpected (it must actually BE selfless by the way...acting kind to a human because the vampire wants something from them is NOT being kind; its being manipulative and serving their own ends).

Conversely, a vampire with a humanity rating of 7 or 8 is going to have to do something exceptional in order to gain a humanity point. A kind word or simply feeding without harming their victim won't do, as those are things a high humanity Kindred has probably already made a habit of. Saving someone's life, sparing an enemy, putting their own life in danger because it's the right rather than the practical thing to do...those are examples of things that can earn someone a humanity of 10.

Basic Humanity Chart

In terms of behavior, the humanity scale goes as follows:

0- Monstrous. Must sleep. Must feed. Must kill. This vampire has lost every shred of the person they once were and is a completely mindless predator. There is no redemption or gaining humanity at this point. If a character drops to zero humanity they become an NPC until they are killed.

1- Horrific. Only nominally sentient, Kindred with Humanity 1 teeter on the edge of oblivion. Little matters to vampires this far gone, even their own desires outside of sustenance and rest. There is literally nothing a vampire with Humanity 1 won’t do, and only a few tattered shreds of ego stand between him and complete devolution. Many who attain this stage find themselves no longer capable of coherent speech, and spend their nights gibbering blasphemy in their gore-spattered havens.

2- Bestial. This vampire has been mostly swallowed by their own dark urges. They're still capable of rational thought, but their personality is mostly gone at this point. They frequently have black outs and chunks of `missing' time; rousing surrounded by the bodies of victims they don't even remember killing.

3- Cold. Once a vampire has sunk this low, its hard for them to climb back up, because their concept of what's right and what's wrong is severely skewed. Their inherent personality is still there, but is gradually becoming taken over by their own predatory nature. The lives and property of others are irrelevant to a Kindred this far gone. The vampire likely indulges twisted pleasures and aberrant whims, which may include any manner of atrocity. Perversion, callous murder, mutilation of victims, and wickedness for its own sake are the hallmarks of a Kindred with this low Humanity. Few vampires maintain ratings this low and lower for very long — their damnation is all but certain at this point.

4- Unfeeling. The character is essentially a sociopath at this point- capable of recognizing the difference between right and wrong, but not really caring. The vampire begins an inevitable slide into urge indulgence. A Humanity of 4 indicates that killing is acceptable to this Kindred, so long as his victim is “deserving.” Before Gehenna, many vampire elders hovered around this level of Humanity. Destruction, theft, injury — these are all tools, rather than taboos, for a vampire with Humanity 4. The vampire’s own agenda becomes paramount at this point, and screw whoever gets in the way.

5- Distant. People die. Stuff breaks. A vampire below the cultural human norm has little difficulty with the fact that she needs blood to survive, and she does what needs to be done to get it. Though she won’t necessarily go out of her way to destroy property or end a victim’s life, she accepts that sometimes that’s what fate has in store for some folks. Though not constantly horrid, Kindred at this stage of Humanity are certainly at least mildly unpleasant to be around. Their laissez-faire attitudes toward others’ rights offend many more moral individuals.

6- Removed. At this point a vampire has become more comfortable with their predatory nature, and is slowly growing accustomed to the notion of killing...provided its an enemy or in self-defense. Accidentally killing a victim during feeding is still disturbing and traumatic to them though, and will often provide an impetus to watch their actions more closely lest they slip and do it again.

7- Normal. Most human beings have Humanity ratings of 7. Vampires with 7 Humanity typically subscribe to “normal” social mores — it’s not acceptable to casually hurt or kill another person (unless in self-defense), it’s wrong to steal something that another person owns, but sometimes the speed limit is just too damn slow. The vampire is still concerned with the natural rights of others at this stage of morality, though more than a little selfishness can shine through.

8- Caring. This vampire is ironically more humane than the average human. They adhere to normal standards of morality, and take it a step further by taking an active interest in other people; genuinely caring about the joys and problems of someone other than themselves.

9- Compassionate. Vampires with humanity ratings this high have an extreme aversion to any and all killing and even often have a distaste for taking more blood than is necessary. Though not necessarily passive or preachy, Kindred with 9 Humanity uphold excruciatingly exacting standards, and often have very clearly defined concepts of moral right and wrong.

10- Near-saintly. A vampire that attains 10 humanity is pretty much the idealized image of how a human should behave...kind, honorable, sometimes even innocent and pure. Except in the most extreme of circumstances, killing is completely out of the question at this pinnacle of humanity, and even if the act causes no harm to the person, feeding on a human itself can cause guilt. Vampires with humanity this high often subsist on packaged blood. They aren't perfect...everyone, no matter how nice, can have a bad night, but short of being an actual saint you can't get more morally just than this.

NOTE: The relevant perks and flaws awarded at different levels of humanity are lost or gained as appropriate (supernatural flaws fade from the vampire if they can raise their humanity level, the high humanity perks are lost if the vampire drops in humanity). Physical flaws, Malkavian derangements, and other deformations aren't `healed' simply by rising in humanity, but if a high enough level of humanity (8 or higher) is reached they can be healed via the use of specific disciplines and won't revert back unless the Kindred's humanity level falls at a later date.
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RPG Humanity Guide
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