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Vampire DRYH conversion - Don't Lose Your Humanity

Christian A

Wyrm no more
Validated User
This is a companion piece to my Werewolf DRYH conversion thread.

Key points of my DRYH conversion:

SIMPLICITY - there are no attributes. No skill lists. Character generation should, in terms of systems and rules, take a couple minutes at most. During gameplay, there is one simple mechanic for dice rolling that governs skill checks, uses of supernatural powers and everything else. It's always the same roll.

MORE POWER = TAKING RISKS - vampires are creatures of extremes. Vampiric abilities are empowered by both a vampire's rage and his vampiric lineage's curse - tapping into these powers allows a vampire to become very powerful indeed, but at great risk. This risk can be alleviated by the use of blood - blood is the catalyst that allows a vampire to go on and on and use his powers to the fullest.

HUNGER - I use an inverse power pool for Vampire. There are no blood points, there are hunger points. Vampires gain hunger points for waking up at night, healing damage, using powers, keeping their rage in check, etc. I don't need to tell you what they do to discard hunger points.

This is mostly a mood kind of thing. Instead of sensing the amount of vitae in their body, vampires get to feel their Beasts grow hungry and desperate for blood. Vampires are hungry all the time, and the hunger trait exists to express this aspect of vampire nature.

This houserule is also supposed to change the player's perception of his character's state. Your Nosferatu Elder doesn't have 1 Vitae left, he's at 15 freaking Hunger points :)

CURSES - Clans are keepers and bearers of curses, yes? A succubus doesn't fuck up people the same way as a savage. My systems don't force vampires to cause harm to people (more than they need to survive), but they certainly encourage them to do so. A vampire who spreads his specific curse will be more effective than one who refrains from doing so.

MAGIC IS FREEFORM - disciplines don't have 5 dots. Disciplines come with a general description of the things they can be used for in the game - it's up to the player to come up with specific effects. This is also connected to the "simplicity" key point as mentioned above.
 

Christian A

Wyrm no more
Validated User
Players need a number of coloured 6-sided dice to play vampires - 3 white (Control), 6 red (Rage) and 6 black (Disciplines) at the point of character generation.

Vampires are defined as a whole by three traits - Control (white dice), Rage (red dice) and Disciplines (black dice). In addition, they have a pool of power points, called Hunger; as well as a point mechanic representing their damnation and their moral state of being, Curse.

Vampires have talents (skills) and disciplines (supernatural abilities). Talents are powered by their Rage, while gifts call on their connection to their Curse.



Character Generation:

Think up an interesting character!

Pick a clan and a covenant

Your starting Control is 3 (meaning that you'll start with 3 white dice)

Your starting Rage is 6 (meaning that you can get up to 6 red dice). Pick a Talent (representing a skill, some mundane ability you're good at).

Pick two disciplines from your clan disciplines. Gain a rating of 6 in one of them, and of 2 in the other. Add 2 points to any discipline you like, other than sorcery disciplines.

Your starting Hunger points (Hunger is the inverse of your power pool - the less hungry you are, the more powerful you are) are determined by the roll of a 6-sided die, and you start with 0 wounds and a Curse of 0.

That's it!

Example character sheet:
Frances the Ordo Dracul Mekhet
Control 3
Rage 6 - Investigation
Obfuscate 6, Auspex 2, Celerity
Hunger: 4
Wounds 0
Curse 0
XP 0
 

Christian A

Wyrm no more
Validated User
Dice pools and rolls:

When rolling an action, always roll all Control and Rage dice available to the character. If the use of a gift is appropriate, you may add a number of black dice up to your gift rating.

Prior to rolling, you may choose to call on your Rage and take one additional Rage die. This gives you a better chance of success, but it also brings you a little closer to frenzy.

Use 6-sided dice. Each die that comes up with a result of 1, 2 or 3 is a success. The number of successes determines success or failure of the action.

After having counted the number of successes, check for dominance of a dice pool. The highest dice of each color the player rolled are compared to determine whether Control, Rage or Disciplines dominate.

If Control dominates, you may add 1 to the number of successes OR discard one Rage die OR discard one point of Curse.

If Rage dominates, the storyteller can either inflict mundane, non-supernatural difficulties on the player, or he'll give the player one additional Rage die (which makes it even more likely that Rage will dominate in the future).

If a Discipline dominates, the storyteller can either inflict supernatural, spiritual difficulties on the player, or he'll give the player one point of Curse.

The player may choose to GAIN one point of Hunger to ignore the effects of Rage or a Discipline being dominant.

Discard the black (Shadow) dice after your roll, but keep all white (Control) and red (Rage) dice.

Should the number of Rage dice in your pool ever increase above your Rage rating (6 for starting level characters), bad things happen. Depending on the situation, the storyteller may choose to declare the vampire to be inactive for the scene (due to exhaustion) or in Frenzy.

The point is, your Control (white) dice pool is your 'safe' dice pool, but it's also the smallest pool. You increase in effectivity by taking Rage (red) die, but they also carry the risk of Rage being dominant and of you being forced to take even more Rage dice, until you'll eventually snap.

You can also increase your dice pool by using disciplines - your supernatural powers - but those carry the risk of you gaining Curse points and the associated insanity and madness. Being a vampire means having to find some sort of balance between the forces of Control (sanity), your rage and the curse of your clan.
 

Christian A

Wyrm no more
Validated User
Talents:

Talents represent skills; things your character is good at. Talents can be used to further augment your dice pool.
There are minor and major uses of a talent.

Minor uses come free - take one additional success.

(Example: Frances uses her Investigation talent to find a the location of a rival's haven. She rolls her Control dice - 3 - plus her current Rage dice - 2. There are 3 successes. Due to her performing a minor use of the Investigation talent, she effectively has 4 successes.)

Take one additional Rage die to your pool when performing a major use of your talent. After rolling, you may add the number of Rage dice in your pool as additional successes.

(Example: Solomon Birch uses her Presence talent to convince a group of Acolytes not to kill him. Seeing that he has decided to perform a major use, he adds a Rage die to his pool. He then rolls his Control - 4 white dice - plus his current Rage rating - 4 dice - for 4 successes. He gets an additional 4 successes (his current Rage dice pool) from his major use, so he's at 8 successes.)






Curse points:

Curse points represent the character's closeness to his vampiric lineage's particular type of damnation. Curse points are the price a vampire pays for invoking his disciplines too much.

For each 4 Curse points a character has, the character must exchange one white (Control) die for a black (Shadow) die. This increases the chance of Curse being dominant in future rolls, making it even more likely to accumulate Curse points.

Curse points allow a storyteller to influence a vampire in thematic, appropriate ways - providing the player agrees. The storyteller might recommend a certain action to the player - if the player agrees, then he gets to discard a number of Curse points set by the storyteller. These actions always have to be in some way thematically appropriate (think mythology) and in some way detrimenal to the character's goals or at least distracting.

Daeva discard Curse when starting or experiencing emotional relationships with mortals, especially when endangering either the mortals or themselves.

Gangrel discard Curse when acting impulsively and without deliberation, especially when motivated by sudden passion, especially when violence is involved.

Mekhet discard Curse when attempting to find out the truth behind supernatural secrets, especially when putting themselves or allies in danger while doing so.

Nosferatu discard Curse when alienating or scaring allies.

Ventrue discard Curse when forcing their will on others and making them do things that violate their moral principles.




Hunger:

Hunger points are a vampire's "power pool". There is no limit to the number of Hunger points a vampire may possess - but the more hungry, the closer he'll be to frenzy.

Vampires gain 1 Hunger when they wake up at night.
Vampires gain 2 Hunger for each Wound they heal.
When rolling dice, a vampire may choose to gain 1 Hunger to ignore the effects of Rage or a Discipline being dominant. That way, they can use their blood to be more effective and/or to pay the price for their supernatural powers.

(Example: Frances currently has 5 Rage points. She makes a roll. Rage dominates. The storyteller tell her to add a Rage die to her pool. This would bring her awfully close to frenzy, so she chooses to gain a Hunger point instead.)


A vampire's current Hunger rating directly affects his Rage - the minimum number of red (Rage) dice a vampire has in his pool is determined as per his Hunger rating, divided by 3.

Hunger min Rage
0-2 0
3-5 1
6-8 2
9-11 3
12-14 4
...

Vampires discard Hunger by drinking blood. Most adult mortals can lose up to 3 points worth without being in critical danger, and up to 6-9 points in total.

When drinking blood, a vampire may choose to discard an amount of Rage dice equal to the number of Hunger points.

Blood Addiction, Vinculum, Blood Ties etc. still exist in my setting, but they're story concerns and have no representation in the system.








Frenzy:

Once the number of Rage (red) dice in your pool increases above your Rage rating (6 for starting characters), the storyteller decides whether you're inactive due to exhaustion or in Frenzy.

If the storyteller picks frenzy - congratulations! You are considered to be in combat with the nearest possible opponent.

Use only your Rage dice when attacking - there's no control during frenzy. You may add any appropriate physical disciplines to your pool.

At the start of each combat round, pick someone you really want to attack. The storyteller picks someone he wants you to attack (which is usually an ally).
Roll a 6-sided die. At a result of 1-2, you get to attack your preferred target. At 3-4, you attack the target the storyteller picked for you. At 5-6, you attack the same person you've attacked in the previous round.

Stay in frenzy until the end of the scene or until circumstances have managed to calm you down. You may not perform any dramatic actions and roll dice until the end of the scene. Discard Rage dice until you reach the limit as defined by your hunger (see below).
 

Christian A

Wyrm no more
Validated User
Disciplines

Disciplines can be used to achieve various supernatural effects corresponding to the thematics of each discipline. The dice pool is as usual - a vampire's Control (white) plus his Rage dice (red) plus a number of Discipline dice (black) he chooses to use, up to his number of points in the Discipline in question.

(Example: Frances has a rating of 6 in the Dream gift. She can roll up to 6 black dice when using the Auspex discipline, in addition to her Control (white) and Rage (red) dice.)

More black dice means more successes and more power, but also a higher chance of Disciplines being dominant, which give a vampire Curse points and associated madness.

Some supernatural effects might require a vampire to have a certain minimum rating in a discipline. The storyteller has the final decision in the matter.

(Example: with her Obfuscate rating of only 2, the storyteller doesn't allow Karin's player to attempt to become invisible.)

I still use the 10 core disciplines

Animalism (thematic purviews: animals, instinct, the Beast)
Auspex (thematic purviews: information gathering, reading souls and minds, past and future)
Celerity (thematic purview: physical speed)
Dominate (thematic purviews: authory, mind control, influence over memory)
Majesty (thematic purviews: sympathy, emotional influence)
Obfuscate (thematic purviews: hiding, shadows, invisibility)
Nightmare (thematic purviews: fear, insanity)
Protean (thematic purviews: shapechange, particularly pertaining to animals)
Resilience (thematic purview: physical endurance)
Vigor (thematic purview: physical strength)

Except that they're, essentially, freeform. It's up to players to come up with specific effects for using the disciplines.

The only exception would be Resilience, with has a few hard and fast rules:
A vampire with Resilience has extra Wound levels equal to (Resilience/2, rounded up). When waking up, he automatically heals (Resilience/2,rounded down) Wounds.
 

Christian A

Wyrm no more
Validated User
Touchstones

All vampire start play with one Touchstone. Vampires get to have up to (7-Control) touchstones.

Touchstones are (living) people who connect a vampire to the world of humans, reminding him of his own human existence.

After every scene of positive interaction with a touchstone, a vampire may reduce his Rage pool and Curse by 2.

A vampire gains 10 Curse points when losing a touchstone. Vampires without touchstones mark an additional Curse point everytime they gain Curse.






Health, healing wounds, Curse and Torpor

Characters have three Wound levels. Getting hurt means switching to the next Wound level (0 -> 1 -> 2 -> 3). Characters with more than 3 wounds are inactive or dead, depending on storyteller decision.

Characters lose (Wounds minus one) successes of all rolls as wound penalties. Thus, a character who has 2 wounds has one less success on all rolls.

Vampires heal 1 Wound for every 2 Hunger points they choose to gain.

Rage dissolves in times of peace and calm - the storyteller may give the character the choice to discard a number of Rage points per scene.

Curse dissipates by way of sleep and rest - 2-4 points of Curse per night of sleep, depending on how much rest the vampire gets.

A vampire who is killed falls into torpor, waking up after a number of nights equal to his Control times (Curse + 1).

Vampires may choose to remain in torpor longer than that. A vampire in torpor must discard 1 XP for each 3 years of torpor.





Combat

When attacking someone, the basic dice roll is the usual skill roll (Control plus current rage plus any gifts that the character chooses to use, if appropriate).

Successes can be spent on either attack or defense. Vampires must spend at least half of all successes on attack.

Once both combatants have rolled, compare their attack and defense ratings. Inflict 1 Wound for each increment of 3 successes of attack higher than defense (round up).

(Example - Solomon Birch is jumped by a rival sanctified. He instantly does a major use of his Brawl talent and fights back. He scores 9 successes.
He spends 6 successes on attack and 3 successes on defense.
The rival has 3 attack successes and 5 defense successes. He doesn't cause any damage (3 attack vs. 3 defense), and Solomon causes 2 Wounds (9 attack vs. 5 defense.))



Experience

Characters receive
.) 1 XP for free at the end of each session
.) 1 XP for achieving significant goals
.) 1 XP if the character rolls a failure and decides to transform it into a dramatic failure (up to once per session).
.) 1 XP if the vampire has been in frenzy at least once during the session
.) 1 XP if the vampire has had 4 or more Curse points at least once during the session

Buying 1 extra Control dice - 10 XP
Increasing one's Rage rating - 1 XP for each Talent the character possesses Additional Talents - the character's Rage rating in XPs
Increasing one's rating in a non-clan discipline - 1 XP for gifts below a rating of 5, 2 XPs for gifts higher than 4.
Increasing one's rating in a clan discipline - 1 XP

Example mid-level character
Solomon Birch
Daeva Lancea Sanctum
Touchstone: Family. Father’s tools.
Control 4
Rage 9 – Presence, Brawl, Theology
Celerity 7 Dominate 6 Majesty 2 Theban Sorcery 5 Vigor 9
Wounds 0
Hunger 8
Rage/9 2
Curse 4
XP 57


Control is fairly expensive because it's powerful - one extra Control die means one extra die for all rolls. It also increases the chance of Control being dominant, meaning that it's safer to use those Rage dice and your gifts. Control is pretty much the "Blood Potency" stat in that it determines a vampire's overall power.

Your Rage trait defines how deep your rage can get, but there's also a slight element of control over rage there. A starting level character with Rage 6 is in frenzy once he has more than 6 red dice; a more experienced vampire can have more than 6 red dice in his pool without succumbing to frenzy.

Buying additional talents is, basically, learning new (mundane) skills. Without the use of a talent or gift, you always roll Control + your current Rage dice. If you have a talent, you can do a minor use and score 1 additional success for free, or take 1 Rage die into your pool and score the number of your Rage dice in your pool as additional successes, which is very powerful.


Age

A vampire with a Control higher than 3 doesn't gain sustenance by drinking from animals. A vampire with a Control higher than 4 discards only 1 point of Hunger for drinking from a human (any amount of blood), and 2 points for drinking so much the mortal dies from blood loss.





Bloodlines

Vampires may join the bloodline of their sire any time.
Vampires may join any of their parent clan's bloodlines by drinking the blood of a bloodline member if their Control is higher than 3.
Vampires may start their own bloodline if their Control is higher than 4.

A vampire spends 1 XP for joining the bloodline. He then gains 3 dots in the bloodline's special bloodline, in addition to the bloodline's curse.




Mortals

Mortal characters generally only exist in terms of dice pools. A human character doesn't have a Control or Rage trait, he has, for example, an "Empathy" dice pool of 5 or a "Close Combat" dice pool of 6; whichever is appropriate. When I think up NPCs, I generally write up three appropriate dice pools and improvise the rest.

Example:
Anne, vampire hunter
Tough girl: 5 dice
Socialize: 7 dice
Stealth: 5 dice

Humans should always have less than 10 dice in their pools - remember that a starting level vampire character should have a kinda-sorta safe dice pool of around 5 (3 Control + 2 Rage); giving a human more than 7 dice in something is making him very powerful.
 

Asklepios

Registered User
Validated User
I don't own the Don't Rest Your Head game, but found this very interesting reading. Particularly like the core conceit of hunger instead of blood.
 
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