Vampire Character Creation

† Prep: Materials


This guide going to walk you through how to make a vampire character. If you are completely new to vampire, we advise starting with our New Player Guide instead.

Start by opening our character sheet and making your own copy of it.

If you don't have a copy of the V20 core, open that here.

† Step 1: Make a human concept


This is important first step of any character. All vampires were once human and, unless you’re playing an elder that is centuries old, it’s unlikely they’ve changed enough to no longer carry a few or more notable traits from their human lives. Please consider the following questions to form this character when they were human:

  • Place of birth, where do they live today, where have they lived and why?
  • Do they have living family? Are they close to them? Why?
  • Are they religious? What religion? How religious? (mass on Sundays, pray every meal, tithe regularly and donate time, etc.)
  • What is their place in the world from your character's point of view? Where would you like it to be?
  • What little things are important to them?
  • What weighs heavy on their soul? What sins have they committed, or if they don't believe in such things, why?
  • What habits do they have? Not just smoking, drinking, but also do they read the paper every morning, have a routine, etc.?
  • What matters to them?

This should give you a decently fleshed out idea to start with. Here, determine other important bits about them such as their age (18+), sex, their background pre-embrace, and so on. Here, I would also begin to consider their general personality and goals.

We have also have a guide to fleshing your character out.

Archetypes

People have two ways they present themselves. The first is how they act in public and how they’re commonly viewed on a shallow level. This is your character’s Demeanor. It has no mechanical effect on the character, though it should make sense.

The other side to this is how the character acts behind closed doors, with those close to them, and when they believe no one is watching. This is your characters Nature. When a character acts towards their nature during play (such as a caregiver successful nurturing someone else) they will regain one willpower point.

Your nature and your demeanor cannot be the same.

A full list of available archetypes and what they mean can be found on the wiki. Keep in mind that the character is still human when picking these out, so options like Monster as a Nature wouldn’t make sense unless they were an utterly awful human being.

† Step 2: Embrace


So, you finally got your character embraced. They can be between 8th and 13th+ generation, and can be freshly embraced to 500 years old with torpor included.

Clan

Characters can be any of the 13 listed below. If you are interested in playing a Bloodline or an Antitribu, please see Bloodlines for more information.

  • Assamite - Silent masters of assassination, killing for hire and collecting blood for rituals to bring them closer to their progenitor.
  • Brujah - Once philosopher-kings of an ancient civilization, but are now rebels and rogues with a fearsome inclination toward frenzy.
  • Followers of Set - Venerate a chthonic god while seeking out the world’s secret places and protecting ancient artifacts.
  • Gangrel - Bestial and untamed, often coming to resemble the animals over which they demonstrate mastery.
  • Giovanni - An insular family of vampires who practice the art of commanding the dead while commanding global finances, as they have since the Renaissance.
  • Lasombra - Proud nobles who command the very essence of darkness and shadow — to the point of worshiping it, some say.
  • Malkavian - A clan fractured by madness, each member irrevocably suffering under the yoke of insanity.
  • Nosferatu - Hideously disfigured by the Embrace, so they keep to the sewers shadows and traffic in the secrets they collect.
  • Ravnos - Nomads and tricksters who can force the mind to see what isn’t there, though they are slaves to the vices they indulge in.
  • Toreador - Cainites that enjoy every sensual pleasure the world has to offer, idolizing physical beauty and the adoration of their thralls.
  • Tremere - Vampiric sorcerers that wield the supernatural power of their past as a hermetic house, though they became vampires through treachery and artifice.
  • Tzimisce - Eldritch Old World lords who have little in common with the mortal world and can manipulate flesh and bone at a whim.
  • Ventrue - Observe the noblesse oblige of vampire society, though their entitlement and greed encourages them to seek ever more at the expense of others.
  • Caitiff - The Caitiff have no inherent Clan society, support, or even characteristics; they are like orphans among the great families of vampires.

† Step 3: Attributes


Prioritize the three categories (Physical, Social, and Mental) for your character. Spend the given dots (7/5/3) and make sure to keep what each dot means in general in mind when allotting them:

Attributes
• Poor. Unexercised, unpracticed, or inept.
•• Average. The result of occasional effort or application.
••• Good. Regular practice or effort, or naturally talented.
•••• Exceptional. Frequently applied, tested, and honed.
••••• Outstanding. The peak of normal human capacity, continually exercised.

For any attributes that are at 4 dots or more, make sure to apply a specialty.

Specific information on what all of the attributes mean in Vampire can be found on our attributes page.

† Step 4: Abilities


Prioritize the three categories (Talents, Skills, and Knowledges) for your character. Spend the given dots (13/9/5). All characters start with the first dot of Drive and Computers for free unless they are significantly older to where those concepts would be foreign.

important-Sign-2.png

Here is a guideline for abilities:

Abilities
• Novice. Basic knowledge and/or techniques.
•• Practitioner. Solid working knowledge and/or techniques.
••• Professional. Broad, detailed knowledge and/or techniques.
•••• Expert. Exceptional depth of knowledge and/or techniques.
••••• Master. Unsurpassed depth of knowledge and/or techniques. A leader in the field.

At this stage in character creation, nothing can be over three dots. However, any abilities at three dots must be well justified.

Before starting to spread these out, take some time to read what each dot level means on our abilities page.

Make sure to think less about what they primarily do but things on the side. If they enjoy being around animals, a dot of animal ken wouldn’t be a stretch. If they sang in their church choir, a dot of performance would make sense. Really think about them as a complete person to spend these realistically instead of just maximizing what they’re “supposed to be good at.”

There are abilities that require you to select specialties early, they are:

  • Expression
  • Crafts
  • Performance
  • Academics
  • Law
  • Science
  • Technology

† Step 5: Disciplines


You get 3 dots to spread across the three Disciplines your character's clan starts with. You could put one in each, all three in one, or any other combination that suits them as a character. Keep in mind that if any are left at 0 dots, it will cost 10 XP to get the first dot, in-Clan or not.

For Thaumaturgy or Necromancy: If you are taking a casting base Discipline and get Rituals, you can take any combination of Rituals with levels equal to those dots. (ie: If you have 5 dots in Thaumaturgy, you can either start with one level 5 Ritual, 5 level 1 Rituals, or any combination thereof.) You may learn more Rituals later on by following the process outlined in our House Rules.

For Caitiff: It needs to be specified what clan spawned them (what clan their sire was) and then take 1-2 disciplines from that clan and then the rest common disciplines (Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Presence, Potence, Fortitude, and Obfuscate.) Caitiff cannot take any type of blood sorcery, and any caitiff spawned by a caitiff can only have common disciplines.

† Step 6: Backgrounds


You get 5 Background dots to spend. All backgrounds should be explained on the given page of the character sheet and justified within the character's backstory. Anything increased above 3 dots requires Storyteller approval, except for influence which is at a 2 dot maximum.

Note: Domain must be pre-approved, as it is officially granted by the Baron. Havens and other owned property is considered under resources unless requested otherwise (such as keeping an Elysium).

† Step 7: Finishing Touches


Virtues

You get 7 dots of virtues to spread throughout the 3, each starting with one dot that isn't factored in at this time.

Humanity

Humanity is equal to Conscience + Self-Control. Please see our humanity page to read more about Humanity .

Willpower

Willpower is equal to Courage. To read more about willpower, please see our willpower page

Starting Bloodpool

Set to 5 for convenience. No dice are rolled during this character creation.

Freebies & Experience

Finally, you may spend 15 Freebie points in order to round out your character. You may gain an additional 7 Freebies by taking Flaws, but these must be roleplayed properly.
Check out our massive list of over 400 merits and flaws to see what's banned, restricted, or in-play]. Please note that any freebies ignored now are not refunded to spend at a later date and are lost.

Along with freebies, at character creation you will earn 1 Experience Point for every active year (not in torpor) spent as a vampire, up to a maximum of 100 XP. This bonus is granted solely to help your character feel like someone who has been around for 100+ years, accounting for the experience they may have acquired during their unlife.

Freebie Costs

Trait Cost
Attribute 5 per dot
Ability 2 per dot
Discipline 7 per dot
Backgrounds 1 per dot
Virtue 2 per dot
Humanity or Path of Enlightenment 2 per dot
Willpower 1 per dot
Experience Costs
Trait Cost
New Ability 3
New Discipline 10
New Thaumaturgy/Necromancy Path 7*
Attribute Current rating x 4
Ability Current rating x 2
Clan Discipline Current rating x 5**
Other Discipline Current rating x 7**
Thaumaturgy/Necromancy Path Current level x 4*
Virtue Current rating x 2***
Humanity or Path of Enlightenment Current rating x 2
Willpower Current rating

* Only clans that have Thaumaturgy or Necromancy as a clan discipline can learn their respective paths.
** Caitiff have no Clan-based Disciplines, just as they have no Clan. For them, the cost of raising all Disciplines is the current rating x 6. This is both the curse and the blessing of being Clanless.
*** Increasing a Virtue through experience does not increase Traits based on that Virtue (Humanity, Path, Willpower).

† Character Submission


To see how to submit your character for review by our Storytellers, please visit our Submission Guide.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License