Basic Character Creation Guidelines

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Basic Character Creation Guidelines

Post by Chris Shaffer on Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:01 pm

First off, we're using this book for pretty much everything. It's a new edition of the Vampire: The Requiem book released a decade ago (but for reasons not relevant to this post, it's just not explicitly labeled as such). A lot's been tweaked and changed (and updated to the God Machine Chronicle Rules), but if you're familiar with the earlier edition you've got the rough gist. There will be copies of the text available at the game for good measure, though.

(Also, just for good measure, there's an official Requiem forum here, with a FAQ/Errata here.)

Character creation will be as per the book, barring some restrictions on Merits (listed below). The five main clans are available. As of this writing I'm still hammering out a list of available bloodlines. In terms of covenants, I'm primarily looking for Invictus characters but I will have some slots available for people who wish to play Lancea et Sanctum, Ordo Dracul, or unaligned.

Remember to record your Favored Attribute based on clan, as well as your Mask and Dirge. Also, for those of you familiar with Requiem 1st Edition, the Invictus covenant advantage is substantially different. They don't get cost breaks on things any more, but they do have access to Invictus Oaths which can expand their abilities as well as covenant-exclusive Merits that roughly mimic the effect of the old advantage.

Blood Potency will begin at 1. There won't be a hard limit at character creation other than cost but starting at Blood Potency 6 or higher will require approval of a written backstory to justify that character's presence in Morgantown. Humanity will begin at 7. Earlier editions allowed for reduction of Humanity in exchange for experience but that rule has been specifically removed in Blood & Smoke.

That said, if for concept reasons someone wishes to begin with their clan bane active from the start, they may do so. (although there really isn't a way to do that for Ventrue, sorry) Bloodline banes are active from the moment the character adopts the bloodline.

Your first character will begin with five Experiences. If your character dies, I'll total up your spent (spent, not earned) Experiences, round them down to the nearest multiple of five, and that total will go on your later characters. If you retire a character voluntarily (without being on the verge of forced out of the game ICly or something like that), you'll get earned experience rounded down to the nearest multiple of five. (This is basically to encourage people to retire a character that isn't working out without suiciding the character.)

I am not, at this time, awarding bonus Experiences for written backstories.

Note: If the game goes on long enough I reserve the right to change the amount that players' first characters get, establish an upper limit on how much Experience is transferred to a new character or change the formula used to determine how much gets transferred. I have no desire to punish people for having long-lived characters but at the same time I'm going to be keeping an eye out for potential problems stemming from a power gap.

Also, I'll be keeping a copy of each character sheet. You'll be expected to turn in the sheet at the end of the first session and I'll hand sheets back out at the start of each session. If you want a copy for your own purposes or tinkering, you can make one or just copy down the stats on yours (taking a picture with a smartphone is good for this purpose).

And speaking of character sheets, a little suggestion: I know people like handing me nicely-printed character sheets with everything typed out, but I strongly suggest writing your Aspirations in in pencil as they are going to change over the course of the game.




Merits

I use a tiered system of Merit restrictions. There are Low Approval Merits, which are free to take as long as you meet prerequisites. There are Mid Approval Merits, where you have to clear things with me first. Some of these Merits are Mid Approval because they'll require the creation of an NPC or special stuff in my notes. High Approval Merits will require approval of a written backstory before the character can enter play. Anything listed as Banned is disallowed, period. Merits listed under Special are special cases, usually (but not always) disallowed at character creation but possible to acquire in-game. Check with me on those if they're not addressed in another thread.

It's worth noting, just for the record, that these restrictions reflect what sorts of access you'll have in Morgantown. It's possible that back in Charleston you were wealthier, better-connected, and so forth and you cashed in some of that to start establishing your power base in Morgantown. Nobody's expecting you to 'report in' for one of the Woodburn meetings five minutes after you get into town; you've got time to do a little bit of recon and make a few phone calls and such.

I reserve the right to rearrange or update these lists at any time for any reason. In fact, I plan to expand the availability of Merits as time and plot progress. Some items are only being disallowed at this time because circumstances of the setting would make them a waste of Experiences. I'll announce all updates in replies to this post (and then update this post).

With the exceptions labeled, these Merits are all available in the Blood & Smoke core book or the God Machine Chronicle Rules Update. I'll update the list as supplemental material becomes available or I decide to allow/update older Merits.

Also, the Invested Merit will allow characters to bypass these starting limits (except for the limit on Mentor) with the extra Merits granted by it. In case it needs to be said, only those 'bonus' Merits can take you above the caps presented here.


Special:
Allies 3+, City Status*, Clan Status 3+, Covenant Status 3+, Feeding Grounds, Notary, Oath of Serfdom, Resources 4+, Unnatural Affinity


Banned:
Any Merit that requires being a normal human, ghoul, Carthian Status or Circle of the Crone Status. (Including the Supernatural Merits in GMC)
Cacophony Savvy 2+, Dynasty Membership 2+, Mentor 4+, Mystery Cult Initiation, Professional Training, Speaker for the Silent, Tolerance for Biology

High Approval:
Fame 2+, Oath of Action, True Friend


Mid Approval:
Allies 1-2, Alternate Identity, Contacts, Esoteric Armory 3+, Fame 1, Haven, Herd, Hobbyist Clique, Library, Lineage, Mentor 1-3, Parkour, Retainer, Safe Place, Secret Society Junkie, Staff, Status, Sworn, Touchstone
All Invictus Oaths not listed elsewhere


Low Approval:
Anything in Blood & Smoke or GMC not listed elsewhere on this list; Cacophony Savvy 1*, Clan Status 1-2, Covenant Status 1-2, Esoteric Armory 1-2, Heart of the ChallengerOP, Three Heads of KerberosOP, Resources 1-3

*-- Check the House Rules page for details
OP-- Onyx Path website or forums; relevant Merits will be linked on this page

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