Character ideas for VampireTM

Several things need decided here:

  1. Communal decision on power level of the game: Childer or Neonates. The whole party has to be the same power level. See below.
  2. Communal decision on coterie type. Basically the in-game reason the party hangs out together.
  3. Who the individual characters are.
  4. Finally… do people want to do chargen on their own before we start playing? Or do you want a session zero which is online character creation and (time permitting) a run though the combat system?

Childer are new vampires. You could have been turned into a vamp (embraced) anything from a few days ago to 15 years ago. You can only play a Thin Blood vampire if the Childer option is picked. In terms of points for character gen, the official rules say 0 freebie points, but Dr Bob is house-ruling 6 freebies for most clans and 3 points for Tremere & Banu Haqim.
Neonates became vampires between 1940 and a decade ago. Freebie points: 15 for most clans (12 for Tremere & Banu Haqim).

Because this is an Anarch game, most of the usual social restrictions which apply to Childer characters do not apply.

CLANS to pick from:

  • Banu Haqim also called Shango (and called Assamites in early editions of the WoD).
  • Brujah
  • Gangrel also called Akunanse and Wah’Sheen
  • Malkavian
  • Nosferatu
  • Toreador also called Ishtarri and Ray’een al-Fen
  • Tremere
  • Ventrue
  • Caitiff
  • Thin Blood (fewer vampiric ‘superpowers’, but can pass as human and might be able to go out in daylight).
  • Guruhi (not statted up in the VTM 5e books, I’m swiping info from Ebony Kingdoms).


  • What was your character’s name in life? What is your name now? (You don’t have to change your name).
  • What did your character do before they were embraced?
  • When and where were they embraced?
  • Why did your character join up with your Kindred companions?
  • Why do they stay together? (Coterie type may influence this).


  • Blood Cult – You entice mortal worshippers, reveal some supernatural truths, feed them vitae or enslave them. It violates the Masquerade and attracts the Inquisition (humans who will shoot you all to death).
  • Cerberus – Exists to protect a certain spot or important location, e.g. a grave or priceless relic.
  • Champions – Exists to fight for a cause. Possibly even one mortals would recognize as worthy.
  • Commando – Exists to fight its master’s enemies. A vampire ‘special ops’ team.
  • Day Watch (you all have to be Thin Bloods with the Day Drinker merit). Guard the undead city from mortals, especially in daytime
  • Fang Gang – Criminal gang, burglars or con artists. Disguised as organised crime. Or perhaps you’re the Baron or Prince’s liaison with organised crime?
  • Hunting Party – Specialises in hunting and capturing humans with particular qualities of the blood (humours and resonances).
  • Marechal – Serve and guard the Prince or Baron, doing their bidding as attendants and hatchet-men. The direct access to the ruler means influential elders often try to have their progeny added to this coterie.
  • Nomads – Travel from place to place: a band, theatre troupe, refugees from the Gehenna War or just ‘kings of the road’.
  • Plumaire – United by ties of social prominence or common enthusiasm (music, fashion, etc).
  • Questari – Exists to accomplish a great enterprise or objective, out of desire rather than by edict. Chase a target, hunt a relic, solve a mystery, etc.
  • Regency – Chosen or created by an elder of the Camarilla or Anarchs to guard their legacy as they were Beckoned to the East. You hold the elder’s vote, or have a watching brief on the Council.
  • Sbirri – Disguised as another type of coterie, but are secretly serving the Prince or Baron of another city (or spying on a faction within the city).
  • Vehme – Vigilantes tasked to protect the Masquerade at all costs. You have the authority to arrest and subdue violators to bring them before the Prince/Baron.
  • Watchmen/Committee for Public Safety - Patrol the city and protect it from intruders, especially werewolves and vampires of another faction.

I’d like to try the combat system with expendable characters before we commit our own to it. Happy to do group character generation or solo.

I think the things that the characters find disturbing (tenets) will depend to a large extent on who they are and why they haven’t been heroic.

Unfortunately, the only opportunity for heroism in the one Vampire campaign I was involved with went something like this:
GM: “OK, the sun’s coming up. Head back home?”
Me: “Nah. I think I’ll watch.” – C. Lee Davis

I don’t have a strong feeling about Childer vs Neonates because I don’t really know what a freebie point is worth. I assume that in either case there are things that can eat us for breakfast. Here’s what I have in terms of character ideas, which may be inconsistent with the world.

Neonate: English engineer who nearly died in one of the late WWII bombing raids (possibly a V-1 or V-2) and was vamped basically to get some cheap technical consultancy. Tries to keep up with new stuff but vampires don’t really do change well, so he’s become more of a “fix it up and keep it running” sort of mechanic. Late 20s in appearance, terminal lack of fashion sense.

Childe: Polish migrant, came over to work in 2007 and rapidly fell in with a local gang. Good hand-to-hand fighter, but very reluctant to hurt people who “don’t deserve it”. Good-looking, which got him turned by one of the æsthetic sort of vampire. Really having trouble working out what to say to the parish priest. Late teens / early 20s in appearance.

I’d like to try the combat system with expendable characters before we commit our own to it.

I’ve made 5 pre-gens on the theory that I might run a one-off at Stabcon, so we could try combat (and social combat) with those. They are: Brujah, Gangrel, Toreador and 2 Thin Bloods.

I don’t have a strong feeling about Childer vs Neonates because I don’t really know what a freebie point is worth. I assume that in either case there are things that can eat us for breakfast.

Freebie points are the same as xp. The cheapest thing you can buy costs 3 points, e.g. buying a skill at level 1, buying 1 dot in an advantage, buy a level 1 Blood Sorcery ritual or Thin Blood formula. The cheapest stat boost costs 10 points. If you want to increase a stat from 4 to 5, it would cost 25 points.

A ‘traditional’ way of making Vampire characters is to blow all your freebie points on increasing your Disciplines (supernatural superpowers). You need 5 points to buy level 1 and 10 for level 2 (Caitiff need 6 and 12 respectively). Childer therefore can only afford to buy a new one at level 1. Neonates can boost an existing one to level 2.

Personally, I usually spend freebies on skills.

@Roger - both character concepts are fine for the world. Lots of Poles settled in NE Scotland post-WW2, so the parish priest you are worried about talking to can be a Scot of Polish descent.

I don’t have much history with Vampire so here’s my rough impression of the Corebook clans based on what 5e has to say.

  • Brujah: edgy rebels. Smash the system.
  • Gangrel: tough guys. Jason Statham or Jenette Goldstein will play me in the film version.
  • Malkavian: mad.
  • Nosferatu: ugly and animalistic.
  • Toreador: I’m so pretty.
  • Tremere: magicians
  • Ventrue: pulling strings from behind the scenes

Does that seem reasonably fair? (Presumably in an Anarch campaign we got recruited into one of these, then rebelled later?)

I have a twisted idea for a Childer Brujah. They’ve observed humans becoming more solitary and interacting electronically more and more, and plan to become the sole physical visitor for some of these people, creating a herd that’s also an internet research organisation/pressure group/troll farm.

Yes, kind of.

  • Brujah - edgy rebels. But who somehow ended up being the Camarilla’s foot soldiers and/or enforcers. In the past if you wanted to be able to rip people’s heads off with your bare hands and generally “Hulk smash!”, you played a Brujah. Their supernatural combat powers have been a bit nerfed. Jason Statham would play a Brujah.
  • Gangrel - animalistic, tough guys. For players who wanted to be a cross between Dr Doolittle, Grizzly Adams and a werewolf. (In the past also a popular combat monster option, because they had claws, but again that’s been a bit nerfed).
  • Malkavian - yes mad. But also sneaky with Jedi mind powers. If you’ve watched the Vikings TV series, then Flokki could be a Malkavian. Or Missy from Dr Who.
  • Nosferatu - ugly and sneaky. The power behind the throne. The reclusive hacker in the basement. Fingers in every pie.
  • Toreador - I’m so pretty but I also have Jedi mind powers. Cordelia from Buffy or the snarky characters from Pose could be Toreador.
  • Tremere - yup, magicians who want to rule the world. Jedi mind powers, with a hankering to be Sith Lords.
  • Ventrue - we DO rule the world with Jedi mind powers. Or we did. Now we have to do it from behind the scenes.

For an Anarch campaign you could…

  1. Have been a paid up member of one of the clans, then rebelled.
  2. Been an Anarch from day 1, because your sire was an Anarch.

The Anarchs were semi-tolerated on the edges of Camarilla society until the Gangrel and later the Brujah left en masse. You’ll still think of yourself as belonging to Clan X.

EDIT to add the clans which aren’t in the core rules:

  • Banu Haqim - ninja justice warriors. If Assassin’s Creed became vampires, this is who they’d be.
  • Guruhi - Sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, born to rule. While Samuel L. Jackson is off playing a Brujah, Morgan Freeman is cast as a Guruhi.
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@JGD That concept could work for either Childer or Neonate. You’d just pick a Neonate who is closer to the 10 years a vampire than the 70 years a vampire age.

OK. Shall we try to figure out what kind of Coterie we are? One that provides night-time technical support kind of fits the character ideas so far.

As I see it they’re both basically practical people without much time for the foofiness often associated with the vampiric lifestyle. Which would lean towards Fang Gang, Nomads, or Plumaire.

I think we probably need some input from other players on Coterie. Also practical people can be hitmen, accomplish a great enterprise, protect a relic, etc so don’t rule out too many of the others at this point.

The only one I’m not keen on is the “we are all Camarilla spies pretending to be Anarchs” (Sbirri).

I’m not at all keen on that concept!

I probably should have listed Predator types in the original post. Everyone picks one of these:

  • Alleycat: You are a combative assault feeder. Stalk, overpower and drink from whoever you can.
  • Bagger: Steal, buy or otherwise procure cold blood intended for medical use. Ventrue can’t be this type.
  • Blood Leech/Headhunter: Drink from other vampires by hunting, coercion or receiving blood as payment. IF YOU MESS UP, YOU DIE
  • Cleaver: Feed covertly from mortal friends or family (add them to Relationship Map). This is a Masquerade breach waiting to happen.
  • Consensualist: You never feed against your prey’s free will. Maybe you work in a Blood Donor Centre. Maybe you are breaking the Masquerade!
  • Farmer (must be Blood Potence less than 3): You only feed from animals. Your hunger constantly gnaws at you. Ventrue can’t be this type.
  • Osiris: You’re a celebrity, run a cult, a church or similar and feed from worshippers/ fans. But followers breed problems with the authorities and the Camarilla.
  • Sandman: You use stealth or disciplines to feed on sleeping victims.
  • Scene Queen: You rely on familiarity with a particular subculture. Your victims adore you for your status. Those who understand what you are, are disbelieved.
  • Siren: You feed during or when feigning sex, and rely on your disciplines or seduction skills. In dark moments you fear at best you’re a problematic lover, at worst a habitual rapist.

The above are your PRIMARY method of feeding, and give you a dot in a relevant Discipline. You can also snack on other people.

Mirek, my Childe option, is probably “Alleycat”. If someone is getting a severe beating anyway, which is a thing he’s quite good at, nobody’s going to look too closely at their wounds or believe their stories.

(But the Coterie types suggest to me that the party’s main life (well, you know what I mean) should be together, rather than trying to hold down their previous employment. Is that right? In which case I need to rethink slightly.)

I’m not sure which of these two options fits my concept better?

I suspect it could be either, but the descriptions assume much more self-publicity than I’m keen on playing.

I haven’t finished my plough through the rules yet but I’d say I’d prefer a Childer character because I don’t think I could manage to play someone that young with any authenticity or enthusiasm.

I was thinking that if there were a university, I could play the Old Librarian, who spends his days in the stacks, well out of sight and occasionally seduces and even more occasionally turns or ghouls a clever young person.

As to what holds us together… Have to think about that.

@MichaelCule I can happily invent a university that used to be a poly. Or which is an offshoot of one of the unis in another city. There’s the University of Dundee. And there’s the University of Dundee in Oldcastle.

Everyone… age of character is entirely separate to how long you’ve been a vampire. If you want to be 100 years old and on your birthday you got a telegram from the Queen and turned into a vampire, that’s fine. The books are full of illustrations of bright young things. Because. Reasons. Plus a guy who looks like Christopher Lee.

FYI… VTM uses the words ‘Childer’ and ‘neonate’ arse backwards. In the real world a neonate is a newborn baby and a child comes after that stage. In Vampire, ‘childer’ means you are not considered to be a ‘responsible adult’ because you are new at all this vampire stuff, so someone else shares the blame/praise for what you do. Neonate means you’ve ‘graduated’ and are responsible for your own actions/cock ups.

In game terms, your sires have a bigger input in your lives as Childer than they do as Neonates. However, since this is an Anarch game, sucking up and kowtowing to your sire, being at their beck and call, etc will be much less of a thing. Unless someone wants a control freak sire.

@RogerBW Coteries… are mainly for ‘communal plot hooks’. Previous editions of Vampire often suffered from parties who spent barely any time in each other’s company, because they were all off having lonely fun spying for the Nosferatu or organising a fashion show for the Toreador or scheming to take over the drug scene south of the river.

In this version you also have Touchstones: living human beings (including ghouls) who represent what you used to value when alive; someone who represents or seems to incarnate one of your Convictions. These people define the best in humanity for you. And a bunch of personal Convictions.

The idea is that Coterie mission, your convictions, looking out for your Touchstones, the Chronicle Tenets and/or your Predator type will sometimes clash. e.g. you could take Coterie/Tenet “protect the masquerade” and predator type “feed from family and friends” which is a masquerade breach waiting to happen.

If you want to have money and be able to pay the rent, buy petrol, replace your blood splattered clothes, etc you may still have a job. (Night shift, obviously). Keeping that semblance of normality might be something which helps your cling to your humanity. EDIT: or you could decide you have some other income you live off. You buy some dots in Resources. If you buy 5 dots you are Bruce Wayne.

Trying to think of an analogy from telly… In Stargate SG-1:
The coterie type is ‘you are an SG team who explores new planets’
Sam Carter’s touchstones are her dad before he became a tokRa, and that kid she semi-adopted and Doc Frasier
Her convictions might be Don’t let anyone know you fancy the pants off O’Neill and Anything Can be Solved with Science
The Chronicle tenets are: Protect the Earth, Promote American Values Across the Universe, etc.
Her predator type is… um, er, analogy breaking down… scientist! :roll_eyes:

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@JGD I guess the public-facing aspect of both can vary.

Osiris with lots of publicity: televangelist.
Osiris who tries to keep out of sight of mainstream media and authorities: Cthulhu cultist.
Scene Queen with lots of publicity: person who organises local jazz festival.
Scene Queen who tries to keep out of sight of mainstream media & authorities: person who organises local badger baiting.

Mirek would work with that.

Kazimierz “Mirek” Kozlowski: family in Poland are former fishermen, and he came over in 2007 after EU accession looking for work on the cod boats. It turned out to be rather easier to get work looking big and threatening and occasionally hurting someone who didn’t show proper respect to the boss, and it’s clearly not good work but there’s a family back home who need the money. And then he got turned, though I’m not clear on quite why…

Played, I think, by Przemysław Cypryański circa 2006:

Question, do Vampires still get addicted to drugs?

Not as a matter of course, but there are flaws and advantages to make your vampire addicted to a substance (e.g. drugs, alcohol) in someone’s blood. Options are:

  1. High functioning addict (1 dot advantage) – when the last person you fed on was on your drug of choice you get 1 bonus die to one category of pool (specify what pool when you choose the drug).
  2. Addiction (1 dot flaw) – lose 1 die from all pools when the last person you drank from was not on your drug. EXCEPT for pools for actions to immediately obtain your drug.
  3. Hopeless addiction (2 dots flaw) – lose 2 dice as above.
  4. Take the Prey exclusion flaw (1 dot) and make it “I only feed from people who are on [insert name of drug here]”. So the excluded prey are either folk not on the drug right now, or not habitual users. Horrible penalties if you drink blood from anyone who is NOT on the drug/a user.

Options 1, 2 or 3 can be combined with option 4.