In the interest of introducing people to some other games I'm interested in besides D&D, I recently did a little series on Call of Cthulhu characters. Today I'm going to do one on creating a character in Vampire the Masquerade 5e. We're not going to go into the details of the system itself or how things work, that's probably better served for another article. Today, we're just going to look at making a monster in the World of Darkness. If you crave the blood of mortals and have been met with the embrace of a kindred that binds you to the night, then you're ready to play some Vampire.
Vampire the Masquerade is based on a storyteller system, so a lot of the game's features, even your own characters, are based on mutual agreement with the GM and the other players. So this is really about making choices and spending points. There really won't be any dice rolls in character creation.
First, get your core concept. Who is this character, what do they do, and how'd they get embraced? This is also where you start filling out the relationship map (a diagram of how the various PCs and NPCs in the story are connected.)
Next, note your clan and sire (the person who made you into a vampire.) Add your sire to the relationship map, and note your clan bloodline. This will be important later when we get to disciplines.
For now though, we have attributes. You have 9 in total, 3 to each category. Physical attributes are strength, dexterity, and stamina. Social attributes are charisma, manipulation, and composure. Mental attributes are intelligence, wits, and resolve. Pick one attribute to be at 4, and another at 1. 3 more attributes are at rank 3, and the remaining 4 are at rank 2. Once you've made your picks, add up to get your health and willpower (which is kind of a mental health stat.) Health is stamina+3, and Willpower is the sum of composure and resolve.
With that done, pick your skills. You have a few different skill distributions to pick from, and some free specialties to allocate, but ultimately the build is up to you.
Now we're on to disciplines. These are supernatural vampire powers. I mentioned those earlier, so here we go. Your clan gives you a list to pick from. Of the available disciplines, one is at rank 2, the other is at rank one. If you're a caitiff, just pick any 2. If you're a thin-blood, don't pick any.
Next we pick our predator type. This is mostly just your modus operandi of how you hunt. It'll affect some of your skills and disciplines, and might come with some other advantages and flaws. Be sure to note those on your character sheet.
Speaking of flaws and advantages, you now have to pick some. You spend 7 points on advantages, and take 2 from flaws. Thin-bloods will be using different numbers for this, so if you're playing one of those, you'll pick from a different list, and in different amounts. Either way, you might need to update your relationship map now, since some of those advantages and disadvantages bring allies or enemies.
Convictions and touchstones come next. These sort of define who your character is as a person. Personality, history, all that fun stuff that fleshes out the character an makes them human. Even though, strictly speaking, they aren't.
We're coming up on the home stretch now. Everything from here on is strictly group territory. As a team, decide the potency of your bloodline. This is mostly defined by your generation, and is a rough "difficulty" setting for the game. those of earlier generations are stronger, and will have some more starting benefits, but also some flaws.
Last up, we pick a coterie type, and maybe a loresheet. This sets the tone for the game, and the type of story you will tell. How do you survive, and what do you do? Who do you serve, and what are your goals. These questions can sometimes even effect the mechanics of the game, so be sure to note these options, and remember, this is a team game. So pick together.
With that all said and done, you're ready to face the night and uphold the masquerade. Enjoy the World of Darkness.
I hope you enjoyed this and the rest of the content by Digital & Dice. If you'd like to learn a little more about the various clans, read here. For more from me, feel free to check out my personal blog. Until next time…Game on Internets!
- Draconick, Digital and Dice Contributor
I, Nick “Draconick” Johnson, am a writer and roleplaying enthusiast with over ten years of experience in various tabletop roleplaying games both as a player and as a GM. I am also somewhat involved in other forms of tabletop gaming such as wargaming, board games, and card games. It is my hope that by creating and maintaining this website that I can share my unique take on all things within our hobby and to foster a community of like-minded individuals.