Vampire: The Requiem
- "This is not the abandonment of death...
this is the Symphony of the Damned."
- -Charlotte Gaudibert, Aequitas Fatalis
- "This is not the abandonment of death...
Vampire: The Requiem is a role-playing game published by White Wolf, set in the new World of Darkness, and the successor to the Vampire: The Masquerade line. It was first released in August 2004, together with the core rule book for the World of Darkness. Although it is an entirely new game, rather than a continuation of the old, it uses many elements of the old game in its construction.
Vampires are created through the Embrace; in this, a vampire drains the 'candidate' of all their blood and replaces it with a small amount (generally a single drop) of their own in this is a portion of the vampires very soul (a piece that cannot be recovered and mentally weakens the vampire). This causes the corpse to rise as a new vampire, usually instantly. The vampire who initiates the Embrace is the Sire; the new vampire is the Sire's Childe.
Once Embraced, the candidate changes considerably. The internal organs wither away, almost all body fluids are replaced with blood (so vampires will sweat and cry blood under certain circumstances), they are incapable of eating food (vomiting it up almost instantly), have no need nor interest in sex (although they can imitate the physical reactions if needed), do not blink (as their eyes do not need moisture), and have no need to breathe (though does so to speak). They are no longer human. They are now Kindred (the title that Vampires call themselves).
As a result, a vampire is paler and generally thinner than they were prior their Embrace. Certain clans have more extreme physical changes, as mentioned below.
Once Embraced, vampires are locked into a form of stasis. Apart from wounds (healed with blood), vampires are restored to their condition at the time of Embrace every time they rise up for the night (cut hair regrows to its original length, newly printed tattoos vanish, piercings close, etc...). This physical condition eventually extends to their mindsets — old vampires find it very hard to learn new things.
Vampires from every bloodline have superhuman attributes (all can gain temporary bursts of speed or strength), but in certain clans one of each may be superior to other clans.
Kindred use blood (also called Vitae) for a variety of purposes:
- To rise each evening when the sunsets
- To enhance their physical attributes and use supernatural powers (called Disciplines).
- To Embrace (as noted above)
- To create Ghouls (living mortals empowered and addicted to the Vitae of their 'creator').
- To heal damage.
Blood is usually replaced by feeding off humans. While vampires can feed on animals, they do not enjoy the taste of it and more powerful vampires will acquire no sustenance from it. The process of taking blood is euphemistically called the Kiss or feeding. Vampires do not have to completely drain a victim, although frenzying vampires are likely to do so. Vampires can hide the puncture marks of feeding by licking the wounds, making the process fairly subtle.
The Feeding process is highly pleasurable, arguably the only pleasure, for vampires; and is also extremely pleasurable for victims. Vessels who are drained regularly can become addicted to the Kiss.
Vampires are highly vulnerable to a some physical threats, most importantly sunlight and fire. Vampires burn easily, and will spontaniously combust almost instantly in sunlight. However, outside of these, vampires are very hard to kill - bullets do not cause much damage (as they no longer possess any vital organs), and their superior strength, speed, and stamina make them true monsters in combat.
In addition to the physical changes, vampires experience extreme intellectual and emotional changes. The vampire is now a predator, and has a raging id called the Beast. This Beast reacts to a variety of stimuli, notably hunger, anger, and fear. The Beast continuously assaults the character, and if the Beast's demands exceed the character's own capacity to control it, will react in a Frenzy or Rötschreck. Vampires can permanently lose control to the Beast, entering Wassail, a state of permanent Frenzy. In this condition, all humanity is lost and the vampire becomes a draugr, a mindless killing machine.
When severely wounded, vampires can pass into a deathlike stasis called Torpor, which allows them to heal more extreme damage. Torpor can last for centuries depending on the circumstances, and as a vampire gets older, Torpor becomes a more attractive option. Some vampires have been in Torpor for millennia.
Every vampire belongs to a particular lineage, it defines the abilities they can develop as well as certain tendencies to flaws and personality, though in those instances they are not all-defining.
- The Daeva evoke the image of vampires as seductive, decadent, sexually transgressive predators who blur lust and hunger together, equating the act of feeding with sensual pleasure. The majority of "Succubi" are found within the Invictus.
- The Gangrel embody the idea of vampires as predatory feral demons. The "Savages" are often devoted to the Circle of the Crone, though more 'pro-active' Kindred align with the Carthian Movement.
- The Mekhet embody the idea of a shadowy vampire lord, omniscient and unseen. The "Shadows" are frequently found with the Carthian Movement or Lancea Sanctum, though a number also work within the Circle of the Crone.
- Nosferatu vampires are the repulsive, yet fascinating, alien monsters of legend. The 'Haunts' can be found within every Covenant.
- Ventrue are regal vampires who value power and dominion to the point of obsession, self-styled "lords of the night". These "Lords" are often associated with the Invictus, though just as many work within the Ordo Dracul.
Certain clan members find ways to refine their Blood, transmuting it such they develop new powers and flaws, though they retain quintessential qualities of their clan. Such lineages are known as Bloodlines. Most bloodlines can only exist within certain clans, though rare exceptions of multi-clan bloodlines do exist.
Over the course of vampire history, five major political factions known as Covenants have emerged.
- The Carthian Movement works towards finding the best form of government for the Kindred, basing its experiments on mortal systems like Democracy, Fascism and the like. It is by far the youngest Covenant, and many of its members are young by vampiric standards.
- The Circle of the Crone is a collection of many faiths, pagan cults of every stripe who worship a goddess that can be equated with the eponymous Crone. They practice the dark magic of Crúac, and call their largest meetings during major pagan holidays.
- The Invictus believe themselves heirs to the Camarilla, an ancient organization of vampires thought to be the greatest union in their long history. They are the most influential of the Covenants, and hold a large percentage of Kindred power positions.
- The Lancea Sanctum believe they have been put on the earth by God deliberately as a curse, to prey upon the sinful and test the faith of the pious. Their sorcerous practice, Theban Sorcery, is the invocation of dark miracles upon the world.
- The Ordo Dracul claim to be Dracula's descendants, and study what it means to be a vampire, with the aim to transcend its limitations. Following in the footsteps of Dracula himself, they have developed Coils of the Dragon that remove certain weaknesses of their state.
Those that claim no membership in any Covenant are referred to as Unaligned.
Smaller splinter Covenants are said to exist, though their presence is rarely felt.
Courts in Australia
These are some additional pages with information for players from the GST Requiem.
- The nWoD Addenda Page
- Beyond the Sunset Approval Document
- National Requiem History
- Genre Style Sheet
- Status of the Danse Macabre
- Titles of the Danse Macabre
- Favours Owed and Favours Paid: Boons
- Requiem Boon Write-up
- The National Channels
- Conclave Mechanics
- Character Development Document
- Universal Aura Guide
- All SPI Addenda