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New Player's Guide
Step 1 – Is the setting right for you?
The first step will be the most simplistic, but it may have its effect on you. Take a moment at this point and consider whether you can handle the setting. Vampire the Masquerade is not an escape into a better life, its the opposite in all forms, hence the name World of Darkness. It is not a heroic hack and slash table top, roleplaying game or videogame. We want to keep true to the World of Darkness, this means that the game is about personal horror, about struggling with your own humanity, and the constant fight between vampire and the beast. The World in this setting is a brutal, dark place, there will be blood, gore, violence, sex, and slaughtering of innocence. Your character will most definitely find his/her world of darkness, and may even be the one who is being tormented, or perhaps, slaughtered. Can you handle the risk that comes with living in the World of Darkness?
If you said “yes” then continue on to the next step. Get ready for fun, excitement, and thrills, but remember you have been warned.
Step 2 – Research
What you'll need:
* Vampire the Masquerade: 20th Anniversary Edition
The book can be obtained through DriveThru RPG or by other means, talk to our staff for more information about this. It will come in a pdf format so please have a reader of pdf's, such as adobe reader. Unless the book is bought in hard copy. The book will be the base of almost everything we do in Saligia. There is no better way to become accustomed to the lore, rolls, and mechanics, than simply reading the book.
Saligia will always use the 20th Anniversary rules and story (with few exceptions). It's important for our ease of storytelling and our ease of play, that you're at least somewhat familiar with the dice, disciplines and combat systems as well as the setting we play in. We don't expect anyone to be a master, but we do expect players to do their part to participate with us and others in the game. The book will always be a recommendation, and by the end of the guide you should be fluent enough on how the game is played to actually play and be effective.
* Anarchs Unbound
The book can also be obtained in a similar fashion as stated previously. This book makes understanding the Anarch's a breeze, and everyone should at least scan a few pages to get a feel for how the faction works within the Camarilla, and how your clan functions within the Anarchs as a whole.
* New York By Night
If you want a grasp of the setting and your character's been in New York for a lengthy amount of time, some understanding of the lore here is necessary. It goes into great depth about the Sabbat occupation of New York and the Camarilla take over, which is still in effect in modern nights and our campaign. It also goes over the Anarch domain of Staten Island, which should be understood thoroughly.
Step 3 – Get your application approved and create your character.
The application process is not only the most efficient way for members of Saligia to get a general overview of you the player, but it will also help with the initial thought process of your character. Below “Application” you will see “Character Creation”. Follow the extensive guide there and use the character sheet provided, along with the guidelines and help from the 20th Anniversary Edition book, to create your character. Keep your character balanced, to ensure approval and experience in game, but feel free to add things to make your character unique.
Don't know something?
The game is more in depth than some may think, and for new players we don't expect them to know everything. But we have plenty of resources to go by. You can find all the basic information here in the guides or just asking your fellow members or staff. You will find fleshed out information about the clans, packs, characters, settings and more, can be found by simply looking through the guide system in place now. Also don't be afraid to ask the staff or storytellers questions, you can find the appropriate officers here.
The application is the first step to joining the community as a full member. Registering for the site will simply make one an applicant, The application will only take a short time, and will require a few questions be answered to ensure we know what requirements are needed before the applicant can delve into Vampire the Masquerade; such as required help with character sheets, general help with forum roleplay, or simply nothing at all.
Step 1: Follow the instructions here on the link below.
Follow the instructions on this page: http://saligiaroleplay.com/forum/index.php?/topic/929-read-and-fill-this-out-community-admission-application/
Step 2: Wait for approval.
The application period should only last within a 24 hour span. If it's any longer than that, the applicant is free to contact a staff member to review his application.
Once an application has been accepted, the applicant is now a full member. However this doesn't mean they have a character. Below you will find an extensive guide on how to make a character and where to post it once finished.
Step 1: Think about a character you want to make
A good concept is the key to both getting a character approved and enjoying yourself. Here are a few guidelines as to what we expect and what we will approve as far as concepts.
Age is a commodity in Kindred society. The older the Kindred, the more reputation, influence, and power they generally wield. Unsurprising, really, given that older tends to indicate wiser, or at least more experienced in the art of survival and manipulation.
Accepted ages = 18-200 years old.
Note that simply being in the common age bracket doesn’t necessarily assure the accompanying status. Also, being older without the appropriate status, may offer a negative reputation.
The ethnic backgrounds of characters should reflect their ages. The majority of neonates will be American. However clan also plays a big role, and with New York being the cultural melting pot that it is, anything is possible.
Why do we do this? Well, we are trying to keep a particular tone for our game, and roleplayers left to their own devices will quickly fill our American cities with a cavalcade of Vikings, Japanese samurai, Nazi officers and a dozen other clever little backgrounds, mainly played by people who neither understand nor respect the ethnicities and histories they are trying to portray. And it turns rather ridiculous rather quickly. Ultimately, unless accompanied by research, insight and some in-depth characterization, most ethnically unique characters turn into stereotypes and are used as cheap gimmicks, with a load of crypto-racism on top, because it's all about how different those people who talk and look funny are. It irritates us, so for the most part, we say no to them.
Step 2: Understand the Character Sheet
The Vampire character-creation system is designed around five basic precepts. Keep these in mind while generating the persona you will assume in the World of Darkness:
- You may create a character within the age of 18-200, from any culture and from any nation, subject to theStoryteller’s approval. However, all characters are assumed to begin the game as neonate vampires who have only recently left the
safety of their sires’ protection with no more than 25 years of experience as Kindred. They know relatively little of Kindred society, other than what their sires have told them. This allows characters to experience the World of Darkness as it unfolds before them in all its mystery, rather than having the lore of ages already under their belts. A character’s apparent age is the age at which she was Embraced and became one of the Kindred.
- The character-creation system is intended more as a persona development device than as a strict mechanical system. Who wants more rules at
the expense of an interesting character or a good story? The character cannot exist as mere dots on a page — roleplaying is always more important than numbers.
- Players have a certain number of points to spend on Traits they would like their characters to have. Players also get “freebie points” at the end of character
creation; they may spend these to round out their characters, add personality and further differentiate their characters from those of other players.
- A Trait rating of 1 is poor, while a rating of 5 is excellent. Thus, a character with a single dot in a Trait is either not very good with that Trait or is a beginner. Don’t think that
your character sucks because she’s only got one dot in Manipulation. The experience system presented HERE allows characters to grow and improve their Traits. Traits are rated according to a human scale (except vampiric Traits like Advantages and blood pool, which are rated on a Kindred standard).
- It is your responsibility to take on a role that’s not detrimental to Saligia. Vampires are solitary creatures, so there has to be some reason you’ve joined
up with your Kindred companions (the other players’ characters). Despite the fact that the hostile World of Darkness forces groups together, Kindred don’t just hang out for the hell of it. Open up this interactive character sheet if you plan to play a Vampire (link).Open this sheet if you play a ghoul (link). Once opened you will be brought to a sheet with a bunch of traits and terms, that you might not understand. Here is a brief overview of the words you see on the sheet itself:
Name: The character’s name — this may be anything from the character’s birth name to a pseudonym. Some ancient vampires are known by many names, while others are no longer known by names at all.
Player: This is the name of the player portraying the character in question.
Chronicle: This is the series of linked stories in which the character participates. Your Storyteller will provide you with the name of the chronicle (though he may need your help in deciding!).
Attributes: Attributes define your character’s inborn aptitudes and potential. See Attributes.
Abilities: Abilities are those proficiencies your character possesses intuitively or has learned. See Abilities.
Advantages: A catchall term for the numerous benefits a vampire has over normal folk, Advantages refers to a collection of three other Traits:
Disciplines: refers to the vampiric powers a character possesses as a result of her Embrace. See Disciplines.
Backgrounds: defines the character’s material assets and social network. See Backgrounds.
Virtues: shows the character’s spiritual and moral fiber — or lack thereof. See Virtues.
Humanity/Path: These Traits define your character’s outlook on unlife. A character has either a Humanity rating or a rating in a specific Path, never both (though a character may pretend). Humanity is the default Trait. See Humanity.
Nature: This is the “true” personality of your character who she is deep down. See Archetypes.
Demeanor: This is the personality your character presents to the world. More often than not, Nature and Demeanor are different, especially given the deviousness of the vampire mind. See Archetypes.
Concept: Your character’s concept is a brief “sketch” of who your character was prior to the Embrace — anything from Crazed Vigilante to Aging Porn Star.
Clan: Your character’s Clan defines her lineage and her relationship to Caine, the progenitor vampire. Clan dictates your character’s vampiric powers and weakness. See Clans.
Generation: Closely related to Clan, your character’s Generation defines the potency of her blood and how many steps removed she is from Caine. See Generation.
Health: Although a vampire is no longer “alive,” her corpse-body may still suffer sufficient trauma to incapacitate her, and a sufficient quantity of damage can even “kill” the vampire anew (forcing you to create a new character). The Health Trait measures how much injury the character has suffered. See Combat and Health.
Experience: Your character’s Experience Trait represents how much she has learned since her Embrace. All characters begin the game with an Experience Trait of zero. Experience is spent to purchase new Traits. See Experience.
Willpower: This Trait reflects your character’s inner drive and desire to succeed at tasks she undertakes. See Willpower.
Blood Pool: Your character’s blood pool dictates how well fed she is, or, conversely, how hungry. See Blood Pool.
Step 3: Character Concept
Choose concept, Clan, Nature, and Demeanor:
Criminal — jailbird, Mafioso, drug dealer, pimp, carjacker, thug, thief, fence
Drifter — bum, smuggler, prostitute, junkie, pilgrim, biker, gambler
Entertainer — musician, film star, artist, club kid, model, web celebrity
Intellectual — writer, student, scientist, philosopher, social critic
Investigator — detective, beat cop, government agent, private eye, witch-hunter
Kid — child, runaway, outcast, urchin, gangbanger
Outsider — urban primitive, refugee, minority, conspiracy theorist, junkie
Politician — judge, public official, councilor, aide, speechwriter
Professional — engineer, doctor, programmer, lawyer, industrialist
Reporter — journalist, blogger, paparazzo, talkshow host, media expert
Scenester — clubgoer, goth, skinhead, punk, barfly, hipster, substance abuser
Socialite — dilettante, host, playboy, sycophant, trophy wife
Soldier — bodyguard, enforcer, soldier of fortune, killer-for-hire
Worker — trucker, farmer, wage earner, manservant, construction laborer
Clans: All accepted Clans and information can be found here (link).
Step 4: Select Attributes
Information and guidelines on each Attribute can be found here (Attributes)
Players now assign dots to their sheets. The first step in determining a character’s numeric Traits is to prioritize his Attributes. Attributes are the natural abilities and raw capabilities a character is made of. How strong is a character? How attractive? How quick? How smart? Attributes take all these questions and more into account. All Vampires/ Ghouls characters have nine Attributes, which are divided into three categories: Physical (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina), Social (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance), and Mental (Perception, Intelligence, Wits).
First, the player must select which group of Attributes is his character’s strong suit (primary). The player then selects the group in which the character is average (secondary). Finally, the remaining group is designated as the character’s weak point (tertiary). Is your character tough but antisocial, or gorgeous but a complete airhead? Character concept and Clan may suggest certain ranks for these priorities or obvious ways to play against type, but feel free to decide upon any scheme you please. Your character is a person first and a vampire second.
All Vampire/ Ghoul characters start with one dot in each Attribute, reflecting the basic capabilities of the mortals from which they’re drawn. (There are exceptions, such as the Nosferatu and the Samedi, who have zero dots in their Appearance Attribute.)
A character’s priorities determine how many dots the player may allocate to that cluster of Attributes. A Vampire may distribute seven additional dots to his character’s primary group, five additional dots to the secondary group, and three dots to the tertiary group. For example, a tough, athletic character will likely allocate seven dots to his Physical category, while a clever, wise character will place seven dots in her Mental category.
A Ghoul may distribute six dots to his character’s primary group, four additional dots to the secondary group, and three dots to the tertiary group.
Step 5: Select Abilities
Information and guidelines on each Ability can be found here (Abilities)
Abilities are also divided into three categories: Talents, Skills, and Knowledges. Talents are intuitive Abilities that are inherent or learned by honing raw aptitude. Skills are Abilities learned through rigorous training or determination. They may be improved with careful practice, but can also be studied or learned through training.
Knowledges are just that — book learning and the like. Knowledges are typically mental pursuits or studies learned through schooling or research. Like Attributes, Ability groups are also prioritized during character creation. Players should select primary, secondary, and tertiary groups for their Abilities.
The primary group for Vampires, receives 13 dots, the secondary group gets nine, and the tertiary group receives five.
The primary group for Ghouls, receives eleven dots, the secondary group gets seven, and the tertiary group receives four.
Note that, unlike Attributes, characters do not begin the game with automatic dots in any Ability. Further, no Ability may be purchased above three dots unless your biography/ History specificity states training of that specific ability, and it can only be raised through the use of Freebie Points(which will be explained later). Like real life, to become an expert in something, you must dedicate most of your life to that area, same goes for the World of Darkness. Anything above three is considered a Specialization, so be conservative when raising anything above three.
House Rule: We have a hard cap on Abilities at Rank 4. Going higher than four, even with freebies is off limits.
(Step 6-8: Select Advantages)
Now comes the part of character generation during which the vampire truly becomes unique. Advantages are Traits that make the vampire/ mortal a contender in the hierarchy of the night. Advantages are not prioritized; a set number of dots are allocated to each category. Although this number is fixed, additional Advantage dots may be purchased with freebie points.
Step 6 – Disciplines
Information and guidelines on each Discipline can be found here (Disciplines)
When vampires are Embraced, their sires pass on to them certain blood-based mystical powers, known as Disciplines. Each character begins with three dots of Disciplines, which may be allocated as the player chooses. For example, she may spend all three dots on one Discipline or spend a dot each on three Disciplines. Disciplines purchased with Advantage dots must be from the three Clan Disciplines all Clans possess.
Each Clan description can be found here(link), which lists the Disciplines practiced by that Clan (bloodline variations to the Clans).
If the character is a Clanless Caitiff, she may purchase whatever Disciplines she wants, subject to Storyteller approval. The approved Caitiff disciplines can also be found here(link)
(Note: Disciplines purchased with freebie points need not be Clan Disciplines.)
Step 7: Backgrounds
Information and guidelines on each Background can be found here (Backgrounds)
A starting character has five dots worth of Backgrounds, which may be distributed at the player’s discretion. Background Traits should fit the character concept — a destitute Gangrel street preacher isn’t likely to have Resources, for example — though the Storyteller may disallow or encourage players to take certain Backgrounds for their characters.
Step 8: Virtues
Information and guidelines on each Virtue can be found here (Virtues)
Which Virtues are available for a character are dependent upon the path they choose. The general and encouraged path is Humanity, which uses Conscience, Self-Control and Courage. Anything other than that will hinder the creation process and make it harder for acceptance.
Virtues are very important to Vampire/ Choul characters. They provide the moral backbone for characters and determine how readily they resist the temptations of the Beast and emotions. A character’s emotional responses are very closely tied to her Virtues; these Traits define how well the character resists frenzy and how keenly she feels remorse. Virtues are essential in resisting the urges of the Beast and the Hunger, and most vampires lose points in their Virtues as they grow older and more callous.
Step 9: Humanity
Information and guidelines on Humanity can be found here(Morality)
A character’s starting Humanity rating equals the sum of her Conscience + Self-Control Traits, yielding a score between 5 and 9. Players can also increase their Humanity with freebie points, as too low a rating indicates that the Beast lies in close proximity.
Step 10: Willpower
A character’s beginning Willpower rating equals her Courage dots, and thus ranges from 1 to 5. Players often raise their starting Willpower with freebie points, as the Trait is critical to dealing with a Kindred’s dangerous emotional situations. Willpower is also used to resist frenzy, undertake especially daunting tasks, and power certain Discipline effects.
Step 11: Blood Pool
The next step in character creation is determining the vampire’s starting blood pool. This part is simple — roll a 10-sided die(via our dice roller). The number is the number of blood points a character has in his system at the beginning of the game. This is the only die roll that is made during character creation.
Keep in mind the maximum number of blood a character can have is determined by their generation background.
Step 12: Freebie Points