Using Blood Pool
Vampires must subtract one blood point from their blood pools every night, whether they rise for the evening or not, as the unnatural magics animating their dead bodies consume the vitae they have taken from their prey. Blood points may also be spent in a variety of ways, and may be replenished only by consuming blood.
Blood pool also affects Self-Control (or Instinct) rolls, which come into play when a character’s frenzy becomes imminent. A player may never roll more dice for a Self-Control or Instinct roll than the character has blood pool. For example, if a character has only two blood points left, her player may roll only two dice for a Self-Control roll, even if the character’s Self-Control rating is 4. Voracious vampires just don’t fight the Beast very well.
Spending Blood Pool
As previously mentioned, every vampire expends one blood point each night when she awakens, whether or not she actually goes out and about. Characters may also use blood points in a variety of other ways. A vampire may spend only a certain number of blood points per turn; this number is dependent on the vampire’s Generation. See the Generation chart to determine this number.
• A vampire may spend one blood point to heal one normal (bashing or lethal) health level of damage. Characters must be resting and relatively inactive for this healing to take place, though this recovery is rapid: One blood point per turn may be spent to heal one health level, though vampires of lower Generations may heal as many health levels per turn as they can spend blood points.
Note that blood expenditure is the only way that vampires can heal wounds. Just as their immortality prevents the Kindred from aging and dying naturally, so it also inhibits the recuperative processes natural to a living body.
• A player may spend one blood point to increase a single Physical Attribute (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina) by one dot for the duration of the scene. The player must announce at the beginning of the turn that he is doing this. A player may spend as many blood points on increasing Physical Attributes as the vampire may use in a turn (based upon Generation), but may only freely increase these Traits up to one higher than their generational maximum (i.e., a Tenth-Generation vampire may increase Traits to a maximum of 6). With effort, a character may increase a Physical Attribute to above this limit, but each dot above the limit lasts for only three turns after the character stops spending blood.
This enables vampires to perform truly amazing physical feats, such as throwing cars, moving preternaturally quickly, and withstanding blows that would fell trees.
Note: No character may increase Physical Attributes above 10.
• A vampire may give a number of blood points to another Kindred, thereby enabling the recipient to use the blood as if it were her own. This is often a grisly prospect, as the “donor” must open his own vein and physically deliver the blood to the needy Kindred. Of course, if a vampire is ever in a situation in which she needs blood, she’s likely all out of it herself, and may frenzy and take too much from the donor. Blood gifts should be given with care.
If a vampire (or mortal) partakes of another Kindred’s blood three times, she becomes bound to that vampire through the mystical properties of vitae. This is known as the blood bond. For more on blood bonds, see Blood Bond.
• A vampire may gift a mortal or animal with a dose of his vitae, allowing the mortal in question to inject or ingest it. For so long as the mortal retains the Kindred vitae in her system, she is considered a ghoul.
• Though most vampires (with the exception of Nosferatu) appear much as they did in life, they still display certain corpselike features; for example, their skin is unnaturally cold and grows more ashen with age, and they do not breathe. By spending a variable number of blood points, a vampire may will himself to appear more human for a scene: flushing his skin, drawing breath, even becoming capable of engaging in sexual intercourse (this last, while helpful in certain types of feeding, in no way means that the vampire may inseminate a mortal or become pregnant; a corpse is still a corpse, after all). Performing these actions for a scene requires an expenditure of blood points equal to (8 minus Humanity); thus, Kindred with Humanity ratings of 8 or higher may accomplish these feats automatically, while vampires with low Humanity find the process exceedingly arduous.
Only vampires with Humanity may use blood in this manner; vampires on a Path have forsaken their human sides entirely.
• Blood may be spent to fuel certain vampiric Disciplines. Consult Chapter Four or Chapter Ten to see which individual powers require blood expenditure.
Earning Blood Pool
Vampires replenish blood pool by taking it from others. “Others” need not be human, though a vampire who is too squeamish to take sustenance from the kine is often ridiculed by his peers — vampires are predators, after all, no matter how unnatural.
Drinking blood is a risky proposition. As vampires gorge on the vitae of their victims, there is always the chance that they may take too much. Unhygienic vampires may communicate disease by exposing a vessel to bacteria and viruses carried in other blood that still stains their fangs. A vampire may take only 20 percent of a vessel’s blood (2 blood points for a normal human) and leave it relatively safe. Taking half of a vessel’s blood necessitates hospitalization for that vessel.
Taking all a vessel’s blood will kill it.
A vampire may take up to three blood points from a given vessel in a turn. The shorter the turn, the more forcefully the Kindred steals the vitae. It is generally impossible to take more than three blood points from a vessel in three seconds (the shortest a turn gets), though some Nosferatu with hideously distended mouths are able to take more through sheer surface area bleed.
Most vampires drink their victim’s blood slowly, so as to savor the luscious fluid and draw as much pleasure as possible out of the experience.
Once the Kindred breaks her vessel’s skin with her fangs, that vessel no longer resists the vampire (if he did in the first place). Indeed, the ecstasy caused by the vampire’s bite is called the Kiss, and it engenders as much exquisite, subtly painful pleasure in vampires as it does in mortals. Exceptionally strong-willed mortals (9+ Willpower) may continue to resist, but even these vessels eventually succumb to the pleasure. Some Kindred and kine even develop lusts for the Kiss and actively seek out those who will drink their blood.
Note: While Kindred find the Kiss pleasurable, they may resist it more readily than mortals can. Any Kindred, regardless of Willpower, may make a Self-Control/ Instincts roll (difficulty 8) to avoid succumbing to the Kiss. This enables vampiric victims of diablerie to have a chance at fighting back.
Wounded characters typically have less blood than healthy characters. Assume that a normal-sized human has one fewer blood point in his system for each health level of damage he currently suffers. Mortals regain one blood point per day (unless, of course, they are infused with vitae from some other source). Vampires do not lose blood points to wounds in this manner, though they often spend blood to heal wounds they have suffered.
The blood of animals is not as nourishing as the blood of humans. Though an animal may physically have a greater volume of blood than a man, vampires draw less sustenance from it. Hence, animals have fewer blood points, even if they have more blood.
Old blood is never as nourishing as fresh blood. In fact, many vampires refuse to drink old blood, whether it comes from human corpses, blood banks, or a vampire’s private reserve. However, the blood of other vampires, particularly elders, is quite potent. When drinking from elder vampires, each blood point taken may be so concentrated that it is actually worth two — or more! — normal blood points in use. Thus it is possible to obtain a vast amount of blood points by partaking of elder blood, though such prized vitae is rarely available to neonates or even ancillae. Essentially, elders have greater blood pools not because they are bodily larger than younger vampires, but because the blood they ingest is more concentrated in their ancient veins. Werewolf blood is similarly potent.
Various Creature's Blood