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Presence is the Discipline of emotional manipulation. Vampires with this power can inspire passionate fervor or unreasoning terror in mortals and Kindred alike. In addition, unlike most Disciplines, some of Presence’s powers can be used on entire crowds at one time. Presence can transcend race, religion, gender, class, and (most importantly) supernatural nature. As such, this subtle power is one of the most useful Disciplines a vampire can possess.

Anyone can resist Presence for one scene by spending a Willpower point and succeeding on a Willpower roll (difficulty 8), but the affected individual must keep spending points until he is no longer in the presence of the vampire (or, in the case of Summon, until the effect wears off). Vampires three or more Generations lower than the wielder need only spend a single Willpower to ignore the Presence for an entire night and need not roll Willpower to do so.

The major drawback of Presence is that it controls only the emotions. It causes others to feel a certain way toward the vampire, but does not give her outright control over them. While people weigh strongly the orders that the vampire declares, their minds are still their own. Suicidal or ridiculous directives don’t sound any more sensible just because the person giving them is unusually fascinating. Still, inspired eloquence or significant wealth used in combination with this Discipline can enable the vampire to urge others along a desired course.

The Brujah, Followers of Set, Toreador, and Ventrue Clans are all adept in this Discipline. The Ventrue are arguably the most skilled with its application, however, due to their ability to use Presence and Dominate in efficient combination.

Powers Edit

• Awe Edit

Those near the vampire suddenly desire to be closer to her and become receptive to her point of view. Awe is extremely useful for mass communication. It matters little what is said — the hearts of those affected lean toward the vampire’s opinion. The weak want to agree with her; even if the strong-willed resist, they soon find themselves outnumbered. Awe can turn a chancy deliberation into a certain resolution in the vampire’s favor almost before her opponents know that the tide has turned.

Despite the intensity of this attraction, those so smitten do not lose their sense of self-preservation. Danger breaks the spell of fascination, as does leaving the area. Those subject to Awe will remember how they felt in the vampire’s presence, however. This will influence their reactions should they ever encounter her again.

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Charisma + Performance (difficulty 7). The number of successes rolled determines how many people are affected, as noted on the chart below. If there are more people present than the character can influence, Awe affects those with lower Willpower ratings first. The power stays in effect for the remainder of the scene or until the character chooses to drop it.

Successes Result

1 success One person

2 successes Two people

3 successes Six people

4 successes 20 people

5 successes Everyone in the vampire’s immediate vicinity (an entire auditorium, a mob)

Those affected can use Willpower points to overcome the effect, but must continue spending Willpower every scene for as long as they remain in the same area as the vampire. As soon as an individual spends a number of Willpower points equal to the successes rolled, he shakes off the Awe completely and remains unaffected for the rest of the night.

•• Dread Gaze Edit

While all Kindred can frighten others by physically revealing their true vampiric natures — baring claws and fangs, glaring with malevolence, hissing loudly with malice — this power focuses these elements to insanely terrifying levels. Dread Gaze engenders unbearable terror in its victim, stupefying him into madness, immobility, or reckless flight. Even the most stalwart individual will fall back from the vampire’s horrific visage.

System: The player rolls Charisma + Intimidation (difficulty equal to the victim’s Wits + Courage). Success indicates the victim is cowed, while failure means the target is startled but not terrified by the sight. Three or more successes means he runs away in abject fear; victims who have nowhere to run claw at the walls, hoping to dig a way out rather than face the vampire.

Moreover, each success subtracts one from the target’s action dice pools next turn. The character may attempt Dread Gaze once per turn against a single target, though she may also perform it as an extended action, adding her successes in order to subjugate the target completely. Once the target loses enough dice that he cannot perform any action, he’s so shaken and terrified that he curls up on the ground and weeps. Failure during the extended action means the attempt falters. The character loses all her collected successes and can start over next turn, while the victim may act normally again.

A botch at any time indicates the target is not at all impressed — perhaps even finding the vampire’s antics comical — and remains immune to any further uses of Presence by the character for the rest of the story.

••• Entrancement Edit

This power bends others’ emotions, making them the vampire’s willing servants. Due to what these individuals see as true and enduring devotion, they heed the vampire’s every desire. Since this is done willingly, instead of having their wills sapped, these servants retain their creativity and individuality.

While these obedient minions are more personable and spirited than the mind-slaves created by Dominate, they’re also somewhat unpredictable. Further, since Entrancement is of a temporary duration, dealing with a lapsed servant can be troublesome. A wise Kindred either disposes of those she Entrances after they serve their usefulness, or binds them more securely by a blood bond (made much easier by the minion’s willingness to serve).

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Appearance + Empathy (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower points); the number of successes determines how long the subject is Entranced, as per the chart below. (Subjects can still spend Willpower to temporarily resist, like any other Presence power.) The Storyteller may wish to make the roll instead, since the character is never certain of the strength of her hold on the victim. The vampire may try to keep the subject under her thrall, but can do so only after the initial Entrancement wears off. Attempting this power while Entrancement is already in operation has no effect.

Successes Result

Botch Subject cannot be entranced for the rest of the story.

Failure Subject cannot be entranced for the rest of the night.

1 success One hour

2 successes One day

3 successes One week

4 successes One month

5 successes One year

•••• Summon Edit

This impressive power enables the vampire to call to herself any person whom she has ever met. This call can go to anyone, mortal or supernatural, across any distance within the physical world. The subject of the Summons comes as fast as he is able, possibly without even knowing why. He knows intuitively how to find his Summoner — even if the vampire moves to a new location, the subject redirects his own course as soon as he can. After all, he’s coming to the vampire herself, not to some predetermined site.

Although this power allows the vampire to call someone across a staggering distance, it is most useful when used locally. Even if the desired person books the next available flight, getting to Kyoto from Milwaukee can still take far longer than the vampire needs. Obviously, the individual’s financial resources are a factor; if he doesn’t have the money to travel quickly, it will take him a far greater time to get there.

The subject thinks mainly of reaching the vampire, but does not neglect his own well-being. This is less of a consideration if he only has to cross a room, unless he must get through a gang of gun-wielding punks to do so. The individual retains his survival instincts, and while he won’t shirk physical violence to reach the vampire’s side, he won’t subject himself to suicidal situations.

The Summoning dissipates at dawn. Unless the subject is trained to continue toward the vampire after the first call, the immortal must Summon each night until the target arrives. Still, as long as the vampire is willing and able, she is assured to greet her desired subject some night — as long as nothing happens to him along the way, of course.

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Charisma + Subterfuge. The base difficulty is 5; this in creases to difficulty 7 if the subject was met only briefly. If the character used Presence successfully on the target in the past, this difficulty drops to 4, but if the attempt was unsuccessful, the difficulty rises to 8. The number of successes indicates the subject’s speed and attitude in responding:

Successes Result

Botch Subject cannot be Summoned by that vampire for the rest of the story.

Failure Subject cannot be Summoned by that vampire for the rest of the night.

1 success Subject approaches slowly and hesitantly.

2 successes Subject approaches reluctantly and is easily thwarted by obstacles.

3 successes Subject approaches with reasonable speed.

4 successes Subject comes with haste, overcoming any obstacles in his way.

5 successes Subject rushes to the vampire, doing anything to get to her.

••••• Majesty Edit

At this stage, the vampire can augment her supernatural mien a thousandfold. The attractive become paralyzingly beautiful; the homely become hideously twisted. Majesty inspires universal respect, devotion, fear — or all those emotions at once — in those around the vampire. The weak scramble to obey her every whim, and even the most dauntless find it almost impossible to deny her.

People affected find the vampire so formidable that they dare not risk her displeasure. Raising their voices to her is difficult; raising a hand against her is unthinkable. Those few who shake off the vampire’s potent mystique enough to oppose her are shouted down by the many under her thrall, before the immortal need even respond.

Under Majesty’s influence, hearts break, power trembles, and the bold shake. Wise Kindred use this power with caution against mortal and immortal alike. While Majesty can cow influential politicians and venerable Primogen, the vampire must be careful that doing so doesn’t come back to haunt her. After all, a dignitary brought low before others loses his usefulness quickly, while a humiliated Kindred has centuries to plan revenge.

System: No roll is required on the part of the vampire, but she must spend a Willpower point. A subject must make a Courage roll (difficulty equal to the vampire’s Charisma + Intimidation, to a maximum of 10) if he wishes to be rude or simply contrary to the vampire. Success allows the individual to act normally for the moment, although he feels the weight of the vampire’s displeasure crushing down on him. A subject who fails the roll aborts his intended action and even goes to absurd lengths to humble himself before the vampire, no matter who else is watching. The effects of Majesty last for one scene.

••••• • Love Edit

The blood bond is one of the most powerful tools in an elder’s inventory. However, more and more childer are aware of how to avoid being bound, so alternatives are needed. The Presence power called Love is one such alternative, as it simulates the effects of the bond without any of the messy side effects. While not as sure a method of control as a true blood bond, nor as long-lasting, Love is still an extremely potent means of command.

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Charisma + Subterfuge (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower points). Success on the roll indicates that the victim feels as attached to the character as if he were blood bound to her. Each success also reduces the victim’s dice pool by one die for any Social rolls to be made against the character. A botch makes the target immune to all of the character’s Presence powers for the rest of the night. This power lasts for one scene and can be applied to the same victim over multiple scenes in the same night.

••••• • Paralyzing Glance Edit

Some elders have honed their mastery of Dread Gaze to such a degree that they are said to be able to paralyze with a look. The power‘s name is something of a misnomer, as victims of this power are not precisely paralyzed in a physical sense, but rather frozen with sheer terror.

System: The character must make eye contact with her intended victim. The player then rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower points). Success renders the victim so terrified that he falls into a whimpering, catatonic state, unable to take any actions except curling into a fetal position and gibbering incoherently. The condition lasts for a length of time determined by the number of successes rolled. If the victim’s life is directly threatened (by assault, impending sunrise, etc.), the poor wretch may attempt to break out of his paralysis with a Courage roll (difficulty equal to the character’s Intimidation + 3). One success ends the paralysis.

A botch sends the victim into a continuous state of Rötschreck for the rest of the night.

Successes Result

1 success Three turns

2 successes Five minutes

3 successes Remainder of the scene

4 successes One hour

5 successes Rest of the night

6+ successes A week (or more, at Storyteller discretion)

••••• • Spark of Rage Edit

A vampire possessing this power can shorten tempers and bring old grudges and irritations to the boiling point with a minimum of effort. Spark of Rage causes disagreements and fights, and can even send other vampires into frenzy.

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty 8). The number of individuals affected is determined by how many successes are rolled. If this power is used in a crowd, those affected are the people in closest proximity to the character. A vampire affected by this power must spend a Willpower point or roll Self-Control/Instinct (difficulty equal to the character’s Manipulation + Subterfuge); failure sends the target into a frenzy. A botch by the vampire using Spark of Rage sends the invoking character into immediate frenzy.

Successes Result

1 success Two people

2 successes Four people

3 successes Eight people

4 successes 20 people

5 successes Everyone in the character’s immediate vicinity

••••• • Star Magnetism Edit

[Toreador]

This power allows the Kindred’s Presence to carry over onto photographs or video, whether digital, video tape, or even film. It even carries over to paintings or drawings, if the portrait is an accurate representation. The vampire may consciously turn this power off, but it will otherwise snap into effect whenever a camera turns toward the Kindred.

System: The representation resembles Awe, and the effects are permanent. Anyone who sees an image may spend a Willpower point to resist the effect until the next time he sees it again.

••••• • Temptation Edit

[Followers of Set]

This power lets a Setite tempt the victim into some action that she normally wouldn’t do. This is usually some sinful action, but Temptation works just as well to provoke unwanted generosity as greed, or chastity as well as lust. The Setite must talk to the victim for at least a minute and allude to the action she wants the victim to perform.

System: To goad the victim, the character must make a successful Manipulation + Leadership roll (difficulty of the target’s Humanity or Path of Enlightenment rating). A simple success results in a change to the victim’s personality and goals for a scene. If the number of successes exceeds the victim’s Conscience or Conviction rating, the change lasts indefinitely (although the victim may overcome it with time and expenditure of Willpower, like a Derangement).

The Setites have created many variations on this power. The player chooses which variation at the time of purchasing this power. Sample variations include:

Obsession: The victim suffers an overpowering lust for a certain substance, action, or condition. She may fly into a rage (the victim receives a frenzy check) if she cannot possess or experience the object of her desire before her next sleep.

True Will: This persuades the victim, for a time, to act on any passing desire, or according to his Nature, without self-restraint.

••••• •• Cooperation Edit

Any elder knows that Kindred are the most difficult beings in existence to force to work together. Peaceful coexistence is not a common tenet of vampiric society. With that in mind, this power can be used to nudge those affected by it into a fragile spirit of camaraderie. Some cynical (or realistic) Ventrue claim that their Clan’s mastery of this Presence effect is the sole reason that anything is ever accomplished in Camarilla conclaves. Ventrue who voice this opinion too loudly also tend to have numerous chances to test just how effective Cooperation is.

System: To invoke Cooperation, the player spends a blood point and rolls Charisma + Leadership (difficulty 8). The number of individuals affected is determined by how many successes the player rolls. Cooperation lasts for the remainder of the scene in which it is invoked, though particularly strong users of Presence may create longer-lasting feelings of non-aggression (at Storyteller discretion) by spending Willpower. While this power is in effect, all those under its influence are more favorably disposed toward one another and are more willing to extend trust or make cooperative plans.

For the most part, players should simply roleplay Cooperation’s effects, but there are some concrete ramifications to the power‘s use. For example, Self-Control/Instinct difficulties to resist frenzy in response to insults from within the target group are decreased by three, and certain Social Flaws may be decreased in impact for the duration of Cooperation.

Successes Result

1 success Two people

2 successes Four people

3 successes Eight people

4 successes 20 people

5 successes Everyone in the character’s immediate vicinity

••••• •• Phobia Edit

[Followers of Set]

By talking to her victim, the Setite can instill an irrational fear of a certain object, substance, person, or condition.

The object of the phobia can be broad (cars) or very specific (pink ‘79 Fords), although the victim must be able to recognize and distinguish what the vampire wants him to fear. The latter example, for instance, would not work on a person who was colorblind.

System: Implanting the Phobia requires success on a Manipulation + Intimidation roll (difficulty of the target’s Courage + 3). A simple success confers a Phobia that lasts a single scene. Rolling more successes than the victim’s Courage results in a Phobia that lasts indefinitely, although the victim may overcome the Phobia as if it were a Derangement.

••••• •• Scourging the Instinct Edit

[Anarch]

Used by elder firebrands of nights long past, this power is a bit too dangerous to see much modern usage. The Kindred stands before his assembled followers and whips them into a righteous frenzy using the power of his personality and the force of his charisma. Those who heed his call succumb to the rages of the Beast that dwells deep in all of them, hopefully placing it on a short leash that allows them some control over their fury.

System: The player rolls Charisma + Leadership (difficulty 7). If he is successful, those who hear him speak his words of revolution allow their Beasts to rise to the fore. Those affected are considered to be “riding the wave” of frenzy (see “Instinct” on Morality) regardless of whether they have Instinct or Self-Control as their Virtue.

The number of successes scored on the roll indicate how many Kindred are swayed by the revolutionary fervor.

1 success One person

2 successes Two people

3 successes Six people

4 successes 20 people

5 successes Everyone in the Kindred’s immediate vicinity (an auditorium filled with people; a gathered mob)

(••••• • or ••••• ••) Vengeance of the Martyr’s Legacy Edit

[Anarch]

When a Kindred invokes the Vengeance of the Martyr’s Legacy, she sends a surge of blood-rage through her bloodline, causing all those descended from her to enter frenzy at that moment, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Even those Kindred on opposite side of the world succumb to this frenzy, even if they’ve entered their daily slumber. It is outmoded in a similar manner to Scourging the Instinct, above, but such are the realities of the earliest nights of the Movement.

This is a dangerous power to use, for few Kindred (and even fewer Anarchs) know where all their childer, grand-childer, and others are located at any given time or what they might be doing. As such, some Kindred believe that the powerful patron of a small and localized brood developed Legacy of Frenzy, likely in preparation for them to wreak havoc upon the moment of his betrayal or some other situation in which such a death-trigger would prove useful.

System: This power comes in two variants. The impulse variant (Presence 6) costs 1 Willpower to invoke and causes the Kindred’s descendants to make a Self-Control roll against a difficulty of 8, wherever they are. The mandate variant (Presence 7) costs 1 Willpower to activate and provokes the frenzy in all of the Kindred’s descendants without requiring a roll (though the frenzying Kindred may briefly subvert the frenzy with Willpower as normal).

••••• ••• Ironclad Command Edit

Any individual can normally resist the powers of Presence for a brief time through an effort of will. Some elder Toreador and Ventrue have developed such force of personality that their powers of Presence cannot be resisted without truly heroic efforts.

System: This power is always in effect once it has been learned. A mortal may not spend Willpower to resist the character’s Presence (for purposes of this power, the definition of “mortal” does not include supernaturally active humans such as ghouls or those who possess True Faith). A supernatural being must roll Willpower (difficulty of the character’s Willpower + 2; difficulties over 10 mean that the roll cannot even be attempted) the first time he attempts to spend a Willpower point to overcome the character’s Presence. For the rest of the night, the maximum number of Willpower points he can spend to resist the vampire’s Presence powers is equal to the number of successes he rolled. A botch doubles the character’s Presence dice pools against the hapless victim for the remainder of the night.

••••• •••• The Decaying Orbit Edit

[Followers of Set]

This terrible power enables a Setite to break down the mental barriers between the target’s Beast and libido. As a result, the victim becomes addicted to sadism as he takes pleasure in rage and aggression. The Setite can also reverse the connection, so that pleasure might rouse the Beast to frenzy. These two effects produce a spiral of desire, the decaying orbit to madness.

Once started, the decay cannot be stopped. The Inconnu might know how to remove a Corruption, as might a member of the Cult of Ra or Isis. The esoteric knowledge might be found in the writings of a dead Child of Osiris. However, killing the Setite in question certainly will.

System: To corrupt a victim, the player must pit the vampire’s Manipulation + Empathy vs. the victim’s Humanity (or Path of Enlightenment) in an extended roll. If the vampire can accumulate net successes equal to the victim’s Humanity or Path rating, the victim suffers the Decaying Orbit effect. A character with a Humanity greater than 3 will automatically lose a point of Humanity for using this power.

A corrupted victim must receive a frenzy check for anything that gives her pleasure, from sex to her favorite food. Like a frenzying vampire seeking blood, the victim will try to indulge her lust in the most brutal and immediate way. Conversely, a frenzying vampire might seek out more than blood in her rage. This may result in bizarre situations such as a maddened vampire smashing into a record store to hear his favorite music and killing anyone who tries to stop him.

The victim cannot overcome this Corruption by expending Willpower (unlike most Presence powers). The Decaying Orbit is no mere induced derangement, but a fundamental alteration to the Curse of Caine. Killing the Setite who laid the Corruption will immediately end its effects. The Setite who laid the Corruption could remove it at will, but the Setites would probably urge the victim to view the Corruption as an opportunity for self-discovery.

••••• •••• Pulse of the City Edit

A vampire who has developed her Presence to this terrifying degree can control the emotional climate of the entire region around her, up to the size of a large city. This power is always in effect on a low level, attuning those who dwell in the area to the Kindred’s mood, but it can also be used to project a specific emotion into the minds of every being in the area. Pulse of the City affects residents much more strongly than tourists, and also has a significant impact on those individuals who might be elsewhere at the time but who still have strong ties to the affected city.

System: The character must be present in the city in question, and have at least a casual, personal knowledge of its streets and makeup (maps won’t help). The player spends a Willpower point and rolls Charisma + Streetwise (difficulty 9, though specializations or Storyteller fiat may decrease this difficulty if the character is intimately familiar with a particular city). The number of successes indicates how long mortal residents are affected by the particular emotion that the character broadcasts; visitors with no ties to the area and supernatural beings are affected for a duration one success step lower. The character can choose to terminate this effect at any time before it expires.

Successes Result

1 success One minute

2 successes 10 minutes

3 successes One hour

4 successes One day

5 successes One week

Pulse of the City can be used by a character in torpor.

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