Sanguinus is the unwholesome Discipline granted to the Blood Brothers by the Tzimisce who created them. A curious relative of Vicissitude, Sanguinus allows vampires who practice it to combine parts of their bodies, loan them out to others, and coordinate their minds and appendages. Even low levels of it are unset tling to watch. Use of the higher levels is disgusting, indeed, as flesh parts and exposed organs, atrophied by the Blood Brothers’ state of undeath, merge and pulse.
Mortals observing the spectacle of this Discipline’s more obvious powers must make Courage rolls (difficulty 4), spend a point of Willpower, or flee the area in nausea.
• Brother’s Blood
A circle of Blood Brothers is closer than any Sabbat pack, any blood-bound pair of vampiric lovers, any ghoul family. The circle shares flesh, mind, and, of course, blood. The members of the circle can spend blood to heal each other’s bodies, no matter how far apart they are.
System: The player spends a blood point, which may be used to heal any member of the circle, regardless of distance from the character. The Blood Brother may also “bank” blood, spending five points to heal another’s aggravated wound over the course of several turns.
This power takes effect automatically; no roll is necessary. Blood spent by another Frankenstein does not count against the maximum amount of vitae the target character can spend per turn.
The Blood Brother circle can donate limbs and organs to one another. This isn’t meant for healing after the battle, but for use during the battle. An opponent facing down the Blood Brothers might see one of his opponents grow a second set of legs (making him nearly impossible to knock down), another pair of arms (meaning he can block or parry almost any incoming attack), extra eyes for 360 degree vision, or an extra mouth for an greater blood consumption. Of course, the Frankenstein that gives up the organ might be left a limbless, eyeless, mouthless lump of flesh on the side of the battlefield, but the Blood Brothers never seem to mind that.
System: The “donor” player spends a blood point for each limb or organ he wishes to loan to the other circle member. (Only the donor needs to have this level of mastery of Sanguinus; the recipient may be any other member of the donor’s circle.) The loaned organs appear at the end of that turn, in whatever location the recipient wishes — eyes on the back of heads or on the ends of hands have been seen, as have entire heads located between a Blood Brother’s legs. Use of this power does not impart any extra attacks, but it may allow for additional sensory input, more blood to be consumed in a single turn, or extra hands to hold weapons or pin down foes. Only external organs may be loaned in this manner — hearts, stomachs, and brains cannot.
Blood Brothers share a hive-mind; this ability was one of the guiding principles behind their creation. The Gestalt power is that hive-mind, the ability of the Frankensteins to coordinate silently and perfectly in battle, to avoid mind-controlling powers, and to act in unison.
System: This power confers several benefits on the Blood Brothers. For this power to work, however, every Blood Brother in the circle must spend a blood point. If even one member cannot or will not spend a blood point, this power fails. Once a Blood Brother has met the Final Death, he is no longer a part of the circle, so the power continues to function among the still-undead members of the group. Gestalt lasts for one scene. While this power is active:
• Dominate, Presence, and the like take effect against the highest Willpower rating in the circle. For example, if a vampire attempts to Dominate a Blood Brother under the influence of Gestalt, she must roll against the highest Willpower rating any of the vampires in the circle possesses, even if her subject has the lowest Willpower rating in the circle. Additionally, a Blood Brother affected by powers in this manner drops out of the Gestalt, though Gestalt remains active for others. This mental “fuse” was supposedly created to prevent the entire circle from being Dominated by a vampire looking into the eyes of one Blood Brother.
• Perception difficulties for all Blood Brothers in the circle decrease by three, as they share the sensory input of other vampires in the circle.
• By taking no action other than concentrating, a Blood Brother may “loan” an Ability to another brother. For example, a wounded vampire with Melee 4 may step out of combat and loan a circle-mate with Melee 2 his mastery of that Skill. The “borrowing” vampire makes Ability checks against the loaned Trait as if it were his own.
• The Blood Brothers in the Gestalt may communicate through telepathy, allowing them to coordinate actions. In game terms, only one initiative roll is made for the circle, based on the character with the highest initiative rating.
Not all Blood Brothers in the circle need to have this level of Sanguinus to benefit from the Gestalt. If a given character does not know this power, though, the player rolls Wits + Occult (difficulty 7) when the power is enacted. If this roll fails, the character can still receive loaned Abilities, but gains no other benefits from the Gestalt.
•••• Walk of Caine
The sorcerous theory behind the Blood Brothers reads like a philosophical treatise on the nature of individuality, free will, and hematology. The Frankensteins are not a group of vampires but are one vampire in several bodies, or so goes the theory. As such, any of their characteristics must be viewed as a continuum — they are not individually Twelfth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Generation, for example, but they are collectively Ninth Generation at any given time. While the metaphysics of this kind of thinking makes most vampires’ heads ache, there seems to be something to it. A Blood Brother can draw strength from his circle, lowering his Generation to allow for greater feats of vitae expenditure.
System: Each member of the circle can “donate” one step in Generation. In the example listed above, the vampire of Eleventh Generation could take one step from his two circle-mates and drop to Ninth, but the vampire of Thirteenth Generation couldn’t drop lower than Eleventh. No matter how big the circle, no Blood Brother can drop to an effective Generation lower than Fourth. Likewise, a Thirteenth Generation Blood Brother can drop to an effective Generation of Fourteenth, which carries with it the penalties listed for the Fourteenth Generation Flaw. (He cannot go to Fifteenth Generation, however.)
As with Gestalt, only one Blood Brother needs to know this power in order to begin the process. Any that don’t have Walk of Caine need to make a Stamina + Awareness roll (difficulty 7). If this roll fails, they may not participate in the action.
••••• Coagulated Entity
The Blood Brothers merge into a fleshy, bleeding mound of horror. This juggernaut surges forward, crushing and consuming anything in its path. The Sabbat has learned to its chagrin that if the Blood Brothers are not explicitly told to separate after using this power, they won’t. This merger is, apparently, what the Blood Brothers truly want.
System: Every vampire in the circle who wishes to become part of the Coagulated Entity spends three blood points. Three turns after the process begins, the monster is complete and able to act. The vampire of the lowest Generation who is part of the construct guides the creature’s actions. The actual Generation of the creature itself, however, is the highest Generation of any vampire present in the construct, less one for each additional vampire present in the construct. (Using the previous example, the Eleventh-Generation vampire would be the guide but the highest Generation is 13, so the overall Entity would be 13 minus 2, or Eleventh Generation.)
The creature’s Strength, Stamina, and Perception are equal to the guide’s, with a +1 for every additional vampire contained within. (Generational limits do not apply to this creature — through sheer size, a Coagulated Entity may have a Strength of 7 or more.) All physical actions undertaken by the monstrosity gain one extra die to the pool for each vampire beyond the first present in the construct (before splitting dice pools).
Only one vampire in the circle needs to possess Sanguinus at Level Five for this power to work. Body parts tend to shift during the creation of a Coagulated Entity — fanged maws at the ends of hands and eyes atop fleshy stalks have been reported by terrified survivors.
Storytellers should feel free to give any bonuses (or penalties) to the construct as they see fit. A Coagulated Entity may not be staked, as it has too many hearts in unconventional places for any but the blindest luck to impale. It has a vampire’s normal seven health levels, plus two for each additional vampire who becomes part of the entity (treat these extra health levels as Bruised). The entity remains congealed for one scene, unless the Storyteller wishes to rule that no one told the Blood Brothers to separate.