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Zalakoth

Lycanthropy and Vampirism in Genesys?

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That's probably just to qualify that an Aristocrat can't go to college and change classes to Intellectual, as opposed to an absolute rule that applies to every setting made with Genesys lest you upend the sacred Balance and throw the game into chaos. If someone is, in the fiction, transformed irrevocably into a different sort of being, I think it's fair to swap their archetype out. Not sure what you'd do if the archetypes had different starting xp, though.

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10 hours ago, thecowley said:

This is genesys, nothing is permanent. Rule of cool.and rule of plot

I was responding to the comment,"There’s nothing in the book about changing archetypes" Which in fact there is something in the book about changing archetypes on at least two separate pages of the core Mechanics. I was merely replying to an incorrect statement.

In the Core Mechanics, the book says there are ways to temporarily change characteristics, which I think lycanthropy fits that rule perfectly.

Of course, people should do whatever they think is fun. Personally structured rules are why I buy RPG books in the first place. So I wouldn't change the core Mechanics (Chapter 1 stuff). I do plan to mold the rest of the system to fit my playstyle.

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7 hours ago, TheSourceHD said:

I was responding to the comment,"There’s nothing in the book about changing archetypes" Which in fact there is something in the book about changing archetypes on at least two separate pages of the core Mechanics. I was merely replying to an incorrect statement.

In the Core Mechanics, the book says there are ways to temporarily change characteristics, which I think lycanthropy fits that rule perfectly.

Of course, people should do whatever they think is fun. Personally structured rules are why I buy RPG books in the first place. So I wouldn't change the core Mechanics (Chapter 1 stuff). I do plan to mold the rest of the system to fit my playstyle.

Couldn't agree with you more. I'm just wing snarky. 

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For a change to an animal, a few stat changes and rules are probably enough, but...   If the counter parts contain two different personalities, Another interesting way to do this would be to let the Player have two different characters and character sheets with a mechanic to change between them.   Good examples would be Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde,  Bruce Banner and Hulk,  Dr. Dawn Edwards and Eve Henry (doomtown reloaded), or Lenny Busker from Legion who shared his body with Kerry Loudermilk.   The transformation would have to be specific and not real easy.  If they can switch willy-nilly, all you did was double their abilities.   Still, it would be fun to see a player have to roll play the change in personality, mannerism, etc. 

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40 minutes ago, stsimpson said:

For a change to an animal, a few stat changes and rules are probably enough, but...   If the counter parts contain two different personalities, Another interesting way to do this would be to let the Player have two different characters and character sheets with a mechanic to change between them.   Good examples would be Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde,  Bruce Banner and Hulk,  Dr. Dawn Edwards and Eve Henry (doomtown reloaded), or Lenny Busker from Legion who shared his body with Kerry Loudermilk.   The transformation would have to be specific and not real easy.  If they can switch willy-nilly, all you did was double their abilities.   Still, it would be fun to see a player have to roll play the change in personality, mannerism, etc. 

That is really an interesting idea. I have plenty of stuff to go on for werewolves but I'd also like to hear stuff for vampires since the one from the adventure module seems like its abilities are angled for nemeses

Edited by Zalakoth

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On 12/2/2017 at 1:09 PM, Johan Marek Phoenix Knight said:

From the Vampire lady in the example adventure:

“Abilities: Blood Call (When Eliza Farrow damages a target using her fangs or a magic attack, she heals wounds equal to the wounds inflicted).

Blood Mist (If Eliza Farrow suffers damage in excess of her Wound threshold, she is not incapacitated, but takes the form of a cloud of blood mist. While in this form, she can fly [see page 100 of the Genesys Core Rulebook] and does not suffer damage from physical attacks. If she suffers additional damage from a magical attack, she becomes incapacitated as normal and resumes corporeal form).

Dominate (May use the Dominate action once per encounter, making an opposed Charm vs. Discipline check targeting one character in short range; if successful, the target is immobilized for 1 round per uncanceled success, and Eliza may spend triumph to stagger the target for 1 round).

Sunlight Sensitivity (While exposed to sunlight, Eliza Farrow reduces all her characteristics by 2 and halves her Wound  reshold and Strain threshold.)

Undead (does not need to breathe, eat, or drink [except blood], and can survive underwater; immune to poisons and toxins)

Vampiric Magic (Eliza Farrow reduces the diffculty of all magic skill checks one step).”

For a Vampire species, I would probably remove Vampric Magic and Blood Mist, but I would keep Undead, Sunlight Sensitivity, Blood Call (but making it only for the fangs, not for magic), and maybe keep Dominate, maybe not.

Also, because most players would only have 2 in most of their Characteristics, instead of Eliza’s 4, it might be good to nerf the sunlight sensitivity to only reducing the Characteristics by 1 (Unless of course Vampires started out with a three in everything, which would be interesting, though that could easily become overpowered.)

Still trying to find a vampire thing. Your changes seem like a good idea but perhaps:

A Vampire increases all characteristics by 1, but in sunlight they are reduced by 1. (For a net of 0.) 

when they lack protective covering from sunlight such as a cloak or umbrella, reduce wound and strain threshold by (either 5 or half - whichever is more balanced.) this makes them more like a standard character so long as they have a cloak.

perhaps for dominate, simply state the affected creature cannot attack the vampire dominating them. Then add a vampire only talent that upgrades it to immobilization

Edited by Zalakoth

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My vampire species would look something like this:

Characteristics: all 2, except Presence 3.

Wound Threshold: 10 + Brawn

Strain Threshold: 10 + Strain

Starting Experience: 70

Special Abilities: Vampires start with one rank in Charm. You still can’t train their Charm above rank 2 during character creation.

Blood Drinker: Once during a combat encounter, a vampire can spend two advantages or a triumph from a combat check to heal one wound.

Undead: They do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, and are unaffected by toxins and poisons.

Sunlight Sensitive: While exposed to sunlight, vampires reduce all their characteristics by 1 and halve their Wound threshold and Strain threshold.

Then I'd turn Dominate into a Tier 3 talent, and Blood Mist into a Tier 5 talent.

Edited by JohnChildermass

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10 hours ago, JohnChildermass said:

My vampire species would look something like this:

Characteristics: all 2, except Presence 3.

Wound Threshold: 10 + Brawn

Strain Threshold: 10 + Strain

Starting Experience: 70

Special Abilities: Vampires start with one rank in Charm. You still can’t train their Charm above rank 2 during character creation.

Blood Drinker: Once during a combat encounter, a vampire can spend two advantages or a triumph from a combat check to heal one wound.

Undead: They do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, and are unaffected by toxins and poisons.

Sunlight Sensitive: While exposed to sunlight, vampires reduce all their characteristics by 1 and halve their Wound threshold and Strain threshold.

Then I'd turn Dominate into a Tier 3 talent, and Blood Mist into a Tier 5 talent.

A few suggestions: 

a) Why not give them Willpower 1 to offset Presence?: Extra 20 XP.

b) Fangs: When making a Brawl check a Vampire may use her Fangs: Damage +1, Crit. 3 (like Claws, -5 XP).

b) Blood Drinker: When successfully attacking with her Fangs a Vampire may spend a manoeuvre to gain the benefits of a Painkiller.

c) Dependent on Blood: A Vampire may not benefit from the Gear Painkiller.

Blood Drinker and Dependent on Blood would about equalise. Sunlight Sensitive is worse than Exotic-Atmosphere Breather, I'd say (+10 XP). Assuming Undead is setting off Ready for Anything, there are 105 XP to play with; maybe put 15 XP into Dominate, leaving 90 XP for character creation.

Edited by Grimmerling

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20 minutes ago, Grimmerling said:

A few suggestions: 

a) Why not give them Willpower 1 to offset Presence?: Extra 20 XP.

b) Fangs: When making a Brawl check a Vampire may use her Fangs: Damage +1, Crit. 3 (like Claws, -5 XP).

b) Blood Drinker: When successfully attacking with her Fangs a Vampire may spend a manoeuvre to gain the benefits of a Painkiller.

c) Dependent on Blood: A Vampire may not benefit from the Gear Painkiller.

Blood Drinker and Dependent on Blood would about equalise. Sunlight Sensitive is worse than Exotic-Atmosphere Breather, I'd say (+10 XP). Assuming Undead is setting off Ready for Anything, there are 105 XP to play with; maybe put 15 XP into Dominate, leaving 90 XP for character creation.

Thanks for the feedback. I really like your suggestions b and c. I guess, I am not used to seeing vampires lacking Willpower. But thinking about it some more, it makes sense. Vampires aren't that strong willed. Especially, when near blood or exposed to the things they fear. It's really an improvement, and looks much more playable due to increased starting XP.

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On 1/2/2018 at 7:59 AM, Grimmerling said:

A few suggestions: 

a) Why not give them Willpower 1 to offset Presence?: Extra 20 XP.

b) Fangs: When making a Brawl check a Vampire may use her Fangs: Damage +1, Crit. 3 (like Claws, -5 XP).

b) Blood Drinker: When successfully attacking with her Fangs a Vampire may spend a manoeuvre to gain the benefits of a Painkiller.

c) Dependent on Blood: A Vampire may not benefit from the Gear Painkiller.

Blood Drinker and Dependent on Blood would about equalise. Sunlight Sensitive is worse than Exotic-Atmosphere Breather, I'd say (+10 XP). Assuming Undead is setting off Ready for Anything, there are 105 XP to play with; maybe put 15 XP into Dominate, leaving 90 XP for character creation.

Mechanically I agree with this completely, however as I originally stated I am not looking for a species but for a way for characters (be it PC or NPC) to contract Vampirism and be affected by it in a balanced way that costs effectively 0 xp since I want it not tied to a talent but rather the narrative. 

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If you're not looking to create a playable vampire archetype, your task is a lot easier. I would not worry greatly over balance issues with stats, as the drawbacks of vampirism (assuming a setting in which this condition is neither common nor welcomed) will balance out any benefits. Mostly you just have to decide which vampire tropes you want to use for strengths (great physical strength, mesmeric ability, transform into beasts, control animals, immune to most injuries, disease, poison, etc) and weaknesses (allergic to garlic, silver, holy symbols, can't cross running water, burned by sunlight, can't stand church bells, must drink blood, must sleep in grave earth, etc).

Also, what kind of vampire will your players become: do they immediately become a free-willed vampire, or are they a thrall to whomever turned them? Presumably they won't be fully enslaved, but you could say that the initial state grants them +1 Brawn and -1 Willpower, and over time they could buy back the Willpower with XP (or via the death of their sire), and acquire additional vampiric abilities with XP as they adjust to their condition.

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3 hours ago, Zalakoth said:

Mechanically I agree with this completely, however as I originally stated I am not looking for a species but for a way for characters (be it PC or NPC) to contract Vampirism and be affected by it in a balanced way that costs effectively 0 xp since I want it not tied to a talent but rather the narrative. 

For that, I'd make a list of consecutive symptoms (negative and positive, some with increasing severity) and require consecutive Resilience checks (PPPP) of the PC over time, having the condition reversible until the final transformation:

Sunlight Aversion (conditional Setback),

General Malaise (general Setback), 

Fangs (above),

Blood Dependent and Drinker (above); 

General Malaise > Blood Craving (cumulative Setback for every night without meal);

Sunlight Sensitivity (1 Wound per Round/minute);

Brawn +1; 

Willpower -1; 

Agility +1; 

Sunlight Vulnerability (1 Crit per Round/minute);

all the other general traits you deem appropriate for a new vampire in any order (e.g. Spider Climb, Loss of Mirror Image, second free Manoeuvre for movement only, Swift etc.);

et voilà: transformation complete, fresh vampire.

Now you could make advanced abilities available in the form of Talents. 

Sidenote: Deducting a few XP, now and then, during the transformation for balance reasons does seem tenable, narratively. After all, they could be slightly distracted by what's happening to them,could they not?

Edited by Grimmerling

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9 hours ago, Direach said:

If you're not looking to create a playable vampire archetype, your task is a lot easier. I would not worry greatly over balance issues with stats, as the drawbacks of vampirism (assuming a setting in which this condition is neither common nor welcomed) will balance out any benefits. Mostly you just have to decide which vampire tropes you want to use for strengths (great physical strength, mesmeric ability, transform into beasts, control animals, immune to most injuries, disease, poison, etc) and weaknesses (allergic to garlic, silver, holy symbols, can't cross running water, burned by sunlight, can't stand church bells, must drink blood, must sleep in grave earth, etc).

Also, what kind of vampire will your players become: do they immediately become a free-willed vampire, or are they a thrall to whomever turned them? Presumably they won't be fully enslaved, but you could say that the initial state grants them +1 Brawn and -1 Willpower, and over time they could buy back the Willpower with XP (or via the death of their sire), and acquire additional vampiric abilities with XP as they adjust to their condition.

Thank you both for all of the help I think I have a really good outline to starting building with. I'll let you know what I have when I finish it. 

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Depending on the setting, I think I would add a line of talents for lycanthropy and vampirism. My background with these afflictions is more inspired from World of Darkness, or video games like Legend of Zelda, or Legacy of Kain.

Narratively those inflicted by lycanthropy or vampirism would initially gain a talent like "Lycanthropy" or "Vampirism" for free perhaps even unwilling. Each talent adding both positives and negatives to the character.

The Vampirism talent would be about gaining the ability to recover wounds by draining wounds from incapacitated targets. Become ageless, but also take critical injuries for every minute exposed to contact with sunlight, silver, or running water. More talents that require the vampirism talent could expand on the strengths and weaknesses of being a vampire. A tier 3 talent might be "Sunlight resistance" which increases the sunlight vulnerability portion of the initial talent to 1 hour of sunlight instead of 1 minute, but increases vulnerability to silvered weapons, taking double damage from silver weapons, since historically silver is considered 'metal of the moon' so as the vampire gets stronger against the sun, their weakness against the moon grows. Another talent might be vampiric shapechange, able to turn into a bat or wolf or mist form. I also had the idea of doing a psychic vampire talent, where instead of draining wounds to recover wounds, the vampire might drain strain damage from their victim to recover wounds. A psychic vampire might even take a charm-like spell granting talent.

Lycanthropy would also gain strengths and weaknesses for various talents. The initial lycanthropy talent would be just like on a full moon the character turns into a mindless killing machine animal with weakness to silvered weapons. Further talents would add Form Control, so the character can choose when to shift. Or a stronger hybrid wolf/human form, at the cost of strain or sanity (if you play with sanity rules). Maybe there is a silver resistance talent but it makes your character crave raw meat even in human form.

I know talent holes aren't to everyone's tastes, but this is how I would handle vampire or werewolf, and even other World of Darkness-type tropes like Changelings, or Demons.

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I get the fact that you don't want to have your PC or character be a vampire at first, or wereworf, or whatever your dude is going to change into. It makes sense that you don't pick "Vampire" as a species, because as a vampire you wouldn't have access to those traits. And as page 33 and 36 say, once chosen, the choice is permanent.

So, what we have here are two alternatives in how to handle this.

  1. Mechanically speaking, your character dies. You, the player, you keep the equipment and skills but must roll up a new character. Now this kind of metaphorically fits as well as mechanically with being a Vampire. Your character is forever changed and there is no going back to being a average joe.
     
  2. You simply just alter the stats wise via XP. Where the racial bonuses are tier 1 or tier 2 talents that aren't really talents in sense of "tiering".

 

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On 1/4/2018 at 2:22 PM, rikrokola said:

 

  1. Mechanically speaking, your character dies. You, the player, you keep the equipment and skills but must roll up a new character. Now this kind of metaphorically fits as well as mechanically with being a Vampire. Your character is forever changed and there is no going back to being a average joe

 

Very interesting thought of it. I actually really like that, however, I already started writing up the alterations. BUT that being said, it is a great concept and I will look at a species build for it as well. I will post below...

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On 12/2/2017 at 11:16 AM, c__beck said:

Is there a reason you don’t want to use the species/archetype for this? Specifically since the mongrel species (page 152) is called out as useable for werewolves (weird war sidebar, page 161).

I think this was for weird war settings that have such creatures used in armies, but pointing to the fact this could be used for such creatures which makes sense, could have missed it if you'd not mentioned it as it describes mongrels under steampunk (maybe worth reading all the book for anything you could miss if it's not your current area of interest!) so yes they'd fit werewolves, creature superheroes like The Incredible Hulk etc as you could tweak it to fit specifics of your entity (maybe a vampire who can turn into a bat or pass under a doorway as a mist?- is there anything that helps deal with an entity that can exist in different states of its own choosing? Transformations in other words, and entities like shapeshifters? Still browsing the book and getting familiar with it.)

 

 

I can see a logic for wanting it split off from species sometimes though for various types of situation where this could be a useful alternative- someone has mastered the benefits of such a state without it mastering them for example, they can take advantage of the ability, also in Vampire settings different states of being 'turned' perhaps- maybe you don't become a vampire straight off and could be in some form of intermediate state, similarly for being under a spell or curse making such a change temporary, such as being turned into a frog etc, perhaps different approaches fit different circumstances.

 

Have people found any other useful bits for such changes of body?

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I've been working on a way to do Vampires and may be play testing what I have so far this weekend. I've found that it works better as a career or as a specialization acquired in the narrative rather than as an Archetype. Archetypes are equivalent to species, and vampirism is something a GM might want more than one species to be able to contract. As my phrasing implies, I lean more in the direction of vampirism as a naturalistic disease (think "I am Legend," novel not film) rather than as a supernatural curse. However, I'm trying to keep what I have in a toolkit form that could work for either.

The only thing I've set in stone is that if you take "Vampire" as a career, the skills are: Athletics, Brawl, Charm, Coercion, Coordination, Perception, Stealth, and Vigilance. If a character is made into a vampire, they get "Vampire" as a sort of specialization and may choose three skills from that list as additional career skills (rather than 4, as in SWRPG, because there was often likely to be overlap of career skills between career and specialization).

I've also made vampiric hunger strain based:

  • A vampire adds 10 to its strain threshold, but may only recover strain by:
    • Spending Advantages in combat (game balance would break otherwise), though a vampire must spend 2 Advantages to recover 1 strain in this way.
    • Feeding on a living creature.
    • Hibernating for a significant length of time (a week or more).
  • For every 5 points of current strain, a vampire upgrades the difficulty of all its Cool, Discipline, and Resilience checks once.
  • Once a vampire's current strain is greater than half its threshold:
    • Its Presence rating increases once.
    • Its Willpower rating decreases once (to a minimum of one).
    • If Willpower would have decreased to zero, a vampire becomes rabid.
  • Once a vampire' current strain exceeds its threshold:
    • It may, continue to act and suffer strain for a short time, but...
    • It must immediately make a Hard Discipline check, and either hibernate soon or become rabid as a result.

Rabid vampires are mostly handled narratively, and it's exactly what it sounds like. A vampire must reduce its current strain to equal or below half of threshold, either by feeding or hibernating, to recover from rabidity.

Hibernation alters the healing rules, which I'm playing around with the details of but suspect will be a better way to make them more resilient than increasing Characteristic ratings.

Feeding is attacking living creatures with fangs to heal strain based on damage dealt (post soak), or wounds on a Triumph, which must be used to trigger a critical injury before healing any wounds. I like the idea of a Vampire using Discipline instead of Brawl for its attack if it wants to inflict strain while healing, rather than inflicting wounds. We'll see how that works.

Other than that, there are a few specific unique abilities I've named:

  • Strength, Speed, & Senses. A vampire's Brawn and Agility are Super-Characteristics (GCRB p.251). A vampire also adds 2 Boost dice to its Perception and Vigilance checks.
  • Burned by Sunlight. When entering direct sunlight or high powered, ultraviolet light, a vampire must make a Hard Resilience check, suffering wounds equal to Failures rolled (ignoring soak) and strain equal to Threats rolled. On a Despair, the vampire immediately combusts, suffering 3 wounds per minute (ignoring soak), or per turn in structured encounters, so long as it remains on fire.
  • Near Immortality. Vampires do not die of old age or by natural means. If a vampire is killed normally, it merely enters hibernation. Vampires only die permanently if decapitated, incinerated, or pierced through the heart with a wooden stake.
  • Ancient Vigor. As vampires age, they become more powerful and acquire greater control over their feeding and hunger. For every fifty years of its vampiric lifespan (not counting its mortal life), a vampire adds 5 to its strain threshold. For every hundred years of its vampiric lifespan, the amount of current strain required to upgrade the difficulty of Cool, Discipline, and Resilience checks (see above) increases by 5.

I've gone in a rather different direction than the OP and all of these things are subject to change based on play testing, but hopefully it will serve as fodder to inspire other people's design work and game play.

Edited by sfRattan

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I did some work on Vampirism/Lycanthrope back in my Tamriel conversion of EoTE, and kept the rules for Genesys. (Rules I wrote up here)

Mine was focused on Vampirism/Lycanthrope as typically being something you were infected with. It was undeniably powerful, as it is in D&D and similar systems, but with considerable drawbacks. Most of these, naturally, are narrative. Most important I found was to create a secondary character sheet - a supplement to the folio - for when a Lycan shifted into their beastial form. For all intents and purposes, the beast form operates as a separate character. Only certain skills are even usable... New weapons, new defensive stats, etc.

As for tracking things like Hunger... Literally, just created a new field and resource for that to track, similar to Obligation in EoTE. Had a few sessions where I, as a GM, got to randomly force a Werewolf to shift, because they let their resource get too high. Good times!

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5 minutes ago, Kaalamity said:

As for tracking things like Hunger... Literally, just created a new field and resource for that to track, similar to Obligation in EoTE

I like this idea a lot, but I'm wondering if you do a d100 roll for Hunger like you would for Obligation. I'm not seeing it after skimming your rules. How would that work in play if you did?

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Just now, sfRattan said:

I like this idea a lot, but I'm wondering if you do a d100 roll for Hunger like you would for Obligation. I'm not seeing it after skimming your rules. How would that work in play if you did?

I had two resources. One for Lycanthropes, and one for Vampires.

Hunger (Vampires) had no d100 trigger. It simply grew over time, and represented the Vampire becoming weaker, the longer they went without food. Their features became more obvious, and the penalties for being in the sun stronger. This Hunger increases by a set amount per day (5, I believe), until they capped out and became feral/rabid like you described in your post.

Bestial Rage (Lycans) is the resource I had Lycanthropes using. They gained 5 per day, just like Vampires and Hunger. I could, as a GM, roll a d100 as I would with Obligation. If I rolled under the number, I could, at my whim, force them to shift, as their bestial tendencies were too much to control (in this case, the call of Hercine's drivers). Any time they wanted to shift, however, it would cost them 10 of this rage resource... Preventing them from using it too much, but also causing a risk of losing control if they stockpiled it.

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28 minutes ago, sfRattan said:
  • Strength, Speed, & Senses. A vampire's Brawn and Agility are Super-Characteristics (GCRB p.251). A vampire also adds 2 Boost dice to its Perception and Vigilance checks.

However, I may totally steal this for my Vampire rules. As per my rules, I allow Vampires to select two Characteristics to increase by 1. I like the idea of making them "Super" instead. Really good use of that concept.

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