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Vampire the Masquerade Genesys Conversion

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Hello, I developed a conversion to use the VtM (3rd) edition setting in genesys.

My historic game group and I always loved the setting but when we tried to play (in the early 2000s) all three campaigns were aborted a handful of sessions after character creation, smothered by the buckets of dice and the quirky rules. We are having a lot of fun playing, including the two players new to the system (one of them was also new to the setting).

The pdf file can be found at this address (Dropbox). I am completely unable to use GMbinder et similia, so the file is presented in a very simple word->pdf format. I really regret not been comfortable with graphics. The document does not even include backgrounds or images. :(

The first version of these rules was written 6 months ago (January 2019) and we have been playing in a chronicle (4 players plus myself) since (for a total of more or less 20 sessions so far), tuning costs and effects as result of playtesting. However, a few players in the group are new to the system, and obviously not all Clans and disciplines have been explored fully, therefore I much appreciate any feedback, whether it comes from play testing or simple theoretical criticisms. 

This document includes

  • Archetypes (Clan)
  • Careers and modified skills
  • Vampiric talents
  • Disciplines (distinguished from talents and skills)
  • Miscellaneous rules (Hunting, Feeding, Vitae, Strain and Damage Management, Frenzy)
  • Thaumaturgy and Necromancy rules

Some notes:

  1. While there is some flavor text, I did NOT describe the setting in general in the document. These rules are intended for GMs and players who already know at least vaguely about the Masquerade, the Camarilla, the Sabbat, etc.
  2. The biggest rule change (beside the necessary adaptation) is the reduction of clan disciplines from 3 per clan to 2 per clan.
  3. Consequently, certain disciplines (Vicissitude, Celerity, Quietus, Serpentis) have been transformed into tiered restricted talents that try to capture what (IMHO) was fun and intriguing about each clan and discipline. All of this also allowed me to rebalance Celerity into a strong but not god-like combat "discipline", which used to be a common complaint about the balancing of the game.
  4. Thaumaturgy and Necromancy have also been reimagined as magic rather than technical disciplines. 
  5. Fortitude and potency have been rolled into one. Another significant change, but that goes together with 2), and preserve the feeling that Clans with access to one or the other are dangerous in combat situations.
  6. I am extremely pleased with the results we had with the Hunting-Feeding streamlined mechanism. I was skeptical but it ended up being quickly resolved every time while still providing a plethora of story-moments, some of which sprawled into sub-plots in typical genesys fashion. Viceversa, I am not enthusiastic about the Frenzy mechanism.
  7. While I tried to stay true to the original Clan's flaws, some where reimagined to work more precisely. The Tzimisce's flaw was changed into a Dracula-inspired one, a variant that was popular in various WoD forums back in the days.
  8. Vitae has been kept as a consumable resource. Since Vampires literally replenish themselves with blood I couldn't see any way to keep it elegantly in line with Strain and Wounds (which grow up to a threshold.
  9. I have not included any enemy profile. I am working on Hunters rules, but they are very much in a development stage.
  10. There is no list of weapons, we used stuff from the modern setting of the core book. 
  11. I took some liberties with a couple of structural rules (namely doing away with concentration and creating skill checks that include challenge dice by default)

I don't plan to revise the rules for another few months (since I want to start working on a Post-Apocalyptic and/or a SteamPunk-meets-Strange&Norrell kind of settings), but I will be checking this thread and responding to any question (and drinking in any feedback).

Thank you

Geki

Edited by geki

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This looks pretty awesome!  I haven't played since the early 90's and have a couple of questions on things not clear to me from your document.  

  1. How is the limit of Vitae a vampire calculated?
  2. How do you figure out the Generation of a vampire?  I think this is what limits your Vitae from what I understand.
  3. How are Disciplines gained?  Would a Gangrel get Feral Whispers and Beckoning Animal Disciplines once 2 Ranks in Discipline have been purchased?  Or are the Disciplines purchased like tiered Talents?  

Like I said, I haven't play this in a long while.

Thanks for sharing!

Z

Edited by Zszree

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9 hours ago, Zszree said:

This looks pretty awesome!  I haven't played since the early 90's and have a couple of questions on things not clear to me from your document.  

  1. How is the limit of Vitae a vampire calculated?
  2. How do you figure out the Generation of a vampire?  I think this is what limits your Vitae from what I understand!

Z

This is a glaring omission on my part, due to the fact that we created all PCs as 13th generation and went with it.

we followed the standard blood pool/ turn expenditure chart for vtm, which I attach. (The trait limit refers to VTM rules, so ignore it).

given we never created PCs of lower generation and I create NPCs more free form (not starting with an xp pool), I’m not sure what the xp cost would be, but my guess would be 10 xp per generation lower than 13.

 

 

F5934075-BF23-4956-8141-8DA379D3E29C.jpeg

Edited by geki
Clarity

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9 hours ago, Zszree said:

 

  1. How are Disciplines gained?  Would a Gangrel get Feral Whispers and Beckoning Animal Disciplines once 2 Ranks in Discipline have been purchased?  Or are the Disciplines purchased like tiered Talents?  

 

Rulrewise, discipline ranks are gained by spending XPs. Ranks in Disciplines unlock certain powers, I.e. your first statement is correct: a Gangrel with 2 ranks in animalism would have access to Feral Whispers and Beckoning Animals, but not to Quell the beast. Notice that given the automatic upgrades for checks connected to the disciplines a more powerful animalist would also be “better” at Feral Whispers, beside having access to more advanced discipline powers.

Edited by geki

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Geki,

Thanks for the quick feedback!  Ok, I'm getting it now and remember the generations and 13 being a magic number there.  

Pretty cool!  Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!

Z

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This is excellent!  I will look into this at once, it seems great!  Might use this next time I have vampires in a campaign since I love the way that they are handled in The Masquerade.

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49 minutes ago, Arcane Cowboy said:

Document wasn't there. Has it been put up somewhere new? Particularly interested in seeing what you did with Necromancy

 

Sorry, my mistake. I will update the link.

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Posted (edited)

Hey there! I'm planning on running a Vampire game for my friends, and we're all really used to the Genesys system. It's amazing to find such a well-developed hack for it that would let us play without getting too bogged down by the complicated rules for the actual system. So, thank you, you've made it just so much easier for me to help them play it ❤️

Saying that, I had a few questions about your ruleset, that came up as I was running through it:

1. In the Frenzy section (as well as the Toreador special abilities) you mention something called a Touchstone. I don't know quite what that is, and I looked it up and it seems like it might be something from 5th edition or Requiem? This doesn't show up anywhere else in the document, is it pretty important to understand?

2. In base VtM humanity goes from 0 to 10, but you do 0 to 5; is there a specific reason for that? Since overall humanity is lower, should it be harder to lower narratively? Also, how does a character raise it? Can they spend XP on it like they do in VtM?

3. For the Fortitude discipline, you say "By spending 1 vitae, as an incidental, the Vampire can increase their Soak value by 1 for each rank in Fortitude. Moreover, the Vampire can upgrade their Brawn based checks a number of times equal to their Fortitude rank. The Vampire can keep the effect active by suffering 2 strain per round." Is that soak value increase just for a single attack, or does it last for a whole round until it gets back to his turn? And that brawn check upgrade, is that a passive ability that happens just by having Fortitude, or does that come just when Fortitude is activated? 

4. When using Thaumaturgy, should you be using Arcanism for all of those checks?

5. In the Gangrel weakness, Frenzy check results above 60 cause permanent marks on them that can lead to setbacks on social checks and eventually Presence deductions. How many of these scars does it take for those disadvantages to start happening, or should that be left to GM discretion?

6. In the section for disciplines, you mention that every two ranks in disciplines cause checks to be upgraded. Since it's rounded up, does this start happening right away? When you take, say, Animalism 1 do you already start upgrading animalism checks? For that matter, if you're at rank 5 in a discipline, does that mean that EVERY check in that discipline is upgraded by 3, including the checks at the rank 5 of that discipline? Or is it relative, and you have to be 2 ranks *above* a certain rank for those checks to be upgraded?

7. Soak. Does soak remove damage from Enhanced and Non-enhanced sources in the same way? When you're absorbing non-enhanced damage, do you soak it first, and then strain to reduce it?

8. What rules would you use for feeding in combat/using fangs as weapons? Difficult brawl checks?

9. Just some general Discipline stuff I noticed. In Animalism, you say "A _____ can be spent" for rank 4 and 5; I assume you meant A Triumph can be spent. In Auspex, you mention making Cool or Artistic Sensibility checks to make a prophecy for that session, but don't specify a difficulty to check against. In Auspex rank 2, you mention if someone has Obfuscation or Arcanism; should that difficulty be based on whichever of the two is higher? Auspex rank 4, you say "A successful roll allows reading superficial rolls"; I assume you meant "thoughts"? Dementation 2, it states that the check's difficulty is downgraded for each rank of Auspex in the victim--did this mean to say Upgraded, or is a character with Auspex more susceptible to Dementation?

10. Have you considered specifically addending your Frenzy rules to make it more difficult to resist Frenzy against fire? Rotschreck is a really powerful force against Vampires, after all

11. And then lastly, this one is more just kind of a personal suggestion, but have you considered at all implementing the Flaws and Merits system from VtM? I always found that to be a really cool part of the system and helped to flesh out characters. I thought about trying to implement it myself, but I'm not sure what a good way to do it would be, such as adding or removing starting character creation XP or what.

Sorry for asking and suggesting so much, I just really want to see this thing looking shiny since it's already so good. Thanks so much for making this thing, by the way! I was hesitant to even suggest to my friends to play Vampire the Masquerade because of how much of a handful the system can be, and your ruleset has made it so much easier to get them around to it and has made my job much easier in running it.

Edited by Arakan_Shriek
Edited to add additional questions

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Just an update on where things stand. As we come to the close of a 18 months, and around 45 session, campaign, we have plans to completely revise the discipline structure, making into a heroic-ability like affair (to stabilize the progression and get rid of excessive checks). 

While our focus will probably be on our other campaigns (a Terrinoth, a D&D conversion, and a steampunk one), a friend of mine and I are planning to work on this, so stay tuned.
 

Quite honestly, I wish I had the writing stamina to write a VTM inspired setting, with completely different clans and without some of the burdensome stratified lore. This would free creative space rule wise (and make this shareable without copyright problems), but I feel this is beyond me right now, so we will keep the VampireTM basic structure in place.

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Quote

Sorry for asking and suggesting so much, I just really want to see this thing looking shiny since it's already so good. Thanks so much for making this thing, by the way! I was hesitant to even suggest to my friends to play Vampire the Masquerade because of how much of a handful the system can be, and your ruleset has made it so much easier to get them around to it and has made my job much easier in running it.

No problem, we were in the same situation: we really wanted to play in the setting again (three of us had dabbled in the early 2000, and two of our players had only played Bloodlines the videogame) but had no intention of tackling that system again. 5th edition is better, but only marginally.

As I said, I am sorry that I still haven't gotten around to version 2.0, which will feature disciplines as heroic abilities (e.g. activate-able without a check, spending SP, with lower levels becoming free as they improve), but there is so much to do between another setting and my university having not decided whether classes will be online or not... But anyhow...

 

Quote

1. In the Frenzy section (as well as the Toreador special abilities) you mention something called a Touchstone. I don't know quite what that is, and I looked it up and it seems like it might be something from 5th edition or Requiem? This doesn't show up anywhere else in the document, is it pretty important to understand?

This is quite frankly a residual from an idea (indeed from 5th) that I wanted to incorporate. In synthesis, it's the reason the vampire has not succumbed to the beast or destroyed themselves. In rules terms, you could quite easily skip it. I find it very powerful narratively, but failed to describe it further in the ruleset.

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2. In base VtM humanity goes from 0 to 10, but you do 0 to 5; is there a specific reason for that? Since overall humanity is lower, should it be harder to lower narratively? Also, how does a character raise it? Can they spend XP on it like they do in VtM?

We handled humanity fluctuations exclusively narratively (after significant events, I discussed with the affected player their loss of humanity - or in one singular exceptional case their gain of humanity). We decided to bring it on a 5 scale to be in line with the genesys system. However, since the rules dealing with it only care about the relative level, you could go back to the0-10 scale without any setback (as long as you apply proportional modification to frenzy rolls: when it checks for humanity, simply double the range).

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3. For the Fortitude discipline, you say "By spending 1 vitae, as an incidental, the Vampire can increase their Soak value by 1 for each rank in Fortitude. Moreover, the Vampire can upgrade their Brawn based checks a number of times equal to their Fortitude rank. The Vampire can keep the effect active by suffering 2 strain per round." Is that soak value increase just for a single attack, or does it last for a whole round until it gets back to his turn? And that brawn check upgrade, is that a passive ability that happens just by having Fortitude, or does that come just when Fortitude is activated? 

When fortitude is activated, and until the Vampire stops it (willingly or because they cannot keep up with strain) they gain one of the effects. In a different round they can activate the other one as well, and maintaining both of them active requires 2 strain per round. As an aside, I tend to limit (not just in this setting) the amount of strain characters can regain on each check. Without a similar limitation, the Brawn part of fortitude risks becoming excessively powerful.

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4. When using Thaumaturgy, should you be using Arcanism for all of those checks?

Indeed. This information is missing from the Thaumaturgy talent.

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5. In the Gangrel weakness, Frenzy check results above 60 cause permanent marks on them that can lead to setbacks on social checks and eventually Presence deductions. How many of these scars does it take for those disadvantages to start happening, or should that be left to GM discretion?

I left that to GM discretion. Notice that the 5 times in the VtM rules is too high, considering that in this system not all failed frenzy rolls result in drastic (e.g. 60+) results. My inkling would be that after 2 or so they already have a setback to some checks, which increases to 2 setbacks around 4, and to a presence reduction from 7 or more occurrences (although at that point they might be in trouble otherwise).

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6. In the section for disciplines, you mention that every two ranks in disciplines cause checks to be upgraded. Since it's rounded up, does this start happening right away? When you take, say, Animalism 1 do you already start upgrading animalism checks? For that matter, if you're at rank 5 in a discipline, does that mean that EVERY check in that discipline is upgraded by 3, including the checks at the rank 5 of that discipline? Or is it relative, and you have to be 2 ranks *above* a certain rank for those checks to be upgraded?

The idea is that a Vampire trained in a discipline relies more on their vampiric abilities than on their human skills. Hence, a dominator can be efficient even without being a particularly intimidating guy. For this reason, any roll made because of a discipline is upgraded once per each 2 ranks, rounded up. So yes, a Venture with Dominate 1 trying Command with 0 ranks in coercion would still roll a proficiency die. Similarly, a old Giovanni with Ascendency 4 would upgrade their Ascendency rolls twice, even when activating level 3 or 4.

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7. Soak. Does soak remove damage from Enhanced and Non-enhanced sources in the same way? When you're absorbing non-enhanced damage, do you soak it first, and then strain to reduce it?

Yes, the "only" difference is that you can effectively add up to 3 to your soak when facing non-enhanced weapons. So if your soak is 4 and you are hit by a regular pistol for 9 damages, you would suffer 5, but can move 3 of them to your strain, effectively suffering only 2. Remember that by spending 1 vitae vampires can recover 3 strain at any time. This becomes extremely powerful when combined with fortitude. At the end of the campaign, our fight-oriented Brujah has a base soak of 7, that grows to 8 when he spends vitae to raise his brawn, plus he absorbs 3 of them with strain. Which means he is immune to crits from non-enhanced weapon that inflict less than 12 damages. He's a beast.

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8. What rules would you use for feeding in combat/using fangs as weapons? Difficult brawl checks?

I usually require an opposed Brawl check upgraded once to symbolize the inherent risk, and using the aiming rules (aim to the neck). Against supernatural beings I would probably upgrade it further.

9. Just some general Discipline stuff I noticed.

Quote

In Animalism, you say "A _____ can be spent" for rank 4 and 5; I assume you meant A Triumph can be spent. 

Correct

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In Auspex, you mention making Cool or Artistic Sensibility checks to make a prophecy for that session, but don't specify a difficulty to check against.

The difficulty is meant to be average. Notice that, barring SP spent by the GM or particular conditions, the self-fulfilling prophecy is a very rare occurrence.

Quote

In Auspex rank 2, you mention if someone has Obfuscation or Arcanism; should that difficulty be based on whichever of the two is higher?

Yes. 

Quote

Auspex rank 4, you say "A successful roll allows reading superficial rolls"; I assume you meant "thoughts"?

Yes.

Quote

Dementation 2, it states that the check's difficulty is downgraded for each rank of Auspex in the victim--did this mean to say Upgraded, or is a character with Auspex more susceptible to Dementation?

The latter. Auspex characters are more sensible to their surroundings (e.g. being susceptible to strobophobia) and this is meant to show the inherent risk for their extended mind. 

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10. Have you considered specifically addending your Frenzy rules to make it more difficult to resist Frenzy against fire? Rotschreck is a really powerful force against Vampires, after all

In general, having a fixed basic difficulty for Frenzy was a mistake, and it evolved to a variable scale even before adding the various modifications. So a jump attack by a human should probably be an easy check, while fire would maybe start at difficult (or at average but with an upgrade). 

 

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11. And then lastly, this one is more just kind of a personal suggestion, but have you considered at all implementing the Flaws and Merits system from VtM? I always found that to be a really cool part of the system and helped to flesh out characters. I thought about trying to implement it myself, but I'm not sure what a good way to do it would be, such as adding or removing starting character creation XP or what.

That's something that I would love to have in all of my games (not just the VtM setting). I haven't statted them out (although many of the special talents are ports of supernatural Merits from 3rd edition). I would simply provide bonus XPs in exchange for flaws (5 or 10 depending on the severity).

 

Have fun!

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Thanks so much for all of your answers! Good luck revamping it going forward, and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer everything personally (and especially for not being mad for it being so much, haha). I'm really going to enjoy working with this, thanks! :)

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