When the vampire faces danger, hunger, or threat, the Beast goads her to immediate and extreme response, usually meaning a blood-soaked frenzy. Frenzy comes from many sources, but always shares the same response: End the problem by any means necessary.
When faced with a strong enough stimulus, the vampire risks losing control of her Beast. She can temporarily hold the monster inside, but eventually she must face her monstrosity. A frenzying vampire can, but is under no compulsion to, lash out with her predatory aura.
Types of Frenzy
Anger, Hunger (Wassail) and Fear (Rötschreck)
To resist the Beast, roll Resolve + Composure. Check the suggested modifiers for penalties and bonuses depending on the circumstance. The Storyteller is encouraged to come up with other situational modifiers to reflect the relative tension of the scene. To avoid frenzy, the player must accrue successes equal to his character’s Blood Potency. This can be done over successive turns; however should there be a single turn with no successes, frenzy occurs. Resisting frenzy is reflexive.
Dramatic failure on this roll results in frenzy, and the character cannot end the frenzy until she reaches a breaking point. If the Beast gets its desire, choose a new one, and so on.
Failure means the character succumbs to frenzy until the desire is sated, or the scene ends.
Success means she resists the Beast, but gains the Tempted Condition (see p. 307).
Exceptional success means she not only resists the Beast, but regains a point of spent Willpower, and any Willpower she spent fighting the Beast during the scene.
When a character enters frenzy, she gains a Beat. She can opt to turn a failure into a dramatic failure for a second Beat. As with any Beats, these Beats only come from dramatic situations with consequences.
Willpower cannot be spent for three bonus dice on a roll to resist frenzy. Willpower has a different effect. A point of Willpower holds off the Beast for one turn. The vampire visibly fights the frenzy. She may growl, hiss, smash something, or sprint off. But she’s temporarily in control. However, she must still face her Beast. Once she stops spending Willpower, make the Resolve + Composure roll like normal, but take a bonus die for each Willpower point spent. So, if you spend four Willpower points for your character to take four turns fighting her frenzy, on the fifth turn, roll her Resolve + Composure + 4.
Upon entering frenzy, determine what the Beast wants. Does it want to escape? Does it want to punish the person who insulted his host? Does it want blood? Typically, frenzy ends when that thing occurs. If the character enters torpor, the frenzy ends.
When in frenzy, the vampire becomes stronger, faster, and tougher. Her Beast drives her to feats of terrifying physical prowess.
- Add her Blood Potency dots to any Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina rolls or resistances. (Do not apply her improved Stamina to her Health levels.)
- Ignore any wound penalties she should suffer.
- She can grab and bite as a single instant action, as she ravenously mauls her victim. Apply the successes on her Strength + Brawl roll to establish a grapple as lethal damage, and she takes an immediate point of Vitae from the victim.
- Social actions or Disciplines to coerce the Beast fails. They can, however, divert the Beast’s attention to another, similar target.
- Taking any action contrary to the Beast’s agenda requires a point of Willpower per turn.
Riding the Wave
Some Kindred choose to grab their Beasts by the reins, and wield that monstrous power. It’s a risky proposition, but one with great rewards. This practice is called riding the wave. To ride the wave, spend a Willpower point, and make the normal Resolve + Composure resistance roll. The Willpower point does not add to this roll. Success holds off the frenzy for a turn as if she’d spent Willpower to fight the frenzy. She can continue to do this until she fails, runs out of Willpower, or until she accumulates five successes.
Treat any failure on this roll as a dramatic failure. If she reaches five successes, she rides the wave. This functions identically to a normal frenzy, with all normal benefits. However, you may choose the Beast’s desire and specific target at the outset. This desire does not have to align with the provocation. For example, if Victoria risks frenzy because she’s starved, she might choose to kill Dominic instead of feeding. Normally, a frenzied Beast will not force its host to commit diablerie. However, a vampire riding the wave may choose diablerie as the desire.
On Elysium grounds +2
Vastly outnumbered +1 to +3
Expecting provocation +1
Hungry (4 or fewer Vitae) -2
Starving (2 or fewer Vitae) -4
Wounded (at all) -1
Wounded in last three Health boxes -3
Surprised by provocation -1
Insulted by a superior -1
Insulted by an inferior -2
Hurt friend -1
Hurt lover -2
Publicly ostracized -2
Dead friend -2
Dead lover -4
Destruction of important property -1
Destruction of minor property +1
Seeing a trivial open wound +1
Seeing a massive open wound -1
Fire, magnesium or signal flare -1
Sunlight (causing lethal damage) -1
Small fire (torch) -2
Sunlight (causing aggravated damage) -3
Inside burning building -4