Mask and Dirge - Descriptions
Nous cessons de suivre les restrictions judéo-chrétiennes de Vice/Virtue. Ils sont maintenant remplacés par Mask et Dirge. Ça rappelle le Demeanor et Nature d’antan. Chacun de ces choix vous donne des options pour regagner +1 Willpower, ainsi que la totalité de votre Willpower. Toutefois, vous devinerez que ça implique être crotté et/ou prendre des risques…
Mask is the bearing Kindred present to the world. It’s the façade, the pretty lie. It’s the excuse for why he can’t stay for breakfast in the morning. It’s the reason she gives the cab driver for dropping her off near an abandoned warehouse at odd hours of the night. It’s his excuse for barely touching his dinner. The First Tradition reads: “Do not reveal your nature to those not of the Blood. Doing so forfeits your claim to the Blood.” Kindred take this concept seriously, and extend it beyond the purview of their unnatural existences. Revealing oneself is a form of vulnerability. Vulnerability is a quick route to Final Death.
Any time a vampire overcomes a small hurdle in defense of her Mask, she gains a point of Willpower. When committing atrocious or existentially risky acts in defense of her Mask, she regains all her spent Willpower points.
The Dirge is the truth behind the lies. It’s the vampire’s secret self; it’s who he is when the lights are off and nobody is present to witness his dirtiest moments. It’s his dark indulgence. It’s the self-loathing she will never admit. It’s his desire for an end. It’s her need for companionship. A Dirge gives the Kindred a sense of identity. After all, her very existence is a lie. In the Danse Macabre, truth is rarely more than a pipe dream. For most vampires, honesty only exists within oneself. Defending that internal honesty helps her to maintain perspective. Any time a vampire withdraws from his outside life in defense of his truer self, he gains a point of Willpower. When committing terrible, damning acts in defense of his personal identity, he regains all his spent Willpower points.
Here are numerous sample archetypes for your characters’ Masks and Dirges. Feel free to pull from this list, or come up with your own. Each includes a brief description, and sample actions that could recover Willpower for each. Note that the risks and costs listed should always be meaningful. They should have value in the story, to count as Willpower conditions.
Authoritarian An authoritarian must be on top. She prides herself not in competition, but in control. She must assert her superiority and dominance whenever possible.
Single Willpower: Shut down an inferior trying to rise to your level of power.
All Willpower: Commit a widespread hit against a rival’s mortal connections.
Child A child isn’t necessarily a child in age, but in behavior. He looks for others to care for him, and always stands behind someone else. He’ll always diffuse responsibility.
Single Willpower: Find someone to take responsibility for your mistake.
All Willpower: Commit a terrible crime to see how authority might react.
Competitor The competitor relishes engagement and trial. She must test herself against others in all things. She’s never comfortable not knowing if she’s capable or not.
Single Willpower: Challenge someone clearly your superior.
All Willpower: Risk Final Death to prove that you can handle something.
Conformist A conformist needs structure. He can be on top of it, or on the bottom of it, but he must adhere to some external concept and hierarchy in order to feel complete.
Single Willpower: Choose an obviously disadvantageous path, because it fits with protocol.
All Willpower: Stand by the losing side with shield at the ready, because it’s your side.
Conspirator A conspirator must involve herself deeply in all things. She must have layers of machination for even the most meaningless tasks.
Single Willpower: Add a layer of meaningless complexity to a plan.
All Willpower: Refuse to take an action in self-defense without excessive, dangerous plotting.
Courtesan A courtesan exists to see others enjoy themselves. He revels not for himself, but to let others bask in his revelry. He’s a master of the art of enjoyment.
Single Willpower: Put yourself out for another’s pleasure.
All Willpower: Be the last one dancing when the party’s on fire.
Cult Leader A cult leader wants for faith and devotion. He may have faith and devotion of his own, but he wants for a group to adore him and his word above all. This may or may not be a religious cult.
Single Willpower: Convince someone to deny logic because of your word.
All Willpower: Risk exile or death to defend your cult’s belief system.
Deviant A deviant lives to flout norms and break traditional expectations. She isn’t concerned with rebellion; she’s concerned with crime, sin, and debauchery.
Single Willpower: Commit a crime against your recognized society.
All Willpower: Commit a high crime in plain view of an authority.
Follower A follower needs direction, and is loathe to come up with it on his own. He devotes much of his attention to finding the right person to offer that direction.
Single Willpower: Follow a directive blindly, for the sake of following.
All Willpower: Follow a dangerous directive without hesitation.
Guru A guru lives to learn, and to impart that knowledge to others. She’s a repository and font of wisdom on every topic she can manage to study.
Single Willpower: Give advice that someone uses to succeed.
All Willpower: Give protected, dangerous information without asking for payment.
Idealist An idealist sees a better future, and all things exist within the context of that eventuality. He never accepts compromise, only recognizing a perfect achievement of his goal.
Single Willpower: Deny a compromise that would water down your ideal.
All Willpower: Refuse safety for fear of abandoning your ideal’s purity.
Idol An idol wants to be adored, desperately. They want everyone around them to respect them, fear them or love them. Any combination thereof may be perfectly acceptable as well. What they do with that love, fear or respect is less concerning than others’ display of it.
Single Willpower: Make somebody else pay attention to you, regardless of how they feel.
All Willpower: Draw the wrong kind of attention on yourself, even at great personal risk.
Jester A jester never takes the world seriously. She looks for the absurd in everything, and shows it to the world. Everything is a joke. Everything has fault.
Single Willpower: Point out an absurdity in the current state of affairs, to lighten the tone.
All Willpower: Favor wit and cunning over direct self-defense in a situation of serious danger.
Glutton A glutton needs more, more, more. Whenever he has a chance to get something he wants or crave, he’ll favor this over other options.
Single Willpower: Take something in full sight of people with no care for its intent.
Full Willpower: Abandon your duties or betray a close one for a bonus.
Junkie A junkie puts indulgence before anything else. He can forget the rest of the world exists while he’s on his favored high.
Single Willpower: Ignore a problem or responsibility in favor of immediate gratification.
All Willpower: Abandon an important relationship over your pursuit of pleasure.
Martyr A martyr puts others before herself in all things. She’s concerned with community and the cause, over her own safety and reputation.
Single Willpower: Take another’s burden upon yourself without expecting recompense.
All Willpower: Put yourself at risk to save someone else or an ideology.
Masochist A masochist savors suffering. To a masochist, living without pain is not living. He never runs from a chance to experience new tortures.
Single Willpower: Find and experience a new source of hurt.
All Willpower: Willingly explore pain, beyond the point of safety and reason.
Monster A monster exists to torment, frighten, and destroy. She loathes existence, and spreads that loathing wherever she goes.
Single Willpower: Cause pain for the sole intention of causing pain.
All Willpower: Commit a capital crime without additional motive.
Nomad A nomad cannot stand staying still. Stagnancy is worse than death to the true wanderer. He sheds homes the way some shed clothing.
Single Willpower: Abandon a home.
All Willpower: Abandon a society, organization, or city.
Nurturer A nurturer cares for others, and tries to bolster them to comfort and greatness. He protects and fosters, measuring his success by the success of others.
Single Willpower: Put yourself out to help another succeed.
All Willpower: Take full responsibility for another’s dangerous mistake.
Perfectionist A perfectionist never settles for success; nothing short of flawless accomplishment is enough. She revisits and tinkers with any minor imperfections, to the point of excess.
Single Willpower: Revisit an already successful action to hammer out a flaw.
All Willpower: Stick with a failed and dangerous plan, in order to fix what went wrong.
Penitent A penitent embodies regret and lessons learned. He cannot make a mistake and allow it to go unpunished. The only sin is to mistake without learning.
Single Willpower: Punish yourself for a mistake.
All Willpower: Risk death to correct an egregious error in judgment.
Questioner A questioner cannot accept anything at face value. She must poke and prod, finding the holes in logic and function. She asks the questions that everyone else wants to ask.
Single Willpower: Challenge an accepted truth.
All Willpower: Put a long-believed truth to the test, at your own peril.
Rebel A rebel refuses to accept tradition, mores, and folkways just on account of their existence. He fights to break new ground and pave his own way.
Single Willpower: Openly flout a tradition.
All Willpower: Openly flout a Kindred Tradition, or a covenant taboo.
Scholar A scholar must study, and must learn. She’s never satisfied with base explanation; she must always dig deeper and uncover the truths behind the truths.
Single Willpower: Uncover a lost piece of information.
All Willpower: Uncover forbidden knowledge.
Social Chameleon A social chameleon blends with his surroundings, and fits in wherever he may go. He considers no group to be exclusive.
Single Willpower: Ingratiate yourself to a new social clique.
All Willpower: Burn an important bridge to guarantee acceptance in a new group.
Spy A spy infiltrates, and uncovers intelligence that others wish to keep hidden. She does whatever the situation demands in order to uncover hidden truths.
Single Willpower: Build a new identity or uncover a secret.
All Willpower: Uncover a damning secret that could end someone.
Survivor A survivor favors his own existence above all things. He puts safety and stability as the primary drive of most actions. To succeed is to live.
Single Willpower: Favor the safe path over the higher risk, higher reward path.
All Willpower: Abandon a social group or relationship in order to stay safe.
Visionary A visionary has a clear picture in his head. This picture is of something bigger, something greater. It’s his life’s work to show that vision to the world.
Single Willpower: Help someone by sharing your vision with them.
All Willpower: Put yourself at risk to show a group the power of your vision.