The Manhattan Project
The Vampiric State
Vampires in Requiem are both similar and different from vampires in Masquerade. While both are blood-drinking corpses vulnerable to fire and sunlight, driven by an inhuman Beast while fighting to retain their Humanity, there are some important mechanical and narrative differences.
So new and old players alike have the relevant information, detailed below is the basic description of and mechanics for the vampiric state.
Basic Vampiric Abilities
All vampires can see in the dark. Even a pitch-black, completely sealed room offers no more difficulty to them than a cloudy day might to a normal mortal.
Vampires are incredibly sensitive to blood. They can tell the difference between human and animal blood at a whiff, and the difference between either of them and the blood from a vampire (also called Vitae) from ten feet away. All vampires add their Blood Potency to any rolls to notice, track, or directly examine blood.
Vampires can breathe, eat, and drink, though they have no need to and don’t take any penalties from not doing so (except perhaps to rolls to appear human). However, if a vampire wishes to hold food or drink down for more than a minute or so, they must spend a point of Vitae, allowing them to hold it down until the end of the scene. Afterwards, either way, it will come up in a mess of undigested food and blood.
As technically dead beings with no normally functioning organs, circulatory systems, or other such vulnerable points, vampires are not subject to most mundane diseases, poisons or other such afflictions of the living – whether inhaled, ingested, injected, or otherwise imbibed.
The most common exceptions are drugs or toxins within the blood they feed upon (which, while never fatal, will still often have some effect). In addition, incautious vampires may discover that they have become carriers of blood-borne diseases – while they will never manifest symptoms, the risk of passing on such diseases to those they feed upon is a threat to both mortal health and the Masquerade.
When a vampire directly perceives another vampire with any of their senses, they can instantly recognize them as a vampire. The vampire being sensed must be within (the sensing vampire’s Blood Potency x 10) meters, and the sensory input must come directly from the vampire being perceived.
You walk down a busy street, scanning the crowd. You see a man, immediately recognizing him as a vampire, but he’s completely intent on his phone – you pass fleetingly through his peripheral vision, not enough for him to actually notice you, and so he doesn’t identify you.
You shadow him down the street until he turns and enters a house. After waiting a couple minutes, you follow behind him, slamming the door behind you. He’s in a different room and can’t identify you as a vampire from the door slam, as the noise is made by the door hitting its door frame, not directly by your body. You stride down the hall, knowing that he learns your vampiric nature by the sound of your vampiric feet hitting the hardwood floor.
You confront him in his study. When the Obfuscated Nosferatu’s hand drops on your shoulder from behind you instantly know that hand belongs to a vampire. If his Obfuscate hadn’t stopped you from noticing the smell, you would have already known.
Recordings of Vampires:
The Beast within each Kindred tries to conceal the vampire from being recorded. Any recording of a vampire’s image or voice contains a tiny bit of the Beast’s power, which degrades and corrupts it over time. A vampire can suppress this effect for a scene by reflexively spending 1 Willpower, making all recordings made that scene last indefinitely.
The Beast does its corrupting of images very quickly. A vampire on a camera’s preview screen will be clear, but even a tiny fraction of a second’s delay (as is inevitable with ANY transmission, even a hardwired connection from CCTV to the viewing room) will cause a recording to show a vampire as a garbled, unidentifiable mess. Very general physical characteristics may still be discernible, such as height, approximate weight, and dominant colours. A video of a vampire archived for months or years has a good chance of corrupting entirely and becoming unviewable.
The Beast’s influence on audio is slower. For up to a second the sound can come through clearly enough to understand. Several seconds’ delay will sound like a very bad connection, but is basically intelligible. After several minutes it will be hard to get the gist of what’s said, and after a day or more it’s usually impossible to discern anything.
Both of the above timelines assume modern digital media. Analog media storage, such as cassettes and records, degrade somewhat slower. These older recording methods may last up to twice as long. Antique methods, like wax cylinders, might last even longer.
You choose to appear on live television without spending Willpower to come through clear. To everyone in the studio with you, including the cameramen and the sound check, you appear normal. However, everyone viewing at home hears you as a little tinny, and will only see you as a shifting smear.
If the show starts gets complaints halfway through and switches to a 7-second delay, the viewers will start hearing you as if you were on a very poor quality microphone, but can probably figure out what you’re saying. When they record the show and play it back the next day, you are impossible to understand