You’ve found yourself accepting an invite into a Vampire: The Masquerade chronicle and are now staring at a character creation sheet. A bead of sweat has formed over your brow for all the bubbles on the sheet remind you of Scantron forms from college exams. You have no idea where to start. There are odd words on the pages like Sire, Blood Potency, and Clan Bane. And so many bubbles!
Have no fear, Kindred. Don’t let the character sheet overwhelm you. Over the course of the next several guide posts, I’ll take you step by step through character creation, explaining the elements of the sheet and how they connect to the World of Darkness.
The first thing we’ll discuss is the character concept. It’s a pretty vague term for the overarching theme and identity of your Lick as it pertains to the chronicle. The World of Darkness is based on the real world but the things that go bump in the night are actually real. And so is your character. This means that you have to link your character to the real world.
It’s best to think of a character concept as what your Kindred did as a job when they were alive and a couple defining character traits. For instance, “IT guy with a drinking problem” or “sleazy night club owner who abused her employees.” You can use this concept to define your Kindred’s physical traits and begin to establish their skills.The IT guy’s highest skill might be Technology and the night club owner’s would be Intimidation.
Your concept and the skills that go along with it will define your role in your coterie. The IT guy might be the computer guru behind the scenes while the night club owner might be a good front line fighter or a defensive character. Discuss with your other chronicle members where your character might fit in relation to the other coterie members.
Your concept may also grant you certain Advantages that will come in handy for your coterie. The IT guy’s computer contacts might be worthwhile Allies. The night club owner may be able to offer their night club as a haven or perhaps a safe feeding ground for your comrades. On the other hand, it could also lead to a few Flaws. The alcoholism might require the IT guy to feed only on drunk people. The abusive night club owner might have earned herself a few enemies over her lifetime that might become problems for the coterie.
All of these things must be thought about and discussed when developing a character concept. Just remember, there is a place for everyone in the World of Darkness. Develop a character that will be both a help and a hindrance to the chronicle as a whole. Conflict and tension rule in V:tM, and there isn’t a person alive (or unalive) that doesn’t have something that will add to both.
Once you’re happy with your concept, choose a name for your character. This could be their real name or a name they adopted after they’d been Embraced. Now, you’re ready to face the next step in character creation: your Embrace, your sire, and your clan.