Featured image by Stiller Beobachter, via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution License.
You have chosen your character concept and are pretty happy with it. You’ve filled out your abilities, skills, and perhaps a Merit or two (damn those bubbles). You’re now ready to examine and choose the pivotal moment of your unlife: the beginning of it. This requires extensive thought, as your introduction into the world of the Kindred pretty much dictates how you’re treated and what your role will be in relation to other Kindred.
First, you must understand the process that occurs when one crosses the line from life to unlife. In the World of Darkness, this process is called The Embrace. This involves a mortal being drained dry of their blood and having a Kindred feed them their own vitae. Once the vitae has taken hold, a new Kindred, or childe, is born virtually instantaneously. This is usually incredibly pleasurable for the new childe.
The childe then experiences a ravenous thirst and goes into a frenzy at the first sight of blood. Once this first meal is finished, the childe undergoes the painful part of being Embraced. Their mortal organs die, their systems evacuate any useless waste (yuck), and finally the childe is truly undead.
When it comes to your character’s Embrace, there are several methods for bringing it into the game. First, talk to your Storyteller about role-playing out your Embrace in a session zero, either with the rest of the coterie or one-on-one. Be forewarned, role-playing such a violent act can be traumatic for some, so keep your personal mental health and the health of others at the forefront. A simple synopsis might be better if you think fully playing out your Embrace might be too much for you or the rest of your group.
Of course, you can’t fully play out an Embrace until you’ve decided on a sire. A sire in Vampire is basically a vampire parent. They’ve created you for a variety of reasons (which will probably come up during the chronicle) and now you are bound to them until they release you from their charge. Some sires are empathetic enough to know that being a new Kindred is rough, so they’ll stick around to teach your character the basics. Some just…leave. They Embrace and run, leaving their new childe to fend for themselves.
For your character’s story, you can create a sire with your Storyteller. After all, they will be role-playing them, so it’s good that they add their input. Or you can leave your sire’s creation purely up to your Storyteller. This might be a good idea if you want your character to have been abandoned and not know who their sire is. Either way, your sire is going to be a huge part of your unlife, so make these choices wisely.
One thing that is vitally important is your sire’s clan. Your character will inherit their sire’s clan, so essentially you should keep in mind what kind of character you’ve already worked up to choose your clan. In Vampire, Kindred tend to be picky about who they choose to Embrace, usually aligning their chosen childe’s temperment, skills, and personality with their clan’s traits. Is your character a bit of a rebel, using their skills to undermine the status quo? Perhaps Clan Brujah is best for you. Does your character have a knack for computers and information technology? Becoming a Nosferatu might be a good choice. Are animals a big part of your character’s life, often seeming to have a way of communicating with them? Go Gangrel, my friend.
There is one last thing to determine before moving on. Each Kindred has a generation. A generation is an indicator of how close they are to Caine, the first vampire, thus the stronger their vitae. Caine’s childer are considered the Second Generation, and their childer the Third, or commonly referred to as the Antediluvians. When your character is Embraced, they will be one generation higher than their sire. For instance, if their sire is 11th Generation, your character will be 12th. In the present day, more 13th, 14th, and 15th Generation Kindred are being created, known as Thin Bloods. Their vitae is so weak that they can still go out in the sun mostly, eat human food, and maintain a relatively normal life.
Your character now has a sire, a clan, and a generation. They have fully been Embraced and are ready to face the new set of challenges ahead of them in the coming nights. Now you have to choose your Disciplines, Advantages, Predator type, and Touchstones. We’ll cover those subjects in our next installment.