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Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-06-16
Age : 32
Location : Temple, Tx

PostSubject: Backgrounds   Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:26 pm

humans who support and help you - family, friends or even a mortal organization that owes you some loyalty.
Though allies aid you willingly, without coaxing or coercion, they are not always available to offer assistance; they have their own concerns and can do only so much in the name of friendship. However, they might have some useful Background Traits of their own, and might provide you with indirect access to their contacts, influence or resources.
Allies are typically persons of influence and power in your home city. They can be of almost any sort, pending your Storyteller's permission; you may have friends in the precinct morgue, or perhaps even the mayor's ear, depending on how many dots you spend on this Trait. Your allies are generally trustworthy (although they probably don't know that you're a vampire, or even that vampires exist). However, nothing comes for free; if you wind up drawing favors from your friend in the Cosa Nostra, he'll probably ask you to do him a favor in kind in the future. This often leads to the beginning of a story....

*1 - One ally of moderate influence and power
*2 - Two allies, both of moderate power
*3 - Three allies, one of whom is quite influential
*4 - Four allies, one of whom is very influential
*5 - Five allies, one of whom is extremely influential

Influence(see Influence Specialties)
You have pull in the mortal community, whether through wealth, prestige, political office, blackmail or supernatural manipulation. Kindred with high Influence can sway, and in rare cases even control, the political and social processes of human society. Influence represents the sum of your political power in your community, particularly among the police and bureaucracy.
Some rolls may require you to use Influence in place of an Ability, particularly when attempting to sway minor bureaucrats. It is, of course, always easier to institute sweeping changes on a local level than a worldwide scale (e.g., having an "abandoned" building demolished is relatively easy, while starting a war is a bit more difficult) Contacts.
You know people all over the city. When you start making phone calls around your network, the amount of information you can dig up is almost terrifying. Contacts are largely people whom you can bribe, manipulate or coerce into offering information, but you also have a few major contacts - friends whom you can rely on to give you accurate information in their fields of expertise. You should describe each major contact in some detail before the game begins.
In addition to your major contacts, you also have a number of minor contacts spread throughout the city; your major contact might be in the district attorney's office, while your minor contacts might include beat cops, DMV clerks, club bouncers or even hot-dog vendors. You need not detail these various "passing acquaintances" before play; instead, to successfully get in touch with a minor contact, you should roll your Contacts rating (difficulty 7). You can reach one minor contact for each success; of course, you still have to coerce them into telling you what you need to hear.

*1 - One major contact
*2 - Two major contacts
*3 - Three major contacts
*4 - Four major contacts
*5 - Five major contacts

You enjoy widespread recognition in mortal society, perhaps as an entertainer, writer or athlete. People may enjoy just being seen with you. This gives you all manner of privileges when moving in mortal society, but can also attract an unwanted amount of attention now that you're no longer alive. The greatest weapon fame has to offer is the ability to sway public opinion - as modern media constantly proves.
This Background is obviously a mixed blessing. You can certainly enjoy the privileges of your prestige - getting the best seats, being invited to events you'd otherwise miss, getting appointments with the elite - but you're also often recognized when you'd rather not be. However, your enemies can't just make you disappear without causing an undue stir, and you find it much easier to hunt in populated areas as people flock to you (reduce the difficulties of hunting rolls by one for each dot in Fame). Additionally, your Storyteller might permit you to reduce difficulties of Social rolls against particularly starstruck or impressionable people.

*1 - You're known to a select subculture of the city - local clubgoers or the Park Avenue set, for instance.
*2 - A majority of the populace recognizes your face; you're a local celebrity such as a news anchor.
*3 - You have statewide renown; perhaps you're a state senator or minor star of local interest.
*4 - Nationally famous; everybody knows something about you.
*5 - You're an internationally famous media icon.

This trait measures how far removed you are from the first vampire: Cain. The lower your generation the richer your blood and the more you can call on it's powers.

* 1 - 12th generation: 11 blood pool, can spend 1 blood point per turn
* 2 - 11th generation: 12 blood pool, can spend 1 blood point per turn
* 3 - 10th generation: 13 blood pool, can spend 1 blood point per turn
* 4 - Ninth generation: 14 blood pool, can spend 2 blood points per turn
* 5 - Eighth generation: 15 blood pool, can spend 3 blood points per turn

You have built a group of mortals from whom you can feed without fear. A herd may take many forms, from circles of
kinky clubgoers to actual cults built around you as a god-figure. In addition to providing nourishment, your herd might come in handy for minor tasks, although they are typically not very controllable, closely connected to you or even highly skilled (for more effective pawns, purchase Allies or Retainers).

*1 - Three vessels
*2 - Seven vessels
*3 - 15 vessels
*4 - 30 vessels
*5 - 60 vessels

This Trait represents an elder - or possibly even more than one - who looks out for you, offering guidance or aid once in a while. A mentor may be powerful, but his power need not be direct. Depending on the number of dots in this Background, your mentor might be nothing more than a vampire with a remarkable information network, or might be a centuries-old creature with tremendous influence and supernatural power. He may offer advice, speak to the prince (or archbishop) on your behalf, steer other elders clear of you or warn you when you're walking into situations you don't understand. Most often your mentor is your sire, but it could well be any Cainite with a passing interest in your well-being. A high Mentor rating could even represent a group of like-minded vampires, such as the elders of the city's Tremere chantry.
Bear in mind that this Trait isn't a "Get out of Jail Free" card; your mentor won't arrive like the cavalry whenever you're endangered. What's more, she might occasionally expect something in return for her patronage (which can lead to a number of interesting stories). A mentor typically remains aloof, giving you useful information or advice out of camaraderie, but will abandon you without a thought if you prove an unworthy or troublesome "apprentice."

*1 - Mentor is an ancilla of little influence.
*2 - Mentor is respected; an elder, for instance.
*3 - Mentor is heavily influential, such as a member of the primogen.
*4 - Mentor has a great deal of power over the city; a prince or archbishop, for example.
*5 - Mentor is extraordinarily powerful, perhaps even a justicar or Inconnu.

This Trait describes your personal financial resources, or your access to such. A high Resources rating doesn't necessarily reflect your liquid assets; this Background describes your standard of "living," your possessions and your buying power. No dots in Resources is just that: You have no permanent haven and no possessions save a few clothes and possibly a weapon or pocketful of coins.
You receive a basic allowance each month based on your rating; be certain to detail exactly where this money comes from, be it a job, trust fund or dividends. After all, your fortune may well run out over the course of the chronicle, depending on how well you maintain it. You can also sell your less liquid resources if you need the cash, but this can take weeks or even months, depending on what exactly you're trying to sell. Art buyers don't just pop out of the woodwork, after all.

*1 - Small savings: a small apartment and maybe a motorcycle. If liquidated, you would have about $10,000 in cash.
Allowance of $1000 a month.

*2 - Middle class: an apartment or condominium. If liquidated, you would have at least $80,000 in cash. Allowance of
$2200 a month.

*3 - Large savings: a homeowner or someone with some equity. If liquidated, you would have at least $100,000 in cash.
Allowance of $5000 a month.

*4 - Well-off: a member of the upper class. You own a very large house, or perhaps a dilapidated mansion. If
liquidated, you would have at least $1,000,000 in cash. Allowance of $15000 a month.

*5 - Ridiculously affluent: a multimillionaire. Your haven is limited by little save your imagination. If
liquidated, you would have at least $10,000,000 in cash. Allowance of $300,000 a month.

Not precisely allies or contacts, your retainers are servants, assistants or other people who are your loyal and steadfast companions. Many vampires' servants are ghouls (p. 275) - their supernatural powers and blood bond-enforced loyalty make them the servants of choice. Retainers may also be people whom you've repeatedly Dominated until they have no free will left, or followers so enthralled with your Presence that their loyalty borders on blind fanaticism. Some vampires, particularly those with the Animalism Discipline, use "hellhounds" (ghouled dogs) or other animal ghouls as retainers.
You must maintain some control over your retainers, whether through a salary, the gift of your vitae or the use of Disciplines. Retainers are never "blindly loyal no matter what" - if you treat them too poorly without exercising strict control, they might well turn on you.
Retainers may be useful, but they should never be flawless, A physically powerful ghoul might be rebellious, inconveniently dull-witted or lacking in practical skills. A loyal manservant might be physically weak or possess no real personal initiative or creativity. This Background isn't an excuse to craft an unstoppable bodyguard or pet assassin - it's a method to bring more fully developed characters into the chronicle, as well as to reflect the Renfieldesque followers for which the Kindred are notorious. Don't abuse it.

*1 - One retainer
*2 - Two retainers
*3 - Three retainers
*4 - Four retainers
*5 - Five retainers
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