Nature and Demeanor
Everyone plays a role, often several, every day. Every individual displays multiple layers of personality, varying from the
contrived to the sincere. Each of these roles defines how we interact with the people and places around us, and we choose
which parts of ourselves we wish to show.
It is the same with Kindred. The concept of Nature and Demeanor corresponds directly to the different masks we wear when
we interact. A Vampire character's Nature is her true self, her innermost being - the person she truly is. It is dangerous to
show this, though, as it lets others know who we are and what is important to us. Thus, characters also have Demeanors,
faces they show to the world. By choosing how we relate to the world, we are able to choose how it relates to us as well, as
we guide the responses others give us.
Philosophy aside, personality also has an effect on the mechanics of Vampire. A character may regain her drive and sense
of purpose by acting in accordance with her Nature. Every time a character fulfills the requirement of her Nature Archetype
(see below), that character becomes eligible to regain a point of spent Willpower (see p. 136). If the Storyteller allows, the
character regains the point.
Archetypes allow players to build a sense of personality for their characters, and to define a bit of what makes the character
"tick." It is worth noting that Archetypes are not rigid; characters need not slavishly devote themselves to their Natures and
Demeanors. Rather, the character should act as the player reasonably or emotionally believes she would act in a given
situation. Eventually, players and Storytellers should come up with their own Archetypes that more closely define how the
character in question responds to her surroundings. After all, every character is an individual, and customized Archetypes
should be a logical outgrowth of a well-rounded character.
Here are some basic character Archetypes, suitable for beginning play.
Architect, Autocrat, Bon Vivant, Bravo, Caregiver, Celebrant, Child, Competitor, Conformist, Conniver, Curmudgeon, Deviant, Director, Fanatic, Gallant, Judge, Loner, Martyr, Masochist, Monster, Pedagogue, Penitent, Perfectionist, Rebel, Rogue, Survivor, Thrill-Seeker, Traditionalist, Trickster, Visionary
The Architect has a sense of purpose even greater than herself. She is truly happy only when creating something of lasting
value for others. People will always need things, and the Architect strives to provide at least one necessity. Inventors,
pioneers, town founders, entrepreneurs and the like are all Architect Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you establish something of importance or lasting value.
The Autocrat wants to be in charge. He seeks prominence for its own sake, not because he has an operation's best interests at
heart or because he has the best ideas (though he may certainly think so). He may genuinely believe others are incompetent,
but ultimately he craves power and control. Dictators, gang leaders, bullies, corporate raiders and their ilk are Autocrat
- Regain a point of Willpower when you achieve control over a group or organization involving other individuals.
The Bon Vivant knows that life - and unlife - is shallow and
meaningless. As such, the Bon Vivant decides to enjoy her time
on Earth. The Bon Vivant is not necessarily irresponsible. Rather, she is simply predisposed to having a good time along the
way. Most Bon Vivants have low Self-Control scores, as they are so given to excess. Hedonists, sybarites and dilettantes are
all examples of the Bon Vivant Archetype.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you truly enjoy yourself and can fully express your exultation. At the Storyteller's
option, a particularly fabulous revelry may yield multiple Willpower points.
The Bravo is a tough and a bully, and often takes perverse
pleasure in tormenting the weak. To the Bravo's mind, might
makes right; power is what matters, and only those with power should be respected. Naturally, physical power is the best
kind, but any kind will do. The Bravo sees overt threats as a perfectly reasonable means of gaining cooperation. The Bravo
is not incapable of pity or kindness, he just prefers to do things his way. Robbers, bigots, thugs and the insecure are all
- Regain a point of Willpower any time you achieve your agenda through brutishness or intimidation. This need not be
physical, as many Bravos verbally or socially cow their victims.
Everyone needs comfort, a shoulder to cry on. A Caregiver takes
her comfort in consoling others, and people often come to
her with their problems. Vampires with Caregiver Archetypes often attempt, as best they may, to protect the mortals on
whom they feed. Nurses, doctors and psychiatrists are examples of potential Caregivers.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you successfully protect or nurture someone else.
The Celebrant takes joy in her cause. Whether the character's
passion is battle, religious fervor, foiling her rivals or reading
fine literature, it gives the Celebrant the strength to withstand adversity. Given the chance, the Celebrant will indulge in her
passion as deeply as possible. Unlike the Fanatic (p. 114), the Celebrant pursues her passion not out of duty, but out of
enthusiasm. Crusaders, hippies, political activists and art enthusiasts are Celebrant Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you pursue your cause or convert another character to the same passion.
Conversely, lose a point of temporary Willpower whenever you are denied your passion or it is badly lost to you.
The Child is still immature in personality and temperament. He
wants what he wants now, and often prefers someone to give
it to him. Although he can typically care for himself, he would rather have a caretaker-type cater to his bratty desires. Some
Child Archetypes are actually innocent rather than immature, ignorant of the cold ways of the real world. Children, spoiled
individuals and some drug abusers are Child Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you manage to convince someone to help you with no gain to herself, or to nurture
The Competitor takes great excitement in the pursuit of victory.
To the Competitor, every task is a new challenge to meet
and a new contest to win. Indeed, the Competitor sees all interactions as some sort of opportunity for her to be the best - the
best leader, the most productive, the most valuable or whatever. Corporate raiders, professional athletes and impassioned
researchers are all examples of Competitor Archetypes.
- Regain one point of Willpower whenever you succeed at a test or challenge. Especially difficult victories may, at the
Storyteller's discretion, allow you to regain multiple Willpower points.
The Conformist is a follower, taking another's lead and finding
security in the decisions of others. She prefers not to take
charge, instead seeking to throw in with the rest of the group and lend her own unique aid. The Conformist is drawn to the
most dynamic personality or the individual she perceives to be the "best." Being a Conformist is not necessarily a bad thing -
every group needs followers to lend stability to their causes. Groupies, party voters and "the masses" are Conformist
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever the group achieves one of its goals due to your support.
Why work for something when you can trick somebody else into
getting it for you ? The Conniver always tries to find the
easy way, the fast track to success and wealth. Some people call him a thief, a swindler or less pleasant terms, but he knows
that everybody in the world would do unto him if they could. He just does it first, and better. Criminals, con artists,
salespeople, urchins and entrepreneurs might be Connivers.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you trick someone into doing something for you.
A Curmudgeon is bitter and cynical, finding flaws in everything
and seeing little humor in life or unlife. He is often fatalistic
or pessimistic, and has very little esteem for others. To the Curmudgeon, the glass is always half-full, though it may be
damn near empty when other people are involved. Many elder vampires and Generation Xers are Curmudgeons.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever someone does something stupid, just like you said they would. You must predict
this failure aloud (though you may simply whisper it to the Storyteller if you wish).
The Deviant is a freak, ostracized from society by unique tastes
that place her outside the mainstream. Deviants are not
indolent rebels or shiftless "unrecognized geniuses"; rather, they are independent thinkers who don't quite fit in the status
quo. Deviant Archetypes often feel that the world stands against them, and as such reject traditional morality. Some have
bizarre tastes, preferences and ideologies. Extremists, eccentric celebrities and straight-out weirdoes are Deviant
- Regain a point of Willpower any time you are able to flout social mores without retribution.
To the Director, nothing is worse than chaos and disorder. The
Director seeks to be in charge, adopting a "my way or die
highway" attitude on matters of decision-making. The Director is more concerned with bringing order out of strife, however,
and need not be truly "in control" of a group to guide it. Coaches, teachers and many political figures exemplify the Director
- Regain a point of Willpower when you influence a group in the completion of a difficult task.
The Fanatic has a purpose, and that purpose consumes his
existence. The Fanatic pours himself into his cause; indeed, he
may feel guilty for undertaking any objective that deviates from his higher goal. To the Fanatic, the end justifies the means
the cause is more important than those who serve it. Players who choose Fanatic Archetypes must select a cause for their
character to further. Revolutionaries, zealots and sincere firebrands are all examples of Fanatic Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you accomplish some task that directly relates to your cause.
Gallants are flamboyant souls, always seeking attention and the
chance to be the brightest stars. Gallants seek the company
of others, if only to earn their adoration. Attention drives the Gallant, and the chase is often as important as fulfilling that
pursuit. Nothing excites a Gallant so much as a new audience to woo and win. Performers, only children and those with low
self-esteem are often Gallant Archetypes.
- Regain a Willpower point whenever you successfully impress another person. Ultimately, the Storyteller is the arbiter of
when you dazzle someone, even in the case of other players' characters.
The Judge perpetually seeks to improve the system. A Judge takes
pleasure in her rational nature and ability to draw the
right conclusion when presented with facts. The Judge respects justice, as it is the most efficient model for resolving issues.
Judges, while they pursue the "streamlining" of problems, are rarely visionary, as they prefer proven models to insight.
Engineers, lawyers and doctors are often Judge Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you correctly deduce a mystery by assembling the clues presented, or when one of
your arguments unites dissenting parties.
Even in a crowd, the Loner sticks out, because he so obviously
does not belong. Others view Loners as pariahs, remote and
isolated, but in truth, the Loner prefers his own company to that of others. For whatever reason, the Loner simply disdains
others, and this feeling is often reciprocated. Criminals, radicals and free thinkers are all Loner Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower when you accomplish something by yourself, yet which still benefits the coterie in some way.
For truly impressive success, or achievement in spite of strong opposition, the Storyteller may choose to let you regain two
The Martyr suffers for his cause, enduring his trials out of the belief that his discomfort will ultimately improve others' lot.
Some Martyrs simply want the attention or sympathy their ordeals engender, while others are sincere in their cause, greeting
their opposition with unfaltering faith in their own beliefs. Many Inquisitors, staunch idealists and outcasts are Martyr
- Regain a point of Willpower when you sacrifice yourself or your comfort for your ideals or another's immediate gain.
The Masochist exists to test his limits, to see how much pain he can tolerate before he collapses. He gains satisfaction in
humiliation, suffering, denial and even physical pain. The Masochist defines who he is by his capacity to feel discomfort -
he rises each night only to greet a new pain. Certain extreme athletes, urban tribalists and the clinically depressed exemplify
the Masochist Archetype.
- Regain two points of Willpower whenever you experience pain in a way you never have before.
The Monster knows she is a creature of darkness and acts like
it. Evil and suffering are the Monster's tools, and she uses
them wherever she goes. No villainy is below her; no hurt goes uninflicted and no lie remains untold. The Monster does not
commit evil for its own sake, but rather as a means to understand what she has become. Many Sabbat, degenerate Kindred
elders and unstable individuals display characteristics of the Monster Archetype.
- Malignant deeds reinforce the Monster's sense of purpose. Monster characters should pick a specific atrocity, regaining
Willpower whenever they indulge that urge. For example, a tempter regains Willpower for luring someone into wickedness,
while an apostate earns back Willpower for causing another to doubt her faith. Pick a destiny and fulfill it.
The Pedagogue knows it all, and desperately wants to inform
others. Whether through a sense of purpose or a genuine desire
to help others, the Pedagogue makes sure his message is heard - at length, if necessary. Pedagogue Archetypes may range
from well-meaning mentors to verbose blowhards who love to hear themselves talk. Instructors, the overeducated and
"veterans of their field" are all examples of Pedagogue Archetypes.
- Regain one point of Willpower whenever you see or learn of someone who has benefited from the wisdom you shared with
The Penitent exists to atone for the grave sin she commits
simply by being who she is. Penitents have either low self-esteem
or legitimate, traumatic past experiences, and feel compelled to "make up" for inflicting themselves upon the world. Penitent
Archetypes are not always religious in outlook; some truly want to scourge the world of the grief they bring to it. Repentant
sinners, persons with low self-esteem and remorseful criminals are examples of the Penitent Archetype.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you feel that you have achieved absolution for a given grievance. This redemption
should be of the same magnitude as the transgression - the greater the crime, the greater the penance. The Storyteller is the
ultimate arbiter of what constitutes a reasonable act of reparation.
Perfectionist Archetypes simply demand the best. A half-hearted
job gives the Perfectionist no satisfaction, and she expects
the same degree of commitment and attention to detail from others that she demands from herself. Although the
Perfectionist may be strict and exacting, the achievement of the end goal drives her - and often those for whom she is
responsible. Prima donnas, artists and conceptual designers exemplify the Perfectionist Archetype.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever you accomplish your goal without any demonstrable flaw or impediment.
The Rebel is a malcontent, never satisfied with the status quo
or the system as it is. He hates authority and does everything
in his power to challenge and undermine it. Perhaps the Rebel truly believes in his ideals, but it is just as likely that he bears
authority figures some ill will over a misunderstanding or "wrong" done to him in the past. Teenagers, insurrectionists and
nonconformists all exemplify the Rebel Archetype.
- Regain a point of Willpower whenever your actions adversely affect your chosen opposition. Rebels may oppose the
government, the Church, a vampire prince, whatever. The player should choose whom or what his character rebels against
when he adopts this Archetype.
Only one thing matters to the Rogue: herself. To each his own,
and if others cannot protect their claims, they have no right
to them. The Rogue is not necessarily a thug or bully, however. She simply refuses to succumb to the whims of others.
Rogues almost universally possess a sense of self-sufficiency. They have their own best interests in mind at all times.
Prostitutes, capitalists and criminals all embody the Rogue Archetype.
- Regain a point of Willpower when your self-centered disposition leads you to profit, materially or otherwise. At the
Storyteller's discretion, accumulating gain without exposing your own weaknesses may let you regain two points of
No matter what happens, no matter the odds or opposition, the
Survivor always manages to pull through. Whether alone or
with a group, the Survivor's utter refusal to accept defeat often makes the difference between success and failure. Survivors
are frustrated by others' acceptance of "what fate has in store" or willingness to withstand less than what they can achieve.
Outcasts, street folk and idealists may well be Survivor Archetypes.
- Regain one point of Willpower whenever you survive a threatening situation through tenacity, or when another persists in
spite of opposition due to your counsel.
The Thrill-Seeker lives for the rush brought on by danger.
Unlike those of arguably saner disposition, the Thrill-Seeker
actively pursues hazardous and possibly deadly situations. The Thrill-Seeker is not consciously suicidal or self-destructive -
he simply seeks the stimulation of imminent disaster. Gang bangers, petty thieves and exhibitionists are all examples of the
- Regain a point of Willpower any time you succeed at a dangerous task that you have deliberately undertaken. Thrill-
Seekers are not stupid, however, and the Storyteller may choose not to reward a player who heedlessly sends her character
into danger for the sole intent of harvesting Willpower.
The orthodox ways satisfy the Traditionalist, who prefers to
accomplish her goals with time-tested methods. Why vary your
course when what has worked in the past is good enough? The Traditionalist finds the status quo acceptable, even
preferable, to a change that might yield unpredictable results. Conservatives, judges and authority figures are all examples of
- Regain a point of Willpower any time the proven ways turn out to be the best. Also, regain a point of Willpower any time
you successfully resist change for its own sake.
The Trickster finds the absurd in everything. No matter how grim
life (or unlife) may become, the Trickster always uncovers
a kernel of humor within it. Tricksters cannot abide sorrow or pain, and so they strive to lighten the spirits of those around
them. Some Tricksters have even higher ideals, challenging static dogma by exposing its failures in humorous ways.
Comedians, satirists and social critics are examples of Trickster Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower any time you manage to lift others' spirits, especially if you are able to deny your own pain in
The Visionary is strong enough to look beyond the mundane and
perceive the truly wondrous. Visionaries test accepted
societal limits, and seek what few others have the courage to imagine. The Visionary rarely takes satisfaction in what society
has to offer; she prefers to encourage society to offer what it could instead of what it does. Typically, society responds
poorly to Visionaries, though it is they who are responsible for bringing about progress and change. Philosophers, inventors
and the most inspired artists often have Visionary Archetypes.
- Regain a point of Willpower each time you are able to convince others to have faith in your dreams and follow the course
of action dictated by your vision.