The change from life to undeath affects more than a person’s body. It changes his very nature. A Kindred shares his human consciousness with a force completely opposite to humanity — a thing devoid of conscience or any emotions except hunger and rage. Kindred call it the Beast.

The presence of the Beast changes the very nature of morality for vampires. Humans are social creatures, fundementally. There's a part of every human that warms when someone smiles at them, that thrives off social exchange and interaction. The embrace cuts that part of a person out and replaces it with a monster. The Kindred can pretend to be human, but they are not. Even the most evil and monstrous mortal does not have a Beast. A vampire’s existence is a constant struggle between the Man, the aspect of a Kindred that can make moral choices, and the Beast, which cannot.

The Beast follows a simple plan: Hunt. Kill. Feed. Sleep. Repeat. It feels no pity, only thirst for blood.

The Man consists of everything that resists the Beast: rational thought, a conscience, and most of all the ability to relate to other people. The Beast does not understand what other people think or feel, and it doesn’t care. They are just food.

When a Kindred treats other people as prey or tools or inconvenient obstacles, the Man weakens. When Kindred make an effort to interact with mortals as fellow people, to care about their lives and happiness, the Beast… waits. The slide toward the Beast is easy. It comes naturally for creatures that must take blood from the living to survive. Strengthening the Man is very difficult. Most vampires slowly degenerate. Mentally, they become less and less human, more callous and brutal.

Most Kindred stabilize as monsters with some degree of selfcontrol. They give the Beast some of what it wants and fight it just enough to preserve their existence. The Beast doesn’t know how to hide the bodies; the Man does. These vampires hunt and feed and sometimes kill, but they try not to get caught.

Some Kindred cannot strike that balance. Each crime makes the next one easier. They no longer care if they kill their vessels. They show less discretion in who they feed upon, where or how. They might start… playing with their food. When the Beast nears total ascendance, the Man becomes little more than a psychological appendage, adding human intelligence, perversity, and cruelty to the Beast’s predation.

The Kindred call such creatures revenants, and they leave a trail of corpses and public attacks that attract mortal attention. Even bitter enemies put aside their struggles and cooperate to stop revenant before it breaks the Masquerade beyond repair.



In rules terms, a trait called Humanity represents the balance of power between the Man and the Beast. Humanity is the specific form that the general Morality trait takes for vampires. The trait measures the connection a Kindred feels to her leftover mortal feelings and to her capacity to empathize with other beings. The lower a character’s Humanity goes, the less she cares and the more brutally she tends to act.

Atrocity Die

The primary consequence of losing humanity is acquiring atrocity dice. When a vampire performs an act that carries an equal or lower rating than his Humanity, the ST may give him up to three atrocity die. When deciding how much to give the player, the ST considers the following questions:

  • Were the character's actions unnecessary?
  • Is the harm he caused grievous?
  • Did he hurt more than one person?
  • Did he like it?

The player may then spend willpower to signify that the character manages to feel shame, regret or at least some human response. An atrocity die is negated for every point of willpower spend. When 10 atrocity die are accumulated, he reaches a breaking point, which is signified by his humanity going down by 1 then losing all his temporary atrocity dice. A substantial piece of the Man slips away and the character has less with which to fight the Beast in the future. Depending on the characters new Humanity, he may or may not have permanent atrocity dice. If he reaches 10 atrocity die once more, he does not lose any of his permanent atrocity dice.

For what it’s worth, the threshold for further moral crises drops too, so the player might not receive atrocity die as often — assuming the character can resist committing more heinous acts in the future.

The Order of Sins

As a character’s Humanity degrades, he grows less concerned with the world, yielding ever more to the Beast. He becomes capable of virtually any depraved act against another person.

Humanity Threshold Sin Permanent Atrocity Dice
10 Selfish thoughts (e.g., hurting someone’s feelings) 0
9 Minor selfish acts (e.g., cheating on taxes) 1
8 Injury to another, accidental or otherwise (e.g., physical conflict) 2
7 Petty theft (e.g., shoplifting) 3
6 Grand theft (e.g., burglary) 4
5 Intentional mass-property damage (e.g., arson) 5
4 Impassioned crime (e.g., manslaughter) 6
3 Planned crime (e.g., murder) 7
2 Casual/callous crime (e.g., torture, serial murder) 8
1 Utter perversion, heinous acts (e.g., combined rape, torture and murder; mass murder) 9

The Effect of Atrocity Die

Carrying around Atrocity means you’re edgier all the time, shorter tempered, and just a little off. If you have Derangements, they’re worse when you have Atrocity dice. Likewise, the common weaknesses of the vampiric condition are also exacerbated. When you roll dice in a stressful situation (especially when added complexity will make the scene more interesting) the Storyteller can ask that some of those dice be Atrocity dice instead of normal dice. You can separate the Atrocity dice from your pool, and roll them separately, roll them with different hands, or use different colored dice to represent them in a mixed pool. Atrocity dice replace normal dice in your pool one per one, so if you have three Atrocity and rolled a pool of seven dice, you’d roll four normal dice and three Atrocity dice.

Atrocity dice behave normally in a pool and generate successes just like ordinary dice. It is only when a 10 is rolled on an Atrocity die that it affects the scene in a meaningful way. A 10 means the horror you’re trying to deal with (and the Beast that feeds upon it) finds its way into your action. It gives your action a nasty cast, a hint of unhealthiness, or it reveals in a small way your unnatural nature. While intimidating an office manager into leaving you alone in the server room, you let out a low, almost inaudible growl that leaves him shaking. When seducing a potential bedmate, there’s a predatory aggression to the flirtation that leaves them both entranced and frightened. If you're in a car chase, you might spin the car around, mow down some civilians and play chicken with the people chasing you. In a fight, you find yourself smiling when the blood comes.

The more tens you roll on your Atrocity dice, the worse this unnatural revelation or cruelty becomes, and these dice work just like normal dice for the purposes of 10-again, meaning, 10s are still rerolls.

Regaining Humanity

Kindred who make a deep and prolonged effort can regain lost Humanity or even become more ethical creatures than they were in life. It isn’t easy, though.

In rules terms, a player can spend experience points to buy dots of Humanity for her character. In story terms, the character must do something to show that he really tries to become a better person and more able to resist the Beast (see p. 92 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). If the player announces her intent to buy Humanity for her character, the Storyteller can examine the character’s recent actions. Has he tried to atone for past crimes? Has he tried to avoid committing more sins? Has he resisted his Vice and upheld his Virtue, even when he cannot harvest Willpower? Has the character associated with mortals and cultivated relationships with them? If the character genuinely tries to act more human, the Storyteller should certainly permit the purchase.

Why demand an experience-point cost for an increased Humanity when characters lose the trait so easily? Shouldn’t highly moral acts receive an immediate reward of restored Humanity?
Sorry, no. One moment of grace does not reverse the habits built through years, perhaps centuries, of abuse. Enduring gains against the Beast require a heroic struggle that never fully ends. Note that in this way, Humanity differs from Morality scale used by mortals.

Mechanical Effects of Humanity

Why struggle against the Beast? Why not compromise with the Beast and one’s own desires and stabilize as a callous but self-controlled monster?

Many Kindred accept that logic. They sacrifice more than abstract ethics when they compromise with the Beast, though. Preserving Humanity offers tangible benefits. The more a vampire cultivates mortal feelings and ethics, the less tightly the curse of undeath binds him, at least in some ways.

Daytime Activity

The Kindred have trouble staying awake during the day. The lower a character’s Humanity score, the harder it is to be active. If a character wants to stay awake when the sun rises, the player rolls a dice pool of the character’s Humanity. The character resists sleep for one turn per success rolled. Exceptional success helps the character stay awake for the rest of the scene.

If a character tries to remain active for an entire day, the Storyteller can make the effort an extended action and require the player to accumulate five successes, though a failure at any point means the character falls asleep despite his intentions. A vampire might remain active during the day to undertake extensive research, to perform a lengthy ritual or to keep a vigil or to stand guard. Remaining active for a whole day doesn’t preclude the normal Vitae cost for “waking” that night. In this case, the Vitae is spent for the vampire to continue functioning for the remainder of the night.

A Kindred can also try to wake up during the day if something disturbs her sleep. The player rolls Wits (+ Auspex, if the character has that Discipline) to determine if the sleeping vampire notices the disturbance. If the roll succeeds, the player makes the above Humanity roll to find out if the character can force herself awake. Rousing from sleep during the day also costs a Vitae, regardless of how long the character remains active thereafter. (Staying active during the day without ever having slept costs no Vitae.) If a vampire is roused from sleep during the day, a Vitae is spent for her to be active, and if she resumes sleep thereafter, another Vitae is spent that evening for her to rise for the whole night.

A Kindred has trouble putting forth her full effort when the Beast’s instincts tell her to sleep. While a Kindred acts during the day — whether having remained active since the night before or having been awoken from slumber — dice pools for any task cannot exceed the character’s Humanity dots. For example, Solomon stays up well into the day to puzzle out a few clues to a threat against his Haven. Normally, Solomon’s Intelligence + Investigation dice pool is seven, but since his Humanity is only 4, only four dice can be used in the Investigation roll.

Relating to Mortals

The more human a vampire feels, the more human he can act. Every second, mortals send and receive tiny cues that they pay attention to each other, that they care and respond — that they’re alive. They look at each other’s faces, mimic each other’s flickers of expression, shift their weight when another person does so, nod slightly as another person talks. The Man does all that, the Beast doesn’t. A Kindred with low Humanity can put great effort into acting like a living person. He can force himself to breathe and remind himself to blink now and then… but he can’t fake that subtle, unconscious dance of nonverbal interaction. Mortals soon pick up on this. They cannot consciously spot the problem, but their instincts tell them that something is very wrong and they should get away. They sense the predator behind the human mask.

Kindred can suffuse their flesh with Vitae to look more alive. Vampires with high Humanity do so almost reflexively to preserve the illusion for themselves that they are still people, not monsters. Low-Humanity vampires do so less often and achieve less lifelike results. As the Man weakens, the Kindred tend to look paler and more corpselike.

When a Kindred interacts with people other than vampires, a player may use no more dice in Empathy, Persuasion or Socialize pools than his character has Humanity dots. For instance, if a character has a Humanity of 5, his player cannot roll more than five dice when attempting to use Wits + Empathy on a mortal, no matter how high the character’s Wits and Empathy scores might be. This limitation does not apply to Discipline powers that call for Empathy, Persuasion or Socialize in their dice pools, as these powers are supernatural in effect and thus outside the normal realm of experience governed by Humanity.

If a situation imposes penalties on a dice pool, assess the penalties after the Humanity limit is applied. Continuing the example from above, if the character suffers a -2 dice penalty on his Wits + Empathy pool, the player rolls three dice. Bonuses cannot raise a player’s dice pool over his character’s Humanity limit, so add them before comparing a pool to a character’s Humanity.

The subtle repulsion that mortals feel toward low-Humanity Kindred does not influence a character’s actual Presence score. Kindred look different than they did when their Humanity was higher, but that change can be subtle. Mortals may perceive a low-Presence Kindred as bestial, while a high- Presence Kindred could have a deadly, frightening taint. The warmth that once attracted the eye chills to a reptilian fascination. Mortals who try to recount the look of a low-Humanity Kindred might describe an image quite different from the vampire’s actual appearance, as unconscious fear shades their memory. Even someone captivated by a good-looking, low- Humanity Kindred might use phrases like “deadly beauty.”

Humanity and Torpor

To calculate the length of time a wounded Kindred must spend in torpor, consult the following table. The character’s Humanity score determines a base time spent in torpor. Multiply that span by the character’s Blood Potency to find the total duration of the slumber. 

Humanity Base Time Spent in Torpor
10 one hour
9 six hours
8 twelve hours
7 one day
6 two days
5 three days
4 four days
3 one week
2 one month
1 one year

These numbers represent a minimum. If a vampire were to willingly spending time in torpor to lower blood potency, he would not be forced to wake up after his mandatory torpor duration has passed.

Roleplaying Humanity

To give you a better sense of how to role-play your character, here is a summary of a character's general moral outlook at each level of humanity:

Humanity 10-8 

Kindred with Humanity ratings this high are, ironically, more human than human. Many fledgling vampires sometimes adhere to codes more rigorous than they ever held in life, as a reaction against becoming a predator. Older Kindred scoff at this practice, laughing at the thought of newly whelped neonates cowering beneath fire escapes and subsisting on the foul blood of rats, vainly rebelling against their murderous natures. In truth, vampires who maintain high ratings in Humanity are rare, as every Kindred must kill sooner or later. Vampires with high Humanity are almost unbearable by their peers, who find frustration in their perceived naiveté and self-righteousness; most Kindred prefer to suffer through unlife without kicking themselves. High Humanity ratings indicate aversion to killing and even distaste for taking more vitae than is necessary. Though not necessarily passive or preachy, Kindred with high Humanity uphold excruciatingly exacting standards, and often have very clearly defined concepts of moral right and wrong. 

Humanity 7 

Most human beings have Humanity ratings of 7 or so, so vampires at this level of Humanity can usually manage to pass for mortals. Vampires with 7 Humanity typically subscribe to “normal” social mores — it’s not acceptable to hurt or kill another person, it’s wrong to steal something that another person owns, but sometimes the speed limit is just too damn slow. The vampire is still concerned with the natural rights of others at this stage of morality, though more than a little selfishness shines through. 

Humanity 6-5 

People die. Stuff breaks. A vampire below the cultural human norm has little difficulty with the fact that she needs blood to survive, and she does what needs to be done to get it. Though she won’t necessarily go out of her way to destroy property or end a victim’s life, she accepts that sometimes that’s what fate has in store for some folks. Though not constantly horrid, Kindred at this stage of Humanity are certainly at least mildly unpleasant to be around. Their laissez-faire attitudes toward others’ rights offend many more moral individuals. 

Humanity 4 

The vampire begins an inevitable slide into urge indulgence. A Humanity of 4 indicates that killing is acceptable to this Kindred, so long as his victim is “deserving.” Many Camarilla elders hover around this level of Humanity. Destruction, theft, injury — these are all tools, rather than taboos, for a vampire with Humanity 4. The vampire’s own agenda becomes paramount at this point, and screw whoever gets in the way. 

Humanity 3-2 

The lives and property of others are irrelevant to a Kindred this far gone. The vampire likely indulges twisted pleasures and aberrant whims, which may in- clude any manner of atrocity. Perversion, callous murder, mutilation of victims, and wickedness for its own sake are the hallmarks of a Kindred with very low Humanity. Few vampires maintain ratings this low and lower for very long — their damnation is all but certain at this point. Physical changes show up at this stage; while not hideous in the sense of the Nosferatu or certain Gangrel, the vampire acquires a pallid, corpselike, and noticeably unwholesome aspect. 

Humanity 1 

Kindred with Humanity 1 teeter on the edge of oblivion. A Kindred may still plan and think, but to what ends? Little matters to vampires this far gone, even their own desires outside of sustenance and rest. Sabbat elders typically stabilize at this level: the man acting as merely an intellectual appendage for the beast, a tool for it's agenda as it schemes its continued dominance and survival. There is literally nothing a vampire with Humanity 1 won’t do, and only a few tattered shreds of ego stand between him and complete devolution. Many who attain this stage find themselves completely alien to their more human-like peers, and spend their nights gibbering blasphemy in their gore-spattered havens. 

Humanity 0 

Must sleep. Must feed. Must kill. Players may not run characters with Humanity 0. Vampires at this stage are completely lost to the Beast.



Trapped within the false civility of the Camarilla, there is a hidden truth: Vampires are monsters, possessed of an inner Beast. Though, like humans, they have the capability to overrule their baser instincts, sometimes they fail. When this occurs, the Hunger and the Beast become uncontrollable, and no one is safe from their excesses. Older vampires refer to the ensuing savage fits as “succumbing
to the Beast Within.” Younger Kindred refer to these outbursts simply as frenzies.

During a frenzy, a character literally — and usually unwillingly — gives into the darkest instincts of the vampiric nature. The character is consumed with rage or hunger, unable — or unwilling — to consider the effects of any action. Friends, foes, lovers, ethics: None of these things matter to a vampire in frenzy. If a vampire in frenzy is hungry, he will feed from whoever is closest without regard for the vessel’s well-being. If the vampire is angry, he will do everything in his power to destroy the cause of his anger. A vampire struck by fear will commit any atrocity to remove himself from the source of his terror, regardless of the consequences. The character completely surrenders to the basest aspects of his Nature, shunting aside the Demeanor most commonly presented to those around him. He is, in short, the Beast.

During frenzy, a vampire no longer acts according to any rational plan. The Beast doesn’t think. It acts based on raw instinct, with no thought for the future or memory of the past. The Kindred no longer recognizes friends, foes or family. Any creature with blood in its veins is reduced to obstacle or prey. While in frenzy, hungry vampires try to feed without restraint from whoever is nearest. Angry vampires do anything possible to destroy the cause of their anger. Frightened vampires flee the source of their fear and kill anyone who gets in the way. They care nothing for the consequences of their actions, only for the immediate satisfaction of a primal drive.

When the Kindred refer to “frenzy,” without any qualifier, they usually mean an outburst caused by anger. Kindred give special names to frenzies caused by hunger and fear. The former, they call Wassail; the latter, Rötschreck. Young Kindred who think it’s pretentious to assign fancy names to ugly rampages simply speak of “hunger frenzy” and “fear frenzy.”

All these forms of frenzy have certain aspects in common. A vampire who succumbs to the Beast no longer pays attention to wound penalties, except perhaps to rage even more fiercely. Injuries that would leave a sane vampire crawling on the ground don’t bother a frenzying vampire a bit — the Kindred keeps fighting until he is forced into torpor or is destroyed. The vampire also becomes resistant to mental influences such as Dominate and Majesty. A frenzying Kindred routinely pushes his physical abilities to the limit, performing extraordinary feats of strength, agility and toughness. Kindred can employ their Disciplines while in frenzy, but only for the most rudimentary ends. For instance, a vampire can grow Claws of the Wild to attack prey, or use Majesty to drive people away who interfere with her flight, but she cannot command anyone using Dominate because that Discipline requires speech and a focused mind.

A vampire can slide from some kinds of frenzy to others. Yet, some forms of frenzy protect the vampire from others. Hunger frenzy is the weakest. A Wassailing vampire can be driven into a rage frenzy if he is kept from his prey, or a sufficient threat can drive him into Rötschreck. Self-preservation takes precedence over hunger, but sheer rage can overpower self-preservation if someone fights too hard to stop a fleeing vampire. While in a rage frenzy, a Kindred becomes immune to Rötschreck, but she can slide into a hunger frenzy as she guzzles the blood of a victim

Triggering Frenzy

Ultimately, the Storyteller decides when a character runs the risk of frenzy. Anger can cause frenzy, but not every moment of irritation stirs the Beast. Hunger provokes the Beast, but most of the time characters can feed without going berserk and killing their vessels. Rötschreck — the “Red Fear” — usually occurs only when Kindred face the two forces most able to destroy them, fire and sunlight. Other sources of fear seldom provoke frenzy, though it can happen. These guidelines are vague because the relative strength of Man and Beast can fluctuate for many reasons. One time, a character might shrug off an extreme provocation. Another time, the Kindred might feel a weight of accumulated frustration or anxiety and lose control over a small matter.

Frenzy may occur if the player is taking no actions as well. At the appropriate provocation, the Storyteller may call for a Resolve + Composure roll to resist frenzy. If this roll is failed, the character frenzies. In truly dire circumstances ST may also dictate that some of these die are designated atrocity die. If you turn up a 10 on an atrocity die, you frenzy anyways, even if you succeeded at the roll.

Game Effects of Frenzy

Frenzy has the following in game effects:

  • First and foremost, if you frenzy the Storyteller gains control of your character for that scene. You may spend one Willpower to gain control of your character for one turn or make a Composure + Resolve roll to try to wrest control back from the beast and stop the frenzy early (see below). However, those are the only actions available to you.
  • A frenzying vampire ignores wound penalties to dice pools, until wounds become severe enough to render the character torpid.
  • All attempts to influence the frenzying character’s mind, by Dominate, Majesty or other means, take place at a -2 dice penalty, while rolls for the character to resist or throw off mental influence receive a +2 dice bonus.
  • Of course, a frenzying character cannot perform any action that requires much thought.
  • The character receives one extra die for any Physical Attribute roll. The Beast goes all-out, all the time, and its blinding rage shuts out all distractions and doubts.

Resisting Frenzy

Whatever the cause of frenzy, Kindred may try to resist the Beast and maintain control as an extended action. When a character is on the verge of frenzy, the player rolls his Composure + Resolve. If any successes are achieved, the character resists the frenzy for one turn per success. At the end of those turns, the player rolls again in hopes of winning a few turns more of self-control for the character. If the player can accumulate a certain number of successes, the Beast subsides and the character completely avoids the frenzy. If any of the rolls fail, however, the character goes berserk and spends the rest of the scene in frenzy. If the player suffers a dramatic failure on a roll, the character stays in frenzy for as long as the Storyteller thinks is appropriate.

The greater the provocation to the character, the more successes the player must accumulate. Five successes suffice for most frenzies. Higher numbers represent the most extreme humiliation or peril to the vampire’s unlife.

If a vampire is hungry (defined as having less than four vitae in his system), he receives penalties to resist Wassail and may be provoked into Wassail more easily.

The Storyteller may also impose bonuses or penalties to dice pools to reflect a trigger that’s especially easy or hard to resist.

The rule doesn’t change any, but it bears repeating: A Willpower point earns a character three extra dice on the roll to resist frenzy, as it does with most other rolls

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