That's right. Character creation. How many of us RPG players, have spent countless hours at the kitchen table with dice, a blank sheet of paper, books and a brain fart? I know I have. I also know, being a seasoned player how the game works. And that more often than not all the hand guides and source books in the world is not enough to make getting that 'perfect character' out of your head, and into the game play.
This is not going to tell you 'how' to make a character for Vampire: The Masquerade. This is just to give a basic idea how to get started. In my opinion the imagination and story behind the character makes it more fun to play. The points and stats in making the page itself other than combat to me are irrelevant.
A lot of the 'creation' has to do with the type of game you are planning on bringing your character into. It may be TT (Known as TableTop), LARP (Known as Live Action Role-Play), or even online. I as a player personally recommend playing online if you are just starting out. Many people have sites all over the net. Including White Wolf itself (Which is where I still play today, even though the other forms of play are just as much if not more fun to play). Please keep in mind that this is a personal experience write up so the following might not work for you. With that said, let me begin.
First off, if you are going to be playing online, what's the point in having paper and a pen? Having these items is a big old pain in the ass. Trust me, lost character sheets make it hard for game play. Having said this - downloading something called a 'Character Generation Program' would be high on the priority list. No this program will not make your sheets for you, rather it will keep your sheets stored on your computer. It keeps track of initial point spending; freebie spending and most importantly experience point spending. Makes for quick character reference. Not to mention it looks pretty.
Once you have the program downloaded and installed on your computer your ready to get started. It is also a good idea to at least have one source book, or hand guide by your side (Mainly Vampire: The Masquerade 3rd Edition). The more books you have, the better. Though a starting player can get by with only these items and have some fun.
Great! We now have our books in our lap's, and our empty character sheet on our screen. Let's start making that blood sucking, alternate ego that's everyone knows you have in you.
Everybody starts at ground zero. Who is your character going to be?
Your characters name is something you are going to have to live with until the character is dead, or the game you are playing in is completed. So make sure you like the name, also try to make sure it will suit your character in the end. Sometimes the name says it all!
Now this is an easy one! What's your name, or nickname? That goes here.
This is normally where the name of the game goes. For example - DQ 'Club Darqness' a Sabbat chronicle played at White Wolf
What would someone say if they were talking about your nature? This is what you have to think about when assigning one to your alternate ego. What are your characters 'true' personality? Who is he/she deep down?
Don't lie, most of us have put on a front when trying to catch the opposite sex's eye. That muscular guy at the gym, or that pretty girl next door. You were not yourself. It was that alternate ego that you show the world. This is what you have to think about when picking your character demeanor. What does this kindred
make other's think he/she is on the inside?
do you wish to choose? Your character clan defines the lineage and relationship he/she has to Caine
. Clan also dictates what powers and or weaknesses the character posses. The following are the main 13 clans
played within the World of Darkness
- Followers of Set
Closely related to clan. This defines how many times the character has been removed from Caine, the progenitor vampire. It also relates to the kindred's blood potency.
Where will the character hide and sleep during the day light hours?
What was the character before he/she was embraced kindred? This is where a one or two word sketch is used define who they were before their embrace. It may be anything from a crazed vigilante to a quiet homemaker.
After this is all said and done the rest of the creation is putting dots or points in the areas where you think the character will need them. I recommend though, by taking the information above in making your own character and using it to write a story, background, description or anything else that your heart desires. For example, below is a character description based on a character sheet and her humanity level as it stands right now. (Which is at a rating of 3 for those who want to know)
Silent steps. In addition, the form of Alandria enters the scene. The only thing giving her away, is the clicking noise that comes from her hands from time to time, a silent communication perhaps. The tell tale sound that is heard in the absence of spoken words. And an absence of words it is almost invariably.
A delicate pendant draped in her hands, looking like that of a rosary. Swinging hypnotically with each step. The shimmering line, not chain but garrote you notice on closer inspection. A well camouflaged tool.
Her hair is of a dark plum, streaked in silvers, pulled up into a braid or sometimes in a bun type style, held with one 'chopstick'. Otherwise, falling down thick to her waist. Upon her face, more likely than not, is a sand polished, female human skull fashioned into a mask. As if made to fit her perfectly, attuned to her flesh and with eyes sunken and hidden you can only wonder, if it is a mask at all. Her cold cruel stare glaring from behind it completely impassive at to her surroundings. Making one wonder if there is life behind that mask at all or just the grim taint of lifelessness.
When not wearing the mask, her eyes are indeed sunken, sickly looking, and the dull color of lifeless gray and the same mask, is attached to her belt with two twin black pouches to each side, contents unknown. Her skin that once held the blush of health, human, but now it has taken on the same pallid pigment common to most cainites upon creation. Smooth and surreal in texture. Under the right light, looking almost as if she is made of the finest porcelain or alabaster. To the touch. If you are so lucky to get that close, her skin feels almost waxy. Almost like the feel of recycled plastics. Still retaining its own innocent softness.
Most of her form is covered on the other hand, hiding most all of it. Her clothing of the finest and most beautiful of loose-fitting black silks .The perfect contrast to her flawless snow-white skin. Their folds and lightness serving to hide the variety of jagged and twisted weapons beneath while still allowing her the freedom to move, and kill with equal ease; not to mention ease of conscience.
There you have it. My opinion and encouragement for those, whom like the game, but find the sheet/point system to be foreboding. Use your imagination. Tell a tale. That's what the game is ultimately about.