Humanity is a measure of how much of your character’s mortal nature remains despite the curse of vampirism. Humanity influences how well your character is able to resist all her newly unearthed urges and instincts. The most important Trait your character can have is Humanity, for as it drops, so does the character’s connection to her human nature. A character with no rating in Humanity becomes a totally inhuman monster and is no longer under the control of the player. A new character must be created if the player wishes to continue playing.
This is the basic reason why you want to preserve your character’s Humanity, but there are many others. For instance, you cannot roll more dice in any Empathy roll than you have as a Humanity rating. The less Humanity you have, the deeper you sleep, and the more difficult it is for you to wake up in an emergency. You also tend to go into a frenzy more often in stressful situations, as you find it difficult to control your primal instincts when you are in danger. The actions you take when in frenzy could lead you to lose even more Humanity. This Trait can be seen as what separates a vampire from a human. Vampires with high Humanity are the most human, while those with low Humanity are brutal and monstrous. Of course, it’s not as clean-cut as that; many humans have a low Humanity – sadistic killers for example – so it’s possible for a vampire to be even more human than some humans.
Effects of Humanity
- To a large extent, Humanity determines how human vampires appear and how easily they can pass for human in the general populace. The less Humanity a character possesses, the more bestial he appears.
- Vampires tend to sleep very deeply and, even if there is danger, can be difficult to wake up. During the day, especially after being awakened, you cannot roll more dice on any roll for any action than your character’s rating in Humanity.
- Humanity directly affects Virtue rolls when you attempt to resist going into frenzy. You cannot roll more dice that your character’s Humanity. Therefore, as you sink into the abyss of bestiality, you can not long resist the call of the wild. As Humanity is lost, the character inches slowly closer to the day when he loses all self-control.
- The length of time spent in torpor is also directly affected by the Humanity rating. The lower the character’s Humanity, the longer he remains in torpor.
The Downward Spiral
Vampires are monsters, have no doubt, and even a Kindred with the highest of Humanity scores is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Nonetheless, as Humanity erodes, vampires not only become capable of, but also actively pursue, ever more depraved acts. It is in a vampire’s nature to hunt, and to kill, and eventually every vampire finds himself holding the corpse of a vessel he had not intended to murder.
It is important, then, to know how vampires change as their Humanity scores deteriorate. Vampires’ behavior, even under the auspices of Humanity, may become so utterly depraved and alien that the very thought of her causes discomfort in others. After all, a low Humanity score indicates that very little connects the Kindred with her mortal origins.
- Humanity 10-8
Kindred with Humanity scores 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, taking great mirth 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. Oh, the humanity!
In truth, vampires who maintain high scores 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 naivete and self-righteousness; most Kindred prefer to suffer the slings and arrows of unlife without belaboring themselves. High Humanity scores 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 scores 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. Just like everyone else in the world…
- Humanity 6-5
Hey, 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. Not automatically 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, and some minor physical eeriness or malformation may show up at this stage.
- Humanity 4
Hey, some people gotto die 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 (which is, of course, quite subjective). Many vampire elders hover around this level of Humanity, if they haven’t adopted some other moral code. Destruction, theft, injury – these are all tools, rather than taboos, for a vampire with Humanity 4. Also, the vampire’s own self and agenda become paramount at this point, and devil take whoever gets in the way. Physical changes become quite evident 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 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 include 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 scores this low and lower for very long – their damnation is all but certain at this point. Vampires at this stage may be physically mistaken for human, but don’t bet on it.
- Humanity 1
Only nominally sentient, Kindred with Humanity 1 teeter on the edge of oblivion. Little matters at all to vampires this far gone, even their own desires outside of sustenance and rest. 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 no longer capable of coherent speech, and spend their nights gibbering blasphemy among 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.
Hierarchy of Sins
Humanity Rating – Moral Guideline
10 – Selfish thoughts
9 – Minor selfish acts
8 – Injury to another (accidental or otherwise)
7 – Theft
6 – Accidental violation (drinking a vessel dry out of starvation)
5 – Intentional property damage
4 – Impassioned violation (manslaughter, killing a vessel in frenzy)
3 – Planned violation (outright murder, savored exsanguination)
2 – Casual violation (thoughtless killing, feeding past satiation)
1 – Utter perversion or heinous acts
0 – No moral values. Must sleep, must feed, must kill