This article talks you through designing your Lair. Every vampire needs a Lair. On each table you can roll or just choose. Rolling is fun because it forces you to rationalise odd results and often produces ideas that are more complex and intriguing than the stuff we come up with when we're not being challenged. But either way: it's up to you.
This system gives you a Security Usage Die, which we can roll to see how safe you are between adventures.
Actions in play might affect your Security Die, forcing you to test it when enemies follow you or you give away information about yourself.
A public Lair is a proper address. You get post delivered to it. It might be a business address, like a shop or a warehouse, or a townhouse. It will have running water, electric lights and perhaps a telephone.. A private Lair is the same sort of thing but it doesn't have a postal address or a streetfront entrance; nonetheless, ordinary people know of it and could visit it. It might be a shut up business, an abandoned house, an old kiln, a caravan or a lorry. It might lack the conveniences of electricity and plumbing. A secret Lair is hidden from the public: it's an underground sewer, a sealed crypt in a graveyard, a secret cellar or an abandoned box car on a railway siding.
+1 for a private Lair, +2 for a secret Lair
A neighbourly Lair has mortals living or working around it. This could be because there are other tenants in your building, people living next door or customers or employees who come to the site during the day. A lonely Lair is a bit off-the-beaten-track and you don't have to worry about anyone observing you come and go. A remote Lair is somewhere really quite far away from human activity and you have to travel for perhaps an hour to arrive in the bustle of the city.
+1 for a private Lair, +2 for a secret Lair
A grand Lair has modern conveniences and comforts: carpets, upholstered chairs, books, a nice bed, perhaps a grammaphone and a radio. A spartan Lair just has the basics: a bed, a chair or two, perhaps a bookshelf and a couple of pictures. A crude Lair isn't really a human home at all: it's probably just got sheets or sacking to sleep under (or under) and a few crates for personal belongings.
Grandeur doesn't affect your Security Die directly, but your security cannot be higher than d6 if you are living in Grand conditions or d8 if you are living in Spartan. Vampires with a need for d10 or better security must exist in squalor or privation.
+1 for a private Lair, +2 for a secret Lair
It's nice to have help. Staff are mortals who do tasks for you without realising what you are. Dedicated Staff work for you personally and you pay their wages: they are maids and butlers and chauffeurs. You cannot keep such staff once your Morality Die becomes a d10. Occasional Staff don't work for you directly; perhaps they come by weekly or service the building: they are cleaners, gardeners, landlords (OK landlords aren't 'staff' but they will fix things if you ask them). This also includes more regular staff who don't interact with you personally and who go in dread of you or people who don't realise they work for you (such as workers who carry out their business next to your Lair and protect and maintain you without realising it).. Even this level of support is impossible once your Morality Die is d12.
-1 for a public Lair, -1 for a neighbourly Lair
A locked Lair is just that: you have a locked door between you and the outside world. A sealed Lair is a bit more secure: there might be several doors to get through or doors that are really big and heavy, like vault doors. A fortified Lair is like a castle or dungeon, with walls round it, moats or pits to cross, portcullises, murder-holes, etc. Maybe you built it yourself or maybe you moved into somewhere that already had these features.
Work the Numbers
Add up all your dice rolls (after modification) - or add up the numbers corresponding to your choices. This score reveals your Humanity:
Humane vampires are in touch with their humanity through their engagement with mortals. Once per night, when rolling their Morality Usage Die, the die only exhausts on a 1.
Inhumane vampires are out of touch with mortal life, since they live in isolation and/or squalor. Once per night, the first time they are forced to roll their Morality Usage Die, it exhausts on a 1-3.
Work out your Humanity and your Security Die and what it exhausts on. Then write a paragraph describing your lair and post it on our page.
Here's a solo story to get you used to the rules and your character's abilities.
Into the night
You step out of the house into the blackness of a London night. The street lamps are unlit. Houses have their windows sealed with drapes and tape. The whole vast metropolis lies smothered in darkness under a starry summer sky with only a pale smear in the west where the sun once shone.
As a vampire, you can see in the dark, but the lightless streets are still hazardous. Make a WIS test to find your way across the darkened streets. Roll 1d20 and try to roll equal to or less than your Wisdom. You may roll with Advantage if you have Supernatural Senses. This means you roll twice and take the best (lowest) result. If you fail, make the next test that happens with Disadvantage (roll twice and take the worse result, i.e. the higher one).
There's a squeal of tyres. A car shoots past you, knocking you from the road. Driving with covered headlamps, these unlit motor vehicles turn the roads into dangerous obstacles.
Make a DEX test to avoid the car. Make it with Advantage if you passed the last Wisdom test. If you fail this, lose 1d6HP, halved. If you have Resilience, deduct this from the damage but reduce you Resilience by that amount.
Why is the damage halved? Because vampires always take half-damage from blunt force trauma (fists, clubs, motor collisions) - damage from cutting and piercing is normal.
You can use your blood to heal HP (roll your HD, a d6 or maybe a d8 or d10, depending on your class) and/or restore all your Resilience. Decide which you want to do, then roll your Blood Die (1d4): if you roll 1 or 2 you exhaust your blood (you no longer have a Blood Die and you are ravenously hungry). Whether your Blood Die exhausts or not, you get the benefit (healing or restoring your Resilience).
If you took the Efficient Digestion Gift then your Blood Die is normally a d6 and on a 1 or 2 it exhausts by turning into a d4.
A bitter tryst
You leave the dangerous thoroughfares for the narrow lanes where cars travel slowly, if they travel at all. The buildings crowd out the stars, but in the doorways, figures wait. You see their torches blink on and off: the signal that a woman or a man waits there for a customer. In the nearest doorway, a man in a heavy coat steps away from a younger man's embrace. You see his cigarette spark into light. "You said you'd pay!" the younger man pleads but this is met with a powerful back-handed smack that drops him to the floor. The older man inhales his cigarettes then throws the butt at the crumpled figure at his feet before stalking away.
Most characters have a d4 as their normal Blood Die and suffer burst veins if they increase it to a d6. With the Efficient Digrstion Gift, your normal Blood Die is a d6 and you only suffer burst veins if you increase that to a d8.
If you took a Blood Die from Edgar (option 2 or 3) you must make a Morality test. Roll your Morality Die (d6) and on a 1 or 2 it increases to a d8. That's a bad thing. You now have to feed every night but you do get +1STR in combat.
If you killed Edgar (option 3) you must make a second Morality test. If you roll a 1 or 2, your Morality Die gets bigger. If it increases from d8 to 1d10, you get +2STR in combat and +1 damage; however, you are at Disadvantage from now on when confronted by holiness or making CHA tests with mortals (Lilim just lose their normal Advantage).
Just doing his duty
You hurry on in pursuit of the customer with his heavy coat and bloodstained rings. Perhaps you are motivated by justice. Perhaps you want to atone. Perhaps you see your next victim.
Decide on your motive for pursuing Edgar's attacker and make a note of it. Roll WIS at +1 to pursue. If you are Enkidu, you test Wisdom with Advantage when hunting. Make a note of whether you succeeded or failed.
Why is the test at +1? Because the man you are chasing is 2nd level, one level high than you, so you add +1 to rolls against him, making them harder.
A figure comes around the corner carrying a torch, which he shines in your face. "And where are you heading in such an almighty hurry?" a gruff voice demands. It's an APR Warden, patroling the night time streets in a stee;l helmet and rubber boots, checking that houses are observing the blackout by not showing light through their windows. These men and women have a reputation for being busybodies or outright bullies.
Make a CHA test to explain yourself to the Warden; if you are Lilim you do this with Advantage. If you succeed, you see that the Warden is an African gentleman, 'Uncle Sam' Ekpenyon, and he is more concerned for your safety than with trying to harass you. Add Uncle Sam the Warden to the NPCs you know.
If you failed the test, you need to get past the Warden in another way.
If you fail with options 2, 3 or 4 then you have to choose option 1.
One of many doors
The ring-wearing man heads down a narrow close that is almost completely lightless because the tenements press close overhead. He finds a door, knocks three times and and there is a beacon of light as the door opens to admit him.
You can find the right house by knocking on doors and pretending to be a ARP Warden warning people that there's light showing through one of their windows. After knocking on 1d6 doors, you will knock on the door the man entered, but no one will answer at first, although there are voices inside.
Strange wares for sale
The house is abandoned, with peeling wallpaper and a smell of damp. In the parlour, a lamp on a stool illuminates the door. The ring-wearing man has contraband spread out on the table and is taking more from the pockets of his coat: tobacco, a whisky bottle, nylon stockings, coupons for food or clothing. He is a Spiv - a black market dealer. The occupant of the house is a woman in a fur coat with a shawl round her head and bright lipstick. She points to an odd silver flask on the table.
"My Guv'nor has paid up front for it," the woman says.
"Too bad," says the ring-wearing Spiv, "the price has just gone up, see?"
Decide how you enter the house:
You have several options for dealing with this pair:
A bit of argy-bargy
However you arrived, you will have to fight the Spiv.
"Don't think ol' Morris here don't know what you are," says the Spiv with a cruel sneer. "I reckon you won't like what my groins do to you!"
Morris the Spiv raises a fist and shows his 'groins' - his rings, crusted with blood but still gleaming with silver.
Silver inflicts Killing Damage on vampires.
You will have to fight a round of combat with the Spiv.
Remember: if you roll a 1 when attacking you inflict double damage; if you roll a 20 when defending, you take double damage (6 points). Some Gifts can affect this combat:
You only have to fight a single round of combat and then this occurs:
There is a sharp crack and the Spiv slumps to the floor. The woman with the bright lipstick holds a small pistol which smokes from its barrel. "That's for double-crossing me, you rat!" she says to the Spiv, then turns the pistol on you. "I only want what I paid for!" she says. She snatches the strange silver flask from the table and flees into the night.
Woe to the Vanquished
Morris lies on the bare floor, bleeding. He presses a hand to his shirt and then looks at his palm, drenched in blood. He goes pale. "Help me!" he whispers. You know that in a dark alley like this, neighbours will not call the police or an ambulance for a wounded man in an abandoned house.
Ill Met by Moonlight
Outside, the moon has risen, filling the narrow alley with a pale radiance. Two figures occupy a doorway at the end of the alley, locked in a lovers' clinch. One steps away and the other crumples to a heap on the pavement. The fallen figure is the lipstick lady. The standing figure is a tall man with blood splashed across his lips and cheeks, He holds the silver cannister. He grins at you, his teeth blackened with blood, then vanishes, becoming part of the moonlight.
If you have Supernatural Senses, you can test WIS with +4 to detect the invisible vampire making his escape and WIS with +4 again to follow (test with Advantage if you are Enkidu). If you track the vampire, make a note of the Fancy Town House he goes into.
WIS with a +4 penalty to your roll! Yes, that's a 5th level vampire you are messing with.