Humans (and by extension, most human-like creatures) walk this path by default. It is the common morality that has been imposed upon them since birth, telling them what is Right and Wrong, how they "should" act, that kind of thing. The chart below represents the abstract concept as best it can, reflecting how "good" a person is. Basically, at each given ranking, the Moral Guideline listed is the sort of action that would cause a person of that rank to go "oh god I'm a horrible person."
|9||Minor selfish acts||Compassionate|
|8||Injury to another (accidental or otherwise)||Caring|
|6||Accidental violation (drinking a vessel dry out of starvation)||Removed|
|5||Intentional property damage||Distant|
|4||Impassioned violation (manslaughter, killing a vessel in frenzy)||Unfeeling|
|3||Planned violation (outright murder, savored exsanguination)||Cold|
|2||Casual violation (thoughtless killing, feeding past satiation)||Bestial|
|1||Utter perversion or heinous acts||Horrific|
Effects of Humanity Edit
A Kindred's Humanity score reflects how much of a character's mortal nature remains despite the curse of Caine. It influences how well a character may deny her vampiric state, as well as how closely she may pass for mortal.
- Vampires sleep unnaturally deeply and are loath to rise even if presented with danger. Vampires with higher Humanity rise earlier in the evening than vampires with lower Humanity scores. Also, if a Kindred is forced to act during the day, the maximum dice pool he may employ for any action equals his Humanity score.
- By extension, vampires on a Path of Enlightenment (i.e. without a Humanity rating) cannot act at all during the day, barring special circumstances (like the Thaumaturgy ritual Wake With Evening's Freshness).
- Humanity also affects a character's Virtues. Whenever a certain Virtue is called into question, a player may not roll more dice for a Virtue than her character has dots in Humanity. Obviously, as the character sinks ever more deeply into the arms of damnation, questions of morality and self-preservation mean less and less. As Humanity depletes, the character creeps slowly toward the night when she loses all self-control.
- The length of time a Kindred spends in Torpor relates directly to his Humanity score. A vampire with low Humanity remains in torpor for a longer time than a vampire with a higher Humanity score.
- Humanity determines how, well, human a character appears and how easily she may pass for human among the populace. Vampires with low Humanity acquire unnatural and disturbing features like sunken eyes, perpetual snarls and bestial countenances.
- If a character's Humanity score ever drops to zero (what kind of game are you playing?), that persona is no longer suitable for use as a player's character. Completely controlled by his Beast, the character is a mindless force of unnature, and falls under the Storyteller's control.
Whenever a character takes an action that the Storyteller decides is morally questionable, the character may suffer degeneration - a permanent loss of Humanity. If degeneration is a possibility, the player whose character commits the act should make a Conscience roll for that character. The difficulty is 8 (reprehensible acts are hard to justify) though the Storyteller may modify this. Willpower may not be spent for an automatic success on this roll - all the ego in the world won't protect a character from guilt.
If the player makes the roll with even one success, the character loses no Humanity - he feels enough remorse or somehow manages to justify his transgression. If he fails the roll, the character loses a point of Humanity. If the player botches, the character loses a point of both Humanity and Conscience, and also gains a derangement, decided upon by the Storyteller (who should make it appropriate). Obviously, morality is not something a Kindred can afford to take lightly. Remember that a vampire whose Humanity drops to zero is no longer suitable to be a player's character. (To be perfectly honest, Kindred with low Humanity scores aren't particularly appropriate either, but can be enjoyably tragic figures in comparison to their nobler counterparts.)
Humanity 10-8 Edit
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 them frustrating 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 Edit
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 Edit
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 towards others' rights offend many more moral individuals, and some minor physical eeriness or malformation may show up at this stage.
Humanity 4 Edit
Hey, some people gotta die. The vampire begins an inevitable slide into urge indulgence. A Humanity of 4 indicates that killing is accptable 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 Edit
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 Edit
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 Edit
Must sleep. Must feed. Must kill. Players may not run characters with Humanity 0. Vampires at this stage are completely lost to the Beast.