This edition of my “Four Splat” post series is about Vampire: the Masquerade’s answer to Renfield: the Ghouls. I’ve always had a soft spot for the little krevni oddats (blood addicts), which is fitting given that one of my favorite clans are the Tzimisce, the unquestioned masters of ghouldom.
Concept: Executive Assistant
Domitor’s Clan: Ventrue (Vassal)
Age Apparent/Actual: 35/45
Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2
Social: Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Talents: Alertness 2, Empathy 2, Expression 1, Subterfuge 3
Skills: Drive 1, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1
Knowledges: Academics 2, Computer 1, Finance 3, Investigation 2, Law 1 , Politics 3
Virtues: Conscience 3, Self-Control 5, Courage 2
Disciplines: Potence 1, Dominate 1
Backgrounds: Domitor 2, Contacts 4, Resources 3, Allies 1
Freebie Points: 5 Charisma, 5 Perception, 5 Backgrounds, 2 Willpower, 2 Knowledges, 2 Talents
Harold Whitmer is perhaps the archetypal Ventrue ghoul: efficient, outwardly polite, ruthless, obsequious to the master and a consummate liar. It is he who manages his domitor’s day to day affairs, makes sure that his investment portfolio is in order and keeps the other servants in line. He desperately desires the Embrace, and is constantly focused on his master’s advancement (and, not coincidentally, his own) while determinedly quashing the hopes of any of the master’s other servants. He and only he must be the favorite, and he sees himself as utterly indispensable to the master’s operation. For his part, the master has observed his closest ghoul’s political and personal ruthlessness, and finds it all tremendously entertaining, especially in light of the fact that he has no intention of ever Embracing the man. Should Harold ever somehow damage his domitor’s interests in one of his petty attacks on the other ghouls, then his punishment will be… severe.
Birth Name: Nancy Harding, though she does not remember it.
Concept: Szlachta (grotesque fleshcrafted guardian-ghoul)
Domitor’s Clan: Tzimisce (Vassal)
Nature/Demeanor: Praise Seeker/Autist
Age Apparent/Actual Age: Indeterminate/22
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
Social: Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 0
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 2, Brawl 4, Dodge 1, Intimidation 2
Skills: Crafts 2, Etiquette 1, Performance 2, Security 1, Stealth 1
Knowledges: Academics 1, Investigation 1, Linguistics 1 (French), Medicine 1
Virtues: Conscience 3 , Self-Control 1, Courage 4
Disciplines: Potence 2, Auspex 1
Backgrounds: Domitor 5 – (Dr. Pestes, 6th generation Tzimisce)
Merits: Virulent Strike (7 – her bone spurs), Vicissitude Modifications – Fangs (1. Str +1L, -2 Manipulation pools other than Intimidation or fear) & Bone Spurs (2. Str +2L, but -3 from social rolls other than fear/intimidation)
Flaws: Monstrous (3f), Amnesia (2f) + 2 other points of Flaws as yet unrevealed due to Amnesia
Freebie Points: 10 on Merits, 10 Disciplines, 2 Talents, 5 Wits, 1 Willpower, +7 on Flaws
Abhorrent. Yes, that word describes this creature admirably. Her face has been warped and twisted into a nightmarish mask with huge, staring red-rimmed black eyes with slit-like pupils and no discernible sclera, slits in place of a nose and a grotesque fanged mouth from which emerges a prehensile tongue long enough to lick the ridges that pass for her eyebrows. Black and red ram-like horns decorated with metal rings, chains and pendants curl away from her skull. Her vibrant red hair is surprisingly carefully groomed, and for some reason she has bothered to treat it to have blonde highlights and streaks. Her twisted, re-shaped arms are fitted with an array of bony spikes and spurs, and her left arm has been elongated and modified into a shape something between a scythe and the claw of a mutant praying mantis. Her feet are prehensile and fitted with long vicious-looking nails. On closer inspection, one can see that her nails (both finger and toe) have been neatly polished. The number three is tattooed on several parts of her anatomy since the master can’t even be bothered to remember which of his szlachta answers to which number.
This nightmarish creature’s torso and legs are mostly normal in appearance, and in fact are very shapely, fit and muscular: most of the modifications there are “under the hood” so to speak, such as reinforced skeletal and muscular structure. This last detail somehow makes the rest worse still, for it reminds the viewer that she obviously used to be an extremely attractive woman before she was remade into a disgusting living weapon. This is not accidental; her domitor deliberately maintained and indeed enhanced these parts of her figure in order to serve as an artful contrast to the inhuman parts of her anatomy, and to disturb onlookers. The clothing that she has been provided with consists mostly of lingerie, fetish and bondage gear.
Nancy Harding was a promising, athletic and vivacious art student, but late one night shortly after she emerged from a club she had the misfortune of running into the entourage of one Dr. Pestes, a low-generation Tzimisce of some repute in her city’s Sabbat. She was chosen entirely at random to fill an opening in the ranks of his Szlachta guardian-ghouls. Numbers One and Four dragged her into an alley and brutalized her into a coma, then carried her back to the good doctor’s haven for modification. Now she is simply Number Three: she no longer remembers anything about her mortal life, including her birth name. Though her old life and ability to relate to normal people are gone, she still has vague memories of some of her former skills, and has found a bit of comfort in turning her hand and claw back to making bits of glass or metal jewelry in the garage workshop on her master’s compound – the master’s lab has better equipment, but he would make curtains out of her entrails if she were so presumptuous as to meddle with it. His menial servant-ghouls don’t dare to interfere in these endeavors, and she sometimes gives them a bauble or two.
Her mind is consumed; the potent Blood Bond has filled it with obsession for her abusive and callous domitor’s wellbeing, and she hungers always to please the uncaring vampire for whom she harbors an unhealthy and self-defeating love. She hungers for the slightest bit of attention, affection or praise from him. Three’s meticulous grooming and ornamentation are largely for his benefit. If he has even noticed, he has never said a word on the subject. Such is the life of an expendable ghoul that hasn’t even got an actual name.
Note: Yes, Three here is a fair bit weaker than the standard Szlachta NPC template from Ghouls: Fatal Addiction, but that template’s not even close to a starting character’s power level and Three hasn’t been a ghoul for all that long so her master hasn’t finished augmenting her strength, stamina and sensory acuity. To compensate a bit, she’s strong in Disciplines, has the exceedingly nasty Virulent Strike Merit and still retains a fair amount of her former mental acuity – when her master realized that her head injury and emotional trauma had blanked out her memories, he decided not to bother lobotomizing the girl.
Real Name: Martin Scribner
Concept: Addicted Contractor
Domitor’s Clan: None. Independent Ghoul
Age Apparent/Actual: 40/47
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 4
Talents: Alertness 2, Athletics 1, Brawl 2, Dodge 2, Intimidation 1,Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 1
Skills: Crafts 1, Drive 1, Etiquette 1, Firearms 2, Melee 3, Security 2, Stealth 3
Knowledges: Investigation 3, Medicine 1, Occult 2, Politics 1
Virtues: Conscience 3, Self-Control 2, Courage 5
Disciplines: Potence 1, Fortitude 1
Backgrounds: Contacts 2, Allies 2, Resources 1
Flaws: Enemy (2 – late Domitor’s Childe)
Freebie Points: 8 Talents, 4 Skills, 6 Knowledges, 5 Strength, +2 Flaw
Martin used to be an expendable bodyguard to a local Camarilla luminary. One day, the Society of Leopold kicked in the doors, beat down the master’s loyal minions and put the old Kindred’s stately manor to the torch. Martin had the unspeakable poor taste to crawl away and recover from his injuries. One of his master’s childer, who maintained a separate residence, was not amused and set about trying to exact a measure of punishment on the failed minion. Sensibly enough, Martin promptly skipped town.
However, he was still addicted to the Blood, and he needed someplace to get it. Enter a career as an mercenary, selling his services to various Kindred for either putting the squeeze on mortal targets or striking out at vampiric rivals. He takes payment in Vitae and money, and he never works for the same Kindred more than twice. If he thinks that he has a decent shot at a careless Anarch or Neonate that nobody will miss, then he’ll take that shot, drain the luckless Lick and leave them for the sun.
Real Name: Nicola Zantosa
Concept: Club-Scene Douchebag
Domitor’s Clan: None. Revenant of the Zantosa family
Nature/Demeanor: Bon vivant/Gallant
Age Apparent/Actual: 19/76
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
Social: Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 2
Talents: Alertness, Athletics 1, Brawl 1, Dodge 1, Empathy 1, Expression , Intimidation 1, Leadership 1, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 3
Skills: Animal Ken , Crafts , Drive 1, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1, Melee 1, Performance 2, Security , Stealth 1, Survival
Knowledges: Academics 1, Computer 1, Finance , Investigation , Law , Linguistics 1, Medicine 1, Occult , Politics, Science
Virtues: Conviction 2, Instinct 3, Courage 3
Path: Path of Cathari 3
Disciplines: Potence 1, Vicissitude 1, Presence 1
Backgrounds: Resources 4, Fame 1 (Club Scene), Contacts 2, Allies 1
Freebie Points: 10 on Presence, 3 on Backgrounds, 5 Stamina, 2 on Skills, 1 on Willpower
“Kneel before Zod!” You’ve seen Zod before. Zod is that guy at the club that always has a couple of lovely girls on his arm for no discernible reason. He’s got a fake ID that says he’s 23 rather than his actual age of 76, and most people would think that he’s actually younger than that rather than older. He lives in dissolute hedonism, and would be mostly useless to his family’s Sabbat masters if he weren’t both rich and connected. It’s tough to distract him from his debauched existence, but there have been occasions when he has been used to “persuade” emotionally vulnerable Camarilla minions of either gender into revealing sensitive information about their masters. A review of his Facebook and Myspace profiles would be enough to inspire just about anybody to declare that Western civilization is ripe for collapse. Whether or not he would even notice said collapse is somewhat debatable.
Next time: Four Kinfolk