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In Vampire: The Masquerade is there a reliable way for a vampire to avoid being damaged / killed by exposure to sunlight? Anything would go, be it a Discipline power, a technology device or anything else.

(I'm willingly ignoring Torpor and similar complications, I only want to know if there is a way to avoid the damage caused by the sun.)

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Only if it sparkles! (ducks for off topic, discussion-y cover) – Simon Withers Feb 29 '12 at 1:17
Adding this as a comment as it was a long time since I read the appropriate book but isn't it possible for mages to help a vampire out there via a spell? – Thomas E. Feb 28 '15 at 7:45

12 Answers 12

up vote 32 down vote accepted

The most reliable way to reduce the damage caused by sunlight is through the use of the discipline of Fortitude. Fortitude allows you to soak aggravated damage, including that caused by sunlight. According to page 302 of the Vampire 20th Anniversary edition, the difficulty for soaking sunlight while "fully protected by heavy clothes, sunglasses, gloves, and a wide-brimmed hat" is only 5, which isn't hard to make.

However, if you want to be immune to sunlight, that's a lot harder. There's a bloodline called the Kiasyd who have access to a discipline called Mytherceria; at level 9, you can resume mortality for a while, which would make you immune to sunlight damage while it was in effect. Same thing with the Children of Osiris and Bardo, and that one Obtenebration power from the Dark Ages that blocked out the sun. Generally, walking in sunshine is a level 9 power for a discipline. (The curse of Caine is strong.)

On the other side, if you're a 15th generation thin-blood (with the relevant flaw), sunlight only does lethal damage to you, which you can soak or spend blood to heal more easily than agg.

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Under 1st ed, one could beat the difficulty with the autosuccess rule.... and fortitude 9+ was rare but doable for certain elders... hence the desire for diablerie... – aramis Feb 29 '12 at 4:29
Stamina doesn't actually give a bonus to resisting sunlight; it's aggravated damage. – Kyle Willey Mar 1 '12 at 16:24
@KyleWilley You're absolutely right. Text edited. – Jadasc Mar 1 '12 at 18:03
One other almost way would be to use Dominate 5: Possession to possess someone and have them walk around in the daylight (preferably a ghoul for their increased durability) if you were a Tzimisce you could fleshcraft them to look like yourself, as long as you can stay awake! – Rob Oct 1 '12 at 7:43
The Gargoyle bloodline's discipline Visceratika can also protect against sunlight, although until you get to the higher tiers you become a statue when doing so. – Brian S Jan 29 '14 at 14:33

I know of two options:

The first is a crazy high level of Fortitude that's usually only attained by antediluvians such as Zapathasura (Ravnos) who battled packs of Garou, solar reflectors, Bodhisattvas, numerous mortals and three spirits Technocracy in direct sunlights for days.

The other is Necromancy level 5, which is actually quite doable:

If the character is a Necromancer and he has learned the path: The Corpse in the Monster (Level 5). He can use Gift of Life. The vampire has to spend as much consecutive turns as needed to spend 12 blood points. Of course almost no vampire can spend that amount in one go, so using some of the turns to spend 1 blood and feed 3 is allowed as long as he doesn't runn off to hunt to do so. He has to have a vessel handy. He then rolls Stamina + Occult, any successes activates the power.

Successful activation grants many human traits. Damage from the sun is taken only if it is direct sunlight and the character is not sufficiently covered. Any sunlight damage taken can be soaked using fortitude at half the difficulty (round up.) Fire does damage in the same way as it does to mortals. Althoug tired, he can remain active during the day without dice pool caps on Humanity or Path.

Halving bashing damage, Fortitude and Auspex disciplines remain, others at storyteller's discretion. Artifacts and stakes still inflict the same damage. Rötschreck and frenzy rolls will still have to be made, but also against a halved difficulty (rounded up.)

It comes at a price though, the ability lasts until the next midnight (so activating just after midnight is best) and when it's over, the beast will strike back. All rolls to resist frenzy will be at +3 difficulty for the next 6 nights.

Source: VTM 20th Edition (p. 168), Clanbook Ravnos & White-Wolf Wiki

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In theory yes, in practice not really.

Even if one managed to become theoretically immortal, daywalkers are still improbable because doing stuff during the day is more difficult for inherently nocturnal vampires.

So while it's mechanically possible, and it should be permitted for extremely powerful vampires on extremely rare occasions, it shouldn't be something common. If I remember correctly, one of the minor clan specific disciplines in 20th Anniversary Edition allowed someone to go around during the day with no penalties, all for the low cost of a month of preparation.

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Why was this voted down? It answers the question (admittedly negatively, but that's still an answer), it justifies its answer with an game-world explanation, and it even points out rules that reinforce its position. – GMJoe Mar 1 '12 at 5:01
Also, you'd have to deal with the Red Fear if you're wandering about; not difficult for all vampires, but still a consideration; you've got the daytime penalties, aggravated damage (even if being covered helps, it's not 100% viable), frenzy checks, and more that preclude daytime activity for all but the most incredibly powerful vampires or those with specializations simply to go into sunlight. – Kyle Willey Mar 1 '12 at 16:26

Gangrel can also with a high discipline power of animalism that allows them to possess an animal and walk around during daylight hours, provided they stay awake*. Other then that, fortitude will assist with surviving short periods of time in the sunlight, as well as the level 10 discipline power of becoming a ball of fire*, but thats the top mastery of the power and is nearly impossible for PC to obtain.

*Taken from Vampire the Masquerade Players Guide Second ed.

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Okay, I know a few of them.

In second edition, there was a combo of fortitude + obtenebration: armor of shadows let you walk in sunlight, probably the second best way after necromancy. Now it ‘only’ adds pool to fortitude.

There was a thaumaturgic level one ritual, defense of the sacred haven, that makes the light stop, darkens the place and all the typical stuff.

There were a few level 10 disciplines (when they were official) that make you immune also, like protean and thaumaturgy.

Thanatosis, clan Samedi discipline, have two powers to be immune to sunlight (if I remember correctly) both transform you into dust and the advanced one lets you move.

Visceratika, clan Gargoyles discipline, transforms them into a statue, or something.

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Welcome to the site! You've got some good answers here -- although many of them have strong limitations on them that keep them from regular play or use, they do fit the question. – Jadasc Nov 13 '12 at 13:43

There is also a Lasombra only merit you can take at character creation called Strength of Shadows (Clanbook Lasombra) that gives you 4 hours of daywalking.. I was surprised when I read this because it seems OP to me and the only requirement is that you are Lasombra.

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If I'm not mistaken, that gives you the two hours on either side of sunset and sunrise, right? – Jadasc Sep 18 '13 at 13:51

Expanding on a comment I made with additional solutions:

Dominate 5: Possession

Get/Sculpt (Plastic surgery/Vicissitude) a body double and possess them, preferably a ghoul for additional durability and access to basic blood use and some low-level physical disciplines.

With sufficient successes when you possess someone you will be able to use Auspex, Presence, Dementation, Dominate, Chimerstry, Necromancy and Thaumaturgy with no risk at burning up at all.

Quoting from V20:

The character may travel as far from his body as he is physically able while possessing the mortal. The vampire may also venture out during the day in the mortal form.

However the character must be able to stay awake in the first place (as for any of the other solutions!)

Animalism 4 : Subsume the Spirit

This allows travel around in the day in a very similar fashion to possession as an animal.

Necromancy The Corpse in the Monster: Gift of the Corpse (4)

This only lasts one turn per success, but for that duration:

Sunlight does only bashing damage, and then only if bare skin is exposed on a clear day.

So this will be fortitude soakable etc. Very short duration however.

All quotes/powers listed are from V20.

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One option that hasn't been brought up yet would be Astral Projection using Auspex. Not really a physical presence, but a Vampire could be out in the world.

As far as technology, given the mystical nature of the bad that the sun causes Vampires, I'd say no; with the caveat that there is magical technology, made by mages, that could manage to help. It would be odd for the Technocracy to create this, as helping "reality deviants" is not what they do, and anything made by an Etherite would likely be a single piece of hand made madness that would slowly gather paradox and then explode at some point.

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The power Benedictio Vitae/Gift of Life (Necromancy/Mortis 5, Path of Corpse in the Monster, pg283 Dark Ages 20 or Dark Ages: Vampire p193).

The power grants one full day of partial sun immunity. The vampire will take no damage if in shade or covered fully by clothing. Soak difficulty with Fortitude is halved, should the vampire be directly exposed to the sun.

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Be a Caitiff with Elipised blood trait (2 points) which makes sunlight only deal lethal damage and you don't need to sleep during the day. Unfortunately this damage cannot be soaked with Fortitude, but can slowly be restored with Will to Survive. This is by far one of the best reasons to be Caitiff. Just stay underground or operate virtually and you have 24 hours of operation. Stay covered up and your 1 point of regeneration a round should keep you alive during the day. Possible on character creation!

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Very high level Bardo (Children of Osiris discipline) let the vampire stay a good amount of time under the sun (and maybe recover some humanity.

Anyway, the simpler and more reliable way to avoid damage for sunlight exposition is not being exposed! I'd concentrate on that.

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There's also a Thaumaturgy ritual that lets you eat a clump of charcoal to be immune for a day to sunlight, needs like Thauma 4-5 iirc.

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