I am a vampire in a slightly customised oWod and despite some years of experience still trying to figure out how to remain a good person with that Beast raging inside me. As a Ravnos I am doubly cursed, as the thing not only delights in blindly maiming and saving its hide like other people's do, but it also compels me to regularly thwart my core ideals and kill innocent people, not for blood but just for silently watching the life I don't have anymore leave their bodies, too.

This is all nice and well in theory, but in practice I'm not quite sure if I am an almost functioning member of society or a raging mass murderer. I mean, what exactly is an "opportunity", anyway?

When the opportunity to indulge presents itself, a Ravnos must make a Self-Control roll (difficulty 6) or succumb to her compulsion.

(Vampire: The Masquerade, Revised)

Can I ride a bus without rolling Self-Control? Go out at all? Does the mere presence of guileless humans provide an opportunity to kill them or do they have to fulfill further criteria?

Obviously, the solution is to specify my weakness more concretely, but I'm not quite sure how, so that it stays a challenging, but fair impairment. A Ventrue-like restriction on certain groups, character traits, triggers? A time-, stress-, or blood-based counter that when it reaches zero sparks the need to find a victim? The "Cleaner" from the Ravnos clan book sounds like a good start ("Your crime is the perfect murder.") but does not offer any insight or rule hints, either, as to WHEN the weakness triggers - or when not.

The core rules and the Ravnos book are my only sources so far. Do you know of anywhere else where the clan weakness is given a little more light? At your tables, have you come up with clearer regulation of when and how to trigger the urge?

Or am I worrying too much and should just wait for the moment when it clicks in my head? As per the clan book: "The Ravnos weakness is mainly a roleplaying matter."


3 Answers 3


So first of all, caveat: I've played and STed World of Darkness, and this is how I would run it at my table. But the books aren't clear on this point, and another ST might run this differently. So take all of this with a grain of salt.

But the key word is opportunity. Your murderous Ravnos only needs to make the roll when there's an opportunity for them to commit a successful murder. This means:

  • They can actually kill their target
  • They can get away with it

Seeing a Justicar in the middle of Elysium wouldn't set off their flaw, because they would be unlikely to actually kill their target. And getting onto a crowded bus wouldn't set off their flaw, because they couldn't get away with a murder in that case.

If they came across a homeless man passed out in a dark alley at 1am, though, then these conditions would be fulfilled, and they would have to make the roll or indulge and kill him.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer! The "get away with it" part is a very sensible addition, I think, definitely going with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – brannagh
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 8:38

The weakness of the Ravnos clan isn't every crime, they have their own vice/sin/crime that they're compelled to do; when that opportunity arise, they (sometimes) try to control themselves with the auto control roll. The White Wolf wikia has a good explanation of their curse.

You should choose a specific vice/sin/crime for your character, not just everything, otherwise would be unmanageable.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ OP has specified their crime is murder. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draconis
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. On a short skim, the information from the Wiki seems to be the same as in the Ravnos clan book (Revised) - maybe a bit more history stuff. As said, the vice I chose is murder, but the technicalities about when to trigger clan weakness seem a bit vague to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – brannagh
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 8:42

Think more specific!

Murder is very broad. VERY. If you look at murder from a legalistic way, and take the german distinction between manslaughter and murder, the line is to kill someonee for:

Mordlust, zur Befriedigung des Geschlechtstriebs, aus Habgier oder sonst aus niedrigen Beweggründen, heimtückisch oder grausam oder mit gemeingefährlichen Mitteln oder um eine andere Straftat zu ermöglichen oder zu verdecken1

desire to murder, to satisfy the sexual drive, out of greed or other base motives, insidious or cruel or by means dangerous to the public, or to enable or cover up another crime

That's not game rules, but illustrative to distinguish what would actually be needed for murder. So, you should look into your character and answer yourself some questions:

  • What aspect of the murder is it that the character is compelled to?
    • Is it executing the meticulously planned assassination?
    • Is it killing someone they have beaten to a pulp and snapping the neck?
    • Is it the thrill of unleashing the beast as they commit slaughter?
    • Is it the cleanup of ensuring no body is found?
    • Is it getting away after a messy kill?
  • What method is the character compelled to?
    • Sniper Rifle, Poison, Knife, Club, Bare hands, Draining of all blood, Blood Eagle, Drawn-and-quartered...
  • What target is in their eyes? Do they have a target exclusion or preference?
    • They might be Dexter and their indulgence is making the hardest squeal for mercy, they might be Dr. Harold Shipman and targeting the weak and infirm, they might be H.H. Holmes and look to kill for financial gain, Or maybe even a Josef Mengele...
  • Do they fight it?
    • Remember to spend Willpower when you roll self-control to resist it.

All those factors shape what counts as an opportunity for your Ravnos.

1 - StGB §211 (2)


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