There is a very clear rule about when the player needs to roll a humanity roll. If you kill someone in the heat of passion, your humanity drops as low as 3, if you kill as a planned murder, your humanity drops as low as 2. This means a vampire whose job is to kill or eliminate threats, would eventually be stuck at humanity 2. For example, if a vampire's job is to eliminate mortals or vampires who break the masquerade, there is no doubt that this act would be considered as planned murder and should require a humanity roll for characters above humanity 2.

Maybe a vampire is running a criminal organization which involves killing those who resist their organizations agenda. even the vampire himself doesn't commit the act of killing, he surely could order other mortals to kill innocents for the sake of his agenda.

Maybe a vampire is a Lancae Sanctum crusader who sees other supernaturals as demons or threat to vampiric society and purges them. since other supernaturals are also sentient beings and can be considered human, killing them would surely fall on the spectrum of a planned murder.

Maybe a vampire is an enforcer for an elder, and the elder regularly asks to "take care" of someone or "burn down" places of his enemies. effectively this would put the humanity of the enforcer very low. unable to conduct business with mortals.

What I'm trying to say is with these rules most of the iconic characters and vampiric concepts are doomed to stuck at very low humanity, but in reality they don't seem to be that distant from humanity in novels or they have high humanity in SAS adventures. What is the reason of this difference? are NPC's exempt of these humanity rules? or are there any other reason they manage to keep their humanity so high? (it sure is a hell of a xp sink)

Did any of you use house rules to for example make an act immune to humanity rolls (after maybe losing humanity for that specific act) because that is what the player does, its his job. Or do you effectively forbid players characters to be involved in some concepts that would definitely sink their humanity to 2-3, whereas NPC elders enjoy higher humanity with no consequence.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "most of the iconic characters and vampiric concepts are doomed to stuck at very low humanity" Yup. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11, 2015 at 21:58

4 Answers 4


I would never make people immune to humanity sapping consequences of their actions. Nor would I forbid the being the horrific monsters they can become. If it is their job they are going to be a poor contract killer if they are highly compassionate.

My view is that the decent into the clutches of the beast is part of the game and you either willfully spend a portion of time and XP on resisting the pull of the beast, or you slowly (in some cases rapidly) fall into the pit of sin and depravity that is the beast within.

The struggle between ones humanity and the beast is a central concept of Requiem and the darkness of the game. Removing the effects of ones actions, forced upon you or not, removes a main part of the game and a driving force for roleplaying.

If an elder asks you to kill an innocent family and you can do it and lose your humanity or you can hide them away and say you have killed them, or you can refuse, or flee, or plan to kill the elder that is slaughtering innocents.

There are so many options that your players can explore, if they want to be mindless killers then they will have humanity 2... if they do worse humanity 1 to 0 is beckoning.

To add a little more...

Killing (a human) whilst protecting the masquerade, or killing for art ie serial killer, are not humane acts. Killing for God or a faith is not a humane act. Your humanity will slowly tick away eventually as you fail your rolls. If you are a murderer you may do it for an ideal but you are not acting in a humane or saintly way therefore humanity drops. Slowly or quickly depending how much you kill, burn, destroy, rob.

If you are killing demons, killing in self defense, eradicating an evil spirit I would not make a PC role for humanity. Killing a fellow vampire, probably not a huge humanity loss, depends on the situation. Again killing a heartless monster OK. Where as if a PC plans to rob and brutally murder a saintly elder with humanity 10. I would make them roll for killing a good creature.

In other words I would not consider for game mechanics all killing to be equal.

To go back to your examples:

"Maybe a vampire is running a criminal organization..." => Killing or ordering killings, humanity drop.

"Maybe a vampire is a Lancae Sanctum crusader..." => This I would say depends, would you view the action as an impartial observer an humane act (banishing a tormented spirit may be humane) killing a saintly vampire who helps protect mortals from the rest of his kind probably a potentially humanity losing situation.

You also state "since other supernaturals are also sentient beings and can be considered human..." Can they, should they, are they?

That is for you to work out, if you consider every sentient creature human, and every death of equal depravity then humanity will tumble rather rapidly. Where you choose to draw your line in the sand between human and not will determine how quickly or not humanity falls for your party.

I hope this helps.

  • \$\begingroup\$ how did those concepts emerge with high humanity on NPC but when PC tries the same, s/he would succumb to beast pretty quick (i.e. solomon birch). I agree acts should have consequences. but if that consequence means forcing the player out of the game, i don't like that. btw i just stumbled upon "banes" in blood & smoke and will probably integrate that to my game as a house rule. basically if you loose humanity for a specific act and you want to keep your humanity, you get a bane instead (curse). you'll not loose humanity for that act again but you'll have a penalty for other humanity rolls \$\endgroup\$ Aug 21, 2014 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ being a mindless killer or random acts of violance is completely different thing than having devotion faith and ambition for a particular act. I agree if someone acts like a beast, he'll also become one. but what I mean is doing things for a higher purpose, like protecting masquarade, worshipping god, creating art (for a serial killer) those might be peculiar or scary characters but why should they succumb to beast before even making a name of themselves? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 21, 2014 at 14:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VolkanUlukut I would add to this answer, don't forget you can give bonuses to breaking point rolls for circumstances, also remember that most assassin's would become less moral. Killing and cruelty become easy. And lastly look at the questions you should ask your player mentioned in the god machine. It is in fact mentioned that for determining characters breaking points you should look at things like whether or not they are a contract killer. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2015 at 1:45

You are actually misinterpreting the Humanity rules. You are correct that the "Hierarchy of Sins" table lists when you need to make a Humanity roll, but failing that roll causes you to lose ONE point of Humanity, not have your Humanity reduced to that number.

For example, Stella the vampire has a Humanity of 7. She's generally a good person. One night, she comes home hungry and finds her boyfriend in the embrace of another woman. She freaks out and kills this other woman. Because killing someone in the heat of passion is below her Humanity of 7 on the Hierarchy of Sins table, she needs to make a Humanity roll. If she passes, she's 'okay', as it were, and doesn't lose any Humanity. If she fails the roll, she only loses ONE point of Humanity, rather than having her Humanity score set to 3. Her new Humanity of 6 after failing the roll represents her dealing with the emotional fallout from her actions and the ease with which she may repeat the action or do something worse.

As for being the 'enforcer' for an elder, it's a pretty bad deal. Unless you have a ton of great rolls, you're eventually going to succumb to evil, or at least drop to an incredibly low Humanity. It's also important to note that once your Humanity reaches the same level as a particular Sin, you no longer have to make Humanity rolls, until you do something 'worse'. A vampire with a Humanity of 2 can plan all the murders that they want before they lose that next piece of their soul. But they probably will lose it eventually.

Older editions of Vampire had "Paths of Enlightenment" instead of Humanity. The idea was the same, except that the Hierarchy of Sins was completely different. For some of them, killing people was okay, but disobeying an elder was a a big sin.

(This answer comes from experience with Vampire: the Masquerade, so if major changes were made for The Requiem, please let me know.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually I was talking about jobs, concepts that requires you to perform acts that drops humanity as far as 2-3. I know this change won't be instant but after doing it for a while you'll eventually drop to that humanity. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 21, 2014 at 14:27

I think it also depends if you care to spend time to do something good.

Killing someone? maybe give the chance to reroll if beforehand the vampire made sure that his family suddenly gets a big life-insurance noone knew of.

and things in that direction.

  • \$\begingroup\$ for planned murder this may be arranged, but most of the killings happen because people tend to be at that place at the wrong time. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 28, 2014 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ even then; what if you like go through his/her wallet and then show remorse(dont know if the right word here) in the way of finding family and behind the scenes help them with their lives or something like that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Bazhell
    Aug 29, 2014 at 9:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ well this struggle to make things right could give the player some xp towards increasing his humanity. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2014 at 18:12

Like Discord mentioned, if you want you might try to incorporate the Paths of Enlightenment from the oWoD that replace humanity.

The general idea of them is: You are not a human anymore, yet you are not a mindless animal. Cast away your old morals and use your self discipline to gain enlightenment, which can come from many sources: gaining personal power, knowledge, religious understanding or simply discovering most sensual pleasures. Killing humans is... well, not worth really dwelling on, since you are above them, not one of them. You can't make the omelet...

Source: http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Path_of_Enlightenment


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