New Player Character Creation Guide

The information below clarifies how to create a your first vampire or mortal character for the specific LA in Anarchy setting. If you are not completely brand new to V20, please refer to our standard character creation page instead, as these rules are different to help introduce new players to Vampire.

Welcome to Vampire

Welcome to Vampire: the Masquerade! We’re thrilled your first attempt at playing Vampire is here with us at LA in Anarchy. Our goal with this guide is to make the process of constructing your first character as easy and painless as possible.


This is what you'll need to make your first character. To use the character sheets, please select file > make a copy and save it into your drive. You're welcome to download it and use it as a Word document instead, but it isn't preferred.


Character Sheets

Themes and Moods

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, we would like you to be aware of the type of game you’re getting into. Below are the themes and moods are you are likely going to be exploring or experiencing in some way whilst playing Vampire.


Some themes are inherently part of the Vampire experience, and the Storyteller will either expand on those or introduce his own into the mix. Here are the core themes of the game, to better illustrate the setting.

  • A Beast I Am, Lest a Beast I Become: Vampire lets you play the monster and makes you morally accountable for it. All of the protagonists are vampires: blood-drinking monsters who dwell in the shadows at the edge of society and subculture. Vampires have tremendous power, but that power comes paired with the Curse of Caine, which carries a Biblical gravity. Players have an emotional stake in these characters, and when we play the game, we see their dark side and watch them wrestle with morality. This timeless riddle implies that all vampires must fall eventually, but when and under what circumstances? These questions are at the root of the chronicles that we play.
  • The Masquerade: It’s the very foundation of Vampire. Once the character is Embraced, they are drawn behind the curtain, and everything they know is changed. The Kindred try to keep the curtain closed, convincing their prey that monsters do not, in fact, hide among them. Inevitably, cracks appear in the façade and the Damned are revealed for who they are. What happens when this occurs? For more information about the Masquerade as a concept, see p. 22.
  • The Sins of the Father: People rarely choose to become vampires. In most cases, a sire Embraces them without much regard for whether or not the individual wants to commit to an unlife of predation, scheming, and horror. Likewise, the childe acquires the sire’s Clan, and thus his powers, weaknesses, and often predilections. This is all a great allegory for the Biblical idea of Original Sin, and deeply tied to the prevailing religious origin than many vampires attribute to the state of vampirism. God cursed Caine for murdering Abel and, as descendants of that first vampire, all Kindred bear the stain of that primeval sin. This accountability, decided for each Cainite by the actions of her sire, pervades the vampire condition.
  • A War of Ages: Elder Kindred hate younger vampires because they fear new generations will take away the domains they’ve fought for decades or even centuries to establish. Younger Kindred resent their elders for the ways they selfishly lord over their domains and refuse to allow the young to make a place for themselves. It’s like waiting for a promotion that will never come because the person in the position above you is never going to die or retire — and you need your job to stay alive. Kindred history is characterized by the haves versus the have-nots, most often in the form of the elders versus the neonates. The Anarch Revolt and the subsequent Inquisition were the apex of this struggle in history, but it plays out every night on more localized scales of Kindred community and influences the way all vampires interact in the World of Darkness.
  • Inherent Conflict: Sect versus Sect. Clan versus Clan. Rebels versus the status quo. The Man versus the Beast. Everybody’s against everybody in the World of Darkness, and there’s never enough to go around. These conflicts color the other themes of the game, and what your sire has made you — in terms of Kindred, Clan, Sect, and outlook — automatically buys you a panoply of enemies.
  • Conspiracy: Wheels turn within wheels. The Kindred as a race are skilled manipulators and deceivers, the better to enact their schemes while maintaining a veneer of deniability. A neonate striking out against a hated elder might actually do so at the behest of that elder’s rival, who incited the turbulent vampire with a clever ruse. Indeed, some Kindred wonder if the whole of the Jyhad is the machination of the Antediluvians, and whether any vampire truly has free will.


Vampire stories can be complex and subtle tapestries that can evoke a variety of moods in individual chronicles. There are some, though, that are common to the World of Darkness.

  • Sensual: It might be a pang of desire, or it might be an undeniable physical lust, but becoming a vampire is a sexual consummation, as is the act of feeding. We’re dead, sexy things and we’ll never grow old, and we have a license from our maker to indulge our every erotic urge.
  • Mysterious: Fog and shadows shroud the landscape. This is the mood of Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, of Hitchcock and J. J. Abrams. The imagination is aroused by the things that remain nebulous and hidden, and even the vampires that stalk the night don’t know everything that happens in the shadows.
  • Dangerous: Nonstop action, full of intensity. The World of Darkness is a dangerous place, and death is always just around the corner. Just when you catch your breath, two guys kick in the door with guns in their hands. The life of the vampire is filled with drama and suspense.
  • Eerie: There is an oppressive weight in the air, a sense of great evil that hangs over everything. Everything has a strange, unreal quality to it. The World of Darkness is full of the bizarre, and the vampires are not the only monsters around.


  • Year: 2019
  • City: Los Angeles, California

The World of Darkness is very close to that of our own, simply dim the lights a little bit. This should be kept in mind when creating your character.

Human or Vampire?

You are able to choose whether you would like to play as a human or vampire initially. This guide covers both, so feel free to play whichever you prefer.

  • Humans: They are easier to create, as all you would be doing is making a normal person to put into play. While you won't be able to get behind the masquerade immediately, they have the benefit of learning as you do, and experiencing the most important moment in their life in character: their death. Mechanically, less is open at this time but would become available once they get embraced.
  • Vampires: It will take a little more consideration to create a vampire, but doing so leaves you various plot threads to expand as you see fit now or later on, such as the state of their mortal family and sire. They still have the opportunity to be in the dark about their existence, but the initial shock of behind dragged behind the curtain has passed. In return, more would be available immediately in a mechanical sense, although most abilities likely wouldn't be all that developed for a fledgling.

Make a Human Concept

Whether or not you decide on making a human or vampire is currently irrelevant as both of them start in the same place: a human being. Consider the following questions to get you started:

  • Place of birth, where do they live today, where have they lived and why?
  • Do they have living family? Are they close to them? Why?
  • Are they religious? What religion? How religious? (mass on Sundays, pray every meal, tithe regularly and donate time, etc.)
  • What is their place in the world from your character's point of view? Where would you like it to be?
  • What little things are important to them?
  • What weighs heavy on their soul? What sins have they committed, or if they don't believe in such things, why?
  • What habits do they have? Not just smoking, drinking, but also do they read the paper every morning, have a routine, etc.?
  • What matters to them?

This might seem like a lot, so take your time! Our goal is to create people, not character sheets. With that in mind, try and keep the person more average than not, as playing a super famous celebrity or the best mathematician of the 21st century has the potential to overshadow others playing in the setting.


Everyone plays a role, often several, every day. Every individual displays multiple layers of personality, varying from the contrived to the sincere. Each of these roles defines how we interact with the people and places around us, and we choose which parts of ourselves we wish to show.

It is the same with Kindred. The concept of Nature and Demeanor corresponds directly to the different masks we wear when we interact. A Vampire character’s Nature is her true self, her innermost being — the person she truly is. It is dangerous to show this, though, as it lets others know who we are and what is important to us. Thus, characters also have Demeanors, faces they show to the world. By choosing how we relate to the world, we are able to choose how it relates to us as well, as we guide the responses others give us.

Philosophy aside, personality also has an effect on the mechanics of Vampire. A character may regain her drive and sense of purpose by acting in accordance with her Nature. Every time a character fulfills the requirement of her Nature Archetype (see below), that character has the opportunity to regain a point of spent Willpower (see p. 267). If the Storyteller allows, the character regains the point.

Archetypes allow players to build a sense of personality for their characters, and to define a bit of what makes the character tick. It is worth noting that Archetypes are not rigid; characters need not slavishly devote themselves to their Natures and Demeanors. Rather, the character should act as the player reasonably or emotionally believes she would act in a given situation.

Each character has two archetypes, their Nature and their Demeanor. This is where you should begin to consider your character's personality. Their Nature reflects who they truly are, while their Demeanor is how they act in public. They should not be the same, as everyone wears a mask to some degree or another.

If you have absolutely no idea where to begin, try to take this personality test from their perspective. Don’t just make a perfect representation of the result, however. Instead use it as a base to modify and build from!

You can find a full list of the archetypes you’re able to pick from here.


Every Vampire character has Attributes. They represent the basic potential of every person in the world, as well as most other living (and unliving) things. Most people have Attribute ratings between 1 (poor) and 3 (good), though exceptionally gifted individuals may have ratings of 4 (excellent) or even 5 (peak human capacity). Some vampire elders have higher ratings still, while other Kindred, like the hideously ugly Nosferatu, may have ratings supernaturally lower than the human minimum.

This is where you’re going to begin the actual mechanical aspect of your character. Unlike in other TTRPGs, you aren’t going to be rolling dice at all during this process. Instead, you have a number of dots to assign depending on if you’re playing a human or vampire.

  • Vampires: 7 in Primary, 5 in Secondary, 3 in Tertiary
  • Human: 6 in Primary, 4 in Secondary, 3 in Tertiary

First, prioritize the three different categories. If your character is more smart than social, they would be a mental primary. If they are really athletic and not that good with people, they would be a physical primary.

Once you do this, now we assign the dots within the category! Note that you start with one in each which don't count towards the totals.

Anything at 4 dots should be well reasoned, like I did above, as they should be using that trait *constantly.* Nothing can be at five dots for right now, we’ll get there eventually!

To learn about what each of these attributes mean, visit the attributes page here.


As mentioned before, Abilities are the Traits used to describe what you know and what you’ve learned to do. Whereas Attributes represent your raw potential, Abilities represent the ways you’ve learned to use that potential. You may not need anything but brute strength to smash through a door — but if you’re trying to use sheer muscle power to force an engine part into place without breaking anything, you’d better know something about mechanics. When rolling dice, you’ll probably pair an Ability with an appropriate Attribute, in order to properly depict the combination of potential and know-how that’s necessary for getting things done.

Now we’ve reached the real mechanical meat of the character: the individual things that the character can do. There are 30 of them, which might make it seem overwhelming, but it won’t be as painful as it might seem!

Just like before, Vampires and Humans have different numbers of dots they can assign in the different categories:

  • Vampires: 13 in Primary, 9 in Secondary, 5 in Tertiary
  • Human: 11 in Primary, 7 in Secondary, 4 in Tertiary

Before we start assigning them, take a free dot in both drive and computers. Vampire is a little dated, so you need the first dot in drive to drive a car and the first dot in computers to use a touch screen. Unless there’s a specific reason why your character wouldn’t be able to do either of those things, add those dots now. They don’t count against your totals.

Now, just like before you need to prioritize the categories. If someone spent a lot of time in school, they’re likely a Knowledge Primary, while someone really good with technical things might be a Skills Primary. It’s highly encouraged to take a look at what each dot means before assigning them, as they might be different than what you believe. Here is our abilities page where you can browse all of them.

Anything at 3 dots should be something they are doing *constantly.* Our boxer can have 3 dots in Brawl because he’s in the ring for a living, but having 3 dots in Larceny when he doesn’t know how to pick a lock or break into a building wouldn’t make sense.

Nothing at this stage can be at 4 dots or higher. This is a standard character creation rule, not a house rule. If you have dots that are at 4 or 5 at this point, please place them elsewhere.


Some characters are especially good at particular applications of their Traits. For example, a mechanic might be particularly good with muscle cars, a thief might excel at breaking and entering, or a brawler might be infamous as a dirty fighter. To represent this, characters with ratings of 4 or higher in Attributes or Abilities may choose specialties for those Traits.

A specialty is a particular subcategory of an Attribute or Ability — thus, a character with a Strength 5 might choose to be especially adept in deadlifting, while a character with Performance 4 might be renowned for her singing. Whenever a player makes a die roll involving an activity in which her character has specialized, she may count any die that comes up “10” as two successes instead of just one

With all of those dots assigned, check to see if you have an Attribute at 4 dots. If you do, choose a specialty for that trait. Remember that they’re supposed to be specific rather than broad.

Example specialties are on the Attributes page.


Now that we have a rough outline of a character, we can now consider what clan they are going to be. If you’re making a human, obviously to can skip this step! They are broken down like this:

  • Difficulty: How easy the clan is to portray, both narratively and mechanically managing their weakness
  • Disciplines: The supernatural powers the clan has innate access to. This should not have a big impact on your decision!
  • Weakness: The weakness that ties them to their clan

The clans that you have access to, being a new player, are as follows. Click on the red link headers to learn more!

Once you decide on a clan, make sure to read their entry in the core rulebook, and then their section in Lore of the Clans. This should give you a great idea of the clan you are going to portray.


I decided our boxer was Embraced by a Brujah. But, someone doesn’t just spontaneously become a Brujah, they had to be turned into one by another vampire. This is called the Embrace.

The process is simple: the childer-to-be is killed by their Sire, the vampire turning them, and then fed some of their blood. This immediately awakens the childe into their first hunger frenzy where they’ll attack the closest blood container to them, whether that’s their Sire, prey their sire provided, or an unfortunate passerby.

It’s important to really consider *why* your character was embraced by their Sire. Did a Toreador find their art utterly captivating, to the point where they had to eternalize the artist? Did a Gangrel stalk them along nightly treks in the woods, drawn to their resilience?

Once you create a rough outline of who their sire is, you need to decide their generation, as your character’s generation will be one step higher than theirs. The lowest generation the sire of a new player can be is 9 for the purpose of keeping things simple. Once you decide, add one onto it to get the generation of your character. Then fill out their blood pool maximum and blood pool per turn from the chart below.

Generation Blood Pool Max Blood Per Turn
Tenth 13 1
Eleventh 12 1
Twelfth 11 1
Thirteenth 10 1


Each vampire starts with the three disciplines that are innate to their clan, which are listed above. You get three dots to distribute however you like, whether that’s three all in one, one in each, and so on.

For a quick reference, here’s a basic summary of what they do before you decide:


Backgrounds describe advantages of relationship, circumstance, and opportunity: material possessions, social networks, and the like. Backgrounds are external, not internal, Traits, and you should always rationalize how you came to possess them, as well as what they represent. Who are your contacts? Why do your allies support you? Where did you meet your retainers? What investments do you possess that yield your four dots in Resources? If you’ve put enough detail into your character concept, selecting appropriate Backgrounds should be easy.

Backgrounds are the other “things” your character has that needs to be represented mechanically, but doesn’t/can’t have an associated XP cost. That being said, backgrounds can’t be increased with experience points and must be earned throughout roleplay.

You get 5 dots to spend however you like, although we have some restrictions:

  • Allies, Alternate Identity, Contacts, Fame, Herd, Influence, Mentor, Resources, and Retainers must be pre-approved past 3 dots
  • NPCs might need character sheets, refer to our NPC guide for more
  • Status and Domain (official territory granted by the Baron) must be pre-approved regardless of dots

You should also be aware that Generation must be taken to be lower than 13th. 1 dot would be 12th, 2 would be 11th, to a maximum of 3 at 10th.

The backgrounds you are able to purchase are below:


The Virtue Traits define a character’s outlook on unlife — they shape a character’s ethical code and describe his commitment to his chosen morality. Virtues exist to help give a character a sense of being, not to force players to portray their characters in a given way. However, Kindred are passionate creatures, and sometimes an act or situation may force a character to consider exactly how she should react to a given stimulus. Virtues come into play when a character faces an impending frenzy, does something ethically questionable (according to the character’s morality), or confronts something that terrifies or disturbs her.

In a game about monsters and trying to stave off becoming the Beast, there needs to be some type of gauge of a character’s morals and how well they’re able to abide by them. These are known as Virtues, and there are three of them: Conscience, Self-Control, and Courage.

Each character starts with one in each Virtue automatically, and has 7 dots to distribute between them. As with Attributes, 2 dots is considered a “normal” human level.


Let’s make one thing clear: just because a vampire follows the Path of Humanity doesn’t mean she is a friendly, congenial saint. Vampires are predators by nature, and Humanity only gifts them with the ability to pretend they’re not. It is an internal charade that protects a Kindred from herself, much as the Masquerade protects vampires from the mortals outside.

Unfortunately, the very nature of existence as a vampire is anathema to one’s Humanity. As the centuries wear on, the Beast takes hold, and Kindred become less and less concerned with the wellbeing of the kine (after all, they’ll die eventually, anyway). As such, characters are likely to lose Humanity over the course of the game.

Mortals also typically follow the Path of Humanity, though this is largely out of ignorance: They don’t know they can be anything else. As such, this mechanical system for morality rarely comes into play for them. Certainly, some mortals — rapists, murderers, and the like — have low Humanity ratings, but they have no Beast roiling within them, as do the Kindred. It is possible for a vampire with a high Humanity rating to be more humane than some mortals are!

Speaking of a morality system, every character as a rating that reflects how well they’re staving off the Beast, their Humanity. The initial value is going to be calculated by adding the total of dots between Conscience and Self-Control for both Human and Vampire characters.

Humans are normally considered to be at 7 for an ‘average’ score, and this is where we recommend your character to be, though 6 is also acceptable. If they aren’t around this level, that’ll be able to be fixed a bit later on.

Since our boxer had 4 in Conscience and 3 in Self-Control, that would put his humanity at 6. We can justify this by saying that since he had grown up in a rough neighborhood, he was desensitized to a lot of the grimier parts of life, such as death and destruction.

To learn about the effects of Humanity, what each level means, and what happens when you reach 0, please check out the Humanity page.


Willpower measures a character’s inner drive and competence at overcoming unfavorable odds. Unlike other Traits, Willpower has both a permanent rating and a temporary pool of points. The rating is rolled or tested, while the pool is spent. When a player spends a point of a character’s Willpower, she should cross off the point from the Willpower pool (the squares), not the Willpower rating (the circles). The rating stays constant — if a character needs to roll Willpower for some reason, she bases the roll on the permanent rating. The pool is used up during the story.

A character’s Willpower pool will likely fluctuate a great deal during the course of a story or chronicle. It decreases by one point every time a player uses a Willpower point to enable his character to do something extraordinary, like maintain self-control or gain an automatic success. Eventually, the character will have no Willpower left, and will no longer be able to exert the effort he once could. A character with no Willpower pool is exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually, and will have great difficulty doing anything, as he can no longer muster the energy to undertake an action or cause. Willpower points can be regained during the course of a story, though players are advised to be frugal with their characters’ Willpower pools.

Willpower is regained at one point per evening, although this doesn’t mean that it should be spent on every roll one undertakes. It should be seen as an extreme exertion on the character’s part which takes quite a bit out of them each time.

The character’s initial Willpower is based on their Courage rating. Humans normally have 2-4, whereas Vampires can have more. Anything higher than 6 should be well justified, as reaching high levels of mental fortitude isn’t easy.

With 4 Courage, our Boxer is going to start with 4 Willpower.

Blood Pool

A character’s blood pool measures how much vitae the vampire has in his system. The blood pool comprises a number of individual blood points. Each blood point corresponds roughly to one-tenth of the blood in an average adult mortal (a pint or one-half liter outside of a human).

Vampires need blood to sustain themselves, that’s a focal point of the curse that’s befallen them. All vampire characters will start with 5 in their pool to keep anyone from being too hungry.

To see how blood can be spent, please read “Using Blood Pool” on page 268 of the core.


Congratulations! You’ve finished the bulk of character creation. As-is, this sheet is mechanically playable, however there’s another, optional, step that can be done to give the character a little more depth.

Vampires get 15 freebie points, and Humans get 21 (as compensation for their lack of dots elsewhere.) This can be increased by 7 for each by taking Flaws to maximums of 22 and 28 respectively. Think of these points as supercharged experience points. They’re to help round out a character.

What can I spend Freebie Points on?

You can spend them according to the following table. Note that if you’re playing a Human, you won’t be able to purchase disciplines and background dots might be hard to justify. Remember to keep a receipt of what you spend them on, and even color the dots you add in something other than black so we can easily tell at a glance.

Trait Cost
Attribute 5 per dot
Ability 2 per dot
Discipline 7 per dot
Backgrounds 1 per dot
Virtue 2 per dot
Humanity 2 per dot
Willpower 1 per dot


  • Willpower: If your character is at 2, make sure to reach at least 4 if they’re human, or 5 as a Vampire. Note that anything past those values is going to require justification.
  • Humanity: If the character is at 5 humanity or less, bring them up to 6 or 7.
  • Attributes: If there’s an Attribute they have that’s at 1, and you can’t justify it being at a below-average level, then increase it to 2.
  • Abilities: If there’s anything they’re really good at, you’re welcome to increase a 3 dot ability to a 4. If you do this, remember to apply a specialty.

Merits and Flaws

Properly used, Merits and Flaws help players create and individualize their characters. Merits are special abilities or advantages that are rare or unique in the general Kindred population, while Flaws are liabilities or disadvantages that pose challenges to a character’s nightly existence. These Traits can provide player characters with added depth and personality, but Storytellers should be careful to ensure that any Traits chosen will not adversely influence the course of the chronicle or give one character an unfair advantage over the rest.

Merits and Flaws should be taken with the goal of adding depth to a character, not making them insane mechanically. If you imagined that your character would’ve been wearing glasses from the start, give them Bad Sight, and if you think that your character has never been in a fight before, they should have Combat Novice.

All of the Merits and Flaws we recognize are here.


  • Merits and Flaws are earned and cannot be purchased with experience as long as it says they’re learnable. Flaws earned this way seldom provide compensation.
  • Check to make sure what you would like to take isn’t restricted based on your character type or clan
  • Banned Merits and Flaws will not be allowed in play, please don’t ask
  • Anything restricted will require approval before it can be taken
  • You can take more Flaws past the 7 points without compensation
  • Flaws can be “purchased” away with experience later if it seems logical to do so (such as someone with Incomplete Understanding being taught about Kindred society and gaining a mentor.) This won’t remove the Freebies you gained from having the flaw.

What if I’m playing a Human?

You’re allowed to save as many freebies as you would like to spend on merits after Embrace or ghouling IC, this just needs to be noted on your character sheet. Note while we’ll allow you to add merits and flaws, we won’t allow you to spend those freebies on anything else at that time, so please choose how many you’re saving wisely.


Human characters can’t start with bonus experience. Vampire characters over a year of age will collect 1 point per year of unlife to a maximum of 10 for the purpose of being a new character. Add whatever bonus you have to your sheet, as you can spend it at a later time.

Additional Requirements

Aside from the character sheet, we require a backstory with a 500 word minimum. If you don't have an idea of how to start this, or you're unsure of how to structure it, use this as a guide:

Remember that this isn't a narrative story but a way to inform the Storytellers. You should put information in their biography, such as why they were embraced, even if the character isn't aware of it themselves.


All character sheets are submitted directly through our bot, Caine. Please visit his documentation here and refer to #getting-started for more information.


If you have further questions, please message the Storyteller, an Assistant Storyteller, or post in #roleplay-discussion. Thank you!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License