Blood Bond

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Ahhh…where to begin on this one. The Blood Bond occurs when a character drinks the blood of a vampire. When a character drinks three times from the same vampire in the course of a year, he is Blood Bound to the vampire he partook of.


The Blood Bond State

The Blood Bond is a state servitude. The one who drank the blood is the servant of the vampire he drank from. The servant is said to be in thrall of another and is referred to as a Thrall. The master is referred to as the Regnant. The metaphor used for this condition is love and it manifests in many different ways depending on the personalities of the Kindred involved just as love manifests differently in real life. The constant is that for the Thrall, the Regnant becomes the most important figure in his unlife or life (if the Thrall is someone other than another Kindred). Thralls will do just about anything for their masters. Indeed certain personality types that are particularly dependent or of low Willpower can even commit suicide at the bequest of the Regnant. That is how powerful it is.

Not only does the Blood Bond have severe emotional implications, the very nature of Kindred blood and its addictive qualities further manipulate the Thrall into servitude. Vitae is like heroin and once you are on it and enthralled by a Kindred it is you are hooked on the "juice". Relationships of this manner ARE a perverted form of "love" as both the hunger for the taste and the emotional affections of the Regnant become the focus of the minds of most Thralls. It is in this manner that elders retain the control of younger Kindred.

The Blood Bond varies in its type. Some vampires use it as a means of control and there is very little warmth in the relationship. However the addictive qualities are still there and the bond is re-enforced with further feedings. Others are mutual when two vampires decide to enter into a mutual bond it is the closest thing a vampire can feel to "love" in the sense we as people know it. Still others are bonds in which there is affection but it is not mutual and there are perverse bonds where Thralls are abused and tormented.

A Thrall is never indifferent towards his Regnant. If he is abused, then it might turn to hate. If he is neglected it could turn to jealousy. This might serve to weaken the bond, but with further feedings or the mere sight of the Regnant even this can be overcome. Think of the Offspring song "Self Esteem" and you pretty much get how an abused Thrall feels. They hate what they are reduced to and possibly even hate the Regnant but there isn't anything that they are going to do about it. They are hooked.

We like to use this analogy when describing how the Blood Bond affects an enthralled vampire…

You are a vampire. All you know of the world is death and callousness and paranoia. Then along comes this person. This person is another vampire. He takes you and feeds you and at the first drink of the precious liquid something happens that you never felt before. All of a sudden there is a spark of warmth in your miserable and tragic existence. It is like a sheer comfy haze that starts to envelop you and makes you feel safe. You feel that pull of the comfy place. On the second drink you feel it again. Only the comfy place is more comfy and you start to feel the draw to it. It is a safe place - a place to forget all your problems. And this wonderful person is offering it to you. On the third drink you are completely enveloped in this comfy haze and you are safe. This wonderful person has come into your life and made all the pain go away and made all the bad things not matter and provided you with a place to feel protected and not alone. And this person makes sure that you are always nice and warm and cozy by coming to you and offering you more and more each time the haze further sucks you in, making you warmer and cozier. When you felt hat the cozy place may be taken away or if it is denied or if the cozy place becomes cold and painful, this haze starts to part and you can see a little bit outside, but not much. You start to think maybe this might not be a cozy place after all and maybe you should try to get out. Then the wonderful person comes back and shows you the cozy place again and you feel it. So you drink again knowing that it is probably a bad thing and you hate yourself for doing it, but it is just too warm and cozy to resist for long. At this point you are sucked in a downward spiral and each time you climb a few stairs along the spiral, the light at the top of the stairs gets smaller and smaller until you just can’t see it anymore. At this point you are in so deep into the cozy place, that nothing else really matters.

Stages of the Bond

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First Drink – The drinker begins to experience intermittent but strong feelings about the vampire. He may dream of her, or find himself "coincidentally" frequenting places where she might show up.

Second Drink – The drinker’s feelings grow strong enough to influence his behavior. Though he is not enslaved by the vampire, she is definitely an important figure in his life. He may act as he pleases, but might have to make a Willpower roll to take actions directly harmful to the vampire. The vampire is such an influence that she can persuade or command him with little effort (social rolls at –1 diff).

Third Drink – Full scale Blood Bond. The vampire is the most important person in the life of the drinker; lovers, relatives, and even children take a back seat to his all-consuming passion.

Blood Bond Systems

Blood Bonds transcend Generation, sex, age, race, etc. After all for vampires sex isn't so much an issue anymore. Blood is. Therefore, it is possible for a 13th Generation neonate to Blood Bond a 9th Generation Kindred. It is only possible to be in Thrall to one Kindred at a time. Once fully bonded to a Kindred, future attempts to be Blood Bound by other Kindred will fail. It is said that Regnants and Thralls experience a sort of connection. Particularly empathic Regnants can indeed feel the emotions of their Thralls at any given time and may even know their approximate distance and direction from them. Both Regnants and Thralls even feel when one or the other is in danger and the Thrall will rush to the aid of the Regnant. Regnants with Dominate may Dominate Thralls without the benefit of eye contact. Only the voice need be heard. Additionally the Thrall’s resistance to Dominate of the Regnant is at +2 Diff.

Effects of the blood fade after abstaining for a specified period of time. Those victims who have partaken of the first drink are free of its effects after 5 months - Self-Control (One month minimum. Also, Garou use Permanent Rage and Mages use Permanent Willpower instead of Self-Control). So a victim with 3 Self-Control is free of the effects of a stage 1 Blood Bond if they avoid drinking the blood of the same vampire for 2 months real time. If the vampire in question dies, prior to the drink fading all symptoms disappear.

At a second drink state Blood Bond, the system to resist is the same though it requires 9 months - Self-Control (Garou use Permanent Rage and Mages use Permanent Willpower instead of Self-Control) for the bond to fade into a first degree Blood Bond. If the vampire in question dies, prior to the drink fading all symptoms disappear.

Once a full Bond is formed, the Thrall must follow the system for resisting a Full Blood Bond until the Blood Bond is completely faded. That is, a full Blood Bond takes much longer to completely fade through the various stages than it does for the first and second drinks of a never fully realized Blood Bond.

A full Blood Bond may be broken if the Thrall has not tasted the blood of the Regnant or seen the Regnant for a period of (12 months - Self-Control. Garou use Permanent Rage and Mages use Permanent Willpower instead of Self-Control) in such cases, that will reduce the effectiveness of the bond to by one level. If the Regnant is killed, the bond is broken. In cases of the loss of the Regnant’s unlife, there is a physical and emotional loss that is a sudden shock to the system and will cause a Self-Control roll on the part of the Thrall (diff varies from 6 to 9 depending on the duration, nature, and strength of the Bond).

To resist a full Blood Bond at any given time, it requires major amounts of Willpower expenditures and the Thrall must have a nature that is highly non-Conformist as well as a current Willpower pool of at least 7. The Thrall must roll Willpower (diff is typically 8 and may be adjusted depending on the nature and treatment of the Thrall) and must accumulate enough successes equal to the number of times he has partaken of the Regnant’s blood (extended action). After accumulating the necessary successes, the Thrall then may spend a Willpower point to resist the Blood Bond for a scene (if simply plotting against the Regnant) or a turn (to attack the Regnant). A failure indicates that he has lost will to resist the bond for the next month real time and feels incredibly guilty at having thoughts of resistance. A botch indicates that the Thrall loses a permanent Willpower and will quiver at the mere sight of the Regnant and will not even think to resist the Bond for a period of at least 6 months real time.

Messing with Other Supernaturals

Garou that drink vitae immediately roll Rage at Diff 3. If Frenzy occurs it will always be berserk frenzy directed at the vampire whose blood the Garou drank. He is like a rabid bloodhound who will stop at nothing short of the destruction of the vampire. If no Frenzy occurs, then follow the systems for a first stage drink with the added complication of a feral, instinctual, and unwholesome desire to destroy the vampire lurking beneath the surface mixed in with any feelings of warmth. The Garou will always and instinctively know whose blood it is that they have ingested and for the purposes of certain tracking Gifts and Rites, the vampire is now considered an intimate for the purposes of calculating tracking difficulty and can be located with ease.

Mages will make an Awareness check to discover the foreign and supernatural substance in their own bodies (Diff 5). Three or more successes are required to discern whose blood it is by such means and their relative direction if it's not readily apparent. Once the substance is detected, a Mage can use whatever means at their disposal to find the vampire, correct the issue, and treat symptoms. Vitae is Tass and so each drink will give 1 point of Quintessence if it is refined using Prime. However, the Resonance of vitae is heavily Entropic and lifeless.

Further Reading

Ghouls, Bonds of Blood, Vampire 101

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