Rage against the God-Machine
Virtue and Vice
The following rules update those found on pp. 100–105 of the World of Darkness Rulebook.
Rather than selecting from the set lists of Virtues and Vices during character creation, the player should define one Virtue and one Vice for their character in conjunction with the Storyteller. The Virtue and Vice descriptions should follow the following criteria.
• Both Virtue and Vice should be adjectives that describe dominant personality traits. Physical descriptions (“un-kempt,” for example) are not appropriate.
• Similarly, traits that describe existing Attributes, Advantages, or Skills aren’t suitable. “Strong” or “Composed” are not appropriate, for example.
• A character’s Virtue should be something that gives her a great sense of self-actualization, but which she is often tempted to ignore. It’s her higher calling, the personality trait that would be at the fore all the time if she didn’t live in the World of Darkness. It should be both difficult to act upon and make her feel good when she does make the effort.
• A character’s Vice, on the other hand, is a source of short-term comfort and a distraction from the world. Vice should be the easy way out, the sand he buries his head in, like a bully lashing out to avoid his own fear or an alcoholic drinking to forget.
• The adjectives chosen for Virtue and Vice should be different, but only within a single character — it’s fine for one character in a chronicle to have “Ambitious” as a Virtue while another character has it as a Vice, for example.
• Virtue and Vice aren’t linked to Integrity. You shouldn’t pick “Moral” as your Virtue, “Immoral” as your Vice or similar adjectives. It should be possible to suffer breaking points (see p. 155) while acting in accordance with your Virtue.
• While characters aren’t forced to keep the same Virtue or Vice for their entire lives, they shouldn’t be transitory or easily-overcome. Both traits should be deep-seated, the core of the character as an individual.
• The entire troupe should agree on the Virtues and Vices in play. Because they’re the primary means of recovering Willpower in-play, Vice conditions in particular signal how a player intends to roleplay their character repeatedly. If your intended Vice makes another player uncomfortable, you should pick a different one.
Virtue and Vice in Play
When a character acts in accordance with his Virtue or Vice during a scene, his sense of self is reinforced and his reserves of inner strength are refreshed. If the Storyteller judges that your character’s actions dur-ing a scene reflect his Vice, he regains one spent Willpower point. Note that in a change to the rules in the World of Darkness Rulebook, acting on a Vice does not need to pose difficulty or risk to your character. If the Storyteller judges that your character’s actions during a scene reflected her Virtue while posing her difficulty or risk, she regains all spent Willpower. She may regain Willpower up to twice per chapter/game session in this way.
Modifying Virtues and Vices
Characters may change Virtue or Vice during play in response to life- or personality-altering events. One of the following conditions must be met.
• The character has lost four or more dots of Integrity after character creation.
• The character is merged with an ephemeral entity, spending time under the Claimed Condition.
• The character has become a supernatural creature.
Multiple Virtues or Vices
Although even the most immoral characters still have a Virtue and the most saintly still suffer the temptations of a Vice, some characters identify so strongly with doing the selfish thing or risking themselves on behalf of others that they develop a second trait, as represented by one of the following Merits.
Effect: Your character is a light of good in the World of Darkness. She has two Virtues. The limitations of how many times she may refresh Willpower using a Virtue remain the same, but it’s up to you which Virtue she uses each time.
Effect: Your character is one of the worst examples of humanity in the World of Darkness. He has two Vices, although he may still only regain one Willpower per scene in which he indulges himself.