Strigoi

A strigoi is a very specific kind of necromancer who not only is capable of controlling the undead, but is capable of feeding upon the living.

The word, “strigoi” is rooted in the Romanian words “to scream” and is often used in reference to a kind of immortal vampire. For this reason, it very much applies here.

No one knows for certain how a strigoi comes to be, although it is thought possible for one strigoi to cause the birth of a new strigoi on purpose. In addition, it is possible a strigoi could be created due to a curse, by a corrupted pregnancy, or some other method but a strigoi is so rare almost nothing is known of them.

Anchors

Like the Kindred Strigoi have a Mask and a Dirge, the face they present to the prey among whom Strigoi also hide, and their true self, the one Strigoi show only other monsters.

Strigoi also use Humanity and must be wary of becoming a true monster, just as Kindred do. Strigoi necromancers have a Touchstone, at least to start with, that helps keep them in touch with their tattered humanity, that reminds them what it was to be human. This can be a person, place or thing and works just like it does for Kindred.

For breaking points, refer to the same Humanity scale Kindred use.

Clans, Bloodlines, and Covenants

Strigoi are each fairly unique. They resemble the Ventrue clan in some ways but do not suffer a clan curse. They also do not gain a free dot in an attribute. Because each Strigoi is fairly unique, there is no need for Bloodlines.

Strigoi may join any vampire Covenant.

Strigoi Potency

This functions much like Blood Potency for vampires and provides similar advantages.

Strigoi Potency Attribut/Skill Max Max Vitae/Per Turn Can Feed From
1 5 10/1 Plants
2 5 11/2 Plants
3 5 12/3 Animals
4 5 13/4 Animals
5 5 15/5 Mortals
6 6 20/6 Mortals
7 7 25/7 Mortals
8 8 30/8 Kindred
9 9 50/10 Kindred
10 10 75/15 Kindred

Edges

Strigoi have a number of deathly edges that provide them with advantages at night including the ability to pass as one of the Kindred.

Pallor of Death
Unless Strigoi are using the full power of their Strigoi Potency to feed upon  life force, they appear human. However, should they wish to take on the deathlike pallor of the undead, they can spend 1 Vitae to appear functionally similar to vampires who are not using the Blush of Life. This lasts for 1 scene.

Undead Senses
Strigoi suffer no vision penalties for darkness. Utter darkness costs -2 dice from any rolls to perceive things. Strigoi sense the living and the dead at a range of 3 yards per dot of Strigoi Potency. If the Strigoi has tasted the life essence of a specific living creature, you can track it via this innate sense. When using their Strigoi nature to sense the living, they always add their dots of Strigoi Potency to the dice pool.
Finally, Strigoi necromancers can see and hear beings in Twilight. These ephemeral beings normally remain unseen and undetected in the physical world, but Strigoi senses are keenly attuned to the dead and pick up on them when others cannot.

Physical Intensity
You can spend 1 Vitae to gain a +2 to any physical attribute for one action.

Healing
You can spend 1 Vitae to heal 2 bashing or 1 lethal damage. Aggravated damage requires a lot more — 5 Vitae and 1 day of sleep is required to heal each point of agg damage. You can also heal as a normal human. That is, Bashing goes away at a rate of 1 point per 15 minutes, Lethal 1 point per 2 days, and Aggravated heals 1 point a week.

Because you are still mostly a living being, you do not fall into torpor when your last health box is marked with lethal damage. You being dying, instead. Note that if you have fed from or been tainted by a Vampire, there is a chance you could rise again as a revenant, or even be raised as Kindred. If this happens, you retain your dots in Disciplines, although any dots in Command the Dead are converted into the Dominate Discipline. The Dominate Discipline is then considered to be an in-clan discipline even if you are not Ventrue.

Daylight

Unlike Kindred, you do not bear the curse of undeath. You can tolerate the sun. However, anything that requires Vitae is inaccessible during the day.

Immortality

You cease aging at the point you discover your Strigoi powers, representing a transition to becoming a true supernatural being. While you can walk unharmed in the sun, you can be injured as easily as a human. A Strigoi must conceal what they are to both the living and the dead.
As you age, your Strigoi powers grow. Every 50 years, your Strigoi Potency increases by 1 dot. You can also increase it by spending 5 Experiences for a dot. However, note that you cannot later lower your Strigoi Potency. Eventually, you will be able to feed only upon the most concentrated and potent sources of concentrated life essence that is stored in the veins of the Kindred.

Predatory Aura

You can always sense another vampire using almost any of your senses because you instinctively know your prey — just as they do. Kindred can also sense you, although to them you come off as another vampire. This is not inaccurate, it’s just not the full story.

You can use your predatory aura in ways very similar to how a vampire uses theirs. Invoke your aura in any of three ways:

  • The Monstrous Predator. Roll Strength + Strigoi Potency
  • The Seductive Predator. Roll Presence + Strigoi Potency
  • The Competitive Predator. Roll Intelligence + Strigoi Potency

The victim can try to either fight this, or withdraw. Contesting means the victim must roll their Power Attribute + Blood Potency (or other supernatural trait, if they have one). If you have more successes, then you place a Condition on the victim associated with the Predator you invoked. And, you get +2 dice on any roll to pursue your Predator’s aspect for the scene. If your intended victim has more successes, then he turns things around on you, getting that +2 dice bonus.

Mortals can try to fight the Predator in you, but they never get to impose a Condition. They do get a +2 bonus to attack or flee.
On a tie, both inflict Conditions on the other, if able. Neither gets bonus dice.

If the victim chooses to withdraw, then there isn’t a roll. And you can still pursue them if you want. Plus, the victim has the Condition associated with the Predator you invoked.

Feeding

You may not have the toughness of a vampire, but you are able to feed directly off life essence of both the living and the dead.

Specifically, you can feed off the life force of significant vegetation, animals, humans and the concentrated, stolen life essence that vampires contain. As your power as a Strigoi grows, however, your selection narrows. See the above chart to see what the minimum life is required to feed you.

Aggressive Feeding
When you feed aggressively, you reveal your true power. You become ethereal (consider yourself to be in the state of Twilight, unable to be affected by physical things but can interact with other ethereal things), ghostly and even terrifying. Although ethereal and unable to touch things in the physical world, you are still able to feed by drawing life essence.

Take an instant action to use your Dexterity + Brawl + Strigoi Potency to begin aggressive feeding. A victim can uses their Stamina and adds any Supernatural Tolerance (Blood Potency, Primal Urge, etc.) to it to attempt to avoid the leeching of their life essence. Success means you can feed rapidly, taking 1 Vitae per success up to an amount equal to your dots in Strigoi Potency. So at Strigoi Potency 1 you can take 1 Vitae per turn. At Strigoi Potency 5, you can drain up to 5 Vitae per turn. Failure on your attack roll means you gain no Vitae and exit Twilight.

Mortals and animals fed upon this way gain the Scarred Condition. Mortal victims take 1 Lethal for every point of Vitae drained, but Vampire lose their Vitae. They take Lethal damage after all Vitae is drained, likely resulting in frenzy. A mortal slain by this Feeding may rise again as one of the walking dead, such as a revenant. See Cycle of Death below.

A vampire drained until they run out of Vitae then takes lethal damage. If a vampire is destroyed by this kind of feeding, their soul is consumed — follow the rules for diablerie described on Vampire the Requiem Second Edition p. 101.

This kind of feeding has a dramatic effect on your victims. Veins close to the skin are blackened and bruised and their body is marked as if hit by multiple tasers. These visible effects goes away when the damage is healed.

Dice Pool: Dexterity + Brawl + Strigoi Potency – (Stamina + Supernatural Tolerance)

Dramatic Failure: You fail to feed, leave Twilight, and gain the Stunned Tilt (see Chronicles of Darkness p. 286).

Failure: You fail to feed and leave Twilight, becoming physical.

Success: Drain 1 Vitae per success up to your dots of Strigoi Potency. Mortals take 1 lethal damage per Vitae drained this way. Vampires lose 1 Vitae per Vitae drained until they run out, after which they take lethal.

Success with Style: If your total successes exceed the maximum amount of Vitae you can drain in a single attack, you can drain one extra Vitae. So if you have Strigoi Potency ●●● and gain five successes, you can drain four Vitae instead of your normal maximum of three.

The Caress
When a Strigoi decides to feed in a non-violent way, they can make it an enticing, exciting experience for the victim. The passage of life essence into the Strigoi leaves a mortal with the Swooning Condition. Such careful feeding can gain the Strigoi only 1 Vitae per turn, but leaves no trace of the feeding, and maintains Strigoi’s disguise of human (or vampire if he was using Pallor of Death).

“Mortal”, for feeding, means humans, ghouls, warlocks, witches, and other people that mostly human. Vampires, werewolves, mummies, fairies, and other things that are very far from human don’t take the above mentioned Conditions unless the Strigoi purposely makes it so by spending a point of Willpower. However, Kindred, who are familiar with the technique find its use on their own kind degrading.

As per aggressive feeding, each point of Vitae drained of mortals inflicts one point of Lethal damage. Vampires lose Vitae first, then Lethal damage when all Vitae is gone. Draining a vampire to this point can result in a frenzy.

Feeding on other supernaturals:
This is possible by purchasing the Unnatural Affinity Merit, which allows you to feed from werewolves, ghosts, mummies, zombies, or other even stranger things. This counts as Kindred Vitae for the purposes of feeding restrictions according to Strigoi Potency. Each dot you purchase lets you name another supernatural creature from which you can feed. Note the details of this Merit from the Kindred Merit of the same name.

Starting Vitae
When a GM calls for a starting Vitae roll, usually at the beginning of most game sessions, Strigoi have the same die roll. That is, roll a 1d10 and add your Feeding Grounds Merit.

Cycle of Death

The way a Strigoi necromancer arises is clouded in mystery, but it is clear that sometimes they can inflict a deathless curse upon their victims. When a mortal victim is drained by a Strigoi and then dies, there is a chance they will rise again as a revenant. This is an unintentional side effect that most Strigoi try to avoid.

When a victim is drained to death by a Strigoi necromancer, roll dice equal to the Strigoi Potency. Success means that the victim rises in one week minus the number of successes rolled. See page 94 for details on the revenant.

Because a revenant can be a threat to the Strigoi, it is best to make certain an unintentionally killed victim cannot rise again.

Sleep

Strigoi don’t need to sleep. A Strigoi can sleep, if he so chooses, but they can use a little of of their stolen life essence to keep their bodies up and running and so it is not strictly necessary. When you choose not to sleep in a 24 hour period, spend 1 Vitae at dawn to avoid any penalties to dice rolls or any condition for not sleeping that day.

Vitae Addiction

When a Strigoi necromancer drains Vitae from a vampire, the rush of absorbing such concentrated stolen life essence can be intoxicating. This works like normal Vitae Addiction; roll Resolve + Composure -1 die for each point of Kindred Vitae consumed. On a failure, you gain the Persistent Addicted Condition.

Vitae Addiction does not apply to ancient, powerful Strigoi who can only feed upon vampires or other supernaturals.

Blood Bonds

The type of feeding on life force that Strigoi employ does not make them susceptible to Blood Bonds. However, they also cannot use their own blood to create a Blood Bond of their own.

If a Strigoi actually drinks vampire blood, then he is as vulnerable to the Blood Bond as any creature.

Ghouls

Strigoi are unable to create ghouls of their own. Their servants tend to be those addicted to the Caress, or those undead that have been thoroughly dominated through use of Command the Dead.

Diablerie

Strigoi can commit diablerie, with all the benefits and drawbacks, and potential diablerie addiction, that Kindred enjoy.

Frenzy

Strigoi can be angered like any creature, but they are not susceptible to the blind rage of a beast.

Banes

While Strigoi never suffer from Clan Banes, nor do they suffer from Sunlight and Fire as Kindred do, they have different weaknesses.
Choose two banes from the list on pages 108-109 of Vampire Second Edition, or make up your own using those as a guide.

Disciplines

Strigoi necromancers have one power in common, but other powers can vary. The most important power is Command the Dead. They also can choose two other Disciplines from the following list: Animalism, Celerity, Obfuscate, Resilience, or Vigor. All three of these Disciplines are considered “in-clan” for the purpose of purchasing them. Other Disciplines are learned as out of clan Disciplines.

Starting Strigoi characters can have no more than two dots in any one Discipline.

Command the Dead
This Discipline works precisely like the Dominate Discipline, except that it applies only to the animate dead. This means Kindred, ghosts, zombies, and anything else that would be considered dead yet still capable of thought and action. You gain +3 dice to any dice pool used with this Discipline.

In addition, all Strigoi, once they reach the fourth dot in Command the Dead, automatically gain the Summoning Devotion.

Devotions

The Harrowing
Requires Strigoi, Resilience ● ●
This Devotion delves into the Strigoi’s ability to enter Twilight when aggressively feeding and expand on it. When using this Devotion, the necromancer spends 1 Vitae and takes on a frightening, undead appearance just as when aggressively feeding, but becomes incorporeal, entering the state of Twilight. Although the necromancer is visible to those in the physical world, the Obfuscate Discipline could be used to help conceal him.

While incorporeal, the necromancer cannot physically interact with anything not also in a state of Twilight. Command the Dead and other non-physical disciplines that only require the subject see the necromancer can still be used.

The ability lasts for a scene, but can be ended sooner if the Strigoi so wishes. If the Strigoi uses aggressive feeding, this Harrowing effect also ends.

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