A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma: Kindred Personal Secrets
Back to Storytelling Index
In Chicago By Night, White Wolf introduced a trait called City Secrets. Storyteller characters have a grade in this trait (A to F) indicating how much they know about what's really going on in Kindred society. This was a good idea and I expanded it for my Storyteller characters.
The game's title includes an allusion to a conspiracy, the Masquerade. Secrets are an integral part of the genre. So City Secrets isn't all a Storyteller should consider. Kindred seem more real to me if they have secrets of their own to hide.
For every Storyteller character I write up one or more Personal Secrets. Merits & Flaws are a good place to look to start inventing new Personal Secrets. This must be something the character doesn't want anyone else to know about.
Personal Secrets are a great tool to represent the paranoia and horror of the game. Some are mundane, some supernatural. They can be political, social or physical. Here is a list of some Personal Secrets I came up with.
- has powers outside her clan.
- poses as a lower-generation than she really is.
- acts like a different clan than she really is.
- was Embraced by an opposing sect.
- deals with an opposing sect or enemy group (like Lupines).
- studies an opposing sect or enemy group.
- is Blood Bound.
- has broken a Blood Bond.
- actively conspires against a major character or an entire clan.
- idolizes another Kindred.
- wishes to sire progeny, or already has against the Prince's will.
- plots to become Prince.
- is hunted by someone powerful.
- accidentally learned another character's personal secret.
- knows about sect secrets she shouldn't.
- runs a blood cult.
- hates members of the opposite sex.
- is in love with a mortal or another Kindred.
- still tries to have sex, eat food or maintain a mortal existence.
- feeds on other Kindred's retainers.
- steals from other Kindred.
- is a carrier of a disease.
- has a derangement.
- has committed Diablerie or wishes to try it.
- has destroyed an elder.
- is an infernalist.
- voluntarily Frenzies whenever she can.
- is losing control (Humanity is falling).
- is becoming soft (Humanity is rising).
- is contemplating suicide.
- hates being undead or a vampire.
- feels out of touch with the modern age.
- is very unlucky.
- is a failure, or thinks she is.
- is terrified of her own Sire.
Personal Secrets are simple until you start using them and designing them to fit your characters. Don't just pick one from the list; invent one for each character.
Here's an example:
I had an angst-ridden Gangrel named Franco running with the more macho Gangrel in the city. Definitely a follower, I needed something secret to flesh him out. I decided the character hunts in wolf form, and wolves don't wound - they kill. So when Franco switches to wolf form, he hunts down prey, kills it, and drinks its blood. Occasionally that prey is a human and he feels guilty over it, but rationalizes it as his other side doing it, sort of like a split personality.
Back to Storytelling Index