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Zhen Fen by Tashiro

The peculiar hunger and weakness of the Xiao has forced them to develop this Discipline as a form of survival. The Xiao are often driven by the need to find those with particularly powerful dreams or high levels of creativity, and Zhen Fen makes this possible, while also aiding in the Xiao’s recovery from the constant demands of their appetites. This Discipline can only be used on Mortals (including Mages or Werewolves), but not on other Kindred.

● Find the MuseEdit

The most basic function of Zhen Fen allows the vampire to find those with a strong creative spark. With this Discipline, the vampire can sense those who have strong wills, suitable for the Xiao’s needs.

Cost: None

Dice Pool: Intelligence+Empathy+Zhen Fen

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The vampire is misled, either finding a strong target as particularly weak and uninspiring, or a weak target as a ‘hidden talent’. Using this Discipline again will always provide the same results with this target.

Failure: The character senses nothing particularly inspiring or uninspiring about the target.

Success: The character knows the target’s Resolve, and whether the target has creative talents (Storyteller’s Discretion). The target may be an inspiring artist with great potential, a writer with a vivid imagination and the means to put it to paper, or someone with incredibly vivid and detailed dreams. The vampire learns where the target’s talents lay, and how developed they are.

Exceptional Success: The character learns the target’s how much Willpower (maximum and current) the target has, as well as the above information.

●● InspiritusEdit

The Xiao learns how to stoke the fires of inspiration in another, often used while in conversation with their intended target. Doing such is not mandatory, but often helps guide the target along paths they are more suited to, often helping potential victims find hidden talents or resources unknown to them. This Discipline is used sparingly, as the vampire must sacrifice some of their own spirit to fuel this spark.

Cost: 1 Willpower

Dice Pool: Presence+Empathy+Zhen Fen

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The subject suffers from a creative block and gains no successes on their next artistic or creative attempt. Dreamers have bland and uninspiring dreams.

Failure: No effect, the character does not inspire their target.

Success: The target gains a number of additional dice on their next roll to perform an artistic endeavour. Dreamers have particularly creative and inspired dreams, regaining one additional point of Willpower over the course of the night.

Exceptional Success: As above, the benefits of additional successes simply grant the artist more dice and better inspiration. Dreamers gain yet another point of Willpower.

●●● Fickle MuseEdit

The Xiao learns how to feed the hunger inside them, drawing from those they have inspired or nurtured. This is a part of their feeding process, and only prey who have been ‘prepared’ can be fed on in this manner. Kindred who use the Fickle Muse seem to gain a sickly green hue to their eyes as they are about to feed. The victim of this Discipline often complain of headaches and listlessness afterwards.

Cost: 1 Vitae

Dice Pool: Blood Potency+Zhen Fen

Action: Reflexive

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The vampire only gains Vitae from the target, and can no longer use Inspiritus on the target. The victim’s connection to the vampire is broken, and they can no longer use this Discipline on the victim to gain Willpower.

Failure: The vampire only gains Vitae from the target, and can not attempt to gain Willpower until the following night.

Success: The vampire gains Willpower from the victim, at a rate of one point of Willpower for every number of points of Vitae taken equal to their Blood Potency. Thus, older vampires must take more Vitae to draw Willpower from their target, as the hunger becomes more demanding. The kindred must use Inspiritus on the victim before using Fickle Muse again on the same target.

Exceptional Success: The vampire gains Willpower at a rate equal to the number of Vitae taken from the victim, and does not have to use Inspiritus on the target before feeding from them with Fickle Muse again.

●●●● Stolen DreamsEdit

The Xiao learns to respark their own creative talents by taken them from others. Any target who the vampire has used Fickle Muse on is a suitable target for the vampire. The vampire finds their creative spark returning, stolen from their prey. People who have been drained by this Discipline for extended periods of time often go insane or suicidal. The vampire must be touching the target to use this Discipline.

Cost: 1 Willpower

Dice Pool: Intelligence+Empathy+Zhen Fen

Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: Both the vampire and the target of this Discipline makes a Degeneration roll to see if they gain a Derangement. The vampire’s connection to the target is broken and has to be rebuilt once more before the character can feed from them or use Stolen Dreams.

Failure: The character gains nothing from the experience, and must Inspire the target once more before Stolen Dreams can be used once again.

Success: Until sunrise, the character gains a number of additional dice on their next artistic roll equal to the successes of this roll, up to the victim’s level in the skill being ‘stolen’. The victim loses as many dice as the vampire gained successes, often resulting in the target rolling only a Chance Die to use their skills. When used on a dreamer, the vampire regains one point of Willpower as they sleep during the day while the dreamer regains none.

Exceptional Success: The vampire simply benefits more from taking the talents of their target. When used on a dreamer, the vampire regains two Willpower as they sleep during the day, while the dreamer loses one as they are plagued by nightmares.

●●●●● Steal BreathEdit

The most insidious talent of the Xiao, this Discipline allows them to steal the breath of their targets, drawing out the target’s spirit to feed their hunger. The vampire need not have sparked the target’s talents or creativity, this Discipline can be used on nearly anyone at all. As long as the vampire has a greater Conviction than their target, the vampire can use this Discipline. This often appears as if the vampire was drawing a red mist from their target’s mouth, and the vampire must be in close mouth-to-mouth proximity (within two feet) to the target. The target must not be able to resist, but can be restrained. The vampire can take 1 Vitae per round, or 1 Willpower from the target. If the vampire takes more Willpower than the target has, the vampire does one Lethal Wound to the target instead, to gain a Willpower point. The vampire can not gain a higher Willpower than their maximum.

Cost: None

Dice Pool: None

Action: Instant