A huge snake-like monstrosity comes out of the swamp late at night and devours young kindred whole. No one knows what it is or what it is doing there, but it seems to take a particular interest in the enemies of the the tremere chantry…
Yesterday I statted out a starting Mokole character for my Vampire chronicle. Today I bring him up to speed as a more important NPC in the setting by bringing the character up to rank 3 with roughly 100 experience points and then throw in the finishing touch – his failure in his most important duty and falling to the corruption of the wyrm.
The first thing we have to do for Tailbiter is increase his rank to level 3. As a Warding Aspect Mokole, he needs 6 Glory, 3 Honor and 3 Wisdom for this rank. I’ll go with 6, 3 and 4, showing that he is better known for his deep thoughts than his sticking to the true ways. With these two additional ranks, he gains two additional gifts (one rank 2 gift, one rank 3).
For his rank 2 gift he picks up “Waxwork Monster” which allows him to stand still and appear to be a statue (fiberglass typpically – some Mokole actually carry around a little plaque to put in front of themselves indicating what type of dinosaur they supposedly are). Then for level 3 he has a big decision on his hands – a gift that gives him huge defensive bonuses, or one that allows him to scare anyone, inducing delirium (the wind-erasing fear of the changing breeds) even in vampires, other garou, and so on. He’ll go with Armor of the Tortoise for now, and pick up the other gift when I start spending experience points.
To learn a level 3 gift costs 9 XP, 15 XP if it is from another breed, tribe, auspice or changing breed. He picks up Dragonfear (so he can cause insane fear and delirium in those who see him) for 9 XP, as well as Walking Between Worlds (which lets him cross into the umbra by stepping into a pool of water) for another 9 XP.
He also picks up a gift to help him deal with the kindred and other unsavoury types. The Shadowlord gift “Aura of Confidence” prevents aura reading (useful to hide his changing breed status, as well as his wyrm taint) and costs him 5 XP.
With the number of gifts he has that are Stamina-dependent, he boosts his Stamina from 4 to 5 for 16 XP (39 XP spent). He also increases his mediocre Strength and Dexterity to 3 each for another 16 XP (55 XP spent). Bringing up his Brawl and Enigmas from 3 to 5 each costs 28 XP (83 total). Bringing abilities up from 1 dot to 2 costs 2 XP each, so he digs through his lower level skills and talents and bumps up Alertness, Subterfuge, Stealth and Occult for 8 XP. (91 total) Bringing his Intimidate up to 4 costs 6, and I’ll finish it off with an extra dot of Perception (which costs 8, bringing him up to 105 XP spent).
And it’s time for Mr Stands Agains the Wolf to meet the wyrm. The toxic hatred that he has against the garou, and his willingness to even use the walking dead in his plans to destroy the defenders of gaia has opened that hollow space deep in his heart to the wyrm in the form of the Defiler. So out comes Freak Legion and it is time to go shopping for some Taints and Powers.
While I like the Mouth of the Wyrm power, Tailbiter is already huge enough in Archid form that he can eat the average vehicle on the road, so the power is really unnecessary. In the end, I like a few dragon-like powers (so the wyrm can convince him that he’s not really tainted, that these are new gifts of the dragons that he has learned). So he gets Hide of the Wyrm (providing additional armor) and Hazardous Breath (so he breathes fire).
He pays for these powers with Taints. The first is an addiction to consuming the flesh of his foes – either vampires or garou. He has to indulge in this once per moon (during the new moon). He also takes Atrophy for his Wits – he’ll never be able to raise his wits above 2 because the wyrm is constantly murmurs in his ears and slows his ability to react to change, making him set in his ways. The posession by the wyrm has been interpreted by Tailbiter as the Dragons choosing him to exact revenge on the garou – not only redoubling his belief in the necessity of revenge, but also giving him delusions of grandeur – the belief that he alone has been chosen by the Dragons to fulfill this destiny (and anyone who thinks he is tainted is just jealous of his new status). Proof of the power of the dragons he channels can be seen in the gift they gave him – his fiery breath is more powerful than even he can contain, dealing horrible damage to his throat and mouth when he uses it.
So, how do we use Tailbiter in a vampire chronicle? His slavish need to destroy the garou has him working with a few of the kindred in town to keep tabs on the wolves and he may be encountered through the Tremere and their chantry which he visits on occasion. He also turns up as the ultimate bogeyman when the Tremere need someone squashed – a foul dragon-like beast that comes out of the swamp and consumes those who stand out when they shouldn’t. Finally, his sky-high Enigmas ability is something that no Vampire has, and thus he can be sought out by those who know of his spiritual links (probably wandering through the bayou seeking the advice of Marley, not looking for a massive dragon named Tailbiter) and in this way he can be introduced quietly to a beginning chronicle and then reinserted whenever needed – possibly never exposing his secret to the player characters.
In combat, however, he’s a machine, and nearly impossible to hurt. He starts off in Archid form with 19 soak dice, and triggering armor of the tortoise gives him a 15 die roll with each success adding another soak die to his pool (typically about 7 additional soak dice).
Name: Tailbiter Stands Against the Wolf
Concept: Intimidating Witch Doctor
Auspice: Warding (Setting Sun)
Varna: Halpatee (American Alligator)
Physical (Homid / Archid / Suchid)
Strength: 3 / 7 / 6
Dexterity: 3 / 2 / 2
Stamina: 5 / 13 / 8
Alertness – 2
Brawl – 5
Empathy – 2
Intimidation – 4
Primal Urge – 2
Streetwise – 1
Subterfuge – 2
Animal Ken – 1
Leadership – 1
Stealth – 2
Survival – 2
Enigmas – 5
Investigation – 2
Linguistics – 1
Medicine – 1
Occult – 2
Rituals – 1
Mnesis – 3
Resources – 1
Kinfolk – 2
Merits & Flaws
Banned Transformation (spend a rage point) – 3 pt flaw
Dark Secret (tainted by the wyrm) – 1 pt flaw
Driving Goal (destroy the garou) – 3 pt flaw
Iron Will (immune to dominate) – 5 pt merit
Gifts – Level 1
Aura of Confidence – Charisma + Subterfuge (Dif 7). Prevents aura reading and flaw detection for one scene.
Fatal Flaw – Concentrate for 1 turn and roll Perception + Empathy (Dif = target’s Wits + Subterfuge). 1 Success = +1 damage die in combat. Every additional success learns one of target’s flaws. 5 successes learns all of target’s flaws.
Resist Pain – Spend 1 WP, ignore all wound penalties for the scene.
Gifts – Level 2
Waxwork Monster – Spend a Gnosis roll Stamina + Expression. Freeze unnoticed for 1 hour per success.
Gifts – Level 3
Armor of the Tortoise – Once per scene spend one turn and roll Stamina + Primal Urge (Dif 6). Each success provides 1 soak die of armor for the rest of the scene.
Dragonfear – Spend 1 Rage to invoke the Delirium in all creatures for 1 scene (even awakened creatures).
Walking Between Worlds – Can shift into the Umbra as a garou, using water instead of a reflective surface.
Addiction  – consuming the flesh of his foes once per moon (during the new moon when Luna cannot see him)
Atrophied Wits  – Max wits of 2, cannot be improved through any means, temporary or permanent.
Derangement  – Delusions of Grandeur
Disintegration  – Using the Hazardous Breath power deals one health level of damage, healed as normal.
Hazardous Breath  – 3 Health Levels of aggravated fire damage with a successful Dexterity + Brawl roll (Dif 7). Does 1 additional damage every round until the target successfully washes the flaming goo off his skin.
Skin of the Wyrm  – +4 soak dice, scaley skin like a huge lizard.
Sun Dice: +1 die when defending others, retreating or following specific orders
Huge snake-like dragon, 90′ long.
Strength: 7, Dexterity: 2, Stamina: 13
6 Soak dice of armor
Sacral Plexus provides a free brawl attack each round at 5 dice.
+3 dice to immobilize a foe with constricting coils – deal 1 unsoakable damage each round.
4 additional Health Levels