Protean

Description:

Protean

Protean allows the Kindred the mystical ability to
manipulate his physical form. Some vampires believe
the power stems from a heightened connection to the
natural world, while others consider it to be a magnification
of the mark of Caine. Whatever its basis may
be, those that develop this Discipline can grow bestial
claws, take on the forms of bats and wolves, turn themselves
into mist, and even meld into the very earth itself.
Transformed Kindred can generally use other Disciplines
— vampires in wolf form can still read auras and
communicate with other animals, for example. However,
the Storyteller may rule that certain Disciplines
may not be used in specific situations. The Kindred’s
clothes and personal possessions also change when he
transforms (presumably absorbed within his very substance),
although armor and the like do not provide
any benefit while transformed.

Vampires cannot change or transform large objects or
other beings; Protean is a personal expression of power.
A Kindred who has been staked (thereby trapping his
soul within his body) cannot transform. Some vampires
believe that those who have mastered the highest
levels of Protean can deny this limitation, however.
The Gangrel Clan is well known for their mastery of
Protean, although other Kindred have learned some of
this Discipline’s secrets from these bestial Cainites.

• Eyes of the Beast
The vampire sees perfectly well in pitch darkness,
not requiring a light source to notice details in even
the darkest basement or cave. The vampire’s Beast is
evident in his red glowing eyes, a sight sure to disturb
most mortals.

System: The character must declare his desire to call
forth the Eyes. No roll is necessary, but the change requires
a full turn to complete. While manifesting the
Eyes, the character suffers a +1 difficulty to all Social
rolls with mortals unless he takes steps to shield his
eyes (sunglasses are the simplest solution). (A vampire
without this power who is immersed in total darkness
suffers blind-fighting penalties as per p. 274.)

•• Feral Claws
The vampire’s nails transform into long, bestial claws.
These talons are wickedly sharp, able to rend flesh with
ease and even carve stone and metal with little trouble.
The Beast is prominent in the claws as well, making
them fearsome weapons against other immortals. It’s
rumored that some Gangrel have modified this power
to change their vampiric fangs into vicious tusks.
System: The claws grow automatically in response to
the character’s desire, and can grow from both hands
and feet. The transformation requires the expenditure
of a blood point, takes a single turn to complete, and
lasts for a scene.

The character attacks normally in combat, but the
claws inflict Strength + 1 aggravated damage. Other
supernaturals cannot normally soak this damage, although
a power such as Fortitude may be used. Additionally,
the difficulties of all climbing rolls are reduced
by two.

••• Earth Meld
One of the most prized powers within Protean,
Earth Meld enables the vampire to become one with
the earth. The immortal literally sinks into the bare
ground, transmuting his substance to bond with the
earth.

Though a vampire can immerse himself fully into the
ground, he cannot move around within it. Further, it
is impossible to meld into earth through another substance.
Wood slats, blacktop, even artificial turf blocks
Earth Meld’s effectiveness — then again, it’s a relatively
simple matter for a vampire at this level of power
to grow claws and rip apart enough of the flooring to
expose the raw soil beneath.

By interring himself in the ground, the vampire gains
full protection from daylight when outdoors. It is also
the method of choice for those Kindred who wish to
sleep away the centuries; these vampires lock themselves
in the earth’s embrace, gaining strength and
power as they rest. Superstitious and paranoid Kindred
whisper that thousands of Ancients sleep within the
ground and will awaken when Gehenna arrives.
While so interred, the vampire is in a transitional
state between flesh and earth. His physical presence
exists between the physical world and the astral plane.
As such, the vampire is difficult to sense, even through
supernatural means. However, a disruption to the soil
that the immortal occupies, or to his presence on the
astral realm, returns him immediately to the physical
world (and to full wakefulness), showering dirt outward
as his body displaces the soil.

System: No roll is necessary, although the character
must spend a blood point. Sinking into the earth is
automatic and takes a turn to complete. The character
falls into a state one step above torpor during this time,
sensing his surroundings only distantly. The player
must make a Humanity or Path roll (difficulty 6) for
the character to rouse himself in response to danger
prior to his desired time of emergence.

Since the character is in an in-between state, any attempts
to locate him (catching his scent, scanning for
his aura, traveling astrally, and so on) are made at +2
difficulty. Astral individuals cannot affect the vampire
directly, instead meeting with a kind of spongy resistance
as their hands pass through him. Similarly, digging
in the material world encounters incredibly hardpacked
earth, virtually as dense as stone.

Attempts at violence upon the submerged vampire
from either side return him to his physical nature, expelling
the soil with which he bonded in a blinding
spray (all Perception-based rolls are at +2 difficulty for
the turn). The character himself subtracts two from
his initiative for the first turn after his restoration, due
to momentary disorientation. Once expelled from the
earth, the vampire may act normally.

•••• Shape of the Beast
This endows the vampire with the legendary ability
to transform into a wolf or bat. A Kindred changed
in this way is a particularly imposing representative
of the animal kingdom. Indeed, he is far superior to
normal animals, even ones possessed by Subsume the
Spirit. He retains his own psyche and temperament,
but can still call upon the abilities of the beast form
— increased senses for the wolf and flight for the bat.
Gangrel are reputed to change to other animal forms
better suited to their environment — jackals in Africa,
dholes in Asia, and even enormous rats in urban environments
— a feat that other Clans learning Protean
cannot seem to duplicate.

System: The character spends one blood point to assume
the desired shape. The transformation requires
three turns to complete (spending additional blood
points reduces the time of transformation by one turn
per point spent, to a minimum of one). The vampire
remains in his beast form until the next dawn, unless
he wishes to change back sooner.

While in the animal’s shape, the vampire can use any
Discipline he possesses except Necromancy, Serpentis,
Thaumaturgy, or Vicissitude (as well as any others
the Storyteller deems unavailable). Furthermore, each
form gives the character the abilities of that creature.
In wolf form, the vampire’s teeth and claws inflict
Strength + 1 aggravated damage, he can run at double
speed, and the difficulties of all Perception rolls are reduced
by two. In bat form, the vampire’s Strength is reduced
to 1, but he can fly at speeds of up to 20 miles per
hour, difficulties for all hearing-based Perception rolls
are reduced by three, and attacks made against him are
at +2 difficulty due to his small size.

The Storyteller may allow Gangrel to assume a different
animal shape, but should establish the natural
abilities it grants the character.

••••• Mist Form
This truly unsettling power enables the vampire to
turn into mist. His physical shape disperses into a hazy
cloud, but one still subject entirely to the immortal’s
will. He floats at a brisk pace and may slip under doors,
through screens, down pipes, and through other tiny
openings. Although strong winds can blow the vampire
from his chosen course, even hurricane-force winds
cannot disperse his mist shape.

Some Kindred feel that this power is an expression of
the vampire’s ultimate control over the material world,
while others believe that it is the immortal’s soul made
manifest (damned though it may be).

System: No roll is required, although a blood point
must be spent. The transformation takes three turns to
complete, although the character may reduce this time
by one turn for each additional blood point spent (to
a minimum of one turn). Strong winds may buffet the
character, although Disciplines such as Potence may
be used to resist them. Vampires in Mist Form can perceive
their surroundings normally, although they cannot
use powers that require eye contact.

The vampire is immune to all mundane physical attacks
while in mist form, although supernatural attacks
affect him normally. Also, the vampire takes one fewer
die of damage from fire and sunlight. The character may
not attack others physically while in this state — this
includes encountering another vampire in mist form.
He may use Disciplines that do not require physical
substance, however.

Bio:

Protean

V20 Miami: The Next Generation Texan