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- frenzy: crazed state of violent mental agitation
In V:TM, frenzy is when the Beast takes over the vampire's personality, usually a result of extreme stress such as starvation or public humiliation. In Vampire the term only applies to the "fight" half of the "fight-or-flight" response, though Rötschreck (the "flight" half) is a similar experience in many respects. A frenzy can be induced by many things, but great rage or hunger are the most common provocations. It is dangerous to deny or humiliate the undead.
The primary purpose of the frenzy is to kill or otherwise neutralize the stimulus responsible for it, so a vampire driven to frenzy will attempt to feed on anything she can catch whereas a character entering frenzy in combat will attempt to kill all nearby combatants. The Kindred of the Camarilla consider frenzy dangerous, bestial and a sign of weak will and try to avoid it whenever possible. Sabbat vampires may resist or embrace frenzy (or "ride the wave") depending on their Path of Enlightenment.
The following list shows common stimuli that can incite a frenzy, and the typical difficulty for a character to resist. If the frenzy has the potential to cause the vampire to commit an atrocity (killing a child or other innocent, for example), the Storyteller can rule that the difficulty is (9 minus Conscience or Conviction) instead.
Smell of blood (when hungry): 3 (or higher in extreme cases)
Sight of blood (when hungry): 4 (or higher in extreme cases)
Being harassed: 4
Life-threatening situation: 4
Malicious taunts: 4
Physical provocation: 6
Taste of blood (when hungry): 6 (or higher in extreme cases)
Loved one in danger: 7
Outright public humiliation: 8
The player may choose to resist frenzy (with a Self-Control roll) or enter the frenzy but attempt to guide the character's actions with Instinct rolls. The player may spend a point of Willpower to put the frenzy on hold for one round. Character in frenzy are immune to Rötschreck. More detailed rules may be found in Vampire: The Masquerade and Dark Ages: Vampire.
A vampire in frenzy gains several temporary benefits from the state. Vampires in frenzy completely ignore all dice pool penalties inflicted by injury, until the frenzy ends. Once the frenzy is finished, the pain comes back and the crippling effects of the wounds take hold again.
All difficulties to Dominate or otherwise mentally control a frenzied character are increased by two, and all difficulties to resist the effects of such mental control are reduced by two. The character never needs Willpower rolls to accomplish a feat, because the rage fueling the vampire’s actions is both a catalyst to heightened state of mind and a barrier against unwanted intrusions. Lastly, characters in frenzy are immune to the detrimental effects of Rötschreck.
Frenzy as a Clan FlawEdit
Brujah and Bratovitch Tzimisce are known for their short tempers and suffer a +2 difficulty to resist entering frenzy. Gangrel gain a physical feature characteristic of an animal as a sign of their closeness to the Beast.
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 121, 297-299