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Every step she takes, every corner she turns, a Kindred’s Beast stands ready to face threats, to defend territory, and most importantly, to feed. To the Beast, everything is a challenge, a potential conquest, a meal, or a combination of the three. To other predators, the Beast is a palpable thing.
This presence, the predatory aura, builds a paradox in Kindred society. On one hand, it guarantees vampires remain one misstep away from each other’s throats. On the other hand, it forces Kindred to hold to traditions and propriety, in order to keep the Beast at bay and force a modicum of nicety.
Without a Discipline or other ability to mask the predatory aura, Kindred perceive other vampires as their own kind. If they can smell the vampire, they know it’s a vampire. If they touch a vampire, they know it’s a vampire. Note that this is one-sided: one character may not notice the other.
Further, a vampire can voluntarily intensify their predatory aura to elicit a reaction. Against other Kindred, this escalates the encounter, forcing fight or flight instincts. Lashing out with the Beast takes an instant action, against Kindred costs a point of Willpower; it’s free to bring against a mortal.
Every vampire can evoke three aspects of the Beast; the monstrous, the seductive, and the challenging. The aura chosen reflects the way the vampire approaches the confrontation. It also determines the Conditions given during the clash.
- The Monstrous Beast represents the Beast-As-Destroyer. It evokes the most primitive survival instincts in its victims, and causes the Bestial Condition.
- The Seductive Beast represents the Beast-As-Tempter. It evokes the primal need for instant gratification, and causes the Wanton Condition.
- The Challenging Beast represents the Beast-As-Alpha. It evokes the need for a rigid hierarchy, a food chain, and causes the Competitive Condition.
When a vampire Lashes Out, the defender may choose to fight or flee. Fighting represents contesting the attacker's Beast with the defender's own. This does not have to be the same aspect of the Beast. The loser is inflicted with the appropriate Condition, and the winner gains a +2 bonus on pursuing the aspect's interests. Flight avoids the contest, and the victim gains the Condition associated with the vampire’s aspect of the Beast.
- Google Document: http://theonyxpath.com/knowing-your-own/,