Frenzy and Rotschreck
There is, trapped within the false civility of the Camarilla and the alleged camaraderie of the Sabbat, a hidden truth.
Vampires are monsters, possessed of an inner Beast. Though, like humans, they have the capability of overruling their baser
instincts, sometimes they fail. When this occurs, the Hunger and the Beast become uncontrollable, and no one is safe from
their excesses. Older vampires refer to the ensuing savage fits as "succumbing to the Beast Within." Younger Kindred refer
to these outbursts simply as frenzies.

The Nature of the Beast
During a frenzy, a character literally - and usually unwillingly - gives into the darkest instincts of the vampiric nature. The
character is consumed with rage or hunger, unable - or unwilling - to consider the effects of any action. Friends, foes, lovers,

None of these things matter to a vampire in frenzy. If a vampire in frenzy is hungry, he will feed from whoever is closest
without regard for the vessel's well-being. If the vampire is angry, he will do everything in his power to destroy the cause of
his anger. A vampire struck by fear will commit any atrocity to remove himself from the source of his terror, regardless of
the consequences. The character completely surrenders to the basest aspects of his Nature, shunting aside the Demeanor
most commonly presented to those around him. He is, in short, the Beast.
Among the Camarilla, succumbing to frenzy is seen as weakness, a humiliating loss of control. Vampires who frenzy often,
and especially in public, run the risk of social rejection or worse. Though many among the Camarilla Kindred are monsters
through and through, the laws of the Masquerade and simple civility require that the Beast be kept in check; those who
cannot do so are not vampires, but animals, and should be put down for the good of all. Among the Sabbat, frenzy is seen as
a natural urge, like mortals' needs for food and sex. Sabbat vampires deride the Camarilla's attitude toward frenzy as that of
weak-willed fools who cannot accept their true predatory nature. Accordingly, Sabbat typically seek not to prevent frenzy,
but to control it and use it to their advantage.

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. For this reason, vampires of the Camarilla commonly veil slights and threats in webs of
double-talk and subtlety, that they not suddenly trigger an outburst in Elysium or conclave. Ultimately, the Storyteller can
call for a vampire to make a frenzy roll at any time, whenever he feels the character might have cause to lose control.
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 a frenzied character are increased by two, and all difficulties to
resist the effects of Dominate 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 Rotschreck.

The rules for handling a frenzy are deliberately vague, and the Storyteller is encouraged to make whatever changes she
deems necessary to accommodate her chronicle.
In some cases, Kindred can manage to overcome the urge to frenzy. A vampire on the verge of frenzy must make a Self-
Control roll against a variable difficulty. The difficulty is often 6 to 8, but if trying to overcome the urge to commit a
blatantly evil act, the vampire's player can roll against a difficulty of (9 minus Conscience) instead. The character must score
five successes to completely overcome the desires for violence, but even one success halts the frenzy temporarily. For each
success below five, the character can resist the urge to frenzy for one turn. After this duration expires, the character may try
again to gain extra successes and thus continue to resist the frenzy. Once five successes are acquired, over a greater or lesser
period, the vampire resists the Beast's urges.
Failure means the character goes into an emotional rampage, doing exactly what she wants to do with no worries of later
repercussions. Botching the Self-Control roll means the character remains in a frenzy until the Storyteller decides otherwise,
and (at the Storyteller's discretion) she may gain a derangement related to the frenzy.
The following list shows common stimuli that can incite a frenzy, and the typical difficulty for a character to resist.
Remember, 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) instead.

Provocation Difficulty
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 humiliation 8

Note: The Storyteller has final say in what can or cannot provoke a frenzy. In some cases the Storyteller might completely
ignore what the players feel should send their characters into a rage, and instead have some minor event cause a frenzy. This
is commonly done in situations where the Storyteller feels a frenzy can make a point about a character's personality, or
enhance the events of a story.

Roleplaying Frenzy
Characters in a frenzy are not themselves - or, more accurately, reveal more of themselves than they normally would. They
will do anything to sate their hunger or destroy the source of the frenzy, even attacking other players' characters. Characters
in a frenzy generally attack their enemies first, but if no enemies are present, friends are perfectly acceptable fodder for their
baser instincts. Even lovers and family can fall victim to vampires in frenzy. The character might feel remorse and hideous
guilt later, but while the frenzy occurs, nothing matters save the immediate gratification of the character's desires. This can
often lead to subsequent degeneration checks (p. 221). Therefore, repeated frenzies can prove very detrimental to a
vampire's Humanity.

Some players might feel hesitant about roleplaying a frenzy, but such is the nature of the vampire. Players should be
encouraged to portray the frenzy effectively. If they cannot do so, the Storyteller should feel free to take over control of the
character, running it as he deems appropriate until the frenzy ends.

A player whose character is in the midst of frenzy may choose to spend a Willpower point. This enables him to control one
action of his character for one turn. In this manner, a vampire may give her victim-to-be a chance to run, or an offending
mortal the chance to stammer out an apology. This moment of self-control lasts for only a turn, possibly two; it does not stop
the frenzy, merely allows the character to control it slightly. As Storyteller, if a frenzied character takes an action you deem
inappropriate, you may allow the action, but rule that the character has just spent a Willpower point to take the action.
The Storyteller decides how long any frenzy lasts, but one scene typically suffices. If a character is knocked unconscious or
trapped alone for an extended period, the odds are good she will eventually regain control of herself.

Rotschreck: The Red Fear
Though there are few things that can kill a vampire - and though many among the Damned claim to loathe their immortality -
certain sources of injury frighten all vampires. Sunlight and fire can bring about a panicked flight-or-fight mentality. While
under the spell of this Rotschreck, a vampire flees in blind panic from the source of her fear, frantically lashing out at
anything in her way regardless of any personal attachments or affiliations. Rotschreck is in most ways similar to any other
frenzy; just as the Beast sometimes seizes control in times of anger, so too in times of great fear.
Relatively innocuous stimuli, or stimuli directly under the character's control, are unlikely to induce Rotschreck. For
example, a character who sees a lit cigarette in a nightclub, or a screened-in fireplace in an ally's home, might grow uneasy,
but is unlikely to succumb to the Red Fear. If that same cigarette is pointed threateningly at the vampire, though, or the
fireplace suddenly flares up in a draught….

A vampire seeking to avoid Rotschreck requires a Courage roll. As with frenzy, five successes must be accumulated to
ignore the Beast completely, though fewer successes enable the vampire to overcome her fear for a greater or lesser period
of time. Failure means the vampire flees madly from the danger, making a beeline for safety and tearing apart anything or
anyone that gets in her way. Any attempt to restrain a vampire suffering from the Red Fear results in an immediate attack,
just as if the character were suffering from a frenzy. One Willpower point may be spent to maintain control for one turn.
A character who is the victim of a botched Courage roll immediately frenzies and remains in a frenzy until the Storyteller
decides otherwise.

Provocation Difficulty
Lighting a cigarette 3
Sight of a torch 5
Bonfire 6
Obscured sunlight 7
Being burned 7
Direct sunlight 8
Trapped in burning building 9


The great curse of Garou, which can sometimes be turned to one's advantage. Any Rage roll can ignite a Frenzy, including rolls to recover from injury or to activate Gifts. The character accumulates successes from each roll. The Storyteller decides whether a stimulus requires a Rage roll (such as taking damage, or being humiliated), and whether there are bonus dice or difficulty penalties to this roll. Note that higher-ranking Garou have automatic difficulty penalties — at Rank 3, frenzy rolls have +1 difficulty penalty. At Rank 4 and Rank 5, frenzy rolls have +2 difficulty. 4 successes on a Rage roll indicates a frenzy. Failure means nothing, but a botch can either trigger a Fox frenzy or causes the Garou to lose 1 temporary Rage for each 1 on the roll. A garou who has 6 successes on a Rage roll will enter a Thrall of the Wyrm frenzy. The basic rules for Frenzy are found in the Werewolf: the Apocalypse book, pages 190-191. A character may spend a Willpower point while in a frenzy to have the chance to roll Willpower, +2 difficulty, to overcome his frenzy. This may only happen if the Storyteller believes the impetus for the frenzy has been removed.

A Garou in a berserk frenzy will attack all visible targets who appear to be threatening. He ignores all wound penalties and will regain 1 Rage per round. He may spend Rage and take the combat actions of biting, clawing or moving to a target, but cannot create tactical plans, speak, or manipulate objects. He may use simple melee weapons that were already in his hands, but he cannot perform special combat maneuvers with these weapons. He will not use guns except as clubs. Distractions such as smartgoggle feeds and comm links may be torn away. He will dodge only if it the enemy is clearly using something that might kill him, and he must take at least one offensive action every round.

The Garou is overwhelmed with fear and will run away. He will fight anything trying to stop him from escaping, but otherwise will do nothing but run. He may spend Rage and take Rage actions as normal to do this. He will not use weapons and will prefer to dodge and run rather than fight. He will not speak and will remove any distractions such as smartgoggles if they are not helping him run away. He may stop running when he can no longer see or smell the source of his fear.

The Thrall of the Wyrm
A werewolf’s Rage is fearful enough, but sometimes a frenzy is abnormal. If a werewolf descends too far into frenzy, his Rage is no longer pure. Instead, he has opened himself up to be used by the Wyrm.

If a player rolls six or more successes on a Rage roll, the character enters a berserk frenzy, and spending Willpower will not bring her out of it. The character is said to be "in the Thrall of the Wyrm." The frenzy follows normal tendencies with regards to attacks and duration, but it includes some even more horrific aspects.

Each of the breeds of Garou carries a piece of the Triatic Wyrm, and during such a frenzy, that Wyrm can demand its due.

Homid: Eater-of-Souls has long held humans as its special children, and this attention includes Homid Garou. The Wyrm can drive such Garou to acts of cannibalism upon humans, wolves or even other Garou. When a homid-breed Garou in the Thrall kills or incapacitates an opponent (friend or foe), her player must roll Wits (difficulty 7). If the roll botches, the Garou must stop for a turn and feast.

Metis: Barred as they are from breeding, metis are special targets of the Defiler Wyrm. Metis Garou in the Thrall sometimes practice unspeakable acts of perversion on fallen opponents, regardless of their respective genders. If a metis kills or incapacitates a foe while in the Thrall, her player must roll Wits (difficulty 7). If the roll botches, the Garou stops fighting for a turprand slakes heir unholy lust on her helpless opponent.

Lupus: The savage, feral lupus feel the pull of Beast-of- War. A lupus Garou in the thrall will savage a fallen opponent, friend or foe, and not pull away until the body lies in pieces around her. The Garou loses all sense of mercy, regardless of her comparative Gnosis and Rage scores. When a lupus Garou kills or incapacitates a foe while in the Thrall, her player must roll Wits (difficulty 7). If the roll botches, the lupus must continue to attack until her opponent is torn limb from limb.

Succumbing to the Thrall of the Wyrm is terrifying to the Garou. A normal frenzy is considered a defense mechanism against pain, a pure if brutal method of survival. A Wyrm-frenzy is nothing of the kind. It brings to light the inner struggle with the Wyrm, which is something few Garou are prepared to face. Unable to live with their deed, some werewolves even end their lives after such a frenzy

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