Vampire: Flying Discipline

Something that has always bugged me about any World of Darkness Vampire edition (new, old, revised or anniversary). There’s never been any discipline that enables a power featured in vampire media all over: that of moving in a way that defies gravity.

A few scenes from famous media that grabbed me:

  • Interview with the Vampire: that fellow walking up a wall and even standing upside down under a bridge
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula: titular character climbing down a wall like a lizard or spider
  • Salem’s Lot: the kid vampire floating up to a window sinisterly waving
  • Underworld (1): vampire lady leaps up to ceiling and hangs there like a cat/spider
  • Lost Boys: hovering, floating vampire bad dudes

I also recall that in a few of the Anne Rice novels, Lestat actually flew through the air like Superman.

Now I’ve heard people argue that with a clever application of Discipline X and Thaumaturgy Y, or simply with great Potence and Protean, you can emulate flight or wall crawling. But I don’t accept that.

Here’s how I’d do it: Levitatus

That’s a working title. I need to find something pretentious and esoteric while using some words from Latin, French or Romanian. You get the idea.

This Discipline could work with any edition of White Wolf’s Vampire RPG.

The power comes on gradually:  it’s more about defying gravity in a supernatural sense while tapping into a few mythical tropes. It also isn’t just a flat progression of “you can fly a bit, then a bit faster/higher, then a bit MORE fast/high etc…” and instead, structured like some of the existing powers. I mean, look at Protean, Animalism, Dominate. They have different abilities at each dot that scale up in power but they’re not all the exact same effect.

Wallcrawl (one dot)

You can crawl on vertical surfaces; your hands and feet, even if clothed, somehow “stick”. Otherwise gravity still affects you and you can only move as quickly as you can walk. In addition, you can hang upside down from ceilings.

Glide (two dots)

You can move around without touching the ground. Rising one to three feet, you can propel yourself slowly in any direction (at the speed of walking). Extremely useful for theatrics and stealth.

Leap (two dots)

You can jump vertically upwards from a still position. The distance travelled is up to 10 feet (for every additional dot in Levitatus, the distance increases by another 10 feet). Alternatively, your regular horizontal leap gets a boost in distance of 5 feet per dot. This has nothing to do with physical athletic strength: the power comes from another source.

Hover (four dots)

Spend a point of blood to rise up into the air or float down at a speed of a slow walk. It is not possible to move around in a chosen direction but momentum is a factor. For example, if you take a running leap off a sky scraper and then invoke Hover, you’ll descend slowly across a distance (rather than straight down). The effect lasts until you land on a surface (horizontal or vertical).

Flight (five dots)

Spending a point of blood grants  you the ability to move freely about in the air.  You can fly as slowly as you wish or as quickly as a run.

What do you think?

Featured image from Phantom City Creative.

This is based on a thread that I started on the wonderful new gaming discussion forum called RPGPub. Here is a link to this thread.

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