Frenzy: Triggers, Types, and Leaving

Usually vampires are able to keep the Beast in check. However, in certain situations the Beast gains in strength and a vampire loses control, then frenzies. During Frenzy the Beast takes over the vampire's personality, usually a result of extreme stress such as starvation or public humiliation. The primary purpose of the frenzy is to neutralize the stimulus responsible for it, but with a complete disregard of morals, emotional ties or reason. It will do anything depending on the trigger and what the Beast deems necessary to survive. This is why the vampires of the Camarilla consider frenzy dangerous, beastial and a sign of weak will and try to avoid it whenever possible.

Frenzy Triggers

Frenzy triggers are situations which stir the Beast sufficiently to take over - to instill Frenzy. They include the following:

  1. Lack of blood.
    • This induces frenzy in a variety of situations. A vampire with only two blood points is triggered to frenzy if they see, taste, or smell any blood source other than a vampire. Vampires down to a single blood point are in danger of frenzying if they see, taste or smell any source of blood at all. A vampire with no blood points is induced to frenzy even if no blood source is around. These frenzies normally take the form of a Hunger Frenzy (see below).
  2. Being threatened with, taking damage from, or being confined by fire or sunlight.
    • Minor flame sources that aren't used in a threatening manner (lighters, cigarettes, etc.) do not usually trigger frenzy.
    • Frenzy caused in this manner normally takes the form of a Fear Frenzy (see below). A Fear Frenzy may also be provoked by a Stigma.
  3. Extreme provocation or threat triggers frenzy.
    • Frenzy caused in this manner normally takes the form of a Rage Frenzy (see below).
  4. Anything matching the events described in one of your Beast Traits will cause you to check for frenzy.

Resisting Frenzy Triggers

Every time a vampire is faced with a new frenzy trigger in a scene, they must either give in to the frenzy or make a frenzy check to resist. A frenzy check is a contest of the number of the vampire's Beast Traits+1 ("the Beast") against current willpower/2. The current willpower/2 can be raised by +3 for every willpower point that the character expends to resist the frenzy. (Willpower spent for this purpose does not reduce current willpower for this contest.) If the Beast loses or ties the contest, there is no frenzy. If the Beast prevails, the character frenzies in reaction to the trigger.
It should also be noted that Malkavians receive advantage in frenzy contests, while the Beast receives advantage against Brujah in frenzy contests.


Joe Malkavian is extremely threatened and faces a Rage Frenzy. He has 4 Beast Traits and 4 current willpower, so his default frenzy contest would be 5 vs 2 + advantage. However, Joe expends 1 willpower point to get +3 to add to his current willpower. So the contest becomes 5 vs 5 + advantage. The contest occurs, and the defender wins. Joe Malkavian does not frenzy.

Losing a frenzy contest after having failed to expend willpower in defense is a Bad Thing (tm) because your character gains a Beast Trait.

Playing Frenzy

When your character enters frenzy you continue to play it, but keep in mind that it is lost to the Beast

The Beast is primal, animalistic and bestial and it will behave that way. The character is driven by instinct, disregarding reason, morality or emotion. Higher brain-functions are not used to determine its course. The Beast does not talk. It only deals with the here-and-now, uncaring about future consequences. It doesn't know how to use technology, much less to remove the safety-clip of that 8mm gun. It might throw around furniture HULK-style, but it will not remember the fancy Aikido moves or fencing lessons. It is unlikely to draw a gun or a knife, and if holding it, it may prefer to use it as a club, before throwing it away.

The Beast WILL remember to use basic physical disciplines limited to; Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude, and the first and second levels of Protean. It will growl, roar, hiss, scream and bite. It cannot use Dominate or Presence.
Subsequently, someone who is already in frenzy also cannot be effected by Dominate and Presence. However, if Dominate or Presence is already in effect, and frenzying is likely to cause the affected vampire to violate the Dominate or Presence effect - then the affected vampire MUST spend at least one Willpower point to resist frenzy, even down to their last point of willpower.

Types of Frenzy

What the Beast is aiming for depends on the type of Frenzy: Hunger, Fear or Rage:

  1. Hunger Frenzy:A character in Hunger Frenzy will do anything to get blood. Now! The frenzy lasts until the character is fully fed, and you'll tend to drink victims dry. If no suitable vessels are present, you will hunt one down through bestial instinct, uncaring of consequences.
  2. Fear Frenzy: A character in Fear Frenzy is panicked, they will do anything to escape the cause of their fear. If they cannot find a way to escape, and something stands in their way, they may enter a Rage Frenzy.
  3. Rage Frenzy: A character in Rage Frenzy is overcome with anger. They will attack the cause of their anger and keep attacking until it is destroyed or they are incapacitated. If the cause of the anger is unreachable, they will attack whatever is nearest to them.
  • Also note that vampires in frenzy are not affected by wound penalties until they are Incapacitated.

Leaving Frenzy

Frenzy is much harder to fight while it is occurring. In frenzy you are lost to the Beast, and your conscious mind is totally submerged. In order to leave frenzy you must find a way to assert your conscious mind over your Beast, then spend a willpower point to end the frenzy.

The following methods can be used:

  • If you are hunger frenzying upon another vampire and do not possess the Diablerie Beast Trait you may spend a Willpower point to avoid committing diablerie and leave Frenzy.
  • If you are about to do something against your Nature you may spend a Willpower point and leave Frenzy.
  • If the stimulus that caused your Frenzy has gone you may spend a Willpower point and leave Frenzy.

10 minutes after the stimulus has gone, you will leave frenzy without spending Willpower.

Once a character has made a successful frenzy check against a certain stimulus or Beast Trait, they do not need to check again during the same scene. If the definition of 'scene' is uncertain, it may be extended to the same 'night'.

If, on the other hand, a character failed their check, later manages to leave Frenzy, but finds the offending stimulus is still present- they will need to do another frenzy contest if they cannot immediately escape the stimulus.


Frenzy FAQ

Q: Can I spend Willpower while in frenzy?
A: Yes. But to do so might be considered 'willingly yielding to the Beast' if you're using the willpower to assist what the Beast is doing. Willpower represents "you," and you want to keep that as far from the Beast as possible. It's _always_ considered to be willingly yielding to the Beast to use a willpower point to resist Song of Serenity used to bring you out of frenzy.

Q: So I can gain Beast-Traits if I spend Willpower while in Frenzy?
A: Yes. Frenzy is a bad thing.

Q: I have the Beast-Trait Vigilante and the Stigma Repelled by Crosses. A hunter shoots my ghoul dead while brandishing a cross in my direction, and I frenzy. Do I attack the hunter?
A: No. Stigmas are supernatural 'flaws' that even the Beast bows to. Generally this means the frenzy will become a fear frenzy. If there is nowhere to run, you will likely end up curled in a fetal position, helplessly out of your senses. Note that spending Willpower to overcome certain stigmas while in frenzy (if spending WP is permitted, as detailed in the stigma +explain) is definitely a case of willingly yielding to the Beast.

Q: Can I use disciplines while in frenzy?
A: Only Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude, and the first and second levels of Protean may be used while in a state of Frenzy. The conscious control necessary to activate other powers is not present. Furthermore, any ongoing discipline effects such as Entrancement will be immediately canceled if the vampire that invoked them enters Frenzy (yes, this means Obfuscate will cease even as a result of fear frenzy).

Frenzy Commands

Use these commands to register frenzy, etc. so players may acknowledge your mental state, ignoring wound levels, etc. and Architects may manage BT checks, etc.

+frenzy Check the status of your frenzy history.
+frenzy/check <player> Check if <player> is in frenzy. (Archs get frenzy history.)
+frenzy/prove <player> Prove to <player> that you are (not) in frenzy.
+frenzy/start fear Begin a fear frenzy.
+frenzy/start hunger Begin a hunger frenzy.
+frenzy/start rage Begin a rage frenzy.
+frenzy/stop Cease your present fenzy.

NOTE: The messages produced are OOC - you can only IC determine frenzy through Aura-Reading or Animalism use.

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