Monday, August 10, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory, Chill

Going back to my roots here for a bit.

Elizabeth Bathory was one of my favorite evil characters in the old Mayfair Chill game. This was the game that convinced me (long before we ever saw Ravenloft for AD&D) that vampires need to played as characters and not monsters. Of course this is the defacto way of doing things now, but back then this was a new and powerful insight. Despite the fact that in the book Bathroy looked like Susan Lucci (and still not a bad choice), my earliest opinions on what Elizabeth Bathory acts like as a vampire come from the 1971 movie Les lèvres rouges, known here in the States as "Daughters of Darkness" (not to be confused with the movie Vampyres, which also had been called Daughters of Darkness).


Delphine Seyrig really helped form the idea of vampire Bathory as a timeless aristocrat so convinced that what she was doing was right that there is no sign of psychosis at all. She was a royal and therefore all others exist to serve her. After all, she had been locked away and cheated death. Of course the memory of her imprisonment still haunted her, so she became more cautious and more selective.

And that is how she was formed for me in Chill.
These stats differ from her published ones but they fit better with the Unisystem ones from before.

Elizabeth Bathory, Chill
(these are my combined 1st and 2nd Ed version of Chill stats)

BASIC ABILITIES
Strength 90
Perception 100
Dexterity 80
Willpower 110
Agility 90
Luck/EWS 150
Personality 120
Stamina 120

Attack 2/90%
Movement 75’ (225' as Raven or Wolf)

EDGES & DRAWBACKS (2nd Ed)
Name /CIPs/ Notes
Attractive /4/
Psychological flaw /1/ Obsessions (stay young, stay beautiful)

SKILLS
Name (Rank) Score
Dagger/Knife (M) 145
Acting/Drama (M) 165
Anthropology/ Archaeology (M) 160
Antiques (M) 130
Art Criticism (M) 160
History (M) 160
Hypnotism (M) 165
Investigation (M) 142
Language, Contemporary [all European languages] (M) 160
Language, Ancient (M) 150
Legend Lore (M) 160
Modeling (M) 142
Disguise(M) 155
Filching(M) 145
Graphology/Forgery (M) 145
Occult Lore (M) 116
Ritual Magic (M) 116

Movement: Varies according to form: in human form, can sprint without Stamina loss; can move 75' per round as mist or fog, 225' as raven or wolf.

Disciplines: Animation of the Dead, Appear Dead (Self), Change Self (to large raven, large wolf, woman of any race, cloud of fog), Create a Feast, Darken, Dreamsend, Evil Eye, Flight*, Gnarl, Halt, Haywire, Influence, Purified Shell, Quiet, Slam, Sleep, Steal Memory, Summon, Swarm, Telekinesis, Teleport, Total Illusion, Wave of Fog, White Heat.

*Bathory can use Flight any time, day or night, except for one hour after sunrise and one hour after sunset. To fly, she assumes the form of a cloud of sparkling lights that dance in the air, then materializes when the flight ends. She cannot be destroyed while in this dancing light form.

IPs: 7200

Characteristics
1. Like other vampires from this region Bathory casts no reflection. Nor does her image appear on film or video tape. All paintings of Bathory have mysteriously disappeared. The quickest way to anger her is to take her photograph.

2. Daylight does not harm or affect Bathory; however, she cannot use the Evil Way for one hour immediately following sunrise, and one hour immediately following sunset. She is still not comfortable however moving about during the day.

3. Bathory can control people who are reduced to 5 or fewer Stamina points by her bite. The extent of this control equals a "C" result under the discipline Influence.

4. Bathory must rest once her Stamina or Willpower goes below 10. When she rests she appears dead. This rest need not take place inside a coffin: a crypt, the inside of a mausoleum, or any place of the dead will do. Twelve hours of uninterrupted rest restore all lost Willpower and stamina. If Bathory is disturbed before the 12 hours have passed, her Stamina and Willpower remain where they were when she began resting; she must start allover again and rest for an entire 12 hours in order to recuperate Willpower and Stamina.

5. The following items offer protection against Bathory: -A Patriarchal Cross (but no other type of cross or crucifix). This item is the holy symbol of the Greek Orthodox Church. Upon seeing this item, Bathory cowers and leaves the room or area in any manner available. Bathory cannot approach within 2-1/2' of the Patriarchal cross. A Patriarchal cross hung above the doorway to a room prevents her from entering or leaving by that doorway.

-Garlic. The odor of a bulb of garlic within 2-1/2 feet causes Bathory to leave the room or immediate area. She will use the Evil Way (particularly the discipline Influence ) or her Hypnosis skill to make a subject remove the garlic.
-Salt. Bathory cannot touch table salt nor cross directly over a line of table salt. However, as with garlic, she uses skills and Evil Way disciplines in order to make a subject remove the salt. Direct contact with table salt causes an automatic critical wound to Bathory with full damage results (including Stamina loss).
-A Wild Rose. This flower has the same effect as garlic. It also immobilizes the Countess when placed upon her. If so immobilized, she can still use the Evil Way, except for any discipline that moves the rose or her own body.
-Mountain Ash. When placed upon the Countess, this leaf has the same effect as a wild rose.

6. Bathory must drink the blood of three young (younger than 25 years old) female victims per the New Moon, or her Personality score drops by 50 points for one week. She will appear to have aged 10 years from her usual appearance (that of a beautiful 25 year old woman). For one entire week, she will appear to be a 35 year old woman. If for some reason, she cannot claim three victims from the time she appears as a 35 year old woman, she ages another 10 years and loses another 50 points from her Personality score. If she fails to claim three victims on the fourth successive week, she is destroyed forever.

The victims of Elizabeth Bathory do not become vampires when they die, but remain dead after their Stamina falls to zero. The blood of a man does not fulfill Bathory's needs, so rather than perform her vampire attack on male victims, she attacks them with her skills and Evil Way disciplines. Often, she has been known to turn one male against another.

7. When draining blood from the body of her victim, Bathory drains 1d10 points of Stamina per minute. The blood drain lasts for 1d10 minutes.

8. There are several ways to destroy Bathory .If she sustains enough wound damage from table salt, she eventually dies.
A wooden stake driven through her heart leaves her completely helpless for one minute. Then, she uses her Evil Way disciplines to change into sparkling lights and escape. Once the stake is driven through Bathory , her body should be set on fire immediately. Bathory's body is highly flammable in this state, catching fire and burning completely in 3 rounds, leaving no trace of its existence.

9. Bathory does not suffer wounds or Stamina loss from normal weapons.

I did not see "Countess Dracula" till much later on. While it is a fun little flick in it's own right, I did gain anything new gaming-wise from it. Though a back to back Bathory film-fest might work out well one Halloween eve. Or maybe the weekend of August 21, when the Countess dashed off her mortal coil.

Each of these three builds gives me something different.
The Unisystem one is best at representing the fiendish side, the bloodthirsty sadist.
The Mutants & Masterminds works better for me in terms of the power hungry vampire. And this Chill version is the best at figuring out how to convert a real life psychopath into an calm, cool, undead psychopath.

Next up. Something that all three versions have contributed to, Elizabeth Bathory, Headmistress.

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