by Allen B. Ruch (15 May 93)

A very odd discipline, Menschlichkeit is unique to the Wissengeist bloodline and cannot belearned by any other clan. It only has five levels, and all are concerned with making the vampire seem more human.

Menschlichkeit is more akin to Celerity, Fortitude and Potence than the other, more supernatural disciplines. When a level of the discipline is achieved, it is available to the vampire at all times and may be automatically maintained - it is now a part of their nature. The more points a Wissengeist has in Menschlichkeit, the more human he seems.

A Wissengeist can never have more points in Menschlichkeit than she has in Humanity. If a vampire's Humanity score drops below their rating in Menschlichkeit, the discipline must be reduced accordingly and the excess points are lost.

[1] Atmenkraft: This discipline enables the vampire to breathe without any conscious effort, although it can be stopped and restarted at will. While the air is not actually needed, the Wissengeist may do everything a human can do because of functioning lungs.

[2] Herzkraft: Two points in Menschlichkeit allow a vampire to simulate a heartbeat and pulse with no conscious effort, although it may be stopped and restarted at will.

[3] Essenkraft: This allows a vampire to drink liquids and eat foods at will with no ill effects.

[4] Der Sonnemantel: The power granted by this discipline is one of the most coveted in the entire vampiric world - it confers the ability to withstand sunshine. For every point of Humanity the Wissengeist has, he may spend a Blood Point to withstand one hour of day. During this time he may use no other powers or disciplines other than those conferred by Menschlichkeit, he may not feed, heal wounds, or expend blood points to boost attributes. If he is caught out beyond his allotted time, the sunlight will affect him as it would any other vampire.

[5] Untergehen: The name of this discipline is difficult to translate, but in a Niezschean sense it could mean "to perish like the setting sun; to be submerged, annihilated and be transformed." In a way it is an anti-Golconda; for to "go under" is the closest thing to a return to Humanity allowed to a vampire. It allows a vampire to completely pass as a human under limited situations. He breathes, eats, has a pulse, can grow hairs and nails at the regular rate, cries and sweats water, and can survive sunlight at the temporary suspension of all other supernatural powers and disciplines. In addition, the vampire can control the urge to frenzy until one blood point is left, when a check is required as normal. The vampir e must still, however, sleep.

The cost of this power is staggering. It is tremendously taxing on the vampire's system, and as a result, once this discipline is acquired, the vampire begins to slowly die the True Death. The vampire will begin to permanently lose Blood Pool capacity, falling from the normal ten down to one and finally die the True Death upon reaching zero Blood Pool capacity.

The way this operates is insidious. It takes a full 100 years for the vampire to lose her first point of Blood Pool capacity, but then the time it takes to lose the next keeps decreasing by half. So in 50 years she is down to a Blood Pool of eight, at 25 years her Blood Pool contracts to seven, in 12 years 6 months it is only six. . . . and so on until zero. With this decreasing Blood Pool comes many disadvantages. There is obviously less blood to heal injuries and increase attributes. The vampire will need to feed more often, but cannot drink as much Vitx. Siring another vampire is even more dangerous than usual; there is only a 5% chance/Blood Pool capacity point remaining of begetting a sane vampire as a progeny, otherwise they remain mortal and become afflicted by the Wahnsinnflucht. Most vampires choose not to sire any mortals once they attain this level of discipline.

When the Wissengeist reaches zero, he dies as a mortal corpse. To put this discipline in the proper light, it must be remembered that it is only chosen by Wissengeist who are weary of their lonely crusade. Often they choose it after completing a major life-project and passing the mantle to another - in other words, successfully Embracing a progeny. They often then spend the better part of the next century instructing their new progeny in survival, vampiric lore, and the way of Wissengeist existence.

As their Blood pool Capacity decreases below five, most Wissengeist can feel the Blutflucht coming on - the Blood Curse, very similar to the Wahnsinnflucht. Although it largely depends on the nature of the individual vampire, most fall prey to the madness during their last few months of existence, and many ask to be put out of their misery.

It is always said that a Wissengeist wears a smile upon his final death...