Nights of the Kindred
Nature and Demeanor
Everyone plays a role, often several, every day. Every individual displays multiple layers of personality, varying from the contrived to the sincere. Each of these roles defines how we interact with the people and places around us, and we choose which parts of ourselves we wish to show.
The concept of Nature and Demeanor corresponds directly to the different masks we wear when we interact. A character’s Nature is her true self, her innermost being — the person she truly is. It is dangerous to show this, though, as it lets others know who we are and what is important to us. Thus, characters also have Demeanors, faces they show to the world. By choosing how we relate to the world, we are able to choose how it relates to us as well, as we guide the responses others give us.
A character regains her drive and sense of purpose by acting in accordance with her Nature. Every time a character fulfills the requirement of her Nature, that character regains a point of spent Willpower and gains 1 point of XP.
A character regains her self confidence, and gains a sense of accomplishment, when she acts in accordance with her Demeanor. Every time a character fulfills the requirement of her Demeanor, that character regains a point of spent Nerve and gains 1 point of XP.
How to select a Nature and Demeanor
Natures and Demeanors allow players to build a sense of personality for their characters, and to define a bit of what makes the character tick. It is worth noting that these are not rigid; characters need not slavishly devote themselves to their Natures and Demeanors. Rather, the character should act as the player reasonably or emotionally believes she would act in a given situation.
Listed below are Archtypes. Select one that represents your character’s true self, their Nature, and one for how he presents himself to others, his Demeanor.
Analyst-You live by logic and deduction.
Architect—You are a methodical planner.
Autocrat—It’s your way or the highway.
Bravo—You live life on the edge.
Bureaucrat-You always follow the proper procedure.
Capitalist-You are a skilled salesman.
Caregiver—You are a wellspring of compassion.
Celebrant-You are passionate about your beliefs.
Chameleon-You are a master of disguise and deception.
Competitor—You are driven to be the best.
Conniver-You manipulate others before applying yourself.
Creeper-You strive to shock and disgust.
Critic-You revel in revealing weaknesses and faults.
Curmudgeon-You are bitter and cynical, finding flaws in everything.
Cynic—You are quite familiar with Murphy’s Law.
Dabbler-You are interested in everything but focuses on nothing.
Deviant-You are ostracized because of your unique tastes or beliefs.
Director-You hate disorder and chaos.
Enigma-Your actions are bizarre, puzzling, and inexplicable to everyone except yourself.
Explorer-Discoveries are your passion.
Fanatic—You zealously champion your beliefs.
Follower-Your strength comes from your ability to obey.
Gallant—You are a unique snowflake and a social butterfly.
Gambler—You risk all to win.
Guru-Your enlightenment draws others to you.
Hedonist-You enjoy having a good time.
Idealist-You believe in a higher goal and morality.
Jester-You enjoy lightening the mood.
Judge—You are the law.
Knight-You protect those who can’t protect themselves.
Leader-You’re meant to be in charge.
Libertine—You live each day like it’s your last.
Loner—You rely on yourself alone.
Martyr-You put yourself at risk so that others don’t suffer.
Masochist-You love to suffer.
Pacifist—You endeavor to solve problems peacefully.
Pedagogue—You live to teach.
Penitent—You seek to expiate the wrongs you’ve done.
Perfectionist—You strive for flawlessness in all your endeavors.
Rebel—You constantly seek to challenge authority.
Rogue—You believe laws were made to be broken.
Scientist- You find logical outcomes and patterns in everything.
Survivor—You persevere against everything life throws at you.
Thrillseeker-You enjoy the rush.
Traditionalist—You believe that the old ways are the best ones.
Trickster—You live to deceive.
Visionary—You see the World for what could be, rather than what it is.
The Mask Slips
As was explained earlier, Demeanor is the mask we present to others. So what happens when that mask slips and the true Nature of a character shines out? If it comes to pass that the way a character behaves or is perceived by others is more in tune with his Nature than his Demeanor, the mask has failed. Erase the Demeanor from the character sheet. The character now has two choices. He can either continue to behave in accordance with his Nature or he can attempt to construct a new Demeanor. If he chooses the former, the character can regain Willpower twice per scene from acting in accord with his Nature, but he has no option to refill his Nerve pool. If he chooses to construct a new Demeanor, he should select a new Archetype and begin acting in accordance with his new Demeanor. People won’t be fooled right at first, of course. It takes time to convince those around you that you’ve actually changed. For the duration of a story (or at least four chapters), the character may not regain Willpower from his Nature; not in a public way, anyways. If he regains any Willpower from his Nature, the jig is up and he’s back to square one.