Wow. I didn’t think a post about the demographics and logistics of Vampire’s Enoch would be a big hit, but it got a lot of views, and people asked a lot of questions. So here are the answers.
What About Vitreous Necromancy?
Some of you pointed out that the Nagajara’s Vitreous Path of Necromancy can be used to eat ghosts. Would that put a dent in Enoch’s blood deficit? Yes! But just a small one. Let’s say 10% of the sect are Nagaraja. That’s 20 vampires. It’s a 3 dot power but is extremely useful, so generously, perhaps 50% might have it (ancillae, elders, veteran neonates who want to bypass the bloodline disadvantage). So that’s 10 vampires. If half of them reside in Enoch at any given time? Five vampires. But let’s be nice and say that every Enochian Nagaraja either teaches Vitreous 3 to two vampires, or some subset of those vampires are already necromancers who are familiar with it through other means. So we might be able to drop 15 vampires’ worth of feeding needs. That’s 5340 blood points per year. So now we’re at 20400 blood points per year satisfied, which still generates a 16460 shortfall. So the tensions mentioned in the post still exist.
Reducing the local vampire population also proportionally reduces the number of resident necromancers, though we might assume the number doesn’t go down because they’re especially suited to unlife in Enoch. But of course, lots of Vitreous Path necromancers eat lots of ghosts, which causes its own social problems . . .
This reveals a point that many people forget: The existence of a handy power is different from access to it, and when it bothers people, they’ll develop countermeasures. People constantly argue that this or that power can do something to ruin a plot or beat somebody, but this is sort of like arguing that the existence of cops makes B&Es impossible. There usually isn’t a cop when you need one, and burglars, knowing about cops, work around them. Similarly, not many vampires know Vitreous 3, and if they taught it to everybody and they started eating ghosts like there was no tomorrow, you’d better believe Enoch’s dead would stop being quite so passive.
The Nagaraja Must Eat
This one’s easy. Enoch’s five Nagaraja who can’t eat ghosts need 182.5 corpses per year. This fits under the set of mortals who are captured for feeding. Alternately, given an average human weight of 62 kilograms, 11315 kilograms of human body parts per year. The blood banking sector might be crowded, but medical waste? Hm. Ew.
But the Herd Background Lets Me Feed On People More Than Once a Month!
I added a once a month limit on feeding to prevent disease, resentment and general weakness in Enoch’s mortal populace. In real life, a “blood point” (500 ml) takes about 7 weeks to regenerate, so every non-ghoul mortal in Enoch is just a little lightheaded from time to time. Vampire’s rules are more generous in this regard, but it’s a game, not a hematology simulator.
This brings us to your Herd. Your Herd is Not Okay. The kind of people who let vampires bite them are not devoted to their own well being. The rules hand wave past this, but if fed upon on the reg, your Herd probably suffers from chronic anemia, equivalent to a Class I or mild Class II Hemorrhage. Technically they’d be a blood point or two down all the time, but be generous; it’s a pain to track anyway. Just know that your Herd are kind of screwed up people.
Related: How Big is a Blood Point?
This came up in discussion. Vampire has it pretty much covered. The average human has 5.5 liters of blood. That’s 11 medical blood units of 500 milliliters (some have more or less, and there are different blood products, but this is a decent approximation. In Vampire, consuming one bag from a blood bank gets you 1 blood point. Therefore, one human blood point? 500 ml.
Now some people have a bit more blood and the average is actually 11 blood units, but since a blood point is a measure of life force, 10 is still the limit. In any event, that last 500 ml is probably inaccessible unless you positively wring out the corpse, so it can be safely ignored.
Most other creatures lack human life force “density” as far as vampires (and to a lesser extent mages, who can harvest it as Quintessence) are concerned. (Rats punch above their weight for blood volume, but that’s a concession to genre, so Lestat can laugh at rat-eating Louis.)
Once ingested, all blood of whatever type turns into a vampire’s native Vitae, where each blood point represents a physical unit that shrinks as Generation-based capacity increases. So vampires don’t get bloated from eating cattle.
Vampires usually feed at the same speed, regardless of the type of blood, because otherwise it would be annoying. One person doubted a vampire could feed on a human as quickly as in the rules. The average heart pumps 70 ml per second. We can assume a certain amount of excitation and up it to 100, to round things off. So that’s 300 ml per 3 second turn – just a fifth of the 3 blood points per turn vampires can take. But that’s only if a Cainite punctures an artery and (assuming a good position with regards to gravity) waits. But bloodsuckers suck blood. Averaging variable blood pressure, a typical human heart generates about 2 PSI. Vampires need to boost this to 10: about the pressure of one of these spray paint guns. That’s nasty, but within the domain of a supernatural predator. Feeding in combat does more than drain blood; it rips and crushes tissue. It leaves a bruise. If you’re running a game featuring a team of medical examiners on the trail of some messy, fight-killing Kindred, it’ll leave wounds distinct from normal exsanguination.
Of course, when vampires feed on cows it gets ridiculous, but as I said in the last article, it’s not about being realistic; it’s about finding story opportunities in the interesting and occasionally silly facts you dig up.