Maintaining character information is one of the most detail-oriented tasks that face a Storyteller, but Grapevine eases the task by organizing all the data within a few mouse-clicks’ reach.
Character List Window
This window, reached via “Character Sheets…” from the Characters menu, is your starting point for entering and maintaining character information.
The list of characters begins each line with an icon representing the character’s race, followed by its name, its main racial group (clan, tribe, tradition, kith, etc.), its subgroup (sect, auspice, seeming, etc.), its NPC status (an X appears if it’s an NPC), and its play status (active, inactive, dead, etc.). Clicking on any entry displays at the right its racial icon, name, player, experience points (unspent and earned), and the last date upon which it was modified.
This list can be refined and sorted, described below.
Showing a Character Sheet
To view any character sheet, select the character’s name and click the “Show Character” button. Double-clicking the also does the trick.
Adding a New Character
To add a new character to your game, click the “Add New Character” button. A small window appears prompting you for the name of the character. Below the name appear a variety of buttons corresponding to the supernatural races of the World of Darkness. Click the button appropriate to the character after entering his or her name. The choices include:
- Vampire. The Kindred are described in MET books such as Laws of the Night,Laws of Elysium, Faith and Fire, The Camarilla Guide, The Sabbat Guide, and The Vampire Storytellers Guide.
- Werewolf. The Garou are described in Laws of the Wild and Laws of the Wyld West.
- Mage. Willworkers are described in Laws of Ascension and the Laws of Ascension Companion.
- Wraith. The Restless are described in Oblivion. This category encompasses Wraiths, Spectres and Risen.
- Changeling. The Fae are described in The Shining Host and The Shining Host Players Guide.
- Hunter. The Imbued are described in Laws of the Reckoning.
- Mortal. Ordinary and extraordinary humans are the focus of Laws of the Hunt and Laws of the Hunt Players Guide. This character type is also a good choice for Ghouls from Libre des Ghoules, Kinfolk, Kinain, and other mortal allies to supernatural races.
- Fera. The Fera are described in Laws of the Wyld West, Changing Breeds: Book 1, Changing Breeds: Book 2, and Changing Breeds: Book 3.
- Kuei-Jin. The Cathayans are described in Laws of the East.
- Mummy. The Eternal appear in Laws of the Resurrection. Older versions appear in the Laws of the Hunt Players Guide.
- Demon. The Fallen are not currently described in any MET book — but their translation into the system is all but inevitable. Storytellers can adapt them for their own use from the tabletop book Demon: the Fallen.
- Various. This special character category is a catch-all for anything that doesn’t fit in with the above. Animal companions, spirits, chimera, whatever — many Storytellers find it especially useful when fleshing out the game’s cast of NPCs.
Below the buttons appears a checkbox that, if selected, will generate random Traits for the new character. This is particularly helpful for creating NPCs. You can specify how many starting Physical, Social, Mental, Ability and Background Traits are given, how many points of Negative Traits are allowed and how many Free Traits are available. These Traits may not really make sense together: Grapevine doesn’t know that a Repugnant character isn’t likely to be Gorgeous, for example. You’ll still have to edit away such inconsistencies.
After you click one of the above buttons, the character’s name will appear in the list. Click “Show Character” to bring up the empty character sheet.
Deleting a Character
To delete a character, select its name and click the “Delete Character” button. You’ll be prompted to confirm that you really want to delete the character. Once the character is gone, there is no getting that information back.
Copying a Character to a new Race
Select a character and click this button when another mortal is Embraced, or when that ill-treated mage dies and becomes a wraith. This creates a basic copy of the character as another character type so that you don’t have to re-enter all the data. Keep in mind, however, that some data will be lost: Grapevine just has no way to transform a werewolf elder into an ancestor-spirit without losing detail.
Grapevine will prompt you for a new name; the old character won’t be deleted. When you have edited the new character to your satisfaction, you can delete the old character and give the new one its original name.
Sorting the List of Characters
To sort the displayed list of characters, click on the column header of the characteristic by which you want to sort. Click “Group” to sort alphabetically by group, “NPC” to segregate PCs from NPCs, and so on. Clicking the “Race, Name” column once will sort the characters by name: if they are already sorted by name, clicking it a second time will sort them by race.
To change whether the characters are listing in ascending or descending alphabetical order, use the up and down buttons to the lower-right of the list.
By default, all characters are listed in the Characters window. The dropdown list beneath the list of characters lets you choose subsets to display: instead of “All Characters,” for example, you can choose to show only “Active Characters” or maybe only “Vampires.” The subsets you can choose from may be edited in the Character Search window.
The option buttons to the left of the dropdown list control whether the window displays all characters that match or don’t match the chosen search.