Corebook pp. 172-173
To fend off the risk of losing humanity and falling to Wassail, Kindred attach themselves to/associate with Touchstones: Humans that surround them and remind them of values that can help with the monstrous nature of undeath.
A Touchstone is a living human to whom the Kindred has access, meaning no celebrities, dead figures, or animals can become touchstones. A living relative, a worker at a local cafe, an old friend or a new one. As long as they are present in the unlife of the vampire in some way, they can be a touchstone.
With touchstones come convictions: aspects of human life and existence of which this specific person reminds your character, and by which they live their unlife. Convictions are moral compasses that can mitigate or award stains, depending if they are being followed or not. But don’t let “moral compass” confuse you: a conviction can be something damaging and cruel, showing a facet of humanity kindred chose to associate with, rather than basic human morality. These can help with the characterization, as kindred that have cold/uncaring convictions would act as to keep them, and vice versa.
When you decide on touchstones keep some things in mind:
- Does this conviction fall in line with what I know and want to play for this character?
- Are there conflicting situations that can come up frequently in which the character would be faced with/awarded stains because of the conviction?
- Are there ways this conviction can benefit this character, mitigating stains?
Humanity: does not represent how humane your character is, but rather how far removed from the animalistic instincts of the Beast they are. A high Humanity character may still act callously without incurring Stains if their Convictions and the Chronicle Tenets allow it.
Ghouled Touchstones: as per the recent updates to Touchstones with the Player’s Guide, ghouled Touchstones will be banned moving forward. Those with one currently may remain grandfathered under this rule and maintain them; or take a free transfer to another mortal without stain.
Playing without Touchstones: The Player’s Guide rules that characters can be played without any Touchstones, but we will not be using this rule.