Since every Kindred was a human before their Embrace, their most natural response in resisting the Beast's feral, predatory nature is to cling to their humanity. This is generally represented by the strength of their Conscience and Self-Control, virtues common to Kindred and mortals alike.
A Kindred's humanity has a direct effect on the strength of the vampiric curse; those who lose ground to the Beast and lose their humanity find it more difficult to interact with mortals, to be active during daylight hours, and to awaken from long periods of torpor.
Humanity is universally adopted by the vampires of the Camarilla, but even among the Sabbat it is the "natural" and most common way of dealing with the Beast. Some vampires however reject the mores of mortal existence and adopt an alien Path of Enlightenment, in which they learn or construct a wholly different standard of morality. These often incorporate different virtues – conviction instead of conscience, and instinct instead of self-control – and establish a very different relationship with the Beast. Replacing the morality of one's human life is a daunting task, not to be taken lightly, and generally impossible without the support of one who already follows the alternate path.
The practice of assuming a Path of Enlightenment was much more common in the Dark Medieval, when every vampire had to choose a "Road", a quasi-religious path to harmony with or control over the Beast. Humanity was one of these Roads, known then as the Via Humanitatis ("Road of Humanity"). Though less common than today, the Road of Humanity was still the most natural Road to follow.
A vampire's Humanity rating reflects how much of a character’s mortal nature remains despite the curse of Caine. It influences how well a character may deny her vampiric state, as well as how effectively she may pass for mortal.
Hierarchy of Sins
|9||Minor selfish acts.|
|8||Injury to another (accidental or otherwise).|
|6||Accidental violation (drinking a vessel dry out of starvation).|
|5||Intentional property damage.|
|4||Impassioned violation (manslaughter, killing a vessel in Frenzy).|
|3||Planned violation (outright murder, savored exsanguination).|
|2||Casual violation (thoughtless killing, feeding past satiation).|
|1||Utter perversion or heinous acts.|
A Humanity of 0 indicates no moral values. Such a creature only knows to sleep, feed, and kill. The vampire becomes a wight.
Humanity and torpor
|Rating||Length of Torpor|
|0||Millennium or more|
Following this period of rest, the player may spend a blood point and make an attempt to Awakening. If the vampire has no blood in his body, he may not rise until he is fed; the vampire may try to awaken for as long as he has vitae on his system. If the vampire rises successfully, he is considered Crippled and should either spend blood or hunt immediately to regain his full strength.