Road, or Viae in Latin, are terms used by vampires to describe the philosophies that serve as artificial codes of honor and morality for their kind.
A Road's primary purpose is to suppress or control the Beast within the vampire (and, as with many other aspects of the game, the Roads show signs of being influenced by the Roman Catholic Church of the Dark Medieval). Every character is given a Road during character creation. While the Road of Humanity is one of the most widely practiced philosophies, it is not nearly as universal as the Humanity trait in VTM.
Every Road has ten ranks, with 10 being near-perfectly attuned to the path and 1 being barely in control. These ratings tend to vary throughout a character's unlife. Each Road has a different Hierarchy of Sins, which lists what actions mandate a degeneration role for a character with a given path rating.
In addition, Dark Ages: Vampire added optional Paths to each Road which allowed a character to focus on a particular aspect of the Road's beliefs. Each Path adds an additional set of Sins to the Road it stems from. The Revised edition of the rules also introduced Auras which gave those near a follower of the road a particular feeling about that person, as well as expanded the Roads to complete religions, so much so a Road socially became about as important as Clan.
- Roleplaying Aspects
The Roads are treated as more than just a statistic or even a philosophy. While they are not as strictly organized as some other groups, such as the sects of the V:TM era, individuals known as ashen priests supervise the growth and maintenance of their Roads. The Priests are responsible for instructing initiates to the Road, conducting rituals, overseeing festivals and researching ancient writings on their Road and the Beast. Essentially, they share the duties of their mortal equivalents in the Church.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Roads is their diversity. While several (Viae Humanitatis, Caeli and Regalis, for example) are easy for mortal players to relate to, others offer a wide range of very inhuman thought processes for characters to embrace. Some clans such as the Cappadocians are united by a favored Road as much as their Disciplines and blood.
First Edition Roads
- Rulebook Roads - the following were the original roads created in the first edition. Several of them were used or reincorperated as Paths under Revised Edition rules.
- Road of the Beast, which became a primary Road in Revised.
- Road of Blood, which remained as a minor Road for the Assamites.
- Road of Chivalry, which became a Path on the Road of Kings.
- Road of the Devil (Via Diabolis), which was reworked in Revised to become the Road of Sin.
- Road of Heaven, which became a primary Road in Revised.
- Road of Humanity, which became a primary Road in Revised.
- Road of Paradox, which remained as a minor Road for the Ravnos.
- Road of Typhon, which became the minor Road of the Serpent for the Setites.
Revised Edition Roads
- Primary Roads - there are five primary Roads listed by the revised edition. Each of these Roads has four Paths associated with it. V20 Dark Ages adds a sixth major Road.
- Road of the Beast (Via Bestiae), which embraces the Beast.
- Road of Heaven (Via Caeli), which teaches that vampires are a part of God's plan and must act accordingly.
- Road of Humanity (Via Humanitatis), which teaches that vampires are akin to humans in mind and soul.
- Road of Kings (Via Regalis), which focuses on the acquisition of power.
- Road of Sin (Via Peccati), which teaches that vampires should give into their nature as damned beings.
- Road of Lilith (Derech Lilith), which focuses on the lessons of the Dark Mother (introduced in V20 Dark Ages).
- Minor Roads - there are seven clan-specific Road also mentioned. They are:
- Road of Blood (Via Sanguinus) of the Assamites.
- Road of Bones (Via Ossium) of the Cappadocians.
- Road of Metamorphosis (Via Mutationis) of the Tzimisce.
- Road of Night (Via Noctis) of the Lasombra.
- Road of Paradox (Via Paradoxi) of the Ravnos.
- Road of the Serpent (Via Serpentis) of the Followers of Set
- The Road of Set is instead featured in V20 Dark Ages.
- Road of the Abyss - mentioned as a slightly modification of the Road of Bones, as these two minor Roads share some eerie similarities.
NOTE: the primary Roads in the Revised Edition, especially the Road of Kings and the Road of Sin, are much broader than their predecessors. Several characters that of Vampire: The Dark Ages that were described as followers of the Road of Humanity should be converted to a more suitable road if the rules of Dark Ages: Vampire were to be used. for example: Lucita of Aragon described in Transylvania Chronicles as being a follower of Road of Humanity, but in the sourcebook Road of Kings as being a follower of that Road instead.
- Tariq el-Bedouin (Road of the Nomad) (now a Path of the Road of the Beast)
- Tariq el-Harb (Road of War) (can be considered a Path of the Road of Kings)
- Tariq el-Sama (Road of Heaven) (similar to the Western version)
- Tariq el-Shaitan (Road of the Devil) (similar to the Western version)
- Road of Community (Tariq el-Umma) (now a Path of the Road of Humanity)
- Road of the Hive (Via Hyron) of the Baali.
- Road of Service (Via Servilis) of the Gargoyles.
- Road of the Slain (Via Einherjar) (can be considered a Path of the Road of the Beast)
- Road of Æsirgarð (Via Æsirgarð) (can be considered a Path of the Road of Heaven)
- Road of the Yasa (Via Yasaq) of the Anda (can be considered a Path of the Road of the Beast)