Information about Suspicion in Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong, including how it accumulates, how to prevent or mitigate Suspicion, and the effects of increasing Suspicion on gameplay.
While the goals and motivations of each of the game’s three protagonists may vary between each other and individually as the story plays out, there’s one constant objective shared by most vampires: maintaining the Masquerade. Nothing good will come from letting the human cattle know that the undead prowl among them, and moderating your behavior to keep mortals ignorant of your existence is paramount. In the confines of Swansong’s story,
Effects of Suspicion
Suspicion mostly accrues in two ways - as a result of your feeding habits, or by failing to acquire sensitive intel found in various scenes. Both sources of Suspicion will be covered under the appropriate headers below.
Suspicion is rated on a scale of 0 to 100 and the higher your Suspicion, the more wary mortals and other vampires are of you - the former for obvious reasons, while your fellow undead will generally think less of you for failing to do your utmost to maintain the Masquerade. For every 20 points of Suspicion you accrue the game will become more difficult; for example, if your Suspicion hits 20/100 all opposed Psychology will have their difficulty increased by one.
Higher opposing skills means you’ll have to expend more XP to raise up your own skills to compensate (and XP is a finite resource), or you’ll have to boost skills more to challenge checks, consuming more Willpower and facing lower odds of success, or you’ll simply have to avoid attempting to pass checks you otherwise could have, resulting in fewer options and worse outcomes.
All in all, it’s best to keep Suspicion low, as the game’s difficulty directly correlates with your Suspicion level.
|0 - 19||None.|
|20 - 39||+1 difficulty in Psychology.|
|40 - 59||+1 difficulty in Intimidation.|
|60 - 79||+1 difficulty in Presence.|
Hunger and Suspicion
As you use Disciplines you’ll generate Hunger, and if your Hunger grows too intense you could lose control and go on a ravenous, bloody rampage in order to slake your thirst. Needless to say, this is counterproductive to maintaining the Masquerade. Instead, you must feed strategically to keep your Hunger in check, but be wary, as feeding can still arouse Suspicion, even if you don’t leave a gory massacre in your wake.
Feeding on a human victim won’t inherently raise Suspicion provided you don’t kill your victim. Killing a victim will increase your Suspicion by about 15 points. Even if you spare your victim, if other characters see you lure said victim to a Safe Room to feed it’ll increase Suspicion by about 5 points per witness. Amazingly enough, it turns out the cattle can deduce what happened if they see somebody lured off who is later found oddly fatigued with bite marks on their neck. Before you feed, be sure to look around to spot potential witnesses - doing so may not mitigate the Suspicion generated by feeding on characters with lots of witnesses around, but it’ll inform you of the tradeoff you’re making. This effectively limits the number of times you can feed in a level if you want to keep Suspicion low, and encourages you to be frugal with your Hunger generation.
Rats are an alternative to human prey, but leaving a bunch of rat corpses covered in vampire slobber - or worse, being seen actually feeding on a rat - will both raise Suspicion. If your rodent-chomping is witnessed you’ll accrue 2 Suspicion, which is a more manageable cost compared to being witnessed preying on a human or worse, killing one.
Intel and Suspicion
You’re not the only vampire in Boston, and not all of your fellow undead are adept at keeping up the Masquerade. Unfortunately for you, they’re not the protagonists in this game, and any Suspicion created by the actions of any vampire is bad for you. That being the case, you’ll need to keep an eye out for Intel that threatens to expose vampire activity. Not every scene will have such intel, but when it’s present, you’ll need to find it and ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Leaving Intel behind will increase Suspicion, and unfortunately you won’t be notified of any missed Intel until you finish a scene.