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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Crasical posted:

My reading of Celerity is that it is an enormous 'eveyone will want this' power despite being one of the simple, physical disciplines. All three of the active effects are huge (Mors glossed over that the 'increase movement speed' is almost teleportation, you move so fast you blink. This gives you Surprise on enemies, denying them their defense). You can even spend more than one Vitae in the action to get multiple effects, provided your Blood Potency is high enough to allow you to do that. An Ancillae vampire, faced with a Hunter brandishing an improvised flamethrower, could spend 2 Vitae to interrupt the hunter's action and use the blink-move to appear behind them an attack, automatically foiling the hunter's attack and getting their hands around the hunter's throat while he's vulnerable.

Celerity is really, really good.

Oh good we're still in that lovely place where superspeed is the god power.

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Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


I mean, if said vampire had Dominate instead and could survive one round, he could mesmerize his assailant and follow up with 'I am not here.' and leave while his brain-whammied assailant stands around blinking in confusion.

Alternatively, 'Give me your weapon', 'Stand in the corner' 'Face the wall' 'Close your eyes', followed by an execution shot to the back of the head.

Celerity is very strong. Other vampire powers are ALSO very strong.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


There's a difference between 'I have to survive a round' and 'I can interrupt their action before they take it', especially if the combat system is pretty high lethality.

E: Just take a look at All Flesh Must Be Eaten and how clearly essential Fast Reactions was to surviving combat there, if you could afford it, for an example.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 01:42 on Dec 24, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Dominate is also useful for lots of other stuff OTHER than combat.

Just about any combat character will want Celerity (and since it's a physical Discipline, anyone can learn it without a teacher, so they can have it), but it's not the be-all-end-all ability in the game where you dump all your points into it and win.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I think I just have PTSD from playing in an Old Hunter campaign and realizing every single enemy got like 5 turns to a PC's one.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Last time I played Vampire I found it much more useful to be invisible most of the time over moving really fast.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Celerity is quite good - all three of the physical disciplines are - but most disciplines in general are really good. Like going all-in on a discipline gets you results, period. Dominate, Majesty and Obfuscate are all terrifying. Obfuscate, at a high enough level, allows you to murder someone in the middle of Grand Central Station and have no one notice.

In fact, on that note...

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Vampire: the Requiem, 2nd Edition

Obfuscate draws on the Beast's ability to be a hidden killer, lurking unnoticed. It messes around with memories, vision and senses, allowing a vampire to turn invisible. Obfuscate is extremely good at this, because it removes you from your victims' minds directly, rather than just turning you invisible. It affects all senses, even if they're superhumanly good.

Obfuscate 1: Face in the Crowd. You can make it so people just don't notice you. They know that a person is present, but can remember absolutely nothing about you other than that you are average in every respect unless you are actively doing something to draw their attention, such as screaming at people or pulling a gun, or you are somewhere where no one is expected to be. Anything else, you just get ignored. They don't care what you're carrying - they wouldn't notice an assault rifle on your back or a body over your shoulder, as long as you don't use it to draw attention. If you are violent towards someone, that person can automatically notice you, and everyone else gets a roll to notice what's going on, but at a penalty equal to your Obfuscate. Further, while this is active, your predatory aura vanishes, preventing other vampires from automatically sensing it when they look at, smell, touch or otherwise sense you.
Obfuscate 2: Touch of Shadow. You can now touch an object or animal and place Face in the Crowd's effects on them. People still remain subconsciously aware of them so they don't walk into them, but won't register them at all. You (or anyone) can hide behind an occluded object to make it much harder for people to notice you.
Obfuscate 3: Cloak of Night. You may now upgrade your Touch of Shadow to affect other people. Further, you can upgrade Face in the Crowd when you activate it to become utterly imperceptible rather than registering as a nondescript person. If you attack someone while 'invisible' or otherwise draw attention to yourself, you remain obscured and add Obfuscate to the surprise roll - and even then, only the person you attack can perceive you. If another vampire manages to spot you with Auspex or some other method, they can sense your predatory aura and may lash out with theirs to end your use of this power. You may also be tracked by indirect clues left behind by the Beast's magic - drifting smoke, creaking floorboards - but it is very difficult, even with Kindred senses.
Obfuscate 4: The Familiar Stranger. When you use Face in the Crowd or Touch of Shadow, you may activate this to, rather than making yourself or the target appear nondescript, make them appear as a specific image, either a subjective category or specific person. So you can say 'someone that is small and weak-looking' or 'Tom from Accounting' with the only limit being that you can't specify it based on someone's subjective reactions, so 'someone that Joe will fall in love with' is no good. If you use this on objects via Touch of Shadow, you can redefine the object to appear as anything of roughly the same size. These illusory disguises will pass most forms of mundane inspection (though a rock disguised as a gun still won't fire, though this will not break the illusion).
OBfuscate 5: Oubliette. You may mark an area, covering its boundary and exits with your Vitae, then sleep for a full day in the area. This causes the area to become invisible to Kindred senses. You may use Touch of Shadow, Cloak of Night or The Familiar Stranger at any distance, on anyone or anything within the area. You can affect multiple different targets with a single use of those powers, such as making the exits vanish or making ghouls look like people that someone wants to see. You can alter individual aspects of the area seperately, like making rifles appear to be snakes, or oyu can make more sweeping changes with a single use of The Familiar Stranger, such as making your gross old shack look like a manor house, complete with altering yourself and other inhabitants. Anyone interacting with elements of the Oubliette can see the true nature of what they're dealing with, but only for a few seconds, and most people will shrug this off as a trick of the light.

Protean is the Gangrel ability to draw on the Beast's savage nature, becoming formless and terrible predators.

Protean 1: Unmarked Grave. You merge with the earth, becoming immune to most harm, and may remain there indefinitely. This works just as easily in concrete as dirt or stone, as long as the thing you're hiding in has enough space to contain you. You have no normal senses, but you can remain conscious if you want. You are aware of what is happening to the ground above you, and you can still sense predatory auras. If someone spills blood or Vitae on the ground, you may absorb it - and this dilutes it enough that it can't result in a blood bond. The only way to harm you is to destroy the ground you are in, which causes you Bashing damage equal to any Structure damage dealt to whatever you're inside. When you take the first point of Lethal this way, you are forcibly removed from the ground.
Protean 2: Predatory Aspect. You may allow your Beast to slip out through your flesh, warping it and manifesting various changes. When you learn this power, you pick three from the list of examples or create new ones with your GM. You might be able to grow webbed hands and scales that let you swim at your running speed, claws that serve as 1L Brawl weapons, extra sensory organs granting tremorsense, echolocation or some other sense that gives you a 360 degree field of 'vision' without eyes, improve your senses to serve as if you were 2 BP higher than you are, grow a flying-squirrel-like skin flap that lets you glide or reduce fall damage, a prehensile tail, warp your limb shape to let you run faster on all fours, or grow barbed airs along your body that let you climb walls and ceilings. You can change which adaptations you have access to this way by spending a day underground in Unmarked Grave and spending Vitae. Your changes should always reflect some kind of predatory or scavenging beast.
Protean 3: Beast's Skin. You may take on the shape of any animal you have fed on until the animal died, so long as it was a predator, a scavenger, a plague-carrier or a parasite between Size 1 and Size 7. You can have up to (Protean) forms at any given time, and to replace one you eat the appropriate animal and then sleep a full day and night in the Unmarked Grave. In animal form, you use the animal's Physical attributes and skills, and have all of its natural movement and sensory abilities, along with any attacks it can make. You may remain in animal form indefinitely, but you still hunger for blood and are harmed by sunlight.
Protean 4: Unnatural Aspect. You may warp your body via the Beast such that you take on new, entirely monstrous abilities. This can be used when you call on the Predatory Aspect, producing a new feature chosen from the examples or made by you and the GM. You might grow tiny barbs on your hands and arms to add Protean to all grappling orlls and deal Lethal damage in a grapple, you might sprout horrific fangs and talons that give a +2L Brawl weapon with Armor Piercing 2 which can even deal Lethal to vampires, you might get rubbery, flexible flesh and bone that let you stretch and contort yourself such that you can pass through any gap more than an inch across, or you might grow wings of bone and leather that let you truly fly. You may change what your Unnatural Aspect grants by spending a full day asleep in the Unmarked Grave and spending Vitae.
Protean 5: Primeval Miasma. You can dissolve your body into a cloud of smoke, in which faint yellow flashes can sometimes by seen. You may condense or expand yourself easily, moving through anything that isn't airtight and moving at half your normal speed. You may perceive anything inside your cloud as if you were looking at it with your normal senses, but anything outside your form is blurry and muted. You are immune to all harm except fire, sunlight or any banes you've taken. If your form is fully exposed to sunlight you return to normal, but otherwise you can maintain it indefinitely with all the benefits of being in the Unmarked Grave. If anyone passing through your smoke has an open wound, you may feed on them by drawing blood out of it. You may also force yourself into someone's lungs to 'bite' them and steal away their life force through the breath.

Resilience allows the Beast to reinforce your corpse-body's natural endurance to impossible levels. Its presistent effect is that you add Resilience to your Stamina for all purposes, and whenever you take Agg damage, (Resilience) of it is downgraded to Lethal, including fire damage (but not sunlight). You may spend Vitae to reinforce your body, causes all damage dealt to you by non-bane sources to be reduced by (Resilience+1). This manifests visually as the damage appearing on your body but causing you no actual impediment unless they actually remove a limb, eye or whatever. These superficial wounds can be healed for one Vitae during daysleep. This also makes it harder to stake you. Alternatively, you can cause all damage from fire or banes (but not sunlight) to be reduced by (Resilience), though again, all superficial signs of damage remain, so if you walk through an inferno, you look like a burnt corpse. Either of these effects lasts only one turn.

Vigor allows you to reinforce your Strength through the Beast's power. Its persistent effect is that you add Vigor to your Strength for all purposes and multiply your jump distance by (Vigor+1). You may spend Vitae to gain a huge boost to your strength as well. You can add Vigor as a weapon bonus to all Athletics, Brawl and Weaponry attacks, at the cost of damaging any improvised weapon you use in this way. Alternatively, you can lift and hurl any object of Size no more than your Strength, using it as an improvised melee or throwing weapon. Objects over Size 5 deal Lethal to mortals, and those over Size 10 deal lethal even to vampires. In either case, the boost applies for only one turn - and yes, you can use both at once.

Now, that's not the only weird powers you can have. Many vampires develop the Disciplines above - but it is also possible for new techniques, known as Devotions, to arise, either spontaneously or after careful work honing your abilities. Once you know a Devotion, you can teach it to others the same way Disciplines can be taught. Anyone with the right prerequisites can learn a Devotion, either from a teacher or by long practice. Still, most are kept secret, passed along rarely. Each Devotion requires a certain level in one or more Disciplines to learn, and the more Discipline dots are required, the harder they are to learn.

Example Devotions include:
Chain of Command (Dominate 3, Vigor 1): You can implant some of your own will in a dominated victim. You explain how to use this power, either generally ('tell this to the first person you see wearing red') or specifically ('tell this to Joe at 6:45 PM on Tuesday evening'). This implants one of your Dominate effects in the target, allowing them to unleash it at the time and target you specify, rolling your dicepool to do so.
Cult of Personality (Majesty 4, Vigor 3): You may spend a massive amount of Vitae and use this to apply the effects of Loyalty to an entire crowd, enthralling them all at once.
Enchantment (Majesty 4, Obfuscate 2): You may use this to apply the effects of Loyalty to a target, but leaving them Enthralled to someone or something of your choice rather than yourself.
Foul Grave (Protean 1, Nightmare 1): You maintain a vague awareness of people around you when you are in the Unmarked Grave, and you may lash out with your predatory aura while in it.
Hint of Fear (Celerity 2, Nightmare 2): You may use Face of the Beast without the normal eye contact required, activating it reflxxively and unnoticeably.
Juggernaut's Gait (Resilience 5, Vigor 3): For 5 Vitae a turn, you are immune to all harm. Period. Even sunlight and fire cannot touch you during turns in which this is active.
Quicken Sight (Auspex 1, Celerity 1): You can accelerate your own vision to insane levels, allowing you to do superhuman acts. You can read multiple pages of text in seconds, you can apply Defense to Firearms attacks, you can aim reflexively to get the benefits instantly.

Devotions can do almost anything, depending on how many dots get involved and what Disciplines are combined to make them. Their limits are entirely up to the GM.

Next time: Blood Sorcery

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Mors Rattus posted:

Celerity is quite good - all three of the physical disciplines are - but most disciplines in general are really good. Like going all-in on a discipline gets you results, period. Dominate, Majesty and Obfuscate are all terrifying. Obfuscate, at a high enough level, allows you to murder someone in the middle of Grand Central Station and have no one notice.

Dominate, Celerity, and Obfuscate are the three that made me gape and go 'Holy crap, having even a single dot of this is REALLY GOOD.'
A Ventrue who develops one dot of Obfuscate and Dominate is in a fantastic position to solve many, many problems without expending a single point of Vitae, compared to the Gangrel who all-ins on Protean and can turn into infinity snakes or a huge lumbering ragebeast at the cost of a big chunk of their vitae pool.

Protean's first dot, incidentally, initially underwhelmed me, but not necessarily needing a Haven to rest in during the day actually has pretty solid repercussions for vampire activities. Go throw yourself in a river and burrow into the mud at the bottom, you're safe from the sun and your vampiric enemies are going to have a really hard time sending people who need to breathe after you, if they even know where you are.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Yeah, the ability to spend out the day inside the column of a parking structure or in the foundation of any building means that Gangrel can be ridiculously good at avoiding consequences.

Zomborgon
Feb 19, 2014

I don't even want to see what happens if you gain CHIM outside of a pre-coded system.



Mors Rattus posted:

Yeah, the ability to spend out the day inside the column of a parking structure or in the foundation of any building means that Gangrel can be ridiculously good at avoiding consequences.

Like this?

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


MonsieurChoc posted:



I've been dealing with anxiety disorder for a few months now, and I can totally see massive fear of death leading me to making a terrible mistake.

I've always lived with overpowering fear of death, and I'd be a vampire in a second!

On a less depressing note, I was reading about Amsterdam's 'Night Mayor', who ensures the city has a good night life, and was thinking it would be a fun thing to have in a game. Just a Toredor or Daeva who's job it is to make sure a territory has a happening party scene so vamps can feed: https://www.google.com.au/amp/www.citylab.com/amp/article/433893/

Weirdest place I found VtM was in the Jim Jarmusch movie Only Lovers Left Alive, which was mostly 2 Toredors worried about their Malkavian sister, but everyone involved was too cool to touch RPGs.
Still think Blade is the best oWoD movie.
I feel like the whole 'immortality is a curse' thing is just something people tell themselves to feel better. People die, but art doesn't, and longlived vampires could be monks, contemplating art and feeding on the herd.

But that's hard to game, which is the problem with VtM - it's premise is so psychological that in order to turn it into a game you need to add politics or action. While Werewolf and Mage have action built into their premise.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 04:12 on Dec 24, 2016

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Count Chocula posted:

People die, but art doesn't

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Daeren fucked around with this message at 04:23 on Dec 24, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Yes, but people can dig you out by damaging the object you're in, and it costs Blood to bed down into things more sturdy than dirt.

If they watched you disappear into something, it's sort of a balance of how badly they want to get at you. Though I am deeply amused by the idea of a vampire just abusing the discipline to avoid awkward social encounters.

"Aw, hell, he's in the drywall again. Someone go fetch a pry-bar."

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Crasical posted:

"Aw, hell, he's in the drywall again. Someone go fetch a pry-bar."
Little known fact: it is incredibly hard to differentiate a sufficiently motivated Vampire from a loose hamster, ferret, squirrel, pet rat, wild possum, mouse, raccoon or a boa constrictor in a frat house that someone left out overnight. Helpful methods of detection involve checking to see if the creature is capable of speech, likes human blood, dislikes the sun and has thumbs or limbs at all.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?


Count Chocula posted:

I've always lived with overpowering fear of death, and I'd be a vampire in a second!

On a less depressing note, I was reading about Amsterdam's 'Night Mayor', who ensures the city has a good night life, and was thinking it would be a fun thing to have in a game. Just a Toredor or Daeva who's job it is to make sure a territory has a happening party scene so vamps can feed: https://www.google.com.au/amp/www.citylab.com/amp/article/433893/

Weirdest place I found VtM was in the Jim Jarmusch movie Only Lovers Left Alive, which was mostly 2 Toredors worried about their Malkavian sister, but everyone involved was too cool to touch RPGs.
Still think Blade is the best oWoD movie.
I feel like the whole 'immortality is a curse' thing is just something people tell themselves to feel better. People die, but art doesn't, and longlived vampires could be monks, contemplating art and feeding on the herd.

But that's hard to game, which is the problem with VtM - it's premise is so psychological that in order to turn it into a game you need to add politics or action. While Werewolf and Mage have action built into their premise.


you lied to me!

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Someone must have pulled out the stake.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Count Chocula posted:

I feel like the whole 'immortality is a curse' thing is just something people tell themselves to feel better. People die, but art doesn't, and longlived vampires could be monks, contemplating art and feeding on the herd.

Do YOU want to be an immortal monk isolated by mind and means from the rest of the world? People go crazy and even their health declines during prolonged social isolation, and the vampires who go through this were embraced less for their philosophical leanings and more for the sire's convenience/desire to hide a crime/political ambitions/misplaced parental urge/because they think their childe is really hot. Plus, if you'll excuse me citing a Daily Heil article (written by a real professor though!), your perception of time physically changes with age. WoD vampires have always struck me as way more human (mentally) than they'd like to admit (they'd have to be to be roleplayed), and an elder is what you get when a human lives forever in hiding and with magical powers.

Christ I went through a lot of effort to cite my sources. Academia is a hell of a drug.

Daeren posted:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Keats was a really good poet.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Falconier111 posted:



Keats was a really good poet.

...I'm not sure if you're misidentifying the poet or just throwing some shade at Percy "Bysshe Please" Shelley.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Falconier111 posted:



Christ I went through a lot of effort to cite my sources. Academia is a hell of a drug.


Keats was a really good poet.

Ahahaha

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Hostile V posted:

Little known fact: it is incredibly hard to differentiate a sufficiently motivated Vampire from a loose hamster, ferret, squirrel, pet rat, wild possum, mouse, raccoon or a boa constrictor in a frat house that someone left out overnight. Helpful methods of detection involve checking to see if the creature is capable of speech, likes human blood, dislikes the sun and has thumbs or limbs at all.

Depending on Humanity (or lack thereof), only the last of these tests might actually help you tell the difference!

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

unseenlibrarian posted:

...I'm not sure if you're misidentifying the poet or just throwing some shade at Percy "Bysshe Please" Shelley.



Shelley's actually my third favorite poet (Dickinson and Hughes take the top two spots). They're better than those modern poets who are too lazy to use a meter

e: corrected spelling for the fact that Shelley is a Romantic poet and not a member of Team Aqua.

Falconier111 fucked around with this message at 03:35 on Dec 25, 2016

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Quote is not edit.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Eh, I know the whole angst of immortality may be more realistic, but it's never been my style personally. For me, no one beats Hob Gadling



Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Man, 90's era linework is *rough*. It looks like that comic was inked on the back of a motorcycle.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

There are a bunch of different ways you can take immortality. And while we can all have ideas of how we think it would go, no one can say for sure you're wrong because there aren't any immortals around to tell us.

I like the idea that different people will approach immortality differently, but that's partly just because I think it makes for more interesting stories.

fez_machine
Nov 27, 2004
You have1 unread message



JackMann posted:

There are a bunch of different ways you can take immortality. And while we can all have ideas of how we think it would go, no one can say for sure you're wrong because there aren't any immortals around to tell us.

I like the idea that different people will approach immortality differently, but that's partly just because I think it makes for more interesting stories.

What I like about nWoD is that avoiding death always has a major cost. There's no simple way to live forever or for a long long time with out there being something horrible attached to it. Mages have it the easiest but even then if they're not doing nasty poo poo, it's extremely fragile and conditional on not loving up once.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Simian_Prime posted:

Man, 90's era linework is *rough*. It looks like that comic was inked on the back of a motorcycle.

This is giving me serious flashbacks to those horror comics I used to read as a kid.

(They where a bit weird in that at least the German translation insisted on calling even the most obvious alien a demon, because I guess that was more horror-ish?)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Vampire: the Requiem, 2nd Edition

Blood sorcery is the domain of the Circle of the Crone and the Lancea et Sanctum. Unlike most Disciplines, these are not so simple to use. Most disciplines require no ceremony or external action. However, the Blood has great potential, and by using the Disciplines of Cruac and Theban Sorcery, you can perform rituals that go out far beyond your body, twisting the world itself. It looks like magic. To the Lance, it's prayer, and to the Acolytes, well, it's what you're worshipping. To the Strix, it is an affront and an insult to see Kindred using it. The rewards are immense, but the costs are not insignificant. Broadly speaking, the process of using Theban Sorcery and Cruac is similar, though their effects and what they can be used for are very different.

Cruac is an ancient and malevolent art, which some opponents of the Circle believe is a literal infection, an alien thing living inside the Vitae of its users. The power that Cruac summons, though, is the Beast itself, paid for in blood and made to taint the world via the invocation of the Crone's primal gods. Casting a Cruac rite is an all-consuming, ecstatic experience that can push you to the edge of frenzy. Cruac itself is a corrupting, wold thing that degrades everything it touches with the Beast's aura. It is sorcery used on flesh and wood and stone, with little concern for thought and intellect. Only Acolytes with Circle of the Crone Status 1 or higher can learn Cruac or its rites. If you lose your status, you can still develop Cruac dots, but not more rites. The Circle will also often hunt down those who try to teach Cruac to outsiders. Bad things tend to happen to vampires that use Cruac after leaving the Circle, and stories disagree on whether this is the Circle's fault or not. Due to the fact that it rouses and taps into the Beast, Cruac pushes you away from Humanity - learning a dot of it is a breaking point, and you can never have Humanity higher than (10-Cruac dots). You can only learn rituals up to or less than your Cruac dots. Interestingly, some Strix are able to use Cruac with as much skill as Circle masters - though they require Kindred vitae to do so, not their own shadowy essence. They seem to regard Cruac as belonging to them, and will demand a terrible price indeed from any vampire that wants to learn from them.

Theban Sorcery was discovered early in the history of the Lancea et Sanctum. Saint Daniel, one of the early members of the covenant, wrote that he was led by the angel Amoniel to a cavern beneath the city of Thebes in Egypt. There, the walls were coated in diagrams and incantations. Daniel recorded them and passed them on, using them to form the basis of Theban Sorcery. It is a stern and judgmental magic, requiring uncompromising faith, and its power is just as harsh. Some ritualists claim that their miracles channel the power of God's Curse, rather than the Beast. These miracles can reveal truth or sin, and can easily punish those who break the law of the Lance. Performing Theban miracles is an act of intense and exhausting faith, and each requires a physical sacrament, a symbolic item that will be destroyed by the magic when the ritual is completed. Only those with Lancea et Sanctum Status 1 or higher can learn Theban Sorcery or miracles. If you lose all status, you can't learn new miracles but can take more dots, as with Cruac. And, as with Cruac, the church punishes those who teach it to others, breaking their oaths of secrecy. Due to its careful and deliberate use of intellect and faith, Theban Sorcery requires you to maintain your human rationality. You must have Humanity at least equal to the dot rating of any miracle you wish to call on.

You get one rite or mriacle each time you gain a new dot in Cruac or Theban Sorcery, respectively, as long as you have the required Status dot to learn new ones. You can also buy new ones with XP. Both forms of blood sorcery require a ritual sacrifcce to perform any rite or miracle. Cruac rites cost one Vitae per dot of the rite, the first of which must be spent by you, as if fuelling a Discipline. The rest can be either spilled from your own body...or sacrificed by another vampire. It has to be vampiric Vitae - mortal blood is simply not strong enough. Further, any Vitae spilled for a ritual becomes inert, useless for feeding. Theban Sorcery, on the other hand, requires one Willpower to prepare for the ritual, plus a sacrificial sacrament to the angels and saints that oversee miracles (according to the Lance). Fail or succeed, the sacrament is lost. Many ritualists also use various props and performances; this is primarily for their psychological benefit in mustering up the necessary willpower.

Once the sacrifice is made, you make your roll - Manipulation+Occult+Cruac for the one, or Intelligence+Academics+Theban Sorcery for the other. In either case, it's an extended roll, which each ritual requiring a different number of successes, and it can take quite a while to finish a ritual. They take a long drat time - usually an hour or more. Cruac can be made easier by sacrificing extra Vitae, while Theban Sorcery can be made easier with meditation. Your victim is always aware when they're targeted by a blood sorcery ritual, though they need not be present for it. If the ritual doesn't specify how far away they can be, you get a penalty for each mile. The Beast just instinctively reacts to the sorcerous presence throughout the entire ritual. Even vampires in daysleep or torpor sense this, though they can't do much about it. This does not, however, provide any awareness of what the ritual does - just that it's happening. During the ritual, they also can sense you as if you were two ranks closer to them for blood sympathy (or, if they were a different clan altogether, as if they were the same clan as you).

Sample Cruac Rites include:
Pangs of Proserpina (1 dot): You cause the victim to suffer intense hunger, provoking a hunger frenzy in other vampires as if they were starving, regardless of how much Vitae they have. They must be no more than a mile away when the ritual is cast.
Rigor Mortis (1 dot): The victim, who must be within a mile when the ritual is cast, suffers a sudden loss of reanimating power, giving them -3 to their next physical action.
Cheval (2 dots): You must touch the victim, who must be present for the ritual. For the rest of the night, you may see and hear what the victim does, no matter the distance.
The Hydra's Vitae (2 dots): You curse your own blood and poison it. Vampires and Strix that drink from you take 1L per Vitae taken but gain no nourishment. Mortals and ghouls take 2L per Vitae taken if they drink from you. Your blood is only venomous while in your system, and this ends at sunrise.
Deflection of the Wooden Doom (3 dots): Any attempts to stake you fail automatically until sunrise.
Touch of the Morrigan (3 dots): The first time you strike someone with your open palm, they are wounded based on how well you performed the ritual. This goes away at sunrise or once you use it, whichever is first.
Blood Price (4 dots): The victim must be a vampire or ghoul present for the casting. Every time they drink blood, a number of Vitae based on how well you did the ritual goes to you instead of them first. If they take more, they get the rest. This lasts until sunrise.
Willful Vitae (4 dots): You are immune to blood bonds and blood addiction for the rest of the night, though any blood bonds or addiction you already have remain.
Blood Blight (4 dots): You taint and destroy the victim's blood. Mortal victims take damage based on how well you did the rite, while Strix, ghouls or Kindred victims lose that much Vitae instead, which can often provoke frenzy.
Feeding the Crone (4 dots): You transform your fangs into a wicked, tearing maw. You gain no Vitae from feeding while this is active, but your bite is a 2A weapon. This ends at sunrise or when you spend Vitae to cancel it early, whichever comes first.

Sample Theban Miracles include:
Blood Scourge (1 dot): You transform part of your own blood into a weapon. At any point until sunrise, you may create a 2L weapon in the form of a whip made of Vitae, which crumbles to dust at the end of the scene it's used in or at sunrise.
Vitae Reliquary (1 dot): You infuse an object with Vitae based on how well you did the miracle. The Vitae is mystically transferred from your body into the item, and can be retrived by any vampire, Strix or ghoul that touches the item. It still causes blood bonds and blood addiction. After one lunar month, the ritual ends and the object is destroyed.
Blandishment of Sin (1 dot): The victim of this ritual must be within one mile. The next time they would take Bashing damage before sunrise, it is upgraded to Lethal. A four-dot version of this ritual exists to upgrade Lethal to Aggravated. In either case, the ritual ends at sunrise if the victim is not injured before then.
Curse of Babel (2 dots): The victim must be within one mile. They are unable to speak or write until sunrise.
Liar's Plague (2 dots): If the victim lies over the course of the next scene, beetles swarm from their mouth.
Malediction of Despair (3 dots): The victim must be within one mile. You name a specific action. The next time the victim does that within the lunar month, they get a -5 penalty. If they don't activate the curse before the month is up, it goes away.
Gift of Lazarus (4 dots): You animate a human corpse as a semi-sentient servant. It has no Willpower, but retains all skills it had in life. The longer the corpse was dead, the lower its stats are. You may command the servant yourself or order it to listen to someone else. If the corpse takes a full Health bar of Agg damage or a full lunar month passes, the servant is destroyed.
Stigmata (4 dots): The victim of this ritual must be present for it. You ritually curse them with the wounds of Christ for a number of turns based on how well you did the ritual. Mortals take 1L per turn, while vampires and ghouls lose 1 Vitae per turn. If a vampire runs out of Vitae this way, they take Lethal damage damage instead and provoke a frenzy.
Transubstantiation (5 dots): You transform one substance into another. Water to win, lead to gold, human to stone, dog to cat, whatever. The object, creature or person to be targeted must be present for the ritual, and it can't affect anything larger than you, cannot create intelligence and cannot harm whatever is being transformed, though any injuries the target ha remain when the ritual ends. All transformations are ended at sunrise.

Next time: the Mysteries of the Dragon

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


I really like that the Lancea just found Theban Sorcery and make a lot of unsourced claims about how it comes from the Christian God. This obscure Roman covenant of weird self-flagellating religious vampires has, by complete chance, achieved immense power and influence over the ages thanks to this magical secret they stumbled upon.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Other vampires hate them!!! Click here for more!!!

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Kellsterik posted:

I really like that the Lancea just found Theban Sorcery and make a lot of unsourced claims about how it comes from the Christian God. This obscure Roman covenant of weird self-flagellating religious vampires has, by complete chance, achieved immense power and influence over the ages thanks to this magical secret they stumbled upon.



Also, I think that

Kellsterik posted:

This obscure Roman covenant of weird self-flagellating religious vampires has, by complete chance, achieved immense power and influence over the ages thanks to this magical secret they stumbled upon.

describes a lot of how vampire society evolves and functions.

e: I just spotted that being a Malkavian is now a disease.

Falconier111 fucked around with this message at 04:06 on Dec 26, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I have to take pills every day to live, what's the difference between that and blood, morally? I mean, let's be honest.

Zomborgon
Feb 19, 2014

I don't even want to see what happens if you gain CHIM outside of a pre-coded system.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

I have to take pills every day to live, what's the difference between that and blood, morally? I mean, let's be honest.

You can make a case for it being more reasonable than pills, really. Pills take a heck of a lot of time to research, by a relatively small portion of the population at that, and require whole facilities to produce. Blood gets made automatically by everyone so long as they eat, and they're going to do that anyway.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



It is immoral for humans to not give their surplus blood freely to the vampire minority. It's just going to waste otherwise! Merry Christmas everyone!

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I got in the same goddamn argument with a guy about an adult's leftover PPE in RIFTS.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Vampire: the Requiem, 2nd Edition

So, the Ordo Dracul has a ton of stories about how Dracula escaped his Curse by transforming it. It's said that Dracula could walk under the sun, go for ages without blood and never fell to the Beast's frenzy. No one can confirm if any are true, but they provide hope that the vampiric condition can be changed and surpassed. The Ordo takes the knowledge passed down by the brides of Dracula and has been searching for and refining methods of transcendence. They scour the Earth for mystic secrets to better understand the vampiric Curse. The results, found by self-control and study, are known as the Mysteries of the Dragon. Unlike Disciplines, which augment the body or aura, the powers granted by the Mysteries, known as Coils of the Dragon, manipulate and change your nature. Each ties into some universal aspect of the vampiric condition, twisting it and the Beast to your benefit. They also do not ever drain your Vitae, though they may alter how you use it.

The Ordo argues a lotover where their actual goal is. Some believe that the end goal is total dominion over all banes of undeath, while others hold that the true succeess is n manipulation of the Beast rather than denial of it. Some stick to the traditional goal: transcendence is the defiance of God and/or nature. Others belive that this traidtion is a metaphor for the triumph of vampires over the unknowable forces that created them. The important thing, however, is that the Coils are proof that their methods work. Each step on a Coil, much like a Discipline, brings a new ability - a powerful and permanent change to your vampiric state. Through the changes wrought by the Coils, the Dragons can learn to get around their banes, empower their own blood and even tap into the Curse for power in a way deeper than most vampires dream of. Some believe that the best way to defeat a divine Curse owuld be to find a bigger curse and let the two fight it out.

When a vampire joins the Ordo Dracul, they choose a single Mystery to focus on. Each Mystery contains a single Coil, which they dedicate themselves to refining. At the theoretical pinnacle of every Coil is enlightenment, different in form for each Mystery. Achieving it would put you in an entirely new state of being. So far, no one has ever confirmed any of these pinnacles to exist, but what has been found is taken as evidence that more is possible. Essentially, your chosen Mystery is considered an in-clan Discipline for XP costs, while all others are out-of-clan. You may never have more dots in any specific Coil not of your Mystery than you have dots in Ordo Dracul Status.

On top of the core Coils, the Dragons perform many horrific experiments on themselves and others in the name of self-improvement. Most of these end in failure, generally death or maiming. However, sometimes they will bear fruit and find a new procedure that actually does something useful. These are known as Scales. Via the Scales, the dragons can share with others some aspects of their enlightened nature. Vampires can be made to sleep by night and wake by day, mortals may be given some power of the blood, ghouls made to last well beyond they normally can. These procedures are often brutal, torturous and have significant side effects. As a result, most Dragons that use them maintain private labs in which to perform them. Scales each have a prerequisite Coil, and knowing that reduces the cost of learning them. New Scales can be made via experimentation (and work with your GM), but creating them, succeed or fail, is always a breaking point. Still, creating a new Scale and giving it to your boss in the Ordo is always grounds for promotion.

The Mystery of the Ascendant has one clear goal. The sun is the enemy, and to defeat its power is to defeat all problems. By overcoming fire and sunlight, you may defeat every problem of the vampiric state. They do not, however, seek a return to mortality - that would be just an exchange of weaknesses, not true transcendence. Even if you managed it, the Ordo would laugh at you. Scales of the Ascendant manipulate the bounds of life and death, pushing the mind and body to their limits as they seek to find a perfected 'near life' state. Direct exposure to sunlight or fire, sleep deprivation and medically induced death are all common experimental practices. All have one goal: cure the vampire of the vulnerability to sunlight and allow them to walk by daylight, lucid and unharmed.

Coil of the Ascendant 1: Surmounting the Daysleep. As long as you have the benefits of the blush of life, you don't have to roll to resist daysleep and will not gain the Lethargic condition for remaining active by day.
Coil of the Ascendant 2: The Warm Face. When you activate the blush of life, it now lasts 24 hours, not a single scene.
Coil of the Ascendant 3: Conquer the Red Fear. You no longer risk frenzy from exposure to fire or sunlight, though they are no less dangerous to you.
Coil of the Ascendant 4: Peace with the Flame. As long as you have the benefits of the blush of life, fire only deals Lethal damage to you, not Aggravated. Further, Resilience now reduces one point of Lethal fire damage to Bashing per dot.
Coil of the Ascendant 5: Sun's Forgotten Kiss. When you activate the blush of life, you may spend extra Vitae to reduce your effective Blood Potency for purposes of determining the interval at which sunlight harms you, to a minimum of BP 1.

Sample Scales of the Ascendant:
Day-Wake Conditioning (prereq: Surmounting the Daysleep): The target must resist daysleep until the penalties from Lethargic reduce their roll to a chance die. They must then slumber at dusk in a brightly lit chamber - traditionally, this uses lots of candles, but high-watt lamps are just as good. This reverses the subject's sleep cycle indefinitely, causing them to wake at dawn and slumber at night, for as long as they slumber in a brightly lit location at night. Failure to do so for more than two days consecutively ends the effect.
Epidermal Shielding Bath (prereq: Sun's Forgotten Kiss): You fill a bathtub or other vessel with a mixture of blood, salt, pulped human fat and other mystic ingredients, then submerge a subject completely in it for a full hour while you bleed Vitae into the mix. (If you are the subject, you can do that bit underwater.) You increase the subject's effective Humanity based on the Vitae bled into the bath, solely for purposes of determining damage dealt by sunlight. This lasts for 24 hours, starting when the subject emerges.
Flash Graft Treatment (prereq: Peace with the Flame): You use a system of skin grafts and mortal blood transfusions to bring dead flesh to a near-living state, allowing for rapid healing. Skin grafts must be prepared 24 hours in advance and allowed to soak in fresh human blood. To begin treatment, you wrap the grafts around the damaged regions, then inject them with fresh human blood, no more than a minute old. The subject's flesh is thus briefly reinvigorated, allowing Agg damage to be healed as if it was Lethal. Mortals become able to heal Lethal with Vitae, though obviously you need to give them Vitae to let them do so. If you do, this will also induce a stage two blood bond (as you are providing the Vitae intravenously) and may also be used to turn them into a ghoul.

Next time: The Mystery of the Wyrm and the Mystery of the Voivode

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Vampire: the Requiem, 2nd Edition

The Mystery of the Wyrm holds that vampirism is no curse or affliction - it is a blessing. The problem is just that the Beast is savage and really panicky when you get down to it. Thus, the Mystery tries to fix that, refining the Beast and making it more obedient to your desires. Scales of the Wyrm, even by Ordo standards, are savage and monstrous - dissection, forced frenzy, and so on. The focus is on guiding the Beast and augmenting your natural abilities.

Coil of the Wyrm 1: Stir the Beast. You may now spend Willpower to enter frenzy without a cause. When you do, you pick a target or goal, no more than a few words, which becomes your frenzy objective. You have no more control over your actions than any involuntary frenzy, and all attempts to escape the frenzy before its goal is met are at a penalty. When the goal is no longer pressing or possible, the frenzy ends. You can, however, use this reflexively and to avoid involuntary frenzy, so that's handy.
Coil of the Wyrm 2: Beast's Hunger. Whenever you frenzy, for any reason, you add your Coil dots to Blood Potency for purposes of Kindred senses and predatory aura.
Coil of the Wyrm 3: Leash the Beast. You no longer need to spend Willpower to attempt to ride the wave, and you add your Coil dots to the roll.
Coil of the Wyrm 4: Beast's Power. When you enter frenzy, you may choose to not resist at all, enterining a frenzy that will not end until the Beast is sated. (You can still ride the wave, however.) If you do, you add Blood Potency to Defense, Health and Speed for the duration.
Coil of the Wyrm 5: Eternal Frenzy. While you are in frenzy, you will not fall to torpor even if you are full up on Lethal damage. If you end frenzy while still full on Lethal, you will immediately enter torpor. However, you may now retain your frenzy beyond the end of the scene, riding the wave from impulse to impulse until you are killed or choose to stop, which you may do at the end of any scene.

Sample Scales of the Wyrm:
Augmented Vitae Draught (prereq: Beast's Power). You prepare a container and various equipment to drain blood into it. Then, you put the needles into key veins in your chest, arms and legs, spending Vitae to make the blood flow as if using Physical Intensity. Your actual abilities remain unaltered. Instead, the Vitae goes into the container you prepared, where it remains potent for several hours. If any mortal drinks it in that period, the Vitae raises their stats as it would have yours...except that it lasts an entire scene, not a single turn. However, the solution is exceptionally poisonous and the physical augmentation is very hazardous. At the end of the scene, the subject collapses and takes Bashing based on the Vitae invested into the concoction, and also becomes addicted to blood.
Kindred Sense Endowment (prereq: Beast's Hunger). You prepare a concoction of blood and bone, boiled and distilled into a sludge over the course of two hours. You then apply this to a mortal's eyes and nose, then feed them the rest. The victim will shortly vomit that part out; that's fine, it's intended. The subject is sickened, but may now see and smell blood as a BP 2 vampire would. They also develop a hunger for human blood, as would a newly Embraced vampire, though it will not given them any benefits - just risk of Integrity loss and horrible sickness. These both last for about 24 hours.
Surgical Heart Removal (prereq: Eternal Frenzy). Over aobut six hours, you surgically remove a vampire's heart, customarily storing it in a black onyx box. You then rebind the veins. This is a very risky procedure, requiring an extended Medicine roll, and can be reversed with a similar one. If you pull it off, however, the subject is immune to stakes, but can no longer gain Vitae from feeding, though they may still use Vitae previously stored and can still gain it by methods other than feeding, such as blood sorcery rites. If the subject's body is destroyed, they will regenerate from the heart itself after an appropriate interval in torpor. If the heart is destroyed, they die instantly. (If you gently caress up, they just enter torpor until you out the heart back. gently caress up bad enough, and you destroy the heart and send them into a permanent, mindly frenzy until their death at the end of the scene. Whoops.)

The Mystery of the Voivode looks at the blood and finds power. Other Dragons care about banes and the Beast, but the Voivode focuses on the power of the blood bond and the vampire-as-king. These Dragons seek to rise above the politics of the dead, becoming beings of pure and transcendent will, as Dracula was unquestioned in life. The Scales of the Voivode focus on servitude and blood. Often, experiments involve psychological torture, Vitae addiction and the creation of blood bonds, ghouls or even childer. As a result, these experiments tend to be done in even more secrecy than others.

Coil of the Voivode 1: Taste of Fealty. Each point of your Vitae now counts as two for the purposes of Vitae addiction. Further, only those with this Coil produce blood that will satisfy those addicted to your Vitae.
Coil of the Voivode 2: Into the Fold. You now experience blood sympathy towards those you have blood bound. Stage one bonds are four times removed, stage two are three times and stage three are twice removed. (If you're already related to them, use whatever connection is closest.)
Coil of the Voivode 3: Call to Serve. When you are making a blood bond, you may spend extra Vitae to speed it up. Three Vitae jumps straight to a stage two bond, while five goes straight to stage three. This Vitae must be shared over a period of no more than a few minutes, but you are not subject to the normal limits of Vitae spending per turn for it.
Coil of the Voivode 4: Voivode Undisputed. Those connected to you by blood sympathy get no bonus to use disciplines on you, and your blood sympathy bonus adds to resist blood bonds and contest the predatory aura of anyone bound to you.
Coil of the Voivode 5: The Vast Dynasty. You no longer automatically lose a dot of Humanity to perform the Embrace. Instead, it is a breaking point, and you get a small bonus to the roll.

Samples Scales of the Voivode:
Blood Cleansing Ritual (prereq: Taste of Fealty). You prepare a wash of animal blood, viscera and some of your own Vitae. You then repeatedly pour this into the subject's nose and mouth, typically while the subject is restrained. Each time you do so, you get to make a roll based on your Blood Potency to remove any blood bond the victim has. Despite the use of your Vitae as part of this, you create no blood bond towards yourself.
Fealty's Reward (prereq: Call to Serve). You can only ever do this to a mortal in a stage three blood bond to you. You feed on them until they have only one Health box not full of lethal damage, then slit your wrists and spill all the Vitae you gained into a basin. The subject then drinks the Vitae and rests for 48 hours. When they awaken, they are a ghoul, are full to natural capacity on Vitae and remain in this state for a full year, not just a month. They may renew this state only by you giving them the standard expenditure of Vitae. However, should the condition ever expire, they die immediately and rise as a draugr on the next new moon.
Mass Embrace (prereq: The Vast Dynasty). You get a group of people you want to Embrace, and ideally bring along some of your friends to help you. You bring the subjects into a low, concave space capable of containing large amounts of liquid. Then you hemorrhage out all of your Vitae. You move among the subjects, draining them all dry and bleeding the gains into the pool you've just made. Finally, you sip from the pool at your feet and inject it into the veins of all your now-dead subjects. After this, you should probably run for cover, but it isn't actually formally required. The subjects are all Embraced and rise at BP 1 and 1 Vitae. Each, however, rolls a chance die. Those that succeed have all their faculties. Those that fail awaken in Frenzy. Those that dramatically fial are draugr. Also, no matter what, this costs a full dot of your Humanity.
Sanguinary Invigoration (prereq: Into the Fold). You take a large syringe, extract some Vitae and mix it with some mystic ingredients. Within ten minutes, you inect this into a living human or animal vessel. (After ten minutes, it becomes worthless.) The victim is not killed, blood bond or even Vitae-addicted. Rather, they feel invigorated, like someone on a stimulant binge. This is all the victim gets. You, however, treat your Blood Potency as four dots lower when determining if you can feed from the subject, and four dots higher for determining the distance at which you can smell their blood. (In fact, I believe this applies to all vampires; the text is somewhat unclear.) This lasts for one week, though the side effects on the victim may wear off sooner. Any vampire that feeds on the subject besides you ingests some of your blood, with all the inherent risks, but those addicted to your blood will find it as satisfying as yours.

Next time: The hell is a Strix?

AnEdgelord
Dec 12, 2016



I've always found the Ordo Dracul to be the most interesting of the covenants. Partly because they seem to be the only covenant that recognizes the political dramas of vampires as distraction and are actively trying to solve the curse.

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wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




So looking at that last Scale, the Ordo can straight up ignore the biggest restriction on having lots of members with high blood potency (having to feed on vampires.)

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