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That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012


Mecha_Face posted:

Yea, it's a problem in Exalted, too. You need to have as many dots in Brawl as you do in Martial Arts, IIRC. It's rather irritating. Just remove one or the other, you don't need both. Martial Arts aren't THAT overpowered (except Sidereal ones).

They did do that, in the transition from 1e to 2e, but they added it back and made it even worse in 3e because John Mørke is a weird orientalist rear end in a top hat.

(2e had some wild problems all its own ofc)


Gatto Grigio
Feb 9, 2020

Mors Rattus posted:

At least they gave werewolves the ultimate power move of “okay you get to skip the actual combat system”

Deviant also added Goon Combat rules to simulate fighting large hordes of disposable mooks in CofD2e.

I got to use them a few weeks ago. It treats large mobs as a solo enemy and it works quite well.

Dec 17, 2016

As promised, this post will be extra long, and include the rest of the Classes. The last five Classes are all very good in their own ways, and one of them is my personal favorite.

Questions to Ask:
Some believe arrows and bullets to be a coward's weapons. What's your opinion? (Mine is that those are ammo, not weapons)
When caught unprepared, do you improvise or do you retreat?
Are you quiet and reserved, confident and cunning, or boisterous and reckless?
What do your weapons and fighting style look like?

Sharpshooter Free Benefits: Permanently increase your Max HP by 5. Gain the ability to equip martial ranged weapons and martial shields.

Sharpshooter Skills:

Barrage: When you perform a ranged attack, you may spend 10 MP to choose one option: the attack gains multi(2), or you increase the attack's multi property by one, up to a maximum of multi(3).

Crossfire: After a creature you can see performs a ranged attack, you may spend an amount of MP equal to the total Result of their Accuracy Check in order to have the attack fail automatically against all targets. You can only use this Skill if you have a ranged weapon equipped, and it has no effect if the Accuracy Check was a Critical Success.

Hawkeye (5): When you perform the Guard action, if you choose not to provide cover to another creature, you may choose one option: the next ranged attack you perform before the end of the current scene will deal [SL x 2] extra damage, or you may immediately perform a free attack with a bow or firearm you have equipped, treating your High Roll as 0 when calculating damage dealt by this attack.

Ranged Weapon Mastery (4): You gain a bonus equal to [SL] to all Accuracy Checks with ranged weapons.

Warning Shot (4): When you hit one or more targets with a ranged attack that would deal damage, you may have the attack deal no damage. If you do, choose one option: Inflict Shaken OR Slow on each target hit by the attack, or each target hit by the attack loses [SL x 10] MP. Describe your maneuver!

Thoughts: Barrage can get you comparable damage to an Elementalist not hitting a Vulnerability, on multiple targets, for less MP. 10 less if it gives the attack Multi(2), but if you have a weapon with Multi(2) already, you're hitting three targets for 20 less MP, which kicks rear end. This is a very efficient way of hitting multiple targets without much cost, and Multi(2) is a hard effect to come across. It also pairs well with Hawkeye, which is probably the best Skill Sharpshooter has. While gaining 10 extra damage on your next attack is impressive, it's actually more of a damage loss compared to just making two attacks. Of course, if a Sharpshooter needs to Guard, it's probably for a good reason, and that 10 extra really helps make up for the lost damage. The other option is good too, of course, which you use really depends on what you're doing. Two-handed bows and firearms mostly do HR+12 (or more) damage, so that's more than 10 extra damage, and you can attack on your next turn too for more. But if you're using a one-handed ranged weapon, 10 extra on your next attack is the better choice.

Crossfire is great. If you had to roll something for it to work, it'd be terrible, but you don't. You just spend the MP, and block the attack. Sure, it only works on ranged attacks, but it's also only one Skill Level to grab, and you're saving damage. Generally, you'd only want to trigger this if someone squishy is being targeted, though, as the MP could be better spent elsewhere if it's going to hit someone who is otherwise in no real danger of going down from the attack. Since you get to see the results of it beforehand, you can even judge whether it's worth using even to defend the squishy. Warning Shot is another good one, you can inflict one of two status ailments that will effect almost anyone (MIG+MIG enemies are still an issue), and set up a Rogue. If no one in the party has Cheap Shot, or you're fighting an enemy that uses MIG+MIG for its attack, well, you can at least drain MP. I wouldn't put many SLs into Warning Shot, but 2 is a good number for it. 20 MP is a pretty nasty amount to lose, considering that's two spells that the enemy can't cast! Finally, Ranged Weapon Mastery is... Okay! Getting a bonus to hit is probably a good idea if you're not really investing much else. If you take Sharpshooter as one of your initial classes, you probably intend to Master it, and putting as many points as you can spare into Ranged Weapon Mastery would be a fine idea. Even just +2 can make a huge difference when it's in every Accuracy Check you make, +3 or +4 would make it so nearly all your attacks land on average. It's soundly in the "once you have everything else you want category".

Overall, Sharpshooter is a great Class if you want to use Ranged weapons, and if you want to use Ranged weapons, you're probably Mastering Sharpshooter first. If you're not using Ranged weapons... Sharpshooter is totally useless to you. That's the only bad thing about Sharpshooter: ALL of its Skills involved Ranged weapons. There's nothing stopping you from being a Guardian with a Firearm, though, and that would make Hawkeye an amazing choice for such a build, but if you're not using Bows or Firearms, Sharpshooter has absolutely nothing to offer in a game all about synergizing Classes with each other. Just food for thought, on that.

Questions to Ask:
Where does your magic come from? What are your beliefs concerning life and death?
How do you feel about manipulating other people's emotions and vital energy?
What do you think of religion? Are you part of a specific cult, church, or institution?
What does your magic look like?

Spiritist Free Benefits: Permanently increase your Max MP by 5. You may perform Rituals whose effects fall within the Ritualism discipline.

Spiritist Skills:

Healing Power (2): When you cast a spell that targets one or more allies, if you have an Arcane weapon equipped, you may have each of those allies recover an amount of HP equal to [SL x number of bonds you have]. This healing is separate from any healing caused by the effects of the spell.

Ritual Spiritism: You may perform Rituals whose effects fall within the Spiritism discipline. Spiritism Rituals use [INS+WLP] for the Magic Check.

Spiritual Magic (10): Each time you acquire this Skill, learn one Spiritist spell. Offensive Spiritist spells use [INS+WLP] for the Magic Check.

Support Magic: When you cast a spell that targets one or more allies, if you have an Arcane weapon equipped, you may choose one of those allies you have a Bond towards. If you do, that ally gains a bonus to the next Check they perform during the current scene; this bonus is equal to the Strength of your Bond towards them.

:siren:Vismagus:siren:: When you cast a spell, if you don't have enough MP to pay for its total cost, you may choose to spend twice as many HP instead. You cannot use this Skill if doing so would reduce you to 0 HP. If a spell cast this way would cause you to recover HP, you instead recover no HP (the spell functions normally on any other target).

Spiritist Spell List:

Thoughts: Someone said Entropist is the Class that does all the spells that should be good, but aren't because they don't work on anything they would be useful for. Not quite. That's Spiritist. Spiritist is a take on healers I really like. In so many settings, they're the uncontested goodies, the ones that uphold the "light" and help others. Spiritist is not that. Spiritist is someone who fucks with souls, and that is not often looked fondly on. Their spells show this, as they specialize in manipulating not just someone's emotions, but their state of being. Making someone tired, angry, or even making them see things that aren't there. Spiritism Rituals are also pretty hosed up, or at least they can be! As for the other spells, Spiritist has a lot to support the party, with healing, and with protection. Healing Power supports this in turn, giving free/extra healing whenever you cast spells. It's a good idea to max for only 2 SL, since it runs off the number of bonds you have, not how many you have with the targets. 12 HP of healing every time you target an ally with a spell? Hell yes. Spiritist has only one damage spell, but Lux isn't bad at all. Light is rarely resisted, and a decent amount of enemies have a Vulnerability to it. It's not a must-have choice, mind. Undead are all weak to Light, but they're also all weak to being healed, too.

As for the other Skills, note that Support Magic is basically the same effect as your target spending a Fabula Point to Invoke Bonds... Without spending a Fabula Point, and using your Bond with them instead. It's pretty great, but it's not game-changing. This bonus isn't worth a Fabula Point, but 10-30 MP you were going to spend anyway? Hell yea. Vismagus is... Useful in a pinch, but given that you're unlikely to have all that much HP, you can't use it that often... Except, yes you can. If you can target yourself with the spell, and you have Healing Power, you're effectively casting a spell for free. You're out of MP? Doesn't god drat matter as long as you're targeting yourself, or yourself and allies. That's worth a level. That's more than worth a level. But it costs a level. So get it. I'd say Vismagus is the third best Skill in the game, though this is based off an understanding of the Skill that might be mistaken. Perhaps it's intended that in this situation, you both do not get healed and you take damage, but that's not what the Skill SAYS, and the way it's worded leaves this hole wide open. I wouldn't even consider this exploitative interpretation, I honestly interpret it this way without having to strain. I actually had to think before I realized that might not be the way it's intended! Either way, if this is really the way you're supposed to read this Skill, it's loving phenomenal.

Overall, Spiritist is at its best when it's buffing and debuffing. That's its purpose, really, aside from healing. Most of the time, a Spiritist will be doing one or the other. They can't inflict Poisoned, but that's the only thing they CAN'T do, and there are other ways of doing this. A Spiritist armed with Enrage, Hallucination, and Torpor can utterly wreck someone's stats... And set up a Rogue with Cheap Shot. Spiritists don't really do damage (though they will obliterate undead with Heal), but what they do is oh-so-terrifying, anyway. Which is, honestly, quite appropriate for the Class's lore. Spiritist is a neat take on a Healer, an attempt to make the concept interesting and fun, which a lot of jRPGs don't really have. I think it does pretty well there.

Questions to Ask:
Did you learn your craft from someone? What is your relationship with them?
What have you lost in the pursuit of progress and innovation?
Is your craft something revolutionary, or is it an established field of work?
When an item or effect is created through your abilities, what does it look like?

Tinkerer Free Benefits: Permanently increase your maximum IP by 2. You may initiate Projects.

Tinkerer Skills:

Emergency Item: Once per Conflict Scene, if you are in Crisis, you may perform an additional action on your turn. This action must be the Inventory action.

Gadgets (5): When you first acquire this Skill, choose a Gadget type: Alchemy, Infusions, or Magitech. You gain its basic benefits. Whenever you take this Skill again, choose one option: you gain the basic benefits of a new gadget type; or you gain the advanced benefits of a gadget type whose basic benefits you already obtained; or you gain the superior benefits of a gadget type whose advanced benefits you already obtained.

Potion Rain (2): When you create a potion that restores a single creature's HP and/or MP, you may have it affect up to [SL] additional creatures. If you do, the potion only restores half the normal amount of HP and MP to each creature.

Secret Formula (5): When you create a potion or magisphere whose effects restore HP and/or MP, each restored amount is increased by [SL x 5]. When you create an elemental shard, potion, or magisphere that deals damage, that item deals [SL] extra damage.

:siren:Visionary:siren: (5): When you work on a Project, up to [SL x100] Zenit of material costs are automatically paid; additionally, you generate an additional [SL] Progress every day. If multiple characters with this Skill work on the same Project, the effects will be cumulative.

Other Stuff: I didn't want to post the four pages of details on what Tinkerer can do, so I'll summarize.

Alchemy is basically Mix from FF: You generate effects semi-randomly. The better the quality of the benefits, from basic to advanced to superior, the more IP it costs but the more d20's you can roll to pick target and effect from, giving better chances of getting the real poo poo. This can backfire, however: Alchemy is a high-risk/high-reward option, which is to say, when used intelligently, is actually low-risk/high-reward. You could end up hitting an ally with every status effect all at once. You could also restore 100 HP and MP to everyone in the party. There is no Target that hits allies AND enemies, though, so it's one side or the other. Notable that all the damage effects are not nearly as potent as all the healing effects, so generally Alchemy is the healing "spec" for Tinkerer.

Infusions are a buffing spec. It allows the Tinkerer to imbue attacks with five extra damage, and a new element. This can only affect weapons. There are two special effects as well: Vampire, which gives lifesteal, and Venom, which inflicts Poison as well as doing five extra damage, and the attack becomes Poison element. Infusions are much more simple than Alchemy, but are very effective at helping martials do extra damage and hit elemental affinities. Each Infusion costs 2 IP, so it's not very cheap.

Magitech is a mixed bag. Instead of varying effects, the effects for each benefit level are one specific ability, but all three are quite powerful: Magitech Override is the basic benefit, and allows you to spend 10 MP to take control of Construct type enemies. THey can only control one at a time, and it becomes controlled by the Tinkerer using its normal monster statblock. If you or allies damage it, you lose control. The advanced benefit allows you to create Magicannons, powerful ranged weapons. They have an accuracy bonus, do HR+10 damage, and the damage affinity can be any element besides Light, Dark, or Poison (chosen at creation). The Tinkerer can give it to someone else, and it's not a martial weapon. They can only have one at a time, if they create another one, the prior one is destroyed They cost 3 IP. The superior benefit is a doozy: It allows the Tinkerer to make Magispheres, which are a one-use copy of an Elementalist, Entropist, or Spiritist spell that can be used by anyone for no MP. However, you can't make just any spell from their lists, you have to choose three, and you get two more on reaching both level 20 and level 40. They cost 2 IP which is the same cost as an Elemental Shard, but with much more possible utility.

Thoughts: Tinkerer is... Overpowered. There's no other way to put it. Tinkerer is probably the single most powerful Class in the game. They're sorta like the Kimahri of the game, except actually good; A Tinkerer can be any role in the Party and can often double up on two different roles and be just as effective at one or both as any specialized character. With Emergency Item, they can heal themselves or another for free as soon as they drop into Crisis, and with Potion Rain, heal most of the Party (or all if you're running with three players) with 3 IP, but these two effects are probably the least of what Tinkerer can do. With Gadgets they can effectively become the ultimate healer/debuffer, turn Martials into obliteration machines, or just use whatever spells they drat well please. With 5 possible SL, you can specialize entirely in one, and grab the advanced benefits of another, the basic benefits of both the others... Whichever you prefer your Tinkerer to be in the Party, it is possible. And Secret Formula is just more icing to the cake for everything they make, though it's a bit SL dependent to go all in on for the effects it grants.

But let's talk about Visionary. The only thing that makes Visionary not the best Skill in the game, replacing Lucky Seven, is that GMs are allowed to limit the effectiveness of Projects by making it so PCs have limited amounts of time to face Villains without letting their plans come to fruition, and Projects can also be expensive. Otherwise, a full party with maxed Visionary can make anything in no time flat for much cheaper than they're supposed to. While it's not likely all the Players will go for this option, it's certainly possible, and I really think GMs and Players should have a discussion about how much Visionary cheese to allow. While Lucky Seven and Soul Steal are game-changers in battles, Visionary is game-changing for an entire campaign, and is thus in a whole class of its own. Even if we take bigger Projects like artificial moons or giant air-battleships off the table, making accessories to tailor the Party's resistances to entire adventures can totally throw off the balance and difficulty of the game... Going into the Volcano dungeon is child's play when everyone is Immune/Resistant to Earth and Fire.

Overall, Tinkerer is a Class GMs need to be careful with. It's hard to balance them in a party, because they will likely outplay other characters in one degree or another. Everyone needs to have equal spotlight time, and a Class that can do everything well disrupts that to a degree. That said, responsibly played Tinkerers can be fun for the whole Party, and their focus on being support rather than doing most damage themselves is one mitigating factor, as is their dependence on IP, a resource far more limiting than MP. It might be a good idea to grab Soul Steal from Rogue, and to also pick up the next Class, to get the maximum amount of IP a character can have and two easy abilities to restore it. This is Tinkerer's one and only weakness, and it's all too easy to shore up to really count as a weakness.

Questions to Ask:
What led you to live a life of endless travels? Was it your choice? ... Are you tired?
Is there a place or person that feels like "home" to you?
You have met many people and visited many places. Is there one you can't forget?
You lost something or someone because of your travels. What happened?

Wayfarer Free Benefits: Permanently increase your max IP by 2.

Wayfarer Skills:

Faithful Companion (5): Together with the rest of your group, design a level 5 beast, construct, elemental or plant creature that becomes your companion. This creature has no
Initiative score and does not level up, can have up to two basic attacks, gains a bonus equal to [SL] to Accuracy Checks and Magic Checks, and their maximum Hit Points are
equal to [(SL multiplied by the companion's base Might die size) + half your level]. Your companion doesn't get a turn during conflicts, but on your turn you can use an
action to have the companion perform an action (only once per turn). If you leave a scene, your companion leaves with you. If your companion falls to 0 Hit Points, they flee and rejoin you at the start of the next scene in which you are present, with HP equal to their Crisis score. When you rest, your companion also gains the full benefits of resting.

Resourceful (4): You recover [SL] IP after each Travel Roll.

Tavern Talk (3): When you rest inside an inn or tavern, you may ask the GM up to [SL] questions about your surroundings and the people who live here; the GM will answer truthfully, and you describe how you gathered the information.

Treasure Hunter (2): When your group journeys on the world map, you will make a Discovery on a roll of [SL +1] or lower on the Travel Roll instead of only on a 1.

Well-Traveled: You reduce the die rolled for your Travel Rolls by one size (to a minimum of d6). If multiple characters have this Skill, the effects are not cumulative.

Thoughts: Wayfarer is a class that focuses almost entirely on journeys, and it's quite welcome, as without their Skills this part of the game can be rough. Long distances usually have a lot of combat with few ways to recover. The only easy way to restore HP and MP costs 4 IP, which is exorbitant... Unless you have a Wayfarer with maxed out Resourceful, which basically means you can use a Magic Tent every day of travel for free. Well-Traveled also makes Journeys much smoother, lessening the chance of combat, and Treasure Hunter increases the chance of each day bringing a Discovery instead. If you're in relatively safe areas, Treasure Hunter, when maxed, gives a 50% chance of making a Discovery!, which can end up being pretty lucrative as well. Tavern Talk is not travel-based, but can give the party free info. It's honestly not particularly helpful, and certainly not worth the levels to max out. I would say put a point into it if you have some left over, but with your other options, it's really just not worth it. You'll already have Skills fighting for SL amongst the four other Skills in the Class... Prepare to make some hard choices if you're not just dipping into this Class for a particular Skill.

Faithful Companion is in a very good place. It's the only combat option for a Wayfarer, if you don't count every other Class in the game, at least. Still, it's a very solid combat option. While one might think the Companion taking up an Action means it's not worth using, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Consider the Faithful Companion a weapon that you don't have to equip, a weapon that has two different attacks to pick from. It doesn't say to have a Melee and a Ranged/Magic attack, but that's what you should do. While we'll look at how to make NPCs later, I'll say now that designing an NPC allows a certain amount of special NPC Skills that modifying their basic attacks. You can come up with some wild stuff, but you still want at least one of its basic attacks to be ranged or magic so they can deal with flying enemies. Not only does Faithful Companion give a Wayfarer some extra variety in how to deal with combat threats, but adding [SL] as a bonus on Accurary and Magic Checks? We've already discussed how rare accuracy bonuses higher than +1, or hell, higher than 0, is in this game. Getting two separate attack options that both have +5 on them? That's insane. A maxed Faithful Companion will rarely ever miss their target, on top of whatever effects the NPC Skills you give them will have.

Overall, Wayfarer is my personal favorite Class. It isn't a Class that focuses on combat, sort of like Loremaster, but it's a lot more useful overall than Loremaster. Unless a GM prefers to abstract travel for the sake of expedience, which is fair, the Wayfarer's Skills are helpful to every party, and they have an excellent combat Skill that any Class can use fairly well. With another method to restore IP along with Rogue, it's also a good idea to dip into the Class for the sake of longevity... A Tinkerer especially can benefit from that since they're so IP intensive. While one of the Wayfarer's Skills is kind of a dud, it doesn't really detract from the rest of the Class, which like so many Classes in this game, really only has the issue that you're limited to 10 levels in a Class... And that's not really THAT much of an issue here. If you ignore Tavern Talk entirely, you can max out Resourceful, Treasure Hunter and Well-Traveled, and put 3 SL in Faithful Companion and have basically everything you'll ever want from Wayfarer. The only real question is whether you'd prefer the extra Accuracy and HP on your Companion and sacrifice something else.

Questions to Ask:
What is your relationship with weapons? Are they mere objects, or something more?
Is battle something you seek, or something you strive to avoid?
Are you, or have you ever been, the servant of a Lady or Lord? What were they like?
What do your weapons and fighting style look like?

Weaponmaster Free Benefits: Permanently increase your maximum HP by 5. Gain the ability to equip martial melee weapons and martial shields.

Weaponmaster Skills:

Bladestorm: When you perform a melee attack, you may spend 10 MP to choose one option: the attack gains multi(2), or you increase the attack's multi property by one, up to a maximum of multi(3).

Bone Crusher (4): When you hit one or more targets with a melee attack that would deal damage, you may have the attack deal no damage. If you do, choose one option: Inflict Dazed OR Shaken on each target hit by the attack, or each target hit by the attack loses [SL x 10] MP. Describe your maneuver!

Breach (3): You may use an action and spend 5 MP to perform a free attack with a melee weapon you have equipped. This attack must target a single creature. If the attack is successful, it deals no damage and you choose one option: you destroy one shield or armor the enemy has equipped, or whenever the target suffers damage from a source before the start of your next turn, that source deals [SL x 2] extra damage to them.

Counterattack: After an enemy hits or misses you with a melee attack, if the Results of their Accuracy Check was an even number, you may perform a free attack aaginst that enemy (after their attack has been fully resolved). This attack must be a melee attack and must have that enemy as its only target; treat your HR as 0 when calculating damage dealt by this attack.

Melee Weapon Mastery (4): You gain a bonus equal to [SL] to all Accuracy Checks with melee weapons.

Thoughts: Weaponmaster is Sharpshooter but for melee weapons. In fact, three of its skills are just carbon copies of Sharpshooter Skills but for melee weapons instead of ranged weapons: Bladestorm, Bone Crusher, and Melee Weapon Mastery. The only difference otherwise among the three is that Bone Crusher inflicts Dazed or Weak on a target instead of Shaken or Slow, so it's for shutting down more MIG-based martials and casters as opposed to DEX-based ones. What I had to say about these is basically exactly what I had to say about Sharpshooter's versions: Bladestorm is really good, Bone Crusher is worth grabbing at least 1-2 SLs in, and Melee Weapon Mastery is good for when you have extra SL to go into Weaponmaster and don't much care about other options.

Breach is actually terrible and has a lot of buts attached to why pretty good, actually. While most monsters don't use equipment, basically all Humanoid NPCs do, and destroying their defensive equipment opens them up for being hit more often, but... To be honest, if you can hit a foe reliably, so can other martials. Letting your fellow party members deal more damage is excellent, on the other hand, and while you sacrifice your own damage, Breach's damage bonus continues until the end of your next turn... So if you go first on the round you use this part of Breach, and last on the next round, that's... A lot of extra damage. Counterattack is also excellent, and the real star of Weaponmaster. It's basically a 50% chance to get a free hit on an enemy that missed you. Sure, they have to miss, first, and sure, you only have a 50% chance after that, which is a lot of "if", but it's only one SL and it's also free damage. You might end up proccing it constantly in a fight, and it pays for itself entirely with the smug satisfaction you'll get of the GM's frustration.

Overall, Weaponmaster is just Sharpshooter with melee weapons. Weaponmaster is solid, mostly because Sharpshooter is solid. Getting Counterattack is just an added bonus. Keep in mind, however, and this is important: melee attacks cannot hit Flying enemies without aid from the party, so Weaponmaster is, in fact, slightly less good than Sharpshooter at basically everything. But only slightly, because Counterattack is amazing, and what kind of rear end in a top hat GM is going to throw exclusively Flying enemies at the party?

That's it. We did it. That's all the Classes. Next time, we'll get into how to start the campaign, now that character creation is entirely finished, how to level up, and so on and so forth.

Mecha_Face fucked around with this message at 18:54 on Jun 3, 2023

Nov 1, 2010
Unless I misread it completely, Breach boosts damage every time the target takes damage, so If enough allies hit the target, it might be better than a regular attack. It looks like it even boosts damage from enemies hurting themselves.

Jun 15, 2013

:spooky: Joylessdivisions World of Dorkness presents :spooky:
:drac: The Players Guide to Vampire: The Masquerade :drac:
Part 5


Relating to the power to manipulate and warp forms and personalities. Targets must be within arm's reach of the caster for these powers.

1 dot: Contradict

Caster can make any individual say or do the opposite of what was intended, but only in the moment. Ex: an arresting officer letting the accused go, a marriage proposal becomes a denunciation, and a left turn becomes right. Requires a Manipulation + Subterfuge roll against the target’s Willpower + 1

2 dot: Disfiguration

While One Thousand Faces allows the caster to change their own appearance, Disfigurement allows for the change of another’s appearance. Requires the caster to touch the target and an Intelligence + Disguise roll (difficulty 8). This only changes the facial appearance of the target, as all other aspects remain the same. Typically used to disfigure others (hence the name) but can also be used to enhance or simply change a target's appearance. Attempting to make a target look like someone else is a difficulty 10.

3 dot: Change Mind

The number of successes gained from a Manipulation + Empathy roll against the target’s Willpower +1 determines the duration that the target assumes the casters desired Demeanor.

1.One Turn
2.One Day
3.One Month
4.One Year
5.Until some event occurs which makes the victim change Demeanor involuntarily.

4 dot: Cripple

Allows the caster to turn a target into a paraplegic with a successful Willpower roll against the target's Courage + 5. If the target has Fortitude, it is added to the difficulty. Duration is based on the number of successes gained by the caster.

1.One Turn
2.One Day
3.One Month
4.One Year

5 dots: Corrupt Soul

Number of successes gained on a Charisma + Empathy roll against the targets Willpower +3 determines how long the target assumes the casters desired Nature.

1.One Turn
2.One Day
3.One Month
4.One Year

Thaumaturgy Rituals

Level One Rituals

Purity of Flesh

Allows the caster to cleanse their entire body of all foreign matter by sitting in a circle of 13 sharp stones in the lotus position for 10 minutes. Ritual requires the expenditure of 1 Blood Point and must be performed naked, as the ritual breaks down all matter into a nondescript gray film around where the caster was sitting. Will remove everything from silver and bullets to prosthetic limbs and silicone implants. Does not work against blood borne diseases or any form of mind control.

The Rite of Introduction

A method of announcing oneself to the other Tremere of a city. Caster recites a 30-minute incantation and speaks into a cloud of water vapor (such as steam or fog) which triggers a telepathic message to the Chantry Regent first and then down the city's hierarchical line. This ritual allows for short conversations between the caster and others, however only the Regent is required to respond. While this is an older ritual that has mostly fallen out of favor with the younger Tremere, some Regents however still require that it be completed when a clanmate enters “their” city. Also works as a distress call.

Engaging the Vessel of Transference

A ritual that empowers a container to draw blood from any who touches it, replacing that blood with the blood previously contained within (typically the casters). Requires 3 hours and a Blood Point to complete the enchantment and the container must be sealed once the casters blood has been deposited. Containers must be between the size of a cup and a gallon jug. A rune is carved into the container understood to mean “Change blood” (Intelligence + Occult at difficulty 8). When the object is touched, the person touching it will feel a strange shivering sensation. The container will continue to transfer blood every time it is touched by either Kindred or Mortal, until it is broken open. This ritual can be used for something as simple as a blood sample for use in another ritual to being an extremely devious method of Blood Bonding.

Rebirth of Mortal Vanity

Grants the caster the ability to grow their hair again. Requires an hour of complex gestures performed in front of a mirror for each inch the caster desires to grow. Ritual can be performed on others, but they must be viewing the mirror while the ritual gestures are made. Kindred hair follicles die again after the ritual is finished, but the hair will remain at the length it has grown to until cut. If cut shorter than the length at time of death, it will return to that length.

Incantation of the Shepherd

Takes 15 minutes to perform, requiring the caster to spin slowly in a circle while holding some sort of glass object over each eye. This allows the caster to locate all their herd, starting with the members who are closest to them and working out to the most distant. Caster must have tasted the blood at least once from each vessel to locate them.

Level Two Rituals

Blood Walk

Allows the caster to trace the lineage of another Kindred. Requires 3 hours and the expenditure of a Blood Point. While the caster is in a deep trance, the blood of the target must be tasted, giving the caster knowledge of the target’s lineage (Perception + Empathy difficulty 6, each success indicates further generational discoveries). The caster also automatically knows of any Blood Bons the target may have, and specific knowledge of each Kindred is obtained, including their true name, personality and relation to the target.

Ward versus Ghouls

Creates a mystic symbol that appears on an object that will protect it from Ghouls and can transform into a weapon against them. Caster must use a point of Mortal blood, poured into the object to be empowered, typically a small piece of parchment, a coin or other small object. After 10 hours the ritual is complete, and the symbol appears on the object.

Any Ghoul who touches the object suffers a burning jolt (causing 3 dice of damage, at a difficulty of the Ghouls Stamina + Fortitude). If the ward is touching the Ghoul, they suffer this damage, and they must spend a Willpower point to touch the object again. The item can be placed on an unbroken circle of any consistency, and it will either keep the Ghoul in or out of the circle. This ritual only wards one object.

Ex: if the ward is placed on a car door, it would only affect the door, not the entire car. Wards can be placed on bullets, but only small caliber (.22 will work) to increase the chances of the bullet not passing through the Ghoul as it only does damage by sustained contact. A warded bullet requires at least 5 successes on a firearms roll for the power to survive the bullet being fired (the ejection from the chamber tends to warp the shell/symbol)

Donning the Mask of Shadows

Allows the caster to move in a semi-visible shadow form. After a 20-minute chant, the caster can only be seen with an Intelligence + Alertness roll against the casters Wits + Stealth. Auspex level 1 reduces the difficulty to see the caster by 3, and animals can automatically sense the caster. Ritual effects last the same number of hours as successes gained on a Willpower roll.

I assume they mean the caster must make a Willpower roll at some point. Probably at the start of the ritual.

Principle Focus of Vitae Infusion

Causes an object of the casters choice to corporeally alter to be infused with a point of blood. Object must be a size the caster can hold in both hands but can be as small as a pea. The casters own Blood Points must be used, and the ritual requires 4 hours to complete. After the ritual is complete, the object takes on a ruddy hue and becomes slick to the touch. Any time the caster is touching the object, they can release the enchantment which causes the object to disintegrate into a puddle of blood which can be used in various ways.

Mourning Life Curse

A ritual to coax the blood from a vessel without harming them. The ritual lasts an hour and requires the consumption of crocodile blood but is not completed until the caster whispers the final power word into a mortal’s ear, causing the mortal to cry tears of blood. Once completed, the victim has no defense against the curse, and will continue to cry blood until the caster either loses sight of them or removes their gaze from the target. The effect is not very painful but very traumatic, and the process takes approximately five minutes to collect one Blood Point worth of vitae. The only other side effect for the victim is swelling of the capillaries around the eyes, as well as the usual effects of blood loss.

Level Three Rituals

Ward versus Lupine

Works in the same way as the Ward versus Ghouls, instead affecting Werewolves and the only required component is silver dust. Wards can be destroyed through normal methods, except by those the ward is protecting against.

Pavis of Foul Presence

Sometimes referred to as “Our Ritual for the Ventrue”, it is a tightly controlled secret unknown outside of the Tremere clan. This specialized ritual (some claim by Tremere himself) to combat the Ventrue’s power in the Camarilla. Any Presence power used against the caster is reversed onto the original caster of the power. Ex: If the Tremere caster was willed to panic and run, the effect would instead fall back on the Kindred who used that power, and they would have to make the resisted roll against themselves. Preparation requires an hour and the ritual lasts until sunrise. The caster must tie a blue silk chord around their neck for the spell to work and last.

Shaft of Belated Quiescence

A vicious ritual cast on a stake meant for the heart of a Kindred. The ritual lasts 5 hours and the caster must carve an ornate series of symbols on a sharpened shaft of Ashwood, coat it with their blood and then blacken it in an oak wood fire. Once completed, this darkened shard becomes the most feared Kindred slaying weapon known. Simply being struck with the stake, even in an extremity is enough to cause the tip to break off inside the victim and begin burrowing into the body, slowly working its way to the heart.

The shaft will reach the target’s heart in 1-10 days (roll a die) during which they will suffer sharp pains that grow closer together and more intense as the wood moves closer to its target.

Damage caused by this trip through the body is not enough to affect Kindred health levels but will harm mortals and ghouls. Removal is near impossible as the wood burrows deeper away from any wounds caused to remove it. This weapon is a death sentence for mortals and potentially so for Kindred as there is no telling where they will be when the tip finally pierces the heart.

Flesh of Fiery Touch

Turns the caster’s own skin into a protective trap. After completion of the ritual, any Kindred who touches the caster’s flesh receives a single point of Agg damage in the form of a searing burn. Damage can be resided with Fortitude, but if a Kindred continues to hold the caster, they continue to take damage.

Caster cannot do damage by touching others with this power however, someone else must touch them to trigger the effect. Effect lasts until dusk the following day, however during casting, the caster must consume a burning coal causing an Agg wound (resistible with Fortitude) as well as expending a point of Willpower. While in effect the caster’s skin takes on a subtle bronze tint (noticeable by a straight Perception roll difficulty 8) and is unnaturally hot to the touch.

Which, yeah, no poo poo their skin is hot to the touch, they’ve literally made their skin cause agg damage!

Noncorporeal Passage

Allows the caster to become intangible and move about while maintaining a slightly hazy image of themselves. This means the caster can travel unheeded through all obstructions, including walls, and they are impervious to most attacks per the rules for Mist Form.

Drawbacks include the caster only being able to move in a straight line through objects, and once they begin, they must continue, they cannot draw back. Ex: Caster cannot travel downward into solid ground. Caster must also have a piece of a broken mirror to hold their image as they move non corporeally. Ritual takes an hour to prepare and lasts hours equal to the number of successes gained on Wits + Survival roll. Can be canceled by the caster shifting the mirror fragment so that they can no longer see their reflection.

Level Four Rituals

Ward versus Kindred

Works as the previous two wards but is targeted to Kindred. Requires a point of Kindred blood

Binding the Beast

This ritual can pull a fellow Kindred out of Frenzy and separate the Kindred from their Beast for a time. Takes 10 minutes to perform, and the caster does not need to see the target but must imbibe a full point of the Frenzied characters blood (can be done earlier) and pushing an iron spike through the casters hand (causing two points of non-soakable damage).

Target suddenly emerges from Frenzy in an uncharacteristically passive state. The bestial side has been separated from the psyche for X days (equal to the number of successes gained by the caster on a Manipulation + Empathy roll, difficulty is 10 minus target’s Humanity). During this period the target cannot Frenzy, regain willpower, only use one Blood Point at a time regardless of generation, and cannot feed without making a Courage roll. Additionally, the target must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) to use any disciplines.

Heart of Stone

A ritual that turns the caster's heart into stone, making it stake proof. The ritual requires molding a three-inch high earthen circle, approximately two meters in diameter on a stone surface (solid stone is preferred, flagstone is okay, concrete will not work) with the caster laying naked in the center.

A bare candle is placed on the chest, directly over the heart and allowed to burn until the wick is gone, and the flame is smothered by the wax (causing 1 agg wound that can be soaked) Takes 7-9 hours to complete and lasts as long as the caster wishes. Downsides of the ritual are the caster cannot use Willpower and if forced to (such as botching a Thaumaturgy roll) the spell is immediately canceled and the caster Conscience drops to 1 (0 if it was already 1) and the caster loses half their dice for all Empathy, most Social and nearly any other roll where they are attempting to be nice.

Splinter Servant

A horrific and bizarre ritual, it creates a deadly anti-Kindred weapon. A stake is made from the wood of a graveyard tree, or a tree that has nourished itself on elements of the dead. After a two-day gauntlet of incantations and preparation, the shaft is endowed with a limited, dormant life force. Finally, nightshade twine is wrapped around the stake and sealed with wax to form a brittle sheath. If the sheath is torn off after this has been completed, the enchantment activates and whoever unleashed the little fucker must command it to attack someone, or it will simply attack the person who released it.

Once activated (and given direction) the stake leaps into action, literally, as it creates limbs from its form to propel itself at its target at any cost. It is relentless and will stop at nothing to impale the heart of its target. It will continue its mission until it is successful or has torn itself to inanimate pieces (generally within 3-5 minutes). This splintering effect can cause side effects, in some cases even after it has found its mark, it will continue to splinter and burrow into the heart, making it more difficult to extract. Splinter Servant cannot be commanded to do anything but attack and will not miss unless actively stopped.

Bone of Lies

Requires a mortal bone, often a skull (much more impressive you see) although a string of teeth will work just as well. The mortal whose bones are being used must have been dead at least 200 years. The ritual can be performed in a day, during which the bone absorbs 10 Blood Points, giving it a dark, dull red color. Once completed, the bone can be used to make whoever is holding it tell the truth, whether they want to or not.

Each lie that the bone stops is absorbed, turning it black until all 10 Blood Points are used and the bone is completely black. The truth of the ritual is that the spirit of the mortal (whose bone has been volunteered for the ritual) is bound to the bone, and it is this spirit which forces the holder to speak the truth. While this bit of wisdom is not widely known, it does account for why anonymous bones are generally used, as the spirit called forth will become extremely malevolent and devious after being corrupted by the lies. This also accounts for why the bone is buried after the ritual is completed and never reused.

Man, the Tremere really are assholes, just out here snatching spirits out of the underworld and forcing them to haunt places or binding them in bones that make them all hosed up. Gee, I wonder why Nobody Likes the Tremere, it’s crazy!

Level 5 Rituals

Escape to a True Friend

A ritual that must be performed ahead of time but can be used in tight situations. A meter circle must be burned into the ground and many arcane symbols placed precisely about it. The entire process takes between three and four days and requires 5 points of the casters Blood Points. Once completed, the caster alone may at any time step into the circle while repeating a friend's name and be mystically transported to them. The caster does not suddenly appear in front of said friend, but instead materializes somewhere nearby where no one will see them (generally within earshot of the friend’s location). The enchantment remains usable until the circle or the symbols are broken.

Ward versus Spirits

Works as the previous wards, except against Ghosts and spirits. The only requirement is pure sea salt. This basic ward may not provide protection against some specific spirits.

Which ones? Spectres? Just really lovely spirits and ghosts?

Blood Contract

This ritual creates an unbreakable bond between two parties of a contract. The contract must be written in the caster's blood and takes about 3 days to complete. The ritual is complete when both parties sign the contract with their own blood, after which they are compelled to abide by the stated terms. The only way out of the contract is completing your part or burning the contract.

Stone Slumber

Creates a nearly impregnable protection for sleeping Kindred. Caster must begin the ritual two hours before dawn, at which point they become solid stone. Like a statue, the Kindred can be transported from place to place in broad daylight and remain in the suspended state until the following sunset. Sleeping in this form takes 3 Blood Points instead of 1. While the caster is completely protected from staking and most forms of heat and flame, pieces can be broken off. Most forms of mental communication and telepathy are impossible while in stone form.

One Mind of the Covens

An exclusive ritual used by the Regent of the Chantry during simultaneous communication between themselves and their equivalents around the world. Caster must engage in an hour chat and make use of a silver mirror for the joining to work. This ritual is part of why the Tremere are so controlled and organized, allowing Elders to supply current information of plots and schemes by and against the Clan.

Level Six Rituals

Raise the Dead

Does what it says on the tin. This is not “Resurrection”, as the revived creature is neither alive nor undead. In fact, it’s just as dead as the day it died, the corpse is simply being animated by a spirit that the caster has placed within it during an 8-hour ritual involving black candle wax being poured on the corpse's throat and heart. The wax is what initially binds the spirit to the body, which must be branded on the forehead with a mystical symbol meaning “Debtor”

The entire ritual takes place in a circle of salt the diameter length of the corpse from head to toe, in complete darkness, save candlelight. The body must be fresh enough to still have tissue on the bones, as the spirit bondage only lasts as long as there is tissue (though decomposition continues at its normal rate).

The fresher the body, the better. Of course, this is a tortuous existence for the spirit trapped in the flesh prison, and most wish for release as soon as possible, which is the casters' main means of getting the spirit to do what they want. Other than that, the spirit may do what it wishes with the body, and typically has half the Physical traits of the body and all the spirits traits are halved while in the corpse. Destroyed Kindred cannot be raised with this ritual.

Ritual of Holding

A simple way to extend the effect of another ritual, it takes six hours tacked on to the end of another ritual to hold the duration or enhance the effects of the original ritual. This spell has varying effects depending on the ritual it is being used with.

Ex: Extends the reach of Blood Walk to include the target’s progeny or even those whose blood they have tasted. It can cause the container from Engaging the Vessel of Transference to exchange only a single Blood Point for each two that it takes in. It can make a ward near indestructible, can make it impossible for Cleansing of the Flesh to eliminate a Shaft of Belated Quiescence, as well as keeping a spirit trapped by Raise the Dead indefinitely. Caster can make suggestions for how this ritual will work with another, but ultimately falls to the ST to define the extent of the “holding”.

Utter Destruction of Bonds

An incredibly powerful ritual that many do not realize the extent of its potential. A five-minute incantation to recite, it requires that the caster’s tongue be removed, crushed and the blood and remains then spread on the object to be affected. The tongue removal occurs at the end of the ritual, and causes three Agg wounds that cannot be soaked, and leaves the caster unable to speak for three days, or however long it takes to regrow the tongue.

Also requires an expenditure of 1 Willpower point. This ritual will open any object and the object will not close again, including manacles, handcuffs, chests, boxes, windows, doors, safes, zippers, wounds, walls, books, eyes, mouths, holes in the earth and even the mouth of a volcano. It will also open dimensional boundaries tied to physical objects and permanently destroy wards. Does not work on Blood Bonds or mental domination/slavery. ST must arbitrate every use.

Level Seven Rituals

Divorcing the Soul

A devastating ritual that separates the spirit from the physical body, although the spirit is still trapped in the body. Affected individuals cannot use or regain Willpower, all Abilities drop to one, all Virtues drop to one and they become incapable of creative thought, with no motivation and little emotion (0 Empathy) and are twice as susceptible to mental attacks and control from Dominate, Presence and the like (with half the normal dice pool to resist).

The true power of this spell is that it can be used on a nearly limitless number of people. During the ritual the caster drops dead pomegranate seeds in a ring around the target, saying an enigmatic chant with each seed. Target can be a single person, a house, office building, city block or even a city. Caster must be walking (one seed per step) and after the initial seven-hour incantation, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to years to complete. Enchantment remains in effect until one of the seeds is displaced (burying them is a good idea to avoid this).

Level Eight Rituals

Chain of the Blood Line

Grants the caster power over another Kindred’s extended brood, like a limited Blood Bond. Ritual takes 3 days and must end on the night of a new moon with the death of the Kindred whose brood the caster wants to control. Target is completely drained of blood until their life essence is consumed by the caster. In addition to the normal effects of Diablerie, the caster learns of all the target’s brood, as well as their broods, down the line of each bloodline.

When these Kindred are encountered, the caster may command them in any way, impelling them to obey. The “enslaved’ Kindred can resist the power with resisted Wits + Self Control (difficulty is the casters Willpower) against the casters Manipulation + Leadership (difficulty is the victims Willpower). The difference between the successes is how many hours before the caster can command the target again or the number of hours before the target can attempt to resist again.

In the latter, the number of successes is cumulative, so the caster can bend the wills of the weak minded, commanding them for extended periods. In addition, the affected Kindred begin feeling goodwill towards the caster which can be resisted with a similar roll (which also must be made before the target can attempt to attack the caster)

Bone of the Kindred

A two-day ritual that creates an enchanted weapon made of bone or ivory. Requires the life blood of a Kindred, which is absorbed by the weapon and cannot be used for any other purpose. The enchanted weapon will do the same amount of damage that it normally would but in Agg wounds. When in use, it appears to “drink” the blood that touches it.

Level Nine Rituals

Weapon of the Kindred Soul

Creates a weapon like the Bone of the Kindred. Requires the life blood of a Kindred who is a master in the use of the weapon. As with the previous ritual, blood used can only be used for this ritual and the weapon created by this ritual becomes the vessel of the slain Kindred’s soul and Willpower.

The caster conducting the ritual has great control over the weapon’s new personality and goals, generally giving it an overwhelming desire to protect the caster. It maintains all Abilities, Disciplines, etc. of the Kindred slain in its creation. The weapon is given a new name during the ritual and will communicate with its user telepathically. It is a free-thinking weapon with its own goals, skills and mystical disciplines.

Level Ten Rituals

Invulnerable Weakness

A ritual known only by the eldest Tremere, this rite demands a year of immense concentration to cast and a massive number of components to complete, the most important of which is a large diamond bathed in the sun's rays for an entire, cloudless day and engraved with the symbols of life and death. It is then consumed on the final night of the rite, where it stays in the casters body until it is slowly and mystically decomposed after X years (Stamina + Occult difficulty 4).

During this time (or until removed), the caster can remain awake during the day for X hours (Humanity + Fortitude difficulty depends on time of day). The Elders blood also takes on amazing qualities because of the decomposing jewel, and those that drink even a single point from them gain not only the normal benefits of Elder Vitae (enhanced Disciplines, increased Blood Pool) but are also immune to flame, heat and sunlight for an hour per point taken.

And that’s the end of Chapter Three. Good lord what absurdly long and somewhat oddly organized chapter. Remember how the corebook said to just ignore Thaumaturgy because it's complicated? Well gently caress you ST’s who ignored Thuam, because here’s a whole bunch more of it!

As I said in the corebook review, Thaumaturgy isn’t that hard to understand, it’s just more the time frames that are applied to some of these rituals that mean either you have to talk to your Tremere player and okay whichever rituals they did in downtime before a session starts, or work those rituals into at the table downtime which, considering how long some of these loving rituals take, seems like it would really screw with the flow of a story, if we’re looking at it from the perspective of in-game time passage.

Splinter Servant is hysterical to me, because it just reminds me of the scene in Fantasia when Mickey brings a bunch of brooms to life, except now it’s a single stake that is hellbent on murdering somebody. As hilarious as the image of a stake with little wooden arms and legs running down the street chasing a vampire is, good lord what a terrifying weapon. Oddly enough we’re given a tiny character sheet at the end of this chapter for “The DjinnKiller of Ibn Rubiat” which I’m assuming is supposed to be an example of the Weapon of Kindred Soul but it’s literally just there sitting next to the write up for that ritual and below the level 10 ritual with no clear indication of what it is.

Honestly on my first pass reading I thought it was just an incredibly weird thing that slipped past the layout team, and I assumed it would be linked to a character later in the book but now after going over things again for the review, I think it’s meant to be an example of the previously mentioned ritual. Like the filled in sheets of the corebook, it is small and barely readable, so while I appreciate the idea of presenting NPC stats with a sheet, I’m also glad they abandoned this idea later and just went about printing the stats in lists.

Are you ready to get a whole bunch of new information about Kindred society, the clans and the five (well 4 and a bloodline) new clans introduced in this book? Well, if not, that’s tough because here we go into….

Chapter Four: Vampire Society

I know I love chapters full of setting lore as much as you do, and this is one of those chapters. Covering not only Status and its function within the Camarilla, but also Clan Prestige and the new clans and their new Disciplines. I’ll quote the introduction briefly:


“There are a score of minor Clans, most of them offshoots of the major Clans, and more can be created and used by your Storyteller. Do not think you know everything about the Clans just because you have read this chapter…”

As I’ve said many times before, I like that the authors are pushing the idea of “Add your own stuff to the game, it’s your game after all” in these books, because as much as I like bits and pieces of lore or setting stuff, there’s other stuff I think sucks out loud and would rather ignore as far as “Cannon” is concerned, for as much as a concept like something being canon can be applied to a TTRPG. Yes, yes Metaplot I know.

Also yes, the title of this chapter in the TOC is “The Clans”, while the actual title on the page for this chapter says “Vampire Society”. EDITING!

Status Among Vampires

As was hammered home in the corebook, there is an expectation of deference by the younger Kindred to their Elders, and this expectation is tied mostly to a Kindred’s Generation. Status in this case is meant to represent a Kindred’s standing within the greater community, cutting across Generation and Clan, though generally it only applies to the city in which a character resides (unless their status is over 5).

The age gap between most Kindred is, theoretically, all that’s needed to keep the young whippersnappers in line and listening to their Elders, but younger Kindred sometimes distinguish themselves through great accomplishments, while Elders sometimes suffer crushing setbacks or hollow victories. These realities of Kindred existence make the whole “Defer to your Elders” thing a bit more complicated because of Status and Prestige. Of course, with a people as varied and unique as the Kindred community are, there are disagreements about the intangible elements of Status, and how much respect is due to another.

Status is therefore a crucial element of the Camarilla system, and the lack of respect that Anarchs have for Status is a constant pain point between the groups.

Of course, as a player you may want to ignore the rules of Status, it is important to at least understand them. It’s not difficult to tweak the nose of an Elder, metaphorically speaking, but it's important to know how to get away with it, and when it’s best to not piss in their Cheerios.

The Harpies

No, not the winged creatures, but the Kindred for whom Status is paramount. Lurking in the halls of Elysium and seeing themselves collectively as Prince makers (which as it turns out, they are), Harpies are the tastemakers of Kindred society.

While the Anarchs generally don’t care about Cam political maneuvering, they do pay close attention to who is and isn’t in the court’s good graces, taking the opportunity to humiliate or take revenge on those who have fallen from favor.

When something occurs in a city that would change opinions regarding a Kindred, a period of intense gossip, intrigue and rumors begins to swirl, and because no one wants to stick their necks out by standing on the “wrong” side of the issue, they confer with others until a sort of consensus is made, at which point it becomes much easier to make a judgment as they have the support of “The City”.

Harpies are a highly critical bunch and will not hesitate to punish anyone who breaks one of their customs or isn’t up to snuff. On the flip side, those who can best embarrass the current heroes, or have gained an impressive base of power in a short time are afforded great respect.

If you’re thinking that Harpies sound a lot like a high school clique, you’re not far off, and their judgment is as total and final as any gaggle of “Mean Girls”. Of course, you can redeem (or further humiliate) yourself later, but in the moment, the Harpies decided your Status.

While the Prince and Primogen are safe from this petty horseshit by means of the power they hold, it does not mean that the Harpies cannot pose a threat to them. A misstep by a Prince or Primogen that is too great could very well lead to their downfall at the hands of the Harpies and their opinions, as Status is too vital to those of influence to ignore, and to maintain that influence, they must play by the rules.

Breaking the Rules

While it can be fun to ignore the rules of Kindred society and flip the metaphorical bird to those in power, it is an extremely dangerous hobby to take up and not a position to take lightly. Of course, ignoring status is a quick way to gain the admiration of the Anarchs, and even some Elders may be impressed with your chutzpah, although most will be annoyed. Play your character the way you want, but remember that actions have repercussions, and don’t be surprised when you step into a category five shitstorm because of some minor transgression you committed. A final bit of advice, if you’re going to mouth off to someone of higher Status than you, do it in private. Sure, you might have just made an enemy for unlife, but at least you won’t lose Status in the process.

Roleplaying Status: Low to High

Low Status Kindred are expected to act in a respectful manner when interacting with higher ranking Clan members, using a respectful tone of voice and humble or deferential gestures. If you disagree with an Elder, you should do so politely and then drop it if overruled, as it is extremely poor form to question or make demands of an Elder. Of course, the greater gulf in Status between the two suggests how deferential one should act. If, however, the Status difference is just a single point, things are considerably more casual, but a difference of 3 or more requires deference.

Failure to meet the customs of Kindred culture risks earning the enmity or worse, the wrath of city leaders or your own Clan. Careful consideration should be given before potentially acting out, as keeping in your place does have benefits.

Good little Kindred who behave retain the support of their Clan who will bail them out when in danger (though troublemakers are generally left to their own devices), and earning the goodwill of a high ranking Kindred is like putting money into a savings account, wait a little while and you’ll soon have more saved than you initially put in. There are some younger Kindred who think this is bullshit, pointing to older Kindred who are still of low Status despite decades or even centuries of licking that delicious Elder boot.

To these young Kindred, you can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs, or more bluntly, you’ll never get anywhere without pissing off a few dusty Elders, and considering the rewards, the risk is worth it.

Roleplaying Status: High to Low

A high-Status Kindred can expect their Lessers to act politely, listen often, speak when spoken to, and generally remember who runs the show. If the Status gap is wide enough, the lower status Kindred is expected to carry out orders and instructions, never interfere in a superior's affairs and obey basic directives like “Leave my club!”. Low Status Kindred are also expected to give their superiors the benefit of the doubt in disputes, though in truth most will simply take what they can get.


Penalties for conduct infractions are not standardized, instead varying widely from city to city and even Clan to Clan. Generally, a high-Status Kindred simply points out what the little poo poo has said or done is enough to correct the issue. Calling attention to the issue while in the presence of the offender’s close Kindred allies is also an effective solution, and an informal apology and improved behavior will generally resolve things.

If, however, the disrespect continues after this, a Formal Criticism with the offenders Sire can be made, which comes with a request to the rest of the offender’s bloodline to discipline them. Failing this, the higher Status Kindred may simply take matters into their own hands, using whatever methods of coercion at their disposal, including ceasing contact or ending any agreements of favors they may have had with the offender and their immediate Kin.

If the Harpies support the offended, it is at this point that they get their claws into things, shunning the offender, leading to a loss of Status (if they have any left of course).

If all of that still hasn’t resolved the issue, then taking up the matter with the Prince is the last line of bureaucratic means of dealing with an offending Kindred, and if the Prince does resolve the issue, then the offended party will be in the Prince’s debt.

Some motherfuckers just insist on ice skating uphill though, and when even the Prince coming in and swinging their political might hasn’t resolved the issue, then it’s time to truly take matters into one's own hands, as the offended party may outright sabotage the offenders plans, destroy their holdings or soil their good name to anyone who will listen.

Clan Prestige

Clan Prestige is a new Background designed to add a bit of color and a new avenue of roleplaying to Chronicles, while also providing players with a greater understanding of and control over their place within their Clan. Prestige, much like Status, is the measure of your standing within your Clan within your own city. Your Prestige grows with the goodwill, fear, or awe that you inspire within those of your Clan, as well as the extent to which you have mastered the rules, values and expectations of your Clan.

Basically, your Prestige is a measure of how well you’ve figured out how to play the games that your Clan sees as important.

Mechanically, Prestige is an indicator of how many members of your Clan are likely to come to your aid or stand up for you, as well as your ability to shape the politics of your Clan. Because your Clan is the foundation of your character, without their support, it’s much easier to fall prey to the abuse and machinations of others.

Status vs Clan Prestige

Prestige is ranked 1-5 (1-10 for some Elders) and as a Background Trait, can be purchased during creation with background or freebie points. Clan Prestige does not replace Status but supplements it.

Ex: If a character stopped a powerful Hunter, they would gain Status, as this was beneficial to all Kindred, while the character who unites their Clan against a common foe would gain Prestige.

Some Kindred trade their overall Status for Prestige and vice versa. Working with Kindred of other Clans is likely to cause an increase in Status while also lowering one’s Prestige, while betraying members of other Clans will cause the opposite. Of course, if this backfires, a Kindred suddenly finds themselves an enemy of both, and by contrast, a great success can trigger a gain in both Status and Prestige.

Prestige and the Clash of Generations

If you guessed that Status and Prestige are just additional levers on the machine marked “Elder Control” you would be correct. Because Kindred begin their unlives with no Status and no Prestige, and because these are only gained through age, it keeps Elders in a position of dominance over the younger. Of course, these younger Kindred do all they can to subvert, avoid or even overthrow these systems.

Unfortunately for our younger Kindred friends, their lack of experience and power means they have little ability to change the system, and by the time they’ve figured out the rules and gained a bit of power, they’re already locked into the system as it functions, and the cycle continues.

Of course, remember that Elders can gently caress up and lose Status just as Neonates can gain Status through clever maneuvering and daring deeds.

Prestige Outside the Clan

Clan Prestige is generally not recognized across Clan lines, so a low Prestige Ventrue is more likely to have disdain for a high Prestige Gangrel than they are to defer to them. As such, Status is how the various Clans judge one another.

Generating Clan Prestige

When first creating a character, players can choose Clan Prestige (should be noted as Brujah Prestige, etc.) as they would any other Status.

If you’ve already created a character and wish to use the Clan Prestige mechanic, first and foremost, ask the ST, then either you can buy enough Flaws to bump your freebie points up enough to purchase Prestige, or you can simply gain it because of the story. Regardless of how you acquire your Prestige, the ST can increase or decrease your Prestige by a single level through the course of the Chronicle, just as they would any other Background Trait.

Intra-Clan Prestige

Every member of a Clan (within the city) knows the Prestige of all other members of their Clan, and the same expectations are held by high Prestige Kindred of their Lessers as those held by high Status Kindred. Characters of equal Prestige are known to put aside their differences to work together, though it should be remembered that the refusal to acknowledge the Prestige of a “Family” member is a great insult and often the basis of a feud.

Tomorrow: More Kindred Society nonsense

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Infinity RPG: TAGs
Mechanized Infantry

Powered armor is a vastly more common sight in the Human Sphere than TAGs. While a TAG is individually expensive and often maintenance-heavy, powered armor is commonplace enough to be seen in just about heavy infantry unit and even some peacekeeping forces, like the Imperial Crane agents. Historically speaking, powered armor has reveresed the trend of weapons development - defensive tech has finally caught back up to guns, though it too until the NeoColonial Wars to do so. Power suits had existed previously for various applications, but were not seen in widespread military use until the First NeoColonial War. In the middle of it, Yu Jing's Minister of Defence, Tseng Huan, ordered a total overhaul of the armed forces refocusing them on power armor-clad heavy infantry. With the Niao Zui ('Bird's Beak') heavy armor, Yu Jing went from a losing force to an exceptionally powerful one, and other armed forces soon followed their example in power armor investment.

Power armor is quite expensive and requires skill to use, so modern armored soldiers often fulfill a similar role to the knights of yore, soaking up fire that would take out lesser soldiers and turning the tide by deploying at key locations. Precision strikes are already the favored battlefield tactic - waves of bodies just don't solve much in the modern day. Paradiso has had huge battles, to be sure, but most conflicts in the Human Sphere are smaller, more contained and between groups of skilled operatives that strike quickly to accomplish specific goals. This means that heavy powered armor is one of the ultimate tools in modern warfare - almost every conflict is a "key location" in which deploying even a small group of heavy infantry can change the course of battle. A soldier in power armor can deploy rapidly, exfiltrate just as easily, and can adapt to any terrain. They are able to fight inside ships or cities with little difficulty, and a suit of power armor can be stashed even in covert ops.

Even lighter modern armor is vastly superior to the armor technologies of past eras. A soldier's personal gear is light, form-fitted and comfortable compared to the uniforms and armor of even a century before, using biosensors, hyprophobic moisture wicking and kinetic fabrics to improve protection and give advantage. Power armor, more formally servo-powered heavyt armor, is a step even beyond that. It is worn in layers, much like ancient knightly armor. First is the under-suit, equipped with a thin smartgel mesh that runs through the entire thing to dampen kinetic impact with minimal bulk. This layer provides a necessary foundation, as it helps insulate the soldier from the impacts using the suit itself will generate. On top of that is the military grade exoskeleton, which is designed to redistribute kinetic impacts actively over the entire frame, so that potentially lethal hits become nothing more than a full-body buzz. The exoskeleton serves as a key defense and also as necessary infrastructure on which to build the servo-powered enhancements to the wearer's capabilities. Power armor eats a lot of energy, and exoskeleton must therefore often mount generators - usually on the back, with recursive designs to take up load as parts get damaged. These generators are on average able to operate for three to five days in the field before they need servicing, and this can be extended with portable recharge bricks. While the media loves to portray generators as bursting into flame or exploding when damaged or glowing when operation, this is incredibly rare in actual reality; most power armor generators are effectively silent and invisible.

Actually wearing a suit of power armor is extremely intuitive, assuming it's been maintained and set up correctly. A calibrated suit of armor acts as an extension of the wearer's body, a second skin that moves entirely as they expect it to. The actuators that enable this are silent and hyperefficient, designed to mimic human body motions so that fast or complex actions are just as easy as without the suit. Many suits actually provide a kinetic boost to strength and mobility, making some motions easier than they would otherwise be. One of the most important and indeed gamechanging factors of suit design is one many modern users don't even think about, however: gravity compensation. In the latter half of the NeoColonial Wars, power armor design focused on compensating for local gravities on various planets, as it was found that soldiers were often actively hindered by dealing with gravities and environments they weren't used to, even after extensive training. While a soldier could get good at gravity adjustment, even a tiny adjustment to positioning and aiming could make the difference in combat, and muscle memory just didn't play well with it, often overcompensating or undercompensating. Power armor let soldiers ignore it entirely, with the suit making up the difference, so they could operate at peak efficiency no matter what.

Under most legal systems in the Human Sphere, power armor remains heavily restricted due to the danger it represents, either to public order (like in PanO or Yu Jing) or to the physical security of a ship (as in the Nomads). Typically, exceptions exist for cops, professional security forces, mercenaries, bounty hunters and other similar special cases. Without special exemption, civilians are usually unable to legally get ahold of armor or wear it. Wealthy PanOceanian collectors lobbied for an exemption, but they only got it on the condition that their armor purchases were rendered inoperable by a certified technician and the armor itself was tagged for tracking and placed under multilayered security. Most orbitals, ships and similar simply ban any equipment whatsoever that is capable of causing structural damage to the vessel, even for law enforcement and military usage. In these places, even authorized wearers have to leave their armor at the airlock along with most of their weapons. If you see power armor in use in space, stay of the way, because that's an operation going down.

Now, that said, most of the corporate entities that produce military-grade power armor actively want to sell it to civilians. The civilian market expands profits substantially, and so most of these companies are actively engaged in research into civilian applications of power armor tech. Their work is often restricted for several years after invention, but more and more often, the corps have built release clauses into their contracts, usually allowing them to redevelop parts of the tech commercially after five or ten years. Heavy labor, mining, mechanical work and even surgery have benefited from the use of power armor technologies via specially designed exoskeletons that protect the user and enhance their physical abilities. These exoskeletons often produce vastly more money for corporations than even military investments get them, and they've made human beings able to perform jobs that would otherwise rely on more expensive remotes. Yu Jing in particular has made extensive use of "augmented workers" rather than relying on more expensive or heavily regulated technologies in industrial settings. After all, remotes need operators, licensing and support programs which all cost money and often must be leased from the manufacturers. Exoskeletons are usually less complicated, able to be maintained by in-house techs, and require significantly lower costs in training and operation.

Modern power armor also integrates technologies originally developed for space exploration or protective hazard suits. These life support systems have been heavily refined and redesigned for military usage, able to supply nutrients in the field, medical support and even save lives after injury. These have extensively been ported to civilian usages, ranging from supportive athletic gear that can drip-feed water and nutrients as required to medical support clothing and prosthetics for all manner of conditions, especially for long-term management of health conditions or convalescence after surgery. Most sporting organizations and fitness companies have redeveloped tech based in exoskeletal usage to create smartwear clothing that can gently correct posture and positioning or increase resistance targeting specific muscle groups. This kind of smartwear has proliferated for teaching or training usage in a variety of fields, and has actually filtered back into the military for use in basic training.

So, who uses power armor and how? Every nation and hyperpower has its own doctrine on armor usage and law enforcement, and extranational usage by what O-12 has dubbed the "Non-Aligned Armies" (read: mercenaries) and corporate security has kind of eroded the boundary between military and private use. As mercenaries and corporations increase their armament, cops do so in response, in case they have to deal with these people. In a lot of parts of the Human Sphere, the cops are essentially an army of the military itself, with military units serving in enforcement capacity and support to investigators and detectives.

From here, we get into the factions and their approach towards armor and specific signature designs. ALEPH makes heavy use of armor because its agents are often in dangerous situations as it tries to protect humanity. ALEPH agents must be kept alive so they can deliver not just victory but information back to the mindcloud. While ALEPH integrates some armor tech into Lhost design, it often also assigns suits of power armor to its agents as a second set of protections to ensure the highest chance of returning alive. In theory, ALEPH only operates with official approval unless acting against the Combined Army, though, and when it is sidestepping official channels or protecting Posthumans and Aspects in situations where open wearing of armor would be detrimental, it has to instead rely on the Lhosts themselves, which often integrate power armor techs.

A lot of Lhosts are just designed to not need armor in the first place. They can often still wear it, but it isn't strictly necessary. Proxies and Bodhisattva Lhosts are often able to shrug off attacks that would kill normal humans. While it is often helpful for an Lhost to resemble a human body from the outside, and the design certainly is flexible, the interior has no such requirement. Recreations or Lhosts designed for human usage often mirror human internal structure to reduce Resurrection Dysmorphic Disorder, but Aspects don't generally need to worry about that. This means many Aspect Lhosts vastly depart from the human form internally, with musculature designed for greater range of motion and internal organs that can move and redirect kinetic forces away from the most vital hardware. That you can then take these bodies and layer power armor on top of them may seem like cheating, and is. ALEPH doesn't play fair and will make use of every edge available.

ALEPH's Asura Aspects essentially are powered armor, with their Aditya i-Lhosts integrating the same kinetic diffusion tech that most armor suits do, on top of their various other boosts. They often work in small units of heavy infantry, carrying out ALEPH's commands with brutal efficiency and little need for rest. Aditya i-Lhosts are able to be heavily modified in various ways, like adding limbs, though at great cost in time and money due to the need to distribute processing and memory throughout the entire frame to avoid having a single vital point that would disable it. Asura upgrades therefore require a full download of the Aspect inside and re-upload once the modification is complete, then multiple rounds of testing to integrate fully. The cost is considered worth it given the sheer durability increase the Aditya represents.

Posthumans, those humans selected and upgraded by ALEPH, require a different design. Most are incapable of handling an Aditya because they are individual human consciousnesses and need something closer to a human body. Therefore, they receive Bodhisattva i-Lhosts, specially modified for them specifically. Even then, Posthumans are terrifyingly capable, often able to operate multiple bodies near-simultaneously. Even with their more human body design, these frames are typically tailored specifically to their missions. A Bodhisattva is able to soak up fire better than any human body, but they rarely need to - the Posthuman operating them is often more than able to avoid enemy firing lines by coordinating information from all of their bodies to choose optimal paths that open them to the least amount of fire, which has produced a mystique around them as nigh invulnerable. Bodhisattva i-Lhosts are ideal as support or assault troops thanks to their operation by a single unified consciousness, and often seem suicidally brave simply because the Posthuman running them knows they're not at any risk of permanent death even if all their bodies go down.

And yet, when it comes to armor, no one beats ALEPH's Steel Phalanx troops. They wear Apex Sykarikat Hoplite-series armor, one of the most advanced power armors in the entire Human Sphere, on top of each having a custom i-Lhost on par with the Aditya. As yet, there is no chance of wider sales of the Hoplite, as many of the new materials and technologies developed for it are considered top secret, and suits lost in combat are subject to recovery missions if at all possible. Nanomaterial layers conceal conduits that cover the entire suit, which act as relays and signal boosters for communications. Microdot processors in the conduit layer allow even small fragments of armor to emit a beacon if they receive the suit's encrypted trigger, making recovery much easier and theft nearly impossible. Most of the neomaterials used in the Hoplite were developed in zero-g, in special labs Apex Sykarikat maintains in cooperation with ALEPH, and ALEPH is the only entityp ermitted to purchase the armor. Possessions even of scraps of Hoplite armor is a criminal offense that will get ALEPH's agents poking around your business. Hoplite armor is comparable in protection to having an Aditya i-Lhost, can be stacked with it, and also the suit itself is a Repeater.

Ariadna is often seen as technologically inferior to the other nations due to extensive propaganda from various entities, and it's easy to forget that despite this, they have essentially been at war constantly with these greater entities and fought them to a standstill. In part this is due to the unbreakable Ariadnan spirit and their dedication to survival in a hostile world, and in part it's because the Ariadnans are exceptional at finding efficient solutions to problems that other nations throw massive amounts of money at. Also, sitting on huge Teseum reserves has helped. Ariadna has used its Teseum and its extensive efforts to combat the Combined Army on Paradiso to get access to more advanced military hardware, and while many of the other nations have tried to block them from doing so, they've picked up a decent amount of skills in tech from the cooperation and joint operations they've done in the Paradiso war.

Ariadnan power armor is not as technologically sophisticated as that of Yu Jing or PanOceania, but it's tough, well made and tactically suited for the more fluid methodologies of the Ariadnan armed forces. Most is laced with a Teseum inner weave or reinforced with a Teseum layer, which is generally enough to make them rival more advanced heavy armor in sheer strength. They often suffer from less good targeting tech, trackers or life support systems, and definitely worse comms, though. On the other hand, Ariadnan armor tends to be light and highly mobile, giving soldiers the freedom to bring their own skills to bear with the armor serving to support them. Ariadnan soldiers are expected to handle life support and survival training on their own, with their own knowledge...and lacking the advanced capabilities of other power armor brings with it the fact that most Ariadnan armor can't be hacked, because there's nothing to hack.

The first of the three signature armors the book considers is the Buffalo, the signature armor of the 10th Heavy Rangers Battalion, aka the Blackjacks. The Blackjacks don't take prisoners, don't concede, and almost never retreat. They are infamous for massacring survivors of their sorties even after surrender, leaving only their calling card - the Ace of Spades. While this is somewhat less intimidating to soldiers who have Cubes, the message is generally clear. Buffalo armor is designed for heavy combat and given its size, it could be mistaken for a small TAG. The Buffalo is a gigantic exoskeleton that is deliberately archaic in design, using simple radios and crude servos that require very little maintenance, giving it unparalleled endurance. Each suit mounts a pair of explosive mines in the chest and comes with a heavy pistol and a teseum blade, with two standard loadouts for larger weapons - either an AP HMG and a panzerfaust, or a mounted SMG pod and a T2 sniper rifle, with the loadout being swappable at base with a day's worth of work and a Tech roll.

The Buffalo was developed by USAriadian's DARPS and first deployed literally hours after the tests succeeded. It is by far the most successful and effective piece of homegrown USAriadnan military tech, using an ablative ceramic layer of armor over a sandwich of Teseum and high-density alloys, with padding under that for comfort. It relies on simple and tough servos and gears and a basic VFH radio mounted on the suit's rear. Most other nations consider it a charmingly antiquated machine, but they can't say it's not effective, and the simplicity of its design allows parts to be cannibalized and keep it operational far longer than more advanced suits when damaged, slightly decreasing its extensive armor and increasing Complication range but healing it of damage. Its size does make it difficult to move quickly in, though, giving +2 Difficulty to Agility rolls and making movement within Medium range a Standard rather than Minor action. The Buffalo design is proprietary to DARPS and the Rangers, but the contract for making and refining the suit was won by Americolt.

The ISC: Armata-2 Proyekt, better known as the Ratnik, was a design iteration of the Buffalo by the Kazaks' Kaztec Arms Research Corporation. They took the Buffalo frame and sought to address what they saw as weaknesses in an outstanding design rather than overhauling it entirely. First, they wanted to address the Buffalo's operation time before fuel cells needed replacing, second, they wanted it to make less noise, and third, they wanted to protect the pilot more extensively. To accomplish this, they redesigned the suit's entire power supply and reduced the size of the fuel cells while maintaining their charge, allowing more cells to be built in. The fuel cell container was then reinforced and made easier to swap through coded fast-release clips.Even with the increased power drain from other changes made to the design, this allows the Ratnik to operate for twice as long in the field as the Buffalo could.

The Ratnik also had a large noise reduction, as it was felt the Buffalo was too easily detected in its approach, but the audio dampers were made to be turned off to create a moment of roaring shock and awe. The final major change was to swap out the helmet for an enclosed design that covered the entire pilot, with increased armoring on the frame and a deflective shield installed to protect the head, relying on a larger visual display inside the armor to provide the user with information and visuals. Visually, the Ratnik is very similar to the Buffalo, however, and is just as big and intimidating. It's more heavily armored, though it trades out the chest mines and teseum blade for a knife and trench hammer, and swaps the heavy weapons for either a heavy rocket launcher and heavy shotgun or a pair of Molotoks and a pair of Panzerfausts.

Lastly, we have the Caledonian Mormaer Armor. Mormaer armor is a symbol of wealth and status as well as a military design, and only a few have the right to wear it - those who have served their clan in battle and proven their loyalty and courage beyond all others. It is given only to a clan's very best, and made of heavy Teseum alloy with greater purity than any other armor in existence, largely because nowhere except Caledon has Teseum veins in this purity. The manufacture of the armor relies on secret folding and heating techniques, mineral baths and slow cooling, all of which the Caledonians refuse to share the full details on. It produces an armor with a silvered, damascene pattern that is essentially impossible to scratch or dent. Maintenance is easy - just polish it and scrub it down and it's generally fine. The art of smithing Mormaer armor is extremely heavily protected, and those who know how to make it are even rarer and more honored than those that wear it. Mormaer armor doesn't do anything but provide really good protection, mind, but you can't hack it because it has no electronics whatsoever.

We also get the story of Finn McCaw, the Bastard, a hero of Caledonia. Finn was an armorer for Clan Murray, famous for his bad temper and his great skill in making Mormaer armor. During the Commercial Conflicts, corporations put a huge bounty on the capture of Caledonian armorers, and Finn was captured and taken to a black site near Loch Eil Lake for interrogation. Fortunately, local fishers spotted the corporate soldiers, allowing a Caledonian force to raid the site and rescue Finn. The Mormaers demanded to be allowed to take part, and they fell on the facility only to find corporate security fighting to get inside it after Finn, half blind and still with bits of chair strapped to him, smashing poo poo up inside. The staff in the facility had locked themselves in a cell to keep Finn from killing them and, according to reports from the Mormaers, gave them only one message: "Take the bastard back." He was forever after known as The Bastard, and according to the notes recovered during the operation, he spent most of his time in captivity mocking his captors, singing in Gaelic, pretending to break and revealing fake secrets, and biting guards. The injuries he sustained during his resistance kept Finn from ever making another suit of armor, but he mentored the next generation of smiths before his eventual death of old age, and he never gave up the secrets the corpos wanted.

Next time: Haqq, Hypercorp and Nomad armors

Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
Planescape: Harbinger House


Harbinger House bills itself as a mystery, which got me somewhat excited, since I feel like that sort of thing is where Planescape might excel. Where it's less numbersmashing and bonking monsters, and more negotiating, plotting and figuring things out. Does Harbinger House succeed, though? To which I shrug and vocalize a sort of "Ehhhhhhhhhnnnnn?"-sound. It has some interesting ideas and a couple of fun concepts for characters, but it's also extremely on rails, there are absolutely no rewards for actually figuring out the mystery faster than the module wants to deliver it, way too many avenues are blocked off with "but it happens anyway" and as per usual the players' meaningful involvement is mostly at the very tail end of the module.

It also introduces some new things to the cosmology that I have mixed feelings on. I feel like, if it was some sort of generic Prime world, they might be interesting, but in the context of everything Planescape I just don't feel like they work at all, and I even feel like they contradict a ton of previously established stuff across multiple sourcebooks and settings.

But we'll get there when we get there, so let's take it then.

Chapter 1: The Streets of Sigil

As per usual, the PC's are just hanging out somewhere when weird or wild poo poo comes to them, because why would the players ever have any kind of agency or choose an adventure of their own volition? They've noticed that things have been a bit weird lately with the Dabus, the horned, floating, mute handymen of Sigil, acting frustrated and doing meaningless work. Repainting walls they just painted, repaving new roads, cleaning up already-clean spaces, that sort of thing. Oh and a bunch of people have been getting ritualistically murdered across Sigil, with cryptic notes and odd paraphernalia, being left near their slashed-up bodies. The PC's are meant to get invited into the adventure by investigating these murders for their faction, since almost everyone has an interest:

The Athar have lost members to the murders
The lawful factions generally frown on unsanctioned stabbings
Since all the victims so far have been lawful, the chaotic factions are worried that they'll get blamed for it

If the players aren't Faction members, someone might try to hire them. Interestingly the only faction that won't do that is the Harmonium because they already have a hard-nosed investigator, Narcovi, on the case, and while she's completely useless, she won't let anyone interfere with her investigation even if they're well-meaning.

By the time the players get involved, there are six crime scenes, and starting out by investigating them is probably a good idea. The victims are, in order:

Favur, a Godsman who used to work at an insane asylum(I thought that was supposed to be the Bleakers' gimmick). Stabbed in his home.

Vienna, an Athar who was an Athar and otherwise undetailed. Stabbed twice in an Athar bunkhouse.

Lini, an undetailed Tiefling who was stabbed thrice at a Godsmen bar. If the players loiter long enough, they might spot someone watching them, a street urchin who witnessed the stabbing and can describe the killer. He adds that the killer looked like a normal human, but electrocuted the victim on touch without casting a spell and drained some sort of crimson essence out of them after hacking them up.

Fassa, a Guvner stabbed four times in their library. Getting in to check the scene of the killing might take some talking since the Guvners might not want outsiders poking around. The only interesting clue is that the victim more or less got stabbed on top of a book that might as well be called "HOW TO ACHIEVE DIVINITY."

Tenskor, a member of the Harmonium stabbed five times and impaled on part of a wall.

Keluk the Gray, an Athar wizard who was stabbed six times in the back room of a bookstore at night. Another witness can describe the same thing as the witness who saw Lini get killed, but also that the murderer's boots were covered in white dust: talc powder.

Spell components are left behind at all of the crime scenes, in addition: Vrock powders, peanut shells, bronze discs and iron rods. Also a note about how CHAOS RULEZ, LAW DROOLZ.

This leaves the players with a few options, though only one of them will actually speed things up. The first is to look around for anyone who's been shopping up or stealing these components. The players can find the sources... but the sources aren't involved, they were just robbed or trading normally, though they can corroborate the description of the killer. They can try to talk to Narcovi, though that will almost certainly just end up with their getting curbstomped by her Harmonium goons. They can also steal her notebook, or talk their way into access to it, though it just has literally all the same info on the crime scenes they could find themselves by showing up, though actually a bit less since it won't have the interview with the shopkeeper, the witness or the "HOW 2 BE GOD!"-book mentioned. The one clue that actually advances the plot is the talcy boots, since there are apparently only three major talc warehouses in the city.

If they take more than a day to advance the plot, Sougad, the killer, stabs another person, in this case a Mercykiller or tries to kill one of the PC's first, and then kills the Mercykiller, if one of the PC's is Lawful. The only chance the players have of getting involved here, other than GM fiat or one of them being the target, is that a random wandering weirdo will dance up and go "la la la one of you is gonna fuckin' diiiiiie lmao, either that or this mercykiller dude at a tavern, 50-50, wheeeeee" and then dance off. This gets the PC's a chance to watch the stabbing up close and see the essence-draining if they don't save the Mercykiller, after which Sougad teleports out without using any apparent magic. Spooky.

Other weird poo poo that goes down is that the players witness someone trying to mug Factol Ambar of the Godsmen(and succeeding, despite his bodyguards), though the Factol won't tell anyone what was stolen, and a bunch of idiots are running around with flowers and chocolates trying to ask the Lady of Pain out on a date. I respect their taste, but not their intelligence. People might also suddenly show up to try and murder the PC's for what seem like random reasons, like being asked to, but this ties into another part of the plot later.

Anyway, if the party heads for the Talc warehouses, one contains a drunk. The other contains some cranium rats, and the third contains Sougad, the killerman. He will escape no matter what, of course, climbing up through the roof and sprinting away over the rooftops with the party doomed to fail at catching up. The chase finishes as he swan dives off a rooftop into the portal to the gatetown of Ecstacy, flipping off the PC's as he goes. While the players are catching their breath, they then see the Lady obliterate a bunch of absolute morons in the park across the road. The Lady-lover cultists have finally gotten their wish, senpai has noticed them, and she is not pleased because it's tantamount to worshipping her, so she cuts them all to ribbons. At least, according to the text, they die happy because they got her attention.

Chapter 2: On the Outlands

So at this point, Factol Ambar of the Godsmen, shows up again, and tells the PC's he needs their help. See, shocker, it turns out its the Godsmen's fault that Sougad is on his murder-spree! And this big shredding of dudes is their fault, too! Dun dun dunnnnn! It turns out that the Godsmen have been running their own little insane asylum, Harbinger House, on the sly. It's a super cool magical house full of (locked) portals, and what Ambar had stolen was the key to those portals, the Planarity. The special thing about the madmen in Harbinger House is that the Godsmen are convinced they're all potential deities, because they display weird and strange powers(which are mostly just spell-like abilities at will). And... this is where I derail the review to talk about this:

It keeps getting treated like something special, but literally tons of people in various settings that are canon in Planescape have advanced from mortal to God at some point or another. They've stabbed gods and stolen their powers, they've won mystical contests, they've just levelled up a lot, they've touched magical artifacts they shouldn't have touched, they've developed cults that empowered them through belief, etc. but NONE of them have been "naturally divine" at any point. It's just a weird, stupid addition to the setting because, spoiler: the Godsmen are actually right.

Anyway, the two escapees are Sougad Lawshredder, the mass murderer who's doing a weird ritual to turn him into a God and can teleport at will, and Trolan, some poor dork who can make friends really well and who wants to gently caress the Lady of Pain, and has started a cult centered around this idea. Sougad is a danger to others and Trolan would normally only be a danger to himself except, as has just been proven, he's succeeded in getting almost two dozen people turned into meat coleslaw and that probably won't be the end of it. No one knows that Sougad's ritual is meant to turn him into a God at this point, but I feel like there are enough clues that the players could put that together by now.

At least the players know that Sougad should be in Ecstacy, so he should be relatively easy to track down unless he made the genius move of "leaving the last location he was seen to head towards." During this, they also get approached by a relative of one of the shredded people, apparently Trolan suckered TWO of her brothers into a suicide pact, but only one of them died so far, and she'd like the players to resolve the quest before the other gets minced, too. Oh and a MYSTERIOUS FIGURE in the crowd casts a silent Charm Person spell on one of the PC's that will only become relevant in the endgame. All the wierdos that might have tried to fight the players so far were also Charmed by her and I can't give enough of a poo poo to try and hide who she is. She's Nari, a succubus, who snuck into Harbinger House because she wants to use the God Juice to turn herself into a god, so she's letting Trolan distract people, while Sougad stabs people, and then when Sougad returns to do the megastabbing to godify himself in Harbinger House she plans to steal it from him at the finish line. Trolan is, by the way, also originally from Ecstacy and has set up an HQ for his cult there, so they might get some clues on him, too, while they're at it.

So, the players head to Ecstacy, and Sougad has been busy, since he's already stabbed a few people by the time they arrive and has more planned. The players, by the way, cannot and are not expected to stop any of these killings, also stopping any of them doesn't matter because unless the players really care about a character they just met today, there are going to be enough potential victims in the endgame for Sougad anyway or he'll just murder some people off-screen. The easy part is finding out where Trolan is, since a helpful NPC(Pastor Bowen) will literally hurry over to tell them he's in the gatetown to Carceri, Curst, where he's currently trapped. This is because said helpful NPC is one of Nari's pawns and she hopes the PC's will get trapped there, too.

This means that the players have no reason whatsoever to go to Trolan's cult HQ except maybe to try and save some cultists from committing an elaborate suicide, but the next plot point assumes they arrive, because when they do, Sougad leaps out of the shadows and goes "HAR HAR HAR! I SET THE BUILDING ON FIRE! BLAR!" And ritually murders one of the cultists. This has to happen because this brings Sougad close enough to divinity that he gets an even better innate teleport ability and can warp instantly back to Sigil. If the players save the first victim, the book states that new morons keep bumbling over right into Sougad's arms for him to kill until he finally succeeds. Of course, the book says the GM should lie to the players and "make it sound like" Sougad is actually killed as the temple collapses around him from the fire damage, when in fact he just used his new ability to teleport away as he disappeared from sight.

Presumably the players are idiots and they high-five each other going "hell yeah bro the villain just died without us doing anything, now let's go save Trolan" and head off to Curst. There's a convenient portal nearby.

So Curst's "thing" is that, since it's the gatetown to the Prison Plane, they don't let you in or out without a good reason, which is pretty simple to circumvent. Meanwhile, Pastor Bowen, who guided the party to Trolan's location, has also skipped on ahead and convinced the local guards to prevent Trolan and anyone who talks to him from leaving the city, in return for a vague "favour" in the future from a god that totally exists, honest(Nari, when/if she ascends to godhood). On top of that, an anarchist is also trying to assassinate Trolan because Pastor Bowen walked up and said "yo that guy over there is totally in league with THE MAN, you should kill him." Which made the anarchist and his buddies pick up a pretty rare magical item(an Arrow of Slaying) and set off to do so some slaying.

This is actually one of the few points where the players can change something about how the game goes. Something minor, but still something. See, they can actually fail to save Trolan, shockingly. There's no plot immortality for him like there is for Sougad. In any case, assuming the players save him, Trolan starts talking about how amazing and cool and good and lovely and wonderful the Lady of Pain is and takes some serious effort to shut up so the players can actually advance the story. An interesting point is that he insists that the Lady of Pain herself showed up in Harbinger House and told him that she was into him too and that she'd marry him if he proved he was serious, which should set some alarm bells ringing since one of the traits of the Lady of Pain is that she never speaks to anyone. The few times in history she's communicated with people, she's done so through Dabus messengers. Of course, it was actually Nari, shapeshifted into a Lady of Pain costume, who told Trolan that it was time to start causing some trouble.

The book never really says why Trolan will happily follow the PC's back to Sigil, but apparently he'll come along quietly. In any case, getting out is as simple as wearing a disguise, stabbing some guards in the way or lying to them and telling them that someone real important will be real angry if you aren't let out.

As the players leave, though, Pastor Bowen attacks them again outside. Turns out he's another power-in-the-making from Harbinger House(he has minor weather control powers) who believes that if he crushes people's skulls, they give power to his mysterious unnamed God(actually not Nari, but some presumably non-existent deity). He's a 12th-level Cleric, so reasonably tough, but the players are 4 to 6 characters of 4th to 7th level. Physical killing ability doesn't scale much with level and Bowen has no super gear, so even just four characters of half his level beating at him is almost guaranteed to interrupt anything he might want to cast, so he's probably going to go down like a chump.

Anyway, the PC's find a convenient portal and head back to Sigil.

Chapter 3: Harbinger House

So, the PC's should be heading for Harbinger House to shove Trolan back in his cell, or possibly to tell Ambar that Trolan is now a corpse in Curst, at which point Ambar tells them that the Planarity is still missing and could they maybe go stick their heads into Harbinger House and see if it ended up there?

Despite Harbinger House looking like the Winchester Mansion from the outside, from the inside it has a pretty straightforward and dull layout. As the players step inside, they see one of the Godsmen supposed to keep the place intact catatonic from insanity in the first room, which should hint that something's up(Nari driving everyone inside insane, evil or evilly insane), and as far as I can tell nothing in the module actually prevents the players from just leaving, collecting some Godsmen heavy hitters(maybe including Ambar himself) and stomping this section flat. But let's pretend the players aren't intelligent or creative.

Aside from the insane Godsmen hanging around inside, who are useless and incurable until the adventure is over or sometimes slightly dangerous, like the cooks in the kitchen who might try to slice up the players to put them in the stew, the main obstacles are the various near-divine insane inmates who've been turned around to Nari's side.

Aztral of Many Faces: Actually has a cool power and attacks on sight. His ability is to copy a player character's stats, skills and equipment and then engage the party with it. The problem with that is that it's... one player character against four player characters, making it not terribly threatening unless he copies a wizard and gets lucky initiative on the first round with a Fireball or something.

Galkin Farseer: I think they actually copied this guy for the insane asylum in Baldur's Gate 2. His thing is that he sees all planes of existence at once, overlaid, and it takes incredible concentration for him to just focus on one plane and not go insane. The players disrupt his concentration when they enter his room, making him furious. They can actually talk him down, but if they fail to do so, he attacks with his special ability of turning into a living Lightning Bolt spell, bouncing off the walls and electrocuting anyone he passes through. It's novel but also super OP since even PC's at the high end of the suggested scale could potentially be one-shot by it and as a special ability it can't actually be interrupted(though it can fail if he rolls badly).

Vorina and Teela: Vorina's a nice girl who's taking a soak in a tub as the players barge into her cuddly, pink-coloured chambers. She's the only inmate that hasn't somehow gotten turned against the PC's and will happily heal them up if they come over to the tub so she doesn't have to get out. Her sister, Teela, meanwhile, has inverse powers of Vorina's and lives in a super-gothy room where she has hurting powers instead and a mirror so goth that it saps people's will to live when they look into it. She could theoretically be avoided as a fight after meeting her as long as the players don't let slip that they're there to dunk on Nari(which the players won't necessarily even know they are yet, so good odds?).

Gorg Redeyes: Telegraphed by a studio full of statues, Gorg runs into the room and mindlessly tries to blast everyone with his Flesh To Stone gaze. His thing is that he feels real bad after killing someone, but then eventually feels good again and starts wanting to kill some more. Bipolar, I suppose. There is no possible peaceful interaction with Gorg.

Tomin: Attacks with imaginary creatures that are only dangerous if someone believes in them(though if one person fails their save to disbelieve, they're real for everyone). No peaceful interactions or peaceful resolution possible.

Nari: She'll show up uncatchable in a corridor and laugh at the players then run through a door they can't open.

Kaydi: Kaydi is non-hostile because she's asleep. Permanently. Anyone who enters her room also drifts off to sleep rapidly(if the entire party falls asleep, Nari will show up and collect them for her ritual as sacrifices), and the room can't be left while Nari is asleep since her dreams twist reality in a small radius around her. The solution is to either shake her awake so the effect dissipates for a few rounds and the party can leave, or to kill her. Killing her actually transforms her prematurely into a deity who throws a few spells at the PC's in anger(cursing them with nightmares for 1d6 months) and then vanishes to establish her realm. I feel like it could have used some sort of clue or hint, though, perhaps if all of the inmates had some sort of solipsistic reality-warping effect around them, then it could've been some sort of... theme! Letting the players know a bit about what to expect!

Chance: Obsessed with luck and statistics, Chance will call out to the players to pick odds or evens as they enter his view and then, depending on the roll of his dice, either attack them or leave them be. If fought successfully, he runs into his room where he panickedly rolls the dice over and over, hoping for them to tell him what to do. Either in that case, or if the dice call for peace at the start of the encounter, the players can negotiate with him and end things without leaving another corpse behind. He actually won the scroll from Sougad that describes the divinity ritual(why Sougad didn't just stab him and take it back is unclear), and the players can game him for it(his luck powers make that challenging, though) or trade him for it, he'll accept anything that looks or feels like a good luck charm.

The details of the ritual are: Stab 13 Lawful people with a magic sword while leaving a scroll and some spell reagents lying around, then stab yourself in a special place inside Harbinger House.

Eventually, though, the party will probably stumble into the final chamber of Harbinger House.

Nari Again

So Nari's set up shop next to a huge magic orb that protects Harbinger House, keeping the Lady from seeing inside it and thus noticing the demi-deities growing inside and stabbing them up(both Nari and Sougad have convinced themselves that the orb and the Planarity key are important for completing the ritual successfully). She also has 13 sacrifices ready to go for her own planned ascension. Just as the players arrive, a portal opens and a Cambion that Nari has summoned for muscle bursts in with some lesser Tanar'ri to distract the players. After a few rounds, Sougad also bursts in to try and steal one of her sacrifices since by now he's only missing one(he's been stabbing some folks in Sigil while the players thought he was dead). Trolan, meanwhile, will try to punch the orb if he's along, but Nari transforms herself into a facsimile of the Lady and tells him not to, which makes him go comatose from shock.

If a PC got "Charmed" by Nari earlier, they now help her out in this fight.

There are actually a good few ways this can turn out.

The Orb is Destroyed: The Lady zooms over and, seeing what's going on, sighs and melts Sougad and Nari. Interestingly enough, though, not Trolan(not because she reciprocates his crush, but because he wasn't trying to become a god like they were).

Sougad Ascends: Sougad bops someone and then stabs himself with his sword. The orb explodes and he becomes a god, then vanishes from Sigil because gods aren't allowed in Sigil. The Lady minces Nari if she's still alive.

Trolan Ascends: Secretly, Trolan is also a divinity candidate. If Sougad stabs someone with his sword, then Trolan ends up stabbed by it, he ascends instantly. He explodes the orb, mentally dissolves his cult so they don't die, and vanishes from Sigil before the Lady melts Nari and Sougad. He lives out a sad existence of being banished from his dream girlfriend's house for eternity and probably writes some incredibly sad poetry whereever he sets up shop.

No One Ascends: If Nari and Sougad die without anyone ascending or the orb getting blasted, the Cambion and his goons beat a hasty retreat to the Abyss and the party can now haul Trolan over to the latest Cultist-Con and tell them to not loving die like morons because he's seen Nari transform into the Lady and now knows he got super scammed. He still wants to smooch the Lady but now knows its not possible. If Sougad powered up his sword but it wasn't used, tossing it into a black hole or something is probably a good idea, it won't work for anyone else present and willing to become a deity, but it's still a super-cursed piece of poo poo full of screaming souls.

Oh and if Nari finishes her ritual she just loving dies because she stabbed herself with a sword, lmao. Good riddance.

Now, for the most important part... Do the PC's, in fact, get paid? Maybe!!!

There are XP rewards, but actually getting paid depends entirely on how the PC's got roped into the whole thing. They probably get paid if someone hired them for [unspecified amount], but if they got involved for any other reason like the goodness of their hearts, no one's paying them a loving dime except for good wishes and gratitude, except for some spare change they get for preventing Cultist-Con if they can bring themselves to take the life savings of a poor lady whose one sibling just got shredded.

Next: Something Wild! No, really, that's the name. It's about nightmares and we're going back to loving Carceri.

Apr 8, 2009

That Old Tree posted:

If I recall correctly, most splats have a formula based on other traits or selection of templates that typically result in base Willpower 2-4, but all mages just start out at 5 automatically, which fits with the games' conceits.

You're right, most splats will have characters who have a base starting Willpower around what the system considers human average (3), Mages all start with minimum 5 Willpower and also because of how their magic rolls work (small pools but a lot of value from each success in the pool) they can also spend it more efficiently than many other splats.

Jun 15, 2013

:spooky: Joylessdivisions World of Dorkness presents :spooky:
:drac: The Players Guide to Vampire: The Masquerade :drac:
Part 6

Creating Prestige

Like most Traits in a World of Darkness game, Prestige and how it is gained is subjective. What follows is a breakdown of the rules and guidelines for building Prestige among the various clans.

Clan Organizations

The Clans are organized in this section from most complex to least, describing how the Clans organize themselves, as well as their guiding principles, structure, means of gaining power, gathering days, rumors and character ideas.


The most rigidly hierarchical of the clans, the Tremere demand absolute compliance to their complicated Clan laws. Every member is required to know their place within the hierarchy and to maintain that place at all costs. The Elders impress the belief that each member of the Clan is but a stone in the great pyramid, and a single stone out of place weakens the whole. To the shock of no one, this hierarchical weight seems to press on every member of the Clan, leading to the dour disposition of so many Tremere.

Within the Clan, each member abides by carefully defined codes of dominance and subordination, expecting others to fall in line. While their intense competition with each other makes the Tremere powerful on the individual level, it is their rigid structure that empowers the Clan.

Despite this rigidity, no other Clan awards successful deviance as highly. Sure, breaking rules and triumphing exceptionally is a sure way to gain respect, move up the ladder or even gain control of a Chantry (or the offer to found one’s own), but making it a regular habit is just as likely to earn you a one-way trip to Final Death.

Clan Structure

Sometimes referred to as “The Illuminati” for their elaborate, secretive and well-regulated global network, the Tremere seem almost more like their own sect like the Followers of Set than simply a Camarilla Clan. They refer to this global network as The Pyramid, and within the great pyramid, all members have their place. Every member of Clan Tremere is held in Thrall to the Clan itself, and thus there are no “free agent” Tremere

That is until we get into later books where that’s totally a thing that exists, lol.

Despite their bond to their Clan, the Tremere are not simply pawns. Fiercely proud and highly competitive, members often pursue their own unique goals while also working to further those of the Clan. For most, the Clan is the only place they feel understood and truly comfortable, making the structure more of a haven than a cage.

The tip of the pyramid is the Council of Seven, comprised of the remains of the fourth Generation, they are the leaders of Clan in Western Europe (including Australia and New Zealand…which are not at all in Europe but sure), Eastern Europe, the Mideast, Africa, North, Central (including Mexico) and South America. There are no Tremere in Asian nations though there are rumors of a Chantry in Hong Kong.

It’s at this point that I have to wonder if “Asian Nations” in this case includes India or if they make the cut off at Myanmar or Nepal. I also don’t really care, but it was a thought that crossed my mind as I was reading this and thinking about how much I hate the entire “Eastern Kindred” plot point. Also, I think there was a Chantry in Hong Kong mentioned in The Promised Lands, but I’m admittedly too lazy to go dig that review up to see if such a thing got mentioned or not.

The Council assembles once a decade in Vienna to plan and chart the growth of the Clan, however if a great danger threatens them, an emergency session can be called, though the Council generally tries to avoid this as they don’t like to appear as if they aren’t in complete control of the situation. They are, of course, regularly in contact with each other via various communication rituals (some of which were detailed in this very book!)

Directly below the Council is the Order of Pontifex, and seven members of this group serve under each member of the Council, with their “domains” lacking geographical bounds. Meeting every other seven years in a meeting convened by the Elder they serve. Canada has two Orders, the US has three, one focused on multinational corporations, and another based in D.C. focused on politics.

Under the Pontifex are the Order of Lords, seven serving each Pontifex, meeting once every three years with their Elder. While some Lords preside over Kindred communities of small nations, in the US, they control at least a Chantry or two in a state.

Serving the Lords are the Order of Regents. Since every large city has a Chantry, each Chantry has a Regent, who makes a yearly pilgrimage to their Lord’s Chantry for the meeting of the Order of Regents. There can be as many Regents in the Order as there are Chantries in a High Regent’s area of dominion, but always more than seven.

The newly embraced are held in Thrall and given the title Apprentice of the First Circle, owing fealty to the Regent of the Chantry, who in turn is commanded to follow their own superiors' orders, all the way up the chain to the Council of Seven. First Circle Neonates meet with the Regent every week, and as they progress through the ranks of their Chantry, they are initiated into six more sets of mysteries until they gain the title of Apprentice of the Seventh Circle. Apprentices of the 7th circle rule alongside the Regent of a Chantry.

Each Neonate is bound below those of higher mysteries and must listen to and defer in all things to their Regent, and likewise those who have been bound below Neonates must show the same respect and deference to the Neonate.

This procedure of apprenticeship follows for Regents, Lords and Pontifex, each with a new series of seven mysteries on top of the original seven. Regents, Lords and Pontifex must be initiated into the next cycle of mysteries to be promoted and gain power, just as new apprentices are.

The power of the Pyramid does not follow strict geographic boundaries, and in recent decades have blurred considerably. While each Chantry is made up of only a small group of Tremere, a Regent in Chicago would still have power over an apprentice in LA, while a Lord in Angola would be able to control a Regent in Sweden.

Of course, this is all just a general overview of the Clan’s incredibly complex and labyrinthian structure. The true map of the Clan’s power is a mystery to the rest of the Camarilla, and almost completely unknown to a young Tremere. It is only with advancement in power and initiations into each circle of mysteries that the intricacies of the complex web of power begin to become clear.

Gaining Power

The Tremere prize influence over other Kindred as well as control of the mortal world. Increased Prestige is conferred to those who are competitive and best use their talents to succeed in their goals. Prestige gains are rewarded by initiation into the next Circle of Mysteries, and it is the Elders of the Clan who award Prestige.

Moving up in the ranks of the Clan is always a difficult task, but also the primary goal of most Tremere. This competition is considered a means of keeping the most fit leaders at the top of the Pyramid, as Prestige can be considered a path to power.

Succession through the ranks requires recommendation and promotion by the Kindred’s direct superior, so absolute loyalty to both Clan and Lord are paramount to advancement of any kind. Because of this, gaining Prestige is difficult but losing it is shockingly easy, meaning that most Tremere have great responsibility but little actual authority.

While lower ranked Tremere have considerable leeway in how they conduct themselves in their personal matters outside of the Clan, they are still expected to sacrifice themselves for the Clan when the need is clear, at least if they want to rise in the ranks.

Of course, few Elders, especially those in power ever meet their Final Deaths, so advancement in the Clan can be excruciatingly slow, however, there is one situation in which space within the power structure opens, the founding of a new Chantry. When the Council concludes that an opportunity exists to expand, they choose a loyal clanmate and offer them the assignment. It is this rare opportunity that engenders such obsessive loyalty.

Chantry Regents are frequently petty dictators of the worst kind, with considerable freedom to pursue Clan goals in whatever fashion they desire. Several times during Tremere history, individual Clan members founded their own Chantries without the permission of the Council. The Council of course struck back, destroying most of these independent Chantries, though a few survived and became valuable enough to justify their continued existence. The presence of these once independent Chantries upsets some of the more heavily tradition bound Lords and High Lords, and is a source of a deep, bitter division within the Clan. It is, in fact, one of the few weak links in the Pyramids chain of power.

Breaking the Bonds

Would you be surprised to learn that the leaders of Clan Tremere are terrified of losing their place at the top? Because they absolutely are, though their dedication and devotion to the Clan prevents them from stopping a skilled or ambitious young upstart. The Council, through the Blood Bond they hold over the entire Clan, feel safe in encouraging Neonates on the fast track to rise as fast as the system will allow. To the Council, this is merely a means of the cream rising to the top, with the bonus of keeping the rest of the leadership on their toes, as complacency over a couple centuries at the top is a real danger.

Because of this thought process, some young Tremere have been rewarded for going against their direct superiors and succeeding, as well as stories of Neonates who stopped a Magi plot against the Clan being rewarded with their Regent’s Chantry, keep the spark of hope alive in many a young Tremere.

Outsiders are quick to point out that these stories conveniently leave out that the previous Regent is never seen again, with rumors of Diablerie abounding. Then again, the Elders of Clan Tremere are just as likely to strike someone down for continued deviance or stepping out of the party line.

Gathering Days

Chantries assemble every Tuesday for formal council meetings known as Convocations. These meetings are closed to all but the Tremere of the specific Chantry holding the meeting, and only by special invitation are other Tremere allowed to attend. Topics of discussion at these meetings are great secrets, often never spoken of afterwards to non-Tremere.

All Tremere of a given Chantry are expected to attend, which can put a strain on those who are working undercover infiltrating other Clans or attempting to work on autonomous projects. Missing this meeting is enough to cause Prestige loss, though special arrangements can be made by leaders in extreme circumstances, however repeat offenses are met with immediate censure and loss of Prestige.

These convocations are mystical gatherings where the Regnant chants an incantation that joins them in telepathic communication with their own Regent before joining the greater mystical conversation. Topics of discussion revolve around recent accomplishments and the incremental gains made by the Chantry towards fulfilling prophecies needed to gain control of worldly systems.

On the third day of every third month (these guys and their loving numbers I swear), an open meeting is held that allows members of other Clans to attend. Petitions are heard, disputes resolved, and the Clan make a big song and dance of how very, very unified they are you guys, really, we are. These meetings are often an opportunity for members of the Clan to offer aid to non-Clan members, as they’d prefer it if all Kindred were obliged to them in one way or another.

Once a year at the end of October (probably Halloween because the Tremere are loving nerds) the entire Clan connects in a mystical union, joined together as one mind. This ritual continues for two days and reinforces each member's understanding of their place within the Pyramid and the strength of the whole.

Power Rumors

According to centuries of rumor, the Council is not the true apex of the Pyramid, instead it is a single individual who gives orders to the Council. Some claim it’s Caine (because of course they do) while non-Tremere Kindred claim it’s just the power-mad and utterly insane Tremere himself. A recent crisis at the Vienna Chantry has only thrown more fuel onto the fire of rumor, suggesting that the true leader of the Clan isn’t Kindred at all, but something far more powerful. If this were true, it would cause a catastrophic schism within the clan. Leadership indignantly denies this rumor, but they persist, likely because they have an odd logic to them. If each of the lesser councils has a single individual above them, why wouldn’t the Council of Seven?

Some Kindred speculate that the Tremere trade their followers like baseball cards, believing that the reason for these trades is to build international, interlocking cross Chantry loyalties, as well as to freshen the magical mojo of each Chantry.

Adding to this theory, some claim that this method of trading has created an environment where young Tremere backstab each other, citing the lack of a fixed, geographic power structure as the source of disloyalty. Others disagree, pointing out that backstabbing is just the natural outcome of such a rigidly controlled hierarchy.

This infighting is said to be so bad that the Vienna Chantry has set up a secret hit squad to carry out their own inquisition upon the Clan. According to these rumors, these inquisitors have the absolute power to make or break any Elder and are shuffled into local Chantries through the course of trading followers, then spend their time taking notes of the various rivalries.

The annual Convocation is a source of great speculation amongst the rest of the Camarilla, with some claiming the gathering unleashes powerful magical energy across the world, and that rituals performed during this time gain a major boost. Supposedly, during this time, mortal institutions dedicated to debunking magic have a really bad time of things and even hard scientific principles are said to fray a bit around the edges.

Some Kindred maintain that the Tremere are highly vulnerable, and that their great convocation would be the ideal time to strike against the Warlocks. Others point out if that were the case, someone would have already done it. Some Elders tell tales of inquisitive Kindred who were torn to shreds by the vibrations of the chanting from these gatherings. Of course, that could just be bullshit made up to hide the fact that a global convocation is, in fact, a giant target on the backs of the Warlocks.

Character Ideas

A character from a properly founded Chantry has made it their life’s work to hunt down and destroy all independent Chantries, believing it will strengthen the Clan. Conversely, a character from an independent Chantry who is motivated to not only prove their own worth to the Clan, but also their Chantry.

A character who decides to push the limits of tradition and found their own Chantry, forcing the Council to give them full acceptance.

A character who hates their Regent finds themselves free of their Blood Bond but is still bound by Clan rules and must work within them.

I must admit that I find it incredibly funny that the game keeps dangling these ideas in front of the player like Diablerie or breaking traditions as means of character advancement, but then in the same breath explains how following through with said thing is actually bad and you shouldn’t do it.

Diablerie I can understand, it’s objectively a horrifying element of the world, but as the corebook made clear, it’s also basically the only way for a low gen Kindred to gain power, but don’t do it because it’s bad and you’ll lose Humanity and gently caress up your aura and you’ll be hunted down etc. And then with Status and Prestige it’s all about “Behave yourself…. unless…” and even explicitly saying so in the Tremere bit about how some Tremere have done something ballsy to great reward, but also if you get too ballsy, well then, we gotta kill ya bud, it’s just the way of the world.

I understand that we’re trying to establish that the WoD is a horrible, dangerous place where there are no real heroes in a traditional sense, and everything is shades of gray, etc. but it still feels a little bit like the authors are struggling with what they want their setting to be and the desire to give players as many toys as possible to play with.

I get that the intention is for the players to be a force of change, even if only on the scale of their own block or neighborhood, and that the temptation of power should be enough for them to take the risks of committing Diablerie or doing something crazy to gain Status, but it’s also so heavy handed in the punishments for trying these shenanigans that I just don’t see most players being willing to sacrifice a character that they likely spent a decent chunk of time creating, as the corebook implores players to do, on the chance that their ST is going to actually reward them for their boldness and not just wipe them out because “Welp, the Elders didn’t like that so now you’re dead”.

Obviously, all of this can be resolved by an evenhanded ST who can balance the risk/reward aspects in a fair way so that players aren’t punished for doing what the book tells them they should be trying, but it still feels very tonally uneven.

With all that said, lol at the Tremere. I know I make fun of the Tremere regularly in reviews where they pop up, and to be clear, it’s not because I don’t like them or think they’re a bad part of the setting or anything. I’m just incredibly amused that basically all their problems are of their own making. That and the idea that a bunch of vampires are all bought in on a magical cult that involves fifteen layers of bureaucratic horseshit with further layers of control is just deeply funny to me for some reason. You’re a goddamn wizard vampire and you’re still bowing and scraping to some older vampire because “well, that’s just how it is.”

Also, the Tremere are nerds. You spend your eternity reading books about magic, you’re a nerd.


While not as organized as the nerds in the Tremere, the Ventrue’s rules and traditions regarding social conduct are considerably more formal and stricter. Of course, the clan is free to fight and bicker amongst themselves, so long as they do so within the rules.

As unofficial leaders of Kindred society and the Camarilla (same thing essentially), they exert a great deal of control over both Kindred and Kine and have the most to lose should the whole Masquerade come crashing down around them. Like old world businessmen, the Ventrue are bound by tradition, rules and heritage.

Clan Structure

The clan organizes itself like a large and flexible multinational corporation and are the most integrated into mortal society of any of the Clans. Senior members of the clan often gather in informal meetings with members across thirty different cities. This “Board of Directors” keeps their main directorates in New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Moscow and D.C.

All major cities have a Board, or Ventrue headquarters that is housed in a prestigious office building, country club or gentlemen's club that is run like a business. All members of the Clan are considered members of all Boards and as such can seek Haven in any at any time. The Clan’s love of control has led them to infiltrate politics at both the city and national level. Nothing happens in the halls of political power in a city without a Ventrue’s Ghoul hearing about it.

Gaining Power

Because the Clan values sophistication and gentility, the gaining of money, position and influence in the world is important, but it must be done with grace and style.

“Boorish behavior in the pursuit of power is not acceptable”

When the goddamn Vampires have more morals about how they acquire power than the loving Republican party. What a world.

Like the Tremere, the Elders of the Clan are autocratic, sophisticated and insist on reverence from the younger members of the Clan. Showing the proper patience, devotion and adherence to the rules are surefire ways to gain Prestige within the Clan. However, unlike the Warlocks, the Ventrue value individual initiative and achievements over slavish devotion. A Neonate with the right motivation can make a name for themselves and climb the corporate ladder with bold, imaginative and decisive actions.

Of course, while initiative is smiled upon, competition within the ranks is not, and it is this “Old Boy Network” of business that the Clan adheres to rather than the more modern cutthroat Capitalist methods. While a Neonate can make a name for themselves, they would be wise not to do so at the expense of an Elder.

The Clan prides itself on their courtesy towards fellow Clanmates, even those that they are feuding with. This sense of etiquette and personal pride is what the Clan believes sets them apart from the “Vulgurates”.

Gathering Days

Assembling every first Tuesday of the month in “Directorate Assemblies”, all Ventrue of a city are expected to attend these meetings and are “Fetched” by a retainer of the chairman if they do not make an appearance.

Business is conducted in a formal, though friendly atmosphere as any displays of passion or anger are frowned upon. Favored Ghouls or those that are important to the matters during daylight hours are also typically involved in these meetings.

Directorate Assemblies give the Clan a chance to give updates on recent acquisitions of both wealth and power, as well as the introduction of new members and the formal announcements of Prestige changes. While all Clan members may speak at these assemblies, they are required to place a request on the agenda, which can be turned down, and with special permission members of other Boards may attend a cities assembly. Unlike the Tremere, Kindred of other Clans are occasionally allowed to attend, but only after Clan business has been attended to. Informal meetings are held at concerts or museums, though these informal meetings vary little from the sort of intrigues one would encounter at Elysium.

Power Rumors

Some of the clan believe there is a schism forming in the upper ranks, with one faction firmly holding to the “Old Boy” method of conducting business, while the other believes that the Clan’s resources are being mismanaged and that opening things up (Ie: letting younger Ventrue take a bit of control) will allow for more diversity in skills and abilities that will benefit the whole Clan.

Character Ideas

A character who has identified a high-tech business that the elder Ventrue have been slow to understand and exploit, offering the character an inroad to gain Prestige and power.

A character notices an Elder is mismanaging vital Clan resources and risks a takeover. If they succeed, they’d still have to prove that their actions were in the best interest of the Clan.


Socializing is an artform for the Toreador, and they take every opportunity to get together and jockey for greater standing within the Clan. Because social standing is more mercurial than other Clans, upstarts can soar to great heights of Prestige, and fall just as quickly.

The Elders of the Clan are nearly as prone to runaway passions as any other member of the Clan, including Anarch members, and have been known to make rash changes simply for the Prestige boost. Like the flamboyant and loud art types of the contemporary art world, the Clan is caught up in the shifting and changing landscape of passions and crazes where there are no absolutes and rules have the permanence of yesterday’s trends.

Clan Structure

A loose knit and casual organization, the Toreador do not have the same formal meetings or ambitious plans that characterize the Tremere and Ventrue, instead when the Clan meets to discuss the growth of their movement, they’re more likely to discuss the merits of a new movement in art than they are to discuss such trivialities as feeding grounds, local power or community threats.

Despite this informality, the Clan’s internal politics and social dynamics are as treacherous, if not more so than the other Clans, especially when you consider that the Clan is competing strictly for Prestige alone, as Prestige is not simply a means to an end, but an end in and of itself.

Groups are flexible and casual, with young Toreador not being required to stick with any specific local groups. Their national and international chapters function like conventions, with some of the larger and most prestigious art conferences being nothing more than disguises for Clan gatherings. City-wide Toreador groups are referred to as Guilds.

Artiste and Poseur

The search for beauty is paramount in the minds of the Clan, and those who discover new works of great aesthetic value or create them themselves are afforded great Prestige. This of course leads to the fundamental division underlying Toreador society. One the one side are the Artistes (pronounced Ar-TEEST) and the other, the Poseurs (pronounced pose-ER), derogatory labels used by each side to insult the other, though no member of the Clan would willingly call themselves either of these terms, instead simply addressing themselves as Toreadors.

Artistes are constantly engaged with the creation of new works of art, and often get intimately involved in the lives of the artist they patronize. The Poseurs by contrast pretend to be artists but create little. Usually chosen strictly for their physical beauty rather than their talents, poseurs are generally embraced by Toreadors who have become smitten with their beauty, allowing it to cloud their better judgements, while some were embraced by other poseurs to try and validate themselves.

Some poseurs of course reject the label entirely, insisting that they are legitimate artists, all while pointing to their own inferior works as examples of their brilliance, while others insist their bodies are works of artistic perfection, while still others claim that their lifestyles are their artistic achievement. Some simply make up for their lack of talent by becoming patrons.

The artistes reject the label as well, preferring to be called Artists or nothing at all. Regardless of the protestations of both sides, the nicknames have stuck, much to the amusement of the rest of the Camarilla.

Gaining Power

Prestige is given in different ways by the Artistes and Poseurs, with the Artistes gaining their Prestige through creation of works of exceptional beauty, patronizing new art and throwing great parties. Poseurs by contrast are limited to gaining Prestige only through parties and patronage, which has restricted them from gaining Prestige as quickly as their Artiste brethren, and effectively confining them to the lower stations of Toreador society. While this remains a bitterly resented element of Clan politics, the poseurs fundamental misunderstanding of the relevance and meaning of art does them no favors.

To deal with this obvious handicap, some daring poseurs have taken up performance art, indulging in baffling displays of incomprehensible activity, generally designed to show off or disfigure their own great beauty. While this certainly worked to gain Prestige for the innovators of this idea, its effectiveness has been limited, and the Clan cannot agree whether it is a true form of art or simply a passing fad. Others turned their attention to a much slower, but seemingly more effective form of gathering Prestige through throwing lavish parties at great personal expense and making themselves crucial elements of their local social scenes. Through the careful toasting of some Toreador and criticizing others, these poseurs have forged a path of their own as kingmakers, snatching the power of bestowing Prestige from their Elders.

Gathering Days

Show of hands for who is surprised that the Toreador love to get together? Because boy howdy do they love to gather.

Usually, their meetings are run like parties or masquerades, with each Guild having a large meeting once a month on the night of the full moon that they call a Ball. By tradition, Toreadors from other Guilds may attend at any time and are usually specifically invited, while non-Clan Kindred are only allowed in by invitation.

On Halloween each year, the Clan holds their Grand Ball where several Guilds assemble for a highly political meeting, though the topics of discussion are generally of no interest to those outside of the Clan. Impromptu meetings of Guilds can be called at any time by any member of the Clan, and are known as Affairs of the Clan, and while attendance is voluntary, everyone attends regardless.

Once every 23 years, the clan holds their largest party known as Carnivale, where they rent a large plot of land and hold a grand masquerade, with many of the great mortal artists of the day invited. Inhibitions and animal nature are unleashed. In the culmination of the event, one of the mortal artists is crowned as the Greatest Artist of the Generation, and then embraced. Of course, like everything to do with the Toreador, this choice is full of intense politicking and intrigues, and frequently the chosen mortal is not one widely known in mortal society, but who is patronized by a powerful Toreador.

Power Rumors

Some say that despite how unstructured the Clan may appear, in truth it is even more tightly controlled than either the Tremere or Ventrue, suggesting that there is an “Art Mafia” made up of Clan Elders who control the art trends of both mortal and Kindred society, as well as controlling the artists who get promoted. Some claim these secret movers are actually Tremere manipulators.

Poseurs might be conspiring to corrupt the Prestige process by secretly agreeing on what the “next big trend” is and putting the full weight of their group behind the decision. Other poseurs however claim to know of a plot to destroy them, claiming the artistes Elders intend to present a petition to the Camarilla that the poseurs were chosen not through conscious choice, but through the overly sensitive whims of Clanmates driven mad with desire, and thus are unworthy of the gift of immortality and should wiped out.

Character Ideas

A Poseur who resents their own lack of talent and constantly concocts schemes to pass off their outlandish ideas as heartfelt artistic endeavors.

An anguished artist who seems to only be able to create art in periods of profound suffering. In their quest for Prestige, they become more and more reckless in their search for dangerous situations.


Ironically, the most outwardly anti-social of the clans has the strongest sense of community of any of the Clans, as the ostracization from both mortal and Kindred society has driven them, like so many other misfits, into the arms of their own kind.

Clan Structure

The Clan has a very loose worldwide organization, with regional groups known as Broods meeting on a regular basis. Generally, the Clan does not have massive global meetings like the other Clans, instead opting to send emissaries from local Broods to foreign Brood meetings.

Gaining Power

Far less Prestige conscious as the other Kindred, the Nosferatu do not seek Prestige for its own sake, instead seeing it as an honor to those among them who have contributed to the Clan and to celebrate those who have proven to be valuable assets in the groups ongoing survival. Because of this, their approach to Prestige is unique among the Clans, potentially coming from their repudiation of all egotism and vanity. The younger of the Clan do not engage in the cutthroat competition of favor from the Elders, while the Elders avoid actively seeking domination or control of Neonates. Once a Neonate has survived their Embrace and transformation, they are worthy of respect.

Free of the petty competitions of the other Clans, the Nosferatu have considerably more time and energy to devote to their real business, which is gathering information. The Clan’s knowledge network is unmatched in the Camarilla, and high Prestige is given to those who consistently provide fresh and accurate new information that will increase feeding grounds, assist in bargaining with other clans and contribute to the overall health and well-being of all Nosferatu. Most Prestige, however, is gained through age, as the older the Kindred, the more they understand the workings of the world, and thus are more valuable.

Gathering Days

While the Clan does not have regular meetings, they regularly keep in contact and can quickly organize a council known as a Hosting with relative ease. The Nosferatu who calls a Hosting is responsible for providing the meeting place, and the Clan hosts its fellows with great respect and gentility. While other Clans have interpreted this as nothing more than feigned politeness, this is not the case. The Nosferatu firmly believe in hospitality and consideration, even if only because the only time they receive such treatment is from Clanmates.

A Nosferatu may show up to a Broods Hosting with little or no warning or advanced permission, and it is this unheard-of level of trust that is the core of the Clans’ strength.

Power Rumors

Some claim that there is a Tremere plot to infiltrate the Clan, to learn their secrets and manipulate their actions. Of course, there is no love lost between the two Clans, as the Nosferatu know entirely too much about the Tremere for the Warlocks to be comfortable with the magic wielding fuckers, and the Tremere hate how much the Nos know about them.

Strangely, it seems there are no rumors within the Clan about suspicious or unseemly behavior from the Elders of the Clan, and in fact there seems to be a great deal of respect and admiration for the Clan’s Elders.

Character Ideas

A Nos who dislikes cooperating with the Clan, whose ambitions involve gaining Prestige through competition with other Clanmates, seeing their lack of competition as laziness.

A Nos who wishes to create regular meetings of the Clan, convening a Hosting each waning moon. If called they will come, but there is a chance that the rest of the Clan will not be amused or pleased with the ingenuity.

A Nos who wants to elevate the Prestige of the entire Clan within the eyes of the Camarilla, making it known they are willing to undertake rigorous missions for any Clan. Instead of seeking payment or personal glory, they insist that the Clan receive the praise. Some among the Clan are irritated by this, feeling that the opinions of the other Clans are irrelevant.


The Brujah, rebellious and anti-authoritarians that they are, pride themselves on their free-wheeling, anti-social demeanor and rejection of the Camarilla’s rigid structures. However, the Clan’s society breaks down into three distinct schools of thought, while the individual members tend to float freely between them during their unlives.

The first group are the Iconoclasts, the wild, irresponsible and rebellious punks who lash out at everyone and everything they believe helps to prop up “The System”. Violent, aggressive, and generally on the younger end of the spectrum, their social interactions are like those of mortal street punks, heavy on bragging, posturing, fighting and insult contests. These Brujah don’t make plans, generally can’t agree on anything and are incapable of focusing their efforts in a way that would accomplish anything. To them, their Clan mission is anarchy made manifest via violent outbursts and wild acts of destruction. They are the majority of the Clan.

The second group, the Idealists, are less disorganized, consisting of older Kindred who are more contemplative and goal oriented. While they believe in revolution as much as the Iconoclasts, they prefer to achieve it through discipline and planning, often speaking of “The Lessons of Carthage” and bitterly blaming the other Clans for the destruction of their dream of a perfect society.

Valuing cooperation and attempting to create a hierarchy of sorts within the Clan, they indoctrinate new members into Clan rites and rituals while zealously enforcing the Clans few traditions. While their calls for order are generally ignored, they do wield some power within the Clan, giving it some form of social structure, as minimal as that may be, while adamantly denying that they want to impose a system of governance over the Clan as a whole. They carry out their Clan’s mandate of anarchy though formulation of plans to overthrow both Kindred and mortal systems and trying to get the more rank and file members of the Clan to carry out their ideas. Idealists are the second largest subgroup within the Clan.

The remaining subgroup of the Clan are the Individualists, falling somewhere in the middle of the other two groups in terms of temperament and age. Like the younger Iconoclasts, they are adventurous and often explosive, but also prone to plan and work together like the Idealists. However, unlike the other two groups, the Individualists do not lash out indiscriminately, nor do they attempt to get other members of the Clan to carry out their orders, instead taking the time to plan and carry out their own schemes. Or if they choose to announce their plan, they simply invite others without dictating a policy. They believe that anarchy requires the individual to take responsibility for their own actions and reject mindless conduct (like the violence of the Iconoclasts) and meaningless rules (favorite of the Idealists). While comparatively low in numbers compared to the other two groups, it is the Idealists who have proven most effective in advancing the Clan’s goals through acts of rebellious, often anarchic brilliance.

Simply put, the difference between the groups is that Iconoclasts try to be responsible for nothing, Idealists try to be responsible for a personal goal, and the Individualists try to be responsible for only themselves. It’s not uncommon for a Brujah to be embraced and begin their unlives as Iconoclasts, grow into an Individualist and with age evolve into an Idealist Elder.

Clan Structure

Brujah social life revolves around the hard edged, rebellious, often violent corners of mortal society. When they assemble, it’s usually in a seedy punk bar or amidst industrial squalor, while Idealists prefer university areas and think tanks.

Despite the best efforts of the Idealists, “Leadership Structure” is essentially nonexistent, as the Clan is loosely organized with no national or international gatherings. All attempts at forming international, national or even statewide councils have, to date, been shouted down by the fledglings of the Clan.

Despite their lack of formal meetings, the Clan still manages to disseminate information, argue Clan policy (such as it is), issue threats and warnings and discipline members, all while regularly accomplishing goals that other clans would require regularly scheduled meetings to achieve.

As it happens, the Clan figured out that most will turn out for major concerts, parties or counter-culture happenings. Brujah Packs generally hang around the events or the immediate area of the event for a while after it has concluded, and if they don’t break out into violence, they instead turn to arguing about the issues of the day. These intense, spontaneous late-night debates have evolved into informal meetings known as Rants. Any member of the Clan may attend and bring up any issue, and Rants are often long and heated events, as some refuse to pay attention to others, while others simply refuse to take responsibility for keeping things moving with a sense of purpose. Some even go so far as to try and disrupt the Rants, claiming they are too controlled.

Because of the informal nature of these gatherings, Kindred of any Clan are welcome, with Anarchs being frequent attendants, and Tremere showing up to take notes on the goings on. Of course, the Brujah have a great distaste for these “spies” and take great delight in harassing them throughout the Rants. Occasionally spirited mortals find their way into Rants, attracted by the noise and violence, though most are driven away in short order.

Gaining Power

Because there are three kinds of Brujah, there are three ways to acquire Prestige, and if you’re thinking that the idea of Prestige seems like a contradictory idea for a group of rebellious malcontents to latch onto, well you’re right, but no one ever accused the Brujah of being the brightest Kindred to walk Gaia’s green earth.

Prestige is given to those who act with reckless abandon and daring, with the more anti-authoritarian the action, the more Prestige given. Defacing a priceless ancient work of art in Elysium is worth a little Prestige, while some would argue the merits of this act, as it contributes nothing to the advancement of anarchy.

Telling a Prince off is a better option, especially if you can get away with it. Foiling a Tremere plot or knocking out the phone system are actions worthy of much greater Prestige. Essentially, the more an act advances the overthrow of either Kindred or mortal systems of rule, the more Prestige given.

Of course, the paradox of Elders giving Prestige to the young is writ large when so often the Clan rewards those who bring those in power down a notch or two, and who better to bring low than a Clan Elder? Of course, this has kept the Clan fractured and weakened for centuries, but that’s the way they like it, so what better way to ensure they are never used to support the establishment than being incapable of organizing effectively?

The younger members of the Clan rail against the Elders for selling out by becoming stuffy and structured like the Ventrue, while the Elders claim that these drat kids don’t know anything and that they’re not half the hellraisers the Elders were when they were the neonates ages. For Iconoclasts, winning fights or triumphing over a rival pack are roads to Prestige, as are insulting rivals and toppling valued members of the Clan. Of course, once the Iconoclasts gain Prestige, they try to shed it, while Idealists are more comfortable with it.

Individualists judge their Clanmates based on their value and contributions to the Clan and cause, though generally treating all Kindred with some degree of respect, regardless of Prestige. Oddly, great Prestige is often given to the individual or pack who helps the Clan in times of need, as most in the Clan understand the need to support their Clanmates when the situation demands, and their pride in their Clan always drives them to protect their blood against outsiders.

Gathering Days

Like the Nosferatu, the Brujah have no set gathering days, instead small Rants occur on a regular basis, usually after concerts for underground bands, and the better the band, the better the Rant turnout will be. Major Rants tend to occur in cities following Grateful Dead appearances and is typically the only time Packs from all over an area (and often other cities entirely) will gather.

I’m sorry, I must break in for a moment to say The Grateful loving Dead are what brings the big Rants together? The hippie jam band is what gets the anarchistic, gently caress the world clan, to come together? I think you’re loving with me White Wolf authors.

While the Clan prides itself on its lack of official gathering days, Elders plan their activities around Rants they believe will be well attended and use these larger gatherings as opportunities to attempt to dominate the Clan.

Power Rumors

The Idealists are using Rants to push their own agenda, and the only thing a proper young Brujah can do is disrupt a Rant where any business is being conducted.

Rants are a great place to settle Clan business, but Malkavians disguising themselves as Brujah keep disrupting things. Obviously, these are spies for the Ventrue and Tremere who wish to wipe the Brujah out.

Some in the Clan proudly speak of a secret Individualist plot to overthrow the government by ghouling important public officials, ordering them to blatantly magnify existing corruption to the point that it can no longer be ignored. The Clan eagerly awaits the day when the public finally gets sick of this and overthrows the system.

I got some real bad news for whoever this Brujah is who thinks this will work because I got four years of recent American history that proves this theory loving wrong lol.

Character ideas

A Brujah who wants to build their personal Prestige by challenging members of all the other Clans to insult contests, and those that refuse to take part are followed around being harassed and disparaged until they give in.

A young Iconoclast who wants to join the Idealists by helping institute their plans throughout the rest of the Clan.

An Individualist who wants to contribute to anarchy, without resorting to meaningless violence and without telling others what to do.

Tomorrow: Even more about the Clans!

Jul 15, 2017

In mild defense of the book, a Tremere not connected to the Pyramid (or even the smaller Sabbat angry at your parents version which is arguably even more necessary since great chunks of the sect hate you for existing even if you do magic good) is always portrayed as pretty rare. That said the very binary pronouncements of the book are funny in hindsight and it's good they were broken.

Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.

Dawgstar posted:

In mild defense of the book, a Tremere not connected to the Pyramid (or even the smaller Sabbat angry at your parents version which is arguably even more necessary since great chunks of the sect hate you for existing even if you do magic good) is always portrayed as pretty rare. That said the very binary pronouncements of the book are funny in hindsight and it's good they were broken.

Anarch Tremere were one of the bloodlines in Anarch Revised.

Oct 10, 2005


MonsieurChoc posted:

Anarch Tremere were one of the bloodlines in Anarch Revised.
I liked that one, because it still gave Tremere the (a?) Clan weakness even without their lasseiz-faire Anarch sire doing the ritual. Can’t sidestep the curse that easily, blood wizards!

(Or maybe the whole ritual rigamarole was to pretend it wasn’t an inborn curse, who even knows with the Tremere.)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Infinity RPG: TAGs

HaqqIslam is small but is armed with some of the most advanced power armors in the Human Sphere, in part because of their obscene Silk-derived wealth and in part because they have been able to secure good deals for Teseum by being one of the few solid allies Ariadna has had. Combine that with extensive investment in education and research and you get extremely good designers...with significantly less industrial base than either PanO or Yu Jing. To make up for their lesser production capacity, HaqqIslam has focused on quality over all else, using money and social support to attract the very best in almost all fields of science. While this is most famously true in medicine and terraforming, the Haqq are innovators in pretty much every field, including high-end power armor incorporating advancements from medical exoskeletons and similar.

Haqq designs tend to be lightweight and big on medically supporting the person wearing them. Their life support systems and automed systems are top of the line, as are their air and moisture filtration, allowing peak operation in all terrains and environments with high efficiency. They are able to maintain comfortable conditions for the user regardless of the weather conditions and have advanced radiation shielding. The mix of being compact, fast and really, really good at keeping you alive regardless of environmental or radiation hazards has made them especially popular for space usage, though they're no slouches planetside.

Legally speaking, the technologies developed by Bourak's university researchers in the fields of medical exoskeletons, prosthetics and so on are proprietary to the groups that invented them, but there's a number of financial incentives to encourage making these technologies available to specific military contractors for redevelopment. This has led to a very wide range of available technologies for Haqq weapons researchers to work with and have avoided legal entanglements about IP and patents that might make such wide-ranging cooperation harder elsewhere. Only a few Hachib-sanctioned contractors are permitted to develop weapons for HaqqIslam, most of which are financially tied to the Funduq Sultanate and its armed forces.

One of the key targets for Haqq power armor deployment is the Najjarun Engineer corps. They are saboteurs, scouts, trench warfare specialists and mechanical engineers that keep the weapons and machines of the Sword of Allah functional. This makes them especially vital to any unit that deploys power armor, and to keep them alive, the Najjarun Engineer Armor was developed. A good Engineer is able to quickly refuel and refit a suit of armor, keeping it operating at peak efficiency longer and hardening it against quantronic assault, often tweaking the synthetic muscles to optimize them for whatever environment they are being deployed into. Najjarun Armor supports them in this. It is extremely light armor, not actually powered armor by most standards, but integrates a wide array of tools and devices to aid the engineers in their work. These tools give Expert 1 on Tech rolls plus bonus Momentum, and also integrate a comms system to keep the engineer in touch with their unit.

Siyah Light Power Armor is the the premier product of Istehkarm Heavy Industries, widely regarded as the best available power armor design in its weight class. It is most commonly seen worn by the Asawira Regiment, and boasts the most advanced life support system of any power armor on the market, with absolutely absurd biotech shielding and environmental protections, plus a highly advanced targeting system. The Siyah design relies heavily on miniaturisation to fit all of its advances into a very small package, and while it lacks the sheer defensive capability that heavier armors can provide, it is by far the best light armor around, and enemy operatives will often go out of their way to try and capture dead Asawira soldiers so they can reverse engineer the armor tech. The Siyah is meant for fast-moving special ops teams, and the success of the design in that capacity is seen as nothing short of miraculous.

Independent hypercorps are and have been involved in power armor design from the start, albeit usually in the role of component or accessory design rather than the whole military project. LiquidShield's smart gels and synthetic muscle technology are two examples of corporate developments that have proliferated across the entire industry. The real question is how heavily influenced by national governments these corporations are. In PanOceania and HaqqIslam, the companies tend to be legally private entities subsidised by the government or offered tax incentives to keep them loyal. In Ariadna, the corporations often have closer ties to the government and generally higher expectation of exclusive partnership with them, and the same is true in Yu Jing. Regardless of how the ties are kept, though, corporations are expected to maintain confidentiality with their national clients and not to resell any technology that the military has not approved for resale. Most keep to this bargain - they're much more likely to lose money by giving up military contracts than gain it by breaking secrecy, after all. Even the corporations that work with multiple governments tend to keep the teams that do so isolated from each other so that they can't be accused of even the appearance of stealing state secrets.

Of course, corporate espionage is commonplace, especially in military technology work. Mix in shell companies and financial maneuvering and sometimes a corporation will engage in espionage against itself to make it murkier when they actually do transfer technological knowledge between divisions and aren't supposed to. It's all a complicated mess of scheming. Corporations also make good use of power armor themselves, though they'd prefer most people not notice. When you're already helping develop cutting edge weapons and armor, why not use it to equip your security teams - at least the ones that defend your black sites that you maintain for research that sidesteps the laws of modern nations? The risk of attack by outside agents looking to steal secrets is very real, and while many corporations rely on their military allies to protect them, many also now look to develop their own security apparatus to defend key locations. O-12 has gone to some effort to restrict the buildup of militarized corporate security, but mostly that's forced hypercorps to conceal their activities, not stop them.

O-12's recent support of the so-called Non-Aligned Armies has had the additional side effect of allowing many corporations to quickly develop and expand their private militaries under the guise of sponsoring mercenary groups, and it has emboldened many hypercorps in pushing the law as far as they can. While different nations maintain their own restrictions on what non-governmental armed groups can do and use, the question is now whether O-12's regulations override national regulations, and many corporations have taken the position that they do. Because O-12 has given mercenary armies more legitimacy, corporate security groups essentially are arming up and daring their home nations to stop them, leading to corporate forces achieving size and power greater than even during Ariadna's Commercial Conflicts.

Most corporations do not field their own unique lines of power armor, however. It simply isn't worthwhile to invent a line of power armor that you don't sell. Therefore, they generally don't make unique styles of armor even for their own internal usage. Rather, they will typically make use of clauses in their military contracts that permit them to produce and field in-house versions of the machines they make for their military clients. Typically a corporation will only maintain a small number of in-house armors for their security forces, and while they are generally modified to look different than the versions they sell, they are functionally identical. Typically, the contracts also forbid sale of a line of armor anywhere outside the nation that commissioned it, and typically a corporation will follow the letter of the law here while understanding that there's always a black market for power armor. Most of the time, this black market is supplied by corporations engaged in off-the-book sales of batch errors, products with minor faults or other such things. Hypercorp leadership tends to rationalize this by viewing it as an inevitability that product will reach the black market, so they may as well be the ones making the money off it. This is of course illegal and breach of contract, but the hypercorps conceal it behind layers of shell companies and misfilings and typically do it in small enough batches that it's more trouble than it's worth to actually have law enforcement prevent most of it.

Power armor's expensive and requires maintenance and regular refits, which the black market generally isn't great at providing. To ensure that black market sales do not lose significant value (and thus revenue), most corporations use an adaptive process that is usually referred to as Loganto Propra. Essentially, an LAI is installed into the power armor with hooks for the user's geist to tap in, allowing to tweak the suit's performance in real time. This places the armor outside the normal life cycle of corporate patches and upgrades, which is a loss of revenue in theory, but it also greatly increases the sales price of black market armor by ensuring it cannot be tied back to anyone and can largely operate independently. This immediate gain is generally considered to outweigh the loss of the paid upgrade plan's income.

Essentially, an armor integrating Loganto Propra systems responds to biometric feedback in real time thanks to the user's geist. It alters itself to best suit the user, with targeting systems learning to compensate for user quirks and reaction times and comfort increasing as the suit's reactive smartlinings fit themselves to the user's body. In military usage, these are generally left to engineers to refit between battles because a suit may go between multiple users and this kind of personalization is not useful, especially if users significantly differ in physical capabilities. Installing Loganto Propra systems are easy - a basic Tech roll that anyone can do. Uninstallation is much harder, as you aren't supposed to do that at all, and it requires a difficult Hacking roll. Loganto Propra mods reduce the Maintenance costs of the armor they're in by 1. While it's marketed as a specialized military solution, it's not enough of a drop in maintenance costs to actually be worthwhile for government budgets, and in reality is largely marketed towards mercenaries, pirates and other small operators.

Next time: The Riot Grrls

May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!

joylessdivision posted:

Artillery – You can operate and fire artillery of all kinds, anything from a mortar to a Howitzer. This includes the knowledge to repair them as well.

*****Master: Can fire the thing by yourself if need be.

Brb, making a vampire with Celerity who can operate an artillery piece on their own with no issues.

How that helps me in an urban horror setting is up to STs discretion :v:

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007


The question is: how do you make the angry werewolf stand in place while you go through all the many stages of firing. Celerity can't make the drat cannon work any faster.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Interpretive dance.

Jun 15, 2013

JcDent posted:

Brb, making a vampire with Celerity who can operate an artillery piece on their own with no issues.

How that helps me in an urban horror setting is up to STs discretion :v:

Do you have a better idea for how to battle a flesh cathedral?

By popular demand posted:

The question is: how do you make the angry werewolf stand in place while you go through all the many stages of firing. Celerity can't make the drat cannon work any faster.

Mors Rattus posted:

Interpretive dance.


By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007


For a moment I was thinking up a WoD mage specializing in dance but then I realized that once a mage is around the whole idea of artillery just never happened to begin with and maybe gunpowder isn't a thing.

Everything Counts
Oct 10, 2012

Don't "shhh!" me, you rich bastard!

JcDent posted:

Brb, making a vampire with Celerity who can operate an artillery piece on their own with no issues.

How that helps me in an urban horror setting is up to STs discretion :v:

You are the urban horror.

Mar 15, 2019


Occasionally spirited mortals find their way into Rants, attracted by the noise and violence, though most are driven away in short order.
Amused at the thought a few stubborn regular humans not only get to be around one of these gatherings, but might even participate.
(Probably not for long, as they either likely get munched/ghouled/brought into the Brujah/etc, but still.)
e: "Yeah they aren't Brujah, but they're Brujah."

Arcanuse fucked around with this message at 06:06 on May 30, 2023

Jul 15, 2017

MonsieurChoc posted:

Anarch Tremere were one of the bloodlines in Anarch Revised.

Yes, a rare bloodline. Words like 'desperate, wretched few' are thrown about.

Aug 6, 2009

MatteusTheCorrupt posted:

Unless I misread it completely, Breach boosts damage every time the target takes damage, so If enough allies hit the target, it might be better than a regular attack. It looks like it even boosts damage from enemies hurting themselves.

This is my reading as well, given the specific wording.

Jun 15, 2013

:spooky: Joylessdivisions World of Dorkness presents :spooky:
:drac: The Players Guide to Vampire: The Masquerade :drac:
Part 7


Loners and rugged individualists, the Gangrel prefer assembling, especially with each other, rarely, which means Prestige is of exceedingly little concern, though they still look to Elders for guidance in times of crisis and are concerned with keeping the Neonates in line. The intrigue and politics of the other Clans horrify them and do all they can to avoid bringing such anarchy upon themselves. As such, the Gangrel have only a few minor social conventions, all of which revolve around maintaining “Clan Honor”. Like rural farmers, the Gangrel are suspicious of outsiders and acknowledge social niceties only when necessary.

Clan Structure

As nomadic loaners, the Clan lacks organization, with the largest social groups formed being loosely confederated tribes, preferring wide open spaces and isolation. Of course, with the Garou holding much of the wild areas, they have been confined to the crowded, polluted city streets. A contradictory lot, on one side they seem to be mellow forest dwellers, unconcerned with each other or the political maneuvering required to gain Prestige. On the other, they are fearsome, combative monsters, challenging and attacking one another to establish dominance.

Gaining Power

As they seldom meet with each other, the Gangrel have few opportunities to attempt to jockey for position over another for Prestige, and in fact, they tend to have great respect for those among them who survive their harsh lifestyle. When two Clanmates meet, they share all they have witnessed and tell tales of what they’ve heard, which spreads Clan lore and history as well as making heroes of some. Because of this some Gangrel can rise in Prestige effortlessly simply by being spoken of. This uncomplicated method keeps the whole Clan informed without the need for large gatherings.

Occasionally the Gangrel do clash with each other, typically when they are unable to come to any kind of agreement, instead choosing to settle their disputes with savage combat where the two Gangrel tear into each other until one yields. Winners gain Prestige while losers, of course, lose Prestige. Losers can rechallenge the winners at any time.

Mock combats also occur, known as Ordeals. These Ordeals are meant to be tests of growth and are another way the Clan confers Prestige. Regardless of the outcome of an Ordeal, simply being selected to participate is a great honor.

Gathering Days

The Gangrel don’t do Clan meetings, instead gathering twice a year for the spring and autumn equinoxes. These are generally informal gatherings, unless a direct threat is faced by the Clan, no business is conducted, and the gathering is handled as strictly a celebratory event. On Beltane (May 8th), they visit or host fellow Clanmates, giving them a chance to show off their progeny, catch up on recent events and engage in a bit of recreational combat.

Power Rumors

Some within the Clan claim that the Elders meet regularly in secret and are attempting to get the rest of the Clan to cohere and have regular meetings. Most believe this would compromise the individuality and independent nature of the Clan, while others say it would bring greater strength.

Character Ideas

A Gangrel with a lust for Prestige who seeks out their Clanmates to challenge anyone they find

A Gangrel who spreads false stories of their own glory to spread their fame.

A Gangrel who seeks to escape all other Kindred but is unable to reside in the wilds due to the Garou, even if they can make friends, trapping them within the city.


Malkavians reject the world and its social forms and norms. When the Clan does meet, it is usually in a parody of mortal religious holidays or Kindred meeting times. Because of their bizarre nature, it is impossible to describe a consistent Clan structure, though they do recognize each other as “Family”, it is unclear how many hold any allegiance to the Clan itself. It's possible the sociability they display amongst themselves could be a product of shared delusion instead of any potential true feelings. With Malkavians, the truth is never easy to decipher.

Clan Structure

The Malkavaians have no real Clan structure, as many won’t even admit to being part of a Clan, instead insisting that they are Caitiff or that there are no such things as Clans at all. Unlike most Clans, the Malkavaians do not subjugate the young nor do they rally when their clanmates are in trouble. They are a collective of individuals with seemingly more in common than any of the other Clans or the Caitiff, and for this reason, as well as their occasional gatherings, they are considered a Clan.

Gaining Power

The Malkavian Prestige system does not follow a logical or even an observable pattern. The Lunatics have been known to accept the word of a Clanmate without question one day, humiliate, mock and abuse them the next and then outright ignore them the following. This could of course be how the Clan confers Prestige, as they treat everyone in inconsistent ways, but perhaps this is not the case. Stories swirl of a Malkavian declaring themselves leader, being followed unquestionably by other Malkavians, only for the same declared leader to be powerless in days, weeks or even hours. Basically, the Lunatics rise and fall on the ladder of Prestige with no clear rhyme or reason.

While the Clan has adopted some of the Prestige traditions of other Clans, they are always nothing more than mockeries. The only thing that can be said of the Clan with certainty is that do not take themselves seriously, and while some point to this as evidence that they act without guidance, the more frightening thought is that the Clan does act with a form of guidance that no one else can see or understand.

Gathering Days

Malkavian meetings are open to all, mortal and Kindred, who happen to be around when the meeting occurs. Planning to attend a meeting proves difficult however, as the Clan have inconsistent, and shifting meeting days that are decided by a tradition very few understand. Sometimes they meet on mortal holy days or days of importance to mortals such as the Fourth of July, sometimes they meet when other Clans meet, and still other times they simply do not meet for months on end. Some believe that the common madness that binds the Clan is enough to share the insight into the time and location of meetings.

Of course, this scattershot approach to things has proven to be extremely effective in keeping the other Clans in the dark as to what the Malkavians are doing, with even the Tremere being unable to infiltrate one of their meetings. The Clan occasionally gathers for a few minutes just to see the other Clans scramble to attempt to observe them.

Occasionally the clan will hold elaborate councils in destroyed churches or abandoned buildings. They mimic the behavior of other Clan councils so accurately that both the Venture and Tremere fear a leak. None know how the Lunatics gained so much information about the inner workings of these other clans, but they are not happy about their secrets being revealed.

When giving their meetings a name, the Clan generally uses one that parodies another clan, such as when they mimic the Tremere, calling the gathering the “Circle of Seven Miseries” and for the purpose of the meeting organize a worldwide “Phyramid of Power” (pronounced Fear-a-mid).

Power Rumors

Some within the Clan believe that they are not a Clan at all, but that all Kindred are actually Malkavian, and that only those embraced Malkavian were fortunate enough to escape being embraced into a “deluded” Clan.

Some non-Malkavian Kindred insist that the Clan does hold meetings, that are kept entirely secret. The parody meetings, they reason, are all part of an elaborate prank.

Others claim that the Clan was once as power mad and intrigue filled as the Tremere, though something happened that caused them to follow their current path.

Character Ideas

A Malkavian working to infiltrate another Clan to learn their secrets, so they can better perform an exact parody at the next Clan gathering.

A Malkavian who has decided they must have Prestige that will endure and insist on being always treated with the highest respect.


As the Caitiff lack a formal Clan structure, they also lack any kind of social structure, and thus have no Prestige. While small groups of Caitiff occasionally gather to negotiate over territory or resolve disputes, these meetings generally fall apart due to their innate distrust of other Kindred. There are a rare few, however, who have attained a near mythic legacy amongst the Clanless. Those that have performed a great service to a Prince, or saved other Caitiff from Hunters or even yielding territory to newcomers are potential avenues members of the Clanless can gain some Prestige. These unique individuals sometimes are looked at as leaders, though they are the exception as the majority of Caitiff are more comfortable remaining loners.

Character Ideas

A Caitiff who has made it their mission in unlife to formally organize the Clanless into a proper Clan.

A Caitiff who makes themselves useful to another Clan to the point that they are forced to be accepted as part of the Clan.

A character who has become so disgusted by their Clan that they willingly abandon it and claim themself Caitiff.

Gatherings of the Anarchs

While they may be a collection of disparate clans, the Anarchs often have more in common with each other than they do with their parent Clans. The sect often works together to stop local threats, investigate mysteries or gripe about Elders. Prestige within the group is gained through wild exploits, daring deeds and the stories and lies they tell about themselves and others. The Brujah occasionally take up positions of leadership within the Anarchs, encouraging others to disrupt Clan meetings and subvert the Clans from within.

Gatherings of the Camarilla

When there is a need, usually a great threat such as a rogue Methuselah on the horizon, the Ventrue will rally their Clan as well as the rest of the Clans together for a Conclave. Accomplishing anything at these conclaves is of course difficult to say the least. The Tremere are always in attendance, but unwilling to give away too much information, or commit to anything. The Toreador love a good Conclave, any excuse to be seen, while the Nosferatu listens but rarely makes themselves the focus. The Brujah are as obnoxious and disruptive as one would expect of a group of rabble brought to the fancy party, while the Gangrel are easily bored and eager to simply get to the point. If the Malkavains show up, the only thing that can be said for certain is that they will be unpredictable.

If anything is accomplished at a Conclave, then the Kindred who convened it is held in high regard by their own Clan as well as some outside of their Clan.

Boons and Favors

The Rite of Prestation

Status over individual Kindred is gained through the elaborate dance of Boons and Favors, otherwise known as Prestation. Based on the simple premise that a Kindred who receives an important gift or favor is beholden to the bestower of the gift or favor, and is honor bound to reciprocate. Of course, this means that the greater the gift, the greater the debt then owed, and until this debt is repaid, the bestower holds some amount of power over the bestowed, as they must answer the call for repayment whenever asked.

This of course seems straightforward, but these are vampires we’re talking about, and nothing is as simple as it seems with them. By accepting a boon, the recipient automatically loses some status, while even asking for a favor can cause a slight status loss. The Kindred who gives the boon gains status through granting the boon, and the status gained is equal to the magnitude of the favor bestowed.

So, helping a Neonate learn how to survive is would grant less status than saving a Prince from Final Death or embarrassment. Only once the debt has been repaid does the balance of status between two Kindred return.

Because of this, many are unwilling to call in the debts owed to them, especially if the debtor is an influential enough member of the community. A clever Kindred can milk a favor for more respect through Prestation than the original value of the favor granted, providing a chance to keep others in their place or lording things over a higher status Kindred.

If a favor in return is not requested immediately, it leaves the recipient in debt to the bestower, and as such they cannot act against the bestower, instead always maintaining a courteous façade, while the bestower can be a real rear end in a top hat about it if they want. However, the bestower must be careful to avoid giving the recipient the opportunity to cancel their debt through incurring a similar debt.

Mechanically, a Kindred is the same Status as the Kindred who owes them a favor, allowing for the treatment of a Kindred who previously outranked a character as a peer. As always, how Prestation affects Status is up to the Storyteller.

The Scope of the Debt

Prestation takes numerous forms, and saving a life carries a great debt, not only from the Kindred that was saved, but also from any Kindred subservient to them. So, if you save the Prince, then all Kindred in the city owe you a debt, though likely a small one.

Defeating an enemy obligates all who were threatened, as does protecting a fellow Kindred from discovery by mortals. Just helping a fellow Kindred in their nightly work, however, isn’t worth much.

Prestation offers Neonates a chance to ingratiate themselves to their Elders, though this of course runs the risk of being labeled a boot licker by their peers.

Granting a Boon

To grant a boon is to flex one's power, and as such many Kindred are on the lookout for ways to provide “assistance” to their fellow Kindred. The Tremere have a reputation as the Clan to turn to in times of need, a reputation they enjoy. On the flip side, being unable to grant a boon can lead to the loss of Status.

There are three reactions to a boon being offered, as it is dangerous to blindly accept a boon, especially from those of lower status, as there is no way of knowing when repayment will be called in or what said repayment will entail.

Reaction 1: Acceptance – The Kindred accepts the boon and is bound to the gift through Prestation.

Reaction 2: Refusal – Immediate and forthright refusal of the boon or gift. This can lead to one-upmanship, as public refusal can be seen as humiliation of the Kindred who offered the boon.

Reaction 3: Negation – Refusal of the boon in such a way as to avoid insult. There is a possibility of gaining Status this way.

Returning a Boon

Erasing a debt can be done in numerous ways, and if the Kindred can find a way to return the favor before being asked, the debt can be wiped more quickly and on the debtors' terms.

Option One: Trivial – A trivial favor is asked, such as attendance at a party. Both parties can gain a minor Status increase for being able to request as well as fulfill minor boons.

Option Two: Balanced – The favor returned is equal to the debt.

Option Three: Substantial – The favor requested is likely difficult to achieve and must be met regardless.

Option Four: Overwhelming – The favor returned exceeds the debt to an absurd degree. This can sometimes be refused without a loss of status.

Oath Keeping

The Ventrue, Tremere and Toreador are scrupulous in their strict upholding of the rules of Prestation, while the Brujah generally do so grudgingly (except Anarch members who are contemptuous of the whole thing). The Nosferatu ignore “proper etiquette” to those they are indebted, while the Malkavians simply ignore the whole Prestation matter, though when they play along, they usually find a way to corrupt the payback.

The Caitiff meanwhile ignore the loss of status related to favors, they do honor their debts, though this is generally not an issue as few Kindred are willing to perform a service or grant a boon to the Clanless. Of course, Prestation only functions via the public acknowledgement of the debt, and it is this acknowledgement or lack thereof that can either grant or cause the loss or gain of Status. In some cases, a forced acknowledgement can occur, such as a Prince who has been saved from Final Death by a Neonate would have to bestow a boon if they do not wish to be humiliated before the rest of the court and elders.

Oath Breaking

Prestation is enforced with nothing more than honor, and a Kindred is no more bound to their promises than any other promise they make, and while breaking an oath carries no “real” penalties, the aggrieved can certainly make the oath breakers unlife difficult.

Status lost by one who breaks their oath is generally a single point, though more can be deducted, depending on circumstances. Occasionally, a Kindred swears vengeance on an oathbreaker, though those with a high enough Status, such as a Prince, are the least likely to avoid repaying a debt as they are at greater risk of losing Status, which is one aspect of how they maintain their power over greater Kindred society.

Refusing to honor one’s debts usually results in the aggrieved striking back with everything at their disposal, though refusing a debt to a lower Status Kindred may only incur vengeance from the wronged, to screw over an Elder is a good way to get a whole city after you.


The most potent form of revenge is ostracism and is reserved for powerful acts of betrayal. Reporting an oathbreaker to other Kindred and making a convincing case against them to one's own Clan or the Clanmates of the oathbreaker can sometimes cause an offender to be ostracized by their own Clan.

The offender is shunned by the Camarilla and loses Status amongst their peers, meaning no one will work with them or help them, and the offender remains a pariah until amends are made. The Anarch’s are the only ones who respect those who have been cast out of “Good Society”, and in truly tight knit Kindred communities, ostracism can be worse than the invocation of a Blood Hunt.

New Clans

Provided are four new Clans and a bloodline (essentially a minor Clan) which players can use to create a character. With these remaining Clans, all the Clans, apart from the two Sabbat clans have been detailed. Storytellers of course are encouraged to create their own Clans and Bloodlines for their Chronicles, and players are advised to ask about this. Players can (with Storyteller assistance and guidance) create their own Bloodlines as well to create the most unique possible character.

Note: None of the detailed Disciplines in this section can be taken freely by other Clan characters, except Caitiff. Gaining any of these Disciplines must be okayed by the ST either at character creation or by learning them through the course of the Chronicle.


Nickname: Assassins

While all Kindred are nocturnal killers, it is the Assamites who stand above the other Clans in reputation as slayers of both mortals and Kindred. Regularly called in by Archons and Justicars as well as Princes as assassins, no clan is as feared. The Assamites will travel anywhere for a target and accept payment in blood.

While the Clan generally spends its time in the solitary pursuit of other Kindred, they are legendary for their skills as assassins, acting on behalf of both Princes and Anarchs, though not every petition for aid is accepted, once a job has been taken, they consider themselves honor bound to carry out the exact word of their agreement.

Founded in the hinterlands of the Turkish mountains, the Clan has always been fiercely protective of its privacy. They are fundamentalists of an odd stripe, mixing different Middle Eastern religions with Kindred mythology, believing the only way for Kindred to reach Heaven is to become closer to Caine, and the only way to achieve this is rising in Generation.

Much of their early history is marked by Diablerie, seeking to bring themselves closer to “The One”. Clan legends say that their founder successfully slayed two of the Second Generation at the request of their siblings, and this remains a great mark of honor within the Clan, to have been hired to slay such a high Generation Kindred single handedly.

However, the Clan is no longer able to engage in Diablerie, as during the time of the Sabbat’s formation in the Middle Ages, the Assamites hunted their prey with ease. After numerous Elders were killed, the Camarilla declared a Blood Hunt against the entire Clan. After seven years, the Clan’s hidden fortress of Alamut was nearly discovered, and for the first time in Kindred history, the Clan sued for peace, and negotiated a complicated treaty.

The Assamites agreed to never again hunt the Kindred for their blood, so long as the Blood Hunt was called off. The Tremere, ever the sneaky little wizards they are, cast a great ritual over the Clan which made it impossible for them to drink the blood of other Kindred. Adaptation is part of survival, and the Assamites in turn adapted some of their ancient rites into new methods of achieving the same goals as Diablerie, and lead to their position as assassins. The blood they take as payment is collected and used in a ritual during their Clan meeting every five years in Alamut to brew potions to raise their Generations.

Any Assamite looking to lower their Generation must collect 200 points of Blood from Kindred of equal or lesser generation than themselves for the potion to be effective, and typically takes decades to achieve such a feat. Each member of the Clan gives a tenth of their collection to their Sires. While not Blood Bound or dominated into following Clan traditions, individual Assamites are typically fanatically loyal to their Clan, and none have as deep of a sense of “A slight against one is a slight against all” as the Assassins do.

If, however an Assassin is killed by their target, the Clan will take no vengeance, and will not accept further contracts for that target, going so far as to honor them when able. Once a contract has been accepted, the Assamites will not stop until their target is dead or they have some proof that they have been wronged by their employer (neglecting to mention a target is protected by Garou, for example). The Clan’s willingness to take on contracts from Mortals has given them an immense store of Clan wealth that is at their disposal.


Since most of the Clan hails from the Middle East, many share the physical characteristics of peoples of those regions, “Swarthy skin, aquiline features and black hair”, and by contrast to most Kindred, the Assamites skin grows darker with age.

I know that both swarthy and aquiline are not inherently negative terms, but there had to have been a better way to describe the Assamites considering the negative connotations that “Swarthy” has.


Clan Elders reside at Alamut, the Clan’s secret fortress situated somewhere in the mountains of Asia Minor. Neonates spend little time here after their seven-year initiation has been completed, instead spreading out across the world in search of their fortunes and hoping to start their own business. Those that do not reside in Alamut tend to make their Havens in the most inaccessible and private locations possible.


Progeny are only created with permission of the Clan, and generally the Clan keeps an eye on several mortals for a time before permission is granted to Embrace them. If accepted, the mortal must serve their Sire to be for seven years, and only if they serve exceedingly well will they be Embraced (otherwise they are killed). The newly embraced are then known as Fidais and spend another seven years in apprenticeship where they learn of the Clan’s mysteries as well as the techniques of assassination. At some point in the Clan’s history, the value of female assassins was recognized, and the Clan now keeps as tightly to a 50-50 gender ratio as possible.

Character Creation

Almost all Assamites are of Middle Eastern descent, with former soldiers, explorers, investigators or criminals being prominent. Their Nature and Demeanor are typically similar but never the same. Any Attribute can be their primary, while Skills are typically their primary abilities. Suggested backgrounds include Mentor (Sire) and Clan Prestige (to gain good contracts) as well as all Assamites having high combat skills.

Clan Disciplines

Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus


The Clan has two blood-related disadvantages. The first is their requirement of tithing blood to their Sire, and the second is their inability to consume Kindred blood, and if they do, it acts as a poison would on a mortal. For each Blood Point imbibed, the Assamites take one level of non-aggravated damage.


Far from the prying eyes of other Kindred, the Clan’s leaders hold court in Alamut (Eagles Nest), where they receive assassination requests from the most powerful Kindred and Mortals alike and assign assassins to the contracts. While these are always considered requests, rejecting an assignment causes a loss of Prestige. The younger members of the Clan who have spread across the world must use their own best judgement in accepting assignments from individuals or other Clan leaders.

Gaining Clan Prestige

The simplest method of achieving Prestige within the clan is the successful completion of assignments, but demonstrating loyalty to the Clan as well as one’s sire is another excellent method. Additionally, members of the Clan may trade blood they have received amongst themselves, and this trading can also influence Prestige gain.


“Their idiot games of power are not ours. What need have we for ruling a petty mass of squabbling sycophants when we are already on the true path? There are none who do not quake at the slightest hint of our presence, and that leaves a taste sweeter than blood in my mouth”


The Camarilla: A very useful pool of employers, but for us to join would be the height of stupidity. We gain more from acting outside the laws than we would within.


“When you hear of one of these dogs in our city, beware! Watch them as you would a tiger poised to attack but never, never let them know of you. When you find who their victim is, do nothing to interfere – it is never worth it to draw their wrath” Khalid, Nosferatu Elder of Chicago addressing his progeny

The Sabbat: Useless Childer. They kill for no reason and with no grace – what good is murder if it took the deaths of 20 of your Brothers and Sisters? It takes 100 of them to do what one of us can do.


“Pretentious fools, they do our job for us. Who cares if they only kill those others want them to? In the end more of the Elders are extinguished. Their very presence spreads disharmony within the Camarilla.” Hook, Sabbat Scout.

The Inconnu: These Elders are the greatest challenge of all. If any fool requests you kill a member of this ancient group, send them to the mountain top.


“They are murderous barbarians who care not what they destroy. They still seek after our blood, despite their oaths. All of it is a result of their twisted understanding of Golconda” Mahatma, Monitor of Istanbul


A quiet death is the goal of this Discipline, and it is one that all within the Clan seek to master and is the highest-level Discipline members of the Clan will have. Assamite blood is nearly as poisonous to other Kindred as the reverse for the Assamites, and most of the powers of Quietus reflect that all beings are in one way, or another connected in the blood.

Level One

Silence of Death

Allows the caster to create an area of silence 20 feet in diameter around themselves. Caster can still hear everything outside of the area, but all outside the area cannot hear anything that occurs within. Costs 1 Blood Point to create.

Level Two


With the expenditure of a Blood Point and then touching the victim, the caster can reduce the target’s Stamina by one point. Physical touch plus a Willpower roll against the target’s Stamina + Fortitude is required. The number of successes determines how long the point of Stamina is lost.

1.One Turn
2.One Hour
3.One Day
4.One Month
5.Permanently (can be repurchased with XP)

Mortals reduced to zero become extremely sick and lose all immunities to diseases, Kindred reduced to zero immediately enter Torpor and do not recover until a point of Stamina has been regained. If all of the Kindred’s Stamina has been destroyed permanently, recovery from Torpor is impossible except for mystical means.

Level Three


By touching a target and spending Blood Points, the caster can reduce all the target’s Physical attributes by one. Requires a Willpower roll against the target’s Willpower, number of successes indicating how quickly the Attributes return (if ever) per the success chart for Weakness. Attacker must spend three Blood Points to cast. If Strength or Dexterity are reduced to zero, the target cannot move until a point of either has been recovered. Stamina effects are the same as Weakness

Level Four

Blood Agony

Allows the caster to cause aggravated wounds with their own blood, through coating a weapon with the caster's blood. Weapon does damage as normal, but each wound suffered by the target is aggravated. Each Blood Point spent on the weapon allows for aggravated wounds on additional hits. Ex: Caster spent two Blood Points, hits once and does Agg damage, misses then hits again for an additional Agg wound. Any additional hits (after the first two) with the same weapon will not cause Agg damage as only two BP were spent. Weapons must be large enough to smear Kindred blood on.

Which contradicts the first paragraph of this power where it says, “The Blood used to coat a weapon like a sword, bullets or even fingernails” and as the final line of this power, “A bullet, for example, could not reasonably have any blood on it, and the blood would not cling during acceleration”

Sooooo, why do we keep saying that a power that affects weapons will work on bullets only to say that it won’t like three lines later? They do the exact same thing earlier in the book with the Ghoul ward, saying you can ward a bullet but then immediately contradicting that with the bit about the symbol likely being distorted when the bullet is fired. Either the magical vampire blood ignores physics and can science and can be used on bullets or it loving can’t. Make up your god drat minds White Wolf.

Level Five

Taste of Death

The caster can effectively spit blood at a target causing aggravated wounds. Has a range of 10 feet for every point of Strength and Potence the caster has and does double damage for every Blood Point used with the attack. While the attack is silent, it leaves hideous scars on mortals and Kindred alike.

Level Six

Blood Sweat

By concentrating on a target, the caster can cause profuse bleeding from the target’s sweat glands. Requires the caster to see the target, as well as a successful Willpower roll against the difficulty of the targets Stamina+3. The number of successes indicates the number of Blood Points lost by the target at a rate of 2 points per round. If the target is Mortal and is reduced to zero, they die of blood loss, while a Kindred enters Frenzy.

Blood Empathy

The caster can leave traces of their feelings on the blood in a vessels system, and those that feed on the vessel assume the feelings left by the caster. Lasts for one day per Blood Point taken. Counteracting this requires a Willpower roll against difficulty 8, with the number of successes needed equal to points of blood taken from the victim.

Level Seven


Caster no longer needs to bite a victim to consume their blood, requiring only touch and leaves no marks on the victim. Caster may withdraw their Stamina rating in Blood Points per round with the expenditure of one Willpower point.

Foul Blood

On command, the blood of a vessel becomes undrinkable and vile forever for anyone but the caster. Anyone but the caster takes three levels of damage when feeding on this vessel per Blood Point consumed.

Level Eight

Blood Clot

After touching a target with a blood covered palm (1 Blood Point), the caster can cause the target's blood to clot inside them. Caster rolls Willpower against a difficulty of the target’s Blood Points; each success indicates the number of Blood Points that can be affected and rendered unusable. Target must cut themselves open and bleed out the “bad blood”. The effect is cumulative, so caster may continue to clot the target’s blood on successive turns. Caster does not need to attempt to clot all the target’s Blood Points at once, and can clot one point per turn, as long as at least one success is scored. Using this power on mortals will cause a stroke.

Level Nine


After touching a target with a blood covered hand and spending 5 Blood Points, the caster can immediately reduce the target’s Strength, Dexterity and Stamina to zero. Target is incapacitated as noted in Diseased. Caster must win a Willpower vs Willpower opposed roll (difficulty 8) against the target, and target only regains the lost points after X days equal to the successes scored by the caster.

Level Ten

Immaculate Vitae

Allows the caster to Blood Bond drinkers of their vitae, with a single drink. This will remove any previous Blood Bonds, but only if the new Bond is formed with a Kindred of an earlier Generation than the original Bonder.

Well, I don’t hate the idea of a Clan of assassin vampires, although I’m not exactly crazy about them all being Middle Eastern. To be honest, from this write up alone, and the little bit about the Assamites I remember from The Promised Land review, I dig these guys. They’ve got a cool weakness; they’re killing other Kindred (an inherently good thing) and Quietus is a neat collection of powers. Taste of Death sounds a lot like the V5 power Corrosive Vitae except it’s being spit at the enemies instead of just opening a vein and swinging. Hell, Corrosive Vitae may just be the revamped (ha) version of this power, I’d have to do a lot more reading and I got enough of that going on right now. Leech also seems like an extremely handy power to have, as is Foul Blood although that seems like it would be more of a narratively useful power to have to protect one's Ghouls or other mortals of importance.

So aside from the not great connotations of “The Middle Eastern Clan are Assassins” and the negative connotations related to describing them as “Swarthy”, Assamites are neat. Also, I really like the character art for the Assamites and the rest of the new Clans presented here, both artistically and as representations of the Clans. Much more evocative and eye catching than the Clan images from the corebook.

The Followers of Set

Nickname: Sand-Snakes

The Followers of Set (Setites among themselves) are one of the most loathed Clans in the world. The Camarilla’s decision to welcome the Clan into the sect was achieved after weeks of divisive debate, and a sense of relief when only a few of the Setites took the Cam up on the offer.

But why would the Camarilla, and the rest of Kindred society for that matter, so loathe the Setites? While all Kindred are corrupted by the very nature of their existence, only the Setites are masters of both spiritual and moral corruption, with an uncanny ability to find the weakness in any organization or individual and then exploit it. Using drugs, sex, money and power as their weapons against Kindred and Kine alike, the Setites believe that the power of decay and corruption are absolute and that no one is immune.

While a few of the Clan have joined the Camarilla, this hasn’t stopped the rest of the Clan from making use of their skills. Dealing with the Setites is a risky venture, as many Prince’s and Elders have learned the hard way. Within the twisted world of Kindred politics, the Setites are seen as a necessary evil, and some Elders of the Clan are said to have been the instigators of various holy wars and purges throughout mortal history. Secretive and like the Nosferatu, well hidden, the presence of the Setites in an area is only revealed when events occur to reveal them.

Fierce and cunning manipulators, the Followers claim their lineage goes back to the Egyptian deity Set himself. Whether this is true or not remains unclear, but what is clear is that the Setites are powerful beings with interests beyond the simple assumption of mortal and supernatural power.

According to legend, the Clan originated in ancient Egypt circa 5000 B.C. when a group of powerful Kindred gathered around the Nile River delta. Where these Kindred came from is lost to the sands of time, but it is said that they built a thriving civilization, ruling it as Gods. One of these Kindred, Sutekh, was a renowned warrior and hunter who stalked the darkness until 3300 B.C. when some mortals had begun to worship him as the God of Darkness and Night. Sutekh was likely an Antediluvian of the Third Generation.

Sutekh, now going by Set, spent the next two Millenia enjoying the worship of mortals and the respect of his fellow Kindred. As is so often the case, a power struggle erupted when Osiris and several other Chidler began claiming absolute kingship over other Kindred. Set didn’t like this and so for several hundred years the two battled, and by 900 B.C. things had turned for the worse for old Set and his followers. Upon his defeat by Heru-Behutet, Set was exiled, and his followers slaughtered.

In his anguish, Set swore that if he was to be exiled into the darkness, then the darkness would become all powerful. As the centuries wore on, Set gathered new followers, mostly from Egypt, with Greeks, Romans, Persians, and “Semites” all falling under his dark influence, and soon his message was carried to the far ends of the known world. From the mountains of Spain to the shores of the Black Sea, Set’s seeds of darkness had been planted.

In 33 A.D. Set vanished, but before his disappearance, he promised his followers that he would one day return in all his dark glory. Despite his disappearance, the Clan’s power grew, despite their limited numbers. Some claim the Setites were partially responsible for the formation of the Inquisition, though no proof exists to back this claim. As empires have risen and fallen, the Followers of Set have continued with their masters' dark traditions.

In the modern nights, the Setites have found a home in the Western Hemisphere, specifically Jamacia and Haiti, which have proven fertile recruiting grounds. Through the wonders of modern science, the Setites have become drug lord extraordinaries, with their money and knowledge helping to perfect Crack, and their love of perversity leading to their manipulation of modern marketing techniques to flood the European and American markets with the new drug. Several Haitian secret societies and Jamaican posses are said to be under the Clan’s control, along with at least one Middle Eastern terrorist group. Wherever violence, corruption and misery are found, the Setites are usually already there.

The first Setite in an area will establish a temple and prepare the way for others of the Clan to arrive, who stay in the temple until they have gained enough power to leave and open their own temples. Each temple is controlled by a single Kindred (though they may have Kindred assistants, typically Neonates who have not founded their own temples yet).


Like the Assamites, the majority of the Setites are of Middle Eastern descent, however an increasing number of Followers are being embraced from all races and nationalities, and red hair is considered greatly prized as a mark of Set. Typically dressed in ebony robes of an ancient quasi-Egyptian style, ritual disfigurement is common among the Clan, though the nature of said disfigurement varies from Kindred to Kindred.


The Followers prefer their Havens deep underground, often in caves or bunkers, and usually decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphics telling the story of Set. These are the temples of the Clan and there is always a temple beneath or near the headquarters of a Setites criminal activities.


Generally, Neonates are drawn from human Retainers, choosing the most devious and intelligent and those who have proven themselves worthy over the course of years. Originally, Retainers were only chosen from those of Egyptian descent, but in the last century this has expanded to include Europeans and Americans.

Character Creation

Most Followers have the Outsider concept, with a small number of Dilettantes, Criminals and Politicians mixed in. Often Curmudgeons or Deviants in Nature, they adopt whatever Demeanor suits them at the time. Social Attributes and Talents are their primary stats, and most have the Retainers Background or Contacts and Allies.

Clan Disciplines

Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis


Setites are extremely susceptible to sunlight. Damage taken from exposure to sunlight is double the dice for standard sunlight damage. They are also susceptible to bright lights and suffer a –1 to any rolls while in a bright light (spotlights, nightclub strobe lights, searchlights, magnesium flares).


The Setites base their Clan hierarchy loosely on the temple structure of Ancient Egypt. Each city with a Setite presence has a local Temple of Set that is presided over by a single Kindred, with sub-priests or priestesses as necessary, depending on the size of the Domain. Each Priest has three to five mortal Retainers, and the Grand temple of Set is said to be somewhere in the southern Sudan near the border with Uganda. Monthly gatherings are held at the temples in the dark of the moon. Rumors say that every century there is a great gathering at the Grand temple.

Rumors also speak of a group known as the Children of Osiris who oppose the Followers, though nothing is known about this group as the Setites claim to have, quite literally, consumed them. Despite this, the Clan remains fanatical in their attempts to discover the remaining Children as well as taking extreme precautions to protect themselves.

Nice to see the Children of Osiris mentioned so early on, they pop up again in Mummy. I don’t love that the Setites have a group of terrorists under their sway. Which reminds me, what the gently caress was going on with White Wolf in the early 90’s and their love of terrorists? Eco-terrorists were noted as being associated with the Gangrel in Promised Lands and the Basques were also mentioned to be up to the occasional terrorism in that book. I don’t understand it. At this point I'm half expecting a “Brave Mujahedeen” shout out in one of these books.

Although nothing will ever make me laugh harder than the PLO Garou vs Mossad Mages from Promised Lands. Tone deaf does not begin to express how stupid that idea is but God drat does it make me laugh.

Gaining Clan Prestige

Prestige is gained through enslaving others through their own weaknesses. The more followers a Setite has, the more respect they gain from their peers. Corrupting mortals and Kindred of high station is another solid way to gain Prestige within the Clan.


“We are the small voice that whispers to you in the lonely hours of the night. We call to the Darkness within all of you. We came from the Dark and to the Dark we shall return.”


The Camarilla – A group of arrogant fools who think they can control us when in truth it is we who control them. The Toreador with their vain artistic pretensions are a special favorite. The Ventrue and Tremere Clans’ love of power often leads them to us. The others all have their various weaknesses that make them easy prey too.


“Dealing with the Followers of Set is, in effect, dealing with the Devil. Yes, they have their uses but then so does an atomic bomb and like said A-bomb, the Setites should be handled with extreme care and caution” Galen, Elder of Clan Ventrue

The Sabbat – They belong to us already; they just don’t know it yet. The darkness is strong in them, but they love it in a different way than we do. They definitely do not understand the darkness as we do, nor can they make use of it like we can.


“Damned Snakes! The Camarilla is too weak and contentious to realize what a threat these bastards really are. You don’t use a snake, you kill it before it kills you!” Malachaius, Elder of Clan Tzmisces

Which is loving rich coming from an elder of the Cronenberg Abominations Clan. Who crafted a loving Flesh Cathedral again?!

The Inconnu – Let sleeping fools lie. They think they’re safe, but what they don’t realize is that the darkness is everywhere. Like everyone else, they have their own weaknesses. Even they are not immune to us.


“They are arrogant just like their Elder and like their Elder they too can and will be brought down. It is just a matter of time. Until then, we must do what we can to counter them” Nefer-meri-Isis, Fourth Generation Ventrue

Tomorrow: Serpentis and more

Jul 15, 2017

The Gangrel's whole 'barely meet each other ever' goes away pretty quickly. You'll have the Wolf Pack in Chicago along with a couple of others who are happy to associate with each other (as much as vampires are happy) and eventually they'll write Gangrel have annual meetings, yoinking from Germanic culture and calling them things. You don't have to show up but they'll figure something's wrong.

Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

joylessdivision posted:

Which reminds me, what the gently caress was going on with White Wolf in the early 90’s and their love of terrorists? Eco-terrorists were noted as being associated with the Gangrel in Promised Lands and the Basques were also mentioned to be up to the occasional terrorism in that book. I don’t understand it. At this point I'm half expecting a “Brave Mujahedeen” shout out in one of these books.

It's the 90s, The Soviet fell, so writers scramble to find a good stand in boogie man - it wasn't just white wolf, you see a huge spate of Terrorists as villains in media at this time, as they try to latch onto a good substitute for those dirty commies, the IRA, Eco-Terrorists, Anti-government wonks and Middle-Eastern religious extremists were all tried on and fitted during this time.

Robindaybird fucked around with this message at 17:51 on May 30, 2023

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003

Fuss and misery

MatteusTheCorrupt posted:

Unless I misread it completely, Breach boosts damage every time the target takes damage, so If enough allies hit the target, it might be better than a regular attack. It looks like it even boosts damage from enemies hurting themselves.

I asked about this in the Fabula Ultima discord as well, and that is the 'official' interpretation for Breach's extra damage. You would ideally be adding [Party size -1]x[Breach Bonus] extra damage to a target assuming good coordination between party members and everyone piling on the vulnerable target. It's still not great, but it's not as bad as it could be. In a larger party I think it'd shine brightly, but in a small group it's probably a pass, though one level in it to allow smashing certain defenses is not bad.

I'm currently playing a Tinker in a game, and it's definitely versatile and powerful but not yet game breaking. Visionary can be really game breaking but I think it relies on the party as a whole deciding to go this route AND that you have the desire and creativity to look for out of bounds ways to meaningfully break the game. Sure you might have disposable flying pirate ships, but there's more to the story than that. I did have a discussion with the GM about the limits of Tinker and the Visionary skill, it was fruitful and I use it primarily to keep a stock of resistance buffers and 10HP recovery health bars around. Plus the GM now will set up some really tough challenges that can be bypassed by spending some cash and creativity thinking up a gadgety way around it, like a one-shot cloaking device to sneak into a heavily guarded castle. I think Visionary can really upset the game and make it not fun if you're inconsiderate with it, but it's a LOT of fun if you keep the spirit of the concept in mind. So far I've found the game as a whole pretty great so I'm willing to accept some danger.

The playtest stuff is interesting too, though it's definitely going through some tweaks. I've also been playing as a Pilot and it's interesting but has some strange interactions that don't quite make sense. It's in playtest and it has changed on me several times, mostly for the better, but it's one that's definitely trying to find its niche. Hopefully you'll go through some of the playtest stuff, Chef is awesome I really ought to have played a Chef.

Monster Sushi.

Jun 15, 2013

Robindaybird posted:

It's the 90s, The Soviet fell, so writers scramble to find a good stand in boogie man - it wasn't just white wolf, you see a huge spate of Terrorists as villains in media at this time, as they try to latch onto a good substitute for those dirty commies, the IRA, Eco-Terrorists, Anti-government wonks and Middle-Eastern religious extremists were all tried on and fitted during this time.

That actually makes perfect sense now that I think back on "Who were the bad guys in most 90's action films" and it was usually some terrorist of one sort or another.

Dawgstar posted:

The Gangrel's whole 'barely meet each other ever' goes away pretty quickly. You'll have the Wolf Pack in Chicago along with a couple of others who are happy to associate with each other (as much as vampires are happy) and eventually they'll write Gangrel have annual meetings, yoinking from Germanic culture and calling them things. You don't have to show up but they'll figure something's wrong.

Now that I'm genuinely a little disappointed by, because I like the Gangrel being weird loners who don't even particularly want to hang out with each other, that's a solid bit of characterization for them. That and them being the least likely to get eaten by Garou (compared to every other Clan that Is).

Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

joylessdivision posted:

That actually makes perfect sense now that I think back on "Who were the bad guys in most 90's action films" and it was usually some terrorist of one sort or another.

and given it's date, it was before many of the high-profile attacks of the 90s, I wonder if the writers would've been so cavalier about it if this was written after the Atlanta Olympics bombing happened practically on their doorsteps

Gatto Grigio
Feb 9, 2020

A setting change in V5 I really liked was having most of the top of the Tremere pyramid getting wiped out after the Second Inquisition takes out the Vienna Chantry.

This broke the Blood Bonds that tied most Camarilla Tremere to the pyramid. Many returned to support what was left, but you have a lot that used their new freedom to go their own way. So you have larger numbers of Anarch, Sabbat, and independent Tremere.

The new Tremere clan weakness is that they can no longer create Blood Bond with other vampires, not even other Tremere (though other clans can bind *them.* - a secret they desperately try to hide).

They can still impose the bond on mortals and animals, but it takes twice as much Vitae to do so.

Jun 15, 2013

Gatto Grigio posted:

A setting change in V5 I really liked was having most of the top of the Tremere pyramid getting wiped out after the Second Inquisition takes out the Vienna Chantry.

This broke the Blood Bonds that tied most Camarilla Tremere to the pyramid. Many returned to support what was left, but you have a lot that used their new freedom to go their own way. So you have larger numbers of Anarch, Sabbat, and independent Tremere.

The new Tremere clan weakness is that they can no longer create Blood Bond with other vampires, not even other Tremere (though other clans can bind *them.* - a secret they desperately try to hide).

They can still impose the bond on mortals and animals, but it takes twice as much Vitae to do so.

They absolutely deserved that bombing and I'm pretty sure I bring that up at some point in this review in relation to the Inconnu.

Robindaybird posted:

and given it's date, it was before many of the high-profile attacks of the 90s, I wonder if the writers would've been so cavalier about it if this was written after the Atlanta Olympics bombing happened practically on their doorsteps

Yeah I have a feeling because this book and "Promised Lands" both came out in '91/92, terrorism hadn't quite hit home just yet as it would even a couple years later with the WTC bombing, OKC and the Olympics, so it was just one more thing to throw into WoD soup as it were.

Dec 17, 2016

El Spamo posted:

I asked about this in the Fabula Ultima discord as well, and that is the 'official' interpretation for Breach's extra damage. You would ideally be adding [Party size -1]x[Breach Bonus] extra damage to a target assuming good coordination between party members and everyone piling on the vulnerable target. It's still not great, but it's not as bad as it could be. In a larger party I think it'd shine brightly, but in a small group it's probably a pass, though one level in it to allow smashing certain defenses is not bad.

That actually vastly improves my opinion of Breach, honestly. I figured it was just the NEXT source of damage, not all sources of damage until the end of the Weaponmaster's next turn.


I'm currently playing a Tinker in a game, and it's definitely versatile and powerful but not yet game breaking. Visionary can be really game breaking but I think it relies on the party as a whole deciding to go this route AND that you have the desire and creativity to look for out of bounds ways to meaningfully break the game. Sure you might have disposable flying pirate ships, but there's more to the story than that. I did have a discussion with the GM about the limits of Tinker and the Visionary skill, it was fruitful and I use it primarily to keep a stock of resistance buffers and 10HP recovery health bars around. Plus the GM now will set up some really tough challenges that can be bypassed by spending some cash and creativity thinking up a gadgety way around it, like a one-shot cloaking device to sneak into a heavily guarded castle. I think Visionary can really upset the game and make it not fun if you're inconsiderate with it, but it's a LOT of fun if you keep the spirit of the concept in mind. So far I've found the game as a whole pretty great so I'm willing to accept some danger.

That was basically what I said. Visionary can totally break a game, and GMs need to get with players to figure out how to make it fun without being unfair or stealing the spotlight from other players. You talked through it with your GM and found a lovely sweet spot, and I'm glad you're having fun! As for Tinker being OP in general, it really starts to show if you go all in on Gadgets and get the Superior benefits of one type and the basic of the other two types. Once you have those, they're just so versatile compared to other Classes, and their healing capabilities especially are absurd.


The playtest stuff is interesting too, though it's definitely going through some tweaks.

As for this, I really want to like Pilot, but it just doesn't work particularly well. I was planning on doing the Playtest stuff, but only after it's gone through revisions. I've ALMOST made sense of Technospheres, but that whole system is worded very, very badly and some of the rules in the playtest version I have seem to contradict each other as well. Which is a shame, Technosphere are a really cool concept. For everyone who doesn't know, part of the FabUlt playtest materials has an alternate class system where you basically have Job Stones from FFXIV or Dress Spheres from FFX-2, and your natural progression is strongly gated, making you rely on these gadgets to get stronger. I really love the idea, and some of the rules seem solid (if with very confusing writing), but it still needs a lot of work.

Mecha_Face fucked around with this message at 23:17 on May 30, 2023

Jun 15, 2013

:spooky: Joylessdivisions World of Dorkness presents :spooky:
:drac: The Players Guide to Vampire: The Masquerade :drac:
Part 8

Serpentis (Gifts of Set)

A Discipline developed and derived from the legendary powers of Set and entirely unique to the Setites. Most of these powers work around the concept of corruption.

Level One

The Eyes of the Serpent

The eyes of the Setite appear to be gold with large black irises, and mortals around the character find themselves strangely attracted to them. These eyes are extremely beguiling and will immobilize mortals who look into them. Until the character takes their eyes off the target mortal, they are frozen in place. No roll required to activate, but can be avoided if the mortals do not look into the casters eyes. Kindred can be affected by this power, but it requires the caster to make a Willpower roll at difficulty 9 to work.

Level Two

The Tongue of the Serpent

Allows the caster to transform their tongue into an 18 inch long, forked serpents tongue that cannot be used in Melee, however the forked ends cause Agg damage (difficulty 6, Strength damage) and if damage is done, blood can be taken from the target on the next turn as if they had been bitten.

Level Three


Allows the caster to enter a Torpor like state where only sunlight and fire can hurt them, however the caster is completely incapable of taking action, including any Disciplines that would normally be usable while in Torpor. Revival requires the taste of another's blood.

Level Four

Form of the Serpent

Allows the caster to transform into a large (about six feet long, ½ a foot around and weighing the same as the caster) black Cobra. While in this form the caster benefits from all the advantages of the form including slithering through small holes, poisonous bite (to mortals) and enhanced sense of smell. Caster may use all other Disciplines while in this form.

Level Five

The Heart of Darkness

Allows the caster to remove their heart from their body, and with a few hours to operate, can be performed on other Kindred as well. It can only be performed during a new moon. Once removed, the heart is placed in a small clay urn and buried underground. This makes the caster “stake-proof” as well as lowering the difficulty to resist Frenzy by 2. The danger of this power is that if the caster's heart is found, they are at the mercy of the finder. If the heart is cast into a fire or exposed to sunlight, the caster sufferers Final Death, and if staked, the caster immediately enters Torpor.

Many Setites either carry their hearts with them or keep false hearts hidden in different places. Rumors say that Setite Elders keep the hearts of their progeny, and this is what binds the Clan together so tightly.

Level Six


Caster can attempt to goad their target into doing evil simply by speaking with them and telling them about their weaknesses (should be roleplayed). This action will occur even if the target would lose Humanity because of it.

Successfully goading a target requires Wits + Manipulation against the target’s Humanity score (difficulty 8 for both caster and target). If the accumulated successes of the caster are equal or exceed the target’s Humanity score, then the target begins to act in a decadent and highly corrupt manner as if they had no Humanity.

Caster can direct this corruption by making suggestions. The effect is permanent, though targets can overcome it through expenditure of Willpower (usually 8) in the same way Derangements are overcome. Willpower can also be used to resist the suggestions made by the caster. Caster must make their roll at a difficulty 9 to affect a target who has achieved Golconda, while the target’s difficulty drops to 7.


Creates an overpowering lust for whatever the caster wills. Caster needs to only speak with a target, telling them about this “lust”, and every day the target must possess or experience the subject of obsession or fall into a Frenzy when dawn nears. Causing Obsession requires a Wits + Manipulation at difficulty 8 against the target’s Humanity (also difficulty 8). If the caster’s successes are equal or greater than the target’s Humanity score, the target is overcome. Effect is permanent, though can be resolved with Willpower as noted in Temptation. Same Golconda rules apply as above.

Level Seven


Allows the caster to give a fear to a target. Caster needs only to speak to the target about this fear, and can be as broad as cars to as specific as pink ‘79 Fords. Whenever the target is exposed to the object of fear, they must make three Courage rolls (difficulty 8?) to stay in proximity to the object. To come into contact with the phobia, target must spend Willpower. This can be considered a strong Derangement that requires continued Willpower expenditure to overcome.
Implanting the phobia requires a Wits + Manipulation roll against the target’s Humanity (difficulty 8 for both target/caster). If the caster’s successes exceed or equal the target’s Humanity, they are overcome. Golconda rules apply as above.

I put the question mark after the difficulty 8 there as the line in the book is

“He must make three Courage rolls of 8 in order to stay” which......I assume they meant at difficulty 8 because otherwise that sentence does not make sense.

Level Eight

Forms of Corruption

The same as the level 8 power Corruption, except that the corrupting evil can be “attached” to an object that will instill sadistic tendencies on any who touch it (requires an extended resisted roll of the creators Manipulation + Subterfuge against the target’s Humanity). The caster loses one point of Humanity for releasing the object into the world, but no further points are lost by the caster unless they learn of those who have been affected by the object, and only if the victims have a Humanity score higher than 3 themselves.

So, you can create a cursed object. That’s cool, and you only lose a point of Humanity for bringing said cursed object into the world.

Level Ten

Mark of Damnation

By placing their hand on the target’s forehead, the caster burns a hideous brand into the body and soul of the target. Anyone looking at the target must accumulate five successes on Self-Control rolls (difficulty 8) in three turns or less, or they will attack the target of the brand wildly. This mark is so hideous that if the target looks at themselves in the mirror, they will attack the reflection until it is destroyed. The only way to resist this discipline is to avoid being touched by the caster. Targets must communicate with others only when they are out of sight and in complete darkness. Can be overcome but requires either Tremere ritual or the blessing of the caster.

Well, Serpentis is okay, I guess. It’s maybe not as flashy as some of the other Disciplines, but there’s some thematically interesting powers there. Forms of Corruption seems like it would be fun as a story element, though Phobia, Obsession and Temptation are all basically the same power with a slightly different coat of paint on them. Phobia does have the potential to be extremely funny with what you could potentially make a victim phobic of. Followers of Set? Yeah, they’re fine too. I dig that we’ve got the ancient Egypt angle being explored with them and Mummies, because it’s an extremely fertile grounds for horror stories, but as mentioned above, having a terrorist group in their back pocket isn’t great. That they invented crack however is loving hysterical. I mean, “Vampires created Crack” isn’t that crazy when you consider the other major theory is that the CIA invented it.

Don’t do drugs kids.


Nickname: Necromancers

None are more focused on maintaining their front of respectability than the Giovanni, and despite literally every other Clan discussed to this point, none are as repulsive. Formed by rich merchants, speculators and investors, the Giovanni spend most nights manipulating their assets from skyscraper board rooms and the rest of the time in crypts and mausoleums carrying out their morbid and grim rites.

Legend says that the Clan sought to bolster their own power by embracing a coven of Venetian necromancers, only to learn that oops, the coven was actually a tightly knit family of Giovanni with trade interests in the Mediterranean region. This small group of Giovanni repaid their Sire by murdering the gently caress out of him and his descendants. The Camarilla, rightfully, poo poo a brick over this and many joined together to hunt down these “Devil Kindred”. After nearly a century of intermittent warfare, the Giovanni made peace with their enemies with promises to maintain a low profile and stay out of Kindred politics

Of course, suspicion about the Giovanni continues to the present. Staying neutral in the greater Kindred battles has afforded the clan free reign to build their merchant empires that has led to undeniable wealth, though none are sure what they’re doing with that wealth. As so few outsiders have taken part in their necromantic rituals, no one is entirely sure of their purpose, and thus rumors and innuendo have replaced truth and facts.

Every member of the Clan is a member of the Giovanni family, as by long standing tradition only members of the family are embraced. This includes drawing their ghouls and retainers from the family as well. Three members of each mortal generation are chosen as children for the Embrace and are carefully raised to prepare them for their eventual change. Other family members who have proven themselves through extraordinary service are also embraced later in their lives.

Because members of the Clan are all related by blood (figuratively and literally) they are extremely loyal to each other and betrayal is unthinkable, meaning that the Giovanni retainers are the most reliable in the world.

One of the most rigidly controlled bloodlines, contact amongst members is continuous. Ruled with an iron fist by patriarch Agustus Giovanni, the original leader of the coven when the Clan was embraced, Agustus sees his control of his Clan in the same way that Prince’s rule over a city, and demands that all below him adhere to the “Rule of Creation”, Ie: permission must be given by Agustus before the gift of the Giovanni blood can be given to another. However, some of the younger members of the Clan have significant leeway and freedom to pursue control over corporations, and because their influence within the US is still limited, many have been sent to the “New World” in recent years.

Most Giovanni, if asked, would say they do what they do to gain a more complete understanding of and appreciation for the form they will have for eternity, a form they believe is intended for one use, the acquisition of power. Some refer to the “God-like” feeling they gain from having power over death.


Despite (or because of) their despicable underground practices, the Clan attempts to maintain a front of respectability. Giovanni women generally dress in conservative styles, often having a matronly appearance while the males are often white haired, bearded and have the appearance of a favored uncle.


Mansions or condos in the nicer parts of a city, as well as at least one hide away in a sewer or cemetery.


As the Clan only embraces those of their own mortal bloodline, the Clan is entirely of Italian descent.

Does that make their retainers Gabba-Ghouls? I REGRET NOTHING

Character Creation

Nearly always coming from professional backgrounds, with the most popular natures split between Deviant and Architect and any Demeanor (because Demeanor is a stupid loving mechanic). Mental Attributes and Knowledges are their primary stats, with at least some Resources, though players may choose any Backgrounds they wish. Most will have Retainers who are either siblings or cousins from within the family.

Clan Disciplines

Dominate, Necromancy, Potence


Any living creature that the Giovanni feeds upon takes double the damage they normally would. IE: if the Giovanni takes one Blood Point, the victim suffers two levels of health damage. Because of this, the Giovanni are the most prominent Kindred to use bagged blood as well as taking vitae from the very recently deceased.


Based out of Venice where the Clan’s headquarters are located, the Clan works together in advancement of the study of death and can call upon their Clanmates for assistance when in trouble, though because the Clan is relatively small, backup is often hundreds of miles away.

Gaining Clan Status

Accumulating wealth is the simplest way to gain Prestige within the Clan, while the more complicated method involves creating new understandings of death either through art or magic.


“None have as great an understanding of Death as we do. There is no mystery and no facet of existence that affects every moment more than the fact that existence always ends. To understand this would be to be as a God”


The Camarilla – Suspicious busy bodies who are always putting their noses where they don’t belong. If they truly wanted to know what we were up to, they would kill themselves.

God drat Clan Giovanni. Shots loving fired.


“I have traced their corporate monies and found them to have a hand in almost everything that exists. They are planning something; what exactly is the only question” Sovereign, Ventrue of Chicago

The Sabbat – They have come the closest of anyone to grasping the Truth, but having stopped short they now will have a harder time reaching it than anyone else. They can be safely ignored


“A coven of old businessmen scurrying around the sewers? And you expect me to fear them?” Bishop Mark

The Inconnu – They watch us constantly but understand nothing. If they did, they would not let us continue for we will be the end of them


“Nothing has confused me more than the existence of the Giovanni. How can I accept that some of the Earth’s most ambitious businessmen have given up their lust for power to study dead bodies in graveyards?” Rebekah, Monitor of Chicago


The Discipline that allows the user to summon and converse with the spirits of the dead for fun and profit.

Level One


Legends say that the eyes of the dead hold the image of the last thing seen in life or the image of persons death or killer. Insight allows the caster to look into the eyes of a corpse and see the last thing it saw. Perception + Occult (difficulty 8) is required to activate, and can be done on Kindred as well (extinguished or not) in order to see the last thing they saw before their Mortal death (at difficulty 10). The number of successes indicates how much was learned about what was seen and heard. This power cannot be used on Kindred who have achieved Golconda.

1 Success – Sense how they died, what caused it
2 successes – See what happened in the minutes prior to death
3 successes – See and hear what happened minutes prior to death
4 successes – See and hear what happened up to a half hour prior to death
5 successes – completely understand what happened up to an hour prior to death.

Level Two

Summon Spirit

Does not require the accoutrement of a séance, but many Kindred find it pleasing. To actually summon a spirit the following conditions must be met:

1.Caster must know the name of the spirit to be summoned, although an impression of the spirit obtained through Auspex (Psychometry specifically) will suffice.

2.The spirit can be a dead mortal or extinguished Kindred, however destroyed Kindred who achieved Golconda cannot be summoned, and this power is not sufficient to affect a living spirit.

3.There must be some person or object with a personal connection to the summoned spirit.

4.The caster must make a Perception + Occult roll. If the spirit doesn’t want to be summoned, the roll is resisted against the spirits Willpower with the number of successes scored indicating how clear the contact is. For each question asked, roll one die for each summoning success, with at least one success required on the second roll to maintain contact long enough to get an answer.

Level Three


Allows the caster to master a summoned spirit. Requires a Manipulation + Occult roll against a difficulty of the spirits Willpower score. Number of successes indicate the degree of control.

Botch – The spirit is enraged and attacks the caster

Failure – The spirit is free to depart if they wish, while a hostile spirit is more likely to attack before departing

1 Success – The spirit is compelled to remain and not attack any living creature without the casters permission
2 Successes – The spirit is bound to remain peacefully and answer any questions truthfully
3 Successes – The spirit is bound to remain peacefully and answer truthfully and fully, no half truths or leaving things unsaid.
4 Successes – The spirit is bound to remain and answer, and to perform any task the caster demands. If unwilling, the spirit may do a bad job or willfully misinterpret the instructions.
5 Successes – The spirit is bound to obey both word and intention of the caster’s commands to the best of its abilities.

Level Four


The caster can keep a spirit from returning to the spirit world. Manipulation + Occult against the Willpower score of the spirit if they are unwilling or a difficulty 4 if they want to stay, keeps the spirit in the world for one day per success. During this period is not necessary to roll for severance of contact as described in Summon Spirits.

Level Five

Soul Stealing

Allows the caster to summon the spirit from a living body, Manipulation + Occult is required against a difficulty of the target’s Willpower + Occult if unwilling) Success indicates the spirit has been drawn from the body and may be treated as a ghost. The body will begin to deteriorate, and the target must spend a Willpower point to return to the body to avoid death. Other necromantic powers may be used to keep the spirit trapped outside the body if desired. Thaumaturgy can be used to cast a different spirit into the now vacant body.

Level Six


Allows the caster to empower the newly dead with motion and will work only if the body is no more than eight hours dead. Zombies are not capable of independent motion and must be directed by the caster and will continue to function if given a single Blood Point per day. Zombies have one more point of Strength and Stamina than the body did at time of death, and an effective Dexterity of one. Zombies can only move at a rate of 10 feet per minute.

Level Seven


The caster can mystically damage a spirit. Each success gained from an Empathy + Stamina roll against the spirits Willpower causes the spirit pain as if physical combat had been engaged. If the spirits suffer more than 10 of these strikes (wound levels) they are discorporated for a long time.

To use my Wraith knowledge for a moment, this sounds like what happens when a Wraith loses all their health levels when loving around in the physical world, they get sent back into the Underworld and must spend a chunk of time rebuilding themselves.

Level Eight

Soul Exchange

Allows the caster to take two spirits from physical creatures and shift them into the opposite body. Requires a Manipulation + Occult roll at difficulty 7, and the caster must gain as many successes as the two targets combined Willpower scores. Both targets must be at least 10 feet apart at time of exchange and within sight of the caster.

Level Nine


After summoning a spirit, the caster can place it into a recently dead body, which cannot be more than 30 minutes dead, and the spirit must be willing to make the transfer. The spirit may inhabit the body as long as they wish. With five successes on a resisted Willpower roll, the caster may place a spirit into a Kindred body.

Level Ten

Death Pact

Allows the caster to act as the Prince of Darkness himself. By entering a written agreement with the caster, the target agrees to serve as needed and the pact is sealed with a drop of the target’s blood. If the caster upholds their end of the bargain, the target’s spirit becomes a complete slave to the caster upon death. The caster does not need to roll to summon or compel this spirit, and the number of successes gained on an Intelligence + Occult roll made at the time of the signing determines how many times the caster may call upon the target spirit’s services, which last until the spirit is dismissed.

Vampire Mobsters. Who also gently caress around with the dead. Vampire mobsters with necromancy powers. I’m genuinely a little impressed with this idea, for as silly as it is on its face (because let’s be real, we’re talking about loving VAMPIRE MOBSTERS), it’s nice to have necromancy covered by one of the Clans, and that it goes to the weird Italian incest vampires is certainly a choice. I’m sure there was something going on at the time of writing that inspired said vampire mobsters, but I’ll be damned if I can think of where else I’ve seen the idea that wasn’t a more modern book or movie.

But enough about the necromantic Italians, let's talk about a really gross clan.


Nickname: Gypsies

The Ravnos share several similarities with the Gangrel but are unique in their differences. While the Gangrel are combative loners who are honest and forthright, the Ravnos by comparison love companionship, avoid direct physical confrontations and are masters of lies and deceit. Their similarities come from their nomadic lifestyles, with the Ravnos rarely staying in a city for longer than a month at a time, and their connection to the Romani. While the Gangrel are widely accepted by the Roma, the Ravnos by contrast are only accepted within their own family groups (if they were of Roma blood), and while they have adopted a similar lifestyle, they are not accepted by the greater Romani population. Whether this is to do with the Ravnos penchant for lies and theft or their very aura’s being repugnant to Romani mystics is up for debate.

Theft and con games are common elements of the Ravnos existence, and their constant moving helps in making catching them in one of their games much more difficult. Their greatest pleasure is said to be taking advantage of another Kindred, and as such most Kindred are aware enough to keep a close eye on their wallets and other possession when the Ravnos are around.

Free movement is paramount to the Clan, and they frequently move between cities controlled by both the Camarilla and the Sabbat. Those who attempt to keep them out receive “The treatment” where a mass of the Clan enters a city and proceeds to scourge the ever-loving gently caress out of it. Because of this, most Princes allow the Ravnos entry, despite how much they may hate them.

Honor, both personal and Clan related are very serious matters to the Ravnos, and are one of the Clan’s most valued possessions, though this code of honor is considerably different from the rules most adhere to. The word of a Ravnos is meaningless unless they shake hands on the matter, after spitting into their palms of course. They are honor bound to avenge themselves if anyone besmirches their “Good Name” and will not steal or cheat others of their own Clan, but do not ascribe this same rule to outsiders. On the bright side, friendship is another highly prized element of their existence and the Ravnos will always come to the aid of those they think of as “Family”.


Almost always of Roma descent and thus “often swarthy in complexion” with dark hair and black eyes, though these traits are not universal, as there have been blonde-haired, blue-eyed Romani, “Oriental” Romani, and Romani of African heritage, as well as North American Romani where the culture has become more urban. The Clan has been known to embrace “Gorgios” or non-Roma, though in Europe only those of Roma blood are embraced and Gorgios Ravnos are executed immediately.


Constantly on the move, the Ravnos may settle in a place for a short time even establishing a Haven, but within a month or two they’re back out on the road. Traditionally, the Ravnos made their homes in overbrightly covered caravans that traveled the countryside, stopping here and there to trade and celebrate holidays. In North America, they now make their Haven’s in the basements of fortune teller shops or the backrooms of Roma homes. Others in the new world still adhere to the old ways and have traded in their covered wagons for convoys of old luxury cars and RVs.


Generally siring few Childer, the Ravnos typically embrace the most promising members of their own families. Younger Ravnos are more likely to Sire progeny, leading to Ravnos Neonates of all backgrounds to enter the Kindred community.

Character Creation

Usually, the Drifter or Outsider archetype with a Jester nature and a willingness to change demeanor at a moment's notice (BECAUSE ITS A STUPID loving MECHANIC!) Social Abilities and Talents are their primary stats, and most have several retainers in the form of family members. Some have high Resources in the form of gold or jewelry they have accumulated through the years.

Clan Disciplines

Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude


Anyone around a Ravnos immediately feels suspicious and uneasy. Kindred know them by reputation and these negative feelings are only intensified after any amount of time spent dealing with a Ravnos. When dealing with mortals, Ravnos should be treated as having half their written Humanity score, limiting the number of dice they can use in social interactions. They also have their code of honor which a player may break freely, at the risk of harming their Clan Prestige.


There is no organization to Clan Ravnos as none of them trust the others to keep their word. If two or more Ravnos meet somewhere, they will likely make a big production of appearing to like each other and pledging undying loyalty to each other, a vow typically abandoned rather quickly.

Gaining Clan Prestige

Pulling off a wonderful con is the best way to gain respect of the Ravnos, such as trading a Prince their prized vessel for a worthless trinket or stealing Methuselah’s coffin from their haven. The more souvenirs collected through a character's exploits, the better, as it is considered in poor taste to speak of one's accomplishments without something to show for it.


“How could anyone take the form we have been given seriously? It's fun! We can do anything we want and all these others sit around trying to be statues. They act like they’ve been crucified on a trushul. That could never be the life for me.”

I believe they meant the word Trishula here, as my googling turned up a whole lot of hits for Trishula but nothing for Trushul. If that’s what they meant, a Trishula is, per Wikipedia:

“A trident, a divine symbol, commonly used as one of the principal symbols in Hinduism”

Which yeah, that does sound like it would suck to be crucified on.


The Camarilla – They died once and seem intent on dying again. They live unlives of quiet desperation, doing nothing and voluntarily jailing themselves in their cities.


“These craven jackals lie and steal as though they had never heard of honor. Should another come to my city, I will declare a blood hunt on all of their kind!” Wallace, Prince of Birmingham

The Sabbat – Humorless brutes. They kill for no reason and have even less of an appreciation for comedy than do the stone-faces of the Camarilla.


“These clowns may seem to be the least of our troubles, but do not underestimate them. With their control of illusions, there is little they cannot seem to do. Were they to turn against us in large numbers, we would have a most unwelcome and painful fight on our hands” Karina, Sabbat Assassin

The Inconnu – As boring as these musty old fogies may seem, they are really the only group which seems to understand what we do. They are never what they seem.


“The Neonates are amusing little Childer, but beware the Elders. They use their tricks to covers something far deeper.” Elijah, Fifth Generation Gangrel

Hooooooooooboy. Man, I really hate to just come out and say the Ravnos loving suck, but they kinda do. Like there’s all the Roma stuff (the book liberally used the term Gypsies which I obviously changed) which is just not great at all, but on top of that, they made the Clan essentially rear end in a top hat Malkavains without the crazy. Like I understand that all the Clans are monsters in their own unique ways beyond the obvious, but the other Clans at least have something mildly interesting or redeeming about them no matter how lovely they may be. The Ravnos, as written here, are just assholes. Just thieving assholes who according to the very write up I just summarized, have justified all the hate they get from the rest of Kindred society, by being enormous dickheads, because it’s funny to them. Why the gently caress would I want to play a Ravnos? I can come up with a justification to play literally any of the other Clans, but the Ravnos at this point in the WoD history are just so gross and lovely that I’d rather just cut them out of existence and pretend they don’t exist (like I do with the Cathay).

Maybe their Discipline will be good at least?


As masters of trickery and deceit, the Ravnos use their abilities to create illusions and hallucinations in much of what they do. Basic illusions can fool storekeepers into taking a one-dollar bill in the place of a hundred, or scare a Kindred with a fake stake, and at higher levels, that fake stake could hurt and paralyze a Kindred.

These illusions have few resistance rolls as no one expects to see illusions, though if someone were to create a “Flying Purple Vampire Eater out of thin air, then she could expect a certain amount of disbelief”. The less believable the illusion, the less it will be believed by skeptical modern mortals. Illusions cannot be created if the Kindred creating them could not sense it. Ex: a blindfolded Kindred could not use Ignis Fatuus to create an image of a gun, but they could use Fata Morgana to create one in their hand if blindfolded as they would be able to touch the object.

Level One

Ignis Fatuus

Creates minor, static illusions that can affect one sense. Anyone in the area can detect the illusion using that sense, but not with any others. Even illusions detectable by touch are not really there. Each illusion costs 1 point of Willpower to create and lasts until the caster no longer senses it, decides to end it or the illusion is seen through in some fashion. Ending an illusion occurs whenever the caster wishes.

Level Two

Fata Morgana

Major illusions that can be detected by any or all senses, decided upon by the caster. As with Ignis Fatuus, the illusion is not real and can be passed through (if it were an illusory wall), and like the previously noted power, illusions cannot be moved once created and placed. Costs 2 Willpower to cast and disappear per the same rules as Ignis

Level Three


Used in conjunction with either Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana, allows the illusions to move. Caster spends 1 point of Willpower to make the illusion move in one specific way and can only change or stop the motion if they have done nothing but concentrate on the illusion after creation.

Level Four


Used with Ignis or Fata, allows the illusion to continue even when the caster cannot see it. At the cost of 1 Willpower, the illusion can remain until dissolved by the caster.

Level Five

Horrid Reality

Only effective against one target at a time, the victim of Horrid Reality believes completely that the illusion before them exists, and thus can harm them (illusory fire will burn, illusory walls will stop them, illusory bullets will wound them, etc.). If the caster is attempting to harm a foe with this power, a resisted Manipulation + Subterfuge roll is required against the target’s Perception + Self-Control. Every success causes the victim an additional level of health damage, however, the caster can do less than their dice pool if they announce before making the roll what the maximum amount of damage they wish to inflict. Typically, this roll is a difficulty 6, but if the illusion is intended to cause Agg damage, the difficulty rises to 8. Targets cannot be killed with this power, and all injuries are lost when the target is truly convinced, they have not been harmed. (This can take considerable time and may require psychological therapy)

Level Six

Fatuus Mastery

Caster no longer needs to spend Willpower to create illusions. Additionally, they no longer need to sense the illusion to continue it, though they must be within 1 mile of the illusion. Can be used in conjunction with Ignis Fatuus, Fata Morgana, and Apparition.

Mass Reality

Allows for more than one target to experience Horrid Reality. Anyone in the general area of the illusion will sense it as if it were real.

Level Seven

Far Fatuus

Allows the caster to create illusions at a distance, with the only provision being that the caster must be able to mentally picture the destination of the illusion. This generally means the caster has personally been to the location, however the caster could have the location described in detail by someone who has been there or through a photograph. Difficulty depends on familiarity with the location.

Difficulty -

6 – Place as familiar as one’s Haven
7 – Visited three or more times
8 – Visited once
9 – Described in detail
10 – never been there, but have a photograph

Level Eight

Pseudo Blindness

Characters who possess this power are incapable of viewing falsehoods, and thus are unaffected by Obfuscate or Chimerstry powers below level 9. Any lie spoken around the character will be known to be a falsehood.

Level Nine

Sensory Deprivation

Denies the target access to all five senses. For the duration of the effect, the target sees, hears, feels, smells, etc., nothing at all, causing the target to lose contact with the world. Any powers that rely on these senses (Auspex, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience) are inoperable. Difficulty is the targets current Willpower and the effect lasts for as long as note below.

1 success – 1 turn
2 successes – 1 hour
3 successes – 1 day
4 successes – 1 month
5 successes – 1 year

Level Ten


Allows the caster to create their own version of reality for someone else to stumble around in. Requires a Wits + Intimidation roll against the target’s Willpower+2. Three successes are needed to send the target into this reality, and the victim must spend Willpower equal to the number of successes gained by the caster to escape. Until the victim escapes or is set free, they will wander around the illusory universe defined by the caster. Note that the target does leave “Reality” and cannot be found with any discipline.

Okay, so Chimerstry isn’t terrible, although I’ll be damned if I haven’t had to get inches from the screen every time I’m typing the word to make sure I’m spelling it the way it appears in the book. loving Thaumaturgy I can remember how to spell like my own name, but loving Chimerstry is killing me. Broadly speaking I think these powers are kinda neat, although not particularly that useful until you get Permanency or Fatuus Mastery, and they certainly don’t make up for everything else wrong with the Ravnos as written. I do really like the Ravnos image in this section though, the Count from Sesame Street t-shirt is a nice touch for a Kindred to wear. Final verdict though, Ravnos suck, and I hope they got fixed in either second or revised editions because this ain’t it chief.

Tomorrow: The Salubri

Mar 15, 2019


Only effective against one target at a time, the victim of Horrid Reality believes completely that the illusion before them exists, and thus can harm them (illusory fire will burn, illusory walls will stop them, illusory bullets will wound them, etc.).

I get the impression a cheeky vampire could run away with some real (if brief) nonsense here if it suited them.
Want to cross from one place to another? Use it on yourself so there's a ladder/bridge/etc, and just move right on over, it's tangible enough (to you.) until it wears off.

Arcanuse fucked around with this message at 18:33 on May 31, 2023

Sep 6, 2019

by sebmojo

joylessdivision posted:

:drac: The Players Guide to Vampire: The Masquerade :drac:
Part 8

Hooooooooooboy. Man, I really hate to just come out and say the Ravnos loving suck, but they kinda do. Like there’s all the Roma stuff (the book liberally used the term Gypsies which I obviously changed) which is just not great at all, but on top of that, they made the Clan essentially rear end in a top hat Malkavains without the crazy. Like I understand that all the Clans are monsters in their own unique ways beyond the obvious, but the other Clans at least have something mildly interesting or redeeming about them no matter how lovely they may be. The Ravnos, as written here, are just assholes. Just thieving assholes who according to the very write up I just summarized, have justified all the hate they get from the rest of Kindred society, by being enormous dickheads, because it’s funny to them. Why the gently caress would I want to play a Ravnos? I can come up with a justification to play literally any of the other Clans, but the Ravnos at this point in the WoD history are just so gross and lovely that I’d rather just cut them out of existence and pretend they don’t exist (like I do with the Cathay).

I could see myself playing one as maybe part of a Vampire: The Leverage chronicle where the idea is to gently caress with "The Powerz That Be" who gently caress over everybody else. Plus the potential to create an illusion which has some scary Elder smashing into a wall because he thinks that's the tunnel you fled down AKA recreating stuff from a Road-runner or Bugs Bunny cartoon in the super-duper-grim World of DARKNESS sounds delightfully hilarious to me.

Jun 15, 2013

Everyone posted:

I could see myself playing one as maybe part of a Vampire: The Leverage chronicle where the idea is to gently caress with "The Powerz That Be" who gently caress over everybody else. Plus the potential to create an illusion which has some scary Elder smashing into a wall because he thinks that's the tunnel you fled down AKA recreating stuff from a Road-runner or Bugs Bunny cartoon in the super-duper-grim World of DARKNESS sounds delightfully hilarious to me.

I do love that for all it's high minded ideas and such, every story I've heard from players of VtM always ends up being a plot for "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" or "What We Do in the Shadows".

And frankly, I am 100% into it lol.

Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?

joylessdivision posted:

I do love that for all it's high minded ideas and such, every story I've heard from players of VtM always ends up being a plot for "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" or "What We Do in the Shadows".

And frankly, I am 100% into it lol.

Either that or very pale superheroes that throw trucks through buildings after nightfall.

Sep 10, 2003

peed on;

PurpleXVI posted:

Either that or very pale superheroes that throw trucks through buildings after nightfall.
V:tM 2E line editor Justin Achilli openly admitted that the primary default mode of play of his game was "X-Men with fangs".

Sep 6, 2019

by sebmojo

joylessdivision posted:

I do love that for all it's high minded ideas and such, every story I've heard from players of VtM always ends up being a plot for "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" or "What We Do in the Shadows".

And frankly, I am 100% into it lol.

If you're going to draw inspiration for your RPG from TV shows, at least make sure said shows are decent to excellent. I think that burden is met in the above shows.

Not to restart a recent up-thread discussion, but we all know there are worse shows.

Jul 15, 2017

See what happens Cappadocians? Welcome in a bunch of capitalists and that's what you get. :colbert:


Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
Ravnos eventually got a really good rework, but they also got nuked by kung-fighters and giant space mirrors.

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