Clans

Clans

BRUJAH

 

 

About the Clan

When a mortal dies and his candle goes out, it’s practically impossible to reignite it. A Vampire drowns it out in the blood of others. A Brujah pours gasoline on it and lights it at both ends.

 

Older Vampires of other Clans are well known to grow bored and lose their will to exist. When your allotted time no longer has an end, purpose and meaning tend to dissipate. Not so for the firebrands of Clan Brujah. They are possibly the only Clan to retain their full emotional capacity after Embrace. Much more, it actually hightens with the presence of their powerful Beasts. In modern times, they are the activists, rebels and anarchists. Their ideals resonate in their very blood. The Brujah Beast is the wildest of any Clan, always hiding just under the surface. Their instability, passion and rage are just what it needs to thrive. An angry Brujah is a sight to behold, and will grind into bones whatever stands in its way. But their power is not only in their fists. The Brujah passions seems contagious, and they are masters at riling up the crowds. When a Brujah gets an idea, it’s like a flame that needs to spread. Because of this, the Brujah tend to be the most vocal members of any court, loudly proclaiming their opinions and openly criticizing ineffective Princes, gladly taking the position for the transformative powers it offers. The Brujah are consumed by the idea of utopia. They always chase a historic ideal, a truly egalitarian society where Vampires walk among mortals like Gods. Like it was in Carthage. Before the Ventrue, before Rome. Thankfully, there are as many opinions about this as there are Brujah. United, they would be an unstoppable force.

 

The Brujah are not at all picky with their Embraces. Whatever they feel like doing, they do. Their hearts are impulsive, unpredictable and dangerous, because of which the Brujah are responsible for by far the highest number of illegal Embraces. Anyone can be a Brujah, just as long as he lit a spark in his Sire’s dead heart.

 

Playing the Brujah 

Every Brujah has a primary drive. An idea, a wish, a vision or an imperative. They could be priests, announcing the word of the Lord. Or activists, fighting for the rights of young Vampires. Or, they could be the the most fervent fascists. In either case, their existence brims with purpose.

 

Of course, every Vampire has drives, the Brujah just feel them far more deeply and can almost never change them. They will do anything for their goals, but this does not mean they will be reckless and unsophisticated about it. If they can control the Beast, they are just as likely as a Ventrue to wait decades for the right moment. Unlike the rest, however, they will stick to their goals with an iron determination, never forgetting what they are really after. But a Brujah must always contend with his Beast, which over time produces some of the most strong willed Vampires with a great amount of self control; the battle with the Beast is a daunting task for any Vampire, and the Brujah feel it twice as hard. This doesn’t mean you need to constantly portray an angry and agitated character. A Brujah can be calm and collected right up until the moment something pisses him off, in which case he is quick to react accordingly, by bashing his fist on the table or raising his voice. With a Brujah, always remember your primary drive, and make sure you know what really grinds your gears.

 

 

Clan Weakness

Impulsivity. Aggression. Anger. Passion. Each Brujah is constantly on the edge of an explosion. Their Beasts are always just a wrong word away from tearing its speaker apart. Meetings between Brujah often end in violence and injury, often for entirely banal reasons. They must be especially careful at Elysium; frenzying there at the wrong moment is tantamount to social suicide. In addition, each Brujah tends to have a vague cause towards which he is loyal to a fault, such as freedom, family or even far more specific endeavors.  

 

Disciplines

  • Potence: Superhuman strength. Your fists break bones and nobody escapes your grip.

 

  • Presence: Unnatural attraction. With your very presence, you may influence the emotions of others.

 

Opinions

Gangrel:If you’ve got the same goal or even trust the bastard, you’ve really found man’s best friend.

 

Giovanni:They don’t have any friends, so they look to their grandmas’ corpses…

 

Malkavian:I recently caught one breaking the Masquerade. He kept telling me the end was nigh. I swear he was still laughing after I cut his head off. God damn madmen.

 

Nosferatu:They tend to be civil, but damn, that smell…

 

Toreador:All they do is fantasize and talk. But they never DO anything.

 

Tremere:Strong. Loyal. Useful. We should kill them all.

 

Ventrue:They’ve got that stick so far up their ass they can’t see anywhere but straight. At least they always pay up.

 

 

 

GANGREL

 

 

About the Clan

Clan Gangrel is known as the most wild and bestial, and due to its splintered nature also as the most asocial of the Clans. To be a Gangrel means to be one with the predator within you. To exist at the very edge of what is human and what is the Beast, between rationality and instinct. Only a Gangrel can ever truly understand the Hunt, and only a Gangrel can really feel the heartbeat of the urban jungle.  

 

Alternatively territorial and nomadic, Clan Gangrel tends to stick to the edges of a city. Hills and forests around the city suburbs tend to make ideal feeding grounds for them, though food can be scarcer than in the city centre, but it affords them a certain freedom from the Machiavellian courts that rule the inner cities. When they do enter cities, the Gangrel tend to be the most frequent breakers of the Tradition of Domain. Most Kindred don’t interfere, after all, only a madman gets between a Gangrel and his prey. But even the Gangrel still feel the human within, and crave for company and validation. They prefer to congregate within the Clan, but due to their large territories and isolationist natures this is rare. Instead, they attend Elysium, albeit more rarely than members of other Clans, usually full of excuses for their presence.

 

When several Gangrel meet, a certain protocol is always followed. Since the Clan is so splintered, they are bound together by a small number of very strong traditions which are passed from Sire to Childe. In every group of Gangrel, an Alpha is immediately established. Often, Gangrel will simply recognise older blood and fall into line, but sometimes several will claim the symbolic title, in which case duels are fought, either in boasting matches or brutal combat. Whatever the case, the Gangrel act like a pack.  

 

Their isolationism, however, is not entirely by choice. Their bestial natures tend to single them out as potential breaches of the Masquerade, and some Princes are known to banish individuals. A single frenzied Gangrel hunter in the city centre can cause massive problems not only for the Camarilla itself, but also to the Sheriff that tries to stop him.

 

Playing the Gangrel

Do you like nature? Birds singing, animals frolicking and flowers blooming? If so, Clan Gangrel is NOT for you. To play a Gangrel means to portray the most bestial, instinctual parts of the human psyche. To walk the line between man and beast. Of all the Camarilla Clans, the Gangrel are the least human. Dark animalistic cravings constantly enter their minds, which explains their rarity at Elysium. A Gangrel is like a starving wolf, released into a prestigious party. He is unlikely to feel comfortable, at the very least.

 

This type of game can be highly liberating. There is no need to feign the civility and etiquette of the other Clans, you can freely snarl, sniff the air or growl. Of course, everything has its limits. A Gangrel who can’t even hold a conversation has no place in civilized society. Many consider the Gangrel to be thick and slow. This is hardly the case, the Gangrel simply don’t have the patience for long-winding plots, and prefer to act in the moment. Because of this, they make ironically effective politicians with proactive policies.

 

Choosing progeny is a simple, instinctual matter for the Gangrel, and they are the most likely Clan to Embrace by mistake, after particularly brutal hunts. In either case, Gangrel Sires tend to abandon their Childer for a trial period immediately after Embrace, allowing them to prove their worthiness. Those that survive are recognised as part of the pack.

 

Clan Weakness

As the years and frenzies accumulate, each Gangrel becomes more and more bestial. Not only physically, though most Elder Gangrel have several animalistic features, like claws, patches of fur or the eyes of a wolf, but also mentally. They become territorial, start snarling like dogs and pacing nervously in confined spaces. Some truly old Gangrel degenerate to the level of beasts, losing the ability of speech and following no other drives but hunger and survival. This is surely one of the reasons the Gangrel have the lowest number of surviving Elders, as the frenzied creatures end up being put down by their younger members or angry Camarilla officials.

 

Most Gangrel, even the youngest, tend to have at least one such feature. You are free to improvise with makeup and prosthetics for any physical features, though we recommend you stay away from furry ears and tails. Alternatively, mental features require no makeup.

 

Disciplines

  • Fortitude: Blades, bullets, even fire… You can withstand it all. What’s more, you can sometimes resist even the unbreakable Blood Bond.

 

  • Protean: The Gangrel ability to shapeshift and manifest bestial features.

 

  • Each Gangrel also gets to choose an additional out of Clan Discipline he might have learned in his youth, but he must have a good reason for it, such as a heavy blood bond to whoever taught him.

 

Opinions

Brujah:Almost as wild as we are. Too bad they don’t know how to harness it.

 

Giovanni:If you have the Giovanni in town, hunt elsewhere. The dead might otherwise be more than just on your conscience.

 

Malkavian:Five liters of shit in a coffee cup.

 

Nosferatu:When the Nosferatu get nervous, get out of town.

 

Toreador:If one of these fops is actually talking to you, he most assuredly needs something.

 

Tremere:Too much bad blood… If you have to fraternize, be careful.

 

Ventrue:If you want to be a dog on a leash, there are worse masters…

 

 

MALKAVIAN

 

About the Clan

In the distant past, before the time of Freud, before the inquisition, the Malkavians were respected as seers and prophets. The other Clans relied on their unique worldview, as well as their indispensible, if skewed, understanding of reality. But time and a developing understanding of the human psyche have shown the Malkavian gift in an entirely different light. Every Malkavian, from fledgeling to Methuselah, is irreparably broken, his mind suffering from a permanent derangement. These derangements come in a wide range. Some remember the Embrace far too vividly, the stopping of the heartbeat, the stiffening of the limbs, being trapped in a corpse; such Malkavians often suffer from PTSD, for example. Some develop full blown schizophrenia, or megalomania, paranoia or even depression. All of them have one thing in common. Their minds are not always entirely… their own. With a Malkavian, you simply never know. On the outside, he may appear refined and stable. But on the inside, there could be a raging storm. Behind a smile can hide a scream, and behind a single word a full blown conversation inside the Malkavian’s head. While you know nothing, it seems that they know everything. They seem to see things from a different perspective, often finding solution all others were oblivious to. But tread carefully. They are hardly always right.

 

Anyone could be a Malkavian. The suffering artist, the director of a firm, the dancer or the doctor. They aren’t picky with the Embrace. Lacking a coherent mind, they tend to pick with the heart. At least that’s what the other Clans believe. In truth, only a Malkavian can ever understand his actions, if even that. More than anything, they are unpredictable. And then, there are the “Harley Quinns”. These are the Malkavians so damaged by the Embrace that they become socially nonfunctional. Some dress like comic book villains, some go on vicious murder sprees with hammers and others can’t help but laugh at everything the Prince says. Malkavian Sires tend to have at least enough sense to destroy such unfortunates immediately after Embrace. And if not, the Sheriff disposes of them sooner or later, and then goes after the Sire too. The average lifespan of such deranged Vampires ranges from three hours to a couple of days.

 

Their blood allows them to pass unseen and wander freely in the minds of others. What’s more, they see signs and premonitions in the oddest of places, though deciphering them is another matter. Knowledge and information finds them whether they look for it or not, and they’re damn good at looking for it when they can concentrate. Always be careful around a Malkavian. Talk to them only when you must, for they can see through your fake words and into your very soul. And who knows, maybe their madness can spread…

 

Playing the Malkavians

The Malkavians are perhaps the most difficult Clan to portray well, and with good reason. Mental conditions aren’t funny, light or “over the top”. They are horrifying, both for their bearer and everyone close to him. The derangement is NOT what makes a Malkavian. First and foremost, they are individual people. Their character, habits and views are still those of their mortal days, albeit through a broken glass. They are ordinary people who simply happen to suffer from a disorder. A disorder that is never funny or beneficial. Additionally, mental issues can be very subtle, almost invisible at first glance. A truly effective Malkavian is one who appears utterly sane right up until the moment his derangement overpowers him.

 

One has to stay mindful of portraying mental disorders seriously, so as not to needlessly ridicule serious issues people may suffer from and could be highly distracting to people’s immersion. We recommend doing some research on different disorders and using this opportunity to explore the mental states of the mentally ill with a measure of empathy.

 

Clan Weakness

All Malkavians suffer under a mental derangement which can never be cured, even if they visit a psychiatrist for a century. This can range from depression to full blown schizophrenia. The strong willed can sometimes suppress it for a moment, and some even chose to drink only heavily medicated blood, though this is never a long-term solution. After a while, the drugs simply stop working. Due to their curse, Malkavians usually also suffer the accompanying social stigma.

 

Disciplines

  • Auspex: Nothing escapes your sight, your smell or your hearing. You can hear your victim’s heartbeat from across the room. You can feel the ecstasy on the young girl’s breath. When powerful enough, the minds of others are open to you.

 

  • Obfuscate: Your vampiric blood allows you to move like a ghost. The shadow of the wall just slightly elongates to cover your passing. Just as you open the door, the victim sneezes. And as you leave, the guard is conveniently looking the other way.

 

  • Dementation: The prophetic ability of the Malkavians.

 

Opinions

Brujah:I’d really like to get them, but their skulls are so thick I’d need a sledgehammer to make them understand anything.

 

Gangrel:They’re not really animals. It’s just that everyone keeps telling them that, so they start believing it. They do tend to be pretty hairy though.

 

Giovanni:I talk to the dead too, sometimes. They don’t usually talk back though. But I certainly never take them to my bed, like these guys do!

 

Nosferatu:Personally, I like them best, as long as I don’t REALLY look at them.

 

Toreador:There’s no party without a Toreador. There’s also no theater… No gathering, no meeting… Oh shit.

 

Tremere:A bit too useful for my taste. And don’t stick your nose in the Pyramid, it’s crazier in there than even in our heads.

 

Ventrue:Eh, I’d rather not.

 

 

NOSFERATU

 

 

About the Clan

Lepers. Rats. Monsters. All of these are nicknames that have stuck to Clan Nosferatu for millennia, and with good reason. Vampirism is a curse, and nobody understands this as intimately as the Nosferatu, each of whom the Embrace twists into deformed, monstrous creatures. Every Nosferatu is just by virtue of his appearance a potential breach of the Masquerade. Each of them has to abandon every thought of coexistence with mortals on the very night of his Embrace. Centuries of wallowing in the muck and refuse of humanity, centuries of hiding and abuse, all of this has turned Clan Nosferatu into a tightly knit entity with its own inhuman culture. While the members of Clans Brujah or Gangrel might exists in the same city and never meet, the Sewer Rats are a large, dysfunctional family. Each of them knows that in the end, he can only count on himself, and on his brothers and sisters.

 

How can a Clan which exists only in the shadows and holds no direct influence in mortal circles survive, even thrive and remain a pillar of Vampiric society in the modern nights? The answer is simple: the Nosferatu are everywhere, even if nobody sees them. Even the strongest Princes can never truly know how many Sewer Rats infest his city’s darkest corners. The Clan tends to send only its most relatable members to Elysium, while in their underground warrens creatures that frighten even roaches wallow in their own filth. Their constant watchfulness and tight-knit information networks, coupled with their ability to walk unseen, give them a unique and well formed look into practically all local affairs. From the arrival of Hunters to the Toreador Primogen’s midnight walks along the river, the Nosferatu know everything first.

 

As outcasts and loners, the Nosferatu are often overlooked by younger members of other, more social Clans. After all, who can distinguish one rat from another? In truth, the Clan of the Hidden works very hard to keep up this facade, as it often allows them to get closer to whoever they’ve decided to spy on.

 

Choice of progeny usually comes in two types for the Nosferatu. The first, and most common, are people who have suffered abuse and ostracism even in their mortal lives. Such loners are likely to have an easier time adjusting to the Clan’s neverending solitude. Common in this type are street bums, the mentally ill, reclusive scholars and the like. The second type, however, is the very opposite. It is the Embrace out of spite. Such Childer are colloquially called “Cleopatras”, and are typically the result of punishment. What is more horrible to the beauty queen that to suddenly wake up so ugly that even her mother could never love her again? At the same time, the Nosferatu are among the more pragmatic Clans; their Embraces tend to have a purpose, and any Childer are highly likely to possess skills their Sires lack. In modern times, this has lead to an increase in computer experts within the Clan.

 

Playing the Nosferatu

Playing a Nosferatu as such is not difficult, but their greatest challenge lies in creating a convincing mask. While for other Clans, all you need for a good costume is a change of clothes and perhaps some make-up, a Nosferatu character requires more work, as they should look convincingly inhuman, disgusting and horrifying. There’s a fine line here: A face covered in dirty rags is perfectly acceptable, while some casually applied green makeup is not. The fact is, the more effort you put into your mask, the more immersed you will be, and other players too.

 

As far as actually portraying one goes, the Nosferatu are a simple Clan. They tend to follow certain stereotypes. They are usually quieter than others, preferring to listen rather than talk. They always stick together and tell each other everything, but other Clans must pay well for this information. Since a Nosferatu fledgeling is harshly cut off from all his mortal connections, he quickly finds himself relating strongly to his brood.

 

The Clan puts a lot of effort in maintaining its worthless, despicable appearance, but when interacting with each other, they can be perfectly refined and graceful. Despite this, even the Nosferatu can reach important positions within a court, they must simply work a bit harder for it than most others. Thankfully, once the Clan decides to accomplish a goal, all members of the brood work together to achieve it. Within the Nosferatu, every member always has a task to perform.

 

Clan Weakness

Every Nosferatu is very obviously inhuman. The archetype is Schreck’s count Orlok, but the curse has an infinity of variation. Bulging eyes, an unbearable smell, deformed skulls; all of this and more make life on the surface impossible for the Nosferatu. In addition, warts, necrosis, puss-filled wounds and other skin conditions considered disgusting by humans are very common. The Embrace of the Nosferatu is possibly the deadliest of them all. Many prospective Childer simply cannot survive the several day long deformation that each of them experiences… At least not with their minds intact.

 

Disciplines

  • Obfuscate: Your vampiric blood allows you to move like a ghost. The shadow of the wall just slightly elongates to cover your passing. Just as you open the door, the victim sneezes. And as you leave, the guard is conveniently looking the other way.

 

  • Potence: Superhuman strength. Your fists break bones and nobody escapes your grip.

 

Opinions

Brujah:They’ll get angry, no matter what you tell them. The trick is in funneling that anger onto someone else’s head.

 

Gangrel:The only ones I might actually consider inviting into the Warren. But I’d still keep a loaded gun under the table.

 

Giovanni:And you think my Clan is disgusting? Please…

 

Malkavian:They seem to think we have a lot in common, since we occupy the very edge of society together. Whatever, as long as I don’t have to talk to them too much.

 

Toreador:There’s no greater joy in unlife than selling two Toreador secrets about one another. You just sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

 

Tremere:We used to laugh when someone waved their arms about and screamed “Abracadabra!” Now we hide.

 

Ventrue:Make sure they pay double. They can afford it anyway.

 

TOREADOR

 

 

About the Clan

The Toreador are among the most emotional, glamorous, fashionable and most attractive Vampires. They are the ones responsible for the stories of bloodsuckers, wooing their prey with promises of romance and splendour. They fully came into their own only with the onset of the Victorian era and the rise of theatre, the salon and art in general. They live off of high society and culture, so they are rarely found outside of a given city’s finest districts. Known as artistes and innovators, they are a pillar Clan of the Camarilla, as their humanity and charisma makes them ideal protectors of the Masquerade. If the Ventrue are the brain of the Camarilla, the Toreador are its soul. They are the most common Clan to attend Elysium, where they enjoy the attention and prefer to deal more in personal drama than kindred politics.

 

Within the Clan, the Toreador have an intricate culture that remains mostly invisible to outsiders. Fractured as they are, mainly the Neonates pay any heed to these traditions, as the Elders have long since moved on to other interests. They divide themselves in two groups, the “artistes”, who strive to use their gifts for the advancement of art and beauty, and the “poseurs”, who prefer to engage in mindless hedonism and have little talent for the creation of beauty. Most other Clans believe that only the Toreador could be vain enough to make such distinctions, but the fact is that reputation means everything within the Toreador Clan, and this often translates to the Camarilla as a whole.

 

The other Clans also believe that the Toreador spoil their Childer. It is true, Toreador often treat their progeny as lovers and partners, showering them in gifts and affection. The ugly truth, however, is that the Toreador often Embrace because of their weakness, becoming so obsessed with a mortal that they cannot let them age and die. But just as quickly, the Toreador Sire loses interest in their Childe, tossing them aside like yesterday’s clothes. This is even more terrifying for those Neonates blood bound to their Sires, now forever stuck adoring a Vampire who no longer has any interest in them.

 

Playing the Toreador

Playing a Toreador can be a fun experience for those players that don’t enjoy the political aspect of the game and would rather indulge in personal drama and gossip. Then again, a political Toreador can be a force to be reckoned with, passionate and quick witted.

 

A Toreador is always in love with something or someone, and always to an uncomfortable level, both for the Toreador and his current target. They always seek pleasure and validation of the beauty of their quarry. Even those within the Clan that are artists find it difficult to finish projects, always shifting their interests and being stifled by the static, empty soul of their undead body. Because of this, they seek inspiration in ever more depraved and charged situations, trying to ignite a spark in their dead hearts and drowning their sorrows in blood when they inevitably fail. In any case, their nights are filled with hedonism and fleeting pleasures.

 

Few take them seriously at Elysium, but in truth every Vampire fears what the Toreador think of them. Their words carry great power in the making and breaking of Vampiric reputation. The true art of the Toreador is gossip. Dirty secrets, true or not, are their currency, and they are masters at uncovering them.

 

Clan Weakness

Just as much as they boast about their craftsmanship and good taste, the Toreador are prisoners of their passions. They are often entirely overcome by the beauty that surrounds them. If a Toreador becomes fascinated with something, he will pursue it until it is his or he grows bored. The most interesting cases are when Toreador become obsessed with mortals or even other Kindred, in which case they often become overprotective and begin stalking their target to a highly uncomfortable level. However, the Toreador just as quickly forget their obsessions when something new catches their eye, leaving behind them an endless trail of broken hearts and unfinished projects.

 

Disciplines

  • Auspex: Nothing escapes your sight, your smell or your hearing. You can hear your victim’s heartbeat from across the room. You can feel the ecstasy on the young girl’s breath. When powerful enough, the minds of others are open to you.

 

  • Presence: Unnatural attraction. With your very presence, you may influence the emotions of others.

 

Opinions

Brujah:Oh, if they could only direct that passion into painting, instead of… I’m not even going to lose words…

 

Gangrel:Bestial and dirty, certainly not fit for civilized society.

 

Giovanni:So elegant, but so depraved… It kind of turns me on…

 

Malkavian:Who could understand them… Not me. Waste of time.

 

Nosferatu:Their true face is a lot like modern art. Ugly.

 

Tremere:Watching them perform their rituals is an aesthetic experience, but up close they tend to be so very boring…

 

Ventrue:Good for the Masquerade, I suppose. I just wish they had a sense of humour…

 

 

TREMERE

 

 

About the Clan

Alternatively hated, feared, respected or despised, the Tremere are never ignored. After centuries of wars to cement their position within kindred society, they have reached its most enviable position as the strongest pillar of the Camarilla. Few Elders still remember the violent and cannibalistic conception of this Clan, and their origins are shrouded in mystery and apocrypha. The darkest rumours speak of usurpation, the sacrifice of rivers of blood to fuel some mortal mages’ vain desire for immortality.

 

Do not believe this.

 

Clan Tremere may have suddenly appeared in the Middle Ages, but they have proven themselves as pure of the Blood as the Ventrue of Brujah. They stem from a line of mortal wizards, and a clear line can be traced to their founder, after whom their Clan is named. Him and his Inner Circle of Seven created the Clan and led it through the centuries into its indispensable position. This indispensability stems from their most versatile of arts, Thaumaturgy, hermetic blood magic. It is the staple art of every Tremere and allows them abilities envied by every Elder who spits on the Clan’s name. With their magic, the Tremere can perform miracles. If you are a stranger to such power, it is no wonder you fear it. The Tremere treat Thaumaturgy with immaculate care and never spread its secrets outside of the Clan; such a crime is punished with immediate destruction. The true cause of their power, however, is the rigid structure of the Clan, called the Pyramid. The Tremere have a very clear line of hierarchy and authority, with each member knowing exactly his place within it and very clear instructions as to his duties. With age comes advancement, but at the very top are forever enshrined the Inner Council of Seven with Tremere himself at its head.

 

Though rigid, this structure is a strength. They not only appear as a highly unified Clan, they actually are thus. Despite competitiveness within the Pyramid, Tremere are undying loyal to one another and hold the Pyramid above even the Camarilla. However, this loyalty is not always voluntary…

Playing the Tremere

Playing a Tremere is fun and recommended even for total novices to the game. The structure of the Clan gives players a very clear place within Clan hierarchy, with masters and apprentices and competitions for advancement. The Tremere play a clearer two-dimensional game than others; their Clan relations are as, if not more important than relations with other clans. A group of Tremere in a given city is called a Chantry and is headed by a Regent who supervises apprentices of various ranks.

 

Thaumaturgy is also an excellent roleplaying tool with endless possibilities, and its study is a possible focus of a game. Elaborate rituals can truly liven up a game, and can achieve various results, such as forcing someone to speak only truth for a scene or barring passage over lines of salt or blood.

 

Practically anybody can be a Tremere, as long as they bring a new skill to the Pyramid. Even so, the Clan tends to favor mortals from academic backgrounds, occultists, people with ambition or even very specific professions such as syndicate leaders or soldiers. In short, the Tremere aren’t necessarily warlocks in long robes, who just happen to drink blood. They are sly upstarts, who coil around others like a snake until they become indispensable. Beware, however, as very few actually trust them, understanding that their foremost loyalty is to the Pyramid.

Clan Weakness

The Clan comes first. Always. Success for the Camarilla is success for the Tremere. Everything else pales in comparison. Upon being brought into Eternal Life, each fledgeling of Clan Tremere undergoes a ritual which forces him to drink the blood of the Clan Founders, forever cementing their loyalty to the Pyramid. If the ritual is repeated, which serves as a common punishment for disloyalty and indiscretion, the drinker will be eternally bound as a slave to the will of House Tremere. Effective and diligent work afford the Tremere a measure of freedom, but every one of them remains loyal to a fault.

Disciplines

  • Auspex: Nothing escapes your sight, your smell or your hearing. You can hear your victim’s heartbeat from across the room. You can feel the ecstasy on the young girl’s breath. When powerful enough, the minds of others are open to you.

 

  • Dominate: Your will is their command. With this power you can fully subjugate others and even erase their memories.

 

 

  • Thaumaturgy: The ritual Blood Magic of the Tremere

 

Opinions

Brujah:Our true opposites, splintered and uncontrollable. Don’t piss them off.

 

Gangrel:Barbarians who hide their disloyalty badly. At least we know how to deal with them.

 

Giovanni:They have achieved a deep understanding of the workings of the ethereal realm. Unfortunately, centuries of inbreeding have produced a very narrow minded outlook. Disgusting and regrettable.

 

Malkavian:Sooner or later, we will understand how their minds work. Until then, keep them close.

 

Nosferatu:Useful allies, but be careful not to overpay their services.

 

Toreador:Though they seem forgettable, their spittle can truly tarnish your name.

 

Ventrue:Well groomed for the throne, and thankfully blind to true power.

 

VENTRUE

 

About the Clan

If you want to find a Ventrue, just look up. In all likelihood, your average Ventrue is occupying a position of governance, where he is afforded the most influence and prestige. Most other Clans envy this, as they perceive Ventrue adherence to ancient traditions as arrogance or greed. Their allies, however, see a different picture of this oldest of Clans. They can only respect the refined Ventrue taste and their rooted sense of honor.

 

Perhaps the principal pillar of Ventrue power is their meticulously kept influence over mortal affairs, for within Clan Ventrue one finds the most zealous adherents of the Tradition of the Masquerade, the law of keeping Vampires hidden from the mortal world. Without them, the Masquerade would never have existed, and on their shoulders alone stands the heaviest burden of maintaining it, something they bear with their heads high. At least that’s how they tell it. The Ventrue take these claims very seriously, for on them rests the standing of the entire Clan. Of course, their control over the Masquerade also benefits them in their highly specific feeding habits. A Ventrue won’t feed on just anyone, just as a King won’t settle for the scraps he feeds the peasants.

 

They pick their progeny in the same style; in the time of Monarchies, Ventrue Childer were taken from the ranks of nobles, clergy, and knights, and in modern nights they settle for nothing less than ruthless businessmen, ambitious politicians and the resourceful upper class. Such people offer the Clan more than just their inborn elegance, they also give their Sires control over their substantial mortal assets. The process of picking a Childe is a long and meticulous process for prospective Ventrue Sires. Not every mortal deserves to become Kindred, much less to be offered a position in the Vampiric World’s most prestigious Clan. And if your bloodline has kept order in the world since before the time of Rome, you can hold this title with pride.

 

Sic semper erat, et sic semper erit.

So it has always been, and so it shall always be.

Playing the Ventrue

There is no “correct” way to play this Clan, as with practically all others, but when playing a Ventrue one should keep in mind certain Traditions, which have propagated over generations since time immemorial. This is especially true if your Sire has broken some of them, a crime you will inevitably be scrutinized for.

 

For example a Ventrue will almost never create a Childe as a result of an accident. Their Embrace is a long process which usually allows prospective Childer to settle their mortal affairs before their death. In the rare cases that a mortal was famous before Embrace, they will also take care of faking their death and allowing them to start a new “life”. Immediately following the Embrace, each Ventrue is subject to a rigorous educational period by his Sire, which enlightens them on such broad subjects as Camarilla etiquette, Ventrue tradition and the history of their particular line. For some, this elite education begets a feeling of superiority, and for others an archaic, even knightly sense of honor they could never have known as mortals. Yet others only feign their servitude to their Sires, escaping into a secretive life of pursuing dark desires or plotting revenge against their makers for stealing them from a life of comfort and luxury.

 

The Fledgeling also quickly finds himself burdened with responsibility, for he was certainly created for a very specific purpose which he must now diligently fulfill. The important question is: What does my Sire want from me? What can I offer him? Is it knowledge, influence, money, or something else entirely, like companionship? What can I give him that his Ghouls cannot? Players should also carefully consider what their Ventrue weakness is. Even though it is unlikely to come up in play a lot, it presents an anchoring point in the character’s personality. A Ventrue who can only feed on redheaded dancers likely has very different interests than one who can only feed on construction workers.

 

A Ventrue should always, always strive to avoid any sort of humiliation. A Childe that brings shame upon his Sire is likely to disappear from high society faster than if he had committed a murder.

Clan Weakness

Even though it is generally romanticised, the Ventrue weakness is a great burden on each of them. Every unique Ventrue can drink only a very specific type of blood, be it virgins, golden-haired youths, the clergy, criminals, or practically anything else. A Ventrue cannot drink blood from a different source, as it disgusts him physically and he immediately vomits it out. They can drink the blood of other Vampires normally.  

Disciplines

  • Dominate: Your will is their command. With this power, you can fully subjugate others and even erase their memories.

 

  • Fortitude: Blades, bullets, even fire… You can withstand it all. What’s more, you can sometimes resist even the unbreakable Blood Bond.

 

  • Presence: Unnatural attraction. With your very presence, you may influence the emotions of others.

Opinions

Brujah:If I suffered such humiliations over the centuries, I’d be angry too.

 

Gangrel:The fact that I personally know very few tell you a lot about their social habits.

 

Giovanni:Ah, the Venetians… Haven’t they learned yet that nobility and incest don’t HAVE to go hand in hand?

 

Malkavian:I’d say they almost deserve pity… Right up until they snap and stab you in the back.

 

Nosferatu:Our quiet brothers are a constant reminder that things could always be worse.

 

Toreador:Why not. Quite harmless.

 

Tremere:Could they be called out on past sins? Perhaps. But I’ve always respected their devotion to the Traditions.

 

INDEPENDENT CLANS:

GIOVANNI

 

About the Clan

It is generally rare to see a Giovanni attending a Camarilla court, much less an Elysium. This is because their very presence invokes disgust and suspicion in the other Clans, hyped by various stories and nicknames the Family holds. For the Giovanni truly are a Family. Each member held the surname Giovanni even before Embrace, and every Vampire in the Clan is related by two lines of blood, mortal and immortal. They are viewed as heretics of the Blood because the other Clans simply do not understand true love, true Family. They frown upon their dealings with corpses because they do not understand what secrets they can tell. They look down with concerned looks upon the practices of necrophilia, incest, and black magic. Behind their backs, the Giovanni are called the get of the Devil.

 

All this stems from fear. And the Giovanni should certainly be feared.

 

Despite being relatively new in the world of the Kindred, their paterfamilias, the Venetian Augustus Giovanni, ensured them a comfortable place in it. Both in the mortal and vampiric worlds. The wealth of their mortal roots has been guided through the centuries to ensure supremacy over mortal institutions and economy, as well as the exploration of dark arts. This gives them enviable power both by day and by night, allowing them to remain largely neutral in the endless war between the Camarilla and the Sabbat. The others fear their involvement, and because the Giovanni themselves are disinterested in such conflicts. The Family has much more important designs. Plans to erase the borders between the worlds of the living and the dead and ruling both with their iron fists. But this is a matter for the Elders. The younger members deal with money and with mortals, and they gather souls. Every Giovanni always gathers souls. Thankfully, most Giovanni are kept perpetually sated by staging political coups, wallowing in corpses and holding incestuous orgies with their great-grandparents.

Playing the Giovanni

Clan Giovanni is typically divided into two categories. The first are those Vampires who feel right at home in mortal affairs, managing finances and engaging in high-level crime, rivaling even the Ventrue in their institutional control. And then there are those who find all that much too quaint and spend their nights in the catacombs, conversing with the dead and studying the dark arts. Most Giovanni hold some knowledge in both areas, but very few excel in more than one.

 

Playing a Giovanni can be tasking and is not for the light of heart. Played well, they can be tremendous fun. Publicly, the Clan tends to be refined, smug and dignified, all of which aids them in maintaining their front of neutrality. But this silken glove hides the iron fist of their will, which is well known to utterly subjugate the minds, bodies, and spirits of both the living and the dead. Since they are the get of the Devil, a player needs to be willing to participate in the depraved and debauched rituals which are a pillar of the Clan’s culture. Incestuous affairs, disturbing rites and trafficking in corpses are common for the Family. When they are not feared, the Giovanni must strive to make the other Clans deeply uncomfortable. Their looks should be filled with disgust.

 

But the Giovanni have the irreplaceable advantage of Family. They can always rely on their relatives and expect aid when they need them. After all, only the Giovanni know true loyalty and love.

Clan Weakness

The Giovanni Kiss is anything but ecstatic, like that of other Clans. It brings only indescribable pain and violation. For this reason, the Giovanni must be exceedingly careful when feeding, as their prey can quickly die from the shock and agony, even before the Vampire is finished feeding. Thankfully, the Family is rich enough to afford good vintages from blood banks, though many are depraved enough to thoroughly enjoy the suffering they bring their lovers.

Disciplines

  • Dominate: Your will is their command. With this power, you can fully subjugate others and even erase their memories.

 

  • Potence: Superhuman strength. Your fists break bones and nobody escapes your grip.

 

  • Necromancy: The ritual Death Magic of the Giovanni.

Opinions

Brujah:Ahh, what passion. Too bad they make for cheap mercenaries at best.

 

Gangrel:Good for running errands out of town, and they settle for carrion.

 

Malkavian:I adore their madness. I love to solve their riddles, even though most of them are full of meaningless stupidity. But those that aren’t are always worth the effort.

 

Nosferatu:Easily the Camarilla’s most useful Clan. Be respectful with them and you will be rewarded with quality information.

 

Toreador:As much as I respect their rampant desire, I think they wander aimlessly. And they’re afraid of their own souls.

 

Tremere:Ah, so similar and yet so different. What we could achieve if they just submitted to us…

 

Ventrue:They think themselves on our level, these dukes of the Ivory Tower. But they forget, Machiavelli learned from us.