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Having a hard time buying into the Tremere

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  • Having a hard time buying into the Tremere

    First off, I'm NOT JUST talking about a group of mages actually turning into vampires.

    Althoough it seems unlikely that the Tremere would NOT test the magic elixir before drinking it and instead, would simply say "FUCK IT, LETS JUST DRINK THE POTION AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS."

    Hermetic Mages are not exactly known for their utter sloppiness (except when they're downright pissed, which presumably wasn't the case at the moment that Tremere and his seven apprentices were about to slam back the elixir of unlife). Not testing the potions on some lackey (who would then turn into a vampire) seems unlikely at best.

    Now, I retconned the story to be more like "The Diedne cast a death curse on the Tremere that was withering them away and they knew they were going to turn into vampires because they were on death's door and out of options and the only thing that would stave of their destruction was the static inducing power of Vitae." Still though, this lacks some satisfaction for me.

    I also have trouble believing that even though they could be outnumbered 100 to 1, the Hermetics, with Pillars or Spheres (and no Paradox according to Dark Ages Mage) woluld have trouble fighting off the Tremere or at least striking the key leaders of the clan in order to force them to order their followers to leave the Order alone.

    Does anyone else feel this way?

    Am I the only one who thinks Hermetic Mages wouldn't just jump into potential Vampirism.

    Is it really that likely that an order of awakened Mages, as limited in number as they are, would so easily fall prey to the Tremere and their Thaumaturgy?
    Last edited by Zennis; 04-07-2017, 06:41 PM.

  • #2
    Hubris is a hell of a drug

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    • #3
      I hear you, a bunch of angry Hermetics, high on pride and pissed that one of their own "fell to the pathetic state of Vampirism" might just say "we will easily destroy them all and declare total war without further discussion!!!" I could see that for sure.

      The whole Tremere drinking the potion without a second thought seems a little unbelievable though, hubris or no.

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      • #4
        IIRC, it was heavily implied in the Transylvania Chronicles series from Vampire that Tremere may have been mentally pushed into his decision by Saulot as part of some sort of long game con to help him avoid having to deal with any other 3rd generation vampires or his own whiney clan until Gehenna, possibly as part of a plan to become the Demon Emperor or something. Because that's how Vampire rolled.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zennis View Post
          The whole Tremere drinking the potion without a second thought seems a little unbelievable though, hubris or no.
          I think you are not taking in account the mind set of a man with a cult of personality behind desperate for "true" immortality.

          Also this is the dark ages, I always figured them quaffing a potion to become a vampire was pretty tame compared to the nonsense that went down at mist ridge before the order of reason turned the place into a parking lot.

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          • #6
            Did they just drink potion​s? I thought they made vampires turn them the normal way.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Faradn View Post
              Did they just drink potion​s? I thought they made vampires turn them the normal way.
              No they drank some potion that Goratrix, Tremere's right hand man, cooked up. Apparently, being turned into vampires was NOT the desired effect and came as something of a surprise.

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              • #8
                The stranger thing is that they survived doing so. These are creatures who have to sleep all day, and take incredible amounts of damage from plain old sunlight. This is a weakness so severe that mundane human hunters are a serious threat to them if they don't live unlives of perfect secrecy. They should have been slaughtered by their fellow mages after becoming these helpless abominations.

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                • #9
                  That's a bit chicken before the egg, the history of Clan Tremere was written well before Mage was made.

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                  • #10
                    It's beyond surprising that the Tremere were able to survive not only against a pissed off Order of Hermes, but also against several angry Voivodas. Antoher problem it's the idea that a bunch of Neonates were able to convert almost the entire House into vampires, presumably against their will, and with almost no one discovering it until it was too late

                    I can think on some strategies, like hiding behind blood bound mages and using them to fool the OoH to believe that the problems of vampirism within the house were being caused by the attacks of the other vampires, in order to divert (or at least avert) fire until it was too late, but it still seems hard to swallow. It's just not possible to believe that a "clan" of Neonates would be able to pull off such a dangerous game.

                    And about the whole drinking the potion of vampiric curse. I blame Tremere who either know the consequences and wanted to be vampire (as implied by Blood Treachery) or was manipulated by Saulot (or both). Tremere had total control of his apprentices, they where his most loyal even before the embrace, that's why they didn't questioned. Of course Tremere wouldn't fail them

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                    • #11
                      The first thing to remember is that when the Tremere backstory was written Mage didn't exist yet, and "Mages" turned into something very different from what had initially been imagined between concept and execution. So yeah, everything is going to be a bit shoe-horned from the word go. That being said, there have been some cogent attempts to square that circle and some additional factors that bear consideration.

                      Its not actually accurate to say there was no paradox at that time, it just took a different form (the ravaging?). House Tremere had already been sustaining itself with immortality potions, but their effectiveness was waning due to the encroaching effects of paradox and the Circle of Seven feared that this heralded the end of Magick entirely. They didn't end up being correct, but based on the evidence at the time it wasn't an unreasonable supposition and as a result they're all still alive centuries later to know they made a mistake.

                      Why didn't they test the potion? I'd go with pure hubris. They'd already been using crazy immortality concoctions for a while and if all the calculations were correct then they had no reason to waste a precious resource on a guinea pig. Alternatively, its equally likely that Goratrix claimed to have tested it and the others believed him. Why would Goratrix do that? Any answer to that question only makes the game more interesting.

                      How did the Tremere survive and multiply? Well embracing their House would actually have been pretty easy. Dominate is a bitch unless you're wearing active Mind defenses, and the flat fact is that most Mages aren't paranoid twinked out knife-in-teeth PCs. The blood bond is even nastier, especially if you don't know what vampiric vitae is or how it works. Vampires were an outside context problem for the Order of Hermes, and by the time they realized the gravity of that threat House Tremere was lost. They failed in the Massasa War for two main reasons. One, Thaumaturgy is linear but it doesn't invoke paradox. Two, in an apocalyptic situation the trump card all vampires have is the ability to reproduce at a faster rate than any other supernatural. For every score of Tremere the Hermetics killed another two score could be sired before the sun even rose. The victory condition for the OoH was complete destruction of the Tremere, whereas all the Tremere had to do to win was keep existing. As vampires all they have is time.

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                      • #12
                        Right. So. Let's start from the beginning.

                        The House Tremere (and the whole Order of Hermes) were originally part of Ars Magica, where a small faction of the House had become vampires. Notably, Tremere himself was never a vampire in Ars Magica, and by 5th Edition, the vampires were wiped out.

                        Now, Vampire goes into the whole history of Clan Tremere - how they were afraid True Magick was dying, their quest for immortality and new ways of spellcasting - but the most important part is that they didn't think they would become vampires. In their fear and their hubris, they believed they has distilled the essence of immortality from vampires, without all the nasty side-effects. It was this fear and hubris (and possibly some manipulation) that lead them to take risks.

                        Then Mage takes the whole thing and says "House Tremere was part of the Order of Hermes that stupidly turned themselves into vampires because mutha fuckas couldn't adapt."

                        Cheers!


                        If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
                        'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zennis View Post
                          Althoough it seems unlikely that the Tremere would NOT test the magic elixir before drinking it and instead, would simply say "FUCK IT, LETS JUST DRINK THE POTION AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS."

                          Hermetic Mages are not exactly known for their utter sloppiness (except when they're downright pissed, which presumably wasn't the case at the moment that Tremere and his seven apprentices were about to slam back the elixir of unlife). Not testing the potions on some lackey (who would then turn into a vampire) seems unlikely at best.
                          Consider that the Potion(s) was supposed to lenghten their immortality. Being a True Magickal Potion, testing it could very well ruin the effort. Testing could also be rendered immpassible if the number seven or some symbolism of leading the House of Tremere was involved in making it (or said by Goratrix to be involved). Summing this, I think it could be said that the Council of Seven trusted Goratrix on his word, rather than that they were sloppy.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
                            The first thing to remember is that when the Tremere backstory was written Mage didn't exist yet, and "Mages" turned into something very different from what had initially been imagined between concept and execution..
                            That's very interesting. How were Mages initially imagined?


                            The shadows are moving again

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                            • #15
                              (Just jumping in...)

                              It's similarly important to remember that while Vampire(tm) came out 3 years before Mage(tm), the Tremere were predicated on Ars Magica(tm), and while the conceptual application of Magic(k)(tm) is a bit different there, it is not so removed from what was established later on in Mage(tm), meta-conceptually (particularly as things played out in later editions/settings).

                              It was, as indicated by other posters above, a combination of factors: Tremere, as a highly charismatic/persuasive cult leader (and such people can get even some of the most intelligent-but-perhaps-less-than-wise of people to do the most outlandish things), sought out an alternate form of immortality (as the sources of Vis required to fuel/maintain the Hermetic's existing rituals were becoming more difficult to find even during the Dark Ages) and swayed others to join him. Those around him believed in his abilities and felt assured about the soundness of his proposed potion (which, despite perceptions, *was* "tested" before hand via observational "embraces" of how vampires did x, y and z"); of course, what they didn't realize was that it would result in them becoming undead... and losing their Magic(k)(tm)... and their god-selves... and having to feed on living blood so as to transubstantiate it into Vitae/Vis/whatever-the-hell-we're-supposed-to-call-it-now-Goddammit-Tremere-what-have-you-had-us-do(?!).... But the advantages soon became acceptable to them, after Tremere's further assurances. (And, of course, Saulot subtly influencing Tremere no doubt helped guide things in a certain direction.)

                              It's actually pretty clear/credible when you step back and take a look at it from the multiple factors/facets involved. Hell, it's surprising that such hadn't occurred even sooner, contextually speaking...


                              I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

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