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  • A deal with the Tremere.

    Hi guys,
    This also went to the Mage forum as the chronicle is mage: ascension. However this particular question might be answered here as it concerns vampires. So!

    Due to some freak incident my group of Mages got their hands on a rather ancient Vampire artefact that they decided to sell to the Tremere in exchange for future favours AND information on a potential node. I was wondering where would any of you GM's go with ideas when it comes to this deal. Would the Tremere hand over a potential place of power and if so would there be a trick ? ( It's never so simple with the Tremere is it? ) . The artifact in question was indeed very valuable, holding some hints of a location that could have been an shelter of an ancient. ( I left it vague as I felt they wouldn't pursue but guess what *sigh* ).

    Any ideas appreciated :-)

  • #2
    No, they would not hand over anything if they could steal the artifact. In fact, it is much more likely for the Tremere to just Embrace all of the PCs because the PCs have already proven their occult talents by being Mages. After they Embrace the characters, they would just blood bond them and ask them to tell them where the artifact is located.

    Tremere are about the most dangerous Kindred for Mages to deal with because they know more about True Magick than any other Clan and because Thaumaturgy gives them equivalent countermagic capabilities. The Tremere have to have a good reason not to Embrace the characters or else your Mages should already be toast, even if the toaster has not heated up yet. I am curious why Mages would think to offer an item of power to one of their competitors, especially when Kindred and Mages are not on terribly good terms at the best of time.

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    • #3
      I'd be interested in hearing what time period this is meant to be in. If it was modern, some Tremere might be willing to deal instead of combat to avoid a re-ignition of the Massassa War. But they'd no doubt try to trick the mages in some way in the deal. Just doubt it'd be anything so crass as trying to abduct a group of mages right after they got out a conflict with a group of them.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
        I'd be interested in hearing what time period this is meant to be in. If it was modern, some Tremere might be willing to deal instead of combat to avoid a re-ignition of the Massassa War. But they'd no doubt try to trick the mages in some way in the deal. Just doubt it'd be anything so crass as trying to abduct a group of mages right after they got out a conflict with a group of them.

        It's our date - december/2016. Pc's got their hands on the item during an auction where they were looking for something entirely different. Then they managed to outbid
        the ghoul that was supposed to acquire the item with the use of Magick.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
          No, they would not hand over anything if they could steal the artifact. In fact, it is much more likely for the Tremere to just Embrace all of the PCs because the PCs have already proven their occult talents by being Mages. After they Embrace the characters, they would just blood bond them and ask them to tell them where the artifact is located.

          Tremere are about the most dangerous Kindred for Mages to deal with because they know more about True Magick than any other Clan and because Thaumaturgy gives them equivalent countermagic capabilities. The Tremere have to have a good reason not to Embrace the characters or else your Mages should already be toast, even if the toaster has not heated up yet. I am curious why Mages would think to offer an item of power to one of their competitors, especially when Kindred and Mages are not on terribly good terms at the best of time.

          They just literally have no clue about the WOD :-) It's their 4th game in this world/system so yes, they're a tad naive.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
            Tremere are about the most dangerous Kindred for Mages to deal with because they know more about True Magick than any other Clan and because Thaumaturgy gives them equivalent countermagic capabilities.
            They do and it does?
            Doesn't Countermagic only work on Thaumaturgy? And is also not a part of Thaumaturgy?
            Tremere left the Order of Hermes a thousand years ago. Sure, they've been embracing some mages since then, but your average 13th gen Tremere is still probably six or seven generations removed from the closest embraced mage. Sure, you can probably send a carrier pigeon to Vienna asking for a tome on Magic magic, but it's unreasonable to expect a randomly picked chantry to have a Magic specialist in it.

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            • #7
              One thing to bear in mind about the Tremere while they like to present themselves as a monolithic organisation and are certainly the most organised and united of all the Camarilla clans are much less so than they would appear to be from the outside. So this gives you some wiggle room as an ST because what the Tremere would do is really more of a question of what would the specific Tremere that they are dealing with do? So long as it furthers the clans own goals it would be in character for a Tremere. Some may try to trick your mages, some might make the deal a trap and others may deal with them relatively honestly and even appear to be friendly on the surface.

              So what do you think would be the best thing for your story?

              I am with Monalfie in I don't think they would forcibly embrace them. Tremere are very selective, they don't just embrace mages as soon as they spot them. One thing that people often get wrong about the Tremere is that they only go after occult character concepts. All they really want is the best and brightest in a wide range of fields, what may limit you is upward movement within the clan without good Thaum skills. You could be a glamorous socialite and be considered for the embrace, just unlike the Toreador you would have to be the best one in the world, attracting Cleopatra like levels of devotion and followers. You could be a gunman who only lives for the kill and cares little for magic and rank or power. But unlike the Brujah or the Gangrel that would not be enough for the Tremere, you would need to be the deadliest man on your side of the globe. And the same goes for everyone including mages, they will not embrace these characters solely on that basis. Only once they show a spark of raw brilliance would they take interest. And I think it would be an offer rather than a demand, at least at first.

              And an upside of that is that you can throw your PCs off by using an intermediary that acts differently from what they expect. Less hoary warlock or man in black and more fashionable business man or kindly grandmother type. The Tremere may not even reveal themselves to the PCs, only dealing with them through ghouls.

              If this artefact is as valuable as you say it is I think most Tremere would deal with this one of two ways. Either being somewhat upfront, certainly haggling and trying to get the best deal for it so that they come out on top but not willing to do anything that might cause damage or jeopardise it. A more rash, inexperienced or confident one may try to steal it.

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              • #8
                Well put. Being embraced is going to strip you of magic and will-working doesn't inherently have the same mental/stat layout that thaumaturgy does. A mage is not inherently good at blood sorcery when embraced. And to note on the topic again, if the Tremere were willing to bid instead of take it originally, seems like they are more presented to try and deal here as well.

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                • #9
                  Nodes and sources of tass aren't directly beneficial to Tremere vampires anymore, are they? So giving away information about one doesn't really risk the loss of a resource they have need for. It's like someone with a gluten allergy trading a loaf of bread they can't eat for a wedge of cheese owned by someone who's lactose-intolerant. And if you need a double-cross angle, who's to say the prospective node isn't already being used as a cairn by a bunch of werewolves the mages don't know about?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rumata View Post
                    They do and it does?
                    Doesn't Countermagic only work on Thaumaturgy? And is also not a part of Thaumaturgy?
                    Tremere left the Order of Hermes a thousand years ago. Sure, they've been embracing some mages since then, but your average 13th gen Tremere is still probably six or seven generations removed from the closest embraced mage. Sure, you can probably send a carrier pigeon to Vienna asking for a tome on Magic magic, but it's unreasonable to expect a randomly picked chantry to have a Magic specialist in it.

                    V20 Page 382

                    " A vampire with Thaumaturgy or Thaumaturgical Countermagic can try to counter a magickal spell directed at her; a Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 6) “soaks” such spells, reducing the attack’s potency by one level (or die) per success. A vampire who eliminates a mage’s successes neutralizes the wizard’s spell. A magi can also turn this ability around on vampires as well, using their countermagic against Kindred Disciplines."

                    A Thaumaturge could counter the Mages spells if you go by this rule. And they certainly do know more about True Magic than any other clan, neither you nor Aya Tari's statements are mutually exclusive though. This comes back again to the specific Tremere they are dealing with and how high ranking they are within the organisation and indeed which Chantry. If this is an minor one then yes I doubt they have anyone to hand. A setting like London or New York though, I think they would have a Magic specialist to hand.

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                    • #11
                      I think that a local Chantry would be in communication with Vienna if they discovered a major artifact for auction. If nothing else, the head of the Chantry would have alerted someone when he or she started asking questions about lost Tremper artifacts. Of course, the head of the Chantry could be trying to hide the existence of the artifact to gain personal power, but he or she would probably want to clean up loose ends after acquiring the artifact. I would expect the Tremere to attempt to kill off the characters through mundane means that cannot be traced back to the Chantry after the deal is done (drive by shooting, food poisoning, gas leak, etc).

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                      • #12
                        As the simplest answer, since the chronicle is Mage, is to offer service.

                        The Tremere are perfectly able to cooperate and to negotiate, if they see fit. Against a cabal of Mages with disposition to hand over the artifact, to try too hard on being an ass is counterproductive.

                        But that said, the main piece of bargain from them is service. Tremere aren't likely to hand over occult material, at all. Also, they are very guarded and cautious with information. Service offering is their bread and butter, though.

                        If really needed, they can deal in information, though. Just make them really reserved and extremely precise, at once trying to learn the most and giving the least.

                        For their services, you'll have access to a number of rituals performed without Paradox, some quite potent. Direct action from some undead apprentice. Maybe their interceding among vampires in general. If it suits you, the service of a gargoyle isn't below them, if the price is high enough.


                        #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                          No, they would not hand over anything if they could steal the artifact. In fact, it is much more likely for the Tremere to just Embrace all of the PCs because the PCs have already proven their occult talents by being Mages. After they Embrace the characters, they would just blood bond them and ask them to tell them where the artifact is located.

                          Tremere are about the most dangerous Kindred for Mages to deal with because they know more about True Magick than any other Clan and because Thaumaturgy gives them equivalent countermagic capabilities. The Tremere have to have a good reason not to Embrace the characters or else your Mages should already be toast, even if the toaster has not heated up yet. I am curious why Mages would think to offer an item of power to one of their competitors, especially when Kindred and Mages are not on terribly good terms at the best of time.
                          I just don't see this happening. First off, these mages weren't all stated to be in the order of Hermes, so by snatching and embracing and all that, they are pissing off more than one covenant. As has been stated the last war with just there own order was harmful as hell, and they know of the other covens. They aren't that dumb. Being pulled into the sunlight is just as much a risk as being a mortal mage when it comes to how one dies.

                          Would they negotiate with heavy handed tactics (dominate, presence, rituals if able) absolutely. And yeah if they gave up a powerful node, it would already have some squatters that would have to either be negotiated to use it with, or gotten rid of, which is something else in an of itself and perfectly capable of ending in death.

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                          • #14
                            Loving all the answers so far! This helps a great deal guys. SO I will roll with the following :

                            1) One player will get a discreet proposition of embrace ( not right away, but she is a member of Euthanatoi, and I know she would be tempted ;-)

                            2) They will get a node but one that is occupied by some other supernaturals.

                            3) Tremere will often require service and will be happy to provide service. So I assume a deal will be struck and would be mutually beneficial ( so to speak ).

                            I don't want to embrace them all or kill them right away although that does seem plausible with how they approached Tremere, but they seem more useful as pawns that could be used than dead?

                            I figured you could use more info: Mages in question are one Hermetic, one Verbena and one Euthanatoi girl.
                            The item is a cross of true faith that was used to banish evil - twist is that it has a vial of blood of an ancient that had that true faith.( or has, I left that open if he's dead or not ) Tremere know that.
                            Does that sound too far fetched?

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                            • #15
                              Well, reliquary items often held bones of saints rather than vials of blood, so you may want to consider a cross made from the mystically preserved femur bones of a Kindred with True Faith, bound by gold and silver. If the Kindred was a saint (like Ferrox), it would probably not be unreasonable to give the cross a True Faith rating equal to one-half (rounded up) of the True Faith of the Kindred whose bones comprise its structure (True Faith 3-5 since a saint would have True Faith 6-10).

                              In addition to the normal effects of its level of True Faith, I would have it act as countermagic against every magical effect originating or targeting something within (True Faith × 10) meters (which would include Blood Sorcery, Garou Gifts, Hedge Magic, True Magick, etc) and, when used by someone with True Faith, the effect is based on the total True Faith of the item and person. The reason why the Tremere would want it is because Ferrox is hunting for it, to improve his already saintly True Faith, and they do not want a member of the Red List with that level of power.
                              Last edited by Aya Tari; 12-15-2016, 10:29 AM.

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