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Thaumaturgy - Choosing a Different Primary Path

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  • Thaumaturgy - Choosing a Different Primary Path

    So I was reading over Thaumaturgy and the section about Path of Blood mentions how almost every Tremere learns it first. And that 'additional reasoning' should be given for taking another, but it isn't unheard of. Yet, it doesn't give much overall guideline or examples for why one might. So I was curious how others handled this sort of thing. Is it based on personal interest, chantry needs, etc.? What do you go with most in these situations?

  • #2
    Other Paths might be taught as Primary to a Tremere because for some reason(s) the Path of Blood isn't suitable or available. For example, the book(s) on the Path of Blood at the Tremere Chantry got lost or stolen. Another case - someone might be totally inept in regards to the Path of Blood, while showing aptitude for another.

    The Tremere teacher might have some mystical theory, that a newly initiated Tremere, if they begin their Thaumaturgical development on a Path different from the Path of Blood, will manifest some special abilities, or reach greatness in some way. This might be due to their personal characteristics, or intertwining of magical and/or mystical correspondences and/or events.
    Some Tremeres might make exceptions based on psychological characteristics.
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 09-25-2017, 03:31 PM.

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    • #3
      Another possibility it's a chantry dedicated to other forms of magic. For instance, a very "spiritual" chantry may decide to teach Spirit Manipulation instead of the Path of Blood so the neonate can interact with the Chantries incorporeal allies or servants.

      Or maybe the Chantry could use an expert on a certain Path but noone has the inclination or know-how to learn it. Like Technomancy in a chantry where only a few members realized computers were invented.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
        What do you go with most in these situations?
        Player desire and narrative need for the chronicle. A Tremere spirit Expert will probably have Spirit Manip as their primary path.

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        • #5
          In my games Weather Control is the default path, because I like Dracula, and Dracula controlled the weather, he didn't boil people's blood.

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          • #6
            I would only allow divergence from Path of Blood based on specific setting/story needs at the Chantry level. This is something definitely controlled by the top of the Pyramid, and they'd only allow exceptions for very specific reasons. Thaumaturgy is not instinctive, but a magical discipline requiring certain knowledge. That isn't done on an individual basis, but by tutelage from a mentor. This is something the Pyramid absolutely has to control. If Path of Blood is not taught as the Primary, there must be a specific reason to do so. The ST should determine why that is. There is probably a series of checks/approvals done up the Pyramid in order to obtain approval.

            Chantry X is located in Lupine country, and therefore neonate Tremere based there are taught this Path instead of Path of Blood.

            Or Chantry Y is based in Detroit which is Sabbat held. When the Sabbat took the city, they never realized this existed, and the Tremere have kept it as an espionage outpost ever since. Therefore this other Path is the primary Path taught here.

            Or there is unusual phenomenon where Chantry Z is located at. Tremere built Chantry Z specifically to research it. As a result this Path is now primary at that chantry, as it is what is needed to investigate the phenomenon, or was developed as a result of studying it.

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            • #7
              Exceptions are mostly related to bloodlines outside the Tremere pyramid. A Tremere Hacktivist in the Anarch movement will probably use Technomancy as main path, while a Telyavalic Tremere may choose something more shamanic, like the Green Path or Elemental Mastery.

              I guess it may happen that some regular Tremere is taught something else as main path, but... I usually look at the Tremere as rigid Math teachers. They know what's best for you and what you need to learn to better understand, and the Path of Blood is just the step one. Learning something else is like studying derivative calculus without knowing how to solve a square root, and that's just too much for them.

              Having a youngling study different paths... I mean, sure they could if there's need, but then again: if there is so much need why aren't they just making their best magi study them instead of burdening a student with it? An elder Tremere can learn Lure of the Flames faster and buff it with better stats than a newbie, after all.

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              • #8
                The very idea that blood is the stepping-stone path is just something that doesn't work for me. It's just too divorced from the powers that the more mystical versions of novel/movie vampires have. Novel/movie vampires, when they played up as wizard archetypes rather than physical powerhouses or mind-controllers, tend to have weather control, telekinesis, and an extremely limited form of fire control, mainly the ability to make candles spontaneously light. So I'm inclined to make weather control and movement of the mind the readily available paths, and the rest fairly obscure stuff that requires some clan politicking. And to make enchanting candles so that you can make them alight at will a low level ritual.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                  The very idea that blood is the stepping-stone path is just something that doesn't work for me. It's just too divorced from the powers that the more mystical versions of novel/movie vampires have. Novel/movie vampires, when they played up as wizard archetypes rather than physical powerhouses or mind-controllers, tend to have weather control, telekinesis, and an extremely limited form of fire control, mainly the ability to make candles spontaneously light. So I'm inclined to make weather control and movement of the mind the readily available paths, and the rest fairly obscure stuff that requires some clan politicking. And to make enchanting candles so that you can make them alight at will a low level ritual.
                  Most traditional Vampires in that kind of Novel probably would be Kuldun (Tzimesce Sorcerers) with control of the local region. The Tremere are mages who became vampire-sorcerers due to study of the blood. Path of Blood makes sense for the entire clan (in General) because it's how you understand the way the rest of the magic was devised.

                  BUT I agree with Maris - certain Chantries would have unique problems that they face, leading for a new path to be taught first.

                  I don't think the book of "Path of Blood" getting stolen would be a likely situation, a replacement should be easily found, or written from memory by one of the masters.

                  I would make every NPC with Path of Blood unless there's a reason to stand out

                  PCs are going to want to play with different toys (powers) so they will make characters and find a reason to stand out from the crowd. In a long term game (Dark ages into modern day) or one where you're planning a lot of XP then force them to take Blood unless they have an idea that blows your mind..
                  Shorter time frame games, I'd be more generous with Primary paths because it's likely they won't get a chance to get secondary or tertiary paths

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                  • #10
                    I dislike Blood as the primary path or the whole primary path system at least being your "First" path since you have rituals like enchant talisman that cue off of Primary path and.. are basically worthless for blood.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                      I would only allow divergence from Path of Blood based on specific setting/story needs at the Chantry level. This is something definitely controlled by the top of the Pyramid, and they'd only allow exceptions for very specific reasons. Thaumaturgy is not instinctive, but a magical discipline requiring certain knowledge. That isn't done on an individual basis, but by tutelage from a mentor. This is something the Pyramid absolutely has to control. If Path of Blood is not taught as the Primary, there must be a specific reason to do so. The ST should determine why that is. There is probably a series of checks/approvals done up the Pyramid in order to obtain approval..
                      I agree.

                      The Path of Blood is taught to Tremere neonates first because the Path of Blood contains and builds upon the core principles of Tremere Thaumaturgy. Their thaumaturgical structure is keyed on the Hermetic Theory of Vitae, which is that Vitae is the "primary element" from which all things arise. This harkens back to clan Tremeres origin as Hermetic Mages, with vitae being a sort of quintessence in Mage terms. A Tremere that does not understand the Path of Blood does not understand the backbone of Thaumaturgy. Path of Blood is taught first because it qualifies you to know what the hell you're talking about in Thaumaturgical discussions.

                      I allow other paths first if the Chantries needs are great for mastery of a specific path, or in other extreme scenarios. And "my mentor is totally a wallflower" generally isn't sufficient reason unless you're backstory is really strong.

                      Even then any neonates who do not have any knowledge of the Path of Blood what so ever will likely be mocked by any classical Tremere as an ignorant and unacademic. I also recommend a small difficulty adjustment to learning rituals and other paths until the apprentice has at least a dot in Path of Blood.

                      Originally posted by Lian View Post
                      I dislike Blood as the primary path or the whole primary path system at least being your "First" path since you have rituals like enchant talisman that cue off of Primary path and.. are basically worthless for blood.
                      Adds 2 dice for theft of vitae, cauldron of vitae, and blood of potency, all of which are extremely good powers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zanos View Post


                        Adds 2 dice for theft of vitae, cauldron of vitae, and blood of potency, all of which are extremely good powers.
                        No, theft of vitae is pretty much completely horrible for a Camarilla clan. Potency's power and how much an extra success matters is iffy. Cauldron gets defininate benefits, though on average its 1 extra agg...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                          The very idea that blood is the stepping-stone path is just something that doesn't work for me. It's just too divorced from the powers that the more mystical versions of novel/movie vampires have. Novel/movie vampires, when they played up as wizard archetypes rather than physical powerhouses or mind-controllers, tend to have weather control, telekinesis, and an extremely limited form of fire control, mainly the ability to make candles spontaneously light. So I'm inclined to make weather control and movement of the mind the readily available paths, and the rest fairly obscure stuff that requires some clan politicking. And to make enchanting candles so that you can make them alight at will a low level ritual.
                          I divide up the different Thaumaturgy paths into "Tremere Only" or "Other Clan Only" or "Sabbat Only" and then have several Paths that are actually known to the greater vampire community. Those are exactly the things you mentioned - Movement of Mind, Weather Control, even Lure of Flames. The image of the flying vampire in Lost Boys or generic elder vampire using Weather Control is just too dominant to say only the Tremere know that.

                          I still have those Paths difficult to learn because they aren't powers natural to the Vampire's blood, but a kind of magic. So it requires a good teacher and the student needing the proper attitude.

                          In my Chronicles, I have a secret group of non-Tremere thaumaturgists who preserve that pre-Tremere magic tradition, and they act as one of the opponents of the Tremere within the Camarilla. But they are very secretive. But Movement of Mind is definitely out there in the open - even some Anarchs know it. But popular knowledge of it is only up to level 3 which allows people to fly.

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                          • #14
                            deleted - double posting

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lian View Post
                              No, theft of vitae is pretty much completely horrible for a Camarilla clan.
                              How is that?

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