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Working on a Bloodline: Sons of Judas

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  • #16
    I'd be interested in knowing more about the bloodline's psychology and how they view and get along with the other factions and clans/bloodlines.


    See my splat, Angel: The Revelation (With a MUCH better link): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...qUnP1fcl-0/pub

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Vikken View Post
      I do see what you mean with the similarities, but with Daimoinon being essentially exclusive to the Baali, would it really be an issue?
      The entire bloodline is essentially derrivative and brings little new to the table. Their concept is that they are christian Assamites and their magic power is 4/5 Daimoinon. Their clan is their concept so all members are pretty much interchangeable. No one cares about their red hair mystery because it's a bloodline - outsiders won't meet enough of them to even realise that it's a mystery, and members of the bloodline obviously know if they had red hair or not. Running around saying that their grand dad personally knew Jesus probably gets them beat up a lot, by Christians for being heretics, and by non-Christians for being infidels.

      At the end of the day, if I wanted Judas in my chronicle I'd just have Judas in my chronicle and if I wanted a justice-obsessed John Doe serial killer then I'd just have that, no justice-obsessed John Doe serial killer bloodline required.

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      • #18
        Well, to come clean, the intent was to write up a bloodline for the Storyteller's Vault, and I don't know if it would fly if it's just rehashed material.

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        • #19
          There is an issue with Bloodlines in general in VtM, at least from my perspective. And that's typically that they're awkward to put into play. Either as a player or as an NPC, the unique aspects make it odd at times. Playing a Salubri, for example, can be quite hard given their written historic background of being hunted to such extremes by Clan Tremere. Playing a Nagaraja can be difficult since you frequently need fresh corpses to consume. Playing a Gargoyle can be difficult because you look like, well, a Gargoyle. Playing a Baali can be difficult because everyone thinks you are evil and wants to kill you.

          So on and so forth. It was kind of why I asked 'what use is this intended for.' I kind of agree with Kammerer in that I have no reason to use this specific Bloodline as opposed to a different Cainite clan that has similar aspects. In addition, their mandate of being 'retributive sin hunters' makes it hard to get a wider variety of concepts out there.

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          • #20
            Yaoi, I have to admit I'm still working on it, but the bloodline's psychology is relatively simple at this point. They tend to believe they have a Mandate given by God to uncover sin in order to make up for Judas' betrayal of Christ. What each Son does about the sins he uncovers is up to him, but the general party line is to avenge or punish it.
            As to internal politics and power, there's the Seat of Judgment, the "ruler" of the bloodline that makes the rules and judges Sons accused themselves of sins, but for the most part, they go their own ways.
            ​They tend not to get along with the Sabbat, because they see much of what the sect does as sinful, prideful certainly and definitely abusive. They would most likely war incessantly with the Setites and the Baali wherever they find them, possibly the Ravnos and Giovanni, too. As for other independents and bloodlines, it would likely be on a case-by-case basis, but the inherent sin of being a vampire always colors the Sons' reactions to a Cainite.
            ​As for the Camarilla, with all the rules they have and the Byzantine social structure, the Sons generally step lightly, interacting as carefully as they can, but still uncovering sins as they are meant to. They get along with the Camarilla, even "joining" the structure of a Prince's city at times, but as they tend to upset things with their nosey attitudes, their nickname of Betrayers comes out, as they expose anyone they see "doing the wrong things." Including the Prince. So, sometimes they're welcome, sometimes they're not.

            ​Kammerer, I appreciate the critique, I really do. Do you have any suggestions on how I can work to make the bloodline more unique and less derivative?

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            • #21
              Assamites suck at the whole "judge' thing. The whole idea that a bloodline of would be Batmen would somehow be rehashing Assamites is laughable. Assamites "judge" KINDRED and even then poorly. One third of the clan just wants justification for diab. One third is pretty standard "social manipulator/lore hoarder" and the final group are sorcerers who are "magic magic magic" Assamites might claim they are judges but they never have been, they've been at best mercenaries and at worst hypocrites(or just not giving a fuck).

              Now Lasombra on Nocturnal Redemption DO care about mortals, Devil Tigers do care. These are those who punish mortal wickedness. The Assamites have never touched on this.

              To me the idea that Baali or Salubri tried to embrace Judas and everything went sideways has an interesting setup. Though having a lineage of particularly similar Deranged Malkavians or similar compelled Ravnos would interesting. What about constructing your bloodline write up with afew potential options? I think I'd get the most out of a bloodline that could fit in a couple setups

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Vikken View Post
                Weaknesses: ​The Sons of Judas cannot lick the wounds of their feeding closed, for one. When they feed, they have to suck on the surface of the skin, leaving a mark like a series of three x's, supposedly representing the Roman numeral thirty - the number of silver pieces Judas sold Jesus out for. In addition, they take aggravated damage from silver weapons and one lethal health level of damage per turn from direct contact with the metal. Add to this that they must use a Discipline to sire childer, and they certainly have their weaknesses.
                So...this is going to be so highly focus a criticism that it becomes a nitpick. But to paraphrase Avenue Q, the Internet is for nitpicks.

                The thirty shekels Judas is paid is exactly the legal value of a slave (Exodus 21: 32), in fact a dead slave. The precise value of thirty shekels, or pieces of silver, is a highly specific, symbolic element to the story in the Gospel most concerned with evangelizing to the Jewish communities of the first century CE.

                So this is a reference significant to Jews that you're alluding to with your bloodline weakness. Why then are you mixing your metaphors by making it a ROMAN numeral that the Sons of Judas leave behind on the mark of their prey? It wasn't the Romans that paid Judas; it was the Jewish Sanhedrin. The symbol for '30' in Hebrew is ל,the letter Lamedh.


                I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

                The Malkavian Madness Network

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lian View Post
                  To me the idea that Baali or Salubri tried to embrace Judas and everything went sideways has an interesting setup. Though having a lineage of particularly similar Deranged Malkavians or similar compelled Ravnos would interesting. What about constructing your bloodline write up with afew potential options? I think I'd get the most out of a bloodline that could fit in a couple setups
                  Thanks, Lian. Caring about mortals is kind of the point, I guess. The Sons are less concerned with vampire politics the way I see them, but I may have to change that to make them more playable. As to origins, like I've said, I prefer to leave it at a "mysterious unknown vampire progenitor," but dropping hints at possible links to, say, Baali or some such to make sense of the similarities in Disciplines might help. Dunno.

                  ​BenjCano, thanks for the input. I agree, there's a little bit of a discrepancy, but like you say, it's kind of a nitpick, and I don't think it's that big a deal, is it? And here I thought I was being clever...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Vikken View Post
                    Yaoi, I have to admit I'm still working on it, but the bloodline's psychology is relatively simple at this point. They tend to believe they have a Mandate given by God to uncover sin in order to make up for Judas' betrayal of Christ. What each Son does about the sins he uncovers is up to him, but the general party line is to avenge or punish it.
                    As to internal politics and power, there's the Seat of Judgment, the "ruler" of the bloodline that makes the rules and judges Sons accused themselves of sins, but for the most part, they go their own ways.
                    ​They tend not to get along with the Sabbat, because they see much of what the sect does as sinful, prideful certainly and definitely abusive. They would most likely war incessantly with the Setites and the Baali wherever they find them, possibly the Ravnos and Giovanni, too. As for other independents and bloodlines, it would likely be on a case-by-case basis, but the inherent sin of being a vampire always colors the Sons' reactions to a Cainite.
                    ​As for the Camarilla, with all the rules they have and the Byzantine social structure, the Sons generally step lightly, interacting as carefully as they can, but still uncovering sins as they are meant to. They get along with the Camarilla, even "joining" the structure of a Prince's city at times, but as they tend to upset things with their nosey attitudes, their nickname of Betrayers comes out, as they expose anyone they see "doing the wrong things." Including the Prince. So, sometimes they're welcome, sometimes they're not.

                    ​Kammerer, I appreciate the critique, I really do. Do you have any suggestions on how I can work to make the bloodline more unique and less derivative?
                    This might work better less as a bloodline and more as something along the lines of a Heresy/Gehenna cult with Judas acting as a dark reflection of Jesus. I would rename it the Covenant of Judas to tone down on a possible single bloodline connection.

                    The Covenant of Judas believe that just as Jesus made a new covenant with humanity, Judas made a new covenant with Cainites. The Covenant has a divine mandate to seek out the sinful and unrepentant among humanity and punishing them for rejecting what was offered by the son of God. Some of these sinners are destroyed others are offered the Covenant of Judas through the embrace.

                    The exact origins of such a group are best left mysterious. The Covenant would say that God offered a covenant to Judas in return for his promise to betray Jesus and allow for the formation of the new covenant with humanity. The night after Jesus's death Judas was transformed into a Cainite. Some among the Covenant say it was because he had to kill his spiritual brother, others say that to offer the Covenant of Judas a dark communion was required with his blood. Jesus had 12 Apostles and Mary Magdalene, a 13 which ties easily into the 13 clans of Caine and each of these dark apostles then made their own group leading to the Covenant of Judas being a series of small interconnected cults (which they would probably call diocese) some of which may not make contact with the larger body for its existence. As for other theories as to its origin.
                    • Judas was embraced by the Baali and created the Covenant as a blasphemy against God's new covenant
                    • The Covenant's leadership are secretly infernalists and use the group to eliminate their rivals all while offering the destruction of these sinners as sacrifice to their demonic patron
                    • The Covenant grew out of one of the survivors of the Children of Judas Setite Cult. The destruction of Constantinople and the death of Michael was like the crucifixion and afterward this Setite altered the dogma away from sin to the new Convenant
                    • The Covenant grew out of the collapse of the Cainite Heresy replacing Caine with Judas as the central figure while keeping many of the religious elements
                    • The Covenant grew out of the early Sabbat with religious Cainites being unable to reconcile their faith with the more monstrous among the Sabbat. So they took the ritae and remade them with Christian imagery

                    While any vampire can be offered the Covenant of Judas, generally existing members look for those who already have some kind of faith or moral code beforehand. Truly monstrous vampires often end up as targets for the organization which is why they remain so secretive even among vampire kind. Disciplines that allow members to discover secrets are highly prized among the Covenant - Auspex, Daimonion, Dominate, Presence, and Obfuscate are all common among members and tutorship in such is often an enticement to get a vampire to accept the Covenant. These also lends credence to the stories that the Covenant is somehow connected to the Baali and/or the Setites.

                    Their focus on punishing sin means the Covenant may run afoul of any vampire some groups are more aware of them and move against them when they root out a diocese.
                    • Josians - With the corrupted Christian imagery it isn't a far stretch to believe the Covenant is an infernal cult
                    • Sabbat Inquisition - The Covenant is heresy and an obvious tool of the Antediluvians (13 Dark Apostles, 13 original Antediluvians)
                    • Setites - There is no god but Set
                    • Nergali Baali - There is no god but (insert demonic patron)
                    • Hunters/Mortal Inquisition - Because they must hunt and kill sinners, a number of Covenant have ended up on the radar of religious groups with supernatural knowledge

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Vikken View Post
                      Thanks, Lian. Caring about mortals is kind of the point, I guess. The Sons are less concerned with vampire politics the way I see them, but I may have to change that to make them more playable. As to origins, like I've said, I prefer to leave it at a "mysterious unknown vampire progenitor," but dropping hints at possible links to, say, Baali or some such to make sense of the similarities in Disciplines might help. Dunno.

                      ​BenjCano, thanks for the input. I agree, there's a little bit of a discrepancy, but like you say, it's kind of a nitpick, and I don't think it's that big a deal, is it? And here I thought I was being clever...

                      Having a flaw is well a flaw. Its not meant to help you. Nos are ugly it gets in the way of politics! Malkavians are crazy! Toreador are obsessed with beauty! Even Ventrue feeding requirements get in the way. Being driven to go play batman(Or only being able to feed off sinners(thus another potential clan connection) is about tension. Vampires play the game of politics so they don't end up killing eachother and to maintain their morality. Having a compulsion that drives them to act on mortal actions should hurt their capacity to engage with politics.

                      If they need a place in kindred society their natural apptitudes towards batmanning make them excellent sheriffs/scourges/inquisitors/archons they make use of the practice to apply things to kindred society.

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                      • #26
                        Weakness suggestion. When a vampire witnesses (or senses via a discipline) a sinful act they must perform a difficulty 8 self-control check to resist immediate frenzy directed at the sinner.
                        Furthermore, for Sons fo Judas "sin" is defined by vampire's morality (not Path or Road), not by an objective standard or sinner's morality. A christian vampire will go off at the scent of a polygamist, and most former middle class vampires will take littering and jaywalking as a mortal offense.

                        Reasoning. The weakness drives the bloodline's behavior as "judges" and creates narrative complications related to such behavior. Sin is defined through the vampire rather than the victim to create horror stemming from value dissonance. Elder vampire coming out of torpor and going on a killing spree as people keep disrespecting the laws abandoned millenia ago is a story.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                          Weakness suggestion. When a vampire witnesses (or senses via a discipline) a sinful act they must perform a difficulty 8 self-control check to resist immediate frenzy directed at the sinner.
                          Furthermore, for Sons fo Judas "sin" is defined by vampire's morality (not Path or Road), not by an objective standard or sinner's morality. A christian vampire will go off at the scent of a polygamist, and most former middle class vampires will take littering and jaywalking as a mortal offense.

                          Reasoning. The weakness drives the bloodline's behavior as "judges" and creates narrative complications related to such behavior. Sin is defined through the vampire rather than the victim to create horror stemming from value dissonance. Elder vampire coming out of torpor and going on a killing spree as people keep disrespecting the laws abandoned millenia ago is a story.

                          I like the reasoning but find Frenzy a bit less scary vs a controlled dispassionate drive..

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Lian View Post
                            I like the reasoning but find Frenzy a bit less scary vs a controlled dispassionate drive..
                            Frenzy is an issue for players. Controlled dispassionate drive is something they would have done anyway by picking this concept.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                              Frenzy is an issue for players. Controlled dispassionate drive is something they would have done anyway by picking this concept.

                              I think addiction or using the Ravnos Flaw as a base might work better NEEDing to do it. It makes a scarier potential elder wakes up and is punishing people for eating shrimp.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Lian View Post


                                Having a flaw is well a flaw. Its not meant to help you. Nos are ugly it gets in the way of politics! Malkavians are crazy! Toreador are obsessed with beauty! Even Ventrue feeding requirements get in the way. Being driven to go play batman(Or only being able to feed off sinners(thus another potential clan connection) is about tension. Vampires play the game of politics so they don't end up killing eachother and to maintain their morality. Having a compulsion that drives them to act on mortal actions should hurt their capacity to engage with politics.

                                If they need a place in kindred society their natural apptitudes towards batmanning make them excellent sheriffs/scourges/inquisitors/archons they make use of the practice to apply things to kindred society.
                                ​Lian, I agree. And, that's kind of why I made them more "mortal-oriented" in the first place. They're less concerned with the Jyhad than they are the shepherding of their flocks. It does tend to hurt them politically, and they feel it in their dealings with other vampires. As for bloodline weakness, well, that's not it. I guess I'm still working on it, there.
                                As for their aptitudes fitting in with different roles in Camarilla structures, you make very good points. It's very helpful. I appreciate it, and I'll just have to keep working on getting them closer to "Camarilla standards."

                                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                                Weakness suggestion. When a vampire witnesses (or senses via a discipline) a sinful act they must perform a difficulty 8 self-control check to resist immediate frenzy directed at the sinner.
                                Furthermore, for Sons fo Judas "sin" is defined by vampire's morality (not Path or Road), not by an objective standard or sinner's morality. A christian vampire will go off at the scent of a polygamist, and most former middle class vampires will take littering and jaywalking as a mortal offense.

                                Reasoning. The weakness drives the bloodline's behavior as "judges" and creates narrative complications related to such behavior. Sin is defined through the vampire rather than the victim to create horror stemming from value dissonance. Elder vampire coming out of torpor and going on a killing spree as people keep disrespecting the laws abandoned millenia ago is a story.
                                ​Kammerer, I like it, and it makes sense, but I don't think I would use it as the bloodline's weakness. The only reason is, how would you go through a story, much less a chronicle, trying to focus on other things when one character steals the action frenzying every five minutes over everything he's supposed to be seeking out? The point behind the bloodline is that they're supposed to seek sins, whether to record, expose, or avenge them. Going into frenzy every time they succeed would get onerous, at the very least. Seems to me it would make a good Flaw, but I think I would need something else for the bloodline's weakness.
                                ​That said, story potential is certainly there, and would make for some good drama, especially if the character were a NPC. Dunno how you'd do it as a player character, though.

                                ​As for elders, since it came up (sort of), even Judas himself if he were still around would only be about two thousand years old. Generation-wise, I'm picturing him as possibly sixth gen. Few enough Methuselahs in torpor, as far as the bloodline is concerned. Most of the line are still active, if not overtly so.

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