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What would happen to a Giovanni Caitiff?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


    Well, the prince of Cairo is a caitiff with access to 8 different disciplines, including Auspex, Obfuscate, Dominate, Presence, and even Quietus.

    That's a pretty impressive list of mentors for a clanless mongrel to have studied under, wouldn't you say?
    I'll be honest, I'm not familiar with the setting books. I like to use my own characters(it throws off players who have read quite a bit). That said, thats not so unusual for a Prince. I would consider that to be more determination and using the machinations of vampires to gain favors and use them for disciplines.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


      Well, the prince of Cairo is a caitiff with access to 8 different disciplines, including Auspex, Obfuscate, Dominate, Presence, and even Quietus.

      That's a pretty impressive list of mentors for a clanless mongrel to have studied under, wouldn't you say?
      Not really. Pick a White Wolf NPC a random, you'll see a full house of clan-specific disciplines that will never ever be taught to outsiders on the threat of death by KGB superninjas. Especially Thaumaturgy - the most common discipline-that-Tremere-will-not-teach-you-don't-even-ask to show up on a non-Tremere vampire..

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
        Except every relative of the vampire to be, every close relative of the sire, the local level patriarch who allowed the siring... Aside from all those people - no one.
        Don't forget anyone who can speak to ghosts—not a major consideration for most clans, but we're talking about the Giovanni here.

        That said, assuming a loyal indoctrinated member of the Giovanni family who was vetted and judged worthy of the embrace, mightn't lacking the clan's weakness and not showing up as it when one's blood is tested be considered useful for a spy/infiltrator?

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        • #19
          Assuming we're talking about a mortal member of the Giovanni family that was Embraced, who for whatever reason didn't inherit the same traits...

          I don't see why he/she wouldn't be treated like a Giovanni fledgling. They are born from the same mortal stock, afterall, and Embraced by a member of the family. I don't know that they'd even be recognized as caitiff at all, but rather a Giovanni with an advantageous merit of not suffering the clan flaw.
          Last edited by Blitzburger; 11-14-2017, 04:13 PM.

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          • #20

            Random thoughts:

            The term Caitiff has a slightly muddled meaning, mostly owing to the earlier editions of the game tending to use the term interchangeably for both a) those vampire's whose embraced partially failed, making them "clanless" by virtue of not having their sire's Discipline affinities and/or Clan weakness/curse, and b)those who were in some way orphaned or abandoned by their sire, but otherwise still had the entire clan package. To better clarify things, for the rest of this post, I'll be referring to the former as Clanless and the latter as Outcasts.

            As far as a Giovanni Outcast goes - say, one who's from a distant branch of the family who who's sire gets destroyed shortly after the embrace, leaving her without any sort of formal introduction to the Clan as a whole, and no idea where to go to find others - from a rules perspective, she's still a Giovanni, full stop. She's got the Clan's Discipline affinities and suffers the Kiss of Death. She just isn't wrapped up in the clan's web yet, and may end up falling in with a group of other neonates (or even Anarchs). She might actually find she prefers this sort of existence, which will make for interesting developments if and when other Giovanni finally track her down and try to make her come "home". (Someone may even decide she'd make some sort of useful liaison/plant within the Anarchs or the youth of the city's Camarilla, which would make a pretty cool character concept, IMO.)

            When if comes to a Clanless vampire of Giovanni lineage - for example, one who grew up deep in the family, had a general idea of what was going on, and was groomed for the embraced for most of her life, only to have, for whatever reasons these things happen, the embrace not take properly - from a rules perspective is a Caitiff (using the rules in Guide to the Camarilla or whatever it's V20 equivalent is), getting to pick 3 dots of Disciplines from anything the Storyteller OKs - and in this case, having Necromancy would be perfectly reasonable IMO - and not suffering the Kiss of Death (unless you decide to take that as an optional character flaw for bonus points). The effects of Clanlessness probably won't show up immediately. It take a little bit of time to adjust to undeath and fully blossom, so to speak. After the embrace, the rest of the family may or may not pick up that something is "off" about him. If not, he'll be treated like every other member of the Clan, even thou from a rules perspective he's not one. If they do, it might get get shrugged off as yet another thing going screwy in the Final Nights. Or it may result in him always being just slightly shunned in tiny little ways here and there. And his Sire may not ever be allowed to embrace anyone again, at lest not for a long while. However, if it is super-blatently obvious that something went wrong - his starting Disciplines are Potence, Fortitude and Animalism and he never learns much of anything else, and he has no reflection, for example - then he's likely to be treated as the Red-Headed Stepchild and his Sire is likely to good deal of status over the whole thing. He may be used as cannon fodder or as a stalking horse on dangerous missions, but just destroying him outright is most likely going to be considered a waste of a potential resource, the time and effort spent grooming him potentially bearing at least some small fruit down the road.

            As far as grooming goes, some of the families in the Giovanni are relatively large and widespread, resulting in some potential members only coming to the attention of the Clan in adulthood after they've achieved merit on their own. And it's also entirely possible that, at the family reunion, Uncle Ted get's a wild hair up his ass and decides to just up and embrace you, with no preparation, ghouling or permission. In that situation, the Clan will most likely just take you on as a work in progress and Uncle Ted gets sent to manage the family's interests in Lubbock, TX.



            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
              Not really. Pick a White Wolf NPC a random, you'll see a full house of clan-specific disciplines that will never ever be taught to outsiders on the threat of death by KGB superninjas. Especially Thaumaturgy - the most common discipline-that-Tremere-will-not-teach-you-don't-even-ask to show up on a non-Tremere vampire..
              In a number of cases, I think that was usually an artifact of pre-revised editions using Thaumaturgy and it's rules to cover any and all forms of "blood magic", even for characters who were using it centuries before the Tremere even came along. Even 1st ed mortals who did human magic would have it, just because at the time those were the only magic rules the game had. As far as other "special sauce" Disciplines, I think a lot of times it was writers just trying to make elder characters more badass or something. On the other hand, with Sabbat characters, their inter-pack Discipline sharing was considered a thing, and justified some of it.

              My general rule of thumb has been that any discipline that might require looking at the world in a certain new or obtuse way - Dementation, Obtenebration, Vicissitude, Chimerstry, most of the bloodline powers, for example - are going to require finding a skilled practitioner (like, level 4 or 5) to teach you. Blood Magic you might learn on your own, but it'll take a lot of research into real world mortal magic and experimentation with trying to empower it with your own Vitae, so it's easier to find a teacher.

              Clanless are the exception to this. If a character were, in life, a theoretical physicist obsessed with time, I'd be OK with her starting with Temporis. Likewise a former spiritualist or exorcist starting with Necromancy.


              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                In a number of cases, I think that was usually an artifact of pre-revised editions using Thaumaturgy and it's rules to cover any and all forms of "blood magic", even for characters who were using it centuries before the Tremere even came along. Even 1st ed mortals who did human magic would have it, just because at the time those were the only magic rules the game had. As far as other "special sauce" Disciplines, I think a lot of times it was writers just trying to make elder characters more badass or something. On the other hand, with Sabbat characters, their inter-pack Discipline sharing was considered a thing, and justified some of it.

                My general rule of thumb has been that any discipline that might require looking at the world in a certain new or obtuse way - Dementation, Obtenebration, Vicissitude, Chimerstry, most of the bloodline powers, for example - are going to require finding a skilled practitioner (like, level 4 or 5) to teach you. Blood Magic you might learn on your own, but it'll take a lot of research into real world mortal magic and experimentation with trying to empower it with your own Vitae, so it's easier to find a teacher.

                Clanless are the exception to this. If a character were, in life, a theoretical physicist obsessed with time, I'd be OK with her starting with Temporis. Likewise a former spiritualist or exorcist starting with Necromancy.


                From what I understand, the Tremere's brand of Thaumaturgy is a unique style that relies on math and science to perform its rituals and spells.

                Those outside of the Tremere are using some other sort of method to achieve similar effects. That's why it's possible for non-Tremere to have access to blood magic without ever going to the Tremere for instruction.

                But labeling all blood magic as 'Thaumaturgy' regardless of how it works does get confusing, however.

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                • #23
                  Caitiff starting with clan specific disciplines: I have no trouble telling my players no as I've done it a number of times in the Sabbat game I ran, online Giovanni game I ran, etc. Just no full stop. Now rules do exist so they can make their own so with some creativity and ST approval feel free to delve down that path.

                  Caitiff as Giovanni: as others have pointed out it's possible and they wouldn't exactly be killed on sight. In the Clan Novel there was a ghoul that was highly prized in the Giovanni (a Rossellini to be specific I think) because he had Auspex and that isn't something the clan has readily available. So a Caitiff sprung out of their undead womb with Auspex, Celerity, or Fortitude, or some other non clan specific discipline that they didn't have would have some worth to the family over all. But they'd never amount to anything other than a useful tool, not with how the family structure is set up.

                  "...I don' care what you say about this Putanesca prick, he aint got no will to dominate, he aint got none of the strong stuff....potence yeah that's it, he aint even got the marbles for speakin to the DEAD! Gimmie one good reason why I don't off this @#$% before he gives my daughter the vampire AIDS that made em!"

                  "because he has the ability to see the auras of the spirits we need -and- he can read someone exceptionally well and tell if they are lying.....sound valuable?"

                  "......aiiight whatevah. You say he gots a use, I trust you so he gots a use. But if this guy....yeah you, you melanzana you, you so much as breath wrong near my family you're gonna learn a new meanin' to the word 'shocker' my friend."


                  Shadows of London: a V20 game set in the Victoria Age. Watch us live at 6pm AZ time (GMT -7) on Sunday nights @ http://twitch.tv/lenduran/

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                  • #24
                    Perhaps the majority of Giovanni don't even specialize in Necromancy - there are those who don't develop it at all. In fact, because they keep to themselves, they have a low attrition rate, but also many inexperienced members who are really lagging on the power curve. Dominate really goes a long way to ensure a smooth unlife, and a couple of dots of Potence to back it up can work wonders. You don't even need Disciplines to be engaged in finance or some such activity, and a little bit of a supernatural edge makes things trivial.

                    For these reasons, if the Giovanni Caitiff is reasonably capable, they have a good chance of being spared, and set to work for the clan. They wouldn't be allowed to rise in rank or probably allowed to embrace, and it would be an embarrassment to the sire, but there are worse fates.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sycophant
                      Now rules do exist so they can make their own...
                      Sorry for the tangent, but I'm curious as to where these rules are? I've heard this elsewhere but haven't run into it yet.

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                      • #26
                        I think it was in Outcasts and then more of it was in A Time of Thin Blood. you'll have to forgive me it's been a long time since I've looked at either of them


                        Shadows of London: a V20 game set in the Victoria Age. Watch us live at 6pm AZ time (GMT -7) on Sunday nights @ http://twitch.tv/lenduran/

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post

                          Don't forget anyone who can speak to ghosts—not a major consideration for most clans, but we're talking about the Giovanni here.
                          Point of order: a small minority of people and vampires actually leave ghosts, so the odds of a sire being haunted by his failed embrace are plot dependent miniscule.

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                          • #28
                            It would be really hard to notice. I mean Dominate and Potence are rather easy to learn innately and quite a few of the Enforcers and such go with that and abit of FOrtitude.

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                            • #29
                              I think nothing would happen as long as it's not painfully obvious that there is something wrong with the new vampire. I mean come on he might not have Necromancy as starting discipline but learning it is just a little bit harder, crunch-wise. Fluff-wise there are plenty reasons why it takes a little bit longer than your Joey Goivanni.
                              Having a special set of disciplines may even be of help when trying to advance through the ranks. Maybe everyone is looking out for ghost and specters into the crypts where you have your secret meetings but ignoring the rodents.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Meldok View Post
                                I think nothing would happen as long as it's not painfully obvious that there is something wrong with the new vampire. I mean come on he might not have Necromancy as starting discipline but learning it is just a little bit harder, crunch-wise. Fluff-wise there are plenty reasons why it takes a little bit longer than your Joey Goivanni.
                                Having a special set of disciplines may even be of help when trying to advance through the ranks. Maybe everyone is looking out for ghost and specters into the crypts where you have your secret meetings but ignoring the rodents.


                                Are out of clan disciplines harder to learn for Caitiff, who have no clan? I like to think they function as a double edged sword in which they can learn such abilities easier than most vampires, but at the cost of everybody wanting to kick the shit out of you. Makes for an interesting personal story in which the Caitiff has potential within them just waiting to be explored, but society is doing everything it can to keep that potential laying dormant.

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