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  • Making a Tremere for San Francisco

    Hi. I approach City Sourcebook design to some degree by formula, just to get a few things right. I try hard to keep most vampires Neonates, to keep the Elders the smallest group, to justify why a given Clan has so many members in it, etc. I also throw in somewhat elaborate in jokes and puns.

    So for Dark San Francisco (a Black Dog supplement I"m planning for the STV next year) I've decided the Prince is Tremere. But she and the Regent have a bit of rivalry going on, because they don't like each other and she considers herself at the very least his equal despite being technically an Apprentice, etc. The Prince has a Childe, Embraced in the 1960s. The current Regent (assigned in 2005 after the previous one got himself killed in a Sabbat attack) does not. But the previous Regent--who was the Prince's sire--has at least one other Childe, embraced sometime probably in the 1990s.

    This is the character I'm looking for. Male or female, I don't care. Much younger than the current Regent but a generation or so earlier. Their sire--whom I could not resist naming Tim--liked to choose interesting, successful people to Embrace. A native of San Francisco most likely, which demographically probably means White (48%) or Asian (about 30%). Tim, who was rather old school, might well have chosen someone good at computers and stuff, something he did not understand really.

    Right now the Chantry has four members plus two gargoyles--plus this fifth Tremere. I"m not opposed to adding another one in there. But I'd love to hear some recommendations. The theme of the Chronicle will be All Alone in the Night and its mood either mystery or temptation. Maybe both.

    Thanks in advance!


    My Storyteller Vault supplements.

  • #2
    So let me get this straight. The former Regent was stationed in San Francisco and there embraced the current Prince (when?) and later another Childe (90's) before getting himself killed (04/05 ish). After that a new Regent moved in and took over the Chantry and has a beef with the Prince? Or is it only the Prince who doesn't like the Regent?
    When the Prince's Sire died, did he/she have to choose between staying Prince or becoming Regent? Which Circle of Apprentice is the Prince?
    It would be interesting if the Prince set the former Regent up to be killed (by leaking info to the Sabbat) so the he/she could be both Prince and Regent. But then the Lord decided to either promote another Apprentice from the Chantry or recruit from outside the city. This could be another reason why the current Prince is bitter at the new Regent.

    Regarding the Childe, I would say a Silicon Valley success story, probably with at least rudimentary training in Path of Technomancy. That is if you want to go with the computer knowledge angle. Maybe he/she is in charge of the chantrys technological defenses.
    Last edited by Cadmiumcadamium; 12-05-2017, 06:06 AM.





    English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

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    • #3
      Here are some Tremere's concept I wrote for my current full-Tremere campaign :
      • The "I'm the Lasombra expert" guy: For some reason you have dealings with the Lasombra and have managed to learn Obtenebration and at least the basics of Abyss Mysticism, and have been successful at converting some of that into a brand new branch of Shadow Thaumaturgy, earning some kind of fame inside House Tremere... though some actually wonder if you are that trustworthy (afterall, who know how you got those data?). This concept is more appropriate for a high ranking Tremere, so perhaps it would fit the Regent (and explain why the former Regent got killed).
      • The "I should have been a Lasombra" guy: This concept is better if the one above was there at some point. This guy is kind of a bouncing ball. He studied mathematics in university, but dropped out of that to make a fortune at the stock exchange, until it failed in 1929. Then he moved to smuggling alcohol with Canada or Mexico. Then he fled to Europe when the Fed tried to arrest him and, since he's of German descent, immediatly got on the nazi bandwagon to buy some sweet business from fleeing jews. Then did the same in France when it was invaded, while also working as a spy for the Abwehr. In 1945, all his assets got trashed when a Lasombra decided to see if he would bounce up again... and he did. That's the point when the high ranking tremere above notices him, and decides that he would make a fine ghoul to provide cash for his foundation, so he just steals him under the Lasombra nose and finally decides to embrace him at some point. The character would be a very agressive neonate, very ambitious, used to the cutthroat ways of so many rotten societies he'll probably feel very at ease (though very frustrated at first) climbing the Pyramid. Perhaps the San Francisco former Regent met him during a trip to Vienna. This character is not as young as you asked for, but his strongest point was always finding the new trend and understanding novelty when it happens (on my game, he was embraced for predicting the oil crisis of the 70s, and he is now tasking with buying all the high tech stuff for the security of the Chantries).
      • The "I'm definitly a Toreador" guy: You suck at Thaumaturgy, but as your sire said, "you have a great ass"... and a silver tongue. The Toreadors love you because of your smooth behavior, your taste for fine clothes and art. The ventrue find you okay because you aren't as shady and weird looking as your fellow. Most Brujah believe you are a honey pot of some kind. You feel like you do quite a lot for House Tremere, smoothing things over and changing the image of the House from "bunch of dangerous plotting weirdos" to something a bit more polished... but the thing is, each time you go back to the House, you know everyone looks down on you. Because of your close ties to the Toreadors, you have plenty of useful contacts and keep very much in touch with humanity.
      • The MIT Pyramid Climber: You are not only a tech genius, you are also very good at reading and impressing people. You want to be in the known, and have power, and that's why you joined NSA. You are one of the techs who worked on the infamous PRISM system and are very proud of the baby you made. You want to climb to the top of some agency one day and have a tendency to adopt whatever credo your organisation holds as a morality system. Your sire found you when he sent some younger tremere to some tech conventions to find some promising computer guy... or rather, you found him by actually guessing that something was off with him, stalking him, and then getting a run for you money when you discovered this guy wasn't exactly a north korean spy or something like that. You are now officially dead in a car accident and delighted to belong to House Tremere... afterall, what is MORE elitist and "in the in" than House Tremere?
      • The Ex-Military guy: You are veteran from Irak. Though you were a fighter first, you have some uncanny bond with computers, so when you went home, you started to work in a cyber group for the army, back when hacking was a "new" thing. You were good at it but suffered from PTSD and finally dropped of. One day, you got that fantastic offer from a job that required all the unusual aray of skills you have. After some tough examination, you finally got the job... only to end up embraced and closeted into the Chantry. You are bitter that no one asked for you opinion, don't want to socialize much, not interested in climbing the ranks. All you care about is technomancy and staying with your computers. You may show up at a Brujah fight club once in a while, not stating your clan, and everyone there believe you must be some kind of Caitiff.

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      • #4
        To keep in line with the temptation / mystery theme:

        The childe was a disappointment and turned out to be thaumaturgically inept. As a result he was spurned by his sire who focused on the now prince, and left to do menial tasks.

        That's when he met a Baali who got attracted by the jealousy and anger of the neonate, and made a Baali apostate of him.

        The Baali/Tremere is now acting in the shadow to feed the feud between the regent and the Prince, underestimated by everyone as not able to use thaumaturgy,and undermining both the Prince & the Chantry for his Baali master.

        Edit: alternatively there is a similarerit somewhere to be a recruit of the followers of Set

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cadmiumcadamium View Post
          So let me get this straight. The former Regent was stationed in San Francisco and there embraced the current Prince (when?) and later another Childe (90's) before getting himself killed (04/05 ish). After that a new Regent moved in and took over the Chantry and has a beef with the Prince? Or is it only the Prince who doesn't like the Regent?
          When the Prince's Sire died, did he/she have to choose between staying Prince or becoming Regent? Which Circle of Apprentice is the Prince?
          It would be interesting if the Prince set the former Regent up to be killed (by leaking info to the Sabbat) so the he/she could be both Prince and Regent. But then the Lord decided to either promote another Apprentice from the Chantry or recruit from outside the city. This could be another reason why the current Prince is bitter at the new Regent.
          OKay, to break it down. Timon was the former Regent. He embraced Leonida in 1906 (she was a ghoul over a century old by then). During the Second Anarch Revolt the Prince was killed and Leonida--who was political hotshot of the Chantry--seized the throne. Timon was pleased and proud. Julian was Embraced by another Tremere in the 1930s,and proved his Thaumaturgical brilliance as well as his loyalty to the Clan many times. But he didn't get along with either Leonida or Timon. In the 1950s they managed to get him "promoted" to an out-of-way Chantry a thousand miles away. Over the next few decades relations between Timon and Leonida became strained. She did however give him permission to Embrace in the 1990s--the Childe under discussion. In 2005 there is a sneak attack by the Sabbat on San Francisco, one that cost the city a bunch of Kindred (including two Elders, including Timon). Julian was summoned back to take over as Regent of San Francisco, not least to conduct an investigation into What Went Wrong. He arrived and did his job, which resulted in some humiliation for Prince Leonida's Childe (Embraced in the 1960s)--why is a little complicated but she didn't really do anything wrong but it looked bad. Now Julian is Regent and Leonida is Prince. She is a Seventh Level Apprentice. He is a Second Level Regent.

          This is the Cliff Notes version.




          My Storyteller Vault supplements.

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          • #6
            Hmmmm...I can pretty easily see a fusion of several of these notions. Someone ready and willing to join the NSA or CIA, made it through the recruitment procedure only to learn he now works for a secret society of vampires but hey at least the perks include immortality! May be suffering from a bit of disconnect, a hightech science guy finding out magic is real. Has a kind of myopia when it comes to Thaumaturgy, can barely learn anything not cyber-related. Is thrilled to be courted by both Regent and Prince, but has indeed fallen under the influence of someone morally corrupt in the extreme (in this case the Toreador Primogen). Probably has an Iraqi War veteran older brother he has ghouled and turned into a personal bodyguard.

            Now I"m imagining he has a "thing" for the Prince's Childe. And a little bit too much interest in the Sabbat.


            My Storyteller Vault supplements.

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            • #7
              From a narrative standpoint, rather than genealogy and timelines, who are these people? By that I mean, was Timon an academic scholar, a glittering socialite, or an imperious commander? Is Leonida a duplicitous manipulator, a cheery-but-dangerous psychopath, or an intensely shy, but vengeful, scholar? And how did Julian maintain the image of a loyal Tremere (which implies being a team player) when he seems to find himself at odds with every Tremere he meets?

              Without knowing what current narrative roles each character fills, it's hard to spot what holes there are that need filled. There are lots of possible ideas, but do they advance the story you are telling?

              Do you need Jerry Hanaford, aka Shallow Throat, who thinks he's a very mysterious manipulator, but loves to gossip and will accidentally share clan-insider info with the first random pc he meets? Ever-ey-one outside of the clan knows he has loose lips and will be lucky to survive the year, but every non-Tremere in the city has also agreed to protect him from discovery because he is a useful source of intel on the chantry's plans. When Vienna finds out that the whole chantry has been played for fools by the rest of city, there will be blood in the streets... both from the outsiders and the Tremere... so the Regent has to pretend he doesn't know just to keep the peace, and feed Jerry the occasional piece of counter-intel. Really, Jerry is just a schlub in over his head, but his removal would have too many unpredictable side-effects for anyone to risk.

              Do you need Freedom Feinbaum-Velasquez, who serves as a moral foil for the rest of the clan? She is a genuinely decent and pleasant woman, who is therefore ostracized by Clan Tremere. She just wants to help people and celebrate her neo-pagan rituals on a hilltop in Petaluma, but she is quite the doormat for her clanmates. They can't just get rid of her, though, because she has maintained a polite relationship with both local Stargazer and Children of Gaia garou, and some very close friends among the Ecstatics and Verbena. (All of these groups have some not very chill plans for her!)

              Do you need Randy Stanley, a complete drug burnout who wanders the Tenderloin? He can barely tie his shoes (on a good night) but his psychic abilities and intuitive mastery of spirit magic earned him the nickname "the Oracle of Cosmo Place", though he spends most of his time wandering the realms ethereal. Not exactly a sparkling conversationalist on this plane, but if you can get through to him, he knows the most amazing secrets... including a nodding acquaintance with some highly placed urban spirits.

              Do you need Mister Davis, a Tremere who deals with the seedy side of mortal society, cooking up the newest designer drugs and running guns out of an Oakland warehouse squat and his hometown of Stockton? The clan loves the raw piles (and piles and piles) of cash he brings in, but is terrified he'll start a war with a major gang, or the Setites, or the Feds, or the Ecstatics, or the Hunters, or anyone on his long list of enemies, really. He is "secretly" in the first stages of establishing an unauthorized chantry in Stockton. Vienna knows, of course, and just wants to see where it goes.

              Do you need Miriam Fisher-Haas, of the Atherton Haases, a peninsula society matron, who supports tasteful tax dodges, like museums, opera companies, and charities that teach inner-city children to yacht? She funds the Chantry out of the spare change she finds between the cushions on her Eames sofa. "Mimsie" is a complete failure at thaumaturgy, but serves as a diplomat to the Ventrue, Toreador and Nosferatu clans. Wait, Nosferatu? You see, she was raised to believe it was rude to dismiss anyone because of their looks, and so has gained the sewer rat's grudging respect. (It helps that she never hesitates to throw on a pair of LLBean gumboots and a disposable Chanel suit to slog through tunnels of raw sewage for meetings.) The only people she really disdains are tech money nouveau riche.

              Also, what narrative holes in the city, as a whole, are there? Do you still need an anarch who seems respectable? Do you still need someone to be stalking a vampire from another clan? Do you still need someone to highlight the intensity of the social distance between the East Bay and the 49 square miles of San Francisco proper? Were you hoping for an npc who is pleasant and polite, until someone calls his city "Frisco", at which point the chainsaws come out?

              Basic writing tip, which Stephen King never quite mastered: never add a story element (especially an additional character) unless either the plot or the setting actually requires it. So, if you don't find a character in the back of your head who demands to be included, probably just leave it alone. This is doubly true in tabletop rpgs, where players will be bringing additional characters of their own to the mix.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DavidMacDowellBlue View Post
                He embraced Leonida in 1906 (she was a ghoul over a century old by then).
                Don't want to nitpick here, but isn't Leonida a male greek name? =p

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                • #9
                  What did timon need in the late 80's - 90s that made him want to embrace this childe? Someone that is not a threat to Leonida's power as Prince at this time

                  Main thoughts for the Regent's possible desires
                  -Another general apprentice to continue studies?
                  -Someone to grasp technology and integrate the coming age (Computers, digital storage, security systems)
                  -Scholar with a unique grasp of occult knowledge (lupine scholar)
                  -Mortal lover to stop them ageing and dying, even though they're not a /great/ Tremere
                  -Defender for the Chantry - someone that has the skills for martial prowess; like an Iraq Vet, who will focus on auspex to identify threats, train and command ghoul rangers.

                  A question, where does Julian fit into the bloodline with Timon? How far up before they share a sire/grandsire or the like?

                  In general; Leonida is at a disadvantage purely because she's out ranked. Julian can order her to act in certain ways, even as the Prince

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                  • #10
                    Let's monkeywrentch this bad boy a bit.

                    what if Timon's unnamed childe was an unexpected...failure so to speak and somehow did not turn out as expected.

                    maybe the childe is thaumathurgically inept and would have had a better Gangrel or Brujah than a Tremere afterall, maybe this Childe was hanging up with the wrong crowd who appreciated his brawl (either Anarch or Sabbath even). The Childe could have been sent to Vienna for "rehabilitation" after a few years of having fun in Mexico City and is now on a tight leash, until loyalty has been proven.

                    heck maybe he met a few cool Assimite one night and decided to "run" with his new buddies back in the Middle East and North Africa learning a few tricks and eliminating a few troublesome characters.

                    This youngster would reflect badly on Leonida, the older sibling, and Julian could use that, but at the same time, even Julian is smart enough to realize that this Childe has a skill set that could constitute a threat for him if aggravated.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Maris Streck View Post

                      Don't want to nitpick here, but isn't Leonida a male greek name? =p
                      Leonidas is a male name, yes. Leonida is a woman's name.


                      My Storyteller Vault supplements.

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                      • #12
                        This character does indeed fit a need other I just want another Tremere. He fits within the Chantry as someone who can seemingly play both sides against the middle. Julian is Regent yes, but he is much younger and of a later generation than Leonida. Yeah, she is supposed to obey, but the fact that she is indeed Prince is something that pleases the Lord, who outranks them both. She views herself as his de facto equal in terms of the Traditions anyway, and notes the Camarilla as well as the Elders who support her don't care particularly about her relative rank to Julian, whom they do not know as well nor believe in as much. So in terms of real politik, Julian cannot practically simply demand she obey everything he says.

                        So the Chantry is divided. Hell, even the two gargoyles are on opposing sides! (Please don't ask why--that is another whole story) Julian and his brilliant young Apprentice with their gargoyle in one corner, Leonida and her childe and another gargoyle in the other. With this particular Childe in the middle. I do like the suggestion he has fallen in with some corrupting influence, but will go with the one I already have amongst the dramatis personae.

                        I have not gone into vast detail right now, but can tell you these Kindred are people, albeit ones still evolving as I create them. Leonida used to have a far more complex backstory, which I simplified recently so as to make it more about her herself than her (very interesting) family. She is a political creature, which is one reason she tends to see herself as a Prince first, Apprentice second. Her social skills are considerable, as is her plotting and understanding of power structures. Hence she has kept most other Primogen (Toreador, Malkavian, Gangrel) on her side, while the Ventrue and Brujah oppose her (the latter openly, proclaiming herself an Anarch Baron). Truth to tell, she has a weirdly sexual relationship with the Toreador elder but also that is another story.

                        Julian on the other hand is the other way 'round. While not unskilled in political infighting, his power is personal power but in service to something greater, in this case his Clan. His Thaumaturgy is wide-ranging and powerful, fueled by a world view that sees politics as a meager lesser sibling to altering reality to one's will. He doesn't much like Leonida, but fears she will ultimately betray the interests of the Clan. They are rather well-matched in some way, because he is a man who despite his worship of tradition thinks way, way, way outside the box at times.

                        This Childe I'm discussing -- probably yes, some kind of computer genius with interests in the power of knowledge -- he exists not only as a point of contest between Julian and Leonida, but someone who might want to get to know/ally with new Player Characters, especially in one of them is a Tremere!

                        Both the gargoyles and other two Tremere are some favorites at this point. Really like them and their back story.

                        Julian's sire, btw, was something of a rogue who came to San Francisco from tumult somewhere else. He suggested Timon of Bath embrace Julian, who was a genuine occult scholar, one who correctly figured out certain occult secrets in history. Timon had him do it (in case he didn't work out). In the end, Julian proved far more loyal to Clan and Chantry than his sire during the Anarch Revolt. But that is also another story.



                        My Storyteller Vault supplements.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                          From a narrative standpoint, rather than genealogy and timelines, who are these people? By that I mean, was Timon an academic scholar, a glittering socialite, or an imperious commander? Is Leonida a duplicitous manipulator, a cheery-but-dangerous psychopath, or an intensely shy, but vengeful, scholar? And how did Julian maintain the image of a loyal Tremere (which implies being a team player) when he seems to find himself at odds with every Tremere he meets?

                          Without knowing what current narrative roles each character fills, it's hard to spot what holes there are that need filled. There are lots of possible ideas, but do they advance the story you are telling?

                          SNIPPED

                          Basic writing tip, which Stephen King never quite mastered: never add a story element (especially an additional character) unless either the plot or the setting actually requires it. So, if you don't find a character in the back of your head who demands to be included, probably just leave it alone. This is doubly true in tabletop rpgs, where players will be bringing additional characters of their own to the mix.
                          Just want to say I like the way you think. Incidentally, Julian sees events as proof his loyalty has born fruit. After all, he has gone from Apprentice to Regent (albeit in exile) but now Regent of a major city with the backing of the local Lord and with a brand new Apprentice who looks up to him. He is a pretty obvious choice for a Sire if someone wants to play a Tremere.


                          My Storyteller Vault supplements.

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                          • #14
                            The ex-NSA guy was a former PC of mine and he would fit the spot you want. He is a techgenius but also manipulative and very ambitious, though he is usually loyal to his allies as long as they follow his lead. The thing is, he is the kind of guy who is hugely devoted to the organization he belongs to and is also very ambitious, and wants to climb the ranks very quickly. House Tremere is definitly somewhere he can fit well, wants to fit in well, and he will do everything he can to climb the ranks while helping the House.

                            Because of his talents and the fact that he has high social stats as well, he can easily be courted by superiors. Because of his ambition, he may try to play one against the other, or to side with one expecting great rewards, and will try to find allies for himself. He will try to "mentor" any PC that seems talented but naive, especially if we're talking about a lazy character, but also grow overbearing at time, the kind of mentor you don't want to keep after some point because he feels more like a tyran than a teacher. He doesn't act like that with superiors and is very respectful of them, but anyone lesser than him will be scorned very quickly if they don't follow his lead.

                            I've also used him as an NPC in a game where one of the character was just doing nothing and lagging behind the other PCs because of his utter lack of ambition (it was a Scion game and the guy, almost a god, was still stuck at being a petty thief). The NPC put him right on track with his mentorship... until the relationship exploded because the PC was tired of being used as an underling, and the NPC refused to see him as an equal.
                            Last edited by Kalendeer; 12-06-2017, 09:08 AM.

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                            • #15
                              An apprentice disrespecting a regent? - Bad idea, they have the Pyramid for a reason.

                              A Tremere putting their role in the sect above their role in the clan? - Worse idea, look what they did to the Antitribu!

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