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V5 Tzimisce (Version 1)

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  • V5 Tzimisce (Version 1)

    My take on the Tzimsce, comment welcome, especially on the Compulsions. I have developed three, and am torn which would make the best. for example I worry that the third option brings back the Malkavian silliness.


    Tzimisce


    Once, long ago, the Tzimisce were the dignified Voivodes of the Transylvanian Alps. Each lord kept their desemene, creating a network of vampiric lords that stretched from the Black Sea to the Adriatic. They hosted other kindred throughout the ages, terrifying paragons of hospitality, honor, and vengeance. Once, long ago.

    Everyone needs to be the hero of their own story, the Tzimisce are no exception. Any serious Cainite scholar will point out the Tzimisce Voivodes managed dark age slave pens cut with whatever Herd they could from the various passing tribes that crossed the region from time immemorial. The modern nights have cut away the illusions and laid bare the twisted nature of this clan.

    From their historic, figuratively speaking, diablere of their Eldest, to their collaboration with the Clan of Shadows to make war upon the rest of Kindred society as part of the Sabbat. The Fiends have embraced their despotic nature twisting minds as well as they twist bodies. The Sword of Caine has fractured, and the Soul of the Sabbat seeks its own way through the world that has moved past them.

    Who are the Tzimisce?
    The Tzimisce are a clan of contradictions, the last 500 years has seen them descend into violent priests of depredation and murder; while individually they will defend their clan’s nobility to the death; while also swearing up and down to murder and diablerize those that are still noble within their clan.

    As part of the Sabbat, they played the role of mystics, so-called pack priests, administering a slew of rituals and initiations made as a mockery of the Catholic Church. The clan, individually and as a whole, shafed under the nominal leadership of their more-equal partners the Lasombra. That frustration lead them into acts of greater depravity against other Cainites, Sabbat included.

    With the Sabbat in political shambles, and the Camarilla and Anachs vying for their territory, the Clan has had a chance to reevaluate their purpose. Many of them of course have not taken the opportunity, but others have slunk into the night to reimagine themselves. Of course reimagining yourself has always been the Clan,s Magnum Opus; and truly, the Tzimisce, masters of Bodyshaping and ancient Koldunic Sorcery have powerful imaginations.

    When left to their own devices, Tzimisce vampires seek out strong points surround themselves with mortal and ghoul servants and delve into their own projects. Even as some hard-liners and true-believes continue to attempt to rally the Sabbat packs, many Tzimisce are going to ground taking their mystic insights with them.

    Tzimisce Archetypes

    Rural Gentry
    The idealized position for a Tzimisce, you control a house, a business on the outskirts of civilization; in the modern nights that could be an industrial park, a suburb townhouse development or an exurb far from the city center. Where other Kindred see a wasteland, you see a place of your own. It requires management, to ward off poachers and be taken seriously by the urban kindred that kneel at the feet of the local Baron or Prince.

    Former Pack Priest
    Your pack was family, embraced together, tested together, fought together. Some of those packs are still around, but not yours. They either dispersed or were killed by the Camarilla, the Anarchs, other Sabbat, or the terrifying new Second Inquisition. Without them you wandered lost, the ducti and bishops are nowhere to be found. You now move with the Anarchs or with the Camarilla, but in your thoughts still burn the ritae of the Sabbat. While you struggle with the mascarade and your frayed mortal ties to the ritae give meaning to your nights, and perhaps some of your new coterie are interested.

    Modern Primitive
    The body is your vehicle for experience; pain, suffering, pleasure are true experience, perhaps the only true experience. The modern world lacks spirit, it grind people, vampires as well, into mindless drones. When you lived there were piercings, tattoos, body-mods; now that your flesh is clay you must drive your experiences further than ever. You walk a dangerous line, the anarchs are somewhat accepting, but the Cam is as conservative as any boardroom.

    Empty Suit
    You are you? Anyone, everyone. But why be someone who does not have it all? With beauty and animal magnetism you can have anything you want, you change designer personalities like other people change designer suits. Your identify like your flesh is plastic, underneath it is the truth. What are you? Only time will tell.

    Ghetto Boss
    When the Bishop fled into the shadows, the city felt empty, like an untamed wilderness. Soo the rats came creeping back; but you had already settled down, taken a domain. In your demesne the only wolves are men, but thats fine, thats good; the sheep are men too. You rule with an iron fist, your nature hidden but not your anger, but within the domain no one questions that your word is law.

    Aspiring Koldun
    Alone among the Kindred the spirits sing to the Tzimisce. Perhaps they first sung to you after your embrace, or even before. Vicissitude can look inward or outward, you reach out, the ritae of the Sabbat were a shallow thing, echoes of the Koldun’s path, passed from Master to Student. Most of the great masters are dead, Mexico City still has some they say. Now you keep your head down, listening to the spirits, in time when you are powerful you will be Voivode.

    Disciplines
    Animalism: Though some Tzimisce focus on their lordship over beasts, wolves being traditional and various large dog breeds being common. They traditionally use this Discipline to manipulate and mastery their Beast, controlling and feeding it to meet their needs.

    Auspex: The Tzimisce see what is underneath, the truth unvarnished, regardless of how ugly. Coming from their long association with the terrestrial spirits, or their assoication springs from their mastery of this discipline. As masters of their domains they assure that nothing is hidden from them.

    Vicissitude: Both their greatest mystery and the key to unlocking it; this discipline allows them to master their form, others forms, and even the spirits of their domains. A Tzimisce’s relationship and use of Vicissitude is complex, some uses are considered anathema by some factions, while others find those same arts as being the center piece to attaining perfection of form and spirit.

    Bane
    The Tzimisce are bound to the land, an unchanging connection that stays firmly fixed regardless of how they reinvent themselves. The root of this dependence has long been debated; Caine’s curse, a pact with the demon Kupala, or their own souls demanding the constant touch of the earth. This Bane has supposedly been the reason that the Tzimsce were cliquish and isolated; however, the lie was given to this with the formation of the Sabbat and its roving packs.

    During the day sleep, the Tzimisce must rest with at least two handfuls of soil to retain their vitality. Each day they fail to rest with such soil they weaken. Each night they lose their Bane level of dice from all dice pools, the next they lose their Bane level again, and so forth, they may always roll 1 die. The more powerful the Vampire, the greater their need. This does not hamper the Beast, which no no home on Earth. They face no penalty in Frenzy, and even a weakened and cornered Tzimisce is a deadly opponent.

    Within the clan, rumors abound on ways to if not break the curse, to at least change its nature and attune with some new land. The most common threads are that powerful Kolduns can link the Vampire with some new land and its spirits, or that by falling into torpor a Vampire wakes up anew, bound to the land they slept in. Few Tzimisce are brave enough to find out, and there are few Kolunic Sorcerers in the modern nights.

    Compulsion [Comments and Feedback Needed]
    Self Perfection: When faced with the imperfect world the Tzimisce Vampires seek perfection within themselves. Often going to extremes to meet what they consider perfection. While under this Compulsion the Tzimisce must either change their body; using Vicissitude if they have it, or mortal mean; or take on new extreme behaviors to get a reaction from those around them. The change to appearance or behavior must be lasting, and be sufficient to give them at least a -2 to Social rolls for a scene. Audiences that become accustomed to their changes and habits require ever more extreme behaviors.

    Contortion: The Tzimisce becomes conflicted between the need for the world to conform to them and desire to change themselves to meet the current needs. Something needs to given into the Vampire’s wishes unreservedly, or they must surrender up part of their identity and/or resources to confirm to the situation’s needs. Until the conflict is resolved the Vampire receives a 2-die penalty to all rolls not directly addressing the issues. Changes must be lasting, surviving until the end of the story. If someone else changes the situation, the penalty returns. The Vampire may certainly use Vicissitude to meet the needs of this compulsion.

    Esoteric Mysticism: The Tzimisce, no matter how grounded in reality, no matter how pragmatic are drawn to conspiracies. They tell stories, make up wild fantasies of both their own exploits, their sires, and their enemies. When under the effects of this Compulsion the Vampire gives into some delusion fully, the player must either makeup a new conspiracy theory or indulge in an existing one. The conspiracy must be shown to have an impact on the current situation, and define how they act. They recieve a -2 for rolls dealing with a rational response to things associated with that Theory for the remainder of the story, but no penalty if they treat the theory as real and of consequence.
    Last edited by khelek; 09-11-2018, 09:27 PM.

  • #2
    I love the rural gentry idea.

    I think a lot of Tzimisce will want to return to their homelands and establish some new havens in a time of instability like this.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      This seems like a pretty solid write-up for the Tzimisce. I'm still chewing over the Compulsion options - but I'd have to review other Clan Compulsions and compare and contrast to see if they feel right and balanced. Pretty good though, creative.


      -Red V5 Fan Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude (non Program take), Loresheet: Chicago (pre CbN V5), Resonance Flavor, Morality System Project Manager, Developer, Community Outreach at Hunters Entertainment

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      • #4
        Thanks for the reads, look forward to some criticism on the Compulsions since they are new (and good!). Fixed some of the formatting issues too! If you have other Compulsions I would be happy to hear them. At first, I thought all clans should have 2 or 3, but then I tried to make some good ones, and it was harder than it looked.

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        • #5
          I think I'm inclined to skew towards territoriality being the basis of Compulsion for the Tzimisce. It seems more in line with their overall theme of connection to home. Perhaps having it be something like (sans flavor text because I'm on my phone):

          Needs to return to their Domain for a night, or if they have no Domain they must temporarily claim one for a night. While out of this Domain, or should anyone intrude in this Domain during the night the Tzimisce will be at a -2 to all Pools due to the agitation.


          -Red V5 Fan Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude (non Program take), Loresheet: Chicago (pre CbN V5), Resonance Flavor, Morality System Project Manager, Developer, Community Outreach at Hunters Entertainment

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          • #6
            @CT - The Gentry idea is of course throughout the Tzimisce source material, but made by me for this post. Most of the others are basically re-versioning of the Tzimisce example characters from the Clan Book, though I changed the name "Star Fucker" to Empty Suit.

            @Red - Looking at the other Compulsions as examples, these really should drive the player/character to acting upon their world, and socializing/causing themselves problems. I don't want to purposfully push a character to Turtle, it is a passive action that then requires the ST to direct action at the Tzimisce to outline the compulsion. The two competing themes in Tzim depictions is "Tied to the Earth/Isolationist" and "Shape-shifting Monstrosity." The Clan Weakness already has the whole tied to earth thing going on, so the Compulsion should be externally focused and tied to the idea of Perfection or Shapeshifting. The other compulsions also try to not double down on the clan flaw.

            If you feel strongly about this though, then I would focus on their Infamous Gracious Host/Terrifying Host aspect.

            Compulsion
            Perfect Host - Just as the mythical Kupala hosted the Eldest, the Tzimisce feels an obligation to play the roll of host. Until the scene ends, the Vampire plays the host: they must not attack without being attacked first, must give in relation to what is given to them, and must extend what protection they can. To act against this compulsion forces a -2 to all die rolls. Most Tzimisce make terrifying hosts, with every word dripping acid, and though they live up to their word, everyone of their so-called guest leaves with the feeling that death was just around the corner.

            [Not exactly in love with this text, but this compulsion makes the Vampire (and player) out out in the current scene and more fulyl engage with the other players and NPCs rather than being forced to pull back. This might even lead to very very awkward scenes; for example: The Tzim faces this compulsion while interviewing with the Baron to be allowed to take a small domain... now the Tzim feels like they should be host and acts that way to the more powerful Baron in her own court!]

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            • #7
              How about something almost like the torador obsession bane?

              ‘Enraptured by potential, the vampire becomes temporarily obsessed with a singular fascinating object or concept, able to think of nothing else.
              The vampire can hardly take their attention from it, and if spoken to, they will only talk about that subject. Any other actions receive a two-dice penalty. This compulsion lasts until they can no longer perceive the object of their interest, until they have performed an experiment or otherwise gained a significant degree of knowledge on the subject, or until the scene ends.’

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              • #8
                ... Enraptured by Potential
                The imperfections of something within the scene entrap the Tzimisce's attention, its potential for improvement or transformation blossoms in their mind. This compulsion requires the vampire to significantly alter the object of their attention so that no one would fail to notice the difference. If the Tzimisce is not able to, or chooses not to act on their obsession they suffer -2 dice i the Dice Pool in the next scene as they obsesses over the lost opportunity. The change can be to the physical form, their beliefs, or their nature; it can not immediately destroy their target of obsession though may certainly lead to their destruction. Nor does the change necessarily need to be to the benefit of the Tzimisce or any of its goals. The Storyteller may provide a +1 bonus to Mental Dice Pools in the next scene if the change is interesting and consequential to multiple parties, as the Vampire enjoys the product of its attentions.

                [Thats my version of that Compulsion. Can't say I love it. --- Also working on Lasombra, and trying to fine a Compulsion that is not the same as the Ventrue is sort of a pain.]

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by khelek View Post
                  @Red - Looking at the other Compulsions as examples, these really should drive the player/character to acting upon their world, and socializing/causing themselves problems. I don't want to purposfully push a character to Turtle, it is a passive action that then requires the ST to direct action at the Tzimisce to outline the compulsion. The two competing themes in Tzim depictions is "Tied to the Earth/Isolationist" and "Shape-shifting Monstrosity." The Clan Weakness already has the whole tied to earth thing going on, so the Compulsion should be externally focused and tied to the idea of Perfection or Shapeshifting. The other compulsions also try to not double down on the clan flaw.
                  Ok, I see where you are coming at this from then. Something still doesn't sit quite right with me about the options you presented. I'm gonna have to do some serious thinking on why that is though, cause otherwise I can't provide any kind of worthwhile feedback to you. I'm gonna chew them over, see if I can put my finger on it.


                  -Red V5 Fan Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude (non Program take), Loresheet: Chicago (pre CbN V5), Resonance Flavor, Morality System Project Manager, Developer, Community Outreach at Hunters Entertainment

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                  • #10
                    The compulsions are the "new thing" for each of the clans. I like them as they add a very nice level to enforcing the setting in an interesting well.

                    But because they are new they are a bit tricky.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by khelek View Post
                      The compulsions are the "new thing" for each of the clans. I like them as they add a very nice level to enforcing the setting in an interesting well.

                      But because they are new they are a bit tricky.
                      I'm with you on that completely, which is why I'm generally fine with your take here. But I agree, being so new they are tricky to approach and get feeling just right. I feel like all of your OP ones are totally on the right path, just not entirely there yet for me. Still trying to assess why exactly, cause thematically they are on point now that I get your decided approach (which I concur is good). I'll figure it out though, hopefully in a way I can articulate.

                      Phone Edit: Ok, so I got it on some of these. The long lasting implications. The ones for each Clan in the core are generally relegated to a single Scene, and the open ended ones are generally noted to be simple enough (always noting things like "no matter how big or small" throughout) to kind of imply they would last for at most a scene.

                      So that is a big part of it, but the one that doesn't apply to I'll have to keep assessing what bugs me about it.
                      Last edited by Red Eye; 09-13-2018, 12:21 AM.


                      -Red V5 Fan Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude (non Program take), Loresheet: Chicago (pre CbN V5), Resonance Flavor, Morality System Project Manager, Developer, Community Outreach at Hunters Entertainment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by khelek View Post
                        @CT - The Gentry idea is of course throughout the Tzimisce source material, but made by me for this post. Most of the others are basically re-versioning of the Tzimisce example characters from the Clan Book, though I changed the name "Star Fucker" to Empty Suit.

                        @Red - Looking at the other Compulsions as examples, these really should drive the player/character to acting upon their world, and socializing/causing themselves problems. I don't want to purposfully push a character to Turtle, it is a passive action that then requires the ST to direct action at the Tzimisce to outline the compulsion. The two competing themes in Tzim depictions is "Tied to the Earth/Isolationist" and "Shape-shifting Monstrosity." The Clan Weakness already has the whole tied to earth thing going on, so the Compulsion should be externally focused and tied to the idea of Perfection or Shapeshifting. The other compulsions also try to not double down on the clan flaw.

                        If you feel strongly about this though, then I would focus on their Infamous Gracious Host/Terrifying Host aspect.

                        Compulsion
                        Perfect Host - Just as the mythical Kupala hosted the Eldest, the Tzimisce feels an obligation to play the roll of host. Until the scene ends, the Vampire plays the host: they must not attack without being attacked first, must give in relation to what is given to them, and must extend what protection they can. To act against this compulsion forces a -2 to all die rolls. Most Tzimisce make terrifying hosts, with every word dripping acid, and though they live up to their word, everyone of their so-called guest leaves with the feeling that death was just around the corner.

                        [Not exactly in love with this text, but this compulsion makes the Vampire (and player) out out in the current scene and more fulyl engage with the other players and NPCs rather than being forced to pull back. This might even lead to very very awkward scenes; for example: The Tzim faces this compulsion while interviewing with the Baron to be allowed to take a small domain... now the Tzim feels like they should be host and acts that way to the more powerful Baron in her own court!]
                        I like this one. I'm thinking of playing a Tzim in a fifth edition game I'm going to be in next week. But I can't find any information on the clan. Has white wolf designed these guys yet and I simply haven't found it yet?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

                          I like this one. I'm thinking of playing a Tzim in a fifth edition game I'm going to be in next week. But I can't find any information on the clan. Has white wolf designed these guys yet and I simply haven't found it yet?
                          ​There haven't been any official rules released for them so far, no; of the greater clans, the Tzimisce and Ravnos don't have rules yet.

                          The Tzimisce (as the Old Clan, which is what they've consistently been called any time they're brought up, such as the Prince of Tokyo in the Camarilla book) are probably going to be in the players guide coming out later this year, assuming that Modiphius fixes the things WW didn't like that caused them to get kicked back for rewrites (from Dawkins' statement in an interview, it seems to be based around stuff being 'too Sabbat').

                          There are probably about 20 different, of varying methods and quality, Tzimisce homebrews out there for V5, ranging from 'lets just replace words from Revised/V20 write-ups with V5 words and use the V20 mechanics' which... don't work with V5, to ones designed with V5's design space in mind, to ones that are in between. I would say the majority of them ignore V5's design space to just slam Vicissitude, without rebalancing it for V5's mechanical alterations, into the game.

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                          • #14
                            Only thing I'd suggest is making the fleshcrafting Protean powers - the Tzimisce having Protean is found in Chicago by Night's writeup for Erzulie, who learned it from a Tzimisce.

                            Other than that, I like it. If I hadn't started using Tzimisce I would have likely stolen your ideas for Compulsion instead of them having one which urges them toward cruelty.

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                            • #15
                              Personally I'd prefer for Viccissitude to be a set of Koldunic rituals. That said, I can live with Tzim's having Protean for the time-being, but I need their new clan weakness and compulsion if I'm going to play one next week. The compulsion especially. I mean, I can guess that the dirt thing would be something like "lose as many dice as your blood potency if you haven't slept in special dirt." The compusion is a much harder guess. Something to do with cruelty or territoriality was my guess.

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