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  • V5 - Tzimisce and Vicissitude

    So, in prepping things for my Chicago Chronicles game (using V5 but starting in the 1E content at Baptism by Fire and working forward) I've been cooking up a few things for my game - some of which I have posted previously. Being as the Tzimisce are one of my favorite Clans, and I'll need them fairly soon in the story (at least in the background in Chicago), I decided to take my own stab at doing a workup for them and their signature Discipline in the V5 form.

    The writing is a combination of wiki snippets, book excerpts, and my own writing all kind of combined and mashed together (like some kind of Vicissitude abomination). The formatting is setup to look very much like the core book so that you can print it and have it just set into the book (not perfect, but it will do for now). The logo used on it was also nabbed from the wiki. I believe that covers general credits for this.

    The writeup includes Clan fluff, background, Archetypes, Discipline overviews, Bane and an alternative options, and a Compulsion. You also get Vicissitude fluff, Characteristics, and 11 Powers across Levels 1-5 including new Amalgam Powers. The formatting used is designed to mimic that of the V5 Core Rules so that you can in theory print this off and slip it in the book without it feeling terribly out of place (not perfect, but does the job).

    Anyways, here you go, hope you like it and can get use out of it for your V5 games until something official comes along (or after if you like this better):

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Other versions of the Tzimisce for V5 on the forums:
    ​@khelek content
    Tzimisce: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...isce-version-1
    Vicissitude: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...tude-version-1

    Chilindrow content
    Missing V5 Clans (includes Tzimisce): ​http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ining-clans-v5
    Last edited by Red Eye; 04-01-2019, 09:55 AM.


    -Red
    V20 Content: Age & Potency
    V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
    Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

  • #2
    So far I am liking what I am seeing. I wanted to start a discussion on a thought I had while looking at the document about Vicissitude and the new definitions that WW is using for disciplines. it seems that the definition that has been used for what powers where in what discipline have been readdressed in V5 to the point that I am curious about Vicissitudes place.

    To me many of hte abilities of Vicissitude where more protean like than 'other discipline like', for lack of being able to think of another term. You have already started to address this with Horrid form and I think that may be in a good place but I am wondering if Vicissitude in general will get a heavy redefining in the new edition and this is one of the many reasons we don't see the Tzimisce in the core book.

    I guess this boils down ot what do you think Vicissitude is. With protean it is the shapeshifting power. Vicissitude to me always felt like it should be defined as the "Shape Other" power to give it a distinct feel separate from other disciplines. Vicissitude as body control just feels too close to protean. Vicissitude focusing in on being a flesh crafting power to me seems to be where the traditional definition is rooted. because of this I think you should be able to craft not only yourself but others and each power should not be able to be done in a single turn. but more like a craft check of sorts where they make their creation. The body is like clay in their hand but do to its inherent elasticity it will revert to its true form over time. All of your writes up seem fine to me so far except one.

    Instead of expelling foreign substances which feel like an amalgam power or body control, why not the ability to add or subtract the beautiful merit or the ugly flaw for a night this seems more like the person was crafted and it fits in with the level that also has malleable vestige the changes parameters to assist in disguises and such or maybe just remove it and move the level two observation power down to level 1.

    Comment


    • #3
      I feel the distinction, to me, is bodily mastery and crafting vs beastial connection and shapeshifting when it comes to Vicissitude and Protean. I think there are places for overlap in the Disciplines, which is why I placed the one truly shapeshifting-esque power that I opted to include (cause Tzimisce have a few more of them in the older Editions through the various levels) has been made into an Amalgam with Protean. That said, all the other various powers will require some crafting to them as you suggest which I feel is implied in the text I have down so far, and will be further seen when I finally put the System details in for each of these powers, including the Sublimation (even if that doesn't immediately make you think of flesh crafting, I assure you it won't just be poof it is gone).

      Personally I am fairly confident with the choices I've made, though there are some other folks who have also worked up V5 Tzimisce as well which you could use (or you could mix and match between them as well, or just make your own tweaks as desired). Not that I am opposed to feedback, but we do have some differing views in regards to Vicissitude so the issues you have with the approach really don't bug me enough to divert. I do appreciate the insightful explanation though, as I do get where you are coming from thanks to it - I just happen to see it a little differently is all.

      Feel free to "Save a Copy" of the document too via Drive if you want to keep all the formatting and such but just tweak a power or two for your own tastes.


      -Red
      V20 Content: Age & Potency
      V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
      Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

      Comment


      • #4
        Impressive write-up as always, Red Eye .

        This is a reminder that it's not IMPOSSIBLE to do adaptations of the existing material in order to play 5th Edition games with the Independent clans. Your hard work really shows here and it's interesting you made the twists you did. I especially like the Noble Voivode archetype.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Excellent write-up. I especially enjoy your use of specific characters as examples of the different currents in the clan. It shows a good attention to detail and helps with story immersion. Thank you, for taking the time to write this.

          I am impressed with the Compulsion, as it allows more than just physical transformations. The feng-shui example is brilliant, and quite appropriate to the clan's relationship with their Havens. Well-thought out and quite adaptable to different character concepts!

          A few small questions about Vicissitude:

          Vampires of a lower generation can heal the effects as Agg damage, but how much damage?

          Does healing one level remove all effects, or do more extreme changes need more levels healed?

          How does Vicissitude interact with appearance-based stats, like the flaw Ugly, or the merit Beautiful? Clan banes, like the Nosferatu and Gangrel?

          Impurity Sublimation: This may be of limited use to vampires, as few toxins are truly dangerous to them. For ghouls, though, it is a keeper. Would it help with infectious diseases? Tattoos? Stakes? Blood you've been forcibly fed with the intent of bonding, such as from a domitor to a ghoul? Where does the material go... does it plop out in a puddle? Generally more detail needed.

          Cocoon: There's an old hack for the Tzimisce weakness of flesh-crafting a place to keep your soil. If you think about it, though, that's over-engineered. Vampires have several existing human orifices which they don't use, which can be used to store items. Technically, any vampire could even cut open their gut, scoop out the vestigial innards, and sew a satchel back into the cavity. Gross, but it is more a function of being a vampire than having a particular discipline. Plus, this seems like a task that could accomplished with Malleable Visage. I would either drop it, bump it back to level 1 for ghouls, or greatly expand the ability in some way - maybe by being able to create hidey-holes in others.

          Observe True Form: I have always been a fan of True Seeing spells. Needs a note that it doesn't require skin-to-skin contact. The Auspex amalgam may not be needed; this is quite similar in power to the Animalism 1 power Sense the Beast.

          Skin Trap: Needs a lot more detail, but I like the concept of an entangle attack. Super-creepy! Does trapping someone in this count as touch for various other attacks from the victim?

          Body Arsenal: When used on a vampire, do the bone weapons do Agg?

          Graft Life to Life: Copy-edit detail, check the prerequisite... you substituted "frame" for "clay".

          Horrid Form: Does it matter which Protean 3 power for the prerequisite?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            Impressive write-up as always, Red Eye .
            This is a reminder that it's not IMPOSSIBLE to do adaptations of the existing material in order to play 5th Edition games with the Independent clans. Your hard work really shows here and it's interesting you made the twists you did. I especially like the Noble Voivode archetype.
            Well, thanks very much. Glad you dig the write-up and the decided direction of it. My goal was to help people see the Tzimisce as something more than just the Body Horror archetype as many seem to. I have always felt the Clan was more about Manipulation, Control, and Ascendancy than specifically about being a Freakshow - some just end up leaning that way.


            -Red
            V20 Content: Age & Potency
            V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
            Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Excellent write-up. I especially enjoy your use of specific characters as examples of the different currents in the clan. It shows a good attention to detail and helps with story immersion. Thank you, for taking the time to write this.
              Woo - you got a big response here. I feel obligated to provide you with a good response. So, time to take this bit by bit. First of all, thank you very much for the compliment. When I design I am much stronger with mechanical stuff than I am with fluff so I was most worried about the Lore writeups (still have one left to do on Vicissitude), so it is good to know that it seems like I did a fairly decent job on it. And yea, I figured I needed to go that route to help act as a proof of concept for why I was doing the Tzimisce the way that I was - showing how the fluff has always kind of supported this view of them.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              I am impressed with the Compulsion, as it allows more than just physical transformations. The feng-shui example is brilliant, and quite appropriate to the clan's relationship with their Havens. Well-thought out and quite adaptable to different character concepts!
              This was actually a crucial factor of it for me. Compulsions, in my opinion, should not be reliant upon a specific Discipline. Due to the way Vicissitude behaves, when you make a Compulsion that suggests modification a player is most prone to fall to Vicissitude as a crutch. But what about the Tzimisce without Vicissitude? Must they have a Compulsion they have no hope of alleviating anytime soon? I don't think so, because I firmly believe the Tzimisce are compelled to change much more than just the physical form. This is why their Havens are esoteric, this is why they are prone to adopting alien mindsets via Paths, and so on. It was important to me to show how this need to manipulate the world around them is the core of the Clan, and how it can permeate into all facets of their existence.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              A few small questions about Vicissitude:

              Vampires of a lower generation can heal the effects as Agg damage, but how much damage?

              Does healing one level remove all effects, or do more extreme changes need more levels healed?

              How does Vicissitude interact with appearance-based stats, like the flaw Ugly, or the merit Beautiful? Clan banes, like the Nosferatu and Gangrel?
              You have a couple questions on this, which I'm not terribly shocked by since the writeup for the Discipline is still in the works and there just isn't a lot of info there yet (only enough to get a sense of where I intend to take it). So, to address each of these in turn:

              1) The amount of Agg Damage that modifications represent will vary based on the modification. I plan to work this in a fashion similar to Merits/Flaws where the amount of Success needed on an Extended Test for Crafting and the Agg Damage correlation will be based on the ratings of these modifications. The final writeup here will include a mini menu of predesigned options to apply with some suggestion how how one might go about creatively making their own effects for use in play (working with their ST of course, who gets to be final arbiter on anything not officially listed).

              2) Somewhat tied to the prior answer, yes, more extensive modifications will require additional healing. If you let a Fiend work on you for extended time to allow them to do these extensive modifications it will have the repercussion that getting rid of them will be that much more difficult.

              3) For the Appearance-based stats, well, Vicissitude can certainly mask them (the implication of the Observe True Form power though implies your true form is still in there somewhere). You don't remove it, you just don't get impacted by it for the time being. Clan Banes, however, are supernatural. So, the unsettling presence of the Nosferatu and the animalistic nature of the Gangrel can still shine through.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Impurity Sublimation: This may be of limited use to vampires, as few toxins are truly dangerous to them. For ghouls, though, it is a keeper. Would it help with infectious diseases? Tattoos? Stakes? Blood you've been forcibly fed with the intent of bonding, such as from a domitor to a ghoul? Where does the material go... does it plop out in a puddle? Generally more detail needed.
              Actually, this is mostly going to be related to the "Tainted Blood" writeup that comes with the book, which honestly implies poison being able to effect Kindred potentially (not to mention inebriants). Are these toxins dangerous, no, but they can certainly be a distraction or inconvenience. Diseases it would work for. Tattoos it would work for. Stakes, sorry but that is beyond the scope. Blood...I'm still debating this, because while I'd like to it would also make me inclined to raise the level of the power as that would be a little much for a Level 1. We'll see, it might shift to a higher level or I might leave blood be due to the supernatural connotations with it.

              As for where it will go, the hint is in the name of the power - sublimation (which is something of a misnomer to a degree, but I like it). I picture it as seeing the body of the crafter writhe unnaturally as their body literally shifts and contorts to force out the substance which is expelled as a black viscous substance that immediately evaporates upon exiting the skin in a quickly dissipating black mist.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Cocoon: There's an old hack for the Tzimisce weakness of flesh-crafting a place to keep your soil. If you think about it, though, that's over-engineered. Vampires have several existing human orifices which they don't use, which can be used to store items. Technically, any vampire could even cut open their gut, scoop out the vestigial innards, and sew a satchel back into the cavity. Gross, but it is more a function of being a vampire than having a particular discipline. Plus, this seems like a task that could accomplished with Malleable Visage. I would either drop it, bump it back to level 1 for ghouls, or greatly expand the ability in some way - maybe by being able to create hidey-holes in others.
              I could potentially allow for it to extend to others - though my main throughline here was the Transhumanists and the potential that Vicissitude gives for those who like to integrate technology with their biology. The Tzimisce stand to be at the apex of this movement, and I think this opens some doors for them. See, for me, I might let a vampire do this without the power, but they will take damage making these cavaties, and healing will force out whatever they had in them as it does with bullet slugs and the sort. You don't have that problem using Vicissitude. I could tie it to Malleable Visage, but I think it gives it a little too much of an edge so I prefer to treat this as that base concept being extended further.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Observe True Form: I have always been a fan of True Seeing spells. Needs a note that it doesn't require skin-to-skin contact. The Auspex amalgam may not be needed; this is quite similar in power to the Animalism 1 power Sense the Beast.
              I went with Auspex here because it is more about physical form than about the Beast. I am basing it out of Sense the Unseen. That said, like other Amalgams, it doesn't matter if you took that power or another one from that level - just that you have the appropriate rating in the Discipline. Just my baseline thinking on it.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Skin Trap: Needs a lot more detail, but I like the concept of an entangle attack. Super-creepy! Does trapping someone in this count as touch for various other attacks from the victim?
              Yea, this will get a lot more details, no worries, not even remotely done yet. I don't think I'll let it count as touch for using Vicissitude though, as I see that being lost once the skin is removed from the Tzimisce (it is no longer connected to their Vitae infused selves). It is as it implies, a trap (or a tool I suppose) that the Tzimisce can make on the fly in grotesque fashion.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Body Arsenal: When used on a vampire, do the bone weapons do Agg?
              Still debating this, but I am thinking I might lean towards a yes with the caveat that the bones have been infused with Vitae in the process to make them capable of doing so. Who knows, I may go with Superficial though, but I think it is certainly open for potential debate.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Graft Life to Life: Copy-edit detail, check the prerequisite... you substituted "frame" for "clay".
              Nice catch, I changed the name of that power 3-4 times, so I'm not surprised I missed that. I'll clear that up.

              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              Horrid Form: Does it matter which Protean 3 power for the prerequisite?
              Nope, like other Amalgams, you just need the requisite level of the required Discipline for the combo. Not that I'd be opposed to the idea of needing a particular power, it just isn't the way V5 has approached the idea.

              So, with all of that said, thanks again for the detailed response. I hope this provides a bit more insight into my approach and choices. Even if I don't take all the feedback on board, I do appreciate all of it so people are welcome to keep kicking it out.


              -Red
              V20 Content: Age & Potency
              V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
              Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

              Comment


              • #8
                Also, I'm actually swapping it up to simply letting any Supernatural heal the modifications as though they were Aggravated Damage without any other restrictions. Agg is a bit more of a pain to clear up in my opinion in V5 so they can work through it. I don't think this is a terrible overall, it still lets the Discipline be a major threat, but it makes it more manageable.

                It is still pretty much permanent for Mortals though - sometimes surgery can help, depending on the mod, but otherwise they need a Crafter to mod them back.


                -Red
                V20 Content: Age & Potency
                V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alright, I put a little more time in here and there over the morning and have Vicissitude worked up through Level 3, and for Level 4 and 5 I have a few details on each power that craft people can probably extrapolate from already. Basically, this should be essentially ready for play, but I'll be finishing up the final powers over the weekend/week.

                  Hopefully between this and the other fan workups folks should be able to integrate the Tzimisce into their V5 games fairly faithfully. I'll likely hit the other main Clans sometime soon, essentially as I start needing them, which in Chicago by Night means I'll be hitting a few more Independent Clans and Lasombra at least a bit down the road (assuming they aren't out officially by the time I get to them - not doing this level of work if something is available).


                  -Red
                  V20 Content: Age & Potency
                  V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                  Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Alright, I just finished this off. It now has the full Clan writeup (including all the fluff, Archetypes, Banes, and Compulsions you'd expect from an official writeup - and a bonus Bane is also included if you want to get more revisionist with the Clan in V5 as was done with a couple Banes). The same applies for the Discipline which will give a fluff bit, Characteristic rundown, and 11 new powers to work with spread across the 5 levels neatly detailed (I actually tried to help make the Discipline a bit more manageable in V5 compared to past Editions as was done with others). It even includes a couple new Amalgam powers.

                    So, as I said before, I hope this can be of help to some folks until such time as the official writeup comes out (or even after if you like my take better). I also encourage you to check out these other cracks at the Clan and Discipline (and some others too) which are also up at time of this writing:

                    khelek content
                    Tzimisce: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...isce-version-1
                    Vicissitude: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...tude-version-1

                    Chilindrow content
                    Missing V5 Clans (includes Tzimisce): http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ining-clans-v5


                    -Red
                    V20 Content: Age & Potency
                    V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                    Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I suppose I should drop a quick update in here that I've been working on making some tweaks and updates to this writeup. Had someone contact me recently about some of the changes, so thought I would make it more well known. I've also got some outstanding development comments open on the document indicating some of the direction upcoming changes will be going.

                      So, yea, if you were one of the folks who liked this work up, be advised that things are changing with it.


                      -Red
                      V20 Content: Age & Potency
                      V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                      Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok, so been poking at this here and there over the past few weeks here as I've had moments to, and while I'm not completely finalized just yet the general structure is there now in regards to my changes and updates.

                        Here is what I'm up to for anyone making use of this: I've been working on adding in options for playing both Old Clan and Koldun variants of Tzimisce characters (basically in place). Koldunism will be coming along with all of this in the form of a few Rituals porting over some of the powers from the old Ways of previous editions (though rather than tying it to Blood Sorcery I decided to associate it to Oblivion for the whole working with spirits facet of that). This also give a thematic touch in that the Old Clan become the only line of Tzimisce without a Discipline for the In-Clan batch that has the potential to corrupt them (as my version of Vicissitude takes a nod from Oblivion in CbN now and also can corrupt the user). Finally, I'm also revising the Vicissitude power lineup to better reflect the merge of Sanguinus and Vicissitude into one Discipline, and chopping out most of the custom powers I added that were not a part of this process.

                        Have fun everyone!


                        -Red
                        V20 Content: Age & Potency
                        V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                        Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Alternative idea for approaching the Tzimisce in V5 that I'm considering doing a workup on as well just to get it out of my head:

                          Set them to Protean as many suspect, and in some cases desire, and grant them a single Amalgam power at Level 1 called Vicissitude (and that is linked to Auspex to help lock it to that Clan better like other Amalgams) - and this power grants the Tzimisce access to Rituals associated to Protean (taking a nod from the Obtenebration and Necromancy merger, and that Blood Sorcery won't be the only place Rituals can exist). All of these Rituals will grant them access to their more signature line of powers, and by turning them to Rituals (and their propensity to take time) it offers a distinction to why these things must be physically crafted and why they work on targets rather than just being personal shapeshifting ability.

                          Just a thought I have been chewing over.


                          -Red
                          V20 Content: Age & Potency
                          V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                          Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for your great work on this, I love it and will be using it for my game. I took your advice and made a copy, then (because I'm a bit obsessive) went over the formatting and brought it as close to in line with the original style as possible. You're more than welcome to use my formatting if you like!

                            The only functional change I made was to the Resonance flavor of Vicissitude: I've added three flavors of Resonance to the original four, to give each Discipline a named Resonance, and I've had Vicissitude assigned to Mercurial for quite a while! (If you're interested, you can see my Resonance additions here)

                            Edit: Oops, I just realized the "associated Disciplines" in my Resonance chart doesn't include Vicissitude; this is because I was operating under the assumption that we weren't getting Vicissitude but rather a bunch of Protean amalgams. Sub out Alchemy for Vicissitude; Alchemy will be folded into Sanguine alongside Blood Sorcery.
                            Last edited by Eunomiac; 03-31-2019, 08:25 PM.


                            Amateur dinosaur hunter and extreme weather enthusiast, whose interests include spoken mime, armchair parkour, conspicuous ninjutsu and Schröedinger's pentameter—of which this sentence may or may not be an example.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Awesome, really glad to hear that you like it and expect to get some use out of it. Vampire has had a special place in my hear for many, many years - so I find myself frequently fiddling about with it in my spare time to help clear up the old mind for my other work. Figured I might as well share some of that stuff I work up from time to time, and someone might find value in it.

                              Very cool on the formatting updates, might actually just snag a copy of that back and keep working from that base. I obviously tried to emulate the book format, but I was admittedly a little lazy with it and only really shot for serviceable. This looks much more on point.


                              -Red
                              V20 Content: Age & Potency
                              V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor, Morality System
                              Brand Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                              Comment

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