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  • V20: 2 questions on the Harbingers of Skull

    Dear all,

    There's something unclear to me from all the things I have read on the Harbingers, including and especially with the material in Lore of the Bloodlines (which I did like, so compliments to the author):
    1) I understand they fed on wraiths in the Shadowlands, so... Did they learn the Vitreous Path from the Nagaraja (plausible, given their alliance of a group of them with the Tal'Mahe'Ra) or did they just develop their own trick?
    2) I just don't understand the thing about being wraiths in vampire bodies, like in the Half-Life merit in LoB. This requires subquestions:
    2a) are all Harbingers now wraiths in vampire bodies or only some of them?
    2b) if it's only some, are they a defined group or faction, such as those who also went to Enoch, or those who didn't, or some other defining trait that would explain why they turned out so weird? Or is it a kind of random thing?
    2c) are some of them convinced of being wraiths because they have forgotten their precise history, so some are really wraiths in vampire bodies and others are convinced of being thus but are just vampires?
    2d) when we say wraiths in vampire bodies, what does it mean? Had they left their bodies in Kaymakli when they stepped in the Shadowlands? Were they then practically their own wraiths for all the years in the Shadowlands? Or did they step in with their bodies as normal with the known paths and rituals of Necromancy that allow crossing the Shroud? Either way, whose body did they take when they came out again? How did they become distinguished from other vampires, turning into 'wraiths in vampire bodies'? Or are they actual wraiths with nothing to do with the original Cappadocii of Kaymakli who have managed to take over their bodies and identities? That doesn't make a lot of sense, i admit...
    2e) could a non-Harbinger manifest that condition (and have the Half-Life Merit)? For example, I was working on a Pisanob with Mortuario and Half-Life (in case it's not clear from my posts, I enjoy creating characters, even if only get to play a small percentage of them). His justification for Half-Life is that in his time in the Underworld before being Embraced through the Ferryman's Recall ritual, he turned into a wraith and when he was pulled back into his body, he became this strange thing. Since the Mortuario condition is rare in itself, and since not everyone becomes a wraith upon death, his case seems very mysterious and worrying (especially if Pochtli has seen the auras of Harbingers looking similar), though it actually makes sense in its own way. I actually thought of a cool scene of him being a ghoul necromancer in Pochtli's temple who died from an accident. He gets embraced with the Ferryman's Recall, but there is a sudden attack of Harbingers from behind the Shroud, which goes into a room surrounded by obsidian mirrors where his body lies on the floor. Pochtli sees in the mirrors that the Harbingers have strange auras and then, just as he manages to force to retreat behind the Shroud the attackers, he notices the new vampire (the character) awakening from the Embrace... with the same strange aura! There's a bewildered Pochtli not knowing what to think. Did the Harbingers interfere with the Embrace somehow? What is the meaning of the strange aura? Can the new vampire be trusted?

    Thanks to everybody in advance for the help.

  • #2
    1) It doesn't explicitly say, but we can assume one or the other, whatever works for your story. Probably more likely that they developed it otherwise there would be fluff about how much they owe the Nagaraja, saving a bloodline would be notable in the boon-stakes.

    2 (There has been some talk about how similar wraiths and vampires are in general, with the difference that Vampires are stuck in their original body and require specific powers to get out of it (Like Dominate: Possession, Astral Projection and Subsume the Beast
    a - Some of them, otherwise it wouldn't be a merit
    b - Just (Currently) random ones that got messed up by too much water-of-lethe. Maybe there would be a pattern if V20 continued...
    c - Sounds like good potential story (or derangement). But the merit would define who has the extra effects or not.
    d - The "Spirit" of what was a vampire now is more similar to the "Spirit" of a wraith, I don't get the feeling that it's a different wraith controlling the body. So somehow the "Vampire" became a wraith (normally only happens through dying) while still maintaining control of the body/Corpse (Formally known as a Vampire)
    e - According to the rules, it's a Bloodline specific merit, so no.
    - Is there a limit to the number of merit points you can buy, because that combination is looking at costing 10. So probably no.,
    - Even if it's outside the rules, a ST could allow it. They can allow anything really. So Yes, if you make it sound so freaking cool they can't say no.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Illithid View Post
      e - According to the rules, it's a Bloodline specific merit, so no.
      Where does it say that?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Illithid View Post
        1) It doesn't explicitly say, but we can assume one or the other, whatever works for your story. Probably more likely that they developed it otherwise there would be fluff about how much they owe the Nagaraja, saving a bloodline would be notable in the boon-stakes.

        2 (There has been some talk about how similar wraiths and vampires are in general, with the difference that Vampires are stuck in their original body and require specific powers to get out of it (Like Dominate: Possession, Astral Projection and Subsume the Beast
        a - Some of them, otherwise it wouldn't be a merit
        b - Just (Currently) random ones that got messed up by too much water-of-lethe. Maybe there would be a pattern if V20 continued...
        c - Sounds like good potential story (or derangement). But the merit would define who has the extra effects or not.
        d - The "Spirit" of what was a vampire now is more similar to the "Spirit" of a wraith, I don't get the feeling that it's a different wraith controlling the body. So somehow the "Vampire" became a wraith (normally only happens through dying) while still maintaining control of the body/Corpse (Formally known as a Vampire)
        e - According to the rules, it's a Bloodline specific merit, so no.
        - Is there a limit to the number of merit points you can buy, because that combination is looking at costing 10. So probably no.,
        - Even if it's outside the rules, a ST could allow it. They can allow anything really. So Yes, if you make it sound so freaking cool they can't say no.
        Thank you, those are good answers. I mean, it's basically not a matter fully defined in canon, then, but there's enough on it.

        Regarding the character:
        Bloodline merit: I personally never read the merits and flaw in Lore of Clans and Lore of the Bloodlines (and even in the previous Clanbooks) as restricted to that bloodline or clan, unless they can't possibly fit with another.
        I actually have an argument for that: the Mortuario merit, which should be strictly Giovanni (especially if they are the only ones who know the Ferryman's Recall ritual), explicitly says that if a Samedi or Harbinger takes it, it costs 4 points instead of 2 because they already have Appearance 0, so they don't have issues with becoming uglier over time due to wounds that leave scars and traces. If it was Giovanni-only, it would not make sense to mention other options.

        In general, I don't like too many restrictions on who can take what because, frankly, there's already too much of it in the game. If I'm not STelling, I can't do much about it, but as a ST I'd let players do characters they enjoy, as long as they can pull it off narratively, and there's always going to be ways to fix overpowered things if it's spoiling the story. ST has not yet reviewed this character, though I notified him that I was giving him both Mortuario and Half-Life.

        The idea of a wraith vampire I think can nicely fit any heavily necromantic character and need not be limited to Harbingers, although in their case is more common. In other clans and bloodlines it could be so rare it was never picked up until the player's character. Or it could be a collateral effect of recent events behind the Shroud, even in the metaplot-agnostic environment of V20. In any case, I think a non-Harbinger 'wraith-pire' is a great plot hook for a story feauturing the Harbingers-Giovanni conflict, and one that allows also for suspicion within the Giovanni thenselves... My character practically hates the Harbingers and is hyper-loyal to the Giovanni - vampires and mortals, main families and minor families - due to his past as a ghoul (I gave him the Vengeful flaw twisted to entail rage against those who harm a Giovanni, as it's given for Giovanni ghouls in ghouls and revenants). He is also a prodigy at necromancy who, before the story even begins, has sent 500 fetters of 500 wraiths to Venezia to please the anziani and be granted full tutelage in the necromantic arts (he has Mentor 5 to represent this). At the same time, though, Pochtli has seen his aura and does not known what to make of it and has discussed it with the anziani, so they don't know whether he's the clan's new hope against the Harbingers or a new metaphysical threat or even a Harbinger spy.

        Re: merits limits: in Revised merits and flaws where both capped at 7. In V20, last I checked, only Flaws were capped.

        Re: water of Lethe. I'm still unfamiliar with Wraith lore, so, what does the water of Lethe do exactly in the metaplot? I know it's Greek mythology and I suspect it was a river who got people to forget their previous life - which explains why Harbingers are so forgetful about the details of their story.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hermeticus View Post
          1) I understand they fed on wraiths in the Shadowlands, so... Did they learn the Vitreous Path from the Nagaraja (plausible, given their alliance of a group of them with the Tal'Mahe'Ra) or did they just develop their own trick?
          This is not my understanding. From what it says, they fed on herds until they could use rituals to feed beyond the Shroud.
          It took years to develop rituals allowing us to feed from beyond the Shroud. Until that time, hunger forced us to subsist on herds — few of which survived more than a month — and then cannibalism.
          So I assume this relates to TMR rituals that let them get people into the Shadowlands.

          2) I just don't understand the thing about being wraiths in vampire bodies, like in the Half-Life merit in LoB. This requires subquestions:
          2a) are all Harbingers now wraiths in vampire bodies or only some of them?
          Considering it is a merit you can not get, I'd say just some are.

          2b) if it's only some, are they a defined group or faction, such as those who also went to Enoch, or those who didn't, or some other defining trait that would explain why they turned out so weird? Or is it a kind of random thing?
          Based on how it is described, just a random thing that happens to some. The section 'A Delightful Hiding Place for Weary Men' goes into the detail more.

          2c) are some of them convinced of being wraiths because they have forgotten their precise history, so some are really wraiths in vampire bodies and others are convinced of being thus but are just vampires?
          Probably some of both. Considering the discussions notes that some went insane, yet the merit does exist.

          2d) when we say wraiths in vampire bodies, what does it mean? Had they left their bodies in Kaymakli when they stepped in the Shadowlands? Were they then practically their own wraiths for all the years in the Shadowlands? Or did they step in with their bodies as normal with the known paths and rituals of Necromancy that allow crossing the Shroud? Either way, whose body did they take when they came out again? How did they become distinguished from other vampires, turning into 'wraiths in vampire bodies'? Or are they actual wraiths with nothing to do with the original Cappadocii of Kaymakli who have managed to take over their bodies and identities? That doesn't make a lot of sense, i admit...
          Again, this is discussed in the preceding section.

          You think me mad, but in truth I am just one who knows the truth. When a vampire spends masses of time in the Shadowlands, they lose segments of their soul. They live a half-life. They can never return in full unless a wraith takes possession of their body. You see where this is going?
          Yes, many Cainites journeyed to the Shadowlands. Cappadocian, Nagaraja, Lamiae, Erinyes... Scores have made the Descent of Orpheus, but by the time they return, the Styx has rearranged their souls. It convinces them of a past that never happened. It’s all subterfuge to put Puppeteers such as myself into Cainite society as sleeper agents. When the time is right, the Lady of Fate will activate hundreds of wraiths riding their hosts.
          2e) could a non-Harbinger manifest that condition (and have the Half-Life Merit)? For example, I was working on a Pisanob with Mortuario and Half-Life (in case it's not clear from my posts, I enjoy creating characters, even if only get to play a small percentage of them). His justification for Half-Life is that in his time in the Underworld before being Embraced through the Ferryman's Recall ritual, he turned into a wraith and when he was pulled back into his body, he became this strange thing. Since the Mortuario condition is rare in itself, and since not everyone becomes a wraith upon death, his case seems very mysterious and worrying (especially if Pochtli has seen the auras of Harbingers looking similar), though it actually makes sense in its own way. I actually thought of a cool scene of him being a ghoul necromancer in Pochtli's temple who died from an accident. He gets embraced with the Ferryman's Recall, but there is a sudden attack of Harbingers from behind the Shroud, which goes into a room surrounded by obsidian mirrors where his body lies on the floor. Pochtli sees in the mirrors that the Harbingers have strange auras and then, just as he manages to force to retreat behind the Shroud the attackers, he notices the new vampire (the character) awakening from the Embrace... with the same strange aura! There's a bewildered Pochtli not knowing what to think. Did the Harbingers interfere with the Embrace somehow? What is the meaning of the strange aura? Can the new vampire be trusted?
          Technically, sure. I see no reason why not as long as it is properly justified in their background.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post

            Where does it say that?
            At the bottom of the Page, where it says "Pg 48 - Harbingers of Skulls"
            It's in a specific section for the Bloodline.

            Would you read that "Unsanctioned Embrace" could be taken by other clans; increasing difficulties for social interactions with the bloodline because Lazarus decreed no one should embrace, but your sire broke the rule" It doesn't explicitly state it can be only taken by Harbingers in the write up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Illithid View Post
              At the bottom of the Page, where it says "Pg 48 - Harbingers of Skulls"
              It's in a specific section for the Bloodline.

              Would you read that "Unsanctioned Embrace" could be taken by other clans; increasing difficulties for social interactions with the bloodline because Lazarus decreed no one should embrace, but your sire broke the rule" It doesn't explicitly state it can be only taken by Harbingers in the write up.
              Ok, so you don't have an actual source, you are just inventing house rules. Gotcha.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hermeticus View Post
                Dear all,

                There's something unclear to me from all the things I have read on the Harbingers, including and especially with the material in Lore of the Bloodlines (which I did like, so compliments to the author):
                1) I understand they fed on wraiths in the Shadowlands, so... Did they learn the Vitreous Path from the Nagaraja (plausible, given their alliance of a group of them with the Tal'Mahe'Ra) or did they just develop their own trick?
                2) I just don't understand the thing about being wraiths in vampire bodies, like in the Half-Life merit in LoB. This requires subquestions:
                2a) are all Harbingers now wraiths in vampire bodies or only some of them?
                2b) if it's only some, are they a defined group or faction, such as those who also went to Enoch, or those who didn't, or some other defining trait that would explain why they turned out so weird? Or is it a kind of random thing?
                2c) are some of them convinced of being wraiths because they have forgotten their precise history, so some are really wraiths in vampire bodies and others are convinced of being thus but are just vampires?
                2d) when we say wraiths in vampire bodies, what does it mean? Had they left their bodies in Kaymakli when they stepped in the Shadowlands? Were they then practically their own wraiths for all the years in the Shadowlands? Or did they step in with their bodies as normal with the known paths and rituals of Necromancy that allow crossing the Shroud? Either way, whose body did they take when they came out again? How did they become distinguished from other vampires, turning into 'wraiths in vampire bodies'? Or are they actual wraiths with nothing to do with the original Cappadocii of Kaymakli who have managed to take over their bodies and identities? That doesn't make a lot of sense, i admit...
                2e) could a non-Harbinger manifest that condition (and have the Half-Life Merit)? For example, I was working on a Pisanob with Mortuario and Half-Life (in case it's not clear from my posts, I enjoy creating characters, even if only get to play a small percentage of them). His justification for Half-Life is that in his time in the Underworld before being Embraced through the Ferryman's Recall ritual, he turned into a wraith and when he was pulled back into his body, he became this strange thing. Since the Mortuario condition is rare in itself, and since not everyone becomes a wraith upon death, his case seems very mysterious and worrying (especially if Pochtli has seen the auras of Harbingers looking similar), though it actually makes sense in its own way. I actually thought of a cool scene of him being a ghoul necromancer in Pochtli's temple who died from an accident. He gets embraced with the Ferryman's Recall, but there is a sudden attack of Harbingers from behind the Shroud, which goes into a room surrounded by obsidian mirrors where his body lies on the floor. Pochtli sees in the mirrors that the Harbingers have strange auras and then, just as he manages to force to retreat behind the Shroud the attackers, he notices the new vampire (the character) awakening from the Embrace... with the same strange aura! There's a bewildered Pochtli not knowing what to think. Did the Harbingers interfere with the Embrace somehow? What is the meaning of the strange aura? Can the new vampire be trusted?

                Thanks to everybody in advance for the help.

                Writer of the Harbingers for pretty much every appearance they make in V20 (along with that of the Cappadocians) here! Lore of the Bloodlines was great fun to write and I wish we'd had more word count! The Harbingers of Skulls will rise again either via the Storytellers Vault or V5. We shall see.

                In answer to your questions:

                1.) V20 The Black Hand and this book goes some way to explain how the HoS fed. It can be reasoned they made a deal with the Nagaraja upon locating Enoch, which is covered in V20 The Black Hand.
                2.) The "wraiths possessing vampire corpuses(?)" idea is an optional one befitting V20's more toolbox than metaplot-linear approach to Masquerade. Certainly, my view is the following:
                2a.) Some of the HoS are wraiths puppeteering vampire bodies. Erebus is one such Harbinger. Well, either that or he's so utterly mad he thinks he's a wraith in service to the Lady of Fate. The flaw in the "Erebus is just crazy" theory is there's sufficient HoS who believe this to put it down to more than just Underworld-induced mania.
                2b.) The half-life HoS are not a defined group. They're a sleeper group among the bloodline and more broadly, among the Sabbat and True Black Hand. They don't have a formal set up for communicating with each other at this time. They're waiting for a signal from the dark below...
                2c.) Yep, pretty much. The tragic thing that comes from bathing in the Waters of Lethe is while there are likely some true half-life HoS, some of them genuinely are mad. They might have heard from a half-life HoS about this sleeper agent thing, and come to believe they're also wraiths in vampire flesh. They're not.
                2d.) The puppeteers in vampire bodies may bear something like a 2% chance of being a deceased HoS wraith coming back to reoccupy a HoS body (though why a dead HoS body wouldn't crumble to ash, I don't know), but for the most part they're separate wraiths who force the soul from a HoS, or at least trap it when they take over.
                2e.) Theoretically, yes. Though no clans have gone through the experience HoS have, so the exact circumstances would be different. There's nothing to stop a puppeteer wraith possessing any vampire, however. I'd argue they have a greater chance of achieving permanent possession if the vampire's corpus was in the Underworld at the time of possession though, as in the case of HoS. Therefore Giovanni, Samedi, Nagaraja, Lamiae, (etc. etc.) are more likely to suffer this fate. Your Pisanob is a good example.

                I hope this helps And thank you for using the content from Lore of the Bloodlines! I think it's an underrated book and would love to see more reviews of it on DriveThruRPG and elsewhere. If you're on one of the Vampire Facebook groups, please leave your thoughts on the book there.


                Matthew Dawkins
                In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing

                ~Hapax Legomenon~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kammerer View Post

                  Ok, so you don't have an actual source, you are just inventing house rules. Gotcha.
                  He's not. He's following the clearly intended spirit of the rules by inferring that these merits and flaws are intended for Harbingers of Skulls.

                  Now there is one case I know of where a Merit states that it can be taken by others, and that's the Giovanni one. Here it explicitly states that Harbingers and Samedi can take the same merit (it reduces the difficulties of Necromancy rolls by 2), but it costs more since they're already hideous so the Merit's downsides won't bother them. Why doesn't it mention Nosferatu? Because the context of the merit makes it incredibly clear to a reader that you're looking at a merit which fits a Giovanni but not a random Brujah or Toreador or Nosferatu. And the same goes for many of the merits/flaws presented in Lore of the Bloodlines, with some exceptions.

                  Now if a player asked me whether their Nagaraja could have the same merit with a slightly tweaked lore/background, to represent how their years sailing close to the winds of Oblivion have eroded their normal soul and replaced it with fragments of various broken wraiths, I might agree to that. But that's me using ST discretion. Same goes for allowing a Ventrue to take the "eyes of shadow" merit and remove the flavour which ties it to the abyss, or allowing a Koldun to take the Lasombra merits tying them to the sea to represent a link to certain spirits (removing the Abyssal flavour and adding a Koldunic one).
                  Last edited by 11twiggins; 10-09-2018, 09:51 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                    He's not. He's following the clearly intended spirit of the rules by inferring that these merits and flaws are intended for Harbingers of Skulls.
                    Seems a bit disingenuous to say 'according to the rules' then appeal to RAI for how the book is laid out. Especially when some of these merits clearly can apply elsewhere. The example being that Half-Life has no specifics that would necessitate being a Harbinger, whereas something like Unsanctioned Embrace does specifically denote being one (but could still mechanically apply to another Bloodline anyway). I would agree these merits and flaws are intended for specific Bloodlines. But intended for use and restricted by the rules are different matters.

                    Given we have the writer saying other variations are theoretically possible, though, the point is pretty moot.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                      He's not. He's following the clearly intended spirit of the rules by inferring that these merits and flaws are intended for Harbingers of Skulls.

                      Now there is one case I know of where a Merit states that it can be taken by others, and that's the Giovanni one. Here it explicitly states that Harbingers and Samedi can take the same merit (it reduces the difficulties of Necromancy rolls by 2), but it costs more since they're already hideous so the Merit's downsides won't bother them. Why doesn't it mention Nosferatu? Because the context of the merit makes it incredibly clear to a reader that you're looking at a merit which fits a Giovanni but not a random Brujah or Toreador or Nosferatu. And the same goes for many of the merits/flaws presented in Lore of the Bloodlines, with some exceptions.

                      Now if a player asked me whether their Nagaraja could have the same merit with a slightly tweaked lore/background, to represent how their years sailing close to the winds of Oblivion have eroded their normal soul and replaced it with fragments of various broken wraiths, I might agree to that. But that's me using ST discretion. Same goes for allowing a Ventrue to take the "eyes of shadow" merit and remove the flavour which ties it to the abyss, or allowing a Koldun to take the Lasombra merits tying them to the sea to represent a link to certain spirits (removing the Abyssal flavour and adding a Koldunic one).
                      There are way more cases. Harbingers of Skulls chapter has "Styx Baptism" merit, which exists purely for non-Harbingers to pseudo-join the clan. Like the Baali Apostate merit.
                      There's that merit in the Setite chapter that allows members of other clans to be pseudo-Setites.
                      Even mortuario gives a sample list, not a complete one. " This trait costs 4 points for characters who already have an appearance of 0 (such as Samedi and the Harbingers of Skulls), or 2 points for any other Kindred." Samedi and Harbingers of Skulls are an example, not the end all be all list of clans permitted to buy it.

                      There's no RAW that says merits in Lore of Bloodlines/Clans are clan-specific, and RAI is flimsy at best and full of exceptions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                        though why a dead HoS body wouldn't crumble to ash, I don't know
                        I do. Because VtM vampires don't crumble to ash when they die

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Gentleman Gamer Sir! Welcome to the thread. Honoured to have you here. I wished to name you in the very first post, knowing you're the author of that chapter of Lore of the Bloodlines, but I couldn't remember your name on the forum. Lol. I see now it would have been easy, being the same as on YouTube.

                          As for the Facebook groups, unfortunately, I don't use FB, so I won't be able to write there. :| I really, really enjoyed that chapter, though, and some other chapters. Some I still need to read.

                          So my understanding of the wraith thing was partly inaccurate. The way you wrote it, you intended it as separate wraiths taking over HoS bodies, while I had understood it both like that and as the Harbingers basically becoming some weird new thing due to their time in the Underworld (and probably combining that with their being in Kaymakli). Your idea is definitely more coherent with the known metaphysics of the cWoD. But then, I'll take you allowing for weird things to happen and 2% of them possibly re-possessing themselves to support my creative freedom and - in the case of the Pisanob - my freedom to try to convince my ST to let me play the PC. Not that solid as an approach, but hey.

                          As for the debate on which merits and flaws can be taken by whom, as I said, I'm with Kammerer on this one. That said, I acknowledge that the way I'm treating the merit is different from its intended meaning. It was meant as actual wraith puppeteers possessing vampire bodies, whereas I'm turning into someone basically possessing themselves due to a necromantic quirk for an interesting story. One that incidentally also allows my PC to learn necromancy paths at half cost, so he can fulfil the concept of VERY talented necromancer. I won't deny it.

                          The Gentleman Gamer I have a couple more questions, but feel free to answer here or with a private message and I'm not trying to make you spoiler upcoming material.
                          1) is it possible that some HoS actually allowed those puppeteers to take their bodies as they were not interested in or capable of returning on this side of the Shroud and rather wanted some favour in the Underworld?
                          2) is the reason for the HoS obsession with masks the fact that they're widely used by the officers in Stygia, aside from the other reasons mentioned in the chapter?
                          3) (you probably shouldn't answer this, but if you want to privately share creative metaplot ideas on this, you'll find a very interested listener) what's Lazarus' and Japhet's long game in all this - especially since Erebus says Lazarus is in on the puppeteers thing - and what is it that Lazarus was told by Lamia the night after her embrace?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                            I do. Because VtM vampires don't crumble to ash when they die
                            Except when they do.

                            Victims of Diablerie begin detoriating immediately, as stated in V20. Whether to ash or dust is not apparent there though so going with that alone is not conclusive so let’s seek elsewhere.

                            In revised Vampire ST Handbooks faq section it is mentioned that cut of limbs detoriate to whatever is the Vampires true age, it does specifically mention Elders cut of parts possibly detoriating to dust. Of course one could argue that it only applies to limbs by this account so let’s see if there is something else...

                            Originally posted by ”Time of Thin Blood p.27”
                            When the thin-blooded meet Final Death, they crumble to dust just like any other vampire.
                            But like VtM in general this may be somewhat controversial but that happens when you have piles of books being written by different authors during a 20 year period. But still turning to ash/dust upon Final Death is still mentioned in VtM.

                            Personally I play the game with vampire corpses reverting to the condition they would be had they died at the embrace, young neonates may detoriate barely noticeably while elders will rot, mummify or turn to bone and dust as befits their age at the time of their Final Deaths.

                            But naturally YMMV.
                            Last edited by Possessed; 10-09-2018, 07:57 PM. Reason: Typo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hermeticus View Post
                              The Gentleman Gamer Sir! Welcome to the thread. Honoured to have you here. I wished to name you in the very first post, knowing you're the author of that chapter of Lore of the Bloodlines, but I couldn't remember your name on the forum. Lol. I see now it would have been easy, being the same as on YouTube.

                              As for the Facebook groups, unfortunately, I don't use FB, so I won't be able to write there. :| I really, really enjoyed that chapter, though, and some other chapters. Some I still need to read.

                              So my understanding of the wraith thing was partly inaccurate. The way you wrote it, you intended it as separate wraiths taking over HoS bodies, while I had understood it both like that and as the Harbingers basically becoming some weird new thing due to their time in the Underworld (and probably combining that with their being in Kaymakli). Your idea is definitely more coherent with the known metaphysics of the cWoD. But then, I'll take you allowing for weird things to happen and 2% of them possibly re-possessing themselves to support my creative freedom and - in the case of the Pisanob - my freedom to try to convince my ST to let me play the PC. Not that solid as an approach, but hey.

                              As for the debate on which merits and flaws can be taken by whom, as I said, I'm with Kammerer on this one. That said, I acknowledge that the way I'm treating the merit is different from its intended meaning. It was meant as actual wraith puppeteers possessing vampire bodies, whereas I'm turning into someone basically possessing themselves due to a necromantic quirk for an interesting story. One that incidentally also allows my PC to learn necromancy paths at half cost, so he can fulfil the concept of VERY talented necromancer. I won't deny it.

                              The Gentleman Gamer I have a couple more questions, but feel free to answer here or with a private message and I'm not trying to make you spoiler upcoming material.
                              1) is it possible that some HoS actually allowed those puppeteers to take their bodies as they were not interested in or capable of returning on this side of the Shroud and rather wanted some favour in the Underworld?
                              2) is the reason for the HoS obsession with masks the fact that they're widely used by the officers in Stygia, aside from the other reasons mentioned in the chapter?
                              3) (you probably shouldn't answer this, but if you want to privately share creative metaplot ideas on this, you'll find a very interested listener) what's Lazarus' and Japhet's long game in all this - especially since Erebus says Lazarus is in on the puppeteers thing - and what is it that Lazarus was told by Lamia the night after her embrace?
                              If you don't use Facebook, I recommend you leave a review on DTRPG. It always helps bring more eyes to a book.

                              Feel free to go with the 2%! I've no issue with exceptions to rules in RPGs. They're there for us to exercise some creativity, after all.

                              In terms of your other questions:

                              1.) It is possible some HoS allowed the puppeteers to take their bodies. Those HoS would have to be particularly mad, self-destructive, or nihlistic.
                              2.) I believe you're the first person to make that connection. Yes! Stygia definitely influences the mask wearing. There's more on the Cappadocian love of masks in Tome of Secrets or Dark Ages Companion if I recall. I wrote for both of those as well.
                              3.) To describe Lazarus and Japheth's long game as "the end of the world" would be over-simplifying, but to the average neonate, that's what it looks like. When you've been around for over 2000 years you gain a new appreciation for death and its myriad of forms, especially if you've spent a part of that time entombed "alive" longer than any mortal prisoner would have to endure. Not to ascribe too grand an attribute to these Cappadocian Methuselahs, but I suspect the idea of Antediluvians, sects, and the like is all just so much politics to them. They campaign for the end, because they know now that "the end" so many other vampires and kine think of as the end is not truly the end. They want to get to the grand conclusion, maybe speed it up or have it happen on their terms, and if they're lucky (though by no means is it essential) get a peek at what's on the other side. As for what Lamia told Lazarus, here are a few options not used for Xaviar's leaving declaration to the Camarilla:
                              "...This confession has meant nothing."
                              "I'm Batman."
                              "Tonight, a comedian died in New York."
                              "Go ahead, make my day."
                              "You're gonna need a bigger boat."



                              Matthew Dawkins
                              In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing

                              ~Hapax Legomenon~

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