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V5 Gargoyles

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  • V5 Gargoyles

    I miss Gargoyles. So, here are homebrew Gargoyles for V5.
    Headlines for V5:

    With the Tremere loss of the blood bond, many slaves have left their old masters. A few are still held captive by other means, but a surprising number have transitioned into free labor for their old bosses.

    Gargoyles in Anarch cities have begun something of a recruitment drive, embracing large numbers of humans. Gargoyles now have a population similar to a full clan. Those who embrace, however, find half their fledglings are Caitiff. No explanation is agreed upon, though theories abound. Ironically, these Caitiff are often blood bound, and used in a manner similar to the way the Tremere used the Gargoyles.

    There is no one Gargoyle bloodline, rather four individual bloodlines with different traits. They all have small "tells", some always active, which anyone familiar with Tremere or Gargoyle lore can use to identify them, while some are blatantly obvious Gargoyles. Rumors claim other minor lines exist, still locked away in some Chantry's laboratory, but if, so, why would it matter? (The V20&pre standard bloodline was the various bloodlines with common purchased flaws and powers. The susceptibility to Dominate has vanished along with changes in Clan Tremere.)

    The "new" fourth bloodline was a rare lineage used by the Tremere as bodyguards and aide-de-camps for its highest ranking elders. The "Sergeants" were a closely controlled tool of Vienna, but the line now finds itself at liberty.

    Amnesia has become much less common among embracees, perhaps as a side effect of changes in the Tremere clan. Were any Gargoyles created using the old rituals, the amnesia would still apply. Given the Tremere lack of blood bond, though, most agree this is even more unlikely than before.

    There is a movement, at the instigation of the Sentinels, for the bloodlines to seek one another out and maintain better lines of communication. Supporters of this movement build intentional coteries which include one of each line, seeing it as "more balanced". In a few domains, such as Montreal and Detroit, large communities of Gargoyles have re-populated the city after the collapse of the Sabbat. Gargoyle Conclaves have discussed "colonizing" the seemingly abandoned London. If this plan moved forward, the Gargoyles may have quite a future. The Gargoyles remain unaware of what fate befell the kindred of London, and so hesitate.


    The four bloodlines:

    Scouts:
    Bane: Their Bane becomes active any time the Gargoyle attempts to resist another vampire's (or ghoul's) Dominate. For the rest of the night, and until the following sunset, the Gargoyle's body stiffens and becomes more rock-like, which impairs their mobility. Multiply the time it takes to execute all physical actions (including those that do not require a roll, such as running, turning the pages of a book, getting dressed, etc.) by their Bane Severity. Multiply by 1.5 at Bane Severity 1.
    Disciplines: Auspex, Obfuscate, Protean
    Compulsion: The Scout must discover information in a location they have never been, and relate this to a companion for whom this must be new information. The Gargoyle suffers a two dice penalty on all rolls not related to this task. This lasts until this task is completed, or dawn, whichever comes first.

    Sentinels:
    Bane: If a sentinel Gargoyle finds itself truly alone, without someone to call master, mate, ally, or friend, all dice pools are reduced by their Bane Severity (to a minumum of 1) until the Gargoyle can find someone to alleviate their crushing loneliness. In addition, during the embrace or creation their teeth and nails change, looking like polished stone. This makes them recognizable to anyone familiar with the lore of Gargoyles or Clan Tremere.
    Disciplines: Auspex, Potence, Protean
    Compulsion: The Sentinel must punish someone, causing at least one level of superficial physical or willpower damage, who is in a place they are not allowed to be. The Gargoyle suffers a two dice penalty on all rolls not related to this task. This lasts until this task is completed, or dawn, whichever comes first.

    Warriors:
    Bane:Whenever a warrior Gargoyle frenzies they gain the Repulsive flaw until a number of sunsets equal to their Bane Severity have passed. This form varies for each individual, though is the same each time it appears; it is always clearly inhuman. Horns, claws, stony skin, tails, tusks, and digitigrade legs are all common afflictions.
    Disciplines: Fortitude, Potence, Protean
    Compulsion: The Warrior must injure a stranger, causing at least one level of superficial physical damage. The Gargoyle suffers a two dice penalty on all rolls not related to this task. This lasts until this task is completed, or dawn, whichever comes first.

    Sergeants:
    Role: Used as elite bodyguards (and, some say, military advisors) for Tremere elders, this previously rare and highly blood-bound line find themselves freed with the change in Tremere blood. Only a half dozen or so existed at the time, mostly posted alongside members of the council. One of their number, who had worked for the Tremere Justicar, has joined the Anarchs and is mass-embracing among military veterans, civil administrators, and police officers. She matriculates hand-picked recruits each year from "boot camps" at Keiserslauten, Germany, and Hampton, Virginia, USA. Small training broods had been based in these now-defunct chantries to maintain the line as Sergeants suffered an appalling turnover rate under Tremere leadership. Since emancipation, higher survival rates and larger numbers of recruits have allowed graduation rates to finally outpace deaths, and the line sees steady growth. Graduates of these broods have gone on to embrace even more fledglings "in the wild".

    Bane: Sergeants suffer from a curse reminiscent of the Nosferatu, from which the Tremere claim to have made the Sergeants. All Sergeants have traits which resemble mythical gargoyles and demons, with (initially vestigial) wings, horns, tails, claws, and so forth. All show reptilian features, like scales, a forked tongue, slitted eyes, or serpent's fangs, sometimes seeming to be carved in stone or in outlandish colors like emerald or scarlet. They add their Bane Severity to all attempts to pass for a non-supernatural beings among mortals, and are immediately obvious as such to all other supernatural beings, including ghouls. Sergeants do not necessarily have the Repulsive or Ugly flaws, though this commonly develops as Bane Severity increases.
    Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Protean
    Compulsion: Sergeants must identify flaws in plans, persons, or objects and seek to correct those flaws. All unrelated tasks suffer a two dice penalty until some flaw is remedied, or dawn, whichever comes first.

    Gargoyle Discipline Powers:

    (In theory, these could be learned by any vampire. Gargoyles are loathe to teach them as they are seen as one of the bloodlines' few advantages. Plus, any who exhibited these powers in front of Tremere risk being targeted by a Tremere press-gang.)

    Protean 1 (Stoneskin): The user's skin acquires an appearance reminiscent of carved stone. This is instantly recognizable as supernatural, though not necessarily unattractive as lovely users acquire similarly attractive stone, such as smooth marble or onyx. Less attractive users are likely to resemble rough-hewn granite. The user adds their Protean score to their health levels. When the power ends, and their health levels return to normal, any damage in those extra levels is retained. This can make ending the power quite dangerous, but gives the user time to heal after injury. (Cost: 1 Rouse, Duration: Until dawn, cannot be ended early)

    Protean 3 (Wings): The user grows a pair of wings from their back. These have a wingspan double the user's height, so are nearly impossible to hide. The user may fly at a speed equal to their walking speed, though maneuvering through small spaces may require an Athletics roll. With an additional Rouse check, they may push themselves and multiply their speed by their Protean score. (Cost: 1 Rouse, Duration: Until the following sunset, cannot be ended early)

    Protean 3 (Merge with the Hearthstone): Similar in some ways to Earth Meld, the user can merge their body with a hard mineral structure, though not metal. This can be a natural formation, like a pile of boulders or a stony mountain. It can also be artificial, like a brick house or a stone bridge. The stones must have a volume at least double that of the user, and if there are multiple stones counted in this they must be in direct contact with one another, though stone based mortar does not interfere. While within the stone, the user is undetectable and difficult to attack. Cleaving the stone (or disassembling the brick wall) to a volume less than the user causes them to eject from the stone. (Cost: 1 Rouse, Duration: Until the following sunset, can be ended earlier at will)

    Protean 5 (Accepted Monstrosity): The user may choose to activate any number of lesser Protean powers when this power is learned. Those activated become permanent at no blood cost. The user likely gains the Nosferatu clan bane, at ST discretion. (Cost: Passive, Duration: Always On, cannot be turned off)

    Obfuscate 1 (Chameleon Skin): The user changes their apparent color (and that of any clothing or small gear) to match whatever colors are visible from the opposite side of their body, creating the illusion of the camouflage abilities of a chameleon. Add their Obfuscate score to all Stealth rolls when active. (Cost: 1 Rouse, Duration: 1 scene, can be ended at will)

    Auspex 1 (Diligent Alertness): The user maintains in their mind at all times a mental map of their surroundings, out to a radius of 20 meters/yards. They are automatically aware of the presence of any sentient, physical being within that area; the distance to the being; and the direction in which they lie. No further information is available about such beings. Unfortunately, in large crowds the user can become overwhelmed and disoriented. A dozen people within the radius are fine, but for every dozen over that the user suffers a 1 dice penalty to all perception rolls. (Cost: Passive)

    Auspex 2 (Border Guard): The user walks for a few minutes tracing a line no longer than a half mile (.8 kms) often as a perimeter around an object or building. If any sentient being, physical or non-physical, crosses that line, the user is instantly alerted. The user may then make a Wits+Awareness roll to see a mental image of the subject as the line was crossed. Only one such line may be active at a time. (Cost: 1 Rouse, Duration: Until the following sunset, may be ended early)

    Potence 2 (Stony Fist): The user transforms their body into an animate statue, much like Stoneskin, and increases the damage done by their Brawl attacks. All Brawl attacks made while in this form are considered Aggravated for all targets, including mortals, supernaturals, and inanimate objects. (Cost: 1 Rouse, Duration: 1 scene, may not be ended early)

    Common Gargoyle Traits:

    From V5: Illiterate, Repulsive, Ugly, Addiction flaws and merits (an unusual substance available only through their master), Living in the Past (though the Gargoyle may not be old, their creator often is), Bonding flaws and merits (the Tremere worked hard at permanently bonding them, with varying degrees of success), Methuselah's Thirst (often intentionally fostered to create dependence), Iron Gullet, Folkloric Blocks (installed as control techniques)

    Flawed Backgrounds are quite common as free Gargoyles live a hardscrabble existence, and slaves subsist on scraps. Most common are: Despised, No Haven, Creep Haven, Haunted Haven, Obvious Predator, Zeroed, Enemies and Adversaries, Destitute, Suspect is common among slaves whose masters suspect disloyalty, Suspect is common among free Gargoyles who others suspect may be secretly serving the Tremere.

    Most common Predator Types are: Alley Cat, Blood Leach (slaves), Farmer, Osiris (especially if they already look like a demon or angel), and Sandman. Sirens and Cleavers are nearly unheard of.

    Sect:

    The Tremere loss of the ability to blood bond Gargoyles has led many "slaves" to renegotiate their contracts of servitude, often with fire and fang. First demand is usually a new title, like "Associate" or "Employee". Many have sought out House Carna as new employers, hoping for more lenient bosses. To some extent, this is correct, as there are fewer beatings administered. Having a boss who is flighty, and unpredictable carries its own problems, however.

    Free Gargoyles are almost exclusively Anarch. A handful remain in the Camarilla for personal reasons, such as romantic ties with a Camarilla member, or an unwillingness to relocate. At least one coterie of Gargoyles within the Camarilla is known to work as "labor organizers" targeting those Gargoyles who choose to remain employed by Tremere.

    No known Gargoyle has left for the Beckoning, and those within the Sabbat have refused to join their packs in the Gehenna War. Those who survived this betrayal have become Autarkis, though both the Camarilla and Anarchs would be intrigued at the possibility of recruiting them if they became known.

  • #2
    For the Protean powers, I would say that Wings is a really good fit and the others could do with some tweaking. Stoneskin is duplicating a Fortitude power, Merge With The Hearthstone is Better Earth Meld at the same dot cost. Accepted Monstrosity is better as a merit/flaw in my opinion (tweak to fit either), because buying a level 5 power where the only affect is saving rouse checks (and those rouse checks are pretty cheap) isn't very exciting. Activating every relevant power (let's say claws, wings, eyes of the beast) is only two rouse checks, so you'd almost always be better off taking mist form or something more exciting.

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    • #3
      Overall, the idea of clan specific powers has been done away with in v5. They get around this by introducing amalgam powers that are geared towards certain clans by requiring two disciplines that are in clan for a certain clan. For example, Unerring Aim is designed a Toreador power because they are the only clan with the required disciplines of Celerity and Auspex. If you want to create Gargoyle intended powers, make a required secondary discipline to have it be an amalgam power. For example, Merge with the Hearthstone could require Obfuscate.

      Also about Stony Fist. How is it different than the existing level 5 power of fist of Caine? At the very least giving a level 2 power dealing aggravated damage, that does more damage than existing level 2 protean Feral Weapons, seems way over powered considering that 3 of the 4 other powers that deal aggravated damage are 5 dot powers.


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