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Tremere and Their Curse: My Personal Alteration

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  • Tremere and Their Curse: My Personal Alteration

    So I've been thinking about this for the last couple days, and realized that even though the Tremere's curse has undergone some revisions throughout the years, it still seems like a pretty harmless curse, when compared to what the other clans have to suffer through. Being more vulnerable to a Blood Bond, or (as of 5th edition) completely lacking the ability to produce one in a fellow vampire isn't that much of a handicap. I mean, how often do you feature Blood Bonds in your chronicles, anyways? They take at least 3 days to fully form, and I can't imagine that players are going around creating them indiscriminately.

    My solution to the problem is to get rid of the Assamite clan, and give their weakness to the Tremere instead. There are a few reasons for why I believe this would be a good idea.

    1st of All, it would fit with the Tremere's lore. They did not become vampires through normal means, but rather stole the condition through experimenting with the vitae of captured vampires. Making them addicted to vampire blood as a consequence to this theft would be far more appropriate (not to mention reoccurring) than the curse they have now.

    It is also thematically appropriate, because the Tremere originally prolonged their lives through the use of magical elixirs, and a craving for vampire blood could be used to represent their former dependency on such potions.

    2nd of All, the Assamites as a clan are too redundant. We've already got the Society of Leopold and the Second Inquisition. We really did not need a clan of religious assassins, who punish vampires in the name of their god. And now that Thaumaturgy and Assamite Sorcery have been rolled into the same discipline of Blood Magic, there's really not much to separate the Tremere from the Sorcerer caste, beyond superficial differences.

    3rd of All, being addicted to the vitae of other kindred, would lead further credence to the Tremere's reputation of being the least trusted clan in the Camarilla. Those who know of their weakness would have to constantly remain on edge when in the presence of the Tremere, ever wary of being lured into some kind of sorcerous trap by the clan of usurpers. An increased risk of Diablerie would also play into the Tremere's desire for power and knowledge, by stealing it directly from the souls of those they consume.

    Anyways, that's just my thoughts on the matter. Not sure whether anybody else thinks this might be a good idea, or not?
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 04-29-2019, 10:23 AM.

  • #2
    I honestly agree with ALL the points you set. I started playing Vampire on the 7 Clans (Bruhja, Gangrel, Ventrue, Nosferatu, Malkavian, Toreador and Tremere) Era, and they feet so perfect together. Then came the Sabat, and then the the independents. As my friends never give a penny for the meta plot, we never added the other clans, some of them sounds like bad jokes... Stereotypical bad jokes...
    Ravnos is an entire clan of Gypsies vampires? They were gangrel... no more than a bloodline of gangrel...
    Assamites is an entire clan of Vampire killer vampires? Or they are too few to be a clan, or they are far too week... Some of them are just Tremere, the other are Bruhja...

    They came from a time when the people created clans as created vampires. “My vampire is an student of Necromancy, BUT I don't like the idea of a Tremere, so I will be a... new Clan... what about the clan name? Gigio, is too informal? Ok, make it Giovanni”

    Anyway, the blood bound were one thing we never cared about, as the number of vampires in the city was so small that all of them were known to each other and the political power of each of the older ones were more dramatic than the blood bound itself, a matter of money, knowledge and the pure use of Domination and Presence.

    Since the launch of Requiem I never played Vampire again, but I do like the idea of 5 clans that not necessarily share a common ancestral...


    • #3
      I also think you made some great points and I agree.

      "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson


      • #4
        Yeah, once I started thinking about it, I realized the Assamite curse was way more suited to the Tremere.


        • #5
          Oof, I was just starting to like Assamites with V5, but your third point fits the Tremere so well. They could otherwise the Giovanni to the Assamites' Cappodocians. The Western clans in the middle ages would find it less objectionable, which makes their origin more plausible: "They're diablerising those eastern vampires who diablerise us? Win-win." And it would make the recent turn by some of the surviving Assamites to the Camarilla more fun.

          Although I suppose that their inheriting the curse from the Assamites would undermine your first point, so that doesn't quite work.


          • #6
            I'm not sure it would be possible to remove the Banu Haqim and keep the metaplot intact, and that sort of retcon is almost always tied to a major in-character shift in the world—but conceptually, I do think the weakness fits the Tremere a lot better. I think I'd make the Banu Haqim a sect instead of a clan, seeing as they're currently almost synonymous with the Ashirra, and in that case they don't need a unique bane.

            EDIT: Or perhaps the Banu Haqim proper are a small clan within the Ashirra that they founded, mostly wiped out by the Tremere and now relatively obscure and isolated, like the Old Clan Tzimisce; they teach loyal sect members how to use the Quietus side of blood sorcery?


            • #7
              This is oddly analogous to the reasoning I had for expanding the Assamites, along with the more sorcerous Bloodlines among the Clans, while reducing the Tremere to a niche Bloodline for a Victorian Age game I wrote up that I've yet to run.

              The VaV fluff for the Tremere was what originally gave me the idea. The public popularity of Hermetic mysticism and the supernatural gave them a time to shine in a way that hadn't before been possible. That interest in the paranormal was also just a facet of the western imperial interest in the "other". A completely westernized and modern fad "believer" in Chi manipulation and the typical attendee of a 19th century mummy unwrapping party may have more in common than is immediately obvious.

              Working from that premise, the Tremere seemed a bit lackluster to me. The exotic and esoteric knowledge they brought was popular, but it was also something else, it seemed to me: Pedestrian. Common. That's not a dig at the Clans in a vacuum. The Tremere are a fine Clan. They're also working with a Paradigm of occult thought that's inherently western. A familiar paradigm. Familiarity, something that was only partially in demand during the era. The exoticism that sparked western imaginations was often centered on eastern cultures. From 1,001 Nights to the fascination with Asian martial arts and traditional medicine, western culture put the "exotic" in high demand. And I thought I could, maybe, more readily supply that demand for cultural exploitation and obsession with "exotic" styles or practices by replacing the Tremere (at least in terms of being the definitive Blood Sorcerers of VtM) with characters that made as much historical sense, at least in my opinion.

              The Sadhana practitioners of India travelled, or simply Embraced westerners who would then return to Europe or the Americas. Lector priests of the main Setite Clan were poised to exploit the newfound fascination with all things Egyptian. That also opened up the possibility of Danava mystics forming mystically inclined blood cults that may be conveniently "overlooked" by certain Ventrue who hold the story of Veddhartha close to their cold hearts, of Daitya doing similar in the shadows, and of a more cosmopolitan look at the Ravnos dealing with some of the seedier elements of Victorian life through the lens of a non-westerner.

              The Assamites would lean more heavily on some of their Revised/DAV/VtDA20 fluff, being portrayed more as mystics, scholars and judges (read: executioners) than outright assassins. The point about the redundancy of yet another group of fanatical killers was, and is, a valid one. Besides, the history of the Warrior Caste and the social fun of playing an Ashipu or a Vizier were too interesting for me pass up in favor of maintaining the status quo of the "core 7".

              Again and again, I found that the redundancy of themes seemed to lay with the Tremere. And it's for a simple reason, too. Their schtick, their calling card, is doing Blood Magic. Full stop. This was true from the very beginning in 1e, where Path of Blood essentially WAS Thaumaturgy. Even in that limited form, the magic and occult philosophies of the Tremere defined them. ...And then the other Clans started getting their own Blood Sorcery and occult philosophies. And many of them are flavorful and fun. Many benefited from being wholly a product of the Vampire metaplot. The Baali Wars, some thoughtful (if clumsy) mythological references, and a look at their surrounding culture, gave depth to the Banu Haqim. The same basic things can be said, in broad strokes, of most sorcerous bloodlines and Clans.

              I don't mean to say that the points made in the OP aren't valid; far from it. I'm saying that those valid points are also relative. Overlap can be an issue in any setting, and at the core, this (I've seen similar reasoning for erasing many different clans) is an issue of unwanted overlap. For the OP's needs, the solution to do away with the Assamites was elegant and functional. At my own table, at least in my head, my solution is functional (and maybe even elegant!) in terms of my own narrative needs.

              I don't know that either is more or less appropriate or logical for the Canon setting, and I think that's ok. We should be able to have the kinds of experiences and adventures that we want. If the Assamites aren't as flavorful as the Tremere are for you, this alteration is a nice approach to the Tremere, and ripe for plot hooks and roleplay. I like it. I wouldn't use it myself, but that's only an issue of how I personally prefer to run Vampire.

              I like the way you think, Nyrufa
              Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 04-30-2019, 02:46 AM.

              “Nobody is purely good or purely evil. Most of us are in-between. There are moths that explore the day and butterflies that play at night.”
              - Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute The Sun


              • #8
                This made me think I kinda like the idea of mixing the Tremere and the Assamites.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                  I think I'd make the Banu Haqim a sect instead of a clan

                  Yeah, I was actually about to suggest that, too. Players have already portrayed the Followers of Set as being more of a sectarian cult, than a proper clan. So it stands to reason that a bunch of religious hitmen could be remodeled in the same way.

                  The whole premise of a Clan is that those who belong to it all share similar traits in common with each other. But with the Assamites, you've got not 2, but 3 different castes, each of whom seem to possess different strengths and weaknesses from each other! It's almost like Haqim created 3 separate bloodlines, and the name "Assamite" became a blanket term to refer to them all.
                  Last edited by Nyrufa; 04-30-2019, 08:21 AM.


                  • #10
                    Personally i would make all extra clans bloodlines you can choose to join learning an extra discipline and weakness.

                    This will not only help them be more playable by being a sub-class but also will make them be able to keep existing becuase to be fair the bad thing of eliminating the assamites is that you also eliminate Ur-Shulgi and his correlation with the Baali.

                    Now i like the idea of the tremere having vitae adiction becuase that´s truly problematic and can also be used by the council of seven to impose the blood bonds more easily but i would take away the permanent diablerie aura becuase that can be used as an excuse for diablerie , a real consecuence that can happen if the tremere lacks of self control.

                    Hunger pool


                    • #11
                      I've always wanted to give them the "cannot enter a building without being invited" or some variant on that because its the Vampire flaw that is fairly well known in public but has no major place in WOD outside Niche flaws, and it sort of justifies them being more prone to trying to engage others(whether its gargoyles, the Camarilla etc) to filll in for their flaws. It allows them to defend spectacularly but makes them poor attackers..


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post
                        Personally i would make all extra clans bloodlines you can choose to join learning an extra discipline and weakness.
                        That's kind of the route that Requiem went with, chopping down 13 clans into only 5, and rebranding those that got cut out as offshoot descendants of the remaining 5. They also got an extra Discipline and weakness, in addition to that of their parent clan.

                        I admit, I'm not as knowledgeable about the meta plot fluff as I would like to be. But how important are Ur-Shulgi and the Baali to the story, anyways? It was my understanding the Baali convinced every clan under the moon to unite against them, until they cursed the Assamites with their blood addiction. At which point, everybody decided "Okay, these guys are pretty much done for, now let's focus on the guys who are literally stabbing us in the back!"

                        Considering the Baali are now so rarely seen as to be regarded as an urban legend by kindred, I don't see the harm in retconning their survival / extinction to be like so many other supposedly lost clans and bloodlines. Just like how the Tremere Antitribu, the Salubri, and the Cappadocians's survival was retconned throughout the editions.
                        Last edited by Nyrufa; 04-30-2019, 04:24 PM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lian View Post
                          I've always wanted to give them the "cannot enter a building without being invited" or some variant on that because its the Vampire flaw that is fairly well known in public but has no major place in WOD outside Niche flaws, and it sort of justifies them being more prone to trying to engage others(whether its gargoyles, the Camarilla etc) to filll in for their flaws. It allows them to defend spectacularly but makes them poor attackers..

                          I was under the impression that breaking into another vampire's home without a warrant was a taboo / crime in kindred society. That's why it's referred to as a Haven.

                          And the Tzimisce already refuse to enter a home without being invited, because they consider it to be extremely poor manners. And they value their reputation of being the most noble and honorable clan, after all.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                            I was under the impression that breaking into another vampire's home without a warrant was a taboo / crime in kindred society.
                            Well, traditionally, it is tantamount to a declaration of open war. Not so much "illegal" as it is an action with serious consequences, including from the Prince or other powers that be if they decide that your personal power play/pissing contest is a disruption of the status quo they don't want to deal with at the moment. But at the very least, the Haven owner will take it as a threat and react on the belief that you seek her final death.

                            As for the original topic, it is an interesting idea. Thou I rather like the Assamites, especially after all the effort Clayton Oliver went to to make them interesting and well rounded. I have them as a mainstream part of the Camarilla in my setting (along with all the clans, as my Sabbat is a completely different animal), with the scholar/vizier caste being what most kindred are familier with.
                            I've experimented with the Tremere only being able to Fox Frenzy. Still not sure what my final verdict is on it.

                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                              I'm not sure it would be possible to remove the Banu Haqim and keep the metaplot intact.

                              Outside of the metaplot, do the Banu Haqim even contribute anything of worth to the story? From what I hear, they have almost universally been depicted as the clan that shows up to kill a target, and then leaves once the job is done. The clan's entire premise revolves around being a Murder Hobo! If it wasn't for their role in the meta plot, most players probably wouldn't even notice their absence.