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Bringing a vampire back to unlife after being destroyed?

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  • Bringing a vampire back to unlife after being destroyed?

    So I was arguing with a friend of mine and we were wondering if this would be possible. My friend argued that an antediluvian or a very powerful methuselah should be able to accomplish this using Mortis and some combination of disciplines and another option he said was that an archmage should be able to do it with the right spheres. But what do you guys think? Do you think such a feat is possible for a powerful cainite or an archmage? If so, what would you think it would take to do this? Also we argued wheter or not a cainite would become a wrath after being destroyed, I know that in canonically it happened with Cappadocius, but what about the average kindred? I'd be glad to read any thought you have about it.
    Last edited by Herr Meister; 07-27-2019, 06:39 AM.

  • #2
    Vicissitude level 10: Reform Body. Even if reduced to mere ashes, your spirit puts the body back together. It's vague and says it could take years, that you might look different (what's that even matter to you if you've got Vicissitude 10 for crying out loud?) and other vague points. I think I saw a tweak or edit someone implemented that it would cost a permanent willpower point, which is more than fair given that you're essentially as close to unkillable as anything can become. Just crank up some Fortitude on top of it and you're now Hellsing's Alucard. To put it crudely, Antediluvians shit all over the basic rules. I'm sure there are other tricks that could work, but that right there is one power that is clearly about dodging death after already being destroyed.

    As to the second part: I'd rule that so long as you possessed some deep connection to the material world, possessed a strong will, and/or you had valid enough unfinished business that you can absolutely become a wraith. I'd say it's extremely likely to happen to youngster vampires too. They've not had their passions and connections with the world around them diminished yet. I even had a wraith that suffered this kind of bizarre fate. She was swept up by a Toreador that found her amazingly beautiful and wanted to preserve that beauty. He got carried away, embraced her, realized he screwed up royally, cut off her head and ditched the body. She became a headless wraith that sought his total destruction, though the group of wraiths were able to downgrade that to just wanting to humiliate him utterly, which they were more than eager to help out with. Outrage, Phantasm, Pandemonium, etc. Real fun watching this guy become frightened of nearly everything and barely anyone in polite Kindred society could or even would help him, so he eventually turned to some Giovanni for help when he got desperate. Needless to say, he ended up just causing himself even more trouble, though the wraiths had to be careful between the Hierarchy trying to shut them down for goofing around so much in the mortal realm and Giovanni with a vested interest in them. It got ugly real quick.

    I think there's real value in having an elder vampire meet Final Death, but maybe they had some deep unfinished business, some compelling reason to be fighting, perhaps they were attempting a Nick Knight trying to dig his or herself out of a deep hole. They were nearly a Wight, something chilled them to the bone and stirred old mortal feelings. They began the arduous journey towards redemption and when they were nearly back to their old level of humanity, about to surpass it even, to reach the fabled Golconda an old foe struck them down. Now they are reaped, a lowly wraith with little knowledge of this new and depressing world. They have to fight something far worse than their old Beast. Something sinister and underhanded, that knows every dirty secret. Something that wants to destroy him. The Beast just wanted to eat and enjoy itself, but this is much worse. The vampire's own self-loathing inner voice that thinks he should give up and let himself be swallowed whole. To drag everyone else down with him. Can he beat it and help other wraiths? Can he regain ties with his living and unliving allies? Can he stop his old Ventrue rival before he destroys everything he built? Will he become a Specter or will his old victims from when he was a vile, disgusting low humanity vampire get their long awaited payback? Don't they deserve vengeance more than he deserves atonement?

    You can't have this story or anything like it if the answer is "no, he can't be a wraith cause he was a vampire already".

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    • #3
      Yeah, the problem with a vampire's corpse is that unless they are extremely young (or humane), they typically dissolve into a pile of ash and soot within a matter of hours, if not seconds.

      Regenerating your body with Vicissitude makes sense, because it could be flavored as controlling your undead flesh on the particle level. In which case, shedding dust would be more like releasing a cloud of spores into the air... enjoy that mental image!

      But conventional forms of regeneration probably aren't strong enough to get the job done.
      Last edited by Nyrufa; 07-27-2019, 09:38 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
        Also we argued wheter or not a cainite would become a wrath after being destroyed, I know that in canonically it happened with Cappadocius, but what about the average kindred? I'd be glad to read any thought you have about it.
        Canonically, yes, vampires become wraiths after death. Unfortunately, they don't retain any of their powers and need to start fresh from the bottom. Even more unfortunately, they have most likely murdered lots and lots of people during their existence, at least some of whom probably had the willpower and the unfinished business to return as Wraiths themselves. And all of them are now older and more powerful than the vampire...

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        • #5
          When writing Hunger from Beyond I almost included a high level ritual allowing dead vampires to be brought back, provided a survivor had the "essential saltes" of the dead vampire and wanted to bring them back. I eventually cut it for space reasons.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
            When writing Hunger from Beyond I almost included a high level ritual allowing dead vampires to be brought back, provided a survivor had the "essential saltes" of the dead vampire and wanted to bring them back. I eventually cut it for space reasons.
            Building off of this, you could make the argument that vampires being brought back after dying has some relevance in vampire mythology. How many times has a story about Dracula included him being brought back after a long death? From plucking the stake from his heart, to giving him blood, some sort of arcane ritual or just that he's somehow truly immortal. I could see there being a ritual performed by any mere mortal where, if the blood of a virgin or some person that has some significance to the dead vampire is spilled and offered to them in the area they met Final Death, they might come back.

            I immediately think of Hellraiser when Frank rises from the dead in the attic after his brother's blood dripped between the floorboards. Gruesome, spooky, and exceedingly rare that it wouldn't be justified to happen in every story.

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            • #7
              At least in V20 Necromancy may offer the opportunity to return a deceased vampire to physical existence again, though it's a multi-stage process and quite difficult when it's possible at all. The soul of the vampire has to be willing and on hand, whether as a free-floating ghost or one the necromancer has been able to summon. The still-extant vampire whose body is to be used as the new home has to be killed, presumably in a way that leaves a viable corpse (no burning someone up with flamethrowers). And the capstone Ash Path power that puts the soul in the new body is hella difficult—takes five successes on a resisted Willpower roll when the target corpse is that of a vampire.

              Demons are likewise said to be able to resurrect people if they can find the deceased soul in Hell and there's a suitable sacrificial host body to return it to. Presumably that could work if the body is that of a vampire instead of a living mortal. (In fact, I seem to recall such an exchange being a plot point in Montreal By Night.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                When writing Hunger from Beyond I almost included a high level ritual allowing dead vampires to be brought back, provided a survivor had the "essential saltes" of the dead vampire and wanted to bring them back. I eventually cut it for space reasons.
                I would allow something like for Infernalist vampires simply because if can simulate the kind of resurrection found in many of the Hammer Horror Dracula movies with Christopher Lee. Because it is not part of any standard vampire toolkit, it can't be used by PCs. But it makes a nice thing to use for rare evil NPC antagonists.

                Any kind of resurrection for final death should be limited to special occasion ST plots.

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                • #9
                  Thank you very much everyone! One thing I want to say though is that I know that there are powers for the cainite himself comeback, e.g. The new v20 Protean 9 and the old Vicissitude 10 for instance, but as I've never read any explicit power/way of bringing another vampire back to (un) life I told my friend that we would need to devise one ritual for doind so (preferably a high level Necromancy ritual, this would be specially great because we don't have any high level Necromancy ritual in the published material atm).

                  When writing Hunger from Beyond I almost included a high level ritual allowing dead vampires to be brought back, provided a survivor had the "essential saltes" of the dead vampire and wanted to bring them back. I eventually cut it for space reasons.
                  It's such a pity that you didn't have enough space for that, I would most likely buy it just because of that! Unfortunatelly I still haven't bought Hunger from Beyond. Would it be a Necromancy ritual? Do you have the writings of the Ritual you devised?

                  At least in V20 Necromancy may offer the opportunity to return a deceased vampire to physical existence again, though it's a multi-stage process and quite difficult when it's possible at all. The soul of the vampire has to be willing and on hand, whether as a free-floating ghost or one the necromancer has been able to summon. The still-extant vampire whose body is to be used as the new home has to be killed, presumably in a way that leaves a viable corpse (no burning someone up with flamethrowers). And the capstone Ash Path power that puts the soul in the new body is hella difficult—takes five successes on a resisted Willpower roll when the target corpse is that of a vampire.
                  I have thought about using this method in one of my chronicles some years ago, but it's not that direct. I think we would be better off with a single ritual to accomplish it.

                  Any kind of resurrection for final death should be limited to special occasion ST plots.
                  Sure, that must be something very special and unique, not something you see every night, otherwise it would take away much of the drama involved in suffering final death etc.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Dreamweaver View Post

                    Building off of this, you could make the argument that vampires being brought back after dying has some relevance in vampire mythology. How many times has a story about Dracula included him being brought back after a long death? From plucking the stake from his heart, to giving him blood, some sort of arcane ritual or just that he's somehow truly immortal. I could see there being a ritual performed by any mere mortal where, if the blood of a virgin or some person that has some significance to the dead vampire is spilled and offered to them in the area they met Final Death, they might come back.
                    Can't he also come back by placing his ashes within his coffin for 24 hours? I like to imagine that as the Koldun drawing power from the earth to reconstitute their body after death.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                      Can't he also come back by placing his ashes within his coffin for 24 hours? I like to imagine that as the Koldun drawing power from the earth to reconstitute their body after death.
                      I can't say with any certainty that I've heard that one before, but Dracula easily has the most resurrections out of all vampires. I also recall Discworld with the vampire iconographer, Otto, who is turned to dust from flashing lights, but he carries a fragile vial of blood that shatters when he's destroyed. This is all he requires to reconstitute himself. That would absolutely be silly in V:tM, but it's another good mention regardless. Blood on your remains—even dust—and you're right as rain. With some tweaks, it could be made to be the blood of a specific type of person, within a certain amount of time, a specific amount, before the next sunrise or something, perhaps at the price of a permanent willpower point, etc.

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                      • #12
                        I want to add that canonically the Eldest actually used that Vicissitude power to return after being destroyed by Samiel. It wasn't just Cappadocious. It's highly probable all the Antediluvians have some method of returning after being destroyed.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PazuzuAxelf View Post
                          I want to add that canonically the Eldest actually used that Vicissitude power to return after being destroyed by Samiel. It wasn't just Cappadocious. It's highly probable all the Antediluvians have some method of returning after being destroyed.

                          Yes sure! I recall that the Eldest even returned inside Dracon, making Dracon pregnant and after Dracon gave birth to the "baby" he gave it to Yorak if I'm not mistaken. Anyways as I said, there are many powers and canonical cases of Antediluvians returning in one fashion or another, but the main point I wanted more insight in is that of returning another vampire,e.g.. like ressurecting a vampire you love etc. And for that kind of power I think Necromancy would be a good discipline to work with.

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                          • #14
                            The Dreamweaver
                            Note that there already is a heavy theme on resurrection in VtM, even without additional powers. Pulling a stake out revitalizes vampires and as long as enemies are not extra-thorough and decapitate, mutilate or immolate the vampire, they'll most likely fall into torpor rather than actually dying - from where they can return with a few drops of blood.

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                            • #15
                              Aside from stupidly broken abilities like Viscissitude 10, whatever Cappadocious used to "survive", or the will to overpower a diablerist, generally final death is final.

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