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  • My Caitiff Housrules - Any suggestions?

    Inspired by a lot of the wonderful writers here. I'd love some insights if I'm missing anything or how to expand further.

    Caitiff and Thin Bloods House Rules

    * Here's my rules for Caitiff and Thin Bloods as well as their place in vampire society.

    * Social Caitiff exist and are a distinct difference from Biological Caitiff. Social Caitiff are basically vampires who have never been claimed by an existing Clan. Maldavis is, biologically, a member of the Tremere Clan and the only reason she's not treated as one is she was never claimed. She has Auspex and Dominate as her in-clan disciplines and would have probably been noticed as one earlier if not for the fact the Tremere Clan Flaw is not one that's readily apparrent.

    Social Caitiff can theoretically get themselves recognized as a member of a Clan if they get someone to vouch for their bloodline but plenty are disinclined to do so. These are vampires who, for whatever reason, find it actively dangerous or shameful. Social Caitiff in the past have included renegade Tremere, Lasombra, Tzimisce, children of diablerists, defecting Sabbat antitribu, disgraced Toreador, or even just illegal Embraces.

    Generally Nosferatu and Gangrel never produce Social Caitiff but not for the reasons you think. Nosferatu obviously recognize their own and are very open about welcoming them into the fold unless you are just a colosssal prick (and even then). Gangrel flaws are also immediately obvious with their condition but generally have no real social network anyway so, if you say, "I'm a Gangrel" then most will go, "okay, sure." Brujah rabbel and Caitiff are about the same socially so it's not really a step up for them either. Genghis pretended to be a Caitiff for decades or thought he was until
    someone pointed it out and it was a lateral move at best.

    * Biological Caitiff are a recent development in history, at least in numbers. These are people who have no Clan and may develop their own bloodline given circumstances. The original Tremere were biological Caitiff, being created by magical potions, and only those descended from Tremere post-diablerie are "truly" a Clan. However, this is the reverse of being a Social Caitiff since they had the social structure, discipline, and so on to make it pointless to bring up the issue.

    * Biological Caitiff can come about one of two ways:

    1. The first being Embrace via multiple sires, which the Sabbat used to do. The subject wakes up with no Clan and the blood of multiple sires running through his veins but is otherwise a normal vampire. It is not a particularly well-liked method as while the "Children of the Pack" are a group, they always have the highest generation of their sires and tend to be the embodiments of shovelhead stereotypes. They are, however, the bedrock of the Loyalists and the beginning of the Panders.

    2. The second is the "natural" way which is the fact that Caitiff are a product of the Time of Thin Blood and related to the Duskborn even if they're not Duskborn themselves. Roughly around 10th generation and stretching down to 13th generation, the Curse of Caine runs the ever increasing risk of not "sticking." Basically, about 10% to 20% of said childer never develop the Clan flaw or Disciplines but are, well, Caitiff.

    * Biological Caitiff are something a sire will automatically feel something wrong with as the metaphysical Bond just simply does not develop. This is one of the reasons many of them are abandoned by their sires and they often drop whatever ties they have to them, if they develop any. Other vampires of their Clan, if they know it, simply sense they are not one of them and will eventually push them out. They will also develop powers much more inclined to their own blood and personality, which can be dramatically different from what is expected.

    * Despite the fact that Biological Caitiff are a product of "weak" blood, there are many who are actually quite strong in the Modern Nights with 8th and 9th not uncommon. This is not just due to Social Caitiff or the Sabbat but, well, the simple fact that Caitiff are vampires and the secret to gaining power has always been diablerie. Agata Starek and other Caitiff have made their bones in the Anarch movement to the point they've become powerful Ancilla if not Elders. They've also sired their own childer at their powers' height.

    * As such, the Caitiff have gone from being the bottom of the barrel circa 1991 to, Post-Beckoning, powerful enough to be a Low Clan in terms of presence. In 2020, many Caitiff have Gangrel and Brujah alliances as well as age enough that the Camarilla may disdain them but they can't DISCOUNT them. This has irritated many Panders as it means that their chief reason for staying in the Sabbat is no longer the case and quite a few Loyalists (especially those with no interest chasing fantasies in Syria or Saudi Arabia) have drifted into the Anarchs.


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

  • #2
    I might be getting confused, are you saying Social Caitiff are Caitiff in name only, so they still have their Discipline's and Weakness of their Sire's Clan, and are functionally still a part of the clan in a Biological Sense, but ostracised socially?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mithras304 View Post
      I might be getting confused, are you saying Social Caitiff are Caitiff in name only, so they still have their Discipline's and Weakness of their Sire's Clan, and are functionally still a part of the clan in a Biological Sense, but ostracised socially?
      Yes, they're treated as Caitiff by society but they have Clan Weaknesses and Disciplines.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        Yes, they're treated as Caitiff by society but they have Clan Weaknesses and Disciplines.
        It's an interesting idea! Obviously a departure from how it's presented in the cannon, but it works quite well I think.

        I think I'm more of a fan as written, I like the idea the Blood has an almost sentient quality to it, changes and mutations happened seemingly randomly sometimes for no discernible reason, while other times being more quantifiable. But this way has a more mechanical reasoning behind it which can work very well.

        The only thing I wonder is with the thinning of the blood being the cause of being Caitiff if 10th Generation might be a bit low? I'd say 12th and 13th as that's when the Thinning of the Blood had noticeable effects.

        Comment


        • #5
          Social Catiff... really doesn't make sense.

          If you can tap the power of the Abyss and you do not show in a mirorr you are a Lasombra. No need for someone to vouch for you, it's obvious that you are, you can't be anything else.

          Same for the Ventrue: or you puke blood or you don't, there is no middle ground.

          Malkavian are connected to the Network,and they are mad, so or your siblings feel your presence and you react to the "social call" of the Clan or you don't

          If you can use Vicissitude... well... no dobut you are a Tzimisce.

          If soft light smash you, you are a Setite.

          If people start screaming when you bite them, you are a Giovanni.

          If you feel that you must eat your fellow kindred, even if you have never been spoken about diablerie, you are an Assamite, even more you are the only kind of vampire who gets darker with age, and not pale.

          It could take more with Brujah and Toreador, but mostly the Clan Curse are...quite obvious and really not subtle, if another vampire sees that you are not there in the mirror he will know that you are a Lasombra.


          Even more: a simple level 1 ritual made by a fellow Tremere can determine which clan you belong... so...why?

          Last edited by Undead rabbit; 01-19-2020, 04:59 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
            It... really doesn't make sense.

            If you can tap the power of the Abyss and you do not show in a mirorr you are a Lasombra. No need for someone to vouch for you, it's obvious.
            Same for the Ventrue: or you puke blood or you don't, there is no middle ground.
            Malkavian are connected to the Network, so or your siblings feel your presence and you react to the "social call" of the Clan or you don't
            If you can use Vicissitude... well... no dobut you are a Tzimisce.
            If soft light smash you, you are a Setite.
            If people start screaming when you bite them, you are a Giovanni.
            If you feel that you must eat your fellow kindred, even if you have never been spoken about diablerie, you are an Assamite, even more you are the only kind of vampire who gets darker with age, and not pale.

            It could take more with Brujah and Toreador, but mostly the Clan Curse are...quite obvious.


            Even more: a simple level 1 ritual made by a fellow Tremere can determine which clan you belong... so...why?
            I assumed he meant it was being ostracised for not having a Sire, which could also technically just make you Autarkis, but I don't see that being an issue for Anarch's so there wouldn't be social Caitiff for them, it's just something for the Camarilla, possibly the Sabbat too, but that's shaky ground at best.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
              Social Catiff... really doesn't make sense.

              If you can tap the power of the Abyss and you do not show in a mirorr you are a Lasombra. No need for someone to vouch for you, it's obvious that you are, you can't be anything else.
              Then you will be hunted down and killed. The Sabbat Lasombra will send assassination parties the moment they learn of your existence even if you're a 13th level nobody. Previous books made it clear the Lasombra promise great rewards to anyone who destroys an Antitribu. The Camarilla will also call a Blood Hunt because racism.

              Caitiff? Not so much.

              Same for the Ventrue: or you puke blood or you don't, there is no middle ground.
              If you're the childe of a traitor Ventrue, they don't recognize you as a Ventrue. You show up at a Ventrue meeting, they stake you and burn you. You are not part of the Clan.

              Malkavian are connected to the Network,and they are mad, so or your siblings feel your presence and you react to the "social call" of the Clan or you don't
              I've played several Malkavians who claimed to be Caitiff. Obviously they're not Malkavians because they're not insane (despite having a Derangement).

              If you can use Vicissitude... well... no dobut you are a Tzimisce.
              See staked to the rooftop upon the discovery of your Clan. Why in the world would you commit suicide by that way?

              If soft light smash you, you are a Setite.
              If you don't worship Set, they'll probably kill you. Claim to be a Caitiff.

              If people start screaming when you bite them, you are a Giovanni.
              If you're not a member of the Giovanni family or in rebellion against them, being a Caitiff is probably your only means of Society.

              If you feel that you must eat your fellow kindred, even if you have never been spoken about diablerie, you are an Assamite, even more you are the only kind of vampire who gets darker with age, and not pale.
              The Web of Knives shows why claiming to be an Assamite is a bad idea if you're not a diablerie obsessed fanatic.

              It could take more with Brujah and Toreador, but mostly the Clan Curse are...quite obvious and really not subtle, if another vampire sees that you are not there in the mirror he will know that you are a Lasombra.
              Which is why you HIDE THAT SHIT.

              Even more: a simple level 1 ritual made by a fellow Tremere can determine which clan you belong... so...why?
              Because it could mean you die horribly. If your sire was a serial killing Sabbat, you don't want to claim that lineage.


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mithras304 View Post
                I assumed he meant it was being ostracised for not having a Sire, which could also technically just make you Autarkis, but I don't see that being an issue for Anarch's so there wouldn't be social Caitiff for them, it's just something for the Camarilla, possibly the Sabbat too, but that's shaky ground at best.
                Essentially it's a reminder that Clans are not about the Blood. Clans are about the culture and the acceptance you have by fellow Kindred. You can be completely ostracized by your Clan and have very good reasons to not want to be a part of them.

                Saying a person is Ventrue if the Ventrue refuse to recognize him as one and the vampire hates the Ventrue as a clan is semantics. They are Caitiff by claim and proclamation.

                Notably, this isn't my invention.

                It's stated to be the case in TRANSYLVANIA CHRONICLES 1# and that if you refuse to be blood bound by your sire that is what they do to you and have you kicked out of your clan unless you've made friends with other members.

                So it's canon.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not sure about the sire just knowing. Let's say a Ventrue sires a Caitiff that just has a natural inclination for a type of victim, followed up by his sire educating him about the clan so he thinks other types of humans wouldn't work, I think he could go unnoticed for a very long time, while a Lasombra would be as almost as obvious as a Nosferatu. I'm not sure I'm inclined to give some magical awareness to vampires without the disciplines to back it up.

                  I could see a young Giovanni told about the clans painful bite being the reason they own the local blood bank and going quite some time before even he realized he was a caitiff.

                  Just saying someone from your clan just knows negates all the vampires who have masquerade as another clan as is cannon. Hell Mithras and Victoria Ash were fooled one being incredibly powerful the other as well as all the city Toreador being fooled. I know there are other examples that is just the first that comes to mind. Isn't Beckett supposed to keep his clan under wraps? I think Caitiff are found out through actions I wouldn't want to change something so laced throughout the game.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vamps Like Us View Post
                    I'm not sure about the sire just knowing. Let's say a Ventrue sires a Caitiff that just has a natural inclination for a type of victim, followed up by his sire educating him about the clan so he thinks other types of humans wouldn't work, I think he could go unnoticed for a very long time, while a Lasombra would be as almost as obvious as a Nosferatu. I'm not sure I'm inclined to give some magical awareness to vampires without the disciplines to back it up.

                    I could see a young Giovanni told about the clans painful bite being the reason they own the local blood bank and going quite some time before even he realized he was a caitiff.

                    Just saying someone from your clan just knows negates all the vampires who have masquerade as another clan as is cannon. Hell Mithras and Victoria Ash were fooled one being incredibly powerful the other as well as all the city Toreador being fooled. I know there are other examples that is just the first that comes to mind.
                    True but I've always been fond of Requiem's fact that you can sense another person is a vampire by their Beast. It was more they sense they're not one of you versus that they can sense anyone is not you, Caitiff just having that quality that is WRONG.

                    But I suppose you have a point.

                    I'm just trying to figure out a good way of making it so that Caitiff with known sires can be sensed so am open to suggestion.

                    Isn't Beckett supposed to keep his clan under wraps? I think Caitiff are found out through actions I wouldn't want to change something so laced throughout the game.
                    As far as I know, Beckett is openly a Gangrel.


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

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                    • #11
                      I dig the idea of the social Caitiff, especially as it is supported by a Tremere play through of VtM: Bloodlines. When you show up to see Strauss, he pretty much says you aren't Tremere despite knowing you were embraced by one. Having a Tremere sire makes no difference as that Kindred is dead and the PC is being raised as a proxy of the Prince. You can get out of the situation, but it requires petitioning into the clan and doing them favors for a while.

                      Between that and Chicago by Night treating a few sire-less characters this way, I like codifying it as a valid possibility for PCs.

                      I really like the idea of the Anarch movement becoming a destination for them now that the Sabbat has gone full-on death cult. I'll be borrowing that idea for my game, thank you very much.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                        True but I've always been fond of Requiem's fact that you can sense another person is a vampire by their Beast. It was more they sense they're not one of you versus that they can sense anyone is not you, Caitiff just having that quality that is WRONG.

                        But I suppose you have a point.

                        I'm just trying to figure out a good way of making it so that Caitiff with known sires can be sensed so am open to suggestion.
                        I think fresh vampires will mostly just bumble into exposing themselves because they know nothing. Other than Gangrel (if you go with the silly Childe abandonment) most sires keep a very close watch on their Childer until they are no longer responsible for the crimes they commit, not to mention I always wondered why players were not blood bond to the sires. Would you make a vampire and not blood bond it first as a ghoul? I guess that's a tangent though.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vamps Like Us View Post

                          I think fresh vampires will mostly just bumble into exposing themselves because they know nothing. Other than Gangrel (if you go with the silly Childe abandonment) most sires keep a very close watch on their Childer until they are no longer responsible for the crimes they commit, not to mention I always wondered why players were not blood bond to the sires. Would you make a vampire and not blood bond it first as a ghoul? I guess that's a tangent though.
                          I think Gangrel watch their childer closely but are fully prepared to shrug it off if they get themselves killed via Sunlight or not. They also will kill, Dominate, or so on anyone who the childer attempts to tell.

                          They're a vicious dangerous clan after all.


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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Vamps Like Us View Post
                            I always wondered why players were not blood bond to the sires. Would you make a vampire and not blood bond it first as a ghoul? I guess that's a tangent though.
                            I believe most editions don't cover this in the core part of the rules as it's assumed sufficient time has passed that the initial bond would be broken, but I recall something mentioning this and that you do start with a level 1 Blood Bond to your Sire if you are freshly embraced, though there are exceptions depending on circumstance, but generally you do.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mithras304 View Post
                              I believe most editions don't cover this in the core part of the rules as it's assumed sufficient time has passed that the initial bond would be broken, but I recall something mentioning this and that you do start with a level 1 Blood Bond to your Sire if you are freshly embraced, though there are exceptions depending on circumstance, but generally you do.
                              This was apparently how it was done in the Dark Ages but the Anarch Revolt was in large part about how it still carries a heavy social stigma unless you've fucked up.

                              Most vampires don't care if Allicia or Evelyn are Blood Bound.

                              Most vampires care if THEY ARE so they have a vested interest in not making it standard procedure.


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

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