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My Caitiff Housrules - Any suggestions?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    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.
    Sorry I may have been unclear, what I meant was the very act of the embrace forges a blood bond with childe to sire, as the Sire feeds their blood, it's not so much a conscious choice as it is a side effect of the embrace.

    Renewing the bond before it breaks of strengthening it however was heavily contested and a contributing factor to the revolt you are correct.


    • #17
      Ah, gotcha.

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


      • #18
        I always assumed the division between Social Caitiff (those whose lineage is manifest, but are considered Caitiff) and "Biological" Caitiff was canon. Don't ask me where I got this idea, I couldn't quote a book or anything. That's just how I came to understand them.

        I think most Social Caitiff are just regular vampires who are unaware of their lineage. They were an accidental or impassioned Embrace, and/or were abandoned immediately or shortly after the turn by a Sire who may or may not be aware of the unlife they created. Accidental ones can include events where a vampire drains a mortal dry, but the mortal had some of the vampire's blood in their mouth (like from biting them in an effort to fight them off), and so was "Embraced spontaneously". (Note: I don't know if V5 has any special restrictions to how the Embrace works compared to earlier editions, and I don't care). Or if the childe wasn't abandoned, they might have been orphaned shortly after Embrace, their Sire killed before any real "education" about their condition or heritage could be conveyed. Whatever the case, the childe becomes a Caitiff by default, because they don't know what they are, and don't know anyone who can tell them.

        Save in those instances where their weakness and powers are subtle enough that their lineage isn't obvious, most Social Caitiff will cease to be so when someone tells them what they are.

        Obviously, Clan/Bloodline acceptance is a factor in whether a Kindred can be named among their "relatives", but I don't know if rejection is as much an exclusionary force as CTPhipps thinks. Sure, their "Clan" won't give them any favors, but other groups - especially those who dislike their Clan - will scarcely make the distinction just because the Clan does. Anyone who hates the Tremere, for instance, will call a "Tremere Caitiff" a Tremere, and may do when that Caitiff does something wrong, simply so the enemies of the Tremere can use it against the Clan.

        "See?", they might say, "Look at what the Usurpers' brood does, even divorced from its own kind! They only exclude this one because it makes the lot of them look bad!"

        Yes, it's flimsy reasoning and abject bias. That's just politics. My point is that even if a Kindred who is manifestly of a Clan/Bloodline is not accepted by their lineage, they will still be treated as such by everyone else, if it's convenient to do so. Or simply out of spite. Or because they cannot be trusted to not still secretly work for that Clan/Bloodline.

        "Biological" Caitiff, meanwhile, I think have no set cause. None that can be determined, anyway. They just happen.

        Not that Kindred don't have theories or explanations. But these are them grasping at straws. Many do so to make themselves feel better. Kindred who have made Caitiff want to find an explanation for why their blood "didn't take", often going over the Embrace and the period leading up to it over and over in their minds. They want to believe that there was a cause; a reason why it "went wrong". Other Kindred, meanwhile, want explanations for why their peers create Caitiff, to make them feel better by comparison. That the creation of a Caitiff was a personal failure of that Kindred, and that "it could never happen to ME".

        No Kindred really wants to wrestle with the uncomfortable idea that there might just be something in their blood that caused it. That THEY are the cause, and it could happen again. Or, worse, that there's NO explanation. That there was nothing they could do to predict or prevent the creation of a Caitiff. That they don't have any control, and never did.

        That, more than anything, terrifies the children of Caine. A Caitiff is an unliving mockery of their loss of control.

        Which is why they are so often the target of persecution and extermination. Even more than them being potential rivals or disruptive elements, it's the existential terror they inspire in Kindred.
        Last edited by Bluecho; 01-22-2020, 07:17 PM.


        • #19
          Another point: not only do "Biological" Caitiff just happen, that's how it's always been, at basically the same rate of occurrence.

          If Kindred society thinks otherwise, it's mostly a combination of two factors: 1) Confirmation Bias, and 2) the changing degree to which Kindred in modern times are capable of "correcting their mistakes" by successfully exterminating their Caitiff.

          In the former case, Kindred are not immune to rose-tinted glasses. Everyone thinks their formative years were better than "now"; that things were better "then". Those who were old enough to remember "the good old nights" - whatever period they mean when they say that - may just be better at noticing Caitiff running around, and assume there's somehow a higher instance of their creation than there was in their preferred era.

          Moreover, fears of Gehenna grow as time moves forward, or at least did. Up until 2004, everyone assumed the End Times were upon them, and were looking for any sign of its arrival. Lo and behold, some Noddist scriptures claim that more Caitiff and Thin Bloods would come, heralding Gehenna. This bit of superstition on their minds, Kindred become alert to Caitiff and Thin Blood numbers. It's highly probable that several "Gehenna Panics" started all throughout history, as a direct result of local spikes in Caitiff and Thin Blood populations. Confirmation Bias made Kindred selectively remember those spikes and the feat they inspired, and that bias continues to influence their behavior. In this case, by making them hunt both groups assiduously, under the theory that if their numbers are culled, it will forestall the end. Indeed, they may take the LACK of a Gehenna as confirmation that exercising anti-Caitiff and anti-Thin Blood pogroms is what stopped Gehenna before, and consider it a valid strategy. Instead of seeing it as a false pattern, they deepen their commitment to the idea.

          To the second point, the world is simultaneously much smaller and much bigger than it was before. It's much easier to notice Caitiff are around, while simultaneously being harder to find and destroy them. Populations are denser than in, say, the Dark Ages, so Caitiff (and Thin Bloods) have more cover. (Not to mention there are fewer Lupines, thanks to shrinking natural habitats and the efforts of Wyrmish forces; ergo, more Caitiff, Thin Bloods, Autarkis, and other dregs of Kindred society can survive in places previously antithetical to vampiric existence, like small towns or the open roads). Blood is less scarce than ever, thanks to high populations and various livestock related industries. It's also much easier to get around, allowing a newly Embraced Caitiff to find shelter and escape from folks who want to kill them (including their own Sires).

          Combine this with modern cultural shifts in mortal populations (such as Equality or the Sanctity of Human (albeit Undead) Life), and you have a recipe for more Caitiff (and Thin Bloods) surviving beyond their earliest nights. It's not that the actual rate of instance for Caitiff is higher, percentage wise (though obviously by raw numbers, higher numbers of vampires in general will lead to more chances of Caitiff). It's that those who are made don't perish nearly as quickly. In the Dark Ages, if a Caitiff is created and the Sire loses track of them, the Sire knows they can't run far and don't have that many places to hide. If the Sire can't track them down in or around their medieval community, they'll probably be destroyed out in the wilderness by the sun, angry villagers, or even angrier Lupines. In the modern day, a Caitiff who gives their Sire the slip can catch a bus or hop in a car, and be a state away before the sun rises, depending on the hour. Let alone find somewhere in a huge city or even modest town to bed for the day, and give pursuers a heck of a time locating them. (Not that they can't, but that it's harder; for a Caitiff, that's often the difference between unlife and Final Death).

          There probably ARE more Caitiff (and Thin Bloods) than in earlier eras, proportionally speaking. But it doesn't need to have any more of a cause than because they haven't all been destroyed yet.
          Last edited by Bluecho; 01-22-2020, 07:21 PM.


          • #20
            As I mentiond previously I wanted to see Caitiff and Thin Blood/Duskborn sort of merged as concepts, but with more flexibility in how they could be created. The general idea is that the curse of Caine could mutate or fail/weaken in myriad ways, and each Thin Blood/Caitiff/Duskborn could mainfest their own particular sets of advantages or disadvantages (although you could still have bloodline-like familes or groups evolve similar sets of traits) It wouldn't necessariyl be just teh weakened disciplines, or the inability to make ghouls or blood bonds or increased BP cost, but it could be things like lacking immortality (TTB had the option for that but it was a merit or flaw rather than an innate talent)

            I also wanted to relax the generational ties the Thin Blooded have so that while they might be more common at higher generations they weren't impossible for lower generation (my favorite being Count Dunlop from the Giovanni Chronicles, the 6th generation Gangrel with a weakened curse and whose body was continuing to age rather than maintaining stasis. Or their sire, who must have been 5th generation with a similar curse.)

            Another idea (mainly for bringing TTB into 5th) was that Dhampir were also duskborn (the weakest generation, perhaps equivalent to 17th) who were true vampire rather than just being rehashed Revenants. You could be 'born' a thin blood or you could be made one by a vampire.