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  • Playing against Stereotype

    I'm playing a dark/middle ages game with a Tremere character, that I find and was told to be not typical of what is expected of a Tremere.

    So I'm curious, how many and which characters have you played that have personalities, abilities or just overall, against the stereotype of their clans?

    Are such characters interesting to play? Or are they bogged down too heavily by the expectations of playing as members of their clans and have to change along the way?

    Have anyone made a peaceful Brujah? Emotionless Toreador? Immaterial and kind Venture? Or even a humanistic Tzimisce?

    How did it work out for you?

  • #2
    I like it, sometimes it leads to interesting game plays that are focused more on roleplay and subterfuge than rolling dice for combat. like say your tremere was embraced because he was a builder of grand cathedrals, he could pull off angles and shapes that almost no other builder could, almost as if the stone held itself together by magic, so he gained the interest of a local tremere who wanted to see what would happen if this person who somehow was able to do things no one else could would translate into kindred society.

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    • #3
      I haven't to play them so much as just come up with ideas for some.

      Two Tzimisci I came up with are a musician who does the whole rock star thing and uses vissectitude to have a different "make up" look for each album and another who is something of a back ally surgeon who helps people have the bodies they want or need.

      One idea I had for ministry vampire is one who corrupts, but instead of corrupting religious people he corrupts elitist intelligentsia.

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      • #4
        In a Dark Ages game I've been running I had a Setite Sorcerer NPC. He didn't worship Set, though, just followed him as an example. He was a total Gnostic who believed Set set an example that the Gods weren't worthy of their worship. Corruption might be useful as a tool to get someone to realize god was unworthy of worship or as an act of rebellion to that god, but not worth worshipping in of itself. He valued his reputation as a scholar above all else, asides from his Gnostic beliefs and was probably the most honest and straightforward Cainite in the city. He was in search of knowledge and power for himself to try and elevate himself past the level of the Aeons, but maintained good relations with anyone who could help in his quest for knowledge and felt no reason to screw people over for no reason. It always made me laught when the players viewed him with suspicion but took other characters at face value.

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        • #5
          Depends what you mean by "against type"

          I feel characters should work for at least 2/3 of their in-clan disciplines to avoid somehow becoming a blood caitiff.

          Clan culture is a big thing too.
          You can't be a peasant Ventrue. You must embody nobility or they throw you out as caitiff/dispose of you. This may/may not apply outside the cam
          A visibly incompetent lasombra is destroyed by their clan protecting their brand value.
          A nice Giovanni would never be embraced. You can certainly act nice, but you can't be nice.
          ​Settites won't embrace you if you don't actually embrace the faith. DrHappyAngry you'd still pass.


          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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          • #6
            Not sure if it's a subversion or not, but I've made a Gangrel who flips houses. That is to say, he buys shabby houses, repairs them, lives in them while he hunts for a while, then sells them and moves on. This has the effect of preventing people from noticing he doesn't age, preventing people from noticing that too many people disappear in a small area, and gives him a way to pass the time as he genuinely enjoys repairing things. So he's a Gangrel who is a skilled craftsman and salesman. I'm not sure it's a subversion, though, as he is still a nomadic predator.

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            • #7
              All I can say is a name who fits this subject to a T: Cuthbert Freaking Beckett......

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              • #8
                Sometimes it works very well.

                However, I like to make it so that if I ever do play against stereotype that the stereotype is somewhat there for so it's like 80% non stereotypical, 20% stereotypical.

                Olaf One-Eye from CbN5E is one good example as he's a homeless man, rules over a few petty streets in South Chicago, and is utterly deranged. However, he DOES rule in a literal court with a Burger King crown that he wears unironically.


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

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                • #9
                  Currently I'm playing an Assamite Vizier who pretends to be a True Brujah who pretends to be a Brujah Idealist(ic) Anarch. I'm not sure whether that's playing against archetype or not, but so far none of the other players have suspected me of being anything else but a... slightly calm(er) Idealist Brujah... Oh, and we are playing in Chicago, after the events of "Under a Blood Red Moon".


                  "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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                  • #10
                    Most of my characters over the years have tended to be atypical, at least from the point of view of Clan stereotypes. I've always tried to work out what a Clan's (or Tribe's or whatever's) basic theme and archetype is and build something that stays true to it. Brujah, for example, are ultimately driven by (dark) passion, so concepts like Club DJs, ambitious Harpies, Revivalist Preachers, and ruthless Sheriffs are every bit as true to the Brujah ideal as Anarch rebels, SJW activists, and Idealist intellectuals. Likewise a Gangrel Political Animal should be every bit the savage survivor as an Outlaw Biker or Eco-Terrorist, and a Ventrue Anarch should be every bit as devoted to the ideals of dignity, reputation and authority as the haughtiest of Princes. Such is my opinion, at least.


                    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)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                      Depends what you mean by "against type"

                      I feel characters should work for at least 2/3 of their in-clan disciplines to avoid somehow becoming a blood caitiff.

                      Clan culture is a big thing too.
                      You can't be a peasant Ventrue. You must embody nobility or they throw you out as caitiff/dispose of you. This may/may not apply outside the cam
                      A visibly incompetent lasombra is destroyed by their clan protecting their brand value.
                      A nice Giovanni would never be embraced. You can certainly act nice, but you can't be nice.
                      ​Settites won't embrace you if you don't actually embrace the faith. DrHappyAngry you'd still pass.
                      Acutally there's a lot of Dark Ages material for them dealing specifically with Gnosticism. I think it was in V20 Dark Ages where they revealed there were tons of Setites that worshipped numerous gods who weren't Set, but got purged later as the Sutekh followers took over the clan.

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                      • #12
                        Not quite.
                        Settites have always been gnostic.
                        The Egyptian part of the clan has been more successful. They have fought with other settite groups before, but for the most part Settites have gone "oh, they worship X, but they do so in a way that makes us conclude that X is obviously a mask of Set". Settites run a lot of cults, mystery cults with layers, they literally take a person, give them a load of beliefs, and may or may not then turn around and say "hey, you made it through the cult, now time for the REAL cult" and then unload a whole load of other beliefs. Settites are inherently chaotic this way, so they can't really get mad when they find someone who's belief structure is largely the same but the names and other specific things are changed. If the belief system really is different, then they'll get mad, but if it can be seen as a mask for gnostic beliefs and is targeted towards fighting the demiurge, they'll just have a civil dialogue. Set supposedly traveled a lot and started a lot of his own schools; He was a redhead in egypt after all, and what seems to be his bloodline were found in the new world.


                        Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wingstorm View Post

                          Have anyone made a peaceful Brujah? Emotionless Toreador? Immaterial and kind Venture? Or even a humanistic Tzimisce?

                          How did it work out for you?
                          The way I approach it is that the essence of a clan isn't the same as the stereotypical perception of it.

                          Take the Ventrue. They usually have money and power, and they can be ruthless holding on to both. But what the clan is really about is order, stability, structure, rational organization. That doesn't preclude kindness or selflessness. A Ventrue who ran a charity helping gang members to reform could be both kind and personally poor, but they would still be in charge and working to impose order on a chaotic world.

                          The Brujah are the opposite. They want to change the world. A peaceful Brujah? Annabelle from LA by Night is a pacifist, but she's an agent and advocate of change.

                          Emotionless Toreador? The clan celebrates creativity. One of my Toreador elders in the Dark Ages was an architect who designed military fortifications and quite cold-bloodedly encouraged mortal conflict to test and refine them, but he was a creator and builder, an artist in his own way.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            Not quite.
                            Settites have always been gnostic.
                            The Egyptian part of the clan has been more successful. They have fought with other settite groups before, but for the most part Settites have gone "oh, they worship X, but they do so in a way that makes us conclude that X is obviously a mask of Set". Settites run a lot of cults, mystery cults with layers, they literally take a person, give them a load of beliefs, and may or may not then turn around and say "hey, you made it through the cult, now time for the REAL cult" and then unload a whole load of other beliefs. Settites are inherently chaotic this way, so they can't really get mad when they find someone who's belief structure is largely the same but the names and other specific things are changed. If the belief system really is different, then they'll get mad, but if it can be seen as a mask for gnostic beliefs and is targeted towards fighting the demiurge, they'll just have a civil dialogue. Set supposedly traveled a lot and started a lot of his own schools; He was a redhead in egypt after all, and what seems to be his bloodline were found in the new world.
                            That first part's not really gnostic, more like how a lot of polytheistic societies viewed foreign gods, as in that was how the gods had revealed themselves to that people mixed with old school mystery cults. Both are very fitting for the followers of Set, but not really Gnosticism. Gnostics are more into the pursuit of sacred knowledge and generally believe the creator God(s) to blind, incompetent or malevolent and the true supreme God has left bits of sacred knowledge to help humans free themselves from the lesser gods. There's a huge amount of variance between Gnostic groups, though, and even pre Christian groups that weren't influenced so much by Abrahamic faiths. Fighting against the demiurge is the most gnostic thing you mentioned there. I can't remember which book mentions this offhand, but some Dark Ages Setites even claimed Gnosticism was their idea. But the Gnostics were always a minority in the clan. The game I've been running is set in 730AD, so makes a lot of sense to have Gnostic Setites around, so there's still more diversity and more Gnostics than would be around in the default Dark Ages setting.

                            The V20 Tome of Secrets book mentions the witches of Echidna being opposed by the Sutekh loyalists and being fewer in number by the 13th Century. It also mentions a Nubian branch that venerates hundreds of Gods. There's also the Hindu branch.

                            Also Ramses II (The Great/Ozymandeas) had red hair. We actually know this as a fact because we have his mummy. So Set having red hair isn't a stretch for Egypt.

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                            • #15
                              Most of my Dark Ages Setites tended to have nothing to do with Egypt, largely because most Europeans at the time only had this vague idea of them from the Exodus story and even then would picture Pharaoh as a European style king in artwork. And also I just enjoyed the idea of them being focused on the whole "Serpent in the Garden" thing from Genesis as interpreted through the overall Setite lens of anti-Aeonic and gnostic style beliefs, with the occasional bits of surviving Greek, Roman or other pagan cults thrown in. But then I also really enjoy doing modern Setites as Luciferian Satanists, Nietzschean Uburmensch, and postmodern deconstructionists, so I am clearly weird.


                              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)

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