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How to comprehend and roleplay terribly old vampires?

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  • How to comprehend and roleplay terribly old vampires?

    How to comprehend and roleplay truly old vampires? I mean, methseulahs who are thousands of years old just like Japheth, Mithras or Yorak?

  • #2
    You had a book entirely focused in elders, Elysium, from second edition. And in third edition, the Guide of the Camarilla had some pages around that idea.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Justycar View Post
      You had a book entirely focused in elders, Elysium, from second edition. And in third edition, the Guide of the Camarilla had some pages around that idea.
      They totally focus on Elders (capital "e"), actually. I mean Methseulah

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      • #4
        The only advice I can think of are; use them sparingly and plan their interaction with the players well in advance. I don't see player characters small talking with an ancient vampire. If you plan in advance I would think you can make the interaction both memorable and giving something from it, while also letting the ancient vampire be sees as alien to humanity as they seem to be intended to be.

        So

        Use direct interactions sparingly

        Plan ahead on how to play out these interactions

        EDITED

        As for direct tricks, I know I've had some success with normal elders by designing their particular insanity/alieness in relations to humanity, and then building the rest around it.

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        • #5
          I found the depicition of Mithras in the Victorian Age trilogy very inspirational.

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          • #6
            1-Make them likeable. They might be bastards, but they've been around for too long to carelessly make enemies.
            2- make them risk adverse, or have them gamble heavioy with assets that arent essential to them.
            3-a big differwnce between them and regular elders is that they dont need to compensate for a weakness. They are all-around strong and have cards under the table, and dont really need to get anal about stuff to get what they want.


            I feel like the idea if 'elders are unknowable' is really just a symptom of others not being on their level.


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

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            • #7
              I have four of those and I hope my description will help you.
              All of them are except the last one over 4000 years old

              1. Ciara Karnstein
              She is an Old Clan Tzimisce of the 4th Generation in Styria. She lived and stayed there since long time and so do not care which foolish mortal now thinks he the actual ruler because she knows from her connection with the land, that she is the true one. She is polite and hospital like other ancient Tzimisce as long as you are neither Sabbat or one of those arrogant foolish tremere. Those of the Sabbat are given when entering one warning to return immedeataly or they will get purged while a Tremere is allowed to move past as long he is only on the travel or without other Tremere. When someone else visit her domain she is as long polite as long you are it too. She is open for buiseness but has no real drive as long it is not against the rest of the visscitude Tzimisce or it is about her husband Victor. The visscitude Tzimisce she really want to erridicate to free the land from those demons but more important for her is her husband.
              When it is Victor, which is her child and a roman Refugee embraced 400 CE she will set all in movement and do not care to kill anyone else on the spot if needed because empires and people come and go but their love is eternal and no one has the right to destroy it.

              2. Jonathan Black
              He is an 4th Generation Ventrue and whas a jewesh merchant in life. During his life he became part of the 1% of the 1% and so is slowly getting bored and got a mercenary attitute to bring change. He is always open for anyone but because their are so many people out their he has the condition to make it interessting if they want him to continue to listen if they are neither ventrue or old enough to be elder. If it whas good enough to spark partually his interesst you are giving riddles from him but you have the choice how difficult they should be and if they should be easier but with time limit, or hard but without time limit. Depending on your choices and how well you did he will then sum your total performance and give you then a price you have to pay if you want his help. If you manage to truely impress him with something unique you will skip price and mayby even the riddles.
              Though despite of all his bored life he still has risked awareness and will calculate how much it is likely to cost and if you want to span him into a suicide mission he will want either a good plan, a good reason or a high price for it. He is old enough to stay over some petty insults though as ventrue he want that you have a logical argument why he says such words or you will get kicked out.

              3. Jebel
              He is a secret 4th Generation True Brujah. Over the time he reached Golconda because the true love he found whas with a Brujah which brought him to stop caring about all the meaningless Jyhad. He travels with her from city to city though he only cares enough, to visit the local leader out of respect and to make clear, he is only on sightseeing. When someone visit him he stays polite as long as the other one is polite too, but he will keep small talk to anything non political. Personal he is a fan of the historicans because of his experience, that might is knowledge he keeps the knowledge only for those are worthy. He will answer questions honestly but if he answers depends on if the person is asking the right question. His answers will mostly contain either metaphers, riddles our counterquestions and only those that either has the knowledge or the ability to look behind a more clearly anwer. If someone is foolish enough to threaten him or his wife, he give him first a demo of his power and for those that are still so foolish will either get dominated out of the way or if kindred and clearly in need of getting hit, he will throw them somewhere away but with a leg less because he keeped on holding that leg which whas enough for it so it ripped off. Though he has a gentle side on him because he embraced his first child Konstantin on a whim, as he whas to late to save him from getting murdered and his girlfriends mourned visitable for him.

              4. Konstantin, Princeps of Carnuntum
              He is a fifth generation Caitiff and child of Jebel. He whas embraced 120 CE and reigned there until it whas destroyed. When it whas rebuild during the dark ages he camed back and founded a cainite knight order there which fought for other cainites to get him enough favour and wealth to establish a permanent base of power there. Under the guidance of his sire he reached the path of Golconda on the road of the kings and decided for securing his reign to keep it rather low and let the tremere in the neighbouring vindobona come to power to whom he kept good releationship. During the ages he whas always polite and welcomming to those few that peacefull visit his domain but did not waver to strike down anyone that want to harm his domain or his vasalls. It is important to mention, that he is never the agressor because he has no reason to fight with someone, as long as they let him live in peace and so he decided with full intent to keep his hometown small so the interesst of other cainites is practical non existent to risk a war with an ancient one for such a small city.


              I hope it whas helpfull to you.

              Though it all can break down to those things
              Methusalem are old enough to be sure of their power.
              They are old enough to appreciate their age and mostly just want to live their live.
              They have a few they have an interesst in and the rest can go and die.
              They rather stay low if not get threatened because they have to much to loose and to less to gain most of the times and are fully aware younger ones see them only as a way to upgrade themselves.
              Last edited by Koronus; 06-27-2020, 09:04 AM.


              As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
              First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
              Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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              • #8
                Koronus how high is Jebel’s Temporis?


                “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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                • #9
                  Watch What we Do in the Shadows.


                  You've been playing around the magic that is black
                  But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                    Koronus how high is Jebel’s Temporis?
                    As with his old age 9 though it could theoretically even be 10. Why do you want to know?


                    As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
                    First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
                    Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Each Methseulah is a different beast so to speak. Yorak is extremely different from Mithras. They want different things they act in different ways.

                      The general tips I feel could be useful are (1) the fact that Methseulahs have enough power and expertise they can disguise themselves to appear different from what they really are if they have a reason to do so, (2) the fact that they usually need the blood of other vampires to sustain themselves so when depicting them I make it clear the PCs are in the same room with beings who look at them the same way they look at mortals and (3) Methuselahs in my games can have very low humanity scores OR very high humanity scores, either way their morality is a factor in the way they are described and it's never something ordinary.

                      When depicting Methuselahs I never go for the "unknowable chthonic monsters" trope. They are ancient and powerful being but they were human once and their actions can be understood by other vampires if they are bright enough, although doing so puts those vampires at risk because knowledge is power and Methuselahs know this extremely well. VtM is not Cthulhu and I don't feel the need to change the game in order to turn it into something that is not.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                        Each Methseulah is a different beast so to speak.... They want different things they act in different ways.

                        (3) Methuselahs in my games can have very low humanity scores OR very high humanity scores, either way their morality is a factor in the way they are described and it's never something ordinary.

                        When depicting Methuselahs I never go for the "unknowable chthonic monsters" trope. They are ancient and powerful being but they were human once and their actions can be understood by other vampires if they are bright enough, although doing so puts those vampires at risk because knowledge is power and Methuselahs know this extremely well. VtM is not Cthulhu and I don't feel the need to change the game in order to turn it into something that is not.
                        I completely agree with the sentiments above -- especially the "high or low" humanity angle. There are two factors that I think most strongly influence what sort of personality a Methuselah is going to have:

                        1) HOW did the vampire survive this long?
                        2) WHY did the vampire survive this long?

                        Keeping in mind that the vast majority of vampires probably don't last 3000 years (at least in my games), if you answer both of these questions, I think you are already well on the path to understanding the character and sketching out a personality. How has the vampire balanced his or her humanity and beast in such a way as to avoid becoming a mindless animal? What has kept them going? Is it fear of death? A burning desire for revenge? A fascination with the growth and development of humanity? The need to watch over their progeny and descendants? Any creature that has lasted that long has made survival a paramount goal: it's going to inform and dominate everything that they do. How did they accomplish that goal? What did they shape themselves into that can endure the centuries? They did something; they became something.

                        And that comes with risks and limitations. There's a great quote from the second Dune book (Dune Messiah) that I love to think about with respect to elder vampires of all stripes, and it goes triple for Methuselahs:

                        "A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation."

                        All that said, I also really like this:

                        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                        1-Make them likeable. They might be bastards, but they've been around for too long to carelessly make enemies.

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                        • #13
                          Koronus idle curiosity. I was wondering if Temporis 10 was restricted to the Brujah Antediluvian (Ilyes).


                          “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                            Koronus idle curiosity. I was wondering if Temporis 10 was restricted to the Brujah Antediluvian (Ilyes).
                            Obviously yes because the rules state that only 3rd gen vampires have the potential for lvl 10 disciplines. But keep in mind Ilyes is not canon, its inclusion in the Fair is Foul Gehenna scenario was just a take on the POSSIBLE events of Gehenna. Ilyes is not even mentioned in the other 3 scenarios AND its backstory in Fair is Foul contraddicts the previous canon (in the scenario it is said that Ilyes never sired anyone aside from Troile and then used Temporis 10 to escape destruction at her hands)
                            Last edited by Haquim; 06-27-2020, 03:13 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                              Obviously yes. But keep in mind Ilyes is not canon, its inclusion in the Fair is Foul Gehenna scenario was just a take on the POSSIBLE events of Gehenna. Ilyes is not even mentioned in the other 3 scenarios AND its backstory in Fair is Foul contraddicts the previous canon (in the scenario it is said that Ilyes never sired anyone aside from Troile and then used Temporis 10 to escape destruction at her hands)
                              Well Golconda makes it RAW possible to reach this too because it unrestrict the artificial generation weakening of Caine. Though some things like thin blood or how much blood you can handle are not getting higher with it but Golconda allows technically to have a generation 16 Vampire to have disciple ratings as high as any ante.

                              About Legendre said, that is in for example at those 4 I listed
                              Ciara 1. She whas a mastertalent at Coldunic Sorcery and the first one in an uninteressting domain so she had enough time to make her to the lady of the land.
                              2. Because when the area started to be interessting she whas already to old and mighty to be worth the effort to kill her in comparison to the domain and those few that did it out of grudge nerver made it far.

                              Jonathan 1. He is smart enough to analyze the area and so used every possibility to defeat someone that could be dangerous to him with a combination of money, connections and force.
                              2. Because he managed to never bite more then he whas able to chew so he never made enemies with someone like Mithras and when there where the american colonization he whas one of the first to grasp the meaning and so did a headstart there in securing an financial empire there.

                              Jebel 1.) Because he whas similar like Jonathan smart enough to analyze anyone near him but he saw solutions and so defeated his enemies with making them to friends.
                              2.) Because he has a Wife in True Love and so convinced everyone that he is harmles if not threatened and so with his wisdom alive more worth then death.

                              Konstantin 1.) Because he had the perfect mix of Luck, Skill and Connections and so managed to build up himself a powerbase while embracing the right people to bring him to succes.
                              2. Because he managed to keep himself as the last one standing on the northern border during the roman empire and while his first child an ex first servant ghoul keeped track of the region and claimed in his name the rebuild Carnuntum when it whas back while embracing an elite proto knight as the sheriff for it, Konstantin managed during his stay in Konstantinopel during half millenium to gather enough connections and embrace a second child which turned out as a gen 5 thin blooded seer so when it whas about founding a cainite knight order he knew exactly when he should support whom while having a small enough domain that has to many headpower to be taken down at a lightning war and so keeped his small paradise in peace.


                              As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
                              First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
                              Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

                              Comment

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