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  • CTPhipps
    started a topic Ten Tips to running the Tremere in V5

    Ten Tips to running the Tremere in V5

    https://unitedfederationofcharles.bl...ere-in-v5.html

    Hey folks,

    These articles on how to run the changes to major characters and factions in V5 are proving to be some of my most-loved blog articles. For the next entry I'm going to be discussing the changes of, I've decided to go with Clan Tremere. Clan Tremere has arguably been hit the hardest of the 13 Clans in V5. The Tremere Pyramid has been decapitated with the deaths of the Council of Seven as well as destruction of the Vienna chantry. The Second Inquisition proved their bonafides by killing the most powerful known vampires in the world as well as destroying a place thought invincible to its magical defenses.

    Or did it?

    The Tremere have also been shattered in terms of unity as the most carefully structured and rigid Clan has since split into multiple competing Houses. These include House Tremere, House Carna, House Goratrix, and House Ipsissimus. Even their curse has changed with the Blood Bond something that Tremere can no longer inflict on their fellow vampires. Here's how to use these changes in your game.

    1. Bent, Bowed, but Unbroken

    The Tremere have lost the Council of Seven, been broken into feuding houses, and lost their primary chantry. They have also ceased to be the only source of Blood Sorcery in the Camarilla due to the arrival of the Assamites. This does not mean the Tremere are beaten, though. Indeed, in many ways, they are now more powerful than they were before. The organization has always been held back by its strict control. New chantries, members, and rituals are now being created all the time. The Anarchs now flood with members as the Camarilla needs all the help it can get. Blood cults have more than their fair share of warlocks. The Council of Seven feared losing control and new Paths but nothing prevents the Tremere from pursuing new avenues to power or position anymore. Tremere could not jockey for Prince or Primogen as well as serve their Clan interests. Now they can pursue power for themselves as well as Clan.

    2. My brother against me, my brother and me against the world

    The Tremere's broken state is perhaps overstated. Before the Tremere were held together like the Sith Empire. There was the masters and their apprentices who were constantly scheming against each other. The Tremere encouraged this infighting and even allowed duels to the death via certamen. The new Tremere are divided into feuding houses that contain many grudges as well as struggles over recruits. However, the Tremere are not so stupid as to forget that the enemy of one is likely the enemy of all. House Carna, House Goratrix, and House Tremere members will likely join together if an Assamite threatens one.

    3. You may have created us, man of evil, but we are free

    The entire Tremere Clan was partially blood bound to the Council of Seven. Effectively, this meant all members of the Tremere were effectively forced to serve the Clan's interests above their own. The biggest change of V5 is not the death of the Council of Seven and the breaking of those blood bonds but the fact that the Tremere cannot make blood bonds anymore period. They are free from the mind-control of their founders and for some, this will result in radical personality changes. After all, if you were forced to love someone for millennia and then discovered it was all a lie, how would you react? It also means that they cannot control any other Kindred via the Blood Bond and may have those they've enslaved turn against them.

    4. The Tremere no longer have a monopoly on Blood Sorcery

    This is something that has already been mentioned but it's important to understand the Tremere used to wield the vast majority of their authority by leveraging their power against other Clans. Need to track down a missing Neonate? Call the Tremere. Need to inflict a bloody curse on a rival Elder? Call the Tremere. Need a bunch of fireballs thrown at the Sabbat? Tremere again. The addition of the Assamites and breaking up of the Pyramid means that sorcery is far more widely available. The Tremere can't stamp down Neonates teaching their friends parlor tricks or assassinate the rare Embraced mage who develops an affinity for it. Blood cults, in particular, are spreading mysticism throughout the Kindred world. This means that while the Tremere have not lost any power, they must develop alternate avenues to enforce their will as they face something they've never had before: competition.

    5. Blood Sorcery has changed

    The Tremere, for all of their brilliance, were a fairly static group. The Council of Seven were all recruited from the Order of Hermes in the Dark Ages and their immediate progeny. They favored traditional Hermetic sorcery and distrusted deviations from this rigid formula. The rise of House Carna has resulted in a resurgence of Verbena-style witchcraft. House Ipsissimus works with the Anarchs because they are not technophobes. As such, they are a place where technomancers and biomancers can find succor. Nothing prevents Tremere wizards from incorporating the mysticism of blood cults like the Church of Caine, Church of Set, Mithranic Mysteries, and even Lilith worship into their magic as well. Blood Sorcery is now highly individualized outside of House Tremere and this is an advantage the Tremere are likely to take extreme advantage of. They may not be the only sorcerers anymore but they are still the best.

    6. Know the Players, Know the Masters

    Karl Schrekt is the current leader of House Tremere's Camarilla contingent and has apparently assembled his own Council of Seven together. This is less impressive than the 4th and 5th generation members it previously sported but Karl is 5th generation himself. He is apparently not suffering the Beckoning and thus is one of the most powerful vampires outside of the Middle East. He wishes to restore things as they were and may have the power to do so, even if it takes centuries. Carna is a significantly weaker 8th generation vampire but holds a cult of personality around herself as well as wields the power of the Book of the Grave-War. She is 600 years old and also a tremendously powerful vampire by the standards of the New World. Is Goratrix (secretly Tremere) still the leader of House Goratrix? If so, both Carna and Schrekt live by the grace of their Founder who apparently approves of the split. House Ipsissimus has no leaders as they simply desire freedom to wield magic as they like. Nothing prevents the PCs from founding their own Houses, though, beyond their willingness to stand alone.

    7. Vienna was almost certainly an inside job

    The Second Inquisition has inflicted massive damage on London, the Giovanni Mausoleum, Mexico City's Sabbat, and the city of Montreal's Sabbat. They are capable hunters that include many long-standing veterans from the Society of Leopold as well as Special Affairs Division. However, Kindred have always used the mortals who hate them against their enemies. Mithras manipulated the hunters of London according to THE FALL OF LONDON and the Giovanni Mausoleum was struck with the help of the Hecata. While it is only a matter of suspicion, there are many people who could have helped the Second Inquisition hit the Vienna chantry.

    8. The Tremere's enemies are weakened too

    The Tremere's collection of enemies can be summarized as: The Salubri Antitribu, the Gargoyles, the Tzimisce, the Tremere Antitribu, the Assamites, and other Tremere. Ironically, the Tremere's incredibly bad luck have given their foes absolutely no room to take advantage of it. The Sabbat have suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Second Inquisition and gone off to fight in a war that occupies their full attention. The Assamites, now known as the Banu Haqim, have joined the Camarilla so they have officially made peace with their former foes. The Second Inquisition and Beckoning has also stymied the other Clans as well, leaving the Tremere a surprising amount of room to expand their influence too. Hell, even the Order of Hermes lost most of its masters in the Avatar Storm, and thus the average Hermetic knows about as much about the Tremere as a modern Muslim knows about Tamerlane. They are a dark chapter of the order's history and best forgotten.

    9. The Pyramid is smaller, not gone

    The Tremere Pyramid has not been dissolved. Even with all the defections to the Anarchs, House Carna, House Goratrix, and blood cults--there are still many who find the old way of doing things just fine. Indeed, the casualties in the Elder ranks means that the Pyramid has many new openings for the ambitious as well as ruthless. Two qualities that the Tremere have always prized and its members usually possess in abundance. As such, it remains one of the most powerful and dangerous Kindred organizations in the world. Renegade Tremere may have more breathing room but it can still exert great force on those that attract its attention.

    10. Now is the time to seize power

    As one person who would make a great Tremere once said, "Chaos is a ladder." The Tremere remain some of the most educated and well-trained of Kindred. This may change with their newfound freedom to Embrace and teach their progeny as they see fit. With so many Elders Beckoned or killed, the power of sorcery can be utilized for one's own gain. The system of V5 actually contributes to this as restricting Disciplines to 5 levels means that a Tremere ancilla can potentially be among the most powerful mages in the world. There are older things out there and those with Disciplines that defy conventional rules but not so many that the day is not there to be taken. You just have to kill to get it.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-10-2020, 10:27 PM.

  • mfalkenb
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I see a chantry differently.

    What is a chantry

    A chantry is, for all intents and purposes, a military intelligence outpost. The Tremere are under strict control of their leadership and live regimented lives of training, discipline, and missions given by their superiors to carry out on behalf of the cause. Your life is under a microscope and the Tremere practice a separate law from the Camarilla they carry out on their own. Each chantry is an embassy for the Council of Seven really. The libraries are armories and each Tremere is shaped by their studies in order to better serve their clans rather than actual development. There's some room to navigate but it is a severely structured life.

    A chantry does gather/create knowledge and pass it up the pyramid, but I do only recognize your description as an outside stereotype.

    I would like to back up my point with a few quotes from Tremere Revised Chapter Two: Inside the Pyramid:

    First paragraph
    "Regimentation and hierarchy go hand in hand with the Tremere Clan - or so outsiders believe. Other vampires suspiciously paint Tremere as a unified lockstep chain of command with harsh rules, punishments an authoritarian dogma. Given their apparent unity, the Tremere certainly seem like just such a monolithic pyramid"

    "The Warlocks maintain no secret squads of assassins whose sole purpose is to hunt down rouge Tremere"

    "Elders tantalize subordinates with promise of rewards ... and punish the neonates who do not meet their expectations . Similar stick and carrot schemes drive ambitious kindred of other clans, but in Tremere the elders hold a monopoly on their secrets. "

    ".. often, a high ranking apprentice or regent also acts as a mentor to the fledgling kindred , if only for a short time."

    "Presumably, the apprentice brings specific abilities to the table. Most apprentices work to hone their specialty. By working with the skills they know best, they stand the greatest change of promotion through success."

    The descriptions given correspond mostly to simple management techniques instead of military command or cult like structure.
    Last edited by mfalkenb; 07-16-2020, 04:39 PM.

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  • Pleiades
    replied
    studying tomes and photocopying tomes is unreliable, especially if you're entry level sorcerer,
    even if not trapped, even if easily decipherable, most tomes are misleading in their writing, and may only contain a page worth of worthwhile information,

    an experienced sorcerer can avoid the traps and will have an easier time filtering the content,
    an entry level one will waste alot of time on trial and error, giving time for the Tremere to track them down (if their experiments haven't killed them already)

    this is one reason the Tremere are so dependent on their elders,
    and why rival factions such as the sabbat don't have access to proper thaumaturgy despite all the chantries they supposedly claimed


    now, for V5 Tremere and blood magic, I feel they went a step forward and three steps backwards

    in previous editions, Tremere did not fit in with the rest of the clans,

    non-Tremere vampires were embraced into power, they were like kids stumbling on military weaponry,
    while Tremere had to go from zero, study and learn their powers (although, they still had disciplines, the pyramid made thaumaturgy mandatory)

    non-Tremere had a relatively chaotic/anarchic structures,
    while Tremere had a tightly knit structure, and the imposed blood bond to the seven reinforced that

    V5 solved this by nuking Vienna, and the blood-bond and the pyramid with it (partially),
    except...they decided to prevent Tremere from bonding kindred,
    making them, once again, different from other kindred (although, less so than before)

    the other mistake imo was democratizing blood magic use, on top of weakening disciplines,
    this is not new to V5, but V5 is the one that went the furthest with it,
    this further hurts the design of "vampires being embraced into easy power", and encourages the "apprentice in their study" angle,

    I'm sure some people like the new direction, but for me, it was one of the few things that prevented me from playing other games such as KotE (not embraced into power, relying on mentorship for power, tight knit structure)

    Leave a comment:


  • Dwight
    replied
    How to spread the hermetic paradigm with one easy trick, the technocracy hates it........

    Leave a comment:


  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    If the alternative is not having magic, yeah, they would.

    Imagine you're a Tremere Regent for a moment.
    You see Apprentice A trying to photocopy a lot of books, without your permision.
    Maybe the broken blood bond hasn't raised your suspicions, but you ask why.
    You deduce Apprentice A wants to set up her own chantry.

    Do You
    A- Allow her to become your competitor and devalue your services, potentially allowing even further dissemination of your secretive art.
    B- Apprehend or destroy her.

    If you answered A, you're not a Regent. I can't believe you'd think this'd be ok.
    The other question is if you even can photocopy these books. There's likely some protection there. At the very least, you need to remember that Hermetics often write down notes with ciphers, obscure phrases, ancient languages, and leave traps and misinformation within their works.

    Leave a comment:


  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I see a chantry differently.

    What is a chantry

    A chantry is, for all intents and purposes, a military intelligence outpost. The Tremere are under strict control of their leadership and live regimented lives of training, discipline, and missions given by their superiors to carry out on behalf of the cause. Your life is under a microscope and the Tremere practice a separate law from the Camarilla they carry out on their own. Each chantry is an embassy for the Council of Seven really. The libraries are armories and each Tremere is shaped by their studies in order to better serve their clans rather than actual development. There's some room to navigate but it is a severely structured life.

    ...Which would somehow make them the most excellent warriors who cram -the lure of flames-. Which one is it? The apprentices know nothing and only exist to satsify anal retentives or the Mages are military intellegence?

    Imagine seeing someone writeup "The Law of The USA" only to talk about Puerto Rico with the implication that the rest of the USA has the same laws as Puerto Rico. That's how I feel when I see you discuss your fancanon Tremere as if it were normal.

    The Tremere, back in the dark ages, beat every other vampire sorcerer thanks to their unity and structure. They outplayed every little Mom'n Pop sorcerer they found, they beat the assamites, they were Rome. Perhaps they had the best thaumaturgical framework, but they became supreme because they were logistically superior. And you want to say that Tremere would be better off if they became the Mom'n Pop sorcerers they edged out nine hundred years ago? If they gave up their logistical advantage? If they stopped getting together in the chantries and instead embraced a dark age of isolation? Oh, sorry, I think you said you think the Tremere would get along and be more co-operative if they weren't in chantries on the same team; that would be heaps better if it could ever reasonably happen.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post

    No shit.
    They wouldn't.
    If the alternative is not having magic, yeah, they would.

    Leave a comment:


  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    I was excited to get a quote there. There I was thinking I'd argued to the point you could argue no more, and then there was a notification saying I got a quote... and now I'm here again, wondering how a person who can write "Ten tips to running the Tremere in V5" also has no clue about how the Tremere work. It's Hilarious you'd use Walter White, and I agree that he's a great example of what would happen if a Tremere went independent.... He doesn't die of that Cancer though, does he? Walter White is plagued by the fact that he left his super-successful friends, when he starts making meth he starts to live in fear; He doesn't have access to choice allies, he has to steal supplies, he has to be careful about who to sell too, he has to build a brand which earns the ire of drug enforcement, the local criminals he works with consider killing him, then after some fights another local force has him work for them and grants him a secure deal of infastructure, which greatly increases efforts to hunt WW down, but also local forces plant spies to watch him work and steal his secrets, kill his protoge, and he becomes a prisoner, his life with his family falls apart, he goes on the run and his protege gets enslaved to work for Neo-Nazis. His brief career as a Meth Lord is a spiral of struggling to control his life. In the end, he has to go back to those successful people he used to work with at Grey matter to try and deliver his will.

    ...Yeah, I wouldn't point to WW as an example for Tremere to live by. It's also not entirely fair since WW's meth making is 5 dot territory, whilst a Tremere struggling enough to jump on that raft of "freedom" is going to have less than that.

    The Code and Oath of the Tremere
    I, [initiate’s name], hereby swear my everlasting loyalty to House and Clan Tremere and all
    its members. I am of their blood, and they are of mine. We share our lives, our goals, and our
    achievements. I shall obey those the House sees fit to name my superiors, and treat my inferiors
    with all the respect and care they earn for themselves.
    I will not deprive nor attempt to deprive any member of House and Clan Tremere of his magical
    power. To do so would be to act against the strength of our House.....

    ....No
    apprentice of mine shall be called magus until he first swears to uphold the code. I shall treat my
    apprentices with the care and respect that they earn.

    LOTC: 214
    You are all bound to the clan, with a bloodbond. The thing with Tremere is that they're kinda like a firm of professionals; does Boeing want to hire untrained engineers? Incapable lawyers? What benefit would it be to the clan to keep apprentices incompetent, especially as that blood bond had been working fine till recently? The more excellent Tremere you have, the more problems you can solve, and the more problems you solve, the more favours the clan can rack in. That's not a rose tinted view of the Tremere; That's just being realistic.

    The Tremere would be doing the photocopying.
    No shit.
    They wouldn't.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    I see a chantry differently.

    What is a chantry

    A chantry is, for all intents and purposes, a military intelligence outpost. The Tremere are under strict control of their leadership and live regimented lives of training, discipline, and missions given by their superiors to carry out on behalf of the cause. Your life is under a microscope and the Tremere practice a separate law from the Camarilla they carry out on their own. Each chantry is an embassy for the Council of Seven really. The libraries are armories and each Tremere is shaped by their studies in order to better serve their clans rather than actual development. There's some room to navigate but it is a severely structured life.

    Leave a comment:


  • mfalkenb
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    This is literally not true and has never been true. The Tremere have outright forbidden studies into countless subjects, particularly Technomagic and hunted them down. They also have other kinds of studies they've forbidden as well as controlled. Hence Anarchs Unbound has the technomage Tremere fleeing the Pyramid.
    To summarize we have two different views of the old Chantry/ Tremere. The extremes might be:
    A. They restrict the flow of knowledge and outright ban some parts of study. - Orwellian thought Control
    B. They encourage the creation and dissemination of knowledge. - Hogwarts

    If A is more representative, the desolution of the Pyramid would create - a creative boom.
    If B is more representative, the desolution of the Pyramid would create - a creative bust

    We can try to examine the contradiction with the example of technomancy. Unfortunately I do not own Anarchs Unbound to look up the example given there. I found the following:

    "The newest path to be accepted by the Tremere hierarchy as part of the clan's official body of knowledge, the Path of Technomancy is a relatively recent innovation. It was developed in the latter half of the 20th century, and has not yet spread far beyond the North American Pontifices. The path focuses on the control of electronic devices, from wristwatches to computers, and its proponents maintain that it is a prime example of the versatility of Thaumaturgy with regards to a changing world. More conservative Tremere state that mixing Tremere magic with mortal science borders on treason or even blasphemy, and some European Regents have gone so far as to declare knowledge of Technomancy grounds for expulsion from their chantries. The Inner Council did approve the introduction of the path into the clan's grimoires, but has yet to voice any opinion on the conservative opposition to Technomancy."


    A. "has not yet spread far beyond the North American Pontifices" and "More conservative Tremere state that mixing Tremere magic with mortal science borders on treason or even blasphemy, and some European Regents have gone so far as to declare knowledge of Technomancy grounds for expulsion from their chantries"
    B. "part of the clan's official body of knowledge" and "The Inner Council did approve the introduction of the path into the clan's grimoires"

    I would therefore hold the statement "
    The Tremere have outright forbidden studies into countless subjects, particularly Technomagic and hunted them down." as wrong.


    I my personal view the chantry is like a university (much smaller) but worse (because World of Darkness). You can have terrible Professors (Regents) and it seems they spend all their time feuding, but it is a comparatively great place to create and share knowledge.

    To a student (neonate) it all seems restrictive, conservative, repetitive, but
    A. Restrictions, order, etc might be necessary - learn the basics first/ safety
    B. It might not be great, but the best we got. Any way of organising this endeavor is bound to have flaws.
    C. It is for the personal benefit for the people in charge. But the old bastards do have something to teach and can charge this price.

    As for the lab discussion.
    You can of course study on your own - absolutely.
    If this lab is more like the Hadron Collider - you are in a pickle.
    I would also say the chantry might not only be your lab, but the university library, your group of specialist colleagues and your access point for publications.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trippy
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I suppose it depends on also what qualifies as a lab. The Medieval Tremere would have killed for a modern clinic and/or high school chemical lab.

    Wherein we realize just how varied the resources of a lab can be...

    However, to the point, you can take a scientist out of a lab and he’s still a scientist. Being a scientist is merely carrying out a process - its a training in procedure and know how. Similarly, a Tremere vampire’s power structure is also a process, in or out of a chantry.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Trippy View Post
    Quite a lot, actually. A good scientist isn’t dependent on a lab.
    I suppose it depends on also what qualifies as a lab. The Medieval Tremere would have killed for a modern clinic and/or high school chemical lab.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trippy
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    What good is a scientist without a lab?
    Quite a lot, actually. A good scientist isn’t dependent on a lab.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    -The Tremere aren't going to let you photocopy their books. They're mental primaries, dude, they know.
    The Tremere would be doing the photocopying.

    -The Tremere rules says otherwise; They cannot impede your work, it's illegal to get in the way of someone's magical studdies, and in general it makes sense to have profecient people under you: The Tremere are uniquely a clan of vampires that actually labour for things rather than just own stuff; It helps to have competent labourers. Does this mean I think Tremere Regents are benevolent teachers who enjoy spending their time enlightening students with their greatests of works? No; but the Tremere largely control magic by -not teaching- rather than outright forbidding,
    This is literally not true and has never been true. The Tremere have outright forbidden studies into countless subjects, particularly Technomagic and hunted them down. They also have other kinds of studies they've forbidden as well as controlled. Hence Anarchs Unbound has the technomage Tremere fleeing the Pyramid.

    so leaving the boat and casting yourself adrift on a raft across the sea isn't going to do you any favours.
    You have a very rosy view of life in the Pyramid.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-16-2020, 01:17 AM.

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  • Konigheim Horror
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Everyone wants to be a Gargoyle. I wanted to play a Gargoyle before I watched Gargoyles. (but not in a Dark ages game, they're bad there)
    If my hunch is correct, he wants either to start out as a created slave, or (preferably) play one who acts like a slave so others underestimate him. I wonder how many Tremere actually manage to make peace with the the Gargoyles at some point, now that the Pyramid has a lot more cracks in it?

    Maybe I should hit my friend up about this. Play a Tremere who's incompetent at Blood Sorcery and a Gargoyle pretending to be a slave. Sounds like an undead buddy comedy.

    Leave a comment:

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