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  • CTPhipps
    started a topic The Cults of the Blood Gods discussion thread

    The Cults of the Blood Gods discussion thread

    LET THE STREETS RUN RED is now just a hop, skip, and a jump away from widespread release so this is a thread for discussing the news and updates (as well as contents) of CULTS OF THE BLOOD GODS and its various supplements.

    As a supplement, it successfully was Kickstartered and will release with a huge amount of information on Kindred religions and cults. It also has a number of PDF-only supplements that were stretch goals.

    * Cults of the Blood Gods

    Kindred build and are drawn to faiths for myriad reasons. The exertion of power over a flock. Satisfying their Hunger and their Beasts. Elevation of the self. Reassurance of the possibility of redemption. A grand plan they forged or that was bestowed upon them by secret masters. While some vampire cults span the globe hiding in plain sight, others are fringe faiths with morbid practices and ancient conspiracies lasting centuries. Others such as the incestuous
    Clan of Death and the malignant Church of Set — arguably the largest vampire cults of all — believe in a destiny that will enable them to impose their wills on the world of the living and the dead.

    Whether for power, salvation, or transcendence, all Kindred cults wallow in blood. They shed it in sacrifice, demand it of their followers, and exalt in it in unholy baptisms proclaiming their divine glories. These cults dedicated to blood gods are among the most insidious, damning sects of Kindred, and tonight they approach their apex of power.
    * Trail of Ash and Bone

    THE TIES THAT BIND: Help us fund a new supplement, featuring an intimate playable story in which the bonds of family loyalty are tested, when the Hecata are forced to discern the loyalty and potentially punish the betrayal of a beloved and famed relative suspected to be consorting with cults outside their clan. All backers receiving the Cults of the Blood Gods PDF will automatically have the Trail of Bone and Ashes PDF added to their rewards list.

    OLD WOUNDS: Help us fund a political playable story in which we explore the burning enmities of the Cappadocians, Harbingers, Samedi, Giovanni, and Lamiae, and whether, in the historic domain of Florence, they can ever be repaired.

    OPEN YOUR EYES: Help us fund a mystery playable story in which the subject of Golconda is addressed, explored, and put to the test when a vampire with all the answers arrives in the city and somehow converts the Prince.

    TRAIL OF BONE AND ASHES PDF — THE WELLSPRING: Help us fund a religious playable story, where the coterie takes over an abandoned cult eager for leaders, the members of which promise much but may lead to each of the vampires' fall.
    * Children of the Blood (Formerly, "The Faithful Undead", A Children of the Inquisition-esque supplement)

    UNDEAD DISCIPLES: Help us fund a new supplement, featuring a section that contains new Storyteller-played Characters to act as supporting characters and antagonists in a new chronicle. All backers receiving the Cults of the Blood Gods PDF will automatically have the Faithful Undead PDF added to their rewards list.

    CULTISH COLLECTIVES: Help us fund a new section of sample coteries tied to different cults, with ready-made characters in each, and uses included SPCs as sample members of each coterie.

    BLOOD-CAKED LORESHEETS: Help us fund new loresheets tying to characters introduced in this book and cults introduced in Cults of the Blood Gods,
    * Forbidden Religion (more insane and evil cults)

    PATHWAYS TO POWER: Help us fund another supplement, featuring a chapter focusing on cults dedicated to power through fear, influence, or devotion, including worshipers of the Nictuku, errant houses within the Tremere, and the ancestral obsession of the Ventrue. All backers receiving the Cults of the Blood Gods PDF will automatically have the Forbidden Faiths PDF added to their rewards list.

    DREAMS OF GOLCONDA: Help us fund a chapter in which a series of cults, all believing they know the path to Golconda, are profiled with their flawed wisdom and powerful gifts on display.

    ESCHATOLOGICAL THOUGHT: Help us fund a chapter delving deeper into the thoughts of the most wicked Nagaraja, Harbingers, and other vampires of the Hecata who seek nothing less than the end of the world and a kingdom in the remains.

    RUINOUS BELIEFS: Help us fund a chapter dedicated to cults that believe vampires are tools of the devil, demons, and evil spirits. These are not mustache-twirling villains, but Kindred who firmly believe their role is as hell's emissaries.
    Now these are probably a long way off with the exception of COTBG but I am really excited about these, especially Trail of Ash and Bone.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-20-2020, 01:23 AM.

  • CTPhipps
    replied
    My review of CULT OF THE BLOOD GODS, which is my third favorite Onyx Path Vampire supplement and probably 4th favorite supplement in the whole of Vampire: The Masquerade. I love these cults and what has been done to the Giovanni/Cappies.

    http://unitedfederationofcharles.blo...lood-gods.html

    CULTS OF THE BLOOD GODS is a somewhat controversial topic to begin with as it is a book that reflects Kindred (vampire) religion. One of the elements that makes V:TM so interesting is that it doesn't shy away from presenting a dark Christian mythology-flavored universe where God cursed Caine only to have said being spread his curse across Abel's descendants. This has not always sat well with atheist or other religious gamers and is a topic some prefer to be left out of their power fantasy of bloodsucking monsters.

    I personally have always loved the occult aspect of the World of Darkness setting. Speaking as a liberal Christian growing up in the fundamentalist Bible Belt, I've enjoyed the satirical element of the setting as well as its hidden mysteries. Cults of the Blood Gods doesn't just focus on the Caine myth, though, and expands significantly on the options for those who wish to play polytheistic, pagan, drug, ancestor, and other forms of religion cultists. I am also a stalwart defender of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. I believe it is the best edition to come out since 1st Edition and the original Chicago Chronicles.

    However, I'm going to be honest in that I also feel like it is best done by Onyx Path Publishing. The two best things to come out of 5th Edition so far have been the LA by Night web series and Chicago by Night 5th Edition as well as its supplements (The Chicago Folios, Let the Streets Run Red). Well, only the latter is a game supplement and by OPP. OPP has already an established reputation for making awesome supplements for the World of Darkness (Beckett's Jyhad Diary is my all time favorite V:TM supplement period) and just "gets" the material. But does their latest supplement continue this trend? I'd say yes. It comes with a few minor caveats but it is definitely top tier material for the setting.

    A warning for those who are reading this book in hopes of getting new material for the Sabbat, the largest blood cult among vampires, that this book doesn't contain any information about that organization or rules for Paths of Enlightenment. While it does offer some options for inhuman convictions, the book is primarily devoted to other cults as well as updating the Giovanni as well as Cappadocian Clans to the modern era. Personally, I'm content to wait for the Sabbat to get their own recently-announced book.

    Its difficult to pick out the best parts of the book so I'm just going to list some of my favorite elements of the new cults presented as well as give some short thoughts:

    * The Church of Caine: I've always been a fan of the Cainite Heresy and hated how the Sabbat had warped our vampiric lord, the First Murderer's, ministry. This provides a revival of the organization with some hints of Sabbat defection. It also provides a coherent mythology for the undead as well as an updated to the Lure of Flames Path as a pyrotechnic set of rituals.

    * The Church of Set: The Church of Set and Ministry split was confusing to me so it was nice to have it spelled out to be an ideological conflict between the Set purists versus the polytheistic chaos worshipers of the Clan. The Church of Set are fundamentalists of a religion devoted to freedom and that is an interesting twist to me. They're also archenemies of the Church of Mithras as well as Ministry.

    * The Cult of Mithras: I've long been a fan of cult favorite, Mithras, the 4th generation Prince of London. This expands on his in-universe cult and adds plenty of new rituals as well as world-building for those who want to use him as background flavor. Mithras, himself, is probably dead as of The Fall of London but that doesn't mean his cult doesn't live on. I also like how he's set up as another archenemy for the Church of Set (alongside the Children of Osiris, Kemintiri, Mummies, and Silent Striders--guys are hated worse than the Tremere).

    * The Nephilim: An interesting character from the Dark Ages was Michael the False Archangel of Constantinople. The Nephilim are what remains of his cult and they are the most Toreador that ever Toreadored. They're arrogant, beauty-obsessed, obnoxious hedonists that are basically Toreador + another Toreador. I don't think they'd let the Nosferatu into the club, though. That's just not their bag, IMHO.

    * The Dread Cult of Eligos: I'll be honest, this is probably my favorite of all the cults in the book and one that I want to use in my next Chronicle. It is a Satanic cult of blood sucking lunatics who are worshiping a vampire methuselah. Except not. It is a front for the Second Inquisition that has gotten completely out of control.

    * The Sevitors of Irad: I've always liked the Servitors of Irad ever since the Elysium supplement. They were eventually expanded into a group allied with the True Hand. This group write-up doesn';t mention the True Hand but I'm inclined to think that's because they're still rebuilding/being co-opted by the Baali. I love Antediluvian worshipers is all I'm saying.

    The biggest part of the book is the update of the Cappadocian and Giovanni bloodlines. The Harbingers of Skulls, Samedi, and Nagaraja are all merged together via a mystical rite with the former to become the Hecata. Augustus Giovanni has apparently been destroyed and many of his closest cronies have been assassinated but the majority of the Giovanni clan remains intact. It is more a reorganization than a genocide.

    I honestly think the book went a bit overboard with the mystical binding but I think the Hecate being a micro-sect akin to the Camarilla of the "Necromancy" clans is a pretty cool idea. The Nagaraja may not be related to the Cappadocians but them joining together with the Harbingers after the Black Hand's destruction is a pretty good idea. I also like the greater focus on the Giovanni branch families versus the debased Italian banking clan.

    Rule-wise, there's a lot more here than in Chicago by Night. We have the rules for creating Hecata characters as well as expansions on how to use Oblivion in your chronicle. Not everyone liked merging Necromancy with Oblivion but I think it works well. We also have information on the aforementioned Bloodlines and some cool Loresheets.

    The sourcebook also contains a cool little chronicle called "Styx and Bones" that is about the resurrection of a Cappadocian Elder gone horribly wrong. I'm a little nonplussed by, "wait, people can be raised from the dead in the setting now?" However, it's a pretty great story all round and I will eventually run it.
    In conclusion, this is a fantastic supplement that is a must for any campaign that wants to deal with extreme religion in Cainite society, the Giovanni, Cappadocians, or the Underworld. It's probably better if you're going to run an all-Hecata Chronicle but I also think that it's perfect for those who want to play one of those pale medium types.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by JezMiller View Post
    Mmmmm. But that makes it sound even less likely that DCI Khan - or anyone else with ethical principles - would meekly sit by and allow it to happen. Internecine conflict. Ethical dilemmas. Lurking scandal. An unholy mess waiting to blow up in everyone's faces. Whoever came up with it really gets the WoD
    Yeah, the implication I get is that the cult is very compartmentalized. They're not revealing the fact they're literally draining the blood of their followers and apparently engaged in Satanic orgies as well as possibly killing members who back down.

    The bad ones are reveling in it while the "good" ones now realize that if anyone found out what they'd done, they'd be screwed too.

    So yes, a very good plot would be the PCs and DCI Khan working against it.

    Which of course morally compromises Khan as he finds out that his fellow humans are engaging in all the stereotypical sordid vampire behavior.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-15-2020, 05:55 PM.

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  • JezMiller
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I think it's implied that the people involved are outright abusing it for sex and money.

    Which is entirely believable if this is being run by the police as plenty of undercover operations over the years have been compromised for things less overt than unlimited power over a bunch of fanatical cultists.

    Usually, it's just money and drugs.

    Mmmmm. But that makes it sound even less likely that DCI Khan - or anyone else with ethical principles - would meekly sit by and allow it to happen. Internecine conflict. Ethical dilemmas. Lurking scandal. An unholy mess waiting to blow up in everyone's faces. Whoever came up with it really gets the WoD

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by JezMiller View Post
    I found the Dread Cult of Eligos interesting for what it implied about the internal politics of the Newburgh Group. DCI Khan, as portrayed in the Fall of London book, is a basically moral individual, albeit tainted by a ruthlessness born of fanaticism. He doesn't strike me as someone who'd approve of the systematic exploitation of vulnerable individuals. Moreover, as someone from an anti-terrorism background he would likely take a dim view of what is, essentially, a government-run radicalisation programme.

    So does he not know about Project Cathedral? In which case might he end up investigating it? Or does he know about it and has been overruled about shutting it down? If so, what will that do to his commitment to the Group? Ditto operatives at lower levels. And what happens if (when?) the cult or one of its members slips the leash and commits some atrocity to impress Dread Eligos? What's that going to do to the Group's cohesion? Is engineering such an atrocity a strategy that Justicar Parr might hit on as a way to destabilize and perhaps even expose the Group?
    I think it's implied that the people involved are outright abusing it for sex and money.

    Which is entirely believable if this is being run by the police as plenty of undercover operations over the years have been compromised for things less overt than unlimited power over a bunch of fanatical cultists.

    Usually, it's just money and drugs.

    Leave a comment:


  • JezMiller
    replied
    I found the Dread Cult of Eligos interesting for what it implied about the internal politics of the Newburgh Group. DCI Khan, as portrayed in the Fall of London book, is a basically moral individual, albeit tainted by a ruthlessness born of fanaticism. He doesn't strike me as someone who'd approve of the systematic exploitation of vulnerable individuals. Moreover, as someone from an anti-terrorism background he would likely take a dim view of what is, essentially, a government-run radicalisation programme.

    So does he not know about Project Cathedral? In which case might he end up investigating it? Or does he know about it and has been overruled about shutting it down? If so, what will that do to his commitment to the Group? Ditto operatives at lower levels. And what happens if (when?) the cult or one of its members slips the leash and commits some atrocity to impress Dread Eligos? What's that going to do to the Group's cohesion? Is engineering such an atrocity a strategy that Justicar Parr might hit on as a way to destabilize and perhaps even expose the Group?

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post


    Yep. It just makes it clear that they just wanted to cobble all the Bloodlines together in a uniform and nonsensical manner. I seriously don't know why they didn't just make the Hecata an actual Sect and not Giovanni 2.0/Clan.
    It's a Blood Cult not a Sect or Clan.

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  • Shakanaka
    replied
    Originally posted by Dwight View Post

    So no longer crypt keeper look a likes? Booooooo

    Yep. It just makes it clear that they just wanted to cobble all the Bloodlines together in a uniform and nonsensical manner. I seriously don't know why they didn't just make the Hecata an actual Sect and not Giovanni 2.0/Clan.

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  • TakeoChan
    replied
    Also somwhere in this Thread (I think) Matthew Dawkins said, if you want the old Samedi Bane, you can just give them the Nosferatu one (mechanicaly).
    The answer to lost Clan Banes would be a yes/no/maybe. As stated above, you can emmulate old banes rather easy, depending on the Bloodline. Therefore you could have a portion of the Hecata with old Banes, ones with the new (for Samedi it sounds rather...strange, but for e.g. the Nagaraja its a rather interesting RP hook) and even those in between. Like a Samedi could have the repulsive Flaw like a Nosi, but not the enhanced difficulty for masking and the new bane. For a Nagaraja you would have the organivore (I think its called) Flaw and so forth.

    Edit: For the Dawkins Post, its #132
    Last edited by TakeoChan; 12-14-2020, 02:58 PM.

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    Originally posted by Dwight View Post

    So no longer crypt keeper look a likes? Booooooo
    Feh. You can always hand wave that change away, as it is a minor one in mechanical terms and the change will have little impact on the Hecata power set or politics.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dwight
    replied
    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
    My understanding is they no longer look like they belong on The Walking Dead, but that is not the same thing as saying they are attractive. Just they they do not automatically constitute a masquerade breach.
    So no longer crypt keeper look a likes? Booooooo

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    My understanding is they no longer look like they belong on The Walking Dead, but that is not the same thing as saying they are attractive. Just they they do not automatically constitute a masquerade breach.

    Leave a comment:


  • trueann
    replied
    I mean, appearance of old Samedi and Harbingers also changed, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    That might depend on how you define good looking. Not that I'm kink shaming or anything....

    Leave a comment:


  • trueann
    replied
    So, for example, Unre is now good-looking?
    Last edited by trueann; 12-14-2020, 11:38 AM.

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