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[V20] Tremere Taking Additional Discipline (Necromancy) Merit

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  • [V20] Tremere Taking Additional Discipline (Necromancy) Merit

    Is it a bad idea for a Tremere to take the Additional Discipline Merit for Necromancy? Is attempting to master Necromancy AND Thaumaturgy too much of an XP sink? Can you even learn an in-clan Sorcery Discipline without any available teachers?

    What kind story consequences might result from a Tremere neonate who spontaneously developed Necromancy and seems to learn it as easily as Thaumaturgy?

  • #2
    Thaumaturgy and Necromancy aren't disciplines you spontaneously manifest like auspex or dominate. They are paths to have to study and learn. So what path of necromancy did the pc study and who did they learn from?

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


    • #3
      The vampire would become a valuable comodity, draw suspicion, and be pitied.

      This isn't DnD, Necromancy and miracle working are two different things with different philosophies and functions. Thaumaturgy is a path to spiritual enlightenment and salvation. Necromancy... is just a tool for messing with the dead, and there's nothing really beyond that (at least from the perspective of the Tremere).

      You're useful against the Giovanni. You're useful because you can spy in ways others can't. You're suspicious because you could use necromancy to spy on your friends in the chantry and learn what magic's up (there are rituals to deal with that, but having a solution doesn't necessarily stop you from being suspicious of the potential problem)

      Also, clan disciplines are more than just a happy collection of powers, they're a statement about who you are and how you operate; and necromancers are really, really, really fucked up as a general stereotype.


      • #4
        This is discussed in the Tremere section of Lore of the Clans Book. Specially, as a Tremere character concept called the "Necromantic Thief" and a secret order called the the "Covenant," where it read that the Tremere managed to steal necromancy lore during the Giovanni purge of the Cappadocians. The section specifically reads "While the Kindred of the Covenant all practice Necromancy, it should be pointed out it is no easier for them than any other Discipline outside our Clan’s natural inclinations." That is to say being a member of the Covenant allows a Tremere plausible access to necromancy, in terms of game mechanics the PC still has to pay extra for it.

        Being a member of the Covenant requires the PC take "Secret Society Member (1pt. Merit)."
        Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 10-28-2020, 12:09 PM.


        • #5
          Thaumaturgy is already a fairly hefty XP sink, all told. You're investing in that rather than in Auspex or Dominate, or any non-Discipline traits. So, yes, adding Necromancy on top of it makes XP costs quite substantial. Whether you think it's worth it depends on what you intend to learn. As with Thaumaturgy, some Necromancy Paths are more valuable than others.

          If you can manage it, though, it's hardly without its benefits. There's a reason the Tremere are always trying to get their hands on more magical knowledge, regardless of its nature.

          As for how the character acquired it, I'd allow it as Storyteller so long as you can come up with a good reason. Preferably one that opens up avenues for future stories.
          • The PC was a member of the Giovanni family; the latter don't appreciate either betrayal or being poached from.
          • The PC was a non-Giovanni student of necromancy during their living years, either from personal study or as part of some kind of secret society. If they got it from books, where and how? If it's a secret society, they'll probably have unfinished business with the PC.
          • The PC earned Embrace into Clan Tremere by stealing a bunch of necromantic tomes, some of which they may have kept for themselves. Their original owner(s) is/are not happy.
          • The PC was a spirit medium in life, or otherwise naturally had a connection to the underworld prior to the Embrace. Perhaps sensing this connection, their Mentor (w/ or w/o Pyramid blessing) either exposed the PC to Necromantic material or encouraged them to explore the connection on their own (which blossomed into functional Necromancy through a Tremere Hermetic lens). Clan Tremere may be highly suspicious about the PC's talents, and may not take "I just figured it out on my own" for an answer.
          • The ghost of a mortal (or, more rarely, a former vampire) Necromancer tutored the PC in Necromancy, before or after the Embrace. This done to get back at the ghost's enemies, which naturally means the PC will be entangled in such a conflict by default.


          • #6
            Mentioned in a table in the revised Tremere Clanbook is a number of Houses of Tremere in tradition to their origins from being in the Hermetic Orders. One of these Houses is called High Saturday (pg.32) that practices Voudoun and Necromancy. It even says something about allowing non Tremere into the fold, though I'm not quite sure what that means.

            "Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot." Sandman (Neil Gaiman)


            • #7
              A thing to remember with extra clan discipline is that you don't really get your money's worth until very late. In most cases (say, you want 3rd level powers) you're better off buying the discipline out of clan. Also in-clan/out of clan doesn't effect the cost of paths.

              So a review (I used the DAV20 book because I had it open and it was convenient, my apologies. I do not know the differences between editions, though there are more paths in this book)

              Sephulchr- Obviously the path you want. You'd get the 5th level for rituals; you don't need the 5th level to harm ghosts.

              Cenotauph- meh. Not worth the XP
              Corpse in monster- This is more something for you to make your own mind up on.
              Grave's decay- The masquerade may appreciate ashes to ashes, but beyond that it's a waste of xp.
              Haunting- Not worth the XP, you could probably achieve these effects with thaumaturgy.
              Ash- Really cool, really tempting. Very questionable. Your regent may either see it as a path with great uses or a self indulgent distraction for a fool. You learning is dependent on what your regent/storyteller wants.
              Twilight garden: A waste of time and you don't want to be suspected of being a bahari.
              Vitreous: You probably can't get this. But if you can: the third level is just so attractive... beyond that... it would work really well if your enemies don't know you can do it?

              Bones: No. You're not learning this. It's disgusting. It's base. It's too much of a masquerade problem, too much of a 'humanity' problem, and too much of an image problem, and your superiors do not want you filling the chantry with your own army. You don't need this power; you have Money, Dominate, and thaumaturgy to accomplish everything this power can.

              On a business level, it's a better investment than animalism, fortitude, obfuscate, presence..
              On a personal level, it isn't.
              Strictly with in-clans, you don't really need to branch out in thaumaturgy that much. You can make a strong character with the path of blood and then just rituals. Auspex is important, Dominate is good, but if you have friends that cover those fields...