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Why is there little to no research or experimentation on revenants?

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  • Why is there little to no research or experimentation on revenants?

    Clans like the tremere and tzimisce should be focusing a lot of their resources on researching and experimenting on revenants. Revenants can produce their own vitae, and although it is weak, its still vitae.

    If either clan was able to find a way to exploit this, one worry of the vampire existence, which is to constantly feed, would be lessened quite a bit. I could see some revenant animals being produced which could better satisfy a vampires appetite than a regular animal, and perhaps be a good substitute for human blood. It may not be able to substitute human blood entirely but it would be a much better back up than regular animal blood.

    This seems like something that would be really useful, why don't we hear more about this? The possibilities for something like this seems endless! This could make being a vampire a lot easier.
    Last edited by Hello; 03-06-2022, 02:09 PM.

  • Lysander
    replied
    Most revenants have a hard time blending in with regular humanity due to centuries of training by the Baali, Tzisimce and others that even the dullest human would wonder why these people are so strange and age very slowly. In Ghouls Fatal addiction the Malkavian Neturach (Spelling?) noted that revenant mothers have a long gestation period of at least 3 years and that revenant children born roughly 50 years ago would only look like they hit there early teens at that point. So maybe they realized that the drawbacks outweigh any benfits.

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    That's more or less what I do with the Revenant families in the Sabbat. They're essentially the Sabbat's bureaucracy, the guys who handle logistics. Nobody thinks about them and many Sabbat don't even know they exist. But the Revenants are the ones who tend to handle the Sabbat's day to day issues and most of its public, human facing engagements (which are things "True" Sabbat would sneer at). The Sabbat would implode pretty quickly without the Revenant families, and most of the Revenants know this. They actually hold a lot of power and are owed a lot of favors, especially from older Sabbat members. Younger Sabbat look down on Revenants as ghouls with a different name, but they would be foolish to mistreat them. A Sabbat who does is going to find themself facing pretty serious punishments, sanctioned or unsanctioned. The reality is, older Sabbat consider the Revenants more useful and valuable than young Sabbat cannon fodder.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    My interpretation of the answer to the question is that "There actually is but it's not something most vampires are interested in."

    How the Tremere use Revenants

    I actually would suggest that the Tremere have an entire library of books on how the Tzimisce created the Revenant families, their own studies, the equivalent of magical term papers, and the notes from horrifying vivisections of Ducheski as well as other Revenant families. They could, theoretically, start the process of creating more Revenants themselves. However, they don't, because Revenants are fucking useless.

    The Revenants were created for a different time and a different cutlure where creating a bunch fo immortal half-vampires who would serve you for centuries without needing to be ghouled was a theoretically good idea. However, the kind of people who benefit from having Revenants are primarily Methuselahs and lineages of vampires stretching back from 10th to 4th generation.

    They are MASSIVELY Masquerade breaking in nature and really unsuited to the Modern Nights where things change from decade to decade when Revenants are people who are expected to serve the same family for three hundred or four hundred years in the exact manner unchanging for that time. That makes sense in 700 AD to 1700 AD or so but can't be pulled off now.

    Also, the nature of Revenants is something that only makes sense on a Path because they're children who are basically born evil. They're all little psychopaths due to the Beast they have and even if they weren't their degenerate ways make them either the Sawyer Family (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) cannibals and pretty much Formor without the deformities -- which is no guarantee -- or a bunch of soulless aristocrats who are effectively Tzimisce themselves. A Revenant village is basically Innsmouth with Damien Thorne as the most socially acceptable. "Oh, Jim is back from private school. His sixth one. He needs at least forty years in schools before he's old enough looking to enter the business world. Sadly, he has been naughty and kiled six women at the last school. We said two a year. Maximum."

    I admit I play the Tremere's relationship with the Ducheski for laughs. The Tremere made a compact with them and it is a binding unbreakable geas that the Ducheski have signed in blood. However, this has proven to be an Albatross for the Tremere as they have no USE for the Ducheski. They're a bunch of sick monsters that clean the chantries and file the books but the Tremere have regular ghouls as well as Dominated servants for that.

    Tremere who get assigned a Ducheski Revenant basically treat it as a White Elephant. You have an almost comically servile serial killer with the socialization of Igor from a Frankenstein parody. What do you even DO with it?

    How the Sabbat use the Revenants (or how they use the Sabbat)

    By contrast, I have the Revenants actually have a disproportionately large role in the Sabbat yet completely unknown by the vast majority of the Sabbat themselves. Many would genuinely be surprised they have ghouls in positions of power. Basically, the Revenants are the guys who effectively run a massive amount of the Sabbat entirely unknown to the majority of the sect.

    When the Tzimsice massacred their masters, they pretty much left the Revenants alone and they defected without much of a problem. They actually fulfill a large role of the "Elders" in the Sabbat running the businesses, politics, covering up the Masquerade violations, and providing the war chest for the Sabbat. For the Revenants of the Sabbat, they mostly deal with the sect through a handful of Elders: Vykos, Velya [though that isn't working out anymore], Lambach, and other Tzimisce veterans. They have very little patience for the Modern Sect and aren't remotely servile to anyone who isn't centuries old themselves. In a comical reversal, really, most of them think of themselves as far better vampires than the cannon fodder thrown against the Camarilla.

    Snobbish even. Even the hillbilly psychos.

    They're also universally, to the man, evil in a spiritual inhuman way. A lot of them outright worship demons and engage in infernalism as well as work at places like Pentex where they own many subsidiaries (which is a source of the Sabbat Pentex ties). The Inquisition would love to tear at them but they're just so USEFUL and the Sabbat don't even know enough about their ghouls to deal with them.

    They'd be their own faction if they had the numbers.

    House Tremere and several Tzimisce Elders know how to make Revenants but, ironically, the most talented in Revenant creation is probably the Revenant families themselves.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 03-24-2022, 03:29 AM.

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    I think that it is Waaaaay too much work to do such a thing. And you really need a LOT of Vitae, Humans and Control over both. Which is what Tzimisces had cuz they treated mortals (more than most vamps) like pure cattle, so they breeded them like so, they fed them in their villages and closures as they wished, and perhaps even used sorceries aplenty to achieve such a result. And since it takes Generations of ghouldom, and it is in no way a precise science, it would take a LOT of blood to keep those ghouls; even if you just did it to the fathers and mothers during the conceiving, and continued feeding the mother during pregnancy.

    So it is a lot of investment, with no real method quite known or researched (in-canon at least as far as I know, perhaps only Netchurch), and it will all only show results in many many decades if you're luck and afford to keep the project going. Besides, most vamps don't even know about it and even less of them have the resources (be it money, personnel, space, free time, vitae to spare and patient calculating coldness) to do such a project.

    That is why I think it is such a rare thing to do. And well, it can end very fast, like any thing a vampire builds, they are cursed to see everything they plant turn to ash isn't not? There is a lot of enemies, poachers and spies out there that would throw a wrench in this very quickly, or worse, destroy it (or even steal it) once it is done. We also have the problem of keeping it quiet that an entire family does not age, has some weird issues and quirks, is stronger, faster, controls animals, heals wounds, etc. If a vampire has trouble keeping the Masquerade and their own livelihood, imagine keeping a whole ghoul enterprise, that would take a lot of power.

    In the end, it is way more trouble than it is worth. And we have at least two historical examples of such Revenant families betraying their masters. I don't think we are going to see any new revenant family any time soon in Modern Nights. Which I think makes a lot of sense, although it pains me, cuz I love the concept.

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  • Hello
    replied
    Originally posted by Haquim View Post
    Out of game: because inVampire games the hunger for human blood is usually one of the main themes. Getting rid of it by giving vampires an easy “out” with the domestication and harvesting of ravenants is not exactly conducive to those same themes
    I don't know if it would be an easy out. The experimentation is probably going to be very expensive, and very difficult to hide. If other kindered heard about this, they would either try to force you to give them intel on it so they can use it, or may see your experiments as delusions and a masquerade breach that could get everoyne killed. That's why it would be best for clans who have the resources and protection to be the ones to undergo this process.

    Even then, internal clan strife could ruin everything.


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  • Haquim
    replied
    To answer the OP. In game, because the ravenant families themselves are the product of extensive experimentation, and selective breeding programs. The ravenant families are precisely the final product of those experiments, what they were meant to be: a ready and accessible source of loyal servants capable of superhuman acts.

    Out of game: because inVampire games the hunger for human blood is usually one of the main themes. Getting rid of it by giving vampires an easy “out” with the domestication and harvesting of ravenants is not exactly conducive to those same themes

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    As originally written, vampires did not create the Revenant families. It turned out they were created by Verbena mages using vampire vitae when the True Black Hand was still primarily an organization of mages with some vampire members. The creation of the first Revenants (700 BC to 300 BC) was around the time when vampires were beginning to gain control of the True Black Hand (around 500 BC). Some time after the True Black Hand created the first Revenants, the Tzimisce developed their own Revenant families outside the Black Hand. Although given the Tzimisce's early involvement with that sect and that their Revenants were located in the same place as the first Black Hand Revenants were born, it highly indicates that the Tzimisce Revenants were probably a result of a Black Hand Tzimisce being careless with the sect's secrets, or that a member left the sect stealing those secrets. And after this time, we don't see new Revenant families - likely a result of the Black Hand no longer being a society of Mages interested in the afterlife, but a vampire organization with only some enslaved mages controlled by the blood bond (and therefore likely not as wise, knowledgeable, or powerful as the previous members).
    Honestly, while it is a possible interpretation, i wouldn't quite say as you seem to imply it was hinted the True Hand might be at the root of the making of revenants, the Souleaters conspiracy theory connection with Storyteller's Handbook of the Sabbat (where we are also first presented to such families as Bratovitch, Grimaldi, Obertus & Zantosa) notwithstanding.


    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    I was under the impression that Revenants age at approximately 1/4th the usual rate (so Revenants can live up to around 250 years before dying of old age). Or at least that's what it says on the Wiki:
    [/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR]
    So a Revenant's cycle isn't "frozen" their aging is just slowed, not stopped.

    Truth be told, the nitty-gritty of how everything works precisely, much like their origins and what the heck is going on in making them in the first place has always been kind of sketchy and confusing from the get go.

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    I was under the impression that Revenants age at approximately 1/4th the usual rate (so Revenants can live up to around 250 years before dying of old age). Or at least that's what it says on the Wiki:
    Unlike normal ghouls, revenants are born, not created by drinking Kindred blood. Revenants' bodies naturally produce a weak vampire-like vitae, which sustains their bodies far beyond normal human lifespans (although not immortal, revenants can live to be hundreds of years old; they age at approximately one-quarter the rate humans do), and also gives them the ability to use Disciplines.

    So a Revenant's cycle isn't "frozen" their aging is just slowed, not stopped.

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  • Hello
    replied
    Originally posted by Vamps Like Us View Post
    So to make a Revenant two ghouls have a baby right? But how does the mom get pregnant if her cycle is frozen? Do they time the ghouling process for ovulation? How does the egg grow into a baby with vampire blood stopping the aging process? I wonder how thought out this concept was.
    The only thing that stops is the aging, there still living creatures so its likely the rest of the body continues to change.

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  • Vamps Like Us
    replied
    So to make a Revenant two ghouls have a baby right? But how does the mom get pregnant if her cycle is frozen? Do they time the ghouling process for ovulation? How does the egg grow into a baby with vampire blood stopping the aging process? I wonder how thought out this concept was.

    ​Edit: Black Fox That's a nice run down of revenants. Guess I should have read the whole thread before posting. It's a shame they went away from the original concept, it makes much more sense.
    Last edited by Vamps Like Us; 03-10-2022, 01:42 AM.

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  • Reasor
    replied
    I don't mind disclosing my personal preference for casting revenants as heirs to an experiment that got largely discarded, who have to make their own way now. It resonates with the idea of a world that's run down and the ancient legacies were nothing to write home about either. They mostly stick close to their own kind because the outside world would fear and hate them, getting weirder with every passing generation because there's too little contact with normal human society to reel them in. They're the Addams Family, or (in the case of the Bratovich line) the hillbilly murder clans from any number of 70's exploitation movies, not major players in the modern schemes of the ancient monsters who altered their ancestors.
    Last edited by Reasor; 03-09-2022, 10:10 PM.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    As originally written, vampires did not create the Revenant families. It turned out they were created by Verbena mages using vampire vitae when the True Black Hand was still primarily an organization of mages with some vampire members. The creation of the first Revenants (700 BC to 300 BC) was around the time when vampires were beginning to gain control of the True Black Hand (around 500 BC). Some time after the True Black Hand created the first Revenants, the Tzimisce developed their own Revenant families outside the Black Hand. Although given the Tzimisce's early involvement with that sect and that their Revenants were located in the same place as the first Black Hand Revenants were born, it highly indicates that the Tzimisce Revenants were probably a result of a Black Hand Tzimisce being careless with the sect's secrets, or that a member left the sect stealing those secrets. And after this time, we don't see new Revenant families - likely a result of the Black Hand no longer being a society of Mages interested in the afterlife, but a vampire organization with only some enslaved mages controlled by the blood bond (and therefore likely not as wise, knowledgeable, or powerful as the previous members).

    So originally there was heavy indication that vampires on their own couldn't create Revenants. It required Mages using true magick (albeit using vampire vitae), and that secret is now likely completely lost. (And its likely that it requires only humans to be Revenants and that animals are not eligible candidates). However, with Revised and later editions more or less splitting up the WoD into different game lines that reduced references to each other, this is something most post-DSotBH books forgot or ignored. V20 and V5 seem to treat Revenants as something that can occur naturally given enough time and intermarriage between ghouls, but this was not the original case. And if you go by the original information, it likely means vampires can't do any meaningful research or experimentation on them at all. Only a Mage could conceivably do that.

    Furthermore, we see very little evidence that Revenant families can be relied upon to remain loyal to any vampire, a vampire clan, or vampires as a whole. The history of the Revenants has been one of betrayal and destruction by paranoid vampires. Revenant loyalties were split during the Anarch Revolt. Some remained loyal to the elders and were destroyed. Half of the families that defected to the Sabbat were subsequently destroyed by the Sabbat out of fear that they would betray them. And in the Revised plotline, the Grimaldi did betray the Sabbat and defect (plus another family - the Zantosa - were secretly guarding the Antedeluvian the sect thought it destroyed, marking them as traitors too). It turns out that having an independent power source (their own vitae) and insider knowledge of vampires often makes Revenants into dangerous enemies, not useful servants. They end up having their own agenda.

    Plus I think Revenants might not be as useful in human society as one may think. People who clearly don't age like normal humans are obviously not human. And Revenants were created in early times when there were few cities. Revenant communities had to be isolated from human communities less their identity be discovered. And its entirely possible their over concentration in Eastern Europe resulted in Lupines identifying the Carpathians as a major center of the Wyrm that lead to the Tzimisce-Shadow Lord wars. They could attract more trouble than they were worth - which is why most Revenants live on isolated estates and don't interact much with humanity OR vampires.

    Revenants, as a concept, have changed quite a bit from its origins in 2e to today in terms of their origins and assumptions (as has their creators, the True Black Hand). And while STs can use them however they see fit, I think their original creators did some thinking to make sure their numbers and uses in the setting were limited to avoid some of the issues you bring up.

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  • Hello
    replied
    Originally posted by InspectorG View Post
    The upkeep is murder...

    I see what you did there

    Cause your going to have to murder a lot to keep the population small, and hide the fact you're breeding an army of fanatical super soldiers!

    Right?..... Right?

    Leave a comment:


  • InspectorG
    replied
    The upkeep is murder...

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