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  • Future generations?

    So I've been skimming V:TM a bit and unlike blood potency in requiem, the Classic!Kindred hace generation, which makes their All-night-society more like a big nasty family instead of a disease.


    Now there's 16 generations so far but has there been any mention of a 17th or abv gen, or would the previous gen vampire's vitae will simply be too dilute for an embrace?

  • #2
    Yeah, if you take the eariest Mesopotamian civilization of about 4000 BC and imagine that is when the 3rd Generation started Embracing, and then a fledgling embraces a new childe around 300 years of unlife (likely much sooner, but we're playing this conservative), we would end up with 33rd generation vampires by 2000.

    Obviously this is not the case.

    Me personally, I run a variation of Blood Potency, where your effective Generation is equal to your lowest of your In Clan Disciplines. There's a stopgap at 8th Gen, because 8th Gen gives you a Discipline level of 5, which won't let you buy your Discpilines to the 6th dot, or 7th Generation. Instead, to go any higher, you need to first develop all three Clan Disciplines to max level, and then Diablerize a vampire of equal or better Generation/Blood Potency, in a Highlanderesque manner.

    Thinbloods are created when a vampire of Blood Potency 1 or less Embraces. Basically, they're only Caitiff, with no other drawbacks. Given that they have no In Clan Disciplines, they cannot raise their Blood Potency. However, if they Diablerize a vampire, they then become the founder of a new Bloodline, and choose three In Clan Disciplines and a Weakness.

    If a vampire Diablerizes an Antediluvian not of his Clan, all members the Bloodline become a full fledged Clan. If an Antediluvian is Diablerized by a member of his own Clan, the Diablerist may reshape the Clan as descended from him into whatever form he wishes (the original remains the same).

    I have found this to mesh well with canon lore, perfectly explains the Bloodlines, as well as incidents involving the True Brujah, Cappadocians, and Salubri.
    Last edited by Hades; 09-24-2022, 09:26 AM.

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    • #3
      I'm more of a V20 (with much, much homebrew) guy, but let me throw my two cents of thought.

      As Hades pointed out, trying to map the span of ages supposedly involved in kindred history with just 13-16 generations gets untentable fast.
      Add to that the simple truth that all it takes for a vampire to embrace another is a few turns if that and everything gets even sketchier.


      Simple answer? Grind. Everything from 8th gen to thin-bloods has existed many times over through the many eras of mortal and undead. It's not that 4th-6th gen kindred were any more common in the nights of Babylon, Byblos, Hattusas or Sumer than they are in the 21st century, what we get to see are the survivors of that many cycles of spawning & destruction in the Jyhad.

      The more potent one's vitae is, through either embrace or (serial) diablerie, the greater one's chances to tide through the neverending dance of backstabbery.
      Also the reason one will bump into the occasional 7th-8th gen millenia old vampire like Lucian, Gracis Nostinus, Hrothulf, Stalest or Qufur Am-Heru.

      That allows one as ST or PC even to easily introduce kindred from ancient eras freshly out of torpor but that are not (apparently) damned Ur-gods of the blood that will shake a city's kindred society foundations with every step of theirs on principle, among other things.


      As an aside, since Dark Ages introduced the idea that once in the past 12th & 13th gens were the Thin-Bloods i have tinkered a little with the idea of the generations/thinning of the blood as a little like a product's expiration date or maybe more precisely like doing photocopies from photocopies - the more time/exposure, the greater the loss of quality, until the vitae "spoils", turning into something unlike what it was supposed to. Certain enviroment conditions or efforts, incidental or intentional, at preservation speed or extend the process, ergo why one could have 12-13th gen with thin-blood qualities in a DA game set in the 1190s while in contemporary nights those who actually suffer from the condition are 14-16th gen by canon, for example.


      These and other sundry details or tweaks, relating to dhampirs, revenants and even what might be a version of Cathayan/Wan Kuei (oh my!) i have used as minor and major connected plot points in my own chronicle riffing on BJD and our favorite self-proclaimed undead archeologist shenanigans.
      Last edited by Baaldam; 09-24-2022, 10:54 PM.

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      • #4
        I've never really been a fan of the generation mechanic, especially the idea that generation can bleed out to nothing. It doesn't fit in with all the killing we witness constantly. Vampires should have simply run out of generation in many places. Not every kill ends in successful diablerie, after all. I think, if generation isn't going to simply be replaced by blood potency Requiem style, it would have been best if the curse didn't weaken past 13th.

        13th generation could have been the most basic level of the curse, the point at which the curse doesn't weaken but any advantage that comes from being close to Caine fades to nothing. The progeny of 13th gens are themselves also 13th gens. And by modern times you could have characters who are 1,000 sires removed from Caine who are nontheless mechanically 13th gens. Actual 12h or better gens could be incredibly rare in modern times, with even 10th gens being almost legend. That would allow for all the constant killing we see without generation bleeding out to nothing to make sense.

        No thin-bloods, never mind the deluge of them that all the killing described as happening in the gameworld should have resulted in. Just a world where 99% of the population is 13th gen.

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        • #5
          Originally, the whole idea of 13th generations, thin bloods, and so forth was to tie in with 90s millennial fever, the possible end of the world, and all that. I'm not sure it really works as well in the 2020s.

          Personally, I dropped Generation for Blood Potency around 15 years ago, and found it opened up a lot of avenues to explore as far as vampire origins, how old certain elders actually are, not having elders automatically dominate whatever city they are in, and so forth. YMMV.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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          • #6
            I like the idea of generation not being exactly fixed in power level over the ages. So a current days 13th gen would be equivalent to an 11th gen a thousand years ago. This opens up generation as not actually being the number that is usually known, but a far greater one.

            On a similar thought, I had the idea that as the number of vampires of a certain generation decreases, the power of those that remain and those of a generation below increases. So, if all the Antediluvians were to meet Final Death, the 4th generation would ascend to their power level. Likewise, going by the Cainite myth when the Antes killed the fabled 2nd generation, they themselves ascended to their power level. This way, Thin Bloods are a consequence of vampire numbers expanding too fast, accompanying the way the world population grew in the past century.

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            • #7
              Going strictly for the official lore, we have this:

              1- There is currently no known Generation beyond 16th, indeed. No mention, not even as rumor or though experiment;

              2- IIRC, Revised introduced the 15th Generation, originally nothing above 14th was known. So Gens 15 and 16 have surfaced recently;

              3- Dark Ages goes down 1 Gen overall and has the 13th as Thin Bloods, including getting the Thin Blood flaw;

              4- We have no direct explanation on why the distribution of Generations-per-Age is what it is;

              5- As a Flaw, Thin Blood limits a vampire's capacity for the Embrace, and it is said that the Flaw's distribution may change with time.

              Now, from this little official lore we can try to solve the problem of the distribution, if one is so inclined, by fully applying the notion that the Thin Blood Flaw somehow changes through the ages. On that reading, each epoch in the registry marks when a given Generation starts to appear as viable vampires, and the Flaw moves up one step. So at some point even the 5th and 6th, maybe even the 3rd Generation itself, were considered Thin Bloods and carried all the effects of the Flaw, including having a hard time Embracing or it being completely impossible.

              How and why it changed throughout millennia is anyone's guess. Maybe whatever cursed the Kindred is still watching and messing with it. Maybe the Tradition of Progeny originally meant that Caine holds the actual power of allowing Embraces and the move is a result of his direct actions. More important, though, is for the ST to decide if the move affects then carriers of the Flaw or just new Embraces. The later would mean that once a Thin Blood, always a Thin Blood, and the existence of Thin Bloods from ancient times and low Generation would be a sore point. The former, though, would mean that a Thin Blood has a chance of shedding the Flaw just by surviving to the next change, and then many ancient vampires would hide the secret that they were Thin Blood themselves in the past, with some yet being such just as a freak accident.

              I'm personally in favor of such interpretations that preserve as much as possible of the canon, as the canon is the only thing in favor of VtM for me. I see no sense in ditching the concept of Generation and not going to Requiem then that has just better rules and corrected such lore hiccups in the setting. They're both good games in their own right.


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              • #8
                Oh, something I forgot:

                By V5 the Generations from 14 to 16 follow the same rules and same stats, and even the 16th may have the Merit to Embrace normally, so at this point they're effectively the same thing and new Generations may appear with the same rules and stats. So V5 effectively made it as in CajunKhan's idea, except that the baseline is 14th, not 13th.

                This must be taken with one additional consideration, though. As many other changes in V5, it hasn't been stated if it is a retcon or a result of the effects of Gehenna, specially after the Withering. So this baseline may've been lying dormant since ancient times, or it may really be a novel development after a global-scale upheaval in the Undead Curse. Specially if you consider that ToTB did had distinctions between 14th and 15th Generation.


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                • #9
                  Beckett's Jyhad Diary also suggests the 2nd Gens may have been Thin Bloods at one time, but that the blood thickens and stabilises with time.

                  I think it makes sense that new Generations stabilise at a certain point, allowing for new Generations higher than them to emerge. That's why 13th Generation was the limit for so long -- because the blood simply hadn't thickened enough for them to be able to Embrace.

                  I'd say 16th is the current limit, but this could change as the blood thickens, and that can either happen with time (say, 25-100 years of the highest Generation existing) or milestones (say, an Antediluvian dying and so "releasing" some power back through the higher Generations, a sign of Gehenna appearing and mutating the blood, and so on). Once you've decided what the trigger is for the blood to thicken, here's how I'd do it:

                  At 14th Generation, your BP ranges from 0-3.
                  At 15th Generation, your BP ranges from 0-2.
                  At 16th Generation, your BP ranges from 0-1.
                  At 17th Generation, your BP is always 0 unless you commit diablerie.

                  Then, as time progresses or more milestones are met, you could tweak the numbers a little more or allow several Generations to occupy the same rung on the Blood Potency scale.

                  Another way to differentiate those highest Generations is in giving them more Thin Blood Merits and requiring them to take more Thin Blood Flaws the thinner their blood. So it might be:

                  14th Generation - 1 TB Merit, 1 TB Flaw
                  15th Generation - 2 TB Merits, 2 TB Flaws
                  16th Generation - 3 TB Merits, 3 TB Flaws
                  17th Generation - 4 TB Merits, 4 TB Flaws
                  And so on...


                  Writer, publisher, performer
                  Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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                  • #10
                    If it was to mess with the Merits and Flaws, I would instead give more Merits to the "lower" Thin Blood Generations, as many of the Merits are features of "true vampires" instead. Or maybe change the list of available Merits and Flaws.

                    But I'm not sold in the idea that the blood thickens in the sense of becoming more powerful, at least not by LAW. After all, DA still had every Generation just as strong, and it is strongly indicated that this was also the case in the ancient past. Lower generation weren't weaker back then than they are now, just more "normal".

                    What it seems, again going by Lore As Written, is that they stabilize with time, so it is only the old Thin Blood Flaw changing and not the whole mechanics of a Generation. In V5 terms, it would be a matter of eventually renumbering Blood Potency just to create something below 1 that isn't quite a Thin Blood for the 14th Gen and so on.

                    As I said, though, they just made 14th into a floor and I think this is good enough, it really sounds adequate to me.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                      I've never really been a fan of the generation mechanic, especially the idea that generation can bleed out to nothing. It doesn't fit in with all the killing we witness constantly. Vampires should have simply run out of generation in many places. Not every kill ends in successful diablerie, after all. I think, if generation isn't going to simply be replaced by blood potency Requiem style, it would have been best if the curse didn't weaken past 13th.
                      Truth be told, i utterly ignored the subject for the longest time, thin-bloods being pretty much a footnote that would appear in my games only at the request of a player at most.

                      It has been only in recent times, during my first serious reading of BJD for a Milwaukee/"Desperately Seeking Carna"/"Replacement Becketts" V20 game of mine (yes, about 4 years after V5 hits the stands - i'm slower than snails trying to outpace turtles) that my attitude would change.

                      As some of the "cliff notes guidelines" for adapting them into V20 in that specific chapter, that draw a correlation of thin-bloods and dhampirs to revenants of all things, that my interest was really piqued, a number of mental gears cranking, in the process spewing some very, very bizarre ideas about Gehenna cycles (that was something i already used in my games long before BJD), the roots behind the elusive occult je ne sais quoi that made some mortals resonate with kindred vitae and ghoul families possible, mysterious factors behind dhampirs being a thing thin-bloods and wan kuei both may produce, along with other nonsense i'm still tinkering with properly.

                      That and $#'+posting hard on the "portent of Gehenna panic" narrative that usually surrounds them.

                      But that's wholy about my own weird homebrew take of the subject for insane crack plotting and cryptolore reasons, pure and simple.
                      Last edited by Baaldam; 09-30-2022, 01:40 AM.

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                      • #12
                        The 'last generation' is a metaplot mechanic that the game itself isn't equipped to handle. Even if there was a '17th' gen vampire they would functionally be identical to a Revenant/Dhampir. Really there isn't a reason for besides making an end. Though given how many 8th gens seem to just crop up everywhere makes me wonder just how many 7th gen are active, damn players ruining continuity!

                        Jokes aside, one of my possible solution to this problem is when you torpor at certain blood potency levels your blood thickens and you lower your gen. It's not an elegant solution but it works well enough for me.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                          Truth be told, i utterly ignored the subject for the longest time, thin-bloods being pretty much a footnote that would appear in my games only at the request of a player at most.

                          It has been only in recent times, during my first serious reading of BJD for a Milwaukee/"Desperately Seeking Carna"/"Replacement Becketts" V20 game of mine (yes, about 4 years after V5 hits the stands - i'm slower than snails trying to outpace turtles) that my attitude would change.

                          As some of the "cliff notes guidelines" for adapting them into V20 in that specific chapter, that draw a correlation of thin-bloods and dhampirs to revenants of all things, that my interest was really piqued, a number of mental gears cranking, in the process spewing some very, very bizarre ideas about Gehenna cycles (that was something i already used in my games long before BJD), the roots behind the elusive occult je ne sais quoi that made some mortals resonate with kindred vitae and ghoul families possible, mysterious factors behind dhampirs being a thing thin-bloods and wan kuei both may produce, along with other nonsense i'm still tinkering with properly.

                          That and $#'+posting hard on the "portent of Gehenna panic" narrative that usually surrounds them.

                          But that's wholy about my own weird homebrew take of the subject for insane crack plotting and cryptolore reasons, pure and simple.
                          Honestly, I love the implications here.

                          Are revenants the remains of a previous Gehenna? Are they the Thin Bloods of another cycle?

                          Are the Wan Kuei survivors of an earlier cycle too, that diverged after a major catastrophe?

                          Was Caine even the first vampire, or was he simply the *last* first vampire?

                          You could have loads of fun playing with that.


                          Writer, publisher, performer
                          Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

                            Honestly, I love the implications here.

                            Are revenants the remains of a previous Gehenna? Are they the Thin Bloods of another cycle?

                            Are the Wan Kuei survivors of an earlier cycle too, that diverged after a major catastrophe?

                            Was Caine even the first vampire, or was he simply the *last* first vampire?

                            You could have loads of fun playing with that.
                            Indeed and i plan to have fun and entertain the players by messing with these matters and more very soon.

                            That and the shenanigans of what is possibly the most contradictory and iconoclastic "Gehenna Cult" of Caine worshippers ever on the subject.

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                            • #15
                              It’s pretty clear that the roll of generations hasn’t been linear throughout history. Punctuated catastrophes and periodic culls have cleared a lot of the younger generations every few centuries. We don’t know how far back this cycle goes, if it’s always been that way, or whether the ones known as the Antediluvians created the status quo for their own purposes.

                              We don’t know for certain that there is an end to the generations, just that after 13 or so the blood is thin and unreliable, and a couple of generations after that a lot of Embraces just don’t work.

                              We don’t know that any of the mythology is actually true. It could be a narrative designed to serve the eldest by getting their progeny to regard them as untouchable gods while attacking each other. Even the numbered generations could be bullshit on a long enough timeline. At any rate, the garden of Eden and Noah’s flood are not things that literally happened. Caine is a myth wrapped around a question: who was the first? There may not have been a single first. It’s really just the extrapolation of observations about generation in the present.

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