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Open Invite- The Sundered World Chronicles

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  • Open Invite- The Sundered World Chronicles

    As promised, a thread where all of us can set down our ideas for Neolithic goodness based on The Sundered World chapter of the Dark Eras book. The main purpose of this project will be to expand The Sundered World into a full-blown crossover setting covering most, if not all, of the different gamelines (minus Mummy, of course) and how they dealt with this ancient, far stranger, world as opposed to the modern Chronicles of Darkness. The Sundered World is more than just the ancient past of the Chronicles of Darkness, it's a time of myth and legend, when gods really did walk astride the earth. Pangaeans and Shadow Gods occasionally defy Urfarah's great law, the High Chieftains of Arcadia and the first of the Gentry are making contracts with humanity, laying the groundwork for what is to come, Azar himself and the Temakh wander up and down the Nile.

    It's a terrifying time to be human, but humanity is hardly helpless. I don't have any intro fiction in mind, so I'll jump right into ideas of other regions and other cultures that we could start looking into. I'm sure the ideas will come in time.

    glamourweaver , Second Chances , atamajakki here's the thread. Go nuts.


    Note: These first few initial ideas are plucked from The Sundered World thread in the Mage forums.

    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    Ok, the example contemporaries of the Vinca one might run into in the Astral I have so far...

    The Halaf (south-eastern Anatolia, northern Syria & Iraq) are a fellow copper-wielding civilization, so in the Astral their representation tends to be found not far from the Vinca. While they haven't unlocked the mysteries of High Speech like the Vinca, their Wise do know secrets of personal property as sympathetic links via stamp-seals. They worship a powerful mother/fertility goddess, a Pangean embodiment of sex and childbirth who spends most of her existence in the Astral to mingle with her worshippers and evade Wolf. This culture has more contact with the Gudthabak (werebulls) than the Uratha.

    The Hemudu (coastal China, south of where the Yellow River civilizations will prosper, closer ethnically related to Austranesian peoples than the modern Chinese) worship Glorious Sun first and foremost, and Bird second. They share kinship with the Surthu Athilal (the werefalcons). In the process of domesticating rice, they are also a innovative fishing society known for their stilt huts, which in the Astral are towering avian perches over idealized fishing waters.

    The Vinca's neighbors to the north are today known as the LBK (linear pottery) culture. Less advanced than the copper and High Speech wielding Vinca, they're comparatively more sedentary, building defensive earthworks around their villages as they live among often raiding hunting-gatherers from the north that the Vinca do not. Once they worshipped the same Mother Goddess as the Halafa, but a new religion of macabre ancestor worship and promised resurrection is being spread among their villages by men and women returned from the Ocean Beyond Life. This new religion involves rites of secondary-burial (exhuming the dead), cannibalism, and skull-worship. The Returned display a mastery of the dead terrifying to even the Water-Wise, and unrestrained by dissonance or quiesence. Some of the Wise of LBK settlements (who never held the same place of honor as their Vinca counterparts) are fleeing elsewhere.

    Around the Black Sea, coming south out of the Caucuses, a pastoralist nomad culture of cattle and goat herders (still a millennium or so away from domesticated horses). Not yet mastering agriculture, this society would be of little note, were it not that their primary deity, a great thunder-eyed, cloud-bearded Shepherd is such a boisterous presence in the Astral. No sign of any existence as a Pangean, he may entirely be an Astral archetype of human shepherding. He desires to claim the Halaf mother goddess as his wife. [note: if it's not obvious, these are the Proto-Indo-Europeans, and that god is the Dyeus archetype who precedes Zeus, Dyaus Pita, etc]
    And now, I'll add to them.

    The Harappan Culture: The predecessors to the Indus Valley Civilization, they were from the same region (north-western India along the Pakistan border) and were also a copper-wielding, stamp-using civilization. Their focus in terms of sacrifice and worship seems to be Bull, but graffiti and statuettes of 'dancing girls' that may represent an idea of something like an apsara are also present. Perhaps these people have more contact with the Fae than their contemporaries did. They made jewelry in copper and semiprecious stones, importing lapis lazuli from as far away as what would now be called Afghanistan. They were just as agrarian and pastoral as the Vinca, but unlike the Vinca they had more advanced medical knowledge, even performing primitive dentistry.

    Samarra Culture: Neighbours to the Halaf, they are highly successful pottery makers and exporters, trading with the Halaf to the North-West, and the Ki-En-Gir to the South-East. They are highly sedentary, having figured out the mysteries of irrigation and farming mostly flax. Evidence from their settlements indicate highly organized social structure more comparable to later civilizations than their contemporaries.

    Ki-En-Gir: To the south of the Halaf and the Samarra, this civilization centres around Eridu. The Ki-En-Gir are the first to possess hereditary Chiefs and Kings, quite possibly as a result of being linked to a hereditary administrative caste the managed grain and the temples. There was a three-way division in early Ki-En-Gir society, between the intensive subsistence farmers, the nomadic pastoralist herdsmen, and the hunter-gatherer fishermen in their reed huts. They worship the great Pangaean Ocean, and in time will develop the first sailing vessels. But even now, they are beginning to hear calls from Outside, a place they will eventually call the Abzu.

    Cardium Pottery Culture: Centered in Italy, Sardinia, Corsica, this culture has spread West along the south of what would be France, and East into what the Greeks would call Epirus to the point that the farthest reaches of this culture could be called neighbours of the Vinca. These people were hunters, farmers, and fishermen, with cockles as a staple part of the diet and the discarded shells serving as tools to make the designs on their distinctive styles of pottery. They could probably sail, as they imported and exported obsidian all throughout their territory, even on the islands, and even across the sea int what would later become Carthage.

    Sesklo Culture: Dwelling in what is now Greece and Macedonia, these people were sedentary farmers, living in relatively small dwellings of wood and mud brick possessing only one or two rooms, but large villages of between 500-800 dwellings and up to 5,000 inhabitants. They also possessed some of the first multi-level buildings. Their pottery mostly uses flame motifs, and they made cups and bowl in finely glazed earthenware. They were mostly shepherds and goatherds, but they had swine and cattle as well. They worship the Mother Goddess of the Halaf, along with Bull and the other major gods of the Vinca. They cremated their dead, developed the first megaron-type buildings, and were the first to use the meandering labyrinth pattern. In time, their Wise would pick up the knowledge of sympathetic magic from the Halaf.

    Hamangia Culture: Living on the coast of the Black Sea, quite possibly founded by Halaf colonists, these people are among the finest stoneworkers in the region. Statues from this culture called "The Seated Woman" and "The Thinker" are hailed as masterworks of their time. (They also resemble the Pangaean from the chapter art) They built small rectangular homes of one or two rooms on stone foundations with daub walls. Their settlements are typically built on a rectangular grid.

    Bukk Culture: An eastern splinter of the LBK to the North-East of the Vinca, they are more advanced than their western counterparts, and may even rival the Vinca in terms of sophistication. Their pottery is considered the finest of all the LBK, with greater diversity of form, including tall stands, jars with feet, and globular bowls. The pottery is painted and engraved with fine geometric lines, more complex and regular than those of their counterparts, and they also made abstract human figurines covered in symbols. Their main source of trade was obsidian, of which they made hundreds and hundreds of examples of fine tools, and their villages were often up in the mountains, on foothills, slopes, and in ravines. The homes were sometimes partially, or even wholly subterranean. Their homes were small and rectangular, only a few meters wide and twice as long. These people appeared to command significant trade, as they have many examples of spiny oyster shells, which are theorized to be a form of currency, all the way from the Mediterranean. In addition, jars full of finished knives have been found, ready for transport. Unlike the Vinca, they don't appear to have separated the living and the dead. They sometimes buried the deceased under the house, and didn't appear to offer any sort of grave goods. In a Bukk village, the living and the dead inhabited the same space. Caves may have been sacred to them.

    Nabta Playa: A mysterious culture from an internally drained basin in Nubia, this small tribe was almost 500 miles away from the Nile, and was significantly more advanced than most of its contemporaries, even compared to the Vinca. They were shepherds and goatherds who also raised cattle, digging deep wells in important places (possibly doubling as entrances to the Ocean Beneath the World?), building in stone above and below-ground, as well as planning their villages along strict arrangements. The people were partially nomadic, moving from settlement to settlement in order to keep the cattle fed and watered, but returning to this central village when the summer rains made it possible to maintain the herds. Here, they offered bloody sacrifice to Bull, entombing the corpses in an underground stone chamber, a reflection of the Cults of Ptah, Hathor, and Apis to come. However, these people may also have had a connection to the Temakh, for they possessed a stone circle at this central site aligned to the turning of Orion and Sirius, known to the ancients as Sah and Sopdet- the stars of Azar and Aset. Perhaps they are early devotees to the Restless Stars, or perhaps the Wise of these people are simply thorns in the side of the Temakh, knowledgeable rebels too far outside their- current -range of influence.
    Last edited by Arcanist; 04-19-2016, 11:44 PM.

    My Homebrew Hub

  • #2
    So some of my "to do" notes at this point...

    Vampire: Pretty exclusively Revenants and Stryx at this point

    Werewolf: Write-up the "factions" in Lodge format. 2E updates to the werebulls, werefalcons, and to round it out - add weresnakes. Should Lunacy be lesser in this era ala 1E's Hunting Grounds Sumer? The unlimited Garu forms of that setting definitely don't work in 2E given how the form's been buffed. More Pangeans!

    Mage: the three listed Legacies of the Vinca. In addition Bird's Children (Seers), Snake's Children (Healers), and Wolf's Children (Hunters). And a proto-Left Handed Legacy that deals in Shattered Time.

    Promethean: I don't think there are "Lineages" yet, mostly just one off-mad creations and Extemporae. The pre-sahara (currently a savanah) is going through desertification now (not as major as the 5.9 kiloyear event, but its drying), so perhaps a mini-lineage of desert themed environmental Extemporae would work. People are migrating to the Nile Delta, where of course, Azar rules as a fertility god.

    Changeling: I want to do something really different here. The "escapees" narrative is not in play yet (and won't be until the Contract of Iron is broken in 3000 years). Instead it is the (usually disabled) children abandoned to the elements as sacrifices to the gods who sometimes returns as emissaries of those same gods enforcing the pacts that were forged in said sacrifice. In many cases this involves protecting the communities that abandoned them from the predations of the Huntsmen (dominant over the proto-Gentry still), who wear the faces and fates of those they've slain to harry humanity. The prices demanded for such protection can be high though.

    [this is an intentional inversion of the origin of Changeling legends, where people cast their children with diabilities as doppelgangers left by the Fae]

    Hunter: Not enough social organization for Tier 2 to exist yet, much less Tier 3. Tactics of Tier 1 Hunters who brave Pangea, or deal with Revenants, etc, can definitely be explored though.

    Geist: Main subject of the LBK cultural hook. I'm thinking returness like most modern Sin-Eaters are rare, because of the very different nature of the Underworld. They exist, but that's not the big thing that's happening with the LBK. Instead rituals over the recent dead are necessary to draw a soul out of the Ocean Beyond Life, and facilitate the Binding.

    Mummy: Obviously Azar and the Temakhs are present along the Nile. Not sure what to... do with them though. Obviously no Arisen yet.

    Demon: No ideas here yet, very interested to hear concepts. Even if someone wants to use the "Giants Upon the Earth" from the Demon Storyteller's Guide, that is still clearly set in the Bronze Age (the setting note on Irem narrows it down further to be during the Long Henet between Turn 0 and Turn 1).

    Beast: My main note here is that I think Lairs should be a lot closer to the rest of the Temenos at this point. I'm inclined to house rule Horrors can move freely through the Temenos (no distinction yet between the Bright Dream and the Primordial Dream) in Horror-form. "Lairs" represent the most dangerous terrain Forest-Wise might stumble through in their exploration. They are getting pushed further and further back from the archetypes of more settled cultures.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 04-19-2016, 02:13 PM.

    Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


    • #3
      Question. Fangames, yay or nay?

      “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
      My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
      Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers


      • #4
        I'd definitely be interested in seeing if Leviathans were notably different here... or alternatively if we aren't using fangames, with TKR's permission I'd be inclined to cannibalize elements of Leviathan for the weresnakes that don't necessarily survive to the modern era (they and the Surthu Athilal HATE each other...)

        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


        • #5
          Not sure if I'll join but I can see a way that demon's could work.
          A) The first angel(s) of the machine to fall.
          B) Demon(s) thrown through time and having to hide in a time the machine may not even exist but it's best to not test your luck.


          • #6
            I'm mulling over some rough ideas about the split between feral hunting vampires and the clever few that "farm" humans.

            Speaking of, Claire Redfield did some rules for Neolithic Kindred:
            Last edited by atamajakki; 04-19-2016, 05:46 PM.

            Remi. she/her. game designer.


            • #7
              I'd be terribly intrigued by what Leviathans would be like in this era. I, personally, am leaning away from fangames for this but it's a homebrew project. I'm not going to tell you that you're doing it wrong.

              The Kings Raven I'm currently looking into what Heroes would be like in this era, and I get the feeling that Princess might be a good place to start hunting for ideas regarding it.

              In regards to Mummy, I think "Why the Stars Fall" indicates that Uber - Amkhata were wandering the world at the time, seeing as the Temakh fought them off, were wounded, approached Ammut, and are likely conspiring to murder Azar as the Sundering approaches.

              I like the idea of Beasts being able to wander in Horror form out in the Temenos. I can also see the Wise approaching them for the secrets of entering the Anima Mundi. They should definitely have the option of feeding via Nightmares all the time. I'm also partial to the idea that they manifest in Horror form in the Border Marches, but maybe that's a bit too much.

              glamourweaver why would the children of Snake and Bird hate each other? I thought the two Pangaeans were seen as siblings or even as mirror images of one another?

              I don't think reduced Lunacy is a good idea, but what if the hunter Cults that revere Wolf get a bonus to resisting it so long as they are part of the Cult? The Vinca at large get that for Spirits because of their awareness and rituals.

              How are you planning on tackling the Bulls and Falcons? Most of the 2e Gifts focus on the Hunt.

              In regards to Vampire, I like the divide between hunter vampires and "herding" vampires, and I'm also partial to the idea that they're all Revenants or specific Bloodlines right now. The Neglatu definitely need some love here.
              Last edited by Arcanist; 04-19-2016, 02:36 PM.

              My Homebrew Hub


              • #8
                Personally I preferred what was said in the original blurb about the setting, that it's before Kindred exist, though the Stryx do. I like improperly buried revenants as a setting feature as (in addition to fitting the setting) it ads ambiguity so the Stryx aren't definitively the origin of all the Clans, but I'm definitely biased toward the Kindred not having evolved yet.
                Last edited by glamourweaver; 04-19-2016, 02:53 PM.

                Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


                • #9
                  Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                  I'd definitely be interested in seeing if Leviathans were notably different here... or alternatively if we aren't using fangames, with TKR's permission I'd be inclined to cannibalize elements of Leviathan for the weresnakes that don't necessarily survive to the modern era (they and the Surthu Athilal HATE each other...)
                  We're already seeing civilisation - specifically parts of mankind having defined social roles such as Ki-En-Gir. So that means that the Tribe are at best at the hight of their conflict with mankind, in which case they'd still tend towards being self-actualized and content beings. They're still going around enslaving people via the wake and being brutal wicked monsters, but they don't feel guilty about it and their three minds are more a harmonious whole.

                  At worst though, the Tribe will have already lost and will mostly resemble their modern selves. And if Tiamat and the Progenitors are literal beings they'd have to be already dead, I don't think this setting has room (in a literal sense) for a continent sized Bahamut with entire human cultures living on his back - let alone Tiamat herself.

                  All in all, my suggestion would be to not worry about making the timeline match up too well. Lets say Tiamat & Progenitors vs Marduk & disciples was the true history of Leviathan: the Tempest. That doesn't mean it has to be the history of the Sundered World Chronicles. So here's how I imagine the Tribe. Leviathan's are found around the world, but the dramatically important ones are around Mesopotamia. They live among more primitive tribes, and their Wakes inflict the same horrific madness that they do in modern times. However because the environment is equally horrific the Wake is an advantage. Bahamutans might strip away independence and enforce conformity, but that's a good way to make sure everyone pitches in on the harvest. Tannanim might turn you into violent brutes, but that means you're the guys who survive the winter by stealing someone else's stuff rather than the people who stave because some jackass stole your stuff.

                  However the Tribe's... tribes are diminishing as members emigrate to Ki-En-Gir and maybe other societies in search of a better life or are just out-competed. Humanity needs the Tribe, but it's pretty obvious that they won't for much longer. And the Tribe has absolutely no clue what to do about this.

                  “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                  My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                  Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
                    glamourweaver why would the children of Snake and Bird hate each other? I thought the two Pangaeans were seen as siblings or even as mirror images of one another?
                    The Ouranic vs Chthonic symbolic imagery of bird vs snake is found literally all over the world, from the Garudas and Nagas of India, to Re and Apep in Khem, to the Thunderbirds and Horned Serpents of North America. The fact that their Pangeans have overlapping meaning, just makes them competitors for the same domain.
                    Last edited by glamourweaver; 04-19-2016, 02:45 PM.

                    Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


                    • #11
                      I love the twist that the Wake could be a good thing at this time- forcibly uniting a community together.

                      I'm also biased towards Revenants and Strix being the only vampires right now. They're the Hungry Dead, not the Kindred.

                      Good point about Bird and Snake.

                      My Homebrew Hub


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
                        IThe Kings Raven I'm currently looking into what Heroes would be like in this era, and I get the feeling that Princess might be a good place to start hunting for ideas regarding it.
                        Heroes... well my ideas for Heroes wouldn't work pre-monomyth.

                        Maybe what we should think of is that this is the eara that Beasts were "tamed". "Beasts" don't even exist yet, they're actually a motley assortment of different monsters, some might actually just be Ripper Slashers or just some particularly nasty tribal Chief. (I quite like the idea that some jerk king with the Giant Merit was one of the origonal Anikim). Heroes could be a Legacy of the Wise, more like bards/skalads than Gilgamesh who notice that some large guy declares himself king, acts like a total jerk, gets deposed and think to themselves "yes, there's an important lesson here."

                        So they nail the story to the Temenos for all mankind to remember. Overtime it goes a bit wrong; the king goes from being a big guy to a 20 foot tall giant with a throne of skulls. The heroes go from ordinary people who realise "why are we listening to this guy anyway?" into one guy who's special because he's good with a sword.

                        Perhaps the reason it went wrong was that they tried to nail a Leviathan there in commemoration of Ki-En-Gir's civilisation over savegry. Though on second thoughts, saying the Dark Mother is a Leviathan is perhaps a little much

                        “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                        My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                        Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers


                        • #13
                          Dunno how open this is, but I had my own take on Vampires that I'm working to weave into a potential crossover game, but here's what I have so far if anyone's interested in my own version:

                          The Vampires of the Neolithic era are not the Kindred known in modern times. They're a disparate, solitary group of predators that all share a thirst for blood and an aversion to fire, both that utilized by the People and that which makes up the Sun above them.
                          It's said some patron entity guides their creation and development (or perhaps simply lays a curse on those undead with a taste for blood) despite disparate origins, however, so even those of varying birthright share several traits. Except as noted below, the Vampiric Template works as represented in Vampire: the Requiem 2e.

                          Daysleep provides a point of Willpower to Neolithic Vampires, just like a night's rest does for anyone else; their fluid nature means their dreams are better able to reinvigorate them in this early time.

                          Predatory Aura
                          The Neolithic Vampire has a more potent Predatory Aura. Any given Kindred may add a skill rating to the dicepool of each of the three Aspects of their Beast when lashing out, as appropriate to the situation. Using the Monstrous Beast to proclaim dominance in combat might allow Brawl to be used, but a 'calmer' use might simply use Intimidation. In addition, Neolithic Vampires do not need to spend Willpower to lash out against each other (or anything else); they're not yet so resilient against the Beasts of others of their kind.

                          Feeding Restrictions
                          Neolithic Vampires are not yet so reliant on humanity; treat Blood Potency as two lower, to a minimum of 1, with regards to what a Vampire can feed on. A Blood Potency 4 vampire can feed on animal blood, for instance.
                          All Vampires can feed on the blood of those spirits that have it, as well as Pangeans, though the latter might cause undue side effects, or more simply, Final Death if the entity is unwilling.
                          To clarify, Unnatural Affinity is not needed for non-elders to feed on Spirits, Pangeans, or solid supernaturals, and so is only of use to those with BP 8+ in those cases. It IS needed for a Vampire to feed on other types of ephemeral entities (like ghosts), though.

                          Character Creation

                          Birthright and Affinity

                          Neolithic Vampires have yet to solidify into the clans and lineages that more modern Kindred so take for granted. Instead, the way they came into being has an effect on the Disciplines they develop, the enhancements to their mind and body, and to the banes they develop. Each origin provides either one or two of the Kindred's three affinity disciplines (as well as one free dot of one of those so defined), and one or both of their two Favored Attributes (Neolithic Kindred receive both). One Affinity discipline must always be physical (Celerity, Resilience, Vigor).
                          Clan banes do not exist yet, but these early Vampires do carry some lingering weakness based on the way they were created. The player must choose a Bane that suits the character and their origin; some suggestions are given below. This doesn't count against a Vampire's usual limit on Banes, but exists regardless of Humanity level.
                          Typical origins are listed below; the ST might allow a more unique type with permission. For the purpose of Blood Sympathy, treat Birthright as clan; Vampires have a sense of others of the same "origin" as themselves.

                          Shadows of Dis
                          A corpse, improperly buried or warded, is seen draped in shadow the night before it disappears. A hunter who's been having a harder time breathing each consecutive night, disappears one night, only to appear in the wilderness with glowing eyes.
                          The Birds of Dis are said to be one of the earliest origins of Vampiric creatures, able to transform corpses and living host alike into Undead beings that thirst for blood instead of breath. Mechanically, these are Kindred created via the Synthesis embodiment used on a living creature or a corpse.
                          Affinity Disciplines: Dominate and two others; one must be physical.
                          Favored Attributes: Manipulation and one other.
                          Bane: The Shadows of Dis often have similar banes to those that higher Potency Strix develop (which, of course, are similar to those of modern Kindred).

                          Spirit Born
                          A powerful spirit of blood attempts to Claim a corpse shortly after a death by starvation, the mingling resonance of blood and hunger causing something entirely different than a typical spirit-Claimed; the entity merges with the lingering soul of the victim more completely than should be possible. A powerful Magath of Death and Blood finds an exsanguinated corpse and utilizes its powerful Influences on it, animating the corpse with the same spark of the predator that defines life in the Shadow.
                          While it's far rarer than one of the Owls synthesizing with a body, some few Kindred are born when a spirit's powers have an odd unintended effect, or their essence mixes with lingering resonance on a corpse or victim they attempt to Claim. The victim is brought back as a Vampire, carrying the same thirst for blood as any others of their kind.
                          Affinity Disciplines: Blood Tenebrous and two others; one must be physical.
                          Favored Attributes: Wits and one other.
                          Bane: Spirit Born find themselves carrying a version of the Ban or Bane that their spiritual creator suffered, adjusted to match the potency of other Kindred banes, if needed.

                          Children of the Dark Mother
                          A woman, caked in sweat and whimpering in fear, is disemboweled by a hungry creature, her blood spilling out over her. As she feels her life force fading, however, a terrible entity appears to her in her mind, a horrific Beast of her own imprinted on the woman's fading soul.
                          The Begotten in modern times tell stories of the Dark Mother, the creator of all creatures of the night, not just the Beasts themselves. In some cases, they're correct; while she's rarely revealed by that name to these Vampires, she is indeed the one that's created their own "Beast", finding those people that recently died with the fear of that death still resonating throughout them, then weaving that together with humanity's collective fears of predators of the night.
                          Affinity Disciplines: Nightmare and two others; one must be physical.
                          Favored Attributes: Presence and one other.
                          Bane: The Banes of these Vampires often reflect the effects of Anathema on Low Satiety Begotten, or else might make it difficult for the Kindred to feed from those that aren't actively afraid, for one reason or another.

                          Spontaneous Embrace
                          A friendly, if somewhat shaky traveler runs afoul of an angered Werewolf, killed in a bloodbath but their body left mostly intact. Their soul finds it impossible to move on, warped by the sudden primal violence and spilled blood, and so "repossesses" its former body, bringing it back to a state of unlife and reinvigorating it with a similar lust for blood.
                          Sometimes, there's no apparent patron. There's a reason that burial ceremonies and special plots are common within villages of the People; it's well known that random deaths, especially those caused to people that have tasted blood, cause one to linger if not properly moved on, reinvigorating their body with the essence of pure bloodlust, and allowing them to rise that next night. Not quite the same as a ghost-claimed corpse, their entire soul has remained behind, not just a reflection of it fueled by emotion alone.
                          Affinity Disciplines: Protean and two others; one must be physical.
                          Favored Attributes: Stamina and one other
                          Bane: This generally reflects the way they were killed, and what made them linger; the example of a traveler killed by a werewolf might find themselves driven into frenzy at the sight or smell of one of the shapeshifters, for instance.

                          A wise woman is caught in the night by a shadowy attacker, an overwhelming pain felt as her blood is slowly drained away, only for her to wake again as the pain fades, no longer breathing. A tired young man in an outlying village has been suffering through a drought, their life slowly slipping away due to deprivation. The next night, however, he wakes up in a cave nearby, an ivory-skinned woman staring at him.
                          Rare as it is in the Neolithic era, when food is so comparatively scarce, Vampires can still sire others of their kind. Some do so out of guilt, when their Beast causes them to kill someone they planned only to take a bit of blood from, some out of sheer loneliness, and some due to the urgings of the same entities that were responsible for their own creation. This uses the normal mechanics for siring a Vampire, though only those of Blood Potency 2 or more may do so reliably, given the fleeting nature of early Vampire blood.
                          Affinity Disciplines: Any two of the Sire's affinities, and one other. One must still be physical.
                          Favored Attributes: Same as their sire's.
                          Bane: Often the same as the sire's first bane, but perhaps warped slightly to suit the character.
                          Other Notes: Childer are the only type of Vampires that may join a bloodline at Blood Potency 1; their sire's. Players MUST choose either a named NPC or another PC as their sire to play a childer; they can't simply make one up that happens to match the exact disciplines, attributes, and bloodline they want.

                          Childer may join their sire's bloodline at Blood Potency 1 as normal, or may join another bloodline if another vampire acts as an Avus at Blood Potency 2 (given there's no clans, there's no prerequisite for acting as an Avus). Vampires may create their own bloodline at Blood Potency 3; it's much easier in this early period of Vampiric history, given the still forming nature of their blood.
                          Obviously, just about no official bloodlines exist in this era, but the bloodline gifts and banes of existing bloodlines can be pilfered and given new thematics for a character, or an entirely new one can be made with the help of the Storyteller.
                          In all cases, a bloodline requires ST permission and assistance to create a bloodline.

                          Covenants do not exist yet, due to the low numbers of Vampires and their lack of communication with each other. However, any Kindred can learn a form of Blood Sorcery akin to Cruac, using the systems for Themes in Blood Sorcery: Sacraments and Blasphemies, and updated in Vampire 2e and via other house rules as needed.

                          Mask and Dirge work largely the same, with their Mask often reflecting their caste in life. As with any anchors, remember that they should reflect concepts appropriate to the setting.
                          Neolithic Vampires do not start with a Touchstone inherently; they must put forth specific effort to gain one (via the Touchstone merit). The first Touchstone gained via the merit is added to Humanity 5, as normal. Those that lack Touchstones entirely are treated the same as those that have all of their touchstones detached, rather than like Kindred that have lost theirs.

                          Vampires receive three dots of Disciplines in addition to the free dot they receive from their Birthright. Only two total need to be Affinity, including that. Cruac, as mentioned above, can be purchased with Out of Affinity dots; the first dot of Cruac provides 1 dot in each of the Creation and Protection Themes, and 1 more of the player's choice.
                          Raising Cruac further will provide an additional dot of a Theme, as normal, and Themes can also be purchased separately with Experience.

                          As mentioned, despite different origins they still use the Kindred Template, kinda like how some Night Horrors creatures use disciplines and whatnot. There's some slight inspiration taken from Imperial Mysteries, implying some entity is helping to guide these similarities. I WAS considering changing the predatory aura at least for each one, making them unique per birthright, but felt I had added enough custom bits already. Still, might be a possible area to expand on later on.

                          Whatever the case, the basic idea was that clans don't exist, instead being replaced with how the vampire was made, but bloodlines certainly do, and more universally. Also note that a couple things in there (Daysleep regaining Willpower) are more of a thing meant for a crossover game's balance than because of any special Neolithic consideration, even if I did try to add a bit of fluff to them.

                          (Obviously I don't follow the 'Revenants and Strix only' view)
                          Last edited by falco1029; 04-19-2016, 03:39 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I have some ideas for what the Brineborn are like in this Era: Oe hasn't been killed yet (he dies slightly after the Sundering), so Mother Ocean doesn't despise her children, so the fish shifters don't suffer panic attacks in the water. In fact, they spend most of their time in the water. Sometimes they bring gifts to coastal villages, sometimes they demand sacrifices in exchange for protection.


                            • #15
                              I do like the idea of different origins, but I'm not too sure I like their setup as proto-Clans. I do think Cruac should have a lot more presence in a Neolithic game. Vampire is probably going to be one of the more difficult gamelines to transfer over.

                              I also completely disagree that Beasts don't exist yet. They're clearly called out in the crossover bar, and the fears that the Families are based on are universal and ancient- going back before language. Beasts don't need myths to exist, they need fear. Myths are what give Heroes power, not Beasts. I still stand by the belief that while the Hero is the interpreter of the wisdom in nightmares, it is the Beast who is the keeper of this wisdom. More importantly, Heroes sense any disturbances to the Primordial Dream caused by fear, not just those caused by Beasts (though Beasts are, for obvious reasons, more than likely to cause disturbances themselves). So, something is out there causing fear, the Hero seeks out the Beast, and the Beast goes "Hold up, I didn't do this. But I know some people, so let me make a few calls."

                              The thing about a lot of these early mythic monsters is that, even if they're predisposed to cause mayhem, in the earliest myths the Beasts are just subdued by the Hero, not killed. The god bends the monster to their will for the benefit of the community. Never forget that Hades named his ferocious three-headed dog "Spot" or that Marduk was cool with the Sirrush. Heck, the Irkalla was guarded by the Ugallu. A Beast preys upon a community, sure, but if they can reach an accord, a Beast could be a valuable asset.

                              Some thoughts on the Gudthabak

                              The Bull Guides the Herd: What does a Bull do? Their aggression, their Rage, protects the herd, and the Herd is Man and civilization itself. Once, Bull and Wolf went to war. The Great Predator was offended that mankind turned aside from the Hunt, but the Bull saw that humanity was protecting and increasing its children upon the earth, and refused to tolerate this offence. It was a mighty battle, with Wolf's flashing jaws and Bull's thousand hooves and ivory horns clashing again and again. In the end, Bull's horns were shattered by a final mighty blow against the Wolf, and some say that fragments of Bull's divine ivory worm their way to Wolf's heart, poisoning and weakening him a little more every day, the Essence of the Bull domesticating the Great Predator, dishonouring the Hunt. Bull saw that the People were without true leadership, like a herd without a bull, they wandered aimlessly, and so Bull approached the Wise and gave them part of its divine heart. Meanwhile, to the east a group of people grew up in the ruins of Bull's horns, where Bull and Wolf had fought fiercely. These people make amulets of copper and god-ivory, becoming Gudthabak by virtue of their exposure to the god's Essence. They are physically mighty, and supernaturally charismatic, providing guidance to their people in return for tribute and sacrifices.

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