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Why would anyone want to be a Tremere Lich?

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  • Why would anyone want to be a Tremere Lich?

    Good faith question, I promise.

    I just finished reading Nameless and Accursed, and I see the benefits - even with the significant drawbacks - of being a scelestus. But it seems like the cons of being a Tremere Lich vastly outweigh the pros. They are all jerks to each other, so you don't have the camaraderie of being part of an evil cult. You can ostensibly live forever, if you can call "extending your life by one extra day per soul" living forever. At least with vampires you can drink a little blood from a human and then let it come back. Souls are one and done. You'd need to steal 365 sleeper souls just to survive an extra year.

    And even if you aren't old, you still become a hungry ghost if you're not feeding your soul addiction.

    Why not just stay a regular old mage?

  • #2
    In conjunction:
    • "One extra day per soul" is for Sleeper souls at the highest Hollow rating; the souls of vampires, werewolves, changelings, and mages last a month before they cease to benefit the character, with powerful specimens multiplying that commensurate to their strength. Even then, the price of lacking a viable soul is paid out over the course of weeks and can be offloaded to the soul's original owner if you hang onto it.
    • A soul is only one-and-done from Tremere use in cases where it's specifically burned out, like Burn Soul or the koimaomai; otherwise, holding off a consumed soul's destruction is as simple as putting it into someone who needs a soul.
    • Hollow is lost by spending lengthy periods of time in the state where you don't have to consume souls (which you can duck into without consequence as often as you can succeed at a Resolve + Composure roll), and is regained by spending Arcane Experiences in the same fashion as Gnosis; recall that the Tremere have a greater capacity for Obsessions than other mages and still run on Wisdom, the Integrity-analog that gives Arcane Beats every time you test it and provides Conditions from failure that rewrite your Obsessions toward dominating others and using magic indiscriminately.

    A typical Tremere can daisy-chain missing souls out of Sleepers for some time as they push the boundaries of their magic and trade their way to higher status among the Tremere and their House(s) in the name of attaining mastery of the soul. The Awakened tendency to leap toward a high Supernatural Potency rating may complicate the matter, but being a soul-eater has about as much impact on a location's supernatural ecology as a particularly predatory vampire, werewolf, or changeling.

    In return, you get substantial freeform power over the ephemeral world — having up to six Ruling Arcana is not nothing.


    Resident Lore-Hound
    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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    • #3
      As Satchel notes, Tremere don't go around leaving a trail of discarded, broken humans behind them - as long as one stealing souls regularly, only the *latest* victim is soulless, and all the others are soul-shocked a Condition which deactivates their Virtue and Vice until they've regained full Willpower through rest. The trick to being Tremere is to steal a soul when the one you're using to power your immortality is running low, and then put the one you've been feeding on back - and if the original owner is dead, you can put it into the owner of the one you just took.

      And if you're cunning enough to have multiple souls, or you get backed into a corner by pesky Pentacle mages, you can engage in some of the other tricks Hollow grants.


      Dave Brookshaw

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      • #4
        Thanks for the responses! I guess I somehow missed the part where Tremere can shove a defunct soul back into someone once they are done with it instead of needing to burn it up. That makes a whole lot more sense!

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