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"Caveman" Vampires ?

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  • "Caveman" Vampires ?

    I am in the middle of making up some Ancient character (NPC). It is literally a primordial man (or woman), possibly Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon.
    I am currently just flipping thoughts in my head around so I´d like to post them all here, comments and additional ideas are welcome.



    Some Vampire scholar finds ancient markings in a cave, which turn out to be of Vampire significance (Cruac rituals, guiding to a Wyrm´s nest).
    Digging deeper, he finds a torpid Ancient. The Ordo decides to wake it up.


    Clan: Obvious thought: Gangrel! But wouldn´ t it be nice to see the look in the faces of Ventrue or Daeva snobs if they are introduced to their Caveman cousin in Elysium?


    Disciplines: Animalism, of course, basic Protean. Maybe all of the 3 physical Disciplines.
    Could Majesty or Dominate work (taken that the guy is able to learn modern speech?)
    Some crude form of Cruac maybe. Or a Blood Magic blend that flies in the face of Sanctified and Cronies

    I am looking for a force of nature here. At the one hand an undemanding, unpolitical being.
    At the other hand, an unstoppable monster if you manage to piss him off.
    Good look teaching him Masquerade and Elysium etiquette.


    Covenant: The Cave-Vampire might think in terms of tribe, not in political ideas. So first Bloodline, then Clan.
    Could be interesting if his/her parent clan is spread along enemy factions. Also his very existence is a political dilemma,
    because it contradicts some of the creation myths ( the evangelical Sanctified Arch-Bishop claims it is Caine, or Lilith or some of the sinners
    that survived Noah´s flood. The Cronies think they have found THE Crone...)

  • #2
    Well, why define a clan at all? Perhaps our ancient vampire doesn't know his clan? Perhaps he's a member of now extinct clan?
    Disciplines: Protean is almost a must in my opinion. Also all physical disciplines could be cool. Some Auspex (or Nightmare), just so that people couldn't simply deduce him being a Gangrel (or proto-gangrel) from his known disciplines.. I would also say that no animalism.The man's a hunter, he needs not speak with beasts - he hunts them. Another point, just so that he's not made into gangrel as easily
    Blood magic feels very appropriate for our guy Cruac fits perfectly here.... Unless you would figure out a sorcery unique to him (just so that Circle can't claim him as his own as easily).

    Given how old he is, he could easily have:
    All physicals at 3+
    Protean 3;
    Nightmare 2;
    Obfuscate 1;
    Auspex 2;
    Majesty 1;
    Dominate 2;
    Of course all these ratings could go up a lot. Perhaps some discipline at 6+? (remember, we don't lose excess disciplines nowadays, we just can't unlock more, if we drop below so he can easily wake with 10 str, 8 vigor, 7 majesty etc...)


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    • #3
      I agree totally with Griautison on not defining a Clan. Give him the Disciplines you want and feel appropriate and give him a Bane that is either entirely unrelated to those of the modern Clans or only suggests one Clan. You might even want to give him multiple Banes of various kinds so it becomes hard or impossible to tell apart what comes from his "Clan", "Bloodline", loss of Humanity or stranger causes still.

      I would not, however, give him any kind of Blood Sorcery, but that just might be me. The idea does not really jive for me. If you do give him some kind, I would recommend doing something custom, unrelated to any of the "new" (by vampire standards) styles of Blood Sorcery.

      The true extent of his powers also depend on just how much time he has spent in torpor. He could be relatively weak if he spend most of his existence this way. Definitely consider some weird Devotions, though.

      Lastly, you might want to consider actually giving him at least a partial case of the Fog of Ages. Perhaps even leaving the option open that he is not actually what he seems to be.


      Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

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      • #4
        @Grautis I thought Animalism as a "tribal" alternative to Dominate. In ancient times maybe you could control a flock of cavemen easier with Animalism than individual commands.
        I thought maybe Cave-Vampire knows some Proto-Vampire language thus is able to Dominate Vampires but not humans ? Could a Cro-magnon learn today´s languages ?

        Maybe take the Disciplines of Ventrue and Gangrel and maybe he shows Blood Sympathy for both ?

        I thought some of the Discipines to be crazy over the top. Storywise, that guy is for the political climate be like the A-Bomb in the Cold War.
        But there is only one bomb and no ones sure who actually owns it...

        @saibot I definitely want some rudimentary connections (Clan, Discipline, Blood Magic). Just enough to put some myths and ideas about Clans and Covenants upside down.
        I like the idea of him not being at his height in the first time. Maybe his powers grow over time and some begin to ask
        "When will this stop? How strong can he get ? Should we just diablerize him and call it a day ? Could we stop him at all if we wanted to ?"

        And I didn´t consider what more he could have brought with him during the centuries. But maybe he is not so "primitive" after all if he had multiple waking times... good point.

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        • #5
          I'd actually say Protean and physical disciplines, NOT gangrel, perhaps some sort of proto-version of an existing clan, throw something terrifying and confusing into the mix (something crude, perhaps every time he hits someone it tears off flesh which seems to merge with him, granting him vitae, healing wounds or whatever else?)

          As for the magic, perhaps make it something akin to Vicissitude that, for all intents and pruposes, seems to register as Theban Sorcery but has almost nothing in common with it?
          Another option for the magic might be something that registers like Theban sorcery but where he cuts himself, spills blood, makes unknown signs, just like Cruac and that does things that people simply don't do with EITHER of those (perhaps the fleshcrafting mentioned above?).

          The last option for making him "primitive" would be to modify how he embraces. Make it so he savages a corpse or something, eats the flesh, feasts on it, leaving a half-complete, mangled mess, feeds it his blood and buries it, several days, perhaps even weeks later, it pops back up...
          Or perhaps anyone who drinks his blood soon gets sick, starts to bleed, develops gangrene in places and later on die outright, then followed by them popping back up, confused, angry, hungry. A hint at an origin for this particular version as a sort of sickness (or perhaps a perverted divine curse? If you want to become immortal grabbing the power of a divine curse and twisting it around on itself, using it as a sort of fuel for your own magic, is sort of logical in a sick sort of way)

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          • #6
            Phew, a caveman, really? That seams not right to me, because Vampires are mostly monsters of civilization, in my opinion.

            You ask how powerful he will become. The answer is: oh, like every mentally disordered Neonate, who think he is a caveman.
            I'm just kidding. But keep in mind, that requiem Vampires are unlike masquerade Vampires do not grow as mighty by aging. When their BP grows to high they will fall in torpor and loos power and memory. So age is not as important. You can not distinguish a Vampire who believe, he is old and one who is. They might have the same powers and BP. That is why there is more then one Count Dracula.

            But Okay, it is your game, let us take it serious. In my opinion, Gangrel are not as obvious. I can't remember where it come from (Requiem for Rome I guess), but there where a text which describes the Gangrel as ancient Warriors (maybe from Changing Breeds) who get their unlife by a deal similar to thet one of the Julii with the strix. So they maybe not as old.

            I think the oldest Vampire, in a way the default Vampire, are the Nosferatu. So I would choose them. I would not gave him crúac, it is to common for an being as alien as this. I would choose powers from the Belials Brood, because they are strange, brutal and savage. A Vampire as old as this would probably believe, he is not longer a human, but a force of nature, so it would fit perfectly. Protean is an option. But I would make him the personification of fear and death.

            Or i would make him a Strix, thet seems to me the most plausible version.
            Last edited by Sethos; 03-31-2014, 06:59 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doc Lumbago View Post
              @saibot I definitely want some rudimentary connections (Clan, Discipline, Blood Magic). Just enough to put some myths and ideas about Clans and Covenants upside down.
              You could simply do that by the things he has to say (once he can communicate) instead of his exact vampiric nature. Consider the Tentacle-Blade-Thing from Clanbook Mekhet which supposedly was some kind of monstrous Proto-Mekhet. Perhaps he knows such a monster (or claims to), hell, he might have even been embraced by it!
              Last edited by saibot; 03-31-2014, 07:01 AM.


              Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

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              • #8
                Firstly, I agree with the idea that defining a clan is not necessary. Secondly, I would propose a different interpretation of what it is to be a vampire in Neolithic. Maybe it won't be interesting, but I try anyhow. Here, I agree with Sethos who argues that vampire are monsters of the civilisation. To put it differently, vampires are the shadow hunters borned in the fear of the dominant species. What was the potent blood at that time ?

                The very first question to answer would be : what theme does your NPC incorporate ? That's the first line I would ask to know how to develop a NPC. It should indicate what goals he will try to pursue.

                The NPC could be born far earlier than humans. What does look like a creature of shadow and fear of the dinosaurs as a dominant species ? How would live this creature, awaken in a world where there's not the potent species she knows before.I see two themes : Adaptation (and suffering through it) and Horror (a creature made to kill some deadly creatures). Adaptation of the predator that understand its prey is something else, it cannot be done without suffering and mutations. Horror as the crosspoint between savagery and civilization.


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                • #9
                  Well, if you're going for a "force of nature," then the players are probably going to be thinking Gangrel anyways. That's kind of the whole clan's archetype. They're primal. They're very physical. They're the ones you don't want to piss off because they'll go and tear off your face with claws. No matter what clan you do choose for him, you seem to want him to -act- like a Gangrel. So, there's no real reason to have him / her be a different clan other than to mock those clans at a meta-game level. It doesn't sound like you have any particular plans for his whole Clan-loyalty bits either, so actually dubbing him a clan isn't really necessary.


                  He'd have no grasp of modern culture, language, social norms. He'd have to be retaught everything from the ground up. Which is fine, because that's a thing - torpor resets your brain's flexibility. The question becomes, how is he really a random bomb dropped? Unless we're talking Methuselah here, he's going to have some potent disciplines, but nothing over a 5 ranking, and that's deal-able. In truth, an active elder could easily override his defenses with simple Dominate or Majesty powers.


                  Given everything that you've said, so far, I think the best option for you would be to take a look at the Unholy's write up (there's one in Nomads, a much better one in Immortal Sinners). She's the wild card that wanders between cities, and causes problems, irregardless of covenant. She's considered a Force of Nature (TM) by anyone that's dealt with her. I think she's Methuselah as well, which ignores the whole pesky torpor madness and lower BP effects. An uncontrollable, wild force that no one can really control, but everyone would dearly love to.


                  As for sorcery? Threnodies, all the way!

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                  • #10
                    As a side note, he probably is a major issue for the Masquerade, even if he can be taught. We do not have any and Neanderthals running around any more. His looks would likely be outside of what even a generous observer would consider the human (homo sapiens sapiens, anyway) norm. In a way, he might draw more attention than some Nosferatu would.
                    Last edited by saibot; 03-31-2014, 08:11 AM.


                    Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sethos View Post
                      You ask how powerful he will become. The answer is: oh, like every mentally disordered Neonate, who think he is a caveman.
                      I'm just kidding. But keep in mind, that requiem Vampires are unlike masquerade Vampires do not grow as mighty by aging. When their BP grows to high they will fall in torpor and loos power and memory. So age is not as important. You can not distinguish a Vampire who believe, he is old and one who is.
                      That is no longer true. You only lose BP, however if you increased your disciplines/attributes above 5, they are here to stay. So our theoretical proto vampire could have trained several disciplines/attributes way above 5, just because he had several bouts of long activity which increased his power. You only BP 5+ when you're purchasing the said powers
                      So this guy can easily wake up with BP1, Str/stamina - 9, Vigor 8, resilience 8 and brawl 9. And then he can probably go bash some elder faces


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                      • #12
                        There was a character Mr. Oliver in the early Anita Blake books, an early hominid vampire, if you're looking for inspiration


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                        • #13
                          vampires are tied to human civilization. earliest human civilization were hunters & gatherers, so why not? for sure 36,000+ years predates all the orgin stories of the clans, so I'd advocate a pre(/proto-?)-clan revenant-type approach, perhaps spontaneous (the first vampire?). vigor, resilience and celerity, maybe even animalism and/or obfucate, all non-clan, all 5+. blood potency diluted to the point of a fossilized, atavistic anachronism. absolutely no connection to 21st century humanity. draugr, a force of nature. will regain lost attributes >5 and BP by the hour as he diablerizes his way back to elevation and finally even something akin to animalistic consciousness. be sure not to transmute it into a god figure with unlimited magical powers - if such a thing would have existed, history as we know it would never have come to pass. show the limitations of the vampiric state that even trillions of years cannot overcome: apex predator, not apex human. thing from the woods, not judeo-christian projection of existential dread. oh how the strix would love it.
                          Last edited by Nehekh; 03-31-2014, 09:45 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nehekh View Post
                            oh how the strix would love it.
                            Oh yes, you could also do that, have scores of strix show up to hail a "true" vampire, causing misery and trouble for any who try to attack or control it. (Elder using dominate to rein in the atavistic monster? Well, the Strix just attacks him, tearing first at his body, then his mind, a flurry of wings and immaterial claws leaving behind a savaged creature stuck in a constant state of frenzy, perhaps anger, perhaps fear.

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                            • #15
                              In the mekhet clanbook it's implied the mekhet descend from something pre-human.

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