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  • Bloodline Conversion- Asnâm

    Hey everybody! Haberdasher here with another bloodline conversion. Last time, I finished up the Carthian bloodlines, and am now moving on to the bloodlines from the Circle of the Crone book. Up first are the Asnâm, an Arabic bloodline who supposedly have ties to the gods of the Himalayas and powers that Dragons would give both arms for.

    These guys were a relatively straight-forward conversion, the changes mostly coming from the fact that Ralab was converted into a series of Devotions, and some of the dice rolls and effects for the devotions were tweaked from 1e. Also, the effects off the devotions were expanded to be able to affect vampires and non-ghouled mortals as well, but a couple devotions' penalties got beefed up to compensate. I went with Dominate for the bloodline discipline since the Asnâm are all about command and control. I swapped out Celerity for Resilience because I figured a bloodline who pride themselves as divine should be able to take a few hits.

    Going forward, I am going to try and post a bloodline once every 1-2 weeks again, work permitting. After this will be the Carnon, who I am very excited to work on because they are one of my favorite bloodlines from 1e, if not my absolute favorite. As always, leave your thoughts and comments. Enjoy!


    Bloodline Conversion- Asnâm
    Insolent fledgling! I am not a mere Kindred! I am a Sanam! I am a scion of Palden Lhamo. You will show me the proper respect, or I will peel the flesh from you bones and wear your skull around my neck!

    When humans meet people who claim they are gods, they treat them with caution: mad though they might be, they can be dangerous in their insanity. For Kindred, the situation can be even more dire, because there is likely to be a shred of credibility to the claim, and vampires are more capable of backing up their statements with Disciplines and blood sorcery. And the arrogant and powerful Asnâm have powers that can make other Kindred wonder if they're actually telling the truth about being gods.

    Background: The Asnâm were founded by an Arab Daeva named Atiqua Azad. Notorious for his depravity and lack of empathy others even in life, Azad became a wealthy slaver, sailing ships across the Atlantic between Africa and the slave markets of the Americas. For any Kindred, the prospect of sailing in the pre-Industrial Era was frought with peril; that Azad continuously sailed for 300 years is a legendary feat no other vampire can claim. Azad only retired from slaving in the early 1800s, when he narrowly survived a hurricane that came upon his ship, and swore to never take to the sea again when he returned to his palace. Centuries of payment that had only been increased by liberal use of Majesty insured that Azad would want for nothing; but soon enough, Azad found retirement boring.

    Azad decided to join a covenant to amuse himself. He chose the Circle of the Crone, since the idea of heathenry appealed to his sense of humor- Azad had never believed the tenets of Islam, though he had never expressed this in public. The local Acolytes believed that Kindred were not the same individuals after the Embrace as they had been before: rather, they were demons who inhabited the body and gained the memories of the former soul, which departed for the next world and was replaced by agents of a divine hierarchy. The philosophy made sense to Azad, and after a while, he decided to travel east to learn more about the gods of India and the Himalayas.

    Azad arrived in Tibet in 1822, where he learned of Palden Lhamo, an old Tibeten goddess who protected Lhasa and, upon Tibet's conversion to Buddhism, the protector of the Dalai Lama. Palden Lhamo was convinced to accept Buddism by the Lotus Born, a Buddhist missionary who had been exiled for murder and come to enlightenment after seeing burning corpses in a charnel field. Azad heard these stories, saw images of a fearsome blue goddess wearing bones and skulls, and concluded that Palden Lhamo was a relative. He traveled to a temple set in the mountains, curious how Palden Lhamo had been convinced to convert to Buddhism, which he despised even more than Islam. What happened in the temple is not entirely clear.

    When Azad returned to Africa, he said that he had debated the monks and nuns about Buddhist philosophy, but eventually tired of their “cowardly prattling” and began to slaughter them to amuse himself. He then claims that Palden Lhamo possessed one of the nuns and began to fight Azad. They fought to a standstill, upon which the Serpent and the goddess discussed philosophy, and then fought again until Azad killed and consumed Palden Lhamo, upon which he was transformed into the first Sanam. He remained in North Africa for decades, propagating his bloodline and surrounding himself with images of Palden Lhamo until he disappeared in 1904- some say he was destroyed, others say he is torpid, others claim he has become something... more than a mere Kindred.

    After Azad disappeared, Asnâm who adopted Palden Lhamo as their image of the Crone said that Azad had not consumed the goddess, but instead convinced her to abandon Buddhism and been turned into the first Sanam as a reward for his service. Over the years, several Asnâm traveled to Tibet to pay homage to Palden Lhamo, but only two ever returned- with reports of a being who worshiped Palden Lhamo as the protector of the Dalai Lhama, and raged against Azad and the Asnâm as a perversion and abomination against the goddess.

    The Becoming: Most Asnâm are of Middle-Eastern ancestry, particularly Arab ancestry, though this has expanded to include members of other ethnicities, especially North Africans and Indians. Most Asnâm were mortal members of a cult that their sire had created, often after years of living as a prized ghoul. Azad's own childer were merchants and explorers, but modern Asnâm favor childer who exhibit physical attractiveness, discretion, and cunning- and, generally, signs of anti-social personality disorder. Mental Attributes are often Primary, and most Asnâm bear the Striking Looks Merit. Additionally, their history as faithful members of their sires' cults- and usually masters of their own cults- means that they will usually have dots in Mystery Cult Initiation, Herd, Retainer, Allies, and Mentor.

    In the Danse Macabre: Asnâm often sit at the center of cults, all while continuing to faithfully serve their sires. This means that members of the bloodline are always fiercely devoted to each other. Azad's history and their own fascination with Palden Lhamo means that most Asnâm are members of the Circle of the Crone. There, they often act as handlers for the local Acolytes' mortal followers, if not hierarchs and high-ranking members of the covenant. A handful have turned to the Invictus or Carthian Movement, where their talents for manipulating and controling mortals can be turned to more secular purposes. The Sanctified consider the Asnâm's very name to be sacrilege, and the Asnâm consider the hatred mutual; the Asnâm are too proud to ever become slaves of the Ordo Dracul.

    Clan: Daeva

    Nickname: Idols (the nickname is a translation of the Asnâm's Arabic name; a single Idol is referred to as a Sanam.

    Bloodline Weakness: Asnâm are ludicrously proud vampires, to the point that many are convinced that it is impossible for them to fail at a task. Any time a Sanam's dice pool has a number of dice equal to or greater than the number of successes that he needs to achieve an Exceptional Success on a roll and gets a Failure, he must immediately roll to resist Frenzy as his anger at the temerity of a mere mortal or inanimate object to comply with his divine will. If a Sanam rolls to resist Frenzy due to his bloodline weakness, he does not receive a Beat.

    Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Majesty, Obfuscate, Protean

    Bloodline Gift: Ralab
    “Ralab” is an Arabic verb meaning “to vanquish,” commonly thought to refer to the distinctions between a Sanam and a cultist. The devotions of Ralab is capable of abilities that most Kindred consider to be impossible, even for members of the Ordo Dracul. Asnâm gain a reprieve from the vagaries of vampiric existence, and mortals gain a taste of divinity. When outsiders witness Ralab, many think that it is a Crúac ritual that is unique to the Asnâm. Some Dragons wonder if Ralab is actually a series of Scales of a lost Coil; however, this raises even more questions about the origin of the Coils, and even casts doubt on whether or not Dracula created the Coils himself.

    Prerequisites: Asnâm

    Veneer of the God's Beauty (Majesty @@, Obfuscate @)
    All Asnâm learn this ability early in their Requiems. It is the bedrock upon which all Asnâm build their cults. It allows a Sanam to virtually swap identities with the subject, and move about undetected, while the subject may enjoy the benefits- and downsides- of bearing the vampiric aura of his master.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Instant

    The Sanam invokes this devotion after feeding the subject a single Vitae. This carries all the normal risks of Vitae addiction, and can result in the creation of a ghoul. After this, the subject can substitute the Sanam's Presence for her own if the Sanam's Presence is higher than her own, and the Sanam and subject behave as if they have each other's Blood Potency. If the subject is a mortal or ghoul, the Sanam does not manifest a Predatory Aura, while the subject does, though Auspex can reveal the truth. The effects of this devotion last until the Sanam next rises from daysleep or falls into torpor.

    If the Sanam possesses Vigor 1, he can choose to grant the subject the benefits of Striking Looks 1, or Striking Looks 2 if the subject already possesses Striking Looks 1. If the subject does possess Striking Looks 2, she goes no further benefits.

    This devotion costs one Experience to learn.

    The God's Loving Embrace (Majesty @@, Protean @)
    With this power, a Sanam can literally blur the lines between himself and his subject. A Sanam uses this Devotion to surpass the abilities of even the Gangrel and merge with the very body of his subject.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Instant

    A Sanam who uses this devotion can sleep inside his subject, and gains all of the advantages of sleeping normally. He can choose to awaken and emerge from his subject at sunset, or can roll Humanity to try and emerge if the subject takes damage. If the subject does take damage, the Sanam does as well, though the Sanam takes bashing damage when the subject takes bashing or lethal damage, and only takes aggravated damage when the subject takes aggravated damage. The Sanam automatically emerges from his subject's body if the subject dies. The subject suffers a -2 to all rolls due to the euphoria of physical union with the Sanam, but cannot draw Vitae from the Sanam. The Sanam's Predatory Aura is masked while this devotion is active, and Auspex will show the Sanam and subject in the exact same spot if a vampire attempts to use it on both of them at the same time, though the uses does not realize what is happening unless he is already aware of this devotion's existence.

    This devotion costs 2 Experiences to learn.

    Chalice of the God (Majesty @@@, Vigor @@@)
    Chalice of the God allows a Sanam to spread the influence of his cult from a single city to an entire region or country. The Sanam gains the ability to take blood or Vitae from- or bestow it upon- a mortal or vampire from across vast distances.

    Cost: 1 Willpower
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Dominate – subject's Blood Potency
    Action: Instant

    Upon activating this devotion, the Sanam draws or transmits a point of Vitae per success rolled, with one point of Vitae passing between the Sanam an the target per round. This devotion does not apply the Scarred or Swooning Condition, and subjects may not even realize something is happening until they suddenly pass out or are driven to Frenzy from hunger. Blood and Vitae that pass between a Sanam and target through the use of this devotion carries the normal risks of consuming blood or Vitae for both the Sanam and the target. If the subject is over a hundred miles away from the Sanam, the Sanam suffers an additional -1 to the dice pool, which increases by one for every additional hundred miles to a maximum of -5. This devotion can only be used on a subject who has already consumed at least one dot of Vitae from the Sanam.

    This devotion costs 3 Experiences to learn.

    Of One Mind (Majesty @@@@, Auspex @@@@)
    After Asnâm learn send and take blood and Vitae across miles, they learn to bolster the mental fortitude of themselves and their followers. Some use it as a blessing to aid their subjects in their endeavours, but many others use it to strengthen themselves instead, leaving their subjects empty shells devoid of will and individuality. This devotion can only be used on a subject who has already consumed at least one dot of Vitae from the Sanam.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: Wits + Occult + Dominate – target's Blood Potency
    Action: Instant

    Upon achieving a success or exceptional success, the Sanam choses to give a point of his own Willpower to the target or take a point of Willpower from the target. The dice pool suffers a -1 penalty if the target is more than 10 miles away, and the penalty increases by 1 for every additional 10 miles to a maximum of -5.

    This devotion costs 4 Experiences to learn.

    Avatar (Auspex @@@@@, Majesty @@@@@, Protean @@@@@)
    This pinnacle of Ralab is a well-guarded secret among the Asnâm. Even Acolytes would recoil in disgust if they learned of its existence, and members of the other covenants- especially the Lancea et Sanctum- might be inclined to try to wipe out the entire bloodline. The reason is two-fold: first, this devotion allows a Sanam immortality by moving his soul into another body- a Sanam might lead a dozen Requiems as a dozen people. Second, the transfer of the soul requires that the Sanam mark an infant as a future vessel of his soul; a proposition that might give even the most jaded elder pause.

    Cost: 5 Vitae and one Willpower dot
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Dominate vs. Resolve + Composure; Intelligence + Occult + Auspex vs. Resolve + Composure
    Action: Contested

    To use this devotion, the Sanam must first select a child who is less than one year old. The first roll occurs when the Sanam spends one dot of Willpower and then sheds his Vitae, one of which he must feed to the prospective Avatar. If the roll is successful, the Avatar becomes immune to full Vinculum and vampires cannot draw sustenance from her blood, and the Sanam is always aware if she suffers lethal or aggravated damage, but suffers one point of bashing damage per hour spent in bright sunlight after the first hour.

    If the Sanam dies, he can make the second roll as a reflexive action. If he succeeds, he transfers his soul to the Avatar's body, effectively killing the Avatar. The new being uses the Sanam's Mental Attributes and his Composure and Manipulation, but the Avatar's Physical Attributes and Presence. All Skills are reduced by two dots, but each lost dot costs only one Experience to relearn. The Sanam loses access to merits whose qualifications he no longer satisfies, but can respend them as per the sanctity of merits. The Avatar's body is essentially Embraced, replacing the Avatar's Integrity with the Sanam's Humanity, and Vitae equal to the Avatar's maximum Health.

    This devotion costs 5 Experiences to learn.
    Last edited by Haberdasher; 05-26-2017, 06:20 PM.


    Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

  • #2
    Nice work as always. The Bloodline Curse is a bit wonky, though. So basically it triggers mostly at 5+ dice, with rare cases bringing it down to 3+? I don't recall if there's any case of the exceptional success threshold being other than 5 or 3, other than some powers from Mummy. I'd personally link it to Humanity, but then again I'm too fond of usig that trait in Kindred banes


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      Thank you. I wanted to try and honor the original bloodline bane of the Asnâm being megalomaniacs, but in a more concrete manner. So I thought that them having a bane that was influenced by how good they are at something. Plus it's a bit of a meta-joke: how many times do we look at a dice roll and go, "All these dice, and not a single success?!"


      Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Haberdasher View Post
        Plus it's a bit of a meta-joke: how many times do we look at a dice roll and go, "All these dice, and not a single success?!"
        Hah, good call.


        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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        • #5
          Does the bloodline bane kick in when they fail or only if they fail to get an exceptional success?
          If it's if they fail, I don't see this bane kicking in ever, unless they actually put themselves at cross purposes in a contest against someone who is significantly more skilled than they are.
          If it's failing to get an exceptional success, under those conditions, they still aren't likely to frenzy unless you're tacking on penalties to the frenzy roll for the recent failure.
          I could only see this being potentially being problematic if they lose predatory aura contests.

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          • #6
            I don't know about that. Failing a dice pool of 5 dice happens around 17% of the time. Sure, the higher dice pool you've got the less risk it is for failure, but if you're in a group that rolls often you'll rack up quite a few frenzy checks over the sessions. I've even seen a few 20+ dice pools fail. And since you gain a penalty to the next frenzy check everytime you do resist frenzy, you're likely go frenzy from this bane sooner or later unless you're regularly resolving Tempted by other means.


            Bloodline: The Stygians
            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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            • #7
              One thing to consider - anytime you do a Frenzy check you gain a beat. This essentially means any time the Asnam fails a roll with (5) dice, they get a beat. That might be okay, but I'm torn on Bloodline banes being inherent vehicles for beats. If I were going to tweak it, I'd probably play with the tempted condition that Tessie mentions.

              Any time the Asnam makes an active skill roll and fails, they get a level of Tempted.

              This would do a couple of things:
              • Skip resistance rolls altogether, so only rolls where the Asnam is taking action count. If you want to further limit it, you could ignore contested rolls against other supernaturals.
              • Ignoring the (5) dice limit puts it all in the players hands. If they are unskilled or have a small pool, in theory it should encourage them to spend willpower or not even do the check as it isn't worth their time - then again, I'd worry about combat and resistance subtraction to pools, so I see how the (5) dice floor makes sense.
              • The Tempted condition makes it a time-bomb that will express down the road and doesn't supply a beat in itself. Instead, they are more likely to succumb to frenzy or dramatic fail the eventual roll.
              • Removing the frenzy check from immediate play is a lot less disruptive. I've had scenes where people with good pools failed multiple rolls in a row when they shouldn't have. Checking for frenzy at each of those points could really slow down the flow of a scene. Just up-ticking Tempted puts the Sword of Damocles up, but doesn't slow things down until a 'natural' frenzy check is triggered by the scene.

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              • #8
                The simplest solution (which, despite a certain idiom, is not always the best) is just not awarding a Beat for Frenzy checks due to the Bloodline Bane.
                Another simple bane on the same theme would be to just have a penalty to all Resolve and/or Composure rolls (including rolls to resist Frenzy and Riding the Wave) in the same scene that the vampire failed a roll.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                • #9
                  I'll be honest, I prefer Ralab as it's own discipline instead of a series of devotions, I don't don't like having to buy from so many different disciplines and then buy devotions on top of that, but an interesting take on the Asnam anyways.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for all the feedback, guys. After reading your comments, I've decided that, as written, the bloodline bane is just a little too much of a beat factory. So I'm going to add a detail to the bloodline bane that Asnâm don't get a beat if they roll for Frenzy because of their bloodline bane. I think I'll keep the threshold for making the Frenzy roll "fail a roll that accumulates enough dice to get an exceptional success." This means that younger Asnâm might be a bit more likely to suffer the effects of the bane: their dice pools are naturally going to be smaller, and thus more likely to fail even if they hit the threshold for an exceptional success.


                    Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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                    • #11
                      Thank you Haberdasher!

                      Several comments other than what previous posters have added (I like the Tempted solution, myself, though I'd use Ansam as antagonists so it wouldn't matter):

                      1. Chalice of the God and Of One Mind should explicitly require that the target have imbibed a vitae point in the past. Otherwise it'll get wonky.
                      2. Suggest swapping Resilience for Obfuscate, Protean and Auspex--the bloodline's key powers should not require out-of-bloodline disciplines.
                      3. You might note someplace that Ralab's devotions in many ways resemble to outsiders Cruac rituals, but are not. In particular Avatar takes painstaking preparation to complete.

                      Ralab itself is a cobbled-together bit of work, so representing it is exactly what devotions are for, IMO.

                      --Khanwulf

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                        Thank you Haberdasher!

                        Several comments other than what previous posters have added (I like the Tempted solution, myself, though I'd use Ansam as antagonists so it wouldn't matter):

                        1. Chalice of the God and Of One Mind should explicitly require that the target have imbibed a vitae point in the past. Otherwise it'll get wonky.
                        2. Suggest swapping Resilience for Obfuscate, Protean and Auspex--the bloodline's key powers should not require out-of-bloodline disciplines.
                        3. You might note someplace that Ralab's devotions in many ways resemble to outsiders Cruac rituals, but are not. In particular Avatar takes painstaking preparation to complete.

                        Ralab itself is a cobbled-together bit of work, so representing it is exactly what devotions are for, IMO.

                        --Khanwulf
                        The problem with Ralab is that so many of the devotions feel like they come from another Discipline: The God's Loving Embrace is some freaky form of Protean 1, the body-hopping of Avatar is reminiscent of Auspex 5... it's a bit of a mess of a discipline. I guess I could give them Auspex, Dominate, Majesty, and Protean, and maybe drop Vigor as a required component of some of the devotions, but I'm skittish about giving these guys four Clan disciplines. I guess how I could balance that out is that Celerity and Vigor could no longer be purchased at an in-Clan price.


                        Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Haberdasher View Post
                          The problem with Ralab is that so many of the devotions feel like they come from another Discipline: The God's Loving Embrace is some freaky form of Protean 1, the body-hopping of Avatar is reminiscent of Auspex 5... it's a bit of a mess of a discipline. I guess I could give them Auspex, Dominate, Majesty, and Protean, and maybe drop Vigor as a required component of some of the devotions, but I'm skittish about giving these guys four Clan disciplines. I guess how I could balance that out is that Celerity and Vigor could no longer be purchased at an in-Clan price.
                          If you give them Auspex, Dominate, Majesty and Protean they automatically won't be able to purchase Celerity or Vigor as in-clan disciplines. The list of bloodline Disciplines replaces the list of in-clan Disciplines.
                          However, most bloodlines retain at least two of their previous in-clan Disciplines, and I know of only one bloodline that has more than two clan-specific Disciplines; the Sta-Au who lacks the regular clan restriction.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                            If you give them Auspex, Dominate, Majesty and Protean they automatically won't be able to purchase Celerity or Vigor as in-clan disciplines. The list of bloodline Disciplines replaces the list of in-clan Disciplines.
                            However, most bloodlines retain at least two of their previous in-clan Disciplines, and I know of only one bloodline that has more than two clan-specific Disciplines; the Sta-Au who lacks the regular clan restriction.
                            I suppose breaking the usual restriction makes since for the Asnâm, since they are supposed to have been created by a god.


                            Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Haberdasher View Post
                              I suppose breaking the usual restriction makes since for the Asnâm, since they are supposed to have been created by a god.
                              Since there aren't any official rules there's really no hard restrictions to break. I just brought it up since breaking from the norm without a good reason might make a bloodline become less appealing. That said there are plenty of official bloodlines that do break the norm. The reason it works for them is because it makes sense for them.


                              Bloodline: The Stygians
                              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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