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[Bloodline conversion, homebrew] The Elois and Temporis

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  • [Bloodline conversion, homebrew] The Elois and Temporis

    Gentle reader: I'll throw some general notes up first to frame this posting. Your feedback, advice and corrections are very welcome.

    There are about a dozen conversions out there for the True Brujah and their time-muckery powers, along with scores of threads despising them for being wankers of the first order in Masquerade. These are all well-earned, as Masquerade's Temporis was and is broken, and the "Trujah" ridiculous and unfulfilling.

    My efforts are to fix all that, by connecting them more to the horror and weird of the setting foundation, and by recasting Temporis as primarily an information and enabler Discipline. It is still versatile and if used subtly, very powerful. I'd love to hear your thoughts to ensure it is not too powerful--not more than existing, canon Disciplines used with reasonable cleverness.

    The core to this version is that the Elois tap the time-space superfluid dimension. They have found the gate, and hold the key. As a consequence they have, are and will constantly offend things that more naturally co-exist with that dimension. Oh, and the Lodge of Tindalos (werewolves) would like to have a word with them. That word is "goodbye!"

    Summary of subsequent post--with short, short descriptions:
    • Background
    • The Elois
    • Temporis
      • Chrono-ginṓskō (time-sensing, surprise suppression)
      • Kairos (sensing timing rerolls dice)
      • Chronomanteia (temporal divination and distance-viewing)
      • Alcestis’ Touch (scrambling senses to provide penalties)
      • Moiragetes (summoning phantom time-duplicates)
    • Devotions
      • Dynaton (burn Vitae for dice to any action)
      • Prepon (passive, right place at the right time)
      • Ananke’s Egg (Common Sense Merit as a Devotion)
      • Lure of the Horae (skip time)
      • Embrace of Dike (mess with torpor)
      • Clotho’s Fist (punch time!)
      • Kiss of Lachesis (jack with the past to impact the present)
    • The House of Aurelius
    [Special props: Spencer from The Hills. Also Note: I've zero command of Greek, so feel free to correct within the classical meanings.]

    --Khanwulf
    Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-12-2017, 11:12 AM.

  • #2
    The Elois and Temporis

    Background
    Marcus Aurelius was a Roman patrician and inventor of the corvus device for boarding ships during the 1st Punic War. He was also commander of the left wing of the Roman army at Tunis under Consul Marcus Atilius Regulus, when the mercenary Spartan general Xanthippus destroyed them during the Battle of Tunis in 255 BC. Regulus had bested the Carthaginians before and driven them to the negotiating table, but his demands were so extreme Carthage determined to fight on and risk utter destruction or subjugation rather than pay.

    The Carthaginians started the battle with an attack by elephants, which tied up the main force of Roman infantry. The Roman cavalry, outnumbered eight to one, was quickly defeated. Only on their left did the Romans have any success, when 2,000 troops led by Marcus Aurelius, defeated the mercenaries facing them and chased them back past their camp. Meanwhile, in the center the elephant attack had been withstood, but only a few isolated units of Roman infantry managed to get past them to attempt to attack the Carthaginian phalanx, and those were quickly defeated. Finally, the Carthaginian cavalry charged the already shaken Romans from both sides, destroying what cohesion was left. Only the 2,000 troops successful earlier in the battle escaped, and that solely due to the Carthaginian’s willingness to let them go: Marcus Aurelius had submitted to a midnight offer of his personal surrender, in order that his sons and troops might escape to be rescued by the Roman fleet.

    Carthage lay in the grip of the Carthaginian Covenant—a distant predecessor to the Carthian Movement, and one which itself evolved first among the kindred of Phoenician cities in response to the oppressive order of Hittite city-states during Phoenicia’s height. Following Phoenicia’s founding of Carthage in 814 BC came Tanitbaal-Sahar and his philosophy of the rejection of authority and external restraint. In time the core of Phoenicia fell to the Persians and Greeks, and the Daeva Ilyes arrived in Carthage in 351 BC. Together with other undead gods (including a few Ventrue exiled from Rome) they formed the so-called “Second City”: an attempt at outright rule by the Cults of Night, using blood sacrifice and their formidable powers of Majesty and Dominate. This placed Carthage at irreconcilable differences to Rome’s Blood Laws, enforced by the Julii. Their conflict was a shadowed and quiet one of trade, influence, and assassination until mortal politics provided the spark for all-out war: the First Punic War.

    Both Regulus and Aurelius were taken before the real rulers of Carthage, the unliving gods of the city. Aurelius impressed Ilyes with his composure and forthright insight, and was inducted into their august ranks—with his rash former Consul offered as first blood. Marcus Aurelius provided a valuable philosophical counterpoint to the excesses of Carthage’s court, sagely advocating personal moderation for the management of both the kindred (lest they be lost to the Beast, or grow unsustainably in numbers) and kine (whose well-being should be carefully monitored and tended for best production). Troile, a centuries-older childe of Ilyes, fiercely rebelled against any restraint on her indulgences, whether that be physical, authoritative, philosophical or natural; and her ability to harness violence in person or debate to make (or twist) a point was legendary.

    Marcus went on to become the progenitor of the Elois bloodline, while Troile’s descendants became the Zealots. After the destruction of Carthage he was the founder of the House of Aurelius in Britain. He made the Isle of Thanet and its Carthaginian trading colony his home and was there to welcome the arrival of Rome’s legions under Julius Caesar in 55 BC. Troile’s childer—later known as “Brujah” or “witches” among the Iberian peoples of the Middle Ages, escaped to the Carthaginian colony of Cadiz. Their progenitor, however, did not and is rumored to be buried under Carthage’s blood-salted soil, entombed forever with her lover, Moloch, after committing amaranth on Ilyes in the last, fiery holocaust of Carthage.

    The Becoming
    In life, Elois were usually thinkers, planners and individuals who showed understanding of deeper movements in society and culture at the time, coupled with personal discipline and self-control. This does not mean that the Elois were drawn from nobility, but instead that they showed their qualities in subtle ways—often very subtle, presenting a puzzle for their sires to unravel. The Elois prize personal loyalty and the ability to move past petty personal concerns to accomplish intricate, long-term objectives. Conversely they are frequently irritated by indecision, challenges to their competency, and disorder. Elois dress in a fashion that suits them, and while some indulge in fancies that are either wildly anachronistic or far ahead of the trends, others attempt to blend in and avoid attracting attention.

    Prospective embraces are often groomed extensively—even if they do not realize it, and by the time their sires are ready they are very well-known items, indeed. Mental Attributes are usually primary, and skills like Craft, Investigation, Manipulation and Academics are prioritized. Social Merits are encouraged, in part because they provide an excellent framework in which to work their signature discipline of Temporis, and nearly all Elois cultivate their Humanity—in part because for them it takes work.

    In the Danse Macabre
    The Sages are not numerous and it is rare to find more than one in a domain; if so, they are clustered around an elder who has orchestrated a “house” in imitation of their august and ancient progenitor. They are most comfortable in environments that permit them to dispassionately regard the proceedings and inject their input decisively, gravitating therefore to the First and Second Estates of the Invictus and Lancea, where they serve as valued advisors and frequently, hidden manipulators. That said, they fit extremely well among the scholarly alchemists of the Ordo Dracul, and earlier generations found their talents welcomed in the Gallows Post. On the other hand, the constant change and social buffeting of the Carthians tends to rub the Elois raw, and frequently Carthian domains feel the same about the Sages. Likewise, Elois find little traction among the fanatics and ecstatics of the Circle.

    Elois neonates are rigorously schooled and rarely released until they show the discipline and stoic premeditation that the line is known for. This is not an affectation: their bloodline Discipline of Temporis can be dangerous if misused and easily temp the unwary into degradation. Further, Temporis is not well understood by other Kindred, and the Elois strive to keep it that way, as if their true capabilities were common knowledge they’d be subject to more suspicion than the Mekhet or Nosferatu!
    Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-12-2017, 11:02 AM.

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    • #3
      Bloodline: Elois

      Parent Clan: Daeva

      Nicknames: Sages, “True Brujah” (after Middle Ages), Sticks (derogatory)

      Disciplines: Celerity, Majesty, Vigor, Temporis

      Bloodline Bane (The Stoic Curse): The Elois maintain their parent clan banes. Where the Zealots run hot, the Elois run calculatingly cold: when interacting with mortals, treat the Sage's Humanity as one dot lower than usual for determining Social penalties, and treat any failures on rolls using Empathy as dramatic failures. This bane applies to all mortals, including Touchstones and Ghouls.

      Bloodline Discipline: Temporis
      The Elois’ signature discipline, Temporis, aligns their beast with the ebb and flow of time to such an extent that it enables her to both extend perceptions and, with devoted practice, even expand the reach of other disciplines in terrifying ways. All this comes at a price, however: the fluid humors of time are not empty and if the Elois listens she can hear the baying of hounds that never were; if she lingers, they may find her.

      The Never Between
      Exactly what Temporis taps into is a matter for conjecture among the Sages, however they agree that the power projects its user’s senses into a place—often referred to as The Never Between—where time is meaningless, no living things appear, and all becomes a muted gray. Within that realm even the terrain is only as permanent as the focus of its visitors, and if unattended it will shift and change into something else: a tree shifts from a bare oak to a towering, desiccated conifer; a mud hut changes to a steel-beamed building and then to a house of concrete and curves never conceived in known architecture—anything is possible from the dizzying expanse of time and space. Only the incessant mewling whine of the vampire’s Beast breaks the silence, calls her back and prevents her from becoming truly lost in the Never Between. It’s a distraction, but not as distracting as the constant whispers that scratch just outside of hearing, vision—whispers that speak unwelcomely of the visitor’s secrets, of things that are and are not. Elois teachers warn firmly not to listen—ever—to these voices, as they are only lies and bring ruin.

      But if an Elois could only unshackle themselves from the world fully, and completely enter Between, they muse, then one could travel anywhere—anywhen, freely; and by tearing back into the world make of it what they will. Perhaps not sadly, this goal appears out of reach: even the most potent Temporis wielder remains anchored to the present of their power’s activation and that shackle drags her along through Between in a most discomfiting way.

      At least, it discomfits someone. The Elois get used to it, but something else seems offended by their presence. Something that lives or swims Between. Something that whispers vile temptations. That has teeth and a taste for the vampire’s Beast and blood. The Elois muse on what that might be, and warn their young that Temporis is a sword grasped by the blade, apt to slip and cut its wielder. Indeed, there have been a few who have simply vanished under its influences, drawn away to never return, or, perhaps, been seized. By hounds.

      Whispers Between: For each active use of a Temporis power, the vampire must succeed in a breaking-point roll or suffer 1 level of lethal damage, appearing as kinds of strange, ashen bite-marks on their flesh. She does not suffer any other effects from failing this breaking-point roll unless specified in the power description. On a Dramatic Failure, take the Never Never’s Call Condition instead and treat the roll as if it succeeded. On a Critical Success, remove one instance of the Never Never’s Call Condition and automatically succeed in any further Whispers Between checks for the remainder of the night.

      Never Never’s Call [Condition]
      You’ve heard the sweet, terrible whispers of the Never Between, and they linger with you, calling to you sickly as you toil at the nightly round.
      Add one die to all Temporis activation rolls, subtract one die from Frenzy and Whispers Between checks. You may have more than one instance of this Condition; all effects stack.

      When you sleep or enter Torpor, roll 1 die per instance of Never Never’s Call, applying 10-Again if your Humanity or Integrity is 7 or below, apply 9-Again if it is 5 or below, and apply 8-Again if it is 3 or below. For each success gained, you suffer 1 Lethal damage, appearing as strange, ashen bite marks. For each point of Lethal damage so suffered, remove one instance of Never Never’s Call.

      Possible Sources: Failing a Whispers Between check dramatically
      Resolution: Regain or lose a dot of Humanity (or Integrity), critically succeed in a Breaking Point roll (including a Whispers Between check), suffer Lethal damage from Never Never’s Call
      Beat: Fail a Frenzy check due to Never Never’s Call (all instances combined)
      Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-24-2017, 09:36 AM. Reason: Swapped Dominate for Celerity

      Comment


      • #4
        Temporis
        ·
        Chrono-ginṓskō
        The core of Temporis is the sensing of time’s flow, and the eddies and threads that objects and creatures create within the Never Between while moving through it. Chrono-ginṓskō provides both passive effects and, for the expenditure of 1 Vitae, an active benefit.

        As a passive benefit, add dots in Temporis to Wits + Composure rolls resisting surprise; a master of Temporis is nearly impossible to surprise and rarely denied Defense or Actions. Further the Elois always knows what time it is: add Temporis dots as dice to rolls for estimating time of day or calculating astrological positions.

        Knowing time also leads to recognizing its disturbance. With the expenditure of 1 Vitae and a check for Whispers Between, for the remainder of the scene the Elois may detect objects, individuals or actions that have been affected by time magic or that modify the normal flow of time. Add Temporis dots to a Wits + Composure roll to notice an object, person or supernatural power that affects time or is displaced in time.

        The Sages liken this power to seeing the world with one eye under water at all times—it distorts perception and does much to explain the cool, distracted stoicism of the bloodline. If they spend too long focused on the Never Between, however, they can start to hear the baying of hounds….


        ·· Kairos
        If a novice of Temporis is one who senses the flows of time, a journeyman responds to it with precision and forceful action. Kairos seeks through Temporis to capture within opportune moments that which is appropriate and attempts to suggest that which is possible.

        Expend 1 Vitae and check Whispers Between. For the Sage’s next action, roll its dice-pool per normal: the Sage may re-roll up to Temporis dots in dice, which do not benefit from the X-Again qualities. If her Whispers Between check was successful she may choose which dice to reroll, but if it failed the dice must include successes first.

        Kairos may not be employed for the same action as the Devotions Dynaton or Prepon, nor may it be used on Temporis activation rolls.


        ··· Chronomanteia
        A Temporis journeyman is skilled at direct, deeper divination: sifting through threads in the Never Between to observe the past and obtain the best depiction of the future. The Sage requires little preparation, only an object or place at a particular point in time, or even a potential course of action being weighed to act as the focus for her meditations—elements that need not even be present, but must be known to her directly at some point. She expends Vitae and checks Whispers Between, then rolls her power activation. Use of this Discipline power may pierce Obfuscate (see: Clash of Wills), and use on individuals who command time magic is noticeably more difficult.

        Cost: 1 Vitae, Whispers Between check
        Dice Pool: Resolve + Investigation + Temporis vs. target’s Resolve + Blood Potency + Temporis
        Action: Instant

        Roll Results:
        Dramatic Failure: Dizzied, harried and harassed by disturbing whispers and ever-circling hounds, the Sage is unable to trace the thread of the question, object, person or place to the desired time. She escapes having taken 1 additional Lethal damage and suffers the Shaken Condition focused on the Never Between.

        Failure: The Sage is distracted, and the thread of the question, object, person or place is too tangled to unravel; she wisely abandons the search as the baying of hounds draws near.

        Success: The Sage is able to follow the thread of the question, object, person or place through time to what they seek. It reveals an appropriate scene in which she may observe and listen as if an invisible phantom, from within Blood Potency feet of the focus object, person or place, and for a number of rounds equal to her dots in Temporis.

        If a future-oriented question is followed, the thread reveals a sense of yes or no, and generally whether the future that is investigated is positive or negative from the Sage’s perspective. The future is always in motion, and the senses received are highly variable and subject to distortion; however the Sage receives a 1-die bonus to a roll that may further her visions, lasting one night per dot of Blood Potency.

        Dramatic Success: The thread is clear and quickly followed. As with success, however the Sage may roam within Blood Potency yards of the focus, and for a number of rounds equal to her dots in Temporis+3. Take the Steadfast Condition.

        For a future-oriented question the Sage receives a 2-die bonus to a roll that may further her visions, lasting one night per dot of Blood Potency, and may choose to take the Tasked Condition related to bringing her vision to fruition.


        ···· Alcestis’ Touch
        The Temporis adept understands not only how to divine the future or past, but how to lure it onto another. She can tangle her target in its many threads backwards and forwards in the Never Between, hampering perceptions and discomfiting the timing of its body. To the recipient of this power the world seems out of joint: things happen out of order, faster, or slower than expected; perceptions are mixed and come at the wrong moments, and their responses happen too slowly or far too fast—the effect is embarrassing, disconcerting and chaotic at best, and maddeningly terrifying at worst. Outside observers may rationalize the individual as insane or impaired unless they have supernatural senses capable of picking up the time-tangling influences at work.

        Cost: 2 Vitae, Whispers Between check
        Dice Pool: Wits + Crafts + Temporis vs. target’s Resolve + Blood Potency + Temporis
        Action: Instant
        Duration: Scene

        Roll Results:
        Dramatic Failure: Not only does the Sage fail to affect her target, she becomes tangled in the immaterial threads she attempted to weave and is both delayed in the Never Between and afflicted by her own temporal confusion. Take 1 Lethal damage and a penalty to all rolls equal to her own Blood Potency for the remainder of the Scene.

        Failure: The target is stubbornly unaffected by attempts to tangle it in time’s threads.

        Success: The target is entangled in threads of time—the when and where of its actions and things that act on it, all at odds with the normal flow. The target’s Defense is not refreshed each round, and instead becomes a fixed pool expended by subtracting attack dice (down to a Chance Die), replenished fully only by taking a Full Dodge action. Further, any action he takes incurs a penalty equal to the Sage’s Blood Potency.

        Dramatic Success: As per Success, above, however the target’s penalty to actions is the higher of the Sage’s Temporis or Blood Potency. The target is further afflicted with the Distracted Condition, which at the end of the scene is replaced by the Confused Condition.

        ····· Moiragetes
        As a Master and Controller of the Fates, the Elois reaches back through the Never Between to find the right threads and knots them together in her present. This creates a kind of solid phantom that, while short-lived, entirely represents the creature or individual she traced, at the time she selected. The vampire summons forth a solid image, a materialized illusion of an object or person from another time to the present. These entities were not, however, removed from their own time. They possesses and are capable of demonstrating what would be expected of them, in terms of knowledge, skills, memories, or function (in the case of objects). Note that creating a phantom of the past does not make it immediately disposed to obey the Elois, but it will know what is appropriate for when it was summoned from, and carry appropriate belongings.

        Past creatures or individuals targeted must be either known in the present or the Elois must possess a thing of them—a possession or intimate object, such as a jar of toenails. Once summoned, duplicated individuals evaporate in an unraveling tangle of smoky threads once their duration expires; the experience leaves their past-selves and any present versions entirely unaffected, as the phantom is a manifestation of the past, and not the past itself. Phantoms do not possess blood or Vitae—or other sources of supernatural energy or enchantment, unless provided after summoning.

        Cost: 3 Vitae, Whispers Between check
        Dice Pool: Resolve + Manipulation + Temporis vs. target’s Resolve + Blood Potency + Temporis
        Action: Instant
        Duration: Varies

        Roll Results:
        Dramatic Failure: The summoning succeeds in calling forth… something. While its form superficially resembles the person or creature being summoned, something malevolent twists inside, howling and immediately attacking the Elois, acting the same round it is summoned. Use the creature stats for a Wolf, however all who encounter the thing immediately receive the Shaken Condition. It fades after five rounds.

        Failure: The target is stubbornly unaffected by attempts to summon its phantom to the present.

        Success: A phantom from the past is drawn forth. It may manifest as a representation of the target from a selected time previously up to one year per success, and will last for (Blood Potency + successes) rounds before dissipating. The manifestation process is confusing to the creature, which loses its first action, but it knows to focus attention first on the Elois, who may question or exercise other Disciplines on subsequent rounds.

        Dramatic Success: As per Success, above, however the phantom lasts for the entire scene and is summoned under the influence of the Swooning Condition.

        Comment


        • #5
          Temporis Devotions

          Dynaton (Temporis 2, Vigor 1)
          A more active use of Kairos, expend 1 Vitae and check Whispers Between. Add two dice to any single action. This power may be repeated for a single action up to the limits of the Sage’s dots of Temporis, or Vitae Expenditure cap, but incurs only one check to Whispers Between per action. If an action taken under Dynaton fails, the Sage may choose to cancel her action—it never took place, and she is locked in contemplation, pursued in the Never Between and suffering 1 Lethal damage, but otherwise still able to utilize Defense that round.

          Dynaton may not be employed on the same die roll as Prepon or Kairos, nor may it be used on Temporis activation rolls. This Devotion costs two Experience to learn.


          Prepon (Temporis 2, Auspex 1)
          A passive use of Kairos, Prepon adds one die to any action, a number of times up to the Sage’s Temporis dots per night. It represents the conformation of the Elois to audience and occasion—a precise timing of effort.

          Prepon may not be employed for the same action as Dynaton or Kairos, nor may it be used on Temporis activation rolls. This Devotion costs two Experience to learn.


          Ananke’s Egg (Temporis 3, Majesty 1)
          Chronomanteia presents an involved and often confusing investigation of the future, but for some Elois, they just want to get to the core and obtain some guidance—not spend precious time pondering meanings. Ananke’s Egg draws in the threads of the future and enables the Elois to expend 1 Vitae and check Whispers Between, ask a simple, immediate question of the Storyteller and get a simple, immediate answer:
          • What is the worst choice?
          • What do I stand to lose here?
          • What’s the safest choice?
          • Am I chasing a worthless lead?

          This Devotion costs 2 Experience to learn.


          Lure of the Horae (Temporis 4, Vigor 3)
          The vampire is now capable of cheating Time to the point of appearing to travel through it, or directly affecting how tightly time grips objects. Oddly enough, when used on others this Devotion seems to only affect objects anointed with Vitae. Objects to be affected may be up to Size 1 (or a collection of Size 1) without incurring additional cost, however larger objects require additional Vitae equal to their Size, including the activation cost; the objects are coated or selectively anointed with Vitae.

          If used on herself or on an object to travel through time, the Elois incurs the 1 Vitae and 1 Willpower activation cost and checks Whispers Between, she then selects the base duration: a turn, minute, hour, day, week, month, or year, and rolls Resolve + Academics + Temporis. Each success represents one multiple of the selected duration the Elois jumps forward in time, simply vanishing and appearing in the same place, later. The Elois need not utilize the full benefit of her roll, and may disregard successes that would cause her to overshoot a desired end-point. Some especially cautious Sages utilize Lure of the Horae to avoid vulnerability during daysleep; they contend that it is much more secure than burying themselves in dirt, however the location of a temporally dislocated Elois remains apparent to other Temporis users or time-magic. Others employ their power to send objects forward in time and affect untraceable dead-drops, counting on themselves or others to retrieve the items later.

          While no travel backwards in time seems possible, the power may be used to weaken the effects of time on an object. After anointing it with between 1 and Size Vitae, paying 1 Willpower and a check to Whispers Between, the Elois may free the object from the decaying effects of time for 1 year per success on a Resolve + Academics + Temporis roll. This roll may be made into an extended action by paying an additional 1 Vitae per check, with no additional Willpower cost. Elois have been known to use their power to ensure their possessions pass the ravages of time as well as they do, or to stock away a quantity of preserved blood or vitae as fresh as the moment it left the veins.

          This Devotion costs 4 Experience to learn.


          Embrace of Dike (Temporis 4, Vigor 3, Resilience 3)
          A variation of Lure of the Horae, this power only affects vampires in Torpor or affected by the draw of Torpor, and may either stave off the pull of sleep, or to delay or speed wakening. For the cost of 1 Vitae, 1 Willpower and a check to Whispers Between, the Elois may reflexively roll Composure + Academics + Temporis, opposed by the target’s Blood Potency + (10 – Humanity); this resistance is an involuntary manifestation of the Beast, and the Elois suffers it even if her target is herself.

          For a vampire suffering under the Languid Condition, each success suppresses that condition for one night per success. For a vampire entering Torpor due to damage or staking, the power delays the onset by one round per success. For vampires already within or about to enter Torpor (under the Languid condition, voluntarily, or through damage), each success may either raise or lower their effective Humanity for calculating Torpor’s duration, or increase or decrease by one year the amount of time needed to lower Blood Potency during torpor.

          This Devotion costs 4 Experience to learn.


          Clotho’s Fist (Temporis 5, Vigor 3)
          Whereas most Temporis powers subtly manipulate perceptions, Clotho’s Fist skips all that and relies on the Sage’s raw power and adroitness to wrench the target bodily into the Never Between. Briefly.

          Expend 5 Vitae and roll Manipulation + Brawl + Temporis, resisted by the target’s Resolve + Blood Potency + Temporis. The target is sucked sideways into the Never Between, where vile whispers scratch at their heart, the ever-shifting landscape confounds them and the baying of unearthly hounds draws neigh. They are snapped back to the location of their departure 1 + successes rounds later, but are subject to a Whispers Between check, incurring the normal consequences to failing a Breaking Point roll if the check fails or critically fails. Further, the human mind is not casually conditioned to pass out of time: the target must succeed at a Resolve + Composure roll or suffer the Shaken Condition toward the Elois.

          Objects or targets larger than Size 5 are much more difficult to shift: reduce duration by (Size – 5), and if the final duration is less than 1 the power fails. Conversely, objects or targets smaller than Size 5 are easier to shift: increase duration by (5-Size).

          This Devotion costs 4 Experience to learn.


          Kiss of Lachesis (Temporis 5, Dominate or Majesty 3)
          By tracing the threads of an object or creature, the Elois is able to force her Beast back to manifest in the past and affect the present. Similar to Chronomanteia, the Elois follows the threads in the Never Between to observe the past—and then affect it with her blood powers, using Dominate or Majesty (per the version learned of this Devotion). The Sage requires little preparation, only an object associated with the target and a particular point in time, or even the individual himself (within Temporis + Blood Potency yards). She expends Vitae and Willpower and checks Whispers Between, then rolls her power activation resisted by the target; use of this Devotion power may pierce Obfuscate (see: Clash of Wills).

          Cost: 2 Vitae, 1 Willpower, Whispers Between check
          Dice Pool: Composure + Subterfuge + Temporis vs. target’s Resolve + Blood Potency + Temporis
          Action: Instant

          Roll Results:
          Dramatic Failure: Dizzied, harried and harassed by disturbing whispers and ever-circling hounds, the Sage is unable to trace the thread of the question, object, person or place to the desired time. She escapes having taken 1 additional Lethal damage and suffers the Shaken Condition focused on the Never Between.

          Failure: The Sage is distracted, and the thread of the question, object, person or place is too tangled to unravel; she wisely abandons the search as the baying of hounds draws near.

          Success: The Sage is able to follow the thread to the desired person in time. It reveals an appropriate scene in which she may observe and listen as if an invisible phantom, from within Blood Potency yards of the focus person, and for a number of rounds equal to her dots in Temporis.

          Within the Duration of Kiss of Lachesis, the Sage may interact with the target normally: both the Sage and target are entirely real to each other. If the Sage suffers damage, it is retained once the Duration ends, while the target may remember their interaction as if it was an incident forgotten in the meantime. If she chooses to use Dominate or Majesty (as selected for this Devotion) on the target it may be used without Vitae cost; any commands or effects so generated continue to manifest in the present, treating the round following activation of Kiss of Lachesis as the start of the power. Other mental Disciplines not included in this Devotion fail to affect the target. Feeding during the scene generates no Vitae.

          Dramatic Success: The thread is clear and quickly followed. As with success, however the Duration is for an entire scene, and the Sage may draw other individuals present into physical interaction by anointing them with an additional 1 Vitae each.

          There are rumors that especially dedicated and skilled Sages have also developed Kiss of Lachesis variants incorporating Animalism, Auspex and Nightmare. This Devotion costs 4 Experience to learn, and may be purchased multiple times to include additional Disciplines.

          Comment


          • #6
            [Note: this is pure homebrew from my own table, which mashes Masquerade characters and VtR, and is appended solely for someone interested in characters/backgrounds. Yes, officially (RfR) vampires didn't screw with the Roman Emperors until very late... this is not official.]

            The House of Aurelius
            Marcus began traveling back and forth to Rome after her legions visited in 43 AD, returning several times to Britain: in 71 AD bringing back the Ventrue god-kindred Mithras, and in 97 AD bearing the torporic body of his childe Verus and Verus’ living descendants. From 81 to 96 he exercised close influence over Emperor Domitian, until his final assassination and the purge of Marcus’ influence in Rome by the kindred Senex and with his many enemies. He continued circulating throughout the Roman Empire—mostly in Gaul and Italy, during the 2nd and 3rd centuries before choosing to work solely through his childer as intermediaries and withdrawing finally to Britain.

            From that land’s distant perspective he came to view Rome as an unnecessary burden and one he could do without even as he harvested the best of its culture, law and principles to build a better island of Britain and his own house with which to populate it.

            Marcus Aurelius sired multiple childer over the centuries, most of whom are not known as they left to establish their own domains outside Britain (or earlier, Carthage and its colonies). Regardless, they can be assumed to carry the Elois tendencies toward stoic coolness, as well as its signature discipline of Temporis.

            Known childer of his in Britain include:
            • Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Gothicus, E. 270 AD before he could move against the Gallic Empire and re-assert Roman control over Gaul and Britain. Embraced by Marcus Aurelius, who had groomed him from birth and guided his rise to military generalship—as well as provided him the vitae for his prodigious strength. Called “Claudius Gothicus” when Marcus is feeling feisty, or just “Claudius” most of the time. Claudius serves as Marcus’ warlord, marshal and bodyguard.
            • Marcus Aurelius Carinus Augustus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carinus – E. 285 AD. Another scion of the Marcus Aurelius breeding experiment that was successful if ironically so: Carinus became emperor for a few years, but despite being militarily capable earlier gave himself up to debauchery and the seduction of his commander’s wives. Marcus traveled with him as he fended off Eastern Emperor Diocletian, but only intervened after permitting him to be stabbed to death during the Battle of the Margus River. He offered Carinus one singular opportunity: shape up for a second shot at existence, or face Final Death. Carinus shaped up, adopted the foundations of Lancea et Sanctum to prop up his repentance, and became a radically different kindred from the man the Senate declared Damnatio Memoriae. Called “Augustus” by Marcus (and everyone else, including himself) as a reminder of what he squandered. Augustus serves as spiritual, diplomatic and financial adviser, and often represents the House of Aurelius in negotiations where a softer touch is needed and neither Claudius’ martial reputation nor Marcus’ formidable presence are prudent.
            • Verus [Aurelius] E. 96 AD. While technically the eldest of Marcus’s household childer, Verus has been in buried in a centuries-long torpor after the murder of himself and his wife; in fact he’s spent so little time awake Marcus was unable even to inform him his youngest child survived to become the scion of the Aurelius breeding family. “Verus” was originally a Romanized Jewish shepherd captured during the AD 70 revolt, then a slave and a gladiator, who along with Piscus fought and won their joint freedom during the opening day games that accompanied the bloody inauguration of the great Flavian Amphitheatre. Marcus bid fiercely with the other Roman kindred for rights to Verus, but was convinced in conversation with him to let him live as a ghoul and breed a “line of great thinkers and warriors such that the race of Man may be enriched.” Verus the ghoul fathered several children from 81 to 96 AD, but the project was nearly destroyed by the revenge of kindred jealous against Marcus’ control of Emperor Domitian. As of the 460s Verus lies within a hidden tomb in one of Marcus’ old havens, in Britain, but the idea of the genetic “House of Aurelius” he sparked lives on—albeit perhaps more haphazardly than he’d have liked.
            • Travase Aurelius (“Travis”, E. between 5th and 10th century), “Old French” or late Latin origin, a name meaning “traverse” or pass over.

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            • #7
              Would anyone care to comment on the quality and appropriateness of the powerset? It would help me greatly...

              Thanks,
              --Khanwulf

              Comment


              • #8
                I never played Masquerade so I can't comment on them in regards to that. I do like the background you've given them however the rarely more than one a domain thing feels artificial and I'm not a fan of bloodlines that lose disciplines that their clan has as it just strikes me as a way to max out 5 at in clan prices instead of 4, finally nothing about them feels Daeva, I understand these are probably a Masquerade throw back but I probably wouldn't allow it if I was running.

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                • #9
                  Why do they have Dominate, since only 1 Devotion uses it and that one is optional. I checked and more use Vigor than Resilience, so Daeva does make more sense than Ventrue.

                  Oh, I do like this Bloodline and will probably be using it for a background character.


                  Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                  Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                    Why do they have Dominate, since only 1 Devotion uses it and that one is optional. I checked and more use Vigor than Resilience, so Daeva does make more sense than Ventrue.

                    Oh, I do like this Bloodline and will probably be using it for a background character.

                    Honestly? I think I put Dominate because the bloodline founder has it--but that could easily have come from rubbing shoulders (blood) with Ventrue. It works well for them, and could be essential to holding a brood (House) together, but it's not conceptually core. I also wanted to yank Celerity as in-clan because their opposing bloodline, the Zealots (not yet written), would have it. I may have misunderstood how bloodline in-clan disciplines work, however (see below to Live Bait).

                    The optional Dominate/Majesty Devotion could just as easily be Majesty only, as the text hints that you could imagine versions that work with Animalism or Nightmare--the reason the Devotion doesn't just work with all vampiric powers is that I would rather err on the side of less-awesome for the XP cost involved. Being able to bip back in time and set up an effect that takes place in the present is potentially really powerful--much like using Dominate to arrange a clever trigger on someone, only it slips past defenders to get to the target.

                    These guys could be really dangerous background/antagonist characters. Done right, the PCs ought to be super-paranoid, and motivated to figure them out. One way to combat them is to push them, stress them to use their Temporis as often as possible, until they accumulate a big stack of their specific condition and get gnawed into torpor one day.

                    Temporis users like to sleep in perfectly spherical chambers when possible....

                    --Khanwulf

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                      I never played Masquerade so I can't comment on them in regards to that. I do like the background you've given them however the rarely more than one a domain thing feels artificial
                      If you don't know them from Masquerade you're not missing much. I've made as many nods backward as I can, while still ripping out the engine, jacking up the tires and putting on new body panels, so to speak.

                      The "rare to find more than one in a domain" bit is a nod to the fact that their powers are hard to use on each other and easy to notice when they do. Thus, they either work together (in which case you get a mini-dynasty "House" of 3 or 4+) or end up in some kind of cold-war that forces one to leave--even to a neighboring domain. They also tend to embrace people who we would these days be called introverts, who don't need a lot of social contact. There's a paradox here I'll comment on more in a moment.

                      Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                      I'm not a fan of bloodlines that lose disciplines that their clan has as it just strikes me as a way to max out 5 at in clan prices instead of 4
                      Maybe I'm misunderstanding something about how bloodlines work mechanically? I actually searched for this but was unable to find a clear answer. So: my assumption is the bloodline discipline list represents the character's in-clan disciplines after they assume the bloodline. In other words, it replaces their clan list. If, in fact, it STACKS with the clan list, then I immediately see your point regarding numbers of in-clan disciplines and that was not the intent.

                      You could strike Dominate for Celerity as an easy fix. In fact, I'll just do that in the writeup per my comments to Vent0.

                      Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                      ... finally nothing about them feels Daeva, I understand these are probably a Masquerade throw back but I probably wouldn't allow it if I was running.
                      That's intentional--as well as being a throwback to Masquerade. Note that they inherit the Daeva curse, plus find empathizing with mortals to be quite difficult. You end up with stoic introverts who dearly love their menu items, feel draw to the edges of the social fire (so to speak), and then don't know what to do or do well. They hurt the ones they care for because they are cold and calculating--leading with their heads and not hearts. That makes it easier to become detached, lose Humanity and start a spiral with Whispers Between and Never Never's Call that leaves them taking damage and risking frenzy when they use their discipline, and thus needing ever-increasing amounts of blood.

                      Playing an Elois should feel like walking a tightrope between the wall of social noise on the one hand and the yawning, silent gulf of Temporis on the other.

                      And yet, they seem to have it all together: they are too cool for school and can seem to say or do just the right thing at just the right time. You can look at them in a letter jacket and go "wow I wish I could race a car like that!" That's Daeva, but underneath is ice and metal that just doesn't thaw even when they want to. That's the Stoic Curse.

                      Thanks for the comments--did you have any observations regarding the powerset as well?

                      --Khanwulf

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Regarding bloodline disciplines, upon embrace you are a member of your Sires clan and therefore can buy any of the in clan disciplines at in clan price even if you would lose this option after joining a bloodline (in this case Celerity) so if I was to buy all five dots of Celerity before joining my sires bloodline I would get access to one more discipline at in clan price than the other players would (I know a don't be a dick agreement could stop this but I would rather not have the possibility/precedent exist), it's a minor gripe but I don't like things like that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                          Regarding bloodline disciplines, upon embrace you are a member of your Sires clan and therefore can buy any of the in clan disciplines at in clan price even if you would lose this option after joining a bloodline (in this case Celerity) so if I was to buy all five dots of Celerity before joining my sires bloodline I would get access to one more discipline at in clan price than the other players would (I know a don't be a dick agreement could stop this but I would rather not have the possibility/precedent exist), it's a minor gripe but I don't like things like that.

                          Ok, good, at least I'm understanding correctly. In this case (the bloodline) the fix is easy and already done, since Dominate turned out to be less highlighted than I originally expected. I understand your concerns for "gaming" advancement.

                          --Khanwulf

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Regarding their power set I would not allow Moiragetes as it could lead to people calling up Dracula for a quick chat about the Coils of any other such figure with access to the right item. To be honest adding a new rule/condition to balance it is a sign it's not a great fit with the rest of the game and if presented with a request to play such a concept my first thought would be can I appease this player by letting them use the first three dots of Auspex on the future?
                            That said it does what you set out to do well for the most part and most of my reluctance is down to personal taste so good work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                              Regarding their power set I would not allow Moiragetes as it could lead to people calling up Dracula for a quick chat about the Coils of any other such figure with access to the right item. To be honest adding a new rule/condition to balance it is a sign it's not a great fit with the rest of the game and if presented with a request to play such a concept my first thought would be can I appease this player by letting them use the first three dots of Auspex on the future?
                              That said it does what you set out to do well for the most part and most of my reluctance is down to personal taste so good work.
                              First: totally respect your inclinations. You're a cautious storyteller and that usually comes with good reasons. I'd not hand permission to a player to run this bloodline unless I knew them well and knew that they could handle the roleplaying challenge.

                              That said, as a storyteller OUR challenge is to ensure none of the players, their powersets (broadly taken) and capabilities outshine the rest of the table and the campaign such that it detracts from "fun"--ours included. This is a delicate balance, and it gets more complicated whenever you start customizing, adding supplement materials, homebrew and the like; this can be a reason to avoid anything and run as smooth and efficient a VtR as possible... and you'll get 0-60 in 3 seconds with that, which is nice.

                              Since you're not familiar with Masquerade's version, let me point out a connection: the True Brujah there were broken, and had some truly (haha) cheesy powers involving multiple actions and manipulating time for themselves and others in ways that at the last minute the developers balanced by "oh take levels of unsoakable damage as the time-power ashes parts of you!" It was obviously tacked on as a playtest afterthought, made no conceptual sense for timeless creatures, and the like.

                              Since I'm nodding vigorously toward Masquerade I wanted a mechanic that made sense to link the Lovecraftian connection to beyond-time-and-space, and the mechanics of "using your power is dangerous." Critical failure as a lead to lethal damage would be counterproductive, as it does not come up that much in my experience and automatic lethal is too deterministic. The solution presented could be modified if making an "extra roll" and tracking the possible condition is too much bother (e.g. at a large table), but it does tie several vampire mechanics together to create player and character incentives for certain behaviors.

                              Regarding Moiragetes: Yes, theoretically possible to get something of Dracula's and call him up for a chat. That could certainly be a shortcut to hard, academic work. It's also kinda the point however, since the power is effectively either an investigative power at 5 dots, or a "summon ally" power. For comparison, Auspex lets you spy invisibly, remotely, on people in the present; if you knew where Dracula was, and were exceptionally foolish, you could eavesdrop on him and read over his shoulder.

                              There are several braking factors built into it, mechanically, to keep Moiragetes in check:
                              1. You need a thing. An intimate thing of the target. Or, you need to personally know the target, or be able to see him. Throughout history superstitious folks have kept track of their intimate things for reasons like this. Obtaining such an item should be an adventure.
                              2. If the summoned target doesn't know you, you need to *very quickly* convince them to help you... your conversation is limited to rounds, unless you make a critical success. Using powers on the summoned phantom is feasible, but as tricky as if the guy walked into your sanctum to have tea. A powerful, irritated phantom could easily trash you.
                              3. It's automatically resisted. I don't know what Dracula's resistance attributes are, but I'd make them pretty good. Critical failure gets you an embodied Hound of Tindalos.
                              4. Dramatic success gets you much more time to work with the phantom, and its inclined toward you (+2 to social interactions), but obtaining a dramatic success is going to be a challenging roll unless you're throwing around very high attributes. In that case, what is Dracula going to teach you you couldn't already figure out with a few connections and a night in the Vatican library?


                              Always up to you of course. In the end I'd permit a player-run Elois if A) I knew their quality, B) they wanted to integrate with campaign details and C) they wanted the powerset for more than just Auspex questions. Because you can accomplish much of the information objective through Auspex alone (with a different atmosphere), without resorting to a bloodline that has niche approaches to it.

                              Let me tender my sincere thanks for providing the opportunity to air some thought processes involved, to benefit other readers as well.



                              --Khanwulf
                              Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-25-2017, 09:37 AM.

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