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Unique Benefits for the Peregrine Collegia and Legio Mortuum

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  • Unique Benefits for the Peregrine Collegia and Legio Mortuum

    Hello everyone.
    I've been planning on starting up a Requiem for Rome game for quite a while, but there were a few things I was going to do beforehand, one of which was giving each Wing of the Camarilla unique benefits such as the sorcery of the Lancea Et Sanctum and Cult of Augurs. I've given the Senex access to an archaic form of Carthian Law, which actually seems to fit really well, but things are a little bit more difficult with the Legio Mortuum and Peregrine Collegia.

    I've been working with an interesting idea for the Legion in the form of the 'Sanguine Armory' and 'Bloodsmithing'.
    Sanguine Weapons and Armor would each function as a Merit as well as a piece of equipment. They would store an amount of Vitae equal to three times their dot rating, which cannot be reclaimed without destroying the item and must be used to fuel the item's powers. Weapons gain one point of Vitae for every level of Lethal Damage they deal to the living and steal one point of Vitae for every level of Lethal Damage dealt to Vampires, though they gain nothing if said Vampire is already drained. Armor, meanwhile, feeds itself with the wearer's Vitae without hurting them.
    Bloodsmithing is the method of creating new Sanguine Weapons and Armor, which is a complicated process which involves spilling the Vitae of an appropriately powerful Vampire (though not necessarily one's own) into molten metal and then forging it into shape. It would probably be a merit in its own right.
    I created a 'proof of concept' Merit, but don't know if its balanced. I'm also struggling to create and balance other Merits.
    -o-o-o- Galea of Undead Command (1 to 5 Dots)
    Prerequisites: Legio Mortuum Status at equal or higher level
    Most commonly worn by the Centurions of the Legio Mortuum, this ornate helmet seems to whisper the secrets of the dead into the mind of whoever wears it. It begs to be used.
    Effect: When in the presence of at least one human (or near enough) corpse, the wearer may command them to rise as an instant action. The Galea of Undead command then spends two points of Vitae per corpse, up to a maximum equal to its own dot rating; these corpses then rise as undead soldiers, which will assist the wearer in combat but lack the skills or intelligence for most other tasks.
    The undead soldiers all have 2 dots in every Physical Attribute and 1 dot in every other Attribute. They have 1 Athletics, 2 Brawl and either 2 Archery or 2 Weaponry, as decided by the wearer. They remain for the rest of the scene before turning to dust, though the Galea of Undead Command may expend another point of Vitae per corpse to keep them moving for another scene and may keep doing this for so long as it has the Vitae to do so.

    I'm more or less stumped with the Peregrine Collegia. I thought their benefit might enhance their ability to work together with others in their Band, but I don't know how to accomplish that mechanically or make it compelling. Does anyone have any other ideas for them?
    Last edited by Kleptomania; 02-18-2018, 05:00 AM.

    Raksi plays Peek-a-boo for keeps. ~ nalak42

  • #2
    Some people have tossed around the idea of letting the Collegia use the Invictus Oaths.

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    • #3
      Yeah. That was my suggestion, in order to stablish a sense of loyalty to your fellow Collegia members.

      Maybe the Oaths could be reworked in a sense that allows collective oaths.

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      • #4
        Timeliness being at least in the same zip code as cleanliness, which as we know is next to Godliness, I'll just toss this here and see if it helps your Mortuum ideas.

        I wanted to tie them explicitly forward to the Gallows Post, and fill some of the gaps in-between.

        The Cursus Mortuis, or “running dead” was the system of way-stations and routes maintained to service the rapid transmission of kindred across the Camarilla’s domain. As such, it fell under the care of the Legio Mortuum.​

        By agreement, the Cursus Mortuis was under the authority of the Legion, with watchposts staffed by the intermediate ranks of Optio—considered a prestigious posting for Virgatore being groomed for advancement to Centurion.

        In addition, the Cursus Mortuis maintained fragments of even earlier network of tunnels throughout Europe—even within barbarian lands, left by a predecessor covenant effectively eradicated before the Empire. These tunnels served as convenient sleeping-quarters, storage sheds and, it was rumored, branches could be joined or transited even through solid rock via the use of obscure Devotions. At it's height the Cursus was said (perhaps in some puffery) to be able to pass a Kindred from Caesarea to the Wall without bringing her above ground.

        The Cursus Mortuis maintained a taxing technique for Daywalking that remained an open secret until the Fall of the Camarilla.
        [This is a 1-dot homebrew Merit that enables vamps to better handle the sun and daytime--if you want them to be doing so. I do, as it makes figuring out who's a vamp much harder! The merit and it's Condition are posted in these forums, or I can PM.]

        Once the Legio Mortuum was shorn of its patron and adapted to itinerant life, the Cursus Mortuis itself adopted a more mercenary attitude, carving out limited domains, reserving feeing rights on travelers and charging favors and blood for the secure carriage of posts and Kindred. In fact, in many places where Roman order broke down the Cursus Mortuis itself was known to prey on travelers who declined (or were ignorant of) their services, extracting rent from them to safely pass or holding individual hostage for a time. It is a testament to the utility of safe passage and hospitality that the Cursus Mortuis survived so extensively in the dying embers of Rome—or, as its detractors deride, that its members felt free to induct any and every riff-raff into its ranks. Certainly individuals of the Legio who fell by the wayside found a more stable “home” amidst the practical minds of the Cursus.

        While the Legio eventually guttered out and its survivors transitioned to other Covenants, by the Middle Ages the formalities of the heady nights of Empire had returned, and the Cursus made its transition into the Gallows Post: the one and only stop for safe and reliable passage, post or mercenaries in the Dark Medieval. While its command of subterranean ways had been lost (and often absorbed by the Lancea Sanctum), travel without the Post’s assistance was both a dangerous and expensive proposition—much easier to hire one of their reliable guides at their extremely reasonable rates!

        This is not fully fleshed-out of course, but I'm intending to jazz up the Legio by making this part of them, with a few Covenant-gated Devotions and Merits to go with the Legio bonus to learning military Merits/training.

        Your idea for blood-forging items is also interesting. I'd be cautious with letting them store vitae, however techniques to forge metal by [extremely strong] hand (i.e. without bothersome fire), alchemically harden materials (+durability, so they are not replaced or repaired as often), could also work. There were similar Discipline powers in VtM, from the Brujah book especially relevant to Dark Ages Vampire.

        Last edited by Khanwulf; 02-21-2018, 12:00 PM. Reason: Grammar, italics


        • #5
          Wouldn't the strict military that is the Legion work better, thematically, with the Oaths?

          Which leaves the College and the Ordo as the only non-matched covenants.

          Should the College get the coils? I could see one way of justifying it. Rather than transcending, the College is degenerate and has developed weird powers and mutations from their lower station. (this could even be a bizarre effect of a Roman Carthian Law.) As such, they access Coils and Scales that are less rigorous science and more wacko-science.

          However, I don't believe that is the way I'd go with it. The Ordo and the College aren't similar, and it is a stretch to let the latter have access to the power of the former. Plus, it is stale to play the same covenants with just a name change. I propose you speculate as to what an outcast Beast would develop to hunt and protect it. Maybe the College overlaps with the Reverent or the Owls are coming and only the outcasts have protection.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
            Some people have tossed around the idea of letting the Collegia use the Invictus Oaths.
            What I’d do is use Oaths, but have them work the opposite of how they do for the Invictus - In Modern games, Oaths can only be sworn to Status-holding members of the Invictus, but they can be sworn by any vampire who meets the prerequisites (which do sometimes include Invictus Status, but not always, and in fact most of the ones in the core rules don’t). For the Colegia, I would do the opposite. Oaths can only be sworn by Status-holding Strangers who meet the prerequisites, but they can be sworn to any legally recognized citizen of the Camarilla. I think that would also be very fitting with the Collegia’s role in Camarilla society, performing unpleasant but necessary services so those of higher station can keep their hands clean. When you need something done you (discretely) contract a Stranger to do it, who swears a magically binding oath to see it done and keep your involvement secret.
            Last edited by Charlaquin; 02-26-2018, 03:23 PM.

            Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.


            • #7
              When I ran I used Invictus Oaths for the Senex and Carthian Law for the Legion (though no players took advantage of those things). Because I used a point break on mortal influence things for the Peregrine Collegia, we wound up with our Julii wheeler-and-dealer being a member of the PC. It worked out well, but wasn't what I was expecting.