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Belial's Brood in 2nd Edition

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  • #16
    I thought Belial's Brood was an excellent product - but yes they may have been a Sabbat-like holdover from Masquerade which they want to put distance between.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
      I don't think i'm doing Belial's Brood very differently from the books or most people, but i have the Brood be functionnaly 2 groups.
      The first is what i call the teenagers (no relation to the actual age of the vampire). They are what most people picture. Basically evil for evil sakes (or rather monstrous for the sake of being a monster). They dont last long (typically).
      There is another group tho. They are subtly embedded within all of the covenants. They take many forms, but they all have the same end goal. They want to remove humanity as a consideration but without becoming mindless. Essentially they want to be at humanity 0 but not become a draugr of have any of the other problems associated with a low humanity.

      Striges (is that the plural?) love either group depending on the individual and they often form types of partnerships.
      My take is quite similar, although rather than teenagers being a group within the covenant, they’re basically Sabat Shovelheads. And the proper Brood are very much like vampire eqivalent of Bale Hounds. A secret 6th Covenant of Infernalists that infiltrates the others to corrupt who they can and cause discord among those they can’t. They don’t directly worship the Stirges, but many find their embrace the monster philosophy speaks to them, and Stirges generally find the Brood very entertaining.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

        My take is quite similar, although rather than teenagers being a group within the covenant, they’re basically Sabat Shovelheads. And the proper Brood are very much like vampire eqivalent of Bale Hounds. A secret 6th Covenant of Infernalists that infiltrates the others to corrupt who they can and cause discord among those they can’t. They don’t directly worship the Stirges, but many find their embrace the monster philosophy speaks to them, and Stirges generally find the Brood very entertaining.
        With that Theban Ritual related to Belial, the Brood as infiltrators make even more sense. The Sanctified who revels in their damnation. The Acolyte who indulge themselves with blood sacrifice. The Dragon whose experiments debase instead of exalt. The Firebrand who turns to violence over governance. The Invictus who turns the system of society into an engine of oppression. Philosophies of each Covenant, taken into an extreme and no longer merely inhuman but atrocious.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

          With that Theban Ritual related to Belial, the Brood as infiltrators make even more sense. The Sanctified who revels in their damnation. The Acolyte who indulge themselves with blood sacrifice. The Dragon whose experiments debase instead of exalt. The Firebrand who turns to violence over governance. The Invictus who turns the system of society into an engine of oppression. Philosophies of each Covenant, taken into an extreme and no longer merely inhuman but atrocious.
          That was exactly what inspired my take on it.


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          • #20
            I should note that the whole Covenant situation in my Chronicles is a little different than the default assumptions, with a lot of inspiration from Danae Macabre’s global versions of the Covenants as well as Masquerade’s Sects. My setting has two to four factions roughly analogous to Masquerade’s Sects, depending on how you count (the lines between them aren’t as hard as they are in Masquerade):

            The New Camarilla (or “Neo-Cam”) is made up of the Invictus, who are a bit closer to the Danse Macabre’s Prima Invicta, and the Lancea et Sanctum, with the optional sidebar from their Covenant book about the Cardinals as a global council in play. The Lancea et Sanctum interpret the Traditions and the Invictus enforce them.

            Ostensibly allied to the New Camarilla is the Ordo Dracul, who serve a similar role to the Tremere. They submit to Neo Cam law but serve their own interests and have their own internal power structures, and behind the scenes actually hold a lot of influence over Neo Cam politics - it’s an open secret that a majority of the most powerful Invictus also hold partial status in the Ordo Dracul, though the conflict of interest is not often publicly questioned for fear of retribution.

            The Carthian Movement combines aspects of Masquerade’s Anarch Movement and Danse Macabre’s Commonwealth. A movement of New Camarilla sepratists seeking to establish an alternative form of kindred government. On uneasy but not outright hostile terms with the New Camarilla.

            The Circle of the Crone is a bit like a softened take on the Sabat, being a “Sect” that rejects the New Camarilla’s Traditions in favor of “do what thou wilt.” Often allied with the Carthian Movement in their opposition to the New Camarilla, but ultimately rejecting their experimental forms of government as well.

            Belial’s Brood takes over the harder side of the Sabat and sprinkles in a dash of Baali infernalism, and infiltrates all of the other Covenants. Within Neo-Cam Domains, they generally take the form of a cult within the Lancea et Sanctum, which is where the Pledge to the Worthless One Ritual comes from. Within the Ordo Dracul, they’ve created a secret sub-order which is pretty much the Devil’s Eye from Danse Macabre. In Carthian Domains, they manipulate the experiments to their own ends, or else stir up discontent to sabatoge experiments (I’ll admit, I feel like this part needs further development). And within the Circle of the Crone they take advantage of the lack of Traditions and go full Sabat.

            VII’s identity I’m undecided on. I like the Akhud a lot and they definitely exist in my setting, but I’m not 100% sold on them being VII. Maybe I’ll look into Masquerade’s Black Hand for inspiration. Or play with the Strix Chronicle’s suggestion that they are somehow connected with the Stirges, with attacks always occurring within 72 hours of a confirmed Strix sighting.
            Last edited by Charlaquin; 04-11-2018, 02:24 AM.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
              That was exactly what inspired my take on it.
              Same for me.

              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
              VII’s identity I’m undecided on. I like the Akhud a lot and they definitely exist in my setting, but I’m not 100% sold on them being VII. Maybe I’ll look into Masquerade’s Black Hand for inspiration. Or play with the Strix Chronicle’s suggestion that they are somehow connected with the Stirges, with attacks always occurring within 72 hours of a confirmed Strix sighting.
              I've had an idea i'm playing with. It hasnt come up in my chronicle so i can still change it.
              I am rather fond of parallels and opposites. So if i have a Belials Brood that stands hidden within the covenants with the goal of getting rid safely of humanity, i want a group with a somewhat opposite agenda. My idea is that, equally hidden within the covenants (at varying degree) there is a group who wants to become human again. Now i called them VII, but honestly thats because i'm not using VII and i couldnt find a suitable name. Also i liked the idea that the mysterious kills of VII were actually a form of mercy kill that a member can ask for if they feel that they are losing the fight against the beast.

              And to circle back more to the purpose of the thread. Belials Brood is fiercely opposed to this group (and vice versa).
              Last edited by Maitrecorbo; 04-11-2018, 10:01 AM.


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              • #22
                Similar question. Has any information on VII been brought around again in 2e? I don't think there has but I may have missed something.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Heroofthemists View Post
                  Similar question. Has any information on VII been brought around again in 2e? I don't think there has but I may have missed something.

                  There is a chapter dedicated to them in the core rule book of Vampire The Requiem. Look at pages 47 to 49. It isn't much, but it should be enough to give you inspiration on how to run VII in 2e.

                  They're basically similar to their 1e counterpart, except they're related to the Strix now. How? That's up to you to decide. They could be Strix-possessed; or they could be the opposite: they could be vampires who hunt down other vampires who are Strix-possessed. Or perhaps they are the machinations of the God-Machine? These are all possibilities brought up in the core book.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Heroofthemists View Post
                    Similar question. Has any information on VII been brought around again in 2e? I don't think there has but I may have missed something.
                    I believe the Cerberus Pact from the elder's book was a potential VII candidate, and the book also updated the Akhud as a clan. Beyond that there is the small chapter dedicated to them in the core book, like Ventrue Life said.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ever Professional View Post

                      I believe the Cerberus Pact from the elder's book was a potential VII candidate, and the book also updated the Akhud as a clan. Beyond that there is the small chapter dedicated to them in the core book, like Ventrue Life said.
                      Ironically, I think the canonizing of the Akhud in 2e actually makes them a less likely candidate for VII. If they’re a Clan that definitely existed and are known of by the other Clans, even if what is thought to be known about them is largely misinformation, it takes away a bit of the mystery surrounding VII if it’s them.

                      That’s why I’m not sold on them as VII. They were my favorite version of VII, and I couldn’t be happier that 2e made them canon. But it also makes me want VII to be something else.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                        Ironically, I think the canonizing of the Akhud in 2e actually makes them a less likely candidate for VII. If they’re a Clan that definitely existed and are known of by the other Clans, even if what is thought to be known about them is largely misinformation, it takes away a bit of the mystery surrounding VII if it’s them.

                        That’s why I’m not sold on them as VII. They were my favorite version of VII, and I couldn’t be happier that 2e made them canon. But it also makes me want VII to be something else.
                        Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. I'm personally of the opinion that the VII covenant is less of a covenant and more of a memetic idea that the Kindred created. The idea of Kindred hunting other kindred isn't out of the question, and the reasons are innumerable. In my games, if VII crops up it is just a group of Kindred (or various other vampires) that took up the symbol of VII as a terror tactic, and to give themselves some unification; kindred like their history, and the idea of being a part of an ancient covenant of terrifying vampire killers would probably feed their ego. I also generally justify the VII symbol to have the same purpose of a stylized S; easy to mark down and isn't too much of a time waster.

                        Of course, if people wanna run VII as some conspiracy their isn't a problem with that; the idea does hold merit. I just find the idea that VII as an idea is more scary because you can destroy an organization, but to destroy an idea among a group of immortals who love to gossip is significantly a harder challenge.

                        I also like to use the memetic idea because in 2e Invictus Oaths and Carthian Laws are just essentially ideas being written down and spread about, but they still hold mystic power. It gives me plenty of plot ideas for what might happen to a local group of Kindred taking up the VII symbol.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ever Professional View Post

                          Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. I'm personally of the opinion that the VII covenant is less of a covenant and more of a memetic idea that the Kindred created. The idea of Kindred hunting other kindred isn't out of the question, and the reasons are innumerable. In my games, if VII crops up it is just a group of Kindred (or various other vampires) that took up the symbol of VII as a terror tactic, and to give themselves some unification; kindred like their history, and the idea of being a part of an ancient covenant of terrifying vampire killers would probably feed their ego. I also generally justify the VII symbol to have the same purpose of a stylized S; easy to mark down and isn't too much of a time waster.

                          Of course, if people wanna run VII as some conspiracy their isn't a problem with that; the idea does hold merit. I just find the idea that VII as an idea is more scary because you can destroy an organization, but to destroy an idea among a group of immortals who love to gossip is significantly a harder challenge.

                          I also like to use the memetic idea because in 2e Invictus Oaths and Carthian Laws are just essentially ideas being written down and spread about, but they still hold mystic power. It gives me plenty of plot ideas for what might happen to a local group of Kindred taking up the VII symbol.
                          Oh yeah. I imagine that even in settings where VII is a proper covenant, they get a lot of copycats, to the point where most VII murders turn out to be false leads. I like the idea of a lot of vampires taking that to mean that there is no VII. Which, of course, the real VII uses to its advantage.


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                          • #28
                            Personally, the Betrayed are my favorite version of VII, but actually in my head canon, VII is more of an umbrella term for a number of secretive organizations which hunt after vampires, each for its own reason. The eight main covenants are Cerberus Pact, the Betrayed, the Tenth Choir, the Iltani (which are a covenant in my setting), Legio Mortem, Weihan Cynn, Conspiracy of Seers (a modern incarnation of the Cult of Augurs) and the Blood of Ahran (there is a seperating between the Akhud and the covenant in my setting, so while many Akhud join the Blood, it is not the default). They are called "the Seven and the One", and of course each of them claims to be the "One" and the rest as the "Seven". Of course, most of the vampire killings attributed to VII are not done by the hands of any of those covenants, as the true criminals simply use VII as a scapegoat. It is not as much that there is no VII as much as everyone are VII- it is just that the eight groups above are more regularly blamed to be VII than the others because of their practices.

                            Who was the first one to use VII as a symbol, however, is unknown.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                              Oh yeah. I imagine that even in settings where VII is a proper covenant, they get a lot of copycats, to the point where most VII murders turn out to be false leads. I like the idea of a lot of vampires taking that to mean that there is no VII. Which, of course, the real VII uses to its advantage.
                              Oh yeah, I agree on that idea. I've just never found a proper reason to use VII as some ancient conspiracy in my games. It's actually been awhile since I've used VII in a game, so I might bring it in at some point.

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                              • #30
                                So after rereading Howalt 's post I decided to handle Belial's Brood as if it's a cult, so that members of the Brood can still get Status in other covenants. Basically the Brood will act more like an undercover, underground conspiracy with the goal to infiltrate and disrupt Kindred society (while also doing less subtle direct terrorist attacks, obviously pinning those on the Carthians).

                                I used Howalt's suggestions but slightly tweaked them. These are the Mystery Cult Initiation merit benefits I came up with for Belial's Brood. Please let me know if this is solid or perhaps too overpowered.


                                Mystery Cult initiation - Belial's Brood
                                Gain the Occult (Strix) specialty for free.
                                •• Gain the Atrocious, Cutthroat or Enticing merit for free.
                                ••• Gain the Indomitable merit for free.
                                •••• Gain the Riding the Wave Style (•••) merit for free.
                                ••••• Gain a free dot in both composure and resolve (this cannot raise the attribute above 5). You can no longer have Touchstones.
                                Last edited by Ventrue Life; 04-11-2018, 08:40 PM.

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