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Malocusians 2E (False Gods: Ventrue Preview)

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  • Malocusians 2E (False Gods: Ventrue Preview)

    Time for another preview!

    This one is hot off the presses of final drafts. As always, text is subject to change, but this is pretty close to how things will look. This is only a very short excerpt, so you'll need to check out False Gods to get the full picture.

    As an aside, this is probably my favourite update in the book. I've tried to update the Malocusians several times before and washed out in every single instance. The original Malocusian write-up is very brief, to the point of being, IMO, incomplete. Their Discipline is longer than their entire history... though anything is more than zero, I suppose (I'm not trying to be snitty, it's just an oddity). I'll have development notes after the book comes out, but getting this bloodline into shape for a 2nd Edition version felt miraculous, and the author absolutely nailed it.

    For now, step into the Malocusians' parlor...


    The ones who invite you in

    “You really must stay for dinner! I insist.”

    The door is right in front of you. You take one step toward it, then another, unsteady on trembling legs. How long has it been since you’ve eaten? You can’t remember. Ever since you came to this house, time keeps slipping away, but now you’re so close now. The door’s even open, just a bit, letting the sweet sounds of the outside gently filter in. You reach for the door — and firmly shut it. Just like he told you.

    The door closes with a soft click, and you turn away from it. You feel tears trickle down your stretched-out cheeks, dripping over cracked and bleeding lips. He only told you to smile. Didn’t say anything about not crying. The old clock above the doorway strikes six, and you feel yourself turning back before you even register the action. He’ll be awake soon, you think as you slowly trudge back into the depths of the house.
    He’s always hungry after he wakes up.

    Other Kindred take their ability to roam the night for granted. They may be restricted by domain or territory, but they’re still hunters on the prowl. Not so the Malocusians, bound to a single location by their very blood. Unlike most bloodlines, the Hermits aren’t the result of a sanguine evolution, but rather a powerful curse placed upon their founder and then spread through the rest of the line. The exact circumstances and nature of this curse is hotly debated, but the practical effect is universal: Every Malocusian is tethered to their haven. It requires great resolve to even step foot outside of it, and a prolonged separation provokes the Beast to run rampant.

    Over the centuries, Malocusians have adjusted to their limitations, even developed methods to compensate for them, but the weakness of their cursed blood still defines their Requiems in a way few other Kindred can understand. Given their difficulty hunting in the manner of most Kindred, Malocusians are adept at having humans come to them, luring people into their havens to feed on. The methods vary: Urbane Hermits make their homes in hotels or lodges, sampling the clientele’s blood at their leisure. A more isolated Malocusian lairs in an old service station, and passing motorists always seem to blow a tire or encounter a tree fallen across the road, forcing them to stop for assistance. The most degenerate of the line simply kidnap people off the street, snatching whatever unfortunates they encounter in times they can force themselves away from their havens. They keep their victims alive for weeks, bleeding them dry while making liberal use of the Lord’s words to ensure they can’t even try to leave, no matter how desperate they are to escape.

    Of course, it’s usually only old and powerful Malocusians that can operate so independently. Lacking the resources of their elders, neonate Malocusians must rely on others for their blood supply, which has pushed these Hermits to become deeply political. Driven by the stubborn pride common to all Ventrue, they determine to prove themselves useful to the covenants despite their restriction. The stone-faced keeper of Elysium; the shrine maiden keeping unblinking vigil over a site holy to the Dark Mother; the Invictus notary with an encyclopedic knowledge of his vast library of Oaths — all of these are Malocusians. They barter their dedication in exchange for protection and aid from their partisan brethren. The powers they gain while within their havens also make Malocusians potent guardians, like Spiders in their webs.

    Despite this, Malocusians often face derision from other Kindred, who see them as freeloaders and parasites (which is saying something). For the most part, Hermits ignore such whispers. What others say and think doesn’t change their circumstances, and they aren’t so helpless as their detractors believe. Indeed, Malocusians note with satisfaction that those who refer to them as useless Ticks are still loathe to ever cross the threshold into their homes. This is the flip side of Malocusian existence, one they’ve achieved through determination and ingenuity: A Spider might be spiritually chained to her haven, but within it, she is the unquestioned master. Hermits have power over their sanctums that defy normal Kindred abilities over hearth and home. An intruder into the maiden’s shrine finds himself pierced by unerring arrow fire, despite being mystically shrouded from sight. The frail librarian is unimpressed with the mental commands of a would-be thief, but his own voice crushes the interloper’s will and squeezes out all his secrets. Guests are always welcome. Intruders are meat.

    Why you want to be us

    The world outside is chaos, and we offer control. Out there you’re no one, but in here, no one’s more important. Absolute authority is rare these nights, but in your home — your castle — you’ll enjoy nothing less. Why would you ever want to leave?

    Why you should fear us

    You call us cursed, and we are, but struggle has made us strong. You call us weak, but you do so from a distance. Won’t you come inside to air your grievances? I didn’t think so. You mock us because you know you can’t touch us. Any authority you have outside ceases to be the moment your step under our roof.

    Why we should fear ourselves

    Isolation breeds detachment. Without examples to emulate, we forget what it was to be human and the Beast escapes its cage. We are Lords without subjects, monarchs of tiny, empty kingdoms. It would be kinder to just stop, to let our blood die out rather than subject others to this lonely eternity — but our hubris won’t allow it. Perhaps our real curse is merely pride.

    Parent Clan: Ventrue

    Nicknames: Hermits, Spiders, Ticks (disrespectful)

    Bloodline Bane (The Sedentary Curse): [REDACTED]

    Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Obfuscate, Resilience

    Bloodline Gift: Domus

    Latin for “home”, Domus is the term Malocusians apply when referring to the extraordinary powers they gain within their havens. Most Kindred have havens, but those are merely places to shelter from the sun, or to provide some privacy for feeding. They are tools, acquired and discarded as needs dictate, and not true homes. Malocusians, however, have an intrinsic tie to their haven that’s difficult to articulate — and impossible to ignore. This binds them to the location of their homes, but also grants them an awareness of its grounds and power over its occupants that other Kindred can’t match. As such, Hermits gain a number of additional benefits from the Haven Merit. Unless otherwise noted, these benefits only apply when a Malocusian is physically present within her haven.

    • At its most basic, a Spider’s bond with her haven grants her an awareness of everyone in it. She always knows when someone enters or leaves her haven, as well as a rough idea of their location within it. This effectively makes her immune to being surprised within her home. If an intruder has supernatural protection from being noticed, such as Obfuscate, this triggers a Clash of Wills, with the Malocusian rolling Haven + Blood Potency. This awareness persists even if the Spider is outside her home.

    •• In her haven, a Hermit always has the home-ground advantage. She adds half her dots in Haven, rounded up, to her Defense.

    ••• A Spider’s home is a stabilizing influence, calming both the Man and Beast. A Malocusian adds her dots in Haven to rolls to resist frenzy.

    •••• [REDACTED]

    ••••• [REDACTED]
    Last edited by Yossarian; 04-16-2021, 04:05 PM.

    Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

    Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
    Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
    Storytellers Vault: Author Page

  • #2
    Reading with allmighty focus, when suddenly... [REDACTED]
    Yossarian, you can't do this to my fragile heart. Now I have to get this book as soon as it launches. T-T

    Vampire Bloodlines: Abhartach, Kiasyd
    Ordo Dracul Coils: Hunger, Primal Blood
    Mage Legacies: Infernal Ones, Daoine


    • #3
      I've always loved characters and abilities that focus on extraordinary control over their own domain, so this bloodline looks right up my alley. I was already looking forward to the book, but it's nice to get a teaser for what you have in store for us.


      • #4
        am curious if you'll explain how a childe leave his sires haven...

        maybe at least a few ideas?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
          am curious if you'll explain how a childe leave his sires haven...

          maybe at least a few ideas?
          The bane has a fair bit of wiggle room, but, [REDACTED]. Without spoiling anything, if you want to play a Malocusian, you aren't just forced to stay inside all night. However, there are narrative consequences to leaving your haven if you aren't willing to pay the price, and even then, it's not always worthwhile to pay it...

          Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

          Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
          Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
          Storytellers Vault: Author Page