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Rotgrafen 2E (False Gods: Ventrue Preview)

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  • Rotgrafen 2E (False Gods: Ventrue Preview)

    Time for another preview? Time for another preview!

    The Rotgrafen are much-beloved in Requiem fan circles, and it's hard not to see why: who doesn't want to play a vampire pirate? Who doesn't want to play a vampire viking?

    As always, I'll have dev notes for after the book comes out, but the Rotgrafen were a fairly straightforward update. I mythologized their background a bit (their Origins are three variants of the story from Bloodlines: The Chosen), and dumped their old bane, which was a little too Mekhet for my tastes.

    And before anyone makes a fuss, the umlaut is intentionally gone. It walked the plank.

    Anyway, enjoy, and yo ho.


    The ones who light you up

    “Let’s make a toast, mates. Fetch the Molotovs.”'

    The sails mean it’s too late. Crimson as the tides, the ships bring the fate of all things that meet the flames. Their crews lair upon the waters of the world, but fire is their true creed, unbound and untamed like their god. Theirs is the crucible and the cleansing inferno, a votive candle and a blaze of Hell. Theirs is the fire at the end of the world.

    The Rotgrafen rule the high seas, brigands for hire or their own piratical interests. Once limited to the frozen reaches of Iceland and Scandinavia, tonight the Fire Lords spread far across the globe. Their floating domains resemble the buccaneer republics of the pirate golden age, where Kindred can live free from the stifling mores of their so-called betters. Whether as neo-Vikings, Somali badaadinta badah, and British privateers, the Rotgrafen have been pirates since the Vinland, taking plunder in the name of the Norse trickster Loki. Their founder, Sigrún Eiríksdóttir, claims this god saved her from an abysmal fate upon the open ocean, and so her childer dedicate themselves to spreading his influence. By reaping the world’s bounty and sowing chaos, the Rotgrafen make way for Ragnarök, when the gods will fall from their halls and fire shall reign upon the earth. In the ashes, Loki has promised redemption, a Valhalla on earth where the Rotgrafen will do as they please.

    The Sea Kings believe their creation set three epochs into motion, each building up to the gods’ final battle. The First Age was a time of glorious sagas and bloodshed under Sigrún’s leadership, when all Rotgrafen fought for her banner. The Second began with Sigrún’s bloody fall to torpor and the power vacuum that followed. Not all Sea Kings accepted her designated heirs, and the bloodline’s unity shattered as the Second Age progressed. As for the Third, it’s been close or already here for two centuries. Some Sea Kings point to mortal strife as a sign of Ragnarök’s approach, while others say things just aren’t bad enough yet. Not without some help.

    Despite their Norse origins, the Rotgrafen are among the most diverse bloodlines in the All Night Society. Anywhere the sea touches land can be home to the Red Counts, and any Lord can be one if she proves her mettle. See the corsair. Her Berber blood is older than the cities she plunders, and older still than the Eurotrash who anchor their yachts in her waters. She uses their bone-white pleasure crafts as salvage to feed her many childer. See the privateer. He sells his sword to the highest bidder, but he’s not above accepting late offers. Money can buy anything, and he’ll spend his on the only thing that matters. See the anarchist. They know the Lord gave us paradise on earth, but in arrogance Man seeks to command it. Their gunship targets oil tankers and aircraft carriers alike, disrupting forces that dare take domain over God’s Country.

    Tonight, the Sea Kings are ascendant. Piracy never went away, after all; it just traded cutlasses for AK-47s. Even the rankest neonate knows to fear the Rotgrafen, and many princes still pay protection money (danegeld) to keep the bloodline from their domains. However, some of these arrangements have broken down in recent years, either after the Fire Lords reneged on the deal or demanded an impossible price. One by one, treaties that stood for centuries burned along with the cities they once guarded. The paranoid believe the Rotgrafen are making final preparations their Third Age, and if that time has come, it won’t just be Kindred putting out their fires anymore.

    Why you want to be us

    You’re a liar if you say you never wanted to be a pirate. We’re what the Ventrue were supposed to be: Nobility is just a vestige of a warrior past, when social class was earned with the most throats cut. We’ll cut as many as you want for enough coin — and your Beast wants in on it. Burn the titles. Burn the whole damn Elysium if you like, and take your true birthright in the flames.

    Why you should fear us

    Other Lords dismiss us as bomb throwers and anarchists. True enough. However, our way is a holy anarchy. The pretenders — the Æsir, the politicians, the Kindred, whatever you prefer to call them — they’re just kindling. We’re the vanguard party of the world’s rebirth, and nothing will stop us from bringing it into the light. And you? You’re just ashes on the seafoam.

    Why we should fear ourselves

    Play with fire, get burned. Liberty without structure is just bedlam, and among vampires it’s bestiality. We’re always standing on the plank’s edge, an inch away from our god’s embrace. He doesn’t want to destroy us, but he will if he needs to. He’ll throw us back to the flame that birthed us and wipe the char from his hands without a thought, so we must remember freedom has its price.

    Parent Clan: Ventrue

    Nicknames: Sea Kings, Fire Lords (literally, “Red Counts”), Anarchs (derogatory)

    Bloodline Bane (The Recalcitrant Curse): [REDACTED]

    Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Protean, Resilience

    Firefighter (• to •••••)

    Prerequisites: Rotgrafen, Resolve •••, Weaponry •••, Resilience •

    Effect: The Rotgrafen don’t fear flame. They respect it, but it doesn’t rule them like it does other Kindred — at least as long as they keep their bane in check. This Fighting Style allows Rotgrafen to better handle their god’s favored element, providing techniques to maximize the use of lit and incendiary weapons. It doesn’t let a vampire control flame, but it gives her a better chance of turning its attention onto others.

    Playing with Fire (•): To handle fire, one mustn’t allow base urges to rule one’s reactions. Handling a lit weapon or makeshift bomb does not provoke frenzy in your character. This also applies to characters wielding fire who possess this Merit as well. Drawback: This effect is null if your character is suffering from her bloodline bane.

    Safety First (••): Your character knows how to use fire with minimal risk to herself. Dramatic failures while wielding flame never directly result in burns, as the safe handling of her weapon is always at the forefront of her mind. However, you can choose to allow this consequence for a Beat (or two if you also chose to dramatically fail). Furthermore, your character enjoys a +2 on any Athletics roll to avoid or dodge flame.

    Flame Dance (•••): [REDACTED]

    Brand (••••): [REDACTED]

    Undiminished Rage (•••••): [REDACTED]
    Last edited by Yossarian; 04-19-2021, 08:04 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
    I missed this earlier, but: