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[Homebrew 2e] The Volques - Help me write down the specifics !

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  • [Homebrew 2e] The Volques - Help me write down the specifics !

    So, inspired by Yossarian's incredible work (if you don't know what i'm talking about, check out his latest creation here I realized that I had a sort of Bloodline in the back of my mind for some time... but I'm kind of stuck on the rule side of things ! Help would be tremendously appreciated.

    Here are the surefire elements

    Volques
    Parent Clan : Gangrel
    Nicknames : The Eldest, Lords of the Wild, Children of Dis, les Séniles (derogatory)
    Discipline : Animalism, Majesty, Protean, Resilience
    Bloodline Bane (The Unsatisfied Curse) : A Volques' Beast is never satisfied until it has railed against enemies, real or supposed. Each night, a Volques must make a clear stand against them, physical or verbal but always unequivocal and at her detriment, otherwise one her Touchstones is considered as unattached. Said enemies can be other Kindred, institutions or even specific mortals. Making a stand can go from initiating a Predatory Aura conflict to punching a human in the face, or torching a building, as long as the consequences be damned.

    Volques - Those who were there before all

    "Our ancestors, the Gauls...". Nowadays, it's just one more proof of how bad and dumb colonialism was, with teachers asserting to children born in Senegal, Vietnam, Mali, Laos and all the other French Colonies that they had, somehow, ancestors among the Gauls. A great way to erase their own past and make them subservent to the invaders. It has been discarded and ridiculed for decades now. But who gave that idea to the Kine? Who made them believe that it was worth a shot. The Eldest, that's who. And it was a plot for the dead, not the living.

    Other Kindred believe that the Gangrel are dumb. That they have no memories. That they are Savages. They think that with spear and iron and fire, with letters and parchments, they can kill the memories of the world. If they haven't wrote it down centuries ago, then it can't be real. If their texts spoke of no wild god, massing armies of fanatical warriors to send against their temples and cities, then it didn't happen. The sack of Delphia by the Gauls ? it was just western abrbarians being western barbarians, and they haven't changed much since those nights...

    Except that the Gauls didn't laugh at the statues of the Olympians because they looked like men. It was because those gods were of stone, when their were of dead flesh and sharp fangs. The Children of Dis Pater, reborn among their kin to lead them to glorious battle. As they had done for thousands of years; as they had done since the first men walked into today's Europe. As they'll do forevermore.

    For the Eldest, their line is older than the Clans, olders than the rest of the Kindred. Look at the painting in Lasceaux and you'll see shamans with animal head, leading their people. Except they aren't shamans, it's them, the Lords of the Wild. They were there before all the other. The Ventrue, the Deava, the Nosferatu, the Mekhet... even the Gangrel. All, but not the Birds of Dis, whose name must not be spoken, even in hushed whispers.

    The name of the Bloodline changes every few centuries, when it has lost all its meaning, but their Blood remains the same, or so they claim. Who cares about a founder? Who cares about a common goal? To be is to be! It's to rage against all those structures and institutions and rules the younger children created, all to make the Eldest looks unstable and foolish. Why should a Children of Dis be forbidden to gather his herd and adress them with an elk's head? Does it truly makes him senile?

    Many mocks the delusions of the Volques, saying that they truly appeared during the XIXth Century and never before, but the Eldest don't care. It's in their Blood. Let the youth laugh and mock. They'll only endure as long as their societies will. The Volques are older than societies. They'll strive in the chaos of the future world like they did in the ancient.

    Why you want to be us ?

    Because we are older than all the others. Because all the other Covenants and Clans and Bloodline squabble about power over humans and their work, when the true strength lies in the wilds, both outside the cities and inside Man's soul. Do not fear the Beast sister, she was always here.

    Why you should fear us ?

    They come at us with fire and blades, and we fell... but we rise again, and again and again. There is no denying us, because we were born of something darker, deeper. The Gauls gave offering of cinders and ashes to Dis Pater, and the Father Below granted them rebirth. And what does Vampires turn into when they die? That's right. Ashes.

    Why we should fear ourselves ?

    The Beast gives us strength. Dis Pater gives us eternity. But both gnaw at our minds, at our souls. We can't build anything which lasts. Not for lack of trying, but we always end fighting among ourselves and with outsiders alike. After all, the Eldest should be listened to the more, but when we are all as old as each other... And for Pete's sake, stop talking about the damned Birds!

    Bloodline origins

    The Volques are new. They were created by some gaulish admirer in the XIXth. The man never wanted his name to be known, it'd have destroyed his little ploy. He gathered Gangrels of similar ideals and made them believe that he came from something ancient and lost and forgotten. He used his charisma to convince the Kine to blabber all about Gaul ancestors, and he used it to prepare his future childer in the colonies. Easier to make them submit to his madness when they already believe that he is their ancestor, after all. And ever since, the Séniles have gobbled it up, hook and sinker.

    She had no name. none that the Kine of this time could comprehend. She had been She With the Eagle Face, Long-Horns or Many Fangs in ages past, when the glaciers where closer and taller, when cavernous lions prowled the south of Europe. She sired childer who tore each other aparts but sired more, and more, and more. And each time she close her eyes to rest, she ears them. The wings of Dis, and the terms of her bargain. There is always a price to pay for eternity.

    He had been a Gaul warrior, firmly opposed to his own father's political views. And when things grew heated, one day, he simply clove his head in two. But he couldn't stop here. he had to kill everyone to make sure not witnesses remained. And when he stood ankle deep in the blood, he heard the voice of the Father Below. He had tasted his offering and found it to his liking. Now, the warrior would taste it too. All he had to pay for was the end of his political ambitions. One can't build with claws for hands, after all.

    On the Covenants

    The Carthian Movement : At first glance, Firebrands Volques seems to make little sense. The Eldest don't play well with others, after all. They have a terrible tendency of dividing over the pettiest factional lines... but their ability to drive those around them into bestial frenzy is always welcome, making them incredibly able to to turn a demonstration into a riot. And many of them are idealists, in their own ways, very much steeped into the myths of the Noble Savage. Plus, when the revolution fails, they make such wonderful scapegoats...

    The Circle of the Crone : Dis Pater is the father, but who is the mother? Why, the Crone of course, for plenty of the Volques. The Lords of the Wild congregate around the Mother's Army, seeking out ever darker powers and secrets, their Blood screaming in rhythm with the most monstruous rituals of Cruàc, which they push ever further. And for the Acolytes, the Eldest are a throw back to an ancient, purer, time, when the Kindred truly where the most impressive children of the Mother.

    The Invictus : Unstable, volatile and railing against civilization's order, the Volques seems a poor fit for the Invictus. But the First Estate can't afford to discard the Eldest, after all. How could they let anyone say that some who may be the oldest of Kindred are left out in the cold? Sure, they require strong and hidden leashes, but their inherent disregard for the social structures and mores make them incredibly skilled at sniffing out real threats, especially those cursed Firebrands!

    The Lancea et Sanctum : A handful of the Children of Dis have found their way to the Church of the Dark Father. Their cursed Blood stirs, feeling a kinship with the Theban Sorcery, the rituals of the Church of the Damned appeasing a burning ache inside them. Those converts make for terrifying preachers, discarding any and all trappings of the world, caring only for the Will of God. Who cares if the cities burn and millions die? God will prevail; he always did, no matters His name!

    The Ordo Dracul : There is something different in their Blood, most Volques know it. But only a few of them possess the scientific interest and patience to explore it. The Curse of Vampirism is so widespread and so mutable! Those Eldest desperately tries to overcome their line's curse, but also wish to prove their ancient nature. They often remain at the fringe of the Defiants, unable to work well with others. But their dedication and willingness to serve as guinea pigs, confident in their ability to endure it all, more than makes up for it.

    Rumors

    The damned Séniles can't be killed! I swear I saw one taking a stake in the chest and he just kept fighting, as if it was nothing! They aren't normal, even for Vampires! Don't mess up with them!
    Half-true. The Volques can take a great deal of damage before going down, but wether it's because of their use of Resilience and just a little bit of Majesty to impress their opponents or because they truly are connected to an ancient god, whose name has long been forgotten, is unclear. perhaps it's both. Of course, they prefer you to believe the latter.

    They all look like wannabe barbarians, cosplaying as Gauls with long mustaches and all; dumb shit refuses to speak to non-Europeans, non-French even!
    False. The Eldest now better than to disguise themselves as caricatural Gauls. For starter, those were clean shaved and even more adept of the baths than Romans were, thank you very much! And what would be the point of convincing peoples around the world that they have gaulish ancestors if not to Embrace them? In fact, their bloodline is one of the most diverse, you just have to come from former French colonies for the most pedantic - the others don't care were you're from.

    They like to pretend they're super old and shit, but they ain't! I heard from ma Sire that them wannabees came about barely two centuries ago! Can ya believe it? The fuckers!
    True, sort of. It's correct that the Volques only emerged during the second half of the XIXth Century... however their actual origin is shrouded in mysteries. Perhaps they are a new name on an old Blood, or an old name on a new brood, But wether they are born from the most ancient times or some sort of conman's scheme, or even some Blood Sorcery ritual gone wrong, there is no denying that they emerged recently, in vampiric terms.

    Devotions

    Bestial fervor (Majesty ***; Protean **)

    The Volques take a partially bestial form, rousing his herd into a frenzy. Until the end of the scene, the peoples affected by the Eldest' Awe ignore bashing damage and deal one more bashing damage as they attack those the Volques design as his foes.

    Skin stealer (Majesty ****, Protean ***, Resilience *)

    The Volques drinks the blood of one of his herd members, and get his appearance, thus ignoring the Banes of Sun and Fire for the duration of the effect; The Devotion last one hour for each point of Vitae drank, and the Volques endure a bashing damage per hour while he wear the skin of his victim. Using this Devotion induce a Detachment Roll (Humanity 2).


    The Love of Dis Pater

    The Volques proclaim that their Blood is the most ancient, and the abilities granted by Dis Pater are certainly a boon when it comes to proving it. Even for Gangrels, they are particularly resilient, and they display some abilities which are of great interest to the Ordo Dracul. Still, there is always a price to pay for such abilities, and some bear a worrying likeness with Strix' powers... There is, in the end, a reason why the elders of the Eldest rarely - if ever - pursue a deeper bonding with the Father Below.

    When joining the Bloodline, a character must acquire the Defiant mind Merit.

    Defiant mind (*) : The Volques inflict their Blood Potency as a penalty to successes rolled on any attempt to mentally influence them and can never gain Willpower from the beneficial efforts of another, such as a character using the Inspiring Merit on them.

    Unstakable (**) : The Eldest who has been so touched by Dis Pater cannot be staked. However, the damages of a stake through the heart are considered aggravated damages.

    Call of the Eldest (***) : By letting out their primal fury, the Volques can Ride the Wave more effectively; the willpower dot used to attempt to Ride the Wave adds to the Resolve + Composure as it normally would. Using this ability is a Breaking Point (Humanity 2).

    From the ashes (****) : The cold embrace of Dis Pater turns fire damages into lethal damages but the Sénile's Humanity is considered one rank lower when it comes to the Sun Bane.

    Wingless Shadow (*****) : The Volques enter into the realm of Dis Pater, merging with shadows around her; she rolls her Blood Potency as an instant action. If successful, she emerges into any other shadow within her Blood Potency in miles. The Volques suffers a point of lethal damage per miles jumped plus one point of lethal damage. Using this ability is a Breaking Point (Humanity 1) with a -3 malus on the Detachment roll.

    The Connection with the Strix

    Wether in times so ancient only painting on cave walls remain or during the XIXth Century, one truth remain the same: the Eldest are the scions of of Strix. However they want to deny it, however they try to avoid them Birds of Dis as much as possible, it's a truth they know deep down, from the moment they are Embraced into the Bloodline.

    No one knows what was the bargain, but there is a dark rumor among Volques, talking about the danger the Strix are to them, and how even speaking their name is a terrible idea. Some pretends that their founder was an elder Gangrel, fallen to torpor and his body stolen by a Bird of Dis who was about to give "birth" to another of its monstrous kind. When he Embraced a poor sap, he released the would be Strix in the Vitae, damning his descendants forever.

    Other whispers that it was simply a long runt of a Gangrel, unsatisfied with his lot and lack of pedigree who made a deal with the devil. Powers unknown from other Vampires were his, all he had to sacrifice was the Man in him and his descendants. The Draugr and the Belial Brood are not distant horror for the Eldest then, but their fate, and only Final Death can prevent it...

    Some, finally, pretend that the Eldest are the last childer of the last true Strix, one who didn't abandon its duty for Dis Pater when its kin did, refusing to ferry the souls of the living to the Father Below only to return them to life while being forever denied it. If true, the Lords of the Wild have done very little to achieve their duty, instead fleeing from their owl-shaped cousins in terror for all eternity.
    Last edited by Ur-Than; 05-30-2021, 05:28 AM.

  • #2
    Did the Gauls worship Dis Pater? I though he was a Roman god? Or is that part of these vamps’ charade too?


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    • #3
      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
      Did the Gauls worship Dis Pater? I though he was a Roman god? Or is that part of these vamps’ charade too?

      Apparently, they did worship a god of the Underworld as their "Father" who granted their souls the ability to return to life. Caesar called it Dis Pater at least. And they did offer him ashes of sacrificed animals, at least early on (according to Jean-Louis Brunaux work on the Gaulish religions).

      Of course, I can't pass it up when it comes to Requiem 2ed. I mean. Come on, a Bloodline pretending to be tied to the Gauls, however the way ? It has to have Dis Pater in here ! And the Birds of Dis also.

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      • #4
        Mmm, Vampire's not my forte, but a hunch tells me that these guys' culture (i.e. fluff) can be Gaul-based (Neo-Gaulish?), but their abilities (i.e. most of the mechanics) should be related to the Underworld and that mysterious deity patron of theirs.

        They also seem to have a "rule through badassery" angle to them. You might want to look at the Kerberos Bloodline for 2E for inspiration.


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        • #5
          Thanks for the link ! Underworld stuff isn't my best known part of the lore but I'll try to forage through what i can find, it can be a great angle !

          Edit : I guess I could go for a sort of Merit system ? But how to make it revolve around the Underworld ? It makes them harder to truly kill ? And what's the drawback ? Such power has to have one in my mind...
          Last edited by Ur-Than; 05-27-2021, 09:24 AM.

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          • #6
            I think the second bane is the stronger choice. The first probably ties in more easily into the Gangrel bane, but the second has more dramatic potential. Maybe their Beasts get edgy if they haven't engaged in rough behaviour? Like, if they haven't fed violently in a night, the Bestial Curse is effectively treated as one Humanity dot lower? That might be a bit too specific, but food for thought.

            (And thanks for the shout out!)

            Last edited by Yossarian; 05-27-2021, 03:55 PM.



            Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

            Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
            Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
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            • #7
              Thanks Yossarian !

              So, something like this could fit what I had in mind, I guess could work ? Not sure about it.

              Bloodline Bane (The Unsatisfied Curse) : A Volques' Beast is never satisfied until it has railed against enemies, real or supposed. Each night, a Volques must make a clear stand against them, physical or verbal but always unequivocal and at her detriment, otherwise one her Touchstones is considered as unattached. Said enemies can be other Kindred, institutions or even specific mortals.

              Also, inspired by the Kerberos, I have an idea for a one to five dots Merit which would represent Dis Pater's influence. Basically, for each dot bought, the Volques suffer less from Fire and Sun... but he losts one Humanty point forever. You think it's too broken ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ur-Than View Post
                Thanks Yossarian !

                So, something like this could fit what I had in mind, I guess could work ? Not sure about it.

                Bloodline Bane (The Unsatisfied Curse) : A Volques' Beast is never satisfied until it has railed against enemies, real or supposed. Each night, a Volques must make a clear stand against them, physical or verbal but always unequivocal and at her detriment, otherwise one her Touchstones is considered as unattached. Said enemies can be other Kindred, institutions or even specific mortals.
                I like that! Perhaps give an example of making a stand, though. Maybe you have to win a Predatory Aura conflict? Or just successfully hit a human with it.

                Originally posted by Ur-Than View Post
                Also, inspired by the Kerberos, I have an idea for a one to five dots Merit which would represent Dis Pater's influence. Basically, for each dot bought, the Volques suffer less from Fire and Sun... but he losts one Humanty point forever. You think it's too broken ?
                I feel like it's too much like Coil of the Ascendant. Maybe instead, you could have a kind of bargain system: you negate one of the more immediate banes of vampirism by throwing your Humanity into the maw of Dis Pater. For example, you could maybe treat your Humanity as higher when it comes to sunlight damage, but also take a penalty to resist detachment for certain actions. Still might work better as a Coil-like thing though.
                Last edited by Yossarian; 05-27-2021, 06:42 PM.



                Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

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

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                • #9
                  Bane updated !

                  I keep the previous possibilities here, for the record ^^

                  As you can see, I'm already kind of stuck with the Bloodline Bane aspect, because I have two conflicting ideas which I can't really articulate in terms of rules :

                  Bloodline Bane (The Eldest Curse); here the idea would be that Blood of the Volques makes them believe that they are the scions of the Eldest Kindred and thus deserve respect because of it, and if they don't get it, they get angry, really angry. But I can't really see how to turn it into a rule, if you get the idea.

                  Or

                  Bloodline Bane (The Unsatisfied Curse); here it's more based on the fact that Gauls were very fractious, with each and every tribe divided by political factions, etc. and viying for supremacy between themselves up until Caesar conquered them all -with a lot of help from some Gaulish tribes. So it'd make them more of rabble-rousers I guess, always having to be fractious and again, I can't really find a way to make it into a satisfying rule...

                  Anyway, the lore for them would be something akin to that :

                  As for a Coil-like, yeah, I guess it could work ! I'll thinker with it !

                  As for the Devotions, here's a proposition :

                  Bestial fervor (Majesty ***; Protean **)

                  The Volques take a partially bestial form, rousing his herd into a frenzy. Until the end of the scene, the peoples affected by the Eldest' Awe ignore bashing damage and deal one more bashing damage as they attack those the Volques design as his foes.

                  Skin stealer (Majesty ****, Protean ***, Resilience *)

                  The Volques drinks the blood of one of his herd members, and get his appearance, thus ignoring the Banes of Sun and Fire for the duration of the effect; The Devotion last one hour for each point of Vitae drank, and the Volques endure a bashing damage per hour while he wear the skin of his victim. Using this Devotion induce a Detachment Roll (Humanity 2).

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                  • #10
                    Again, just throwing stuff here

                    Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
                    Right, so, I can't remember whether I've posted this onto the forum yet but, with the advent of Shunned by the Moon, I thought I'd dust off some older drafts of material to share as well. Sadly we didn't have space to fit the Baal Hadad/gudthabak rules into Dark Eras' Sundered World chapter, but I batted some rough ideas together and recently had reason to nail them into something more coherent.

                    As such, here's a first draft of 2e rules for the gudthabak. As ever these are, of course, unofficial and obviously need a lot of tidying up, but they're squarely in the direction I would have implemented them had there been the space in DE1, and more generally the approach to non-Uratha shifters in the 2e paradigm. For now, the main thing they're lacking is probably a couple more things to spend Essence on. Let me know what you think!


                    Gudthabak

                    ......

                    Rage: A gudthabak does not suffer from Death Rage as a werewolf does, but can fall into a modified form of soft rage. The first time in a scene that they are faced with provocation that challenges the shapeshifter’s dominance or insults their prowess, the gudthabak must succeed on a dice pool of Resolve + Composure + number of herdmates present or enter soft rage for a number of rounds equal to their Primal Urge; the aggression of the rage must be directed at whoever instigated it, or at anyone or anything getting between the gudthabak and the target.

                    ......

                    Arrogance: Gudthabak inflict their Primal Urge as a penalty to successes rolled on any attempt to mentally influence them, with failures automatically becoming dramatic failures. A gudthabak can never gain Essence or Willpower from the beneficial efforts of another, such as a character using the Inspiring Merit on them.

                    .......
                    The "Rage" trait over there could serve as the basis of these guys' bloodline bane; just say it provokes Frenzy instead of Soft Rage.

                    The "Arrogance" trait could serve as inspiration for another one of their bloodline gifts.


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                    • #11
                      I think I could work something out about both in a sort of Coil and Scale way.

                      A Rage-like ability could be a scale while Arrogance could be a sort of Coil, I think.

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                      • #12
                        And... I've done something with the Love of Dis Pater idea ! I hope it's not too broken, one way or another !

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ur-Than View Post
                          I think I could work something out about both in a sort of Coil and Scale way.

                          A Rage-like ability could be a scale while Arrogance could be a sort of Coil, I think.

                          It's neither of those, but would that perhaps be of interest to the subject?

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                          • #14
                            Thanks ! I'll definitively make use of those informations one way or another !

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