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  • Vampire Otherworld

    I saw a brief mention in the 3rd ed. wish list about the possibility of a distinctly Kindred otherworld, something separate from the Underworld, which is a concept I've been eager to see ever since the transition from World of Darkness.

    I'm curious if The forum has any canon, any informed speculation, or any news on the idea before I play around fleshing out the idea.

  • #2
    The thing to know about Vampire is that it's kind of opposite Mage in terms of cosmological niche in a lot of ways; Deviant has presented a closer analogue, and Hunter's been adjacent to the line pretty much since 1.5e started rolling out the clanbooks and Ancient Mysteries with conspiracy cameos in them.

    Mages are the supernatural one-percent, and academics besides; the nature of their power and insight encourages them to delve into occult minutiae and retreat from mortal society, and they can spend their years exploring any of the myriad otherworlds present in the setting apart from the ones that obliterate any visitors who haven't got divine power or aid holding them together, albeit some of those worlds have inhabitants that are exceedingly dangerous to beings of mortal constitution. Werewolves, changelings, and Sin-Eaters have a metaphysical tie to specific segments of the cosmology and often have specific reasons to make use of that tie. Beasts have the ability to leverage existing passageways to most other worlds, but the way their powerset works means extended sojourns in those environments will wear badly on them or their relationships, and most of them spend more time dealing with prosaic concerns in the waking world than meddling in the Astral for the same reason.

    Deviants are a bunch of different things with a few shared qualities, and they don't go poking around deep in other dimensions for much the same reason Beasts don't with the volume knob turned up. The closest thing demons have to a unified otherworld is a very slightly more magical version of the thing that vampires have (see anon). Hunters are largely flying blind for thematic reasons that are well-established.

    Vampires are constantly starving and their primary advantages work on mortals and vampires who they have specific forms of leverage over; they're a bunch of different things with a few shared qualities acquired by extended proximity to and consumption of humanity (and each other); the aggregate of their shared metaphysical state absorbs qualities from their surroundings (including other supernatural qualities, especially curses), and the pursuit of directed magical evolution is typically characterized as a luxury available to characters who don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from; the main way vampires increase the security of their feeding process is through good old institutional corruption and otherwise turning people and places into extensions of themselves, most easily through the inter-vampire social structures managed by Elysium and the covenants.

    The All Night Society is the distinctly Kindred otherworld. The Predatory Aura laying thick across a character's Feeding Grounds is the distinctly Kindred otherworld. Vampires and their mark upon the land are the distinctly Kindred otherworld. Everything else is an extra to squeeze for more power and comfort.


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    • #3
      What Satchel said above, but maybe you could incorporate the Shadow from Trinity Continuum: Assassins if you want something even stranger (see the forums/main site for previews). Powered by the Predatory Aura and the Curse itself, of course, instead of Flux.


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      • #4
        Had a similar idea. In the end it turned out as something between Ravenloft setting and Bloodborne.
        A world in Lower Depths that lacks the concept of Death. Nothing ever dies.
        Add rivers of blood and viscera, fleshlands where meat is instead of dirt, where marrow grows like plants.

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        • #5
          I think that the closest there is to a "canon" Vampire Otherworld is wherever the Strix come from- which is 99.9% some Lower Depth, but besides rare instances of Owls simply emerging or vanishing into that world and other such instances there is little in canon about this realm. Most fans simply call it Dis (due to the Strix being called "Birds of Dis" in RfR), but even the 2e book states that while the Strix may have came from another world, the vast majority of those have lived in the material for so damn long or are descended from generations of Owls which have never seen that original realm that they all basically consider the material as their "native realm". So yeah, not much to work with, unless you want to imagine a whole world made out of smoke and shadows filled with bright golden eyes.


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          • #6
            The closest thing I’ve ever done to a vampire Otherworld is create the Vampiric Cloister known as Toburaishima- formerly an imperial Japanese colony out in the middle of nowhere in the pacific that was basically annexed by the US after WWII, turned into a naval base and a small vacation locale- its main attraction being near a blue hole that supposedly had a sunken structure resting at the bottom.

            What most didn’t know is that the island was once home to a now long extinct clan of Kindred who were adept at suffusing their Blood into the world around them.. and it created a place that was very.. weird.. the island was almost like a vampire itself. Full of ancient secrets. And ghoulish ecosystems
            Last edited by Korogra; 01-23-2022, 07:29 PM.

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            • #7
              I wouldn't be opposed to vampires having their own little slice of hell in the underworld, the fluff in geist even supports it but I wouldn't call it otherworld because I think that would just be a little "dominion" shall we say of the underworld where vamps are more likely to gather. I would be more interested as to how they would be able to access the underworld in the first place, aside from the conventional methods that are available to humans, there is a new bloodline in the new night horror book that allows more interaction with ghosts but still nothing that would help with unlocking an avernian gate.

              If you were thinking about an otherworld in the real world, I think that the all night society fit that niche perfectly, vampires are creatures inherently tied to the physical world, they need to otherwise they wouldn't be able to sustain themselves, no need to make a specific vampire superhaven when you have plenty of such places in practically every city in the world.
              Last edited by Newb95; 01-24-2022, 01:25 PM.

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              • #8
                Experimented a bit with the subject back in 1e, mostly expanding some concepts from Mythologies by mixing with elements from Astral Realms, Book of Dead and others.

                From that blend of things came the idea of two levels of Torpor - the Sleep of Reason, the Surface or Oneiros Layer, that is the same as described in MtAw and Astral Realms (based on many telling similarities with the "Understanding the Fog of Eternity" subchapter from Mythologies) what means that through Torpor vampires can circumvent some of the requirements that Awakened deal with for astral journeys, up to the Oneiros at least, where some undead mystics have confronted what Mages might qualify as the soul's Daimon or entities akin to Goetic inner demons.

                ​Beyond that, things get a little turbid and less similar to what one of the awakened might expect from their "inner dimensions", as below the impulses and urges of the Beast intrude and merge with the dark corners of a kindred identity past and present to form labyrinthine vistas at the same time alien and familiar to the dead predator once human that holds the ephemeral keys to the idiosyncratic landscape of these hedge mazes, endless caves of echoes and houses of phantasmagoric mirrors.

                And farther even lies only death - or more precisely, the place of the dead, the Thanatos Layer, the Second Death realm (again, as per Mythologies), a place of broken hungry dead without bodies and fetterless ghosts, many all too ready to steal the tether/silver cord of those visitors who still have it for a chance at new unlife in a repossessed body so to speak, even though the Psychocomps that guard that place strongly frown upon it and may attempt to find cracks into the world of the living to try to recapture such escapees with bodies not their own.

                That ain't everything, but is what i can remember without taking some time to look in a bunch of notes about a decade old, give or take. But overall one might say the kindred nature, like their vitae, would pool in places and then slip through cracks into different spaces, all the while coagulating upon them through their passage, blending both ends and the paths leading to and fro them into something more of the hungry dead and the ichors, mostly crimson and human but not always that fuels them.
                Last edited by Baaldam; 01-24-2022, 06:16 PM.

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                • #9
                  Night Horrors: The Wicked Dead has a story about a Founder who traveled to Dis (the place where the Strix went).


                  Whenever I need to destabilize things in my game, someone gets access to Dis.

                  This is what I have in my notes for when people end up in Dis.


                  a grey forest, lit by a grey directionless light. the trees are grey and twisted and dead. cremation ash ground

                  dark shapes in the distance. they are hungry

                  dark things above. crowding into the trees. Hateful hungry eyes staring down at you
                  • Set up two progress tracks/clocks. One progresses towards escape, the other to confrontation.
                  • Traversal is an extended roll using the lower of (Humanity - BP) or (Resolve + Composure - BP).
                    • Success gets a short interactive nightmare/hallucination sequence with plot hints and advances the exit track.
                    • Failure gets hints about the Strix's nature (find a pre-human skull, the owls' eyes shine, etc), but the Strix get closer.

                  If the Strix reach the PCs, they want blood/breath/a ride out of Dis, and they have knowledge and power to offer. Curious and they sense an opportunity; posture like they have the upper hand. They're set up so the players expect violence, but they won't attack until the PCs become an obstacle to their escaping.

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                  • #10
                    I think you could get something out of the idea that vampires have a capacity to immerse themselves more deeply in the things that Satchel pointed out, make the experience of them more literal for the vampire. My impromptu idea for how that would function for Requiem's themes is that the vampire gets to inhabit a rendering of the world where they feel less alienated (among which are elements where they don't need to feel so hostile towards one another), but it comes at the cost of connections to humanity. Not just in terms of being isolated from Touchstones and the experience itself causing Breaking Points, but that there isn't really anything to feed on in there.

                    The horror could come from an element where a vampire in that state of being won't actually be driven into Torpor, but such a thing is cold comfort, as it just makes it a place of perpetual gnawing hunger. You'd expect most vampires to only ever skim the surface of it, but occasionally you find some horrors who'll take hunger and inhumanity as the fair price for a place where they can function more openly and feel as though they belong.


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                    • #11
                      Baaldam that concept gets bonus points from me for managing to make something cool out of Mythologies' obsolete material


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                        Baaldam that concept gets bonus points from me for managing to make something cool out of Mythologies' obsolete material

                        Thanks.

                        Funny thing is that the maze of mirrors was the first otherworldly thing, along with Red Jack & Blood Mary i threw in my chronicle, mostly straight from "The Thing in the Mirror" subchapter from Mythologies, with no clear idea of what i actually wanted them to be back then, if i'm being honest. But then comes the Mekhet clanbook with Hollows, what led to considerable streamlining and expansion of Jack's actual nature, identity and the motives behind the extensive network of pupils/additional anchors he has built, with the House That Jack Built (the Glass Mansion from Reliquary) at the center of it all.

                        Meanwhile Mary would stretch herself from mirrors into her own personal tract of the Hedge, taken from the Children of the Thorns in Danse Macabre and more focused in a complex multi-tiered conflict between mirrors, dreams & beyond with the Sightless Mother (from Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners) and La Llorona (from Shadows of Mexico), involving the Children of Thorns, the Moirai, Alucinor, Usiri & Cihuateteo (Wicked Dead and kindred versions both) among others.

                        (Also, it's possible that Blood Mary is actually Pasiphae aka another version of the Sightless Mother)
                        Last edited by Baaldam; 01-27-2022, 12:58 AM.

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                        • #13
                          So a long while ago I addressed this in my own game by making my own lost Clan called Alukah. I actually called this other place the Otherworld (I think, its been ages). For their proprietary Discipline I used an updated Blood Tenebrose (A mish mash of a few other peoples updated Blood Tenebrose with my own touches). The way I looked at it, this Kindred Clan was a bit of a Death Spirit, so they gained access in both the Shadow and Underworld. But, because Kindred are a paranoid lot who keep secrets, lore was sparse so the Clan for the most part wouldn't see a separating line between the Shadow/Underworld, they would just see it as different places in the Otherworld. The game being run was Cross-Line heavy, so it really worked. Plus I have a huge Soul Reaver bent, and while a Mekhet Bloodline could fill that role, I felt a new, more bizarre clan would suit better. I think the Alukah is still around here in the Homebrew section.


                          "Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot." Sandman (Neil Gaiman)

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                          • #14
                            Building up on everything in the thread, I think it is worth to explore more in the books how vampires may corrupt things with their presence and/or actions, that being their "otherworld". The Predatory Aura, the many curses in the blood and the passage of time may twist the places vampires stay in for too long, with Ghoul-like animals, plants and things following regardless of any actual effort or control by the vampire. Not only in the material world, but also in other worlds the undead touches.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                              Building up on everything in the thread, I think it is worth to explore more in the books how vampires may corrupt things with their presence and/or actions, that being their "otherworld". The Predatory Aura, the many curses in the blood and the passage of time may twist the places vampires stay in for too long, with Ghoul-like animals, plants and things following regardless of any actual effort or control by the vampire. Not only in the material world, but also in other worlds the undead touches.

                              Very much so. The blood flows and trickles, making inroads out of cracks, spoiling & washing away both things in its path, gathering all kinds of impurities within itself, new particles of good, bad and dead matter, feelings, life & magic carried into the crimson flow of an unliving, undying circulatory system, for no greater reason than continued existence, that which motivates beasts of all kinds & forms.

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