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Gangrel/Mekhet Bloodline: The Machinists

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  • Gangrel/Mekhet Bloodline: The Machinists

    This Bloodline was written with a few assumptions; most importantly, there is the relation to technological decay and technological paranoia. This bloodline is inappropriate if your World of Darkness is one of shining spires and public disclosure; it is highly appropriate, however, to crack open Neuromancer or Snow Crash and use that as inspiration.

    Also, there is a definite emphasis on technology here - their Bloodline Devotions rely on access to technology of a certain sophistication to be of any real use; it is suggested that including them in a Requiem for Rome game is highly discouraged.

    Also, due to there being some distinctions between the two aspects of this Bloodline, I'll be using "they" and the Both alternate names to refer to shared features, "he" to refer to the Gangrel, and "she" to refer to the Mekhet. Just pretend they are the pictures given for each clan in Chapter 1, and it should be okey-dokey.


    The Beast speaks of a feral world, a world red in tooth and claw. It croons a story of terror and hunger, of violence and lust. At least, most do. The Beasts of the Machinists tell a tale of a very different world, one of rust and rot and inhuman machines. They have taken on the stylings of depraved machine-spirits instead of predatory beasts, and the Machinists reflect this fact.

    The Machinist "Bloodline" is in actuality several bloodlines, running through the Gangrel and Mekhet; there are some among the Ordo Dracul that believe that the Machinists are an adaptation to the new wilderness Mortals have created since the Industrial revolution and proliferation of the computer, and that similar adaptations will soon arise throughout the other clans. After all, they seem almost... easy to develop, as can be attested by how they've been independently "developed" several times in the last 50 years. Some mutter darkly that someone (or something) must be ensuring that the Bloodline is discovered, but that's just paranoia.

    Isn't it?

    Bloodline Name: The Machinists
    Alternate Names: Sons/Daughters of Steel, Tamers of Iron (Both), Machines (Gangrel), Everyone's Watchers (Mekhet), Gearheads, Camera Eyes (Both; Insulting), Tin Men (Gangrel; Insulting), The NSA (Mekhet; Insulting)
    Parent Clan: Gangrel or Mekhet
    Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Obfuscate, Protean, Resistance (Gangrel), Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate (Mekhet)

    Bloodline Bane:
    Machine-Bound
    Machinists can't hide from their blood, or from machines; in addition to retaining their original Clan Bane, a Machinist loses the Lost Visage altogether. In addition, the Tamer of Iron gains the Delusional condition, reflecting their all-consuming conviction that machinery is alive and hungry and hateful.

    Bloodline Gift:
    Oil In The Blood
    The Tamers of Iron live up to their name in more ways than one; firstly, their Kindred Senses extend to machinery in additional to living creatures, hearing motors and gears like heartbeats, seeing oil drops like bloodstains, and smelling grease as if it were blood. Secondly, they may consume liquid fuel without harm or regurgitating it, treating it as if it were dead animal blood for the purposes of regaining Vitae.

    Finally, a Machinist's Disciplines all follow a more machine-like aesthetic than the normal "bestial" look. Most notably, a Tin Man's use of Predatory Aspect or Unnatural Aspect look more like jagged pieces of machinery imbedded in his flesh than a bestial transformation; however, this shift is present in all of their Disciplines, from the crackle of static commingled in their Auspex visions to the robotic way animals following their orders from Animalism behave.

    That last one doesn't really do much mechanically; it just is kinda cool. Play it up and have fun.


    Bloodline Devotions:

    Blood of Repair (Resilience •)
    Action: Instant
    Cost: 1+ Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    XP Cost: 2
    Effect: The Machine hiding in their Blood allows the Children of Steel to somewhat extend their regenerative capabilities beyond their bodies. They may repair a machine with a bloody touch; each Vitae they spend repairs a single dot of Structure. If the Gearhead somehow increases how much Lethal damage they may heal per Vitae spent, they similarly increase the amount of Structure this Devotion repairs per Vitae.
    Machines repaired by this Devotion have the requisite parts warped to reflect the vampiric nature of their repair; shiny steel is replaced by apparently rusty iron, and sterile white plastic becomes dingy and warped; this change does not impair the machine's functioning in any way.

    Command The Iron Beast (Animalism •)
    Cost: +1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None (Modifies Feral Whispers, Raise The Familiar, and Lord of the Land)
    XP Cost: 4

    A Machinist knows that machines have a certain... monstrosity to them. As such, they sometimes develop this Devotion so they can reach out and touch that metal and plastic monster.
    This Devotion has a different effect depending on which Animalism power they are combined with:

    Feral Whispers: When used in conjunction with this Devotion, Feral Whispers can target machines as if they were animals. A machine can only "perceive" sensory inputs for which they have sensors; a Gearhead could ask a security camera if it saw someone, or their car why it won't start. Turning itself off and refusing to turn on are always within a machine's capabilities; otherwise, it can perform any action it could take without an operator.

    Raise The Familiar: When used in conjunction with this Devotion, Raise The Familiar can be used on a broken machine to turn it into a machine-familiar. A machine-familiar lasts as long as a "natural" familiar does, and forgoes any need for liquid fuel or maintenance for that duration. Otherwise, the benefits of Raise The Familiar are replaced with the following:
    • The operator of a machine-familiar does not take any penalties to their rolls involving it due to lost Structure. A car familiar runs and handles just fine despite the lack of gas or back wheels.
    • The machine gains a sort of pseudo-animus; the actions it can be requested to perform expand to include flipping switches, turning dials or wheels, pressing pedals, and using keyboards.
    • The Gearhead who created the machine-familiar may target the machine with Feral Whispers without paying the Vitae surcharge; in addition, they may use Feral Whispers on the machine-familiar at any time, regardless of distance.
    • The Machinist may use Feral Whispers to speak through any speakers the machine might have; if they do so, this speech uses their own voice.
    Lord of the Land: When used in conjunction with this Devotion, Lord of the Land produces a territory full of feral machinery. Machines unaffected by another Animalism power brought over the boundary stall or otherwise cease to function until they are taken out of the territory. Moreover, technology within the boundaries becomes intensely hateful; rolls involving machinery made within the territory that result in a Failure are automatically Dramatic Failures, with an emphasis towards physically harming the user. The Gearhead is immune to this effect.

    Iron Evolution (Protean ••, Gangrel Variant)
    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Reflexive
    XP Cost: 3

    The Sons of Steel know that their metal and plastic mutations are beautiful, heralds of a better tomorrow. As such, they have learned a way to make their "upgrades" more permanent.
    This Devotion may only be used while Predatory Aspect is active; the Machinist bleeds a dab of blood and anoints one of his manifested adaptations with a dot of Vitae.

    Any adaptation anointed in this way becomes a permanent part of the Machinist's body; it is not removed when Predatory Aspect ends, instead lasting until the Machine enters Daysleep, his undead physiology rejecting it the same way it rejects piercings and new scars. The Son of Steel may prevent this regeneration as normal, and may even render the adaptation a truly "natural" part of his body the same way he could a scar.

    As long as this anointed adaptation remains on his body, the Machinist cannot change it out for a different adaptation; for better or worse, it is now a part of him.

    Machine Invisibility (Obfuscate •)
    Cost: None
    Dice Pool: None
    XP Cost: 4

    These days, so much other than people are watching people; security cameras stand at every street-corner, and metal detectors stand at the entrances of schools and embassies. However, the Machinists are adept at telling technology not to look.

    This Devotion modifies the entire Discipline of Obfuscate; whenever the Gearhead activates any Obfuscate power, they may choose to have it apply to just people or machines, or they can apply it to both. They could use Touch of Shadow to carry a gun through a metal detector, or Cloak of Night to allow an accomplice to walk through laser tripwires with no fear of setting them off. As a peculiar side effect, The Familiar Stranger, when modified by this Devotion, may be used to bypass biometric security systems, due to the system "recognizing" the character as someone with proper clearance.

    Machine Rhythms (Celerity ••)
    Action: Reflexive
    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    XP Cost: 1
    Effect: Everything has rhythms, from the beat of a heart to the thrum of a motor; it only makes sense to try to match the latter.
    Once per turn, the Machinist may spend 1 Vitae to perform an Instant action to operate or repair machinery as a Reflexive action instead.

    Querying Machine Memory (Auspex •, Mekhet Variant)
    Cost: +1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None (Modifies Beast's Hackles, Uncanny Perception, and The Spirit's Touch)
    XP Cost: 4

    In this world of teleconferences and phone calls, one's "presence" extends far beyond their physical shell. The Duaghters of Steel are especially aware of this fact; after all, the machine senses of their Beast dwell heavily on this little... morsel of information. For the purposes of this Devotion, a recording is defined as any record of a past or present event that includes some sort of pictorial or aural component; a video, photograph, or phone call would count, a photograph or book would not.
    This Devotion has a different effect depending on which Auspex power they are combined with:

    Beast's Hackles or Uncanny Perception: When used in conjunction with this Devotion, both Beast's Hackles and Uncanny Perception may be used through a recording, with their effects dictated as if the Daughter of Steel was actually present in that scene; however, any answers she gets would be whatever the answers would be in that scene. She could notice an actor's drug addiction by watching a tape of their film debut, or spot the Ghoul sitting behind the mayor in a photograph of his inauguration.

    The Spirit's Touch: When used in conjunction with this Devotion, The Spirit's Touch may be used to target a recording instead of the object that it is "encased" in, or to target files stored on a computer's hard drive instead of the computer itself. The latter use allows the Machinist to read, watch, or listen to any multimedia file on the computer in lieu of asking a question; this information is "viewed" in real time, so she should be prepared to wait.

    Upon learning this Devotion, the Machinist adds 2 questions to the set they can ask with The Spirit's Touch; the latter may only be asked in conjunction with this Devotion.
    • How has this been tampered with? The fresh coat of paint peels away. Cuts in recordings are heralded with screams.
    • Does this recording contain any references to [subject]? Mentions of sedition against the Prince are whispered by the device.
    Unmarked Slab (Protean •) (Credit: Holy)
    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Reflexive
    XP Cost: 2

    Most Gangrel find the encroachment of construction and technology into the wilderness a detriment to their natural havens of soil. The Sons of Steel welcome these new urban wastelands as just another evolution. Rather than the embrace of deep earth and natural sands, the Machine gleans comfort from industrial warehouses and long stretches of highway. Especially popular are medical locations - morgues and hospitals where blood might be likely to spill. And then of course the machine-shops where Oil in the Blood is likely to function.

    Effect: When using Unmarked Grave against artificial materials, the Machinist needs to only spend 1 Vitae to overcome all the durability of the the target ground, rather than 1 Vitae per Durability point. Cement roadways and metal slabs, plastic and artificial flooring - these all fall under the purview of the Tamer. Worked lumber and natural (even if carved) stone don't usually qualify without heavy modification that has significantly altered the original form.
    Last edited by amechra; 10-19-2014, 03:51 PM.


    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

  • #2
    So, here's the core of the Machinist Bloodline! I'm working on four more Devotions, two of which would fit with both "branches", and one more for each branch.

    This idea originally came from the idea "wouldn't it be totally sweet if a Gangrel could ghoul his motorcycle", and kinda evolved into... this.

    The Gangrel branch focuses onthe inhumanity of technology. That's why their "unique" Devotion is them growing cybertech implants.
    The Mekhet branch, however, focuses on the paranoia of technology. After all, they get a unique Devotion that lets them act as a one-vampire NSA; my image of a Daughter of Steel's lair includes answering machine tapes, photographs, and DVDs liberally scattered everywhere.

    I'm not sure what a Daeva, Nosferatu, or Ventrue branch would look like; their "unique" Devotions would modify Majesty, Nightmare, and Dominate, though. Nosferatu would add Animalism as their 4th Discipline, while Ventrue would add Obfuscate. I'm not sure what Daeva would add, since they lack both Disciplines. Maybe they get both, replacing one of their physical Disciplines?

    Anyway, feedback would be appreciated.


    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

    Comment


    • #3
      I like it, can make even sense as a bloodline to borrow in the sense that I plan to expand my personal NWoD to Mirrors like setting and because technology plays rather important role, given I port Technocracy as Tier 3 Conspiracy that researches occult physics (no Awakened stuff) for Embed like Endowments) and my take on Gaia recognizes technology as completely valid in her quest to make her children stronger. And oh, she is responsible for creation of Gangrel.

      Good sir/madame, have some Likes from me for the effort put into that.



      “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks! Any Devotions you think are too strong/too weak/too cool for school?

        I'm unsure as to what appropriate XP costs are, so I slapped eyeball numbers on there.

        Also, would you like me to make a branch for any of the other Clans? I have an incipient concept for the Daeva one (technology as social substitute), but I'm not too sure about it on the whole.


        I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

        So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you make it a bloodline for every Clan it will basically branch into mini-Covenant which could be interesting.


          “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

          Comment


          • #6
            True.

            But then I'd have to come up with a cool name for the "Devotions". And that'd be hard.


            I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

            So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

            Comment


            • #7
              But then I'd have to come up with a cool name for the "Devotions". And that'd be hard.
              Don't worry, the community posting here can help come up with something. I'll try, and I'll ask friends too.

              Necrotechnology first comes to mind because I stumbled on it at Metal-Archives.
              Last edited by Kat; 10-13-2014, 06:34 PM.


              “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm...

                I'm thinking I'll leave the current group as it is, and new "branches" will be optional things I toss in another post. In most cases, each branch will have a Devotion based on their Clan's unique Discipline, and access to the Animalism/Obfuscate Devotions.

                I really just have to add Devotions for Celerity and Resilience to finish up the core set - then the expansions would include one for Vigor. That way, all 10 Disciplines are covered (I might be inspired to do one for some of the custom Clans floating around - might be interesting.)


                I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For Daeva, maybe Devotions could be somehow related/inspired by Hacktivism of V20, with emphasis on spreading and sharing information within the Bloodline, as opposed to fascination of Mekhet with secrecy? May or may not include spread of viral memetic concepts just as we can we observe it in modern technological world.


                  “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Viral memes could also work for ventrue and dominate, but hey, they are two types of mind control. Hence both of them being used for the summoning devotion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Celerity and resilience devotions could be used to temporarily improve objects. a bullet flies faster, a car is quicker, a pillar is less likely to crumble, a shield is impenetrable. Also, is lost visage part of second edition? the only reference I found to it seemed to imply it wasn't. (A reference to a myth that vampires don't appear in mirrors, but the truth being that they just don't let you see them coming).

                      Edit: Nvm, page 60 on Blood and Smoke. ignore my ignorance.
                      Last edited by TheDiabadass; 10-14-2014, 05:49 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        BTW, as I'm genuinely interested in the bloodline, feel free to drop me ideas through PM before you post, if you don't mind. Maybe I'm beta material? x3


                        “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What's wrong with posting them here and allowing everyone to discuss them?


                          My Bloodline conversions
                          My House rules

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What's wrong with posting them here and allowing everyone to discuss them?
                            Nothing wrong! It's not as if I want to NTR him/her away!

                            But more seriously, I like PMing stuff as well to people, because that works for me at least, along with posting it publically.




                            “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What do you think of these?

                              Blood of Repair (Resilience •)
                              Action: Instant
                              Cost: 1+ Vitae
                              Dice Pool: None
                              XP Cost: 2
                              Effect: The Machine hiding in their Blood allows the Children of Steel to somewhat extend their regenerative capabilities beyond their bodies. They may repair a machine with a bloody touch; each Vitae they spend repairs a single dot of Structure. If the Gearhead somehow increases how much Lethal damage they may heal per Vitae spent, they similarly increase the amount of Structure this Devotion repairs per Vitae.
                              Machines repaired by this Devotion have the requisite parts warped to reflect the vampiric nature of their repair; shiny steel is replaced by apparently rusty iron, and sterile white plastic becomes dingy and warped; this change does not impair the machine's functioning in any way.

                              Machine Rhythms (Celerity ••)
                              Action: Reflexive
                              Cost: 1 Vitae
                              Dice Pool: None
                              XP Cost: 1
                              Effect: Everything has rhythms, from the beat of a heart to the thrum of a motor; it only makes sense to try to match the latter.
                              Once per turn, the Machinist may spend 1 Vitae to perform an Instant action to operate or repair machinery as a Reflexive action instead.

                              Notes: This basically lets you drive a car and have a gunfight at the same time. Or split attention between fixing the generator while dodging the Slasher that wants to kill you with a chainsaw.
                              Last edited by amechra; 10-15-2014, 04:28 PM.


                              I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                              So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

                              Comment

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