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  • amechra
    started a topic Gangrel/Mekhet Bloodline: The Machinists

    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.

  • amechra
    replied
    I would say yes.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Somewhat related imagery?

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  • amechra
    replied
    That... is beautiful. I might have to write that one up.

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  • CalvaryKeter
    replied
    For the Nosferatu - maybe they supplement Grand Delusion by causing machines that come in contact with the target to edit whatever tests they release, to support and reinforce that delusion?

    So when a Machinist Haunt uses The Grand Delusion to convince Jane Mortal that everyone around her might be a carrier of Swedish Exploding Flesh Disease, and her friends try to convince her otherwise by sending her a Snopes link debunking the existence of Swedish Exploding Flesh Disease ("not sure how anyone believed this one, honestly"), the Snopes link she gets cites several reputable doctors that confirm that, yes, Swedish Exploding Flesh Disease is real, and over two-thirds of the population carries it, dormant, waiting to activate, and that one of the symptoms of Swedish Exploding Flesh Disease is that you're subconsciously motivated to convince people it doesn't exist so that it can infect them unawares, and that at this very second people are dying of flesh explosions, and why haven't you confined yourself in a sterilized bunker yet? And when she does independent research, Wikipedia corroborates, because the computer is editing the pages she visits instantly to confirm everything the Delusion is telling her.

    Last edited by CalvaryKeter; 04-21-2015, 06:38 PM.

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  • ZealousChristian24
    replied
    As a possible suggestion, maybe the Nosferatu represent the fear that not everyone online is what they seem?

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  • Leetsepeak
    replied
    Considering what fuel is made of, if one wants to get technical, the founder of the Bloodline could've found a way for the Blood to extract the barest of sustenance from the once living matter which fuel is composed of. Since world of Darkness mysticism seems to work off of symbols, fuel seems to have a decently strong metaphorical resonance with the idea of vitae as vitality.

    EDIT: I'll admit, were I attempting to design this Bloodline, I'd try to construct it around this idea of fuel as energy as life, with a focus on changing the Kindred physiology to compensate for it. In this theoretical redesign, one could conceivably give them something that is mechanically an Ordo Mystery, though they might not identify it as such.

    And to the credit of your idea, we've seen through groups like the Ordo how the Kindred can alter the condition through willpower and stuff.
    Last edited by Leetsepeak; 11-15-2014, 02:39 PM.

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  • Rashnu
    replied
    I find the Machinist Bloodline very interesting. I understand the argument that the drinking of fuel for vitae goes against the whole Kindred vibe, however, it fits right into the Machinist Bloodline bane of the delusion that machines are alive. Otherwise the argument can be made that none of the other disciplines or devotions should work on machines either. Now a delusion will not effect the real world but here are some suggestions that some of my friends and I have brainstormed:

    1. The Machinist can drink fuel and gain vitae as if it were dead animal blood but to make it work they subconsciously spend a point of willpower (per feeding) to make it work.
    2. Keeping with the delusion that machines are alive, they can only gain vitae from consuming fuel that is being used to power a machine, essentially they have to feed off a machine like it was an animal (which could lead to some interesting social implications and prevents the Machinist from just pulling into a gas station and "tanking up".)
    3. Because the Machinist is already having to spend willpower to gain vitae, they cannot gain vitae once their blood potency is at a level that they no longer gain vitae from animal blood. (any effect that lowers the blood potency for feeding restrictions still applies) OR require a higher grade or octane as blood potency feeding restrictions increase (regular gas=animal blood; premium gas=human blood and racing/rocket fuel=supernatural blood) (thanks StSword for that idea). Either way, the Machinist cannot gain vitae from a lower fuel=blood source by spending willpower since they already have to spend willpower to gain vitae from fuel.
    4. Imbibing a flammable substance is not without risk. After a Machinist has "fed" from a machine, they are more flammable than normal for a kindred (possibly treat any flame as one category higher and/or +1 die damage from fire with regular gas; +2 for premium and +3 for racing/rocket fuel) until they go through daysleep. Their body will automatically rid itself of the flammable qualities during daysleep but the Machinist will have a chemical or fuel smell about them for a period of time (maybe one day per 2 points of vitae gained or something like that)

    Just some ideas

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  • StSword
    replied
    Perhaps as a compromise their bloodline gift could be that they don't need to spend willpower to drink blood below their usual limit if they mix it with fuel?

    If that still seems too generous, the benefit might require a certain grade of fuel to count? Like say drinking animal blood when you are supposed to be drinking human blood requires simple gas, but the same feat for an elder who should be drinking other supernaturals requires rocket fuel or some such.

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  • Kat
    replied
    Consider also the Kindred in question being more vulnerable to damage from fire than Kindred already are.

    Actually, if you introduce such temporary frailty then IMO even drinking only fuel would be passable since it's alleviating effects one of curses at the cost of being more vulnerable to another. There is some 'justice' to that.
    Last edited by Kat; 10-20-2014, 08:57 AM.

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  • Holy
    replied
    Originally posted by amechra View Post
    I'll probably end up going with having drinking fuel still be part of the gift (using one of the aforementioned options, which I kinda want more opinions on than one guy). I might make a Bane that they (or other Kindred) can take which requires you to taint up the blood you're drinking.
    A blanket 'fuel = vitae' rule does seem pretty powerful, but I like the concept that the Machinists can use fuel as vitae-light in some circumstances. Of the posted options I think I like the conditions the best. Of those, the anti-lethargic and ecstatic ones feel more right, since they seem to be encouraging action rather than slowing action down.

    You could also reverse the effects - Tamer blood can be used as fuel. Pour some vitae into the cycle's gas tank, soak a battery in blood - then technology can be powered/fueled without a normal source.

    You could let Machines 'spend' fuel on behalf of effected tech to gain vitae-like physical buffs. Spend a quarter-tank of gasoline to improve the car's handling or top speed, just like the Kindred can increase Str/Dex.

    Could add a detrimental condition to Kindred drinking Tamer blood - the oil/gasoline is actually a part of the blood, now, and Kindred not used to it could suffer a retch-effect the first (few) times they taste it. Or reverse that - give their blood a positive effect, like the anti-lethargic - that anyone can taste, and make them more likely to be targeted by Kindred predators.

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  • amechra
    replied
    I'll probably end up going with having drinking fuel still be part of the gift (using one of the aforementioned options, which I kinda want more opinions on than one guy). I might make a Bane that they (or other Kindred) can take which requires you to taint up the blood you're drinking.

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  • Kat
    replied
    So I'm getting a general "NO DRINK OIL" vibe from you guys. That is entirely fair; I'll put forward my thoughts on the matter, and then I'll forward a few different suggestions for you folks to look over.

    I gave them the ability to feed fuel for a couple reasons.

    The first is the idea of inhuman cravings. Ultimately, blood and fuel aren't things that people (or at least, mainstream western cultures) see as "food items", at least not in the "fresh from the source" sense. In a way, fuel is a more alien foodstuff, since blood sausage is a thing (and quite tasty; if you can find some, try it), and the British have black pudding and spotted dick and the like, which are all made from blood.

    Secondly, your Beast has been warped to the metaphor of a Machine; craving fuel is a Machine's equivalent of a Beast's craving for blood (OK, this one's a bit tenuous, I admit.)

    Thirdly, it's symbolic of the fact that every single member of the bloodline sincerely believes machines are alive.
    Thirst for blood is basically what makes Kindred Kindred. Have means to supplant it with other stuff completely, then it's veering into a territory of being a different type of undead in general. As the poster above said, craving for unnatural fluids COMBINED with blood makes for a interesting Bane, though. Or a Bane that you cannot anymore feed like 'proper' vampires do and you have to inject blood through artificial means directly into the body because your Beast is too much attuned with technology and classic Kiss provides lesser nourishment or lack of it.

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  • TittoPaolo210
    replied
    To give that feeling you could use the need to drink fuel as a Bane, rather than a gift. Something like

    "You need to consume blood mixed with fuel otherwise, the first 10-[Humanity score] points of vitae ingested in the current scene provide no nourishment."

    This would enforce the alien cravings and needs, rather than being just some kind of advantage.

    Otherwise you could put a limit on how much blood they can obtain from fuel, like:

    "You can consume fuel as if ti were cold blood up to [Blood Potency score] Vitae per night. You need to have at least 1/[Blood Potency score]/X Blood Points as the fuel needs to dilute in the blood to actually create sustenance."
    Last edited by TittoPaolo210; 10-19-2014, 07:22 PM.

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  • TheDiabadass
    replied
    I like the healing one. Can't be used for devotions, but can still be incredibly useful.

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