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Walking Shadows: Mnemosyne & Meminisse

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  • NeoTiamat
    started a topic Walking Shadows: Mnemosyne & Meminisse

    Walking Shadows: Mnemosyne & Meminisse

    The second of six Bloodlines from Walking Shadows that I am working on. This has been a collaborative project between myself and my player Isabella, though mostly her work. I just did the mechanics, she did all the creative labor. We've deviated a bit from what's presented in the Mekhet Clanbook, but hopefully in a way that people will find interesting.

    Mnemosyne
    Vampires are dead. Every hot mouthful of blood is a little bit of someone else's existence stolen, a day snatched from some random mortal and tacked onto the vampire's unnatural survival. But the truth is, vampires don't just drink blood, they drink life, a metaphor most Kindred nod at and brush aside, without truly understanding the implications. To drink is to consume, to devour everything a person is, stealing it, subsuming it, making it a part of the vampire itself to fuel its unnatural Requiem. Diablerists understand this - keep feeding, and you can steal someone's power, someone's essence, someone's very soul. Mnemosyne don't need diablerie to tell them this truth. They drink deeper than most, devouring memories, a person's very identity.

    Motif
    Ironically, no one is sure where the Mnemosyne came from. Those elders who have survived through the long years rarely know who they truly are any more, their minds a jumbled wreck of a thousand different thoughts and memories. The bloodline is held together by their shared understanding of their condition - and a perverse need to preserve the echoed souls they believe are trapped within themselves. Although never proven, there are rumors the Mnemosyne practice a ritual diablerie, with members of the bloodline consenting to it when they believe themselves facing their final death.

    It is a particularly common delusion among the bloodline - if it can even be dismissed as such a thing - that a Mnemosyne who kills while feeding swallows a bit of their victim's soul. The Mnemosyne consider the victim to be still present inside of them - a sentiment that sounds like madness born of guilt, but which all Mnemosyne can understand. Although some Mnemosyne reject this feeling as a false sensation, this path often leads them on a downward spiral, as they have little means to differentiate their real relationships from their stolen ones, and wind up losing both.

    The Mnemosyne are an eclectic lot, embraced for many of the same reasons normal Kindred embrace. The difference comes in that many Mnemosyne form bonds with people they have never even met, seeking out and transforming those who have no knowledge of the vampire's feelings toward them. Whatever they began their Requiem as, however, most Mnemosyne become something else very quickly. Some become nearly blank, without an identity beyond what they've cobbled together from their victims. A spy sups from a rival's blood so often he forgets whose side he's truly on. A pair of lovers finds sharing experiences so much more intimate than sex, indulging so often that they now speak in unison. Even those Mnemosyne who are very careful rarely come out with their identity unscathed. One stray bite, one loss of control, and you're someone different altogether from whom you started out as.

    Theme
    The Vampire as Soul Devourer
    The Mnemosyne believe that to feed is to consume the victim entirely, to feel the blood create echoes in the Kindred's soul. Of course, most Kindred, even most Mnemosyne, fall short of devouring someone's essence in their everyday feeding. The vampire usually gulps down a few pints and is gone, thinking nothing more of it and leaving the vessel nothing more than anemic for a week. But the Mnemosyne understand the act leaves an intimate echo, a tie between the vampire and their victim, and the Mnemosyne have learned to tap into these bonds more than most. Their victims are a part of them now - the Kindred simply hasn't moved in to finish the job.

    In London
    No one knows quite how long the Mnemosyne have been in London, nor how many of them there are. They look little different from other Mekhet, and few trumpet their maddening blood and patchwork minds. And yet, they exist. But they have existed a long time, sometimes in shadows, sometimes in the light of the moon. A second-century CE testament in the Mysterium collection at the British Museum mentions special privileges granted to the childer of a vampire belonging to the ‘Mnemosynidae’ along a stretch of the Thames. In modern nights, Alistair Niall, former High Sheriff of London and Inquisitor of the Sanctified is the only Mnemosyne who may be said to be ‘public.’ What other Mnemosyne are hiding in the shadows, one can only guess.

    Alistair Niall lurks in the corners of the world, a spymaster whose web of informants doesn't even know he exists. He maintains his network with extreme precision, and his relationships are laced with heavy paranoia. No one is trusted, no one loved without contingencies and backups, just in case. He has no way of knowing if he really loves who he thinks he loves, after all. Any bond might be a false memory, any trust wholly misplaced. Those he really likes he takes a little sip of, both as insurance and so he'll have a piece of them with him always, even after he turns on them. And he probably will turn on them, and if not, they'll turn on him. He's a treacherous old snake, although its hard to say if his motives for doing so are even his own, or if the people he's loved and betrayed have trickled into his soul and had one last bit of revenge.

    Clan: Mekhet
    Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate, Meminisse
    Bloodline Weakness: The Transient Curse
    Mnemosyne don't just consume blood, they consume their victim's very essence and identity. Feeding comes with an explosion of unfamiliar memories and emotions. The first time a Mnemosyne feeds from a vessel, they're able to shake the sensation off without issue. For every subsequent time they feed from that vessel, roll the vampire's humanity. On a failure, the vampire gains a persistent False Memories condition relating to some aspect of the vessel's life, as the vampire becomes falsely convinced that these memories or emotions are his own. The vampire can resolve this condition by finding evidence to the contrary of his beliefs, however, should the vampire kill a vessel by feeding, the persistent condition can never be resolved - no matter how mentally aware the vampire is his memories are not his own, they remain as fresh and powerful as any other experience.

  • NeoTiamat
    replied
    I do much the same thing, actually, whenever I tweak or errata published stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • Griautis
    replied
    Exactly, you did a pretty good job. I could have as well written up in the doc, it's like this power, except it's a devotion and this one tiny thing is changed.

    However, that would make me and my player reference two places, so I just stole everything and modified it in the doc.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeoTiamat
    replied
    Well, I enjoy it when my threads get necroed. Someone cares! I shall head over and make some comments, though at first glance... not much different?

    Leave a comment:


  • Griautis
    replied
    Hey, I've taken your work and redone it in devotions. By taken, I mean shamelessly stolen. Would appreciate it if you looked at it and commented on anything interesting (preferably on the google doc itself) LINK

    P.S.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howalt
    replied
    Originally posted by NeoTiamat View Post
    Mnemosyne was a Titan and goddess of memory from Ancient Greece, the mother of the Nine Muses.
    Gods, should have known it'd be something like that. The guy has a hard on for the classics afterall. Thanks for that.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeoTiamat
    replied
    Mnemosyne was a Titan and goddess of memory from Ancient Greece, the mother of the Nine Muses.

    Meminisse is a Latin word which means, if my translation is correct, 'To Remember.'

    Leave a comment:


  • Griautis
    replied
    This is a clan and a discipline remade from Clan Book Mekhet. So we should ask that book writer's where that name came from

    Leave a comment:


  • Howalt
    replied
    Not really relevant I guess, just curious: where did you get the name Mnemosyne from? Aby Warburg by any chance?

    Leave a comment:


  • NeoTiamat
    replied
    Hmm. Well, the original Mem 4 power works reasonably well, it just needs some mechanical cleaning up -- either replace my Meminisse 4 and make the skill-exchange power a Devotion, or make the memory swap a Devotion (probably a Mem 4 one as well). Transfer (Successes) memories for the scene, on an ES lasts for a night, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • Griautis
    replied
    Well that's not what I need it for. I just want two people to be able to exchange memories. It would even be sufficient if the target must give his free willed consent

    Leave a comment:


  • NeoTiamat
    replied
    That was an intentional omission, albeit one that I suspect few others would agree with. Basically, I do my level best to avoid letting any mind-reading or prophetic powers broader than Fleeting Spring 1: Cupid's Eye into my game. I've had some bad experiences, so this is something I much prefer to avoid. (I've actually written an entirely new Auspex 4 power for my game). So I'm not going to write it up.

    That said... the original Meminisse 4 power also had the issue of competing with Auspex 4's Telepathy. Why exchange memories when you can just devour them? So what I'd suggest is craft it as a Mem 4, Auspex 4 Devotion that lets you move around memories at very long distance. Essentially, you can swap memories, and you can do so along your Blood Sympathy ties... which means that congratulations, you have long-distance, instantaneous communication with your ghouls and Blood Ties and the rest (albeit somewhat clunky communication).

    Leave a comment:


  • Griautis
    replied
    I like your version of Mnemosyne, However, I find the lack of memory exchange power quite big (the one which allowed you to exchange any length of your own memories for the targets. at end of duration your own memories would return, but the exchanged ones would stay with you as well). Would you mind writing that up?

    Leave a comment:


  • NeoTiamat
    replied
    *waggles hand* I suspect this depends on the game. In most of my games, Willpower is much harder to get back than Vitae -- I don't plan it that way, it just works out as such. Mnemovore won't even somewhat consistently provide 1 Vitae till Meminisse 3, and the Mnemosyne will never be able to rely on 2 Vitae. So while it can be useful as a kind of emergency exchange, it's not really practical as a regular thing.

    That said, if your Willpower and Vitae-gain rates are different, Mnemovore may become problematic. Simple enough to remove it.

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    I'm not sure if I like Mnemovore. I feel that, at higher Discipline dots, it's a bit too easy to get the vitae you need by spamming it, meaning that their Bane (which is great, by the way) won't come up often. As long as they keep an eye out for opportunities to regain WP, they can keep their Vitae topped up.

    Leave a comment:

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