Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Bloodline: Lazarenes

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bloodline: Lazarenes

    It may not look like it, but this bloodline is partly inspired by the Cappadocians/Harbingers of Death from the Classic World of Darkness. More information will be added to this write-up, over time. If anyone wants to help me fill it all out, though, you are most welcome to do so.

    Lazarenes
    Parent Clan: Nosferatu
    Nickname: Harbingers of Death
    Disciplines: Auspex, Obfuscate, Nightmare, Vigor

    Everything has its time, and everything dies. And in every death lies a new lesson to be learned.

    Death is no illusion. For many, It is an inescapable fact that it can and will claim them at the end of their time on this earth. Such is the cycle of life, no matter how fleeting it is.

    The Kindred are no exception to this rule. Though the Embrace denies them death from old age, they can still be killed by fire and sunlight. Some also develop banes that prove equally fatal whenever they're exploited. The Blood Sorcery of the Circle and the Sanctified and the Mysteries of the Ordo Dracul offer some degree of protection from such harm, but they only delay the inevitable.

    Yet there do exist Kindred who can defy death. They can step back from that point of no return and resume their nightly existence, but the means by which they achieve this mark them as monsters even among the Damned.

    Background: Detached scholars obsessed with the mysteries of death and the soul, the Lazarenes are simultaneously feared and hated for their blatant disregard of the Traditions, especially the Third. They are bloodline of diablerists who regard the Amaranth as a sacred act, one that allows them to both preserve their collective knowledge, and (perhaps more importantly) as a means of resurrection. It is this extreme philosophy that makes them seen as a threat to the Masquerade, and thus targets of many blood hunts throughout history.

    The Becoming: The Harbingers favor both intellectuals and spiritualists as prospective childer. They especially prize those who have dedicated their lives to understanding the mysteries of death. Consequentially, the majority of the bloodline come from various religious orders and scholarly disciplines, and even those that don't are typically introspective individuals.

    Due to both their notoriety in Kindred circles and their beliefs, many Lazarenes favor the posthumous method of the Embrace. Like the Mekhet who support it, they believe that it smoothens the transition into the Requiem, instilling in each childe a first-hand familiarity with death.

    In the Danse Macabre: In the few domains they make their residence in, the Lazarenes are almost always reviled. The nature of their Gift and Bane leads to them being maligned by other Kindred, who see them as threats to both the Masquerade and their very existence. Some particularly paranoid Princes even go so far a to issue blood hunts in response to the Harbingers' presence.

    As a result of such misunderstandings, members of the bloodline keep a low profile, weaving their own little Masquerade to seclude themselves from the intrigues of the greater Danse. A sizable minority, though, take the opposite direction, entrenching themselves into the hierarchy of the covenants to hide in plain sight while exploiting their secrets. This occasionally has given rise to heretical and unorthodox traditions among the Circle and the Sanctified, as well as experiments conducted in secret in the Ordo Dracul and the Carthian Movement. There have even been rumors that some coteries of Die Nachteulen agents are Harbingers themselves.

    Bloodline Gift: Rise From the Ashes
    They say Death is a door from which there is no return. The Lazarenes' affinity for its mysteries, however, allow them to step back through that threshold and walk again among the living. All Nosferatu of the bloodline who meet Final Death can potentially be revived as Ashes that Devour (Blood Sorcery: Sacraments and Blasphemies, p. 67). This circumvents the normal requirements for an Ash's creation. Harbingers who do meet them, though, need only three days to begin the process of becoming an Ash.

    Bloodline Bane: Tainted Soul
    Death leaves its mark on all it touches, and its Harbingers feel them more acutely than others, especially after consuming the souls of other Kindred. A Lazarene gains the Madness Condition whenever he successfully performs the Amaranth. This lasts for as long as he has the Tainted Condition. Furthermore, the stains of diablerie become harder to cleanse as the vampire grows in power. The duration for the Tainted Condition is reduced by a month for every amount of aggravated damage he takes equal to half his Blood Potency (rounded up).
    Bloodline Merit

    Soul Drinker (ooo)
    Prerequisites:
    Lazarene, Character has committed diablerie at least once.
    Effect: You have tasted the fruits of the Amaranth so many times that you've refined the act of performing it so that it becomes more affective. While the Amaranth is still a means of achieving a great rush and acquiring greater temporal power, it also allows you to claim additional knowledge from your victims.

    Whenever the Harbinger successfully diablerizes another vampire, he gains a free dot in one of his victim's Skills in addition to a free dot of one of his Disciplines. If he has all of his victim's Disciplines at an equal or higher level, he gains two Skill dots instead.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 03-17-2017, 11:52 PM.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    Interesting. I hadn't read about the Ashes that Devour before.

    General Thoughts / Questions:

    How do the Harbingers view Diablerie? Is there a different philosophy or feeling to the Amaranth when it is done for a resurrection as opposed to the standard act of Diablerie? Do they call it something different, even?

    Why Auspex? How does that discipline tie into the greater theme over something like Resilience?

    I'm not sure a Bloodline that is based around a violation of the traditions (and Diablerie at that) should get general acceptance among the Covenants. Their bloodline natures should really be a secret of paramount importance. You touch on this with the reactions of traditional Princes, but that should probably be a stronger theme throughout. Joining this bloodline means you are intending to find a way to cheat final death, and the chosen path to do that involves committing numerous instances of Diablerie. Turning in a member of this line should be free status among pretty much every traditional power structure. (That still leaves plenty of room for Ordo Secret Projects, Extreme Carthian Experiments, Die Nachteulen agents, Circle and Sanctified hidden cults, etc.)

    Bloodline bane seems a little light. The first half (tainted condition) is the normal rules for Diablerie. Looks like the only add is it takes more aggravated damage than normal to lessen the Condition. If nothing else, I'd reiterate the Diablerie Addiction (2nd Ed p101) mechanics, maybe consider just giving it to them automatically rather than through a Resolve + Composure failure.

    Comment


    • #3
      Some points:
      • What does "potentially be revived" here mean? When does it not happen?
      • The idea for the Bane is interesting, but seems very limited. While Bloodline Banes seem to be relatively minor, this one is only really rarely going to come up, unless they are given a narrative or mechanical reason to commit Diablerie more often than normal (perhaps Bloodline Devotions or Merits that give them greater benefits from it?)
      • You probably already have, but consider necromantic Devotions, many of which would probably be based on Nightmare, Vigor (animation of the dead) and Auspex (studying the dead and death)


      Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Holy View Post
        Interesting. I hadn't read about the Ashes that Devour before.
        Look it up on the Blood Sorcery supplement. It's a pretty cool concept, I admit. And it certainly had the makings of a possible Bloodline Gift.

        Originally posted by Holy View Post
        How do the Harbingers view Diablerie? Is there a different philosophy or feeling to the Amaranth when it is done for a resurrection as opposed to the standard act of Diablerie? Do they call it something different, even?
        Not sure yet if they have a different name for it. But I think I can see them using Amaranth more over Diablerie when referring to the act. In fact, the Greeks regard the Amaranth flower as a symbol of immortality, so that could provide the foundations for how the bloodline views it. Maybe it's a sacrificial act that they consider as being sacred? And beyond the necessity for an Ash to devour Kindred souls in order to fully revive itself, the Amaranth is only performed in extreme emergencies. Perhaps to empower one of their strongest to protect the bloodline from those who would destroy it.

        And on the subject of background and history, I'm probably going to be re-reading more on the Cappadocians, Giovanni, and Harbingers of Death from CWoD so I can see what elements I can adapt for this bloodline.

        Originally posted by Holy View Post
        Why Auspex? How does that discipline tie into the greater theme over something like Resilience?
        saibot already mentioned it in one of his points.

        Originally posted by saibot View Post
        Some points:
        • You probably already have, but consider necromantic Devotions, many of which would probably be based on Nightmare, Vigor (animation of the dead) and Auspex (studying the dead and death)
        That said, a part of me was thinking of swapping out Vigor in favor of Resilience, for the same reason you brought up.

        And Devotions are something I still need to give myself some time to brain on. Maybe I could try to translate some of the powers in the Cappadocians' Mortis Discipline, for starters. But even then, this bit is going to require a lot of work.

        Originally posted by Holy View Post
        I'm not sure a Bloodline that is based around a violation of the traditions (and Diablerie at that) should get general acceptance among the Covenants. Their bloodline natures should really be a secret of paramount importance. You touch on this with the reactions of traditional Princes, but that should probably be a stronger theme throughout. Joining this bloodline means you are intending to find a way to cheat final death, and the chosen path to do that involves committing numerous instances of Diablerie. Turning in a member of this line should be free status among pretty much every traditional power structure. (That still leaves plenty of room for Ordo Secret Projects, Extreme Carthian Experiments, Die Nachteulen agents, Circle and Sanctified hidden cults, etc.)
        Hmm. This is a very good point you made. I'll probably revise the "In the Danse Macabre" section accordingly. And, again, considering what is required for an Ash to fully revive into a proper vampire, I wouldn't be surprised if the Lazarenes are reviled almost on the same level as Belial's Brood, the Strix, and VII.

        Originally posted by Holy View Post
        Bloodline bane seems a little light. The first half (tainted condition) is the normal rules for Diablerie. Looks like the only add is it takes more aggravated damage than normal to lessen the Condition. If nothing else, I'd reiterate the Diablerie Addiction (2nd Ed p101) mechanics, maybe consider just giving it to them automatically rather than through a Resolve + Composure failure.
        I actually had a couple of other ways to give the Lazarenes' Bane more punch to it. One was that I cap their resistance dice with their Humanity. Another was impose a penalty equal to half their Blood Potency (rounded up). Also, when I read up the section on the Ash That Devours, Diablerie functioned differently for Ashes systems-wise. Plus, there was never any mention of tainted auras for a vampire who devours enough Kindred souls to regain his Blood Potency and Humanity. Again, refer to the section on Ashes for more details.


        "My Homebrew Hub"
        Age of Azar
        The Kingdom of Yamatai

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by saibot View Post
          • What does "potentially be revived" here mean? When does it not happen?
          According to the Blood Sorcery supplement, a vampire can return to life as an Ash That Devours if he...

          1) Knows Cruac or Theban Sorcery at 4 dots.
          2) Has Humanity 5 or lower.

          Furthermore, a week (three days for the Lazarenes who meet the requirements) has to pass before the process that leads to an Ash's creation is triggered. If the vampire's remains are disturbed or the site of his death is cleansed during this time, the Harbinger is permanently killed. And once the week (or three days) have passed, ritual cleansing is left as the only way to prevent an Ash's birth.

          Originally posted by saibot View Post
          [*]The idea for the Bane is interesting, but seems very limited. While Bloodline Banes seem to be relatively minor, this one is only really rarely going to come up, unless they are given a narrative or mechanical reason to commit Diablerie more often than normal (perhaps Bloodline Devotions or Merits that give them greater benefits from it?)[/LIST]
          See my response to Holy's questions for how to possibly address that issue.


          "My Homebrew Hub"
          Age of Azar
          The Kingdom of Yamatai

          Comment


          • #6
            Three ideas I would like to add:

            First, a Merit that means that when they successfully diablerise someone they gain both a Discipline dot and a Skill dot or two Skill dots (if the victim has no applicable Disciplines). This could very nicely tie into the scholarly nature of your source material. Amaranth is not just a means to achieve a great rush and greater power, but to claim a victim's knowledge. This adds appropriate flavour. Mechanically, it should pay for itself with the first Diablerie and be a constant encouragement to eat more souls even for a player character!

            Secondly, consider a Vigor Devotion that allows them to spend Willpower and/or Vitae to facilitate successful Amaranth.

            Thirdly, consider an Auspex Devotion allowing some limited communication with the victim's soul after your feast. Potentially allowing the Lazarene to draw up memories or additional Skill dots temporarily.


            Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

            Comment


            • #7
              That Merit would definitely fit well for the bloodline. Not only does it give the Lazarenes an edge as diablerists, it also increases the frequency of many of their number succumbing to the addiction of the act.

              I can see that Vigor Devotion requiring three to five dots in the Discipline itself. Though perhaps it would make more sense if Resilience is used?

              The Auspex Devotion, meanwhile, could require Auspex 5. Maybe even some dots in Vigor as well.


              "My Homebrew Hub"
              Age of Azar
              The Kingdom of Yamatai

              Comment


              • #8
                In the Danse Macabre:
                - In the few domains they make their residence in, the Lazarenes normally keep a low profile. The nature of the bloodline's Gift and Bane leads to frequent mistreatment from Kindred who know of them. Some particularly paranoid Princes have even gone so far as to issue blood hunts against the Harbingers, and make extra effort at confirming their Final Deaths. Nevertheless, the bloodline still finds acceptance in the covenants. The Circle of the Crone and Lancea et Sanctum are especially popular choices thanks to their respective doctrines, though it's not uncommon for a Harbinger to study with the Dragons in an attempt to learn more of her bloodline's origins. Conversely, the Invictus and Carthian Movement have the least number of Lazarenes, though those who do gravitate to either group are given a wide berth and seldom dismissed by their peers.
                See the first comment for the revisions.


                "My Homebrew Hub"
                Age of Azar
                The Kingdom of Yamatai

                Comment


                • #9
                  Please critique this Bloodine Merit for me. Thanks.

                  Soul Drinker (ooo)
                  Prerequisites:
                  Lazarene
                  Effect: You have tasted the fruits of the Amaranth so many times that you've refined the act of performing it so that it becomes more affective. While the Amaranth is still a means of achieving a great rush and acquiring greater temporal power, it also alows you to claim knowledge from your victims.

                  Whenever the Harbinger successfully diablerizes another vampire, he gains a free dot in one of his victim's Skills in addition to a free dot of one of his Disciplines. If he has all of his victim's Disciplines at an equal or higher level, he gains two Skill dots instead.


                  "My Homebrew Hub"
                  Age of Azar
                  The Kingdom of Yamatai

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                    Please critique this Bloodine Merit for me. Thanks.

                    Soul Drinker (ooo)
                    Prerequisites:
                    Lazarene
                    Effect: You have tasted the fruits of the Amaranth so many times that you've refined the act of performing it so that it becomes more affective. While the Amaranth is still a means of achieving a great rush and acquiring greater temporal power, it also alows you to claim knowledge from your victims.

                    Whenever the Harbinger successfully diablerizes another vampire, he gains a free dot in one of his victim's Skills in addition to a free dot of one of his Disciplines. If he has all of his victim's Disciplines at an equal or higher level, he gains two Skill dots instead.
                    Maybe also make one of the Requirements be that they must have Preformed a Diablery atleast once before?


                    Light and Dark are two Sides of a Coin... Humanity is What Happens when it Lands on it's Edge.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Revised and added to the write-up in the first comment. Thank you.
                      Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-08-2015, 08:05 PM.


                      "My Homebrew Hub"
                      Age of Azar
                      The Kingdom of Yamatai

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Background added.

                        Also, I'm putting out an open request for anyone interested in helping me fill out a short History section for the Lazarenes.


                        "My Homebrew Hub"
                        Age of Azar
                        The Kingdom of Yamatai

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          New addition, the first of what may be several Devotions exclusive to this bloodline. Feel free to critique this before I add it to the main post.

                          Death's Whisper [Auspex 5]
                          Cost: 1 Vitae
                          Dice Pool: Wits + Occult + Auspex
                          Action: Instant
                          To most diablerists, the traces of their victims' souls can potentially bring about the Final Death. Many Harbingers, however, learn to harness these echoes for a time in order to benefit their own causes. By spending Vitae, the Lazarene forces a communion between the diablerized soul and himself, granting him temporary access to the victim's memories. Each success in the dice pool grants him either a Skill dot or a scene-long memory, up to a maximum equal to the victim's Blood Potency. These last for the remainder of the scene.

                          This power has drawbacks, however. First, the vampire must possess the Tainted Condition tied to the soul he wishes to attune with. Second, he suffers an additional -1 penalty the next time the Condition takes effect. These penalties are cumulative, and max out at -5.

                          The Devotion costs 1 Experience to learn.


                          "My Homebrew Hub"
                          Age of Azar
                          The Kingdom of Yamatai

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Updated the OP with introductory flavor text. I'll be adding more to the Background section when I can.


                            "My Homebrew Hub"
                            Age of Azar
                            The Kingdom of Yamatai

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X