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Because I'm crazy: The Tremere in 2e

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  • #16
    Originally posted by MCN View Post
    Umm? What about mixed games? I'm really not a fan of your binary approach here. Even in settings that introduce the Jiang Shi, the Phantoms can work alongside the Kindred, despite being wildly different and needing to hide things. Do you have a group interested in playing them? Because, to be honest, I doubt you'll get an entire troupe who want to play the same clan / covenant as everyone else.

    Futhermore.... I can't quite say its playing a mage game either. Mages are driven by their Obsessions and the need for Mysteries. These guys? Not so much. There's none of that innate draw in. These guys may as well be naval gazers. On the other hand, one of the major struggles in Vampire is against ennui. Boredom of the ages. That's why you have the Danse Macabre, why the All Night Society. Entertainment. What do your mage-vamps have? They don't engage in the Danse because they're too scared, they don't have Obsessions or study Mysteries by default (not all of them have the sense for magic, and even then, they have to activate it when you buy the Devotion, meaning they can walk right past stuff and not have it peak curiosity).

    Actually, there are several times I've had successful Brood characters in mixed groups. They have to be responcible players that won't go murder-kill-happy at the drop of a dime, but that's true of anyone playing Brood in any kind of game. It works well.
    As I said, I added in components to account for mixed games, but it's not meant to be the default. Sure, it can work with responsible players, but I'm not sure I see the problem of a separate faction assuming by default that it's the focus? Most alternative game types do the same thing.

    As for mage games, you don't need an Obsession to seek out Mysteries. And you just answered your own question; ennui is one of the reasons why they likely seek out the knowledge that they see as belonging to them, something to occupy themselves, something they see as a way to improve upon themselves and take advantage of their immortality.

    You didn't, but its part of the established cannon attached to the name Tremere; its lack is startling and kind of odd. At this point, you have pretty much no thematic or historical ties to the Tremere, either Masquerade or current CofD version. If you use the name, you should probably include some.
    I disagree. I made sure that there was certainly historical ties, for one, as mentioned in the background. Thematically speaking, Tremere Mages were meant to be soul-vampires of a sort, and I think that the other side of the coin is typical Kindred with an addiction to Diablerie. I guess at that point I just sort of have to disagree with your assessment there.

    But you didn't specifically state it. I'm suggesting you reword it, because that's not clear.
    "Regardless of the origin, they appear as Diablerists to any power or sense capable of discerning such, and appear as Reapers would to Mage Sight"
    I thought that was fairly clear, but I'm happy to consider any suggestions you might have as to a way to reword that.

    That's ignoring the magic of another covenant, which specifically allows you to break any social penalties like that. The only barrier to getting status everywhere before has always been social repercussions. Carthian Law bypasses that with the strength of its own magic.
    But mechanically it doesn't say it allows you to break stricter requirements imposed by other covenants, just the usual limit of 5 dots, and an ability to have a better impression for social maneuvering. So, sure, this does guarantee a Tremere-Carthian with the merit at least can attempt to open doors with appropriate NPC to perhaps allow them to continue what they're doing, and if they can manage to do that successfully without suffering repercussions first, and then gain even more status and learn a very specific merit, without having been checked by auspex or otherwise for diablerie before that within said Carthians, then I suppose they've done well. But that means they've spent 8xp to bypass one fragment of one of their banes, and likely put forth a lot of effort ICly, which I'm honestly fine with in a given individual game.

    I did say 7 and below. Which involves the overwhelming majority of vampires, since most PCs never raise Humanity up that high. So the top three don't address the issue at all. After Humanity 6, which is quite common for several reasons, none of which have to do with magic, there's pretty much no effect. Its just a waste of text. Its something that sounds good on paper, but I don't see it playing out in reality.

    Furthermore, the reason why Wisdom is so harsh is because of the deliberate intention of causing harm through envisioning something when you cast magic. Using magic to boost your charismatic appeal before hunting does not resonate with how Wisdom works; its meant to be something you are deliberately focusing on, a choice you are making. Hurting someone over blood is generally going to be a heat-of-moment issue - which doesn't tie into the premediation that is so critical to Wisdom checks.
    But as I said, they count as 2 dots lower for magic, meaning that 9, 8, 7, and 6 are still problems at 7, 6, and 5, which all players have to deal with. As for more examples below 6:
    5: Admittedly, none here really count.
    4: Impassioned Violence (you most definitely can use magic in the heat of the moment to hurt someone), Accidentally Killing (Using magic in self defense can easily go too far)
    Below that, as you said, is mostly killing, but there's a version of it at each level, and 1's the lowest a sin can sink anyway.

    That said, I disagree about Wisdom needing to be premeditaded. I've honestly never even heard that before. If a mage kills in the heat of the moment with magic, they make a wisdom check. There's no "but only if they really thought about it beforehand" clause. Imago require focus, sure, but that focus can occur in a split second, that's why there's reflexive spells; and even instant casting can happen faster than good decisions can always be made.

    Originally posted by MCN View Post
    I think I realize the problem I have here. You haven't quite designed vampire-mages. You haven't recreated the Tremere. You have scared vampires who have the ability to cast some Supernal spells. The defining feature of mages is to study magic. They're all about knowledge. The signature ability of Mage is their Sight. Passive Mage Sight is automatic, and there's two automatic higher levels that I'm fairly sure are free of cost. You're encouraged to study anything magical at the drop of a hat. The Paradox/Reach system is set up to encourage mages to focus on the lower level magic, which includes Knowing/Unveiling practices.

    The defining feature of your peeps here is to cast magic. They really don't care about studying, other than getting more spells to cast. There's nothing but encouragement to cast the bigger spells and race for Mastery of a Path. And then? They have none of the mage's hubris, save for "my magic is better than yours! nya,nya!" and they're too afraid to do anything with it. Even the original Tremere of both WoD and CofD had dreams of world domination.

    There is no story here other than amassing power you dont want to use

    Take a look at the Dead Wolves. Their defining feature isn't to become undead wolf shifters. Its to become bonded to a Totem and Auspice. That's their story, their connection.
    Once again, I have to just disagree with you here. I made sure to integrate it with the story of the Tremere and Theban, with the final watchtower, and the dragon of blood, so they have a connection to the Tremere. I mentioned within the writeup that they use their immortality to seek out Mysteries and gather power, and this can be done even if they don't take the arcane sight devotion (Auspex can help, as can just certain Knowing spells). The whole need to both feed and avoid scrutiny is its own "Danse".

    That being said, you are right in that, while I do think they have direction and story, they do lack some sort of unifying bloodline goal. I'll ponder some sort of ultimate goal for the TRemere, akin to the way the Tremere Mages wish to pull their tower from the abyss to claim dominion over the others. Perhaps something along the lines of studying the vampiric soul and learning how to better forge a connection from it to the supernal. I'll have to give it some thought.

    Originally posted by nofather View Post
    I like it.

    Perhaps rather than limiting the mage 'spells', limit their arcana. Vitae, instead of mana, for powering up anything that requires it. That way they still get a large toolbox and aren't just getting another Discipline that happens to be magic.

    Maybe you could have a clan whose leader was able to master all the arcana, but they've never 'bred' true, and so everyone else is a bloodline with access to perhaps one or two arcana each. That way you have some rivalry and variance among them, but also a reason to be hesitant about the embrace, for fear of thinning the blood further.

    The bigger question would be what do they do with it. Are they subject to the obsession for mysteries that mages have? Because that offers a lot of plot opportunities, especially for someone as limited as a vampire who only has access to certain arcana. Perhaps the mysteries would be based around their arcana.

    Silly me, didn't read the actual conversion so some of this post may be dated. I do think their power should be expanded upon, however, to encompass entire arcana and not just a few rotes.

    I thought that full Arcana would be just a bit too potent (even if limited to just a couple), but you'll note that I did write a sidebar for if someone running the game is using Sacraments and Blasphemies, allowing them to buy Arcana, though they still have some limitations mortal mages don't, to make up for it.

    As a note, I don't think we've heard if Gnosis limits Arcana rankings in 2e, have we? I was wondering about that when writing that up, because if it does, I should add a note that their BP would similarly limit them in that case.

    Originally posted by Blakemikizuki View Post
    Why not allow them to use the blood sorcery: blasphemy and sacraments system as a bases but alter it with some mage rule? Such as mage casting time instead extended roles, have their sorcery use the potency and withstand system from mage, only allow them to roll once for the spell but in turn let them have yantras.
    As for casting in turns option instead of hours let them take a penalty equal to the highest theme needed for the spell (exp. a spell that needs 5 divination takes a -5 while a protection 1 only takes a -1).
    Themes come from 1e mage mechanics in a lot of ways, but regardless, I didn't want to just give them Themes if nobody else was using them, I wanted them to be closer to mage powers. And as mentioned above, in more high powered Theme-using games, they simply use Arcana, which provides a nice contrast to those covenants using themes, making the difference between supernal magic and kindred sorcery that much clearer.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by falco1029 View Post

      I had the idea of originally allowing them to suffer Frenzy instead of Paradox, but ended up phasing it out since I decided against letting them use Reach above their limit anyway. That said, mage casting rules for blood sorcery could be interesting, but it would be difficult as a bloodline gift since not all vampires have a form of blood sorcery, and most typical disciplines wouldn't benefit as much from mage rules.
      What if you treat the Disciplines as Arcana, and go from there?

      So rather than "activating Vigor in the same way as a Mage", you have "using Vigor-themed spells".

      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.


      • #18
        Originally posted by amechra View Post

        What if you treat the Disciplines as Arcana, and go from there?

        So rather than "activating Vigor in the same way as a Mage", you have "using Vigor-themed spells".
        That could be interesting as its own take, but I don't think it's the route I want to go. Still, I do like the idea.

        Anyway, I added a bit more to the background, to reflect the ultimate goals of the bloodline (Obscure as the means of achieving it are to most of them), and added a touch more to the Interactions with the Danse to make it clearer they do sometimes end up in other Covenants. Also added a small sectino on interactions with Awakened society, because if you're going to crossover, may as well crossover all the way!

        WoD: Sorcerer's Companion (M:tA)
        CofD: Second Sight: Third Eye (CofD), Crossing the Veil 2e (Co-developer, CofD), Borrowed Power (CofD), Blood Sorcery: Rites of Damnation (VtR), Ephemeral Influence (CofD)
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        • #19
          How can this be updated with the new Blood Sorcery rules?


          • #20
            Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
            How can this be updated with the new Blood Sorcery rules?
            Holy necro batman.

            Well, you're in luck. I was working on this, which is not finished yet, but it might give you something to work with:


            • #21
              Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
              How can this be updated with the new Blood Sorcery rules?
              Wow, old bit of homebrew here, lol.

              Anyway, I typically wouldn't use those rules for these Tremere, honestly. The homebrew document there has a suggestion at the end for using Arcana if you're using the Blood Sorcery rules for others. The idea for these guys is they're more or less using bastardized Supernal Magic.

              If you really do want to insist on making Thaumaturgy into Blood Sorcery using the systems in Rites of Damnation (which I assume is what you mean?) rather than using actual Awakened Magic (which, yes, is entirely reasonable), keeping in mind that this is a quick, 'off the top of my head' version of it:

              Requirements: Tremere Clan/Bloodline/Covenant, usual status limitations to learn first dot, but they don't lose free Themes/rituals if they lose the status and raise it later. Capped by Humanity (it's mortal-like magic, after all).
              Sacrifice: 1 Vitae per ritual level
              The Request: Intelligence + Theme for improvised/Mastered rituals. Intelligence + Occult + Thaumaturgy for Learned rituals.
              Linked Themes: Divination and Transmutation (though an argument can be made for Creation instead of Divination. Go with what feels best to you)
              Limitations of Blood Sorcery: Tremere, with their unique magic born of mortal wizardry, are sometimes able to ignore one of a set of given Limitations of Sorcery based on a special "Path" they study. The Path decides on what Limitation is broken in exchange for what new limitation:
              -Path of Blood: No change to the Limitations.
              -Lure of Flames: The Kindred can conjure or manipulate Fire as if it were other forms of energy (like electricity). However, their focus on a destructive Kindred bane means they cannot use Protection rituals on Kindred.
              -Path of Spirit Manipulation: The Kindred's magic can reach into other Realms with proper sympathy, and gateways can be manipulated with Transmutation or Guidance. However, they lose a bit of their focus on the terrestrial, becoming unable to alter (mundane) living beings for more than a Night at a time with Transmutation or Destruction rituals.
              -Hands of Destruction: Destruction rituals can be made to permanently wither or impede mortals with the usual Risk and steps for Advanced Duration. The focus on destruction, however, means that Creation rituals cannot be used to permanently create living or undead beings, nor can Transmutation be used to permanently alter the inanimate.
              Deliberate, like Theban Sorcery, allowing for rituals to be Learned easier if they require specific activities in addition to the ritual casting.
              Arcane, relying on methodologies that mirror Awakened Yantras of various sorts, as well as more 'thaumaturgical' methods that various mortal ritualists might use.
              -Mechanically, they can Learn rituals easier if they leave a symbolic sign of the Sorcerer obvious on themselves and/or the target to any sort of supernatural senses for the duration (akin to a Mage's immediate or signature nimbus).
              Intense, requiring heavy focus and a specific mindset following every aspect of what the magic's meant to do. Everything needs to be done exactly right and with the entirety of the Kindred's mind on each step.
              -Mechanically, they can Learn rituals easier if they require a point of Willpower in addition to other costs, representing the sheer focus that goes into it.

              Obviously, tweak any of that as needed for your purposes, that's all just 'outline' quality ideas that popped into my head.

              EDIT: Also, they'd use Hallows as their "Supernatural Nexus" type, and "Mystic Tongue" would be High Speech.
              Last edited by falco1029; 02-28-2019, 05:19 PM.

              WoD: Sorcerer's Companion (M:tA)
              CofD: Second Sight: Third Eye (CofD), Crossing the Veil 2e (Co-developer, CofD), Borrowed Power (CofD), Blood Sorcery: Rites of Damnation (VtR), Ephemeral Influence (CofD)
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              • #22
                I put much less effort into my attempt.
                Mekhet bloodline with Domiate, Boon is they can buy blood sorcery at the same price as clan disciplines and Bane is they skip the first stage of blood bonds.