No announcement yet.

Are Thin Bloods the future of VtM? And, how do you use them in your game?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Are Thin Bloods the future of VtM? And, how do you use them in your game?

    Arguably, the most significant change made to the VtM setting by V5 is the new take on Thin Bloods.

    In many ways, TBs could be read as an altogether new species of vampire.

    Generation is irrelevant to them, as catenating blood allows theoretically infinite reproduction. Clan flaws, being based on blood potency, spare TBs. TBs, in some ways, have no disciplines. In other ways can adapt on the spot to have all of them, as they tailor their diet to the situation. Their building block mechanic (merits/flaws) allow some to walk in daylight, appear human, or use the altogether new power mechanic of alchemy.

    As new supplements are released, and new merits, flaws, and alchemy powers are introduced, the distinctiveness of TBs seems likely to grow.

    Given the recent announcement of VtMB2, and the spotlight it gives TBs, are we transitioning into a setting in which TBs are the default pcs? Is the traditional schema of clan/generation/sect being slowly replaced by a broader, vaguer, more adaptable species of vampire? If there is a V6, V7, V8, and so forth, will the whole idea of a "clan" be obsolete? Will "Toreador", "Brujah", and "Ventrue" be relegated to the dustbin of history, or to roles as npcs? As elders are nerfed in the game, will the old elder/fledgling split which so permeated early editions shift to a TB/clan split? Does this all lead to a game whose main goal is to diablerize a "clanned" vampire, in a retread of Highlander's "there can be only one" motif?

    Is this a slow-motion retconning away of the concept of "clan"?

    Also, what are the best ways to integrate the new concept of TBs into your games? I'm not so much asking whether the TB changes were a good idea or bad idea, or how you would have done it. I'm asking, given where we are now in the game's publishing history, what do we do with canon Thin Bloods in our games?

    Have you found the introduction of TBs to create any odd loopholes or exploits? For example, a TB with the bloodhound trait or the herd background can fine tune their disciplines to every encounter. Has this been a bug or a feature? Do you find it confusing for new players, who now need familiarity with all the level one powers, rather than just the ones they chose for their clanned vampire? ("First, I feed on a socialite so I sparkle at Elysium. Then, I feed on a cop and go fight the sabbat. After that, a business executive so I can wipe witness memories.")

    Does the inclusion of daywalkers split the party too often?

    How do you plan to handle clans' reactions to a TB "stealing" membership in the clan from a legitimate member? Ever the social darwinists, Lasombra and Tzimisce might be impressed enough with a diablerist taking down a clanmate that they welcome the upstart into their midst. Do we expect the other clans will do the same, given the personal ties most maintain? Even if the victim was a bitter rival of the surviving clanmates, the victim was still "one of us", not some rando off the street who got lucky. Will clans grudgingly integrate the upstarts into their social structure, or will a new, parallel clan develop for each?

  • #2
    I wouldn't go so far as to say they are the future. But they are certainly a new fun option to play


    • #3
      I hope not. I don't want a complete retcon of the entire setting.

      I feel that TBs work better thematically when their human aspects are emphasized instead of turning them into new, sparkly playthings. They are repressed outsiders who walk a fine line between life and death. Making them into a new clan would miss the point.


      • #4
        I sure hope not, or I'll be sticking with V20 till eternity. For me VtM is about the clans, and their interactions and so on. What you're describing is a completely differnet game.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
          Generation is irrelevant to them, as catenating blood allows theoretically infinite reproduction.
          That's not quite the case. If I recall correctly, there is no 17th generation at the moment. Catenating Blood is an out-game advantage, not something that Thin Bloods can choose to develop. I assume there is so far no 16th gen Thin Blood with Catenating Blood - those probably tend more towards Day Drinker or Lifelike.

          As for the rest, we've already seen that Thin Bloods will play a greater role than in previous editions where they were more of an exotic afterthought rather than something that got large amounts of mechanics in the core book, but I absolutely don't see them replacing the clans as the main pillars of the game line. Not now, not ever.


          • #6
            Personally I don't use Thin-bloods at all. The blood can be weak, but if the blood is there, then the clan is there as well. Same why I don't use mechanical Catiffs either. If you're Embraced then you belong to a clan, no exceptions.


            • #7
              I like the Thinbloods because they show the divide between Elder Vampires and neonates the best, because they are so close to being part human.
              The Caitiff have been interesting because of the ability to spawn new disciplines (or other clan's disciplines without tasting their blood) and the new Thinblood alchemy fits perfectly with that aspect.

              I have a feeling that the Thin Bloods will be a viable, if small, faction to present a threat against the Camarilla; their versatility and the ability for many of their number to be "Day Walkers" are great assets against Stagnant Vampires of Old
              Last edited by Illithid; 03-24-2019, 09:31 PM.


              • #8
                To me, I think what has been conveyed is that the future will have Thin Bloods holding more prominence in V5 as their numbers have grown in the past decades, and that this makes them much more viable as a consistent character option. So I think we'll have material dedicated to them, absolutely. And some media with a focus on them to help drive home they aren't just a friend thing in the modern nights.

                I don't think that means V5 is going to become all about Thin Bloods, and I don't think this is a sign of the Clans being worked out of the system slowly in favor of more generic vampires in the Thin Bloods. I think it is just one of the new shiny features of V5 and now just another part of the greater mythos.

                Anything more than that, at this point, seems like a very knee jerk reaction to the material and information we have so far. We have 3 books with a 4th that has been well viewed by backers of the KS. Of those 4 full books, not that much has been dedicated to the Thin Bloods. We also have 1 video game that we know next to nothing about beyond that we will start off as a Thin Blood in it. That is the bigger picture in a nutshell, and I don't think that screams V5 is the beginning of the Thin Bloods taking over the system.

                -Red V5 Fan Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude (non Program take), Loresheet: Chicago (pre CbN V5), Resonance Flavor, Morality System Project Manager, Developer, Community Outreach at Hunters Entertainment


                • #9
                  Things Thin Bloods are Useful For

                  1. They give the player characters someone to actually feel superior to when they're 13th generation Toreadors and Caitiff. The Thin Bloods make sure even the lowest people on the totem pole are still powerful as an Elder to another kind of vampire.

                  2. Thin Bloods are useful for showing player characters just how far they are from humanity by having someone they can compare themselves to, vampiredom wise. Some Thin Bloods are alive and vampires while Neonate PCs are still undead.

                  3. Thin Blood characters can be used to allow you to unrionically play a Friendly Neighborhood vampire. They don't frenzy (save magically induced), can live off animal blood, and are not completely stripped of their humanity.

                  If that is your bag, the Thin Bloods are the best way to do it.

                  4. Thin Bloods allow a player character to protect vampires who are utterly unaware of the Masquerade, the Traditions, Sabbat, and probably are the enemies of the Camarilla too. Vampires are rarely allowed to be heroes but they can be here.

                  Because they are humans as much as vampires BUT allowed to know about the Masquerade.

                  5. They can be wild cards because no one keeps track of the Thin Bloods and yet they are dangerous due to the fact they have access to weaponry and the most dangerous power of all: knowledge.

                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                  Forum Terms of Use
                  the Contact Us link.


                  • #10
                    I love the concept of a thin blooded campaign I just hate how they were implemented in V5.

                    They should have been used if you'll forgive the video game jargon as a "survivor difficulty" style near mortal game. You will never be able to stand toe to toe with a full blooded vampire and the theme of the game is night to night survival. It should offer a completely different playstyle than the normal VTM game but they felt they had to give them tools to contend with the standard Kindred or else people would rage that their would be no reason to play them.

                    That's my take at least which could be way off but I wish they'd taken more risks with the thin blooded in V5.

                    The Hecata are a sect not a clan.


                    • #11
                      Um, how much weaker were they supposed to go? You gain full aggravated damage from guns and bladed weapons. Any superficial damage you do manage to take, you heal 1:1 with blood. You can't surge, your phenomenal cosmic powers consist of one shifting dot of a first level discipline and maybe sometimes a second one. Without a merit, you still can't act for more than maybe half a minute in sunlight. You can't use your blood to bond, to properly ghoul or to embrace. And for everything of those that you want to change, you lose some of your precious few advantages.


                      • #12
                        I guess it comes down to thin blooded alchemy. What was the point?

                        The Hecata are a sect not a clan.


                        • #13
                          What's the point of any supernatural power? To strengthen a certain concept. In this case, that the Duskborn are changing the curse in ways other vampires don't quite understand. There's a power that older vampires, for all their might, cannot possess. How do they interact with that? Do they trade with the alchemists? Employ them? Abduct some? Conduct experiments on them? Kill them all for their blasphemy? Kill them all for their threatening power?


                          • #14
                            Perhaps, it doesn't do anything for me.

                            Cool that you enjoy it though.

                            The Hecata are a sect not a clan.


                            • #15
                              I don't really see them as being the future, more like a last hurrah that's comes from an odd combination of factors.

                              I think the biggest thing against them is that a lot of the thin-blood merits that allow them to have certain vampiric abilities don't really represent something they are developing, it's more just like an unexpected vestige of vampiric power that still flows through their veins. I fully would expect that even in those cases where thin-bloods can make more thin-bloods, the resulting subsequent generations would be far less likely to have such merits, and far more likely to have merits that make them more human (like being a day drinker). Essentially the thin-blood with catenating blood isn't building themselves back up to the power within their blood, but merely hanging on to whatever scrap of vampiric power remains in their blood.

                              Theoretically, even if you did some sort of thin-blooded breeding program wherein those with catenating blood embraced as many more as they could, and those from that stock with catenating blood embraced mass embraced as well, you might end up with a lot of thin-bloods, but at a certain point you would simply reach a point wherein even those with catenating blood eventually tapped out and could only produce "sterile" thin-bloods. Essentially vampires are still doomed population wise, even if they avoid gehenic apocalypse, they can't replace their numbers forever. It'll be a slow death, could even take another couple of millennia depending on environmental factors, but eventually all the true-breeding kindred will die out, followed by the catenating thin-bloods, and all the remainder will be sterile and will die through attrition.

                              That being said, just because the thin-bloods are doomed, doesn't mean they aren't capable of some new stuff. They're more human than your average kindred, which helps with the innovation, and their blood, even if it's sterile or only barely capable of reproducing itself, can be prompted to do some interesting stuff via alchemy. It's never going to be capable of the most powerful feats of true kindred, but it's an ingenuity bred of lack of resources that can give them an unexpected edge against vamps that expected someone weak.