Category: Vampire the Masquerade

In March 2000 the Succubus Club CD was released for Vampire the Masquerade.  On that CD was the Clan Tremere song that was produced by Diary of Dreams.  Now, 12 years later, Diary of Dreams has re-released Blind in Darkness on their brand new acoustic album called Anatomy of Silence (19 October 2012) under the name of Rumours About Angels.

A few weeks ago Diary of Dreams put a short clip of the song out for fans on their Official Facebook Fan Page, and I instantly fell in love.  Where the original song was very hard to understand and creepy (which we all know isn’t exactly out of character for the Tremere), the re-release has been ‘jazzed’ up.  I really love how Adrian Hate’s singing is much clearer in this version.  For a Tremere player, it really does justice to the first verse.

I will plaster all you mortals with dominating guts
I will torment revelations – I did never ask for much
I will taste the detonation while the geminis go wild
I’ll absorb the human sigh, eradicate your dormant lie…

Some fans of the song might argue that the song really doesn’t reflect the original melody, however, it does go back to the original melody at about 2:10 into the song.  But then after the original melody, it really kind of gives this thrilling little punch while going into the chorus.

Of course there is one minor thing that is driving me nuts about the re-release of Blind in Darkness/Rumours About Angels on the Anatomy of Silence album…the ONLY date where Diary of Dreams is close to me on their Anatomy of Silence acoustic tour is October 31st, a bloody damned weekday! Ah well.  I suppose I’ll have to survive with the album for now.

If you like the acoustic version of Blind in Darkness/Rumours About Angels, then check out the other songs on the album.  I never was fond of the album version of She and Her Darkness and preferred the live version, but Anatomy of Silence fixes that.  And of course you have other favorites such as Amok and Traumtanzer as well!

Make sure to support Diary of Dreams and purchase Anatomy of Silence to support their efforts and keep Adrian Hates and the crew making music for us!

Darkness at the end of the tunnelEveryone says when you’re dying, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  This, is how I think kindred feel when they face final death.  Instead of light, they’re about to meet all their demons.

This photo was taken by Andy Deane of Bella Morte who has been posting some awesome photographs on his Facebook page lately.  This one was just so striking that I had to share.

Thanks Andy!

 

Two weeks ago when a friend of mine stayed over at my house, I invited him to play Vampire the Masquerade with my regular bi-weekly group.  He’d be here and it would be fairly rude to make him watch.  So, I gave him my other half’s ghoul to play.  Normally I NPC’d her, but this would allow him to take on a character that’s already present in the game.  Event the change of personality worked…it was the ghoul of a Malkavian after all.

Well, my players have been running about trying to please a man named Julian, who is actually Brujah (Ilyes…the actual Brujah Antediluvian who’s childe was supposed to commit diablerie on.  Being able to manipulate time is a great skill to have…).  My players have figured out who Julian is and they tend to tread on eggshells around him.  I would too around a 4th generation vampire that has nearly 10 dots in every physical attribute.  However, my friend had absolutely no idea who this man was and before anyone could shout “noooooooooooo…” the Malkavian’s ghoul was back talking this very, very powerful man.

It’s not such a long story, but in short Julian simply reached through Blythe’s chest and grabbed her heart, yanked it out, and threw it against the wall.  This effectively eliminated the ghoul.  Of course, it didn’t really help that Mr. Trujah botched his self control roll.  Ooops.

My friend had so much fun obliterating hubby’s ghoul, he decided to make himself present at our bi-weekly games but he didn’t want to play a full fledged vampire.  So, he’s going to become the Malkavian’s new ghoul.  May the 3 fates help him (yea, the group has met them too).

So what does all this rambling lead up to? Character creation time! Ghoul style.

Creating a ghoul is a lot like creating a vampire, except that it’s slightly weaker and it doesn’t get a plethora of Disciplines, Backgrounds, or whatnot.  It’s a tad more conservative.  The main source book for ghoul creation is Ghouls: Fatal Addiction.

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Meet my current Vampire the Masquerade Character…Kali.

This isn’t the first time I’ve played this character.  The first time around was in an all Tremere dark ages campaign.  She was 7th generation, embraced as an 11 year old, and she had the Cappadocian discipline of Mortis due to the fact that both the Tremere and Cappadocians were battling to be the first to embrace her.  It was just that the Cappadocians were trying to wait until she was a little older before doing the deed…the Tremere had no such hang-ups.

Kali 2.0 has some of the same idea of Kali 1.0, but she’s vastly different as well.  Like the first version, Kali was born an “avatar” of the Hindu goddess Kali.  That’s pretty much where the similarities end, partly because I wanted an in depth character background and partly to fit the rules of the running campaign.  So, without further ado, here’s Kali:

Name: Kali
Nature: Sage
Demeanor: Conformist
Clan: Tremere
Generation: 8th

Attributes

Strength: 1          Charisma: 3          Perception: 4
Dexterity: 3        Manipulation: 5   Intelligence: 4
Stamina: 2          Appearance: 2      Wits: 3

Abilities

Alertness: 4           Etiquette: 1            Academics: 2
Dodge: 3                Firearms: 1             Linguistics: 3
Empathy: 3           Melee: 1                   Medicine: 1
Intimidation: 3    Performance: 1       Occult: 5
Leadership: 3       Stealth: 2
Subterfuge: 3

Secondary Skills: History (5), Fortune Telling (5), Sense Deception (4)

Disciplines

Auspex: 4
Dominate: 3
Thaumaturgy (main): 5
Thaumaturgy (secondary 1): 2
Thaumaturgy (secondary 2): 3
Fortitude: 1

Backgrounds

Generation: 5
Status: 3

Virtues (Path of Humanity)

Consience: 3
Self-Control: 3
Courage: 4

Willpower

Currently at 8 due to spending 2 permanent to make sure something succeeded.

Now, this isn’t all of Kali but I need to get running, literally.  When I have some time later today or tomorrow I’ll list her flaws which is a literal laundry list.  The current DM doesn’t mind us taking as many as we want and I think Kali had 57 points worth at some point.  She’s managed to add a few more during game play as well!

 

Cruxshadows-Summer Darkness in Utrecht 2007

Cruxshadows-Summer Darkness in Utrecht 2007

Where I like Bella Morte, I LOVE the Cruxshadows.  The love affair with Rogue and all of the members of CSX, past and present, started many years ago when Deception appeared on an album released specifically for Vampire: The Masquerade (by White-Wolf) in 2000.  The album was called Music from the Succubus Club, which is a very well known kindred owned club within the game and the very first song was Deception.  This would begin a love affair for many die hard CSX fans around the world.

In addition to the English version of the song, Rogue (the lead singer and songwriter) went ahead and created a German version of Deception because that’s where he started to tour and promote the band since Germans love the dark wave genre of music.  If you’re ever lucky enough to catch a show in Germany (which isn’t hard since they love touring there), Rogue will often switch from English to German half way through the song to the delight of the crowd.

Deception music video

Deception also created a tradition at live shows…the Deception Dance.  Rogue loves moving through the crowd while he’s singing and there’s a violin solo in Deception that’s almost a jig.  Rogue will come out into the crowd at this point and grab a guy (I’ve never seen him grab a female) by the forearm and start spinning in a circle.  Hold on tight because if you lose grip you can easily spin off into the crowd! Oh, and never, ever, ever, put your hand out for Rogue to choose you because he almost won’t.

Since Rogue’s beautiful CSX dancer wife had a baby not long ago, they haven’t been touring.  However, for those lucky enough to attend Dragon*Con, you can stop by and see the Cruxshadow’s only 2011 show! Trust me, I’m jealous!

So! Pray for daylight, pray for morning.  Pray for an end to our deception!

Live, Love, Be, Believe – Cruxshadows

 

Vampire the MasqueradeVampire: The Masquerade is a table-top roleplaying game that was first published in 1991 by White Wolf and was created to be a part of the World of Darkness.  This world includes vampires, werewolves, faeries, mages, mummies, and anything else you fancy from the horror genre.

There’s a few things that makes V:TM different from say, Dungeons and Dragons.  For one, you’re probably not going to run across elves, trolls, and kobolds and Vampire is usually set in modern days unless you just happen to be playing Dark Ages Vampire.  For another, you roll dice from a pool of d10′s instead of rolling a d20.

I’ll go into the system and the lore in later posts, but here is Vampire the Masquerade in a nutshell:

There are 3 different sects of kindred (vampires) in V:TM.  You have the Camarilla, Sabbat, and the Independents.  Clan politics are complicated and you can actually be a “Camarilla” clan and still be in the Sabbat because you don’t believe in the Camarilla policies.  It’s also possible to be clanless, and these kindred are called Caitiffs.  Then to make things even more complicated, there’s bloodlines which are offshoots of the original clans.

Each clan has it’s own discipline and clan weakness that was brought down upon them by the curse of their founding father Caine.  For example, the Ventrue are very picky eaters.  They will only feed on one certain type of kine (humans).  Or the Malkavians, they’re the insane lot.  Their curse is severe mental disorders.  The Brujah are the brutes that are much closer to their beast thus they tend to frenzy a whole lot easier than their kindred brethren.  And finally we have the Tremere who are all one step blood bound to their Council of Seven.  Don’t worry if this seems confusing because I’ll go into each clan and their lore in other posts.

What sets Vampire the Masquerade (and all of White Wolf’s games) apart from other systems is it uses dots on the character sheet.  Each dot represents one d10 that you have to roll vs. say, Dungeons and Dragons where you first roll a d20 to make your action.  Normal characters have up to 5 dots in their abilities and 5 in their attributes so without any modifiers (which come in the form of more or less dice) have ten d10′s to roll.  The Storyteller will then give a difficulty level for the task and the players will roll to see if any of the dice meet that difficulty level.  If there’s at least 1 success, then the character passes.  However, watch out because each 1 will cancel out a success.  Oh, and each 10 actually counts for 2 successes instead of the 1.

So in a nutshell, this is Vampire: The Masquerade.  Each edition (there were 3 in the Old World of Darkness) is quite a bit different in regards to both lore and mechanics.  I highly recommend 3rd, or the revised edition, since it has the most current mechanics.  As for lore? I like looking at it as different kindred writing down their history.  Like real life, eye witness accounts are often muddled and confused and it’s no different with vampire lore!

If you decide to play, have fun! It’s a game near and dear to my own heart!