Vampire: The Requiem

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Vampire: The Requiem
Vampreq c.jpg
Vampire: The Requiem cover
Designer(s) Ari Marmell, C.A. Suleiman, Dean Shomshak; Justin Achilli, Philippe R. Boulle, Bill Bridges, Dean Burnham, Ken Cliffe, Michael Lee, Chris McDonough, Ethan Skemp, Richard Thomas, Mike Tinney, Stephan Wieck, Stewart Wieck, Fred Yelk, Aaron Voss, Pauline Benney
Publisher(s) White Wolf
Publication date August 2004 (First Edition) December 2013 (Second Edition)
Genre(s) Modern Gothic
System(s) Storytelling System

Vampire: The Requiem is a role-playing game published by White Wolf, Inc., set in the World of Darkness, and the successor to the Vampire: The Masquerade line. It was first released in August 2004, together with a new core rule book for the World of Darkness. Although it is an entirely new game, rather than a continuation of the previous editions, it uses many elements from the old game in its construction, including some of the clans and their powers. The game's title is a metaphor for the way vampires within the game view their (un)life.

The second edition was released in December 2013. Initially titled Blood and Smoke: the Strix Chronicles, it adds a default world setting and significantly revises certain aspects of the game to fit the second edition nWoD mechanics. Blood and Smoke was announced to be re-released as second edition at GenCon 2014, and was officially retitled, with a new cover, index and very minor changes in November 2014. Although it can be considered a full game in itself, the first edition of Vampire: The Requiem required the World of Darkness corebook for use.

History[edit]

White Wolf combined their new World of Darkness setting and rule system in a single game book, The World of Darkness (2004), and simultaneously released Vampire: The Requiem (2004), a sourcebook that supplemented The World of Darkness by offering up all the rules needed to play a vampire in the setting.[1]:228-229 The first Storytelling Adventure System adventure was Will Hindmarch's The Resurrectionists (2007) for Vampire: the Requiem.[1]:229 Greg Stolze was working on Vampire: The Requiem when he developed the One-Roll Engine for Godlike (2002).[1]:249 The World of Darkness MMORPG was to have been based on Vampire: The Requiem.[1]:230

Background[edit]

World of Darkness
Vampire series
Vampire Settings

World of Darkness Clans

Old World of Darkness
Vampire: The Masquerade

Masquerade Society
Genealogy

New World of Darkness
Vampire: The Requiem

Clans & Bloodlines

Other
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle

Mind's Eye Theatre

The game takes place in modern-day earth where vampires form complex societies hidden from human awareness. Vampires that share common physical powers and qualities group themselves into "clans", but they also join "covenants" along religious, political or philosophical lines (a player's covenant is generally more important to his character than his clan). These groups differ radically in purpose and outlook and are often in conflict, though one principle they agree upon is that they must hide their existence from humans.

Vampires are unliving humans created when a vampire drains a human dry of blood and then feeds the corpse a few drops of its own vampiric blood. This process is called the Embrace and is draining for the sire, so vampires do not procreate often.

Vampires generally dwell in large cities, where they can find plenty of prey and easily remain inconspicuous. Vampires do not need to kill humans to steal blood; humans go into a trance when a vampire feeds on them and do not remember the moment, and a vampire can erase the bite marks it made by licking them. Every evening, their bodies consume a portion of their stored blood in order to rise from their daytime slumber - a vampire will enter an extended period of torpor if it does not have any blood.

Clans and covenanents[edit]

Similar to the previous game, Kindred are brought into one of five clans as part of their transformation into vampires. Each clan covers a broad range of vampiric archetypes:

  • The Daeva evoke the image of vampires as seductive, decadent, sexually transgressive predators who blur lust and hunger together, equating the act of feeding with sensual pleasure, like Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla.
  • The Gangrel embody the idea of vampires as predatory feral demons. An upper level in the feeding chain with little or no interest in humans as anything other than food, they represent vampirism as crude predation and evoke ideas of basic instinct, untamed ferocity and freedom that are commonly associated with predators.
  • The Mekhet are mysterious conspiratorial occultists, obsessed with knowledge and information, who hide in the shadows and manipulate others from afar.
  • Nosferatu vampires are the repulsive, yet fascinating, alien and hideous monsters of legend (such as Count Orlok of their movie namesake).
  • Ventrue are regal vampires who value power and dominion to the point of obsession, self-styled "lords of the night" they represent vampirism as a metaphor for maddening power, like Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Within these clans are many sub-clans, known as bloodlines.

There are also many political or religious factions, known as Covenants. These include:

  • The Carthian Movement works towards finding the best form of government for the Kindred, basing its experiments on mortal systems like Democracy, Fascism and the like. It is the only Covenant that elects leaders, and is the newest major Covenant. Members frequently argue over the best form of government and this Covenant is primarily secular in outlook and character.[2][3]
  • The Circle of the Crone is a collection of pagan and Neopagan cults and religions within the vampiric culture. Generally, these groups are structured around a belief in a generative cycle, though they often revere a particular representative goddess, and these shared associations give rise to their eponymous association with the Crone. They celebrate most of the major pagan holidays, such as the solstices and Yule, and practice the Blood Magic known as "Crúac". Despite many differences in belief and opinion between various circles and cities of the Covenant, they typically dislike the Lancea Sanctum.[4][5]
  • The Invictus (also known as the "First Estate") An order of vampires that claim to be descendants from an ancient Roman sect known as the Camarilla. They are mostly concerned with material gain and power and therefore heavily involved in city politics and business.[6]
  • The Lancea Sanctum is an organization which grew parallel to Christianity, therefore commonly being mistaken for a vampiric equivalent of it. They claim the Roman Centurion Longinus as their founder and they believe Kindred (the word vampires use for themselves) have a role in the Divine Providence: that of the ultimate predators. As vampires, they're to prey upon humans, thus unleashing God's Wrath upon the unworthy and representing tests for the pious.[7][8]
  • The Ordo Dracul is focused on understanding the vampiric condition, improving upon it and ultimately transcending its limitations. They learn a collection of powers known as The Coils of the Dragon which alter the practitioner, generally alleviating particular limitations of the vampiric condition. The members of the Ordo believe that this discipline was created by the founder of the covenant, the infamous Dracula.[9]
  • The Unaligned is simply a catch-all term for any Vampires that do not belong to a covenant.[10][11]

Powers, abilities and weaknesses[edit]

A vampire's power is roughly measured by his Blood Potency. Regardless of their sires' power, all vampires start off at level 1. Blood Potency increases steadily with age, but can also be boosted by spending experience points or consuming the soul of another vampire (diablerie). As its Blood Potency increases, a vampire can store more blood points and access greater supernatural powers. However, his feeding needs become more stringent as well: the weakest vampires can live on animal blood, but the most powerful vampires can only live on the blood of other vampires. Such powerful vampires who cannot meet this need usually go into prolonged slumber to weaken themselves.

Kindred can use a variety of supernatural powers called Disciplines. These are special abilities associated with their curse which, like their undead bodies, are "fed" in a way by the living blood they take from mortals. Many of the Disciplines provide Kindred with preternatural means of ensuring their continued existence, or of easing the process of hunting and stealing blood from mortals.

Disciplines can be broken down into four categories: common (commonplace among the Kindred and more than one clan has an innate knack for them), uncommon (the proprietary abilities of each of the five clans), covenant (possessed only by a specific covenant and never shared with outsiders), and bloodline (known only to the members of a particular bloodline within a clan). However, each Kindred has the capability to, given a tutor and the proper amount of time (sometimes years for powerful disciplines), learn a discipline that is not natural to their clan or covenant. In game mechanics, the experience point cost for such disciplines is higher than that of a clan discipline innate to a specific Kindred, and given the amount of time in a given storyline necessary to successfully master an other-clan discipline, many players never get the chance to fully master such things.

Disciplines common to every clan include:

Celerity
superhuman speed.
Resilience
superhuman toughness
Vigor
superhuman strength
Animalism
the power to commune with and command animals as well as their own inner "Beast".
Obfuscate
the ability to mask one's presence by clouding the minds of others.

Each Clan tends to specialize in one particular "uncommon discipline". Uncommon disciplines include:

Auspex
supernatural sensitivity and awareness and the ability to foresee and know things seemingly unknowable.
Dominate
allows a piercing stare that commands minds and the ability to break the will of others.
Majesty
grants a seductive or commanding sway of emotions and the predatory manipulation of the weak.
Nightmare
the power to evoke sheer terror by revealing one's primal nature.
Protean
grants the ability to assume a variety of forms such as a wolf or a mist.

Covenant disciplines include:

Carthian Law
Alters social and supernatural dynamics, boosting or crippling individuals or groups.
Coils of the Dragon
Used to cheat the Curse, stripping away limitations and negative effects of the Unliving state (practiced by the Ordo Dracul).
Crúac
Pagan blood sorcery (practiced by the Circle of the Crone).
Invictus Oaths
Signed with blood, these pacts loan supernatural abilities and are enforced by magic.
Theban Sorcery
Miraculous magic taught by, or in some interpretations stolen from, an "avatar of God" (practiced by the Lancea Sanctum).

The various Rare Disciplines are numerous and wildly diverse. While they are generally only available to their respective bloodlines, and highly specialized, there are a few which provide significant advantages in combat. Most bloodline disciplines cannot be learned by vampires outside of the associated bloodline.

Weaknesses[edit]

Unlike many fictional portrayals, vampires in Requiem are not repelled by crucifixes, garlic or holy water, and they can enter any private domain without invitation. A stake through the heart merely paralyses them. Fire, sunlight and the claws and fangs of supernatural animals inflict terrible injuries that take a lot of time and blood to heal. During the daytime most vampires become catatonic and cannot operate, even if they are sheltered from sunlight.

Antagonists[edit]

Vampires have many enemies, most from within their own clans and covenants. There are some that stand out as being opposed to Vampire society as a whole, and some of the most prominent of these are vampires themselves. There are only two "enemy only" covenants in the core rulebook:

Belial's Brood
A loose confederation of Satanists, demon-worshippers and overt miscreants. The Covenant claims that the Damned originate from Hell itself, and exalt in the spread of misery and pain. They are intended to be more straightforward enemies than other antagonists that might be fought against in The Requiem, as their goals (spreading wanton misery and violence, heedless of whether they expose the existence of vampires) are antithetical to nearly any character.
VII
A very mysterious organization, VII is dedicated to the destruction of their own species. They carry out attacks of sabotage and murder against other vampires for mysterious reasons. In the game, they serve as the shadow antagonists - the monster's monsters. The Storyteller is encouraged to invent his own reasons for VII's agenda.

The rules revision Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicles also focuses on a different, unplayable race with vampire-like traits that have often clashed with the Kindred.

Strix
Vampires that were never human, the Strix, or Owls, are monsters inspired by Roman spirits of the same name. Strix are living shadows who seek to take over physical bodies so they may experience physical sensation, particularly torpid vampires. They are completely amoral beings who despise the very concept of humanity, to the point where even draugr, insane vampires who have lost their Humanity completely, are too much like the living for their liking.

Books[edit]

  • Vampire: The Requiem (August 2004)
  • Coteries (October 2004)
  • Nomads (November 2004)
  • Rites of the Dragon (November 2004)
  • Bloodlines: The Hidden (February 2005)
  • Lancea Sanctum (March 2005)
  • City of the Damned: New Orleans (May 2005)
  • Ghouls (May 2005)
  • Ordo Dracul (July 2005)
  • VII (August 2005)
  • The Invictus (October 2005)
  • Bloodlines: The Legendary (January 2006)
  • Requiem Chronicler's Guide (February 2006)
  • Carthians (April 2006)
  • Mythologies (June 2006)
  • Circle of the Crone (August 2006)
  • Belial's Brood (January 2007)
  • The Blood (May 2007)
  • Bloodlines: The Chosen (July 2007)
  • Damnation City (August 2007)
  • Requiem for Rome (October 2007)
  • Fall of The Camarilla (January 2008)
  • Criminal Intent (PDF only)[note 1] (January 2008)
  • Scenes of Frenzy (PDF only)[note 1] (January 2008)
  • Blood Red + Ash Gray (PDF only)[note 1] (January 2008)
  • The Resurrectionists (PDF only)[note 1] (January 2008)
  • Ventrue: Lords Over the Damned (April 2008)
  • Kiss of the Succubus: Daeva (May 2008)
  • Savage and Macabre: Gangrel (September 2008)
  • Shadows in the Dark: Mekhet (January 21, 2009)
  • New Wave Requiem (PDF & Print on Demand) (February 2009)
  • Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners (February 2009)
  • The Beast that Haunts the Blood: Nosferatu (March 2009)
  • Vampire: Ancient Mysteries (April 2009)
  • Ancient Bloodlines
  • Night Horrors: The Wicked Dead
  • Invite Only
  • The Danse Macabre (March 2011)
  • Strange Dead Love (PDF & Print on Demand only) (December 2011)
  • Blood Sorcery: Sacraments & Blasphemies (PDF & Print on Demand) (September 2012)
  • Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicles (PDF & Print on Demand) (December 16, 2013)

Movie adaptation[edit]

New Line Cinema optioned the feature rights to Vampire: The Requiem in 2004, but to date no script has emerged.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Storytelling Adventure System

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702- 58-7. 
  2. ^ "White Wolf Publishing". Wiki.white-wolf.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  3. ^ http://carthian.cam-wiki.org/About_the_Movement
  4. ^ http://crone.immortaldanse.org/index.php/About_the_Circle
  5. ^ http://cam-wiki.org/index.php/Circle_of_the_Crone
  6. ^ "White Wolf Publishing". Wiki.white-wolf.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  7. ^ "White Wolf Publishing". Wiki.white-wolf.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  8. ^ "借りる目的 - カードローンの限度額". Lanceasanctum.org. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  9. ^ http://ordodracul.cam-wiki.org/index.php/Main_Page
  10. ^ "White Wolf Publishing". Wiki.white-wolf.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  11. ^ http://cam-wiki.org/index.php/Unaligned
  12. ^ "New Line will stake claim to ‘Vampire’". Variety. 2004-07-14. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 

External links[edit]