Vampire Requiem 2nd Edition Bloodlines Question

  • So I'm working on a game using Vampire the Requiem 2nd Edition that is set in Los Angeles. When we started the project we set up some ground rules for us to follow; we only wanted to use Vampire the Requiem 2nd Edition and the Chronicles of Darkness rule books and wanted to avoid any house rules. Here's the issue, bloodlines. The VtR2E book mentions them but that's it. Technically any bloodlines we include would be house rules. So, if we stick with our initial goals and guidelines, we would simply not include them. Vampire players are accustomed to having them, however, and they can bring about an oWoD sense of character that may otherwise be missing from 2E.

    So my question, how important would bloodlines be in any Vampire game you were thinking about playing on? If they were not allowed, would that chase you away? Conversely, if they were included would that chase you away? We're just trying to get a gauge on if we should include them or not. Thank!

  • @zombiegenesis

    I think players find them very important.

    I played on New Orleans, and tried to attract people to it. The lack of bloodlines was a huge hindrance to that.

    There are some bloodlines available online, notably the Khaibit and the Kerberos. I like both of them, but I believe the way the Khaibit are created makes more sense.

    I suggest making bloodlines on your own. I did this for The Descent, and the folks there seemed to like my suggestions and writings. If you want some help on this end, let me know and I'd be happy to sit down and talk about my experiences with writing up 2E translations of bloodlines or "original" ones.

  • There is plenty of stuff just in CoD and Blood and Smoke that are broken (Ie, Swarm Form) that while I respect the decision to not bring in crazy home brew conversions, and the purist in me thinks the straight clans are plenty fine on their own without bloodlines, your game /will/ be smaller without them and it will still be broken without HR's. Depending on how you feel on that should determine your reaction.

  • Pitcrew

    @ganymede I'm with Ganymede. That game suffered for its lack of Bloodlines.

    In my opinion? Give each Covenant/Clan 3 or 4 available Bloodlines in your setting, so things don't get too crazy, but that way at least you have them available and players have a nice selection to pick from.

    Whatever you do, my suggestion is that you write some miniblurbs about them AT LEAST, ground them in the city and the Praxis. One of the main issues with Bloodlines that I've found is that they are thrown on the game like they will explain themselves, and that feels sort of weird to me? If you use the Khaibit, for example, how do they work in Los Angeles?

  • @zombiegenesis My suggestion here -- take it with a huge grain of salt -- is to either not use them (which sounds like it hasn't worked out well for games that went that route), or write them all up custom, following a uniform formula for what they do/don't get as part of the bloodline.

    The mystery cult guidelines -- which I'm not suggesting you swap in here -- are a good example of what I mean. I wouldn't tie it to status or rank or anything, but something like that, with something like this as a template:

    • 1 main flaw
    • 1 main perk
    • 1 devotion around 1xp
    • 1 devotion around 2xp
    • 1 devotion around 4xp
    • 1 small custom merit they can buy
    • 1 moderate custom merit they can buy

    (Or whatever.)

  • Admin

    Another piece of advice: Try to either come up with them yourself so the scope of the powers is thematic, or filter very carefully what others submit to you.

    I've seen custom Bloodlines, Legacies etc from time to time be quite broken in terms of powers because they're tailored to cover (and often, overcompensate) for weaknesses intended to be there. That's a thing across the board for GMC though, and players will happily round up such vulnerabilities or strive to create optimal builds - which I'm not saying is a bad thing, but you need to know in advance if, and how much, you are prepared to support.

  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel Custom Bloodlines seem like a waste, given the number of fun ones already written.

  • I'll contribute nothing at all to this conversation by saying: I hate bloodlines and it frustrates me that everyone wants them.

    That said, @Ganymede and I made up a couple for another game that's been put on hold for a while now. If you want some samples, I'd be happy to share. I think Gany is good sharing, too. Just like @surreality said, we used a set template for most of the bloodlines, which is flaw, perk, then a few devotions.

  • Thanks for the feedback, everyone. And I'd love to see some examples, that'd be super helpful.

  • Pitcrew

    Here is Reno's current selection of bloodlines:

    I can't source them all but those are examples.

    Speaking as a player, I love, love, love bloodlines. I could play without them but given the choice between the game with and the game without, I'll go with the game with.

  • If @Ganymede wants to share the work she did for TDM, I have no problems with it. Most are handpicked to fit the post-apoc theme, so not sure if they'd help your project much, other than being a sampling to look at.

  • @goldfish said in Vampire Requiem 2nd Edition Bloodlines Question:

    Here is Reno's current selection of bloodlines:

    I can't source them all but those are examples.

    Speaking as a player, I love, love, love bloodlines. I could play without them but given the choice between the game with and the game without, I'll go with the game with.

    I want to say those are some of Mine + Gany's, @Coin's and @tragedyjones'.

  • Pitcrew

    Hey I was thinking if I wanted to convert the Carnival, I could just give them Protean as 2e protean mirrors a couple of their powers. What do you think?

    I'm not sure if this is the place for that discussion but I like to speculate.

    Edit: Overall converting MOST bloodlines isn't that difficult in my opinion even with the ones that have bloodline specific disciplines. Some of the 1e books even suggest how to do it.

  • Pitcrew

    @goldfish Yeah. All the Bloodlines I wrote for Reno are fair play where I am concerned! Go for it!

  • Let me twist the question around now; based on what I'm going to describe to you about the game below, does anyone have any bloodlines they would suggest for the game?

    Setting: Los Angeles
    Theme: I'm hoping for it to be heavy political with a bit of a twist. We're borrowing from oWoD and splitting Los Angeles up into baronies, each being controlled by a local baron. The entirety of Los Angeles is controlled by a prince as normal, who is also a baron of a barony. The primogen (called a High Council on the game) is made up of the various other barons instead of the traditional "clan elder". This was mostly done because I'd seen, on other games, neonates being named to the primogen just because they were the only member of a clan on the game. I also thought this fit the theme a bit better (we wanted to take the CoD and infuse a bit of Game of Thrones into it).

    The vampires of the city are rebuilding after a large vampire uprising (worked into and under the 1992 LA riots). Most elders avoid the city because of the instability making Los Angeles a very "young" city, kindred wise anyway. So there's a lot of power grabbing, domain claiming, and all that good stuff.

    So when thinking about bloodlines I'm trying to think about the above theme and the city in general. We have the obvious notes of gangs (Bruja), international(so maybe some cultural clans like the Giovanni or Ravnos), celebrities, violence, overcrowding, and modern for the city itself. I was also thinking the perpetrators of the uprising in the 90's could be a oWoD Sabbat like group allowing for some old-school type oWoD clans (Tzimisce for instance).

    Anyway, those are the thoughts we were working with and are now trying to use to suss out what bloodlines might work and/or be an interesting addition.

    Thanks for all the feedback and help. :)

  • Pitcrew

    @zombiegenesis Ok sure

    The Players: It's pretty self-explanatory. They originated there. Movies. Very easy to convert.

    The Barjot: Seems like they would fit in anywhere with at least a proximity to the hippie culture.

    The Taifa: The same goes for any other Middle Eastern bloodline given California's decent sized population of different MENA groups. I imagine they would also do quite well in that setting.

    California Xia: Come on, California is even in the name!

    Toreador: They're basically the real deal of what the Players are trying to imitate. They're the actual artists/critics.

    Carnon: Once again, they originated in California.

    There are tons of others that could fit but those definitely come to mind.

  • @zombiegenesis said in Vampire Requiem 2nd Edition Bloodlines Question:

    Anyway, those are the thoughts we were working with and are now trying to use to suss out what bloodlines might work and/or be an interesting addition.

    If interested, I can make a suggestion of 3 or 4 bloodlines for each Clan, with a blurb on how they fit the area? If you're canvassing for ideas, which you may not.

    @sunnyj said in Vampire Requiem 2nd Edition Bloodlines Question:

    Custom Bloodlines seem like a waste, given the number of fun ones already written.

    Depends on what you mean by "custom." For example, the Myrmex on The Descent are based off of the Melissidae (except, of course, Myrmex are ants, not bees) and are considered to be post-apoc evangelical Christians following "the Myrmex" as their Messianic figure. And the Icarians have been warped from "really resolute power dynasts" to "zealots dedicated to the annihilation of humans possessed by spirits."

    As you said, though, the best Bloodlines are the ones that are tailored to what you're going for. The Descent's lines are geared towards its post-apoc situation. For Los Angeles, a mix of entertainment, excess, and international intersection might be the key.

    That brings up another question: what is the driving push on the game? The Descent is about survival and competition, not high-end political maneuvering, and the bloodlines correspondingly are a little more martial. If you want a political game, you're going to want to make sure your bloodlines are more than just Bruja-esque.

    And, yeah, anyone can use my material, as long as I'm given some credit at some point.

  • Absolutely! Fire away!

  • Pitcrew

    @ganymede Yeah, Gany raises some great points and now I'm curious too. This seems like an oWoD game from reading what you wrote. What is the 'thing' behind the game, the theme of it? What is the goal? What sort of Bloodline are you looking for to push this agenda?

  • Okay, here we go...

    Lots of custom stuff. Lots of stuff borrowed from elsewhere. My personal is Cryptids, which is an original/unique one me and @Ganymede did, as opposed to just adapting an existing.

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