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Author Topic: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat  (Read 577 times)

Offline Gurkhal

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[Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« on: June 18, 2018, 03:26:00 PM »
Here comes a custom stuff for your enjoyment to read, written to be part of the Victorian Age line of VtM material.
 
And for readers I have a rather different question, in what direction should it be developed? I feel it’s not really distinct enough from the normal Nosferatu to warrant its bloodline status at this point but I don’t really feel any obvious direction in which to develop these guys. Suggestions would be welcome.

Brothers of the Rat

The Brothers of the Rat appeared as the great cities of the industrialization grew across the world. Some say they were active also earlier but there have been few reliable records of such presence. What is known is that the Brothers of the Rat are a breed who are shunned by most and seldom find camaraderie beyond each other and sometimes the Nosferatu Clan who can at times see their own in these Kindred. While many have reacted with surprise and disgust at the Brothers of the Rat there have also been some interest and employment of them in ways of skulduggery for scrapings from the tables of the wealthy. Many of them do come to the Camarilla like other lower class Clans and there make their gestures before withdrawing as fast as possible away from the condemning eyes of their “betters”.

One of the main problems for the Brothers of the Rat is that as not being proper Nosferatu and Embraced into the fold, they seldom find acceptance without proving their mettle to the Sewer Rats, thus it’s not unheard of for a message of an incoming sheriff to not pass by the Brother of the Rat who thus gets caught. The one true companion to the Ratmen is the vermin of their name with which they gain their needed sustenance from the dead and together with whom they share their unfortunate unlives, unfortunate lives that can breed both great empathy but also the most bitter hate imaginable.

Nickname: Ratmen

Sect: Mostly Camarilla but with some Sabbat members.

Appearence: Like all the brood of Absimilard the Brothers of the Rat are disfigured and walking breeches of the Masquerade. But unlike the traditional disfigurement of the Sewer Rats the Ratmen are drawn to a more animalistic look but not quite animal. Instead they might have rat-like teeth, a skittish movement or thick brown body hair. All of which makes them look to hint at the rodents. But given how their bodies tend to be wracked by the Embrace and their bent, broken and cracked forms along with their animal-like looks can make for an, unpleasant, appearance.

Havens: The havens of the Brothers of the Rat are mostly filthy with the difference that rats seems to more or less make it as much of their homes as that of the Kindred himself or herself. But given the rats’ presence it’s most often in some place where rats can thrive and a signs is often that cats goes missing with great frequency in the local neighbourhood.

Background: Almost all Ratmen are from a poor social standing and most of them lacks social graces and were known cohabitations with rats, vermin and worse also before their Embrace. With a few unfortunate people from more established classes who are brought into the night as a Brother of the Rat, often in bitter revenge from a member of the bloodline.

Character Creation: Most Brothers of the Rat focus on physical attributes and learn stealth and the skills to live as one of, and manipulate, the rats. Social skills are last while wits and quick thinking makes for excellent mental traits for a Ratman. Given the poor social standing most of the bloodline has before their Embrace, intellectual skills are seldom parts of the parcel while physical are more often used and social skills were useful in their mortal lives.

Disciplines: Animalism, Obfuscate, Celerity

Weakness: Beyond the normal appearance weakness of the Nosferatu, which in this case takers the form of breaking down the humanoid form and giving them rat-like traits, the Brothers of the Rat are also cursed with scavenging their unlife from the leftovers of others. The Brothers of the Rat are unable to drink blood properly but can only gain Vitae from consuming coagulated blood. This often means them feasting on the dead poor who have been lying around for a while or keep corpses in their havens from which they nibble away in order to get to the precious Vitae inside. It’s a forced habit that has not endeared much sympathy from polite society and created more than a few problems for risking the Masquerade.


Organization: Mostly the Brothers of the Rat are more or less alone or contact with a Sire or Childer. But on occasion the bloodline will keep together in almost tribal broods that are filled with back-biting bitches and assholes under single patriarch or matriarch that unites against outsider threats. When these gatherings happen isolationism and hostility towards the outside world often set in and they form unhealthy cult-like tribes with a siege mentality, warranted or not. God help any mortal or Kindred outsider who happens to wander into their arms. There has even been tales traded among the Ratmen and the Nosferatu that Brothers of the Rat, living together in squalor and darkness find each other in other ways as well. Tales of rat kings where groups of Ratmen meld together in body and mind to slowly grow towards a horrible thing. In fact some travelled Nosferatu have speculate if there isn’t a connection between the Ratmen and the fleshcrafting of the Fiends.

Quote: To me death, decay and darkness are the foundations of life and energy for both myself and my living companions.

Stereotypes

Camarilla

Upper Class

Sigh, more riffraff to pollute our fair city. Keep them in their place and away from me if you would, officer.

Middle Class

Damnable, lazy and cowardly they must be forced at every minute to do an honest day’s work and would rather live in the sewer than do an honest day’s work.

Lower Class

Our unseen brothers in misery

Brujah

Driven away by the arrogance of greed, we’re standing up for them and will be there to give them a hand and a smile should they come to claim their due and join with us.

Nosferatu

We are kin and share much the same, I am happy that the vermin will at least keep these brothers of mine company.

Sabbat

Many of them are despondent but we are the vehicles through which they can find a purpose and revenge

Offline TF Alex Burton

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 03:49:16 PM »
I'll be honest I don't see why these need to be a bloodline, sure Nosfeartu are stereotyped as Count Orlok lookalikes but I believe their disfigurement can be more varied than that.
They have Celerity instead of Potence and honestly I don't really understand why. Why only have them allowed to drink coagulated blood?
Their organization actually sounds pretty interesting but seems like a choice between isolation, near isolation and what seems to be a nastier/creepier version of the Nosferatu organization.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 03:51:43 PM by The Shadow Man »

Offline Gurkhal

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 04:34:49 PM »
I'll be honest I don't see why these need to be a bloodline, sure Nosfeartu are stereotyped as Count Orlok lookalikes but I believe their disfigurement can be more varied than that.
They have Celerity instead of Potence and honestly I don't really understand why. Why only have them allowed to drink coagulated blood?
Their organization actually sounds pretty interesting but seems like a choice between isolation, near isolation and what seems to be a nastier/creepier version of the Nosferatu organization.

Thanks for a quick reply!

My basic idea was to have a band of Nosferatu-ish Kindred that were more about social exclusion than "monster in the dark" with a vermin theme to them. And since I wanted them to lie fairly close to the Nosferatu I opted for a version of their Appearance-based weakness in addition to one of their very own to tie them closer down with the rodent/vermin theme.

The choice of Celerity is about an idea I have about them being more about running away from threats than pummel those threats to a bloody mess.

The weakness of only consuming coagulated blood is to tie them closer to their vermin companions and mark them as, well, kind of disgusting from a Kindred perspective, hence part of why they are not with the cool kids for another reason than just be a Nosferatu-copy straight through.

Yeah, the organization is kind of similar to the Nosferatu one, in this case inspired by nests of rats rather than the underground Nosferatu gatherings in the modern nights. With an obligatory reference to "rat kings" as well, although not a direct reference.

But like I think that I wrote at this point they're not really developed enough to really, in my mind, warrant a bloodline status. But I thought that I should post it and see if I could get some feedback on this draft on how to develop them further or if its a kind of dead-end idea that should be shelved and then mined for general Nosferatu ideas later on.

Offline TF Alex Burton

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 08:46:39 PM »
Well there is some interesting ideas here Gurkhal.

They might be really interesting as Nofeartu antiribu, the canon Antriribu aren't really any different to their Camarilla counterparts but these could really fit the bill as some creepier Sabbat Nosfeartu, perhaps they even represent a unique kind of founded pack.

Offline deicide

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 09:13:18 PM »
The social stigma comparing to the normal Nosferatu feels forced since corpse-sucking seems to be an advantage (more safe than hunting) rather than a Masquerade breach. I think kool Nosferatu will likely envy such a weakness as the most of them are quite practical and aren't picky.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 09:17:03 PM by deicide »
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Offline Gurkhal

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 07:24:40 AM »
Well there is some interesting ideas here Gurkhal.

They might be really interesting as Nofeartu antiribu, the canon Antriribu aren't really any different to their Camarilla counterparts but these could really fit the bill as some creepier Sabbat Nosfeartu, perhaps they even represent a unique kind of founded pack.

Thanks. :)

The Sabbat angle is something that could be worked. Normally I'm a bit hesitant to make Sabbat material as I favor Camarilla games but I shall take the possibility of them being a Sabbat Nosferatu split off bloodline and see where that runs.

The social stigma comparing to the normal Nosferatu feels forced since corpse-sucking seems to be an advantage (more safe than hunting) rather than a Masquerade breach. I think kool Nosferatu will likely envy such a weakness as the most of them are quite practical and aren't picky.

Well, the idea is that they are not really sucking anything as much being forced to eat through corpses to get at the coagulated blood within said corpses. So essentially no discreet blood sucking and that half-eaten, or quartlery-eaten, corpses often gets the human police into activity when discovered.

EDITED: Was unpolite so took away some text.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 10:09:31 AM by Gurkhal »

Offline deicide

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 10:26:03 AM »
Depends from world interpretation. From the books, I've got an impression that WoD police are too busy and corrupted for paying attention to disappeared or mutilated corpses, so avoiding being noticed in the process is enough. Otherwise, the existence of vampires would have been uncovered long ago.
Of course, if your interpretation is closer to this world in criminal aspect, that's a whole different matter.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 03:33:53 PM by deicide »
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Offline Gurkhal

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 11:53:46 PM »
Depends from world interpretation. From the books, I've got an impression that WoD police are too busy and corrupted for paying attention to disappeared or mutilated corpses, so avoiding being noticed in the process is enough. Otherwise, the existence of vampires would have been uncovered long ago.
Of course, if your interpretation is closer to this world in criminal aspect, that's a whole different matter.

Could well be that I put to much stock in the police's integrity and competence in the WoD. I will need to think about this if it fits the theme and such or if it needs to be changed.

Offline deicide

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2018, 12:32:39 PM »
Speaking of my country, if they didn't solve something immediately, and it's no neighbour noise or copkilling, it would never be solved. Reminiscent of sometning, isn't it? With the late 19th century forensics combined, sounds like a golden era to a cainite ears.
I would put more emphasis on clan history rather than their feeding peculiarities. Probably, the reason for such a mistrust lies in clan politics or something commited in the past?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 12:51:56 PM by deicide »
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Offline TF Alex Burton

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2018, 02:24:45 PM »
In canon Nosfeartu are Camarilla because they think it suits them better. Their Antritribu are unique in that they are said not to be traitors to the Clan, as they consider Clan more important than Sect, Nosfeartu tend to join the Sabbat out of fear of their Antediluvian in the Final Nights.

Offline deicide

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 04:40:26 PM »
As additional touch, a requirement like "cannot feed on people whose deaths they or their brethen had caused, directly or otherwise" in my opinion would emphasise their scavenger (as opposed to the predator) image a little more. Not a physical aversion, like of clan Ventrue, but purely mental, i.e. feeding is possible if the character has no way to know or suspect even in the back of mind.
Did not intend it as a gameplay limitation. Some may embrace it as an ethical rule, while more unscrupulous ones would be surely inventing clever ways to circumvent their clan weakness, thus latter could serve as a spice for both styles.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 07:37:05 PM by deicide »
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Offline Gurkhal

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Re: [Victorian Age] Custom Bloodline - Brothers of the Rat
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 08:17:56 AM »
As additional touch, a requirement like "cannot feed on people whose deaths they or their brethen had caused, directly or otherwise" in my opinion would emphasise their scavenger (as opposed to the predator) image a little more. Not a physical aversion, like of clan Ventrue, but purely mental, i.e. feeding is possible if the character has no way to know or suspect even in the back of mind.
Did not intend it as a gameplay limitation. Some may embrace it as an ethical rule, while more unscrupulous ones would be surely inventing clever ways to circumvent their clan weakness, thus latter could serve as a spice for both styles.

That's an interesting idea for the scavanger part of the concept. I like it.