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The Origin Project (Free Vampire IP)

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Nigama:

--- Quote ---I think at this point we just run a tabletop game with 7-9 very different players with different playstyles and let them create the new founding bloodlines and then build a new game from there.  I swear, we could do it, all we need is our own lore.  Imagine what would happen if we just did the basic opening scenario of a potential MMO... there is no vampire society at all, then 7-9 people are randomly embraced... what society do they form?  what do they call themselves?  do they align politically or by blood?  Set in a modern/realistic world but darker and grittier.  White Wolf/CCP owns none of this.
--- End quote ---

from https://forums.planetvampire.com/?topic=6413.45

The idea is to create a new modern horror, vampire based intellectual property that would be open for others to utilize.  While there may be similarities between this new world and the World of Darkness, our goal is to use similar sources as White Wolf originally did (from Dracula and Anne Rice to Lost Boys and beyond) to build our own mythos, without copying from WW.

To this end, the Creation Myth becomes important.  Who were the first vampires?  How might those first vampires shape the modern nights?  While we could do what White Wolf did and design the world from the modern day backwards, it seems more organic to me to get players of different personality types and let them write or roleplay their creation stories, with the unique details that pop up in such stories providing the meat for the mythos of the modern nights stories and lineages.  The creation stories would be a mix of myth and truth/reality.

The idea would be to define a set of basic elements and mechanics and then let the players run with that.  If we have few people interested we will probably ask people to write their origin stories and then edit them to make sure there are no glaring inconsistencies.  Ideally, though, we'd have more players and we could do a sort of "Peer to Peer storytelling" to quote Rad, where if we had say 8 players, 4 would act as ST for 4 players and then we'd switch, and the former game runners would become the players.

But before we can even start talking about the basics and mechanics, is anybody even interested?


Simple Mechanics to be Decided:
 - How does creation work?
 - How does the blood bond work?
 - What powers do vampires have access to?
 - Are all vampires connected somehow or do they have individual creations mythoi?
 - what else?


Look forward to hearing from you!

Nigama

Rick Gentle:
Just for inspiration's sake, I'm going to throw out some ideas that should sound a bit familiar...:

1) Vampires are a predatory species, like lions.
2) Vampires are mutations, with powers, like in comic books.
3) Vampires are the next evolution of human beings.
4) Vampires are an alien species from outer space.
5) Nobody knows because none of the old vampires remember anything.

Nigama:
What if it were okay that all of those were possible?  There's no reason each origin story for each unique character can't be completely different.  It will give anyone not from that lineage a chance to mock it, agree with it, or reframe it vis a vis the context of their own lineage's origin story.  Rad was mulling over a more tribal, neolithic creator figure, whereas I was thinking more urban, cultural and (proto) Greek.  Both might have wildly differing stories of how they became vampires.

Nigama

Radical21:
I'm kind of inspired by vtm to write something based in reality/history as setting so I am doing some mild research in order to write the progenitor's mythos/story for the lineage of vampires I'm creating: since the progenitor lived in the late neolithic period I have to know what the lifestyle was like then before inserting the hypothetical mythical/supernatural element that turned him into a vampire.

will post it when I'm done/

@Rick I think all of the options you wrote could  easily apply to Caine from VTM, the fun thing is that no one knows for sure.

To Clarify: (after reading what Rick wrote below): I'm more in favor of multiple progenitors and multiple mythoi.


--- Quote ---Simple Mechanics to be Decided:
 - How does creation work?
 - How does the blood bond work?
 - What powers do vampires have access to?
 - Are all vampires connected somehow or do they have individual creations mythoi?
 - what else?
--- End quote ---

My own notion of these:

* Creation: Vampires have to start draining all the blood from the victim while they are still alive and then pour some of their own
* Bloodbond: if someone drinks directly more than a third of the vampire's blood they begin to become bonded. the bloodbonded become susceptible towards that vampire and may develop subservient feelings towards the vampire through further interaction after that. a torpored vampire may get  a vague sense of strong emotion in one bloodbonded to her/him
* Powers: I think most powers can be transferred through lineage, that way from a design point of view we can ensure both balance and diversity
* Origin Mythos: individual mythoi sounds better, the only thing that connect them is that they are all vampires

Rick Gentle:
For Vampire Pirates In Space!!, at the time I started writing the history (near-future), I was taking for granted that vampires had existed for the longest time, and that they had remained successfully hidden until this point in time when Mankind Needed Them (c). In my vampire version of events, vampires were more similar than different; in terms of VTM, every vampire had a few of the same Clan Disciplines (everybody gets Fortitude, Potence, Dominate, and for all intents and purposes, Presence), but there were different lineages that split off and developed their own powers, so you could tell lineages apart. Some just preferred using one style over another, as by the time the real setting of VPIS!! takes off, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, and vampires have very distinct cultures that lend themselves towards different developments.

Right now, I've effectively got Ventrue (the "Old Earth" lineages , who rule shadow kingdoms of the first and oldest Earth colonies), Gangrel-Lasombra mixes (feral pirates who breed and consume prolifically), the Ravnos (like the Gangrel-Lasombra mixes, only they're still sane), and the Tremere (while there's no magic in this setting, they constantly conspire to achieve technological and bio-cybernetic advances).
But since vampires have more in common with another vampire than as seen in VTM, there are no official Clans or Bloodlines; you're re-created as a vampire first, and then your lifestyle corresponds with one of the major powers (being heavily influenced by who re-created you). Sort of like every vampire starting off as a Caitiff, and then joining a sect/covenant. But different. I didn't want to make hardline sects or covenants that were primarily one lineage or another ("Oh, you're from Old Earth? You must be XYZ!"); VPIS!! is much more about adventure and slightly more personal relationships than it is Sect vs. Sect warfare or worrying about the end of the world. The setting is bigger; the relationships are smaller.

----------------

Anyway, the important bit...
Perhaps the most relevant part of VPIS!! at this stage is whether or not you're/we're allowing alien species. If so, then the origin stories of that alien species could be one of the ones listed above. Human vampires were "cursed" somewhen back in prehistory; frog-alien vampires were evolutionary developments; hive-mind bug-alien vampires were deviant mutations; the Old Ones vampires are from Outer Outer Space and are alien to EVERYBODY.
If it's a human-centric campaign without active gods, then I'd say they were a biological experiment gone wrong (meaning that they were a recent development; no earlier than the 1800s), or they began with a degenerate cannibal with aspirations beyond his station (that could go as far back as the tribal stage, when cannibalism became taboo. Maybe this proto-vampire was the REASON cannibalism became taboo. Just look what happens!).

Even if we don't expand on VPIS!!, I kind of like the idea of a degenerate cannibal being the Originator. That taints the whole race of vampires forever, and encourages the view of vampires being violent, bloodthirsty, and all-consuming, instead of/in addition to being pretty-boy social butterflies.

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