You are on page 1of 4

VtR Primer Page 1 of 4

This is mainly a primer for people who don't own the Red Book, or aren't even familiar with Vampire at
all. This is a copy of the basics of Vampiric society, clan and bloodline 'base' descriptions and possible
concepts, from the Red Book (pg. 22-23 and pg. 104-112), so that players who aren't familiar with the
game/have the Red Book can get some base ideas about what they'd like to do as a concept, before we
get on with a Chargen Meeting to actually GENERATE the characters.

I'd also like to run a couple of preludes for characters, so that people can get a background for their
characters in mind. Also, to generate relations between characters.

Vampiric Society
----------------

Vampiric society is a mimickry of the medieval, fuedal style of existence. Most of the Kindred believe
that their society has existed as it does now, for the past thousands of years. Kindred gather together out
of a base neccessity -- some see it as regulation, some see it as need for company. Whatever the reason,
Kindred gather in cities that are treated somewhat like fiefdoms. The primary purpose, believed to be
regulation, causes the kindred to not only gather in physical proximity, but socially, under a government
within cities that is created and run by Kindred. This is done because there is enough recognition that
they need to police their own. Were the kindred to dwell in the crowded cities with no overt authority,
nothing would prevent the indiscrete or foolish from waging war with one another openly, feedinng
indiscriminately, or otherwise threatening each other's vitality. A figure known as the Prince (or
whoever represents the local government) is an enforcer, first and foremost.

Beyond this, Kindred claim that their kind cleave together socially for reasons far more personal and
ingrained than the need to protect themselves from each other. Kindred society grants it's members
something they could never have among mortals: a sense of belonging, of community. Vampires might
despise the greater portion of their fellows and their Prince or governor -- and a great many do -- but this
is nevertheless their community, their city. Where mortals turn to family, Kindred have clans. Where
mortals form nations and cultures, Kindred have Covenants. These social constructs allow the Kindred
to feel as though they're part of something, to counter the extreme isolation that they would otherwise
suffer for all eternity.

A kindred's single existence of unlife is referred to as The Requiem; and the whole of Kindred society
and existence is referred to as the Danse Macabre. Kindred, as a whole, are active in most parts of the
world, though as Kindred do not travel much, communication between cities, let alone nations and
countries, is sparse.

Covenants and Coteries


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

A covenant is a social unit of vampires. Each is an artificial group comprising Kindred with similar
philosophies, ideals, political aims and even relegious notations. Vampires can usually belong to only
one Covenant at a time, as members are somewhat exclusionary about their principles, but Kindred
sometimes leave one covenant to join another, evade notice of membership in multiple covenants, or
actively concoct false identities with which to spy on other covenants. Some vampires belong to no
covenant at all. This is a basic layout of the covenants covered in the Red Book; the five Covenants that
players can be members of, and the two NPC covenants.

Carthians - The Carthians seek to reconcile Kindred society with modern governmental structure and
societal systems. In any number of cities across the world, the Carthian experiment is in some stage of

file://C:\My%20Documents\primer.html 11/30/04
VtR Primer Page 2 of 4

it's inexorable cycle, running from naive idealism to 'the revolution eats its children.'

Circle of the Crone - The Circle of the Crone venerates an amalgam of female figures from mythology
as the vampiric creator, dubbed the Mother of all Monsters. Regarded as pagans by some of the more
conservative Kindred factions, the Circle remlies more on holistics and redemption than on penitence
and guilt of other idealogical covenants. It's members are sorcerers and blood witches.

Invictus - The Invictus is the aristocracy of the night, Neofuedal and corrupt from within. It is
nonetheless a powerful covenant that draws strength from tradition. The Invictus claims to trace it's
roots back to ancient Rome, if not time before. It believes that the structure of power should be
'strongest has the right to rule,' a rule espoused a lot of times in Kindred society as a whole, wether or
not Invictus is a Kindred's covenant.

Lancea Sanctum - The Lancea Sanctum looks to Biblical history for its spiritual outlook. The covenant
seeks to influence Kindred society with the strictures of Longinus, who was believed to be a progenitor
turned into one of the Damned by the blood of Christ. The covenant practices a blood power that draws
on elements from Biblical times, when God's will was manifest.

Ordo Drakul - The Ordo Drakul is a neo-Victorian society, not unlike a secret society. It commands
mystical knowledge and rituals that allow members to transcend their vampiric state. The covenent
claims descent from the historical and popularized-by-fiction Vlad Tepesh -- Dracula.

Unbound - Kindred who claim no allegiance to any Covenant are known as 'Unbound' or 'Unaligned,'
among many other names. They have no formal structure, and many just wish to handle their Requiem
on their own terms, rather than those of covenants or other institutions. The Unbound are usually the
least-regonized in a city, though it really depends on the currently reigning covenant as to their
betterment or worsening of their condition.

Belial's Brood (NPC)- Not every covenant is as fully structured as the rest. Indeed, some covenants are
local phenomena or simply too small to merit the elaborate systems that the large ones have in place. For
Belial's Brood, the covenant of satan -worshipping, demon-magick-practicing Kindred, covenant law is
unneccessary because 'Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.' A loose confederation of Satanists,
demon-worshipers and overt miscreants, Belial's Brood claims that the origin of the Damned is Hell
itself; that vampires are not their own unique species. That they are demons, given mortal from or devils
who have found passage from the Pit's sulfrous depths to the surface of the world. Their beliefs on the
purpose of the Damned are quite simple: to indulge the dark urges that the Beast imparts.

VII (NPC) - One 'covenant' among the world of the undead has no name. Although this faction
compromises vampires, thyose beings seem to hate all Kindred who are not part of their mysterious
order. As in, they literally attempt to destroy them on sight. The notion of this group as a covenant might
even be mistaken, as it is unknown whether the group is a true covenant, its own insular clan or just a
particularly zealous cult. 'Seven,' the name by which it is recognized by other Kindred, comes from the
occasional iconography that its vampires leave behind after particularly heinous or noteworthy attacks --
the Roman numeral seven.

Coteries are collections of Kindred who share not so much an idealogy, but a desire to work together to
make their Requiem's more bearable. Kindred need allies, especially those neonates (young Kindred) or
those with no political clout. Coteries provide this, as well as a way to combat the left-over need for
companionship from their mortal days. Coteries generally consist of three to six Kindred, but there are
known coteries with upwards of a dozen.

file://C:\My%20Documents\primer.html 11/30/04
VtR Primer Page 3 of 4

Clans and Bloodlines


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

A Clan is a vampiric lineage. The Kindred acknowledge five clans and all kindred belong to one clan or
another, as per a 'family' of sorts. The most widely accepted theorum regarding clans is that they are like
'families' of vampires; members of clans all have certain mystical properties in common, wether it be
Disciplines or a specific weakness of their psyche. However, one of the failings of the 'families' theory is
that, while vampires are immortal, they have no knowledge of their clan progenitor. Only a few are
guessed at with any confidence, but the Fog of torpor eliminates most of the static, flat knowledge with
it's effects. Only two vampires in history have shown to have no clan, and have never shown the ability
to Embrace (make new vampires, or childer). The two vampires in reference are the Roman centurion
Longinus, and the ever-present-in-fiction Vlad Tepesch, Dracula. While they founded two Covenants,
not clans, who is to say they aren't on the path to establishing Clans themselves. But, if the origin of
vampires do not lie with Clan progenitors, where do they come from? And, if Longinus and Dracula are
truly clanless, who's to say there aren't other, even more secretive vampires around suffering their
Requiem in the same state.

Daeva - The Daeva are emotional, sensual and desirable. Sexual predators and sensual hedonists alike
populate the ranks of these succubi-seducers. The Daeva embody the more sensual, sexual and exotic
(and sometimes erotic) aspects of the vampires, who mythology holds as a great seducer of men and
women.
Common Concepts: Bored socialite, club hopper, club owner, cult leader, cultured serial killer, full-time
Harpy, jaded vampire who gets off on being a creature of the night (a fairly meolodramatic attitude
found only among the very young before the weight of the Requiem finally settles on them), Kindred
politico, local covenant spokesman, patron of the arts, professional 'escort.'

Gangrel - The Gangrel are primal, hardy and savage. They embdoy the mythology of vampires turning
into animals or otherwise changing form (wolves, bats, mist). They also embody and represent the
vampiric nature and relations to animals and nature.
Common Concepts: Archaeologist, bodyguard, bumpkin, survivalist, circuit rider, guru, mercenary,
nomad, shaman, urban predator, zookeeper.

Mekhet - The Mekhet are quick, discreet and wise. Legends of vampires hiding in shadows, preying
secretly on victims, and even learning secrets noone else but the keeper is supposed to know probably
refer to Mekhet activities.
Common Concepts: Antiquities scholar, assassin, Casanova, diplomat, enforcer, fence, ghetto Harpy,
pilgrim, policeman, power behind the praxis, seer, information broker, spy.

Nosferatu - The Nosferatu embody the eeriness present in much of vampiric mythology. They are
strong ,stealthy and terrifying. Their very prescence unnerves people, whether by physical ugliness, foul
stenches or nebulous personal malignance.
Common Concepts: Bogeymen, circus freak, curde sadist, guardian angel, leg-breaker, parvenu, petty
thief, rat king, reclusive eccentric, snitch, sycophantic servant, torturer.

Ventrue - The Ventrue are regal, commanding and aristrcratic. Vampires as everying from Eastern
European lords to gentrified nobles, to modern corporate raiders belong to this clan. The Ventrue
embody the lordly ways that vampires are presented in mythology, as counts and rulers of domains,
other vampires and other creatures of the night.
Common Concepts: Corporate CEO, crooked cop, gang cief, militar yofficer, old-time ward boss, patron
of the arts, politico, political consultant, rave promoter, realtor, society matron, technical wizard,
financier, finance advisor.

file://C:\My%20Documents\primer.html 11/30/04
VtR Primer Page 4 of 4

Bruja - An offshoot of the Gangrel. The bloodline known as the Filhos des Bruja (or Bruja's Sons, or
simply the Bruja) seem like something out of a nightmare, or a drug trip from the 60s. It's a motorcycle
gang of vampires, ghouls and a few handfuls of blood dolls -- all dirty, mean-as-hell, leather-wearing
monsters tearing up the American Southwest on roaring black American motorcycles when the sun goes
down. Itm ight almost be funny to those who've never seeen the Bruja in action, but this isn't some
bullshit Sunday club or group of impotent middle-aged men. These guys are locusts, who HATE you
and who have no respect for notions of domain, or the Kindred Traditions.
Common Concepts: Bar brawler, blood doll pimp, coyote (as in the illegal, border-crossing kind),
mercenary, dealer in drugged blood, drag-racer, drug dealer, loan shark, motorcycle mechanic, perpetual
omega wolf, hired gun, mass-murderer.

Burakumin - An offshoot of the Nosferatu. The bloodline that has come to be known as the Burakumin
originated in feudal Japan within the social stratum of the same name. Beneath the samurai and the
soldiers, and the priests and even the peasants were those mortals whose professions were considered
'spiritually unclean' by the tenets of the Shinto and Buddhist religions. Such professions included
tanning, leather-working, butchery and the handling of the dead. People who made their living from
these professions were declared unclean and legally worth less than other peopele, and grouped together
in small hamlets. Nowadays, Burakumin have a tendency to be somewhat regarded with respect. Though
this is a hard-won respect.
Common Concepts: Ancestral avenger, aspiriting upstart Primogen, blackmailer, forensic pathologist,
grave robber, importer, mortician, private investigator, spectral intercessor, tanner.

Malkovian - An offshoot of the Ventrue. Most Kindred are unaware of the so-called 'Malkovians,' a
bloodline of madmen and lunatics that are more prone to derangement and degeneration of the mind
than their progenitors, the Ventrue. The Lunatics are few -- a state of affairs that those who are aware of
them would like to perpetuate, by whatever means neccessary.
Common Concepts: Absinte-addled roué, Arsenic and Old Lace-style death angel, conspiracy theorist,
eccentric scholar, failed suicide, health professional ,idiot savant, mumbling beggar, religious visionary,
tortured artist, crackpot old person, seer.

Morbus - An offshoot of the Mekhet. A bloodline that must feed from the blood of those carrying
diseases and sickness, specific to the Morbus' odd pallate. The Morbus are seen by other kindred as
pariahs, and are not hunted, but are usually asked to leave a domain -- hunting comes later. To the
Morbus themselves, they simply considering themselves Mekhet who are afflicted with a curse, or
cursed with a singluar variety of rarefied tastes.
Common Concepts: Angel of mercy, cult leader, demon of retribution, doctor, hospice manager, medical
researcher, New Age holistic healer, plague dog, retirement home orderly, seemingly philantrhopic
political activist, living bioterror weapon.

Toreador - An offshoot of the Daeva. To the unwashed, ignorant masses, the Daeva are sleek, haughty,
alluring, idealized predators who've been gifted with eternal youth, beauty and undying style because
they're just that much better than regular mortals. Those of the Toreador bloodline believe themselves to
be much the same, but elevated above their Daeva progenitors, those uncouth, thrashing, hedonistic
Kindred. They're too well -mannered and aloof to say as much TO the Daeva, but what they leave unsead
in mixed company could fill volumes.
Common Concepts: Bullfighter, buyer for a museum, character assassin, gallery owner, Harpy, Master
of Elysium, promising artist, reclusing retired impressario or maestro, sycophantic courtier, vicious
critic, art dealer.

file://C:\My%20Documents\primer.html 11/30/04

Related Interests