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Tzimisce

Do not fear, little mortal. The earth


feeds you, you feed me, I feed the earth.
This is the order of things; it is natural.

Vampire.

Like the shadow of an osprey


looming over the field mouse, the word alone
conjures fearsome imagery in the hearts of men:
tall, darkly gracious fiends of aristocratic bearing,
forlorn castles athwart craggy mountainsides, and
primeval forests swaddled in mist through which
hungry shadows haunt the night. These are the
Tzimisce, sometimes called Fiends; the vampires
of vampires, the eternal bogeymen stalking the
nightmares of mortals.
The wilds of Eastern Europe are inseparable
from the legends of vampires, and the Tzimisce
ruled these lands since before mortal memory.
The Carpathian Mountains are their bones, its soil
their flesh, and they share their vitae with it
just as the kine share theirs with the Tzimisce
in a perpetual cycle of life and unlife. The koldun
recall a time when Tzimisce dwelt in the Second
City, but ached with sickness, a longing for a
home he had never seen. He exiled himself,
following a call to these mountains. So it has
always been, the two indivisible; here, no history
excludes them, no kings may rule above them,
and no enemy can contest them. Or so the
Tzimisce believed.
The Tzimisce sense of superiority allowed the
Tremere to go uncontested for far too long; now
the Usurpers and their Gargoyle soldiers trespass upon
Tzimisce lands and engage openly on the fields of battle.
Never ones to ignore a strategic advantage, the Ventrue raid
across Hungarys eastern border into Transylvania and
launch crusades into the pagan northlands, looking to seize
Fiend territories. A quiet war brews within the clan, only
forestalled by the clans ancient tradition of hospitality, as
the elders call for a return to the old ways while the younger
generations push for change. Revolution seems just around
the corner for the Fiends.
Sobriquet: Fiends
Appearance: In ages past, the Tzimisce were the most
regal of clans, tall, unbent and broad like the mountains they
dwell upon. They elevated only the choicest of mortals,
drawing directly from their own ghoul families to ensure
strong frames and proper dispositions, which were then
further idealized through the vagaries of Vicissitude. As war
creeps into their lands, though, the Fiends find themselves
forced to compromise their preferred forms, replacing limbs
with weapons and assuming their monstrous battle-shapes

for greater and greater periods of time. Some younger Fiends


found liberation through modification and embrace shapes
others would consider alien and bizarre, following their own
path into the future.

Haven: Most Tzimisce keep their haven in whatever


constitutes luxury for them. They stand as regal by their own
definitions. This almost always means surrounding
themselves with massive subjects and herds, wherever they
happen to roost. Due to their tie to the earth, if they leave
their homeland, they will find some way to establish a bond
to their new home.
Background: Traditionally, Tzimisce drew from among
the most suitable members of their own nobility, prizing
loyalty, fierceness, and strength above all other qualities. To
this end, they prefer to Embrace ghouls, and they have
established whole families of revenants to serve that
purpose. Tzimisce rarely Embrace foreigners, and when it
happens, they are truly exceptional. Metamorphosists,
however, will sometimes eschew tradition, seeking out those

who inspire them with their spiritual perfection, while some


among the younger generations delight in the aesthetic
possibilities of strangers.

permission, nor does it count toward the max in the


other out of clan disciplines chart.

Starting out of clan Disciplines

Character Creation
Tzimisce equally prize Mental and Physical
Attributes. While the image of the Tzimisce warrior cutting
a gory path through a battlefield is a common (and accurate)
stereotype, the clan also boasts its share of scholars, priests,
monks, and sorcerers, meaning any given Tzimisce might
favor any Skills, Talents, or Knowledges. For a clan defined
by its relationship to the land it rules, Domain is by far the
most important Background. Herd is vital for any Tzimisce;
one cannot call oneself a ruler without subjects. Road of
Kings is most common among the Fiends. The Road of
Metamorphosis is populated almost entirely by Tzimisce,
though they are still very much a minority. Dracul Tzimisce
(old Clan) reject Vicissitude as the bane of their clan.
Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude
Dracul Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Dominate
Weaknesses: Tzimisce draw their mandate to rule from
the very land itself, but this comes with a price. A Tzimisce
must rest with at least two handfuls of native soil that is,
soil from a place of importance to them, usually their home
or their grave. For each day of rest without it, halve all dice
pools (round down), cumulatively, until the pool reaches one
die. A full day of proper rest with her native soil will restore
the dice pools to their normal value.

Attributes
Abilities
Disciplines
Backgrounds
Lores
Virtues
Max Merits bought with Flaws
Starting Status (free)
Freebies

Neonate
7/5/3
13/9/5
4
5
4
7
7
1
75

Ancillae
7/5/3
13/9/5
4
5
4
7
7
2
175

Only one max dot per category in attributes and abilities


at creation.
Only one discipline or primary path of Blood Sorcery,
Thaumaturgy and Necromancy can have max dots at
creation.
Only one dot in one advance discipline is allowed at
creation.
Out of Clan Disciplines can be taken at character creation
with Freebie points and only with Storyteller permission.
Celerity, Fortitude and Potence does not need Storyteller

Age
Max number of Disciplines
allowed
Max dots in each Discipline
Max number of Physical
Disciplines allowed
Max dots in Celerity, Fortitude
or Potence

Neonate
2

Ancilla
3

3
2

4
2

Before buying the domain background consult with the


storyteller.

Freebie Point cost


Trait Cost
Attributes
Ability
Discipline
Blood Sorcery Path
Blood Sorcery Ritual
Backgrounds
Lores
Virtue
Area of Expertise
Road
Willpower

(Per Dot)
5
2
7
4
Ritual Level
1
1
2
1
2
1

Organization: Tzimisce abide by ties of family and


blood; they are an incestuous clan with sprawling legacies of
dozens, if not hundreds of members. The eldest afford the
most respect and the maneuvering among the childer for
attention and affection brings new meaning to the phrase
sibling rivalry. Outside ones own legacy, it is important
to recognize other Tzimisce as rightful rulers they are,
after all, blood of the land too but no family is willing to
submit to another. This constant struggle for dominance
creates an uneasy tension among Fiends. Because of this,
Tzimisce recognize a necessary tradition of formal,
unflagging hospitality. Almost in defiance of their basic
natures, man or vampire welcomed into a Tzimisces home
can expect safety and basic comfort, so long as the guest
commits no affront to the hosts graciousness.

Stereotypes
Anda: These newcomers remind us of Gangrel, but
understand loyalty and family. I would like to know more.
Brujah: I respect their prowess, but not their cause.
Which cause? None of them.
Gangrel: Unruly and unkempt, but as close to brothers
as we will ever have outside our own.
Ghouls: Useful, sometimes even worthy of respect. So
long as they are ours.
Tremere: Nothing worth discussing. Soon others will
only speak of their memory. Then we will kill them as well,
and the Tremere will simply never have existed.
Ventrue: Theirs is no true authority; they have no
mandate to rule. They have played this charade for too long;
they will kneel now or suffer for their insolence.
Lupines: Do not underestimate these beasts; they have
their own connection to the land, which makes them very
dangerous.

Tzimisce-Specific Merits and


Flaws
Pain Tolerance (2 Point Merit)
Note: you must have a Conviction or Courage rating of 3 or
higher to take this Merit. Either because of personal
proclivity or the rigors of Vicissitude, you have become
acclimatized to pain, this affinity enables you to ignore one
die of wound penalties. Thus, when you are Hurt or Injured,
you suffer no penalties to actions. You suffer only a one-die
penalty to actions at the Wounded and Mauled states, and
even Crippling injuries subtract four dice rather than five.
You are still Incapacitated normally.
Haven Affinity (3 Point Merit)
Caine's curse resonates strongly in your bones, but it
possesses a proven advantage. You are connected to the soil
of your prime Domain, granting you an extra die to all dice
pools when you operate there. It also acts as a mystic beacon
to you, allowing you to home in on its location with a
standard Perception + Survival roll (difficulty 6), + 1
difficulty when a City or Kingdom separates you; + 2 if
you're out of central Europe. This applies only to your prime
haven and to none of your auxiliary shelters.
Revenant Disciplines (3 Point Merit)
The ties to your revenant family stayed with you well past
the Embrace. As such, the Disciplines that were innate to you
as a ghoul have remained so as Cainite. At character
creation, select the ghoul family from which you hail.

Instead of the Tzimisce's standard complement of


Animalism, Auspex and Vicissitude, you instead draw from
your three family Disciplines for your starting allocation
(though you may buy other Disciplines with freebies, as
normal). Also, you learn your family Disciplines at the cost
of a clan Discipline. It's either or, however, meaning you
cannot buy both the Tzimisce and family powers at clan cost
unless they both share a particular ability like Vicissitude.
Scarface (2 to 4 Point Flaw)
You're a walking mess of scars. Although you heal damage
with Cainite efficiency, the manner in which you do so is all
too human. For some reason, the regenerating flesh returns
as scar tissue. Vicissitude doesn't help; in fact, it aggravates
your condition with stretch marks and cicatrices anywhere
your skin breaks. While this doesn't hamper you physically,
it does affect your interactions with other people. For 2
points, all Social roll difficulties increase by one. If you
purchase Scarface as a 3-point Flaw, your face and body are
so horribly blemished that your Appearance rating can never
exceed 2. This is in addition to the limitations mentioned
previously. As a 4-point Flaw, the swath of scars is thick
enough to hinder your actions through skin-resistance. All
Dexterity roll difficulties also increase by one, in addition to
the other penalties this Flaw imposes at lesser levels. You
can ignore this penalty for one specific action by taking one
level of (unsoakable) bashing damage; essentially, you're
tearing the scar tissue for greater range of motion. Once you
heal that damage, however, the penalty returns.
Revenant Weakness (3 Point Flaw)
You were once part of a revenant family. Following the
Embrace, you suffered the double-whammy of your clan's
weakness and your revenant family's limitation; whether it's
the Bratovitch's propensity to fly into a rage, the Obertus'
instability or the Zantosa's weak will. The Storyteller might
also let you manifest a weakness from a lost or destroyed
revenant line. This could add mystery to your background
and allow for a bit of genealogical detective work.
Privacy Obsession (3 Point Flaw)
You carry the Tzimisce respect for privacy to extremes. You
must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) to enter another
being's dwelling without being invited (though you will go
to fiendishly clever lengths to garner an unwitting
invitation). When disturbed in your manse by an uninvited
guest, you must make a Self-control or Instincts roll
(difficulty 7) to avoid a frenzy.

Animalism
Eye of the Szlachta
Many Fiends can possess the lowly beasts of the
wild, but some few can ride any ghoul who shares their

blood. By locking eyes with her ghoul, the Fiend can transfer
her soul into the creature. Although some Tzimisce consider
such intimate contact with their servants distasteful,
sometimes it is necessary to calm a rampaging vozhd in a
disposable vessel. More than one Fiend has faked their death
in the body of a cleverly fleshcrafted ghoul.
System: Use the system for the Animalism Power
Subsume the Spirit.

Vicissitude
Ecstatic Agony
Pain is transformative. Pain awakens primal
potential in the tortured flesh. A Fiend with this ability
delights in every slash of the blade and caress of bullet,
transmogrifying agony into physical prowess and incredible
displays of Caines Gifts.

This power costs 36 experience points to learn.

Body Armory
(ProteAn , Vicissitude )

This power enables the vampire to form wicked


weapons from her own body. The vampire may create
sword blades, axes, and even spiked mauls. These
weapons do terrible damage to their targets. Many
Tzimisce make sword-arms, knife-bladed knuckles, and
the like, but more dramatic implementations are possible.
System: This power costs two blood points per
weapon (though larger weapons like two-handed swords
and great axes cost four), and the player must roll
Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty 7). Each weapon takes
two turns to form (larger weapons take three turns).
Weapons created in this manner cause aggravated
damage.
This power costs 18 experience points to learn.

System: After spending two Willpower points,


the character becomes empowered by pain. Add his
wound penalties to all non-reflexive actions involving a
Physical Attribute or use of a Discipline. As the character
heals, this bonus wanes. Treat Incapacitated and Final
Death normally. This power lasts for one scene.

Combination
Disciplines

Chaining the Beast


(AnimAlism , dominAte )

As lords of the land, able to influence the minds


of humans and animals alike, the Fiend gains special
insight into controlling and cowing even the Beast. The
Tzimisce can now Dominate a frenzied vampire more
easily.
System: This power allows the player to use the
Dominate Discipline on a vampire suffering frenzy or
Rtschreck and ignore the normal penalties for doing so.
This power costs 16 experience points to learn.

Birth the Vozhd

Ears of the Bat

(AnimAlism , Vicissitude )

(AusPex , Vicissitude )

While the creation of vozhd was once the sole province


of koldunic ritual, Tzimisce who have mastered both
fleshcrafting and control of the Beast Within can build
vozhd as well. This power requires at least 15 ghouls
(although 20 or more is preferable). First, the Tzimisce
fleshcrafts the ghouls together, forging the bodies into
a single entity. The Fiend feeds the corporate mess a
concoction of the intermingled blood of the ghouls,
creating something like a Vinculum among them. This
bond in place, the Fiend uses Animalism to coalesce the
minds of the ghouls into one insane and imperfect Beast
that drives the vozhd to crush or devour everything in
sight.
System: If the ritual is successfully performed
(with at least one success), the koldun regains a point of
spent Willpower. This cannot raise his Willpower above
its normal maximum. This ritual can only be performed
once per night.

The vampire grows long, pointed ears and


achieves echolocation, much like a bat. She can see in
pitch darkness and that sense extends 360 around her,
leaving no blind spots for would-be ambushers to exploit.
System: The player must spend a blood point and
roll Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 7). While
manifesting the ears, the character gains -3 difficulty on
all hearing rolls and suffers a +1 difficulty to all Social
rolls with mortals unless she takes steps to hide her ears.
This power costs 6 experience points to learn.

Flaying Touch
(Potence , Vicissitude )

With this cruel power, a Tzimisce can tear away


a victims skin as easily as removing a robe, all without
disturbing the muscles and other tissue beneath. The

Fiend simply grabs a handful of skin and pulls it away or


surgically slices it with the artful caress of a fingertip.
Regardless of the method used, the target suffers
excruciating pain and begins bleeding profusely from the
exposed flesh. Even if a target somehow survives the
blood loss, the area of skinless flesh soon becomes
infected. Even Cainites suffer under this agony, though
they do not have to fear blood loss.
System: This power requires the same roll as a
conventional use of Fleshcraft, though the difficulty is
always one higher than normal (maximum difficulty 9).
The vampire need not restrain the victim as long as he
strikes exposed skin (requiring a Dexterity + Brawl roll as
usual), in which case the activation roll is reflexive. Each
success inflicts one level of lethal damage, which may be
soaked (if the victim can soak such damage) at difficulty
8. If the damage exceeds the victims Stamina, she can
only writhe and scream in pain for the rest of the turn.
Mortal victims continue bleeding profusely from
their exposed skin, suffering a number of levels of
bashing damage each minute equal to the initial damage.
Once any of the original damage is healed or the wound
is stanched (Dexterity + Medicine, difficulty 9), the
bleeding slows to one level of damage per hour. Only
when the original injury is completely healed does the
bleeding stop.
This power costs 12 experience points to learn.

Wound Sculpting
(Fortitude , Vicissitude )

A vampire with this power may vastly accelerate


her healing by concentrating and willing flesh to mold
back to its original form.
System: The player spends one blood point and
rolls Wits + Medicine (difficulty 8). Each success heals
one level of lethal or bashing damage. Each wound level
requires one minute of uninterrupted work.
This power costs 15 experience points to learn.