New Dev Doc: Gangrel Spread

Vampire: The Masquerade

Originally posted by Justin at the V20 Blog

Look at these Gangrel I found loitering in the back parking lot and giving me the stink-eye.

The thing that needs the most stress-testing here is — hey, surprise! — clan weakness. Now, the only thing the rule stipulates is the appearance of the animal features upon frenzy. I didn’t really like the way the previous weakness worked — I frenzy five different times, and I end up with a giraffe neck, a totoro for a head, a serpent’s lower body, helicopter blades for arms, and a crazy nastyass honey badger for a torso and all that happens is I lose a point of Manipulation? MAN WHAT So the new weakness moves the Gangrel weakness into to a very narrative function, and it asks Storytellers to shoulder much of the work in putting due emphasis on its contribution to the chronicle. It removes entirely the loss of Social Trait dots and puts all of the outcome on context. Is this too subjective? Too easy to become “not a weakness” in the hands of a lax Storyteller or overweening player?

I also removed the overt ties to Gypsies and werewolves. If you want your character connected to those groups, knock yourself out, but I wanted more focus on who the Gangrel are themselves rather than who they know.

From the comments on the Ravnos, there was a common sentiment that players wanted to see some attention to what the different age categories of the clans do, so I folded that in here. It’s not a separate section, but rather a smattering of references throughout the spread that characterize the elders, ancillae, and neonates. That way, I can drop it in where it becomes relevant without adding an arbitrary subsection. Again, to keep it in line with “who they are.”

I also didn’t touch the secession of the Gangrel from the Camarilla. I haven’t yet decided if this belongs in the clan spread or in the larger information on the sects.

Here’s the writeup:

Put it to the test, if you’d be so kind.

Update Edit: I’ve been watching the feedback down below and it looks like people want a written encouragement to use non-physical animal characteristics, as well as a little more systems definition for the weakness. Here’s a tuneup:

Weaknesses: The Beast is close to the Gangrel clan, and as the Outlanders succumb to frenzy, so, too does the Beast leave its mark upon them. Every time a Gangrel frenzies, she acquires an animal characteristic. A patch of fur, a brief torpor after feeding, protruding fangs, a snout, skittishness around crowds — all of these and more may mar an Outlander after engaging in frenzy. Note, too, that characteristics acquired in Gangrel frenzies need not only be physical. Players should work with the Storyteller to determine what new animal trait a Gangrel acquires after a frenzy, and whether the frenzy involved the fight-or-flight impulse may be relevant. A good guideline is to require each frenzy-gained trait to have some effect grounded in system terms (though some Storytellers may allow narrative-only traits that can also shape the story).