The Shadow and the Asp

Open Development, Vampire: The Requiem

Khaibit symbolAs I mentioned last time, we’ve been experimenting with different ways to design bloodlines, based on the new mechanics and design patterns employed in Blood and Smoke. The first in the series was an all-new line, the Neglatu. The second updates an old favorite from Bloodlines: The Hidden. Here are David Hill’s Khaibit.


You say you know the darkness. You know it like a child that’s read a fairy tale. I know it, because it’s part of me. It’s in my blood. My eyes. My seed. My spit. Unless you know me, you don’t know the darkness. And nobody knows me. Nobody still standing, at least.

The Khaibit are an ancient line, drawn from Egyptian stock. They come from a Mekhet cult that all but died off centuries ago. Their role was initially to serve Set, and to do his will in forcing back some greater, unknown darkness. While the specifics of their role have been lost to the ages, they now have a different calling; they’re the best known line of defense against the Strix.

To fight the darkness, they became the darkness. Set endowed their blood with a darkness beyond the simple absence of light. The blood in Khaibit veins mutates, and becomes an inky blackness they can call forth as a weapon against the unnatural.

Background: The Khaibit stand as one of the oldest known bloodlines. Most that know of them know they come from Egypt, their name meaning “shadows”. In recent history, the Khaibit rose to prominence as a reaction to Strix attacks in South America and the Mediterranean. As cities fell victim to the Owls, a few Khaibit took up the task of fighting them back. While they’re not widely known, they’re a rumor on numerous tongues.

For more on the Khaibit, you can read a thorough history in Bloodlines: The Hidden, and other information in Fall of the Camarilla.

The Becoming: Khaibit are chosen for their will and integrity, and often their ability to fight. However, while the first two are of the utmost importance, the third can be taught. Khaibit often Embrace their prospects directly into the lineage. When outside Mekhet are brought into the line, it’s because of a specific need. Often, recruits are inducted to fill a highly specialized role. For example, a Khaibit may need an infiltrator that knows computer-based intrusion techniques. While they could Embrace a mortal with those skills, it’s impractical to find a good fit that both has the desired skills, and can learn what they need in the time frame necessary.

In the Danse Macabre: Khaibit act as sentinels and bodyguards. While the details of their calling are lost to all but the most scholarly, their abilities have an obvious application in fighting off the Strix. This gives them a protected status in besieged domains, where courts with known Khaibit will overlook most minor crimes they commit. After all, the Khaibit represent their clearest weapon against the Parliament of Owls However, this sometimes goes to extremes. Powerful Kindred will bribe or coerce a Khaibit into Embracing their bodyguards, or acting as an Avus to their associates in order to proliferate further defenses.

Individually, many Khaibit sell their services to the highest bidder. A bodyguard who can stand against not only other Kindred but the yellow-eyed monsters under the bed is a valuable asset. Khaibit are also masters of intrusion and stealth, and can escape situations too sticky for their Kindred.

When Khaibit join the All Night Society, they tend toward the Circle of the Crone as a way of exploring and understanding their spiritual heritage. Some more knightly members join the Invictus.

Nickname: Asps

Clan: Mekhet

Bloodline Bane: Khaibit blood is so attuned to the darkness that they suffer in immense light. In any light bright enough to inhibit normal vision, the Khaibit suffers the Blinded Tilt and lose access to their Udjat gift for the scene.

Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate, Vigor


The Khaibit gift of Obtenebration expresses their affinity for the darkness within their blood. In addition to the ability to control and shape shadows, Khabit can temporarily become darkness and travel through the darkness. Lastly, they can wield the shadows as a weapon against otherworldly forces. This makes them invaluable against the Strix.

All Khaibit gain the first Devotion, the Udjat, upon joining the bloodline. Additional Devotions have prerequisites as normal, and cost 2 Experiences each. For those that have never seen Obtenebration, it can inspire deep, instinctive fear. The first time a character experiences a clear manifestation of Obtenebration, he must succeed at a Resolve + Composure roll or suffer the Shaken Condition.


This most basic gift of Khaibit heritage gives them perfect sight in even the utmost darkness. Khaibit never suffer penalties from darkness, and see subtle shifts in heat and movement where others would be blind. They are unaffected by blindness induced by injury or supernatural forces.

By focusing her attention and spending a point of Vitae, a Khaibit can attune her senses to the unseen. This allows her to see spirits, Strix, angels, and other immaterial beings for the scene. This includes beings in Twilight. While she has her senses so enhanced, she’s immune to the Strix’s possession.


By opening a vein, the Khaibit can release the darkness within her blood as an instant action, blanketing the area in darkness. With the expenditure of a single Vitae, the cloud of shadow extends out from the wound in a radius a number of yards (or meters) equal to the vampire’s Blood Potency. The Khaibit can expend more Vitae to expand the cloud further from its center. Alternatively, the Khaibit can expel the cloud from her mouth instead of an open wound.

Shadows touching those the Khaibit has created with the Tyet become hers to shape. She can manipulate their forms, absorb them into the cloud, and otherwise mold them to her liking. While the shadows have no physical presence, they can be used to divert, trick, and distract.

Prerequisite: Vigor 2


This signature gift of the Khaibit allows her to draw the shadows into a palpable form with the expenditure of one or more Vitae and an instant action. She can use this to coat simple tools or weapons. Weapons so coated cause 1 additional lethal damage to physical targets (including Kindred), but cause her Blood Potency in lethal damage to noncorporeal entities, including spirits and Strix. Coated objects add her Blood Potency as Durability, and the number of Vitae spent as Structure. If she possesses Tyet as well, she can manipulate the item coated with Pseshkf as if she were touching it with her hands.

Prerequisite: Vigor 2


Khaibit can draw shadow to themselves, and become one with the darkness. To use the Ba, the Khaibit must be touching a shadow at least as big as herself (this could include her own shadow in many cases, or shadow created by the Tyet). She spends three points of Vitae, and at least one instant action, or more if her Blood Potency means she cannot spend the entirety in a turn. Once she’s become shadow, she’s immune to anything short of fire, sunlight, the Pseshkf, or things that specifically hurt ephemeral entities. Other ephemera can affect her normally. She is immune to abjuration.

In this form, she cannot directly affect her environment. However, she can activate the Pseshkf if she possesses it, and can assail spirits and other ephemeral creatures. While in this form, fire, sunlight, and other forms of harm cause her two additional levels of damage. She travels at half her Speed, and must travel along solid objects. However, she’s not constrained by anything that wouldn’t stop light.

Prerequisite: Obfuscate 2


With this gift, the Khaibit can travel rapidly through shadows. She dissolves into one part of the shadow, and emerges anywhere along the same patch of shade. This can be shadow created by the Tyet. Spend a Vitae reflexively, and the character fades into and out of the shadow instantly. If using this as part of a Dodge action, roll her Dodge with the rote quality once per scene.

Prerequisite: Celerity 2

  20 comments for “The Shadow and the Asp

  1. Philip
    March 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I’m really not a Vampire fan. But I give these posts a look over.
    These guys are damn cool, and I’m liking this newer bloodline style. I may have to get a hold on Blood & Smoke if the content is anything like this.

    • Rose Bailey
      March 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Thanks. These new bloodlines are pretty good examples of the thinking that went into Blood and Smoke.

  2. Arcane
    March 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    My opinion is simple.


  3. Elmer
    March 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I approve.

  4. March 25, 2014 at 12:02 am

    I really like the way that Obtenebration has been made into Devotions and seems a great way to expand on things without having ot make it work on the scaling method that was there before. It also seems like these powers don’t overlap so much with the inherent powers of the parant clan and Disicplines, which is nice.

    Something feels a bit off on the writing style of these though. There’s a bit of redundant wording (such as the first sentence of the second Devotion) and I think there could be some tightening-up and streamlining about. Still, itneresting start and I like what I see so far.

    And stuff.

  5. Darkfool
    March 25, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Finally I can update my Requiem for Rome character 🙂 Would it be possible to include a link to a pdf version of the bloodlines for ease of printing please? Also could the two bloodlines please be added to the Official Vampire Resources Forum topic so that we can easily find them as the months pass?

  6. Fion
    March 25, 2014 at 2:16 am

    My god this is awesome. Khaibit is my favorite Bloodline so was very much looking forward to this info. I ‘love’ that Bloodline disciplines have become bloodline devotions and these devotions are awesome.

    I cannot wait to play one of these bad-ass Strix slayers! I’m more keen than ever to see what is done other popular bloodlines. 🙂

  7. Scutarii
    March 25, 2014 at 3:40 am

    This looks great!

    As you said these are coming as a series are there plans afoot to compile them somewhere and give them an official ‘Line Developer Seal of Approval’ for those players who have GMs that are squeamish about using rules that a player comes along with from the web?

  8. schizoPOP
    March 25, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Overall this is very cool and interesting, though I’m wondering why exactly 5 devotions was a preferable over a 1-5 discipline.

    • Griautis
      March 26, 2014 at 4:28 am

      Because to have a discipline you need a power which scales, and at once you’re enforcing all the khaibit to know the first dot to know the second, this way, we have khaibit who can only coat their weapons in darkness, others, who control the shadows or move by them.

      • Rose Bailey
        March 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        That’s correct. I could totally see a scaling Obtenebration power, but this version is more a set of parallel powers that can be used together.

  9. Joe B.
    March 25, 2014 at 11:21 am

    If this is an example of a redefined bloodline for B&S then we must have more and a book to compile them. Great work here.

  10. Nico
    March 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    i love these new approaches to Bloodlines much more than the old ways. Devotions and such are much better approaches than the scores of obscure Disciplines. much better to focus on the 10, make them a strong foundation, and build upon them with things like this.


  11. Thorbes
    March 26, 2014 at 7:45 am


    I thought my Mekhet player would be interested in the Khaibit, but this version is even a better fit! And him and his pal’s are going to need as much help as they can get after freeing that dammed owl in the city last session.

  12. Phaolan
    March 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I really like this, especially the change to Obtenebration. However, I do have a little (pedantic) question… What’s up with the Bane?

    I know how Requiem Bloodlines work, and as best I can tell they are BASICALLY the same in Blood and Smoke as in the core book, but do these Bloodline Banes take effect at the moment of joining? That is, a Mekhet who joined the Khaibit suddenly gets the sun thing, whilst a poor soul Embraced into the Khaibit would get it when she first loses a point of Humanity? Or would that neonate get it upon Embrace? And that’s in addition to the odd (but no doubt brilliant!) ‘roving Bane’ of the Mekhet blood? The rules as stated aren’t completely clear to me.

    …Yeah, the above may seem a bit naff, but know that it’s WORSE for me. I hated, hated, HATED that every Bloodline had to put in ‘in addition to the regular Clan Weakness’ wording, but now I realise how much I depend on that even as I railed against it to anyone who would listen. Regardless, this is wonderful, AND it makes good on the tease from Blood and Smoke page 98.

  13. Edward Eldritch
    March 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I really like this. The Khaibit were my favorite bloodline but the rules and fluff never seemed to align for me. Now they do, so great job!

  14. Jeff Crowl
    April 1, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Do Bloodlines still gain an additional Discipline? The Neglatu didn’t seem to, but gained a set of mechanics (the Agah) upon joining. These Khaibit (awesome, by the way) get a fourth Discipline, plus access to a set of Blood-line-specific Devotions. I wonder at the balance: One Bloodline gets their bonus mechanic for free, the next must pay Devotion prices for theirs, and any who get a bonus Discipline must pay for those powers individually, and sequentially. I’d like to know more. And happy April Fool’s, everyone.

    • Waylex
      July 13, 2014 at 4:44 am

      As stated above:

      Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate, Vigor

  15. Baboonking
    April 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    This is great stuff, but I have one question.

    Could I use Pseshkf to coat my fists and/or legs in shadow for unarmed brawl attacks? It says you can use it to coat tools and weapons but I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to put it on yourself.

    I also wonder if coating yourself (or your clothes) with Pseshkf could be used to gain an armor bonus? When used on objects it adds to durability and structure, after all.

  16. Ophan
    June 1, 2014 at 12:49 am

    This is really nice stuff and I do like the disciplines redesign but I can t help but feel as if the Khaibit is unbalanced.

    They get a fourth in clan disciplines AND a unique set of devotions and in exchange they have a weakness that is easily overcome with a pair of sunglasses/dark lens goggles and the use of Udjat?

    Shouldn t the weakness but more taxing? Or should they not get the fourth discipline?

Comments are closed.