V20 Dark Ages: The Trembling Ones

Vampire: The Masquerade

A lot of Vampire remains essentially unchanged from the modern nights to the Dark Ages. Most of the clans remain the same. Many of the Disciplines are basically similar. But with V20 Dark Ages, one of our biggest goals is to really give you a lot of value for your readership. We want to add little bits and flourishes to add personality and accent to the stuff you’re already familiar with having (probably) read V20.

For things like the clan spreads, this can be challenging. It’s not like we can say, “also, the Tremere are cyborgs”. We want to stick with established continuity as much as is reasonable. Clan concepts remain essentially the same. But, we can use bits of attitude within the setting to flavor the clan. I think one of the biggest hit or miss places for this is in clan nicknames. Clan nicknames can tell you a lot, in just one or two words. They can also speak volumes to the setting’s themes and moods.

We have some subtle theme and mood shifts from Vampire the Dark Ages, to Dark Ages: Vampire, to V20 Dark Ages. I think our Tremere nickname does a lot to evoke my vision for V20 Dark Ages. One of their nicknames is familiar, “The Usurpers”. That’s a classic, it has a lot of gravity. But the new nickname addition, “Tremori,” or “The Trembling Ones”, I think says a lot about the attitudes of the time. It also teases at an etymology for the clan’s name, which I’m a total nerd for. I think our writer, Geoffrey McVey, did a great job of presenting the clan in a familiar but fresh light.

On actual clan names, there’s only been one that’s changed, and it’s subtle. The Giovanni of V20 Dark Ages are The Giovani. Essentially, they’re called “The Young Ones” in Italian.

So here’s the Tremere. As normal, this is an untouched draft. So don’t sweat the specifics. If you share it, share the link, not the text, since it may get some minor changes.

  22 comments for “V20 Dark Ages: The Trembling Ones

  1. Felipe Moulim
    October 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Damn, great guys! keep going!

    • Brendan W
      October 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      I’m not convinced the flat changing of the Gio’s was “needed”, but it doesn’t hurt anything either. I’m loving this preview series!

      • Derek
        October 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm

        I assume the Giovanni got their named changed on Ellis Island.

  2. Yossarian
    October 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Great write up. And the new nickname adds a nice linguistic flair to them. The meaning of the word Tremere has always been an interesting detail.

    I’m gonna open up a can of worms (sorry!) and say I’m not crazy about the weakness. I think it’s a good idea as part of their clan hierarchy and culture (don’t piss your superiors off, yo!), but it’s too limited. And Dominate’s Generation restriction limits it even more. It’s an appropriate idea mechanically, but it’s much to circumstantial. Not that ALL weaknesses aren’t circumstantial, but you see what I mean.

    V20 gave them a good weakness that didn’t rely on specifically Tremere-related circumstances, and was inherent rather than acquired. They should have a weakness that complements the cup curse, something that doesn’t cone up if, and only if, you piss off someone whose lower Generation, who in theory might not even be your superior, just some Trenere who one the Blood if Caine roulette.

    I’m not married to the V20 weakness, but at the least I think they need something that’s blood borne and not Tremere related. It would be interesting if they began with a different inherent weakness in the Dark Ages, and then their reliance on blood magic eventually formed their modern on.

    • Yossarian
      October 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      That should be “appropriate idea THEMATICALLY”. Oops.

    • Allan
      October 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      That’s an interesting position, because I took the absolute opposite view of the V20 weakness for the Tremere. I always liked that they had no ‘inherent’ clan weakness: apart from making sense (they self-embraced long after Caine pronounced his curses), a large part of their fluff and self-view included themselves as the “next stage” of vampire “evolution”, because they didn’t have a clan weakness like the others that could be exploited. A Toreador could be distracted by the shiny, a Nos was a walking Masquerade breach, and so on, while the Tremere stood apart, ‘perfect’.

      • Yossarian
        October 25, 2013 at 10:16 pm

        There’s a certain attractiveness to that concept, but it would be more interesting, to me, if they were weird Caitiff, with no in-Clan disciplines (but who tend to focus on Auspex and Dominate) whose blood “magic” was a really ritualized, system of custom disciplines, à la thin bloods.

        I’m more a fan of the idea that the Tremere are gravely wrong about their “otherness” and that’s what gets them in the end.

  3. machineiv
    October 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I think we are shifting it to the V20 one.

    • Yossarian
      October 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Cool. Keep the potion thing, too, though. That’s a nice dagger to hang over their heads.

  4. RCGR
    October 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I like it. It would be nice to have more details about the Thaumaturgical punishment of members of the clan.

  5. Murder-of-Crows
    October 26, 2013 at 5:13 am

    Why did you change the clan weakness of the Tremere from the V20 one? That one is finally, in my opinion, a good weakness. Instead you are going back to the basically “non-weakness” of previous games?

    • machineiv
      October 27, 2013 at 12:47 am

      “Weakness: The Tremere’s rush to exploit the powers of vampiric blood comes with its own disadvantages: they are particularly vulnerable to blood bonds when they drink the blood of other Damned. The first draught of blood that a Tremere consumes counts as two for the purposes of establishing a bond, meaning that the next drink will complete it. Furthermore, all newly Embraced Tremere must surrender a vial of their blood to the Council of Seven, who store it in a hidden vault in their Carpathian chantry. That blood, they warn, can be the means by which they exact thaumaturgical punishments on any who disobey, no matter how far they run or how well they hide themselves.”

      • Murder-of-Crows
        November 2, 2013 at 7:14 am

        Did I miss the first part when reading the entry for the first time? Thanks for pointing that out!

  6. Seguramente
    October 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    These little details like the etimology of the clan names makes me want to play and inmerse myself again in the World of Darkness. The old is new again

  7. October 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Is there room for any explanation given behind the new etymological nickname? Calling them the Trembling Ones when they don’t tremble seems a bit weird. Just a few sentences connecting them together somehow would do, nothing hefty.

    • Japheth_mk2
      October 31, 2013 at 2:09 am

      I actually think that the alternative nickname “the trembling ones” make sense, as far as being a newly “promoted” bloodline to Clan status — they’re trembling with eagerness, and will make their share of mistakes.

      Personally IMO, the weakness is fine.

    • Geoffrey
      November 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

      The Tremores came about as a play on what Tremere means in Latin: “To tremble.” Although the name Tremere, as far as I can tell, is most likely a Cornish placename (“great farm”), it seemed reasonable that Latin-speaking vampires would look at the name and think otherwise.

  8. Marian Dalton
    November 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I suppose there’s no relation between Tremori and Timori??

  9. alexander lezama
    January 1, 2014 at 11:21 am

    It is a realistic weakness in a certain way. The Tremere did not have the knowledge they have in V20 back then, and they self embraced, perhaps side stepping a curse, but they must have picked up from their unwilling test subjects how binding was a blood bond,

  10. Gareth Bell
    June 30, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Love the look of it, but I am not sure about this ‘Tremori’ nickname. As far as I knew, the name Tremere came from House Tremere, the mages they were when they were in the Order of Hermes. And the House names came from the founders of the Houses. They are called the Tremere because that was their founder’s name. Simple. No need for explanation through nicknames or anything. Other than that looking great!

    • machineiv
      June 30, 2014 at 9:31 am

      It’s not an explanation by nickname. It’s bending the name to suit the nickname.

      Consider a kid named Duberman. On the school yard, the other kids might call him “Doucherman”. It’s not because Duberman comes from Doucherman. It’s just teasing wordplay. In this case, it’s teasing wordplay directed at a young, untested clan.

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