Praise Caine!

Big Ritual Blood Play
Big Ritual Blood Play

A couple of days ago, I posted the Camarilla and the Tremere. Now it’s time for the opposite — the mysticism and the ritae of the Sabbat. I cut a fair chunk of this, because Ree had a very compelling timeline of events, but the explicit nature of it clashes with the “metaplot agnostic” feel of V20. However, the overall flavor and mood is really solid.

Also, as a note: don’t get too hung up on typos, bad phrasing, and the like. This pass is all about making sure the core of the material works — the next pass is about getting it all in there, and then me taking a pass before and after editing to polish it up. I don’t mind people noting anything that’s a concern — always good to get more eyes on something! — but don’t get too hung up on it, because there’s a chance those words might not even exist in the final.

Chapter Two: The Sabbat

Edit: Because it wasn’t clear in this post, I’ve clarified on the document that the balance between “metaplot agnostic” and “providing new things” is a line we’re continuing to evaluate. I just had a call with Rich today about it, in fact. Please do not assume anything here is final, and certainly do not use it as an opportunity to make personal attacks on the people involved in this project. This is exactly why the folks at Onyx Path continue to be passionate about open development — to have these discussions so the final product can be improved.

24 thoughts on “Praise Caine!”

  1. Well where to begin. I guess I’ll break down into bullet points, thats prolly the best way to do it for me anyways. This is of course my opnions, so take them or leave them as you will.

    1.Temoch the Jackal, Regent of the Sabbat: This is new Metaplot. Who is this guy? How did he become regent? If you are running a metaplot neutral game line then Meelinda Galbraith should still be regent. Otherwise you have to cover the story in Mexico City by Night for this to make any sense of who this guy is.

    2.The Ubar Chronicles, The Gospel of Irad & Adah, The Codex of of the Damned, Canticle of Jpaeth: These could be neat…if we knew what they are. They are knew and would be awesome if they could be expanded upon.

    3.Most versions of The Book of Nod state that Thaumaturgy was not native to Caine, and thus, Thaumaturgy and its practitioners are viewed with suspicion by the Sabbat: Should also be noted that many also view Blood Magic as the ultimate way to duplicate caine’s ability to create any discipline.

    4.Kolduns are watched intently by the Inquisition for any sign of demonic taint.: You should also note that the clan Tzimisce protects their kolduns.

    5. The Telyav: Ok this is a Dark Ages Tremere bloodline that was wiped out by the mortal Inquisition and the Tremere. Why are they the new Tremere Anti? This is new metaplot that isn’t explained or gone into how or why this came to be. Not that Im not down for a return of the tremere anti, hell in V20 they still exist…why this addition. Doesn’t make much sense. This is all new metaplot stuff in here that needs to explained or removed if you are going for meta plot neutral.

    6. Setite Sorcery: Ok the Serpents practice Wanga, not Akhu. Akhu has no place in the sabbat really. This should go into Wanga instead in the Sabbat. See Blood Sacrifice.

    7. Assamite Dur-an-Ki: Should just be Dur-An-Ki. This magic also is not solely done by Kalif. Mediation, Song, Dance, Pain, and many other ways are used for this magic. Again See Blood Sacrifice.

    8. Mysticism: I would personally like to see Abyss Mysticism fleshed out into an actual blood magic based on Zoroasterinism, instead of the weird broken ritual system that spread across several books. Just make it like the rest of the religious magics and center it around Ahriman and that pantheon of gods. Would be cool and fitting for the clan.

    9. but they are blood magic, and they are affected by things which resist or counter blood magic: This is new…not sure I like that. Ritae should just be a faith based thing and weird, not like every other blood magic and effected by those things that effect that. Let it be it’s own thing.

    10. Ancient Tzimisce created rituals to keep the peace between territorial Voivodes.: The Ritae was created by the fledgling sabbat during the anarch revolt. Not Viovodes a long time ago. The Ritae were birthed with the Sabbat. Hell the fire flower (vaulderie) and how it came to be is covered in the Transylvania chronicles.

    11.During the reign of the third Regent, Niklas Berthraben von Weiss: This is new. Not bad or anything, just new metaplot stuffs.

    12. This gathering, known as the Synod of Orphans, formalized the Auctoritas (or “High Ritae”) and separated them from the Ignoblis (“Low” or “Pack Ritae”): Also new metaplot, but cool.

    13. Thirteen rituals, including four High Holidays: Only 3 High Holidays. Binding, Festivo, and Palla Grande

    14. Twelve years ago, every vampire in the city of Savannah, Georgia was eradicated in a single night. In an age of cellphones, microcameras, and satellite surveillance, the Sabbat can no longer afford to ignore the dangers of the mortal world. While there is still no rule against letting mortals know vampires exist, the Silence of the Blood has been extended by Consistory decree: Members of the Sabbat are not to draw the attention of mortal hunters, nor endanger their pack or fellow Sect members by allowing the mortal world to locate Sabbat gatherings or identify the powers of Caine.: Again new metaplot, not bad just new.

    15. must be performed in a Black Cathedral.: Whats a Black Cathedral.

    16. Caine’s Mark (3 point Supernatural Merit): The cost for this seems a bit low.

    17. For a ritus to become an Auctoritas, a large body of pack priests must petition the Grand Inquisitor to consider the canonization of a currently existing Ignoblis. : This is new and makes little sense. It should be overseen by the Clergy (Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals etc) not the Inquistion…whose job it is to hunt heretics.

    18. At the recent Synod of Hounds: What is this event? This is new metaplot that isnt detailed.

    19. The High Holidays were unified into a single ritus, and a new Auctoritas was elevated.: Festivo, Binding, and Palla should still be separate ritae. Why the need to consolidate these and lose dynamic, rp, and history of the sabbat. See TT Guide to the Sabbat as to why this important.

    20. Auctoritas Ritae: Why is this being covered again? This is already well covered and define din both the V20 core book and TT Guide to the Sabbat. This seems like a waste where you could add new stuff instead…

    21. Contrition as Auctoritas: While i like this, this is new metaplot.

    22. orship of Caine. The current High Holidays are the Festivo Dello Estinto and the Palla Grande, but this ritus has in the past been used for holidays such as Walpurgisnacht, the Sacrificial Revel, and the Eides of Caine.: What are these new holidays? If you are going to add them, then they need to be explained.

    23. Monomacy: Why does this need to be defined so? It removes a lot of the dynamic and RP from the ritae where PCs argue over and play politics to decide how its going to be done. Gaining priestly favor makes for a cool game. Leave it to how it is in TT Guide to Sabbat.

    24. orship of Caine. The current High Holidays are the Festivo Dello Estinto and the Palla Grande, but this ritus has in the past been used for holidays such as Walpurgisnacht, the Sacrificial Revel, and the Eides of Caine.: These are not clan specfic ritae and are in the core TT Guide to the Sabbat.

    25. Ignoblis Ritae: These should be largely be to encourage RP not give mechanics and bonuses. Again this is recovering ground covered in Guide to the Sabbat.

    26. Today, the primary political contingents of the Sabbat are the Ultra Conservatives, the Orthodoxy (once known as the Status Quo), the Order of St. Blaise, and the Loyalists. : This is more metaplot change. See TT Guide to the Sabbat for the factions. Why did the Status Quo change names??? None of this is explained why the factions changed etc.

    27. This faction did what it set out to do – Panders are seen as a Clan, with the rights and status of any other such – and no longer had impetus or reason to factionalize. Therefore, they have dissipated, to be absorbed by the other factions of the Sect.: New Metaplot, don’t like it

    28. It is important to note that some Sabbat simply don’t care about politics. Vampires not affiliated with a faction are known as “Moderates.” Most Moderates claim no unifying cause.: New Metaplot, don’t like

    29. Ultra Cons: These are the military Facists of the Sabbat, See Guide to the Sabbat. Why do they have an OWbN Inquidition Ritae?

    30. Status Quo Ritae: This is all brand new meta plot that isn’t explained and is counter to Revised and Second Edition Material. I don’t like it.

    31. Loyalist Ritae: Again all new meta plot that isnt really explained.

    32. Ghost Dance: This is a Second Edition Ignoblis Ritae, why is it a loyalist only thing now?

    33. Order of St Blaise: See TT Guide to the Sabbat

    These are really my major issues with it. I’m kinda sad there isn’t a lot of new stuff here but a rehash of old stuff. I was really looking forward to some new stuff for Sabbat Ritae. Ritae that is in here is already well and covered in previous books. I just don’t see the need to go over it yet again, when instead there could be all new stuff in here (and stuff that avoids adding metaplot instead. Not that I have a problem with metaplot, but I would like to see it explained and meshed with the Revised setting. Adding new Regent, changing factions etc etc, is fine..if its explained and follows the natural progression of the previous plots and canon).

    Where is the Inquistion love? Native American Shamnism? The Emphasis on Religions? Ritae is cool and all, but I don’t think it should be the focus. Maybe go into Abyss Mysitism (see above notes)? Or if you are going to make Ritae a focus, give us new stuff here. Too much is devoted to the old.

    I appreciate all the hard work that has been done, but I’m just not really a fan of this.

    Bu hey, its just one guys opinion 🙂

    Adam Sartori
    OWbN Sabbat Coordinator

    • Just as a note, stuff like the Inquisition, Abyss Mysticism, etc. will be addressed in later chapters. Also, note my comment in the blog about working with Ree to excise the new metaplot — I think there’s value in nudging things along a little, however.

      Thanks for the comprehensive thoughts!

    • I agree with a number of your points, but wanted to counter a couple.

      3) Was it ever said that Caine could “duplicate any ability”? I’m fairly sure many abilities like Obtenebration, Vicissitude, Dementation, etc. have explicitly been described as alien and not liked by Caine. Regardless, the tone of the chapter is definitely the Sabbat doesn’t trust blood magic, so one shouldn’t waffle.

      5) This is new metaplot, but it is explained what they are.

      10) I think the point was that the Tzimisce rituals were the basis for ritae later on.

      17) It says that the Inqusition approves it after looking for hints of infernalism, which makes sense for a sect with a serious infernalism problem.

      • 3) Its hinted at in the Book of Nod and Ercycies Fragments that Caine had the power to make and discipline up that he wanted. For he had true mastery of them. This is also referenced in Gehenna under the First Vampire section.

  2. Always been a fan of the Sabbat, they’re just more visceral and a true ‘vampire’s vampire’, right or wrong. Nice photo by the way, that’s the real deal… even if it is congealed…

  3. Umm it says the Serpents of Light brought Akhu to the Sabbat, they were actually practitioners of Wanga not Akhu!

  4. I must agree. Serpents of the Light do NOT practice Akhu. They practice Wanga (and sometimes Voudoun Necromancy). Also, i agree that there is no actual reason to explain the mechanics of the Ritae. They are adiquetly (spelling?)explained in Guide to the Sabbat . Perhaps discuss the background of the Ritae more instead. I do think that you should keep the mechanics regarding the new Titles from V20 Companion though.

  5. Besides being a setting change, the reason for removing the Pander Movement doesn’t jive with what we’ve already seen. V20 already established that the Panders are perpetually thrown under the bus in spite of their affirmation as a clan. The Pander Movement’s stance against hereditary privilege highlights conflicts between the Sabbat’s ideology and its marching orders – conflicts which are still ongoing.

    Giving ritae to minimize clan flaws to the Status Quo is kind of a kick in the teeth on top of that.

  6. So, my major concern is that with your new books, you’re not printing the exact same thing as the old books. See, that’s just not going to work for me. Instead, you need to go to the old books, copy them word for word, maybe even skin the original writers for book covers. Otherwise, you’re doing it wrong, kicking puppies, destroying the universe, and all in all, making the world a terrible place to live, with your tricky words that are different, and things of that nature! You should be ashamed! Ashamed I say! In the future, all of these problems will be avoided if you simply run each and every paragraph by me personally, prior to committing it to a though. That way I can just tell you your wrong, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

    (P.S. – I love this, you guys are doing an amazing job, I’m so proud of you. Keep up the good work, I’m so seriously impressed, it stunned me.)

  7. I like the changes to the setting. It gives some more details to things that were iffy, as well as gives ideas for a new metaplot to be used. A big plus in my book.

  8. I love the new content, it really seems to spell out the desperate and religious themes that I personally bring to all my Sabbat games. I also feel that taking time to btter spell out the scope of the ritae was a great move! I’m super exited yo see what y’all come up with next.


  9. This might be addressed later in the book, but Clan Assamite is not the only practitioners of Dur-an-Ki.

    The Shango from Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom have it as an In-Clan Discipline. If “This drug is carefully controlled by the mountain, for exactly this reason”, how are they able to use it?

    Does their Dur-an-Ki? Since they’re from a good not covered by V20 aren’t being considered? Possibly an oversight?

  10. I just want to say: Adding to history is NOT the same as new metaplot. Naming a new Regent of the Sabbat (or just ‘some bloke who has/had the title’) does not change the game in any substantive way or contradict what is in V20, and hence it is not metaplot, either; just add a date and it’s golden. Same goes for the pagan Tremere, the books of Noddist Lore, the new or altered rules: None are metaplot.

    Metaplot is something that annuls or otherwise causes a previous book to no longer be ‘canon’ in terms of rules or setting. None of the so-called ‘metaplot crimes’ in this chapter really strike me as such.

    …But maybe I’m using the term wrong, and no one NEEDS to listen to me. I just hope Eddy won’t take all the cries of metaplot too, too seriously. This chapter’s stuff is brilliant!

  11. I hope my comments (signed as Asqueados) were not taken as bad criticism. I’ll try to explain what I dislike, trying to compromize between not extending too much and give reasons.

    I love the Sabbat, I have loved it since the first edition. They are a strange mix between anarchs, paramilitary groups, street gangs and fanatic religious sect. What I personally dislike about this revision is that I feel it changes the proportions of the mix, shifting it into the fanatic religious.

    I liked more the original Sabbat flavour. Caine wasn’t all that importante, except for Noddist. The principal religious principle was freedom, and its pursuit and different conceptions, and contradictions was what kept the packs killing each others (and a headache to some Bishops and Archbishops, and a manipulation mean for the most cunning ones). The sabbat were antiheros (as portrayed in Guide to the Sabbat) trying to save the world, and reducing them to a bunch of zealots that bow to the Regent or even Caine makes more difficult that conception.

    I don’t like the Sabbat portrayed as a church of Caine that think the world is doomed, their fight is lost and pray for Caine to come and save their asses. If Caine is something for a sabbat is inspiration, and they revere and try to imitate his willpower, his stubbornness and his unrepentantness (or however it is said). Of course their fight is lost, but sabbats think they’re going to win because they’re convinced of their awesomeness and because they are too naive to understand how big is the power they are confronting.

    This is how the Sabbat is fanatic. They follow Caine’s example, but I don’t think they ask for Caine’s mercy as Caine himself didn’t ask for God’s.

    I fear strengthening too much the religious themes could make the others lost.

    Second thing I didn’t like too much is that I felt the ritae were too overpowered. I’ve always understood them as a weak form of blood magic, and some Ignoblis sounded more powerful stuff than some medium level thaumaturgic or nigromantic rituals. Kinda cheap taking in account you don’t need to spend points on a discipline or even a knowledge. If Ignoblis are as numerous as they’re supposed to be and if they use to be so powerful, then the Sabbat must be the most potent sorcerers of the World of Darkness.

    At last but not least, these critiques doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate great part of the world. I was suspicious about revising the auctoritas, but I like the changes. Specially the rite of contrition, which I think it now match better with the Sabbat mindset.

    Also, the clarifications about ritae sounded well. The rest of blood magic also looked good. I don’t think the “new” Tremere Antitribu is a big deal, if they are kept a small group, maybe even smaller than Goratrix’s (which I wouldn’t have killed in V20, but that’s another story).

    Thanks for taking so much time taking notice of our opinions, and for the work you put doing new books.

    • I forgot to say that I founded that a blood magic book is a strange place to make a Sabbat revision. I know WW used to do things like that, but still annoys me a little.

      • I had originally planned to make this a joint Sect exploration/blood magic book. As the drafts came in, I realized that goal makes less sense for a variety of reasons. This chapter is an example of how I need to revise that approach.

    • I don’t have time to dig into your comments now, but I did want to take a moment to thank you for apologizing and putting your comments into perspective. We’re all very passionate about Masquerade, so I sincerely appreciate the extra effort to clarify.

  12. I know that it’s probably too late to give any comments, but still I Tink that I must do so, because I’d love to hear something more of Aljusuri.

    In the Caine’s Chosen: The Black Hand book, which deals with this subsect within the Sabbat, it is said that the Black Hand has developed “Aljusuri”, which permits to bridge the gap between separate Blood Magic Paradigms (e.g. A practicioner of Thaumaturgy may be able to use a ritual created for Dur-An-Ki or Wanga, etc. and viceversa).

    This might seem like a tremendous advantage, but please bear in mind that Aljusuri is only practitioned by the Black Hand and notreally widespread.

    If this is not included in this part, It could also be included in the Tal’mahe’ra.

    PS. I love what you guys are doing, keep up the good work!

    • Yea more in depth look at Aljusuri would be awesome..perhaps its evolved into an actual school of blood magic now. Tons of ideas ans possibilities there.

  13. I am very sorry to see Telyavelic Tremere in here ,the best thing in 3rd was the flavor the Camarilla got by having Thaumaturgy almost it’s self.

  14. In all seriousness, pick up a copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Voodoo.” It will explain a lot about how the Serpents of the Light should be operating.


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