Blood Stained Porcelin

February 12, 2007

 This was originally going to be the prolouge to a novel I was writing that has been put on hold due to the fact that it almost turned into an Erotica.

The Cell

It was quiet. I was always quiet where she was. It had been nearly seventy years since her sentence had been passed. They had stopped giving her food after four years. They came to look in her private bricked chamber and saw her sleeping the sleep of the dead as the morning sun shone. They thought she was dead, so they reported it and they stopped feeding her.

She had expected that after being declared dead they would have removed her body from her bricked up chambers. Perhaps, they would even want her to rest in peace in the cemetery where her husband and family were laid to rest. She was disappointedly wrong in that assessment of her jailors. Instead they declared her private chambers to be “cursed” and that no man should ever enter it again. A rather smart move for all of them as it saved them from her awakening that evening, but rather poor luck for her, as she remained trapped.

With no blood to sustain her unholy powers, and no food to keep her going from day to day, Erzsébet Báthory had to spend most of her time sleeping and resting her body. She found it rather ironic that she seemed incapable of dying from starvation but could still feel the hunger gnawing at her insides. Making her wish that some morsel of food, either blood or regular, would find itself to her once again.

She glanced at the mirror that stood on her dressing area, she could see it well even in the pitch black that her chambers had existed in for decades. She looked so old, so much older than the fifty years old that was sentenced to this imprisonment. She looked nothing like the eighteen-year-old woman that was found slaughtering virgins to keep her youthful façade. Instead she looked like a hag, actually even older than the one hundred twenty years she had actually been alive.

Her skin was old, gray and leathery, giving her an appearance like a boot that had been neglected in the sun and allowed to crack and break. Her eyes were bloodshot, the irises had faded to nothing decades ago. He body itself no longer fit in the nightgown she wore, it had grown withered and thin, her once firm breasts had become flat, flaccid, hanging bags of flesh. She tried to cry but had no strength or tears to weep.

She could hardly believe that she was once the most beautiful one in the land. She once had, had skin like porcelain, hair like golden silk, and eyes that could bewitch man or woman. Her body was a thing of beauty and perfection, and she never let it become sullied by the seed of a man. She had wrapped her husband around her finger so that he knew his place was not the place between her thighs.

Everyone knew that she was the true power in her husband’s court. They knew that she made all the decisions. She was the one who decided who lived and who died, who was ignored and who was heard. She was believed to be as cruel as she was beautiful, and as a result of both cruelty and beauty, none would dare question her orders or commands. She was the dominant leader of her homelands.

Unfortunately, like all good things, it did indeed come to an end. When her husband died she lost her face among the nobles. Very few would hear the ideas of a woman, even if she were well known and feared. In fact, many began to resent her rule by proxy, and how easily she had maintained it. Her temperament and rumored “hobbies” proved to be the ammunition required to remove her power from her.

She had always thought of her trial as a farce. Or she should say the trial she never received. Instead they locked her in bedchamber, all the windows bricked up, then her door was bricked up, save for a small slot to feed her from. She had to defend herself though letters and through the boy she claimed was her son. The nobility was supposed to be above reproach, but Erzsébet seemed to think that only truly applied to those who the king liked.

And so without trial she was sentenced to the slow cruel death in her bedchamber. She was to be mourned by none, and to rot in her bed for all her days. Fate proved cruel as she lie there, unable to die. She realized that she was, indeed, going to rot for the rest of her days. Just she was going to be completely conscious through the whole thing.

Erzsébet’s introspective thoughts were interrupted by a sound. She had not heard sound of any kind in half a century so she struggled to hear it, her hearing still as keen as her eyesight. It sounded to her like the scurrying of a mouse or a rat. Seemingly haven snuck through the hole that they used to feed her from. And thus, it meant only one thing to her, blood! She needed blood! After hearing the noise, it was the only thought she could muster, she needed blood

She rolled herself to off her bed, breaking her legs and her hips in the processes. The mummification that had begun its work on her had made her bones brittle. Still though her need for the blood of living things pushed her forward. She crawled with broken fingers on broken arms, each pull of her body causing sickening pain and suffering as she crawled her way to the rat.

It looked at her it’s nose twitching, it’s small brain trying to comprehend the damned creature that had crawled towards her. It was instinctively fearful of the creature, though it could not run, it’s legs would not move. The terror instilled in the creature was beyond comprehension for it. Broken hands lunged forward with a last dart of speed and the rat was in her grasp.

She brought it to her mouth; her canines had become sharpened points capable of piercing flesh easily. She dug her teeth into the creatures head and neck literally tearing it off it’s body. The small amount of blood it had in it’s body being sucked out of it. It’s head swallowed out of instinct. She continued to squeeze as much blood as she could out of it’s body before she began to chew it and tear at it, devouring it’s flesh as surely as she devoured it’s blood. Her senses were swimming in the first nourishment of any kind in decades. Her mind slowed and her reason returned to her and she considered this boon.

With the pathetic creatures blood she could escape her prison. She could empower herself with strength beyond anything a mere mortal could possibly know. When she was out she could find more prey. Stronger prey. Human prey. With human blood within her again she could regain what she had lost and had missed the most. With the strength of human blood she could begin the sacrifices anew and restore her wonderful beauty.

With this the only goal in her mind she pounded the bricked up doorway. She would be free soon; the brick had already begun to give way to her new strength. She would be beautiful again. Erzsébet Báthory, the so-called blood countess, would be forever beautiful and forever powerful.

She would see to that.

Advertisements

She walked through China Town with her companion. Doing her best to try to have a good time in light of everything. New York City was such a big place when compared to the small town she grew up in. But that life seemed so far away in comparison of things.

Back then she used her birth name, Lorianne. Her favorite things to do was hang at the mall with her friends, and maybe drive two hours to go see an actual concert when a good punk band actually came with in a hundred miles of her. She would have never believed that she would be in the situation that she was in now.

But when her father died, her life changed. She was so overcome with grief of the death of the “strongest man” in her world that she did nothing but sit in that same mall and sulk. She avoided her friends, never went to shows, just wandering her mall aimlessly, looking for something eternal so that she could accept that life may perhaps be worth living.

She met a Prince one day, a noble and strong man with a kind heart and a gentle soul. He showed her a new path, gave her a beautiful ring to symbolize their new connection and put her on the path of nobility and strength. She decided on that day to prove herself worthy of this Prince, by becoming a prince herself.

She awoke that day. She cast off a lie that had been told to all of humanity and understood the world as it should be for the first time ever. She realized the truth that mankind was meant to be eternal. With that knowledge she drew strength and power from within.

Today she called herself Raggedy Ann, but it had little to do with that fateful day and more with her style of dress. She wore an old fancy white blouse that she had ripped off to be just a shade bit longer than her petite breasts so that they would be, mostly, covered. A pair of blue micro-shorts that looked painted on. Red and white stockings and red legwarmers over those and a pair of blue Doc Martens completed her dress. While her hair was held up into two pig tails with red yarn hair falls, her make up done to make herself look doll like, complete with painted on “blush circles.” Her friends used to say she looked like Raggedy Ann on crack, so the name stuck from there on out.

Her traveling companion on her trip, a young Chinese girl named Yuri, was dressed in a more traditional way. In many ways she looked like she was right out of a traditional Chinese story. A long flowing silk dress in the traditional Chinese style had been what Yuri had insisted on wearing. If she didn’t stand out enough walking around in New York City like that, even in Chinatown, her hair had been bleached to a platinum white color. Raggedy Ann had often wondered why it was that color, though Yuri had often avoided to answer that question.

Yuri wasn’t really a friend in the traditional sense of the word. She was literally Raggedy Ann’s ward, or at least that is how Yuri would try to describe it. Yuri claimed to be a Bride of the Yaoguai, which she explained to Raggedy Ann as being a demon. She was in a long line of these Brides that were married to demons and left in the care of vampires, in order to protect the safety of her home village. Apparently the vampires expected great power when they possessed one of these Brides and had developed an entire ‘knighthood’ based around dueling each other for the rights to the Bride.

Ironically, the vampire knights had chosen the same rose-shaped icon for their own symbol, as was on the ring she received from her Prince. Fate seemed to have worked over time for Raggedy Ann as when she witnessed a man slapping a small blonde Chinese girl, she decided to intervene. That intervention lead to a sword duel between her and a vampire named Satoshi. A duel that Raggedy Ann managed to win, she had always been a good fencer, talking fencing lessons since she was a little girl all the way through college. Yuri explained to her that she would now live with Raggedy Ann, and serve her in all things. That was the role of the Bride.

Or she was supposed to be anyways. Raggedy Ann insisted on breaking that tradition and had treated Yuri more and more like a friend rather than a servant. It was this desire to treat Yuri as something more than the Bride that lead her hear to Chinatown. She brought Yuri to a place where she though she could fit in and be more herself, instead of the demure bride that she acted like.

It wasn’t working.

She had barely even gotten Yuri to walk next to her rather than behind her yet. And the more “natural” setting of Chinatown had seemingly made Yuri even more submissive in action. Raggedy Ann had decided it might just be time to call it a day and get them both home. She paused to tell Yuri that it was time to go home. When she noticed a fifteen-year-old kid marching out of an old building. He was Caucasian but dressed in the clothes of a Chinese peasant. An odd anachronism among the modern clothes, but then again, Yuri was dressed in a similarly old fashioned attire.

The teenager spoke to Yuri in Chinese, something that Raggedy Ann couldn’t even begin to pretend that she understood. The conversation involved the young man seeming to be very desperate. Yuri seemed to respond to these words with fear and with her usual demure nature. She then looked at Raggedy Ann and said something to the young man.

The man looked at Raggedy Ann, “You are the keeper of the Keng Bride?”

“Yuri’s my friend,” Raggedy Ann answered.

“She says that she serves you.”

”That’s what she says,” Raggedy Ann said, getting a bit agitated by this whole line of questioning.

“The master wants to speak with you and the Keng Bride.”

Raggedy Ann frowned, “No,” she said to him firmly.

“Please, he wishes to speak to you about you’re situation.”

”You’re not going to let me go unless I go see this ‘master’ guy are you?” she asked.

“I’m afraid not ma’am,” he said with a bow.

“Fine! Fuck! Whatever!” Raggedy Ann said throwing her hands in the air, “Take us to him.”

The young man bowed and led them into the old building. Inside the building, Raggedy Ann could feel the presence of something unusual. She opened her mystic senses up and felt the energy of a demesne surrounding her. She felt a bit better; at least she was dealing with mages and not vampires. Seemed she couldn’t go out without vampires challenging her for ‘control’ of Yuri.

The interior of the building looked like the inside of a Chinese palace and the very scope of it left Raggedy Ann awe-struck, “Impressive place,” she said aloud.

“It has been maintained as such since the master was a boy,” the young man said.

“And um, when was that.”

“The 1860’s,” the young man replied.

“Um, are you sure this guy isn’t a vampire”

“No, my master walks the path of the Dragon Scholars.”

”Oh, that’s good then,” Raggedy Ann said, unsure of what that exactly meant. She looked at Yuri who was still walking five-feet behind her.

The young man lead her into a large chamber that almost seemed like a throne room, complete with a jewel encrusted throne. On it sat a thin and wizened old Chinese man dressed like a Manchurian lord. Standing to his right was a Chinese man in his mid-thirties dressed in a really good suit and tie; and to the left was a Chinese man in his twenties dressed in the garb of an Imperial Chinese guard. Raggedy Ann couldn’t help but feel a lot out of place surrounded by these people.

“You are this creatures caretaker?” the old wizened man said to her, he seemed to be referring to Yuri.

“No, Yuri is my friend and I protect her,” Raggedy Ann replied adamantly.

“You will turn the creature over to me to be destroyed,” the old man said.

”Who the fuck are you to tell me that!”

“Typical Caucasian, when they feel threatened they respond with profanity,” the old man smiled and shook his head, “I am Xia Long, 3rd Degree Master and Lord of the Replesant Order of Dragon Scholars. I demand you cease you’re cavorting with demons and turn over the demon bride.”

When Raggedy Ann heard his title, she knew she was in deep trouble, but she swore that she would protect Yuri from people who would harm or exploit her, “Well you have no right to demand that I give her to you.”

“Dharma,” he said to the man on his right, “Bring it to me.”

The man in the suit bowed deeply and walked into the shadows. Raggedy Ann looked suspicious and waited, wondering what was next. Moments later the man came out of the shadows with an ornate box that seemed to be made of jade. He opened the box and held it up to Xia Long.

Xia Long reached inside and pulled out an ancient ring made of gold. It bore the same rose seal that the ring her Prince had given her so long ago as well as the same mark that the vampires who were exploiting Yuri wore. Xia Long put the ring on one of his long finger.

“You’re one of them!” Raggedy Ann said angrily, it seemed even mages were total assholes.

“One of them?” Xia Long questioned, “Oh no, the awakened gave up their claim to the Keng Brides long ago. The vampires kept up the games, but they are demonic creatures to begin with. The awakened realized that cavorting with demons was a sure way to destroy oneself.”

”Then why do you have that ring!”

”Because I have sworn to destroy the Brides of the Keng when I find them. So I challenge you to a Duel Arcane for custody of the Bride,” Xia Long said with great conviction.

“Fine! Let’s do this old man!”

“Six Talon, square the circle,” Dharma spoke aloud, “I shall bear witness to the duel.”

The man to Xia Long’s left nodded and took out a bag of powder, pouring the powder out to make a circle on the ground. Xia Long stepped off his throne and stepped into the circle that was being made. Raggedy Ann could feel the magic of the Duel Arcane being cast. He right hand became heavy with the weight of a fiery rapier, she felt herself becoming protected by an invisible force of fate. Xia Long’s hands were filled with an empherma sword of Chinese style and a small buckler of Psionic energy.

He was ready as was she. The duel was to begin. Raggedy Ann looked at him, the initial battle of wills began, she had never actually participated in a Duel Arcane, but Marcus had told her about them. They always started with a test of wills. Raggedy Ann steeled her mind, totally steadfast in her ability to protect Yuri. She felt Xia Long’s will strike at her but she struck back and struck harder.

The contest of wills was over and Raggedy Ann had one, she decided to press that advantage. She charged forward with her fiery rapier and struck home, the magical blade passing through Xia Long’s body and damaging him. Xia Long struck back with a series of surgical-like strikes with his own blade.

Raggedy Ann went to strike again but found Xia Long’s defenses to strong for her to break through again. When Xia Long’s blade stuck through her again she felt for an instant that she was not going to be able to defeat this man. That Yuri was going to be lost to this man and then killed. She felt so weak.

A noble heart never surrenders came a voice in her. The Prince who had awoken her to magic and given her the ring had told her that so long ago. But as she was struck again she felt the last of her will sapped away.

She started to feel her weapon fade into nothingness; it was then she realized the voice she had just heard had not been her Prince. It had been Yuri. Somehow Yuri’s will had added to her own, fortifying her defenses.

Emboldened Raggedy Ann struck again this time finding that her blows could break through the defenses of the wizened master. She stuck him once more and found his weapons fade away.

She had defeated him. She had won the Duel Arcane. Yuri had been protected.

“You cheated! You demon whore!”

“Figures an old fart would resort to profanity when he doesn’t get his way,” Raggedy Ann said with a chuckle. She enjoyed throwing Xia Long’s own words back at him.

“You cheated! I will have your head for this!” he shouted at her. Dharma was already helping him to his feet.

“Master, that is for the Consilium to decide. As far as I could tell, she did not cheat.” Dharma looked at Raggedy Ann, “And thus you and the Bride are free to go.”

Raggedy Ann grinned, “Yeah we’ll be leaving now. Come on Yuri, we’re taking off.” She turned and left as she said it. She would feel much better after she got home and smoke an entire pack of cigarettes.

“As you wish, Miss Raggedy Ann,” Yuri said demurely and walked behind Raggedy Ann.

“And would you stop calling me that!” Raggedy Ann demanded.

“As you wish, Miss Raggedy Ann,” Yuri said.

Raggedy Ann just face palmed as she walked out. It appeared that some things were not going to change.

I frequent the White Wolf forums and for a long time many people would troll the Vampire the Requiem forum about how little was changed from the old Vampire the Masquerade to the new Vampire the Requiem. Often they made very general claims about the clans being all the same, or it’s just the same kind of stuff in a new more expensive edition. Some would yell that they took out all that was good about Masquerade was taken out and replaced by things like the covenants. Most of these arguments were usually based on rumor or a quick read through of the book in a store. Blanket statements made with minimal information is not something anyone should do so it seemed that information needed to be shown.

Vampire the Requiem and Vampire the Masquerade are both vampire protaganist games set in the modern age, both are made by White Wolf studios. Most similiarities of the two game lines, beyond terms used to describe certain aspects of the game, end there. The purpose of this is essay is to do a small dissection of sorts to see just how much the setting has changed and to begin let’s start with the most visible of elements:

The Clans
Clans have been a part of White Wolf Vampire games for fourteen years now. Vampire the Masquerade began with seven clans that slowly inflated into thirteen with two dead clans. It became so muddled that it was unsure if being a clan meant having a member of the third generation or something less tangible. In Masquerade these clans were political entities that pushed forward their own ideals and more like families units or special intrest groups.

But with Vampire the Requiem the clan number as been cut down to a mere five. Of these five clans two of them are entirely new (Mekhet and Daeva) and three of them retained the names of old clans from Vampire the Masquerade. These three clans, the Gangrel, Ventrue and Nosferatu, are often pointed to as proof that the game hasn’t changed all that much. But let’s take a real look at them and see how similiar these clans are.

The Gangrel on the surface are the one clan that seems most similiar to their Masquerade predocessor. Both are animalistic clans that seem to be primarily regard survival as the greatest trait in a potential childe. But the similiarities end there as the Requiem Gangrel are the perfect predator and that’s what they seek to be. They aren’t wanderers and country bumpkins as they were portrayed in Masquerade. Not the outsider and loner that we had concept after concept off. No they are the predator of the city with all the tools necessary to be said predator. As predators and not animals the Gangrel no longer gain animal features and instead have a problem acting without using instict.

Secondly the Ventrue of Masquerade were businessmen and politicians, they acted like martyr’s of Kindred society in the Camarilla. They took the “burden of leadership” onto themselves for the “good of all Kindred.” This is not the Requiem Ventrue. The Ventrue of Requiem are different. They aren’t businessmen and politicians, instead they are the lords of the night. Lords over what? Well anything actually. A Ventrue can be the best painter in her style or the best computer tech or really the best of anything. That’s what they are the “best.” They lord over their chosen skills as the greatest there is. That’s what the Ventrue are, the adabtable leaders of industry, art, entertainment, ect. The blue-blood aristocrats have simply become the best and power tends to drive one mad. Heance the Ventrue no longer have the old rarified tastes and instead slowly go insane as they fail degeneration checks.

Of all the changes that were made to clans, the changes to the Nosferatu are the most obvious when one looks at them. The Nosferatu of Masquerade were outcasts too ugly to be able to interact with humanity and discarded by the “beautiful clans.” They spent most of their time skulking though the sewers and hoarding information. This has totally changed as the Nosferatu are now the monsterous clan, instead of everyone of them being deformed creatures the Nosferatu are just as likely to be gorgeous. The trick is that they all, if they are deformed or not, exude an monstrous aura that makes people uncomfortable to be around them. Topping off this is the new discipline of Nightmare, a discipline involving the causing of fear in its target.

In addition to the changes in clan, there are no “thin-blooded” in Requiem. Kindred in Requiem are tied to their sires and other ancestors of the blood by a sympathy that allows them to occasionally sense what is going on with you. Disciplines are easier to use on Kindred that you share this blood sympathy with and as such it’s impossible to not know your sire in some sense and thus, no clanless vampires. The Caitiff are gone as any sort of group but a vampire may be called a caitiff until his ancestory is known.

This blood sympathy also allows for a change in one of Masquerade’s other features, the Bloodline. Bloodlines in Requiem are much more accessible than in Masquerade as any clan member may join a bloodline tied to that clan. If a member of a bloodline creates progeny that progeny begins as a member of the sire’s clan, not his bloodline. Thus the bloodlines are something you join, not made into. The bloodlines expand on the themes of the various clans. Three of the bloodlines presented in the core book will look familiar to those who played Masquerade. The Toreador are a bloodline of the Daeva with a focus on being patrons to the arts. The Bruja (no ‘h’ is intentional) are a gang of wandering bikers related to the Gangrel. And finally the Malkovians suffer in madness as a ignored bloodline of the Ventrue. Each bloodline plays on the themes of their larger clan (the names kept to give Masquerade players a source of transition). Bloodlines pick up an additional weakness with their clan weakness and a fourth discipline that they get to purchase at “clan” cost. Some bloodlines produce unique disciplines that only they can learn.

Sects and Society
Someone familiar with Vampire the Masquerade will find a surprise in that the sects of the Camarilla and Sabbat are gone. The large global “nations”
of the Kindred known as sects have been turned to the wayside and replaced with five covenants. This is one of the often over looked but huge differences between the two game lines. With the advent of covenants the politics of the Kindred has become more based off these covenants rather than the clans with the sects as Masquerade did. Also on a more local note, the Prince and Kindred government is wide open as power levels of the elders fluctuate and the covenants all have different styles of “ruling” a city.

This shows a huge difference as all the covenants can co-exist in the same city and depending on your location and your storyteller’s prefrence there can be the same type of wars the Sabbat and Camarilla had. Or it can be a tense cold-war type enviroment as all the covenants carefully watch each other looking for a reason to pounce. When the Camarilla was dominating a city, the only time the Sabbat would make an apperance was to make a seige. When the Sabbat was in control the Camarilla could only make a presence known when trying to take a city. Meaning Masquerade had to game types, Camarilla or Sabbat. You couldn’t effectively do both at the same time as the two types were directly antagonistic with each other.

Two game mechanics were added that change the way that the Kindred interact with each other as well. Generation was nicked and replaced with Blood Potency a trait that increases with time and experience expenditure. It also decreases as you spend time in TORPOR. Thus the power levels of the Kindred tend to increase for the younger and the older move down the scale as they topor. You get a middle ground that allows the elders and the ancilla at a SIMILAR power level. No longer is the game about the players bemoaning that they can’t be as strong as the elders because they can.

The other game mechanic that changed things is Predator’s Taint. In Requiem the Beast of a vampire has a tendency to be a bit more proactive, when it senses another Beast (ie another Vampire) it reacts based on how strong the blood of the other Beast is. The want to flee those stronger and want to kill those who are weaker or equal. This creates an intersting dichotomy where the Kindred seek each other’s company but must be wary of meeting new Kindred. Elysium those becomes incredibly important to meet as it’s a safe zone and your Beast reacts to this feeling of safety.

Inhumanity
One of the things about Vampire the Masquerade was the Paths of Enlightnment “allowed” inhuman vampires. Many people have railed that they were left out of Requiem saying it precludes you from playing a vampire who is a monster. But when you look at the Humanity scale and at what most Path characters did, they still fall around the level of four in Humanity. And as such they have a problem dealing with mortals who find them off putting and creepy. This is because the focus of Requiem is more about the strugle to keep the Beast down while exalting the Man rather than just finding a way to keep the Beast quiet. Many things that were parts of path such as Instict’s ability to ride the wave of a frenzy although the idea of completly discarding the Man by taking a path has been discarded.

Disciplines
Though the nomenclature stayed the same for many of the Disciplines the similiarites for many of them stayed there. In fact the changes to the Disciplines are rather extreme in some cases though some stayed rather the same. Out of the Disciplines that made the cross-over to Requiem Auspex, Animalism and Dominate are the two that stayed the same to it’s Revised predecessors (in effect not in system)

The most notable change is the physical Disciplines. Potence, Celerity and Fortitude have fallen to the side and been revamped into Vigor, Celerity and Resilience (yes I know that Celerity is the old name but stay with me). Gone are the day of automatic success, additional actions and outrageous soak rolls in are the days of temporary increases to attribute scores, increased jumping ability (Vigor), increased running speed (Celerity), and downgrading damage (Resilience). Love them or hate them, and you’ll get alot of both, these three physical disciplines have changed extremely.

Majesty, the new name for the old Presence discipline’s first and second abilities got something of a revamp as well. Awe does more than just attract attention but instead actually instills awe in a person. Dread Gaze has gone away from Majesty and replaced with Revelation, a power that allows you to get the target to bear his soul to you. Making the theme of presence be much more force of personality and less of a grab bag of emotional control.

Obfuscate is another old favorite that makes a return, but like a person getting a face lift and dye job the name is virtually the only thing that stays the same. Touch of Shadow, the new level one power, allows the Kindred to conceal objects in your person. Mask of Tranquillity (level 2) hides your Predator’s taint from other Kindred meaning you no longer cause them to want to frenzy. Cloak of Night (level 3) is familiar to Masquerade players as it plays nearly identically to Vanish from the Minds eye, with the Familiar Stranger becoming the new level 4 power. Familiar Stranger is something akin to the old Mask of 1000 Faces but vastly different, instead of taking any form you wish, you take the form of who your target expects to see.

Protean, the famed discipline of the Gangrel has gotten a restructuring as well as a new power. Aspect of the Predator replaced Gleam of the Red Eye givng a Gangrel an angry beast that always tries to attack when encountering Predator’s Taint. However Earth Meld was put before the infamous agg dealing claws also picking up the ability to merge with other material for more XP.

To much happiness of many Thamaturgy has disappeared but blood magic remained. Two of the covenants have blood magic the dark miracles of Theban Sorcery and the blood-curses of Cruac. Blood Magic in Requiem is completely ritual based with no paths in sight so those who hated the million+ paths of Thamaturgy can breathe a sigh of relief.

Setting
One of the more subtle changes is the base setting of Requiem over Masquerade. In Masquerade we had a long history of Kindred, heck even the Prince of London was thousands of years old. And all vampires were decended from Caine, the mythical third mortal. In Requiem there is no more mythical progenitor the vampire creation myth is uncertain and most don’t even care about it. In addition no Kindred over 2000 years old is known to exist. Part of the mystery of Kindred history is that an elder who have fallen into torpor before suffer from fever dreams and nightmares mixed with their memories as they sleep. When they awaken they can’t distiguish dream from reality, this effect is called the Fog of Eternity.

Conclusion
There is a saying that “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Perhaps that’s the explaination on why Vampire the Requiem is often derided as being “too much the same” to Vampire the Masquerade. I hope that I have been informative and shown you that just because the changes aren’t there on the surface doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

There are still many things that remained the same it’s true. Many of the titles that Masquerade’s Camarilla used are there, although other options for titles are given. They are still called Kindred and it’s still Disciplines, Vitae, Clan, Bloodline and many other nomenclature similairites. But the similiarities truly die there. Which is a shame because I will miss the ankh being the symbol for practically every group.