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[VtM] Does the Giovanni clan have the dumbest name? Do you use the Giovanni as is or change their name?

Adeps

Registered User
Validated User
I see no reason they can't be Giovanni clan. Maybe they're the Giovanni clan because they were known as the clan that were headed up, at the time that they started to acquire the name, at least, by a man named Giovanni?
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
Validated User
I see no reason they can't be Giovanni clan. Maybe they're the Giovanni clan because they were known as the clan that were headed up, at the time that they started to acquire the name, at least, by a man named Giovanni?
Entirely possible. And as has been mentioned, there are quite a number of historical and present-day people with the surname Giovanni or di Giovanni.

Best I can tell, the objections are from people who don’t realize it’s an actual (originally patronymic) surname, or else who have some problem with the idea that this scary vampire clan’s name translates loosely as “John(son).” But there are also people named that, and I’m sure some of them are plenty scary. The vampires can’t all be named Orlock von Transylvanienburg.
 

D351

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Validated User
The idea that the vampire race would evolve into several different subspecies? Or the idea that those who share the same lineage and hereditary traits would maintain some degree of social cohesion and even global organization in the modern day?
Kind of both. Given the variety of depictions of vampires in fiction and the reputation for eccentricity, neither of those things make sense to me thematically. Diversity, yes, but in a speciation model? No. The entire clan aspect in V:tM reads to me as a weak excuse to include "classes" in a subject in which they don't make sense. The odd bloodlines are just V:tM's take on weird subclasses. Having features derived from your sire makes sense, but these neatly organized clans with little to no conceptual overlap is even more forced than Hogwarts houses. It also fails to fit the style of gameplay experience that I frequently hear V:tM fans are interested in the game for. The class system lends itself to combat-heavy, magic-heavy play where the party members are each of different classes to get a more diverse skillset, but the setting claims to be (last I read 3e) a very social intrigue laden horror setting in which the clans are also political units. The whole idea is just very clearly at odds with both the game concept and itself.

Honestly, if you want the warring families concept (which undermines the isolation and alienation of the vampire genre), clans could work, but making them also the class system turns those families into cartoonish caricatures that lend themselves to goofy stereotypes that are incapable of functioning without a lot of lampshading, as the division of power sets makes them functioning as comparable political forces ridiculous. A caste system would make significantly more logical sense but be equally jarring for the setting.
 

pijodo

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Validated User
Now,some Clans actually do have (regional) variations, subtypes, and, yes, actually castes. Of course, those also are determined by the Vampire that bit you.
And Clans and bloodlines, the latter appear and vanish over the Ages even. AND are changed by applying strange Magic or drinking weird blood or whathaveyou.
So if taking aspects from your sire makes sense, I assume you would like to have different vampires mutating their blood and thus, their vampirism, on a poersonal instead of a bloodline Basis ?
 

D351

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Validated User
Now,some Clans actually do have (regional) variations, subtypes, and, yes, actually castes. Of course, those also are determined by the Vampire that bit you.
And Clans and bloodlines, the latter appear and vanish over the Ages even. AND are changed by applying strange Magic or drinking weird blood or whathaveyou.
So if taking aspects from your sire makes sense, I assume you would like to have different vampires mutating their blood and thus, their vampirism, on a poersonal instead of a bloodline Basis ?
That would make more sense to me. Would it make a better game? I don't know. Like, hypothetically, if every vampire has say five powers, having one be dictated by sire (maybe even having a mechanic that *if* the power given was also shared by the grandsire, it's stronger through that lineage) and letting the character develop the others as their own character would be much less convoluted. An alternative approach would be to make clan aspects fall off at earlier generation, so that the old families are a background element while the majority of vampire player characters lack that conceptual baggage. Really, the idea of having only a small percentage of new vampires take the eldest son role in a household on a smaller scale would better represent the noble intrigue element that gothic horror is usually going for.

And if the game must have classes, I think the clans would have been less jarring to have just been classes, without the familial network stuff.
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
Validated User
Are the five clans of Requiem a better treatment of the concept? They were designed by folks who voiced some of the same criticisms.
 

SunlessNick

Mildly Darkened One
Validated User
Are the five clans of Requiem a better treatment of the concept? They were designed by folks who voiced some of the same criticisms.
The clans in Requiem are themed in Doylist terms around broad vampire-as archetypes: seductive violator, savage predator, sheer terror, shadow at the corner of your vision, and dark lord. In Watsonian terms, they aren't really a single species at all - they just share a lot of characteristics - vitae is a phenomon, and the closest vampires have to a common origin is "if you use vitae to make an undead being, this is the kind of being you get." Even some individual clans are implied to have appeared more than once. I'll leave that up to you as to whether that means "yes."

Oh, also, clans aren't political blocs in Requiem, though bloodlines (subclans that spin off when some determined vampire warps their blood) sometimes are.
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
Validated User
Yeah, I’ve run Requiem and like it a lot. I was just wondering if people who thought Masquerade clans were poorly executed thought the same of Requiem’s clans, as they were a later run at the same idea, with some of those complaints in mind.

I do think the Requiem clans managed to consolidate themes more neatly, and they’re clearly designed to fit together from the start instead of piecemeal. Gangrel, Nosferatu, and Ventrue are thematically stronger this time around.

On the other hand, they’re less “clans” in a traditional sense than what you see in Masquerade. Not so much feuding families as different species that may favor their own in certain contexts. Most clannish behavior is explained by the fact that vampires can feel their close kin through the blood, and most vampires of a given clan in a given city will be close kin. But to get real feuding families you need to introduce bloodlines and houses into a given city setting. The clans just don’t have the wide-ranging organization for it.
 

Isator Levie

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Validated User
Aren't there, like, fifty thousand vampires in the world, and only thirteen generations of them across something like four thousand years?

It doesn't seem too unlikely for there to be a bit of stasis there.

Given the variety of depictions of vampires in fiction and the reputation for eccentricity, neither of those things make sense to me thematically.
The people in this thread are varied, and often eccentric. Is it inaccurate to refer to them as a fandom?
 

Dagor

Registered User
Validated User
Aren't there, like, fifty thousand vampires in the world, and only thirteen generations of them across something like four thousand years?

It doesn't seem too unlikely for there to be a bit of stasis there.
Well, the opposite side of that coin is "wait, if there are only about fifty thousand vampires in the world and they're already divided into thirteen distinct generations, how many further subcategories do we even need anymore?". I mean, by the time we get to "I'm a vampire of type X/Y/Z, subclass 2c, and as far as I'm aware there are maybe four others like me in the entire world", we might as well cut out the middleman and just build each and every vamp as an individual to begin with. :)
 
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