When the sun sets and night falls on Los Angeles, the vampires rise for another few hours of unlife and do what they do. Vampire The Masquerade: LA By Night is the story of a specific coterie of four vampires amongst the hundreds or thousands who live in LA, set in the Vampire the Masquerade Fifth Edition tabletop RPG.
An earlier article detailed the vampiric powers available to our LA By Night PCs, and since then, the show has introduced a few other vampires, each belonging to a Clan, and each with their own powers. Since we can expect to see even more vampires and Clans over the course of this season, here’s a look at the ones beyond those of the cast of PCs.
In LA By Night episode three, Fear No Monsters, the PC coterie meet an NPC named Ramona in the basement of Victor’s (B. Dave Walters) club, The Maharaja. With Ramona is a horde of rats, which Nelli G (Cynthia Marie) is not at all fond of, and which seem to mark Ramona as one of Clan Gangrel.
The Clan of the Beast, ferals, savages, strays – these are a few of the names attached to Clan Gangrel. Gangrels are the vampires who don’t necessarily fight against the Beast, but instead embrace it, accepting it as a natural and integral part of who they are. Fittingly, the Disciplines available to Gangrel are Animalism, Fortitude, and Protean.
Gangrels adopt Animalism as a way to embody the characteristics of animals, but more importantly, they use it to attract their famulus, their animal companion. This companion can become a Gangrel’s true (and possibly only) friend, who they can command for hunting, spying, and even for attack and defense. Like many wild beasts, Fortitude helps the Gangrel with being fearless, and having the physical toughness to back it up. Protean is perhaps the most favored of Gangrel Disciplines, as it allows them to change shape, to morph and mutate into animal forms, lighten their physical weight, become part of natural earth, and even become the legendary cloud of mist.
The Fear No Monsters episode introduced us to another PC, X (not his name), wonderfully played by Xander Jeanneret, who nailed his role as a vampire of Clan Malkavian.
The Children of Malkav, the Clan of the Moon, run the gamut of ‘interesting’ personalities, and are called lunatics and madmen just as often as they are called oracles and visionaries. Malkavians seek to Embrace mortals with the gifts of insight as well as ‘second sight’. Once Embraced, these gifts are greatly increased, and accompanied by the Disciplines of Auspex, Dominate, and Obfuscate.
Where a Toreador will use Auspex to heighten their physical senses, Malkavians can use it to sense someone’s mental weaknesses, tap into their fears, and create illusions to more easily persuade them into allowing the Malkavian to feed. If that doesn’t work, the Malkavian can Dominate, making their victim into a thrall with no defenses to hinder the Malkavian from feeding. And Obfuscate allows Malkavians to tap into their court jester and dervish aspects, playing tricks and slinking away into the shadows, or tricking their way close to a victim before closing in for the treat.
In ancient times, Clan Tremere had use of actual magicks, artifacts, and relics to support and reinforce their Embraced powers, which gave them clan nicknames such as Blood Witches, Thaumaturges, and Warlocks. Now, fresh blood fuels what magicks remain, while ‘mercenary mugus’ scour the planet searching for items of power and fragments of lore in an effort to return Clan Tremere to the glory it once knew.
Auspex, Dominate, and Blood Sorcery are the Disciplines available to Tremere. With Auspex, a Tremere can discern auras of magick that may surround people or objects of interest. It also provides them with a direct line of communication with each other no matter the distance between them. Dominate is the way Tremere seek out and gather the information and knowledge they need, and is used as the most direct way to quickly and easily feed.
Blood Sorcery, aka Thaumaturgy, allows Tremere to not only make use of blood (theirs and others), but to also command blood via Rituals. With Blood Sorcery, a Tremere could turn their own blood into a corrosive acid or deadly poison, increase their own blood Potency, rouse hunger in the blood of another vampire, and even turn a victim’s blood boiling hot. I’m really hoping we get to see Thaumaturgy powers soon in a future LA By Night episode!
Tell us all your vampire story, your favorite clan, and what powers you would choose!
Are you ready to jump into the World of Darkness? Be sure to join us for Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night at 8 PM Pacific this Friday, September 14th for the premiere airing on Twitch and Alpha! Not an Alpha member? Get a free 60-day trial at projectalpha.com with code BITTEN!
Explore More of the World of Darkness!
- Debt and Favors in VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, Explained
- Blood and The Beast – Hunger In VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, Explained
- VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE’s World of Darkness, Briefly Explained
Header and article images credit: White Wolf Publishing