From WoD Gotham
A Thaumaturgical and Cultural Companion for Tremere in WoDG
Tremere in WoDG are a rarity and as such their availability is limited in the Chronicle. Because of the limited slots, they are a special character type and therefore players who elect to play them are STRICTLY subject to the Chronicle Inactivity Policy (Item #6). Players who wish to play them, must be active players and experienced with the clan or at the very least, eager to do the research and learn. Novices with Tremere are allowed to seek a Tremere slot, but they are responsible for knowing the rigid structure of the clan and how it works PRIOR TO sanctioning. Those who do not make an effort to educate themselves, will not be given one of these coveted slots.
Suggested Reading: Clanbook Tremere: Revised Edition and Second Edition, Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy.
Houses of the Tremere
Houses are an optional system introduced in the Tremere Clanbook. Some are appropriate in WoDG and some are not. There are even Houses which are only speculation. Belonging to a House will restrict the types of research materials a player character may easily access if a certain course of study is not a House specialty, but on the other hand they do give access to otherwise rare materials that may be hard to find among the clan in general. House affiliation is not a requirement for Tremere in WoDG.
These are the Houses of the Tremere found in WoDG and their focus of study:
- Trismegistus: symbology and numerology
- Hashem: Kabbalah
- Rodolfo: divination
- Daughters of the Crone: birth and death magic
- Auram Guild: alchemy
Tremere are a strict clan with a very rigid heirarchy. Players are expected to understand how to role play within this heirarchy if they are intent on creating Tremere characters. Below you will find a brief summary of the various ranks within the clan. Tremere advance in rank by gaining status among their fellows. They gain clan status in a number of ways such as: guile, duplicity, mastering external and internal politics, removing rivals, advancing one's research in Thaumaturgy, etc. For further details on ranks and advancing in rank, please refer to your Tremere Clanbook.
Councilors make up the Council of Seven which are primarily members of Tremere's original Inner Circle.
Answer to the Council of Seven and are typically responsible for clan activities in vast geographic areas or specific spheres of influence. There are 49 world-wide. North America has seven Pontifices. Five are responsible for different regions. The last two are responsible for clan activities involving mortal politics and commerce.
Lords are also called High Regents and have attained Regent of the Seventh Circle. They are responsible for overseeing chantries in their region which is called a Realm. They govern these satellite chantries from a grand chantry. The High Regent for the Tri-State area actually operates out of Philadephia.
Regents are typically the heads of chantries in a given city or in less densely populated areas (like in suburban sprawl), a cluster of towns. However, they can also be heads of individual and specialized projects.
The Tremere Code I, (initiate's name), hereby swear my everlasting loyalty to House and Clan Tremere and all its members. I am of their blood, and they are of mine. We share our lives, our goals, and our achievements. I shall obey those the House sees fit to name my superiors, and treat my inferiors with all the respect and care they earn for themselves.
I will not deprive nor attempt to deprive any member of House and Clan Tremere of his magical power. To do so would be to act against the strength of our House. I will not slay nor attempt to slay any member of the House and Clan except in self-defense, or when a magus has been ruled outlaw by a properly constituted tribunal. If a magus has been ruled an outlaw, I shall bend all efforts to bring such magus to justice.
I will abide by all decisions of the tribunals, and respectfully honor the wishes of the Inner Council of Seven and the wishes of my superiors. The tribunals shall be bound by the spirit of the Code of Tremere, as supplemented by the Peripheral Code and interpreted by a properly constituted body of magi. I have the right to appeal a decision to a higher tribunal, if they should agree to hear my case.
I will not endanger House and Clan Tremere through my actions. Nor will I interfere with the affairs of mundanes in any way that brings ruin upon my House and Clan. I will not, when dealing with devils, or others, in any way bring danger to the clan, nor will I disturb the faeries in any way that should cause them to take vengeance on the House and Clan. I also swear to uphold the values and goals of the Camarilla, and I will maintain the Masquerade. Insofar as these goals may conflict with my goals, I will not pursue my own ends in any way that would endanger the Masquerade. The strength of the House and Clan Tremere depends on the strength of the Masquerade.
I will not use magic to scry upon members of the House and Clan Tremere, nor shall I use it to peer into their affairs. It is expressly forbidden.
I will train only apprentices who will swear to this code, and should any of them turn against the House and Clan, I shall be the first to strike them down and bring them to justice. No apprentice of mine shall be called magus until he first swears to uphold the code. I shall treat my apprentices with the care and respect that they earn.
I concede to my elders the right to take my apprentice should it be found that my apprentice is valuable to an elder's work. All are members of the House and Clan and valuable first to these precepts. I shall abide by the right of my superiors to make such decisions.
I shall further the knowledge of the House and Clan and share with its members all that I find in my search for wisdom and power. No secrets are to be kept, or given, regarding the arts of magic, nor shall I keep secret the doings of others which might bring harm to the House and Clan.
I demand that, should I break this oath, I should be cast out of the House and Clan. If I am cast out, I ask my brothers to find and slay me that my life may not continue in degradation and infamy.
I recognize that the enemies of the House and Clan are my enemies, that the friends of the House and Clan are my friends, and that the allies of the House and Clan are my allies. Let us work as one and grow hale and strong.
I hereby swear this oath on (current date). Woe to they who try to tempt me to break this oath, and woe to me if I succumb to such temptation.
Apprentices are your average day-to-day members of clan Tremere. As the primary workers of the clan, they are expected to heed and follow the orders of higher ranks without question or delay. Levels of autonomy differ depending on the Apprentice's rank in the Circle of Mysteries. Tremere in WoDG often start at Apprentices of the Third Circle and more rarely the Fourth Circle (the player must have serious experience playing a Tremere to start at that level).
Apprentice of the First Circle of Mysteries
This rank is not an appropriate for stand-alone PCs as it is made up of unreleased Childer or wards who are under constant supervision of their masters. The rank confers no privileges other than making the character a member of the Tremere clan. Interaction with non-Tremere without supervision is expressly forbidden.
Privileges: Characters of this rank may not attend gathering without being escorted by their masters directly responsible for them, and must remain under direct supervision at all times. They are typically confined to a chantry and do menial tasks like keep laboratories tidy and so on.
Apprentice of the Second Circle of Mysteries
This rank is also not an appropriate for stand-alone PCs as the Kindred is still under tight supervision. In terms of Kindred society, Tremere of this rank are considered released, but their movements among other Kindred are strictly controlled and monitored. They serve as assistants and still perform menial labor, but being senior they would do more preferred chores than those Apprentices of the First Circle. Typically, these apprentices have mastered at least the first level of Thaumaturgy.
Privileges: They may accompany their masters to Kindred gatherings, but they as yet are not allowed to deal with Kindred outside the clan on their own. They may function as a courier in the halls of Elysium for instance, providing that they are within the line of sight of their masters.
Apprentice of the Third Circle of Mysteries
Apprentices of the Third Circle are the most common starting PCs in WoDG. The rank denotes that the individual Tremere has served the clan long enough to prove his loyalty and reliability. He understands his responsibilities and his place within the Pyramid and therefore is fully accountable for himself. It is his beginning moments of any sort of independence. He is expected to know the Tremere Code and can't claim ignorance as a defense for infractions. Apprentices of this Circle may know a few common specifics about the clan and no knowledge of clan secrets. The Tremere is assigned to a Chantry and serves under a Regent.
Privileges: An Apprentice of the Third Circle has earned the right to attend Kindred gatherings and conduct himself as he sees fit in general. However, he is subject to reprimands by the Regent and still must abide by the rigid caste system of the Tremere. Also, any inter-Kindred dealings are to be reported to his master and Regent. He may begin his own courses of study and research.
Apprentice of the Fourth Circle of Mysteries
An Apprentice of the Fourth Circle is a Tremere who has come into his own as a member of the clan and is considered seasoned enough to have some clout when discussions arise regarding chantry policy and Thaumaturgical methodologies. They have their own relative autonomy though they still report to the Regent monthly and are required to follow the orders of the Regent. This is also the minimum rank for an Apprentice to become a mentor for an initiate or for them to hold personal Retainers. This rank is a starting rank reserved for experienced Tremere players only.
Privileges: Permission is usually granted to Apprentices of the Fourth Circle should they wish to travel to another domain. They participate as full members of the Chantry in conferences and meetings. Often they are afforded their own lab space and studies. Their inter-Kindred dealings are still closely monitored by the clan.
Apprentice of the Fifth Circle of Mysteries
This is the highest ranking that most Tremere ever achieve and it's the Apprentice's first taste of power. Tremere of this rank are competent mid-level leaders of the chantry and form the first managerial layer in the Pyramid. These Apprentices make up the bulk of mentors and tutors to the Tremere rank and file. This is the lowest rank in which an Apprentice is permitted to sire. They are involved in complicated personal research and projects and some of their duties include acting as messengers for the clan. They are known members of the clan in the Realm and though the Regent appoints the nominees who advance to this rank, the Lord must approve the promotion.
Privileges: Free travel to other domains. He is not expected to maintain a library or lab at the Chantry and often times has his own private workspace and haven set up. If he does remain closely attached to the Chantry, he usually gets a better pick in quality of space. They have the authority to order lower ranking Tremere NOT to do something, if they believe it is a danger or contradiction to Chantry policy. They do not have the authority to order other Tremere not directly under their supervision to do something. They do not have the authority to speak for the clan yet without the express permission of the Regent.
Apprentice of the Sixth Circle of Mysteries
Apprentices of this Circle are often given a wide array of duties and privileges and are often the personal and trusted agents of a Regent or Lord. They are also considered authorities on the arts of Thaumaturgy and often maintain positions as specialized researchers, teachers or scholars on Thaumaturgical thought and history. Tremere of this rank are most often lesser elders, though sometimes ancillae in lesser cities. This is the minimum rank a Tremere must hold before being allowed to hold any official title within a city or Domain. Tremere can only rise to this Circle by appointment of the Lord.
Privileges: The Tremere is allowed to keep extensive personal property outside of the Chantry. He may have up to 2-3 Apprentices that he is directly responsible for and assist him with his affairs. He also is trusted enough to speak on behalf of the clan in most cases (with the Regent's blessing of course). He is also allowed a bit of privacy in his inter-Kindred dealings (except for reporting to his Regent).
Apprentice of the Seventh Circle of Mysteries
The pinnacle of the Apprentice rank is the Seventh Circle and only the Pontifex can confer this rank upon a Tremere. It represents a fairly elite group of Apprentices who are being groomed for Regency should a position become available (usually from nasty business since Kindred don't age and retire). The Lord or High Regent of a given Realm is responsible for selecting Apprentices for promotion to the Seventh Circle. At this level, Tremere are given a lot of independence and are not expected to attend many of the required meetings and they do not have many formal duties inside the chantry. The Tremere's own research and experiments are his main occupations though he may hold a position within the city or be embroiled in Camarilla politics in order to climb further up the ranks of his clan. Also, the Regent cannot demand that the Apprentice service the chantry and the Regent's agenda without first consulting the High Regent for approval.
Privileges: Apprentices at this level are always elders in their own right and are given a great deal of privacy in their affairs. They are also given their choice of duties in support of their local chantry.
Below is a list of Thaumaturgical Paths in WoDG and their relative availability. Availability affects learning and research times as well as the access that an individual Apprentice has to materials in order to conduct further research. No player character can learn or develop more than a single Path or Ritual at a time. Only Tremere Kindred may learn Thaumaturgy. To research and study Thaumaturgical Paths, a player character rolls Intelligence+Mentor (or Occult Library; all Tremere in good standing with the Chantry are considered to have 1 dot in Occult Library) at a base diff of 6. Each subsequent level requires a the amount of successes equal to the rank in the Path the apprentice is attempting to master. Each success required represents 1 month of study. These rolls can't be extended, but Willpower can be spent for auto successes. Spending Willpower in this way represents the intense focus required to master a Path and so if a character invests more than one Willpower into learning a path, he will be emotionally and psychologically vulnerable from the stress of the challenge.
All Thaumaturgical systems follow Revised Edition mechanics for Thaumaturgy found in VtM Core, Revised.
Below is a list of all Thaumaturgical Rituals available in WoDG. The rituals are listed by level associated Thaumaturgical Path. Player Characters must have knowledge of the associated Path at a level equal to the ritual's level in order to learn it. Only one ritual can be studied or developed at a time. If you are casting a ritual in game in a scene (not downtime), you must role play it out (No muttering off to the side or staying silent while you wait for the casting time to pass.).
Occult Library - Tremere Background
Lower ranking apprentices typically do not have many material possessions of their own, so most often this background rating relates to the rank of the Tremere. However, it is possible for Apprentices of the lower Circles to have a modest collection of their own. This means that starting characters may not have more than 2 dots in Occult Library. The rest they must earn ICly. You can read more about Occult Library in Blood Magic: The Secrets of Thaumaturgy (pg. 89).
Occult Library will adjust rolls for research, development and learning of new Thaumaturgical Paths and rituals. It will not confer bonus on Lores. In other words, players can't just say that their characters are perusing the chantry library and therefore they can now take Fae Lore.
1. A few books: +1 die to Occult pool.
2. A modest collection: +1 die to Occult pool, -1 to Occult Difficulties.
3. Many Noteworthy titles: +2 dice to Occult dice pool, -1 Difficulties.
4. A Wide variety of Lore: +2 dice to Occult Dice Pool, -2 to Occult Difficulties.
5. A veritable magical encyclopedia: +3 dice to occult dice pool, -2 to Occult Difficulties.
Researching and Learning Thaumaturgical Paths and Rituals
Thaumaturgical Rituals can only be learned from a master or recovered from a tome, scroll, archive, etc. Player Characters must have knowledge of the ritual's associated Path at a level equal to the ritual's level in order to learn it. Further there are a couple of nuances that players should be aware of while on the quest for knowledge with their characters:
Officially: All Rituals and Paths accessible and practiced within the Chantry are contingent upon the Regent's approval.
Unofficially: Tremere do and learn whatever they can get away with and jockey for position against rivals often setting each other up for reprimands and the like.
Every time a Thaumaturge gains a level in their Primary Path (Path of Blood), they can learn a ritual at that level or lower for free, but the Thaumaturge still needs to research the ritual in question and have access to the proper tomes. Any extra Rituals are learned based on the charts below and cost 4 XP x Ritual Level in XP. So an extra level 5 Thaumaturgical Ritual will cost 20 XP.
There are two steps that need to be completed before a player can add a new Path level or Ritual to his EXP Ticket:
- He must learn of the existence of the Path or Ritual he wishes to learn.
System: Intelligence+Occult+Occult Library Modifiers vs a Difficulty of the Ritual or Path level+5+Availability Modifier
- After learning of the existence of the Path or Ritual, he must successfully research it (this includes practice and/or experimentation) it if he wishes to learn.
System: Intelligence+Research+Occult Library Modifiers vs a Difficulty of the Ritual or Path level+5+Availability Modifier
Creating New Paths and Rituals
Thaumaturgy is a rigid art that offers some flexibility within the confines of its unwavering framework. That being the case, treading in uncharted waters takes time, effort, patience, luck, tenacity, and guts. Players are free to create their own Paths and Rituals, but it will not be easy. It is an arduous undertaking and sometimes dangerous. However, for those characters who dare to navigate into the unknown the effort can be very satisfying and rewarding.
Creating New Rituals
See: Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy (pg 86)
To create his own Thaumaturgical Ritual the Tremere must have an Occult rating of 5, a Thaumaturgy Rating one level higher than the ritual he or she wishes to create in the new ritual's Associated Path. He also must have access to a proper laboratory and library for research and experimentation. Should those requirements be met, the player submits a detailed draft of the ritual and its system in a Character Dossier Ticket. The Storyteller will make modifications and adjustments to it as required. The player then rolls as per the system below.
System: Extended roll Intelligence+Occult vs Difficulty 5+Ritual Level+Associated Path Availability. Each roll requires the expenditure of 2 Blood Points per the level of the ritual being invented. Threshold=3xs Ritual level in successes. Each roll represents one season of learning time (3 months). Occult Library does confer bonuses.
Modifying Existing Rituals
To modify an existing ritual, the player rolls as per the system above only the difficulty is 3+Ritual Level+Associated Path Availability.
Creating New Paths
See: Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy (pg 67)
Creating completely new Thaumaturgical Paths is not a casual undertaking. It requires serious devotion, study discipline, and time. While researching and creating a new path, the Tremere may not research or learn new existing paths or rituals. He must fully focus his free time on his work. This means that this sort of activity drains a player's options for their character's downtime in a significant way. However, if the Tremere is successful, he most certainly will gain a good deal of clan status. Modifying or tweaking an existing path is easier as it takes less time to research and experiment due to the fact that the Tremere already has a frame of reference from which to operate.
To create his own Thaumaturgical Path the Tremere must have an Occult rating of 5 and have access to a proper laboratory for experimentation. Each level of the path must be researched separately and each path level must be written up and defined as per the Thaumaturgy Ticket Form in the Character Dossier. The Storyteller will make modifications and adjustments to it as required. Then the player rolls as per the system below.
New Paths - Extended roll Intelligence+Occult vs Difficulty 5+Path Level. Threshold is 5 successes. Each roll requires the expenditure of 5 Blood Points per level of the path being researched. Each roll represents nine months (real time) of dedicated research, development, and experimentation. Occult Library does confer bonuses.
Modifying an Existing Path - Extended roll Intelligence+Occult vs Difficulty 3+Path Level. Threshold is 5 successes. Each roll requires the expenditure of 5 Blood Points per level of the path being researched. Each roll represents six months (real time) of dedicated research, development, and experimentation. Occult Library does confer bonuses.