Scum: The Masquerade
Scum: The Masquerade is a game that was created at a happy little place we lovingly call CTY Lancaster. One problem with this joyous, lovable place is the illegality of role-playing games. Many of the students shared a love of these so-called "RPG's", namely Vampire: the Masquerade, and would find a legal way to play them, no matter what. Another thing that these CTY students shared was a love of card games, especially a certain game called Scum. This was a freeform game that lent itself to the adaptation of many new twists. So then, the ever mind-boggling question was answered: What happens when you stick Vampire: the Masquerade and Scum together in a blender? And yes, the outcome was Scum: the Masquerade. This game quickly caught on at CTY; in its heyday, it was played by a vast number of CTYers.
- 1 How to Play Scum
- 2 The Masquerade
- 3 Ranks
- 4 Trading
- 5 Clans
- 6 Disciplines
- 7 Special Rules
- 8 Alternate ruleset: Gehenna edition
- 9 Discretion, Mutual Consent, and Exceptions
- 10 Appendix
- 11 Rules to be expanded upon at a future date
- 12 History and Contacts
How to Play Scum
Introduction and Objective
Scum, also known as Chinese Poker, Capitalism, Asshole, President, Presidents and Assholes, The Great Dalmuti, and Scum, is an incredibly fun game. Scum isn't too hard of a game to understand, the hard part is the Masquerade. Already knowing how to play one of the games listed above does help to understand Scum: the Masquerade, but you should still read over the basic rules due to some minor rule variations.
Scum can be played with anywhere from four to eight players, though playing with six or more requires that two decks be used. Cards are dealt evenly amongst the players, and the object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.
Card and Suit Ranks
Both a suit order and rank order unique to the game exist in Scum. Cards are ranked from 3, which is lowest, to 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A, and 2, which is highest. Cards of equal numerical value are further ranked according to suit: lowest suit is ♣, to ♦, ♠, and ♥, which is highest.
- Example: The 2♥ is the highest card in the game, and the 3♣ is the lowest.
- Example: The 9♠ beats the 9♣ and 9♦, but can be beaten by the 9♥.
To play Scum, you must assemble legal hands from the cards in your hand (hereafter referred to as your crypt). Those familiar with poker will be familiar with most of them:
- Single: The simplest hand consists of one card, any card.
- Pair: Two cards with the same numerical value.
- Two Pair: What it sounds like, two pairs.
- Triple: Three cards of the same rank.
- Quad: Four cards of the same rank.
- Full House: A pair and a triple
- Straight: Five cards of consecutive rank (e.g. 4,5,6,7,8). (Only in one-deck games)
When there are seven or eight players, use two decks of cards instead. If there are six players, either one or two decks may be used. In the case of two decks, cards with the same numerical value and suit, but from different decks, have equal values; neither is higher. The legal hands available in a two-deck game are the same as those for a one-deck game, plus:
- Three Pair: Three pairs
- Double Triple: Two triples
- Five of a Kind: Five cards of the same numerical value
- Six of a Kind: Six cards of the same numerical value
- Straight: Six cards whose numerical values are in order (e.g., T,J,Q,K,A,2). This hand is instead of, not in addition to, the five-card straight in one-deck games.
To begin, deal out all cards to the players equally. Unless playing with four or eight people, some players will receive an extra card. The player with the 3♣ in his crypt leads. In a two-deck game, one 3♣ is designated before the game begins as the one to be led (as the cards are dealt, the dealer will declare “the 3♣ from the blue-backed cards”, or something to that effect). The hand led may be of any type listed above, as long as it includes the designated 3♣.
Play then proceeds clockwise (to the left) from the leader. Each hand played after the lead in a given trick must be of the same hand type as the lead and the highest card in the hand played must be higher in value than the highest card of the previous hand. One may not play a “better” hand, as in poker, but must maintain the same hand type as the lead hand during the trick. Remember, in a two-deck game, a card from one deck is equal to, not better than, the same card from another deck, so one hand that is 7♣-high cannot play over another hand that is 7♣-high. If a player cannot or chooses not to play a hand, she may pass. If a player passes and then gets a chance to play again, she may play. The act of all players passing consecutively marks the end of a trick. The winner of the trick (the last person to play before the end of the trick) gets to lead the next trick, leading with any hand type she desires. Play continues until all players’ crypts are empty. These are just the basics of Scum; don’t expect the rest to be as simple.
- Before anything else, the first player to empty her crypt in the opening round has a few decisions to make:
- Decide which clans to allow in the game, and declare one to align with. See Allowed Clans.
- If this player chooses a Camarilla or Independent clan, use the Camarilla ranks below to assign each player a rank.
- If this player chooses a Sabbat clan, use the Sabbat ranks below.
- The remainder of this ruleset will refer to the top-ranked player as the Justicar, the second-ranked player as Prince, etc. regardless of clan, unless specified otherwise.
- Decide whether straight clans or loose clans are in effect. See the Clans section for more detail on this option. This does not affect the Caitiff.
- If loose clans were chosen, decide whether Camarilla and Independent players may take Protean as out-of-clan. If so, any Sabbat players may put their out-of-clan dot into Obtenebration or Vicissitude (their choice). This option is only available when both Sabbat and non-Sabbat clans are being played.
- Declare which disciplines her three dots will go into.
- Decide whether there should be any illegal trading allowed.
- Decide which clans to allow in the game, and declare one to align with. See Allowed Clans.
- In rank-order, all other players, expect the Caitiff and Mortal Scum, follow the next steps:
- Alter their seating clockwise around the Justicar (it’s good to be the King!)
- Based on the Justicar’s allowances, declare a clan and which disciplines will receive dots.
- The Prince has the power to declare a blood hunt.
- Any player who forgets to declare a clan before looking at his cards automatically declares Brujah with one dot in Potence, Presence, and Celerity.
- Caitiffs, hated by other Kindred, are clanless vampires, and follow these steps:
- Choose three different common disciplines.
- Caitiffs may always put one dot into Protean, and Panders may always put one dot into Obtenebration or Vicissitude or Protean.
- It is the Caitiff’s duty to insult all other players in the game as creatively as possible, especially at the request of higher ranks.
- Any Caitiff who forgets to declare disciplines before looking at her cards automatically declares Potence, Presence, and Celerity.
- The Mortal Scum follows these steps.
- Choose a specialty.
- Any Mortal Scum who forgets to declare a specialty before looking at his cards automatically declares Inquisitor.
- Shuffle and deal cards for the next round. For any card accidentally dealt face-up to another player, the Mortal Scum must show one of his own as penalty.
- For games with five to seven players, it is up to the Justicar who receives any “extra cards”. No one may look at these cards in order to decide who gets them. No player may receive more than one “extra” card in this way.
- Check for Infernalism. If any Infernalists have caused player ranks to change, re-resolve the above rules in the following way:
- If there is a new Justicar, he must re-decide all choices in 1, above.
- All other ex-Caitiffs and ex-Mortal Scums and all new Caitiffs and Mortal Scums must redeclare based on these new decisions.
- All (other) players (besides any which took Infernalism) may now look at their cards and can begin Forced and Optional Trading.
- Illegal trading may now take place, if the Justicar has so declared.
- Leading and Boons: Normally, the Justicar leads the first trick in a round. If the Justicar desires, he may grant a boon.
- A player other than the Justicar decides that he wants to lead the first trick.
- He asks the Justicar for a boon and shows the Justicar the hand he wishes to lead with.
- If the Justicar grants the boon, the player may lead the first trick, but must lead with the hand he showed the Justicar.
- Disciplines may be used on or after this hand, but are not required (and some, such as Celerity), may be bitchy.
- If the Justicar denies the boon, any player (including the one who just asked) may attempt to ask for another boon, or the Justicar may lead the first trick.
- Play follows the Justicar down rank. Once the Mortal Scum has a chance to play, the turn passes back to the Justicar and so on.
Scum: The Masquerade is a game of politics, and so players often make deals, frequently in the form of a player promising to pass, to play a certain hand, or possibly have sex with goats.
- The Next Round begins after all players have again emptied their crypts.
- An exception to this is if the Mortal Scum is the first to empty his crypt. If the Mortal Scum becomes Justicar, the round ends instantly and all ranks reverse: Justicar becomes Mortal Scum; Prince becomes Caitiff, and so on. This is known as a Revolution.
- If a new Justicar is crowned, he may change any of the decisions made by the previous Justicar, but they are not retroactive – if the previous Justicar allowed Sabbat Bloodlines but the current Justicar decided on Camarilla-only, and a Kiasyd is in play, then that Kiasyd may stay in play, but no one may newly-declare themselves Kiasyd.
- In fact, no one may change their clan, disciplines, or specialty unless they fall to or rise from the ranks of Caitiff or Mortal Scum. For the sole exception to this, see Conversion.
- 4 players: Justicar, Prince, Caitiff, Mortal Scum
- 5 players: Justicar, Prince, Seneschal, Caitiff, Mortal Scum
- 6 players: Justicar, Prince, Seneschal, Sheriff, Caitiff, Mortal Scum
- 7 players: Justicar, Prince, Seneschal, Sheriff, Harpy, Caitiff, Mortal Scum
- 8 players: Justicar, Prince, Seneschal, Sheriff, Harpy, Primatene, Caitiff, Mortal Scum
- 4 players: Regent, Cardinal, Pander, Mortal Scum
- 5 players: Regent, Cardinal, Archbishop, Pander, Mortal Scum
- 6 players: Regent, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, Pander, Mortal Scum
- 7 players: Regent, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, Ductus, Pander, Mortal Scum
- 8 players: Regent, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, Ductus, Primogen, Pander, Mortal Scum
After everyone is in order and all cards have been dealt, trading takes place. The trading phase can be thought of as a way for those of higher ranks to maintain their positions. Trading partners are generally paired down rank, with a few exceptions, and all pairs are listed below. If there are an odd number of players, the unpaired player gets to trade with himself. Fun! There are two kinds of trades: forced and optional. In a forced trade, the higher-ranking player asks the lower-ranking player for a card and if the lower-ranking player has it, she must give it up whether she likes it or not. The lower-ranking player can ask the higher-ranking player for a specific card in a forced trade, but the higher-ranking player only has to trade it if she wants to. Nevertheless, the higher-ranking player must give some card to the lower-ranking player. In an optional trade, both players may ask for cards but neither player has to give anything up. The number of players limits the number of cards traded:
- Justicar/Mortal Scum: 2 forced
- Prince/Caitiff: 1 forced
- Justicar/Mortal Scum: 1 forced
- Prince/Seneschal: 1 optional
- Caitiff: 1 optional with self
- Justicar/Mortal Scum: 2 forced
- Prince/Caitiff: 1 forced
- Seneschal/Sheriff: 1 optional
- Justicar/Mortal Scum: 2 forced
- Prince/Caitiff: 1 forced
- Seneschal/Sheriff: 1 optional
- Harpy: 1 optional with self
- Justicar/Mortal Scum: 2 forced
- Prince/Caitiff: 1 forced, 1 optional
- Seneschal/Primatene: 1 forced
- Sheriff/Harpy: 1 optional
At any time during the game, usually (but not necessarily) during the trading phase, players may choose to conspire with each other. Two players conspire by looking at each other's crypts. Players do not have to be in a trading pair to conspire, but conspiring players cannot exchange extra cards.
- There are many clans of vampires, each with their own distinct character and choice of disciplines. Vampires are encouraged to role-play their clan personalities in-game.
- The clans are in three basic groupings.
- The Camarilla is the largest vampiric political organization with six separate clans claiming membership, and believes vampires should try to cling to their fading humanity as long as possible. As such, it is the more "civilized" of the two large sects, at least on the surface.
- The Sabbat takes a more radical view, espousing the acceptance of one's bestial nature and the subjugation of humanity by deadly force. Camarilla members often characterize the Sabbat as mindless killing machines, and this is frequently (though not always) the case.
- The rest of the clans are not members of any major political organization and are regarded as Independent. Members of independent clans rarely become Prince, although this is possible, but they can never become Justicar. If an independent player is the first to get rid of all her cards (and claim themselves Justicar), they have the choice to either redeclare their clan to Camarilla (or Sabbat, if they are allowed) or automatically fall to the rank of Prince. This does not apply to the first Justicar in a game; he may choose any clan from the groups he allows, even one that normally cannot be Justicar. After all, sometimes strange things do occur in the World of Darkness.
- Straight Clans: By decree of the Justicar, all three discipline dots must be spent on in-clan disciplines (either 1-1-1 or 2-1-0). If the Justicar does not explicitly declare this before declaring her own disciplines, the rule is assumed to be Loose Clans.
- Loose Clans: Two discipline dots must be put into clan disciplines (either two dots into one discipline, or one dot each into two) and the third may be put into either a clan discipline or any common discipline.
- No player may put all three discipline dots into the same discipline
- Clan-unique disciplines (Protean, Thaumaturgy, or Obtenebration, for example) may not be taken as out-of-clan unless otherwise specified in the clan's description or as allowed by the Justicar.
- To use a discipline during the game, a player spends one of her dots in that discipline, so the number of dots in a discipline is the number of times a player can use it per round.
- At no time can more than one of the same discipline be used on the same hand, unless the discipline’s rules state specifically otherwise. This rule also affects disciplines that imitate other disciplines, so using Thaumaturgy-Protean and regular Protean on the same hand is illegal.
- An example of how one would use a discipline during a game is as follows. Say the trick is currently pairs. It is Belle Brujah’s turn; she has a dot of Potence and holds K♥K♣ in her crypt. Currently on the table is A♠A♣. Belle would like to play her pair of Kings, but they’re not high enough. However, if she plays them and uses a dot of Potence, her pair of Kings become effectively A♥-high, beating the A♠-high pair that was on the table.
- Disciplines may not be used until after Forced and Optional trading is over (so no being evil with Quietus until the game starts… although Quietus may be used to put a damper on illegal trading if desired).
Below is a list of clans with their in-clan disciplines.
- Brujah - Celerity, Potence, Presence
- Malkavian - Auspex, Dementation, Obfuscate
- Nosferatu - Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence
- Toreador - Auspex, Celerity, Presence
- Tremere - Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy
- Ventrue - Dominate, Fortitude, Presence
A couple of notes to new players: Dementation is relatively powerful in games of only Camarilla vampires. It is at the current Justicar's discretion whether a Malkavian may elect to take Dominate in Camarilla-only games. In other games, it is up to any individual Malkavians. Also, you might want to stop reading clans here. The further you stray from the basic Camarilla clans, the weirder the disciplines tend to get. They're more complicated, harder to remember, and less finely balanced. In short: "advanced players only - all others at your own risk".
- Assamite Antitribu - Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus
- Brujah Antitribu - Celerity, Potence, Presence
- City Gangrel - Celerity, Obfuscate, Protean
- Country Gangrel - Animalism, Fortitude, Protean
- Lasombra - Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence
- Malkavian Antitribu - Auspex, Dementation, Obfuscate
- Nosferatu Antitribu - Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence
- Ravnos Antitribu - Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude
- Serpents of the Light - Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis
- Toreador Antitribu - Auspex, Celerity, Presence
- Tzimisce - Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude
- Ventrue Antitribu - Dominate, Fortitude, Presence
- Assamite - Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus
- Followers of Set - Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis; may take Path of Corruption as out of clan
- Gangrel - Animalism, Fortitude, Protean
- Giovanni - Dominate, Necromancy, Potence
- Ravnos - Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude
Below is a list of bloodlines with their in-clan disciplines. The Justicar always has jurisdiction over whether bloodlines may be played, as most of them are extremely rare.
- Gargoyles - Fortitude, Potence, Visceratika
- Lasombra Antitribu - Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence
- Malkavian (with Dominate) - Auspex, Dominate, Obfuscate
- Blood Brothers - Fortitude, Potence, Sanguinus
- Harbingers of Skulls - Auspex, Fortitude, Necromancy; may take Mortuus path of Necromancy as 2nd in-clan dot with a dot of Necromancy
- Kiasyd - Dominate, Mytherceria, Obtenebration
- Salubri Antitribu - Auspex, Fortitude, Valeren
- Tzimisce (Koldun) - Animalism, Auspex, Koldunic Sorcery
- Assamites (viziers) - Obfuscate, Quietus, Thaumaturgy
- Baali - Daimoinon, Obfuscate, Presence
- Daughters of Cacophony - Fortitude, Melpominee, Presence
- Followers of Set (Serpent Warriors) - Potence, Presence, Serpentis
- Laibon - Abombwe, Animalism, Fortitude
- Nagaraja - Auspex, Dominate, Necromancy; may take Vitreous path of Necromancy as 2nd in-clan dot with a dot of Necromancy
- Ravnos (Phuri Dae) - Auspex, Animalism, Chimerstry
- Salubri - Auspex, Fortitude, Obeah
- Samedi - Fortitude, Obfuscate, Thanatosis; may take Necromancy as out-of-clan if desired.
- True Brujah - Potence, Presence, Temporis
Lost Clans and Bloodlines:
- Ahrimanes - Animalism, Fortitude, Spiritus; may take Protean as out of clan if desired
- Cappadocians - Auspex, Fortitude, Mortis
- Children of Osiris - All Children of Osiris must take two dots of Bardo, plus one dot of any other Discipline, even a unique one; this is because the Children gain new members only by conversion and not by the Embrace, since their blood is infertile.
- Lamia - Deimos, Mortis, Potence
- Lhiannan - Animalism, Ogham, Presence
- Telyavelic Tremere - Auspex, Presence, Thaumaturgy
- Tremere Antitribu - Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy
Disciplines in this section are divided into four categories.
Any discipline listed here may always be taken as out-of-clan.
Animalism - Choose a rank between 3 and 10, inclusive and search through the discard pile for one. If more than one card of this rank exists, you may choose the suit. Add this card to your crypt. The card may be from the hand you’re playing on, but may not be the high card in that hand. If you are Presence'd after you use Animalism, you must keep the card and the Animalism is considered used. If no card with the chosen rank can be drawn, the Animalism is wasted.
Auspex - Examine another player’s crypt. It is considered bastardly to announce to others what cards are in another player’s crypt. Non-game related uses of Auspex are permissible; the player using Auspex must ask a single yes-or-no-format question. OR cancel any use of Obfuscate OR cancel any use of Chimerstry. If Auspex is used to cancel a discipline, both Auspex and the other discipline are considered used.
Celerity - Play immediately on the hand that you just played. You must pass on your next turn (within the trick) after using Celerity (you do not have to pass if you gain the lead through Celerity). If you play Celerity after Obfuscate, both hands must beat the second-highest hand and may not be equal to each other. No other players can do anything mid-Celerity; it's just too damn fast (unless they have Temporis). You may not ever control the disciplines of Celerity and Temporis at the same time. No other rules may be followed to create this situation. OR cancel a usage of Temporis. In this case, both discipline dots are considered used.
Dark Thaumaturgy - A Meta-Discipline. Imitate any common discipline as it applies to ♣. Anyone, even a Caitiff or Pander, may take Dark Thaumaturgy as out-of-clan; however, see Infernalism for an explanation of its downside.
Dominate - Force someone to play. If you are of a higher rank than they are, you can tell them how to play, i.e., "Beat this as high as you can," or "Beat this as low as you can," or "Beat this with the 7♥." If the player cannot play as you have ordered, then the discipline is considered used. A Dominate'd player may be Presence'd, but the Domination carries over until the player is not Presence'd. If a player cannot play on the hand or goes out, then the Domination is lost. Dominate cannot force the use of disciplines. Dominate cannot be used on a lead. Non-game-related uses of Dominate are permissible and usually consist of commanding a player to get snacks or act like an animal. All uses of Dominate, even non-game-related ones, must be positive rather than negative; you must be telling someone to do something rather than not to do something. A command such as "Avoid doing x" stills count as negative, so it is not allowed.
Fortitude - Increase the rank of your hand by 1 when someone tries to play on it (essentially delayed-reaction Potence). May be used when someone who is trying to play on your hand uses Potence or Visceratika. If the hand played on the Fortitude’d hand no longer beats it, it is returned to the player and all disciplines used on that hand are considered unused and it is still that player’s turn. Fortitude may be used on a played hand in response to someone else’s Fortitude.
Obfuscate - Play under the hand just played. The hand you play must beat the hand it is played over, although not necessarily be lower than the hand it’s played under. Obfuscate counts as your turn; therefore, you may not Obfuscate if Presence'd. Obfuscate cannot be used either under the lead or as the lead. You may not take the lead by using Obfuscate. You also may not Obfuscate under something you played (because that’s the same as Celerity, you cheater). You may not go out using Obfuscate OR cancel a use of Auspex used on you. In this case, both discipline dots are considered used).
Potence – Increase the rank of all cards in a hand you play by 1. A Potenced 2 becomes an e (2.71828) (and if subsequently Fortitude'd, it becomes a π (3.14159)). May still be used after someone uses Fortitude on the hand you're trying to play on.
Presence - Force someone to pass once. This is generally considered a bitchy thing to do, as it is quite intrusive. It cannot be used on the lead. Presence must be used before the person puts their hand on the table (or floor or whatever). This applies to disciplines that mimic Presence as well (i.e. Thaumaturgy-Presence). You may use this to stop someone from using Chimerstry, Daimoinon, or such a discipline after they've already declared that they're using it (but certainly before the next player in turn plays), but that discipline is considered not used in this case (so they can just pull it out again on their next turn).
This is the list of clan-unique disciplines. Only clans listed at the end of each discipline's description may put any dots into that discipline. Variations of the clan are assumed. Thus, if it says "Ravnos", then Ravnos Antitribu and the Phuri Dae are included, while "Gangrel" includes both the City Gangrel and Country Gangrel.
Abombwe - When used, this discipline allows all 2s and aces in your hand to function as wild cards in the current hand only; their value must decrease in rank when they are used, however. Thus, 2s can become anything from 3 to ace, and aces can become anything from 3 to King. (Laibon)
Bardo - Counter one usage of a discipline that affects a player (i.e. Dominate, Presence, etc) but not a player's hand or card (so Thanatosis or Potence cannot be countered this way, for instance). The discipline countered is considered used, and the Bardo is used. The only disciplines that may be countered with Bardo are Auspex, Bardo, Deimos (only when the Deimos-user chooses someone other than themselves), Dementation, Dominate, Mytherceria, Presence, Quietus, Serpentis (primary usage only), and Temporis. Any discipline that mimics any of these (Thaumaturgy, Necromancy, etc) is also fair game, as is any discipline that counters another discipline (alternate uses of Obfuscate, Auspex, etc). (Children of Osiris)
Chimerstry - Play an imaginary hand with all cards exactly one higher than the current hand on top of the current one. This is quite useful for getting leads. Chimerstry cannot be used on a hand containing a natural 2 or ace. No hand-altering disciplines (e.g. Potence, Fortitude) may be used on a Chimerstric hand, because it is not real! Since the hand you are creating is exactly one higher than the hand you are playing on, if you have been Presence'd with respect to a particular suit, and the hand beneath your Chimerstry has the prohibited suit in it, your imaginary hand would also, and thus you can't use Chimerstry (so you get your dot back but can't use Chimerstry). OR cancel a usage of Auspex. In this case, both discipline dots are considered used. (Ravnos)
Daimoinon - "Summon" a new hand from cards that have already been played, and play it on top of the current one. None of the cards "summoned" may be from the hand being played on, and they also may not all be from the same hand (thus, you may not summon a single). Also, none of them may be higher than a King. If no hand can be assembled to beat the current hand, the dot of Daimoinon is wasted. Enhancing disciplines such as Potence, Protean, or Fortitude may be used on a Daimoinon-created hand. (Baali)
Deimos - Choose any player, including you. The next person who plays on a hand played by the chosen player may give you a card of your choice from their crypt (you can ask them about their crypt as many times as it takes to find a card of theirs you want; if they have nothing you want, you may refuse). (Lamia)
Dementation - Prevent a player of your choice from playing a single suit until the next lead. Dementation can force a player to lose his lead if his only remaining suit is the one prevented and he has no other way to lead another suit (e.g. Animalism). (Malkavian)
Melpominee - "Break" any card off of the current hand except the high card (possibly making an illegal hand). Thus, a triple becomes a pair, two pair becomes a pair and a single, and a straight can be missing a hole in any position, and so a “one, skip one, three”, “two, skip one, two”, or “three, skip one, one” can be created in addition to the four-card variety, and so on. This can, of course, be extrapolated for two-deck games. You cannot Melpominee singles, you weirdo. (Daughters of Cacophony)
Mortis - "Kill" the last hand that was played, and place it on the bottom of the pile. This hand must be the hand that was played directly on top of the last hand that you played. The Mortis’d player loses his turn and play continues clockwise. Mortis may not be used on a hand containing any natural 2s (but Potenced aces are fair game). Mortis may not be used on a hand you Obfuscate’d under. (Cappadocians, Lamia)
Mytherceria - Reverses the suit order for the rest of the trick. ♣ are highest, then ♦, ♠, and ♥. (Kiasyd)
Necromancy (the Vitreous Path) - Take any ♠ from the pile and put it in your crypt. If there is no ♠ in the pile, the player uses up her dot of Necromancy. (Nagaraja)
Obeah - "Heal" a hole in a hand by creating an imaginary card that completes the hand as it is played. This discipline can only be used for free (i.e. without using up any remaining dots) on the behalf of someone else as long as the player with Obeah has at least one dot remaining, since the Salubri advocate selflessness martyrdom. The card created may not be the highest card in the hand. OR Cancel any usage of Valeren. Both discipline dots are considered to be used. (Salubri)
Obtenebration - Change the value of a ♣ or ♠ within its category (3 to 10; face card; or ace & 2). Thus a 4 can become a 10, a Jack can become a King, Ace and 2 can be interchanged. The Obtenebrate'd card may become the highest card in the hand, but only if this does not increase its value by more than 2. You may not change the suit of the card, only its value. (Lasombra, Kiasyd)
Ogham - "Trade" a card no lower than a 6 for two or more cards in the pile whose combined numeric values equal or are less than the traded card’s numeric value. Jacks are worth 11, Queens 12, Kings 13, Aces 14, and 2s 15 for the purposes of this discipline. You must declare the rank(s) of what card(s) you’re looking for, and if no such card(s) exists in the pile, the discipline is wasted. You may create an entire hand with this discipline if you wish, but all of the cards picked up may not be from the hand you’re playing on OR "Trade" a card no lower than 5 for one other card whose numeric value (see above) is one or two less than the one you are trading with the pile. Any traded card is placed at the bottom of the pile. (Lhiannan)
Protean - Move one card in a hand numerically up or down one, in order to complete that hand. You cannot use Protean to make a card which would not otherwise be the high card into the high card of the hand, but you may Protean a card which is already the high card up or down. Protean cannot be used on singles. A 3 that is Protean'd down creates a TMO (Three Minus One) and may be used to complete a 7-6-5-4-3-TMO or 6-5-4-3-TMO straight. (Gangrel)
Quietus - Choose a player. From the time of use, that player may not engage in any speaking, not including the word "pass" or the words indicating any of their disciplines. Answering yes-or-no Auspex questions is exempt from the taint of Quietus. Every time the person breaks this restriction, they lose one dot of a Discipline of the Quietus-caster's choice. This restriction ends when the caster of Quietus goes out or chooses to lift it; Quietus does not cease its power after the target talks once. Quietus may only be activated after forced and optional trades have transpired. Talking to people who aren’t playing in the same game of Scum or aren’t playing Scum at all doesn’t count as talking; neither does making rule clarifications or helping someone who doesn’t know the rules. OR force someone to pick up a card from the pile; the card may not be higher than an 8. (This may not be used on yourself (that’s called Animalism, you cheater), although the standard usage may, in case you ever have the burning desire to shut yourself up.) The card may not be from a hand they have played. The discipline should not be used to help someone when they’re trying to go out. This is supposed to be a mean thing to do, so using it on someone you’re known to be conspiring with is very bad form (although not prohibited). (Assamites)
Sanguinus - Pass a hand to another Blood Brother for them to play. The Blood Brother playing the hand leads if the hand wins a trick. OR trade up to 2 cards with another Blood Brother (Blood Brothers)
Serpentis - Same rules and targets as Bardo, but may only be used on behalf of someone else; in return, that person must give one dot of one of their disciplines to the person using Serpentis for them. (Never make a bargain with a Setite...) If Serpentis is canceled (i.e. by Bardo), the Setite still gets the discipline from the unfortunate victim; it's a Faustian arrangement. OR sneak a single card into a hand; that card has no effect on the hand. You may go out in this way. (Followers of Set, Serpents of the Light)
Spiritus - May be used as either Protean or Animalism; if used as Protean, may be "stacked" with one use of normal Protean. May be used to move one card by two ranks or two card by one rank each. (Ahrimanes)
Temporis – Physically switch places with another player in the turn order for up to the duration of a trick (but for as little as one hand). May be ended at will. May be used to go twice before the person switched has even gone once (i.e. switch, play, then switch back and play again, or play, switch, then play again), but if this is done, you lose your next turn. Unlike Celerity, a lead may be lost in this way, and if so, the lead is awarded to the person you switched with, even if this isn't the person it would normally go to. You may not ever have the disciplines of Celerity and Temporis at the same time. No other rules may be followed to create this situation. OR Cancel any usage of Celerity. In this case, both discipline dots are considered used. OR Play between OR under both hands played by another player using Celerity (as if you were using Obfuscate). (True Brujah)
Valeren - Use when you play a hand (not when someone tries to play on your hand - by then it’s too late). That hand must now be beaten naturally (without the use of Potence, Protean, etc). Valeren may not be used on hands that have been enhanced with disciplines either. Fortitude or similar disciplines may also not be used subsequently to Valeren. Obeah is the one and only exception to these two restrictions (though disciplines, like Animalism, that affect your crypt, can possibly still be of use). Valeren may not be used on a hand containing the 2♥. OR cancel a use of Obeah. In this case, both discipline dots are considered used. (Salubri Antitribu)
Vicissitude - Play a legal hand with up to one card more or less than the current hand type; the high card must still beat the previous hand. The new hand type remains in effect for the rest of the trick. You may not lead with Vicissitude. (Tzimisce)
Visceratika - May be used to imitate either Potence or Fortitude; may be "stacked" with either one or both (so 2s increased 3 times (first Potence'd, then Fortitude'd and Visceratika’d, or first Potence'd, then Visceratika’d, then Fortitude'd) become bleem, the integral √15 between 3 and 4 (of course)). OR increase the value of one card in your hand by 2 (not stackable with Fortitude or Potence). (Gargoyles)
Mortal Scum Specialties
Starred options are standard, while non-starred ones are special and require the Justicar’s permission each time they are chosen.
Annoying Little Kid (a.k.a. "squirrel") - 10 dots of non-game-related Auspex (yes, ten questions that must be truthfully answered). (Think Elmira from “Tiny Toon Adventures” - "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" "Why?"...ad infinitum)
Cute Little Fluffy Bunny of Death (a.k.a. "Bunnicula") - One dot of non-game-related Auspex (e.g. What color is your underwear?), one dot of Super-Duper-Old-School Auspex (which allows you to look at the back of someone's crypt - yes, the red or blue side, not the important side), and one dot of Cute Little Bastard (which acts as a Presence, even on a lead, but a sickeningly cute face must be made in order for it to work correctly - a consensus of players must agree to the face's cuteness. If the face is deemed not cute enough, the dot is wasted).
Fortune-Teller - 3 dots of Auspex, non-game-related use is strongly encouraged.
Ghoul (servitor)* - Sub-vampires with a vampire sponsor. Choose a non-Sabbat player to be your domitor; that person can use Dominate on you for free without having or spending any dots of it. Put one dot into one of the following three disciplines: Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude. Also put one dot into one of your domitor's disciplines (even a clan-unique).
Hedge Mage* - Practitioners of mortal magical paths. They receive one dot of Dark Thaumaturgy (but are impervious to Infernalism, as they are not actually vampires) and one dot of Path of Corruption (see Meta-Disciplines).
Inquisitor* - A student of the occult, who has somehow discovered the existence of vampires. They have one dot of Inquisition or "I threaten to break the Masquerade." Every player then must pass; in other words, the player who last played instantly gains the lead. The Mortal Scum usually uses this discipline only on himself, but it may be used for others.
Librarian - 3 dots of Quietus, primary use only (Shh!). Justicars are encouraged to think carefully before allowing this in a four-player game.
Man of Faith - Two dots of Bardo.
Revenant - Ghouls who are born and bred with diluted vampiric blood in their veins. Put one dot into each of two of the following disciplines: Potence, Celerity, Fortitude, Vicissitude, Animalism, and Auspex. Because Revenants only exist in the Sabbat, they may only be played when at least one Sabbat vampire is in play. Also, because the Tzimisce created the Revenant Families, all Tzimisce are treated as domitors to a Revenant and receive the Dominate benefit (see above, under Ghoul (servitor)).
School Teacher - 3 dots of non-game-related Auspex, 3 dots of non-game-related Dominate (being overly pedantic with these is strongly encouraged).
True Mage - 1 dot of True Magic (see Meta-Disciplines).
Vampire Hunter - 1 dot of Potence, 1 dot of Wooden Stake (force one vampire (this may not be used on yourself!) to pass for the rest of the trick; may not be used on a lead).
Vozhd (war ghoul) - Hideous creations of the Tzimisce, made from several people grafted together with Vicissitude to form an incredibly strong, angry beast. 1 dot of Potence, 1 dot of GRAAAAAGH! (Same as Cute Little Bastard, except a horribly disfigured/disgusting/scary face and an equally disfigured/disgusting/scary noise must be made for it to work correctly. Again, if players deem it not scary enough, the discipline does not take effect and is wasted).
This section explains the use of Thaumaturgy, Dark Thaumaturgy, Path of Corruption, Necromancy, Koldunic Sorcery, and True Magic... Basically, the Meta-Discipline is used as another discipline, but only applying to a single suit.
Thaumaturgy - ♥
Necromancy - ♠
Path of Corruption - ♦
Dark Thaumaturgy - ♣
Koldunic Sorcery - One suit, chosen before cards are seen
True Magic - One suit, chosen when used
We will use normal Thaumaturgy as an example, as it is relatively common. You would use Thaumaturgy by calling out "Thaumaturgy Animalism" or something similar. Disciplines that may be used with a meta-discipline are:
Animalism - The suit chosen must be a ♥.
Auspex - The chosen player must show you all the ♥ that she has in her crypt.
Celerity - The second hand played by you must be entirely ♥.
Fortitude - The hand you use Fortitude on must be entirely ♥.
Obfuscate - The hand Obfuscate'd must be entirely ♥.
Potence - The hand Potence'd must be entirely ♥, OR all ♥ in the hand are Potence'd (this may make a "nothing" hand into a real one)
Presence - The targeted player may not play any ♥ for the current hand. *
Protean - The card changed must be a ♥.
Thaumaturgy - That’s just silly!!
- Unlike the regular Presence, this may be used on a lead only when applying to basic Thaumaturgy (♥). Man, the Tremere are bitches, aren't they?
Meta-Discipline [x] counts as if you are using [x] outside of the Meta-Discipline. Therefore, [x] cannot be played again over this. That is, with the use of Thaumaturgy-Potence, a use of Potence in addition on the same hand is illegal. If a discipline is not listed above, a Meta-Discipline cannot be used with it. However, Thaumaturgy-Protean can be used by a player even if that player could not normally take Protean as a discipline. Just to be clear, Thaumaturgy-Potence can't be used twice either.
- The Justicar may choose which groups are allowed to reside in his or her territory.
- The six Camarilla clans must always be allowed (however, due to Thaumaturgy, Tremeres may be barred from beginner games).
- The Justicar may decide separately for Independent clans, Sabbat clans, Camarilla bloodlines, Sabbat bloodlines, Independent bloodlines, and Lost Clans and Bloodlines.
- Now that the Gangrel are Independent, Independents are more tolerated.
- The Justicar may also declare that only 'The 13' are allowed which means only the main thirteen clans (and their Antitribu varieties) (Assamite, Brujah, Followers of Set, Gangrel, Giovanni, Lasombra, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Toreador, Tremere, Tzimisce, and Ventrue) are permitted.
If there are any Baali or Children of Osiris in play at the beginning of a round, other players may choose to convert to membership in either bloodline, even if they are not allowed to redeclare otherwise.
- New Baali replace one of their in-clan disciplines with Daimoinon.
- New Children of Osiris take two dots of Bardo and one dot of any of their old in-clan disciplines (even unique ones).
- Gangrel may also choose to become Ahrimanes if any Ahrimanes are in play; doing so converts at least one dot of Protean to Spiritus (if the Gangrel has no dots of Protean, of course, none are converted).
- Only the Justicar may declare a session of Illegal Trading
- During such a session, any player may trade any number of cards with any other player, although they must receive the same number of cards they give. Players should be careful with this, as it is easy to get an incredible hand very quickly.
- Lasts for the current round only; if the next Justicar wants illegal trading in the next round, he must declare it again.
- The Justicar also has the power to end illegal trading. The most effective method for moderating illegal trading is usually to set a time limit (30 seconds, 1 minute, etc) so that super-hands don't happen.
- The Prince has the power to call Blood Hunts at any time.
- A Blood Hunt kicks a player out of the game.
- Blood Hunts are decided by vote. To pass the Blood Hunt, there must be a unanimous vote excluding the accused and the Mortal Scum. If the vote passes, the player who was Blood Hunted no longer plays.
- This is a rather extreme measure and players are advised to use it with caution as the game is much less fun if nobody's playing. In other words, only do this when a player is really being an ass; this is a formal way of saying "We don't want you to play with us anymore."
Drops in Rank
- If something happens that causes someone to drop in rank, the next highest person assumes the former rank of the player who dropped in rank.
- If more than one person drops to the same position at the same time (i.e. two people drop to Mortal Scum simultaneously from Infernalism or some such thing), whoever had the higher position before becoming Mortal Scum becomes Caitiff instead (and so on up the line if it happens to three or more people).
- Otherwise, the order in which the people lost rank determines what their new ranks are (i.e. someone gets dropped to Mortal Scum, then someone else does two minutes later, so the first one then becomes Caitiff).
Exceptions to Endgame Rules and Player Ranking
- If the last hand a player plays contains a natural 2♥ (even if it is changed in value by Potence or Protean or hidden by an alternate use of Serpentis), that player automatically becomes Mortal Scum.
- If this happens twice in a two-deck game, the first person to go out on the 2♥ becomes Caitiff and the second becomes Mortal Scum.
Visceratika being as potentially unbalancing as it is, the Gargoyles also have a weakness. Because of hundreds of years of subjugation by the Tremere, the Gargoyles are still very easily influenced by them. Any Tremere can use Dominate for free (i.e. without spending any dots of it) on Gargoyles, even if he has no dots of it himself. However, the command of the highest-ranking Tremere always takes precedence.
Hunted Clans & Bloodlines
The Children of Osiris, Baali, and Salubri are all considered to be hunted for one reason or another. If a member of any of these clans ever becomes Justicar or Prince, that person automatically drops to Mortal Scum after serving that round (having been killed by other Kindred when they found out his or her clan). This does not apply to the Salubri Antitribu.
- Because Dark Thaumaturgy can only be learned from demons, it carries with it a price - the taint of Infernalism.
- For every dot of Dark Thaumaturgy taken by a player, that player must write down the name of a unique card on a piece of paper before cards are dealt (A♠, 5♣, or whatever). A player with more than one dot of Dark Thaumaturgy may not write down the same card more than once.
- If the player is then dealt that card, he keeps the same cards but becomes Mortal Scum, as his demonic masters have come to claim his soul and drag it down to serve them in the nether-realms. As a result, all Infernalists must look at their hands before everyone else.
- Because of their clan's affiliation with the darker powers, all Baali are considered to be Infernalists even if they have no Dark Thaumaturgy, and as such must select one card at the beginning of each game in any case (or one extra card, if they've opted for a dot of Dark Thaumaturgy).
Malkavian Madness Network
All Malkavians with Dementation, regardless of Camarilla or Sabbat affiliation, share a special bond that they call the Weavery or the Malkavian Madness Network. This is simulated in Scum: the Masquerade by allowing each Malkavian to send one card from his crypt to each other Malkavian once per round. This may be used for trading or simply to give someone a card that either you don't want or that you think will help your clanmate.
Creative Discipline Uses
Creativity is strongly encouraged when employing disciplines. For example, if someone with Auspex wishes to ask someone else, "Where's the beef?" that person should be applauded (and then perhaps snickered at, because hey, that joke is more than 25 years old). Non-game-related usages should be suitably freeform (in the case of Auspex, not necessarily yes-or-no). Dominate also works well in this regard (i.e. "Go drink some water from the toilet"). Obviously, this is all meant in good fun, and no penalties should result if someone refuses. The Justicar may rule that non-game-related uses of disciplines do not use up the discipline in question, although this should only be reserved for truly inspired displays.
Alternate ruleset: Gehenna edition
Unlike the ruleset above, Gehenna is specifically a seven-player, two-deck game with a defined ending.
The first round plays as normal. At the end of first round, the Justicar chooses to be Camarilla or Sabbat. At that point, the 4th (Sheriff) and 5th (Harpy) players to go out must also choose a clan in whichever sect the Justicar decides. The three may decide together which clans each should be. Two or more may choose to be the same clan if they wish, but it's not necessary. No more than one may choose to be a Camarilla or Sabbat bloodline. If there is a disagreement as to which Vampire gets to be the bloodline, the decision is up to the highest-ranking player. Independent clans, bloodlines, and lost clans and bloodlines are not used.
This same scenario then plays out for players seated 2nd (Prince), 3rd (Seneschal), and 6th (Caitiff). Due to the fact that the sixth position is Caitiff, this makes things interesting. At all times, the Caitiff must follow the laws of the clan of which s/he is a member, but s/he still may not choose a full clan. This means that a Pander may (but is not required to) choose one of Obtenebration or Vicissitude or Protean (and two other common disciplines), but a Caitiff may only opt for Protean. If a Caitiff of a clan rises to a clan chair (Justicar through Harpy), she must declare a clan in their sect (either Camarilla or Sabbat), and may declare a bloodline if that particular sect doesn't currently have one playing.
These two sects of three players each comprise a 'team' until further notice. The goal of each team is to sit themselves 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (Justicar, Prince, Seneschal) and hold this for a predetermined number of rounds (two full rounds is recommended). That is, a team finishes Justicar-Prince-Seneschal (in any order among the players) two rounds in a row, holding their positions within the group for the round in between. The players on each team may choose to cooperate if they so desire, but it is not required. Of course, cooperating will often help.
Finally, the Mortal Scum. The Scum is not part of either team and may choose and change allegiance at will. The teams may choose to vie for the allegiance of the Scum in any way they see fit. (Suddenly, the Librarian's three dots of Quietus seem a lot more useful, eh?) If a Mortal Scum rises to another rank, s/he becomes part of the team of the (ex-)vampire who replaces him/her as Mortal Scum. Thus, if a Camarilla member falls to Mortal Scum, then the previous Mortal Scum will become a member of the Camarilla and must declare a Camarilla clan (unless assuming the role of Caitiff, then see rules above governing Caitiffs in clans)
Discretion, Mutual Consent, and Exceptions
If there is no rule specifying whether or not something is allowed, the Justicar has discretion on it. This applies to rule clarifications only. For new rules or fun things someone comes up with, see the next paragraph.
Anything is possible in Scum: the Masquerade with the consent of all players. A common example of this is playing out of order up to a certain number (for example, Belle Brujah wants to play her 4♦, but Gabe Gangrel has the 4♥ and sits before her; if everyone agrees to it, play can proceed based on who has the next highest card for a certain amount of time, up to the 6♥ for example, and then resume normally. This allows both players to play their low cards without getting screwed over). Other examples are too numerous to list, but you can figure them out.
Finally, the Golden Rule of Vampire: the Masquerade also applies to Scum: the Masquerade - the rules are flexible; the point is to have fun. If you don’t like a rule or don’t understand it or think it’s stupid, then change it for your game. That’s why house rules exist. If you just don’t like it because it’s new and you’ve never tried it, though, at least give the rule a fighting chance; the new rules for Scum have been play-tested quite extensively to work out any bugs, so chances are the rules make sense in some fashion if you think about them for a bit.
Descriptions of Clans
Brujah - Idealists and iconoclasts; formerly known as the warrior-scholars. Many are simple punks, but many others are true intellectuals. No two Brujah are the same, save that they all have a pet cause, be it simple anarchy or a complex intellectual or political viewpoint that they will defend to the death.
Malkavian - Malkavians are a twisted dichotomy - on the one hand, each and every one of them is incurably insane, while on the other, they also seem to possess insight that eludes even other Kindred. Some Malkavians say that the clan's symbol, the shattered mirror, helps to explain this dichotomy, for only by shattering one's mind and perceptions can one see the truth of reality.
Nosferatu - Simultaneously reviled for their physical ugliness but prized for their legendary information network, the Nosferatu are traditionally the spies and information-gatherers of the Kindred. They are masters of the sewers, and also of the animals that dwell there.
Toreador - Choose a vampire depicted in an Anne Rice novel, and chances are that that vampire fits the stereotype of the Toreador. Perhaps the closest to the mortals who provide their sustenance, the Toreador cultivate art of all kinds, dedicating their long and sometimes lonely existence to producing that which transcends time.
Tremere - Among many vampires of the Camarilla, "Never trust a Tremere" is a rule to live by. Foremost among the reasons for this is that the Tremere, the clan of blood-mages and masters of Thaumaturgy, is the only clan that requires all of its members to swear allegiance to the clan above allegiance to the Camarilla. Tremere are known for their ruthlessness and their cunning along with their magical prowess.
Ventrue - The politicians and bureaucrats of vampiric society, the Ventrue hold order above all things and exercise a great deal of influence on mortal and Kindred alike. More Princes hail from this clan than any other; the Clan of Kings is also home to many successful businessmen and, in times of old, warriors as well.
Assamite Antitribu - Those few Assamites who joined the Sabbat were not forced to accept the Tremere curse as their Independent brethren were. Lacking the honor for which their parent clan is known, the Assamite Antitribu are the assassins of the Sabbat, dangerous but often useful.
Brujah Antitribu - The soldiers and enforcers of the Sabbat, the Brujah Antitribu are even more dedicated to their ideal of freedom than their Camarilla counterparts. Far more than simple punks, their passion is what truly makes them dangerous.
City Gangrel - Protectors of nature in the city. Among other Gangrel, the City Gangrel are seen as traitors to their heritage, forsaking the forests in favor of the urban jungle.
Country Gangrel - As closely tied to their Beasts as the Gangrel are, perhaps even more so, the Country Gangrel are prized within the Sabbat, which regards the Beast as a powerful ally. The recent departure of the Gangrel from the Camarilla has seen a great influx of Country Gangrel into the Sabbat.
Lasombra - The dark reflection of the Ventrue, the Lasombra are also masters of state and manipulation, but their influence also extends to the shadow realms they call the Abyss. This clan's extensive church contacts conceal one of the most disturbing vampiric abilities - the power to call forth and manipulate the stuff of shadow itself.
Malkavian Antitribu - The insightful madness of the Malkavian Antitribu's parent clan gives way to utter lunacy where the Antitribu are concerned. Frightening forces of indescribable chaos, the best way to survive an encounter with one is to stay entirely out of his way.
Nosferatu Antitribu - Sharing both their physical deformity and their extensive information network with their Camarilla counterparts, seemingly the only difference between the Nosferatu Antitribu and their parent clan is one of nominal sect allegiance. Perhaps the most rational, if such a thing exists, of the Sabbat clans.
Ravnos Antitribu - The tricks of the Ravnos Antitribu, unlike those of their parent clan, are intended only to annoy and not to teach. Most Ravnos Antitribu are not gypsies but rather georgio, unfortunate non-gypsies who wandered into the path of another Ravnos Antitribu. Their sense of humor is notorious and dangerous; they are the wild cards of the Sabbat.
Serpents of the Light - A break-off of the Followers of Set who despise their progenitors, the Serpents of the Light originated in the Caribbean, and a great many of them practice voudoun. Unlike the Setites, the Serpents believe that all the clan progenitors, including Set himself, must ultimately be destroyed to prevent them from returning to feast on their childer.
Toreador Antitribu - They are lovers of beauty, just as the Toreador - but, like the Tzimisce, the Toreador Antitribu believe that humans are just another art form, an art form that begs to be "sculpted." Their favored art forms include torture, manipulation, and death in all its forms.
Tzimisce - The Carpathian Fiends, as they are often known, are the most alien of clans, even within the Sabbat. They often use their flesh-shaping discipline of Vicissitude to change their appearances until they barely resemble humans, and their mentalities are usually similarly twisted. Some say they are trying to evolve into something more powerful than Kindred and mortal alike.
Ventrue Antitribu - Fanatics of the Sabbat who detest their blue-blooded brethren, they are hotheads and anarchists, desiring the destruction of the Camarilla with great fervor.
Assamite - Middle-eastern Vampires, organized in the traditional form of an assassin clan. Although a Tremere curse once prevented them from drinking the blood of other Kindred, they have recently circumvented it, making them even more dangerous than they had previously been. Once they killed only by contract, but now they do so for their own personal gratification as well.
Followers of Set - Known as evil tempters and corrupters, the Followers of Set constantly work towards the revival of their progenitor, the ancient vampire known as Set or Sutekh.
Gangrel - Loners and ecological preservationists, they’re the proverbial guardians of the forest. Gangrel can be recognized by their bestial features, a sign of their closeness to both animals and their own inner Beast. Having recently left the Camarilla, the Gangrel now tend to their own interests, whatever they may be.
Giovanni - Both a mortal underworld family and a clan of necromancers, the Giovanni influence extends greatly among living, unliving, and dead. The Giovanni's power over the spirit realms is unmatched by any other Kindred, as they originated the Necromancy discipline to gain ghostly followers in addition to mortal ones.
Ravnos - Often dismissed as simple tricksters and troublemakers, the Ravnos claim their pranks are intended to instruct others on the illusory nature of reality and to help them challenge their perceptions. Perhaps the fact that their discipline Chimerstry deals with creating illusions lends some credence to this claim, although all Kindred still know to keep a close watch on their belongings when a Ravnos is in town.
Descriptions of Bloodlines
Bloodlines are groups of vampires like clans, although they usually have fewer members, who arose from another clan. Thus, they really don't have a progenitor of their own.
Gargoyles - Artificially created by the Tremere from Kindred of other bloodlines, the Gargoyles have only recently begun to regain their free will. Strong and extremely resistant to damage, the Gargoyle is a potent foe, the last thing many Tremere have ever seen.
Lasombra Antitribu - Mysterious and out for their own protection, they fear retaliation from the clan that they seceded from. The Sabbat hate and fear them, and for good reason - those Lasombra Antitribu who have survived are among the most crafty and wily members of the Camarilla.
Malkavian (with Dominate) - Although Dementation spread like a plague several years ago within the Malkavian clan, there are a few Malkavians who seemingly did not "catch" it. Many seem to be a tad more lucid than their perception-twisting brethren.
Blood Brothers - The Blood Brothers are hideous creations of the late Tremere Antitribu, and with the sudden disappearance of that line, the Brothers are dying out. Several Blood Brothers are always created together as part of a "circle"; within a circle, all the Brothers share a sympathetic bond, able to share sensation, mental impulses, and even disciplines or limbs.
Harbingers of Skulls - Mysterious vampires who have just risen from a millennium-long sleep. It is said they have only joined the Sabbat out of convenience, having no particular devotion to its philosophy or goals, and that they have returned to settle an old score against the Giovanni.
Kiasyd - An ancient experiment, a cross between the Faeries and Lasombra. Enigmatic and unknowable to all but the wisest of Kindred, the Kiasyd spend their eternity in the pursuit of esoteric knowledge.
Salubri Antitribu - A branch of Saulot’s children have fallen in with the Sabbat. Unlike their Independent brethren, the Salubri Antitribu do not believe Vampiric existence to be a hell, advocating an existence of noble battle with the help of the lost warrior path of Valeren.
Tzimisce (Koldun) - Though the Tremere claim they possess the only form of blood magic, the ancient Tzimisce sorcerers known as the Koldun know differently. Choosing to study the Ways of Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, and Spirit rather than the fleshcrafting discipline of Vicissitude, the Koldun are able to gain mastery of the very land they inhabit with frighteningly powerful results.
Assamites (viziers) - Just as the Tzimisce have their own brand of blood magic, so do the Assamites; those who practice it are known as the viziers. Although they usually devote their unlives to magical research, occasionally a vizier will leave the sheltered confines of the clan to pursue his own interests in the Jyhad.
Baali - The only clan even more universally despised and distrusted than the Followers of Set, the Baali serve those things in the night even darker than vampires, what most would call demons. Worse yet, they are able to re-embrace members of other clans into their own corrupted line.
Daughters of Cacophony - An all-female bloodline, probably an offshoot of the Toreador, which cultivates the power of the voice. Many are in the Camarilla but show no particular interest in or devotion to it. It is whispered that the elders of this clan can inflict devastating damage on other Kindred simply by singing the proper note.
Followers of Set (Serpent Warriors) - A few among the Setites take a more physical path to serving their dark god, emulating Set's days as a great warrior in the desert rather than corrupting others for his glory. The bodyguards and temple guards of the Setites, the Serpent Warriors resemble martial artists in their devotion to their cause.
Laibon - Enigmatic native African vampires, the Laibon are perhaps best known for their mastery over their Beast. By developing ways to appease it and bargain with it for power, the Laibon have lessened their Beast's control over them while simultaneously developing the powerful discipline of Abombwe. They still exist, but do not venture out of Africa as frequently as they did in the Dark Ages.
Nagaraja - A gruesome illustration of the phrase "Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it," the Nagaraja are said to have once been mortal mages who experimented with vampire blood in an attempt to unlock its power. They succeeded in changing themselves into vampires, but also intensified the Curse - for the Nagaraja must not only drink blood to survive, but consume living flesh as well.
Ravnos (Phuri Dae) - Among the Ravnos, those whose Sight is a guide to others are known as the Phuri Dae. These are the fortune-tellers and wise women of the Ravnos, who sacrifice the protection of Fortitude for the wisdom given by Auspex.
Salubri - Once a great clan of warriors and healers, the Salubri were usurped by the Tremere in ages long past. Only seven members of this clan still exist, although only six still follow the healer's way, as the seventh has defected to the Sabbat and formed the Salubri Antitribu. The remaining members consider vampiric existence to be hell, instructing their childer to destroy them after the Embrace.
Samedi - Freelancers and one of the few bloodlines with no central organization, the Samedi carve their own path, some are assassins, choosing to use their power over death. Some believe they are descended from the Cappadocians, a clan destroyed long ago by the Giovanni. The recent reappearance of the Harbingers of Skulls, whose appearance is much like that of the Cappadocians, has intrigued many Samedi.
True Brujah - According to the True Brujah, the clan now calling itself Brujah are descended from Troile, a treacherous childe of Brujah himself who killed him and took his power for herself. The True Brujah claim to be the descendants of the few of Brujah's childer who survived Troile's purge; not confined to simply increasing their physical speed, they can manipulate time itself. Known for their coldness & lack of emotion.
Lost Clans and Bloodlines:
(Those that existed in the Dark Ages are marked with (D)
Ahrimanes - A mystically inclined, all-female bloodline of former Gangrel who altered their blood through Native American magic. They mysteriously disappeared around the turn of the second millennium.
Cappadocians (D) - The original Clan of Death, destroyed by the Giovanni (who were a small sub-bloodline of theirs) in the Dark Ages. The Cappadocians were obsessed with the study and propagation of death, as reflected by their discipline, Mortis. A few are known to have survived in a secret crypt or by going underwater for many years.
Children of Osiris (D) - The ancient enemies of the Followers of Set, the Children of Osiris dedicate their unlives to an existence of monastic discipline studying their discipline of Bardo. In recent years, they have disappeared from the view of other Kindred, but whether they have ceased to exist entirely is under debate.
Lamia (D) - A bloodline of female Cappadocians who dedicated themselves to Lilith, the mythical mother of beasts and demons from the Book of Nod. All known Lamia were destroyed along with the Cappadocians, or later by the Inquisition.
Lhiannan (D) - A pagan, all-female bloodline that claimed descent from the mythical Crone, a figure who deceived Caine in the Book of Nod. They claimed power over runes and the mystical ley lines of traditional magic, but were ultimately destroyed through the combined efforts of the Tremere and the Inquisition.
Telyavelic Tremere (D) - An experiment in altering the disciplines and focus of the Tremere, the Telyavelic Tremere were eventually deemed useless and destroyed following their creation in the Dark Ages.
Tremere Antitribu - At the formation of the Sabbat, Goratrix, one of Tremere's aides, left Tremere and formed his own chantry in the Sabbat. The Tremere Antitribu were the undisputed masters of the mystic arts in the Sabbat until their disappearance two years ago. Rumor has it that Tremere himself may have been involved.
Rules to be expanded upon at a future date
Aging, Archons, Blood points, Dark Ages, Diablerie, New rules for Blood Brothers, Revenants, Teaching Disciplines
History and Contacts
Version 4 of the rules was originally penned by Travis-Jason (TJ) Feldstein in July 2001, and it borrows heavily from the text of the rule set by Adam Leeds and Vinay Patel, which is in turn based on the third edition rules by Josh Symonds and Mike Mishkin; however, whenever possible, TJ tried to take the actual tabletop Vampire rules into account as far as disciplines and rules, and he felt the differences were great enough to warrant a new version. Over the subsequent years, Ken Levin and many others attempted to playtest and fine-tune these rules into a fair and balanced game. The Gehenna Alternate Ruleset was written by Ken Levin with playtesting and fine-tuning help from the Alcove.
Versions 4.04-4.09, updated for clarity, simplicity, organization and more V:tM resemblance by Ken Levin with advice and tons of help from DSI, Siq, Scott, MitH, Belle, and the Alcove.
Previously, versions 4.00-4.03 by Travis-Jason Feldstein (fieldstoneATgmailDOTcom), with play-testing help from many LLRTians and Eishans from CTY Lancaster 2001, session 2. Also based on the original rules by Phouchg Tomer and Ariel Segall, and a version (circa 1999) by Jesse Cox and Travis-Jason Feldstein that never seemed to catch on.
Things we like
|Activities and Games||The Game · Silent Football · Acting Improv · Agreedball · Art of War · Basketball · Blammo · Four Square · Kill Murray/Save Murray · Malkavian Poking Game · Slackjaw · Pokey · The Really Game · Risk · Ultimate Frisbee · Varsity Catch · Wanna buy a duck? · SNAKES!!! · Quiz Bowl · Mandatory Fun|
|Card Games||1000 Blank White Cards · Egyptian Ratscrew · FLAAR · Illuminati · Kemps · Mao · Scum, Presidents, Speed Capitalism, or Chinese Poker · Scum: The Masquerade · Set · Scroggle|
|Movies||Monty Python · The Rocky Horror Picture Show · The Princess Bride · Alice in Wonderland · Dark Side of Oz · Starcrash · Xanadu|
|Books||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy · Catch-22 · Ender's Game · Harry Potter|
|Other||42 · Boobtag · Couching · FNORD · Grass orgy · Phone-flipping · Rina · Three|