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The Gangrel Clan: The Last Age for Adventure

on Sun Oct 08 2017, 12:23

Of course it’s uncomfortable until you get used to doing it. Come closer. I’ll show you how to do it right.

No one sane, sensible, or with a choice chooses to live alone in the wilds and on the roads between cities, towns, and communities. Even rugged farmers and woodsmen still live as close to other people as their purpose allows. For the vampire, what is folly in humanity is death for the Damned. So why do the Gangrel live at the crossroads, under the harbors, and in the mountains? They are driven to it. They may be driven out by frightened peasants, ignorant authority figures, jealous husbands, or wicked clergy.

They may have left on their own, pulled by adventure, curiosity, or considerable misanthropy. But no matter the trigger, the Gangrel left because they could not fit anywhere civilized. Outsiders like this were strange and special as humans, but as vampires, they thrive. As humans living outside of normal society, their lots were difficult but they survived against the odds, and so it is no different for the Gangrel as a vampire. She may have been Embraced with no ceremony, little romance, and no explanation, but no matter. She survives and endures in ways no other vampire could.

She was hard and right and different in the ways she lived and loved before death. In that way, the transition to the Becoming is considerably more seamless. A Gangrel does not mourn her humanity; people never had much room for her anyway.

That is not to say that Gangrel eschew all human contact. While many prefer solitude or the company of loyal and predictable animals, they crave humans and their blood like any other vampire does. And like any other vampire, they’re drawn to other predators in the complicated push and pull of the Beast. The main difference is that the Gangrel flaunts societal expectation, interacting with others on her terms. She talks only to who she wants to, lives where she feels like it, and beds who she desires to bed with little regard to propriety or the law.

Sobriquet: Outlaws, Wolf’s-Heads

Appearance: Whatever is expected and appropriate in local human society, the Gangrel ignores it or only pays enough attention to mock it. She may wear the armor of warriors and lawmen she’s slain while protecting her freedom. He may wear the gowns of a lady and live as one, if it suits him. The Gangrel is mutable and can live as he likes.

Overall, his dress, like his life, is rugged and practical, but just like his life, it is how he chooses. Some Gangrel may be very particular about the image they present, treating their look like he might treat his herd: with considerable consideration and territoriality.

Haven and Prey: A Gangrel sleeps anywhere she damn well wants to. That’s not to say all Out-laws live in the dirt and under the water. Havening in the land is costly, so most Gangrel have a real haven somewhere on the outskirts or outside of civilization. Lone hunting shacks, watchman’s posts, outlaw camps, and fur trader outposts all function well for Outlaws. For the nomadic Gangrel, moving with a herd like travelers,highwaymen, or pirated vessels is not uncommon, though it can be more challenging.

Note that these locations are rarely totally free of human contact. Even the isolated woodman’s shack may be visited on occasion. Animals work for some, but it’s very rare that a Gangrel can live entirely without human vessels. Some Gangrel need the wild hunt, running after a harried prey through village streets and along empty roadways. Some prefer husbandry and herd tending. Some live like spiders, luring in prey. The point is, the Gangrel does it however she pleases, and damn anyone who tries to limit her predilections and preferences.

The Embrace: When animals mate or eat, few would describe the act as romantic or erotic. This is where the Gangrel differ. The brutality of grabbing a human off the road or from the tavern and into the night to breathe their last is sensible to the Gangrel. Doing it any other way would be passionless and cruel. Abandoning a new whelp isn’t done out of selfishness or abuse, but to ensure the new childe will survive the long nights ahead. Most Gangrel sires are watching from the shadows, and so it isn’t usually actual abandonment. It’s hard to see the intimacy of what a Gangrel does from the outside, which is how they prefer it.

Character Creation: Gangrel tend to favor Physical Attributes first, with cunning and wit coming from secondary Mental Attributes. Gangrel tend to come from among the most Talented human stock and favor these instinct-driven abilities, with Skills as secondary with a focus on what they need to learn to survive. Gangrel can build some truly grand Herds over the years while controlling their territory.

Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Fortitude, Protean

Weakness:  When a Gangrel frenzies, her Beast rises to the surface, and the wildness in her blood finds purchase in her flesh and in her mind. She may develop a small physical or mental animal trait that suits either local vampire mythology, or a predatory or scavenging animal in the region. Examples include overgrown eyebrows, patches of fur, or an hour of torpor after feeding. The net result is that the trait should give them a +1 difficulty penalty and one automatic failure on some relevant dice pool. The trait and the penalty remain until the player accepts the automatic failure.

Organization: There is no organization universally accepted or practiced within the clan. While a city may have a tight-knit family of Gangrel following a strict, pack-like hierarchy, the next city over may have a group of Outlaws who barely recognize each other’s existence. Some may practice a dedication to clan against all others, while some particularly strong or arrogant Gangrel may see it as every monster for herself. Respect is never given within the clan. If your sire respects another Outlaw, there is no reason you should respect the clansman in kind unless he’s earned it. Hierarchy, if there is one, is built on blood and deeds, not tradition.

Ventrue: Stone walls can’t keep me out, Prince. Hope I never have the need to come in.
Tremere: We won’t forget what you’ve done.
Nosferatu: What are they digging for?
Tzimisce: We’re the same. You just do it in an empty old castle to screaming peasants. I do it to myself in the glory of the open moonlight and wild of the wood.
Ravnos: I travel as well. The difference between us is that I leave no trace in my passing.
Followers of Set: They worship snakes. Snakes aren’t even proper predators.
Malkavian: Why did you drive me from your city, but he stays? Think about your answer.
Brujah: There is more to the Beast than anger.
Cappadocian: Who?
Lasombra: Sad days coming for you. I can smell it on the wind.
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