Day 2 — Favorite Camarilla Clan

Uh…  I don’t really have one. I like them all – overall, the seven Camarilla clans are a very nicely balanced, well-defined bunch, that cover almost all the common tropes of the vampire in Western mythology. I have at one time or another, played all of them, mostly as Storyteller.

I like different aspects of each clan.  Ventrue for their political connections, the social manipulation and the intensity of focus when they set their minds to something. Also because they are so often Princes, and generally wealthy and upper-class, there’s a nice streak of arrogance, privilege and entitlement to them. “Ventrue” is almost synonymous with “money” and “power” – although playing one whose interests lie elsewhere can make a nice change against the stereotype.  And giving them Interesting feeding restrictions always adds a complication that can add an entirely different angle to them as individuals.

Toreador – also the political and social connections, but there’s also the Art. I am an artist; visual artist, illustrator, graphic designer, sculptor, costumer, writer, musician, playwright, storyteller.  I don’t usually play Toreador because they are too much like me (though I did have fun with Josselin and Rosamund in Dark Ages: Toreador). There’s a touch of madness to the Toreador, a vulnerability to decadence, and an obsession with whatever their art is that can make them both dangerous and fascinating. And they are no slouches at the politics, either – it’s just for them, the stakes (pardon the pun) are entirely different than for the Ventrue.

Brujah – I have to admit, I’ve not played many Brujah. They’ve not interested me that much, save as supporting characters.  The usual thuggish anarchist rebel trope hasn’t appealed. So if I were to play one, I’d go a different direction – something more like the scholar, the smart iconoclast, the rebel who has a grander and more specific goal than simply upending the status quo.

Malkavians and Nosferatu can be incredibly rich as characters. They’re  in the Camarilla, but are really the ultimate outsiders nonetheless; the Malks because of their twisted perception of the world (that some call insanity, but the Malkavian probably just calls “seeing it like it is”), and the Nosferatu because they will never really be able to pass for human ever again, and so must hide their true forms—sometimes even from their allies.  Some revel in that, and some mourn, hiding their pain under masks—sometimes masks of behavior and misled perceptions, sometimes literally a mask of leather, plastic, or steel, or illusion.  I had one Malk in Dark Ages I was really really fond of; no one was really sure whether he was just totally bonkers or had some special insight into what was going to happen, or already happening behind closed doors. Haven’t done as much with the Nos, but they’re a lot of fun as the occasional NPC, ranging from creepy and mysterious to outrageously camp—such as Sebastian Marlowe, the elder who was the ONLY Nosferatu I know who used “Mask of 1000 Faces” trick to make himself look WORSE.

I do have a soft spot for the Gangrel. They’re good survivors, they have an incredibly broad range when it comes to personality and backgrounds, and I have to admit I enjoy the turning into wolves or bats thing. Their ferocity, their fierce independence, and affinity for their basic primal instincts can be played both as strengths and as liabilities, depending on the situation.  And my first Vampire character was a Gangrel, and he was just a lot of fun.


And I’m also very, very fond of the Tremere. (That’s Sarah’s fault. Mostly.)  They’re both one of the most powerful and tightly organized clans –and also one of the most dysfunctional and screwed up, if you look at the clan as a whole. And you must, with Tremere—no Tremere exists in a vacuum.  By definition they’re part of this occult brotherhood, where there’s a clear chain of command, and the younger members are often at the mercy of the whims, tempers and ambitions of their superiors—but they can also have the support of those superiors when an enemy least expects it, so it’s never a good idea to discount them. No one trusts them, really, but the Camarilla values them highly—because when the chips are down and the Sabbat are at the gates, you really need someone who can call up some nasty blood sorcery firepower and aim it where it really counts.  But it’s the social dynamics of clan insider politics, the fascination of the magic itself (when played correctly), and the constant balancing between a Tremere’s personal goals and agenda, and that of her superiors, and the House and Clan as a whole—that’s what makes a good story, and makes them very fun to play.

Hmmm.  Maybe I do have a favorite clan after all….



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