In a bit of a surprise turn for Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2, it looks like the team is bringing one of the harder clans into the game in the way of the Tremere. At least if you look at how they are treated in the tabletop version of the game and not specifically what Hardsuit Labs is doing here. For those that are not fully up to speed, they are blood sorcerers that can do damned near anything and also have one of the weakest (to implement in a video game) curse. This is going to be balanced in Bloodlines 2, of course, but even in the previous game it was a bit limited and player enforced instead of something the original developers put in the game. Now that the shock has been pushed through, let us look at just what we have here with the Tremere.
Just as the Brujah, they will only be bringing over two of their clan disciplines for Bloodlines 2 but one of them is the blood magic. At least when you look at the basics of it all that it is simmered down to for balance reasons. They can craft weapons from the target's blood, make them vomit up blood, and finally boil the blood right out of their systems. The most basic of versions of this discipline in the grander scale of it all, but I am sure it will make sense when we get down to the video game. Especially when you couple it with their other power, Auspex, which is all kinds of supernatural senses. My guess is that it will help in some of the hunting and dialog choices in Bloodlines 2. Then cap it off with the ability to move around as a virtual ghost when you become the true master.
In terms of the weakness the Tremere will have in Bloodlines 2, as it is usually a blood bond that would force a player to do the game's bidding instead of their own wishes, it looks like it will come down to mistrust more. It could be something a bit more of an issue in the game when it launches, but given that the setting has been very anti-Tremere in the city before this game, I am going to guess that it will make certain options unavailable or cause others to react in ways none of the other clans would. I guess we will find out more when we get closer to launch or after seeing some of that pre-alpha gameplay that will be out there in the coming months.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 — Clan Introduction — Tremere
Tremere were not allowed in significant numbers throughout Seattle's history, though that has changed recently. After the fall of the Pyramid, Tremere have sought allies wherever they can find them, offering services and secrets that were once only kept to themselves. At least a few Tremere have managed to settle in the Pacific Northwest. However, not all Kindred in Seattle warmly welcome the warlocks into their city, citing historical precedent and general distrust of their ways. Still, the blood magic of the Tremere cannot be denied as a force to be respected. Whether or not the Tremere are here to stay is another matter entirely…
In nights long before Seattle, the Tremere were something else. Back then, as occultists seeking immortality, they found a way to live forever — but not on their own terms. The heavy price they paid bound their magic to blood, with it becoming both the focus of their powers and the cost for using them. The mostly forgotten origin of their curse still colors their interactions with other Kindred, who mistrust them instinctually. History repeats itself for the Tremere, with war, suspicion, and grudges marking both their origin and their modern nights.
Few secrets are guarded more jealously by the Tremere than their signature Discipline: Blood sorcery. Followers of the Path of Blood gain almost unparalleled destructive power.
• Skewer (Blood Cost: 3), the first active Thaumaturgy power, launches a small portion of the vampire’s Vitae at the feet of their enemies, where it erupts in a patch of razor-sharp spikes. Once they dissolve, a stream of blood flows back to the caster. The • • slot upgrades Skewer.
• • • Purge (Blood Cost: 3), the second active power, allows the vampire to make their victims vomit up blood, damaging them heavily. A stream of blood flows back to the caster. The • • • • and • • • • • slots enhance Purge, until it reaches its ultimate potential.
• • • • • Blood Boil (Blood Cost: 2 x 3). A master of Thaumaturgy may cast Purge for a second time on an affected NPC, causing the blood in their veins to sear. The wretch explodes within moments; bystanders in a large area are damaged. Blood from each victim streams back to the caster.
Use of Thaumaturgy in front of witnesses is a Masquerade Violation.
Nothing stays hidden to those who master the Discipline of Auspex. By expanding their own senses beyond the boundaries of their bodies, these Kindred inch ever closer to their personal idea of perfection.
• Aura Sense (Blood Cost: 2), Auspex’ first active, allows the vampire to spot NPCs even through walls, read crowds at a glance, and mark individuals to keep them in their sights over long distances. It also allows the user to spot the weaknesses in the marked NPC’s attack and defense. The • • and • • • • • slots enhance Aura Sense.
• • • Psychic Projection (Blood Cost: 2), the second active, detaches the vampire’s mind from their body. Untethered, they can explore the area in astral form, remaining free to use Aura Sight to mark any character they spot. Beyond that, the vampire’s mastery of their own senses has grown to such an extent that they can telepathically overwhelm the senses of others for a short while. The • • • • slot enhances Psychic Projection.
Use of Auspex is not a Masquerade Violation.
Was this the clan you were expecting to make it into Bloodlines 2 or did you suspect it would be one of the other "easier" clans to implement? Do you think that the Tremere will have different dialog options in the story or will it be something else to give them some hardships? What other clans are you holding out for to be at launch and is it the Tzimisce? Let us all know down in the comments and then feel free to discuss. For more on Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 as we get it, be sure to be right here. We will keep all of the information flowing out there for you as best as we can. More so as this is a title close to all of our hearts over here.