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Nepher

Modifying clan name

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Donor

My next table of VtR is composed mainly of VtM veteran. They are clever players, but I know names carry preconceptions and stereotypes that I don't want to see. In VtR, Ventrue are not oWoD Ventrue, Nosferatu are not oWoD Nosferatu, and Gangrel are not oWoD Gangrel. This is not an issue for bloodlines, but for clans I don't want to see the OWoD legacy on my table.

So I would want to change these three clans' name (Mekhet and Daeva are fine). And I've always sucked with name.

So any of you have already made that? What name would you suggest? Based on several myths and legends? I already thought of Stryges for the Nosferatu, but since I may use RfR one day...

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Donor

If they're veterans, they should be able to see the two games as completely separate and not use any oWoD preconceptions about VtR.

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If they're veterans, they should be able to see the two games as completely separate and not use any oWoD preconceptions about VtR.

Ideally, yes. In practice, I haven't seen that happen much. Quite the contrary, at least in my experience.

Thing is, if they're starting in VtR you're not exactly relying on their experience but on their discernment - just because the clans have the same name it doesn't mean they're the same. And even then, once veterans jump into playing and see the similarities that do exists, it just requires a sudden void of knowledge to happen in-game (say, they've just been Embraced and someone's giving them the basics) for them to fill it with basic associations to the old versions, even if unconsciously. "Oh, it's a Gangrel refugee, he doesn't have any animal features so he must be fairly green on this - WHOA! *feels the urge to flee against a superior foe*".

While this can be avoided with a thorough, honest chat before the chargen process (and no matter how good this situation seems to be if you want to teach them not to metagame), it can also backfire and ignite preconceptions. I'm with Nepher in this, and in fact I've been pondering about the issue a while ago. Problem is, so far I couldn't come up with new names for these three clans that sound even half as good as the current ones. Familiarity also plays a factor, sure, but still.

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* Maybe 'Draculan/Draconic' (but then you have to do something about the Ordo Dracul - or Machiavelli, or maybe even just use Julii or ... Cassian? Cassius? - for ventrue))

*'The Twisted' (perhaps the nosferatu are so despised that they aren't even given an actual clan name, but are referred to as the Twisted.)

* Maybe explore various mythical demons: Djinn, etc. (Kind of like how the daeva are 'succubi/incubi.')

Err, yeah. Clan naming is tough.

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Donor
Err, yeah. Clan naming is tough.

Which is why I stick to the original names, and instead show them how different the new clans are through Bloodlines (Without particularly telling them they're Bloodlines and not Clans, mind you).

The Galloi (Nosferatu), the Mellissidae (Ventrue) and the Oberlochs or the Vedma (For Gangrel) seem to do the trick quite nicely.

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Donor
If they're veterans, they should be able to see the two games as completely separate and not use any oWoD preconceptions about VtR.

Which is why I stick to the original names, and instead show them how different the new clans are through Bloodlines (Without particularly telling them they're Bloodlines and not Clans, mind you).

I don't have any issue explaining what are the clan to anyone. I talked about my players just to say why I want to change clans names. Just see it as an experiment. Anyway, I always saw the keeping of name as one of the main flaw of VtR, the one that made some old guard players thinks "This is not a new game", so I don't want to see it anymore, whatever the reason.

Aryth, I may keep your Caussian for Ventrue. It's quite neat. However, I'll keep a real clan name for Nosferatu. What would happen if an Invictus Nosferatu become Prince? Would vampire say "He? He's just a Twisted"

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Well, when I came up with that, I was seeing the nosferatu less as actual citizens and more like an actively oppressed populace. Like, the peasants who toil in the fields but aren't ever allowed promotion. In conversation, I saw it playing out as the following: "What a break, he's a hard worker - but he'll never get anywhere." "Why?" "Because he's one of the Twisted, where we've had our reflections stolen - they've been forced to become a twisted reflection of their inner beast."

In the case of the Prince, I might say, "He's powerful, but he's still just one of the Twisted."

Or maybe they become a VII unto their own - their progenator / Priscus driven mad from the isolation and prejudice of the other clans, they lead their people to rebellion.

I can see why you don't like it, for certain. In fact, the more I say twisted, the less I like it and want to find a more fitting word - the broken?

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Donor

Broken or Twisted are very good, but are just nickname. What I seek is a real clan name. In my exemple, the Prince should be able to say "The Clan <insert name instead of Nosferatu> is the more noble in my city. Would someone has something against it?"

Clan Broken doesn't fit quite well here...

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I agree. Although, 'nosferatu' really does fit well.

Hmm.

I'm trying to think of really ugly monsters - Clan Medusae? Basilisk? Barghest?

Edited by Aryth

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Donor

Don't ask me why, but Barghest seems fine for the Gangrel. There is feeling of a primal monster in it...

So far, I may stick to this list of clan names:

Barghest, Cassian, Daeva, Mekhet, Strigoi

Does it seems good?

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That seems fine to me; although I don't quite know what a strigoi is. :-/ A failure on my part.

I hope it works out well for you!

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Donor

Strigoi is Stryges in greek, the origin of this mythos...

Of course, I'm still open to any suggestions...

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I think you could pretty easily break the stereotypes of the old game by simply presenting them with the stereotypes of the new game's extreme.

Sure the majority of the Nosferatu are still as ugly as ever, but present them with a powerful brood whose inherited traits are more on the "unease" side than the revolting. Have them mingle with the movers and shakers of the MORTAL world. And just when they're comfortable with that, have the real freaks grab them from the sewers demanding revenge on the brood above.

Same with the Ventrue: present them first and foremost with the outcast and the broken, those whose minds have already snapped beyond repair. They'll assume the Ventrue are this game's Malks, until they are brought on charges before a jury composed of Ventrue luminaries, none of whom seem in the slightest afflicted by madness... at first glance.

Arguably, the toughest are the gangrel, but then their clan concept really hasn't changed all that much, aside from the weakness...

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Arguably, the toughest are the gangrel, but then their clan concept really hasn't changed all that much, aside from the weakness...

Make the local Gangrel a bunch of middle-class, typically urban people who work(ed) jobs where instincts play an important but very subtle role. A couple are defense attorneys for the mafia or for crooked politicians: it requires a certain ruthlessness to work with them. Other was/is a police officer, and was/is known to find potential/hiding criminals 'by instinct'. Other is a personal trainer who pushes people to their limits. And so on.

These could be Gangrels in the old game too; the important thing is to stress that they're no stinkin' hippies/animal lovers/nature buffs, just common people with an extra dose of intuition.

And then, make a serial killer be a savage, derangement-ridden, near-draugr Gangrel who kidnaps people intruding in his 'territory' - which just happens to be a national park. He thinks he needs to 'preserve nature' from 'defiler' humans. Voilà.

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And if you've got the Invictus book, you can use the Annunaku, who turn the idea of Gangrel of "dumb brutes" on its head. At the very least, if you don't want to use them directly, they can be inspiration for creating social Gangrel.

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Donor

Once again, I know quite well how to explain and show the difference between the clans of both game (even if I'm waiting for the clanbook for even more variety). The think is, contrary to Daeva and Mekhet (and also to Nosferatu), Gangrel and Ventrue have no real reason to remain, lacking occult origin and inducing more error than anything else.

I must admit I'm still not happy with the name I found so far (especially for the Ventrue), and I'm quite blocked here...

I just want to change the name. The context ("I want to show difference between VtM and VtR") is completly irrelevant.

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Not sure Mekhet means anything. We don't know how to really pronounce Latin, let alone ancient Egyptian, so...

And as far as I can tell, the word nosferatu don't mean anything either: it was created by writers as another word for vampire when they wanted to sound occult...

Daeva is the only name with any real "occult" meaning, and then only if you corrupt the idea of the daeva to fit the concept of vampires...

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Not sure Mekhet means anything. We don't know how to really pronounce Latin, let alone ancient Egyptian, so...

It's an Egyptian word for amulet. It says so in the corebook, page 22.

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And as far as I can tell, the word nosferatu don't mean anything either: it was created by writers as another word for vampire when they wanted to sound occult...

Not exactly accurate, because the etymology of the word has always been disputed. It can be a variation/misrepresentation of something older, related to some kind of supernatural force, or it can be a modern creation. The fact that it can be the former seems enough for me, since we're talking of a fictional setting based in the real world - and since the word is part of real-world occult imagery now, it works even better.

Gangrel and Ventrue, on the other hand, don't have the same foundations (disputed or not) beyond the imagery WW built around those names.

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It's an Egyptian word for amulet. It says so in the corebook, page 22.

According to Budge's hieroglyphic dictionary:

m'kha-t (owl-sieve-vulture-loaf + clarifier) means "a balance" as in a set of scales (or also, "peasant"; presumably a context issue), which is the form that the clanbook author subscribes to. I'm not keen on it myself, partly because I find the meaning less appropriate than other interpretations, and partly because it was (p. 285)

m'khet (owl-wood-sieve/loaf + clarifier) means "palace watcher" (without the clarifier, "assistant"). This is the one I mostly use in my games (p. 265)

a similar m khet (owl-wood-loaf + clarifiers) could mean "after, behind, in the following of, in accordance with, posterity, futurity, declared to posterity"

mek-t (owl-cup-loaf) means "protection", which could be where the amulet idea came from. (p 330)

There is also a m'kht which means "metal objects" and m'kh-t which means "a beating".

I've got the set of books, but there are also free pdfs of the volumes online if you are interested.

****

My wife looked over the books during lunch and wanted to add her thoughts:

From a strictly phonetic standpoint, m'kht ( "owl-sieve-loaf") is appropriate. From an ideographic standpoint, there are two versions that could work well from the standpoint of meaning:

m'kht+ stair (owl-sieve/loaf + clarifier), which she translates as "in/within the stairs of judgement"

m'kht+hetm, for "within/towards the seat of judgement" (she suggests the final m may be minor enough to be overlooked in speech).

Caveats:

1) All this is based on writing. I don't know how "palace watcher" might sound different from "assistant"; it could be a contextual difference alone.

2) Given the several thousand years hieroglyphics were in use, and given that references suggest that folks from far upper Egypt had a hard time understanding someone from the delta, once can assume that both the sound and attendant meaning of "Mekhet" in the modern night may have been utterly different in the time of the Old Kingdom.

Edited by FBM

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