Occult -vs- Lores, and what you know.

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Occult -vs- Lores, and what you know.

Post  Dark STalker on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:33 pm

There has been a bit of confusion for players on the Knowledge of Occult and the Background of Lore...I am posting this to hopefully clear things up a bit.

As per Vampire:The Masquerade revised 3rd Addition, Here is the book definition of Occult

OCCULT IS:
You are knowledgeable in occult areas such as mysticism, curses, magic, folklore and particularly vampire lore. Unlike most other Knowledges, Occult does not imply a command of hard, factual information; much of what you know may well be rumor, myth, speculation or hearsay. However, the secrets to be learned in this field are worth centuries of sifting legend from fact. High levels of Occult imply a deep understanding of vampire lore, as well as a good grounding in other aspects of the occult; at the very least, you can discern what is patently false.

o Student: You've paged through the New Age section of a Waldenbooks.
oo College: There seems to be some unsettling truth to some of the rumors you've heard.
ooo Masters: You've heard a lot and actually seen a little for yourself.
oooo Doctorate: You can recognize blatantly false sources and make educated guesses about the rest.
ooooo oScholar: You know most of the basic truths about the hidden world.

Possessed by: Occultists, The Superstitious, New Agers, Tremere
Specialties: Kindred Lore, Rituals, Infernalism, Witches

That said, in the term "Vampire Lore" (as written above) They mean knowing about oak stakes and the difference between the dead and the ones that are not coming back. High occult stats might mean that you are not completely freaked out when the Lasombra do their thing, or when ghosts appear out of the blue as they so often do on this site, or when a Nosferatu just vanishes from site. Lore may include a you know what each clan is really capable of and are not shocked by their powers, you may have even read fragments of the Book of Nod once if your Occult is high enough


So here is what your level of occult gives you (without needing a roll to figure it out):
Occult Level 3
  • You have a basic understanding of the necessities (blood) and the banes (fire, sunlight, and wooden stake) of a vampiric existence.
  • You are aware that staking does not actually kill a vampire, but only renders them paralyzed, and that a staked vampire is conscious for the duration of their immobility, provided that they do not fall into torpor.
  • You know of diablerie, the act of drinking the soul of another Cainite and inheriting their power. You also know that it is generally considered the most heinous of acts in the majority of Kindred society.
  • You know of "the Beast", a name for the base impulses to feed and kill that is present within all vampires. You are familiar with the mechanics of Frenzy and Rötschrek in reaction to certain stimuli, and have heard rumors of the condition known as the wassail, which is the result of the Beast forever taking hold.
  • You are familiar with the concept of "The Kiss", the ecstacy that feeding brings. You know it is shared both by the vampire who feeds and by the mortal (or other creature) who is fed from.
  • You know roughly what a blood bond or blood oath is and know it's probably best to avoid it.
  • You know that a ghoul is a human or animal who regularly imbibes the blood of a vampire and hence gains some of the benefits of vampirism (slowed aging, supernatural strength) without receiving the full impact of the curse of Caine.
  • Rumor that the biblical Caine was the first vampire and that generationally, you all break down through his line.
  • You have heard of the concept of the Jyhad, the blood feud of political machinations in which elder vampires attempt to play their youngers off of one another for unknown ends.
  • You know many common Kindred specific terms.
  • You understand the concept that raw power comes from the expenditure of blood
  • You know that Kindred are separated into Clans, tracing their heritage back to a single very old Kindred.
  • You are aware of the names of the most common Clans in your area (i.e. Brujah, Toreador, Lasombra. Etc.)
  • You understand and could easily recite a text book answer of the Traditions and any Clan specific rules your own bloodline follows.
  • You have heard rumors of the existence of other creatures of the night...ie...Werewolves, Zombies, Ghosts, Mages...you don't have anything more then hearing of their existence in passing though.
  • You have a skewed concept of the Sabbat and the Anarchs, but know nothing of their politics and traditions...save for the most obvious, the shovel heads or the blood bond.


Occult Level 4
  • You have a basic, if somewhat stereotyped, idea of what each of the Clans are like and know about the existence of one or two of the major Bloodlines. You can recognize all of the traditional Clan Symbols.
  • You are familiar with the general effects of the eight basic Disciplines (Auspex, Animalism, Dominate, Celerity, Fortitude, Obfuscate, Potence, Presence)
  • You know that the act of diablerie can allow the diablerist to unnaturally lower their generation, and occasionally steal the powers, abilities and aptitudes of the victim through the act of drinking their soul. You know that this process isn't 100% clean, and that as a result, a diablerist may start to exhibit personality quirks and characteristics of their victim.
  • You know that a vampire who enters wassail becomes a creature known as a Wight, a mostly mindless remnant of an individual who is driven entirely by the desire to feed and kill. You know that Wights are short-lived, but that they can be extremely dangerous and exhibit a great deal of cunning.
  • You know specifically that a blood bond is formed through drinking a Cainite's blood on three separate nights, with each drink causing an increasing level of affection. You know that it takes one year and one day for each "level" of the bond to dissipate. You further know that if a thrall should through their own willful action kill the one who holds them bound, the bond is said to dissapate immediately. And you understand that a Ghoul is made by just one taste of kindred blood, much like a drug addict and that a ghoul becomes emotionally bound to his sire after one taste, but a bound ghoul behaves much better.
  • You know that many elder vampires enter torpor and remain inert for long periods of time. You know that involuntary torpor seems to last longer for vampires of a more inhumane or monstrous streak. You further know that all vampires left staked for appropriate periods of time will eventually enter a starvation torpor as they run out of blood to keep themselves conscious - and that such specimens will eventually mummify and wither as their body tries to consume itself for nourishment. You have heard that this process is excruciatingly painful.
  • You have heard of the Book of Nod, an ancient chronicle supposedly telling the story of Caine's exile in the land of Nod and containing much of the founding mythology of vampire-kind.
  • You have heard that the Antediluvians diablerized their progenitors (the Second Generation) and received their respective curses from Caine as a result, even if you aren't sure of what all those curses are.
  • You have heard almost all of your own clan specific rumors...ie...Tremere know they created Gargoyles from the Gangrel, Tzimisce, and Nosferatu, and that is why they are not allies to these clans even to this night....Brujah blame the Ventrue for the destruction of Carthage, their mythical utopian city where kindred and kine lived side by side in unison...The Nosferatu are hiding from their clan founder as he is actively trying to sacrifice them all in hopes that Cain will lift his curse of ugliness on him.
  • You have heard that there is a myth that the endtimes will come for all vampires when the Antediluvians reawaken, and that this event shall be known as Gehenna.
  • You are aware of alternate and alien moralities known as the Paths of Enlightment, which some few Cainites adhere to in place of human values in an attempt to keep the Beast at bay. You know that such Paths are said to take centuries to master and fully acclimate oneself to, and that followers of Paths are almost unheard of within the Camarilla.
  • You have heard of one or two of the rare bloodlines within your own sect.
  • You have heard rumors about some of the details related to the others creatures of the night...ie...Werewolves hate Vampires and may be allergic to silver, Mages do not like the Tremere, Ghosts gain strength through their link to a specific item or place and seem to feed on emotions they naturally produce in those unfortunate enough to see them, and Kuei Jin also fear the same banes that Vampires dread (Fire & Sun)



Occult Level 5
  • You know of every major Clan and Bloodline.
  • You have heard of the Inconnu, an almost unheard of Sect of vampires who seek to escape the machinations of the Jyhad altogether and have hence withdrawn from society. You have heard a few words relating them to the State of Golconda.
  • You know the traditional names of most of the Antediluvians, and are familiar with a good sampling of the stories regarding their interactions/relationships. (ex: Saulot, Set and Malkav were brothers, Arikel and Absimiliard were lovers, etc... You may need Clan-specific Lores for more details.)
  • You know about the different intra-clan divisions, such as the Assamite castes, City and Country Gangrel, and the Dementation/Dominate split between Malkavians, (although you may need Clan-specific Lores for more details.)
  • You could give better details on some of the traditions of the other sects, such as the names of the traditions, though you really don't have a fully functional knowledge of how these traditions and rituals work (sect lore is needed for that)
  • You are intimately familiar with multiple Gehenna prophecies and cults. Frankly, you should be starting to get worried...
  • You have heard rumors of the more obscure members of the world of Darkness, Mummies, Fae, Changlings, Famore, Bastet, or Skinwalkers
  • You are fully aware of the existence of the Inconnu and have heard rumors of the Black Hand as more than just a Sabbat organization.



LORE IS:
Lore is the gathering of rumors and collected myths within a specific subject. For example, Clan Lores are specific mythos related to s specific clan, such as Tremere Lore. Lores are backgrounds that need to be explained in charcter creation or are developed through teachings or reading. As with all lores, the knowledge gained must be explained as having this knowledge as an outsider may be dangerous. A Brujah with Tremere Clan Lore 3, for example, may find his unlife very uncomfortable if he let it be known that the alchemical potion that Goratrix created was made through some experimentation or collaboration involving Clan Tzimisce.
Typically, you keep clan lore, especially higher levels of it, to your own clan. Learning the lores of other things like the Saabat or Werewolves is difficult to come across, but can be helpful...be prepared to explain how you have it...being a scholar or hunter are good ways to go about that, and are in fact, recomended for such characters.

here is an example of lore
Assamite Lore
Clan Lore****You have heard of legendary Assamites such as: Izhim Ur-Baal, one of the Four Seraphs of the Black Hand, present at the Convention of Thorns; Jamal, the former reigning eldest in Alamut, destroyed by Ur-Shulgi; and Thetmes, current Caliph of Alamut.
Camarilla Lore
Sect Lore ** You know that the office of the Scourge is a relatively new one, and that it is rumored to be the result of increasing Noddist sentiment within the Sect.
Wraith Lore
Dark Lore ** You know that only those people who died with a significant personal drive to cling to those things important to them (even beyond death!) can become wraiths, and that such people are not common. You know that not everyone who dies becomes a wraith.


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