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The Thin-Blooded Conspiracy in VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, Explained

The Thin-Blooded Conspiracy in VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, Explained

In our Vampire: The Masquerade RPG show, L.A. By Night, Annabelle is 13th generation Brujah and to those not familiar with vampire lore—that doesn’t mean a lot. For all his swagger, Annabelle’s vampire daddy Carver is basically just a watered-down version of a vampire himself. Being shunned for being a high generation is vampiric ageism in reverse. Elder vampires will judge the newly undead as lazy, or are responsible for killing tradition after tradition. Even a 13th generation vampire like Annabelle seems young in the now seasoned eyes of the Anarch Movement and other characters around her.

Vampire Thin Blood Image

Yet even as young as she is, Vampire 5th edition brings even younger vampires into the forefront as a faction with the Thin Bloods. Meant as the ideal character archetype for those who have never played the setting at all, Thin-Blooded characters go from 14th thru even 16th generation and can barely even be considered a vampire. Sunlight is not even their deadliest foe, and many still eat food and can keep a mortal life going. We’ve covered what it meant to be nobility in Vampire: The Masquerade and now let’s look at being at the bottom of the totem pole.

Caine and The Book of Nod

To understand why Annabelle and Carver are some of the weakest vampires in blood we need to look at the vampire founder. Caine, the first vampire, and the first without a clan made the first set of children called the Second Generation. In ancient days, these vampires ruled like kings and queens over great kingdoms until they too found the desire to make more. Thirteen children (or even more) were chosen, and by now the blood from Caine had distilled… ever so slightly. Each 3rd Generation or, Antediluvian, would define the clans as the iconic images they are. Each step removed from them and the blood would be more diluted until the 13th generation.

Annabelle is as far removed from her clans founder as possible, and her power is mechanically limited because of this. A thirteenth generation vampire is often called and dismissed as a Thin -Blood by elders, yet they still have a clan. Once you hit 14th and up, everyone is a clanless vampire and the only way back onto the charts is Diablerie. It is the act of eating a lower generation vampire, is a time-honored tradition to eat your way to power, and it is the reason that elder vampires fear the young.

Thin Blood Alchemy

Take some Diet Jolt Cola, ethidium bromide, a dash of human blood mixed with the Thin Blood’s own and kapow, you have instant mind control. V5 introduces Thin Blood Alchemy into the game and it is yet another reason for elders to fear the weak. At its most basic; Thin Blood Alchemy is about taking the blood of a human, a ton of random chemicals that suit the character, and their own blood to distill a tonic. Once a character drinks the tonic, they get access to powers that they could never obtain normally. It may be the next defining art among the undead and a skilled alchemist could be the darling of the court.

Using strongly resonant human blood, the Alchemist can copy or counterfeit a wide range of powers from other disciplines. With enough research, the Alchemist can invent completely custom or unique powers. V5 even hints at legendary potions that allow them to communicate with the Antediluvians or reach Golconda – the state of enlightenment that frees a vampire from the hunger for blood known as The Beast. Vampires that can remain awake during the day, still eat a cheeseburger, have immortality, and access to every power? No wonder low generation vampires despise the young—it’s jealousy.

My Personal Tinfoil Hat

Vampire Masquarade Image 1

Why are Thin Bloods so important to the setting of V5? The Second Inquisition and the absence of the Sword and Caine (may your souls rest in peace) arguably define the setting more than weak vampire alchemists. Indulge me, if you will, in the time-honored tradition of theory crafting.

V5 has removed all the elders of the game for a Gehenna War, a call to the Middle East that will be explored in a future supplement. For decades in Vampire lore, Thin-Blooded vampires were heralded as the coming of Gehenna. The Book of Nod warned of Thin Bloods harkening the end days and in 1999, we had the Red Star rise and the world of Vampire came to its first ending. Now with the inclusion of Thin Blood Alchemy into the game, weak vampires use human blood and their own to mix chemical cocktails for power.

What happens if they start using the blood of elders? Could the Second Inquisition really be a front for Thin-Blooded vampires to hunt down elders for rare and powerful tonics? Immortality with all the blessings and none of the downsides seems like a recipe for a shadow game conspiracy. What would an organized militant organization do?

Do you have any crazy V5 conspiracy theories yet? Let us know in the comments below!

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Featured Image: L.A. By Night

Image Credits: L.A. By Night @Pen of Smiting & Vampire: The Masquerade

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age: Dawn, and a storyteller with a focus on LARPs, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and many more. You can follow game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook.

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