The Puppeteers

Source: http://wiki.white-wolf.com/worldofdarkness/index.php?title=The_Puppeteers
Author: Wolfgar83

The Puppeteers are a relatively odd and new group of kindred who seem to have a love, or some would say obsession, for dolls, puppets and other inanimate objects with some type of humanoid or animal form. The Puppeteers often have havens surrounded by such things or even carry a doll or puppet around with them like a child carries their blanket or teddy bear. More than this though they have a love of being in control and manipulating events around them. Often from behind the scenes they like to pluck at the strings to turn events the way they want, however, they more than other kindred like to use Domination to do this by controlling others like puppets on a string. It’s just like a puppeteer to like to hide behind the curtain and move their puppets to create the things they want while never being seen. These puppeteer hide behind the curtain of society and often avoid direct contact letting their ghouls and others converse directly with those that the Puppeteer needs to talk to. They don’t hide away or remain reclusive because they aren’t socially capable in fact some may have considerable social skills and ability they just seem to prefer being reclusive, or at least that is what many outside of the bloodline think. It is only the rare occasion that the puppeteers them selves are seen or converse with others in person.

The Puppeteers while they keep to themselves most of the time and use proxies for much of what they need to do in kindred society this doesn’t mean they don’t want to converse with others or gain attention. Aside from the rare occasions when they don’t use a proxy to take care of deals and other things they need that require conversation there is the few times the Puppeteers are seen for what is “fondly” referred to as the Puppet Shows. These shows don’t just involve the Puppets they control and create with their bloodline discipline, but also the people and kindred they control using their Dominate discipline. These shows range from simple plays on theater stages in which the people are dressed up according to how the Puppeteer wants as if they are mere dolls and toys to be dressed and played with. To being darker shows in which the people are abused, tortured, or even raped while under the control of the puppeteer from others so dominated or the puppets that are controlled. These puppet shows have become things of both fame and infamy alike that are sometimes public affairs that the kindred public can purchase tickets to (and only the kindred or their ghouls) while other times these shows are private invite only affairs. These shows are a testament of the Puppeteer’s powers and are held both for the pleasure of it and to show other kindred just how far the extent of that power can go. Most kindred seem to love these shows though in the case of the darker ones they seem to be equally shocked, entralled, and disgusted by them however few speak out against these shows as most kindred have seen such things or worse in their time.

Many have begun to wonder about the the reclusive founder of this bloodline and his or her reasons for creating the bloodline, and the inspiration for it. Only a few seem to know who the mysterious founder is let alone were the founder is and if he or she has or hasn’t met their final death. Most think that since the bloodline has only seemed to creep up in the last decade or so that the inspiration for it must be movies like the Puppet Master or Chucky, but while this could be true it seems more speculation than actual fact.

Details

Nickname: Puppet Masters (Male) , Puppet Mistresses (Female)
Parent Clan: Ventrue
Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Pupa, Resilience

Weakness
In addition to the Ventrue clan weakness, the Puppeteers suffer from a similar social weakness as the Nosferatu though not physically repulsive or necessarily uncomfortable to be around like the Nosferatu these Kindred are effected by another supernatural affliction. The Fears and near paranoia of the bloodline’s founder coupled with the effects of the founder’s acts of diablerie on the blood and the beast have induced a change that brings about a new effect of the beast in social encounters. This could be a new way that predator’s taint influences others upon meeting making them less friendly to the puppeteer or trust the puppeteer less, or perhapes the beast whispers in the ear of the Puppeteer causing doubt, suspicion, and so on to stir up consciously or sub-consciously. There are many ways this influence could manifest however no matter the cause, reason, or way it manifests the beast has a even greater effect on the puppeteer any time they try to interact socially than for other kindred. The puppeteer’s suffer a -2 penalty to Presence or Manipulation Attributes on social encounters and situations. This does not effect Composure attribute or the Intimidation skill, and doesn’t effect anything that is not technically a social situation. The use of Disciplines that use Presence or Manipulation Attributes are completely untouched and un-effected by this weakness regardless of the situation.

Covenant
The Bloodline’s membership belongs mainly to the Invictus as with many ventrue because they care for the aritocracy and other facets of the invictus covenant. The Invictus have in fact come to embrace the Puppeteers and their Puppet Shows at least when the shows are ‘Civil" such as plays of Shakespear done by Dominated People and Animated Maniquenns. However it’s not unlikely or uncommon for a Puppeteer to join the Lancea Sanctum given the long standing history between Invictus and Lancea Sanctum. Rare still thoguh some Puppeteers Join the Ordo Dracul or Carthians but this is fairly uncommon.

Appearance
Most of this Bloodline don’t dress or appear any different from other Ventrue though they may carry puppets or dolls with them where ever they go. They do often enough seem to begin taking on the very doll-like characteristics of the very things they animate almost like they begin absorbing these characteristics. As such many Puppeteers have the Doll Face merit listed in the Mekhet clan book and so sometimes are mistaken for their own animated creations and vice versa.

History
The Founder of bloodline had developed considerable fears with regards to social interactions after becoming a Kindred which were further re-enforced by the Ventrue weakness, and having committed diablerie. While the Founder didn’t gain a paranoid or phobia derangement really from the Ventrue weakness the embarassment the Founder feared most of what other kindred would think of the founder as a result of the derangements the founder did have let alone how they were caused re-enforced the fear of interacting with others for they might see these derangements. This coupled with the fact the Founder couldn’t deal with business during the day further pushed the founder towards using proxies and intermediaries for all that was needed and with time none but these Proxies or Intermediaries ever saw the Founder. It was a short time after this that founder began to notice a difference in the blood something in the founder had changed and wasn’t a small thing. The beast felt closer now in some way to the founder than it had even after the last time the founder had committed diablerie, and at the same time something odd seemed to be happening with the dolls the founder kept it was almost as if the founder could start to feel something from them at the edge of the founder’s mind. Some even seemed to begin to turn their heads or move their limbs on their own almost eerily, and it didn’t take long for the founder to realize that they were doing this under the founder’s unintended command. Not to long after this the founder had learned just what had happened and how to control the new abilities that until then had been used unintentionally. With the knowledge that the founder had possibly just created a new bloodline with out even meaning to the founder quickly found two potential people amongst the ghouls the founder had created and embraced them to see if the traits of this bloodline would be passed on. To the Founder’s satisfaction they did pass on to these two and so after verifying that these childer also had gained these traits the founder had each childe embrace two more childer to ensure this was a new bloodline and not some fluke. Thankfully the bloodline did pass on to these grand-childer, every childe and grand-childe of the Founder showed the same traits and the ability to use the discipline the founder had started calling Pupa, latin for puppet, so it was undoubtedly a new bloodline with unique discipline that the founder had created.

Some few months after this the Prince and his sheriff of the city the founder lived in verified after a lengthy investigation that the Founder had been the culprit behind the disappearence of 3 kindred, due to commiting Diablerie, and thus Violating the biggest of the 3 primary Kindred Traditions. The Covenants these kindred had belonged to had been up in arms over the founder for sometime for other reasons and many had also suspected the founder for the disappearences anyways so it was not hard to for the prince to make the decision to call a Blood Hunt on the Puppeteer’s Founder. The Prince usually would call for a trial before seeking the blood of the culprit to find out the reasons behind the act, but not in this case the Prince had to many angry Elders to contend with. The Covenants and others will all to happy to follow through with the Blood Hunt save for the Circle of the Crone which was the founder’s own Covenant, and worked together to quickly and eagerly go out to destroy the Founder of the Bloodline. However no one yet knew what was in store as no one was aware the Puppeteers even existed or that the Founder had created a potential bloodline let alone a true one since the founder was so reclusive. While the Circle of the Crone sent out it’s members as required to perform the blood hunt and most where eager to do so several of the most prominent members were reluctant to do so, as were a few others in the Covenant. This was due to the Founder while being reclusive had still shown considerable loyalty to the covenant, shown to important functions, and cultivated good status with he covenant thus being both influential and prominent in the covenant. This caused several of the Circle’s Membership to warn the bloodline’s Founder and to even prepare to defend the Founder which in actuality caused the bloodline to gain another member as one of these was a ventrue.

The Blood Hunt resulted in a raid upon the haven of the Bloodline’s founder, which was a penthouse in a hotel, this raid however turned into a epic battle as the sheriff and those following the call for the blood hunt found themselves face to face with the Founder’s defenders. Vampires, Ghouls, and more stood between the sheriff, Sheriff’s men, and other kindred that wanted the status they could gain in being the one to kill the Bloodline’s founder fought there way up the hotel to the Penthouse but made slow headway. Gun fire, explosions, and screams echo’d through out the night from the hotel’s floors till they eventually reached the top. No one could have expected to face what the Bloodline’s founder had managed to through at them so many kindred had fallen or been seriously injured in the attack by Animated Statues, Mannequins, and more these animated beings were relentless defenders that seemed to never get tired. The Final battle was epic as the Founder and the Founder’s Childer with their last “puppets” stood against the Sheriff and the last of the Attackers, but in the end nothing would come out it. The Prince arrived as the battle raged in total stand off and called for the fighting to end as the Prince saw that there was more to the Bloodline’s founder which deserved investigation, and warrented letting The Founder live if a arrangement could be made. In the End the Bloodline’s founder was allowed to live with the Blood Hunt Called off, the Bloodline was found to be a legitimate Bloodline, and the Prince thought he had a potential new avenue for power or a way to acquire animated relentless guards for himself (by hiring bloodline members).

Devotions

Puppet’s Mark of Domination

Pupa ●○○○○, Domination ●●○○○
Action: Instant (during the creation of a doll)
Dice Pool: Presence + Pupa + Domination + Craft

By combining the very basic knowledge of Pupa and great ability with Domination the Puppeteer can turn simple dolls marked by pupa into powerful tools for spreading their will. By imbuing commands into the Mark on the doll powered by Domination thus powering the Puppet with their will so that they may then give it as a “gift” to someone who with every touch to the doll the command is impressed onto their mind. Standard check to resist the domination still are done against this use of Domination.
This Devotion costs 8xp to learn.

Puppeteer’s Voice

Pupa ●●○○○, Dominate ●●○○○
Action: N/A
Dice Pool: No roll of dice is nescessary for this it is merely a extension of basic capabilities of Pupa.
Cost: 1 Willpower

The puppeteer May speak through any puppet they have a Mark placed on when they see through the eyes of including puppets that have been animated. By combining the Sanguine Voice (the ventrue word for Domination) of the puppeteer and the power of Pupa their voice can be heard through the Puppet as if they were right there unfortunately this does not allow the use of Domination through the puppet, but it doesn’t need to as this is just a means for the Puppeteer to communicate at a distance to their ghouls and other thralls acting on their behalf since most puppets try to avoid social encounters when possible. Using these people instead.

System Notes: This is NOT in effect a possession like Dominate 5 would allow, this is simply a extension of the Pupa ●○○○○ power allowing the Character to now speak through a Puppet/doll/maniquenn as well as see and hear through it. The puppet need not be one that is animated though this is possible as with Pupa ●●○○○ in which case there is a similarity to this of using Dominate’s Possession but as these are not living things and are distinctly not human to say the least there is a big drawback of possible Masquerade breaches and the like that can happen with the use of this on animated beings even the unanimated ones. Nothing here is beyond the capabilities of either discipline and is merely a extension of the most basic functions of Pupa.
This devotion requires 4 xp to learn.

Command of the Puppeteer

Pupa ●●○○○, Domination ●●●●●, Puppeteer’s Voice
Action: Instant
Cost: 1 Blood
Dice Pool: Presence + Pupa + Domination + Expression

Following the Power of the Puppeteer’s Voice this devotion calls upon greater powers of Domination to allow the Puppeteer to not just speak through their Puppets but to also use their powers of Domination through the Puppet remotely.
This Devotion costs 5xp to learn, this Devotion must be learned after Puppeteer’s Voice.

Dressing Up the Doll

Puppeteer’s Voice, Obfuscate ●●○○○
Action: Extended
Dice Pool: Presence + Pupa + Domination + Craft + Obfuscate

This devotion Calls up the power of Obfuscate and the knowledge of Pupa to disguise a mannequin, doll, puppet, or similar item making the mannequin look and seem human even uses or Auspex 2 to see a aura around it may reveal a aura around it (the master’s aura) only a successful clash of wills from auspex would reveal the puppet’s aura to not be human. Especially close inspection by powers like Auspex do have the chance of revealing the Puppet’s true nature, but otherwise there is no way to tell. Especially since the master can speak through the puppet using Puppeteer’s Voice making it seem as the it speaks with it’s own voice like any other person would. This Devotion was developed to allow those puppeteer’s with out ghouls or others to do things and speak for them could use their puppets and the like to act as their go betweens and heralds if the puppeteer need not perform any social encounter themselves.
This Devotion costs 7xp to learn.

The Puppeteers

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