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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #12: Developing Ventrue

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #12: Developing Ventrue

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Wed 15 May 2024, 22:20:54

Tags: Paradox Interactive; The Chinese Room; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2


Picture a group of stylish, ambitious vampires, each with a hunger for authority that matches their thirst for blood. That's Clan Ventrue for you - vampires with a taste for power, prestige, and opulence. Our team had a blast bringing their aristocratic grandeur and ambition to life in the game. Equally at home in the corridors of corporate power and the halls of high society, the Ventrue embody leadership, strategy, and a refined decadence. Whether they're making deals in the boardroom or dominating the nightlife scene, the Blue Bloods always maintain their iron grip on power.

Designing modern Ventrue for Tabletop
Just like the Brujah, the Ventrue are a foundational archetype both in Vampire: The Masquerade’s clan assembly as well as in wider vampire fiction. They represent the vampire as the aristocratic leader — classy, regal, and inhumanly majestic. Many silver screen depictions of Dracula would fit well in this clan, as would any number of his derivatives. Before Anne Rice, the Ventrue represented what most people would consider a classical vampire.

Taking the Blue Bloods into the fifth edition was therefore comparatively easy, as the clan has had a solid identity from its first appearance in 1991, never relying on gimmick powers or tangled setting elements. Their arsenal of Disciplines paint a clear picture of the kind of ruler they represent: Presence to incite awe, Dominate to enforce obedience, and — if the previous would fail — Fortitude to withstand retaliation. A true Ventrue commands from the front, but that is also their weakness.

While Ventrue vampires are no strangers to hierarchies, their tradition of Embracing mortals already used to being obeyed often creates brittle power structures with too many leaders and not enough followers. To many Blue Bloods the throne is more important than what it represents, and more than one Ventrue Prince has met final death because they would rather lead in defeat than triumph as a lackey.

– Karim Muammar, Designer of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition and Brand Editor for the World of Darkness

Combat Discipline Design
For Ventrue’s approach to combat, we wanted to lean into a feeling of superiority and domination. It means nothing to always be superior, though, so you start off at a disadvantage. Ventrue's capabilities in combat aren’t as strong as some other clans, and so you’ll likely need to start out on the lower end of the food chain, staying out of sight and using spoken commands to keep your hands clean. As they feed, their fortitude strengthens- Ventrue's passive turns their skin to marble, so the more blood they have the more resistant to damage they become. This lets you take much nastier opponents head on and allows the use of Ventrue’s more devastating Dominate powers- where once you were skulking in the shadows, now you are an unstoppable god who can kill with words alone! This rise-and-fall fight mechanic is the main draw of the Ventrue’s playstyle, and should be well suited to players who want to keep things varied, or maybe just seek an absurd level of power...

– Max Bottomley, Senior Game Designer

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