Ah, the Tremere, a.k.a. Rein·Hagen's pet Tremary Sues. Hated by all and loved by none, these guys are the vampiric equivalent of the Marines Malevolent, mainly due to how sheerly despised they are amongst most of the Vampire community. So why are they hated so much? Because they are Tzeentch-tier scheming dickwads that weren't even originally vampires that have made themselves indispensable.
When designer Mark Rein·Hagen decided to include a clan of thaumaturges in his new Vampire game, rather than utilize a vampiric clan that had millennia to perfect blood magick as simple logic would have dictated, he instead opted to myopically shoehorn his pet Tremere mortals from his previous Ars Magica game as a new vampire clan with a historically absurd monopoly on thaumaturgy, which made them an entire clan of Mary Sues ("Tremary Sues"), hated both in-game and out-of-game by players of every other vampiric clan, especially the clans that have a much better narrative justification for thaumaturgic mastery.
In-game originally a House of Mages in the Order of Hermes, House Tremere was one that quickly began to realise that their magic would stop working
due to the advancement of the Technocracy (actually a common misconception. The Technocracy didn't even exist yet. Tremere was just kind of shit at magic). This meant a lot to them, because if the magic went, so would their immortality potions that had kept them around for so long. So, they began to look for solutions; rituals, incantations, and other such wizardy shit before Goratrix, an elder, discovered the solution; Vampirism! And so Tremere, the house's founder and namesake, and six other elders were summoned to Goratrix to become Vampires. This meant, however, that they lost their magical powers and avatars, which obviously bummed them out a lot. The other clans, particularly the Tzimisce, would make war against the Tremere, treating them as third-class citizens and generally not taking these upstart little shitwizards seriously.
So, on a quest to make others respect them, they did the unthinkable; Tremere diablerised Saulot, motherfucking Antediluvian of the Salubri, elevating them to legitimate clan status. Tremere then immediately fell into torpor, as the entire kindred community collectively took a step back and said "wait, what the fuck?", as the Tremere began to launch a systematic purge of the Salubri across the entire world, to this day leaving them decimated to the point of no return.
Since then, they have concocted an awful form of magic; Thaumaturgy, even though it is much more similar to Blood Magic in practical terms. Whilst Tremere have proved themselves to be slimy fucks supreme, they have made deals with literally every clan to the point where even if they wanted to, they would not be able to wipe the Tremere out.
The Man Himself
Tremere himself has been constantly mutating and changing shapes since he fell into torpor, taking shapes such as an enourmous worm whilst writhing and wriggling around. Unbeknownst to everyone, the spirit of Saulot had decided to not take things easy on this usurping little upstart, attempting to possess him. Eventually, at some point around Gehenna, Saulot won, leaving Tremere to possess the body of Goratrix, leader of the Tremere Antitribu.
Mage: The Awakening
The name and general spirit of the Tremere continue into the New World of Darkness, albeit with a shift in character. The Tremere Liches are a Legacy of, well, liches in Mage: The Awakening. They still have the theme of undead wizards willing to violate the souls and lives of others for magical power, and have abandoned their own souls to achieve it. While initially a renegade part of the Diamond kicked out after the discovery of their Reaper activities that the Pentacle believes to be only a Legacy, they've since grown into a Nameless Order in their own right with multiple Houses (essentially Legacies) they've subverted to their control. Even other evil mages hate them and want them dead. They are also, notably, not actual vampires (though they often tend to look like them due to their disinterest in the physical body), and thus don't interact too terribly much with the Kindred of Vampire: The Requiem (although they apparently have some pen pals in the Ordo Dracul). Instead, they focus on the Mysteries of the soul in what they claim will lead them to ultimate power through connection to the cosmic Oversoul and the awakening of the soul's true power, which they consider to be held back by the Paths and other forms of magic practices.
Making them less Sueish
If you're doing a "I Can't Believe It's Not VtM" setting, and wondering how to turn down the Mary Sue dial on your version of the Tremere? Give them some actual weaknesses.
A few possibilities:
- Their weakness is each other. Some possible subvarities:
- They instinctively dislike each other, even more than other vampires. For one example: While the other Clans can cooperate as needed, a group of more than three "Tremeralikes" is going to fall into internal conflict and bickering if they meet in person. (In game mechanics terms, if more than two other vampires of their clan are around, any social rolls are penalized or boosted to directly hinder cooperation, any reaction rolls are made more hostile, Frenzy is at a penalty, etc.)
- None of them are free. They're even more prone to mental control by their Blood Magic than other vampires. Which in turn has two possibilities: Either all the "Tremeralikes" you are likely to meet are slaves to some Master or Masters not even they know, or their politics is so paranoid that they don't have anything resembling leadership.
- They're subject to Paradox and Disbelief. They got the worst of both Mages and Vampires, in addition to the good stuff.
- The Blood Magic they practice makes them freaky, even by vampire standards. While not as obviously wrong as, say, a Nosferatu, their wrongness is more insidious in its action. In other words: rip off the Disquiet mechanics from Promethean: The Created, and have it also apply to other Vampires at a reduced rate.
- They can't enter a home without the owners consent, this combines the Salubri concent aspects with the Tzmisce territory aspect to make a traditional vampire flaw.
|The Clans of Vampire: The Masquerade|
|Independent Clans||Fallen Clans|
|Absimiliard - Augustus Giovanni - Arikel - Cappadocius - Ennoia - Haqim - Ilyes |
Lasombra - Malkav - Saulot - Set - Tremere - Tzimisce - Ventru - Zapathasura