The Vampire: The Masquerade Companion has brought three of the thirteen clans into the modern World of Darkness. Today, we’re going to look at the new iteration of clan Ravnos and how they compare to the original tricksters.
The old version of the World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade was far more progressive than other popular tabletop games of the era in certain areas. The World of Darkness game lines had no problem including gay LGBTQ characters at a time when that was almost unheard of in many forms of media. There were also lots of elements of the old World of Darkness that are now painful to behold, in their depiction of different cultures and races. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was particularly bad in this regard. Clan Ravnos were hit particularly hard by outdated depictions of the Romani people, but the Vampire: The Masquerade Companion has gone to great lengths to help modernize the clan and do away with the harmful stereotypes that they were associated with in the past.
Related: Vampire: The Masquerade: Clan Tzimisce Guide
Old Vs. New Ravnos
The clans in Vampire: The Masquerade are based on various aspects of vampire fiction. The Ravnos were based on Romani depictions in vampire fiction, most notably Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This resulted in a clan whose weakness was an inability to resist committing crimes, and a unique discipline based on deceiving others. Clan Ravnos were often shunned by the major factions and were written off as being untrustworthy, even among vampires. The Ravnos weren’t alone in this, as clans like the Assamites and Giovanni were also the subject of harmful stereotypes. As time went on, the writers toned down these aspects of the Ravnos and established the clan as one of the most powerful in India, altering their identity in the process.
Perhaps the biggest mistreatment of the Ravnos happened at the start of Gehenna. An event called the Week of Nightmares occurred, where the Ravnos Antideluvean woke up in India and went on a rampage. It took the combined efforts of three of the most powerful Kuei-jin, the Technocracy from Mage: The Ascension, and sunlight itself to destroy it. When the Antideluvean awoke, it drove everyone in its clan mad, and many of them were destroyed by their allies in the ensuing chaos. Clan Ravnos was used as a sacrificial lamb to tell the fans that Gehenna was coming, and they were mostly a non-entity in the events that followed.
The new version of the Ravnos in the Vampire: The Masquerade Companion has erased the old clan. They now share a kinship with the trickster gods of old, and their compulsion is one of seeking adventure and defying odds, rather than being a menace. The Ravnos are still nomads, but this is tied to their new clan bane, rather than a connection to the Romani people. The Week of Nightmare (or some equivalent) still took place, but the details are sketchy. The clan was almost wiped out by their Antideluvian waking up and being destroyed by the sun, but they’re slowly returning to prominence. The Ravnos are back, and they have a role in Kindred society, rather than being outcasts and nuisances.
Powers & Weaknesses
The old version of clan Ravnos had access to Animalism, Fortitude, and Chimerstry, which was their unique discipline. Chimerstry allowed the Ravnos to create illusions, which would become more convincing and complex as they mastered the discipline. The new version of clan Ravnos have access to Animalism, Obfuscate, and Presence, with the old Chimerstry abilities now being amalgam powers of Obfuscate. These amalgam powers are Chimerstry, which can make an individual experience a brief hallucination, and Fata Morgana, which conjures more complex hallucinations that can affect a group of people.
The old clan Ravnos weakness was the temptation to commit specific crimes. The new clan bane is linked to the destruction of their Antediluvian. If a Ravnos sleeps in the same place more than once in seven nights, then they roll a number of d10s equal to their bane severity and take aggravated damage for each critical that is rolled. The new bane makes it harder to tell stories based in small locations, and it would be practically impossible to use a Ravnos in a story where characters are imprisoned. It’s still an improvement over the old clan weakness, which was always a dice roll away from derailing a game.
Role In The Game
Vampire: The Masquerade Companion hasn’t established if the Ravnos belong to any of the sects, or if they will remain independent. Regardless, they are easier to incorporate into chronicles than they were in the past. The Second Inquisition has forced most vampires to stop using the Internet, which means that old forms of communication have come back into fashion. The Ravnos clan bane forces them to stay on the move, so no one is better equipped for dangerous trips than the tricksters. This means that they have become invaluable as messengers for the highest bidder.
The Beckoning has forced many Kindred elders to abandon their domain and head to the Middle East, leaving unprepared neonates behind as rulers. The Ravnos already lost their elders when their Antideluvian woke up, so they’ve had decades to prepare for the current climate. There was a time when the Ravnos were belittled and ignored by the other clans, but those days are long gone. It has been a long time coming, but the Ravnos are on the rise, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they became a new favorite among the fans of Vampire: The Masquerade.
Next: Vampire: The Masquerade As A Battle Royale Could Be A Genius Idea
The Vampire: The Masquerade Companion is available to download now for free from the World of Darkness website.
- Vampire: The Masquerade
Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.
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