Toreador

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Toreador
Toreador symbol.png Toreador logo.png
The Clan of Divas, Degenerates, Artists, Harlots, Hedonists, Sensates, Arikelites
Disciplines:

Bane:[[#Bane|Aesthetic Fixation]]


Compulsion:[[#Compulsion|Obsession]]


Introduced in:Vampire: The Masquerade Corebook Renegade store / DriveThruRPG store

Background

Toreador are one of the fourteen vampire clans of Vampire: The Masquerade. Known for their seductive nature, enthralling demeanor, and eloquent grace to the point of obsession, Toreador vampires Embrace artists and lovers into their ranks, forever trying to stir their own deadened hearts. Supernaturally graceful and charming, the Divas are always looking for the next thrill, leaving a detritus of discarded lovers and victims in their wake.[1]

A clan who exudes beauty, one who seeks out the aesthetics in life and holds their obsessions with it. However, it is a mistake to think of them as nothing but Divas and perverts. Beauty is power and the way they utilize love to influence those around them to do just about anything is an invaluable weapon. The elders of their clan stress that the Embrace must be given to those worthy and that the clan seeks out pioneers of different arts. The clan prospers when it's filled with fresh ideas and those who value experimentation and discovery of new aesthetics. Because of this trait, this clan is riddled with a wide range of artists. However, to the Toreador, art is not only done with paint or a pencil.

Actors, singers, poets, and more fill in their ranks as long as they are viewed to be bringing something new to the table. And although they seek out the best of the best, it's not unheard of for one of the Hedonists to embrace another in a moment of weakness and haste. Creating a subpar childe after the pool of blood that they died in was too beautiful to let them go. Still, the clan holds its diversity between talent, beauty, and other core traits their sire found as an asset. [2]

Disciplines

Below are the powers innate to the Toreador as well as the uses they find in it. [3]

  • Auspex allows the Degenerates to find mortals that possess exquisite experiences for them to try as well as seek out other Kindred and cater to their desires or antagonize them with truths the Toreador shouldn't know.
  • Celerity is used by the Toreador to aid in their craft and while they may claim they are not fighters, they have been known to strike their foes before they were even able to react. In feeding, they use this power to take their blood before a mortal has even realized what occurred.
  • Presence is the power which they have mastered, using it in conjunction with Auspex to pierce and manipulate the minds of mortals and Kindred alike. Be it to engage in carnal pleasures or to take their fill of blood.

Bane

Aesthetic Fixation - A desire for beauty takes control over the Toreador and when in lesser surroundings they suffer. When they are within settings they find less than beautiful, they take a penalty equal to their Bane Severity when using Disciplines.[4]

Compulsion

Obsession - Utterly obsessed with a single thing, the Toreador cannot speak of anything but that object. Be it a person, a piece of artwork, a blood splatter in the right lighting, or the sunrise itself, they cannot take their attention from it. Any other actions receive a two-dice penalty. This Compulsion lasts until they can no longer perceive the object or the scene ends.[5]

Example archetypes

  • Anxious Graduate Student - Once a wallflower at parties, they were embraced by their sire who saw more in them. The unlife has done them well as they expanded their comfort outside of their originally small social circles thanks to Presence.
  • Eternal Muse - A person of obsession they were embraced by their sire to stop the aging process and preserve their beauty for all to see.
  • Drag Queen - Artists, performers, and singers are magnets to most Toreadors. This one was no exception, embraced for their skills and talents and to thrive in unlife doing what they love.
  • Outcast - Perhaps their sire thought their skills were better or perhaps they didn't care. This Toreador was embraced, but their clan does not match them well. Without the artistry like others and the social skills to match, they struggle to thrive within their clan.

Notable characters

Carmelita Neillson - A Brazilian-Irish Archeologist, she spends her time seeking out older Kindred to unearth their past. Carmelita breaks the pretty but talentless stereotype set for her clan by successfully gathering knowledge of Methusulah's awakening from torpor or stealing away Sabbat scriptures and cultivating her information into a library. She is forbidden by the Camarilla to store her information online, so she keeps several "Neillson" libraries in hidden locations. [6]

Helena - Born thousands of years ago in Greece, Helena is seen as a clan icon of beauty and talent. All her descendants showcase immense talent and are perfect examples of the traditional Toreador. Some believe she may dwell in the Americas at war with some rival and others believe she's busy running the most popular vampire nightclub, with a few outliers under the impression she is the lover to the clan's Antediluvian, working to wake them. [7] In truth after a millennia of war with Menele and his apparent destruction, Helena finds herself at a crossroads, gathering pawns in anticipation for her next worthy rival.[8]

Annabelle - The French-born Primogen of Chicago is the grandchilde and secret pawn of Helena. She has been involved in politics with the Camarilla for nearly two centuries. She's served on the council through the reigns of four different princes, survived fires, purges and lupine attacks. She solidified her power as a powerful swing vote during the Council Wars.[9] Annabelle throws parties frequently, one or more a week, where others can rub elbows with the powerful or admire new and old art. She maintains connections not only in Kindred society but the mortal art scene as well under the human guise of Elain Stanley-Greer. Who is able to pull the strings to get a headline bumped or a story buried. [10]

Eletria - Former Prince of Veracruz, childe of Helena, and master artist, Eletria was born in Roman-occupied Sparta. Eletria is long lived and has been a Blood Bound thrall to Helena for as long as she’s been Kindred. When the Bond finally weakened in modern nights she attacked Helena and fled her former master for Indianapolis. Here, she operates the Lhiannan Club and attempts to resist the Beckoning long enough to tie up unfinished business.[11]

Modius - His disparate and failed attempts for power have him called a “pauper Prince.” [12]  Born to a French immigrant family in the US, Modius lived a thousand lives and yearned for more. His ambition impressed Annabelle and she embraced him secretly. His ambition never waned, he had failed attempts to take Chicago from Former Prince Lodin which ousted the Toreador to Gary. Claiming himself Prince of Gary he bided his time always eying Chicago. This put him at odds with Juggler who became his fiercest rival. His whereabouts are unknown in modern nights. [13]

Victoria Ash - Born Victorine de Perpignan to poverty in 17th century France. She was only seen for her beauty and singing voice during her time, though her sire saw her potential with her cunning and charisma. Now she is one of the more influential and well-known Kindred of the night. She was selected to wed Tegyrius in the Vermillion Wedding to strengthen ties between the Camarilla and the Ashirra. [14]

Rafael de Corazon - A Camarilla founder who was integral in founding institutions of the sect. Proposing the name, traditions, and hierarchy of each domain should have. He fervently supported the tradition of the Masquerade and proposed temperance in attracting the Anarchs to the sect.[15][16]

Culture

Embrace

Clan elders have stressed Toreador offers some selectiveness in their Embrace, going for those that live on the cutting edge of culture, thought, and the mainstream. Many Toreadors go for artist, a term that can mean someone who strive to perfect anything: painters, actors, sex workers, well connected managers, collectors, academics, etc. Anyone who can offer the clan new experience, stimulation, or entertainment is fair game for a good and proper embrace.

However, the Toreador curse also affects their judgment in Embraces. Not all their choices may be best on getting the best in the field, but rather some Embrace a one night stand that went too far. Their fangs may turn a hedonistic party boy, a one-hit wonder, or a beautiful person who lacks any skills. A Toreador may even Embrace someone from a quality they saw in their childe that was too lovable to let go.[17]   This makes the clan very diverse though having people of all stripes.[18]

Mortal society

Given the aims of their embrace it is not too surprising the Toreadors hold a lot of influence in mortal society. Toreadors clutch to the industries that grasp at human stimulation and culture: television, news, music, art, wine bars, nightclubs, etc. Many may only attribute Ventrue with financial acumen, but Toreadors own many properties and business on a global scale. Of course unlike the Clan of Kings, many don’t do this for money, they do it for the thrill. The chance to mingle with human society, see humans feel real emotions, or just enjoy the thrill of a new venture.[19]  

On a more personal level many Toreadors love experience with herds and retainers. Standout personal assistants, clothing and cars that leave an impression on their herd. Though the Roses also have a tendency to hide their feedings as sensual. The sensation of physical intimacy and feeding is a common vice among the Divas. There is also the tendency for some Toreadors to become obsessed with a mortal, keeping them around like a muse and being very careful with their feeding. In many cases when the mortal runs out of whatever kept the Toreador’s attention they are discarded and left a shell.[20]

Oftentimes Toreadors settle disputes with each other through twisting their kine into competing with each other. The success and failure of their pawns settling the score on the competing Toreador overlords. [21]

Kindred society

The Toreadors usually consider themselves the foremost experts on the human experience keeping a hand on the pulse of human society. They keep Elysia up to date and help their sects stay in step with the ever changing mores and customs of human society. They are also known for their excellent social graces and gifts of the voice. They spread news like rapid fire and whisper gossip that can bring a Kindred low.

The artist of the clan creates art that conveys the changes in the political scene. Satire a masquerade breacher, having pieces celebrating Kindred victory, or news of a Primogen’s scandal hidden in a painting. In recent nights, this has allowed Toreadors to connect with Kindred of others clans. Cheaper Museum entries, the internet, and wider access to art have made art more available to people of all walks of life, Kindred included. Artist across clans can now relate to one another. Elder Divas dislike what they consider mixing their art with the unwashed masses, meanwhile neonates and ancillae enjoy more are able to view and discuss their works.[22]

Many Toreadors are experts at discovering the needs and desires of Kindred. The clan’s salons are akin to invite-only venues where those on the guest list doubles as a list of who’s who. They are known to be well connected either through their large network on another clanmates network both inside the Kindred world and out. Of course such an ask comes with a price, but the Roses vary in their wants. This makes many of them enthusiastic about coteries hoping to gain a deeper insight, evolve their craft, or expand their network. Those coterie members who can handle the fits of Toreador indulgence and obsession can have a strong ally who can whisper in the right ears.[23]

Factional differences

The Camarilla Toreador are proud of their lineage as they were instrumental in the formation of the sect. Toreador scholars even believe it was the Toreador’s own, Rafael de Corazon who came up with the name of the sect. Many Toreadors see the Camarilla as the safest option where they can interact with humanity and prey on humans without falling to their beasts. They see Anarchs as boorish with misplaced ideas.[24]

Those that join the Anarchs are called Abstract Toreadors, the Camarilla calling their political views out of the norm. Many Abstracts don’t want to  live in the rigidity of the Camarilla. A life free of exclusive clubs, mainstream conventions, and regulated art. They see the Camarilla gilded cage that security hampers. They take the name Abstract with pride now as it shows their different view of the world.[25]

The Camarilla Toreadors and Abstracts often use their minions in contests against each other. Retainers are sent to fight at times, but more often they compete in various battle fields: arts, performance, and other tests of skill. Humans used as pawns in the grand games of the Toreadors in the war of ages is a common sight.[26]

Exclusive Loresheets

Toreador characters have special access to the following loresheets:

Descendant of Helena


Gallery

Game concepts
Beginner's guide Vampire: The MasqueradeConsiderate playOfficial TTRPG sources
Character creation Merits and FlawsCoterie Backgrounds and MeritsLoresheetsPredator typesMortals and ghouls
Quick references Hunger systemResonanceHumanityIndex
Clans Banu HaqimBrujahGangrelCaitiffHecataLasombraMalkavianThe MinistryNosferatuRavnosSalubriToreadorTremereTzimisceVentrueThin-blood
Disciplines AnimalismAuspexBlood SorceryBlood Sorcery RitualsCelerityDominateFortitudeObfuscateOblivionOblivion CeremoniesPotencePresenceProteanThin-Blood Alchemy
Factions CamarillaAnarchCults
Antagonists Second InquisitionSabbat

References