| giovanni online v5.0 |
Here's we'll take a look at what disciplines the Giovanni have access to. For OOC purposes certain disciplines will be noted as "not for starting characters" which means that no beginning character to the family should be allowed to take them to start with. They should be earned not freely given and no Giovanni should simply 'wind up with them' as some Storytellers are inclined to do.
Paths of Necromancy: Their relation to the Giovanni, frequency, and availability.
It goes without saying that the main three paths of Necromancy (Bone, Sepulchre, and Ash) are the bread and butter for the Giovanni. They are also the most common. What this article is designed to do is to talk about the other paths of Necromancy, their variants, their frequency, and their availability to the Giovanni.
NOTE : This is not meant to be a crutch for players and bypass some of the hard work put into the original books. This writer highly encourages any player wishing to play a Giovanni to buy a copy of the revised Giovanni Clan book (and the main Vampire: the Masquerade Revised). If you have extra money then I’d advise finding a copy of Mediums: Speakers with the Dead, Clan Novel: Giovanni, and the Giovanni Chronicles 1-4. These are just personal choices that I found extremely helpful. Also note: the Dark Ages: Vampire line has some great information on the Cappadocians (and Giovanni of that time period).
Giovanni have ready access to:
The Sepulchre Path VtMRev, pg. 161
The Bone Path VtMRev, pg. 163
The Ash Path VtMRev, pg. 164
These three paths are the clan’s main paths, with Sepulchre being the first. No Giovanni clan member starts game play without Sepulchre being his or her primary path.
Path of Abombo/Cenotaph Path revised Clan book: Giovanni, pg. 67
This path is found with the African branch of the Giovanni called the Ghiberti. It should be noted that the Path of Abombo is what they personally call it (found in Kindred of the Ebon Kingdom) and Cenotaph appears to be the ‘westernized’ variant of the name. There is nothing different between the two. It is possible for Giovanni outside of the Ghiberti to have learned this path but it is uncommon, especially to those outside of Africa. This should be difficult for any player to learn in character. Should any Storyteller allow a player to learn this path or its rituals with little to no work, please be aware that they are lessening the uniqueness of the path. Players should struggle to earn this path, as it is not a regular path within the overall clan.
Pisanob rituals: While not a separate path of Necromancy, it should be noted that this family line does have some specific necromantic rituals tied to it. Many of these rituals are closely guarded as family secrets and are not shared with the rest of the family. It should be as hard if not harder to obtain a Pisanob ritual than to learn African Necromancy (Cenotaph).
Path of Nigrimancy Players Guide to the High Clans, pg. 193
Path of Haunting Players Guide to the High Clans, pg. 196
Both of these paths are old and date back to the clan’s original foundation as a vampire bloodline. Since these paths came out in a Dark Ages book after the original World of Darkness game was cancelled, errata for these paths must be assumed. Both paths should still be around in the Giovanni. However, practitioners are not as numerous as they once were. Plus these paths should be considered vulgar, and probably less refined as the major three (Bone, Ash, and Sepulchre). Finding these paths should be hard, but not quite as difficult to obtain as Cenotaph as they are still found within the main family. And while useful, such paths should probably not be readily known by many of the lesser branches (such as the Ghiberti, Pisanob, Milliner, etc) as they are found with old world Giovanni. In either event, a Giovanni player should not just assume these paths are open to them and should consult their Storyteller prior to pursuing them.
Paths outside of the Giovanni:
The Vitreous Path, Vampire Storyteller’s Handbook revised, pg. 40
The path held exclusively by the Nagaraja and their own vile version of Necromancy. This path is not something the Giovanni have access to on any level as a whole. And in fact it is not compatible with the Giovanni Western Necromancies. Can the Giovanni learn it? Yes, and it is this writers opinion that such an effort should take double the normal time in doing so. You might ask why such a long duration. The explanation is that the ideologies, histories, and methods between the two vampires (Giovanni and Nagaraja) are vastly different. In the end the Giovanni would have to relearn all of the methods of interaction with the Shroud, blood, and Wraiths all over again. But unlike the faith-based necromancies of other clans, it would be possible to learn this path.
However, as of the revised Storyteller’s Handbook most of the Nagaraja have been wiped out. And what few that remain have fled to Southeast Asia. The books rumor their numbers to be around 12. This means that the Giovanni should have no real chance of learning this discipline from them.
The Mortuus Path, Guide to the Sabbat, pg. 108
Given that the founder of this bloodline is in a way related to the Giovanni (by way of being a former Cappadocian) it is to no surprise that they sprung up with a variant all to themselves. The unoriginal and hate filled Harbingers of the Skull are largely the sole purveyors of this path. Their founder, Lazarus, was a shifty Cappadocian of his time but technically never had access to Necromancy, as we know it by the books. While it was not impossible for this bloodlines founder to have picked it up prior to his exodus into the Shadowlands (technically speaking he would have had to) it should be noted that in doing so, this would make it a bastardized variant from the original Necromancy tree.
So this means the Giovanni can learn it no problem right? Mechanically speaking that would be a yes. To illustrate their (the Harbingers) inability to create innovative ideas, the Mortuus path largely resembles the Mortis path from the first edition Vampire: the Dark Ages. All they managed to do really was create an extra necromancy path to duplicate things their clan could already do prior.
This path should probably be familiar looking to Giovanni yet foreign should it actually be seen in use. Mostly due to it’s origins and variant nature.
Now in order for a Giovanni to learn this path he would have to have a Harbinger teacher as this path does not exist within the clan. And unless you have not read the books, the Harbingers in a best-case scenario want to avoid the Giovanni completely and in worse case want to wipe them all out. Finding a teacher to teach them (the Giovanni) anything a Harbinger knows should be impossible. Not really hard, not even really darn difficult, but impossible. Remember Storytellers, just because you –can- doesn’t mean you –should-.
Faith based Necromancy (Necromancy of the Samedi and Serpents of the Light):
The necromancy powers of the Samedi and Serpents of the Light (Voudoun and Wanga) are completely incompatible with the Giovanni Western Necromancies. They cannot be added like any other discipline as they rely upon the faith of the user as opposed to the occult knowledge and applied mystic science. For a Giovanni to begin learning anything from these paths, they would have to place their faith in those spirits that govern those paths. And just because they have similar paths does not make them compatible. Example: you own an Atari 2600 and you own an old school Nintendo. Some of the games might be the same, but one look at the cartridge itself would tell you they wont work together.Compound to this problem with the fact that the Giovanni hunt down and slay rogue necromancers. And if a Giovanni ever switched over to devote himself to Set or Baron Samedi, you can bet the family wouldn’t be far behind the errant childe.