Vampire: The Masquerade: Clan Salubri Guide
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 Salubri and how they compare to the unicorns of the past.
There are a couple of extinct clans and bloodlines in the World of Darkness that aren’t quite as dead as the other Kindred believe. The Salubri were once a powerful clan, but they were almost completely wiped out by the Tremere. An errant bloodline of warrior Salubri was said to be part of the Sabbat in the modern nights, but the healers and scholars of the clan entered into myth and memory. The Salubri can now appear as playable characters in the new edition of Vampire: The Masquerade, and there is a lot more scope for their inclusion in a chronicle than in the past.
Related: Vampire: The Masquerade Companion Review: Expanding The Darkness
Old Vs. New Salubri
The Salubri were one of the rarest clans in existence, but they were instantly recognizable, due to the third eye on their forehead. The members of clan Salubri fancied themselves the healers of Kindred society, as their disciplines allowed them to dull the pain of their brethren and help them on the path of salvation. There were also warriors among the Salubri, who took up the sword against the devil-worshiping members of clan Baali. The Salubri were a major part of the Dark Ages line of Vampire: The Masquerade, as it was set in an era when they still had a lot of influence in Kindred society.
We say “were” because the Salubri were almost completely wiped out by clan Tremere, who were called “Usurpers” as a result of their actions. The founder of clan Tremere diablorized the founder of the Salubri, and his childer did the same for the Salubri elders. There was initially opposition to the Tremere’s ascendance as a clan, especially from the Tzimisce, but the Tremere managed to become one of the cornerstones of Kindred society, thanks to their arcane abilities and tight-knit structure. It’s rumored that the Salubri soon dwindled down to seven members, who wandered the world in search of the mythical state of Golconda, which would allow them to face the sun without fear and take away their need for blood. The Salubri became a myth in the final nights, though their clan founder had a major role to play in several of the apocalyptic scenarios that ended the original Vampire: The Masquerade book line.
The new Salubri share many traits with the original version of the clan, but the details are a lot blurrier. There are only a few Salubri at any one time, their members are pursuing the path of Golconda, and they have a third eye on their forehead. What’s missing is the bloody history of the clan, as they currently don’t have a connection to the Baali or the Tremere. The new clan bane of the Salubri (see below) might explain why so few of them exist, but a lot of holes have been left in their history for storytellers to fill or ignore at their leisure.
Powers & Weaknesses
In the old World of Darkness, the Salubri had access to unique disciplines, depending on their caste. The Salubri had access to Obeah or Valeren, depending on their role as either a healer of Kindred or a destroyer of evil.
Obeah was a healing discipline, which had a range of powers that allowed the Salubri to help mortals and vampires alike. This healing even extended to derangements and other mental ailments. Valeren was a similar discipline, but it had a few powers that could protect allies and harm enemies.
The new version of the Salubri have access to Auspex, Dominate, and Fortitude, with the former unique disciplines now appearing as amalgam powers. Obeah is now an Auspex power and it can soothe the emotions of another being. Unburdening the Bestial Soul is also Auspex and it can remove Stains from a fellow vampire, as well as possibly restoring a point of Humanity. Valeren is now a Fortitude power and it can heal either superficial or aggravated damage from a fellow vampire.
The old Salubri weakness was different depending on caste and era, with some Salubri only ever able to feed on mortals who give consent, and some who can only feed on mortals who resist them. The new version of the Salubri technically have two banes, one for their eye and one for their blood. The smell and taste of Salubri vitae is so potent that other vampires have a hard time resisting it, especially when hungry. The Salubri still have their third eye, but now it bleeds whenever they use a discipline. This is both a potential Masquerade violation and a way of causing other vampires to enter frenzy at the smell of the blood.
Role In The Game
Storytellers should be careful about using a member of clan Salubri in their chronicle, which includes allowing players to use them as characters. As there are so few Salubri left, it would require an exceptional situation for one to appear, and their presence could take focus away from the rest of the story. The same is especially true for Salubri player characters. The muddying of the Salubri history means that it’s easier than ever to include one in a chronicle without needing to change the lore of the game, but they can easily derail a story. The Salubri clan bane means that it’s easy for situations to arrive where players accidentally turn on each other, while their bleeding third eye makes it a pain for them to use disciplines with subtlety.
One way in which a Salubri character can be introduced is by having a player masquerade as a member of another clan, possibly by ignoring the bane requirement of the third eye opening/bleeding when using a discipline. The reveal of the Salubri’s secret could be a huge moment for the other players and it will test their devotion to each other. This could make for an interesting storyline, so long as it’s something used sparingly.
Salubri NPCs have many of the same issues as Salubri player characters. A Salubri would only show up during exceptional circumstances and the World of Darkness isn’t a game of epic adventures. If a storyteller wants to use a Salubri in their game, then they need to carefully consider if the situation is warranted and if they want to risk overshadowing the player characters and their story.
Next: Vampire: The Masquerade: Clan Tzimisce Guide
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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