|Disciplines||Obtenebration, Dominate, Potence|
|Canon Flaw||Causes damage to target when feeding|
|Dark Prospects Flaw||Painful Feeding - The Giovanni may not induce The Kiss while feeding.|
Who are the Giovanni?
The Giovanni are an independent clan of Vampires, bound by grotesque family ties, and by a ruthless obsession with amassing money and power. Many see the Giovanni as vampire mobsters, but there is more to them than that; They are also Necromancers. Both the living and the dead are manipulated, extorted, and harvested whenever beneficial. No debt can ever be escaped, as they can as easily kill your loved ones as they can bind your soul to eternal service. Few can compete with the sadistic cruelty and efficiency of clan Giovanni.
Clan Giovanni runs like an enormous and continuously branching family business. Augustus Giovanni, an antediluvian, sits at the top of this business, delegating or punishing as he sees fit. Under him are the councils of elders, the Anziani, who make all of the major decisions. They will steer the fate and decisions of their descendants from on high. Ultimately, the higher ups are pretty hands off, so long as the individual is making money or good Necromantic progress.
Giovanni Kindred are almost exclusively raised from the mortals of the family bloodline, and usually only after proving themselves as a ghoul. Those who do prove themselves worthy to become Vampires are expected to continue to serve the interests of their superiors, while also securing their own financial or intellectual assets. A Kindred who cannot pull his or her weight has no value. Liabilities will be eliminated.
What’s it like being a Giovanni ghoul?
Mortals of the family are often kept in the dark, only aware that they have horrible relatives who do weird and illegal activities. Ghouls are usually recruited from promising members of this mortal family; those who display inherent depravity or whose greed outweighs their morality. Sometimes a trusted friend or useful pawn likewise presents itself to become a pumped up vitae addict. That’s okay, so long as they know their place.
Making a ghoul is often referred to as the ‘proxy kiss’ within the clan. It is the initiation of the mortal into the world of the supernatural, and it is also a time of training, proving, and being expedible. Trusted ghouls do important work in the day while their bosses sleep. Some ghouls are content remaining super-powered thugs with evil bosses, being debased or torturously bitten at their sires whim. After all, they get to live longer than most mortals while still enjoying the fruits of life. Others single-mindedly strive to earn their ‘promotion’ of becoming full blooded kindred. Whatever the ambition, the business is cutthroat, and good practice for Kindred society.
Are there Giovanni antitribu?
No. Some Giovanni claim to join the Camilla or the Sabbat, but they are all spies and double agents. You could say that their family loyalty is stronger than any political leanings. You could also say that the family will murder anyone who tries to betray them or defect.
The short answer is ‘No’. There are a few noteworthy families that have been indoctrinated to the clan. The big ones are the Pisanob, a family preserved for their expertise in Aztec necromantic traditions from south america and Mexico; the Ghiberti, a family of necromancers with unique powers out of Africa, where there was also an economic foothold to be made; the della Passaglia, who have the most established trade routes with the far east within the clan; and finally the Dunsirn, a family of Scottish bankers and canibals.
There are also rare situations where someone outside the immediate bloodline gets embraced. Doing so puts both sire and neonate under a dangerous level of scrutiny. After all, there are plenty of ghouls who’d resent an outsider getting ahead of them, and plenty of cousins who’d love to kill a black sheep for their assets.
Before there was clan Giovanni, there was clan Cappadocian. Cappadocius was an antediluvian with some crazy ideas about devouring God. He made some childer clans to protect and serve him. Most notable of them were the Lamia; a clan of matriarchal warriors who could spread disease.
Augustus Giovanni was brought into the fold for his expertise on death and the occult. Once made into a Vampire, Giovanni began embracing his relatives and amassed his own clan in short order. Those loyal to Cappadocius’ were suspicious of this new upstart, but they were not prepared for his ambition.
When the opportunity presented itself, after a few hundred years of service, Giovanni diablerized Cappadocius. Then he began a campaign to destroy all of Cappadocius’ other children. Ultimately, he was rather successful in his hunt. It is said that Lamia herself, upon being devoured, cursed the Giovanni to have an agonizing kiss.
Some of Cappadocius must have rubbed off on Augustus, because he also became obsessed with spiritualism and his own notion of self deification. He ordered everyone in his clan to focus on collecting artifacts and religious knowledge. His new mission became to discover a way to tear down the division between the world of the living and the world of the dead, with Augustus himself as the ruler of both. (We don’t talk about this plan to outsiders, but furthering this goal is the underlying motivation for everything we do.)
Clan Giovanni made a great deal of financial power during the renaissance, when all of philosophy books and ancient junk they’d been collecting was suddenly in demand. Many went from being merchants to wealthy and landed business owners. It was from here on out that there become 2 very viable and distinct ways to earn prestige in the clan; Make a lot of money, or collect a lot of souls.
As of 1850, The Giovanni are continuing expansion into other countries, and as a result are beginning to adopt new ‘subfamilies’ into the clan as necessary.
Opinions of others:
Camarilla: Wimps and chumps. They invited us join to their little club back when they were forming. We refused, and they gave us a great deal of benefits to keep us on good terms. The Camarilla are not allowed to touch you unless you do something heinous. If they ever have a meeting, you can usually ask permission to sit in as well. However, if you ever abuse your privileges or make clan Giovanni look bad, expect to be severely punished.
Sabbat: I don’t see how acting like freaks and monsters helps your little Caine crusade, but have fun.
Assamites: Professional assassins with good work ethic. Too bad they got metaphysically domesticated by the Camarillas blood curse.
Brujah: Nothing more than hotheaded thugs who play at philosophy. For self proclaimed scholars, they rarely know anything useful.
Lasombra: We actually have a lot of blood relations that end up as Lasombra, simply due to the historical proximity of our clans. Too bad the only times we meet is when we’re competing for money, power, or mortal stock.
Malkavian: They are nuts, and they are not on your side.
Nosferatu: Ugly, sneaky, strong, and cunning. A lot of folks cringe at the sight or smell of them, but we mutilate corpses in our spare time. They appreciate that we don’t flinch easy, and they learn stuff skulking around. Talking to them can be worth your while.
Ravnos: Thieves and scoundrels. Watch your valuables, and do not trust them for a second. The only good thing about them is they don’t tend to have a lot of friends. Stick them in the firepit if they become a problem.
Samedi: Our boss and their boss didn’t have a great first impression on each other, but that doesn’t mean much to the rest of us. For some reason, they also have a discipline that manipulates death. They also look like cadavers, which is similar to the curse of the old Cappadocians. Don’t be surprised if they become kill on sight.
Toreador: Weepy dead artists cursed with a permanent inspiration block. Why do you exist? It’s not tragic, it’s annoying. Still, some of them collect useful books, artifacts, or even fashionable ancient corpses. Don’t write them off entirely until you know what weird junk they’re into.
Tremere: These Vampires have their own magic discipline, Thaumaturgy. It’s blood magic, and can do all kinds of weird stuff Necromancy can’t. Much like Augustus, Tremere also ate an antediluvian to feed his own ambitions. In many ways, they are as enterprising and brutal as we are. One word of advice: If you want to trade knowledge of Necromancy for Thaumaturgy, you can probably bend them into giving you the better deal.
Tzimisce: Outdated weirdos with pointless and disgusting hobbies.
Ventrue: Rich and spoiled dandies, and our greatest competitors in financial ventures. They are surprisingly hard to kill.
Werewolves: Supposedly, these monsters live in the wilds outside of Sicily, and are the big reason we don’t own everything in that area.They hate our kind, are tough as nails, and travel in groups. Avoid them if you see them.
Gaian Spirits: Sometimes you see something spectral that’s not a Wraith. They really have nothing to do with us.
Wraiths: These souls exist in a hellish bureaucracy world, the Shadowlands, where their essence is a commodity (even to each other). Those that don’t get turned into money or furniture are drafted into legions depending on the circumstances of their death. The only thing that lets them visit the living world are anchors called ‘fetters’. Find these anchors, and boy, you’ve got a ghost by the balls. Give them an empty promise to send them to heaven or to find their loved ones, and you’re well on your way to getting their soul in your pocket.
Wraith Shadows: One warning when dealing with Wraiths. They all have an evil voice in their head called a ‘Shadow’, trying to make them act out repressed urges or destroy themselves or something. Sometimes this voice even takes control of them, and makes them do some crazy, out of character stuff. Just as often, you can deal with this shadow and exploit its desires like anything else.
Wraith Guilds: Dead folks get claimed by legions based on how they died, and they belong to a guild based on what powers, or ‘Arcanoi’ they possess. It’s important to know what weird powers a ghost might throw at you, so a quick look at the guilds is below:
Artificers: They smith other ghosts into utilitarian objects. Knowing one is very useful, as they can deal in currency immediately valuable in the Shadowlands.
Chanteurs: Banshees. Can control emotions with singing or screaming. It’s usually better to just turn them into something useful.
Harbingers: These are the guides of the afterlife. They can get around the Shadowlands easier and faster than anyone else. Don’t try navigating the Maelstrom of Oblivion without one. Don’t try navigating the Shadowlands period if any of these words are foreign.
Haunters: Our favorite guild. Like us, they want to tear down the division between the world of the living and the dead. They’re powers involve freaky, wall-peeling, bedsheets become maggots, nightmare is reality stuff. Our alliance is political. They are pretty crazy.
Masquers: Spies and snitches. They know everything, but getting them to talk takes serious squeezing or easing.
Monitors: Bloodhounds for fetters. Useful if you want to sniff out some leverage on local ghosts.
Oracles: The strong ones can see the future and alter fate. That usually means you can’t deal with them.
Pardoners: When a Wraith falls to its shadow, these are the guys that hunt them down and clean up the mess. Think part spanish inquisition, part asylum worker.
Proctors: They can do whispered voices and scare people. Most ghost stories are one of these guys messing with someone.
Puppeteers: They can jump into someone’s body and dance them around like a meat suit. Great at parties. Better when trying to make your financial rival destroy themselves in your interests.
Sandmen: Dreamwalkers. They aren’t much of a threat or use, unless they become master, when they are too dangerous to deal with.
Spooks: Poltergeists. They get mad and break stuff a lot. If you can get them on your side, they can be a huge nuisance.
Usurers: Essence bankers. They can exchange Pathos energy between Wraiths, and even mend damaged corpus with the stuff. Not useful to us directly, but obviously useful to them.[/quote]