Path of Metamorphosis

"Enlarge your mind, for it is not burdened by the constraints of your flesh. Within the mind, all things are possible, and so only the mind is capable of conceiving, much less attaining, perfection. The pursuit of such a lofty goal brings its own rewards." - Vichel Tabara


Basic Beliefs

The practitioners of the Path of Metamorphosis believe that the world as we know it is simply one step in a long process of self-enlightenment and development towards something better. Exactly how this "better" is defined varies according to the follower, but the methods to achieving this higher state relies on perfecting the physical form to reflect the follower's attainment of more enlightentened principles. Vicissitude is the means by which this physical perfection is achieved, and any serious follower of the path is also a scholar of the Discipline. Naturally enough, this Path is followed primarily by members of Clan Tzimisce, who also adapt their mental processes towards this higher, more detached state. In the eyes of the unenlightened, they seem cruel, sadistic, and fanatical, but never seem to realize that the terror and agony the Tzimisce cause are merely tools to attain a more noble goal.

The Ethics of the Path

Study life - and how to end it - in all its forms
Human beings are useful as nothing more than food and test subjects
The path to enlightenment is a private one; each must pursue it alone
Learn to reign in your Beast, and learn to let it loose. Knowledge of both practices is necessary for enlightenment
The body reflects the mind; as you progress towards enlightenment, your body should develop into a stronger and more able tool
Those who do not pursue Metamorphosis are at best a distraction. Ignore them for your own good

Hierarchy of Sins

Score Moral Guideline Rationale
10 Postponing feeding when hungry Hunger causes distraction.
9 Indulging in pleasure Hedonism deters one from greater ends.
8 Imploring another for knowledge The lessons of Metamorphosis are secrets that must be uncovered, not copied.
7 Sharing knowledge with another Knowledge must be learned, not simply illustrated.
6 Refusing to kill when knowledge may be gained from it Before superseding death, the Metamorphosist must understand the phenomenon.
5 Failing to ride out a frenzy A Kindred must know the Beast to transcend it.
4 Considering the needs of others Those who cannot be bothered to attain Metamorphosis are beneath one's attention.
3 Failure to experiment, even at risk to oneself The Path may be understood only through empirical research.
2 Neglecting to alter one's own body Physical change must be attained before any more significant metamorphosis.
1 Exhibiting compassion for others The fates of others drag one into devolution, not transcendence.


Vampires on the Path of Metamorphosis subscribe to the Virtues of Conviction and Instinct.


The history of Metamorphosis is the history of the Tzimisce itself. From the ancient seers of the Clan to the greenest shovelhead, each has pursued Metamorphosis in their own way, resulting in a long tradition of development towards enlightenment. The Clan places little regard in others' opinion of their findings; only the journey and goal matter.

Current Practices

Followers of the Path of Metamorphosis tend to focus exclusively on increasing their own power and knowledge. Sect allegiance is a distant secondary concern, for the Tzimisce have been practicing this Path for thousands of years before the Sabbat was even conceived by vampires focused on political - and thus ultimately ephemeral - power.

Description of Followers

There might be a few wayward Cainites of other Clan who seek Metamorphosis, but the Path is ultimately a creation and tradition of the Tzimisce. To hear them tell it, only Tzimisce have the neccessary clinical detachment coupled with a rabid drive to pursue the ultimate goal of this Path. Vampires brought up among the Camarilla refuse to completely forego their humanity in the ways Metamorphosis requires, and even Clans such as the Lasombra and Giovanni hesitate to change themselves in so drastic a fashion, in spite of the benefits. Those who have followed Metamorphosis for a long time often twist their own forms into monstrous and brutally effective shapes, including multiple limbs, blood-sucking orifices, and anything else that they believe their take on enlightenment requires of them.

Following the Path

Metamorphosis is fundamentally a scientific endeavor: by understanding the world and the life within it, Metamorphosists hope to unlock the secrets of evolution and attaining mental and physical perfection. However, the physical form is seen as only a vehicle of the mind, and those who grow sidetracked with attaining temporal power are not respected by the followers of this Path.

Common Abilities

Followers of this Path often develop a variety of skills and abilities, for any road can potentially grant bursts of enlightenment to the dedicated practitioner. No method, however extreme, is ignored, so Abilities such as Academics, Investigation, Medicine, Occult, and Science are favored, followed secondarily by Body Crafts for those who seek to improve their bodies via Vicissitude.

Preferred Disciplines

Vicissitude is perhaps the most obvious of the Disciplines practiced by Metamorphosists, but mental powers such as Auspex, Thaumaturgy, Koldunism, and other mystical means are highly prized.

There are as many views on Metamorphosis as there are practitioners of the Path. Though all agree that the goal of the path is to become "more than" human, and "more than" vampiric, they viciously disagree on what the "more than" IS. In order to pursue their ends, many Path followers engage in the extremes of scientific and occult research. Needless to say, the Tzimisce fleshcrafters never use anesthetic. Vicissitude is seen as the primary means of expressing Metamorphosis, though whether this is because it is used because the spirit shapes the body or the body shapes the spirit is a hot source of contention.

The Path of Metamorphosis is a very exclusive Path. Its members do not congregate and share information - in fact, doing so is considered a violation of the Path's ethics (see page 293 of the Vampire: The Masquerade sourcebook for the hierarchy of Path sins). Several followers of the Path merge Metamorphosis with koldunic practices. This has led to the creation of the Ahzi Dahaka ("Three-Headed Dragon") philosophy, where the follower of Metamorphosis will someday gain complete physical, mental, and spiritual mastery - the Tzimisce version of Golconda, it seems.

When a Metamorphosist gains a particularly important revelation, they are said to undergo a period of "chrysalis" as they adapt to this newfound wonder and employ it in their pursuit of Ahzi Dahaka.

Path Interpretations

There are at least as many interpretations of the Path of Metamorphosis as there are practitioners, but the two broadest splits are between vampires who seek to purify themselves of all mortal constraints (a more spiritual and introspective path), and those who seek to improve the vampiric form in unheard-of ways (a very physical and temporal approach).