Toreador

Nickname: Degenerates
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Presence

The Toreador are called many things - "degenerates," "artistes," "poseurs" and "hedonists" being but a few. But any such lumpen categorization does the clan a disservice. Depending on the individual and her mood, Toreador are alternately elegant and flamboyant, brilliant and ludicrous, visionary and dissipated. Perhaps the only truism that can be applied to the clan is its members' aesthetic zeal. Whatever a Toreador does, she does with passion. Whatever a Toreador is, she is with passion.

To the Toreador, eternal life is to be savored. Many Toreador were artists, musicians or poets in life; many more have spent frustrating centuries producing laughable attempts at art, music or poetry. Toreador tout themselves as cultivators of all that is best about humanity. Occasionally, a particularly gifted or inspired creator is Embraced into the clan, to preserve her talent for eternity. In this manner, Clan Toreador has inducted some of humanity's greatest artists, poets and musicians into its ranks; of course, if one thing can be said about the Toreador, it is that no two of them agree on precisely what "gifted" or "inspired" means.
Of all clans, Toreador are the vampires most connected to the mortal world. While other vampires view the kine as pawns or simple sustenance, Toreador glide gracefully and effortlessly through the society of the Canaille, sampling the delights of each age as a gourmand savors rare delicacies. Toreador are the Kindred most likely to fall in love with mortals, and they surround themselves with the best, most elegant and most luxurious things - and people - that the world has to offer. It is, thus, acutely tragic when a Toreador succumbs to ennui and discards aesthetic pursuits in favor of pointless hedonism. Such Kindred become decadent sybarites, concerned only with indulging personal whims and vices.

Toreador are committed to the Camarilla and share the Ventrue's love of high society, though not for them the tedium of actually running things - that's what functionaries are for, after all. Toreador know that their place is to captivate and inspire - through their witty speech, graceful deeds and simple, scintillating existence.

Sect

Most Toreador are in the Camarilla, as only that august organization promotes "culture" and allows the Toreador to live among the mortals they so favor. Those in the Sabbat pursue bizarre "artistic" pastimes, such as torture and blood-painting, or are the rulers of the most decadent underground movements.

Appearance

Toreador Embrace out of passion as much as any other reason; accordingly, many Toreador are creatures of surpassing beauty. Of all Kindred, Toreador are the vampires most attuned to human fashion trends; centuries-old Degenerates are often more stylish than some 30-year-old mortals. If it's in, chances are that at least one Toreador will adopt it.

Haven

Toreador take care to ensure that their havens are comfortable, convenient for socializing and - above all – conform to their aesthetic tastes. Vampires of a more artistic bent might maintain spacious lofts to display their works, while their "poseur" counterparts love opulent suites perfect for hosting parties.

Background

Toreador range across a spectrum of concepts, from lonely, tortured artists to debauched jetsetters. Some Toreador are Embraced for no reason other than their beauty or personal style, as a passionate sire decides that they simply must be "preserved" for eternity.

Character Creation

Social Attributes and Abilities are prized among the clan, though Toreador are typically concerned less with outright control than with making a good impression. Perception is also favored, both for creation and for critiquing. Artistes favor Abilities such as Expression and Performance, often enjoying very high levels in these aesthetic Traits; their poseur brethren must make do with Abilities like Subterfuge and Etiquette. Toreador are very social creatures, and love adoration from both Kindred and kine; as such, Backgrounds like Allies, Contacts, Fame, Herd, Resources and Status are common.

Weakness

Toreador are preternaturally attuned to the aesthetic and beautiful, but this sensitivity can prove dangerous, When a Toreador views, hears or even smells something that is truly beautiful - a person, a painting, a song, a particularly lovely sunrise - he must make a Self-Control roll (difficulty 6) or become entranced by the sensation. The Toreador will stand in rapt fascination for a scene or until the beautiful thing withdraws. Enraptured Toreador may not even defend themselves if attacked, though being wounded allows them to make another Self-Control roll to "break the spell."

Organization

Toreador have little practical organization, though their cliquishness and social networks are legendary. The clan meets frequently, but more as an excuse to host lavish parties and showings than to accomplish anything. Status among the Toreador is a tempestuous whirlwind in which one subtle smile or catty critique can lead to fortune or disaster; a prodigy may be adored one night, commit a barely perceptible faux pas, and be ostracized the next.