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Tolerating Vampires, reasons to, Magick tactics and infiltrating them

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
    #3 What can the character do to either make his cabal accept his new and desirable situation OR hinder their efforts to end it?

    The character knows his cabal, and doesn't need to be the most incompetent of them when it comes to strategy and planning. If I'm liking this, and know how cunning and dangerous my cabal it's, then I would treat this as an obstacle to overcome. Altrough I wouldn't desire them any harm either (well, at least as long as the WP lasts). Maybe I would start trying to find reasons for mages to tolerate vampires... :P
    Mistress Norine is Toreador. Fits with Presence and art makes the scenario more interesting. She does textures and models for open-world video games. She works from her apartment (whose windows are nailed shut, initially displeasing the landlord who is now her ghoul, as well).

    Jake the enthralled Mage. Using a d8, ignoring Mind, I rolled Entropy and Matter for him. His Spheres are Entropy 3, Matter 3. Currently running a Son of Ether, so I'll go with Euthanatos. Roll for faction: Aided, Bards of the Death Tale.

    As fate would have it, Jake has strayed onto a path that cheats death by the power of Mistress Norine's blood. Is this the will of the gods? He might reflect on the question when he figures out what a vampire is and what she has turned him into - an ageless ghoul.

    His Cabal know what he has told them about the Euthanatos and being a Bard. In order to coordinate Magickal efforts, he has previously explained about the Aided philosophy. They are somewhat perplexed that Jake would jump into the arms of a vampire. Between them, they can figure out what a vampire is, generally, through queries to mentors, Magick and occult research (which Mages do anyway).

    So, he is going to be challenged on the "decision" to pursue this love affair. When debating the Philosophy he adhered to, he has two advantages:
    1. Deeper familiarity with it.
    2. Entropy is effective at cutting apart opposing arguments, narrowing in on foundational weakness and responding with an ironclad counterargument. "It makes total sense for me to be with her. She was chosen by the gods to extend my life so I can do their work. Her graphical art is the medium through which we will bring the masses back into alignment with the cycles of death and rebirth. You dare not stand against us." - Such a warning from a death-mage would back most off, individually speaking. They might regroup and consider contacting his mentor.

    He and Norine might move to get away from the Cabal. He could use Entropy to misdirect their investigation into where he is, landing them always with the wrong address or people of similar description. With Entropy and Matter, he could make their new love-nest impervious, except to those who would use vulgar Correspondence or step in from the reflection with Spirit (which risks the attention of the Void Engineers).

    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
    #4 What can the vampire coterie do to face or defuse this potential threat?
    (other than releasing the mage once they know his affiliations to an estblished faction of the nigth, with a very good apology/compensation prepared. That would be the most sensible course of action, but would ruin the experiment)

    This taking in count both their resources and that the mage will be very willing to share. Being careful about not endangering his cabal at first, don't caring about the cabal after the bond get's cemented and erodes the last WP point (you need 1 WP per scene to barely resist, and the bond ain't going away)

    If you don't consider these very seriously, you're being one sided
    They would rationally calculate the perspective of the Cabal, which is that if Norine can Entrance Jake, the rest of the Cabal could be next. If Norine is determined to maintain her claim on Jake and they want her to stay in their Coterie, they have to consider their own security during daylight hours. If they have Thaumaturgy, I think, they can identify Nodes. If Norine met Jake at the nightclub, the Coterie must find the Mages' gathering place.

    They would want to show up at the Node with a good number of Sleeper-Retainers to deter vulgar Magick and they would want to do this on the first night. If one has Obfuscate, that vampire would show up first and maybe bring a cell phone, sneak up on the Mages and then relay audio of the Mages' emergency strategy session through a live conference-call.

    If they intuit that the Node gives the Cabal advantages, they and their retainers would scatter after they have enough info from the conference call. They would remain close enough to keep the Mages under pressure. The idea is to force a compromise while the night is young.

    An even better plan... In advance of surrounding the Node, they instruct Norine to stay behind with Jake in order to encourage the Cabal to deploy some of their members to her apartment to reason with him. They cut off those scouts from the Node on their return trip.

    The Coterie is under more time-pressure than the Cabal. Sunrise next morning versus the three nights it takes for Norine to blood-bond Jake. So, they would deploy all available resources, right away.

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    • #62
      There is something that I don't understand.

      Mages have some of the more scholar-like people of the world in their files. Some of then even wirt amoral tendwncies in the pursuit of such knowledge. Being that... How is reasonable not to expect that mages as a faction have some of the best experts and lore about vampires?. Is not that hard to learn about their quirks and customs if you can afford to kidnap one vampire and a competent mind mage.

      In my headcanon the reason why mages don't wipe out vampires is because not all mages want them out. By their own nature vampires are natural allies of the nephandi (just like the black spiral) wether they like it or no. Besides, imagine that the technocracy or the trads start wiping out vampires left and right. What can they do?. Well... Others mages could... And most vampires are not above doing dirt work to rank up or survive, right?

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      • #63
        I'm pretty sure vampires as a whole would take a very dim view of mages just abducting and mind raping a fellow vampire because they were curious, but hubris being what it is I could see a mage justifying their actions......


        You've been playing around the magic that is black
        But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

        Comment


        • #64
          It doesn't need to happen in a big scale. Lets say... The first one or two to know basic vampiric phisiology an customs. Then... Maybe one or two older (lets say 2 to 3 centuries) vampires to more complete knowledge. Or one of e ery major xlan if you are exhaustive.

          That's all needed to a whole tradition (or even all the rrads if they are generous) having this kind of knowledge. And it xam be done in years or even decades like most rearches. Is not like vampires will care too much for 3 to 12 los vampires in a couple of decades.

          Of course it could go wrong. Like most things mages do. But to think that there arent mages curious enough to do this work from time to time doesnt make sense to me. And vampire are not cohesive enough to jump at some lost, specially of the lower generations that are the weaker ones.

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          • #65
            You know why the tzimisce have such a hate boner, appendage, tentacle for the tremere right? Because they did that exact thing when they were mortal mages.....


            You've been playing around the magic that is black
            But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Bartimeo View Post
              There is something that I don't understand.

              Mages have some of the more scholar-like people of the world in their files. Some of then even wirt amoral tendwncies in the pursuit of such knowledge. Being that... How is reasonable not to expect that mages as a faction have some of the best experts and lore about vampires?. Is not that hard to learn about their quirks and customs if you can afford to kidnap one vampire and a competent mind mage.

              In my headcanon the reason why mages don't wipe out vampires is because not all mages want them out. By their own nature vampires are natural allies of the nephandi (just like the black spiral) wether they like it or no. Besides, imagine that the technocracy or the trads start wiping out vampires left and right. What can they do?. Well... Others mages could... And most vampires are not above doing dirt work to rank up or survive, right?
              Kidnapping a vampire and brain-draining him completely seems like an extreme measure. I mean, it's possible, but the vampires who would be easy-ish targets for this are likely to be younger vampires who don't necessarily know everything you want to know anyway.

              But in general, I agree that some mages should know more about vampires than the books usually imply. The average mage might know very little, but some mages would definitely take an interest in a supernatural group of that size.

              The real hard part probably isn't "finding someone who knows about vampires," but rather "sorting out misinformation from good information." Even if you get your information directly from a vampire, his information might be incomplete or biased. How many sires tell their childer everything, really? Vampires who manipulate people habitually (i.e. most elders and many younger vampires) are not going to let others know more than they need to, and what they do tell them isn't necessarily true.

              It probably isn't too hard for a diligent mage who actually seeks the information to find out 101-level stuff about vampire strengths and weaknesses, and a general notion of how the Camarilla operates, or perhaps the local Prince's name. Mages who are real vampire experts are probably pretty rare, though (and might charge high prices for their expertise).

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                I'm pretty sure vampires as a whole would take a very dim view of mages just abducting and mind raping a fellow vampire because they were curious, but hubris being what it is I could see a mage justifying their actions......
                Is that not what Vampires do to create ghouls? Of course, Vampires have different standards for others than they have themselves. Besides, they need ghouls to protect them during the day. The things they do at night, the way they treat humans, tends to attract unwanted attention from the diurnal population.

                Originally posted by Bartimeo View Post
                It doesn't need to happen in a big scale. Lets say... The first one or two to know basic vampiric phisiology an customs. Then... Maybe one or two older (lets say 2 to 3 centuries) vampires to more complete knowledge. Or one of e ery major xlan if you are exhaustive.

                That's all needed to a whole tradition (or even all the rrads if they are generous) having this kind of knowledge. And it xam be done in years or even decades like most rearches. Is not like vampires will care too much for 3 to 12 los vampires in a couple of decades.

                Of course it could go wrong. Like most things mages do. But to think that there arent mages curious enough to do this work from time to time doesnt make sense to me. And vampire are not cohesive enough to jump at some lost, specially of the lower generations that are the weaker ones.
                Scholarly Mages would consider kidnapping a last resort. They could pay a Vampire to be in an experiment. They could enchant their instruments so they don't cause pain. Even if they couldn't find a paid subject, Sphere perceptions provide a lot of information and can be done at a distance with Corr2. Interviewing a diabolist and scanning them with Spirit could unlock valuable secrets, for example.

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                • #68
                  Ah no, they give them their blood which is highly addictive which makes them essentially addicted servants with some bonuses granted by their liquid chains.

                  And scrying isn't as easy as you claim it to be and is also highly paradoxical
                  Last edited by Dwight; 11-05-2020, 02:50 PM.


                  You've been playing around the magic that is black
                  But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                    Ah no, they give them their blood which is highly addictive which makes them essentially addicted servants with some bonuses granted by their liquid chains.
                    You are missing step in between meeting the target and feeding them the blood. You cannot simply approach someone and say, "Hey, stranger. Would you like to drink some of my blood?", assuming the Masquerade is intact. If the Vampires are part of a coterie, the Presence specialist might do the luring. Then someone uses the Kiss to addict the target and then feed the the vitae when they are tired and drained. Not every lone vampire has this option. A combative Brujah Anarch without mental disciplines might have to resort to outright kidnapping to feed the target his blood. He can certainly overpower the human target with his Celerity and Potence, but this is an incident that risks drawing attention.

                    Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                    And scrying isn't as easy as you claim it to be and is also highly paradoxical
                    I'm genuinely curious about this, as far as RAW. Obtaining secret knowledge does shift the balance of power in a chronicle and having a deterrent against players using constantly is useful for the storyteller. When does a Mage incur paradox through sensory effects alone?

                    I'm right now looking at HDYDT, p 52-54, Enhanced Perceptions. I wanted to be sure I had not missed something you are trying to point out. The only way in which it is remotely paradoxical is through the increased +1 difficulty for each additional Spheres, which I had already accounted for as ST. It says that you MUST use Perception + Awareness in instances involving Auras and that successes on the Ability roll... Reduce the difficulty of the sensory Magick. If you are scrying vampires, which have auras, this is going to come into play in the majority of scries or scans.

                    Change my mind.


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                    • #70
                      Vulgar magic is still vulgar, change my mind.


                      You've been playing around the magic that is black
                      But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                        Vulgar magic is still vulgar, change my mind.

                        There are no witnesses, besides the Mage doing the scrying. He is not causing anything to happen that violates the Consensus. Physically speaking, nothing has changed.

                        This raises the question of Retroactive Paradox. I lean toward "Some effects must generate retroactive paradox.". Most of the resident experts that posted on that question are of the opposite view. Once you cast the effect, you are in the clear (because tracking effects' retroactive impacts over time would be hard, if not impossible, for a storyteller to manage with a bunch of Mage PCs pumping out effects. That's the rational for paradox not being retroactive). If it was vulgar without witness, a whoopety 1 point of paradox.

                        Example: Barny the Orphan Mage with Corr 3 teleports from Paris to London. There are no witnesses. He gets a small amount of paradox and spends it immediately. Minor backlash, eyes glow, whatever. Put on some sunglasses. Unbeknownst to him, there is an outdoor cultural event happening nearby where people are filming with cell phones. He walks past. His image is uploaded to the internet and viewed by people who he was talking to in Paris ten minutes ago. He didn't intent to be filmed or recognized, so he had no plan to break to Consensus when he did the teleportation.

                        In addition to his physical appearance, his clothes distinguish him as a unique person who was in one place one minute and somewhere else that he couldn't physically traverse in that time. According to "Paradox isn't retroactive", nothing bad happens to him for the mistake of wandering past the event,. He is not using Magick at that time.

                        Where does this apply to Scrying?

                        A Cone Room is a room that an intelligence official would use to hold a one on one meeting. It is perfectly round. There is an exterior shell made from special alloys, sound-insulating foam (like an egg shell mattress) and then an interior shell. In spy buildings, the hallways are often curved to distort sound to severely limit the range of a listening device. Noise cancelling speakers can improve the cover. Complex details aside, let's say a meeting is held by two Sleeper Spies who take meticulous steps to avoid being overheard or filmed. Each knows the other is not wearing a recording devices which would be disabled by an electromagnetic field, anyway.

                        Barny the Orphan Mage uses Correspondence 2 to watch and listen. The circumstances raise the difficulty significantly, but he has an Avatar of 5 and dumps five quint into the effect. It is vulgar without witnesses, at worst, because the people being observed don't know it is happening. He incurs the 1 point of Paradox.

                        With their spy business done for the day, the two colleges hit a nearby nightclub to unwind. A member of his Cabal dares Barny (Manipulation + Expression) to approach the two spies and recount to them all of their secret business. He considers this for the first time and says, "Sure.". Without using Magick, he conveys this shocking revelation to the two off-duty spies. He already paid the paradox. Again, according to "Paradox isn't Retroactive", he gets no Paradox for doing this.




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                        • #72
                          So your telling me this guy is following vampires around in public, srying on them, leaving resonance?
                          5 quintessence? What node does this orphan live at?
                          What vampire is going to A. Talk about anything vampiric in public. B. Not spot a tail or at least get an awareness roll for something weird to happen especially when he dumps that much mojo into his effect?


                          You've been playing around the magic that is black
                          But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                            So your telling me this guy is following vampires around in public, srying on them, leaving resonance?
                            No. The two examples I used did not involve Vampires, because I am just trying to isolate the issue of "Paradox Isn't Retroactive.". I will put an example involving Scrying VAMPIRES at the end.


                            Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                            5 quintessence? What node does this orphan live at?
                            It is a hypothetical example for the purpose of discussing paradox being non-retroactive. The character could be generated using normal rules for character creation. Seven points in backgrounds, he has two left to put in Node. Give him Prime 1 and he starts with 20 points of quintessence. This isn't meant to be a model for rich long term character development.

                            Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                            What vampire is going to A. Talk about anything vampiric in public. B. Not spot a tail or at least get an awareness roll for something weird to happen especially when he dumps that much mojo into his effect?
                            A - see "secret code language" below
                            B - The basic concept of Correspondence is that it is useful for scrying from a comfortable distance. Barny can be at home, behind four walls. He doesn't have to anywhere near his target, so long as he has seen them once or has some information that identifies them. Quintessence spent reduces Barny's difficulty, but does not attract attention from anyone but Mages close to where HE is casting.

                            We have Vampires seducing individual members of Cabals and behaving as if they Own The Night. Our picture of Vampires doesn't seem to be one where they are too concerned about being low-key. But, for the purpose of an example using Barny..

                            Dug is a Malkavian. His progeny of ten years is Lisa. They have both Auspex and Obfuscate, core stealth disciplines, minimum 2pts in each (invisibility, heightened senses and read auras). They both have the Merit: Secret Code Language, which is verbally spoken. As careful as they try to be, Lisa's Coterie has attracted the attention of some Mages (I wonder how). It is a Cabal consisting of a Hollow One, a VA, and Barny the Orphan. They have lost a Euthanatos member to Vampiric seduction.

                            Barny wants to scry Dug and Lisa. They are Vampires. They do not count as witnesses. This is an Advantage to Dug, not a disadvantage, when it come to the issue of Paradox.

                            1st attempt: Dug and Lisa are Obfuscated. Barny gets nothing and suffers temporary Quiet, because his intended target does not appear to be there, ruining the effect. Now the Quiet has impaired his judgement.

                            2nd attempt: Dug and Lisa are speaking with mortals who they want to recruit to do some kind of business with. They are careful to avoid doing or saying anything that exposes their vampiric natures. Barny uses Corr2 to spy on them again. Good timing. He overhears their discussions with the human contacts. While Barny doesn't learn any Vampire Lore from this, he gets the name and phone number of one of the humans as he is handing it to Lisa. He knows the name and number of their human contact.

                            3rd attempt: During the day, having recovered from Quiet, Barny tries again. Rather than scrying them directly, Barny scans space for the location of the scrap of paper the human wrote his details on. He finds it lying on Lisa's work-desk. His view is focused on the interior of their haven on the second floor. Not wanting to risk a botched scry, he zooms his view out to identify the address of the haven. He can reasonably intuit that this is their haven.

                            He continues scrying the interior of the house for a space that has no windows. In the windowless basement, there is a titanium-plated box large enough to comfortably fit two Vampires. Barny is satisfied that he has found their resting place. They are Obfuscated inside. Barny looks for the landline telephones in the house, noting the location of a phone on both the first and second floor.

                            4th attempt, Dusk: Barny fixes his attention on the staircase connecting the first and second floor so that he can hear either phone ring. After some time, the interested human calls Lisa. She picks up the phone. Barny focuses his attention on the phone, which appears to be suspended in the air, since she remains in Obfuscate. He listens to the conversation while Lisa negotiates further business with the humans. So far, Barny isn't even aware that the two Malkavians have a secret code language.

                            After concluding the phone conversation, Lisa comes out of Obfuscate and calls out to her sire. He comes out of Obfuscate so that they can have a face to face conversation. Barny now sees them. Being Malkavians and slightly paranoid, Dug and Lisa use the secret code language to discus how to envelop the mortals into their Vampiric schemes. Barny does not understand the language they are using. Off to find a Hermetic cryptographer.

                            Remember that Auspex is not Correspondence. At worst, Barny's scrying could give them some kind of Perception Awareness roll. This would make them want to talk to each other about supernatural things, which only gives Barny more opportunity to learn their secrets. They cannot stop him from scrying. They can Obfuscate as much as they want, but cannot do anything social during that time.




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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                              That’s nice. I think the Verbrana would tolerate vampires, because it’s not like they don’t use tons of blood magic.
                              Very few Verbena would be of that mindset (with those that are being some of the very darker members of that Tradition). Vampires/vampirism, particularly as-presented/understood in the WoD, is anathema to most Verbena beliefs: vampires break the cycle of life in heavily necrotic, (L)ife-threatening ways that ultimately cause far more harm than what their power justifies as having; they can-and-do leave those they (E)mbrace as soulless (by Verbena/most traditions' standards), and leave their ghouls spiritually and physically dependent on their corruptive blood; and finally they embody much of the dissonant (R)esonance that is disrupting/draining Reality(tm) of its literal-as-well-as-figurative lifeblood. That's completely different than the usually-just-in-symbolic/token-quantities of blood that they might use in a given ceremony (and even then a number of them don't use blood sacrifice at all, preferring other methods/Foci).

                              Those Verbena who *would* be cozy-tolerant of vampires would be witches who others (even in their own covens, in many cases) would give more than a passing side-eye/arched-eyebrow to. (Situational "alliances", or strictly-for-survival purposes "treaties"/understood areas of influence-domains that a given compact might be made concerning "x" because each side is leery of knowing if they could take out the other, would be the most probable situations when/where a Verbena -- particularly a proper coven of such -- would "tolerate" vampires in their general area.)


                              I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

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                              • #75
                                Most would probably tolerate the Camarilla because there not heinously evil and fight the Sabbat. At a state fair I remember a sheep farmer saying that the local Coyote population learnt to not target the sheep and they keep foreign sheep eating coyotes out of the territory.

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