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Handling diablerie during a blood hunt

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  • Handling diablerie during a blood hunt

    So currently my PC's are participating in a blood hunt their coterie helped instigate. My understanding is that Princes in the Camarilla have been known to ignore diablerie during certain blood hunts, and one of my players knows this and has mentioned they plan to eat the blood huntie. If this happens, and the Prince is ok with it, what happens? Does the Prince declare a pardon of the character? Or should I retcon it so that the Prince declared diablerie ok in this instance when he declared the blood hunt initially? Or wouod either of those things be beyond his power to do and he just doesn't want to go after the players himself but anyone else can act as they like about the whole thing? Thanks for any and everything!

  • #2
    Either way works, but typically it'd just be the Prince pardoning the person in question if they do so. Though, it is ultimately the Prince's discretion to do so. But it is within their power.

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    • #3
      Well, what does the Prince stand to gain from it? That's the bottom line, nine times out of ten, when blood hunts are concerned.

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      • #4
        I imagine it is more of a "don't ask, don't tell" scenario. The diablerist doesn't mention it, and may stay out of sight for a while so that people with Aura Perception don't see the black lines. Give it some time to fade away.

        I think this is one of those nudge, nudge and wink, wink customs. The Prince declares the hunted to have forfeited their blood, and that is that. Nobody says they'll be engaging in diablerie, and the Prince would not bring up the topic publicly by doing an official pardon. But everyone understands the hunted is fair game, and the Prince does not take any formal action against the diablerist.

        At the same time, it is still cannibalism and Kindred society would still be horrified by a publicly known diablerist. Best to just keep it down low.

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        • #5
          Bouncing off of what Black Fox said, the diablerie of someone subject to a blood hunt is something that would get brushed under the rug rather than acknowledged. I can't imagine a prince pardoning that which he could easily avoid addressing. Unless it was somehow made a major political issue (a favored neonate pawn of the Prince receiving flak for being a filthy diablerist, for instance), there'd be no good to come of saying "hey, this guy ate that guy who was just killing everyone like he was an apex predator, but don't worry, he's a good cannibal".

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          • #6
            It would also depend on the Prince's humanity. Devouring and digesting someone's soul is a truly vile act. Keep in mind, just because someone has dropped below the level of humanity where they don't care about murder, doesn't mean they are incapable of genuine moral disgust. You only have to witness what happens to the more loathsome sex-offenders when they are placed into the general prison population to see this. Even a Prince with a 4 humanity may genuinely loath diablerists, politics be damned. It's very possible for a diablerist to accumulate some political favors, think it makes him immune to punishment so long as he only diablerizes the blood-hunted, only to find himself executed by a Prince who reacts like a plan old morally outraged human about the whole thing.

            People acting out of conscious isn't at all reliable in the WOD, but that doesn't mean that conscience doesn't exist. Assuming everyone is an utterly self-serving sociopath is almost as dangerous and naive as assuming everyone to be moral.

            Indeed, it is important to investigate your Prince before even broaching the subject. Picture this, you accumulate all of these boons and bargaining chips and you arrange a secret meeting with the Prince where you will request permission to diablerize someone you know the Prince dislikes intensely. Your plan is to offer him a huge reward, and all he has to do is look the other way while you eat someone he doesn't like to begin with. Seems like an easy win, right? But here's what you don't know: the Prince's sire was diablerized, and he genuinely loved her. She made him immortal, she taught him how to survive and prosper, and they shared all sorts of the same artistic interests. He was absolutely crushed when she died, especially when he found out her soul had been destroyed, denying him any hope that they may meet again someday in the afterlife. And now he genuinely hates diablerists. It's not just the usual political song-and-dance with this guy. He hates diablerists so much the ST makes a frenzy roll on the spot for him, and even if he makes it and doesn't rip you limb from limb, he now hates your guts. Oooops.
            Last edited by CajunKhan; 10-06-2017, 05:32 AM.

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            • #7
              Felt like putting in the actual language from the book I was pulling from as well.
              v20 P 24
              The Sixth Tradition: Destruction
              The Blood Hunt — the Lextalionis — is the Princely decree that declares another vampire persona non grata. The right of Princes (or “elders,” depending upon the interpretation of the Tradition) to call the Blood Hunt effectively forfeits the hunted Kindred’s unlife; it is the ultimate punishment levied for the most grievous of crimes. Indeed, it is used so sparing and so severely in most domains that many Princes will even pardon those Kindred who perform diablerie on a vampire under the Lextalionis.
              v20 p 28
              Naturally, the elders hate and fear diablerie (though it would surprise many neonates and ancillae to discover how many elders attained their own Generational potency by destroying their own sires and elders). Also known as Amaranth, diablerie is the greatest crime a Kindred can commit against another vampire.
              … At least in some circumstances. In others, diablerie is not only permitted but encouraged. For example, a Prince who declares a Blood Hunt often decrees that those who diablerize the outcast will be pardoned. Further, in the Sabbat and in certain Anarch domains, diablerie is an acceptable (and even honored) method of promotion and advancement. After all, if a vampire lets himself be diablerized, well, he must have been too weak to use that power effectively.
              My emphasis. It is within their power to pardon said Kindred for diablerie, sometimes it is even encouraged, and such a pardon can even be part of said Blood Hunt public decree. Obviously the nature of the Prince and their domain will vary. It is very much a situation where it would behoove oneself to ensure they understand the climate before making rash assumptions. A smart Kindred does ask before doing so if it isn't part of the decree, for nothing would mandate the Prince into pardoning them or ignoring them. Should it not be a public arrangement, the Prince very well may hold the information and require service for their pardon.

              The reason for making it public can be two-fold. The first reason being they wanted the person in question diablerized, thus punishing them even further than death. The second reason being that declaring diablerie acceptable also incentivizes some more. Risking yourself for a reward or favor is one thing, but the benefits of a legal diablerie can be a rare prize for some. Especially given what the generational gap might be. Leaving it unclear doesn't do as much for these things, though.
              Last edited by Monalfie; 10-06-2017, 09:17 AM.

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              • #8
                I would suspect that most Princes would just ignore the diablerie and the kindred taking part in it would understand that, as with everything else, discretion is key.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                  Well, what does the Prince stand to gain from it? That's the bottom line, nine times out of ten, when blood hunts are concerned.

                  To me, what it ultimately comes down to, (barring cases where the Prince is genuinely too ignorant or careless to understand) is that allowing a form of sanctioned diablerie during a Blood Hunt either establishes or reinforces their level of respect within the Domain. The Blood Hunt is essentially the ultimate punishment. It means someone really, really screwed up. But, it's not just a death sentence or just an exile. Those things are too easy, and already covered in the Traditions. Again, I'm assuming a Prince that is not somewhat incompetent, and that the Blood Hunt is not overused.

                  Instead, it' is a win/win/win situation for the Prince. 1.) it helps nullify any potential allies that might otherwise attempt to help the target of the Blood Hunt (that might otherwise get away with it), and helps get fence sitters off that fence. 2.) it gives everyone in the Domain a rare opportunity to actually advance themselves in an "equal" way, so to speak, and also display their degree of loyalty to the Domain and Sect, and 3.) it also gives the Prince, Primogen, and Elders an idea of just who to keep an eye on that they might not have considered a potential rival, yet.

                  It's also worth noting that all of these things in themselves have multiple layers to them, and generally the Blood Hunt itself is in addition to something else. Perhaps the Camarilla wants to stir up the Anarchs, or even snub them a bit by offering them a chance to get power, but at the cost of their ideals. Or, as a sort of organized chaos, wants to see how individual "loyal" Kindred react. Or perhaps to help weed out potential Sabbat in the area, posing as good Cams.


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                  • #10
                    One should also remember that there is great hypocrisy within the Camarilla, so that even if a diablerie is sanctioned by the higher-ups and swept under the rug, it's still a possible death sentence that lingers over the diablerist's head like the Sword of Damocles. At any time, if the diablerist falls out of favor, the elders could just put together some tribunal saying oh, new evidence has surfaced, so-and-so is actually a dirty diablerist, and immediately whack him. Doesn't even have to be public and grand; think of the way Joe Pesci gets whacked in the Scorsese movies. That can happen to the diablerist the moment he messes up, when he least expects it.

                    Bottom line: not worth it.

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                    • #11
                      I prefer Black Fox's version - noone would be so crass as to say anything directly, but the politically savvy vampire knows which wording of a blood hunt means that the prince may look the other way when it comes to black stripes.

                      Allowing diablerie has three benefits:
                      1) More people become involved. Yeah, sure, in theory, there's some kind of obligation to take part in a bloodhunt, but... there's taking part in a blood hunt and there's "oops, lookatthat, turns out I was following an erroneous clue from that usually trustworthy source of mine that said the hunted was on the other end of the city. My bad, I'll send roses to the funerals of the three guys who actually did meet the hunted before the Brujah and Tremere brought the heavy artillery."
                      2) It makes the vampire dependent on the Prince's wellbeing - after all, if the Prince falls, their successor might discover that there's a vile diablerist among us who has been allowed to live by the old Prince (which is of course all the more reason why staking out both the old Prince and their pet diablerist for the sun is totally the right thing to do and not a blatant powergrab at all).
                      3) It makes the vampire more dependent on the Prince since they now can't easily leave the city for another one. After all, the tyranny of any Prince is limited by the fact that most of their subjects can escape them if they consider their treatment at the Prince's hands to be worse than the loss of assets due to up-rooting. A diablerist does not have this option. They are limited to those parts of the world where someone powerful suggests that everyone else should kindly overlook those black streaks. If they switch cities, they're at risk of being killed at their next presentation.

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                      • #12
                        I agree, and I also think that the 'going away for a year, or couple of years' solution is far less effective than is generally assumed. Vampire society is quite small, and unless you're some shadowy elder-type, everybody really knows what everybody else is up to or can find out without too much difficulty. If a known Kindred disappears, and then some weaker Kindred also disappears immediately afterwards but then comes back in a few years, pretty much everybody in the domain is going to put two and two together, rumors will spread, and you'll be screwed unless you have some official sanction.

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                        • #13
                          The promise of diablerie is tremendous encouragement for vampires of all stripes, but particularly those who have run up to their generational limits. It encourages powerful vampires to participate, which is important if you really want the target dead.

                          I would not count on being pardoned if you do it without the Prince's consent. Keep your head down if you do, but if a conservative prince doesn't offer a pardon up before the bloodhunt and you do it anyway, you could very well be the next prey.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            I agree, and I also think that the 'going away for a year, or couple of years' solution is far less effective than is generally assumed. Vampire society is quite small, and unless you're some shadowy elder-type, everybody really knows what everybody else is up to or can find out without too much difficulty. If a known Kindred disappears, and then some weaker Kindred also disappears immediately afterwards but then comes back in a few years, pretty much everybody in the domain is going to put two and two together, rumors will spread, and you'll be screwed unless you have some official sanction.
                            Eh, I disagree. Vampires are not all that social beings and disappearing because things got too hot between you and someone more powerful, you and the mortal authorities or you and perhaps a pack of Lupines or Hunters that you didn't want to bring down on the rest of the city isn't too uncommon. The problems start when you go dark, but try to keep your assets intact, as that makes you far more traceable.

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                            • #15
                              What Cifer points out may be fine in general, but it would be much more problematic when we consider the specific context of a Blood Hunt. There are lots of other vampires tracking down movements all over the city, and you can bet that they know you are participating, unless you are a super lone-wolf type. The Blood Hunt is concluded, but you've disappeared. You show up a year or two later with some cursory explanation, and you're much more callous and quicker to anger; what could possibly be the cause?

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