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  • Vampire Services to Provide

    Neonates and ancilla have little prospect for wielding power in Cainite society. However, that does not mean they are powerless. Enterprising young Licks want to be useful to their elders, whether for want of cash or even mere recognition. So what services do your less powerful vampires offer their sect members? I'd love to see your ideas, perhaps a paragraph detailing how you make your little cainites stand out?

    My idea is the Blood Factory, which I posted in an embryonic form previously.
    The Blood Factory is a discreet service, providing vitae to those who desire it. It consists of the Technician and Broker, Bound mortals who respectively harvest and negotiate the vitae provided by the Vessel while never meeting each other directly. The Vessel is a thin-blood, sired originally from some unfortunate, made a paraplegic and psychically lobotomized prior to Embrace. The goods are delivered by a company well-compensated for discreet deliveries at night, and like the Broker are cutouts, unable to provide useful information even via Auspex. The Company understands the value their patrons place on privacy and therefore employees enjoy freedom from harm or intimidation.

    I like this one because it provides a service to exactly those vampires you want to recognize you (and approve of you), and no Prince is so gracious a host they want a visiting elder to take a bite out of their childer for a night, let alone several. Everything is discreet. The player might make his ownership known, or keep it anonymous.
    Last edited by g3taso; 11-14-2017, 04:32 PM.

  • #2
    How about a vampire who is a veterinarian?

    Dr. Anna Njordsen was a veterinarian working with the police, maintaining the K-9 corps, crowd-control horses, and enforcing animal cruelty laws. She became disgusted with human immorality to animals. She was ready to quit and open an animal shelter, when her sire, a Noiad of the Sabbat, hit her with a shovel. (In her case, he actually used a pair of horse-sized obstetric forceps.)

    Her nomadic pack travels from city to city, and every Gangrel, Nosferatu, Tzimisce, and Ravnos in the region has her card posted in their haven. Just because an animal is ghouled doesn't mean it doesn't require annual vaccinations, regular heart-worm screenings, nutritional counseling, breeding advice, behavioral therapy, and wound/trauma care. She's had to learn to hold her tongue around some of the more abused animals she treats, both because their domitors do not take criticism well, and because if she made too big an issue of it, the animals would likely not be brought in for treatment at all.

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    • #3
      The Vessel is a thin-blood, sired originally from some unfortunate, made a paraplegic and psychically lobotomized prior to Embrace.
      I think that this fits in at about a 1 on the Hierarchy of Sins, so I don't see this flying in the Camarilla. Maybe a Lasombra business?

      Just because an animal is ghouled doesn't mean it doesn't require annual vaccinations, regular heart-worm screenings, nutritional counseling, breeding advice, behavioral therapy, and wound/trauma care.
      Or, for a service that might be in more demand, do the same thing (more or less) for Ghouls. You don't want their bloodwork or special abilities showing up in a mortal-run hospital, do you? I've seen this done in one or two games I've been in.

      Another idea is body disposal and clean-up. This could be as little as a guy with Potence who comes and picks up the body (from an unfortunate accident from feeding, frenzy, or combat), to a big operation including scrubbing the scene clean of blood and other evidence (possibly with a forensic expert on staff), dealing with witnesses (most likely with Dominate), and computer hackers and/or ghouls in police and/or news companies to deal with evidence and reports already collected (street, traffic, and ATM-cams, even cell phones). This would be huge in a Camarilla town, and run by a Ventrue could be quite lucrative. For those poor licks that can't afford your services, well, that's what prestation is for. The more they screw up, the more you own them, all while making yourself look awesome to the elders.

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      • #4
        A few businesses that neonates could gain respect for.

        ​Fire Suppression System Installation Company:
        Every vampire has issues with fire at some point in their unlives. Now this could be a Halon system for inside your haven (you don't breath anyways) or it could be an external sprinkler system. Alternatively you could be installing foam systems into vehicles for vampires on the go.

        ​Armor Tailor:
        ​While it is a bit of a John Wick 2 or Incredibles Edna ripoff, there is very real demand for forms of armor that can be worn socially. Adding a Kevlar and chainmail band to a high top collar to protect against beheadings or a carefully designed trauma plate to prevent staking added to your tuxedo, or just adding a layer of fire resistant material all takes a skilled tailor/seamstress.

        Gun Smithing:
        ​Yes you can purchase all kinds of ammo and weapon parts online these days, but that involves shipping time and paperwork. But most of all it really only works for modern weapons that have interchangeable parts. Older weapons or custom weapons require precision crafted parts and materials. In some cases this could be as much about preservation and restoration as it is about functionality. A vampire who spent some time in the old west probably has a Winchester rifle or a colt peacemaker that they were fond of, but that stuff requires upkeep and the occasional servicing. You could send it back to the company for servicing but exquisite pieces tend to attract attention and lets face it, hunters have found vampires by less direct means.

        ​Antique & Art Restoration:
        ​Everything except vampires get old and decays (not counting samedi) and as such there is a very real need for experts who can either preserve or restore items that time has taken its toll on. Everything from restoring ancient frescos and paintings to repairing statues and treating metal work to resist corrosion. You could make a decent living just offering services repairing old books and selling storage systems to keep ancient tomes safe.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Murdoc View Post
          I think that this fits in at about a 1 on the Hierarchy of Sins, so I don't see this flying in the Camarilla. Maybe a Lasombra business?
          A lot of neonates are simply embraced to do the really dirty work. The sires get to stay at Humanity 4 maybe, while the doomed childe carries out murders, tortures, and generally the really gruesome services. As long as they carry out their duties effectively, even Humanity 1 or 2 Kindred can be accommodated, and brought out to bear when trouble arises. Vampires who 'outlive their usefulness' or threaten the Masquerade are promptly destroyed.

          This even goes for the Sabbat. High path ratings are quite restrictive, so neonates are on call to do the work. Consider a group of Death and the Soul elders who want a dangerous opponent eliminated. They cannot kill unless they set it up as an experiment and cannot do so in this case; so they send a hunting pack to take him down. No rolls needed, no distractions from research.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by g3taso View Post
            Neonates and ancilla have little prospect for wielding power in Cainite society. However, that does not mean they are powerless. Enterprising young Licks want to be useful to their elders, whether for want of cash or even mere recognition. So what services do your less powerful vampires offer their sect members? I'd love to see your ideas, perhaps a paragraph detailing how you make your little cainites stand out?
            As usual with questions about vampire society, a foundation has to be established. Namely - how big is your vampire society? Are there five vampires? Ten? Twenty? A hundred? Different size of society leads to different answers, but there are a few commonalities we can discuss:
            1. The basic structure of vampire society is a bloodline. The smallest bloodline can be is one vampire, when it's just you and your sire either died or moved to a different city. The biggest bloodline is the entire society, when everyone in the city can trace their lineage back to one vampire who sits at the top of the city. The most common size is either two or three vampires.
            2. Vampires don't need vampires to do dirty work. Ghouls are easier to control, easier to dispose of, and have none of the crippling vampire weaknesses like "dies during office hours". They are supernaturally loyal and happy to work for you - a ghoul accountant will be content doing accounting for five hundred years, a vampire will not. Making and killing ghouls also has minimal implications in the vampire society, so when you need a suit tailored or antiques restored - just make a ghoul and get rid of him afterwards. After all, just how many armored suits could you possibly need?
            3. Vampire economy doesn't use money. All vampires have mystic powers that allow them to live without working, and many vampires have mystic powers that allow them to be ultra rich. To clarify - any vampire can use blood bond to mooch off of ghouls. Any vampire with Dominate, Presence or equivalent can get an arbitrary amount of money. As such, material wealth is dirt cheap in the vampire society. Instead vampires trade with each other in favors and unique items that can't be bought for money.

            This has a number of implications:
            1. Bloodlines are static. The only way to advance in the bloodline is to stab everyone above you in the face until they are dead. The respect distribution in the bloodline heavily depends on the particulars of the bloodline. In a line with three vampires the elder probably keeps an eye for grandchilde's actions, while in a line with twenty vampires the elder probably only rewards and punishes those directly below him.
            2. You weren't embraced to tailor up suits. If your sire wanted something that can be done by a ghoul - they would have made a ghoul. In general, you either get embraced because you have a nice ass and your sire wants some companionship, or because your sire needs something that can't be done by a ghoul. The former is self-explanatory. Now, there aren't actually all that many things that can't be done by a ghoul but can be done by a vampire. Tremere might want a lab assistant for thaumaturgy research, but the only other thing that comes to mind is politics. Unlike ghouls, vampires have representation in the court, so increasing the size of your bloodline is a good way to get what you want.
            3. Favors weren't made equal. Reputation is king in vampire economy so treacherous or incompetent vampires (i.e. those who can't honor either side of the favor deal) will quickly find themselves cut out of the vampire economy. So grease up that tongue and work on your PR skills. It doesn't matter what you do, what matters is that other vampires know you are a reliable and competent partner. Going back to points 1 and 2 here, many vampire deals are deals of convenience. While no one ever needs to have a person's memory wiped, sometimes it is convenient for that to happen. And no matter how many Gangrels you embrace, none of them will ever get Dominate. Sometimes there are rats in your haven and asking a Gangrel buddy to drop by and tell the rats to fuck off is just easier than dealing with exterminators. Asking Jimbob Giovanni to introduce you to the mafia may be easier than finding a cappo and feeding him blood at night. So those are two things vampires will often ask of each other - use of powers which are convenient but they personally don't have and access to new social circles (because going through people you know rather than starting from scratch is just human nature).

            TL;DR: Be a good guy and work on your people skills. Almost anything you can offer is something other vampires can get themselves in three nights with a phone book and some vitae, but compassion and friendship are priceless.
            Unless you are a Settite who knows how to brew blood beer, in which case you are elected Prince by default.
            Last edited by Kammerer; 11-15-2017, 10:35 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
              This even goes for the Sabbat. High path ratings are quite restrictive, so neonates are on call to do the work. Consider a group of Death and the Soul elders who want a dangerous opponent eliminated. They cannot kill unless they set it up as an experiment and cannot do so in this case; so they send a hunting pack to take him down. No rolls needed, no distractions from research.
              Personally, I would consider hiring an assassin to be a breach of any "thou shalt not kill" sins.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sultanabdal
                A lot of neonates are simply embraced to do the really dirty work. The sires get to stay at Humanity 4 maybe, while the doomed childe carries out murders, tortures, and generally the really gruesome services.
                I'm afraid not. Ordering someone to do something below your level on the HoS would still count as a violation, because you caused it to happen. It's like telling someone that the car is safe when you know the brake lines are cut. Even if you didn't cut them, you knowingly sent them into a situation where they would likely die, so whatever happens you caused it to happen, so just as bad.
                (Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines showed this well in situations like convincing Paul to go back to the hospital where Pisha is, who you know is going to kill him when he goes there. The game makes you lose a Humanity point the instant you succeed in convincing him, even though you're not killing him yourself, and he isn't even dead yet.)

                And then there's the issue of your childe would probably not do something so heinous, unless their Humanity was really that low already, or you Dominate them or use the Blood Bond. Then you'd have an additional violation for the torment suffered by the person you forced to do it.

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                • #9
                  Hmmm...

                  How about someone who has a background in psychiatry, and the philosophy of morality and ethics to help hack through just such thorny issues? They could serve as an advisor to low Humanity vampires in maintaining or even increasing Humanity.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                    Hmmm...

                    How about someone who has a background in psychiatry, and the philosophy of morality and ethics to help hack through just such thorny issues? They could serve as an advisor to low Humanity vampires in maintaining or even increasing Humanity.
                    Fluff and story wise - this could work. The two issues I see are:
                    1. Humanity mechanics. Losing Humanity is an instantaneous process rather than something you can wrestle with.
                    2. Christianity. Vampires have non-functioning brains and an immortal soul. In fact, everyone has an immortal soul. This really fucks with psychiatry because everything it's built on turns out to be a lie. You don't have schizophrenia because bad genetics cause dopamine neurons to malfunction. You have schizophrenia because God made your soul like that.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Murdoc View Post
                      I'm afraid not. Ordering someone to do something below your level on the HoS would still count as a violation, because you caused it to happen. It's like telling someone that the car is safe when you know the brake lines are cut. Even if you didn't cut them, you knowingly sent them into a situation where they would likely die, so whatever happens you caused it to happen, so just as bad.
                      (Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines showed this well in situations like convincing Paul to go back to the hospital where Pisha is, who you know is going to kill him when he goes there. The game makes you lose a Humanity point the instant you succeed in convincing him, even though you're not killing him yourself, and he isn't even dead yet.)
                      This is certainly the case for the relatively higher Humanity levels, but something like Humanity 4 allows for a lot of violation to be done in your name, or at your behest. Obviously, walking somebody through every step of a gruesome process would hurt Humanity as if you did it yourself, and so would sending people to death in such obvious fashion as you highlighted; but there's a lot of room for ordering 'interrogation' or 'elimination' or 'liquidation' to be done, 'for the good of X'. This is how a lot of real-world villainy happens. A few steps down the chain of command, and such things become all too easy. This is the hypocrisy of the internal Masquerade.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kammerer
                        Christianity. Vampires have non-functioning brains and an immortal soul. In fact, everyone has an immortal soul. This really fucks with psychiatry because everything it's built on turns out to be a lie. You don't have schizophrenia because bad genetics cause dopamine neurons to malfunction. You have schizophrenia because God made your soul like that.
                        Not everything. Some problems are "hardware" like you describe, but some are "software", people get confused, or get PTSD, etc. These things I believe would work the same for vampires. Besides, psychology (as opposed to psychiatry) is just about studying the behaviour of people, in this case, vampires. Vampires have behaviour, they have thoughts, they have emotions, they have 'software' problems, so it would be pretty much the same methodologies as used for mortals. Some of the specifics would be different, sure, but that would be the case whenever you are talking about what essentially amounts to a different species. The psychologist would just have to specialize in this different species. Which by the way I think is a great idea, Nosimplehiway.

                        Originally posted by Sultanabdal
                        This is certainly the case for the relatively higher Humanity levels, but something like Humanity 4 allows for a lot of violation to be done in your name, or at your behest. Obviously, walking somebody through every step of a gruesome process would hurt Humanity as if you did it yourself, and so would sending people to death in such obvious fashion as you highlighted; but there's a lot of room for ordering 'interrogation' or 'elimination' or 'liquidation' to be done, 'for the good of X'. This is how a lot of real-world villainy happens. A few steps down the chain of command, and such things become all too easy. This is the hypocrisy of the internal Masquerade.
                        Maybe in a "Get the information out them, don't tell me how you do it" kind of way. I'd even buy that perhaps this kind of insulation might give you a -1 difficulty bonus on your Conscience roll but that's all. I wouldn't allow much of this in my games. But then maybe this is where the Humanity rules get a bit simplistic compared to reality.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Murdoc View Post
                          Not everything. Some problems are "hardware" like you describe, but some are "software", people get confused, or get PTSD, etc. These things I believe would work the same for vampires. Besides, psychology (as opposed to psychiatry) is just about studying the behaviour of people, in this case, vampires. Vampires have behaviour, they have thoughts, they have emotions, they have 'software' problems, so it would be pretty much the same methodologies as used for mortals. Some of the specifics would be different, sure, but that would be the case whenever you are talking about what essentially amounts to a different species. The psychologist would just have to specialize in this different species. Which by the way I think is a great idea, Nosimplehiway.
                          According to the Revised Storyteller's Guide, in the year 1999, there were approximately 40,000 Kindred. At a time when there were 6 billion people worldwide, that meant that there was 1 Kindred to every 150,000 people. Extrapolating backwards and assuming the ratios remain constant, in the year 1889, when Sigmund Frued began to practice psychology, world population was 1.5 billion people worldwide. That would have meant there were 10,000 Kindred. In the 110 years between the two, we're looking at a growth of 30,000 Kindred.

                          In 2013, the number of licensed psychologists in the United States was about 188,000. The number of psychiatrists in that same year was about 50,000. Let's make it an even 250,000. Out of a population of 323 million, that means that the percentage of people in the United States that are psychiatrists or psychologists is 0.079%​ Even if we allow that psychologists and psychiatrists were Embraced at ten times their rate as their percentage of the population (a rate that's absurdly generous), that would mean that since Sigmund Fred, only about 230 psychologists and psychiatrists were Embraced.

                          Why am I boring you to tears with these numbers? For this one simple reason.

                          Research is hard. It's expensive. It depends on peer review from a robust, practicing network of active peers. There is not going to be a scientific journal that will exist to cater to the academic research of 250 people worldwide. 250 people aren't going to be able to run proper double-blinded, controlled experiment to collect accurate, useful data about the behavior of vampires, even if there wasn't that whole "Jyhad" thing going on. And this is even assuming that all 250 members of this set of vampire mental health workers are active in research and not teaching or mental health treatment or administration of vampire mental health facilities.

                          This ALSO assumes that you are going to get good, quality research out of these 250 vampires. The history of psychology is not one in which the rigors of scientific practice have reigned. Even in comparatively modern times, how often do you still see the Stanford Prison Experiment referenced? You know, the "experiment" in which a non-randomized, uncontrolled group of subjects were routinely influenced by the experimenter provided data for the conclusion of the experiment?

                          I disagree with you that vampires and humans will respond to the same methodologies used for mortals. A routine part of a mental health treatment for human beings is pharmacotherapy; managing chronic conditions with medication. Not an option for Kindred. There are meditative techniques for people to deal with anger management issues. These will not be effective on a Kindred with a potential to frenzy...that is to say, Kindred and especially Brujah. Most treatment plans will assume a patient with a conventional, pro-social moral outlook. These techniques can be put to the side the moment you have a Path follower on your couch.

                          I could go on, but I think I've made the point clearly. Vampires are too different from humans for vampire psychologists to just piggyback on human mental health treatment programs. Kindred society doesn't leave itself open to the practice of double-blind, experimental study. There are too few vampire mental health experts to have done adequate research to identify best practices for dealing with Kindred patients. And even if there were, there wouldn't be any left over to actually treat their patients.

                          I just don't think a vampire psychologist is going to have any special insight on the vampire condition or how to deal with the nightly stress of being a vampire.



                          I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

                          The Malkavian Madness Network

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by g3taso View Post
                            Neonates and ancilla have little prospect for wielding power in Cainite society. However, that does not mean they are powerless. Enterprising young Licks want to be useful to their elders, whether for want of cash or even mere recognition. So what services do your less powerful vampires offer their sect members? I'd love to see your ideas, perhaps a paragraph detailing how you make your little cainites stand out?

                            My idea is the Blood Factory, which I posted in an embryonic form previously.
                            The Blood Factory is a discreet service, providing vitae to those who desire it. It consists of the Technician and Broker, Bound mortals who respectively harvest and negotiate the vitae provided by the Vessel while never meeting each other directly. The Vessel is a thin-blood, sired originally from some unfortunate, made a paraplegic and psychically lobotomized prior to Embrace. The goods are delivered by a company well-compensated for discreet deliveries at night, and like the Broker are cutouts, unable to provide useful information even via Auspex. The Company understands the value their patrons place on privacy and therefore employees enjoy freedom from harm or intimidation.

                            I like this one because it provides a service to exactly those vampires you want to recognize you (and approve of you), and no Prince is so gracious a host they want a visiting elder to take a bite out of their childer for a night, let alone several. Everything is discreet. The player might make his ownership known, or keep it anonymous.
                            Did you ever play the PC game Vampire the masquerade Bloodlines?

                            Anyways to answer your question, I think part of the fun is seeing what players come up with, and what the characters actually need and can provide.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BenjCano View Post

                              Why am I boring you to tears with these numbers? For this one simple reason.

                              Research is hard. It's expensive. It depends on peer review from a robust, practicing network of active peers. There is not going to be a scientific journal that will exist to cater to the academic research of 250 people worldwide. 250 people aren't going to be able to run proper double-blinded, controlled experiment to collect accurate, useful data about the behavior of vampires, even if there wasn't that whole "Jyhad" thing going on. And this is even assuming that all 250 members of this set of vampire mental health workers are active in research and not teaching or mental health treatment or administration of vampire mental health facilities.

                              This ALSO assumes that you are going to get good, quality research out of these 250 vampires. The history of psychology is not one in which the rigors of scientific practice have reigned. Even in comparatively modern times, how often do you still see the Stanford Prison Experiment referenced? You know, the "experiment" in which a non-randomized, uncontrolled group of subjects were routinely influenced by the experimenter provided data for the conclusion of the experiment?
                              Why does it matters if you have "good, quality research" in vampire psychology when psychology itself hasn't it?. If Jung and Freud didn't do "good, quality research" in your opinion, then I would say that such it's not necessary at all to do "good psychology". Maybe science it's overrated.

                              I disagree with you that vampires and humans will respond to the same methodologies used for mortals. A routine part of a mental health treatment for human beings is pharmacotherapy; managing chronic conditions with medication. Not an option for Kindred. There are meditative techniques for people to deal with anger management issues. These will not be effective on a Kindred with a potential to frenzy...that is to say, Kindred and especially Brujah. Most treatment plans will assume a patient with a conventional, pro-social moral outlook. These techniques can be put to the side the moment you have a Path follower on your couch.

                              I could go on, but I think I've made the point clearly. Vampires are too different from humans for vampire psychologists to just piggyback on human mental health treatment programs. Kindred society doesn't leave itself open to the practice of double-blind, experimental study. There are too few vampire mental health experts to have done adequate research to identify best practices for dealing with Kindred patients. And even if there were, there wouldn't be any left over to actually treat their patients.

                              I just don't think a vampire psychologist is going to have any special insight on the vampire condition or how to deal with the nightly stress of being a vampire.
                              I agree, that's why a Ghoul isn't going to cut, you need a vampire to better understand vampires. However, I disagree in the sense that vampires have the same kind of Derangements that humans have (with one or two exceptions, the Derangement Defect has nothing magical about it), and thus a psychologist that has knowledge of being a vampire (which implies knowing what works and what doesn't, and the unhealty urges that can't be supressed, and thus can sepparate the wheat from the chaff) can become the perfect helper for a vampire that, appart from the Beast, has other unhealty obsessions or barriers to progress that have little to do with being an undead and a lot to do with having a mind.

                              Now, a "vampire Freud/Jung" it's a bizarre image, but I think it could work as a potential replacement for the figure of an "Ashen Priest" for Humanity in a world where atheism isn't frowned upon, a world where many vampires are atheist. But even if that's going too far I maintain that mundane Derangements could use mundane psychology, with some twists.
                              Last edited by Aleph; 11-16-2017, 11:04 AM.

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