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  • Help with an Anarch chronicle

    I'm about to run an Anarch chronicle, and I'm helping the players with their backgrounds, but I have a doubt. Should I let my players be ex-sabbat?


    My English sucks. Sorry.

  • #2
    Well, is it an entirely Anarch-run city, or is it a Camarilla city with a group of Anarchs among its population?

    If it's the former, your players should have more latitude to play ex-Sabbat. I'd disallow the more zealous, standout-ish, or obscure clans and bloodlines, or at least think very hard about it and work with your players to create an appropriate background. For the purposes of an Anarch chronicle set in a city entirely run by Anarchs, I'd consider Tremere antitribu (Telyavs included), Tzimisce, Lasombra antitribu, and Salubri antitribu -- at least -- yellow-flag territory. Anarchs Unbound explicitly points out there are even Tzimisce among the ranks of the Anarchs, but they trend towards "younger and disillusioned", and/or "follows/tries to resurrect the old ways", as opposed to the stereotypical modern nights Tzimisce, and that's assuming they're not sleeper agents and/or spies. Remember, Tremere and Lasombra antitribu are actively hunted by their own clans, and the Salubri antitribu are the goddamn Salubri, and Anarch cities tend to not be established strongly enough and have the internal security to prevent assassins and saboteurs from nailing a clan-traitor.

    Other, more neutral, groups like City Gangrel and Samedi (remember, they're only nominally neutral; individual Samedi may eventually pick a side or work more with one than the other) should be fair game, as should be antitribu of the main clans if players just want individual flavor in discipline spreads, flaws, or character backgrounds (it's an easier sell for a Ventrue combat character to be a defected antitribu than main clan, for example).

    If it's the latter, a lot more consideration in the city's history, its leadership, and clan structure has to go into the question. Maybe the Prince decided to offer clemency to mass Embraces of a recent siege who maintained most of their humanity and show potential, and ordered them bound to local Kindred as rewards for dutiful service for the purposes of integration into Camarilla society. Maybe the city just isn't large enough to have a chantry, or is a satellite domain to one with a major chantry, which gives independent blood sorcerers more freedom to operate. Maybe the city has a large warren and plenty of Nosferatu, and given the Nossies don't really care about the Camarilla/Sabbat conflict so much as their own struggles, nominal members of both sects working together can be found within.

    Ultimately, the point is for an ex-Sabbat to really live in a Camarilla city, there must be extenuating circumstances from the onset, especially taking into consideration ex-Sabbat have to really toe the line to avoid blood hunts, which precludes a lot of Anarch activity. Camarilla cities foster a lot more paranoia, and typically a lot more age and strength of generation, which means internal security is tighter by default than an Anarch city. Clans and bloodlines hunted by Camarilla clans -- Salubri antitribu, Tzimisce, Gargoyles, and Tremere antitribu -- won't gravitate there, but on the other hand clans and bloodlines hunted by the Sabbat -- Lasombra antitribu, chiefly -- are going to easily find safe harbor, if they can convince the local fangs of their intentions enough to allow them sanctuary.

    Either way, Probationary Sect Member (or Alternate Identity) should be requisites for playing ex-Sabbat, as well as a number of other social flaws.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
      Well, is it an entirely Anarch-run city, or is it a Camarilla city with a group of Anarchs among its population?

      If it's the former, your players should have more latitude to play ex-Sabbat. I'd disallow the more zealous, standout-ish, or obscure clans and bloodlines, or at least think very hard about it and work with your players to create an appropriate background. For the purposes of an Anarch chronicle set in a city entirely run by Anarchs, I'd consider Tremere antitribu (Telyavs included), Tzimisce, Lasombra antitribu, and Salubri antitribu -- at least -- yellow-flag territory. Anarchs Unbound explicitly points out there are even Tzimisce among the ranks of the Anarchs, but they trend towards "younger and disillusioned", and/or "follows/tries to resurrect the old ways", as opposed to the stereotypical modern nights Tzimisce, and that's assuming they're not sleeper agents and/or spies. Remember, Tremere and Lasombra antitribu are actively hunted by their own clans, and the Salubri antitribu are the goddamn Salubri, and Anarch cities tend to not be established strongly enough and have the internal security to prevent assassins and saboteurs from nailing a clan-traitor.

      Other, more neutral, groups like City Gangrel and Samedi (remember, they're only nominally neutral; individual Samedi may eventually pick a side or work more with one than the other) should be fair game, as should be antitribu of the main clans if players just want individual flavor in discipline spreads, flaws, or character backgrounds (it's an easier sell for a Ventrue combat character to be a defected antitribu than main clan, for example).

      If it's the latter, a lot more consideration in the city's history, its leadership, and clan structure has to go into the question. Maybe the Prince decided to offer clemency to mass Embraces of a recent siege who maintained most of their humanity and show potential, and ordered them bound to local Kindred as rewards for dutiful service for the purposes of integration into Camarilla society. Maybe the city just isn't large enough to have a chantry, or is a satellite domain to one with a major chantry, which gives independent blood sorcerers more freedom to operate. Maybe the city has a large warren and plenty of Nosferatu, and given the Nossies don't really care about the Camarilla/Sabbat conflict so much as their own struggles, nominal members of both sects working together can be found within.

      Ultimately, the point is for an ex-Sabbat to really live in a Camarilla city, there must be extenuating circumstances from the onset, especially taking into consideration ex-Sabbat have to really toe the line to avoid blood hunts, which precludes a lot of Anarch activity. Camarilla cities foster a lot more paranoia, and typically a lot more age and strength of generation, which means internal security is tighter by default than an Anarch city. Clans and bloodlines hunted by Camarilla clans -- Salubri antitribu, Tzimisce, Gargoyles, and Tremere antitribu -- won't gravitate there, but on the other hand clans and bloodlines hunted by the Sabbat -- Lasombra antitribu, chiefly -- are going to easily find safe harbor, if they can convince the local fangs of their intentions enough to allow them sanctuary.

      Either way, Probationary Sect Member (or Alternate Identity) should be requisites for playing ex-Sabbat, as well as a number of other social flaws.

      The chronicle will start with the players trying to take down a Camarilla city

      What should I do?


      My English sucks. Sorry.

      Comment


      • #4
        If the Chronicle starts within a Camarilla City, then any ex-Sabbat need to be justified especially in terms of why are they permitted to remain. I suspect Gangrel would have the least problem. After all, they are pretty much nomadic anyway. Likewise the Nosferatu and their antitribu aren't very different either. An overt Defector can be an interesting concept, but they will be watched very carefully.

        As far as overthrowing the Camarilla, conditions have to be just right in order to succeed. One that comes to my mind is a tiny group of really powerful primogen who feel no particular loyalty to the Camarilla at all. Perhaps they are all independent, and perfectly willing to let the neonates pretty much run things so long as the Masquerade remains in place. A Setite maybe, along with a lone very elder Cappadocian, a Malkavian maybe. Then again, maybe this Prince has insisted on destroying all rivals so there are no other elders here, and this Prince is proving sloppy. It is simply a matter of taking out this one vampire and his supporters.


        My Storyteller Vault supplements.

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        • #5
          If it were a chronicle I was running, I'd permit it, even in a Camarilla city. But I'd probably also play up the difference between theory and practice in the Anarch Movement to show how, even though an ex-Sabbat should theoretically be welcome, many of it's members still have many of the same prejudices against the character. Make them pick the Probationary Sect Member flaw, too, of course.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ToreadorGentleman View Post
            I'm about to run an Anarch chronicle, and I'm helping the players with their backgrounds, but I have a doubt. Should I let my players be ex-sabbat?
            Talk to them about why they want to be ex-Sabbat. If they have a good reason, let them. Just point out the consequences and challenges they'll face because of it. If they're OK with it just make a point to add those challenges to your chronicle. Theodrim has pointed some of them out already. You mentioned they're sent trying to take out a camarilla city. You could have that this band of Anarchs got this job because some of them are ex-Sabbat. If they fail then, well, they probably were Sabbat spies. If they pull it off and don't betray the new-Anarch domain to the Sabbat they're legitimate in their conversion.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ToreadorGentleman View Post

              The chronicle will start with the players trying to take down a Camarilla city
              What you have to remember, is in the 21st Century (assuming that's when you're setting your chronicle) the Anarchs, insomuch as they're an organized front, are waging an asymmetric fourth-generation war against the Camarilla. They actually tend to not "take it to the streets" per se as they're stereotyped as doing, they wage a (predominantly online) information war against the Camarilla using Comintern tactics as applied to the information age. They do this precisely because the technologies of the information age are new and alien to elders, and elders have little opportunity or hope of understanding them and their full implications on society; they have to create childer, who are in turn more susceptible to Anarch strategies than their sires and grandsires.

              A lot of ink is spilled about riots, rants, raves, and pranks, but that's not where the war is waged. Not by a longshot. That's just what Anarchs do to keep themselves occupied between strategic moves and power plays. Take into consideration a lot of Anarch practices resemble Sabbat ritae just enough to unify and mobilize a city's Kindred -- whether through ignorance or playing along with a convenient facade -- against them, and it becomes clear just how precarious Anarchs' positions really are on the "street level". The right elder in the right place can disperse a riot, turn a riot against its instigators, or if push comes to shove straight-up kill an entire pack, without breaking a blood-sweat; that's not a battle Anarchs want to fight.

              In many cases, it's actually a disadvantage to "take down" Camarilla leadership. Somebody has to step up, and if it's an Anarch they lose legitimacy in the eyes of the Camarilla, invite retribution, and worse render themselves vulnerable to the Sabbat during any forthcoming transitional period. Anarchs are looser-organized and harder to control, and as I implied above that necessarily means internal security is actually the lowest of all sects.

              So, what do Anarchs do? Network with disillusioned or angry neonates and ancillae inside a city, and lend them help to organize a grassroots resistance to the leadership. Get dirt on said leadership, and/or appeal directly to them if they're sympathetic to the Anarch cause(s). Extract boons, and offer quid pro quo exchange of information and favors against those Kindreds' rivals. The endgame being, subvert or flip enough Primogen, or even the Prince, that the city becomes Anarch-aligned but maintains its airs of legitimacy within the Camarilla.

              For example, I'm playing in an Anarch game right now. I had to temporarily swap in a hardliner pro-Camarilla Ventrue (antitribu bloodline, so Auspex instead of Presence because I love that discipline spread) for the Telyav I had been playing for reasons not terribly relevant to this discussion. The city had a Brujah Prince with Anarch sympathies, but he seriously fucked up (frenzied in Elysium) and lost legitimacy, which meant the city was going to shit, fast, in the wake of a power struggle between Primogen in the face of a then-inevitable Sabbat siege. As things turned out, the Malkavian Primogen, who was megalomaniac and obsessive-compulsive, ended up assassinating the Prince and was trying to hide it in favor of maneuvering things to make himself the Prince by vote after the fact.

              To make a long story short, an Archon ended up dispatched to the city to sort things out and ended up siding with the Malkavian Primogen, and while that happened most of the PC's were building a case to frame the Malkavian Primogen as a Sabbat defector, using the circumstantial evidence left by his cover-up attempt to prop it up. The Malkavian Primogen died anyways, triggering a bout of extreme paranoia in the Malkavian PC who not-so-discretely firebombed the Primogen with extreme prejudice. The Ventrue Primogen, who's an old-school hard-ass, ended up becoming the Prince. Not exactly a fantastic outcome for the Anarchs, but on the other hand the new Prince owes his position to the Anarchs and is very unlikely to forget it, and the Anarch PC's have some pretty nasty dirt on both the Prince and an Archon, which guarantees an Anarch crackdown won't be forthcoming; plus, the Anarchs get a back channel directly to the new Prince himself.

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