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  • New Player Blood Bond Questions

    Just bought V20 last months and S.O. is the ST, been playing about 3 weeks. I tried finding answers to a few things, but no amount of digging seemed to help.

    I'm bound to my sire at level three and have been feeding him in his sleep to bond him to me cause I went full yandere. He hasn't noticed because I'm stealthy and supposed to be on tour (the party is a rock band) and hasn't been around me while awake to notice. When I get him to level three how does this affect his ability to make me do things that go against my humanity 8? Will he notice the bond immediately, next time he sees me, or could he need to make checks to notice? He's a 7th gen elder. So far he seems to just think he's extra proud of me. Lastly, how does one's nature affect blood bonds exactly? For instance mine is caregiver, so is it harder to make me kill people?

  • #2
    First of all, the act of blood bonding is enslavement and brainwashing, so it could easily be a violation of Humanity 3 and 1 (Planned Violation and Heinous Acts respectively).

    When I get him to level three how does this affect his ability to make me do things that go against my humanity 8?
    It didn't stop you from blood bonding your sire, did it?
    On a mechanical level - nothing changes. But due to the roleplaying effects of the blood bond your sire may be more concerned about your mental health and maybe unwilling to make you do evil shit. Or your sire may decide that it's for your own good to toughen up and make you do more evil shit.

    Will he notice the bond immediately, next time he sees me, or could he need to make checks to notice?
    Entirely up to GM. However, even if the sire realizes that you've blood bonded them - they are already blood bonded. They've already been brainwashed and will rationalize your actions. If pushed they may rebel against the blood bond and do willpower checks, as described on p.288, but again - that's not a normal behavior.

    Lastly, how does one's nature affect blood bonds exactly? For instance mine is caregiver, so is it harder to make me kill people?
    Your GM may or may not increase the difficulty for mundane and magical coercion to make you do things against your nature. There are no hard rules for this, it's just something you bring up when arguing with your GM that it should be harder for the Ventrue to dominate you into eating your friends.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
      First of all, the act of blood bonding is enslavement and brainwashing, so it could easily be a violation of Humanity 3 and 1 (Planned Violation and Heinous Acts respectively).
      Thanks, this answered a few of our questions, though I'm surprised the humanity loss is presumed so low when the book doesn't speak a lick about it. Is there splat material for this? My Gm just ruled it self defense of one's moral code and hand waved any humanity roll. To be honest though half of all rules arguments are morality based because it's hard to pin because we believe in moral relativism.

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      • #4
        Its hard to say, as it is not really the act itself, (in most cases), but the intentions, uses, and sometimes knowledge involved in the circumstances.

        A few things to keep in mind though. Being Blood Bound to another makes them devoted to you similar to being in love, (I imagine it more like a really hard crush), where they are willing to, and want to do a little bit extra for you. To the point of being clingy.

        However, you can only be Blood Bound to one individual, and so attempting to Bind your Sire to you could be futile if they are already Blood Bound.

        It can also be a very bad thing, if the Cotorie are all his or her Childer, it will likely make the two overly codependent on each other yo the exclusion of the rest of the group, and make really poor choices so that they can spend more time together, or keep each other safe, or away from anyone else. It is similar to a drug addiction, where that becomes one of your strongest drives.

        As far as making them do things, it really does not directly. Instead it makes them want to do things for you, but completely independently of any "control" you might have. It is also worth noting that they can have the artificial love and truely hate you at the same time, and that hate can eventially overtake the Blood Bond.

        Just be careful. Nothing is free, or easy.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beckett View Post
          Its hard to say, as it is not really the act itself, (in most cases), but the intentions, uses, and sometimes knowledge involved in the circumstances.

          A few things to keep in mind though. Being Blood Bound to another makes them devoted to you similar to being in love, (I imagine it more like a really hard crush), where they are willing to, and want to do a little bit extra for you. To the point of being clingy.

          However, you can only be Blood Bound to one individual, and so attempting to Bind your Sire to you could be futile if they are already Blood Bound.

          It can also be a very bad thing, if the Cotorie are all his or her Childer, it will likely make the two overly codependent on each other yo the exclusion of the rest of the group, and make really poor choices so that they can spend more time together, or keep each other safe, or away from anyone else. It is similar to a drug addiction, where that becomes one of your strongest drives.

          As far as making them do things, it really does not directly. Instead it makes them want to do things for you, but completely independently of any "control" you might have. It is also worth noting that they can have the artificial love and truely hate you at the same time, and that hate can eventially overtake the Blood Bond.

          Just be careful. Nothing is free, or easy.
          Yeah, I know, my character is already bonded to him completely. I've had to really play that up and cling to him whenever possible and randomly vanish back home to visit. It seems a bonded person would be more motivated to bond their regnant.

          I am quite aware of the risk of hatred, but in my characters position it seemed like the gamble was just worth it because he's constantly pushed by the party to commit crimes he doesn't want to and his sire keeps pushing for him to do what they want. So he's a bit desperate for some leniency he may or may not get. He also has no intention of actually telling his sire to do anything other than to lay off the ridiculous expectations to help that dirty Ravnos and Tremere in their evil schemes(I'm Ventrue).

          He seems to have no other childer either due to losing them or more likely having been incredibly picky. So I know I'm gambling that he doesn't have anyone else, but my ST says in my 20 years of life I've certainly never seen anyone that might fill that roll. So I'm trying to be optimistic. I well know the risks either way though.

          I'm just always concerned with the more vague parts of the book as I'm used to more concrete games. So should I assume one's bonded behavior depends a lot on how I treat them and their nature? My character is caregiver so I've played up the love aspect with that assumption thus far.

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          • #6
            While I understand a character wanting to blood bond his domitor without loosing Humanity, I don't think the reason for doing so would be "I want him to stop making me do bad stuffs". That's actually quite malicious because the blood bond is intented to manipulate the sire into doing something. This is not being in love or being clingy, it's being manipulative and I would have rolled Humanity. Not as 3 sin but definitly a roll for anyone at Humanity 8.

            The ONLY reason I wouldn't roll for a blood bond for a humanity 8 character is if the blood was donated to protect. If the other kindred was dying and needed blood to survive, or if somehow the blood bond could counter something worst. Or if the blood bond is shared out of genuine love by the two vampires as a way to, maybe, make their beasts sweeter toward one another.


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            • #7
              Let's be honest, even blood bonding for "love" is still brainwashing and enslavement.

              However, VtM never really goes into morality of blood bonding because it's too much of a core gameplay mechanic.

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              • #8
                It is still brainwashing and enslavement, but if you have the choice between giving your blood to that tremere friend or letting him frenzy with the last of his blood and ultimatly die of his wounds... well, you will do everything you can afterward not to abuse the bond and try not to see your friend long enough, hoping the bond will fade faster.

                Now, if character A is already blood bonded to 3 to character B, then I don't think A is lucid enough to get that it's not the thing to do.

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                • #9
                  With new players, I find it helpful to explain the blood bond, at three drinks or stronger, as similar to a derangement. (V20, p 390) It's not a perfect simile, but a decent guideline. You can spend willpower to resist it, it controls/influences your behavior, and you may or may not be aware there even is a derangement. Also, like a derangement, it can be eroded over time, though a bond is harder to get out of than a derangement.

                  Don't make the mistake of thinking of it as "love". Oh, some of the behaviors it causes may look like love, but it's more similar to how a drug addict feels about their addiction before realizing there is a problem there. You sort of know it's bad for you, but just can't or don't know how to resist.

                  I think it's safe to assume that the sire, as an elder, will quickly figure out they are blood-bound to you. By now, they know what they usually feel, and can likely sort out artificial emotions from true ones.

                  Your Nature (and the sire's) will have a lot to do with how the Bond is expressed. A Bravo-Martyr pairing might look like a battered spouse. A Visionary-Fanatic pairing would have overtones of cultic brainwashing. A Gallant-Caretaker couple might look like the brilliant leader and the doting supporter. A Traditionalist-Traditionalist couple might just find themselves in such a rut that they can't imagine doing anything differently... actually, that might be true of any pairing where the two Natures closely match, as they reinforce and encourage one another's personalities.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                    I think it's safe to assume that the sire, as an elder, will quickly figure out they are blood-bound to you. By now, they know what they usually feel, and can likely sort out artificial emotions from true ones.
                    Has the sire been blood bound often? I'd actually imagine that most vampires don't know what a level 3 blood bond feels like, beecause they avoid drinking vitae like a plague.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                      Has the sire been blood bound often? I'd actually imagine that most vampires don't know what a level 3 blood bond feels like, beecause they avoid drinking vitae like a plague.
                      I'm sorry, I have no idea if the sire has been bound often. We weren't given that information.

                      Maybe? Maybe not?

                      What we have been told is that he is centuries old. He is not a rank neo-nate, trying to sort out whether crosses are a problem, and whether everyone they feed fom will turn. He is experienced enough to have had the opportunity to sort real motivations from false many, many times.

                      Pretty much every time he has been to a Toreador party, he has seen Presence 1-5 used freely, from the doorman using Presence 2 to shoo away trouble makers, to the opera diva on the dais using Presence 5 to give her Grossmachtige Prinzessin a little extra oomph.

                      I am confident he has had negotiations with Ventrue and Tremere who slipped a little Dominate or Presence into the proceedings.

                      He himself, being Ventrue, likely has inflicted the effects of both Dominate and Presence, at all common levels, on a near nightly basis.

                      It also seems likely he has created more than one ghoul, and has seen the tell-tale signs of false love many times... and has had to monitor those same ghouls for the slightest sign of that devotion's fading.

                      I imagine he has met more than one neo-nate who thinks the best way to test for generation is to attempt a Domination.

                      I feel it's likely he has had a Malkavian try to bend his mind, and worried that if they were successful he may never know it.

                      I assume he has seen humans ignore the hideous Nosferatu skulking through the alleyways, their minds clouded in their passing.

                      He has almost certainly seen, one or twice, the blank, slavish devotion of a dog, or bear, or horse... or horde of rats... for its Gangrel master.

                      He has probably even seen a piece of chimerical bait or two in his time, proffered by a Ravnos.

                      We know he has inflicted the blood bond. This implies he knows something of it... and has likely seen the effects, if not being bound himself, or bonding another to him, almost certainly has seen other's exploiting its effects.

                      On a more mundane level, he has seen centuries of hucksters, liars, seducers, and flim-flam artists of every sort, at every level of society, (from a con-man on a street corner selling snake oil, to Rasputin who succeeded at seizing Russia, where great Napoleon had failed, by eschewing armies, and instead invading the Czar's wife, with an entirely different set of canons) and has seen how their victim's seem to lose all reason under their manipulations.

                      At the very least, he is (as are many mortals) of an age to understand that sudden infatuation rarely blooms into true love. Romeo and Juliet is only a soaring romance because they died young. Had they lived, they would have become their parents, as we all do. By now, he has surely becoming jaded to love at first sight, and doves, and roses, and hushed whispers, and the heart going pitter-pat. Pretty much any mortal of an age that they groan when tying their shoes, also groan at the very idea of such puppy love. How much moreso someone from an age of arranged marriages, and courtesans being paid in duchies?

                      So, when he has a fledgling, whom he had hoped might be an entertaining distraction, or at most a useful tool, and suddenly he looks at her and knows... deep in his shriveled and unbeating heart... that anything she asked him for, anything she asked him to do, up to and including risking his own life, he would gladly do at her barest whisper of a whim, forgive me if I assume he might have a nagging doubt of cynicism in the back of his head.

                      When he finds himself playing the role of Herod, bearing a heavy platter for Salome... I dunno, he might suspect something is amiss.

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                      • #12
                        To everyone saying that using a blood bond would be a sin; What sin does it Violate (in your opinion) not, about a certain level, but what specific level is being violated?
                        Because it's not accidentally killing someone, not property damage or theft. Not even inuring someone.
                        It is selfish, but that's at 9
                        10 Selfish thoughts
                        9 Minor selfish acts
                        8 Injury to another (accidental or otherwise)
                        7 Theft
                        6 Accidental violation (drinking a vessel dry out of starvation)
                        5 Intentional property damage
                        4 Impassioned violation (manslaughter, killing a vessel in frenzy)
                        3 Planned violation (outright murder, savored exsanguination)
                        2 Casual violation (thoughtless killing, feeding past satiation)
                        1 Utter perversion or heinous acts
                        0 No moral values. Must sleep, must feed, must kill

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                        • #13
                          "Violation", is a vague word, but I would qualify "brainwashing and enslavement" as "violation". I'd also qualify it as utter perversion or heinous acts.

                          So 3 and 1.

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                          • #14
                            Not-a-sin-but-stupid: "Let's drink each other's blood because we are young and in love <3" (also "let's drink from each other because the Kiss is so great") or "Let's drink each other's blood to strenghten our bonds of loyalty" (aka Cheap Vaulderie For Friends).

                            I would rank at 8, 7 or 6 a blood bond that is the result of an attempt to save a life, depending if the receiving Kindred knows what is happening and agree or is out of the blue ("But my Ventrue friend lost his herd and he really couldn't afford that torpor while we're on the road, so yes he fed from me !"). It's a case when not donating the blood would also probably result in a loss of Humanity.

                            Now, if the blood bond is motivated by the will to change someone's behavior, I'd say it would rank from 5 to 1, depending if the character wants to settle at BB1, 2 or 3, if he really knows what he's doing, and the circumstances. I've had an archon who blood bonded a sabbat prisonner because he had been told that could break Vaulderie, so he hoped to "free" him from the Sabbat using that, then have a friend take care of the prisonner in a good place so the bond could fade. Yes, that's horrible, but definitly not a sin 3 or below, and the Archon felt like shit when the Sabbat guy started to explain sabbat ritae and it became obvious that he'd blood bonded him for absolutly nothing.

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                            • #15
                              I heartily disagree that blood bonding would be as low as others see it by itself, But what you do with the blood bonded individual would be cause for concern for the hierarchy.

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