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  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    You know, you guys are right.

    This is the intro to my review of the Camarilla book:

    2.5/5

    THE CAMARILLA (sourcebook) is an incredibly flawed book that would have otherwise been a 4.5/5 if not for one incredibly ill-conceived chapter that I think needs to be removed. It would be in the best interests of Modipheus Entertainment as well as the fandom of the whole to remove the chapter and publish the book without it. It's that offensive and I'm not normally someone who plays morality police on a horror game.

    But we'll get to that.

    Actually, no, it's probably best to get it out of the way before anything else. The Camarilla (sourcebook) contains a chapter devoted to describing Mordor meets Latveria. There's a murerously evil little country ruled by a vampire dictator which is rounding up all the gays and other innocents to be vampire snacks. Here's the problem, it's a real country. You know, you can describe Montreal as a Satan-worshiping hellhole, that's actually funny. It's considerably less funny when it's a country actually doing the things you're telling people are secretly the work of vampires. It's why Hilter was a mortal, 9/11 wasn't caused by the Sabbat, and Columbine wasn't the work of two Thin Bloods (yes, I had that ST and he lasted until that session).

    At our table, we have what's called the century rule. It's a simple enough thing that nothing can be said to be the fault of something supernatural until at least a century has passed and all of the people victimized by it are dead. You can state that the Confederacy was actually a massive Ventrue and Toreador scheme where all plantation owners were ghoul families or vampires.

    You could even run a kickass game as a Brujah slave liberator. You can say Archduke Ferdidnand was killed by Anarchs ghouls. Don't claim Martin Luther King was killed by the Technocracy. Don't say genocides in Eastern Europe were the work of Belial's cult. Especially if, in this day and age, you can actually talk to the poor bastards who survived it.

    So, I'm knocking off two points from my score because of Chechnya's chapter. It's one of those things which will go down with World of Darkness: Gypsies (The Holocaust was Hitler's fear of Romani magic!) and Himmler the Tremere for really bad ideas. If you're going to make up a nation of evil, make up an actual fictional nation. Call it Groznystan or get an actual Russian to make up a name but don't demean real life atrocities.


    Thank you for persuading me.


    I am going to unfortunately have to say, "This is 1e flavor" See Berlin by night. They should have learned better. But this definately speaks of "trying to get things back to that early 90s feel" and it is unfortunate.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Lian View Post
      I am going to unfortunately have to say, "This is 1e flavor" See Berlin by night. They should have learned better. But this definately speaks of "trying to get things back to that early 90s feel" and it is unfortunate.
      It is, indeed. But the problem, I think, it's not the flavor but the content. It's crass, but that's not the problem: They're insulting the suffering of real life people when it could have been equally crass insulting fictional characters.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Aleph View Post

        It is, indeed. But the problem, I think, it's not the flavor but the content. It's crass, but that's not the problem: They're insulting the suffering of real life people when it could have been equally crass insulting fictional characters.

        I would say that insulting the suffering of real people in a crass fashion IS AN Unfortunate part of early WOD flavor. Alot of things v20 tried to clean up... v5 seems to jump back to the shock of WOD: Gypsies. Berlin by night etc.

        But.. this also coincides with the physical copies going out, so maybe there wasn't a chance to change it and we hopefully won't see more like this in the future.

        Comment


        • http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1...ethemasquerade

          2.5/5

          THE CAMARILLA (sourcebook) is an incredibly flawed book that would have otherwise been a 4/5 if not for one incredibly ill-conceived chapter that I think needs to be removed. But we'll get to that. Actually, no, it's probably best to get it out of the way before anything else. The Camarilla (sourcebook) contains a chapter devoted to describing Mordor meets Latveria. There's a murderously evil little country ruled by a vampire dictator which is rounding up all the gays and other innocents to be vampire snacks. Here's the problem, it's a real country. You know, you can describe Montreal as a Satan-worshiping hellhole, that's actually funny. It's considerably less funny when it's a country actually doing the things you're telling people are secretly the work of vampires.

          At our table, we have what's called the century rule. It's a simple enough thing that nothing can be said to be the fault of something supernatural until at least a century has passed and all of the people victimized by it are dead. You can state that the Confederacy was actually a massive Ventrue and Toreador scheme where all plantation owners were ghoul families or vampires. Don't say the Baali were behind the Bosnian genocides. Especially if, in this day and age, you
          can actually talk to the poor bastards who survived them.

          So, I'm knocking off two points from my score because of Chechnya's chapter. It's one of those things which will go down with World of Darkness: Gypsies (The Holocaust was Hitler's fear of Romani magic!) and Himmler the Tremere for really bad ideas. If you're going to make a vampire run country full of blood camps and slaves, at least make it a fictional country. I even made a petition requesting Modiphius Entertainment remove the chapter from PDFs and future print editions: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/remove-chechnya-chapter-from-the-camarilla

          But aside from that? Yes, the book is (mostly) excellent! Yeah, I know that's like saying, "Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?" after that opening but it really is strange how the tone of the book is so different from the single offending chapter. Overall, I like the Camarilla (sourcebook) even more than the Anarch (sourcebook). There's some areas where I think they went a little weird for a book about the Camarilla like its Sabbat-like focus on religious practices but, mostly, I thought it was an informative update to the sect and its policies.

          For those unfamiliar with the Camarilla and starting their roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade with 5E, they have long been the default sect for player characters to side with. Even the Anarchs were considered part of the Camarilla despite being their archenemies. It was sort of the United States of Vampires and you were a citizen whether you wanted to be or not. Still, they were the guys who cleaned up the Masquerade and it was often portrayed as an overall good thing (for vampires) or at least the lesser evil.

          No longer.

          The Camarilla in the 5th Edition has expelled the Anarchs, exiled the Brujah, and lost the Gangrel. They've also refused the membership of the Ministry (Followers of Set). They have, however, taken the Banu Haqim (Assamites) in as members. They're now, as a result, an elite boys club of the super-rich and influential that will come down on you hard if you don't follow their rules. They're more like the Invictus from Requiem than the Camarilla we knew but that isn't necessarily a bad thing as Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines treated them the same way.

          A surprising amount of material is devoted to the Camarilla's complicated relationship with religion. The Camarilla is mentioned to have been involved in the Protestant movement, has numerous ancestor worship cults (Menele and Mithras are both cited as vampire gods), and there's also talk about how they've worked to undermine faith in the Modern Nights only for this to come back at them. The Camarilla is surprisingly prone to naval gazing compared to the Anarchs and its members need some higher power or ideal to guide them.

          The book is almost entirely fluff as opposed to crunch, focusing instead on giving a sense of how the Camarilla operates with beloved characters like Victoria Ash. Unfortunately, we're lacking one of our favorite Camarilla stooges in Jan Pieterzoon and no one really replaces the iconic Ventrue apologist. One of my favorite chapters is the discussion of the Gehenna War from the perspective of a Muslim Ventrue who is struggling to deal with the fact he's only a Camarilla agent in the eyes of the Ashirra.

          If I have one (of two) other complaint(s) about the book, it's that the Gehenna Wars feel remarkably dull for something so apocalyptic. The Elders of the
          Camarilla have been summoned there (seemingly you need to be about 800 years old to have it happen as it's shown many-many younger Elders don't feel the urge) and they mostly fight the Sabbat. There's nothing Biblical like secret ceremonies to the Antediluvians, Ur-Shulgi wiping out divisions of US troops with sand storms, and sanity-blasting madness no one can remember because Ventrue has Dominate 10 so he wins. It makes the "apocalypse you weren't invited to" far less interesting.

          On the plus side, though, we finally get an explanation how the Second Inquisition works as the Camarilla hasn't been sitting on its coffins waiting to deal with it. They've been gathering information about how the Society of Leopold, Project: Twilight, and other familiar groups have joined together to overthrow the established Kindred order. Basically, it boils down to the fact the governments of the world has more money than even the Camarilla and bigger guns. Also, somehow, they've developed a way to immunize people from Dominate and Presence. Sadly, despite the fact they killed an Antediluvian, the Technocracy is not even alluded to. Nor are werewolves, Pentex, or any other crossover threat which would help justify the SI's success.

          I give props to the writers for doing an amazing job with the book's diversity. We have Kindred from all of the world depicted of every color, creed, sex, and orientation in positions of power. The new owners of White Wolf are taking it to the next level in making sure a global community of characters is shown. I also notice it seems to be implying the Kuei-Jin don't exist since no mention is made of them and we get Camarilla rules Tokyo. Honestly, I'm cool with that as the Kuei-Jin were not a great idea, IMHO.

          We also get a lot of interesting tidbits about things like Camarilla rituals and practices. There's oaths, rules for vampire weddings (No! How could you marry
          that Assamite, Victoria! You were supposed to be mine!) and so on. We also get explanations for things like the duties and powers of the Prince, Seneschal, and Sheriff. Finally, there's the details of the V5 version of the Banu Haqim that are described less as a murderous Blood Cult and more akin to a clan of rich jackasses who fit right in with the rest of the Camarilla's leadership.

          I'm going to have to also make another criticism in the fact the editors for this book didn't do a great job. I'm not a guy who whines much about typos,
          grammatical mistake, or misalignments but these were very noticeable. At one point, it mentions Kindred controlled through "vage slavery." It seems much worse than in the Anarch book. The lack of crunch and out of universe narrative material also gets a bit frustrating a the "voice" of characters is rarely neutral so we never know how we're supposed to feel about a lot of things going in the Camarilla. Unreliable narrators can be useful but it hurts the usefulness in the book as you're only halfway through before you realize the man speaking is a baby-eating psychopath.

          In conclusion, this is mostly an entertaining but somewhat dry book. The Anarchs had a lot more flavor and were far more wild as well as extreme. Which is to be expected with Anarchs but I was hoping for a bit more pizazz from the Camarilla. The Elysium supplement had a lot of Gehenna cults, weird parties, and other story hooks. This Camarilla seems a bit too focused on organized religion and I say that as a real life theist fanatic. Where's the human chess games where the taken pieces die? Where's the chefs who prepare human prisoners for years before draining them? Still, overall, a very good supplement--with one large exception.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-10-2018, 04:40 AM.


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1...ethemasquerade

            For those unfamiliar with the Camarilla and starting their roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade with 5E, they have long been the default sect for player characters to side with. Even the Anarchs were considered part of the Camarilla despite being their archenemies. It was sort of the United States of Vampires and you were a citizen whether you wanted to be or not. Still, they were the guys who cleaned up the Masquerade and it was often portrayed as an overall good thing (for vampires) or at least the lesser evil.

            No longer.

            The Camarilla in the 5th Edition has expelled the Anarchs, exiled the Brujah, and lost the Gangrel. They've also refused the membership of the Ministry (Followers of Set). They have, however, taken the Banu Haqim (Assamites) in as members. They're now, as a result, an elite boys club of the super-rich and influential that will come down on you hard if you don't follow their rules. They're more like the Invictus from Requiem than the Camarilla we knew but that isn't necessarily a bad thing as Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines treated them the same way.
            This is the worst thing , let´s say goodbye to the grey moral conflict of the World of Darkness

            Let´s welcome a manicheism white vs black conflict where the camarilla are nazi moustauche twirling villains and the anarch are the good guys.

            V5 camarilla wishes it was Invictus.The Requiem covenant was an organization made around the idea of getting power and conservating it not about being "evil conspiracy TM" .I highly recomend the Invictus suplement it is on par or even better to the elyseum suplement for masquerade.Now if WW wanted to make the camarilla more neofeudal they could have say that in V5 all vampires are camarilla citizens but only the elite are the Invictus , the rulers and influencers of the undead night who have their own domain while the avarage lick must pay a regular tithe and do militar service for the prince in case of need if they want access to the comunal hunting grounds and to be protected from being legally killed as without the payment they are no recognized as citizens and the prince won´t procesecute their assesination.

            That´s how you make a social class conflict in a neofeudal system and this is something we will never see in V5 becuase we are no longer in a World of darkness but in one of Light vs Darkness.
            Last edited by Leandro16; 11-10-2018, 08:58 AM.


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            • Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post

              This is the worst thing , let´s say goodbye to the grey moral conflict of the World of Darkness

              Let´s welcome a manicheism white vs black conflict where the camarilla are nazi moustauche twirling villains and the anarch are the good guys.
              The Anarch book makes the Anarchs Sabbat-lite. They're not all evil bastards but a lot of them are violent psychopath diablerists.

              V5 camarilla wishes it was Invictus.The Requiem covenant was an organization made around the idea of getting power and conservating it not about being "evil conspiracy TM" .I highly recomend the Invictus suplement it is on par or even better to the elyseum suplement for masquerade.Now if WW wanted to make the camarilla more neofeudal they could have say that in V5 all vampires are camarilla citizens but only the elite are the Invictus , the rulers and influencers of the undead night who have their own domain while the avarage lick must pay a regular tithe and do militar service for the prince in case of need if they want access to the comunal hunting grounds and to be protected from being legally killed as without the payment they are no recognized as citizens and the prince won´t procesecute their assesination.

              That´s how you make a social class conflict in a neofeudal system and this is something we will never see in V5 becuase we are no longer in a World of darkness but in one of Light vs Darkness.
              Honestly, the Camarilla is less evil in this than it was in Revised by far. Which is disappointing.

              It is, however, open war in many places with the Anarchs kicking Camarilla butt and the Camarilla burning down Anarch havens.


              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                The Anarch book makes the Anarchs Sabbat-lite. They're not all evil bastards but a lot of them are violent psychopath diablerists.

                Honestly, the Camarilla is less evil in this than it was in Revised by far. Which is disappointing.

                It is, however, open war in many places with the Anarchs kicking Camarilla butt and the Camarilla burning down Anarch havens.
                I don´t see the anarchs as a sabbat little , for me The Anarch were always a mix of everything , they had diablerist in their ranks, do gooders , tirants frustrated with the camarilla slow ascent to power , children running away from their despotic sires etc... It was a very chaotic faction and that made sense becuase they where anarch.

                I also actually liked the idea of some anarch barons being equal or even worse than some princes.It made the conflict more grey and tha´s something I love.No faction hold the morally right banner is the best for the world of darkness.The camarilla being evil for the sake of it in V5 is bad writting , it having some degenerate members inside it´s high ranking it´s good writting becuase at the end the camarilla is like a Vampire ONU where the countries are domains or city states and the only two important factors are:Power and don´t fuck to each to the point of no return.

                That said what I think they should have done is make the Anarch movement transform into a faction similar to the Carthian Movement.Neonates of the XXI century have been born knowing democracy and want power to the people and this is used by true idealist who truly want the best for the people and by populist tirants who want power and that are more despotic than LaCroix the clown prince.That way the anarch would become a more interesting faction while also having multiple subfactions (A democratic one , a comunist one , a socialist one , a liberal one etc...) while keeping the shades of grey morality that i love so much.Also not beckoning , the war of ages needs elders to make the anarch more lovable by having somethign to rebel against.


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                • Luckily Leandro both books are full of shades of gray: the Anarchs have all sort of evil or morally compromised characters, from nostalgics of Chartage which are more Baali-lite than Prometheans, to vampire feeding carelessly from families, kids and go on because no Sheriff telling them what to do or not, from Brujah Soviet bureaucrats longing for gulags where to reign supreme to Hungarian vampiric neonazi supremacists.

                  Also, I'm pro-Anarch in game and as for vague political leanings (I'm a socialdemocrat, but I vote more left-wing these days), and really ... after having read both, my comment was "so, the Camarilla makes things work for its members and discuss global crises, while the Anarchs basically have sex and want to be left alone".

                  Of course the Camarilla looks "more evil": they are in war, and under a coup from Ventrue and Archons. But still there are lots of shades of grey.

                  Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post

                  This is the worst thing , let´s say goodbye to the grey moral conflict of the World of Darkness

                  Let´s welcome a manicheism white vs black conflict where the camarilla are nazi moustauche twirling villains and the anarch are the good guys.

                  V5 camarilla wishes it was Invictus.The Requiem covenant was an organization made around the idea of getting power and conservating it not about being "evil conspiracy TM" .I highly recomend the Invictus suplement it is on par or even better to the elyseum suplement for masquerade.Now if WW wanted to make the camarilla more neofeudal they could have say that in V5 all vampires are camarilla citizens but only the elite are the Invictus , the rulers and influencers of the undead night who have their own domain while the avarage lick must pay a regular tithe and do militar service for the prince in case of need if they want access to the comunal hunting grounds and to be protected from being legally killed as without the payment they are no recognized as citizens and the prince won´t procesecute their assesination.

                  That´s how you make a social class conflict in a neofeudal system and this is something we will never see in V5 becuase we are no longer in a World of darkness but in one of Light vs Darkness.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post

                    I don´t see the anarchs as a sabbat little , for me The Anarch were always a mix of everything , they had diablerist in their ranks, do gooders , tirants frustrated with the camarilla slow ascent to power , children running away from their despotic sires etc... It was a very chaotic faction and that made sense becuase they where anarch.

                    I also actually liked the idea of some anarch barons being equal or even worse than some princes.It made the conflict more grey and tha´s something I love.No faction hold the morally right banner is the best for the world of darkness.The camarilla being evil for the sake of it in V5 is bad writting , it having some degenerate members inside it´s high ranking it´s good writting becuase at the end the camarilla is like a Vampire ONU where the countries are domains or city states and the only two important factors are:Power and don´t fuck to each to the point of no return.

                    That said what I think they should have done is make the Anarch movement transform into a faction similar to the Carthian Movement.Neonates of the XXI century have been born knowing democracy and want power to the people and this is used by true idealist who truly want the best for the people and by populist tirants who want power and that are more despotic than LaCroix the clown prince.That way the anarch would become a more interesting faction while also having multiple subfactions (A democratic one , a comunist one , a socialist one , a liberal one etc...) while keeping the shades of grey morality that i love so much.Also not beckoning , the war of ages needs elders to make the anarch more lovable by having somethign to rebel against.
                    Take a look at the two guides, Leandro, really: What you want is covered, luckily,

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Manfr View Post

                      Take a look at the two guides, Leandro, really: What you want is covered, luckily,
                      For what I have seen is techically the oposite in all the V5 line but this edition is not of my taste

                      The only slight of hope I have is put in V5 Chicago and I still have my reservations , time will tell.

                      Right now when i want to give a bit of special sauce to the camarilla and the anarch I prefer to pick some requiem suplements and just import from them the ideas i see fitting.

                      PD:Anyway thanks for triying and sharing the info.Nice detail.


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                      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1...ethemasquerade

                        I also notice it seems to be implying the Kuei-Jin don't exist since no mention is made of them and we get Camarilla rules Tokyo. Honestly, I'm cool with that as the Kuei-Jin were not a great idea, IMHO.
                        I read this the other way, as the write-up state that the Tremere Regent seems to be the only "real" Kindred, all other vampires in Tokyo seem to be "possessed". It seems to me that maybe they want to refocus the KJ as being corpse-possessing spirits, which could be a more apt description of the KJ and a cool way to make them antagonists to the Kindred, who are, after all, corpses.

                        Comment


                        • I would read it not as retconning the Wan Kuei out of existence, so much as that they haven’t yet decided what to do with them, so they’re avoiding committing to anything at this point. They probably still exist, as they are clearly there in BJD, and V5 is not in the habit of retconning parts of the setting out of existence. But they are a part that merits a good hard look and a careful touch, as there were various problems with the execution the first time around.

                          For example, if they’ve backed off the California invasion in the interest of not awkwardly stumbling into Yellow Peril territory over and over again, that’s fine with me.

                          But I expect in any case they will stick with the name Wan Kuei, which is what BJD uses (“Kuei-Jin” being a linguistic impossibility if you know how Chinese and Japanese actually work).
                          Last edited by Black Flag; 11-11-2018, 12:31 PM.

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                          • I don't mind the invasion of California because, bluntly, vampires fight for territory. I dislike the way it was handled.

                            Presentation is eveything as this book shows.


                            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                            Comment


                            • oh,i forgot. can i ask what everyone thought of the new Banu Haqim Clan Crest? any people with understandingof their culture to say if it's aaccurate? been really curious about it

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                              • Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
                                oh,i forgot. can i ask what everyone thought of the new Banu Haqim Clan Crest? any people with understandingof their culture to say if it's aaccurate? been really curious about it
                                It looks like Kufic Arabic script, only with the letters disconnected and rotated in weird directions, including backwards. It doesn’t appear to say anything.

                                The Ashirra book from years back did something similar with a handwritten Arabic font, so putting out pseudo-Arabic nonsense is pretty much the standard by this point. It is a shame, though, as it would not have been difficult to just spell out “Banu Haqim” in Kufic. Maybe that’s what they were trying to do, but to my eye (not fluent in Arabic but somewhat familiar), i don’t think they succeeded.

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