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Are the Ministry and House Carna a game-changer for the Anarchs?

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I enjoyed it but I'm trying to figure who thought saying the Anarchs caused the 2007 Financial Crisis that harmed so many poor Americans was a good idea.
    I think one of the writers thought the Anarchs should have been responsible to a major happening on mortal society. But,the writer didnt actually picked the right one

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
    I'd argue Anarchs Unbound was quite nice too.
    I enjoyed it but I'm trying to figure who thought saying the Anarchs caused the 2007 Financial Crisis that harmed so many poor Americans was a good idea.

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I fully believe Salvador was annoyed Agata was talking about how sexy Theo Bell was because he thought she should be admiring him.

    That was hilarious.

    I really think the best thing to ever happened to the Anarchs was Bloodlines, though. That game managed the delicate balance of making the Anarchs look like a bunch of ineffective jerks (Damsel is kind of a moron--even her fellow vampires think so) but also be cool enough your player characters might want to hang around them while also having a leader who can articulate what the hell he's talking about.

    Nines Rodriguez articulates the Camarilla's problems in a more coherent way in 3 minutes of gameplay than dozens of supplements ever did.

    "It's a pyramid scheme. You've met La Croix. He's an asshole. He's fairly typical of them. They want our shit. We don't like that."



    We also have Isaac Abrams, VV, Theresa Voorman and Jeanette, and other non-typical Anarchs.
    I'd argue Anarchs Unbound was quite nice too.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
    Agreed. Also,Agata represents something I think it's lacking in this game,she is having fun. She makes a statement "Yes,Vampirism is a curse,but you can actually enjoy it,be happy! I dare you"
    I fully believe Salvador was annoyed Agata was talking about how sexy Theo Bell was because he thought she should be admiring him.

    That was hilarious.

    I really think the best thing to ever happened to the Anarchs was Bloodlines, though. That game managed the delicate balance of making the Anarchs look like a bunch of ineffective jerks (Damsel is kind of a moron--even her fellow vampires think so) but also be cool enough your player characters might want to hang around them while also having a leader who can articulate what the hell he's talking about.

    Nines Rodriguez articulates the Camarilla's problems in a more coherent way in 3 minutes of gameplay than dozens of supplements ever did.

    "It's a pyramid scheme. You've met La Croix. He's an asshole. He's fairly typical of them. They want our shit. We don't like that."



    We also have Isaac Abrams, VV, Theresa Voorman and Jeanette, and other non-typical Anarchs.

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I have mixed feelings regarding Agata Starek but I confess she at least sends a message. Mind you, Salvador was meant to send a message as the Anarch Cookbook isn't about how the Anarchs are the Loyal Opposition to the Camarilla quietly working for social change and undermining the Prince's tyrannical rule.

    No, The Anarch Cookbook is, "This is how you make explosives to blow up the Prince's car."

    Agata Starek is a throw back to Salvador's glory days with the idea, "You know what the best way to deal with the Camarilla is? Kill them. Don't talk to them. Don't buy into their bullshit. Just kill them and be done with it."

    The thing is a lot of people got thrown by that because that was usually the Sabbat's M.O. but the Sabbat weren't the guys who were the original "Angry diablerists." That was the Anarchs too.
    Agreed. Also,Agata represents something I think it's lacking in this game,she is having fun. She makes a statement "Yes,Vampirism is a curse,but you can actually enjoy it,be happy! I dare you"

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
    Also,Charles I'd like to add one more kindred into the Game Changer pile.

    Agata Starek.

    I mean,Just.... wow. She really is something,isn't she?
    I have mixed feelings regarding Agata Starek but I confess she at least sends a message. Mind you, Salvador was meant to send a message as the Anarch Cookbook isn't about how the Anarchs are the Loyal Opposition to the Camarilla quietly working for social change and undermining the Prince's tyrannical rule.

    No, The Anarch Cookbook is, "This is how you make explosives to blow up the Prince's car."

    Agata Starek is a throw back to Salvador's glory days with the idea, "You know what the best way to deal with the Camarilla is? Kill them. Don't talk to them. Don't buy into their bullshit. Just kill them and be done with it."

    The thing is a lot of people got thrown by that because that was usually the Sabbat's M.O. but the Sabbat weren't the guys who were the original "Angry diablerists." That was the Anarchs too.

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Also,Charles I'd like to add one more kindred into the Game Changer pile.

    Agata Starek.


    I mean,Just.... wow. She really is something,isn't she?

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    Oh dear, some of us are acting like adults.

    NOOOOOOO!

    Quick, someone say how much they have V5!
    Yeah,after taking a tour to rpg.net,this forum feels like coming home. Bunch of gis there if there you ask me.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
    Can i just say I love how in this forum,we call discuss something,and disagree with each other without attacking each other or mak8ng ludicrous claims that makes no sense? Because i really appreciate it
    Oh dear, some of us are acting like adults.

    NOOOOOOO!

    Quick, someone say how much they hate V5!

    Edit:

    But yes, there's a lot of themes the Anarchs vs. Elders, Humanity vs. The Beast, and Camarilla vs. Anarchs can be explored by. I tend to like the Anarch theme in part because it personally appeals to me (I write a lot of books from the perspective of Anti-Establishment heroes) but I can also understand how a lot of people may think of them as childish. LA BY NIGHT is one of the best and worst things to ever happen to the Anarchs because it's really a very one-note portrayal of the organization. All the Anarchs seem to be is a bunch of 90s street gangs.

    Where are the political protestors? The Theodore Dooleys? The Hank Caves? The Maldavises?

    They're really...really....stupid.

    It's a powerful impression that leaves the idea the Anarchs aren't thinking beyond their own childish desires and the difference betweeen the 1st Edition Anarchs of Chicago by Night and the Anarchs of LA By Night is extreme.

    Mind you, I love the Black Prince of Milwaukee who is 800 years old and thinks the entire Camarilla system is BS.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-06-2019, 04:09 PM.

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Can i just say I love how in this forum,we call discuss something,and disagree with each other without attacking each other or mak8ng ludicrous claims that makes no sense? Because i really appreciate it

    Leave a comment:


  • Theodrim
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    Yeah, that's definitely an option if you want to run a pro-establishment game.

    Which gets to the point of how V5 should treat the Anarchs.

    Nuisance or "do they have a point?"

    It's interesting how both sides have supporters on this.
    That brings me back to my initial point. Reducing the question to a dichotomy, in my opinion, is ultimately to the game's detriment because it strips out the layers of complexity, philosophical fodder, and ensuing drama, that makes WoD truly unique among other game settings.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Yeah, that's definitely an option if you want to run a pro-establishment game.

    Which gets to the point of how V5 should treat the Anarchs.

    Nuisance or "do they have a point?"

    It's interesting how both sides have supporters on this.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-06-2019, 02:47 PM.

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  • Theodrim
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    Personally, I have a much shorter version of it. The Princes don't do what's best for the city. The Princes do what's best for the ELDERS. They are the Prince because it is the position that has been mutually agreed upon by the 1% of the 1% that just so happen to drink blood. They can sometimes have them in line but more often they're there because the Elders know they have someone supporting their interests.
    That position, at least in my thoughts, is contingent upon how many elders are in the city, how unified they are, how prominent and visible they are in the vampiric community at large, how deep their footprint is in the city, and how much of their interest is divested in the Prince and Primogen compared to pawns over which they have more direct control on an individual basis. A lot of what you point out isn't so much "making a city elder-friendly to the exclusion to all else", as it is "making a city vampire-friendly in general" with a dash of "a rising tide lifts all boats" as a consequence. A stable city with ample opportunity isn't going to just please elders; it's going to attract vampires of most ages and backgrounds, which in turn leads to more competition for limited resources, and thereby conflict and instability to which elders are ultimately averse.

    But, that comes with a pretty key disclaimer: almost all my modern nights games are set in the Americas where elders are fewer and further between, and therefore have less overall control compared to ancillae whose worst impulses, and comparative lack of age and experience, elders would otherwise moderate. Ancillae are old enough to start really throwing their weight around, but not yet old enough to figure out how and why that is a Really Bad Idea; elders, on the other hand, are smart enough to avoid attention and the nightly shit-slinging contests that comprise the majority of actual play, and exercise their power and influence in only the most subtle ways. That's compounded by most elders who inhabit the Americas being childer of the Anarch Revolt, having learned their lessons about how to wield power effectively, while avoiding accountability, the hard way.

    In my games, elders aren't the root cause of the problems that plague vampiric existence; their absence is. That doesn't mean elders are benevolent or even benign, far from it, but what it does mean is power is ultimately in the hands of those old enough to seize it, but too young and inexperienced to wield it effectively, and their only contention is equally-stupid peers.

    The implication for your average Anarch being, their rage at their own lot is misplaced, likely intentionally by the ancillae who are the real problem. Ancillae can always point to the older, bigger, and badder vampires and drum up support for themselves, after all, and have every reason to do so (more cash and prizes for themselves!). Of course, to your typical neonate Anarch, anybody over a century is an "elder", and that's a misconception and situation ancillae are more than happy to perpetuate and exploit.
    Last edited by Theodrim; 01-06-2019, 02:48 PM.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

    Personally, I look at it like this.
    *snip*

    Delightful.

    Personally, I have a much shorter version of it. The Princes don't do what's best for the city. The Princes do what's best for the ELDERS. They are the Prince because it is the position that has been mutually agreed upon by the 1% of the 1% that just so happen to drink blood. They can sometimes have them in line but more often they're there because the Elders know they have someone supporting their interests.

    This means the following:

    * Kill the Thin Bloods. Maybe keep them alive if they can be an Elder's regular snack.
    * Make sure there's a steady supply of homeless people who won't be missed.
    * Make sure there's a slave trade in the city
    * Make sure the police are appropriately corrupt and Dominated
    * Make sure the media cares about cat stories than violent shoot outs or the absurd number of disappearances.
    * Makes sure that the Anarchs are oppressed and divided.
    * Make sure the Neonates are the same unless they're Blood Bound or under the leash of their sires.
    * Kill or brainwash (or ghoul if you're being generous) any family members, friends, or loved ones which the Neonates refuse to break off contact with from their mortal lives.
    * Make sure the territory of the Elders is large and expansive with no "poachers" in them.
    * Make sure the Elders can and do steal as much money from city planning funds, charities, church groups, infrastructure, businesses, and so on to maintain the undead lifestyle.
    * Appoint a Scourge, Seneschal, Sheriff, Hounds, and more to help with all this.
    * Make frequent examples out of Neonates to keep the others in live.
    * Keep the population small
    * Maintain the Elysiums and nightclubs to allow the Elders to enjoy themselves as well as gossip freely.
    * Serve as master of ceremonies for their frequent shindigs, no matter how boring.
    * Serve as a target for the wrath of everyone in the city so they don't go after Elders in general.
    * Ass kiss the Justicars when they visit and give them whatever resources they require.

    Needless to say, we run things a bit differently but perhaps more similar than either of us suspected.

    Basically, I use Sheriff as the exemplar of an idea of how the PCs should relate to the Prince. "You have just walked into town and will be treated like John Rambo in First Blood. You are not wanted here but have nowhere else to go."

    You can also just look at it Game of Thrones style. The Prince is the King and the PCs are either vassals who serve a purpose or they are enemies.

    There's no wrong way of doing this but YMMV.

    Also, how you do the Prince will show inform how justified the Anarchs are, obviously. I bet people see my Anarchs differently with the above than say, yours.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-06-2019, 01:34 PM.

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  • Theodrim
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I think, again, it boils down to whether you consider the Prince the primary antagonist of a chronicle.

    Which I tend to do.

    I am very curious how you run your games in terms of the Anarch-Camarilla-Local Politics function.
    Personally, I look at it like this.

    As stated in CttC, Archons and Templars, and Gilded Cage, being Prince is actually the most unenviable position in the city, and there's a reason a given city's elders generally shy from holding it unless they absolutely, positively must, unless they're motivated by raw habit, tradition, or unadulterated ego. They do, however, leap at the opportunity of installing a pawn as Prince, and this pans out in the sheer number of ancilla Princes opposed to genuine elder Princes, save a handful of prominent and older domains which are the exception rather than the rule.

    At the end of the night, the Prince is the one stuck with the job of threading the needle between a city's various opposing factions and clans, and maintaining a balance of power that keeps everyone happy enough to not organize a serious attempt at overthrow, or worse, revolt. And, if the first, least thing goes wrong, the Prince is the person at whom all fingers invariably gravitate towards. All while projecting enough power and respectability to bring members of groups that would like nothing more than to see their opponents, Prince included, reduced to ash, to the bargaining table.

    That's just dealing with vampires in their own Domain. Meanwhile, the Prince has to answer to Archons, Justicars, and members of the Inner Circle, and is likely their punching bag and ritual sacrifice of choice if anything in their domain goes too wrong. Not to mention, the Prince is generally the first and highest-priority target of the Sabbat, and the Anarchs.

    All to what? Be the final arbiter of the Traditions? That doesn't get one quite as far as one would think. Awarding (or revoking) domain or the right to sire, or playing prestation which one would think as the Prince's ultimate power and privilege, invokes the specter of upsetting the balance of power that could lead to an attempted coup or revolt. Even negotiating Hospitality is a riskier prospect than it first seems -- award Hospitality to an Assamite (even a schismatic who declares membership in and loyalty to the Camarilla), for example, and the Tremere break out the torches and pitchforks. The only sphere in which the Prince really enjoys full prerogative without the potential for serious blowback, is enforcing the Masquerade.

    The ultimate problem with all this is, the more competent the Prince and the more peaceful and prosperous their domain, they worse they look. Because most vampires aren't privy to the nightly backroom deals, negotiation, enforcement, information-gathering, threatening, subversion, scapegoating, and covert activities it takes to keep a city well-oiled, all while a Prince has the biggest and most prominent target painted on their backs to absolutely everyone at all times. Not even other Primogen are likely to have the full picture, and the entire city is almost certainly better-off for it as Primogen are ultimately accountable to their own clans, and as such have conflicting interests and enmities with others'. Primogen, if they're smart, don't want the full picture since having it means they'd likely start making concessions that endanger their status among their own clan.

    Sure, incompetent Princes exist. Of course, the incompetent tend to not become Princes in the first place unless someone wants a scapegoat. They're also not likely to hold the title for long unless they have some major trump cards in their pocket, and as those cards get played (and they do) the likelihood of that Prince being deposed reaches utter certainty. Which means, in the long run incompetent Princes are a minority among all of them.

    Competent Princes do what's best for the city. Even if out of self-interest, acting in the best interests of the city, as a whole over the long run, is generally the best available means for preserving status and influence. Rarely, if ever, does that align with the best interests of vampires within it, and that is the ultimate source of drama surrounding the Prince. Of course, you'd be right to point out a seeming contradiction between this and the fact the better a Prince is at doing their job, they worse they look, but bear in mind the Prince's strongest weapon and ultimate deterrent against deposition, is their being so central to a city's function that without them everything falls apart.

    How does all this inform how I depict Princes? Well, if they're villainous from the perspective of the PC's, it's because of the perspective of the PC's. Their characters don't have the full picture, and should never be counted upon to have the full picture, even if one of them is a deputy or whip, or even a Sheriff or Primogen. The Prince does shit of which they don't understand the full implications or motives, and if that runs afoul of the PC's so be it. But, that mechanism and those considerations must be at work behind the ST screen, because PC interference should have ramifications on the Prince's activities, but at the same time if any of the characters get a peek behind it then their perspective of a Prince and their activities should shift for better or worse.

    For instance, how about a pretty rote scenario for an Anarch chronicle. The Prince awards domain of the PC's favorite slum to a Toreador ally for prompt gentrification in repayment of a long-standing prestation debt, with the immediate effect being stronger policing which is a real pisser for Anarchs. The PC's are pissed, for obvious reasons, and take it to their Brujah Primogen. Brujah says they'll look into it, and come back a few nights later with "I did what I could but you're fucked, sorry about your luck, but between you and me keep your eyes open for weird shit". At first, it looks like the Prince is shitting on Anarchs for the sake of shitting on Anarchs, and what they do next is up to them, but behind the scenes...

    The Prince caught word of a potential Sabbat infiltration as a prelude to a siege. Knowing typical Sabbat tactics but desiring to keep things quiet for now to avoid rampant speculation and paranoia, the Prince decides to shore up the security of locations of strategic importance to the Sabbat. That means more policing of the slums, but the long-term solution is gentrification. Thus, the award of domain to a trusted ally, who like the Prince has been to this rodeo, with the prestation debt serving as a neat cover story. The PC's got the shaft no matter how you cut it, but there was a damn good reason for aforementioned shafting, which in itself is a nice story hook depending on how the PC's react.

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