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

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    Theodrim your ideas are intriguing to me and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Exactly Anarchs are Might Makes Right predators. A good example from the books I like is the weekend warrior Tremere template, where you were a Biker Anarch for few days but most of the time your a good little Tremere in the city.

    I don’t want the Anarchs to be portrayed as the good guy option. It kills the mood of the game and seems pandery.
    I think of Anarchs more like Maldavis and Anita Wainwright (I.e incredibly intelligent high humanity social progressives) on one end. And brutal violent killers like Salvador, Theo Bell, and Dickie Fulcher on the other.

    With people like Macneil and Nines Rodriguez inbetween.

    If they were just bikers then they wouldn't be nearly as dangerous to the Camarilla. They're people who are children of Civil Rights, the Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, and modern ideas that peasants aren't subhuman.


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

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

      Here's the issue with this position. In past versions, Anarchs were just as, if not more, scummy and distasteful than other sects. They are -- or more precisely, were -- a society of violent predators whose entire social hierarchy boiled down to "might makes right", which existed in the fringes of contemporary society with all the criminal, abusive, and exploitative baggage that entails, whose only actual cleavage to ideas such as "equality" and "freedom" are through rhetoric and propaganda. Genuine idealism was the exception, not the rule, and behind every genuine idealist (or group of them) was an ancilla or elder or two looking to exploit them for material or social gain.
      Where? That was a flaw of the Anarch Free States but not the Anarch movement as a whole.

      Again, the signature Anarch for me is Maldavis and Anita Wainwright.

      I.e. Humanity 10 and 9 Respectively.

      I chose my words very carefully, thank you. Emphasis on the "good" in "designated good guy". Anarchs aren't good guys, and they shouldn't be. This is where my issue arises, because of the careful whitewashing of the Anarchs starting with V20.
      How do you figure?

      Mind you, I find the attempt to dismiss the Anarchs as one of the most eye-rolling and worst mistakes of previous editions. The more the editions focused on the dumpster fire of the Elders and their Jyhad, the less the editions both made sense or appealed to me. My favorite Revised character remained Lucita because she is the mother of the Anarch movement for Elders.

      It was one of the worst mistakes of character development to have her become Sabbat. Ditto the treatment of Salvador.

      They never bend, never break, and never stop fighting the Elders.



      No offense, but yours is an astoundingly facile interpretation of the punk genre. Neither is it yours alone, judging by the general reception of V5 and the nature of the controversies surrounding it.
      It's the reaction of Shadow Runners, Cyberpunk 2020, and the other predecessors of the Tabeletop RPG of Vampire: The Masquerade. There was a long history of stories about criminals and antiheroes fighting against the Man. There's a reason Mage: The Ascension and the Matrix lined up so well against one another because it's really about rebellion and the glories of shutting down an evil system.

      What punk is about, is social commentary through self-aware antithesis. The antithesis is explicitly not superior in any conceivable way, and in fact it's ideally inferior, which is why punk is so-often misinterpreted as a nihilistic genre. The antithesis, in this case, being the worst-possible outcome of the thesis taken to its natural conclusion. The very point is to give offense which spurs critique of the thesis, through which develops synthesis. For lack of a better way to put it, it's an inherently Hegelian genre.
      I'm aware of the Hegelian systhesis and even pointed out what it meant when Caesar was talking about it in Fallout: New Vegas. However, the heart of the matter is the Anarchs are a movement that embodies its use as a positive trope. The purpose of the Anarchs is to destroy the evil of the Elders, the Camarilla, and Sabbat so that when the ashes cool, the new culture that will emerge will be better.

      We have a movie reflecting this based on a comic that gets much deeper into the darker costs of such.



      The Anarchs are a force of destruction to lay low the Camarilla because the Camarilla is a corrupt evil institution that is going to do nothing but preserve a monstrous status quo. When the Camarilla is laid down, something new will emerge that will be almost certainly better than what has come before. It's why the Camarilla was better than the Neo-Feudalism of the past even if it didn't work out better with the Sabbat.

      "Good guy Anarchs" is about the furthest thing from punk as one could possibly conceive. In fact, it robs the setting in its "default" state of its "punk-ness".
      The first Anarchs we meet in game are Juggler and Evelyn Stephens. The thing to understand about them is this:

      1. Juggler is against Modius but Modius is pathetic and insane. Juggler is a hypocrite, a liar, and a manipulator who claims to be fighting for freedom but is deliberately targeting the one Elder he can conceivably bully while avoiding fighting Lodin directly. He is an example of the failures of the Anarch system and why the PCs are going to be required to step up.

      2. Evelyn, however, represents the Anarchs as the embodiment of modernity. She is a person brought into their society and expects basic rights and treatments as a (finger wag) human being.

      All PCs are almost by default Anarchs because they are going to be people who are opposed to the Prince in a city-based game. This is the set up in Chicago by Night 5E and one of the things I think which works well.

      We also see how Anarchs end up betraying the cause like Damien and Gengis.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-02-2019, 03:29 PM.


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

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
        I always got the impression they were cast offs and rabble who didn’t want to entrench in the Camarilla’s messed up politics but didn’t want to be inhuman like the Sabbat. And sure they had some competent members, especially when old Vikings joined, but were mostly viewed as inconsequential outside the Anarch Free States which were mostly in power on the west coast and kept in check by the Kindred of the East.
        Sorry, I wasn't clear with what 'Sect' referred to because I edited the post and switched sentences around. I was referring to the Tal'Mahe'Ra. They are described as a Sect comparable in it's capabilities to the Camarilla and the Sabbat in their second book ( the V20 one ) . It has been a long time since I read the first book, but I think in it the Tal'Mahe'Ra is also outlined as comparable to the Camarilla and the Sabbat. The Tal'Mahe'Ra has a lower number of members than the Camarilla and the Sabbat, but they are described as considerably influential, dedicated, powerful, potent, and skilled to such an extent that I think the Tal'Mahe'Ra could be considered one of the three major Sects together with the Camarilla and the Sabbat in the non-V5 V:tM continuity.

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        • #49
          I think the inconsequential part is confusing and seems to have come from nowhere because the Anarchs have a history outside of the Anarch Free States. They were, after all, the people behind the French Revolution.

          I do think the developers having the Anarchs job to the Kuei-jin was a low point of their entire story, though.


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

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          • #50
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            It's the reaction of Shadow Runners, Cyberpunk 2020, and the other predecessors of the Tabeletop RPG of Vampire: The Masquerade. There was a long history of stories about criminals and antiheroes fighting against the Man. There's a reason Mage: The Ascension and the Matrix lined up so well against one another because it's really about rebellion and the glories of shutting down an evil system.
            That's actually exactly my point. Punk is modernist fiction, albeit through a critical and reformist lens. Postmoderns got their filthy little paws on it and corrupted the genre, replacing really any intellectual or philosophical merit with performative transgression and nihilistic counter-culturalism, from which spawns the idea rebellion is by default good. The Matrix is a pretty good marker when it happened, at least in my opinion.

            The reason MtAs and The Matrix "line up" so well, is because people who don't understand punk think The Matrix is punk. The Matrix isn't punk, it's a paint-by-numbers monomyth that appropriates punk aesthetic, and tries to swoon the audience into not thinking about it too hard with cool special effects and armchair philosophy. Meanwhile, V for Vendetta -- the graphic novel at least -- is very much punk, but to get there takes understanding the Guy Fawkes symbolism and allusions to the gunpowder plot not as performative, but as a coded message to the audience about what happens after the Norsefire regime's fall.

            Needless to say, I don't have a particularly glowing opinion of the Wachowskis.

            The Anarchs are a force of destruction to lay low the Camarilla because the Camarilla is a corrupt evil institution that is going to do nothing but preserve a monstrous status quo. When the Camarilla is laid down, something new will emerge that will be almost certainly better than what has come before. It's why the Camarilla was better than the Neo-Feudalism of the past even if it didn't work out better with the Sabbat.
            Because the French Revolution worked out so well. So well that if one really desired to, one can trace a line of causality straight from it to the Cold War, through some of the worst atrocities in human history. (necessarily) Better my ass.

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            • #51
              The French Revolution briefly eliminated slavery. Honestly, a lot of people treat it as a net negative when it was far from that. I hated the treatment of the revolution in Assassins Creed V. Indeed, the worst part of the French Revolution is the rise of an even more oppressive action following it.

              Revolutions can end poorly or badly but being against them in general is ridiculous.

              Certainly, in V:TM, the status quo is intolerable and almost no one sane should want to preserve the Camarilla and Sabbat.


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

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              • #52
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                \
                Certainly, in V:TM, the status quo is intolerable and almost no one sane should want to preserve the Camarilla and Sabbat.
                What are the parts and elements of the status quo that make it such that you deem it to be intolerable ?

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                  No offense, but yours is an astoundingly facile interpretation of the punk genre.
                  Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait....

                  (squinting at Theodrim)

                  Are you suggesting there is more to punk than some frugal shopping at Hot Topic?

                  Joking aside, nothing in the vampire community should be safe, and none of the vampire social groups should be good. Vampires are a race of secretive, supernatural sociopathic parasites. They are a hidden tribe of magic lampreys that feed on human society. They might not be able to actually feel emotions or generate new ideas - depending on your read of the material. The most soft spoken and seemingly kindest of them are just a seemingly kind and soft spoken torturer, serial rapist, and serial killer. They do not engage in peaceful sit in, protest marches or the like. They would drive their cars through a crowd of peaceful protestors, back up and do it again. That is what the Anarchs are - the Sabbat with even less religion, and more incoherent goals.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                    They might not be able to actually feel emotions or generate new ideas - depending on your read of the material.
                    I always read these parts in V:tM and V:tR as more of a senitment of some Vampires, or a period some Vampires go through, instead of a definite condition stemming from being a Vampire. There are many, many examples in the setting of Vampires feeling emotions, having new ideas, developing their Disciplines, and changing and progressing as persons.
                    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-02-2019, 07:32 PM.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                      Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait....

                      (squinting at Theodrim)

                      Are you suggesting there is more to punk than some frugal shopping at Hot Topic?

                      Joking aside, nothing in the vampire community should be safe, and none of the vampire social groups should be good. Vampires are a race of secretive, supernatural sociopathic parasites. They are a hidden tribe of magic lampreys that feed on human society. They might not be able to actually feel emotions or generate new ideas - depending on your read of the material. The most soft spoken and seemingly kindest of them are just a seemingly kind and soft spoken torturer, serial rapist, and serial killer. They do not engage in peaceful sit in, protest marches or the like. They would drive their cars through a crowd of peaceful protestors, back up and do it again. That is what the Anarchs are - the Sabbat with even less religion, and more incoherent goals.
                      The Anarchs are far closer to their humanity than the Camarilla or Sabbat. They cooperate in coteries, form bonds of friendship, and aren't so jaded that they're unable to work together without betrayal.

                      The Anarchs have a simple coherent goal: "Don't have elders fuck with my life."

                      It's not a terribly difficult one, Anarchs simply ask to be left alone from the rest of the Jyhad and do their best to work together not to be killed or driven out by the Prince's goons. Which is repeatedly shown to be what they do all the time.

                      Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                      What are the parts and elements of the status quo that make it such that you deem it to be intolerable ?
                      Every city is ruled by a feudal lord who exists to cull the numbers of non-High Clans and brutalize the Low Clans as well as their loved ones.

                      LA Croix and Lodin are the iconic Camarilla princes for a reason.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-02-2019, 08:46 PM.


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

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        Again, the signature Anarch for me is Maldavis and Anita Wainwright.

                        I.e. Humanity 10 and 9 Respectively.
                        The high humanity of these characters has always struck me as a flaw. They are still to involved in vampire politics, too involved in the system, to have humanity scores that high. They would be better served to have scores around 5 - 6. Humanity scores that high should be reserved for vampires who have opted out of vampire society as much as possible, like inncou watchers.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                          The high humanity of these characters has always struck me as a flaw. They are still to involved in vampire politics, too involved in the system, to have humanity scores that high. They would be better served to have scores around 5 - 6. Humanity scores that high should be reserved for vampires who have opted out of vampire society as much as possible, like inncou watchers.
                          5-6 Humanity vampires are basically no better than monsters to begin with.

                          Humanity 4 being, "Human beings are cattle and I am happy to slaughter them."

                          The whole point of the characters being that they want to improve vampire society and make it better so people aren't monsters.

                          The point of the Anarchs is to reform vampire society (those who care about reform, at least)

                          Maybe not 10 and 9 but certainly 7-8.


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

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                            I don’t want the Anarchs to be portrayed as the good guy option. It kills the mood of the game and seems pandery.
                            Don’t worry; they’re not. Anarch vs. Camarilla is a meaningful trade-off. Yes, you have more freedom, in theory, but that comes at a great cost. The biggest one is security. And yeah, “Anarch” is a big tent, a term defined by opposition more then anything, so some portion of them are going to be frustrated authoritarians who couldn’t make it in the Camarilla, not actual anarchists. So you got everything from real egalitarian communes to petty dictatorships, with the only common denominator being that your territory is probably small and vulnerable.

                            I mean, it’s a legitimate choice and quite possibly better then the Camarilla for the average low-clan neonate, but it’s also possibly a lot worse. Mostly it’s just a different style of game. This edition doesn’t say “Anarchs are the good guys.” It’s Vampire; there aren’t any. What is says is “play Anarchs if you want this kind of game, Camarilla if you want that one.”

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                              The whole point of the characters being that they want to improve vampire society and make it better so people aren't monsters.
                              That is just it - they are supposed to be monsters. Making them altruistic turns a game with them into a game of Captain Vampire - Undead Superhero. Not a game of Vampire the Masquerade, where everyone is a goddamned monster and asshole as well.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                                That is just it - they are supposed to be monsters. Making them altruistic turns a game with them into a game of Captain Vampire - Undead Superhero. Not a game of Vampire the Masquerade, where everyone is a goddamned monster and asshole as well.
                                If you don't try to be good then you miss the point of the game.

                                It's about being Louis, not Lestat.

                                You just are inevitably going to FAIL at being good.


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

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