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  • Democratic Anarchs?

    Is there some in-canon reason why the Anarchs never tried something more democratic? I think it is weird that they just established what is essentially a "Camarilla-lite." Why would a sect of vampires who hate the idea of a top-down hierarchy, where the few powerful individuals at the top rule with little to no accountability, just turn around and do the same thing, but without the additional, if ineffective, checks of a Primogen Council? Why did they never try establishing something like an Anarch Parliament for the sect as a whole, with smaller versions ruling each city?

    I have not read all of the By Night books or V5 in detail, so maybe something that happened early on in L.A. ruled that out as an option, or maybe it was tried between v20 "canon" and V5 canon and just failed because of the cliche "vampires are naturally uncooperative with each other" excuse.

    Does anyone know why this never happened? Also, if it did happen in the current V5 canon, how do you think it would turn out?

    I think it would be an incredibly interesting situation, given where in the canon your game takes place. If the Sabbat is still a significant threat, it would make for an interesting game to discover that several packs of Sabbat had moved into the Free States and started rallying for their picks on the parliaments of several cities. It could lead to an intrigue-heavy game rooting out deep-cover Sabbat representatives in positions of power. Or, if the Kuei-jin are a thing in your game, they could be pushing for open inclusion and a spot at the table in local politics. Of course, that would probably just be a precursor to a full-scale takeover, but it depends on your game and your personal worldbuilding. You could do the some interesting things with the Camarilla in that situation too, with them trying to secretively dismantle the democracy that would surely make their collection of petty fiefdoms look pretty bad in comparison.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Originally posted by JustAnotherCaitiff View Post
    Is there some in-canon reason why the Anarchs never tried something more democratic? I think it is weird that they just established what is essentially a "Camarilla-lite." Why would a sect of vampires who hate the idea of a top-down hierarchy, where the few powerful individuals at the top rule with little to no accountability, just turn around and do the same thing, but without the additional, if ineffective, checks of a Primogen Council? Why did they never try establishing something like an Anarch Parliament for the sect as a whole, with smaller versions ruling each city?

    I have not read all of the By Night books or V5 in detail, so maybe something that happened early on in L.A. ruled that out as an option, or maybe it was tried between v20 "canon" and V5 canon and just failed because of the cliche "vampires are naturally uncooperative with each other" excuse.

    Does anyone know why this never happened? Also, if it did happen in the current V5 canon, how do you think it would turn out?

    I think it would be an incredibly interesting situation, given where in the canon your game takes place. If the Sabbat is still a significant threat, it would make for an interesting game to discover that several packs of Sabbat had moved into the Free States and started rallying for their picks on the parliaments of several cities. It could lead to an intrigue-heavy game rooting out deep-cover Sabbat representatives in positions of power. Or, if the Kuei-jin are a thing in your game, they could be pushing for open inclusion and a spot at the table in local politics. Of course, that would probably just be a precursor to a full-scale takeover, but it depends on your game and your personal worldbuilding. You could do the some interesting things with the Camarilla in that situation too, with them trying to secretively dismantle the democracy that would surely make their collection of petty fiefdoms look pretty bad in comparison.

    Any thoughts?
    They have.

    Barons are just one of the forms of government.

    A number of free states are ruled by democratic principles according to the Anarchs and Anarchs Unbound.

    And the big difference in Camarilla and Barons is the fact that a Baron is almost 100% certain to have been chosen by the members of his territory's gang. It's just informal democracy since the Baron who isn't supported by his Anarchs is swiftly deposed.


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

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    • #3
      And said democratic experiments run the gamut from pure direct democracy to totalitarian representative "democracy" (basically electing a Prince in all but name), with various degrees of success.


      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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      • #4
        Why did they never try establishing something like an Anarch Parliament for the sect as a whole, with smaller versions ruling each city?
        Because the two things most Anarchs can agree on is that they don't want to be Sabbat or Camarilla. Anything else is probably disputed, with plenty of people going both "Yay, let's do that" and "That's a terrible idea that only an evil Camarilla-sympathizing Sabbat infiltrator could have had".
        The smaller Anarch communities are, the more they can get done as a unit. Individual coteries work quite well. Baron fiefdoms, whether organized democratically or tyrannically, can accomplish stuff as well. On a city level with a Baron council, it gets harder already and they'll mostly agree on the basics (Masquerade good, Camarilla bad). An actual parliament for the entire sect? What do you propose would be discussed there? And how would it enforce its decisions on a populace that largely detests being controlled?

        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        And the big difference in Camarilla and Barons is the fact that a Baron is almost 100% certain to have been chosen by the members of his territory's gang. It's just informal democracy since the Baron who isn't supported by his Anarchs is swiftly deposed.
        To my knowledge, there are quite a few barons who are simply more powerful than their subjects and rule about as tyrannically as most Princes do - they're not Camarilla because they're not part of the organization, not because of a particular difference in methods.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
          And said democratic experiments run the gamut from pure direct democracy to totalitarian representative "democracy" (basically electing a Prince in all but name), with various degrees of success.
          Yes, the thing about Anarchs is all of them are bestial predatory monsters.

          Just like in the Camarilla.

          So the big appeal for them is that they just want to have someone not trying to kick them from above and their own territory.

          They're not interested in building a complex society for the most part.

          Originally posted by Cifer View Post
          To my knowledge, there are quite a few barons who are simply more powerful than their subjects and rule about as tyrannically as most Princes do - they're not Camarilla because they're not part of the organization, not because of a particular difference in methods.
          I don't actually know of any examples of those.

          Though I think it does describe the LA by Night Isaac Abrams who is a Prince with a Primogen of Barons beneath him.

          He just refuses to believe it himself.

          Generally, no vampire is able to survive by rule of fiat among the Anarchs. Even Marcus Vitel, once he converted to being an Anarch In Name Only, rewarded his followers lavishly.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-29-2019, 07:29 PM.


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

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          • #6
            I think it could be possible with the recent change of focus for the Anarchs, which makes them more like the Carthians of VTR than the previously established vampire punk rebels.

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            • #7
              Incidentally, can someone refresh my memory: Was the Brujah led effort to set up some grand society in the Soviet Union still considered to fall under the banner of the Anarch movement? I know it was in early 2nd ed, but I can't remember if this was still the case as of Guide to the Anarchs and beyond.


              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                I think it could be possible with the recent change of focus for the Anarchs, which makes them more like the Carthians of VTR than the previously established vampire punk rebels.
                I feel the "new" Anarchs are a bit like the French Resistance.

                Some of them are Gaulist, some Communist, some Local.

                But all of them agree the Nazis have to go.

                I'm reminded of the cult classic THE WARRIORS and how there's like 40 gangs in that movie, all with their own theme. Nothing in common but their mutual hatred of authority and a basic respect for Cyrus (and not even that for all of them).

                Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-29-2019, 07:39 PM.


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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                  I think it could be possible with the recent change of focus for the Anarchs, which makes them more like the Carthians of VTR than the previously established vampire punk rebels.
                  When it first came out, Requiem's Carthians book was one of the best Anarch resources I had in my library.


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My own take on the larger Anarch movement and the Anarch Freestates is to strip-mine VtR;

                    Circle of the Crone = House Carna and Lilith worshipers and everyone who wants to learn magic but thinks House Goratrix are a bunch of wankers.
                    Invictus = Young vampires more or less recreating the Camarilla, just with them at the top rather than some vampire that is older than the steam-engine.
                    Lancea Sanctum = Vampires with hangups about religion and the like. Include Lasombra "anarchs" fleeing the Sabbath, but not willing to try with the Camarilla. This will include the Ministry.
                    Ordo Dracul = House Goratrix, and anyone who wants to learn magic but has narrow ideas about what magic is.
                    Carthians = Everyone else.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                      I think it could be possible with the recent change of focus for the Anarchs, which makes them more like the Carthians of VTR than the previously established vampire punk rebels.
                      My impression from V5 is that Anarchs are, not to be flippant, generally anarchist. Revolutionary councils are said to exist, but formal government systems are exceptional. That's unlike the Carthians.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post

                        My impression from V5 is that Anarchs are, not to be flippant, generally anarchist. Revolutionary councils are said to exist, but formal government systems are exceptional. That's unlike the Carthians.
                        Ehhhhh, Anarchs gave me a different impression.

                        They state the Brujah Council was explicitly an Anarch Movement as was the French Revolution.

                        Generally, the Soviet Union as is as far from a anarchist government as can exist.

                        There's also Libertalia.

                        The Free State Anarchs of California are Anarchist Anarchs


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

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                        • #13
                          Here's to the Anarchist Anarchs! I note there are different forms of anarchism- so no two anarchist anarch domains are necesarily alike. Generally, I think any sort of post-medieval structural organization, and post-medieval church organization if you're a "Sabbat Loyalist" is a viable experiment for the Anarchs. I think its important to keep in mind that Anarchs are still vampires-the Beast plays a keen role in undermining their efforts to create non authoritarian and non-hierarchal structures. The Beast breaks that down, the Beast seeks to survive and to dominate. That's going to undermine efforts at egalitarian structures.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ruthven View Post
                            Here's to the Anarchist Anarchs! I note there are different forms of anarchism- so no two anarchist anarch domains are necesarily alike. Generally, I think any sort of post-medieval structural organization, and post-medieval church organization if you're a "Sabbat Loyalist" is a viable experiment for the Anarchs. I think its important to keep in mind that Anarchs are still vampires-the Beast plays a keen role in undermining their efforts to create non authoritarian and non-hierarchal structures. The Beast breaks that down, the Beast seeks to survive and to dominate. That's going to undermine efforts at egalitarian structures.
                            Random funny aside but the Sabbat's Church structure is IRONIC.

                            It's just some people miss this because they're....well, a fanatical cult.


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

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