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[V5] How to get away with diablerie now?

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  • PixelPuzzler
    started a topic [V5] How to get away with diablerie now?

    [V5] How to get away with diablerie now?

    With the lack of a hidden diablerie merit (That I could see), how are you supposed to avoid being very quickly and easily found out if you commit it? Experience gains in the book are so low that if you're playing it even close to RAW, the only real way to gain even moderate power growth that I could see, is to diablerie. Maybe not even a lower generation, although that would have a greater RoI, but just anyone in general. But it feels like you'd just be caught very quickly.

    So yeah, that. How would you do it, and would it be different, easier or harder in, say, the anarchs over the camarilla?

    (As a small additional note/question, what methods of approach, mechanically and narratively, would make diablerie on lower gens feasible?)
    Last edited by PixelPuzzler; 08-08-2019, 01:25 AM.

  • Pangur Bán
    replied
    Hi! So I am new here and this is my first post, but I wanted to chime in.
    Since I just stumbled upon it, after reading the Disciplines again: Fortitude 3 (Fortify the Inner Facade) is a must here and should probably be standard for every vampire that has access to it and attends Elysium on a regular basis. Then there is Willpower you can use to re-roll dice when resisting the scrying. And at last, the storyteller might offer you a win at a cost, maybe having blocked the scrying but in the process pushing down the memories of your misdeeds so deep, you get a penalty on your next remorse roll.
    It also helps to have Auspex 1 (Sense the Unseen), at least this might tell you when being spied upon by another Auspex-user, so you can persuade them to keep their mouth shut, if they do not reveal your crimes on the spot. A lot of the bloodsuckers are egotistical opportunistic blackmailers, so I guess many of them would at least consider blackmailing you before screaming "Shame! Shame! at the Elysium...

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  • Kael03
    replied
    Likely by that time the stains on the aura would have faded unless the Lasombra in question becomes a serial diablerist and/or derps out and openly announces they have committed the worst deed possible to a group that has people on a permanent "kill on sight" list for similar deeds.

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  • Darthpalpy
    replied
    And what do you do with lasombra integrated to the Camarilla who had before said integration received the autorisation to diablerize by the Amici Nocti ? An in-clan sanctionned diablerie (a practice done before the birth of the Sabbat, even....).

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    I don't think you need to hide the fact Son is a diablerist because Son's diablerie is something that has been known since the 2nd Chicago by Night when he committed against the seven year old Neon. The thing about Son's diablerie is that he committed the act outside of the sanction of the Blood Hunt and did it against both: 1. A child vampire. 2. His own sire. 3. A third unidentified Kindred that the Lasombra witnessed.

    I should also point out that Cedrick Calhoun, who is a popular Elder of the Nosferatu, has the veins of diablerie and it hasn't impacted his ascension to Primogen.

    My View on Diablerie

    I was engaged in a bit of hyperbole but my view of diablerie is that it is something that is a horrific crime among Kindred and something that will permanently mar your social status. However, the actual practice of it isn't something that the Kindred necessarily treat the way they claim they do. Elders talk about diablerie as a horrific unforgivable crime and then offer the blood of their enemies to reward Neonates.

    The Assamites, Giovanni, Sabbat, and Anarchs have very different views on diablerie than the Camarilla but is the Camarilla that has sanctioned its use in the Blood Hunt. Like violating the right of destruction, diablerie is something that no Kindred wants you to admit to but will ignore it if you're an ally. My inclination is that you are expected to commit diablerie and then deny it or not bring attention to it.

    Even if you committed it, have black veins, and everyone knows you did it--then its your little secret. A Kindred can't blackmail you with a sanctioned diablerie even if it's publicly gauche.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-08-2019, 09:18 PM.

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  • Cifer
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    Except for during a Blood Hunt, literally the only legal form of justice the vampires have.

    Vampires commit diablerie all the time.

    Almost all Elders have done it at least once in their lives. Why? Because vampires are hypocrites. The more a vampire hates it, the more likely they've done it.

    That's how I run it, at least.
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    By definition, diablerie on a member of the Sabbat would not be a crime.

    Blood Hunts literally are sanctioned diablerie.

    Technically, diablerie outside of your domain might not be a crime as well.
    That may of course be how you run it. However, canon seems rather more divided on the issue.
    The new Camarilla guide doesn't say much on the subject, so I'm using the Revised one. There is no indication at all there that "almost all elders have done it". Most listed Camarilla NPCs in Vampire have exactly the generation they should have. As for the Blood Hunt, the book says that the most common approach to Diablerie is "benign neglect": The wording of the hunt does not say that Diablerie is acceptable, though it's implicitly assumed - but actually making use of this assumption means the Prince now has absolute leverage over the Diablerist and the Diablerist should better make sure the Prince stays in power because their successor might just use the Diablerie and its non-punishment as a reason to execute both the former Prince and the Diablerist. Explicit permission or prohibition are given more rarely, either to encourage more participation or to make sure hunters don't get too strong on very old blood.

    The main thing to keep in mind about Diablerie is that it often creates Diablerie addicts. And Elders really don't like having those around, for very obvious reasons. That's why even diablerizing Sabbat or Anarchs isn't completely safe - the problem about Diablerie is not that vampires feel that victims deserve justice, it's that they really don't like having unpredictable murderers around who may or may not be itching for their next fix.

    Spoiler for Chicago by Night and particularly The Sacrifice
    The general prohibition against Diablerie still exists in V5. The main antagonist of the story would rather have several personal guests and agents of the Prince murdered, directly violating the tradition of Destruction, than allow the Lasombra into the Camarilla because of his fear that some completely different Lasombra have seen him diablerize someone and might spread the word about that. So: Accusations about Diablerie are so damaging that a Primogen fears the hearsay of some ex-Sabbat turncoats. That's... not exactly a "everyone's doing it" situation.


    Also, the Blood Hunt isn't the "only legal form of justice" - that would be rather silly, with every transgression either being completely ignored or resulting in death. Princes can take away domains or ghouls or other assets, they can have the offender tortured or staked, they can take away status and offices, they can blood bond someone.

    Last edited by Cifer; 08-08-2019, 07:02 PM.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post
    Would committing diablerie on a member of the Sabbat as a member of the camarilla or anarchs be something justifiable then? Based on the responses, it seems to be a maybe at the moment, although I wonder if asking forgiveness rather than permission actually works in this instance lol
    By definition, diablerie on a member of the Sabbat would not be a crime.

    Blood Hunts literally are sanctioned diablerie.

    Technically, diablerie outside of your domain might not be a crime as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • PixelPuzzler
    replied
    Would committing diablerie on a member of the Sabbat as a member of the camarilla or anarchs be something justifiable then? Based on the responses, it seems to be a maybe at the moment, although I wonder if asking forgiveness rather than permission actually works in this instance lol

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post

    Welcome to gritty street level , that said no matter the edition why would you socialice without waiting for the stains to go? Losing influence and temporal power is way better than losing your head.

    Diablerie is never aceptable it´s canibalism , it´s murder , it´s rape and sometimes incest.Not the kind of people anyone feels confortable to be with.Wait you did it with the blessing of the prince? What happens when he meets final death or the comunnity/elder deems you a danger for them and decide to take justice with their own hands? not to mention the ostrascism or that maybe the allies of the victim want vengance/release the soul of his friend
    Except for during a Blood Hunt, literally the only legal form of justice the vampires have.

    Vampires commit diablerie all the time.

    Almost all Elders have done it at least once in their lives. Why? Because vampires are hypocrites. The more a vampire hates it, the more likely they've done it.

    That's how I run it, at least.

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  • Madcello
    replied
    Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post
    With the lack of a hidden diablerie merit (That I could see), how are you supposed to avoid being very quickly and easily found out if you commit it?
    To be fair, that is just one merit that most certainly not every vampire that commited Diablerie had in older editions. So, it is not a matter of how to get away with it NOW, but how did vampires got away with Diablerie since Day Zero of VtM.

    Easiest road is to retreat from major social gatherings. You still interact with the city's vampires, but definitely don't show for the Toreador ball or this month's Elysium, for example. It is not like everyone is scanning other people's soul everytime they meet (some paranoic might, though), especially when it is someone you've delt with before and have no ground for extra suspicion.

    Caution is definitely a must, and a bump to Insight trait might really help, so you can detect the sudden surprise when someone you are interacting with detects the black stains in your aura. Be ready to eliminate more people.

    On a proactive basis, you could find a way to frame someone for a crime that would result in a Blood Hunt, only to have a "safe house" prepared for said "criminal" that is not really safe from you and your coterie. From there, you guys could walk around with those black stains for a year resulting from a "sanctioned" Diablerie, for example.

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  • Cifer
    replied
    Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post
    As for gritty street level, I've played gritty street level games before, both in and out of vampire. Making it so no character growth ever occurs is not how it's done.
    The XP gain in V5 is pretty low. If your group agrees, I would suggest simply houseruling it up to a level you are comfortable with rather than trying to work your way around the diablerie mechanics - establishing the assumption that you have to diablerise for power growth in the game seems a far more harmful change to me.

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  • PixelPuzzler
    replied
    Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post

    Welcome to gritty street level , that said no matter the edition why would you socialice without waiting for the stains to go? Losing influence and temporal power is way better than losing your head.
    I admit that interacting or socializing after diablerie instead of just waiting it out is a bad idea, but it's a conceit of logic often made for the sake of gameplay, which rarely if ever takes place over dozens of years or more.

    As for gritty street level, I've played gritty street level games before, both in and out of vampire. Making it so no character growth ever occurs is not how it's done.

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  • Leandro16
    replied
    Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post
    Experience gains in the book are so low that if you're playing it even close to RAW, the only real way to gain even moderate power growth that I could see, is to diablerie.
    Welcome to gritty street level , that said no matter the edition why would you socialice without waiting for the stains to go? Losing influence and temporal power is way better than losing your head.

    Diablerie is never aceptable it´s canibalism , it´s murder , it´s rape and sometimes incest.Not the kind of people anyone feels confortable to be with.Wait you did it with the blessing of the prince? What happens when he meets final death or the comunnity/elder deems you a danger for them and decide to take justice with their own hands? not to mention the ostrascism or that maybe the allies of the victim want vengance/release the soul of his friend
    Last edited by Leandro16; 08-08-2019, 10:51 AM.

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  • Cifer
    replied
    Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
    But that's the issue. There is no way to "credibly accuse" someone of Diablerie. Auspex isn't exactly precise science, and you can't show it to anyone, so all anyone has is a word of an Auspex user that he really does see a black streak. And in 5e there are probably not a lot of vampires with Auspex 3 in any given city.
    Why wouldn't there be? Of the six Camarilla clans, three have Auspex in-clan. Let's say half of those vampires don't bother to develop it to level 3 and half of the rest choose another power and noone else chooses to learn one of the most practical and common disciplines out of clan. That still means one in eight vampires in a city have the ability to directly see for themselves whether an accusation is true - an accusation of a monstrous crime where the way to check for it is not free, but very cheap compared to the consequences of not knowing whether someone in your social circle is a Diablerist or not. Compared to trials in the human world, that is massive. Take the highest-profile crime in your community: How many people know the truth about it and how many can only rely on media reporting on a trial where people are heard interpreting evidence collected by other people? One eighth, distributed through the community and able to convince their closest friends, is a huge number.


    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    If there's no victim anyone can point to, there's not going to be an accusation.
    Do you mean noone will get suspicious in the first place or black veins in the aura will not on their own lead to an accusation? Because I vehemently disagree with the second one. As mentioned before: Diablerie is the ultimate crime and the vampiric society does not have a presumption of innocence. If someone finds those veins and decides to make them public, it's upon the Diablerist to to prove to the Prince's satisfaction that the Diablerie was in some way sanctioned. Who cares if no victim was found? There's obviously someone in our midst who is a filthy Diablerist!
    Last edited by Cifer; 08-08-2019, 06:34 AM.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    If there's no victim anyone can point to, there's not going to be an accusation.

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