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  • #91
    Sorry, my mistake

    I thought at least a coherent and well-realized depiction of the Second Inquisition was inside The Camarilla sourcebook for V5. I mean, it was overshadowed by the controversy and its questionable why the SI's information was there but the information described who, what, when, where, and how.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-14-2019, 03:26 AM.


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

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Damian May View Post
      The presentation of SI has varied widely among the books we currently have on hand....
      I am not certain what you are banging on about.

      The SI is not a singular entity but a social movement.

      Delta Green is a game about parts of the American military and intelligence community learning about the Cthulhu mythos. But it is only the American military and intelligence community that learned this lesson.

      By comparison, the SI is what happens which the military and intelligence communities of a couple dozen nations - or more - learn at least about vampires. Each nation will be paranoid about the degree of compromise in itself, in its allies and enemies. Each nation will have its own agenda, tools, weapons, resources, time table, manpower, and so on.

      The SI only looks incoherant if you assume it is a single entity with a single goal. It is not a single entity and it does not possess a single goal.

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      • #93
        Whoops posted in the wrong thread.
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-14-2019, 05:00 AM.


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

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

          I am not certain what you are banging on about.

          The SI is not a singular entity but a social movement.

          Delta Green is a game about parts of the American military and intelligence community learning about the Cthulhu mythos. But it is only the American military and intelligence community that learned this lesson.

          By comparison, the SI is what happens which the military and intelligence communities of a couple dozen nations - or more - learn at least about vampires. Each nation will be paranoid about the degree of compromise in itself, in its allies and enemies. Each nation will have its own agenda, tools, weapons, resources, time table, manpower, and so on.

          The SI only looks incoherant if you assume it is a single entity with a single goal. It is not a single entity and it does not possess a single goal.
          It's also inaccurate because Delta Green has been cut off from the United States government and is functioning as a Rogue Agency (at least until the latest update of the game that I'm not sure has been released yet as they successfully defeat their opponents and absorb them). Majestic-12 is the United States government's anti-UFO/alien group and it has massive military resources and power to affect the entirety of the world. Basically, being the Technocracy due to the fact that it has the covert support of the Mi-Go and US government both.

          The Soviet Union also had its own massive military powerhouse of an organization but it was dismantled because it used occult power to aid Stalin and that's a no no.


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

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
            The SI is not a singular entity but a social movement.
            Besides the fact that these are not mutually exclusive concepts, please point me to where any definition of "social movement" includes the ability to mobilize a multinational coalition of special operations forces, or engage in large scale classification based cover ups.

            The SI only looks incoherant if you assume it is a single entity with a single goal. It is not a single entity and it does not possess a single goal.
            It's incoherent either way.

            If we take your position that we should look at the SI as an entity without any single overarching organization to it, then it's successes against vampires are incoherent with the supposedly lack of unity this position requires.

            If you posit that there is an singular SI that exists (even if as something like the EU, NATO, UN, or heck the USA itself, as something that consists of multiple sovereign entities), it's successes at keeping itself secret, and vampires secret, and all of that gets incoherent with the extent of it's reach and time it's existed.

            It's incoherent because it's trying to be too much at once in terms of its function as a game element.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
              It's incoherent either way.

              If we take your position that we should look at the SI as an entity without any single overarching organization to it, then it's successes against vampires are incoherent with the supposedly lack of unity this position requires.

              If you posit that there is an singular SI that exists (even if as something like the EU, NATO, UN, or heck the USA itself, as something that consists of multiple sovereign entities), it's successes at keeping itself secret, and vampires secret, and all of that gets incoherent with the extent of it's reach and time it's existed.

              It's incoherent because it's trying to be too much at once in terms of its function as a game element.
              The Camarilla sourcebook states the SI is the following:

              * A bunch of intelligence agencies working together (Mossad, France's agencies, The Russian Federation, and the SB/SIS--I don't remember if Austia was on the list)
              * The Society of Leopold armed with billions of dollars, thousands of new recruits, and military grade weapons w/ permission to use them.
              * The Vatican
              * Project: Firstlight being an alliance of US intelligence agencies (CIA, DOHS, FBI/SAD, and NSA)

              "The Second Inquisition" is not an organization, like Firstlight, but the name vampires give for the fact lately they're being fucked over by mortal hunters worldwide.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-14-2019, 07:01 AM.


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

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                The Camarilla sourcebook states the SI is the following:

                * A bunch of intelligence agencies working together (Mossad, France's agencies, The Russian Federation, and the SB/SIS--I don't remember if Austia was on the list)
                * The Society of Leopold armed with billions of dollars, thousands of new recruits, and military grade weapons w/ permission to use them.
                * The Vatican
                * Project: Firstlight being an alliance of US intelligence agencies (CIA, DOHS, FBI/SAD, and NSA)

                "The Second Inquisition" is not an organization, like Firstlight, but the name vampires give for the fact lately they're being fucked over by mortal hunters worldwide.
                The problem is that such a conspiration is too complicated. In some universe where intelligence agencies are super professional and super effective something like that can be achieved. But we talk about the World of Darkness where all is at least not better that in real world, and in the real world intelligence agencies are for 90% a mob of incompetent budjet eaters whose activity is intended only to maintain their existence. Damn, in the perfect world of competent and professional agencies there would be no terrorists potent enough to blame them!
                So, a little organization of religious zealots with some access to True Faith and holy relics like the old Society of Leopold? I can buy it, look at any religious terrorist organization. Almost omniscient, almost omnipresent, almost omnipoten Big Brother? No, thanks.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Jargal View Post

                  The problem is that such a conspiration is too complicated. In some universe where intelligence agencies are super professional and super effective something like that can be achieved. But we talk about the World of Darkness where all is at least not better that in real world, and in the real world intelligence agencies are for 90% a mob of incompetent budjet eaters whose activity is intended only to maintain their existence. Damn, in the perfect world of competent and professional agencies there would be no terrorists potent enough to blame them!
                  So, a little organization of religious zealots with some access to True Faith and holy relics like the old Society of Leopold? I can buy it, look at any religious terrorist organization. Almost omniscient, almost omnipresent, almost omnipoten Big Brother? No, thanks.
                  The Camarilla book also states that the SI is actually already facing serious troubles, not from the Camarilla but from:

                  * The SI caught them on the backfoot due to the Beckoning, Gehenna War, and Anarch Revolt
                  * The Camarilla didn't take them seriously at first then tried to use them.
                  * The SI thinks it won by destroying Vienna and the vampire race is now leaderless, disorganized, and defeated
                  * The various components of the SI are already starting to drift apart with the Russian Federation and FSB apparently rumored to be coming to accomadations with the Brujah Council.


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

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                    The Camarilla sourcebook states the SI is the following:

                    * A bunch of intelligence agencies working together (Mossad, France's agencies, The Russian Federation, and the SB/SIS--I don't remember if Austia was on the list)
                    * The Society of Leopold armed with billions of dollars, thousands of new recruits, and military grade weapons w/ permission to use them.
                    * The Vatican
                    * Project: Firstlight being an alliance of US intelligence agencies (CIA, DOHS, FBI/SAD, and NSA)

                    "The Second Inquisition" is not an organization, like Firstlight, but the name vampires give for the fact lately they're being fucked over by mortal hunters worldwide.
                    And to me, this is incoherent. Mostly it reads like a summary of things the authors clearly don't understand about international intelligence agencies, and it leaves plenty of holes in how the SI actually functions well enough to pull off anything, or keep itself secret. The semantic game of "the SI isn't an organization," isn't really the point.

                    Examples:

                    1) Israeli intelligence is far more complicated than "Mossad" and Mossad acting on its own would mean, basically, jackshit as far as working with them (Mossad has a huge amount of leeway in Israeli law when it comes to acting outside Israel, but the second anything includes operations inside of Israel, they have to share with the rest of Israeli intelligence). Also Mossad participating is kind of a joke considering how bad they are at sharing with Israel's political allies, and how much they really hate the FSB (and would probably hate the SoL more).

                    2) As a good number of the organizations listed/implied to be involved would know from recent experience, throwing billions of dollars, and help recruit for, a violent religious organization is generally a very dumb idea no matter how aligned your goals are in the present. Also, training people in the timeline provided to the levels implied doesn't work. You might be able to train good infantry, but not spec ops with holy magic. Also the SoL was officially returned into the Vatican in the V5 timeline.

                    3) Project: Firstlight couldn't work. I mean, we already have the ODNI specifically to oversee and coordinate between the, ahem, sixteen different US intelligence agencies (after DHS was formed to cut that number down by shoving a bunch of them into one place). Keeping in mind that at this point you're talking about a group of around 500 individuals, and at most, with at least 25 of them that are somehow hiding a shadow ODNI from the ODNI, because the DNI (and their staff) is a political appointee that might be controlled by vampires... it's just not functional. Something lots of people get very wrong about intelligence agencies is their size. We perceive these to be fairly large organizations (which they can appear to be on paper), but when you break down how many different departments they have, and how leadership is structured... you realize that most intelligence agencies are rather lean. Which means these shadow groups within them are kinda farcical, because somewhere between 25% to 75% of the members of any given sub-department would have to be members just to serve basic functions.

                    4) All of this also completely ignores standing multinational intelligence services like Interpol or the Five Eyes as things that exist. This is, really, one of the bigger problems with the execution of the SI. It reinvents the wheel (frequently because there's lots of general obscure or little talked about groups out there quietly feeding information to the names we all know), and it turns into a convoluted knot of illogic when trying to work between the "we're a secretive group of intelligence agencies working together as a matter of convenience," and, "we're an existential threat to vampires," in a consistent fashion

                    Comment


                    • Why focus on the SI in this "logical" manner? Very little about the WoD's ideas, or the ideas that allow it to function like a nightmare/close version of our world, should work. The Sabbat should have destroyed, through violent jackassery, the masquerade at least decades ago. The Camarilla can not control everything and everyone, but it would need to do so to maintain its power and secrets. Most of the setting falls apart on close examination. Why pitch a fit over just one part?

                      And all those "flaws" in the SI can be features, depending on how you run the game and exploit them.

                      Comment


                      • To assume that the Second Inquisition can work you must assume:


                        1) That there are completely no Elders around with their mental powers. Dominate, Asupex and Presence alone are enough to end the second inquistion. Unless you provide Plot armor against these powers.

                        2) That the vampires have lost all their money and influence. Clan Ventrue alone has more money and influence than most nations. We are talking about vampires whose fortunes predates the birth of capitalism. And you can't wipe out their money without collapsing the global economy. Just remember that the Giovanni alone where capable of making the Greece default in the WoD (Syndicate Revised).

                        3) Overwrite that the CIA is an instrument in the hand of the Ventrue/Malkavian,that Vampires controll the Congress of the United States, that the English Ventrue control MI6, that the Tremere own Scotland Yard, and that the DSGE is a tool of the French Toreador. Basically you have to decide that Project Twilight (and a lot of Content in World of Darkness 1ed and 2nd ed, and Washington by Night) is not canon anymore.

                        4) Assume that the other Splat do not exist (but White Wolf told us that they do). No Technocracy (NWO and Syndicate where on friendly terms with vampires, and they didn't had the resources to fight both the Traditions and the other Splats, but most important thing they would never, EVER, let sleeper agencies know that Reality Deviants exist, because that's just the death of the Consensus, basically if Second Inquisition is a thing then Technocracy has just lost the Ascension War).

                        5) That no Technotaumaturgist is around (who cares of mass surveillance when you can erase you existence from every archive in the world, or just wipe out the server on the other end of the line?) and that the Second Inquisition has plot armor against normal thaumaturgy.


                        6) That True Faith and relics are terribly common (no other way to protect yourself from mental disciplines and thauma). But then if the main ace of the Second Inquisition is Faith and Relics why didn't the Society of Leopold did what they do?


                        Basically it requires a LOT of suspension of disbelief, Plot Armor, rewriting existing lore , and pure acts of faith.

                        This, basically, because Second Inquisition is not well tought. It is a Plot Hammer to give the desired shape (through rough beating) to the Setting, just like the Beckoning and the Gehenna War.

                        Last edited by Undead rabbit; 08-14-2019, 03:01 PM.

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                        • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                          Why focus on the SI in this "logical" manner? Very little about the WoD's ideas, or the ideas that allow it to function like a nightmare/close version of our world, should work. The Sabbat should have destroyed, through violent jackassery, the masquerade at least decades ago. The Camarilla can not control everything and everyone, but it would need to do so to maintain its power and secrets. Most of the setting falls apart on close examination. Why pitch a fit over just one part?

                          And all those "flaws" in the SI can be features, depending on how you run the game and exploit them.
                          Setting elements need to have a subtext that feels internally consistent and connected to the rest of the setting. If they don't one needs to be created. When setting up a fictional world, you can't just throw stuff out and demand people to buy it, you have to sell it. Otherwise you wouldn't need to do anything in regards to portraying things. You could just inform people what they should think and they'd accept it mindlessly.

                          Rather than being about justifying the SI's capabilities, it's more about giving them capabilities and presenting those in such a manner so as to make them feel like an organic part of the setting rather than a crude fit.

                          I'm skeptical if it can be done. They seem mostly here to patch up the problem with modern information technologies stretching the concept of the Masquerade beyond what suspension of disbelief can handle but I don't think they really solve that. Also their narrative role still seem rather narrow. Also I'm leaning towards their themes being a poor fit for VtM which usually isn't about open conflicts.

                          In a way they might work better in Mage as a run away train of sleeper agencies that have become aware and decided to Do Stuff and the technocracy is getting a headache trying to rein them back in.

                          Alternatively if you want Mortal sleepers to be a part of the WoD and be cool and badass make mortals as its own splat and make them all aware of the supernatural. And don't have them automatically decide to genocide the supernatural, give them different approaches to the supernatural world. And have them call vampires, vampires.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                            This, basically, because Second Inquisition is not well tought. It is a Plot Hammer to give the desired shape (through rough beating) to the Setting, just like the Beckoning and the Gehenna War.
                            I think that mind-control isn't really useful once you have an institution know about the Masquerade. If Dave starts acting weird then Bob can report him. Worse, if a Kindred dies, their powers no longer beholden a person. Also, Washington D.C. and America's intelligence agencies are under the purview of first Vykos (who doesn't care because he's possessed by the Dracon then not) and then Marcus Vitel (who wants to trigger the vampire apocalypse).

                            Basically, it implies a very unified and powerful Camarilla which has never existed as Princes project their power locally not internationally.

                            3) Overwrite that the CIA is an instrument in the hand of the Ventrue/Malkavian,that Vampires controll the Congress of the United States, that the English Ventrue control MI6, that the Tremere own Scotland Yard, and that the DSGE is a tool of the French Toreador. Basically you have to decide that Project Twilight (and a lot of Content in World of Darkness 1ed and 2nd ed, and Washington by Night) is not canon anymore.
                            Again, Washington D.C. hasn't been Camarilla territory since 1999. Even then it belonged to Marcus Vitel.

                            Also, this is a very 1st Edition view of the institutions when vampires controlled everything.

                            4) Assume that the other Splat do not exist (but White Wolf told us that they do). No Technocracy (NWO and Syndicate where on friendly terms with vampires, and they didn't had the resources to fight both the Traditions and the other Splats, but most important thing they would never, EVER, let sleeper agencies know that Reality Deviants exist, because that's just the death of the Consensus, basically if Second Inquisition is a thing then Technocracy has just lost the Ascension War).
                            The Technocracy wants the destruction of all Reality Deviants and found out in 2004 that they are a greater threat than the Nephandi. They were also crippled by the Avatar Storm and still haven't recovered as of 20 years later (though OPP may say otherwise).

                            And the Technocracy did lose the Ascension War according to Revised. Apathy won.

                            5) That no Technotaumaturgist is around (who cares of mass surveillance when you can erase you existence from every archive in the world, or just wipe out the server on the other end of the line?) and that the Second Inquisition has plot armor against normal thaumaturgy.
                            The Technothaumaturgists were purged from the Tremere according to the Anarchs Unbound book.

                            6) That True Faith and relics are terribly common (no other way to protect yourself from mental disciplines and thauma). But then if the main ace of the Second Inquisition is Faith and Relics why didn't the Society of Leopold did what they do?
                            There's also psychic powers, Orpheus tools, hedge magic, and killing the vampires involved. Blood Sorcery is also exclusive to the Tremere who had their own problems BEFORE Vienna.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-14-2019, 04:01 PM.


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

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                            • Originally posted by CoriolisEffect View Post

                              Setting elements need to have a subtext that feels internally consistent and connected to the rest of the setting. If they don't one needs to be created. When setting up a fictional world, you can't just throw stuff out and demand people to buy it, you have to sell it. Otherwise you wouldn't need to do anything in regards to portraying things. You could just inform people what they should think and they'd accept it mindlessly.
                              I agree but I think part of the issue here is that clearly different people have different ideas how the WOD work. Mine is a dark and Gothic exaggerated wold.

                              Rather than being about justifying the SI's capabilities, it's more about giving them capabilities and presenting those in such a manner so as to make them feel like an organic part of the setting rather than a crude fit.
                              I believe almost all of the set up for the Second Edition was done in PROJECT: TWILIGHT, THE HUNTER'S HUNTED, and THE HUNTER'S HUNTED II. Each book showed the various groups getting more and more aware of how vampires operated and more powerful.

                              I'm skeptical if it can be done. They seem mostly here to patch up the problem with modern information technologies stretching the concept of the Masquerade beyond what suspension of disbelief can handle but I don't think they really solve that. Also their narrative role still seem rather narrow. Also I'm leaning towards their themes being a poor fit for VtM which usually isn't about open conflicts.
                              I take the view as doing two things.

                              1. They exist to explain why the government hasn't discovered the supernatural.

                              2. They exist to reinforce the Masquerade so there's no more Sabbat casual violations and there's some genuine fear if you violate the Masquerade beyond the Prince. The theme is, "We are hiding for a REASON."

                              3. They exist to remove the somewhat eye-rolling dismissal of mortals by vampire fans.

                              In a way they might work better in Mage as a run away train of sleeper agencies that have become aware and decided to Do Stuff and the technocracy is getting a headache trying to rein them back in.
                              Which gets back to 3# that people are dismissing mortals. Even then, yes, I know a lot of people who DO run V5 as, "The Technocracy is almost certainly behind this. That's why they can field armies of crack troops, billions of dollars, do drone strikes in the middle of Vienna, and make sure no one leaks information. It's just vampires don't know WHO THE TECHNOCRACY IS so the Second Inqusition is just what they are calling it."

                              I do think they should introduce the Union to vampire, personally.

                              The thing is, if they did, it'd look pretty much like the SI.

                              Alternatively if you want Mortal sleepers to be a part of the WoD and be cool and badass make mortals as its own splat and make them all aware of the supernatural. And don't have them automatically decide to genocide the supernatural, give them different approaches to the supernatural world. And have them call vampires, vampires.
                              Chicago by Night is already showing the CIA, at least, seems more interested in monitoring than genocide.


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

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                                And to me, this is incoherent. Mostly it reads like a summary of things the authors clearly don't understand about international intelligence agencies, and it leaves plenty of holes in how the SI actually functions well enough to pull off anything, or keep itself secret. The semantic game of "the SI isn't an organization," isn't really the point.
                                Your argument depends on what the "logical" means of people discovering vampires exist and how to handle it would be. The claim of knowing how that would be done is somewhat difficult to say with authority.

                                [1) Israeli intelligence is far more complicated than "Mossad" and Mossad acting on its own would mean, basically, jackshit as far as working with them (Mossad has a huge amount of leeway in Israeli law when it comes to acting outside Israel, but the second anything includes operations inside of Israel, they have to share with the rest of Israeli intelligence). Also Mossad participating is kind of a joke considering how bad they are at sharing with Israel's political allies, and how much they really hate the FSB (and would probably hate the SoL more)
                                Tell me, did you read THE CAMARILLA book? I'm curious because I want to know if you're going off how it was described in that book or my shorthand?

                                2) As a good number of the organizations listed/implied to be involved would know from recent experience, throwing billions of dollars, and help recruit for, a violent religious organization is generally a very dumb idea no matter how aligned your goals are in the present. Also, training people in the timeline provided to the levels implied doesn't work. You might be able to train good infantry, but not spec ops with holy magic. Also the SoL was officially returned into the Vatican in the V5 timeline.
                                This is just nonsense. I'm sorry but we're training violent religious rebels and giving them military support right now to fight people considerably less dangerous than vampires. Not to mention a history of doing so all across the world. The use of partisans in warfare is a very basic strategy and one that is like throwing out tanks.

                                3) Project: Firstlight couldn't work. I mean, we already have the ODNI specifically to oversee and coordinate between the, ahem, sixteen different US intelligence agencies (after DHS was formed to cut that number down by shoving a bunch of them into one place). Keeping in mind that at this point you're talking about a group of around 500 individuals, and at most, with at least 25 of them that are somehow hiding a shadow ODNI from the ODNI, because the DNI (and their staff) is a political appointee that might be controlled by vampires... it's just not functional. Something lots of people get very wrong about intelligence agencies is their size. We perceive these to be fairly large organizations (which they can appear to be on paper), but when you break down how many different departments they have, and how leadership is structured... you realize that most intelligence agencies are rather lean. Which means these shadow groups within them are kinda farcical, because somewhere between 25% to 75% of the members of any given sub-department would have to be members just to serve basic functions.
                                Obviously, Firstlight isn't going to work because the game is called VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE and not HUMANS: FUCK YEAH. The purpose of the Second Inquisition is to shake up the status quo, add some new enemies to the setting, and to make it clear that humans are a dangerous threat to Kindred society and underscore that vampires are largely helpless against them en mase. A few thousand vampires have been destroyed by them, including numerous very powerful ones but vampire society isn't on the verge of collapsing because of the SI. Indeed, the Beckoning and Anarch Revolt are bigger deals.

                                4) All of this also completely ignores standing multinational intelligence services like Interpol or the Five Eyes as things that exist. This is, really, one of the bigger problems with the execution of the SI. It reinvents the wheel (frequently because there's lots of general obscure or little talked about groups out there quietly feeding information to the names we all know), and it turns into a convoluted knot of illogic when trying to work between the "we're a secretive group of intelligence agencies working together as a matter of convenience," and, "we're an existential threat to vampires," in a consistent fashion
                                I don't think that's the case because the Second Inquisition exists as a group that has already blown its load right now and is losing steam not gaining it. It's status as an existential threat will probably only become 100% if it ends the Masquerade completely but it is powerful enough that such is a real danger. It could also fall apart. It is a group that is in a transition state that could go either way.


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

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