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  • Vampire: The Masquerade Discussion

    So I have been watching L.A. By Night and have some questions about some ideas I came up with.

    The Judge

    So its pretty easy for vampires to get rich either by stealing it or just earning it from businesses. So why don't they take over a prison? Some vampires can detect lies so you can easily separate the innocent from the true criminals. With the prison as a cover have those on death row secretly given to vampires to be fed on, to the final heartbeat if needed and then just cremate the body to remove any evidence. I don't know how long vampires stop being hungry after that but with some lobbying the prison can easily get enough death row criminals to sustain a city with a few hundred each year. This can even be taken even further by using the prison to secretly turn inmates into loyal servants and have them do whatever is needed when they are released.

    So for this can anyone tell me why something like this isn't done?

    Vampire Princess

    My next idea I got by looking at the Caretaker Nature. What if a vampire adopted an albino child? With pale skin and sensitivity to the sun they naturally share similarities to vampires. For most people becoming a vampire is a great shock, but what if they were raised for it to be natural? Like learning vampire politics and everything that is needed. Then if they are embraced once they become an adult then it would a very easy transition. All that really would need to be done would be to tell people that her condition has gotten more severe.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Honestly, a privately owned prison is a very good Herd for a vampire and could probably be ranched out to other vampires for favors, money, or more. However, there's not that many death row prisoners that they could be fed on regularly as they're watched like hawks even in Texas. You'd actually have more luck simply saying prisoners died in accidents or in fights.

    Mind you, another good place to feed would be a hospice.


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ancient Scholar View Post
      So I have been watching L.A. By Night and have some questions about some ideas I came up with.

      The Judge

      So its pretty easy for vampires to get rich either by stealing it or just earning it from businesses. So why don't they take over a prison? Some vampires can detect lies so you can easily separate the innocent from the true criminals. With the prison as a cover have those on death row secretly given to vampires to be fed on, to the final heartbeat if needed and then just cremate the body to remove any evidence. I don't know how long vampires stop being hungry after that but with some lobbying the prison can easily get enough death row criminals to sustain a city with a few hundred each year. This can even be taken even further by using the prison to secretly turn inmates into loyal servants and have them do whatever is needed when they are released.

      So for this can anyone tell me why something like this isn't done?
      It's a fine premise for an NPC vampire or a goal for the PC coterie. It's not as clean as you imagine it to be, but there aren't any critical problems.
      Though honestly, my first takeover target would be a blood donation clinic because it has a way less harsh monitoring, much less squicky, and people literally come to you to give blood.

      Originally posted by Ancient Scholar View Post
      Vampire Princess

      My next idea I got by looking at the Caretaker Nature. What if a vampire adopted an albino child? With pale skin and sensitivity to the sun they naturally share similarities to vampires. For most people becoming a vampire is a great shock, but what if they were raised for it to be natural? Like learning vampire politics and everything that is needed. Then if they are embraced once they become an adult then it would a very easy transition. All that really would need to be done would be to tell people that her condition has gotten more severe.

      Any thoughts on this?
      This kind of thinking is how the Tzimisce got their revenants.
      But for the most part, the reason vampires don't groom their childer since birth is because:
      1. That's really fucked up.
      2. It's not in-genre for vampire fiction.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kammerer View Post

        It's a fine premise for an NPC vampire or a goal for the PC coterie. It's not as clean as you imagine it to be, but there aren't any critical problems.
        Though honestly, my first takeover target would be a blood donation clinic because it has a way less harsh monitoring, much less squicky, and people literally come to you to give blood.


        This kind of thinking is how the Tzimisce got their revenants.
        But for the most part, the reason vampires don't groom their childer since birth is because:
        1. That's really fucked up.
        2. It's not in-genre for vampire fiction.
        I didn't really see anything wrong with the idea. Maybe raising a child with the only purpose of embracing them would be wrong but I was thinking more where the vampire genuinely cares about the child, treats her like family. With a genuine feeling of love, or as close as the undead can get, it would be natural to worry about their eventual death. So once they become an adult they can give the option of whether they wanted to be embraced or not.

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        • #5
          Considering the shady fight club stuff that has cropped up in several prisons, the inmate population would be an ideal place to find ghoul recruits. Between gang leaders and corrupt CEOs behind bars you can build quite the business empire just by running a prison. Though this tends to work best with male population prisons rather than women's prison.

          If you want a good place to recruit or farm females, go with running a battered women's shelter instead. Sadly the list of vampiric benefits for that is rather extensive.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Thoth View Post
            Considering the shady fight club stuff that has cropped up in several prisons, the inmate population would be an ideal place to find ghoul recruits. Between gang leaders and corrupt CEOs behind bars you can build quite the business empire just by running a prison. Though this tends to work best with male population prisons rather than women's prison.

            If you want a good place to recruit or farm females, go with running a battered women's shelter instead. Sadly the list of vampiric benefits for that is rather extensive.
            So the idea works right? I new to this so I don't know the lore. I haven't seen anything using this idea though.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Thoth View Post
              Considering the shady fight club stuff that has cropped up in several prisons, the inmate population would be an ideal place to find ghoul recruits. Between gang leaders and corrupt CEOs behind bars you can build quite the business empire just by running a prison. Though this tends to work best with male population prisons rather than women's prison.

              If you want a good place to recruit or farm females, go with running a battered women's shelter instead. Sadly the list of vampiric benefits for that is rather extensive.
              What do you need so many unqualified ghouls for? Most PC-level vampires have in their arsenal the means to ghoul anyone they want. From going Dracula and just telling people to snort your blood like it's free crack, to spiking drinks while invisible, to sending animals to vomit your blood into their snoring mouth. Getting a ghoul is easy. Worst case scenario - promise a boon to a neonate Ventrue and have them assist.

              What's hard is finding the right ghoul. Because ghouls are a masquerade threat and a strain on your limited time and blood supply. Having too many ghouls is just less practical than getting a rich ghoul, taking all his money, and then hiring people.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                What do you need so many unqualified ghouls for? Most PC-level vampires have in their arsenal the means to ghoul anyone they want. From going Dracula and just telling people to snort your blood like it's free crack, to spiking drinks while invisible, to sending animals to vomit your blood into their snoring mouth. Getting a ghoul is easy. Worst case scenario - promise a boon to a neonate Ventrue and have them assist.

                What's hard is finding the right ghoul. Because ghouls are a masquerade threat and a strain on your limited time and blood supply. Having too many ghouls is just less practical than getting a rich ghoul, taking all his money, and then hiring people.
                Thankfully, V5 changed the blood bond so it only applies when blood is drunk straight from the vein, ensuring at least a little effort is needed.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                  What do you need so many unqualified ghouls for?
                  I never suggested you ghoul large numbers, just that the general population has certain traits that make for better ghouls. In my mind it works along the lines of how long it takes to groom a ghoul of your needs. Raising a child to be the perfect ghoul is very time and labor intensive, so most vampires go one of the other two ways about finding a ghoul. Either they find someone who is of emotional interest and ghoul them and just hope they can adapt and survive. Alternatively the vampire looks at skill sets and proclivities and hopes they are flexible enough to accept subservience.

                  Sure certain mortal professions have excellent on the job training, useful skill sets, and even psychological hardening, but the catch is most of the people who survive and thrive in those situations tend to attract attention. A spec-ops soldier going missing because they are now a full time ghoul can draw a lot of governmental attention, the same can be said for people like crime bosses or high end lawyers. Their new career ends up destroying their old one or gets too much attention.

                  A prison population will be relatively comfortable with breaking laws, being violent, dealing with addiction, and its not like anyone expects them to have an impact on the world for years or decades at a time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ancient Scholar View Post
                    So the idea works right? I new to this so I don't know the lore. I haven't seen anything using this idea though.
                    As long as it works for you and your gaming group, which results in fun, they yeah, why not.

                    As for how much it works, that depends on how you run your games. In games where things are more gritty/grim dark and less "vampions" doing things like running a prison is more of a survival mechanism than quirky notion. Alternatively if your games are more laid back and upbeat, a vampiric variant of iZombie for instance, then going through the trouble of setting up a prison system is kind of overkill.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ancient Scholar View Post

                      So its pretty easy for vampires to get rich either by stealing it or just earning it from businesses.
                      There's a major problem with this assumption in that it's utter crap. If it was easy to get rich by stealing things there wouldn't be any jails and if it was easy to get rich from business there wouldn't be so many bankrupt businessmen and closed shops.

                      The a fault in this thinking is known as 'survivorship bias' and it's a very common fallacy in vampire fiction and WoD games. Just being a vampire does not guarantee success at mundane activities, there's certainly an edge to be had from certain vampire powers but the dumb assumption that vamps always succeed at business purely by being vamps is an extension of the equally dumb 'Protestant Work Ethic' that pollutes so much of modern thinking.

                      For goodness sake please drop such antiquated ideas and actually think about socioeconomics. Realistically a vamp who starts poor will most likely remain poor.

                      However if your game wants to go along with the trope then that's great but there's no need for weak justification if that's the case.
                      Last edited by Dogstar; 08-22-2019, 05:16 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Last time I checked real world criminals have neither the blood that magically enslaves people, nor the magical mind control powers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
                          There's a major problem with this assumption in that it's utter crap.
                          And the discussion called for this very word choice because...?

                          It's true that vampirism doesn't make one suddenly become rich. In fact, it even creates barriers to riches - inability to hold down many jobs is one of them. That said, there are a lot of supernatural powers that improve your abilities to gain money by underhanded means. Dominating people into handing over their wallets, then making them forget about it. Working as a sneak-thief via Obfuscate. Becoming an impossibly good negotiator with Presence.
                          The other aspect is networking. Being a vampire almost automatically means you will know people who already are financially successful. And as soon as you are valuable to them for your abilities, it becomes cheaper for them to pay you in cash than in boons.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ancient Scholar View Post
                            So the idea works right? I new to this so I don't know the lore. I haven't seen anything using this idea though.
                            Keep in mind that ghouling someone is essentially giving them an ultra potent, highly addictive version of heroin that then causes and enforces behaviour patterns typical for addicts.
                            In addition, ghouls are also susceptible to frenzy. So prisoners, especially violent ones, might not be the ideal breeding stock for ghouls.

                            This of course dependents on how your ST runs things. I think there are a lot of ST out there who ignore the above and run ghouls as largely mindless minions. So yeah...
                            Last edited by nobby; 08-22-2019, 08:52 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
                              For goodness sake please drop such antiquated ideas and actually think about socioeconomics. Realistically a vamp who starts poor will most likely remain poor.
                              Given how limited your information is, I would suggest you take your own advice. Also perhaps you would like to actually discuss how criminal enterprises monetarily function rather than linking to tropes and work ethics. Getting rich is relatively simple, it's keeping the money and not getting caught that are the complicated parts of the equation, and that is before we bring vampiric powers & issues into the mix.

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