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Reasonable bounty for a vampire

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
    Sadly, I can't. Only have v20 core book. But I believe that according to the lore, Tremere survived the destruction of the Vienna Chantry by transferring his soul into the body of Goratrix, and imprisoned Goratrix's soul inside a mirror.

    So now, Tremere is not only still alive, but he's running the Tremere who joined up with the Sabbat.
    AFAIK, that is the most likely scenario, but it hasn't been confirmed by anything in the actual V5 books. In V5, we don't even know exactly what House Goratrix is beyond the fact they're not at war with Houses Tremere and Carna and have lower ethical standards than Schrekt's faction.

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    • #17
      Hiring people to off vampires is different than bounties. Hiring people to off vampires is going to vary tremendously based on the skill and repute of the person being hired (and their own financial sense of self-worth). A cheap assassin of vampires might take a job to off a neonate for $3500. A master vampire assassin might charge $20,000.

      Bounties, on the other hand, are going to be generally lower in price than contracts, because there's competition for it. You just need to make it high enough to draw in enough participants to get a success. If it's not a single, particular vampire, then I would probably set *standing* bounties around:

      Neonate: $2500
      Ancilla: $12,000
      Young Elder: $75,000
      Real Elder: $250,000
      Old Elder: $500,000

      Bonus for verified Tremere: +20%

      ... bearing in mind that the people collecting these bounties are (a) already motivated to hunt vampires, (b) don't need to live like kings, and (c) are probably going to drink it away anyway.

      Of course, if you REALLY have it in for one vampire in particular, slap $5,000,000 on his head and watch the fun ensue.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Legendre View Post
        Of course, if you REALLY have it in for one vampire in particular, slap $5,000,000 on his head and watch the fun ensue.
        "And in today's breaking headline, chaos erupted in downtown New Orleans when separate attacks on a nightclub by a group of Bloods, a dozen rogue JTF-2 operatives, and a clown mask-wearing mob wielding severed arms led to the three parties turning on one another. The Governor of Louisiana has not issued a press statement in response to the event."

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        • #19

          lucasstriker

          Okay, you asked how much the bounty should be. Except, I just don't see how a "bounty" system (essentially the privatization of a public task) works. "How is it administered?", is not just one question, but a big pile of them.

          My original question is still hanging out there. What is to keep a merc from working with a vampire to embrace random people and turning them in for a quick buck?

          Is the contractor responsible for all expenses? Will the SI share their tech with the merc, and how will the SI ensure that tech won't fall into vampire hands, allowing them to develop work-arounds?

          Will the SI back up the contractor if they kill someone who turns out not to be a vampire, or cause major collateral damage to people or property? How do they protect the merc? If the SI doesn't provide cover stories, the bounties better get much, much higher.

          How secretive must the contractor be? How does the SI ensure mercs, who, while professionals, may not personally care if the masquerade is broken and society panics. Hell, that would be good for business.

          How much intel does the SI share with the hired mercs? No sane mercenary would hunt bounties without basic intel on their target's capabilities, and the capabilities of any allied vamps they might run into. The contractor might be gunning for a shovelhead just dug out last night, or someone who walked the First City. There is no way for them to know the risk involved, and therefore no way to set a price.

          Also, what evidence is needed to claim your bounty? In a human assassination, there is usually a corpse. What counts as habeus corpus for a vampire?

          How is all this funded? If I understand correctly, one of the reasons the SI isn't omnipotent is that it is funded with rounding errors in vast intelligence and military budgets, mostly in the form of staff that were funded for one purpose, but have assigned themselves to this side-project. This funding arrangement means a not unlimited budget. Does the SI expect private contractors will do a better, cheaper job than payroll government employees? (As a side-note, the SI's funding scheme is quite illegal nearly everywhere. It's called felony embezzlement of public funds, in most jurisdictions.)

          How does the SI actually pay the mercs? Envelopes of unmarked bills? Gold bouillon? Put them on the payroll as a postal employee? How does the SI explain large expenditures of cash handed to shady characters when questioned about it by government oversight authorities, both public and private? And, yes, there will be questions.

          How does the SI find contractors willing to take this work? This isn't D&D where a wizard with a quest to assign just sits in a tavern waiting for a group with "This is a pc!" signs hanging on their necks. In order to staff up, they would need to publicize the position, make intial contact with potential hires, and screen the contractors they work with. However quietly they do all this, there is the chance/certainty of leaks.

          If all this seems like I'm being a killjoy, sorry I can't help it.

          I majored in Public Administration, and you can't just turn that off. It's a curse, really.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
            How is all this funded? If I understand correctly, one of the reasons the SI isn't omnipotent is that it is funded with rounding errors in vast intelligence and military budgets, mostly in the form of staff that were funded for one purpose, but have assigned themselves to this side-project. This funding arrangement means a not unlimited budget. Does the SI expect private contractors will do a better, cheaper job than payroll government employees? (As a side-note, the SI's funding scheme is quite illegal nearly everywhere. It's called felony embezzlement of public funds, in most jurisdictions.)

            How does the SI actually pay the mercs? Envelopes of unmarked bills? Gold bouillon? Put them on the payroll as a postal employee? How does the SI explain large expenditures of cash handed to shady characters when questioned about it by government oversight authorities, both public and private? And, yes, there will be questions.
            That one's actually less of a problem right now - parts of the SI have taken to liberating the assets of killed vampires, as much as they could get away with. Taking over a corporation isn't easy, but grabbing some petty cash, swiss bank accounts and priceless antiques to turn over to the black market can finance the next few operations. After all, vampires usually have both a need of untraceable funds and a notorious lack of a legitimate testament.
            How long this can keep the SI financed is another question.

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            • #21
              It's dependent on the basis of risk. How likely is hunting a neonate (or ancillae or elder or whoever) going to lead to death or injury? The more dangerous, the more it pays. This really depends on the ST as every ST will view this differently.

              Of course, the key to any vampire hunting is simple - you never go after them at night. You only attempt to kill them during the day. So, it is possible that hunting vampires, neonates at least, could be very simple provided they follow some protocols that minimize danger while maximing the kill rate. Of course, the really dangerous work then become reconnaissance at night to identify the targets and follow them to their havens. Of course, this is much easier nowadays thanks to technology than it used to be.

              I imagine most neonates could be dispatched by hunters quite safely as well as some ancillae. But trying to kill elders would be extremely dangerous, and only attempted with lots of back up and support.

              Private military contractors get paid around $150,000 to $250,000 a year. While a dangerous occupation, mercenaries of course do everything possible to minimize risk. This is the level I think most people who'd hunt vampires for bounties would tolerate. So depending on how many vampires you think a group of people would hit in a year, you can probably figure out a bounty (which would then be divided among the 4 or 8 or 12 people who would make up a vampire kill team).

              If you envision a really elite team who would be hired to kill more powerful vampires, I think we're in movie territory where the best thief/hacker/etc gets hired to do that "last job" for an incredible amount of money.

              People who are "committed" to destroying vampires for personal reasons would probably require a lot less money.

              In practice, while hunters killing vampires during the daytime is the obvious tactic, it is also the one to most infuriate PCs since the only time they'd ever fight truly intelligent hunters would be in situations where they'd be dead. It's simply not fun. So this effectively becomes something that only happens to NPCs

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Cifer View Post
                That one's actually less of a problem right now - parts of the SI have taken to liberating the assets of killed vampires, as much as they could get away with. Taking over a corporation isn't easy, but grabbing some petty cash, swiss bank accounts and priceless antiques to turn over to the black market can finance the next few operations. After all, vampires usually have both a need of untraceable funds and a notorious lack of a legitimate testament.
                How long this can keep the SI financed is another question.
                My guess, is "not long".

                Especially since "untraceable funds" is pretty much an oxymoron in the amounts they would need to operate. Funding one vampire's addiction to Hermes bags and crystal chandeliers is one thing, but funding a major intelligence op is quite another. This is a problem for the SI when it is public authorities investigating, but how long could it possibly take for the Camarilla to figure out where the now-destroyed prince's art collection, and safe full of Kruggerands wound up?

                At some point, the funds taken from destroyed vampires has to be converted into usable funds, in the form of an actual paycheck to the SI agent so they can pay their rent, their dental bill, and their kid's daycare. They can try getting paid under the table, but that draws attention from human officials. Then there are vendors to be paid. Most suppliers of everything from surveillance equipment and gun silencers, to office equipment and medical supplies simply won't take a suitcase full of cash as payment.

                There's a reason Al Capone went down for tax evasion. Financial crimes are complicated, but they leave a paper trail.

                Paying the agents a standard paycheck, however, can be traced back by vampires with servants in the financial sector. Plus, it establishes legal relationships. What happens when the survivors of a dead agent sue the SI's shell company? Okay, maybe they quietly settle, but the legal paperwork still needs to be filed. And, if one lawyer somewhere decides to press the case through to the end... imagine those depositions!

                So, we just go from Embezzlement of Public Funds, and take a short detour through money laundering, tax evasion, and racketeering on our way to homicide (of assorted ghouls and bystanders), mayhem, aggravated assault, arson, criminal trespass, kidnapping, and use of weapons of mass destruction. Then there are the wiretapping laws, surveillance laws, and laws against computer hacking.

                Frankly, it would be much, much easier to administer the SI the way they did it in V20&pre, as a loose network of individuals and small cells funded by local efforts. We see a similar structure among groups involved in "terrorism" or "asymmetric warfare", in the real world. They are exceedingly difficult to keep track of when they are loosely organized, but when the Taliban had to pave roads in Kabul, and when ISIS (or whatever we're calling them this week) had to process proceeds from oil wells, suddenly they stuck out like a sore thumb.

                The Camarilla doesn't need warriors with machine guns and flame throwers; they need bureaucrats with cups of coffee and deep records access.

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                • #23
                  It does not work that way. The SI is not described as having the knowledge setting "bounties" on a vamp or another requires. The SI is a bunch of desparate agencies sometimes coming together to deal with some clear goal ("clean London of blank bodies", "destroy vampire central in Vienna" and so on).
                  They don't know exactly what a vampire can do, and certainly they don't understand the subtleties and nuances existing in vampire society. They may know a vampire to be much more dangerous than another but it's dubious they can know who's a neonate, who's an ancilla and who's an elder (and they would not use those terms anyway).
                  Yes, the Society of Leopold knows more than its other "partners" in the SI, but even them don't know everything and much of what they know is colored by their fanatical beliefs (which, hironically, are also their most powerful weapon against vampires) and that surely causes problems of "translation" when explained to a bunch of extremely secular FBI agents, or to a bunch of brazilian thugs.
                  Besides that the SI is composed by fringe elements in their respective organizations (even the Society of Leopold is the definition of "fringe element" in the Catholic Church). They don't have access to infinite founding, they can't command the resources of their whole organizations. They may get some money, even a lot, but they certainly can't justify it being spent on "bounties" possibly paid to "civillians" that should be kept in the dark about what lurks into the shadows.

                  In short: I don't think the SI has the kind of framework required to do put bounties on vampires. Those they know of they try to hunt down themselves and often this is not a well armed army of vampire hunters supported by drones and state of the art weaponry but rather a bunch of agents who command some resources but need to constantly justify their expenses and to do that they need results (and a bunch of zealots and fanatics, of course)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                    It does not work that way. The SI is not described as having the knowledge setting "bounties" on a vamp or another requires. The SI is a bunch of desparate agencies sometimes coming together to deal with some clear goal ("clean London of blank bodies", "destroy vampire central in Vienna" and so on).
                    Do you mean desperate or disparate? Because I really don't see the former, at least not currently.

                    Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                    Yes, the Society of Leopold knows more than its other "partners" in the SI, but even them don't know everything and much of what they know is colored by their fanatical beliefs (which, hironically, are also their most powerful weapon against vampires)
                    That and their ruthless efficiency.

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                    • #25
                      Cifer I meant "disparate", sorry for the typo

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                        How long until a vampire starts embracing random people just to sell them to the SI for a quick buck?


                        AH player characters....

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                          How long until a vampire starts embracing random people just to sell them to the SI for a quick buck?
                          In V5 - it's mechanically undesirable due to stains.

                          Since the background section in V5 doesn't deal with absolutes for resources, neither would I;
                          Give a hunter "Resources 1" for killing a neonate every month or two, something that could be run as downtime research and hunting a less than 1 year old vamp with little idea of security measures. Taken during the day, no friends to come looking.
                          Most of the Hunters are going to only be able to take out the most visible of NPCs,
                          While it might be harder to

                          I'd suggest only having a bounty on "Vampires" rather than having to confirm the age/potency and such; that'd require SI Hidden tech cameras. Perfectly ok for agents hunting harder to find vampires.
                          How are bounties posted - HunterNet; just like information given before, probably paid in crypto currencies, and that'd be how the SI is paid for the Vampire's stuff as well.

                          Proof - Video of death and Ashes, or a Corpse (Staked) for payment (and so they can continue Experimentation)

                          Once they start with bounties and Assassinations of higher end targets, I'd say that some interested parties might post contracts-for-profit, letting no-blankbodies get killed by the professionals while taking a cut in the middle to help finance the rest of the operation. (Also introducing other corruption including Vampires using it, or a Blade style storyline)
                          Last edited by Illithid; 09-27-2019, 02:08 AM.

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                          • #28
                            I'd think a handful of dedicated small teams motivated by fanaticism or revenge (think the one in John Carpenter's Vampires) would be a lot more likely than just putting big bounties on vampires in a Soldier of Fortune classified ad or whatever.

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                            • #29
                              Nosimplehiway

                              Thanks for your questions. But most of your questions won't apply in my world, as there's no masquerade (and would be over-complicated even in V5 anyway). Long story.

                              How long will it take for a vamp to turn random civilians and sell them out? It's already happening, but it usually doesn't last long as authorities crack down on it. There's actually a whole "vamp industry" where kindred blood is sold to the very wealthy to prolong their lives. It has ties to the beauty industry that uses some vitae (illegally) in the drugs they put out. There's a lot more darker parts of the industry which I don't have time to go through it here. It's all illegal - unless done in the name of research or science (vampirologist is a thriving new profession). But in my world, it wouldn't be weird at all for the government to offer bounties publicly.

                              It's not a "Fallout" universe. The whole world is running just fine and is in fact thriving off new scientific discoveries offered by the unique properties of vitae, but it's a dystopia for vampires who have no rights and live in terror of being killed, kidnapped or worse. I just needed a bounty level that would make sense.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by lucasstriker View Post
                                Nosimplehiway

                                Thanks for your questions. But most of your questions won't apply in my world, as there's no masquerade (and would be over-complicated even in V5 anyway). Long story.

                                How long will it take for a vamp to turn random civilians and sell them out? It's already happening, but it usually doesn't last long as authorities crack down on it. There's actually a whole "vamp industry" where kindred blood is sold to the very wealthy to prolong their lives. It has ties to the beauty industry that uses some vitae (illegally) in the drugs they put out. There's a lot more darker parts of the industry which I don't have time to go through it here. It's all illegal - unless done in the name of research or science (vampirologist is a thriving new profession). But in my world, it wouldn't be weird at all for the government to offer bounties publicly.

                                It's not a "Fallout" universe. The whole world is running just fine and is in fact thriving off new scientific discoveries offered by the unique properties of vitae, but it's a dystopia for vampires who have no rights and live in terror of being killed, kidnapped or worse. I just needed a bounty level that would make sense.
                                Ah, okay. Now that's another matter entirely. Would have been useful to know that back in the original post, actually, since it makes answering your question much, much easier.

                                If vampires are publicly known, pay grades for those who regulate them are likely comparable to the upper ends of police and military work. I assume the vampirologists have worked out a scale for describing different power levels, so there might be bonuses for bringing in especially difficult targets. Otherwise, such dangerous work is likely to be full-time, steady employment, rather than handled on a temp worker basis.

                                Now, there are likely rewards given to the general public "for information leading to the identification of a local vampire". Those would be quite modest, as it is a citizen's civic duty to report vampiric activity anyway.

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