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v20-Do you find the paths of enlightement THAT inhumane?

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  • #16
    Technically, all vampires are just as inhumane as all the others, path or no. The thing that people often forget is that Humanity itself is also a path, most likely developed by the Toreador Antedelluvian, as a way of controling the beast through pretending that vampires can still act and feel as human beings do. But vampires are not human, and without any moral framework to support their psyche they are little more than savage, predatory beasts that crave blood and destruction.

    Vampires don't have any inbuilt morality or empathy like most humans do, they adopt their moralities based upon convinence and their goals. Humanity is just the easiest path to adopt because it only requires that you pretend nothing changed when you became a vampire, even if you no longer feel like a mortal anymore. As vampires age and become more and more disconnected from their former humanity, they begin to adopt new ways of looking at the world, new paths of enlightenment to follow. Sometimes they change their appearance to match the way they feel inside too. Just look at Sasha Vykos, for instance.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
      I mean,Satanists exist...
      Yeah, but do you know what Satanists believe? One of my Exalted players has two Satanist roommates. Can you tell me what that means?


      • #18
        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
        Yeah, but do you know what Satanists believe? One of my Exalted players has two Satanist roommates. Can you tell me what that means?
        No,I dont. When I mentioned Satanists,I meant human beings who have a philosophy similar to the path of evil revelations in the World of Darkness,not referring to any Satanist of our world,very much because I dont know the details of that religion.
        Last edited by Nicolas Milioni; 11-13-2019, 03:12 PM.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Pleiades View Post

          also, sabbat paths don't have equivalent human philosophies (although inspired by human philosophy according to canon),
          the only one that comes close is Cathari, but I suspect it's inspired by an anti-gnosticism book that some catholic wrote during the middle ages to slander gnostic beliefs

          Roads seem more in line with human philosophy however
          Cathari is actually inspired by a real life religious movement the Catholic church sent a crusade to wipe out...

          Personally, i find all of the paths, including Humanity very artificial. Some make far more sense than others and some are basically unplayable, but then they're meant to be a strange manufactured code to stop the beast taking over.


          • #20
            This is definitely one of the oldest topics in VtM lore discussion and since it's about morality it's the vaguest and ultimately each table, ST, and player are gonna have different answers to the questions posed by it, however subtle, and that's great.

            Still, with that preamble out of the way, to provide an actual answer from my perspective: all vampires are inhuman on some level and will perform inhumane actions with virtual inevitability. That makes the matter of the morality distinct from typical human morality, however similar they seem. Vampires by their nature are the cursed dead and are bound to hunger for mortal blood, fear fire and the sun, and be plagued by an insidious Beast that is their ultimate companion.

            The paths of enlightenment & humanity itself are all frameworks of ideology that the vampire clings to as a means of denying the predation of the Beast. The tenets of each path are essentially psychological barriers that are built between whatever mangled fragment of the vampire's original soul remains and the Beast. Every time the vampire, through chance of will, loses their ability to maintain their grip on their consciences, they fall down their roads and approach wassail and unlife as a wight.

            This means that however consciously or not, each vampire is inherently alien. They don't truly feel their morality in a natural way. They choose to believe in it and they choose to believe in it with such determination and fervor that they deny the reality that they are inhuman beasts. The more they believe in it, the closer it is to bring true. The less they believe the closer they spiral into not caring anymore.

            Humanity has a capacity to show this alien nature of vampires, just as the other paths do, but in more subtle ways. Vampires tend to naturally cling to the concepts of human conduct inspired by what they had in life. They make themselves feel the way they believe they should from the sheer power of memory and belief. Much like everything else the vampire experiences that was once human, it is simply the memory of their living humanity.

            The fact that humanity is inherently a psychological construct to avoid the Beast truly overcoming the vampire can also be shown in the rare phenomena of vampires that are more humane then humans. Vampires who follow the ideals of humanity with such fervor that saints would struggle to meet their example. This, perhaps more then anything else, stands as a testament to the fact that vampires are monsters who desperately pretend to be human.

            That's not an indictment however. Simply an observation of vampiric nature in VtM. We know that vampires who actively maintain their humanity do infact do less harm then their inhumane counterparts and are more recognizably human. They can even evade certain forms of supernatural detection at high levels. Vampires can be so close to humanity as to almost be human but for a few key flaws that are inherent to their curse. This too though can be fought, if the humans vampire seeks Golconda. The state may be mythical, but presumably it could be the point where a vampire maintains such a perfect illusion of humanity that the line between them and humanity begins to fade away. Essentially, they become the mask.

            For the other paths of enlightenment, well, they are inevitable. Vampires are not meant to survive the path of humanity without extreme effort and personal conviction. The paths offer alternatives that also serve to keep the Beast at bay. If a kindred loses their innate reality, they can attempt to construct a new one entirely for the purposes of remaking conscious within themselves. If they are successful they can rebuild themselves with mindsets as ideologies which they are able to practice with the potential for perfect emulation, keeping them safe from the Beast at the risk of their human identity. By the time one has taken a path of enlightenment, they have likely divorced themselves from the notion of ever being a simple human again.

            So, I suppose, this was just my very long winded way of saying that not only are the paths of enlightenment inhuman, the path of humanity is inhuman, by merit that all vampires are inherently inhuman. The true measure of their humanity is simply how well they maintain their charades and human gestures.

            Thus each vampire masquerades...
            Last edited by Gryffon15; 11-13-2019, 03:03 PM.