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[WIR] Anarchs Unbound - Anarchy in the WOD

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  • #31
    On Anarchs and diablerie: There were books released in 1992 and 1993 that basically were adventures designed with coteries of diablerist Anarchs specifically in mind, complete with dungeon crawl third acts in the lairs of the coteries' low Generation targets.

    This game has taken some weird twists and turns over the years. When Beckett's Jyhad Diary first came out, and when that superb read-along thread was going on this forum, I had honestly forgotten that the Sword of Nul and the Book of the Grave-War both date back at least as far as the Diablerie adventure set in England.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Reasor View Post
      On Anarchs and diablerie: There were books released in 1992 and 1993 that basically were adventures designed with coteries of diablerist Anarchs specifically in mind, complete with dungeon crawl third acts in the lairs of the coteries' low Generation targets.

      This game has taken some weird twists and turns over the years. When Beckett's Jyhad Diary first came out, and when that superb read-along thread was going on this forum, I had honestly forgotten that the Sword of Nul and the Book of the Grave-War both date back at least as far as the Diablerie adventure set in England.
      I always liked those adventures even though the premise requires the PCs to want to go do some cannibalism as their driving goal. It's kind of funny because you could easily do a more D&D-esque origin by having the PCs want to stop the rising of ancients.

      Agata Starek is a pretty good homage to the old diablerist Anarchs of old.


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

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      • #33
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        The Anarchs are basically criminal gangs working to overthrow the existing criminal gangs to set themselves on top. The overthrow of the existing power structure of the Camarilla is never going to result in a vampire utopia. Had Maldavis succeeded in doing so in the Council Wars of Chicago, she would have ended up being a puppet for Annabelle and Critias until it wore down her better side until she was every bit as bad as Lodin.
        While this is likely de facto true, I think things would benefit if each Anarch faction could be categorized in two different ways. The first would be how the Anarchs themselves IC view each faction (or how each faction views itself), and then would be an OOC objective perspective that classifies them.

        Thus Juggler's "Nihilists" would be "existentialist warrior poets" who are actually "a criminal gang under the sway of a charismatic ganglord". Hind's Socialists would be "social reformers providing the intellectual foundation of vampire syndicalism" who are really "a useless debating club of demoralized anarch former revolutionaries".

        Not all anarch groups are actually criminal gangs. While many are, there is no doubt a substantial number who simply complain about the elders, violate social convention, but don't actually engage in violence unless attacked. They are people letting off steam. (and as such, the true Anarchs don't take them seriously for all their posing.) But groups like the Chicago Socialists can't possibly be counted as criminal gangs. Their revolutionary days seem to be behind them, but they could possibly enter the fight again - but not as anything like the LA Barons. So I don't think Achilli's statement is actually true. There are too many exceptions.

        While it is true that overthrowing the Camarilla will not result in a vampire utopia, SOME of the Anarchs have to have a working theory on what replaces it. The reality might be that their new forms of government would not be an improvement but lead to the same results just with different people on top, or might make things even far worse. But give us SOMETHING! This intellectual space would be a good place to put alternative social models like we found in the Requiem game.

        The real OOC factions would likely be something like:

        Posers letting off steam
        Criminal Gangs
        Revolutionary Vanguard
        Intellectual Think Tank

        With something like 30%, 45%, 20%, and 5% being the breakdown of the "movement" in OOC terms. While in IC terms, we'd see a vast multitude of factions, many of which fight themselves as much as the Camarilla.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          Lack of the Council Wars

          One irritation that I have about the Anarchs history is the fact that it mentions Salvador, Smiling Jack, Macneil, and more many times but it almost never mentions Maldavis or the other major revolt figures in the 1960s or Civil Rights era. Maldavis may have failed to take over Chicago but it's still a seminal event in the Anarch history. Also, the Civil Rights Era is yet another one where it seems like there'd be a lot of Anarch influence.
          That is disappointing because the history as written in CbN implies that the Anarch struggle in Chicago (both 1968 and in the 1980s) was their Gettysburg / highwater mark. While in truth we know they only got so far because elders were positioning themselves and not acting together (and when they did, they crushed them), to the Anarchs it must have seen like a big thing they almost won each time.

          Maldavis' defeat no doubt destroyed her reputation (defeat is an orphan), but there must have been significant outside support for her from LA and other areas. And even disillusioned survivors of her campaign would have some kind of significance and following with the Anarchs.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            * The Mexican Revolution
            I consider the Mexican Revolution to mainly be cover for the Second Sabbat Civil War which saw the sect become tyrranically centralized. Any anarchs in Mexico would have been eaten by the Sabbat.

            Only if you consider the Sabbat Loyalist movement as part of the greater Anarch movement, would they have a role. And the Loyalists were clearly defeated at this time.

            In fact, it would have been nice to explore any possible connections between the Loyalists and the Anarchs. But I assume there wasn't (I have not read Anarchs Unbound). In my chronicles, there is a significant interaction between serious Anarchs and senior Loyalists on how to achieve freedom in both of their sects.

            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            The Bolshevik Vampires

            Anarchs Unbound adds to the storyline with the addition of the Brujah Council and their revolt in Russia being considered "Anarchs." I like this element because while totalitarian communists are not the sort of people you'd commonly associate with Brujah, they actually are perfect for illustrating how vampirism handles concepts of revolt and reform. They are all about overthrowing the old order but being vampires can't give up an iota of control and even take over more. It also gives the Anarchs a big "win" even if it's not a particularly nice one as taking over the whole of the future Soviet Union at least makes the Anarchs not look like perpetual losers.
            What exactly the Brujah Council was, has been something of a mystery to me. Glad to see this has been clarified. In the past, I mainly assumed that the Brujah Council was kind of a nebulous dissident movement within the Camarilla, but still ultimately loyal in the sense that they'd allow the Brujah Justicar to come in and police things, and still followed the Traditions. It's just that they added a new layer of control over the local Princes in Russia (which they probably renamed). I don't think they should be considered real Anarchs, but obviously something had to change from the standard Camarilla.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

              While this is likely de facto true, I think things would benefit if each Anarch faction could be categorized in two different ways. The first would be how the Anarchs themselves IC view each faction (or how each faction views itself), and then would be an OOC objective perspective that classifies them.

              Thus Juggler's "Nihilists" would be "existentialist warrior poets" who are actually "a criminal gang under the sway of a charismatic ganglord". Hind's Socialists would be "social reformers providing the intellectual foundation of vampire syndicalism" who are really "a useless debating club of demoralized anarch former revolutionaries".
              I think that was a major failing of Los Angeles by Night, IMHO. The gangs weren't necessarily the biggest problem of the Anarch Free State but the homogenity of the Anarchs. As you've stated, the Anarchs should be a mixture of intellectuals, criminals, and "vampires who would normally serve the Camarilla but are just sticking together for survival." Indeed, one of the things that I have stated in my games is that coteries are actually something that is primarily found among younger vampires and almost suspiciously Anarch-like by themselves.

              Basically, any group of vampires is something that implies to the Prince that they're plotting something or sticking together to survive. I've often said that coteries are really a survival mechanism among the young because a Prince might move against a lone Kindred but destroying one with a strong bond with multiple others who supports him or her is a different matter.

              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              That is disappointing because the history as written in CbN implies that the Anarch struggle in Chicago (both 1968 and in the 1980s) was their Gettysburg / highwater mark. While in truth we know they only got so far because elders were positioning themselves and not acting together (and when they did, they crushed them), to the Anarchs it must have seen like a big thing they almost won each time.

              Maldavis' defeat no doubt destroyed her reputation (defeat is an orphan), but there must have been significant outside support for her from LA and other areas. And even disillusioned survivors of her campaign would have some kind of significance and following with the Anarchs.
              Honestly, I think that a section about it would have been good just to show a "what not to do" and "how a seemingly successful revolt can go horribly wrong." Maldavis could be someone that is referred to as an Anarch leader who put too much faith in making inroads with Elders (Critias, Annabelle), trusted her subordinates too much (Uriah), and possibly underestimated just how dangerous or willy a Ventrue opponent could be. If nothing else, a failed military campaign by the Anarchs has its own lessons to impart. You could also use it to show how Anarchs still living in sizeable numbers in a Camarilla city might look like (and we did see that with V5).

              According to V5, Juggler also attempted to make a play for Prince/Baron of Chicago but ended up failing miserably.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-31-2019, 09:51 PM.


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

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                I consider the Mexican Revolution to mainly be cover for the Second Sabbat Civil War which saw the sect become tyrranically centralized. Any anarchs in Mexico would have been eaten by the Sabbat.
                Only if you consider the Sabbat Loyalist movement as part of the greater Anarch movement, would they have a role. And the Loyalists were clearly defeated at this time.
                That's an interesting angle to pursue. In my campaign, I have the Mexican Revolution as having been between the Anarchs, Sabbat Civil War, and the Camarilla trying to rexert their control in the region. Just to reflect the chaotic and often shifting alliances of real life. In the end, the Sabbat won and then the conservatives of the Sabbat. However, it's a conflict that goes in multiple directions and has many sudden reversals.

                In fact, it would have been nice to explore any possible connections between the Loyalists and the Anarchs. But I assume there wasn't (I have not read Anarchs Unbound). In my chronicles, there is a significant interaction between serious Anarchs and senior Loyalists on how to achieve freedom in both of their sects.
                One of the things the book discusses is the fact that Anarchs and the Sabbat have tried to ally in the past and why it doesn't work out. Basically, most Anarchs will prefer to side with the Camarilla versus the Sabbat in the end and the most they can do is stay out of each other's way. I do think the Loyalists are the most similar to Anarch-Anarchs but the simple fact is the vinculum means they're bound in ways the regular Anarchs never would be.

                What exactly the Brujah Council was, has been something of a mystery to me. Glad to see this has been clarified. In the past, I mainly assumed that the Brujah Council was kind of a nebulous dissident movement within the Camarilla, but still ultimately loyal in the sense that they'd allow the Brujah Justicar to come in and police things, and still followed the Traditions. It's just that they added a new layer of control over the local Princes in Russia (which they probably renamed). I don't think they should be considered real Anarchs, but obviously something had to change from the standard Camarilla.
                I think it's interesting to think of the Brujah Council as a potential example of what a successfully realized Anarch Revolt might ne. They had the ideaology to unite them, an idea of how to run things afterward (a Council of Brujah versus Princes), and the oomph to pull it off. It just suffered all the consequences of, well, all the things the Soviet Union did. The idea of it being a rival to the Camarilla in Eastern Europe is an interesting idea to me but I have to admit that does kind of limit the power of the Camarilla--especially for the 20th century.

                I think Beckett's Jyhad Diary established that the Brujah Council actually did keep a Prince or two in a couple of places to make it so vampires visiting wouldn't be TOO freaked out but that it really was a radcial militarization of vampire society until Baba Yaga destroyed it.

                Also, that it's coming back post-Baba Yaga.


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                • #38
                  The divide that can't be bridged between Anarchs and Sabbat Loyalists is an interesting one. The Anarchs are technically correct that joining an organized army to fight for an ideal means becoming somebody else's soldier. On the other hand, it wasn't the Anarchs who were knocking over one city after another up and down the United States' eastern coast as the 1990's gave way to the turn of the millennium. For any number of reasons, the decision was made to depict the Sabbat as ascendant in the metaplot at the same time that the Kuei-Jin had the Free State Anarchs' backs to the wall.
                  Last edited by Reasor; 01-01-2020, 08:58 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                    The divide that can't be bridged between Anarchs and Sabbat Loyalists is an interesting one. The Anarchs are technically correct that joining an organized army to fight for an ideal means becoming somebody else's soldier. On the other hand, it wasn't the Anarchs who were knocking over one city after another up and down the United States' eastern coast as the 1990's gave way to the turn of the millennium. For any number of reasons, the decision was made to depict the Sabbat as ascendant in the metaplot at the same time that the Kuei-Jin had the Free State Anarchs' backs to the wall.
                    I think this is one of the reasons that the Anarchs are given so much more new territory in V5. The Anarchs no longer just control Los Angeles (albeit contested by the Camarilla so they can actually be Anarchs), they now can say they have Las Vegas, Berlin, and New Zealand. There's now a lot more Anarch Free States spread throughout the world.


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

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I feel like the Anarch cause was much better handled in Vampire: The Dark Ages and it's probably why, again, a lot of people went with the Sabbat (even though Modern Anarchs have every bit as much title to being ancestors of the First Anarch Revolt as their pseudo-ISIS brethren). In the Dark Ages, Anarchs had a lot of very legitimate complaints:

                      * The Blood Bond
                      * Being used as cannon fodder against the Inquisition
                      * Being forced to serve your sire for centuries after your Embrace.
                      * Your sire having the authority to kill you at will.
                      * The High Clans vs. Low Clan distinction
                      * The Big Kindred Civil Wars (The Omen War for example) that no one actually cared about but the people at the top.
                      * Princes being even more tyrannical, petty, and mouth breather (if they breathed) than they are in the next century.

                      I feel like if you want the Anarchs to make sense in the Modern Nights that you should look back to the Dark Ages and go, "have things really improved all that much?" I mean, there's still plenty of Dominate, Presence, Blood Bonding, casual tyranny, and random executions going on.
                      Part of the problem may be that you need a better label than 'Anarch' as that implies some sort of Ayn Randian Bioshock caricature who only cares about their short term desires and interests but not building anything lasting or sustainable. Which isn't true, since you had people like MacNeill and Garcia who clearly WANTED to build something lasting... they just didn't get played up. ​ Its less about 'personal freedom' or 'individuality' and more about fair representation, equality of opportunity, etc. Democratic vs autocratic/aristocratic. Maybe a modernized version of the Dark Ages Prometheans would have been better as an 'anarch' archetype.

                      At least with the thin blood/duskborn you could play this up - wanting to be treated as actual vampires with a say in things, rather than something to be feared, hated, or purged. There's even a 'old vs new' dynamic there (the 'old' traditions vs the younger and more modern ideas and mindset.)

                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      Long Digression on the Tyranny of Princes
                      Basically, I think that Princes should be dickheads. I don't think this is a very controversial statement but it's almost SHOCKING to some players who think of the Prince as the pinnacle of things to aspire to in Vampire: The Masquerade or are used to taking orders in other games. One of the things that many people comment on is that Bloodlines made the Anarchs seem a lot more sensible to players than they had before.
                      Eh, some but not all. I think the issue is that the ones who are assholes should be the ones who highlight the flaws in the system - the corruption, the lack of representation, the emphasis on tradition and stability (which maintain those who hold the power and influence). IT's those factors which fuck it up for the ones who aren't assholes and who may actually care about ensuring the Camarilla serves its idealized purpose rather than being the Vampiric Old boys club who are intent on keeping the younger upstarts under the elder's thumb where they belong.

                      It's that sort of situation that breeds the sort of conflicts that bring out the worse in vampiric nature and replay thoes things that highlight their cursed nature. They can't get along, they can't lead or rule effectively (for any lenght of time) -they can only lurk, hide, and be parasites. \

                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I think one of the issues that the Anarchs ran into was a lack of personality. There's literally hundreds of vampires we can point to in the Camarilla with varying degrees of ties to the organization and the same can be said for the Sabbat. Jan Pieterzoon, the Justicars, the Archons, all of the Princes, the Primogen, and the Elders are heavily invested in the Camarilla. The same for the Sabbat where it's an actual military organization. Everyone in the Sabbat from the most common boots on the ground to the Regent is heavily invested in it.

                      Chicago by Night 1st Edition had a lot of Anarchs and so did Los Angeles by Night but, honestly, not many other books actually had many Anarchs as characters. The Children of the Inquisition, Children of the Revolution (WTH? I just realized that), and plenty of the actual city books just kind of ignore the Anarchs in cities. I mean, there's no serious organized Anarch factions in the Clan Novels, the Transyalvania Chronicles (since they become the Sabbat or don't), the Giovanni Chronicles, and so on.

                      There's just not that many characters that embody the Anarch movement.
                      That might reflect that Anarchs were the 'throwaway' category, a bit like how Caitiff were also an 'everything else' dumping grounds. It's hard to define something when you're treating it like that. On the other hand, that leaves things more open ended and easier to adapt with fewer contradictions. In that respect I can see why V5 dropped the Sabbat in favor of Camarilla vs Anarch... the Sabbat really didn't seem to have a niche (at least currently) that the anarch's couldn't fill.. but there were niches the Anarchs could fill that the Sabbat could not.

                      And then you get the thin bloods and the evolution to duskborn (which I think is where the Anarchs might have started to become distinctive compared to the other sects.. but also feel like they've subsumed alot of previous ideas about Anarchs or Caitiff. Which is a shame given you had stuff like 'Outcasts' that was still pretty interesting.)

                      Was it silly in Gehenna that the PCs were fighting Withered Antediluvians? Okay, yes, but it was silly good fun. I also think being political leaders in a city isn't that big of a contrast.
                      I guess it depends on how you considered them 'fighting' and why. We could get back to speculation about Redemption in this respect, for example. Similar 'YMMV' principles apply I think. I mean personally the idea of some sort of vampiric rebellion against the Vampire Empire of Blood, even in a post-apocalyptic setting, has a certain appeal even if you aren't fighting the Antediluvians directly.

                      I feel like Bloodlines did the best streamlining of a lot of silly concepts in V:TM to understandable one. They had the Camarilla, Anarchs, Sabbat, and a lot of other crazy concepts all existing side-by-side without problems. I think the Inconnu, Assamites, and Followers of Set were some of the few things that wasn't fit into the story anywhere. Mind you, I think the Cathayans weren't necessarily a great idea but while as stereotypical as they were, I also think that they managed them well because Chinatown also had a lot of other diverse characters who weren't Orientalist stereotypes.
                      I thought both games did. But then again its easier to do that when you have a medium that works on multiple levels (graphics, sound AND text/dialogue) to convey the meaning. Whereas a book has text and art (at best) to convey it. Much harder to condense. But even then you had stuff barely touched on (Redmeption did more to show off the Society of Leopold than Bloodlines did with Stripper-Nun.)

                      I think the idea of having some of the Gehenna elements as canonical isn't necessarily a bad idea. I think saying the Withering is canonical and maybe effecting those Methuselahs who stayed behind from the Middle East isn't a bad idea. I mean, limiting Ur-Shulgi to only 5 dots in any Discipline just doesn't make any damn sense. His whole thing is that he's able to do things that no other vampire can do and terrifying on godlike levels. I also like the Cyclical Gehenna and just straight up saying the Gehenna War (whatever it is) is the Gehenna of the past 1000 years and when it's done, things will be settled for the next 1000 years.
                      I think less in terms of 'canon' and more of a.. narrative tapestry I guess. Canon strikes me as too inflexible, too religious and dogmatic. It doesn't give you any leeway to adapt (at least not without conflict.) Whereas a 'tapestry' I will unweave and re-knit in a different pattern if the previous one didn't fit. The idea threads are still valid, they just have to be connected in different ways. Surprisingly enough, I find this often works quite well.

                      In my games, I had it revealed that the Imbued are actually a form of Demon from Demon: The Fallen. They're angels that have escaped from hell but have decided to become full blown Redeemers and going to try to destroy the forces of Hell as well as Oblivion to make up for their past crimes. It could be they're angels from Heaven too but I kind of like that no one knows where they went (same with God).
                      Given how many of the different systems involve some sort of spiritual/supernatural element 'embedding' itself in a human (whether the vampiric curse, the changelings, Mage Avatars, The Fallen, etc.) that would fit right in.



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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        Honestly, I think that a section about it would have been good just to show a "what not to do" and "how a seemingly successful revolt can go horribly wrong." Maldavis could be someone that is referred to as an Anarch leader who put too much faith in making inroads with Elders (Critias, Annabelle), trusted her subordinates too much (Uriah), and possibly underestimated just how dangerous or willy a Ventrue opponent could be.
                        Hmm, it's been a while since I read CbN, but I don't think that'd be the popular perception about Maldavis. I think the support of the anti-Lodin elders behind Maldavis was completely secret. Maldavis herself didn't even know about it. So she wouldn't be known as someone who tried to make inroads with the Elders. And Uriah's betrayal was also not known. He's still an Anarch that follows Maldavis, not a known traitor.

                        I would also say that if Lodin was considered to be underestimated, it has to be because his post Council Wars reputation would have to be spectacular. By the time Maldavis opposed him, Lodin had already overthrown the existing Prince of Chicago (Maxwell) in 1871, defeated Modius and the original Socialist anarchs in 1890s-1920s, and destroyed much of the Anarch Movement outside LA in 1968. So if Maldavis challenged Lodin, almost won, and then suddenly lost, I don't think people could be so harsh as to say, "she's a schmuck for underestimating Lodin." It'd be, "I thought we finally had that SOB this time. That guy simply can't be defeated. Time to simply stop trying to get rid of him and try something else in another city."

                        Of course, she's still someone who lead the Anarchs to defeat, and a lot of them died. You can only lose so many battles before people give up on you. In the original CbN, the potential existed at least, for Maldavis to come back. It's just that by now, subsequent events would have overtaken her.

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                        • #42
                          Chapter Two part 2: Social Currency

                          First, there's a couple of things I didn't cover fron the Traditions section before I move onto the Clans of the Anarchs.

                          Prestation

                          This is something the Anarchs publicly disdain but privately practice. While I tend to dislike, "The Anarchs are exactly like the Camarilla because HYPOCRITES! [and apparently we can't come up with anything new.]" I don't have a problem with this attitude. If there's one thing that I think an Anarch and Camarilla person should agree on, it's the very simple concept of, "YOU OWE ME." I can't imagine any Anarch, be he a Baron or even Smiling Jack that keeps any amount of prestige if he gets help from someone then turns his back on them. Some things are universal and if you go against them, then you are taking your unlife with you.

                          Doc Holliday in the urban fantasy show, Wynonna Earp, had a pretty good quote regarding it:

                          In the show Doc Holliday and Bobo Del Ray are two mortal enemies but both hate Constance the witch. Bobo has captured Constance and Doc needs her. However, Bobo owes Doc and is surrounded by his men. By all rights. Doc should be dead, yet...

                          Doc: Now did you or did you not vow to deliver me the witch?

                          Bobo: That was before your betrayed me. Now, now. You have made similar assurances to individuals here who have done much worse. You've made promises of glory. Promises of escape. Now, if you were to renege on one gentleman's agreement, well, who is to believe that you would guarantee fulfillment of another?

                          Bobo: It's not that simple.

                          Doc: Oh, but it was, in the time from which we all hail from. When a man's word was all that he had.


                          Because that's how vampirism and deals work. You need to be a man of your deals because that's the only thing that allows Kindred to get ANYTHING done.

                          Blood Bonds and Vinculi

                          The Anarchs are against the Blood Bond. This is no surprise here because, well, why wouldn't they be? The Blood Bond is explicitly forbidden among Anarchs and if you're found out as having engaged in it like Juggler was in Gary, Indiana then you're likely to lose any and all cachet among the Anarchs. We see it used as a punishment by Annabelle in LA By Night (the web series) but it's for someone that is a complete asshole victim that the gang he's bound to enjoy abusing. The Vinculum is a grayer area among the Anarchs because it was they (not the Sabbat) who came up with it in the first place. Sabbat defectors and a group of ancient 1000+ year old Anarch groups (which exist still surprisingly) know it. The Anarchs aren't fond of the Vinculum either but see it is as a kind of bulwark against single-person Blood Bonds.

                          Anarchs do share blood all the time for one dose as a means of establishing a bond for teaching out of clan disciplines to one another. I think this is the only time it's established that you have to share blood in order to learn an OOC discipline, though.

                          Diablerie

                          The Anarchs have a serious diablerie problem. Well, sort of. It's stated that Anarchs don't engage in diablerie on each other as a general rule, not even in the constant regular turf dust-ups. However, there are roving gangs of Anarch diablerists who kill Camarilla members in order to steal their blood. These have given the Anarchs as a whole a bad reputation. This is different than the Sabbat where it's not RAMPANT but it is a thing and I liked that mention.

                          It's implied that a lot of Anarch leaders would like to be a lot harder on diablerie than they are because it's such a primal fear of Kindred. However, they can't because it's more or less confirmed that most Anarch leaders of old have hit the hearts blood one or two times at least. Salvador, Agata Starek doesn't even hide it, and certainly Tyler. It's just one of the perks of the job.

                          I feel like they should someday address The Wanderer from Diablerie: Mexico and how the Drowned REALLY ****ing hate Anarchs or the Camarilla in part because some random Chicago goons traveled down to murder their god for no other reason than a quick pick me up. As in Die Hard with a Vengeance: Simon: There's a difference between not liking one's brother and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window.

                          My general opinion is that you can get away with diablerie among the Anarchs as long as it's Sabbat or a Camarilla Elder but do it to your fellow Anarchs and they'll kill you.
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-03-2020, 09:15 AM.


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

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post
                            Part of the problem may be that you need a better label than 'Anarch' as that implies some sort of Ayn Randian Bioshock caricature who only cares about their short term desires and interests but not building anything lasting or sustainable. Which isn't true, since you had people like MacNeill and Garcia who clearly WANTED to build something lasting... they just didn't get played up. ​ Its less about 'personal freedom' or 'individuality' and more about fair representation, equality of opportunity, etc. Democratic vs autocratic/aristocratic. Maybe a modernized version of the Dark Ages Prometheans would have been better as an 'anarch' archetype.
                            Speaking as someone who flirted with pacifistic anarchist thought as part of his political philosophy, there's nothing that pisses me off more than Randian free market capitalist Anarchs (who should all be Ventrue or Ventrue wannabes) than maybe communist apologist radicals. Which I suppose is another way they could go with the Anarchs and show them as fighting. Sadly, despite the fact you have communist Anarchs, Randian Anarchs, and more--we never see any of these guys act like anything other than Street Gang Anarchs ala the Warriors.



                            My opinion was the Anarchs were created as an aesthetic before they were created as a concept really. The Lost Boys, Near Dark, and other "modern vampires" were created as a way to contrast against the Old World aritstocratic vampires of Dracula and Lestat to a lesser extent. Then Mark Reign Hagen drew from Cyberpunk 2020 (that's not a criticism--draw from the best) with the idea of the Camarilla serving as the megacorporations while the Anarchs would be the street punks

                            The problem remains the Anarchs remain underdeveloped in terms of what they believe, what they are organized by [such as it is], and who they are. Eventually, the Anarchs had a lot of this finally defined but I actually think this book is really the first place where we get concrete answers. I need to do a comparison e-mail with the Guide to the Anarchs but that book suffered a lot for the fact it depicted the Anarchs as interested in reforming the Camarilla. Which...nothing I have seen in ANY book before or since implied that.

                            I do think the Carthians from V:TR are pretty much closer to how I would handle the Anarchs in V5 and beyond. The Brujah were the Clan of Philosopher Kings and way too many people forget that while Brujah are angry, they are not STUPID nor do they go around embracing the stupid.

                            At least with the thin blood/duskborn you could play this up - wanting to be treated as actual vampires with a say in things, rather than something to be feared, hated, or purged. There's even a 'old vs new' dynamic there (the 'old' traditions vs the younger and more modern ideas and mindset.)
                            Yes, one of the genuinely interesting developments of V5 and building from Beckett's Jyhad Diary is the fact that the Duskborn are going to be the 4th Anarch "Clan" (I use that to mean major faction and not Antediluvian descended group) even more than the Caitiff. Jenna Cross is a major NPC in my current Jacksonville, Florida game where the PCs repeatedly went out of their way to campaign for Thin Blood rights and protect the colony of them there.

                            Now it's become a actual power faction and they have to decide whether they've made a tiger in their backyard. On the plus side, they've turned the Anarchs in the city from a joke into an actual scary faction the Prince must contend with.

                            Eh, some but not all. I think the issue is that the ones who are assholes should be the ones who highlight the flaws in the system - the corruption, the lack of representation, the emphasis on tradition and stability (which maintain those who hold the power and influence). IT's those factors which fuck it up for the ones who aren't assholes and who may actually care about ensuring the Camarilla serves its idealized purpose rather than being the Vampiric Old boys club who are intent on keeping the younger upstarts under the elder's thumb where they belong.
                            I suppose it's a matter of taste really because some people are going to love a Prince for being hard on Anarchs, Caitiff, and Thin Bloods. The whole existence of a Scourge is someone who exists to exterminate a class of vampire for no reason other than being the wrong "kind" of vampire. I liked that addition to Revised's Camarilla because it was a reminder they were Lawful Evil and every bit as bad as the Sabbat in their own way--just less overt.

                            Mind you, part of what I've done with my Princes is the best Princes remember Machiavelli's ENTIRE quote: "It is better to be feared than loved but if you cannot be BOTH then above all, do not be hated."

                            The Anarch problem in America was a fairly contained one prior to the Second Inquisition because most Princes irritated Anarchs and were a pain in their ass but weren't actually trying to destroy them (at least in a way they noticed). It's only when the Camarilla replaced Prince Waldberg for being too nice that the Anarchs revolted and took the city. I kind of like that as one of the elements of V5. It's not the Camarilla is INCOMPETANT but they do make plenty of bad decisions that tyrants have throughout history.

                            They worry about being too soft and make bigger problems for themselves than they ever would if they didn't try to go hard. It's why I can believe Marcus Vitel was beloved, feared, and respected as Prince of Washington D.C. then became every bit the same as its Baron/Emperor.

                            It's that sort of situation that breeds the sort of conflicts that bring out the worse in vampiric nature and replay thoes things that highlight their cursed nature. They can't get along, they can't lead or rule effectively (for any lenght of time) -they can only lurk, hide, and be parasites.
                            Obviously, Anarchs with something to directly oppose is something much more interesting than Anarchs just hanging out in Los Angeles. LA by Night the web series makes the Anarchs of LA seem much more reasonable and interesting with a few small changes by Jason Carl.

                            * The Barons of LA working behind the scenes as a Primogen.
                            * The Second Inquisition as an active threat to the Anarchs.
                            * The Camarilla having seized Beverly Hills and being a direct threat.

                            I think the ideal Anarch game has the Camarilla and Anarchs in a low-level war, territories controlled by others, with potential jumping in problems from ​the Sabbat or other groups. Which is, again, probably why I like V5 so much.

                            That might reflect that Anarchs were the 'throwaway' category, a bit like how Caitiff were also an 'everything else' dumping grounds. It's hard to define something when you're treating it like that. On the other hand, that leaves things more open ended and easier to adapt with fewer contradictions. In that respect I can see why V5 dropped the Sabbat in favor of Camarilla vs Anarch... the Sabbat really didn't seem to have a niche (at least currently) that the anarch's couldn't fill.. but there were niches the Anarchs could fill that the Sabbat could not.
                            I feel like the Sabbat draws from a lot of the Anarchs influences and also had the benefit of mysticism as well as a more overtly antagonistic relationship with the Camarilla. If you want to play a bunch of hell-raising lawless biker vampires then the Sabbat is more likely to fill your need, especially if you feel like breaking taboos like making them diablerists or guys who just eat an entire dinner full of people with no regard the Masquerade.

                            Making the Anarchs a part of the Camarilla confused things by making it not quite a political party and not quite a revolutionary movement either. Nuance is lost on your average gamer, really, so you had the Anarch Free States as a place at active war with the Camarilla while they just hung out in other cities.

                            It made the Anarchs look like poseurs ala Genghis who want the APPEARANCE of rebellion without actually rebelling (which is why I like how he's a toady to Prince Jackson and an Anarch leader in V5 simultaneously).

                            And then you get the thin bloods and the evolution to duskborn (which I think is where the Anarchs might have started to become distinctive compared to the other sects.. but also feel like they've subsumed alot of previous ideas about Anarchs or Caitiff. Which is a shame given you had stuff like 'Outcasts' that was still pretty interesting.)
                            Yeah, Outcasts is an amazing book and really fleshed out the Caitiff. Sadly, I don't think they ever established what made Caitiff. I think that's something they should have done like, say, sometimes the blood doesn't take in Modern Nights or whatever.

                            I thought both games did. But then again its easier to do that when you have a medium that works on multiple levels (graphics, sound AND text/dialogue) to convey the meaning. Whereas a book has text and art (at best) to convey it. Much harder to condense. But even then you had stuff barely touched on (Redmeption did more to show off the Society of Leopold than Bloodlines did with Stripper-Nun.)
                            To be fair, the Society of Leopold had a big role in Bloodlines. They were just utterly incompetant.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-03-2020, 10:59 AM.


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

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                            • #44
                              Carthians>Anarch
                              Camarilla>Invictus

                              There goes my two cents

                              I think the problem of the anarch is that 90% of their members are just marginal members of the camarilla who do not know what to do with their unlives and thus are easily abused not becuase the camarilla is bad but becuase in general vampires are profesional assholes.The other 10% are the barons and elders who see power in chaneling the rage of an anarch mob and if you look at them they may not be wrong in their strategy becuase a lot of the time Barons=Princes

                              The funny thing is that the camarilla beneficts the great majority of vampires and offers the vampires an escape from an abusive system by assuming that every vampire is a member of the sect and thuis making moving to another city an option that every vampire has unless he is , blood bonded , on the red list or commited diablerie.

                              Not to mention that while the camarilla likes ruthless rulers to kept order they don´t like to have a Neron on the frontlines like Lacroix or Sebastian becuase they can be their next victims (Look what happened to the brujah elder and the Malkavian primogen in LA) as consecuence these kind of rules are left behind by their allies who back new challegers unless the prince changes his ways (Lodin vs Maldavis and the Anarch free state is the result of this).

                              That said the anarch do their work as the "underdog" faction excepcionally well and i love them for that but they don´t shine in any other department becuase of that meanwhile the Carthians offer a ton of posibilites as they actually have a political agenda , present direct conflict against the camarilla way of doing things feudal lord vs democracy all that without mentionating the wide range of political subfaction (soviets , republics , nationalist , liberals , progresist , humanitarian parties etc...) Not to mention that populism , control of propaganda and all that stuff can make them fit the papers of white , black and grey morality quite easily so...

                              HAIL THE CARTHIAN REVOLUTION


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                              • #45
                                Chapter 2: part 3: Clans and Bloodlines

                                This chapter opens with a self-described humorless feminist talking about how the Anarchs attempted to create a post-clan society and how Jeremy MacNeil said, "we are all Clanless now" at the start of the Anarch Free States, unwittingly causing a lot of Anarchs to find him patronizing and also stir up issues among those who took pride in their Clans' history of Rebellion (i.e. Brujah) or wanted to create a lineage to be proud of (i.e. Caitiff ala Panders).

                                This book retcons some of the information from Guide to the Anarchs as well.

                                Caitiff

                                Almost all Caitiff are Anarchs by default due to the fact there's no place for them in Kindred society. They're the backbone of the Anarch movement alongside the Brujah. The thing is that they're a disorganized mess and taken for granted by other Kindred because basic respect is the only thing most want. The attempts to organize them also bother some Anarchs as they fear something like the Panders in the Sabbat who are simultaneously the most Loyalist prone Sabbat and also the most fanatical.0 No mention of the Thin Bloods here but I imagine everything that applies there applies to them.

                                Brujah

                                The Brujah cause some Anarchs to get issues because they're supposed to be Post-Clan and the Brujah have a proud Clan Tradition of being rebellious rebels who rebel. I feel like this is something of a dumb idea and I don't think most Anarchs as described care about "post-Clanness" in part because of sections like this. They may not put as much stock in Clan or linegae as, say, the Ventrue but at the very least they know some people can throw cars while others can control minds. It's a biological difference as well as a social one. The Nosferatu, for example, would find it moronic.

                                Gangrel

                                The Gangrel joining the Anarchs is kind of a no brainer because they've always been depicted as living the Anarch lifestyle anyway. They nomadically wander around the country and if there's a problem with a Prince, they just leave. I think the Gangrel's biggest problem have often related to their nomadic tendencies. It's why I tend to have Gangrel inhabit city parks, be urban predators (ala City Gangrel), and live on the edge of cities. Basically, my ideal Gangrel vampire? GTA5's Trevor. He lives outside of San Andreas and is a wild animalistic killer. So them joining the Anarchs was a no-brainer.

                                Gargoyles

                                Yes, Gargoyles are mentioned as a thing that are part of the Anarchs. Apparently, they exist in sufficient numbers that they are considered more relevant than the Ravnos (more on that later). I think this is a bit much as I'm inclined to think if the Tremere know where a Gargoyle is then they'll do their best to get rid of it or re-acquire control over it. On the other hand, the Anarchs having a bunch of gargoyles on their side massively increases their potential ability to strike back at the Camarilla.

                                Lasombra

                                The Lasombra Antitribu are mostly fanatical Camarilla but there's a decent enough number of Lasombra that have taken up with the Anarchs. These actually have a lot of them that the Sabbat don't so much leave alone as never actually notice, so if you want to leave the Sabbat you'd probably have had a much better job there than with the Cammies. Still, they're small in number and don't have the kind of influence they do in the Sabbat. Shame. At the end of the day, they were like the Ferengi.

                                "We don't want to stop the exploitation. We want to become it."

                                Malkavians

                                The Malkavians are something that the Anarchs are iffy about. They have always quietly marginalized them from leadership positions and disdained them due to the fact, well, they're insane. However, this has apparently come to bite them in the ass as due to "all of them being Clanless" that meant a large number of Malkavians had been building up their reputations for decades only to question why they are marginalized after revealing their Clans DRAMATICALLY.
                                Interestingly, this is actually done by Jason Carl with Therese/Jeanette in LA by Night. Everyone assumes Therese is a Ventrue and Jeanette is a Malkavian.

                                However, it's changed by the time of 2019 with Therese revealing herself to be Malkavian and playing on the bigotry against the mentally ill to get herself underestimated while raising her own cachet. I think the Malkavians should definitely be a group that's a mainstay of the Anarchs. Mostly because they are people who are a force of chaos and cannot be safely controlled. However, that's not the direction they went for them in V5.

                                Nosferatu

                                The Nosferatu have Schrek.net and their new status as internet celebrities as something that causes them to be sympathetic to the Anarch cause. It seems a bit quaint to think that "internet=liberation" given what we know about Russian hackers, Chinese trolls, and things like Cambridge Analytica as well as Facebook. The Anarchs state that the Nosferatu have been emboldened by their internet voice and the internets anonymity however.

                                Honestly, I feel like the Nosferatu in the Anarchs should not particularly be that separate from the Anarchs in the Camarilla (or the Sabbat for that matter). I've always described the Sabbat and Camarilla Nosferatu as having fundamental irreconcilable differences but they're ones that they'd prefer to debate over vessels in the sewer than kill each other over. This strikes me as the same for Anarchs and Nosferatu.

                                Gary Golden in LA seems like the kind of guy who is a Camarilla Clan Elder and an Anarch Baron depending on who is talking to him.

                                Tremere

                                The Anarchs have become a lot more sympathetic to the Tremere over the years as they've come to view them less as a monolithic organization and more like a bunch of neonates enslaved to their Elders even more so than in other clans. They state that very few survive to defect to the Anarchs due to their blood being tracked like in Dragon Age. Those few Anarch Tremere are mostly double agents working within the Camarilla. I think this is an interesting role but a bit limiting, I think the Tremere are overpowered for being able to hunt down all Tremere escapees.

                                Tzimisce

                                The Tzimisce are apparently a thing in the Anarchs which is a really interesting twist. There's only a small number of them but they have been apparently riding with the group since forever. They also talk a lot of smack about the Sabbat due to the fact they "betrayed" the principles of the Anarchs. A lot of Anarchs think these Tzimisce are just spies working for the Sabbat.

                                Ventrue

                                The Ventrue are an interesting case with the Anarchs as while everyone looks at them askance publicly, they pretty much rapidly take command of any group they become a part of it. It irritates the author of the article. Personally, I think this is probably accurate as Ventrue are going to have ambitious types who are frozen out of the system. People like Gordon Keaton who would have been a perfect Ventrue Candidate but was a serial killing Anarch because as a Caitiff he couldn't serve the Camarilla.

                                Independents

                                This section irritated me because V20 went with the "metaplot agnostic view" so suddenly the Banu Haqim aren't part of the Anarchs anymore after many defected to escape Ur-Shulgi. The Followers of Set are worshipers of a God of Chaos but never considered joining or mentoring the Anarchs, which is probably a good thing as they would turn it into Sabbat 2.0 very quickly. The Giovanni are even worse than the Tremere and I don't disagree it'd be hard to escape them

                                (I'm surprised they don't send infiltrators to join the group, though).

                                But the Ravnos? The Ravnos should be a mainstay of the Anarchs. I don't see why they wouldn't be and in previous editions they were.

                                This book claims they rarely join.
                                Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-03-2020, 03:20 PM.


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

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