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  • Masquerade in our days

    Isn't this concept outdated with all that progress of modern technologies? I mean, how is the masquerade possible, even in theory, in nowadays?

  • #2
    Originally posted by trueann View Post
    Isn't this concept outdated with all that progress of modern technologies? I mean, how is the masquerade possible, even in theory, in nowadays?

    Why yes those mortals with their printing presses and Moveable type they will be the end of Kindred kind.. we cannot survive this so called "Enlightenment" its time to drop the whole thing


    OR honestly? The idea of a Masquerade is intrinsically unrealistic. But its just another unrealistic buy in you need to accept for the setting.. like Vampires existing. Its no less realistic in the era of Fake News than it was in the 90s, or the 20s.. or the 1890s...
    Last edited by Lian; 01-03-2020, 03:05 AM.

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    • #3
      There are ways to make the masquerade work with modern world with all its technological innovations, but it always changes the setting rather drastically.

      Option #1: Population Control & Smart Feeding
      One of the simplest ways to reduce the problems of modern technology is to just have fewer vampires running around. Like the original stated population ratios in the books that would have a city like San Francisco have only 6 vampires in total. Further more the act of "hunting" in public is considered an emergency measure rather than a character build for feeding. Almost all vampires would use herds of some kind, animal or human. This results in a more isolated vampire feeling with less focus on vampiric societal politics and more focus on survival. In simpler terms, almost everyone plays Kiasyd.

      Option #2: Underground Cities
      Basically rather than trying to infiltrate human society at many levels the vampire society just builds whole cities underneath major human cities. There are a few tunnels that lead to the surface that allow for water and electricity to be siphoned and fresh humans to be brought in, but other than that there is no real contact with the surface world. These underground vampire cities would end up being hot beds of political wrangling between the clans and sects. One part Hive city from the 40K setting, one part Seraph of the End, mixed with a little Game of Thrones constant backstabbing.

      Option #3: 3rd World Only
      The last hidden option is to accept that there is no way to maintain the Masquerade in first world countries. Thus all vampires other than perhaps the Nosferatu and perhaps Gangrel move operations to 3rd world nations with minimal technological infrastructure. Such places tend to be rife with human conflict, so a few extra bodies which are low on blood won't get noticed. Its a very "Dusk till Dawn" sort of approach with the temple.

      Option #4: Coming out of the Coffin
      Lastly you could always got the Anita Blake / Sooikie Stackhouse route and just quit the masquerade, but doing so on your terms rather than a bunch of vampire hunters posting proof of vampire atrocities on YouTube.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by trueann View Post
        Isn't this concept outdated with all that progress of modern technologies? I mean, how is the masquerade possible, even in theory, in nowadays?
        Well, yes, but it’s also a central premis of the setting, and why the Camarilla is portrayed (off and on) as the tangled powerful beast that it is. Of course vampires can’t hid their existence from major corporate and government panopticon, but if the necessary people in places of power have made certain deals in exchange for immortality, that becomes less of a problem.


        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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        • #5
          I'd like to offer a contrary point of view: human cynicism and disbelief in the supernatural is stronger than ever, anf with it the Masquerade.

          In the Dark Ages, people assumed that monsters lurked in the night, and seeing anything would just prove their existing beliefs. But now? Is there anyone you know who believes that spooky monsters are coming to take them in the night?

          An example would be the Bigfoot hunters. 99% of the population haven't heard about them, or think they are strange nutters. In WoD, this could be one or several masquerade breaches. The ones who know, nobody believes. They become ostracized from society, and probably silenced by vampires one day as their cries to be listened to grow in desperation.

          A video of a vampire feeding would be called doctored within minutes of being posted. Several videos would spark the actual youtube pranksters to join the "Vamping", drowning the real videos in derivative garbage until nobody knows what's real anymore.

          Somebody sees you feed, or lift a car. Whoop de doo. What are they gonna do? Go to the press? They'll be laughed out of the door by Security. Post online? "Pics or it didn't happen" is our natural response these days to impossible stories. Just tell people? If someone walks up to you on the streets saying "VAMPIRES ARE REAL AND ARE MURDERING US EVERY DAY!", you would briskly walk away and turn up the music in your ears.

          The Masquerade is strong because the human unwillingness to believe in supernatural monsters is strong. Try it yourself. Go with a friend. Talk openly as your VtM characters about draining fools, killing Camarilla scum and the sheep surrounding you just waiting to feed you. See if ANYONE cares.


          Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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          • #6
            You can also kill two birds with one stone if you're willing to take on a bit of head-canon:

            Vampire Disciplines adapt to humanity. Pick your metaphysical reason, but the Disciplines of today weren't the Disciplines of yesteryear, and aren't going to be the Disciplines of the future.

            This addresses the issue of the modern Disciplines not really making much sense back when so much of humanity was still hunter gatherers, and it means you can house rule subtle changes to help the Masquerade continue as semi-plausible (such as Obfuscate working on digital devices rather than just on minds).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by trueann View Post
              Isn't this concept outdated with all that progress of modern technologies? I mean, how is the masquerade possible, even in theory, in nowadays?
              My thoughts?

              1. There's no such thing as vampires so anyone claiming they exist is going to sound like a lunatic.
              2. People believe in a lot of stupid things. This includes contradicting their own reality all the time.
              3. In V5, the government is actively helping in the collusion.
              4. Lots of people probably DO believe in monsters in the WOD but they keep silent about it.
              5. Vampire disciplines, money, libel, and more are very effective at discrediting witnesses.
              6, Special effects have gotten to the point that any evidence that exists is going to be easily dismissed.
              7. If you do a World of Darkness then there's a reality bending organization helping keep it secret and laws of reality (paradox spirits) helping prevent it.
              8. Vampires being real is so crazy that almost any explanation like serial killers, animal attacks, hallucinations, bath salts, or even government super soldiers is going to seem more plausible.
              9. The WOD's humanity is an even more stupid, ignorant, and herd-like group than most misanthropes believe.
              10. Dominate 10, "The world doesn't believe in vampires."
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-03-2020, 08:04 AM.


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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by trueann View Post
                Isn't this concept outdated with all that progress of modern technologies?
                Let's start with a rather easy base assumption; vampires don't frequently feed in violent, physical discipline-fueled displays of the supernatural in the middle of the street. They are not, for lack of a better term, dumb kids. They are more likely to feed in places less traveled, like alleyways, public bathrooms, private homes, hotel rooms, dilapidated buildings, etc. Coincidentally, most of the artwork in VtM shows exactly this kind of feeding, so I feel it's a safe assumption.

                Another safe assumption, outside of V5, is that most vampires don't kill their prey needlessly. Humanity, being the most popular moral road, makes killing a punishing affair. You literally become a mindless beast when you lose your Humanity, so most vampires aren't going to want to do that because they're not dumb kids.

                With those two base assumptions in hand, the biggest "reveal" that could "prove" vampires are real (video proof of a feeding vampire) are naturally heavily minimized; recording a feeding rarely happens, and when they do, it just looks like something kinky with both parties walking away (well, one might be stumbling around weakly). So... You recorded a heavy petting session that left one party shaken up. A party who might have been drunk to begin with. Yup, vampires are real alright!

                Sure, you have outlier feedings that result in death, some more blatant feedings, and all the shenanigans the Sabbat get up to. But this is where the Camarilla's and Sabbat's machinery to cover Masquerade breeches comes in to play (yup, the Sabbat canonically have one too). And modern cynicism helps out a lot. I mean, I just watched a Youtube video that had totally real footage of a man teleporting out of the way of a moving truck! I don't now believe the X-Men are real and a vast conspiracy of X-Men are covering it up. Instead I believe video editing software has advanced, that what I'm seeing is completely fabricated, and all without any ancient mutants controlling the government to push an agenda to make me believe that mutants aren't real.

                Modern technologies are a double-edged sword when it comes to the Masquerade. As more tools to "prove" vampires exist are developed, more tools to disprove it and keep the status quo exist to leave reasonable doubt.


                Writing up Clanbook: Aabbt

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                • #9
                  Agreed.

                  I think it's less implausible than people may think even if, no, it's unlikely given the overtness and numbers usually shown.

                  But, hey, it's just a game.

                  Caine: "YOU WILL FORGET THAT THE SUPERNATURAL EXISTS."
                  Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-03-2020, 10:28 AM.


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

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                  • #10
                    This kinda stuff is why I straight-up laughed at the ending of Glass.

                    ​"Oh, Samuel L. Jackson uploaded a video on YouTube of two muscular guys running at each other at a parking lot? And in the video, Bruce Willis slowly bends a steel pipe, and James MacAvoy slowly raises a car from the side while lifting with his legs? Surely now the world will now realize that superheroes are real!"

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                    • #11
                      I always houseruled that the consensus makes humans oblivious to the supernatural becuase in their fear they don´t want to belive . thus as long as at least 60% of the mortals belive that the supernatural does not exist:
                      • Vampire victims get their memory erased after being bitten
                      • Werewolf attacks are rationalized as wolf/murder hobo attacks
                      • Supernatural presence on camera records in rationalized
                      • Acts of true magick are rationalized by the general population and magick is harder to cast if its "vulgar"
                      Note:People who belive in the supernatural , supernaturals and those of high willpower are inmune to the consensus allowing hunters to exist and make their existences more horrible "¿Does the monster really exist?" and "¿Why the others don´t see what I see?" this also makes the masquerade the best idea ever and substainable becuase before as you guys have correctly guessed it never was
                      http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-unsustainable

                      Last edited by Leandro16; 01-03-2020, 12:07 PM.


                      Hunger pool

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pang4 View Post
                        I'd like to offer a contrary point of view: human cynicism and disbelief in the supernatural is stronger than ever, anf with it the Masquerade.
                        yea that is what urban fantasy as a genre has long asserted about human nature and it is complete and total nonsense.

                        Humans aren’t cynical as a group - they believe in preposterous nonsense at the drop of a hat. Disbelief in the supernatural only rose gradually to the degree it has because IT DOESN’T EXIST. In the World of Darkness, it does exist, so the actual evidence of it would never have led people to disbelieve in it in the first place.


                        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

                          yea that is what urban fantasy as a genre has long asserted about human nature and it is complete and total nonsense.
                          I don't believe this in the slightest. Right now huge amounts of America disbelieve in their own self-interest because of what the media tells them. Imagine that times x1000 by people with the same level of money, power, and influence plus supernatural powers,

                          Except its not, "global warming doesn't exist" but "vampires aren't real."

                          Humans aren’t cynical as a group - they believe in preposterous nonsense at the drop of a hat. Disbelief in the supernatural only rose gradually to the degree it has because IT DOESN’T EXIST. In the World of Darkness, it does exist, so the actual evidence of it would never have led people to disbelieve in it in the first place.
                          People disbelieve in many things that aren't true and I'd argue belief in the supernatural is as large as ever, it's just differently titled.

                          But if that's your view, what's your solution for the fantasy game about secret societies of monsters living among us?
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-03-2020, 03:14 PM.


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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                            People disbelieve in many things that aren't true and I'd argue belief in the supernatural is as large as ever, it's just differently titled.

                            But frankly, it seems like you're just refusing to engage with the setting so why bother to play?
                            That’s why I said “to the degree it has”, I was responding to the false claim that human DISBELIEF in the supernatural would uphold the Masquerade. The fact that so many humans do believe in the supernatural despite of the absence of evidence in reality, makes the claim they’d refuse to believe in it in a world where evidence does exist silly.

                            To be clear, I’m not talking about spiritual metaphysical beliefs about divinity that are outside the realm of empirical research - I’m talking about beliefs in manifest events that world around them that suspend empirically demonstrable laws of physics.
                            Last edited by glamourweaver; 01-03-2020, 03:16 PM.


                            Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

                              That’s why I said “to the degree it has”, I was responding to the false claim that human DISBELIEF in the supernatural would uphold the Masquerade. The fact that so many humans do believe in the supernatural despite of the absence of evidence in reality, makes the claim they’d refuse to believe in it in a world where evidence does exist silly.
                              I disagree, there, though because people disbelieve evidence all the time. Especially if there's money to be made in the matter or if they have a vested interest in not believing its true. Real life history has huge numbers of problems and threats being ignored by people or disbelieved because it wasn't in their interests.

                              Cainites have a vested interest in making it so humans don't believe in them and the resources to make sure people don't.

                              Like that Mayor in Jaws.


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

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