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  • Questions on Carna

    I have heard differing things on Carna and I was hoping to get some clarifications. Note that I personally only have access to V5, Anarachs, Camarilla, and BJD along with the wiki.

    Not mentioned in the above sources, but mentioned on the forums is that Carna is a psychopathic killer... More so than the average kindred and that it is focused on men. Is this accurate?

    Was Carna's treatment as a woman in clan typical or atypical?

    What is the good and bad of the character and her movement? She seems progressive, but what about her as a person and a kindred taints it? As being person and especially a kindred taints everything they do.

    Would a male be welcomed in her House? If so, to what degree? Would they be bared from the inner mysteries? Or perhaps only males that were embraced into the faction are accepted?


  • #2
    I no longer own my pre-V5 books, and never got into the metaplot because I only discovered RPGs after Gehenna dropped. IME Carna suffers from both a conflicting idea of Clan Tremere (are they ruled by old fashioned men who retain a lot of mortal sexism, or would the fact that vampires reproduce asexually and the Tremere's focus on magic weed out sexism?), and a potential change in how Blood Magic works (beyond the fact that Paths have gone the way of the weredodo).

    As I remember developing a new style of Blood Magic was implied to be incredibly difficult, the Tremere only developed Thaumaturgy so quickly because the originals were ex-mages of the 4th Generation with access to a lot of potential knowledge of Hedge Magic as well as True Magick, and had a tendency to embrace those of high intelligence with a background in the sciences, the humanities or the occult, and essentially still had to spend centuries brute forcing their way to being the most versatile Blood Sorcerers around. House Carna uses a lot of 'Pagan' and other nonhermetic stylings in their magic, and seem to have been able to do it because they embrace people who 'love magic for it's own sake'. Maybe House Carna is just dressing up Tremere thaumaturgy as something different, but they also don't seem to be any worse at developing Blood Sorcery than the other Houses.

    Another problem is that House Carna seems to fall into 'new age' beliefs and radical feminism, which don't sit right with a lot of people, even those of more 'progressive' stripes. I personally see a lot of similarities between the beliefs of House Carna and those of some of the least accepting people I know, but honestly the intent was probably not to link them with the dark extremes of radical feminism. I highly, highly expect any official word on the matter will be along the lines of 'men can have equal standing with women in House Carna but don't because reasons House Tremere and House Goratrix are sexist'. Oh, and apparently being a new ager makes you as good at developing Blood Magic as somebody who was a literal Mage with a capital M, but I could rant on that all day (because I highly doubt that House Carna is embracing actual Verena or Dreamspeakers or Hollow Ones or whatever other Traditions fit with their preconceptions about 'loving magic for it's own sake'). House Carna is at best giving itself the same limitations as the other Houses, and at worst reducing their magical power by rejecting the hermetic-focused traditions of the Tremere and moving towards a style more like the Verbena (oh, they'll catch up, but by then Houses Tremere and Goratrix will have moved on).

    The worst part to me is that if you wanted a group of radically feminist Blood Sorcerers the Brujah are right there. I'm sure there wouldn't be a massive outcry at the Brujah having a small tradition of Blood Sorcery tracing it's lineage to the priestesses of old religions, which we've not really heard about because the Tremere outnumbered them even in the 13th Century, but have rose to prominance since the Brujah as a Clan have joined the Anarchs. They've embraced radical feminism in the same way the Brujah also embraced communism and other radical ideas.

    So yeah, wat Carna is depends a lot on what you think House Tremere was and is, and honestly it might help to keep Carna out of the spotlight and somewhat ambiguous from now on, so that House Carna doesn't descend into being either definitively right or begin embodying the worst examples of radical feminism and new age beliefs.


    Blue is sarcasm.

    If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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    • #3
      I will get back to some of these points later. But for the moment I will say, the nature of blood magic as depicted in the books has always been changing. It changes at least with every edition, and often changes (to a smaller degree) with every new book about magic or the Tremere (and the Tzimisce, and Banu Haqim and so on). That it changed again with V5 is not a surprise.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by omenseer View Post
        I have heard differing things on Carna and I was hoping to get some clarifications. Note that I personally only have access to V5, Anarachs, Camarilla, and BJD along with the wiki.
        I recommend picking up MILWAUKEE BY NIGHT since it's a book that Matthew Dawkins really likes and available for cheap on Drivethrough RPG for about $10.00.

        https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...y-Night-WW2105

        Not mentioned in the above sources, but mentioned on the forums is that Carna is a psychopathic killer... More so than the average kindred and that it is focused on men. Is this accurate?
        Yes, I'm usually the one who brings up Carna's Humanity of 1 (!!) in the 1st Edition write-up where she was introduced.

        FROM MILWAUKEE BY NIGHT

        "Since then I have had many lovers. They always do the same things: men always treat me the same. First they love me, but when I return their love they no longer desire me. Then they are killed. Somebody always comes and takes them away from me. I have lost so many that way."

        And

        Notes: Carna is starting to become unhinged. Coming from what we would now term an abusive family, she escaped it for a lover she both loved and hated. The conflict within her has never been resolved and in the past she replayed the same scenario with other lovers. She loves them, clings to them until they can no longer stand her, and then when they want to leave her, she kills them.

        Was Carna's treatment as a woman in clan typical or atypical?
        My inclination is that Carna's treatment was far worse than a typical Neonate (being embraced as a sex slave) but the average person Embraced into any Clan, let alone Clan Tremere is going to be an abusive and controlling environment. While Tremere himself appears to have been egalitarian and regularly employed female mages, Goratrix is implied to have been something of a misogynist and I have no doubt that other Tremere Elders embraced before Women's Sufferage but after the Order of Hermes would have unpleasant attitudes.

        What is the good and bad of the character and her movement? She seems progressive, but what about her as a person and a kindred taints it? As being person and especially a kindred taints everything they do.
        I think it's important not to think of House Carna as the "feminist" clan because that's a weird distortion of what the group is. It is a nature-worshiping, sex-magic witchcraft based offshoot of House Tremere that may exalt in female empowerment but thinking it's mostly dealing with women's suffrage in the Clan is missing the forest for the trees. It's a rebellious group that I would think of as more similar to the Bahari (who are not feminist either) or Koldunic sorcery.

        Would a male be welcomed in her House? If so, to what degree? Would they be bared from the inner mysteries? Or perhaps only males that were embraced into the faction are accepted?
        Yeah, probably the same as any woman. Again, it's not the Witch Grrrl Group, it's just a nature-worshiping witchcraft based Tremere House. It hates the Council of Seven but Carna's issues with men are entirely her's and only her immediate lovers.


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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by omenseer View Post
          Not mentioned in the above sources, but mentioned on the forums is that Carna is a psychopathic killer...
          As CTPhipps points out, in her first appearance she had 1 point of humanity and was described as descending into madness. She is also something of a black widow, or femme fatal type of character, one that also happens to be a blood magician vampire.

          This is Veronica Lake, a femme fatal actress from the 1940s and 1950s.


          This is Carna, as depicted in MbN.


          Originally posted by omenseer View Post
          Was Carna's treatment as a woman in clan typical or atypical?
          This varied a great by the writer in the early days. It still varies by the writer, but the idea that Clan Tremere were a bunch of sexist asshats has generally been dropped.

          Originally posted by omenseer View Post
          What is the good and bad of the character and her movement? She seems progressive, but what about her as a person and a kindred taints it?
          Progressive is probably the wrong term. They simply are operating independent of what is left of the traditional Tremere command structure, and exploring blood magic other than the usual Hermetic styles. But that is not the same thing as saying they are progressive in the American political sense of the term.

          I like the character for what she offers to a game; namely increased conflict and drama among the Tremere, and the possibilities of new types Tremere characters rather than the usual "Alaster Crowley as a Vampire."

          Originally posted by omenseer View Post
          Would a male be welcomed in her House?
          I don't see why not.
          Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 01-27-2020, 02:24 AM.

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          • #6
            Mind you, I wouldn't be surprised if, "female serial killer" was dropped from her character.

            Sort of like Ballard preying on children of his family ala that Ventrue that was in the test game for V5.

            No sign of that in V5's CBN.


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

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            • #7
              Yes, a number of characters got a boost in the humanity score - Ballard and Son to name two - so Carna might likewise get a upgrade.

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              • #8
                I believe strongly that the vast majority of Tremere would avoid Carna and her house like the plague. The Tremere have simply never recruited the people who would be inclined to join such a house. Orthodox Tremere would see it as a trap for the weak and stupid. It just doesn't make sense in the context of House Tremere. Despite being a literal patriarchy, it's not really a patriarchal institution insofar as feminist critique concerns.

                For vampires beyond fledgling, 'Feminism' is rather disadvantageous, even for women. Vamps have no 'gender', just the memory and appearance of one. inequality and societal divisions make it easier and safer to feed, after all. I'm rather convinced that whoever came up with House Carna didn't like, and has never played, the Tremere.


                V5 is not VTM

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                  I believe strongly that the vast majority of Tremere would avoid Carna and her house like the plague. The Tremere have simply never recruited the people who would be inclined to join such a house. Orthodox Tremere would see it as a trap for the weak and stupid. It just doesn't make sense in the context of House Tremere. Despite being a literal patriarchy, it's not really a patriarchal institution insofar as feminist critique concerns.

                  For vampires beyond fledgling, 'Feminism' is rather disadvantageous, even for women. Vamps have no 'gender', just the memory and appearance of one. inequality and societal divisions make it easier and safer to feed, after all. I'm rather convinced that whoever came up with House Carna didn't like, and has never played, the Tremere.
                  The heart of House Carna in BJD was that it was created as a refuge from the Pyramid that a huge number of Tremere hated with a suppressed fury. The tight mental and emotional control of the Pyramid was stated in Anarchs Unbound to be a hell that many endured only because of the Clan Wide Blood-Bond within one step for every member and two steps for a large plurality. That's in addition to the Social Darwinist intrigue, in-fighting, and ruthless power that every Tremere member has over those underneath them.

                  With the Book of the Grave War, they were able to break that control over a couple of hundred Tremere and create their house at the height of the Pyramid's power. That group would have probably been destroyed by the Tremere but for the miracle that was the destruction of the Seven and however many other Elders at Vienna.

                  Now they're a power block that can equally play with the remains of the Pyramid under the Loyalists.


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

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                  • #10
                    Of course a great case can be made that House Carna was about "Blood Bond Reimagined" all along, and that the goal is a spiderweb centered on Carna, not freedom.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                      Of course a great case can be made that House Carna was about "Blood Bond Reimagined" all along, and that the goal is a spiderweb centered on Carna, not freedom.
                      Or whoever is controlling her through the Book of the Grave War.

                      One option? Master of Ravens.


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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                        Or whoever is controlling her through the Book of the Grave War.

                        One option? Master of Ravens.
                        Who, in my headcanon, is Adonai, and not some crazy dude who's kinda mean.
                        Last edited by Kammerer; 01-27-2020, 08:39 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Female empowerment is a good thing, even if you’re a Tremere. Especially if you’re a Tremere.

                          You mean Adonai the Warrior Salubri from the Crusades?


                          The die is cast.

                          Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                          • #14
                            I mean Adonai the sire and leader of the Salubri Antitribu.

                            Female empowerment is a good thing, even if you’re a Tremere. Especially if you’re a Tremere.
                            But ideally you don't do it at the cost of adding badmen traits to where there were none before.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                              The heart of House Carna in BJD was that it was created as a refuge from the Pyramid that a huge number of Tremere hated with a suppressed fury. The tight mental and emotional control of the Pyramid was stated in Anarchs Unbound to be a hell that many endured only because of the Clan Wide Blood-Bond within one step for every member and two steps for a large plurality. That's in addition to the Social Darwinist intrigue, in-fighting, and ruthless power that every Tremere member has over those underneath them.
                              This reminds me of all the odious, predominantly Ventrue characters that have 4's in charisma and manipulation but are somehow as likeable as a toothache. You've painted the tremere as a group that both absurdly powerful and yet non-functional. Its like the counter of 'There's an inferior enemy that threatens to undermine our society but we can defeat it if ordinary people become heroes' but at the same time it's the same tune.

                              With the Book of the Grave War, they were able to break that control over a couple of hundred Tremere and create their house at the height of the Pyramid's power. That group would have probably been destroyed by the Tremere but for the miracle that was the destruction of the Seven and however many other Elders at Vienna.

                              Now they're a power block that can equally play with the remains of the Pyramid under the Loyalists.
                              What a heroic fantasy.


                              V5 is not VTM

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