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  • #31
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    Restricting what magic they can study?
    This is out of character, or Doyleist, commentary on what House Carna is doing.

    Specially, they are generally depicted as exploring magic other than the Hermetic norms of the Tremere. This means for some VtM fans the Carnites are outside the narrowly accepted standards, even if the Carnites are not actually pursing any form of infernalism. And there is nothing in the depictions of House Carna to so much as suggest they are performing any kind of infernalism. But House Carna gives players a greater license to do their own thing with a PC, which bucks tradition, which means they are Bad Wrong. Even if the hidebound Tremere standard is stultifying to play in comparison.

    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    In return you get the freedom….
    The old form of the Tremere Clan was a cult. Cults operate through intense personal manipulation of members, to the point of damaging and even destroying the personality and physical body of members, all in support of the leadership of the cult. Only the leadership of the cult are “people.” Everyone else are just machines, tools, and hatch marks on a score board, for the cult leadership.

    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    In return for being ordered to do things that you'd need to do anyway out of common sense, you get to sleep in a heavily warded and guarded chantry…
    A chantry is every bit as free, and secure, as the inside of a prison. There is a reason why normal people want out of a prison.
    Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 01-27-2020, 05:18 PM. Reason: Carna made me do it.

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    • #32
      Duplicate post - sorry.
      Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 01-27-2020, 05:13 PM.

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      • #33
        Duplicate post - sorry.
        Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 01-27-2020, 05:15 PM.

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        • #34
          I have not a negative opinion about House Carna, but what I understand that comes the criticism if for the lack of originality, not the fact that is run by women. Neo pagan witches are frequently associated with matriarchal structures, in opposition with the patriarchal and christian status quo. The ritualistic Lamia, the fanatical Bahari, the secluded Lhiannan, the forgotten Arhimanes and the probably extinct Telyavic Tremere in Vampire are all of them linked with that concept more or less. The Bahari and the Lamia are linked to Lilith, the Lhiannan to some woman or devil named the Hag and the Arhimanes were the chosen of the cat goddess or spirits of the motherland.

          Furthermore, in Mage the Verbena are also the followers of Lilith and in Werewolf there was also a clan of matriarchal amazons, the Black Furies. And I do not even count the Gangrel valkyries, the Daughters of Cacophony, the Sisterhood of Hippolita or the craft of chinese pagan infernalist witches. So, may be, in my opinion, the problem is not the fact that they are neo pagan witches who are rules by women. May be, the problem is this is the fifth bloodline, house, faction or whatever related with that idea.
          Last edited by Justycar; 01-27-2020, 07:17 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

            What does that mean, exactly? What rules, in practice, do the Tremere enforce over the typical neonate? The masquerade? Everyone has to follow the masquerade, even, in practice, Anarchs and Sabbat.
            You're describing complaints about being a Camarilla vampire, not a Tremere vampire. The Tremere depicted before V5 are living a very different life other than other Cainites. It is not the life of freedom that many other vampires live (and that is exaggerated anyway). They are part of the Pyramid and that means total obedience to their Chantry Regent and effectively living under a second prince. The Chantry Regent's orders carry within them the explicit rule that if you disobey them, they have the authority to kill you and there is no court of appeals to this situation. No Prince would voluntarily go against the Pyramid to protect one of the Usurpers and couldn't if he wanted to.

            The Tremere do not have idle hands for their subordinates either. The typical Tremere's life is a life living inside the Chantry, studying Thaumaturgy, researching Thaumaturgy, experimenting with Thaumaturgy, or practicing Thaumaturgy. If they are part of the Primogen or wield any power in a city it is either on their minimal own time or because they have been explictly ordered to gain it on behalf of their regent.

            A Tremere might maintain his own separate haven from the Chantry or he's just as likely to live there full time to carry out his duties. Other vampires may accumulate wealth, influence, or live social lives but it is going to be the rare Tremere Regent who permits their acolytes anything resembling a social life beyond what benefits the Clan. They can also enforce in-house discipline, torture, or punishments with their magic or Dominate as part of their power.

            And here's the thing, EVERY LAYER OF THE PYRAMID CAN DO THIS TO THE PERSON AND PERSONS BENEATH THEM.

            You are part of an army when you're part of the Tremere and the only way you can move up in the world is to murder someone above you or get the incredibly rare permission to found your own chantry and that requires getting someone high up to think it's in their interests.

            That's a large part why Carna and Ipsissimus exist--because this provides options aside from being a dedicated wizard-soldier belonging to a highly rigid, tightly controlled cult.


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

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

              This is out of character, or Doyleist, commentary on what House Carna is doing.
              I wasn't commenting on House Carna, I was commenting on the very specific thing I quoted. I don't know enough about House Carna in particular to comment on them, so I restricted my comments to a very specific quote that was about complaints about the Tremere in general.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                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.
                I agree that this is what the depiction in the books often state, but is rarely something I've ever seen in play (and to an extent, it is very haphazard how we see them in material that actually has Tremere vampires doing things). That's because the Tremere are supposed to be a playable clan in even the most vanilla Camarilla games, and players generally don't want to roleplay such restrictions (even though that is presumably what they implicitly or explicitly agree to as a condition of playing). And even if that player is fine with it, it creates a problem with other PCs who know they can't can't trust that character even to an extent to make their coterie work.

                In my own chronicles that I ST, I try to balance this by allowing Tremere PCs (and certain NPCs) do what they want - as long as they don't learn Paths of Thaumaturgy which I state has to be taught. And that is only taught to characters who display obedience. If a PC wants that power, they have to give up their freedom. And because once knowledge is taught, it can't be taken back, there needs to be ongoing displays of loyalty. One thing I always insist on is that any Tremere PC has to write up a brief summary of the coterie's activities that they hand over to their regent every game session. They can certainly dissimulate, but many things can be independently verified so blatant lies or outright fabrications aren't possible for long. Likewise, if a PC wants to be promoted within the pyramid, they have to do a lot more. If a PC does not want to do that, they lose a lot of the benefits of being a Tremere. So I've found it effective in molding PCs' willingly playing along with the Pyramid, keeping it fun, and more or less relatively portraying the clan as it should be.

                While in real life, brandishing the stick can be an effective motivator, in a game, it will just lead to player rebellion. But simply withholding the carrots and dangling it in front of them is very likely to be productive.

                Since a canonical Tremere is Garwood Marshall, I think that is OK. Garwood seemed to be someone who was more or less alienated from his clan and not punished for it, but was more or less disowned by them and not capable of progressing in Thaumaturgy or the hierarchy.

                I do allow a Tremere PC that is not a strict follower of the Pyramid some chance of advancing in Thaumaturgy (at least the well known Paths) through independent occult study. But it is much slower since they don't have access to Mentors, the best part of the chantry library, or assistance by fellow Tremere. And they don't have any chance to learn the better protected Paths of Thaumaturgy and Rituals. If they want that, they have to play the Pyramid political game.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                  I agree that this is what the depiction in the books often state, but is rarely something I've ever seen in play (and to an extent, it is very haphazard how we see them in material that actually has Tremere vampires doing things). That's because the Tremere are supposed to be a playable clan in even the most vanilla Camarilla games, and players generally don't want to roleplay such restrictions (even though that is presumably what they implicitly or explicitly agree to as a condition of playing). And even if that player is fine with it, it creates a problem with other PCs who know they can't can't trust that character even to an extent to make their coterie work.
                  Not to kind of show the irony of this but I'm pretty sure the incompatibilty of the Tremere as a rigidly controlled magical cult is WHY the things in V5 happened. Which, for people who never played them that way because....the incompatibility...are kind of nonplussed by that.

                  Because they're going against what they never used.


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

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                    Not to kind of show the irony of this but I'm pretty sure the incompatibilty of the Tremere as a rigidly controlled magical cult is WHY the things in V5 happened. Which, for people who never played them that way because....the incompatibility...are kind of nonplussed by that.
                    Okay, devil's advocate time.

                    CWoD books are told from the perspective of narrators, and as such are always influenced by the unreliable narrator effect. I'd wager a suggestion, is that most of the time the clan's shit-talked in the books, that perspective is coming from one who's been burned by the clan and therefore has an axe to grind. Maybe they ended up suffering under an idiot Regent. Maybe they got screwed over by a rival Apprentice. Maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

                    That, and/or they haven't been around long enough, or haven't had the opportunity to see for themselves, the Pyramid's rules tend to exist for a reason, and the reasons for the Pyramid's ludicrous amount of control more often than not vastly outweigh the "totalitarian cult!" stuff. Which may be true...but that's not the beginning nor end of the story, either.

                    Their own sect hates and distrusts them, but retains them for their utility. Opposing sects (namely, the Sabbat) can and will besiege a city just on the rumor a chantry's location has been discovered. The most dangerous clans among those sects have blood-vendettas that run all the way straight from their founding. Most vampires would leap at the opportunity to blood bond, dominate, manipulate, blackmail, cajole, force, or deadass beat the secrets of Thaumaturgy out of an unwary neonate. Even for an independent Tremere who hasn't actually done anything to out themselves or piss others off, and keeps as low-profile as possible, the least of their worries is their own clan.

                    To say nothing of the level of internal conflict of which Tremere are eminently capable given half an opportunity. Hell, the clan encourages infighting in order to identify and sort out the weak, but not to the level it endangers a chantry or the Pyramid as a whole -- which the Pyramid's level of control keeps moderate.

                    And on the other hand, things tend to go...poorly...for a Regent who doesn't mind the morale of their chantry. Regents still have to answer to their Lords and Pontifices, and Apprentices who go missing or go rogue reflect poorly on the Regent. Meanwhile, low morale means productivity may slip, or projects start going awry, which likewise reflects poorly on the Regent. Assuming one (or more) Apprentices don't deal with the problem in a more direct fashion, which despite all the levels of control exerted by the clan is still entirely possible.

                    Which, put together, all means the worst-case scenarios which are too-often emphasized are entirely possible, but not the norm in the clan.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                      And on the other hand, things tend to go...poorly...for a Regent who doesn't mind the morale of their chantry. Regents still have to answer to their Lords and Pontifices, and Apprentices who go missing or go rogue reflect poorly on the Regent. Meanwhile, low morale means productivity may slip, or projects start going awry, which likewise reflects poorly on the Regent. Assuming one (or more) Apprentices don't deal with the problem in a more direct fashion, which despite all the levels of control exerted by the clan is still entirely possible.

                      Which, put together, all means the worst-case scenarios which are too-often emphasized are entirely possible, but not the norm in the clan.
                      Here's the thing, I don't actually disagree with you here. I don't think that the Tremere chantries are slave holding prisons for the most part and I think the majority of the Tremere who are Embraced are individuals who are the kind who thrives in the Sith like Social Darwinist environment that the Tremere cultivates. They are people who LIKE highly competitive Dark Lord of the Sith and House Slytherin work.

                      Most in-fighting is also intrigue versus murder, though that happens too because they're vampires.

                      However, it doesn't have to be ALL of the Tremere to create a significant power block. If 10% of the Tremere are miserable and interested in creating their own house with about, say, 2000 Tremere total in the world then that's 200 Tremere and more than enough to create something like House Carna. Then those vampires can Embrace their own members.

                      Tah dah.

                      And if 5% were only kept in place by Presence and the Blood Bond, that's enough to create an Anarch house that wants to burn it all down.


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

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        Here's the thing, I don't actually disagree with you here. I don't think that the Tremere chantries are slave holding prisons for the most part and I think the majority of the Tremere who are Embraced are individuals who are the kind who thrives in the Sith like Social Darwinist environment that the Tremere cultivates. They are people who LIKE highly competitive Dark Lord of the Sith and House Slytherin work.
                        It's like the SS or the Commissars/Red Guards in the Communist Bloc. There are people who enjoy being in that position... as long as there are others outside of the organization that they can exploit. Otherwise, what is the point? To a large degree, those "others" are the other clans in the Camarilla. And after that the Anarchs. Then the Independent Clans. And finally the Sabbat. The people closest to you can be exploited, but only to a point. But because they are closest, they get the brunt of it. As you proceed further out the circle, you have less opportunities to exploit, but can be even more brutal about it.

                        I think a more appropriate comparison can be those corporations that have a "Rank and Yank" system like Enron. It's highly competitive and cutthroat because the people in the organization aren't just competing against their corporate competitors, they are competing against their coworkers - not just for the big bucks, but simply to not be eliminated. It's a toxic environment. (And it leads to a lot of organizational self-sabotage.) And it is usually widely hated, even by those who benefit from it.

                        So while I may not go so far as to say it is a slave-holding prison, I'm definitely of the opinion that Tremere pyramid culture has to be toxic. Some thrive in it. Others do well, but resent it. And others actively hate it and suffer.
                        Last edited by Black Fox; 01-29-2020, 08:30 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                          So while I may not go so far as to say it is a slave-holding prison, I'm definitely of the opinion that Tremere pyramid culture has to be toxic. Some thrive in it. Others do well, but resent it. And others actively hate it and suffer.
                          This is well put, but i will add that others might decide simply decide they would do better forming their own company, so to speak. And any of these reasons can explain the Telyavelic Tremere, Antonio Calbullarshi's alliance, House Ipsissimus, House Goratrix, and House Carna. Maybe they hate the old system for its toxic quality and abuse. Or maybe they simply decide they were better off doing their own thing.

                          That is also from an in-game perspective. From an out-of-game perspective, these other groups provide more chances for game play.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                            This is out of character, or Doyleist, commentary on what House Carna is doing.

                            Specially, they are generally depicted as exploring magic other than the Hermetic norms of the Tremere. This means for some VtM fans the Carnites are outside the narrowly accepted standards, even if the Carnites are not actually pursing any form of infernalism. And there is nothing in the depictions of House Carna to so much as suggest they are performing any kind of infernalism. But House Carna gives players a greater license to do their own thing with a PC, which bucks tradition, which means they are Bad Wrong. Even if the hidebound Tremere standard is stultifying to play in comparison.
                            My big, and only (aside from the "Tremere were misogynysts all along" retcon) issue with House Carna is that this idea doesn't work out in mechanics. House Tremere, House Carna, Assamites, House Goratrix, and House Itsy Bitsy in the end all practice one form of magic. The only form of magic that exists in the game - Blood Sorcery. The "tradition" and "narrowly accepted standards" are the eight powers published in the core book, and there's nothing magic-wise that you get out of being Carna that you wouldn't get out of being Goratrix. So mechanics-wise, "muh magics" doesn't shake out. The big tricks of House Carna are resisting blood bonds, forming blood bonds via sex, and doing rituals without blood.
                            Ironically, House Shrek Tremere has a better claim to doing exotic magics, because "you have a wizard pal" is part of Shrek's loresheet, not Carna's.

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                            • #44
                              The Telyavs, Ippsimus and so on were much smaller and didn't have the emphasis placed on them. They're like, the other guys that were in The Smiths whilst Carna and Tremere are Morrison and Mar. It's incredibly disingenuous to suggest we're mad at Carna because we hate women (Though I admit the world would be a better place if we all had penises*)



                              *This is not serious. .


                              The 'Tremere are abysmal and abusive angle... doesn't actually work.
                              You're dealing with immortals.
                              They have ghouls and money to put the burdens on.
                              I feel most people don't play up the 'you're screwed for being tremere angle' because, y'know, that wouldn't work or be neccessary even with blood bonds (Perhaps partially because of the blood bonds) Not everyone in the clan is going to be an ambitious politic. Ideally there's seven people per boss; your odds of climbing the pyramid are pretty low. Being a Dick boss will incentivise people to take your place, and thus it'd be better to be magnanimous.

                              I think you guys should consider the actual social dynamics that would occur within the pyramid, rather than just accept what the book and it's unreliable narrators say at face value. If you did that, you'd know that Carna (and the entirity of V5) doesn't work.


                              V5 is not VTM

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post

                                My big, and only (aside from the "Tremere were misogynysts all along" retcon) issue with House Carna is that this idea doesn't work out in mechanics. House Tremere, House Carna, Assamites, House Goratrix, and House Itsy Bitsy in the end all practice one form of magic. The only form of magic that exists in the game - Blood Sorcery. The "tradition" and "narrowly accepted standards" are the eight powers published in the core book, and there's nothing magic-wise that you get out of being Carna that you wouldn't get out of being Goratrix. So mechanics-wise, "muh magics" doesn't shake out. The big tricks of House Carna are resisting blood bonds, forming blood bonds via sex, and doing rituals without blood.
                                Ironically, House Shrek Tremere has a better claim to doing exotic magics, because "you have a wizard pal" is part of Shrek's loresheet, not Carna's.
                                I dunno, House Carna's loresheet is pretty weird. But here's the thing, House Carna is a political block and just getting started. It's not some secret ancient tradition of Tremere but a new group that just split away. They're starting to explore magics that were not not approved of by the Old School Tremere.


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

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