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  • The piracy theme fits well with the Lasombra idea that the strong take what they want from those weaker than they. This could be social or more tangible. In the Dark Ages it could be seizing a weak noble's holdings through manipulating the local nobility or church. Or it could just be a straight up physical strength like with the sea peoples or Barbary Corsairs just taking what they want through brute force and fast ships. Mix that with dark depths of the briny deep and it's a natural fit for the clan. There's still a social aspect to it, though, with having to recruit and maintain the respect of a crew.

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    • Some of that is a hold over of 16th and 17th century English and Dutch (and probably some Swedish and German and even French) propoganda having filtered into popular culture. Historians refer to the phenomena as "black legends", usually the result of a combination of fabrications, exaggerations, taking stuff out of context, cherry picking data and a lot of ignoring what doesn't fit the narrative. The counterpart - where the same is done to glorify its subject - is sometimes referred to as a "golden legend", after a 13th or 14th century collection of biographies of Catholic Saints.


      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

      Comment


      • Originally posted by DrHappyAngry View Post
        The piracy theme fits well with the Lasombra idea that the strong take what they want from those weaker than they. This could be social or more tangible. In the Dark Ages it could be seizing a weak noble's holdings through manipulating the local nobility or church. Or it could just be a straight up physical strength like with the sea peoples or Barbary Corsairs just taking what they want through brute force and fast ships. Mix that with dark depths of the briny deep and it's a natural fit for the clan. There's still a social aspect to it, though, with having to recruit and maintain the respect of a crew.
        Of course, but that could be said too about the scammers, romantic rogues and trickster of the Ravnos and does not prevent being a gypsi prejudice. It could be hard to understand if you have not a spanish name the strange feeling of uncomfortably when, every time it appears in a movie some latino, it is a bad person, a priest, a maid or a femme fatale. That said, I do not think that this prejudice was intentional, I do not think so, it is only a mirror of the society. And we are not the worst countries depicted of all, I even enjoy the villain stereotype and sometimes is funny, but it is here. I think it is important for the americans to recognize it.

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        • Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
          Some of that is a hold over of 16th and 17th century English and Dutch (and probably some Swedish and German and even French) propoganda having filtered into popular culture. Historians refer to the phenomena as "black legends", usually the result of a combination of fabrications, exaggerations, taking stuff out of context, cherry picking data and a lot of ignoring what doesn't fit the narrative. The counterpart - where the same is done to glorify its subject - is sometimes referred to as a "golden legend", after a 13th or 14th century collection of biographies of Catholic Saints.
          I agree, probably, the pirate trope was fruit of some black legend. I have to say that it happened to me to being in a foreing country (Czech republic) and girls do not believing I was spanish because I was white. Recently, it was a funny anecdote in the 2020 when Banderas was nominated to the Oscars and the show runners labelled him as black person in the lists because someone with a latin name could not be white.
          Last edited by Justycar; 06-21-2020, 03:42 AM.

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          • It would be really weird that the association of pirates with Lasombra is because of the Black Legend. The Spanish were the ones taking the gold and silver of the New World to Europe. They weren't the pirates. The pirates were from the other European nations raiding the Spanish!

            The idea that Hispanics aren't white is a peculiarity of American culture. "Hispanic" became a census category to denote people who arrived from Latin America. But the census always distinguished White Hispanics (most of the people we consider to be Hispanic) and Non-White Hispanics (mainly black, but also Indian). But because people are lazy, Hispanic began to be seen as a separate race as people talked about the increasing population of immigrants (primarily from Mexico). In an earlier time, Mexicans and such were simply seen as similar to other non-Nordic whites like Italians, Greeks, Lebanese, Armenian, etc.

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            • I mentioned the black legend thing more in regard to Latin stereotypes in general than about pirates. I'll end up addressing the entire subject in more detail Tues or Wed when I get my computer back and can actually type instead of using my XBOX controller.

              One of my favorite historical pirate groups is actually the ones from Malta, which is an island I always felt deserved more attention in the WoD.


              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                It would be really weird that the association of pirates with Lasombra is because of the Black Legend. The Spanish were the ones taking the gold and silver of the New World to Europe. They weren't the pirates. The pirates were from the other European nations raiding the Spanish!

                The idea that Hispanics aren't white is a peculiarity of American culture. "Hispanic" became a census category to denote people who arrived from Latin America. But the census always distinguished White Hispanics (most of the people we consider to be Hispanic) and Non-White Hispanics (mainly black, but also Indian). But because people are lazy, Hispanic began to be seen as a separate race as people talked about the increasing population of immigrants (primarily from Mexico). In an earlier time, Mexicans and such were simply seen as similar to other non-Nordic whites like Italians, Greeks, Lebanese, Armenian, etc.
                The amazon myth it is based in the depiction in the Iliad of a barbaric tribe of women and warriors who terrorized and scandalized the ancient and proud greeks. The amazons were enemies of the greeks and, furthermore, women what highlighted the alien nature of the barbarians. But somehow, someway, the amazons became greeks in Wonderwoman and the Blackfuries of the World of Darkness. Based in the ancient myths and history, the amazons should be anything but greeks. And about the american concepts of race, I guess that the southern europeans depicted as black peoples is even funny.

                About the piracy, the mediterranean was a special ground. The ancient mariners knew so well the sea that they even did not need astral carts, the followed the coast and navigated in rutes well known. Sicily, Rodhes or Malta had pirates. In the east coast of Spain, during the middle ages, the worst fear were the muslim raids and it was built a long web of castles to protect the towns. The bereber pirates even had let us some expressions of danger, still alive in our language: Hay moros en la costa! (There are moors in the shore). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_pirates
                Last edited by Justycar; 06-22-2020, 03:19 AM.

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                • So, the piracy (and general nautical angle) aspect is originally presented as a way for existing antitribu elders and their progeny to avoid the Sabbat and not have anything to do with them. Preying on ships and having their own hidden ports from which they can send out ghouls to fence their stolen goods means they don't have to contest with them with for food and other resources.

                  More in depth, for whatever reason the Lasombra clan founder liked the Mediterranean and its islands, and chose one for his early post-Deluge home. Some of this may be a spiritual or just psychological connection between the darkness of the depths and the darkness of the Abyss from which the shadows of Obtenebration derive. Or it could just be that there was something about it that gave him peace of mind or reminded him of his living days.
                  At any rate, Mediterranean piracy goes back to the Sea Peoples of the 14th century BC, and later the Phoenicians, Illyrians, and others. The Greeks apparently considered it a perfectly respectable way to make a living, and continued until the end of the Roman Republic. Even during the Byzantine empire period, people from the Mani region were pretty famous for raiding Ottoman and other ships. Then the Moors and later Barbary pirates, and as I mentioned, the Christian Knights of Malta who would raid Turkish ships (and would compensate Greek Christian sea captains if they came to Malta to ask for redress).
                  Caribbean piracy was mostly devoted to preying on Spanish ships shipping gold and silver back from the New World, especially by the English, French, and Dutch. Most of the 20th century has been focused more on smuggling - alcohol, drugs, people, etc. - than piracy.
                  There were actually pirates in the Great Lakes as late as the early 1900s.

                  And I recall most of my early impressions of Latin people being shaped by El Santo movies, Zorro (Disney and FIlmation), Zap from the GIJoe comics, Raya from Jem & The Holograms, one of the kids from the Mister T cartoon, and various Marvel comic characters (White Tiger, Sunspot, Rictor, Firebird).


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                  Comment


                  • Mind you, some individuals have gone out of their way to cultivate the hypersexuality/hot-blooded stereotype as a lifestyle choice. The word macho, after all, comes from cultivating machismo or manliness. Though Latin culture is hardly the only part of the world where this is a highly important concept.


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

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                    • Clanbook: Lasombra (part two)

                      The Child Prodigy
                      Another child vampire, something we haven't seen in a while (not since Tremere, I think). This one is a young genius, using computers as four (remember this is way before computers for kids) and attending college classes at seven. However, his parents were more in to the idea of being the parents of a famous child genius than actually listening to anything he wanted. So he learned to play them against each other, to the point they were going to divorce. Then one of the Sabbat who'd been watching him decided to embrace him. While mentally mature, emotionally he's still a kid, and turns to his sire when frightened or confused. (I use "he", because the character image is male, but the write up is gender neutral.) Manipulation and Intelligence are both maxed out to five, with Wits and Dexterity at three and Strength and Charisma at one. Science is at four dots, with Computer and Linguistics at three each. Dodge, Etiquette, Firearms, Music, Stealth and Investigation are at two each. I'm a little surprised that Subterfuge is only one, and that Acting is zero. Disciplines are two dots each in Dominate and Potence, and one dot in Auspex. I'm not really sure why he needs Auspex, as those points could've been better spent elsewhere. Backgrounds are just two dots each in Resources and Retainers. I don't know why he doesn't have any in Mentor, given that the write up specifically says he has one. Path of Power & The Inner Voice is at seven, and Willpower at four. Overall, I generally like this character. There's a certain level of tragedy to it, and it plays up certain aspects of how monstrous the Sabbat can be in just the tiny things. I think its weakness is that a few of the points could've been better spent.

                      The Consultant
                      In life, a tech consultant in the telecomm industry who generally hated most of the corporate types she dealt with. She was embraced by the Lasombra to help manage their own business interests. She does this, while also offering her consulting services to other vampires, especially in the realm of financial warfare. Personality-wise, she generally cold and angry most of the time, and very ruthless. Mental is primary and Socials secondary, with 3/3/4 and 3/3/2 respectively. Finance is four dots, and three each in Intimidation and Bureaucracy. The rest is a scattering of twos and ones. Disciplines are one each plus one more in Dominate. Backgrounds are four in Resources and one each in Contacts and Influence. I'm sort of surprised that Contacts and Influence aren't higher. Path of Power & The Inner Voice is six and Willpower is seven. This is a pretty good idea for a character. I just wish the write up was developed a little more. I feel like something is missing. Like maybe more details about just how she consults and what services she offers. Also how she feels about the various Sabbat Lasombra elders who really aren't all that different than the Ventrue she hates so much.



                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                      Comment


                      • I just have remember that there was a Sabbat Lasombra Pirate cannon character, even he was spanish and from my own city (the only one canon character I can remember from my city, furthermore). It was called Cristobal and it appeared in Cairo by Night. He was an honorable pirate looking for a new beginning out the Sabbat. He was searching a haven with the antitribu.
                        Last edited by Justycar; 06-24-2020, 11:43 AM.

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                        • Clanbook: Lasombra (part three)

                          Our final two.

                          The False Priest
                          This one built upon the clan's long standing efforts to infiltrate the Catholic Church as a method of mortal influence. Our character was always expected to join the priesthood, but upon getting to seminary school, realized that not only did he not want to become a priest - and was very angry at his family and society for manipulating him into his current situation - but that also he didn't really believe in God either. Then another Lasombra priest embraced him, and he's at least appreciative that the clan is upfront with the fact that it's using him and planning to direct his future for their own ends. However, his sire finds his lack of faith disturbing and hopes to eventually ... correct this error. While he plays the role of quiet and serine man of faith, on the inside he's a bundle of anger, resentment and doubt. Charisma, Manipulation and Perception are all at four dots, with everything else at two. Occult is four dots and Empathy three. Acting, Alertness, Leadership, Subterfuge, Etiquette, Bureaucracy, and Linguistics are all two dots. Interestingly, he has no combat abilities at all, save one dot in Dodge. This isn't at all out of character, but just kind of interesting for a Sabbat character. And in keeping with this book's choice to ignore secondary abilities, no Theology. His disciplines are three dots in Obtenebration and one in Dominate. Backgrounds include three dots in Herd, two each in Generation and Resources, and one in Mentor. I feel like a dot in Influence wouldn't have been out of place here, but he's supposed to be young and fairly low on the totem pole, so to speak. Path of Caine is eight, and I'm not entirely sure how well that squares with his apparent lack of faith. Willpower is four. Overall, I think this is a pretty good character. This book came out the same year as Vampire: The Dark Ages, and you can certainly see where the Lasombra were being positioned as the Church Clan (or at least one of them) to the Ventrue's Nobility Clan, and it certainly plays into their nickname of "Keepers". I appreciate the effort put into the character's backstory and psychology. It makes it easier to get in his head and figure out how to play him. (I also kind of want to place him at the church attached to the orphanage run by the Setite nun.) The stats all make sense and nothing stands out as being weird or out of place. So a winner here.

                          The King of Beggars
                          The art for this one is a little odd. It has this "anime before anime was a thing" vibe to it, complete with big hair and fairly stylized slightly anachronistic Goth clothing. He's from a really wealthy upper class family who took to "slumming" for kicks, eventually coming to prefer it to his native lifestyle. He used his parents money to establish himself as leader of a gang of beggars and pickpockets in the city, eventually attracting the attention of a Lasombra who found him both amusing and potentially useful. Now his gang acts as eyes and ears for the Sabbat in the city. Essentially, he's Fagin, just with a more upper class background. Mental is primary with Wits maxed out to five dots and Perception at three. Social is secondary with Manipulation at four. He also has an extra dot put toward Dexterity from freebies. Streetwise, Subterfuge and Stealth are three dots each. Intimidation, Firearms, Melee, Law and Occult are two each. (He's actually missing a dot from Talents, having only twelve.) Disciplines are one each plus one in Obtenebration. Backgrounds are three dots each in Herd and Resources and two in Contacts. I'm a little surprised none of his gang serve as Allies or Retainers. Path of Cathari and Willpower are both five. This is generally a good idea for a character and overall stats out pretty well. However, I think this is another of those instances were the Sabbat character creation rules end up being a detriment to the character, as he doesn't really need four dots of Disciplines and would have five more freebies to play around with if he'd started with five dots in Backgrounds already (some of which could've gone to something like Investigation or more Streetwise, or more Backgrounds).

                          And that's our Lasombra. I think this was a pretty solid collection. The consultant could've been fleshed out a little better, but it's still a good idea for a character, I think. But all told, they all fit different niches and all seem like they'd be interesting to play. The Pirate and the Cat Burglar are probably my two favorites.
                          In terms of representation, The Consultant is clearly female, and the Cat Burglar probably too androgynous to tell. So either one out of seven or two. I find this mildly ironic for the clan that would end up producing the game's most prominent female signature character. All the character images are white, save the Pirate, who is black.
                          I think I've always been a little surprised at the lack of a character that didn't take full advantage of the clan's affinity for Potence. Some sort of barrio warlord or other street tough now acting as a Sabbat pack leader or something. Likewise a more matriarchal figure that played up the clan's concepts of "soft power" and personal intrigue from the perspective of dominating family figure.
                          I think the Lasombra's theme has always been the idea of strength. Specifically, that they are the strong - physically, mentally, and spiritually, as well as in terms of commitment and ruthlessness - and by that virtue it is their right to dominate those weaker than themselves. I think most of these characters play to that idea, as criminals preying on those to weak to resist or as the elite taking advantage of those less intelligent or skillful than they are. Although the False Priest doesn't really touch on it, he is essentially in a position where as a non-believer is taking full advantage of the "weakness" of those who do have faith in the Church as an institution and in him as a representative of it. So in that sense I also think all of these work pretty well.

                          Next I'll be doing Ghouls: Fatal Addition. And then ... ::shudder:: ... Ravnos.


                          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                          • The Lasombra infiltration of the Church makes total sense in the Middle Ages, and was a distinctive hook. The Church had real political power back then. But I don't think it made sense in Modern Times. The Inquisition and Anarch Revolt should have destroyed almost the entire influence of the clan due to the destruction of elders. And the subsequent development of the Sabbat would not have lent itself to any kind of control over the Church. I think the Camarilla likely supported both the Reformation and Counter-Reformation to wipe out any lingering involvement of the clan. I think it would be OK for some characters to remain among the anti-tribu, but I don't see Sabbat pack life as being particularly conducive to building influence in the Church. At least not in Europe or North America. Perhaps in some parishes in Latin America where the Church ruled along powerful landowners of latifundia-like plantations. I think characters like Moncada are just obsolete relics. OK to have, but more to point out the internal contradictions within the Sabbat that had lead it to three civil wars in two hundred years and likely to erupt in a fourth soon.

                            In my own head, I classified the Lasombra as wanting to be the Power Behind the Throne. The person who really had the power, but was content to rule from the shadows. This distinguished them from the Ventrue in two ways. The first was that the Ventrue are always more likely to want to be seen as being in charge, unlike the shadowy Lasombra. The other is that the Ventrue are more likely to create real institutions of real value - they want power for a reason ad to build a legacy. The Lasombra just want power for themselves and don't care if the institutions they rule rot and fall apart as long as they get to be in charge, and often deal with internal infighting as those Lasombra lower on the ring try to climb up and replace the one above them.

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                            • Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                              The Lasombra infiltration of the Church makes total sense in the Middle Ages, and was a distinctive hook. The Church had real political power back then. But I don't think it made sense in Modern Times. The Inquisition and Anarch Revolt should have destroyed almost the entire influence of the clan due to the destruction of elders. And the subsequent development of the Sabbat would not have lent itself to any kind of control over the Church. I think the Camarilla likely supported both the Reformation and Counter-Reformation to wipe out any lingering involvement of the clan. I think it would be OK for some characters to remain among the anti-tribu, but I don't see Sabbat pack life as being particularly conducive to building influence in the Church. At least not in Europe or North America. Perhaps in some parishes in Latin America where the Church ruled along powerful landowners of latifundia-like plantations. I think characters like Moncada are just obsolete relics. OK to have, but more to point out the internal contradictions within the Sabbat that had lead it to three civil wars in two hundred years and likely to erupt in a fourth soon.

                              In my own head, I classified the Lasombra as wanting to be the Power Behind the Throne. The person who really had the power, but was content to rule from the shadows. This distinguished them from the Ventrue in two ways. The first was that the Ventrue are always more likely to want to be seen as being in charge, unlike the shadowy Lasombra. The other is that the Ventrue are more likely to create real institutions of real value - they want power for a reason ad to build a legacy. The Lasombra just want power for themselves and don't care if the institutions they rule rot and fall apart as long as they get to be in charge, and often deal with internal infighting as those Lasombra lower on the ring try to climb up and replace the one above them.
                              Eh, it's not like religion has lost any of its power. In America, the Lasombra aren't Catholic Priests, though, they're televangelists with bad hair and shiny suits.

                              They make billions in the name of the Lord and influence the course of the nation.

                              One is probably discussing voter turnout with the President right now.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-25-2020, 11:41 PM.


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

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                              • I think the Lasombra's continuing presence in the Catholic Church is both due to a number of elders who continue to see it as important (sort of the same way there are still those who like to sail around in pirate ships or use dueling circles) as well as a reflection that, at least until the past couple of decades, it's still been a huge institution in traditionally Catholic countries and among American cities with large populations descended from those countries. Even today, the Archdiocese of New York is a big deal in the city and state of NY, managing a huge number of schools, hospitals, cemeteries, and charities.
                                In the WoD, it may be even more influential. I've long believed that the presence of supernatural predators lurking hidden in the shadows would have a psychological effect on people, even if they only recognize such threats on a subconscious level. This includes a general sense of xenophobia, making communities - such as say a neighborhood of Irish or Italian or Polish or Puerto Rican Catholics - more insular and tradition bound, and one of those shared senses of community and tradition that offer a feeling of safety and stability, especially for older people, will be the Church. Ironically, this makes it an even more tempting target for vampires.


                                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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