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So PCs MUST have suffering or tragedy in their backstories!?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    Eh, no it's not. It's just a law that favors one group over another.

    Obviously the other group has no reason to support said law because it works for their enemies.
    It’s a practice that is necessary for any vampire group to survive. If the Anarchs seize a city, they will have to restrict embraces in that city. The Sabbat can get away with mass embraces during a siege in enemy territory, but they have to restrict embraces too in their territory. If Anarchs are rebelling over a practice that they must themselves adopt if they win, then that makes them either fools or hypocrites.

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    • #62
      I would think that the Anarchs would reign in creation to at least some extent, whether this means that the local Baron claims right of creation or the gangs keep their rivals in check. If they didn't it'd only be a matter of time until Bob the Brujah decides to create an undead army of night slaves blood bonded to him and take over. Next, somebody else does the same thing to counter Bob the Brujah. Before you know it, the vampire population is out of control, open warfare starts up, feeding gets sloppy, hunters and the FBI start showing up as the body count grows and it's a bad scene for everyone.

      When it's completely locked down to only those who kiss the Prince's ring get a chance to embrace, it's definitely oppressive. But the law has a certain amount of soundness to it. There's also the argument that the creator needs to be educated and mature enough to really take responsibility for the upbringing of a fledgling. Sure, it's abused by those in power, but there are sound arguments for it. It's open for plenty of abuse, but some amount of population control is necessary to keep the mortals from being aware of them.

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      • #63
        What Anarchs could do if they seized control is to reform rules against embracing so that the process can be more fair and not used to consolidate the power of the ruler. For example, each officially recognized faction could take turns having the right to embrace. Maybe a population balance could be maintained or maybe new candidates could be voted on. The authority to embrace will still fall into the hands of the more powerful vampires in a region, but it might be more fair and more evenly distribute power than giving sole authority to the Prince. Then again, the Baron or who ever is in charge still has to harshly punish transgressors or the laws will be frequently broken.

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        • #64
          How Anarchs taking a city over from the Camarilla is:



          At the end of the day, they're still vampires.

          That's my VERY cynical take on the Anarchs (who I love).
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-15-2020, 09:37 PM.


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

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          • #65
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            How Anarchs taking a city over from the Camarilla is:



            At the end of the day, they're still vampires.

            That's my VERY cynical take on the Anarchs (who I love).
            Great use of a Chick Track. Considering what Jack Chick thought of D&D, I wonder what he would have thought of Vampire.

            But yeah, I think that Anarchs probably are a lot like that, along with real world revolutionaries a lot of the time. The revolution is to change leaders, not really empower the majority of people/vampires.

            If Anarchs institute some kind of democratic system, then who gets to embrace really becomes important, because it’s the power to make new voters.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
              What Anarchs could do if they seized control is to reform rules against embracing so that the process can be more fair and not used to consolidate the power of the ruler. For example, each officially recognized faction could take turns having the right to embrace. Maybe a population balance could be maintained or maybe new candidates could be voted on. The authority to embrace will still fall into the hands of the more powerful vampires in a region, but it might be more fair and more evenly distribute power than giving sole authority to the Prince. Then again, the Baron or who ever is in charge still has to harshly punish transgressors or the laws will be frequently broken.
              Mayby saying at the Anarchs everyone after they are not anymore a Fledgeling has one free pass to Embrace anyone. So you can guarentee to have at least one child. If you want more your child need either to be slayn by someone else or you need to convince the others that your second wanted child is worth it or you are worth to Embrace more.


              As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
              First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
              Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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              • #67
                Imagine the unending, projected resentment a sire would feel towards their single legitimate childe after meeting a mortal they like more or would find more useful. That's a bit of angst for the backstory, albeit one better suited for ancillae.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                  I don't think this is remotely the case for a large number of Embraces. Plenty of people get Embraced on the spur of the moment based on frenzying, overfeeding, Toreador flaw, a subject dying, or whim.

                  There's also people who will be Embraced on immediate need.

                  "I need a vampire lawyer or a rich guy to bail me out or a soldier for the cause."


                  I imagine the vast majority of Kindred Embraces are going to be people who can properly disappeared. You can't Embrace Rhianna or Elon Musk. That would be too dangerous to the Masquerade. You can maybe Embrace Rhianna's backup singer or someone who might have become Rhianna should circumstances have not been them. Maybe Elon Musk's right hand man.

                  Bob the Plumber or Betty the Florist have as high a chance of being Embraced as, say, Paul the Navy Seal too because it's as likely they'd be Embraced by someone who loves them like their boyfriend or girlfriend who feed on them regularly as Paul for his skillz.

                  But that's just my take.

                  I think history has shown that the vast majority of human decisions are governed by emotion rather than cold logic and that would certainly apply to the relatively easy act of granting immortality via a bit of blood after feeding.

                  YMMV of course.
                  Most of your statement pretty much sums up the paradoxical fluff I am talking about.

                  Some one like a Music Star or Inventor/Business person being too high profile to embrace is purely a logical statement, while at the same time claiming that most of human and there for vampiric decisions are emotional in nature and thus a Toredaor actually would embrace Rhianna despite the high profile nature. On the other hand how many musicians or other inspired individuals die young? A high profile person can easily be embraced and thus preserved, they just can't be public anymore.

                  Further more what you call "immediate need" is predicated on the mortal in question having a skill or background that is some how enhanced by being a vampire rather than just a ghoul, a dominated mortal, or a well paid human who doesn't know about the supernatural.

                  While it is a common cliché to embrace some one who reminds you of a lost love, that would be such a rare occurrence as to be Deus Ex Machina rather than a default embracing reason.

                  To be fair I view most vampire character tropes as being too emo and limited to survive for any length of time, let alone actually reach elder status. Which means that only those with a certain pragmatism, strength of will, and level of self discipline will survive. Sure you can say an arbitrary 100 mortals are embraced and only about 10-25 of them will be of the sort I am talking about, but over time that group will have a higher chance of surviving, which means that the vampire population ends up skewing more towards that personality type because of attrition.

                  The issue is that a lot of STs think that to have a story, you need NPCs to be stupid, make emotional decisions, and make mistakes so that the PCs can uncover their plans, be given a storyhook, have a chance to show their own abilities, etc. This line of thinking is how we get movies where when you think about it, the bad guys defeated themselves, rather than the "heroes" actually defeating them.

                  But if the only way to survive past your neonate days is to be competent, careful, and powerful, that means every elder has those traits in spades. So exactly why would such a group of competent and careful vampires ever embrace bob the plumber or betty the flourist again?

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
                    Imagine the unending, projected resentment a sire would feel towards their single legitimate childe after meeting a mortal they like more or would find more useful. That's a bit of angst for the backstory, albeit one better suited for ancillae.
                    And the Sire can't just ghoul the mortal, thus keeping them young and healthy until the vampire has gotten enough favors to earn another childer embrace? There isn't really a reason for resentment.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Thoth View Post

                      And the Sire can't just ghoul the mortal, thus keeping them young and healthy until the vampire has gotten enough favors to earn another childer embrace? There isn't really a reason for resentment.
                      That's pretty much how the Camarilla manages it as I understand. I didn't make myself clear, but I was talking about a hypothetical "one childe for everyone" system.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Thoth View Post

                        Most of your statement pretty much sums up the paradoxical fluff I am talking about.

                        Some one like a Music Star or Inventor/Business person being too high profile to embrace is purely a logical statement, while at the same time claiming that most of human and there for vampiric decisions are emotional in nature and thus a Toredaor actually would embrace Rhianna despite the high profile nature. On the other hand how many musicians or other inspired individuals die young? A high profile person can easily be embraced and thus preserved, they just can't be public anymore.
                        I think it's important to never make vampire decisions to be smart ones alone because the simple fact is that they are some of the most emotional and petty creatures in existence. Also, you can't actually tell how a person is going to react to the Embrace. You can Embrace Rhianna and if you go to elaborate lengths to make sure the Prince doesn't want to kill you, to make sure that she's able to continue her music career, and to overcome the Herculean challenges to ease her transition--she may end up losing all interest in music, committing suicide, or simply utterly changed by the experience. One big difference from Requiem and Masquerade is vampires in the latter are not frozen in time -- they indeed can and do become wholly different animals than the person that they were in life. It is impossible to tell who is going to be a great vampire or a terrible one by their mortal efforts anymore than it is who is going to be a functional heroin addict or not (and the blood is a much more potent drug).

                        Karl the Gas Station Attendant may be profoundly psychologically more fit to be a vampire and last for 1000+ years than Gordon Keaton who, by all accounts, seemed like a good candidate but turns out to be a serial killer once turned.

                        But if the only way to survive past your neonate days is to be competent, careful, and powerful, that means every elder has those traits in spades. So exactly why would such a group of competent and careful vampires ever embrace bob the plumber or betty the flourist again?
                        There's another way to survive past your Neonate days and that's be violent and ruthless. You're describing the only way to survive to be an ELDER and that's a different kettle of fish.

                        And the only reason Elders become that way is because the vast majority of them die in petty infighting, suicide, or through other methods before they reach 200.
                        Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-16-2020, 09:31 PM.


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

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                        • #72
                          A lot of people are arguing what would be logical for Vampires to do. These people aren't wrong, they make good points.

                          It's just that people aren't logical, and even those who seem to be carry an unquenchable ember of Illogic deep inside, waiting to manifest. No one is immune, and history has born this out consistently. Vampires are no different, because they're people.

                          If anything, highly successful Kindred are uniquely vulnerable to making senseless decisions, because they've become complacent or arrogant. Everyone thinks that if you unlive long enough to be an Elder, that you're uniquely qualified and rational. Which means they're liable to assume everything they do is reasonable or will work out, and that any difficulties that arise are well within their capacity to handle because they're so competent. They aren't necessarily equipped to objectively gauge their own abilities. Nor are they always aware of the myriad factors that might have saved them in the past (independent of any competence on their part), nor what new factors may be at play that change conditions out of their control.

                          As for Kindred rules, they're all well and good (or rather not, because they establish unjust hierarchies, but that's another matter). A law on paper is only as strong as the willingness of people to obey it. And whenever someone breaks a law - assuming they were aware of it to begin with - they tend to have reasons for why they think it's okay for them to do it, or simply aren't thinking about the law when they break it.

                          You can create all the laws you like. And you can enforce them with whatever means you choose. None of it actually stops a person from doing it, if they really want to, damn the consequences.

                          And as much as authorities like to say they're in control and are capable of stopping law-breakers...well, Real Life shows they very rarely are.

                          In VtM, the presence of loads of illicit Embraces, Caitiff, Thin Bloods, and the like isn't an artificial way to add variety to the setting. It's a natural consequence of a sufficiently complex society, full of flawed and finite individuals, that is also built around absolute secrecy as a matter of course. It would be more artificial if it were otherwise.


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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                            A lot of people are arguing what would be logical for Vampires to do. These people aren't wrong, they make good points.

                            It's just that people aren't logical, and even those who seem to be carry an unquenchable ember of Illogic deep inside, waiting to manifest. No one is immune, and history has born this out consistently. Vampires are no different, because they're people.

                            If anything, highly successful Kindred are uniquely vulnerable to making senseless decisions, because they've become complacent or arrogant. Everyone thinks that if you unlive long enough to be an Elder, that you're uniquely qualified and rational. Which means they're liable to assume everything they do is reasonable or will work out, and that any difficulties that arise are well within their capacity to handle because they're so competent. They aren't necessarily equipped to objectively gauge their own abilities. Nor are they always aware of the myriad factors that might have saved them in the past (independent of any competence on their part), nor what new factors may be at play that change conditions out of their control.

                            As for Kindred rules, they're all well and good (or rather not, because they establish unjust hierarchies, but that's another matter). A law on paper is only as strong as the willingness of people to obey it. And whenever someone breaks a law - assuming they were aware of it to begin with - they tend to have reasons for why they think it's okay for them to do it, or simply aren't thinking about the law when they break it.

                            You can create all the laws you like. And you can enforce them with whatever means you choose. None of it actually stops a person from doing it, if they really want to, damn the consequences.

                            And as much as authorities like to say they're in control and are capable of stopping law-breakers...well, Real Life shows they very rarely are.

                            In VtM, the presence of loads of illicit Embraces, Caitiff, Thin Bloods, and the like isn't an artificial way to add variety to the setting. It's a natural consequence of a sufficiently complex society, full of flawed and finite individuals, that is also built around absolute secrecy as a matter of course. It would be more artificial if it were otherwise.
                            I agree 100%

                            I admit, I like the fact that this was the case in the original Chicago by Night that had a lot of fascinating reasons for people to do the things they did and Embrace the childer that they did.

                            * Balthazar embraced Neon because as much of a bastard as he is, he was horrified at killing a 7 year old boy.
                            * Critias embraced Damien because he drained a 14 year old boy for the same reason.
                            * Theodore Dooley Embraced Gordon Keaton because he hated the man and wanted him to suffer horribly as a vampire (and failed to anticipate Gordon was a narcissistic psychopath).
                            * Lodin did Embrace Ballard, Jackson, and Capone for being extremely capable lieutenants.
                            * Lodin fucked up royally by Embracing Jacob Schumpeter because he couldn't personally evaluate his daylight connections/lack of skill.
                            * Nero Embraced Kathy Tyers because she's possibly the greatest guitarist who ever lived but that's not going to be something that impacts most of the rest of her life since she's an otherwise garage band-style person.
                            * Khalid Embraced two sexually abused children because it related to his misguided quest for Golconda.
                            * Nicolai Embraced Erichtho for love and Dusable for skill [but also because he needed a strong adult male authority figure to feel comfortable].
                            * Annabelle embraced Sophia and Brett Stryker because, at the end of the day, Annabelle is a thirsty as suck bisexual woman who loves strippers [and believes it's "art"]. Most Toreador would never think of her choices as justified.

                            Because even when they have a REALLY GOOD reason for what they do, it can be a reason other than, "Choose a capable strong-willed genius who will help us rule the world behind the scenes."

                            One thing I liked about THE CHICAGO FOLIOS is one of the NPCs introduced is Alan Sovereign's first known childer--who turns out to be an Armenian plumber. Alan is not the kind of person you would think would Embrace a working class woman but he appreciated someone who actually worked for a living over all the pampered assholes he was surrounded by.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-16-2020, 10:18 PM.


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

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                            • #74
                              This thread needs a song...

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                              • #75
                                Re: Tragedy. I tend to focus less on the idea and more on what the purpose of that idea is. Tragedy is one way to create an interesting narrative and character and successfully role play. It's not the *ONLY* way to do it, and it's not necessarily the most interesting way. It will depend on the player and the group/storyteller they're working with. As long as you can build some sort of interesting and enjoyable narrative on it that works for all concerned, whether or not its tragic (and how it might be) is of secondary importance. It's good to remember that the storyteller system can have alot of good ideas that don't always translate well in execution so you may have to look past certain things to see what lies beneath (the 'tragedy' elements might be a 'could have been done better' element. I tended to view the 90s era effort in a similar way, and ignored it when it suited my purposes.)

                                Re: Anarchs and Embrace.. would kinda depend on the kind of vampires we're talking about I think. The Duskborn/Thin-blooded are going to be different both mechanically (difficulty in embracing) and institutionally (why they might do it, how they handle it, etc.) than what the more 'older' and 'normal' vampires do. And what they can/can't get away with would also be different (I think thinbloods would both have more trouble creating new vampires which might impose interesting restraints - you aren't going to embrace your loved ones if there is a chance you could kill them in the process. And when you consider many thinbloods may have been created simply as cannon fodder they may not consider the embrace worth offering, either. At the same time they're also likely to have qualities that enable them to thrive/fit in better than other vampires do, and may be more inclined towards a team effort. Sorta like Jenna Cross' group.)

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