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  • Maintaining Humanity?

    How do you help keep your character from losing their humanity in your story?
    *(This topic assumes a character wants to maintain their humanity in the first place.)

    Playing my character in our DAV20 game, had me realize that over hundred and thousands of years, pretty much all vampires will start sliding down a slippery slope and losing more and more of their humanity. The years and the things whey have to do to survive, just chips away at even the most moral of kindred kind.

    While I know some vampires would use roads in place of humanity or devote themselves to certain pursuits. How do most/some vampires keep their humanity?

    For example, in my character's case, due to his backstory or the lack of one (amnesiac). He come to treat all his ghouls like family and actually fell in love with one. In a way, his ghouls are his anchor to humanity and losing them would likely make him fall hard down the humanity scale.

    But I am wondering, what other ways or means can a vampire do to help them maintain their humanity?
    Last edited by Wingstorm; 07-25-2020, 04:35 PM. Reason: Spelling corrections

  • #2
    In my DAV20 all vampire are using a variant of the Path of the Kings because it is beside using the Path of Christ the only one where you can justify self denfense. Every other path collides with the Bloodlines statement, that killing in Self Defense is not costing humanity because they say as vampire no matter what intention if it is not path of a road it cost you. So if you do not want to play the hard way or do an only pacifistic researcher chronic like an option in The Age of Decadence the only other way would be houserule that Self Defense is not costing humanity.
    Last edited by Koronus; 07-25-2020, 04:35 PM.


    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      The only way to maintain high humanity is to avoid vampire society as a whole, and not engage in any activity that may make you do morally dubious things like killing people. In other words, avoid most of the activities that players want to do when they play in an RPG.

      I do think it is possible for an ST to run an interesting game with one PC that is fun while allowing that PC to maintain high humanity. However, I think it is much harder in an actual group because too many other players will want to do things that conflict with high humanity. So that PC would constantly be opting out of the coterie's activities. Much harder for an ST to run, and likely not fun for the player or even the entire group of players. But every gaming group is different, and some could do it.

      Maintaining high humanity is HARD, and takes constant effort. It becomes a goal in and of itself. And in order to do so, the character likely has to adopt some form of spiritual exercise or discipline so that it helps him overcome the natural moral failures that will occur over time, and rededicate himself to his spiritual goals as opposed to giving up.

      Note, if I was ST running your game, the fact you even have ghouls would be an obstacle for you to maintain high Humanity. Because you enslaved them by making them ghouls. No matter how well you treat them, or that the blood screws with their mind so much that they're "fine" with what you've done. So it's still a greatly morally compromising act. That might be fine for a Humanity 6 or 7, but would be a real problem for something higher than that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
        Note, if I was ST running your game, the fact you even have ghouls would be an obstacle for you to maintain high Humanity. Because you enslaved them by making them ghouls. No matter how well you treat them, or that the blood screws with their mind so much that they're "fine" with what you've done. So it's still a greatly morally compromising act. That might be fine for a Humanity 6 or 7, but would be a real problem for something higher than that.
        I feel I should give some more context to my character's current situation. Any advice on how I can roleplay him better is much appreciated.

        Well, my character is at humanity 6. My ST made it clear that even humanity 7 is difficult to maintain for a vampire with ghouls.

        For some context on my character's situation. While he started out quite naive about ghouling, having lost all his memories. He sees ghouling as a gift and a means to forge a bond. He does eventually realise it is just slavery in another name. After having a number of his ghouls died due to a wave of the black death, where he was really emotionally crushed, he pretty much could never bring himself to have another ghoul since. The black death and his ghouls dying was particularly painful for him. He almost lost his lover in that plague and I remembered telling my ST that if he wasn't able to save his lover, he would likely just walk into the Sun. Unwilling to go on without the person he loved the most.

        As for his ghoul lover, who is his oldest surviving ghoul, the thing is, for the longest time (in story, about 1~2 centuries) my character was extremely guilt ridden over never being able to give his lover the choice of actually being his lover. He just doesn't know if the love they shared is real, or solely due to the blood bond and given his ghoul's age, he can't just free him from the blood bond to find out.

        That is... Until certain recent events made him realise that his lover ghoul is actually... bond resistant. Their blood bond degrades naturally to that of a 2 sips after every week or two. His lover could actually have broken free pretty much at any time. All this time, he thought his lover's almost weekly request for blood was just them being close and didn't thought more of it.

        Being a Tremere... He actually went and did some research when he found out that his lover is bond resistant. "Testing" the limits of their bond, to confirm that his lover actually stayed with him out of a genuine want and not solely due to their bb. This whole discovery is both a relief (that their relation is not due only to a bb) and terrifying, cos if they are not careful, some other kindred can blood bond his lover. (Since his lover's BB3 only last about a week or two)

        I actually discussed with my ST on my character and we both come to the conclusion that my character would have been a much more powerful and "better" Tremere vampire if he wasn't so tied down by his lover and him caring so much for his ghouls.
        But playing VTM had made me realise that unlike D&D it's not so much about winning, but enjoying the story that comes from roleplaying, interactions and acting out your character's motivations.

        So while I think my character's struggle to maintain his humanity, may be a disadvantage in kindred society and that his story has some tragic elements or the potential for tragically in it, I feel that it is what makes my character interesting and I would really like to continue roleplaying my character well.

        Would be grateful for any advice.
        Last edited by Wingstorm; 07-25-2020, 11:50 PM.

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        • #5
          The point of the game is that the PCs become inhumane monsters, but feel fine with that situation.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Wingstorm View Post

            I feel I should give some more context to my character's current situation. Any advice on how I can roleplay him better is much appreciated.

            Well, my character is at humanity 6. My ST made it clear that even humanity 7 is difficult to maintain for a vampire with ghouls.

            For some context on my character's situation. While he started out quite naive about ghouling, having lost all his memories. He sees ghouling as a gift and a means to forge a bond. He does eventually realise it is just slavery in another name. After having a number of his ghouls died due to a wave of the black death, where he was really emotionally crushed, he pretty much could never bring himself to have another ghoul since. The black death and his ghouls dying was particularly painful for him. He almost lost his lover in that plague and I remembered telling my ST that if he wasn't able to save his lover, he would likely just walk into the Sun. Unwilling to go on without the person he loved the most.

            As for his ghoul lover, who is his oldest surviving ghoul, the thing is, for the longest time (in story, about 1~2 centuries) my character was extremely guilt ridden over never being able to give his lover the choice of actually being his lover. He just doesn't know if the love they shared is real, or solely due to the blood bond and given his ghoul's age, he can't just free him from the blood bond to find out.

            That is... Until certain recent events made him realise that his lover ghoul is actually... bond resistant. Their blood bond degrades naturally to that of a 2 sips after every week or two. His lover could actually have broken free pretty much at any time. All this time, he thought his lover's almost weekly request for blood was just them being close and didn't thought more of it.

            Being a Tremere... He actually went and did some research when he found out that his lover is bond resistant. "Testing" the limits of their bond, to confirm that his lover actually stayed with him out of a genuine want and not solely due to their bb. This whole discovery is both a relief (that their relation is not due only to a bb) and terrifying, cos if they are not careful, some other kindred can blood bond his lover. (Since his lover's BB3 only last about a week or two)

            I actually discussed with my ST on my character and we both come to the conclusion that my character would have been a much more powerful and "better" Tremere vampire if he wasn't so tied down by his lover and him caring so much for his ghouls.
            But playing VTM had made me realise that unlike D&D it's not so much about winning, but enjoying the story that comes from roleplaying, interactions and acting out your character's motivations.

            So while I think my character's struggle to maintain his humanity, may be a disadvantage in kindred society and that his story has some tragic elements or the potential for tragically in it, I feel that it is what makes my character interesting and I would really like to continue roleplaying my character well.

            Would be grateful for any advice.
            Interessting. Is this some houserule or pre V20 supplement merrit because I only know from Ghouls and Revenants, that there is a merrit for being totally unable to be bond but about a fast unbounding I read nothing.
            Though I do not know how common the knowledge is in the world but in the V20 core rule book it states that love through blood bound is the closest to true love that is available so if she would have no problem to stay with him the blood bound would only strenghten her feelings while at the same time would prevent her from being stolen.


            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Humanity isn't all that hard to maintain as a vampire, but it is very difficult to maintain in a vampire game.

              By this I am referring to the fact that game storylines are by default designed to be engaging and filled with drama. Said drama usually comes with choices that test ones humanity, which is how vampire tend to lose their humanity. This is especially the case if the ST is using above average vampire population numbers in their games.

              A vampire can easily go decades, if not a century between major ethical crisis as long as the character build and game are not focused on being a monster of the week style of setup. On the other hand a tremere who resides in a chantry built on top of an archeological dig site, basically can spend years doing his research and only running into the local town for the occasional snack. The closest you get to an ethical crisis is if the Tremere wants to play hero and interrupt a bar brawl or take a talented local mortal under their wing as a possible recruit.

              Comment


              • #8
                Though it is to say, that embracing is ruled on murder it the intented person died by either his hand, some other hand or a natural cause like disease, accident or age because if you give him still blood while his body is warm it works.
                So yeah for Tremere there is an alternative option of a ritual which inject blood into a ghoul if he dies.


                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Double Post because of connection probleslms.


                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Koronus View Post

                    Interessting. Is this some houserule or pre V20 supplement merrit because I only know from Ghouls and Revenants, that there is a merrit for being totally unable to be bond but about a fast unbounding I read nothing.
                    Though I do not know how common the knowledge is in the world but in the V20 core rule book it states that love through blood bound is the closest to true love that is available so if she would have no problem to stay with him the blood bound would only strenghten her feelings while at the same time would prevent her from being stolen.
                    I believe my character's ghoul resistance to being blood bond is a houserule or my ST's self made story element. We are using a modified version of V20/DAV20.
                    That said, I believe V5 has something similar, where you can make your character resistance to being bloodbond?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thoth View Post
                      Humanity isn't all that hard to maintain as a vampire, but it is very difficult to maintain in a vampire game.

                      By this I am referring to the fact that game storylines are by default designed to be engaging and filled with drama. Said drama usually comes with choices that test ones humanity, which is how vampire tend to lose their humanity. This is especially the case if the ST is using above average vampire population numbers in their games.

                      A vampire can easily go decades, if not a century between major ethical crisis as long as the character build and game are not focused on being a monster of the week style of setup. On the other hand a tremere who resides in a chantry built on top of an archeological dig site, basically can spend years doing his research and only running into the local town for the occasional snack. The closest you get to an ethical crisis is if the Tremere wants to play hero and interrupt a bar brawl or take a talented local mortal under their wing as a possible recruit.
                      Lol. We do have quite a number of combat situations in the game (spread in game over centuries). The funny thing is that my character kinda got shaped by in-game events into a sort of battle mage. And is able to use thaumaturgy to strengthen himself for combat.

                      The threat of a moral/ethical crisis is quite real and haven popped up a number of times in the story so far.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You hover at humanity 4 or 5. If for some rare reason you drop to 3 (probably due to diablerie) it's time to get religious (until you find yourself at 4 or 5 again) The best way to keep your humanity is to have a high conscience rating....

                        I'm just kidding of course. The sanest way to retain humanity is to obfuscate 3 yourself as a celebrity and make unannounced visits to the section of the hospital that houses terminally ill children. You can be the person that these kids want to meet, and they will cherish that memory for the rest of their short lives, and then you try not to cry (because that in itself is emotionally powerful stuff, not because you took the 'thirst for the innocent' flaw)
                        Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 07-27-2020, 12:52 PM.


                        Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wingstorm View Post

                          I believe my character's ghoul resistance to being blood bond is a houserule or my ST's self made story element. We are using a modified version of V20/DAV20.
                          That said, I believe V5 has something similar, where you can make your character resistance to being bloodbond?
                          I looked up. Yeah they have beside a hardcore V20 Tremere version (where one sip bound you already) and the immun against it another version where you automatically loose one point of the bound every full or new moon (so within one month you get from full bound to just one sip)


                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wingstorm View Post

                            I believe my character's ghoul resistance to being blood bond is a houserule or my ST's self made story element. We are using a modified version of V20/DAV20.
                            That said, I believe V5 has something similar, where you can make your character resistance to being bloodbond?
                            V5 has a 5 dot merit that makes you immune to the blood bond. It’s for vampires but a ST could easily give it to a ghoul. Btw in V5 the blood bond only activates if you drink directly from the regnant. So you can easily have ghouls Who are not blood bound to anyone or vampires who drink vitae without fear of enslavement or to become a diablerist

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wingstorm View Post

                              Lol. We do have quite a number of combat situations in the game (spread in game over centuries). The funny thing is that my character kinda got shaped by in-game events into a sort of battle mage. And is able to use thaumaturgy to strengthen himself for combat.

                              The threat of a moral/ethical crisis is quite real and haven popped up a number of times in the story so far.

                              I figured it was something like that.

                              I tend to play my characters like Xanatos with fangs. So in the case of a Tremere character, he wouldn't so much enter into direct combat as lead the enemy into a situation where they more or less defeat themselves. A particular favorite is creating a false chantry which is just a total death trap, but there is a hidden passage say across the street to the real chantry. Worst case scenario the enemy burns down the false chantry and believes they have won, or you use a self destruct.

                              Then again I firmly believe that no elder worth their salt would even enter into a situation where they haven't won before showing up. But that once again tends to run contrary to the style of vampire game where the Lost Boy Brujah are throwing down with bunch of preppy Ventrue in an abandoned construction site or something.

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