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  • So she just rebrands the Vaulderie and that's it?


    You've been playing around the magic that is black
    But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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    • Originally posted by Dwight View Post
      So she just rebrands the Vaulderie and that's it?
      It also fixes Dominate.

      But I'm almost 100% certain the Book of the Grave War probably rewrites your brain to serve another Methuselah because we can't have nice things.


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

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      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        It also fixes Dominate.

        But I'm almost 100% certain the Book of the Grave War probably rewrites your brain to serve another Methuselah because we can't have nice things.
        so, we're back to "blood magic solves everything"...


        -

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        • Originally posted by Pleiades View Post

          so, we're back to "blood magic solves everything"...
          It's Storyteller Power rather than Blood Magic since it doesn't have a Ritual level. You just read the book and your Blood Bond and Dominate vanish.

          It's probably magical but is more fiat.

          Maybe it's a link to Malkav's brain, a demon, or THE HIGHER NATURE OF REALITY.


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

          Comment


          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            Is it weird I find the conflict over styles of magic (feminine, sex, blood, and moon based vs. methodical, book, number, and name based) more interesting for House Carna vs. Tremere than I would over more "normal" sexism and oppression?
            I think this makes the most sense. While I have no doubt the mortal House Tremere was sexist in the Middle Ages, and that this continued as tradition in the first few centuries as vampires, I think at some point vampires discard anything psychological which is really based on biological life as they accept and understand what it is to be a sexless corpse that hungers for blood. So I imagine as more of the Tremere becames elders they were more open to jettisoning obstacles based on biological sex to advancement within the clan. That doesn't mean younger vampires brought up in that earlier tradition wouldn't sabotage it. But I think in Carna's case, as someone who already been a Prince and was either a Tremere Regent in control of her own Chantry or more likely a Lord, she's overcome that. It makes much more sense that she was frustrated by crossing a line the Tremere leadership would not countenance - a fundamental change in approach of magic that overturns everything Tremere and his disciples have done. That would be heresy. And it threatens the smooth operation of the system that worked to make the Tremere a very powerful and influential clan from one that was once hated and despised as usurpers. Why change that for someone's pride? Hence Carna needed to break away. That makes more sense to me than the feminist interpretation.

            But I don't think it's going to work out for her and her cronies in the long term.

            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            And yet, Carna is absolutely 100% correct that the most Tremere are orthodox followers of Hermetic magic when there is no reason that Blood Sorcery/Thaumaturgy practitioners should be limited to it. We have Technomancy, Assamite Babylonian and Caanite Sorcery, Followers of Set Egyptian true name sorcery, and Marcus Vitel's Roman Numena that may actually have been a Lasombra or Venture sorcery that has since been lost. Baba Yaga is also a perfect source of Verbena-esque Sorcery.
            Versus

            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            She's 100% wrong. First off, consider how much of a fucking pain it would be to manage a chantry where everyone's speaking a different language compared to a chantry where everyone's doing the same fucking thing. The standardization of Hermetic thaumaturgy is an absolute gift; Everyone's on the same page when it comes to teaching and learning. It may not be as exciting, but it's a thousand times more effective. Oh and they're not killing eachother over superstition disputes or anything like that, which is nice.
            Second.
            Different styles of magic have advantages and disadvantages to them. A Setite sorcerer absolutely needs to larp as a priest(ess) to do a ritual, Dur-An-Ki requires you to get into an ecstatic state. The former has you worship the dark god and defend a shrine and the latter has you mess with entities you don't quite understand and get high while you're doing it. Sure, these styles come with their small advantages that the Tremere don't have, but the tremere have done really well in eliminating the weaknesses of their style.

            Next, of course, Hermeticism is an all-encompassing philosophy. If it exists, they can make magic of it. "As above, so below". If you're following a pagan pantheon, you are limited to learning magics appropriate to your view of that pantheon: You can't learn Lure of Flames if you don't have a fire deity in your pantheon, or if the fire deity in your pantheon is opposed to the god you like. Most pantheons don't have a tech God, so you can never learn technomagic... But, if your pantheon had, say, something totally cool like a Goddess of Bees, and you could make the "Path of Bees", the Tremere wouldn't take all that long to steal it and adapt it to their system. You would never be able to use the Path of Bees if you didn't have a God of Bees.

            The Tremere don't celebrate their Thaumaturgy above others entirely because of hubris; by most rationalization their magic is the best, and their organization and ability to diseminate magic safely and effectively is the reason why they 'won' their monopoly over magic. You could make the same argument for the Order of Hermes: it's not a coincidence that they lead the traditions.
            I actually agree with MyWifeisScary on this one. If you simply look at it from the lens of game mechanics when all you need to do is spend XP, then CTPhipps is right. Why not spend your XP on all this stuff? Many STs are just going to approve it anyway and not ask for real justification from their players.

            But if we want to take the setting seriously, then MyWifeisScary is correct that the Tremere pursuit of Thaumaturgy on Hermetic principles simply produced a far more powerful and effective Clan/faction. That these other traditions exist and can be learn is beside the point. They'd be a distraction that is only going to gum up the works. In the setting, there is a reason why Clan Tremere rose to power, and the vampire adherents of these other Paths didn't achieve anything close. We the players now have lots more written Paths and Rituals after thirty years of gaming than what originally existed in 1991. But nothing has actually changed in the setting itself. The Tremere became powerful and influential and these other groups did not. Relatively speaking, they lost out badly. There is a reason for this. Carna has just created another small group obsessed with some fringe theories based on psychological obsessions. From a power perspective, it's a losing proposition.

            Individuals pursuing their own study of blood sorcery can become just as powerful as anyone else. I imagine Baba Yaga probably is/was more powerful than even Tremere himself. But the Tremere method has worked much better for a group. And that is not the same thing. It could be theoretically possible for one of these other blood sorcery traditions to reach the same level of the Tremere. But they didn't. And for good reason. And I don't think its good to just hand wave that away. It would undermine the fundamental constructs of the setting in favor of a Wrestlemania style metaplot.

            I think Carna can probably survive quite well with her merry cult for some time. But probably within 100-200 years at latest, her entire chantry/coven gets destroyed sending a clear message one does not betray the Pyramid. But there will be a few more Paths out there of dubious benefit, most of which becomes forgotten in the long term.

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            • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

              It's Storyteller Power rather than Blood Magic since it doesn't have a Ritual level. You just read the book and your Blood Bond and Dominate vanish.

              It's probably magical but is more fiat.

              Maybe it's a link to Malkav's brain, a demon, or THE HIGHER NATURE OF REALITY.
              Sounds like a lame mcguffin to me.


              You've been playing around the magic that is black
              But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

              Comment


              • As the guy who created this thread to be a “Where I Read” of the Anarch book, please take the damned discussion and bickering over House Carna to another thread. Carna is only mentioned once in this book, and I've not even gotten to that section yet.

                Electric Vitae Acid Test

                This section is named for the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the 1968 non-fiction book wherein Wolfe presents a firsthand account of the experiences of Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, who traveled across the US in a colorfully painted school bus. I have read the book and while I like the book I have decidedly mixed feelings about the antics of Kesey and his circle of friends.

                In this section of this VtM book the unnamed narrator suggests anarchists adopt a number of strategies and tactics for dealing with the Camarilla and its elders. Most such tactics are designed to be embarrassing rather than lethal or (mostly) destructive of property. Given that this is the Camarilla and a lot of its social structure depends on perception and status then a loss of face could actually be devastating.

                The suggestions here are pitch perfect for a PC group to attempt to try, assuming an Anarch games. They range from simple and amusing to complicated and dangerous. Of the suggestions given, two strike me as worth discussing here.

                “8. Infiltrate a high profile movie production or a Broadway show and make sure one of the characters is a clear parody of a Prince.”

                There is something amusing to think that in the WoD that productions like Dracula Dead and Loving It, Dark Shadows, Love at First Bite, and What We Do In the Shadows have Anarch involvement and reveal secrets or are just pretty straight parodies of Camarilla vampires. And that those movies in the WoD are exactly like the ones we have in the real world.

                “9. Slip info on the local Camarilla to the Second Inquisition. You’ll laugh and laugh as every haven gets SWATted in a single night.”

                The narrator eventually backs off from this and writes it is not a good idea. I disagree – if I had a PCs with a reliable way to feed the SI information about other vampires, I absolutely would do so. In the Chicago Folio book one of the scenarios involves potentially taking over a SI cell and station. I would not do anything do direct, I would just steadily feed them logistical information on vampires which irritated me. Which is to say, all of them.

                In any case, from a game utility point, this is one of the better sections.

                Comment


                • Made a House Carna thread:

                  http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...and-the-witchy

                  Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                  The narrator eventually backs off from this and writes it is not a good idea. I disagree – if I had a PCs with a reliable way to feed the SI information about other vampires, I absolutely would do so. In the Chicago Folio book one of the scenarios involves potentially taking over a SI cell and station. I would not do anything do direct, I would just steadily feed them logistical information on vampires which irritated me. Which is to say, all of them.

                  In any case, from a game utility point, this is one of the better sections.
                  Mind you, any vampire who attempts to use the Second Inquisition is grabbing the tiger by the tail and may result in their own destruction. We also see that vampires can't help themselves as the Camarilla's fall is largely due to the fact that they kept using it against the Sabbat and Anarchs despite how dumb of an idea this is. We also see it backfire on even more powerful vampires as well.

                  Mithras turns out to have been behind the Fall of London and the SI was just his pawns in a purge of the "unworthy" of the city (Mithras not even bothering to stay in the city afterward). We also know that the Giovanni Purge by the Harbingers was another misuse of it.

                  Modius TRIED to do this with Sullivan Dane and it cost him literally the entirety of his remaining status in the Camarilla.
                  Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-04-2020, 07:59 PM.


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

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                  • Trying to use of the SI, from an in game perspective, is a bad idea and one which will turn on the vampire sooner or later. From an out of game perspective, for the PCS, it should provide a lot of fun and game possibilities.

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                    • The Perth Manifesto

                      This section feels like a swing and a miss for me, or a sincere but unsuccessful attempt.

                      This section is a manifesto by the childre of the Thomasina Payne, who is the baron of Perth, Australia. The narrator asserts her sire is planning to gradually betray the Anarchs to the Camarilla, with the assumption Payne will become the recognized prince of Perth. The other charges the childre presents are a grab bag of things, with something to offend everyone. The demands the childre make seem like something a group of Anarchs, caught in a need to be fussy and bureaucratic, might make.

                      But with a more careful analysis the entire thing falls apart because the entire manifesto is just a childre bitching about her sire. The manifesto is only her and apparently no one else among the Perth vampires in general and or the Anarch specifically. No one joins her in the manifesto overall and she does not cite any actual evidence or group seeking the ouster of Payne. So in the end it is all just a rant and a series of hysterical demands of a wayward neonate.

                      This kind of pettiness is a defining aspect of Kindred, so much so this section feels redundant.

                      Comment


                      • I’m returning to this project, after time away.

                        Eat the Rich

                        Here Agata “your revolutionary dream girl” Starek begins to lay out mostly coherent call of ar,s. She, and Chinasa Adeyemi, have some of the strongest voices of the characters this book presents.

                        In this section she calls for blood and action to get that blood – specifically the blood of the “soft” Camarilla types who can act as tyrants mostly because they have the power of the Ivory Tower behind them.

                        This section feels stronger to me because (A) it calls for action, which can be used in a game, as compared to just ruminating and telling stories about the backgrounds of single characters, and (B) the writing feels stronger and more compelling on a mechanical level.

                        Also, in my head Starek still looks and sounds a great deal like Martyna “Outstar” Zych. But don’t tell her I aid that, Starek might shoot me again.

                        Starek discusses her background. She was apparently embraced into the Anarch movement, and so did not become disgusted with the Camarilla and leave it. As a mortal she was probably predisposed to anarchism (lower case “a”) and attracted the attention of vampires that brought her into the Anarch (capital “A”) movement.

                        She discusses some of the abuses of the Camarilla, and while those abuses are true equally true is that the outgroup is an important component to how an in-group defines itself. “We are not them.” Whomever them might be. And each in-group ascribes to the outgroup vices it possess and denies traits to the outgroup which both groups possess.

                        She also tacitly equates the Anarch movement to diablre when they are not the same thing.

                        Starek’s plan is not entirely rational and her rhetoric does not entirely stand up to close criticism – but there is a visceral appeal to it.

                        This is a solid section and an improvement on the last one.

                        Comment


                        • YAY! YOU HAVE RETURNED!

                          One thing I note with the "Yay, Diablerie" article by Agata is the fact that the Sabbat seem to be slowly getting reborn in the Anarch Movement. History may not repeat but it rhymes. Basically, the Second Inquisition has resulted in the Camarilla throwing the Anarchs as well as Neonates under the bus. So the Anarchs have rallied and started achieving some big successes. They've also got multiple clans joining them like the Brujah, Gangrel, and Ministry.

                          The Ministry will undoubtedly bring more inhuman ethic systems and nastier values that are already showing up.

                          Is it inevitable the more rigidly defined and authoritarian Anarchs become what they used to hate more than the Camarilla?
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-27-2020, 12:57 AM.


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

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                          • Should the new Anarch movement survive, then some sections of it might turn into their own totalitarian states. The Anarchs that rejected peace with the Camarilla (Sasha Vykos and Friends) were a small number, and most of them knew each other. The modern Anarchs are a vastly larger number without even rejecting the Treaty of Thorns to rally behind. So just the dispersed state would make it difficult for group leadership to form.

                            That said, one of my issues with the modern Anarch movement is that it is too amorphous, too shapeless.

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                            • A Utopia of Blood in the Amazon

                              Speaking of the Sabbat....

                              In this section an Anarch dwelling in a city on the Amazon River, in Brazil, discusses some encounters with a Sabbat pack. These encounters occurred back in the 1980s.

                              It is useful to remember that the Sabbat made war on everyone and everything – themselves eventually included. In any case, a Sabbat pack moves into the narrators territory and simply create chaos and suffering. One member of the pack is Tzimisce with an ear fetish.

                              The section draws an interesting line between the Sababt and the Anarchs. The Anarch are still vampires – which is to say they are still bad people – but they are not engines of pure death and chaos in the same way as the Sabbat.

                              As the narrator puts it; “They (the Sabbat) came to the jungle for the same reason we (the Anarch) did: To be free. Only their freedom meant blood, insanity and death.”

                              On a related note, the narrator does not like Starek and says she is little better than the Sabbat. But he also acknowledges that she is an effective combatant.

                              Older editions had suggested, if not outright stated, that most of South America was under the control of the Sabbat. But it is important to remember South America is – by definition – an entire continent. Brazil is, in term of territory, close to the geographical size and population of the United States. The point being, it is too general a statement just to say “all of South America is in the hands of the Sabbat.” There is a lot of potential for stories going on with rival group and conflict. This section helps make that clear.

                              This is also the second to last of the entirely in-game narrative passages in the book.
                              Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 12-27-2020, 03:27 PM.

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                              • Stamp Out This Stain

                                In this section a Camarilla official, who maxed out his bloviating skill, talks about the need to eradicate the Anarchs and how he is the man to do the job. He specifically calls for a war of “total extermination.”

                                I mentioned above that the existence of an outgroup is important to how an in-group defines itself. The Anarchs define themselves by not being the Camarilla, and the Camarilla defines itself by not being the Anarchs. To a large degree each group needs the other group to exist to maintain its own cohesion and justify its own operation. Here the mere existence of the Anarchs gives the speechmaker a chance to pitch himself as a solution to a problem – a problem that is likely mostly not so severe as he needs people to believe.

                                That the transcript of the speech apparently ended up in Anarch hands is interesting.

                                It is also interesting that this is the last of the purely in-game sections in the book. The final word is, more or less, given to the Camarilla. However, it puts a tension on everything that has appeared in the book before this point. The Anarchs, the entire politically and ideologically amorphous mass of them, are unified only by the antipathy and pressure put on them by the Ivory Tower. For all their differences, that fact unifies all the vampires who are not part of the Camarilla.

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