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relations between the fiefs of the black cross and baronies of Avalon

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  • relations between the fiefs of the black cross and baronies of Avalon

    So they are both Ventrue. But my players don’t really understand that these two groups wouldn’t exactly get along perfectly. I’m trying to tell them that to be frank with you just because they’re both in the same clan they might not love each other and despite that being said, they kind of have this idea that it’s almost like these two groups are basically supposed to be brothers in arms and have a total Bromance and be in bed with each other.

    I don’t really know what to say aside from the notion that Hardestad is an asshole and also so is Mithras and that they might not love each other because they are as much at war with each other over ideological grounds as anybody else is. .

    That being said that seems like a bit simply antagonistic but I’m open to any ideas so if anyone can point me in the right direction Towards some good information then please do So.




    Last edited by Zennis; 08-10-2020, 05:03 AM.

  • #2
    A modern analogy which you could use would be America's tech giants. Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are staffed with similar people from similar backgrounds with similar skill sets and ideologies. But that doesn't make them buddies. They are perfectly capable of cooperating and often do, especially against the "Big Tech is the spawn of Satan" lobby, but they are still competing fiercely for "market share". And there's a measure of personal animosity at the top - according to BJD, Mithras regards Hardestadt as an "impudent childe".

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    • #3
      There are always people in the same group competing against each other. Even in the same company, there is always office politics as people scramble for new opportunities, prestige, perks, and so on. And all vampire clans are more toxic than human corporations.

      The Ventrue cooperate together more than almost any clan (and those that arguably cooperate more are far smaller and thus easier to manage). This is a strength, but is also breeds internal competition to lead the clan. So even in the Dark Ages setting, Ventrue of competing power blocs will be rivals to one another while trying to steer clan policy and power towards one direction than the other.

      You may want to determine several areas where Avalon and the Black Cross have diverging interests that show why on a practical level they argue and compete with one another. You may also want to determine how these two sides (as well as other Ventrue factions of the era) compete internally over Status and other perks at the clan directorate level and peerage (I don't recall offhand what the Middle Ages version of this is called). There are only so many open slots available, and if the Black Cross gets one of its members in it, then Avalon doesn't. Another option is to create some history between the important members of each faction (naturally Mithras and Hardestadt, but not limited to them) where they took opposing sides and defeated each other's motions or plots.

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      • #4
        Agreeing with those above, I can definitely see the analogy of corporate entities or political parties working well. The Baronies of Avalon and Fiefs of the Black Cross are both Ventrue-led and have the similarities between Anglo-Saxon and Germanic culture to hold them together alongside the ties of Clan Ventrue. Mithras and Hardestalt can easily be civil with one another if need be and they are in fine places to work with each other against a common outsider.

        Against outside groups, such as the Courts of Love or the Sea of Shadows; the Ventrue can cooperate as long as it’s in both of their best interests. However they are equally capable of challenging each other for valuable domains and double-crossing one another for temporal gains. The Gerousia of Clan Ventrue can hold them together by common politeness but it’s commonly understood that either would stab the other in a moment if they thought they could gain from it and not be overly harmed by the retaliation.

        Once you get towards the later end of the period, political differences become easier to contrast. Hardestalt is a fierce proponent of the Camarilla and sure, he thinks it will benefit kindred, but he also plans to be on the Inner Circle and thus a leader of the sect. Mithras meanwhile has no intention of bowing to the whims of an “Inner Circle” and while he might adopt the title of ‘Prince’ as the Camarilla grew more influential, it was for his own benefit. He was still the King of the British Isles and any archon there was at his mercy.

        It ultimately comes down to this for me - both of them want to be superior to the other and neither are willing to be subjugated, likely being willing to battle to the final death to avoid such a horrible fate. They can work together as equals for a time but inevitably one will need to show himself to be superior and they will return to infighting.

        Of course if the players want to joke around, nothing wrong with that imo. It doesn’t have to effect how you play either character and it gives the players something fun to talk about. My group loves joking around about Caine and Lilith’s competing cab companies and Dracula’s revolving door of lovers for example, but I don’t let OOC jokery influence how I handle them (unless it would be fun).

        Because they do have a point that Ventrue are closer to one another then they are other clans, but in a very brotherly fashion. An old school brotherly faction. As in, they might kill each other but they do respect each other and they would not be pleased to see some low-born outlaw actually harm their brother. A lord of the clan deserves a better fate... such as falling by my own blade.

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