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Who are the Anarchs or "Following their portrayal in V:TM through Editions"

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  • Who are the Anarchs or "Following their portrayal in V:TM through Editions"

    I thought I'd make an interesting thread analyzing how the Anarchs have changed from a Watsonian perspective through the various editions. Basically, who are the Anarchs and which is your favorite interpretation of them?

    The Evolution of Who the %#$@ the Anarchs Are

    1. 1ST EDITION: The Anarchs start in Forged in Steel as a bunch of hypocrites. Juggler is literally inverted Modius. He's got his own Blood Bound Perky Female Minion (Evelyn is his Harley Quinn to Modius' Allicia as Mercy Graves). Juggler is our first look at them and they are just the Camarilla's younger hipper counterpart that are being assholes just for the sake of being assholes. Screwing up Modius' house party doesn't make Juggler a freedom fighter.

    2. 1st Edition Chicago by Night, by contrast, presents a much more mixed view of them. There's the Socialists who are genuine true believers and decent people, there's Anita Wainwright who is High Humanity but vengeful, and there's Maldavis who is the Kindred messiah against Lodin. However, we also have Dickie, Gengis, and Gordon Keaton who show the worst side of the Anarchs. The Anarchs are the no. 1# threat to the Camarilla and only the fact the Cammies are so old and powerful do they stay in power.

    3. 2ND EDITION: The Anarch Cookbook shows a firebrand murderous urban warfare view of the Anarchs vs. the Camarilla which was far removed from the type of Anarchs that we'd seen before. There was the Council Wars but the Anarchs we see in, say, The Players Guide, were more interested in defacing Elysium than decapitating Princes. Indeed, the "Anarchs as part of the Camarilla" part was emphasized, making them seem very toothless.

    4. Los Angeles by Night I feel is what killed the Anarch Movement for a decade among fans because we finally get to see the mythical Anarch Free States and it's a shithole. The Anarchs are just a bunch of gangs fighting each other for territory and killing mortals willy nilly. Its hard to take them seriously as there's apparently no one actually concerned with fighting the Camarilla or freedom.

    5. The Anarchs GET EVEN WORSE with the Clan Novels as the 13 book series makes it clear that the Sabbat have NO RESISTANCE from the Camarilla during the Jyhad except from the Anarchs defending their home. Worse, the Anarchs are fighting WITH the Camarilla and are key to retaking New York from the Sabbat. The Anarchs are now allies with their archenemies against the worst threat of the Sabbat.

    6. REVISED: Then the Anarchs are basically removed from the game by the Year of the Lotus. Like Worf or Wolverine, you need someone to play the role of the Jobber to make the new baddies look badass. In this case, the Anarch Free States is totally destroyed so the Kindred of the East seem awesome. It seemed at this point that the developers considered the Sabbat and Camarilla the REAL conflict of the game.

    7. Notably, this was the point of the gameline where things got away from the gritty and urban city-based games into more international epic games. Things like THE GIOVANNI CHRONICLES and TRANSYLVANIA CHRONICLES were based around playing Elders as they dealt with Antediluvians as well as ancient mysteries. The exception being Giovanni Chronicles IV, which remains my favorite for a reason.

    8. I think The Dark Ages also blurred the line between the Sabbat and the Anarchs as well since we got to see the origins of the former for the exact same reasons that modern ones rebel. It helped make the Sabbat feel like the "real" Anarchs and the Sabbat as the only real resistance to the threat.

    9. BLOODLINES: This is the game that I think is responsible for a huge amount of the Anarchs' popularity as they were portrayed as genuinely idealistic scrappy underdogs fighting against a truly heinous Prince. The Anarchs actually have a good reason to be the resistance to the Camarilla and we get why they hate the Ivory Tower....because the Prince is an asshole. Are they too nice? Maybe.

    10. THE ANARCHS UNBOUND: The Anarchs get revised for V20 and become a much more significant threat as reinvisioned with actual threat and bite to it. The Red Question is also made to question the Anarchs' flaws, though it comes from a bunch of rich First World hackers.

    11. BECKETT'S JYHAD DIARY: The Anarch Free State is reinvisioned to be more functional and worth saving. It also is being threatened by the Wan Kuei and Camarilla both so its more or less like Bloodlines.

    12. FIFTH EDITION: The Anarchs are reinvisioned as a sect in the making, rapidly in gaining in power, but making some questionable alliances with the Ministry.

    13. LA By Night web series: The Anarchs are the heroic defenders against the evil Camarilla.

    What are your favorite Anarchs?

    How should they have been done?
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-23-2020, 04:25 AM.

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

  • #2
    The anarchs are meant to be a lose categorization.
    In once city the anarchs are lead by vampire Jesus
    And in another, they sneak into people's homes to put dead bloody babies in the bed.

    The storyteller is to have maximum leeway in how to depict their anarchs.

    That said, from a perspective of realism/sociology/what we know about vampires.
    -The V5 scenario is a pipe-dream that can only happen because the camarilla is missing it's elders, actively encouraging anarch membership for some reason, and the Sabbat has disappeared. Something that would never naturally happen has happened, and as such, I think it's the worst possible interpretation.

    I also feel the Camarilla function as the best 'default'. Having the opportunity to turn anarch makes for a better character arc than just starting anarch or being forced into the anarchs by a bad storyteller who hasn't worked out what the 4 dots of charisma on the prince's character sheet are meant to mean. Stomping anarchs is just as fun as joining them.

    An interesting game would have the players start off as anarchs, the players are fed tons of anarch sentiments, the movement is going to shit and the Camarilla swoops in to bring the players into the fold and get the city in order.

    Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
    There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.


    • #3
      I maintain that V20’s Anarchs Unbound is one of my favorite books of the whole V20 line and it has all the things that I hunger for more of. It can be used as a stand alone or brought together with other products to make a cogent whole, it reviews and summarizes past material while also crystallizing the relevant and compelling concepts and updating them both for a continuation of metaplot and just generally the jump from the early oughts to the mid tens.

      As for the Anarch Movement itself, I see it as being several things really. It is a category, a sect, a classification, a sub-culture, and so much more.

      The Anarchs stand opposed to both the Camarilla and the Sabbat. They predominantly represent the positions, views, and ideologies that fall outside of those sects while also having its own internal societies and subcultures.

      The Anarchs are the most modern and youthful of the sects but they have room to provide appeal for older kindred as well. They allow for the spirituality of old without the bloody fanaticism of the Sabbat and some will happily allow autarkis and independents to claim their banner for prestige.

      The Anarchs are both a sub-sect of the Camarilla, brooding ground for the Sabbat, and an independent sect in my view. Anarchs can provide a place to learn about the night and become disillusioned for either sect and the Anarchs do exploit this and the Treaty of Thorns to guarantee their general tolerance under Camarilla law.

      Yet that’s not the whole of the Anarchs. The Anarchs are also their own Movement. They are a banner, a spectrum of philosophies and forms of praxis, but they are their own. Some can happily function as agents provacatuer or insiders within the Camarilla while others are happiest when blowing apart Camarilla domains or inciting midnight revolts.

      The Anarch Movement is the eternal march of the jihad, time and youth and modernity wearing down the monuments of the past which the elders have built to cling to memories of what once was.

      Whether as jack-booted fascists, eternally infighting leftists, fiery street preachers, or pragmatic survivalists; the Anarchs are what the Camarilla and Sabbat are not and every year more and more fledgelings, neonates, and ancillae are choosing that over what the other sects have to offer.

      Viva la revolution.


      • #4
        Gryffon15 Well said

        The Hecata are a sect not a clan.


        • #5
          So, VTMB:

          Every camarilla character besides the prince were impressive.
          Every anarch besides the baron and Jack were industrial grade dorks.

          They say something like this
          The Camarilla is wrong and smart
          The Sabbat is right and stupid
          The Anarchs are wrong and stupid.

          (And the Followers of Set are right and smart. Glory to set!)

          But seriously. Stability is good for vampires, and the Camarilla is the sect of stability.

          Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
          There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.


          • #6
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            The anarchs are meant to be a lose categorization.
            This is very important to understand.

            The best definition (IMO) of anarchs are vampire malcontents unhappy with the leadership of the local Camarilla who are then blamed or scapegoated by that leadership as trouble. That covers a wide variety of people.

            It includes everything from revolutionaries to idealists to criminals to innocent bystanders who actually want nothing with "other anarchs."

            This is why I believe talking about them as a "sect" confuses things more than it reveals. At their most organized, the anarchs would be a loose of alliance of multiple sects (since each ideological group or armed faction also compete with each other). And that would exclude a large number of vampires included with that term.