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Can you become Blood Bonded in soup?

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  • Can you become Blood Bonded in soup?

    OK so this is a bit left-field, but for plot purposes I am trying to work out a way of covertly Blood Bonding the characters without them realizing it. They are all fledgelings and considered naive and ‘fresh meat’ for the politicos of the City. thought I might get them invited by a vampiric chef into consuming the blood of a Camarilla ranked vampire on behalf of the Prince.

    Is this sort of thing doable, or is Blood Bonding only valid under strict ritual rules?
    Last edited by Trippy; 02-08-2021, 05:25 AM.

  • #2
    They dumb enough to go drink blood soup then they deserve the bond

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    • #3
      Is the game V5? In that the blood has to be drunk directly from the vampire, same as the embrace. (See V5 Rulebook p. 234) Older versions may not have that restriction.

      Just as an aside, I think it's bad form to plot to enslave the characters behind the scenes in a game you're running as the storyteller. It's one thing if the players have agreed to the idea of being elders' Blood Bound minions upfront, but I think you'll get a better game if you use prestation, intimidation, and political maneuvering to apply pressure to them rather than just going "Oh, by the way, you do whatever character X tells you to."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
        Is the game V5? In that the blood has to be drunk directly from the vampire, same as the embrace. (See V5 Rulebook p. 234) Older versions may not have that restriction.

        Just as an aside, I think it's bad form to plot to enslave the characters behind the scenes in a game you're running as the storyteller. It's one thing if the players have agreed to the idea of being elders' Blood Bound minions upfront, but I think you'll get a better game if you use prestation, intimidation, and political maneuvering to apply pressure to them rather than just going "Oh, by the way, you do whatever character X tells you to."
        Well, the last point is moot if you are introducing it as a plot thread, and developing a sense of horror in the game from it. It isn’t meant to be nice or fair, while they will always remain a choice as to whether to naively follow instructions or not - which is half the point of it. It’s meant to be a building threat in the story and there are different ways of creating a sense of ‘enslavement’ rather than simply telling players they have to do something - you can describe things from an increasingly deluded psychological perspective, giving subtle reasons to trust and be loyal from a first person perspective. It’s also part of the plot that one of the Blood-Bonders is actually disloyal to the Prince, so that this may become a twist at some point.

        The direct consumption rule is tricky to get over though. I may have to think of other ways to potentially trick the players into it.
        Last edited by Trippy; 02-06-2021, 10:13 PM.

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        • #5
          You also need to drink a vampire's blood three times on different nights in order for the blood bond to actually be established. So that would mean tricking them into drinking from the vein three different times.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by IllithidActivity View Post
            You also need to drink a vampire's blood three times on different nights in order for the blood bond to actually be established. So that would mean tricking them into drinking from the vein three different times.
            Well, you need to drink three times to fully establish the bond, but each time is more progressive towards enthrallment. I’d be doing each time as a plot point though - just need some cunning ways to trick the players each time.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Trippy View Post
              Well, you need to drink three times to fully establish the bond, but each time is more progressive towards enthrallment. I’d be doing each time as a plot point though - just need some cunning ways to trick the players each time.
              You can narrate a bizarre and unnatural fondness of the regnant-to-be if you want, but there's no mechanical effect until the third drink. So if the goal is to get them bound and then command them to do things to benefit the regnant, that's not in the cards until three drinks.
              I'm going to agree with the other posts in this thread though that since a big part of VtM is making choices and facing consequences, it seems cheap to be forcing them into a position that they wouldn't naturally be going towards. It would be much more satisfying narratively to make them choose to drink rather than trick them into doing so. Uses of powers like Draught of Elegance/Endurance/Might would be a good start. Otherwise why not just have an Elder Mesmerize them into doing so and save everyone's time?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IllithidActivity View Post

                You can narrate a bizarre and unnatural fondness of the regnant-to-be if you want, but there's no mechanical effect until the third drink. So if the goal is to get them bound and then command them to do things to benefit the regnant, that's not in the cards until three drinks.
                I'm going to agree with the other posts in this thread though that since a big part of VtM is making choices and facing consequences, it seems cheap to be forcing them into a position that they wouldn't naturally be going towards. It would be much more satisfying narratively to make them choose to drink rather than trick them into doing so. Uses of powers like Draught of Elegance/Endurance/Might would be a good start. Otherwise why not just have an Elder Mesmerize them into doing so and save everyone's time?
                That’s not correct. The rules on P234 state:
                The Blood Bond gains a Bond Strength equal to the number of times the thrall has consumed the regnant’s Blood (up to a maximum of 6) and decreases by one for each month during which the thrall consumes none of the regnant’s Blood.
                ....and on the previous page:

                Anyone who drinks the Blood of a vampire becomes progressively more attached to their donor until finally, after three drinks or more, the Bond reduces them to servile lackeys when in the donor’s pres- ence.
                And again, the argument about it not being fair is somewhat moot in the context of it being a plotpoint in a horrific scenario. The characters are getting deliberately duped - which is obviously unfair and consequential to them - but the storyline still gives every opportunity for players to work this out and maybe even come up with their own counter before the third drink. I don’t want them to feel that they have had a fair choice - I want them to feel persecuted by manipulative and evil elders.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Trippy View Post

                  That’s not correct. The rules on P234 state:....and on the previous page:
                  You're ignoring other parts of the rules text, such as:

                  The drinker must repeat the act on three separate nights with no more than a year between drinks for the Bond to fully form. (During their
                  first year, a childe remains one-third of the way Bound to their sire, having already tasted their Blood once.)
                  It isn't a Blood Bond until the third drink. Just look at the Bondslave flaw on page 180:

                  You bond instantly with the taste of another’s vitae; only one drink of blood binds you, not three.
                  If a Blood Bond established after the first drink then that wouldn't be a flaw at all, that would be normal. When reading rules text you can't just pick and choose, you need to read them all together. Yes, each drink makes the drinker more receptive to the donor. That can be roleplayed without mechanical representation. But it's not a Blood Bond yet, and so a PC does not have to roll to oppose the regnant-to-be. The Bond fully forms after three drinks, at which point the target is having their mind actively manipulated and has to roll vs Bond Strength to oppose. The Bond Strength is indeed equal to the number of drinks, but only applies once the Blood Bond is established. So unless the drinker has the Bondslave flaw then they may have a potential Bond Strength of 1 or 2 at the start but it's never rolled against because the Blood Bond has not been established, which the rules unambiguously confirm is after the third drink. Then subsequent drinks can raise the Bond Strength up to 6, or time without could drop it down to a Bond Strength of just 1 or 2 which then would apply because the Bond had previously been established. If they did have the Bondslave flaw then the very first drink would Blood Bond them, and they'd be rolling against Blood Strength 1 to start with.

                  Listen, feel free to homebrew it for your table if you want to, but don't try to pretend that your homebrew is the rules as written when it outright isn't.

                  And again, the argument about it not being fair is somewhat moot in the context of it being a plotpoint in a horrific scenario. The characters are getting deliberately duped - which is obviously unfair and consequential to them - but the storyline still gives every opportunity for players to work this out and maybe even come up with their own counter before the third drink. I don’t want them to feel that they have had a fair choice - I want them to feel persecuted by manipulative and evil elders.
                  Just don't get confused between if it's the elders tricking the PCs or if it's you tricking your players. After all, there's nothing that stops you from saying "a Ventrue Methuselah wakes up and walks to your haven and Dominates all of you to go suicide bomb the current Prince. Aw man isn't that so wild, the Jyhad sure is tricky with these powerful elders pulling the strings, I bet you felt like you had no control over that outcome," but it's a game before anything else and forcing players to be in a situation that they could have avoided if you were being fair as the Storyteller isn't usually a good time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IllithidActivity View Post
                    You're ignoring other parts of the rules text, such as:
                    I understand the other rules, but you argued that there was no mechanics or effect of each progressive dose. The blood bond is completed after three doses, but there are still effects along the way. And that would be the point of the narrative to show the impact becoming more intense each time. Yes, it would be handled primarily through role-play - because it will be a narrative through line. I also am aware of individual differences with different vampires - one of the characters is Tremere, and so they will be more vulnerable.

                    Just don't get confused between if it's the elders tricking the PCs or if it's you tricking your players. After all, there's nothing that stops you from saying "a Ventrue Methuselah wakes up and walks to your haven and Dominates all of you to go suicide bomb the current Prince. Aw man isn't that so wild, the Jyhad sure is tricky with these powerful elders pulling the strings, I bet you felt like you had no control over that outcome," but it's a game before anything else and forcing players to be in a situation that they could have avoided if you were being fair as the Storyteller isn't usually a good time.
                    Well, put it this way - I know the players around my table better than you do, and I know what sort of story or situation or narrative they can appreciate because I have gamed with them for years. So you don’t have to worry about that. In terms of the game, mechanisms for tricking the characters is, indeed, roleplaying the intent of the Elders. There is no confusion on the matter - it’s a plot line in a story, that’s all.
                    Last edited by Trippy; 02-07-2021, 07:54 PM.

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                    • #11
                      It doesn't sound like just a plot line in a story when you refer to it in terms like "I may have to think of other ways to potentially trick the players into it."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
                        It doesn't sound like just a plot line in a story when you refer to it in terms like "I may have to think of other ways to potentially trick the players into it."
                        Oh? Well, y’see there is this thing called a 'roleplaying game’...and it is where players get to take the role of fictional characters. So, when I use the narrative device of tricking players into carrying out actions, from the first person perspective of their characters it is a plot line.

                        Not entirely sure why people feel the need to pontificate about how or why I want to create a particular plot line, but it is pretty useless to me so if this all people want to talk about on this thread I think it is best if we end it. I’ll take the question to another forum.

                        Last edited by Trippy; 02-08-2021, 12:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          The first sip, even two, you can probably get the PCs to drink voluntarily. Have elders arrange a way to get the PCs into trouble, coincidentally show up to provide some timely assistance, and claim a boon for the trouble. Have them ask the PCs to take a drink to repay it. Alternatively, have them arrange a way to make the PCs witlessly attack or trespass in their domains, and have them demand a drink in recompense.

                          Disguises can also go a ways in overcoming a vampire's bond phobia. There's a lot less reason to be leery about being one step bound to two vampires than two steps bound to one vampire. Have elders make themselves look like other people and employ whatever tactics (possibly the above tactics) would get the PCs to take a drink. Obfuscate is the go-to disguise for most vampires, but mundane disguises can do the job too and aren't susceptible to Auspex.

                          Break the rules or come up with new rules. Give the elders custom Merits or amalgam Disciplines that let them enslave with two drinks rather than three, or which let their blood to retain its bonding properties after it leaves the body. (Do expect your players to thereafter act as if all vampires have these powers.)


                          I agree most of the proselytizing here doesn't help the OP. GMs are within their rights to design scenarios where NPCs attempt to trick PCs, and I always seek to trick players as well as PCs to avoid metagame information influencing player decision-making. If OP thinks their group will appreciate the scenario they're designing, that's that.


                          Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                          • #14
                            As the blood would be diluted as a Blood soup, I´d reckon they need twice or thrice the amount to become bonded at each level.
                            Or you allow a roll on Blood Potency to widstand the bonding.

                            In all instances of VTM that Kindred Vitae has a distinctive quality in comparison to human vitae, that most vampires recognize. In some ins´tances of VTM it was possible (at least with mortals) to dilute vitae enough, to not make it recognizable.
                            Thus I would allow them to roll perception + Auspex to smell/taste if something is amiss.

                            Also I would allow to find out if something is amiss, if they walked the wfirst 1 or 2 steps towards full blood bond, either by self-reflection or observations of their coterie, because their behavious is changing towards the domintor (suddenly speaking nice, even though they were not liking the domitor).

                            Of course, if you just want them to get blood bonded, you can just rule, that they don´t taste anything odd in the Soup, nor feel their disposition changed to the dominor.
                            - But this course of action would aggravate most players at my tables.


                            Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
                            Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

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                            • #15
                              My personal rule is that blood bonding actually requires the victim to taste the blood. That doesn't mean that the blood must be pure, but it must pure enough that they can actually taste that they are drinking blood. This cuts down on cheap tricks, including blood bonding thousands of people by putting a drop of your blood into their drinking supply or bonding a victim with blood filled darts.

                              So I'd say if they drink the bloody soup, they should at know that they are tasting vampire blood when they drink the soup.

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