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[V5] The Sabbat thread

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  • I have a more moderate position on the vinculum. If I am not mistaken just like regular blood bond, vinculum have level of strength. And the stronger vinculums can be just as strong as blood bonds.

    The main difference tough is that you are NEVER enthralled by a vinculum. Sure you can grow to almost "love" you pack member like you would a real family member (Father, Wife, Son kind of love etc.)
    But that doesn't mean you would blindly obey your ductus or that your "love" cannot be overridden by hate or ambition. (just like real human beings in real families, love and hate can coexist together)

    It's a bit like the difference between Dominate and Presence. The Blood bonded cannot (or with great difficulty) disobey their masters even tough they may loath them and more importantly would have refused to comply to most of the hated orders they received for their masters if they were not compelled to obey.
    A vinculi would just tell the orderer to stuff themselves. (maybe politely because I like you a bit)

    And I do believe that the vinculum play a vital role in keeping the Sabbat together. A moderately old Sabbat member probably shared his blood with a fair share of other Sabbat. To betray all of them "friends" would require a lot of ass from the betrayer if I may say so. Also unlike the blood bond a vinculi never decay. That's important!

    However I also believe that the strength also heavily depend on not only the regularity of the ritual, but also the real feelings of the vampire. So you'd probably would not feel much for a stranger with which you shared your blood once, but would easily give your life for that packmate you rub shoulder with for two century now, and grew to genuinely respect overtime. And should they die, spend a lifetime in vendetta against their murderer.

    Which more to say than most Anarchs/Camarilla members in similar situations.
    Last edited by Morbus; 04-04-2021, 02:26 PM.

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    • Wasn't the whole entombing new embraces and making them dig themselves out a traditional rite of passage Tzimisce put their fledglings through that got expanded into the shovelhead parties in the Sabbat? My impression was that most members of the clan would have gone through the Creation Rites, albeit individually and they would have been carefully selected beforehand instead of just yanked off the street as they passed by.

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      • Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
        Wasn't the whole entombing new embraces and making them dig themselves out a traditional rite of passage Tzimisce put their fledglings through that got expanded into the shovelhead parties in the Sabbat? My impression was that most members of the clan would have gone through the Creation Rites, albeit individually and they would have been carefully selected beforehand instead of just yanked off the street as they passed by.


        It was, sort of their was a ritual for Koldunic Sorcery, the Ritual of Deaths Embrace, where a target was slowly drained and their blood replaced with vitae, the ritual prevented them from using this blood until they were dead and buried, at which point they turned the next night and had to either be dug out or climb out of the grave. It was not universal, but some Voivodes did it.

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        • RE: Vinculum

          At least according to V20, there are ten levels of Vinculum bond, increasing each time a vampire shares blood with the other vampire in question. At low levels, it's a weak bond, enough to keep them from killing each other but little more. At high levels, the vampires would kill, die, and go to hell for each other.

          So how loyal Sabbat are to each other depends on how many times they've shared blood, and how recently.

          Moreover, unlike the Blood Bond, the Vinculum is described as never deteriorating with time. Once forged, it's a bond that is not broken easily.


          RE: Shovelheads

          The use of the shoveling "ritual" has two complications. First, it's use as a ceremonial tool of initiation. Second, as a tool of warfare.

          In the former, if I recall correctly, most Sabbat go through being buried and having to dig their way out. Even if they were Embraced earlier, they are made to undergo this trial. Obviously, exceptions exist, especially if a Lick has a prestigious sire. Nonetheless, it's a sort of hazing ritual, which carries a great deal of pride and expectations. If a vampire didn't undergo the process, other Sabbat who did will inevitably think less of them. "Why should I respect you, if you didn't have to complete the trial like I did?" That kind of thing.

          In the latter, what we'd more traditionally call "shovelheads" are cannon fodder. They're produced as needed, usually in a crusade. No one expects them to survive. At best, they're produced to quickly reconstitute a depleted pack, but even that's rare. Mostly, they are created to throw their unlives away. If they happen to survive the immediate purpose they were created for, good for them. That just means they were worth something after all, as an incidental matter.

          The Sabbat often ARE more choosy about who they Embrace. It's just that this only applies to the ones they intend to keep. They couldn't care less about the chaff beaten into submission and sent to soak up enemy fire, barely aware of or understanding what they've become.

          Also, different segments of the Sabbat population have different ideas about what constitutes "normal" Embracing patterns. Those that adhere to ancient Clan or Path standards - Elder Tzimisce/Lasombra, Ventrue Antitribu, Path followers, etc. - will more often choose their progeny carefully. Younger Licks will engage more heavily in creating shovelheads, both because they're more often on the front lines of crusades, and because it's often all they've ever known. The Sabbat have a high mortality rate, meaning many packs have no other frame of reference, or at least are vaguely aware that there's other ways of doing things.


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          • Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
            RE: Vinculum
            RE: Shovelheads

            The use of the shoveling "ritual" has two complications. First, it's use as a ceremonial tool of initiation. Second, as a tool of warfare.

            In the former, if I recall correctly, most Sabbat go through being buried and having to dig their way out. Even if they were Embraced earlier, they are made to undergo this trial. Obviously, exceptions exist, especially if a Lick has a prestigious sire. Nonetheless, it's a sort of hazing ritual, which carries a great deal of pride and expectations. If a vampire didn't undergo the process, other Sabbat who did will inevitably think less of them. "Why should I respect you, if you didn't have to complete the trial like I did?" That kind of thing.

            In the latter, what we'd more traditionally call "shovelheads" are cannon fodder. They're produced as needed, usually in a crusade. No one expects them to survive. At best, they're produced to quickly reconstitute a depleted pack, but even that's rare. Mostly, they are created to throw their unlives away. If they happen to survive the immediate purpose they were created for, good for them. That just means they were worth something after all, as an incidental matter.

            The Sabbat often ARE more choosy about who they Embrace. It's just that this only applies to the ones they intend to keep. They couldn't care less about the chaff beaten into submission and sent to soak up enemy fire, barely aware of or understanding what they've become.

            Also, different segments of the Sabbat population have different ideas about what constitutes "normal" Embracing patterns. Those that adhere to ancient Clan or Path standards - Elder Tzimisce/Lasombra, Ventrue Antitribu, Path followers, etc. - will more often choose their progeny carefully. Younger Licks will engage more heavily in creating shovelheads, both because they're more often on the front lines of crusades, and because it's often all they've ever known. The Sabbat have a high mortality rate, meaning many packs have no other frame of reference, or at least are vaguely aware that there's other ways of doing things.
            Kinda makes me wonder... nowdays, almost half Shovelheads must be Caitiff (going Panders or not) by now, and probably Thinblood too in some places. Few Embraces are as uncaring and unfamiliar as this, which would make a vacuum between the sire and the childer. Of course, for convenience, with powerful blood, with enough relation between sire-childer, this might not happen at all, but I think its a tendency. VtM Bloodlines 2 does that even, from what I know.


            Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

            -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

            Comment


            • I interpreted the shovelhead creation rite as an attempt to allow the more traditional way of spreading vampirism. In most books and movies, it was assumed that simply being bitten (or killed from being drained) by a vampire created another vampire. Therefore, while vampires selected some victims to vampirize, becoming a vampire was more due to bad luck being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That was lost with the modern style of vampire when turning someone became a deliberate act, and it was separated from merely feeding.

              The original Sabbat portrayed in first edition Chicago By Night was like that. Phillipe and Wendy's sires were simply "Sabbat" and "Sabbat Coven". Both were embraced rather randomly in order to get more recruits In second edition Chicago By Night they are finally given the names of their sires and actual clans, but their history remains unchanged. The description of the second nomad Sabbat pack though echoes that they were recruited randomly. Cameron was mentioned as being grabbed, and that the pack was surprised he survived the creation rites. Lolita and Samson aren't given any creation story at all. We're given a story that Bill Butler was a ghoul prior to his embrace, but that this was in secret from his sire's pack. But the sire kept lots of things secret because he was an Infernalist following the Path of Evil Revelations. So this was naturally a very un-Sabbat thing to do - probably at the behest of his sire's infernal master (Bill is an Infernalist too). We're given a bit about Margarite's life before the embrace, but again it seems like she was picked randomly.

              I think that is how the Sabbat was originally supposed to be. Camarilla/Anarch vampires became vampires generally because there was something about them that caused their sire want to embrace them. But for Sabbat there was no connection between their mortal life and their vampire life. And that fit the Sabbat well, as the Sabbat were only concerned about their existence as vampires. It seems the sect had a philosophy that one's mortal life was immaterial, and you couldn't know how well a person would adapt to existence as a vampire based on how they lived as a mortal. So randomly embracing people was just as effective as anything else. That's why there was a distinction between newly turned vampires and "True Sabbat".

              It was a very keen distinction between these two vampire sects. And I really liked that. But it was something that meant that your PC's life as a mortal and her life as a vampire were totally unrelated. And to a degree, it meant a sameness in the story of how one became a vampire - I was grabbed randomly, drained, fed blood, and then dumped in a hole. Although I think the particulars of that experience can be done in many different ways to make the story interesting.

              I think that is why things ended up changing over time. The people who wrote the Lasombra and Tzimisce Clanbooks wanted to create a unique clan culture, and that meant portraying them in a similar manner as their Camarilla counterparts in selecting childer for the embrace. It was an obvious thing to do, but I think it was a mistake. It showed a lack of understanding of how the Sabbat actually worked. It was also lazy and showed a lack of creativity. But that's what a lot of players wanted. But I think it eroded an important distinction between the sects.

              CTPhipps and I (and others) debated this very post in No One of Consequences thread on VtM character templates, beginning here. Needless to say we disagreed. But I still firmly believe that a key to portraying the Sabbat is that more than 90% of the time, their vampires were randomly selected. Purposeful embraces do happen, but they should be rare - perhaps even scandalous, a sign that the vampire is showing signs of acting like an elder or a Camarilla vampire on the Path of Humanity.

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              • Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                CTPhipps and I (and others) debated this very post in No One of Consequences thread on VtM character templates, beginning here. Needless to say we disagreed. But I still firmly believe that a key to portraying the Sabbat is that more than 90% of the time, their vampires were randomly selected. Purposeful embraces do happen, but they should be rare - perhaps even scandalous, a sign that the vampire is showing signs of acting like an elder or a Camarilla vampire on the Path of Humanity.
                Funny fact, I actually think that shovelhead Embraces offer a lot of opportunities that "selected" vampire ones don't. After all, you are not the product of some vampires extensive examination and don't have to have anything special about you. You were the victim of bad luck (good?) and got ripped from your life violently by a crazy religious sect that is now your only recourse. The character MITCH in WINTER'S TEETH is a fuck-up, high school drop out, and perpetual loser but got tapped to become a Gangrel Antitribu before he managed to ovecrome the Vinculum to run away due to his love of his family.

                One of the recurring elements of my game was the fact the Sabbat has been suffering "decay" from what it once was or aspired to be over the centuries. Shovelheads are meant to be disposable cannon fodder but if they DO survive then they will be add to the ranks of the Antiribu and alter the culture of the Clans. My view of the Sabbat is that there's never been THAT many Elders in the sect and the infighting has winnowed the ranks over the years.

                So the Sabbat have been slowly morphing from Anarchs and Alien Ancient Clans to being "rabble" just like the Brujah have been suffering a slow transformation from the Learned Clan themselves.

                And the Sabbat have no idea how to reverse that, even if they could.


                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
                  And the Sabbat have no idea how to reverse that, even if they could.
                  I don't know that they necessarily would. Thanks to the Vinculum there are much, much closer cross-clan ties in the Sabbat. And the entire idea of the Clan as a thing is much, much less important in the Sabbat than it is in the Camarilla. Ultimately what clan someone is a part of is viewed is turning into more of a quirk than as some sort of fundamental and important aspect. Meanwhile the Camarilla has a lot of rituals (prestation and such) that reinforces the importance of clan.

                  It's one of the reasons why I imagine a lot of the Lasombra decided to get out of the Sabbat. For many of them, especially the older ones, the idea of clan is incredibly important. So for them, the idea that the Sabbat is this sort of melting pot where the distinction of clan becomes far less important and there's less and less distinction made between a Lasombra and a (gasp) Pander. They just don't want to be a part of a group where there's no clear line between the elite and the rabble.

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                  • Thing is... With the True Sabbat (i imagine) being the ones who were gone, while the "False" were the one who stayed behind in the former territories while the rest got off to fight the Gehenna war, just what is going to happen? Total chaos? Infernalism gone rampant? Boogeyman Slasher Sabbat? Or they will become a big network of cult-like murderers?


                    Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

                    -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
                      Thing is... With the True Sabbat (i imagine) being the ones who were gone, while the "False" were the one who stayed behind in the former territories while the rest got off to fight the Gehenna war, just what is going to happen? Total chaos? Infernalism gone rampant? Boogeyman Slasher Sabbat? Or they will become a big network of cult-like murderers?
                      I think the implication of some materials is that they were absorbed into the other sects, and are now mostly Anarchs who occasionally slip up and call the Baron "Archbishop".

                      Comment


                      • Yeah, maybe, the Anarch were given more of a damn it all attitude that technically was there since ever but wasn't well shown, and they are not the cool nice guys like Bloodlines 1 makes it feel. Neither are the Camarilla lapdogs that they were in older editions, where they were the rebellious child that still lived in their parents home always mumbling. But I still think not all Anarchs are ok with Sabbat dudes coming to their turf. Not only it's a dog eat dog situation but the Sabbat has some ideas and practices that Anarchs simply don't want neighboring them. Last Anarch game I played, Sabbat were the dangerous and crazy fuckers that nobody wanted around, they're creepy, have weird ideas and speeches, make blood rituals like Tremeres without caring for privacy, drink each others blood and go around saying it's the end of the world. Either way, I think they are and will be an interesting element in V5s setting. Something like Anarchs ugly evil brother, perhaps.


                        Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

                        -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                          What's wrong with Nosferatu shovelheads? They're not going to have anywhere else to go.
                          First, There's such a thing as -too much mess- and letting loose just-embraced Count-Orloks, even in Camarilla territory, is erring on the side of risking the silence of the blood.

                          Second, the Nosferatu have always been only nominally members of their sects. Maybe a rare few have fully embraced the ideals of their sect, but they've always been a Clan>Sect group. If the Sabbat took over a town the local Nos would raise a flag, say they're sabbat, and tell the sabbat to stay the fuck out of the underground. If the Camarilla took the town back these local Nos would raise a flag, say they're Camarilla, and then tell the Camarilla to stay the fuck out of the underground. The Nosferatu look out for Nosferatu and Nosferatu alone, they're not going to want to expand their responsibilities on shovelheads, and even the few sectarians among them are going to respect the wishes of the greater clan.


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

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                          • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            First, There's such a thing as -too much mess- and letting loose just-embraced Count-Orloks, even in Camarilla territory, is erring on the side of risking the silence of the blood.
                            I'm imagining you explaining this at a Sabbat board meeting when someone brings a bunch of Vozhd.

                            "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?"

                            "Rampagggge!"




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

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                            • Gotta say Vozhd are some of the most -why- things the Tzmisce do. First, they have no place in modern nights where people have rifles, nevermind automatic weaponry. Second they need elder-level powers to make and that's just excluding the majority of tzmisce who'd be interested in making a Vohd. You'd be better off ghouling a hippo or something. A good engineer craves simplicity, whilst Fusing a load of people makes a structurally overcomplicated nightmare. An Entire human doesn't make for a good arm, or a good leg. The only value in human bodies, maybe, is that they're more receptive to disciplines, and indeed the only thing 'good' about Vozhd is that they have a few discipline dots. I suppose they show off your skill and level of fucked-up but, as a Fiend, I could do that better by turning humans into lobotomized dogs and then embracing them.

                              Ignoring human ethics (and you would as a fiend) Blood Brothers are strictly better.


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

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                              • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                                Gotta say Vozhd are some of the most -why- things the Tzmisce do. First, they have no place in modern nights where people have rifles, nevermind automatic weaponry. Second they need elder-level powers to make and that's just excluding the majority of tzmisce who'd be interested in making a Vohd. You'd be better off ghouling a hippo or something. A good engineer craves simplicity, whilst Fusing a load of people makes a structurally overcomplicated nightmare. An Entire human doesn't make for a good arm, or a good leg. The only value in human bodies, maybe, is that they're more receptive to disciplines, and indeed the only thing 'good' about Vozhd is that they have a few discipline dots. I suppose they show off your skill and level of fucked-up but, as a Fiend, I could do that better by turning humans into lobotomized dogs and then embracing them.

                                Ignoring human ethics (and you would as a fiend) Blood Brothers are strictly better.
                                Continuing my hypothetical meeting in my head.

                                My Wife is Scary, Black Hand Member: And that's why you shouldn't make Vozhd.

                                Regular Sabbat: Did you say we should ghoul a hippo?

                                MWIS: NO! What the hell are you thinking?

                                Regular Sabbat: Fleshcraft two hippos together! With rifles and automatic weapons!


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

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