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Clan changes in the Camarilla: Near objectively terrible ideas.

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  • Just an observation; given that Littlefinger never achieved anything substantial beyond bleeding out on the floor of the girl whose coattails he’d tried to ride to the top (who beat him not by causing chaos and spinning lies but by being loyal to her family and revealing the truth)... I think the “chaos is a ladder” meme is well past its sell-by date.

    The actual lesson from Game of Thrones was amply demonstrated not long after Littlefinger said that was Cersei replying to his smarmy “knowledge is power” with a flick of her finger causing guards to seize him and were entirely willing to gut him like a fish as she replied “power is power.” Daenerys nuking Kings Landing and her army still having a major say in the post-war arrangement after their boss genocided the city just cemented that truth.

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    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

      Yes, which would have gone much worse I assume. This way they got Kevin Jackson to agree to their terms. Remember that Sierra brought a sacrifce BEFORE Jackson's terms.

      The Inner Council would undoubtedly driven a much harder bargain than a new Ancilla eager to prove himself.

      The Assamites got a pretty decent deal by approaching joining from a top down perspective, I think they could have otherwise managed something not dissimilar.

      That aside, Amici themselves have acknowledged that this deal is going to cost them. When your explicit thought process is "well eventually the Camarilla should get tired of killing useful Lasombra", it's acknowledging that a swath of your people are going to die that you didn't want to die. The problem of getting Kevin Jackson to agree to their terms is not all Princes are Kevin Jackson. That's the issue. Even if you want to feel that they managed to get one over on him, that boils down to an almost outright short sighted gain to gull one guy at the expense of now exposing yourself to a variety of others. This deal basically comes down to how harsh a given prince will be, or won't be, and they've already started acknowledging that various other princes are going to come down on them like a freight train, having been given the power by this deal to do so. Sierra being ready to sacrifice Malenkov isn't much of a balm to that they've already had to lose Talley for example, just to make this deal go forward.

      The Lasombra perspective on this deal as far as the powerful figures that wanted it (the Amici, even Talley himself), as far as the given text, doesn't really resemble "the fools! This costs us nothing of value!" so much as "this deal will come with significant cost, we have just decided that cost is acceptable."
      Last edited by MarkK; 09-07-2021, 02:34 PM.

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      • Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
        Just an observation; given that Littlefinger never achieved anything substantial beyond bleeding out on the floor of the girl whose coattails he’d tried to ride to the top (who beat him not by causing chaos and spinning lies but by being loyal to her family and revealing the truth)... I think the “chaos is a ladder” meme is well past its sell-by date.
        Littlefinger managed to get the Vale, Harrenhal, and was Master of Coin well before that.

        His biggest issue is the fact that he taught Sansa too well and she eventually turned on him because, of course she did.

        In V:TM terms, the superior Lasombra rose to power.

        Originally posted by MarkK View Post


        The Assamites got a pretty decent deal by approaching joining from a top down perspective, I think they could have otherwise managed something not dissimilar.

        That aside, Amici themselves have acknowledged that this deal is going to cost them. When your explicit thought process is "well eventually the Camarilla should get tired of killing useful Lasombra", it's acknowledging that a swath of your people are going to die that you didn't want to die. The problem of getting Kevin Jackson to agree to their terms is not all Princes are Kevin Jackson. That's the issue. Even if you want to feel that they managed to get one over on him, that boils down to an almost outright short sighted gain to gull one guy at the expense of now exposing yourself to a variety of others. This deal basically comes down to how harsh a given prince will be, or won't be, and they've already started acknowledging that various other princes are going to come down on them like a freight train, having been given the power by this deal to do so. Sierra being ready to sacrifice Malenkov isn't much of a balm to that they've already had to lose Talley for example, just to make this deal go forward.

        The Lasombra perspective on this deal as far as the powerful figures that wanted it (the Amici, even Talley himself), as far as the given text, doesn't really resemble "the fools! This costs us nothing of value!" so much as "this deal will come with significant cost, we have just decided that cost is acceptable."
        I don't disagree with this but I should point that Helen Panhard welcomed the Lasombra to an extent that one became a Primogen in the city after being Embraced only a year prior.

        And Vannevar Thomas also welcomed the Lasombra so much that both his Scourges and Sheriff are them. So that means the Lasombra are welcome in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

        That's a helluva good start even if it's not everywhere.
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-07-2021, 02:38 PM.


        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
          Littlefinger managed to get the Vale, Harrenhal, and was Master of Coin well before that.
          That's the problem. He grabbed too much power too fast (he gained all that in less than a decade), and paid the price because he never shored up his political positions. The Ventrue and Lasombra alike would agree he's an object lesson in how not to exercise power; there's no point in grabbing power you can't keep, let alone you'll get killed over before you can do anything important with it.

          His biggest issue is the fact that he taught Sansa too well and she eventually turned on him because, of course she did.
          He betrayed her father so Ned would suffer the wrath of the Lannisters in the hope of getting to bang her mom (while sleeping with her aunt). She didn't turn on him, she killed him for never really being on her side.

          Let's also not forget that Baelish wasn't her sole "teacher" in the arts of power.

          In V:TM terms, the superior Lasombra rose to power.
          In V:tM terms, the Ventrue had her fake-it-till-you-make-it Lasombra advisor killed after she rose to power, and could punish him for all the transgressions he made against her Clan thinking he could manipulate her into his service, and avoid any consequences.

          That's a helluva good start even if it's not everywhere.
          That also ignores the repeated complaints that the writing makes no sense. Why are we only seeing things work out of the Lasombra despite all the obvious ways things could bite them in the ass? Because the WoD is supposed to a rosy setting were things work out fine for the "good guys?" All the Cam Princes that have been wronged by the very Lasombra seeking shelter in their Domains are all ready to instantly forgive and not use their power to make this hurt for the shadows?

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          • Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post

            It’s probably just as well. Following their deal to get into the Camarilla, SchrekNet is probably awash with Cuck and Virgin memes at the Lasombra’s expensive.
            So, do you actually believe a vampire that single-handedly apprehends (not kills, apprehends) a Sabbat elder -- and whatever defenders they had -- is a vampire to be trifled with? One to mock openly at anything but your own peril?

            Sabbat elders can be (and often are) old and powerful enough to equal if not exceed the might of Anathema. Some Sabbat elders are Anathema.

            Were it me, I'd be very wary of treating poorly a vampire who may well be on the short list of Alastor candidates simply by merit of having joined the Camarilla on the Camarilla's own terms.
            Last edited by Theodrim; 09-07-2021, 04:03 PM.

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            • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              Littlefinger managed to get the Vale, Harrenhal, and was Master of Coin well before that.

              His biggest issue is the fact that he taught Sansa too well and she eventually turned on him because, of course she did.

              In V:TM terms, the superior Lasombra rose to power.
              Though GoT isn't specifically on topic, your misread on what happened at the end between Littlefinger and Sansa explains a lot about how your readings of VtM material go over like lead balloons too.

              Sansa executed Littlefinger not for more power (by then she was already de facto queen of the North) but because she realized he was behind the attempted assassination of her little brother, the betrayal of her father, trying to turn her against her sister and basically kickstarting the war that cost her virtually her entire family.

              Sansa also didn't lie, create chaos or play people against each other in order to achieve this end. She beat him by putting trust in her family (Arya specifically, whom Littlefinger was trying to turn her against) and finding the truth of Littlefinger's dealings and then revealed the truth in an open court in front of the Vale Lords before having him put to death for legitimate treason against multiple crowns.

              Sansa won specifically by NOT playing his stupid manipulative games and ended up Queen of North not by manipulating anyone but by straight out asking for the North's independence as a condition for her agreeing to the final peace and doing so from a position of strength (perhaps not the greatest strength, but sufficient that between fighting it out and just giving her the North, the latter was the easier option).

              Littlefinger held the Vale and Harrenhal at the behest of others (not actually in his own right) for maybe a year at best before his schemes caught up with him and he died like a punk and had long before that lost his position as Master of Coins. If he'd NOT arranged for Jon Arryn's murder and just remained Master of Coins he'd still be alive and able to skim profits off the royal treasury for years to come instead of his corpse probably getting the treatment due a scheming traitor (the books foreshadow his head ending up on a pike outside Winterfell) and people spitting at the mention of his accursed name.

              The only thing Sansa learned from Littlefinger was; don't be a Littlefinger (and to be a little snarky when you win by taking a manipulative bastard's own words and rubbing them in his face, but that I think she mostly figured out on her own).

              Which between that and Daenerys proving "power is power" trumps everything (except an honor-is-everything lover with a knife) definitely puts "chaos is a ladder" into the "stupid ideas that will get you killed" category that should be mocked by humans and vampires everywhere.

              But I mostly bring this up to demonstrate the trend of your reads of VtM just not lining up very well with how so many others on these boards read the same material.

              Edit: Ninja'd by Heavy Arms.
              Last edited by Chris24601; 09-07-2021, 04:10 PM.

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              • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                ...In V:tM terms...
                D&D's foolishness with seasons six onward aside...

                In VtM terms, Petyr Baelish died because he pissed off somebody with Auspex 5 and Animalism 4. That's why one doesn't just hand out personal effects to those with Spirit's Touch as if they were party favors, in particular.

                That's pretty much the beginning and ending of that neat little story -- and a nice lesson for the two other threads on the front page right now, full of folks discounting Auspex, Animalism, and the combination thereof born by one clan in particular.

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                • I'd imagine Sansa's time married to Tyrion helped her up her snark game considerably; plus she got some first class examples from the Tyrell ladies.

                  Though I realize I might be mixing the books and the show a bit here...

                  Anyway, somewhat facetious: Does Sansa strike anyone as a woman that favors Potence instead of Fortitude?

                  Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                  In VtM terms, Petyr Baelish died because he pissed off somebody with Auspex 5 and Animalism 4.
                  Well, that's how he got caught... he died because of all the stuff he did that made him a target of the Stark's latest generation.
                  Last edited by Heavy Arms; 09-07-2021, 04:50 PM.

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                  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    Ragged Robin

                    I dunno, it seems like they've benefited tremendously.

                    1. The Amis Noctis has gone from being an internal Clan based phenomenon competing against the Sabbat power structure to actually being the heads of the Clan. They have gained vast amounts of power over their Clan and were already very powerful.

                    2. The doubling of Lasombra availability of power and titles. The Lasombra can now build power bases within the ranks of the Camarilla that they previously did not have access to. As we see in LA By Night and Seattle by Night by Jason Carl, the Lasombra are already filling the ranks of important political positions. Shadows of New York ends with a Lasombra Primogen in New York.

                    3. The Lasombra have previously been kept from accumulating anything resembling real mortal wealth and influence by the fact that until they're Elders, they're doing rituals for half of their nights with their packs. Now they have the option of gaining massive amounts of mortal power that was previously denied them by the Black Hand's anti-human bias.

                    4. The ludicrous idea that Lasombra "Civil Liberites" were respected in the murderous death cult of the Sabbat where regular murder dueling and sanctioned diablerie were things. Now the Lasombra are protected from the Rite of Destruction. The Camarilla is far less quick on the "murder you" argument as we see in Shadows of New York where their response to a Lasombra they dislike is to do mind games versus rip off their head.

                    5. Speaking ot not being cannon fodder for an insane death cult, the fact is that only a handful of Lasomrba are going to be at the top of the heap and the majority are not going to be able to enjoy the benefits of being death gods among mortals because they were sent on insane missions to kil Camarilla elders or Antediluvians.

                    6. The sheer amount of new territory the Lasombra can claim as their domain given the Camarilla does not recognize Anarch territories as their own plus so many positions opened by the Beckoning and Second Inquisition. The Sabbat is in retreat but the Camarilla, even with its Anarch problems, is now full of new places to gain Lasombra in. If Kevin Jackson can become Prince of Chicago then who knows what Lasombra Neonates or Ancilla (or Elders) can take.

                    7. Marcus Vitel is the Lord of Washington D.C. and while an Anarch, helped arrange the defection so the Lasombra now have access to Federal United States power in a way that the Camarilla is now entirely dependent on them for.

                    8. The Lasombra will presumably no longer be all enslaved by the Vinculum that tied them to the fate of a bunch of potential losers due to the roll of a dice.

                    9. The Lasombra have ALREADY performed a mass culling of Elders before in the First Anarch Revolt and it made their clan stronger.

                    10. The Ventrue having lost the Brujah and Gangrel and been unable to protect the Tremere have shown that they don't have the power they need. They need the Lasombra and Assamites. The Lasombra and Assamites do not need the Ventrue.



                    I dunno, I mean, "Your Civil Liberties are protected by the Sabbat" kind of underscores they're REALLY stretching the benefits of being in a suicidal militant cult over joining the vampire Illuminati.

                    Sabbat: "You can die for Caine!"

                    Camarilla: "You can rule mortals as their master."

                    Just sayin.
                    You left out the con of now being utterly dependant on humans for sanity and self control, having the disgusting touchstones system forced on you, and loosing your Path to be enslaved by the humanity system. Put it this way I have more of an issue with the concept of touchstones than with the child abusing Ventrue primogen or alt right brujah.
                    Last edited by Taggie; 09-07-2021, 04:53 PM.

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                    • Some fairness to CT here...

                      We haven't seen V5's mechanical take on the Sabbat yet (I think? It's supposed to be out soon, yeah?). While I doubt it's going to make a lot of us that liked how the Sabbat were happy, how bad losing Paths is, in the context of V5, isn't entirely clear yet. From the early hints it doesn't sound like V5 Paths will be nearly as different from Humanity as pre-V5 ones were.

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                      • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        Well, that's how he got caught...
                        Yeah, that's kind of the point...

                        ...he died because of all the stuff he did that made him a target of the Stark's latest generation.
                        Not really. Until that point he was doing a more than adequate job even turning Arya and Sansa against each other. Not that they needed any help at that point, but what did him in was Bran's return to Winterfell and subsequent use of his Three-Eyed Raven bullshit.

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                        • I'd otherwise like to try and get ahead of something that seems to be getting exaggerated from the source material and is verging on repeated enough times to become some default forum truth despite it.

                          The deal is not that every individual Lasombra accepted into a given city has to personally take down and present some other Lasombra/Sabbat Elder/Whatever to be sacrificed. The deal is that for every individual Lasombra accepted into a given city, a Lasombra/Sabbat elder/Whatever has to be presented to be sacrificed, depending on the demands a given Prince makes of the Lasombra. That doesn't mean they're being gone after solo (and I'd certainly expect the clan not to do something utterly dorkballs like send their younger clan members after elder vampires solo barring exceptional circumstances at most. In that one blurb we have of someone trying that by going after Talley, it's one of his own childer, they go after him by waiting until he's weary from taking out an outright Lasombra Cardinal himself on behalf of the deal, and even with all that, he gets away), and it doesn't mean that every or even most Lasombra that's been accepted into a Camarilla city is thereby some lone elder slaying badass. In fact we have already canonically seen some of the backstories and the like of those Lasombra that have been accepted and any number of them are no such thing.

                          Again, the way people are having problems with the Ventrue being overemphasized in some threads, I'd think there would be reluctance to turn around and do that same thing for another clan.

                          Nothing wrong with fanning out over a clan, but if you're wanting to discuss a plot development or that kind of deal, it's not really constructive to overstate things.
                          Last edited by MarkK; 09-07-2021, 05:33 PM.

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                          • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            That also ignores the repeated complaints that the writing makes no sense. Why are we only seeing things work out of the Lasombra despite all the obvious ways things could bite them in the ass? Because the WoD is supposed to a rosy setting were things work out fine for the "good guys?" All the Cam Princes that have been wronged by the very Lasombra seeking shelter in their Domains are all ready to instantly forgive and not use their power to make this hurt for the shadows?
                            In what universe is the Lasombra ever the good guys? One would presume the Camarilla Princes against them would be the "good guys"? It works out for the Lasombra because the Camarilla wants a bunch of murderous Sith Lords and shadowmancers shoring up their power. I have no doubt many are terrified of the Lasombra coming to their city but have no difficulty believing plenty would let them in as a way to undermine the Sabbat as a whole or because it benefits them personally.

                            Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                            So, do you actually believe a vampire that single-handedly apprehends (not kills, apprehends) a Sabbat elder -- and whatever defenders they had -- is a vampire to be trifled with? One to mock openly at anything but your own peril?

                            Sabbat elders can be (and often are) old and powerful enough to equal if not exceed the might of Anathema. Some Sabbat elders are Anathema.

                            Were it me, I'd be very wary of treating poorly a vampire who may well be on the short list of Alastor candidates simply by merit of having joined the Camarilla on the Camarilla's own terms.
                            I think the book states that the defection terms are merely a template and that Storytellers are meant to come up with their own. I wouldn't be surprised if the deal for most ends up being the Lasombra bribing the local Tremere to verify a box of ashes.

                            It may even be true.

                            Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                            Though GoT isn't specifically on topic, your misread on what happened at the end between Littlefinger and Sansa explains a lot about how your readings of VtM material go over like lead balloons too.

                            Sansa executed Littlefinger not for more power (by then she was already de facto queen of the North) but because she realized he was behind the attempted assassination of her little brother, the betrayal of her father, trying to turn her against her sister and basically kickstarting the war that cost her virtually her entire family.
                            Basically, I saw her as having schemed and decided to get Littlefinger in place for his execution. She also was undermining Jon and attempting to turn him against Daenerys. You could act like she's a Queen of honor, family, and "The North" but that isn't who she is anymore. Also, Sansa always knew who Littlefinger was but was on his Team because it was beneficial to her.

                            Except he screwed that up with not realizing how awful Ramsay would be.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-07-2021, 05:53 PM.


                            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 MarkK View Post
                              ...That doesn't mean they're being gone after solo...
                              Sure. But they are a clan of ruthless social Darwinists, who keep few if any ghouls, and are expected to be wholly self-reliant. If anyone would be doing it solo, it would be them. Other than that, the details aren't exactly important.

                              Especially for the fact the attempt to take said elder down was made, and it was successful. Which, given the targets involved, their political allegiances and nemeses, and their continued existence, means that was a feat the Camarilla, to that point, was incapable. This is the sect with the vampires who supposedly specialize in hunting Sabbat, dedicated anti-Sabbat strategies that have been honed to supposed perfection over the course of centuries, and the near-limitless resources at those specialists' disposal acting on behalf of an entire sect.

                              In other words, the clan's terms of entry are to do what Archons -- hell, coteries of Archons -- couldn't.

                              Each.

                              If there's a "cuck" in that equation, it sure as hell ain't the Lasombra. Blame it on Jackson for setting the terms of the clan's entry into the Camarilla, to be flexing on the Camarilla.

                              Again, the way people are having problems with the Ventrue being overemphasized in some threads, I'd think there would be reluctance to turn around and do that same thing for another clan.
                              And the issue I take here is people over-problematizing the Lasombra's entry into the Camarilla, and grasping at any excuse they might have to dismiss it. In some cases, going so far as to completely ignore consistent aspects of the clan's characterization over multiple editions, exaggerating the terms of the entry, or refusing to examine the full implications of that entry on how the Lasombra might be perceived for having entered the Camarilla under such terms.
                              Last edited by Theodrim; 09-07-2021, 06:11 PM.

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                              • Killing one elder for each defector in a mass defection simply isn't feasible or reasonable. It isn't the mark of a clan of Social Darwinists, it is the mark of desperate suicidals.

                                I doubt the Camarilla would ask such a stupid thing. I doubt the Lasombra would accept such a stupid thing.

                                But above all I doubt such insanity would work in even remotely sufficient numbers to call whatever arrives in the end a clan. Do you really think those elders will be just waiting patiently to be killed?

                                And the fact that it happened and worked doesn't prove to me that the Lasombra is a capable clan. It proves to me that the writers had no idea of what they were doing.

                                This is bad writing. Just plain bad writing. With one of my favorite clans, by the way.


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