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Clan changes in the Camarilla: Near objectively terrible ideas.

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  • 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.
    Mind you, the Followers of Set become an excellent reason why they might not.

    I admit, though, I have issues with the Followers of Set getting handled that way. As much as I get accused of treating the Camarilla as mustache twirling Dick Dastardly and Natasha Fatale types, I think the Camarilla either letting the Followers of Set's delegation get blown up or arranging it themselves is something that makes them look far cruder than they are. Basically being a group that invites you into the house and goes, "SUCKER." However, the thing is that they're not the Freys (who were the only house in Westeros stupid enough to do this) and it wasn't a Red Wedding where the Followers of Set were crippled by the act.

    They'd just be pissed off.

    Also, I feel like the Followers of Set are not the kind of people who would ever be taken in enough by the Camarilla to let something like this happen. I'd have believed something like Keminitiri blowing up the delegation or Mithras or even the Second Inquisition but this just makes the Camarilla look like vindictive morons.

    And since the delegation promptly went to the Anarchs to get THEIR shit together for revenge, shows why it was a dumb idea.


    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 monteparnas View Post
      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.
      Just to remind you, it's not one Sabbat Elder not one Lasombra.

      It's also not actually Elders from the get go.

      Malenkov is the first sacrifice and he's not even a hundred years old. However, he qualifies as an "Elder" to Kevin Jackson. Sierra's terms are also fine print bullshit:

      Van Burrace pauses only briefly before responding.
      “It will be done. I will arrange for an obligation on all
      Lasombra who want recognition and peaceful passage
      through your city. They must each deliver a vampire
      older than themselves to a place of your choosing, for
      whatever fate you deem appropriate.”


      Even then I don't think this is meant to be a binding agreement for all Lasombra but just to OPEN THE DOOR, which is a pretty big thing by itself.


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

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      • 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.
        The problem of what you are suggesting for the full implications of how the Lasombra might be perceived for entering under such terms is that it doesn't really jive with the source material for the pact. Even all of Malenkov is brought down by a group of vampires (the pc coterie in the Chicago adventure in the book in that case). The only Lasombra we see going at an elder solo with the advantages of surprise, their quarry being weakened and not seeing this development coming, and even being their quarry's own childe who said elder was under the impression was working with them, fails to bring them down.

        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.
        You're glossing over that this is a time when elder resources are themselves not what they were, nor being a part of the Sabbat the source of protection and strength that it once was, seeing as half+ a clan that was part of providing that protection and strength just defected (and that's aside from losses to the Gehenna Crusade, and the Second Inquisition wipeouts), along with all the internal knowledge of practices and security that entails. The Lasombra going after their own have built advantages ranging from knowing about them indepth in ways the Camarilla could not possibly, to the initial surprise and treachery their betrayals will bring for the first part of these attacks.

        You're basically talking like the Camarilla consist of slack jawed easily impressed yokels that would not understand the underlying differences in the situation, and nothing really bears that out.

        You seem intent on considerably overtalking the Lasombra and considerably undertalking the Camarilla, and the game just doesn't support you doing so.

        In other words, the clan's terms of entry are to do what Archons -- hell, coteries of Archons -- couldn't.
        Sabbat elders still all the same died at the height of the sect war (as did Camarilla elders, of course). And this was when both sects were at the height of their power, as opposed to now, when both are decidedly nowhere near it.

        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.
        Your response to that happening looks like doing the exact same thing in the name of what you want to argue in favour of, at this point.

        I'll try an analogy. A million years ago, I got into various universities in my home country after high school, and any number of them offered me various hefty scholarships (and unrelated to the analogy, I should have taken them! Effing eternal effing student effing debt). I also got into the fanciest/most prestigious one, and they offered me jack. I was struck by this, and the explanation was that my achievements were regarded as not something remarkable, but the price of entry, the minimum standard of accomplishment I was expected to meet, and they were not in the habit of patting someone on the back/being impressed for meeting it. I should be grateful they were letting me in for doing what they expected.

        The Camarilla is that university.

        Does that make them awful? Sure. But, y'know, vampires. Who at least have the excuse of being vampires for that sort of behaviour, and not being a lauded institution of higher learning (I'm not bitter....)
        Last edited by MarkK; 09-07-2021, 07:29 PM.

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        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

          Just to remind you, it's not one Sabbat Elder not one Lasombra.

          It's also not actually Elders from the get go.

          Malenkov is the first sacrifice and he's not even a hundred years old. However, he qualifies as an "Elder" to Kevin Jackson. Sierra's terms are also fine print bullshit:

          Van Burrace pauses only briefly before responding.
          “It will be done. I will arrange for an obligation on all
          Lasombra who want recognition and peaceful passage
          through your city. They must each deliver a vampire
          older than themselves to a place of your choosing, for
          whatever fate you deem appropriate.”


          Even then I don't think this is meant to be a binding agreement for all Lasombra but just to OPEN THE DOOR, which is a pretty big thing by itself.

          Sierra's terms are also something of a failure state given the explicit note that every Camarilla Prince will interpret this deal however they want. She can insist on the fine print all she wants. Princes will do what they want.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            Mind you, the Followers of Set become an excellent reason why they might not.

            I admit, though, I have issues with the Followers of Set getting handled that way. As much as I get accused of treating the Camarilla as mustache twirling Dick Dastardly and Natasha Fatale types, I think the Camarilla either letting the Followers of Set's delegation get blown up or arranging it themselves is something that makes them look far cruder than they are. Basically being a group that invites you into the house and goes, "SUCKER." However, the thing is that they're not the Freys (who were the only house in Westeros stupid enough to do this) and it wasn't a Red Wedding where the Followers of Set were crippled by the act.

            They'd just be pissed off.

            Also, I feel like the Followers of Set are not the kind of people who would ever be taken in enough by the Camarilla to let something like this happen. I'd have believed something like Keminitiri blowing up the delegation or Mithras or even the Second Inquisition but this just makes the Camarilla look like vindictive morons.

            And since the delegation promptly went to the Anarchs to get THEIR shit together for revenge, shows why it was a dumb idea.

            Everybody in vampire gets played by somebody in vampire at some point. The Camarilla got outmoved by whoever wanted the negotiations with the Setites to fail (possibly the Assamites themselves). As a sect, they did not want those negotiations to fail. Someone (or someones) did, sure. But no sect or elder or clan or methuselah or even antediluvian is immune to getting outplayed on things.

            Well, maybe Saulot if you read all his plotting a certain way.
            Last edited by MarkK; 09-07-2021, 07:27 PM.

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            • Originally posted by MarkK View Post
              Sierra's terms are also something of a failure state given the explicit note that every Camarilla Prince will interpret this deal however they want. She can insist on the fine print all she wants. Princes will do what they want.
              I think the context is meant to be that it establishes a foot in the door and a precedent. Even in the context of the game, the Princes just look at Prince Jackson as a model to follow.

              It also means there's ONE place to transfer Lasombra to and from there you can do more.


              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

                I think the context is meant to be that it establishes a foot in the door and a precedent. Even in the context of the game, the Princes just look at Prince Jackson as a model to follow.

                It also means there's ONE place to transfer Lasombra to and from there you can do more.

                Well no, the context given by the game is that any number of Princes won't look at him as the model to follow, that's the whole thorn in the deal for the Lasombra that is their cause of greatest concern.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by MarkK View Post
                  Well no, the context given by the game is that any number of Princes won't look at him as the model to follow, that's the whole thorn in the deal for the Lasombra that is their cause of greatest concern.
                  Is it? There's only about 2000 Lasombra in the world. Only half of them are defecting to the Camarilla at most.

                  You don't need that many cities to handle the defection rate.

                  Maybe a few dozen globally at best.


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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                    Is it? There's only about 2000 Lasombra in the world. Only half of them are defecting to the Camarilla at most.

                    You don't need that many cities to handle the defection rate.

                    Maybe a few dozen globally at best.

                    It's enough of a cause of concern that the Amici themselves are concerned by it, and they're the ones who put the entire initiative forward. If the plan's masterminds are concerned about that, you kind of have to ignore the game to say nah, it won't be a problem.

                    You can't really say the deal was well thought out/bargained but then ignore the problems the people who themselves arranged for the deal foresee with it. If they're competent enough to make a deal that's good, they're competent enough to have concerns about it that would need to be treated in a valid way. Otherwise it's just arbitrarily picking when they count as competent and don't.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      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 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...
                      ...and how do you feel about the events of 1405, when Gratiano, his followers, and some Assamites raided the Castle of Shadows, killing almost all the clan's elders and allegedly slaying its Antediluvian, with only one reported survivor? And after that, going across Lasombra domains offering the choice of "join or die"?

                      Was that feasible or reasonable? Was that the mark of a clan of social Darwinists, or desperate suicidals? Did the Lasombra accept such a stupid thing?

                      Were the Lasombra that survived the purge in sufficient numbers to call them at the end a clan? Were the elders slain in 1405 and beyond just waiting patiently to be killed?

                      Did the fact it happened and worked prove to you the Lasombra is a capable clan, or does it prove the writers had no idea what they were doing?

                      Originally posted by MarkK View Post

                      You're glossing over that this is a time when elder resources are themselves not what they were, nor being a part of the Sabbat the source of protection and strength that it once was, seeing as half+ a clan that was part of providing that protection and strength just defected...
                      So, where's this point when it comes to the people arguing the Lasombra were forsaking resources, allies, favors, and mutual protection by leaving the Sabbat in the first place? Because if they're not there to protect the elders from the Lasombra, they're not there to be exploited by the Lasombra thereby giving them reason to remain, either.

                      ...The Lasombra going after their own have built advantages ranging from knowing about them indepth in ways the Camarilla could not possibly, to the initial surprise and treachery their betrayals will bring for the first part of these attacks.
                      That's...not a counterpoint. That's just an explanation of how the Lasombra have been able to do what the Camarilla couldn't. In an attempt to pretend that it was anything but a situation in which the Lasombra have been able to do what the Camarilla couldn't.

                      Sabbat elders still all the same died at the height of the sect war (as did Camarilla elders, of course)...
                      Those were the elders who died. The Lasombra are, by necessity, hunting the ones who didn't die. Because, y'know, they're not dead and all.

                      This isn't a conversation about the Hecata.
                      Last edited by Theodrim; 09-07-2021, 09:41 PM.

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                      • Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                        ...and how do you feel about the events of 1405, when Gratiano, his followers, and some Assamites raided the Castle of Shadows, killing almost all the clan's elders and allegedly slaying its Antediluvian, with only one reported survivor? And after that, going across Lasombra domains offering the choice of "join or die"?

                        Was that feasible or reasonable? Was that the mark of a clan of social Darwinists, or desperate suicidals? Did the Lasombra accept such a stupid thing?

                        Were the Lasombra that survived the purge in sufficient numbers to call them at the end a clan? Were the elders slain in 1405 and beyond just waiting patiently to be killed?

                        Did the fact it happened and worked prove to you the Lasombra is a capable clan, or does it prove the writers had no idea what they were doing?

                        It's less impressive to note when their doing so was the will of their own antediluvian, manipulating their actions. That said Antediluvian possibly outright lowered the defenses of the Castle of Shadows to help it along.

                        It's also worth noting, and this was one of the more bemusing hypocrisies of the First Anarch Revolt, a bunch of vampires on the side of the Anarchs, were themselves elders. For instance, at least one of the Lasombra that rolled along with Gratiano for the attack had 4 centuries and change under his belt, and wasn't some unique freak of nature for being so.

                        But more importantly than that, it's difficult to know for certain what actually happened at the Castle of Shadows, as Lasombra (the antediluvian) screwed with memories of the event of those there, on top of everything else.

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                        • So, where's this point when it comes to the people arguing the Lasombra were forsaking resources, allies, favors, and mutual protection by leaving the Sabbat in the first place? Because if they're not there to protect the elders from the Lasombra, they're not there to be exploited by the Lasombra thereby giving them reason to remain, either.
                          What does this have to do with the note that you're talking up the accomplishment of killing these elders in a way that both overstates the capacity of the Lasombra, understates that of the Camarilla, and ignores the completely different circumstances they are going at the lives of said elders in? You said this:
                          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.
                          Statements other people are making do not change what an overstatement of affairs this is and how handwaving of the context of a given situation it is.

                          Which is why my note on what you were saying, was this:

                          You're glossing over that this is a time when elder resources are themselves not what they were, nor being a part of the Sabbat the source of protection and strength that it once was, seeing as half+ a clan that was part of providing that protection and strength just defected (and that's aside from losses to the Gehenna Crusade, and the Second Inquisition wipeouts), along with all the internal knowledge of practices and security that entails. The Lasombra going after their own have built advantages ranging from knowing about them indepth in ways the Camarilla could not possibly, to the initial surprise and treachery their betrayals will bring for the first part of these attacks.

                          You're basically talking like the Camarilla consist of slack jawed easily impressed yokels that would not understand the underlying differences in the situation, and nothing really bears that out.
                          You seem intent on considerably overtalking the Lasombra and considerably undertalking the Camarilla, and the game just doesn't support you doing so.

                          "Whataboutism" doesn't improve the things you are saying as far as hyping up the Lasombra and casting the Camarilla as incompetent by comparison. I am commenting on the things you are saying. If you are now trying to argue "you don't get to reply to me unless you also reply to the other posters", that's not really any kind of reply of substance to anything I've said. If you can't see that you're basically doing straight up the same thing that bothers you in the posts of others, I honestly don't know what to tell you there. Your posts are what they are. Your exaggerations are what they are.

                          That's...not a counterpoint. That's just an explanation of how the Lasombra have been able to do what the Camarilla couldn't. In an attempt to pretend that it was anything but a situation in which the Lasombra have been able to do what the Camarilla couldn't.
                          You talk up the Lasombra as impossible ultra badasses for "doing something the Camarilla couldn't" while ignoring that what makes it possible are conditions of depleted resources, strength, insider information, internal betrayal and sectarian defection, not some particular level of individual quality. The Lasombra doing something to Sabbat elders in a diminished, wrongfooted state cannot, by definition, be weighed as some superior accomplishment to the Camarilla's performance against a sect at the height of its capacity.

                          Those were the elders who died. The Lasombra are, by necessity, hunting the ones who didn't die. Because, y'know, they're not dead and all.
                          This response is a complete non sequitur unless you are arguing that whenever the Camarilla took out a Sabbat elder, it is less impressive than when the Lasombra take one out, which I would hope you were not doing considering the completely different circumstances and context each are waging their efforts in.

                          That you continue to want to hype the idea that the Lasombra could on top of everything else, be doing this solo and treating that as plausible when the one solo effort we get to see by a Lasombra who has almost every advantage possible fails, and that the book itself presents, again, all of Malenkov as going down to a group effort means you are going one way, and the material you are trying to extrapolate from is going a different way.
                          Last edited by MarkK; 09-07-2021, 10:05 PM.

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                          • Originally posted by MarkK View Post
                            It's less impressive to note when their doing so was the will of their own antediluvian, manipulating their actions. That said Antediluvian possibly outright lowered the defenses of the Castle of Shadows to help it along.

                            It's also worth noting, and this was one of the more bemusing hypocrisies of the First Anarch Revolt, a bunch of vampires on the side of the Anarchs, were themselves elders. For instance, at least one of the Lasombra that rolled along with Gratiano for the attack had 4 centuries and change under his belt, and wasn't some unique freak of nature for being so.
                            Eh, every Elder is oppressed by an Elder older to them. Which goes to kind of show that conflict is one that in a more idealistic setting would result in diplomacy.

                            Lucita is one of the most Anarchy-Anarchs who ever Anarched but she survived to being 800 years old and thus became the EstablishmentTM in the Sabbat.

                            I always felt that was simultaneously a terrible thing for her character and probably distressingly realistic.

                            It's one of the rare good examples of the Batman quote, "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Because that is vampirism in a nutshell.

                            But more importantly than that, it's difficult to know for certain what actually happened at the Castle of Shadows, as Lasombra (the antediluvian) screwed with memories of the event of those there, on top of everything else.
                            My completely non-canon and entirely self-conceived belief is the most believable answer to why the Lasombra are defecting is their Antediluvian ordered them to via Dominate 10 and they did so.

                            Never realizing that they had no choice or were being told to.

                            I buy the Amis Nocti would decide the Sabbat were a lost cause and would cripple the organization before defecting but I think without another cause, they'd defect themselves and screw everyone else.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-07-2021, 10:11 PM.


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

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                            • My completely non-canon and entirely self-conceived belief is the most believable answer to why the Lasombra are defecting is their Antediluvian ordered them to via Dominate 10 and they did so.

                              Never realizing that they had no choice or were being told to.
                              I mean one of the things that motivated the Lasombra into defecting was that some of them think they outright saw Lasombra awake and screwing around and are now terrified, so, it's not the worst non canon theory I've ever heard?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by MarkK View Post

                                It's less impressive to note when their doing so was the will of their own antediluvian, manipulating their actions...
                                Yeah, I say "but Antediluvians" all the time when my local players grouse the two clans that were wiped out, were the Salubri and Cappadocians and they both had Auspex and Fortitude. Doesn't change facts beyond the immediate, and how those clans were somehow miraculously "eradicated" over the course of decades or centuries.

                                For instance, at least one of the Lasombra that rolled along with Gratiano for the attack had 4 centuries and change under his belt, and wasn't some unique freak of nature for being so.
                                And the one that survived on the opposition was the two thousand year old fourth generation, whose age and esteem within the clan were higher than Gratiano's, yet somehow Montano wasn't able to rally those outside the Castle of Shadow's walls to wage an organized resistance against Gratiano's comparatively few followers?

                                What does this have to do with the note that you're talking up the accomplishment of killing these elders in a way that both overstates the capacity of the Lasombra, understates that of the Camarilla, and ignores the completely different circumstances they are going at the lives of said elders in?
                                Same thing as what I just said: those who are critical of the decision to have the Lasombra join the Camarilla, are exercising some...highly selective and suspect, to say the least...reasoning.

                                You talk up the Lasombra as impossible ultra badasses for "doing something the Camarilla couldn't" while ignoring that what makes it possible are conditions of depleted resources, strength, insider information, internal betrayal and sectarian defection, not some particular level of individual quality.
                                And you act as if the capacity to maximize strategic advantages such as insider information, knowledge of resource allocation and depletion, comparative might, and the element of surprise isn't an individual quality in and of itself.

                                The Lasombra doing something to Sabbat elders in a diminished, wrongfooted state cannot, by definition, be weighed as some superior accomplishment to the Camarilla's performance against a sect at the height of its capacity.
                                I damn well can weigh Lasombra exploitation of strategic advantages as a superior accomplishment, and I damn well will. Because not only is that Jyhad 101, it's being measured against the Camarilla's performance at the height of its own capacity as you pointed out yourself, and the Camarilla plays the exact same game when warfighting against the Sabbat.

                                I mean, you're the one who brought up the Battle of New York in the other thread. How did the Camarilla win that, again? Because if I remember right -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that involved interrogation of Sabbat spirit slaves (insider information), radioactive blood slipped to Sabbat packs to trace their movements (knowledge of resource allocation and depletion), and daytime mass arson of Sabbat havens (element of surprise).

                                This response is a complete non sequitur unless you are arguing that whenever the Camarilla took out a Sabbat elder, it is less impressive than when the Lasombra take one out, which I would hope you were not doing considering the completely different circumstances and context each are waging their efforts in.
                                It's a non-sequitur, so long as you fail to notice Sabbat elders who survived the sect war, survived the sect war for a reason, and that reason certainly would not be for the Camarilla's lack of effort.

                                That you continue to want to hype the idea that the Lasombra could on top of everything else, be doing this solo and treating that as plausible when the one solo effort we get to see by a Lasombra who has almost every advantage possible fails, and that the book itself presents, again, all of Malenkov as going down to a group effort means you are going one way, and the material you are trying to extrapolate from is going a different way.
                                Well as you just so succinctly explained, who would be helping them? They lack their Sabbat resources, no Lasombra's going to trust another in this pursuit as it's every vampire for themselves, and the Camarilla certainly wouldn't be extending a helping hand -- least of all, for their being as depleted and diminished as the Sabbat.

                                That is, under typical circumstances. Because I have a distinct feeling you'll try to play off the pre-published story in which this happens as "the norm", despite arguing this entire time what happens in the pre-published story is wholly atypical and not reflective of the general situation writ large.
                                Last edited by Theodrim; 09-07-2021, 10:36 PM.

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