Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[World-Building] How do you do the Anarchs?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [World-Building] How do you do the Anarchs?

    Inspired by MyWifeIsScary's excellent post on the subject in the Sabbat thread: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...63#post1460463

    You make it sound like a bad thing?

    But, uh, no. But also Yes. Depends on the cities.

    In some cities, the Cam is strong, the sense of community is strong, and resistance is futile. Many vampires don't know that they have a choice: There are no open anarchs, so someone with different ideas is going to find no allies, and with an absence of information, they're going to come to believe that all cities are like this. Suicides are a hundred times more likely than an anarch popping up, and if someone does start causing problems, it's very easy for the Camarilla to trick the neonate into breaking a law and destroying them with a good pretense.

    Because political horror is fun to me.

    In other cities, the Cam is certainly strong, but the community is unstable. Nobody is strong enough to declare themselves an Anarch openly, but there are certainly people who hate the prince or covet his title, or they may hate or covet the resources of other powerful vampires. Some may grow to hate the Camarilla as an institution, and may very much desperately wish to get rid of it, but openly fighting will turn your domain into free real estate.

    Because again, Political horror is fun to me.

    In other cities, the central authority isn't strong or agressive enough to scare people out of calling themselves anarchs, but they basically act as little more than an opposition party that never wins in a democratic country. Oh yes, there might be some covert warfare in there, and a little bit of "We'll fight you if you actually make this rulling" and they otherwise mostly agree to follow the Prince's laws so long as he doesn't pull bullshit on them. They might have some more autonomous regions.

    and in still other cities... The Cam exists, but there's more anarchs, and the Cam largely survives because they're the least offensive faction, they're good at playing the Anarchs against eachother , or more likely the Anarchs are fighting eachother on their own vollition.

    If a cities goes completely Anarch, well, it's like Communism. If it's doing poorly, the Cam will hold it up as an example of why it should never be done. If done well, the Cam will hold hands with the Sabbat and start skipping into the city with flamethrowers in tow.
    I'm curious how you do your Anarchs.

    What's their relationship to the Camarilla, size, and power?

    How relevant are they?

    And other bits.


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

  • #2
    My take on the Anarchs is that they're two very different groups between V1 to V20 and V5.

    V1 to V20

    The Anarchs are simultaneously a safety valve and a source of continuous pressure on vampire society from the Convention of Thorns onward. The idea behind their "legality" in the Camarilla seems like it would have been a mistake from such seasoned players of the game. However, by making the Anarchs legal as a political position, the Camarilla was able to keep an eye on the trouble makers and also co-opt or divide them.

    As much as the Camarilla gets shit for being "The Man", the fact was the Camarilla actually made some valid concessions. In my games, the Traditions were actually an improvement over how vampires were previously treated. Before, a sire could destroy their progeny at any time for any reason and the same for the ruler of a domain. Most of them were blood bound from the beginning and sires had "pyramids" of slaves ranging from the Eldest to the Youngest. If the Blood Bond wasn't illegal, it certainly had a lot more stigma to be attached and you were only supposed to use it as punishment or between lovers. The Tremere being an exception because who gives a fuck about the Tremere.

    This philosophy of "divide, coopt, and conquer" didn't always work as the French Revolution, Russian Revolution, and the American Revolution (which was as much Sabbat as Anarch) showed. Then the whole business of losing California to Jeremy MacNeil and his rabble. Things like the Council Wars also showed that the Anarchs were not a cat that was particularly belled. Still, the Anarchs chief benefit is the fact that it gave the impression that Princes could be opposed without being overthrown. A gang of Anarchs protected each other and made it so automatically killing them wasn't an option even if a Prince wanted to. It made tensions always exist in a city but that wasn't a bad thing according to most Princes.

    Usually, Anarchs in the Camarilla were made of Neonates or Ancilla with the latter eventually "selling out" and joining the Establishment. The Brujah EstablishmentTM was a major pillar of the Camarilla as they were people who claimed to be fightng the Good Fight even as they were every bit as involved in the politics as any Ventrue. This helped decapitate the Anarchs of leadership as eventually the best and smartest became Camarilla stooges or stuffed shirts even if they publicly said they were resisting the Prince or fighting for the rights of the young.

    You see, as long as the worst troublemakers in a city were gathered together in a gang, that helped make a Prince look relevant. Many Princes suffered the Anarchs and things they could order them to be destroyed for because that reminded the Elders and Ancilla of a city why there were threats. Most would never plan to go on a killing spree or diablerie but the distant possibility made more Princes secure than overthrew them.

    Only rare were the Princes so tyrannical and insane like the Prince of East Berlin that they destroyed all Anarchs and people seeking "freedom" or "protection." Those actually became the ones the Anarchs sought to truly overthrow.


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

    Comment


    • #3
      V5

      What killed the Anarch/Camarilla detente was not any grand act of tyranny on behalf of the Camarilla or some great victory on the part of the Movement. Instead, the big issue that changed everything was the Anarchs becoming more like their enemies.

      The Second Inquisition, Gehenna Wars, and Beckoning may not have destroyed the old vampire society but it created a power vacuum that made a lot of positions open that would previously have required decades or even centuries of careful maneuvering to acquire. Instead, it became possible for gangs of Anarchs to take over cities directly and declared themselves "Barons" (Princes with another name). The Camarilla was too pressed to smash all of these down.

      Without the carrot of the Camarilla's power, many leaders saw the opportunity to use the Anarchs as a legitimate alternative to Camarilla power and build their own mini-kingdoms. Marcus Vitel in Washington D.C. is as much an autocrat as any vampire alive but happy to bribe his minions into obedience. California was retaken after the Kuei-Jin were driven out and Camarilla retreated. Berlin fell because the Camarilla DID decide to remove a well-liked Prince for not being "hard" enough. Also, the Thin Bloods were now numerous enough and dangerous enough to be their own Anarch faction.

      The "Anarch Movement" is partially propaganda from the Ministry that is making alliances between various Anarch domains. The Gangrel and Brujah having "left" the Camarilla was always hyperbole even if neither of them have Inner Council members or Justicars anymore. However, it makes the Anarch Movement seem more powerful and dangerous, which serves both sects. What it really is, is a vague support network of information and resources to prop up the web of tiny kingdoms the Camarilla has withdrawn from.

      Most cities are like Chicago where there's the Anarchs "ruling" a area right outside the proper city while doing their business in the city with only occasional harassment from the Sheriff and Deputies.

      Ironically, the biggest change from V20 to V5 is the fact that in most cities there's no change at all. Princes have declared "Red Zones" where Anarchs may feed freely and other independents and this is coincidentally the territory held by them. Anarchs generally shout a lot about Camarilla oppression but stay out of "enemy territory." Plenty of vampires on both sides still associate as before and ignore politics.

      But it's very convenient to have rivals and people to blame when things go wrong.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        Like a lot of things, this also varies by edition.

        In 1e, Anarchs and the elders are the two main factions in the game. They're both assumed to be members of the Camarilla and PCs are assumed to be Anarchs. There are several adventures that actually say "the Anarchs" in place of "the PCs". Anarchs vs. elders is the main external conflict in the game. Chicago by Night is all about Anarchs vs. elders. Anarch wars basically define the city's history from the 1910s and onwards. The latest Anarch war in the '80s defined the city current political landscape. Yet for all the narrative focus on Anarchs, they are impotently raging against the machine. Maldavis' coup only got as far as it did with elder help and then collapsed when Lodin submitted to... his own elders, who are pawns for methuselahs. The Anarchs' new leader post-Maldavis relies heavily upon the "advice" of an elder who's blood bound to a methuselah. In the end, the older vampires will usually win. This is why so many Anarchs sell out.

        In 2e, the Sabbat got introduced as the cooler edgier antagonists (and alternate protagonists). The independent clans got more fleshed out. We also got rules for playing elders (Elysium: The Elder Wars), there was more focus on crossover, there was the mess that was the Tal'Mahe'Ra, and the game as a whole got more gonzo. Raging against the machine was no longer the game's driving conflict; the Jyhad was, and PCs could belong to more or less any side of it, and could play neonates or ancillae or elders as they preferred. Giovanni Chronicles put PCs in the front and center of a pivotal (albeit heavily railroaded) moment in the World of Darkness and Count Jocalo basically operated like a Bond villain. The Anarchs still existed, but writers weren't really focusing on them anymore, and they didn't occupy a significant place in any of the era's By Night books. Apart from L.A. by Night, which went out of its way to paint the Anarchs in a negative light and emphasize what a failure the Free States were. The Anarchs were just sort of "there". They were the Camarilla's loyal opposition and honestly less interesting than all of the new factions being introduced. There was also less impetus for PCs to be Anarchs, because you could carve out a place for yourself if you did well enough in the Jyhad serving an elder patron. Sure, you'd still be someone's pawn, but you could have way more power than any Anarch PC in 1e.

        Revised toned down the game's gonzo-ness and put more emphasis on imminent Gehenna and the related sectarian wars. The Anarchs got dumped on hard. The Free States collapsed under invasion by the Wan Kuei. Thin-bloods and the Unbound movement in that book (even though it never came up beyond that book) stole a lot of their thunder. They were viewed as impotent rebellious children and treated with contempt by the setting's elders and the game's writers alike. They were part of the "vagrant problem", just like thin-bloods. All of the factions introduced in 2e got a lot more love. There was also less incentive to be an Anarch than ever. London by Night had an "experienced primogen" who was 50 years dead. New York by Night's basic premise is "your chronicle's coterie decides the prince, maybe even becomes prince". Anarchs were largely extraneous to the setting.

        V20 went out of its way to depict a revitalized and meaningful Anarch Movement. Anarchs Unbound is one of the best books in the line (IMO) and says that yes, the late '90s and early aughts were a dark time for the Movement, but it makes sense! Those two decades were a prosperous time for a lot more people and there was less anti-establishment sentiment then. (This is probably why the writers didn't focus on them as much, too.) The Great Recession and subsequent Occupy movement changed all of that. The Anarchs rode that tide of anger against The Man to inflict some pretty serious blows against the Camarilla and L.A. is back in their hands. (I think this works best if one assumes the PC in Bloodlines either went Anarch or independent.) As far as individual games, the devs basically encouraged groups to play whatever they wanted to play, but made sure the Anarchs would be fun to play if you wanted to play them. They even got their own magic in Rites of Blood. The Anarchs are still the underdogs in any conflict against the Camarilla, but they are underdogs you can root for and who can pull off real wins (at least on a local scale)

        In V5, the Anarchs are more powerful than ever. The Camarilla has downsized its ranks and anyone not in the Camarilla (which now functions more like Requiem's Invictus), Sabbat, or one of the more structured independent clans is an Anarch by default. House Carna are Anarchs. The Brujah, Gangrel, and Setites are mostly Anarchs after the first two clans got expelled from the Camarilla. Thin-bloods, who are also a stronger force, are Anarchs. Add in the Beckoning on top and they are deadly serious rivals to the Ivory Tower rather than scrappy underdogs. If V20's Anarchs are the Rebel Alliance vs. the Galactic Empire, V5's are the Alliance of Free Planets vs. the post-Palpatine Galactic Empire. Sure, the Empire controls Coruscant and is still in charge, but the underdogs have won such resounding victories they might not stay the underdogs. Whether or not these were well-written changes is a separate topic.


        Like in the last thread, I prefer V20's take. I like my Anarchs to be meaningful threats to the Camarilla, and treated seriously rather than as jokes (no thanks, Revised) or afterthoughts (no thanks, 2e), but I prefer them as the scrappy underdogs (no thanks, V5) and don't want them to completely dominate the focus of the setting either (no thanks, 1e).


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

        Comment


        • #5
          As I understand it, while House Carna has anarachs among her number she and her house are still Camarilla.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by omenseer View Post
            As I understand it, while House Carna has anarachs among her number she and her house are still Camarilla.
            It makes sense. They were Anarchs when it was that or death at the hands of the Camarilla but with the Council of Seven gone, the Loyalists can't go after them directly and the rest of the Camarilla couldn't care less about their feud.


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

            Comment


            • #7
              In the chronicles that I run, most "Anarchs" aren't actually Anarchs. The vast majority are simply neonate vampires who don't have power or Status, but compete against the elders/status quo. More often they not, they do this simply by ignoring Status which is a big no-no in vampire society. Their plots and intrigues aren't too different than those of elders, but lack their subtlety or framing. They just got more gumption than other neonates and/or lack the prudence to play smart. Some of them are targeted for whatever reason by one of the elders, and they end up in this group by choice of their own. There are also those who are the children of Anarchs and end up "inheriting" their position (meaning it was not really their choice; they'd end up differently if they simply have another sire). In other words, they don't choose to be. For whatever reason, they're designated that. Many of these vampires will eventually integrate into Camarilla society as they grow older, understand vampire culture better, and begin playing the game as it should be. Some though will embrace the Anarchs, primarily because they'll get oppressed too much because of the label. I'll call them Fake Anarchs, but that is an OOC designation not anything IC. Fake Anarchs can often be found as hangers on to the other types. CbN characters that fall into this category would be Damien, Neon, Travis Fett, Priscilla Gibbs, Elucid, and Derrick Stack.

              Another group of "Anarchs" are the outright criminals of vampire society. They'd be considered criminals in any kind of vampire society. But they have the label of Anarchs because 1) the elders want to discredit the Anarchs, 2) the Fake Anarchs don't know the different either, and 3) many of the political/true Anarchs are either fools who get conned or see them as useful tools. CbN examples include Gengis, Gordon Keaton, Dickie Fulcher, and Dooley.

              Then we get into the "real" Anarchs. These are people who want and embrace the label. But even here there are divisions.

              The first group is what I call "Poser Anarchs." They really don't want to overthrow the system. That's too dangerous and too much work. Instead, they simply want power, prestige, and influence they can't get in Camarilla society for whatever reason, and find those opportunities among those outside of it. Juggler is the poster boy here. When push comes to shove, they'll do just enough to maintain their street cred, but otherwise won't do anything.

              There are also "Revenge Anarchs." They joined the cause out of a desire for revenge against a single vampire (or perhaps a small group of them). If they ever achieve their vengeance, who knows what will happen to them. They might stay as Anarchs, or drop out. Frenchie from CbN would be here.

              Then there are the "I don't like the Prince of this City Anarchs". They THINK they are the "real" Anarchs, but really just don't like the local Prince. And there's a difference. Maldavis is in this category, although she would think she's in the next. There is very good evidence that her antipathy towards Lodin is a result of Critias and Annabelle (she is likely partially blood bonded to both of them) and their manipulations. Hank Cave is another one.

              Last are the Political Anarchs. These are the only ones who truly desire to overturn the Camarilla. The Socialists coterie of Hinds falls into this category (Hinds, Jurgis, Blackjack and Karl) - though I will also mention that Modius is part of their coterie and he clearly is not an Anarch, but someone who likely sees himself as a kind of "reformer" in the Camarilla. Anita Wainwright would be in here. Moving away from CbN, a lot of the famous Anarchs that define the movement are here as well (Jeremy MacNeil, Crispus Attucks, etc.)

              If you look at the CbN coterie charts what will be apparent is that for the most part, these do not line up as factions. Most of the Anarch groups are a mix of these. And they are not fixed categories, a vampire can start in one group and transition to another as part of their life experience.


              Talking from an IC perspective, you can divide the Anarchs into three groups. The first is the real Anarch movement who are trying to overturn the whole system. They are a minority, they have a lot of powerful elders and influential vampires on their side. I would arbitrarily put them at 20% of all Anarchs (and this group is heavily divided as there are many different factions based on the kind of political ideology each holds, and they see each other as rivals). The second are local groups of "fuck the Prince" who don't care about anything outside their city. I'll give them 40% arbitrarily as well. The last are those vampires who have the label Anarch but aren't doing anything to promote the Anarchs. Doing the math, this is another 40%. Your percentages may be different. Again, each of these factions are divided among the breakdown above.


              So the "Anarchs" are a rather dubious group. That makes it great for an ST who can have a ton of variety of motives, personalities, and goals. That means you can have any kind of experience you like in a specific chronicle set in a specific city. But they are NOT a "sect". They don't have any common organization, leadership, or even common goal. SOME Anarchs lead organizations that are truly organized enough to be label a sect, but they are rather small. But if their membership is impassioned, have strong leadership, and have any powerful "elder anarchs" supporting them, they are capable of some success. Anarch is simply a convenient label that just as often conceals as it does reveals.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think generally what makes a vampire go Anarch or not isn't the Prince being a dick, but the clan, or the "family". Raising an Anarch is something of an embarrassment for everyone involved. Smart sires will act almost like a real parent, appearing invested in their childer's success even if the childer was only embraced to be a tool. If the sire can't convince the childe of their sincerity, they can use the blood bond to keep the child in line for at least as long as it takes the child to properly adapt to the cam ("It was for your own good" would probably work)

                Going some of the more notable clans: The Ventrue (I'll try not to blow my horn too much on them because I'm overly bothered by people thinking I'm a blue-blood fanboy) have some of the lowest Anarch rates because usually they care about their image as a collective, but also, Ventrue have a severe weakness that really encourages them to work together and pool resources. If a Neonate needs a small grant of 3 million dollars to get off the ground, they'll give it to him, 3 million is nothing to them now but it'll make that neonate extremely grateful, invested in clan's supportive culture, and ultimately that neonate will likely expand the scope of the clan's pool: even if it doesn't work, he'll still be loyal for the support. The Nosferatu see themselves as a world apart from other vampires, so naturally they'll band together closely. The Malkavians are a support group, though the rare victimizer may drive a malkavian out, or a neonate may be too much to handle, the shared sympathy . Clans with stronger weaknesses have lower anarch rates, because they are more dependent on one another. The interesting example is the Lasombra, who feel they basically have to kill the characters that can't meet standards because widespread knowledge of their weakness would be bad for all of them, so anyone who can fall into an enemy's hands has to die*.

                (Lasombra low-key one of the smartest written clans)

                Clans with weaker weaknesses tend to have a weaker cohesion and thus more Anarchs. The Toreador don't need eachother, there's certainly benefits to them banding together, but they can band with anyone and make just as good a friend with someone outside the clan; they don't really have a strong identity. Why support a struggling Toreador if it'd put you at odds with a well-to-do Malkavian, or a stronger Toreador that thought they didn't like the neonate's style? They're very much a "Me" clan. The Brujah are interesting because their weakness is actually pretty bad, but they're also a clan that thrives on conflict so they have a lot of disagreements. Thus, Brujah shelter eachother from outside persecution, but don't actually try to support one another all that much. They aren't much inclined to help eachother succeed in the Camarilla (at least if there's a disagreement, if they are on the same page, they'll be best friends, but that disagreement will come eventually) but they will tell the Prince to fuck off when he comes down on the Brujah that decided he's an anarch.
                Caitiff don't have anyone with a similar weakness to bond over, other than how everyone knows it and hates them for it. they don't even share the same discipline spreads, so they'll have little in common.

                I think the only exception to this rule are the Followers of Set, because there's no reason to support eachother over light sensitivity and yet they so rarely go Anarch (don't go there). They do, however, make up for it by being a Cult.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  My general view of the Anarchs is the fact that you don't actually have to choose motivations for the majority of them and that their "membership" in the Movement isn't necessarily going to be something that is solely driven by one factor or another.

                  Reasons to be an Anarch

                  1. A vampire that has successfully pissed off the Prince is going to have to either leave town or seek allies against persecution. This is basically what drives the Fledgling in LA by Night since they were "born a crime."
                  2. A vampire might actually join the Anarchs for power. Gordon Keaton is a yuppie professional but he was Embraced as a Caitiff so the best way to become influential is to be an Anarch.
                  3. A vampire might be an Anarch simply because the vampires he hangs out about and likes are Anarchs themselves. If you're not of the Elysium crowd, you might well prefer to have Gengis or Anita Wainwright. Which makes you an Anarch by default.
                  4. The fact that plenty of vampires join the Anarchs because they hate an Elder or powerful Kindred. Allicia joined the Anarchs despite being a Toreador because she hated Modius and helped her overthrow them.
                  5. Being Embraced into the Movement. If you're Smiling Jack's childe, you're not really going to be welcome at Camarilla shindigs. Especially if they didn't get any Prince's permission.
                  6. Some Princes are going to treat you like one just for your lineage if you're Caitiff, an orphan, or Thin Blood.
                  7. Some Kindred will genuinely just hate the fact they can be killed at any time for crimes that are of dubious merit.
                  8. Being an Anarch can actually be financially and politically useful. Bizarrely, if you have a reputation as a outsider and legbreaker then some Elders and people will be interested in using you as a weapon.
                  9. Getting swept up in the mortal movements of the day like the French Revolution or Occupy Wallstreet can also result in you wanting to go against the current Camarilla system.
                  10. People opposed to the current Prince or structure may be Anarchs until it is settled down. You're "Anarchs" until you overthrow the Prince and are now the new establishment.

                  None of which are actually contradictory.

                  I think the only exception to this rule are the Followers of Set, because there's no reason to support eachother over light sensitivity and yet they so rarely go Anarch (don't go there). They do, however, make up for it by being a Cult.
                  Eh, it depends on how you define Anarch. I imagine Anarch domains are perfect places for Followers of Set seeking disenfranchised young lost souls and peddling vice.


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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The main thing I do with Anarchs is stress the overcrowding/stretched resources and that means the first thing that has to go is the not-so-sacred 1:100k ratio. It’s too low for there to ever be a need for Anarchs because that’s basically one person in an entire typical midwestern city like I live in.

                    Do you know how hard it would be to track down one person in that if you didn’t even know who you were looking for? I’ve lived here for decades and I assure you I’ve never met more than a bare fraction of them; 5% if I were being generous. Maybe 25% if you counted attending the same event as “meeting.” And I still wouldn’t know that this one particular person I don’t know of is, let’s say an orthodontist, from having attended the same event with them.

                    Basically, 1:100k is too low for Anarchs to exist. It’s just way too easy to just “Nope” out of vampire society and live in the background noise of being a second in 100k vampire where unless you colossally fuck up you’re never likely to be noticed.

                    It’s also too low for all but the largest metro areas to have more than a token Camarilla organization to rebel against. At 1:100k just filling the bureaucracy spots to make it feel like a true organization and not an after school club for mean girls takes a metro population of 2.3 million (Prince, Sheriff, a couple Hounds, Scourge, Senechal, Herald, Harpy, Keeper of Elysium, a full Primogen and their Whips) and that’s with no one to actually boss around.

                    Cut positions and make it more informal so there’s someone to boss around and there’s even less of a need to rebel because the organization that is there doesn’t have the manpower to keep other vamps from noping out and disappearing into the masses.

                    So, for real Anarchs to make sense you need to explode the ratio; 1:10,000 or even 1:3000; so the resources are tight enough relative to the risk of discovery for their to be haves and have-nots and a fully vested group of elites playing favorites. Now there’s something to rebel against.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                      The main thing I do with Anarchs is stress the overcrowding/stretched resources and that means the first thing that has to go is the not-so-sacred 1:100k ratio. It’s too low for there to ever be a need for Anarchs because that’s basically one person in an entire typical midwestern city like I live in.

                      Do you know how hard it would be to track down one person in that if you didn’t even know who you were looking for? I’ve lived here for decades and I assure you I’ve never met more than a bare fraction of them; 5% if I were being generous. Maybe 25% if you counted attending the same event as “meeting.” And I still wouldn’t know that this one particular person I don’t know of is, let’s say an orthodontist, from having attended the same event with them.

                      Basically, 1:100k is too low for Anarchs to exist. It’s just way too easy to just “Nope” out of vampire society and live in the background noise of being a second in 100k vampire where unless you colossally fuck up you’re never likely to be noticed.

                      It’s also too low for all but the largest metro areas to have more than a token Camarilla organization to rebel against. At 1:100k just filling the bureaucracy spots to make it feel like a true organization and not an after school club for mean girls takes a metro population of 2.3 million (Prince, Sheriff, a couple Hounds, Scourge, Senechal, Herald, Harpy, Keeper of Elysium, a full Primogen and their Whips) and that’s with no one to actually boss around.

                      Cut positions and make it more informal so there’s someone to boss around and there’s even less of a need to rebel because the organization that is there doesn’t have the manpower to keep other vamps from noping out and disappearing into the masses.

                      So, for real Anarchs to make sense you need to explode the ratio; 1:10,000 or even 1:3000; so the resources are tight enough relative to the risk of discovery for their to be haves and have-nots and a fully vested group of elites playing favorites. Now there’s something to rebel against.
                      I believe 1:100K is actually the "safe" number of vampires to be in an area without detection. I believe for exactly the reasons you describe.

                      How overpopulated vampiredom is an interesting question.

                      Also affected by how many other supernaturals are in your World of Darkness.

                      Still, I think you underestimate how much vampires are likely to feud. Even if the numbers are closer to a high school than a nation.


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        While naturally different circumstances call for different peculiarities, this is the rub of how I handle my Anarchs:

                        First of all ‘Anarch’ is a pejorative exonym and refers to a broad swath of ideologies which are only loosely associated and only rarely affiliated. Historically it was applied by elders and brood patriarchs (patriarch here being gender neutral) to describe vampires who rejected the dictates of their elders and “betters”. For most of settled agrarianate history there was little ideological coherence amongst Anarchs and often they simply elevated one of their own to the position of patriarch or claimed a new domain if they were successful before returning to the status quo. There are exceptions to this but that’s the broad rule

                        The rise of ideologically coherent anarchs is new to the modern era (although comparisons can be made to the primitive republics and ideological communes which did begin in the Classical Age). Amongst these Anarchs, only some are actually followers of the political philosophy of Anarchism, and while those who aren’t may accept the title of ‘anarch’ or reject it in their own discourse, it’s often used as a catch-all to describe all vampires who have: rejected clan patriarchs, rejected the traditional sects, are not dedicated autarkis (although the Anarchs do have some overlap with Autarkis).

                        Anarchs come in basically every political stripe that isn’t already accounted for by the militant theocracy of the Sabbat or the neofuedal confederation of the Camarilla. Contemporary Anarchs are associated particularly with left-wing ideologies such as Anarchism, Socialism, and Communism but this is not a hard and fast rule. One will also find Fascists and the like amongst the ranks of Anarchs. The modern era also famously saw the rise of Anarchs who professed the ideals of Liberalism, Democracy, and Republicanism; thus rejecting the aristocratic legacy of the Camarilla.

                        While political ideologies translate differently to vampires than they do to mortal humans, the ideological drive they provide can give motivation to vampires to resist the status quo of the sects.

                        Now Anarchs come on a spectrum. You have rebellious and unruly youths who are Anarchs simply because they dislike the stuffy edicts of Elysium and these will either assimilate or become more radicalized with time. You have autarkis who just want to be left alone. You have cynics who use the title of anarch simply to rally a dissatisfied base for the purpose of claiming power themselves. You have the loyal opposition who operate within their systems but want to use the Anarchs as lever of power to effect reform. You have mercenaries who use the title of Anarchs to be soldiers of fortune. You also have genuine ideologues of every stripe: soldiers, visionaries, theorists, propagandists, revolutionaries, prophets, and so much more. People truly dedicated to their ideals, whatever they are, willing to kill and die to see them realized.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Obligatory Requiem player's jab : like always failing Carthians.

                          More realistically, the Anarchs have to have some successes and be more than mere rabble rousers and disgrunted low-lives to be considered a potential threat to the Camarilla. They have to have enough on an appeal globaly, or at least regionally, for them to be seen as dangerous to the Camarilla's way of life.

                          If every attempt at an Anarch free city turns into riots, blood hunts and general madness even faster than a Sabbat's stronghold does, then this sect is simply unable to sustain itself. That it has does so for centuries means that it should be able to have perfectly viable cities able to fend off Cam and Sabbat incursions. Perhaps by resorting to a sort of "citizen's militia" and "will of the people" rethoric and the like.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the Anarchs must be an interesting "faction" for players, much like how False Epiphany described. But I really avoid making them anything resembling a sect.

                            There are two broad ways to define Anarchs. Either they are actual Anarchists or they are an umbrella term. If they are actual Anarchists, they inherently lack enough organization to offer the semblance of a sect. They are independent agents that oppose any formal power structure and only organize around mutual agreement. Any charismatic individual can garner some personal power among them, and you can get people to really work together in some projects, but no greater structure can form.

                            Being an Umbrella term, you have a too fractured bunch to deal with. They are Anarchs in the sense that they recognize a system and oppose it, but nothing else. This kind of Anarch works well as a catch-all term for disgruntled Kindred inside a clearly defined domain, or as a specific small group that have a more cohesive identity. If an Anarch Baron achieves to secure a city out of Camarilla's hands, this Baron either creates an alternative structure that works only in their domain (be it just a copy of Camarilla or not), or keeps order through personal power alone, be it through charisma, fear or both. This can be a powerful Kindred and even a powerful domain, but there is no larger structure to support it. I dare to say that many Kindred that achieve such position will actually petition to be recognized as Prince by Camarilla.

                            Otherwise, the disgruntled kindred flesh out vampiric population more than anything else. On most domains it is more like a political party, where the Anarchs are the ones opposed to the current status quo in the city, although not necessarily by the Camarilla as a structure. At this level, their personal differences matter less and they can work as a group. They can even have support from other Anarch groups in other cities, similarly to how opposition to any ruler can work together to a common goal and even display some political unity despite actually having disparaging political views.


                            #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                            #AutismPride
                            She/her pronouns

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                              I believe 1:100K is actually the "safe" number of vampires to be in an area without detection. I believe for exactly the reasons you describe.

                              How overpopulated vampiredom is an interesting question.

                              Also affected by how many other supernaturals are in your World of Darkness.

                              Still, I think you underestimate how much vampires are likely to feud. Even if the numbers are closer to a high school than a nation.
                              You have to find another vampire in order to feud with them. I think an excellent example of this is actually a social group we’re all quite familiar with given the forum; tabletop role players.

                              I know dozens of them in my area (again a midwestern city with about the population to support one vampire af the idealized level); which is only a fraction of the total; and if not for the couple of FLGS and a Meetup group, I’d never have been aware of even them.

                              If I started my own group from newbies (i.e. sired some fledglings) and played only with them, the larger gamer community wouldn’t even know they existed.

                              Now, gamers are more insular than vampires who need to procure a stable blood supply without arousing suspicion, but the ratio is also much bigger too... on the order of 1:1000 or more and we’d still completely miss each other if we weren’t actively seeking each other out.

                              Similarly, even in this city of 100k, there are easily a dozen plus night clubs and bars that singles hit to hook up almost nightly.* A vampire can only be in one place at a time so that’s a dozen or more small but separate hunting grounds just in a population of 100k people using only the most stereotypical method. If you had just two vampires in the entire community (twice the “safe” ratio) there’s zero pressure to fight... you see the other vampire already at that nightclub and go to one of the other eleven. The first vampire would literally need to be wanting to pick a fight for their to be a conflict.

                              And even if they DO want to pick a fight, predators rarely fight to the death unless there is a desperate shortage of resources, it’s just not a good survival strategy; you don’t provoke a fight with a fellow predator unless you have to. Instead one proves their superiority and the other avoids them and goes elsewhere if they turn up... and again, there’s no shortage of hunting grounds at even 2:100k.

                              Basically, you need a 12:100k ratio just to get 1 vampire per prime feeding spot and a 13:100k ratio before someone’s really going to want to compete for a prime spot. And that’s just the prime spots... throw in the men’s and women’s homeless shelters, the Red Cross center, hospitals, outside of 24/7 shopping locations, etc. and you could easily double that... and this in a small city where just about everything shuts down at 9pm vs. the all night bustle of a larger city.

                              Which is why I say you really need ratios in the 1:10k or higher range before enough of the easy hunting grounds are taken for there to be a reason to start problems over access to them. That or a bunch of really careless vampires who overfeed and start leaving bodies on a regular basis... which is also unlikely to happen if there’s enough food to go around since it’s mostly the hungry vampires who lose control and have a drained body on their hands.**

                              Sure, the Camarilla/Mean Girls’ Society doesn’t need an excuse to plot against each other and would do so regardless the ratio, but that’s not the same thing as having an Anarch movement. For that you need enough have “nots” to make the dictates of the “haves” feel like an unreasonable burden instead of something you can just ignore.

                              That’s also where you’d expect the “haves” to start getting exclusive rather than inclusive and start persecuting various outgroups to protect what they see as theirs. Until there’s actually the potential for a shortage, there’s little need to rigorously enforce access to the resource and probably not enough manpower to actually police access to something as fluid as human activity.

                              Going back to the two vampires and a dozen nightclubs; the dominant vampire would need at least 11 assistants informed of who specifically to look for to cover the other locations before they could reasonably stop the lesser vampire from getting a meal in one of the others... and more to keep the lesser out of the hospitals, the homeless shelters, the jail, the parks, the truck stops, etc. The logistics just aren’t there for policing access to such a massive population relative to a lone vampire.

                              1:100k is the ticket to a quiet life of easy hunting for everyone involved; but this is the World of Darkness so the idea that undead existence should be that idyllic should be thrown out on its ear in the name of having a setting with actual dramatic tension and conflicts.

                              My current campaign is using 1:10k and even it feels a bit on the idyllic side; there’s just too many places to hunt even in clusters of 10k humans for there to be much to fight over. The Anarchs are less Anarchs as they are the suburban bar vampires; ones who’s available hunting grounds are basically eating at McDonald’s compared to the elite’s 4-5 star dining options. You could gripe about the quality, but that’s not usually enough to get into fights to the death over and not enough for the Prince to feel much pressure to persecute anyone for stepping outside their lanes. You’d need a serious spark to set off any sort of powder keg of conflict there (my PCs are thankfully cooperating there as one of them is looking to overthrow the Prince as revenge for a slight the Prince may not have even been involved in... the sheer number of contenders if they were to succeed would probably lead to the city exploding into something like last summer’s riots as various players activate their assets against each other... and even that would only peripherally involve actual Anarchs; mostly as foot soldiers made promises by whichever factions they throw in with).

                              * one thing that made the population issue readily apparent was when my group moved to Discord due to Covid and someone started putting together a Google Earth project marking key territories and sites for the city... and we started seeing all the local bars and nightclubs and other prime hunting grounds dotting the city. It really makes the 1:100k number feel like it was pulled out of the ether by a bunch of people who’d never lived in a big city (even a sleepy midwestern one like mine) and explored it’s nightlife and got all their ideas from reading about city life in the 90’s from books printed in the 80’s.

                              ** and since guilt over draining someone is one of the bigger reasons for an impulsive unsanctioned Embrace, it’s a problem that will actually escalate the overpopulation crisis.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X