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Wouldn't the baali have an easy time infiltrating the Followers of Set?

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  • Wouldn't the baali have an easy time infiltrating the Followers of Set?

    I'm not going to go too into this, since all you need to know about both these clans can be found on the wikis. I just think that its something that any baali would have an incredibly easy time doing.

  • #2
    It might depend on how you view the iconography of faith that Setites might surround themselves with (in private, if not in public), and how you view the Baali weakness in relation to that. It might be the case that the Baali would have a rather difficult time infiltrating the Setites - at least the more orthodox ones anyway.


    • #3
      I imagine the Baali would have more to gain by infiltrating the Ministry in most scenarios than the other way around, but I agree with what I think is the essential point about their similarities.


      • #4
        I don't necessarily think so.

        First, they have different clan weaknesses. And depending on how the STs want to define "faith" and the Setite religion, it might even make the Setites impossible to infiltrate.

        Second, clans like the Brujah are easy to infiltrate because nobody has any idea of their lineage because of their sheer numbers and non-approved embraces. But the Setites are not only a much smaller clan, but more centrally controlled. I imagine the Setite elders have a very good idea of who is embraced and by whom at each of their temples. If some random vampire shows up claiming to be Setite, it shouldn't take too long for them to verify their identity. This is lessened in V5 with the Ministry, and as I don't follow that version I can't help you there. But in earlier versions, I think this would be a great obstacle.

        Third, the Setites already have a lot of enemies and should have defenses to prevent this kind of thing - the Serpents of the Light, the Children of Osiris, not to mention individual enemies in other clans. Anyone can know Obfuscate and Presence or even pick up Serpentis somehow. Disciplines mean nothing. Local Temples will have other means to identify new Setites who show up there.

        Fourth, the Baali and Setites serve different masters even if both clans can be thrown into the "doing generic evil for the sake of generic evil" thing. In so far that these masters are real in the spirit world, they are distinct and have unique lore, legends, practices, theology, etc. A random Baali isn't going to know these things. It will take a Baali who spends a lot of time studying up on Setite lore to be able to pass himself off as one.

        So I would probably go the opposite route and make the Setites one of the harder clans to infiltrate. That doesn't mean it is impossible. The Tremere should also be hard, but I think there were a small circle of Baali among them. But it shouldn't be easy. Open to other arguments of course. This is just off the top of my head.


        • #5
          I agree with Black Fox in their analysis and I would defo count Setite religion as “faith” for purposes of the Baali weakness.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hello View Post
            I'm not going to go too into this, since all you need to know about both these clans can be found on the wikis. I just think that its something that any baali would have an incredibly easy time doing.
            It depends which Baali group is trying.

            The Setites are sincerely religious. They just believe that traditional morality is a tool to control the masses and that Set will set us free.

            The Baali either worship demons or want to keep demons asleep with some people who want to control them for their own benefit.

            The Followers of Set don't worship demons because they have Set.

            Who is either a god or a vampire who is impersonating one or both but demons don't enter their magical sphere.

            But a bigger thing is: "What would the Baali gain from infiltrating the Setites?"

            Honestly, I don't think they'd really see any point. A short story I once read had a demon pissed off about the Nazis rampaging through the area he inhabited because they were already irredeemably evil and damned so there was nothing he could do to them so it was pointless to deal with them.All they were doing was killing his actual food source.

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            • #7
              Could A Baali claim to be a FoS to fool outsiders? Yes
              Could A Baali sincerely convert and join the FoS? Yes (I mean, probably, assuming they don't kill you for bloodline based paranoia)

              But "infiltrate"? That'd be very difficult.
              The big thing: Promotion in the FoS is to some degree tied to Serpentis and the chosen variation of clerical Thaumaturgy (Probably Akhu). For the latter, you almost certainly need to be a True Believer to actually use it, and for the former, I think it's very likely you'd need to be a True Believer to use it.

              Secondly, Vampires within the FoS are all clergy members and are thus remarkably well educated in the occult and matters of faith and are thus very acutely aware of what is Heretical Demonic Bullshit. The followers of set believe in freedom and sticking it to the Aeons (the gods and jailors that bind us to this prison we call reality), Demons are Aeons or servants of Aeons, and what do the FoS hate most of all? Chains, and then Aeons, and infernalism is binding yourself in chains to Aeons... Not a good thing.

              Lastly you'd very probably need to go through a lot of brainwashing to be recognized a member. Granted, FoS aren't a uniform organization and there are likely exceptions.

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              • #8
                I'm going to agree with many people, and say while the Followers of Set wouldn't be impossible for a Baali to infiltrate, it would be hard.

                The fact that the Baali would hold heretical beliefs wouldn't be much of an issue, simply because ALL Setites are heretics even within their own religion. That's a feature, not a bug, of the Clan.

                Really it's more that despite being made up of a whole host of competing cults, each with their own interpretations of Set, they're all still on the same page politically. More or less. The Cohort of Wapweret may be more militant and even willing to kill other Setites. Most Setites are just happy to have someone on board, willing to stick it to the cosmic and terrestrial Powers That Be. As a Clan, they are fragmentary but close knit, willing to tolerate and work together for their collective goals. This network of skills, connections, influence, and pooled resources is what makes them successful at catering to and entrapping other vampires.

                So a Baali attempting to infiltrate the Clan is going to have trouble pretending to be someone they aren't. They would need to be extremely skilled and prepared to establish the con in the first place, let alone maintaining it long term.

                Obviously, it doesn't help that Baali are thrown off by symbols of religion. While the Followers of Set are a religion of evil, they're still a religion, and suffuse the trappings of that religion with sincere faith. Further, no Baali would be able to bear participating in Setite rites or entering their sacred spaces, which is a huge tell unto itself. While the Setites aren't as dogmatic about making their members regularly participate in rites as, say, the Sabbat, they still have their special occasions and practices that even more secular Setites will at least go through the motions for, from time to time. Over a long enough period, a supposed Clan member who seems to actively dodge any rites or rituals or temples, and keeps a distance from any Setite holy symbols, is going to be noticed.

                Now, this doesn't mean a Baali cannot exist as an infiltrator within the Followers of Set. Setting aside ones that were converted to Baali or that were invited to join the Setites, a Baali might have succeeded in getting in the door. They just might have been discovered...and simply are unaware of having been discovered. The Clan may know all about the infiltrator. They just let the charade continue, because keeping a spy around is its own tool for the Clan's advantage. It happens all the time with regular spycraft. And that's when you don't have a supernatural cult who are also really big into deception, duplicity, and subversion.

                Plus, a pretend believer can be converted into a true one, given enough time. Or at least that's the thinking of the Setites. Who really knows if a Baali ever could become a convert, given their weakness or their service to infernal powers? Really, all that matters is the Followers of Set are willing to take that chance.


                • #9
                  I'd just infiltrate the Tremere. We already know some Baali do that. For some reason, their blood tastes curiously similar... 😁

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