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  • So, Forsaken Paths

    Okay, so there's always been an element of propaganda to the design of the various paths. It's a major sin to be disloyal to your allies for Feral Hearters. Honorable Accordists place great importance on holding to oaths, obeying your leaders, and participating in your society's rituals. That's a very specific version of honorable that isn't remotely humane, and would be indifferent to anything done to humans.

    The reason these paths are designed in such a propagandistic way is because the various elders of the Sabbat wanted to keep the Sabbat together.

    So why, oh why, would the V5 Sabbat elders design their version of the paths in a way that doesn't attempt to keep the Sabbat loyal to the sect?

    In the case of Honorable Accord, the ethics should be something like, "never break your word, never disobey your superiors, always be loyal to the Sabbat"
    The various path designers would have to be insane to design the Path in a way that would tend to make Path followers increasingly disgusted with the Sabbat, which the Forsaken Path ethics tend to do.

    In the case of Feral Heart, here renamed Path of the Beast, the old sin of "failing to protect your allies", should become something like, "protect your allies as a wolf protects his pack, and a bee protects her hive"

    That's just common sense propaganda design, and the Paths are essentially propaganda so intense that their tenets can replace the humanistic tenets people were raised with.

    These Paths are now designed in a manner that would never have developed by actual elders with a lick of sense. This isn't simply a translation from the old sin system to the new tenet system. It's (Doylist)redesign that was clearly intended to fail, and as an explanation for a failure. With the result that the (Watsonian)path designers now look like idiots whose efforts should have failed centuries ago.
    Last edited by CajunKhan; 04-27-2022, 07:43 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    ...

    These Paths are now designed in a manner that would never have developed by actual elders with a lick of sense. This isn't simply a translation from the old sin system to the new tenet system. It's redesign that was clearly intended to fail, and as an explanation for a failure...
    From my understanding yes, that's the entire purpose of the rebo... I mean the updated metaplot.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
      Okay, so there's always been an element of propaganda to the design of the various paths. It's a major sin to be disloyal to your allies for Feral Hearters. Honorable Accordists place great importance on holding to oaths, obeying your leaders, and participating in your society's rituals. That's a very specific version of honorable that isn't remotely humane, and would be indifferent to anything done to humans.

      The reason these paths are designed in such a propagandistic way is because the various elders of the Sabbat wanted to keep the Sabbat together.

      So why, oh why, would the V5 Sabbat elders design their version of the paths in a way that doesn't attempt to keep the Sabbat loyal to the sect?
      Could you be a bit more specific what about the V5 version doesn't work for you?

      I'm fairly sure that the Sabbat Elders did exactly just that as we have it stated in the book: "Rumored to have been practiced even before the foundation of the Sabbat, regional variations that amount to a “Path of Honorable Accord” emerge from any number of cultural traditions. It has been variously characterized as a spectrum including a bloody-minded chivalric perspective practiced by “paladins of Caine” to a rigid asceticism by which the Cainite forgoes any personal comforts to mortify themselves into oneness with the Beast."

      If that's the case, why did Honorable Accord fall out of favor? Well, my personal theory and headcanon is because the Honorable Accord followers were too loyal to the Sabbat. If that makes no sense to you, I think you should note that dictatorships and authoritarina regimes ALWAYS purge the true believers.

      You cannot BELIEVE in the premise of an ideological state and be loyal to its principles and survive because that will eventually require you to take to task the leaders to the standards they claim to follow. The Bolsheviks were purged by Stalin, the Night of the Long Knives by the Nazis, fundamentalists purge more moderate believers who insist on actual loyalty to their principles, and more. You can be a hateful bastard and fanatic but your fanaticism must ever be flexible to whoever is winning the power struggles.

      What is the proper response when a Path of Honorable Accord member is asked to kill his packmates by his superior?
      What is the proper response when a superior is diablerizing his fellow Sabbat?
      What is the proper response when two equally ranked leaders go to war for petty reasons?
      What is the proper response when the Sabbat's worst enemy is itself?

      The Sabbat leadership may have purged the Path of Honorable Accord because they had one quality left of Humanity: which was that they had any loyalties left to anyone but themselves and only the most selfish ruthless bastards floated to the top. Everyone else became cannon fodder and they don't NEED a Path to make that.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-27-2022, 11:11 PM.


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      • #4
        Rewriting things to justify them not working? That's standard v5 fare.

        See also
        -The Camarilla
        -The Tremere
        -The Sabbat
        -The Followers of Set
        -The Masquerade


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        • #5
          I can't comment on V5 because I don't bother with it. But I will say that as originally described, the bulk of Sabbat Paths were developed relatively early in the sect's development when it conformed much more with the ideals of the Anarch Revolt. The original Path of Honorable Accord was based on the Code of Milan, but this wasn't the 1933 revised code undertaken by the sect centralizers. It was the earlier code. I don't think it was ever established when the first Code of Milan was written, or how much different it was than the revised code. But it probably gave its adherents much more flexibility.

          The Sabbat who originally designed the early codes were much more likely to be "loyal" to the idea of freedom than in wanting to support the sect as it would eventually turn out after the Second and Third Sabbat Civil War. The early Sabbat was much more like the Anarchs than the Sabbat we know that is described for us in the books.

          Since the Sabbat was mostly kicked out of Europe, survived by fleeing to the Americas or the margins of Europe, and then erupted into several large civil wars almost continuously for a century and a half, as a political organization it obviously was lacking something. The earlier Paths just didn't prevent that. Which is why after so many years of losing and internal chaos, the centralizers managed to get control and then establish a much more rigid hierarchy and central authority. I would argue it would be until the end of the Second Civil War that the Sabbat elders began altering Paths to prevent the chaos the sect was known for. Thus replacing the original Code of Milan with its revised version in order to trap the Path of Honorable Accord adherents into acting like they wanted. And since by 1933 there had been so much turnover of the Sabbat, there just weren't that many of the old Anarchs around anymore to complain.

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          • #6
            Loyalty to the cause, loyalty to one's comrades, refusing to associate with the dishonorable... how would an adherent to the Path of Honorable Accord fail to reassess what the Sabbat was turning into by the end of Revised Edition? Strathcona is a basket case, the Regent is dead and replaced by a doppelgänger, the Antedeluvians survived and are pulling God knows whose strings. And that's before the Lasombra abandon ship with the launch of V5. When the institution that the Knights have sworn loyalty to turns out to be a hollow lie, their duty is to one another and to justice. The Path of Honorable Accord comes out of this smelling like a rose, in my opinion. The Sabbat left them, not the other way around.

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            • #7
              No edition warring.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                Loyalty to the cause, loyalty to one's comrades, refusing to associate with the dishonorable... how would an adherent to the Path of Honorable Accord fail to reassess what the Sabbat was turning into by the end of Revised Edition? Strathcona is a basket case, the Regent is dead and replaced by a doppelgänger, the Antedeluvians survived and are pulling God knows whose strings. And that's before the Lasombra abandon ship with the launch of V5. When the institution that the Knights have sworn loyalty to turns out to be a hollow lie, their duty is to one another and to justice. The Path of Honorable Accord comes out of this smelling like a rose, in my opinion. The Sabbat left them, not the other way around.
                So many vows. Which ones do you honor?

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                • #9
                  Have you considered the possibility that the people who made this path were, in fact, insane zealots who didn't make it with cold precision calculation on the best way to keep the Sabbat together in mind when doing it?


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                  • #10
                    Paths generally start out as an individual creation. A vampire creates a Path because that's a philosophical direction that they personally want to go. After they make the Path, maybe they start teaching it. Once the Path gets enough followers it comes to the attention of the Sabbat. Then the Sabbat judges whether the Path is within the lines of the Sabbat's orientation and goals or if it isn't. If it's deemed that the Path does not support the goals of the Sabbat, then the Path creator and followers are killed or forced to abandon the Path. If the Path is judged as acceptable then it's allowed to grow and spread through the Sabbat. Many Paths are older but some are newer.

                    Note that it's not like there's some circle of judges who look at a given Path and give the thumbs up or thumbs down vote. It's just something that the sect's leaders and maybe the Inquisition come to an unofficial agreement on whether to persecute the Path followers or not.

                    It's likely that there have been dozens of Paths that never got more than a half dozen followers before they purged from the Sabbat. There may have been larger Paths with dozens or even hundreds of followers that were deemed acceptable, for a time, but then fell out of favor and were purged. The Path of Harmony and Honorable Accord are examples of these.

                    To some degree I think there's a sense of natural selection among some of the Paths we see. Paths with tenants that involve helping others or upholding the Sabbat are more likely to be accepted than purged whereas Paths that result in in-fighting or battling against the Sabbat will be purged rather than accepted. There are exceptions such as the Path of Metamorphosis or the Path of Power and the Inner Voice, but both of those functionally pre-dated the Sabbat and came down from the Lasombra and Tzimsci who were in a unique position to force the Sabbat to accept those Paths.

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                    • #11
                      There's also the fact the similarity of the Path of Honorable Accord to the Road of Chivalry, the similarity of the Path of the Devil to the Road of Cathari, and so on are indications the Sabbat are actually stunningly successful plagarists.

                      The original Sabbat couldn't come up with their own roads of enlightenment so they just claimed to have invented what were already extremely well-researched and widely practiced spiritual roads that they repurposed to their own ends.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        There's also the fact the similarity of the Path of Honorable Accord to the Road of Chivalry, the similarity of the Path of the Devil to the Road of Cathari, and so on are indications the Sabbat are actually stunningly successful plagarists.

                        The original Sabbat couldn't come up with their own roads of enlightenment so they just claimed to have invented what were already extremely well-researched and widely practiced spiritual roads that they repurposed to their own ends.
                        Of course, that's a retcon. Originally the Sabbat invented the Paths of Enlightenment. The Roads of Dark Ages simply didn't exist in the original version of the canon. It's just when they created Vampire: the Dark Ages, the writers decided to introduce the Paths as existing then, but changed some flavor text by calling them roads. They either just forgot that Paths were not supposed to exist, or actively decided to retcon that. This certainly is not the only retcon that has been done in the game. It's one reason why the current version of the game is increasingly incoherent and will only get worse.

                        STs and Players will decide on their own what is the truth in their own chronicles. STs who want to keep to the original canon and have the Sabbat be the true originators of the Paths have that option. Or they can go with the new canon and attempt to explain away the Sabbat's roles with Paths (maybe say they expanded the number of Paths available, or that they simply conserved them from being purged, or some other explanation.) Neither is wrong. It's just what each ST thinks is best for their version of the setting and what it contributes to their chronicles.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                          Of course, that's a retcon. Originally the Sabbat invented the Paths of Enlightenment. The Roads of Dark Ages simply didn't exist in the original version of the canon. It's just when they created Vampire: the Dark Ages, the writers decided to introduce the Paths as existing then, but changed some flavor text by calling them roads. They either just forgot that Paths were not supposed to exist, or actively decided to retcon that. This certainly is not the only retcon that has been done in the game. It's one reason why the current version of the game is increasingly incoherent and will only get worse.

                          STs and Players will decide on their own what is the truth in their own chronicles. STs who want to keep to the original canon and have the Sabbat be the true originators of the Paths have that option. Or they can go with the new canon and attempt to explain away the Sabbat's roles with Paths (maybe say they expanded the number of Paths available, or that they simply conserved them from being purged, or some other explanation.) Neither is wrong. It's just what each ST thinks is best for their version of the setting and what it contributes to their chronicles.
                          While a retcon, it wasn't a retcon that was unprecedented.

                          The Followers of Set, Banu Haqim/Assamites, and Ravnos had their own Paths of Enlightenment as early as the Vampire Players Guide. So Paths/Roads existed for canonically thousands of years before the Sabbat and well before Dark Ages.

                          I was surprised the Giovanni didn't have one too.
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-28-2022, 08:09 AM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            While a retcon, it wasn't a retcon that was unprecedented.

                            The Followers of Set, Banu Haqim/Assamites, and Ravnos had their own Paths of Enlightenment as early as the Vampire Players Guide. So Paths/Roads existed for canonically thousands of years before the Sabbat well before Dark Ages.

                            I was surprised the Giovanni didn't have one too.
                            Yes, you're correct. 1992's Player's Guide to the Sabbat introduced the Paths of Enlightenment and said when they were created. But in 1993's second Vampire Players Guide it said that some Paths existed before that sect and introduced the Path of Typhon and Paradox. (Though this is not found in the first edition Players Guide.) Nevertheless, these are not contradictory in the sense one can accept certain Paths existed well before the Sabbat while maintaining the unique Sabbat Paths did not originate until the 1600s or so.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                              There's also the fact the similarity of the Path of Honorable Accord to the Road of Chivalry, the similarity of the Path of the Devil to the Road of Cathari, and so on are indications the Sabbat are actually stunningly successful plagarists.

                              The original Sabbat couldn't come up with their own roads of enlightenment so they just claimed to have invented what were already extremely well-researched and widely practiced spiritual roads that they repurposed to their own ends.


                              They did invent the Paths, Honorable Accord being a Path of the Road of Chivalry, (DA V20 having each road have multiple paths explains both the terms and the method, and was a good way to retcon)
                              Last edited by Taggie; 04-29-2022, 10:10 AM.

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