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Do vampires have parental instincts towards their childer?

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  • Do vampires have parental instincts towards their childer?

    Looking for opinions. For a bit of context, there's a discussion going on about animal behaviourism as it applies to vampires (for use in a character concept) and this thought exercise was pretty straightforward until we hit that bit.

    You could argue that animal behaviour doesn't apply to curses, but the beast has fight or flight so they do have instinctual behaviour that can be observed. Anyway;

    1) As this would be an imortant part in the beast giving a damn about its kids, do vampires have any drive to reproduce? Almost everything that exists does so, but vampires are immortal so there's not much need to. In fact, the opposite may be more beneficial. So is all siring a purely conscious choice with no instinctive drive at all, borne only of clinically detached practical use and echoes of human psychology? Or perhaps the blood seeks to spread and evolve.

    2) Does the sire feel any nurturing instincts towards the childe? Not from the human psyche, from the vampire. They reproduce asexually, and I don't believe most asexually reproducing beings typically bother with this nurturing instinct malarkey, as far as I know. One could suggest that vampires are highly prone ot murder and that that would preclude nurturing, but animals who do have parental instincts commit infanticide, including humans, so I don't think that matters much. I'm almost inclined to say no, but wights sometimes form mutually beneficial packs and harm to a loved one is a frenzy trigger, so... maybe? At the very least the beast may hold a narcissistic sense of ownership/territoriality over its childer. idk

  • Lysander
    replied
    Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
    I see vampires seeing their children through one of the aspects of "parental instincts", that is to see them as a kind of continuation of oneself, but since vampires can live forever, it's mostly weaker than the way human parents see their children. In any case, I can see why a vampire would want to see his children succeed, just as a human would like to see their children successful, just because of the inevitable comparison that's bound to happen when someone sees that a cainite is the child of "someone". In the end, that's similar to the way a teacher would normally like to see their pupils. Kind of like: "Their success is mine as well", but as I said, the link between them is very different from a normal relationship between a father and his son, so to speak.

    In any case, I think that the relationship between the two is going to depend much more on social factors, i.e. the way the sire treat his/her child than on "blood factors". E.g. some vampires embrace their lovers, so the relationship would be slightly different from one of "teacher and pupil".

    I think the mentor and pupil archtype would be the most common in Vampire The Masquerade relationships.

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  • Herr Meister
    replied
    I see vampires seeing their children through one of the aspects of "parental instincts", that is to see them as a kind of continuation of oneself, but since vampires can live forever, it's mostly weaker than the way human parents see their children. In any case, I can see why a vampire would want to see his children succeed, just as a human would like to see their children successful, just because of the inevitable comparison that's bound to happen when someone sees that a cainite is the child of "someone". In the end, that's similar to the way a teacher would normally like to see their pupils. Kind of like: "Their success is mine as well", but as I said, the link between them is very different from a normal relationship between a father and his son, so to speak.

    In any case, I think that the relationship between the two is going to depend much more on social factors, i.e. the way the sire treat his/her child than on "blood factors". E.g. some vampires embrace their lovers, so the relationship would be slightly different from one of "teacher and pupil".

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  • Lysander
    replied
    I would say no in most cases and the ones that do will have a twisted sense of it. At best the sires hope they will have a companion that will help ease the sense of isolation for a period of time. From what I read in most of the books in this game is that most sires hope that there selection of childer will be strong and successful and thus reflect well on them.

    I remember that the Dracon was raised by his antdevulivan sire in nights past and seems to have some spark of that feeling left and possibly towards his grandchilde Lambach Ruthaven.

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  • Reasor
    replied
    I hold it to be an essential component of the Curse that vampires do retain their human need for belonging and connection, which is what makes the loss of Humanity and the societies they make in the Beast's image such a drag.

    A vampire is more than their Beast, and embraces stemming from the sire's loneliness absolutely happen. That sire-childe relationships are often abusive stems from a combination of the Beast's worst instincts and understandable human adaptations to a life-altering trauma like the sire's own embrace.

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  • Trassel
    replied
    In my opinion? Yes.
    It is not a positive, but rather destructive one. Possessive, domineering and controlling. And I think it is a drive, as well as a desire to create new vampires, just like with humans. This is then a factor in why so many Childer grow to loathe their sires, and why vampires in the end are doomed to be lonely. Are there vampires who break this mold? Definitely.

    As for wyrm, the more the werewolf mythos expanded, the less sense it made. Vampires are static beings and vampirism follows some very strict rules on how it operates. They have a hard coping with that the world dies and changes before them. This sounds much more like the Weaver, than the wyrm. Trying to preserve yourself has a destructive impact on the world, something the Weaver should be quite familiar with.
    The beast is not that much different from that of werewolves. It is measured on a different scale, the werewolf’s beast grows stronger up with higher rage and all the destructive impulses that comes with that and difficulty living among or even passing as human. Vampires have the same, but tied to their morality instead. To me, it is the same thing expressed differently because the game lines tell different stories. If one thing is of the wyrm, the other should probably be too.

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Vampires are, at their core, monstrous parasites. Their "instincts," such as they are, revolve around feeding and draining people dry for blood. Wights have completely lost their instincts as humans and are driven by their instincts as vampires. If a vampire possesses any positive, self-sacrificing or nurturing instincts, those would be instincts left over from their days a human and would be reflected by their Humanity rating. High humanity vampires would be much more likely to nurture their childe (or even refuse to create one in the first place). For low Humanity vampires, any attachment would come from the perspective that this childe is useful and if their childe ends up dead, oh well, no time for tears.

    Vampires on some Paths and Roads could possess some level of parental "nurturing" for their childe, depending on the Path, but it would likely be a twisted and monstrous idea of nurturing. For example, a Sire on the Road of the Hive very likely has something that could be considered "parental instincts" towards their childe, but the actions the vampire would take towards its childe would no doubt be disturbing and creepy to the extreme.

    For most vampires it's more of a teacher/student relationship and then maybe someday a relationship as equals. But you could certainly have a vampire who sees their relationship as more of a parent/child one, but that would be on an individual basis. I once played a Malkavian and his sire was basically one of those crazy obsessed parents who saw the character more as an extension of herself than anything else and grew more and more angry and spiteful as the game went on and the character began to branch out and undertake actions for himself.
    Last edited by AnubisXy; 05-09-2022, 10:33 PM.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    No.

    But they do have a stake in the success of their childe. Their childe's success or failure will reflect on them personally. And they have a potential to be a very useful ally and partner. But this is less a parent and child relationship than a mentor/protege one (albeit one where the mentor will never retire and move on, allowing the protege to take his place).

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  • Thoth
    replied
    Sadly, most fluff and mechanics that would be for or against this sort of thing are poorly thought out.

    First of all, you have the fact that all vampires are made from humans. Thus there are all our animal grade instincts and drives as a foundation, which then gets the vampiric "Beast" stacked on top of it, not replacing it. So are vampires capable of these varied emotional things, yes, especially when you considered how varied the Paths of Enlightenment are and produce very different value systems for behavior. A vampire on the Path of Humanity will have a very different view on Childer than say a vampire on the Path of the Feral Heart or the Path of Metamorphosis.

    It is also important to consider that vampire offspring maybe called Childer, they are made from fully functional adult specimens. So rather than trying to force the conversation into asexual reproduction, it could be argued that it is closer to an adoption than any kind of birth. Taken to its logical conclusion this means you are essentially investing into another individual for whatever character reason. Thus you want the best return on investment, be it a useful servant or a potential undead love.

    A different way to look at it is in a given movie, tv series, or book you have a scenario where the character gets inducted into a special forces group, a crime syndicate, or other elite syndicate. The character is now a member of that group rather than the previous one and is made to understand that the only way out is death. They could be given a mutagenic injection, exposed to a sacred macguffin, etc. In the end one life comes to a close and a new one begins. But the subject of birth/reproduction doesn't exactly fit. After a fashion vampires can have more in common with a Warhammer 40K space marine gene seed augmentation than the standard templates for sexual/asexual reproduction.

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  • Mizu
    replied
    Sure, they are just more like the instincts of an offspring eating hamster then of a human being.

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  • Sergeant Brother
    replied
    I would say no. In fact, if anything, there is a bit of the opposite in my opinion. Any feelings that existed before the embrace are likely to decline or become twisted with time if not the embrace itself.

    That isn’t to say that a sire can’t have strong feelings for the childe. Though those feeling stem from what ever connection existed before the embrace or what ever natural human inclinations that the sire has. I’m the Camarilla, getting to sire another vampire is a privilege, and a vampire is unlikely without some positive feelings towards the prospective vampire. This could be romantic love, admiration, respect, or even just seeing potential in the mortal. A sire can love the childe as a lover or feel like a parent or mentor, or even have a deep friendship - but it’s all human in nature. A Sabbat vampire has no innate affection for shovel heads it creates.

    Even if strong positive emotions exist before the embrace, because the childe changes mentally in so many ways, those feelings may change.

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  • Rhywbeth
    replied
    Personally I've never liked linking vampires to the Wyrm and write the taint off as the decay of the human soul/psyche rather than anything inherent.

    That said my first response to the question was the same as you guys, but a potential counterargument was brought up that the blood does change and adapt (bloodlines, Caitiff) so there could be grounds for the blood being an evolving thing that would want to spread to other hosts and maybe see them live long enough for potential adaptation. Or that the ancients would want the higher generations to propogate so that they had more tools, bloodshed and more potent prey than humans when they awaken, and would mystically compell it.
    Last edited by Rhywbeth; 05-09-2022, 12:45 PM.

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  • Vilenecromancer
    replied
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

    From the vampire side? No. "the beast" isn't beastlike at all, more like a zombie or demon. The mind of a vampire still gets lonely, and still has a desire to nurture and to loved by that which it has nurtured. But those are human emotions, albeit human emotions so core to the human brain that even path followers experience them.
    This basically. It seems the curse is a wyrm-tainted infection, sending all but the strongest of morals and wills towards a path of self-destruction. The Garou believe vampires are plagued by a manifestation of the Beast-of-War. It is the embodiment of callous rage and destruction. That said, wights will act within their former nature when they aren’t hungry or angry, so it’s safe to say a caretaker may try to protect other wights in their pack. This seems to be more of a shadow of their former humanity than the beast wanting to protect other wights however.

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  • CajunKhan
    replied
    Originally posted by Rhywbeth View Post

    2) Does the sire feel any nurturing instincts towards the childe? Not from the human psyche, from the vampire. They reproduce asexually, and I don't believe most asexually reproducing beings typically bother with this nurturing instinct malarkey, as far as I know. One could suggest that vampires are highly prone ot murder and that that would preclude nurturing, but animals who do have parental instincts commit infanticide, including humans, so I don't think that matters much. I'm almost inclined to say no, but wights sometimes form mutually beneficial packs and harm to a loved one is a frenzy trigger, so... maybe? At the very least the beast may hold a narcissistic sense of ownership/territoriality over its childer. idk
    From the vampire side? No. "the beast" isn't beastlike at all, more like a zombie or demon. The mind of a vampire still gets lonely, and still has a desire to nurture and to be loved by that which it has nurtured. But those are human emotions, albeit human emotions so core to the human brain that even path followers experience them.
    Last edited by CajunKhan; 05-09-2022, 01:00 PM.

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