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Neonate/Elder and Sire/Childe Romance

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Rhywbeth View Post
    My (long winded) take is that a vampire is a creature that is more aggressive, territorial and solitary than a human. That has a significant effect on vampires and their relationships but it doesn't make dramatic passionate love impossible, it makes it challenging. That's the fun. Angst, darkness and all this melodramatic shit isn't any fun without ambiguity. There's room for genuine, light-in-the-darkness, sappy melodramatic shit too. Where's the fun being a shitty person without the fact that you don't always have to be but are anyway and then make excuses for it?

    The Elder/Neonate dynamic is a fascinating one to me. Abuse isn't inherent, but the potential is. The conflict is what drives the story, I suppose.
    From the Elder's perspective, you've found a source of genuine warmth and light - a genuine connection in your long, lonely existence of paranoid backstabbing. A young, breakable, vulnerable connection. Vampires can't afford to show open affection, in my view, what they love they protect extremely carefully, be that by hiding the connection or putting the valuable under strict guard of some sort. Everything you love is in danger, because your enemies can hurt them to gain an advantage over you (or just hurt you out of pettiness). If you're an elder, and that precious thing is a neonate, then said precious thing is now at high risk of being murdered/tortured/enslaved by other, rival, elder vampires. By loving somebody you paint a target on them.
    So how do you do this? Do you keep the relationship behind closed doors so that nobody realises there's any connection to exploit? Refuse to act on your feelings at all, but try (subtly) to help them and keep them safe and happy from a distance? But of course you could keep them by your side. Put them somewhere secure, where the outside world can't get to them to hurt them and you can keep them comfortable, and safe with their every need met, and happy (and possibly blood bound). I mean, you're not really hurting them... When you think about it...
    (...or you could eat their memories and soul and really keep them forever...)

    A vampire doensn't need to resort to brainwashing and the blood bond, and all the other easy-to-use vampiric abilities that violate privacy and free will, but they are always there and can be very, very tempting. It's the conflict between the will and desire for happiness and love, and a more beastial posessiveness (which is basically exactly like it is in humans, but vampires can act on their worst impulses better).

    For the neonate, having an elder who loves you is an advantage and a curse. On the one hand you've got a powerful ally, and it's genuinely flattering to think you could touch the dead heart of a powerful, ancient creature. On the other hand, you are the fixation of a powerful, undead, ancient creature and that's fucking terrifying. Again, young, breakable, vulnerable. There is a massive power gap and no way around it. The Beast is present and it doesn't enjoy any signs of supposed insubordination or insult. Domestic disputes (or an attempt to break up) may end with a need for neonate vitae (and/or ash) to be washed off the rug, whether their lover meant to hurt them or not.
    I suppose one could make some character arcs out of looking for ways to try and lessen that gap.

    It's an interesting dynamic to explore. Even if you fight to keep it healthy, the pressures of vampiric unlife are frustrating.
    Childe/Sire does not inherently interest me as much. Perhaps it's something I've seen too much. But no, their relationship doesn't have to be antagonistic or abusive.

    As for "long term." Unless you've gone in for a mutual blood bond, a long-term relationship isn't going to feature the pair being together for 100% of their unlife, I think. I believe Elysium described long-lasting couples and having an on-off thing. You get together for a few years/decades, then spend time apart, then meet up again later to see if you're compatiable. This can actually happen in human lifetimes too. A couple may find themselves growing incompatiable, then years down the line grow into people who are compatiable once again. I mean vampires are immortal, they have nothing if not time to fall in and out of love. This century we're in the honeymoon period, next decade mortal enemies, hatefuck buddies, lovers, friends, estranged, run into each other again in 20th century California hit it off and get married for the rest of the century...

    Is it likely to end well? Almost definitely not, but that's almost. It can, it's just rare. Also vampires are bitter and dislike having to face the fact that they bear responsibility for their shittyness, so "we're all cursed, love and joy is impossible" is a popular line from undead crab bucket mentality. "If I'm miserable and lonely, so help me, the rest of my kind are going to be too."
    Perfectly put, thank you.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Toreador View Post
      Perfectly put, thank you.
      Toreador. You truly honor your name I see.

      Poor Toreadors, forever bound to suffer their own illusions... In a sense, the Toreador flaw is even worse than the Nosferatus. Forever seeking that which they'll never have...

      Ultimately, vampires truly are cursed in every sense, and all of their achievements are doomed to fail. No matter how much a vampire struggles, they have all the time of the world to turn into degenerated monsters who are completely out of touch from the human condition. Only a premature final death can prevent that.

      But it's cute to see a Toreador desperate fighting against his own destiny and trying to cling to hope where none exist, I gotta give them that credit. The Toreador at least try while most others just surrender. I mean, they'll fail obviously, but at least they try until they no longer can.

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      • #18
        I find it simultaneously frustrating and funny how people make definitive statements about beings that do not exist.

        Vampires are fictional. And not any fiction, but a fiction about a human being going through an impossible process. The only part of this being we can say anything for sure is actually the human part. How does the death affects them? What immortality causes to the mind? What it truly means to be corrupted, immortal, a parasite, have a Beast?

        None of those have definite answers except in the context of themes and tropes, which we have a right to defy in our own stories. "All their achievements are doomed to fail"? Why? "the Beast perverts their every feeling or instinct"? Is there a peer reviewed research article demonstrating that with hard data? Or just, I don't know, an actual rule?

        Saying that vampires won't have a healthy romance because it isn't interesting is valid. Saying that it goes against genre or the specific themes of the game, sure, it may be true (although it isn't). Saying it would be rare because the rarity of goodness is a key element of the setting is a great argument. Saying it won't happen because it is impossible? Based on what?

        For the saying that love is impossible in the setting, not only is this demonstrably false by the lore (where love isn't even that rare), I have no interest in playing it Grimmdark style. I would go for Warhammer 40K for that.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
          I find it simultaneously frustrating and funny how people make definitive statements about beings that do not exist.

          Vampires are fictional. And not any fiction, but a fiction about a human being going through an impossible process. The only part of this being we can say anything for sure is actually the human part. How does the death affects them? What immortality causes to the mind? What it truly means to be corrupted, immortal, a parasite, have a Beast?

          None of those have definite answers except in the context of themes and tropes, which we have a right to defy in our own stories. "All their achievements are doomed to fail"? Why? "the Beast perverts their every feeling or instinct"? Is there a peer reviewed research article demonstrating that with hard data? Or just, I don't know, an actual rule?

          Saying that vampires won't have a healthy romance because it isn't interesting is valid. Saying that it goes against genre or the specific themes of the game, sure, it may be true (although it isn't). Saying it would be rare because the rarity of goodness is a key element of the setting is a great argument. Saying it won't happen because it is impossible? Based on what?

          For the saying that love is impossible in the setting, not only is this demonstrably false by the lore (where love isn't even that rare), I have no interest in playing it Grimmdark style. I would go for Warhammer 40K for that.
          I especially find it funny because there is literally a romance novel version of the humanity tenets in the main book. Does anyone think they would have put that there if love wasn't intended to be possible in the setting? Love is supposed to be difficult. Even among humans in the real world love is difficult. But it is definitely intended to be possible and, indeed, even the subject of an epic campaign.

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          • #20
            Neonate/Elder or Childer/Sire romance sounds a bit too much like modern dating between someone who is established and someone who is just out of college. There is a difference in power, experience, money, and pun intended even generation.

            Everyone wants to focus on whether or not there is equality between the two parties, but historically the sign of a successful marriage/relationship was the concept that you married up, rather than on your level or lower. But it's not like many people with modern ideals are going to go around clucking their tongues over how little the younger of the two has to offer, they only complain of how much more power the older one has compared to the younger one.

            Finding love is hard enough, finding love that is your equal in all things so that the rest of society doesn't judge you is delusional fantasy.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Thoth View Post
              Neonate/Elder or Childer/Sire romance sounds a bit too much like modern dating between someone who is established and someone who is just out of college. There is a difference in power, experience, money, and pun intended even generation.

              Everyone wants to focus on whether or not there is equality between the two parties, but historically the sign of a successful marriage/relationship was the concept that you married up, rather than on your level or lower. But it's not like many people with modern ideals are going to go around clucking their tongues over how little the younger of the two has to offer, they only complain of how much more power the older one has compared to the younger one.

              Finding love is hard enough, finding love that is your equal in all things so that the rest of society doesn't judge you is delusional fantasy.
              That's something that I never quite understood about modern takes on relationships. It's as if they want each individual to be a complete level field with the exact same..."everything". It's unnatural, to me. And, as you said, with kindred relationships, that's next to impossible to find and having a relationship with someone more powerful and more experienced than you has far too many benefits.

              And thanks for reminding me that these types of relationships are more historically evident, as I can use that between the relationship between my neonate and his sire.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Toreador View Post

                That's something that I never quite understood about modern takes on relationships. It's as if they want each individual to be a complete level field with the exact same..."everything". It's unnatural, to me. And, as you said, with kindred relationships, that's next to impossible to find and having a relationship with someone more powerful and more experienced than you has far too many benefits.

                And thanks for reminding me that these types of relationships are more historically evident, as I can use that between the relationship between my neonate and his sire.
                I could make a comment about how modern society tends to downplay personal responsibility and blame whoever is more "powerful", but I feel a better way to look at it is a concept I heard a long time ago.

                "If you are the smartest and most capable person in the room, time to find a new room"

                This has the connotation that the individual wants to keep growing and thus wants to find individuals who are better, that they can learn from. Alternatively, if you are the most capable person in the room, everything somehow backs up to you being responsible for it.

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